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Title: The Continental Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 2, February, 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Continental Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 2, February, 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy" ***

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|the letter "e" with a macron [=e].                                             |





       *       *       *       *       *

 VOL. V.--FEBRUARY, 1864--NO. II.

       *       *       *       *       *


Mr. Jefferson, in his lifetime, underwent the extremes of abuse and of
adulation. Daily, semi-weekly, or weekly did Fenno, Porcupine Cobbett,
Dennie, Coleman, and the other Federal journalists, not content with
proclaiming him an ambitious, cunning, and deceitful demagogue, ridicule
his scientific theories, shudder at his irreligion, sneer at his
courage, and allude coarsely to his private morals in a manner more
discreditable to themselves than to him; crowning all their accusations
and innuendoes with a reckless profusion of epithet. While at the same
times and places the whole company of the Democratic press, led by
Bache, Duane, Cheetham, Freneau, asserted with equal energy that he was
the greatest statesman, the profoundest philosopher, the very sun of
republicanism, the abstract of all that was glorious in democracy. And
if Abraham Bishop, of New Haven, Connecticut, compared him with Christ,
a great many New Englanders of more note than Bishop, pronounced him the
man of sin, a malignant manifestation of Satan. On one or the other of
these two scales he was placed by every man in the United States,
according to each citizen's modicum of sense and temper. We say, every
man--because in that war of the Democrats against the Federalists, no
one sought to escape the service. Every able-tongued man was ready to
fight with it, either for Jefferson or against him.

When Jefferson passed away triumphant, toleration set in. His enemies
dropped him to turn upon living prey. They came to acquiesce in him, and
even to quote him when he served their purpose. But the admiration of
his followers did not abate. They canonized him as the apostle of
American democracy, and gave his name to the peculiar form of the
doctrine they professed. For many years the utterances of the master
were conclusive to the common men of the party--better far than the
arguments of any living leader. Of late we have heard less of him. The
right wing of the democracy begin to doubt the expediency of the States'
Rights theory; and with the wrong wing his standing has been injured by
the famous passage on slavery in the 'Notes on Virginia.' The wrong wing
of the Democratic party are the men who cry out for the 'Constitution as
it is, and the Union as it was'--a cry full of sound and often of fury;
but what does it signify? The first gun that was fired at Fort Sumter
shattered the old Union. If peace men and abolitionists, secessionists
and conservatives were to agree together to restore the old Union to the
_status quo ante bellum_, they could not do it. 'When an epoch is
finished,' as Armand Carrel once wrote, 'the mould is broken, it cannot
be made again.' All that can be done is to gather up the fragments, and
to use them wisely in a new construction. An Indian neophyte came one
day to the mission, shouting: 'Moses, Isaiah, Abraham, Christ, John the
Baptist!' When out of breath, the brethren asked him what he meant. 'I
mean a glass of cider.' If the peace party were as frank as the Indian,
they would tell us that their cry signifies place, power, self. The
prodigal sons of the South are to be lured back by promises of pardon,
indemnification, niggers _ad libitum_, before they have satiated
themselves with the husks which seem to have fallen to their portion,
and are willing to confess that they have sinned against heaven and
against their country. The arms of the peace men are open; the best
robe, the ring, the fatted calf are ready. All that is asked in return
is a Union (as it was) of votes, influence, and contributions, to place
the party in power and to keep it there.

These misguided Democrats owe to Jefferson the war cries they shout and
the arms they are using against the Government. His works are an arsenal
where these weapons of sedition are arranged ready for use, bright and
in good order, and none of them as yet superseded by modern
improvements. He first made excellent practice with the word
'unconstitutional,' an engine dangerous and terrible to the
Administration against which it is worked; and of easy construction, for
it can be prepared out of anything or nothing. Jefferson found it very
effective in annoying and embarrassing the Government in his campaigns.
But as he foresaw that the time must come when the Supreme Court of the
United States would overpower this attack, he adapted, with great
ingenuity, to party warfare the theory of States' Rights, which in 1787
had nearly smothered the Constitution in its cradle. This dangerous
contrivance he used vigorously against the alien and sedition law,
without considering that his blows were shaking the Union itself. Mr.
Calhoun looked upon the Kentucky Resolutions (Jefferson's own work) as
the bill of rights of nullification, and wrote for a copy of them in
1828 to use in preparing his manifesto of the grievances of South
Carolina. It is unnecessary to allude to the triumph of these doctrines
at the South under the name of secession.

As Jefferson soon perceived that a well-disciplined band of needy
expectants was the only sure resort in elections, he hit upon rotation
in office as the cheapest and most stimulating method of paying the
regular soldiers of party for their services (if successful) on these
critical occasions. But as a wise general not only prepares his attack,
but carefully secures a retreat in case his men push too far in the heat
of conflict, Jefferson suggested the plan of an elective judiciary,
which he foresaw might prove of great advantage to those whose zeal
should outrun the law. He even recommended rebellion in popular
governments as a political safety valve; and talked about Shay's War and
the Whiskey Insurrection in the same vein and almost the same language
that was lately used to the rioters of New York by their friends and
fellow voters. And he and his followers shouted then, as their
descendants shout now, 'Liberty is in danger!' 'The last earthly hope of
republican institutions resides in our ranks!' Jefferson is also
entitled to the credit of naturalizing in the United States the phrases
of the French Revolution: virtue of the people; reason of the people;
natural rights of man, etc.--that Babylonish dialect, as John Adams
called it, which in France meant something, but in this country was
mere cant. Jefferson knew that here all were people, and that no set of
men, whether because of riches or of poverty, had the right to arrogate
to themselves this distinction. But he also knew that in Europe this
distinction did exist, and that the emigrants who were coming in such
numbers all belonged to the lower class, there called people. Of course
these flattering phrases would win their ears and their votes for the
people's ticket, against an imaginary aristocracy. Thus might be secured
an army of obedient voters, knowing nothing but their orders, and
thinking of nothing but the pleasing idea that they were the rulers.

These useful inventions are enough to immortalize any man. His theory,
that the rich only should be taxed, as an indirect form of agrarianism,
ought not to be forgotten, for we see it daily carried out; and his
darling doctrine, that no generation can bind its successors, will come
to light again and life whenever a party may think the repudiation of
our war debt likely to be a popular measure. Indeed, there is scarcely a
form of disorganization and of disorder which Jefferson does not extract
from some elementary principle or natural right. We do not mean to
accuse him of doing wrong deliberately. Jefferson was an optimist. All
was for the best--at least, all that he did; for he was naturally
predisposed to object to any measure which did not originate with
himself or had not been submitted to his judgment. His elementary
principles were always at his call. They were based upon reason: how
could they be wrong? His mind grasped quickly all upon the surface that
suited his purpose; deeper he did not care to go. In deciding whether
any political doctrine was consistent or inconsistent with natural
reason, he generally judged of it by his reason--and this varied with
his position, his interest, his feelings. He probably was not aware of
the extent of his mutations; his mind was fixed on the results to be
obtained--always the same: the gratification of his wishes. His was a
Vicar-of-Bray kind of logic. The ultimate results of his dealings, as
affecting others and the nation at large, he apparently was unable to
consider, or put them aside for the time; taking it for granted, in a
careless way, that all must come well.

Thus as times changed, he changed with them. Laws, measures, customs,
men, that seemed useful and praiseworthy when he was a private
individual, appeared pernicious and wicked to the Secretary of State or
to the President. His life and writings are full of self-contradictions,
or rather of self-refutations, for he seems to forget that he had ever
thought differently. Men of sense modify their opinions as they advance
in years and in wisdom, but very few men of sense have held
diametrically different opinions on almost every important question that
has come before them.

Jefferson satisfied himself early in life that slavery was wrong,
morally and economically. On no subject has he expressed himself more
decidedly. When a very young member of the Assembly of Virginia, he
seconded Colonel Bland's motion to extend the protection of the laws to
slaves. Bland was treated roughly, and the matter dropped. From
Jefferson's original draft of the Declaration of Independence a long
passage on the iniquity of slavery and the slave trade was stricken out
by Congress. In 1778 he introduced a bill prohibiting the importation of
slaves into Virginia. Two years later he wrote the well-known pages in
the 'Notes.' In 1783 it was proposed to adopt a new constitution in
Virginia; Jefferson drew one up, and inserted an article granting
liberty to all persons born of slave parents after the year 1800. From
that time his zeal began to cool. He perceived that his views were
unpopular at the South. The 'Notes' had been printed for private
circulation only; when Châstellux asked permission to publish them in
France, Jefferson consented on the condition that all passages relating
to slavery should be stricken out.[A] Although he adopted so heartily
the most extravagant doctrines of the French Revolution on the natural
rights of mankind, among which liberty, equality, fraternity certainly
ranked first, he quietly ignored the claims of the American black to a
share in the bright future that was promised to the human race. The act
of Congress prohibiting the importation of slaves came into force in
1808. It was well received by slave owners, for it increased the value
of the homemade 'article.' Jefferson could safely approve of it. He did
so warmly. With that exception his silence on this great question was
profound during the period of his power; but he had no language too
theatrical for liberty in the abstract, nor too violent for despots who
were three thousand miles away, and with whose oppressions the people of
the United States had no concern whatever. When the debates on the
admission of Missouri brought up this ever-recurring question again to
the exclusion of all others, Jefferson spoke to sneer at the friends of
freedom. The Federalists had found out that their cherished monarchical
'form' would get them no adherents, and so were trying to throw a new
tub to the whale by appealing to the virtuous sentiments of the people.
He was in favor of making Missouri a Slave State. To extend the area of
slavery would increase the comfort of the slaves without adding one more
to their number, and would improve their chances for emancipation. It
would also relieve Virginia from the burden that was weighing her
down--slaves being rather cheaper there than horses--and would enable
her to export her surplus crop of negroes; perhaps eventually to dispose
of them all. This last notion, by the way, gives us a pretty good idea
of Jefferson's practical knowledge of political economy.

His chief objection to the new constitution, when he first saw it, was
the omission in it of a bill of rights providing for the 'eternal and
unremitting force of the habeas corpus act'--and for the freedom of the
press. When Colonel Burr was arrested, Jefferson, who, by the way,
showed a want of dignity and self-respect throughout the affair, was
eager to suspend the habeas corpus act, and got a bill to that effect
passed by one branch of Congress; it was lost in the other. This was the
first instance in the history of the United States. The many fine things
he had said on the integrity and independence of judges did not prevent
him from finding bitter fault with Chief-Justice Marshall for not
convicting Burr. He accused Marshall and the whole tribe of Federalists
of complicity in Burr's conspiracy. Poor old Paine, then near his end,
who was one of Jefferson's jackals of the press, informed the
Chief-Justice, through the _Public Advertiser_, that he was 'a suspected
character.' When Jefferson had felt the pricking of the Federal quills,
he began to think differently of the freedom of the press. Once, in the
safety of private station, he had got off this antithesis: if he had to
choose between a government without newspapers, and newspapers without a
government, he should prefer the latter. But when in his turn he felt
the stings that previously, under his management, had goaded even
Washington out of his self-control, Jefferson could not help saying that
'a suspension of the press would not more completely deprive the nation
of its benefits than is done by its abandoned prostitution to

Before September, 1791, Mr. Jefferson thought that our affairs were
proceeding in a train of unparalleled prosperity, owing to the real
improvements of the Government, and the unbounded confidence reposed in
it by the people. Soon a jealousy of Hamilton came upon him, and the
displeasure of playing a second part: he began to look for relief in the
ranks of the malcontents. He then perceived monarchical longings in the
Administration party, and prophesied corruption, despotism, and a loss
of liberty forever, if they were to be allowed to interpret the
Constitution in their way. Washington was the Atlas whose broad
shoulders bore up the Federalists. Bache, of the _Aurora_, with whom
Jefferson's word was law, and Freneau, of the _Gazette_, who had
received from Jefferson a clerkship in the Department of State, accused
the General of a desire to subvert the Constitution: the reserve of his
manners was said to proceed from an affectation of royalty; they even
ventured to charge him with perverting the public money. Jefferson
refused to check these base attacks, and wrote in the same vein himself
in the famous letter to Mazzei. But after the battle had been fought, he
perceived that Washington had a hold stronger than party feelings on the
affections of Americans. It would never do to leave his name and fame in
the custody of Federalists. And so Mr. Jefferson turned about and denied
that he had ever made any charges against General Washington. On the
contrary, he felt certain that Washington did not harbor one principle
of Federalism. He was neither an Angloman, a monarchist, nor a
separatist. Bache he (Jefferson) knew nothing about; over Freneau he had
no control; and the Mazzei letter had been misprinted and
misinterpreted. In spite of his hatred of England, and his fears lest
the English 'form' should be adopted in the United States, Jefferson, in
1788, had recommended the English form to Lafayette for the use of
France. And in spite of the admiration for France, which with him and
the Democrats was an essential article of the party faith, he took
offence with the French Government because they sided with Spain in the
dispute on the boundary line between Louisiana and Florida, and proposed
to Madison an alliance with England against France and Spain. But
Madison kept him steady. Six months later he accused John Randolph, who
had abandoned the party, of entertaining the intolerable heresy of a
league with England.

Mr. Jefferson once thought it necessary that the United States should
possess a naval force. It would be less dangerous to our liberties than
an army, and a cheaper and more effective weapon of offence. 'The sea is
the field on which we should meet a European enemy.' 'We can always have
a navy as strong as the weaker nations.' And he suggested that thirty
ships, carrying 1,800 guns, and manned by 14,400 men, would be an
adequate force. But the New Englanders, those bitter Federalists, loved
the sea, lived by foreign trade, and wanted a fleet to protect their
merchantmen. Mr. Jefferson's views became modified. He took a strong
dislike to the naval service. He condemned the use of the navy by the
late President, and wished to sell all the public armed vessels.
Finding, however, that the maritime tastes of the nation were too strong
for him, he hit upon the plan of a land navy as the nearest
approximation to no navy at all. Gunboats were to be hauled out of the
water, and kept in drydocks under sheds, in perfect preservation. A
fleet of this kind only needed a corps of horse marines to complete its
efficiency. The Federalists laughed at these 'mummy frigates,' and sang
in a lullaby for Democratic babes this stanza:

  'In a cornfield, high and dry,
     Sat gunboat Number One;
   Wiggle waggle went her tail,
     Pop went her gun.'

The pleasantry is feeble; but the inborn absurdity of this amphibious
scheme was too great even for the Democrats. Mr. Jefferson was forced,
in the teeth of theory, to send a squadron against the Barbary pirates.
He consoled himself by ordering the commodore not to overstep the
strict line of defence, and to make no captures. It was to be a display
of latent force. Strange as it may seem, he once doubted the expediency
of encouraging immigration. Emigrants from absolute monarchies, as they
all were, they would either bring with them the principles of government
imbibed in early youth, or exchange these for an unbounded
licentiousness. 'It would be a miracle were they to stop precisely at
the point of temperate liberty.' Would it not be better for the nation
to grow more slowly, and have a more 'homogeneous, more peaceable, and
more durable' government? But when it was found at a later day that the
new comers placed themselves at once in opposition to the better classes
and voted the Democratic ticket almost to a man, Jefferson proposed that
the period of residence required by the naturalization laws to qualify a
voter should be shortened. He had no objection to coercion before 1787.
Speaking of the backwardness of some of the colonies in paying their
quota of the Confederate expenses, he recommends sending a frigate to
make them more punctual. 'The States must see the rod, perhaps some of
them must be made to feel it.' His somersets of opinion and conduct are
endless. Once he talked of opening a market in the neighboring colonies
by force; at another time he advised his countrymen to abandon the sea
and let other nations carry for us; in 1785 we find him going abroad to
negotiate commercial treaties with all Europe. He objected to internal
improvements, and he sanctioned the Cumberland road. He proclaimed all
governments naturally hostile to the liberties of the people, until he
himself became a government. He made the mission to Russia for Mr.
Short, regardless of repeated declarations that the public business
abroad could be done better with fewer and cheaper ambassadors. The
unlucky sedition law was so unconstitutional in his judgment that he
felt it to be his duty, as soon as he mounted the throne, to pardon all
who had been convicted under it. But before he left the White House he
attempted to put down Federal opposition in the same way. Judges were
impeached; United States attorneys brought libel suits against editors,
and even prosecuted such men as Judge Reeve and the Rev. Mr. Backus of
Connecticut. It was a pet doctrine of Jefferson that one generation had
no right to bind a succeeding one; hence every constitution and all laws
should become null and every national debt void at the end of nineteen
years, or of whatever period should be ascertained to be the average
duration of human life after the age of twenty-one. He adhered to this
notion through life, although Mr. Madison, when urged by him to expound
it, gently pointed out its absurdity. When the news of the massacres of
September reached the United States at an unfortunate moment for the
Francoman party, Jefferson forgot this elementary principle and his
logic. He professed that he deplored the bloody fate of the victims as
much as any man, but they had perished for the sake of future
generations, and that thought consoled him. Finally, the man who had
announced in a public address, that he considered it a moral duty never
to subscribe to a lottery, nor to engage in a game of chance, petitioned
the Legislature of Virginia for permission to dispose of his house and
lands in a raffle, and in his memorial recapitulated his services to the
country to strengthen his claim upon their indulgence.

Jefferson professed great faith in human nature; but he meant the human
nature of the uneducated and the poor. Kings, rulers, nobles, rich
persons, and generally all of the party opposed to him, were hopelessly
wrong. The errors of the people, when they committed any, were
accidental and momentary; but in the other class, they were proofs of an
ineradicable perversity. His faith in human reason as the only power
for good government must have been shaken by the students of his
university in Virginia. Their lawless conduct seemed to indicate that
the time had hardly yet come when the old and vulgar method of authority
and force could be dispensed with. The University of Virginia was a
favorite project of Jefferson and an honorable memorial of his love of
education and of letters. Although it may be considered a failure, it
has failed from no fault of his. But we may judge of the real extent of
Jefferson's toleration, when we read in a letter written about this
university: 'In the selection of our law professor we must be rigorously
attentive to his political principles.'

It is easy to know what would be Jefferson's position if by some miracle
of nature he were living in these times. If at the South, he would be a
man of brave words--showing it to be a natural right of the white man to
own and to chastise his negro--and proving, from elementary principles,
that slavery is the result of the supremacy of reason and the corner
stone of civilized society. Had the advantages of the North led him to
desert Monticello for the banks of the Hudson, he would have opposed the
Administration, acting and talking much like a certain high official,
'letting I dare not wait upon I would'--for Jefferson was not a bold
man, was master of the art of insinuating his opinions instead of
stating them manfully, and never advanced so far as to make retreat

The truth is that there was nothing great nor even imposing in
Jefferson's mental nor in his moral qualities. He expressed himself well
in conversation and on paper, although a little pedagogical in manner,
and too much given to epithet in style. The literary claims of the
author of the Declaration of Independence cannot be passed over lightly.
His mind was active; catching quickly the outlines of a subject, he
jumped at the conclusion which pleased his fancy, without looking
beneath the surface.[B] He was curious in all matters of art,
literature, and science, but his curiosity was easily appeased. He raves
about Ossian, gazes for hours on the Maison Carrée at Nismes, writes
letters to Paine on arcs and catenaries, busies himself with
vocabularies, natural history, geology, discourses magisterially about
Newton and Lavoisier, and studies nothing thoroughly. One can see by the
way in which he handles his technical terms that he does not know the
use of them. He was a smatterer of that most dangerous kind, who feel
certain they have arrived at truth. Like so many other children of the
eighteenth century, he rejected the past with disdain, but was blindly
credulous of the future; and was ready to embrace an absurdity if it
came in a new and scientific shape. The marquises and abbés he met in
France had dreamed over elementary principles of society and government,
until they had lost themselves in wandering mazes like Milton's
speculative and erring angels. He believed that those gay _philosophes_
had discovered the magical stone of social science, and that misery and
sin would be transmuted into virtue and happiness. It was only necessary
to kill all the kings and to confide in the reason and virtue of the
people, and the thing was done. The scenes of 1789 stimulated
Jefferson's natural tendency beyond the bounds of common sense. He
asserted that Indians without a government were better off than
Europeans with one, and that half the world a desert with only an Adam
and Eve left in each country to repopulate it would be an improvement in
the condition of Europe. He became a bigot of liberalism. Luckily he
had his American blood and practical education to restrain him, or he
might have been as foolish as Brissot and as rabid as Marat. As it was,
he could not help perceiving in his calmer moments that this new path to
the glorious future which the _philosophes_ were pointing out to their
countrymen, had been for many years in America the well-worn high road
of the nation.

On most subjects, Jefferson's opinions were dictated by his feelings. He
takes so little pains to conceal this weakness, that we can hardly
suppose he was aware of it. Contradiction he could not bear. Opposition
of any kind produced a bitter feeling. Vanity, latent perhaps, but
acrid, corroded his judgment of his adversaries. In France Governeur
Morris remarked that he was too fond of calling fools those who did not
agree with him; a sure sign of want of strength. Great minds are
essentially tolerant of the opinions of others. They know how easy it is
to err. There was a good deal, too, of the Pharisee about Jefferson. 'He
was of no party, nor yet a trimmer between parties. If he could not go
to heaven but with a party, he would not go there at all.' But he
thanked God he was not as the Federalists were: Anglomen, monarchists,
workers of corruption! nor even as this Washington! He boasted, too,
that he had never written a line for the public press; his method was to
suggest his views to others, and employ them to put them into print.

Careful not to speak out too boldly when it was not altogether safe to
do so, and wanting rather in moral courage, he was a persevering man,
pursuing his plans with the eagerness of women, who always have a
thousand excellent reasons, however illogical and inconsistent they may
be, for doing as they please--and like women, he was not over scrupulous
as to the means he employed to reach his object.

The same envious vanity and inability to resist his feelings which
warped his judgment into so many contradictions, led him into actions
that have damaged his character as a gentleman. For instance, his
behavior to Washington. When a member of Washington's cabinet,
protesting the warmest friendship to him, his confidential adviser by
virtue of the office he held, he permitted, not to say encouraged, those
attacks in Freneau's paper which were outrages on common decency. His
intimacy with the President enabled him to judge of the effect of the
blows. He noticed, with the cool precision of an experimental observer,
the symptoms of pain and annoyance which Washington could not always
conceal. Freneau was Jefferson's clerk; a word would have stopped him.
'But I will not do it,' Jefferson says; 'his paper has saved our
Constitution, which was galloping forth into monarchy.' Jefferson's
underhand attack upon Vice-President Adams, in the note he wrote by way
of preface to the American publisher of Paine's 'Rights of Man,' is a
domestic treachery of the same kind, though very much less in degree.
That note might have been written on the impulse of the moment; but what
shall we say of his practice of committing to paper Hamilton's sayings
in the freedom of after-dinner conversation--a time when open-hearted
men are apt to forget that there may be a Judas at table--and of saving
them up to be used against him in the future? Jefferson explains away
these and other dubious passages in his life with great ingenuity. He
had to make such explanations too often. An apology implies a mistake,
wilful or accidental. Too many indicate, to say the least, a lack of
discretion. What a difference between these explanations, evasions,
excuses, denials, and the majestic manliness of Washington, who never
did or wrote or said anything which he hesitated to avow openly and
without qualification!

Another dissimilarity between these two worth heeding, is Jefferson's
want of that thrift which produces independence, comfort, and
self-respect. He lived beyond his means, and died literally a beggar.

Jefferson was deficient in that happy combination of courage, energy,
judgment, and probity, which mankind call character, for want of a more
distinctive word--but which, in fact, in its highest expression, is
genius on the moral side. It commands the respect of mankind more than
the most brilliant faculties--and it accomplishes more. We have only to
look at Washington's life to see what can be done by it.

When Governor of Virginia during the Revolutionary War, Jefferson showed
a want of spirit and of action; the same deficiency was more painfully
conspicuous in his dealings with the Barbary pirates and in the affair
of the Leopard and Chesapeake. The insults and spoliations of the
English and French under the orders in council and the Berlin and Milan
decrees were borne with equal meekness. He was for peace at all hazards,
and economy at any price. When at last he found he had exhausted his
favorite method, and that neither 'time, reason, justice, nor a truer
sense of their own interests' produced any effect upon the obstinate
aggressors, he could desire no better means of checking their
depredations upon our trade than to order our merchants to lay up their
ships and shut up their shops. It was a Japanese stroke of policy--to
revenge an insult by disembowelling oneself--hari kari applied to a

His was indeed a brilliant theory of government, if we take him at his
word. At home, freedom was to be invigorated by occasional rebellions,
not to be put down too sharply, for fear of discouraging the people--the
tree of liberty was to be watered with blood. Abroad, custom-house
regulations would keep the peace of the seas. Embargo and
non-intercourse must bring France and England to their good behavior.

Mr. Jefferson had his political panacea: all disorders would infallibly
be cured by it. He puffed it in his journals and extolled its virtues in
his state papers. He congratulated his countrymen upon his election; he
called it the revolution of 1800. Now at length they could try the
panacea. What wonders did it work? The Federalists can point to the
results of their twelve years of power: credit created out of
bankruptcy; prosperity out of union; a great nation made out of thirteen
small ones--an achievement far beyond that Themistocles could boast of.
Jefferson added the Louisiana Territory to the Union; but this, the only
solid result of his Administration, was totally inconsistent with his
principles. Did he render any other service to the country? We know of
none. His 'Quaker' theories and 'terrapin' policy increased the contempt
of our enemies, cost the nation millions of money to no purpose, and
made the war of 1812 inevitable.

No one can deny that Jefferson was a monster of party tactics and
strategy. He knew well how to get up a cry, to excite the _odium
vulgare_ against his antagonists, to play skilfully upon the class
feeling of poor against rich, and to turn to profit every popular
weakness and meanness. He drilled and organized his followers, and led
them well disciplined to victory. But on the grander field of
statesmanship he was wanting. He was what Bonaparte called an
ideologist. A principle, however true, may fail in its application,
because other principles, equally true, may then come into action and
vitiate the result. These collateral principles Jefferson never deigned
to consider. He had no conception of expediency, of which a wise
statesman never loses sight. Results he thought must be advantageous,
provided processes were according to his principles. His object appears
to have been rather a government after his theories than a good
government. And in this respect he is the type of the impracticable and
mischief-making class of reformers numerous in this country.

Jefferson seems to have been unable to grasp the real political
character of the American people, the path they were destined to tread,
the shape their institutions must necessarily take. He was possessed
with the idea that liberty was in danger, and that the attempt was made
to change the republic into a monarchy, perhaps a despotism. This
delirious fancy beset him by day and was a terror by night. He was
haunted by the likeness of a kingly crown. Hamilton and Adams were
writing and planning to place it upon somebody's head. Federalist
senators, congressmen, Revolutionary soldiers, were transformed into
monarchists and Anglomen. Grave judges appeared to his distempered
vision in the guise of court lawyers and would-be ambassadors. The
Cincinnati lowered over the Constitution eternally. The Supreme Court of
the United States was the stronghold in which the principle of
tyrannical power, elsewhere only militant, was triumphant. Hamilton's
funding system was a scheme to corrupt the country. Even the stately
form of Washington rose before him in the shape of Samson shorn by the
harlot England. Strange as it may seem, Jefferson persisted in his
delusion to the end. A man in his position ought to have seen that in
spite of the old connection with the British crown, the States were and
always had been essentially republican in feelings, manners, and forms.
Nowhere in the world had local self-government been carried to such
extent and perfection. To build up a monarchy out of the thirteen
colonies was impracticable. Washington, more clear sighted, said that
any government but a republic was impossible: there were not ten men in
the United States whose opinions were worth attention who entertained
the thought of a monarchy. In his judgment the danger lay in the other
direction. The weakness of the Government, not its strength, might lead
to despotism through license and anarchy. He desired to keep the rising
tide of democracy within bounds by every legitimate barrier that could
be erected, lest it should overflow the country and sweep away all
government. Jefferson was for throwing open the floodgates to admit it.
He thought himself justified in combating the monarchists of his
hallucinations by every means, however illegal and unconstitutional.
Washington warned him and his followers that they were 'systematically
pursuing measures which must eventually dissolve the Union or produce
coercion.' Jefferson, deaf to the admonition, pressed on, and, like
Diomede at the siege of Troy, wounded a divinity when he thought he was
contending only with fellow men. With his Kentucky Resolutions he gave
the first stab to the Union and the Constitution. What were Burr's
childish schemes, which would have fallen to the ground from their own
weakness, compared with that? From Jefferson through Calhoun to
Jefferson Davis the diabolic succession of conspirators is complete.



It has become the fashion to sneer at the Long Parliament: but for all
this it cannot be denied that that assemblage rendered services of
incalculable importance to the state. Extreme old age forms at all times
an object of pity, and, with the thoughtless and inconsiderate, it is
but too often an object of ridicule and contempt. Many a great man has,
ere now, survived to reach this sad stage in his career; but it does not
therefore follow that the glorious deeds of his prime are to be ignored
or forgotten. As it has been with the distinguished warrior or statesman
or author, so it is with the Long Parliament. England owes it a great
debt of gratitude on many accounts, but the one with which we have more
especially to do on the present occasion is, that with it originated the
custom of making public proceedings in Parliament. By this act was the
supremacy of the people over the Parliament acknowledged, for the very
publication of its transactions was an appeal to the people for approval
and support. This printed record of parliamentary affairs came out in
1641, and was entitled _The Diurnal Occurrences, or Daily Proceedings of
both Houses in this great and happy Parliament, from the 3d of November,
1640, to the 3d of November, 1641._ The speeches delivered from the
first date down to the following June were also published in two
volumes, and in 1642 weekly instalments appeared under various titles,
such as _The Heads of all the Proceedings of both Houses of
Parliament--Account of Proceedings of both Houses of Parliament--A
perfect Diurnal of the Passages in Parliament_, etc., etc. There was no
reporter's gallery in those days, and the Parliament only printed _what
they pleased_; still this was a step in the right direction. After
Parliaments occasionally evinced bitter hostility toward the press, but
that which boasted Sawyer Lenthal for its speaker was its friend (at all
events, at first, though afterward, as we shall notice by and by, it
displayed some animosity against its early _protegé_), and from this
meagre beginning took its rise that which is beyond doubt one of the
most important domestic functions of the press at the present day.

The abolition of the great bugbear and tyrant of printers--that infamous
mockery of a legal tribunal, the Star Chamber--was another gigantic
obstacle cleared away from the path of journalism. The _Newes Bookes_,
which, in spite of all difficulties, had already become abundant, now
issued forth in swarms. They treated _de rebus omnibus et quibusdam
aliis_. Most of them were political or polemical pamphlets, and boasted
extraordinary titles. There is a splendid collection of these in the
British Museum, collected by the Rev. W. Thomason, and presented to the
nation by King George III. We will mention a few of them. A
controversial religious tract rejoices in the title of _A fresh bit of
Mutton for those fleshy-minded Cannibals that cannot endure Pottage._ A
political skit upon Prince Rupert is styled _An exact Description of
Prince Rupert's malignant She-Monkey, a great Delinquent_, and has a
comical woodcut upon the title page of the animal, in a cap and
petticoat and with a sword by its side. This pamphlet is printed partly
in ordinary modern type and partly in black letter. Another pamphlet in
the form of dialogue is directed against the abuses of the laws,
especially at one of the infamous 'comptoirs' of the time. It is called
_Wonderfull Strange Newes from Wood Street Countor--yet not so Strange
as True, being proved by lamentable Experience, the relation of which_

  'Will make you laugh, 'twill make you cry;
  'Twill make you mad, 'twill make you try.'

Another is _Newes, true Newes, laudable Newes, Citie Newes, Countrie
Newes, the World is Mad or it is a Mad World, my Masters, especially in
the Antipodes, these Things are come to passe_. This is a satirical
description of manners and customs on 'the other side of the world,' the
writer asserting that in those regions everything is the exact opposite
of what takes place among us, so that there beggars ride in carriages
and are highly esteemed, men of title are of no account, lawyers take no
fees, and bailiffs decline to arrest debtors, etc., etc. There is also a
very quaint woodcut of the world and the heavens, the four winds, etc.,
with an astrologer and other persons looking at them. Very many of these
pamphlets are actual relations of occurrences in different parts of the
kingdom and in foreign countries. Thus we find, _Victorious Newes from
Waterford_; _The joyfullest Newes from Hull that ever came to London of
the Proceedings of the Earl of Warwick's Shipps_; _The best and happiest
Newes from Ireland, from the Army before Kildare_; _Newes from
Blackheath concerning the Meeting of the Kentish Men_; _Exceedingly
joyfull Newes from Holland_; _The best Newes that ever was Printed_,
consists of, 1. _Prince Rupert's Resolution to bee gone to his Mother,
who hath sent for him_; 2. _His Majestie's royall Intentions declared to
joyne with the Parliament in a treaty of Peace_; 3. _The Particulars of
the High Court of Parliament drawn up to be sent to his Majesty for
Peace_; 4. _Directions from the Lords and Commons directed to the
Commanders for the ordering of the Army._ One _quaint_ title presents a
very odd association: _Newes from Hell and Rome and the Innes of Court_.
The contending parties appear to have suited their titles to the
substance of the _Newes_ they chronicled accordingly as it affected
their interests. Thus, while many pamphlets bore the titles of
_Glorious_, _Joyful_, _Victorious_, etc., others were dubbed _Horrible
Newes_, _Terrible News_, and so forth. By far the greater number of
these were issued by the partisans of the Parliament; but the Royalists
were by no means idle, and the king carried about a travelling printing
press, as is evidenced by several proclamations, manifestoes, etc.,
issued at Oxford, Worcester, York, and other places, sometimes in
ordinary type, sometimes in black letter, by 'Robert Barker, his
Majestie's Printer.' All the emanations of the press were not, however,
mere isolated pamphlets, but there was a large crop of periodicals, such
as _The Kingdom's Weekly Intelligencer_--_The Royal Diurnall_, etc.
About this time the name _Mercurius_ began to be very freely adopted for
these periodicals. It had been already, for a long time, assumed as a
_nom de plume_ by writers and printers, but the title was now
assigned to the publications themselves. One of the earliest of
these was _Mercurius Aulicus_, a scurrilous print in the interest
of the court party--as its name imports--which first appeared in 1642.
Others were entitled respectively _Mercurius Britannicus_--_Mercurius
Anti-Britannicus_--_Mercurius Fumigosus, a Smoaking Nocturnal_--_Mercurius
Pragmaticus_--_Mercurius Anti-Pragmaticus_--_Mercurius Mercuriorum
Stultissimus_--_Mercurius Insanus Insanissimus_--_Mercurius
Diabolicus_--_Mercurius Mastix, faithfully lashing all Scouts, Mercuries,
Posts, Spyes, and others_--_Mercurius Radamanthus, the Chief Judge of Hell,
his Circuits through all the Courts of Law in England_, etc., etc. Other
newspapers bore such quaint titles as the following: _The Dutch Spye_--_The
Scots Dove_--_The Parliament Kite_--_The Secret Owle_--_The Parliament
Screech Owle_, and other ornithological monstrosities. Party spirit ran
high, and the contending scribes carried on a most foul and savage warfare,
and demolished their adversaries, both political and literary, without
the slightest compunction or mercy. Some of these brochures were solely
directed against the utterances of one particular rival scribe, as is
shown by one or two of the titles above quoted. Doctor Johnson says:

     'When any title grew popular, it was stolen by the antagonist, who
     by this stratagem conveyed his notions to those who would not have
     received him had he not worn the appearance of a friend.'

According to Mr. Nichols' the printer's list, there were no less than
three hundred and fifty of these _Mercuries_ and _Newes Bookes_
published between 1642 and 1665, a list that would no doubt be largely
swollen could the titles of all that have perished and left no trace
behind be ascertained. These _Mercuries_ appeared at different
intervals, but none oftener than three times a week, and their price was
generally one penny, but sometimes twopence.

Many of the writers were nothing but venal hirelings, and changed sides
readily enough when their own private interests seemed to render it
desirable. One of the most famous--or infamous, according to Anthony à
Wood, who describes him as 'a most seditious, mutable, and railing
writer, siding with the rout and scum of the people, making them weekly
sport by railing at all that was noble,' etc.--was Marchmont Nedham. In
1643 he brought out the _Mercurius Britannicus_, one of the ablest
periodicals on the Parliamentary side, whatever honest old Anthony may
say to the contrary. But, being imprisoned for libel, he thought it best
to change his politics, and for two years appeared as an ultra-virulent
Royalist partisan in the _Mercurius Pragmaticus_. After the execution of
Charles the First, however, he returned to his old party, and advocated
their cause in the _Mercurius Politicus_, which purported to be
published 'in defence of the commonwealth and for information of the
people.' After some years he fell into temporary disgrace, but was soon
received again into favor by the House of Commons, which passed a vote
in August, 1659, 'that Marchmont Nedham, gentleman, be and hereby is
restored to be writer of the _Publick Intelligence_ as formerly.' At the
Restoration he was discharged from his office, but contrived to make his
peace with the party in power, and, true to his instincts, changed his
political creed once more for that of the winning side, but without
succeeding in being reinstated in his old post. The other most
noteworthy writers of _Mercuries_ were John Birkenhead, author of the
_Mercurius Aulicus_, Peter Heylin, Bruno Ryves--all parsons--and John
Taylor, the Water Poet, author of the _Mercurius Aquaticus_.

Nothing was too great or too small for the writers of these _Mercuries_,
nothing too exalted or too mean. Nothing was sacred in their eyes; the
most private affairs were dragged into the political arena, and family
and domestic matters, that had nothing whatever to do with public life,
were paraded before the world. Bitter personalities and invective seem
to be inseparable concomitants of the early stage of journalism in all
countries. This was the case in France and Germany; it is the case in
Russia at the present day. That it was the case in America, let the
following extract from Franklin's private correspondence testify:

     'The inconsistency that strikes me the most is that between the
     name of your city, Philadelphia, and the spirit of rancor, malice,
     and hatred that breathes in the newspapers. For I learn from those
     papers that State is divided into parties, that each party ascribes
     all the public operations of the other to vicious motives, that
     they do not even suspect one another of the smallest degree of
     honesty, that the anti-Federalists are such merely from the fear of
     losing power, places, or emoluments, which they have in possession
     or expectation; that the Federalists are a set of conspirators, who
     aim at establishing a tyranny over the persons and property of
     their countrymen and who live in splendor on the plunder of the
     people. I learn, too, that your justices of the peace, though
     chosen by their neighbors, make a villanous trade of their offices,
     and promote discord to augment fees, and fleece their electors; and
     that this would not be mended were the choice in the Executive
     Council, who, with interested or party aims, are continually making
     as improper appointments, witness a 'petty fiddler, sycophant, and
     scoundrel' appointed judge of the admiralty, an 'old woman and
     fomentor of sedition' to be another of the judges, and 'a Jeffreys'
     chief justice, etc., etc., with 'harpies,' the comptroller and
     naval officers, to prey upon the merchants, and deprive them of
     their property by force of arms, etc. I am informed, also, by these
     papers, that your General Assembly, though the annual choice of the
     people, shows no regard to their rights, but from sinister views or
     ignorance makes laws in direct violation of the Constitution, to
     divest the inhabitants of their property, and give it to strangers
     and intruders, and that the Council, either fearing the resentment
     of their constituents or plotting to enslave them, had projected to
     disarm them, and given orders for that purpose; and, finally, that
     your President, the unanimous joint choice of the Council and
     Assembly, is 'an old rogue, who gave his assent to the Federal
     Constitution merely to avoid refunding money he had purloined from
     the United States.' There is, indeed, a good deal of man's
     inconsistency in all this, and yet a stranger, seeing it in our own
     prints, though he does not believe it all, may probably believe
     enough of it to conclude that Pennsylvania is peopled by a set of
     the most unprincipled, wicked, rascally, and quarrelsome scoundrels
     upon the face of the globe. I have sometimes, indeed, suspected
     that those papers are the manufacture of foreigners among you, who
     write with the view of disgracing your country, and making you
     appear contemptible and detestable all the world over; but then I
     wonder at the indiscretion of your printers in publishing such
     writings. There is, however, one of your inconsistencies that
     consoles me a little, which is that though, living, you give one
     another the character of devils, dead, you are all angels. It is
     delightful, when any of you die, to read what good husbands, good
     fathers, good friends, good citizens, and good Christians you were,
     concluding with a scrap of poetry that places you with certainty in
     heaven. So that I think Pennsylvania a good country to die in,
     though a very bad one to live in.'

These remarks, which Franklin makes with such powerful irony, might
apply with equal force to a similar period in the newspaper history of
any country, and most of all to that of England.

The worst features, perhaps, of these writers of _Mercuries_, were the
readiness with which they apostatized, and the systematic and unblushing
manner in which they sold their pens to the highest bidder, and
prostituted the press to serve the purposes of their patrons. Mrs.
Hutchinson, in the memoirs of her husband, Colonel Hutchinson, gives a
curious instance of their venality:

     'Sir John Gell, of Derbyshire, kept the diurnall makers in pension,
     soe that whatever was done in the neighboring counties against the
     enemy, was attributed to him, and thus he hath indirectly purchased
     himself a name in story which he never merited. That which made his
     courage the more questioned was the care he tooke and the expense
     he was att to get it weekly mentioned in the diurnalls, so that
     when they had nothing else to renoune him for, they once put it
     that the troops of that valiant commander Sir John Gell tooke a
     dragoon with a plush doublet.... Mr. Hutchinson, on the other side,
     that did well for virtue's sake, and not for the vaine glory of it,
     never would give aniething to buy the flatteries of those
     scribblers; and, when one of them once, while he was in towne, made
     mention of something done at Nottingham, with falsehood, and had
     given Gell the glory of an action in which he was not concerned,
     Mr. Hutchinson rebuked him for it; whereupon the man begged his
     pardon, and told him he would write as much for him the next weeke;
     but Mr. Hutchinson told him he scorned his mercenary pen, and
     warned him not to dare to be in any of his concernments; whereupon
     the fellow was awed, and he had no more abuse of that kind.'

The _Mercuries_, however, were not allowed to have everything their own
way without any interference on the part of the powers that were. In
1647, Sir Thomas Fairfax called the attention of the House of Lords, by
letter, to the great number of unlicensed newspapers, with a view to
their suppression; but he adds, in mitigation of his attack:

     'That the kingdom's expectation may be satisfied in relation to
     intelligence till a firm peace be settled, considering the
     mischiefs that will happen by the poisonous writings of evil men
     sent abroad daily to abuse and deceive the people, that if the
     House shall see it fit, some two or three sheets may be permitted
     to come forth weekly, which may be licensed, and have some stamp of
     authoritie with them, and in respect of the former licenser, Mr.
     Mabbot, hath approved himself faithful in that service of
     licensing, and likewise in the service of the House and of this
     army, I humbly desire that he may be restored and continued in the
     same place of licenser.'

The result of this letter--which is remarkable, by the way, for its
mention of the licenser--was that the House of Lords issued an edict to
forbid any such publications except with the license of one or both
Houses of Parliament, and with the name of the author, printer, and
licenser attached. The penalties for any evasion of this enactment were,
for the writer, a fine of forty shillings or imprisonment for forty
days; for the printer, half that punishment, and the destruction of his
press and plant as well, and for the vendor a sound whipping and the
confiscation of his wares. A second instance of parliamentary
interference took place in the same year, when a committee was appointed
for the purpose of discovering and punishing every one connected with
the publication of certain _Mercuries_. The licensing system continued
in force, but was not made much use of, although the scurrilities of the
press roused the Parliament every now and then into spasmodic efforts of
repression. In addition to measures of this kind, Nedham's paper, from
its official character, was doubtless looked upon by the legislature as
a sort of antidote to the poison diffused by other journalists. This
came out twice a week, on Mondays under the name of _The Public
Intelligencer_, and on Thursdays under that of _Mercurius Politicus_.
When Nedham fell into disgrace at the Restoration, his paper was placed
by Parliament in other hands, and the Monday title changed to that of
_The Parliamentary Intelligencer_, though that of the Thursday's issue
remained unaltered. The powers of the licenser were now much more
strictly exercised, and the _Mercuries_ gave up the ghost in shoals. In
1662 an act was passed 'for preventing the frequent abuses in printing
seditious, treasonable, and unlicensed books and pamphlets, and for
regulating of printing and printing presses.' It also divided the duties
of the licenser, and the supervision of newspapers passed into the hands
of the Secretary of State. Ireland was not slow to follow England's
example, for, in Lord Mountmorris's 'History of the Irish Parliament,'
mention is made in 1662 'of a very extraordinary question' which 'arose
about preventing the publication of the debates of the Irish Parliament
in an English newspaper called _The Intelligencer_, and a letter was
written from the Speaker to Sir Edward Nicholas, the English Secretary
of State, to prevent these publications in those diurnalls, as they call
them.' In 1661, _The Parliamentary Intelligencer_ was turned into _The
Kingdom's Intelligencer_, and this last appellation was again changed
for that of _The Public Intelligencer_ in 1663. The celebrated Roger
L'Estrange, who was then the public licenser, was the editor of this
paper, as also of an extra Thursday issue called _The News_. In the
first number of this old friend with a new face, he says, among other
pros and cons as to the desirability of a newspaper:

     'Supposing the press in order, the people in their right wits, and
     news or no news to be the question, a public _Mercury_ should never
     have my vote, because I think it makes the multitude too familiar
     with the actions and counsels of their superiors, too pragmatical
     and censorious, and gives them not only an itch, but a kind of
     colorable right and license.... A gazette is none of the worst ways
     of address to the genius and humor of the common people, whose
     affections are much more capable of being turned and wrought upon
     by convenient hints and touches in the shape and air of a pamphlet
     than by the strongest reason and best notions imaginable under any
     other and more sober form whatsoever.... So that upon the main I
     perceive the thing requisite (for aught I can see yet). Once a week
     may do the business, for I intend to utter my news by weight, not
     by measure. Yet if I shall find, when my hand is in, and after the
     planting and securing of my correspondents, that the matter will
     fairly furnish more, without either uncertainty, repetition, or
     impertinence, I shall keep myself free to double at pleasure. One
     book a week may be expected, however, to be published every
     Thursday, and finished upon the Tuesday night, leaving Wednesday
     entire for the printing of it.'

