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Title: The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 4, August, 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy
Author: Various
Language: English
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THE

CONTINENTAL MONTHLY:

DEVOTED TO

LITERATURE AND NATIONAL POLICY.


VOL. VI.--OCTOBER, 1864.--No. IV.



SOME USES OF A CIVIL WAR.


War is a great evil. We may confess that, at the start. The Peace
Society has the argument its own way. The bloody field, the mangled
dying, hoof-trampled into the reeking sod, the groans, and cries, and
curses, the wrath, and hate, and madness, the horror and the hell of a
great battle, are things no rhetoric can ever make lovely.

The poet may weave his wreath of victory for the conqueror; the
historian, with all the pomp of splendid imagery, may describe the
heroism of the day of slaughter; but, after all, and none know this
better than the men most familiar with it, a great battle is the most
hateful and hellish sight that the sun looks on in all his courses.

And the actual battle is only a part. The curse goes far beyond the
field of combat. The trampled dead and dying are but a tithe of the
actual sufferers. There are desolate homes, far away, where want changes
sorrow into madness. Wives wail by hearthstones where the household
fires have died into cold ashes forever more. Like Rachel, mothers weep
for the proud boys that lie stark beneath the pitiless stars. Under a
thousand roofs--cottage roofs and palace roofs--little children ask for
'father.' The pattering feet shall never run to meet, upon the
threshold, _his_ feet, who lies stiffening in the bloody trench far
away!

There are added horrors in _civil war_. These forms, crushed and torn
out of all human semblance, are our brothers. These wailing widows,
these small fatherless ones speak our mother language, utter their pain
in the tongue of our own wives and children. Victory seems barely better
than defeat, when it is victory over our own blood. The scars we carve
with steel or burn with powder across the shuddering land, are scars on
the dear face of the Motherland we love. These blackened roof-trees,
they are the homes of our kindred. These cities, where shells are
bursting through crumbling wall and flaming spire, they are cities of
our own fair land, perhaps the brightest jewels in her crown.

Ay! men do well to pray for _peace!_ With suppliant palms outstretched
to the pitying God, they do well to cry, as in the ancient litany, 'Give
peace in our time, O Lord!' Let the husbandman go forth in the furrow.
Let the cattle come lowing to the stalls at evening. Let bleating
flocks whiten all the uplands. Let harvest hymns be sung, while groaning
wagons drag to bursting barns their mighty weight of sheaves. Let mill
wheels turn their dripping rounds by every stream. Let sails whiten
along every river. Let the smoke of a million peaceful hearths rise like
incense in the morning. Let the shouts of happy children, at their play,
ring down ten thousand valleys in the summer day's decline. Over all the
blessed land, asleep beneath the shadow of the Almighty hand, let the
peace of God rest in benediction! 'Give _peace_ in our time, O Lord!'

And yet the final clause to, every human prayer must be 'Thy will be
done!' There are things better far than peace. There are things more
loathely and more terrible than, the horror of battle and 'garments
rolled in blood.' Peace is blessed, but if you have peace with hell, how
about the blessedness? A covenant with evil is not the sort of agreement
that will bring comfort. A truce with Satan is not the thing that it
will do to trust. There are things in this world, without which the
prayer for peace is 'a witch's prayer,' read backward to a curse.

That is to say, whether peace is good depends entirely on the further
question, With whom are you at peace? Whether war is evil depends on the
other question, With whom are you at war? In one most serious and
substantial point of view, human life is a battle, which, for the
individual, ends only with death, and, for the race, only with the Final
Consummation. The tenure of our place and right, as children of God, is
that we fight evil to the bitter end. 'The Prince of Peace' Himself came
'not to send peace,' in this war, 'but a sword.'

We may venture, then, to say that there are some wars which are not all
evil. They are terrible, but terrible like the hurricane, which sweeps
away the pestilence; terrible like the earthquake, on whose night of
terror God builds a thousand years of blooming plenty; terrible like the
volcano, whose ashes are clothed by the purple vintages and yellow
harvests of a hundred generations. The strong powers of nature are as
beneficent as strong. The destroying powers are also creating powers.
Life sits upon the sepulchre, and sings over buried Death through all
nature and all time. War, too, has its compensations.

For years, amid the world's rages, _we_ had peace. The only war we had,
at all events, was one of our own seeking, and a mere playing at war.
Many of us thought it would be so always. We believed we had discovered
a method of settling all the world's difficulties without blows. The
peace people had their jubilee. They talked about the advance of
intelligence, and the softening power of civilization. They placed war
among the forgotten horrors of a dead barbarism. They proved that
commerce had rendered war impossible, because it had made it against
self-interest. They talked about reason and persuasion, and moral
influences. They asked, 'Why not settle all troubles in a grand world's
congress, some huge palaver and paradise of speechmakers, where it will
be all talk and voting and no blows?' Why not, indeed? How easy to
'resolve' this poor, blind, struggling world of ours into a bit of
heaven, you see, and so end our troubles! How easy to vote these poor,
stupid, blundering brothers of ours into angels, in some great
parliament of eloquent philosophers, and govern them thereafter on that
basis!

Now, resolutions and speeches and grand palavers are nice things, in
their way, _to play with_, but, on the whole, it is best to get down to
the hard fact if one really wants to work and prosper. And the hard fact
is, that Adam's sons are not yet cherubs, nor their homestead, among the
stars, just yet an outlying field of paradise. It is a planet whose
private affairs are badly muddled. Its tenants for life are a
quarrelsome, ill-tempered, unruly set of creatures altogether. As things
go, they will break each others' heads sometimes. It is very
unreasonable. I can see that. But men are not always reasonable. It is
not for their own interest. I can see that too. But how often does
interest, the best and highest, raise an impregnable barrier against
passion or even caprice?

We must take men as they are, and the world as we find it, to get a
secure ground for attempting the reformation of either. And as men are,
and as I find the world, at present, I meet Wrong, and find it armed to
resist Right. The Wrong will not yield to persuasion, it will not
surrender to reason. It comes straight on, coarse, brutal, devilish,
caring not a straw for peace rhetoric or Quaker gravity, for persuasion
or interest. It strikes straight down at right or justice. It tries to
hammer them to atoms, and trample them with swinish hoofs into the mire.
Now what am I to do? To stand peaceably by and see this thing done,
while I study new tropes and invent new metaphors to _persuade_? Is that
my business, to waste the godlike gift of human speech on this mad brute
or devil?

With wise pains and thoughtful labor, I clear my little spot of this
stubborn soil. I hedge and plant my small vineyard. It begins, after
much care, to yield me some fruit. I get a little corn and a little
wine, to comfort me and mine. I have good hope that, as the years go by,
I shall gather more. I trust, at last, my purple vintages may gladden
many hearts of men, my rich olives make many faces shine. But some day,
from the yet untamed forest, bursts the wild boar, and rushes on my
hedge, and will break through to trample down my vineyard before mine
eyes. And I am only to _argue_ with him! I am to cast the pearls of
human reason and persuasion at his feet to stop him! Nay, rather, am I
not to seize the first sufficient weapon that comes to hand, unloose the
dogs upon him, and drive him to his lair again, or, better, bring his
head in triumph home?

It is true, there are wars where this parable will not apply. There are
capricious wars, wars undertaken for no fit cause, wars with scarce a
principle on either side. Such have often been _king's wars_, begun in
folly, conducted in vanity, ended in shame, wars for the ambition of
some crowned scoundrel, who rides a patient people till he drives them
mad. And even such wars have their uses. They are not wholly evil.
Alexander's, the maddest wars of all, and those of his successors, the
most stupid and brutal ever fought, even they had their uses. Our war
with poor Mexico, even Louis Bonaparte's, was not wholly evil.

But there are wars, again, that are not capricious, that are simply
necessary, unavoidable, as life, death, or judgment, wars where the
choice is to see right trampled out of sight or to fight for it, where
truth and justice are crushed unless the sword be grasped and used,
where law and civilization and Christianity are assailed by savagery,
brutality, and devilishness, and only the true bullet and the cold steel
are received in the discussion. These are the Peoples' wars. In them
nations arm. Generations swarm to their battle fields. They are
landmarks in the world's advancement. For victories in them men sing _Te
Deums_ throughout the ages. The heroes, who fell in them, loom through
the haze of time like demigods.

On the plains of Tours, when the Moslem tide, that swept on to overwhelm
in ruin Christian Europe, was met, and stemmed, and turned by Charles
Martel, and, breaking into foam against the iron breasts of his stalwart
Franks, was whirled away into the darkness like spray before the
tempest, the _Hammer-man_ did a work that day that, till the end of
time, a world will thank Heaven for, as _he_ thanked it in the hour of
victory.

And when his greater grandson, creator, guide, and guardian of modern
civilization, paced with restless, ever-present steps, around the
borders of that small world of light which he had built up, half
blindly, in the overwhelming dark, and with two-handed blows beat back,
with the iron mace of Germany, the savage assaults of Saracen and
Sclave, of black Dane and brutal Wendt, and smote on till he died
smiting, for order, and law, and faith, and so saved Europe, and, let us
humbly hope, his own rude but true soul _alive_! are not the thanks of
all the world well due, that Karl der Grosse was no non-resistant, but a
great, broad-shouldered, royal soldier, who wore the imperial purple by
right of a moat imperial sword?

There are wars like these, that, as the world goes, are inevitable. Some
wrong undertakes to rule. Some lie challenges sovereignty. Some mere
brutality or heathenism faces order, civilization, and law. There is no
choice in the matter _then_. The wrong, the lie, the brutality, the
barbarism _must go down_. If they listen to reason, well. If they can be
only preached or lectured into dying peaceably, and getting quietly
buried, it is an excellent consummation. If they do not, if they try
conclusions, as they are far more apt to do, if they come on with brute
force, there is no alternative. They must be met by force. They must get
the only persuasion that can influence them--hard knocks, and plenty of
them, well delivered, straight at the heart.

Wars so undertaken, under a divine necessity, and with a divine sadness,
too, by a patient people, whose business is not brutal fighting, but
peaceful working, wars of this sort, in the world's long history, are
scarce evils at all, and, even in the day of their wrath, bring
compensative blessings. They may be fierce and terrible, they may bring
wretchedness and ruin, they may 'demoralize' armies and people, they may
be dreadful evils, and leave long trails of desolation, but they are
none the less wars for victories in which men will return thanks while
the world shall stand. The men who fall in such wars, receive the
benedictions of their kind. The people that, with patient pain, stands
and fights in them, bleeding drop by drop, and conquering or dying, inch
by inch, but never yielding, because it feels the deathless value of
_the cause_, the brave, calm people, who so fight is crowned forever on
the earth.

From our paradise of a lamb-like world this nation was awakened, three
years ago, by a cannon shot across Charleston harbor. The fools who
fired it knew not what they did, perhaps. They thought to open fire on a
poor old fort and its handful of a garrison. They _did_ open fire on
civilization, on order, on law, on the world's progress, on the hopes of
man. There, at last, we were brought face to face with hard facts. Talk,
in Congress, or out, was at an end. Voting and balloting, and
speech-making were ruled out of order. We had administered the country,
so far, by that machinery. It was puffed away at one discharge of glazed
powder. The cannon alone could get a hearing. The bullet and the bayonet
were the only arguments. No matter how it might end, we were forced to
accept the challenge. No matter how utterly we might hate war, we were
forced to try the last old persuasive--the naked sword.

I cannot see how any honest and sensible man can now look back and see
any other course possible. Could we stand by and see our house beaten
into blackened ruin over our heads? Were we to talk 'peace,' and use
'moral suasion' in the mouth of shotted cannon? Were we prepared to see
the Constitution and the law, bought by long years of toil and blood,
torn to tatters by the caprice of ambitious madmen? Fighting became a
simple duty in an hour! There was no escape. What a pity that so many
beautiful peace speeches (Charles Sumner's very eloquent ones among the
rest!) should have been proved mere froth and wasted paper rags by one
short telegram!

So the great evil came to _us_, as it has come to all nations, as we
believe it _must_ come, from what we now see, to every nation that will
be great and strong. The land, for a time, staggered under the blow.
Men's souls for an hour were struck dumb, so sudden was it, so unlocked
for. As duty became clearer, we awaked at last to the fact that was at
our doors. We turned to deal with it, as the best nations always do,
cheerfully and hopefully. We have made mistakes and great ones. We have
blundered fearfully. That was to have been expected. But we have gone
on, nevertheless, steadfastly, patiently. That was also to have been
expected. For three years and over, this has been our business. We have
indeed carried on some commerce, and some manufactures, and some
agriculture, but our main work has been fighting. The rest have been
subsidiary to that. And the land groans and pants with this bloody toil.
It clothes itself in mourning and darkens its streets, and desolates its
homes, and bleeds its life drops slowly in its patient agony. But it
never falters. It has accepted the appointed work. It sees no outlook
yet, no chance for the bells to ring out peace over the roar of cannon,
and it stands at its post bleeding, but wrestling still.

Has there been nothing gained, however? For the terrible outlay is there
yet no return? Has the war been evil and only evil so far, even granting
that we do not finally succeed, according to our wish? The present
writer does not think so. He believes there have been gains already, and
great gains, not merely the gains that may be summed in the advance of
forces, in territory recovered, in cities taken, in enemies defeated,
but gains which, though not visible like these, are no less real and
vastly more valuable, gains which add to the nation's moral power, and
educate it for the future. He leaves to others the consideration of the
material gain, and desires to hint, at least, at this other, which is
much more likely to be slighted or perhaps forgotten.

He has said enough to show that he does not like this slaughtering
business in any shape. He is sure that the sooner it is ended the
better. He has had its bloody consequences brought, in their most
fearful form, to his own heart and home, but he has a fixed faith,
nevertheless, that any duty, conscientiously undertaken, any duty from
which there is no honorable or honest escape, must, if faithfully
performed, obtain its meet reward. And believing that this business of
war has been undertaken by the mass of the people of these United States
in all simplicity of heart and honesty of purpose, as an unavoidable and
hard necessity, he also believes they will get their honest wages for
the doing it. He believes, too, that the day of recompense is not
entirely delayed; that benefits, large and excellent, have already
resulted to the nation. He sees already visible uses, which, to some
extent at least, should comfort and sustain a people, even under the
awful curse and agony of a civil war. He writes to show these uses to
others, that they too may take heart and hope, when the days are
darkest.

In the first place, this war is, at last, our _national independence_.
To be sure, we read of a war carried on by our fathers to secure that
boon. They paid a large price for it, and they got it, and got all
nations to acknowledge they deserved it, including the great nation they
fought with. It was their _political_ independence only. It secured
nothing beyond that. _Morally_ we were not independent. _Socially_, we
were not independent. There was a time, we can all remember it, when we
literally trembled before every cockney that strangled innocent
aspirates at their birth. We had not secured our moral independence of
Europe, and particularly not of our own kindred and people. We literally
crouched at the feet of England, and begged for recognition like a poor,
disowned relation. We scarcely knew what was right till England told us.
We dare not accept a thing as wise, proper, or becoming till we had
heard her verdict. What will England say? How will they think of this
across the water? In all emergencies these were the questions thought,
at least, if not spoken. We lived in perpetual terror of transatlantic
opinion. Some cockney came to visit us. He might be a fool, a puppy, an
intolerably bore, an infinite ass. It made no difference. He rode our
consciousness like a nightmare. He and his note book dominated free
America. 'What does he think of us? What will he say of us?' We actually
grovelled before the creature, more than once begging for his good word,
his kindly forbearance, his pity for our faults and failures. 'We know
we are wicked, for we are republicans, O serene John! We are sinful, for
we have no parish beadle. We are no better than the publicans, for we
have no workhouse. We are altogether sinners, for we have no lord. It is
also a sad truth that there are people among us who have been seen to
eat with a knife, and but very few that could say, '_H_old _H_ingland,'
with the true London aspiration. But be merciful notwithstanding. We beg
pardon for all our faults. We recognize thy great kindness in coming
among such barbarians. We will treat thee kindly as we can, and copy thy
manners as closely as we can, and so try to improve ourselves. Do not,
therefore, for the present, annihilate us with the indignation of thy
outraged virtue. Have a touch of pity for us unfortunate and degenerate
Americans!'

That supplication is hardly an exaggeration. It was utterly shameful,
the position we took in this matter of deference to English opinion. No
people ever more grossly imposed upon themselves. We had an ideal
England, which we almost worshipped, whose good opinion we coveted like
the praise of a good conscience. We bowed before her word, as the child
bows to the rebuke of a mother he reverences. She was Shakspeare's
England, Raleigh's England, Sidney's England, the England of heroes and
bards and sages, our grand old Mother, who had sat crowned among the
nations for a thousand years. We were proud to claim even remote
relationship with the Island Queen. We were proud to speak her tongue,
to reënact her laws, to read her sages, to sing her songs, to claim her
ancient glory as partly our own. England, the stormy cradle of our
nation, the sullen mistress of the angry western seas, our hearts went
out to her, across the ocean, across the years, across war, across
injustice, and went out still in love and reverence. We never dreamed
that our ideal England was dead and buried, that the actual England was
not the marble goddess of our idolatry, but a poor Brummagem image,
coarse lacquer-ware and tawdry paint! We never dreamed that the queenly
mother of heroes was nursing 'shopkeepers' now, with only shopkeepers'
ethics, 'pawnbrokers' morality'!

