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Title: The Continental Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 4, April, 1864
Author: Various
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Continental Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 4, April, 1864" ***

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THE CONTINENTAL MONTHLY:

DEVOTED TO

LITERATURE AND NATIONAL POLICY.

VOL. V.--APRIL, 1864.--No. IV.



SIR CHARLES LYELL ON THE ANTIQUITY OF MAN.[1]


When Thomas Chalmers, sixty years ago, lecturing at St. Andrews,
ventured to announce his conviction that 'the writings of Moses do not
fix the antiquity of the globe,' he startled and alarmed, to no small
degree, the orthodoxy of the day. It was a statement far in advance of
the religious thinking of the time. That massive breadth and
comprehensiveness of intellect which soon placed him, _facile princeps_,
at the head of the clergy of Scotland, joined with a candor, and
ingenuous honesty, which made him admired and beloved by all, could not
fail to perceive, and would not hesitate to acknowledge, the force of
the evidence then for some time slowly but steadily and surely
accumulating from the investigations and discoveries of geological
science, which has forced back the origin of the earth to a vast and
undated antiquity. But nothing could have been farther from the
imagination of the great majority of evangelical, unscientific clergymen
of his day. They held that the writings of Moses fixed the antiquity of
the globe as surely as they fixed anything else. And it required no
little boldness in the lecturer to announce a doctrine which was likely
to raise about his ears the hue and cry of heresy. But fortunately for
the rising Boanerges of the Scottish pulpit, whatever questions might
arise in philology and criticism as to the meaning of the writings of
Moses, the evidence adduced in behalf of _the fact_ of the earth's
antiquity was of such a nature that it could not be resisted, and he not
only escaped a prosecution for heresy, but lived to see the doctrine he
had broached almost universally accepted by the religious world.

If now some divine of acknowledged power and position in any branch of
the Christian Church were to put forth the statement that 'the writings
of Moses do not fix the antiquity of man,' he would startle the ear of
orthodoxy quite as much, but no more than did Chalmers in the early
years of the present century. And if he would fare more hardly than the
Scottish divine, and fall under the ban of church censure, which is not
unlikely, it would be because the evidence for the fact is still
inchoate and resistible by the force of established opinion. But it is
quite within the range of possible things that before the close of the
present century two things may happen: first, that the evidence for a
high antiquity of the human race may accumulate to such an extent as to
carry with it involuntarily the consent of mankind; and second, that the
sacred writings may be found to adjust themselves as easily to this new
finding in the sphere of induction, as they have already done, in the
general mind of the Church, to the doctrine of the great age of the
earth. The two statements are indeed very much akin in several respects.
They both traverse the accepted meaning of the sacred writings at the
time of their announcement. Both are considered, when first promulged,
as irreconcilable with the plain teaching and consequent inspiration of
the Scriptures. Both rest solely, as to their evidence, in the sphere of
inductive science, and are determinable wholly by the finding of facts
accumulated and compared by the processes of inductive reasoning. And
both, if thus established, are destined to be accepted by the general
mind of the age, without actual harm to the real interests of
civilization and religion. No _fact_, which is a fact and not an
illusion, can do harm to any of the vital interests of mankind. No truth
can stand in hopeless antagonism to any other truth. To suppose
otherwise would be to resolve the moral government of God into a
hopeless enigma, or enthrone a perpetual and hostile dualism, resigning
the universe to the rival and contending sway of Ormuzd and Ahriman.

Before proceeding to the merits of Sir Charles Lyell's discussion, we
wish to glance at some preliminary matters touching the great debate now
pending between science and theology. We wish to review the posture and
temper of the parties; and particularly to refer to the tone and spirit
of the religious press and the pulpit, respecting the alleged
discoveries and claims of science, and their bearing upon the religious
opinion of the time.

Moreover, in passing, the present writer begs permission to say that he
speaks from the orthodox side of this question; he hails from the
orthodox camp; he wears the clerical vesture of the Scottish worthies;
and is affiliated theologically with Knox and Chalmers, with Edwards and
Alexander, with the New York _Observer_ and the Princeton _Review_. This
much we beg to say, that what follows in these pages may be fully
understood.

No one who has been attending to the subject with any degree of interest
can have failed to observe that science, in her investigations upon the
grand and momentous themes which have absorbed her attention in these
latter years, has exhibited, and does still exhibit, a steady and
well-defined purpose, and has pursued it with a singularly calm, sober,
unimpassioned, yet resolute temper. Its posture is firm, steady,
self-poised, conscious of rectitude, and anticipative of veritable and
valuable results. Its spirit, though eager, is quiet; though
enthusiastic, is cautious; though ardent, is sceptical; though flushed
with success, is trained to the discipline of disappointment. Its object
is to interrogate nature. It stands at the shrine and awaits the
response of the oracle. It would fain interpret and make intelligible
the wondrous hieroglyphics of this universe, and specially the mystic
characters traced by the long-revolving ages upon the stony tablets of
this planet Earth. It has in the first instance no creed to support, no
dogmas to verify, no meaning to foist upon nature; its sole and single
query is, What does nature teach? What _is_ fact? What _is_ truth? What
_has_ occurred in the past annals of this planet? What _is_ the actual
and true history of its bygone ages, and of the dwellers therein? These
are its questions, addressed to nature by such methods as experience has
taught will reach her ear, and it does not hesitate to take nature's
answer. It does not shrink, and quake, and grow pale lest the response
should overturn some ancient notion. It does not dread to hear the
response, lest morals or religion should be thereby imperilled. It
boldly and resolutely takes the teaching of nature, whatever it may be.
Its conviction is that truth never can be anything else than truth; that
fact can never be anything else than fact; and that no two truths or two
facts in God's universe can be in hopeless and irreconcilable
contradiction.

In this spirit the genuine sons of science have exhibited, what has
seemed to some, a heartless indifference whether their discoveries or
theories harmonized with the Scriptures or not, or affected the received
opinions of Christendom on subjects pertaining to religion or morals.
They have been sublimely unconcerned as to results in any such
direction. They have investigated, examined, compared, collated, with
long-continued and patient toil, to gather from the buried past the
actual story of its departed cycles; they have not been troubled lest
they should impinge on the creeds of the religious world, or compel
important modifications in the lectures of learned Professors. This was
no care of theirs. They discovered facts, they did not make them.

Now with all due respect for the opinions and feelings of religious
people, we hesitate not to affirm that this spirit is the only true one
in scientific men. Conceding, as we must, the supremacy of facts in
their own sphere, and granting that, as mundane and human affairs now
stand, the evidence of the senses, purged from fraud and illusion, must
be held to be conclusive, we cheerfully award to scientific men the
largest liberty to pursue their inquiries in matters of fact, utterly
regardless of the havoc which may be thereby wrought among the
traditional, beliefs of men. In no other way can science be true to
herself. She is the child of induction. She can acknowledge no authority
but what has been enthroned by inductive reasoning; and were she to
adjust her conclusions, and garble her facts, to suit the faiths,
beliefs, prejudices, or traditions of men, she would thereby falsify her
inmost life, and stultify herself before the world. And in this
connection we may premise that we regard as worthy of all commendation
the straightforward and unembarrassed manner in which Sir Charles Lyell
pursues his inquiries into the geological evidences of the antiquity of
man. He could not have been unaware that he was striking a ponderous
blow at one of the main traditions of Christendom; nay, that if
successful in establishing his conclusions, he must revolutionize, to a
large extent, the religious thinking of the civilization amid which he
moves; and yet he moves steadily and quietly forward, calm as Marius
amid the ruins of Carthage, not stopping to consider what Biblical men
will do with his facts; never more than touching upon their religious
bearings; intent only on ascertaining what the facts are, and what they
teach. This, we say, is the spirit and temper of the true
philosopher--this betokens the genuine son of science. As well might we
demand of Watt, or Fulton, or Davy, or Brewster, or Faraday, in pursuing
their inquiries into the nature and laws of steam, electricity,
galvanism, or light, to be careful that their discoveries impinge not on
the teachings of religion or the creed of orthodoxy, as to demand of
Lyell to investigate the antiquity of man in humble deference to the
well-established belief of the whole Christian world that he has no such
antiquity. Not a bitter thing is said in the whole book against any
traditional belief; the Scriptures are scarcely more than alluded to; he
seems scarcely conscious that he is attempting to establish conclusions
at variance with the cherished creeds of vast multitudes of men. To some
this may seem the callousness of infidelity; to us it seems the sublime
composure of science. To him, the fact in the case is everything; and he
is content to leave it to work its own results.

What now, on the other hand, have been the spirit and temper of the
religious press and the pulpit touching the progress of science, and
especially its encroachments upon the ancient landmarks of traditional
belief? We are sorry to be compelled to say that, with some honorable
exceptions, the spirit manifested by religious journals and clergymen
generally, has not been worthy of unqualified admiration. In many
instances they have shown a dogged determination to hear nothing on the
subject. Assuming, with absolute confidence, not only that the
Scriptures are what the Church claims them to be, but that their
interpretation of them is infallible, they have affected to ignore all
the findings of science, and to treat them, in their bearing on Biblical
interpretation, as profane intermeddling with divine things. They seem
to imagine that their safety consists in not seeing danger, like the
ostrich hiding its head in the sand, and supposing that thereby its
whole body is protected. In other instances, while professing a
willingness to hear--to seek truth--to not be afraid of the light--to
boast of science even as the handmaid of religion--they have shown a
disposition to decry the alleged discoveries of science, to ridicule its
supposed facts, to make light of a whole concatenation of evidence, to
prate of the uncertainties and vacillations of science, to sneer at
'sciolists,' or 'mere men of science,' to warn against the 'babblings of
science' and 'philosophy falsely so called,' and meantime they have
betrayed a nervous sensitiveness with regard to certain alleged
discoveries and facts coming to the popular ear. They affect to sneer at
the 'wise week' of the meeting of the British Association for the
Advancement of Science, and to turn the proceedings of that body into
ridicule, by caricaturing the importance attached to some minor organ of
the human or animal frame, in the determination of specific identity or
difference. While absolutely ignorant of the true state of the case as
it stands in the scientific world, they thunder from the pulpit in the
ears of their people--a position where they are safe from
reply--crudities and monstrosities of science at which the humblest
member of the aforesaid Association would smile. In other instances,
with a most unfortunate or misguided zeal, they would fain compel
Christian faith to override and traverse all those great laws of
evidence which regulate human belief in other matters. They do not
dispute the facts of science when clearly established--they will concede
to them an existence as facts in their own sphere--but they hold the
Scriptures, as being inspired and infallible, to be transcendent and
paramount, and not to be affected by any possible combination of facts.
That is to say, if the Scriptures teach the unity of the race, or the
universality of the deluge, or the modern origin of man--and if they
understand them to teach these things, they do teach them for them--they
hold that no amount of evidence which science may adduce can be of any
avail, even though it might amount to absolute certainty, did not the
Scriptures stand in the way. You may believe the facts of science, if
you choose, but the Scriptures must be believed to the contrary
notwithstanding. If science does not agree with the Scriptures, so much
the worse for science--that is its own affair. This is the sentiment,
distinctly uttered not long since by a learned American Professor.
Consistently with this view, they maintain that the Scriptures are to be
held as an _authority_ in scientific matters; that science must order
its conclusions in accordance with them; and that any facts are to be
distrusted which conflict with the declarations of the Bible. They would
thus place the Scriptures and nature in a posture of antagonism; and
require Christian faith to trample upon and triumph over the evidence
of the senses, as it is required to triumph over the world, the flesh,
and the devil. What must be thought of an otherwise educated body of men
who would willingly reduce the faith of the Christian world to such a
posture as that?

Furthermore, in the general spirit and temper of the religious press
with reference to science and scientific men, there is much to criticize
and condemn. It is often snappish, petulant, ill-humored, unfair, and
sometimes malicious in the extreme. Such opprobrious terms as
infidelity, irreligion, rationalizing tendencies, naturalism, contempt
for the Scriptures, etc., are freely used. Scientific men are called
infidel pretenders, and are charged with a secret conspiracy to
overthrow the faith of the Christian world. A respectable religious
weekly paper in this country, in noticing Sir Charles Lyell's work,
while carefully withholding from its readers the slightest notion of the
array of evidence adduced in the book, is prompt to inform them that the
learned author shows his want of respect for the Word of God. Another,
in noticing the account of the last hours of Mr. Buckle, is almost ready
to exult in the fact that in the wreck and prostration of his great
powers he whined out piteously: 'I am going mad!' and intimates that his
mental sufferings are to be attributed to the judicial visitation of
God, inflicted as a punishment for the employment of those powers in the
service of infidelity. An able, though generally absurd quarterly
journal, in reviewing Hugh Miller's 'Testimony of the Rocks,' finds in
some of his gorgeous speculations premonitions of that mental aberration
which ended his life, and does not hesitate to attribute the final
catastrophe to the overworking of his powers in the service of
pretentious and unsanctified science. Noble and true-hearted son of the
Church though he was, and though laboring with herculean strength to set
the Bible and science in harmony, he has not escaped the envenomed
shafts of a portion of the religious press. By some he has been openly
branded as a traitor in the camp.

Now this unseemly heat and this unbecoming spirit and temper may be
cloaked under a zeal for religion. It may be said that we are to
'contend earnestly for the faith.' We answer, verily, but never with the
weapons of malice and wickedness. This mode of treating science, if
persisted in, must end only in chagrin and defeat to the parties
employing it, for the simple reason that it does violence to reason,
nature, and all the laws of man's being. Science cannot be turned aside
in her strenuous and ever-successful progress by any such impediments
thrown in her way. The clear, calm, cogent facts and inferences of the
philosopher cannot be met successfully by the half-suppressed shriek of
the mere Biblicist. And it must be at once perceived that any such
treatment of science, any such half-concealed fear of the progress of
science, any such unfair and spiteful bearing toward scientific men,
argues a secret distrust of the system or doctrine which is assumed to
be held and professedly defended. These petulant and much disturbed
editors and divines must be really afraid that the ground is being
undermined beneath their feet. If a man _really believes_ the
inspiration and infallibility of the Scriptures, he may feel perfectly
at ease as to any facts present or past in the wide universe. But if he
is not so sure of them, and wishes, for some personal or interested
motive, to believe them, he will be easily disturbed by anything which
seems to militate against them. If the Scriptures are true, they can
never be shown to be false--if they are not true, we ought not to wish
to believe them.

The spirit and temper above indicated are wholly out of harmony with the
general spirit of Protestant Christianity. It has ever been the boast of
Protestantism that it seeks the light, that it seeks discussion, that
it asserts the right of private judgment, that it courts investigation,
and is willing to expose all its claims to the broad light of day. It
claims to be an everlasting protest against priestly tyranny, and
monkish authority, and abject spiritual servitude in the laity. Strange,
if in this new phase of its history it should fail to be true to itself!

After the Christian world came generally to accept the statement of
Chalmers that the writings of Moses do not fix the antiquity of the
world, and before science had begun to moot seriously the questions of
the unity of the race, the universality of the Noahian deluge, and the
antiquity of man, it was the custom of clergymen generally to reëcho the
true Protestant strain. They claimed science. They expected much of her.
They wished full and free discussion in order that still stronger
ramparts might be erected around the citadel of their faith. Why should
the tone be changed now? In the year 1840, the Rev. Albert Barnes, of
Philadelphia, who has long occupied a highly respectable and influential
position among the clerical body in this country, in an address on the
'Progress and Tendencies of Science,' delivered before the literary
societies of one of the colleges of Pennsylvania, gave utterance to the
following noble sentiments:

     'It has cost much to overcome this'--that is, the panic fears of
     Christian people at the amazing progress and discoveries of
     science--'and to restore confidence to the Christian world that the
     researches of science will never permanently clash with the
     doctrines of revelation. But the Christian world has come to that;
     and science is to receive no more obstruction henceforth from any
     alarm that its discoveries will contravene the revealed truth of
     God. No future Galileo is to be imprisoned because he can look
     farther into the works of nature than other men; and the point
     which we have gained now, is that no obstruction is to be thrown in
     the way of science by any dread that any scientific truth will
     infringe on any theological system. The great truth has gone forth
     at last, not to be recalled, that the astronomer may point his
     glass to the heavens as long and as patiently as he pleases,
     without apprehending opposition from the Christian world; the
     chemist may subject all objects to the action of the crucible and
     the blowpipe, 'with none to molest him or make him afraid;' the
     geologist may penetrate to any part of the earth--may dig as deep
     as he pleases, and no one may be alarmed.'

This exhibits true Christian courage and confidence, and has the genuine
Protestant ring. It is based, however, on the supposition that no
possible conflict can arise between science and his understanding of the
Scriptures, and it is doubtful whether the same equanimity could be
maintained even in the author's mind if the 'progress and tendencies of
science' should take an unexpected direction. Thus, in the same address,
he says:

     'One fact is remarkable. The geologist proves that the world has
     stood many thousands of years, and we cannot deny it. He points to
     fossil remains, and tells us of orders of animals that lived many
     years before the Mosaic period of the creation of man. The Bible
     tells us that MAN was created about six thousand years
     ago. Now, the material fact is, that amid all the fossil remains of
     the geologist, and all the records of past times, there is no proof
     that _man_ has lived longer than that period; but there is abundant
     proof to the contrary. Amid all on which the geologist relies to
     demonstrate the existence of animals prior to the Mosaic account of
     the creation, he has not presented us with _one human bone_, or
     with one indication of the existence of man.'

This is one of the facts, among others, upon which 'the friends of
science and revelation have equal cause to congratulate themselves and
each other.' But what if the fact should change? What if not only one,
but many fossil human bones should be found? How is a divine, who has
already said that the _Bible teaches_ the modern origin of man, to
avoid panic fears? Science is cumulative in its evidences, and it is
somewhat hazardous to undertake to say, at any point, that the _ultima
thule_ of discovery has been reached.

We reiterate now, in the conclusion of these preliminary matters, the
sentiment of Mr. Barnes that science must be free and untrammelled. No
matter what discoveries may be made, what traditions overturned, what
faiths unsettled, science must have a free rein and an open course. It
must be so; unless we return to mediæval darkness and despotism.
Science, to be science at all, must establish its conclusions by its own
methods, and its methods must be intact and supreme, no matter what
facts they force upon the belief of mankind. It cannot accept any
extraneous authority. It cannot admit any foregone conclusions. It
cannot accept the statements, for instance, of the first chapter of
Genesis as astronomical, meteorological, geological, or ethnological
_facts_, as the able but absurd Review before referred to would insist.
It must verify its own facts. It cannot heed the caveat of any number or
body of clergymen, or orthodox weekly newspapers, who might come forward
and say, respecting the unity of the race, or the antiquity of man:
'Gentlemen, that question is settled. It is put beyond the purview of
your science. An absolute and infallible authority has determined it. To
moot it is profane.' Any such attempt would be both preposterous and
useless. The age will defend the freedom of science; and let all
reasonable and right-thinking men take comfort in the conviction that in
the long run the conclusions reached will be right, in accordance with
fact, in accordance with truth, and that no permanent interest of
religion or morals can suffer.

But we beg pardon for holding the reader so long by the button, while
Sir Charles Lyell and his book have been kept in the background. These
thoughts have been upon our mind for many months, and we have felt
impelled to give utterance to them here.

The publication of this work we regard as an eventful matter in the
history of modern thought. The time could not have been far distant when
what we may call the geological history of man on this planet, must have
come before the popular mind; and it is certainly a matter of
congratulation that one of the most venerable, indefatigable, cautious,
and successful investigators of modern times has undertaken the task of
giving to the public a full and labored _résumé_ of the evidence which
has accumulated on the subject. Not unfrequently are the bigotry and
prejudice of well-meaning religious people intensified by the imprudent
zeal of the Hotspurs of science. True science can always afford to bide
its time, and make haste slowly.

Respecting the work itself, we begin by saying that the theme proposed
is a perfectly legitimate one for science. It is entirely pertinent to
science to undertake to search for the hidden traces of man's former
history, if there be any. It is no dreamland or cloudland which it
proposes to explore. It is no Quixotic adventure which it has gotten up
to astonish and alarm the vulgar. If our human ancestors have lived
fifty or one hundred thousand years longer on this planet than was
generally supposed, it is quite likely they have left some traces behind
them. And if so, it is perfectly legitimate for science to gather,
collate, and interpret those traces. And from what we know of her past
achievements, we may assure ourselves that if man has had such a
pre-historic existence, science will most undoubtedly prove it. She has
proved beyond all sane contradiction the great age of the earth. She has
proved in like manner the vast extent of the universe in space. She has
proved the existence of manifold forms of animal life on this planet for
countless ages before the incoming of man, according to the popular
chronology. She has proved, approximately, the order and succession of
animal life as it arose, and the forms it assumed as the long cycles of
ages rolled on. All these were legitimate themes for science; and all of
them were opposed to the popular belief at the time--as much so as is
the antiquity of man now. And further, we say that the mere suspicion
that any such thing may be--the mere surmise of any such fact--the
merest inkling which scientific men may get of a secret yet hidden
beneath the veil, and waiting to be revealed--is a sufficient
justification of those _tentative_ efforts of science which often result
in the attainment of some grand discovery. Let no timid religionist
charge upon scientific men that they are conspiring with malice prepense
to undermine the popular creeds and overthrow the Bible. This is sheer
nonsense. They follow where nature beckons them. If man has had a high
antiquity on this earth, science will find it out and prove it beyond a
doubt. If he has not had such antiquity, science will discover that too,
and prove it. All we have to do is to let science have her way.

Another remark which we make here, is respecting the power which a
_single fact_ may have in this investigation. It is not often that great
questions in history, or social polity, or jurisprudence are determined
by a single fact. The great results of history, economics, and law are
effected by the converging power of many facts. So also in science. Its
great results are determined by the accumulated power of multitudinous
facts. Its final categories are fixed by abundant certainties and
manifold inductions. And yet it may sometimes occur that a single fact
may be of such a nature that there is no escaping the conclusion which
it forces upon the mind. It may concentrate in itself all the elements
of certainty usually obtained from many sources. It may be determinative
in its very nature, and admit of scepticism only at the expense of
rationality. A single human grave, with its entombed skeleton,
discovered in some uninhabited waste, where it was never known the foot
of man had trod, would prove conclusively that human footsteps had once
trod there. The discovery of a single weapon of the quality and temper
of the Damascus blade amid the ruins of a buried city, would prove as
fully as would the discovery of a thousand that the people of that age
of the world understood the methods of working steel. One canoe found
moored to the bank of the Delaware, the Schuylkill, or the Susquehanna,
when the white man began to penetrate this continent, would have been
sufficient to prove that the aborigines understood, to that extent, the
art of navigation. So in science, one fossil of a different species from
any found heretofore in a certain deposit is sufficient to add another
to the forms of life represented by that deposit. One fossil found lower
in the geological scale than life was supposed to have begun on this
planet, is sufficient to prove that it had a still earlier beginning. So
with regard to contemporary forms of life, one fact may be sufficient to
warrant or compel a conclusion. Hugh Miller cites the instance of fossil
dung being found as proving to the anti-geologists that these fossils
were once real living creatures, and not mere freaks of nature. The
instance might not be thought conclusive, for if the Author of nature
saw fit to amuse himself by making the semblances of huge iguanodons,
elephants, and hippopotami, in the solid rocks, it might readily be
supposed that He would extend His amusement to the making of fossil
dung.[2] But now, if in the fossil entrails of the cave hyena the bones
of a hare should be found, it would prove conclusively to any but an
anti-geologist, that the hare lived contemporaneously with the hyena.

These remarks are not thrown in by way of apology for the paucity of
facts adduced by Sir Charles Lyell to prove the antiquity of man, but
merely to illustrate the force which it is possible, in certain
circumstances, for a single fact to have. Thus, for instance, the Scotch
fir is not now, nor ever has been in historic times, a native of the
Danish isles, yet it has been indigenous there in the human period, for
Steenstrup has taken out with his own hands a flint implement from
beneath one the buried trunks of that species in the Danish peat bogs.
Again, if an implement of human workmanship is found in close proximity
to the leg of a bear, or the horn of a reindeer, of extinct species, in
an ancient cavern, and all covered by a floor of stalagmite, we see not
how the conclusion is to be avoided that they were introduced into the
cave before the stalagmite was formed; and in that case the inference
that they were contemporaneous, or nearly so, may well be left to take
care of itself. The attempt has been made to treat with levity the whole
subject of the antiquity of man because of the numerical meagreness of
the facts adduced in support of it. But as to this, it need only be
observed that as a new theme for investigation, its facts must
necessarily be meagre, as must be the facts of any science in its
inchoate condition, and that they are steadily growing in volume, so
that it is not safe to venture a final verdict against it on that score.
The facts in support of the globular form of the earth, or the
Copernican theory of the heavens, or the great age of the earth, were at
one time meagre--they are not so now. Sir Charles Lyell is a pioneer
explorer in a new and mysterious realm: the time may come when, amid the
abundance of the treasure gathered from it, the scanty hoard which he
opens to his reader may seem meagre enough.

Nevertheless, Sir Charles Lyell is fully a believer in the doctrine of
the high antiquity of man. His book is not merely a debating-club
discussion of the pros and cons, the probabilities for and against the
doctrine, but rather the earnest pleading of the advocate fully
persuaded that the truth is on his side. Not that it displays any
forensic heat;--it is calm, cautious, dispassionate; but it has the air
of one governed by conviction, and he often assumes the entire truth of
his conclusions with the quiet _nonchalance_ of a man seemingly
unconscious that what he regards as matters of established certainty
will be viewed by the great majority of his fellow beings as startling
novelties.

The main stream of the geological evidence of the antiquity of man tends
to one point, viz., _that man coexisted with the extinct animals_. There
are collateral branches of proof, but this is the main channel. The
remains of man and of man's works and the remains of extinct races of
animals lie side by side, and claim from the geologist the same meed of
antiquity. This is the burden of the book before us. We offer the reader
a brief outline of this evidence. In doing so, we will follow the order
of Sir Charles Lyell's work, and merely state the leading facts which
geological investigations have brought to light.

In the Danish islands there are deposits of peat from ten to thirty feet
thick, formed in the hollows or depressions of the northern drift or
bowlder formation. These beds of peat have been examined to the bottom,
and they reveal the history of vegetation in those localities, and the
contemporaneous history of human progress. Beginning at the top, the
explorer finds the first layers to contain principally the trunks of the
beech tree, along with implements and tools of wood and iron. Below
these is a deposit of oak trunks, with implements mainly of bronze.
Farther down still he finds the trunks of the _Pinus sylvestris_, or
Scotch fir, together with implements of stone. This clearly indicates
that in the lapse of centuries the pine was supplanted by the oak, and
the oak by the beech, and that man advanced contemporaneously from the
knowledge and use of stone implements to those of bronze and iron. Now
the known fact is that in the time of the Romans, as now, the Danish
isles were covered by magnificent beech forests, and that eighteen
centuries have done little or nothing toward changing the character of
the vegetation. How many centuries must have elapsed to enable the oak
to supplant the pine, and the beech to supplant the oak, can only be
vaguely conjectured. Yet the evidence is clear that man lived in those
old pine forests--leaving his implements of stone behind him, as he did
his tools of bronze and iron in the succeeding periods. Along the coast
of Denmark, also, are found shell mounds mixed with flint knives,
hatchets, etc., but never any tools of bronze or iron, showing that the
rude hunters and fishers who fed on the oyster, cockle, and other
mollusks, lived in the period of the Scotch fir, or, as it has been
called, the 'age of stone.'

In many of the Swiss lakes are found ancient piles driven into the
bottom, on which were once erected huts or villages, the lacustrine
abodes of man. This use of them is proved by the abundance of flint
implements and fragments of rude pottery, together with bones of
animals, which have been dredged up from among the piles. The implements
found belong to the 'age of stone,' or the period of the Scotch fir in
Denmark, and the bones of animals are all, with one exception, those of
living species.

Passing over the fossil human remains and works of art of the 'recent'
period, as found in the delta and alluvial plain of the Nile, in the
ancient mounds of the valley of the Ohio, in the mounds of Santos in
Brazil, in the delta of the Mississippi, in which, at the depth of
sixteen feet from the surface, under four buried forests, superimposed
one upon the other, was found, a few years ago, a human skeleton,
estimated by Dr. B. Dowler to have been buried at least fifty thousand
years--in the coral reefs of Florida, in which fossil human remains were
found, estimated by Professor Agassiz to have an antiquity of ten
thousand years--in the recent deposits of seas and lakes, in the central
district of Scotland, which bears clear traces of an upheaval since the
human period, and in the raised beaches of Norway and Sweden--passing
over these for want of space for minute detail, we go back to the
post-pliocene period, and find the bones of man and works of art in
juxtaposition with the fossil remains of extinct mammalia.

In the cavern of Bize, in the south of France, and in the caves of
Engis, Engihoul, Chokier, and Goffontaine, near Liége, human bones and
teeth, together with fragments of rude pottery, have been found
enveloped in the same mud and breccia, and cemented by stalagmite, in
which are found also the land shells of living species and the bones of
mammalia, some of extinct, and others of recent species. The chemical
condition of all the bones was found to be the same. Quite a full
account is given of the researches of MM. Journal and Christol in the
Bize cavern, and of Dr. Schmerling in the Liége caverns, and every
effort made, apparently, by the author, to weigh candidly and honestly
the evidence for and against the contemporaneous existence and
deposition of the human and mammalian remains. And while he admits that
at one time he was strongly inclined to suspect that they were not
coeval[3], yet he has been compelled by subsequent evidence, especially
in view of the fact that he has had convincing proofs in later years
that the remains of the mammoth and many other extinct species, very
common in caves, occur also in undisturbed alluvium, imbedded in such a
manner with works of art as to leave no room for doubt that man and the
extinct animals coexisted, to reconsider his former opinion, and to
assign to the proofs derived from caves of the high antiquity of man a
much more positive and emphatic character.

In chapter fifth we have a minute and interesting account of such fossil
human skulls and skeletons as have been found in caves and ancient
tumuli, and a careful endeavor made to estimate their approximate age.
In 1857, in a cave situated in that part of the valley of the Düssel,
near Düsseldorf, which is called the Neanderthal, a skull and skeleton
were found, buried beneath five feet of loam, which were pronounced by
Professor Huxley and others to be clearly human, though indicating small
cerebral development and uncommon strength of corporeal frame. In the
Engis caves, near Liége, portions of six or seven human skeletons were
found, imbedded in the same matrix with the remains of the elephant,
rhinoceros, bear, hyena, and other extinct quadrupeds. In an ancient
tumulus near Borrely, in Denmark, a human skull was discovered which was
adjudged by its surroundings to belong to the 'stone period' of Denmark,
or the era of the Scotch fir. The careful anatomical examination and
comparison to which these skulls have been subjected, have led to
important discussions, not only as to their age, but also as to their
relation to existing races.

Next comes an extended account of the flint implements and other works
of art, found so abundantly in juxtaposition with the bones of extinct
mammalia, in various localities--in a cave at Brixham, near Torquay, in
Devonshire; in the alluvium of the Thames valley; in the gravel of the
valley of the Ouse, near Bedford; in a fresh-water deposit at Hoxne in
Suffolk; in the valley of the Lach at Icklingham; in a cavern in
Somersetshire; in the caves of Gomer in Glamorganshire, in South Wales;
and especially in the gravel beds of Abbeville and Amiens, in France,
and various localities of the valley of the Somme. As to these flint
implements, they are chiefly knives, hatchets, and instruments of that
sort, and they have been found in such large numbers, and such diverse
localities, and so uniformly in close proximity with the remains of the
same species of extinct mammalia, that the evidence derived from them
is, to say the least, of a very weighty character, and in the opinion of
Sir Charles Lyell clearly establishes the fact that _Elephas
primigenius_, _Elephas antiquus_, _Rhinoceros tichorrhinus_, _Ursus
speloeus_, and other extinct species of the post-pliocene alluvium,
_coexisted with man_.

Attempts have been made to throw doubt upon these implements, first upon
their nature, and next upon their genuineness; but we think no one who
weighs the evidence candidly and carefully, can award to these doubts
the merit of respectability. That they are works of art and not native
forms, is, we think, as fully established as human observation can
establish anything; and though frauds have been recently detected, it
would be no more absurd to attribute the whole phenomena of fossil
remains to fraudulent manufacture, than to refer to the same source the
whole series of flint implements. In many cases the flint tools were
taken out of their position by the hands of scientific men themselves,
and in others the excavations were made under their immediate
supervision. M. Gandry, in giving an account of his researches at St.
Acheul, in 1859, to the Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris, says: 'The
great point was not to leave the workmen for a single instant.'

But the most remarkable, not to say startling revelations of the whole
book, are those pertaining to the discovery of an ancient place of
sepulture at Auvignac, in the south of France. Here we seem to be
brought, as it were, face to face with the denizens of the departed
ages, and to have them start up from their ancient tombs to tell the
story of their death and sepulture. We enter this old burial place with
feelings of more strange and solemn awe than we could have in threading
the catacombs of Rome. An obscure village at the foot of the Pyrenees
reveals in its precincts a more astounding history than all the
monuments and mausoleums of the 'eternal' city.

In the year 1852, a laborer named Bonnemaison, employed in repairing
roads, observed that rabbits, when hotly pursued by the sportsman, ran
into a hole which they had burrowed in a talus of small fragments of
limestone and earthy matter lodged in a depression on the face of a
steep escarpment of nummulitic limestone which forms the bank of a small
brook near the town of Auvignac. On reaching as far into the opening as
the length of his arm, he drew out to his surprise one of the long bones
of the human skeleton; and his curiosity being excited, and having a
suspicion that the hole communicated with a subterranean cavity, he
commenced digging a trench through the middle of the talus, and in a few
hours found himself opposite a heavy slab of rock, placed vertically
against the entrance. Having removed this, he discovered on the other
side of it an arched cavity, seven or eight feet in its greatest height,
ten in width, and seven in horizontal depth. It was almost filled with
bones, among which were two entire skulls, which he recognized at once
as human. The people of Auvignac flocked in astonishment to the spot,
and Dr. Amiel, the mayor, having first ascertained as a medical man and
anatomist that the relics contained the bones of seventeen human
skeletons of both sexes and all ages, ordered them all to be reinterred
in the parish cemetery.

In 1860, M. Lartet, a distinguished French savan, examined thoroughly
the remaining contents of the cavern and its surroundings and
approaches. He found, on removing the talus which filled up the
depression on the face of the rock, a level terrace leading to the mouth
of the cave. On this terrace was a layer of charcoal and ashes, eight
inches thick, containing fragments of broken, burnt, and gnawed bones of
_extinct and recent mammalia_, in all some nineteen species, and some
seventy or eighty individuals. Also in the same deposit were
hearthstones, and works of art, flint knives, projectiles, sling-stones,
and chips. Many of the bones of the extinct herbivora were streaked, as
if the flesh had been scraped off them by a flint instrument, and others
were split open, as if for the purpose of extracting the marrow. Inside
the grotto were two or three feet of made earth mixed with human and a
few animal bones of extinct and recent species. None of them, however,
burnt or gnawed; and numerous small flat plates of a white shelly
substance made of some species of cockle, perforated in the middle as if
for the purpose of being strung into a bracelet; also some mementos and
memorials of the chase and the sepulture. Did no opposing traditions
stand in the way, we are quite sure the evidence elicited from this
examination would at once fix its character as a burial place, of an
antiquity coeval with the existence of the great extinct mammalia of the
post-pliocene period. It, however, contains some features of special
interest. In the words of Sir Charles Lyell:

     'The Auvignac cave adds no new species to the list of extinct
     quadrupeds, which we have elsewhere, and by independent evidence,
     ascertained to have once flourished contemporaneously with man. But
     if the fossil memorials have been correctly interpreted--if we have
     here before us at the northern base of the Pyrenees a sepulchral
     vault with skeletons of human beings, consigned by friends and
     relatives to their last resting place--if we have also at the
     portal of the tomb the relics of funeral feasts, and within it
     indications of viands destined for the use of the departed on their
     way to the land of spirits; while among the funeral gifts are
     weapons wherewith in other fields to chase the gigantic deer, the
     cave lion, the cave bear, and woolly rhinoceros--we have at last
     succeeded in tracing back the sacred rites of burial, and, more
     interesting still, a belief in a future state, to times long
     anterior to those of history and tradition. Rude and superstitious
     as may have been the savage of that remote era, he still deserved,
     by cherishing the hopes of a hereafter, the epithet of 'noble,'
     which Dryden gave to what he seems to have pictured to himself as
     the primitive condition of our race:

                 'As Nature first made man,
       When wild in woods the noble savage ran.'

The remainder of the book, so far as it relates to the evidences of
man's antiquity, is mainly occupied with the consideration of the
glacial period, in its relation to the indications of man's first
appearance in Europe. It bears evidence throughout of the hand of a
master. The gigantic phenomena and wonderful agencies of that marvellous
period in geological history--its vast icefields and glaciers, with
their movements, drifts, and denudations--its coast ice and glacial
lakes and rivers--the risings and sinkings of level of islands and
continents, are all considered and discussed in a thoroughly intelligent
and scholarly manner. And here, also, amid the debris of this
far-distant and inhospitable era, has man left the traces of his
existence, as indubitably, according to Sir Charles Lyell, as the great
icebergs themselves. Not only is it proven that man coexisted with the
extinct animals, but also that he coexisted with the extinct glaciers.
We have not space, however, to follow out in detail this evidence.

The last five chapters of the book are devoted to the discussion of
certain subjects of vital interest and great moment just now in the
scientific world--the theories of progression, development,
transmutation, and variation of species. It seems, however, to be the
intention of the author to give us, not so much his own views as a
general résumé or outline of the tendencies and conclusions of the
scientific world upon these subjects. This he does with his usual
fulness, candor, and impartiality; and the reader at the same time
gathers from him that he is strongly inclined to accept the doctrine of
the origin of species by 'variation and natural selection,' and to
accord vast periods of time for the workings of that law of development
and transmutation which he believes to pervade all mundane affairs.
Considerable space is devoted to the consideration of man's place in
nature, and especially to the discussions arising out of the comparison
of the human and simian brain; and while the author fully admits the
vast gulf placed between man and the animal creation below him--a gulf
which science cannot bridge--by virtue of the moral and religious nature
of man, yet he pointedly protests against confounding distinct orders of
ideas, and insists that man as a physical being is clearly of the same
order as the gorilla and ape; and he does not shrink from accepting the
possibility that they all may have sprung by successive stages or
'leaps' from the same primordial form. His concluding words are, that
'so far from having a materialistic tendency, the supposed introduction
into the earth at successive periods of life--sensation, instinct, the
intelligence of the higher mammalia, bordering on reason--and lastly the
improvable reason of man himself, presents us with a picture of the
ever-increasing dominion of mind over matter.'

To our mind one thing is certain. The whole scientific world is drifting
slowly, but steadily and surely, to the verification and
acceptance--with certain and in some cases important modifications--of
the development hypothesis of Maillet, Lamarck, La Place, Owen, and the
author of the 'Vestiges[4] of Creation.' The movement reminds one of
the motion of one of the great Greenland glaciers, so slow, quiet,
almost imperceptible, yet inexorable as fate--heedless of all obstacles.
As in the case of all great, genuine revolutionary or formative ideas,
it is curious to watch the incidents of its career--to note the alarm,
indignation, scorn, and holy horror occasioned by its first
announcement--to observe these subsiding gradually into patient
endurance and permissive sufferance, and these again giving place to a
certain curiosity and wakeful interest, culminating at last in downright
advocacy and championship.

We are inclined to think that great injustice has been done the
development theory in the name of morals and religion. There has been no
end to the railing against it on the part of clergymen, Biblical
interpreters, theological Professors, and orthodox editors. It was held
to put infinite dishonor upon the Creator, not only to suppose that He
should take many millions of years to make a world, but that He should
employ the same lengthened period to make man, instead of speaking him
into existence by a word. It was held to put infinite dishonor upon the
Scriptures to suppose that they should be understood in any but the most
literal sense. And it was held to put infinite dishonor upon man to
suppose that he was kith and kin with the monkey--bone of the bone and
flesh of the flesh of the unreasoning quadrupeds, over which in his
god-like royalty he was to sway his imperial sceptre--and this, too, by
a class of teachers who could never have enough of thundering in the
ears of men their degradation, their lost, debased, insensate, and
damnable condition, worse than that of beasts or devils.

Now, with all deference, we beg to say that this development theory does
not strike us as so fraught with dishonor, either to the powers in
heaven or the beings upon earth. It has for many years impressed us with
its grandeur as an intellectual conception. We doubt whether anything so
grand has dawned upon the mind of modern civilization since the days of
Sir Isaac Newton. And we cannot see what dishonor it can work to either
God or man--especially if it be proved to be true. We regard it, so far
as there is truth in it, as one of those great germinant seed-thoughts,
which at long intervals are dropped into the soil of the human mind;
and though the mind of the age, in its first impulses of joy, may play
wild gambols with it, it is destined in the end to mould and control the
thinking of the civilized world. But apart from its truth or falsity, in
whole or in part, regarded simply _as an intellection_, it strikes us as
one of the grandest of modern times. Spreading itself over almost
illimitable space, grasping back through almost illimitable time,
claiming for itself the boundless multiplicity of type, and form, and
life, and law of the organic world, and unfolding to the wondering gaze
the vast prophetic possibilities of the future, it possesses all the
attributes of grandeur, magnificence, sublimity, and mystery. If it is a
phantasm, it is more gorgeous than the most splendid creations of
poetry. If it is a mirage, it is more beautiful than any that ever
bewildered the vision of enchanted traveller. If it is an _ignis
fatuus_, it is more potent than any ever raised by the spell of the
sorcerer. But whether phantasm, mirage, _ignis fatuus_, or sober but
grand reality, will assuredly be found out by science before another
half century. And the ultimate finding of science, whatever it may be,
must and will be believed.

It is, of course, not to be expected that the evidence thus adduced by
Sir Charles Lyell in behalf of the antiquity of man, will be accepted as
conclusive by the religious and thinking world in general without a
thorough sifting and an earnest struggle. It is too novel and
revolutionary in its tendencies. And indeed it ought to be subjected to
the severest ordeal of fact and reason. It is in this way alone that the
golden grains of truth are separated from the dross of crude conjecture
and hasty generalization. We are not prepared ourselves to say that the
evidence itself is final and conclusive. We have sketched it for the
purpose of giving the distinguished author a full hearing, and affording
the reader an opportunity to judge for himself. We await the logical
sequences of time, knowing full well that the laws which regulate the
progress of science are as stable and infallible as the laws which
control the motions of the solar and planetary systems. One thing,
however, we may be excused for saying: All the attempts we have seen to
parry the force of this evidence, and to account for the acknowledged
phenomena and facts within the schedule of the received chronology,
strike us as singularly and painfully feeble. One suggestion is that the
bodies of the extinct mammalia may have been preserved in ice until the
recent period, and their bones deposited contemporaneously with those of
modern species and man. Another is that the geologists may be vastly
mistaken as to the date of the extinction of species, and that in fact
the mastodon, mammoth, and other species found in juxtaposition with
human remains and works of art, have probably survived until a very
recent period. Without entering into detail on these points, we would
venture the prediction that when weighed in the balance they will be
found utterly wanting. One type of discussion will survive, if it
survive at all, as a most curious fossil of the layers of modern
thought. It is that represented by the book referred to in a note on a
former page, by Mr. Davies. Believing that all mineral fossils were
never living animals at all, but the types simply of animals that were
to be, stamped instantaneously upon the rocks as prophetic symbols of a
work of creation to be afterward accomplished, he is prepared to hear
without surprise that man should some day be found as a fossil. We refer
to it as a most curious mental product. If it is not unanswerable, we
presume it will at least remain unanswered.

What now, in conclusion, is to be the effect of this new development of
science on the received and traditionary thinking of the time? What
readjustments will be necessary in case the doctrine of the antiquity of
man comes by and by to take its place, in the creed of science,
alongside of the doctrine of the great age of the earth? Can it be made
to harmonize with what is now known as orthodox and evangelical
Christianity?