The Newspaper was evidently developing itself--correspondents were a new
feature--but still it was very tardy and very far from being free. Fancy
a newspaper in the present day with no news more recent than that of the
day before yesterday! In 1663 the title of _Public Intelligencer_ was
exchanged for that of _The Oxford Gazette_, so called because the court
had gone to Oxford on account of the plague. After the court's return to
the metropolis, _London_ was substituted, in 1666, for _Oxford_, and
from that date to the present this, the first official or semi-official
organ, has gone by the name of _The London Gazette_. The king caused an
edition of it to be published in French, for the convenience, probably,
of his accommodating banker, Louis the Fourteenth, and this edition
continued to appear for about twenty years.

Charles the Second was an unsparing and unscrupulous foe to the press,
and put in practice every possible form of oppression in order to crush
it. One's blood boils at the perusal of the persecutions to which the
struggling apostles of freedom of speech were subjected, so that the
contempt which this miserable 'king of shreds and patches' inspires in
other respects wellnigh changes into positive hatred. But despite of
fine and imprisonment, scourge and pillory, the press toiled on steadily
toward its glorious goal. The Newspaper began to assume--as far as its
contents were concerned--the appearance which it wears at the present
day. Straggling advertisements had long ago appeared, the first on
record being one offering a reward for the recovery of two horses that
had been stolen. This appeared in the first number of the _Impartial
Intelligencer_, in 1648. Booksellers and the proprietors of quack
medicines were among the earliest persons to discover the advantages of
advertising, and in 1657 came out the _Public Advertiser_, which
consisted almost entirely of advertisements. The following curious
notification appeared in the _Mercurius Politicus_, of September 30,

     'That excellent and by all Physicians approved _China_ Drink,
     called by the _Chineans, Tcha_, by other Nations _Tay_, alias
     _Tee_, is sold at the _Sultaness' Head Cophee House_, in
     _Sweeting's_ Rents, by the Royal Exchange, _London_.'

The earliest illustrated paper is _Mercurius Civicus, London's
Intelligencer_, in 1643. The first commercial newspaper was a venture of
L'Estrange's in 1675, and was styled _The City Mercury, or
Advertisements concerning Trade_. The first literary paper issued from
the press in 1680, under the denomination of _Mercurius Librarius, or a
Faithful Account of all Books and Pamphlets_. The first sporting paper
was _The Jockey's Intelligencer, or Weekly Advertisements of Horses and
Second-hand Coaches to be Bought or Sold_, in 1683. The first medical
paper, _Observations on the Weekly Bill, from July 27 to August 3, with
Directions how to avoid the Dis eases now prevalent_, came out in 1686;
and the first comic newspaper, _The Merrie Mercury_, in 1700.
Notwithstanding these 'first appearances on any stage,' there never was
a darker or more dismal period in the history of journalism. A great
number of newspapers had sprung up in consequence of the Popish Plot,
and the exclusion of the Duke of York--the respectable admiralty clerk
of Macaulay--from the throne; and with the intention of sweeping these
away, a royal 'proclamation for suppressing the printing and publishing
unlicensed news books and pamphlets of news' was put forth in 1680.
Vigorous action against recalcitrants followed, and with such pliant
tools as those perjured wretches, Scroggs and Jeffreys, for judge and
prosecutor, convictions and the 'extremest punishment of the law' became
a foregone conclusion. Doubtless there were many vile scribblers who
deserved to have the severest penalties inflicted upon them, but no
discrimination was used, and good and bad alike experienced the
vengeance of 'divine right.' The aim of the abandoned monarch and his
advisers was manifestly total extermination, and journalism appeared to
be at its last gasp. But though crushed and mutilated in every limb, and
bleeding at every pore, faint respirations every now and then showed
that the vital spark still lingered. But brighter days were at hand.
That festering mass of mental and bodily corruption which had once worn
a crown, was buried away out of the sight of indignant humanity, and the
vacillating James with feeble steps mounted the tottering throne. The
licensing act had expired in 1679, and had not been again renewed, for
there were no newspapers to license. Upon the alarm of Monmouth's
invasion, James renewed it temporarily for seven years. Journalism
reared its head again, and the court party, instead of persecuting,
found itself compelled to fawn and flatter and sue for its protection
and support. Newspapers, both native and imported from Holland in large
numbers, played an important part in the Revolution, and paved the way
for the downfall of the Stuarts and the advent of William and the
Protestant Succession.

It must not be supposed that the capital had possessed a monopoly of
newspapers during all this period. Scotland appeared in the field with a
_Mercurius Politicus_, published at Leith in 1653. This, however, was
nothing but a reprint of a London news sheet, and probably owed its
existence to the presence of Cromwell's soldiers. In 1654 it removed to
Edinburgh, and in 1660 changed its denomination to _Mercurius Publicus_.
On the last day of this year, too, a journal of native growth budded
forth, with the title of _Mercurius Caledonius_. But the canny Scots
either could not or would not spare their bawbees for the encouragement
of such ephemeral literature, for Chalmers tells us that only ten
numbers of this publication appeared, and they were 'very loyal, very
illiterate, and very affected.' Dublin appears to have produced a
_Dublin News Letter_ in 1685, but little is known about it, and its very
existence has been disputed. There were other sheets with Scotch and
Irish titles, but they were all printed in London. With 1688 a new era
dawned upon the press--the most promising it had yet seen--and
newspapers gradually sprang up all over the kingdom.

The first that came out in the interests of the new Government were the
_Orange Intelligencer_ and the _Orange Gazette_. The opponents of the
ministry also started organs of their own, and the paper warfare went
gayly on, but with more decency and courtesy than heretofore. William
did not show himself disposed to hamper the press in any way, but
Parliament, in 1694, proved its hostility by an ordinance 'that no
news-letter writers do, in their letters or other papers that they
disperse, presume to intermeddle with the debates or other proceedings
of this House.' This was only a momentary ebullition of spleen. The
licensing act, which expired in 1692, had been renewed for one year,
but at the end of that period disappeared forever from English
legislation. The House of Lords--obstructive as usual to all real
progress--endeavored to revive it, but the Commons refused their
consent, and a second attempt in 1697 met with a like defeat. This
obstacle being happily got rid of, new journals of all kinds arose every
day. One was called _The Ladies' Mercury_; a second, _The London
Mercury_, _or_ _Mercure de Londres_, and was printed in parallel English
and French columns. A third was entitled _Mercurios Reformatus_, and
was, during a portion of its existence, edited by the famous Bishop
Burnet. Some were half written and half printed. One of these, the
_Flying Post_, in 1695, says in its prospectus:

     'If any gentleman has a mind to oblige his country friend or
     correspondent with this account of public affairs, he may have it
     for twopence of J. Salisbury, at the Rising Sun, in Cornhill, on a
     sheet of fine paper, half of which being blank, he may thereon
     write his own private business, or the material news of the day.'

In 1696, Dawks's _News Letter_ appeared, printed in a sort of running
type, to imitate handwriting, with the following quaint announcement:

     'This letter will be done upon good writing paper, and blank space
     left, that any gentleman may write his own private business. It
     does, undoubtedly, exceed the best of the written news, contains
     double the quantity, with abundant more ease and pleasure, and will
     be useful to improve the younger sort in writing a curious hand.'

Various authors, whose names will always find a lofty place in
literature, contributed to the newspapers of this epoch, and among them
we find those of South, Wesley, Sir William Temple, and Swift. The
advertisements by this time had become as varied as they are nowadays,
and were without doubt almost as important a part of the revenue of a
newspaper. An amusing proof of this is to be found in the _Collection
for the Improvement of Husbandry and Trade_, in which the editor
displays a lively interest in this department of his paper, by employing
the first person, thus: 'I want a cook maid for a merchant,' 'I want an
apprentice for a tallow chandler,' etc., etc. He also advertises that he
knows of several men and women who wish to find spouses, and he
undertakes match making in all honor and secrecy. He tells us that he
has a house for sale, and wishes to buy a shop, an estate, a complete
set of manuscript sermons, and a government situation. Other editors
bear witness to the character of their advertisers, and recommend
doctors, undertakers, waiting maids, footmen, and various tradesmen.
Some of the advertisements are very funny. 'I want a compleat young man
that will wear a livery, to wait on a very, valuable gentleman, but he
must know how to play on a violin or flute.' Was the 'very valuable
gentleman,' we wonder, troubled like Saul with an evil spirit, that
could be exorcised by music? Tastes certainly differ, for this
advertisement reminds us of a venerable old lady of our acquaintance,
who was kept in a chronic state of irritation by a favorite footman,
whom she did not choose to discharge, through his learning the flute and
persisting in practising 'Away with melancholy'--the only tune he
knew--for an hour daily! But to return to the advertisements. A
schoolmaster announces that he 'has had such success with boys, as there
are almost forty ministers and schoolmasters that were his scholars. His
wife also teaches girls lace making, plain work, raising paste, sauces,
and cookery to a degree of exactness'--departments of education which
are, unfortunately, too much lost sight of in modern 'Establishments for
Young Ladies,' 'His price is £10 to £11 the year; with a pair of sheets
and one spoon, to be returned if desired.'

During the whole reign of William there was not a single newspaper
prosecution, but there were many in that of 'the good Queen Anne.' Still
editors were obliged to be very careful in the wording of their items of
news, generally prefacing them with 'We hear,' 'It is said,' 'It is
reported,' 'They continue to say,' ''Tis believed,' and so on. Of the
chief newspapers of this period we get the following account from John
Dunton, who was joint proprietor with Samuel Wesley of the _Athenian

     'The _Observator_ is best to towel the Jacks, the _Review_ is best
     to promote peace, the _Flying Post_ is best for the Scotch news,
     the _Postboy_ is best for the English and Spanish news, the _Daily
     Courant_ is the best critic, the _English Post_ is the best
     collector, the _London Gazette_ has the best authority, and the
     _Postman_ is the best for everything.'

The _Daily Courant_, which was the first daily newspaper, first appeared
on the 11th of March, 1702. It was but a puny affair of two columns,
printed on one side of the sheet only, and consisted, like most of the
journals of the time, mainly of foreign intelligence. It lasted until
1735, when it was merged in the _Daily Gazetteer_. In spite of
prosecutions for libel, the press throve, and, perhaps, to a certain
extent, on that very account greatly improved in character. Addison,
Steele, Bolingbroke, Manwaring, Prior, Swift, Defoe, and other
celebrities became editors or contributors, and a battle royal was waged
among them in the _Examiner_, the _Whig Examiner_, the _Observator_, the
_Postboy_, the _Review_, the _Medley_, and other papers of less note.

Meanwhile newspapers began to appear in the provinces. The earliest was
the _Stamford Mercury_--a title preserved to the present day--which came
out in 1695. Norwich started a journal of its own, the _Norwich
Postman_, in 1706, the price of which the proprietors stated to be 'one
penny, but a half penny not refused.' The _Worcester Postman_ made its
bow in 1708, and Berrow's _Worcester Journal_--which still exists--in
1709. Newcastle followed suite with its _Courant_, in 1711, and
Liverpool with its _Courant_ in 1712. The other large towns did the same
at less or greater intervals, and of the provincial journals which were
born in the first half of the eighteenth century about a score still
flourish. The _Edinburgh Gazette_ came cut in 1699, as appears from the
following quaint document, which has been republished by the Maitland
Club at the 'modern Athens':

     'Anent the petition given to the Lords of his Majestie's Privy
     Councill by James Donaldson, merchant in Edinburgh, shewing 'that
     the petitioner doth humbly conceive the publishing ane gazette in
     this place, containeing ane abridgement of fforaigne newes together
     with the occurrences at home, may be both usefull and satisfieing
     to the leidges, and actually hath published on or two to see how it
     may be liked, and so farr as he could understand the project was
     approven of by very many, and, therefore, humbly supplicating the
     said Lords to the effect after mentioned;' the Lords of his
     Majestie's Privy Councill, having considered this petition given in
     to them by the above James Donaldsone, they doe hereby grant full
     warrant and authority to the petitioner for publishing the above
     gazette, and discharges any other persones whatsoever to pen or
     publish the like under the penaltie of forfaulting all the coppies
     to the petitioner, and farder payment to him of the soume of ane
     hundred pounds Scots money, by and altour the forsaid confiscatioun
     and forfaulture; and recommends to the Lord High Chancellor to
     nominat and appoint a particular persone to be supervisor of the
     said gazetts before they be exposed to public view, printed, or

In 1705 a rival started up in the _Edinburgh Courant_, which was
published three times a week. About the same time appeared the _Scots
Courant_, in 1708 the _Edinburgh Flying Post_, and in the following year
the _Scots Postman_, the two last being tri-weekily. In 1718 there
dawned upon the literary horizon the _Edinburgh Evening Courant_, which
still continues. It was published _cum privilegio_ on condition that the
proprietor 'should give ane coppie of his print to the magistrates.'
With regard to Ireland, it is a curious fact that Dublin took the lead
of London in establishing a daily paper, for _Pue's Occurrences_ first
issued in 1700, and survived for more than fifty years. But this effort
appears to have exhausted the newspaper energies of the sister isle, for
we have no record of any other journal during a quarter of a century.

Contemporary with its extension to the provinces, newspaper enterprise
was penetrating into the colonies, and America took the lead. Small were
the beginnings in the land where the freedom of the press was destined
to attain its fullest development. America's first journal--the _Boston
News Letter_--was printed at Boston in 1704, and survived to the limit
assigned by the Psalmist to the age of man. In 1719 appeared the _Boston
Gazette_, and in the same year the _American Weekly Miscellany_, at
Philadelphia. In 1721 appeared James Franklin's paper, the _New England
Courant_, and in 1728 the _New York Journal_. In 1733 John P. Tenzer
brought out the _New York Weekly Journal_, a paper which was so ably
conducted in opposition to the Government, that in the following year a
prosecution, or rather persecution, was determined upon. Andrew Hamilton
was Tenzer's counsel, and the temptation to quote a passage from the
peroration of his speech for the defence is irresistible:

     'The question which is argued before you this day is not only the
     cause of a poor printer, nor yet even of the colony of New York
     alone: it is the best of causes--the cause of liberty. Every man
     who prefers freedom to a life of slavery will bless and honor in
     you the men whose verdict will have secured to us upon a firm
     basis--to us, to our posterity, to our neighbors, that right which
     both nature and the honor of our country gives us, the liberty of
     freely speaking and writing the truth.'

What could the jury do, after these burning words, but acquit the
prisoner? They did acquit him, and from this famous trial dates,
according to Gouverneur Morris, the dawn of the American Revolution,
which myriads of Englishmen, whatever may be thought or said to the
contrary by persons who wish to raise bad blood between two mighty
countries, delight to acknowledge as glorious. But the progress of the
press in America was slow under British rule, for in 1775 there were
only thirty-six journals in the various States altogether. The West
India islands soon began to establish papers of their own, and Barbadoes
led the way in 1731 with the _Barbadoes Gazette_. Yet the development of
journalism in other British colonies belongs to a later period of

To return to England. A heavy blow was impending over the fourth estate.
In 1712 a tax, in the shape of a half-penny stamp, was levied upon each
newspaper. The reason alleged for this measure was that political
pamphlets had so increased in number and virulence that the queen had
called the attention of Parliament to them, and had recommended it to
find a remedy equal to the mischief, and, in one of her messages, had
complained that 'by seditious papers and factious rumors, designing men
have been able to sink credit, and that the innocent have to suffer.' An
act was accordingly passed by which every printer was obliged to lodge
one copy of each number of his paper, within six days of its
publication, with a collector appointed for the purpose, and at the same
time to state the number of sheets, etc., under a penalty of £20 for
default. Country printers were allowed fourteen days instead of six.
This act, as may easily be imagined, spread confusion and dismay in all
directions. Half-penny and farthing newspapers fell at once before the
fierce onslaught of the red oppressor--a vegetable monstrosity, having
the rose, shamrock, and thistle growing on a single stalk, surmounted
by the royal crown. All the less important and second-rate journals
withered away before the deadly breath of the new edict, and a few only
of the best were enabled to continue by raising their price. Addison, in
the 445th number of the _Spectator_, July 31st, 1712, alludes to this
new tax as follows:

     'This is the day on which many eminent authors will probably
     publish their last words. I am afraid that few of our weekly
     historians, who are men that, above all others, delight in war,
     will be able to subsist under the weight of a stamp and an
     approaching peace. A sheet of blank paper that must have this new
     imprimatur clapped upon it before it is qualified to communicate
     anything to the public, will make its way but very heavily.... A
     facetious friend, who loves a pun, calls this present mortality
     among authors 'the fall of the leaf.' I remember upon Mr. Baxter's
     death there was published a sheet of very good sayings, inscribed:
     'The last words of Mr. Baxter.' The title sold so great a number of
     these papers, that, about a week after these, came out a second
     sheet, inscribed: 'More last words of Mr. Baxter.' In the same
     manner I have reason to think that several ingenious writers who
     have taken their leave of the public in farewell papers, will not
     give over so, but intend to appear, though perhaps under another
     form, and with a different title.'

This prediction of Addison's was verified, for, after the first year,
the act was allowed to fall into abeyance, and the scribblers raised
their heads once more, and endeavored, by extra diligence and industry,
to make up for their past discomfiture and enforced silence.

Of the essay papers, as they are called, the _Tatler_ is the only one
which properly comes within the scope of this article, as being, to a
certain extent, a newspaper. Addison wrote in the _Freeholder_, and
Steele in the _Englishman_, both being political journals opposed to the
Government. For certain articles in this last, which were declared to be
libellous, and for a pamphlet, entitled _The Crisis_, which he published
about the same time, poor 'little Dicky, whose trade it was,' according
to his quondam friend Addison, 'to write pamphlets,' was expelled the
House of Commons, despite the support of several influential members,
and the famous declaration of Walpole, who was not then the unscrupulous
minister he afterward became, 'The liberty of the press is unrestrained;
how then shall a part of the legislature dare to punish that as a crime
which is not declared to be so by any law framed by the whole? And why
should that House be made the instrument of such a detestable purpose?'

The newspaper writers had now reached a great pitch of power, and had
become formidable to the Government. Prosecutions therefore multiplied;
but not without reason in many cases. Addison complains over and over
again of the misdirection of their influence, and says, among other

     'Their papers, filled with different party spirit, divide the
     people into different sentiments, who generally consider rather the
     principles than the truth of the news writers.'

At no time, probably, in the history of journalism did party feeling run
higher than at this period. New organs sprang up every day, but were,
for the most part, very short lived. Among the papers of most note were
_The Weekly Journal_, Mist's _Weekly Journal_, the _London Journal_,
_The Free Briton_, and the _Weekly Gazetteer_. Mist was especially a
stout opponent of the Government, and was consequently always in
trouble. In 1724 there were printed nineteen first-class journals, of
which three were daily, ten tri-weekly--three of them 'half-penny
_Posts_'--and six weekly. News was abundant, and the old plan of leaving
blank spaces or filling up with passages of Scripture--an editor
actually reproduced from week to week the first two books of the
Pentateuch--was now abandoned. In 1726 appeared the _Public
Advertiser_, afterward called the _London Daily Advertiser_, which
deserves to be remembered as having been the medium through which the
letters of Junius were originally given to the world. In the same year,
too, was started _The Craftsman_, one of the ablest political papers
which London had yet seen, and of which Bolingbroke was joint editor. It
was immediately successful, and its circulation soon reached ten or
twelve thousand. In 1731 a great novelty came out, the _Gentleman's
Magazine_, or _Monthly Intelligencer_, under the proprietorship of
Edward Cave, the printer. The title page contained a woodcut of St.
John's Gate, Clerkenwell, which had been in olden times the entrance
gateway to the hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, but was then the
abiding place of Cave's printing press, and upon either side of the
engraving was a list of the titles of metropolitan and provincial
newspapers. The contents, as announced on the same title page, were: 1.
Essays, controversial, humorous and satirical, religious, moral, and
political, collected chiefly from the public papers; 2. Select pieces of
poetry; 3. A succinct account of the most remarkable transactions and
events, foreign and domestic; 4. Marriages and deaths, promotions and
bankruptcies; 5. The prices of goods and stocks, and bills of mortality;
6. A register of barks; 7. Observations on gardening. The prospectus

     'Our present undertaking, in the first place, is to give monthly a
     view of all the pieces of wit, humor, or intelligence daily offered
     to the public in the newspapers, which of late are so multiplied as
     to render it impossible, unless a man makes it his business, to
     consult them all; and in the next place, we shall join therewith
     some other matters of use or amusement that will be communicated to
     us. Upon calculating the number of newspapers, 'tis found that
     (besides divers written accounts) no less than two hundred half
     sheets _per mensem_ are thrown from the press only in London, and
     about as many printed elsewhere in the three kingdoms, a
     considerable part of which constantly exhibit essays on various
     subjects for entertainment, and all the rest occasionally oblige
     their readers with matter of public concern, communicated to the
     world by persons of capacity, through their means, so that they are
     become the chief channels of amusement and intelligence. But then,
     being only loose papers, uncertainly scattered about, it often
     happens that many things deserving attention contained in them are
     only seen by accident, and others not sufficiently published or
     preserved for universal benefit or information.'

The _Magazine_ sets to work upon its self-imposed task by giving a
summary of the most important articles during the preceding month in the
principal London journals, of the ability, scope, and spirit of which we
thus obtain a very fair notion. The _Craftsman_ has the precedence, and
among articles quoted from it are a historical essay upon Queen Bess,
and 'her wisdom in maintaining her prerogative;' a violent political
article full of personalities, a complaint of the treatment of the
_Craftsman_ by rival journals, and an essay upon the liberty of the
press. The summary of the _London Journal_ seems to show that it was
continually occupied in controverting the views and arguments of the
_Craftsman_. _Fog's Journal_ is employed in making war upon the _London
Journal_ and the _Free Briton_. The following specimen does not say much
for Mr. Fog's satirical powers:

     'One Caleb D'Anvers' (Nicholas Amherst, of the Craftsman), 'and, if
     I mistake not, one Fog, are accused of seditiously asserting that a
     crow is black; but the writers on the other side have, with
     infinite wit, proved a black crow to be the whitest bird of all the
     feathered tribe.'

These old newspapers give us curious glimpses of the manners of the
time. The _Grub-Street Journal_ has an article upon 'an operation
designed to be performed upon one Ray, a condemned malefactor, by Mr.
Cheselden, so as to discover whether or no not only the drum but even
the whole organ be of any use at all in hearing.' The writer must have
been an ardent vivisector, for he concludes by a suggestion that 'all
malefactors should be kept for experiments instead of being hanged.' In
another number this periodical indulges in a criticism upon the new ode
of the poet laureate (Colley Cibber), in the course of which the writer
expresses an opinion that 'when a song is good sense, it must be made
nonsense before it is made music; so when a song is nonsense, there is
no other way but by singing it to make it seem tolerable sense'--a
criticism which, whether it were true of that period or no, may be
fairly said to apply with great force to the times in which we live. The
_Weekly Register_ makes war upon the _Grub-Street Journal_, and, in a
satirical article upon the title of that newspaper, likens the writers
to caterpillars and grubs, etc., 'deriving their origin from Egyptian
locusts;' and, in another article, accuses them of 'having undertaken
the drudgery of invective under pretence of being champions of
politeness.' The other papers summarized are the _Free Briton_, a
violent opponent of the _Craftsman_, the _British Journal_, and the
_Universal Spectator_, the forte of the last two lying in essays and

But the grand feature of the _Gentleman's Magazine_ was, that it was the
first to systematize parliamentary reporting. This was originally
managed by Cave and two or three others obtaining admission to the
strangers' gallery, and taking notes furtively of the speeches. These
notes were afterward compared, and from them and memory the speeches
were reproduced in print. Cave's reports continued for two years
unmolested, when the House of Commons endeavored to put an end to them.
A debate took place, in which all the speakers were agreed except Sir
William Wyndham, who expressed a timid dissent, as follows: 'I don't
know but what the people have a right to know what their representatives
are doing.' 'I don't know,' forsooth--the Government and the people must
have been a long way off then from a proper appreciation of the duties
of the one and the rights of the other! Sir Robert Walpole, the former
friend of the press--who, by the way, is said to have spent more than
£50,000 in bribes to venal scribblers in the course of ten years--had
completely changed his views, and had nothing then to say in its favor.
A resolution was passed which declared it breach of privilege to print
any of the debates, and announced the intention of the House to punish
with the utmost severity any offenders. Cave, however, was not easily
daunted, and, instead of publishing the speeches with the first and last
letters of the names of the speakers, he adopted this expedient: he
anagrammatized the names, and published the debates in what purported to
be 'An Appendix to Captain Lemuel Gulliver's Account of the Famous
Empire of Lilliput, giving the Debates in the Senate of Great Lilliput.'
This system was continued for nine years, but, after an interval, Cave
reverted to the old plan. He had always employed some writer or other of
known ability to write the speeches from his notes, and generally even
without any notes at all, so that the speeches were often purely
imaginary. In 1740 Dr. Johnson was employed for this purpose, and he,
according to his own confession, had been but once inside the walls of
the Parliament. Murphy tells the story and gives the names of the
persons who were present when he made the avowal. It occurred thus: A
certain speech of Pitt's, which had appeared in the _Gentleman's
Magazine_, was being highly praised by the company, when Johnson
startled every one by saying: 'That speech I wrote in a garret in Exeter
street.' He then proceeded to give an account of the manner in which the
whole affair used to be managed--this happened many years after his
connection with the matter had ceased--and the assembly 'lavished
encomiums' upon him, especially for his impartiality, inasmuch as he
'dealt out reason and eloquence with an equal hand to both parties.'
Johnson replied: 'That is not quite true: I saved appearances tolerably
well, but I took care that the Whig dogs should not have the best of
it.' These speeches were long received by the world as verbatim reports,
and Voltaire is said to have exclaimed, on reading some of them: 'The
eloquence of Greece and Rome is revived in the British Senate.' Johnson,
finding they were so received, felt some prickings of conscience, and
discontinued their manufacture. When upon his deathbed, he said that
'the only part of his writings that gave him any compunction was his
account of the debates in the _Gentleman's Magazine_, but that at the
time he wrote them he did not think he was imposing upon the world.'
Several attempts had been made to checkmate Cave, and in 1747 he was
summoned before the House of Lords, reprimanded, and fined, but finally
discharged upon begging pardon of the House, and promising never to
offend again. However, in 1752, he resumed the publication of the
debates, with this prefatory statement, a statement which must be taken
_cum grano_:

     'The following heads of speeches in the H---- of C---- were given
     me by a gentleman, who is of opinion that members of Parliament are
     accountable to their constituents for what they say as well as what
     they do in their legislative capacity; that no honest man, who is
     entrusted with the liberties and purses of the people, will ever be
     unwilling to have his whole conduct laid before those who so
     entrusted him, without disguise; that if every gentleman acted upon
     this just, this honorable, this constitutional principle, the
     electors themselves only would be to blame if they reflected a
     person guilty of a breach of so important a trust.'

Cave continued his reports in a very condensed form until he died, in
1754, and left his system as a legacy to his successors and imitators.
He was the father of parliamentary reporting, and it is for this reason
more especially that his name deserves to be remembered with gratitude
by all well wishers to the freedom of the press, which is the liberty of


The military condition at the present time is highly encouraging; but
our armies have not always been successful in the field, and many of our
campaigns have ended either in disaster or without decisive results. The
navy, though it has achieved much in some quarters, has not altogether
answered to the reasonable expectations of the country or to the vast
sums which have been expended to make it powerful and efficient. Our
foreign relations, during the war, have sometimes assumed a threatening
aspect, and, it must be confessed, have not always been managed with the
skill and firmness due to our prominent position among the nations of
the world. But there is at least one department of the Government whose
general operations during all these vicissitudes have been the subject
of just pride to the American people. In the midst of great
difficulties, sufficient to appal and disconcert any ordinary mind, our
stupendous fiscal affairs have been conducted with unrivalled firmness,
ability, and success. All our military and naval operations, and indeed
our whole national strength at home and abroad, have necessarily been in
a large degree contingent upon the public credit, and this has remained
solid and unmoved except to gain strength, in spite of all the
disasters of the war on the land and on the water. The recent annual
report of Mr. Chase, though chiefly confined to a simple statement of
facts and figures, is like the account of some great victorious
campaign, submitted by the unassuming officer who conducted it. The
achievements of the Treasury are in fact the greatest of all our
victories; they underlie and sustain the prowess of our armies, while
they signalize the confidence and the patriotism of our whole people.
Without them the peril of the Union would have been infinitely enhanced,
and perhaps it would have been wholly impossible to conquer the
rebellion. There was a narrow and difficult path to tread in order to
avoid national bankruptcy; it was necessary within three years to raise
fifteen hundred millions of dollars, and a single false step might have
doubled or trebled the amount even of that enormous demand. How often
has intelligent patriotism trembled to think that the failure of our
finances would involve the probable futility of our sacred war for the
Union, with all its tremendous sacrifices of life and property!

Nobly have the people sustained their Government; with a wise instinct
of confidence, they have freely risked their money, as their lives, in
support of their own holy cause. This confidence at home has given us
unbounded strength abroad. Nor do the facts in the least diminish the
credit fairly due to the Secretary, whose great merit is to have
organized a system so well calculated to attract the confidence of the
people and to inspire them with a sense of perfect security in trusting
their fortunes to the keeping of the nation for its help and support in
the hour of supreme peril. It is the highest evidence of wise
statesmanship to be able thus to arouse a nation to the cheerful
performance even of its obvious duty: this has been accomplished by Mr.
Chase, under the embarrassment of repeated failures on the part of those
who had in special charge to defend and promote our noble cause. The
entire merit of this grand success can only be adequately estimated by
considering how slight a mistake of judgment or want of faithful courage
in conducting these momentous affairs would have thrown our finances
into inextricable confusion. Our own experience immediately before the
war, when there was no adequate conception of the extent of the trouble
about to come upon us, shows how easily the public credit may be shaken
or destroyed by incompetent or dishonest agents. In spite of envious
detraction and interested opposition, these great and successful labors
of the Secretary will remain an imperishable monument of his ability to
conduct the most intricate affairs of government, in times of the most
appalling danger and difficulty. He has undergone the severest tests to
which a statesman was ever subjected; his genius and his great moral
firmness have brought him out triumphant.

There are a few prominent points in the lucid report of the Secretary
which constitute the great landmarks of his system. Adequate taxation
was of necessity its basis; and, from the very beginning, Mr. Chase
insisted upon a rigid resort to every available means of raising a
revenue sufficient to strengthen the hands of the Government, and
sustain its credit through all the vast operations which it was
compelled to undertake. And now by reference to the actual figures, and
by an analysis of the facts embodied in them, the Secretary shows that
since the first year of the war, the taxes collected have paid all the
ordinary peace expenditures together with the interest on the whole
public debt, and beyond this have yielded a surplus which, had the war
ended, might have been applied to the reduction of the debt. This sound
and indispensable principle, beset with so many temptations and
difficulties in time of civil commotion, is the very soul of the public
credit; and the fearlessness with which the Secretary meets the
contingency of prolonged war and the necessity of additional taxes,
evinces his determination to strengthen and sustain the principle,
rather than to abandon it under any possible circumstances. The enormous
loans already so advantageously obtained, to say nothing of those
additional ones which will probably be indispensable, could not have
been negotiated on any reasonable terms without a firm adherence to this

That part of Mr. Chase's financial system which is most questionable,
and which affords his assailants a fulcrum for their attacks, is its
interference with the State banks and with the currency which they have
been supplying to the country. The issuance of Treasury notes in the
form of a circulating medium, and with the qualities of a legal tender,
has revolutionized the whole currency and exchanges of the country, and
has given universal satisfaction to the people. But this popular
judgment is by no means an unerring test of the wisdom or safety of such
a measure. Its necessity, however, and its eminent success will forever
stamp it as an expedient of great usefulness and value, especially as
the Secretary has most judiciously arrested the system at that point
where its unquestionable advantages still outweigh its acknowledged
dangers and inconveniences. He informs us that these issues 'were wanted
to fill the vacuum caused by the disappearance of coin, and to supply
the additional demands created by the increased number and variety of
payments;' and he adds: 'Congress believed that four hundred millions
would suffice for these purposes, and therefore limited issues to that
sum. The Secretary proposes no change of this limitation and places no
reliance therefore on any increase of resources from increase of
circulation. Additional loans in this mode would indeed almost certainly
prove illusory; for diminished value could hardly fail to neutralize
increased amount.'

In consequence of these issues, the average rate of interest on the
whole public debt on the 1st of July last, was only 3.77 per centum, and
on the 1st of October, 3.95 per centum.

It was to be expected that the banks, which have heretofore had an
entire monopoly of the paper circulation, and of the large profits
derived from its legitimate use, as well as from its disastrous and
sometimes dishonest irregularities, would not very cordially receive the
system which is destined to supersede their present organization
entirely. The Secretary justly exults in the advantages of the sound and
uniform circulation which he has afforded in all parts of the country.
And as to the depreciation of the Treasury notes in comparison with
gold, he reasons, with great force and truth, that the greater part of
it is attributable to 'the large amount of bank notes yet in
circulation,' remarking at the same time, that 'were these notes
withdrawn from use, that much of the now very considerable difference
between coin and United States notes would disappear.' Whether this
belief of the Secretary be well founded or not, nothing can be more
certain than the superiority of the Treasury notes to those of the mass
of suspended banks, as they would have been after three years of the
present war. It is frightful to think of the condition to which the
currency would have been reduced at this time, if the Government had
been guilty of the folly of conducting its immense operations in the
suspended paper of irresponsible local banks. No one can doubt that the
Treasury notes have been of immense service to the nation in its hour of
trial; and if the limitation proposed by the Secretary shall be
faithfully maintained, there need not be the slightest fear of any
difficulty or discredit in the future. Upon the return of peace the
whole issue will be easily absorbed and redeemed, either by the process
of funding, or more gradually in the ordinary transactions of the

On a kindred subject, that of the high prices at present prevailing, let
Mr. Chase speak for himself. This statement is so direct and pertinent
that nothing could well be added. He says:

     'It is an error to suppose that the increase of prices is
     attributable wholly or in very large measure to this circulation.
     Had it been possible to borrow coin enough, and fast enough, for
     the disbursements of the war, almost if not altogether the same
     effects on prices would have been wrought. Such disbursements made
     in coin would have enriched fortunate contractors, stimulated
     lavish expenditures, and so inflated prices in the same way and
     nearly to the same extent as when made in notes. Prices, too, would
     have risen from other causes. The withdrawal from mechanical and
     agricultural occupations of hundreds of thousands of our best,
     strongest, and most active workers, in obedience to their country's
     summons to the field, would, under any system of currency, have
     increased the price of labor, and, by consequence, the price of the
     products of labor,' &c.

It is impossible to deny the force of this statement; and upon the whole
we must acknowledge that most of the evils which have been attributed to
the financial policy of the Government were inherent in the very nature
of the situation, and would have developed themselves, more or less,
under any system which could have been adopted. It is very obvious that
they might have been greatly aggravated by slight changes; but it is not
easy to see how they could have been more skilfully met and parried than
by the measures which have actually yielded such brilliant results.

The most signal triumph of Mr. Chase's whole system of finance is to be
found in the truly marvellous success of his favorite five-twenty bonds.
Even at the present time the public enthusiasm for these securities
seems to be unabated, and it is more than probable that the whole amount
authorized to be issued will be taken up quite as rapidly as the bonds
can be prepared or as the money may be required.

Not without good reason does the Secretary attribute the 'faith' thus
shown by the people 'in the securities of the Government,' to his
national banking law and the prospective establishment of a currency
'secured by a pledge of national bonds,' and destined at no distant day
to 'take the place of the heterogeneous corporate currency which has
hitherto filled the channels of circulation.' The idea of thus making
tributary to the Government in its present emergency the whole banking
capital of the country, or at least so much of it as may be employed in
furnishing a paper circulation for commercial transactions, was as bold
and magnificent as it has proved successful. Nothing less than the
national credit is sufficiently solid and enduring to be the basis of a
paper currency throughout the vast extent of our country. It is
eminently fit that this perfect solidarity of the central government
with those who furnish paper money for the people of every locality,
should be required and maintained on a proper basis. But the currency
thus provided is not liable to any of the objections properly urged
against a paper circulation issued by the Government itself; it is
issued by individuals or companies, and secured only by such national
stocks as have been created in the necessary operations of the nation
itself. The system does not constitute a national bank or banks in the
sense of that term as heretofore used in our history. It does nothing
more than assume that indispensable control over the long-neglected
currency of the country which is at once the privilege and the duty of
the National Government. It has authority to pronounce the supreme law
among all the States; and if there be any subject of legislation
requiring the unity to be derived from the exercise of such authority,
it is, above everything else, that common medium of exchange which
measures and regulates the countless daily commercial transactions of
our immense territory. The system involves no participation by the
Government in any banking operations; no partnership in any possible
speculations, great or small; no interference, direct or indirect, with
the legitimate business of the country: it is only a wise and efficient
device, by which the Government assures to the people the soundness of
the paper which may be imposed upon them for money.

The greatest merit of the scheme consists in the fact that it is
intended to supersede that irregular and unsatisfactory system of
banking which is based on a similar pledge of the credit of the several
States. It is said to be hostile to the existing banks; but it is only
so in so far as it requires a change of the basis of their credit from
State to National securities. The measure was not conceived in any
unfriendly spirit toward those institutions. It was necessary for the
National Government to assert its own superiority, and thus to
strengthen itself, at the same time that it sought to protect the people
by securing them a uniform currency and equable exchanges.

Some murmurs of opposition have been heard from a quarter well
understood; but the good sense of the people, and, we hope, of the
holders of State bonds themselves, seems to have quickly suppressed
these complaints. A war of the State banks on the Government, at this
time and on this ground, might well be deplored; but the issue would not
be doubtful. Mr. Chase occupies the vantage ground, and he would be
victorious over these, as the country is destined to be over all other

At no other time could so fundamental a change in our system of currency
have been proposed with the slightest chance of success; and, upon the
whole, it was a grand and happy conception, in the midst of this
tremendous war, to make its gigantic fiscal necessities contribute to
the permanent uniformity of the currency and of the domestic exchanges.
For this great measure is no temporary expedient. Its success is bound
up with the stability of the Government; and if this endures, the good
effects of the new system will be felt and appreciated in future years,
long after the unhappy convulsion which gave it birth shall have passed
away. It will serve to smooth the path from horrid war to peace, and to
hasten the return of national prosperity; and when experience shall have
fully perfected its organization, it may well be expected, by the
generality of its operation and its great momentum, to act as the great
natural regulator of enterprise and business in our country.

If these grand achievements in finance have had so important an
influence in sustaining the war for the Union, it is not likely they
will fail to constitute a large element in controlling the political
events of the immediate future. Their author is well known to entertain
the soundest views in reference to the thoroughness of the measures
necessary to restore harmony in the Union, without being of that extreme
and impracticable school whose policy would render union uncertain or
impossible; and if a ripe experience in public affairs and the most
brilliant success in transactions of great delicacy and difficulty, as
well as of the most vital importance to the triumph of our arms, are of
any value, they cannot be without their due and proper weight in the
crisis which is fast approaching.

The election of next fall will take place under circumstances dangerous
to the stability of our institutions, and trying to the virtue and
wisdom of the American people. We are compelled to undergo that great
trial, either in the midst of a mighty civil war, or in the confusion
and uncertainty of its recent close, with the legacy of all its
tremendous difficulties to adjust and settle. Even in quiet times, the
Presidential election is an event of deep significance in our political
history; but at such times, the ordinary stream of affairs will flow on
quietly in spite of many obstructions; and even the errors and follies
of the people consequent on the intrigues of politicians and the strife
of parties, are not then likely to be fatal to the public security. In
the midst of the tempest, however, or even in the rough sea, where the
subsiding winds have left us crippled and exhausted, and far away from
our true course, we have need of all the skill, experience, integrity,
and wisdom which it is possible to call into the service of the country.
But it is the skill and experience of the statesman, not of the warrior,
which the occasion requires. To our great and successful generals, the
gratitude of the people will be unbounded; and it will be exhibited in
every noble form of expression and action becoming a just and generous
nation. But civil station is not the appropriate reward of military
services, except in rare cases, when capacity and fitness for its duties
have been fully established. To conduct a great campaign and to gain
important victories is evidence of great ability in achieving physical
results by the organized agency and force of armies; it does not
necessarily follow that the great general is an able statesman or a safe
counsellor in the cabinet or in the legislative assembly. The functions
to be performed in the two cases are wholly dissimilar, if not actually
opposite in nature. War is the reign of force, and is essentially
arbitrary in its decisions and violent in its mode of enforcing them:
civil government, on the other hand, is the embodiment of law, and it
ought to be the perfection of reason; its instrumentalities are
eminently peaceful and antagonistic to all violence.

In times like the present, there is always a tendency to appropriate the
popularity of some great and patriotic soldier, and make it available
for the promotion of personal or party ends. Success in that sinister
policy will no doubt often prove to be only an aggravation of ordinary
party strategy, by which the vital questions of capacity and fitness are
made subordinate to that of availability. We have in our history too
many instances of such intrigues and their dangerous consequences, to
admit of their success at the present time, though they come in the
seductive form of military glory. The degenerate system of party
strategy culminated seven years ago in the election of James Buchanan.
In pursuance of the secret and treacherous preparations for the present
infamous rebellion, the people were ignorantly and blindly led by
cunning intrigue into that fatal mistake; but it was not less the
circumstances of the tunes and the sinister combination of parties, than
the weakness and wickedness of the man chosen, which gave him the
immense power for mischief which he wielded against his country. The
complications of the approaching crisis will not be less controlling in
their power to bring about the ruin or the restoration of the republic.
In the uncertain contingencies and possible combinations of opinion and
interest destined to grow out of the immediate future, no man can
foresee what dangers and difficulties will arise. The only path of
safety lies in the straight line of consistent action; avoiding sinister
expedients and untried men; despising the arts of the demagogue, when
they present themselves in the most specious of all forms, that of using
military success as the pretext for ambitious designs; and doing justice
to the great soldier, _as a soldier_, according to the value of his
achievements, not forgetting that 'peace hath her victories not less
renowned than those of war,' and that the faithful and able statesman
cannot be overlooked and set aside amid the glare of arms, without
danger to the best interests of the republic.


Then my life was like a dream in which we guess at God-thoughts. I was
so completely absorbed in my love that I marked the lapse of time only
by the delicate varyings of my mistress's beauty, or the deepening spell
of her royal rule. I was delirious with the delight of her presence,
which comprised to me all types of excellence. Within her eyes the
sapphire gates of heaven unclosed to me; in the splendor of lustred hair
was life-warmth.

--And had I forgot?--the red lips I crushed like rose-leaves on my
own--the tender eyes that plead 'remember me'--the faded rosemary which
we culled together--the vows with which I said that love like ours was
never false, nor parting fatal. Had I forgot? Could this _Aspiro_ of my
worship quite dispel my youth-dream--had her infatuating presence quite
eclipsed my memory of Christine?--

Alas! I had not meant to be inconstant, but while I strove sullenly for
success in uncongenial occupation, _she_ came to me--Aspiro--came like
the truth and light, and taught me to myself.