At last our eyes are opened. To-day we stand a self-centred nation. We
have seen so much of English consistency, of English nobleness, we have
so learned to prize English honor and English generosity, that there is
not a living American, North or South, who values English opinion, on
any point of national right, duty, or manliness, above the idle
whistling of the wind. Who considers it of the slightest consequence now
what England may think on any matter American? Who has the curiosity to
ask after an English opinion?

This much the war has done for us. We are at last a _nation_. We have
found a conscience of our own. We have been forced to stand on our own
national sense of right and wrong. We are independent morally as well as
politically, in opinion as well as in government. We shall never turn
our eyes again across the sea to ask what any there may say or think of
us. We have found that perhaps we do not understand them. We have
certainly found that they do not understand us. We have taken the stand
which every great people is obliged to take soon or late. We are
sufficient for ourselves. Our own national conscience, our own sense of
right and duty, our own public sentiment is our guide henceforth. By
that we stand or fall. By that, and that only, will we consent that men
should judge us. We are a grown-up nation from this time forth. We
answer for ourselves to humanity and the future. We decide all causes at
our own judgment seat.

And there is another good, perhaps larger than this, which we have won,
a good which contains and justifies this moral, national independence:
We have been baptized at last into the family of great nations, by that
red baptism which, from the first, has been the required initiation into
that august brotherhood.

It seems to be the invariable law, of earthly life at least, that
humanity can advance only by the road of suffering. It is so with
individuals. There is no spiritual growth without pain. Prosperity alone
never makes a grand character. Purple and fine linen never clothe the
hero. There are powers and gifts in the soul of man that only come to
life and action in some day of bitterness. There are wells in the heart,
whose crystal waters lie in darkness till some earthquake shakes the
man's nature to its centre, bursts the fountain open, and lets the
cooling waters out to refresh a parched land. There are seeds of noblest
fruits that lie latent in the soul, till some storm of sorrow shakes
down tears to moisten, and some burning sun of scorching pain sends heat
to warm them into a harvest of blessings.

By trouble met and patiently mastered, by suffering endured and
conquered, by trials tested and overcome, so only does a man's soul grow
to manliness.

Now a nation is made up of single men. The law holds for the mass as for
the individuals. It took a thousand years of toil, and war, and
suffering, to make the Europe that we have. It took a thousand years of
wrestle for the very life itself, to build Rome before. To be sure, we
inherited all that this past of agony had bought the world. For us Rome
had lived, fought, toiled, and fallen. For us Celt, Saxon, Norman had
wrought and striven. We started with the accumulated capital of a
hundred generations. It was perhaps natural to suppose we might escape
the hard necessity of our fathers. We might surely profit by their
dear-bought experience. The wrecks, strewn along the shores, would be
effectual warnings to our gallant vessel on the dangerous seas where
they had sailed. In peace, plenty, and prosperity, we might be carried
to the highest reach of national greatness.

Nay! never, unless we give the lie to all the world's experience! There
never was a great nation yet nursed on pap, and swathed in silk. Storms
broke around its rude cradle instead. The tempests rocked the stalwart
child. The dragons came to strangle the baby Hercules in his swaddling
clothes. The magnificent commerce, the increasing manufactures, the
teeming soil, the wealth fast accumulating, they would never have made
us, after all, a great people. They would have eaten the manhood out of
us at last. We were becoming selfish, self-indulgent, sybaritic rapidly.
The nation's muscle was softening, its heart was hardening. If we were
to become a great nation, we needed more than commerce, more than
plenty, more than rapid riches, more than a comfortable, indulgent life.
If we were to be one of the world's great peoples, a people to dig deep
and build strong, a people whose name and fame the world was to accept
as a part of itself, we must look to pay the price inflexibly demanded
at every people's hand, and count it out in sweat drops, tear drops,
blood drops, to the last unit.

We have been patiently counting out this costly currency for three slow
years. I pity the moral outlook of the man who does not see that we have
received largely of our purchase.

From a nation whom the world believed, and whom itself believed, to be
sunk in hopeless mammon worship, we have risen to be a nation that pours
out its wealth like water for a noble purpose. Never again will 'the
almighty dollar' be called America's divinity. We were sinking fast to
low aims and selfish purposes, and wise men groaned at national
degeneracy. The summons came, and millions leaped to offer all they had,
to fling fortune, limb, and life on the altar of an unselfish cause. The
dead manhood of the nation sprang to life at the call. We proved the
redness of the old faithful, manly blood, to be as bright as ever.

I know we hear men talk of the demoralization produced by war. There is
a great deal they can say eloquently on that side. Drunkenness,
licentiousness, lawlessness, they say are produced by it, already to an
extent fearful to consider. And scoundrels are using the land's
necessities for their own selfish purposes, and fattening on its blood.
These things are all true, and a great deal more of the same sort
beside. And it may be well at times, with good purpose, to consider
them. But it is not well to consider them alone, and speak of them as
the only moral results of the war. No! by the ten thousands who have
died for the grand idea of National Unity, by the unselfish heroes who
have thrown themselves, a living wall, before the parricidal hands of
traitors, who have perished that the land they loved beyond life might
not perish, by the example and the memory they have left in ten thousand
homes, which their death has consecrated for the nation's reverence by
_their_ lives and deaths, we protest against the one-sided view that
looks only on the moral _evil_ of the struggle!

The truth is, there are war vices and war virtues. There are peace vices
and there are peace virtues. Decorous quiet, orderly habits, sober
conduct, attention to business, these are the good things demanded by
society in peace. And they may consist with meanness, selfishness,
cowardice, and utter unmanliness. The round-stomached, prosperous man,
with his ships, shops, and factories, is very anxious for the
cultivation of these virtues. He does not like to be disturbed o'
nights. He wants his street to be quiet and orderly. He wants to be left
undisturbed to prosecute his prosperous business. He measures virtue by
the aid it offers for that end. Peace vices, the cankers that gnaw a
nation's heart, greed, self-seeking luxury, epicurean self-indulgence,
hardness to growing ignorance, want, and suffering, indifference to all
high purposes, spiritual _coma_ and deadness, these do not disturb him.
They are rotting the nation to its marrow, but they do not stand in the
way of his money-getting. He never thinks of them as evils at all. To be
sure, sometimes, across his torpid brain and heart may echo some harsh
expressions, from those stern old Hebrew prophets, about these things.
But he has a very comfortable pew, in a very soporific church, and he is
only half awake, and the echo dies away and leaves no sign. _He_ is just
the man to tell us all about the demoralization of war.

Now quietness and good order, sober, discreet, self-seeking, decorous
epicureanism and the rest, are not precisely the virtues that will save
a people. There are certain old foundation virtues of another kind,
which are the only safe substratum for national or personal salvation.
These are courage--hard, muscular, manly courage--fortitude, patience,
obedience to discipline, self-denial, self-sacrifice, veracity of
purpose, and such like. These rough old virtues must lie at the base of
all right character. You may add, as ornaments to your edifice, as
frieze, cornices, and capitals to the pillars, refinements, and
courtesies, and gentleness, and so on. But the foundation must rest on
the rude granite blocks we have mentioned, or your gingerbread erection
will go down in the first storm.

And the simple fact is that peace has a tendency to eat out just these
foundation virtues. They are _war_ virtues; just the things called out
by a life-and-death battle for some good cause. In these virtues we
claim the land has grown. The national character has deepened and
intensified in these. We have strengthened anew these rocky foundations
of a nation's greatness. Men lapped in luxury have patiently bowed to
toil and weariness. Men living in self-indulgence have shaken off their
sloth, and roused the old slumbering fearlessness of their race. Men,
living for selfish ends, have been penetrated by the light of a great
purpose, and have risen to the loftiness of human duty. Men, who shrank
from pain as the sorest evil, have voluntarily accepted pain, and borne
it with a fortitude we once believed lost from among mankind; and, over
all, the flaming light of a worthy cause that men might worthily live
for and worthily die for, has led the thousands of the land out of their
narrow lives, and low endeavors, to the clear mountain heights of
sacrifice! We stand now, a courageous, patient, steadfast, unselfish
people before all the world. We stand, a people that has taken its life
in its hand for a purely unselfish cause. We have won our place in the
foremost rank of nations, not on our wealth, our numbers, or our
prosperity, but on the truer test of our manhood, truth, and
steadfastness. We stand justified at the bar of our own conscience, for
national pride and self-reliance, as we shall infallibly be justified at
the bar of the world.

Is this lifting up of a great people nothing? Is this placing of twenty
millions on the clear ground of unselfish duty, as life's motive,
nothing? Is there one of us, to-day, who is not prouder of his nation
and its character, in the midst of its desperate tug for life, than he
ever was in the day of its envied prosperity? And when he considers how
the nation has answered to its hard necessity, how it has borne itself
in its sore trial, is he not clear of all doubt about its vitality and
continuance? And is that, also, nothing?

But besides this education in the stern, rude, heroic virtues that prop
a people's life, there has been an education in some others, which,
though apparently opposed, are really kindred. Unselfish courage is
noble, but always with the highest courage there lives a great pity and
tenderness. The brave man is always soft hearted. The most courageous
people are the tenderest people. The highest manhood dwells with the
highest womanhood.

So the heart of the nation has been touched and softened, while its
muscles have been steeled. While it has grasped the sword, it has
grasped it weeping in infinite pity. It has recognized the truth of
human brotherhood as it never did before. All ranks have been drawn
together in mutual sympathy. All barriers, that hedge brethren apart,
have been broken down in the common suffering.

News comes, to-day, that a great battle has been fought, and wounded
thousands of our brothers need aid and care. You tell the news in any
city or hamlet in the land, and hands are opened, purses emptied, stores
ransacked for comforts for the suffering, and gentle women, in
hundreds, are ready to tend them as they would their own. Is this no
gain? Is it nothing that the selfishness of us all has been broken up as
by an earthquake, and that kindness, charity, and pity to the sick and
needy have become the law of our lives? Count the millions that have
streamed forth from a people whose heart has been touched by a common
suffering, in kindness to wounded and sick soldiers and to their needy
families! Benevolence has become the atmosphere of the land.

Four years ago we could not have believed it. That the voluntary charity
of Americans would count by millions yearly, would flow out in a steady,
deep, increasing tide, that giving would be the rule, free, glad giving,
and refusing the marked exception, the world would not have believed it,
_we_ would not have believed it ourselves. Is this nothing?

We will think more of each other also for all this. We will love and
honor each other better. Under the awful pressure of the Hand that lies
upon us so heavily, we are brought into closer knowledge and closer
sympathy. The blows of battle are welding us into one. Fragments of all
people, and all races, cast here by the waves, and strangers to each
other, with a hundred repulsions and separations, even to language,
religions, and morals, the furnace heat of our trial is fusing all parts
into one strong, united whole. We are driven and drawn together by the
sore need that is upon us, and as Americans are forgetting all else. The
civil war is making us _a people_--the American People. We are no longer
'the loose sweepings of all lands,' as they called us. We are one, now,
brethren all in the sacrament of a great sorrow.

And is this nothing?

And these goods and gains are permanent. They do not belong to this
generation only, or to this time exclusively. After all, the nation is
mainly an educator. These things remain, as parts of its moral influence
in moulding and training. And here is their infinite value.
Independence, courage, patience, fortitude, nobleness, self-sacrifice,
and tenderness become the national ethics. These things are pressed home
on all growing minds. Coming generations are to be educated in these, by
the example of the present. We are stamping these things, as the
essentials of the national character, on the ages to come.

A thousand years of prosperity will have no power of this kind. What is
there in Chinese history to elevate a Chinaman? What high, heroic
experience to educate him, in her long centuries of ignoble peace? The
training power of a nation is acquired always in the crises of its
history. In the day when it rises to fight for its life, the typal men,
who give it the lasting models of its excellence, spring forth too for
recognition. The examples of these days of our own crisis will remain
forever to influence the children of our people. We may be thankful, in
our deepest sorrow, that we are leaving them no example of cowardice or
meanness, that we give them a record to read of the courage, endurance,
and manliness of the men that begat them, that the stamp of national
character we leave to teach them is one of which a brave, free people
need never be ashamed, that, in the troubles they may be called to face,
we leave them, as the national and tried cure for _all_ troubles, the
bold, true heart, the willing hand, the strong arm, and faith in the
Lord of Hosts. Shiloh, Stone River, Gettysburg, and the Wilderness, and
a hundred others, are the heroic names that will educate our
grandchildren, as Bunker Hill, Yorktown, and Saratoga have educated
ourselves. Who will say that a heritage of heroism and truth and loyalty
like this, to leave to the land we love, is nothing? Who can count the
price that will sum its value?

Here, at least, are some of the gains of our civil war. We seek not to
penetrate the councils of the Omniscient, or guess His purposes, though
we may humbly hope there are vaster things than these in store for
humanity and the world as the results of the struggle. Believing that He
governs still, that He reigns on the James, as He reigned on the Jordan,
that _He_ decides the end, and not President Lincoln or Jefferson Davis,
and not General Grant or General Lee, we have firm faith that this awful
struggle is no brute fight of beasts or ruffians, but a grand world's
war of heroes. We believe He will justify His government in the end, and
make this struggle praise Him, in the blessed days that are to come. But
we leave all those dim results unguessed at, as we leave the purposes of
the war itself unmentioned, and the ends which justify us in fighting
on. Men, by this time, have made up their minds, once for all, on these
last points. The nation has chosen, and in its own conscience, let
others think as they may, accepts the responsibility cheerfully.

It is enough to indicate, as we have done, some _real_, though
immaterial, results already attained, results which, to the philosopher
or thoughtful statesman, are worth a very large outlay. They do not,
indeed, remove the horror of war, they do not ask us not to seek peace,
they do not dry the tears, or hide the blood of the contest, but they do
show us that war is no unmixed evil, that even honest, faithful war-work
is acceptable work, and will be paid for.

They declare that, after all, war is a means of moral training, that
'Carnage' may be, as the gentlest of poets wrote, 'God's daughter,' that
battles may be blessings to be thankful for in the long march of time.
They bring to our consciousness, once more, the fact that a Great
Battle, amid all its horror, wrath, and blood, is something sacred
still, an earthly shadow of that Unseen Battle which has stormed through
time, between the hosts of Light and Darkness. They declare again, to
the nation, that old truth, without which the nation perishes and man
rots, that to die in some good cause is the noblest thing a man can do
on earth. They bid us bend in hope beneath the awful hand of the GOD OF
BATTLES, and do our appointed work patiently, bravely, loyally, till
_He_ brings the end. They tell us that not work only, but heroic
fighting, also, is a worship accepted at His seat. They bid us be
thankful, as for the most sacred of all gifts, that thousands, in this
loyal land of ours, have had the high grace, given from above,

  'To search through all they felt and saw,
  The springs of life, the depths of awe,
  And reach _the law within the law_:

  'To pass, when Life her light withdraws,
  Not void of righteous self-applause,
  Nor in a merely selfish cause--

  'In some good cause, not in their own,
  To perish, _wept for_, _honored_, _known_,
  And like a warrior overthrown.'



PROVERBS.


Violets and lilies-of-the-valley are seen in a vale.

Family jars should be filled with honey.

All are not lambs that gambol on the green.

Ask the 'whys,' and be wise.



THE UNDIVINE COMEDY--A POLISH DRAMA.

Dedicated to Mary.

PART II.

  'Du Gemisch von Koth und Feuer!'
  'Thou compound of clay and fire!'


Why, O child! art thou not, like other children, riding gayly about on
sticks for horses, playing with toys, torturing flies, or impaling
butterflies on pins, that the brilliant circles of their dying pangs may
amuse thy young soul? Why dost thou never romp and sport upon the grassy
turf, pilfer sugarplums and sweetmeats, and wet the letters of thy
picture book from A to Z with sudden tears?

Infant king of flies, moths, and grasshoppers; of cowslips, daisies, and
of kingcups; of tops, hoops, and kites; little friend of Punch and
puppets; robber of birds' nests, and outlaw of petty mischiefs--son of
the poet, tell me, why art thou so unlike a child--so like an angel?

What strange meaning lies in the blue depths of thy dreamy eyes? Why do
they seek the ground as if weighed down by the shadows of their drooping
lashes; and why is their latent fire so gloomed by mournful memories,
although they have only watched the early violets of a few springs? Why
sinks thy broad head heavily down upon thy tiny hands, while thy pallid
temples bend under the weight of thine infant thoughts, like snowdrops
burdened with the dew of night?