That it cannot be made to harmonize with that sort of orthodoxy which
asserts that 'the Bible teaches' that man began to exist upon the earth
about six thousand years ago, we need hardly aver. Eminent theologians
may say, 'if science does not agree with the Scriptures, so much the
worse for science,' but we opine that the minds which will be able to
stand upon this platform in the face of overwhelming evidence will be
few and far between. But it must be remembered that the Scriptures have
adjusted themselves, in the popular and orthodox mind, to several things
which were once considered opposed to their teachings. The Copernican
theory of the solar system was once regarded and treated as a palpable
and dangerous heresy; yet now-a-days the boldest literalist would not
venture to insist that the Bible teaches a system opposed to that.
Within living memory, it is well known that the doctrine of the recent
creation of the earth was regarded as indubitably a part of the teaching
of the first chapter of Genesis, yet it is now fully conceded in high
orthodox quarters that the opposite doctrine does no violence to the
letter or spirit of the Mosaic writings. Here the adjustment has been of
the interpretation to the fact. It is up to this time largely believed
that the Bible teaches the doctrine of a general deluge, yet Hugh Miller
could advocate, with all the elegance of his superb intellect, and all
the power of his unanswerable science, the opposite doctrine of a
partial or limited deluge, without being outlawed for heresy in the Free
Church of Scotland. It is now held almost universally that the doctrine
of the unity of the race is essential to Christianity; and we, for
ourselves, cannot see that it is otherwise than essential to a properly
organic Christianity, and yet we begin to see a blinking in certain
quarters toward the opposite view;--and we may mention that the curious
book of Mr. Davies before mentioned, which is written in the special
interest of the most literal orthodoxy, advocating the doctrine of
immediate creation in six literal days, and other equally indigestible
matters, insists on the doctrine of _diversity of origin_ in the human
race, because it is taught in the Scriptures! And he does not fail to
find proof texts. He rightly avers that several important assumptions
are needed in order to extract the doctrine of unity from the Mosaic
record.

We have not adduced these instances of the variations of orthodoxy for
the purpose of intimating that the Bible is a nose of wax, which can be
twisted into any shape without injury--that it is a book which can be
made to mean anything or nothing, as the circumstances of the case may
require--but that it has a vital elasticity and power of adjustment to
all veritable findings of the human mind in every sphere; as indeed it
must have, if it is in any important respect such a communication to
mankind as it is claimed to be. Whatever may be said of the
infallibility of the Scriptures, it is certain that interpretation is
not infallible--a distinction that is not always kept in mind by those
zealous defenders of the faith who are ready to make the inspiration of
the Scriptures stand or fall with a given interpretation of a particular
passage.

But can the doctrine of man's antiquity be made to harmonize with the
essentials of Christianity and the inspiration of the Scriptures? If
Christianity be a religion for man, as the present writer believes, we
answer emphatically in the affirmative. Not the smallest feature that is
essential to make Christianity a religion for man, if it be such, will
be imperilled by this or any other well-established doctrine of
science. But precisely how much modification of existing opinion, how
much sepulture of traditionary relics, how much clearing away of rubbish
will be indispensable, it is now not easy to say. It is certain that it
must be conceded that we have as yet attained to no infallible
chronology. And it is equally certain that a larger amount of allegory
must be infused into the first chapters of Genesis than would have been
digestible by the theologians of the last generation, if we would ever
have theology and science stand upon the same plane. The question in the
child's catechism, '_Who was the first man?_' will by and by be easier
asked than answered. If, moreover, the narrative in Genesis refers to
some imaginary being supposed to have existed upon the earth about six
thousand years ago, it seems clear that this being cannot be regarded as
the 'federal head' of the human race, from whom 'all mankind have
descended by ordinary generation.' And we strongly suspect that a very
large amount of theological machinery will need to be readjusted; and
amid many pangs and with much tribulation will not a few canons of
orthodoxy pass away to the region of fossil forms.

In conclusion, we take leave of this work of Sir Charles Lyell with the
conviction that however obnoxious it may be to orthodox editors and
superannuated doctors of divinity, it is destined to stimulate greatly
scientific inquiry and active thought. It is impossible that when such a
mine has been sprung, and promises to yield such tangible results, it
should suddenly cease to work, because the note of alarm is raised by
affrighted theologians. We predict for science in this department a rich
and rapid progress of discovery. And we are profoundly gratified that
the subject has been broken to the popular mind in such a cautious and
unexceptionable manner as to the tone and spirit of the work--the author
holding with philosophic steadfastness to the subject matter in hand,
and, in the true scientific spirit, eschewing all side issues, and
exhibiting throughout a candor, impartiality, and honesty, worthy the
well-earned fame of this Nestor of geologists.



ÆNONE:

A TALE OF SLAVE LIFE IN ROME.


CHAPTER III.

The thoughts of Ænone followed her into sleep, and colored her dreams
with pleasant memories of the past; and when the morning sun, pouring
its beams through the window, awakened her, there was a momentary
struggle before she could throw off the fancies of the night and realize
that she was no longer in her cottage home. But distinct perception soon
returned as she glanced around her and recognized the paintings which
adorned her chamber, and the marble goddess still holding forth a
welcoming hand, as though in greeting for the return of another day.

Throwing open the window, she sat down for a moment to enjoy the soft
breeze, which, laden with perfume, came gambolling fresh from the Alban
Hills. The window at which she placed herself looked out upon a central
courtyard, formed by the intersection of the main body of the palace at
right angles with the two wings. This court was paved from one side to
the other with marble flags of different shades, excepting in the
middle, where played the fountain--a circular basin of water, upon a
rock, in the centre of which two bronze satyrs struggled for a tortoise,
from whose mouth the supplying stream poured forth. From the end of each
wing of the palace the line of the sides was continued by a straight
stone wall of considerable height, leading across the whole breadth of
the Cælian Hill to the slope of its farther side, and enclosing an area
thickly planted with such flowers, shrubbery, and trees as the taste of
the period considered most essential to a well-appointed garden.

For the moment the central court was almost deserted, the only
appearance of life being a little Nubian slave, who sat upon the edge of
the fountain, and lazily played with a tame stork. But all at once Ænone
heard mingled voices, and distinguished among them the tones of her
husband--deeper than the others, and marked with that quicker and more
decided accent acquired by a long course of undisputed authority. At
first the sounds seemed stationary, as though the speakers were tarrying
in one place for discussion; but in a moment they approached nearer, and
the disputants stood in full sight upon a balcony which ran around the
interior wall of the palace and overhung the sides of the court.

Foremost and tallest of the group stood Sergius Vanno, recognizable at
once by his athletic and graceful figure, reflective face, commanding
eye, bright with intelligence, and his agreeable, refined, and
attractive presence, as the leading spirit of the group. At his side
leaned the poet Emilius, whose weak and slender figure and mild, girlish
expression would hardly appear to sustain the reputation he enjoyed of
devoting half his time to the invention and elaboration of new forms of
profligacy, and thereby carrying his exploits into realms of vice
hitherto undiscovered even in that age of unbridled indulgence. Behind
these stood three others--a captain of the prætorian guard, a tribune of
the law, and a comedian of the school of Plautus--each probably carrying
the palm of excellence in his especial calling, and all of them
doubtless endowed with superior capacities as boon companions in a
night-long revel. They had evidently but just left the banqueting hall,
and bore indications of having passed a somewhat unquiet night, though
in different degrees; for while the captain and comedian still staggered
confusedly and displayed haggard faces and disordered dresses, the
superior tact, constitutional strength, or recuperative powers of the
others enabled them to maintain such a demeanor of proper sobriety, that
but for a slight flush and the companionship in which they were placed,
their late excesses might have passed unnoticed.

'It was the choice of all the slaves, both male and female, I tell you,'
said the comedian, evidently resuming an unfinished dispute. 'The choice
of all the slaves, Sergius.'

'Hear you now this man!' exclaimed Sergius, turning toward his friend
Emilius with a quiet smile. 'Thrice already have I told him the truth of
the matter, and still he persists; well knowing that, if now he can
scarcely sustain himself from falling over into the area below, he
certainly could not, three hours ago, have been able to tell what play
he made, or whether he made any play at all. Nay, Bassus, it was only of
the male slaves that I spoke.'

'Yet listen to me,' insisted the comedian, placing his hand upon the
other's shoulder and leaning heavily upon him, 'You do not deny that we
gamed?'

'Of a surety I do not.'

'Nor that I won money of you?'

'Ten sestertia. I acknowledge it.'

'Nay, twenty sestertia, was it not?'

'Twenty sestertia be it, then. What matters the amount, when I paid you
upon the moment, and you now have the sum, whatever it may be, in your
own purse?'

'True, true,' rejoined the other, nodding his head with an air of sage
gravity; 'whatever it was, of a certainty I now have it. And then,
Sergius, you offered against the ten--no, the twenty sestertia--to play
the choice of all your new slaves.'

'Of my new male slaves, certainly.'

'No, of the slaves both male and female. I will tell you how it is that
I so especially recollect. It was because I had heard from our lawgiver
here about the beautiful Samian girl you have borne home among your
share of the spoils. You did not think, perhaps, that I knew of her; but
when I offered to throw the dice, I held her in my mind. And then, when
I had won, and told you that I would select her, you said--'

'Exactly what I had said to you before, that you could take your choice
from the male slaves,' interrupted the other impatiently. 'And I have
brought you directly hither to make your selection, for fear that when
you became sober you would forget the matter altogether, and thereby
cheat yourself out of a fairly won prize. Am I not right, comrades? Was
not the play as I have stated it?'

'Neither more nor less,' the poet answered; and the tribune and the
prætorian captain spoke to the same effect. The comedian still looked
unconvinced, and, for the moment, gazed inquiringly from one to the
other, in the hope that some newer recollection would come to the mind
of either of them and lead to a recantation. But in that desire he was
disappointed, and at last he reluctantly gave up the contest, not daring
to protract it longer for fear of provoking a quarrel, and thereby being
thrust out of the society to which he was aware his social talents,
counteracting his low birth and calling, were his sole passport. And
after all, though he had too carelessly made his wager, he had won
twenty sestertia and a male slave, and that was something.

'Well, be it so,' he assented, with a sigh. 'A male slave, since you say
it. I had supposed I had spoken more particularly, but it seems that my
poor brain was careless and at fault. Only bring the slaves hither
quickly, that I may choose and go home, for I must play Castorex this
morning, and this head of mine seems likely to split.'

'Let it split, then,' retorted Sergius with a laugh. 'It may save our
cracking it some day with a goblet. Ho, there, Drumo!'

He was not obliged to call a second time, for, at the first ring of his
voice, the obedient armor bearer emerged from one of the lower entrances
into the court. He also, as well as his master, had been convivially
celebrating his return, and now bore the evidences of his frolic in a
sad combination of inflamed features, tangled hair, and disordered
clothing.

'What ho, master?' he cried, stretching his huge limbs in a yawn and
looking up. 'Am I wanted?'

'You have been drinking,' said Sergius; 'go to the fountain basin there
and cleanse yourself. If there were fish in it, I would feel half
inclined to cast you in to feed them. After that, come back to me.'

The giant grinned, knowing that his master placed too high a value upon
him ever to make a dinner of him for the carp, though he might now and
then inflict a stripe or two in anger upon his broad shoulders. Then
kneeling down at the fountain, he quickly splashed the water into his
face and eyes, ran one finger from his forehead to the crown of his head
in order to part his disordered locks, pulled away a loose straw from
behind his neck, gave his tumbled tunic one jerk to straighten it, and,
with the air of a person who had made an elaborate toilet, and could
afford to be well satisfied with the result, presented himself for
inspection.

'So! Were my new slaves sent in last night?'

The armor bearer nodded.

'The whole allotment?'

'I suppose so, master. Fifty there should have been, the lictor said,
when he brought them, but one had died, and they had thrown him into the
Tiber to the fishes. Ho, ho, master, we shall all go one day to feed the
fishes or the dogs or the worms, both you and I alike.'

'Silence, you hound!' said Sergius, more by way of habit than because he
really minded a familiarity to which he had gradually grown accustomed.

'The others came a little before midnight, and I locked them up below,'
the Gaul added, pointing to a low range of buildings at the foot of the
garden. 'They are a well-looking lot, master, but among them all you
will not find one to take my place; so, for this time, I am safe, and
can yet say and do what I please. Ho, ho! And here is the list of them
which the messenger brought.'

'Never mind the list. It is doubtless all correct,' said Sergius, waving
the papyrus aside. 'Go, now, and bring the slaves hither.'

The man nodded, and taking a large key from a nail over his head,
disappeared down the garden walk, and in a few moments returned, driving
before him the whole body of captives which had fallen to the share of
his master. As he had reported, they were of good quality, the best of
the prisoners of war having naturally been reserved for the commander of
the expedition. The men were mostly stout and athletic, while the women
were of healthy and properly agreeable appearance. Of the whole number
there were none who seemed to be at all sickly or ill favored; while the
only one who exhibited any signs of deformity was a dwarf, whose
withered and twisted figure imparted to him that peculiar grotesque and
ape-like appearance which, at that period, was certain to commend him to
the taste of wealthy purchasers, and render him of more value than a man
of correct proportions. Moreover, as a general thing, the captives
seemed more cheerful than they had been the day before, having had the
advantage of several hours' rest and of better food than had fallen to
their lot at any time during the journey. There were a few who
manifested sorrow at having been separated from relatives or friends
with whom they had succeeded in travelling to the very gates of the
city; and some others, as yet unbroken to misfortune, maintained a
rebellious and intractable demeanor. But the majority had already made
up their minds that slavery was henceforth their inevitable fate, and
that their highest future happiness must be looked for in its
alleviation rather than in its abolition; and they now appeared to take
pleasure in the thought that their fortune had led them to a wealthy
household, where they would probably experience kind treatment and have
easy tasks allotted to them.

Now, having reached the paved court, the captives rested and awaited the
inspection of their owner--some sitting upon the marble border of the
fountain, some standing by in groups, and through a sort of sympathy
holding each others' hands, as though that would give protection. A few
gazed moodily upon the ground; and one or two, oppressed with sorrow or
nervous apprehension, quietly wept. But the greater portion, impressed
with a dim consciousness that their future lot might depend upon their
present conduct and appearance, endeavored to assume an air of pleased
satisfaction, and thereby possibly win the favorable notice of the group
which stood surveying them from the balcony, or at the least the
friendly compassion of the older slaves of the household, who began to
pour forth from the different doors upon the ground floor of the palace,
and join unbidden in the inspection. Most of these, in the early days of
their captivity, had stood up in the centre of similar gaping and
curious crowds, and now in their turn they sated their curiosity upon
the new comers. A few, remembering their own sorrows of those former
times, seemed compassionate; others manifested careless indifference;
some wondered whether enough of the present reinforcement would be
retained to materially lighten their own labors; and others, who had
been known to fail in attention to their peculiar departments of
industry, trembled lest their places might now be supplied by the new
comers, and themselves be again driven off to market. Whatever their
thoughts and feelings, however, no one ventured to approach too near or
speak aloud, excepting the armor bearer, who, as the privileged slave of
the household as well as the marshal of the occasion, moved hither and
thither among the captives, encouraging some with rude jokes, shoving
others back or forward into suitable positions, and generally
endeavoring to set forth the merits of the whole mass in as favorable a
light as possible.

'Now stand forward where the noble imperator and his friends can see
you,' was his command to a well-featured, strong-limbed Rhodian. 'Do you
think to better your lot by slinking out of sight among the women, and
so perhaps be sent off unnoticed to the market, and there be purchased
for hard labor in the quarry pits? Who knows but that if my master sees
you, he may make a gladiator of you; and then you can fight before
emperors and consuls.'

'What care I for your master?' retorted the man. 'Let him give me back
my wife and my child, whom I yesterday had, and who now are gone.'

The armor bearer shrugged his shoulders.

'Is that all?' he said. 'Wives are plenty in this city of Rome. When I
first came from Gaul, I too had a wife, and, like you, lost her. What
then? I suppose that she is happy, wherever she may be; and I--I have
not allowed myself to be lonely since. But neither did I let myself
slink behind, when I stood in the market; but I pressed forward and
struck upon my chest, and called to the highborn and the rich to look
upon me, and see how a man could be made, and what he could be good for.
And here am I now, a slave, indeed--that cannot be helped--but for all
that, a ruler over the other slaves, and my master's favorite and
companion. By the immortal gods! there is more manliness in yonder
dwarf, with his open face, than in you, with your whimpering and your
tears. I will call him forward to teach you a lesson how to act.'

At the first beck the dwarf pressed forward with a smile, alternately
stretching up to make the most of his diminutive proportions, and then
bowing low to crave the good will of the spectators. His appearance
brought him instant commendation; and more particularly did the
prætorian captain break forth into expressions of appreciation.

'A proper dwarf! a most excellent dwarf! Smaller and more ugly by a
quarter than one which I have known to be sold for forty sestertia! And
see, Bassus, how he bows and rubs his hands and shows his teeth at
yourself. He has perhaps been the buffoon in a Grecian theatre, and in
you now recognizes a brother in the art. Take him, therefore, for your
choice. At the very least, he will be of value to carry your bag of
plays before you, and he may even help you act.'

The comedian forced a sickly smile upon his features, not daring to
quarrel with his companion, yet not insensible to the sneering tone with
which he was addressed. He had, at the first, been struck with the
dwarf, and half inclined to choose him. But now the mocking speech
deterred him.

'You are disposed to be merry,' he said; 'nor do you reason well. It is
not an ape that an actor wants to carry his plays. There are enough such
to listen to them. I will leave the dwarf, therefore, for you to
purchase. Perhaps, after all, there may be a place found for him
somewhere in your own household. I will make another selection for
myself.'

And descending from the piazza, he moved in among the captives for the
purpose of entering upon a more careful inspection. Eager as he was at
all times to make the best of a bargain, he was the more especially
anxious now; for the contemptuous tones of his companions rankled in his
heart, and he felt that the more he evinced a capacity to benefit
himself, the more he would be likely to disappoint them. Passing
deliberately about the slaves, therefore, he scrutinized each face and
form before him with the most exact attention; carefully lifting the
eyelid of one, and examining the teeth of another--now pressing his
knuckles into an expanded chest, then twisting a muscular arm--causing
some to stoop, and others to bend back--and generally practising all
those arts and expedients which a professional slave dealer would employ
to guard himself against imposition. Nor was it until the lapse of many
minutes that he settled upon his prize.

'I will take this man,' he said, dragging the Rhodian forth by the
shoulder. 'He shall be my slave.'

'It is well; take him,' responded Sergius, in his most courtly tone. And
for the moment or two, during which his companions yet tarried, he
maintained a demeanor so studied and controlled that it would have
required a keen glance to detect in his face his bitter sense of
disappointment at the selection which the comedian had made.


CHAPTER IV.

As Sergius turned and entered the house, those who had seen him saluted
as the favorite of the emperor and the idol of the crowd, and thence had
believed unbounded happiness must be his never-varying lot, would have
been astonished to know how many things there were which rankled
painfully in his heart, and, for the moment, made him discontented and
fretful.

Thoroughly jealous in respect to his military fame, he was suspicious
that the cheers of the crowd upon his ovation had been elicited more by
the perfection of the pageantry than by a proper appreciation of his own
merits; while it was certain that the Senate, though meeting him with
the customary congratulations, had delivered them with more form than
enthusiasm. And though the emperor had given audience, he had bestowed
no new honors upon him. To these disappointments was added the unhappy,
self-accusing consciousness of having failed in duty to his own dignity,
by having passed the night in wild revelry and among companions, many of
whom were beneath him in every quality except their talent for ribald
jesting and buffoonery. Moreover, though reputed wealthy, he was at
present pressed for money, and had added to his embarrassments by losing
at the gaming table during the past night more than he could well afford
to part with; while, to add to all other vexations, the comedian Bassus
had not only increased the loss by selecting the most valuable slave,
but had performed the action in a cool and calculating manner, which was
particularly exasperating.

'The low buffoon!' Sergius muttered to himself. 'Who would have thought
that, half drunken as he was, he would have had the wit to select a
slave worth double the sum which had been staked against him, and one
whom I had obtained with such trouble, and for my own purposes? Can it
be that he pretended his intoxication the more easily to outwit me? I
had no fear, but believed that he would be sure to select some slim
youth who could be taught to play the flute before him or act as
cupbearer. What demon put it into his head so suddenly to look for bone
and muscle rather than for girlish graces?'

This last suspicion of having been made the victim of artful
dissimulation added fuel to his vexation, more especially as, turning
his head and glancing into the courtyard, he saw the comedian slipping
through a side passage, and the Rhodian obediently following at his
heels. This filled up the measure of Sergius's wrath. To his excited
fancy the actor bore upon his face an insultingly satisfied smirk of
triumph, while the Rhodian appeared larger and stronger than ever. With
an exclamation of unavailing anger, Sergius pushed open the door, and
stood in the presence of his wife.

It was into the dining hall that he had plunged. Upon a small table was
placed the wine and bread and fruits which formed the customary morning
meal among the richer Romans; and beside the table stood Ænone, in an
attitude in which hope and fear and surprise and disappointment were
equally blended.

Clad in the manner which she knew had always best pleased his fancy,
wearing the adornments which, as his gifts, he would most naturally
prefer to see upon her, with her curling locks parted as in former days
he had liked her to dress them, even striving to impart to her features
the peculiar radiant expression which, in other times, had most won his
heart--she had impatiently awaited his approach, with a vague fear
whispering poisonous surmises to her soul, but yet with a joyful and
hopeful assurance of good predominating over all. As soon as these
friends of his had departed--she had said to herself--he would no longer
delay coming to her. He would meet her with extended arms and the same
joyous welcome as of old. He would utter kind and pleasant words
expressive of his happiness, and would fold her to his heart. There
would she nestle and forget her foolish fears and suspicions of the past
night, and would only remember that she was loved. As, however, she now
saw the frown upon his face, her heart and courage failed her; and in
proportion as she had previously fortified her mind with hopeful
confidence, a terrible reaction of apprehension overcame her. Could it
be that the angry look was for her, and that it could be justified by
any word that she had ever spoken or any duty that she had neglected?
With one hand lightly resting upon the table, her right foot thrown
forward in impulsive readiness to spring into his extended arms, but her
whole form drooping and shrinking with dismay, her face pale, and the
smile which she had called upon it now faintly and painfully flickering
in a deathlike manner about her whitened lips, as it glided from her
control and began to give place to an utter and undisguised fear, she
stood awaiting his first word or action.

'Ha, Ænone!'

'My lord--'

Then remembering what was due to her upon their first meeting, he
smoothed the frown from off his face, held out his arms, and tenderly
embraced her, uttering kind and loving words. It was the same gesture
with which he had parted from her when, six months before, the state had
called upon him to arouse from the ease and tranquility of his wedded
life and do new service upon the field. Those were the same gentle and
affectionate words which he had been wont to utter. And yet to her
quickened apprehension, urged on by some secret instinct, it seemed as
though the soul of the tender greeting was gone, leaving but the mere
form behind. Could it be that during those few months of absence he had
learned to think less dearly of her? At the thought, the last faint
gleams of the flickering smile died away from her face; while he,
unobservant of her distress, and still goaded by the remembrance of his
losses, released her from his embrace and threw himself heavily down
upon the nearest lounge.

'I am thirsty,' he said. 'Give me some drink.'

She poured some wine into a goblet, and timidly presented it to his
lips. The liquid, cooled with snow from the mountains, was refreshing to
his palate, and he drank it to the last drop. As he parted with the
goblet--rather tossing it away than setting it down--he noticed how she
stood before him with whitened face and frightened features, and with
the attitude of a shrinking slave rather than of a wife joyous to be of
service. His heart smote him for his negligent greeting, and he rose up
from the lounge and placed his arm about her.

'Not with you, Ænone, am I vexed,' he said, partly comprehending the
cause of her emotion. And drawing her nearer, he commenced toying with
her waving locks, telling her how for months he had been longing to meet
her, and how her looks more than ever delighted him, and otherwise
uttering such pleasant and reassuring words as soonest came into his
mind. As she began to perceive that it was not for any fault of hers
that he had displayed anger, her face gradually lost its expression of
dread. But still she could not fail to notice that the words which he
spoke were not such as are commonly prompted by a true and
unpremeditated affection; but were rather the labored and soulless
result of a mere good-natured desire to make atonement for a neglect,
and were uttered in all the careless spirit with which one tries to
soothe an improperly aggrieved child; and the old smile but feebly
played upon her features, struggle with it as earnestly as she would.

'Nay, not at your sweet face is my anger excited, Ænone,' he said; 'but
at that scurvy dog, Bassus. He should himself be a slave and the
companion of slaves, were his true station meted out to him.'

'He with whom you passed the night?' suggested Ænone.

'Ay, he was one of us,' Sergius answered, taking a position nearer the
table, and commencing to pick off a crumb of bread as the incentive to a
more extended repast. 'He was with us, as there always will be some rude
and unmannerly intruder in every company; but there were also others,
the associates of Emilius. There was Sotus, the Egyptian, a learned
astronomer, and Cyope, the renowned Greek dramatist, and Spoletius, who
is now writing a history of the empire, and, if what he says is true,
has already brought his work down to the time of the Emperor Nero--'

'And will carry it on until he reaches the present day! And will then,
in their proper place, tell about your achievements, my lord!' exclaimed
Ænone, a flush of expectation glowing upon her face, as she thought that
here were her conjectures of the preceding evening about to be realized.

'Ay!' responded Sergius; 'I presume that he will speak of me and of what
you dignify as my achievements, foolishly fond child; and therefore it
was meet that I should not neglect the opportunity of being in his
presence, in order that he might speak well of me rather than the
reverse. Otherwise, you well know that I would have preferred to let
revelling have the go-by, and to have come at once to gather you to my
heart. But we men, whom the world calls celebrated, must be watchful,
and learn to resign pleasure to duty, and guard our fame, or else it may
go out like a wasted lamp, and leave it in the darkness of oblivion. We
cannot spare our time to give free scope to our love, as though we were
poor and unknown.'

Ænone reproached herself for her suspicions. Surely she had done wrong
in distrusting him for the coldness of his greeting. He may have meant
nothing but love and kindness, and have been weighed down by cares and
anxieties which she could not comprehend. Had he not said that something
had made him angry? He, the great imperator, to have been ruffled by the
conduct of a low comedian, whose company his interest obliged him to
tolerate! She would yet be patient and wait.

'And not only Spoletius, the historian, but also others, poets and
philosophers, whose good will it is proper to secure, and whose
conversation would be improving to the gods themselves,' continued
Sergius, almost blushing as he remembered how little philosophy had been
spoken during the past night, excepting that shallow doctrine which
inculcates full enjoyment of the passing pleasure of the world, lest
death might come and too suddenly end them; and how little poetry had
been recited, except as roared forth in the form of bacchanalian
choruses. 'And even this Bassus it were worth my while to condescend to,
lest the notion might seize him to satirize me upon the public stage.
And it was to conciliate him that I lost to him twenty sestertia and a
well-favored slave. May it not be that I paid too high a price for his
friendship, and hence have a right to be angry?'

'But let my lord reflect that he has many slaves--more than he well can
find use for; and that, therefore, one less may not be of great
consequence to him.'

'Nay, but such a slave!' responded Sergius; 'tall, almost, as my armor
bearer, and strong as an elephant! A man who was worth to me all those
others, thrice over, for the use to which I could have put him. The rest
will doubtless be of good account in their way. Some of them will go and
dig in my quarries, and a few will be exposed in the market, and will
bring their proper price. But this Rhodian--listen! You know that in a
few weeks the new amphitheatre of our emperor will be opened with grand
spectacles lasting many days. At my audience with him last evening he
spoke thereupon, and of the wild beasts he had sent for to give dignity
to the occasion; but of this anon. You know that for months all Rome has
been preparing for that time?'

Ænone nodded assent. Even had she desired, she could not have remained
ignorant that the great colossus of all amphitheatres was approaching
completion, since, from her window, she could look down the Appian Way
and watch every stone being laid, while, in all societies, the magnitude
and magnificence of the approaching games were the theme of universal
conversation.

'Well,' continued Sergius, 'months ago--I hardly remember how many--I
wagered with the proconsul Sardesus that I would furnish for the games
the superior gladiator of the two. Fifteen purses of a hundred sestertia
each; a large sum, but the larger the better, since I had my armor
bearer in my mind, and felt certain to win. But since then I have become
attached to this Drumo. The dog has twice saved my life, and hence has
become too precious to be risked; for though he would most likely win
the day, yet a chance thrust might destroy him at the end. I therefore
looked around for a substitute, and found him--this Rhodian slave. Day
after day I marked him in the opposite ranks, fighting against us, and I
gave orders to capture him alive. Twice we thought we had secured him,
and as often did he break away, killing many of our men. But at last the
commander of one of my cohorts obtained possession of his wife and five
children, and sent him word that each day, until he delivered himself
up, one of them should be put to death.'

'Surely that thing was not done?' exclaimed Ænone, horror struck.

'As I live, it was not ordered by me, nor did I learn of the scheme
until it was too late to arrest it,' responded Sergius; 'else would I
have forbidden it. But what would you expect? War has its practices, and
mercy is not exactly one of them. And cruelties will happen, do what we
may. Whatever transpired, therefore, was the work of the commander of my
first cohort, to whom I had given directions to take the man alive, and
who knew that it must be done, and without troubling me about the
process. Perhaps you do not care to hear the rest?'

'Go on,' said Ænone, shuddering with a sickening apprehension of what
was to come.

'Well, the first day his oldest child was slain, and the body sent to
him; and the next day the second one slain, and in like manner sent to
him; and so on until but his wife and one child were left. Then he came
in and gave himself up.'

'And this brave man--fighting for his country--you have made a slave
of!' exclaimed Ænone, impetuously. 'He has been stripped of his family
one by one, and now you would place him in the arena, to be the victim
of wild beasts, or at the best, of other slaves!'

'What else would you wish? The man is of a warlike nature; and it were
better for him to bravely contend for his life in the presence of the
emperor himself, than ignominiously to wear it out in the base labor of
the quarries. And I will tell you what I meant to have done. I know
where are his wife and remaining child, with whom he yesterday entered
Rome; and if in the amphitheatre he had won the victory for me, I would
have restored them to him and given him his freedom besides. But all
that is past now. In the heat of the moment I forgot him, and suffered
this drunken dog, Bassus, to take his choice; and he has had too good an
eye for what is valuable not to select the Rhodian. Strange, indeed,
that I should have been so careless. But throughout all, I never dreamed
that his taste would lead him to do more than choose some slight-built
boy, who could assist him in his trade. Once, indeed, I feared for the
moment that he would select amiss, and take a rarely precious dwarf,
whom, both for his appearance and for his knowledge of armor, I had
reserved as a gift for your father; and when that danger was past, I
breathed freer, not calculating upon any further mischance.'

Ænone remained silent. Ready as she was at all times to give her utmost
sympathy to her husband for the slightest annoyance which he might
experience, it seemed to her now that his complaining was puerile and
unjust, so utterly had the sense of his disappointment been swallowed
up, in her thoughts, by the real and tragic woe of the Rhodian captive.
Finding day after day his dead children laid at his very door--then
separated rudely from all who were left--and in the end brought chained
into the arena, and obliged to fight to the death for the pleasure of
his conquerors, and perhaps against his own countrymen: why should such
things be? Ænone was no nerveless creature to faint at the sight of
blood. The education of all Romans of that day was adapted to a far
different result, and she could look with enjoyment upon the contests of
wild beasts, or even view without disapprobation the struggles of
gladiators trained to their work as to a profession, and, of their own
free will and with full knowledge, taking its risks upon themselves. And
yet, for all that, she could not but feel that every hour there were
being enacted around her, and as a part of the daily workings of the
social system, abuses of power, which, like the present, nothing could
justify; and she wondered whether it would last forever, or whether, on
the contrary, the outraged gods would not some day arise and pour down
upon this imperial Rome the vengeance due to the oppressed.

Sergius partially read her thoughts, and set himself to work to reverse
their current and turn it into a more cheerful channel. Drawing his seat
closer to her, he began to speak to her of more pleasant topics, telling
of the enlivening incidents of his campaign, rehearsing the exploits of
those about him, and dwelling upon the few occasions in which, by some
unusual departure from martial customs, mercy had been shown to the
weak and helpless, and captives who were not fit for slaves had not been
crucified. The gift of fascination was one of his distinguishing traits;
and when he chose, he could charm, with his winning speech, the most
obdurate and unloving. Therefore, as he now softly whispered these
narrations into Ænone's ears, mingling gentle words of endearment with
them, it was not long before she began to yield to the pleasant
influence, and was almost ready to believe that she had judged rashly,
and that everything upon earth was not so very wrong. Why, after all,
should she presume to criticize matters which did not arouse the
discontent of the wisest of men? And if the gods felt really outraged,
why did they let their thunders sleep so long? At the least, it was not
the duty of herself, a weak girl, to strive to right the world. Her only
domain must be her lord's heart--her only rule of life, his will.

Leaning upon his shoulder, and looking up into his face as she listened,
she thought upon the old times, when she had first met him, and how he
had then, as now, so successfully exerted his powers of charming, that
it had seemed as though no mere earthly love could be good enough reward
for him. Could it be that in her distrust she had been the victim of a
momentary delusion, and that he would always exert himself hereafter, as
now, to please her? Might it not be, after all, that this great
happiness, with its tender whisperings and caresses, would ever continue
unbroken, as in past times?

'But, aha!' he suddenly exclaimed, in the tone of one newly awakened to
the existence of a fact whose comparative unimportance had led to its
forgetfulness by him. 'Let not my own losses make me indifferent to your
pleasure, love, for I have not been so. For you, and you alone, I have
reserved a gift fit for the palace of the Cæsars.'

'A gift, my lord? And for me?'

'Yes; but ask me no questions now. You shall see it to-morrow. A few
hours only of mystery and waiting must yet elapse before I will bring it
to you. Until then you can enjoy a woman's pleasure and nurse your
greedy curiosity--hopeless of solving the enigma until I myself choose
to give the clew.'



THE YOUNG AUTHOR'S DREAM.

  '_One more Unfortunate._'

  Alone in a garret where cobwebs hang thick
  Over walls that display the bare mortar and brick,
  Whose windows look down on the roofs of back sheds,
  From a height that would dizzy the coolest of heads,
  A young author sits by a rickety stand,
  In a broken-backed chair, with a pen in his hand,
  And patiently toils ere the sunlight shall fade
  To black the last quire of a ream of 'white laid.'
  The shadows have deepened that hang on the wall;
  But the Finis is written, the pen is let fall;
  And, glad of a respite from labors complete,
  His hands and his head press the last written sheet.
  Sleep comes not alone; for the goddess of dreams
  Is accustomed to visit this blacker of reams.
  Like the man that sits under a monster balloon,
  And soars o'er the earth halfway up to the moon,
  Now stepping at once into Fancy's fair car,
  He sails from the dusky old garret afar;
  And, leaving the world with its practical crowds,
  Such visions as these meet his gaze in the clouds:

  THE DREAM.

  Forty large editions
  Of the 'thrilling tale;'
  Forty thousand dollars,
  Net proceeds of sale.
  Forty smiling critics
  Lavishing their praise;
  Forty famous florists
  Bidding for the bays.

  Forty thousand maidens
  Sitting up at night,
  Poring o'er the volume
  With intense delight.

  Forty thousand letters
  From the country sent,
  Blurred by frequent teardrops,
  Filled with sentiment.

  Forty scheming mothers
  Anxious for a match;
  Forty blushing daughters,
  Each a glorious catch.

  Forty generations
  Reverence his name;
  Forty future ages
  Fortify his fame.


  THE REALITY.

  Forty dunning letters
  Coming every day;
  Forty cents for washing,
  Which he cannot pay.

  Forty jokes malicious
  Cracked by forty wags;
  Forty pert young misses
  Sneering at his rags.

  Forty old companions
  Wondering at his mood;
  Forty friends officious
  Preaching fortitude.

  Forty days of sadness;
  Forty nights of sorrow;
  Forty dark forebodings
  Hanging o'er the morrow.

  Forty hempen inches
  Borrowed from a friend;
  Rafter at the upper,
  Neck at lower, end.

  Forty earthy spadefuls
  On the green hillside;
  Forty lines of 'local,'
  Telling now he died.



THE GREAT LAKES TO ST. PAUL.


Toward the close of July, 1860, our party gathered at Canaudaigua, that
beautiful piece of Swiss overland scenery, transported to Western New
York. Its Indian name, signifying 'the chosen place,' was not inapt for
our meeting ground.

By the 31st of July we were at Cleveland, Ohio, over the Buffalo and
Lake Shore Railway and New York Central. It was a beautiful day's ride,
the most of the way skirting the lake, whose broad expanse gleamed in
the sunshine, and bore many a sail and propeller to the great havens of
its commerce. The railway borders fine towns and farms, formed by the
dense settlement of the oak openings and groves of the Western Reserve
of Ohio, which was purchased from the Holland Land Company, by a company
from Connecticut, of whom General Cleveland, who names the present city,
was the agent.

Cleveland city, with about forty thousand population, lies on Lake Erie,
at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, which forms its harbor. It is well
built, chiefly of the light graystone of the vicinity, upon a declivity
shaded with trees, among which the buckeye hickory abounds, has many
fine dwellings, and presents a fair front to the lake view.

On the evening of the 31st July we embarked on the North Star for
Superior City. She is of first class, eleven hundred and six tons, and
bore an immense freight from the East to the remote peninsula, in
exchange for its precious minerals. The entire sail from Cleveland to
Superior is nine hundred and sixty-four miles.

As these boats are the only means of commerce and intercourse for the
dwellers on the upper lakes above Detroit, very frequent are their stops
and calls, taking and leaving much freight, consuming much time on their
way. However, our voyage was speedy: we arrived at our distant terminus,
Superior City, very early on the morning of the 5th of August, making
the running time about seventy-five hours.

Leaving Ohio, one of the earliest settled States of the Western Valley,
and organized sixty years since, our course from Cleveland stretched
northwesterly across the wide lake, passing the island scene of Perry's
splendid triumph, and thence northerly, by its river, to Detroit, a sail
of one hundred and twenty miles, arriving early on the 1st of August.

The city lies extended along its beautiful river, at one extremity
guarded by its old fort, and at the other are the extensive
copper-smelting furnaces, where the ore from the Superior mines, brought
by the steamers, flows in liquid copper. It is comparatively an ancient
town, settled as early as 1701 as a French frontier post; and some of
its land titles, always protected at each national change, with some of
its old families, derive their origin from these early French pioneers.

Our afternoon sail was up Detroit River and the St. Clair, threading our
way among its many verdant islands and rich shores graced with numerous
pretty villages. At 9 p.m. we reached Port Huron and its Canadian
opposite neighbor, Sarnia. At this point is the southern outlet of Lake
Huron, distant seventy-three miles from Detroit. Sarnia is also the
western depot of the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada, while Windsor,
facing Detroit, terminates the Canadian Great Western. From Sarnia,
passing old Fort Gratiot, over to Port Huron, the railway ferry boat,
propelled by the current only, transfers its passengers to the cars of
the Grand Trunk line, on Michigan soil, and by a short branch
intersects the Michigan Central Railroad, a few miles west of Detroit.
For over twelve hundred miles this iron road, fitly named the Grand
Trunk, transports our Western products. Entering Lake Huron, with its
innumerable islands and almost wilderness shores, our sail through it,
of two hundred and seventy-five miles in all, brought us early, on the
2d of August, off Saginaw and Thunder Bays, its western arms, with
Presque Isle, the Great Manitoulin Island, bearing north by east; and by
noon, we reached Point de Tour, at the outlet of St. Mary's River, three
hundred miles from Detroit, lying opposite to Drummond's Island.

Point de Tour has but a solitary dwelling, from whose roof rises the
light tower. Its inmates are said to have preferred this solitude to the
crowded refinement of a New England city. Shortly after, and still
coasting the western side, we stopped at Church's Landing, where an
enterprising New Englander has built his log houses in the forest, amid
the Indians, and drives an active commerce in _raspberry jam_. His trade
has prospered, and he had just completed a new and handsome dwelling.
Fourteen miles farther brought us to Saut Sainte Marie, or the rapids of
the eastern outlet of Lake Superior.

Lake Huron is at an average height of five hundred and seventy-five feet
above the sea level, and one hundred feet in depth below Lake Superior,
with a length in direct line of two hundred and seventy-five miles, from
Port Huron to Saut Sainte Marie. Georgian Bay, to the east of the Great
Manitoulin Island, is its broad eastern expansion; while, on the west,
the Straits of Mackinaw open into the vast expanse of Lake Michigan,
extending a length of four hundred and forty-six miles to Chicago. The
borders of Lake Huron are sparsely peopled. The primitive forest bends
over the lake's clear waters, and surrounds the log cabin or infant
settlement with the wigwam and canoe of the Indian half breeds, who are
still fishing and hunting round the graves of their ancestors-once the
fiercest of all the warrior races that scarce forty years ago as
sovereigns roamed its wilds.

The majestic solitudes of these lakes first received the white man in
1679, when the discoverers La Salle and Hennepin, in the vessel of sixty
tons, which they had built with their Indians at Cayuga Creek, sailed up
Niagara River, Lakes Erie, St. Clair, and Huron, to Mackinaw, and thence
through Lake Michigan to the mouth of Green Bay. Entering Lake Erie on
the 7th of August, 1691, they arrived at Green Bay on the 2d of
September following, encountering many storms and cautiously seeking
their untried way. After gathering a rich cargo of furs, the vessel, in
charge of the pilot and five men, started to return, and was heard of no
more. She doubtless perished with her crew in a gale on Lake Huron. She
carried seven cannon, was well manned and armed, adorned with carved
griffin and eagle heads, and bore the banner and religion of France amid
all the border tribes.

Surely the voyage of Columbus, discovering Hispaniola, while sailing
before and obeying the trade winds, did not surpass in real adventure
this simple expedition of those half-warrior pioneer voyageurs, Fathers
Hennepin and La Salle. The memory of their visit is yet immortal in the
local names given by them and still cherished; while the influence of
France still lingers at Detroit and many other prominent points in this
wide region, once the empire of Louis XIV.

We reached the Saut Sainte Marie about 4 P. M. of the 2d of August. Here
the River St. Mary, or the eastern outlet of Lake Superior, after a wide
course of fifty miles, gathers the multitude of its waters into a narrow
channel of less than a mile in width and length, of swift and impassable
rapids.

The grand Ship Canal, with its stone banks of about eighty feet width
and three locks, transports the largest tonnage around these rapids.
This great work was completed in 1857 by the contractors, Erastus
Corning, of New York, Fairbanks, and others, for a contract price of
seven hundred and fifty thousand acres of land, chiefly mineral, in the
State of Michigan. During our steamer's canal passage of about two
hours, we were interested by the picturesque scenery, untenanted save by
the wigwam and the bark canoe. As usual, upon the arrival of the
steamer, the long canoe, steadily held by a single boy and paddle, in a
current swift as the Niagara, shoots out into the Saut, while the
Indian, standing erect in the canoe, poising his harpoon and scrap net,
strikes or swoops in the large and delicious white fish, assured of a
capacious basketful and more, before the steamer leaves the canal.

And thus we floated onward to the bosom of great Superior.

Our course was along the St. Mary outlet, northwesterly toward White
Fish Point, on the main south shore, projecting far out into the lake.
We were hence carried miles away from sight of the famed-pictured rocks
or of any land. Tending southerly and still westward, we steamed on over
the dark waters, during a serene night, until daylight showed us the
beautiful town of Marquette. Scarce seven years old, the fruit of the
iron mining in its vicinity, it spreads its neat white cottages around
the crescent of its bay and river on an amphitheatre of hills. The rail
train destined to Bai de Noc, on Green Bay, and finished to Marquette
Mines, in all some eighteen miles, was starting upon our arrival.
Marquette, though so young, a mere group of cottages, fronting a
wilderness, from its rich mines of the best iron, has become at once a
scene of industry and large outlay of capital; while the beauty of its
position and its unrivalled climate, surpassing all others on Lake
Superior, have already made it the most attractive summer resort, as
well for the pleasure traveller as the pulmonary invalid. Its climate,
without the sea air, has a cool, silken softness, reminding one of
Newport, Rhode Island. It is more equable and certain; the summer
average is 66°, and the winter 41°; while the lake wind and evaporation
secure it from the rapid changes of the sea shores.

Marquette is the lake port and entrepot of the short range of iron
mountains which adjoin their sisters, known as the Porcupine Mountains,
in whose depths lies the famous copper ore, not unmixed with silver and
other precious deposits. This great mountain fortress extends from
Marquette to Montreal River, beyond Ontonagon, the western boundary of
the State of Michigan, in a line of about twelve to eighteen miles south
of the lake, and often approaches two thousand feet in height, lifting
its forest sides in constant view for more than two hundred miles.
Leaving Marquette and the iron range at 7 A.M., on the 3d of
August, we sailed for Portage, the first harbor in the copper mountains,
arriving about noon.

Portage is a shallow bay or mouth of the river of the same name, on the
east shore of Keewaiwonah Promontory, or, as it is commonly called,
Keweenaw Point. The mines and town of Portage lie at the mountains,
about sixteen miles inland. A few huts were the only signs of settlement
at the bay. Tugs landed the freight and passengers, and we soon left the
wooded bank for the broad expanse of the lake, turning the head of the
promontory, and at 5 P.M. reaching Copper Harbor on its
northwest shore. Here we lay till morning. The village is small, at the
base of a lower range of mineral mountains, spurs of the main chain.

The Clarke Copper Mine is within two miles of the wharf. This mine, like
many others, has had many owners. It had just gone through the
experiments of a French company, which expended its capital, as
alleged, in building fine roads, bridges, and residences for its agents,
while the mining had scarcely reached one hundred and twenty feet deep,
and then employed only six Frenchmen as its miners, whose ore product
was little over three per cent. of copper. In other hands, perhaps, it
may now yield a better reward.