For a long time I doubted and resisted; though she tempted me, making
real the dreams of my shy, worshipful childhood, teaching me the
meanings of treasured stories which I had listened to from flower-sprite
and river-god, leading and wooing me with lovelier lures than even
Nature's; for tropical bird-song and falling water was harsh to her
voice, and dew-dripped lilies dim to her brow. But I shut my dazzled
eyes at first from these, and strove to see only the face whereon, with
tender kisses, I had sealed my future--having narrow aims; till the
vision faded despairingly, and even closed lids would not recall it, and
my weak resistance seemed but to strengthen the sway that bore me
willingly away.

Over and over I told the rosary of Aspiro's charms. Hour by hour I
wearied not of her perfections. With burning vows and rapturous words I
pledged my life to her.

Once when the wind was sweeping her gay garments, like hope-banners,
against my limbs, and tangling her long, loose hair about me--once when
I was blind with the jewel-dazzle from her breast, thrilled by the
passion-pressure of her hand, she said, in saddest, sweetest tones:

'I am erratic, Paulo, and exacting--will you tire of me!'

O Immortality! Did not that seem sacrilege!

Like curlew's wings flapped the white sails of the ship on the blue
waters. Aspiro's eyes absorbed my mind and memory. The past was
voiceless--the future clarion-toned. So we loosed our hold of the real
past, and drifted toward an ideal future.

We wandered through apocalyptic mazes, startling the hush of mystery
with daring footsteps. We brake the bread of the cosmic sacrament in
sight of the Inaccessible.

In the metallic mirrors of Arctic lakes we watched the wind-whipped
clouds. Mute we knelt in the ice-temples of Silence, and where the
glaciers shatter the rainbows we renewed our promises.

Wet sat at the universal banquet, and drank deep of Beauty. Cheek
pressed to cheek, arms interlaced, we sighed in the consecrated throes
of its reproduction, and in the imagery of Art we lisped Creation's

From height to height and depth to depth. Lagging in low canoes along
the black waters of silent swamps--life-left--seeing the far-off blue of
sky and hope between the warning points of cypress spires. Across the
stretch of yellow sands, seeking her riddle of the Sphinx, and asking
from the Runic records of one dead faith, and the sand-buried temples of
another, the aim of the True.

Or clouds or rocks or winds or waves, the mutable or the unchangeable
was in turn the theme of our reproductive praise. There were
transfigurations on the mountain tops, where the spirit of the universe
wore shining garbs and hailed us, their Interpreters. From every wave
stretched Undine arms to greet us, and tongues of flame taught us the
glories of the element.

Sometimes in giddy pauses shone sad eyes--yet not reproachful on me; but
if I sighed in answer to their shining, Aspiro dazzled in betwixt me and
my memory, and bade me 'cease not striving,' while her white finger
pointed farther onward. For our love-life was a striving, and life's
best porcelain was like common clay for fashioning vessels for its use.

I gave up all to her, time, talent, ingenuity. Studying for her caprices
and struggling for her pleasure. How fair she seemed, how worthy any
effort! If only I might hope that I, at last, should wholly win her
approbation and make our union indissoluble. Her radiant smiles, and
lofty, loving words, were hard to win, but then, when won--! Who ever
looked and spoke and smiled as did Aspiro?

There was neither rest nor dalliance on our way. Unrest lit meteors in
the heaven of my mistress's eyes, and I lost, at length, the delusion
that I should ever satisfy all her imperious exactions. Then I hoped to
make but some one thought or deed quite worthy of her favor, even to the
sacrifice of my life.

I strove my utmost in the Art we loved. The strife consumed the dross of
daily, petty hopes and fears, which make the happiness of common lives,
and left my soul a crucible receptive for refinement only; and Aspiro
tempted me to new endeavors by glimpses of the court which Nature holds,
wearing Dalmatian mantle and spray-bright crown, in realms forbidden

'I thought, for my sake,' she would say, sadly,'you had already done
something better than you have.'

If my soul sickened then, my courage did not falter, nor did her
incentive beauty lose any of its charm.

I said: 'Give me a task, Aspiro, and I will please you yet.'

Then she pointed to me what I might do, and my work began.

In this work I reproduced my mistress's beauty and my love's
significance. Having learned the language of nature, I translated from
her hieroglyphic pages in characters of flame. With rash hands I
stripped false seemings from material beauty, and limned the naked
divinity of Idea. Shorn by degrees in my strife of youth and strength
and passion, I wound them in my work--toiling like paltry larvæ. And it
was done--retouched and lingered over long, apotheosized by mighty
effort. So I offered it to my Fate.

Never before, as at that moment, had Aspiro seemed so worthy to be won
at any cost. I trembled as I laid my work before her--she so transcended
Beauty. But still I hoped. I waited for her dawning smile and
outstretched hand, ready to die of attained longing when these should be

She, gleaming like ice, transfixed me coldly, and, slighting with her
glance my work, asked: 'Can you do no more?'

I answered with weary hopelessness: 'No more.'

How cold her laugh was!

'And have I waited on you all these years for this?'

I echoed drearily: 'For this.'

'Well, blot it out, and try again, if you would please me,' said Aspiro.

With spent strength I cast myself at her feet.

'You see,' I said,'I have mixed these colors with my life-wine.'

'Why, then,' she asked, carelessly, 'with your insufficient strength,
were you tempted to woo and follow me?'

So my life with its endeavors was a wreck. I thought of the good I had
sacrificed, of the hopes that had failed. The Past and Future alike
pierced my hands with crucificial nails, till, faint with the pain and
the scorning, I lapsed into a long prostration, from which I came at
last to the dawn-light of sad, once-forgotten eyes--to the odor of
withered rosemary.

'True heart that I spurned,' I cried, 'can you forgive? I will return
Aspiro scorn for scorn, and go humbly back, where it is perhaps not yet
too late for happiness.'

With dreary reproaches came memory, disenthralled. I dreamed of my
youth, its love, and its aim. I pictured a porch with its breeze-tossed
vines, a rocking boat on a limpid lake, a narrow path through
twilight-brooded woods, and each scene the shrine of a sweet face with
brown, banded hair, and love-lit eyes.

And these pictures were the True. My heart cleaved the eternity of
separation, beaconing my sad return to them, and I followed gladly, hope
being not yet dead.

The summer porch was shady with fragrant vines--but I missed the face. I
buoyed my heart, and said, 'Of course she would not have waited so

I went to the woods, through the narrow paths where of old the birds
twittered, and javelins of sunshine pierced--on, where we had gone
together long ago, till I reached the dell where we pledged our love.
Ah! I should find her here--

The sweet face where I should kindle smiles--the brown hair I could once
more stroke--the lithe form that I longed to clasp--the true heart that
should beat for me in a quiet home.

No. No waiting eyes--no true heart --no glad smile. But a cross and a
grave and a name:

       *       *       *       *       *

Aspirants of the Age! Offspring of Alo[=e]us I you have chosen a worship
that admits not a divided heart. But your faith, like the Mystic's,
shall also make your strength; and though _Aspiro_ stoops not to your
stature, yet she reigns, and she rewards. Be true. Be firm. Even if it
be upon the wreck of some frail, temporal heart-hopes, you _must_ reach
higher, till, in the sheen of the approving smile, you read the
world-lesson: Salvation through sacrifice. Through strife and



  The snow is on the ground, and still my people wait;
  They ask but their just dues, ere yet it be too late;
  For we are poor, our huts are cold, we starve, we die,
  While you are rich, your fires are warm, your harvests lie
  High heaped above the hunting grounds, our fathers' graves,
  We sold you long ago. Alas! our famished braves
  Have sold e'en their own graves! When dead, our bones shall stay
  To whiten on the ground, that our Great Father may
  More surely see where his Dacotah children died--
  His dusky children whom ye robbed, and then belied.



In any classification of our intellectual domain which it is possible to
make on the basis of Principles now known to the Scientific world at
large, the most fundamental characteristic should be, the distinctive
separation of those departments of thought in which _Certainty_ is now
attainable, from those in which only varying degrees of Probability
exist, and the clear exhibition of that which is _positive and
demonstrable knowledge_, in the strict sense of the term, as
distinguished from that which is liable to be more or less fallible.
Although the precise point at which, in some cases, the proofs of
Probable Reasoning cease to be as convincing as those of Demonstration
cannot be readily apprehended, yet the essential nature of the two
_methods_ of proof is radically and inherently different, and is marked
by the most distinctive results. In the latter case, we have always
accuracy, precision, and certainty, _beyond the possibility of doubt_;
in the former, always the conviction that, how strong soever the array
of evidence may seem to be, in favor of a particular inference, there
still remains a possibility that the conclusion may be modified or
vitiated by the subsequent advancement of knowledge.

The Generalizations which respectively affirm that all the angles of a
triangle are equal to two right angles, or that the square of the
hypothenuse of a right-angled triangle is equal to the sum of the
squares of the other two sides, rest upon an entirely different basis of
proof from those upon which the Generalizations rest which respectively
assert that water is composed of certain chemical constituents combined
in certain proportions, or that the nerves are the instruments of
sensation and of motion. The former are irresistible conclusions of the
human mind, because, from the nature of the intellect, they cannot be
conceived of as being otherwise. The Laws of Thought are such, that we
are unable to think a triangle whose angles will _not_ be equal to two
right angles, or a right-angled one, the square of whose hypothenuse
will _not_ be equal to the squares of the other two sides. So long,
therefore, as man is constituted as he now is--unless the human
organization becomes radically changed, these geometrical Laws cannot be
conceived as being otherwise than as they are. All men must apprehend
them alike if they apprehend them at all. So long as man lives and
thinks they remain unalterable verities, about which there can be no
shadow of doubt, no possibility of error.

The doctrine that water is composed of certain definite chemical
constituents in certain definite proportions, or the theory that the
nerves are the instruments of sensation and of motion, rests upon no
such foundation. Whenever water has been analyzed, it has yielded the
same separate elements in the same proportions; and whenever these
elements are put together in the same quantitative ratio they have
produced water; so that the conviction is proximately established in the
minds of all that water is invariably the product of these elements in
certain proportions. But this proof does not establish the
generalization as _inevitably true, nor show that it is impossible for
it to be otherwise_. It is _possible_, in the nature of things, for us
to conceive that the fluid which we call water may be produced from
other constituents than oxygen or hydrogen, or that such a fluid may
even now exist undiscovered, the product of elements altogether

So in regard to the nerves. Observation and experiment have established
to the general satisfaction, that they are the instruments of sensation
and motion; but we are not _absolutely sure_ that this is the fact, nor
can we _know_ that a human being may not be born in whom no trace of
nerves can be detected, and who will nevertheless experience sensation
and exhibit motion. We may be as well satisfied, for all practical
purposes, of the nature of water and of the office of the nerves as of
the nature of a triangle; but the character of the evidence, on which
the convincement is based, is essentially different; being, in the one
case, incontrovertible and infallible; and, in the other, indecisive and
_possibly_ fallacious.

This repetition of that which has been substantially stated before,
brings us to the final consideration of the distinctive nature of
different departments of Thought, as indicated by the Methods of Proof
which respectively prevail in them; and hence as embodying either exact
and definite _Knowledge_, or only varying degrees of _Probability_. We
have already seen that in at least one sphere of intellectual activity
we are able to start from the most basic and fundamental conceptions,
from axiomatic truths so patent and universal that they cannot even be
conceived of as being otherwise than as they are, and to proceed from
them, by equally irresistible Inferences, to conclusions which are, from
the nature of the human mind, inevitable. It is in the Mathematics, in
which the Deductive Method is rightly operative, that this kind of
Proof--Demonstration in the strict sense of the term--prevails. The
various branches of Mathematics have therefore been appropriately
denominated the _Exact_ Sciences, in contradistinction from those
domains of Thought whose Laws or Principles are liable to be somewhat
indefinite or uncertain; hence, called the _Inexact_ Sciences.

Exact Science--in its largest sense, that which extends to all domains
in which the proper Deductive Method has been or may hereafter be
rightly employed--is therefore a _system or series of truths relating to
the whole Universe, or to some department of it, consecutively and
necessarily resulting from, and dependent upon, each other, in a
definite chain or series; and resting primarily upon some fundamental
truth or truths so simple and self-evident, that, when clearly stated,
all men must, by the natural constitution of the human mind, perceive
them and recognize them as true. Demonstration is the pointing out of
the definite links in the chain or series by which we go from
fundamental truths, clearly perceived and irresistible, up to the
particular truth in question_.

Thus far in the history of Science, Mathematics, as a whole, has ranked
as the only Exact Science; being the only department of intellectual
activity, all of whose Laws or Principles are established on a basis of
_undeniable certainty_. If, however, theories of Cosmogony and
considerations of Cosmography be excluded from the field of Astronomy,
this Science consists almost wholly of the application of the Laws of
Mathematics to the movements of the celestial bodies. Restricting
Astronomy proper to this domain, where, as a _Science_, it strictly
belongs, and setting aside its merely descriptive and conjectural
features, as hardly an integral part of the Science itself, we have
another Exact Science in addition to Mathematics.

Of still another domain, that of Physics, Professor Silliman says, 'all
its phenomena are dependent on a limited number of general laws ...
which may be represented by numbers and algebraic symbols; and these
condensed _formulæ_ enable us to conduct investigations with the
certainty and precision of pure Mathematics.'

The various branches of Physics have not hitherto been ranked as Exact
Sciences, because, as in Astronomy, unsubstantiated theories and
doubtful generalizations, incapable of Mathematical Proof, have mingled
with their _Demonstrated_ Laws and Phenomena, as a component part of
the Science itself. It has consequently exhibited an ambiguous or
problematical aspect, incompatible with the rigorous requirements of
Exact Science. Even in Professor Silliman's admirable work, _formulæ_
are given as Laws, which, however correct, have yet no foundation in
axiomatic truth; while Inferences are drawn from them which are by no
means capable of _Demonstration_. Strictly speaking, however, only those
Laws which _do_ rest upon a Demonstrable basis and the Phenomena derived
from them come within the scope of the _Science_ of Physics. So far as
these prevail, this department of investigation is entitled to the
Mathematical character accorded to it by Professor Silliman, and ranks
as an Exact Science.

Astronomy and Physics, viewed in the light in which they are here
presented, are rather special branches of Mathematics, than distinct
Sciences. But as we often speak of Geometry as a separate Science,
although it is in reality only a division of the Mathematical domain,
and is so classed by Comte; so there is a sense in which both Astronomy
and Physics, as herein defined, may be regarded as individual Sciences,
and in that character they will be considered in this paper.

We have, then, three domains in which the true Deductive Method is
active; in which we can start from universally recognized Truths and
proceed, by irresistible Inferences, to ulterior Principles and Facts.
In three Sciences, in Mathematics as commonly defined and understood, in
Astronomy and Physics as herein circumscribed, we are able to establish
starting points of thought with Mathematical certainty, and to deduce
from them all the Phenomena of their respective realms.

Within the scope of these three Sciences, therefore, our information is
clearly defined, positive, and indisputable. The conclusions to which we
are led by their Principles can no more be gainsayed than human
existence can be doubted. While time shall last, while mankind shall
endure, while the human Mind is constructed on its present basis; while,
in fine, there is a possibility for the exercise of Thought in any way
conceivable to the existing Mentality of the universe, the Laws of
Mathematics, of Astronomy, and of Physics can be apprehended in no way
different from that in which they are now apprehended. There is _no
conceivable possibility_ that subsequent investigations will show them
to be erroneous or defective. They stand upon a foundation of Proof as
unalterable as the fiat of Fate or the decrees of the Almighty, which
can neither be shaken nor destroyed.

It is between these three Mathematical Sciences, on the one side, and
all other domains of intellectual investigation on the other, that a
line of distinct demarcation must be drawn, in any Classification of our
so-called Knowledge, in accordance with any method of classification
known to the scientific world at large. Not that the Laws or Principles
which lie at the base of all other departments of the universe are not
as stable, as definite, and as infallible as those which inhere in the
Sciences which have been specially indicated. But that, as yet, the
endeavor to apprehend fundamental Principles, in other spheres than
these, has been attended with only partial success; and hence, the
ability to establish a Mathematical or Demonstrable basis for other
regions of Thought is yet wanting, so far as is commonly known.

When, therefore, we emerge from the domains of Mathematics, Astronomy,
and Physics, we are leaving the field of _positive assurance_, of
_undeniable_ truth, and entering the realms where opinion, conjecture,
and variable degrees of certainty prevail. _The Facts of Observation may
be, indeed, as plain here as elsewhere and as firmly established. But
the conclusions drawn from them, the Scientific Principles assumed to
be established, may be erroneous or defective, and the power of
prevision, the great test of Scientific accuracy, is proportionally
wanting._ Derived, as we have hitherto seen these conclusions to be,
from Phenomena, on the supposition that a given range of Observation
will secure all the essential Principles which appertain to the _whole_
of the Phenomena included in the range, we can never be _entirely sure_
that our basis of Facts is sufficient for our purpose, and hence the
_possibility_ of error always exists.

It is not to be understood, therefore, that first or observational
_Facts_ are not rightly to be known in other departments of
investigation than Mathematics, Astronomy, and Physics; but that Laws,
Principles, or Generalizations which _relate_ Facts and serve as
instruments for penetrating into the deeper arcana of Nature, cannot be
precisely, accurately, and certainly _known_, in their relations and
belongings, until we are able to establish their connection with the
lowest, most fundamental, and self-evident truths, and in this manner
become competent to advance step by step from undeniable first truths to
those equally undeniable. In Mathematics, in Astronomy, and in Physics,
we are able to do this. We _know_ the Laws or Principles of these
Sciences, therefore, so far as we have developed the Sciences
themselves. We know the relations of the various Laws within the range
of each Science, and the relations of the different Sciences with each
other. We can advance, within their boundaries, from the simplest and
most positive verities, such as the whole is equal to all its parts--a
self-evident truth, which it is impossible to conceive as being
otherwise than as here stated--up to the most intricate ulterior Facts
of the universe, by Inferences which are as irresistible to the mind as
the axioms with which we started. In no other domains of Thought can
this be done by any methods now in vogue. In no other realms, therefore,
are complete precision and infallibility attainable. It is this which
constitutes the peculiar character of these three Sciences, and
distinguishes them radically from all others.

The whole body of our authoritative and irrevocably determinate
intellectual acquisitions lies, therefore, at the present time, so far
as is commonly known, within the range of Mathematics, Astronomy, and
Physics. These are in strictness the only _Sciences_ which we possess;
and the only domains in which _knowledge_, in the proper sense of the
term, is attainable. In passing their boundaries, we leave the regions
of positive _certitude_, and come into the domain where Conjecture,
varying from the strongest presumption to mere plausibility, is the
highest proof. Laws or Principles are yet undiscovered there, and in
their place we find Generalizations--Suppositive or Proximate
Laws--which are in process of proof, or already established by such
evidence as the Inductive Method can array, and which carry the
conviction of their correctness with varying degrees of force, to larger
or smaller classes of investigators.

These three branches of knowledge are unquestionably entitled to the
designation of _Positive_ Sciences; and to no others can it with justice
be accorded. To apply the name of _Science_ to domains in which real
knowledge is not attainable, is, in some sense, an abuse of terms. To
denominate _Positive Sciences_, domains which are not strictly
Scientific, and in which _positive_ certainty, in reference to
Principles and ulterior Facts, cannot be attained, is still more
incongruous. Comte's arrangement of the schedule of the Positive
Sciences, in which domains where Demonstrable knowledge prevails are
placed upon a common basis with those in which it does not, was probably
owing to the want of a clear perception on his part of the essential
difference of the nature of proof by the true Deductive Method and of
proof by the Inductive Method, of the _actual_ Certainty of the one and
the merely _proximate_ Certainty of the other.

If such were the case, his want of discrimination was rather due to an
overestimate of Inductive proof than to an undervaluation of
Mathematical Demonstration. That Mathematics, Astronomy, and Physics
were more perfect Sciences than the others in point of _precision_, he
distinctly affirms, pointing out that 'the relative perfection of the
different Sciences consists in the degree of precision of Knowledge,'
that this degree of precision is in accordance with the extent to which
Mathematical analysis can be applied to the given domain, and that to
the above-mentioned Sciences only is its application possible.
Notwithstanding this apprehension of the different degrees of
_precision_ or _exactitude_ attainable in the various Scientific realms,
he does not seem to have sufficiently understood that there was also a
vast difference in the _nature of the evidence_ which went to prove the
truth of the supposed Principles and ulterior Facts of the various
departments of Thought, and hence variable degrees of _Certainty_ in
regard to the positive bases of the Principles themselves. He thus falls
into the same error which it was one of the main purposes of his
Scientific labors to correct--commingling problematical theories with
Demonstrable Truths, as equally entitled to belief--and ranks Sociology,
including _La Morale_, afterward called a distinct Science, with
Mathematics, Astronomy, and Physics, as domains in which our reasonings,
in the present state of Knowledge, can be equally reliable.

It is barely possible that the purpose and design of Comte's
Classification had, unconsciously, much to do with its really
unscientific and incongruous character. The aim which he had in view was
to construct a Sociology or Science of Society which should be a guide
in the establishment of a new Government, a new Political Economy, a new
Religion, a new Social Life, a new Order of Things, in fine, to take the
place of the decrepit institutions, governmental, ecclesiastical, and
social, which he thought were fast approaching their period of
dissolution. The Generalization which had exhibited to him, that the
Laws and Phenomena of the various departments of investigation were
dependent on each other in a graduated scale, and had thus enabled him
to establish the _Hierarchy of the Sciences_, showed him that Sociology,
including as it does the Principles and Phenomena of the other domains
which he regards as Positive Sciences, must be based upon them.

Hence it became necessary to fix the Scientific character of all these
branches of intelligence, in order to create a Scientific basis for his
Sociology. It was, however, impossible for him to claim that a
Demonstrable or Infallible method of Proof was applicable to Chemistry
and Biology; while, on the other hand, to exhibit such a method as
introducing a certainty into Mathematics, Astronomy, and Physics which
did not appertain to the other so-called Positive Sciences, would have
indicated too plainly the unspanned gulf which yawned between the
indubitable Demonstrations of the Exact Sciences and the merely probable
Generalizations of the others, and have exposed the fallible character
of his Sociological theories.

A Classification was rendered indispensable, therefore, which should
display uniformity in its character, and a sufficiently rigorous mode of
Scientific proof. To fulfil this end, the Inexact Sciences were accorded
a position of _certainty_ in reference to their Principles which does
not in reality belong to them; while the Exact or Infallible Sciences
were degraded from their peculiarly high state, and brought to the new
level of the former on the middle ground of the Positive Philosophy. A
quasi-Scientific basis was thus erected for the Sociological movements
of the French Reformer.

Had he been as _Metaphysically analytical_, _profound_, and
_discriminating_ in his intellectual development, as he was _vigorous_,
_expansive_, and _broadly generalising_, he would have discerned the
insufficiency of the bases of the structure which he was building. Had
he understood the Scientific problem of the age, he would have known
that until the task which he believed too great for accomplishment was
adequately performed, until all the phenomena of the respective Sciences
were brought within the scope of a larger Science and included under a
Universal Law, there could be no 'clearness, precision, and consistency'
throughout all our domains of Thought, and hence no _true_ Sociology.
Had he rightly apprehended the nature of 'The Grand Man,' as he aptly
denominates Humanity, he would not have failed to perceive that the
attempt to measure the capacities and requirements of Society by the
capacities and requirements of any individual or individuals, how
catholic soever they may be, is but the repetition of the Procrustean
principle on a broader basis, and that a reconstructive movement
established on such a foundation could not meet the wants of this
individualized epoch. That he should not have perceived that the capital
and necessary precursor of any true Science of Society must be a
Universal Science, a Science of Universal Laws underlying and unifying
Physics and Metaphysics, is not strange, when we consider his peculiar
mental characteristics. That he should ever have anticipated any
permanent acceptance of his Sociological Theories, or regarded his
Social Institutions as anything more than transitional forms, could only
have been due to a lack of the highest Scientific powers, and to an
earnest impatience at beholding Humanity crawling along the path of
Progress by the aid of obsolete instrumentalities.

The work which Auguste Comte accomplished was immense. Its value can
hardly be overestimated. Every modern Scientist and Thinker is largely
indebted to him for that which is indispensable to high intellectual
development and progress in thought. For the immense steps in Scientific
advancement which he took; for his love of his Race; for his really
religious spirit, exhibited in his utter devotion to that which he
deemed the highest right; the love and sympathy of every student of
Science and every devotee of truth is, and will be, forever his. That he
failed in achieving a permanent Scientific basis of a sufficiently
universal and unquestionable character--a real Universology, which
should exhibit the essential verity of the _religious intuitions_ of the
past, and should establish their inherent and harmonious connection with
the unfolding _intellectual discoveries_ of the present--is true. But it
should not be forgotten that every attempt, made in the right direction,
which comes short of the final result, is but a stepping stone for the
next effort, and, viewed as a single round in the great ladder of human
ascension, a success--an element without which the final achievement
would have been impossible. Without Comte there would have been no
Buckle, whose work furnishes another of these steps. Every page of the
'History of Civilization' exhibits the indebtedness of the English
Historian to the French Encyclopædist of the Sciences; while the
'Intellectual Development of Europe' bears evidence of a 'Positivist'
inspiration to which Professor Draper might have more completely yielded
with decided benefit. For the lift which the author of the Positive
Philosophy and the founder of the Positive Religion has given the world,
let us be deeply grateful; although we must reject, as a finality, a
System of Science which cannot _Demonstrate_ the correctness of its
Principles and Phenomena, or a System of Religion which emasculates
mankind of its diviner and more spiritual aspirations, and dwarfs him to
the dimensions of a refined Materialism.

In classifying our existing Knowledge, then, on our present basis of
Scientific acquisition, we must draw a distinct line between
Mathematics, Astronomy, and Physics, on the one side, and all remaining
departments of Thought, on the other, and set these three Sciences apart
as the Exact or Infallible ones, occupying a rank superior to the
others, by virtue of the Certainty and Exactitude with which we are
able, through the operation of the true Deductive Method, to ascertain
their Principles and Phenomena. We shall then be enabled--by the aid of
Comte's principle that the domains of investigation take rank in
proportion to the complexity of their Phenomena--to ascertain, after a
very brief examination, the place which History holds in the Scale, and
how much claim it can lay to a Scientific character.

Comte closes the Hierarchy of the Positive Sciences by adding to the
three which we have denominated _Exact_ Sciences, Chemistry, Biology,
Sociology, and _La Morale_, in the order in which they are named, as
indicated by the nature of the Phenomena with which they are concerned.
If we adopt this arrangement, and annex to each of these _general_
Sciences, as they are called in the language of Positivism, its derived
or dependent branches, we shall have the following order: Chemistry;
Geology; Biology, including Botany, Human and Comparative Anatomy, and
Physiology; Zoology; Sociology; and _La Morale_. Although this enlarged
scale is defective, many important departments, such as Ethnology,
Philology, etc., being left out, it is sufficiently correct to show the
complex nature of the Phenomena with which History must concern itself.

History--in its largest aspect, that in which we are now considering
it--is the record of the progress of the Race in all its various modes
of development. In it is therefore involved the examination and
consideration of all the agencies, Material or Spiritual, which have
operated on Mankind through past ages. Mathematical questions concerning
Number, Form, and Force; Astronomical problems on the relation of our
Earth to other Celestial bodies, and the effect thereof on Climate,
Soil, and Modes of Life; Physical inquiries into the influence of Heat,
Electricity, etc., on individuals and nations; Chemical investigations
into the nature of different kinds of Food, and their relations to the
animal economy, and hence to the career of Peoples; Geological
researches to discover the origin of the human Race, and its position in
the Animal Kingdom; questions of Physiology, of Social Life, of
Ethnology, of Metaphysics, of Religion; every problem, in fine, which
the world has been called to consider, forms a part of the record of its
progress and comes within the scope of History. As the Descriptology, or
verbal daguerreotyping of the Continuity of Society, and hence of the
Dynamical aspect of Concrete Sociology, History stands, then, in a
sense, at the head of the scale, omitting Theology, the true apex of the
pyramid of Sciences, which pyramid Comte has decapitated of this very

The problems which History is called to solve are therefore exceedingly
intricate and perplexing. The Generalizations of Chemistry, conducted,
as they must be, on our present basis of Knowledge, by the Inductive
Method, are involved in a degree of uncertainty, not only on account of
the complexity of their Phenomena, but also by reason of the absence of
any method of ascertaining when all the elements of a right
Generalization are obtained. In Geology, including Mineralogy, the
complexity increases, and the possibility of precision and certainty
decreases in the same ratio. This augmentation of complexity in the
Phenomena and proportionate diminution of exactitude and certainty in
respect to the Generalizations derived from them, continues at every
successive degree of the scale; so that when we arrive at History, all
hope of even proximate precision, and all expectation of anything like
positive Knowledge, except in the broadest outline and generalization,
by any application of the Inductive Method, has completely vanished.

The hopelessness of a Science of History prior to the discovery of a
Unitary Law and the introduction of the Deductive Method into all
domains of investigation, now becomes plainly apparent. Until the
occurrence of that event we shall look in vain for a true Science of
History. With the advent of such a discovery, it will be possible to
carry the precision and infallibility of Mathematical Demonstration into
all departments of Thought, and to subject the Phenomena of History to
well-defined and indubitable Laws.

We must guard, however, against entertaining the supposition that a
Unitary Science will bring _all_ the Phenomena of the universe within
the compass of _Demonstrable_ apprehension. The province of Science is
not infinite, but circumscribed. We are limited in the application of
Mathematical Laws, even within the sphere of Pure Mathematics; general
equations of the fifth degree having until recently resisted all
attempts to solve them; and fields yet remain into which we cannot
advance. The power of the human mind to analyze Phenomena ceases at some
point, and there our ability to _apply_ Scientific Principles, however
indubitable in themselves, ends. It is the office of Exact Science to
furnish us with a knowledge of the inherent Laws which everywhere
pervade the Universe and govern continuously and unalterably its
activities. To the extent to which it is possible to trace the
constituent elements of Thought or Things we can have the guidance of
these Laws or Principles. But when we reach that point in any department
of investigation where the complexity of the Phenomena renders it
impossible for the human intellect to successfully analyze it and
discover its separate parts, the sphere of accurate Scientific Knowledge
is transcended. The Intuition--the faculty which apprehends what we may
call the spirit of _Concrete_ things, which goes to conclusions by a
rapid process that overleaps intermediate steps, which is our guide in
the numerous decisions that we are called to make in our every-day life,
and which perceives, in a somewhat vague and indefinite manner--becomes
our only guide in this Realm of the Inexact.

The advent of a Unitary Science and the inauguration of a true Deductive
Method in all domains of Thought, will, indeed, completely revolutionize
our Scientific bases, and render precision and infallibility possible in
domains where now only conjecture and probability exist. It will enable
us to establish on a firm and secure foundation the _Laws or Principles
of every department of the Universe of Matter and of Mind_, and to
penetrate the Phenomena of all realms to an extent now scarcely
imagined. It will furnish us the 'Criterion of Truth' so long sought
after--a ground of intellectual agreement in all the concerns of life,
so far as this is essential, similar to that which we now have in
Mathematics, where difference of opinion is impossible because _proof is
of a nature to be alike convincing to all_.

But, as in Mathematics a limit is reached, beyond which the finite
character of our intelligence does not permit us to _apply_ the Laws
which we are well assured still prevail, so there is an outlying circle
of practical activity which no Science can compass. The various tints of
the autumn forest are probably the results of Mathematical arrangements
of particles; but to how great an extent we shall be able to discover
what precise arrangement produces a given shade of color, is doubtful.
Some delicate varieties, at least, will always be beyond our definite
apprehension. Whether we shall dine at one hour or another, whether we
will wear gray or black, and innumerable other questions of specialty,
do not come within the range of Scientific solution, and never can. So
that when every domain of human concern is solidly established on a
basis of Exact Science, there will still remain a field of indefinite
extent, in which the Intuitive application of eternal Principles will
furnish an unlimited activity for the Practical, Æsthetic, Imaginative,
Idealistic, Artistic, and Religious faculties of Mankind.

The task which Mr. Buckle set himself to accomplish was, in a marked
sense, original and peculiar. Although several systematic attempts had
been made in Europe, prior to his time, to investigate the history of
man according to those exhaustive methods which in other branches of
Knowledge have proved successful, and by which alone empirical
observations can be raised to scientific truths, the imperfect state of
the Physical Sciences necessarily rendered the execution of such an
undertaking extremely defective. It was not, indeed, until the vast mass
of Facts which make up the body of the various Sciences had been
included within appropriate formulæ, and until the elaborate
Classification of Auguste Comte had separated that which was properly
Knowledge from that which was not, with sufficient exactitude to answer
the purposes of broad Generalization, and had established the relations
of the different domains of intelligence, that such a work as the
'History of Civilization' was possible.

Previous Historians, with these few exceptions, had contented themselves
with the narration of the _Facts_ of national progress, the merely
superficial exhibition of the external method of a people's life, and
had almost wholly neglected or greatly subordinated the Philosophical or
Scientific aspect of the subject, namely, the causes of the given
development. Separate domains of History had, indeed, been examined with
considerable ability; but hardly any attempt had been made to combine
the various parts into a consistent whole, and ascertain in what way
they were connected with each other. Still less had there been any
notable effort to apply the whole body of our existing knowledge to the
elucidation of the problem of human progress. While the necessity of
generalization in all the other great realms of investigation had been
freely conceded, and strenuous exertions had been made to rise from
particular Facts to the discovery of the Laws by which those Facts are
governed, Historians continued to pursue the stereotyped course of
merely relating events, interspersed with such reflections as seemed
interesting or instructive.

Up to the period when Mr. Buckle essayed his 'History of Civilization,'
few, if any, of the well-known modern Historians had conceived that an
acquaintance with all the departments of human intelligence was a
necessary accomplishment in a writer on the past career of the world,
and no one of them had undertaken to write history from that basis.
'Hence,' says the author whom we are considering, and who makes, in the
first pages of his book, substantially the same statements concerning
the condition of Historical literature which are made here--'hence the
singular spectacle of one historian being ignorant of political economy;
another knowing nothing of law; another, nothing of ecclesiastical
affairs, and changes of opinion; another neglecting the philosophy of
statistics, and another physical science; although these topics are the
most essential of all, inasmuch as they comprise the principal
circumstances by which the temper and character of mankind have been
affected, and in which they are displayed. These important pursuits
being, however, cultivated, some by one man, and some by another, have
been isolated rather than united: the aid which might be derived from
analogy and from mutual illustration has been lost; and no disposition
has been shown to concentrate them upon history, of which they are,
properly speaking, the necessary components.'

The work which Mr. Buckle contemplated was designed to supply this
_desideratum_ in respect to History. It was an endeavor to discover 'the
Principles which govern the character and destiny of nations,' an effort
'to bring up this great department of inquiry to a level with other
departments,' 'to accomplish for the history of man something
equivalent, or at all events analogous to, what has been effected by
other inquirers for the different branches of Natural Science,' and 'to
elevate the study of history from its present crude and informal state,'
and place 'it in its proper rank, as the head and chief of all the

At the outset of his undertaking, we have ample evidence that the
capacious-minded Englishman had fixed upon no less a labor than '_to
solve the great problem of affairs; to detect those hidden circumstances
which determine the march and destiny of nations; and to find, in the
events of the past, a key to the proceedings of the future, which is
nothing less than to unite into a single science all the laws of the
moral and physical world_.' He was thus bent, doubtless with only a
vague apprehension of the nature of the problem, on the discovery of
that Unitary Law, whose apprehension is so anxiously awaited, _which is
to cement the various branches of our Knowledge into a Universal
Science, and furnish an Exact basis for all our thinking_.

The Method which Mr. Buckle employed in the prosecution of his
magnificent design was the Inductive. He made 'a collection of
historical and scientific facts,' drew from them such conclusions as he
thought they suggested and authorized; and then applied the
Generalizations thus obtained to the elucidation of the career of
various countries. When we consider the nature of the work undertaken
and the means by which it was to be achieved, we can hardly deny, that
this attempt to create a Science of History was, in a distinguishing
sense, the most gigantic intellectual effort which the world has ever
been called to witness. The domain of investigation was almost new. The
point of Observation entirely so. Vast masses of Facts encumbered it,
aggregated in orderless heaps--orderless, at least, so far as his uses
were subserved. Comte had, indeed, brought the different departments of
inquiry into proximately definite relations in obedience to an
_abstract_ and _Static_ Law; but while this labor was, in other
respects, an essential preliminary to Mr. Buckle's undertaking, it was
of little _immediate_ value in an attempt to secure the direct solution
of the most intricate and complex questions of Concrete _dynamical_
Sociology, involving the unstable and shifting contingencies of
individual activity. The whole of the intellectual accumulations of the
centuries may be said to have been piled about the English Thinker, and
he was to discover in and derive from them the unerring Law or Laws
which should serve to explain, with at least something approaching
precision and clearness, the kaleidoscopic phases of human existence.

Only one generally known effort in the realm of Thought bears any
comparison to this, examined in reference to the vigor, breadth, and
variety of the mental faculties which it called into requisition. Viewed
in connection with the work of the founder of the Positive School, we
may say, without any disparagement to the comprehensive abilities of the
French Philosopher, that the task undertaken by the English Historian
required a tenacity of intellectual grasp, a steadiness of mental
vision, a scope of generalizing power, an all-embracing scholarship, a
marvellous accumulation of Facts, and a wonderful readiness to handle
them, which even the prodigious labors of the Positive Philosophy did
not demand. Comte had, indeed, like Buckle, to arrange the Facts of the
universe into order. But in his case they were only to be grouped under
appropriate headings, and, as it were, quietly labeled.

With the author of 'Civilization in England' it was otherwise. In the
_actual_ careers of men and of nations, Facts do not stand related to
each other and to human actions in the distinct and distinguishable way
in which they appear when correlated, as by Comte, in accordance with
general Laws. The domain of the _concrete_, or of practical life, has
always a variable element which does not obtain in the sphere of
generalizing Principles, and which immensely complicates the
investigation of the problems of real existence. Comte purposely
excluded the realm of the _concrete_ from his studies, and therefore
simplified, to a great extent, his field of labor. Yet even in his
attempt to bring order into this curtailed department of inquiry, he
professes, not merely his own inability to accomplish, but his
conviction of the inherent impossibility of the accomplishment of that,
for the _abstract_ only, which Buckle really undertook for the
_concrete_; namely, the reduction of the Phenomena of the Universe to a
single Law; or, what is synonymous, the integration of all the laws of
the moral and physical world into a single Science.

The character of his undertaking compelled Mr. Buckle, on the contrary,
to stretch his mental antennæ into every department of mundane activity,
to hold the Facts there discovered, so far as he might, collectively
within his grasp, and to draw them by an irresistible strain into
gradually decreasing circles of generalization, until they were brought
to a Central Law, which should contain within itself the many-sided
explanation of the intricate ramifications of individual and national
careers. The difference in the work essayed by the two distinguished
Thinkers whose labors we are considering, is somewhat analogous to that
which exists between the profession of the apothecary and that of the
physician. The former must know the range of _Materia Medica_, and the
contents of the _Pharmacopæia_, so far as is necessary to arrange the
various medicines in order, and deliver them when called for. The latter
must hold the different remedies in his knowledge, not as classified
upon the pharmaceutist's shelves, but as related to the various forms of
constantly changing vital Phenomena, in the midst of which he is to
detect their applicability to different forms of disease. Still more
analogous is Comte to the student of Natural History, whose business it
is, preëminently, to distribute and classify the Animal Kingdom, in
accordance with Generalizations which relate mainly to the form or type
of organization; while Buckle resembles the student of a higher rank,
who endeavors, in the midst of the play of passion and the actual
exhibitions of life itself, to read the nature of the mental and moral
development which exists beneath them and controls their workings.

It is evident that, up to a period subsequent to the publication of his
first volume, the writer of the 'History of Civilization' entertained
the fullest confidence in the ability of the Inductive Method to cope
with the ultimate problems of the Universe, and had high expectations of
being able, through its instrumentality, to reduce the whole body of our
Knowledge to a systematic whole, and to establish a Science of Sciences
which should be a Criterion of Truth, and the crowning intellectual
achievement of the ages. Whether Mr. Buckle fully comprehended the real
nature of the Science toward which he was aiming; whether he entirely
appreciated the radical and important change which its discovery would
necessarily introduce into our Methods of Investigation;--whether he
saw that it would be the inauguration of a true Deductive Mode of
reasoning, which would enable us to advance with incredible rapidity and
certainty into the arcana of those departments which he was then obliged
to explore with the most tedious research, the most plodding patience,
and the most destructive intellectual tension, in order to accumulate a
limited array of Facts, is somewhat doubtful.

The significant sentence which occurs in the second volume of his work,
closely following the announcement of his disappointment at being unable
to achieve all that he had expected and promised, and which states that
'in a complete scheme of our knowledge, and when all our resources are
fully developed and marshalled into order, as they must eventually be,
the two methods [the Inductive and the Deductive] will be, not hostile,
but supplementary, and will be combined into a single system,' seems to
indicate that at some period prior to the publication of the second
volume, and subsequent to the issue of the first, the insufficient
nature of the Inductive Method as a Scientific guide broke upon him, and
some conception of the nature of a Mode of Reasoning which should
combine the two Processes in just relations, began to dawn into his
mind. That he obtained anything more than a faint glimpse of the true
Method, is not likely. Had he done so, he would certainly have made some
statement of the great results which would follow its inauguration, even
if he could have refrained from bestowing one of his glowing and
enraptured paragraphs upon the fairest and most entrancing vision of
future achievement which the devotee of intellectual investigation will
ever witness.

It is probable, that in carrying on his investigations after the
publication of the first volume of his work, finding it impossible to
handle the accumulations of Facts necessary to his purpose, and
discovering the inexactitude and insufficiency of his Generalizations in
the ratio that the bounds of his field of inquiry enlarged, he was led
to perceive the essential weakness and inadequacy of the Inductive
Method, and the probable certainty that, at some future period, the
progress of our Knowledge would lead to the establishment of positive
bases for all departments of investigation, and thus furnish an
opportunity for the harmonious and reciprocal activity of the two
hitherto antagonistic Methods. That he had any definite idea of the
precise nature of the bases on which this union would take place, that
he perceived the exact character of the Science of Universology which it
would create, or contemplated the subordination of the Inductive Process
to the Deductive, there is no indication.

But whatever may have been Mr. Buckle's understanding or expectation in
reference to the future, it is certain that between the publication of
the first and second volumes of his History, the hope which he had
formed and announced of being able to create a Science of History had
vanished, and his efforts were confined to a less extensive programme.
The pages in which this change of purpose is made known display, in
touching outlines, tinged with a noble sadness, that the soul of the
great Englishman was, in all the attributes of magnanimity, at least, a
fitting mate for his intellect.

A storm of obloquy had assailed him at the outset of his labor.
Beginning with the time when the first instalment of 'Civilization in
England' was given to the public, passion, prejudice, and pride had
strained their powers to vilify his character and heap abuse upon his
name. The Press, the Pulpit, and the Lyceum, with rare and brave
exceptions, met the formidable array of Facts with which the work
bristled, by sciolistic criticisms, bigoted denunciations, or timid,
faint praise. Conservatives in Politics and Religion exhibited him as a
dangerous innovator, a social iconoclast, the would-be destroyer of all
that was sacred in Institutions and in Religion. Theologians branded him
as immoral and atheistic, and poured upon him a torrent of vituperation
and hatred.

The only public reply which the English writer condescended to make, is
contained in the closing pages of the fourth chapter of the last volume
which he published. Every line of this answer, which is transcribed
below, breathes the spirit of Him who, when he was reviled, reviled not
again--the spirit of forbearance, of generous forgiveness, of
magnanimity, of unruffled dignity. Buckle had learned, indeed, from his
own investigations, that he who would elevate mankind must expect, not
only its indifference to his labors, but its positive abuse. He knew,
that the individual who, like Jesus, attempts to promulgate new truth,
either moral or intellectual, must expect to array against himself the
greatest portion of the human family, incrusted in their prejudices,
their ignorance, their interests, or their feelings, and must be content
with the appreciation and sympathy of the few who are wise enough to
understand him, truthful enough to accept his doctrine, however
unwholesome to their tastes, and brave enough to avow it. Perhaps he had
also learned the fact, that, in the present state of humanity's
development, few, very few, even of the best of mankind, love truth,
chiefly _because it is truth_, and are hence eager to know their own
shortcomings; but that those truths only are, for the most part, capable
of being acceptably presented to individuals, which it is more
satisfactory to their personal feelings, more comfortable to their own
inherent peculiarities of disposition, to conform to than to reject. Be
this as it may, the reply which he makes to the outrages showered upon
him is evidently the language of a man whose thoughts are far removed
from the arena of petty spite or private resentment, the expression of
one who knew the grandeur and usefulness of his labors, who expected, in
their prosecution, to be misunderstood and calumniated, and who, yet,
was incapable of other than the most generous impulses of a noble
philanthropy toward his maligners and traducers.

