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Title: The Continental Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 1, January 1862 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy
Author: Various
Language: English
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THE

CONTINENTAL MONTHLY.


DEVOTED TO

LITERATURE AND NATIONAL POLICY.


VOLUME I. 1862.


BOSTON:
  J. R. GILMORE, 110 TREMONT STREET.
  NEW YORK: GEORGE P. PUTNAM, 532 BROADWAY.
  ROSS & TOUSEY, AND H. DEXTER AND COMPANY
  PHILADELPHIA T. B. PETERSON & BROTHER

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1861, by
JAMES R. GILMORE,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of
Massachusetts.

JOHN A. GRAY
PRINTER & STEREOTYPER,
16 and 18 Jacob St.

       *       *       *       *       *



  INDEX TO VOLUME I

  Across the Continent. Hon. Horace Greeley,                          78
  Active Service; or, Campaigning In Western Virginia,               330
  Actress Wife, the,                                             64, 139
  Among the Pines.  Edmund Kirke,                 35, 187, 322, 438, 710
  Ante-Norse Discoverers of America, the.  C. G. Leland,        389, 531

  Beaufort District--Past, Present, and Future. Frederic Kidder,     381
  Black Witch, the.  J. Warren Newcombe, Jr.,                        155
  BOOKS RECEIVED,      94, 348, 469
  Bright, John.  George M. Towle,                                    525
  Brown's Lecture Tour.  Wm. Wirt Sikes,                             118

  Cabinet Session,                                                   339
  Campbell, The late Lord Chancellor,  George M. Towle,              285
  Columbia's Safety,                                                 578
  Constitution and Slavery, the.  Rev. C. E. Lord,                   619
  Cotton, is it our King?  Edward Atkinson,                          247

  Danger, Our, and its Cause.  Hon. Geo.C. Boutwell,                 219
  Desperation and Colonization.  C. G. Leland,                       657

  EDITORS TABLE,                                95-112, 228-240, 349-368
                                               470-492, 605-618, 727-749
  Education to be, the.  Levi Reuben, M.D.,                     592, 662
  Edwards Family, the.  Rev. W. Frothingham,                          11
  Edwards, Jonathan, and the Old Clergy.  Rev. W. Frothingham,       265
  Emerson, Ralph Waldo.  Miss Delia M. Colton,                        48

  Fairies,                                                           524
  Fatal Marriage of Bill the Soundser, the.  W. L. Tiffany,          395
  Fugitives at the West.  Miss S. C. Blackwell,                      582

  General Lyon.  Miss Delia M. Colton,                               465
  Good Wife, the. A Norwegian Story,                                 290
  Graveyard at Princeton, the.  Miss McFarlane,                       32
  Green Corn Dance, the.  John Howard Payne,                          17
  Guerdon,                                                           601

  Hamlet a Fat Man.  Carlton Edwards,                                571
  Heir of Roseton, the.  Champion Bissell,                           210
  Howe's Cave,                                                       422
  Huguenot Families in America.  Hon. G.P. Disosway,       151, 298, 461
  Huguenots of Staten Island.  Hon. G.P. Disosway,                   683

  Irving, Washington, Recollections of,                              689

  Knights of the Golden Circle, the.  Charles G. Leland,             473

  LITERARY NOTICES,                              91-93, 226-227, 346-348
                                               466-468, 602-604, 724-726
  Lowell, James Russell.  Miss Delia M. Colton,                      176
  Maccaroni and Canvas.  Henry P. Leland,             302, 414, 513, 647
  Molly O'Molly Papers, the.                                    449, 502
  Motley, John Lothrop.  Miss Delia M. Colton,                       309

  One of my Predecessors.  Bayard Taylor,                            273
  On the Plains.  Hon. Horace Greeley,                               167
  Our War and our Want.  C. G. Leland,                               113

  Patterson's Campaign in Virginia,                                  257
  Philosophic Bankrupt.  Henry T. Lee,                               496

  POETRY:

  All Together,                                                      506
  Black Flag, the.  C. G. Leland,                                    138
  Changed.  Mrs. Paul Ackers,                                        570
  Child's Call at Eventide,                                          289
  Columbia to Britannia,                                             404

  En Avant,                                                          656
  England, To,  C. G. Leland,                                        209

  Freedom's Stars,                                                   166

  Game of Fate, the.  C. G. Leland,                                  268

  Hemming Cotton.  C. G. Leland,                                     272

  Lesson of War, the.  Henry Carey Lea,                               46
  Lessons of the Hour, the.  Edward L. Rand, Jr.,                    320

  Monroe to Farragut.  C. G. Leland,                                 709

  New-England's Advance.  Augusta C. Kimball,                        701

  Potential Moods,                                                   427

  Red, White, and Blue, the.                                         646
  Rosin the Bow.  B. B. Foster,                                       29

  Self-Reliance,                                                     149
  She Sits Alone. Henry P. Leland,                                   225
  Song of Freedom.  Edward L. Rand, Jr.,                              76
  Sonnet.  H. T. Tuckerman,                                           16
  Sphinx and OEdipus.  T. H. Underwood,                               63
  Spur of Monmouth, the.  Henry Morford,                             392

  Ten to One on it.  C. G. Leland,                                   465

  Watchword, the.                                                    126
  Westward,                                                          246
  What will you do with us?  C. G. Leland,                           175

  Progress, is it a Truth? Henry P. Leland,                            6

  Resurgamus. Henry P. Leland,                                       186
  Roanoke Island. Frederic Kidder,                                   541

  Seven Devils. Rev. F. W. Shelton,                                  171
  Seward's, Mr., Published Diplomacy,                                199
  Situation, the. Richard B. Kimball,                                  1
  Sketches of Edinburgh Literati. Rev. W. Frothingham,               453
  Slave-Trade in New-York. Mr. Wilder,                                86

  Southern Aids to the North. C.G. Leland,                      242, 445
  State Rights. Sinclair Tousey,                                     535
  Story of Mexican Life,                                        552, 627

  Tints and Tones of Paris. H.T. Tuckerman,                          127
  Travel-Pictures. Henry T. Lee,                                     676
  True Basis. C. G. Leland,                                          136
  True Interest of Nations, the. C.C. Hazewell,                      428
  True Story. Miss McFarlane,                                        507

  Ursa Major,                                                        579

  War between Freedom and Slavery in Missouri, the.                  369
  Was he Successful? Richard B. Kimball,                             702
  What shall we do with it? Hon. John W. Edmonds,                    493
  What to do with the Darkies. C. G. Leland,                          84



THE

CONTINENTAL MONTHLY.

DEVOTED TO LITERATURE AND NATIONAL POLICY.


VOL. I.--JANUARY, 1862.--NO. I.



  CONTENTS.
                                                                    PAGE

  The Situation,                                                       1

  Is Progress a Truth?                                                 6

  The Edwards Family,                                                 11

  Sonnet,                                                             16

  The Green Corn Dance,                                               17

  Rosin the Bow,                                                      29

  The Graveyard at Princeton,                                         32

  Among the Pines,                                                    35

  The Lesson of War,                                                  46

  Ralph Waldo Emerson,                                                49

  Sphinx and OEdipus,                                                 63

  The Actress-Wife,                                                   64

  Song of Freedom,                                                    76

  Across the Continent,                                               78

  What to do with the Darkies,                                        84

  The Slave Trade in New York,                                        86

  Literary Notices,                                                   91
    The Rejected Stone;
    The Works of Francis Bacon;
    The Old Log Schoolhouse;
    Songs in Many Keys.

  Books Received,                                                     94

  Editor's Table,                                                     95


THE FEBRUARY NUMBER OF THE CONTINENTAL

Will be issued about the 15th of January, and will contain contributions
from the following among other eminent writers: HON. HORACE GREELEY,
HENRY T. TUCKERMAN, REV. F. W. SHELTON, RICHARD B. KIMBALL, BAYARD
TAYLOR, J. WARREN NEWCOMB, JR., HENRY P. LELAND, THE AUTHOR OF "THE
COTTON STATES," CHARLES G. LELAND, and CHARLES F. BROWNE.


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1801, by JAMES R.
GILMORE, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of
Massachusetts.

Press of Geo. C. Rand & Avery, 3 Cornhill, Boston.


       *       *       *       *       *



THE SITUATION.


In the month of November, 1860, culminated the plot against our National
existence. The conspiracy originated in South Carolina, and had a
growth, more or less checked by circumstances, of over thirty years.

For John C. Calhoun had conceived the idea of an independent position
for that State some time previous to the passage of the 'nullification
ordinance' in November, 1832. This man, although he bore no resemblance
in personal qualities to the Roman conspirator, is chargeable with the
same crime which Cicero urged against Cataline--that of 'corrupting the
youth.' His mind was too logical to adopt the ordinary propositions
about slavery, such as, 'a great but necessary evil;' 'we did not plant
it, and now we have it, we can't get rid of it,' and the like; but,
placing his back to the wall where it was impossible to outflank him, he
defended it, by all the force of his subtle intellect, as a permanent
institution. His followers refined on their master's lessons, and
asserted that it was one of the pillars on which a republic must rest!
Here was the origin of the most wicked and most audacious plot ever
attempted against any government. This plot did not involve any contest
for political power in the administration of public affairs. That, the
Southern leaders already possessed, but with that they were not content.
They were determined to destroy the Republic itself,--to literally blot
it out of existence. And why? What could betray intelligent and educated
men, persons esteemed wise in their generation, into an attempt which
amazes the civilized world, and at which posterity will be appalled? We
answer, it was the old leaven which has worked always industriously in
the breast of man since the creation--AMBITION. Corrupted by
the idea that a model republic must have slavery for its basis, knowing
that the free States could not much longer tolerate the theory, certain
leading individuals decided to dismember the country. They cast their
eyes across Texas to the fertile plains of Mexico, and so southward.
They indulged in the wildest dreams of conquest and of empire. The whole
southern continent would in time be occupied and under their control. An
aristocracy was to be built up, on which possibly a monarchy would be
engrafted. In this way a new feudal system was to be developed, negro
for serf, and a race of noble creatures spring forth, the admirable of
the earth, whose men should be famed as the world's chivalry, and whose
women should be the most beautiful and most accomplished of all the
daughters of Eve. The peaceful drudge and artisan of the North, ox-like
in their character, should serve them as they might require, and the
craven man of commerce should buy and sell for their accommodation. For
the rest, the negro would suffice. This was the extraordinary scheme of
the South Carolina 'aristocrat,' and with which he undertook to infect
certain unscrupulous leaders throughout the cotton and sugar States. It
was no part of the plan of the conspirators to precipitate the border
States into rebellion. O no! On the contrary, it was specially set forth
in the programme entrusted to the exclusive few, that those States were
to remain in the 'Old Union' as a fender between the 'South' and the
free States; always ready in Congress to stand up for a good fugitive
slave law, and various other little privileges, and prepared to threaten
secession if Congress did not yield just what was demanded. In this way
the free States would be perpetually entangled by embarrassing
questions, and the new empire left to pursue unrestricted its dazzling
plans of conquest and occupation.

A comfortable arrangement truly, and one very easy of
accomplishment,--provided the free States would consent.

'Certainly they will consent. Trade, commerce, manufactures and
mechanical pursuits, occupy them exclusively, and these promise better
results under the new order of things than under the old. As to
patriotism or public spirit, the North have neither. The people do not
even resent a personal affront, much less will they go to war for an
idea.'

So reasoned the South.

'It is not possible those fellows down yonder can be in earnest. They
are only playing the game of "brag." In their hearts they are really
devoted to the Union. They have not the least idea of separating from
us.'

So reasoned the North.

Neither side thought the other in earnest. Both were mistaken.

Negro slaves were introduced into Virginia as early as 1620. In the year
1786 England employed in the slave-trade 130 ships, and that year alone
seized and carried from their homes into slavery 42,000 blacks.
Wilberforce experienced many defeats through the influence of the
slave-trade interest, but at length carried his point, and the trade was
finally abolished in England in 1807,--not a very remote period
certainly. The same year witnessed the suppression of the slave-trade in
our own country; but, unfortunately, not the abolition of
slave-_holding_. All our readers understand how, when the Constitution
of the United States was adopted, slavery was regarded entirely as a
domestic matter, left to each of the States to manage and dispose of as
each saw fit. But at that period there was no dissenting voice to the
proposition, that, abstractly considered, slave-holding was wrong; yet
the owner of a large number of negroes could honestly declare he was
himself innocent of the first transgression, and ignorant of any
practicable way to get rid of the evil,--for it was counted an evil.
When the rice, cotton and sugar fields demanded larger developments, it
was counted a _necessary_ evil. Congress was called on for more guards
and pledges, and gave them freely. It disclaimed any power to interfere
with what had now become an institution; it had no power to do so. It
went further, and by legislation sought fully to protect the
slave-holding States in the perfect enjoyment of their rights under the
Constitution.

Meanwhile many wise and good men, North and South, who regarded slavery
as a blight and a curse upon the States where it existed, endeavored by
all the means in their power to prepare the way for gradual
emancipation. It seemed at one time that they would succeed in Delaware,
Maryland, Virginia and Kentucky. In Virginia, an emancipation act failed
of passing by a single vote.

About the time that Calhoun was spreading the heresy of his state-rights
doctrine in South Carolina and taking his 'logical ground' on the
slavery question, a class, then almost universally branded as fanatics,
but whose proportions have since very largely swelled, arose at the
North, which were a match for the South Carolina senator with his own
weapons. Each laid hold of an extreme point and maintained it. We refer
to the Abolitionists of thirty years ago, under Garrison, Tappan & Co.
These people seized on a single idea, exclusive of any other, and went
nearly mad over it. Apparently blind to the evils around them, which
were close at hand, within their own doors, swelling perhaps in their
own hearts, they were suddenly 'brought to see' the 'vile enormity' of
slave-holding. Their argument was very simple. 'Slavery is an awful sin
in the sight of God. Slave-holders are awful sinners. We of the North,
having made a covenant with such sinners, are equally guilty of the sin
of slavery with them. Slavery must be immediately abolished. _Fiat
justitia ruat coelum_. Better that the Republic fall than continue in
the unholy league one day.' These men were ready to 'dissolve the
Union,' to disintegrate the nation, to blast the hopes of perhaps
millions of persons over the world, who were watching with anxious
hearts the experiment of our government, trembling lest it should fail.

In South Carolina John C. Calhoun was ready to do the same. And thus
extremes met.

Meanwhile the Southern conspirators pursued their labors. Gathering up
the reports of the meetings of the Abolition Societies, and selecting
the most inflammable extracts from the speeches of the most violent,
they circulated them far and wide, as indications of the hostile spirit
of the North, and as proofs of the impossibility of living under the
same government with people who were determined to destroy their
domestic institutions and stir up servile insurrections. The
Abolitionists saw the alarm of the South, and pressed their advantage.
Thus year after year passed, till the memorable November elections of
1860. The conspirators received the intelligence of the election of
Lincoln with grim satisfaction. The Abolitionists witnessed the progress
of secession in the various States with a joy they did not attempt to
conceal. 'Now we can pursue our grand scheme of empire,' exclaimed the
Southern traitors. 'Now shall we see the end of slavery,' cried the
Abolitionists. Strange that neither gave a thought about the destruction
of the glorious fabric which the wisest and best men, North and South,
their own fathers, had erected. Strange, not one sigh was breathed in
prospect of the death of a nation. Incredible that no misgiving checked
the exultation of either party, lest, in destroying the temple of
Liberty and scattering its fragments, it might never again be
reconstructed. The conspirator, South, saw only the consummation of his
mad projects of ambition. The Abolitionist North, regarded only the
_immediate_ emancipation of a large number of slaves, most of whom,
incapable, through long servitude, of self-control, would be thrown
miserably on the world. Neither party thought or cared a jot about their
common country. Neither regarded the stars and stripes with the least
emotion. To one, it was secondary to the emblem of a sovereign State. To
the other, there was no beauty in its folds, because it waved over a
race in bondage.

The day after the battle of Bull Run found these two extremes still in
sympathy. Both were still rejoicing. The rebel recognized the hand of
Providence in the victory, so did the Abolitionist: one, because it
would secure to the South its claims; the other, because it would rouse
the North to a fiercer prosecution of the war, which had hitherto been
waged with 'brotherly reluctance.' Here we leave these sympathizing
extremes, and proceed to survey the situation.

The first point we note is, that in the South the war did not originate
with the people, but with certain conspirators. In the North, the mighty
armament to conquer rebellion is the work of the people alone, not of a
cabinet. In the South, it was with difficulty the inhabitants were
precipitated into 'secession.' Indeed, in certain States the leaders
dared not risk a popular vote. In the North, the rulers, appalled by
the extraordinary magnitude of the crisis, were timid and hesitating,
until the inhabitants rose in a body to save their national existence.

It is no answer to this assertion, that large armies are arrayed against
us, which engage with animosity in the war. The die cast, the several
States committed to the side of treason, there was no alternative: fight
they must. As the devil is said to betray his victims into situations
where they are compelled to advance from bad to worse, so the
conspirators adroitly hastened the people into overt acts from which
they were told there was no retreat. We believe these facts to have had
great influence with our Government; and in this way we can understand
the generous but mistaken forbearance of the administration in the
earlier stages of the contest,--we say mistaken, because it was entirely
misunderstood by the other side, and placed to the account of cowardice,
imbecility or weakness; and because there can be no middle course in
carrying on a war. We have suffered enough by it already in money and
men; we must suffer no more. Besides, we lose self-respect, and gain
only the contempt of the enemy. When the bearer of General Sherman's
polite proclamation, addressed 'to the _loyal_ citizens of South
Carolina,' communicated it to the two officers near Beaufort, they
replied, with courteous _nonchalance_, 'Your mission is fruitless; there
are no loyal citizens in the State.' The general's action in the
premises reminds us of that of a worthy clergyman who gave notice that
in the morning of the following Sunday he would preach to the young, in
the afternoon to the old, in the evening to sinners. The two first
services were respectably attended; to the last, not a soul came.

There are no 'sinners' in South Carolina, and General Sherman had better
try his hand at something else besides paper persuasions. At all events,
we suggest that future proclamations be addressed to those for whom such
documents are usually framed, to wit, rebels in arms against constituted
authority.[1]

But to our case. We have a rebellion to crush,--a rebellion large in its
proportions, threatening in its aspect, but lacking in elements of real
strength, and liable to collapse at any moment. To put down this
rebellion is the sole object and purpose of the war. We are not fighting
to enrich a certain number of army contractors, nor to give employment
to half a million of soldiers, or promotion to the officers who command
them. Neither are we fighting to emancipate the slaves. It is true the
army contractors do get rich, the half million of soldiers are employed,
the officers who command them receive advancement, and the slaves _may_
be liberated. But this is not what we fight _for_. On this head the
people have made no mistake. In the outset they proclaimed that this war
was to decide the question of government or no government, country or no
country, national existence or no national existence. And we must go
straight to this mark. We have nothing to do with any issue except how
to save the nation. If this shall require the emancipation of every
negro in the Southern States, then every negro must be emancipated. And
this brings us to another proposition, to wit, that the day is past for
discussing this slave question in a corner. This bug-bear of
politicians, this ancient annoyance to the Northern Democrat and the
Southern old-line Whig, this colored Banquo, will no longer 'down.' We
can no longer affect ignorance of the spectre's presence. It is forced
on us in the house and by the way. It follows the march of our armies.
It is present at the occupation of our Southern ports and towns and
villages. Martial law is impotent to deal with it. It frightens by its
ugly shadow our Secretary of War; in vain our good President tries to
avoid it; in vain we adopt new terms, talk about contrabands, and the
like; the inevitable African will present himself, and we are compelled
to recognize him.

Notwithstanding we fight for no other end than to save the Republic, we
are absolutely driven into the consideration of the slave question,
because it involves the very existence of any republic. This question is
not whether bondage is to cease throughout the world; but whether it is
compatible with a free government, such as we claim our own to be. In
other words, is Slavery in the United States to-day on trial? We must
_all_ abandon our morbid sensitiveness and come squarely to the
consideration of the vital point, to wit, can this great Republic be
held together while the 'peculiar system' exists in a part of it? No
matter who first posed this ugly query,--Calhoun or Garrison. We have
now to answer it. We dare not, we can not, we will not give up our
country to disunion and severance. To save it has already cost us an eye
and a hand, and now this unhappy subject must be disposed of, disposed
of honestly, conscientiously, with the temper of men who feel that the
_principle_ of our government is soon to fail or triumph. If to fail,
the cause would seem to be lost forever. What then? Why only a monarchy
on our Southern border, insolent provinces on our Northern; Spain
strengthened in her position, and recovering her lost ground; Mexico an
empire; England audacious and overbearing as of yore, and France joining
to fill our waters with mighty naval armaments. _We_, having witnessed
the dismemberment of our country, and possessing no longer a
nationality, but broken into fragments, to become the jest and
laughingstock of the world, which would point to us and say, 'These
people began to build, and were not able to finish!'

How do you fancy the picture? Do you think any morbid delicacy, any fear
of giving offense to our 'loyal Southern brethren,' should prevent our
examining this slave question? We raise, be it understood, no foregone
conclusion, we do not even pronounce on the result of the examination;
but examine it we must. Not the President, with his honest desire to
preserve every guaranteed right to the South; not the Secretary of
State, who unites the qualities of a timid man with those of a radical,
and who is therefore by instinct temporizing and 'diplomatic;' not any
other member of the cabinet, dare longer attempt to slide over or around
it. We observe, we venture on no conclusion in advance. We are not
prepared to say, if the South in a body should seek now to return to
their allegiance, that they could not hedge in and save their
'institution.' But we should still desire to discuss the subject
carefully.

So long as slavery was tolerated as a domestic custom long established
and difficult to deal with, it stood in the list of permitted evils
which all condemn, yet which it seems impossible to get rid of. But it
is one thing to _tolerate_ an evil, quite another to adopt it as a good.
And we declare that never in the world's history was there an attempt so
shameless and audacious as that to found a government on slavery as a
cornerstone! Is it possible to conceive of more ungoverned depravity or
a madness more complete?[2]

There have been contests innumerable on the earth. We read of wars for
conquest, to avenge national insults, about disputed territory, against
revolted provinces, and between dynasties; civil wars, religious wars,
wars for the succession, to preserve the balance of power, and so forth.
But never before was a war inaugurated to _establish_ slavery as a
principle of the government. We can predict no other fate for the
leaders in this diabolical plot than discomfiture and defeat. We have
an unwavering faith that the Republic will come out of this contest
stronger than ever before; that it will become a light to lighten the
nations, the hope of the lovers of liberty everywhere. But we will not
anticipate.

In periods like the present, circumstances appear to be charged with
vital and intelligent properties, working out and solving problems which
have disturbed and puzzled the wisest and most astute. At such times
impertinent intermeddlers abound, who claim to interpret the oracles,
and who would hasten the birth of events by acting as midwife. It is
impossible to dispose of or silence such people. We should be careful
that we are not misled by their egregious pretensions. The fact is, the
whole history of our race should teach us a lesson of profound humility.
We do not accomplish half so much for ourselves as is accomplished for
us. True, we have something to do. The seed will not grow if it be not
planted; but all our skill and cunning can not make it spring up and
blossom, and bear fruit in perfection. Neither can man work out events
after a plan of his own. He is made, in the grand drama of this world,
to work out the designs of the Almighty. We must accept this or accept
nothing. In this light how futile are the intemperate ravings of one
class, the unreasonable complaints of another, the cunning plots of a
third. We see no escape from a threatening danger, we perceive no path
out of a labyrinthine maze of evil; when, lo! through some apparently
trifling incident, by some slight and insignificant occurrence, the
whole order of things is changed, the impending danger vanishes, and we
thread the labyrinth with ease.

We believe God will provide us a way out of our present troubles. Only
we must do our duty, which is to maintain our common country, our flag,
the Republic ENTIRE.

Thus much at present. Where this war is to carry us, what shall be its
effect on us as a people, what great changes are in progress, and what
may result from them, we will discuss at the proper time, in a future
number.



IS PROGRESS A TRUTH?


  'Human nature has been the same in all ages.'
  'Men are pretty much the same wherever you find them.'

If there be anything in this world from which it would be desirable to
see men delivered, it is from a certain small, cheap wisdom which
expresses itself in general verdicts on all humanity, and enables the
fribbler or dolt who can not see beyond his nose to give an offhand
summary of the infinite. There is 'an aping of the devil' in this
flippant assumption of our immutability, which strangely combines the
pitiful and painful. Oh! if the _ne plus ultra_ which antique Ignorance
complacently inscribes on the gates of its world should ever be worn
away, let it be replaced by this owlish _credo_ in the unchangeableness
of man.

The refutation of these sayings has been the history of humanity, and
yet no argument on political or social topics fails to contain them in
one form or another. Even now, in the tremendous debate maintained by
common logic and 'fist law' between our North and South, we find them
enunciated with a clearness and precision unequaled in any state paper,
unless we except that in which William the Conqueror coolly styled
himself king 'by the right of the sword.' Science, which modestly
announces itself as incomplete the nearer it approaches completion, has
been assumed to be perfect by those most ignorant of it, in order that
its mere observations as to climate and races may be found to prove
that as man is, so he was in all ages, and so must be, 'forever and
forever as we rove.' Races now vanished in the twilight of time have
been boldly declared to be the prototypes of others, now themselves
changing into new forms, and we, unconsciously, like the old Hebrew in
Heine's Italy, repeat curses over the ancient graves of long-departed
foes--ignorant that those curses were long since fulfilled by the
unconquerable and terrible laws which ever hurry us onward and upward,
from everlasting to everlasting, from the first Darkness to the infinite
word of Light.

The assumption that mankind always has been and will be the same,
involves the conclusion that the elements of slavery and scoundrelism,
of suffering and of disorder, are immutable in essence and in
proportion, and that human exertion wastes itself in vain when it
aspires to anything save a rank in the upper ten millions. As for the
mass,--'tis a great pity,--_mais, que voulez vous?_ It is the fortune of
life's war; and then who knows? Perhaps they are as happy in their
sphere as anybody. Only see how they dance! And then they
drink--gracious goodness, how they swig it off! the gay creatures!
Oh,'tis a very fine world, gentlemen, especially if you whitewash it
well, and keep up a plenty of Potemkin card cottages along the road
which winds through the wilderness. But above all--never forget that
they--drink.

It was well enough for a stormy past, but it may not be so well for the
future, that man is prone to hero-worship. Under circumstances, varying,
however, immensely, be it observed, humanity has produced Menus,
Confuciuses, Platos, Ciceros, Sidneys, Spinozas, scholars and gentlemen,
and the ordinary student, seeing them all through a Claude Lorraine
glass of modern tinting, thinks them on the whole wonderfully like
himself. Horace chaffs with Cæsar and Mæcenas, Martial quizzes the world
and the reader very much as modern club-men and poets would do. It is
very convenient to forget how much they have been imitated; still more
so to ignore that in both are stores of recondite mode and feeling as
yet unpenetrated by any scholar of these days. You think, my brave
_Artium Baccalaureus_, that you feel all that Hafiz felt,--surely he
toped and bussed like a good fellow of all times,--and yet for seven
centuries the most embracing of scholars have folioed and disputed over
the real meaning of that Song of Solomon which is now first beginning to
be understood from Hafiz. Man, I tell you that in the old morning of
history there were races whose life-blood glowed hotter than ever yours
did, with a burning faith, such as you never felt, that all which you
now believe to be most execrably infamous was intensely holy. Your
wisest scholars lose themselves in trying to unthread the mazes and
mysteries of those incomprehensible depths of diabolical worship and
intertwined beauty and honor, now known only from trebly diminished
mythologic reflection. Perhaps some of those undecipherable hieroglyphs
of the East are not so unintelligible to you now as they would be if
translated. Do you, for that matter, fully understand why a Hindu yoghi
torments himself for thirty years? I observe that the great majority of
our good, kind missionaries have no glimmering of an idea why it is
done. Brother Zeal, of the first part, says it is superstition. Father
Squeal, of the second part, says it is the devil. Very good indeed--so
far as it goes.

But look to later ages, and see whether man has been so strikingly
similar to us of the present day. There are manias and mysteries of the
Middle Ages whose history is smothered in darkness; lost to us out of
sheer incapacity to be understood from any modern standpoint of sense or
feeling whatever. What do you make out of that crusade of scores of
thousands of unarmed, delirious Christians, who started eastward to
redeem the holy sepulchre; all their faith and hope of safety being in a
goose and a pig which they bore with them? And they all died, those
earnest Goose-and-Pigites; died in untold misery and murder--unhappy
'superstition again.' That bolt is soon shot; but I have my misgivings
whether it reaches the mark.

Or what do you make of untold and unutterable horrors, or crimes, as
they were deemed, which to us seem bewildering nonsense? What of
were-wolf manias, of districts made horrible by nightmare and
vampyreism, urged to literal and incredible reality; of abominations
which no modern wickedness dare hint at, but which raged like epidemics?
Or what of the Sieur de Gilles, with his thousand or two of girl
children elaborately tortured to death--and he a type and not a sporad?

'But,' we are told, 'men would do all this over again, if they dared.
The vice is all here, safely housed away snug as ever, only waiting its
time.' I grant it--just as I grant that the same atoms and elements
which once formed mastodons and trilobites are here--and with about as
much chance of reappearing as mastodons as humanity has of reproducing
those antique horrors. The fragments of witch-madness and star-faith may
be still raked in tolerably perfect lumps out of the mire or chaff of
mankind; but I do not think, young lady, that you will ever be accused
of riding on a broom, though you unquestionably had an ancestress,
somewhere before or after Hengist, who enjoyed the reputation of
understanding that unpopular mode of volatility. _Pommade Dupuytren_ and
_Eau de toilette_ have taken the place of the witch-ointments; and if
the spice-powder of the old alchemist Mutio di Frangipani has risen from
the recipes of the Middle Ages into modern fashion, rest assured that it
will never work wonder more, save in connection with bright eyes,
rustling fans, and Valenciennes-edged pocket-handkerchiefs.

To the student to whom all battles of the past are not like the dishes
of certain Southern hotels,--all served in the same gravy, possessing
the same agrarian, muttony flavor,--and to whom Zoroaster and Spurgeon
are not merely clergymen, differing only in dress and language, it must
appear plain enough that as there are now on earth races physically
differing from one another almost as much as from other mammalia, just
so in the course of ages have been developed in the same single descent
even greater mental and moral differences. In fact, when we remember
that the same lust, avarice, ambition and warfare have mingled with our
blood at all times, it becomes wonderful when we reflect how marvelously
the mind has been molded to such myriad varieties. It has in full
consciousness of its power sacrificed all earthly happiness, toiled and
died for rulers, for ideas of which it had no idea, for vague
war-cries--it has existed only for sensuality, or beauty, or food--for
religion or for ostentation, according to different climate or age or
soil--it has groveled for ages in misery or roamed free and proud--and
between the degraded slave and the proud free-man there is, as I think,
a very terrible difference indeed. But, quitting the vast variety of
mental developments, faiths, and _feelings_, let us cast a glance on the
general change which history has witnessed in man's physical condition.

First let us premise with certain general laws, that intelligence,
physical well-being and freedom have a decided affinity, and are most
copiously unfolded in manufacturing countries. That as labor is
developed and elaborated, it becomes allied to science and art, and, in
a word, 'respectable.' That as these advance it becomes constantly more
evident that he who strives to accomplish his labor in the most perfect
manner is continually becoming a man of science and an artist, and
rising to a well deserved intellectual equality with the 'higher
classes.' That, in fine, the tendency of industry--which in this age is
only a synonym for the action of capital--is towards Republicanism.

I have already remarked to the effect that so far as the welfare of man
in the future is concerned, it is to be regretted that hero-worship
should still influence men so largely. When Mr. Smith runs over his
scanty historical knowledge, things do not seem so bad on the whole with
anybody. Mark Antony and Coriolanus and Francis the First, the plumed
barons of the feudal days, and their embroidered and belaced ladies,
with the whole merrie companie of pages, fools, troubadours and heralds,
seem on the whole to have had fine times of it. 'Bloweth seed and
groweth mead'--assuredly the sun shone then as now, people wassailed or
wailed--oh, 'twas pretty much the same in all ages. But when we come to
the most unmistakable _facts_, all this sheen of gilded armor and
egret-plumes, of gemmed goblet and altar-lace, lute, mandolin, and lay,
is cloth of gold over the ghastly, shrunken limbs of a leper. Pass over
the glory of knight and dame and see how it was then with the
multitude--with the millions. Almost at the first glance, in fact, your
knight and dame turn out unwashed, scantily linened, living amid scents
and sounds which no modern private soldier would endure. The venison
pasty of high festival becomes the daily pork and mustard of home life,
with such an array of scrofula and cutaneous disorders as are horrible
to think on. The household books of expenditure of the noblest families
in England in the fourteenth century scarcely show as much linen used
annually among a hundred people as would serve now for one mechanic.
People of the highest rank slept naked to save night-clothes. If in
Flanders or in Italy we find during their high prosperity some
exceptions to this knightly and chivalric piggishness and penury, it is
none the less true that they outbalanced it by sundry and peculiar
vices. And yet, bad as life then was, it is impossible for us to guess
at, or realize, all its foulness. We know it mostly from poets, and the
poet and historian, like the artist, have in every age lived quite out
of the actual, and with all the tact of repulsion avoided common facts.

But it is with the multitude that truth and common sense and humanity
have to deal. And here, whether in Greece or in England, in Italy or in
France, lies in the past an abyss of horror whose greatest wonder is,
that we, who are only some three centuries distant, know so little of
it. There is a favorite compensative theory that man is miraculously
self-adaptive to all circumstances, and that deprived of modern comforts
and luxuries he would only become more vigorous and independent--that in
fact he was on the whole considerably happier under a feudal baron than
he has been since. I will believe in this when I find that a man who has
exchanged a stinging gout for a mere rheumatism finds himself entirely
free from pain. No, the serfs of the Middle Ages were in no sense happy.
Stifled moans of misery, a sense of their unutterable agonies, steal up
from proverb and by-corners of history--we feel that they were more
miserable than jail prisoners at the present day--for then, as now, man
groaned at being an inferior, and he had much more than that to groan
over in those days of strifes and dirt. And yet every one of those serfs
was God's child, as well as the baron who enslaved him. To himself he
was a world with an eternity, and of as much importance as all other
men. Through what strange heresies and insurrections, based either on
innate passion or religious conviction, do we not find Republicanism
bursting out in every age, from remote Etruscan rebellions down to
Peasants' wars, Anabaptist uprisings, and Jack Cade out-flamings. It was
always there, that sense of political equality and right--it always
goaded and tormented man, in the silent darkness of ignorance as in the
broad light of learning.

So long as European society consisted in a great measure of war tempered
by agriculture, there could be but little progress towards a better
state of things. But the germ of industry sprouted and grew, though
slowly. Merchants bought social privileges for money; even law was
grudgingly sold them, and they continued to buy. Against the old
idealism, against bugbears and mythology, fairy tales and astrology,
dreams, spells, charms, muttered exorcisms, commandments to obey master,
ship and serfdom, _de jure divino_, clouds, mists, and lies infinite;
slowly rose that stupendous power of truth and of Nature which had
hitherto in humanity only visited the world in broken gleams. We may
assume different eras for this dividing point between immutability and
progress, between slavery and freedom. In religion, Christianity appears
as first offering future happiness for the people and for all. The
revival of letters and the Reformation were glorious storms, battering
down thousands of old barriers. But in a temporal and worldly point of
view the name of Bacon, perhaps, since a name is still necessary, best
distinguishes between the old and the new. From him--or his age--dates
that grappling with facts, that classifying of all knowledge so soon as
obtained, that _Wissenschaft_ or _Science_ which never goes backward; in
fine, that information which by its dissemination continually equalizes
men and renders rank futile. With science, labor and the laboring man
began at once to rise. Comfort and cleanliness and health for the many
took the place of ancient deprivation and dirt--whether of body or of
soul. Humanity began to improve--for, with all the legends of the
bravery of the Middle Ages, it is apparent enough that their heroes or
soldiers were not so strong or large as the men of the present day. And
through all, amid struggles and strivings and subtle drawbacks and
deceits, worked and won its way the great power of Republicanism or of
Progress, destroying, one by one, illusions, and building up in their
stead fair and enduring realities.

It is but a few decades since the greater portion of all intellectual or
inventive effort was devoted to setting off rank, to exalting the
exalted, and, by contrast, still further degrading the lowly. What were
the glorious works of those mediæval artists in stone and canvas, in
orfevery and silver, in marble and bronze, nielloed salvers, golden
chasing, laces as from fairy-land, canopies, garments and gems? All
beautiful patents of rank, marks to honor wealthy rank--nothing more,
save that and the imperishable proof of genius, which is ever lovely, as
a slave or free. But where goes the inventive talent now? Beaumarchais
worked for a year to make a watch which only 'the king' could buy. Had
he lived to-day he would have striven to invent some improvement which
should be found in every man's watch. It 'pays better,' in a word, to
invent for the poor many than for the rich few--and invention has found
this out. Something which must be had in every cottage,--soap for the
million, medicine for the masses, cheap churns, cheap clocks, always
something of which one can sell many and much,--such are the objects
which claim the labor of genius now. Fools grieve that Art is dead;
'lives at best only in imitation;' and that we have chanced on a
godless, humdrum, steam and leather age--one of prose and dust, facts
and factories. Sometimes come gasping efforts--sickly self-persuasions
that all is not so bad as it seems. Mr. Slasher of the Sunday paper is
quite certain that the Creek Indian Girl statue is far superior to
anything antique, while Crasher, just back from Europe, shakes his head,
and assures the younger hadjis--expectant that the old masters are old
humbugs, and that it is generally understood to be so now in France--you
can get better pictures at half price any day in the shops. It will not
do. The art of small details, the art of pieces and bits, went out with
the last architecture. It went over to the people, and from them a
higher Art will yet bloom again in a beauty, a freshness, and grandeur
never before dreamed of. It will live again in Nature. For it is towards
Nature that progress tends--towards real beauty, and not towards the
false 'ideal.'

Yet so clearly and beautifully as social progress is defined for us in
history--so indisputably distinct as are the outlines in which it rises
before us, there are no lack of men to believe that humanity was never
so agonized as at present, never so wicked. 'Our cities are more badly
governed than were ever cities before,'--'look at the Lobby'--everything
is bad. Ah, it moves slowly, no doubt, this progress--and yet it does
move. Across rumors and lies and discouraging truths it ever
moves,--moves with the worlds through seas of light, but, unlike the
worlds, goes not back again to the point of starting. And why should it
not be slow, this progress, when an Egypt could lie four thousand years
in one type of civilization, when an India could believe itself millions
of ages old? Slowly the locomotive gets under way. Long are the first
intervals of its piston, long the wheezing sounds of its first breaths.
But puff, puff, they come, and ever a little faster. Do we not 'make
history rapidly in these days,' since England and France have entered on
their modern career? What place has the nineteenth century in the long
list of ages?

Everywhere the action of capital, the ringing of the plane, now and
then, as in those times, the sound of arms, but all tending to far other
ends than the welfare of a reigning family, or to satisfy the revengeful
whim of a royal mistress, or the bigotry of a monarch. Public opinion
has its say now in all things. Even the rascality of which the
conservative complains is individual rascality for private aims,
tempered by public opinion, and no longer the sublimely organized
rascality of all power and government. Do these things prove nothing? Do
they not show that WORK--good, hard, steady, unflinching
work--is enlarging man's destiny, and freeing itself step by step from
the primeval curse?

It is only during the present century and within the memory of man that
in France and Russia the welfare of the people has become the steady
object of diplomacy, and this because any other object would now be
ruinous. But it is chiefly in America that the most wonderful advance
has been made, and it is here, and at the present moment, that the most
tremendous struggle has arisen between the adherents of the old faith
and the new. In the South, the old feudal baron under a new name, in the
North the man of labor and of science, fight again the battle of might
and right--the one strong in ignorance, the other stronger in knowledge.
Who can doubt what the end thereof shall be? Amid storms and darkness,
through death and hell-carnivals, the great truth has ever held its way
onwards, slowly, for its heritage is eternal Time, but oh! how surely.
And yet there be those who doubt the end and the issue! Doubt--oh, never
doubt! For this faith all martyrs have died, in this battle all men
have, knowingly or unknowingly, lived--they who fought against it fought
for it--for of a verity there was never yet on earth one active deed
done which tended not towards the great advance, and to bring on the
great jubilee of Freedom.



THE EDWARDS FAMILY.


Among the surviving octogenarians of New York and its vicinity, there
are few of such interesting reminiscence as one who is passing an
honored old age at his residence on Staten Island. Those who live in
Port Richmond will have anticipated his name, and will perceive at once
that we refer to the Hon. Ogden Edwards. Judge Edwards is of an ancient
and noble stock, being grandson of the author of the treatise on the
_Freedom of the Will_. The family emigrated from England with the first
colony of the Puritans, having previously to this suffered persecution
in one of its members. This man--a minister--had an only son, who became
the founder of a line illustrious for genius and piety. The latter of
these traits was illustrated in the lives of both Daniel Edwards, of
Hartford, and his son Timothy, who was for sixty years pastor of the
church at Windsor, but in the person of Jonathan Edwards we see the
outcropping of genius. He was the son of Timothy, and followed his
father's profession in an obscure New England village, whose meadows
were washed by the waters of the Connecticut.

Jonathan Edwards, during a life of close study, developed one of the
clearest and most powerful intellects which was ever united to so rare a
degree of patience and humility. In that day of small things it could
hardly have been dreamed that the Puritan preacher, who for a quarter of
a century filled the Northampton pulpit, would ever rank among the
giants of intellect. At the distance of one hundred years no name is
more powerfully felt in the theology of America than his, while in
metaphysics, and in the sphere of pure thought, his position, like that
of Shakspeare in literature, is one of enviable greatness. This man is
not to be confounded with his son of the same name, who, though of
distinguished ability, was far from equaling his father; both, however,
were academic presidents, the one of Nassau Hall, at Princeton, the
other of Union College; to which it may be added that Dwight, grandson
of the first, was for many years the honored president of Yale. Judge
Edwards is the son of Pierrepont Edwards, who was bred at Stockbridge,
among the Indians. Here his father labored as missionary, having been
driven from his parish by an ill-disposed people, many of whom were, it
may be, like the Athenian of old, who was tired of hearing Aristides
called 'the Just.'

While laboring at Stockbridge, in the midst of poverty and privation,
Jonathan Edwards wrote the treatise on the Freedom of the Will, the
greatest of all existing polemics. A portion of the old parsonage
remains in the village, and there are still shown marks and scratches on
the wall, made by him, as it is said, in the night, to recall by
daylight the abstruse meditations of his wakeful hours.

The children learned the Indian tongue, and when Pierrepont Edwards was
established at New Haven, the old sachems used to visit the
boy-companion of their early days, when the pipe of peace was smoked in
his kitchen in ancient form.

Having studied law with Judge Reeve of Litchfield, who married Edwards's
niece, the only sister of Aaron Burr, he became highly distinguished in
his profession. It is said, indeed, that Alexander Hamilton pronounced
him the most eloquent man to whom he had ever listened. Pierrepont
Edwards bore the name of his mother's family, an old English stock,
which reckons its descent from the days of the Conqueror. The
Pierreponts dwelt near Newstead Abbey, the seat of Byron, and not far
from Sherwood Forest, the home of Robin Hood and his merry men of old.
The name of Sarah Pierrepont, wife of Jonathan Edwards, is still fresh
in honored memory for wisdom and piety. She rests by her husband's side,
among the tombs of the presidents of Nassau Hall, in Princeton cemetery,
and is the only female name in that array of the mighty dead. It was
once suggested that these remains should be conveyed to Northampton, but
this was refused. Having banished this pair after the service of a
quarter of a century, it was not meet to grant to that place the honor
of their graves, and hence of the whole family but one rests at
Northampton. This is Jerusha, a lovely girl of seventeen, of whom it is
recorded by her father, in the simple terms of primitive piety, that she
said on her death-bed that 'she had not seen one minute for several
years wherein she desired to live one minute longer for the sake of any
other good in life, but doing good and living to the glory of God.' A
cenotaph has been placed by her grave to the memory of her father, but
it can not wipe away the error of the past, and this expression of
regret only recalls a biting line from Childe Harold:

  'Ungrateful Florence! Dante sleeps afar.'