We were much amused with the description given by these Frenchmen of the
mishaps of their ill-directed enterprise. Persistent as Chinese,
resembling many others of the French nation in their ignorance of our
country, language, or customs, they had passed through many droll
blunders, which rendered their narrative highly entertaining.

Copper Harbor, although so small, only then claiming about seventy legal
voters in the entire township, including the mines, was promised the
unusual treat of a political address that evening, as duly placarded,
from a gentleman, who was then candidate for Governor of Michigan, and
came in our boat. The apathy and indifference of the free and
enlightened electors of Copper Harbor were remarkable. A small, dingy
room, adjoining the only store, was the destined arena; and therein,
dimly lighted by some tallow candles, long sat the candidate--alone: a
rejected Timon, whose reflections were never published. The only
interest taken in the meeting (that came under my notice) was an anxious
inquiry by the owner of the building for his rent and expense of
candles, etc., payment of which was alleged to have been refused by the
candidate.

Singularly happy Copper Harbor! your contented equanimity is unruffled
by all the stormy strife of politicians.

Its lake front is graced by a fort, now and long since a water-cure
establishment. All these Western forts, erected many years ago, seem not
intended for offence, but rather as stockades or blockhouses of shelter
from the Indians. They are arranged as extensive tenements within,
pierced for musketry, and only in some cases with terraces for cannon.
These frontier forts, long the dwelling of the hunter or his family in
the wilderness, were guarded by the company of troops who protected the
settlers and maintained the sovereignty of our flag and nation over
these remote wilds. They are always placed in the most eligible and
commanding positions, and seem as if by design to have secured the
settlement of these points, which in all cases have become the thronged
cities or favorite towns of the ever-growing West. Thus, in Europe, the
ancient Roman fortified camps on their frontiers founded Cologne,
Chester, Vienna, Milan, Verona, and other cities, once their military
outposts against barbarism.

About 7 A. M. of the 4th August, we left Copper Harbor on our
course, and soon reached Eagle River. This is another copper-mining
settlement, straggling along its poor harbor, somewhat larger than
Copper Harbor, and more picturesque. Landing a few of our company, we
sailed to Ontonagon, the largest of these copper-mine towns (perhaps two
thousand in population), and situated upon a sand reach at the mouth of
its river, which leads to the Great Minnesota Mine, eighteen miles
distant.

Early in the clear morning of the 5th of August, we were moving up
Allouez Bay. Sounding slowly over its bar, and passing Minnesota Point
and Island, between the mouths of the Rivers St. Louis and Nemadji, we
arrived at Superior City, our destined haven.

_Superior City_, by its pretentious name, great distance, and our
expectations, had risen to much importance in our imagination, but the
actual scene presented a wide contrast. A large town--or metropolis--on
a poor harbor, without interior resources or communications, had been
hastily projected. It is called the head of ocean navigation, and the
terminus of many proposed but as yet imaginary railroads. While the
titles to all the land are still in litigation, the wilderness shades
its streets, and, saving the rare arrival of the Indian mail carrier on
snow shoes, during six months of intense cold, they are isolated from
all humanity. Its grand prospectus, some five years before, had drawn
there about three thousand people; and soon afterward, starved and
disappointed, nearly all, save perhaps five hundred, had deserted. About
two miles of streets, planked from the mud, with frame dwellings, had
been constructed, and they had already attained the first municipal
blessing--_taxes-_-to the total of $45,000, payable by this feeble
remnant of a settlement, mainly of abandoned dwellings. Should the
railroads so frequently surveyed and designed to terminate here be
really built, Superior City may see, to some extent, in future years,
somewhat of that prosperity which its projectors, blinded by their
hopes, had thought already realized.

Few positions are more picturesque. In front, the shores of Portland and
Minnesota rise in beautiful grandeur, and the bay and harbor, although
imperfect, are richly wooded and very graceful; while, all the way
thither, from La Pointe, the lake's waters, lying among the mountains,
shadowed by their heavy foliage, remind one much of the scenery of the
Lower Danube. This _ghost of a city_ had not much left of interest, and
we passed our day in arranging for the journey across the country
southward to St. Paul.

And here we found ourselves really _pioneers_. No road or transport was
alleged to exist. We persevered. Indians and trappers beset us with
their projects of tracking and portage by the St. Croix and other
rivers, requiring a camp life with strange companions of nearly a month
to accomplish the distance of only one hundred and sixty-three miles,
equivalent to that of Albany from New York. A military road direct
through the wilderness had been often surveyed, and once cut through, of
about eighty feet width, to near Sunrise City, fifty miles from St.
Paul; at which point the dense forest spreads into oak openings and
beautiful prairies. This single cutting, long overgrown in lofty pines,
with the frequent surveys and contracts, from the year 1852 to 1857, had
cost the United States Government, for this distance of about one
hundred and twelve miles, $150,000; and no actual road had ever yet been
made. Fortunately for our enterprise, we met a gentleman who had just
groped through safely on horseback. We were reassured, and engaged the
only available wagon and team--a small, frail affair, devoid of cover,
seats, or springs; and, with ample provisions, perched upon our luggage,
we rolled out of Superior City that evening, and, passing its
significantly large cemetery, we at once entered the forest. These woods
are chiefly of pine, cedar, tamarack, or hemlock, gigantic in size, a
dreary solitude, unvisited by any bird or game, save an occasional hawk
or owl. They are but the southern outposts of that forest army which
begirds Hudson's Bay, and spreads its gloomy barrier of the same trees
around the dominions of the Ice King, while it is the only forest to be
met with in all the Mississippi Valley.

The width of about eighty feet--that theoretical road for which the
United States had paid so often and so well--was seen between the
mightiest sentinel trees; but in the midst had sprung up a fresh growth,
often nearly one hundred feet high, surrounded by huge stumps, and heavy
undergrowth of the renewing forest, varied with hopeless mudholes and
swamps, and only at intervals of about twenty miles was there any
habitation.

Such was the _great military road_. Perhaps its progress equalled the
actual wants of this region; for population had not yet crowded any of
the forest borders. It was then by the adjoining townships, under State
laws, feebly commencing to be really made as a road; and frequently we
halted at the camps of these hardy sons of toil. Our first twenty-one
miles to Twin Lakes, at the best speed, with good horses, occupied eight
hours, three of which, in the middle of the night, were passed under
deluging rain accompanied by thunder and lightning of the most appalling
grandeur, thumping in the shelterless wagon over stumps and bogholes
through the dreary woods.

Twin Lakes--or the isthmus between two small lakes, in the depths of the
forest--is a solitary log house and stable. Its proprietor and our
landlord for the night's shelter was, I believe, named John Smith. With
his family he had lived there, keeping this _hotel_ for some years,
owning _several lots_ in the paper _City of Twin Lakes_, rich in the
anticipated tide of gain to flow from the crowded thoroughfare of the
great military road.

Happy man! we were the first party _on wheels_ that had yet essayed the
road. Perhaps his posterity, by patience, may win their reward.

Our rain deluge, with sheeted lightning and pealing thunder, was
ceaseless throughout the night. Its echoes amid the forest solitudes
were awful; and our fitful sleep was varied by the rain dripping between
the logs of our shelter.

However, morning came at last, bright, clear, and calm; and early we
resumed our wagon and way-picking among the familiar logs and stumps,
contesting as for life with legions of mosquitoes, sandflies, etc. And
thus we made thirty miles farther (halting at a camp for dinner) to the
_City of Chengwatana_, which is so named on the large and beautiful map
thereof, prepared in New York. It is laid out in Broadways, Fifth
Avenues, Lydig Avenue, and, I believe, Daly Square, so named from J.
Daly, of New York, with parks, colleges, etc., etc., adequate for a
million of inhabitants. This fine imaginary picture proved unavailing to
sell the land. It still remains a swamp bordering Snake River, in the
bosom of the wilderness; and its entire population was only one German
and his family--really indefinite in number of children--and two log
houses, between which he vibrated at pleasure.

Our arrival was in another violent rain, lasting far into the night; but
we considered ourselves, by this time, road and water proof. On the
river shore, by the red glare of the fire light a wigwam and some
Indians were visible; and frequently we heard their rifle shots. To our
surprise, in the morning, instead of deer, they brought in a large
basket of lake trout, each pierced through the head with a bullet when
approaching the fire light.

Morning found us early on our hard way to the famed _City of Fortuna_,
whose picture displayed a similar origin and imagination, and its
reality was even more doleful.

Fortuna City, on Kettle River, in the woods, contained three log cabins,
and no inhabitants. A boy came hither, perhaps from Superior, the day
before, to meet our party. After repelling some furious charges of the
mosquito cavalry, who displayed their vigor after long starving, we gave
up the contest, and attempted sleep.

To our log cabin had come that day several engineers, who formed a
surveying party for another railroad project, passing through this
forest from St. Paul, whence they had started a month before with an
ample wagon train. The Indians had murdered the drivers and captured the
wagons with their entire property; and in their destitution they sought
this only shelter. We took them forward with us into St. Paul, and were
greatly indebted for their intelligent society and kind attentions.

Fortuna City had one peculiar interest to us; it was the _last halt_ and
lodging in the forest. Our next day's ride--if such it may be
called--brought us to the oak openings at Folsom's, a clearing on the
southern skirt of this wilderness, and shortly after to Sunrise City.

Our forest journey to-day was varied by the utter collapse of the wagon
in a vain charge upon an obstinate stump; and perforce we walked for
miles, till reaching a camp of the road workers on the farther bank of
Grindstone River, we joyfully forded and found shelter from the noontide
heat and mosquitoes; while the German sutler, who alone remained, busied
himself in his primitive _al fresco_ cookery, which we enjoyed, and
then, exchanging to another wagon, hastened on to our destination.

The oak openings--those grand parklike expanses and rolls of land, with
stately groups of giant oaks--far surpassing all culture of man, set out
by the Creator on such a noble forest background, never looked more
majestic and beautiful. They were vocal with singing birds, and filled
with life; at their foot thronged the grouse or prairie chicken, darting
through the high flowering grasses (richer than all garden flowers) in
such numbers that but a few feet from our wheels we shot them in great
abundance.

_Sunrise City_--a village but of yesterday (public lands, for sale by
proclamation, adjoining)--is beautifully placed on Sunrise River, and
might have then contained about five hundred inhabitants, whose neat
white cottages and pleasant streets, bordering a romantic river and
bridge, made a picture not unlike the scenery of Warwickshire, England.

We reached here--fifty miles still north of St. Paul--to pass the first
night of our ride in a comfortable dwelling.

Many a fine farm, just cleared and broken, attracted us here, and hence
along the prairie road into St. Paul, where we arrived at the close of
the following day, which proved to be, as we kept no calendar, Thursday,
the 9th of August.

Our drive this last day led past numerous linked lakes, with their
borders of the tall Minnesota rice grass in flower, the home of the
canvas back, pelican, and swan. Passing through the village of Little
Canada, we rode on to Minnehaha Prairie along its gentle, verdant slope,
and lapse of shining waters of Twelve Lakes, graced with the names of
Como, Garda, etc., and adorned with many a pretty boat and sail. A few
miles further brought us to the upper terrace of beautiful St. Paul.

As pioneers of this wilderness route, we met with marked attention from
all, and passed some agreeable days at St. Paul, Fort Snelling,
Minneapolis, St. Anthony, and their numerous points of interest. Our
homeward route was by the Mississippi River to Prairie du Chien, where
old Fort Crawford, then a mere tenement, commands the confluence of the
Wisconsin River with the Father of Waters. This sail of three hundred
miles consumed forty-eight hours.

The river banks recede and advance in lake-like expanses along its
winding course, and their richly wooded heights, crowned with red
sandstone, resemble the ruined Rhine castles. The sail through Lake
Pepin, and between the States of Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin, was
varied by frequent and thriving towns and villages.

From Prairie du Chien--a picture of straggling despair--by the Milwaukie
and Prairie du Chien Railroad, and the Northwestern Railroad, two
hundred and twenty-two miles, we reached Chicago, and passed through a
crowd of beautiful towns, in a State scarce a generation since reclaimed
from the Indians. Familiar railroads transported us from Chicago to
Detroit, Niagara, Albany, and New York.

Our whole distance of travel in three weeks was thirty-four hundred and
forty-one miles. It was brief, but spiced with adventure, and over a
field of vast interest, present and future.

Our beautiful country, made one and indivisible by the great and good
Author of its existence, through its mighty natural features, has,
among its chief grandeurs, this water system of the great northern
lakes, the frontier of the ever-progressive and patriotic West and
North. In dimensions, sublimity, and beauty, by the consent of all, it
is without parallel on earth.

A volume of the purest fresh water is gathered in Lake Superior, without
visible, adequate supply, to a depth of one thousand feet, with a length
of near five hundred miles, and average breadth of one hundred and sixty
miles, on a bottom lifted six hundred feet above sea level.

This incalculable mass of water moves its limpid wave through the Saut
Sainte Marie into its twin seas, Lakes Michigan and Huron, then by St.
Clair and Detroit Rivers is poured through Lake Erie, ever gradually
descending, till, at great Niagara, 'The Thunder of the Waters,' it
tosses in fury along its rapids, leaps the cataract in glory, at a rate
of one hundred millions of tons of water the hour, and then sweeps away
into Lake Ontario, to form that northern Mississippi, the River St.
Lawrence, which, for over one thousand miles, holds on its ever
increasing and widening current, in majesty to the broad Atlantic. By
the canals at the Falls and Saut Sainte Marie, direct and continuous
ship and steam navigation for sea-going vessels from the Atlantic to
Superior City, the extreme Northwest, or Chicago on the Southwest, over
three thousand miles through the heart of the continent, is open, while
the American coast line along these great waters, exceeds thirty-two
hundred miles. Complete in itself, the source of life, health, fine
climate, fertility, wealth, and countless blessings to all its shores
and valleys, it is divided by lofty barriers from all the other chief
water systems of the United States. The Mississippi rises in the
highlands of Minnesota at Lake Itasca, more than one hundred miles west
of Lake Superior, and gathers in its course all the rivers of its
valley. Still loftier mountains separate the sources of the Hudson and
Connecticut, and the other rivers of the Atlantic slope.

Blessed with soil and climate unsurpassed, and a Government the nearest
to perfection, this region, watered by a mighty inland ocean, is already
the chief granary of the world, as well as its great mineral store,
although its railway system is not yet extended to its utmost limits;
and beyond Michigan it is scarce thirty years since the Americans gained
a settlement in its borders.

The greatness of ancient Europe, Asia, and Africa gathered along the
shores and harbors of the Mediterranean; all beyond was barbarism, bound
to the sovereigns of the Midland Sea only by terror of arms. Even to
this day, the laws and literature of those master nations are yet
dominant in all the learning and social polity of Europe. This great
northern water system is geographically the Mediterranean of the North
American continent, and Minnesota, the actual centre, is its _omphalos_.

The geographical centre of North America in the heart of Minnesota is
also the pinnacle of its watershed--the central source of the majestic
rivers whose vast basins determine the physical contour, climates,
products, commerce, industry, and political destiny of two-fifths of the
whole continent.

With such a theatre for development, the future of this great area, in
near grasp, surpasses conception. Egypt, with it endless renown,
dwindles into insignificance in comparison. The paramount supremacy of
any nation depends wholly on its utility to the rest of mankind.

The warrior nation yields in turn to a stronger foe, while all alike are
willing tributaries to the natural arbiter of commerce and source of
food supply. Wars, by the laws of Providence, attend the convulsions of
national change and growth; but all alike ever welcome the white-winged
doves of commerce as the ministers and messengers of national glory and
prosperity.



ENGLISH AND AMERICAN TAXATION.


There have been few more striking circumstances connected with the
transcendent changes which have taken place in this country during the
past three years than the steady verification, amid every change, of
those great principles of political economy which, during the past half
century, have been the practical guides of European legislation. In
fact, under the pressure of war we are slowly coming to realize our
fellowship with the communities of the Old World in the laws of social
change. Step by step the nation is now passing through all the changes
in its internal and domestic condition that took place in Great Britain
in the wars with Napoleon. Struck with the novelty and apparent
anomalies of our condition, we have been inclined to feel that it was
without parallels in history. But in that period of English history
which beheld a suspension of specie payment protracted twenty years, an
enormous expansion of the currency--the appreciation of gold--a rise in
prices unparalleled in any country--a wild spirit of speculation--and,
with all, an appearance of astonishing prosperity in the midst of a most
exhausting war, we see the reflection of our own condition, and find the
lessons by which we should be governed. We have now, for the first time,
become a people conscious of taxation. It is clear that the burdens of
the future must be still greater than anything we have yet borne in the
past. The questions as to the best modes of taxation have already begun
to call forth the anxious deliberation of the nation. The question is
asked by some if we have not already reached that limit where taxation
ceases to be a contribution from the surplus of society, and beyond
which it will become a draught on the vital, productive energies of the
country. It cannot be unprofitable, at such a time, to examine the
history of English taxation in the great periods of similar trial
through which that nation has passed.

The great rebellion marks the era of the adoption of a regular system of
taxation in Great Britain. 'From a period of immemorial antiquity,' says
Macaulay, 'it had been the practice of every English Government to
contract debts; what the Revolution introduced was the practice of
honestly paying them.'

The change is significant of the triumph of the people. It was found, on
the breaking out of the rebellion, that not even an army of Puritans
could be sustained without money. The plan of weekly assessments was at
first adopted. It was unequal and frequently oppressive. In 1643 it was
proposed, in the republican Parliament, to place a tax on the
manufacture of beer and cider. The proposition was not at first
favorably received. That solemn body had no objection to checking the
abominations of beer drinking, but it hesitated to inaugurate a species
of taxation which seemed to infringe upon some of the most cherished
rights of Englishmen. After much discussion the bill was carried, though
with the express declaration that it was compelled by the necessities of
the state, and should not be renewed. The tax was soon found too
convenient to be dispensed with. In spite of the good resolutions of
Parliament, the act was again and again renewed. As the necessities of
the state increased, the list of articles was enlarged, and the rate of
duty gradually augmented. Thus the excise was introduced to the English
people, and thus, almost before they had ceased to look upon it as an
intruder, it had acquired a foothold in the budget, from which it has
never since been possible to shake it. The burden of the excise at this
period, however, was not oppressive. During the Commonwealth and the
reign of Charles II. a tax, which has since produced to the state an
annual income of $90,000,000, did not probably average more than
£500,000. It gives us a singular picture of the simplicity of that
period that even this small sum made up one third of the whole royal
revenue for the year. The other two thirds were drawn in about equal
proportions from the customs and crown lands.

We now approach one of the most important eras in the financial history
of England. The nation was yet unaccustomed to taxation, and was weighed
down by no national debt. In the Revolution of 1688, and the events that
grew immediately out of it, we find, however, the origin of nearly every
species of tax now in use in Great Britain. In the same agitated period
we find also the beginning of the national debt. Louis XIV. espoused the
cause of James, and England entered upon a war with France. In a
conflict with the greatest monarchy of Europe, the Government soon found
itself forced to adopt a scale of national expenditure which the
preceding generation would not have conceived possible. At once, as in a
night, a harvest of strange taxes sprang up on every hand. The list of
excisable articles was increased. The tax on houses and windows, that
had been so unpopular in the preceding reign, was again introduced, and
a new appraisement was made of all the real estate in the kingdom. A
degenerate age might take exceptions to some of the other taxes now
instituted. An act was passed placing a tax upon bachelors and widowers,
fixing, at the same time, 'certain rules and duties on marriages,
births, and burials, for the term of five years, for the carrying on the
war against France with vigor.' Men were not even permitted to enjoy the
subtile luxury derived from having a title attached to the name without
taxation. Persons of the present day, wishing to know the relative value
of the titles, will be interested in the following law, passed at this
time:

  Every person bearing the title of
  esquire, or reputed, or owning, or
  writing himself such, shall pay      £5

  Every gentleman, or reputed gentleman,
  or owning himself such,
  shall pay                            £1

These, however, were by no means the most burdensome forms of taxation.
A man would willingly pay for the distinction of writing himself an
esquire, who would grumble with dissatisfaction at the duty on his salt.
But to meet the increasing expense of the state, and 'carrying on the
war with vigor in France and Ireland' (the propitiating clause with
which nearly all the acts of taxation of the period close), the most
minute articles, both of necessity and luxury, were required to bear a
portion of the common burden. The nation bore its unaccustomed load with
singular patience. A license duty on hackney coaches, imposed in 1693,
called forth, however, opposition from an unexpected quarter. The
outraged wives of the hackmen assembled, and, to express their
indignation at the tax, mobbed the offending members of Parliament on
their way from the House. It should be mentioned, as showing the
intrepidity of that body, or, more probably, the great necessities of
the state, that the tax remained unchanged. In spite of all these taxes,
the greatest difficulty was experienced in procuring funds to carry on
the war. A general lack of confidence in the stability of the Government
prevented men from taking up readily the loans which the Government was
forced to call for. Various expedients were adopted to attract the
cupidity of capitalists. Among these the most successful was the custom
of receiving loans upon tontines. This was a species of annuity. Twenty
or thirty persons united in the purchase from Government of an annuity
upon the joint lives of their whole number. At the death of each his
share went to those who remained, and was distributed equally among
them. The final survivor took the whole annuity. No inducements,
however, were sufficient to overcome the popular distrust. The national
debt had already begun to accumulate. Exchequer bills sold on the street
at forty per cent. discount; while, at the same time, a wild spirit of
speculation and adventure, such as is too apt to be produced by the
unnatural excitements of a state of war, had seized upon the popular
mind, and threatened, in its reaction, to bring the whole nation to
ruin.

It was at this time of excitement and danger that the National Bank was
established. It was not at first favorably received. But the effect of
its steadying influence soon began to be felt in the whole financial
condition of the state. It even checked for a time the frenzied spirit
of stock jobbing, which was absorbing the strength of the nation, and
with which a few years later, when the whole country ran wild with the
South Sea Bubble, it was so nearly involved in a mortal struggle. Under
the influence of the Bank, the business of the nation gradually acquired
an evenness and stability which was unknown to any former age.

But while the establishment of this National Bank supplied the
Government with a ready and economical method of procuring funds, it did
not do away with the necessity of taxes. A new form of taxation was now
furnished by the Dutch. This small and ingenious people, in the defence
of their liberty, had been early forced into extraordinary expenditures,
and were in advance of every other nation in the perfection of their
system of taxation. The English Parliament had, in the preceding age,
borrowed from them the excise. They now took from the same source the
idea of stamp duties. This species of tax had been invented in a
competition for a prize offered by the Dutch Government for the
discovery of a new form of tax, which should press lightly on the
people, and, at the same time, produce a large revenue to the state.
Stamps were introduced in England in the year 1693. The nation was now
in possession of the four most important methods of taxation: customs,
excise, licenses, and stamps. The first had existed in the island from a
period of immemorial antiquity. The second was introduced by the Great
Rebellion. The third and fourth came in with the wars attendant upon the
accession of William and Mary.

Of these different forms it may be said, that the second is most
obnoxious to the people, and the third most unequal. We should add,
perhaps, to this list the land tax, which, founded on the new assessment
made by William, became from this time a regular source of revenue. In
this period, we see, was laid the foundation of the whole system of
taxation now in use in this country and in Great Britain. The hundred
years that followed produced no new species of tax. The five forms which
we have mentioned, however, were diligently cultivated. In the nine
years which immediately followed the accession of William and Mary,
about forty distinct acts of taxation were passed by Parliament. Still
it was impossible for a nation counting less than six million
inhabitants to pay the expenses of a vast and protracted war by
immediate taxation. In 1697 a debt existed of about one hundred million
dollars. This is the foundation of that national debt which, with
trifling exceptions, has been constantly increasing for more than two
centuries, and which now occupies a position of influence not second to
that of the throne itself. The importance of the Bank increased with the
growth of the debt, and the effects of their combined influence appeared
on every hand. They were the national pledges for the stability of the
Government.

Every fresh rumor of preparation on the part of the exiled Stuarts to
enter England, filled the people with alarm for the safety of the Bank.
And when, in 1745, Charles Edward landed in Scotland, and made his
romantic advance into the kingdom, an enormous run was begun on the
Bank. It was prevented from doing harm only by the patriotism of the
London merchants. In this brief rebellion the people realized the
important financial interest which each citizen had acquired in the
permanency of the existing Government and the stability of the reigning
house.

At first Parliament had proceeded in the imposition of its taxes on the
principle that a tax, to be equitable and easy, should be distributed
over a great variety of articles. It was argued that a man would pay a
small duty on a large number of things with less inconvenience and
consciousness of burden than if the same tax was levied upon a few
prominent articles. The pettiness of the tax would keep him in a kind of
deception as to the total amount he was paying, which not even the
frequency with which he was called upon to pay it would entirely remove.
This theory, together with a condition of state in which the wants of
Government were constantly increasing, produced, in the time of William
and Mary, a constant multiplication of petty taxes. In the early part of
the following reign many of these were consolidated in separate funds,
which were designated to pay specific parts of the national debt.

But the number of articles subject to taxation was not reduced. The
restlessness of the people under the numerous exactions of the excise
soon, however, suggested the necessity of a change. Government now
passed to one of those extremes which were only too common in an age
when political economy had not yet risen into a science, and legislation
was only an art of shifts and expedients. In 1736 a tax of five dollars
upon the gallon was imposed on all English-made spirits, with a
corresponding protective tariff on those of foreign manufacture. The
result of this extraordinary tax proved the folly of its originators. It
failed as a source of revenue, and, so far from removing these articles
beyond the reach of the poor, which had been one of the designs of the
bill, it was estimated that the business of smuggling was so stimulated
by the enormous bounty offered upon its labors, that the amount of
spirits consumed in the kingdom during the existence of this tax was not
sensibly diminished. After a short trial the tax was removed.

The work of reducing the list of excisable articles was nevertheless
begun, and from this time it went slowly, and, except as interrupted by
extraordinary demands upon the state, steadily forward. Stamps, however,
were governed by a different law. Its inoffensiveness, the economy of
its mode of collection, together with its ready availability, caused
this species of tax to be brought into more and more extensive use. In
fact, a constant increase of taxation in some form had become necessary
in order to meet the increasing expenses of the state. After the close
of the war in 1697, strong efforts were made to pay off the national
debt, the rising greatness of which filled all classes with alarm. No
corresponding efforts since have been rewarded with similar results. In
the brief period of peace that followed, the national debt was reduced
one fifth. Four expensive wars, following each other in rapid
succession, overwhelmed the petty labors of the sinking fund, put an end
to the work of diminution, and left the nation, at the beginning of the
war with her colonies in this country, oppressed with a debt of
$600,000,000. It came out from this struggle with $500,000,000 added to
the burden of the state. This point of time may be fixed as the close of
the second epoch. A new class of changes now begin, which have had, if
possible, a greater influence on the financial condition of England, as
it exists at the present, than those we have already described.

In 1793, notwithstanding its enormous debt, the country boldly entered
upon its great conflict with France. It is impossible to look without
admiration upon the obstinate energy displayed by the English nation
during this conflict, which lasted, with slight intermissions, for more
than twenty years, and by which the annual tax was quadrupled, and the
national debt increased beyond a chance of final extinction. In the
astonishing revolution which it wrought in the financial condition of
the state, as well as in much of the social phenomena with which it was
accompanied, this conflict strongly resembles that in which the States
of the North are engaged against the South. The first effects of the war
appeared in the tax system.

Great changes had taken place in Great Britain since the time of the
introduction of a regular system of taxation in 1688. Land was no longer
the most important source of income to the citizen. Profits from other
sources had sprung up. Commerce had discovered the riches of the Eastern
trade, and manufactures, stimulated by new inventions, had begun to
assume an importance and exert an influence which already threatened to
revolutionize the whole condition of society. Unconsciously to itself,
the nation had reached a point where any large increase in the demands
of the state must produce a new species of taxation. The war with France
supplied the impulse required. In 1797, Government attempted to meet the
extraordinary expenses of the year by tripling the tax on houses and
windows, etc. The experiment failed. It was found that these taxes,
which had been the 'towers of strength' of a preceding generation, could
no longer be relied on in the changed circumstances that had been
brought about by time.

It was in many respects one of the darkest periods in English history.
The Austrian armies, exhausted by repeated defeats, hoped only to be
able to defend themselves if attacked. Spain and the Netherlands had
joined themselves to France. Against the power of Napoleon England stood
up alone. At this critical juncture, a mutiny broke out in the English
navy. The whole fleet in the channel refused to do duty. The fleet at
the Nore, catching the spirit of revolt, also raised the red flag. The
doctrines of the French Revolution were sedulously scattered throughout
the kingdom, and in several counties of Ireland actual uprisings had
taken place. Added to these were financial difficulties. The enormous
outlays demanded for the prosecution of the war were very naturally
weakening the public confidence in the final ability of the Government
to pay the extravagant sums it was obliged to borrow. Under the
influence of the distrust thus engendered stocks fell. Three per cents.,
which had sold at 98, went down to 53. Many of the loans effected by the
Government at this time and during the war were made with a discount of
forty per cent. on the nominal value of the stock. Gold was scarce, and
rapidly rising. The pressure on the Bank for redemption was greater than
it had been since the rebellion of 1745, and threatened, unless
corrective measures were at once adopted, to bring that institution to
actual bankruptcy.

The undaunted courage and resolution of the Government, in the midst of
this accumulation of difficulties, saved the country. The writ of habeas
corpus was suspended. By an admirable mingling of firmness and
conciliation the mutiny was quelled in the navy without serious
consequences resulting to the state. To meet the financial difficulties,
an act was passed by Parliament permitting the Bank to suspend specie
payment--thus delivering the country, for a period of more than twenty
years, over to a wholly inconvertible paper currency. From these strong
measures the enemies of the country anticipated the most disastrous
results. They were, however, doomed to disappointment. Even Napoleon at
length grew weary of prophesying the bankruptcy of a nation which every
year, from this time, gave more and more effective proofs of the
stability of its finances. It was the singular fortune of Great Britain
to have at the head of its finances, at this juncture, a man, who in a
different sphere, exhibited a spirit scarcely less bold, indomitable,
and comprehensive than that of the First Consul himself. This man was
Mr. Pitt. The finances of Great Britain, even at the present day, bear
witness to the extraordinary changes instituted by this statesman. The
tax on houses, windows, etc., had failed. In 1798, Mr. Pitt, with a
characteristic fertility of invention, brought forward a bill laying a
tax on incomes. By this bill, which is the foundation of all those that
have since followed, no tax was imposed on incomes that were less than
$300; on incomes above this sum a small tax was laid, which gradually
increased until it became one tenth of all incomes over $1,000. The
income tax was designed by Mr. Pitt to be simply a war tax. According to
his plan the interest upon the national debt, which he kept funded as
far as possible, was to be provided for solely from the indirect taxes,
leaving the direct tax to meet the extraordinary expenses of the war.
The most original feature of the financial system instituted by this
statesman, however, was the sinking fund. To prevent the rapid
accumulation of the national debt, Mr. Pitt, even before the breaking
out of the war with France, had obtained from Parliament permission to
set aside six million dollars, with an addition, afterward made, of one
per cent. of all the loans made by Government, as a fund to be expended
in the purchase of Government stock. The rapid growth of this fund from
the constant compounding of interest would, he declared, be sufficient,
ultimately, to consume the entire debt of the state. The result seemed
to justify his prediction. Constantly in the market, the sinking fund
saved the state, by its timely purchases many times during the war, from
the disastrous depreciation to which the public stock was liable at
every unfavorable turn of the conflict. In 1815, so enormous had been
the financial transactions of the state that this fund amounted to about
$75,000,000.

In 1802 the income tax was discontinued; and, in the following year, was
renewed under the name of the property tax. The expenses of the state
continued to rise, and it became necessary that this tax should be
largely increased. During the last ten years of the war the property tax
required ten per cent. of all the incomes of the kingdom--with a few
exceptions--to be paid into the national treasury every year. Never
before had such a burden been laid on Englishmen. All classes groaned
under the exactions of a tax every penny of which they were made
conscious of by direct collection. In comparison with the property tax
all other burdens seemed easy. It is now clear, however, that the nation
could never have passed successfully through the great struggle in which
it was engaged without the assistance of the tax upon incomes. It stood
next in order of productiveness to the excise. In the year 1815 the
property tax produced seventy-five millions of dollars. Still the people
remembered with pleasure that the word of Parliament had been given that
it should not continue longer than the return of peace. The time was
eagerly looked forward to when that promise should be redeemed. Early in
1816 the question of the continuance of the tax came up before
Parliament. A strong party, impressed with the importance of diminishing
the national debt, advocated its continuance. Every night, for two
months, the subject was anxiously discussed. The motion for its
abolition was at last carried. The vast crowd which had assembled
without the Parliament House to await the result, caught the sound of
cheering in the chamber, and, receiving it as a signal of success, rent
the air with shouts of joy. The enthusiasm spread with the news. Bells
were rung as for a great victory, and bonfires in all parts of the
kingdom proclaimed the joy of the nation at its release from what was
regarded the moat oppressive burden of the war. Twenty-five years later
the income tax was again revived.

The national debt at the close of the war with France amounted to a
little more than $424,000,000,000. Of this, $300,000,000,000 had been
added by the war. During the last years of the contest the annual
expenditures of the state were $585,000,000. The population of the
island was at this time 13,400,000, from which $360,000,000 was annually
collected in taxes. It is important to notice the condition of the
people during this epoch. For nearly twenty years the country had been
under the uncontrolled influence of a paper currency. It had been a
period of remarkable prosperity, coupled with unparalleled changes. And
here we find many points of resemblance with the present condition of
our own country. The rapidly expanding currency, the enormous demands of
the war, and the spirit of speculation engendered by the sharp
alternations of hope and fear, and the extraordinary fluctuations of the
markets had stimulated in every branch of business a preternatural
activity. Manufactures, which the beginning of the war had found just
rising into prominence, rapidly developed in an age of financial
profusion. No such progress had ever been made in a corresponding
period. Exports were doubled. The shipping rose from one to two and a
half million tons. The whole nation exhibited the singular spectacle of
a country constantly advancing in wealth and prosperity in the midst of
one of the most exhaustive wars that the world has ever seen.

To this, however, there was apparently, at least, one exception. Prices
rose steadily from the beginning of the war. This was true not merely of
unimportant articles, or those which, by the exercise of a more severe
economy, could be in part dispensed with. The cost of the necessaries of
life doubled. Wheat rose from forty-nine shillings per quarter in 1797
to one hundred and forty shillings in 1813; while the beef which was
sold in Smithfield market, at the beginning of the war, at three
shillings per stone, constantly advanced in price, until the same
quantity in 1814 could only be bought for six shillings. Malt, coal,
wages--everything rose proportionately. Few questions have been the
subject of more discussion than the cause of this remarkable rise of
prices. Two diverse explanations have been given, each put forth by men
whose habits of thought and opportunities for observation qualify them
to speak on the subject with authority. One large party attribute the
rise of prices that took place at this period, entirely to the influence
of the suspension of specie payment by the Bank, which, as they say,
flooded the country with an inflated and depreciated paper currency, and
thus necessitated a corresponding rise in the price of the articles
given in exchange for it. So strongly does this reasoning commend itself
to the minds of those familiar with the first principles of political
economy, that it has been very generally accepted. And it is worthy of
notice that these are almost the only arguments which can be heard in
explanation of the similar rise of prices now going on in this country.
A more subtile but very important class of influences were brought to
notice by another party, under the able leadership of Mr. Tooke. By
these the rise of prices is, to a large degree, attributed to the
excited spirit of speculation produced by the war, which, as they show,
twice during this period brought the country to the brink of ruin. In
favor of this explanation it may be further said that the fall of prices
began immediately on the close of the war, and at no time was greater
than in 1817, two years before the resumption of specie payment by the
Bank. In 1819 the Bank of England resumed the payment of specie. Gold,
which had been at one time at a premium of twenty-five per cent., now
fell rapidly, and in 1821 was again at par.

It is difficult to say which has exerted the largest influence on the
finances of Great Britain--the Revolution of 1688, or the wars with
France in the beginning of this century. The first gave to England its
system of taxation, but the last developed the capabilities of that
system, and adapted it to the wants of a growing and commercial people.

The nation came out of its long conflict with taxes pressing upon nearly
every important branch of industry. In the sixteen years that followed
the war with France, taxes to the amount of nearly $200,000,000, were
taken off from the country. These changes gave opportunities for many
important reforms. While the national debt was slowly reduced, the tax
system underwent great changes. Many taxes which had checked the growth
of important branches of business were entirely removed. Efforts were
made to reduce the excise, which was always an unpopular form of
taxation. In carrying forward these changes, it was found that one
really productive tax might be made to take the place of a large number
of small duties which pressed with peculiar severity upon the people.
Government now turned longingly to that 'splendid source of revenue,' as
it was aptly called, which it had so reluctantly relinquished in 1816.
In 1842, Sir Robert Peel suddenly brought forward a plan for a new tax
upon incomes. It was at once adopted. This income tax differed, however,
in many important particulars, from the one which the Government had
been compelled to make use of in the wars with France. By it incomes
under $750 were exempt. A discrimination of very great importance was
also made, which has been the occasion since for much refined
discussion, and is founded in sound reason, but which has hitherto been
wholly overlooked in the legislation in this country. A discrimination
was made between salaries and the incomes divided from realized capital.
Taxable incomes, partaking of the nature of a salary, and upon which a
tax would have the character of a duty on capital, were required by the
provisions of this new act to pay only one half as much as those incomes
which arose from, and would be therefore added to, wealth already
acquired.

The income, or property tax, as it is now called, completes the system
of taxation which is now relied upon to supply the varying but always
enormous wants of Great Britain. Through these various sources during
the past year the English Government has collected an income of three
hundred and fifty million dollars--about the same it obtained through
the same channels from a population of thirteen million inhabitants in
the closing years of the war with Napoleon. With the same system of
taxation, our own Government has, during the past year, obtained an
income of one hundred and eleven million dollars. If we examine
particularly the sources of the English revenue at these two epochs, and
compare them with the corresponding branches of taxation with us, we
find that in the year closing in 1815, the receipts from customs
amounted to about fifty-six million dollars--a sum, it will be noticed,
considerably less than that drawn from the same source in this country
for the past year, but only about half the amount derived from customs
in Great Britain in the year ending September, 1863. From the property
tax was obtained about seventy-five million dollars--the modified form
of this tax now in use in Great Britain produces about fifty million
dollars per annum. Either of these sums is probably much larger than it
would be advisable to attempt to produce by a direct tax in this
country. Stamps, in 1815, yielded an income of thirty million dollars.
During the past year this simple and productive source of revenue
produced in Great Britain forty-five million dollars. It seems probable
that this species of tax might be extended in this country much farther
than it now is, without oppression to the people, and with a handsome
increase of the revenue.

But the excise has ever been the most productive fountain of revenue in
Great Britain. The income from this tax in that country, during the year
ending September, 1863, was eighty-four million dollars. In the year
1815, when, on account of the smaller population, the other sources of
revenue were less productive than at the present day, the excise yielded
an income of not less than a hundred and thirty-five million dollars. It
is worthy of notice that, of this income, the tax upon the various forms
of spirituous liquors supplied a large element. English spirits, which,
in the experiment of 1736, it had been found could not carry a tax of
five dollars per gallon, it was now found easily bore the more moderate
but still large tax of ten shillings sixpence sterling. Aside from this
tax was the duty on beer, cider, and malt, the last of which alone
yielded an income of thirteen million dollars annually.

       *       *       *       *       *

We have lingered on these details, which to many will be dry and
uninteresting, because they supply a kind of guide to the changes which
must ultimately take place in the tax laws of this country, and because,
further, they furnish an answer to all those objections which
periodically disturb the minds of the timid and doubtfully patriotic in
our midst. But these lessons we must leave the reader to extract for
himself. We close simply with saying that, while excessive and
undiscriminating taxation is always a curse, yet taxation, properly
imposed, although severe and long continued, may be far from
disadvantageous. We have seen the English people slowly arising, through
two centuries, from a nation comparatively free from taxation and
without a national debt, to one bearing an annual tax of three hundred
and fifty million dollars, and holding absorbed in its midst a national
debt of nearly four thousand million dollars. We have seen it during
this period constantly advancing in prosperity and greatness--the
national debt adding stability to the Government, and taxation giving
caution and stability to the transactions of private life.



APHORISMS.

NO. I.


One of the most sublime of all facts beneath that of the Divine Being,
appears in the existence of an immortal soul. There it stands--once for
all, once forever. The earth might be wasted away, at the rate of a
single grain in a century, without passing the very infancy of our
spirit's life. How insignificant, in the comparison, a world like our
own, in all its temporal aspects. What the future duration of the earth
may be, we have no means of knowing; but if less than endless, it is of
little moment in the presence of the least capacious human soul.



THE LOVE LUCIFER.


CHAPTER II.

I find myself writing upon matters connected, at least, with, religion,
with the thought of saying something useful--of presenting a valuable
experience, if not a valuable congeries of new ideas. Most readers
deeply interested in religion are, by this time, demanding that I show
my colors--present my creed; otherwise they will shut themselves up from
my influence. As I write, church bells are ringing. I know that many of
those who now assemble to hang with a deathly solemnity upon the lips of
preachers--while death, hell, heaven, eternity, atonement are the
themes--will say: 'He treats lightly the most serious matters: he treads
with dancing pumps on holy ground.' Now I claim to be, above all things,
an earnest, solemn person. Yet do I verily believe that there is a
humorous side to all subjects, that is not ignored by even the loftiest
beings; and that, in a restricted sense, it may be said of all
well-balanced persons, as a philosopher has said of children: 'Because
they are in innocence, therefore they are in peace; and because they are
in peace, therefore all things are with them full of mirth.' It must be
admitted, however, that if the 'orthodox' creed is wholly correct, we
find in the Puritans and their existing imitators the only consistent
Christians. In view of the inevitable damnation of a majority of the
race, they set their faces against all mirth; would eat no pleasant
bread, and wear no beautiful raiment. I followed them to the letter,
till, the 'naked eye' not being wholly blinded, nor the ear deafened by
theologic din, I saw that nature, in all her guises and voices, was
firmly opposed to all such gloomy dogmas.

In a word, then, as to creed, I find no satisfactory platform save that
of the broadest eclecticism. The motto of the old Greek, 'Know that good
is in all,' is mine. I am aware that the danger accruing from this style
of creed is, that one often gets, in the effort at impartiality, into
the meshes of pantheism; and then your list of gods many and lords many
comprises all the chief divinities, from Brahm and Buddh to Thor; you
priding yourself the while upon the consideration shown for 'local
prejudices' by your not putting Christ at the end of the list. But,
after life-long investigation, I am not ashamed to say, in the words,
though not in the spirit of Emperor Julian, 'Galilean, thou hast
conquered;' with Augustine, 'Let my soul calm itself in Thee; I say, let
the great sea of my soul, that swelleth with waves, calm itself in
Thee;' with De Staël, 'Inconcevable énigme de la vie; que la passion, ni
la douleur, ni le génie ne peuvent découvrir, vous revelerez-vous à la
prière;' with practical Napoleon, 'I know men, and Jesus Christ was not
a man;' with a Chevalier Bunsen and a Beecher, 'Jesus Christ is my God,
without any ifs or buts.' I can assent more decidedly than does
Teuflesdröck, in the 'Everlasting Nay,' to the doctrine of regeneration.
I narrow the whole matter down to these plain facts: Of all religions,
Christianity is best calculated to elevate man's nature; and of all
Christians, they reach the highest spiritual condition who regard Christ
as utterly divine.

On this other matter that enters so largely into my narrative--the
conjugality of disembodied spirits--I cannot forbear some further
discourse before proceeding historically. The absurd idea is still
prevalent that there is no sex in heaven. Those who retain this notion,
despite the revelations of science concerning the universality of sex
throughout creation, cannot reason very candidly. When we find in the
earth positives but no negatives, light but no heat, strength but no
beauty, action but no passivity, wisdom but no love, intellection but no
intuition, reflection but no perception, science but no religion, then,
at last, may we expect to see in the heavens men but no women.

Take the conjugal element from human creatures, and you have Hamlet
without the ghost. Excepting, perhaps, the religious, it is the most
powerful, prominent, exacting part of our nature. In 'man's unregenerate
state,' at least, the love story is the most interesting book, marriage
the most interesting ceremony, true lovers' dalliance the most
interesting sight. For the beloved, one relinquishes all else--performs
the greatest prodigies. Marriage is the subject most thought of, most
talked about. Around it cluster all the other events of life. Rejoice,
then, O 'romantic' youth and maiden, now in the days of thy youth; for
this flitting romance--so soon interrupted by care and grief, by shop
and kitchen and nursery, by butcher, baker, tailor, milliner, and
cordwainer--is about the most genuine experience you will have in this
world. Therefore, say I, cultivate romance. Devour a goodly number of
the healthier novels. Weep and laugh over them--believing every word.
Amadis de Gaul, even, is a better model than Gradgrind. Adore each the
other sex--positively worship! Both are worshipful (in the 'abstract').