In the announcement of his inability to fulfil the great promises made
in the former volume, we find, likewise, the indications of a nature
full of lofty grandeur. He who has known the scholar's hopes, the
student's struggles, and the author's ambition, may form some faint
conception of what must have been the feelings of the great Historian
when the conviction came to him, first faintly foreshadowed and then
deepening to a reality, that the prize for which he had contended--and
such a prize! which had seemed, too, at times, almost within his
grasp--was destined forever to elude him. Frankly to acknowledge failure
in such a struggle, was in itself great; to acknowledge it when the
cries of his assailants were still ringing in his ears, and when it
might have been measurably concealed, was still greater; to acknowledge
it in words which betray no trace of disappointed _personal_ ambition,
but only a regret that the final avenue to truth should not have been
opened, was heroic even to sublimity. The pages of Buckle's 'History of
Civilization' which record the answer to his traducers and the
acknowledgment of his disappointment in relation to what he should be
able to achieve, will stand in the annals of literary history as a
memorable instance in which is significantly exhibited one factor of
that highest religious spirit so much needed in our day--_devotion to
the intellectual discovery of all truth for truth's sake_.

The following is the passage in question:

     'In the moral world, as in the physical world, nothing is
     anomalous; nothing is unnatural; nothing is strange. All is order,
     symmetry, and law. There are opposites, but there are no
     contradictions. In the character of a nation, inconsistency is
     impossible. Such, however, is still the backward condition of the
     human mind, and with so evil and jaundiced an eye do we approach
     the greatest problems, that not only common writers, but even men
     from whom better things might be hoped, are on this point involved
     in constant confusion. Perplexing themselves and their readers by
     speaking of inconsistency, as if it were a quality belonging to the
     subject which they investigate, instead of being, as it really is,
     a measure of their own ignorance. It is the business of the
     historian to remove this ignorance by showing that the movements of
     nations are perfectly regular, and that, like all other movements,
     they are solely determined by their antecedents. If he cannot do
     this, he is no historian. He may be an annalist, or a biographer,
     or a chronicler, but higher than that he cannot rise, unless he is
     imbued with that spirit of science which teaches, as an article of
     faith, the doctrine of uniform sequence; in other words, the
     doctrine that certain events having already happened, certain other
     events corresponding to them will also happen. To seize this idea
     with firmness, and to apply it on all occasions, without listening
     to any exceptions, is extremely difficult, but it must be done by
     whoever wishes to elevate the study of history from its present
     crude and informal state, and do what he may toward placing it in
     its proper rank, as the head and chief of all the sciences. Even
     then, he cannot perform his task unless his materials are ample,
     and derived from sources of unquestioned credibility. But if his
     facts are sufficiently numerous; if they are very diversified; if
     they have been collected from such various quarters that they can
     check and confront each other, so as to do away with all suspicion
     of their testimony being garbled; and if he who uses them possesses
     that faculty of generalization, without which nothing great can be
     achieved, he will hardly fail in bringing some part of his labors
     to a prosperous issue, provided he devotes all his strength to that
     one enterprise, postponing to it every other object of ambition,
     and sacrificing to it many interests which men hold dear. Some of
     the most pleasurable incentives to action, he must disregard. Not
     for him are those rewards which in other pursuits the same energy
     would have earned; not for him, the sweets of popular applause; not
     for him, the luxury of power; not for him, a share in the councils
     of his country; not for him a conspicuous and honored place before
     the public eye. Albeit, conscious of what he could do, he may not
     compete in the great contest; he cannot hope to win the prize; he
     cannot even enjoy the excitement of the struggle. To him the arena
     is closed. His recompense lies within himself, and he must learn to
     care little for the sympathy of his fellow creatures, or for such
     honors as they are able to bestow. So far from looking for these
     things, he should rather be prepared for that obloquy which always
     awaits those, who, by opening up new veins of thought, disturb the
     prejudices of their contemporaries. While ignorance, and worse than
     ignorance, is imputed to him, while his motives are misrepresented
     and his integrity impeached, while he is accused of denying the
     value of moral principles, and of attacking the foundation of all
     religion, as if he were some public enemy, who made it his business
     to corrupt society, and whose delight it was to see what evil he
     could do; while these charges are brought forward, and repeated
     from mouth to mouth, he must be capable of pursuing in silence the
     even tenor of his way, without swerving, without pausing, and
     without stepping from his path to notice the angry outcries which
     he cannot but hear, and which he is more than human if he does not
     long to rebuke. These are the qualities, and these the high
     resolves, indispensable to him who, on the most important of all
     subjects, believing that the old road is worn out and useless,
     seeks to strike out a new one for himself, and, in the effort, not
     only perhaps exhausts his strength, but is sure to incur the enmity
     of those who are bent on maintaining the ancient scheme unimpaired.
     To solve the great problem of affairs; to detect those hidden
     circumstances which determine the march and destiny of nations; and
     to find, in the events of the past, a key to the proceedings of the
     future, is nothing less than to unite into a single science all the
     laws of the moral and physical world. Whoever does this, will build
     up afresh the fabric of our knowledge, rearrange its various
     parts, and harmonize its apparent discrepancies. Perchance, the
     human mind is hardly ready for so vast an enterprise. At all
     events, he who undertakes it will meet with little sympathy, and
     will find few to help him. And let him toil as he may, the sun and
     noontide of his life shall pass by, the evening of his days shall
     overtake him, and he himself have to quit the scene, leaving that
     unfinished which he had vainly hoped to complete. He may lay the
     foundation; it will be for his successors to raise the edifice.
     Their hands will give the last touch; they will reap the glory;
     their names will be remembered when his is forgotten.

     'It is, indeed, too true, that such a work requires, not only
     several minds, but also the successive experience of several
     generations. Once, I own, I thought otherwise. Once, when I first
     caught sight of the whole field of knowledge, and seemed, however
     dimly, to discern its various parts, and the relation they bore to
     each other, I was so entranced with its surpassing beauty, that the
     judgment was beguiled, and I deemed myself able, not only to cover
     the surface, but also to master the details. Little did I know how
     the horizon enlarges as well as recedes, and how vainly we grasp at
     the fleeting forms, which melt away and elude us in the distance.
     Of all that I had hoped to do, I now find but too surely how small
     a part I shall accomplish. In those early aspirations, there was
     much that was fanciful; perhaps there was much that was foolish.
     Perhaps, too, they contained a moral defect, and savored of an
     arrogance which belongs to a strength that refuses to recognize its
     own weakness. Still, even now that they are defeated and brought to
     nought, I cannot repent having indulged in them, but, on the
     contrary, I would willingly recall them if I could. For, such hopes
     belong to that joyous and sanguine period of life, when alone we
     are really happy; when the emotions are more active than the
     judgment; when experience has not yet hardened our nature; when the
     affections are not yet blighted and nipped to the core; and when
     the bitterness of disappointment not having yet been felt,
     difficulties are unheeded, obstacles are unseen, ambition is a
     pleasure instead of a pang, and the blood coursing swiftly through
     the veins, the pulse beats high, while the heart throbs at the
     prospect of the future. Those are glorious days; but they go from
     us, and nothing can compensate their absence. To me, they now seem
     more like the visions of a disordered fancy than the sober
     realities of things that were, and are not. It is painful to make
     this confession; but I owe it to the reader, because I would not
     have him to suppose that either in this or in the future volumes of
     my History I shall be able to redeem my pledge, and to perform all
     that I promised. Something I hope to achieve which will interest
     the thinkers of this age; and, something, perhaps, on which
     posterity may build. It will, however, only be a fragment of my
     original design.'

In estimating the extent to which Mr. Buckle succeeded in consummating
the labor which he undertook, we are not, therefore, to measure his
results by the standard of the first, but by that of the second volume.
It is not, then, the Science of History which he is striving to write;
but only something 'which will interest the thinkers of this age, and
something, perhaps, on which posterity may build.' His task, as thus
abridged, was confined to the endeavor to establish the 'four leading
propositions, which, according to my [his] view, are to be deemed the
basis of the history of civilization;' that is, the basis of a Science
of History. These propositions, given in a previous article, may be here

     '1st. That the progress of mankind depends on the success with
     which the laws of phenomena are investigated, and on the extent to
     which a knowledge of those laws is diffused. 2d. That before such
     investigation can begin, a spirit of scepticism must arise, which,
     at first aiding the investigation, is afterward aided by it. 3d.
     That the discoveries thus made, increase the influence of
     intellectual truths, and diminish, relatively, not absolutely, the
     influence of moral truths; moral truths being more stationary than
     intellectual truths, and receiving fewer additions. 4th. That the
     great enemy of this movement, and therefore the great enemy of
     civilization, is the protective spirit; by which I mean the notion
     that society cannot prosper unless the affairs of life are watched
     over and protected at nearly every turn by the state and the
     church; the state teaching men what to do, and the church teaching
     them what they are to believe.'

In the first paper of this series, which was devoted to the examination
of the third proposition as announced by Mr. Buckle and substantially
affirmed by Professor Draper, together with the consideration of the
fundamental Law of Human Progress, the error into which both of these
distinguished writers had fallen in regard to the relative influence of
moral and intellectual truths, was pointed out; as also the
misconception under which they rested concerning the Law of Human
Development. This misconception, it was then shown, arose from an
incorrect understanding of the essential character of the Law itself,
and could be traced, basically, to the same source whence sprang their
mistake in reference to the comparative power of moral and mental
forces. It is to a misapprehension, analogous to that which brought him
into error concerning these two important points, that the radical
defect of Mr. Buckle's first and fourth propositions is to be traced, as
will be hereafter exhibited.

The complete and exhaustive consideration of the second proposition
demands a range of Metaphysical examination which cannot be entered upon
at this time. For our present purposes it may be dismissed with the
following remarks:

That before men begin the investigation of any subject _deliberately_,
_reflectively_, and with a _fixed_ and _intelligent_ purpose of
ascertaining the truth concerning it, there must arise some feeling of
doubt in their minds in relation to the given subject or to some details
of it, is certainly true, and needed no array of evidence to prove it;
but that prior to such _conscious_ and _intentional_ effort at
exploration, there exists an _unconscious_ or _automatic_ action in the
mind, an instinctual and passive kind of thinking, a vague floating of
ideas _into_ the mental faculties, rather than an apprehension of them
by an active and deliberate _tension_ of the intellect, and that it is
through this kind of _intuitive investigation_ that the 'spirit of
scepticism' primarily arises, is equally true; though not, perhaps, at
the first blush, so apparent. In this sense, the statement of Mr. Buckle
is simply one half of a truism, the other half of which, not enunciated
by him, is equally correct.

Whether the spirit of scepticism--which then undoubtedly aids in the
investigation--_is afterward aided or fostered by it_, depends upon the
nature of the question investigated. If this be one which has hitherto
been considered as established upon a basis that was in every respect
right, and if errors are revealed in the process of the examination,
then, indeed, the spirit of scepticism is strengthened. But if, on the
contrary, the investigation be in reference to a range of thought which
rests upon a basis that is, in all ways, sound--concerning Mathematical
truths, for instance--then the sceptical spirit is _not_ aided by it,
but is, contrariwise, weakened.

In respect to the field of inquiry covered by the author of
'Civilization in England,' it was seen that numerous statements had been
accepted as true in early times, which closer scrutiny at a later period
showed to be erroneous. Hence there came to be a want of confidence in
the general basis upon which knowledge rested; and, as continued
research served to confirm the doubts previously existing, investigation
did aid, in this great department of thought, covering indeed the entire
history of the past, the spirit of scepticism. As a _fact_, therefore,
_in relation to this special sphere of inquiry_, Mr. Buckle's statement
is correct; as a universal _Generalization_ derived from this Fact, it
may or may not be true, according to the subject of examination to which
it is applied.

This proposition is, therefore, like that in relation to the moral and
intellectual elements--as previously shown--and like all Mr. Buckle's
Generalizations--as will be hereafter shown--a half-truth, a correct
statement of one side of a verity, good so far as it goes, but
essentially false when put for the whole, as in the present instance, or
when held so as to exclude the opposite half-truth.

It is this fact, that basic truth is everywhere made up of a _union of
opposites_, each of which seems, at first sight, to exclude the other,
which the Historian himself so forcibly expresses when he exclaims: 'In
the moral world, as in the physical world, nothing is anomalous; nothing
is unnatural; nothing is strange. All is order, symmetry, and law.
_There are opposites, but there are no contradictions.'_ Had he
understood the full meaning of this statement of the _inherently
paradoxical nature of truth_, and been able to give the Principle which
it establishes a universal application in unfolding the various domains
of human intelligence and activity, he would have grasped the Knowledge
for which he vainly strove, would have discovered the veritable Science
of the Sciences, the long-sought Criterion of Truth. In the absence of a
right understanding of this complex fact, that fundamental truth has
always two sides affirming directly opposite half-truths, he fell into
the error of mistaking the moiety for the whole, and has left us a world
in which, with all the aid that he has afforded us, we still fail to
discern the 'order, symmetry, and law' which undoubtedly pervade all its
parts--a world in which there is still exhibited, so far at least as
governmental, religious, and social affairs are concerned, an
'anomalous, strange, and unnatural' aspect.

Such consideration as it is feasible to give the first of these
historical propositions in these columns, was, for the most part,
included in that portion of the examination of the positions of our two
authors, which was contained in the opening paper of the series; though
no special application of Principles there elaborated was made to this
formula. It was there pointed out, that intellectual forces constitute
only _one_ of the factors in the sum of human progress, and that _moral_
forces are equally as important, being the second--the opposite and
complementary factor. In the light of that exposition, and of the brief
consideration here given to the second Generalization, it is perceptible
that the defect in this proposition consists, not in what it affirms,
but in what it does _not_ affirm. 'That the progress of mankind depends
on the success with which the laws of phenomena are investigated, and on
the extent to which a knowledge of those laws is diffused,' is a
statement which is undeniably true. It does not, however, contain the
_whole truth_ in relation to the subject of investigation. It is just as
correct to say that the progress of mankind depends on the success with
which the moral or religious faculties--faculties which instigate
devotion to our highest perception of right--are cultivated, and on the
extent to which they are practically active. For it is not in the
inculcation of intellectual truth alone, or preëminently, nor in the
cultivation of moral strength alone, or predominantly, that the progress
of mankind is secured; but in the developing vigor of _both_ mental and
moral forces, and in their mutual coöperation and assistance.

The proposition, as announced by Mr. Buckle, is, therefore, either a
half-truth, which does not sufficiently explain the cause of 'the
progress of mankind,' which the Historian avers that it unfolds, or it
is actually false, accordingly as it is understood to state a verity
which does not exclude the _affirmative_ statement of an opposite and
apparently antagonistic truth, or as it is interpreted to be the
explanation of the whole or main cause upon which the advancement of
society has depended. That the author of 'Civilization in England'
regarded it in this latter light, is plainly apparent. His whole work is
an elaborate attempt to establish the invalid theory, that human
progress is due _almost exclusively_ to the enlightenment of the
intellect, and in a very minor degree only to the cultivation of the
moral or religious nature. In a certain sense it is indeed true that
_all_ social elevation is the result of intellectual growth; but it is
only in that _absolute_ sense in which the Intellect is used for the
totality of human faculties, and of course includes the moral faculty
itself. In this sense, it is just as true to say that all progress is
through the Moral Powers, using this term to include the whole of the
human Mind, and consequently the intellectual forces. In either case,
the question still remains, of the relative effect of the Intellectual
and Moral powers upon the career of humanity, when considered as not
including each other. It was in this _relative_ point of view that Mr.
Buckle entertained it.

With this cursory examination of the first and second propositions,
their distinctive consideration will close. Some things, however, that
will have to be enunciated in the investigation of the English
Historian's Generalizations as a whole, are also necessary to a clear
understanding of the merits and defects of each one taken singly.
Additional light will also be thrown upon them in the course of our
analysis of the fourth proposition, which practically touches more vital
and important questions than are involved in the others. Contrary to
previous announcement, want of space will prevent the examination of
this Generalization and of Dr. Draper's work in the present paper.

After this article was put in type, the writer received a letter from a
friend, a distinguished member of the Positive School, in which occurs
the following sentence:

     'I notice in your ... article on 'Buckle, Draper, and a Science of
     History,' one inaccuracy. You say: 'History, while it is the source
     whence the proof of his (Comte's) fundamental positions is drawn,
     finds no place in his scientific schedule.' In the positive
     Hierarchy of Science History _is_ included: it constitutes the
     Dynamic Branch of Sociology. As in the Science of Life, Anatomy
     constitutes Biological Statics and Physiology Biological Dynamics,
     in Sociology we have Social Statics--the Theory of Order, Social
     Dynamics--the Theory of Progress = the Philosophy (Science) of

The kindly criticism of the writer arises from that fruitful source of
misunderstanding--a wrong apprehension of terms.

History, as it has been hitherto written, has been--_First_, a narration
of the supposed facts of the past, without any especial attempt to
investigate the proximate causes of national characteristics or mundane
progression. _Secondly_, an account of the life and vicissitudes of
states and communities, accompanied with an inquiry into the proximate
causes of national peculiarities. These two Branches of Investigation
have been included under the common appellation of _History_, when they
related to a special portion of the globe; and of _General_ or
_Universal History_ when, theoretically at least, the whole earth was
under consideration. _Thirdly_, the examination of the past progress of
the Race, with a view to the discovery of the fundamental Cause or
Causes which control or direct the Evolutions of Time, or the Principles
in accordance with which nations and civilizations have developed. This
Department is denominated _The Philosophy of History_. From it are
excluded all those investigations of an individual or national character
which comprise _History_ in the ordinary acceptation of the word.

Such a complete and exhaustive consideration of the Facts and Causes of
Human Progress as would suffice for the construction of a _Science of
History_, would necessarily include _all_ the Branches of Inquiry above
mentioned. While, therefore, _History_, as it has been used in these
papers, and as it is especially exhibited in the present one, has had
this comprehensive signification, the term is not applied by Comte to
any of the Departments of which he treated; and a very different
meaning, and one much more circumscribed, attaches to the qualified
expression which he uses in its stead. The Dynamic Branch of Sociology
does not appertain, even in his own estimation, to _History_ proper, but
to _The Philosophy of History_, which is the title by which he
designates it. Strictly speaking, it does not appertain to that, in any
broad sense. It is mainly an inquiry into the Theological, Political,
and Social Principles of the Past and Future, and leaves unnoticed many
questions of equal importance with those discussed, and which, in the
constitution of a comprehensive _Philosophy of History_, would occupy an
equally important place.

But leaving this point aside, it is sufficient to indicate the fact that
Comte, in conformity with the plan upon which he proceeded in the
investigation of other Departments of the Universe, eliminated from his
Historical examination all _concrete_ questions, everything relating
primarily to individuals or nations, or to the causes of their peculiar
development; on the same ground on which he set aside Botany, Zoology,
Mineralogy, etc. In the beginning of his treatise on Social Dynamics, he

     'We must avoid confounding the _abstract_ research into the laws of
     social existence with the _concrete_ history of human societies,
     the explanation of which can result only from a very advanced
     knowledge of the whole of these laws. _Our employment of history in
     this inquiry, then, must be essentially abstract._ It would, in
     fact, be history without the names of men, or even of nations, if
     it were not necessary to avoid all such puerile affectation as
     there would be in depriving ourselves of the use of names which may
     elucidate our exposition or consolidate our thought.... Geological
     considerations must enter into such _concrete_ inquiry, and we have
     but little positive knowledge of geology; and the same is true of
     questions of climate, race, etc.'

And again he says, the inquiry is to be conducted 'stripped of all
circumstances of climate, locality, etc.'

It will be sufficiently evident from this brief statement, that _The
Philosophy of History_ (not _History_, as the letter says) which
constitutes the Dynamic Branch of Sociology in the Positive System is,
in Comte's own intention and showing, a series of bald abstractions from
which the _substantial_ or _concrete_ elements of individual and
national activity, the proximate causes of Human Progress, are dropped
out; and that _History_ in the ordinary sense of that term, or in the
broader sense in which it has been used in these papers, as referring to
a possible Science, finds no place in his Scientific Schedule.

The error into which our critic has fallen, in this case, undoubtedly
resulted in part from the unfortunate confounding of the words
_Philosophy_ and _Science_, which pervades the Positive System.
Philosophy and Science are not, in any proper use of the terms,
synonymes. They relate--as it is designed at some future time to
show--to equally true and important, though _opposite_ aspects of the
Universe, considered either as a whole or in relation to its parts.
Comte, as has been heretofore exhibited, degraded Science from its
_Exact_ and _Certain_ position, in order to include Domains of Inquiry
which did not have and to which he could not furnish a truly scientific
basis. In like manner, after discarding a false Philosophy, unable to
institute a true, or at least a sufficiently comprehensive one, on the
foundation which he had reared, he gave the name of _Positive
Philosophy_ to his incongruous coordination of Scientific and
Unscientific Departments of Thought. The terms _Science_ and
_Philosophy_, thus wrenched from their legitimate uses, are therefore
loosely understood and indiscriminately applied by the students of his
System and the followers of his social theories, in ways which are
productive of numerous misunderstandings, though not perhaps of
unprofitable criticisms.

In a subsequent letter, the same gentleman calls attention to another
supposed error--the omission of _La Morale_ from the Positive Hierarchy
of Sciences--and adds:

     'Although this final Science was in a manner involved in Sociology
     as treated in the _Philosophy_, its normal separation was yet a
     step of Capital Importance; sufficiently so to make the enumeration
     of Comte's Theoretical Hierarchy without it equivalent to a

For the purposes of the article in question--the exhibition of the
incongruous, and hence really unscientific character of the
Hierarchy--the Positive Scale was given in the paper alluded to, as
stated by Comte himself in the 'Positive Philosophy'--a work which is
accepted as valid, _both_ by the followers of his theories in regard to
Science, and the adopters of his Social Scheme--there being no occasion,
at that time, to indicate the subsequent elevation into a separate
Science, of what there formed a subdivision of Sociology. The after
enumeration of _La Morale_ as a separate Science, in a work which is
_not_ regarded as valid by many of the disciples of the _Positive
Philosophy_, is, however, exhibited in the present writing, where a more
minute enumeration of the Branches of Inquiry included in the Positive
Hierarchy rendered it desirable.



Sunday, _December 30th, 1760._

I have finally decided upon going to Maleszow; I may perhaps feel more
at ease there than here. Barbara would accompany me, but the state of
her health will prevent her; her husband says it would be very imprudent
for her to travel. I have finally received a letter from the prince
royal; he is in despair at my departure. He is exceedingly irritated
against the princess, and fears lest Brühl should disclose all he knows
to the king.

I must leave here as soon as possible. The happiness surrounding me is a
real torment. This sweet and quiet joy of a husband and wife who love
each other so tenderly, pierces my heart. This well-arranged household,
this family union, and all the delicate attentions of the Starost
Swidzinski, who adores my sister--all these blessings, which I must
covet, and yet of which I am not jealous, increase the bitterness of my

My sister is predestined to every possible felicity. Her little girl is
the most charming child anywhere to be found; her father fondles and
caresses her, and my parents are always writing to my sister, because
they feel so much solicitude for her and her little one. Happy Barbara!
Life is one long festival for her. Ah! may God take her happiness into
his own keeping, and may this reflection console me under my own weight
of sorrow!

I shall perhaps feel more tranquil when I have seen my dear parents;
their pardon will be as a Christian absolution for me. I will again
live and hope when protected by their tenderness. I will begin the new
year with them; it may perhaps be the dawn of my happiness! I was
formerly so happy at Maleszow....

CASTLE OF MALESZOW, _January 5th, 1761._

I have been here several days, but I think I will soon return to
Sulgostow. I suffer everywhere, and it always seems to me that I will be
most happy in whatever place I am not. My lot is brilliant in
imagination, but miserable in reality. And yet, my parents have received
me well, and have treated me with the greatest kindness. But a matter of
comparatively slight importance is one of the causes of my uneasiness
here: I have no money; I cannot make the slightest present to my
sisters, and can give nothing to the people of the castle.

When I was with the princess, she provided for all my wants, and gave me
besides a small sum every month; I could save nothing, nor indeed could
I anticipate any cause for doing so. I now find myself in the most
complete state of destitution, and would rather die than ask for money
from my husband or my parents, who of course think that I am abundantly
provided for. When Barbara returned from the school of the Holy
Sacrament, she doubtless had much less money than I spent during my
sojourn in Warsaw, and yet she made a small gift to every one. She was
not, as I, bowed down beneath the weight of melancholy thoughts; her
spirit was free and her heart was joyous. She could think of others, and
offer the labor of her own hands when more costly presents were
wanting.... But I, unquiet, agitated, passing alternately from the most
actual and positive grief to fears still more terrible, cannot apply
myself a single moment.

Formerly, when I was happy through hope, and when all life seemed to me
one brilliant illusion, I fancied that when I should return to Maleszow
after my marriage, I would be followed by as long a train as a queen; I
forgot no one in my dreams; all had their share in my royal favors....
Ah! what a fearful contrast between my desires and the reality!

I have not passed a single day since I came here without shedding tears.
When I first saw my parents I wished to throw myself at their feet; but
my father prevented me, and, treating me as if I were a stranger, made
me a profound bow. Whenever I enter the saloon, he rises and will not
sit near me; the homage he considers due to my dignity as princess royal
overpowers his paternal tenderness.

This formal etiquette causes me inconceivable torment! Ah! if honors are
to cost me so dear, I would a thousand times prefer to be only a simple

The first dinner I ate with the family was ceremonious and cold. My
mother was uneasy and ready to apologize for offering me the ordinary
fare of the castle, and my father whispered in my ear:

'I might have offered you a bottle of wine, drawn from the tun of Miss
Frances; it would have been very pleasant for me to have drunk it at our
first dinner, but custom requires that the father should drink the first
glass, and the husband the second; otherwise it would be a bad omen....
Will that day ever come?' he added, sighing.

I could not restrain my tears, and could neither speak nor eat; my
mother looked at me with the most tender compassion. Every moment here
brings me some new sorrow, and the bonmots of our little Matthias have
lost all power to divert me. My father makes signs to him with his eyes
that he may invent something witty, but it is all lost upon me. Music to
a suffering body is but an importunate noise; and sallies of wit to a
despairing soul have lost their savor.

Our little Matthias is inconceivably acute; he divines all. He knows my
position, I am quite sure. He took advantage yesterday of a moment when
I was quite alone to come into my room, and with an air half sad, half
jesting, he knelt down before me and drew from his pocket a little
bouquet of dried flowers tied with a white ribbon and fastened by a gold
pin.... I could not at first tell what he meant, but soon the bouquet I
had worn at Barbara's wedding flashed across my memory. He gave me the
flowers, saying: 'I am sometimes a prophet,' and, still on his knees,
went toward the door. I ran after him; I remembered all, and with the
remembrance came a crowd of feelings, at once sweet and bitter. This
bouquet was the same I had given Matthias on Barbara's wedding day....

I took a rich diamond pin from my dress, and fastened it at the
buttonhole of Matthias's coat. Neither he nor I spoke a single word, but
I am sure that while each wondered inwardly at the strange fulfilment of
the prophecy, each was still more surprised that it had realized none of
our hopes.

Just as I was writing these lines, my mother entered my room. Her
kindness is incomparable; she brought me such a quantity of stuffs, of
jewels and blondes, that she could scarcely carry them. She laid them on
my bed, and said:

'I give you a portion of the trousseau destined to my daughters; I
should have added many other articles, but I was afraid they were not
handsome enough, and yet I have given you the best I had. I have spoken
to my husband, and he has determined to sell two villages to make a
trousseau worthy of so illustrious a union. That will come when the
secret is unveiled.'

I burst into tears, and would have thrown myself at her feet, but she
prevented me, and asked me a thousand pardons for presenting me with
things of so little value.

Oh, yes! I must certainly leave here day after to-morrow. I suffer
beyond expression. My younger sisters, madame, the courtiers, and even
the old servants exclaim over the change which has come upon me, and ask
one another why I am not yet married, and why no one seems to think of
having me married.

The three girls whom I was to take into my service came to see me;
doubtless, to remind me of my promise. Our old Hyacinth himself brought
his daughter to me. Every one I see causes me some new sorrow or
vexation. Ah! how astonished they would be if they knew of my marriage!
And these poor people who relied upon my protection, I cannot take them
into my service, because I have married a prince, the son of a king!

SULGOSTOW, Wednesday, _January 9th._

I am again with my sister. On my arrival, I found no letter from the
prince royal. He may be ill! Or, perhaps, the king has been informed of
our marriage, and has placed him under strict surveillance. If the
prince palatine were in Warsaw, he would surely have written to me; I
can rely upon his devotion. As for Prince Martin, I thank him for his
light-headedness, and am very glad that he forgets me.

My parents' parting farewell did me much more good than their reception;
at that moment, I again found all their former tenderness.

Before I left, I went to Lissow, and visited the curate in his
presbytery. When I came, he was planting cypress trees in his garden,
and he promised me to plant one in memory of me in the cemetery. I will
leave behind me this melancholy remembrancer. His words to me were very
kind and consoling. As I left him, I experienced a moment of real calm
and resignation.

Tuesday, _January 15th._

During the last few days I have been forced to struggle against new
persecutions. Just as we were about sitting down to table, the sound of
the trumpet announced the arrival of a stranger, and soon after, the
double door of the dining hall was thrown open, and M. Borch, the king's
minister, was announced.

I at once divined the motive of this visit, and my heart throbbed as if
it would burst. M. Borch, like a real diplomatist, tried to give his
visit the appearance of a simple courtesy. Remembering the gracious
reception offered him at Barbara's wedding, he came, he said, to offer
his homage to her ladyship the Starostine Swidzinska, and renew his
acquaintance with the starost. During dinner, many compliments were
exchanged; but as soon as the dessert was over and the court had
retired, he invited me to go with him into the starost's private
cabinet, and said to me:

'Brühl and I know your secret, madame, and I can assure you we have been
exceedingly diverted; for you may well believe that we regard this
marriage as a mere jest, a real child's play: the benediction given by a
priest not belonging to the parish, and without the knowledge of the
parents, can never be valid. This marriage then will soon be broken, and
with very little trouble, I can assure you.'

These words fell upon me like a thunderbolt, and without a superhuman
courage and the aid of Heaven, I should have been crushed at once; but I
felt that the fate of my whole life might depend upon that moment.
Borch's character was well known to me; I knew him to be as cowardly as
base, and also that strength of will is all powerful with such men, who
are only bold with the weak. I replied:

'Sir, your cunning lacks skill; your diplomacy and that of Minister
Brühl, come to nought through the simple good sense of a woman. Your
world, which judges me and deems me devoid of courage and reason, only
excites my pity; I am ready for a struggle with you and with Brühl. My
marriage is valid; it has been blessed by the consent of my parents; I
hold my powers from God, and will be able to defend them. The bishop was
aware of this marriage on which you are pleased to throw the anathema of
your irony; the curate of my own parish gave us the benediction, and two
witnesses assisted us during the holy ceremony. I know that divorce is
possible, but only through the common consent of both parties, and the
prince royal, my husband, and myself, will never consent to it.'

Borch's astonishment may easily be imagined, and even I could not have
believed myself capable of so much energy. Borch expected to find a
child whom he could dazzle with a few promises; he thought he could
easily bring me to a renunciation of my rights, and that I would readily
consent to sign the instrument of my own shame and sorrow: he found me
most determined. He remained here two days, and again renewed his
attempts, but, finding that I persisted in my refusal, he departed,
having however previously asked me if I would consent to a divorce in
case the prince royal should deem it necessary.

'Yes,' I replied, 'but you must first show me a writing to that effect,
signed by the prince himself.'

I feared lest this occurrence should be the cause of a new sorrow:
Barbara's situation requires so much care, and she feels my troubles so
deeply! I was really alarmed lest her health should suffer, but, thank
God! she feels quite well. Dear Barbara is another me; alas! all who
love me must accept the chalice of misery! The starost was quite uneasy
concerning his wife; they are so happy together, so tenderly united!...
And I, what a sad destiny is mine! I have obtained neither repose, nor
happiness, nor those objects of ambition which I would have consented to
receive from the hand of love.

       *       *       *       *       *

Here ends the Diary of Frances Krasinska. Her thoughts were too sad,
her memories too bitter, to bear being transferred to paper. When sorrow
in all its bitterness has seized upon the soul, we can no longer see or
hear without a shudder certain words which formerly excited reveries
more or less sweet and seductive within our souls. Frances lost all her
illusions, one by one; she was strong enough to bear up against
injustice, but she was powerless against her husband's indifference.

My readers may perhaps have accused her of ambition; and yet she loved
him; but love is not always absolute devotion and self-abnegation; love
is not always a virtue; it is often the result of egotism; it is, as
Madame de Staël says, one personality in two persons, or a mere double
personality. Frances loved the prince royal, but not the less had she
been dazzled by his rank.

She remained a long time at Sulgostow after Borch's departure. Barbara
Swidzinska, already the mother of one daughter, bore also a son, and
another daughter, who was named Frances. The tenderness, care, and
attention which Frances experienced in her own family could not console
her for the prince royal's desertion. Her sister was the only being in
the world to whom she confided her grief; women have a delicate
sensibility which enables them to comprehend the minutest details;
nothing escapes them, and, with the finest instruments in their
possession, they can more readily deal with a crushed heart. If love had
left Frances a single hope, she might still have found happiness in

Nowhere at rest, she sometimes left Sulgostow for the convent of the
Holy Sacrament in Warsaw; but solitude could not restore her peace, and
her prayers were one cry of despair sent up to God to implore death.

The genius of sorrow is the most prolific of all spirits, it seems as if
human nature were infinite in nothing but in the power to suffer. There
was still another grief in store for Frances, another wound for her
afflicted soul; she lost her parents, lost them before they had bestowed
the name of son upon their daughter's husband. At this time she went to
the Franciscan convent in Cracow, whither Barbara sent her her young
daughter Angelica, to endeavor to bind her to earth through the
influence of this innocent and youthful affection.

She lived also at Cznestochowa or at Opole, and everywhere received
orders not to disclose her marriage. At long intervals of time, the
prince royal came to see her, and thus accomplished an external duty of
conscience: total desertion and forgetfulness would perhaps have been

The prophecy made by the little Matthias was finally verified: the ducal
crown and the throne of Poland both slipped from Prince Charles's grasp;
Biren was named Duke of Courland, and, when Augustus III. died (at
Dresden, October 5th, 1763), he was succeeded by Stanislaus Augustus

To quiet the uneasiness and the melancholy suspicions of Frances, the
prince royal declared to her that through regard for his father's
advanced age he must continue to conceal his marriage. But many years
passed after the king's death without bringing any amelioration or
change in the position of Frances; the prince and the royal family lived
in Dresden, while the prince's wife was constrained to hide her real
name in obscurity.

The Lubomirski family did all in their power to obtain a recognition of
Frances's rights; they even appealed to the Empress Maria Theresa.
Prince Charles finally yielded; he wrote a most tender letter to his
wife, begging her to come to him in Dresden; this letter found her at
Opole, and the Lubomirski advised her to await another advance from the
prince before she consented to go to Dresden, which she did.

Prince Charles, like all men who are impassioned through their fancies
and cold at heart, was irritated at Frances's hesitation, and wrote her
another letter still more pressing and affectionate; she resisted no
longer, as one may well believe; but she found neither happiness nor the
rank she was entitled to occupy, or rather, the honor due to her rank.
Unprovided with a revenue suited to her position, she led a life of
privation, almost of want. The Empress Maria Theresa, touched with
compassion at her melancholy fate, conferred upon her the county of
Lanckorona, near Cracow. This possession, coming from a strange hand,
could not satisfy her ambition, and her heart must long before have
renounced every hope of happiness.

She maintained a constant correspondence with her sister and the other
members of her family in Poland.

We will here give the letter which she wrote to her sister before her
departure for Dresden, translating it scrupulously from the Polish, and
underlining [italicizing] the portions originally written in French:

     I shall not see you again, as I can no longer delay, my husband
     having fixed the very day for my arrival in Dresden. In his second
     letter, he impresses on me not to be later than the fifth of
     January. I must then say farewell, and rest assured that I return
     with my whole soul the affection you feel for me; always, and in
     whatever place I may be, _you will be the dearest to me, and the
     tokens of your remembrance, the most satisfactory to my heart_.

     Write to me often, I beg you, and rely upon my punctuality in

     I am going where I hope to find a little repose.... Alas! I no
     longer expect happiness, for the elector will not concede me my
     rank as princess royal, nor recognize me as the wife of the prince.
     He desires, that is to say, he commands me to preserve my
     _incognito_, while in his estates. The prince royal is truly
     grieved, and of all my sorrows the most bitter is that of my
     husband; his health is visibly failing.

     I will write you a faithful account of all that happens to me; you
     shall know how I am received and the progress of all my affairs. If
     they will be willing to decree us an augmented allowance, I will
     beg my husband to permit me to leave Dresden and settle in some
     foreign country contiguous to Saxony, that I may readily hold
     communication with him. Do not mention my project to any one, for
     if it were known in Saxony, _my whole enterprise would be ruined.
     Adieu, most tenderly loved sister_. Do not forget me. Farewell, the
     multiplicity of my occupations will not permit me to write at
     greater length. _Apropos, I beg you_ to go now and see the princess
     palatiness; you will find her with the Bishop of Kamieniec, and
     Kulagowski; _she will be very grateful for this attention from you;
     it must be agreeable to her_; you will brighten a little the
     gravity of this trio. _Adieu, I embrace you with all my heart, and
     am, as ever, your most affectionate and attached sister,_

     _A thousand tender and friendly messages to your husband; I conjure
     him always to retain a place for me in his memory._

In 1776 the Polish diet assigned large pensions to all the heirs of
Augustus III.; the half of that bestowed upon Prince Charles was
revertible during her lifetime to his wife, the princess royal, Frances

During her sojourn in Dresden, she gave birth to a daughter, the
Princess Mary; she educated her with the greatest care, but was soon
forced to leave her; her many sorrows developed an insidious malady,
which finally proved fatal. She died on the 30th of April, 1796, aged

Madame Moszynska, who had shown herself a friend to Frances in her
prosperity, and, what is still more rare, also in adversity, was
grievously afflicted by her death. It was she who announced it to
Madame Angelica Szymanowska, born Swidzinska, whom Frances had held at
the baptismal font with the prince royal in the cathedral church at
Warsaw, in 1760.

DRESDEN, _June 8th, 1796._

I comply with your request, madame, but with extreme grief; the loss you
have sustained is a most cruel one to me; indeed it is the deepest
affliction I have ever known. The princess royal's malady began about
two years ago. She then felt pains in her breast; some physicians said
her disease was cancer, while others assured her it was tumor.

An incision was then made, and she was better during some time. But the
disease soon made the most fearful progress. The inflammation appeared
upon the outside, and she felt the most acute pains in her breast and
throughout the whole length of her arm. She patiently endured the most
excruciating torments. Having tried various modes of treatment without
experiencing any relief, she finally consented to make trial of a new
cure. During twelve weeks she saw no one except the members of her own
household and the physicians, who sometimes said she was better and
sometimes that she was worse; finally, however, fever set in,
accompanied by all the signs of consumption.

Perfectly aware of her condition, she prepared for death with
resignation and devotion; she died during the night of the 30th of
April. Her breast had burst open several weeks before. An examination
was made after her death, and many causes for her last illness were
discovered; but I cannot dwell upon these details.... In my opinion, and
I followed the whole course of her malady, her chest was seriously
affected in addition to the cancer.

We have experienced an irreparable loss; I can scarcely endure life
since our misfortune, and will never be able to think of the princess
royal without the most bitter regret. I have not yet seen her husband;
some say that he is ill, and cannot long survive his wife, but others
speak of him as quite well: I know not whom to believe.

I sometimes see their daughter, the Princess Mary, whom I love with all
my heart, but whom I can only visit once during the week. She is
charming, and already gives promise of a noble character. The princess
royal, during her dying moments, left her under the protection of
Elizabeth, the king's daughter and the prince royal's sister. Elizabeth
is warmly interested in the young princess, and sincerely attached to
her brother; she is a highly meritorious personage.

May I beg you, madame, to continue toward me your previous sentiments of
kindness, and to accept the expression of my unbounded esteem.
                                                        L. MOSZYNSKA.

The prince royal, Charles, survived his wife several months, and their
daughter, still very young, was confided to the guardianship of Prince
Charles's sister. When she reached a marriageable age, she wedded Prince
Carignan, of Savoy, and their descendants are now allied to the reigning
family of Sardinia.


Lucian of Samosata is responsible for the strange story of Minerva--how
Jupiter commanded Vulcan to split open his skull with a sharp axe, and
how the warlike virgin leaped in full maturity from the cleft in the
brain, thoroughly armed and ready for deeds of martial daring,
brandishing her glittering weapons with fiery energy, and breaking at
once into the wild Pyrrhic dance. We refer to this myth, bearing, as it
doubtless does, an important moral in its bosom, as suggestive of the
sudden and gigantic proportions of a traffic which has recently loomed
up in the region of Western Pennsylvania. The petroleum trade has worn
no swaddling bands, acknowledged no leading strings, but sprung at once
into full maturity. In less than one year from the moment of its
inception, it has fairly eclipsed the Whale Fishery, gray with time, and
strong through the energy and vigor with which it has ever been
prosecuted. And who can measure its extent in the future, since it can
only be limited by the sources of the supply flowing in the depths of
the laboratories of the Great Chemist?

Petroleum, in some form or other of its various developments, is no new
substance in the world's history. More than two thousand years before
the Christian era, we read of its existence in the days of the builders
of Babel, when men sought to realize the dreams of the Titans, and would
scale heaven itself in their insane folly. It may have been used in the
building of the ark. Herodotus informs us it was largely used in the
construction of the walls and towers of Babylon. Diodorus Siculus
confirms this testimony. Great quantities of it were found on the banks
of the river Issus, one of the tributaries of the Euphrates, in the form
of asphaltum. By its aid were reared those mighty walls and hanging
gardens which filled the heart of Nebuchadnezzar with such a dream of
pride as he exclaimed: 'Is this not great Babylon that I have built?'

And from those days so ancient, when history would be dim and obscure,
were it not for the light of inspiration on the sacred page, down to the
present time, petroleum has occupied a place in the arrangements of man,
either as an article of utility or luxury. It has been one of God's
great gifts to his creatures, designed for their happiness, but kept
treasured up in His secret laboratory, and developed only in accordance
with their necessities. And now, in our own days, and in these ends of
the earth, the great Treasure House has been unlocked, the seal broken,
and the supply furnished most bountifully.

The oil region of Western Pennsylvania is the portion of oil-producing
territory that now occupies the largest share of attention. It is
confined principally to the valley of Oil Creek, a tributary of the
Alleghany River, which it enters at a point about sixty miles south from
Lake Erie. It is true that oil wells are successfully worked on the
banks of the Alleghany for some distance above and below the mouth of
Oil Creek: still the county of Venango has monopolized almost the whole
number of oil-producing wells in this region.

There are some strange facts, that point to a history all unwritten save
in some few brief sentences in pits and excavations, of oil operations
along the Oil Valley. These detached fragments, like the remains of the
Sibylline Oracles, but cause us to regret more earnestly the loss of the
volumes which contained the whole. A grand and wonderful history has
been that of this American continent, but it has never been graven in
the archives of time. The actors in its bygone scenes have passed away
in their shadowy grandeur, leaving but dim footprints here and there to
tell us they have been, and cause us to wonder at the mystery which
veils their record, and to muse upon the evanescent glory of man's
earthly destiny.

Along the valley of Oil Creek are clear traces of ancient oil
operations. Over sections embracing hundreds of acres in extent, the
entire surface of the land has, at some remote period of time, been
excavated in the form of oblong pits, from four by six to six by eight
feet in size. These pits are oftentimes from four to five feet still
in depth, notwithstanding the action of rain and frost during the lapse
of so many years. They are found in the oil region, and over the oil
deposits, and in no other locality, affording unmistakable evidence of
their design and use. The deeper pits appear to have been cribbed up at
the sides with rough timber, in order to preserve their form and render
them more available for the design in view. Upon the septa that divide
them, and even in the pits themselves, trees have grown up more than one
and a half feet in diameter, indicating an antiquity antedating the
earliest records of civilized life in this region. For centuries has
this treasure been affording intimations of its presence. Before
Columbus had touched these western shores was it gathered here, in this
valley, as an article of utility or luxury, by the processes of design
and labor, and with the idea of traffic and emolument.