       *       *       *       *       *

And when thy pale cheek floods with sudden crimson, and, tossing back
thy golden curls, thou gazest sadly into the depths of the sky--tell me,
infant, what seest thou there, and with whom holdest thou communion? For
then the light and subtile wrinkles weave their living mesh across thy
spotless brow, like silken threads untwining by an unseen power from
viewless coils, and thine eyes sparkle, freighted with mystic meanings,
which none are able to interpret! Then thy grandam calls in vain,
'George, George!' and weeps, for thou heedest her not, and she fears
thou dost not love her! Friends and relations then appeal to thee in
vain, for thou seemest not to hear or know them! Thy father is silent
and looks sad; tears fill his anxious eyes, falling coldly back into his
troubled heart.

       *       *       *       *       *

The physician comes, puts his finger on thy pulse, counts its changeful
beats, and says thy nerves are out of order.

Thy old godfather brings thee sugarplums, strokes thy pale cheeks, and
tells thee thou must be a statesman in thy native land.

The professor passes his hand over thy broad brow, and declares thou
will have talent for the abstract sciences.

The beggar, whom thou never passest without casting a coin in his
tattered hat, promises thee a beautiful wife, and a heavenly crown.

The soldier, raising thee high in the air, declares thou wilt yet be a
great general.

The wandering gypsy looks into thy tender face, traces the lines upon
thy little hand, but will not tell their hidden meaning; she gazes sadly
on thee, and then sighing turns away; she says nothing, and refuses to
take the proffered coin.

The magnetizer makes his passes over thee, presses his fingers on thine
eyes, and circles thy face, but mutters suddenly an oath, for he is
himself growing sleepy; he feels like kneeling down before thee, as
before a holy image. Then thou growest angry, and stampest with thy tiny
feet; and when thy father comes, thou seemest to him a little Lucifer;
and in his picture of the Day of Judgment, he paints thee thus among the
infant demons, the young spirits of evil.

       *       *       *       *       *

Meanwhile thou growest apace, becoming ever more and more beautiful, not
in the childish beauty of rose bloom and snow, but in the loveliness of
wondrous and mysterious thoughts, which flow to thee from other worlds;
and though thy languid eyes droop wearily their fringes, though thy
cheek is pale, and thy breast bent and contracted, yet all who meet thee
stop to gaze, exclaiming: '_What a little angel!_'

If the dying flowers had a living soul inspired from heaven; if, in
place of dewdrops, each drooping leaf were bent to earth with the
thought of an angel, such flowers would resemble thee, fair child!

And thus, before the fall, they may, perchance, have bloomed in
Paradise!

     A graveyard. The Man and George are seen sitting by a grave, over
     which stands a gothic monument, with arches, pillars, and mimic
     towers.

THE MAN. Take off thy hat, George, kneel, and pray for thy mother's
soul!

GEORGE. Hail, Mary, full of grace! Mary, Queen of Heaven, Lady of all
that blooms on earth, that scents the fields, that paints the fringes of
the streams ...

THE MAN. Why changest thou the words of the prayer? Pray for thy mother
as thou hast been taught to do; for thy dear mother, George, who
perished in her youth, just ten years ago this very day and hour.

GEORGE. Hail, Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with thee! I know that
thou art blessed among the angels, and as thou glidest softly through
them, each one plucks a rainbow from his wings to cast under thy feet,
and thou floatest softly on upon them as if borne by waves....

THE MAN. George!

GEORGE. Be not angry with me, father! these words _force_ themselves
into my mind; they pain me so dreadfully in my head, that I must say
them....

THE MAN. Rise, George. Such prayers will never reach God!

Thou art not thinking of thy mother; thou dost not love her!

GEORGE. I love her. I see mamma very often.

THE MAN. Where, my son?

GEORGE. In dreams--yet not exactly in dreams, but just as I am going to
sleep. I saw her yesterday.

THE MAN. What do you mean, George?

GEORGE. She looked so pale and thin!

THE MAN. Has she ever spoken to you, darling?

GEORGE. She goes wandering up and down--through an immense Dark--she
roams about entirely alone, so white and so pale! She sang to me
yesterday. I will tell thee the words of her song:

    'I wander through the universe,
      I search through infinite space,
    I press through Chaos, Darkness,
      To bring thee light and grace;
    I listen to the angels' song
      To catch the heavenly tone;
    Seek every form of beauty,
      To bring to thee, mine own!

    'I seek from greatest spirits,
      From those of lower might,
    Rainbow colors, depth of shadow,
      Burning contrasts, dark and bright;
    Rhythmed music, hues from Eden,
      Floating through the heavenly bars;
    Sages' wisdom, seraphs' loving,
      Mystic glories from the stars--
  That thou mayst be a Poet, richly gifted from above
  To win thy father's fiery heart, and _keep_ his _changeful love_!'

Thou seest, dear father, that my mother does speak to me, and that I
remember, word for word, what she says to me; indeed I am telling you
no lie.

THE MAN (_leaning against one of the pillars of the tomb_). Mary! wilt
thou destroy thine own son, and burden my Soul with the ruin of both?...

But what folly! She is calm and tranquil now in heaven, as she was pure
and sweet on earth. My poor boy only dreams ...

GEORGE. I hear mamma's voice now, father!

THE MAN. From whence comes it, my son?

GEORGE. From between the two elms before us glittering in the sunset.
Listen!

    'I pour through thy spirit
      Music and might;
    I wreathe thy pale forehead
      With halos of light;
    Though blind, I can show thee
      Blest forms from above,
    Floating far through the spaces
      Of infinite love,
  Which the angels in heaven and men on the earth
  Call Beauty. I've sought since the day of thy birth

    To waken thy spirit,
      My darling, my own,
    That the hopes of thy father
      May rest on his son!
    That his love, warm and glowing,
      Unchanging may shine;
    And his heart, infant poet,
      _Forever be thine!_'

THE MAN. Can a blessed spirit be mad? Do the last thoughts of the dying
pursue them into their eternal homes?

Can insanity be a part of immortality?... O Mary! Mary!

GEORGE. Mamma's voice is growing weaker and weaker; it is dying away now
close by the wall of the charnel house. Hark! hark! she is still
repeating:

  'That his love, warm and glowing,
    Unchanging may shine;
  And his heart, little poet,
    _Forever be thine!_'

THE MAN. O God! have mercy upon our unfortunate child, whom in Thine
anger Thou hast doomed to madness and to an early death! Have pity on
the innocent creature Thou hast Thyself called into being! Rob him not
of reason! Ruin not the living temple Thou hast built--the shrine of the
soul! Oh look down upon my agony, and deliver not this young angel up to
hell! Me Thou hast at least armed with strength to endure the dizzying
throng of thoughts, passions, longings, yearnings--but him! Thou hast
given him a frame fragile as the frailest web of the spider, and every
great thought rends and frays it. O Lord! my God! have mercy!

I have not had one tranquil hour for the last ten years. Thou hast
placed me among men who may have envied my position, who may have wished
me well, or who would have conferred benefits upon me--but I have been
alone! alone!

Thou hast sent storms of agony upon me, mingled with wrongs, dreams,
hopes, thoughts, aspirations, and yearnings for the infinite! Thy grace
shines upon my intellect, but reaches not my heart!

Have mercy, God! Suffer me to love my son in peace, that thus
reconciliation may be planted between the created and the Creator!...

Cross thyself now, my son, and come with me.

Eternal rest be with the dead!

     Exit with George

       *       *       *       *       *

     A public square. Ladies and gentlemen. A Philosophe. The Man.

PHILOSOPHE. I repeat to you, that it is my irresistible conviction that
the hour has come for the emancipation of negroes and women.

THE MAN. I agree with you fully.

PHILOSOPHE. And as a change so great in the constitution of society,
both in general and particular, stands so immediately before us, I
deduce from such a revolution the complete destruction of old forms and
formulas, and the regeneration of the whole human family.

THE MAN. Do you really think so?

PHILOSOPHE. Just as our earth, by a sudden change in the inclination of
its axis, might rotate more obliquely ...

THE MAN. Do you see this hollow tree?

PHILOSOPHE. With tufts of new leaves sprouting forth from the lower
branches?

THE MAN. Yes. How much longer do you think it can continue to stand?

PHILOSOPHE. I cannot tell; perhaps a year or two longer.

THE MAN. Its roots are rapidly rotting out, and yet it still puts forth
a few green leaves.

PHILOSOPHE. What inference do you deduce from that?

THE MAN. Nothing--only that it is rotting out in spite of its few green
leaves; falling daily into dust and ashes; and that it will not bear the
tool of the moulder!

And yet it is your type, the type of your followers, of your theories,
of the times in which we live....

     They pass on out of sight.

       *       *       *       *       *

     A mountain pass.

THE MAN. I have labored many years to discover the final results of
knowledge, pleasure, thought, passion, and have only succeeded in
finding a deep and empty grave in my own heart!

I have indeed learned to know most things by their names--the feelings,
for example; but I _feel_ nothing, neither desires, faith, nor love. Two
dim forebodings alone stir in the desert of my soul--the one, that my
son is hopelessly blind; the other, that the society in which I have
grown up is in the pangs of dissolution; I suffer as God enjoys, in
myself only, and for myself alone....

VOICE OF THE GUARDIAN ANGEL. Love the sick, the hungry, the wretched!
Love thy neighbor, thy poor neighbor, as thyself, and thou shalt be
redeemed!

THE MAN. Who speaks?

MEPHISTOPHILES. Your humble servant. I often astonish travellers by my
marvellous natural gifts: I am a ventriloquist.

THE MAN. I have certainly seen a face like that before in an engraving.

MEPHISTOPHILES (_aside_). The count has truly a good memory.

THE MAN. Blessed be Christ Jesus!

MEPHISTOPHILES. Forever and ever, amen!--(_Muttering as he disappears
behind a rock_:) Curses on thee, and thy stupidity!

THE MAN. My poor son! through the sins of thy father and the madness of
thy mother, thou art doomed to perpetual darkness--blind! Living only in
dreams and visions, thou art never destined to attain maturity! Thou art
but the shadow of a passing angel, flitting rapidly over the earth, and
melting into the infinite of ...

Ha! what an immense eagle that is fluttering just there where the
stranger disappeared behind the rocks!

THE EAGLE. Hail! I greet thee! hail!

THE MAN. He is as black as night; he flies nearer; the whirring of his
vast wings stirs me like the whistling hail of bullets in the fight.

THE EAGLE. Draw the sword of thy fathers, and combat for their power,
their fame!

THE MAN. His wide wings spread above me; he gazes into my eyes with the
charm of the rattlesnake--Ha! I understand thee!

THE EAGLE. Despair not! Yield not now, nor ever! Thy enemies, thy
miserable enemies, will fall to dust before thee!

THE MAN. Going?... Farewell, then, among the rocks, behind which thou
vanishest!... Whatever thou mayst be, delusion or truth, victory or
ruin, I trust in thee, herald of fame, harbinger of glory!

Spirit of the mighty Past, come to my aid! and even if thou hast already
returned to the bosom of God, quit it--and come to me! Inspire me with
the ancient heroism! Become in me, force, thought, action!

     Stooping to the ground, he turns up and throws aside a viper.

Curses upon thee, loathsome reptile! Even as thou diest, crushed and
writhing, and nature breathes no sigh for thy fate, so will the
destroyers of the Past perish in the abyss of nothingness, leaving no
trace, and awakening no regret.

None of the countless clouds of heaven will pause one moment in their
flight to look upon the thronging hosts of men now gathering to kill and
slaughter!

First they--then I--

Boundless vault of blue, so softly pouring round the earth! the earth is
a sick child, gnashing her teeth, weeping, struggling, sobbing; but thou
hearest her not, nor tremblest, flowing in silence ever gently on, calm
in thine own infinity!

Farewell forever, O mother nature! Henceforth I must wander among men! I
must combat with my brethren!

       *       *       *       *       *

     A chamber. The Man. George. A Physician.

THE MAN. No one has as yet been of the least service to him; my last
hopes are placed in you.

PHYSICIAN. You do me much honor.

THE MAN. Tell me your opinion of the case.

GEORGE. I can neither see you, my father, nor the gentleman to whom you
speak. Dark or black webs float before my eyes, and again something like
a snake seems to crawl across them. Sometimes a golden cloud stands
before them, flies up, and then falls down upon them, and a rainbow
springs out of it; but there is no pain--they never hurt me--I do not
suffer, father.

PHYSICIAN. Come here, George, in the shade. How old are you?

     He looks steadily into the eyes of the boy.

THE MAN. He is fourteen years old.

PHYSICIAN. Now turn your eyes directly to the light, to the window.

THE MAN. What do you say, doctor?

PHYSICIAN. The eyelids are beautifully formed, the white perfectly pure,
the blue deep, the veins in good order, the muscles strong.

     To George.

You may laugh at all this, George. You will be perfectly well; as well
as I am.

     To the Man (aside).

There is no hope. Look at the pupils yourself, count; there is not the
least susceptibility to the light; there is a paralysis of the optic
nerve.

GEORGE. Everything looks to me as if covered with black clouds.

THE MAN. Yes, they are open, blue, lifeless, dead!

GEORGE. When I shut my eyelids I can see _more_ than when my eyes are
open.

PHYSICIAN. His mind is precocious; it is rapidly consuming his body. We
must guard him against an attack of catalepsy.

THE MAN (_leading the doctor aside_). Save him, doctor, and the half of
my estate is yours!

PHYSICIAN. A disorganization cannot be reorganized.

     He takes up his hat and cane.

Pardon me, count, but I can remain here no longer; I am forced now to
visit a patient whom I am to couch for cataract.

THE MAN. For God's sake, do not desert us!

PHYSICIAN. Perhaps you have some curiosity to know the name of this
malady?...

THE MAN. Speak! is there no hope?

PHYSICIAN. It is called, from the Greek, _amaurosis_.

     Exit Physician.

THE MAN (_pressing his son to his heart_). But you can still see a
little, George?

GEORGE. I can _hear your voice_, father!

THE MAN. Try if you can see. Look out of the window; the sun is shining
brightly, the sky is clear.

GEORGE. I see crowds of forms circling between the pupils of my eyes and
my eyelids--faces I have often seen before, the leaves of books I have
read before....

THE MAN. Then you really do still see?

GEORGE. Yes, with the _eyes of my spirit--but the eyes of my body have
gone out forever_.

THE MAN (_falls on his knees as if to pray; pauses, and exclaims
bitterly_:) Before _whom_ shall I kneel--to whom pray--to whom complain
of the unjust doom crushing my innocent child?

     He rises from his knees.

It is best to bear all in silence--God laughs at our prayers--Satan
mocks at our curses--

A VOICE. But thy son is a Poet--and what wouldst thou more?

       *       *       *       *       *

     The Physician and Godfather.

GODFATHER. It is certainly a great misfortune to be blind.

PHYSICIAN. And at his age a very unusual one.

GODFATHER. His frame was always very fragile, and his mother died
somewhat--so--so ...

PHYSICIAN. How did she die?

GODFATHER. A little so ... you understand ... not quite in her right
mind.

THE MAN (_entering_). I pray you, pardon my intrusion at so late an
hour, but for the last night or two my son has wakened up at twelve
o'clock, left his bed, and talked in his sleep.

Will you have the kindness to follow me, and watch him to-night?

PHYSICIAN. I will go to him immediately; I am very much interested in
the observation of such phenomena.

       *       *       *       *       *

     Relations, Godfather, Physician, the Man, a Nurse--assembled in the
     sleeping apartment of George Stanislaus.

FIRST RELATION. Hush! hush! be quiet!

SECOND RELATION. He is awake, but neither sees nor hears us.

PHYSICIAN. I beg that you will all remain perfectly silent.

GODFATHER. This seems to be a most extraordinary malady.

GEORGE (_rising from his seat_). God! O God!

FIRST RELATION. How lightly he treads!

SECOND RELATION. Look! he clasps his thin hands across his breast.

THIRD RELATION. His eyelids are motionless; he does not move his lips,
but what a sharp and thrilling shriek!

NURSE. Christ, shield him!

GEORGE. Depart from me, Darkness! I am a child of light and song, and
what hast thou to do with me? What dost thou desire from me?

I do not yield myself to thee, although my sight has flown away upon the
wings of the wind, and is flitting restlessly about through infinite
space: it will return to me--my eyes will open with a flash of
flame--and I will see the universe!

GODFATHER. He talks exactly as his mother did; he does not know what he
is saying, I think his condition very critical.

PHYSICIAN. He is in great danger.

NURSE. Holy Mother of God! take my eyes, and give them to the poor boy!

GEORGE. My mother, I entreat thee! O mother, send me thoughts and
images, that I may create within myself a world like the one I have lost
forever!