What healthy-minded person loves not to behold the eye-sparkle of pure
admiration between young man and maid? 'They worship, truly, they know
not what.' In bowing down to their ideal, they bow to the _real_
human--the purified man or woman of the better land. The recluse is ever
the true prophet and seer, in this as in still higher matters. Your
modest-eyed student, stealing glances of unfeigned admiration at
ordinary maidens, is not such a simpleton as some suppose. His seclusion
has cleared his vision. He sees on through the eons--sees things as they
will or may be--regards the objects of his adoration as he will in the
angelhood. Why will so many decry this admiration?--when they see that,
not till the youth passes the purely romantic age--fourteen to sixteen
or eighteen--and begins to have commonplace thoughts of the other sex,
does mischief arise.

The idea of eternal conjugality should lighten all faces with hope, and
should have a most conservative influence in society. Those who are not
very well matched, and yet are conscious that the very highest earthly
bliss comes of a right mating, are not content to pass through this life
without enjoying this bliss, if they suppose that it appertains solely
to earth. So, many of them break bounds and bonds. Let these but accept
the idea that conjugality is one of the chief features of the heavenly
life, and they can settle down steadily to the apparent duties of this
sphere, content with 'peace on earth,' since now they feel sure of
rapture in heaven--a rapture, too, mind you, of a kind with which they
are somewhat acquainted. It is all very well to anticipate the fact
which 'eye hath not seen,' etc. But men need the prospect of an eternal
joy they know of, as much as they needed that awe-inspiring Jehovah
should outwork in love-inspiring Christ. In view of this, among other
joys set before him, the extra-earnest worker, in public or private, can
more easily deprive himself of that amount of social intercourse with
the other sex which he craves. Such can suffice themselves with
occasional glances of the complementary portion of mankind; and as they
hurriedly pass seraphic faces in the street, they wave the hand of the
spirit after them, saying: 'I prithee, O thou wonder, art human or no?'
'O you sweet beautiful! 'the king's business requires haste. Providence
has set our lives so far apart we cannot hear each other speak.' But
you will be a woman, and I will be a man, forever. In paradise, I will
read wonderful things in those and other such eyes, and wonder at you
forever. _Vale! vale!_'

There is a poet claiming to be of the supernal life--especially of the
supernal conjugal--who has written 'epics' and 'lyrics,' of which I must
honestly say, as Emerson, I believe, once honestly said of some of the
writings of Swedenborg: 'I read them with an unction and an afflatus
quite indescribable.' They lift one to the empyrean like nothing else I
know of outside the Bible. There is such a saintly purity; such a
wondrous, rich, mellow joyousness; such bounding elasticity of spirit;
such an evidently irresistible gush of song in the heart; such broad
catholicity of religion, that, to some, it seems impossible that they
could have been written anywhere but under the perpetual midsummer skies
of paradise. It may show poor taste, but to me, in those regions of the
upper ether wherein Tennyson, Mrs. Browning, and Shelley grow
wing-weary, he soars on strong, free pinion. His 'imaginings,' if such
they are, of immortal life, as much surpass in plausibility and
naturalness those of Milton, Dante, and Virgil, as the acting of a
first-class theatre surpasses that seen in the old monkish 'mysteries.'
This writer, T. L. Harris, has won much recognition in both hemispheres;
would win much more if he appeared simply as a poet, and did not claim a
seer faculty, making many positive statements that cannot be verified.
He certainly comes up to Aristotle's standard, where he says: 'The
object of the poet is not to treat the True as it really happened, but
as it should have happened.'

And now the story. I left myself indulging in reveries concerning the
expected sight of my invisible charmer. The appointed hour came. I was
quite excited. I knew that the land was already full of people who
claimed to see the sights of the other world as spirits see them, and
fully expected to have my clairvoyant faculty opened. But I saw no
'sudden Ianthe;' and to this day have never seen even a kobold, a
wraith, or a döppelganger! This was doubtless fortunate; for I was
nearly driven into lunacy by the things I _heard_ before I reached the
end of this 'youthful adventure.' I should have gone 'clean daft' if the
bugaboo had been permitted to show me the sights they presently
promised.

Soon came again my collocutor with explanations.

'You were in such a state of excitement that the united efforts of more
than forty of your spirit friends were utterly unavailing for the
opening of your sight. We, too, became so excited that we lost all
control of ourselves, and could only weep to hear your mournful appeals
followed by your surrender of all claims upon me.' ... 'Do not think
that I could ever hope to bask beneath the sunshine of your smile after
having intentionally deceived you.'

Then followed much similar feminine beguilement; the faculty for which
seems to be rather increased by the Jordan bath.

It began to be a noticeable fact that their magnetic power over me was
such that they could cast me down to the borders of despair, and raise
me thence to rapture at will. Thus a few moments of such ordinary
blandishments as the following were the only apparent means of raising
my usually slow-moving spirits from a very low to a very high pitch. I
was complaining of the waste of paper, in writing words of letters three
or four inches high; did not think any law, even a law of nature,
justified the imposition of such an expenditure upon a spouse in a
separate sphere. 'She' promised to tone down the expressions of
attachment until she could talk as largely as she pleased; and to some
further suggestions, replied:

'Really, you are quite impertinent, considering the short time we have
been married.' ...

Slightly singular as it may seem to those who think that this narration
is 'all gammon,' I had gone through the usual course of acquaintanceship
with this airy nothing; was first distant and reserved; then slightly
thawed, though still horrified at the thought of having all my thoughts
read; and finally, after I felt that the invisible eyes had read, in my
memory, every page of my history, was perfectly familiar and at ease in
the presence this finite searcher of hearts.

I find, next in order, the following:

'So you wish me to _prove_ that we were married, do you? Well, when you
become a denizen of this higher, but none the less practical sphere, you
may read, if you please, where, with wonder and strange emotion, I read,
in the heavenly records of marriages.' ... [It was dated about the time
of my birth.] 'Your banter is not so agreeable as your tenderness.' ...
'You are incorrigible. It will take me many a long age to bring you to a
due sense of my importance,' etc. 'Some of my friends are beside
themselves with mirth, at my vain attempts at taming a spirit so rude.'
Then came another promise of opened vision. 'A truly solemn scene is at
hand. Spend the interval in prayer.'

But again there was something wrong about the spiritual zinc or acid,
and the electrical machinery would not work. The fair or foul deceiver
(who knows?) came up very solemn after this failure.

''Though all men forsake thee,' said Peter, 'yet will not I forsake
thee.' So now, when the highest spirits of heaven have fled in terror
and dismay, your poor darling will not forsake you. Well might I sit,
like Job's friends, seven days, ay, seventy times seven, in silent
contemplation of him who--woe is me!--fears that I am but another
Delilah, commissioned by his enemies to betray him into their hands.
What can I say? what do? Oh that I had never seen the glorious light of
the sun or the pure myriads of my happy home, rather than I should have
beheld that sight last night. How can I explain the fact that he, whom
I, at least, believe to be heaven's most supreme (string of adjectives)
favorite, is sitting here with his unutterable but unrepining sorrow
looking forth from his ... eyes.'

Just here I caught a glimpse of my divinity, and turning in wrath and
scorn to my Titania, said, mockingly:

"While I thine _amiable_ cheeks do coy!"

To this she replies: 'Do not heap additional reproaches upon me, by any
such awfully ludicrous quotations.' ... 'So you think that your Delilah
is striving to gain time by all these pious and otherwise interesting
remarks?' ... 'Nay, do not with loathing cast me from you as an an
unholy and hateful thing! for then, oh, what I should then do or be, I
cannot, dare not even think.' ... 'Again you see my woman's heart cannot
suppress its emotions toward one who still hopes that he has been
talking with ----; and who says that, for him to be convinced of
this, is to be convinced that she who has been talking with him has not
intentionally deceived him.'

She then wrought upon my feelings by portraying her sufferings, until,
in my maudlin condition, I was casting about to find how I should help
her; just as you sometimes see a drunken tramp striving to pull his
drunken pal out of a ditch.

'So, most self-forgetful, you begin to think that you ought to help me
bear my burden; as you have planned sitting there, with your little
friend encircling you in her so warm embrace. But why should I inform
you of such fact, as this last, until you are convinced that all you
have heard is not the wily utterance of seducing and hellish spirits?
Try not to entertain such awful suspicions. As to the cause of these
lamentable failures, I can only suppose that the Lord wishes to make us,
who wrongly prophesied, sensible of our inability to foretell future
events.'

Then came some bungled Scriptures about my 'mission,' which roused my
ire. My taunts drew forth this response:

'Why do you love to ridicule my tenderness, and speak so awfully to one
who has no other human source of perfect happiness?'

The day following, the solemn dodge was again resorted to. I began to
feel a sort of awe creeping over me. My affectionate friend thereupon
wrote:

'What a change a few minutes have wrought in you. Yes! yes! the morning
light is breaking. The fiery trial is complete. As I write there rests
upon your now placid brow a glorious and marvellously beautiful crown.
The cup is drained. 'To him that sat in the valley and shadow of death
light has sprung up.' And now awe seizeth me: for there standeth, as yet
a long way off, one whose form is like to that of the Son of Man. In a
very little while, now, the great event must inevitably occur. He who
stands upon the holy mount prepares to open your sight, and give you
your commission. How can we see him face to face and live! Let not a
passing suspicion of further delay disturb you. Already you begin to
feel the influence of his approach. Well may you heave a sigh--as one
who experiences a sudden and unlooked-for relief. In less than ten
minutes the Lord will appear to you. So make ready, in solemn meditation
and prayer, for the most solemn event of your or any other man's life is
at hand.'

'If the vision tarry, wait for it,' is the only scripture that seems
applicable to my visions: for still they came not. Yet some very serious
and substantial experiences now fell to my lot, which shall be the theme
of another chapter.


CHAPTER III.

As manager of this exhibition, I would request the orchestra to play
something gloomy and grand, during the remainder of the performance;
something weird, mysterious; something in which you can hear the
soughing of the wind through the pines of the Hartz Mountains or the
Black Forest. A passage from a _Faust_ opera or _Der Freischutz___ might
meet the case; for it began to be intimated to me, now that I was
sufficiently clairaudient to be able to dispense almost entirely with
the pencil, that his Satanic Majesty was no indifferent spectator of the
preparation of the man who was about to interfere so signally with his
plans and pursuits. Thereupon there began to steal over me for the first
time,

  'A sense of something dreadful, something near.

However it was managed, from this moment till the end of this phase of
life I am narrating, I had an almost constant sense of the presence of
'genii of the pit,' of vast intelligence, cruel as ever Satan was
imagined, relentless as fate, cold as Dante's ice hells could make them.
At first, some influence led me to review the traditional history and
prospects of my supposed distinguished visitor, at some length. I
discussed the state of his case with no little unction, though shaking
in my boots, and in momentary expectation of being gobbled up, body and
soul, and whisked off in sulphurous smoke, with only a sulphur-burnt
hole in the carpet to mark the spot where I saw the last of earth.

Presently my inseparable companion broke in with:

'He hears you! he hears you! and never may it be my lot again to look
upon--' ... 'There he is again, glaring with inexpressible rage upon the
comparatively insignificant man who just now so plainly revealed to him
'the true state of the case.' I am almost afraid to look upon that
awful visage. 'The state of the case is it?' he exclaims. 'We will see
what is the state.''--

There is a break here in the manuscript, which is resumed thus: 'You
have conquered! frantic with rage he has fled, never, I trust, to
return.'

How will I remember what happened during that awful pause? It was spent,
I suppose, in a hand-to-hand conflict with the Prince of Darkness; the
agreeableness of which was not enhanced by my vivid recollection of the
'bit of a discooshin' between Christian and Apollyon depicted in the old
family Pilgrim's Progress. We are truly 'the stuff that dreams are made
of.' What mattered it to me, on that bland summer afternoon, since I was
of this opinion, whether it was Beelzebub himself or some departed
'blazing tinman,' with a suit of his majesty's old clothes on, while
himself, all snug at home,

  'Sat in his easy chair,
  Drinking his sulphur tea.'

That was certainly one of the most awful moments of my life, in which I
felt the first dreadful rush of this invisible tiger. It seemed as if he
swooped toward me to annihilate me in a moment; but was restrained by a
higher power. His coming was like the rush of a fifteen-inch shell past
one's head.

As soon as I saw that the first onset did not destroy me, I gathered
strength to face the monster; for a tongue combat seemed all that was
permitted him. He put me through my theological paces at an awful
rate--using the Socratic dialectic--growling out questions in the tones
of a cathedral organ, that made me shiver. Oh that I could remember that
fearful catechism! It would make a tract for which the Tom Paine
Association would pay a high price. He drove me--partly, I suppose, by
magnetic force--step by step, from my cherished religious opinions. My
reasons for believing in the cardinal doctrines of Christianity seemed
to burn like straw before his fiery rhetoric, and to turn to dust
beneath the ponderous blows of his iron logic. He pushed me away from
all I had esteemed reliable in the universe, till I seemed to stand on
the verge of creation. There I hung with the strength of terror. Then I
found poet Campbell true to nature, where he speaks of hope standing
intact ''mid Nature's funeral pyre.' I insisted upon 'hoping,' in spite
of all his fiery hail.

After he had beaten down all my defences, he began to jeer at me with
fierce sneers and goblin laughter that froze my blood. 'So _I_ was the
contemptible manikin who dared to entertain the idea of equality with
him--the Star of the Morning--one breath of whose nostrils would wither
me into nonentity. So _I_ presumed to stand up and face him, who had, in
his time, scattered the hosts of heaven! If it were not for those
cursed, white-livered _things_ (angels) that stood in the way, he would
swoop down and destroy me in an instant.'

Having found and maintained foothold for several minutes on the rock of
hope, I began to consider how weak things had of erst confounded the
things that were mighty, and soon the wirepullers behind the scenes
(whoever they were) had me smiting him hip and thigh. I 'began in
weakness, but ended in power.' At first a few muttered remonstrances,
but finally whole Ironsides broadsides, with the result above named. The
words of my antagonist, during this encounter, rang through my brain
with awful distinctness. For a day or two I had been communicating
partly with the pencil, and partly by clairaudience, eked out by writing
in the air with my forefinger. But this demon, or demon _pro tem._,
needed not to write his words: his 'trumpet gave no uncertain sound.'

The thoughtful reader will perceive what a strong point my magnetizers
gained by this scene. After disappointing me so many times, they could
not, with all their power over me, have kept me from throwing the whole
thing overboard, without resorting to some such _coup d'état_. Being,
doubtless, on better terms with the infernal than with the supernal
regions, these denizens of the Intermediate Limbo (we will suppose that
my strange guests were mostly of this sort of nondescripts) had perhaps
induced some _bona fide_ demon to act the part of the king of them all,
'for this night only.' It certainly was an immense success. I, to be
sure, had not received the expected commission: but had I not fought the
great red dragon, and, like another St. George, pinned him to the earth,
through supernatural aid? Here was a substantial success. I write this
merrily enough now; but was not often merry then--was indeed acting
great, real tragedy.

I was not long to enjoy this triumph. The word came: 'Again he comes!'
Then I had another long, hard fight; but this time was not pushed so
near the wall. I was then told by my spiritual adviser and Circe of the
unbounded admiration expressed for me by those who had listened to this
'ever-memorable' disputation.

The attempt to craze me, or--putting the best face on it--to show me
_how spiritists are generally crazed_, now began in downright earnest.
All that night, despite my entreaties to be permitted to sleep, I was
kept awake, and busied with a variety of 'extremely important' business.
I am naturally a solid, regular sleeper, and do not prosper upon
Napoleon or Humboldt portions of repose; but now could only suit my
persecutors by rising on one elbow in bed, and 'wrestling' for the
salvation of my next neighbor. They sedulously poured into my mind all
manner of apocrypha concerning this gentleman's shortcomings--about the
necessity of praying for and at him, and about the effects of my
efforts, i. e., bringing a streak of celestial light upon him--until I
was almost ready to wish that he might be ----, rather than that I
should have any such unseasonable work to perform in his behalf. But
they kept me at it, straight through the night and a large portion of
the next day; and finally induced me to go, much against my will, to
reveal to him some of my experiences, and to endeavor to force from him
an acknowledgment that what I had heard about him was true.

The attempt to cause at least a temporary aberration of my intellect now
becomes very plain in the manuscript. Every idea is uttered in the most
exciting manner. All statements and prognostications about my neighbor
having proved false (he was amazed at my procedure), the invisible
busybodies boiled over thus:

'He has lied! he has lied to you! and if you would preserve your reason,
go and read the papers to him. He had schooled himself to show no
emotion, and you showed enough to excite his worst, most hideous fears.
So go, for Heaven's sake! He quailed once, and only once, before your
not sufficiently steady gaze. Woe! woe! woe! Now what shall be done?'
... [Evidently trying to get up a teapot tempest.] 'Do not strive to
unravel this mystery in that fiercely keen way, or this evil spirit will
have to give place to a more expert deceiver. God will certainly do
something soon to set these matters straight, or I shall cease to be!'
[She had said annihilation was possible!] 'Your father wishes to speak
to you.'

A fatherly spirit it was truly--was for driving me mad off hand, but
overshot the mark.

'Son, this is awful! I can only say to you, be calm and cool, for you
will need to be both to get free from this snare of Satan, so well
conceived. Better go to supper now (for appearance sake): after that,
pray for help. When you took away those books [after reading extracts to
the neighbor], the whole crew of devils,' etc., etc.

This exciting language 'brought me up with a round turn.' I saw at once
the object of the person who was talking with me. So I brought the
affair to a full stop, as far as the use of my hand was concerned. I
simply added, on that leaf--speaking now for myself:

'I will hear no further. This part of my discipline is finished.'

But I was forced to hear, whether I wrote or not. I had come to this
wisdom too late. I fully believe that, as far as my ability to prevent
the catastrophe was concerned, I was then and there a possessed
person--_a slave of spirits_--as utterly bound to do the will of my
magnetizers as ever a 'subject' was. Though I cannot be persuaded that
all these beings, from whom unseen I had heard so much, were 'only evil
continually,' no 'harmonialist' can persuade me that those who now began
to play with me, as a cat plays with a mouse, were other than evil. In
all imaginable ways, they strove to show me how utterly I had lost
self-command and self-control. (I am esteemed obstinate by nature.)

What is very singular, I now lost sight of my 'prima donna.' It would
seem natural that a Delilah would, at least, have come with a jeering
'The Philistines be upon thee, Samson.' But no, not till this great
tribulation was over did I hear from 'her.'

That evening and night were spent, mostly, in showing me that I was no
longer my own master. There was not, however, that continuous hell-blast
upon me that so scorched my soul on the following afternoon. The cats
were tossing me in their velvet paws--only occasionally protruding a
sharp claw as a reminder, until they could feel surer of their victim.
They would say to me: 'Now we will exalt you to heaven;' and up I went,
higher, higher, higher into the empyrean, until I heard the music of the
spheres, and all things were ablaze with light and glory. Again they
would say: 'Now go down into hell;' and the scene changed as suddenly as
do those of a ten-cent panorama, when a midnight storm at sea or a
volcanic eruption is about to be rolled in view: I went down _ad
imis_--'down to the bottom of the sea--the earth with her bars was
around me forever.' Blank horror and anguish seized me. Hope fled to its
impregnable corner of my heart, till the calamity was overpast. A hushed
agony was upon me, as before I had known its boundless bliss. And thus
variously I fared through all that second night of sleeplessness. They
probably sent me up and down this scale of sensation twenty times during
eight hours. This night I was not at all sleepy. A few more such would
have finished the business; and there would have been 'another awful
effect of the spiritual delusion' to chronicle. The honest verdict of
the first century would have been: 'Another possessed of devils or
devil-crazed.' The wretches well knew that insomnia is an excellent
preparation for insanity.

Toward morning a new scheme was invented. Some ostensible good friend
informed me, in a business-like way, that the work of the morrow for
me--the new Saul of Tarsus--was to set out for a certain town in
Vermont, where I should find my Ananias; who 'would show me what things
I should do.' So the faithful slave of the genii prepared to obey. I
packed a carpet bag, and went early to the residence of a medical
friend, who had been dabbling in the same arcana. I gave him a sketch of
what I had experienced; yet, for some reason, did not start for Vermont,
but remained with him all the morning. My invisible monitors sent me out
into the street several times, to find people who could not be found.
(Anything to keep up their influence.)

Toward noon the fact came plainly to me that an effort was being made to
disturb, if not destroy, my reason. I began to find my ideas becoming
incoherent in spite of hugest effort. I called my friend, and said to
him, through set teeth, but as coolly as possible:

'I find myself to be thoroughly and utterly a magnetic subject, an
abject subject of mischievous spirits. They are striving to derange my
faculties. I am exceedingly alarmed to find that they are trying, with
much success, to render my ideas incoherent. It is only by a very great
effort of will that I am enabled to speak these words distinctly to you.
As far as my private power of resistance is concerned, I am gone. Do
exert your powerful magnetism; perhaps you can drive them off.'

He was much distressed, and exerted himself mightily (he was a professed
electrician), combining will power with that ancient agent, prayer, to
exorcise the evil influence. But his efforts were useless, as the
vagabonds well knew, before they brought me there on exhibition. They
had not spent the week in vain. I had sold myself to them as squarely as
fools ever did in German legend.

When dinner was announced, the doctor wished me to accompany him. I
refused, and he left me, to take a hasty meal. Finding, when he was
gone, that I was growing worse, I went into the street, determined that
if I was to be crazed, I would not sit there and let him watch the
operation. I walked on, vowing that I would not turn toward home until
my faculties were restored; and execrating _my folly in permitting the
enslavement_! On, on I rushed, my head all ablaze with 'od' that had no
business there, and praying as I never had prayed before. I took the
Gowanus road toward Greenwood. Perhaps it was some defunct rogue there
interred, who was leading me on to 'rave among the tombs.'

Arrived at a spot where a little tree-capped promontory overhangs the
beach, I turned aside, beneath the projection, and sat down on a
log--like Jonah under the gourd--and, gazing out on the rippling waves
of the bay, desired that death or relief might come. I was determined to
sit there until God or Satan made good his claim upon me. Suddenly
relief came. The fierce onset upon my intellect ceased. I was made
whole. I 'leaped and walked.' The means of my relief I never knew.

But my lesson was not complete. I had but just informed my medical
friend of my deliverance (he had scoured the neighborhood, and informed
several of the cause of his fears), when there were mutterings and
growlings of another approaching storm. The messengers of Satan sent to
baffle me gave me to understand that they had not abandoned their prey,
but were sure of it yet. They poured the wrath of hell upon my
defenceless head that afternoon. I have not, hitherto, attempted to
offer much direct proof to the uninitiated that my experiences, in this
connection, were other than hallucination. That which now occurred is,
as it seems to me, in the nature of such proof. Here was I thoroughly
alarmed for my safety, and extremely anxious to get rid of my
tormentors. Yet, not for a single moment now, could I close my mental
ears to their horrid clangor of threats and imprecations; for, throwing
off all restraint, they flooded me with Billingsgate. They cursed and
damned me, and all persons, things, and ideas esteemed by me, in the
most approved style. Indeed, the swearing exceeded anything I ever heard
on the Mississippi and Alabama river boats, when forced, for lack of
room, to sleep on the floor of the saloon, almost under the feet of the
chivalry, during their midnight gambling carousals.

The mode of speech is not easily described. Sometimes the words came
slowly and distinctly. Again there would be merely thought-panorama
presented. A complete statement or view of things can be flashed into
the mind in an instant. Therefore the language of spirits is of vastly
greater compass than that of men. These immortal blackguards could vomit
more oaths and other blasphemy in five minutes, than a mortal one could
in an hour. If it is difficult to translate from one earth-language
into another, how much harder must it be to bring the ideas of an inner
sphere into outward forms of expression!

They told me that it was their intention to open my clairvoyant faculty
now with a vengeance. For, having fairly accomplished it, they would
worry me to death or madness by the continual sight and hearing of all
that hell could show or conjure up. I only wish that a few of those
Sadducees who philosophize all this sort of thing into moonshine, could
be, for a while, as sore beset as I was on that eventful day! It would
need but a few minutes' parley with these 'fierce Ephesian beasts' to
induce them to repeat the language of an older sceptic, who returned
from the dead to the friend who had discussed immortality with him, and
who exclaimed, as he passed from sight:

'Michael! Michael! _vera sunt illa!_'

The scheme of the diabolians seemed so feasible that I was greatly
perplexed. They had shown themselves able to keep me awake the two
preceding nights; and I knew that, if permitted, they could accomplish
their purpose in that way alone. How much, then, would the perpetual
sight of fiery flying dragons, horned satyrs, and other hideous
half-human creatures, tearing around, with mouths agape to take me
in--while other lost souls flitted about as flying serpents, bats, and
owls--hasten the evil work. I thought over all the horrible forms
portrayed in the Catholic purgatory pictures, and described by delirium
tremens subjects, until I was a thousand times more anxious to have the
eyes of my spirit kept shut, than I ever had been to have them opened.

I tried to exorcise the foe by reading the Bible; but this only
increased their jeering at the '---- fool,' whom they had worked hard to
get, had got, and meant to keep, in spite of 'hell, book, and candle.'
Truly 'their mouths were full of cursing and bitterness.'

Did space permit, and were it not that the printing of oaths, which has
become so fashionable even in respectable periodicals, is hurtful to
morals, I could fill pages with their jeers, taunts, blasphemies,
threats, and execrations.

I left my private room, and went among the household, in hopes that,
amid busy outer scenes, the hold of the invisible tigers would be
loosed. But then, while conversing on commonplace subjects, I realized
more fully than ever upon what a _fearful precipice_ the heedless
spiritist is ever sporting. For, clearer, more distinct, came threats,
curses, goblin laughter; and 'Fool! dolt!' was the cry.

'Simpleton, etc., think you that the company of women and children will
save you, when the mightiest spirits (angels they call themselves)
cannot now rend you from our grasp? As soon as we choose, we will tear
your silly soul out of your carcase; and _then_ we will make a veritable
Lucifer of you. '_Lucifer_! LUCIFER! star of the morning! how
art thou fallen, and become as one of us!' Ha! ha! ha! yes! yes! you
must go with us. We fancy you. For a callow priest, you have a deal of
music in you. Would-be Samson, you must grind in our prison house and
sport in our temple; the pillars whereof you can never cause to
tremble.'

They said that I was a 'coward--dared not face a set of shadows,
figments of the brain, empty nothings.' I saw that 'vain was the help of
man;' and, retiring to my room, had an awful season of worse than
'temptation combats.'

Then came the last scene in the tragic part of my unromantic experience.
One of the artful dodgers, having transformed himself into an angel of
light (in my hearing, not in my sight), informed me, at about eight
o'clock in the evening, that, though my destruction appeared imminent,
there was one way of escape left. My own prayers were useless: but if I
would get down on my knees, and repeat a confession and supplication at
his dictation, it might avail. Enslaved as I was, I of course complied;
and then underwent a humiliation that, even in my horrified state, was
very bitter. I had always, in my most puritanical days, kicked at the
doctrine that we are all such abominable, hell-deserving,
_self_-degraded creatures, responsible for our own ruin, that it is the
wonder of creation that God would give our souls any least chance of
heaven. I had always felt with Tennyson:

  'Thou wilt not leave us in the dust;
  Thou _madest_ man, and Thou art _just_.'

But now I was forced to change all this; and for once I uttered a
perfectly orthodox prayer. Slow and distinct came the words, which I
must perforce repeat as slowly, though every one was a bitter pill. I
was made to say that I was entirely mistaken in supposing myself a
Christian (in the 'evangelical' sense); that I had been a fool, a
braggart, a sort of impostor; that my life had been one series of shams
and follies; that I had disgraced my religious profession, etc., etc.,
_ad nauseam_, winding up with the abject declaration that I deserved to
go straight to 'the city of Dis, and the three-headed dog;' and that if
I was spared, it would be 'a miracle of mercy.'

The higher powers must have thought that I had swallowed enough of this
hell-broth; for, at this juncture, the dictation and compulsion suddenly
ceased. I stood upon my feet, no longer a slave. It seemed as if some
grand, calm Ithuriel had touched with his spear-point the venomous toad
that sat by my ear, or the wily serpent that 'held me (enchanted) with
his glittering eye.' From that moment to this, I have not been, for an
instant, seriously annoyed by invisible disturbers of the peace.

A sweet quiet came over me; I went to bed and slept soundly. The next
day I determined to complete the exorcism by walking a dozen miles into
the country, to visit a relation. The only trace of the fearful scenes
through which I had passed, consisted in the fact that my head was still
all ablaze with the foul, gross magnetic fluids of my ex-tormentors; and
was so hot that I found it agreeable to walk with my hat off. I was two
days getting rid of the heat.

Though I had no more sulphur tea to drink, I was not yet weaned from the
invisible milk and water. I was at once informed, by 'respectable
appearing' spirits, that my trials had appeared necessary, because I had
thrown myself open to promiscuous communication with the other world--a
thing peculiarly dangerous in my case; and that I could now see the
propriety of never again surrendering my manhood, my individuality, and
my common sense to any brigand in or out of the body. I was also told
that it never had been intended to use me for any important mediumistic
purpose, except so far as my experience might be useful. So I gradually
let the thing drop. Regarding the new light as scientific rather than
religious, I long since pigeon-holed it among my sciences. I
sardonically tell total Sadducees that I have placed it among the
_exact_ sciences.

I am sorry that I am unable to enlighten the novel-reading reader
further concerning the 'prima donna;' but that is a delicate subject
under existing circumstances. So presenting, herewith, the bright and
sulphurous end of the Lucifer Match under the nose of a discerning
public, I will watch the upcurling and dilating of nostrils. As I pen
these last lines, the live body looking over my shoulder smiles
scornfully.



SKETCHES OF AMERICAN LIFE AND SCENERY.

III.--MOUNTAIN WAYS.


'Lucy D----,' said Aunt Sarah Grundy, 'I really cannot conceive what you
and Elsie find to entertain you in the desolate, out-of-the-way places
where you are in the habit of wasting your summers. Why can you not be
content with the ordinary highways, where people travel comfortably in
good boats and rail cars? Why must you leave tolerably convenient
hotels, regular meals, and agreeable, proper people, to bury yourself in
some mountain fastness, where the inns are poor, the food plain, and the
people--well! such as are totally unfit associates for two well-bred
young women?'

'O auntie! auntie! we thought you called yourself a democrat!' said
Elsie.

'Politically, my dear, but not socially,' was the reply.

'And a Christian!' added Lucy D----.

'I see,' continued Mrs. Grundy, 'that, by raising other issues, you hope
to escape an explanation of the mystery to which I have referred.'

'A mystery indeed!' replied Lucy D----. 'The mystery of nature, of
creation, of the communion of the creature with the infinitely bountiful
Creator. Have you never wandered away from the beaten track, from
tiresome dinners, with mercenary waiters and elaborate courses, from
yawning, _blasé_ men, and over-dressed, artificial, weakly women, and,
resting upon some quiet hillside, suffered the glories of external
nature to fill your soul as you drained the cup of beauty, until
sunrises and sunsets, storm clouds and morning mists, broad bands of
light and darksome shadows, steep mountains and curving valleys,
hurrying brooks and tidal oceans, dusky pine forests and tremulous
bluebells, dreamily floated before the vision, soothing care and the
petty wounds inflicted by the human denizens of this nether world? I
love my kind, I share their faults and follies, I pity their sorrows,
and would do my utmost to succor or to soothe; but I do not understand
them as I do the woods: their faces I readily forget, but never the
forms of mountain crag, of noble tree, or of first spring wild flower.
Among men I may be misunderstood, disliked perhaps, or, more generally,
simply ignored and overlooked; but among the hills I fear no harsh, no
indifferent word: each treasure of beauty breathes to me of One who
knows my every heart-beat, One whom I can love without fear of wound or
disenchantment. The mountain clefts have no unkind words, no
fault-finding, no ridicule, no rash judgments for the sons of men. They
offer clear springs, fresh fruits, and festal flowers, peace and rest
and pure joy!'

'Really, Lucy,' said Aunt Sarah, 'I am not sure your rhapsody has made
the mystery any plainer than before. May I not, in my turn, ask if your
feelings are quite Christian? Are you not afraid you entertain a species
of repulsion toward your fellow men?'

'Aunt Sarah, I nearly always feel more for them than they for me.
Perhaps they hurt my vanity by overwhelming me with the sense of my own
insignificance. Be that as it may, their everlasting wrangling among
themselves is more than I can endure. When people begin to quarrel, even
to disagree warmly, the blood rushes to my brain, and I long for a cool
breeze from some piny height, a mossy seat by some calm lake, that
mirrors only the blue of heaven, the measured flow of falling waters,
the rustle of leaves, the hum of bees, or the song of birds.'

'You are not strong, and have grown nervous, I fear,' said Aunt Sarah.
'I can remember when you greatly enjoyed a good discussion, and never
shrank from an encounter of opinions.'

'I was young then,' replied Lucy; 'I am older now, and have less
confidence in my argumentative powers. I love truth as well, but doubt
my capacity to lift her veil, the willingness of mortals to seek her
humbly, or the certainty of their yielding to conviction, even were she
bodily, in unclouded radiance, to stand before them. I hope I may always
have courage sufficient to support my honest convictions, but I must
confess the effort has become a painful one, and I instinctively fly all
wrangling as I would the plague.'

'Do you then desire to lead an isolated life?' asked Mrs. Grundy.

'By no means,' replied Lucy. 'Duty and affection both bind me to active
service in the ranks of the world, and, to return to the subject of a
retired country sojourn, the freedom from _gêne_, the absence of hurry,
the _confidentiality_ of nature, lead us in a week to a better
comprehension and appreciation of the few persons surrounding us than
could be obtained in years of ordinary city acquaintance. Bricks and
mortar and cut stones tend to the revelation of but few secrets, but the
evening twilight, the crescent moon, the morning dawn, the forest shade,
and the noonday repose are persuasive openers of hearts and weavers of
sympathy. A walk with Elsie is far more to me than a solitary ramble.
Then, too, the country population frequently exhibit an originality and
individuality of development more often missed than found in the
assimilating atmosphere of cities.'

'I should weary in a week of such a dull, sentimentalizing mode of
existence,' said Aunt Sarah, with a significant shrug of her prettily
drooping shoulders.

'Sentimentalizing!' cried Lucy; 'nothing can be more healthfully real,
more conducive to strength and will to work, when the last red leaf has
fallen, and the gray November clouds remind one that Paradise is not yet
gained, and that a world of toil and strife and passion has a claim upon
each mortal's earnest labor. Also, the comic side of life is by no means
wanting among the hills, and many an innocent laugh is to be enjoyed
with, not at, one's fellow creatures. Humor I love dearly; satire is
simply hateful--filled with pain. I can always see the victim (if he
only knew!) writhing and blenching beneath the bitter glances and
blasting words of fiendish tormentors.'

'Yes, indeed,' said Elsie, 'many a merry evening have we spent laughing
over the day's adventures. The singular coincidences and strange
incongruities of American life are nowhere more strikingly exhibited
than among the hills and lakes bordering the great thoroughfares of
travel. Do you remember, Lucy, the transit of our friends, the foreign
professor and the artist, from the Catskill Mountain House to the head
of the Kauterskill Falls?'

'Can I ever forget it?'

'What transit was that, Lucy?' asked Mrs. Grundy.

'You know, Aunt Sarah, that midway up the Clove, nestled against the
side of the South Mountain, is Brockett's, and two miles up the ravine,
at the head of the Kauterskill Falls, stands the Laurel House, where we
passed a portion of last summer. Two miles farther east is the steep
brink of the Pine Orchard, crowned by the White colonnade of the
Mountain House. Early one morning, a much-esteemed friend, one of our
best artists, left Brockett's, and, climbing the ravine, passed our
house on his way to the North Mountain, whence a sketch was desired. We
had had nearly four weeks of continued rain, the brooks were full, the
falls magnificent, the roads in some parts under water, and every
pathway a running stream. We were daily expecting the arrival from
abroad of a gentleman whom I had never seen, but who was well known to,
and highly regarded by, sundry members of our family. He had written to
announce his coming, but we had failed to receive his letter, and,
consequently, when he, on the afternoon of the day already mentioned,
arrived at the Mountain House, he found no one waiting to receive him,
and no carriage to convey him to his final destination. No vehicle was
to be obtained at the great caravansary, and he was vainly endeavoring
to have at least a note despatched to our address, when the artist, who
had meantime finished his sketch and descended the North Mountain on his
way home, entered the office. He was weary from a toilsome walk under
heavy trappings, but hearing a fellow mortal in distress, and partially
learning the cause, his habitual kindness of heart induced him to say to
the stranger that he was about to walk over to the Laurel House, and
would lead the way, if he chose to follow. The professor, despairing of
his ability to make any more comfortable arrangement, accepted the
offer, and prepared to follow his guide.

'Our foreign visitor was a tall, athletic man, with a noble forehead and
piercing black eyes. His attire was irreproachably neat, his
patent-leather boots rather thin for so rough a walk, especially as he
was just then much out of health, and he carried a heavy basket of
fruit, which he had kindly brought from a tropical clime to give
pleasure to his friends. He added to a generous and affectionate
disposition profound learning in languages, science, and philosophy, and
was a devoted patriot and lover of liberty. He had, however, landed in
New York during the terrible riots of last summer, and had hence imbibed
no very exalted idea of the orderliness of our population. He was of
course totally unaware of the frank confidence placed by man in his
brother man among our Northern mountains.

'When the outside door was reached, the artist paused to gather together
his pointed staff, sketching box, and other _traps_. These implements
were evidently not familiar objects in the professor's experience, as he
supposed they might be part of the gear of a peddler, and hence
conceived a certain distrust of his guide. The artist was tall and
handsome, with a vigorous frame, a long, waving beard, a slouched hat,
and garments rather the worse for much exposure to the suns, winds, and
rains of a summer spent in the open air. One who did not examine the
clear eyes raying the essence of truth, and the high-cut features
bearing the unmistakable impress of manly honor, might perhaps have
erred with the stranger, and have supposed it possible that 'the man'
(as the professor invariably called his guide when he related the
adventure) might be a brigand intent upon luring travellers into byways
for sinister purposes. This idea was strengthened by the character of
the pathway chosen by the artist as the shortest route between the two
hotels. It passed through a dense forest, and was ankle deep in water.
Fallen trunks lay across its sinuous track, and no sound save a
twittering bird or crackling branch broke the silence of the rugged,
lonely way. The active guide strode on from stone to stone, returning
short answers to his companion, whose doubts began to take the form of
questions as to 'the man's' knowledge of the road, and the certainty of
finding the Laurel House at the end of this will-o'-the-wisp journey.
Weariness from a long day's walk and work, and the dawning perception of
the stranger's suspicions, were not calculated to induce a very bland
frame of mind or tone of manner, and the replies received confirmed the
professor's determination to keep a watchful eye upon his leader. He
fell behind a few paces, and prepared his only weapon, a strong
penknife, in case the enemy should suddenly turn upon him, meantime
consoling himself that, should matters culminate in a hand-to-hand
fight, he was rather the stouter and heavier man of the two. The thin
boots had soon been saturated with water, the basket of fruit grew
heavier and heavier, and the way seemed interminable. The guide, now
fully awake to the absurdity of the situation, and perhaps as much
provoked as amused, strode rapidly on, and, at a fork in the pathway,
momentarily struck into a wrong route. He was forced to retrace a few
paces, and the stranger's dismay was now complete--the way was surely
lost, and a night in the damp wood the least evil to be anticipated.

'A wide meadow was soon after reached, but no sign of human habitation
greeted the longing eyes of the expectant traveller. Another band of
woodland was entered, and a deserted charcoal hut for a moment cheered
the heart and then dashed the hopes of our weary friend. The woodland
crossed, an open field and a cheery farmhouse broke upon his view.
Suffering the artist to hasten on, he eagerly bent his steps to the
farmhouse door, and there inquired concerning the way to the Laurel
House. He was in fact rather surprised to learn that he was on the
direct route, and now not far away. Narrowly escaping the fangs of a
cross dog, he hurried on, and overtook the now thoroughly amused artist
before the latter reached the long-expected Laurel House. That goal won,
the two gentlemen entered the office, and, as the rest of the family
were out walking, the professor sent to me the note already prepared at
the Mountain House. Not knowing that he had himself brought it, I went
into the bar room, where the first person I saw was the artist. I gave
him as usual a cordial greeting, noticing his travel-stained appearance
as bearing honorable evidence to a good day's work, and said I had come
to order a carriage for a foreign friend just arrived at the other
hotel. The artist asked a question or two, then said he presumed he had
brought over the very gentleman, and, with a quizzical expression,
offered to introduce me. The professor meantime had been watching the
interview with some surprise. He recognized me from my resemblance to
other members of my family known to him, and wondered to see 'the man'
so high in my esteem. He afterward remarked that he had thought it
strange that when he invited 'the man' to a joint punch at the bar
counter, the stranger should have drawn forth a two shilling note, and
insisted upon paying the whole scot. Night was rapidly approaching, and
the artist hastened down the glen while the summer twilight might serve
to illuminate the somewhat intricate way.

'Bursts of laughter greeted the comical recital of the adventure as
good-naturedly given by the professor. The only drawback upon our mirth
was the fear lest wet feet and over fatigue might perhaps have increased
his malady.'

'You see now,' said Aunt Sarah, with an ominous shake of the head, 'if
you will go to such forlorn, wild places, what may be expected to
happen. Had I been in your friend's place, I should never have forgiven
you for causing me such an uncomfortable, and, in one sense, dangerous
walk.'

'Oh yes, you would,' cried Elsie; 'the remembrance would have added a
zest to the monotony of your every-day life, you would never willingly
have resigned.'

'I presume, then, Elsie, you also have had adventures?'

'Have I not?' replied Elsie; 'from the young Southerner who informed me
he would like the mountains very much if the roads were not so terribly
up and down, to the infuriated bull that took especial offence at my
white umbrella, and came charging toward me, with flashing eyeballs,
horns tearing up the sod, and hoofs threatening a leap over a low stone
wall, the only barrier dividing us.'

'I suppose you call that pleasure, too!' said Aunt Sarah. 'Well, I must
confess I am more mystified than ever.'

'I presume, Aunt Sarah, you could as little appreciate the attractions
to be found in a walk of over twenty miles in ten hours?'

'Very well for men, my dear Elsie, but I think such excursions scarcely
fitting for ladies, especially for young and pretty ones. One of Lucy's
wild-goose chases, I doubt not! However, I am quite ready to listen to
your experience.'

'One morning, at nine o'clock, Lucy and I left the Laurel House,
intending to visit the valley of the East Kill, a fine trout stream that
rises near the North Mountain, and flows into the Schoharie. The first
three miles being well-known ground, we preferred to drive, but left the
little carriage on the stony road to East Jewett, soon after that road
branches from the main Clove stage route. The day was magnificent, and
the view from the fir-garlanded sides of the Parker Mountain novel and
bewitching. The North and South Mountains, Round Top, the jagged peaks
bounding the Plattekill Clove, the narrow cleft of the Stony Clove, and
the terraced slope of Clum's Hill swept across the horizon bathed in a
soft September shimmer. A few birds were still piping, golden rods and
purple asters lighted up the wayside, and luscious blackberries, large
as Lawtons, hung in great clusters, from which no mortal hand had as yet
plucked a single berry. There they grew all for us and the birds, and
you may be sure we enjoyed this feast so lavishly spread in the
wilderness. The crown of the hill passed, we left the lovely view
behind, and began the descent into the valley of the East Kill. The
forest growth was here dense and of various species, and the road,
although solitary, apparently well worn. An ominous rustling among the
trees was the only sound we heard until we again reached the open
country, where a market cart, driven by a woman, assured us of some near
habitation. A long, broken valley lies between the hills bordering the
Schoharie, and the river range, and contains the settlements of East
Jewett, Big Hollow, and Windham Centre. Near the first-named place (a
scattered collection of farmhouses), we struck the East Kill, and began
to follow it up toward its source. It is a clear, rapid stream, and we
did not wonder the trout still loved to linger in its cool waters. On a
rustic bridge we sat down and ate our simple lunch of gingerbread,
crackers, plums, and almonds. The sun was in the meridian, and
counselled return, but curiosity led us on to further explorations.

'The winding road crossed and re-crossed the stream. It was bordered by
lofty summits, and led through many a clearing and past many a
farmhouse. At one of these we met a man hiving swarms of bees. He lived
below, and told us we were eight miles from Cairo, a town near the
eastern foot of the Catskills. The friendly mistress of the cottage
informed us that the pass at the summit was only three miles distant,
and we hence concluded to return home by descending the eastern slope of
the mountains, crossing the lower portion of the intervening spur, and
reascending by the Mountain House road. Mountain miles are proverbial
for their length, and so we found them, as we wandered on until
civilization and the last good piece of road was left behind at a large
steam sawmill. Our way now skirted the near hills, and passed through an
upland bog of apparently interminable width. Fortunately, the last few
weeks had been comparatively dry, and hence it was possible to make
one's way by springing from clump to clump of rank grass, or more
frequently from hurdle to hurdle, as long stretches of half-decayed
branches covered the partially hidden quagmire. The air had become
close, the sun hot; a dense, low growth of wood shut in the devious way;
desolation and neglect marked the environs, and we were by no means
sure we were on the right road. Even Lucy began to doubt the prudence
and final success of the expedition. A very suspicious circumstance was
the fact that this road, by which we expected to cross the mountain top,
had lately made very little of an ascent.