Pierrepont Edwards was the government attorney during the Revolution,
and prosecuted the confiscation of tory estates. When Benedict Arnold
became a traitor his property was at once seized, and his homestead at
Norwich, and all its contents, were confiscated. The pecuniary value of
this seizure was small, since Arnold's wasteful habits forbade any
increase of wealth, but there was his dwelling, and the little store,
with its uncouth sign, 'B. Arnold,' in which in his early day he had
carried on a petty trade. In Arnold's house were found large quantities
of papers, both of a private and public character. Among the former were
certain letters to his first wife, which we have read, and from which we
learned that her life was embittered by his habits of neglect and
dissipation. In one of these he alludes to a winter trip to Canada, with
a sleigh-load of whisky, on speculation. It is possible that this
journey prompted that grand expedition in which the whisky merchant
figured as a military leader. How strange the contrast between the
lonely pedlar, dealing out strong drink in the streets of Quebec, and
the victorious chieftain who, in company with Montgomery, attacked its
citadel! Some of these domestic letters contain confessions made to an
outraged wife, of a character too disgusting for recital. They show a
reach of depravity, which, considering those primitive times, in the
land of steady habits, was indeed strange. They prove that for years
Arnold had been rotten at heart, and that his treason, like that of
Floyd, arose from no sudden temptation, but was the end toward which his
whole life had been tending. It seemed impossible that such a man could
die without achieving infamy in some new and wondrous way. After reading
these revelations of domestic treachery, we need not be surprised at the
cool perfidy exhibited at West Point. Who but a monster of treason could
have penned the papers found in André's boot? Thus, 'No. 3, a slight
wood work--_very dry_--no bomb proof--a single abattis--no cannon--_the
work easily set on fire_.' 'No. 4, a wooden work about 10 feet high--no
bomb proof--2 six-pounders--a slight abattis.' 'North redoubt--stone
work 4 feet high--above the stone, wood filled in with earth--_very
dry_--bomb proof--no ditch--3 batteries within the fort--a poor
abattis--_the work easily fired with faggots dipped in pitch_.' We quote
the above, from the André papers in the State Library, to show the
culmination of a life morally base, and whose only redeeming feature,
_courage_, was rather the nerve of a desperado.

The Arnold papers were for years in Judge Edwards's possession, and the
more valuable of them have been presented by him to the New York
Historical Society. As Arnold was fully aware of the character of his
papers, it is possible that, connected with his bloody foray upon the
shores of Connecticut, there was a desire to repossess such adverse
testimony.

Pierrepont Edwards died in 1825, having lived to see his son filling the
station of Circuit Judge upon the New York bench, where he remained
until his sixtieth year.

Those who have ever visited Judge Edwards at his seat at Port Richmond,
will not soon forget the pleasant flow of conversation which brings out
the incidents of the past. Such a man's life is a series of valuable
reminiscences, weaving together the men and manners of generations both
past and present. Judge Edwards commenced the practice of the law in New
York in 1800, at the early age of nineteen. His progress was marked by
rapid promotion, and he was at once accorded a high rank in that galaxy
which clustered around the bar. At that time Hamilton was in the
fullness of his glory, and his opulent style was set off by the concise
and pungent oratory of Burr, who was likewise in his prime. De Witt
Clinton was developing that breadth of intellect which afterward made
him the pride of New York, and was about to take his seat in the State
Senate. It was an era remarkable for brilliance of wit and eloquence, as
well as for fierce political strife. The duel was a common method of
settling disputes among lawyers and politicians, and few men then
entered the political arena who were not good shots. Looking back to
this distant point, one is astonished at the simplicity of those
beginnings which have ended in colossal greatness. The vast landed
estates which now acknowledge lordly owners were then only in
inception. The Lenox estate was a range of wild land, far away even from
the suburbs of the city, and owned by a plain, plodding merchant, whose
son is the munificent and benevolent James Lenox, of whom New York may
be justly proud. A strong-minded German of unpolished aspect, and with
something of a foreign accent, kept a fur store at the corner of Pearl
and Pine Streets, and displayed upon his sign the name of John Jacob
Astor. He was then buying up from time to time pieces of land in the
vicinity of the city, and the advance of price has at length rendered
his estate the most valuable in America.

Turning to literary matters, one might have found Washington Irving
reading law in Wall Street, and little dreaming of the fame which
awaited his advancing years. Such are among the changes which the
retrospect of a long life affords. Among the events which marked Judge
Edwards's advent to New York was the fearful duel between Burr and
Hamilton. Burr and Edwards were cousins, but the former was more than
twenty years the senior, and the blow which he received could not but be
felt by the young attorney. However, their friendship remained unbroken
through life, and Edwards watched over the unfortunate old man during
his declining years. Burr in his better days owned an estate nearly
equal to those just referred to, and one which, had he retained it,
would have rendered him immensely rich; but, although not a wasteful
man, yet his schemes were of a ruinous character, and his property in
due time fell into the hands of Astor. In fact, no one could be on
friendly terms with Burr without suffering pecuniarily, since his powers
of persuasion were beyond refusal. No man had ever been known in America
with such fascinating address, and such plausible schemes for carrying
out some great enterprise, which, however great, must perish for the
lack of endorsing a note, whose payment, of course, one would not expect
him to trouble himself with. In his latter days, when all his schemes
had exploded, and when his moral character was ruined, and men shunned
him as though he were an object of dread, Burr found a friend in his
cousin, Ogden Edwards. The one had ascended in popular favor as the
other had sunk, and now sat as Circuit Judge of New York. Burr was
shattered by paralysis, and being nearly helpless, was removed to a
house at Port Richmond, where he received every attention. His pension
as colonel in the Continental army gave him a limited support, and his
friends clung to him to the last. Much interest was felt to ascertain
his views in respect to religion, or at least as to whether any change
had taken place since the approach of age. On this point, however, he
would not converse, and it is supposed that the infidelity of his early
years remained unchanged. He died perfectly conscious, and appeared
desirous of communicating something to a son of Judge Edwards, who
attended him, but was unable to speak.

Burr was buried at Princeton with military honors. His father and
grandfather lie in the row of college presidents, and his grave was made
just opposite theirs, leaving only room for a path between. That spot
contained the remains of his parents and grandparents, who died in his
childhood. Seventy-eight years had passed away since they had fallen
asleep, and during that interval not a member of the family had been
buried there. For some years Burr's grave was without a stone. At last,
a plain but elegant slab of Italian marble was placed at its head. The
inscription is simple, yet one can not but start when for the first time
he reads that name of thrilling memories. It has been said that the
monument was placed there by some mysterious lady, and this romantic
statement has gone the rounds of the press. This, however, is incorrect;
it was the work of the Edwardses, a family which not only watched over
the last years of the unfortunate man, but thus honored his grave.[3]

Among the interesting trials which have occurred under Judge Edwards's
jurisdiction, we may mention the famous conspiracy case, in which Jacob
Barker, Mathew L. Davis and Henry Eckford were jointly indicted for
conspiracy. The object of this conspiracy was to break several of the
city banks, and the trial excited intense interest throughout the Union.

The parties were convicted, but carried the case up to the Court of
Error, and at last escaped. Hugh Maxwell, who was prosecuting attorney
at the time, received a service of plate from the merchants of New York
as an acknowledgment of his faithfulness in so important a cause.
Another case, which is still remembered for its dramatic interest and
for its thrilling details, was that of the notorious Richard P.
Robinson. We doubt if any murder case has ever occurred in our country
which brought up so many new points to embarrass the bench, or in which
that bench bore a higher responsibility.

Robinson was a youth of nineteen, but recently from Connecticut, and was
a clerk in the reputable jobbing house of Joseph Hoxie. He was arrested
early in the morning at his boarding house in Dey Street, and aroused
from a sound sleep, under a charge of murder. The victim was an
unfortunate woman, who was found slain in her bed, in a disreputable
house in Thomas Street, and who had obtained an escape from youthful
misery by the hand of an unknown assassin. But under what name should
that assassin be found? It was undeniable that the prisoner had been one
of her intimates, but was the crime limited to himself alone? Had he
partners in the deed? Was he implicated at all? Was not he wholly
innocent of the murder, and only guilty of an unfortunate acquaintance?
These were the questions which surrounded the case. It is twenty-four
years since the trial absorbed and excited the American public, and at
this distance we can not but review the matter as one of singular
interest, while the question of guilt is not yet wholly solved. In this
point it resembles the affair known as the Mary Rogers mystery, which
four years afterward thrilled New York with fresh horror.

This case attracted the genius of Edgar A. Poe, who was then elaborating
those complex tales into whose labyrinths he leads the trembling reader,
until, when he almost feels himself lost, the clue suddenly brings him
to daylight and to upper air. Poe founded upon this terrible tragedy the
tale of Marié Roget, in which he effects a plausible solution of the
question of guilt. Why did he not also solve that question, equally
perplexing, as to who murdered Ellen Jewett? The deed was committed with
a hatchet, and as this was proved to have belonged to Hoxie's store, it
was a strong proof of Robinson's guilt; but this was rebutted by the
assertion that it had been used only to open a trunk, for the purpose of
recovering a portrait and sundry gifts,--an act which by no means
involved the further crime of murder. Whoever had committed the deed had
attempted to hide it by arson, and had fired the bedding by a lighted
candle, but a timely discovery had avoided this danger.

Robinson's defence was conducted by Ogden Hoffman, whose acknowledged
eloquence rendered him the most desirable of advocates, and he proved
himself worthy of the expectation reposed in him. Who that heard can
forget his appeals in behalf of _the poor boy_, which moved the audience
to tears, and shook even the equanimity of the jury? The main strength
of the defence lay in charging the deed upon the keeper of the house,
Rosina Townsend, who was in debt to the murdered girl for such a sum as
would make her death desirable. The trial continued two weeks; the
interest increased in intensity, and the public were canvassing
testimony as fast as it was published, as though life and death to
thousands hinged upon the verdict. At last, as a conclusion to all other
testimony, Hoffman produced a witness who established an alibi. At
twelve o'clock at night word was given that the jury had agreed. The
court was opened at that late hour, the prisoner confronted with the
jury, and an acquittal pronounced. The prisoner flushed, turned pale,
and then sunk to his seat, while Hoffman caught him to his arms, and the
aged father became convulsed with sobbing emotion.

Whatever may have been the mystery enshrouding this tragedy, we have
long been satisfied as to Robinson's guilt, and we believe that it is
now admitted that the alibi was but a bold stroke of well-paid perjury.

Robinson became a wanderer and died in Texas, and Rosina Townsend,
having abandoned her infamous career, led a reformed life for some
years, and died recently, at Cattskill, in the communion of the church.
Hoffman, too, is no more; and, as the old court-house and Bridewell,
which stood in the Park, have been torn down, naught remains to recall
the tragedy but the house where it occurred. Even this exhibits proof of
the changes of time, and now, expurgated of its early shame, one may
find 41 Thomas Street serving the honest purpose of a carpenter's shop.

Among the chief objects of curious interest which adorn Judge Edwards's
residence, are the family portraits. Here we may look upon the
lineaments of the great metaphysician, exhibiting the calm simplicity of
greatness. A fitting companion to this is found in Sarah, his wife. As
one gazes upon it he can not help admiring the serene beauty of her who
softened the stern Puritanism of her age by all the graces of life, and
whose beauty of person was set off by a still higher beauty of
character. In contrast with these is the fine portrait of their
unfortunate grandson, and his daughter, almost as unfortunate, from the
pencil of Vanderleyn. The countenance of the first of these is full of
life,--the brilliant eye eloquent with power, and the whole features
instinct with that strange and fascinating beauty for which Burr was
famed. That of Theodosia has a noble bust draped after the antique, and
the superb hauteur which pervades her features would have made Cleopatra
proud. Yet, under all this there is an expression of girlish loveliness
and tender affection, which proved a true heart. No wonder that both
Burr and Allston worshiped at the shrine of parental and conjugal love,
united as they were in such a one, or that, when she was lost at sea,
the one felt the curse scathing him with hopeless desolation, while the
other went heart-broken to an early grave.



SONNET.


  This age may not behold it; we may lie
  Sepultured and forgotten, and the mold
  Of e'er-renewing earth may first enfold
  New matter to its bosom, and the sky
  New nations arch beneath its canopy,
  Ere this misshapen thing, the world, be rolled
  And sphered to perfect freedom, ere the old
  Incrusted statutes that our God defy
  Be crushed in its rotation, and those die
  That lived defiance through them. Then man's gold
  No more shall manhood buy, or men be sold
  For pottage messes. We may not be nigh
  To see the glory, but if true and bold
  Our hands may haste what others shall behold.



THE GREEN-CORN DANCE.


FROM AN UNPUBLISHED MS. BY JOHN HOWARD PAYNE, AUTHOR OF "HOME, SWEET
HOME"

     [The following letter was written by the late JOHN HOWARD
     PAYNE to a relative in New York, in 1835. The Green-Corn Dance
     which it describes was, it is believed, the last ever celebrated by
     the Creeks east of the Arkansas. Soon after, they were removed to
     the West, where they now are.]

                                         MACON, GEORGIA, ----, 1835.
MY DEAR ----.

... I have been among the Indians for a few days lately. Shall I tell
you about them? You make no answer, and silence gives consent;--so I
will tell you about the Indians.

The State of Alabama, you may remember, has been famous as the abode of
the Creek Indians, always regarded as the most warlike of the southern
tribes. If you will look over the map of Alabama, you will find, on the
west side of it, nearly parallel with the State of Mississippi, two
rivers,--one the Coosa and the other the Talapoosa,--which, descending,
unite in the Alabama. Nearly opposite to these, about one hundred miles
across, you will find another river,--the Chatahoochie, which also
descends to form, with certain tributaries, the Apalachicola. It is
within the space bounded by these rivers, and especially at the upper
part of it, that the Creeks now retain a sort of sovereignty. The United
States have in vain attempted to force the Creeks to volunteer a
surrender of their soil for compensation. A famous chief among them made
a treaty a few years ago to that effect; but the nation arose against
him, surrounded his house, ordered his family out, and bade him appear
at the door after all but he had departed. He did so. He was shot dead,
and the house burned. The treaty only took effect in part, if at all.
Perpetual discontents have ensued. The United States have assumed a sort
of jurisdiction over the territory, leaving the Creeks unmolested in
their national habits and their property, with this exception in their
favor, beyond all other tribes but the Cherokees,--they have the right,
if they wish to sell, to sell to individuals, at their own prices, but
are not bound to treat with the republic at a settled rate,--which last
mode of doing business they rather properly looked upon as giving them
the appearance of a vanquished race, and subject to the dictation of
conquerors. So, what the diplomatists could not achieve was forthwith
attempted by speculators;--and among those the everlasting Yankee began
to appear, and the Indian independence straightway began to disappear.
Certain forms were required by government to give Americans a claim to
these Creek lands. The purchaser was to bring the Indian before a
government agent;--in the agent's presence, the Indian was to declare
what his possessions were, and for how much he would sell them;--the
money was paid in presence of the agent, who gave a certificate, which,
when countersigned by the President, authorized the purchaser to demand
protection from the national arms, if molested. All this was well
enough; but it was soon discovered that the speculators would hire
miscreants and drunken Indians to personate the real possessors of
lands, and, having paid them the money, would take it back as soon as
the purchase was completed, give the Indian a jug of whiskey, or a small
bag of silver, for the fraud, and so become lords of the soil. Great
dissatisfaction arose, and lives were lost. An anonymous letter opened
the eyes of government. The white speculators were so desperate and
dangerous that any other mode of information was unsafe. Investigators
were appointed to examine into the validity of Creek sales, and the
examiners met at the time I went to witness a great Indian religious
festival, concerning which I will inform you presently; for it was by my
curiosity to view this relic of their remotest times that the visit
among the Indians, alluded to in the beginning of my letter, was
prompted. It has been necessary for me to be thus prolix, to make you
understand the nature of the society--and a sort of danger too--by
which we were surrounded. On one side, white rogues--border
cutthroats--contending, through corrupted red men, for the possessions
of those among them, who, though honest, are unwary. On another side,
the cheated Indian-robber of his brethren, wheedled by some fresh white
cheat into a promise to sell (payable in over-charged goods) at a higher
price to the last comer, on condition of the latter individual getting
the earlier inadequate sale set aside by the agent of the United States,
through evidence from its pretended victim that the payment for it had
only been nominal, and was forthwith fradulently withdrawn. Even the
judges are accused of being, covertly, sometimes as bad as any of the
rest, and it is said that instances are not unknown wherein some of them
have, not long after withdrawing from the seat of justice, proved to be
full of wealth in lands, which could only be accounted for by a supposed
collusion with accusers who have supplied them with pretexts for
cancelling prior sales by Indians in favor of better offers, when
contrasted with the preceding ones, though offers really amounting to
nothing at all in comparison with the true worth of the purchase. Amid
these scenes of complicated villany, it is not unusual, after the
session of a commission representing the United States for trying the
validity of titles, to see a foiled thief rush at the successful
overreaching one, with fist and bowie-knife; and it is then accounted a
case of uncommon good luck if either live to look upon what both have
stolen from the red-man, and one not only from the red-man, but the
white.

I beheld a fine, gentle, innocent-looking girl,--a widow, I
believe,--come up to the investigator to assert that she had never sold
her land. She had been counterfeited by some knave. The Investigator's
court was a low bar-room. He saw me eyeing him, and some one told him I
was travelling to take notes. He did not know but government had
employed me as a secret supervisor. He seemed to shrink, and postponed a
decision. I have since heard that he is a rascal of the sort at which I
have just hinted.

The ill-starred red people here are entirely at the mercy of
interpreters, who, if not negro-slaves of their own, are half-breeds,--a
worse set, generally, than the worst of either slaves or knaves. In the
jargon of the border, they are called _linkisters_,--some say because
they form, by interpreting, a _link_ between the Indian nations and
ours; but I should rather regard the word as a mere corruption of
_linguist_.

The Indians become more easily deluded by the borderers than by others,
because the borderers know that they never esteem any one to be
substantial who does not keep a shop. So your rascal of the frontier
sets up a shop, and is pronounced a _sneezer_. If his shop be large, he
is a _sneezer-chubco_; if larger than any other, he is a
_sneezer-chubco-mico_. But, in any of his grades, a _sneezer_ is always
considered as a personage by no means to be sneezed at. The _sneezer_
will pay for land in goods, and thinks himself very honest if he charges
his goods at five hundred times their worth, and can make it appear by
his account against the Indian's claim that he has paid him thousands of
dollars, when in fact he may scarcely have paid him hundreds of cents.

Well! So much for the beautiful state of our national legislation and
morals, as civilizers and protectors of the red-men. It is time for me
to relieve you from these details, so uncomplimentary to us of the
superior order, and to tell you something about the famous religious
festival which took me amongst the Indians, and thereby caused, the
foregoing first preamble,--the ennui produced by which I proceed to
cure, like a quack doctor, _by doubling the dose_. Accordingly, here
comes a second preamble, by way of introductory explanation of what is
to come at last.

The festival in question is called the Green-Corn Festival. All the
nation assemble for its celebration at a place set apart for the
purpose, as the Temple at Jerusalem was for the religious assemblages of
all the Jewish tribes. It has been kept by the Creeks, and many other
Indian nations,--indeed, perhaps, by the entire race,--from time
immemorial. It is prepared for, as well as fulfilled with, great form
and solemnity.

When the green corn is ripe, the Creeks seem to begin their year. Until
after the religious rites of the festival with which their New Year is
ushered in, it is considered as an infamy to taste the corn. On the
approach of the season, there is a meeting of the chiefs of all the
towns forming any particular clan. First, an order is given out for the
manufacture of certain articles of pottery to be employed in the
ceremonies. A second meeting gives out a second order. New matting is to
be prepared for the seats of the assembly. There is a third meeting. A
vast number of sticks are broken into parts, and then put up in
packages, each containing as many sticks as there are days intervening
previous to the one appointed for the gathering of the clans. Runners
are sent with these. One is flung aside every day by each receiver.
Punctually, on the last day, all, with their respective families, are at
the well-known rendezvous.

That you may the more clearly understand the whole matter, I will so
anticipate my story as to put you in possession of many essential
particulars concerning the place set apart by the Creeks for gathering
their people to the festival in question. This will provide you with the
unexpected gratification of even a third preamble, as an explanatory
avenue extra to the main subject.

The chosen spot is remote from any habitations, and consists of an ample
square, with four large log houses, each one forming a side of the
square, at every angle of which there is a broad opening into the area.
The houses are of logs and clay, and a sort of wicker-work, with
sharp-topped, sloping roofs, like those of our log houses, but more
thoroughly finished. The part of the houses fronting the square is
entirely open. Their interior consists of a broad platform from end to
end, raised a little more than knee-high, and so curved and inclined as
to form a most comfortable place for either sitting or lying. It is
covered with the specially-prepared cane matting, which descends in
front of it to the ground. A space is left open along the entire back of
each house, to afford a free circulation of air. It starts from about
the hight of my thin, so that I could peep in from the outside through
the whole of each structure, and obtain a clear view of all that was
going on. Attached to every house towers a thick, notched mast. Behind,
the angle of one of the four broad entrances to the square, rises a
high, cone-roofed building, circular and dark, with an entrance down an
inclined plane, through a low door. Its interior was so obscured that I
could not make out what it contained; but some one said it was a
council-house. I occupied one corner of an outer square, next to the one
I have already described, two sides of which outer square were formed by
thick corn-fields, a third by a raised embankment apparently for
spectators, and a fourth by the back of one of the buildings before
mentioned. In the center of this outer square was a very high circular
mound. This, it seems, was formed from the earth accumulated yearly by
removing the surface of the sacred square thither. At every Green-Corn
Festival, the sacred square is strewn with soil yet untrodden; the soil
of the year preceding being taken away, but preserved as above
explained. No stranger's foot is allowed to press the new earth of the
sacred square until its consecration is complete. A gentleman told me
that he and a friend chanced once to stroll along through the edge, just
after the new soil had been laid. A friendly chief saw him and
remonstrated, and seemed greatly incensed. He explained that it was
done in ignorance. The chief was pacified, but nevertheless caused every
spot which had been polluted by their unhallowed steps to be uptorn, and
a fresh covering substituted.

The sacred square being ready, every fire in the towns under the
jurisdiction of the head chief is, at the same moment, extinguished.
Every house must also at that moment have been newly swept and washed.
Enmities are forgotten. If a person under sentence for a crime can steal
in unobserved and appear among the worshippers when their exercises
begin, his crime is no more remembered. The first ceremonial is to light
the new fire of the year. A square board is brought, with a small
circular hollow in the center. It receives the dust of a forest tree, or
of dry leaves. Five chiefs take turns to whirl the stick, until the
friction produces a flame. From this sticks are lighted and conveyed to
every house throughout the tribe. The original flame is taken to the
center of the sacred square. Wood is heaped there, and a strong fire
lighted. Over this fire the holy vessels of new-made pottery are placed.
Drinking-gourds, with long handles, are set around on a bench. Appointed
officers keep up an untiring surveillance over the whole, never moving
from the spot; and here what they call the black drink is brewed, with
many forms and with intense solemnity.

Now, then, having rendered you, by these numerous prefaces, much better
informed about the Creek Jerusalem and its paraphernalia than I was when
I got there, I will proceed with my travel story, just as if I had not
enabled you to ponder all that I saw so much more understandingly than I
myself did.

       *       *       *       *       *

I cannot describe to you my feelings when I first found myself in the
Indian country. We rode miles after miles in the native forest, seeing
neither habitation nor an inhabitant to disturb the solitude and majesty
of the wilderness. At length we met a native in his native land. He was
galloping on horseback. His air was oriental;--he had a turban, a robe
of fringed and gaudily-figured calico, scarlet leggings, and beaded
belts and garters and pouch. We asked how far it was to the Square. He
held up a finger, and we understood him to mean one mile. Next we met
two Indian women on horseback, laden with water-melons. In answer to our
question of the road, they half covered a finger, to express that it was
half a mile further, and, smiling, added,'_sneezer_--_much_,' meaning
that we should find lots of our brethren, the sneezers, there, to keep
us company. We passed groups of Indian horses tied in the shade, with
cords long enough to let them graze freely. We then saw the American
flag--a gift from the government--floating over one of the hut-tops in
the square. We next passed numbers of visitors' horses and carriages,
and servants, and under the heels of one horse a drunken vagabond
Indian, or half-Indian, asleep. And, finally, we found ourselves at the
corner of the sacred square, where the aborigines were in the midst of
their devotions.

As soon as I left the carriage, seeing an elevation just outside of one
of the open corners of the sacred square, whence a clear view could be
obtained of what was going on within, I took my station there. I was
afterwards told that this mound was composed of ashes which had been
produced during many preceding years by such fires as were now blazing
in the center; and that ashes of the sort are never permitted to be
scattered, but must thus be gathered up, and carefully and religiously
preserved.

Before the solemnities begin,--and, some one said, though I am not sure
it was on good authority, ere new earth is placed,--the women dance in
the sacred square, and entirely by themselves. I missed seeing this.
They then separate from the men, and remain apart from them until after
the fasting and other religious forms are gone through, when they have
ceremonies of their own, of which I shall speak in due course.

As I gazed from my stand upon the corner mound, the sacred square
presented a most striking scene. Upon each of the notched masts, of
which I have already spoken as attached to each of the structures
within, was a stack of tall canes, hung all over with feathers, black
and white. There were rude paint-daubs about the posts and roof-beams of
the open house-fronts, and here and there they were festooned with gourd
vines. Chiefs were standing around, the sides and corners, alone, and
opposite to each other, their eyes riveted on the earth, and motionless
as statues. Every building was filled with crowds of silent
Indians,--those on the back rows seated in the Turkish fashion, but
those in front with their feet to the ground. All were turbaned, all
fantastically painted, all in dresses varying in ornament but alike in
wildness. One chief wore a tall black hat, with a broad, massive silver
band around it, and a peacock's feather; another had a silver scull-cap,
with a deep silver bullion fringe down to his eyebrows, and plates of
silver from his breast to his knee, descending his tunic. Most of them
had the eagle plume, which only those may wear who have slain a foe;
numbers sported military plumes in various positions about their
turbans; and one had a tremendous tuft of black feathers declining from
the back of his head over his back; while another's head was all shaven
smooth, excepting a tuft across the center from the back to the front,
like the crest of a helmet.

I never saw an assembly more absorbed with what they regarded as the
solemnities of the occasion.

The first sounds I heard were a strange low, deep wail,--a sound of many
voices drawn out in perfect unison, and only dying away with the breath
itself, which indeed was longer sustained than could be done by any
singer I ever yet heard. This was followed by a second wail, in the same
style, but shrill, like the sound of musical glasses, and giving a
similar shiver to the nerves. And after a third wail in another key, the
statue-like figures moved and formed two diagonal lines opposite to each
other, their backs to opposite angles of the square. One by one, they
then approached the huge bowls in which the black drink was boiling,
and, in rotation, dipped a gourd, and took, with a most reverential
expression, a long, deep draught each. The next part of the ceremony
with them was somewhat curious; but the rapt expression of the
worshippers took away the effect which such an evolution would be apt to
produce on a fastidious stomach if connected with an uninterested head.
In short, these dignitaries, without moving a muscle of the face, or a
joint of the body, after a few seconds, and with great solemnity,
ejected what had been swallowed upon the ground. It seemed as if given
forth in the spirit of a libation among the ancients. The chiefs having
afterwards tasted, each replacing the gourd, and returning to his stand
before the next came forward, they all went to their seats, and two old
men approached and handed round gourds full to the other parties present
who had remained stationary. The looks on each side were as full of
solemn awe as I have ever seen at any Christian ceremony; and certainly
the awe was more universal than usually pervades our churches.

This done, a chief made a speech, but without rising. It was listened to
with profound attention, and in one place, at a pause, called forth a
very unanimous and emphatic shout of approbation,--a long sound,
seemingly of two syllables, but uttered by all in the same breath. I
asked a professed _linkister_ what the speech was about; but he was
either indifferent or ignorant, for he only replied that it was an
appeal to them not to forsake their ancient ceremonies, but to remain
faithful in their fulfilment to the last, and that it wound up with a
sort of explanatory dissertation upon the forms which were to follow.

One chief then walked round, and, in short, abrupt sentences, seemed to
give directions; whereupon some whitened, entire gourds, with long
handles, and apparently filled with pebbles, were produced; and men took
their stations with them on mats, while those who had been seated all
arose, and formed in circles around the fire, led by a chief, and always
beginning their movement towards the left. The gourds were
shaken;--there arose a sort of low sustained chant as the procession
went on; and it was musical enough, but every few seconds, at regular
intervals, a sound was thrown in by all the dancers, in chorus, like the
sharp, quick, shrill yelp of a dog. The dance seemed to bear reference
to the fires in the center. Every time they came to a particular part of
the square, first the head chief turned and uplifted his hands over the
flame, as if invoking a benediction, and all the people followed his
example in rotation. The dance was very unlike anything I ever saw
before. The dancers never crossed their feet, but first gave two taps
each with the heel and toe of one foot, then of the other, making a step
forward as each foot was tapped on the earth; their bodies all the while
stately and erect, and each, with a feather fan,--their universal and
indispensable companion,--fanning himself, and keeping time with his fan
as he went on. The dance was quickened, at a signal, till it became
nearly a measured run, and the cries of the dancers were varied to suit
the motion, when, suddenly, all together uttered a long, shrill whoop,
and stopped short, some few remaining as guards about the sacred square,
but most of the throng forthwith rushing down a steep, narrow ravine,
canopied with foliage, to the river, into which they plunged; and the
stream was black on every side with their heads as they swam about,
playing all sorts of antics; the younger ones diving to fetch up pieces
of silver money which the visitors flung into the water, to put their
dexterity to the test.

Returning to the sacred square, they went through other dances around
the fire, varying in figure and accompaniment. All were generally led by
some aged chief, who uttered a low, broken sound, to which the others
responded in chorus. Sometimes the leader, as he went around, would
ejaculate a feeble, tremulous exclamation, like allelu_liah_,
allelu_liah_, laying the stress upon the last syllable, to which all
would respond in perfect accord, and with a deep, sonorous bass,
'allelu_liah_,' and the same alternation continued to the close, which
was invariably sudden, and after a long general whoop.

Each dance seemed to have a special form and significance;--one in
particular, where the dancers unstacked the tall canes with feathers
suspended from them, each taking one from the mast sustaining it; and
this one, I was told, meant to immortalize triumphs won at ball-plays.
The feathered canes are seized as markers of points gained by the
bearers in the ball-play, which is the main trial of strength and skill
among rival clans of the same tribe, in friendship, and even between
tribe and tribe, when in harmony. The effect of these canes and
feathers, as they glanced around, with an exulting chorus, was very
inspiriting, and the celebrants became almost wild with their delight as
it drew near its climax, ending their closing whoop with a general laugh
of triumphant recollection.

Other dances were represented as alluding to conquests over bears and
panthers, and even the buffalo, which last memorial is remarkable
enough, having among them survived all traces of the buffalo itself.
But, excepting these vague hints, I could not find any bystander capable
of giving me a further explanation of any point on which I inquired,
than that it was 'an old custom;' or, if they wished to be more
explicit, with a self-satisfied air, they would gravely remark that it
was 'the green-corn dance,'--which I knew as well as they. Could I have
been instructed even in their phrases and speeches, I might have made
valuable conjectures. But even their language, on these occasions,
seems, by their own admission, beyond the learning of the
'_linkisters_.' It is a poetical, mystical idiom, varying essentially
from that of trading and of familiar intercommunication, and utterly
incomprehensible to the literal minds of mere trafficking explainers.
Even were it otherwise, the persons hovering upon the frontier most
ingenuously own, when pressed for interpretations of Indian customs,
that they care nothing for the Indians excepting to get their lands, and
that they really consider all study concerning them as egregious folly,
save only that of finding out how much cotton their grounds will yield,
and in what way the greatest speculations can be accomplished with the
smallest capital.

The last of the ceremonies of the day consisted of a sort of trial of
fortitude upon the young.

Old chiefs were seated at the back of the council-house, and of the four
houses of the square. They had sharp instruments,--sail-needles, awls,
and flints. Children of from four to twelve, and youths, and young men,
presented their limbs, and the instrument was plunged into the thighs
and the calves of the legs, and drawn down in long, straight lines. As
the blood streamed, the wounded would scoop it up with bark or sticks,
and dash it against the back of the building; and all the building thus
became clotted with gore. The glory of the exercise seemed to be to
submit without flinching, without even consciousness. The youngest
children would sometimes show the most extraordinary self-control. All
offered themselves to the experiment voluntarily. If a shudder were
detected, the old chiefs gashed deeper. But where they saw entire
firmness, an involuntary glow of admiration would flit over their stony
faces.

We now left, and went to an infant town--and a savage infant it
seemed--over the river to break our fast,--an indulgence which to our
Indian friends is not permitted. They may neither eat nor sleep until
the ceremonies close. The town we went to is named Talassee. It has but
about a dozen houses as yet, but is delightfully situated, and I should
not wonder to see a large place there in another twelvemonth. It belongs
to the region of a clan different from the one we left, though part of
the same tribe. Here the investigating agent held his court; and the
place was crowded with drunken Indians, and more uncivilized
speculators, parading about, as some had done among the spectators at
the festival, with blacked eyes and lacerated faces,--the trophies of
_civil_ war for _savage_ plunder. At the house where we dined, I found
the landlady and her family implacable Indian haters. I was afterwards
told the cause. Her husband is continually marrying Indian
wives,--probably to entitle himself to their lands. He, being a
_sneezer_, and keeping a tavern, is a great man among them. I saw a very
comely young squaw promenading, who believed herself to be one of the
_sneezer-chubco-mico's_ last wives. The man's white and original wife
and daughters made an excuse to walk by, to have a look at the
aboriginal interloper. The latter had just received from my landlord a
present of a pair of gaudy bracelets, for which he had paid eighteen
dollars at another _sneezer's_,--bracelets worth about four. I was told
how the man came by this red mate of his. He had taken a young chiefs
wife in her husband's absence. The chief, returning while my landlord
was absent, got his young wife back. The landlord, on reappearing, is
said to have threatened the chief with General Jackson and big guns. The
chief said he was partial to his wife; but he had a sister much
prettier, and, for the sake of peace, if nothing were said about the
matter, Mr. Landlord should have her for a wife. The bargain was struck.
The handsome little squaw I have spoken of is that same young chief's
sister. This stealing of wives is beginning to excite some commotion. I
heard that there had been a council of chiefs in the neighborhood of
Talassee. It was a very animated one, and the wrong of wife-stealing was
violently discussed. It was thought by some almost as bad as
land-stealing. Others felt rather relieved by it. One of the drunken
Indians whom I saw reeling and whooping about, as I stood at the door of
the log hut where we dined, seemed of the latter party. I asked a
_linkister_ the meaning of a song the Indian was singing with such glee.
The black _linkister_ laughed, and was reluctant to explain; but when I
pressed him, the following proved to be the meaning of the burthen:--

  A man may have a wife,
    And that wife an untrue one;
  And yet the man won't die,
    But go and get a new one.

No doubt the poor fellow had been robbed in the same way, and, between
music and whiskey, was providing himself with consolation.

I was invited to 'camp out,' as they call it, near the sacred square. A
Mr. Du Bois, a man with an Indian wife and family, had arrangements for
the purpose in a neighboring field; so I went to the evening dance, and
left my party to the enjoyment of a sheltering roof at the frontier Blue
Beard's in Talassee; having made up my mind, after I had seen enough
more of the Indian festival for the night, to accept the proffered
'field-bed' which was so conveniently nigh, and sleep, for the first
time, in a real 'sky parlor.'

I sat to look at the evening dances till very late. The blazing fire
through the darkness gave a new aspect and still more striking wildness
to the fantastic scene. Some ceremonies yet unattempted seemed to be
going on over the drinks in the deep cauldrons; and the figures around
them, with those of the dancers, reminded me of the witch scenes in
Macbeth, as conceived by Shakspeare, not by the actors of them upon the
stage. Four grim figures were stirring the cauldrons incessantly, with a
sort of humming incantation, the others dancing around. In one of their
dances they used a sort of small kettle-drum, with a guitar-like handle
to it. But after a while, the evening dances seemed to vary from the
devotional to the complimentary and to the diverting; but the daylight
ones were altogether devotional. Apotheola led one of the less lofty
order, and he is one of the most popular and respected of their chiefs.
Its music seemed to consist of an exclamation from him of Yo, ho, ho!
yo, ho, ho!--to which the response appeared as if complimentary, and to
contain only the animated and measured repetition of _Apotheo_LA!
_Apotheo_LA! Another dance, which excited most boisterous mirth, was led
by a chief who is called by the borderers Peter the Gambler. He is a
great humorist, and famous for his love of play,--famous even among the
Indians, who are all gamblers. Once throwing dice with a chief, he
staked himself against a negro slave, and won the negro. I never saw a
party more diverted than were the lookers-on at this dance. It was all
monkey capers, but all with a meaning to the Indians beyond the
perception of the whites. The Indian spectators made their remarks from
their couches as the solemn mockeries proceeded, and the object of the
remarks seemed to be to provoke the dancers to laugh by making fun, and
the object of the dancers to provoke the fun-makers to laugh by
performing extravagant caricatures with imperturbable gravity.

Our semi-civilized inviter got a bench for us. Some Indians, when it was
not entirely filled, tried to pull it away. Several young ones, as a
fellow was trying to tug it from under us, seemed vastly amused at Du
Bois for saying, 'Keep your seats! keep your seats!' and mimicked him
and laughed. But we were entirely unmolested in any other way, excepting
for an instant by one white rascal on the road, as I was coming, who
galloped up towards me violently, in the dark, and shouted, 'Who the
hell may you be, if one were to let you alone?' Just then, however, I
got up to my party, and he said no more.

I have not mentioned, I believe, that no one is allowed in the sacred
square who tastes food during the devotional part of the ceremonies; but
to get drunk on this occasion is a specially great offence. It is also
considered as a desecration for an Indian to allow himself to be touched
by even the dress of a white man, until the ceremony of purification is
complete. There was a finely, though slightly, built Indian,--more
French than Tartar in his look and manner,--a _linkister_, too,--the
whites called him Charley,--and Charley had got very drunk. He was, of
course, _compelled_ to keep among the crowd outside. During the evening
dance, a chief censured those who stayed from the ceremony, and those
who dishonored it by appearing in this unworthy state. Charley was by
that time very drunk indeed, but very good humored. He came nearly naked
to listen. He heard the lecture; and, as he reeled around, pretending to
cover his face for shame, it was amusing to see his tricks to evade
tumbling against any of the bystanders, lifting his hands with an air of
dandified disdain as he staggered to one side, and repeating the mock
contemptuousness when rolling towards the same peril on the other. Next
morning I heard numbers of the natives, sitting all along the outside of
the sacred square, laughing very loud, and very good-naturedly quizzing
poor Charley, who had slept off somewhat of his exhilaration, but none
of his good humor. Charley laughed, too, and looked foolish, and laughed
again.

So, to go back and resume my story.

We went to our 'field-bed.' It consisted of a shed of loose boards on
tall stakes, and under it a raised platform of loose boards upon shorter
stakes. There were several human forms already wrapped in blankets and
asleep upon the platform. One of our party, attempting to get among
them, was told by Milly,--Du Bois's Indian wife,--who just then awoke,
'No here,--no here! dat not de rule!' It seems this was the female side
of the house. My buffalo robe was spread at the opposite end. I pulled
off my boots, and set them in the grass under the bed, and slept
delightfully. The only time I awoke, I saw the eyes of a towering black
figure fixed upon me. The chap was seeking a spot for a snooze among us;
but finding every inch of room occupied, gazed for a moment at a tree,
flung down his blanket, and tumbled on the grass, the tall tree he had
been eyeing, at his head, and a lesser one at his heels. The female side
of my house was divided from the male side by Du Bois, who slept between
the ladies and the gentlemen. Our party consisted of nine in all, Indian
ladies included. In the morning, at day-break, we were up. With a joke
to Milly about 'de rule,'--which she answered with a good-humored smile,
covering her face as she smiled,--we went back to the sacred square
among the Indians, who had been all night awake and at their devotions.

I found them preparing for the ceremonies which close the fast. Many
were standing about, and all intent on the preparations for the morning
forms. They went through the taking of the black drink, repeating all
they had done the day previous. But on this occasion I more particularly
observed two circular plates of brass and steel, which appeared the
remains of very antique shields. They were borne with great reverence by
two chiefs. The natives do not pretend to explain whence they came. They
keep them apart, as something sacred. They are only produced on great
occasions. I was told, too, that ears of green corn were brought in at a
part of the ceremony to-day, which I missed, and that they were
presented to a chief. He took them, and, after an invocation that the
corn might continue plentiful among them the year through, handed them
back.

This seemed the termination of the peace-offerings, and the religious
part of the affair was now to wind up with emblems of war. These were
expressed in what they call a Gun-Dance. When the dispositions were
making for it, some persons in carriages were desired by a white
_linkister_ to fall back and to remove their horses to a distance. Some
ladies, especially, were warned. 'Keep out of their way, ma'am,' said
the _linkister_ to a lady, 'for when they come racing about here with
their guns, they gits powerful sarcy.' I saw them dressing for the
ceremony, if it may be called dressing to throw off nearly every part of
a scanty covering. But the Indians are especially devoted to dress, in
their way. Some of them went aside to vary their costume with nearly
every dance.

Now appeared a procession of some forty or fifty women. They entered the
square, and took their seats together in one of the open houses. Two
men sat in front of them, holding gourds filled with pebbles. The gourds
were shaken so as to keep time, and the women began a long chant, with
which, at regular intervals, was given a sharp, short whoop from male
voices. The women's song was said to be intended for the wail of
mothers, wives, and daughters at the departure of the warriors for the
fight; the response conveyed the resolution of the warriors not to be
withheld, but to fight and conquer. And now were seen two
hideous-looking old warriors, with tomahawks and scalping-knives,
painted most ferociously. Each went half round the circle, exchanged
exclamations, kept up a sort of growl all the while, and at length
stopped with a war-whoop.

At this juncture, we were told to hurry to the outer square. The females
and their male leaders left their places inside, and went to the mound
in the centre of the outer square. The mound became entirely covered
with their forms, and the effect was very imposing. Here they resumed
their chant. The spectators mounted on the embankment. I got on a pile
of wood,--holy wood, I believe, and heaped there to keep up the sacred
fires. There were numbers of Indian women in the crowd. Four stuffed
figures were placed, one in each of the four corners of the square.

We now heard firing and whooping on all sides. At length in the high
corn on one side we saw crouching savages, some with guns of every sort,
some, especially the boys, with corn-stalks to represent guns. A naked
chief with a long sabre, the blade painted blood color, came before
them, flourishing his weapon and haranguing vehemently. In another
corn-field appeared another party. The two savages already mentioned as
having given the war dance in the sacred square, now hove in sight on a
third side, cowering. One of them I understood was the person who had
shot the chief I mentioned in the first part of this letter--the chief
who made an objectionable treaty, and whose house was burned. Both these
warriors crept slyly towards the outer square. One darted upon one of
the puppets, caught him from behind, and stole him off; another grasped
another puppet by the waist, flung him in the air, tumbled on him as he
fell, ripped him with his knife, tore off the scalp, and broke away in
triumph. A third puppet was tomahawked, and a fourth shot. These were
the emblems of the various forms of warfare.

After the first shot, the two parties whooped, and began to fire
indiscriminately, and every shot was answered by a whoop. One shot his
arrow into the square, but falling short of the enemy, he covered
himself with corn and crept thither to regain the arrow, and bore it
back in safety, honored with a triumphant yell as he returned. After
much of this bush skirmishing, both parties burst into the square. There
was unremitted firing and war-whooping, the music of chanting and of the
pebbled gourd going all the while. At length the fighters joined in
procession, dancing a triumphal dance around the mound, plunging thence
headlong into the sacred square and all around it, and then scampering
around the outside, and pouring back to the battle square; and the
closing whoop being given, the entire multitude from the battle square
rushed, helter-skelter, yelping, some firing as they went, and others
pelting down the spectators from their high places, with the corn-stalks
that had served for guns, and which gave blows so powerful that those
who laughed at them as weapons before, rubbed their shoulders and walked
away ashamed.

We resumed our conveyances homeward, and heard the splashing and
shouting, as we departed, of the warriors in the water.

Leave was now given to taste the corn, and all ate their fill, and, I
suppose, did not much refrain from drinking; for I heard that every
pathway and field around was in the morning strewed with sleeping
Indians.

We passed the day following in visits to the picturesque scenery of the
neighborhood. We saw the fine falls of the Talapoosa, where the broken
river tumbles over wild and fantastic precipices, varying from forty to
eighty or a hundred feet in hight; and when wandering among the slippery
rocks, we passed an old Indian with his wife and child and bow and
arrows. They had been shooting fishes in the stream, from a point
against which the fishes were brought to them by the current. The
scenery and the natives would have formed a fine picture. An artist of
the neighborhood made me a present of a view of these falls, which I
will show you when we meet.

The next part of the festival among the red folks--and which I
did not see, being that day on my 'tour in search of the
picturesque'--consisted, I was told, in the display of wives urging out
their husbands to hunt deer. When, from our travels among fine scenery,
we went down to the sacred square, towards night, we met Indians with
deer slung over their horses. The skin of the first that is shot is
presented to a priest, who flings it back to the slayer to be retained
by him as a trophy, and at the same time asks from the Great Spirit that
this may prove only the harbinger of deer in abundance whenever wanted.
There was some slight dancing that evening in the sacred square, but not
of significance enough to make it an object with me to remain for it,
and as so many were reserving themselves for the winding-up assembly of
the ladies, on Sunday morning, I thought I would do the same. Some of
our party stayed, however, for the night. They found a miscellaneous
dance at a house in the vicinity,--negroes, borderers, and reprobate
Indians, all collected in one incongruous mass. A vagabond frontier man
there asked a girl to dance. She refused, and was going to dance with
another. The first drew his pistol, and swore if she would not dance
with him she should not dance at all. Twenty pistols were clicked in an
instant; but the borderer, with a horse-laugh, asked if they thought he
didn't know there was not a soul in that section of country who dared to
draw a trigger against him? He was right, for the pistols were dropped
and the room cleared on the instant; whereupon the bully borderer
clapped his wings and crowed and disappeared.