FIRST RELATION. Do you think, brother, it will be necessary to call a
family consultation?

SECOND RELATION. Be silent!

GEORGE. Thou answerest me not, my mother!

O mother, do not desert me!

PHYSICIAN (_to the Man_). It is my duty to tell you the truth.

GODFATHER. Yes, to tell the truth is the duty and virtue of a physician!

PHYSICIAN. Your son is suffering from incipient insanity, connected with
an extraordinary excitability of the nervous system, which sometimes
occasions, if I may so express myself, the strange phenomenon of
sleeping and waking at the same time, as in the case now before us.

THE MAN (_aside_). He reads to me thy sentence, O my God!

PHYSICIAN. Give me pen, ink, and paper.

     He writes a prescription.

THE MAN. I think it best you should all now retire; George needs rest.

SEVERAL VOICES. Good night! good night! good night!

GEORGE (_waking suddenly_). Are they wishing me good night, father?

They should rather speak of a long, unbroken, eternal night, but of no
good one, of no happy dawn for me....

THE MAN. Lean on me, George. Let me support you to the bed.

GEORGE. What does all this mean, father?

THE MAN. Cover yourself up, and go quietly to sleep. The doctor says you
will regain your sight.

GEORGE. I feel so very unwell, father; strange voices roused me from my
sleep, and I saw mamma standing in a field of lilies....

     He falls asleep.

THE MAN. Bless thee! bless thee, my poor boy!

I can give thee nothing but a blessing; neither happiness, nor light,
nor fame are in my gift. The stormy hour of struggle approaches, when I
must combat with the _few_ against the _many_.

Tortured infant! what is then to become of thee, alone, helpless, blind,
surrounded by a thousand dangers? Child, yet Poet, poor Singer without a
hearer, with thy soul in heaven, and thy frail, suffering body still
fettered to the earth--what is to be thy doom? Alas, miserable infant!
thou most unfortunate of all the angels! my son! my son!

     He buries his face in his hands.

NURSE (_knocking at the door_). The doctor desires to see his excellency
as soon as convenient.

THE MAN. My good Katharine, watch faithfully and tenderly over my poor
son!

     Exit.



THE NORTH CAROLINA CONSCRIPT.

Ballads of the War.


  He lay on the field of Antietam,
    As the sun sank low in the west,
  And the life from his heart was ebbing
    Through a ghastly wound in his breast.

  All around were the dead and the dying--
    A pitiful sight to see--
  And afar, in the vapory distance,
    Were the flying hosts of Lee.

  He raised himself on his elbow,
    And wistfully gazed around;
  Till he spied far off a soldier
    Threading the death-strewn ground.

  'Come here to me, Union soldier,
    Come here to me where I lie;
  I've a word to say to you, soldier;
    I must say it before I die.'

  The soldier came at his bidding.
    He raised his languid head:
  'From the hills of North Carolina
    They forced me hither,' he said.

  'Though I stood in the ranks of the rebels,
    And carried yon traitorous gun,
  I have never been false to my country,
    For I fired not a shot, not one.

  'Here I stood while the balls rained around me,
    Unmoved as yon mountain crag--
  Still true to our glorious Union,
    Still true to the dear old flag!'

  Brave soldier of North Carolina!
    True patriot hero wert thou!
  Let the laurel that garlands Antietam,
    Spare a leaf for thy lowly brow![A]

[Footnote A: From an incident narrated in the newspaper account of the
battle of Antietam. The reader will be reminded by it of Mrs. Browning's
'Forced Recruit at Solferino.']



DOES THE MOON REVOLVE ON ITS AXIS?


As this question has elicited considerable discussion, at various times,
the following may be considered in elucidation.

A revolution on an axis is simply that of a body turning entirely round
upon its own centre. The only centre around which the moon performs a
revolution is very far from its own proper axis, being situated at the
centre of the earth, the focus of its orbit, and as it has no other
rotating motion around the earth, it cannot revolve on its own central
axis.

A body fixed in position, or pierced and held by a rod, cannot revolve
upon its centre, and when swung round by this rod or handle, performs
only a revolution in orbit, as does the moon. The moon, during the
process of forming a solid crust, by the constant attraction of the
earth upon one side, only, became elongated, by calculation, about
thirty miles (from its centre as a round body) toward the earth;
consequently, by its form, like the body pierced with a rod, is
transfixed by its gravitation, and, therefore, cannot revolve upon its
own central axis.

The difference of axial revolution of a wheel or globe, is simply that
the former turns upon an actual and the latter upon an imaginary axle,
placed at its centre, Now, by way of analogy, fasten, immovably, a ball
upon the rim of a revolving wheel, and then judge whether the ball can
perform one simultaneous revolution on its own axis, in the same time
that it performs a revolution in orbit, made by one complete turn of the
wheel; and if not (which is assuredly the case, for it is fixed
immovably), then neither can the moon perform such revolution on its
axis, in the same time that it makes one revolution in orbit; because,
like the ball immovably fixed upon the rim of the wheel, it, too, is
transfixed by gravitation, from its very form, as if pierced with a rod,
whose other extremity is attached to the centre of the earth, its only
proper focus of motion, and, therefore, cannot revolve upon its own
central axis.

A balloon elongated on one side, and carrying ballast on that side,
would be like the moon in form, and when suspended in air, like the
moon, too, in having its heaviest matter always toward the centre of the
earth. Now let this balloon go entirely round the earth: it will, like
the moon, continue to present the weightiest, elongated side always
toward the centre of the earth; it, consequently, like the moon, cannot
revolve upon its own central axis, as gravitation alone would prevent
this anomaly, in both cases.

As well might it be said that a horse, harnessed to a beam, and going
round a ring, or an imprisoned stone swung round in a sling, make each
one simultaneous revolution on their axes, when their very positions are
a sufficient refutation! or that the balls in an orrery, attached
immovably to the ends of their respective rods, and turning with them
(merely to show revolutions in orbits), perform each a simultaneous
revolution on their axis, when such claim would be simply ridiculous,
since the only revolution, in each case, has its focus outside of the
ball, therefore orbital only; and so, too, with the moon, whose motion
is precisely analogous, and prejudice alone can retain such an
unphilosophical hypothesis as its _axial_ revolution.



LUNAR CHARACTERISTICS.


The moon, in consequence of its orbital revolution, having no connecting
axial motion, has always presented but one side to the earth, so that in
process of forming a crust, from its incipient molten state, it became,
by the constant attraction of the earth upon one side, elongated toward
our globe, now generally admitted to be by calculation about thirty
miles, and proved by photographs, which also show an elongation. The
necessary consequence of this constant attraction upon one side, has
been not only to intensify volcanic action there, by the continued
effect of gravitation, so long as its interior remained in a molten
state, but from the same reasoning, to confine all such volcanic action
exclusively to this side of the moon. Thus we have the reason for the
violently disrupted state which that luminary presents to the telescopic
observer, exceeding any analogy to be found upon our globe, as the
earth's axial motion has prevented any similar concentrated action upon
any particular part of its surface, either from solar or lunar
attraction. Another marked effect of the elongation of the moon toward
the earth has been to elevate its visible side high above its atmosphere
(which would have enveloped it as a round body), and in consequence into
an intensely cold region, producing congelation, in the form of frost
and snow, which necessarily envelop its entire visible surface. These
effects took place while yet the crust was thin and frequently disrupted
by volcanic action, and wherever such action took place, the fiery
matter ejected necessarily dissolved the contiguous masses of frost and
snow, and these floods of water, as soon as they receded from the fiery
element, were immediately converted into lengthened ridges of ice,
diverging from the mountain summits like streams of lava. Hence many of
the apparent lava streams are but ridges of ice, and in consequence,
depending upon the angle of reflection (determined by the age of the
moon, which is but its relative position between the sun and earth), all
observers are struck with the brilliancy of the reflected light from
many of those long lines of ridges.

The general surface of the moon presents to the telescopic observer just
that drear, cold, and chalk-like aspect, which our snow-clad mountains
exhibit when the angle of reflection is similar to that in which we
behold the lunar surface. In consequence, its mild light is due to the
myriads of sparkling crystals, which diffusively reflect the rays of the
sun.

As an attentive observer of the moon, I have been much puzzled to know
why none of the hosts of observers, or scientific treatises, have taken
this rational view of such necessary condition of the moon, deduced from
the main facts of its original formation, here named and generally
conceded. In the place of which, we still have stereotyped, in many late
editions on astronomy, the names and localities of numerous seas and
lakes, which advancing knowledge should long since have discarded.

Besides the above conclusions, which necessitate a snowy covering to the
moon, none of the planets exhibit that drear white, except the poles of
Mars, which are admitted to be snow by all astronomers, as we see them
come and go with the appropriate seasons of that planet; whereas the
continents of Mars appear dark, as analogously they do upon our earth,
under the same solar effulgence. The analogy of sunlight, when reflected
from our lofty mountains (at say thirty or forty miles distant) not
covered with snow, viewed under the most favorable circumstances of
brilliant light and the best angle of reflection, with no more of
intervening atmosphere, always present sombre tints; whether viewed with
the unaided eye or through a telescope. Such analogy clearly proves that
no objects short of an absolute white could present such an appearance
as light does upon lunar objects, viewed with high powers, in which the
same drear white remains, without any greater concentration of light (as
we can see objects in the moon whose diameter is five hundred feet) than
is presented to our unaided eye from our own mountain masses. In viewing
the moon with high powers, there is, in fact, a much greater amount of
visible atmosphere intervening than can possibly apply in beholding
objects on our earth, at even a few miles' distance, since if we look at
lunar objects with a power of one thousand times, our atmosphere is thus
magnified a thousand times also.

The main physical features of the visible half of the moon, with a good
telescopic power, present an enormously elevated table land, traversed,
here and there, with slightly elevated long ridges, and the general
surface largely pitted with almost innumerable deep cusps or valleys, of
every size, from a quarter of a mile to full thirty miles in diameter;
generally circular and surrounded with elevated ridges, some rising to
lofty jagged summits above the surrounding plain. These ridges, on their
inner sides, show separate terraces and mural precipices, while their
outer slopes display deeply scarred ravines and long spurs at their
bases. These cusps, or deep valleys, are the craters of extinct
volcanoes, and in their centres have generally one or two isolated
sub-mountain peaks, occasionally with divided summits, which were the
centres of expiring volcanic action, similar to those that exist in our
own volcanic regions. Besides which the Lunar Apennines, so called,
present to the eye a long range of mountains with serrated summits, on
one side gradually sloped, with terraces, spurs, and ravines, and the
other side mostly precipitous, casting long shadows, which clearly
define the forms of their summits--all these objects presenting the same
dead white everywhere.

Doubtless the farther side of the moon, which has not been subject to
the same elongating or elevating process, nor the above-named causes for
volcanic disruption, presents a climate and vegetation fitted for the
abode of sentient beings. This side alone presenting an aspect of
extreme desolation, far surpassing our polar regions.

It is generally stated in astronomical works, that shadows projected
from lunar objects are intensely black, owing, it is stated, to there
being no reflecting atmosphere; whereas in my long-continued habit of
observation, those shadows appear no more black than those on our earth,
when they fall on contrasting snowy surfaces. The reason for which, in
the absence of a lunar atmosphere, to render light diffusive, is the
brilliant reflection from snow crystals, upon all contiguous objects,
which lie in an angle to receive the same, and in consequence I have
often observed the forms of objects not directly illuminated by the sun.

The occasional apparent retention of a star on the limb of the moon,
just before or after an occultation, seen by some observers, and thus
evidencing the existence of some atmosphere, is doubtless due to the
slight oscillations of the moon, by which we see a trifle more than half
of that body, during which the atmosphere of its opposite side slightly
impinges upon this.



A GLANCE AT PRUSSIAN POLITICS.

_PART II._


We come now to the beginning of the present stage in the development of
constitutional government in Prussia. It will have been noticed that the
promises of Frederick William III. were not that he would grant a
strictly popular constitution. His intention was that the different
estates of the realm should be represented in the proposed national
diet, the constitution recognizing a difference in the dignity of the
different classes of inhabitants, and giving to each a share in the
national government proportionate to its dignity. His son, at his
coronation, promised to maintain the efficiency of the ordinances of
June 5, 1823, and to secure a further development of the principles of
this (so-called) constitution. Encouraged by this assurance, the
Liberals labored to secure from him the full realization of their hopes.
Frederick William IV. was just the man with whom such exertions could be
used with good hope of success. He was intelligent enough to be fully
conscious of the fact and the significance of the popular request for a
constitution, and, though of course personally disinclined to reduce his
power to a nullity, he had yet not a strong will, and had no wish to
involve himself in a conflict with his subjects. Accordingly, in 1841,
he convoked a diet in each province, and proposed the appointment of
committees from the estates, who should act as counsel to the king when
the provincial diets were not in session. These diets in subsequent
sessions discussed the subject of a national diet, and proposed to the
king the execution of the order issued in 1815. At length, February 8,
1847, he issued a royal charter, introducing, in fact, what had so often
and so long before been promised, a constitution. The substance of the
charter was that, as often as the Government should need to contract a
loan, or introduce new taxes, or increase existing taxes, the diets of
the provinces should be convoked to a national diet; that the committees
of the provincial diets (as appointed in 1842) should be henceforth
periodically, as one body, convoked; that to the diet, and, when it was
not in session, to the committee, should be conveyed the right to have a
_deciding_ voice in the above-mentioned cases. April 11, 1847, the diet
assembled for the first time; January 17, 1848, the united committee of
the estates.

How long the nation would have remained contented with this concession
to the request for a national representation under ordinary
circumstances, is quite uncertain. In point of fact, this constitution
hardly lived long enough to be christened with the name. Early in 1848
the French Revolution startled all Europe--most of all, the monarchs.
They knew how inflammable the masses were; they soon saw that the masses
were inflamed, and that nothing but the most vigorous measures would
secure their thrones from overthrow. Frederick William Was not slow to
see the danger, and take steps to guard Prussia against an imitation of
the Parisian insurrection. On the 14th of March he issued an order
summoning the diet to meet at Berlin on the 27th of April. Four days
later he issued another edict ordering the diet to convene still
earlier, on the 2d of April. This proclamation is a characteristic
document. It was issued on the day of the Berlin revolution. It was an
hour of the most critical moment. There was no time for long
deliberation, and little hope for the preservation of royalty, unless
something decided was done at once. He might have tried the experiment
of violently resisting the insurgents; but this was not in accordance
with his character. He preferred rather to resign something than to run
the risk of losing all. Accordingly he yielded. In this proclamation,
after alluding to the occasion of it, he publishes his earnest desire
for the union of Germany against the common danger. 'First of all,' he
says, 'we desire that Germany be transformed from a confederation of
states (_Staatenbund_) to one federal state (_Bundesstaat_).' He
proposes a reorganization of the articles of union in which other
representatives besides the princes should take part; a common army;
freedom of trade; freedom of emigration from one state to another;
common weights, measures, and coins; freedom of the press--in short, all
that the most enthusiastic advocate of German unity could have asked. At
the same time was published a law repealing the censorship of the press.
On the 21st of the same month he put forth an address, entitled 'To my
people and to the German nation.' In this, after saying that there was
no security against the threatening dangers except in the closest union
of the German princes and peoples, under one head, he adds: 'I assume
to-day this leadership for this time of danger. My people, undismayed by
the danger, will not abandon me, and Germany will confidingly attach
itself to me. I have to-day adopted the old German colors, and put
myself and my people under the venerable banner of the German Empire.
Henceforth Prussia passes over into Germany.' But all this was more
easily said than done. Whatever the German people may have wished, the
other German rulers could not so easily overcome their jealousies. The
extreme of the danger passed by, and with it this urgent demand for a
united Germany.

But the diet came together. The king laid before it the outline of a
constitution, the most important provisions of which were that there
should be guaranteed to all the right to hold meetings without first
securing consent from the police; civil rights to all, irrespective of
religious belief; a national parliament, whose assent should be
essential to the making of all laws. These propositions were approved by
the diet, which now advised the king to call together a national
assembly of delegates, elected by the people, to agree with him upon a
constitution. This was done; the assembly met on the 22d of May, and was
opened by the king in person. He laid before the delegates the draught
of a constitution, which they referred to a committee, by whom it was
elaborated, and on the 26th of July reported to the assembly. The
deliberation which followed had, by the 9th of November, resulted only
in fixing the preamble and the first four articles. At this time an
order came to the assembly from the king, requiring the members to
adjourn to the 27th, and then come together, not at Berlin, but
Brandenburg. The reason of this was that the assembly manifested too
much of an inclination to infringe on the royal prerogatives, and that
its place of meeting was surrounded by people who sought by threats,
and, in some cases, by violence, to intimidate the members. The king was
now the less inclined to be, or seem to be, controlled by such
terrorism, as the fury of the revolutionary storm was now spent; the
militia had been summoned to arms; and had not hesitated to obey the
call. The troops, under the lead of Field-Marshal Wrangel, were
collected about Berlin. The majority of the National Assembly, which had
refused to obey the royal order to adjourn to Brandenburg, and was
proceeding independently in the prosecution of its deliberations
respecting the constitution, was compelled, by military force, to
dissolve. Part of them then went to Brandenburg, and, not succeeding in
carrying a motion to adjourn till December 4, went out in a body,
leaving the assembly without a quorum. The king now thought himself
justified in concluding that nothing was to be hoped from the labors of
this body, and therefore, on the 5th of December, dissolved it.