'At length a fresh, cool breeze began to fan our cheeks, such a breeze
as is never felt except upon mountain heights, and steep piles of rock
rose upon our left. The road had shortly before become hard and dry,
and, as it now commenced to descend, we could not doubt the summit of
the pass was reached. Fine trees, however, so closely hemmed us in that
we could see nothing beyond, and not until we were some distance down,
did we come to an opening whence the lower country was visible, with the
Berkshire hills, the river, the city of Hudson directly opposite, and
Kiskatom Round Top lying to our right. We exchanged glances, for we knew
something of the distance signified by this situation of landmarks.
However, there was nothing to be done except to press on, which we did,
down a road at first enchanting, but finally detestable, where it had
been neglected, and had become the rocky bed of a stream then dry. We
could fancy it in the spring, at the melting of the snows, with the wild
water dashing down the steep pathway, and the white foam gleaming and
glittering, as a newly risen Undine, in the sight of the astonished,
far-off beholders.

'Lovely vistas over the rolling lands beneath, and up to the mountains
we were leaving behind, charmed away fatigue, and made the way like
fairyland. Near the first cottage we again sat down to rest and consider
our route. We hoped to find some near wood road leading over the wide
base of the North Mountain into the Mountain House road; but never a
wood road was to be seen. On and on we walked, descending lower and
lower into the valley, and coming nearer and nearer to Kiskatom Round
Top. At a turn in the way we asked a party of carpenters working on a
house, if this was the right route to the Mountain House tollgate. Some
laughed, all stared, and one answered, 'Yes.' On and on we plodded along
a dusty highway, till we reached a house by a brook, with ducks and
geese, a garden filled with autumn flowers, and a pleasant old lady
sitting near the door. She also opened her eyes at our question, and
said the distance to the tollgate was eight miles. Eight miles to the
gate, three thence up the steep mountain, and then again two to the
Laurel House! This, added to the many miles we had already walked, and
the lateness of the hour, was indeed alarming. She added, we might
obtain fuller information at a red farmhouse to be found some distance
on. Again we walked and walked, passing through a wild region, Kiskatom
Round Top continually most provokingly near, the road evidently leading
due east, and sinking lower and lower toward the river. At the end of
two or three miles we reached the red farmhouse, and were glad to rest
in a neat sitting room, with a cheerful woman and two bright, handsome
children. The harvest work being nearly done, the husband was absent on
a day's hunt, but the aged father was soon called in to give us the
desired information. The distance to the tollgate was only two miles,
and while the boy made ready the team to take us over, the honest,
intelligent farmer gave us a few sketches from his life history. His
daughter wished him to don his better coat, but he replied that he had
never been able to think that clothes could make or unmake a gentleman.
He also observed that early adversity had been the greatest boon he had
ever received, as, had he never failed in his city trading projects, he
never would have come to the country, or have enjoyed his present health
and happiness. He was a good patriot, and eagerly asked the latest news
of the war. He had also pleasant reminiscences to relate of a Carolina
Senator, who, with his family, had one summer beneath his roof sought
health and strength under the shadow of the Catskills.

'A lively lad and fleet team soon placed us at the gate, which the stage
from the boat was just passing. The little rest and drive had greatly
invigorated us, and we bravely pushed on to the summit, outstripping the
heavy coach, and reaching the top of the mountain just as the red rays
of the setting sun were flushing the hills with crimson. The hour was
too late to risk the dark path through the wood, and we continued upon
the main highway, making but one deviation down a stony road, and over
Spruce Creek, until we reached the Laurel House, where the twilight was
still lingering, and where we found our friends a little anxious.'

'I do not wonder,' said Aunt Sarah. 'Such vagaries are enough to keep a
whole household in a chronic state of anxiety. And I really cannot see
what you had gained!'

'I have only given you a simple statement of the facts,' replied Elsie;
'to know our feelings by the way, the delight we experienced, all we
learned, including geography and topography, and the life and health we
drank in at every step, you must take that very same walk.'

'More inscrutable mysteries!' returned Aunt Sarah.

'Yes,' said Lucy D----, 'inscrutable, and yet subtilely vivifying as the
breath of their Author, the Great Architect of this glorious universe.'



OUR GOVERNMENT AND THE BLACKS.


All thoughtful minds are profoundly conscious that the problems of war
are not the last and most important to be solved in our national
affairs. It is clear enough that this great convulsion must end; and
end, too, in the total extinction of that stupendous system of iniquity
in the interests of which it was projected. President Lincoln's
Proclamation of emancipation throughout rebeldom, and the recent order
to enlist the slaves throughout the Border States in military service to
the Government, emancipating all thus enlisted, whether slaves of loyal
or disloyal masters, with the certainty that there is to be no cessation
to the grand achievements of our arms short of the completest success,
all conspire to assure us that the dreadful _disorder_ hitherto
consuming our national vitals is to pass finally away in the convulsive
_disease_ of its last throes, so distressing to us all. It being thus
certain that this consecrated crime is to be dismantled, dishonored, and
abandoned forever, the question is forced upon us: 'What is to be done
with the negroes?' Some four millions of human beings, doomed to
remorseless servitude, denied the static force of social law, forbidden
by positive law the rights of education, through which alone are
attained the culture and refinement of real manhood--these are the
'freedmen' just emerging from the most insignificant nonage to the
sublime personality of citizenship in a Government of the people. Such
being practically their attitude, what are the real demands and needs in
the case?

Reputed statesmen, journalists, public speakers, and politicians are all
ready enough to determine the matter. 'Let them alone,' say they. 'They
are needed where they are; and the respective wants of capital and labor
will regulate the intercourse between these simple and uncultured
people and the powerful and shrewd men who henceforth are to buy their
service.' Such, in our humble opinion, is not the wisdom of sound,
healthy statesmanship. Let us see.

We cannot get a complete handling of this matter without first
determining the purpose and character of government as a principle; and
we cannot determine this without a clear understanding of the laws of
the human mind in its historic evolution. We must understand, then, that
government is legitimately only an institution in the service of
universal man. It is subjective, ministerial, instrumental always ways;
_aiming only at the interests of the governed_; else it contains an
element hostile to the Divine order that peacefully directs all
movement, and must therefore be disturbed with a commotion that will
either restore or destroy it.

We may not hereupon assume that government must necessarily assume only
one form; for, being thus subservient to human use, to manly culture, to
complete social state, it must infallibly assume forms precisely
proportioned to the human conditions to which applied; hence, we must
understand the laws of the human mind, which display its _varied_
conditions in the course of its evolution from infancy to manhood,
before we can have a clear, scientific conception of the principles,
operations, and organic forms of human government. Let us, then, inquire
briefly as to these laws.

Hereupon we find the mental conditions of the Grand Man--the human race
at large--precisely analogous to those of the small man--the individual
person. And by exhibiting the mental conditions with principles of
government properly related, which rule in one sphere, we infallibly
present the corresponding conditions and forms in the other sphere.

The human mind, then, is a three-fold form, each fold having its own
distinct character, in consequence of which it is broadly and very
definitely individualized. Childhood, youthhood, and manhood, constitute
this triple form. The slightest consideration will readily confirm one
as to the propriety of this analysis; for, one cannot fail to see that
the distinct characteristics of each are broad and marked, and therefore
necessarily discriminate to any completeness of thought upon this
subject. Childhood is a form of total inexperience and unlimited
dependence. Youthhood is a form of growth from the helplessness of the
child to the strength and completeness of the man; involving the trials
of experimental endeavor, attended with the numerous buffs and rebuffs
so surely the witness of vital efforts toward fulness. Manhood is the
form of fulness, completeness, maturity. It is the form of luscious
juices ultimated in the perfectly rounded and glowing fruitage; juices
that pressed the tender bud into the thousand charms of floral beauty,
and thence moulded and urged the growing form to its crowning
excellence.

Childhood, therefore, is a form in which activities are commanded from
without; as the parent commands the child, knowing that the child's best
interests--the ultimate realization of true, manly freedom--are only to
be realized through such arbitrary tutelage. Youthhood is a form of
rational freedom, wherein the subject's moral freedom is stimulated
under various forms of appeal in behalf of right doing. Here the careful
parent keeps the reins firmly in hand, but still slackens them to allow
the plunging steed to determine his own career; overjoyed if he choose
rightly and make his course with vigor and safety; sad and anxious if
forced to draw rein and urge anew the proper direction. It is evident
that the subject's activities here are partly self-determined or free,
and partly coerced or outwardly imposed.

Manhood is a form that repudiates all methods of external appliances,
scales the bounds of parental dictation, and finds only life's fulness
in a freedom all aglow with the soul's adoration. It knows no law but
that of attraction; feels no impulse but that of love. Its activities
are perfectly free or spontaneous. The human mind thus falling under
this triple order of development, inevitably projects governmental forms
strictly proportioned or related thereto. And this is true regarding any
of its organized forms, from the individual to the human race at large:
hence the infantile condition of a people or a nation demands a
perfectly absolute, arbitrary, or commanding form of government; while
the youthful condition demands a mixed form; wherein the ruled are
partly free or self-determined, and partly subject or directed by the
reigning authority; and the manly condition demands a system of pure
self-government, wherein the law is written on the heart.

It must be borne in mind that government is solely instrumental or
ministerial to human use; being designed to mould and fashion unfolding
human powers to higher and still higher social conditions, tending all
to that perfect ultimate wherein life and law are both spontaneous and
exactly balanced, and nothing detrimental to the dearest interests of
manhood can by possibility exist.

Government, then, of whatever kind, must always be administered with
strict regard for the interests of the governed; and it is the endeavor
to subvert and overcome this legitimate principle of government, through
the mistaken selfishness of ruling powers, which attempt to administer
in behalf of their own lusts and in violation of universal ends, which
has kept and is keeping up now the convulsions that shake and try civil
institutions to their utmost.

The theory or declaratory form of our Government stands out, boldly and
distinctly, as that of the highest order. In theory it is the form
proportionate to full manhood; planting and fostering institutions
tending to promote the free play of all that is great and glorious in
human character. It does not thus far practically realize its theory,
because, without regard to this incongruous system of inhumanity, which,
by its very nature, can find no harmony nor peace in connection, nations
themselves wear the human form, and must, therefore, realize the various
states of infancy, youthfulness, and manhood--of germ, growth, and
fruitage. This is true of whatever national form. Nationalities founded
upon the principles of absolutism, embody and express the same laws and
conditions. Their principle of supreme external authority is first a
condition of germination, then of growth or labored effort toward
maturity, and lastly of fruitage, in which the whole form is matured in
perfectly organic completeness, manifesting despotism in government, in
orderly or scientific proportions.

Our nation, then, has not realized its highest conditions, because it is
as yet only germinal, or the national child-man; or, at best, is but the
vigorous blade, or national youth-man; while the corn, fully ripe in the
ear--the national man-man--is reserved unto the glory of the approaching
future, whose rays already dawn upon us and illustrate the clouds, that
have hitherto hung over us and darkened our way, with the power and
great glory of the coming of the Son of Man.

Let us now try to draw nearer to the mark at which we principally aimed
in projecting this article. We said that the 'let-them-alone' system,
concerning the nation's 'freedmen,' is not the system of sound
statesmanship. Why not? Because they are a people in a state of
infantile weakness and inexperience; whom, from the irrepressible laws
and conditions of the human mind, we _must_ govern and control, either
wisely and beneficently or otherwise. To unloose the chains that have
bound them, and set them adrift to contend and compete under our
methods of individualism or isolated interests, is to doom them to
conditions hardly to be preferred to those from which they are about to
escape. This is certainly true with respect to a large majority. Witness
the state of our weakest white laborers, particularly in all our large
cities, and some few years back. See them by thousands and tens of
thousands imploring for employment, and only too happy if they may find
it at the most repulsive and unwholesome labor, sufficient to stay their
famished frames and adjourn for a time the pangs of hunger and frosts.
Driven in despairing hordes to beggary, prostitution, and crimes of
every kind, how fearfully threatening are the neglected duties and
obligations that confront us in their behalf! What, then, shall we say
to those who propose to swell the frightful tide by turning loose
millions more, weaker and more incompetent, it may be, besides being
subject to the evils of the reigning prejudices against color? No, no;
it must not be done. The Government must become the visible providence
of these weak children. It must organize and direct their efforts and
interests. It must, at least, organize them into industrial legions, and
carefully direct all their educational interests. This work, too, must
assume paternal form. Government is rightfully the foster parent of all
its tender, weak, or by any means incompetent children; and unless it
acknowledge and fulfil its functions as such, it is not Divinely
administered, and stands accountable before Supreme Wisdom for all
remissness. To meet all the demands, an especial commission must be
established, and organized with a completeness that will meet all the
educational and industrial needs of these dependent children. This
commission must have a wise head and _tender heart_. It must be fully
alive to the great issues involved, and must be healthy and vigorous in
its extremities, where will come the immediate points of contact with,
the great power it is to operate--the organized freedmen. The expense of
this commission must not be a tax upon the Government, nor must
Government derive any profit therefrom. Such an organized directory,
with extremities all complete, may be amply paid from the freedmen's
labors; at the same time, those labors being doubly remunerative to
themselves, in consequence of the wise adjustment of the organized
machinery of such a commission. For the weak and uneducated to be in
complete subjection to the stronger and more cultivated is in strict
accordance with the divinest order; only this relation must be that of
dependence and providence, without a taint of selfishness. It must be
humanitary or beneficent in its aims, and not inhuman and malevolent, as
is always the case when the weak are subjected to distinguish,
aggrandize, and enrich those who subject them. That the freedmen may be
organized and directed upon such humane and economical principles and
according to the strictest method and order--an order amounting to
definite science--will be practically demonstrated when the Government,
in the full consciousness of its mission, calls to its aid competent men
for this commission, and moves vigorously in the work. The principles of
government which we have briefly suggested as the basis of movement in
this matter, based upon the laws and consequently applying to the needs
of the human mind, enable us infallibly to estimate the whole relations
of Government and people. Our Government being in its theory the highest
form--the form proportioned to manhood, or the human mind so matured as
to have the intelligence to perceive and the virtue to execute the
right--proceeds, of course, upon the declaration that 'all _men are
created_ free and equal;' but in the only practical sense of free or
self-government, which, in its very nature, can only rest upon the
virtue and intelligence of its subjects, men cannot be regarded as
'created' until they are made whole or complete in the crowning
intelligence and virtue of the loftiest human attributes. But as
government, of whatever kind, follows the laws of the human mind, is
first a germ, then a growth, and then a fruitage--shoot, blade, and
ear--our Government can only realize this greatness and perfection
(unlimited intelligence and virtue) in its matured or organic state;
when the declared principles of its form shall have become livingly
combined or organized in institutions of unlimited excellence and
power--institutions that will perpetually embody and express the exalted
human force that inspired them. That our Government has thus far failed
to exhibit such completeness, only argues that it has heretofore been in
a formative condition--a condition of laborious trial, tuition, and
growth, fitting it to realize ultimately its fullness, wherein it will
stand related to previous conditions as the grand, symmetric beauty of
the ear of grain stands related to its various formative states.

If now our Government is, as we fondly hope, approaching its third
degree, its matured condition, with a race of dependent children
emerging from the lowest condition, that of chattel slavery, it is plain
enough what the relation of these people and the Government should be.
They are simply minors, subjects of the Government, but not a part of
the Government. The right of suffrage is not to be extended to them,
because, from the nature and spirit of the Government, they are
necessarily excluded from the _highest_ prerogatives of citizenship.
Their education and whole training are to proceed with a view to their
becoming ultimately a function in the government.

If the principles thus stated amount to a _science_ of government--and
we unhesitatingly aver that they do--then it is clear enough that
self-government--the highest form--does by no means necessitate, under
all conditions, _universal_ suffrage. In truth, its orderly development
strictly forbids it. A government, founded and only healthily operated
on virtue and intelligence, must apply itself studiously to develop
these conditions in its subjects; thus, and only thus, may these
subjects become a part of the governmental power in its full, harmonious
development. Self-government must recognize the principle of universal
suffrage, because it proceeds upon, and, in its ripest form, must come
to that; but, as it is an operation or analytic before it is an ordered
form or synthetic in its character, it will, while forming or growing,
both restrict the rights of suffrage, and permit its subjects to a part
in government when they are not fully qualified therefor. Our freedmen,
then, are neither to be subjected contrary to the demands of their own
highest good, nor are they to become an element in government in
detriment to the public good. Hence they must not be controlled in _any
form_ of servitude to interested and selfish superiors, nor must they,
by partaking of the elective franchise, become, at present, active
participants in the government.

Our current national history must be regarded as singularly marked by
beneficent Providential design. At the same time that a people hitherto
despised and oppressed are emancipated from a dreadful thraldom, the
conditions attending such emancipation are forcing upon the nation a
system of industrial organization which we trust will not only prove
effective in all that pertains to their future welfare, but will, at the
same time, become the example of an organization that shall emancipate
and enthrone labor everywhere and in all conditions. Seeing thus the
light of day streaming in with unmarred radiance, dispelling every trace
of darkness and gloom, we cannot but thank God for His wise
dispensations, and with renewed hope and energy press onward toward the
glowing east to greet the rising sun.



OUT OF PRISON.

  From crowds that scorn the mounting wings,
   The happy heights of souls serene,
  I wander where the blackbird sings,
  And over bubbling, shadowy springs,
   The beech-leaves cluster, young and green.

  I know the forest's changeful tongue
   That talketh all the day with me:
  I trill in every bobolink's song,
  And every brooklet bears along
   My greeting to the chainless sea!

  The loud wind laughs, the low wind broods;
   There is no sorrow in the strain!
  Of all the voices of the woods,
  That haunt these houseless solitudes,
   Not one has any tone of pain.

  In merry round my days run free,
   With slender thought for worldly things:
  A little toil sufficeth me;
  I live the life of bird and bee,
   Nor fret for what the morrow brings.

  Nor care, nor age, nor grief have I,
   Only a measureless content!
  So time may creep, or time may fly;
  _I_ reck not how the years go by,
   With Nature's youth forever blent.

  They beckon me by day, by night,
   The bodiless elves that round me play!
  I soar and sail from height to height;
  No mortal, but a thing of light
   As free from earthly clog as they.

  But when my feet, unwilling, tread
   The crowded walks of busy men,
  Their walls that close above my head
  Beat down my buoyant wings outspread,
   And I am but a man again.

  My pulses spurn the narrow bound!
   The cold, hard glances give me pain!
  I long for wild, unmeasured ground,
  Free winds that wake the leaves to sound,
   Low rustles of the summer rain!

  My senses loathe their living death--
   The coffined garb the city wears!
  I draw through sighs my heavy breath,
  And pine till lengths of wood and heath
   Blow over me their endless airs!



LIES, AND HOW TO KILL THEM.

     'I said, in my haste, all men are liars.'--KING DAVID.

     'Ye said it in your _haste_, did ye, David? Hech, mon, were ye
      leevin now, ye might say it at your _leisure_.'--DOMINIE
      McPHAIL.

The Dominie was right. It's a lying world. It does not improve with age
either. The habit has become chronic, and the worst of all is, that the
world has told some lies so often, that it actually now believes them
itself. The wretched family propagates, too, at a terrible rate. Lies
breed, like other vermin, rapidly, and they are not at all modest about
intruding in any company.

I meet them in the gossiping circle, and I meet them in the courts of
justice. I find lies in politics and lies in religion, lies in the
pulpit, 'nail't wi' Scripture,' lies in the counting room railed with
false entries, religious lies, told by Deacon Longface, for the
advancement of what the Deacon calls 'the gospel,' and irreligious lies
told by Bill Snooks, and clenched with an oath, lies in good books, and
lies in bad ones, lies written, and printed in the newspapers, and lies
whispered in the ear, and any number of lies sent by telegraph! And
then, there's the walking lies, going about on two legs, saying what
they do not believe, professing what they do not feel, the most
scandalous sort of lies extant.

I meet them often, too, in 'the best society.' They are very impudent,
you know. I suppose they force their presence on people. At all events,
I know I find them in respectable company, and they seem quite at home
there.

My friend Jones has just built what the newspapers call 'an elegant
mansion.' I was invited to the house-warming. Mrs. Jones's set is very
exclusive, and I was greatly complimented, of course. I went. Jones has
taste. I noticed the plaster walls. Jones had them colored to marble.
The wainscoting of the library was pine, but the pine lied itself into a
passable walnut. The folding doors of the parlor were pine, too, when I
came near. They pretended to be solid oak while I stood at the other end
of the room. Jones had succumbed to the demands of his time, and had
made his dwelling among lies. His 'elegant mansion' was a big, staring
lie from top to bottom. From the plated door-knob to the grained railing
round the garret stairs, he had 'made lies his refuge.' I was bewildered
that evening. It was impossible to say what was real. Miss Seraphina
Jones had a lovely color. Was it _done_ like the folding doors? Mrs.
Smythe had the whitest of teeth when she smiled. Were they only a
pretence at teeth? Mrs. Robinson had beautiful masses of that chestnut
hair around her handsome neck. The bewildering 'mansion' of my friend
made me half doubt even that splendid hair. Tom Harris's magnificent
whiskers, I _knew_, were not colored by fancy to that depth of darkness.
At last I actually began to doubt the sincerity of everybody present.
Their warm expressions of delight with Jones's new house, their pleasure
in each other's society, their earnest inquiries after each other's
welfare, all began to affect me with a sense of unreality, owing to that
masquerading 'mansion.' I began to think, in such a house, there might
be more shams than the marbled plaster or the grained pine.

Jones's church is not better. I occupied a seat in his 'eligible pew'
last Sunday. The lath and plaster walls pretended to be Caen stone. The
cheap deal was all 'make-believe' oak. The brick pillars were 'blocked
off,' and unblushingly claimed to be granite. As I entered, I observed
that the pulpit stood under the arch of a recess, roofed with carved
stone, with clustered columns rising on the sides and spreading into
graceful arches overhead. As I walked up the broad aisle, the recess
shifted strangely, and the clustered columns of 'carven stone' ran in
and out, at hide and seek. At last the truth flashed on me. The chancel
was only painted on the flat rear wall of the building! I don't know
what the sermon was about. It doesn't matter. How _could_ a man preach
truth, framed in such a staring lie? I have no doubt he tried to, for, I
believe, he is an excellent man; but what a place to put him, Sunday
after Sunday, with that painted cheat behind him, mocking all he says!

But lies are venerable as well as respectable. There are old, gray lies
that men half worship. The more toothless and drivelling, often the more
venerable. They have imposed their solemn emptiness on men for
generations. They have awed the souls of the fathers. They make the
children tremble. Men chant their praises, call them great names, and
tell each other the old scarecrows are better than any truths--they are
so ancient, so venerable, you see; and all the old women, male and
female, believe them.

Then, there are powerful lies. Think on the wars men have fought for
lies, on the millions of followers lies have had--how from their lofty
seats they govern empires, convulse continents, and drive patient
nations mad. Think on the money they have made, the mouths they have
filled, the backs they have warmed, the houses they have built, the
reputations they have created, the systems they have propped, the books
they have sent out, the presses they have kept busy. Think of the
Donation of Constantine, the Forged Decretals, the South Sea Scheme, the
Mississippi Bubble, of Wild Cat Banks, and Joyce Heth! He is certainly a
bold man who will rashly measure his strength with this mighty family.

As the world goes, the Father of Lies crowns himself and claims the
sovereignty. 'All these things will I give thee'--riches, honor, power.
It is the old Temptation of the Desert forever repeated. He lies when he
makes the offer. They were never his to give. But it's a lying world.
There are millions of us cheated. They take the old scoundrel at his
word.

You and I, reader, do not, let us hope. We agree in believing that,
under any circumstances, lies are not good; that, at all times, they are
unsafe, unwholesome, and in every way bad, very bad; that, on the whole,
it is not safe to trust them, or go with them. That is a good creed. It
appears to me the only creed, on this subject, that will stand.

For this is, after all, a very solemn sort of life. It has a very
serious ending. A great universe whirls away with its ebon-faced
mysteries piled from central caves to highest heavens--a universe, with
all its mysteries, of hardest reality and baldest truth. A man, looking
up to the cold, clear, unswerving stars, out yonder in the wintry night,
or down at the grave that lies, somewhere, for the digging across his
path, must feel that a lie for him, knowing his place, knowing himself,
that a lie for him is accursed.

We want the truth always--clear-eyed, sharp-cut, marble-faced truth. We
want to know the facts and realities of our position, just as they are.
The mariner sails away into the lonely sea. The mystery of the
unfathomed deep sways miles down beneath his passing keel. The mystery
of the overarching heavens swims far above with mazy constellation and
revolving sphere. Between the mystery of the sky and the mystery of the
sea he steers right on, in calm and tempest confident, in night and
noonday secure. For he there, on the trackless wastes that girdle in the
great wide world, alone with the silence of Nature and God, _knows_ the
facts of his position, the realities of his place. The charts lie spread
before him. Island, continent, lone sea-rock, hidden shoal, they are all
mapped to his eye. The faithful needle points due north. The true sun
rises where he always has. The faithful, changeless stars look down at
midnight. The truth saves him, rocked in the arms of the wild sea. The
reality holds him secure. Ask him, looking out, in the night watch, over
the black sea and up to the inky deeps, and down to the dim-lighted
compass before him, ask him his opinion of _a lie_! What his honest
notion may be about a false light on yonder headland, a false latitude
on his chart for this island or that shoal, a mistaken measurement of
depth across this bay or through yonder straits! Ask him the nature and
effects of _a lie_ in the chart he sails by!

And we are all sailors. We want true charts. The false chart is our
ruin. The false beacon on the headland is kindled by the fiends. It
leads to death--a wreck-strewn sea, dashing white up the black cliffs,
and bubbling cries, rising above the tempest's roar and the surges'
boom, as, one by one, the swimmers sink to darkness through the foam!

Nay, for us, sailors over life's seas, sailors into eternity's dimness,
the lie wears its Father's likeness. And the liar, the man who makes a
lie, or helps a lie to success, a lie of word or deed, a lying boast
merely, or a bad, vile, lying system, is my enemy, your enemy,
humanity's enemy. He has deserted God's army, has denied his human
brotherhood so far, has gone over, soul and body, to Satan. He is God's
enemy and man's thenceforward.

That, I say, is, I trust, our creed about lies and liars too. We know
where the lie comes from. We know whither it tends. We have made up our
minds that it, and all its belonging, were best swept clean away and
pitched into the Big Fire. Blessed be the man, we say, who successfully
kills lies! He is a man to be honored and loved, no matter how rough he
is in the process. It is never very smooth business. It is not a thing
that can be well done in gloves. Let us not quarrel with how the
champion does it. The main end is to get the lies well choked somehow.

But the one great difficulty in the way of such a man is, that so many
people believe in lies. My eager young friend, Philalethes, supposes
that, if he can only expose this falsehood, show up this sham, or sound
the emptiness of this piece of cant or pretence, he will do the state
some service, that men will thank him and call him benefactor. He does
the work, and lo! to his amazement, many excellent men count him their
deadly enemy.

These good souls see what he sees, that lies, and shams, and cheats in
business, in science, in politics, in religion, in social life, are
often very successful and very powerful, and they come to _their_
conclusion, which is not his by a great deal. He thinks the lie ought to
be hated, with a hatred the more intense because of its success. They
conclude that lies, in this world at least, are necessary. They have
seen, with their own eyes, how powerful, venerable, or respectable lies
are, and they act on their knowledge. They take the lie into sleeping
partnership--Quirk and _Co_.

There are men who do not believe plain truth can walk alone in this
world. She needs a pair of lies for crutches! Men will actually write
and print lies for the truth's sake. Men have piously written down and
copyrighted lies (I have their books on my shelves) for the sake of
religion! They have so little faith in God, they think they must wheedle
Satan over on His side, or the truth and the right will fail. It is very
easy to believe in God for the other world, but very hard to believe in
Him for this. He will be omnipotent lord and master there, but here,
now, in this bewildering world, in this confused and wretched time,
where wrong seems so prosperous and lies so strong, is He omnipotent
here? Hereaway, is not the Devil mightier? Can we get along without a
little of his help?

Now lies can never end till this ends. While men think them necessary to
truth, in business, in politics, in social order, even in religion, they
will stand. People must be got to see that they are evil, that under no
circumstances can they be anything else, that there can be no alliance
between truth and falsehood, that the false thing must, in the end, be
the corrupting thing, Satanic and vile utterly. They must know that,
just so far as anything is incorporate with a lie, so far is it foul to
the nostrils of all angels, and ought to be to the nostrils of all men.

Weave a lie into your social polity. It may prosper for a while, but
soon or late your social polity runs mad. Take a lie into your business,
as sleeping partner, try to live and prosper in that connection, and,
some time, you and your business will go to the dogs together. Adopt a
lie in your religion, make up your mind, piously as you think, to
believe what you do not believe and cannot believe, attempt to sanctify
falsehood and lie yourself into a faith, and your sham creed and your
lying religion will do you no good in this world or in the other.

Because a lie is a respectable lie, believed and patronized by
respectable people, shall you respect it? Because some venerable sham
has imposed its emptiness on a score of generations, shall we go on
reverencing it, and pass the scarecrow and its trumpery trappings on for
the reverence of our children? Shall we, for any cause, that is, turn
liars ourselves, and use the tongues God gave us to speak honest truth
and simple meaning with, to deceive, in small matter or great, one human
brother of ours, and make him think Satan's black lie as good as the
Lord's white truth?

It may be strong preaching, but how can one help it? Never yet did a
true-hearted, clear-headed reformer set to work to clear away some old
cankering sore of falsehood from a people's life that he did not meet
with opposition. And never yet did that opposition come from those who
loved the lie for the lie's sake or the bad for the bad's sake. It came
from those who love Truth, but who could not trust her, who loved Good,
but had no faith in its success, who wanted to see the right side
triumph, but had no confidence in the right--who really believed, that
is to say, that Satan was almighty and the Lord's cause could not
prosper, in this world at least, without his help! The opposition came
from those who would deal gently with respectable lies, not because they
are lies, but because they are respectable; who trembled before powerful
lies, not because they were lies, but because they were powerful; who,
seeing shams and cheats so prosperous, so venerable, so strong, got the
notion into their poor cowardly hearts that they are strongest, and
wanted the reformer to come humbly, cap in hand, and ask them to let a
little truth live, a little modest, humble, unaggressive truth--it will
be very orderly, very quiet, very deferential, if they, the powerful,
the venerable, the respectable lies will let it stay here, in some
corner, out of charity!

These are the men who, in all ages, have built barriers against heaven,
the cowards, the faithless, the unbelieving. They dare not trust truth
because it is truth, and good because it is good, leaving consequences
with Him whose special business it is to take care of consequences. No,
it is not love for the lie, but want of faith in the truth, that blocks
the chariot wheels of the golden year.

For men do not love the lie after all. There's comfort in that. They do
not like being cheated. They never get quite used to it, as, they say,
eels do to skinning. They sometimes turn on the man, or the system, that
tries it on them, in a very terrible and savage manner, with fury as of
a mad lion, and take swift, fearful vengeance. The big, dumb heart of
humanity, in the long, run, can be trusted. It is often imposed upon,
its blind trust shamefully abused. Scoundrels exist and prosper on its
patience and credulity. But only for a time. There is a reckoning for
all such deceptions, if need be, in blood and fire. The dull heart
throbs, the dull eyes open, the great brain stirs in its sleep, and
humanity, true to its origin, rises to crush the lie with its million
arms of power. And earth-born Briareus, when his thousand hands turn to
right his wrongs, is not delicate in their handling. The echoes of a
French Revolution will ring for some generations yet.

The man who turns to combat error needs the assurance of the true
instincts of his race, for he enters on a task that must seem hopeless
often.

  'Truth crushed to earth will rise again;'

so Mr. Bryant tells him, and he is much obliged to Mr. Bryant. But will
not error do just the same? He killed a lie yesterday, and buried it
decently. He finds it alive again and prosperous to-day. Cut a man's
head off, and he dies. There's no help for it, unless he is a St. Denis,
and then he can only take a walk with his head in his hand. But, if he
is not a St. Denis, he dies. That is the law. Cut the head off a lie, it
does not die at all. It rather seems to enjoy the operation. You will
meet it, like fifty St. Denises, on every morning walk, during your
lifetime. They have a marvellous vitality. I meet lies every day that,
to my certain knowledge, were put to death a hundred years ago, by
master hands at the business, too. They ought, in decency at least, to
look like pale ghosts 'revisiting the glimpses of the moon,' but they
don't. They are smug, comfortable, and somewhat portly, as from good,
solid living.

Now this is discouraging somewhat. But there is no good in shutting
one's eyes to the fact. That is what I am going against. It is best to
know that lies die hard. They will bear at least as many killings as a
cat, and that's _nine_. Still, much depends upon the manner of the
operation. How is it best performed? Knowledge is needed in all
pursuits. There is a science undoubtedly in killing lies. If you wish to
go into the business, and I trust most honest men do, you need to study
it somewhat. Otherwise you will waste much effort, and get few results.
It is not easy to kill one wolf with a stick, but, call science to your
aid, and an ounce of strychnine, well administered, will do the business
for a pack. Instead of going into a rough-and-tumble fight with some
coarse, rude, vile lie, and mauling it to death by sheer force of
muscle, it is better to use science and put it to death neatly, cleanly,
and delicately, with unsoiled hands. Let us see if we can find the
science of killing lies.

'The greater the lie the greater the truth.' Take that with you. A lie
must, somewhere, have a truth to prop it. In the heart of every big
successful lie you will find some reality. Of course you cannot build a
house on _nothing_. A pyramid cannot be constructed in the air. Now a
lie is _nothing_, the very definition of nothing. It is what _is not_.
So, of course, no pure and simple lie exists. It always builds itself on
some truth. It always roots itself into some fact. And there is the
secret of its vitality. You batter the lie with your logic, but the
blows rebound from the iron truth beneath. You assail it with the
flashing darts of your rhetoric, the points fly harmless from the marble
reality below. There is truth there somewhere. That is why your rhetoric
and your logic fail. That, too, is why one so often sees that most
bewildering and despairing sight, men clinging to a lie, honoring it,
trusting it, defending it, in all sincerity, against all assailants. It
is not the lie they defend, but the truth in the lie. What a relief it
was when I first made that discovery! I was ready to think meanly of my
kind, to distrust humanity's instincts for truth. The lookout was on
despair. But, when I understood the nature of the lie, I learned to
think better of my brethren, I learned to have more hope in their Maker.
No, there is no building on nothing. Every lie has a substratum of
truth. In fact, look closer, and is not a lie only a distorted truth?--a
truth torn from its connections, its features twisted out of all
symmetry, its outlines battered out of all shape?

A man tells a true story to-day, in the hearing of one who has this
distorting power, an essentially untrue soul. He hears the same story
to-morrow, the very same, but so deformed, so mangled, so patched, that
it is, now, every inch a lie--the truth gone crazy. That is, a truth
half told is a lie, a truth added to is a lie, a truth distorted is a
lie, a truth with its due proportions changed is a lie. And a lie may
always be defined as a lame, deformed, or crazy truth.

And it is the truth in the lie that gives it its power, that makes
honest men so often accept, love, and help it. Their conscious design is
to work for the truth's sake. It is the truth in the lie that makes so
many logic shafts, so many rhetoric arrows glance off, as from the hide
of a rhinoceros.

And the bigger the lie the bigger also the truth. That is another bit of
science. If Mrs. Tattle tells Mrs. Tittle a lie about Mrs. Jenkins, she
knows very well Mrs. Tittle will not believe her unless her lie has some
spice of fact to go on, unless it has _vraisemblance_, truth-likeness,
an appearance of foundation at least. Mean little lies, like those she
sets going, do not need much salt of truth to keep them from spoiling;
still they require their due modicum, and they usually have it. As for
instance, she says, with a long face, to Mrs. Tittle: 'Mrs. Jenkins, the
widow Jenkins, you know, it's _awful_. She went over to Pinkins's last
evening; I saw her go, and I do believe she stayed till twelve, and Mrs.
Pinkins is away, you know. Isn't it terrible?' and she raises her eyes
in pious horror at the depravity of the world, and of handsome young
widows in particular. That is the _lie_. Now here is the _truth_. Mrs.
Jenkins _did_ go across the way to Pinkins's, because one of his little
ones was suddenly taken with some baby ailment, and the poor fellow, in
his wife's absence, was scared out of his few wits in consequence. He
sent for the kind-hearted widow, and begged her help for Johnny. She
came, nursed the young scamp like a mother, and returned at nine, with
her conscience glowing under the performance of a kindly and neighborly
act.

Now, without this much of truth, the amiable Mrs. Tattle would never
have manufactured this particular lie. All liars understand the
principle. They scarcely ever, until they become blind and stupid liars,
invent a falsehood out of mere fancy. They pay tribute to humanity's
instinct for truth so far as to tell as much of it as possible without
ceasing to lie. They get in as great an amount of truth as convenient,
to save their lie from swift, sure death.

But a rousing big lie!--not one of these small neighborhood affairs,
that buzz about like wasps in every community--but a grand and
magnificent lie, imposed on a nation, imposed maybe on half a world,
must have a corresponding truth to make it prosper. It takes less salt
to cure the small pig, more to cure the large hog. So, the greater the
weight of dead lie, the greater the amount required of preserving truth.

Mohammed imposed a lie on half a continent. That lie has lived and, in
some sort, prospered to this day. All sorts of babblement have been
written and spoken about that wonderful fact. The truth is, Mohammed's
great lie was founded on, and propagated with, an equally great truth, a
truth amply sufficient to carry it. In the midst of abominable idolatry,
of stupid polytheism, Mohammed proclaimed: 'There is no God but God!'
His wild and foolish fictions were based on that grand, unalterable
truth. That truth is big enough to bear up more lies than even he
ventured to cover it with. The human heart leaped up to grasp the great
fact that props the Universe--'GOD IS!'--and, in its love for that,
accepted also the falsehoods woven into its proclamation.

In all the universe the evil roots itself into the good. Evil never has
an independent life. Like an idol, 'it is nothing in the world.' An evil
nature is a good nature, only turned from its aim. Death exists only
because there is life. Disease feeds on rosy health. Devils are, by
nature, angels. The foulest fiend is only the loftiest seraph spoiled.
The evil is always a parasite. All things were made 'very good.' An evil
thing is only one of those good things corrupted. The lie, therefore,
grows out of the truth. The clearest heaven's truth, half told,
distorted, patched upon, is the vilest lie thenceforth.

Now, when one wants to kill lies successfully, he must remember all
this. He may turn, as many have done, to the work of proving
Mohammedanism a cheat. He sees it is. He wants to get others to see it.
He brings his logic artillery and the rifle brigades of his flashing
rhetoric to the battle. But, let him not be surprised if his heavy shot
is powdered, and his Minié bullets glance harmless, as from a Monitor's
turret, for beneath lies the iron truth that 'God is God,' and that
saves the lie that 'Mohammed is His prophet.' He is not to rush, like a
madman, at the lie, and try to maul it to death by sheer force of arm
and hand. There is a hard truth beneath it, and he will only lame his
knuckles. Let him go at the thing scientifically. They say of slander,
which is one kind of lie, that, if left alone, it will sting itself to
death. It is so somewhat with all falsehood. One should pay less
attention to the lie and more to the truth. And the best way to destroy
the false is to teach simply the true, and leave the false no room to
stand on.

It is possible to destroy one lie by another. They are cannibals, and
eat each other. Voltaire tried to conquer the lie of a corrupt church by
establishing the greater lie of the denial of any church. That is a very
unfortunate process, and yet it is common enough. The best way is to set
out the truth, plain, and simple, and whole, and so kill lies in flocks.
Positive teaching will be found the most effective teaching. The man who
takes up the business of combating error, may originate quite as many
errors as he destroys. There are a hundred prominent examples. Negative
teaching is barren business at best. Better show what _is_ the truth
than worry oneself to show what is _not_ it.

For, as I have shown, all lies have some truth in them. That is why they
kick, and struggle, and die so hard. Now, take the truth, tear away the
lies patched about it, tell it all, and you have quenched that
particular lie that worried you, do you not see? and every lie that
roots itself in that given truth, or lives on its distortion. Declare
your one truth convincingly, clearly, warmly as if you loved it, and the
work is done. All that does not agree with that is, of course, false,
without further breath wasted.

I might spend one day in proving that two and three are not four,
another in proving that nine and six are not four, and so on _ad
infinitum_. How much more sensible to prove that two and two are four,
and so end the thing! How much simpler to show what is the truth than,
laboriously, to expose the claims of a thousand pretenders that are
_not_ it! Here are five hundred John Smiths. They each pretend to be
_our_ John, the man we know and esteem so highly. I could set to work
with infinite labor, and, by having commissions appointed all over the
world to take evidence, and by employing a hundred or so of my friends
the lawyers, I might, after a lifetime of investigation, prove the
negative, that four hundred and ninety-nine of them are not John. But
how much easier to walk out the real John at once, prove the positive,
and let the rest pack! By proving that one truth, you see, I kill four
hundred and ninety-nine lies--a good day's work that.

There is altogether too much of this negative style in all our defences
of truth, too much attempt to destroy what is wrong, and too little to
build what is right. And, after all, the business of the destructive,
though many times very necessary and very useful, is not the highest
style of work. You are never sure of your ground till, on the ruins of
the towers of injustice and wrong, you erect the fortresses of justice
and right.

The wise way is to let truth fight her own battles. She will render a
good account of all her foes. Our humble duty is to stand by her, merely
as seconds in the strife, to help her to her feet should she fall, to
burnish her armor if the rust come to dim its brightness or spoil the
keenness of her weapon's edge, knowing that she, as with the sword of
the cherubim, will scatter, at the last, the evil legions and their dark
array, as the whirlwind scatters the chaff.

I have written of a war that, as far as this world is concerned, is
endless. As long as the world exists lies will exist. Truths will always
be half told, half learned, half understood. The man who girds himself
to do battle with falsehood and wrong should understand that 'there is
no discharge in this war.' It will last his life out. He must accept the
inevitable condition of his place, and must be content to do his best,
hopefully and bravely, in this world-work, though he surely know that it
shall be said of him, as of those faithful ones who saw only in vision
the coming Christ: 'These all died in hope, not having obtained the
promise.' I have attempted here some hints for the truth-lover. I warn
him, on the start, that his work is endless, his discouragements many
and great. Often and often it will seem that the evil is omnipotent, the
false all-conquering. Again and again his heart must sink in half
despair before the world's triumphant wrongs, before its overwhelming
lies. In many a dark time the heavens will seem brass and the earth
iron, and the evil victorious over all. He must be prepared for this.
There is no good in cheating men with false hopes. In a world that
crowns its saviors with thorns, such things are, and it is just as well
to know it.

But there are encouragements too. The conviction is perennial among men,
that, on the whole, the false must go down. That is one strong
encouragement. This is another, that, after all, men are truth-lovers.
The true instincts of the race will give themselves voice some time, and
when they speak they shake the world. On the whole, they are for the
right thing and the true thing. All history, I believe, will bear them
that testimony.

But the great encouragement is, that the Lord is King, that a true God
owns creation, that He is on the side of truth, and armed against every
lie. I think, between ourselves, that is encouragement enough. The side
that Jehovah is on is a pretty strong side, no matter who is on the
other. In the long run it will be the safe side, and the successful
side.



WAS HE SUCCESSFUL?

_PART THE LAST._

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

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


CHAPTER X.

The reader must imagine a lapse of five years.

Hiram Meeker sits by an open window of his front parlor. It is the first
week in June; and, although early in the afternoon, the avenue is
beginning to be thronged with the fashionable world.

Hiram sits, idly regarding the passers by. If you observe particularly,
you will perceive that the chair in which he is sitting is of a peculiar
construction. It is made so as to be wheeled from one point to another,
without disturbing the occupant.

If you regard his countenance with a little more scrutiny, you will find
it greatly changed. There is no longer that firm texture of the skin
which indicates the vigor of health, and which shows that the muscles
are under full control. One side of the face is a very little out of
shape; not enough, however, to affect the appearance of the mouth, and
probably not to interfere with articulation.

       *       *       *       *       *

Reader, the 'evil days' have come to Hiram. They _have_ come, but, as
one might say, gently, without aggravating circumstances or attending
misfortunes. Still, the evil days have come. The 'years,' too, draw nigh
when he shall have no pleasure in them.