The assemblage of the females I was rather solicitous to see, and so I
was at my post betimes. I had long to wait. I heard the gathering cry
from the men on all sides, in the corn-fields and bushes; it was like
the neighing to each other of wild horses. After a while the ladies
began to arrive. The spectators crowded in.

The Indian men went to their places, and among them a party to sing
while the women danced, two of the men rattling the gourds. The
cauldrons had disappeared from the centre of the sacred square.

And now entered a long train of females, all dressed in long gowns, like
our ladies, but all with gay colors, and bright shawls of various hues,
and beads innumerable upon their necks, and tortoise-shell combs in
their hair, and ears bored all around the rim, from top to bottom, and
from every bore a massive ear-drop, very long, and generally of silver.
A selected number of the dancers wore under their robes, and girded upon
their calves, large squares of thick leather, covered all over with
terrapin-shells closed together and perforated and filled with pebbles,
which rattled like so many sleigh-bells. These they have the knack of
keeping silent until their accompaniment is required for the music of
the dance. The dresses of all the women were so long as nearly to
conceal the feet, but I saw that some had neither shoes nor stockings
on, while others were sandalled. The shawls were principally worn like
mantles. Broad ribbons, in great profusion and of every variety of hue,
hung from the back of each head to the ground, and, as they moved,
these, and the innumerable sparkling beads of glass and coral and gold,
gave the wearers an air of graceful and gorgeous, and, at the same time,
unique wildness.

The procession entered slowly, and wound around the central fire, which
still blazed gently there, although the cauldrons had been removed; and
the train continued to stretch itself out, till it extended to three
circles and a half. The shorter side then became stationary, and stood
facing the men, who were seated in that building which contained the
chanters. This last rank of dancers seemed to include the principal
wearers of the terrapin leg-bands, which they continued to rattle,
keeping time with the chant, without shifting their position. At each
end of their line was a leader, one an old woman and the other not
young, both bearing a little notched stick, with two feathers floating
from it. At a particular turn of the general figure of the dance, these
two broke off from their fixed rank, and made a circuit outside of all
the rest, and more briskly, while the main body of the dancers, the
three circles before mentioned, which had never ceased to move, still
proceeded slowly round and round, only turning at a given signal to face
the men, as the men had turned to face the emblem of the Deity, the
central fire. Every eye among the women was planted on the ground. I
never beheld such an air of universal modesty. It seemed a part of the
old men's privilege to make comments aloud, in order to surprise the
women into a laugh. These must often have been very droll, and always
personal, I understand, and not always the most delicate. I saw a few
instances among the young girls where they were obliged to smother a
smile by putting up their handkerchiefs. But it was conquered on the
instant. The young men said nothing; but the Indian men, whether old or
young, seemed all to take as much interest in the show as we. The chief,
Apotheola, had two daughters there. Both are very elegant girls, but the
eldest delighted me exceedingly. She seemed about seventeen or eighteen.
She is tall, a fine figure; her carriage graceful and _distingué_, and
quite European. She had a white muslin gown; a black scarf, wrought all
over with flowers in brilliant colors; an embroidered white
_collarette_, I believe you call it; gold chains, coral beads, gold and
jewelled ear-rings,--single ones, not in the usual Indian
superabundance,--her hair beautifully dressed in the Parisian style; a
splendid tortoise-shell comb, gemmed; and from one large tuft of hair
upon one temple to that upon the other there passed a beautiful gold
ornament. Her sister's head-dress was nearly the same. The aforesaid
elder Princess Apotheola, I am happy to say, looked only at me. Some one
must have told her that I meant to run away with her, for I had said so
before I saw her to many of her friends. There was a very frolicksome,
quizzical expression in her eye; and now and then it seemed to say, 'No
doubt you think all these things wonderfully droll. It diverts me to see
you so puzzled by them.' But, excepting the look at me, which only
proved her excellent taste, her eye dwelt on the ground, and nothing
could have been more interestingly reserved than her whole deportment.

The dance over, all the ladies went from the square in the same order
that they entered it.

In about an hour, the same dance was repeated. When it ended, signal was
made for what they call The Dance of the Olden Time,--the breaking up of
the ceremonial, when the men and women are again allowed to intermingle.

This was done in a quick movement around and around and around again,
all the men yelping wildly and merrily, as struck their fancy, and
generally in tones intended to set the women laughing, which they did,
and heartily. The sounds most resembled the yelpings of delighted dogs.
Finally came the concluding whoop, and all the parties separated.

Between these two last dances, I sent for a chief, and desired him to
take charge of some slight gifts of tobacco and beads which I had
brought for them. The chief took them. I saw the others cut the tobacco,
and share it. Ere long my ambassador returned, saying, 'The chiefs are
mighty glad, and count it from you as very great friendship.' I had
been too bashful about my present, and kept it back too long, through
over-shyness. If I had sent it before, I might have seen the show to
more advantage. As it was, I was immediately invited to sit inside the
square, and witness the last dance from one of the places of honor.

But I was now obliged to depart, and to give up all hopes of ever again
seeing my beautiful Princess Apotheola. My only chance of a guide
through the wilderness would have been lost had I delayed. So I
reluctantly mounted my pony; and I left the Indians of Tuckabatchie and
their Green-Corn Festival, and their beautiful Princess Apotheola.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was a great gratification to me to have seen this festival; with my
own eyes to have witnessed the Indians in their own nation, with my own
ears to have heard them in their own language. Nor was it any diminution
of the interest of the spectacle to reflect that this ceremony, so
precious to them, was now probably performing in the land of their
forefathers for the last, last time. I never beheld more intense
devotion; and the spirit of the forms was a right and a religious one.
It was beginning the year with fasting, with humility, with
purification, with prayer, with gratitude. It was burying animosities,
while it was strengthening courage. It was pausing to give thanks to
Heaven, before daring to partake its beneficence. It was strange to see
this, too, in the midst of my own land; to travel, in the course of a
regular journey in the New World, among the living evidences of one, it
may be, older than what we call the Old World;--the religion, and the
people, and the associations of the untraceable past, in the very heart
of the most recent portion of the most recent people upon earth. And it
was a melancholy reflection for ourselves, that, comparing the majority
of the white and red assemblage there, the barbarian should be so
infinitely the more civilized and the more interesting of the two.



  ROSIN THE BOW.

  A FANTASIA.


  In Paris, a famous city in France,
    That lies by the banks of the sluggish Seine,
    Where you and I may never have been,
  But which we know all about in advance;--
  A place of wild and wicked romance,
  A place where they gamble, and fiddle and dance,
  And the slowest coach has always a chance
    To get put over the road, I ween,
  Where women are naughty, and men are gay,
  And the suicides number a dozen a day,
  And one of the gallant _jeunesse dorée_
  Will spend the night at prodigious play,
  And in the morning go out and slay
    His bosom friend with a rapier keen,
  Because he loses and cannot pay,--
  Lived a nice young man named DIDIER.

  This nice young man had run aground,
    As such young men are apt to do;
  His creditors swore and his mistress frowned,
    His breeches pockets held ne'er a _sou_,
    His boots were getting out at the toes,
    His hat was seedy, and so were his clothes,
  And, as he wandered the city around,
    He could not think of a single friend
    Slow to dun and prompt to lend,
  Whose purse he thought he could venture to sound;
    In such extremities friends are few;
    At least I think so, friend, don't you?

  At length, on the brink of a grim despair,
    He happened to think of a quaint old fellow,
    A comical customer, rusty and slow,
  But who used to be an elegant beau,
  In dress and manner quite _comme il faut_;
  And who, because he happened to know
  How to play on the violoncello,
  Which he'd learned for fun long time ago,
  Before his finances got so low,
    Had obtained a place in an orchestra choir,
    And played that beautiful instrument there;
  And to him monsieur determined to go;
          And so,
    Up to the top of a rickety stair,
    To a little attic cold and bare,
    He stumbled, and found the artist there.
  He told his tale; how his former pride
    Was crushed and humbled into the dust;
  He swore he had thought of suicide,
    But the charcoal venders wouldn't trust;
    He had no profession or trade or art,
    Money or food, and perish he must;
  And then like a blacksmith's forge he sighed,
    A sigh that touched the fiddler's heart.
  'Cheer up, _mon cher_, and never mind;
  You're the very man I was trying to find.
    You know at the grand Theatre Français
    The leading violoncello I play,
    And my salary is two francs a day.
  There's a vacant place; if you are inclined
    To take the same, you'll find 'twill pay.'

  DIDIER looked up in a vast amaze:
    'Why, I can't do so, you very well know,
  For I never fiddled in my born days.'
  '_Qu'a cela ne tienne_,' his friend replied,
  'Don't be too certain,--you never have tried;
    You ought to give your abilities scope;
  There is an anxiety most of us feel,
    We may be out of time or tune,
    Leave off too late, or begin too soon,
    May pitch too sharp, or perhaps too flat;
    So here is a cake of excellent soap,
  The old, original, pure Castile,
    Just rosin your bow with that.'

  He took his seat in an orchestra chair,
        'Twould have made you stare
        Had you been there
  To see his knowing and confident air,
  And to hear the considerate manager say,
  'There is nobody like young _Didier_;
  So nice and exact, so quite _au fait_,
  With a style so thoroughly _recherché_,
  Some other concern may get him away,
  So I think I shall have to double his pay!'

  In clover the youth continues to graze,
  And still in the orchestra he plays;
  He's the man who never was known to make
  The smallest shadow of a mistake,
  And there's only one drawback on his praise,--
  He is too modest by fifty per cent
    For such a master of the art,
  For the story went he would never consent
    To play a _solo_ part.

  There's a MORAL, my juvenile friend, in this,
    And you need not stumble and grope;
  Just look for it sharp, and you can't go amiss;
    You will find, there is nothing like soap!
  Don't suffer yourself to be cast down
  If capricious luck should happen to frown,
  Go through with the motions, and if you're acute
  None will ever suspect that your fiddle is mute;
  But be sure and do as the rest of us do,
  And don't flourish your stick till you get your cue.
  Thus, let prosperity ebb or flow,
    Still bate no jot of hope,
  You may draw the longest kind of a bow
    If 'tis only rosined with soap!



THE GRAVEYARD AT PRINCETON.


Reader, have you ever visited the pleasant village of Princeton, New
Jersey, renowned alike in the annals of the country and of the church?
While traveling from New York to Philadelphia by the New Jersey
Railroad, you have doubtless obtained a glimpse of it, for it is 'a city
set on a hill, which can not be hid,' and from the 'station,' a mile or
two distant, its spires and belfries, gleaming from amid its thick
embowering trees, present an interesting and picturesque appearance.

Passing onward from the station, the first notable object that meets the
eye of the traveler is the Theological Seminary, a large, plain building
of stone, the head-quarters in America of that branch of the Christian
Church of whose stern, unflinching orthodoxy John Knox was at once the
type and exponent. Near it stands its Library, an elegant Gothic
structure erected through the munificence of James Lenox, of New York,
and containing many works of great value. The street on which these
buildings stand is appropriately named Mercer Street, for beyond them,
at a short distance, lies the battle-field of Princeton, and the spot
where the gallant Hugh Mercer fell. That spot was formerly marked by a
large tree, but a few years ago the hallowed landmark was cut down and
removed by heartless barbarians. The house to which the wounded hero was
carried, where the 'two Quaker ladies waited on him' so assiduously,
still stands, and on the floor of the room in which he died are certain
marks, of doubtful origin, said to be blood-stains from his death-wound.
Over the now peaceful battle-field, reddened with nothing more terrible
than the ruddy clover-heads, a tall flag-staff, surmounted by a gilded
eagle, uprears the glorious stars and stripes, and attests the loyalty
of the people of Princeton.

About midway of the long, shady street of which Princeton chiefly
consists, stands the crowning glory of the place, the venerable College
of New Jersey. The college proper is a long, four-story edifice of
stone, its center adorned with a tower and belfry, conspicuous from
afar. At either side of it are clustered other buildings, embracing its
halls, recitation rooms, and chapel.

It stands a little distance back from the street, between it and which
lies the 'Campus,' a beautiful grassy slope of vivid green, surrounded
with an iron fence, laid out with neat gravel walks, and shaded by noble
and magnificent trees of more than a century's growth. Nothing can be
more beautiful in summer time than this shady lawn. Here, at all hours
of the day, students may be seen reading alone, or conversing in groups,
seated on the benches placed at intervals among the trees, or stretched
at full length on the fragrant grass, kicking their heels gymnastically
in the air, or sauntering with arms interlocked along the gravel walks,
singing, perhaps, some college song, such as

  'Gaudeamus igitur,
  Juvenes dum sumus,'

or others less classical and more uproarious.

Here, too, those known to their class-mates as the 'hard fellows,' are
wont to prowl in the darkened hours, making night hideous with terrific
voices, or stealing in darkness and silence to play some trick on the
'Profs.' or 'Tutes.'

From the gates of the Campus, every afternoon at the hour of five, or
after prayers, the whole troop of students, to the number of three
hundred, issue, for the purpose of taking their evening walk. Down the
street they march, by twos and threes, chatting, laughing, telling
college stories, or rehearsing the gossip of the day, into the extreme
lower end of the long street, a locality known as Orthodox Corner, where
they turn and march back in the same order. As they proceed, their ranks
are gradually swelled by a couple of hundreds of 'Seminary' students
(distinguishable by their more mature appearance, their heavier beards,
and their 'stove-pipe hats'), and their walk enlivened by the sight of
numerous ladies, who, by a remarkable coincidence, have also chosen the
hour between five and six as the most fashionable for promenading, the
dames of course usually going _up_ the street as the students are going
_down_, and _down_ as, the students are going _up_, in order to afford
them opportunities to exercise their graces in bowing to those whom they
know, and staring at those whom they do not. For one brief hour, the
quiet street presents the appearance of a crowded city, the pedestrians
jostling each other as they pass and repass; but soon as the hour of six
arrives, all is still again, for youths and maidens are alike engaged in
discussing that meal for which their long walk has served as a whet.

But it was of the dead, not the living, that I was about to speak.
Nearly opposite the college Campus we find Witherspoon Street, named
after that brave and good man who was president of the college in the
days of the Revolution, and one of the signers of the Declaration of
Independence. Following this street a short distance, we come to the
city of the dead. It is situated on an eminence, commanding a fine view
of the surrounding country, embracing the village of Kingston, the
distant spires of Trenton, and the blue range of hills beyond which roll
the dark waters of the Atlantic. In natural advantages it can not
compare with some of our modern cemeteries, but the historic interest
which attaches to it more than compensates for the lack of picturesque
effect.

The first spot to which the visitor is directed, is the inclosure
containing the graves of the presidents of Princeton College. They are
all of the old-fashioned style of 'table tombs,' now so seldom
constructed; a flat slab, stretched on four walls of solid masonry,
covering the whole grave. It was on such a tombstone that, in the old
Greyfriars churchyard in Edinburgh, the solemn League and Covenant, from
which resulted events so important to Scotland, was signed. No 'storied
urn or animated bust' records the virtues of these venerable men,--not
even marble in its simplest form has been used to mark their
resting-place. The slabs are of coarse, grey stone, with long
inscriptions in Latin occupying their entire surface. Many of them,
especially that of the pious and renowned JONATHAN EDWARDS, who
left his New England home only to find a grave in New Jersey, having
died a month after his removal to Princeton, have been most shamefully
mutilated by relic-hunters and curiosity-mongers; innumerable pieces
having been chipped off the edges of the slabs, until even the
inscriptions have been encroached upon. To prevent, if possible, further
mutilation, the following unique and elaborate, but eloquent notice,
enclosed in an iron frame, has been placed over the graves of these
reverend fathers. It was written by Professor, now Dr. Giger, of the
college.

     Keep your sacrilegious hands off these venerable stones! Parian
     marble, wrought with consummate skill, could not replace them.
     Connected with these homely monuments are historical associations
     that ought not to be forgotten. The scarcity of better materials,
     the rudeness of monumental sculpture, the poverty of the country,
     the early struggles and pecuniary embarrassments of the colony, at
     the period when these monuments were erected, as well as the
     self-denial and hardships and labors of the distinguished men who
     gave fame and usefulness to Nassau Hall, are indicated by these
     rough stones. Nothing modern, nothing polished or magnificent,
     could suggest the early history of New Jersey. Spare what remains
     of these broken memorials. Thoughtless young man! why do you break
     and deface these old monuments? A few fragments carried in your
     pocket, or placed in your cabinet, will not impart to you the
     activity and energy of Burr, or the profound and logical intellect
     of Edwards, or the eloquence of Davies, or the piety and triumphant
     death of Finley, or the poetical wisdom, the power of governing and
     inspiring youth, the love of knowledge, and the stern, unflinching
     patriotism of Witherspoon. If you admire and reverence the
     character of these great and good men, read their works imitate
     their example; and forbear, we beseech you, to add to the shameful
     mutilation of the frail memorials intended to protect their bones
     from insult.

But there is a strange and startling incongruity observable in this
enclosure. At the foot of the grave where rest the remains of the
venerable Aaron Burr, first president of the College of New Jersey,
stands a tall white marble monument of modern form and appearance, so
utterly out of keeping with the rest of the tombs, that the visitor at
once turns to it, and is none the less startled to find that it marks
the last resting-place of that other Aaron Burr, the traitor, the
duellist, the libertine, whose remains, brought hither in the night,
were surreptitiously buried at the feet of his venerated father, and
this monument placed over them, years afterwards, in the same manner.
And for his father's sake, there they were suffered to remain. 'After
life's fitful fever he sleeps well,' in the midst of these old grey
stones, and surrounded by the honored dead. The monument bears no
record, except his name, the dates of his birth and death, and the
statement that he was Vice-President of the United States from 1801 to
1805. It is as if it said,--

  'No further seek his merits to disclose,
  Or draw his frailties from their dread abode.'

Not a quarter of a mile from where his dust thus reposes, there sleeps,
in a neglected grave in a small grove of trees behind the college, one
of his hapless victims, a young lady of Philadelphia, who died, as the
mouldering headstone, half sunken in the turf, informs us, 'at the early
age of twenty-two.'

The next point of interest is the spot where seven or eight elegant
shafts of white marble, erected by their class-mates, mark the graves of
students who have died during their collegiate course. They are all
remarkable for the beauty and chaste simplicity of their design, and the
appropriateness of their inscriptions. No historic interest attaches to
them; no well-earned fame gilds them with a halo of glory; but a feeling
touching and sad creeps over the heart as we read on the tomb the name
of each sleeper's distant home, and think of the poor young man dying in
the midst of strangers, while doubtless

  'There was weeping far away,
    And gentle eyes, for him,
  With watching many an anxious day,
    Were sorrowful and dim.'

Passing on, we reach the graves of the three Alexanders, father and two
sons, whose writings are dear to so many Christian hearts. Side by side
they repose, under three slabs of pure white marble, inscribed with
appropriate epitaphs. That of the father, Archibald Alexander, for fifty
years professor in the Theological Seminary, is a simple, unadorned
record of his personal history; that of the younger brother, Joseph
Addison, who was a man of immense learning, able to read, write, and
converse in sixteen languages, tells us that 'his great talents and vast
learning were entirely devoted to the exposition and elucidation of the
Word of God;' but to New Yorkers that of the elder brother, Dr. James W.
Alexander, is fraught with the greatest interest, from his having so
lately occupied a prominent place among the first divines and scholars
of our country. It runs thus:


         SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF

         JAMES WADDEL ALEXANDER.

     A man of God, thoroughly furnished unto all good works; a learned,
     elegant, and accomplished scholar; a faithful, affectionate, and
     beloved pastor; an able, eloquent, and successful preacher;
     professor of mathematics in the College of New Jersey; professor of
     ecclesiastical history in Princeton Theological Seminary; pastor of
     the Presbyterian Church, corner of Fifth Avenue and Nineteenth
     Street, New York.

     Throughout his life and labors, he illustrated those gifts and
     graces that exalt humanity and adorn the church of God.


Scattered about the graveyard are many monuments, attractive and
interesting from their artistic beauty alone. One of the most chaste and
elegant designs I have ever seen is the tomb erected by a gentleman of
Philadelphia, to the memory of his wife, son, and daughter, who perished
in the burning of the 'Henry Clay' on the Hudson River. It is in the
form of a casket, of white marble, beautifully carved and of graceful
form, elevated on a pedestal of polished stone, of a blueish tint. On
one end of the casket are inscribed the words

       WIFE
     DAUGHTER
       SON

on the other end,

      MOTHER
      SISTER
      BROTHER

while one side bears the appropriate text of Scripture:--

     When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and
     through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee;

and the other the comforting words:--

     For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also
     which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

Under a drooping cypress tree, half hidden amid its dark green foliage,
is a monument of white marble, in the form of a Greek cross, low but
massive, on which there is no epitaph or inscription whatever; but on
the little foot-stone beyond it are the simple words:--

     GENEVIEVE.
     Died 1851,
     Aged 18.

Numerous 'broken rosebuds' mark the graves of children, and the device
is so often repeated as to become tiresome; but on one handsome monument
is carved a wreath of flowers, from which a rose has apparently dropped,
and fallen on the pedestal,--a beautiful illustration of the loss the
family circle had sustained in the death of her who rests below. Another
child-grave, the tombstone a small upright slab surmounted by a wreath
of flowers, bears the touching inscription:--

      Our only Son,
      JOHN AGUR E----.
      Aged 2 years.

Many graves here, as elsewhere, are adorned with examples of 'graveyard
poetry;' but most of it is of that humble character which is illustrated
by the following:--

  'Farewell, beloved wife: I must go
  And leave you in this world of woe.
  A few short years, then we shall meet
  Together at our Saviour's feet.'

One more epitaph, before we leave this interesting and time-honored
place of graves. It is from a plain horizontal slab, not far from the
entrance; and is, to our thinking, one of the most beautiful and
touching monumental inscriptions ever penned.

     SARAH B----,
     Wife of the Rev. C---- K----.

     A humble worshiper of Christ, she lived in love and died in faith.
     Truthful woman, delightful companion, ardent friend, devoted wife,
     self-sacrificing mother, we lay you gently here, our best beloved,
     to gather strength and beauty for the coming of the Lord.



AMONG THE PINES.


Some winters ago I passed several weeks at Tallahassee, Florida, and
while there made the acquaintance of Colonel J----, a South Carolina
planter. Accident, some little time later, threw us together again at
Charleston, when I was gratified to learn that he would be my _compagnon
du voyâge_ as far north as New York.

He was accompanied by his body-servant, 'Jim,' a fine specimen of the
genus darky, about thirty years of age, born and reared in his master's
family. As far as possible we made the journey by day, stopping at some
convenient resting-place by night; on which occasions the Colonel, Jim,
and myself would occupy the same or adjoining apartments, 'we white
folks' sleeping on four posts, while the more democratic negro spread
his blanket on the floor. Thrown together thus intimately, it was but
natural that we should learn much of each other.

The 'Colonel' was a highly cultivated and intelligent gentleman, and
during this journey a friendship sprung up between us,--afterward kept
alive by a regular correspondence,--which led him, with his wife and
daughter, and the man Jim, to my house on his next visit at the North,
one year later. I then promised,--if I should ever again travel in South
Carolina,--to visit him on his plantation in the extreme north-eastern
part of the State.

In December last, a short time prior to the passage of the ordinance of
secession, I had occasion to again visit Charleston, and, previous to
setting out, dispatched a letter to the Colonel with the information
that I was then ready to be led of him 'into the wilderness.' On
arriving at the head-quarters of Secession, I found a missive awaiting
me, in which he cordially renewed his previous tender of hospitality,
gave me particular directions how to proceed, and stated that his 'man
Jim' would meet me with a carriage at Georgetown, and convey me thence,
seventy miles, to 'the plantation.'

Having performed the business which led me to Charleston, I set out for
the rendezvous five days before the date fixed for the meeting,
intending to occupy the intervening time in an exploration of the
ancient town and its surroundings. Having passed the half of one day and
the whole of one night in that delectable place,--during which night I
was set on and nearly annihilated, while lying defenceless in my bed, by
a myriad of Carolina _big-bugs_,--I found it so intolerably dull that,
to escape a siege of 'the blues,' I hired a horse and a negro driver at
a livery-stable, and started off for the plantation.

I make this preliminary statement to give the reader a satisfactory
reason for taking him over wretched roads, at so inclement a season,
with no companion but an ebony Jehu, into the very heart of
Secessiondom.

My companion was a very intelligent native African, of the name of
Scipio, who 'hired his time' of his mistress, and obtained his living by
doing odd jobs around the streets and wharves of Georgetown. Portions of
the country through which we passed were almost as wild as the forests
of Oregon, and in some places the feeling against the North and Northern
travelers ran very high. I had some strange encounters with swollen
streams and roaring secessionists, in which my negro driver was of great
service to me; and the knowledge I thus gained of him led me for the
first time to the opinion, that real elevation and nobility of character
may exist under an ebony skin.

Our first day on the road was clear, sunshiny, and of delicious
temperature--one of those days so peculiar to the Southern winter, when
the blood bounds through every vein as if thrilled by electricity, and a
man of lively temperament can scarcely restrain his legs from dancing a
breakdown. Night found us thirty miles on our way, and under the roof of
a hospitable planter. A storm came on with the going down of the sun,
and lasted during the following day; but, desiring to arrive at my
destination before the servant should set out to meet me, I decided to
push on in the rain.

Our second day's travel was attended with sundry interruptions and
adventures, and night overtook us in the midst of a forest, uncertain
where we were, and half dead from exposure to the storm; but after
several hours of hard riding, we found ourselves, drenched to the skin
and benumbed with the cold, before the door of a one-story log cabin,
tenanted by a family of


POOR WHITES.

The rain was falling in torrents, and the night was as 'dark as the
darkest corner of the dark place below.' We were in the midst of what
seemed an endless forest of turpentine pines, and had seen no human
habitation for hours. Not knowing where the road might lead us, and
feeling totally unable to proceed, we determined to ask shelter at the
shanty for the night.

In answer to our summons a wretched-looking, half-clad, dirt-bedraggled
woman thrust her head from the door-way, with the inquiry, 'Who are ye?'

'We'm only massa and me, and de hoss, and we'm half dead wid de cold,'
said Scipio; 'can't we cum in out ob de rain?'

'Wal, strangers,' replied the woman, eying us as closely as the darkness
would permit, 'you'll find mighty poor fixins har, but I reckon ye can
come in.'

Entering the house, we saw, by the light of a blazing pile of pine
knots, which roared and crackled on the hearth, that it contained only a
single apartment, about twenty feet square. In front of the fire-place,
which occupied the better half of one side of the room, the floor was of
the bare earth, littered over with pine chips, dead cinders, live coals,
broken pots, and a lazy spaniel dog. Opposite to this, at the other end
of the room, were two low beds, which looked as if they had been 'slept
in forever, and never made up.' Against the wall, between the beds and
the fire-place, stood a small pine table, and on it was a large wooden
bowl, from whose mouth protruded the handles of several unwashed pewter
spoons. On the right of the fire was a razeed rocking-chair, evidently
the peculiar property of the mistress of the mansion, and three blocks
of pine log, sawn off smoothly, and made to serve for seats. Over
against these towered a high-backed settle, something like that on which

            'sot Huldy all alone,
  When Zeke peeked thru the winder;'

and on it, her head resting partly on her arm, partly on the end of the
settle, one small, bare foot pressing the ground, the other, with the
part of the person which is supposed to require stockings, extended in a
horizontal direction,--reclined, not Huldy, but her Southern cousin,
who, I will wager, was decidedly the prettier and dirtier of the two.
Our entrance did not seem to disconcert her in the least, for she lay
there as unmoved as a marble statue, her large black eyes riveted on my
face as if seeing some nondescript animal for the first time. I stood
for a moment transfixed with admiration. In a somewhat extensive
observation of her sex, in both hemispheres, I had never witnessed such
a form, such eyes, such faultless features, and such wavy, black,
luxuriant hair. A glance at her dress,--a soiled, greasy, grayish
linsey-woolsey gown, apparently her only garment,--and a second look at
her face, which, on closer inspection, had precisely the hue of a tallow
candle, recalled me to myself, and allowed me to complete the survey of
the premises.

The house was built of unhewn logs, separated by wide interstices,
through which the cold air came, in decidedly fresh if not health-giving
currents, while a large rent in the roof, that let in the rain, gave the
inmates an excellent opportunity for indulging in a shower-bath, of
which they seemed greatly in need. The chimney, which had intruded a
couple of feet into the room, as if to keep out of the cold, and
threatened momentarily to tumble down, was of sticks, built up in clay,
while the windows were of thick, unplaned boards.

Two pretty girls, one of perhaps ten and the other of fourteen years,
evidently sisters of the unadorned beauty, the middle-aged woman
who had admitted us, and the dog,--the only male member of the
household,--composed the family. I had seen negro cabins, but these
people were whites, and these whites were _South Carolinians_. Who will
say that the days of chivalry are over, when such counterparts of the
feudal serfs still exist?

After I had seated myself by the fire, and the driver had gone out to
stow the horse away under the tumble-down shed at the back of the house,
the elder woman said to me,--

'Reckon yer wet. Ben in the rain?'

'Yes, madam, we've been out most of the day, and got in the river below
here.'

'Did ye? Ye mean the "run." I reckon it's right deep now.'

'Yes, the horse had to swim for it,' I replied.

'Ye orter strip and put on dry cloes to onst.'

'Thank you, madam, I will.'

Going to my portmanteau, which the darky had placed near the door, I
found it dripping with wet, and opening it, discovered that every
article in it had undergone the rite of total immersion.

'Everything is thoroughly soaked, madam. I shall have to dry myself by
your fire. Can you get me a cup of tea?'

'Right sorry, stranger, but I can't. Hain't a morsel to eat or drink in
the house.'

Remembering that our excellent hostess of the night before had insisted
on filling our wagon-box with a quantity of 'chicken fixins,' to serve
us in an emergency, and that my brandy flask was in my India-rubber
coat, I sent Scipio out for them.

Our stores disclosed boiled chicken, bacon, sandwiches, sweet potatoes,
short cake, corn bread, buttered waffles, and 'common doin's' too
numerous to mention, enough to last a family of one for a fortnight, but
all completely saturated with water. Wet or dry, however, the provisions
were a godsend to the half-starved family, and their hearts seemed to
open to me with amazing rapidity. The dog got up and wagged his tail,
and even the marble-like beauty arose from her reclining posture and
invited me to a seat with her on the bench.

The kettle was soon steaming over the fire, and the boiling water, mixed
with a little brandy, served as a capital substitute for tea. After the
chicken was re-cooked, and the other edibles 'warmed up,' the little
pine table was brought out, and I learned--what I had before
suspected--that the big wooden bowl and the half dozen pewter spoons
were the only 'crockery' the family possessed.

I declined the proffered seat at the table, the cooking utensils being
anything but inviting, and contented myself with the brandy and water;
but, forgetting for a moment his color, I motioned to the darky--who was
as wet and jaded, and much more hungry than I was--to take the place
offered to me. The negro did not seem inclined to do so, but the woman,
observing my gesture, yelled out, her eyes flashing with anger,--

'No, sar! No darkies eats with us. Hope ye don't reckon _yerself_ no
better than a good-for-nothin, no-account nigger!'

'I beg your pardon, madam; I intended no offense. Scipio has served me
very faithfully for two days, and is very tired and hungry. I forgot
myself.'

This mollified the lady, and she replied,--

'Niggers is good enuff in thar place, but warn't meant to 'sociate with
white folks.'

There may have been some ground for a distinction in that case; there
certainly was a difference between the specimens of the two races then
before me; but, not being one of the chivalry, it struck me that the
odds were on the side of the black man. The whites were shiftless,
ragged, and starving; the black well clad, cleanly, energetic, and as
much above the others in intellect as Jupiter is above a church steeple.
To be sure, color was against him, and he was, after all, a servant in
the land of chivalry and of servant-owners. Of course the woman was
right, after all.

She soon resumed the conversation, with this remark:--

'Reckon yer a stranger in these parts; whar d'ye come from?'

'From New York, madam.'

'New York! whar's that?'

'It's a city at the North.'

'Oh! yas; I've heern tell on it; that's whar the Cunnel sells his
turpentine. Quite a place, ain't it?'

'Yes, quite a place. Something larger than all South Carolina.'

'What d'ye say? Larger nor South Carolina! Kinder reckon tain't, is't?'

'Yes, madam, it is.'

'Du tell! Tain't so large as Charles'n, is't?'

'Yes, twenty times larger than Charleston.'

'Lord o'massy! How does all the folks live thar?'

'Live quite as well as they do here.'

'Ye don't have no niggers thar, does ye?'

'Yes, but none that are slaves.'

'Have Ablisherners thar, don't ye? Them people that go agin the South?'

'Yes, some of them.'

'What do they go agin the South for?'

'They go for freeing the slaves. Some of them think a black man as good
as a white one.'

'Quar, that; yer an Ablisherner, ain't ye?'

'No, I'm an old-fashioned Whig.'

'What's that? Never heerd on them afore.'

'An old-fashioned Whig, madam, is a man whose political principles are
perfect, and who is as perfect as his principles.'

That was a 'stumper' for the poor woman, who evidently did not
understand one half of the sentence.

'Right sort of folks, them,' she said, in a half inquiring tone.

'Yes, but they're all dead now.'

'Dead?'

'Yes, dead, beyond the hope of resurrection.'

'I've heern all the dead war to be resurrected. Didn't ye say ye war one
on 'em? _Ye_ ain't dead yet,' said the woman, chuckling at having
cornered me.

'But I'm more than _half_ dead just now.'

'Ah,' replied the woman, still laughing, 'yer a chicken.'

'A chicken! what's that?'

'A thing that goes on tu legs, and karkles,' was the ready reply.

'Ah, my dear madam, you can out-talk me.'

'Yes, I reckon I kin outrun ye, tu. Ye ain't over rugged.' Then, after a
pause, she added,--'What d'ye 'lect that darky Linkum for President
for?'

'I didn't elect him. _I_ voted for Douglass. But Lincoln is not a
darky.'

'He's a mullater, then; I've heern he war,' she replied.

'No, he's not a mulatto; he's a rail-splitter.'

'Rail-splitter? _Then he's a nigger, shore_.'

'No, madam; white men at the North split rails.'

'An' white wimmin tu, p'raps,' said the woman, with a contemptuous toss
of the head.

'No, they don't,' I replied,' but white women _work_ there.'

'White wimmin work thar!' chimed in the hitherto speechless beauty,
showing a set of teeth of the exact color of her skin,--_yaller_. 'What
du the' du?'

'Some of them attend in stores, some set type, some teach school, and
some work in factories.'

'Du tell! Dress nice, and make money?'

'Yes,' I replied, 'they make money, and dress like fine ladies; in fact,
_are_ fine ladies. I know one young woman, of about your age, that had
to get her own education, who earns a thousand dollars a year by
teaching, and I've heard of many factory-girls who support their
parents, and lay up a great deal of money, by working in the mills.'

'Wal!' replied the young woman, with a contemptuous curl of her
matchless upper lip; 'schule-marms ain't fine ladies; fine ladies don't
work; only niggers does that _har_. I reckon I'd ruther be 'spectable
than work for a livin'.'

I could but think how magnificently the lips of some of our glorious
Yankee girls would have curled had they heard that remark, and seen the
poor girl that made it, with her torn, worn, greasy dress; her bare,
dirty legs and feet, and her arms, neck, and face so thickly encrusted
with a layer of clayey mud that there was danger of hydrophobia if she
went near a wash-tub. Restraining my involuntary disgust, I replied,--

'We at the North think work is respectable. We do not look down on a
man or a woman for earning their daily bread. We all work.'

'Yas, and that's the why ye'r all sech cowards,' said the old woman.

'Cowards!' I said; 'who tells you that?'

'My old man; he says one on our _boys_ can lick five of your Yankee
_men_.'

'Perhaps so. Is your husband away from home?'

'Yes, him and our Cal. ar down to Charles'n.'

'Cal. is your son, is he?'

'Yes, he's my oldest, and a likely lad he ar tu--He's twenty-one, and
his name ar JOHN CALHOUN MILLS. He's gone a troopin' it with
his fader.'

'What, both gone and left you ladies here alone?'

'Yes, the Cunnel sed every man orter go, and they warn't to be ahind the
rest. The Cunnel--Cunnel J.--looks arter us while they is away.'

'But I should think the Colonel looked after you poorly--giving you
nothing to eat.'

'Oh! it's ben sech a storm to-day, the gals couldn't go for the vittles,
though tain't a great way. We'r on his plantation; this house is his'n.'

This last was agreeable news, and it occurred to me that if we were so
near the Colonel's we might push on, and get there that night, in spite
of the storm; so I said,--

'Indeed; I'm going to the Colonel's. How far is his house from here?'

'A right smart six mile; it's at the Cross-roads. Ye know the Cunnel, du
ye?'

'Oh, yes, I know him well. If his house is not more than six miles off,
I think we had better go on to-night. What do you say, Scip?'

'I reckon we'd better gwo, massa,' replied the darky, who had spread my
traveling-shawl in the chimney-corner, and was seated on it, drying his
clothes.

'Ye'd better not,' said the woman; 'ye better stay har; thar's a right
smart run twixt har and the Cunnel's, and tain't safe to cross arter
dark.'

'If that is so we'd better stay, Scip; don't you think so?' I said to
the darky.

'Jess as you like, massa. We got tru wid de oder one, and I reckon
tain't no woss nor dat.'

'The bridge ar carried away, and ye'll have to swim _shore_,' said the
woman. 'Ye'd better stay.'

'Thank you, madam, I think we will,' I replied, after a moment's
thought; 'our horse has swum one of your creeks to-night, and I dare not
try another.'

I had taken off my coat, and had been standing, during the greater part
of this conversation, in my shirt-sleeves before the fire, turning round
occasionally to facilitate the drying process, and taking every now and
then a sip from the gourd containing our brandy and water; aided in the
latter exercise by the old woman and the eldest girl, who indulged quite
as freely as I did.

'Mighty good brandy that,' at last said the woman. 'Ye like brandy,
don't ye?'

'Not very much, madam. I take it to-night because I've been exposed to
the storm, and it stimulates the circulation. But Scip, here, don't like
spirits. He'll get the rheumatism because he don't.'

'Don't like dem sort of sperits, massa; but rumatics neber trubble me.'

'But I've got it mighty bad,' said the woman, '_and I take 'em whenever
I kin get 'em_.'

I rather thought she did, but I 'reckoned' her principal beverage was
whisky.

'You have the rheumatism, madam, because your house is so open; a
draught of air is always unhealthy.'

'I allers reckoned 'twar _healthy_,' she replied. 'Ye Yankee folks have
quar notions.'

I looked at my watch, and found it was nearly ten o'clock, and, feeling
very tired, said to the hostess,--

'Where do you mean we shall sleep?'

'Ye can take that ar bed,' pointing to the one nearest the wall, 'the
darky can sleep har;' motioning to the settle on which she was seated.

'But where will you and your daughters sleep? I don't wish to turn you
out of your beds.'

'Oh! don't ye keer for us; we kin all bunk together; dun it afore. Like
to turn in now?'

'Yes, thank you, I would;' and without more ceremony I adjourned to the
further part of the room, and commenced disrobing. Doffing my boots,
waistcoat, and cravat, and placing my watch and purse under the pillow,
I gave a moment's thought to what a certain not very old lady, whom I
had left at home, might say when she heard of my lodging with a
grass-widow and three young girls, and sprung into bed. There I removed
my undermentionables, which were still too damp to sleep in, and in
about two minutes and thirty seconds sunk into oblivion.

A few streaks of grayish light were beginning to creep through the
crevices in the logs, when a movement at the foot of the bed awakened
me, and glancing downward I beheld the youngest girl emerging from under
the clothes at my feet. She had slept there, 'cross-wise,' all night. A
stir in the adjoining bed soon warned me that the other feminines were
preparing to follow her example; so, turning my face to the wall, I
feigned to be asleep. Their toilet was soon made, and they then quietly
left Scip and myself in full possession of the premises.

The darky rose as soon as they were gone, and, coming to me, said,--

'Massa, we'd better be gwine. I'se got your cloes all dry, and you can
rig up and breakfust at de Cunnel's.'

The storm had cleared away, and the sun was struggling to get through
the distant pines, when Scipio brought the horse to the door, and we
prepared to start. Turning to the old woman, I said,

'I feel greatly obliged to you, madam, for the shelter you have given
us, and would like to make you some recompense for your trouble. Please
to tell me what I shall pay you.'

'Wal, stranger, we don't gin'rally take in lodgers, but seein' as how as
thar ar tu on ye, and ye've had a good night on it, I don't keer if ye
pay me tu dollars.'

That struck me as 'rather steep' for 'common doin's,' particularly as we
had furnished the food and 'the drinks;' yet, saying nothing, I handed
her a two-dollar bank note. She took it, and held it up curiously to the
sun, then in a moment handed it back, saying, 'I don't know nothin'
'bout that ar sort of money; hain't you got no silver?'

I fumbled in my pocket a moment, and found a quarter-eagle, which I gave
her.

'I hain't got nary a fip o' change,' she said, as she took it.

'Oh! never mind the change, madam; I shall want to stop and _look_ at
you when I return,' I replied, good-humoredly.

'Ha! ha! yer a chicken,' said the woman, at the same time giving me a
gentle poke in the ribs. Fearing she might, in the exuberance of her joy
at the sight of the money, proceed to some more decided demonstration of
affection, I hastily stepped into the wagon, bade her good-by, and was
off.

We were still among the pines, which towered gigantically all around us,
but were no longer alone. Every tree was scarified for turpentine, and
the forest was alive with negro men and women gathering the 'last
dipping,' or clearing away the stumps and underbrush preparatory to the
spring work. It was Christmas week; but, as I afterwards learned, the
Colonel's negroes were accustomed to doing 'half tasks' at that season,
being paid for their labor as if they were free. They stopped their work
as we rode by, and stared at us with a sort of stupid, half-frightened
curiosity, very much like the look of a cow when a railway train is
passing. It needed but little observation to conclude that their
_status_ was but one step above the level of the brutes.

As we rode along I said to the driver, 'Scipio, what did you think of
our lodgings?'

'Mighty pore, massa. Niggas lib better'n dat.'

'Yes,' I replied, 'but these folks despise you blacks; they seem to be
both poor and proud.'

'Yas, massa, dey'm pore 'cause dey won't work, and dey'm proud 'cause
dey'r white. Dey won't work 'cause dey see de darky slaves doin' it, and
tink it am beneaf white folks to do as de darkies do. Dis habin' slaves
keeps dis hull country pore.'

'Who told you that?' I asked, astonished at hearing a remark showing so
much reflection from a negro.

'Nobody, massa, I see it myseff.'

'Are there many of these poor whites around Georgetown?'

'Not many 'round Georgetown, sar, but great many in de up-country har,
and dey'm all 'like--pore and no account; none ob 'em kin read, and dey
all eat clay.'

'Eat clay!' I said; 'what do you mean by that?'

'Didn't you see, massa, how yaller all dem wimmin war? Dat's 'cause dey
eat clay. De little children begin 'fore dey can walk, and dey eat it
till dey die; dey chaw it like 'backer. It makes all dar stumacs big,
like as you seed 'em, and spiles dar 'gestion. It am mighty onhealfy.'

'Can it be possible that human beings do such things! The brutes
wouldn't do that.'

'No, massa, but _dey_ do it; dey'm pore trash. Dat's what de big folks
call 'em, and it am true; dey'm long way lower down dan de darkies.'

By this time we had arrived at the run. We found the bridge carried
away, as the woman had told us; but its abutments were still standing,
and over these planks had been laid, which afforded a safe crossing for
foot-passengers. To reach these planks, however, it was necessary to
wade into the stream for full fifty yards, the 'run' having overflowed
its banks for that distance on either side of the bridge. The water was
evidently receding, but, as we could not well wait, like the man in the
fable, for it all to run by, we alighted, and counseled as to the best
mode of making the passage.

Scipio proposed that he should wade in to the first abutment, ascertain
the depth of the stream, and then, if it was not found too deep for the
horse to ford to that point, we would drive that far, get out, and walk
to the end of the planking, leading the horse, and then again mount the
wagon at the further end of the bridge. We were sure the horse would
have to swim in the middle of the current, and perhaps for a
considerable distance beyond; but, having witnessed his proficiency in
aquatic performances, we had no doubt of his getting safely across.

The darky's plan was decided on, and divesting himself of his trowsers,
he waded into the 'run' to take the soundings.

While he was in the water my attention was attracted to a printed paper,
posted on one of the pines near the roadside. Going up to it, I read as
follows:--

     $250 REWARD.