Some kings, under these circumstances, might have been inclined to have
nothing more to do with constitution making. If we mistake not, the
present king, with his present spirit, would have thought it right to
make the turbulent character of the convention and of the masses a
pretext for withholding from them the power to stamp their character on
the national institutions. Such a course might probably have been
pursued. The king had control of the army. The excesses of the Liberals
began to produce a reaction. The National Assembly, during its session
in Berlin, after it had been adjourned by the king, had resolved that
the royal ministry had no right to impose taxes so long as the assembly
was unable peaceably to pursue its deliberations, and designed, by
giving this resolution the form of a law, to lead the people in this
manner to break loose from the Government. This attempt to usurp
authority was doomed to be disappointed. The assembly, having
overstepped its prerogatives, lost its influence. The king found himself
again in possession of the reins of power. It rested with him to punish
the temerity of the people by tightening the reins, or on his own
authority, without the coöperation of any assembly, to give the nation a
constitution. To take the former course he had not the courage, even if
he had wished to do so; besides, he doubtless saw clearly enough that,
though such a policy might succeed for a time, it would ultimately lead
to another outbreak. He had, too, no great confidence in his power to
win toward his person the popular favor. With all his talents and
amiable traits, he had not the princely faculty of knowing how to
inspire the people with a sense of his excellences, and was conscious of
this defect. He chose not unnecessarily to increase an estrangement
which had already been to him a source of such deep mortification. He
therefore issued, on the 5th of December, immediately after dissolving
the National Assembly, a constitution substantially the same as that
which still exists, with the statement prefixed that it should not go
into operation until after being revised. This revision was to be made
at the first session of the two chambers, to be elected in accordance
with an election law issued on the next day.

The two chambers met February 26, 1849. After a session of two months,
during which the lower chamber showed a disposition to modify the
constitution more than was agreeable to the king, the upper chamber was
ordered to adjourn, the lower was dissolved, and a new election ordered.
The new Parliament met August 7. The revision was completed on the last
of January, 1850. On the 6th of February, the king, in the presence of
his ministers and of both chambers, swore to observe the constitution.
Before doing so, he made an address, in which he explained his position,
alluding in a regretful strain to the scenes of violence in the midst of
which the constitution had been drawn up, expressing his gratitude to
the chambers for their assistance in perfecting the hastily executed
work, calling upon them to stand by him in opposition to all who might
be disposed to make the liberty granted by the king a screen for hiding
their wicked designs against the king, and declaring: 'In Prussia, the
king must rule; and I do not rule because it is a pleasure, God knows,
but because it is God's ordinance; therefore, I _will reign_. A free
people under a free king--that was my watchword ten years ago; it is the
same to-day, and shall be the same as long as I live.' The ministers and
the members of the two chambers, after the king had sworn to support
the constitution, took the same oath, and in addition one of loyalty to
the king. The new government was inaugurated. Prussia had become a
limited monarchy.

It is at this point appropriate to take a general view of the Prussian
constitution itself. It has been variously amended since 1850, but not
changed in any essential features; without dwelling on these amendments,
therefore, we consider it as it now stands.

As to the king: he is, as such, wholly irresponsible. He cannot be
called to account for any act which he does in his capacity as monarch.
But his ministers may be impeached. They have to assume and bear the
responsibility of all royal acts. None of these acts are valid unless
signed by one or more of the ministers. To the king is intrusted all
executive power; the command of the army; the unconditioned right of
appointing and dismissing his ministers, of declaring war and concluding
peace, of conferring honors and titles, of convoking the national diet,
closing its sessions, proroguing and dissolving it. He _must_, however,
annually call the Houses together between November 1 and the middle of
January, and cannot adjourn them for a longer period than thirty days,
nor more than once during a session, except with their own consent.
Without the assent of the diet he cannot make treaties with foreign
countries nor rule over foreign territory. He has no independent
legislative power, except so far as this is implied in his right to
provide for the execution of the laws, and, when the diet is not in
session, in case the preservation of the public safety or any uncommon
exigency urgently demands immediate action. All such acts, however,
must, at the next session of the Houses, be laid before them for
approval.

The ministry consists of nine members, under the presidency of the
minister of foreign affairs; besides him are the ministers of finance,
of war, of justice, of worship (religious, educational, and medicinal
affairs), of the interior (police and statistical affairs), of trade and
public works (post office, railroad affairs, etc.), of agricultural
affairs, and of the royal house (matters relating to the private
property of the royal family). The supervision exercised by the ministry
over the various interests of the land is much more immediate and
general than that of the President's cabinet in the United States. Now,
however, their authority in these matters is of course conditioned by
the constitution and the laws. The ministers are allowed to enter either
House at pleasure, and must always be heard when they wish to speak. On
the other hand, either House can demand the presence of the ministers.

The legislative power is vested in the king and the two Houses of
Parliament. The consent of all is necessary to the passing of every law.
These Houses (at first called First and Second Chambers, now House of
Lords and House of Delegates--_Herrenhaus_ and _Abgeordnetenhaus_) must
both be convoked or prorogued at the same time. In general a law may be
first proposed by the king or by either of the Houses. But financial
laws must first be discussed by the House of Delegates; and the budget,
as it comes from the lower to the upper House, cannot be amended by the
latter, but must be adopted or rejected as a whole.

The House of Lords is made up of various classes of persons, all
originally designated by the king, though in the case of some the office
is hereditary. They represent the nobility, the cities, the wealth, and
the learning of the land. Each of the five universities furnishes a
member. The king has the right to honor any one at pleasure, as a reward
for distinguished services, with a seat in this body. Of course, as the
members hold office for life, and hold their office by the royal favor,
it may generally be expected to be a tolerably conservative body, and to
vote in accordance with the wishes of the king.

The House of Delegates consists of three hundred and fifty-two members,
elected by the people, but not directly. They are chosen, like our
Presidents, by electors, who are directly chosen by the people. Two
hundred and fifty inhabitants are entitled to one elector. Every man
from the age of twenty-five is allowed to vote unless prohibited for
specific reasons. But strict equality in the right of suffrage is not
granted. The voters of each district are divided into three classes, the
first of which is made up of so many of the largest taxpayers as
together pay a third of the taxes; the second, of so many of the next
richest as pay another third; the last class, of the remainder. Each of
these divisions votes separately, and each elects a third part of the
electors. The House of Delegates is chosen once in three years, unless
in the mean time the king dissolves it, in which case a new election
must take place at once.

As to the rights of Prussians in general, the constitution provides that
all in the eye of the law are equal. The old distinctions of classes
still exists: there are still nobles, with the titles prince, count, and
baron; but the special privileges which they formerly enjoyed are not
secured to them by the constitution. The king can honor any one with the
rank of nobility; but the name is the most that can be conferred. In
most cases the right of primogeniture does not prevail, so that the
aristocracy of Prussia is of much less consequence than that of England.
The poverty which so often results from the division of the estates of
nobles has led to the establishment of numerous so-called
_Fräuleinstifter_--charitable foundations for such a support of poor
female members of noble families as becomes their rank. Many of these
institutions were formerly nunneries. It is further provided by the
constitution that public offices shall be open to all; that personal
freedom and the inviolability of private property and dwellings shall be
secured; that all shall enjoy the right of petition, perfect freedom of
speech, the liberty of forming organizations for the accomplishment of
any legal object; that a censorship of the press can in no case be
exercised, and that no limitation of the freedom of the press can be
introduced except by due process of law; that civil and political rights
shall not be affected by religious belief, and that the right of filling
ecclesiastical offices shall not belong to the state. Only 'in case of
war or insurrection, and of consequent imminent danger,' has the
Government a right to infringe on the above specified immunities of the
citizens and the press.

The foregoing is all that need be given in order to convey a general
idea of what the Prussian constitution is. It is in its provisions so
specific and clear, that one would hardly expect that disputes
respecting its meaning could have reached the height of bitterness which
has characterized discussions of its most fundamental principles. The
explanation of this fact is to be sought in the mode of the introduction
of the constitution itself. The English constitution has been the growth
of centuries; the Prussian, of a day. The latter, moreover, was not,
like ours, the fundamental law of a new nation, but a constitution
designed to introduce a radical change in the form of a government
which, during many centuries, had been acquiring a fixed character. It
undertook to remodel at one stroke the whole political system. Not
indeed as though there had been no sort of preparation for this change.
The general advance in national culture, the general anticipation of the
change, as well as the actual approaches toward it in the administrative
measures of Frederick the Great and Frederick William III., paved the
way for the introduction of a popular element in the Government.
Nevertheless, the actual, formal introduction itself was sudden. The
constitution was not, in the specific form which it took, the result of
experience and experiment. And, as all history shows, attempts to fix or
reconstruct social systems on merely theoretical principles are liable
to fail, because they cannot foresee and provide for all the
contingencies which may interfere with the application of the theories.
Moreover, in the case of Prussia, as not in that of the United States,
the constitution was not made by the people for themselves, but given to
them by a power standing over against them. There was, therefore, not
only a possibility, as in any case there might be, that the instrument
could be variously interpreted on account of the different modes of
thinking and difference of personal interests, which always affect men's
opinions; but there was here almost a certainty that this would be the
case on account of the gulf of separation which, in spite of all the
bridges which often are built over it, divides a monarch, especially an
absolute, hereditary monarch, from his subjects. In the case before us,
it is certain that the king conceded more than he wished to concede, and
that the people received less than they wished to receive. That they
should agree in their understanding of the constitution is therefore not
at all to be expected. The most that the well wishers of the land could
have hoped was that the misunderstandings would not be radical, and that
in the way of practical experience the defects of the constitution might
be detected and remedied, and the mutual relations of the rulers and the
ruled become mutually understood and peacefully acquiesced in.

What the Prussian Conservatives so often insist on, viz., that a
constitutional government should have been gradually developed, not
suddenly substituted for a form of government radically different, is
therefore by no means without truth. Whether we are to conclude that the
fault has been in the process not beginning sooner, or merely in its
being too rapid, is perhaps a question in which we and they might
disagree. On the supposition that the present state of intelligence
furnishes a sufficient basis for a constitutional government, it would
seem as though the last fifty years has been a period long enough in
which to put it into successful operation. All that the present
generation know of politics has certainly been learned within that time:
if the mere practical exercise of political rights is all that is needed
in order to develop the new system, there might at least an excellent
beginning have been made long before 1850. When we consider, therefore,
that the Government, after taking the initiatory steps in promoting this
development, stopped short, and rather showed a disposition to
discourage it entirely, these clamors of the Conservatives must seem
somewhat out of taste. To Americans especially, who can accommodate
themselves to changes, even though they may be somewhat sudden, such
pleas for more time and a more gradual process may appear affected, if
not puerile. It must be remembered, however, that to a genuine German
nothing is more precious than a process of development. Whatever is not
the result of a due course of _Entwickelung_, is a suspicious object.
Anything which seems to break abruptly in upon the prescribed course is
abnormal. Whatever is produced before the embryonic process is complete
is necessarily a monster, from which nothing good can be hoped. The same
idea is often advanced by the Conservatives in another form. The
Liberals, they say, are trying to break loose from _history_. A
prominent professor, in an address before an assembly of clergymen in
Berlin, defined the principle of democracy to be this: 'The majority is
subject to no law but its own will; it is therefore limited by no
historically acquired rights; history has no rights over against the
sovereign will of the present generation.' By historically acquired
rights is meant in particular the right of William I. to rule
independently because his predecessors did so. By what right the great
elector robbed the nobles of their prerogatives, and how, in case he did
wrong in thus disregarding _their_ 'historically acquired rights,' this
wrong itself, by being continued two hundred years, becomes, in its
turn, an acquired right, is not explained in the address to which we
allude. The principal fault to be found with such reasoning as this of
the Prussian Conservatives, is that it is altogether too vague and
abstract. There can be no development without something new; there can
be, in social affairs, nothing new without some sort of innovation.
Innovation, as such, can therefore not be condemned without condemning
development. Moreover, development, as the organic growth of a political
body, is something which takes care of itself, or rather is cared for by
a higher wisdom than man's. To object to a proposed measure nothing more
weighty than that it will not tend to develop the national history, has
little meaning, and should have no force. The only question in such a
case which men have to consider is whether the change is justified by
the fundamental principles of right, be it that those principles have
hitherto been observed or not.

What makes the arguments of the Conservatives all the more impertinent,
however, is the fact that the question is no longer whether the
constitution ought to be introduced, but whether, being introduced, it
shall be observed. This is for the stiff royalists not so pleasant a
question. Prussia _is_ a constitutional monarchy; the king has taken an
oath to rule in accordance with the constitution. It may be, undoubtedly
is, true that none of the kings have wished the existence of just such a
limit to their power; but shall they therefore try to evade the
obligation which they have assumed? The Conservatives dare not say that
the constitution ought to be violated, for that would look too much like
the abandonment of their fundamental principle; they also hardly venture
to say that they would prefer to have the king again strictly absolute,
for that would look like favoring regression more than conservatism. Yet
many have the conviction that an absolute monarchy would be preferable
to the present, while the arguments of all have little force except as
they tend to the same conclusion. The point of controversy between them
and their opponents is often represented as being essentially this:
Shall the king of Prussia be made as powerless as the queen of England?
Against such a degradation of the dignity of the house of Hohenzollern
all the convictions and prejudices of the royalists revolt. Such a
surrender of all personal power, they say, and say truly, was not
designed by Frederick William IV. when he gave the constitution; to ask
the king, therefore, in all his measures to be determined by the House
of Delegates, is an unconstitutional demand. It is specially provided
that the _king_ shall appoint and dismiss his own ministers; to ask him,
therefore, to remove them simply because they are unacceptable to the
House of Delegates, is to interfere with the royal prerogatives. The
command of the army and the declaration of war belong only to the king;
to binder him, therefore, in his efforts to maintain the efficiency of
the army, or in his purposes to wage war or abstain from it, is an
overstepping of the limits prescribed to the people's representatives.

We have here hinted at the principal elements in the controversy between
the opposing political parties of Prussia. It is not our object to enter
into the details of the various strifes which have agitated the land
during the last sis years, but only to sketch their general character.
The query naturally arises, when one takes a view of the whole period,
which has elapsed since the constitution was introduced, why the contest
did not begin sooner. The explanation is to be found in the fact that
until the present king began to rule, the Liberals in general did not
vote at the elections. It will be remembered that the previous king
absolutely refused to deal with the assembly which met early in 1849 to
consider the constitution, and ordered a new election. At this election
the Liberals saw that, if they reflected the old members, another
dissolution would follow, and they therefore mostly staid away from the
polls. Afterward, when the constitution had been formally adopted, the
Government showed a determination to put down all liberal movements;
consequently the Liberals made no special attempts to move. The
Parliament was conservative, and so there was no occasion for strife
between it and the king. Not till William I. became regent in place of
his incapacitated brother, in 1859, did the struggle begin. The policy
of the previous prime minister Manteuffel had produced general
discontent. The people were ready to move, if an occasion was offered.
It is therefore not to be wondered at that, when the new sovereign
announced his purpose to pursue a more liberal course than his brother,
the Liberal party raised its head, and sought to make itself felt. The
new ministry was liberal, and for a while it seemed as though a new
order of things had begun. But this was of short duration. The House of
Delegates, consisting in great part of Liberals (or, to speak more
strictly, of _Fortschrittsmänner_--Progress men--_Liberal_ being the
designation of a third party holding a middle course between the two
extremes, a party, however, naturally tending to resolve itself into the
others, and now nearly extinct) urged the Government to adopt its
radical measures. The king began to fear that, if he yielded to all the
wishes of the House, he would lose his proper dignity and authority. He
therefore began to pursue a different policy: the more urgently the
delegates insisted on liberal measures, the less inclined was the king
to regard their wishes. He had wished himself to take the lead in
inaugurating the new era; as soon as others, more ambitious, went ahead
of him, he took the lead again, by turning around and pulling in the
opposite direction. The principal topics on which the difference was
most decided were the ecclesiastical and the financial relations of the
Government. Although the constitution provides for the perfect freedom
of the church from the state, the union still existed, and indeed still
exists. The House of Delegates attempted to induce the Government to
carry out this provision of the constitution. There is no doubt that the
motive of many of these attempts to divide church and state is a
positive hostility to Christianity. The partial success which has
followed them, viz., the securing of charter rights for other religious
denominations than the Evangelical Church (_i.e._, the Union Church,
consisting of what were formerly Lutheran and Reformed churches, but in
1817 united, and forming now together the established church), has given
some prominence to the so-called _Freiegemeinden_, organizations of
freethinkers, who, though so destitute of positive religious belief that
in one case, when an attempt was made to adopt a creed, an insuperable
obstacle was met in discussing the first article, viz., on the existence
of God, yet meet periodically and call themselves religious
congregations. There are, moreover, many others, regular members of the
established church, who have no interest in religious matters, and would
for that reason like to be freed from the fetters which now hold them.
There are, however, many among the best and most discreet Christians
who, for the good of the church, wish to see it weaned from the breast
of the state. But the great majority of the clergy, especially of the
consistories (the members of which are appointed by the Government,
mediately, however, now, through the _Oberkirchenrath_), are decidedly
opposed to the separation; and, as they speak for the churches, the
provision of the constitution allowing the separation is a dead letter.
There is no denying that, if it were now to be fully carried out, the
consequences to the church might be, for a time at least, disastrous.
The people have always been used to the present system; they would
hardly know how to act on any other. Moreover, a large majority of the
church members are destitute of active piety; to put the interests of
religion into the hands of such men would seem to be a dangerous
experiment. Especially is it true of the mercantile classes, of those
who are pecuniarily best able to maintain religious institutions, that
they are in general indifferent to religious things. This being the
case, one cannot be surprised at the reluctance of those in
ecclesiastical authority to desire the support of the state to be
withdrawn. Neverheless it cannot but widen the chasm between the
established church and the freethinkers, that the former urges upon the
Government to continue a policy which is plainly inconsistent with the
constitution, and that the Government yields to the urging.