It is a twelvemonth now since the fatal, long-dreaded _paralysis_ came.
The stroke was a mild one, but there it was. All that care, and
forethought, and the best medical advice could accomplish, had been put
in requisition, and not without effect; but the millionnaire could not
neglect his vast interests, nor fail to mature plans which his fertile
brain originated.

The machine gave occasional token of the wear and tear to which it was
subjected. Then Hiram would intermit his labor; would ride farther and
sharper of a morning; would subject himself to an extra amount of
friction. Presently the brain would work bravely on again, as of yore,
just the same--exactly the same. Hiram could perceive no
difference--none. Then would come another premonitory symptom, which
would be followed by other extra rides and various new courses of
treatment, till all worked well again. During these periods, Doctor
Frank, under whose charge Hiram had at length placed himself, would urge
on his brother the necessity of some relief from his self-imposed
labors. But, as I have intimated, the advice was heeded only while
danger was apparent.

When the fearful visitor _did_ appear, Hiram bitterly regretted tasking
his brain so severely. He was now quite willing to obey every injunction
and follow every suggestion of his physician.

To this is owing his present comfortable state and tolerable degree of
health. But privately let me tell you that he is failing--not fast, but
gradually, surely failing.

       *       *       *       *       *

Let us return to the window.

Mrs. Meeker's carriage is at the door. In a few moments Arabella herself
comes out and enters it, and drives away. Positively she does not appear
in the least changed since we last saw her. In fact, her health was
never so good as at present.

'She will outlive me,' mutters Hiram--'she will outlive me, though she
is more than two years older than I am. Let me see, from April to
November is seven months. Yes, it is nearer three years than two. She
will outlive me, though.

'I say, Williams!'

'Yes, sir.'

'Williams, have you heard how Mr. Hill is to-day? I am told he is not
expected to live.'

'No more he wasn't sir; but I met his man this morning, at market, and
he says as how Mr. Hill is very much better, sir, very much better.'

'Humph!

'Williams, who was that young man I saw come to the door this morning?'

'I really couldn't say, sir--I didn't know of any, sir--oh, now I
recollect, sir: it was a messenger from the Doctor, sir, with the new
friction gloves.'

'Humph!--

'You understand, Williams, if _that_ young man ever comes near the
house--you know who I mean--I say, you--you understand what I told you?'

'Oh, yes, sir--certainly, sir.'

'That will do, Williams.--Hill is getting better, is he?' pursues Hiram
to himself. 'Let me see--Hill must be at least four years older than I.
Yes, I recollect perfectly when he was at Joslin's, the time I came down
from Burnsville. Why, I was a mere boy, then, and Hill--Hill was a young
man of five-and-twenty. Yes, I recollect perfectly'--and Hiram smiled,
as if his encounter with Joslin and his clerk was fresh in his mind. 'So
Hill is better to-day,' he continued. 'He will outlive me too. Yet he is
certainly four years older--four years older.'

       *       *       *       *       *

There may be some of my readers who have taken sufficient interest in
'that scapegrace Hill' to wish to know something about him during these
last thirty years.

I will say, therefore, that when Hiram jilted Emma Tenant, Hill took a
perfect disgust toward him. He presently quit drinking and swearing, and
married a pretty--indeed, a very charming--rosy-cheeked girl, whose only
fault was, as he said, that she was foolish enough to love him. This
girl was the daughter of his landlady, and not worth a penny--in money.
Till Hiram's 'affair' with Emma Tenant, he had exercised sufficient
influence over Hill to prevent his committing himself. That resulted in
Hill's throwing off the yoke, and announcing his independence. Hill was
no fool. The fact is, Hiram, to a certain extent, was in his power. The
parties never quarrelled. But all accounts were closed between them the
following season. I am constrained to add Hill continued in the liquor
business, in which he amassed a pretty large fortune. He was afterward
made President of the Globe Bank, one of the largest in the city, as all
know, which office he continues to hold. He has proved a good husband, a
kind father, and a useful member of society. The phrase is a stereotyped
one, but it is true of Hill.

       *       *       *       *       *

Leaving Hiram Meeker to pursue his soliloquy, I will endeavor to put the
reader in possession of such facts as may be necessary for the better
understanding of the narrative, and the present situation of affairs in
Hiram's own house.

After the departure of Belle, I remarked that Hiram was busily engaged
for more than a week in preparing his will. With the defection of his
son and the elopement of his favorite daughter, Hiram's ideas took a new
and distinctive turn.

He at one time had considerable pride in the idea of building up the
family name in his children, 'even unto his children's children.' This
he thought a laudable ambition, since he found the phrase in Scripture.
But when Belle deserted him, and he found himself not only forsaken but
duped, his feelings underwent an entire change.

When Harriet, in her anxiety to induce her father to bring back her
sister, said, 'Give her my share--I shall not require it,' there was
stirred in Hiram's heart the old demon of Calculation and
Acquisitiveness. It seemed as if something had been saved to him by
Harriet's untimely departure from the world. It is difficult fully to
understand this, since, while he lived, certainly he would retain
control of all his property; and after his death, what could it avail
him? Nevertheless, I but recount the simple truth.

That night he conceived the idea of a magnificent disposition of his
vast estate, to take place on his decease. Now he began to regard his
afflictions in a providential light. These were chastenings, at present
not joyous but grievous; but they would work out for him a more eternal
weight of glory.

The consequence was, that by his will be founded three distinct public
institutions, all bearing his name; and prepared, at the same time,
minute directions how to carry his bequests into effect. These
institutions were not what are called charitable, neither did their
establishment indicate a heart easily touched by human misfortune. They
were calculated, however, to adorn and ornament the city, and to blazon
forth _H. Meeker_ to the world so long as they stood.

One thing threatened to interfere with Hiram's arrangements. His wife
would have a right of dower in all his real estate, in case she survived
him. This annoyed Hiram greatly.

He got along with the matter in a business way. Arabella herself was
called in. Hiram announced, in general terms, what he proposed to do,
and suggested that he was ready to leave her a sum certain, provided she
would relinquish her rights in the real estate.

Under ordinary circumstances Arabella would have been indignant; but her
thoughts were of her son, now a wanderer from his home. She was
tolerably familiar with the laws which regulate property. She knew if
she insisted on her dower, which she had a right to do, that however
affluent she would be while she lived, she would have nothing to leave
her child. She did not give Belle a thought.

After a good deal of haggling, it was agreed that Hiram should give her
by his will three hundred thousand dollars (just about the sum, by the
way, she brought her husband), together with the household furniture,
plate, horses, carriages, and so forth, and the use of the house during
her life.

This settled, Hiram was left free to follow out his ambitious plans for
raising a monument to--himself.

These occupy him entirely. So much so, that he has no time to look
forward to the great future which cannot now be very far off to him.
Indeed, strange as one may think, although Hiram feels well assured of
his title to the kingdom, he _thinks_ very little about it; neither does
the prospect give him the least satisfaction.

       *       *       *       *       *

Meanwhile, where is Harriet? What has become of Belle! How did Gus turn
out?

Harriet survived longer than one would have imagined, considering the
progress disease had made when we first became acquainted with her.
While she lived, she could not fail to impart her influence--the
influence of a gentle and a chastened spirit--over the whole household.

I have already intimated that there was a new tie between her and her
mother--the worldly minded and fashionable Arabella. It was in the
interest which both felt in Gus. It seemed to be the chief object of
Harriet in living, to bring back her brother to his home, and to see him
in the right path. The mother longed to bring about the same thing, but
probably for very different reasons from those which actuated the dying
girl. But here their sympathies met, and they could act in concert. Gus
had always been sensibly alive to Harriet's regard for him. He loved her
with real affection; and when, in a foreign land, he read her letters,
fraught with the strongest expressions of love and sympathy, and filled
with the most earnest appeals from his 'dying sister, whose every breath
was a prayer for him,' it was impossible for his nature to resist.

In a few months, Gus had taken his resolution. He abhorred trade. His
four years in college were not altogether lost on him. He felt quite
sure that his father would never relent. He believed he discovered in
himself a taste for the medical profession. So, after a short period,
Gus established himself in a very quiet way in Paris, and became a very
persevering and devoted student. His mother, of course, managed to keep
him in funds; but his drafts on her were very moderate. His reformation
seemed complete.

After devoting about eighteen months to the study of medicine abroad, he
returned to New York. This was the season before Harriet died. He said
he could not endure the idea of her passing out of the world without his
seeing her again, and telling her what was in his heart.

Hiram all this time remained, or professed to remain, profoundly
ignorant of what was going on. He continued to speak of his 'reprobate
son,' among his acquaintances in the church. The least attempt on
Harriet's part to introduce the forbidden subject was met by the most
stern repulse.

But Gus came back. He was obliged to enter his own home stealthily and
in secret, where he deserved to be welcomed back in honor and with
reward. But he came. What was the joy, the intense satisfaction of
Harriet, to see him again! And Arabella--it was a strange sight indeed
to see _her_ give way to any real emotion.

Perhaps, before this, you have guessed that Doctor Frank has had
something to do with Gus's return. He has had a great deal to do with
it. Doctor Frank is an old man. He has no boys--living. He wants Gus to
live with him. He will give him the benefit of his large experience, and
Gus in return will relieve the doctor of much of the hard work which is
constantly accumulating. This is Doctor Frank's plan. It has been
carried out, and Gus is now 'the young doctor.' Bravo Gus! God bless
you!

       *       *       *       *       *

Poor Belle!

At the end of a single year, she was obliged to quit her husband. Quit
her husband, did I say? I mean that her husband quitted her. After
spending a few weeks in travelling, the two set off for Europe; and,
going to Paris, they gave themselves up to the enjoyment of the gay
scenes which this remarkable city affords.

'When the ocean shall be between us, papa will no longer hold out--I
know he will not.'

So Belle said to her husband. But Belle was mistaken. Months passed, and
destitution stared the couple in the face. Then the various articles of
jewelry went, one by one--and then the crisis arrived.

When Signor Filippo Barbone became fully satisfied that his
father-in-law was not to be turned from his resolution: when it became
apparent that the mother was not to be influenced, he came to the
conclusion that he had made a bad bargain, and resolved to escape as
soon as possible from the consequences of it.

Belle, on her part, began to be disenchanted. Then all the elements of
her imperious, passionate nature, broke out in the fiercest, most
vehement, most vindictive manner. She heaped reproaches, taunts, and
maledictions on the head of the signor, who bore them with more
equanimity than would be supposed, but who determined not to have
another such tempest. One night he decamped, taking with him the few
remaining valuables the miserable girl possessed.

Belle had not communicated with Gus, or even permitted him to know her
whereabouts. Now she wrote him a note, imploring him to come to her. He
responded at once, and instantly made what arrangements he could for her
comfort. After a season, and by the joint efforts of Gus and Harriet and
Doctor Frank, Belle was enabled to go back to New York. Her father would
not see her; her mother would not permit her to enter the house; but a
small weekly stipend was allowed, to enable her to board in a
respectable place, and to dress decently.

Her unfortunate marriage has had very little effect on her. She never
was so handsome in her life. She enjoys exciting the sympathies of those
by whom she is surrounded, including half-a-dozen gentlemen who are
constantly dangling around her. A young lawyer, who was boarding at the
same house, undertook to institute proceedings for a divorce against the
absent signor. He was successful in his application, and Belle is now
legally free. She will probably marry some man of coarse taste, who will
be attracted by her fine form and showy appearance, to say nothing of
the effect of the prevalent belief that she will certainly be provided
for 'on old Meeker's death.'

       *       *       *       *       *

So much for the present situation of the Meeker family. While Arabella
is taking her drive, I have had time to tell the reader thus much about
it. The carriage is now approaching, and I must stop.

       *       *       *       *       *

The shadows of evening begin to gather. Along the great artery of the
city press the crowd. Their steps tend homeward.

Still Hiram sits by the window, but oblivious of the current which
sweeps by.

His thoughts go back to Hampton. He is a clerk in the 'opposition
store,' making love to Mary Jessup.

'What a pretty girl she used to be!--how much she always did for
me--what pains she took to please me!' he mutters to himself.

       *       *       *       *       *

Now he is thinking of Burnsville. His mind seems principally to dwell on
what was formerly of secondary importance to him.

'Those Hawkins girls--they were good girls--very kind to me always--nice
girls--handsome girls--both of them in love with me. The widow Hawkins,
too....

       *       *       *       *       *

'Sarah Burns--she was a different sort from the rest. I don't think I
ever cared so much about her--too independent--thought too much of
herself. How quick she broke the engagement! I remember it was
preparatory lecture--preparatory lecture....

       *       *       *       *       *

'Emma Tenant--_she_ wasn't proud--Emma really loved me--I always, knew
she did....'

He raised his eyes.

Was it through some species of traction, as believers in odic force
other peculiar affinities, attribute to their influences, that he did so
at that moment?

_There_ was Emma Tenant--Mrs. Lawrence--passing in her carriage,
surrounded by blooming, grown-up children.

Her attention, it seems, was directed for an instant to the window.
Their gaze met.

No outward sign that they were ever acquainted was manifested. But there
was, on both sides, a _recognition_, instantaneous and complete.

'Poor old man!' exclaimed Mrs. Lawrence, involuntarily.

'Who, mamma?'

'We have passed him now.' And no more was said.

'She loved me once,' was the soliloquy. 'That was a great while ago,
too....'

       *       *       *       *       *

Another carriage passed. A bow from a lady, accompanied by a pleasant
smile. It is Miss Innis (Mrs. Leroy), driving out with _her_ children.
Though no longer young, she is still a most attractive and elegant
woman.

'What a wife she would have made me! I should not be in this state if I
had her to look after me. She has a kind heart--always smiling, always
happy.'

'Mr. Meeker!'

The shrill voice of Arabella is heard.

Hiram groans in spirit.

'Don't you think you had better be wheeled to your room? You know I dine
out to-day.'

'I prefer to sit here. Tell Williams to come to me.'

       *       *       *       *       *

The shadows fall thicker and faster.

Still Hiram Meeker sits by the window.

Despite my real inclination, I have a morbid desire to linger by his
side.

       *       *       *       *       *

I hear the sharp ring of the prompter's bell! The curtain is about to
fall. I _cannot_ stay in the gloom alone with that man!--Good by to you,
Hiram!

       *       *       *       *       *

I breathe again--in the cheerful streets, surrounded by bustling,
earnest, sympathizing humanity.

       *       *       *       *       *

Reader, what think you? WAS HE SUCCESSFUL?



APHORISMS.

NO. II.


One may effect an _absolute insurance against all real evil_ by the
adoption of a single rule, i. e., _never to do anything against
conscience_. This must be applied in our treatment of ourselves, in body
and mind--especially the former; because there we are most apt to fail.
It must be kept strictly toward the soul, in view of its endless
welfare, and in all our relations to God and man. This, I admit, may not
save us from the invasions of apparent ill; but from the entire
_reality_ of evil, the security thus furnished is absolute. Conscience
is the voice of God in the soul; and no one truly obeying this voice
will meet with permanent harm. This rule, let us further observe, is
most needed where it is least likely to be regarded, i. e., in
circumstances where the voice of conscience is not so decided as in the
case of temptations to palpable vice. Our danger is often greatest,
where we have to resist only an obscure sense of right and wrong, in
seeking the lower gratifications of life. So much the more scrupulous
must we there be.



BENEDICT OF NURSIA AND THE ORDER OF THE BENEDICTINES.


Benedict of Nursia, the founder of the celebrated order which bears his
name, gave to the Western monasticism a fixed and permanent form, and
thus carried it far above the Eastern with its imperfect attempts at
organization, and made it exceedingly profitable to the practical, and
incidentally also to the literary interests of the Catholic Church. He
holds, therefore, the dignity of patriarch of the Western monks. He has
furnished a remarkable instance of the incalculable influence which a
simple but judicious moral rule of life may exercise on many centuries.

Benedict was born of the illustrious house of Anicius at Nursia (now
Norcia), in Umbria, about the year 480, at the time when the political
and social state of Europe was distracted and dismembered, and
literature, morals, and religion seemed to be doomed to irremediable
ruin. He studied in Rome, but so early as his fifteenth year he fled
from the corrupt society of his fellow students, and spent three years
in seclusion in a dark, narrow, and almost inaccessible grotto at
Subiaco.[5] A neighboring monk, Romanus, furnished him from time to time
his scanty food, letting it down by a cord, with a little bell, the
sound of which announced to him the loaf of bread. He there passed
through the usual anchoretic battles with demons, and by prayer and
ascetic exercise attained a rare power over nature. At one time, Pope
Gregory tells us, the allurements of voluptuousness so strongly tempted
his imagination that he was on the point of leaving his retreat in
pursuit of a beautiful woman of previous acquaintance; but summoning up
his courage, he took off his vestment of skins, and rolled himself naked
on thorns and briers near his cave, until the impure fire of sensual
passion was forever extinguished. Seven centuries later, St. Francis of
Assisi planted on that spiritual battle field two rose trees, which grew
and survived the Benedictine thorns and briers. He gradually became
known, and was at first taken for a wild beast by the surrounding
shepherds, but afterward reverenced as a saint.

After this period of hermit life, he began his labors in behalf of the
monastery proper. In that mountainous region he established, in
succession, twelve cloisters, each with twelve monks and a superior,
himself holding the oversight of all. The persecution of an unworthy
priest caused him, however, to leave Subiaco, and retire to a wild but
picturesque mountain district in the Neapolitan province upon the
boundaries of Samnium and Campania. There he destroyed the remnants of
idolatry, converted many of the pagan inhabitants to Christianity by his
preaching and miracles, and in the year 529, under many difficulties,
founded upon the ruins of a temple of Apollo the renowned cloister of
Monte Cassino,[6] the alma mater and capital of his order. Here he
labored fourteen years till his death. Although never ordained to the
priesthood, his life there was rather that of a missionary and apostle
than of a solitary. He cultivated the soil, fed the poor, healed the
sick, preached to the neighboring population, directed the young monks,
who in increasing numbers flocked to him, and organized the monastic
life upon a fixed method or rule, which he himself conscientiously
observed. His power over the hearts and the veneration in which he was
held is illustrated by the visit of Jotila, in 542, the barbarian king,
the victor of the Romans and master of Italy, who threw himself on his
face before the saint, accepted his reproof and exhortations, asked his
blessing, and left a better man, but fell, after ten years' reign, as
Benedict had predicted, in a great battle with the Græco-Roman army
under Narses. Benedict died, after partaking of the holy communion,
praying, in standing posture at the foot of the altar, on the 21st of
March, 543, and was buried by the side of his sister, Scholastica, who
had established a nunnery near Monte Cassino, and died a few weeks
before him. They met only once a year on the side of the mountain for
prayer and pious conversation. On the day of his departure two monks saw
in a vision a shining pathway of stars leading from Monte Cassino to
heaven, and heard a voice that said by this road Benedict, the well
beloved of God, had ascended to heaven.[7]

His biographer, Pope Gregory I., in the second book of his Dialogues,
ascribes to him miraculous prophecies and healings, and even a raising
of the dead.[8] With reference to his want of secular culture and his
spiritual knowledge, he calls him a learned ignorant and an unlettered
sage.[9] At all events he possessed the genius of a lawgiver, and holds
the first place among the founders of monastic orders, though his person
and life are much less interesting than those of a Bernard of Clairvaux,
a Francis of Assisi, and an Ignatius of Loyola.

The rule of St. Benedict, on which his fame rests, forms an epoch in the
history of monasticism. In a short time it superseded all contemporary
and older rules of the kind, and became the immortal code of the most
illustrious branch of the monastic army, and the basis of the whole
Roman Catholic cloister life.[10] It consists of a preface or
_prologus_, and a series of moral, social, liturgical, and penal
ordinances, in seventy-three chapters. It shows a true knowledge of
human nature, the practical wisdom of Rome, and adaptation to Western
customs; and it combines simplicity with completeness, strictness with
gentleness, humility with courage, and gives the whole cloister life a
fixed unity and compact organization, which, like the episcopate,
possessed an unlimited versatility and power of expansion. It made every
cloister an _ecclesiola in ecclesia_, reflecting the relation of the
bishop to his charge, the monarchical principle of authority on the
democratic basis of the equality of the brethren, though claiming a
higher degree of perfection than could be realized in the great secular
church. For the rude and undisciplined world of the Middle Age, the
Benedictine rule furnished a wholesome course of training and a constant
stimulus to the obedience, self-control, order, and industry which were
indispensable to the regeneration and healthy growth of social life.[11]

The spirit of the rule may be judged from the following sentences of the
_prologus_, which contains pious exhortations: 'Having thus,' he says,
'my brethren, asked of the Lord who shall dwell in His tabernacle, we
have heard the precepts prescribed to such a one. If we fulfil these
conditions we shall be heirs of the kingdom of heaven. Let us, then,
prepare our hearts and bodies to fight under a holy obedience to these
precepts; and if it is not always possible for nature to obey, let us
ask the Lord that He would deign to give us the succor of His grace.
Would we avoid the pains of hell and attain eternal life while there is
still time, while we are still in this mortal body, and while the light
of this life is bestowed upon us for that purpose, let us run and strive
so as to reap an eternal reward. We must, then, form a _school of divine
servitude_, in which, we trust, nothing too heavy or rigorous will be
established. But if, in conformity with right and justice, we should
exercise a little severity for the amendment of vices or the
preservation of charity, beware of fleeing under the impulse of terror
from the way of salvation, which cannot but have a hard beginning. When
man has walked for some time in obedience and faith, his heart will
expand, and he will run with the unspeakable sweetness of love in the
way of God's commandments. May He grant that, never straying from the
instruction of the Master, and persevering in His doctrine in the
monastery until death, we may share by patience in the sufferings of
Christ, and be worthy to share together His kingdom.'

The leading provisions of this rule are as follows:

At the head of each society stands an abbot, who is elected by the
monks, and with their consent appoints a provost (_præpositus_), and,
when the number of the brethren requires, deans over the several
divisions (_decaniæ_), as assistants. He governs, in Christ's stead, by
authority and example, and is to his cloister what the bishop is to his
diocese. In the more weighty matters he takes the congregation of the
brethren into consultation; in ordinary affairs, only the older members.
The formal entrance into the cloister must be preceded by a probation or
novitiate of one year (subsequently it was made three years), that no
one might prematurely or rashly take the solemn step. If the novice
repented his resolution, he could leave the cloister without hindrance;
if he adhered to it, he was, at the close of his probation, subjected to
an examination in presence of the abbot and the monks, and then,
appealing to the saints, whose relics were in the cloister, he laid upon
the altar of the chapel the irrevocable vow, written or at least
subscribed by his own hand, and therewith cut off from himself forever
all return to the world.

From this important arrangement the cloister received its stability, and
the whole monastic institution derived additional earnestness, solidity,
and permanence.

The vow was threefold, comprising _stablitas_, perpetual adherence to
the monastic order; _conversio morum_, especially voluntary poverty and
chastity, which were always regarded as the very essence of monastic
piety under all its forms; and _obedientia coram Deo et sanctis ejus_,
absolute obedience to the abbot, as the representative of God and
Christ. This obedience is the cardinal virtue of a monk.[12]

The life of the cloister consisted of a judicious alternation of
spiritual and bodily exercises. This is the great excellence of the rule
of Benedict, who proceeded here upon the true principle that idleness is
the mortal enemy of the soul and the workshop of the devil.[13] Seven
hours were to be devoted to prayer, singing of psalms, and
meditation;[14] from two to three hours, especially on Sunday, to
religious reading; and from six to seven hours to manual labor indoors
or in the field, or, instead of this, to the training of children, who
were committed to the cloister by their parents (_oblati_).[15]

Here was a starting point for the afterward celebrated cloister schools,
and for that attention to literary pursuits which, though entirely
foreign to the uneducated Benedict and his immediate successors,
afterward became one of the chief ornaments of his order, and in many
cloisters took the place of manual labor.

In other respects the mode of life was to be simple without extreme
rigor, and confined to strictly necessary things. Clothing consisted of
a tunic with a black cowl (whence the name _Black Friars_); the material
to be determined by the climate and season. On the two weekly fast days,
and from the middle of September to Easter, one meal was to suffice for
the day. Each monk is allowed daily a pound of bread and pulse, and,
according to the Italian custom, half a flagon (_hemina_) of wine;
though he is advised to abstain from the wine, if he can do so without
injury to his health. Flesh is permitted only to the weak and sick,[16]
who were to be treated with special care. During the meal some edifying
piece was read, and silence enjoined. The individual monk knows no
personal property, not even his simple dress as such; and the fruits of
his labor go into the common treasury. He should avoid all contact with
the world as dangerous to the soul, and therefore every cloister should
be so arranged as to be able to carry on even the arts and trades
necessary for supplying its wants.[17] Hospitality and other works of
love are especially commanded.

The penalties for transgression of the rule are, first, private
admonition, then exclusion from the fellowship of prayer, next
exclusion from fraternal intercourse, and finally expulsion from the
cloister, after which, however, restoration is possible, even to the
third time.

Benedict had no presentiment of the vast historical importance which his
rule, originally designed simply for the cloister of Monte Cassino, was
destined to attain. He probably never aspired beyond the regeneration
and salvation of his own soul and that of his brother monks, and all the
talk of some later historians about his far-reaching plans of a
political and social regeneration of Europe, and the preservation and
promotion of literature and art, find no support whatever in his life or
in his rule. But he humbly planted a seed which Providence blessed a
hundredfold. By his rule, he became, without his own will or knowledge,
the founder of an order, which, until in the thirteenth century the
Dominicans and Franciscans pressed it partially into the background,
spread with great rapidity over the whole of Europe, maintained a clear
supremacy, formed the model for all other monastic orders, and gave to
the Catholic Church an imposing array of missionaries, authors, artists,
bishops, archbishops, cardinals, and popes, as Gregory the Great and
Gregory VII. In less than a century after the death of Benedict, the
conquests of the barbarians in Italy, Gaul, and Spain were reconquered
for civilization, and the vast territories of Great Britain, Germany,
and Scandinavia incorporated into Christendom or opened to missionary
labor; and in this progress of history the monastic institution
regulated and organized by Benedict's rule bears an honorable share.

Benedict himself established a second cloister in the vicinity of
Terracina, and two of his favorite disciples, Placidus and St.
Maurus,[18] introduced the 'holy rule,' the one into Sicily, the other
into France. Pope Gregory the Great, himself at one time a Benedictine
monk, enhanced its prestige, and converted the Anglo-Saxons to the Roman
Christian faith by Benedictine monks. Gradually the rule found so
general acceptance both in old and in new institutions, that, in the
time of Charlemagne, it became a question, whether there were any monks
at all who were not Benedictines. The order, it is true, has degenerated
from time to time, through the increase of its wealth and the decay of
its discipline, but its fostering care of religion, of humane studies,
and of the general civilization of Europe, from the tilling of the soil
to the noblest learning, has given it an honorable place in history and
won immortal praise.

The patronage of learning, however, as we have already said, was not
within the design of the founder or his rule. The joining of this to the
cloister life is due, if we leave out of view the learned monk Jerome,
to CASSIODORUS, who, in 538, retired from the honors and cares
of high civil office in the Gothic monarchy of Italy,[19] to a monastery
founded by himself at Vivarium[20] (Viviers), in Calabria, in Lower
Italy. Here he spent nearly thirty years as monk and abbot, collected a
large library, encouraged the monks to copy and to study the Holy
Scriptures, the works of the church fathers, and even the ancient
classics, and wrote for them several literary and theological text
books, especially his treatise _De institutione divinarum literarum_, a
kind of elementary encyclopædia, which was the code of monastic
education for many generations. Vivarium at one time almost rivalled
Monte Cassino, and Cassiodorus[21] won the honorary title of the
restorer of knowledge in the sixth century.

The Benedictines, already accustomed to regular work, soon followed this
example. Thus, that very mode of life which in its founder, Anthony,
despised all learning, became, in the course of its development, an
asylum of culture in the rough and stormy times of the immigration and
the crusades, and a conservator of the literary treasures of antiquity
for the use of modern times.



HANNAH THURSTON.

PAUL. Well, Dorcas, now you have finished the book, what do you
think of it?

DORCAS. I must confess, my expectations on the whole have been
agreeably disappointed. From the criticisms I had read, both favorable
and adverse, I was fully prepared to quarrel with it from beginning to
end. I find in it much power and sustained interest. The descriptions of
nature are admirable--fresh, unhackneyed, and vivid. Western New York,
with its blue lakes, sloping hills, shining brooks, quiet woodlands,
spring buds, autumn flowers, winding country roads, and laden grain
fields, stands before one, clearly pictured. The characters, with their
_isms_, seem like old acquaintances, and the seething, fermenting
condition of American society is most accurately represented. There is
pathos, too, in the story, and many will read it with moistened eyes.

PAUL. So far so good, but--?

DORCAS. But there runs through the entire work a vein of
sentiment or philosophy, which wears a very suspicious resemblance to
that of a certain school just now popular in France. I need not tell
you, Uncle Paul, how distasteful to me is that school, nor how false I
think the premises upon which it is founded. I am convinced there is a
difference in the mental and moral constitution of men and women. I will
not bore you by any disquisition upon relative superiority or
inferiority, but will simply give you a portion of my idea as I find it
laid down by St. John Chrysostom: 'Do not confound _submission_ with
_slavery_,' says the golden-mouthed Greek. 'The woman obeys, but
_remains free_; she is _equal_ in honor. It is true that she is subject
to her husband; and this is her punishment for having rendered herself
guilty in the beginning. Mark it well; woman was not condemned to
subjection at the time of her creation; when God made and presented her
to her husband, He said nothing of domination; we hear nothing from the
lips of Adam which supposes it. It was only after having violated her
duty by leading him astray to whom she had been given as a support, that
she heard these words: 'Thou shalt be under thy husband's power, and he
shall have dominion over thee.''

Now, in the book under consideration, we are led to suppose that even
the 'exceptional women' find submission and dependence, not only
delightful, but absolute necessities of their being. They are only too
happy to succumb to the powerful magnetism attributed to men by reason
alone of their manhood. (A doctrine too repulsive to admit of
discussion.) I fancy that thinking, sensitive, and high-spirited women
have not yet ceased to find submission and dependence a _punishment_.
They may take up their cross cheerily, and wear it gracefully, but none
the less do they feel it to be a cross. As for pecuniary dependence, so
long as all goes smoothly and matters are so arranged that the wife is
not obliged to ask the husband for funds, the power of custom and of
legal provisions may be sufficient to prevent any disquietude; but after
the first misunderstanding, the first unkind word, _his_ money, as it
passes through _her_ hands, burns like coals of fire, and the bitterness
of her heart, as she perhaps vainly longs for some means of employment
by which to procure at least sufficient for her own personal expenses,
would cause him a new and strange sensation, did she not deem it her
_duty_ to suppress all evidence, even the existence, of such
self-assertion, and quietly shoulder this with the rest, as a portion of
the burden to be borne through the valley of humiliation into which she
has entered, and wherein, by reason of the especial power granted her of
knowing and loving God, she usually finds herself Heaven's own
missionary, the keeper and guide of souls. Now, do not misunderstand me,
Uncle Paul; when I say that marriage is a valley of humiliation, I
intend no reproach to men; I simply state a fact dependent upon the
nature of things, and upon the primal sentence passed against the pride
that, in spite of the prohibition of the Almighty, sought to know all
things, 'to become as gods.' Meekness, humility, self-abnegation,
affection, are the beautiful flowers that grow by the wayside; but the
pathway is not the less thorny, and no good can be accomplished by
denying or sugar-coating the fact.

PAUL. I do not doubt the correctness of your views, Dorcas; but
your rather vehement statement of them somewhat surprises me, as you
yourself married of your own free will, and at an age when women, if
ever, are supposed to know their own minds.

DORCAS. That my own marriage has been a happy one, and that my
good husband has striven, by recognizing my womanly as well as
individual idiosyncrasies, to render the yoke as light as it possibly
can be, is the very circumstance that gives me a right to speak and
offer my testimony against ideas which I think wholly unwarranted by the
facts in the case. The views of modern philosophers, attacking the
sanctity of Christian marriage, are to me perfectly abhorrent. Deprive
marriage of its mystical, sacramental, penitential character, and it
ceases to be the bulwark of a well-ordered society. I must again call
upon St. John Chrysostom to speak for me. He says: 'Marriage is one of
the most surprising mysteries, by reason of the sublime character which
belongs to it, of representing the alliance of Jesus Christ with His
Church. The necessary consequence of which is, that it should not be
contracted lightly and through interested motives. No, marriage is no
bargain; it is the union of the entire life.' This is what true marriage
should be; but in so far as mankind fall below the lofty standards set
before them, so far does actual marriage fail to reach its glorious
ideal. Meantime, reverence for maidenhood is one of the strongest
safeguards of the sanctity of wedded life, and no delusions of any
school, whether romantic, sentimental, Micheletic, humanitarian, or
Lutheranistic, should be permitted to obscure this reverence. Neither my
own experience, nor that of the young maidens best known to me, teaches
me that the idle hours of women are haunted by dreams of some human
lover, who must be found to save them from despair. I cannot think that
marriage is essential to, or even best for, the happiness of women. If
we enter the nearest institution of Charity Sisters, Sisters of Mercy,
or of the Poor, we cannot fail to remark the contrast between the
healthful, cheery, unsolicitous countenances of the inmates, and the
nervous, suffering, careworn faces of the wives and mothers in our
midst. Both live in the conscientious performance of equally estimable
duties, but the pleasing of a Heavenly Master would seem to be a more
peaceful and less wearing task than the gratification of an earthly
lord. Let us hearken for a moment to an eloquent French theologian:
'Woman's nature, in some exceptional cases, rises to such a height of
intellect and sensitiveness, that it ceases to be capable of accepting
that subordination which constitutes the essence of Christian marriage.
Think you there are not women athirst for the ideal; who are crushed by
the commonplace of ordinary affections; who would go beyond that narrow
circle traced round them by domestic cares? Give to such natures as
good, kind, and conscientious a husband as you will, do you think he can
ever satisfy the ardent longings of their mind and heart? Do you think
they can find in the family the realization of the brilliant dream
caressed by them from the earliest years of infancy? Do you not believe
that they will constantly feel cruel disappointments, infinite tortures,
and the deepest anguish?'

PAUL. But if such be a true statement of the case, what are
these good ladies to do?

DORCAS. The world has always need of intellect and enthusiasm,
and these, directed by the spirit of devotion and self-sacrifice,
without which nothing good or great can be accomplished, will point the
way to the fulfilment of whatever may be the especial vocation of the
individual. The author above quoted continues: 'Some heroic virgins have
played so wonderful a part that, by the sublimity of their devotion and
the power of their intellect, they have occasionally eclipsed the renown
of the most illustrious men. A St. Catherine of Sienna was the light of
doctors, the ambassadress of nations, the counsellor of popes, and the
admiration of her age. A St. Rose of Viterbo, a charming and graceful
child, became the intrepid buckler of Rome against the pretensions of
the Ghibelline emperors. A St. Clara, by her ardent love for the poor
and the Cross, was worthy of aiding the Seraph of Assisi in his
admirable reform. A St. Theresa astonished the world by the grandeur of
her character in the age of the Loyolas, the Xaviers, and the Francis
Borgias.' To these few but striking instances we may add Joan of Arc,
whose patriotism and valor saved her country from the dominion of the
foreign invader, and, in our own day, Florence Nightingale and Miss Dix,
together with hosts of courageous maidens, who in every Christian land
yearly devote themselves to the service of suffering humanity. I should
weary you, uncle, were I to pursue this subject into farther depths:
suffice it to say that it is one which no man, however tender or
talented, could ever exhaust, for there are chords in the feminine
organization beyond his comprehension--strange chords, the resolution of
which will be found only in that heaven where there shall be no marrying
nor giving in marriage.

PAUL. You mentioned Joan of Arc: did you observe that the
author of 'Hannah Thurston' notices the fact, that while she has been
poetized by Schiller, Southey, and others, no woman has ever yet made
her the theme of song?

DORCAS. I was no little surprised to find such a reproach
issuing from the lips of one who must have known that no man had yet
sung her in his verse who had not violated the truth of history and
smirched the beauty of a noble character, devoted solely to her country
and her God, by picturing her as enamored of some mortal lover.
Shakspeare must here receive his share of blame, although the national
prejudices still existent in his age may offer some excuse. Voltaire is
not to be mentioned, Schiller twaddles through a tissue of sheer
inventions and impossible absurdities, and even Southey, who strives to
be faithful to history, thinks he must invest her with a 'suppressed
attachment' in order to render her sufficiently interesting to be the
heroine of a poem. (Inconceivable and insane vanity, that imagines no
woman can live her life through without laying her heart at the feet of
one of the 'irresistibles'!) The historic character of Joan of Arc has
been terribly maltreated and misrepresented by every man who has
attempted to portray it, with the single exception of the German
historian, Guido Goerres, whose work, by the way, has been reverently
done into English by two sister women.

PAUL. Well, and the final conclusion to all this?

DORCAS. The final conclusion is, that a large portion of even
the worthier souls in this world, is drifting away into a sea of
materialism, shrouded in rose-colored mists of poetry and sentiment, and
it behooves every earnest friend of humanity to sound the alarm, and at
least strive to give warning of the danger.



GLORIOUS!


  'Far how can a man die better,
    Than in facing fearful odds.
  For the ashes of his fathers--
    And the temples of his gods!'

      MACAULAY'S _Ballads of Ancient Rome_.


  Alone--and widowed so early,
    Aged only twenty-one--
  Only so few of her years are past,
    And yet her life is quite done!

  Quite concluded her life is--
    Nothing for hopes, or for fears;
  Nothing to think of, or look to see
    But a barren desert of years!

  Slender, lithe little figure--
    Graceful and yielding form,
  Never again to be held in the close
    Clasp of a manly arm!

  Oh the sweet oval face,
    And the wonderful violet eyes!
  No more to be sealed with true kisses,
    And opened to love's paradise!

  And oh the sunny, brown hair,
    Which breaks into ripples and waves
  O'er her sad brow--like the laughter
    Of young children over graves!

  Put it away under widow's weeds--
    Draw it as straight as you can:
  Never again will the dear little head
    Be held to the heart of a man.

  Dazed, she sits in the twilight
    Of the funeral-darkened room,
  Her whole soul gathered to listen--alas!
    For a voice that is stilled in the tomb.

  Dear voice, now silent forever!
    God help her! It seems a dream!
  She hopes, even now she may waken;
    But see yonder cruel sunbeam.

  How it wanders over the carpet--
    It lights up the distant room--
  It falls on his portrait--_his_ portrait!--
    His face shines out in the gloom

  As warmly and loving as ever;--
    But, oh, there hangs under its frame
  The sword he has wielded so bravely--
    The blade that has lettered his name

  On the tablets of Glory--erected
  O'er the bodies of thousands of slain;
  Who have died to preserve the Republic!
  _Our_ loss--but the nation's great gain.

  Wring the small, white hands together--
    Clasp them close over the breast:--
  Prisoned heart, throbbing so wildly,
    Never again to know rest.

  Can you not leap and be joyful,
    Knowing the nation is free!
  Gentle-eyed Peace is but waiting
    Sure of a welcome, to be.

  Ask not for pæans of triumph
    From 'only a woman's' heart:
  Alas! in the triumph of nations
    She hath but an humble part!

  Hers to be patient, and suffer--
    While her soul goes out to the fray
  With the one who is dearer than heaven,
    To see him shot down by the way.

  Anguished, for drops of cold water
    That e'en to the vilest we give!
  Mangled and crushed and insulted!
    God! can I write it, and live!

  Fold the hands o'er the soft bosom
    Baby hands never caressed--
  Hush into patience the sweet lips
    Never to man's to be pressed.

  There on the altar of nations
    She has given the soul out of her life:
  Holocaust greater was never:
    God help the poor, little wife!



THE ISLE OF SPRINGS.


CHAPTER V.

HISTORICAL SKETCH.

Jamaica was discovered by Columbus himself, on the 3d of May, 1494,
while prosecuting his second voyage. On his fourth and last voyage he
was shipwrecked on its northern coast, and, through the cruel jealousy
of the governor of Hispaniola, was detained there nearly a year before
relief was sent. In the dearth of historical associations, I have
sometimes pleased myself with gazing at the high summit of Cape Clear
Hill, which is far and wide conspicuous along the northern shore, and
reflecting that the eye of the great discoverer may have often rested
upon it during his weary detention, endeavoring thus to raise present
insignificance somewhat by linking it with the one illustrious name in
the annals of the island.

Sevilla d'Oro, the first settlement of the Spaniards in Jamaica, was
founded in 1509, near the place of Columbus's shipwreck. It soon became
a splendid city. Traces of pavement are still discoverable two miles
distant from the church and abbey around which the town was built. In a
few years, however, it disappeared as suddenly as it had arisen. Even
the cause of its destruction is not certainly known. It is supposed,
however, to have been a sudden irruption of the Indians. These were of
the same voluptuous and gentle race which peopled the other Great
Antilles, but, like them, might have been roused to temporary madness by
the diabolical cruelties of the Spaniards. If so, their brief revenge
availed them little, for by 1558, the sixty thousand Indians, who
inhabited the island when discovered, had been extirpated, it is said,
to the very last one. Near the seashore in the east of the island are
some caves, in which mouldering bones of the unhappy aborigines are
still found, who had taken refuge here, preferring to die of famine
rather than to fall into the merciless hands of the Spaniards.

After the extirpation of the Indians, the labor of African slaves was
introduced. Some sugar was raised, but the greater part of the island
was devoted to the raising of cattle and swine. Besides the few whites
and negroes needed for this, and a small number at two or three
seaports, the population was mainly gathered in the town of St. Jago de
la Vega. This was built on the south side, a few miles from the sea,
after the destruction of Sevilla d'Oro. At the time of the English
conquest in 1655, during Cromwell's protectorate, the population
consisted of twelve hundred whites and fifteen hundred negro slaves.
They were summoned by the English admiral to take the oath of allegiance
to England or to leave the island. But they declared that they could do
neither; that they were born subjects of the King of Spain, and knew no
other allegiance; and, on the other hand, that they were natives of
Jamaica, and had neither friends nor kindred elsewhere. They implored
him, therefore, not to exact an impossible oath, nor yet to turn them
adrift in the wide world. But the misfortunes of Spanish Papists were a
matter of little concern to English Puritans. They were expelled the
island, but leaving their slaves in the mountain forests of the central
ridge, they planted a seed which for generations bore bitter fruit to
their cruel enemies. These slaves became the nucleus of those formidable
Maroon communities which for generations were a terror to the island.
Their masters, having conveyed their families across to Cuba, returned
with a body of Spanish troops, hoping, in their turn, to expel the
invaders. They intrenched themselves in a natural fastness that appeared
impregnable, and an English messenger being sent to demand a surrender,
the venerable governor, Don Arnoldo Sasi, it is said, ordered him to be
shown around the fortification, that he might see that it was impossible
to take it, and then dismissed him with a handsome present. But the
English soldiers knew no such thing as an impregnable fortress; they
soon stormed the height, and, as the Spaniards were fleeing along the
cliffs, picked them off like so many crows. A few attendants hurried
down the aged governor to the sea, and conveyed him across to Cuba. And
thus perished the tranquil and happy colony of St. Jago de la Vega. The
victors took possession of the deserted town, which has finally become
the seat of government. But they changed its Popish appellation of St.
Jago de la Vega to the homely but unimpeachably Protestant name of
Spanishtown, which it still bears in popular use, although officially it
has resumed its former designation. There were two Roman Catholic
churches in the town, each of which gave the name of its patron saint to
the street on which it stood. But the Puritans would know them only as
Whitechurch street and Redchurch street--names which, I believe, still
remain, curious monuments of Puritan scrupulosity in that southern land.
Spanishtown has increased in population to about five thousand, and in
its palmy days of slaveholding prosperity exhibited doubtless much pomp
of vice-regal splendor. But this has long fled, and its sandy streets
are now almost as silent and sombre in the glittering sunshine as if
traversed only by the ghosts of the Spanish colonists who dwelt here in
peace until ruthlessly thrust forth by the English invader.

After the conquest, the island filled up with English, partly by
voluntary emigration, and partly by a double deportation from home,
first of refractory Cavaliers during Cromwell's protectorate, and partly
of mutinous Puritans after the return of the Stuarts. These often
renewed in the streets of Spanishtown the brawls of the mother country,
and the exclamation, 'My king!' which the negroes are fond of using, is
said to be a genuine relic of the time when it was the watchword of the
outnumbered but courageous Cavaliers. Even after the Restoration, the
Puritans were for a while in the ascendant in the island which the
Puritan protector had wrested from the great foe of Protestantism; but
gradually all traces of that hardy sect disappeared from a land which
an enervating climate and the rapidly advancing barbarism of slavery
rendered far fitter for another sort of inhabitants, namely, the
buccaneers. The buccaneers, it will be remembered, were not exactly
pirates preying indiscriminately upon all. They were rather English
corsairs, who took advantage of the long enmity between England and
Spain to carry on, in time of peace and war alike, perpetual forrays
against the Spanish settlements and commerce of the West Indies. They
were simply the jayhawkers and border ruffians of their day, and, with
some traits of chivalry, differed probably as little from pirates as
Quantrell and his fellow scoundrels differ from robbers. This villanous
crew early resorted in great numbers to Jamaica, which became as good a
base of operations against a power with which England was professedly at
peace as Liverpool and Greenock are now against another power with which
she is professedly at peace. Dr. Arnold, in one of his letters, says he
imagines the British West Indies have never recovered from the taint of
buccaneer blood. It is hard to say, for the universal corruption of
morals and justice induced by slavery, existing in the overwhelming
proportions which it had in the West Indies, renders it almost
impossible to measure how far any subsidiary influence of evil may have
helped to aggravate the mischief.