     Ran Away from the subscriber, on Monday, November 12th, his mulatto
     man, SAM. Said boy is stout-built, five feet nine inches
     high, 31 years old, weighs 170 lbs., and walks very erect, and with
     a quick, rapid gait. The American flag is tattooed on his right arm
     above the elbow. There is a knife-cut over the bridge of his nose,
     a fresh bullet-wound in his left thigh, and his back bears marks of
     a recent whipping. He is supposed to have made his way back to
     Dinwiddie County, Va., where he was raised, or to be lurking in the
     swamps in this vicinity.

     The above reward will be paid for his confinement in any jail in
     North or South Carolina, or Virginia, or for his delivery to the
     subscriber on his plantation at ----. D. W. J----. ----, December
     2, 1860.

The name signed to this hand-bill was that of the planter I was about to
visit.

Scipio having returned, reporting the stream fordable to the bridge, I
said to him, pointing to the 'notice,'--

'Read that, Scip.'

He read it, but made no remark.

'What does it mean--that fresh bullet wound, and the marks of a recent
whipping?' I asked.

'It mean, massa, dat de darky hab run away, and ben took; and dat when
dey took him dey shot him, and flogged him arter dat. Now, he hab run
away agin. De Cunnel's mighty hard on his niggas!'

'Is he! I can scarcely believe that.'

'He am, massa; but he ain't so much to blame, nuther; dey'm awful bad
set, most ob 'em,--so dey say.'

Our conversation was here interrupted by our reaching the bridge. After,
safely 'walking the plank,' and making our way to the opposite bank, I
resumed it by asking,--

'Why are the Colonel's negroes so particularly bad?'

'Cause, you see, massa, de turpentime business hab made great profits
for sum yars now, and de Cunnel hab been gettin' rich bery fass. He hab
put all his money, jes so fass as he made it, into darkies, so as to
make more; for he's got berry big plantation, and need nuffin' but
darkies to work it to make money jess like a gold mine. He goes up to
Virginny to buy niggas; and up dar _now_ dey don't sell none less dey'm
bad uns, 'cep when sum massa die or git pore. Virginny darkies dat cum
down har ain't gin'rally of much account. Dey'm either kinder
good-for-nuffin, or dey'm ugly; and de Cunnel d'rather hab de ugly dan
de no-account niggas.'

'How many negroes has he?'

''Bout two hundred, men and wimmin, I b'lieve, massa.'

'It can't be very pleasant for his family to remain in such an
out-of-the-way place, with such a gang of negroes about them, and no
white people near.'

'No, massa, not in dese times; but de missus and de young lady ain't dar
now.'

'Not there now? The Colonel said nothing to me about that. Are you
sure?'

'Oh yas, massa; I seed 'em go off on de boat to Charles'n most two weeks
ago. Dey don't mean to cum back till tings am more settled; dey'm 'fraid
to stay dar.'

'I should think it wouldn't be safe for even the Colonel there, if a
disturbance broke out among the slaves.'

''Twouldn't be safe den anywhar, sar; but de Cunnel am berry brave man.
He'm better dan twenty of _his_ niggas.'

'Why better than twenty of _his_ niggers?'

''Cause dem ugly niggas am gin'rally cowards. De darky dat is quiet,
'spectful, and does his duty, am de brave sort; _dey'll_ fight, massa,
till dey'm cut down.'

We had here reached a turn in the road, and passing it, came suddenly
upon a coach, attached to which were a pair of magnificent grays, driven
by a darky in livery.

'Hallo dar!' said Scipio to the driver, as we came nearly abreast of the
carriage. 'Am you Cunnel J----'s man?'

'Yas, I is dat,' replied the darky.

At this moment a woolley head, which I recognized at once as that of the
Colonel's man 'Jim,' was thrust out of the window of the vehicle.

'Hallo, Jim,' I said. 'How do you do? I'm glad to see you.'

'Lor bress me, massa K----, am dat you?' exclaimed the astonished negro,
hastily opening the door, and coming to me. 'Whar _did_ you cum from?
I'se mighty glad to see you;' at the same time giving my hand a hearty
shaking. I must here say, in justice to the reputation of South
Carolina, that no respectable Carolinian refuses to shake hands with a
black man, unless--the black happens to be free.

'I thought I wouldn't wait for you,' I replied. 'But how did you expect
to get on? the "runs" have swollen into rivers.'

'We got a "flat" made for dis one,--it's down dar by dis time,--de oders
we tought we'd get ober sumhow.'


BLACK FREEMASONRY.

'Jim, this is Scip,' I said, seeing that the darkies had taken no notice
of each other.

'How d'ye do, Scipio?' said Jim, extending his hand to him. A look of
singular intelligence passed over the faces of the two negroes as their
hands met; it vanished in an instant, and was so slight that none but a
close observer would have detected it, but some words that Scip had
previously let drop put me on the alert, and I felt sure it had a hidden
significance.

'Won't you get into de carriage, massa?' inquired Jim.

'No, thank you, Jim. I'll ride on with Scip. Our horse is jaded, and you
had better go ahead.'

Jim mounted the driver's seat, turned the carriage, and drove off at a
brisk pace to announce our coming at the plantation, while Scip and I
rode on at a slower gait.

'Scip, did you know Jim before?' I asked.

'Neber seed him afore, massa, but hab heern ob him.'

'How is it that you have lived in Georgetown for five years, and he only
seventy miles off, and you never have seen him?'

'I cud hab seed him, massa, good many time, ef I'd liked, but darkies
hab to be careful.'

'Careful of what?'

'Careful ob who dey knows; good many bad niggas 'bout.'

'Pshaw, Scip, you're "coming de possum;" that game won't work with me.
There isn't a better nigger than Jim in all South Carolina. I know him
well.'

'P'raps he am; reckon he _am_ a good enuff nigga.'

'Good enough nigga, Scip! Why, I tell you he's a splendid fellow; just
as true as steel. He's been North with the Colonel, often, and the
Abolitionists have tried to get him away; he knew he could go, but
wouldn't budge an inch.'

'I knew he wouldn't,' said the darky, a pleasurable gleam passing
through his eyes; 'dat sort don't run; dey face de music!'

'Why don't they run? What do you mean?'

'Nuffin', massa,--only dey'd ruther stay har.'

'Come, Scip, you've played this game long enough. Tell me, now, what
that look you gave each other when you shook hands meant.'

'What look, massa? Oh! I s'pose 'twar 'cause we'd both _heerd_ ob each
oder afore.'

''Twas more than that, Scip. Be frank; you know you can trust me.'

'Wal, den, massa,' he replied, adding, after a short pause, 'de ole
woman called you a Yankee,--you can guess.'

'If I should guess,'twould be that it meant _mischief_.'

'It don't mean mischief, sar,' said the darky, with a tone and air that
would not have disgraced a Cabinet officer; 'it mean only RIGHT
and JUSTICE.'

'It means that there is some secret understanding between you.'

'I tole you, massa,' he replied, relapsing into his usual manner, 'dat
de blacks am all Freemasons. I gabe Jim de grip, and he know'd me. He'd
ha known my name ef you hadn't tole him.'

'Why would he have known your name?'

''Cause I gabe de grip, dat tole him.'

'Why did he call you Scip_io_? I called you _Scip_.'

'Oh! de darkies all do dat. Nobody but de white folks call me _Scip_. I
can't say no more, massa; I SHUD BREAK DE OATH EF I DID!'

'You have said enough, Scipio, to satisfy me that there is a secret
league among the blacks, and that you are a leader in it. Now, I tell
you, you'll get yourself into a scrape. I've taken a liking to you,
Scip, and I should be _very sorry_ to see you run yourself into danger.'

'I tank you, massa, from de bottom ob my soul I tank you,' he said, as
the tears moistened his eyes. 'You bery kind, massa; it do me good to
talk wid you. But what am my life wuth? What am any _slave's_ life wuth?
Ef you war me you'd do like me!'

I could not deny it, and made no reply.

The writer of this article is aware that he is here making an important
statement, and one that may be called in question by those persons who
are accustomed to regard the Southern blacks as only reasoning brutes.
The great mass of them are but a little above the brutes in their habits
and instincts, but a large body are fully on a par, except in mere
book-education, with their white masters.

The conversation above recorded is, _verbatim et literatim_, TRUE. It
took place at the time indicated, and was taken down, as were other
conversations recorded in these papers, within twenty-four hours after
its occurrence. The name and the locality, only, I have, for very
evident reasons, disguised.

From this conversation, together with previous ones, held with the same
negro, and from after developments made to me at various places, and at
different times, extending over a period of six weeks, I became
acquainted with the fact--and I _know_ it to be a _fact_--that there
exists among the blacks a secret and wide-spread organization of a
Masonic character, having its grip, pass-word, and oath. It has various
grades of leaders, who are competent and _earnest_ men, and its ultimate
object is FREEDOM. It is quite as wide-spread, and much more
secret, than the order of the 'Knights of the Golden Circle,' the
kindred league among the whites.

This latter organization, which was instituted by John C. Calhoun,
William L. Porcher, and others, as far back as 1835, has for its sole
object the dissolution of the Union, and the establishment of a Southern
Empire;--Empire is the word, not Confederacy, or Republic;--and it was
solely by means of its secret but powerful machinery that the Southern
States were plunged into revolution, in defiance of the will of a
majority of their voting population.

Nearly every man of influence at the South (and many a pretended Union
man at the North) is a member of this organization, and sworn, under the
penalty of assassination, to labor, 'in season and out of season, by
fair means and by foul, at all times, and on all occasions,' for the
accomplishment of its object. The blacks are bound together by a similar
oath, and only _bide their time_.

The knowledge of the real state of political affairs, which the negroes
have acquired through this organization, is astonishingly accurate;
their leaders possess every essential of leadership,--except, it may be,
military skill,--and they are fully able to cope with the whites.

The negro whom I call Scipio, on the day when Major Anderson evacuated
Fort Moultrie, and before he or I knew of that event, which set all
South Carolina in a blaze, foretold to me the breaking out of this war
in Charleston harbor, and as confidently predicted that it would result
in the freedom of the slaves!

The knowledge of this organization I acquired by gaining the confidence
of some of the blacks, who knew me to be a Northern man, and supposed I
sympathized with them. Having acquired it in that manner, I could not
communicate it; but now, when our troops have landed in South Carolina,
and its existence is sure to be speedily developed, no harm can result
from this announcement.

The fact of its existing is not positively known (for the black is more
subtle and crafty than anything human), but is suspected, by many of the
whites; the more moderate of whom are disposed to ward off the impending
blow by some system of gradual emancipation,--declaring all black
children born after a certain date free,--or by some other action that
will pacify and keep down the slaves. These persons, however, are but a
small minority, and possess no political power, and the South is rushing
blindly on to a catastrophe, which, if not averted by the action of our
government, will make the horrors of San Domingo and the French
Revolution grow pale in history.

I say the action of our government, for with it rests the
responsibility. What the black wants is freedom. Give him that, and he
will have no incentive to insurrection. If emancipation is proclaimed at
the head of our armies,--emancipation for _all_--confiscation for the
slaves of rebels, compensation for the slaves of loyal citizens,--the
blacks will rush to the aid of our troops, the avenging angel will pass
over the homes of the many true and loyal men who are still left at the
South, and the thunderbolts of this war will fall only--where they
should fall--on the heads of its blood-stained authors. If this is not
done, after we have put down the whites we shall have to meet the
blacks, and after we have waded knee-deep in the blood of both, we shall
end the war where it began, but with the South desolated by fire and
sword, the North impoverished and loaded down with an everlasting debt,
and our once proud, happy and glorious country the by-word and scorn of
the whole civilized world.

I have all my life long been a true friend to the South. My connections,
my interests, and my sympathies are all there, and there are those now
in the ranks of this rebellion who are of my own blood; but I say, and I
would to God that every lover of his country would say it with me, 'Make
no peace with it until slavery is exterminated.' Slavery is its very
bones, marrow, and life-blood, and you can not put it down till you have
destroyed that accursed institution. If a miserable peace is patched up
before a death-stroke is given to slavery, it will gather new strength,
and drive freedom from this country forever. In the nature of things it
can not exist in the same hemisphere with liberty. Then let every man
who loves his country determine that if this war must needs last for
twenty years, it shall not end until this root of all our political
evils is weeded out forever.

A short half-hour took us to the plantation, where I found the Colonel
on the piazza awaiting me. After our greeting was over, noticing my
soiled and rather dilapidated condition, he inquired where I had passed
the night. I told him, when he burst into a hearty fit of laughter, and
for several days good-naturedly bantered me about 'putting up' at the
most aristocratic hotel in South Carolina,--the 'Mills House.'

We soon entered the mansion, and the reader will, I trust, excuse me, if
I leave him standing in its door-way till another month.



THE LESSON OF WAR.


  Lex est, non poena, perire.--_Martial._

  Ye warriors of the past, whose flashing swords
    Light up with fitful gleams the misty night
  Of half-forgotten eld, in fiery words
    Ye teach a truth 'twere well we read aright.

  God sends the gentle breeze to woo the flower,
    And stir the pulses of the ripening corn;
  He, too, lets loose the whirlwind's vengeful power
    To quench the plagues of foul stagnation born.

  And thus in love, sometimes disguised as wrath,
    He sends his hidden blessings in the storm,
  Which dashes down in its resistless path
    The hoar abuses that defied reform.

  When Cyrus ravaged fair Chaldea's plain,
    And mocked the strength of Babylon's haughty wall,
  The proud Assyrian's guilt had earned the chain,
    And man rejoiced to mark the oppressor's fall.

  And when, made drunk with power, the Persian lost
    The stern and simple virtues of his sires,
  His empire's ruin and his slaughtered host
    Kindled in Greece her world-illuming fires.

  Then Greece, her swift career of glory stayed,
    Exhausted by her madman's triumphs lay,
  Till Rome's protecting arm the loss repaid
    Of Corinth's sack and Pydua's fatal day.

  Imperial Rome! though crime succeeded crime
    As earth fell prostrate 'neath her giant tread,
  Still shall her subjects reap to endless time
    The priceless harvests by her wisdom spread.

  What though the stern proconsul's grinding rule
    Close followed on the legion's merciless sword?
  Laws, arts, and culture, in that rigid school,
    Evoked a nation from each savage horde.

  And when at last her crimes, reacting, wrought
    Their curse upon herself, to her, supine
  And helpless, the barbarian spoiler brought,
    With fire and sword, new life to her decline.

  Theodoric, Clovis, Charles, your endless strife,
    From Weser's marsh to Naples' laughing bay,
  Was but the throe that marked the nascent life
    Emerging from the worn-out world's decay.

  Ye were, amid that elemental war,
    But straws to show its course. Ye toiled, and won,
  Or lost; your people bled--yet slow and far
    The mighty cause of man pressed ever on.

  Long has that travail been. Kings, Kaisers, Popes,
    The stern Crusader and the pirate Dane,
  Each, centered in his own ambitious hopes,
    But helped the cause he labored to restrain.

  Hildebrand's voice sets Christendom on fire;
    'Neath Frederic's plow sinks Milan's lofty wall;
  Unnumbered victims glut De Montfort's ire;
    From Ecclin's dungeon shrieks the night appall.

  If the tide ebbs, 'tis but to flow again.
    Each fierce convulsion gains some vantage ground.
  Man's fettered limbs grow stronger, and the chain
    Falls link by link at each tumultuous bound.

  The timid burgher dons the helm and shield,
    The wretched hind reluctant grasps the bow,
  To fight their master's quarrels. Courtrai's field
    And Sempach's hill that lesson's worth may show.

  The restless soul still yearns for things unknown;
    It chafes against its bondage, points the way
  That leads to freedom, but the sword alone
    Makes good the dreams that else would but betray.

  See, Luther speaks, and Europe flies to arms:
    Her stubborn fight outlasts a hundred years;
  A thousand fields her richest life-blood warms,
    Yet gain the vanquished more than pays their tears.

  If Orange and Gustavus conquering died,
    Not Coligny nor Hampden fell in vain,
  For one domain escaped the furious tide,
    And peace made that one desolate--chivalrous Spain!

  So, when the traitorous truth was whispered round,--
    Equality for man on earth as heaven,--
  It was but speculation's idlest sound,
    Till by the sword the time-worn bonds were riven.

  Though Moscow, Leipzig, Waterloo, might seem
    To roll the tide back, they but marked its flood;
  Nor could the Holy Allies' darkest scheme
    Restore the wrongs so well effaced in blood.

  The end is not yet. God's mysterious way
    Evolves its purpose in its destined time.
  Vainly we seek its fated march to stay:
    All things subserve it--wisdom, folly, crime.

  We are his instruments. The past has fled
    For us. We suffer for the future dim.
  Then sternly face the darkness round us spread,
    Do each his duty--leave the rest to Him!



RALPH WALDO EMERSON.


The Nineteenth Century dawned upon a nation already glorious with the
sublime promise of a prophetic infancy. The strong serpents of Tyranny
and Superstition had been crushed in its powerful grasp. The songs of
two oceans--the lullaby of its earlier days--had cheered it on to a
youth whose dignity and beauty were bought with sword and rifle, with
blood and death. Wrapped at last in the _toga_ of an undisputed manhood,
it took its place among the empires of the earth, the son of a king,
mightier than all; free to enact new laws, to promulgate new systems of
economy, social and political, free to worship and to think. With what
success a government grounded on a principle so faultless has been
administered, may not now be written, but is not more doubtful than it
was when the drum beat its _reveillé_ only on our distant frontiers, and
the booming of guns from ship or shore was but the nation's welcome to
days made memorable by its great men. But before the new republic
stretched a vast field for thought, and within its almost boundless
limits, hidden beneath the husks of old theories, lay the seed ready for
the ripening. Far back toward the east rolled, like a mighty desert, the
history of the Progress of Mind. Here and there, on its arid surface,
rose, stately and awe-inspiring, great pyramids which marked those eras
of agitation when Humanity, awaking suddenly to her power, grappled with
giant strength the mighty enigmas of Being, and endeavored to wrench
from their mute souls the great secrets that Faith alone has expounded
to the satisfaction of her devotees. It availed little that one by one,
in the vaults of these temples, the axioms and deductions of their
founders were laid away lifeless and powerless. Another generation,
vigorous and persevering, laid stone after stone the foundations of
another edifice that strove to reach, with its yearning apex of desire,
the very heavens. Still high and unmoved curved the blue infinitude
above, while below its mirror in the soul of man surged wildly against
shores stern, rock-bound, immutable, unanswering.

The 'limits of the forefathers' (_fines quos posuerunt patres nostri_)
had been first transgressed by Abelard, and the speculating spirit of
Scholasticism disseminated by him overwhelmed Europe with that rage for
investigations, so futile yet so laborious, that terrified the
theologians of the mediæval church, and marked the first modern epoch in
Philosophy--the beginning of the revolt of Reason against Authority.
Next, colossal against the still unrelenting skies, towered what may be
called the _Natur-Philosophie_, 'Nature Philosophy' of Giordano Bruno.
The echoes of Luther's bugle still pierced the mountain-fastnesses of
Northern Italy and the gorges of Spain. In the church, Bruno found only
skepticism and licentiousness, ignorance and tyranny. Before him four
centuries had been swallowed up in debate on the fruitless question of
Nominalism, and others equally insignificant, but were visible to him by
the light of a logic so shallow, futile, and despotic, that it was known
only to be scorned. With an energy that astonished the feeble and
degraded clergy of his time, a fearlessness that exacted the admiration
while it aroused the indignation of his contemporaries, and a genius
that compelled the attention of those who were most zealous to combat
its evidences, Bruno, casting off the shackles of the cloister, that
'_prigione angusta e nera_,' boldly advanced a system of Philosophy,
startling, in those Inquisitorial times, from its independence, and
horrible from its antagonism to Aristotle, the Atlas of the church. This
was no less than pure Pantheism,--God in and through all, the infinite
Intelligence. _Deus est monadum monas--nempe entium entitas_. This
creed, by an incomprehensible metamorphosis, was styled, in the language
of the day, Atheism; its promulgation, even its conception, was
pronounced a crime whose penalty was death. And Bruno, who, from the
depths of infamous superstition, had risen into the pure light of
heaven, to a theory whose principles, though they might not satisfy,
could not fail to refine, elevate, and encourage the soul long groveling
in the mire of ignorance, or languishing in the dark dungeons of
Scholasticism,--Bruno died for the truth. More foolish than the savages
of whom Montesquieu speaks, who cut down trees to reach their fruit,
these judges of Bruno destroyed the tree whose seeds were already strewn
broadcast over the world. They hushed forever the voice whose echoes are
not yet stilled,--echoes that resound in the cautious _Meditations_ of
Descartes, that rise from peak to peak of the majestic method of the
great Spinoza, who was no less a martyr because reputation and not life
was the forfeit of his earnestness; and that vibrate with thrilling
sweetness in the Idealism of Schelling. 'The perfect theory of Nature,'
says Schelling, 'is that by virtue of which all Nature is resolved into
the intellectual element,' which 'intellectual element' is at once
composed of intuitions and is the source of intuitions,--the _Deus in
nobis_ of Giordano Bruno. 'It is evident,' he continues, 'that Nature is
originally identical with that which in us is recognized as the subject
and the object.'

Thus the empirical school, in its representative, Aristotle, met in the
martyr of Nola an opponent vigilant, earnest, powerful. And while the
legitimate prosecution of the former mode of philosophizing has led to
deism, skepticism, atheism, and materialism, it is to those who have
retained in methods, more mathematically clear and more perfectly
developed than that which Bruno disseminated, but still bearing, as
their key-note, the one great idea of his bold crusade,--to those we
must look for all that is most pure, most noble, in Philosophy: a system
or succession of systems whose primitive idea--substance and essence--is
the very God for a supposed denial of whom Bruno died. '_Cosi vince
Goffredo!_'

Thus rolled on the centuries. Germany, France, England, and Scotland had
each contributed her knights to the great tournament of Mind. And now
the first symptoms of agitation appeared on the hitherto unruffled
surface of Thought in the New World. Still panting after her victories,
scarcely used to her new freedom, at first the presence of a power
antagonistic to the orthodox faith was unsuspected even by those who
first entertained it. But the stone had been dashed into the tranquil
ocean when the May-flower was moored on the New England coast, and its
circling eddies drew curve after curve among the descendants, brave,
conscientious, energetic, of the old Puritans. The stern Calvinism, by
which their fathers had lived and died, was, by these early recreants,
first mistrusted, then questioned, and finally abjured. The murmurs of
dissent that had long agitated the sturdy upholders of the accepted
faith, broke out in a demand for a system whose claims should be less
absolute, and whose nature should satisfy those fugitive appeals to
Reason and the Understanding, that, weak indeed, and faint, were yet
distinctly audible to the thinkers of the day. From the cloud of
accusation and denial, of suspicion and trial, the new Perseus,
Unitarianism,--whilom a nursling of Milton, Locke, and Hartley,--was
born, and took its place among the sects, sustained by the few, dreaded
and condemned by the many.

To brand this new theory, no terms were found too strong even by the
religious periodicals of the day. Unwilling to bide their time, to test
its soundness by its strength and duration, its opponents rested not. It
was confidently predicted that the movement would influence its
followers to skepticism and atheism. The accusation of the sixteenth
century was revived, and St. Bernards cried from pulpit and press, 'The
limits of the forefathers have been transgressed!' To the great mass of
the opposition, the horror was not that Trinitarianism had been
assailed, but that men had been found so bold as to question it. The
crime with the unlearned and the majority of the professors was not
heresy, but daring. But Christians, fervent and earnest, were not
wanting who denounced the movement in its anticipated consequences. The
young and adventurous, the men of impulse and daring, would drift, it
was feared, to the very borders of open infidelity. But the contrary was
the result. A pietism the very reverse was developed, which, aided by
the beloved Channing, was disseminated through New England. Justice
Story even asserted that in Unitarianism he found refuge from the
skepticism to which in youth he had tended.

Permitted, by the liberal character of the welcome substitute for a
theology that had become too stringent for the age, to prosecute their
researches into fields hitherto forbidden to the orthodox, thinkers,
economists, statesmen and theologians gathered round the standard, and a
new impulse was given to the intellectual character of the times. A
revolution in Thought was impending.

In Literature we dared challenge the nations. The popularity of Cooper
was at its high noon. Irving, with the graphic and delicate strokes of
his sympathetic pencil, had written himself the Claude Lorraine among
_litterateurs_; and Prescott, with his sentences of granite, was
building himself an immortal name. Still, we were behind Germany, and
even France, in that wide comprehension and universal criticism that
determines more accurately than its politics the real _status_ of a
nation. These elements were now to be supplied. Carlyle had played in
England the _rôle_ so humorously yet thoroughly enacted in Germany by
Heine, and so gracefully and airily performed in France by Cousin. He
had _popularized_ the philosophers. Without the acute, electric
perceptions of the great German or the industry and amiable vanities of
that De Sevigné among philosophers, Cousin, he presented, by fierce
dashes of his crayon, black, blunt, and bluff, to the hitherto ignorant
British public, some phases of the great metaphysical bearings of the
age upon Literature and Art, as developed in Teutonic poetry and prose.
In a word, he familiarized his readers with the _Æsthetik_ of Germany.
He published in 1830 his _Sartor Resartus_, which, clothing the man in
'_der Gottheit lebendiges Kleid_,' usurped for him at once an office not
inferior to that of the _Erd-geist_ in _Faust_. The shrill notes of the
bagpipe of the critic of Craigenputtock blew across the mountains and
valleys of his island home, rousing the judge on the bench, and,
penetrating the long halls of Cambridge and Oxford, streamed yet
distinct and powerful to our shores. Astonished by the richness and
fullness of a literature so comprehensive, which seemed to inclose in
its brilliant mazes all that their meagre and unfruitful dogmas denied
of comfort to the heart and systematic development to the mind, the men
who, with girded loins and scrips in their hands, had long wandered
disconsolately on the shores of a seething ocean, now saw its waters
parted, and crossed upon dry ground. Before them stretched the vast
wilderness of German Philosophy. To their bewildered gaze, each system
was an Arabia Felix, and every axiom a graceful palm.

Meanwhile, a second influence was at work among the orthodox, an
influence that tended to the same great result, no longer an accident,
but a necessity of the age. The _Biographia Literaria_ and _The Friend_
of Coleridge, embodying a dwarfed but not distorted version of the
metaphysical system of Kant, which had created a profound sensation in
England, met with an even more enthusiastic reception in this country.
The Christian character of their author was beyond reproach, his genius
undisputed; as a poet he ranked among those to whom Great Britain owed
the laurel; and as an essayist, even the bitterest critics yielded him
the palm. When, therefore, this man, one of the most evangelical of his
time in the Established Church, brought to the aid of a time-honored and
beloved theology the principles of that very philosophy which was deemed
by others its fiercest antagonist, not a few who had been hitherto
deterred from its investigation by a dread of the accusation of heresy,
eagerly availed themselves of his labors. His _Aids to Reflection_ was
presented to the American public under the patronage of Dr. Marsh, late
president of Burlington College, Vt. An elaborate preliminary essay by
this eminently pious clergyman established the claims of the work to
favor, and it was even taken up as a text-book in Amherst and one or two
liberal Congregational universities in New England.

The effort of Coleridge, rendered obscure by his turgid and florid
style, was to explain the religious doctrines of Archbishop Leighton and
the early Puritans, which he held as orthodox, by means of the momentous
distinction between Reason and the Understanding, which he borrowed from
the _Critik der Reinen Vernunft_ of Kant. However plausible, when
disencumbered of its poetical drapery, the theory of Coleridge may be,
and however convincing, _so far as it goes_, of the truth of his
principles, we can not forget that the final tendency of the critical
philosophy of Kant is, if not a positive approach to skepticism, at
least to afford a scientific basis for it. But the formula of the author
of Christabel was the pure exponent of his creed. The terror of
metaphysics vanished as the oft-repeated words met the eye of the wary
and suspicious investigator. 'World--God = 0: God--world = Reality
Absolute. The world without God is nothing: God without the world is
already, in and of himself, absolute perfection, absolute authority.'

Thus, while Carlyle, bold, versatile, shrewd, untrammeled, worked upon
the Unitarian element in America, Coleridge, evangelical, polished, yet
adventurous, leavened the Congregationalists and other shades of
orthodox Christians with the same result. But the first literary
outgrowth and original product of the Transcendental movement in America
was Emerson's Essay on Nature, which appeared in 1838, forming a nucleus
for the writings of the Dial-ists, and proving a sort of _prolegomena_
to the new edition of Hermetic Philosophy. '_Non est philosophus nisi
fingit et pinxit_,' said the great pioneer. Here Emerson does both,
proving, by inversion, his claim to the title. Whatever may be the
negative virtues of this preliminary essay, it undoubtedly possesses the
positive one of having given a strong impulse to the study and love of
Nature. True, the man who is to grasp its details, sympathies,
significations, to hear, in all their grand harmony, its various
discordant symphonies and fugues, to see its marvelous associations,
needs to be Briarean-armed, Israfel-hearted and Argus-eyed, as perhaps
none in our imperfect day and generation can claim to be. But at least
this 'Nature' of Emerson's insinuated, dimly and dreamily, in spite of
its positive air, an occult relation between man and Nature. It invested
rock and sky and air with new and startling attributes. The deep thinker
might even draw upon its pages some _pays-de-Cocagne_ landscape, flowing
indeed with milk and honey, but in Tantalian distance. Nature's true
heart is invested with a pericardium so thick that it resists the
scalpel of the skillful critics, to whom the stethoscope alone betrays
the healthful throb of vitality beneath. With portly arguments, Emerson
bars the door to the simple but earnest-hearted. That Nature, whose
prophet he is, gleams, bright and unloving, down from a cold,
unsympathizing heaven.

  'Not every one doth it beseem to question
  The far-off, high Arcturus.'

And we, the lazzaroni on the piazza, can not even see the sky for the
mist of 'mottoes Italianate and Spanish terms' of an effete logic that
has risen before it.

Nevertheless, here are the first gleams of a genial appreciation of the
_Æsthetik_ of Germany, that large-hearted discernment that grasps
similitudes from the antipodes of Thought, and writes them upon its
sunny equator. And there are appeals to those finer impulses and
experiences of every feeling soul that manifest a sense, imperfect yet
animated, of that marvelous sympathy that exists between all phases of
life, whether in humanity or in external nature. His natural outbursts
of feeling are rare, but delicious as _caviare_, with a certain quaver
of piquancy. 'Give me health and a day, and I will make the pomp of
emperors ridiculous. The dawn is my Assyria; the sun-set and moon-rise
my Paphos and unimaginable realms of faërie; broad noon shall be my
England of the senses and the understanding, and night shall be my
Germany of mystic philosophy and dreams.' Only a fantasy, and yet how he
bends Nature to suit the curve of his own temperament. And who has not
felt the involuntary exhilaration, appalling from its very depth, that
possessed him, crossing a bare common, on a bleak October afternoon,
sunless and chill, with gray winds sweeping by--'I was glad to the brink
of fear.' An intense emotion is imprisoned in these words,--the
irresistible intoxication of deep delight, the consciousness of an
unbounded faculty for enjoyment, and a lurking but delicious dread of
the lavish power of sensation cooped within the senses. Heine, in his
'Lutetia,' speaks of the 'secret raptures attendant upon the tremors of
fear.' Still, Emerson's Nature is rather a Nature à la Pompadour, in
powdered hair and jeweled stomacher and high-heeled slippers; not the
dear green mother of our dreams, who was wooed by the bending heavens,
and

  'Myriad myriads of lives teemed forth from the mighty embracement;
  Thousand-fold tribes of dwellers, impelled by thousand-fold instincts,
  Filled, as a dream, the wide waters; the rivers sang on in their
    channels;
  Laughed on their shores the hoarse seas; the yearning ocean swelled
    upward;
  Young life lowed through the meadows, the woods, and the echoing
    mountains,
  Wandered bleating in valleys, and warbled in blossoming branches.'

But Nature had been broached and Society was scandalized. Like the
Chancellor in Faust, it mounted its tripod and solemnly proclaimed its
verdict upon the inadmissible theory, so inadequately proved of the
identity of Nature and Spirit. But '_was sagt_ mein Thales?'

  'Natur und Geist! so spricht man nicht zu Christen:
  Desshalb verbrennt man Atheisten,
  Weil solche Reden höchst gefährlich sind.
  Natur ist Sünde, Geist ist Teufel;
  Sie hegen zwischen sich den Zweifel,
  Ihr miss-gestaltet Zwitterkind.'

The Transcendental movement did not fail to attract severe opposition,
not only to its agitators, but toward the whole body of Unitarians, from
a portion of which it in a great measure sprang. If indeed, as Ellis,
its champion, asserts, Transcendentalism was not a native emanation from
New England, _i.e._, Unitarianism, yet it obviously paved the way for
its entrance, and even erected triumphal arches at intervals over its
projected route. The consequence of the renewed attack upon this already
sorely aggrieved sect was its virtual separation into moderates and
extremists: the one holding to its primitive theories, the other
inclining graciously to the more comprehensive and fascinating, because
more liberal and mystical, tenets of the new faith. The Rev. Andrew
Norton, an eminent Unitarian divine of the old school, in a discourse
before the Alumni of the Cambridge Theological School, took occasion to
attack with great vigor what he termed the 'new form of infidelity.'
This and his subsequent replies were most ably answered by George
Ripley, a zealous and genial scholar, eminent in belles-lettres and
philosophy, in his 'Letters on the latest form of Infidelity, including
the Opinions of Spinoza, Schleiermacher, and De Wette. Boston, James
Munroe & Co., 1840.'

This contest constituted the central polemic of the strife. Chilled by
the cold breath of popular intolerance, these persecuted advocates of a
metaphysical faith, which even themselves comprehended but dimly, might
have warmed their trembling hands by the fire of that _auto da fé_ whose
flames three centuries have not extinguished. Even those most opposed by
culture and habit to the innovators, could not but acknowledge that the
_Bestia Triofante_, that Giordano Bruno undertook to expel, was still
rampant and powerful in the midst of a civilized and intelligent
community. The fact was that the Transcendentalists were as much
astonished at this accusation of infidelity as even Fénélon himself
could have been. They were men of irreproachable character, the majority
religious by nature and scholarly by disposition, and they found in
their new field scope for an increased piety and a more enlarged
benevolence. Their infinitely pliable philosophy expanded amiably to
suit the requirements of any and every sect. The Rev. W. H. Furness, of
Philadelphia, though not thoroughly identified with the movement, yet,
in several volumes published at that time, manifested the influence of
Rationalism upon his own studies. But the machinery of his mind, though
exquisite in its details, was too delicate to work up successfully the
heavy material of the German importations. In a review of his 'Life of
Jesus,' by A. P. Peabody, in the _N. A. Review_, after a merited tribute
of praise and respect to the talented author, occurs the following:
'Æsthetic considerations weigh more with him than historical proofs, and
vividness of conception than demonstration. So far is he from needing
facts to verify his theories, that he is ready to reject the best
authenticated facts, if they would not flow necessarily from his _à
priori_ reasoning.' This was severe, too severe in the instance cited;
but the remark is worth preserving, as strikingly characteristic of much
of the _belles-lettres_ writings of the New School of thinkers, as they
were once, and indeed might yet be termed. But impiety was never the
result of Transcendentalism. Its advocates endeavored rather to prove
the adaptability of a generous and catholic spirit of Philosophy to
religion than to subvert it. They never advanced to a love of Strauss
and Feuerbach, and men of the second generation, of whom G.H. Lewes may
be taken as a type, have generally been regarded by them as the
Girondists regarded the Jacobins. Both urge reform, the Vergniaud and
the Robespierre, but the one respects the old landmarks, while the
other, with an unequaled nonchalance, sweeps by, unconscious of them
all, and plants his standard on a foundation as yet unshaken by foot of
man.

The consequences of the Transcendental movement were truly remarkable.
Those latitudes to which habit had accustomed us to look for our
_literati_ became one immense hot-house, in which exotics of the most
powerful fragrance bloomed luxuriantly.[4] As if by miracle, they
assumed hues and adopted habits to which, in their native soil, they
had been strangers. Every small _litterateur_ wore conspicuously his
cunningly entwined wreath. Ladies appeared at 'æsthetic tea-parties,'
crowned with the most delicate of the new importations. Young clergymen
were not complete without a flower in their button-holes, and the tables
of staid old professors groaned beneath the weight of huge pyramidal
bouquets. The cursory examination of foreign literature had given rise
to an eclecticism which reflected the distinguishing features of that of
Cousin, yet went a step further in daring. Yet this was not an
eclecticism that, gifted with the power of a king, the dignity of a
priest, and the discernment of a prophet, drew from the treasure-troves
of European libraries only their choicest gems. Diamonds, it is true,
flashed among the spoils; sapphires and emeralds gleamed; but beside
them lay bits of sandstone and scraps of anthracite, rainbow-tinted,
perhaps, but of an unconquerable opaqueness. And the alchemy that should
have transmuted these to gold, and educed from the one light and from
the other majesty, was wanting. A trace of Behmen here, a reading of
Cousin's lectures there, some Schiller and more Goethe, some pietism
encouraged by a love of Channing, the American Fénélon, some German
ballads and a flavor of Plato,--all these helped the initiated to a
curious dialect and a curious _mélange_. And this was Transcendentalism.
The great revelation that the grand Moonsee of the new movement had
declared necessary in 1838 had been made; the ninth _avatar_ had
descended, and men looked about them for the representative of Krishna,
and reverenced him in RALPH WALDO EMERSON. Under his auspices,
the _Dial_, the organ of the new sect, was published, and the next year,
1841, the first collection of his writings appeared under the simple
caption _Essays_, followed by a second series in 1847.

Spite of the fragmentary Germano-pantheism of the new Philosophy, as set
forth in these volumes, that a grand advance had been made upon the old
modes of thought was proved by the dismay in the opposing ranks. The
outcry against Unitarianism was faint compared with the howls of horror
and defiance that greeted Transcendentalism. The very name was a synonym
for arrogance. The pride of its opponents was touched. Alarming indeed,
and transcendental beyond conception, were the outpourings of thought
that anointed the _Dial_ and these _Essays_. The very chrism of
mysticism trickled along their running-titles, and dripped fragrantly
from their pages. Not only new opinions, but new words and phrases,
puzzled the uninitiated. Among these were _subjective_ and _objective_,
and the concise, comprehensive Germanisms were assailed as sure evidence
of treason or insanity. He who used them was a marked man, and liable to
find on the first oyster-shell his sentence of exile from the assemblage
of the faithful. The name of Goethe was as terrible as the sacred 'Om'
of the Brahmins; it was whispered with 'bated breath, and was generally
believed to be diabolical _per se_. In short, everything bearing the
stamp of Germany was a bit of sweet, forbidden lore. Travels in that
fog-land by dull old fogies, and simple outlines of its Philosophy by
divines high in rank, were obtained by stealth, and read in secret by
college-boys, with as much zeal as the 'Kisses' of Johannes Secundus or
the Epigrams of Martial. Even Klopstock's 'Messiah' became gilded with a
sort of delightful impropriety.

Disapprobation and distrust had merged into abuse and persecution.
Orestes A. Brownson, then drifting with the strong tide of the liberals,
published in 1840 a sort of pantheistically ending novel, entitled
_Charles Elwood, or the Infidel Converted_. The Rev. Dr. Bright, at
present editor of the Baptist _Examiner_, was at that tune a bookseller
of the firm of Bennett & Bright, and publisher of the _Baptist
Register_. When _Charles Elwood_ appeared, he ordered the usual number
of copies; but, discovering the nature of the book, made a Servetus of
the 'lot' by burning them up in the back-yard of his store. A funeral
pyre worthy the admiration and awe it must have excited.

The _Essays_ of Emerson were subsequently attacked furiously in the
_Princeton Review_ by Prof. Dod and Jas. W. Alexander. These gentlemen
gave to the world, as criticisms of Emerson and other writers, several
treatises on Pantheism, aiding the very cause they designed to destroy,
by disseminating among the religious public a statement of the primitive
Philosophy of the Vedas, and its reflection in Germany and America,
clearer than any that had yet appeared: a task for which their
scholarship and ability eminently fitted them. But in attacking German
Philosophy, both learned to respect that which was practically useful in
it. Prof. Dod left among his papers an unfinished translation of
Spinoza, and the lamented Dr. Alexander, in his admirable lectures on
literature to the students of Princeton College, recommended a perusal
of what Kant and other German metaphysicians had written on Æsthetics.
It is no reflection on the piety or sincerity of these sound divines and
ripe scholars that they found something good and useful even in the
armory of the enemy. The last step in piety, as in learning, is always
to that noble liberality which recognizes Truth and Beauty wherever
found.

And, while the religious reviews abounded in jeremiads and philippies,
the newspaper wits stood outside and shouted in derision. The game was
indeed too rare to be passed unnoticed. In a poem on Fanny Ellsler
(1841) occurred the following:--

  Our wits, as usual, late upon the road,
  Pick up what Europe saw long since explode.
  If this you doubt, ask Harvard, she can tell
  How many fragments there from Deutschland fell;
  How many mysteries boggle Cambridge men
  That erst in England boggled Carlyle's pen,
  And will, no doubt, be mysteries again;
  And also what great Coleridge left unsung.
  He, too, saw Germany when very young.'

To Emerson, at this moment, numbers looked with the deepest admiration
or with fiercest hate. He was the type of his age, what Carlyle might
perhaps call its 'Priest Vates.' In his _Essays_ he stood aloft and
proclaimed, 'In me is the kernel of truth: eat and live!' But the shell
that enclosed the kernel was hard to crack, and was, moreover, like the
'Sileni' of the old French apothecaries, as described by Rabelais, so
decorated with wondrous figures, harpies, satyrs, horned geese and
bridled hares, that men were incredulous, and doubted that precious
ambergris, musk and gems were to be found within. In his first
crudities, fyttes and tilts with thought, both knight and field are
covered with a cloth of gold so dazzling that the crystalline lenses of
our common vision are in danger of dissolution, and we vainly hope for
page or dame who will whisper to us the magic word that shall dispel
this scene of enchantment. Meanwhile, his sentences, like arrows, darken
that sun, himself, and we hasten with bits of smoked glass to view the
eclipse. Happily, we have chosen the right medium: the luminousness is
destroyed, but the opaqueness remains visible. Entrenched behind a
mannerism so adroitly constructed as at once to invite and repel
invasion, Emerson hurls out axioms and establishes precedents that prove
upon examination to be either admirably varnished editions of old truths
or statements of new ones of questionable legitimacy. Turn over leaf by
leaf these early essays, and doubts arise as to the validity of the
author's claim to originality. Carlyle has led before these pompous
parades of moral truths that your child recognizes in the nursery when
he makes war upon Johnny, who has knocked down his ten-pins. The law of
compensation and the existence of evil and consequent suffering are
actual entities to him. And yet these men do not belong to the same
school. The resemblance is on the surface. Emerson dabbles delicately,
yet, let it be conceded, energetically, with theories: his hands are
not the nervy, sinewy hands of the Viking of English literature; he
lacks his keen discernment of life, his quick comprehension of the
mutual relations of men and their times; he often wants his fine
analytical power. Carlyle sees in the life of a man his actions,
associations, aspirations, disappointments, successes, what deep
principles swayed him, what noble or ignoble nature provided his
impulses, and wrought his manhood: Emerson tests him by the great
problems of the universe, as he understands them, and educes from their
application to certain circumstances the character of the man. The one
is sagacious, argus-eyed; the other oracular, sibylline. And yet
Emerson, perhaps unconsciously, through admiration of the liberal views
and unquestioned bravery of his contemporary, adopted something like his
peculiarities of style and domesticated foreign idioms, that yet, like
tamed tigers, are not to be relied on in general society. As Carlyle was
the rhinoceros of English, Emerson aspired to be its hippopotamus,--both
pachyderms, and impenetrable to the bullets of criticism.

We have called Cousin an eclecticist. His Philosophy is a positive one
compared with that of Emerson. Here are scraps of Plato and Hegel, of
Porphyry and Swedenborg, of Æschylus and De Stael. Like the _Lehrer zu
Sais_, 'he looks on the stars, and imitates their courses and positions
in the sand.' In the obscurity that proves him great, for 'To be great
is to be misunderstood,' (is this the true 'misery of greatness' of
Milton?) it is hard to grasp his individuality. His haughty assertions
meet us at every turn. We no more dare to question them than so many
'centaurs or sphinxes or pallid gorgons' in a nightmare. But he relieves
our perplexity and gives us the key to that enigma himself. 'I unsettle
all things. No facts to me are sacred, none are profane. I simply
experiment, an endless seeker, _with no past at my back_.' What is this
but another version of Brahma? 'Far or forgot to me is near.' It is a
reflection of the Veda. 'I myself never was not, nor thou, nor all the
princes of the earth, nor shall we ever hereafter cease to be.' Spinoza,
the God-intoxicated man, never ventured on a declaration so bold. 'The
eternal wisdom of God, _Dei oeterna Sapientia_,' says he, more
modestly, 'is manifested in all things, but mostly in the human mind,
and most of all in Jesus Christ.' Here then we find the individuality of
Emerson, in his pure Pantheism, and, like the sword of Martin Antolinez,
it illumines all the field. Now we understand the constant warfare, the
'inevitable polarity,' in these pages. We forgive the occasional
inconsistencies of a man who is at once, by his own confession, 'God in
Nature and a weed by the wall.' His weakness strives after infinite
power. Conscious of a divinity within, he struggles to express it
worthily; but ah! says Hermes Trismegistus,--'It is hard to conceive
God, but impossible to express him.' Freedom within chafes at the iron
necessity without, 'a necessity deep as the world,' all-controlling,
imperial, which he acknowledges in the very depths of his being. But the
necessity of Emerson is a Hegelian element, such as every Aristophanic
comedy reveals. It is not the necessity of Fichte. 'I, with all that
relates to me, am imprisoned within the bonds of Necessity. I am one
link of her inflexible chain. A time was when I was not, so those have
assured me who were before me, and, as I have no consciousness of this
time, I am constrained to believe their testimony.' This is the
necessity of mere existence, which bears no relation to the will of the
man, not that inflexible destiny to which Emerson refers, that underlies
his continued being. The first does not oppose the 'instinct of an
activity free, independent,' which Emerson afterwards acknowledges. But
'I am God in Nature,' he repeats. 'The simplest person who in his
integrity proclaims God, becomes God.' 'This thorough integrity of
purpose,' writes Fichte, 'is itself the divine idea in its most common
form, and no really _honest_ mind is without communion with God.' In
Emerson the last height is reached. Brahm as Arjoon could do no more,
no less. His eye roams over the universe and sees only manifestations of
himself: the rose of morning, the shining splendor of the sea, the
purple of the distant mountains, are his dawn and noon and eve.