By whom were these excavations planned and these pits fashioned, that
tell of the pursuit of wealth so many centuries ago? Let the mighty
dead, that are slumbering in our valleys, and the remains of whose
fortifications and cities are spread out all over the great West, in
magnificence as vast and gorgeous as the ruins of Nineveh and Babylon,
arise and speak, for they alone of mortals can tell!

From the fact that some of these pits have been cribbed with timber
bearing marks of the axe in its adjustment, many have supposed that
their construction was due to the French, who at one time occupied, to a
certain extent, the Venango oil region. But this theory is scarcely
plausible. Fort Venango was completed by the French at Franklin, seven
miles below the mouth of Oil Creek, in the spring of 1754, and this was
probably about the beginning of their active operations in this region.
But the construction of these pits no doubt antedates the French
operations very many years. Timber placed in these oil pits, and
thoroughly impregnated by its preserving properties, would be almost
proof against the ravages of time. As evidence of this, petroleum in
some of its forms entered largely into the ingredients used in embalming
by the ancient Egyptians. These embalmed bodies remain perfect to this
day. Even the cerements remain with every thread distinct and perfect as
when they came from the loom, in days when Joseph was prime minister in

There is evidence, too, from the growth of timber in the very beds of
these excavations, that they claim an antiquity greater far than the
occupation of their valleys by the French. Year after year, a silent,
solemn record was made by the concentric circles, first in the shrub,
next in the sapling, and then in the fully developed tree, that tells of
the lapse of time since these mysterious works were in operation.

Besides all this, where was the market for the immense quantity of
petroleum that must have been produced from these excavations, on the
supposition that they were constructed by the French? Surely not at
home, for neither in the misty traditions nor early records of that time
do we find reference to any large quantity of this product, nor even
their facilities for conveying it to the seaboard, had there been a
demand for it at home.

The sole object of the French at that time was to gain military
possession of the country. This is seen in the line of forts that was
thrown across the country, extending from Erie, Pennsylvania, to a point
on the Ohio River below Pittsburg. There is no evidence that they made
any attempt either to cultivate the soil or develop the mineral
resources of the country. There were white inhabitants, too, who were
settled here quite as early as the temporary occupancy of the French.
Their descendants remain unto this day. These early settlers knew
nothing of French operations in petroleum. They were ignorant of its
production, save in minute quantities, as it issued spontaneously from
the earth; nor could they throw any light on the origin of the
excavations that were found in their midst.

Another theory, that has been somewhat popular is, that these pits are
due to the labors of the American Indians. But the very term labor seems
absurd when used in reference to these lords of the forest. They never
employed themselves in manual labor of any kind. The female portion of
the community planted a little corn, and constructed rude lodges to
shelter them from the wintry blast; but they never even dreamed of trade
or commerce. The Indian loved to roam through the wilderness and follow
the war path--to seek for game to supply present wants, or to bring home
the scalp of his enemy as a trophy of his prowess, but would scorn to
bend his strength to rude toil in excavating multitudinous pits for the
reception of oil, or in bearing it from place to place after it had been

Beyond all doubt the Indians were well acquainted with the existence and
many of the properties of petroleum. That they valued it is beyond
question. They used it, both for medicinal and toilette purposes. But
they knew of its existence and production, just as did the early white
settlers: they found it bubbling up from the bed of the stream and from
low marshy places along its banks. They, no doubt, collected it in small
quantities, without labor and without much forethought, and with this
small supply were content. But even if a much larger supply had been
desirable, and if the modern idea of traffic had found a place in their
hearts, they had no facilities for conveying it from place to place.
Even at the present time, with all our improvement in the arts, the
great desideratum is an appropriate vessel for carrying petroleum from
place to place, or retaining it safely in any locality; but the Indians
were utterly destitute of any appliances suitable for the purpose. If
they were acquainted with a rude kind of pottery, it was without
glazing, and so incapable of retaining fluids, particularly petroleum;
and we have no knowledge of their ability to construct vessels of any
other material that would answer the desired purpose. The inference is
therefore fair, that for purposes of trade the production of oil was not
desirable in so large quantities as indicated by these excavations. The
same reasons would hold good in relation to its use in the religious
ceremonies of the Indians. It could be used only in limited quantities,
from the want of convenient receptacles for its retention. Besides, we
doubt whether the Indians were sufficiently devout to resort to such
labor and pains in religious worship.

Reference is sometimes made to a letter said to have been written by the
commander of Fort Duquesne (Pittsburg) to General Montcalm, describing a
grand scene of fire worship on the banks of Oil Creek, where the whole
surface of the creek, being coated with oil, was set on fire, producing
in the night season a wonderful conflagration. But there is room for the
suspicion that this account is apocryphal. Such scenes as are there
described have been witnessed on Oil Creek since the beginning of the
modern oil trade. During the continuance of several accidental
conflagrations, the scene has been awfully grand and impressive. It has
been strongly suggestive of the conflagration of the last day, when

  'The lightnings, barbed, red with wrath,
  Sent from the quiver of Omnipotence,
  Cross and recross the fiery gloom, and burn
  Into the centre!--burn without, within,
  And help the native fires which God awoke,
  And kindled with the fury of His wrath.'

But this was when thousands of barrels of petroleum had been stored up
in vats, and when the combustible fluid was spouting from the wells at
the rate of many hundred barrels per day. Before the present deep wells
were bored, oil was not produced in sufficient quantities to cause such
a conflagration, and there was never seen upon the creek a stratum of
the fluid of such consistency as to be inflammable.

The remains of the once powerful confederacy of Indians known as the Six
Nations still linger in Western Pennsylvania, in a region not very
remote from Oil Creek, but they can throw no light upon the origin of
these pits. In regard to their history, they can give no more
information than they can concerning the mounds and fortifications,
ruined castles, and dismantled cities, that tell us of a once glorious
past, of a mysterious decadence, and of the utter vanity of all earthly

There are men still living in the oil valley, who were on terms of
familiar intimacy with Cornplanter, a celebrated chief of the Seneca
tribe of Indians--the last of a noble and heroic line of chieftains that
had borne sway from the Canadas to the Ohio River, and who was living at
the time of the French occupation. But in reciting his own deeds and
memories, and those of his fathers, who had gone to the silent hunting
grounds of the spirit land, he could say nothing of early oil
operations, any further than the collection of it in small quantities
for medical or ornamental purposes.

The only rational conclusion, therefore, at which we can arrive in
regard to these early oil operations is, that they are due, not to the
Indians or French or early white settlers, but to some primitive
dwellers on the soil, who have long since passed away, leaving no
written records to tell of their origin or history, but stamping the
impress of their existence on our mountains and in our valleys, assuring
us of their power and the magnificence of their operations, yet leaving
us to wonder that such strength could fail, that such magnificence could
perish, and that such darkness could settle over the memory of a great

As before intimated, petroleum was found in Venango County by the
earliest white settlers, and was esteemed for its medical properties.
But it was obtained only in minute quantities. It was found in
particular localities along the banks of the Alleghany, issuing with the
water from springs, and sometimes bubbling up from the bottom of the
river in small globules, that rising to the surface, disperse themselves
upon the water, and glide away in silent beauty.

The principal oil spring, or that from which the largest quantity of
petroleum was collected, was located on Oil Creek, about two miles from
its mouth. From this the main supply was drawn for the wants of the
earlier inhabitants. And as the demand was limited, no great amount of
enterprise was called forth in its production. The _modus operandi_ was
most primitive, and yet withal the results were satisfactory.

A point was selected where the oil appeared to bubble up most freely, a
slight excavation was made, and the oil suffered to collect. When a
tolerable stratum of petroleum had collected on the top of the water, a
coarse blanket was thrown upon the surface, that soon became saturated
with the oil, but rejected the water. The blanket was then taken out,
wrung into a tub or barrel, and the operation repeated.

But the demand was limited. Most families kept a supply for their own
use. Yet, for ordinary purposes, a pint bottle was sufficient for a
year's consumption. Indeed, half a dozen barrels were all that could be
disposed of throughout the entire oil region of Western Pennsylvania up
to a period when the researches of science were brought to bear upon its
purification as an illuminator. Almost every good housewife was supposed
to have a small store of Seneca oil, as it was popularly termed, laid by
in case of accident, for the medication of cuts and bruises; and not
even the most popular of the nostrums of the present day is so much
relied on as was this--nature's own medicine--by the early settlers in
these valleys.

In the mean time a well was bored on the bank of the Alleghany, within
two miles of the mouth of Oil Creek, in quest of salt water, with a view
to the manufacture of salt. This was some forty years ago. After sinking
the well through the solid rock to the depth of seventy or eighty feet,
oil presented itself in such quantities, mingled with the salt water, as
to fill the miners with the utmost disgust, and induce them to abandon
the well altogether. They were boring for salt, not for petroleum. Salt
was an article of utility and large demand; oil was of comparatively
small importance, and already a drug in the market, through the
spontaneous yield of nature. Again, a well was dug in the town of
Franklin, about thirty years ago, for the supply of a household with
water. At the depth of thirty feet there were evident signs of
petroleum, that were annoying to the workmen; and although the water of
the well was used for culinary purposes, it always bore a trace of oil,
and was absolutely offensive to those unaccustomed to it. A hole has
since been sunk in this well through the rock, but the yield of oil has
not been as great as in some other wells in the immediate neighborhood.
In the cases cited above were strong hints of the existence of the
treasure concealed in the rocks beneath, and even of the manner of
obtaining it. It was in fact the treasure knocking at the door, and
asking to be released, in order to contribute to human wealth and

But the time had not then arrived for the grant of this great boon. The
earth was at the first made the repository of all the gifts that man
should need until the end of time. But they were not all revealed at the
first, nor to succeeding generations, until the fitting time arrived,
and man's necessities induced the great Giver to unlock the treasure
house and dispense his rich bounty.

Before man was created, the great treasure house in the earth's bosom
was filled with its minerals, and as the centuries rolled by in their
slow and solemn march, such treasures were gradually brought to light.
Not at once did the earth disclose her mighty resources, but just as man
needed them, and as they should tend to his own best interests. Even on
the banks of the river that watered the terrestrial paradise, gold was
found, but although 'the gold of that land was good,' it was brought to
light in limited quantities. In the same sacred locality, and at the
same early day in the history of time, 'the bdellium and the onyx stone'
were found in their beauty; yet were they few and rare, until God would
consecrate the treasures of the earth to His own service in the
construction and adornment of the tabernacle and the temple. The great
treasure house of earth was then opened, until gold became common as
brass, and precious stones numerous almost as the pebbles of the brook,
and the riches of the earth were eternally consecrated to the service of

And in the present century, and within our own recollection, when the
world's business seemed to be stagnated--when the sails of commerce
flapped idly at the masts--when the great highways of trade and traffic
were in danger of being deserted, and the coffers of the nation were
almost exhausted, the hand of Providence unlocked the treasures of
California and Australia, and every department of business has become
prosperous, and every branch of industry has received a new impetus. A
new lesson has been taught the world: that God's treasures are
inexhaustible, and that his hand can never be shortened.

And now here, in this remote county of Western Pennsylvania, God's
treasure has been concealed for ages--locked up in the very heart of the
eternal rock, awaiting the time of need, and accomplishment of the
eternal purposes of Omnipotence. It has oozed forth in limited
quantities during the lapse of centuries, as though to show us now that
man cannot lay his hand upon the houses of God's treasure until his own
appointed time.

We know not where the great Chemist has his laboratory, or where he
formed the mighty retorts that are distilling for us the oily treasure:
most probably they were fashioned when the earth assumed its present
form; and since 'the morning stars' sang creation's hymn together, deep
down amid earth's rocky caverns, through the revolving centuries, the
stores have been accumulating that are destined to bless the world and
become elements of national wealth. And now from that great laboratory,
through innumerable channels, cut through the living rock by the hand of
the Creator, and by 'paths which no fowl knoweth, and which the
vulture's eye hath not seen,' is that treasure brought near to the
earth's surface, just in our time of need. When other supplies are
failing and other resources giving way, we see God's wisdom in opening
up new channels. The great Benefactor would teach us that his resources
are unlimited, and that our time of need is but the beginning of his
overflowing bounty.

It is really strange how slow men were to discover the abundance of this
supply, and to trace it to its luxuriant deposits amid the rocks. While
it was literally forcing itself upon their observation, it was only by a
roundabout process that they discovered its richness and importance. As
early as the year 1835 its presence amid the rocks was made known on the
Alleghany River, a short distance above Pittsburg, by its interference
with the salt wells; but no dream of its future importance seems to have
forced itself upon either the miner or the capitalist until within the
last few years.

Perhaps the first real conception of the petroleum trade was in the mind
of a young physician in the Venango region. Yet it was but a dream, and,
like many another dream of the past, it was in advance of the age, and
resulted in nothing but speculation. In looking at the numerous slight
veins of oil that oozed up along the bed of Oil Creek, the thought
occurred to him that, by tracing these little veins to their source, the
main artery might be reached. And as this tracing must be through the
rock, the proper plan would be to bore down through it, until a large
vein was reached. This was certainly professional, and, now that it has
been tested, seems a very plain and simple idea. But it was like the
theory of Columbus in regard to a new continent, entirely too bold for
the times, and was rejected. There was in this physician's theory but
one link lacking in order to have anticipated the entire scheme of oil
production as it was afterward generally carried on. The thought did not
occur to him of leasing the lands along Oil Creek, and thus securing an
interest in the entire territory: he thought only of purchasing, and as
he could not command the capital for this purpose, the scheme was lost,
as far as he was concerned. The idea was however a brilliant one, and
entitled its originator to be classed among the long line of those who
have dreamed without realizing the vision, and who have sown precious
seed without being permitted to reap the harvest.

In the mean time, artificial oil had begun to be produced in large
quantities from different minerals, principally, however, from cannel
coal, by the process of destructive distillation. This oil was refined
and deodorized, and found to be a valuable illuminator. A spirit of
inquiry and investigation was excited. It was ascertained that this
artificial oil, the product of distillation, was almost identical in its
properties with the natural oil of the valleys--that the latter might be
purified and deodorized, and if found in sufficient quantities, prove a
source of wealth to the country. The enterprise of bygone ages in the
excavation of oil pits was considered by many, but the process seemed
tedious, and, in addition, the finest portions of the oil were in danger
of passing off by evaporation.

The grand idea, however, was struggling toward the light. If the oil,
now so greatly desired, bubbled up through concealed clefts in the
rocks, why might it not be discovered in large quantities by boring in
supposed localities deep into the rock that was conjectured to be its
home? And if found in some localities while boring for salt water, why
not expect to find it more certainly in localities where there were
discovered such decided 'surface appearances'?

The work was finally commenced by Colonel E. L. Drake, near the upper
oil springs on Oil Creek, by boring in the rock. But it was labor
pursued under difficulties. To have announced the intention of boring
for petroleum into the bowels of the earth, would have been to provoke
mirth and ridicule. The enterprise would have appeared quite as
visionary as that of Noah to the antediluvians in building his ark
against an anticipated inundation. It was generally supposed that the
search was for salt water; and perhaps the idea was a complex one even
in the mind of the proprietor. Oil was desirable, salt was within the
reach of probability; if the former failed, the latter might probably be
secured; and if neither object was attained, the search for salt would
be considered neither visionary nor disreputable.

But the work went forward, through good report and through evil report,
particularly the latter, until August 26th, 1859, when, at the depth of
seventy feet, the drill suddenly sank into a cavity in the rock, when
there was immediate evidence of the presence of oil in large quantities.
It was like the cry of 'Land ho!' amid the weary, disheartened mariners
that accompanied Columbus to the Western World. The goal had been
reached at last. A pathway had been opened up through the rocks,
leading, not to universal empire, but to realms of wealth hitherto
unknown. Providence had literally forced upon men's attention that which
should fill many dwellings with light, and many hearts with gladness.

Upon withdrawing the drill from the well, the oil and water rose nearly
to the surface. The question was now to be tested whether the petroleum
would present itself in sufficient quantities to justify further
proceedings, or whether it was, like many another dream, to vanish in
darkness, or dissolve in tears. The well was tubed, and by a common hand
pump yielded ten barrels per day. By means of a more powerful pump,
worked by a small engine, this quantity was increased to forty barrels
per day. The supply was uninterrupted, the engine working day and night,
and the question was considered settled. This oil well immediately
became the centre of attraction. It was visited by hundreds and
thousands, all eager to see for themselves, and test by actual
experiment, the wondrous stories that had been related concerning its
enormous yield, by counting the seconds that elapsed during the yield of
a single gallon.

The fortune of the valley of Oil Creek was now settled, and the prices
of land throughout its whole extent immediately became fabulous.
Sometimes entire farms were sold, but generally they were leased in very
small lots. In some cases the operator was required to give one half and
even five eighths of the product, besides a handsome bonus, to the
proprietor of the soil. The work now commenced in earnest. A tide of
speculators began to set in toward the oil region, that would have
overpowered that of California or Australia in their palmiest days.

The excitement did not stop at the valley of Oil Creek. It extended down
the Alleghany to Franklin, and up the valley of French Creek, which
enters the Alleghany seven miles below the mouth of Oil Creek. Wells
were sunk at all these points, and many of them yielded from three to
forty barrels per day. In the course of the summer succeeding the first
successful experiment on Oil Creek, there were not less than two hundred
wells in different stages of progress in the town of Franklin alone.
Wells were being bored in gardens, in dooryards, and even in some cases
in the bottoms of wells from which water had been procured for household
purposes. So numerous were the tall 'derricks,' that a profane riverman
made the remark that the people of Franklin must be remarkably pious, as
almost every man seemed to be building a meeting house with a tall
steeple near his dwelling. At one time there were in Franklin fifteen
productive wells, yielding a daily aggregate of one hundred and forty
barrels. Among these were what was known as 'the celebrated Evans well.'
This was, in some respects, the most remarkable well in all the region.
It was sunk by its proprietor in the bottom of the well that had long
been used for household purposes. An humble house and lot constituted
his entire worldly possessions. The work in the well was performed
entirely by his own family. Being a blacksmith, he constructed his own
boring implements, and was dependent on no outside assistance. Patiently
and assiduously did the blacksmith and his two sons toil on, as they had
seldom toiled before, the former guiding the drill, and the latter
applying the power by hand to the simple machinery. At the depth of only
forty feet in the rock they struck a crevice that promised to pour them
out rivers of oil. In attempting to enlarge this, the drill broke, the
fragment remaining in the cavity, and defying every effort used for its
removal. The well was then tubed, and a hand pump inserted, when it was
found to yield at the rate of ten or fifteen barrels per day.
Speculation soon began to run wild, and the fortunate owner of this
well, among other propositions, received an offer of fifty thousand
dollars for his well. To all these tempting offers he persistently
returned the same reply--that he had bored that well for his own use,
and that if others wished a well, they could do as he had done.

Oil was generally obtained in the valley around Franklin at the depth of
about three hundred feet from the surface, for pumping wells; in the
valley of Oil Creek the same stratum was reached at about half that
depth. In all these wells, whether successful as oil wells or not, a
strong body of salt water was obtained, that added greatly to the
facility of separating the oil by its increased gravity. Hitherto the
business had been pursued with advantage and profit to those who were
engaged. The demand was steady and prices remunerative, and visions of
untold wealth were looming up before the minds of thousands. Prospecting
was extending far and near. Every stream and ravine that deflected
toward the Alleghany or Oil Creek was leased, and in very many
unpropitious localities operations were commenced.

But a change now took place in the development of oil proceedings that
wrought ruin in the hopes of many an ardent operator. In the Oil Creek
region, some of the smaller wells having been exhausted, resort was had
to deeper boring. One hopeful theorist imagined that if the desirable
fluid came from a very great depth, it might be good policy to seek it
in a stratum still nearer its rocky home. So down he penetrated,
regardless of the 'fine show' of oil that presented itself by the way,
until at the depth of five hundred feet in the rock, a vein of mingled
gas and oil was reached that literally forced the boring implements from
the well. This sudden exodus of the implements was followed by a steady
stream of petroleum that rose to the height of sixty or seventy feet
above the surface, and was occasionally accompanied by a roaring noise
like the Geysers of Iceland.

Here was a new feature in oil operations. The idea of flowing wells for
the production of petroleum, once inaugurated, was seized upon with
avidity. There was not only a spontaneous yield, but a yield in enormous
quantities. And so a pumping well was voted a slow institution, and all
parties on Oil Creek renewed the operation of boring, and, at about the
depth of the first flowing well, obtained almost uniformly like success.

These flowing wells were almost as difficult to govern and regulate as
was Pegasus of old. They 'played fantastic tricks' when least expected,
throwing the oil over the workmen, and in one case, when the vein of
petroleum was suddenly opened, setting fire to the machinery, and
destroying the lives of those in the vicinity. The enormous yield of
these wells had the effect of bringing down the price of petroleum to so
low a figure that pumping wells were at once closed. They could not be
worked with profit. Hence almost the entire oil business has, for the
present at least, been confined to the valley of Oil Creek. The yield
from the flowing wells varies from fifty to two thousand barrels per
day. This, as may readily be supposed, involves the loss by wastage of
immense quantities of oil, that is scattered on the ground and runs into
the creek. So great is this waste at times, that the oil is gathered in
quantities on the surface of the Alleghany for a distance of eight or
ten miles below the mouth of Oil Creek, in the eddies, and along the
still water of the shore, and is distinctly perceptible at Pittsburg, a
distance of one hundred and forty miles from the wells.

Notwithstanding these wells are confined to a very narrow valley, and in
many instances in very close proximity, it is very rare that they
interfere with each other. In fact cases are known where two wells have
been bored within forty feet of each other, with the discovery of oil at
different depths, and even of different qualities, as regards color and
gravity. In some instances the well has all the characteristics of an
intermittent spring. One in particular may be specified for the
regularity of its operations. It would remain quiescent for about
fifteen minutes, when there would be heard the sound as of fearful
agitation far down in its depths. This rumbling and strife would then
appear to approach the surface for a few moments, when the petroleum
would rush forth from the orifice, mingled with gas and foam, almost
with the fury of a round shot from a rifled cannon. This furious flow
would continue for fifteen or twenty minutes, when it would suddenly
subside, and all would be peace again. This alternate rest and motion
would continue with great regularity day and night, yielding perhaps one
hundred and fifty barrels per day. In other instances, there are
interruptions of days and even weeks, when the flow will be continued as
before. In others still, the yield is steady and uninterrupted, yielding
with unvarying regularity from week to week.

The oil region of Venango County, as far as has been explored, is
confined to the creek and river bottoms. In connection with wells that
have been opened, there is a superincumbent stratum of earth, varying
from ten to sixty feet in thickness: underlying this is a stratum of
argillaceous shale, generally about one hundred and eighty feet in
thickness, and then a stratum of white sandstone. Sometimes this
sandstone is intermingled with red, presenting a ruddy appearance as the
sand is withdrawn from the well in the process of boring.

Occasionally in passing through the shale, small fissures in the rock
are passed through, with circumstances indicating the presence of a
stratum or vein of water, as at such times the sand accumulated in
boring all disappears, leaving the bits clean and bright. At other times
small veins or cavities of petroleum are pierced, the product of which
rises to the surface of the well, and indicates its presence by
appearing in the sand pump. In the earlier stages of the business this
'show of oil,' as it was termed, was considered most favorable to
ultimate success; but latterly it is not regarded as essential, as many
first-class wells have been discovered without the intermediate show;
and on the other hand, there has been many a brilliant show that has
resulted in failure and disappointment.

The presence of surface oil is not always a sure criterion in deciding
upon a location for a well. Oftentimes very fine wells are opened in
localities where no oil has been found on the surface, and no appearance
of oil having been obtained at any previous time in the neighborhood.
Perhaps the most unsuccessful operations in the whole Oil Creek valley
have been in the midst of the ancient pits that have already been
alluded to. Wells have been bored in the bottom of these pits without
the least success. At a point near the bank of the Alleghany, some two
miles above Franklin, there was a well-known oil spring some forty years
ago. It supplied the family that lived near it as well as the
surrounding neighborhood with petroleum for medical and other domestic
purposes to the extent of their wants. For many years the supply has
entirely failed. During a recent excavation, at the precise spot where
it was known formerly to exist, for the purpose of laying the abutment
of a bridge, no trace of oil was found--not even a discoloration of the

Of course the boring of wells has become quite an institution in the oil
region, and is carried on with great system. After selecting a site, the
first thing in order is the erection of a derrick. This is a frame in
the form of a truncated pyramid, about ten feet square at the bottom,
and five at the top, having one of its four posts pierced with rounds to
answer the purpose of a ladder, by means of which the workmen can ascend
and descend. This derrick is from twenty to thirty feet in height, and
has at its summit a pulley, by means of which the boring implements are
drawn from the well. A pit is then sunk through the earth within the
derrick, about six feet square, until the work is interrupted by water.
The remaining distance to the rock is reached by driving strong
cast-iron pipe by means of a battering ram. This pipe has a caliber of
about five inches, with walls of one inch in thickness. It is prepared
in joints of about eight feet in length, which are connected together at
the point of contact by wrought-iron bands. When the pipe reaches the
rock, the earth is removed from its cavity, and the operation of boring
is ready to be commenced. Occasionally, however, this driving operation
is interrupted by coming upon a huge bowlder. When this is the case, the
boring operation is commenced, and a hole made through the bowlder
nearly equal in size to the cavity of the pipe, when the driving is
resumed, and the pipe made to ream its way through the stone. Sometimes
in these operations the pipe is fractured, or turned aside from a
perpendicular direction, when the place is abandoned and a new location
sought for.

The boring implements do not differ materially from those used in
sinking artesian wells. As a general thing, bits of two or three sizes
are used, the first and smallest of which only has a cutting edge. If
the hole to be sunk through the rock is to be four inches in diameter,
the bits would be, first, one with a cutting edge two inches in width;
secondly, a blunt bit, three inches wide by one inch in thickness; and
lastly, by a similar bit four inches wide. These bits have a shank about
two feet in length, that is screwed into an auger stem ten or twelve
feet in length and about one inch and a half in diameter. Connected with
this auger stem is an arrangement called, technically, 'jars'--two
elongated loops of iron, working in each other like links in a chain,
that serve to jar the bit loose when it sticks fast in the process of

Sometimes this auger stem is connected with wooden rods, joined together
with screws and sockets, new joints being added as the work proceeds;
but more generally the connection is with a rope or cable of about one
and a half inches in diameter. To this rope the auger stem is attached
by a clamp and screw, that can be readily shifted as the progress of the
work renders it necessary. The entire weight of these implements is from
four to six hundred pounds. The power applied is sometimes that of two
or three men working by means of a spring pole; but oftener a steam
engine of from four to eight horse power. Midway between the well and
the engine a post is planted, on which is balanced a working beam about
sixteen feet in length: one end of this beam is attached to the crank of
the engine, and the other to the implements in the well. The power is
applied to raising the bit--the blow is produced by the fall of the same
when relieved by the downward motion of the working beam.

In the process of boring, the workman is seated over the well, and, by a
transverse handle attached to the machinery just above the rope, turns
the rope, and with it the bit, partially around, so that each stroke of
the bit on the rock beneath is slightly across the cut that has preceded
it. After the fore bit has proceeded about two feet, or until the work
begins to clog with sand, it is withdrawn, and the next is inserted in
its place, and the work is then finished as it goes by the last bit. The
fragments of rock that are cut away descend to the bottom of the well in
the form of sand, and are readily withdrawn by means of the sand pump.
This is a simple copper tube about six feet in length, with a diameter
something less than that of the well, and furnished at the lower end
with a simple valve opening upward. This pump is let down into the well
by a rope, and, when it reaches the bottom, is agitated for a few
moments, when the sand is forced up through the valve, and thus
withdrawn from the well, when the boring is again resumed.

As the work proceeds, a register is kept by the judicious borer of the
different strata passed through, and also of the veins of water and oil
passed through, in order to the formation of an intelligent judgment in
tubing the well.

As might be supposed, this operation of descending amid the rocks is not
without its difficulties and discouragements. Sometimes the bit breaks
or becomes detached from the auger stem, leaving a fragment of hardened
steel, or an entire bit, deep in the recesses of the rock. When the
latter is the case, recourse is had to divers expedients, by means of
implements armed with sockets and spring jaws, in order to entrap the
truant bit. And it is marvellous what success generally attends these
efforts to extract bits that are oftentimes two or three hundred feet
below the surface. Sometimes, however, these efforts fail, and the well
must be abandoned, with all the labor and anxiety that have been
expended upon it.

During the progress of the boring there is more or less carburetted
hydrogen gas set free. This supply is so abundant at times as to cause
an ebullition in the water of the well, resembling the boiling of a pot.
In the case of the flowing wells, when the vein of petroleum is reached,
the gas rushes forth with such violence, and the upward pressure is so
furious, as to force the implements from the well, and even the tubing,
when not properly secured, has been driven through the derrick in its
upward progress.

After the boring has been successfully accomplished, the next operation
consists in tubing the well. This is merely the introduction of a copper
or iron chamber, extending down, or nearly so, to the vein of the oil.
This tubing is, for the pumping and larger-class flowing wells, usually
about two and a half or three inches in diameter, consisting of sections
about twenty feet in length, and connected together by means of screw
and socket joints. As there are usually many veins of water passed
through in boring, some device must be resorted to in order to shut off
this water from the oil vein and produce a vacuum. This is accomplished
by applying what is called a 'seed bag' to the tube at the point where
this stoppage is desirable. The seed bag is a tube of strong leather
some eighteen inches in length and about five inches in diameter. It is
put around the metallic tube and the lower end firmly tied around it.
From a pint to a quart of flaxseed is then poured in, and the upper end
bound rather more slightly than the lower, when the tube is sunk to its
place in the well. In a few hours the flaxseed in the sack below will
have swollen and distended the bag so as to effectually shut off all
water from above. When it is desirable to withdraw the tubing from the
well, the effort of raising it will break the slight fastening at the
upper end of the leathern sack, permitting the seed to escape and the
tube to be withdrawn without difficulty. When the well is to be pumped,
a pump barrel is placed at the lower end of the tube, with piston rods
extending to the top and attached to the working beam used in boring the

As the petroleum is ordinarily mixed with more or less water when
brought to the surface, it is thrown first into a tank, and the superior
gravity of the water causing it to sink to the bottom, it is drawn off
from beneath, and the petroleum placed in barrels. These tanks are of
all sizes, ranking from thirty to two thousand barrels each.

For the present, wells that were formerly pumped at a profit are biding
their time; for at present prices of oil operations upon them would be
ruinous. This renders the computation of the weekly yield of the Oil
Creek region comparatively easy. There are at the present time not far
from one hundred flowing wells along the valley of the creek, producing
probably on an average about forty thousand barrels per week. A portion
of this is refined in the county, but by far the largest part is shipped
to a distance, either by the Alleghany River by way of Pittsburg, or by
the Philadelphia and Erie or Atlantic and Great Western Railroads to the
Eastern markets.

The necessities of the trade have given rise to many ingenious
inventions in getting the oil to market. The wells extend along Oil
Creek for a distance of about fourteen miles from its mouth. The ground
is not favorable for land carriage, as the valley is narrow and the
stream tortuous. The creek itself is too small for navigation under
ordinary circumstances, and a railroad with steam power would be in the
highest degree dangerous. To compensate for all these difficulties, a
system of artificial navigation has been adopted. Throughout the whole
distance, at intervals of perhaps a mile, dams have been constructed
across the creek, with draws in the centre, that can be easily opened
at the proper time. In this way 'pond freshets' are arranged one or two
days in a week. By the appointed time, all persons having oil to run out
of the creek have their boats ready, and as the water from the upper dam
raises the creek below, the fleet of boats sets out. Each successive dam
raises the water to a higher level, and as the fleet proceeds, small at
first, it increases until, as it approaches the river, it often numbers
two hundred boats, bearing with them not less than ten thousand barrels
of petroleum.

The advent of this fleet of boats to the mouth of the creek is in the
highest degree exciting. As boat after boat rushes into the river, there
is the dashing to and fro of the boatmen, and the shouts of the
multitude on the shore. Here and there a collision occurs that often
results in the crushing of the feebler boat, and the indiscriminate
mingling of boatmen, fragments of the broken craft, oil, and fixtures in
one common ruin. In this fleet the form and variety of boats beggars all
description. Sometimes there is the orthodox flatboat, filled with
iron-bound barrels, with an air of respectability hovering around it.
Next will follow a rude scow, and close upon it an unwieldy 'bulk,' into
which the oil has been pumped at the well. After this, perhaps, may be
seen a rude nondescript, that surely was never dreamed of outside the
oil region. It consists of a series of rough ladders, constructed of
tall saplings. Between each pair of rounds in these ladders is placed a
barrel of oil, floating in the water, but kept in position by its
hamper. A number of these ladders are lashed together, until the float
contains two or three hundred barrels of oil.

The bulks spoken of are about sixteen feet square and two or three feet
in depth, divided internally into bulk-heads of perhaps four feet
square, to prevent any undue agitation of the oil by the motion of the
boat, and are sometimes decked over. These unpromising boats, as well as
the ladder floats, are, during favorable weather, often run to Pittsburg
with entire safety. Steamboats, however, run up to the mouth of Oil
Creek during the time of high water, and afford the safest and most
expeditious means of transportation.

As to the abundance of the supply in this region, there can be but
little doubt. Wells seem at times to become exhausted, but it is from
local causes. At times a cavity may be tapped that has been supplied
from a very small avenue, and may be readily exhausted, but exhausted
only to be refilled again. The fact that wells do not interfere with
each other, even when but fifty feet apart, is evidence that the supply
is not confined to a limited stratum, but is drawn from the great deeps
beneath. The existence of the ancient oil pits, before alluded to,
assures us that the supply has been continued for centuries; and
observation confirms this, as we have noticed the hitherto unused
treasure bubbling up silently through the crevices in the rocks and
gradually evaporating amid the sands, or arising in the beds of the
streams and floating down upon their surface. The history of the
petroleum trade in other lands encourages us as to the abundance of the
supply in our own. In the northern part of Italy, petroleum has been
collected for more than two hundred years, without any intimation that
the supply is being exhausted. In Burmah a supply has been drawn from
the earth for an unknown period, and so far are these wells from
exhaustion that they yield at the present time over twenty-five millions
of gallons per annum. We may well suppose, then, that the treasure
brought to light in such abundance in our day will not be readily
exhausted--that as the coals are found in illimitable abundance for fuel
as the forests fail, petroleum for illuminating purposes will be found
in like profusion.

We have said that the petroleum trade has known no infancy, but has
sprung at once into maturity. The oil wells of Venango County alone
produced, during the first year of their operation, more oil than the
entire product of the whale fisheries during the most favorable and
prosperous year in their history. At the present time, after a lapse of
little more than two years, the daily product of the wells on Oil Creek
alone is computed to be over six thousand barrels. And in this
neighborhood the quantity might be wellnigh doubled, were it not for the
low price the product commands.

Petroleum differs in its characteristics in different localities. It is
usually heavier in the shallow wells than in those that are deeper.
Ordinarily it is of a greenish hue, that changes to a reddish as the oil
becomes lighter and more evaporative. It is all characterized by a
strong and pungent odor peculiar to itself. The gravity of the various
kinds of oil is ascertained by the oleometer. The lighter oils are found
on Oil Creek, and are about 40° to 46° Baumé; at Franklin, from 30° to

It is difficult to speak of the uses of petroleum at the present time,
for these uses have not yet been fully developed. In its refined state
it is preëminent as an illuminator. In this character it yields the palm
to gas in matters of convenience and neatness, but is superior to it on
the score of general adaptation and economy. Besides, the quality of the
light is superior to that of gas, being soft, mild, tranquil, and
exceedingly white. In the rural districts, where coal gas is
impracticable, it would be an intolerable calamity to be obliged to
return to the use of the old tallow candle that was the main dependence
in years gone by. As an article of fuel, it has been used to some extent
in the oil regions, but the appliances have been so rude that its use
has not been general. When proper machinery shall have been invented, no
doubt it will be a most important item of fuel in ocean navigation as
well as in railway travel, conducing alike to economy of space and to
ease of manipulation.

In the manufacture of gas it has already been brought into successful
use, both in this country and in England, and has been found most
valuable alike in the quality of the product and in the economy of its

As a medicinal agent it has long been employed in this country. It was
used by the Indians in this way when the country was first discovered.
It was also held in high estimation by the early settlers in what are
now called the oil regions, for the medication of cuts and bruises, as
well as an internal curative. It formed the staple of the British and
American oils that were sold largely and at high rates throughout the
country. It is a remarkable fact that since the quantity has increased
so largely the popular faith has been correspondingly weakened in its
medical efficacy.

Further uses are developed in the process of refining. This latter is
exceedingly simple. The crude oil is placed in an iron retort connected
with a coil of pipe in a vessel of cold water. Heat is then applied to
the retort, when the process of distillation commences. The first
product is a light-colored, volatile substance, sometimes called
naphtha, that is very explosive. This substance is used in the place of
spirits of turpentine in the preparation of paints and varnishes, and,
after further treatment, in removing paints and grease from clothing.
The next product from the retort is the refined fluid for illumination.
This is of a yellow color, with a bluish tinge and powerful odor,
requiring further treatment before it is ready for the lamp. This
treatment consists in placing it in a cistern lined with lead, and
agitating it with a portion of sulphuric acid. The acid and impurities
having subsided, the oil is drawn off, and further agitated with soda
lye, and finally with water, when it is ready for use. After this a
coarse oil for the lubrication of machinery is produced. Paraffine is
another product resulting from this distillation. It is a white,
tasteless, and inodorous substance, used in the manufacture of candles.
The residuum in the retort may be applied to various useful purposes. It
is sometimes used as fuel, and sometimes takes the place of coal tar in
the arts, and by chemical processes is made to yield products useful in
the laboratory and in the manufactory.

But the æsthetics connected with this distillation must not be passed by
in silence. On a bright, sunshiny day we see a bright globule of
petroleum rising from the bottom of the stream. As it reaches the
surface of the water it disperses, and, as it glides away, all the
colors of the rainbow are reflected from its undulating surface.

  'What radiant changes strike th' astonished sight!
   What glowing hues of mingled shade and light!
   Not equal beauties gild the lucid west
   With parting beams o'er all profusely drest,
   Not lovelier colors paint the vernal dawn,
   When Orient dews impearl th' enamelled lawn,
   Than in its waves in bright suffusion flow,
   That now with gold empyreal seem to glow;
   Now in pellucid sapphires meet the view,
   And emulate the soft celestial hue;
   Now beams a flaming crimson on the eye,
   And now assume the purple's deeper dye.
   But here description clouds each shining ray--
   What terms of art can Nature's powers display?'

We gaze upon those colors, ever changing in their lustre and variety,
until imagination revels in its most delightful dreams, suggesting
thoughts of the good and beautiful, and reminding how beauty lingers
amid the most unpromising things of earth! And just as the bow that
spans the mantling cloud reminds us of all beautiful things that glow
around its antitype that spans the emerald throne on high, so, as we
gaze upon the prismatic tints that are reflected from the oily surface,
we dream of all that is beautiful in color and gorgeous in tinted
radiance, as being hidden amid the elements of petroleum.

This dream has its fulfilment amid the processes of distillation and
treatment. One product in these processes is called aniline, that is,
the base of those beautiful colors so popular with ladies these last
days--Mauve, Magenta, and Solferino. And in process of time, no doubt,
the most delicate colors for flower and landscape painting will be
educed, that will give a new impetus to the fine arts, and to the
development of taste in our midst.

And now where shall we look for the origin of this treasure? From what
elements is it elaborated? We cannot go with the great Chemist to his
laboratory and look upon the ingredients, and notice the treatment used
there. Science, although denominated the 'star eyed,' cannot penetrate
the mighty strata of everlasting rocks that lie beneath us, and reveal
to us these mysteries of nature. 'There is a path which no fowl knoweth,
and which the vulture's eye hath not seen: the lion's whelps have not
trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed by it. He putteth forth His hand
upon the rock; he overturneth the mountains by the roots. He cutteth out
rivers among the rocks; and His eye seeth every precious thing. He
bindeth the floods from overflowing; and the thing that is hid, bringeth
He forth to light.'

Nature has her mysteries. The earth has its great secrets. But over all,
a God of wisdom and goodness presides. Age after age has rolled
by--change after change has agitated the history of Time, as forms of
beauty have been moulded and marred--as songs of joy have been sung, and
requiems of sadness chanted in the great highways and quiet bypaths of
life--the living of bygone ages are slumbering quietly in the dust, and
the living of the present are hurrying to the same 'pale realms of
shade.' The nations of antiquity have passed off the stage with all
their grandeur and littleness, and the nations of more modern times are
surging and dashing to and fro, like ships in the wild chaos of ocean's
storms. God alone is great!

Changes, too, have been quietly going on beneath us in the earth's
bosom. A great dream of science, but perhaps an earnest, glowing
reality, suggests that when God's almighty power was rolling away the
curtains of darkness from earth's chaotic state--forming channels for
oceans and rivers, and heaving up as barriers the mountain chains of
earth, His eternal prescience of man's coming need induced Him to bury
deep down in subterranean recesses the imperfect vegetable organisms of
a pre-Adamic state, that in the ages to come, coals and oils and gases
might be drawn forth to supply his wants.

We find in the coal deposits traces of ferns and leaves of gigantic
stature and proportions. Casts of huge boles of trees are found among
our fossils, inducing the belief that in some bygone age quantities of
vegetable matter, absolutely enormous, were produced on the earth's
surface. And it is presumable that in some of the revolutions that have
agitated our planet, renovating, improving, and fitting it for a higher
order of life, mighty deposits of this vegetable matter were buried up
amid the rocky strata, to be evolved in new forms and products. And it
may be that since the days of Adam this vegetable deposit has been
undergoing the process of destructive distillation in the hidden regions
beneath. In this process heat would not be wanting: it is furnished by
the natural constitution of the earth.

Says Professor Hitchcock:

     'Wherever in Europe or America the temperature of the air, water,
     rocks, in deep excavations, has been ascertained, it has been found
     higher than the mean temperature of the climate at the surface, and
     experiments have been made at hundreds of places; it is found that
     the heat of the earth increases rapidly as we descend below that
     point in the earth's crust to which the sun's heat extends. The
     mean rate of increase of heat has been stated by the British
     Association to be one degree of Fahrenheit's thermometer for every
     forty-five feet: at this rate all the known rocks in the earth
     would be melted at a depth of sixty miles.'

Here, then, are all the conditions necessary to the production of
petroleum. The vegetable deposit was made amid the rocks--we know not
when; internal heat has been decomposing that matter, and setting free
its gases; these again have been condensed as they approached the
surface, and have filled up the cavities, and accumulated amid the
rocks, until in these last days the earth has literally poured us out
rivers of oil.

Still all this is mere speculation. The hidden path yet remains
unexplored. It may always remain so; but we have the great fact of
Divine providence in the rich and copious supply, that is none the less
valuable because it flows from an unknown source, and comes to us
through unexplored channels.


  Two angels sat on a war-cloud, watching the din of the fight,
  One was an angel of darkness, and one was an angel of light.
  The first looked down and smiled, with fearful, fiendish glee:
  'Of all earth's sights,' he shouted, 'this is the one for me!
  Where is your God in heaven? and where on earth is your Christ?
  What have your laws and your gospels, your churches and sabbaths sufficed--
  That here in this freest land, and now in this ripest age,
  Men give up reason and manhood for brutal fury and rage?
  Men who have prattled of peace, of brotherhood, freedom, and right!
  Here is a thirst which is deeper! See how your Christians can fight!
  Louder than savages' war-whoop, fiercer than savages' ire,
  List to the din of their cannon, look on its murderous fire.
  These be thy triumphs, O Freedom! Christendom, this is thy good!
  Deadliest weapons of warfare, earth's reddest vintage of blood;
  The fate of states and nations, the fate of freedom and right
  Staked on the nerve of a man, poised on a cannon ball's flight;
  A land of widows and orphans, a land of mourning and pain,
  Whose air is heavy with sighs, whose soil is red with the slain.
  Say, Earth, art thou drawing nearer that age, the promised of yore,
  When swords shall be beaten to ploughshares, and war be learned no more?
  Is the Prince of Peace appearing of whom your prophets tell?
  Lo, here is the Prince of Darkness, and here is the reign of Hell.'