Jamaica, like the other colonies, soon received a constitution. Like her
sisters on the continent, she opposed a spirited and successful
resistance to the early encroachments of the crown. When our Revolution
broke out, her Assembly passed resolutions declaring their entire
concurrence in the principles set forth by the Congress, and gave as the
reasons for not joining in our armed vindication of them, their insular
position, and the peculiar nature of their population. Had geography
permitted, Jamaica would doubtless have made one Slave State the more in
the original Union, and would have been one of the fiercest afterward in
the secession. We may well believe that nothing but the knowledge that
she would be crushed like an eggshell by the mighty power of England,
hindered her in 1834 from heading her sister islands in a revolt against
the impending abolition of slavery, and thus giving the world
twenty-seven years earlier the spectacle of a great slaveholders'
rebellion.

The history of Jamaica, otherwise so monotonous and devoid of interest,
even to its own people, yet includes one awful event, the destruction of
Port Royal by the earthquake of 1692. This city, built by the English
soon after the conquest, on the tongue of land which encloses the
present harbor of Kingston, soon became the most splendid city of the
English in America. Its quays and warehouses, Macaulay says, were
thought to rival those of Cheapside. This wealth and splendor were not
wholly the fruit of lawful commerce, for Port Royal was the favored
resort of the buccaneers. Their lawless forrays against the Spanish
filled it with wealth, and filled it also with voluptuous wickedness.

Tradition adds, perhaps to give emphasis to its doom, that just before
the earthquake, a successful expedition had filled the city with booty,
which loaded the warehouses, and even overflowed into the dwelling
houses and verandas. But the stroke of judgment came, and a few shocks
of an earthquake in a few seconds buried the greater part of the
dissolute and splendid city beneath the waters of its own harbor. The
decaying bodies that were thrown afterward on the shore produced a
pestilence which swept off three thousand of those who had survived the
earthquake. The sad remnant went over to the inside shore of the harbor,
and built Kingston. A poor village of some twelve or fifteen hundred
souls, adjoining the naval station, is now all that represents the once
wealthy and wicked city, the Sodom of the West, and smitten with a fate
like that of Sodom.

The same earthquake which destroyed Port Royal, almost ruined the
island. Whole plantations changed their places. The mountains were
strangely torn and rent. In many parts the immense accumulation of earth
fallen from the mountains choked up the course of the streams for
twenty-four hours, and when at last they burst their way through, they
bore down on their swollen floods thousands of trunks of trees,
branchless and barkless, to the sea. The gorge of the Bocaguas, through
which the Rio Cobre winds in a glorious succession of cascades and
whirling pools, is said to have been entirely filled up, causing the
waters to overspread the upland basin of St. Thomas-in-the-Vale with a
lake, which lasted nine days before the waters tore loose from their
confinement, and swept over the plains to the ocean. There was evidence
of a slight subsidence over the whole island. The earthquake of 1692 is
undoubtedly the most desolating convulsion of nature which has ever
befallen any portion of the English race.

For generations after the destruction of Port Royal, it was affirmed
that the spires and housetops of the sunken city could be discerned on a
clear day through the waters of the harbor. Even now there is a floating
belief that they may occasionally be dimly descried, though I have never
been able to ascertain whether it is worthy of credit.

Since then, although there are often shocks of earthquake, sometimes
several in a year, and though some have occurred quite destructive to
property, there has been none to divide with that of 1692 its awful
preeminence of desolation. It is true, we know not at what time such a
one may come, and it has been truly said that 'this beautiful island may
be regarded as a gorgeous carpet spread over the deeply charged mines of
a volcano.' Hurricanes, though very much less frequent than in the
Windward Islands, have yet left their traces in the annals of Jamaica.
Particularly noted are those of the 28th of August, 1712, of the 28th of
August, 1722, and the series which, with the exception of two years,
annually ravaged the island from 1780 to 1786 inclusive. It was in one
of these that the town of Savanna-la-Mar was so completely overwhelmed
by the sea, driven over it by the force of the wind, that when the flood
rolled back to its home, not the slightest vestige of the place was
discernible. In such a region the petition of the Litany, as it is here
offered, 'From lightning, tempest, and _earthquake_, good Lord, deliver
us,' falls on the stranger's ear with unwontedly solemn force.

The awful magnificence of these convulsions of nature is in strange
contrast with the insignificance of the record of human actions in this
island. Not that Jamaica was an insignificant member of the empire. Far
from it. The teeming source of wealth, she was, on the contrary, during
the whole of the eighteenth century, continually increasing in
importance. Even dukes were glad to leave England to assume the princely
state of a governor of Jamaica. Six hundred thousand African slaves were
introduced during the last century, of which number something over half
remained at the beginning of this. Human blood flowed in fertilizing
streams over the island, and out of this ghastly compost rose an
opulence so splendid as to silence for generations all inquiry into its
origin or character. It secured its possessors not only easy access, but
frequent intermarriages among the aristocracy of England, who thus in
time came to be among the largest West Indian slaveholders. Jamaica was
justly reckoned one of the brightest jewels in the British crown. But
the brilliancy was merely that of wealth, and as the ownership of this
was transferred more and more to Great Britain, the island itself at
length came to be of little more independent account than an outlying
estate. Petty squabbles between the governors and the Assembly,
occasional negro conspiracies, soon suppressed and cruelly punished, and
the wearying contests with the remaining negroes, who, under the name of
Maroons, long maintained a harassing warfare from their mountain
fastnesses, and yielded at last to favorable terms, are almost all that
fills the chronicles of the colony.

The island society, unrelieved by any eminence of genius or virtue, or
by the stir of great public interests, presented little more than a dull
monotony of sensuality and indolence, on a ground of inhumanity. It is
no wonder that Zachary Macaulay, from his experience in Jamaica as the
superintendent of an estate, formed in quiet sternness that resolution
to devote his life to uprooting a social system whose presiding
divinities he saw to be Mammon and Moloch, which he afterward so nobly
fulfilled. The graces and virtues of private character that lent some
relief to this dreary picture, I shall speak of hereafter.

One relief to the prevailing dulness of Jamaica life was found in a bar
of first-rate talent. There was so much wealth passing from hand to
hand, and so many disputed titles in the continual mutations of
ownership among the estates under the reckless system of conducting them
prevalent, that the disciples of the law found a rich harvest, and it
was worth while for a first-rate man to settle in the island. It is
thought that the lawyers of Jamaica used to receive not less than
£500,000 annually. Whether this was reckoned in sterling money or in the
island currency, I do not know, but probably the latter, equivalent to
£300,000 sterling. Of men not lawyers, Bryant Edwards is the only one of
the last century or the early part of this of any note whatever among
those permanently settled in the island. His chief claim to distinction
is found in his carefully prepared and judicious 'History of the West
Indies.' Beckford, the author of 'Vathek,' and Monk Lewis, christened
Matthew, the patent ghost-story teller of half a century ago, and more
honorably connected with the history of the island as a proprietor,
whose inexperienced kindness toward his negroes had almost led to his
prosecution, both resided in the island for a while. Jamaica had almost
drawn to herself a name far more illustrious than any or all which had
appeared in her annals--that of Robert Burns. It is known that he had
already engaged his passage to the island, when the course of events
turned him from it. He celebrates his expected departure in some verses
more witty than moral, in which he addresses our islanders as follows:

  'Jamaica bodies, use him weel,
  And hap him in a cosy biel,
  Ye'll find him aye a dainty chiel,
    And fu' of glee;
  He wadna wrang the very deil,
    That's ower the sea.'

Poor fellow! had he really gone, the admonition to 'Jamaica bodies' to
'use him weel,' would probably have been obeyed by making him drink
himself to death ten or twelve years earlier than he did in Dumfries,
and thus would one of earth's great, though stained names, have been
lost in the inglorious darkness of a Jamaica bookkeeper's short life, as
many a young countryman of his, perhaps not less gifted than he, had
perished before him.

Among the distinguished personages of Jamaica, I ought not to omit
mention of the Duke of Manchester, governor soon after the beginning of
this century, who was able to boast that no virtuous woman had crossed
the threshold of the King's House in Spanishtown during his
administration. So that if Jamaica has never had her _parc-aux-cerfs_,
she can at least boast her Regent Orleans. There is small need of any
special _parc-aux-cerfs_ in a slaveholding country.[22]

In brief, except a certain interest attached to the struggles of the
barbarous Maroons to maintain their wild freedom in the woods and
mountains, the human history of Jamaica, from the English conquest in
1655 to the abolition of slavery in 1834, is little more than a
monotonous blank.

She had a vigorous bar, a sumptuous church establishment, and boundless,
though shifting wealth. But all these together, smitten as they were
with the palsy of voluptuousness and oppression, had not the power to
bring forth one great name, to achieve one heroic deed, or on the other
hand, to foster any growth of humble, diffused happiness. Her sin,
plated with gold, dazzled the eyes and confounded the consciences of
men, but, like the ornaments of a sepulchre, it only beautified
outwardly what within was full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.

Those events of her history which bear on the abolition of slavery will
be specially noticed hereafter.



THE DEVELOPMENT OF AMERICAN ARCHITECTURE.


The rule held, anciently, that a nation's architecture was the exponent
of its national character, growing with and out of its social, civil,
and religious peculiarities, and modified by climate, habit, and taste.
In those early ages, the halcyon days of the art, men built with a
purpose, built what they wanted in a natural and appropriate way,
and--built successfully. So true was this, that to this day, most of
their relics proclaim their own origin, just as fossils determine the
relative positions of their enclosing strata, and history owes to
architecture the solution of many of her hardest problems. The ancient
Egyptians, for instance, gloried in the erection of the most magnificent
tombs that their genius could produce, and, ruined as they are, we find
that it is in their sepulchral monuments--the rock-wrought mausoleum,
and the stupendous pyramid--that their art-current found its readiest
flow. Compare these with the light and graceful structures of the Moors,
the cool, arcaded courts, and the tesselated pavements, the orange
trees, and the fountains. 'But no comparison,' says Fergusson, 'is
applicable to objects so totally different. Each is a true
representative of the feeling and character of the people by whom it was
raised. The plaster Alhambra would be totally out of place and
contemptible beside the great temple-palace of Karnak. No less would the
granite works of Egypt be considered monuments of ill-directed labor if
placed in the palace of the gay and luxurious Arab fatalist, to whom the
present was everything, and with whom the enjoyment of the passing hour
was all in all.'

Still another idea, grander than any aspiration of Saracen or Egyptian,
we find, when Europe, slowly shaking off the lethargy of the Dark Ages,
was developing the idea of religion. It was material, however, as well
as spiritual. God was glorified, not only by repentance or holiness of
life, but also by the devotion of hand and heart and fortune to His
earthly temples and the jewelled shrines of His saints. All that impetus
which is now given to religion itself, was turned into the channels of
religious art. And yet, temporally speaking, how grand were the results!
Slowly but surely arose those vast and wonderful cathedrals, springing
lightly out of the quaintly gabled streets, with their richly wrought
transepts and their pinnacled spires. Not trailing along the ground like
the Greek temple or the Arab mosque--of the earth, earthy--but leading
the soul heavenward with their upward flow of harmony. Vast Bibles of
stone, bearing on lofty façade and on buttressed flank the sculptured
details of Holy Writ--silent lessons, but not lost upon the rude though
reverent men who dwelt within their shadow. It is sad to think that
there can never be any more cathedrals. For they _grew_ in those times:
now they would have to be built.

But we are following a tangent. Our idea is, that architecture, to be
good, must be appropriate--expressive of the spirit of the age. It
should be an epitome of the nation's progress, an abstract of its
guiding principles, condensed, as it were, and crystallized into an art.
Of what use would a garment be, though ever so elaborate, if it did not
fit? Just so our houses, which are but a broader kind of clothing,
should be fitted to their purpose, or they will never yield us any
pleasure.

Suppose that, in searching the ruins of ancient Greece, we found nothing
but pusillanimous, sham imitations of Egyptian art. Would we not despise
such a paltry method of making matter serve for mind--such a miserable
make-shift to save the labor of invention? And yet it is this same
servile imitation of classical and foreign models that is fettering the
progress of art in America. Instead of honestly constructing what we
want, and then decorating it with a style of ornament that should
assist, explain, and intensify it, we go wandering off to the ends of
the earth, building Grecian temples and Veronese palaces, some entire
and some in slices, dreary, indefinite-looking objects, devoid of all
constructive principles within, and ornamented with falsified gewgaws
without, stuck on in the hope of hiding rather than helping out the
flimsy design. Our 'national style' we are sure can never be born of any
such travesties. Borrowed architecture never fits well.

The fact is, we ignore the first great principle--the essence and _sine
qua non_, of the art--DECORATED CONSTRUCTION. By construction is meant
that mechanical arrangement of parts which is best suited to convenience
and most conducive to stability. It is what the French would call the
_motif_, the end in view, while decoration is only the means. And the
moment we lose sight of it, in our anxiety to make room for some pet
ornament, that very ornament becomes an eyesore, and will persist in
spoiling the design, for the simple reason that the end is sacrificed to
the means. Set it down, then, at the start, that ornament must be
dependent upon construction, and not construction upon ornament. The
useful begets the beautiful, and the order cannot be reversed.

But before proceeding to what American architecture might be, we must,
in all fairness, examine it as it is.

Our great cities, of course, claim our attention first, for these
centres of wealth and intellect must necessarily be centres of art, and
there, if at all, are we to discover our prospects for a national style.
As a single example of what it has attained to so far, nothing can be
better suited to our purpose than Broadway, New York, our best-known and
most essentially American thoroughfare. But what to compare it to we
know not. Neither history nor geography affords a parallel. It resembles
neither the London Strand nor the Parisian Boulevard, nor is it like the
Ludwig Strasse of Munich, nor the Grand Canal of Venice; and yet it has
something or other in common with all of these. There is all the
incongruity of the English thoroughfare and the brilliancy of the
French, while the frequent succession of vast palatial structures allies
it still closer to the last-named examples. Perhaps, after all, the
Grand Canal--the silent highway of the City of the Sea--is more like it
in general effect than any other street in Europe. The one, it is true,
is as straight as an airline, and the other nearly the shape of an S;
the one a paved roadway, noisy with the rush of traffic, and, in the
other, the water washing the very walls of palaces that are mournful and
deserted--while, as regards style, there is scarcely a single specimen
of the Venetian in this country.

But the resemblance is this: your prevailing impression from first to
last is the absence of all general arrangement, and the independent
elegance of each separate façade. Each tells the same story: it is the
wealth and enterprise of the citizen, and not the munificence of the
sovereign, that has added palace to palace, and made the dumb stones
eloquent. Remembering, then, that it is private taste and influence that
is to develop our art, we proceed to the analysis of the great
thoroughfare in question.

Fancy yourself, patient reader, at one end of this street, so as to
command its vista. What do you see? Architecture? Very little, we
imagine. Save the buildings immediately at your right and left, all the
others are seen in profile, a contingency never reckoned on by their
builders. The decoration is all piled on the front, as elaborate a
design, often, as Palladio ever dreamt of, but at the side, every
cornice and stringpiece stops as short as if it had been sawn off, and
the whole side is a flat blank piece of brickwork. This is greatly
aggravated by the disparity in height, and the ponderous cornices. As to
construction, the prevailing type is a flimsy pile of brick and timber,
'put up,' apparently, by mutual connivance of the contractor and the
coroner, and screened off from the street by a thin veneer of
'architecture.' Now there is a certain merit, _sui generis_, in a clever
deception, but those in vogue here are too utterly transparent to claim
even this. The telltale wall of brick cheats you out of the pleasure of
cheating yourself, no matter how charitably disposed.

Were it necessary to represent this street upon the stage, the decorator
would simply have to paint his scenes upon the edges, and leave the side
toward the audience bare. As you walk along you see a given building
sideways for five minutes or more, but you cannot see it as it was meant
to be seen--full in front--for as many seconds. We even know of churches
in the cross streets, though near Broadway, whose square towers are
stone-fronted after the usual fashion, but present nothing to the
crowded thoroughfare but undressed walls of brick! Yes, a Christian
church, _in flagrante delictu_.

It will be objected to this that there is no use in finishing the sides
of city buildings, as they may afterward be hidden by others. This would
do well enough if they were all of the same height; but they are not,
and never can be. Indeed, a house is by many considered 'handsomer' than
its neighbors, just so far forth as it overtops them. The builder would
hardly think it a fair beat if the cornices corresponded. The successive
erections on a row of vacant lots, usually illustrate this popular
ambition. Some one secures the corner and builds his house. So far, so
good. Presently number two comes along, and, to secure himself from
invidious comparison, piles his house half a story higher than number
one. But his triumph is short, for the third aspirant soon arrives, who,
true to principle, takes another step in the ascending series. So it
goes till the block is finished, the whole thing looking as if
architecture was a sort of auction, in which the prize of success was
awarded to the highest builder.

It being one of our social necessities that our houses differ in size,
we must pay some attention to their sides. Not giving them as decided a
treatment as the front, but something compatible with a plain surface.
And, above all, the principal cornice and roof lines should be carried
round on the sides, at least as far as they can be seen. In some rare
instances, where this has been done, it is astonishing to note the
improved appearance and _finish_, that it gives.

Did you ever consider the superior elegance of a corner house? Yet it is
not so much the position as the fact that the position is taken
advantage of. Being finished on both sides, it gives to the mind the
idea of thickness as well as length and breadth. It is, in short, a
_solid_, while the affair next door, overtopping it perhaps a story or
two, is merely a _superficies_.

But this is only a side thrust. Our 'commercial palaces' challenge the
same criticism face to face. For the front, considered by itself even,
is generally incomplete. A supposititious formula determines that the
house must be in the Italian palace style, but the narrow lot forbidding
an entire design, the builder, as he cannot put in all, puts in all he
can, so that, instead of the house being a house, it is only a specimen
slice of a palace. It has no particular beginning or middle or ending,
and, with the long viscera of brickwork trailing off behind, it looks as
if just wrenched out of the side of some Florentine or Genoese mansion.
And, in very truth, is it not?

The common cause of these errors and incongruities is our self-abasement
to a style which depends for its effect upon continuous uniformity of
design, while, from the very nature of our society, our houses must be
diverse in size and pretension. We are a social people, it is true, but
our individualities are strongly marked, and our dwellings, while
designed with reference to each other, should never be too uniform. How
frightful those white-shuttered brick piles which monotonize the streets
of Philadelphia! But to assert its individuality the house need not
shoot up like a vein of trap rock through a stratum of conglomerate: an
American rises, not through the mass, but out of it.

Have you ever seen a street view of Bruges or Nuremberg, those fantastic
old cities of mediæval Germany? You remember them, the tall gabled
houses with projecting stories, the picturesque grouping of porch and
gallery and oriel, the curious old bridges and the Gothic fountains, the
grotesque carvings over the doorways, and the perfect population of
dormer windows and turrets and lanterns. And did you not, _entre nous_,
like it better than those stiff, formal views of the French and Italian
cities? Was not the poetry more pleasing than the prose?

'Oh well,' you say, 'these turrets and gables and things look all very
well in pictures, but they would never do for our streets: we must build
in some regular style, you know.' The same old error again, the same
servile imitation of a vague something or other, which we call classic.
Do you think the old German burghers built in any regular style? Not a
bit of it. They built just what they wanted, in the most natural and
plain-spoken manner. If they wanted a porch over the door, or a bay
window at a certain corner, or a turret to enjoy some favorite
view--they made them, put them just where they were needed. Convenience
was everything, and precedent nothing.

Is there not something about this individual originality, this perfect
freedom of thought and expression, that might be adapted to express the
American character? And if more pleasing, why cling to the effete and
cumbrous tyrannies of a soulless classicism? Why crush out all symptoms
of natural growth to make room for the unsightly exotic?

Nature herself has made the law that beauty is _variety_. Monotony,
though magnificent, will become irksome, but variety is an unceasing
delight. Versailles, with its formal avenues of shorn foliage, and its
geometrical lawns and terraces, may please you more at first sight than
an English park, because the mind feels a sort of pride in being able to
grasp such vast ideas at a glance. But you will find, upon a second or
third visit, that the unnatural arrangement of the French pleasure
grounds has something of staleness about it. Nature disdains such
bondage. Louis XIV, it is said, grew weary of his splendid plaything,
almost before it was finished. How different the English landscape
garden, where graceful sweeps and irregular masses of foliage meet the
eye with unlooked-for beauties at every turn! Well do we remember how,
after a few days spent in viewing the grand dullness of the Bavarian
capital, we looked wearily back to the delightful visit we made at
Nuremberg, with its curious old streets and fountains:

  'Quaint old town of toil and traffic, quaint old town of art and song;
  Memories haunt thy pointed gables like the rooks that round them throng.'

To claim the merit of variety for our streets is wrong, for they are not
varied, but only incongruous. Their variety is rather that of an
architectural museum than the result of any combination. We have styles
enough, in all conscience, but none that will tolerate any other.

Against this may be urged the very argument with which we set out, that
a nation's architecture should be the exponent of its national
character, and as we are made up of every people and every class, that
this heterogeneous _mélange_ is our normal style. But mark the
distinction: Although we are made up of so many diverse elements, yet
the component parts are severally and mutually held in solution. Each so
affects the mass as to give rise to a new element--not a mere union, but
a result--not an addition, but a multiplication. But with the
representative art, the materials have merely come in contact--nothing
more. Our houses lack that social element which characterizes our
people. Each is itself, and itself alone, ruining the appearance of its
neighbors, and ruined by them in turn. _Odi profanum vulgus, et arceo_,
is the only law; while we are a chemical solution, our architecture is
only a mechanical one.

How proceed, then, to develop our national style, that unborn something
which a future age might refer to as American, just as we speak of
Byzantine or Gothic? Are we waiting for somebody to invent it? We think,
maybe, that it is to spring forth, ready made, like Minerva from the
brain of Zeus. If this is our idea, we might as well give up at once and
confess to the world our imbecility. Never, from Adam's day to this, did
anybody ever invent a new architecture. It is purely a matter of
genealogy. For just as we trace back a family line, can we trace the
generations of art. Spite of its complications, many an offshoot can be
followed up directly to the parent stock. Taking, for example, the
mediæval architecture of Spain, the brilliant 'Moresco,' we find it to
be a combination of the vigorous Gothic of the North with the beautiful
though effeminate Saracenic--the exotic of the South. And of these
latter, each is traceable, though by different lines, to the same great
prototype, the Roman. For when Rome was divided, the Dome fell to the
inheritance of the Eastern Empire, and the Basilica (which was only a
Greek temple turned inside out) to the Western. The former, joined to
the Arabian, and the latter to the Gothic, formed two great families,
from the union of whose descendants sprang the Moresco. But even the
Roman was a derivative style, leading us back successively through
Greece, Assyria, and Egypt. Each step is visibly allied to the
preceding, and yet how unlike the pyramid and the Spanish cathedral! Did
history permit, all the styles that have ever existed could be traced in
the same way; it is quite as easy to account for their diversities, as
for those of the nations that produced them. Ham and Japheth were of the
same household, yet how different their descendants of to-day! As from
one man sprang all people, so was there an original germ of architecture
from which all successive styles have been derived.

The composite forms that have arisen since commerce and civilization
have brought the ends of the world together, increase the complication.
There have been marriages and intermarriages, some good matches and some
bad ones, some with vigorous and some with sickly offspring, and some
hybrids of such monstrous malformation as almost to make us fear that a
new style can be invented. But the effect is impossible without the
cause. Save the mysterious Pyramids, every structure extant acknowledges
its ancestry. If physiologists are fond of claiming the history of the
race as one of their own chapters, architecture has at least an equal
claim.

But all this does not mean that we are mere passive agents in the
matter. _We_ are, in a great measure, the 'external influences' that
modify art. The motion exists, but it devolves upon us to give
direction.

We have already alluded to Venetian architecture as being parallel in
origin and tendency to our own, and much can be gained, we believe, by a
careful examination of what it accomplished. Not that we ought to copy,
line for line, the doge's palace or the Casa d'Oro--the arabesque
arcade, or the Gothic balcony--that would only be following the
well-worn rut of imitation. We are not to study the result, but the
cause. For the causes that produced the style in question were not
unlike what we find at home to-day. A commercial republic, there was the
same liberty of expression--the same preponderance of the individual
over the national; and there, as here, are we attracted rather by the
elegance of independent units than by any general unity of design.

But the growth of art in Venice (we ask special attention) was due to
her central situation, and the simultaneous influx of foreign elements.
It was her commerce that made Venice great: her glory came and departed
with it. Witnessing, as she did, the development of all the mediæval
styles, she became--geographically and historically--the metropolis of
architecture. 'The Greeks,' says Ruskin, 'gave the shaft, Rome gave the
arch, the Arabs pointed and foliated the arch.... Opposite in their
character and mission, alike in their magnificence of energy, they came
from the North and from the South--the glacier torrent and the lava
stream, they met and contended over the wreck of the Roman Empire; and
the very centre of the struggle, the point of pause of both, the dead
water of the opposite eddies, charged with embayed fragments of the
Roman wreck, is _Venice_.

'The ducal palace of Venice contains the three elements in exactly equal
proportions, the Roman, Lombard, and Arab. It is the central building of
the world.'

Truly, it was a glorious success that art achieved in the Italian
republic, Whether the old precedents were violated or not, the result is
unquestionably pleasing, and the pleasure-seeking tourist lingers there
as long as the critic.

At this transition state, through which Venice passed so nobly, have we
now arrived. We have collected our materials, and piled them up
together, but just as all seems most propitious, _le mouvement
s'arrête_, the materials will not coalesce. The brass and the silver,
the iron and the gold, are all in the crucible, but there is no fusion,
only a discordant clash.

Alas! there is no heat. We are not warmed, as yet, with any love for
art. We are too much absorbed in the rapid accumulation of wealth, or
the passing excitement of the hour, to attend to anything that is noble
or honest or beautiful. And now that devastating war is sweeping through
the land and clogging the wheels of progress, we are learning terrible
lessons; but, with experience for our teacher, learning them well. Where
war prevails, civilization for the time must stand still. _Inter arma
silent--artes_. And so long as we consider art a marketable commodity,
and consign it, like merchandise, to soulless builders, so long will it
remain in hopeless embryo. Only by taking a personal interest in it can
we hope to make it our own.

So much for what we have done. There is little to be proud of, and
little, we hope, that will influence our future art. To which we now
turn our attention.

To begin with, great public buildings will never form a distinguishing
feature of American architecture. It is to be preeminently a domestic
style. Herein shall we differ from the European nations, for in art, as
in politics, the people are the rulers. It is discouraging, at first
thought, to reflect that no such magnificent architectural combinations
as those of the French capital can ever find place in an American city.
They are grand, they are superb, these endless successions of palaces
and gardens and triumphal arches, with groves and fountains all in
perfect symmetry, and well-balanced vistas radiating in all directions;
but they are the result of centuries of despotism--of the impoverishment
of the many and the aggrandizement of the few. This, we hope, is not to
be the fashion in America. It is true that the ground plan for the city
of Washington exhibits a design analogous to the above, but we think it
will be a long time before it exists elsewhere than on the map. The
Greeks and Romans, we know, confined their efforts to public buildings,
but that was their business. They served their Governments, but our
Government serves us: the spirit of the age points in an opposite
direction. Since we are so fond of the classic, why not have chariots
for carriages, and triremes instead of gunboats and steamers?

Our real style will first appear in our residences and warehouses, in
our banks and hotels and railroad depots. It sounds odd, but it is
manifestly so to be. We are a commercial republic. Old European palaces
and cathedrals are doubtless very grand, and--for those who need such
things--most excellent models. But with us the private element already
predominates; we only need to begin honestly, and the thing is half
done.

Our national dread of Gothic, except it be for church purposes, should
be done away with. The Gothic _principle_, we mean; the style we may
follow or may not. But to be sincere and constructive, to build with a
purpose, we must do as did the mediæval builders. In their hands, our
daguerrean sky-lights and shot towers, our factory chimneys and
signboards, would have become glorious objects, become useful objects.
Their art did not confine itself to one day in seven; it permeated the
commonest details of every-day life, because they were common. Hence
they ennobled everything.

But the Romans, unfortunately, never had any shot towers, or hotels, or
railroad depots, and so we think such things exceptions to the ordinary
rules of architecture. But after all, perhaps, this is all the better
for their future, as it leaves them comparatively untrammelled. In the
matter of railroad depots, England has certainly stolen a march upon us,
the large city stations in that rail-bound country being perfect Crystal
Palaces in size and elegance, while those for the more rural places are
often the most exquisite little villas, unapproachable in neatness and
taste. In some parts of the Continent, the Swiss style has been pressed
into this service with notable success.

In regard to fire-alarm towers, we rejoice to be able to make an
exceptional remark. New York city has actually produced two or three of
these of new and elegant shape, perfectly adapted to their purpose; and
yet, so far as we know, not copied from anything else. Those in Sixth
and Third avenues have a grace of outline that is really elegant, and
show what we can accomplish if we only build what we want in a natural
and appropriate way.

Nothing, however, is to exert a vaster influence on our style than the
hotel. This 'institution,' as we have it, is comparatively unknown in
Europe; beyond all nations are we a travelling and hotel-building
people. Our hotels have not grown up with the scant traffic of the post
chaise or _diligence_; they overleaped that feeble infancy, and started
at once with the railroad and steamboat. Large, luxurious, and well
appointed, they are usually the prominent buildings in all our large
cities.

But as yet it is only their size and social importance that
distinguishes them, not their architecture. The recipe for a first-class
city house is simple: a vast square front of white, with ninety-six or a
hundred and forty-four windows, as the case may be, all alike, and all
equidistant. The variety afforded by this arrangement is much the same
as that of an uncut sheet of postage stamps. In such large masses, a
single color--white especially--is always disagreeable, unless treated
with some variety of form. Brick, with stone dressings, will almost
invariably produce a finer front than stone alone. But, after all, the
most desirable kind of variety is that which seeks to express exteriorly
the inner arrangement of the building, by giving some degree of
prominence to the principal rooms. As to interior, our hotels neglect a
grand opportunity in making no capital of the central space they
generally enclose. This, instead of being abandoned to cats and ash
barrels, might be made the feature of the establishment. Fancy such a
court roofed over with glass,[23] and surrounded with light arcades of
ironwork forming a continuous balcony at each story, arrange a garden in
the centre with a fountain, and give the whole a sort of oriental
treatment, and what a really elegant effect could be produced! The main
entrance in this case would be, not on the street, but on one of the
sides of this inner court, while an arched carriage way, to connect with
the street, would render vehicles accessible under cover. The arcades,
connecting all parts of the house, would take the place of halls and
corridors, besides forming delightful promenades. Some few hotels could
be named, in our large cities, which seem to have the germ of this idea,
but we know no instance of its complete development.

Still we have great hopes of the hotel, because it is the place of all
others which it is to our interest to make look well. People go to the
post office all the same, be it a barn or a parthenon, but they will go,
other things being equal, to the best hotel. Here comes in the American
principle of Competition, the keynote of all our enterprise. Competition
is to do for us what the hope of earthly immortality did for the
builders of the Pyramids, what the desire to glorify God did for the
builders of the cathedrals. It is to be the soul of our art: what sort
of a body it is to put on, we shall presently see. Even now it is safe
to assume that no more such granite prisons as the 'Revere' or the
'Astor' will be built for hotels. Lightness, variety, and vivacity will
more probably characterize this style.

The _shop front_ is something that we must have in some shape or other,
and, if fairly treated, it would become as decidedly American as
business is. It is susceptible of great variety, but care must be taken
that it harmonizes with the superstructure. How often we see massive
structures of marble, five stories or more, supported on basements of
plate glass, apparently; while the real supports are carefully
concealed! The best method, so far tried, seems to be that in which the
columns are made sufficiently prominent to show their object, and are
surmounted by arches, which give a good basis for what comes next
above, while affording sufficient window space to the store front.

But we must make up our mind to part with those hideous signboards,
which trail their loathsome length across our best buildings, regardless
of console or capital or cornice. For the importance of the sign renders
it constructive, and it has as much right to take part in the design as
a door or a window. Instead of being pinned on like an afterthought, it
should be built into the wall, panel fashion, and by a little taste in
the selection of the style of letter, it might become one of the most
striking features of the whole front. Color would be better for the
letters than relief, being more economical and more easily altered.

Our warehouses and even our factories might become imposing objects if
appropriately conceived, for is not labor ennobling? Anything that is
worth doing, is worth doing well; and if any of our manufacturing towns
are hideous, they are not necessarily so.[24] There is a certain
grandeur about many such places, with their myriad chimneys and
ponderous wheels and whirling engines, that deserves a corresponding
grandeur of expression, and some of our Pennsylvania ironworks already
afford splendid examples of this. We have seldom been more impressed by
the grandeur of mechanical operations than on a recent night visit to
one of the large rolling mills of Scranton. The whole interior, vast as
a cathedral, was brilliantly lighted by the numerous operations in
molten and red-hot iron that were everywhere in progress, and, with its
gleaming furnaces, ranged on either hand down the long vista, and
glowing here and there from the galleries, really made us feel prouder
of our race than did many a dim, dilapidated temple of the Old World.

As to churches, we cannot expect much, except that they will be tasteful
and commodious audience rooms, commensurate with the importance of their
congregations. The religion of to-day appeals to soul, and not to soul
and sense. The world is older and better educated than in the cathedral
era, and the apostles and prophets are read, not from sculptured doors
or painted windows, but from the printed page and the winged word.
Childhood, that cannot read, requires gaudily painted primers for its
instruction and amusement, but the world is a grown man now; the press
has superseded the cathedral, and if we imitate those structures in our
churches, we should bear in mind that it was their size that gave them
grandeur, and that they would be caricatures without it. We have heard
our American church interiors spoken of somewhere as divisible into two
classes--the charlotte-russe style and the molasses-candy style. This is
not true, we hope; but there is too much truth in it, for it shows the
influence of a too close imitation of European palaces and churches, and
the hard shamming that has to be done to make this imitation apparent.

If our rural architecture has been more successful, it is because our
better class of country houses are planned with reference to the
landscapes they occupy. A rich level meadow with here and there a waving
elm requires a different style of house from a fir-clad bluff on a river
bank or a wild gorge in a mountain. No intelligent architect, we take
it, would design a country house without an intimate acquaintance with
the surroundings, and yet the same man, likely as not, would make you a
sketch for the elevation of your house in town, without even looking to
see what it was to adjoin on either side. Now this method may be
correct, but it seems to us that, by first putting on paper the existing
houses, say one or two, on each side of the space to be built upon, the
new front could be much better planned, and much of that unnecessary
discord avoided which destroys so many of our best streets. This is what
is done in painting and other arts, and why not in architecture?
Particular situations require particular treatments. A front that would
appear well on a narrow street, would be inappropriate on a broad avenue
or a square. A corner, or the head of a street, are most responsible
situations. A tall marble front, placed in a modest row of freestone, is
hideous, and yet the unrelieved monotony of many such rows is quite as
bad. A dome, unless at the top of a street or on some open space, is
next to worthless. Who would ever notice Boston State House or the
Baltimore Cathedral, but for their elevated and central positions?

We often find among the old masters elegant architectural paintings,
street views, taken from the picturesque cities they lived in. We should
like to find some one bold enough to paint a street view of Broadway or
Washington street or Chestnut street.

It is a pity that our architects are unwilling to acknowledge the
importance of the _buttress_. Concerning this feature, it is not easy to
say whether beauty or utility is most apparent. It is the very
idealization of strength, and hence its inherent elegance. Suppose Nôtre
Dame or Milan Cathedral stripped of their double tiers of flying
buttresses. Would you not say that their glory was gone--their beauty
departed? And yet the old builders did not pile them up against their
naves for mere beauty's sake. By no means. But they knew the immense
weight of their vaulted roofs, and anticipated the outward thrust of the
walls. That was the problem, and most fairly was it met. They
counteracted the outward pressure from within by an inward pressure from
without, and there was the buttress. But what if they had said, We are
not going to spoil our fine churches by sticking props all around them,
and had resorted to concealed bedplates and invisible rods of iron,
would their structures have been better or nobler or more enduring?
Fortunately, they gave themselves no concern, as to how they would
look--for architecture was honest in those days--they simply built them,
allowing decoration to come in afterward in its proper order; and
thereupon the buttress became the distinguishing feature of Gothic art.

Perhaps this is the very reason why we so neglect it; but symptoms are
already appearing which lead us to hope that gothophobia is on the
decline, and not the least of them is the outcropping of something that
would be a buttress if it dared to, but hides its real intention under a
classic mask, and passes off as a pilaster or a panel border. But it has
a guilty look, and the sooner it puts off its borrowed garments the
better. Certainly the demand for it is immense. So long as we are a
commercial people, vast warehouses, piled from cellar to roof with heavy
merchandise, must abound in all our cities. And yet how utterly
incompetent would many such buildings be to stand alone! So long, too,
as we are a manufacturing people, must we have huge mills crowded full
with heavy apparatus, vibrating machinery, and _human lives_. Have we
forgotten Lawrence? Let us not wait for another such holocaust ere we
learn wisdom. We can do without ornament, but we must have safety. A
mere increase of dead weight is no remedy; there should be a
well-studied mechanical disposition of material. If buttresses are
applied to warehouses and factories with sole reference to their
utility, elegance will grow upon them afterward as naturally as leaves
grow upon trees.

Material must depend much upon locality, but iron is undoubtedly to hold
an important place in our architecture. Already it is extensively used,
but does not seem to command general favor. The reason is that nearly
everything that has been done with it so far is not iron architecture,
but stone architecture done in iron. We do not let it speak its own
language; the truss, the tie rod, and the girder are kept out of sight,
while every possible display is made of consoles and cornices and
Corinthian columns and balustrades, and all sorts of foreign
expressions. No wonder that it is unable to give an account of itself
with all these false witnesses. Stone houses should be made of stone,
and if made of wood or iron or plaster, they are nothing but shams,
unenduring and unsatisfactory.

Now architecture requires the least amount of material that is
compatible with the greatest amount of strength. The forms of different
materials must be varied to suit their texture, according as it is
fibrous or crystalline, tough or brittle. Iron, of course, requires a
peculiar treatment. At the risk of being charged with pedantry, we say
that there have never been but two iron buildings, of any pretension, in
this country--the Niagara Suspension Bridge and the Crystal Palace at
New York. The first still speaks for itself; and of the latter, no one
who saw it can forget what an exquisite structure it was, so light and
airy and elegant, and yet so strong. It was but a bird cage, though,
compared with its enormous prototype at Sydenham. That is unquestionably
one of the wonders of the world; its internal _coup d'oeil_ is without
a parallel. Fancy a broad level vista, a third of a mile long, flanked
on either side by graceful groves of ironwork, and covered with a
continuous crystal arch, a hundred feet above your head; line it with a
profusion of tropical foliage and clambering vines, that grow as
luxuriantly as in their native woods, and interspersed with statuary and
vases gleaming everywhere through the rich masses of verdure, while here
and there fountains of rare and exquisite design, rising from broad
marble basins, relieve without lessening the immense length--and you may
have some faint idea of this peerless structure. 'No material is used in
it,' says Fergusson, 'which is not the best for its purpose, no
constructive expedient employed which was not absolutely necessary, and
it depends wholly for its effect on the arrangement of its parts and the
display of its construction.' It is in iron what Gothic is in stone.

Details, if fairly studied, would do much to nationalize our
architecture. Why should we, in designing a capital or cornice, still
cling to the classic acanthus or honeysuckle ornament, or even the
English ivy, when we have such a fund of our own? The maize and the
sugarcane, the potato blossom and the cotton boll afford so many mines
of treasure, that it is surprising that they have not already been
worked. In the architecture of the Central Park, however, a decided
impetus has been given in this direction. The details of the grand
terrace at the end of the Mall are as elaborate as those of a European
cathedral, but they are all American--all our own.

Another excellent feature of our city houses is that little strip of
garden in front, just within the sidewalk. For this, too, we think we
have some claim of originality. At least it is not European, for in
Berlin, Vienna, etc., some of the most palatial quarters are without so
much as a sidewalk--the paving stones reaching from wall to wall. Such
barrenness of arrangement cannot be relieved by any architecture, nor
was there ever a building so good that it could not be improved by a
setting of foliage. The power of mutual relief between art and nature is
wonderful. To this is owing much of the effect of the celebrated 'Place
Napoleon,' the court of the New Louvre at Paris. The contrast between
the richly wrought façades of Caen stone and the foliage in the centre,
is most grateful to the eye. Even the grand quadrangle of the Tuileries
seems dismal after it, grand as are its ogre-roofed 'pavilions' and
triumphal arch, for it lacks the refreshing verdure. The eye wearies of
the everlasting buff color.

Not to overstep the subject, we will say just one word about the street
plans of our cities. It is really shameful that these are not more
studied. No one seems to think of adapting them to the surface of the
ground, but everything must needs be graded flat, and rectangular blocks
laid out thereon. Our Western cities, particularly, appear to
crystallize in cubes--their monotony is painful. An occasional
introduction of the curved street, so common in Britain, would be a
delightful relief. The London 'Quadrant' is a superb example--the way in
which the houses come into view, one by one, as you follow the curve, is
not to be surpassed. But the chief secret of success in plotting a town
is to seize upon the natural irregularities of the ground, and make them
part and parcel of the design. The beauty of Edinburgh--the 'Scottish
Athens,' as Dugald Stewart called it--is entirely owing to this. The new
town is a 'wilderness of granite, magnificently dull,' and the old has
barely enough of the picturesque to save it from being hideous. But
there is a broad, natural ravine, dividing the two, which has been
retained in its original shape, and being tastefully arranged with
shrubbery and terraced walks, forms a fine park. Near one end of this
the Castle Hill rises abruptly against the old town, while at the other
end the view is closed by Calton Hill, with its classic monuments, and
Arthur's Seat rising grandly beyond. Two or three bridges afford a level
communication between the old town and the new, and Prince's street, the
thoroughfare of the latter, forms a fine terrace along the northern edge
of the ravine, passing midway the Scott monument, a superb spire of
Gothic. This latter is perhaps the only commendable feature _per se_ in
the city--for the details of Edinburgh are notably poor, its pictorial
effect arising solely from the very happy manner in which they are
grouped, amphitheatre-like, around the 'Gardens.'

Did such a vale lie in the track of one of our cities, we would consider
it an unlucky blemish, to be filled up at once to the general level. It
would be named in the contract as such-and-such 'sunken lots,' and as
the Castle Rock was digged down and dumped in, tax-payers would rejoice
over the saved cartage. Having thus killed off Nature, we would put up
squares of houses upon the dead level, while the local papers would
comment upon the 'improvement of property.'

If we only had a Napoleon here, some think, his master mind might arrest
this Vandalism, infuse some system into our rag-bag cities, and make
each a Paris. But have we not Public Opinion, stronger than any despot?
Let a little of this current, guided by taste, be turned into the
channels of art, and the results will soon be forthcoming. We seem to be
hampered, as yet, with a kind of feudal system of architecture; this
will presently be done away with, for the American character is
eclectic, and naturally selects and combines the best in art, as in
politics and commerce. To combine English good sense without its
heaviness, French vivacity without its hollowness, and the exuberance of
German fancy without its inertia--to combine and reflect all these
should be the mission of our architecture.

Neither is it too much to say that a genuine love for art may have its
bearing on that part of us which is immortal. Not that any of these
things will exist after this life, but as children are drilled by their
teachers in many studies which have no practical bearing on their after
life, so may we consider ourselves as only at boarding school with
Nature while in this present temporary state; and if she has set us some
lessons which do not appertain directly to our more exalted future, we
should remember that this is her method of _discipline_. But she has
done more; she has made the very tasks delightful. Are not such studies
more beneficial and satisfactory than the idleness and play which fill
up so much of our lives?

No student can succeed, however, who tamely copies his neighbor's work.
Let us hope, then, that our art will soon drop its clumsy costume, and
take to itself something natural and national; that it will become, as
it should, the type of our Western civilization--a civilization that
spreads itself, not by sword or sceptre or crozier, but by life and
liberty and light.



JEFFERSON DAVIS AND REPUDIATION OF ARKANSAS BONDS

LETTER NO. III OF HON. ROBERT J. WALKER.