  'Alas! what perils do environ
  The man who meddles with--a siren!'

This may be Pantheism, but if it is not in accordance with the needs of
the ages, it is not the Pantheism of Giordano Bruno, it has little in
common with Plato. The great idea, the latter tells us, in the
_Republic_, 'the idea of the God, is perceived with difficulty, but can
not be perceived without concluding that in the visible world it
produces light, and the star whence the light directly comes, and in the
invisible world it directly produces Strength and Intelligence.'
Strength and Intelligence; whose correlatives are Progress and
Happiness. Are there among Emerson's earlier 'big-sounding sentences and
words of state,' any of which these are the legitimate fruit? Does the
soul of Infinite Love that beamed from Nazareth inform these pages with
the active, perfect, immortal spirit of truth? No. In these essays,
Emerson is a royalist, an aristocrat: he aims for the centralization of
power; he does not elevate the masses; he claims for himself, for all
nature, ultra-refined and cultivated, to whom the Open Secret 'has been
discovered, a separate and highly superior personality. 'The height, the
duty of man is to be self-sustained, to need no gift, no foreign force.
Society is good when it does not violate me, but best when it is likest
to solitude.' What an Apollo Belvidere the man would be, moulded by no
sympathies, standing aloof from his race, and independent of it,
disdainful, magnificent, a palace of ice, untenable by the summer heat
of Love. The true cosmopolite is the man of his age, even if he has
known no latitude but that of his birth, for he has won for himself the
highest individuality, and the greatest power of association with his
fellow-man, and the laws that govern man in his efforts to secure these
are the laws of the only true social science. Henry Carey says with
reason, in Italy the highest individuality was found when the Campagna
was filled with cities. It is a narrow belief that the highest
development of character demands solitude. Give to a young man, genial,
impulsive, and intelligent, only the companionship of forest, sea, and
mountain, and the chances are, he will become morbid, unpractical, and
selfish. But place him in the same position in the decline, or even in
the noon of life, when the different parts of his nature have become
subordinated to each other, by friction with diverse human organizations
about him, and he will carry a brave individuality among nature's gifts,
being himself her noblest development. 'Men,' says Emerson, 'resemble
their contemporaries even more than their progenitors. It is observed in
old couples, or in persons who have been house-inmates for a course of
years, that they grow alike: if they should live long enough we should
not be able to know them apart. Nature abhors such complaisances, which
threaten to melt the world into a lump, and hastens to break up such
maudlin agglutinations.' But Darby and Joan in the chimney-corner are
not types of mankind at large.

'Right ethics are central, and go from the soul outward. Gift is
contrary to the law of the universe. Serving others is serving myself. I
must absolve me to myself.' And what is myself? Let Fichte answer. 'I
affirm that in what we call the knowledge or the contemplation of
things, it is always ourselves that we know or contemplate: in every
sentiment of consciousness it is only modifications of ourselves that we
feel.' And again: 'The universe lives. From it arises a marvelous
harmony that resounds deliciously in the very depths of my heart. I live
in all that surrounds me. I recognize myself in every manifestation of
Nature, in the various forms of the beings about me, as a sunbeam that
sparkles in the million dew-drops that reflect it.... Within me Nature
is flesh, nerves, muscles; without, turf, plant, animal.'

Thus the semi-poetical Pantheism of the Bhagvat-Gita is reproduced,
beautiful, dreamy and mythical, but without the shadow of an addition.
Emerson presents to us the primeval faith in its imposing majesty and
terrible unity, but omits to mention its final winding up in the sacred
Maya or Illusion of the Hindoos. Though his early essays are brilliant
with many noble thoughts, the principles he advocates in them are
thoroughly unprogressive and unpractical. Plato is to him the
'exhaustive generalizer,' beyond whom it is folly to aspire, and by
whose stature he measures the nations. Boëthius, Rabelais, Erasmus,
Bruno, are only brisk young men translating into the vernacular wittily
his good things. St. Augustine, Copernicus, Newton, Behmen, Swedenborg
also 'say after him.' Emerson either addresses men whose ignorance he
greatly exaggerates, or else the ideal men of some centuries hence. His
mission is to the Past or the Future, not to the Present. His theories,
fine and venerable, as they are as here expressed, will never save a
soul, and men are still convinced that one sharp, decisive action is
worth a thousand fine strategic points on paper. Yet he won an enviable
and wide reputation by these his early works. 'There is merit without
elevation,' says La Rochefoucauld, 'but there is no elevation without
some merit.' Such we find him in his earlier essays, while he had as yet
only grasped at the Pantheistic wing of the Egyptian globe. In England,
in 1848, four thousand people crowded Exeter Hall, to hear the champion
of free thought from America. In Poland, men who knew him only by some
fragments in a Polish review, considered him the thinker of the age. His
courage was the talisman that won him admiration, and his earnestness,
visible through the veil of arrogance and petty affectations, secured
respect.

In _Representative Men_, the old Plato-worship illumined by
Schelling--_Wissenschaften_--is the key-note, and _English Traits_ is
the record of impressions received during the _Sturm und Drang_, or
rather 'cloud-compelling' days of the _Dial_ and _Essay_ developments. A
volume of _Poems_, published in 1856, recalls the old landmarks. If they
are rich in thought, they are also luxuriant in labyrinthine sentences
that puzzle even the initiated in the Ziph language. A thought once
extricated from a maze of inversion and entangled particles,

                  'we are in pain
  To think how to unthink that thought again.'

As a poet, Emerson is careless in versification. Like Friar John, of the
Funnels, he does not rhyme in crimson. His imagination is too bold to be
confined by the petty limits of trochee or iambus. Consequently his
pictures, when he condescends to paint, present rather a mass of
brilliant coloring than the well-finished detail that we demand in a
work of art. We look in vain in his poems for that effort of identity
between the conscious and the unconscious activities that Schelling
calls the sole privilege of genius. 'The infinite (or perfect) presented
as the finite, is Beauty.' Yet the single poem 'Threnody' would
establish Emerson's title to a place among the guild of poets. It is
classically beautiful and faultless in mechanism. Its flow is that of a
river over sands of gold, its solemn monotone broken now and then by
_staccato_ plaints, and the tender gold of its shining waters dimmed by
dark shadows, as rock beneath or tree above assails the gentle stillness
of its onward flow. Only that which comes from the heart goes again to
the heart. We find a new and delicious personality, a simple Greek
naturalness, in this exquisite dirge that scarcely owns the 'blasphemy
of grief,' that are wanted in his sententious instructions and
metaphysical wanderings.

We open Emerson's latest work, the _Conduct of Life_, in a hopeful mood.
Some mysterious sympathy, born from a natural faith in the progress of a
mind that had already proved its power by a daring and successful
onslaught upon old habits and associations, strengthened by a more
practical philosophy that dawns in _English Traits_, and culminating in
the intense passion of yearning in the _Phrenody_, justifies an
expectation that is gloriously realized. To the vigilant thinker a
decade is worth more than aeons to his sleeping brother. The Emerson of
to-day is not the Emerson of twenty or even ten years ago. Here is still
the true, epigrammatic style of his youth. He is as lavish of his
aphorisms, which, like the coins of Donatello, hang over our heads and
are free to every passer-by. Still an antiquarian, like Charles
Kingsley, he peers among Etruscan vases, Greek ruins, Norse runes and
ancient Dantean Infernos and Escurials for the models of a new
literature, a new art, a new life. But an enlarged spirit is visible on
every page.

      'The south wind is strengthened
  With the wild, sweet vigor of pine.'

We breathe a new air, gaze at new landscapes; a new climate is around
us. Take this book into the sultry midsummer, and its words summon the
ripe autumn with its fruits up from the west; read it by the light of
the blazing Yule log, and it will still recall the wild breezes and warm
suns of October. And it is this growing maturity of thought, this
evident tendency to a grand realization, that prove the honesty and
greatness of the man. He has worked perseveringly at his problems,
disdaining to be aided by criticism or crushed by opposition. His power
has silently gathered its energies in the mines of Thought, dark but
rich, striking shaft after shaft of vast promise. He is a gymnast
struggling now with the realities and possibilities of Life, and no
longer grappling with ignis-fatui in the marshes by the road. Now his
humor gleams genially in keen, swift comparisons: he sports with truths,
like a king tossing up his crown-jewels or Vishnu worlds in the
'Cosmogony of Menu,' and he dares do this because they are no longer his
masters, because he has made them subservient to an end--the great end
of the amelioration of his race.

It is this great element of sport that in its broadest development
elevates man to the far heights of his nature. There all is serene.

  'Sub pedibusque videt nubes et sidera Daphnis.'

Even the Hindoos, those earliest _literati_ of the young earth, whose
eyes peered first into the intricate machinery of Being, and brought
therefrom strange and glowing and miraculous impressions of its
mechanical appliances,--strong levers that men use now for
criticism,--recognized this element. Afar from the scene of their
sorrow, in the lotos a-bloom on Vishnu's head, they beheld the primitive
Humor, the laughter of infinite Strength springing from bar to bar in
the great gymnasium of life. Thus we read in the Cosmogony of Menu,--

  'Numerous world-developments there are, creation and extermination;
  _Sportively_ he produces either, the highest Creator for ever and ever.'

And says the more orthodox Schlegel, 'Nature was in its origin naught
else than a beautiful image, a pure emanation, a wonderful creation, a
_sport_ of omnipotent love.' And Schiller, whom an impregnable
aristocracy of soul shut out from the ranks of humorists, who rode in
his coupée, three feet above the level of the common stream of humanity,
and never drifted with its tide, yet, with clear-eyed insight into the
passions he did not share, acknowledged the _Spieltrieb_ as the highest
possibility of man's nature. 'The last perfection of our faculties,' he
says, 'is, that their activity, without ceasing to be sure and earnest,
becomes _sport_.

Emerson's humor is peculiar to himself. It is not the massive, exuberant
play of Jean Paul. He does not challenge the slow-riding moon to a
cricket match, nor hurl the stars from their orbits in his mad game in
the skies. Neither has he the brusque but more solid geniality of
Lessing. Imagination fails him for the one, and a strong power of logic
for the other. But he tears the clouds of ignorance and prejudice that
are beneath his feet into ribbons and sends them streaming through
space, filmy banners of blue and white, heavily charged with the
electricity of his enfranchised thought, and illumines the world with
the lightnings of their chance collision. His humor is rather latent
than striking. It does not gleam through showy words, the paraphernalia
of a harlequinade, but peeps out from the homeliest phrases, and
convulses some simple law of our nature with laughter at its own
grotesqueness. Formerly, imprisoned as it was within unyielding limits,
it was as imposing as a miniature Gothic cathedral in a dark cave, but
now the queen-rose of the architrave blows fresh and sweet in the sunny
air. Step by step Emerson has traveled the great road worn by so many of
old, passing from the 'ideal' to the real, from reverie to a cheerful
awaking,--and the prophecy of genius is at last fulfilled.

For at last he has come out from the misty twilight of Transcendentalism
into the clear daylight of common sense. And surely it is not for us to
decry the bridge, or, if you please, the tunnel through which he has
crossed. He agitates the necessity and practicability of social reform,
but it must be through individual effort. Years ago he decided that
society was in a low state, now he calls on all men to put their
shoulders to the wheel and lift it out of the Slough of Despond, where
it has been floundering to no purpose for so long. His investigations
are aided by a keen shrewdness, that bespeaks the practical man, who
knows where to find the vulnerable heel of circumstance, and aims at it
his swiftest arrows. In his essay on Wealth this sharp practical insight
hardens every sentence. The sentimentalist, who believes, with Henri
Blaze, that romance must be the issue of this marriage of Nature with
Religion, betakes himself in consternation to his dainty, poetical
dreams of a Utopia that shall arise, ready made, from the promising
East. The capitalist, who sneers at Philosophy, and would ignorantly
couple Faust with the Mysteries of Udolpho, or Andromeda with Jack the
Giant-killer, rubs his hands gleefully over our author's nice
appreciation of capital and the mysteries of its sudden fluctuations.
'Every step of civil advancement makes a dollar worth more.' 'Political
Economy is as good a book wherein to read the life of man, and the
ascendency of laws over all private and hostile influences, as any Bible
which has come down to us.' 'The right merchant is one who has the just
average of faculties we call _common sense_; a man of a strong affinity
for facts, who makes up his decision on what he has seen. He is
thoroughly persuaded of the truths of arithmetic.... He knows that all
goes on the old road, pound for pound, cent for cent, for every effect a
perfect cause, and that good luck is another name for tenacity of
purpose.' 'The basis of political economy is non-interference.' The
merchant looks narrowly at his theory of compensation, and finds it
tallies well with the result of his own after-dinner meditations,
expressed of mornings to doubting confreres. The philanthropist rejoices
at the crushing of the shell of foppish indolence, the heralded downfall
of the petty vanities, sprung, Heaven knows with what reason, from the
loins of Norman robbers, of Huguenot refugees, of Puritans beggared and
ignorant, and centered in some wide-spreading genealogical tree, that a
whole family unite to cultivate into a banyan that may embrace the whole
little world of their satellites with inflexible ligatures. Thus 'the
doctrine of the snake' is to go out, and good men see that the sinews of
society are to be strengthened.

It is worth while to observe, in that first chapter on Fate, how
admirably Emerson provides for the exercise of a free activity in every
man. 'Every spirit makes its house, but afterward the house confines the
spirit.' This leaves no room for the coward, who declines to work out
his salvation, even with fear and trembling. It summons all men to clear
away the brush and dry leaves of a perverted fatalism,

  'To make the absolute best of what God made,'

to sharpen every faculty, expand every capacity, and bow only to the
Eternal.

  Æterna æternus tribuit, mortalia confert
  Mortalis; divina Deus, peritura caducus.'

Here is the choice, eternal or mortal, divine or perishable. This drives
men to seek their Paradise in Culture. Well, they find in it a Beulah,
and beyond rolls the Jordan of the soul. Men have made a dwarfed
Providence to suit their dwarfed aims, an amorphous Deity, whose
attributes are imperfect, disproportioned. But yesterday I heard a
Frenchman, who has no acquaintance with our literature and never heard
of Emerson, say, 'God, with the multitude, is no more than a feeble old
man, whose whims and whose age we must respect. What is to become of his
high claims upon creatures who are to work out an infinite purpose? _Il
faut honorer la vieillesse?_ Emerson had anticipated this with his
'pistareen Providence, dressed in the clean shirt and white neckcloth of
a student of divinity;' yet it proves that minds are arriving by widely
diverging paths at the same truths.

There is nothing ideal or vague in the vigorous efforts he makes in this
volume to rise to political economy and to set forth the practical
action of capital and industry on life. He says no longer, 'To me
commerce is of trivial import,' but endorses Henry Carey's theory of
wealth, and acknowledges unreservedly, in its broadest sense, the
universal domination of Law. Statistics bourgeon into prophecies under
his pen: he does not disdain their significance, but rather aids their
influence with all the power which his spasmodic style has given in
drawing our grotesque-loving public to him. We suspect Buckle, and feel
a cheerful sense of Bacon and Comte. In his plea for socialism, for
education, we see the dawn of the ultimate triumph and dignity of labor.
'We shall one day,' he says, 'supersede Politics by Education.' Pause
well here, you who grope forward into the dark future with misgiving and
faithless hearts. This is not the chimerical delusion of a
transcendental philosophy, this death-knell to the Slavery of Ignorance
and Vice. Recognize in it the wide generosity that says with Leczinsky,
_'Je ne connais d'avarice permise que celle du temps_.' Here is wealth
for want, industry for indolence, distinction for degradation, virtue
for vice. It beams clear as the red of morning. Hear it in the whistle
of the engine, the roar of the loom, the plowing of the steam-ship
through battling waves, the tick of the telegraph, the whirr of the mill
wheel, the click of the sewing machine; and he who doubts still may
listen to the voice of cannon, the whistling of lances and the clash of
swords, and catch the notes of the same chant with a sterner chorus.
Hear even the idealist Schelling awaiting that broader freedom than any
we have yet known:--

'The third period in history will be that when that which in preceding
periods appeared as Destiny or Nature, shall develop and manifest itself
as Providence. Thus what seems to us as the work of Destiny or Nature is
already the beginning of a Providence, which reveals itself but
imperfectly. When we shall look for the birth of this period, man can
not say, but know that when it is, _God will be_.'

And Emerson takes up the strain with words of fire:--

'If Love, red Love, with tears and joy; if Want, with his scourge; if
War, with his cannonade; if Christianity, with its charity; if Trade,
with its money; if Art, with its portfolios; if Science, with her
telegraphs through the deeps of space and time, can set man's dull
nerves throbbing, and, by loud taps on the tough chrysalis, can break
its walls and let the new creature emerge erect and free,--make way and
sing paean! The age of the quadruped is to go out--the age of the brain
and the heart is to come in. The time will come when the evil forms we
have known can no more be organized. Man's culture can spare nothing,
wants all the material. He is to convert all impediments into
instruments, all enemies into power. The formidable mischief will only
make the more useful slave. And if one shall read the future of the race
hinted in the organic effort of Nature to mount and meliorate, and the
corresponding impulse to the Better in the human being, we shall dare
affirm that there is nothing he will not overcome and convert, until at
last culture shall absorb the chaos and gehenna. He will convert the
Furies into Muses, and the hells into benefit.'



SPHINX AND OEDIPUS.

  Why poets should sing of this WAR
    In rapturous anthems of praise,
  I know not. Its meanings so jar,
    Its purpose hath so many ways,
  The SPHINX never readeth the whole.
  'Tis a riddle propounded to me
    That I am unskillful to tell.
  The Sphinx by the way-side, I see,
    Is watching (I know her so well)
  To mangle us, body and soul.

  Is it 'Freedom, that Bondage may live,'
    Which cheers on the North to the fray?
  Is it 'Slavery more Freedom to give,'
    That slogans the Southern foray?
  She asks, and awaits your reply:
  Now answer, ye _marshal_-bred bands
    Whose business is murder and blood;
  Ye priests with incarnadined hands;
    Ye peace-men who 'fight for the good;'
  Now solve her this riddle or die!

  'Our Flag,' the conservative says,
    'Waves over the land of the free;'
  God save us!--I think many ways,
    But still 'tis a riddle to me,
  Whose mystery is hid from the eye;
  But Oedipus, showing the souls
    All fettered, imbruted and blained,
  Who point where its blazonry rolls,
    And wail the sad plaint of the chained,--
  Asserts, 'There is, somewhere, a lie.'



THE ACTRESS WIFE.


I had been sent by my New York employers to superintend a branch of
their business in a southern city. On the evening of a brilliant
Sabbath, as I walked musingly through the cemetery, where thousands of
the city's dead had found a calm and sequestered resting place, my
attention was drawn to a monumental structure, the character and
symbolism of which defied my comprehension. On a grassy mound, in a
grove of oak trees, almost concealing it from observation, rose a
mausoleum of dark stone, which at the first glance I conjectured to
represent a Druidical temple. At the four corners were the carved
resemblances of oak trees, the trunks forming columns for the structure,
and the limbs branching out, intertwining above into a graceful
net-work. The spaces between the trunks--forming the four sides of the
edifice--were simply plain, deep-set slabs. The design could not be
mistaken. It was that of an oak grove inclosing a tomb. But whose, and
why this singular design? There was no inscription to afford an
explanation. Another view added to the mystery. Standing in the middle
of one of the sides, underneath the arch formed by the branching limbs,
was an exquisite female figure of white marble. One foot and the body
advanced, one hand grasping her robe, the other extended pointing into
the distance, her head turned to one side, the lips parted as if
speaking, the countenance expressive of the enthusiasm of love combined
with impetuous resolution, an attire of the most perfect simplicity,
similar to that worn by Roman maidens, and with a plain bandeau around
the head,--the whole presented a figure of perfect symmetry and
life-like impassioned earnestness, as beautiful as it was
unintelligible. I sought through all my recollections of ancient and
modern impersonations--of mythology, history, Scripture, and poetry--but
could find nothing to furnish a solution. The structure and the figure
surpassed even conjecture. Velleda, and Lot's wife, according to an old
picture in the catechism, were the only resemblances I could recall, but
the surroundings evidently did not suit the types.

While in my embarrassment, I became dimly conscious of seeing an elderly
man coming towards me from behind the structure, but should have
received no distinct impression of his presence had he not approached
the gate of the inclosure upon which I chanced to be leaning, and mildly
requested my permission to pass. Recalled to myself, I saw by a hasty
glance that the person before me was a man apparently some sixty years
of age, to whom time had imparted only a 'richness' of appearance,
exhibiting the gentleman at every point, and with an aspect of the most
profound grief, tempered with resignation, benevolence, and urbanity.
Having politely assisted his egress, he passed onward with a graceful
gesture of acknowledgment. He had taken but a few steps, when the
thought occurred to me that he must have come from within the perplexing
structure by some secret door, and that he could unravel its mystery. I
was impelled to follow him, and proceeded hastily to do so, when the
indelicacy of my intrusion on one evidently connected with the grief
which the monument was designed to commemorate, flashed upon me, and I
suddenly paused. He probably observed my rapid footsteps and their
pause, for he turned toward me, when in a confused manner I stammered
forth an apology, which, undesignedly on my part, involved a statement
of the contradictory motives which had influenced me. With the most
quiet and prepossessing demeanor he questioned me if I were a stranger
visiting the city, and in reply I gave him all the necessary particulars
concerning myself,--that my name was Waters, that I was employed by the
firm of Brown, Urthers & Co., managing their branch business. A
conversation ensued, which elicited the fact that the gentleman had
been acquainted with my father a score of years before. The latter,
whose head lies on his last pillow, was then a clerk in the New York
house of Sampson, Bell & Co. The gentleman before me was Mr. Bell, who
during the existence of the house had been first a clerk, and
subsequently the partner who conducted their branch business at the city
of my own present residence.

With this preliminary acquaintance, he kindly took my arm, and, leading
me back to the monument, informed me, in a manner entirely free from any
poignancy, or from that lionizing of costly memorials to departed
friends so often indulged in, that it was erected to the memory of his
wife; that she had formerly been an actress of celebrity, attaining
peculiar distinction by her representation of the character of Imogen,
in Shakespeare's Cymbeline; and that the marble figure portrayed her at
the utterance of the words--

  'Oh for a horse with wings! Hear'st thou, Pisanio?
  He is at Milford Haven. Read and tell me
  How far 'tis thither ... Say, and speak quick,
  How far it is
  To this same blessed Milford;'[5]

and that the architecture of the tomb was intended to correspond with
the period at which the incidents of the drama transpired.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. Bell's ordinary life was one neither of seclusion nor of widely
extended social courtesies; but of active benevolence and cheerful
retirement, disfigured neither by ostentatious philanthropy nor studied
recluseness. A son and daughter who had hardly passed the confines of
juvenility, with the necessary attendants, formed his household. For the
rest, he lived apparently as a gentleman of taste and wealth might be
supposed to do.

In this household I gradually acquired an intimacy. This was partially
owing to the circumstance that I had solaced the many lonely hours of my
bachelorhood in acquiring by memory and rehearsing many scraps of
poetry. Mr. Bell's favorite method of passing the evening was in
teaching his children to read and declaim poetry with dramatic
expression, and in this delightful occupation I was an acceptable
assistant. Many were the domestic dramas which we produced,--pieces of
our own invention,--in addition to our readings from the poets.

       *       *       *       *       *

Frederick and Clara were to pass a year or two in schools at the North,
and thither Mr. B. removed. The first winter of their absence, I
received a letter from him relating that Clara had succumbed to the
rigor of a northern climate. Soon came the father and brother with the
corpse of their darling, which was placed within the cemetery mausoleum.
Into this I entered for the first time, but the interior differed in no
respect from others. Within its walls the mother and daughter were left
together. In less than a week it was again opened, to receive the son.
He had been drowned while attempting the rescue of a companion.

To my surprise at the time, the desolate father exhibited no grief.
There was in his demeanor an appearance of satisfaction that their
removal had preceded his own,--that he would leave none of his heart's
treasures behind him, but be enabled to claim them all in the future
existence.

       *       *       *       *       *

The days lengthened and shortened through three years, in which the
routine of my life was varied by no incident. With Mr. Bell my relations
continued the same. At all times he spoke cheerfully of the past and the
future, frequently giving utterance to the feelings above attributed to
him. In one of these conversations I ventured to inquire concerning his
wife. His whole countenance was irradiated. It seemed that some bright
and glorious recollection of her had been recalled. The fancy impressed
itself on me that he had a visible consciousness of her presence. The
animation subsided into a quiet self-communing, and he soon proceeded to
relate the history of her whose marble similitude had so excited my
wonder and admiration.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is nearly thirty years since I came from a New England country house
to this city, as a clerk in the branch house of Sampson Brothers. I was
then a raw youth; but my New England training had given me the serious
and money-seeking characteristics of that part of our country. For ten
years I applied myself exclusively to the details of business, having
but few associates, devoting my leisure to self-improvement, and
steadily accumulating a competency. On the death of a member of the firm
I took his place. Five years passed, and I had attained a fortune. Some
friends from the North called upon me in their travels, and during the
week of their visit, I participated in more gaieties than had been
comprised in my whole previous life. One evening it was proposed to
visit the theatre. Into a place of dramatic representation I had never
before entered, and the enchantment of all its accessories was
irresistible. But when the heroine of the evening appeared, I was
deprived of every faculty except that of the most absorbing adoration.
What was the drama enacted mattered not,--I had no perception of it, nor
of anything except the person who had fascinated me. Tall in figure,
commanding in gesture, scarcely developed into the full wealth of
womanhood, with an eye of piercing blackness, yet changing with every
gradation of passion, profuse black tresses, and a voice whose
intonations swayed the audience to every mood of feeling, SHE for the
first time appeared to me.

Well, I had passed my _premiére jeunesse_, and had arrived at that age
when a passion, once called into active life, becomes unappeasable. I
need not particularize the effects upon me of my first experience of
love. For weeks and months I had no desire, no ability to do anything
else than frequent the theatre. My want of acquaintance with all the
peculiar circumstances connected with actors and actresses almost
maddened me; for I knew of no method by which I might ever be able to
exchange a word with her who had become to me more than an idol to a
devotee, or the dream of fame to a poet. I sickened. To the physician
called in attendance, after much shrewd questioning on his part, I
revealed my secret. With a jocose laugh he left me, but in a half-hour
returned, accompanied by a somewhat vulgar-looking female, whom he
introduced as the mother of Evelyn Afton--the name of her for whom my
life was wasting and my soul pining.

The mother was the widow of an actor, and Evelyn her only daughter, who
had been bred for the stage, and her beauty and ability having secured
success, she had been enabled to attain all the accomplishments of
cultivated womanhood.

If anything could have disenchanted me, the manner of the mother would
certainly have had such an effect. She regarded my passion as simply a
business affair. She would present me to her daughter that day, and I
might contract an engagement, if I would make certain liberal allowances
and settlements. But a recurrence to these matters creates disgust. It
is sufficient to say, that I surpassed in my provisions all the demands
of the mother's avarice, and in a few months Evelyn and I were married.

There was on the part of my beautiful bride an inexplicable
expression,--a demeanor in which cold and haughty reserve blended
strangely with an utter carelessness, and occasional rapidly checked
electric ebullitions of passion to the lip and eye, but never reaching
words, followed by a passive yet proud languor. I was too happy to
observe or speculate. I received merely the impression, but was too much
occupied in arranging for my wedded life, too much absorbed in the
feeling of bliss, to analyze it. I believed in her love,--that was
sufficient for me. In after years I resolved the impression into its
prismatic elements, and thus it is I am able to delineate them.

Time passed. The extravagance of my first raptures gradually subsided
into a more settled but not less complete happiness. In all her
attentions to myself my wife was perfect. In society she was supremely
brilliant and fascinating; in private her demeanor preserved the
characteristics of which I have spoken. I accepted it as her natural
manner, and did not give it further thought. My son Frederick was born,
and for a short time, under the influence of maternal impulses, my wife
exhibited animation and emotions which I had not before
witnessed,--soon, however, relapsing into her previous demeanor. The
same contrasts--less strongly marked--occurred upon the birth of my
daughter.

       *       *       *       *       *

Returning one evening from business, at the usual dinner hour, I
visited, before entering my residence, as was frequently my custom, the
stables, and inquired, in passing, of the coachman--a favorite negro--if
he had driven his mistress out that afternoon. He replied,--

'No, massa; Missers' brudder on here; been wid her dese two hours.'

The answer created much surprise, as I had not been informed that my
wife had any relatives. A moment's reflection, however, on some of the
peculiar connections of theatrical life, led me to believe that such a
person might be in existence, who, for some unpleasant reasons, had not
been recognized. Respecting my wife's secret, I passed on without
further inquiry; and, to avoid an interview with the visitor, ascended a
staircase into a conservatory connected with the upper apartments,
intending to remain there until he had departed. As I entered the
conservatory I was startled by the sound of voices, which proceeded from
the adjoining apartment,--my wife's _boudoir_,--and was transfixed at
beholding through the shrubbery, in the dim light of the room, my wife
sitting upon a sofa, exhibiting traces of powerful but suppressed
emotion, such as I had never seen in her, and partly kneeling, partly
reclining at her side, a young man, apparently in the most violent and
passionate entreaty.

'O, Evelyn! Evelyn!' he said, 'will you bid me leave you thus? Will
you have no pity? For years I toiled at my art, poor and desolate,
in a foreign land, sustained only by the hope of achieving
success--fame--fortune--to lay them before you;--your love gifting me
with all my ideal life--the hope of winning you the only incentive of my
labor. When I heard of your marriage, I dashed away my chisels, with an
oath never to resume them. In mad desperation, I destroyed the works of
years. But I have lived on in solitude and wretchedness, unvisited even
by the imaginations which once made life glorious. Now I have come to
claim you--to take you from him who robbed me. Such a marriage as yours
is not valid before just heaven. Renounce your contract. Fly with me to
Italy,--let the world say what it will. With you at my side I can create
works that will compel homage; knowing our own purity, we can laugh at
its scorn, and, contented with each other, despise both its friendship
and its enmity.'

'Stop, Frank!' she replied, 'and leave me. Do not prolong this agony.
What you wish is, it must be, impossible. It is not for myself that I
deny it. God knows I could brave any thing for you. But to yield your
request would only aid your ruin. No, no, Frank; you are mad!'

'If I am not, I soon shall be!' he murmured bitterly.

'I shall fulfill my contract to the letter,' she continued; 'or, rather,
that which was made for me. I consented to be the sacrifice, and I will
accept the fire and the knife resolutely. But you--you--should I link
myself to your fate, I should draw you to perdition. Even in the air of
Italy, my presence would be poison to you. I speak not of guilt. But my
connection--a perjured wife--would debar you from the companionship of
all that is noble and good and beautiful. I am but a woman--one woman.
Could I have been placed at your side, I might have assisted your
conceptions and stimulated your aspirations. But now--_now_--it can not
be. Go--seek some other. There are many worthy of your choice. You can
find them. If not, live for your art, Frank, and forget me.'

'My art!' he replied, with passionate bitterness; 'curses on it! Aye, I
can almost curse the Heaven which gifted me with "ideality." What is it,
but unsatisfied mockery of longing?--the execution always failing to
meet the promise of the conception. My art! What can the cold marble be
to me, when no longer animated by the soul with which my hope of your
presence infused it? My art! Would to God that a divine flash of genius
would impel me to wield the chisel but for one short month, and then
that I might expire by the side of my creation!'

'No, no, Frank,' she interposed; 'you will live long, become renowned,
and create not one, but many works for fame; and I shall read of your
successes and rejoice in them. More than that, I shall be present with
you always in spirit and sympathy. Think of that, Frank. Make me your
ideal still, if you will. This will be exquisite satisfaction to me. Let
me think that I am always inspiring you. Work for me, Frank.'

The young man buried his face in the sofa and sobbed passionately. My
wife bent over, and, unknown to him, unless he felt her breath, gently
kissed the curls of his hair. 'Come,' she said, 'now you must be gone.
Neither of us can endure this longer. Go--go. Do not give me a word or a
look. You would only rend my heart, without killing me.'

Presently he rose, and, with an effort at self-control, walked towards
the door, but stopped and faltered forth, 'Must this be? Is this then
our last farewell?'

She merely waved her hand, hiding her face.

The young man sprang to her side, fell upon his knees, grasped her hand,
and covered it with kisses, then rushed to the door and was gone.

My wife flung herself upon the sofa and burst forth into a flood of
tears. Never before had I beheld her weeping.

During this interview I stood like a statue. It seemed to me that I had
lived an age,--such a life as those may be supposed to have, who, as
related in Eastern tales, are transformed to stone for a century,
retaining their consciousness. A revolution had gone through its entire
progress in me. For the first time did I understand how selfish had been
my adoration of my wife,--how I had merely purchased her of her scheming
and avaricious mother,--how I had wronged her and one who loved
her,--how incompatible with her youth and brilliancy were my maturity
and unpoetic nature. Her conduct since our marriage was now fully
explained. My love for her was immeasurably increased, but I loathed
myself. I had but one thought, how reparation could best be made. I
swear before Heaven, that could it have been possible without staining
her name, I would have torn her from my heart, and given her to the one
who rightfully claimed her from me. This was impossible. Only by guilt
or vulgar disgrace could she become his. Then the question took
possession of me, 'How shall I win her love?--how shall I win her love?'
This repeated itself again and again, with a distinct and fearful
iteration, as if a demon were whispering it in my ear. A thousand mad
thoughts took possession of me, and suicide thrust itself on me. For a
few moments,--though it seemed an age of experience,--I was insane. The
blow had dispossessed my reason. Dimly, as in a drunken man, however,
still remained the ordinary instincts, and that perception, which, like
the muscles of respiration, keeps ever at work, let the mind be filled
as it may with thoughts and purposes that seem entirely to engross and
absorb it. I crept silently from the conservatory, and passing out into
the street, entered the house at the front. Dinner was soon served, as
usual, and my wife took her seat, with her customary manner. I, too, was
confident, exhibited no variation from mine. Her self-possession was
the result of control, mine of mere numbness. The machinery of life was
temporarily continuing its regular motion without any supervision.

This benumbed condition continued through a large portion of a sleepless
night. The unintermitted repetition of the query, 'How shall I win her
love?' tortured me into an agony like that experienced in a nightmare
dream. Slowly and gradually my reason began to work, and I methodically
commenced to elaborate a system by which to acquire what was now the
chief object of my life,--my wife's _love_. I arose in the morning
determined to obtain this, even should every other pursuit be
relinquished and every other desire sacrificed. My system was formed.
Life thereafter was to be devoted to it.

My first object was to create a change in her feelings toward my
rival;--not to destroy her love for him,--of the futility of such an
attempt I was aware,--but to modify the cold, desperate, and resentful
feeling of disappointment she entertained; to superimpose upon her
thwarted passion, which would continue to regard him as a hero of
romance, another condition of feeling, that should bring him before her
in a different aspect, and to rouse her listlessness by suggesting
something to be done which should be connected with him,--the only
incentive, I was assured, sufficiently powerful to stimulate her to
action. I had a patient whom I intended to treat in the most delicate
and scientific manner. I determined to appeal to her benevolence,--a
feeling which, though latent, always exists in a true woman. My
disconsolate hero of romance was to be brought down and made a mortal,
capable of receiving favors. Instead of being the object of love, he was
to become one of charity.

'My dear,' said I, one evening, with a suppressed yawn, as I was
perusing a magazine, 'I have been reading a stupid account of the
pictures and statues, and so on, in Florence. These things are very
fine, doubtless, to those who understand and appreciate them. My early
education in aesthetics was neglected; or rather the hard necessities of
my youth allowed me no opportunity to cultivate them. But it is a good
thing to encourage art, and I have been thinking it might be well for us
to have some paintings and statuary. If I attempt to select them I shall
be tricked and bamboozled into purchasing mere daubs and botches. Would
it not be well to engage some person of judgment--perhaps an artist--to
go to Italy and make an investment for us? I know none such, but you
have been more associated with artists, and if you can secure one, I
will give him _carte blanche_. Will you please make some inquiries?'

I had kept my eyes on the magazine, but felt that she was looking at me
with scrutinizing glances. Had she suspected my knowledge of her love,
she would probably--with some of that passion of which I had been a
secret witness--have declared the whole matter, and then, with scornful
upbraidings of my hypocrisy, perhaps have left me forever. I was careful
to avoid any such premature explosion, and with another yawn continued
carelessly turning the leaves of the magazine. Reassured, she replied
that she would undertake the business. With a hasty glance, through
apparently sleepy eyes, I saw that I had roused her,--that she was
already intent on planning occupation for Frank, and laying out for him
a course of success and honor, through the stimulus which would be
imparted by the execution of a commission of her bestowal. Another
feeling I was delighted to see exhibited. She felt that she was now
about to render him some equivalent for his disappointment. Already was
he become to her less Frank the lover than Frank the artist, whose
fortunes she was to assist. I will make you yet his lady-patroness,
thought I. I foresaw that some of my rival's productions would grace my
apartments, in a year or two. But, better his imagination than his
heart, said I to myself,--better the works of his chisel, which I and
all the throng of the public can eulogize, than the secret, doating
passion confined to the intense idolatry of one breast.

After a few premonitory nods I retired.

I did not trouble myself about the manner in which the commission was
conveyed to Frank. Thither, however, it went, as I learned in after
time.

I well understood that to attempt rivaling Frank in matters cognate with
his own department of talent, would render me only as ridiculous as an
old beau who seeks to gain favor with the girls by imitating with his
rouge, hair dyes, and laced waistcoats, the freshness and symmetry of
youth. But I must endeavor to establish some common ground on which I
and the magnificent creature at my side could meet and hold converse. I
must find it in literature. In a garret over my store I had a safe and
some papers conveyed, ostensibly for attention to private business. I
kept my room securely locked. Thither, from time to time, I secretly
carried a library of English classics, and all works of the day which
received public intention. I revived all my early recollections of
literature, and made myself acquainted with the lighter contemporaneous
works, which are the most prolific topics of conversation in society.
Under pretense of business I devoted every moment I could to my solitary
chamber. Never did college student, cramming himself for examination,
labor more intently than I. I stored my mind not only with words, but
ideas. I committed to memory innumerable fine passages. Personally, I
was well repaid for my toil. Literature is always solacing, elevating,
and ennobling. The Bedouin of the desert is less of a robber and
murderer while singing the songs of his national poets.

My acquisitions, however, were carefully hidden. They were for future
use. At present I continued to talk nothing that was beyond the scope of
the newspapers.

Thus some months passed. It was near the close of summer, and the
gorgeous autumnal season was at hand. I designed to attempt something
which would create a change in my wife's nature,--her acquired nature,
to substitute some healthful exuberance for the weary listlessness which
had become habitual to her. The physical is the foundation of all other
departments of humanity. With a physical system of glowing health,
mental or emotional or moral disease is impossible; and the converse is
true, that when these exist, the physical system must deteriorate. I
must then give a filip to my wife's physical vigor,--dissipate her
desperateness and her love in the same manner in which a good game of
billiards drives from a man the blues. I must remove all her morbidness.
Where could I go but to the great mother Nature? If physical enjoyment,
in connection with an appreciative view of the beauties and glories
everywhere spread before humanity, on the mountains, the plains, the
valleys, and the oceans, does not revive and restore, the case is
hopeless. My wife was an excellent equestrian. Her theatrical experience
had familiarized her with firearms. She had a cultivated taste for
scenery, and some degree of skill in delineating it. Far off, then, into
the prairies and the western mountains, into scenes away from the beaten
track, where everything should be as dissimilar as possible from all
previous life, I determined to lead her.

My arrangements were quickly and quietly made,--my equipments secretly
completed. On pretense of visiting business acquaintances, I requested
my wife to accompany me on a journey to St. Louis. With her usual
passiveness, she consented. In a few days we were on our way. After our
arrival, we made trips into the interior. Gradually, I diverged from
civilization. Professing to find an unexpected charm in the novelty of
this, I led the way still onward. We traveled on horseback,--often amid
solitudes. I first astonished my wife by occasionally displaying on the
game my precision with the rifle. (I had spent scores of hours at a
shooting gallery in St. Louis.) I persuaded her to try a few shots. (I
had provided a beautiful light rifle for her use.) Ambition to shoot
well soon possessed her. By degrees, our open-air life gave her blood a
bound which no secret grief could counteract. The excitement of the
chase on our fleet horses, the incidents of our hunting adventures, and
the novelty of our associations, created a glow of spirit which burst
forth in unrestrained conversation, mirth, and song. Now, then, I began
to display my literary acquisitions. During the long evenings in our
tent, or the wigwam of an Indian, or the log cabin of a backwoods
settler, we alternated in reading aloud from an excellent collection of
books I had prepared. Reading introduced topics of conversation, in
which I employed all that I had in memory, and all that had been created
in myself by the electric collision of great authors. Never did a
professional wit more ingeniously produce as sudden coruscations the
_bon mots_ tediously studied; never did a philosophical
conversationalist use to more advantage the wisdom conned over in the
closet. I talked eloquently, profoundly. I rattled forth witticisms and
poetical quotations. I amazed her. The man whom she thought incapable of
any ideas beyond his ledger, and the stock market, and the cotton
warehouse, was revealed as a person of taste and reading. Instead of
appearing to her merely an indifferent person, to whom her fate had been
chained, and whom she regarded in somewhat the same manner as Prometheus
did his rock, I had become a pleasant companion,--a being of more
vitality than she had perhaps ever met.

Still, I had not excited the emotion of love. I did not expect it at
this stage of the treatment, but I observed its absence with a pang.

For woman's love is not a slowly extorted tribute to excellence, but a
spontaneous bestowal. Unlike evil spirits, which, according to popular
superstition, need urging over the threshold before they can enter and
possess the hearthstone. Love leaps in unsolicited at any unguarded
aperture, and becomes master of the household.

Only genius could command her homage, and to this I could make no
pretension.

Love is oftener a response to appreciation, than a concession granted
upon a rational estimate of him who seeks it. She did not yet know that
I appreciated her. The time for her to learn it had not come.

The casket of a woman's heart is oftener forced than opened with a key.

Love had once entered my wife's soul, and, after accomplishing his
mischief, left demons in possession. I could not exorcise--only charm
them. For the present,--perhaps for years,--I must be content with this.
In the distant future, which had a dim horizon of hope, I expected to
make some final stroke by which to expel them. What it should be, I
could scarcely anticipate. Necessarily, I foresaw, it must be like the
highwayman's challenge, 'Money or life.' After becoming endurable to
her, in fact, inveigling her into unforeseen familiarity, I must
suddenly throw off the mask, and demand the love for which I had waited
and plotted. Either she would surrender, or there would be a tragedy.

The denouement came in a way of which I had no prescience. You will
learn it in the due course of my narrative.

But she charmed me, fearfully, when she appeared, after a morning's
chase, resplendent in the fullness of her healthful beauty, beaming with
excitement, her superb figure undulating gracefully to the restive
movements of her horse. I could have prostrated myself before her, in a
wild worship of her beauty. She had that quality which is so rare in
woman, but so admirable where it exists,--entire fearlessness; for it is
a most absurd mistake to suppose that masculine _virtues_ can not
co-exist in woman with the most lovable, feminine delicacy. Partly her
unblenching courage was the product of a strong will in a splendid
physical organization; partly, alas! it arose from a disregard of life,
which she felt was worthless.