A more vital point in the controversy between the king and the Liberals
was the disposition of the finances. The House of Delegates, in the
session lasting from January 14 to March 11, 1862, insisted on a more
minute specification than the ministry had given of the use to be made
of the moneys to be appropriated. The king at length, wearied with their
importunity, dissolved the House, upon which a new election followed in
the next month. The excitement was great. The Government seems to have
hoped for a favorable result, at least for a diminution of the Liberal
majority. The Minister of the Interior issued a communication to all
officials, announcing that they would be expected to vote in favor of
the Government. A similar notification was made to the universities, but
was protested against. Most of the consistories summoned the clergymen
to labor to secure a vote in favor of the king. But in spite of all
these exertions, the new House, like the other, contained an
overwhelming majority of Progress men. At the beginning of the new
session in May, however, both parties seemed more yielding than before.
Attention was given less to questions of general character, more to
matters of practical concern. But at last the schism developed itself
again. The king had determined to reorganize and enlarge the army, to
which end larger appropriations were needed than usual. The military
budget put the requisite sum at 37,779,043 thalers (about twenty-five
million dollars); the House voted 31,932,940, rejecting the proposition
of the minister by a vote of three hundred and eight to eleven. A change
in the ministry followed, but not a change such as would be expected in
England--just the opposite. At the dissolution of the previous House the
Liberal ministry had given place to a more conservative one; now this
conservative one gave place to one still more conservative, Herr von
Bismarck became Minister of State. The House then voted that the
appropriations must be determined by the House, else every use made by
the Government of the national funds would be unconstitutional. The
king's answer to this was an order closing the session. A new session
began early in 1863. The same controversy was renewed. The king had
introduced his new military scheme; he had used, under the plea of stern
necessity, money not voted by Parliament. He declared that the good of
the country required it, and demanded anew that the House make the
requisite appropriation. But the House was not to be moved. So far from
wishing an increase of the military expenses, the Liberal party favored
a reduction of the term of service from three to two years. The king
affirmed that he knew better what the interests of the nation required,
and, as the head of the army, he must do what his best judgment dictated
respecting its condition. Thus the session passed without anything of
consequence being accomplished. The House of Lords rejected the budget
as it came from the other chamber, and the delegates would not retreat.
Consequently another dead lock was the result. The mutual bitterness
increased. Minister von Bismarck, a man of considerable talent, but not
of spotless character, and exceedingly offensive in his bearing toward
his opponents, became so odious that the delegates seemed ready to
reject any proposition coming from him, whether good or bad. They tried
to induce the king to remove him. But this was like the wind trying to
blow off the traveller's coat. Instead of being moved by such
demonstrations to dismiss the premier, the king manifested in the most
express manner his dissatisfaction with such attempts of the House to
interfere with his prerogatives. One might think that he had resolved to
retain Bismarck out of pure spite, though he might personally be ever so
much inclined to drop him. The controversy became more and more one of
opposing wills. May 22, the House voted an address to the king, stating
its views of the state of the country, the rights of the House, etc.,
and expressing the conviction that this majesty had been misinformed by
his counsellors of the true state of public feeling. The king replied to
the address a few days later, stating that he knew what he was doing and
what was for the good of the people; that the House was to blame for the
fruitlessness of the session; that the House had unconstitutionally
attempted to control him in respect to the ministry and foreign affairs;
that he did not need to be informed by the House what public sentiment
was, since Prussia's kings were accustomed to live among and for the
people; and that, a further continuance of the session being manifestly
useless, it should close on the next day. Accordingly it was closed
without the passage of any sort of appropriation bill, and the
Government, as before, ruled practically without a diet.

We do not propose to arbitrate between the affirmations of the
Conservatives, on the one hand, that the _animus_ of the opposition was
a spirit of disloyalty toward the Government, an unprincipled and
unconstitutional striving to subvert the foundations of royalty, and
introduce a substantially democratic form of government, and the
complaints of the opposition, on the other hand, that the ministry was
trying to domineer over the House of Delegates, and reduce its practical
power to a nullity. We may safely assume that there is some truth in
both statements. Where the dispute is chiefly respecting motives, it
must always be difficult to find the exact truth. In behalf of the
Conservatives, however, it may be said that the Liberals have
undoubtedly been aiming at a greater limitation of the royal power than
the constitution was designed by its author to establish. Frederick
William IV. proposed to rule _in connection with_ the representatives of
the people. The idea of becoming a mere instrument for the execution of
their wishes, was odious to him, and is odious to his successor. That
such a reduction of the kingly office, however, is desired and designed
by many of the Progress party, is hardly to be questioned. But, on the
other hand, it is hard to see, in case the present policy of the
Government is carried through, what other function the diet will
eventually have than simply that of advising the king and acting as his
mere instrument, whenever he lays his plans and asks for the money
necessary for their execution. This certainly cannot accord with the
article of the constitution which declares that the legislative power
shall be 'jointly' (_gemeinschaftlich_) exercised by the king and the
two Houses.

It is all the less necessary to consider particularly the character of
the measures proposed and opposed, and the personal motives of the
prominent actors in the present strife, inasmuch as the parties
themselves are fighting no longer respecting special, subordinate
questions, but respecting the fundamental principle of the Government,
the mutual relation which, under the constitution, king and people are
to sustain to each other. From this point of view it is not difficult to
pass judgment on the general merits of the case. If we inquire where, if
at all, the constitution has been formally violated, there can be no
doubt that the breach has been on the side of the Government. That the
consent of the diet is necessary to the validity act fixing the use of
the public moneys, is expressly stated in the constitution. That the
Government, for a series of years, has appropriated the funds according
to its own will, without obtaining that consent, is an undeniable matter
of fact. It is true that the king and his ministers do not acknowledge
that this is a violation of the constitution, claiming that the duty of
the king to provide in cases of exigency for the maintenance of the
public weal, authorizes him, in the exigency which the obstinacy of the
delegates has brought about, to act on his own responsibility. The
Government must exist, they say, and to this end money must be had; if
the House will not grant it, we must take it. That this is a mere
quibble, especially as the exigency can be as easily ascribed to the
obstinacy of the king as to that of the delegates, may be affirmed by
Liberals with perfect confidence, when, as is actually the case, all
candid Conservatives, even those of the strictest kind, confess that
_formally_, at least, the king has acted unconstitutionally. And, though
in respect to the financial question, they may justify this course while
confessing its illegality, it is not so easy to do so in reference to
the press law made by the king four days after closing the session of
the diet. This law established a censorship of the press, which was
aimed especially against all attacks in the newspapers on the policy
of the Government, the plea being that the Liberal papers were
disturbing the public peace and exciting a democratic spirit. The
unconstitutionality of this act was as palpable as its folly. Only in
case of war or insurrection is any such restriction allowed at all; the
wildest imagination could hardly have declared either war or
insurrection to be then existing. Moreover, even in case of such an
exigency, the king has a right to limit the freedom of the press only
when the diet is not in session and the urgency is too great to make it
safe to wait for it to assemble. But in this call it is manifest not
only that the king was not anxious to have the coöperation of the
Houses, but that he positively wished _not_ to have it. No one imagines
that he conceived the whole idea of enacting the law _after_ he had
prorogued the diet; certainly nothing new in the line of public danger
had arisen in those four days to justify the measure. Besides, he knew
that the House of Delegates would not have approved it. It was, in fact,
directly aimed at their supporters. A plainer attack on their
constitutional rights could hardly have been made.

But the delegates were sent home, so that they were now not able to
disturb the country by their debates. The Conservatives rejoiced in
this, seeming to think that the only real evil under which the country
was suffering was the 'gabbling' of the members of the diet. Moreover,
the press law, unwise and unconstitutional as many of the Conservatives
themselves considered and pronounced it, was in force, so that the
editorial demagogues also were under bit and bridle. It was hoped that
now quiet would be restored. The German diet at Frankfort-on-the-Maine
turned public attention for a time from the more purely internal
Prussian politics. But this was a very insufficient diversion. In fact,
the course of William I., in utterly refusing to have anything to do
with the proposed remodelling of the articles of confederation, the
object of which was to effect a firmer union of the German States,
although no Prussian had the utmost confidence in the sincerity of the
Austrian emperor, yet ran counter to the wishes of the Liberals, and
even of many Conservatives. The same feeling which fifty years ago gave
rise to the _Burschenschaft_ displayed itself unmistakably in the
enthusiasm with which Francis Joseph's invitation was welcomed by the
Germans in general. The king of Prussia did not dare to declare against
the proposed measure itself. Acknowledging the need of a revision of the
articles, he yet declined to take part in the diet, simply because, as
he said, before the princes themselves came together for so important a
deliberation, some preliminary negotiations should have taken place.
There is little reason to doubt, however, that his real motive was a
fear lest, if he should commit himself to the cause of German union, he
would seem to be working in the interests of the Liberals. For, as of
old, so now, the most enthusiastic advocates of a consolidation of the
German States are the most inclined to anti-monarchical principles;
naturally enough, since a firm union of states, utterly distinct from
each other, save as their rulers choose to unite themselves, while yet
each ruler in his own land is independent of the others, and each has
always reason to be jealous of the other, is an impossibility. This
jealousy was conspicuous in the case of Prussia and Austria during the
session of this special diet, in the summer of 1863. It was shared in
Prussia not only by the king and his special political friends, but by
many of the Liberals. It was perhaps in the hope that the national
feeling had received a healthful impulse by the developments of
Austria's ambition to obtain once more the hegemony of Germany, that the
king soon after _dissolved_ the House of Delegates, which in June he had
prorogued. A new election was appointed for October 20. Most strenuous
efforts were made by the Government to secure as favorable a result as
possible. Clergymen were enjoined by the Minister of Instruction to use
their influence in behalf of the Government. Officials were notified
that they would be expected to vote for Conservative candidates, a hint
which in Prussia cannot be so lightly regarded as here, since voting
there is done _viva voce_. But, in spite of all these exertions, the
Progress men in the new House were as overwhelmingly in the majority as
before. On assembling, they reelected the former president, Grabow, by a
vote of two hundred and twenty-four to forty. And the same old strife
began anew.

So little, then, had been accomplished by attempts forcibly to put down
the opposition party. Many newspapers had received the third and last
warning for publishing articles of an incendiary character, though none,
so far as we know, were actually suspended; a professor in Königsberg
had been deposed for presiding at a meeting of Liberals; a professor in
Berlin had been imprisoned for publishing a pamphlet against the policy
of the Government. There were even intimations that, unless the
opposition yielded, the king would suspend the constitution, and
dispense entirely with the coöperation of the Parliament. But whether or
not this was ever thought of, he showed none of this disposition at the
opening of the session. His speech, though containing no concessions,
was mild and conciliatory in tone. Perhaps he saw that a threatening
course could not succeed, and was intending to pursue another. He
declared his purpose to suggest an amendment to the constitution
providing for such cases of disagreement between the two Houses as had
hitherto obstructed the legislation. This was afterward done. It was
proposed that, whenever no agreement could be secured respecting the
appropriations, the amount should be the same as that of the foregoing
year. This, however, was not approved by the House of Delegates. The
same disagreement occurred as at the previous sessions, intensified now
by the increased demands of the Government on account of the threatened
war in Schleswig-Holstein. A loan of twelve million thalers was
proposed; but the House refused utterly to authorize it unless it could
be known what was the use to be made of it. This information Minister
Bismarck would not give. The dispute grew more and more sharp. The old
causes of discussion were increased by the fact that Prussia, in
reference to the disputed succession in Schleswig-Holstein, set itself
against the popular wish to have the duchy absolutely separated from
Denmark and put under the rule of the prince of Augustenburg. In fact,
in this particular, whatever may be thought elsewhere respecting the
merits of the war which soon after broke out, the policy of the
Government was nearly as odious to most Conservatives as to the
Liberals. They said, the king should have put himself at the head of the
national, the German demand for the permanent relief of their fellow
Germans in Schleswig-Holstein; he should have taken the cause out of the
sphere of party politics; thus he might have regained his popularity and
united his people. This is quite possible; but it is certain that he did
not take this course. He seemed to regard the movement in favor of
Prince Frederick's claims to the duchy as a democratic movement. It was
so called by the more violent Conservatives. The king, after failing to
take the lead, could not now, consistently with his determination to be
independent, fall in with the crowd; this would seem like yielding to
pressure. Besides, he felt probably more than the Prussian people in
general the binding force of the London treaty. Yet, as a German, he
could not be content to ignore the claims of the German inhabitants of
the duchy; there was, therefore, no course left but to make hostile
demonstrations against Denmark. The pretext was not an unfair one. The
November constitution, by which Denmark, immediately after the accession
of the protocol prince, the present king, Christian IX., proposed to
incorporate Schleswig, was a violation of treaty obligations. The Danish
Government was required to retract its course. It refused, and war
followed. What will be the result of it, what even the Prussian
Government wishes to be the result of it, is a matter of uncertainty.
Suspicions of a secret treaty between it and Austria find easy credence,
according to which, as is supposed, nothing but their mutual
aggrandizement is aimed at. Certain it is that none even of the best
informed pretend to know definitely what is designed, nor be confident
that the design, whatever it is, will be executed. Yet for the time a
certain degree of enthusiasm has been of course awakened in all by the
successful advance of Prussian troops through Schleswig, and the
indefinite hope is cherished that somehow, even in spite of the apparent
policy of the Government, the war will result in rescuing the duchy
entirely from the Danish grasp. Thus, temporarily at least, the popular
mind is again diverted from internal politics; and perhaps the
Government was moved as much by a desire to effect this diversion as by
any other motive. The decided schism between Prussia and Austria on the
one hand, and the smaller German States on the other, a schism in which
the majority of the people even in Prussia and Austria side with the
smaller states, favors the notion that these two powers dislike heartily
to enter into a movement whose motive and end is mainly the promotion of
German unity at the expense of monarchical principles. For, however much
of subtlety may be exhibited in proving that the prince of Augustenburg
is the rightful heir to the duchy, the real source of the German
interest in the matter is sympathy with their fellow Germans, who, as is
not to be doubted, have been in various ways, especially in respect to
the use of the German language in schools and churches, abused and
irritated by the Danish Government. The death of the late king of
Denmark was only made the occasion for seeking the desired relief.
Fifteen years ago the same thing was done without any such occasion. But
it would be the extreme of inconsistency for the Prussian Government to
help directly and ostensibly a movement which, whatever name it may
bear, is essentially a rebellion: if there are Germans in
Schleswig-Holstein, so are there Poles in Poland.