  And the angel laughed in scorn, and said, in his fearful glee:
  'Aha, of all earth's sights, this is the one for me.'

  The other angel spake, and his face was fair and bright,
  'And of all earth's sights to me this is the noblest sight.
  At the touch of a hand profane laid on its sacred things,
  Countless as heaven's bright army, to arms a nation springs.
  Thousands of peaceful homes give up their cherished ones,
  Young wives give up their bridegrooms, old mothers give their sons;
  Manhood gives up its work, and eager youth its dream:
  The reign of sense is over, the spirit rules supreme.
  No victims of brute rage, no hirelings trained to fight,
  But men in calmest manhood, fresh from the hearthstone's light.
  This right arm, maimed and crippled, was dedicate to art;
  All high and noble purpose beat with that pulseless heart;
  Pure bridal kisses linger upon this gory brow;
  On those fair curls a mother's blessing rested even now:
  Such men,--the best and dearest, the very life of life,
  Earth has no ransom for them,--have hastened to the strife.
  'The nobler days have come when men must do and die,'
  Methinks I hear them say, with calm, uplifted eye:
  'Our human lives are nothing; thy will, great God, is all;
  We come to work thy work, we have heard the heavenly call;

  Thy right hand holdeth chance, thy strong arm ruleth fate,
  To thee, the God of battles, our lives are consecrate.
  Not at the foeman's call, not to the foeman's sword,
  But we come at the disposal and the summons of the Lord.'

  'This,' said the second angel, and his smile was fair to see,
  'Of all the sights on earth is the noblest one to me;
  No brutelike men are these, nay, rather to my eyes,
  Men raised to angels' heights of calm self-sacrifice.'
  Yet he wept, and weeping prayed, 'Oh, may these sons of men
  Keep faith and strength and patience, till thou comest, Christ, again!'



A low English phaeton was drawn up before the door of the post office of
a French seaport town. In it was seated a lady, with her veil down and
her parasol held closely over her face. My story begins with a gentleman
coming out of the office and handing her a letter.

He stood beside the carriage a moment before getting in. She gave him
her parasol to hold, and then lifted her veil, showing a very pretty
face. This couple seemed to be full of interest for the passers by, most
of whom stared hard and exchanged significant glances. Such persons as
were looking on at the moment saw the lady turn very pale as her eyes
fell on the direction of the letter. Her companion saw it too, and
instantly stepping into the place beside her, took up the reins, and
drove rapidly along the main street of the town, past the harbor, to an
open road skirting the sea. Here he slackened pace. The lady was leaning
back, with her veil down again, and the letter lying open in her lap.
Her attitude was almost that of unconsciousness, and he could see that
her eyes were closed. Having satisfied himself of this, he hastily
possessed himself of the letter, and read as follows:

SOUTHAMPTON, _July 16th, 18--._

MY DEAR HORTENSE: You will see by my postmark that I am a
thousand leagues nearer home than when I last wrote, but I have hardly
time to explain the change. M. P---- has given me a most unlooked-for
_congé_. After so many months of separation, we shall be able to spend a
few weeks together. God be praised! We got in here from New York this
morning, and I have had the good luck to find a vessel, the _Armorique_,
which sails straight for H----. The mail leaves directly, but we shall
probably be detained a few hours by the tide; so this will reach you a
day before I arrive: the master calculates we shall get in early
Thursday morning. Ah, Hortense! how the time drags! Three whole days. If
I did not write from New York, it is because I was unwilling to torment
you with an expectancy which, as it is, I venture to hope, you will find
long enough. Farewell. To a warmer greeting! Your devoted C.B.

When the gentleman replaced the paper on his companion's lap, his face
was almost as pale as hers. For a moment he gazed fixedly and vacantly
before him, and a half-suppressed curse escaped his lips. Then his eyes
reverted to his neighbor. After some hesitation, during which he allowed
the reins to hang so loose that the horse lapsed into a walk, he touched
her gently on the shoulder.

'Well, Hortense,' said he, in a very pleasant tone, 'what's the matter;
have you fallen asleep?'

Hortense slowly opened her eyes, and, seeing that they had left the town
behind them, raised her veil. Her features were stiffened with horror.

'Read that,' said she, holding out the open letter.

The gentleman took it, and pretended to read it again.

'Ah! M. Bernier returns. Delightful!' he exclaimed.

'How, delightful?' asked Hortense; 'we mustn't jest at so serious a
crisis, my friend.'

'True,' said the other, 'it will be a solemn meeting. Two years of
absence is a great deal.'

'O Heaven! I shall never dare to face him,' cried Hortense, bursting
into tears.

Covering her face with one hand, she put out the other toward that of
her friend. But he was plunged in so deep a reverie, that he did not
perceive the movement. Suddenly he came to, aroused by her sobs.

'Come, come,' said he, in the tone of one who wishes to coax another
into mistrust of a danger before which he does not himself feel so
secure but that the sight of a companion's indifference will give him
relief. 'What if he does come? He need learn nothing. He will stay but a
short time, and sail away again as unsuspecting as he came.'

'Learn nothing! You surprise me. Every tongue that greets him, if only
to say _bon jour_, will wag to the tune of a certain person's

'Bah! People don't think about us quite as much as you fancy. You and I,
_n'est-ce-pas_? we have little time to concern ourselves about our
neighbors' failings. Very well, other people are in the same box, better
or worse. When a ship goes to pieces on those rocks out at sea, the poor
devils who are pushing their way to land on a floating spar, don't
bestow many glances on those who are battling with the waves beside
them. Their eyes are fastened to the shore, and all their care is for
their own safety. In life we are all afloat on a tumultuous sea; we are
all struggling toward some _terra firma_ of wealth or love or leisure.
The roaring of the waves we kick up about us and the spray we dash into
our eyes deafen and blind us to the sayings and doings of our fellows.
Provided we climb high and dry, what do we care for them?'

'Ay, but if we don't? When we've lost hope ourselves, we want to make
others sink. We hang weights about their necks, and dive down into the
dirtiest pools for stones to cast at them. My friend, you don't feel the
shots which are not aimed at you. It isn't of you the town talks, but of
me: a poor woman throws herself off the pier yonder, and drowns before a
kind hand has time to restrain her, and her corpse floats over the water
for all the world to look at. When her husband comes up to see what the
crowd means, is there any lack of kind friends to give him the good news
of his wife's death?'

'As long as a woman is light enough to float, Hortense, she is not
counted drowned. It's only when she sinks out of sight that they give
her up.'

Hortense was silent a moment, looking at the sea with swollen eyes.

'Louis,' she said at last, 'we were speaking metaphorically: I have half
a mind to drown myself literally.'

'Nonsense!' replied Louis; 'an accused pleads 'not guilty,' and hangs
himself in prison. What do the papers say? People talk, do they? Can't
you talk as well as they? A woman is in the wrong from the moment she
holds her tongue and refuses battle. And that you do too often. That
pocket handkerchief is always more or less of a flag of truce.'

'I'm sure I don't know,' said Hortense indifferently; 'perhaps it is.'

There are moments of grief in which certain aspects of the subject of
our distress seems as irrelevant as matters entirely foreign to it. Her
eyes were still fastened on the sea. There was another silence. 'O my
poor Charles!' she murmured, at length, 'to what a hearth do you

'Hortense,' said the gentleman, as if he had not heard her, although, to
a third person, it would have appeared that it was because he had done
so that he spoke: 'I do not need to tell you that it will never happen
to me to betray our secret. But I will answer for it that so long as M.
Bernier is at home no mortal shall breathe a syllable of it.'

'What of that?' sighed Hortense. 'He will not be with me ten minutes
without guessing it.'

'Oh, as for that,' said her companion, dryly, 'that's your own affair.'

'Monsieur de Meyrau!' cried the lady.

'It seems to me,' continued the other, 'that in making such a guarantee,
I have done my part of the business.'

'Your part of the business!' sobbed Hortense.

M. de Meyrau made no reply, but with a great cut of the whip sent the
horse bounding along the road. Nothing more was said. Hortense lay back
in the carriage with her face buried in her handkerchief, moaning. Her
companion sat upright, with contracted brows and firmly set teeth,
looking straight before him, and by an occasional heavy lash keeping the
horse at a furious pace. A wayfarer might have taken him for a ravisher
escaping with a victim worn out with resistance. Travellers to whom they
were known would perhaps have seen a deep meaning in this accidental
analogy. So, by a _détour_, they returned to the town.

When Hortense reached home, she went straight up to a little boudoir on
the second floor, and shut herself in. This room was at the back of the
house, and her maid, who was at that moment walking in the long garden
which stretched down to the water, where there was a landing place for
small boats, saw her draw in the window blind and darken the room, still
in her bonnet and cloak. She remained alone for a couple of hours. At
five o'clock, some time after the hour at which she was usually summoned
to dress her mistress for the evening, the maid knocked at Hortense's
door, and offered her services. Madame called out, from within, that she
had a _migraine_, and would not be dressed.

'Can I get anything for madame?' asked Josephine; 'a _tisane_, a warm
drink, something?'

'Nothing, nothing.'

'Will madame dine?'


'Madame had better not go wholly without eating.'

'Bring me a bottle of wine--of brandy.'

Josephine obeyed. When she returned, Hortense was standing in the
doorway, and as one of the shutters had meanwhile been thrown open, the
woman could see that, although her mistress's hat had been tossed upon
the sofa, her cloak had not been removed, and that her face was very
pale. Josephine felt that she might not offer sympathy nor ask

'Will madame have nothing more?' she ventured to say, as she handed her
the tray.

Madame shook her head, and closed and locked the door.

Josephine stood a moment vexed, irresolute, listening. She heard no
sound. At last she deliberately stooped down and applied her eye to the

This is what she saw:

Her mistress had gone to the open window, and stood with her back to the
door, looking out at the sea. She held the bottle by the neck in one
hand, which hung listlessly by her side; the other was resting on a
glass half filled with water, standing, together with an open letter, on
a table beside her. She kept this position until Josephine began to
grow tired of waiting. But just as she was about to arise in despair of
gratifying her curiosity, madame raised the bottle and glass, and filled
the latter full. Josephine looked more eagerly. Hortense held it a
moment against the light, and then drained it down.

Josephine could not restrain an involuntary whistle. But her surprise
became amazement when she saw her mistress prepare to take a second
glass. Hortense put it down, however, before its contents were half
gone, as if struck by a sudden thought, and hurried across the room. She
stooped down before a cabinet, and took out a small opera glass. With
this she returned to the window, put it to her eyes, and again spent
some moments in looking seaward. The purpose of this proceeding
Josephine could not make out. The only result visible to her was that
her mistress suddenly dropped the lorgnette on the table, and sank down
on an armchair, covering her face with her hands.

Josephine could contain her wonderment no longer. She hurried down to
the kitchen.

'Valentine,' said she to the cook, 'what on earth can be the matter with
Madame? She will have no dinner, she is drinking brandy by the glassful,
a moment ago she was looking out to sea with a lorgnette, and now she is
crying dreadfully with an open letter in her lap.'

The cook looked up from her potato-peeling with a significant wink.

'What can it be,' said she, 'but that monsieur returns?'


At six o'clock, Josephine and Valentine were still sitting together,
discussing the probable causes and consequences of the event hinted at
by the latter. Suddenly Madame Bernier's bell rang. Josephine was only
too glad to answer it. She met her mistress descending the stairs,
combed, cloaked, and veiled, with no traces of agitation, but a very
pale face.

'I am going out,' said Madame Bernier; 'if M. le Vicomte comes, tell him
I am at my mother-in-law's, and wish him to wait till I return.'

Josephine opened the door, and let her mistress pass; then stood
watching her as she crossed the court.

'Her mother-in-law's,' muttered the maid; 'she has the face!'

When Hortense reached the street, she took her way, not through the
town, to the ancient quarter where that ancient lady, her husband's
mother, lived, but in a very different direction. She followed the
course of the quay, beside the harbor, till she entered a crowded
region, chiefly the residence of fishermen and boatmen. Here she raised
her veil. Dusk was beginning to fall. She walked as if desirous to
attract as little observation as possible, and yet to examine narrowly
the population in the midst of which she found herself. Her dress was so
plain that there was nothing in her appearance to solicit attention;
yet, if for any reason a passer by had happened to notice her, he could
not have helped being struck by the contained intensity with which she
scrutinized every figure she met. Her manner was that of a person
seeking to recognize a long-lost friend, or perhaps, rather, a long-lost
enemy, in a crowd. At last she stopped before a flight of steps, at the
foot of which was a landing place for half a dozen little boats,
employed to carry passengers between the two sides of the port, at times
when the drawbridge above was closed for the passage of vessels. While
she stood she was witness of the following scene:

A man, in a red woollen fisherman's cap, was sitting on the top of the
steps, smoking the short stump of a pipe, with his face to the water.
Happening to turn about, his eye fell on a little child, hurrying along
the quay toward a dingy tenement close at hand, with a jug in its arms.

'Hullo, youngster!' cried the man; 'what have you got there? Come here.'

The little child looked back, but, instead of obeying, only quickened
its walk.

'The devil take you, come here!' repeated the man, angrily, 'or I'll
wring your beggarly neck. You won't obey your own uncle, eh?'

The child stopped, and ruefully made its way to its relative, looking
around several times toward the house, as if to appeal to some counter

'Come, make haste!' pursued the man, 'or I shall go and fetch you.

The child advanced to within half a dozen paces of the steps, and then
stood still, eyeing the man cautiously, and hugging the jug tight.

'Come on, you little beggar, come up close.'

The youngster kept a stolid silence, however, and did not budge.
Suddenly its self-styled uncle leaned forward, swept out his arm,
clutched hold of its little sunburnt wrist, and dragged it toward him.

'Why didn't you come when you were called?' he asked, running his
disengaged hand into the infant's frowsy mop of hair, and shaking its
head until it staggered. 'Why didn't you come, you unmannerly little
brute, eh?--eh?--eh?' accompanying every interrogation with a renewed

The child made no answer. It simply and vainly endeavored to twist its
neck around under the man's grip, and transmit some call for succor to
the house.

'Come, keep your head straight. Look at me, and answer me. What's in
that jug? Don't lie.'


'Who for?'


'Granny be hanged.'

The man disengaged his hands, lifted the jug from the child's feeble
grasp, tilted it toward the light, surveyed its contents, put it to his
lips, and exhausted them. The child, although liberated, did not
retreat. It stood watching its uncle drink until he lowered the jug.
Then, as he met its eyes, it said:

'It was for the baby.'

For a moment the man was irresolute. But the child seemed to have a
foresight of the parental resentment, for it had hardly spoken when it
darted backward and scampered off, just in time to elude a blow from the
jug, which the man sent clattering at its heels. When it was out of
sight, he faced about to the water again, and replaced the pipe between
his teeth with a heavy scowl and a murmur that sounded to Madame Bernier
very like--'I wish the baby'd choke.'

Hortense was a mute spectator of this little drama. When it was over,
she turned around, and retraced her steps twenty yards with her hand to
her head. Then she walked straight back, and addressed the man.

'My good man,' she said, in a very pleasant voice, 'are you the master
of one of these boats?'

He looked up at her. In a moment the pipe was out of his mouth, and a
broad grin in its place. He rose, with his hand to his cap.

'I am, madame, at your service.'

'Will you take me to the other side?'

'You don't need a boat; the bridge is closed,' said one of his comrades
at the foot of the steps, looking that way.

'I know it,' said Madame Bernier; 'but I wish to go to the cemetery, and
a boat will save me half a mile walking.'

'The cemetery is shut at this hour.'

'_Allons_, leave madame alone,' said the man first spoken to. 'This way,
my lady.'

Hortense seated herself in the stern of the boat. The man took the

'Straight across? ' he asked.

Hortense looked around her. 'It's a fine evening,' said she; 'suppose
you row me out to the lighthouse, and leave me at the point nearest the
cemetery on our way back.'

'Very well,' rejoined the boatman; 'fifteen sous,' and began to pull

'_Allez_, I'll pay you well,' said Madame.

'Fifteen sous is the fare,' insisted the man.

'Give me a pleasant row, and I'll give you a hundred,' said Hortense.

Her companion said nothing. He evidently wished to appear not to have
heard her remark. Silence was probably the most dignified manner of
receiving a promise too munificent to be anything but a jest.

For some time this silence was maintained, broken only by the trickling
of the oars and the sounds from the neighboring shores and vessels.
Madame Bernier was plunged in a sidelong scrutiny of her ferryman's
countenance. He was a man of about thirty-five. His face was dogged,
brutal, and sullen. These indications were perhaps exaggerated by the
dull monotony of his exercise. The eyes lacked a certain rascally gleam
which had appeared in them when he was so _empressé_ with the offer of
his services. The face was better then--that is, if vice is better than
ignorance. We say a countenance is 'lit up' by a smile; and indeed that
momentary flicker does the office of a candle in a dark room. It sheds a
ray upon the dim upholstery of our souls. The visages of poor men,
generally, know few alternations. There is a large class of human beings
whom fortune restricts to a single change of expression, or, perhaps,
rather to a single expression. Ah me! the faces which wear either
nakedness or rags; whose repose is stagnation, whose activity vice;
ingorant at their worst, infamous at their best!

'Don't pull too hard,' said Hortense at last. 'Hadn't you better take
breath a moment?'

'Madame is very good,' said the man, leaning upon his oars. 'But if you
had taken me by the hour,' he added, with a return of the vicious grin,
'you wouldn't catch me loitering.'

'I suppose you work very hard,' said Madame Bernier.

The man gave a little toss of his head, as if to intimate the inadequacy
of any supposition to grasp the extent of his labors.

'I've been up since four o'clock this morning, wheeling bales and boxes
on the quay, and plying my little boat. Sweating without five minutes'
intermission. _C'est comme ça_. Sometimes I tell my mate I think I'll
take a plunge in the basin to dry myself. Ha! ha! ha!'

'And of course you gain little,' said Madame Bernier.

'Worse than nothing. Just what will keep me fat enough for starvation to
feed on.'

'How? you go without your necessary food?'

'Necessary is a very elastic word, madame. You can narrow it down, so
that in the degree above nothing it means luxury. My necessary food is
sometimes thin air. If I don't deprive myself of that, it's because I

'Is it possible to be so unfortunate?'

'Shall I tell you what I have eaten to-day?'

'Do,' said Madame Bernier.

'A piece of black bread and a salt herring are all that have passed my
lips for twelve hours.'

'Why don't you get some better work?'

'If I should die to-night,' pursued the boatman, heedless of the
question, in the manner of a man whose impetus on the track of self-pity
drives him past the signal flags of relief, 'what would there be left to
bury me? These clothes I have on might buy me a long box. For the cost
of this shabby old suit, that hasn't lasted me a twelve-month, I could
get one that I wouldn't wear out in a thousand years. _La bonne idée!_'

'Why don't you get some work that pays better?' repeated Hortense.

The man dipped his oars again.

'Work that pays better? I must work for work. I must earn that too. Work
is wages. I count the promise of the next week's employment the best
part of my Saturday night's pocketings. Fifty casks rolled from the ship
to the storehouse mean two things: thirty sous and fifty more to roll
the next day. Just so a crushed hand, or a dislocated shoulder, mean
twenty francs to the apothecary and _bon jour_ to my business.'

'Are you married?' asked Hortense.

'No, I thank you. I'm not cursed with that blessing. But I've an old
mother, a sister, and three nephews, who look to me for support. The old
woman's too old to work; the lass is too lazy, and the little ones are
too young. But they're none of them too old or young to be hungry,
_allez_. I'll be hanged if I'm not a father to them all.'

There was a pause. The man had resumed rowing. Madame Bernier sat
motionless, still examining her neighbor's physiognomy. The sinking sun,
striking full upon his face, covered it with an almost lurid glare. Her
own features being darkened against the western sky, the direction of
them was quite indistinguishable to her companion.

'Why don't you leave the place?' she said at last.

'Leave it! how?' he replied, looking up with the rough avidity with
which people of his class receive proposals touching their interests,
extending to the most philanthropic suggestions that mistrustful
eagerness with which experience has taught them to defend their own side
of a bargain--the only form of proposal that she has made them
acquainted with.

'Go somewhere else,' said Hortense.

'Where, for instance!'

'To some new country--America.'

The man burst into a loud laugh. Madame Bernier's face bore more
evidence of interest in the play of his features than of that
discomfiture which generally accompanies the consciousness of ridicule.

'There's a lady's scheme for you! If you'll write for furnished
apartments, _là-bas_, I don't desire anything better. But no leaps in
the dark for me. America and Algeria are very fine words to cram into an
empty stomach when you're lounging in the sun, out of work, just as you
stuff tobacco into your pipe and let the smoke curl around your head.
But they fade away before a cutlet and a bottle of wine. When the earth
grows so smooth and the air so pure that you can see the American coast
from the pier yonder, then I'll make up my bundle. Not before.'

'You're afraid, then, to risk anything?'

'I'm afraid of nothing, _moi_. But I am not a fool either. I don't want
to kick away my _sabots_ till I am certain of a pair of shoes. I can go
barefoot here. I don't want to find water where I counted on land. As
for America, I've been there already.'

'Ah! you've been there?'

'I've been to Brazil and Mexico and California and the West Indies.'


'I've been to Asia, too.'


'_Pardio_, to China and India. Oh, I've seen the world! I've been three
times around the Cape.'

'You've been a seaman then?'

'Yes, ma'am; fourteen years.'

'On what ship?'

'Bless your heart, on fifty ships.'


'French and English and Spanish; mostly Spanish.'


'Yes, and the more fool I was.'

'How so?'

'Oh, it was a dog's life. I'd drown any dog that would play half the
mean tricks I used to see.'

'And you never had a hand in any yourself?'

'_Pardon_, I gave what I got. I was as good a Spaniard and as great a
devil as any. I carried my knife with the best of them, and drew it as
quickly, and plunged it as deep. I've got scars, if you weren't a lady.
But I'd warrant to find you their mates on a dozen Spanish hides!'

He seemed to pull with renewed vigor at the recollection. There was a
short silence.

'Do you suppose,' said Madame Bernier, in a few moments--'do you
remember--that is, can you form any idea whether you ever killed a man?'

There was a momentary slackening of the boatman's oars. He gave a sharp
glance at his passenger's countenance, which was still so shaded by her
position, however, as to be indistinguishable. The tone of her
interrogation had betrayed a simple, idle curiosity. He hesitated a
moment, and then gave one of those conscious, cautious, dubious smiles,
which may cover either a criminal assumption of more than the truth or a
guilty repudiation of it.

'_Mon Dieu!_' said he, with a great shrug, 'there's a question!... I
never killed one without a reason.'

'Of course not,' said Hortense.

'Though a reason in South America, _ma foi!_' added the boatman,
'wouldn't be a reason here.'

'I suppose not. What would be a reason there?'

'Well, if I killed a man in Valparaiso--I don't say I did, mind--it's
because my knife went in farther than I intended.'

'But why did you use it at all?'

'I didn't. If I had, it would have been because he drew his against me.'

'And why should he have done so?'

'_Ventrebleu!_ for as many reasons as there are craft in the harbor.'

'For example?'

'Well, that I should have got a place in a ship's company that he was
trying for.'

'Such things as that? is it possible?'

'Oh, for smaller things. That a lass should have given me a dozen
oranges she had promised him.'

'How odd!' said Madame Bernier, with a shrill kind of laugh. 'A man who
owed you a grudge of this kind would just come up and stab you, I
suppose, and think nothing of it?'

'Precisely. Drive a knife up to the hilt into your back, with an oath,
and slice open a melon with it, with a song, five minutes afterward.'

'And when a person is afraid, or ashamed, or in some way unable to take
revenge himself, does he--or it may be a woman--does she, get some one
else to do it for her?'

'_Parbleu!_ Poor devils on the lookout for such work are as plentiful
all along the South American coast as _commissionaires_ on the street
corners here.' The ferryman was evidently surprised at the fascination
possessed by this infamous topic for so lady-like a person; but having,
as you see, a very ready tongue, it is probable that his delight in
being able to give her information and hear himself talk were still
greater. 'And then down there,' he went on, 'they never forget a grudge.
If a fellow doesn't serve you one day, he'll do it another. A Spaniard's
hatred is like lost sleep--you can put it off for a time, but it will
gripe you in the end. The rascals always keep their promises to
themselves.... An enemy on shipboard is jolly fun. It's like bulls
tethered in the same field. You can't stand still half a minute except
against a wall. Even when he makes friends with you, his favors never
taste right. Messing with him is like drinking out of a pewter mug. And
so it is everywhere. Let your shadow once flit across a Spaniard's path,
and he'll always see it there. If you've never lived in any but these
damned clockworky European towns, you can't imagine the state of things
in a South American seaport--one half the population waiting round the
corner for the other half. But I don't see that it's so much better
here, where every man's a spy on every other. There you meet an assassin
at every turn, here a _sergent de ville_..... At all events, the life
_là bas_ used to remind me, more than anything else, of sailing in a
shallow channel, where you don't know what infernal rock you may ground
on. Every man has a standing account with his neighbor, just as madame
has at her _fournisseur's_; and, _ma foi_, those are the only accounts
they settle. The master of the _Santiago_ may pay me one of these days
for the pretty names I heaved after him when we parted company, but
he'll never pay me my wages.'

A short pause followed this exposition of the virtues of the Spaniard.

'You yourself never put a man out of the world, then?' resumed Hortense.

'Oh, _que si_!.... Are you horrified?'

'Not at all. I know that the thing is often justifiable.'

The man was silent a moment, perhaps with surprise, for the next thing
he said was:

'Madame is Spanish?'

'In that, perhaps, I am,' replied Hortense.

Again her companion was silent. The pause was prolonged. Madame Bernier
broke it by a question which showed that she had been following the same
train of thought.

'What is sufficient ground in this country for killing a man?'

The boatman sent a loud laugh over the water. Hortense drew her cloak
closer about her.

'I'm afraid there is none.'

'Isn't there a right of self-defence?'

'To be sure there is--it's one I ought to know something about. But it's
one that _ces messieurs_ at the Palais make short work with.'

'In South America and those countries, when a man makes life
insupportable to you, what do you do?'

'_Mon Dieu_! I suppose you kill him.'

'And in France?'

'I suppose you kill yourself. Ha! ha! ha!'

By this time they had reached the end of the great breakwater,
terminating in a lighthouse, the limit, on one side, of the inner
harbor. The sun had set.

'Here we are at the lighthouse,' said the man; 'it's growing dark. Shall
we turn?'

Hortense rose in her place a few moments, and stood looking out to sea.
'Yes,' she said at last, 'you may go back--slowly.' When the boat had
headed round she resumed her old position, and put one of her hands over
the side, drawing it through the water as they moved, and gazing into
the long ripples.

At last she looked up at her companion. Now that her face caught some of
the lingering light of the west, he could see that it was deathly pale.

'You find it hard to get along in the world,' said she; 'I shall be very
glad to help you.'

The man started, and stared a moment. Was it because this remark jarred
upon the expression which he was able faintly to discern in her eyes?
The next, he put his hand to his cap.

'Madame is very kind. What will you do?'

Madame Bernier returned his gaze.

'I will trust you.'


'And reward you.'

'Ah? Madame has a piece of work for me?'

'A piece of work,' Hortense nodded.

The man said nothing, waiting apparently for an explanation. His face
wore the look of lowering irritation which low natures feel at being

'Are you a bold man?'

Light seemed to come in this question. The quick expansion of his
features answered it. You cannot touch upon certain subjects with an
inferior but by the sacrifice of the barrier which separates you from
him. There are thoughts and feelings and glimpses and foreshadowings of
thoughts which level all inequalities of station.

'I'm bold enough,' said the boatman, 'for anything _you_ want me to do.'

'Are you bold enough to commit a crime?'

'Not for nothing.'

'If I ask you to endanger your peace of mind, to risk your personal
safety for me, it is certainly not as a favor. I will give you ten times
the weight in gold of every grain by which your conscience grows heavier
in my service.'

The man gave her a long, hard look through the dim light.

'I know what you want me to do,' he said at last.

'Very well,' said Hortense; 'will you do it?'

He continued to gaze. She met his eyes like a woman who has nothing more
to conceal.

'State your case.'

'Do you know a vessel named the _Armorique_, a steamer?'

'Yes; it runs from Southampton.'

'It will arrive to-morrow morning early. Will it be able to cross the

'No; not till noon.'

'I thought so. I expect a person by it--a man.'

Madame Bernier appeared unable to continue, as if her voice had given

'Well, well?' said her companion.

'He's the person'--she stopped again.

'The person who--?'

'The person whom I wish to get rid of.'

For some moments nothing was said. The boatman was the first to speak

'Have you formed a plan?'

Hortense nodded.

'Let's hear it.'

'The person in question,' said Madame Bernier, 'will be impatient to
land before noon. The house to which he returns will be in view of the
vessel if, as you say, she lies at anchor. If he can get a boat, he will
be sure to come ashore. _Eh bien_!--but you understand me.'

'Aha! you mean my boat--_this_ boat?'

'O God!'

Madame Bernier sprang up in her seat, threw out her arms, and sank down
again, burying her face in her knees. Her companion hastily shipped his
oars, and laid his hands on her shoulders.

'_Allons donc_, in the devil's name, don't break down,' said he; 'we'll
come to an understanding.'

Kneeling in the bottom of the boat, and supporting her by his grasp, he
succeeded in making her raise herself, though her head still drooped.

'You want me to finish him in the boat?'

No answer.

'Is he an old man?'

Hortense shook her head faintly.

'My age?'

She nodded.

'_Sapristi_! it isn't so easy.'

'He can't swim,' said Hortense, without looking up; 'he--he is lame.'

'_Nom de Dieu_!' The boatman dropped his hands. Hortense looked up
quickly. Do you read the pantomime?

'Never mind,' added the man at last, 'it will serve as a sign.'

'_Mais oui_. And besides that, he will ask to be taken to the Maison
Bernier, the house with its back to the water, on the extension of the
great quay. _Tenez_, you can almost see it from here.'

'I know the place,' said the boatman, and was silent, as if asking and
answering himself a question.

Hortense was about to interrupt the train of thought which she
apprehended he was following, when he forestalled her.

'How am I to be sure of my affair?' asked he.

'Of your reward? I've thought of that. This watch is a pledge of what I
shall be able and glad to give you afterward. There are two thousand
francs' worth of pearls in the case.'

'_Il faut fixer la somme_,' said the man, leaving the watch untouched.

'That lies with you.'

'Good. You know that I have the right to ask a high price.'

'Certainly. Name it.'

'It's only on the supposition of a large sum that I will so much as
consider your proposal. _Songez donc_, that it's a MURDER you
ask of me.'

'The price--the price?'

'_Tenez_,' continued the man, 'poached game is always high. The pearls
in that watch are costly because it's worth a man's life to get at them.
You want me to be your pearl diver. Be it so. You must guarantee me a
safe descent,--it's a descent, you know--ha!--you must furnish me the
armor of safety; a little gap to breathe through while I'm at my
work--the thought of a capful of Napoleons!'

'My good man, I don't wish to talk to you or to listen to your sallies.
I wish simply to know your price. I'm not bargaining for a pair of
chickens. Propose a sum.'

The boatman had by this time resumed his seat and his oars. He stretched
out for a long, slow pull, which brought him closely face to face with
his temptress. This position, his body bent forward, his eyes fixed on
Madame Bernier's face, he kept for some seconds. It was perhaps
fortunate for Hortense's purpose at that moment--it had often aided her
purposes before--that she was a pretty woman.[C] A plain face might have
emphasized the utterly repulsive nature of the negotiation. Suddenly,
with a quick, convulsive movement, the man completed the stroke.

'_Pas si hête_! propose one yourself.'

'Very well,' said Hortense, 'if you wish it, _Voyons_: I'll give you
what I can. I have fifteen thousand francs' worth of jewels. I'll give
you them, or, if they will get you into trouble, their value. At home,
in a box I have a thousand francs in gold. You shall have those. I'll
pay your passage and outfit to America, I have friends in New York. I'll
write to them to get you work.'

'And you'll give your washing to my mother and sister, _hein_? Ha! ha!
Jewels, fifteen thousand francs; one thousand more makes sixteen;
passage to America--first class--five hundred francs; outfit--what does
Madame understand by that?'

'Everything needful for your success _là-bas_.'

'A written denial that I am an assassin? _Ma foi_, it were better not to
remove the impression. It's served me a good turn, on this side of the
water at least. Call it twenty-five thousand francs.'

'Very well; but not a sous more.'

'Shall I trust you?'

'Am I not trusting you? It is well for you that I do not allow myself to
think of the venture I am making.'

'Perhaps we're even there. We neither of us can afford to make account
of certain possibilities. Still, I'll trust you, too.... _Tiens_!' added
the boatman, 'here we are near the quay.' Then with a mock-solemn touch
of his cap, 'Will Madame still visit the cemetery?'

'Come, quick, let me land,' said Madame Bernier, impatiently.

'We _have_ been among the dead, after a fashion,' persisted the boatman,
as he gave her his hand.


It was more than eight o'clock when Madame Bernier reached her own

'Has M. de Meyrau been here?' she asked of Josephine.

'Yes, ma'am; and on learning that Madame was out, he left a note, _chez

Hortense found a sealed letter on the table in her husband's old study.
It ran as follows:

     'I was desolated at finding you out. I had a word to tell you. I
     have accepted an invitation to sup and pass the night at C----,
     thinking it would look well. For the same reason I have resolved to
     take the bull by the horns, and go aboard the steamer on my return,
     to welcome M. Bernier home--the privilege of an old friend. I am
     told the _Armorique_ will anchor off the bar by daybreak. What do
     you think? But it's too late to let me know. Applaud my _savoir
     faire_--you will, at all events, in the end. You will see how it
     will smoothe matters.'

'Baffled! baffled!' hissed Madame, when she had read the note; 'God
deliver me from my friends!' She paced up and down the room several
times, and at last began to mutter to herself, as people often do in
moments of strong emotion: 'Bah! but he'll never get up by daybreak.
He'll oversleep himself, especially after to-night's supper. The other
will be before him..... Oh, my poor head, you've suffered too much to
fail in the end!'

Josephine reappeared to offer to remove her mistress's things. The
latter, in her desire to reassure herself, asked the first question that
occurred to her.

'Was M. le Vicomte alone?'

'No, madame; another gentleman was with him--M. de Saulges, I think.
They came in a hack, with two portmanteaus.'

Though I have judged best, hitherto, often from an exaggerated fear of
trenching on the ground of fiction, to tell you what this poor lady did
and said, rather than what she thought, I may disclose what passed in
her mind now:

'Is he a coward? is he going to leave me? or is he simply going to pass
these last hours in play and drink? He might have stayed with me. Ah! my
friend, you do little for me, who do so much for you; who commit murder,
and--Heaven help me!--suicide for you!.... But I suppose he knows best.
At all events, he will make a night of it.'

When the cook came in late that evening, Josephine, who had sat up for
her, said:

'You've no idea how Madame is looking. She's ten years older since this
morning. Holy mother! what a day this has been for her!'

'Wait till to-morrow,' said the oracular Valentine.

Later, when the women went up to bed in the attic, they saw a light
under Hortense's door, and during the night Josephine, whose chamber was
above Madame's, and who couldn't sleep (for sympathy, let us say), heard
movements beneath her, which told that her mistress was even more
wakeful than she.


There was considerable bustle around the _Armorique_ as she anchored
outside the harbor of H----, in the early dawn of the following day. A
gentleman, with an overcoat, walking stick, and small valise, came
alongside in a little fishing boat, and got leave to go aboard.

'Is M. Bernier here?' he asked of one of the officers, the first man he

'I fancy he's gone ashore, sir. There was a boatman inquiring for him a
few minutes ago, and I think he carried him off.

M. de Meyrau reflected a moment. Then he crossed over to the other side
of the vessel, looking landward. Leaning over the bulwarks he saw an
empty boat moored to the ladder which ran up the vessel's side.

'That's a town boat, isn't it?' he said to one of the hands standing by.

'Yes, sir.'

'Where's the master?'

'I suppose he'll be here in a moment. I saw him speaking to one of the
officers just now.'

De Meyrau descended the ladder, and seated himself at the stern of the
boat. As the sailor he had just addressed was handing down his bag, a
face with a red cap looked over the bulwarks.

'Hullo, my man!' cried De Meyrau, 'is this your boat?'

'Yes, sir, at your service,' answered the red cap, coming to the top of
the ladder, and looking hard at the gentleman's stick and portmanteau.

'Can you take me to town, to Madame Bernier's, at the end of the new

'Certainly, sir,' said the boatman, scuttling down the ladder, 'you're
just the gentleman I want.'

       *       *       *       *       *

An hour later Hortense Bernier came out of the house, and began to walk
slowly through the garden toward the terrace which overlooked the water.
The servants, when they came down at an early hour, had found her up and
dressed, or rather, apparently, not undressed, for she wore the same
clothes as the evening before.

'_Tiens!_' exclaimed Josephine, after seeing her, 'Madame gained ten
years yesterday; she has gained ten more during the night.'

When Madame Bernier reached the middle of the garden she halted, and
stood for a moment motionless, listening. The next, she uttered a great
cry. For she saw a figure emerge from below the terrace, and come
limping toward her with outstretched arms.


     [In accordance with the policy embraced by THE
     CONTINENTAL, of giving views of important subjects from
     various stand-points, we lay before our readers the following
     article. It is from the pen which contributed to the 'New American
     Cyclopædia' the articles 'Czartoryski,' 'Francis Joseph,' 'G[=o]rgey,'
     'Hebrews,' 'Hungary,' 'Kossuth,' 'Poland,' etc., etc. We doubt not
     the author gives utterance in the present contribution to the
     feelings which agitated the hearts of thousands of our naturalized
     citizens during the Russian excitement in New York. Heartily
     grateful as we may be to Russia for her timely sympathy, our
     country is pledged to Eternal Justice, and ought never to forget
     that she is the hope of mankind, and should be its model.]

On the evening of the thirtieth of November last, the large hall
of the Cooper Institute--that forum of public opinion in the city
of New York, which has so often been the theatre of interesting
manifestations--witnessed a scene almost entirely novel. Flags,
decorated with emblems unknown, were unfolded over the platform; young
girls, daughters of a distant land, or at least of exiles from it,
appeared in their national costume, and sang melodious strains in a
foreign tongue, which charmed tears into the eyes of those who
understood them; a straightened scythe, fixed to the end of a pole, was
exhibited, not as a specimen of the agricultural implements of the
country from which those homeless men and children had sprung, but as a
weapon with which its people, in absence of more efficient arms, was
wont to fight for liberty and independence; the bust of the father of
the American republic was placed prominently in face of the large
gathering, and at its side that of a man bearing the features of a
different race, and apparently not less revered.

If I say that this man was Kosciuszko, I have explained all. Every
reader not entirely ignorant of history will know which was the land,
the people, what the meaning of the weapon, of the song. Who has never
yet wept over the narrative of the fall of that unhappy country east and
west of the Vistula, so shamelessly torn, quartered, and preyed upon by
ravenous neighboring empires? Whose heart has never yet throbbed with
admiration for the sons of that land who to this day protest with their
blood, poured in streams, against that greatest of all crimes recorded
in history, the partition of their country, and that blasphemous lie
written upon one of its bloodiest pages: _Finis Poloniæ_? who, abandoned
by the world, betrayed by their neighbors, trampled upon as no nation
ever was before, again and again rise, and in 1794, under the lead of
Kosciuszko, eclipse the deeds of those who, in 1768, flocked to the
banners of Pulaski; in 1830-'31, on the battle fields of Grochow and
Ostrolenka, show themselves more powerful than under the dictatorship of
the disciple of Washington, and in 1863, fighting without a leader,
without a centre, without arms, surprise the world with a heroism, a
self-sacrificing devotion, unexampled even in the history of their
former insurrections? Who has never heard of Russian batteries assaulted
and carried by Polish scythes? Whose bosom is so devoid of the divine
cords of justice and sympathy as never yet to have revibrated the strain
of the Polish exiles: POLAND IS NOT YET LOST?

Alas, the chronological dates just touched upon embrace a century! For a
hundred years Poland writhes in heroic despair under the heels of
Muscovite despotism, dazzles mankind by sublime efforts to recover her
right to national life, liberty, and happiness, and _not a hand has been
stretched out to help her break her chains_! All her martyrdom wrests
from the better nature of mankind is a tear of mourning, when, after a
superhuman struggle, she again sinks exhausted, and is believed to sink
into the grave. And has Poland well deserved this heartless
indifference, this pitilessness of the nations? Has she delivered none?
aided none? served none? defended none? Answer, Vienna, rescued from the
Turkish yoke by John Sobieski! Answer, thou monument at West Point, thou
fort at the mouth of the Savannah, ye towns and counties named
Kosciuszko and Pulaski! Answer, Elba and St. Helena! Answer, Hungarian
companion-in-arms of Bern, Dembinski, and Wysocki! Answer, Germany,
Europe, Christendom, for centuries shielded by Polish valor against
Tartar barbarism and Moslem fanaticism!

Alas, Poland must beg even for sympathy! That gathering, which
commemorated, on its thirty-third anniversary, the outbreak of the
rising of 1830, was destined to resuscitate the feeling of the American
people for the Polish cause. For the Poles sojourning in this country
had reasons to believe that even that passive sentiment was on the wane,
that interests, not less illusory than selfish, were working to destroy
even the impressions which sacred national remembrances, by twining
together the memories of Washington and Kosciuszko, had created in the
American heart. Strange to say, amid the roar of cannon thundering
freedom to slaves, amid streams of blood shed in the name of
nationality, on this side of the Atlantic, amid daily echoes
reverberating the groans of butchered martyrs, of mothers and sisters
scourged, hanged, or dragged into captivity, on the other side--New York
had gone mad with enthusiasm for the Muscovites! The metropolis of the
freest people on the globe had prostrated herself before the shrine of
semi-Asiatic despotism, had kissed the hands of the knoutbearers of the
czar, had desecrated the holy memory of Washington, by coupling his
name, his bust, with those of an Alexander, nay, of a Nicholas! The woes
of Poland were forgotten, her cause was wantonly assailed, her fair
name defamed by the very same organs of public opinion which for months
and months made people shudder with daily recitals of nameless
atrocities committed by the Russian hangmen, by the Muravieffs and
Aunekoffs, on the defenders of their country and liberty. Unthinking
scribblers and lecturers called Russia and America twin sister empires
of the future, agitated for an alliance defensive and offensive between
them; Poland and her defenders were calumniated. _Væ victis!_

There is an excuse for every folly New York commits and the country
imitates, for she is blessed with papers and politicians more than
others practised to flatter vanity and mislead ignorance. When New York
strews palm leaves before the feet of the Prince of Wales, it is done to
cement the bond of love that links the New World to its venerable
mother; when she runs after the Japanese, it is in search of a
trans-oceanic brother, just discovered, and soon lovingly to be embraced
(witness our doings in the Japanese waters); when she kisses the knout
and collects Russian relics, it is done to inaugurate a sistership of
the future, already dawning upon her in Muscovite smiles of friendship,
in diplomatic hints of the czar, and in the hurrahs for the Union of
Lissoffski's crews! In this case she only pays with American sympathy
for Russian sympathy, and at the same time frowns a rebuke upon England
and France for their un-Russian-like behavior, and insinuates a threat
which may save this country from the perils of European intervention.