One morning, as we turned our faces homeward, our Indian escort and
baggage having preceded us, we were riding quietly along, with no
intention of hunting, but accidentally coming on a few buffaloes
separated from their herd, the temptation to attack them was too strong
to be resisted. We both urged our horses in pursuit, and, overtaking
them, fired simultaneously at different animals. My wife's quarry--a
stout bull--continued his flight, not being fatally wounded. Suddenly,
some of our Indians who had heard the shot, and started to return, came
into view over the brow of a hill, and the buffalo, thinking himself
surrounded, turned and rushed at my wife. She avoided the onset by a
quick whirl of her horse. The buffalo gathered himself and returned to
the charge with a roar of rage. Not having reloaded my rifle, I spurred
forward, and leaped my steed full upon his massy form. We all fell
together, and when, after several seconds, I extricated myself, my wife
was standing on the buffalo's neck to prevent him from rising. I plunged
my knife into his chest, but in the mad struggle of death he partially
rose, throwing her to the ground, while one of his horns entered her
side. Never before, since I commenced my system, had I lost my studied
calmness. But the sight of her blood, dyeing her garments and the grass,
made me frantic. I tore away her vestments from the wound, pressed my
lips in an agony to the gash, and then, hastily stanching the blood,
bore her, nearly senseless as she was, in an embrace, the thrilling
energy of which can not be told, to a rivulet in the vicinity. Happily
the wound was but a lesion of the flesh, for which my surgery was
sufficient, and by the aid of stimulants she revived, subsequently
recovering without injury.

Since my fatal discovery in the conservatory, I had not before touched
her person, except for such courtesies as any gentleman may render a
lady of his acquaintance. Now, with my arms clasping her, my veins
throbbed as in a delirium. The tender light of her eyes, as she revived,
resulting partially from weakness and partially from a natural
thankfulness, moved me to the very point of prematurely throwing myself
at her feet and disclosing all. By a great throe I controlled myself. As
she resumed her natural condition, I fell back into that most ordinary
and common-place character,--a self-satisfied husband,--qualified
somewhat by sympathy and attention, of course, but without the least
infusion of sentiment.

Oh, if she had known of the volcano under this exterior! If she had
known how, at that moment, I could have exclaimed, 'Give me your love,
or here let us die!'

       *       *       *       *       *

So, after various desultory wanderings, we returned home. Home! how I
dreaded it, for I knew the power of association--the effect of
localities and customary external habits on the feelings. You may take a
careworn, dyspeptic, melancholy man out for a week's excursion, and he
will show himself preëminent in all good fellowship. But as the familiar
sights gradually open on him at returning, you may see the shadows
flitting down upon his brow and entering his soul. How many good
resolutions of change and reform--of breaking old associations and
forming new ones--we make when absent from our usual haunts! How
impossible it becomes to realize them when we re-occupy the familiar
places!

       *       *       *       *       *

But so it was, we reached home. All my anticipations were realized. The
old spirit, the old manner, were revived in my wife. At this time an
installment of pictures and statues from Italy came to hand. I welcomed
them as angels of mercy. When I announced the arrival to my wife, a
flush struggled to her cheek, and a radiance to her eye. 'Ha! you
think,' said I in my communings, 'that Frank is to be present with you
in his works, and that through them you may be in his presence. So you
shall, but they shall become only an annoyance and a weariness,--for
themselves and for him.'

The statues and pictures were brought to the house and unpacked. My wife
was almost tremulous with eagerness to behold them. I had taken care,
however, to have a number of acquaintances present,--some of genuine
artistic taste, some of only pretensions, and others utterly ignorant.
As the various works were displayed, my artistic friends, as in courtesy
bound, and as their merit really deserved, duly eulogized them, and the
praises were echoed by the rest. Finally we came to a box which
contained a label marked 'The statue of Hope Downcast.' 'Aha! master
Frank,' thought I, 'so I have you at last.' I could see my wife
quivering with the contest of feeling,--between her annoyance at the
presence of visitors, and the necessity of controlling herself and
uniting in their commendations.

'Hope Downcast' was raised to the perpendicular, and proved to be a
beautiful life-size statue, representing a female figure standing on a
rock, in a most dejected attitude, one foot unsandaled, her raiment
torn, her hair loose, the fillet which confined it lying parted at her
feet, the star upon the fillet deprived of some of its points, and the
ordinary emblem of Hope, the anchor, broken at her side. The
applicability of the conception to the history of Frank and my wife, I
readily understood. My guests broke out into raptures, in which I
joined, and, by continual appeals to my wife, constrained her to do the
same. I also took the opportunity of inquiring the name of the artist,
and requested my wife to express to him the entire satisfaction he had
given in the execution of his commission.

The ordeal closed, but was renewed and repeated day after day, till all
the poetry and romance connected with our artistic acquisitions was
thoroughly destroyed in my wife's mind. They became, as I could easily
observe, positively odious to her, and, doubtless, could she have obeyed
the promptings of her feelings, she would have trampled on them, and
cast them into the street.

But in this disappointment she became so forlorn, so passively
desperate, that my heart almost burst at beholding her.

Since my discovery in the conservatory I had often used it for watching
my wife,--not of course with any miserable design of playing the spy
upon, her,--but to observe her various moods, in order to adapt, my own
conduct and the progress of my system to them. One night, after we had
entertained a party of visitors, whom I had made instruments of torture
to my wife by their common-place eulogies of Frank's contributions, I
ascended my perch in the conservatory. She was sitting in her apartment,
her hands, listlessly clasped, resting on her knees, her form bowed with
the most profound dejection, coupled with that indescribable aspect of
cold, desperate defiance which I have previously noticed, exhibited in
her countenance and position. 'Oh! Frank, Frank!' she seemed to say,
'would that I had forsaken all and fled to Italy with you. There, the
creations of your taste and genius would have afforded a solace. Here
they are but torments.'

'You shall go to Italy, Evelyn, and have your fill of Frank's society,'
said I in my imaginary comment. 'But not yet; the time has not yet
come.'

Having permitted her to learn the disappointment derived from the works
of art associated with Frank's memory, I now brought into action a
scheme for teaching her the pleasure which I could afford. Before our
hunting expedition I had purchased a spacious and beautiful mansion, and
engaged upholsterers from New York to decorate it, during our absence,
in the most elegant style their taste could design. A large apartment
had been constructed by my order for the purpose of a private theatre.

I informed Evelyn of my plan, and conveyed her to our destined
residence. She was not at first much moved, but after we had entered on
possession, and she was thoroughly engaged in selecting an amateur
company from our acquaintances and arranging for our forthcoming
exhibitions, the old enthusiasm of her former profession revived, and
she appeared for the time transported back to the auspicious hours of
her young triumphs. 'The School for Scandal' was chosen for our first
performance--I of course taking the part of Sir Peter, and she that of
Lady Teazle. I did not allow my feelings once to transcend the part,
and in the conclusion looked completely the happy, good-natured,
self-satisfied, old husband. Heaven! had her protestations, where the
reconciliation occurred, been genuine, and not mere dramatic fiction!
The thought almost overpowered me. I could see the young bucks of the
city chuckling over my position, and evidently wishing they were in the
place of _that old fool_!

       *       *       *       *       *

I need not relate the innumerable stratagems I devised to employ the
attention and heart of my wife in pleasures emanating from myself. I was
continually careful, however, to exhibit no sign of tender appreciation,
but allowed her to regard them as the mere ordinary gratification of my
own whims and wishes. I had now been for about a year disconnected with
my business. I had encouraged Evelyn in every species of extravagance,
and expended money lavishly in all methods. I was conscious of living
far beyond the ability of even my ample means, but there could not be an
hesitation or halting. The city looked on me with wonder; some spoke of
me as one whom fortune had crazed; others pitied me as the victim of an
extravagant wife. My New York partners expostulated with me, and, when
my theatrical exhibition reached their ears, hinted at a dissolution.
But I was deaf to rumor and reproof.

       *       *       *       *       *

The person who took the part of Joseph Surface, in our representation of
'The School for Scandal,' was an unmarried gentleman of high standing,
socially and politically, of middle age, fine presence, and superior
abilities. Under polished manners and captivating conversational powers,
were concealed persistent passions and a conscience of marble. Before
even Evelyn suspected it, I was aware that he had resolved on subduing
her to his own designs, for I seemed in all things relating to her to be
gifted with preternatural intuitions.

Our next representation was to be 'The Fatal Marriage,' in which the
person alluded to--whose name was Sefton--was to take the character of
the wooer.

The necessary consultations concerning the production of the piece
brought him frequently to my house, and both the excuse and the
opportunities it gave were diligently improved.

I had a premonition one evening that his intentions toward Evelyn were
then to take some decisive expression. I left my solitary study, of
which I have before spoken, and, going home, entered the house softly,
and directed my steps towards our theatrical apartment. My confidence in
Evelyn was unbounded, but I wished to witness the apprehended collision.
Stealing behind the scenery, I saw Evelyn sitting on the stage, with
cold and erect pride,--which was yet free from affectation,--and Sefton
standing before her, having evidently just concluded speaking.

'So, sir,' she said, 'I have heard you without interruption. But the
character you rehearse is inappropriate. You forget that we are now
concerned with a piece representing the tribulations of a faithful wife,
and not a comedy of the school of Charles the Second. I see that you are
sincere; but sincerity renders a bad passion the more hateful. Now leave
me. For your own contentment crush it. If this is impossible, conceal
it. Should you ever again intimate it by even a glance, I will expel you
from my society as I would a viper.'

'Madam,' he gasped forth in suppressed rage, 'I understand you. You
shall also understand me, if you now do not. I will reduce your haughty
pride. Of this be assured. You play well the _rôle_ of the faithful
wife, but I will not do you the injustice of supposing that it is
through any regard for him on whose behalf you assume it.'

He would have said more, but Evelyn sprang up, her eyes flashing, and,
seizing a dagger which lay on a table among other 'properties,'
exclaimed,--

'Begone, sir, or you shall find me an actress who can perform a terrible
reality.'

She advanced toward him, and he turned away, passing out slowly, cowed,
but not vanquished. I could see that he was determined to become her
master, though it cost him all that he had invested in ambition, honor,
and life.

She flung down the dagger, paused till he was out of the house, and then
went to her rooms. I emerged from my hiding-place, laughing and sobbing
hysterically,--rejoicing over my glorious Evelyn, and bewailing that she
was not in truth mine.

A few weeks after this scene, I found on several occasions, when
returning home late, that Evelyn was out. I never interfered with her
freedom, nor questioned her in regard to any of her proceedings; but,
nevertheless, in all cases, as there was no concealment concerning them,
I was, by the ordinary channels of social and domestic intercourse,
acquainted with them. With regard to the absences alluded to, however, I
was at fault. They were not attributable to any of the engagements of
society. It became, of course, requisite, as part of my system, to
investigate the mystery. So, on a certain evening, after going out
apparently as usual, I watched the house, and, shortly after dusk, saw
her emerge, clad in plain habiliments, and followed her at a distance
through several secluded streets. She stopped at a very ordinary
tenement in a remote quarter of the city, and remained till a late hour,
when she returned home.

I resolved quietly to take observations, and ascertain the motive for
her visit. My intentions were precluded the next morning by the entrance
into my place of business of Mr. Sefton, who, after many complimentary
and cordial expressions, requested a private conference; which being
granted, he said,--

'My dear Mr. Bell, I wish to speak to you concerning a very delicate and
painful matter. I am conscious of involving myself in an affair, which
may, perhaps, have unpleasant consequences for me, but my friendship and
esteem for you will not permit me to remain quiet concerning a matter
which is injurious to your honor.'

He then proceeded to inform me that a certain actor, named Foster, who
once had a high reputation, but had become degraded through
dissoluteness, recently came to him, apparently in abject poverty and
dangerous illness, begging assistance and shelter; that he had placed
Foster in a tenement, which he described (the same that I had seen my
wife enter), and supplied his wants, but had reason to suppose that
Foster was imposing on his charity, having learned from others that, so
far from being ill, he was sufficiently able to enjoy his appetites and
licentious desires. 'On going,' said Mr. Sefton, 'to reprimand and expel
him, he confessed to me that he had taken this method of covering an
intrigue with a lady, and assured me he intended to repay all I had
advanced him. I became, also,' continued Mr. Sefton, 'a witness of an
interview with the lady, as she entered while I was there, and Foster,
in the haste of the occasion, was obliged to conceal me in an adjoining
room. The lady, I was astonished to perceive, was Mrs. Bell. I then
recollected that Foster was formerly intimate with her, and that they
performed on the stage together. I have deemed it my duty to relate this
astounding development to you.'

I received Mr. Sefton's announcement in all seriousness, and thanked
him. What would he have me do? He replied that my own judgment must
dictate, but that he supposed it would be best for all parties to remove
quietly to another State and apply for a divorce. I promised to consider
the matter, and after many mutual compliments he departed.

'What does this mean?' I mused. 'The supposition of an intrigue is
preposterous. Probably Foster has merely deceived Evelyn as he did
Sefton, in order to obtain her bounty. But why make her visits so
secret? That is easily explained;--she does not wish to be connected
publicly with any unhappy sequences of her former histrionic career. I
will have an interview with Foster before proceeding further.'

I visited him that night, pushing into the house immediately after the
black female servant who opened the door, lest I should be refused
admittance. I found Foster in a half-intoxicated condition, seated
comfortably at a table, with a pipe in his hand, and liquor before him.

'I am Mr. Bell,' said I, 'and had learned from my wife of your destitute
condition, which I came to relieve. But you appear in excellent
circumstances.'

Through his intoxication there was an evidence of confusion, as he
stammered out,--

'Yes, sir; much obliged to you. Take a seat--a seat. Good spell now.
Doctor prescribes a little comfort, you know, old boy!'

'A very kind doctor, I should judge, Mr. Foster, and I am glad to find
you in such a good condition. Suppose I take a glass with you?'

'Certainly. Very happy--happy. Your health, sir.'

'I hope, sir,' I said, 'that you will soon recover, after the attentions
of my wife and Mr. Sefton.'

'Sefton!' he exclaimed. 'Rascal! D--d rascal! sir.' He continued
murmuring in his throat, 'Rascal! D--d rascal!'

'I'll take another glass,' said I. 'The liquor is very good--very good,
sir. Who furnishes it?'

'Liquor! Yes--very good! Sefton--yes, Sefton sent it. Rascal! D--d
rascal!' (in a murmur, as before.)

'Now, Foster,' said I, 'I am rich. There is a purse,--and pretty well
filled. I will give it to you, and others like it, if you will tell me
why Sefton is a rascal, and how you happen to be connected with him.'

His eyes glistened with greediness, as I anticipated. He grasped the
purse and thrust it into his pocket, then immediately pulled it out,
tossed it on the table, leaned his head down on his arms and began to
sob, all in the most maudlin manner.

TO BE CONTINUED.



A SONG OF FREEDOM.


  Not now, my tongue, to legends old,
  Or tender lays of sunny clime;
  A sterner tale must now be told,
  Deep thoughts must burn in warlike rhyme;
  For Freedom, with a mighty throe,
  Rouses from sleep to active life,
  And loud her clarion trumpets blow,
  To summon _men_ to join the strife.

  The seed, which long ago was sown
  By free New England's rock-bound rills,
  At length, in noble vigor grown,
  Casts branches o'er the Southern hills.
  Far o'er the prairies of the West
  Rings Freedom's thrilling battle-cry,
  Re-echoed where each mountain crest
  Lifts Maine's dark forests to the sky.

  Go forth, ye warriors for the right!
  Lift high the banner of the free!
  Shine far into Oppression's night,
  Bright oriflamme of Liberty!
  For, God be praised, the lowering cloud
  So long impending overhead,
  Which nations thought our funeral shroud,
  Shall prove our victory-robe instead.

  O maiden, who with tender smile,
  O wife, who with enslaving kiss,
  Some dearly loved one would beguile
  From duty in a field like this;
  Conjure before thy tearful sight
  The glories future years shall know,
  Unclasp thine arms--in Freedom's fight,
  Bid him be valiant,--bid him, 'go.'

  Be with him both in camp, in field,
  With tender thought and earnest prayer;
  Think, those who Freedom's weapons wield,
  God makes his own peculiar care.
  And if he fall,--as chance he may,--
  Rejoice the glorious boon is thine,
  To lay thy heart-flowers of a day
  On Freedom's grand, eternal shrine!

  O warrior, nerve thy courage well!
  For fierce and stern the strife will be,--
  Oppression, Wrong, the powers of hell,
  War against Right and Liberty.
  Fight, for the victory must be thine;
  No nobler strife the world has known
  Since first the Saviour, all divine,
  Brought life to man from God's high throne.

  And ye, who sit in seats of power,
  The instruments of God's high will,
  Be ye not wanting in this hour
  So big with future good or ill.
  Fail not, for Freedom's car rolls on
  Resistless in its glorious way;
  Some shall to honor be upborne,
  They who oppose be crushed to clay.

  Hark! from the sunny Southern plains
  There comes a sound still swelling on,
  The clanking of a million chains,
  The cry, the groan, the lash, the moan.

  That sound for years has gone on high;
  The hour of judgment comes apace,
  The day of right and liberty,
  Of freedom for the human race.

  Speed, speed the day, O righteous God,
  To break the fetters, dry the tears,
  To raise the slave, so long downtrod,
  Through the dark age of by-gone years!
  Give but to us the sword of power,
  To work thy ends, in thine own way,
  To see the promise of the hour
  Of this the world's most glorious day.



ACROSS THE CONTINENT.


In the tense, absorbing excitement of our life-and-death-struggle for
national existence, events which in calmer times would quicken every
pulse, and arrest universal attention, pass all but unnoticed; as
historians record that during the battle between Hannibal and the Romans
by the Lake Thrasymene, the earth was shaken and upheaved by a great
natural convulsion, without attracting the observation of the fierce,
eager combatants; or, as Byron tersely phrases it,

  'An earthquake rolled unheededly away,'

being regarded, if regarded at all, as one of the incidents of the
tremendous collision of Europe with Africa.

When, early in March, 1844, John C. Fremont, with thirty or forty
followers, astonished Captain Sutter by dropping down from the Sierra
Nevada upon his _ranche_ on the Sacramento, the old Switzer could not
have been more completely dumbfounded had he been told that his visitors
had just descended from the clouds, than he was by the truthful
assurance that they were an exploring party, who had left the United
States only ten months before, and had since made their way across the
continent. To pass the Sierra in winter had hitherto been deemed an
impossibility, and, indeed, the condition of Fremont's surviving beasts
of burden--thirty-three out of the sixty-seven with which he
started--proved the presumption not far out of the way. To traverse the
continent at all, even in summer, on a line stretching due west from the
Hudson, the Delaware, or the Potomac, to the Pacific Ocean, was an
unattempted feat, whereof the hardships, the dangers, were certain, and
the success exceedingly doubtful. A very few parties of daring
adventurers had, during several of the six or eight preceding summers,
pushed up the Platte from the Missouri to the Rocky Mountains, followed
the Sweetwater from the point where the North Platte emerges from the
heart of those mountains, running to the northward, and having thus
passed through the great central chain of North America (for the
Sweetwater heads on the west side of the mountain range, and the South
Pass, through which it seeks the Platte, is a broad elevated gap,
wherein the face of the country is but moderately rolling, and the trail
better than almost any where else), turned abruptly to the north-west,
crossed the Green River source of the Colorado, which leads a hundred
miles farther north, and soon struck across a mountainous water-shed to
the Lewis or Snake branch of the Columbia, which they followed down to
the great river of the west, and thus reached the coveted shore of the
Pacific,--that Oregon which they had chosen as their future home, mainly
because it was, of all possible Eldorados, the farthest and the least
accessible. Trappers, hunters, and Indian traders, few in numbers, and
generally men of desperate fortunes, who realized that

  'The world was not their friend, nor the world's law,'

had, for several decades, penetrated every glen of the Rocky Mountains,
and traced every affluent of the great river in quest of their
respective prey; but the wild, desolate region watered by the Colorado,
the Humboldt, or the streams that are lost in the Great Salt Lake, or
some smaller absorbent of the scanty waters of the Great Basin, had
never proved attractive to our borderers, and for excellent reasons. It
is, as a whole, so arid, so sterile (though its valleys do not lack
fertility wherever their latent capacities can be developed by
irrigation), and its game is so scanty and worthless, that old Bridger
(pioneer of settlers at the military post in northern Utah, now known as
Fort Bridger) was probably the only American who had made his home in
the Great Basin when Fremont's exploring party first pitched their tents
by the border of Great Salt Lake, in September, 1843.

The discovery of gold in California, in the summer of 1847, closely
following the military occupation and conquest of that country by the
United States, wrought a great and sudden revolution. Of the few
Americans in that region prior to 1846, probably nine tenths had rounded
Cape Horn to reach it, while the residue had made their way across
Mexico or the Isthmus of Darien. It was 'a far coy' at best, and very
tedious as well as difficult of attainment. We have in mind an American
of decided energy, who, starting from Illinois in May or June, 1840,
with a party of adventurers, mainly mounted, reached the mouth of the
Columbia, overland, in December, and California, by water, in the course
of the winter; and who, starting again for California, via Panama, in
the summer of 1847, was nine months in reaching his destination. But the
tidings that the shining dross was being and to be picked up by the
handful on the tributaries of the Sacramento wrought like magic. Early
in 1849, steam-ships were dispatched from New York for Chagres, at the
mouth of the river of like name on the Isthmus of Darien, whence crowds
of eager gold-seekers made their way across, as they best might, to
Panama, being taken in small, worthless boats up the river, so far as
its navigation was practicable,--say sixty miles,--and thence, mounted
on donkeys or mules, for the residue of the distance, which was perhaps
half as far. Short as this portage was, it soon came to be regarded with
a terror by no means unjustified. The ascent of the rapid, shallow,
tortuous stream was at once difficult and dangerous; the boats were of
the rudest construction; the boatmen little better than savages; rains
fell incessantly for a good part of each year; the warm, moist, relaxing
climate bred fevers in the blood of a considerable percentage of those
so suddenly and so utterly exposed to its malarious influences; while
the road from Cruces, at the head of navigation, being but a rugged
bridle-path at best, was soon worn by incessant travel into the most
detestable compound of rock and mire that ever aggravated the miseries
of human life. Arrived at quaint, dull old Panama, the early adventurers
long awaited with fierce impatience the steamers which were to have
anticipated their coming, and been ready to speed them on their way; and
many were goaded into taking passage on sailing vessels, which were
months in beating up to the Golden Gate against the gentle but
persistent breezes from the west and north-west which mainly prevail on
that coast. Rarely has human endurance been put to severer tests than in
the earlier years of gold-seeking travel by the Isthmus route to
California.

The Panama Railroad--commenced in 1850, and finished in 1855, at a total
cost of $7,500,000, for a length of forty-seven and a half miles--very
considerably reduced the expense, whether in time or money, of the
Isthmus transit, diminishing its miseries and perils in still greater
proportion. It is one of the noblest achievements, whereof our
countrymen are fairly entitled to the full credit. A ship-canal or
railroad across the Isthmus had been proposed, and commended, and
surveyed for and estimated upon, by French, South American, and other
officials and engineers; but the execution of the work was left to our
countrymen, and not in vain. Contractor after contractor abandoned the
undertaking in despair; hundreds, if not thousands, of laborers--Irish,
Chinese, and others--were sacrificed to the deadly miasma of the swamps
and tropical jungle which thickly stud the route. But the work was at
last completed, and the railroad has now been some six years in constant
operation, reducing the average length of the actual transit from a week
to two hours, and its expense and peril to an inappreciable quantity. It
is a cheering fact that the capitalists who invested their faith and
their means in this beneficent enterprise have already had returned to
them in dividends the full amount of their outlay, and are now receiving
twenty per cent. per annum. Their road has shortened the average Isthmus
passage to and from California by at least a full week, and immensely
diminished the danger of loss by robbery, accident, or exposure, beside
building up a large trade which but for it would have had no existence.

Yet the Isthmus route to California is only by comparison acceptable,
even for passengers and goods, while for mails it was at best but
endurable. It is nearly twice the length of the direct route from the
Atlantic seaboard, while for the residents of the Evart Valley it is
intolerably circuitous. A letter mailed at St. Paul for Astoria or
Oregon City, or at Omaha for Sacramento, must, under the regimen of the
last ten years, be conveyed overland to New York, or by steamboat to New
Orleans, where it might have to wait ten or twelve days for an Isthmus
steam-ship, making a circuit of twice to thrice the distance by a direct
route to its destination. There has been, indeed, for some four years
past, a tri-weekly overland mail from St. Louis via New Mexico and
Arizona to San Diego, in the extreme south of California,--a route
nearly a thousand miles longer than it need or should have been, and
evincing a perverse ingenuity in the avoidance not only of Salt Lake and
Carson Valley, but even of Santa Fe. This long and mischievous
detour--one of the latest of our wholesale sacrifices to Southern
jealousy and greed--has at length been definitely abandoned, and,
instead of a tri-weekly mail via Elposo and the Gila, together with a
weekly by Salt Lake, and a fortnightly or tri-monthly by the Isthmus, we
have now one daily mail on the direct overland route from the Missouri,
at St. Joseph or Omaha, via the Platte, North Platte, Sweetwater, South
Pass, Fort Bridger, Salt Lake, Simpson's route, Carson Valley, and
thence across the Sierra Nevada to Placerville and San Francisco, in
shorter time than was usually made by way of the Isthmus, at less cost
than that of the three mails which it replaces, while the immense
advantage of a daily mail each way, over a tri-monthly or even weekly,
needs no elucidation. The territories of Colorado, Utah, Nevada, are
thus brought into intimate and constant communication with the loyal
States, and made to feel the mighty pulsations of the National heart, in
this heroic and eventful crisis of the Republic's history.

But this not all, nor the best. The old Congress, among its many wise
and beneficent measures, enacted that the government should aid whatever
company would for the lowest annual stipend establish and maintain a
line of Electric Telegraph from Missouri or Iowa to California. A
contract was accordingly made with the Western Union Telegraph Company,
under which active operations were commenced last spring, under surveys
previously made. The grand train of four hundred men, one hundred great
prairie wagons, and six or eight hundred mules or oxen,--a portion of
the cattle for the subsistence of the party,--started westward from
Omaha, Nebraska, in June last, and on the 4th of July commenced pushing
on the construction at the point which it had already reached, some two
or three hundred miles further west in the valley of the Platte. It may
give to some an idea of the destitution of timber on the great American
Desert, to know that the greatest distance over which poles had to be
drawn for the elevation of the wires of this telegraph was _only_ 240
miles! Fresh teams were from time to time dispatched on the track of the
working carts with additional supplies, and the line was pushed through
to Salt Lake City by the 18th of October. Six days afterward, that point
was reached by a like party, working eastward from Carson Valley, on
behalf of the United Telegraph Companies of California, and the young
Hercules by the Pacific vied with the infantile but vigorous territories
this side of her in flashing to Washington and New York assurances of
their invincible devotion to the indivisible American Union. So great
and difficult an enterprise was probably never before so expeditiously
and happily achieved in the experience of mankind.

The distance--some 1,500 miles--over which a working line of electric
telegraph has thus been constructed and put in operation in the course
of a single season is one of the minor obstacles surmounted. The want of
timber is far more serious. From the sink of Carson River, less than one
hundred miles this side of the Sierra, to the point at which the
construction of the line was commenced on the Platte as aforesaid, there
is no place at which a tree can fall across the fragile wires; there is
probably less timber in sight on that whole sixteen hundred miles than
is to-day standing in some single county of New York, Pennsylvania, or
Ohio. From the forks of the Platte to the valley of the Sacramento,
there is not a stick of growing timber that would make a decent
axe-helve, much less a substantial axletree. The Sierra Nevada are
heavily though not densely wooded nearly to their summits, but mainly
with stately evergreens, including a brittle and worthless live oak; but
the tough, enduring hickory, the lithe and springy white ash, the
ironwood, beech, and sugar maple, are nowhere to be seen. A low, scrubby
cedar and a small, scraggy white pine thinly cover a portion of the
hills and low mountains of Utah; the former is shorter than it should be
for telegraph poles, but stanch and durable, and is made to do. The
detestable cotton-wood, most worthless of trees, yet a great deal better
than none, thinly skirts the banks of the Platte and its affluents, in
patches that grow more and more scarce as you travel westward, until you
only see them 'afar off' on the sides of some of the mountains that
enclose the South Pass. The Colorado has a still scantier allowance of
this miserable wood; but the cedars meet you as you ascend from its
valley to the hills that surround Fort Bridger. Where cotton-wood is
used for poles,--and there are hundreds of miles where no other tree is
found,--it will have to be replaced very frequently; for it decays
rapidly, and has a fancy for twisting itself into all manner of ungainly
shapes when cut and exposed to the sun and parching winds of the plains.

Water, next to wood, is the great want of the plains and of the Great
Basin. Travel along either base of the Rocky Mountains, and you are
constantly meeting joyous, bounding streams, flowing rapidly forth from
each ravine and coursing to the arid plain; but follow them a few miles
and they begin to diminish in volume, and, unless intercepted by a
copious river, often dwindle to nothing. The Republican fork of the
Kansas or Kaw River, after a course of some thirty to fifty miles, sinks
suddenly into its bed, which thence for twenty miles exhibits nothing
but a waste of yellow sand. Of course there are seasons when this bed is
covered with water throughout; but I describe what I saw early in June,
when a teamster dug eight feet into that sand without finding a drop of
the coveted liquid for his thirst-maddened oxen. Two months later, I
observed the dry bed stretched several miles farther up and down what in
winter is the river. Passing over to Big Sandy, the most northerly
tributary of the Arkansas, I found dry sand (often incrusted with some
white alkaline deposit) the rule; water the rare exception throughout
the twenty or thirty miles of its course nearest its source. At Denver,
on the 6th of June, Cherry Creek contributed to the South Platte a
volume amply sufficient to run an ordinary grist-mill; ten days
afterwards its bed was dry as a doctrinal sermon. My first encampment on
the North Platte above Laramie was by a sparkling, dancing stream a yard
wide, which could hardly have been forced through a nine-inch ring; but
though its current was rapid and the Platte but three miles off, the
thirsty earth and air drank up every drop by the way. Big Sandy, Little
Sandy and _Dry_ Sandy are the three tributaries to be crossed between
South Pass and the Colorado, and the latter justifies its name through
the better part of each year. Golden River runs through too deep a
narrow valley and bears too strong a current from the snowy peaks in
which it heads to be thus dried up; so with Bear, Welso, and the
Timpanagos or Jordan, the principal affluents of Salt Lake, which tumble
and roar between lofty peaks the greater part of their respective
courses; but when you have crossed the Jordan, moving California-ward,
you will not find another decent mill-stream for the five hundred miles
that you traverse on your direct (Simpson's) route to the sink of the
Carson. At intervals which seem very long, you find a spring, a scanty
but welcome stream rushing down between two mountains, to be speedily
drunk up by the thirsty plain and valley at their base; but you will
oftener pass some 'sink' or depression below the general level of the
valley you are traversing, where a shrewd guess has led to brackish or
sulphurous water by digging two or three feet. A mail station-keeper
lost his oxen, at a point a hundred miles south-west of Salt Lake; they
had wandered southward on the desert, and he followed their trail for
(as he estimated) a hundred miles, without finding a drop of water, when
he gave them up, still a day's tramp ahead of him, and turned back to
save his own life and that of his suffering horse. He might, I presume,
have gone a hundred miles further without finding aught to drink but
their blood.

This dearth of wood and water can hardly be realized from any mere
description. A life-long denizen of Europe, or of the cis-Alleghany
portion of this continent, is so accustomed to the unfailing presence or
nearness of trees and springs, or streams, that he naturally supposes
them as universal as the air we breathe. In a New Englander's crude
conception, trees spring up and grow to stately maturity wherever they
are not repressed by constant vigilance and exertion, while brooks and
rivers are implied by the existence of hills and valleys, nay, of any
land whatever. But as you travel westward with the Missouri, springs,
streams, woods, become palpably scarcer and scarcer, until, unless in
the immediate valley of the Platte, Arkansas, or some more northerly
river that rushes full-fed from a long course among the snow-crowned
peaks of the Rocky Mountains, your eye ranges over a vast expanse
whereon neither forest, grove, nor even a single tree, is visible. If
the country is rolling, springs may at long intervals be found by those
who know just where to seek them; but streams are few and scanty, save
in winter, and in later summer they disappear almost entirely. Beyond
Salt Lake, the destitution of wood in Utah and Nevada is far less than
on the Plains, but that of water is even greater. Fifty miles from water
to water is the lowest interval in my experience on Simpson's route; but
I only traversed the eastern half of it, turning thence abruptly
northward to strike the valley of the Humboldt (formerly known as the
St. Mary's), which rising in the north-west corner of the new Territory
of Nevada, hardly fifty miles from the southern or Lewis branch of the
Columbia, flows southward from the Goose Creek Mountains that cradled
and nourished it, and thence hardly maintains its volume (which is that
of a decent mill stream) in its generally south-west course of three
hundred and fifty miles, till it is two thirds lost in a lake and the
residue in a reedy slough or sink, a hundred miles from the Sierra
Nevada and forty from the similar sink of the Carson, a larger and less
impulsive stream which drains a considerable section of the eastern
declivity of the Sierra Nevada only to meet this inglorious end.
Doubtless, the time has been when a large portion of western Nevada
formed one great lake or inland sea, whereof Pyramid and Mud Lakes, and
the sinks respectively of the Carson, Walker and Humboldt rivers, are
all that the thirsty earth and air have left us. The forty miles of low,
flat, naked desert--in part of heavy, wearying sand--that now separates
the sink of the Humboldt from that of the Carson, was evidently long
under water, and might, to all human perception, have better remained
so.

I can not comprehend those who talk of the Plains and the more intensely
arid wilds which mainly compose Utah and Nevada becoming a great
stock-growing region. Even California, though its climate favors the
rapid multiplication and generous growth of cattle and sheep, can never
sustain so many animals to the square mile as the colder and more rugged
hills of New York and New England, because of the intense protracted
drouth of its summers, which suffer no blade of grass to grow throughout
the six later months of every year. Animals live and thrive on the
dead-ripe herbage of the earlier months; but a large area is soon
exhausted by a herd, which must be pastured elsewhere till the winter
rains ensure a renewal of vegetation.

But the grasses of the Great Valley and of a large portion of the Plains
are exceedingly scanty where they exist at all, so that the teams and
herds annually driven across them by emigrants and traders suffer
fearfully, and are often decimated by hunger, though they carefully seek
out and adhere to the trails whereon feed is least scanty. Many a weary
day's journey, even along the valleys of the North Platte and
Sweetwater, brings to view too little grass to sustain the life of a
moderate herd; those who have traversed the South Pass in June will
generally have just escaped starvation, leaving to those that come
straggling or tottering after them a very poor feed. The carcasses of
dead animals, in every stage of decomposition, thickly stud the great
trail from the banks of the Platte westward to the passes of the Sierra
Nevada, and, I presume, to the banks of the Columbia, bearing mute but
impressive testimony to the chronic inhospitality of the Great American
Desert, which is almost everywhere thinly overgrown by worthless shrubs,
known to travelers as grease-wood and sage brush;--the former prickly
and repellant, but having a waxy or resinous property which renders it
useful to emigrants as fuel; the latter affording shelter and
subsistence to rabbits and a poor species of grouse known as the 'sage
hen,' but utterly worthless to man and to the beasts obedient to his
sway.

Yet the daily Overland Mail is an immense, a cheering fact, and the
Pacific Telegraph another. A message dispatched from any village blessed
with electric wires on poles in the Atlantic States will probably reach
its destination in any city or considerable settlement of California or
Nevada within a few hours, while every transpiring incident of the war
for the Union is directly flashed across the continent to the journals
of Sacramento and San Francisco, and will often be devoured by their
readers on the evening after its occurrence. The Republic may well be
proud of having achieved two such strides in her onward, upward course,
in the midst of a great and desolating war, and with confidence implore
a God of beneficent justice to hasten the auspicious day when we shall
be able to telegraph her children by the far Pacific that her enemies
are baffled, vanquished, humbled, and that there opens again before her
a long vista of unbroken and honorable peace.



WHAT TO DO WITH THE DARKIES.

A NEW AND ORIGINAL PLAN FOR SAVING THE UNION ON SOUTHERN PRINCIPLES.


There can be no question that the overwhelming difficulty of the present
day, is the proper disposal of the Negro.

The writer of these lines takes the liberty of believing that the war is
virtually a settled affair. There has been, there is, no diminution of
Northern determination to push on and keep pushing until the wings of
the eagle again stretch from Maine to the Rio Grande. The administration
is sustained, as from the first, by ever increasing majorities. The
daily defeats of those politicians who are known to sympathize with
secession, the wreck of the peace party, and the growing indignation of
the country, as manifested against all halfway men and measures, are
becoming what in sober seriousness can not be regarded as other than a
tremendous moral spectacle. _In medio non tutissimus ibis_.

Yet at the bottom of this foaming cup of joy remain the black dregs. I
would not invidiously compare the unfortunate black to the 'dregs of the
populace,' since labor in any form must not be lightly spoken of. But it
would be the weakest of euphuisms to affect ignorance of the social
position which he occupies, and which, not to increase the misery of his
position, is indubitably 'at the bottom of the ladder.' But that which
is at the bottom of the ladder may seriously affect its position and
standing. There is a fearful and thrilling illustration of this, to be
found in a popular cut graphically described in these words:

     A negro on the top of a high ladder, white-washing, a hog lifting
     it up from beneath. 'G'way dar,--you'm makin' mischief.'

President Lincoln is understood to favor emigration. This looks well.
Carry the blacks away to Liberia. Unfortunately I am informed that
_eight and a half Great Easterns_, each making one trip per month, could
only export the annual increase of our Southern slaves. This speaks in
thunder tones, even to the welkin, and provokes a scream from the eagle.
It is impossible.

But what shall we do with our blacks, since it is really impossible,
then, to export the dark, industrial, productive, proletarian,
operative, laboring element from our midst?

I suggest as a remedy that they continue in our midst, with this
amendment, that they be concentrated in that same 'midst' and the
'midst' be removed a little to one side. In other words, let us centre
them all in one State, _that State to be South Carolina_.

The justice of this arrangement must be apparent to every one. It is
evident that if the present occupation by our troops continue much
longer, there will be no white men left in South Carolina, neither is it
likely that they will ever return. Terror and pride combined must ever
keep the native whites from repopulating that region. And, as South
Carolina was especially the State which brought about this war, for the
express purpose of making the black man the basis of its society, there
would be a wonderful and fearful propriety in carrying out that theory,
or 'sociology,' even to perfection; making the negro not only the basis
of society, but _all_ society there whatever,--top, bottom, and sides.

It is true that this absolute perfection of their theory was never
contemplated even by the celebrated Hammond. But truth compels the
deduction, and reason admits it. _Verus in uno, verus in omnibus_.

I trust that the reader will not be startled, nor accuse the writer of
these lines of lacking patriotism, when he avows that since the Southern
social philosophers have boldly started a tremendous and original
theory, he should be very sorry not to see it fairly tested, tried, and
worked out. Every great doctrine or idea, be it for good or evil, must
and will work itself out, that of mudsill-ism and negro labor among the
rest. Only I claim that it should be complete in its elements,
eliminated of what the African, with a fine intuition of the truth,
ingenuously terms 'de wite trash,'--yes, in the Southern social scheme
the whites _are_ trash,--and they only find their place as a sort of
useless ornament, non-productive and inoperative, even according to
their own ideas. Therefore the 'wite trash' must be eliminated.

There is yet another and a very beautiful argument to be adduced in
favor of colonizing South Carolina with 'contrabands.' It must be
apparent to the blindest eye that the negro inclines idiosyncratically
to Southern institutions far more zealously than even Mr. Jefferson
Davis can be presumed to do. He is the most driving of drivers, the
severest of overseers, the most aristocratic of aristocrats, the most
Southern of Southerners. The planter despises poverty, but what is his
contempt of a poor white man compared to that of his slave for such
wretchedness? What indeed is the negro but an intensified Creole? His
very color reflects that of his swarthy lord. The planter is tanned, but
the negro is 'black and tanned,'--tanned always on the face, and not
unfrequently on the back!

The black, left to his own instincts in Africa, develops the Southern
sociology to a degree which casts entirely into pitiable pettiness the
puling despotism of the calaboose and slave market. Witness Dahomey,
where all lives, all fortunes, all persons, are coördinated in one
perfect 'system' of subjugation to one sable Jefferson Davis Gezo, who
is _de jure divino_ husband by a sublime fiction of law to every woman
on the sacred soil of Africa, and master of the lives of all of both
sexes. What to this stupendous and perfect theory is the impotent and
imperfect scheme so lamely announced by the sociologists of the C. S. A.?

I claim that by every law of logic the Southern philosophers have
proclaimed themselves inferior to the negro, and worthy to be swept away
to make place for him. They have claimed for him the most important
place in the body politic, and as, _ex uno disce omnes_, the whole
should be homogeneous with a part, especially the main part, it follows
that the negro, and the negro alone, should be allowed to rule in a land
where, as Southerners declare, 'God clearly intended him to live.' Now
if God clearly intended him to live there, it must follow that he did
not intend white men to reside in those regions. It may be observed in
this connection that the _Bible_ forms the great basis of all Southern
argument. If a Northern writer advances any of the ignorant and impious
doctrines, so common among his kind, against slavery, he is promptly and
properly met with the query, 'Do you believe in the Bible?' Now the
_Bible_ endorses slavery past, and 'of course' slavery present. But the
_Bible_ also insists that the curse of labor was laid on man by the
eating of the apple. On _all_ men, be it observed, without distinction
of color. But the Southerners have claimed, time and again, that 'only
the black can work in the South.' Therefore it logically results, on
Southern grounds, that the white man has no business whatever in the
South, since he _must_ work somewhere, and it can not be in the land of
rice and cotton. Who then should inhabit that sunny clime save the
'contraband'--who should there claim the respect due to the lord of the
soil if not he?

  'Yo que soy contrabandista
  Y campo à mé respeto.'

The more I study this subject the more does my soul expand in awe as I
watch the fearful unfoldings of the terrible moral law which governs the
actions of humanity. Ah, Heaven! it is fearful, it is awful to consider
how ignorantly we begin our beginnings without anticipating the
marvelous endings to which they rise, even as a match ignorantly lighted
may explode the dusky grain which sends a city skyward! The South has
toiled to elaborate a philosophy and an empire on the Nigger--and, lo!
at the end thereof looms up the tremendous Afreet realm of a perfect
Niggerdom, in which the white element, which first started it into life,
must logically be swept away, like the worthless _exuviæ_ of a shell
from the head of a young dragon.

As one who boldly claims respect for the 'system' of the Southern
Confederacy, but who wishes for its perfect development, I therefore
suggest that South Carolina be set aside for the great experiment. Let
the negro be there allowed to congregate and expand even to his utmost
capacity. Let all the poetry and beauty of Southern institutions be
concentrated in that happy realm, where, amid the groans of endless
labor and the swinging of countless whips, he may show the world what he
may become. Already the South has proved his capacity to work sixteen
hours a day and dance all night--perhaps under _black_ rulers he may be
brought to work twenty hours a day, and give up dancing altogether. I
claim, as one holding advanced Southern views, that this proposition be
allowed a fair trial. If not, I shall at least have the satisfaction of
having put my views before the world to bide their time. A truth never
dies. Coming ages will at least do me justice. _Magna est Veritas et
prevalebit._



THE SLAVE-TRADE IN NEW YORK.


The National Convention which in 1787 framed the Federal Constitution,
despite its firmness and patriotism, was, like all public bodies,
evidently not entirely devoid of a spirit of compromise. A majority of
its members were desirous of freeing the institutions of the young
nation from the burden of slavery, and yet they consented to engraft the
following provision upon the body of our American fundamental law:--

"The migration or importation of such persons as any of the States now
existing shall think proper to admit shall not be prohibited by Congress
prior to the year 1808."

Congress was awake, however, even during the administration of
Washington, to its duty in the matter, and an act was passed declaring
the slave-trade to be piracy. Twenty years afterward the principal
European sovereigns united in the same declaration, and so the execrable
commerce was hurled beyond the pale of international law. There is now
no probability that it will ever regain its rank 'on change.' But its
illegitimation does not seem to have greatly circumscribed its activity.
In the face of apparent danger, it has continued to flourish, and there
has been hardly more risk to a _pirate_ with a living cargo from Gaboon,
than would be encountered by an ordinary merchantman from pirates in the
Gulf. Indeed, there were many who believed and feared, prior to the
breaking out of the present rebellion, that the next compromise between
the North and South would be the repeal of all laws prohibiting the
African slave-trade. So rapidly yet so insidiously was the South
obtaining an entire control in the councils of the nation.

It was notorious that a large proportion of the vessels which were
engaged in the infamous traffic were owned and fitted out by Northern
capitalists. The General Government did not exert itself in good faith
to carry out either its treaty stipulations nor the legislation of
Congress in regard to the matter. If a vessel was captured, her owners
were permitted to bond her, and thus continue her in the trade; and if
any man was convicted of this form of piracy, the executive always
interposed between him and the penalty of his crime. The laws providing
for the seizure of vessels engaged in the traffic were so constructed as
to render the duty unremunerative; and marshals now find their fees for
such services to be actually less than their necessary expenses. No one
who bears this fact in mind will be surprised at the great indifference
of these officers to the continuing of the slave-trade; in fact, he will
be ready to learn that the laws of Congress upon the subject had become
a dead letter, and that the suspicion was well grounded that certain
officers of the Federal Government had actually connived at their
violation.