But, although, for the time being, the excitement of actual war silences
the murmurs of the Progress party, the substantial occasion for them is
not removed. On the contrary, there is reason to expect that the contest
will become still more earnest. Only one turn of events can avert this:
the separation of Schleswig-Holstein from Denmark in consequence of the
present war. If this is not the result, if nothing more is accomplished
than the restoration of the duchy to its former condition, the king will
lose the support of many Conservatives, and be still more bitterly
opposed by the Liberals. In addition to this is to be considered that
the war is carried on in spite of the refusal of the diet to authorize
the requisite loan; that, moreover, after vainly seeking to secure this
vote from the delegates, Minister Bismarck, in the name of the king,
prorogued the diet on the 25th of January, 1864, telling the Delegates
plainly that the money must be had, and accordingly that, if its use
were not regularly authorized, it must be taken by the Government
without such authority. His spirit may be gathered from a single remark
among the many bitter things which he had to say in the closing days of
the session: 'In order to gain your confidence, one must give one's self
up to you; what then would the ministers in future be but Parliamentary
ministers? To this condition, please God, we shall not be reduced.' The
spirit of the delegates is expressed in the question of one of their
number: 'Why does the Minister of State ask us to authorize the loan, if
he has no need of our consent--if we have not the right to say _No_?'
Brilliant successes of the Prussian arms, accomplishing substantially
the result for which the German people are all earnestly longing, may
restore the Government to temporary favor, and weaken the Progress
party; otherwise, as many Conservatives themselves confess, the king
will have paralyzed the arms of his own friends.

What is to be the end of this conflict between the Prussian Government
and the Prussian people? Without attempting to play the prophet's part,
we close by mentioning some considerations which must be taken into
account in forming a judgment. Although we have little doubt that the
present policy of the Government will not be permanently adhered to, we
do not anticipate any speedy or violent rupture. The case is in many
respects parallel to that of the quarrel between Charles I. and his
Parliaments; but the points of difference are sufficient to warrant the
expectation of a somewhat different result. Especially these: Charles
had no army of such size and efficiency that he could bid defiance to
the demands of his Parliament; on the contrary, the Prussian army is, in
times of peace, two hundred thousand strong, and can, in case of need,
be at once trebled; moreover, soldiers must take an oath of allegiance
to the king, not, however, to the constitution. Of this army the king is
the head, and with it under his control he can feel tolerably secure
against the danger of a popular outbreak. Again, the English
revolutionists had little to fear from Continental interference;
Prussia, on the contrary, is so situated that a revolution there could
hardly fail to provoke neighboring monarchies to assist in putting it
down. There is no such oppression weighing the people down that they
would be willing to run this risk in an attempt to remove it. Again, the
Liberals hope, and not without reason, that they will eventually secure
what they wish by peaceable means. There is little doubt that, if they
pursue a moderate course, neither resorting to violence nor threatening
to do so, themselves avoiding all violations of the constitution, while
compelling the Government, in case it will not yield, to commit such
violations openly, their cause will gradually grow so strong that the
king will ultimately see the hopelessness of longer resisting it. Or,
once more, even if the present king, whose self-will is such that he may
possibly persevere in his present course through his reign, does not
yield, it is understood that the heir apparent is inclined to adopt a
more liberal policy whenever he ascends the throne, an event which
cannot be very long distant. Were he supposed fully to sympathize with
his father, the danger of a violent solution of the difficulty would be
greater. But, as the case stands, it may not be considered strange if
the conflict lasts several years longer without undergoing any essential
modification.

There is no prospect that the dissension will be ended by mutual
concessions. This might be done, if mutual confidence existed between
the contending parties; but of such confidence there is a total lack. So
great is the estrangement that the original occasion of it is lost sight
of. Neither party cares so much about securing the success of its
favorite measures as about defeating the measures of its opponent.
Either the possibility of such a relation of the king to the Parliament
was not entertained when the constitution was drawn up, or it is a great
deficiency that no provision was made for it; or (as we should prefer to
say) the difficulty may have been foreseen and yet no provision have
been made for it, simply because none could have been made consistently
with Frederick William IV.'s maxim, 'A free people under a free king'--a
maxim which sounds well, but which, when the people are bent on going in
one way and the king in another, is difficult to reconcile with the
requirement of the constitution that both must go in the same way. In a
republic, where the legislature and chief magistrate are both chosen
representatives of one people, no protracted disagreement between them
is possible. In a monarchy where a ministry, which has lost the
confidence of the legislature, resigns its place to another, the danger
is hardly greater. But in a monarchy whose constitution provides that
king and people shall rule jointly, yet both act freely and
independently, nothing but the most paradisiacal state of humanity could
secure mutual satisfaction and continued harmony. Prussia is now
demonstrating to the world that, if the people of a nation are to have
in the national legislation anything more than an advisory power, they
must have a determining power. To say that the king shall have the
unrestricted right of declaring and making war, and at the same time
that no money can be used without the free consent of Parliament, is
almost fit to be called an Irish bull. Such mutual freedom is impossible
except when king and Parliament perfectly agree in reference to the war
itself. But, if this agreement exists, there is either no need of a
Parliament or no need of a king. It makes little difference how the
constitution is worded in this particular, nor even what was intended by
the author of this provision. What is in itself an intrinsic
contradiction cannot be carried out in practice. Whether any formal
change is made in the constitution or not, a different mode of
interpreting it, a different conception of the relation of monarch to
subject, must become current, if the constitution is to be a working
instrument. Prussia must become again practically an absolute monarchy
or a constitutional monarchy like England. Nor is there much doubt which
of these possibilities will be realized. And not the least among the
causes which will hasten the final triumph of Liberalism there, is the
exhibition of the strength of republicanism here, while undergoing its
present trial. When one observes how many of the more violent Prussian
Conservatives openly sympathize with the rebels, and most of the others
fail to do so only because they dislike slavery; when one sees, on the
other hand, how anxiously the Prussian Liberals are waiting and hoping
for the complete demonstration of the ability of our Government to
outride the storm which has threatened its destruction, the cause in
which we are engaged becomes invested with a new sacredness. Our success
will not only secure the blessings of a free Government to the
succeeding generations of this land, but will give a stimulus to free
principles in every part of the globe. If 'Freedom shrieked when
Kosciuszko fell' at the hands of despotism, a longer and sadder wail
would mark the fall of American republicanism, wounded and slain in the
house of its friends.



'YE KNOW NOT WHAT YE ASK.'


  One morn in spring, when earth lay robed
    In resurrection bloom,
  I turned away my tear-veiled eyes,
    Feeling the glow but gloom,
  And asked my God one boon I craved,
    Or earth were living tomb.

         *       *       *       *       *

  One autumn morn, when all the world
    In ripened glory lay,
  I turned to God my shining eyes,
    And praised Him for that day,
  When asking _curses_ with my lips,
    He turned His ear away.



COMING UP AT SHILOH.


The rain, which had been falling steadily since shortly after midnight,
ceased at daybreak. The morning dawned slowly and moodily, above the
wooded hilltops that rose steeply from the farther bank of the creek
close by, right over against the cornfield, in which, on the preceding
evening, we had comfortably pitched our camp. The bugle wound an early
reveille; then came the call to strike tents, though one half of the
brigade was yet busy in hurried preparations for breakfast, and
presently the assembly sounded. We were on the march again by the time
the sun would have liked to greet us with his broad, level-thrown smile
for 'good morning,' if the sky had been clear and open enough, instead
of covered, as it was on this damp, chilly April morning, with dull,
sullen masses of cloud that seemed still nursing their ill humor and
bent on having another outbreak. The road was heavy; an old, worn
stage-coach road, of a slippery, treacherous clay, which the trampings
of our advanced regiments speedily kneaded into a tough, stiff dough,
forming a track that was enough to try the wind and bottom of the best.
For some miles, too, the route was otherwise a difficult one--hilly, and
leading by two or three tedious crossings in single file over fords,
where now were rushing turbid, swollen streams, gorging and overflowing
their banks everywhere in the channels, which nine months out of the
twelve give passage to innocent brooklets only, that the natives of
these parts may cross barefoot without wetting an ankle. Spite of these
drawbacks, the men were in fine spirits; for this was the end of our
weary march from Nashville, and we were sure now of a few days' rest and
quiet.

A few minutes after midday we reached Savannah, and were ordered at once
into camp. By this time the sky had cleared, the sun was shining
brightly, though, as it seemed, with an effort; the wind, which had been
freshening ever since morning, was blowing strong and settled from out
the blue west, and the earth was drying rapidly. The Sixth Ohio and a
comrade regiment of the Tenth Brigade pitched their tents in an old and
well-cleared camping ground, on a gently sloping rise looking toward the
town from the southeastward; a little too far from the river to quite
take in, in its prospect, the landing with its flotilla of transports
and the gunboats which they told us were lying there, yet not so far but
we could easily discern the smoke floating up black and dense from the
boats' chimney stacks, and hear the long-drawn, labored puffs of the
escape pipes, and the shrill signals of the steam whistles. Altogether
our camping ground was eligible, dry, and pleasant.

It was on Saturday, the fifth day of April, 1862, that the Fourth
division, being the advance corps of the Army of the Ohio, came thus to
Savannah, and so was brought within actual supporting distance of the
forces under General Grant at Pittsburg Landing, twelve miles up the
farther bank of the Tennessee. General Crittenden's division encamped
that evening three hours' march behind us. Still farther in the rear
were coming in succession the divisions of McCook, Wood, and Thomas. It
was well that such reënforcements were at hand; otherwise, unless we
disregarded the best-established laws of probabilities in deciding the
question, the Army of the Tennessee was even then a doomed one, and the
story of Shiloh must have gone to the world a sad, tragic tale of the
most crushing defeat which had ever fallen upon an army since the days
of Waterloo. No mean service, then, was rendered the national cause, and
all which that cause will stand out as the embodiment of, in all the
ages to come, when Shiloh was saved, and Treason was forced to turn,
faint, and stagger away from the field to which it had rushed with a
fiend's exultant eagerness, having there met only its own discomture.
The meed due for that service is a coronal of glory, that may never,
probably, be claimed as the desert of any _one_ individual exclusively;
nor is it likely that the epitaph, enchiselled upon whose tombstone
soever it might be, 'Here lies the saviour of Shiloh,' would pass one
hour unchallenged. Yet impartial history can scarcely be at fault in
recognizing as preëminent the part taken by one officer, in the events,
whose results, at least, permit so much of eulogy to be written, with
other significance than merely that of a wretched burlesque. That
officer was General Nelson, the commander of our own division.
Iron-nerved, indomitable, willfull, disdainful of pleasing with studied
phrase of unmeant compliment, but with a great, manly heart beating
strong in his bosom, and a nature grandly earnest, brave, and true--with
the very foremost of Kentucky's loyal sons will ever stand the name of
General William Nelson.

Our column had marched from Nashville out on the Franklin turnpike,
nearly three weeks previous. General McCook, as the senior divisional
commander, had claimed the advance, and had held it in our march through
that beautiful, cultivated garden spot of Middle Tennessee, as far as
Columbia, a distance of nearly fifty miles. Here the turnpike and the
railroad bridges over Duck river had both been destroyed by the rebels
in their forlorn retreat from the northward. To replace the former even
with a tottering wooden structure, was a work of time and labor.
Meanwhile the army waited wearily, General Nelson chafed at the delay,
and the rebel leaders Beauregard and Sidney Johnston were concentrating
their forces at Corinth with ominous celerity. It was their purpose to
crush, at one blow, so suddenly and so surely dealt that succor should
be impossible, the National army, which had established itself on the
borders of one of the southernmost States of the Confederacy, and was
menacing lines of communication of prime necessity to their maintenance
of the defensive line within which those commanders had withdrawn their
discomfited armies. At length, one evening, on dress parade, there were
read 'General orders, headquarters Fourth division,' for a march at
daylight the next morning. Some days would yet be required to complete
the bridge, but permission had been wrung from the 'commanding general'
to cross the river by fording, and comically minute the detailed
instructions of that order were for accomplishing the feat.

So on Saturday, the twenty-ninth of March, we passed over Duck river.
Other divisions immediately followed. By his importunity and
characteristic energy, General Nelson had thus secured for us the
advance for the seventy-five miles that remained of the march, and,
incalculably more than this, had gained days of precious time for the
entire army. How many hours later the Army of the Ohio might have
appeared at Shiloh in season to stay the tide of disaster and rescue the
field at last, let those tell who can recall the scenes of that awful
Sabbath day there on the banks of the Tennessee.

General Grant had established his headquarters at Savannah, and there
immediately upon our arrival our commander reported his division. Long
before night, camp rumors had complacently decided our disposition for
the present. Three days at Savannah to allow the other corps of our army
to come up with us, and then, by one more easy stage, we could all move
together up to Pittsburg Landing, and take position beside the Army of
the Tennessee. It was a very comfortable programme, and not the least of
its recommendations was the earnest of its faithful carrying out, which
appeared in the unusual regard to mathematical precision that our
officers had shown in 'laying off camp,' and the painstaking care they
had required on our part in establishing it.

There was but an inconsiderable force here, composed for the most part
of new troops from two or three States of the Northwest. I remember,
especially, one regiment from Wisconsin, made up of great, brawny,
awkward fellows--backwoodsmen and lumbermen chiefly--who followed us to
Shiloh on the next evening, and through the whole of Monday fought and
suffered like heroes, as they were. Our first inquiries, quite
naturally, were concerning our comrade army, and the enemy confronting
it at Corinth. Varied and incongruous enough was the information that we
gleaned, and in some details requiring a simple credulity that nine
months of active campaigning had quite jostled and worried out of us. It
seemed settled, however, that our comrades up the river were a host
formidable in numbers and of magnificent armament and _material_;
altogether very well able to take care of themselves, at least until we
could join them at our leisure.

There were some things which, if we had more carefully considered them,
might, perhaps, have abated somewhat this pleasant conviction of
security. The enemy had lately grown wonderfully bold and
venturesome--skirmishing with picket outposts, bullying reconnoitring
parties, and picking quarrels upon unconscionably slight provocation
almost daily. He had even challenged our gunboats, disputing the passage
up the river in an artillery duello at the Bluffs, not far above the
Landing, whose hoarse, sullen rumbling had reached us where we were
resting on that Thursday afternoon, at the distance of thirty miles back
toward Nashville. But, then, on how few fields had Southern chivalry
ever yet ventured to attack; how seldom, but when fairly cornered, had
its champions deemed discretion _not_ the better part of valor! What
other possibility was there which was not more likely to become an
actuality than that the enemy would here dare to assume the aggressive?
Who that had the least regard for the dramatic proprieties, could ever
assign to him any other part in the tragedy than one whose featliest
display of skill and dexterity should be exhibited in executing the
movements of guard and parry, and whose noblest performance should be to
stand at bay, resolutely contending upon a hopeless field to meet a
Spartan death? So we cast aside all serious thought of immediate danger
at Pittsburg Landing, the sanguine temperaments pronouncing these
demonstrations of a foe who had shown our army only his heels all the
way from Bowling Green and Fort Donelson, really diverting from their
very audacity.

At sunset, the Sixth held dress parade--the first since our march from
Columbia; but I, on duty that day as one of the 'reserve guard,' was
merely a looker-on. I was never prouder of the old regiment; it went
through with the manual of arms so well--and then there were so many
spectators present from other regiments. Orders were given to prepare
for a thorough inspection of arms and equipments at ten o'clock on the
next morning, then parade was dismissed, and so the day ended. The wind
died away, and the night deepened, cool, tranquil, starlit, on a camp of
weary soldiery, where contentment and good will ruled for the hour over
all.

Beautifully clear and calm the Sabbath morning dawned, April 6th, 1862;
rather chilly, indeed, for it was yet in the budding time of spring. But
the sky was so blue and cloudless, the air so still, and all nature lay
smiling so serene and fair in the glad sunshine--it was a day such as
that whereon the Creator may have looked upon the new-born earth, and
'saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good;' a day
as if chosen from all its fellows and consecrated to a hallowed quiet,
the blessedness of prayer and thanksgiving, praise and worship.

Hardly a man in our division, I believe, but awoke that morning with a
happy consciousness of long hours that this day were to be his own, and
a clear idea of just how he should improve them. My programme was the
general one, and simple enough it was. First, of course, to make ready
for inspection, and, that ceremony well gotten through with, to enact
the familiar performance of every man his own washerwoman and
seamstress: the remainder of the day should be devoted to the soldier's
sacred delight of correspondence--to completing a letter to Wynne, begun
back at Columbia, and writing home. Out by the smouldering fire, where
the cooks of our mess had prepared breakfast nearly two hours before, I
was busily at work furbishing with the new dust-fine ashes the brasses
of my accoutrements, when the boom of cannon burst on the air, rolling
heavily from away to the southward up from what we knew must be the
neighborhood of the camps at Pittsburg Landing. It was after seven
o'clock. The sun was mounting over the scrubby oak copse behind our
camp, and the day grew warm apace. Another and still another explosion
followed in quick succession.

What could it mean? Only the gunboats, some suggested, shelling
guerillas out of the woods somewhere along the river bank. Impossible;
too near, too far to the right, for that. It could hardly be artillery
practice merely; for to-day was the Sabbath. And the youngest soldier
among us knew better than to give those rapid, furious volleys the
interpretation of a formal military salute. Could it really be--battle?