                       London, 10 Half Moon Street, Piccadilly,
                                     _January 28th_, 1864

In two pamphlets, published by me last summer, Mr. Jefferson Davis was
clearly convicted of sustaining the repudiation of the Union Bank bonds,
and the Planters' Bank bonds of the State of Mississippi. These
pamphlets were most extensively circulated throughout the United States,
the United Kingdom, and upon the continent of Europe, and several
confederate writers have since referred to them; but no attempt ever has
been made, either by Mr. Davis himself, or by any of his agents or
friends, to refute any one of the facts or deductions contained in those
pamphlets. Indeed, the facts were founded upon authentic documents,
official papers, and Mr. Davis's own two letters over signature, plainly
and unequivocally sustaining the repudiation of Mississippi. It is true,
in the case of the Union Bank bonds of Mississippi, that Mr. Davis
justified their repudiation on the ground that the bonds of the State
were unconstitutional. But the utter fallacy of this position was shown
by two unanimous decisions of the highest judicial tribunal of the State
of Mississippi, before whom this very question was brought directly for
adjudication, affirming the constitutionality and validity of these
bonds. When it is recollected, also, that this was the Court designated
by the Constitution and laws of Mississippi, as the tribunal to which
the ultimate decision of this question was referred, the wretched
character of this pretext must be at once perceived. Mr. Davis's two
repudiating letters were published by him in the spring and summer of
1849, yet one of these decisions by the highest judicial tribunal of
Mississippi, quoted by me, affirming the validity and constitutionality
of these very bonds, was made in 1842, and again unanimously reaffirmed
in 1853. But still, Mr. Davis adhered to the same position. As to the
Planters' Bank bonds, however, the repudiation of which was shown to
have been justified by Mr. Davis, there never was even a pretext that
they were illegal or unconstitutional. Nor is there any force in the
suggestion, that these questions were decided before Mr. Davis came into
public life. They were _continuous_ questions, constantly discussed in
the press and before legislative and judicial tribunals. And, we have
seen, even as late as 1853, four years succeeding Mr. Davis's
repudiating letters, the second decision was made by the highest
judicial tribunal of Mississippi, reaffirming the validity and
constitutionality of these bonds.

But I will now cite another instance of the advocacy of repudiation by
Mr. Jefferson Davis, still more flagitious than that of Mississippi. It
was that of the State bonds of Arkansas, the validity and
constitutionality of which never has been disputed. A brief history of
this transaction is as follows: In 1830, James Smithson, an eminent and
wealthy citizen of London, in the kingdom of Great Britain, died,
bequeathing, by his last will and testament, the whole of his property
to the United States of America, in trust, to found at Washington, under
the name of 'The Smithsonian Institution,' an establishment 'for the
increase of diffusion of knowledge among men.' After some delay, the
Congress of the United States, in 1836, passed an act, accepting the
trust, and pledging the faith of the Government for the faithful
application of the money to the noble purpose designated by the
illustrious donor. Under this act, Richard Rush, one of our most
distinguished citizens, who had been minister to England and to France,
and had held the position of Secretary of State and of the Treasury, at
Washington, was sent by the Government to London, to obtain from the
Court of Chancery the fund, amounting to over $500,000. It is usual in
the proceedings of the English Court of Chancery, when funds, under
circumstances like these, are bequeathed to trustees for scientific or
charitable purposes, not to part with the money to the trustee, except
upon his filing in court absolute security for the faithful fulfilment
of the trust. In this case, however, the High Court of Chancery in
England, considering that to imply any laches or neglect of a trust so
sacred, on the part of the Government of the United States, was an idea
not to be entertained, did, by their decree, without any security, hand
over all the money to the Government of the United States, to be
appropriated to the purpose designated by the donor, receiving only the
pledge given by the Congress of the United States, for the faithful
appropriation of the money. Now, if there ever was any obligation, that
would be considered sacred by the whole civilized world, it was this,
and most faithfully has the Government of the United States executed
this trust. Nay, it has done much more; it has granted forty acres of
ground, belonging to the Government, in the city of Washington,
gratuitously, for the erection of the buildings upon them, erected by
the Government, are worth largely more than the whole bequest. Not only
has the Government done this, but, upon the whole fund received from Mr.
Smithson, it has always punctually paid an interest of six per cent. in
gold upon the whole sum, and pledged its faith for a similar perpetual
payment. It has also largely aided the institution by contributions to
its museum, collections, and library, and by the gratuitous services of
public officers in its behalf. Such was the bill passed by Congress in
1846, and which has always been most faithfully executed. So that the
institution is now established upon a permanent basis, and is fulfilling
all the great and noble purposes proposed by the illustrious donor. Now,
in 1837, this fund was received by the Government of the United States,
and invested by the Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Woodbury, in the six
per cent. bonds of the State of Arkansas at par, to the extent of over
half a million of dollars. During the same year Arkansas invested this
money in a bank, entitled 'The Real Estate Bank of Arkansas;' and of
which the State was the great stockholder. In 1839, this Bank, having
loaned out these funds to the citizens of Arkansas, became absolutely
and totally insolvent, and has never been able to pay one cent on the
dollar to any of its creditors. In 1839, the State of Arkansas failed
to pay the interest on its bonds, and from that day to this has never
paid one dollar either of interest or principal on any of these most
sacred obligations.

On the 4th of March, 1845, I became Secretary of the Treasury of the
United States, and having taken the deepest interest in this Smithsonian
fund, and in its faithful application to the noble purpose of the donor,
and inasmuch as one of my predecessors had invested these funds in these
bonds, and the Government had made itself directly responsible for the
faithful execution of this trust, I endeavored to reclaim, as far as
possible, this money from the State of Arkansas, and to induce Congress
to appropriate its own moneys to redeem the pledge of the Government,
and fulfil this trust. My first official action on this subject was as
follows: By act of Congress, five per cent. of the net proceeds of the
sales of the public lands of the United States in Arkansas was payable
to that State, for certain purposes designated in the act. There was,
also, an act of Congress in force, authorizing the Secretary of the
Treasury, where there were mutual debts and credits between the
Government and any other person, to offset any debt due by any creditor
of the United States, against any debt, so far as it would go, due by
the United States to such creditor. I interpreted this act as
authorizing me to withhold this five per cent. fund from the State of
Arkansas and appropriate it, as far as it would go, in payment of the
interest which had accumulated on the bonds of the State of Arkansas, in
which my predecessor, Mr. Woodbury, on behalf of the Government, had
invested the Smithsonian Fund; thus saving a small portion of the
interest which had accrued on these bonds. For this act I was violently
denounced by the Senators and Representatives of Arkansas in Congress,
as also by the Legislature and Governor of the State, and strenuous
efforts were made, unsuccessfully, first to induce me to revoke my
action, and, secondly, to have it overruled by the Government. But I
adhered to it, and declared openly, that if such a breach of trust were
consummated, and my action overruled in the premises, I would resign my
seat in the cabinet. My official action, however, was sustained by an
almost unanimous public sentiment of Congress, and of the country.
Indeed, beyond the limits of the State of Arkansas, and the circle of
the repudiators of Mississippi, my course was sustained and approved.

Now, then, let us see what was the action of Mr. Jefferson Davis on the
question of these Arkansas bonds. On reference to the journals of the
House of Representatives, of the Congress of the United States, it
appears that Mr. Jefferson Davis took his seat in that body, as one of
the members elect from the State of Mississippi, on the 8th of December,
1845. (P. 56.) When the bill was pending for organizing the Smithsonian
Institution, and making good for both principal and interest, the sum
bequeathed by Mr. Smithson that had been invested by the Government of
the United States in these Arkansas State bonds, Mr. Jefferson Davis, on
the 29th April, 1846, as appears by the official proceedings of the
House, page 749, moved an amendment: 'To add at the end of the section
the following'--'_Provided, however_, That if the Governor of the State
of Arkansas shall make it appear to the satisfaction of the
Attorney-General of the United States, that he has used suitable means
to obtain from the Real Estate Bank of the State of Arkansas, payment of
the debt due by said Bank to the State of Arkansas, but without success,
then, in that case, and until the arrears due by the said Real Estate
Bank shall have been received into the Treasury of the State of
Arkansas, the said State shall be and is hereby declared to be absolved
from the promises on the face of her bonds by which the said State
heretofore pledged her faith for the due payment of the principal and
interest of said bonds.' Now, then, it will be remembered, that the
legality and constitutionality of these Arkansas State bonds never has
been disputed. These bonds were issued by the State, under direct
authority of law, signed by the Governor, with the broad seal of the
State attached, and recognized by the Government of the United States,
by the investment of this sacred fund in these obligations. Nay, more,
this fund thus received by the State from the Government on these bonds,
had been invested, under the law of the State of Arkansas, in a Real
Estate Bank, created by that State, and the money loaned to the citizens
of the State. That State Bank, however, in 1839, became utterly and
notoriously insolvent, and never did or could pay one cent in the dollar
on its obligations. And, more especially, never did it pay, after 1839,
one single cent of the principal or interest upon these State
obligations. Now, then, this institution, in 1846, being absolutely and
totally insolvent, its funds having been wasted and squandered without
the possibility of recovery, either in whole or in part, Mr. Davis
offers this resolution to authorize the State to repudiate its bonds,
and that the Government should look only to this insolvent Bank for the
payment of the principal and interest on these bonds, amounting then to
over $700,000. It was not alleged by Mr. Davis, or by any other person,
that these bonds were unconstitutional. No such pretext was ever made
even by the State of Arkansas. It was a most atrocious case of open
repudiation. And here, it matters not, so far as this question is
concerned, what may have been the obligation of the Government of the
United States to make good these funds. That is a totally distinct and
independent question. The true and real issue in this case is this: Was
not the State of Arkansas bound to pay these bonds, both interest and
principal, as it fell due, in, which bonds, by the request and authority
of the State, the Government of the United States had invested this
Smithsonian fund? This obligation of the State of Arkansas, both moral
and legal, is undisputed and indisputable; and yet Mr. Davis moved the
resolution before quoted, absolving the State from the payment of the
principal and interest of these bonds, except so far as the assets of
her own Bank, then notoriously bankrupt, should avail to make good these
obligations. That is, the Congress of the United States, by solemn act,
was to authorize the State of Arkansas to repudiate her solemn
obligations. Recollect, this was not a case of Mississippi bonds, of
which State Mr. Davis was then a Representative in Congress, but it was
the case of Arkansas, another State, having on the floor of Congress its
own Senators and Representatives. But it is a very remarkable fact, that
Mississippi, for many years, had then repudiated her own bonds, that Mr.
Davis justified and sustained that repudiation, and that now he appears
on behalf of Arkansas to induce Congress, by solemn act, to authorize
that State to repudiate her obligations also. Thus was it that Mr. Davis
travelled out of his own State into another, to make the Government of
the United States a party to the repudiation of her bonds by the State
of Arkansas. Let me not be misunderstood. I do not mean to say, that Mr.
Davis proposed or intended that the Government of the United States
should repudiate its faith, plighted to the British Court of Chancery,
to make good this fund. That is not the question. It is entirely
collateral. But, what he did do was this, and there stands his own
resolution, offered by himself in the Congress of the United States,
which, if carried into effect, would have released the State of Arkansas
from these bonds, or, in Mr. Davis's own words, 'The said State shall be
and is hereby declared to be _absolved from the promises_ on the face
of her bonds, by which the said State heretofore _pledged her faith_
for the due payment of the principal and interest of said bonds.'

Why should Congress release Arkansas from the payment of her State
obligations? Why thus justify the repudiation of her bonds? Can any
other reason be assigned than this, that Mr. Jefferson Davis was looking
to the repudiated bonds of Mississippi, and was endeavoring to establish
a precedent, by solemn act of the Congress, by which, if adopted as a
principle, Mississippi, and every other defaulting State, could be
justified in the repudiation of their bonds also. It is to the credit of
the Congress of the United States, that Mr. Davis's resolution was
rejected without a division, and without a count. When it is
recollected, that at this very time, I, as Secretary of the Treasury,
was appropriating the five per cent. found payable by the Government to
the State of Arkansas toward the liquidation of these bonds against the
protest of that State, the further meaning of these movements will be
clearly perceived. Had this resolution of Mr. Davis passed the two
Houses of Congress, absolving the State of Arkansas from the payment of
these bonds, I could, of course, as Secretary of the Treasury, no longer
have withheld that fund from the State, and appropriated it, so far as
it went, toward the liquidation of the interest accrued and accruing on
these bonds. It appears, then, by conclusive and official evidence, that
Mr. Jefferson Davis's repudiation of State obligations, was not confined
to his own State, nor even to the State of Arkansas; but that he desired
to make the Government of the United States, by solemn act of Congress,
a party directly sanctioning such atrocious violations of State faith
and State obligations.

                                                      R. J. WALKER.



APHORISMS.


NO. III.

TWO RULES.-To get safely and comfortably through the world, one
must observe two rules: first, keep your eyes open; second, keep them
shut.

Not to see the actual realities of our daily existence, is the part of a
fool.

Not to notice the thousand and one petty faults of others, and the
ever-recurring petty annoyances of our circumstances, is the part of a
wise man.

Even injuries intentionally done to us, are often best disposed of by
resolutely ignoring them.

So of evils that cannot be remedied--the less we know of them the
better. Not to see an ill sight, is often just as good as to remove it
from existence.

We need only to add: This seeing and not seeing, depends very much upon
the will. The wolf that wills it can easily see the lamb disturbing the
water that he drinks, even while the lamb is below him on the bank of
the stream; and the lamb, by a stern resolve, can refuse to _see_ the
injustice which it has no power to remedy. The will of man is little
less than omnipotent in the wide sphere of its appropriate power; and
that sphere is much wider than feeble-minded people may suppose.



LITERARY NOTICES.

     LIFE AND CORRESPONDENCE OF THEODORE PARKER, Minister of
     the Twenty-eighth Congregational Society, Boston. By JOHN
     WEISS. In 2 volumes. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 443 & 445
     Broadway.

A work of two large octavo volumes, containing 1,020 pages, with two
portraits of Mr. Parker, and some vignettes on wood. The author is John
Weiss, and the biography is exceedingly well written, a great deal of it
being given directly from Mr. Parker's own letters and journals. He was
born in Massachusetts in 1810, and died in Italy before he had completed
his fiftieth year. He was brought up on his father's farm, taught school
while in his teens to provide money for further progress, prepared
himself for the university, taught a higher school during his college
course, studied the classics, acquired German, French, and Spanish,
became a divinity student in Cambridge, added Danish, Swedish, Arabic
and Syriac, Anglo-Saxon and Modern Greek, was ordained a Unitarian
minister in 1837, and settled at West Roxbury. His labors were great: he
preached, lectured, translated, edited, and wrote. His health sank under
his arduous mental toil. He went abroad to regain it, and died in
Florence in 1860. Whatever we may think of his creed, as a preacher he
was able and earnest. He was a man of varied gifts, of wide and detailed
culture. He was opposed to slavery, and stood in bold antagonism to the
Fugitive Slave Law. He was blamed, perhaps maligned, during his
lifetime, but posterity will acknowledge him as a man of large brain and
generous heart. His letters are exceedingly interesting, touching upon
almost every subject now under discussion.

  'Would you be good, and fill each human duty?
  One art's enough for that--the finest art--
  See but the good in every human heart.'

     WAS HE SUCCESSFUL? A Novel. By RICHARD B.
     KIMBALL, Author of 'St. Leger,' 'Undercurrents,' 'Romance of
     Student Life,' etc. New York; Carleton, publisher, 413 Broadway.
     Leipsic: Tauchnitz. 1864.

The readers of THE CONTINENTAL have been favored with the first
perusal of this monitory novel. It is an accurate delineation of men and
manners found too frequently in our midst, and the moral should be
deeply graven on every heart. We feel the more at liberty to recommend
this work, as it was commenced in our columns before the present corps
of editors had entered upon their labors, and we cordially wish every
species of success to Mr. Kimball.

     MUSICAL SKETCHES. By ELIZA POLKO. Translated from
     the sixth German edition, by FANNY FULLER. Philadelphia:
     Frederick Leypoldt. New York: F. W. Christern.

We think this book will become a favorite with our people. It contains
sketches, legends, and traditions of many of the great musicians. Bach,
Gluck, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Pergolesi, Schubert, Scarlatti, Weber,
Paganini, Gretry, Catalani, Malibran, Handel, Anderle, Haydn, Boieldieu,
Cimarosa, Beethoven, Lully, Berger, etc., float pleasantly through its
fanciful pages. Romance and reality mingle genially together, the
reality half persuading us that the romance is true. It is appreciative
and tender in the original, and the translation is well executed. The
vignette of the music-making cherubs is really beautiful.

     HUSKS. COLONEL FLOYD'S WARDS. By MARION HARLAND.
     New York: Sheldon & Co., 335 Broadway.

Few young writers have attained so sudden a popularity as Marion
Harland. We believe it well deserved. Her plots are interesting, her
characters well drawn, her style natural, her morals unexceptionable. Of
the two tales composing the present volume, we prefer 'Colonel Floyd's
Wards.' The interest is well sustained, and Virginian society and
manners truthfully depicted.


     DIARY, from November 18, 1862, to October 18, 1863. By
     ADAM GUROWSKI. Volume Second. New York: Carleton,
     publisher, 413 Broadway.

Has Count Gurowski's course toward his own unfortunate country, heroic
Poland, been sufficiently loyal and faithful to induce us to put much
confidence in his portraitures of the men and events of the land of his
adoption?


     THE GREAT CONSUMMATION. THE MILLENNIAL REST; or, The World
     as it Will Be. By REV. JOHN CUMMING, D. D., F. R. S. E.,
     Minister of the Scottish National Church, Crown Court, Covent
     Garden; Author of 'The Great Tribulation,' and 'The Great
     Preparation.' Second Series. New York: Carleton, publisher, 413
     Broadway.

The writings of the Rev. Dr. Cumming are too well known to the public to
need any characterization at our hands. His style is clear and simple,
and we believe it is his desire to awaken and win souls. Although
frequently miscomprehending the dogmas of the Mother Church, he is
neither narrow nor bigoted in his religious views. In the volume under
consideration, he takes passages found principally in Isaiah and
Revelations as texts to describe the Millennium which he believes at
hand. He strives to inculcate the lesson, '_Be ye therefore ready_.'


     CUDJO'S CAVE. By J. T. TROWBRIDGE, Author of
     'Neighbor Jackwood,' 'The Drummer Boy,' etc. Boston: Tilton & Co.

We believe Mr. Trowbridge has achieved a real success in his Cudjo. The
plot is well conceived and sustained, and the interest never flags from
the first page to the last. There is no dull reading in the book, no
interminable preludes or introductions. We are presented in the very
first chapter to the hero, the young schoolmaster, about to be tarred
and feathered by a brutal mob. And a real hero he proves himself in his
gentleness, conscientiousness, and manly moral and physical courage.
Carl, the German boy, is an inimitable picture of young German life and
character. Toby, the house negro, is, in his mingled stupidity, cunning,
and faithfulness, drawn to the life. Nor are the negroes of the cave
less excellent. Events hurry forward, different characters are strangely
grouped, new elements and capacities constantly developed, while truth
to the original conception is constantly adhered to. Graphic
descriptions and picturesque situations abound. If scenes of violence
occur, it is because they are true to the history of the hour. We close
by extracting the closing sentence of this loyal and natural novel: 'For
peaceful days, a peaceful and sunny literature: and may Heaven hasten
the time when there shall be no more strife, and no more human bondage;
when, under the folds of the starry flag, from the lake chain to the
gulf, and from sea to sea, freedom, peace, and righteousness shall
reign; when all men shall love each other, and the nations shall know
God!'


     UNITED STATES WALL ATLAS. Constructed and drawn under the
     direction of A. GUYOT, by ERNEST SANDOZ. New
     York: Published by Charles Scribner, 124 Grand street.

This is a physical map of the United States, giving the altitudes
(within certain limits) of the surface of the land, the height of the
principal mountains, the courses of the ranges and also of the rivers,
together with many other interesting particulars. The principal
political divisions and the chief towns are also indicated. The names of
that profound and earnest savant, Prof. A. Guyot, and of his talented
nephew, E. Sandoz, are a sufficient guarantee of the accuracy and
excellence of this useful work.


     A BUDGET OF FUN FOR LITTLE FOLKS. By AUNT MAGGIE.
     Boston: Loring, publisher, 319 Washington street.

     JEAN BELIN; or, The Adventures of a Little French Boy. By
     ALFRED DE BREHAT. Translated from the French. Boston:
     Loring, publisher, 319 Washington street. For sale by O. S. Felt,
     36 Walker street, New York.

Two very pleasant books for children. The first contains the adventures
of a knitting society, interspersed with sundry novel fairy tales, and
the second is intended to supply the need felt by all the little ones
when 'Robinson Crusoe' and the 'Swiss Family Robinson' have been
exhausted. The tale is lively and well told, and the characters natural
and ably sustained. We notice in both works an occasional inaccuracy of
expression. Such slight blemishes do not materially impair the
excellence of these sprightly volumes, but a little more attention would
have sufficed to render them entirely free from error. The examples of
language placed before youth cannot be too carefully revised. With this
minute exception, we heartily recommend the 'Budget of Fun' and 'Jean
Belin,' especially the latter, to all young people.

     CARROT-POMADE, with twenty-six Illustrations by
     AUGUSTUS HOPPIN. 'Hair ten carats fine.' New York: James
     G. Gregory, publisher, 46 Walker street.

A ludicrous satire, and well deserved, on the general style of
advertisements. Hoppin is too well known to need laudation. His
illustrations are irresistibly comic. What could be happier than the
cupids of the brush and comb on the frontispiece? The poor 'krittur
which furnished the grease' is well conceived and executed.

     POEMS. By HENRY PETERSON. Philadelphia: J. B.
     Lippincott.

A volume of graceful verses. We quote its dedication: 'To the members of
that hard-working, poorly rewarded editorial profession, who make so
many reputations for others, and so few for themselves, this book is
respectfully dedicated by one of the fraternity.' 'Abra's Vision' is a
happy rendering of Leigh Hunt's 'Abou Ben Adhem.'

     APPLETON'S UNITED STATES POSTAL GUIDE; containing the
     Chief Regulations of the Post Office; and a complete List of Post
     Offices throughout the United States, with other information for
     the People. Published Quarterly. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 443 &
     445 Broadway. One dollar per annum. Price, 25 cents.

This volume has been prepared with the sanction of Mr. Blair, Postmaster
General, and is an authorized medium of information between the Post
Office Department and the public. It meets a want very generally felt,
and will be welcomed by the community at large. Its table of contents is
a full one; we have space but for a few items: 'Officers, and recent
Orders of the Department; Rates of Postage to Foreign Countries; Rates
of Domestic Postage; Date of Sailing of Foreign Steamers; Establishment
of Post Offices; Mail Contracts; Penalties in certain cases; Suggestions
to the Public; Time occupied in the transmission of Letters; Local Post
Office Regulations; List of Post Offices in the United States, etc. We
regard the condensation of important and indeed almost necessary
information as of great value to our people.

     LEGENDS OF THE BIRDS. By CHARLES GODFREY LELAND.
     Illustrated by F. Moras. Philadelphia: Frederick Leypoldt,
     publisher. New York: for sale by F. W. Christern, 763 Broadway.

An exquisite volume, containing illuminated pictures of the Birds of the
Legends. Very beautiful are the legends, tenderly and simply told in the
golden words of a poet. They are calculated to teach us humanity toward
the winged creatures of the air, so often the victims of our cruel
sports. We have The Swallow, The Eagle, The Robin, The Cock, The Swan,
The Falcon, The Wood Dove, The Humming Bird, The Scarlet Tannager, The
Peacock, and The Owl, each bird occupying his own illuminated page; each
with his own simple and touching legend. Mr. Leland's little poems will
speak to many a heart, and many a mother will read them aloud to the
wild boys begging for guns to devastate our forests, to inspire them
with mercy for these flying flowers, these musicians of the air. Paper,
print, type, arabesques, and designs, are excellent. We heartily
congratulate Mr. Leypoldt on the beauty of the publication.

     HAND BOOK OF CALISTHENICS AND GYMNASTICS: A Complete Drill
     Book for Schools, Families, and Gymnasiums. With Music to accompany
     the Exercises. Illustrated from original designs. By J. MADISON
     WATSON. New York and Philadelphia: Schermerhorn, Bancroft &
     Co. Chicago: George Sherwood. 1864.

The American people are waking up to the importance of physical culture,
struggling to develop muscle, to strengthen weak nerves, and to build up
national bodily vigor. The purpose of the volume before us is to solve
this problem. The author "has aimed to make it a complete gymnastic
drill book, with words of command and classes of movements
systematically arranged, embracing all necessary exercises for the
lungs, the voice, the organs of speech, the joints, and the muscles."

Part 1st, under the head of _Vocal Gymnastics_, treats of Respiration,
Phonetics, and Elocution; concise and clear principles and rules are
given, accompanied by examples and exercises sufficiently numerous to
enable the student to bring them completely within his comprehension and
under his control. We regard this part of the work before us as
exceedingly important. To read aloud well is one of the rarest of
accomplishments, though one of the most desirable, and the training of
the voice is absolutely necessary to attain this end. When properly
pursued, such exercises are exceedingly invigorating. 'In forming and
undulating the voice,' says Dr. Combe, 'not only the chest, but also the
diaphragm and abdominal muscles are in constant action, and communicate
to the stomach and bowels a healthy and agreeable stimulus.' The poetic
selections are made with great taste, and are admirably fitted to
achieve the end for which they are designed.

Part 2d, under the head of _Calisthenics_, exhibits a varied course of
exercises without the aid of apparatus. Pupils are taught to beat time,
and use is thus made of the magic power of rhythmical movement. Nineteen
pieces of piano music are given, which are well chosen, and
appropriately introduced.

Part 3d, under the head of _Gymnastics_, presents a wider collection of
exercises for wands, dumb bells, Indian clubs, and hand rings, than any
of the books we have yet seen. All the exercises are arranged in
accordance with well-known principles of Anatomy, Physiology, and
Hygiene. 'In presenting a _new system_ of Calisthenics and Gymnastics, a
series of illustrations from _original_ designs is indispensable.' These
are remarkably well drawn and executed. Accent, quantity, with Iambic,
Trochaic, Anapestic, and Dactylic Rhythms, are _practically_ given in
the work, which, should the student have poetic talent, would be of
great use to him in making his own verses, while to the reader of poetry
a knowledge of them is indispensable.

We heartily commend this book to the notice of our readers--to all who
prize physical culture, health, and symmetrical education. We hope it
may find its way into our schools and families.

Print, paper, and the mechanical execution of this valuable Hand Book
are really excellent.

     LIGHT ON SHADOWED PATHS. By T. S. ARTHUR, Author
     of 'Ten Nights in a Bar Room,' 'Steps toward Heaven,' 'Golden
     Grain,' etc. New York: Carleton, publisher, 413 Broadway.

The books of T. S. Arthur have had a very wide circulation both in this
country and in England. This volume is composed of thirty-three short
tales, well calculated to touch and soothe the popular heart. They are
tender, moral, and simple.

       *       *       *       *       *

JANUARY PERIODICALS RECEIVED.

     THE UNIVERSALIST QUARTERLY. Boston: Published by T.
     Tompkins & Co. New York: H. Lyon, 119 Nassau street.

CONTENTS: The Logic and the End of the Rebellion. The Eastern
Church and Council of Nice. Salvation in Christ not Limited to this
Life. Contributions of Science to Religion. History of the Doctrine of a
Future Life. Atheism and its Exponents. Formula of Baptism. The
Universalists as a Christian Sect. General Review. Recent Publications.
American and English Quarterlies.

     THE NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW, January 1st, 1864. Editors:
     Prof. James Russell Lowell and Charles Eliot Norton, Esqs. Boston:
     Crosby & Nichols, 117 Washington street. New York: H. Dexter,
     Hamilton & Co., Sinclair Tousey, and D. G. Francis.

CONTENTS: Ticknor's Life of Prescott. The Bible and Slavery.
The Ambulance System. The Bibliotheca Sacra. Immorality in Politics. The
Early Life of Governor Winthrop. The Sanitary Commission. Renan's Life
of Jesus. The President's Policy. Critical Notices.

     THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER.--Contents: Weiss's Life of
     Theodore Parker. Uhland. The Patience of Hope. Arthur Schopenhauer.
     The System and Order of Christ's Ministry. Ticknor's Life of
     Prescott. Our Ambulance System. The Two Messages. Review of Current
     Literature. New Publications Received. Boston: By the Proprietors,
     at Walker, Wise & Co.'s, 245 Washington street.



EDITOR'S TABLE.


ARTISTS' RECEPTION.

The evening of February 4th, 1864, will long be remembered as the
occasion of one of the most delightful receptions ever given in the
Tenth-street Studio Building. The Committee deserve great praise for the
successful manner in which they filled without crowding the pleasant
exhibition-room and the many interesting studios. Their task was
certainly not an easy one, and merits imitation by all managers of
social entertainments.

Want of space must for the present prevent any description of the fine
works exhibited; suffice it to say that the Committee--Whittredge,
McEntee, Thompson, as well as Gifford, Eastman Johnson, Bierstadt,
Beard, the Weirs, Hazeltine, William Hart, Dana, Leutze, Gignoux,
Shattuck, Brown, Suydam, etc., were all worthily represented. New York
has reason to be proud of her artists.

Amusing incidents were not wanting. As we stood before Beard's
'Watchers' (an impressive representation of a company of crows watching
the last struggles of a dying deer), we heard a lady ask her attendant
the meaning of the picture and of its name. The reply was, 'Why--do you
not see? Those birds are owls, and they are asleep, and the deer is
asleep too, and so they are all watchers!' 'Ah!' returned the lady, as
if this lucid explanation had flooded the subject with light. We were
accompanied by a very bright young girl, who, desirous of visiting the
studio of Mr. Church, and disappointed at learning that it had not been
opened to the guests of the building, exclaimed, 'Heart of the Andes,
indeed! Where is his own?' No lover of the true and the beautiful could
have resisted the pleading of those earnest blue eyes. We also overheard
that 'the Tenth-street boys hold their heads mighty high!' Long may they
continue to do so, and long may success of every kind crown their
efforts, whether as artists or as conscientious, patriotic men!


GOUNOD'S 'FAUST.'

This opera has attracted large audiences wherever it has been
represented, and has elicited much attention and criticism from the
musical public. Dwight's _Journal of Music_, Boston, January 23d,
contains the best review of its merits and defects which we have thus
far chanced to meet. Mr. Dwight gives M. Gounod ample credit for the
good judgment, common sense, science, taste, poetic feeling, rich and
highly dramatic orchestration, ingenious musical characterization of
individuals and situations, and the many passages of beautiful music
found in this elaborate work, but denies to him the _highest_
inspiration, the spontaneity of genius, and the attainment of any very
lofty ideal in the production of continuous, elevated, and
soul-entrancing melodies. We think this a pretty fair statement of the
facts in the case. Mr. Dwight, however, says: 'Not even Mozart in 'Don
Juan' had so great a subject;' and in this connection we feel compelled
to offer a few remarks. We think every great composer owes it to his own
God-gift, and to the human beings whom he is to influence, not to select
intrinsically repulsive subjects, and such have we found both 'Don Juan'
and 'Faust.' Now we are not morbidly fastidious, and we well know the
freedom that must be accorded to art, that it may have ample scope and
range in the delineation of human feeling and romantic situation; but
when we see a representation of 'Don Juan,' we instinctively strive to
ignore the plot, with its odious characters (the sensual Don, the
coarse-minded servant, the unwomanly, man-seeking Elvira, the vengeful
Anna, the insignificant Ottavio, the light-headed and shallow-hearted
Zerlina), and live only in the beautiful music which the prodigality of
genius has wasted upon so poor a theme. Not even _that_ libretto could
degrade the pure, serious, and essentially innocent character of
Mozart's conceptions; but, in turn, his refined musical conception has
been unable to lift the subject from the mire of Da Ponte's delineation.
We know that page after page has been written to unfold the mystic
meanings and profound philosophy contained in the story, but our
observation has been, that the effect of the whole upon pure minds is
simply--disgust. The musical grandeur of the finale rarely saves its
becoming ludicrous in the representation, and the _good joke_ of a life
of unblushing immorality is in no way lessened by the appearance of
demons, in whose existence half the world (at least of of opera goers)
has ceased to believe.

The 'Faust' is nearly, if not quite, as bad. The undisguised sensuality
of Faust, both in Goethe's drama and in the operatic rendering, is such
that it nearly destroys our sympathy with Margaret, and scenes that
should be pathetic are either merely repulsive, or excite our
indignation to such a degree that we 'turn all our tears to sparks of
fire.'

Nothing but loathing can attend the open, deliberate, and utterly gross
destruction of virtue as planned and executed by that miserable
libertine. Mephistopheles himself is scarcely more corrupt, and the
representation of these two great poisonous spiders, weaving their
meshes round their unfortunate and but too easy prey, can never in any
sense impress us as lofty specimens of _high art_.

How different is the plot of 'Fidelio,' where one can yield oneself to
the beauty of the music and the pathos of the story without a single
jarring sensation!

Let the masters then beware! Music is essentially pure, and should never
by great minds be wedded to coarse ideas. The subject must have an
influence upon the immortality of the work. The really noble and truly
art-loving men and women of all countries will, as they advance in
mental cultivation and comprehension of the higher aims of art, banish
such gross delineations and festering moral sores from the stage, and
fine musical works thus sullied will continue to live solely as
represented by such instrument or instruments as may best be calculated
to express their real value and meaning.

We go to the opera for relaxation, improvement, and enjoyment, and none
of these can be found in the spectacle of noble means perverted to
corrupt ends. May the day soon come when such important channels of
public amusement and instruction may be guided by a refined taste and
correct views of the intimate connection between the Beautiful and the
Absolute Good!


Ballads of the War.


  THE DEATH OF COLONEL SHAW.

  By ISABELLA McFARLANE.

  Loud rang the voice of the chieftain,
     As the Fifty-fourth rushed on:
  'Charge on the guns of Wagner,
     Charge--and the fort is won!'

  On--like a wave of the ocean,
     Dashing against a rock!--
  Back--ah! back--all broken,
     Like a wave from the fruitless shock.

  Thus from the guns of Wagner
     The Fifty-fourth surged back:
  But the voice of their brave young chieftain
     Checked not their backward track

  For there, on the sands by Wagner,
     The gallant Shaw lay low,
  'Midst a heap of his brave black soldiers,
     Left in the hands of the foe.

  Not a flag was lowered in his honor,
     Not a gun its deep voice gave,
  When, on the sands by Wagner,
     Shaw was laid in the grave.

  Not a friend stood over his coffin,
     Shedding tears on his gory breast;
  But instead, was curse and insult,
     Cruel laughter, ribald jest.

  Wide and deep was the trench they hollowed,
     Where the gallant Shaw was laid,
  With forty negro soldiers
     Piled over his noble head.

  Yes, forty negro soldiers,
     Whose hearts were hearts of steel,
  Who had fought in the cause of freedom,
     Who had died for their country's weal.

  Was it then so great dishonor
     For that chief so young and brave--
  Who had led them on to the battle--
     To be with them in the grave?

  Nay--most just was the mandate
     That in death they should not part,
  For he loved his poor black brothers,
     With a true and steadfast heart.

  Move not his honored ashes--
     Let him slumber where he lies,
  Till the voice of the great Archangel
     Sounds the trumpet-call to the skies![25]



FOOTNOTES:

[1] THE GEOLOGICAL EVIDENCES OF THE ANTIQUITY OF MAN, with Remarks on
Theories of the Origin of Species by Variation. By Sir CHARLES LYELL, F.
R. S. Author of 'Principles of Geology,' Elements of Geology,' etc.,
etc. Illustrated by woodcuts. Philadelphia: George W. Childs, 628 and
630 Chestnut street. 1863

[2] If any one is disposed to doubt that the doctrine that fossil forms
are direct creations, and were never living animals at all, is held by
any respectable person, we refer them to a book entitled 'Cosmogony, or
the Mysteries of Creation,' by Thomas A. Davies, and published by Rudd &
Carleton, of New York, of no longer ago than 1857.

[3] Principles of Geology, 9th ed., p. 740.

[4] Professor Louis Agassiz, the most patient, learned, and acute
investigator of embryology now living, finds in that science (upon
which, in truth, rests the final settlement of the so-called development
theory) _'no single fact_ to justify the assumption that the laws of
development, now known to be so precise and definite for every animal,
have ever been less so, or have ever been allowed to run into each
other. The philosopher's stone is no more to be found in the organic
than the inorganic world; and we shall seek as vainly to transform the
lower animal types into the higher ones by any of our theories, as did
the alchemists of old to change the baser metals into gold.' He also
says: 'To me the fact that the embryonic form of the highest vertebrate
recalls in its earlier stages the first representatives of its type in
geological times and its lowest representatives at the present day,
speaks only of an ideal relation, existing, not in the things
themselves, but in the mind that made them. It is true that the
naturalist is sometimes startled at these transient resemblances of the
young among the higher animals in one type to the adult condition of the
lower animals in the same type; but it is also true that he finds each
one of the primary divisions of the animal kingdom bound to its own norm
of development, which is absolutely distinct from that of all others; it
is also true that, while he perceives correspondences between the early
phases of the higher animals and the mature state of the lower ones he
never sees any one of them diverge in the slightest degree from its own
structural character--never sees the lower rise by a shade beyond the
level which is permanent for the group to which it belongs--never sees
the higher ones stop short of their final aim, either in the mode or the
extent of their transformation.' He likewise ('Methods of Study in
Natural History,' page 140) discusses the matter of breeds as bearing
upon diversities of species in a manner to justify his conclusion, that:
'The influence of man upon animals is, in other words, the influence of
_mind_ upon them; and yet the ordinary mode of argument upon this
subject is, that, because the intelligence of man has been able to
produce certain varieties in domesticated animals, therefore physical
causes have produced all the diversity existing among wild ones. Surely,
the sounder logic would be to infer that, because our finite
intelligence may cause the original pattern to vary by some slight
shades of difference, therefore a superior intelligence must have
established all the boundless diversity of which our boasted varieties
are but the faintest echo. It is the most intelligent farmer who has the
greatest success in improving his breeds; and if the animals he has so
fostered are left to themselves without that intelligent care, they
return to their normal condition. So with plants....'--_Ed. Con_.

[5] In Latin, _Sublaqueum_, or _Sublacum_, in the States of the Church,
over thirty English miles (Butler says 'near forty,' Montalombert,
'fifty miles') east of Rome, on the Teverone. Butler describes the place
as 'a barren, hideous chain of rocks, with a river and lake in the
valley.'

[6] _Monasterium Cassinense._ It was destroyed, indeed, by the Lombards,
as early as 583, as Benedict is said to have predicted it would be, but
was rebuilt in 731, consecrated in 748, again destroyed by the Saracens
in 857, rebuilt about 950, and more completely, after many other
calamities, in 1649, consecrated for the third time by Benedict XIII in
1727, enriched and increased under the patronage of the emperors and
popes, in modern times despoiled of ts enormous income (which at the end
of the sixteenth century was reckoned at 500,000 ducats), and has stood
through all vicissitudes to this day. In the times of its splendor, when
the abbot was first baron of the kingdom of Naples, and commanded over
four hundred towns and villages, it numbered several hundred monks but
in 1843 only twenty. It has a considerable library. Montalembert (Monks
of the West, ii. 19) calls Monte Cassino 'the most powerful and
celebrated monastery in the Catholic universe; celebrated especially
because there Benedict wrote his rule and formed the type which was to
serve as a model to innumerable communities submitted to that sovereign
code.' He also quotes the poetic description from Dante's _Paradiso_.
Dom Luigi Tosti published at Naples, in 1842, a full history of this
convent, in three volumes.

[7] Gregor. Dial. ii. 37.

[8] Butler, in his Lives of Saints, compares Benedict even with Moses
and Elijah. 'Being chosen by God, like another Moses, to conduct
faithful souls into the true promised land, the kingdom of heaven, he
was enriched with eminent supernatural gifts, even those of miracles and
prophecy. He seemed, like another Eliseus, endued by God with an
extraordinary power, commanding all nature, and, like the ancient
prophets, foreseeing future events. He often raised the sinking courage
of his monks, and baffled the various artifices of the devil with the
sign of the cross, rendered the heaviest stone light, in building his
monastery, by a short prayer, and, in presence of a multitude of people,
raised to life a novice who had been crushed by the fall of a wall at
Monte Cassino.' Montalembert omits the more extraordinary miracles,
except the deliverance of Placidus from the whirlpool, which he relates
in the language of Bossuet, ii. 15.

[9] 'Scienter nesciens, et sapienter indoctus.'

[10] The Catholic Church has recognized three other rules besides that
of St. Benedict, viz.: 1. That of St. Basil, which is stilt retained by
the Oriental monks; 2. That of St. Augustine, which is adopted by the
regular canons, the order of the preaching brothers or Dominicans, and
several military orders; 3. The rule of St. Francis of Assisi and his
mendicant order, in the thirteenth century.

[11] Pope Gregory believed the rule of St. Benedict even to be directly
inspired, and Bossuet (_Panégyrie de Saint Benoît_), in evident
exaggeration, calls it 'an epitome of Christianity, a learned and
mysterious abridgement of all doctrines of the gospel, all the
institutions of the holy fathers, and all the counsels of perfection.'
Montalembert speaks in a similar strain of French declamatory eloquence.

[12] Cap. 5: 'Primus humilitatis gradus est obedientia sine mora. Hæc
convenit iis, qui nihil sibi Christo carius aliquid existimant: propter
servitium sanctum, quod professi sunt, seu propter metum gehennæ, vel
gloriam vitæ æternæ, mox ut aliquid imperatum a majore fuerit, ac si
divinitus imperetur, moram pati nesciunt in faciendo.'

[13] Cap. 48: 'Otiositas inimica est animæ; et ideo certis temporibus
occupari debent fratres in labore manuum, certis iterum horis in
lectione divina.' vina.'

[14] The _horæ canonicæ_ are the _Nocturnæ vigiliæ_, _Matutinæ_,
_Prima_, _Tertia_, _Sexta_, _Nona_, _Vespera_, and _Completorium_, and
are taken (c. 16) from a literal interpretation of Ps. cxix. 164: 'Seven
times a day do I praise thee,' and v. 62: 'At midnight I will rise to
give thanks unto thee.' The Psalter was the liturgy and hymn book of the
convent. It was so divided among the seven services of the day, that the
whole Psalter should be chanted once a week.

[15] Cap. 59: 'Si quis forte de nobilibus offert filium suum Deo in
monasterio, si ipse puer minori ætate est, parentes ejus faciant
petitionem,' etc.

[16] Cap. 40: 'Carnium quadrupedum ab omnibus abstinetur comestio,
præter omnino debiles et ægrotos.' Even birds are excluded, which were
at that time only delicacies for princes and nobles, as Mabillon shows
from the contemporary testimony of Gregory of Tours.

[17] Cap. 66: 'Monasterium, si possit fieri, ita debet construi, ut
omnia necessaria, id est aqua, molendinum, hortus, pistrinum, vel artes
diversæ intra monasterium exerceantur, ut non sit necessitas monachis
vagandi foras, quia omnino non expedit animabus eorum.'

[18] This Maurus, the founder of the abbacy of Glanfeuil (St. Maur sur
Loire), is the patron saint of a branch of the Benedictines, the
celebrated Maurians in France (dating from 1618), who so highly
distinguished themselves in the seventeenth and early part of the
eighteenth centuries, by their thorough archæological and historical
researches, and their superior editions of the Fathers. The most eminent
of the Maurians are D. (Dom, equivalent to Domnus, Sir) Menard,
d'Achery, Godin, Mabillon, le Nourry, Martianay, Ruinart, Martene,
Montfaucon, Massuet, Garnier, and de la Rue, and in our time Dom Pitra,
editor of a valuable collection of patristic fragments, at the cloister
of Solesme.

[19] He was the last of the Roman consuls--an office which Justinian
abolished--and was successively the minister of Odoacer, Theodoric, and
Athalaric, who made him prefect of the pretorium.

[20] Or _Vivaria_, so called from the numerous _vivaria_, or fish ponds,
in that region

[21] Comp. Mabillon, Ann. Bened. 1. v. c. 24, 27; F. de Ste.-Marthe, Vie
de Cassiodore, 1684.

[22] I take this anecdote on Mr. Underhill's authority.

[23] As in the Hotel du Louvre in Paris.

[24] The great Bible-printing establishment at Oxford encloses a
spacious courtyard, which is laid out as a garden. The foliage is
agreeably disposed, and there are shrubbery walks, flowers, vases, and
parterres, all arranged in the best taste. Consider what a healthful
influence this must have on the character of the workman.

[25] 'Buried with his niggers.' Such was the answer of the rebel
commander at Charleston to General Gillmore's demand for the body of
Colonel Shaw, who commanded the 54th Massachusetts, one of the first
negro regiments organized, and was killed in an unsuccessful attempt to
carry Fort Wagner by assault.





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