The number of persons engaged in the slave-trade, and the amount of
capital embarked in it, exceed our powers of calculation. The city of
New York has been until of late the principal port of the world for this
infamous commerce; although the cities of Portland and Boston are only
second to her in that distinction. Slave dealers added largely to the
wealth of our commercial metropolis; they contributed liberally to the
treasuries of political organizations, and their bank accounts were
largely depleted to carry elections in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and
Connecticut. It was natural for the leaders of the party which they had
aided, to accord to them, as an equivalent, many facilities for carrying
on their business. There is indeed no occasion for wonder at the
countenance and impunity long given to such auxiliaries. If a few of
them chanced to be of Knickerbocker stock, and to bear the talisman
which affords admission to the higher circles of Gothamite
respectability, it is only what might have been expected. There are such
men everywhere, even in the Tombs.

It requires no miraculous gift to be able to perceive why the late
administration at Washington was sensitive as to the visitation of
American vessels of doubtful character, by the officers of British
cruisers. There was no principle at stake; but the slave-dealing
interest had demanded as an immunity, that the piece of bunting known as
the American flag should be allowed to protect from scrutiny every
suspicious ship over which it should be raised. They had the power or
influence to command; and the administration obeyed.

The present administration appears to have awakened somewhat to this
subject. The principal appointments for the Atlantic ports were given to
men of anti-slavery proclivities. The new marshal of the southern
district of New York was of different material from his predecessors,
and fortunately he was no novice. He was familiar with the habits of the
men engaged in the slave trade; he was ambitious and eager to signalize
himself for efficiency. In three months he had seized nine vessels, and
arrested twenty-eight men who had outfitted, commanded, or served on
them.

The Secretary of the Interior now resolved that the business should be
broken up in every port of the United States. He accordingly issued an
order to the several marshals of the States and districts lying upon the
seaboard, directing them to assemble at the city of New York, on the
fifteenth day of August, 1861, for the purpose of agreeing upon a system
of measures for the effectual suppression of the slave-trade in American
ports.

Burton's old Theatre, formerly dedicated to the 'sock and buskin,' and
famous during the religious revival of 1858, was now occupied by this
convention of marshals. Waiving unnecessary parliamentary usages, these
ministers of the law sat with closed doors, and discussed familiarly the
business in which they had engaged. They investigated carefully the
whole subject in its minuter details, and visited the slave brigs and
schooners which had been captured and were then lying at the Atlantic
Dock in Brooklyn. A plan of operations was concerted, by which the
marshals of the different districts should co-operate with each other in
detecting and bringing to justice persons guilty of participating in the
slave-trade. The results of this measure can not fail to be beneficial;
and, indeed, the marshals have already become so active and efficient,
that the capitalists who have maintained this branch of commerce are
actually contemplating its transferment to European ports. So much for
the convocation at Burton's Theatre. Let us now examine the principal
features of the traffic, and the practices of those by whom it is
conducted.


SLAVE DEALING IN NEW YORK.

The principal slave captains and chief officers of vessels engaged in
the slave-trade have their residences and boarding-places in the eastern
wards of the city, most of them being between James and Houston Streets.
They are known to every one who has an investment in the business.
Indeed, they are all members of a secret fraternity, having its signs,
grips, and pass-words. 'While I was in Eldridge-street jail,' said one
of them, 'Captain Loretti was captured and brought there. He did not
know any one, but I shook hands with him, and we became acquainted at
once.'

The arrival of a slave captain from one voyage is the signal for
preparation for another. Negotiations are carried on, generally in the
first-class hotels. The contracts for the City of Norfolk and several
other notorious slavers were made at the Astor House. The risk of
detection is less at such a public place than it would be at a private
office.

A man who had failed in business on Greenwich Street was recently
engaged in fitting out these vessels for their African voyage. He was
first sent to procure apparatus for the refining of palm oil. This was
but a blind, the practice being to take out the machinery, and employ
the boiler for culinary purposes, until the vessels had got out to sea,
and there was no farther necessity for duping inquisitive persons. This
man was also commissioned to purchase wooden ware, champagne, and other
necessary articles. Such were the business agents and their duty; all
was liberally paid for and promptly supplied.

As soon as a vessel is ready and officered for the voyage, measures are
taken to procure a crew. Slave-traders employ for this the services of
'runners,' who constitute a caste of pariahs of the most degraded kind.
A conscientious scruple would seem never to enter into their
calculations. They would hardly recognize a precept of the decalogue
except by the circumstance of its violation. Earning their livelihood
thus basely, debauchery and crime constitute their every-day history.
These persons keep a record of the names of men who have served on slave
ships, or been guilty of mutiny, or other villany. So accurate is their
information and so expert are they in their estimate of character, that
they seldom commit a blunder, or furnish a seaman who is not the man for
the vocation. The crew which they select are indeed 'picked men.' They
are of every nationality, and are taken from the seamen's
boarding-houses in the lower wards of the city.

A few years since, the information was received in New York that a yacht
was lying in Long Island Sound, and that circumstances warranted the
suspicion that she was intended for the slave-trade. The marshal, with a
display of enthusiastic zeal for the execution of the laws, proceeded to
the place with a strong force of assistants, and took charge of the
yacht; but subsequent investigations failed to criminate her. The
reputed owner declared that he had fitted her out for a pleasure
excursion; that was all. The vessel was discharged, and a few months
afterward landed a cargo of negroes on the coast of Georgia. So easy has
it been to deceive the Federal officers. The owner of the yacht
afterward declared that he paid ten thousand dollars to get his vessel
clear of the harbor of New York.

The obtaining of a clearance at the custom-house was not a very
difficult matter. Slavers were never detained by any extraordinary
curiosity on the part of those having cognizance of their departure.
They had but to assume a transparent disguise, raise the American flag,
and keep up the show till they arrived at the intermediate port. Here
the national ensign was changed, the papers of the vessel were altered,
and necessary arrangements were made for receiving a cargo of slaves.

Factories or agencies are maintained on the African coast, where the
vessels obtain their living freight. The captains seldom go on shore
except for purpose of observation. Each vessel generally takes with her
from New York a Spaniard to transact the business. The complement being
obtained, it only remains to get away and beyond the cruisers. The
action of the Federal government, some years since, in relation to the
visitation of vessels, has been effectual in impairing the energy of the
British squadron, which has been maintained on the coast of Africa,
pursuant to the treaty of Washington. As for the American squadron, it
never co-operated heartily in the matter of suppressing the slave-trade;
and the vessels were generally absent for the purpose of obtaining coal,
or for repairs, whenever there was opportunity of making a capture.

But the capitalists of New York do not depend entirely upon these
precautions. Their vessels are occasionally taken; and then the men on
board must be protected, or they will disclose everything. Not only are
appliances used to make an examination result in a discharge, but a
corps of attorneys is kept under pay to defend those who fall within the
clutches of the law. The impunity which has attended these men is
notorious.


CAPTAIN LATHAM.

Some time ago the brig Cora was captured at sea and brought by a prize
crew to the port of New York. Her commander, Captain Latham, was
incarcerated in Eldridge-street jail. Hendrickson, the mate, was,
however, permitted to communicate to his friends on shore, who procured
a boat, pulled quietly to the side of the brig, received him on board,
and took him ashore. His clothing and other property were conveyed to
the office of the marshal, and he was not only permitted to go and take
them away, but to visit his acquaintances in Eldridge-street jail. It
was an easy matter to arrest him, but the marshal remarked to an
associate that he did not care how the man made his money.

Captain Latham, meanwhile, remained at the jail. At the time referred
to, that place would seem to have been as jovial and sociable as a
club-room. The present marshal, not liking the arrangements, removed all
the Federal prisoners to the Tombs, where they could be kept more
securely and excluded from seeing improper visitors. The men who were
engaged in the slave-trade were in the habit of visiting their friends
in 'Eldridge Street,' and holding regular carousals. They were permitted
to visit there, it is said, at late hours in the evening, and as early
as seven o'clock in the morning. A man residing in the seventh ward, but
doing business on South Street, would come of a Saturday night and pay
the board of the officers of the captured slave vessel. A Spaniard named
Sanchez, now a prisoner at the Tombs, was a frequent guest; and
occasionally a marshal would be present. Others were also permitted. The
prisoners whom they visited were allowed to come into the office;
champagne and other liquors would be produced, and the company would
have a 'good time.'

Captain Latham is one of the most ingenious men. He has learned the
gipsy art of dyeing his face; and he can elude the closest observer.
When he falls into the power of the ministers of the law, he is shielded
by the efforts of the heaviest capitalists who have engaged in the
slave-trade; and they honor all his demands. At his examination he was
identified by the marshal's assistants, and by two persons who were
employed at the custom-house. It was arranged, however, that when he
should be arraigned for trial, each of these persons should profess
himself to be unable to recognize him. One of them is said to have
received five hundred dollars, and the others two hundred apiece, for
this want of memory.

After remaining some twelve weeks at the jail, Captain Latham determined
not to await a trial. He obtained the aid of one of the marshal's
assistants; a 'friend' of his, who has a place of business in Wall
Street, advancing three thousand dollars. One of his attorneys was also
in the secret. A writ of _habeas corpus_ was obtained from the recorder,
and dismissed for want of jurisdiction. This was all done to elude
suspicion. A ticket for a passage to Havana was procured; and on the day
that the steamer was to sail, a carriage, in which were Sanchez, the
marshal's assistant, and a friend, drove to the jail. Bidding farewell
to his fellow-prisoners, some of whom knew what was going on, Latham
left his apartments and took a seat by Sanchez. The four drove to the
clothing warehouse of Brooks Brothers in Broadway, purchased a suit of
clothing, and ordered another. It was now almost the hour for the
steamer to leave. Latham returned to the carriage, and was driven to the
pier, arriving there just in time to get on board. It is said that he
has since returned to New York; but only his friends have recognized
him. The men who aided his escape are now in prison.

It does not appear that the capitalists who are engaged in this traffic
are as profuse toward other prisoners as they were to Captain Latham.
There was among those who were removed from the jail to the City Prison,
one man who had sailed as mate with Latham. When he was captured he was
in the employment of a house in Beaver Street, which has also a branch
in Havana. He too had formed a plan of escape by bribing a warden and
getting a friend to personate one of the marshal's assistants, who
should profess to come for him by an order from a commissioner. But when
his wife applied to his employer for money to carry out this plan, she
was dismissed with a solitary dollar. This prisoner had probably fallen
from favor, and was therefore abandoned to the mercy of the law.

The names of the prominent slave-traders, their residences and places of
business, are known to the marshal. Several of them have fled from the
city; among them, a woman of wealth residing in St. Mark's Place. Their
operations have been largely curtailed, and it has become almost
impossible for a slaver to leave New York. With the concert of action
agreed upon by the convention at Burton's Theatre, it is to be hoped
that the slave-trade will be exterminated in every Northern port. Some
legislation by Congress to increase the powers of the marshals, and
efficient action on the part of the executive, are all that is now
required to sweep the infamous commerce from the ocean.

Since the above was written, Captain Gordon, of the slaver Erie, has
been convicted of piracy, before the United States Court for the
Southern District of New York. It is needless to say that this
conviction is the completest triumph which Freedom has yet gained in our
country against her adversary. It indicates more clearly even than any
event of the war, that Southern social influences are yielding, and that
ere long we shall be free from all their taint. Like the defeat of
Fernando Wood, like the breaking up of the Peace Party, like the rapidly
progressing crusade against old political corruption, it shows that
there is a reformation afoot which will work wonders, and prove to the
world that the mass of corruption in this country, so generally
attributed to the working of republican institutions, is in reality due
to a diametrically opposite cause--to the influence of a party which in
all its feelings is essentially that of despotism. May we all live to
see its last trace obliterated from the free North.



LITERARY NOTICES


     THE REJECTED STONE: OR, INSURRECTION vs.
     RESURRECTION. By a Native of Virginia. Boston: Walker,
     Wise & Company, 245 Washington Street.

It is to be regretted that the native of Virginia who penned this volume
has not published his name, that the world might know who it was that
produced the most vigorous, unflinching, and brilliant work which has
thus far resulted from the war. In sober seriousness, we have not as
yet, in any journal or in any quarter, encountered such a handling of
facts without gloves; such a rough-riding over old prejudices,
timidities, and irresolution; such reckless straight-forwardness in
declaring what should be done to settle the great dispute, or such
laughing-devil sarcasm in ripping up dough-face weakness and
compromising hesitation. Its principle and refrain, urged with abundant
wit, ingenuity and courage, is simply EMANCIPATION--not on the narrow
ground of abolition, but on the necessity of promptly destroying an evil
which threatens to vitiate the white race. In the beginning the author
points out the inevitableness of the present war, and that our political
system has been hitherto a sacrifice to Slavery for the time, but also a
running up of arrears in favor of Liberty.

     'In forming this government, Slavery clutched at the strength of
     the law; Freedom relied on the inviolable justice of the ages. They
     have both had, they must have, their reward. That it was and is
     thus, is apparent from the very clauses under which Slavery claims
     eminent domain in this country; they are all written as for an
     institution passing away; the sources of it are sealed up so far as
     they could be; and all the provisions for it--the crutches by which
     it should limp as decently as possible to the grave--were so worded
     that, when Slavery should be buried, no dead letter would stand in
     the Constitution as its epitaph. It is even so. No historian a
     thousand years hence could show from that instrument that a single
     slave was ever held under it.' ... 'Slavery now appeals to arms
     because Freedom, in her slow but steady progress, has left no
     informality--no flaw--which can be seized on to reverse the
     decision she has gained in any higher court.'

The style of this book is remarkable. The wealth of simile which bursts
out genially and involuntarily is only paralleled by its strange
variety, recalling CARLYLE in pleasant, piquant singularity.
Its humor is irresistible; none the less so for being keenly satirical.
We regret that our limits forbid copious extracts from these treasures,
but do the more earnestly entreat the reader to buy the volume and make
himself familiar with it. Whoever our Virginian may be, he is a rising
star, well worth observing. We find him at times a gleaming
enthusiast,--a man burning with the spirit of the war, involuntarily
uttering the most thrilling passages of Scripture,--and again provoking
laughter by dry humor and cutting jests. Let the reader in illustration
take the following paragraphs in the same sequence in which they occur
in the original work.


     '"Thou hast conquered, O Galilean!" said dying Julian the apostate.
     The North may, _and will_, now collect the bones of her
     great-browed children who yielded because she said yield; the
     fallen pillars of her crumbled church; her children whose wounds
     yet smoke fresh from the state of Slavery;--and broken now upon the
     stone she so long refused, shall write as their epitaph.

     _Vicisti Humanitas!_

     (_The Privateer_.) 'A cry comes up to the ear of America,--a long,
     piercing cry of amazement and indignation,--recognizable as one
     which can come only when the profoundest depths of the human
     pocket are stirred. The privateers are at large! They have taken
     away my coffee, and I know not where they have laid it. They have
     taken my India goods with swords and staves. For my first-class
     ship they have cast lots!

     'Was such depravity ever known before? So long as it was a human
     soul, launched by God on the eternal sea, that they despised; so
     long as it was only a few million bales of humanity captured; so
     long as it was but the scuttling the hearts of mothers and fathers
     and husbands and wives,--we remained patient and resigned,--did we
     not? But coffee and sugar--Good God! what is that blockade about?
     To seize a poor innocent sloop--has Slavery no bowels? And its
     helpless family of molasses barrels;--can hearts be so void of
     pity? Slavery must end. The spirit of the age demands it. The blood
     of a dozen captured freights crieth to Heaven in silveriest accents
     against it.

     'Brothers, there is a laughter that opens into the fountain of
     tears.'

In a letter to the President, in which the Executive is reminded that it
is not often in this world that to one man is given the magnificent
opportunity which the madness of a great wrong has placed within his
reach,--as indeed in every chapter,--the real crisis in which this
country is now involved, and the only means of prompt and effectual
extrication, are pointed out with irresistible vehemence and shrewd
intelligence. The author declares, and truly enough, that there are
resources in this land, did we only draw on them, which would close this
war with the closing of this year. The futile and frivolous objections
which have been urged against this great scheme of warfare for the
present, and of national progress in future, are most ably refuted;
while through all runs the same vein of satire, wit, scholarship and
manly sincerity. It is, in a word, a good book, and one fully suited to
these brave and warlike times.

     THE WORKS OF FRANCIS BACON, Baron of Verulam, Viscount of
     St. Albans and Lord High Chancellor of England. Collected and
     edited by James Spedding, M.A., Robert Leslie Ellis, M.A., and
     Douglas Denyn Heath. Boston: Brown & Taggard. Volumes I. and II.

Much has been said in praise of the monks of old for preserving works of
solid wisdom; but why can not a good word be said for those publishers
of the present day who confer a service by not merely embalming, but by
reviving and sending forth by thousands into real life the best books of
the past? There are many authors who are quoted by everybody, and read
by very few, simply because good modern editions of their works, at a
moderate price, are rare.

BACON is preëminently one of these; so much, indeed, is he a
case in point, that BULWER in speaking of the celebrated axiom,
Knowledge is Power, employs him as an example to warn a young scholar
from quoting at second-hand an author whom he has never read.

The present edition includes all the works extant of Lord BACON,
embracing, as we learn from SPEDDING'S preface (which has the rare
defect of being much too brief), a biography, which in minute detail and
careful finish, and facts hitherto unpublished, will far surpass any
before written. Yet, to stay the appetite of the reader, anxious to
revive the main points of BACON'S life, he gives in this first volume
the short biography by Dr. WILLIAM RAWLEY. In addition to these
introductions, we are gratified by a general preface to BACON'S
Philosophical Works, by ROBERT LESLIE HARRIS, one to the _Parasceve_ by
JAMES SPEDDING, and a third to the _De Augmentis Scientiarum_, in which
BACON'S claims to be the creator of what is popularly and generally
understood as the Inductive Philosophy are most fairly examined; not in
the spirit of the common biographer who always canonizes his subject
through thick and thin, but in that of an impartial seeker for truth,
resolved to naught extenuate and set down naught in malice. It is
believed by many that BACON was simply so fortunate as to have his
picture stand as the frontispiece of the new Philosophy, when in truth
other contemporaries, who made great discoveries by following precisely
his method, as, for instance, GALILEO, were quite as much entitled to
the glory. But examination of BACON'S works proves that though the
great work of proof never was completed by him, that which he embraced,
foresaw, and projected, was of that vast comprehensiveness which fully
entitles him to be regarded, not merely as the most proper of _names_
whereby to indicate the author of Induction (since the world must always
have a name), but in reality the one of all others who best understood
what form the development of science must assume to become perfect. The
treatment of this question by the editors is truly interesting, and
worthy their great undertaking.

The two volumes before us, in addition to the prefaces and biography,
embrace the _Novum Organum_, 'the _Parasceve_,' and the work _De
Augmentis Scientiarum_. It is to be regretted that the English versions,
corrected by BACON himself, were omitted, but those who would
read the translations are mostly capable of reading 'Baconian Latin.' As
they are, they will be most gratefully accepted by thousands. The
forthcoming volumes will embrace the English works. We would here wish
that the editor had not, as he informs us he has done, modernized the
spelling,--but here the majority of readers will perhaps be thankful
that such is the case. As regards typography, paper, and all outward
grace, this edition leaves literally nothing to be wished for, while a
short critical article on the portraits of BACON leads us to
infer that the exquisitely engraved head of the philosopher, given in
the first volume, has been made accurate at the cost of great research
and labor.


     THE OLD LOG SCHOOLHOUSE. By Alexander Clark, Editor of
     _'Clark's School Visitor.'_ Philadelphia: Leary, Getz & Co.

Mr. CLARK is the most modest of writers; one in whose writings
unaffected simplicity and freedom from literary conceit is manifest on
every page. He appears in all the many sketches which constitute this
volume to have written for the direct purpose of pleasing and teaching
youthful readers or quiet and pious grown persons. He neither eyes the
world through a lorgnette or a lorgnon, nor affects a knowledge of all
things, nor even hints at it. Yet it is precisely in this that the charm
of his stories consist--they are perfectly rational, and told in the
plain language which becomes them. It is to be desired that Mr.
CLARK will give us a volume of sketches devoted entirely to
that Western and rural life which he sketches with such felicity.


     SONGS IN MANY KEYS. By Oliver Wendell Holmes. Boston:
     Ticknor & Fields, 1861.

It is only a few years since HOLMES was little known to the
general reader save as a humorist. A series of writings of the most
varied character have since appeared, displaying more fully his greatly
varied ability, so that the reader will not be surprised to find in
this, his last wreath of poetic blossoms, a rich variety of every hue,
from the lightest tints of mirth to the sombre shades of tender pathos.
The variety of _feeling_ awakened by these lyrics is remarkable--and to
say that, is to bear sympathetic testimony to the excellence of each
separate piece. Even the beautiful ballad of 'Agnes,' chronicling the
loves of Sir Harry Frankland and Agnes Surraige of the Hopkinton
Frankland mansion, and which will be deemed one of the most perfect of
new ballads of the olden school, does not seem the chief flower, after
inhaling the home sweetness and heart aroma of many of the minor lyrics
in this volume. As for the humor, is it not of HOLMES? 'The
Deacon's Masterpiece,' and 'Parson Turrell's Legacy,' are of the very
best, of the triple _est_ brand; it is only to be wished there were a
hundred of them. Of that strange blending of pathos with humor, and the
'sentiment of society,' in which HOLMES equals, or, if you
will, surpasses PRAED, there are several exquisite examples.
But buy it for yourself, reader, and you will not regret the purchase,
for the harder the times, so much the more, as we opine, does the world
need cheering poesy.



BOOKS RECEIVED.

     SOME OF THE MISTAKES OF EDUCATED MEN. A Biennial Address
     before the Phrenokosmian Society of Pennsylvania College,
     Gettysburg, Pa. By John S. Hart, M.D. Delivered Sept. 18, 1861.
     Philadelphia: C. Sherman & Son, 1861.

An excellent address, which has attracted much comment and quotation
from different journals since its publication.


     THE COTTON KINGDOM: A Traveler's Observations on Cotton
     and Slavery in the American Slave States. Based upon three former
     volumes of journeys and investigations by the same author. By
     Frederick Law Olmstead. In two volumes. New York: Mason Brothers,
     1861.

The best record extant of social or commercial facts and figures
illustrative of the entire South.


     LADY MAUD. By Pierce Egan. Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson &
     Brothers.

We learn with regret that this is the only complete and unabridged
edition of Lady Maud, since from a hasty examination of its chapters we
judge that the more the work were abbreviated the better would it be for
the public.


     RECORD OF AN OBSCURE MAN. '_Aux plus déshérités le plus
     d'amour_.' Boston: Ticknor & Fields.

A work of very decided merit, though one advancing views and sentiments
which can not fail to provoke opposition and argument from many readers.
Of its interest, as well as of the talent of the author, there can be
but one opinion.


     SPARE HOURS. By John Brown, M.D. Boston: Ticknor & Fields,
     1861.

A beautiful reprint of the _Horæ Subscivæ_, beginning with 'Rab and his
Friends,' followed by many congenial sketches, the whole forming one of
the most fascinating volumes of light reading which has appeared for
years.


     THE SOUTHERN REBELLION AND THE WAR FOR THE UNION. A
     History of the Rise and Progress of the Rebellion. New York: James
     D. Torrey, No. 13 Spruce Street.

A well written, weekly current chronicle of the events of the war,
prepared from copious sources. The arrangement of this work is
excellent.


     GREAT EXPECTATIONS. By Charles Dickens. Philadelphia: T.
     B. Peterson & Brothers, 1861.

Another addition to the excellent duo-decimo edition of
DICKENS'S complete works, published by PETERSON.


RELATION OF THE AMERICAN BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR FOREIGN MISSIONS
TO SLAVERY. By Charles M. Whipple. Boston: R. T. Walcutt, No. 221
Washington Street, 1861.


WOMAN'S RIGHTS UNDER THE LAW. In three Lectures delivered in
Boston, January, 1861, by Caroline H. Dall, author of Woman's Right to
Labor, &c. Boston: Walker, Wise & Co. 1861.


THE REBELLION; its Latent Causes and True Significance, in
Letters to a Friend abroad. By Henry T. Tuckerman. New York: James G.
Gregory, 1861.


LIGHT INFANTRY DRILL in the United States Army. T. B. Peterson
& Brothers. Philadelphia, 1861. Price, 25 cents.



EDITOR'S TABLE


It was usual, of old, to characterize as _Annus Mirabilis_, or A Year of
Wonder, any twelvemonth which had been more than usually prolific in
marvels. The historian who may in future days seek a dividing point or a
date for the greatest political and social struggle of this age, can
hardly fail to indicate 1861 as the _Annus Mirabilis_ of the Nineteenth
Century in America. That heart does not beat, the brain does not throb
on earth, which is capable of feeling or appreciating the tremendous
range of consequences involved in the events of this year. We hear the
most grating thunder-peals of horror; the whole artillery of death and
disaster roars and crashes from fort and field; there is blaze and ruin,
such as this continent knew not perhaps even in the primeval times of
its vanished Golden Hordes;--and again there rise prophetic organ-tones
of solemn praise; merry bells ringing the carillon of joy; sweet voices
as in dreams singing of the purple evening peace; while mysteriously and
beautifully, beyond all, breathes the Daughter of the Voice--that
strangest of prophecies known to the Hebrew of old, softly inspiring
hopes of a fairer future America than was ever before dreamed of. For,
of a truth, above all sits and works the awful destiny of man,
proclaiming as of old, amid strange races now forgotten, that the
humanity which bravely toils and labors shall live, while the haughty
and the oppressor and the sluggard, puffed up with vanity, shall all
pass away as the mist of the morning.

It is worth while, at the conclusion of such a year, to look about us;
to see what has been done or what is now doing, and to surmise as well
as we may what great changes the future may bring forth.

A year ago this country was plagued and disgraced beyond any on the face
of the earth by swarms of professional politicians; by men who regarded
all legislation as one vast Lobby and Third House, and 'ability' as the
means of turning corruption to their own personal advantage. These
miserables, whether on the Northern or Southern side, tacitly united in
driving all legislation or congressional business from its legitimate
halls into the procrastinating by-paths, in order that they might make
speeches and magnify themselves unto Buncombe, and be glorified by the
local home press because of their devotion to--the party! The party!
That was always the word. Where are these men of froth and wind
now,--these heroes of the stump and the bar-room? Passing away into
nothing, at headlong speed, before the great storm of the times. Now and
then they 'rally'--there was one ghastly wig-and-hollow-pumpkin effort
at recovery in the trembling, rattle-jointed Peace Movement of these
last summer months. Where is it now? There answers a gay laugh and merry
stave from the corners of irreverent weekly newspapers:--

  'The piece of a party, called the party of peace,
  Like everything else which deceases,
  Has gone where the wicked from trouble shall cease,
  For the party of peace is in pieces.'

Or we may see now and then wretched election meetings, as of late in New
York, where a worn-out FERNANDO WOOD and others like him gabble
as much treason as they dare. It is all played out--Mozart, Tammany,
and all the trash. Rummy, frowsy candidates, treating Five-Point
graduates, and shoulder-hitting bravos yelling at the polls, are
beginning to be disgusting and anti-national elements. Their very
existence is an insult to these great, serious and glorious times of
manly war, when young men are beginning at last to 'think great.' A few
more gasps by the politicians and down they must go into infinite depths
of congenial darkness, to be remembered only as allied to 'the
abominable state of affairs before the war.'

It is no small thing to have driven so much of the old iniquity out; but
from this and that side come murmurs that there are but few signs of the
young genius coming in. Oh, for one hour of Dundee! Oh, for a WEBSTER in
the cabinet, whose right arm should go forth and take hold of England
and Frank-land of the East, while his left swept the isles of the South
with fearful power! Oh, for the fierce old Dandolo of America, who was
_not_ blind, but whose piercing glance at this hour would dart through
many a diabolical diplomatic difficulty--for ANDREW JACKSON! Oh, for the
trumpet tones of CLAY--of MARCY--for one brave blast of that dread horn
of olden time which rang so bravely to battle!

Friends, have patience. Remember that these men, and all like them, were
slowly born of great times, and that we must await time's gestation. In
this age there spring no longer heroes dragon-tooth born into full
fighting-life inside of 2.30. But so surely as stars shine in their
rounding life, or water runs, or God lives, so surely are these days of
storm and sorrow and tremendous travail bringing slowly on their
legitimate fruit of great ideas and great men. Young man--whoever you
are--be sacred to yourself now, and, for a season, serious and pure and
noble--for _who_ knows in these times to what he may grow? But a century
ago, this land lay buried in obscurity. Here and there young
land-surveyors and country store-keepers wondered that destiny had
buried them on Virginia farms and in Yankee backwoods. But war came,--no
greater than this of ours--one involving no grander principles of human
dignity and freedom,--and the young 'obscures' darted to the heaven and
took glorious places amid the constellations of fame. 'When the tale of
bricks is doubled,' says the Hebrew proverb, 'Moses comes.'

We hear much said of the honest, sturdy, no-nonsense virtues of the old
revolutionary stock, both male and female. The thing is plain
enough--they had passed through serious times and great thoughts,
through trials, and sorrows, and healthy privation, and come out strong.
Just such will be the stock of men and women born in spirit of this war.
It is making the old material over again. It was all here as good as
ever, but wanted a little stirring up, that was all. He who has seen in
the sturdy East and glorious West the unflinching honesty and
earnestness with which men are upholding this war to the knife and knife
to the hilt, as PALAFOX phrased it,--or, as the American hath
it in humbler phrase, 'from the wheel to the hub and hub to the
linch-pin,'--has no doubt that at this minute it was never so popular,
never so determined, never so thoroughly ingrained, entwined,
inter-twisted with the whole life-core and being of our people. 'We
suffer--but on with the war! Hurrah for battle--only give us victory! Do
you ask for money, arms, ships?--take all and everything to
superfluity--but oh, give us victory and power!' Out of such will as
this there come the greatest of men--giants of a fearfully glorious
future. When we look around and see this red-hot iron determination to
see all through to the victorious end, we may well feel assured that the
day of great ideas and of great men is not far off.

It is superb for a stranger to see how the spirit of the Revolution
still lives in New England, and is voiced and acted by men bearing
Revolutionary names--it is magnificent to behold the stream, grown to a
thunder-torrent, roaring and foaming over the broad West. Hurrah! it
still lives--that old spirit of freedom, its fires are all aflame, and
it shall not again smoulder until the whole world has seen, as it did
before, that it is the light of the world, and the pillar guiding as of
old to the promised land.

If 1861 had brought nothing else to pass it would be supremely great in
this, that amid toil and trial, foes within and without, it has seen the
American people determine that _Slavery_, the worm which gnawed the core
of its tree of life, shall be plucked out. _Out it shall go_, that is
settled. We have fought the foe too long with kid gloves, but now puss
will lay aside her mittens and catch the Southern rats in earnest. It is
the negro who sustains the South; the negro who maintains its army,
feeds it, digs its trenches, squires its precious chivalry, and is
thereby forced most unnaturally to rivet his own chains. There shall be
an end to this, and our administration is yielding to this inevitable
necessity. Here again the great year has worked a wonder, since in so
short a space it has made such an advance in discovering a basis by
which all Union men may conscientiously unite in freeing the black.
There have been hitherto two steps made towards the solution. The first
was that of the old Abolition movement, which saw only the suffering of
the slave and cried aloud for his freedom, reckless of all results. It
was humane; but even humanity is not always worldly wise, and it did
unquestionably for twenty years defeat its own aim in the Border States.
But it _worked_ most unflinchingly. Then came HELPER, who saw
that the poor white man of the South was being degraded below the negro,
and that industry and capital were fearfully checked by slavery. In his
well-known work he pointed out, by calm and dispassionate facts and
figures, that the land south of 'Mason and Dixon's' was being sacrificed
most wastefully, and the majority of its white inhabitants kept in
incredible ignorance, meanness, and poverty, simply that a few
privileged families might remain 'first and foremost.' These opinions
were most clearly sustained, and the country was amazed. People began to
ask if it was quite right, after all, to suffer this slavery to grow and
grow, when it was manifestly reacting on the poor white man, and
literally sinking him _below the level of the black_. This was the
second movement on the slave question, and its effect was startling.

But there was yet a third advance required, and it came with the past
year and the war, in the form of the now so rapidly expanding
'Emancipation' movement. HELPER had shown that slavery had
degraded the poor whites, but the events leading to the present struggle
indicated to all intelligent humanity that it was rapidly demoralizing
and ruining in the most hideous manner the minds of the _masters_ of the
slaves--nay, that its foul influence was spreading like a poison mist
over the entire continent. The universal shout of joyful approbation
which the whole South had raised years ago when a Northern senator was
struck down and beaten in the most infamously cowardly manner, had
caused the very horror of amazement at such fearful meanness, among all
true hearted and manly _men_, the world over. But when there came from
the 'first families' grinnings of delight over the vilest thievery and
forgery and perjury by FLOYD and his fellows,--when the whole
South, after agreeing in carrying on an election, refused to abide by
its results,--when the whole Southern press abounded in the vilest
denunciations of labor and poverty, and in Satanic contempt of
everything 'Yankee,' meaning thereby all that had made the North and
West prosperous and glorious,--and when, finally, it was found that this
loathsome poison was working through the North itself, corrupting the
young with pseudo-aristocratic pro-slavery sympathies,--then indeed it
became apparent that _for the sake of all, and for that of men in
comparison to whose welfare that of the negro was a mere trifle_, this
fearful disease must be in some form abated. The result was the
development of Emancipation on the broadest possible grounds,--of
Emancipation for the sake of the Union and of the white man,--to be
brought about, however, by the will of the people, subject to such
rules as discussion and expediency might determine. This was the present
Emancipation movement, first urged by that name in the New York
_Knickerbocker_ magazine, though its main principles were practically
manifesting themselves in many quarters--the most prominent being the
well-known proclamations of Generals BUTLER and FREMONT.

'Emancipation' does not, as has been urged, present in comparison to
Abolition a distinction without a difference. HELPER desired
the freedom of the slave for the sake of the poor white man in the South
and for Southern development. _Emancipation_ goes further, and claims
that nowhere on the American continent is the white laborer free from
the vile comparison and vile influences of slavery, and that it should
be abolished for the sake of the Union and for the sake of _all_ white
men. It may be dim to many now, but it is true as God's providence, that
whether it be in our Union, or out of it, we can no longer exist side by
side with a state of society in which it is shamelessly proclaimed that
labor, man's holiest and noblest attribute, is a disgrace; that the
negro is the standard of the mudsill, and that the state must be based
on an essentially degraded, sunken class, whether white or black. Yet we
might for the sake of peace have long borne with all this, and yielded
to the old lie-based 'isothermal' cant, had it not resulted, as it
inevitably must, in building up the most miserable, insolent, and
arrogant pseudo aristocracy which ever made the name of aristocracy
ridiculous, not excepting that of the court of the sable Emperor
FAUSTIN of St. Domingo. It is all very well to talk of Southern
rights; but humanity and progress, or, if you will, law and order,
industry and capital, have their rights also, aye, and their manifest
destiny too, and no one can deny that; reason as we may, or concede as
much as we will, there the facts are--the principal being the utter
impossibility of a slave-aristocracy--rotted to the core with theories
now exploded through the civilized world--existing either in or out of a
neighboring republic in which freedom

  'Careers with thunder-speed along.'

So we stand at the parting of the ways. But the problem is half solved
already. The year 1861 closes leaving it clear as noon-day that
emancipation in the Border States is a foregone conclusion, and that,
reduced to the cotton belt, it can never become a preponderating
national influence. As for the details of settlement, calmly considered,
they present no real difficulty to the man who realizes the enormous
industrial and recuperative energies of this country.

'What are we to do with one or two million of free blacks?' asks one. A
few years ago, when it was proposed to banish all free persons of color
from Maryland, a cry of alarm went up lest Baltimore alone should be
deprived of fifteen thousand of 'the best servants in the world.' 'How
shall we ever pay for those who may be offered for sale to us, if we
resolve to pay for their slaves all Southerners who may take the oath of
allegiance?' Eight days' expenses of the present war would pay more than
the market price for all the slaves in Maryland! But these objections
are childish. Right against them rises a tremendous, inevitable destiny,
which _must_ crush all before it. So much for 1861.

We would urge no measure in this or any other relation which shall not
have received the fullest endorsement of two thirds of the loyal
American people. As regards all foreign interference, let it never be
forgotten that public opinion after all prevails in all Western Europe,
and that this would long hesitate ere it committed a national reputation
to an endorsement of the Southern Confederacy. It is apparent from the
authentic and shameless avowals of the Southern press that Mr.
SLIDELL, the cut-short ambassador, was authorized to solicit a
French protectorate of LOUIS NAPOLEON,--to such incredible
baseness has slave 'independence' sunk,--and, as we write, much
discussion is waged whether England will take in ill part our arrest of
a man charged with such a monstrous mission! Let England imagine herself
dependent on such a protectorate for her cotton, and the thought may
possibly occur that it would have been better to have sided at once
openly and squarely with the North. But John Bull is strangely changed
in these times, and Yankee protection is inconceivably more awful to him
than the slavery with which he has been for twenty years so much
disgusted.

  'The heart it pincheth sore,
  But the pocket pinches more.'

And now with the New Year. Amid red-flashing war and wild strivings we
look bravely and hopefully forward into the future, and see amid these
storms blue sky rifts and golden sun gleams. Already strong and
practical advances in education, in political economy, in industry, in
all that is healthier and sounder in life, are beginning to manifest
themselves. This country can be in nothing put back by this struggle, in
no wise weakened or injured. It is our hope and will that in these
columns some share of the good work may be honestly carried out. We wish
to speak under the most vital American influences to the American
people, ambitious of being nothing more nor less than soundly national
in all things. We see a new time forming, new ideas rising, and would
give it and them a voice in such earnest and energetic tones as the
people love. We call not only for the matured thought, but also for the
young mind of the country, and beg every man and woman who entertains
vigorous and practical ideas to come out boldly and speak freely. Think
nobly, write rapidly! Remember that every letter printed in these times
will take its place in history. The forgotten comment of the moment will
rise up in after years to be honored perhaps as the right word in the
right place. The day is coming when the songs and sentences of this
great struggle will be garnered up into literary treasuries, pass into
household words, and confer honor on the children of those who penned
them. Lay hand to the work, all you who have aught to say, aid us to
become a medium for the time, and honor yourselves by your utterances.
There are a thousand reforms, innumerable ideas fit for the day, ready
to bloom forth. Write and publish; the public is listening. Now is the
time, if it ever was, to develop an American character, to show the
world what treasures of life, strength and originality this country
contains. Beyond the old conventional _belles lettres_ and æsthetic
scholarship which limited us in peace, lies a fair land, a wilderness it
may be, but one bearing beautiful, unknown flowers, and strange but
golden fruits, which are well worthy a garden. Let all who know of these
bring them in. The time has come.

We have been questioned from many of the highest sources as to the
future tendency and scope of our magazine. Let us say then, briefly,
that we hope to make a bold step forward, presenting in our columns
contributions characterized by variety, vigor, and originality, to be
written by men who are fully up with the times and endeavoring to
advance in all things. In a word, we shall do our best to give it
exuberant _life_--such as the country and age require. We shall advocate
the holy cause of the UNION with might and main, and leave no
means whatever neglected to urge the most vigorous prosecution of this
war, until the sacred principles of liberty as transmitted to us by our
forefathers have been fully recognized and re-established. Believing in
Emancipation, subject to the will of the majority and the action of the
administration, we shall still welcome to our pages the properly
expressed views of _every_ sound 'Union man' or woman on this or other
subjects, however differing from our own. We shall urge the fullest
development of education as the great basis of future social progress,
and shall have faith in making woman's intellect and labor as available
as possible in all respects. We shall hold to the belief that in
constant industrial development, the increase of capital, and the
harmony of interests between these, lies the material salvation of the
country, and that labor in every form should be continually ennobled and
socially dignified.

We shall, moreover, look with true love to all that art and beauty in
their manifold forms can supply to render life lovely and pleasant, and
welcome all that can be written in their illustration. Our columns will
never be deficient in tales, poetry and sketches, and that nothing may
be neglected, we shall always devote full room to genial gossip with the
reader, and to such original humors, quips, jests and anecdotes as
chance or the kindness of correspondents may supply. And we would here
entreat all our readers to be good friends and at home with us;
regarding the editorial department as a place of cheerful welcome for
anything which they may choose to commune on; in which all confidences
will be kept, and where all courtesies will be honorably acknowledged.
We have received most abundant and cordial promises of assistance and
support in our effort to maintain a thoroughly spirited, 'wide-awake,'
and vigorous American magazine, from the very first in the land, and
therefore go on our way rejoicing. We enter into no rivalry, for we take
a well-nigh untrodden field, and shall fail in our dearest hope unless
we present the public with a monthly of a thoroughly original and
'go-ahead' character. We are told that these are bad times; but for our
undertaking, as we understand it, there could be none better--for it
shall be made for the times, 'timely and temporal in all things.'

       *       *       *       *       *

We are indebted to a correspondent for the following comment on a
subject which has thus far excited not a little wonder, and which, as
the loyal reader may be disposed to add, _should_ excite some degree of
vigorous inquiry among the people at large. Like every other practical
point involved in this struggle, it suggests the mortifying truth that
with all our sacrifices, and all our patriotism, we are as yet in the
conduct of the war far too amiable, and by far too irresolute.

     WANTED, A FOUCHÉ FOR WASHINGTON.--It is high time that a
     good, sharp detective police officer was set to work to discover
     the source of the continued leakage of our government's plans. Of
     our late naval flotilla for Beaufort, we are told that 'The
     positive destination of our fleet was known even in New Orleans on
     the 17th ult.,--weeks before it was known in the North! and extra
     troops were dispatched from points south of Charleston to defend
     the approaches of that coast.' We are informed that every care was
     exercised to prevent the destination of the expedition being made
     public; with how much effect the above quoted paragraph fully
     demonstrates. In view of this, I repeat that a FOUCHÉ, a
     keen detective, is wanted at head-quarters; believing that any man
     with half the shrewdness of the celebrated 'Duke of Otranto' would
     pin the traitor in less than twenty-four hours. That such a man can
     easily be found, any one who has learned what American detectives
     have done, can readily believe. Active, intelligent, and wide
     awake, the American who by necessity takes up this life, brings to
     bear upon his investigations the shrewdness of a savage, the
     tenacity of an Englishman, and, in a modified degree, the _aplomb_
     of a Parisian. No one can read POE'S 'Murder of the Rue
     Morgue' without recognizing at a glance the latent talent that
     would have made of the cloudy poet a brilliant policeman, and would
     have won for him the ducal fortune without the empty title. If we
     must handle the Southern mutineers in their Rebelutionary war with
     a velvet glove, let there be an iron hand inside, worked by the
     high-pressure power of public indignation at their treachery and
     faithlessness. We should stop this leakage of our plans, cost what
     it may, and the traitorous Southern correspondent meet the
     execration of ARNOLD, and the fate of ANDRÉ. The
     iron hand should stop the treacherous pen, should choke the wagging
     tongue. The North demands it.

And yet again, since the above was penned, we learn that it has been
ascertained by a balloon reconnaissance that a projected flank movement,
planned by General McCLELLAN and confided to a very limited number, had
been completely anticipated--indicating the basest treachery in a high
quarter. Very agreeable this to all interested in the war! And what does
it mean?

It means that Washington, and not Washington alone, but the entire
North, needs purging and purifying from most injurious influences. There
are traitors among us everywhere--where two or three are gathered
together will be one who sneers at Northern successes, smiles at
Southern victory, and is a traitor at heart--ready to be a spy if
needed.

No wonder that warm friends of the Union sometimes burst out into
indignant remonstrance and fierce complaint at such toleration!

Still, we must look at the matter philosophically; rather in sorrow than
in anger, for thus only can we correct the evil. There is a large number
of well-meaning people, especially in Washington, who have lived only
for and in a society in which Southern influence greatly predominated.
Familiar with the wildest excitement of politics, yet accustomed to
regard the leaders of all parties as equally unprincipled, and only
persuaded of the single social fact, that it is highly respectable to
own slaves, they can not see, even in the horrors of war, anything more
than the old excitement, in which shrewd and wily politicians continue
to pull wires. And in many other places besides Washington do the voices
of pleasant interests, or the echoes of pleasant memories, recall old
friendships or old ties. The head may be patriotic and union-loving and
at war with the South, but the heart is peaceful and clings to ancient
memories.

Now, if there is anything, dear reader, which is allied to real
goodness, it is this very same soft-heartedness which we find it so hard
to thoroughly condemn, even in such a case as that of the good Scotch
clergyman, who pitied and prayed for 'the poor auld deevil' himself. But
here it is that the 'gallant Southron' has the advantage over us. No
lingering love for Northern friends of olden time, no kindly regard for
by-gone intimacies, flashes up from the darkened abyss of 'Dixey.' And,
to be frank and fair, reader, does it not seem to you that while the
business in hand is literal _fighting_, not without much 'battle, murder
and sudden death,' it would be at least respectful to the awful destiny
of the hour to treat its ways seriously?