But Russian imperial sympathy, with its diplomatic smiles and compulsory
hurrahs, is nothing but a bait; he must be blind who does not see it.
What is the natural tendency that would lead the czar, the upholder of
despotism in the East, to sympathize with the model republic of the
West? the empire which is again and again covered with the blood of
Poland, divided by it and its accomplices, to have, amid its troubles,
so much tender feeling for the indivisibility of this country? Is
Alexander's friendship kindled by our acts of emancipation? It is true
he has freed more than twenty millions of serfs in his empire, and,
though following the dictates of political necessity, he may have acted
with no more real anti-slavery sentiment than that which makes many
avowed pro-slavery men emancipationists among ourselves, yet he
certainly has achieved a noble glory, which even his monstrous reign in
Poland may not entirely blot out from the pages of history. The same
friendly disposition toward the United States was, however,
ostentatiously evinced by Nicholas, who lived and died the true
representative and guardian of unmitigated tyranny; it was as
ostentatiously shown by Alexander at the time when Fremont's
proclamation was repudiated as it is now, after the first of January,
1863; and it is he of all the monarchs of Europe who, as early as July,
1861, diplomatically advised this country to save the Union by
compromise, as neither of the contending parties could be finally
crushed down; that is to say, flagrantly to sacrifice _liberty_ in order
to save _power_. The Russian nobility will naturally sympathize with the
slaveholders of the South, and the lower classes of the Russian people
are too ignorant to think about transatlantic affairs. Russian imperial
and diplomatic sympathy will cordially be bestowed upon any nation and
cause which promises to become hostile to England (or, on a given time,
to France), on Nena Sahib no less than on Abraham Lincoln. The
never-discarded aim of Russia to plant its double cross on the banks of
the Byzantine Bosporus, and its batteries on those of the Hellespont,
and thus to transfer its centre of gravity from the secluded shores of
the Baltic to the gates of the Mediterranean; the never-slumbering dread
of this expansion, which has made the integrity of Turkey an inviolable
principle with the British statesmen of every sect; and the growing
inevitability of a bloody collision on the fields of central Asia of the
two powers, one of which is master of the north, and the other of the
south of that continent, have rendered Russia and Great Britain
inveterate foes. To strengthen itself against its deadliest opponent,
one courts the alliance of France, the other that of the American Union,
both not from sympathy, but in spite of inveterate or natural antipathy.
Against a common enemy we have seen the pope allying himself with the
sultan. Russia always hates England, and from time to time fears France;
both these powers continue to offend the United States, and at least one
of them now threatens a Polish campaign: why should not the czar lavish
his flattering marks of friendship on a great power which he hopes to
entice into an unnatural alliance? It is not American freedom which the
czars are fond of; they court American power as naturally antagonistic
to that of England, at least on the seas. Wielded entire by a Jeff.
Davis, with all the Southern spirit of aggression, it would be to them a
more desirable object of an _entente cordiale_.

But why should we not accept the proffered aid, though the offer be
prompted by selfish motives? Threatened by a wicked interference in our
affairs, which might prove dangerous to our national existence, why
refuse additional means to guard it, though these be derived from an
impure source? Will an innocent man, attacked by assassins, repulse the
aid of one hastening to save him, on the ground that he, too, is a
murderer? Certainly not. History, too, proves it by noble examples.
Pelopidas, the Theban hero, invokes the aid of the Persian king, the
natural enemy of the Greeks; Cato, who prefers a free death by his own
hand to life under a Cæsar, fights side by side with Juba, a king of
barbarians; Gustavus Adolphus, the champion of Protestantism in Germany,
acts in concert with Richelieu, the reducer of La Rochelle, its last
stronghold in France; Pulaski, who fights for freedom in Poland and dies
for it in America, accepts the aid of the sultan; Franklin calls upon
the master of the Bastille to defend the Declaration of Independence;
Ypsilanti raises the standard of Neo-Grecian liberty in hope of aid from
Czar Alexander I, and happier Hellenes obtain it from Czar Nicholas, and
conquer; the heroic defender of Rome in 1849, Garibaldi, fights in 1859,
so to say, under the lead of Louis Napoleon, the destroyer of that

But what has all this to do with the question before us? Has it come to
this? Is the cause of this great republic reduced to such extremities?
Is this nation of twenty millions of freemen, so richly endowed with all
the faculties, resources, and artificial means which constitute power,
unable to preserve its national existence, independence, and liberty,
without help from the contaminating hand of tyranny, without sacrificing
its honor by basely singing hosannas to the imperial butcher of Poland,
at the very moment when the blood of the people of Kosciuszko and
Pulaski cries to Heaven and mankind for vengeance? Is the peril so
great? so imminent? Is Hannibal _ante portas_? Has the French fleet
dispersed Secretary Welles's five hundred and eighty-eight vessels of
war, broken the Southern blockade, and appeared before our Northern
harbors? Are all Jeff. Davis's bitter complaints against the English
cabinet but a sham, covering a deep-laid conspiracy with treacherous
Albion? Is Emperor Maximilian quietly seated on the throne of Montezuma,
and already marching his armies upon the Rio Grande? The talk of foreign
intervention has been going on for years, and not a threatening cloud is
yet to be seen on our horizon. Both England and France deprecate the
idea of hostile interference in American affairs. It is _Russia_ that
is _menaced_, an alliance with her can serve only herself, and her
artifices have caused all the foolish clamor that threatens to disgrace
this country.

And then, accepting aid is not forming an alliance, still less an
alliance _defensive_ and _offensive_. Not to speak of examples too
remote, every one familiar with the historical characters of the men,
will know that neither Pulaski, Franklin, Ypsilanti, or Garibaldi would
ever have so degraded his cause--the cause of liberty--as to promise to
the despot, whose aid he desired, a compensatory assistance in trampling
down a people rising for freedom. No _innocent_ man attacked by
assassins will promise, with honest intent, to one who offers to save
him, his assistance in continuing a work of murder and resisting the arm
of justice.

For it must be supposed that nobody is foolish enough to believe that
Russia would offer us her aid--say, against France--without requiring
from us a mutual service; that merely in order to inflict a punishment
on Louis Napoleon for the recognition of the South, or the establishment
of monarchy in Mexico, she would, still bleeding from the wounds
inflicted by the Polish insurrection, madly launch her armies upon the
Rhine, or start her hiding fleet from behind the fortified shelters of
Cronstadt and Helsingfors, make it pass the Sound and Skager Rack,
unmindful of the frowning batteries of Landscrona and Marstrand, pass
the Strait of Dover, and the English Channel, and enter the Atlantic,
quietly leaving behind Calais, Boulogne, Cherbourg, and Brest, and all
this with the certainty of raising a storm which might carry the armies
of France and her allies into the heart of Poland, and ultimately, by
restoring that country, press czardom back, where it ought to be, behind
the Dnieper. Such assistance she would and could not honestly promise
were we even to vouch a similar boon to her in case Napoleon should
really enter upon a campaign for the deliverance of Poland. For neither
promise could be executed with the slightest chance of real success, and
without exposing the naval and land forces despatched across the seas to
almost certain total destruction. The only practical military result of
a Russo-American alliance could be an attack by the forces of the United
States on the French in Mexico, serving as a powerful diversion for the
benefit of Russia assailed by France in Europe. This is what Russia
knows and our eager demonstrationists are unable to perceive. The sword
of France hangs over Russia, just engaged in finishing the slaughter of
Poland. The menace of a Russo-American alliance may induce Napoleon, who
is entangled in Mexico, to put that sword back into the scabbard. He is
too proud and too little magnanimous to give up, yielding to our menace,
his Mexican work--a work so long begun, and so costly in blood and
treasure--and turn all his attention, all his forces toward Poland and
Russia. He may give up Poland, for which he has not yet sacrificed
anything, and turn all his attention toward Mexico and the United
States. Thus our philo-Russian enthusiasm can bear no good fruits for
ourselves; it can serve Russia, prevent the deliverance of Poland, and
dishonor the fair name of the American republic.

Yes, dishonor it. Already, speaking of the demonstrations in favor of
the Russians, that patriot soldier, Sigel, exclaims: 'They make me
almost doubt the common sense of the American people.' And it is not
Sigel that speaks thus: it is the voice of enlightened Germany, of the
freedom-loving men of Europe.

May the people of America heed this warning before it is too late!



     'Do but grasp into the thick of human life! Everyone _lives_ it--to
     not many is it _known_; and seize it where you will, it is

     'SUCCESSFUL.--Terminating in accomplishing what is wished
     or intended.'--WEBSTER'S _Dictionary_.

CHAPTER II.--_continued._

As soon as they reached the room, Mrs. Meeker exclaimed, 'Augustus! tell
me, what does this mean!'

The young man, thus appealed to, stopped, and, regarding his mother with
a fierce expression, exclaimed:

'It means that I quit New York to-night!'

'Augustus! you are a cruel creature to alarm me in this way.'

'It is so, mother. I have got into a bad scrape.'

'Tell me just what it is, Augustus--tell me the whole truth.'

'Well, a few weeks ago, I lost a large sum of money--no matter how. I
asked father to help me. I made him a solemn promise, which I would have
kept, provided he had given me what I required. He refused, and I used
his name to raise it.'

'O Augustus! Augustus!' exclaimed Mrs. Meeker in genuine agony.

'It's no use groaning over it,' said the young man. 'It is done; and,
what is worse, it is discovered! Father will know it to-night. What I
want is, money enough to take me out of the country; and if you will not
give it to me, I will cut my throat before you leave the room!'

Mrs. Meeker could only reply by sobs and hysterical exclamations.

'It is of no use, mother--I mean it!' continued the young man.

'Where are you going, Augustus?' said Mrs. Meeker, faintly.

'Across the water. Give me the money, and I shall be on board ship in an

'I have only two hundred dollars in my purse,' said his mother,
mournfully, producing it.

'It will serve my purpose,' answered her son. 'You can send me more
after you hear from me.'

He took the money and put it into his pocket, and prepared to attend his
mother to the door.

'But when shall I see you again, Augustus?' faltered Mrs. Meeker.


The parental feeling could no longer be restrained. She threw herself
upon her son's neck, sobbing violently, and declared he should not leave

It did not avail. Although the young man's feelings seemed much
softened, he resisted all her appeals. He unwound her arms with
tenderness, and led her in silence down the staircase.

'Give my love to Harriet,' he said. 'Tell her I never will forget her.'

He opened the door into the street--a moment after, he had regained his
room; and the miserable mother was driven back to her magnificent abode.

The next day an ordinary sailing vessel left New York for Liverpool,
having on board the only son of Hiram Meeker.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Mrs. Meeker reached her house, her husband had finished his dinner,
and gone out. It was late when he returned--so late, that his wife had
already retired.

In the morning, Mr. Meeker communicated to her the information of his
son's disgraceful and criminal conduct. She listened with such an air of
sorrow and distress, that it did not occur to him that she manifested no
surprise. She prudently, perhaps, forbore communicating the incidents
of the previous evening, for she knew it would lead to a terrible
reproof on his part. Besides, her present interference was far beyond
anything she had ever ventured on, and she stood in great terror of
Hiram where important matters were concerned.

During the day, Hiram Meeker had intelligence of his son's flight. He
received it with great outward composure, and with sensible inward

The discovery of the fraud which Augustus had committed had also been
borne with entire equanimity.

The fact is, Hiram, having thought best to conclude that his son was
irreclaimable, searched the Scriptures to find the various eminent
examples of disobedient, ungrateful, and wicked children; and he seemed
to cherish with unction the idea of being numbered among the godly
parents of a reprobate child.

His own position was so strong, so far above that of any ordinary man of
wealth, that the circumstance of a dissolute son's raising a few
thousand dollars by forging his name (after all, it was only a few
thousand) could only produce an expression of sympathy for the honored

What to do with Augustus--that was the question which troubled him
through the night; and the morning brought an agreeable solution of it.

His child, an only son, possessed of many noble and generous qualities,
without any of his father's intense selfishness, was a wanderer and an
outcast on the earth, and he unmoved, undisturbed, complacent!

It was soon known in the house what had become of Augustus. When Belle
heard of it, she gave a shrug, and exclaimed, 'Poor Gus!'

Harriet, the invalid, was deeply affected. Seeing how much she was
sorrowing, her mother, whose heart was still tender from the
recollection of her late parting with her boy, told her, under promise
of secrecy (she knew she could trust her), that she had seen Augustus
before he went away, and repeated the message with which she had been

'O mamma!' exclaimed the poor girl, 'we can save him--I know we can! You
say he is to write you. We shall know where he is, and by-and-by he will
come back.'

'Your father will never permit it.'

'Perhaps not immediately; but he will yield--I am sure he will yield.'

'You do not know him as I know him,' said Mrs. Meeker, in a tone so
sepulchral, that it made her daughter start. 'He will never

I think from that period the conduct of Mrs. Meeker toward her daughter
was much less indifferent, not to say harsh, than it had previously
been. Harriet was, in a way, connected with her last recollection of
Augustus. And this spark of a mother's tenderness did, to an extent,
spread a diffusing warmth over her whole nature.


Hiram Meeker had erected an entire block of buildings, which he called
'model houses for the poor.'

By this observation the reader must not suppose I mean that they were
provided _gratis_ for that ever-present class. No. But they were made on
a new plan, so as to give each family comfortable quarters, as if each
had a house of their own.

Hiram Meeker received great credit for the 'act of benevolence' in
building these homes for poor people. Doubtless it was a very great
improvement over the old arrangement. Still, Hiram's block of buildings
netted him just fifteen per cent. per annum, after deducting all
possible charges and expenses against the property.

To secure such a handsome return, there had, of course, to be very
strict and careful management. Hiram's agent in this department was a
man entirely satisfactory to him, and with whom he never interfered.
Frequent complaints were made of this man's severity, to which Hiram
would pay no attention. It was impossible for him to look after all the
details of his various affairs. An agent once appointed, people must
transact their business with him.

This was reasonable, as a rule; but Hiram's iniquity was displayed in
the nature of the men whom he selected to manage for him. You see he
placed exacting and relentless folks in charge, and then tried to avoid
the responsibility of their acts of severity.

One day, a few weeks after the circumstances recorded in the last
chapter, Hiram was seated in his inner and very private office, outside
of which was his regular office, where was his confidential clerk; and
beyond that the counting room of the princely house of 'Hiram
Meeker'--for he admitted no partners--which several rooms were protected
against persons having no business to transact with the house, but who
wished to see Mr. Meeker personally.

This class found entrance very difficult. They had first to announce the
nature of their business. If it required personal attention, they were
introduced to a species of general agent, who was high in Mr. Meeker's
confidence. If this last character was satisfied, then an interview
could be had with the great man himself.

I say, one day Hiram was seated in his most private apartment, quite
alone. He was engaged in calculations for some large real-estate
improvements involving an outlay of at least a million of dollars. He
had given orders not to be interrupted, and was deeply absorbed in his
plans, when the door opened, and a young man came in with a quick step.

Hiram did not look up. He supposed it was some one connected with the

'Is this Mr. Meeker?' was asked, in a vigorous, earnest voice.

Hiram raised his head, and beheld an individual apparently
five-and-twenty, dressed rather carelessly, but in the manner of a
gentleman. He was of goodly proportions, and had dark hair, a clear
complexion, and keen gray eyes.

Hiram made no reply to the question, except to ask, 'What is your name?'

'Dr. Ephraim Peters,' said the young man with the sparkling gray eyes.

'Who admitted you?' continued Hiram.

'I had a pressing errand of life and death, and could not wait for a
formal presentation.'

'What is your business?'

Dr. Peters took a seat with considerable deliberation, while Hiram
waited, with a displeased look, for him to reply.

'You are the owner of the block of 'model houses,' as they are called?'

Hiram nodded.

'A patient of mine, a laboring man, is one of your tenants. He broke his
leg a few months ago, falling from a scaffolding. He has had hard work
to live since. Thursday his wife was taken ill. Yesterday was rent
day--he pays monthly in advance. He could not get the money, and your
agent refuses to give him any grace. Now what I want to say is, the poor
woman can't be moved without danger to her life.'


'Well,' echoed the other, 'I want to get an order from you to let her

'See the agent.'

'I have seen him; and, what is more, although I am poor enough
myself--for I am just starting, you see, in New York--I offered to pawn
my watch and pay the rent myself, but the man would not take it.'


'No, he would not. He said they had gone over the time, and he did not
want tenants who depended on charity to pay rent; besides he said he was
afraid the woman was going to die, and he did not want a death in the
building--it would give it a bad name.'

The young man paused, with the air of one who had made a successful
argument, and was waiting for an auspicious result.

The only notice Hiram took of him was to say, in a decided tone, as he
resumed his calculations, 'I can't interfere.'

'CAN'T interfere!' said the other, with naive astonishment.
'Why, what do you mean? It will kill the woman, I tell you! You _must_

'Young man, you forget yourself. I repeat, go to the agent. I shall not

'Well, well,' said the young physician, rising, 'I have heard of hard
hearts and cruel men who grind the faces of the poor, but you are the
first I have seen. I don't envy you, though. I would not stand in your
shoes for a good deal.'

While Dr. Ephraim Peters was delivering himself of the above, Hiram had
struck a small bell which stood before him, and a young man entered in
response to the summons just as the doctor concluded.

'Holmes, send for a policeman.'

'Yes, sir.' And Holmes withdrew to execute the commission.

'Do you mean that for me?' exclaimed the young doctor, choking with
passion, while the gray eyes flashed dangerously.

Hiram made no reply, but occupied himself intently with the figures
before him.

'I say,' said the other, in a louder tone, 'do you mean that for me? I
suppose you do, and I have half a mind that the errand shall not be for
nothing. Yes, I have _more_ than half a mind to break every bone in your
worthless body!'

He looked at that moment, with his clenched hand, erect figure, and
energetic presence, quite capable of carrying out the threat.

Still, Hiram paid not the slightest attention to this demonstration, but
worked at his figures, more abstracted than ever. He knew it was merely
a matter of time; the policeman would arrive in two or three minutes,
and, as he hoped, would catch the doctor in the midst of his violent
outburst of passion.

On the other hand, our young hero soon discovered that he was to get no
satisfaction from his antagonist, as he now considered him, by the
course he was pursuing. He, too, began to count the moments--well aware
that he had not much time to spare.

He determined to change his tactics.

'After all,' he exclaimed, in a deliberate tone, 'I will not give you
the chance for a case of assault and battery. I think better of the
whole matter. Nature is slower, to be sure, but she will do the work
better than I could. Do you know what an advantage I have over you? I am
twenty-five, and you fifty-five. Money cannot buy back those thirty
years. That's about all I have to say.

'Not quite, either,' he continued, still more deliberately. 'I am a
medical man, accustomed to judge of a person's condition by observation.
Do you want me to tell you what is the matter with you?'

Dr. Ephraim Peters paused, as if for a reply.

A natural instinct, which acts without our volition, took such sudden
possession of Hiram, that he raised his eyes from his papers and turned
them upon the questioner, as if expecting him to continue.

'I see the subject interests you,' said the doctor. 'Take my advice. Sit
over your papers less, and exercise more--or you will be struck with
paralysis within five years! Good-day.'

He turned and quitted the apartment with a slow and dignified step.

As he advanced a little way along the street, he encountered Holmes,
still in search of a police officer.

He had been at two or three places where one was always visible; but,
as usual when wanted, none were to be found.

'Holmes,' said the doctor, addressing him as if he had known him all his
life, 'hurry back to your employer; he wants you particularly.'

Holmes sped off at the word, delighted to be relieved in his search; and
Dr. Ephraim Peters went on his way.

He was not mistaken as to the effect of the last attack. His chance shot
struck Hiram amidships. The latter continued gazing on vacancy for a
moment or two after the doctor had left the room.

'Paralysis--paralysis!' he muttered. 'That is what killed mother!'

Hiram started up, and walked across the room. He pinched his arms and
his legs, and both his cheeks. He fancied his left side had less
sensibility than his right.

"My brain _is_ overworked, that's a fact. Dr. Joslin has told me so
frequently. I must ride every morning before breakfast; I ought not to
have neglected it. Paralysis! how did he come to say paralysis?'--and he
commenced pinching himself again."

In the midst of these demonstrations, Holmes entered.

Hiram turned on him angrily. He had forgotten about sending him for a
police officer.

'I thought you wanted me,' said the young man, timidly.

'No, I do not!'

Holmes retreated.

Hiram Meeker put on his overcoat, took his hat, and, though still early,
prepared to walk all the way to his house.

One thing was uppermost in his mind--paralysis!

       *       *       *       *       *

Hiram reached his house in a very pious state of mind.

His wife and Belle were both out, and he went immediately to Harriet's

She was delighted to welcome her father so early, and she told him so.

Hiram regarded the attenuated form and pale, thin face of his daughter,
and I hope I am right in saying that he felt a touch of pity when he
reflected on her distressed situation, shut out from the world, and
slowly wasting away.

At any rate, he returned her greeting with more than ordinary kindness,
and seated himself by the side of the couch where she was reclining.

[Had you the power to look into the HEART, even as the
Omniscient regards it, which, think you, would most challenge your pity,
Hiram or his daughter?]

'I fear you are lonely, Harriet, so much of the day by yourself.'

'Not very lonely, papa. You know I have a good many visits, and Margaret
(the nurse) is invaluable. She reads to me whenever I desire; and she is
so cheerful always, that--'

'Has your Uncle Frank been here to-day?' interrupted Hiram.

'No, papa, but he is coming in to-morrow.'

'What time, think you?'

'Uncle generally comes about six o'clock. He says he reserves his last
visit before dinner for me.'

'Ask him to dine with us. Tell him I want to see him particularly.'

'Indeed, I will!' said Harriet, joyfully, for she knew there was not
much cordiality between them.

Now Hiram had suddenly conceived the idea of consulting Doctor Frank
about any latent tendency to paralysis in his constitution, and whether
it was hereditary or not, and so forth, and so forth. Aside from his
high reputation as a physician, he knew his brother could naturally
judge better about that than any one else. His mind, had wandered,
therefore, from his daughter back to himself.

Fortunately, she did not understand the selfish nature of the

'I wish you would come home as early every day, papa. How little you
are with us!'

'It is a great self-denial, my child--very great,' responded Hiram; 'but
on the rich fall a heavy responsibility--very heavy--and I must bear it.
Providence has so ordered. We must uphold society. We have to sustain
law and order--law and order.'

He should have said that it was law and order which sustained _him_.

[Ah, reader, it is a mighty _moral restraint_ which makes the crowd wait
patiently _outside_.]

Harriet heaved a deep sigh. She could not deny what her father had so
pertinently expressed, yet these high-sounding words made no impression
on her.

'Alas!' she said, mournfully, ' if I were a man, I should never wish to
be rich.'

Hiram was preparing to make a harsh reply, but, looking at his daughter,
her wan features at that moment were so expressive of every finer
feeling, that his baser nature was subdued before it.

He took her hand kindly, and said, with a smile, 'My dear child, you
know nothing about these things.'

'I suppose not, papa; but I have made you smile, and that is worth

The interview was not prolonged. Hiram soon felt a restless feeling come
over him. It occurred to him, just then, that he would have time before
dinner to take a look at the locality which he was preparing to occupy
for his real-estate improvements.

He told Harriet so, and repeating his request that she should induce her
uncle to stay to dinner, he left her apartment.

As the door closed, his daughter sighed again. For a while she appeared
to be absorbed in thought. Recovering, she directed the nurse to proceed
with the book she had in reading.

We dare not inquire what was passing in her mind during those few
moments of reflection. Perhaps, through that strange discrimination
which is sometimes permitted to those appointed to die, she had a
partial insight into her father's real nature.

I trust not. I hope she was spared that trial. It is an awful thing for
a child to awaken to a sense of a parent's unworthiness!


The two brothers had met--had met more congenially than they ever met
before. This was all Hiram's doings. He seemed like a new creature in
his bearing toward Doctor Frank, who could not (indeed he had no wish to
do so) resist the influence of his cordial treatment. After dinner, they
sat together in the library. They chatted of the old, old times when
Frank was in college, and Hiram, a little bit of a fellow, was his pet
and plaything during the vacations.

'We have done something, Frank, to keep up the Meeker name in New York,'
said the millionnaire, when that topic was exhausted. 'You are at the
top of the profession, and I--I have accomplished a good deal.'

Hiram spoke in such a genial, mellow tone, that Frank was touched.

'Yes,' he replied; '_you_ have at least achieved wonders. Do you
remember what mother used always to prophesy about you? It is fulfilled

'Poor mother!' sighed Hiram.

'Ah, yes! she was carried off very unexpectedly. What a vigorous
constitution she had, to all appearance!'

'Do you know, Frank, they tell me I may look for a similar visitation at
her age?'

'You? nonsense! Who has been filling your ears with such stuff?'

'Stuff or not, so I am advised seriously. What think you of it?'

Thus appealed to, Doctor Frank regarded his brother more critically.

'That is right,' said Hiram. 'Now that you are here, give me an

Doctor Frank thereupon asked several pertinent questions, to which
satisfactory replies were made. He sounded Hiram's chest: it was
responsive as a drum. Then he proceeded to manipulate him in a more
professional way. He put his ear close down, and held it for a minute,
to get the pulsation of the heart. This he repeated two or three times.

Hiram's face grew anxious.

'You find something wrong,' he said.

His brother made no reply, except to ask more questions.

At last he exclaimed, 'You are all right, Hiram--all right. There _is_ a
little irregularity about the action of the heart: it is not chronic,
but connected with the digestive organs. You are in as good health as a
man could ask to be. Only, don't use your brain quite so much; it
interferes with your digestion, and that in you affects the action of
the heart. It is not worth mentioning, I assure you' (Hiram was looking
alarmed); 'but, since you can just as well as not, I say, take more
exercise, and give your brain a holiday now and then.'

'Thank you--thank you! So you don't think there is anything in the idea
that I shall be--be--struck with paralysis--at about the same age that
mother was?'

'Pure nonsense, Hiram--utter nonsense!' exclaimed Doctor Frank,
cheerfully. [He knew how foolish it is to alarm one.] 'Still, exercise,
exercise. That we ought all to do.'

The next day, Hiram commenced his morning rides; one hour before
breakfast regularly.

He had fought the battle of life, and had won. Now he was called on to
go into another contest. He set to work at this with his customary

No one who saw the millionnaire on his horse, trotting sharply over the
road very early in the morning, understood really what was going on.

One day, however, Dr. Ephraim Peters caught sight of him, spurring on
under full headway, as if everything depended on the work he had in

'Do you know who that is, and what he is about?' asked the young doctor
of his companion.


'It is Hiram Meeker, _fighting Death_'


As the gay season progressed, the love affair between Signor Filippo
Barbone and the daughter of the millionnaire was not permitted to

The Signor was not in society.

Much as she might desire to do so, Belle dared not venture on the
hazardous experiment of introducing into her own aristocratic circle one
who had so lately figured as a second-rate opera singer. He would have
been recognized at once, and the whole town agitated by the scandal.

Belle knew this very well. Yet, strange to say, it did not in the least
weaken her infatuation for this coarse fellow. On the contrary, I think
it stimulated it. Self-willed and imperious, she tolerated with extreme
impatience any restraint whatever. In this instance, it was the more
tantalizing and exciting, because she felt that the world would be in
opposition to her; while her lover adroitly added fuel to the flame, by
protesting that he would no longer consent to be so unjust, so selfish,
so criminal, as to attempt to absorb her attention, or even intrude on
her notice. True, he should himself fade away and perish (he looked very
much like it); what of that? What were misery and death to him, compared
with her ease and peace of mind?

Thereupon he would disappear for two or three days, during which time
Belle would work herself into a fever of excitement. And when he did
return, unable, as he would say, to keep his oath to himself never to
see her again, she would receive him with such emotion and such
passionate demonstrations of delight, that the wily knave was satisfied
he had completed his conquest.

Things were at just this pass, when Hiram received an anonymous letter,
warning him in vague terms of what was going on, but mentioning no

Hiram was thunderstruck. On reflection, he was convinced that it was the
work of some envious person, who had got up the note to cause him or his
daughter annoyance; or else that it was a miserable joke, perpetrated by
some foolish fellow. So entirely was he assured that one or the other
hypothesis was correct, that he dismissed the matter from his mind. He
carried the note home, however, and handed it to Belle in a playful
manner, while he bestowed his customary caress, and received a kiss in

'Young lady, what do you think of that?' he asked.

It was fortunate--or rather most unfortunate--that Hiram did not
entertain the slightest suspicion of his daughter: else he would have
been led to scrutinize her countenance as he made the remark.

Like most persons who are accustomed to decide for themselves, he never
questioned the correctness of his judgment after it was once formed.

Belle, for an instant, felt the floor sinking away under her feet!

It was only for an instant.

With the readiness for which the sex are so remarkable, she at once gave
way to a most violent exhibition of temper. She walked up and down the
room, apparently in a transport of rage; she tore the note into a
hundred pieces, and _threw them into the grate_.

What was to be done? What would her father do to punish the miscreant
who had dared take such a liberty with her name? Boldly she stepped
before him, and asked the question.

During these exhibitions, Hiram stood smiling all the while. Belle was
very handsome, and never, as he thought, so brilliant as at that moment,
giving vent to her woman's passion.

It was really so. Her form, her face, her eyes worked so harmoniously in
the scene she had got up to cover what was below the surface, that she
did present, to any one whose senses were arbiters, a most beautiful

'You are laughing at me, papa--I see very plainly you are laughing at
me! I will not endure it! I--'

'Belle,' interrupted her father, 'you little goose, what do you think I
care for the scribbling of any fool that chooses to disgrace himself?
What should you, my daughter, care? To be sure, I can understand why you
may suddenly give way to your feelings; but there is reason in all
things. Don't you think the miserable fellow who penned that scrawl
(by-the-way, you have very foolishly destroyed it, provided you did wish
to trace it out)--I say, don't you think the fellow who perpetrated the
ridiculous joke would be pleased enough to see how you take it?'

He took his daughter by the arm--a very beautiful arm--and gave her a
little shake--a playful, pleasant shake. Looking her in the face, he
said: 'Answer me, Belle--am I not right? Have you not sense enough to
see that I am right?'

'Oh, I suppose so, papa. You are always right. That is, I never can
answer your arguments; but--'

'That will do, Belle. Run off to your room, and come down quite yourself
for dinner.'

Belle gave her father an arch smile, to show how obedient she was, and
bounded away.

Hiram watched his daughter with delight as she ran up the staircase, and
his heart exulted in the possession of a child so charming and


The Andes, like a vast wall, extend along the western coast of South
America. Woods cluster, like billows of foliage, around the feet of the
mountains. A vast network of intersecting streams is woven by the
gigantic warp and woof of these mountains. Many brooks, stealing along,
scarcely heard, over the table-lands, and many fierce torrents, dashing
wildly through rocky crevices, fill the great streams that roll, some
into the Caribbean Sea, some into the near Pacific; while one, the
mighty Amazon, stretches across the continent for more than three
thousand miles, and swells the Atlantic with the torrents of the Andes.
The keel of a vessel entering the Amazon from the Atlantic, may cut
through waters that once fell as flakes of snow on the most western
ridges of the Andes, and glistened with the last rays of the sun as he
sank in the Pacific.

A spell of fascination hangs about the Amazon. Its wonders, known and
unknown, have a marvellous attraction; and the perils encountered in its
exploration give a throb of interest to its very name.

How terrible were the sufferings of Gonzalo Pizarro and his companions,
who set forth in youth and vigor to explore the valley of the Amazon!
How worn and haggard the survivors returned to Quito, leaving some of
the daring cavaliers of Spain to bleach in death on the wild plain, or
to moulder in the lonely glen! No river has sadder chronicles of
suffering and danger than the Amazon. Still, the exploration, so
hazardous, yet of such vast value, will go on. Many a hero in the great
war with nature will follow the track of Herndon, the noble man as well
as the brave explorer, who escaped the perils of the great river, only
to sink, with his manly heart, into the great deep.

In science as in war, ranks after ranks may fall; but the living press
on to fill the vacant places. The squadrons are ever full and eager for
service. To search new lands through and through, or to drag old cities
from the graves of centuries, men will advance as heroically as an army
moves to the capture of Chapultepec. Not a flower can breathe forth its
fragrance, though in marshes full of venomous serpents and of as deadly
malaria, but science will count its leaves, and copy with unerring
pencil the softest tints that stain them with varied bloom and beauty.
Science will detect every kind of rock in the structure of the most
defiant crag. Not a bird can chant or build its nest in the most leafy
shade, but science will find the nest, describe every change of color on
the feathers of the little singer, and set to music every tone that
gushes from its tiny throat. Not a gem can repose safe from seizure, in
the rocks, in the sand, or in the torrent. Not a star can twinkle in the
abyss of night, but science will tell its rate of light, and describe
its silent and mysterious orbit. Torrid heat, the earthquake, the
tornado, the pestilence, mountains of ice, craters of flame--science
will dare them all, to know one more law of nature. God speed the daring
of science, if only her votaries will not place the law in the place of
Him who made both it and the works which it was commissioned to guide.
Science, when she has found the highest and the most comprehensive law
of nature, has not touched Deity itself; she has but touched the hem of
the garment of the Great Lawgiver.

One veteran of science, Alexander von Humboldt, has yielded to the great
law of humanity, as inexorable as any that he found in nature. His
researches in South America, though mainly confined to the valley of
the Oronoco, were most thorough, and his array of facts and observations
are of inestimable value. Yet, Humboldt searched into nature with the
coldness of the anatomist, content with examining its material
structure, rather than with the zeal of one who seeks images of Divine
power impressed alike on solid rocks and gliding streams. Science,
however rigid, would not have restrained the ardor of homage to the
Author of creative energy and grandeur, bursting forth irrepressibly in
scenes where angels would have adored the Great First Cause, and where
man can do no less.

Humboldt's fame as an observer is founded on a rock which no mortal
power can shake. He lacked the reverential insight into the higher and
deeper powers of nature, but, so far as his mental eyes saw, he
described surely and vividly the manifestations of those powers. He was
an observer of wonderful skill in the outer courts of nature, though he
seemed either not to seek or to be bewildered in seeking her interior
shrine. He exemplified rather the talent than the genius of discovery,
the patient sagacity which accumulates materials, rather than the fervid
enthusiasm which traces the stream of nature's action to its spring, the
great Creative Will. Yet, the very title of Humboldt's great work, the
concentrated fruit of a life of toil, 'Cosmos,' meaning beauty and
order, and, then, the visible world, as illustrating both, seems to show
a gleam of feeling above the spirit of material research. His warmest
admirer could have respecting him no worthier hope than that he, who has
left the scene of earthly beauty which he so long and diligently
studied, may have had the joy to discern, in the sphere of celestial
order, the Cosmos of the skies, higher and deeper truths than external
nature can teach.

An American artist, Church, has portrayed with great force and beauty
some portions of the inspiring scenery of the Andes. Church's pictures
are avowedly compositions, and not transcripts of actual views; yet,
they are not more remarkable for ideal beauty than for truthfulness to
nature. Although no real scenes among the Andes correspond to his
painting, yet the glorious characteristics of the Andes are seen in
every line, in every color, in all the strange lights and shadows of his
paintings. Imagination, which sees at once the powers and proportions of
things, is, when joined to a feeling heart, the surest guide to him who
would describe natural truth, whether of the souls of men or of material
forms. The realists of art may not be so well satisfied with a
composition, as with the delineation, line by line, and point by point,
of a scene in nature; yet the more comprehensive critic will own that
universality will gain by the composition far more than local identity
can lose. By his imaginative skill, Church has portrayed in two or three
pictures those characteristics of scenery which, to be faithfully
delineated in copies from actual views, would require a hundred
paintings. This is alike his best defence and his highest praise.

In recalling my own observations among these noble mountains, and in
striving to express them in language, I feel how much higher is the
vantage ground of the painter. One may examine for hours the canvas,
until every scene is fixed on the memory as on the canvas itself. Yet I
will endeavor to give a general view of the scenery of the stupendous
Andes--stupendous truly, yet among those mountains are scenes of such
quiet beauty as to touch the heart as tenderly as softest music.

Scarcely a hundred miles from the Pacific Ocean arise some of the
highest peaks of the Andes, yet the way upward is much longer. From the
coast, or from the decks of ships sailing by it, may be seen, in clear
weather, some of the peaks of the mountains. On the shores, hazes and
mists often temper the tropical sun and obscure distant objects; but,
at early morning and evening, sometimes the great snowy dome of
Chimborazo may be seen afar, towering in majesty above the tropical
verdure between its base and the ocean. It looks as if invading the
heavens with its colossal form; and at such times it wears a vesture of
glory. A few years ago, in New England, of a clear night in the depth of
winter, an aurora of the north reddened the whole sky; and the earth
beneath, covered with snow, was as red as the sky above. Imagine such an
aurora to fall upon the snowy summit of a mountain four miles high, and
you may conceive how attractive is the flush of beauty upon the brow of
Chimborazo at sunrise and at sunset.

Turn from the broad Pacific, as its long waves glance in the sun; and,
as the morning tide washes up the tropical rivers, go with it along one
of them, a part of the way, perhaps, in a sailing vessel or a steamer,
but the rest in a light canoe. Tropical shrubbery and forests line the
banks of the stream. New forms and modes of life impress the traveller
from the temperate zone. The scenery of the tropics, so long the wonder
of the imagination, now expands in wild luxuriance before the sight.
When you have gone as far as you can along the winding river, waiting,
perhaps, for hours, here and there upon the bank, in some rude cabin, or
under the shade of some broad fragrant tree, for the returning tide from
the ocean to bear you swiftly on; disembark upon a strange soil, and
prepare to pursue your journey by mules or horses.

You reach the forests, and pierce their dark recesses by narrow paths,
mere winding threads of road. Great clouds of foliage press around you,
and, at the slightest breeze, thrill with that murmur of myriads of
trees, which is so full of mystery and awe; for there, the very forests,
unbroken and unbounded, seem audibly to breathe together with mystical
accord, and to blend low quivering tones with the grand chorus which
swells daily upward from vales and mountains, seas and shores.

Interspersed with the thick foliage, on every hand are blossoms and
fruits of every tropical kind. Pale, white bridal blossoms clothe the
orange tree, or golden fruit hangs among its clusters of glossy leaves.
The starry rind and pale-green crown of the pineapple tempt you to enjoy
the luscious fruit. High in air the cocoanut tree lifts its palmy
diadem. The long broad leaves of the plantain protect its branches of
green or yellow fruit, and throw a grateful shade upon the way, open
here and there. Here is, indeed "a wilderness of sweets," and the air is
full of blended fragrances. While the eye ranges, seeing trees, fruits,
and flowers innumerable, of glorious hues and countless kinds, most
never seen by you before, or at least only as exotics, the ear also
takes in varied sounds. Birds are singing, insects humming; every tree
seems a choir, and the immeasurable forest a wide congregation of joyful

You are now on the lowest stage of that sublime gradation of climates
and scenery displayed by the Andes. You cross it in two or three days'
journey (for, as in the East, so, in the mountainous regions of South
America, travelling is measured less by miles than by days' journeys).
You then arrive at the foot of one of the mountains. Stop and look up! A
ridge covered with forests to its very top stands steep before you. The
wind makes tremulous the masses of evergreen foliage, which are now
shaded by the reluctant mists of the morning, slowly ascending, and now
are bright with the full splendor of noon. Above that ridge rises
another, and another yet, unseen at the foot. Begin the ascent. The
mules tremble as they strive to keep their hold on the steep, slippery
soil. Press upward in zigzag paths for hours. Reach the top of the
ridge, and descend into the valley between it and another higher
opposite; then, ascend again. As you thus slowly, patiently, yet surely
reach the heart of the mountainous region, wild diversity of views holds
you bound in wonder and strange delight. Here are level places--here
pure, bright brooks glide on as smoothly as in meadows. There, a torrent
rushes over crags, foaming and roaring in an everlasting cascade. Before
you may be a hillside, green with luxuriant pasturage, where flocks and
herds graze quietly through the day, while the shepherd, with his crook
and harmonic pipe, reminds you of classic scenes. Turn aside--and you
may look down into cavernous recesses, whose gloomy, depths you cannot
measure. Scenes fair and fearful meet in the same horizon. So, in life,
the gentle charities, that, like the face of Una, make sunshine in the
shady place, are often found not far from rugged rage and black despair.
Press on through glad and sombre scenery. Press upward in steep ways,
miry and craggy, narrow and broad, by turns.

Now, so deep are the paths cut in the mountain, so high are the banks,
so contracted is the way, that, the higher you rise, the less you appear
to see; and you feel disappointed at missing the grand horizon of
smaller mountains, on which, coming nearer the summit, you expected to
look; but now, a shout of exultation breaks from your lips; and well it
may. A new Pacific Ocean seems to expand before you, as if by some
sudden enchantment. It is an ocean of constant verdure and inexhaustible
fertility, spreading far, far below you, as far as you can see, on every
side but that from which, high on the mountain top, you look down upon
the view. The seeming ocean is the first table land, whose soft, green
undulations fill the horizon, though, when the sky is clear, the snowy
mountains may be seen far away, dazzling the heavens and the earth with
their brightness. Spring and autumn here join hands, consecrating the
double seedtime and the double harvest of the year. Yonder is a field of
ripened grain. And there is the Indian laborer, near his cabin of thatch
and clay, guiding the rude ploughshare through the fertile soil.

Descend the mountain, and, crossing that sea of beauty, ascend the
mountains beyond. The scenes, just now all soft and pleasing, give way
to others which unite the lovely and the severe. Look upward. There
rises a mountain, so gently curving and so green, so alluring with its
light and shade, that it seems the very emblem of graceful majesty,
looking as if it must know its wondrous beauty, and as calm as if no
wind strong enough to make a violet tremble could ever breathe upon its
face; yet near, in vivid contrast, stands a craggy peak, towering up,
up, toward the deep blue sky, so broken and so black that it seems like
the very Giant Despair of mountains, frowning with unearthly fierceness
upon his gentle neighbor, who returns his grim looks with meek and
placid trust. Where whirlwinds and tempests await the signal for howling
desolation, stands the beautiful colossal image of sublime serenity.

Again, steep, rocky roads lead over rugged cliffs. Your horses climb
panting, and descend, picking their steps, upon the other side. Stop
awhile on this green space, a valley between two high ridges. Countless
flowers spread fragrance and beauty around. They are not those alone of
the strictly tropical level, but, owing to the height above the sea, the
floral wealth of the temperate zone is embosomed in the torrid region
itself, and adds the charm of an almost magical diversity to the
intrinsic splendors of the scene. See small objects flitting about from
flower to flower. They are the smallest and most delicate of
hummingbirds, nowhere found but in America. Watch their colors, changing
with every changing motion, purple, crimson, golden, green. It is as if
the very flowers had taken life, and were revelling with conscious glee
in the soft, bright air. The hues of these birds are dazzlingly bright.
The little creatures glance about like prismatic rays embodied in the
smallest visible forms.

After gazing upon these hummingbirds with joy as great as theirs, as
they revel like fairies in the profusion of this flowery valley, look
upward on the high, grand ridges that close it in. What suddenly starts
from the very top of yon cliff, and floats in the air, high, high, above
you? It is the great condor, expanding his broad wings, wheeling in
flight from ridge to ridge, curving with majestic motion, now poising
himself upon his wings, now apparently descending, now suddenly but
gracefully turning upward, until his lessening shape has gone beyond the
farthest reach of sight. The hummingbird and the condor; hillsides
covered with sheep; rocky ridges inaccessible to man or beast; brooks
that quiver gently on; impetuous torrents; the beauty of Eden and craggy
desolation like that of chaos--these all can you see among the Andes.

Let not the fascination of this valley, the songs of birds, the flowers,
the hummingbirds glistening among them like gems, the soft outlines of
the scenery detain you long. Harder and sterner scenes await you. The
Andes are a picture of life. Every cliff records a lesson; and the
unnumbered flowers interweave with their varied dyes and rich perfumes
gentle suggestions, sweet similitudes for the understanding and the
heart. If, as in this charming valley, the senses may be dissolved in
joy, and the spirit would linger willingly in rapt delight, soon some
hard experience, kindly sent, requires one to brace all manly energy for
the rough encounter, the blast of peril, and duty's steep and craggy
road. You ascend in narrowing ways, casting long, lingering looks upon
the valley, whenever it opens to view between the cliffs.

Here, the ridges are so near together that the shrubbery from the top of
each joins in an arch overhead. There, you pass along by the side of a
mountain, in a path which affords scarcely room for a single horseman,
and where he who enters the close defile, shouts aloud, and, if the
first, thus gains a right of way through, and parties on the other side,
hearing the shout, must wait their turn. Now, you leave for a while the
narrow road, and descend upon a beautiful table land, bounded on the
sides by parallel but distant mountains; and the open places reveal
fertile plains in far perspective. Light streams through the wide, clear
space in a golden tide of splendor. Again, you are partly surrounded by
an amphitheatre of hills, rising in gradations, and of such impressive
magnitude and extent that one might imagine that here the secret forces
of nature are wont to take bodily shape, to look on the grand tragic
storms which their own fearful agency has raised.

Now, on one side, the mountains subside into soft undulations; on the
other, the ridges are colossal, dark, and broken, and along the edges of
their successive summits is a line of snow, varying with the line of the
cliffs, and glittering like burnished silver in the sun, above the
jagged battlements. The deep blue sky, the shining snow, the huge, dark,
rocky bases, the different shades of color harmoniously blending, the
soft and rugged shapes contrasting vividly--well may impress the soul
with pleasure-relieving awe, with awe-ennobling pleasure.