But let it foam and surge on, the time is coming when the great stream
of Northern freedom will purify itself from all the foul stains of its
old stagnation. Perhaps years may be required, but this we know,--that
the dam has been broken away at last, and that now the glad torrent
whirls bravely onward in sparkling young life. For at length the time is
coming when a healthy _Northern_ sentiment shall make itself felt, where
of old it was carefully excluded, and the fresh breeze from the Northern
pines shall purify the sickly air. They will pass away, these of the old
generation--there will arise better ones to take their place, and all
shall be changed.

Meanwhile, for all our late great victories and advances, let us be
thankful! not forgetting the smaller crumbs of comfort--as, for
instance, the capture of SLIDELL, MASON and Co., which a friend
has kindly recorded for your benefit, most excellent reader, in the
following chapter:--


CHRONICLES OF SECESSIA.


CHAPTER I.

Now it came to pass in the first year of the great Rebellion

In the land of Secessia, whose men were men of Belial, hard of heart,
and inflamed with exceeding great wrath against the children of the
North, and against all people who walked in the way of truth and
justice:

Meditating evil from the first mint-julep before breakfast, even unto
the last nip of corn whisky before retiring;--

In the isles of the South, and on the firm land, where COTTON was king,
and JEFFERSON, whose surname was DAVIS, was his prophet; where BENJAMIN,
the finder of stray watches and spoons, and FLOYD, the spoiler, were
priests--Oh, my soul, enter thou not into their counsels!--

Lo! it came to pass that there arose a great cry from among the people;

A great and vehement cry, a wailing and roaring as of many of the
chivalry when they burn with strong drink at quarter races, or smite
with bowie-knives in a free fight around the court-house:

The cry of many women and children, to say nothing of editors,
politicians, dirt-eaters, and negro auctioneers:

Saying, 'Lo! these many days have we been closed up by the Yankees, even
like unto a pint of Bourbon in an exceedingly tight-corked bottle, so
that nothing may go out or in, and who shall say what may be the end
thereof?

'Since the blockade presseth sorely upon our ports, the merchandise of
many lands cometh not therein, and we are entirely out of groceries.

'Having neither balm nor myrrh, spices nor tea, coffee nor brandy.

'Quinine is not among us, neither have we cheese, shoes, sugar,
jack-knives, cigars, patent medicines, glue, tenpenny nails, French
gloves, pens or ink, dye-stuffs, nor raisins.

'Clothes are exceeding scarce, for, lo! we are becoming an extremely
ragged and seedy generation; our toes stick out through our last year's
boots, neither is there any one among us who knoweth enough to make the
first principle of a brogan.

'For all these things were made or imported by the Yankees afore-time,
even since the days of our fathers, and we are too proud to defile our
hands with such base labor.

'Shall we, too, be as dogs cobbling shoes, or as the heathen who sell
rat-traps, peddle milk-pails, and keep Thanksgiving?

'Lo! the kings of the earth see us with scorn; those who sit in high
places wag their heads, and say we are naught, yea, polluted in our
inheritance.

'And the _Times_ will declare that we sit in ashes; even the _Moniteur_
will say that we devour dust, and the _Zeitungs_ of all Germany, even
the press of the Philistines, will proclaim that we are utterly fallen.

'Now let there be a long pull, a strong pull, and a pull all together,
to settle this business.

'Let there be ambassadors--men of subtle tongue, cunning in
counsel--chosen to go forth; yea, let them be equipped in fine raiment,
having bran-new coats to confer honor and glory upon us, with
secretaries and assistant secretaries, sub-secretaries and
deputy-assistant sub-secretaries,--even these having their servants and
servants' servants,--lo, the least among them shall have his underling,
and so on _ad infinitum_.

'And we, albeit poor, will lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver
in the balance, and hire a goldsmith, who shall bedeck them exceeding
fine, so that the princes and potentates shall fall down before them,
yea, shall worship.

'Then, when our great embassy cometh, and the princes inquire of the
blockade, lo, our messengers shall laugh and say, "Go to!--it is naught,
it hath passed away, and is bosh."'

'"Are we not here, ready to declare the end from the beginning, and
from ancient times, even of CALHOUN, the things that are not
yet done, saying, 'our counsel shall stand?' Verily, it takes us, and we
are the original Jacobs, having no connection with the bogus concern
over the way."

'And they shall cotton to us, and we unto them; and we will trade our
tobacco for their wines, and _Pro Baccho Tobacco_ shall be written in
all the high places.'


CHAPTER II.

Now JEFFERSON, whose surname should have been Brick, but that
it was not, seeing that it was DAVIS.

Saw the counsel that it was good.

And having seen it, and set his eyes upon the egg which their wisdom had
hatched, and pronounced it a good egg;

Chose him of his chief men two, whereof the like were not to be
found--no, not in all the North, and in the South was not their equal.

Whereof the first was a MASON, the like of whom was not known,
not in the land of Huram of old, nor among the Hittites or the dwellers
by the sea.

For he was like unto a turkey-cock, stuck up and of excessive pride,
spreading himself and strutting vehemently from the rising of the sun
even unto the going down of the same; ineffably great in his own
conceit, swelling in vanity, puffed up like a bladder even nigh unto
bursting;

So that the little ones in the market-place cried after him, 'Big
Injiun, heap big!'

And the other was a 'little' New Yorker, even a renegade of the North,
one who had backslidden from the ways of his fathers, and that right
ill. Wherefore he was called SLIDE-ILL. Howbeit some termed him
SLY-DEAL, from his dealings both with cards and with men.

But it came to pass that they called him SLIDELL, forasmuch as
that he was one who naturally took the whole ell, whether one gave him
an inch or no.

Now they packed their trunks, and took unto them 'poor EUSTIS,'
and many others equally talented and important.

Not forgetting their wives, neither their man-servants nor their
maid-servants, their wines nor their cigars.

Howbeit they took not with them the bonds of the Confederacy, lest the
Paris shop-keepers should say, 'Go to--it is naught;'

But divers eagles and dimes, stolen afore-time from UNCLE SAM,
took they. Likewise bills of exchange and circular letters of credit
upon certain of the Jews.

And so they went down unto the sea in ships,--even in a
steam-ship,--sailing to the Havana, where she was unladed of her burden.


CHAPTER III.

[THE SONG OF REJOICING.]

Now when the ambassadors, and they which bore the words of the king, had
sailed.

Lo, there was great rejoicing in all Secessia,--there was naught heard
save the voices of renegade Northern editors,--[for that the Southerners
know not to write],--

Saying, 'Come, let us be glad; laugh, O thou my soul.

'For they have gone, they have escaped, they have got away, they have
dodged, they have cut stick, they have vamosed the ranch.

'They have ripped it full chisel, they are off licketty-split, they have
slid, they have made tracks, they have mizzled--they have absquatulated
and clipped it; _abiit, evasit, crupit_! Hurrah for us!

'Lo, the Yankees are brought low--the nasty, mercenary, low-born,
infernal mudsills are defiled, and become as a vain thing. _Gloria_!

'For our messengers are on the high seas; they are O.K.; they
shall deliver us from the pit. _Victoria_!

'They will drive things chuck to the hub in slasher-gaff style; our foes
shall become even as dead birds in the pit; they shall be euchred, and
discounted, and we will rake down the pot.

'Come, let us take drinks, for who shall stand against us?'


CHAPTER IV.

Now it came to pass that when UNCLE SAMUEL heard of these
things, he was sorely riled; yea, his wrath was like unto a six-story
stack of wolverines and wild-cats, mixed with sudden death and patent
chain-lightning.

Howbeit he lost no time, and tarried not to take a long swear over the
business,

But sent forth his ships:

Sending likewise THURLOW, whose surname was WEED, to
prevail over MASON and SLY-DEAL, and come vitriol over
their vinegar.

But when the people heard THURLOW say, 'I go, indeed, unto
Europe, but not on this business--SLIDELL may slide for aught I
care,'

Then the multitude winked one unto the other, so that such terrible
winking was never before seen,

Exclaiming, 'Oh, yes--in a horn. We knew it not before, but now we know
it for certain.'

And a certain SIMEON, whose surname was DRAPER, stood
up in the market-place and wagered that THURLOW would pull the
wool over Mason, and humble him;

And there were no takers. _Selah_.


CHAPTER V.

Now there was a valiant captain, a man of war, hating all iniquity even
as poison.

And his name was WILKES--honor and praise to it in all lands!--

Captain of the San Jacinto, cruising for a pirate on the high seas, even
for the Sumter.

And he came from Africa, even from the East unto the Havana, in an isle
of the sea which lieth under the tower of the Moro;

Where he heard from his Consul strange news, saying that MASON
and SLIDELL had sailed in a British steamer, even the Trent,
which saileth between Vera Cruz, Havana, and St. Thomas.

Then said the captain, 'Shall I refrain myself to stop this iniquity?

'Arise, oh my soul, gird thyself, and go forth; tarry not, but nab them
in their wickedness.

'Take them where the hair is short; jerk them, and pull them even as the
fancy policeman pulleth the pickpocket when he seeth him picking the
pocket of the righteous.

'Shall I hold back my hand when my country calleth? Not if I know it.
_Selah_.

'Up steam and after them, oh my soul; let there be coal under the
boilers, oh my heart; let the way in which we shall travel be a caution,
faster than Flora Temple or any other man.

'Fling forth the stripes and stars--hoist the rag, thou galiant sailior;
go it strong as it can be mixed. For the star-spangled banner in triumph
shall wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.'


CHAPTER VI.

Now it came to pass at the end of the first day that they saw the Trent
in the Bermudas, even in the channel.

Then the brave captain sent on board Lieutenant FAIRFAX,--which
in the Norse tongue is Harfager or Fair-Haired; since it runneth in the
family to be sea-kings, and brave on the ocean.

And he, mounting the ship, cried aloud, 'Where are they?'

Then the Englishman replied, 'I know not whom ye seek,--lo, they are not
here!'

Then he, seeing MASON a little apart, cried, 'Lo! here he is.'

And MASON, hearing this, turned to the color of ashes; his
knees smote together; he became even as a boiled turkey-cock; there was
no soul left in him.

Yea, even his collar wilted, and the stock of his heart went down
ninety-five per cent.

Howbeit he said, with Slidell, 'We will not go save we be forced.'

'Then' replied FAIRFAX, 'I shall take you by force.'

So they held a council together, and resolved to go.

But their wives and little ones they sent on to Europe, and gave
instructions to poor EUSTIS.

Bidding him go in when it should rain, and be sure and put up his
umbrella if he had one.

Likewise to bear certain documents promptly and speedily to the kings
and princes;

Which WILKES hearing, he speedily smashed, taking poor
EUSTIS with the papers.

This was the end of the Council of Trent. It was not that great council
of the name, but a very small one, and which came to nothing--small
potatoes, and few in a hill. Selah!


CHAPTER VII.

Now it had come to pass years before, and was on record,

That MASON, having been asked to visit Boston,

Replied, 'Verily, verily, I say unto you that I will not set foot
therein again save as an ambassador to that land.'

Now these things were remembered against him, and printed in all the
papers, even in the Boston papers printed they them.

And they bare him into prison, with SLIDELL, and poor
EUSTIS was he borne of them.

And they seemed extremely wamble-cropt and chop-fallen; their feathers
shone not, even their sickle-feathers drooped in the dust, and their
combs were white.

And they seemed as unclean men caught in their unrighteousness, who had
been sold uncommonly cheap, with nary buyer.

And they took from them the gold which they had stolen afore-time from
UNCLE SAM, even the bills upon the Hebrews did they yield up.
Howbeit, they received a receipt for them.

And they asked much, 'How shall we feed, and may we have servants?' and
wished to live pleasantly; yet, when at Richmond, SLIDELL had
reviled the Yankee prisoners sorely, and counseled harsh treatment.

Then went they into the jug, and were allotted each man his bunk in the
prison-house.

And the word went forth to hang all pirates and robbers on the sea, even
as it had been spoken sternly by OLD ABE, of Washington;

Saying, string them up in short order.

And if they of Secessia hang the brave CORCORAN and his
friends,

Then, as the LORD liveth, SLIDELL and MASON
shall pull hemp; even on the gallows shall they hang like thieves and
murderers--the land hath sworn it. SELAH!


'SOUND on the Goose Question.'

Who is there among our readers who has not heard that phrase? It has now
for some years been transferred from one political topic to another,
until its flavor of novelty is well-nigh gone. But _whence_ the
expression? An antiquarian would probably hint at the geese whose sound
saved Rome. The great goose question of the Reformation was the burning
of one Huss, whose name in English signifyeth Goose, for which reason he
is said to have exclaimed to his tormentors 'Now ye indeed roast a
goose, but, lo! after me there will come a swan whom ye can not roast;'
which was strangely fulfilled in LUTHER, whose name--slightly
varied--signifies in Bohemian a swan. But, reader, 'an it please you,'
here is the original and 'Simon Pure' explanation, as furnished by a
correspondent:--

     'Are you right on the goose question?' But do you know the origin
     of the phrase? It was told to me, at Harrisburg, in Pennsylvania,
     when I was there in "Fremont's time," _anno_ 1856. Alas! the fates
     deal hardly with Fremont. C. and F., now a satellite of C., helped
     to slaughter him once before in Pennsylvania--sold him out to
     Know-Nothings. Hope they haven't now in Missouri pitched him over
     to be succeeded by Do-Nothings. But to the story. Harrisburg has
     wide, clean, brick sidewalks. Many of the poorer sort there kept
     geese years ago, and sold or ate their progeny in the days of
     November and December--the "_embers_ of the dying year." Jenkins
     was up for constable. The question whether geese should run at
     large was started. The Harrisburg geese made at times bad work on
     the clean sidewalks, as do their examplars, spitting on the _pave_
     of Broadway. A delegation of the geese-owners waited on Jenkins.
     Seeing that they had many votes, he declared himself in favor of
     the geese running at large. The better sort of people, who were in
     favor of clean sidewalks, hearing of this, set up an opposition
     candidate, who avowed himself opposed to having the sidewalks
     fouled by these errant fowls. The canvass waxed warm; a third
     candidate took the field; he put himself in the hands of an astute
     "trainer" for the political fray. We don't know whether or not this
     was before the day when Mr. Cameron counseled in politics at
     Harrisburg, but his Mentor bid this new candidate, when the
     delegations applied for his views on the all-absorbing issues, to
     say nothing himself, but to refer to him, the Mentor aforesaid. And
     when the delegations accordingly came to Mentor to find the
     position of the third candidate, he said to each, with unction,
     "You will find my friend sound on the goose question." Third
     candidate was elected. His story got wind, and from that day till
     Bull Run all the politicians of the land have striven likewise to
     be 'sound on the goose question.'

Therefore let us be duly thankful that the time hath come when it shall
no longer advantage a man to say, 'Lo! I am sound,' or--as PRINCE
ALBERT was reported to reply constantly to his royal consort during
the early years of their marriage--'I dinks joost as _you_
dinks,'--since in these--days vigorous _acts_ and not quibbling words
are the only coin which shall pass current in politics.

       *       *       *       *       *

Never was there an institution which required such constant repairing as
'the great Southern system.' One of the latest and most terrible leaks
discovered is that of the danger to be apprehended from an influx of
vile Yankee immigrants after the North shall have been conquered. Unless
this is prevented, say the Charleston papers, who dictate pretty
independently to the whole of Dixie, we shall have sacrificed in vain
our blood and treasure, since nothing is more evident than that at no
distant day the Northern men among us will be fully able to control our
elections. Therefore it is proposed that no Northern man ever be allowed
the right of naturalization in the South.

But as even Southern injustice has not as yet the insolence to restrict
this precious prohibition to 'Yankees,' it is sequentially proposed that
with the exception of those foreigners now in the South, no person, not
a (white) native, shall ever, after this war, be allowed the rights of
citizenship in the C. S. A. There has not been, that we are aware, any
opposition to this hospitable proposition, but, on the contrary, it has
been most largely circulated and approved of.

It must be admitted that the South is in one thing at least
praiseworthy. It is consistent--to say nothing of being thoroughly in
earnest. To exclude all poor white immigrants from civil, and
consequently social privileges, is perfectly in keeping with its long
expressed contempt for mudsills. It legislates for F. F.'s, and for them
alone. It wants no Irish, no Germans, no foreign element of any
description between itself and the negro. It will make unto itself a
China within a wall of cotton-bales, and be sublimely magnificent within
itself.

But what of the Border, or, as GEO. SAUNDERS aptly called them,
the Tobacco States? (By the by, where is now that eminent rejected of
the C. S. A.?) The Patent Office Report for 1852 spoke as follows of
Fairfax County, Virginia, where thousands of acres of land have become
exhausted through slave labor, abandoned as worthless, and reduced to a
wilderness:--

     'These lands have been purchased by Northern emigrants, the large
     tracts divided and subdivided and cleared of pines, and neat
     farm-houses and barns, with smiling fields of grain and grass in
     the season, salute the delighted gaze of the beholder. Ten years
     ago it was a mooted question whether Fairfax lands could be made
     productive, and if so, would they pay the cost? This problem has
     been satisfactorily solved by many, and in consequence of the above
     altered state of things, school-houses and churches have doubled in
     number.'

But school-houses and churches are not what the C. S. A. want. 'Let us
alone with your Yankee contrivances. "Smiling fields indeed!"--we want
no smiling among us save the "smiles" of old Monongahela or Bourbon. The
fiery Southern heart does not condescend to smile. "Neat farm-houses!"
They may do for your Northern serfs--we'll none of them.' Verily the C.
S. A. is a stupendous power, which, according to the development of its
own avowed principles, must necessarily become greater as it is more and
more limited to fewer persons. In due time these will be reduced to
hundreds, those in time to scores, until, finally, all Southerndom shall
be merged in one individual quintessentially concentrated exponent of
Cottondom, who must needs be, perforce, so intensely respectable and so
sublimely aristocratic that Northern eye may not see nor Northern heart
feel the magnitude of his superiority, or pierce the gloom wherein he
shall sit, 'a sceptred hermit, wrapped in the solitude of his own
originality.'

       *       *       *       *       *

Five of the present Cabinet, with Secretary CAMERON at their
head, have expressed themselves fairly and fully in favor of
Emancipation,--foreseeing its inevitable realization, and, we presume,
the necessity of 'managing' it betimes. Only Messrs. SEWARD and
BATES hang timidly behind, waiting for stronger manifestations,
ere they hang out their flags. Meanwhile, from the rural districts of
the East and West come thousand-fold indications that the great 'working
majority' of Northern freemen--the same who elected LINCOLN and
urged on the war in thunder-tones and lightning acts--are sternly
determined to press the great measure, and purify this country for once
and forever of its great bitterness. It is a foregone conclusion.

       *       *       *       *       *

'If you would know what your neighbors think of you,' says an old
proverb, 'quarrel with them.' It has not been necessary of late to
quarrel with England to ascertain _her_ opinion of us, as expressed by
her editors, writers, and men of the highest standing. Our war with the
South has brought it out abundantly, and the result is a great dislike
of everything American, save cotton! We are not of those who would at
this time say too much on the subject,--every expression of Anglophobia
is just now nuts to the C. S. A., who would dearly relish a war between
us and the mother country,--but we may point to the significant fact
recently laid in a laconic letter by 'Railway TRAIN,' that
while everything is done in England to preserve a 'strict neutrality,'
as regards the North, and while the most vexatious hinderances are
placed in the way of exporting aught which may aid us,--much
_gratuitous_ pains being taken to prevent any material aid to the
Federal government,--vessels are allowed to load openly with all
contraband of war, even to arms and ammunition, for the avowed purpose
of supplying the South. This is not mere _rumor_--it has been amply
confirmed for months.

Very well, gentlemen; very well, indeed. We may remember all your
kindness and the depth of your zealous abolition philanthropy. '_Haud
immemor._' But you are reasoning on false grounds. You forget that it is
almost as important for you to self your manufactures to America as to
get cotton from it. And articles in the _Times_, and speeches from your
first statesmen, show that you really believe the enormous fib so
generally current, that the South consumes the very great majority of
all our imports. 'The South is where the North makes all its money--the
South does everything.'

Do not believe it. The entire South consumes only about one sixth or
seventh of all Imports, and contributes no greater proportion to the
wealth of the North. But the North, with a very little sacrifice, can
free itself almost entirely from dependence on your manufactures, and
if, in homely parlance, you 'give us any more of your impudence,' she
_will_--will most decidedly. There is even a stronger king than Cotton
here; we may call him King Market. Let King Market once lay hands on
you, and whereas you were before only broken, _then_ you will be ground
to powder.

       *       *       *       *       *

Over many a home since the last New Year, Death has cast the shadow,
which may grow dimmer with time, or change to other hues, but which
never entirely departs. But now he comes with strange, unwonted form,
for he comes from the battle-field as well as the far-off home of fever,
or the icy lair of consumption, and those left behind know only of the
departed that he died for honor.

'My brother! oh, my brother!' Such a cry arose not long ago in a family,
for one of the best and bravest whom this country has ever known. And
more than one has brought back from the war a sorrowful narrative of a
long farewell inclosed in as brief and touching words as those of the
following lyric:--


LINES.

  I.

  My brother, take my hand;
    The darkness covers me,
    And now I fly to thee;
      O, hear my call!

  II.

  My brother, take my hand;
    Weary, and sick, and faint,
    To thee I make complaint,
      Who art my all.

  III.

  My brother, take my hand;
    Though pale it is and thin,
    The same blood flows within
      That is in thine.

  IV.

  My brother, take my hand;
    It's all I have to give;
    O, let me, while I live,
      Press it to thine.

  V.

  My brother, take my hand;
    And with the hand receive
    The blessing which I leave,
      Before I die.

  VI.

  My brother, take my hand;
    And when at last you come,
    I will receive you home,--
      The home on high.

       *       *       *       *       *

A correspondent in Ohio sends us the following:--

     'It is a good thing for a weak brother to have faith; and some one
     to rely on is to such an especial blessing. Squire BULLARD
     was wont to find such a prop in his friend Deacon PARRISH,
     who, he firmly believed, "knew everything."

     'Near by the Squire lived a graceless old infidel named
     MYERS, who was wont to entangle his simple neighbors in
     arguments sadly vexing to their orthodoxy. On one occasion he
     devoted an hour to prove to BULLARD that there was no
     future after death.

     '"Well," exclaimed Squire B----, "you kin talk jest as much as ye
     please. Free speech is permitted; but I don't believe ye. I tell
     you what, MYERS, the soul _is_ immortal; I'll bet five
     dollars on it, and leave it to Deacon PARRISH!"'

This is indeed believing in human power; and yet who would laugh
_through_ his heart at it? For it is this same _belief_ in other men,
mere mortals like ourselves, in hero-worship, which led man through the
stormy ages of old on to the lighter and brighter time, when we see afar
the promised time when great ideas shall rule instead of great men, and
heroism yield to sincere, unselfish ministry. Great was the final lesson
of Friar BACON'S head--'Time will be.'

       *       *       *       *       *

The failure of the great Southern Confederacy to secure recognition in
Europe will doubtless provoke sad strains from the bards of that
unfortunate 'empire.' Nor less to be pitied are those who have put their
trust in contracts and become the 'victims of misplaced confidence.' The
following brace of parodies sets forth the sorrows of either side with
touching pathos.


THE UNIVERSAL COTTON GIN.

  He journeyed all creation through,
    A peddler's wagon, trotting in;
  A haggard man, of sallow hue,
  Upon his nose the goggles blue,
  And in his cart a model U-
    niversal nigger-cotton-gin-
    niversal nigger-cotton-gin.

  His seedy garb was sad to view--
    Hard seemed the strait he'd gotten in;
  He plainly couldn't boast a _sou_,
  And meanly fared on water-gru-
  el, or had swallowed whole a U-
    niversal nigger-cotton gin-
    niversal nigger-cotton-gin.

  To all he met--Turk, Christian, Jew--
    He meekly said, 'I'm not in tin;
  In fact I'm in a serious stew,
  And therefore offer unto you,
  At half its worth, my model U-
    niversal nigger-cotton-gin-
    niversal nigger-cotton-gin.

  'As sure as four is two and two,
    It rules the world we're plotting in;
  It made and ruined Yankee Doo-
  dle, stuck to him like Cooper's glue,
  And so to you would stick this U-
    niversal nigger-cotton-gin-
    niversal nigger-cotton-gin.'

  Now Johnny Bull the peddler knew,
    And thus replied with not a grin:
  'Hi loves your 'gin' like London brew-
  ed ale, but loathes the hinstitu-
  tion vitch propels your model U-
    niversal nigger-cotton-gin-
    niversal nigger-cotton-gin.

  'Hi knows such coves as you a few,
    And, zur, just now, hi'm not in tin;
  Hi tells you vot, great Yankee Doo-
  dle might hincline to put me through
  Hif hi should buy your model U-
    niversal nigger-cotton-gin-
    niversal nigger-cotton-gin.'

  Then spake smooth Monsieur _Parlez-vous_,
    Whose gilded throne was got in sin,--
  (As was he too, if tales are true):
  'I does not vant your modal U-'
  (He sounds a V for W)
    'niversal nigger-cotton-gin-
    niversal nigger-cotton-gin.

  A negar in de fence I view--
    Your grand machine he's rotting in;
  I smells him now, he stinketh! _w-h-e-w_--
  _Give me a good tobacco chew_,
  And you may keeps your modal U-
    niversal nigger-cotton-gin-
    niversal nigger-cotton-gin.'

  The peddler then sloped quickly to
    The land he was begotten in;
  With woeful visage, feelings blue,
  He sadly questioned what to do,
  When none would buy his model U-
    niversal nigger-cotton-gin-
    niversal nigger-cotton-gin.

  From out his pocket then he drew
    A rag that _blood_ was clotting in;
  It had a field of heavenly blue,
  Was flecked with stars--the very few
  That glimmered on his model U-
    niversal nigger-cotton-gin-
    niversal nigger-cotton-gin.

  He gazed long on its tarnished hue,
    And mourned the fix he'd gotten in;
  Then filled his eyes with contrite dew,
  As in its folds his nose he blew,
  And thus addressed his model U-
    niversal nigger-cotton-gin-
    niversal nigger-cotton-gin.

  'Thou crownless king, thy days are few;
    The world thou art forgotten in;
  Ere thou dost die, thy life review,
  Repent thy crimes, thy wrongs undo,
  Give freedom to the dusky crew
  Whose blood now stains the model U-
    niversal nigger-cotton-gin-
    niversal nigger-cotton-gin!'


A SORROWFUL DIALOGUE.

FRIEND OF HUMANITY.

  Needy axe-grinder! whither are you going?
  Sad is your visage, sadder far your raiment,
  Rimless your hat, your coat has got a hole in't,
    So have your trowsers!

  Seedy axe-grinder! little know the great ones,
  Who buy fat jobs, and steal the public lucre,
  What times befall the poverty-stricken devils
    Who grind their axes!

  Tell me, axe-grinder, how you came so seedy?
  Did some great man ungratefully entreat you?
  Was it FERNANDO, first king of our Gotham,
    Or the Collector?

  Or did some evil WEED set you to burning
  The Cataline, and pocket all the plunder;
  Or did the patriot BEN engulf your little
    All in a lottery?

  Tell me, axe-grinder! 'tell me how you cum so:'
  'Drops of compassion tremble on my eyelids,
  Ready to fall the moment you have told your
    Pitiful story.'


AXE-GRINDER.

  Story! God bless you! mine is sad to tell, sir;
  The gratitude of great men drove me downward,
  Reduced me to these shoddy coat and trowsers
    So sad and seedy!

  Listen! while I disclose the secrets of the
  Mansion which standeth on Broadway, where strangers
  Are taken in and done for at two dollars
    And a half per diem.

  There congregate Lord THURLOW, ALEXANDER
  The Wonder of the World, and they who pull the
  Wool o'er the eyelids of the veteran Com-
    Missary-general.

  And there, while they within did manufacture
  The ways and means to 'work' this foul rebellion,
  I kept the door without, and turned the grindstone
    Which ground their axes.

  And daily to their private closet came one
  Called ORSAMUS, of fame in all the churches,
  Whose savory name smells sweetly to all lovers
    Of public plunder.

  'Twas queer the ex-(tra) congress man resorted
  There; strange they were to all invisible when
  _His_ oily visage, like a magic lantern,
    Lit the apartment.

  It were a Matter-son or father might take
  A note of; so I questioned of the key-hole,
  And, lo! they would bestow warm raiment on our
    Suffering soldiers.

  I deemed the subject worthy of attention,
  The more so as a very fat commission
  Would be gained by it, so as almoner I
    Tendered my service.

  I looked for thanks; when, lo! they gave me none, sir,
  But, calling eavesdroppers ungodly sinners,
  Applied their patent-leathers to my tender
    Unmentionables.


FRIEND OF HUMANITY.

  They served you right; take wholesome warning by it,
  Leave state affairs to those who live upon 'em;
  Should not the ox that treadeth in the corn-crib
    Eat of the hoe-cakes?

  How noble such care for our shivering heroes!
  Who would not gladly perish for his country
  When, for his sake, her great men stoop so low as
    The shoddy business!

       *       *       *       *       *

The Germans have a fine _Spinn-lied_, or song of spinning; so, too, have
the jolly Flemish dames. And a poetical correspondent of ours seems
determined that few and far between as the old-fashioned spinners are in
this country, the race shall not entirely disappear without taking a
song with them, and a quaint, pleasant lesson. Dear reader, to the
CONTINENTAL'S way of thinking, there is something very winning
in the thought of that 'great holiday,' when, free from all task, we
shall play merrily evermore 'out-of-doors,' in eternal light, over
infinite realms of beauty.


SPINNING.

    Dearest mother, let me go;
  I am tired of this spinning, yet the whizzing wheel goes round,
  Till my brain is dull and dizzy with its ceaseless, humming sound.
  I can hear a little blue-bird, chirping sweetly in yon tree;
  And he would not stay there, mother, if he were not calling me.

    Oh! in pity, let me go:
  I have spun the flaxen thread, until my aching fingers drop;
  And my weary feet will falter, though the whizzing wheel should stop.
  I can see the sunny meadow where the gayest flowers grow;
  And I long to weave a garland;--dearest mother, let me go.

    Nay, be patient, eager child;
  Summer smiles beyond the door-way, but stern poverty is here;
  We must give her faithful service, if her frown we would not fear.
  Spin on cheerly, little daughter, till your needful task is done,
  Then go forth with bird and blossom, at the setting of the sun.

    Wait _thou_, also, troubled soul;
  Thou may'st look beyond the river, where the white-robed angels stand;
  Hear the faint, celestial music, wafted from the summer land;
  But thou cans't not leave thy labor;--when thy thread is duly spun,
  Thou shalt flee on flashing pinions, at the setting of the sun.

       *       *       *       *       *

The times have been hard, reader, our friend, yet all merriment has not
entirely died out, and there is still the sweet voice of music to be
heard in the land. In New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and many minor
cities, the Benedictine ULLMANN hath been ubiquitously about, operating
most vigorously, while the philosophic and courteous GOSCHE hath not
been far distant. And they heralded HINKLEY, and BORCHARD, and KELLOGG,
and all the other sweet swans of song; they drew after them the gems of
the opera; there was selling of _Libretti_, (and in Boston,
'los-_an_-gers'); there was the donning of scarlet and blue striped
cloaks, gay _coiffures_ and butterflying fans; there was flirting, and
fun, and gentle gayety in the New York Academy, and with the Boston
Academies it was not otherwise, only that among the latter the Saxon
predominateth, and the dark-eyed, music-loving children of Israel, who
so abound in most opera audiences, are very rare.

What we intended to do, O reader, was to give the biography of
BENEDICT ULLMANN. Lo! here it cometh:--

     Vita Sancti Benedicti.


     ULLMANN is about three thousand years old.

     The New York _Herald_ once called him Mephistopheles. He is not
     Mephistopheles, however, but the same thing, which is
     ULLMANN. He is a spirit bearing human form. Don't forget.

     King SOLOMON sat beneath the golden pavilion one
     afternoon, playing silver melodies on a gold harp. Up went the
     notes--the spirits of the Sephiroth bore them--even up to a
     premium, and the very angels stopped sewing on their white robes to
     hear the ravishing melody.

     By his side sat the Queen of Sheba, counting out her money.

     Suddenly, there was a strange vibration, a marvelous tone. The
     queen paused. The king smiled. The angels went on with their
     sewing. (According to Rabbi ABARBANEL, they were knitting.
     This created a schism between the schools of Cracow and Cordova,
     which lasted four centuries.)

     'Why smilest thou, Oh SOLOMON?'

     'I smiled, my dear queen, because you and I became, just now,
     unwittingly, the parents of a strange being.'

     'Why, SOLOMON--how you talk!' exclaimed the Q. of S.

     'Yea, for the ring of thy gold, oh my Queen, and the last
     chord-tone from my harp mingled in mystical unity and made a sound
     unheard before on earth. And the spirit of that sound, which is of
     money and of music, is the spirit whereof I spoke.'

     Then the queen marveled greatly at the wisdom of SOLOMON,
     and gave him a shekel. The king rung it on the table and touched
     his harp. Again the strange tone thrilled out loud.

     'There he goes!' quoth SOLOMON. 'My blessing on him. And
     therefore the sprite is called Blessed to this day, which in Latin
     is _Benedict_.

Thus was ULLMANN born, who was the first who ever sold music;
and, whereas before his time music was only iron or silvern, after he
took it up it became golden--very fine, and ra-ther ex-pen-sive.
Howbeit, he loved music as well as money, and gave the people their
money's worth, and many a jolly opera and fine tenor did he bring out:
yea, had it been possible he would have engaged DON JUAN
TENORIO himself, so that Don Giovanni might have been produced as
perfectly as possible--the Don Giovanity of vanities.

Apropos of music, there is among the novelties of the season a French
'operetta,' entitled '_Les Noces de Jeannette_,' in which a very
peculiar bridegroom distinguishes himself, like Christopher Strap in
'Pleasant Neighbors,' by smashing the furniture. This recalls something
which we heard narrated in the opera _foyer_ the other evening.

Some years ago, in Paris, there was a very good comedian who prided
himself on being perfectly 'classic.' To be classic in France is to be
elegantly conventional. No actress can be really _kissed_ according to
classic rules; the lips must be faintly smacked about three feet from
her shoulder. Wills are classically written by a flourish of the pen,
and classical banqueters never pretend to eat.

Now there was a humorous scene which greatly depended on much breakage
of furniture; and to this scene our actor, in the opinion of the
manager, did not do justice. Rolling over one tea-cup did _not_,
according to the latter, constitute a grand smash.

The actor became irritated. '_Pa'r'r-bleu!_' he exclaimed, 'you
SHALL have a grand smash then, if you must, and no mistake.'

The scene begun. There was a tea-table, and the irate performer gave one
kick, and sent the whole concern crashing into the pit. There was a roar
of applause.

('Ah! this is something like,' said the manager, rubbing his hands.)

The chairs were next attacked and broken into the completest
kindling-wood, as by a madman. The manager began to look grave.

There were two tables left, a piano, and a closet. The actor stepped
behind the scenes and reappeared with an axe. Bang! went the
timber--crack--splinter--

'Stop!' roared the manager.

'Go on!' 'bravo!' 'go on!' roared the audience.

The stage was cleared, but the scenery still remained. And into the
scenery went the actor 'like mad.' Planks and canvas came tumbling down;
the manager called his assistants; the house was delirious with joy. The
manager rushed on the stage; the actor kicked him over into the
orchestra, and seizing the prompter's box, hurled it crashing after.

We do not know how matters were arranged, but we believe that the
manager never tried afterwards to convert a classic actor to the
romantic school.

       *       *       *       *       *

The shade of Bishop BERKLEY would rejoice, could it read at
this late date such a tribute to the merit of the once famed tar water,
which he invented. But a solemn feeling steals over our heart when we
remember that the hand which penned these lines now lies cold in death,
and that the shades of the idealist and the poet may ere this have
joined in the spirit land.


TAR WATER.

BY GEORGE W. DEWEY.

    From the granite of the North,
    Leapt this pure libation forth,
  Cold as the rocks that restrained it;
    From the glowing Southern pine,
    Oozed this dark napthalian wine,
  Warm as the hearts that contained it;
    In a beaker they combine
    In a nectar as divine
    As the vintage of the Rhine,
    While I pledge those friends of mine

  Who are nearest, who are dearest in affection.
      I have filled it to the brim;
      Not a tear could ride its rim;
      Not a fleck of sorrow dim
      The flashing-smiles that swim
  In the crystal which restores their recollection.

      Floating on the pitchy wine,
      Comes an odor of the brine,
    Half suggesting solemn surges of the sea;
      A sailor in the shrouds,
      Furling sail amid the clouds;
    Noisy breakers singing dirges on the lee,
      To those friends upon the main,
      Who have ventured once again,
      In the realm which cleaves in twain
      Loving hearts, that fill with pain
  When the storm proclaims the terrors of December.
      I will clink the beaded edge
      Of the beaker, while I pledge
      Safety over surf and sedge,
      Foaming round the sunken ledge,
  In the track of all the loved ones we remember.

      And through Carolinian woods,
      Ever muffled in the hoods
    Of their fir-trees' aromatic evergreen,
      I can hear the mellow stops,
      Ever swaying in their tops,
    To the playing of an organist unseen.
      And the breezes bring the balm
      Of the solitude and psalm,
      From that indolence of calm,
      In the land of pine and palm,
  Over hills, and over rivers and savannas,
      Till my feelings undergo
      All their mortal overthrow,
      In celestial strains which flow,
      In a song of peace below,
  From those regions where archangels sing hosannas.

       *       *       *       *       *

A friend who has roamed in his time over the deserts and slept in
Bedawee tents; one to whom the East is as a second mother, and in whose
faith the Koran is necessary to really put the finishing touch to a true
gentleman, sends us the following eccentric proverbs from the Arabic.

  Words of Wisdom.

  'A well is not to be filled with dew.'

There speaks the Arab, choice of water as of wine.

  'May a deadly disease love you and Allah hate you!'

Uncle Toby, who would not have had the heart to curse a dog so, would
have found the Excommunication of Ernulphus quite outdone in the desert,
where cursing is perfected.

  'He lays goose eggs, and expects young turkeys.'

  'The dream of the cat is about mice.'

Meaning, as we say, that what is bred in the bone will not come out of
the flesh. ÆSOP has dramatized this proverb in a pretty fable.

  'The people went away; the baboons remained.'

  'A rose fell to the lot of a monkey.'

Or, as the Latins said, '_Asinus ad Lyram_'--'A gold ring in a sow's
ear.'

     'God bless him who pays visits, and short ones at that.'

     'The husband of two parrots--a neck between two sticks.'

     'I asked him about his father. "My uncle's name is SHAYB,"
     he replied.'

     'They wanted a keeper for the pigeon-house, and gave the keys to
     the cat.'

     'Filth fell upon dirt. "Welcome! my friend," said he.'

     'Scarcer than fly-brains.'

     'Gain upon dirt rather than loss upon musk.'

Musk plays a great part in the East. Even the porters in Cairo bear bags
of it and are scented by it.

  'When the monkey reigns, dance before him.'

This slavish proverb is thoroughly Oriental.

     'They met a monkey defiling the mosque. "Dost thou not fear," quoth
     they, "lest God may metamorphose thee?" "I should," quoth he, "if I
     thought he would change me into a gazelle."'

     'He fled from the rain and sat down under the water-spout.'

Or, as we say, out of the frying-pan into the fire.

       *       *       *       *       *

Divers and sundry 'screeds' which we had hoped to lay on this present
'Editor's Table,' are unavoidably postponed until the February number,
when they will make their 'positively first and last appearance.' Hoping
that our own first appearance may not be without your approbation, we
conclude, wishing you, reader, once more--very sincerely--the happiest
of 'happy New Years.'



FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 1: We honestly believe the true course to pursue with South
Carolina, is to colonize her under the protection of our troops. Let us
start with a settlement of Yankees at Beaufort, who shall addict
themselves to the raising of cotton and other southern products. Let
them employ the negroes whose masters have run away, and who are _ipso
facto_ free. As our army gradually extends its lines, let the northern
pioneer proceed, to occupy and cultivate the soil. This will bring about
a practical solution of some vexed questions.]

[Footnote 2: The reader is earnestly requested to peruse the sermons of
the Southern clergy, collected in an _extra_ of Putnam's _Rebellion
Record_, and especially a discourse by the Rev. Dr. Palmer, of New
Orleans, in which the man of God asserts that slavery is a 'divine
trust, to be perpetuated and continued.']

[Footnote 3: NOTE BY THE EDITOR.--The reader will find further
reference to the grave of AARON BURR in an article, in the
present number of the CONTINENTAL MONTHLY, entitled 'The
Graveyard at Princeton.']

[Footnote 4: Apart from philosophical and theological agitation in
America, great additions were made to our general literature by
translations from French and German, and their influence upon our
younger writers is visible at the present day in almost every newspaper
article. This task of translating and editing was accomplished--for the
time--on a grand scale and in a scholarly manner. Chief among those who
devoted themselves to it was George Ripley, who, in his excellent
_Library of Foreign Standard Literature_, gave the public the choicer
gems of French and German philosophy, poetry, or lighter prose. C.S.
Henry, then professor of philosophy in the University of New York,
embraced with zeal the teachings of Cousin, translated his
_Psychology_,--there had been a version of the 'Lectures' published in
1838,--and wrote, for the use of students, a small but comprehensive
_History of Philosophy_, which would have been perfectly 'eclectic' had
it not devoted a somewhat unfair proportion of its pages to eclecticism.
Translations of minor German lyrics into English, in most instances
surpassing their rivals of British origin, were made by several young
Unitarian clergymen, among which those by Cranch, Peabody, and Brooks,
were, we believe, preëminent. The _Dial_, by its criticisms of foreign
literature and art, guided many to the originals, while the Orthodox
onslaught, in reviews or in lectures, by Murdoch and others, in which
German philosophy was carefully traced from Lucifer down to Hegel, gave
to hungry and inquiring neophytes many valuable hints. As, with the
majority of its friends, 'Transcendentalism' assumed a deeply religious
form, there resulted, of course, a grand revival of pietistic, mystical,
and magical reading. Even the polemics of the early Quakers were
un-dusted, while Swedenborg was soon found to be a rich mine. In due
time, the works of Jung-Stilling, and other occult seers of the Justinus
Kerner school, were translated, and contributed, in common with the then
new wonders of animal magnetism and clairvoyance, to prepare the public
for 'spiritualism.' The appearance, in 1841, of a translation of the
_Heinrich von Ofterdingen_ of Novalis, by a student of Cambridge, named
Stallknecht, was one of the works of the day which increased the
interest in foreign literature, and made its study fashionable. This
mystical romance, called by its author the 'Apotheosis of Poetry,' was
distinguished by a simple pathos, an ultra-refinement of thought, an
almost womanly delicacy of expression, and a deeply religious sentiment.
Such works fascinated many who had been proof against the sterner
allurements of the more practical Goethe or the aristocratic Schiller,
and added a new regiment to the army that was assailing with vehemence
the fortress of German literature.]

[Footnote 5: Cymbeline, Act III., Sc. 2.]


       *       *       *       *       *


The

Continental

Monthly


Devoted to Literature and National Policy.

       *       *       *       *       *

FEBRUARY, 1862.

       *       *       *       *       *

BOSTON:

  J.R. GILMORE, 110 TREMONT STREET.
  CROSBY & NICHOLS, 117 WASHINGTON STREET.
  NEW YORK: H. DEXTER & CO. AND ROSS & TOUSEY.
  PHILADELPHIA: T. B. CALLENDER AND A. WINCH.



CONTENTS.

NO. II.

ENLARGED SIXTEEN PAGES.

       *       *       *       *       *

                                                                    PAGE

  Our War and Our Want                                               113
  Brown's Lecture Tour. By a Lecturer                                118
  The Watchword. Poetry                                              126
  Tints and Tones of Paris                                           127
  The True Basis                                                     136
  The Black Flag. Poetry                                             138
  The Actress-Wife                                                   139
  Self-Reliance. Poetry                                              149
  The Huguenot Families in America                                   151
  The Black Witch                                                    155
  Freedom's Stars. Poetry                                            166
  On the Plains                                                      167
  Seven Devils                                                       171
  What will you do with us?                                          175
  James Russell Lowell                                               176
  Refurgamus. Poetry                                                 186
  Among the Pines                                                    187
  Mr. Seward's Published Diplomacy                                   199
  To England. Poetry                                                 209
  The Heir of Rofeton                                                210
  Our Danger and its Cause                                           220
  She Sits Alone. Poetry                                             225
  Literary Notices                                                   226
  Editor's Table                                                     228


       *       *       *       *       *


THE PRESENT NUMBER OF THE CONTINENTAL

Contains Articles by Ex-Gov. Boutwell, Hon. Horace Greeley, Hon. George
P. Difofway, A. Oakey Hall, Richard B. Kimball, Henry T. Tuckerman,
Frederick W. Shelton, The Author of "The Cotton States," J. Warren
Newcomb, Jr., Henry P. Leland, Miss Delia L. Colton, Charles G. Leland,
and other diftinguished writers.


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1861, by JAMES R.
GILMORE, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the
District of Massachusetts.


Press of Geo. C. Rand & Avery, 3 Cornhill, Boston.





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