Dismount awhile for rest. Enter this rude, thatched house by the
wayside, on a level spot. Laden mules pass by in crowds, attended by
Indian drivers, each of whom doffs his hat and blesses you--a mere
ceremony, it may be, but one in picturesque keeping with the scenery.
Invigorated by the breeze, the shade, the rest, prepare to go higher,
higher, higher yet. First, pluck some of these roses that grow profusely
around you, that, if you reach the line of snow that never melts, you
may place upon the cold bosom of perpetual winter these blushing symbols
of perpetual spring.

Again, you reach the edge of a cliff, through the deep, narrow valley
between which and the cliff opposite pours a furious torrent, which,
resounding louder and louder as it is approached, now drowns all other
sounds in its despotic roar. But, fearful as it looks, it must be
crossed. Some of these torrents are spanned by bridges; but most of them
are so impetuous, especially in the rainy season, that bridges even of
stone would be undermined, and those of timber would be swept away like
wisps of straw. You must now trust to the sagacity of your mules or
horses. You descend the precipitous side of the cliff, seeming to
yourself as if about to fall headlong into the torrent; but after a
painful and perilous jaunt, you reach its level. Its roar now confuses
and nearly stuns you. Each side is more or less precipitous, and you
seem at the mercy of the furious tide, while jutting rocks above seem
just ready to be loosened by some convulsion, and to crush you with
their merciless weight: meantime, your horse stands unmoved by the peril
before or above him, apparently deaf to the noise of the torrent, and
quietly surveys the rapids, as if to select the safest point to cross.
Disturb him not. He takes his time, and places one foot and then another
in the torrent. As he reaches the main current, he trembles, not with
fear, but with the effort to keep himself from being swept against the
rocks. He may be able to keep his footing and to walk across, though
panting and shaking at every step; or the stream may be so deep that he
is forced to swim. If so, he bears up _manfully_ (if one may say so)
against the rushing force, and at last scrambles up the least steep peak
of the opposite bank, bearing you more dizzy than he is. But the bank
itself is only the foot of a ridge as precipitous as that which you
descended to reach the stream. Quietly, patiently, surely the horse
ascends. A sudden misstep or unwary slip among the loose stones of the
path would send you far backward into the torrent which you have just
escaped. This very seldom happens, for the horses and mules have been
well trained for the service. In all the perils, the horse or mule is a
safer guide than you. Give him a free rein, and he will bear you up the
hardest, roughest, steepest places.

You are now high among the Andes, far above every sign of tropical
vegetation; and, although hourly you are approaching the equatorial
line, yet hourly also it is growing colder. Look up! A snowy peak rises
directly before you, and seems to challenge you with its refulgent,
inaccessible majesty. The sight at first almost appals, but fascinates.
The feeling of fear soon surrenders to absorbing enjoyment of the
sublimity of the scene. The more you look, the more you desire to look.
There stands the mountain, a single glance at which repays all the
fatigue and danger of the road;--there it stands, as high above the
Pacific Ocean as if Vesuvius should be piled upon itself again, and
again, and yet again. Clear snow covers it with a robe of dazzling

The snowy peak, though it seems so near in the pure atmosphere, is a
weary distance off. As you advance slowly and laboriously upward, the
wind blows almost like a hurricane. You can hardly breast its force. It
grows colder and colder. Here, on the equator, man may freeze to death.
Bear a stout heart and a firm face against the cold and the wind.

Now it is too steep even for the horses and mules of the Andes. You are
ascending toward the snowy peak whose alluring brightness has charmed
the long way, since you saw it first. Dismount and climb as you can
among the rocks. The glittering snow is near. You pant as if you might
soon lose all power to breathe again; yet, press on, and now touch at
last the pure, bright, equatorial snow.

Would you now reach the very summit which shines far, far above you,
arrayed in glowing white. That you cannot do. Angels descending on
ministries of grace may touch that snowy mountain top, but mortal feet
it never felt. That radiant peak is sacred from bold endeavor and the
assaults of battle. War's gory feet never climbed so far. War's flaming
torch never stained that pure and snowy light. Swords never flashed
among those white defiles. Angels of peace guard the tops of the Andes.
There is truce to all the rage of earth. During the middle ages, an
interval in every week was sacred from the assaults of foes. It was
called the Truce of God. Not for three days, but for countless ages,
from the birth of time to the final consummation, on these snowy summits
of the Andes shines in pure white the Holy Truce of God.

In Italy and Sicily, an ethereal veil, a pale, blue gossamer, spreads
over the scenery, as if each object had caught some delicate reflection
from the blue heavens above; and the golden illumination of this misty
veil causes the peculiar charm of Italian sunsets. This effect is
generally wanting in the scenery of the Andes near the equator, though
among the mountains more remote, a similar effect is sometimes seen.
Among the Andes of the equatorial region, so pure is the air, that the
farthest objects visible are exactly defined. The curves and angles of
distant cliffs are as clearly seen as those of masses of rock at one's
side. Hardly a ray of light is so refracted as to disturb the perfect
shape and color of any object in the horizon. The splendor of the sun
brings out the true colors of everything within the range of sight; and
so various are these colors, and so diversified are the groupings of
ridges and valleys, in the scenery of the Andes of the equator, that the
pure developing and defining light and the clear air of that region
produce effects as enchanting as the transforming light and the soft
veiling air of Italy. At sunrise and at sunset, indeed, but especially
at sunset, a rosy light tinges the snowy summits of the far-off
mountains, but those near shine with pure white, like mountains of
silver. The hue of every precious stone is found in the colors of the
Andes. Even the crevices on the rocky sides of the mountains without
verdure seem when the sun shines upon them to be filled and overflowing
with warm hues, varying from the softest lilac to the deep, rich,
pervading purple which the artist loves to revel in. Each of the Andes,
besides his emerald or pearly crown, seems also to wear, like the high
priest of old, a jewelled breastplate, reflecting on earth the glory of
the skies.

The table lands of the Andes, especially when seen from above, resemble
the rolling prairies of western North America. Both have the same
beautiful and various undulations, though those of the table lands are
bolder. The prairies are far more extensive; though, often, the table
lands present as broad a horizon of gently curving land. These table
lands in some places extend like vast halls between widely separate but
parallel chains of the Andes--again, like broad corridors along a line
of ridges--again, like wide landings to gigantic stairs, of which the
stone steps are mountains--again, they expand in hollows surrounded by
hills, like lakes of land. Here is one large enough for several small
farms only--there, many towns and rural estates are found on the same
table land. Here is one which you may traverse in an hour--there is one
which may be several days' journey across.

The agricultural wealth of the Andes is mainly concentrated in these
table lands, in these millions of rolling acres. The table lands are
above the region of forests. About the watercourses, on the farms, and
in the towns, a few trees may be found--sometimes avenues of them laid
out with care and beauty; and the fruit trees of the temperate zone may
here be cultivated; but the great forests of the tropical level and the
pines of the mountains are absent.

The _Paramos_ are sandy plains, in fact, mountain deserts, in the dry
season liable to great droughts, and in the wet season to fearful
snowstorms. The armies of Independence, during the wars between Spain
and South America, suffered terrible hardships and exposures in the
_Paramos_. The _Pampas_ are wide and level plains, not so high as the
table lands, where graze innumerable herds of wild cattle. They are
beyond the ranges of mountains, in the more central parts of South
America. There are none west of the Andes.

The table lands complete the sublime varieties of the scenery. Their
serenity enchants, as the grandeur of the mountains that rise above them
exalts the mind. The works of nature are not only adapted to human need
with Omniscient skill, as these fertile lands among the sterner
mountains prove; but, feelings different, yet harmonious, are excited by
the combinations of Infinite Power. The emotion of awe, being one of
great concentration, becomes even painful, if the tension of the mind be
too long sustained; and so He who tempers the ineffable splendor of His
immediate presence even to the gaze of angels, with the rainbow of
emerald about his throne, with the sea of crystal, the tree of life, or
the gates of precious stones, also soothes the sublimity of mountains
with gentle traits of scenery and soft gradations of color which give
enjoyment more passive than awe, and rather captivate than overpower the
eye and soul.

From the table lands can often be seen in the distance snow-covered tops
of mountains, projected in bold, white outlines against the deep-blue
sky; and there the sky is really blue, not of that pale tinge that often
passes for it, but of a deeper blue than even the rich October sky of
North America. As if joining the sky, are the shining summits of the
mountains. The two ethereal colors, blue and white, thus meet in
dazzling harmony. Sometimes so many of these white, towering heights can
be seen, and in so different quarters, that one may almost fancy the sky
itself to be a vast dome of sapphire supported by gigantic pillars of

Most of the cities, villages, and farms are on these table lands. Often,
for the sake of the grand view, a villa is built on a steep ridge,
within sight of the broad, undulating surface of some plateau; or, in
some position of peerless beauty, the glittering cross on some convent
may be seen. The Spanish race appreciate the picturesque, as is shown by
their choice of sites, not only in Spain, but in Spanish America. The
poetical, imaginative character which has marked Spanish annals for
centuries, still marks those who have any claim to Spanish descent. The
South American, though half an Indian, recognizes the grandeur of his
native mountains, and the beauty of the broad, fertile valleys, while a
thorough-going Anglo-Saxon of North America, in the same places, would
calculate whether or not the torrent that rushes foaming and glittering
down the mountain is too steep to serve a mill, or whether the smaller
mountains might not be levelled for building lots; or he would gaze upon
some beautiful table land with wonder indeed, but with wonder chiefly
how much wheat or barley there grows to the acre, or can be made to
grow. The table lands produce the grains and fruits of the temperate
zone; and, accordingly, proprietors who own, as many do, estates on the
tropical and on the temperate level, may supply their tables with fruits
from their own grounds, for which, in other countries, the world must be
brought under contribution. The soil is cultivated mainly by Indians.
Descendants of the ancient rulers of the land now till the fields of the
descendants of the conquerors.

Some, indeed, representing more or less the Indian part of the
population, are owners of estates; yet a full Indian rarely has lands of
his own. He is a hewer of wood and a drawer of water, tills the fields,
and performs most of the drudgery of the country. More South Americana
of Indian descent, out of the general population, have gained honor and
power than could possibly have done so under the confined and absolute
sway of the Incas. The Indians of all Spanish America have progressed,
however slowly and rudely, in the arts, labors, culture, and faith of
Christian civilization, and, in the aggregate, are in advance of the
Indians of Anglo-America.

Let the imagination survey the whole range of the Andes for their vast
extent of sixty degrees of latitude. On every level space are seen the
signs of culture and human habitation, fields green with the early
grain, or yellow with the harvest. The roads now wind through forests of
constant shade, even under the burning sun of the equator; now they turn
with gentle windings, or with steep abruptness, while below spread
bright and beautiful lands, and interesting the more because associated
with the homes and lives of men.

In the grandest scenery, some sign of man's abode will be grateful. No
one, indeed, whose soul has not been warped out of all likeness to the
Divine image which it once wore, can regard without abhorrence such
intrusions of noisy machinery into scenes of natural sublimity as,
for instance, have desecrated the neighborhood of Niagara Falls,
and which would have done so yet more, but for the energetic and
forever-praiseworthy resistance of the proprietors of adjacent grounds;
as if America, with her thousands of miles of rivers, and almost
infinite number of rapid, unfailing brooks, had not mill privileges
enough, without daring to insult the Divine Majesty by wresting the
Falls of Niagara from their true design. The spirit of gain, which has
been eager, though--thanks be to God--it has not been able to spoil the
natural glory of Niagara, is vile, degraded, base enough to sell a
mother's dying gift for gold, or to seize, if it had the power, the
jewelled gates of the New Jerusalem as collateral security for its
meagre faith in anything divine.

But, though the presence of that sacrilegious materialism, of that
practical blasphemy, which defies creative Deity at the very shrines
where its infinite power is most wonderfully displayed, is a plague
spot, a malignant sign of spiritual leprosy, which warns all to beware
of its vile contagion; yet, the suggestions of rural toil, the sight of
tilled fields, the cottage, the shepherd and his flock, are all
harmonious with nature, even in her grandeur; for they show that the
glorious wonders of earth were given, not, indeed, to be distorted, but
to be enjoyed by man; and even the stupendous mountain derives a new
charm from the reflection that it may minister daily to the elevation of
the soul, while the benign fertility of the valley sustains the natural

How pleasantly these villages nestle upon the breasts of the mountains,
as if there to find shelter from the stormy blast! Trains of mules,
attended by their drivers, whose shrill shouts echo among the rocky
hills, wind upward, laden with rich tropical fruits from the coast, or
with goods from other lands. Other trains descend, laden with grain and
the fruits of the temperate zone, from the higher districts.
Well-guarded mules bear bars of precious silver from the mountain mines
for the currency of the world, or to render dazzling service on the
tables of nobles and kings in foreign lands. Look upon the gorgeous
clouds above you, as if the snowy Andes were soaring heavenward; reach
higher points, and look upon shining clouds far below, as if the same
snowy mountains had descended to bow in meek devotion. The llama, the
delicate beast of burden, sometimes called the Peruvian camel, with
gently curving neck, moves gracefully on, turning often and quickly,
from side to side, mild, plaintive eyes, as if entreating pity.

The cascade glances like a streak of silver from the mountain at your
side; in the valley you see the sweet, calm lake, or you hear the
torrent, sounding among shadowy woodlands, never weary, never still.
Stand on a lofty ridge, and look abroad on the vast, snowy heights that
appear in the horizon;--then let the 'mind's eye' look beyond the
horizon, and behold similar peaks stretching three thousand miles along.
Then bend reverently before Him who has made earth so grand.

Go to the galleries of Rome and Florence. It is wise to gather new
beauty to the soul from works of art, and to study the exquisite graces
which the great masters have gathered from nature and delineated in
glowing canvas or in lasting marble; yet, here is a gallery of paintings
by the Great Master and Author of all sublimity and beauty in heaven and
earth, extending, not from room to room of buildings made with hands and
roofed with cedar, but from hall to hall of nature's colossal cathedral,
roofed by the infinite sky. Look at these pictures, ever changing, yet
ever grand, of majestic mountains, of reposing valleys, of fertile
plains, of rural homes, of streams and waterfalls, of vast forests, of
myriad forms of life and beauty, of sunrise, sunset, and the glittering
moon. What a marvellous variety in the objects portrayed! What surprises
at every turn! Colors more brilliant than Titian or Allston could
combine, join in harmonious effect on every side, and grace and vigor,
beauty and grandeur, are blended in every scene and almost in every
outline. Would you examine the famous statues of the world, and admire
the symmetry of form and power of expression drawn forth by human skill
from the hard, white stone? Or will the fragments of ancient art give
delight for their expressive beauty, visible though in broken forms?
Behold here a gallery of statuary, a line of divine masterpieces, whiter
than Parian marble, wrought by the 'ANCIENT OF DAYS.' Will you
admire Michael Angelo's colossal 'Day and Night'? and revere the mortal
genius that can so impress the soul? Give homage, then, for the majesty
of power with which He who created and adorned the universe has
displayed, among the Andes, Day and Night--Day robed with unutterable
splendor, Night with transcendent awe.

Mountains!--the grandest of nature's visible works--ye are also the
figures of majesty, of strength, of loftiness of soul! Ye are the raised
letters which record on the great globe the history of man! Ye are the
mighty scales in which the fate of nations has been weighed! Ye have
checked the march of conquest, or inspired with new, defiant energy the
conqueror's will! Your ranges are the projecting lines which mark, on
the great dialplate of the world, the shadows of the rolling ages! On
your steep, bleak heights empires have been lost and won! Ye show how
weak is man, how great is God!

Ye are the home of meditation, the colossal pillars of the audience
chamber of the Deity! The Mount of Contemplation rises far above the
mists of partial opinion and the mire of conflict, the discords of
jangling interests and the refractions of divided policies, girt by a
serene and sublime horizon, and within hearing of Nature's everlasting

Behold the holy family of mountains, on which the angels look with
reverential wonder: the Mount of Awe, black with clouds and vivid with
lightnings, whence descended the guide of wandering Israel, with light
divine reflected on his brow; the Mount of Transfiguration, where native
Deity gleamed from the face of the benign Messiah on adoring, rapt
disciples; the Mount of Sorrow, where the world's grief was borne, and
which celestial grace has made the Mount of Joy to 'numbers without
number;'--the Mount of Ascension, where last stood on earth Incarnate
Mercy. Look up! look up! See how the angelic guards point with
amaranthine wands afar, where glows, beyond the vale of tears, the
Mountain of Immortal Life.

Behold, in exalted vision, the mountains of Asia and of the islands of
the Eastern seas, of Africa, of Europe, of America;--see how they are
baptized with fire, one after, another, as the sun rises, to spread
around the world the light of its daily consecration. How sadly is the
world's morning glory soiled and dimmed by thoughtless man ere comes
again the dark and silent night!


Not long after the outbreak of the present war, the loyal portion of the
country discovered that the sympathies of the British Government, and,
in a great measure, of the British nation, were with the revolted
States. The expectations of those who looked toward England for at least
a hearty moral support, were quickly destroyed by the ill-concealed
spirit of exultation which she exhibited on more than one occasion.
Although it can hardly be asserted that the great body of our people
expected from her more than an impartial observance of strict
neutrality, it nevertheless occasioned considerable surprise that a
country, called so often as herself to the task of surpressing
rebellions, should be prejudiced against ourselves when similarly

With France, however, it was different. We had for years been accustomed
to regard the French as our natural allies. The amicable relations which
had existed between us, with but comparatively little interruption,
since the days of the Revolution, naturally led us to look to them for a
degree of sympathy not to be expected from our constant rivals and
competitors the English. It was with painful surprise therefore that we
shortly perceived that the French Government was, of all others, the
most hostile to our cause, and the one to be regarded with the most
suspicion and distrust.

Spain also took advantage of our weakened condition to display a spirit
of enmity toward us no less decided than that observed on the part of
her more powerful neighbors. In short, of the whole great family of
European nations scarcely one expressed a friendly interest for us in
our perilous position.

It is not surprising, then, that, surrounded as we were by traitors at
home, we manifested an almost unmanly regret on finding ourselves
deserted by those whom we were wont to consider as friends abroad; and
when we now reflect upon the bearing of those nations toward us, the
inquiry naturally arises, whether there really exists no such thing as
true friendship between nations. It is a mournful question; and not a
few, unwilling to believe that such is the case, will at once point to
frequent close alliances, to more than one example of the generous
behavior of one people toward another. But our own experience has taught
us that friendship exists between nations only so far as it is warranted
by interest, and that all the instances referred to as proving the
contrary, have been owing to the personal influence of high-minded men,
who, at the time, were in power; and even in such cases a far-sighted
policy will frequently prove to have been the ruling motive which
prompted their apparently disinterested measures.

And here we pause to consider what considerations of interest could have
stirred up such hostility to our prosperity, and caused such
gratification when our very existence was threatened. In what way would
our destruction benefit England? The advantages which she derives from
her commercial intercourse with us are far greater than any which would
accrue to her if she ruled the broken fragments of our country as she
rules the oppressed provinces of India or her distant possessions in
Australia. The same may be substantially said with regard to France. How
far from compensated would she be for the loss of such large consumers
of her staple productions as ourselves by the acquisition of portions of
territory here, which would in all likelihood prove as unprofitable as
her African dominions?

Spain, too, although her shadow of an excuse for her apparent ill will
toward us may be a little darker than that of Great Britain or France,
since she doubtless hopes that by the destruction of our power and
influence, she may be able to regain her ascendency over her former
colonies, can scarcely be so blind as not to perceive that but little
attention would probably be paid to her claims by her more powerful
coadjutors in the work of our annihilation.

It does not appear, then, that these nations can urge even self-interest
as a pretext for their treacherous enmity to us; and we again return to
the question, What is the cause of their continued unfriendliness?

The comparison of the nation to the individual has become hackneyed, but
we are forced to the conclusion that it is not alone true in
considerations of policy and self-interest. Our experience has taught us
that it holds good in the fact that mere feelings of spiteful jealousy
and envy can, in the most powerful communities, override the dictates of
justice--nay, even of interest itself.

Again, a little examination will show that a permanent friendship is not
to be expected between different nationalities, from the very nature of
their structure. A nation is composed of individuals--of individuals
whose pursuits and principles are widely distinct. The parties formed
from these different classes are often diametrically opposed to each
other in their ideas of policy and government. Moreover, their relations
with foreign countries enter, to an important extent, into the counsels
of every administration, and, as successive parties come into power, it
is not to be expected that connections with other Governments will
remain unchanged.

This does not apply to the course of those countries whose conduct we
have been considering, but it teaches us that we should never place
reliance upon the long continuance of the friendship of any nation.

Thus, it has already been stated, that not one of what are commonly
known as the Great Powers can be depended upon for the slightest
demonstration of friendship. Russia has indeed been generally regarded
as bearing toward us nothing but good will; yet friendly as her feelings
may be, it is owing mainly to the fact that she is so distant, and the
interests of the two countries are so widely separated, that she can
have no possible motive for turning against us; while, situated as she
is, an object of dislike to the other European Governments, she could
not be insensible to the policy of conciliating so powerful a nation as
our own.

How then shall we proceed in order to preserve ourselves from
difficulties in which the interests, jealousies, or changing policy of
foreign countries may involve us? The answer has been made before--by
being ever prepared to meet promptly all hostile demonstrations.
Situated as we are, employing our resources to quell a gigantic
insurrection, we have no strength to waste in an _unnecessary_ foreign
war. But it should be remembered that if we had had an adequate force to
resist a foreign enemy three years ago, the existing rebellion would
never have assumed its present proportions. We, who in our previous wars
had made ourselves formidable, intrusted our defence to a few thousand
men, distributed throughout our broad land, and, while the former valor
of our sailors had enabled us to boast our superiority upon the sea, we
exposed ourselves, by our reliance upon a small number of old
men-of-war, scattered over the world, to the sudden loss of our naval
reputation. Large standing armaments are wisely discouraged by the
Constitution, but an army of one hundred thousand men, an immense force
for some Governments, would be but a small one for our own.

We owe to our being situated apart from other nations, our ability to
dispense with the military burdens which European rulers impose upon
their subjects; but the increase of neither our land or naval power has
been proportional to our own extension, or to those modern inventions
and discoveries by which large forces can be easily and expeditiously
moved from point to point. An army, therefore, which less than half a
century ago would have been ample, is at present far from sufficient for
our protection.

We must, above all, recollect that as a Government can expect the
affection and support of the people only when it shows that it possesses
the elements necessary to maintain itself and protect them, so it can
look for the friendship of other countries only when it causes to be
seen that it is able and ready to resist any encroachment upon its

For the present we must depend, in a measure, for an abstinence from
open demonstrations against us on the part of the nations above referred
to, upon the moral sense of the world, which has doubtless, to a great
extent, preserved us thus far. But while it is necessary to avoid giving
any pretext for war, let no tame submission to insult or wrong lower us
in the eyes of the world, and hereafter let it be our policy, by
commanding the respect and fear of foreign nations, to assure ourselves
of their good will.


  North and South the war cries come:
  Sounds the trumpet, beats the drum.

  Hosts contending, marshalled foes
  Battle while the red blood flows.

  Two great armies whose Ideal
  Bursts into the earnest Real.

  Ideals twain, on battle height
  Flaming into radiant light!

  One, is Freedom over all;
  One, is Slavery's tyrant thrall:

  These are written on the plain
  'Mid the Battle's fiery rain.

  These the Powers that must contend
  To the dark and bitter end.

  Look upon the Nation's dead!
  Lo, the blood of martyrs shed!

  Dying that our Country may
  Know her Resurrection day!

  What shall be the Traitor's gain?
  Endless scorn, undying pain.

  Ever o'er the giant wrong
  Sings the Right her triumph song.

  Yes, as sure as God doth reign
  Right the mastery shall obtain!

  Over all these beauteous lands
  These two Brothers clasp their hands.

  These two Brothers now at strife
  Make one heart, one soul, one life!

  This at last will be their song:
  'One forever, free, and strong.'

  Northmen, ye have not in hate
  Closed the heart's fraternal gate!

  Ye have not for greed, nor gold,
  Forged the slave-chains manifold!

  But in patience ye have wrought
  Out your Godlike, freeborn thought!

  Ye have toiled that man might be
  Clothed with truth and liberty.

  God hath answered from the skies;
  Bids you for His own arise!

  Now the work is at your door:
  Help His meek and suffering poor!

  There are hearts uncomforted,
  Weeping o'er the battle-dead.

  There are wounded brave ones here:
  Bring your hearts of kindness near!

  Freedmen shiver at your gate--
  Let them not forgotten wait!

  Bind the wounded heart that bleeds;
  Mould your _speeches_ into _deeds!_

  This is what all true hearts say:
  'Glorious is our work to-day!'


     DREAMTHORP; A Book of Essays written in the Country. By
     ALEXANDER SMITH, Author of 'A Life Drama,' 'City Poems,'
     etc. Boston: J.E. Tilton & Company. For sale by Walter Low, 823
     Broadway. New York.

We have been very unexpectedly charmed with this volume. Inverted and
fantastical as he may be in his poems, Mr. Smith's essays are fresh,
natural, racy, and genial. They are models in their way, and we wish our
contributors would study them as such. Each essay is complete in itself;
every sentence full of interest; there is no straining for effect, no
writing to astonish a _blasé_ audience, no show of unwonted erudition;
but the light of a poet's soul, the sunshine of a calm and loving heart,
are streaming and brooding over all these gentle pages. Knowledge is
indeed within them, but it has ripened into wisdom; culture has matured
into wine with the summer in its glow--yet, notwithstanding its many
excellences, the book is so quiet, true, and natural, we know not what
favor it may find among us. We were pleased to see that in 'A Shelf in
My Book-case' our own Hawthorne had a conspicuous place. 'Twice-Told
Tales' is an especial favorite with Mr. Smith, as it indeed is with most
imaginative people. His analysis of Hawthorne is very fine, and it is
like meeting with an old friend in a foreign land to come across the
name so dear to ourselves in these pages from across the sea. Equally
pleasant to us is the Chapter on Vagabonds. 'A fellow feeling makes us
wondrous kind,' and, confessing ourselves to be one of this genus, we
dwell with delight on our author's genial description of their naive
pleasures and innocent eccentricities. Mr. Smith says: 'The true
vagabond is to be met with among actors, poets, painters. These may grow
in any way their nature dictates. They are not required to conform to
any traditional pattern. A little more air and light should be let in
upon life. I should think the world had stood long enough under the
drill of Adjutant Fashion. It is hard work; the posture is wearisome,
and Fashion is an awful martinet and has a quick eye, and comes down
mercilessly on the unfortunate wight who cannot square his toes to the
approved pattern, or who appears upon parade with a darn in his coat or
with a shoulder belt insufficiently pipe-clayed. It is killing work.
Suppose we try 'standing at ease' for a little?'

    Gentleman.' Boston: Little, Brown & Company. A new edition of a work
    first published in 1846.

Mr. Calvert is a writer of considerable vigor, but we think these
'Scenes and Thoughts' seriously injured by the hatred of Catholicity
which breathes everywhere through them. We miss in them the large,
liberal, and loving spirit which characterized 'The Gentleman.' Charity
is the soul of wisdom, and we can never rightly appreciate that which we
hate. Mr. Calvert totally ignores all the good and humanizing effects of
the Catholic Church, and sees only the faults and follies of those who
minister at her altars. Not the least cheering example of the progress
we are daily making, is the improvement in this respect in our late
books of travels. We have ceased to denounce in learning to describe
aright, and feel the pulsations of a kindred heart, though it beat under
the scarlet robe of the cardinal, the dalmatic of the priest, or the
coarse serge of the friar. 'My son, give me thy heart,' says our God. If
we can deem from a life of self-abnegation a man has so done, we have
ceased inquiring into the dogmas of his creed. It is the heart and not
the intellect which is required, 'Little children, love one another,'
is the true law of life, progress, and human happiness.

    Ticknor & Fields. For sale by D. Appleton & Co., New York.

As the title indicates, the essays contained in this volume are already
known to the readers of _The Atlantic_.

Wherever Dr. Holmes sounds, he is sure to light upon pearls and golden
sands, and scatter them about with a profusion so reckless that we feel
convinced the supply is not to be exhausted. Scientist and poet, analyst
and creator, full of keen satire, genial humor, and tender pathos, who
may compete with him in varied gifts, or rival the charm of intellectual
grace which he breathes at will into all he writes?

The contents of this volume are: 'Bread and the Newspaper,' 'My Hunt
After the Captain,' 'The Stereoscope and the Stereograph,' 'Sun Painting
and Sun Sculpture,' 'Doings of the Sunbeam,' 'The Human Wheel, its
Spokes and Felloes,' 'A Visit to the Autocrat's Landlady,' 'A Visit to
the Asylum for Aged and Decayed Punsters,' 'The Great Instrument,' 'The
Inevitable Trial.'

     HINTS FOR THE NURSERY; or, The Young Mother's Guide. By
     Mrs. C. A. HOPKINSON. Boston: Little, Brown & Company,
     1863. For sale by Blakeman & Mason.

A valuable and instructive little book, eminently calculated to spare
the rising generation many a pang in body and mind, and the youthful
mother many a heartache.

     Massachusetts Bay Company, at their Emigration to New England,
     1630. By ROBERT C. WINTHROP. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. For
     sale by D. Appleton & Co., New York.

This work is dedicated to the Massachusetts Historical Society, who have
honored the author with their presidency for eight years past. It is
rather an autobiography than a biography, and an autobiography of the
most trustworthy kind, 'written accidentally and unconsciously, as it
were, in familiar letters or private journals, or upon the records of
official service.' Such a Life is the volume before us. The most skilful
use has been made of his material by our author. John Winthrop the
elder, through contemporaneous records, in the familiar language of
private correspondence and diary, tells us the story of a considerable
part of his career in his own words, Cotton Mather says of him: ...
'This third Adam Winthrop was the father of that renowned John Winthrop,
who was the father of New England, and the founder of a colony, which,
upon many accounts, like him that founded it, may challenge the first
place among the English glories of America.'

The volume also offers us in great detail a picture not only of the
outward life, but of the inmost thoughts, motives, and principles of the
American Puritans. Valuable to the antiquarian, it will also interest,
in its naive pictures of home life, the general reader.

The brave and brilliant Theodore Winthrop, who gave up his young life to
his country in the battle of Big Bethel, has rendered this name dear to
all loyal Americans.

     ROUND THE BLOCK. An American Novel. With Illustrations.
     New York: D. Appleton & Co., 443 and 445 Broadway.

A Novel of American life, incident, and character. The style is easy,
the tale interesting, the moral healthful. There is considerable humor
in the delineation of character. The people drawn are such as we have
all known, sketched without exaggeration, and actuated by constantly
occurring motives. The book is anonymous, but we believe the author will
yet be known to fame, Tiffles and Patching are true to life, and the
exhibition of the 'Pannyrarmer' worthy of Dickens.

     l'Institut. Translated from the original French by Charles Edwin
     Wilbour, translator of 'Les Misérables.' New York: Carlton,
     publisher, 413 Broadway.

A book which has attained a sudden and wide circulation, if not a
lasting popularity, in France. We look upon it as a _romance_ based upon
the Sacred History of the Gospels. It is artistically constructed, and
written with considerable genius. 'It is dramatic, beginning with a
pastoral and ending with the direst of human tragedies.' M. Renan we
suppose to be a Pantheist. He says: 'As to myself, I think that there is
not in the universe an intelligence superior to that of man.' This view
of course leads him to discard supernaturalism, and write of Christ as
simply man. He believes as suits his system, and refuses
testimony--without condescending to tell us why it is not equally as
valid as that received. He says: 'The highest consciousness of God that
ever existed in the bosom of humanity, was that of Jesus.' He is the
'universal ideal'--and yet we think he strives to make of this
'universal ideal' an impostor! Christ tells us of various facts with
regard to himself: of his divine Sonhood and mission--if these things
are not true, then was he either weakly self-deceived or a wilful
deceiver. He sets up a claim to the working of miracles, and assumes the
part of the Messiah of the prophets. This want of truth M. Renan smooths
over by saying: 'Sincerity with oneself had not much meaning with
Orientals; they are little habituated to the delicate distinctions of
the critical spirit!' The resurrection of Lazarus, as he represents it,
was a pious fraud managed by the apostles, agreed to by the Master,
'because he knew not how to conquer the greediness of the crowd and of
his own disciples for the marvellous.' Does not the mere fact of such an
acquiescence argue the impostor? Christ seeks death to deliver himself
from his fearful embarrassments! Did he really rise from the dead? M.
Renan tells us, with a sickly sentimentalism worthy of Michelet: 'The
powerful imagination of Mary of Magdala played in that affair a capital
part. Divine power of love! Sacred moments, when the passion of a
visionary gives to the world a resuscitated God.' If this be indeed the
Life of Jesus, well may we exclaim with the apostle: 'If in this life
only we have hope in Christ, we are, of all men, the most miserable.'
And is this all that the most advanced naturalism can do? All that human
genius and erudition can offer us? All that artistic grace and
tenderness can win for us? Clouds and darkness rise before us as we
read, the mother of our Lord loses her sanctity, Jesus becomes an
impostor, the apostles deceivers, human testimony is forever dishonored.
A pall shrouds the infinite blue of the sky, and our beloved dead seem
festering in eternal corruption!

We must confess we prefer the bold and defiant scepticism of Voltaire,
to the Judas kiss of M. Renan.



Among our exchanges is a little periodical entitled '_The New Path_,
published by the Society for the Advancement of Truth in Art.' The
members of this Society are otherwise known as 'Pre-Raphaelites,' in
other words, as seekers of the Ancient Path, trodden before certain
mannerisms had corrupted the minds of many painters and most technical
connoisseurs. Their aims and principles are, so far as they go, pure and
lofty. Truth in Art is a noble thing. But can these gentlemen find none
outside of their own society? The face of nature is very dear to us, and
during long years have we closely observed its forms, its changing hues
and expressions. We do like when we look at a picture to know whether
the trees be oaks, elms, or pines; whether the rocks be granitic,
volcanic, or stratified; whether the foliage be of spring, midsummer, or
autumn; even whether the foreground herbage be of grasses or
broad-leaved weeds; but is there no danger that minutiæ may absorb too
much attention, that the larger parts may be lost in the lesser, that
while each weed tells its own story, the distant mountains, the
atmosphere, the whole picture, in short, may fail to tell us theirs in
any interesting or even intelligible manner? In excess of surface
details, may we not lose body, roundness; and, in matching exact color
rather than the effect of color through the tremulous ether, may not the
subtle mysteries of distance, of actually diffused and all-suffusing
light, escape the painter? It is possible to possess the body and fail
to grasp the life. Give us not blotchy nondescripts for natural objects,
fling to the winds all narrow, school-made, conventional ideas, but, in
giving us the real, give us the ideal also; otherwise we freeze, missing
the spirit which should warm and shine through the letter.

We fear lest in his zeal for truth, many a Pre-Raphaelite may be led to
overlook beauty. To a finite mind the two words are by no means
synonymous. There can be no _real_ beauty without truth, but many truths
are not beautiful, and beauty, no less than truth, is an important
ingredient in that complex resultant, Art.

We quote from one of the articles of organization of the above-named
Society: 'The right course for young artists is faithful and loving
representations of Nature, selecting nothing and rejecting nothing,
seeking only to express the greatest possible amount of fact.' Now we
all know that the best way to stultify the mind and conception of a
youthful student, in any branch of art, is to keep before him
commonplace models. Indeed, what student gifted with genius, or even
with any high degree of talent, will not (if unrestrained) himself
select as studies, not any mere chronicle of desired facts, but the most
significant forms (suited to his proficiency) in which he can find those
facts embodied?

The article quoted must be based upon the belief that there are no
commonplace, ugly objects in nature. If we sit down and reason over, or
use our microscopes upon any work of the Almighty, we can find wisdom
and beauty therein, but that does not alter the fact that beauty and
significance are distributed in degrees of more and less. 'Art is long
and time is fleeting,' and the genuine artist has no hours to waste over
the less significant and characteristic. Besides, each student deserving
the name, has his own individuality, and will naturally select, and the
more lovingly paint, objects in accordance with his especial bent of
mind. Not that we would have him become one-sided, and neglect the study
of matters that might some day be useful; but in this, as in all things
else, he must temper feeling with judgment, and make the mechanical
execution the simple, faithful handmaiden to truly imaginative

In the moral world we may cheerfully accept physical deformity for the
sake of some elevated principle therewith developed; but in the realm of
art, man's only sphere of creation, we want the best the artist can give
us, the greatest truth with the highest beauty. We are not willing to
take the truth without the beauty. If we are to be told that sunlight
tipping the edges of trees produces certain effects upon those edges and
the shadowed foliage behind, let the fact be worthily represented, and
not so prosily set forth that the picture shall be to us simply a matter
of curiosity. That those trees did actually stand and grow thus, is
small comfort, for the artist might surely have found other and more
interesting forms telling the same tale. If light falling through loose
foliage does indeed make upon the garments of a lad lying beneath spots
at a little distance wonderfully like mildew, then rather let the boy
sit for us under a tree of denser foliage, where a pathetic subject will
not risk an unintentionally comic treatment. If a stone-breaker's face
corrupts in purple spots at a certain period after death, we would
prefer him painted before corruption, and consequently hideousness, had
begun. If women will wear gowns ugly in color and form, and will sit or
stand in graceless positions, we can readily avoid such subjects, and
bestow our careful finish upon more worthy models.

Let us not be misunderstood; we well know that the humorous, the
grotesque, the sublime may use ugliness to serve their own legitimate
purposes, but then that ugliness must be humorous, grotesque, or
sublime, and not flat, prosy, or revolting. A blemish is by no means
necessarily an ugliness. A leaf nibbled by insects and consequently
discolored, a lad with ragged jacket and soiled trowsers, a peasant girl
with bent hat and tattered gown, are often more picturesque objects than
the perfect leaf or the well-attired child.

Speaking of a certain artist, _The New Path_ says: 'He follows nature as
long as she is graceful and does not offend his eye, but once let her
make what strikes him as a discord, and which is a discord, of course,
for she, the great poet, makes no music without discords--and,
straightway, Mr. ---- takes out the offending note, smooths it down, and
thinks he has bettered nature's work.' Now, in music there are no
_discords_; so soon as a discord is admitted, the sounds cease to be
music;--there are _dissonances_, peculiar and unusual combinations of
air vibrations, but these are never long dwelt on, and must always be
resolved into the full and satisfactory harmony, of which the beauty is
enhanced by the momentary lapse into strangeness. Dissonance is never
the prevailing idea, and above all, never the final, closing one; it
must always bear a certain relation to the key in which it is used, and
the musical composition must be ended by the fullest and most
satisfactory chord, or suggestion of a chord, found in that key.

The majority of the Pre-Raphaelite school are willing to admit that
'there is but one Turner, and Ruskin is his prophet.' Let us then hear
_one_ of the views which the eloquent oracle has advanced in connection
with this subject. After advising the non-imaginative painter to remain
in the region of the purely topographical or historical landscape, he
continues; 'But, beyond this, let him note that though historical
topography forbids _alteration_ (did Turner heed this precept?), it
neither forbids sentiment nor choice. So far from doing this, the proper
choice of subject is an absolute duty to the topographical painter: he
should first take care that it is a subject intensely pleasing to
himself, else he will never paint it well; and then also, that it shall
be one in some sort pleasurable to the general public, else it is not
worth painting at all; and lastly, take care that it be instructive, as
well as pleasurable to the public, else it is not worth painting with
care. I should particularly insist at present on this careful choice of
subject, because the Pre-Raphaelites, taken as a body, have been
culpably negligent in this respect, not in humble honor of Nature, but
in morbid indulgence of their own impressions. They happen to find their
fancies caught by a bit of an oak hedge, or the weeds at the sides of a
duck pond, because, perhaps, they remind them of a stanza of Tennyson;
and forthwith they sit down to sacrifice the most consummate skill, two
or three months of the best summer time available for outdoor work
(equivalent to some seventieth or sixtieth of all their lives), and
nearly all their credit with the public, to this duck-pond delineation.
Now it is indeed quite right that they should see much to be loved in
the hedge, nor less in the ditch; but it is utterly and inexcusably
wrong that they should neglect the nobler scenery, which is full of
majestic interest, or enchanted by historical association; so that, as
things go at present, we have all the commonalty, that may be seen
whenever we choose, painted properly; but all of lovely and wonderful,
which we cannot see but at rare intervals, painted vilely: the castles
of the Rhine and Rhone made vignettes of for the annuals; and the
nettles and mushrooms, which were prepared by nature eminently for
nettle porridge and fish sauce, immortalized by art as reverently as if
we were Egyptians, and they deities.'

Want of space forbids further extracts, but we recommend the entire
chapter: Of Turnerian Topography, Modern Painters, vol. iv., to the
perusal of our readers.

We are glad to see the national mind beginning to effervesce on art
subjects. The most opposite views, the new and the old, the conventional
and the truly imaginative, the severely real and the more
latitudinarian, the earnest and the flippant, the pedantic and the
broad, far reaching--will continue to clash for a season, while a school
of American Landscape is, we think, destined to rise steadily through
the chaotic elements, and to reach a height of excellence to which the
conscientious efforts of all advocates of the highest Truth in Art will
have greatly contributed.

We are indebted to Mr. Cropsey for a pleasant opportunity to visit his
studio (No. 625 Broadway), and see such pictures and sketches as he now
has by him, the results of a long residence abroad and of his summer
work among the hills of Sussex, N. J. A view of Korfe Castle,
Dorsetshire, England, is a highly-finished and evidently accurate
representation of that interesting spot. We are presumed to be standing
amid the ferns, flowers, and vines of the foreground, and looking off
toward the castle-crowned hill, the village at its foot, and the
far-away downs, with a silver stream winding into the distance. A
rainbow quivers among the retreating clouds to the right, and from the
left comes the last brilliant light of day, gilding the greenery of the
hills, and throwing out the deepened hues of the long shadows. There are
also pleasant views of other English scenery, of Italian landscape, and
of American lakes and streams. Mr. Cropsey has a high reputation both
at home and abroad, and we are glad to learn that for the present, at
least, he intends to pursue his art labors within the limits of his
native land.

_Beethoven's Fidelio_.--This noble opera has lately been given us by Mr.
Anschütz, with the best use of such means as were at his disposal. The
orchestral, choral, and concerted vocal portions are grand and
beautiful, highly characteristic and effective. The story is simple,
pure, and deeply pathetic. The prison scene affords scope for the finest
histrionic abilities. In the solos, however (with the exception of that
of Pizarro, where dramatic power satisfies), we miss the lyric genius of
the Italians, their long-phrased, passionate, and never-to-be-forgotten
melodies, containing the element of beauty _per se_ so richly developed.
Cannot the whole world produce one man, who, with all the expanded
musical knowledge of the present day, can unite for us Italian gift of
melody and German power of orchestral and choral effect, whose
endowments shall be both lyric and dramatic, and whose taste shall be
pure, refined, and ennobling? Should we recognize such a genius were he
actually to stand in our midst, or would both schools reject him because
he chanced to possess the best qualities of either?

                                            L. D. P.

Ballads of the War



  Hear me, stranger, hear me tell
  How my gallant brother fell.

  We were rushing on the foe,
  When a bullet laid him low.

  At my very side he fell--
  He whom I did love so well.

  On we rushed--I could not stay--
  There I left him where he lay.

  Then when fled the rebel rout,
  I came back and searched him out.

  Wounded, bleeding, suffering, dying,
  Midst a heap of dead men lying.

  Friend and foe above each other--
  There I found my mangled brother.

  Blind with tears, I lifted him:
  But his eyes were sunk and dim.

  'Brother, when I'm dead,' said he,
  'Find some box to coffin me.'

  For he could not bear to rest
  With the cold earth on his breast.

  All around the camp I sought;
  Box for coffin found I not.

  Still I searched and hunted round--
  Three waste cracker-boxes found;

  Nailed them fast to one another,--
  Laid therein my precious brother!

  Then a grave for him I made,
  Hands and bayonet all my spade.

  Long I worked, yet 'twas not deep:
  There I laid him down to sleep.

  There I laid my gallant brother:
  Earth contains not such another!

  Little more than boys were we,
  I sixteen, and nineteen he.

  For his country's sake he died,
  And for her I'd lie beside.


[A] But a copy fell into the hands of a French bookseller, who published
a wretched translation, and Jefferson authorized an edition in London in

[B] A statue was erected to Buffon with the inscription:


Some sceptic wrote underneath:


a saying which we do not care to translate, but which is too good a
description of Jefferson's scientific acquirements to be omitted.

[C] I am told that there was no resisting her smile; and that she had at
her command, in moments of grief, a certain look of despair which filled
even the roughest hearts with sympathy, and won over the kindest to the
cruel cause.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Continental Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 2, February, 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy" ***

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