Every man almost was out and listening intently. Louder and fiercer the
reports came, though still irregular. Now and then, in the intervals, a
low, quick crepitation reached us, an undertone that no soldier could
fail to recognize as distant musketry. Ominous sounds they were,
portending--what? What, indeed, if not actual battle? If a battle, then
certainly an attack by the enemy. Were our comrades up at the Landing
prepared for it?

The first cannon had been fired scarcely ten minutes, when General
Nelson rode by toward headquarters, down in the busiest part of the
town, aides and orderlies following upon the gallop. Presently came
orders:

'Three days' rations in haversacks, strike tents, and pack up. Be ready
to move at a moment's notice. They are fighting up at the Landing.'

There was no need for further urging. By ten o'clock every disposition
for the march had been completed. Nearly three long hours more we waited
with feverish anxiety for the final command to start, while the roar of
that deathly strife fell distantly upon our ears almost without
intermission, and a hundred wild rumors swept through the camp. General
Grant had gone up the river on a gunboat soon after the cannonading
began. It was not long after midday when we struck tents, were furnished
with a new supply of cartridges and caps for our Enfields, and waited
several minutes longer. At length, however, the column formed, and,
though still without orders, except those which its immediate commander
had assumed the responsibility to give, the Fourth division was on the
march for Shiloh. The Tenth brigade had, as usual, the advance, and, in
our regular turn, the Sixth came the third regiment in the column. We
had just cleared the camping grounds, I well remember, when General
Nelson rode leisurely down the line, his eye taking note with the quiet
glance of the real soldier of every minutia of equipments and appearance
generally. Some natures seem to find in antagonism and conflict their
native element, their chief good--yet more, almost as much a necessity
of their moral organism as to their animal being is the air they
breathe. Such a nature was Nelson's. His face to-day wore that
characteristic expression by which every man of his command learned to
graduate his expectation of an action; it was the very picture of
satisfaction and good humor. He wheeled his horse half around as the
rear of our brigade passed him, and a blander tone of command I never
heard than when, in his rapid, authoritative manner, he rang out:

'Now, gentlemen, keep the column well closed up!' and passed on toward
the next brigade.

Gentlemen! how oddly the title comes to sound in the ears of a soldier!

From Savannah to the Tennessee, directly opposite Pittsburg Landing, is,
by the course we took, perhaps ten miles. The route was only a narrow
wagon-path through the woods and bottoms bordering the river, and the
wisdom was soon apparent which had beforehand secured the services of a
native as guide. Most of the latter half of the distance was through a
low, slimy swamp land, giving rank growth to an almost continuous forest
of sycamore, cottonwood, and other trees which love a damp, alluvial
soil, whose massive trunks were yet foul and unsightly with filth and
scum deposited by the receding waters at the subsidence of the river's
great spring freshet a month before. Stagnant ponds and mimic lagoons
lay all about us and in our very pathway, some of the deeper ones,
however, rudely bridged. Very rapid progress was impossible. It had
already been found necessary to send our artillery back to Savannah,
whence it would have to be brought up on the transports. The afternoon
wore on, warm and sultry, and the atmosphere in those dank woods felt
close, aguish, and unwholesome. Not a breath of air stirred to refresh
the heated forms winding in long, continuous line along the dark boles
of the trees, through whose branches and leafless twigs the sunlight
streamed in little broken gleams of yellow brightness, and made a
curious checkerwork of sheen and shadow on all beneath. Burdened as we
were with knapsacks and twenty extra rounds of ammunition, the march
grew more and more laborious. But the noise of battle was sharpening
more significantly every few minutes now, and the men pushed forward. It
was no child's game going on ahead of us. We _might_ be needed.

We _were_ needed. A loud, tumultuous cheer from the Thirty-sixth Indiana
came surging down through the ranks of the Twenty-fourth Ohio to our own
regiment, and away back beyond to the Twenty-second and Nineteenth
brigades in the rear. 'Forward!' and we were off on the double quick.
General Nelson was at the head of the column; there a courier had met
him--so at least runs the tradition--with urgent orders to hasten up the
reënforcements: the enemy were pressing hard for the Landing. Unmindful
of all impediments--trees and fallen logs, shallow ponds and slippery
mire shoetop deep; now again moderating our pace to the route step to
recover breath and strength; even halting impatiently for a few minutes
now and then, while the advance cleared itself from some entanglement of
the way--so the remainder of our march continued. It seemed a long way
to the Landing, the battle dinning on our ears at every step. At length
it sounded directly ahead of us, close at hand; and looking forward out
through the treetops, a good eye could easily discover a dark cloud of
smoke hanging low in mid air, as though it sought to hide from the light
of heaven the deeds that were being done beneath it. Suddenly we
debouched into a level cornfield, extending quite to the river's verge.
The clearing was not a wide one, and the farther bank of the Tennessee
was in plain sight--the landings, the bluff, and the woods above
stretching away out and back beyond.

What a panorama! The river directly before us was hidden by a narrow
belt of chaparral and the drift that had lodged along the banks, but the
smoke stacks of three or four transports were visible above the weed
stalks and bushes, and the course of one or two more could be traced by
a distant, trailing line of smoke as they steamed down toward Savannah.
The opposite bank rises from the river a steep acclivity, perhaps a
hundred and fifty feet in perpendicular height, down whose sides of
brownish yellow clay narrow roadways showed out to the landings below.
Cresting the bluff, woods overlooked the whole, and shut in the scene
far as the eye could follow the windings of the Tennessee. In their
depths, the battle was raging with unabated fury. A short distance up
the river, though completely hidden from view by an intervening bend,
the gunboats were at work, and even our unpractised ears could easily
distinguish the heavy boom of their great thirty-two pounders in the
midst of all that blaze of battle and the storm of artillery explosions.
Glorious old Tyler and Lexington! primitive, ungainly, weather-beaten,
wooden craft, but the salvation, in this crisis hour of the fight, of
our out-numbered and wellnigh borne-down left. A signal party, stationed
a little above the upper landing and halfway up the bluff, was
communicating in the mystic language of the code with another upon our
side the river. What messages were those little party-colored flags
exchanging, with their curious devices of stripes and squares and
triangles, their combinations and figures in numberless variety, as they
were waved up and down and to and fro in rapid, ever-shifting pantomime?
The steep bank was covered with a swaying, restless mass of
blue-uniformed men, too distant to be distinctly discriminated, yet
certainly numbering thousands. 'Reserves!' a dozen voices cried at once,
and the next moment came the wonder that our march had been so hurried,
when whole brigades, as it seemed, could thus be held in idle waiting.
We were soon undeceived.

Out into the cornfield filed the column, up the river, and nearly
parallel to it, halting a little below the upper one of the two
principal landings. Here there was a further delaying for ferriage.

'Stack arms; every man fill his canteen, then come right back to the
ranks!'

Not to the Tennessee for water--there was no time to go so far--but
close at hand, at a pond, or little bayou of the river; and, returning
to the line of stacks, a few more long, unquiet minutes in waiting,
speculation, and eager gazing toward the battle. And then we saw what
was that dark, turbulent multitude over the river: oh, shame! a confused
rabble, composed chiefly of men whose places were rightly on the field,
but who had turned and fled away from the fight to seek safety under the
coverture of that bluff.

Forward again, and the regiment moved, with frequent little aggravating
halts, up to the point on the river where the Thirty-sixth Indiana had
already embarked, and were now being ferried over. The Twenty-fourth
Ohio crossed at the lower landing. There were a number of country folk
here, clad in the coarse, rusty homespun common in the South, whose
intense anxiety to see every movement visible on the farther side of the
river kept them unquietly shifting their positions continually. One of
these worthies was hailed from our company:

'Say, old fellow! how's the fight going on over there?'

He was an old and somewhat diminutive specimen, grizzle haired, and
stoop shouldered, but yellow and withered from the effects of sun and
tobacco rather than the burden of years. For a moment he hesitated, as
though guarding his reply, and then, with a sidelong glance of the eyes,
answered slowly:

'Well, it aren't hardly decided yet, I reckon; but they're a drivin'
your folks--some.'

Evidently he believed that our army had been badly beaten. The emphatic
rejoinder, 'D--d old secesh!' was the sole thanks his information
brought him: the characterization, aside from the accented epithet, was
doubtless a just one, but for all that his words were in no wise
encouraging.

A minute later we passed a sergeant, whose uniform and bright-red
chevrons showed that he was attached to some volunteer battery. He was
mounted upon a large, powerful horse, and seemed a man of considerable
ability.

'Do the rebels fight well over there?' demanded a voice from the column
a half dozen files ahead of me.

'Guess they do! Anyway, _fit_ well enough to take our battery from
us--every gun, and some of the caissons.'

Another soldier met us, unencumbered with blouse or coat of any kind,
his accoutrements well adjusted over his gray flannel shirt, and his
rifle sloped carelessly back over his shoulder. His eyes were bloodshot,
and his face, all begrimed with smoke and gunpowder, wore an expression
haggard, gaunt, and very weary. He was a sharpshooter, he told us,
belonging to some Missouri regiment, and had been out skirmishing almost
ever since daylight, with not a mouthful to eat since the evening
before. His cartridges--and he showed us his empty cartridge-box--had
given out the second time, and he was 'used up.' In his hat and clothes
were several bullet holes; but he had been hit but once, he said, and
then by only a spent buckshot.

'Boys, I'm glad you're come,' he said. 'It's a fact, they _have_ whipped
us so far; but I guess we've got 'em all right _now_. How many of
Buell's army can come up to-night?'

A hurried, many-voiced reply, and hastening on past a heterogeneous
collection of soldiery--couriers, cavalry-men, malingerers, stragglers,
a few of the slightly wounded, and camp followers of all sorts--we
quickly reached the river's brink. The boat was lying close below.
Twenty feet down the crumbling bank, slipping, or swinging down by the
roots and twigs of friendly bushes, the regiment lost but little time in
embarking. The horses of our field officers were somehow got on board,
and, with crowded decks, the little steamer headed for the landing right
over against us. Two or three boats were there hugging the shore, quiet
and motionless, and there were still more at the lower landing. One or
two of these the deck hands pointed out to us as magazine boats,
freighted with precious stores of ammunition, and the remainder were
now, of necessity, being used as hospital boats. The wounded had quite
filled these latter, and several hundred more of the day's victims had
already been sent down the river to Savannah. One of the gunboats, fresh
from its glorious work up beyond the bend, shortly came in sight, moving
slowly down stream, as though reconnoitring the bank for some inlet up
which its crashing broadsides could be poured with deadliest effect, if
the enemy should again appear in sight.

An informal command to land was given us presently, but many had already
anticipated it. How terribly significant becomes the simple mechanism of
loading a rifle when one knows that it is at once the earnest of deadly
battle and the preparation for it! The few details which we could gather
from the deck hands concerning the fight were meagre and unsatisfactory.
They told us of disaster that befell our army in the morning, and which
it seemed very doubtful if the afternoon had yet seen remedied; and
their testimony was borne out by evidences to which our own unwilling
senses were the sufficient witnesses. The roar of battle sounded
appallingly near, and two or three of our guns were in vigorous play
upon the enemy so close on the crest of the bluff that every flash could
be seen distinctly. Several shells from the enemy's artillery swept by,
cleaving the air many feet above us with that peculiar, fierce, rushing
noise, which no one, I believe, can hear for the first time without a
quickened beating of the heart and an instinctive impulse of dismay and
awe.

At the landing--but how shall I attempt, in words only, to set that
picture forth? The next day's fight was my first experience in actual
battle, except so much of bushwacking as five months in Western Virginia
had brought us, but those hours have no such place in my memory as have
the scenes and sounds of this evening at the landing. I have never yet
seen told in print the half of that sad, sickening story. Wagons, teams,
and led horses, quartermaster's stores of every description, bales of
forage, caissons--all the paraphernalia of a magnificently appointed
army--were scattered in promiscuous disorder along the bluff-side. Over
and all about the fragmentary heaps thousands of panic-stricken wretches
swarmed from the river's edge far up toward the top of the steep; a mob
in uniform, wherein all arms of the service and wellnigh every
grade--for even gilt shoulder-straps and scarlet sashes did not lack a
shameful representation there--were commingled in utter, distracted
confusion; a heaving, surging herd of humanity, smitten with a very
frenzy of fright and despair, every sense of manly pride, of honor, and
duty, completely paralyzed, and dead to every feeling save the most
abject, pitiful terror. A number of officers could be distinguished amid
the tumult, performing, with violent gesticulations, the pantomimic
accompaniments of shouting incoherent commands, mingled with threats and
entreaties. There was a little drummer boy, I remember, too, standing in
his shirt sleeves and pounding his drum furiously, though to what
purpose we could none of us divine. Men were there in every stage of
partial uniform and equipment; many were hatless and coatless, and few
still retained their muskets and their accoutrements complete. Some
stood wringing their hands, and rending the air with their cries and
lamentations, while others, in the dumb agony of fear, cowered behind
the object that was nearest them in the direction of the enemy, though
but the crouching form of a comrade. Terror had concentrated every
faculty upon two ideas, and all else seemed forgotten: danger and death
were behind and pressing close upon them; on the other side of the
river, whither their eyes were turned imploringly, there was the hope of
escape and an opportunity for further flight.

Meanwhile, louder than all the din and clamor else, swelled the roar of
cannon and the sharp, continuous rattle of musketry up in the woods
above. There, other thousands of our comrades--many thousands more they
were, thank God!--were maintaining an unequal struggle, in which to
further yield, they knew, would be their inevitable destruction. Brave,
gallant fellows! more illustrious record than they made who here stood
and fought through all these terrible Sabbath hours need no soldier
crave. There has been a noble redemption, too, of the disgrace which
Shiloh fastened on those poor, trembling fugitives by the riverside.
That disgrace was not an enduring one. On many a red and stubborn battle
field those same men have proudly vindicated their real manhood, and in
maturer military experience have fought their way to a renown abundantly
enough, and more than enough, to cover the derelictions of raw,
untrained, and not too skilfully directed soldiery.

There was a rush for the boat when we neared the landing, and some,
wading out breast deep into the stream, were kept off only at the point
of the bayonet. Close by the water's edge grew a clump of sycamores. Up
into one of these and far out on a projecting limb, one scared wretch
had climbed, and, as the boat rounded to, poised himself for a leap upon
the hurricane deck; but the venture seemed too perilous, and he was
forced to give it up in despair. The plank was quickly thrown out,
guards were stationed to keep the passage clear, and we ran ashore.
Until now there had been few demonstrations of enthusiasm, but here an
eager outburst of shouts and cheers broke forth that wellnigh drowned
the thunderings of battle. The regiment did not wait to form on the
beach, the men, as they debarked, rushing up the bank by one of the
winding roadways. The gaping crowd parted right and left, and poured
upon us at every step a torrent of queries and ejaculations. 'It's no
use;' 'gone up;' 'cut all to pieces;' 'the last man left in my
company;'--so, on all sides, smote upon our ears the tidings of ill.
Fewer, but cheery and reassuring, were the welcomes: 'Glad you've come;'
'good for you;' 'go in, boys;' 'give it to 'em, Buckeyes'--which came to
us in manly tones, now and then from the lines as we passed.

We gained the summit of the bluff. A few hundred yards ahead they were
fighting; we could hear the cheering plainly, and the woods echoed our
own in response. The Thirty-sixth Indiana had already been pushed
forward toward the extreme left of our line, and were even now in
action. General Nelson had crossed half an hour earlier. The junior
member of his staff had had a saddle shot from under him by a chance
shell from the enemy, to the serious detriment of a fine dress coat, but
he himself marvellously escaping untouched. Two field pieces were at
work close upon our left, firing directly over the heads of our men in
front; only a random firing at best, and I was glad when an aide-de-camp
galloped down and put a stop to the infernal din. Amid this scene of
indescribable excitement and confusion, the regiment rapidly formed. Our
knapsacks--were we going into action with their encumbrance? The order
was shouted to unsling and pile them in the rear, one man from each
company being detailed to guard them. It was scarcely more than a
minute's work, and we formed again. A great Valkyrian chorus of shouts
swelled out suddenly along the line, and, looking up, I saw General
Nelson sitting on his big bay in front of the colors, his hat lifted
from his brow, and his features all aglow with an expression of
satisfaction and indomitable purpose. He was speaking, but Company B was
on the left of the regiment, and, in the midst of the storms of huzzas
pealing on every side, I could not catch a single word. Then I heard the
commands, 'Fix bayonets! trail arms! forward!' and at the double-quick
we swept on, up through the stumps and underbrush which abounded in this
part of the wood, to the support of the Thirty-sixth Indiana. A few
score rods were gained, and we halted to recover breath and perfect
another allignment. The firing in our front materially slackened, and
presently we learned that the last infuriate charge of the enemy upon
our left had been beaten back. We could rest where we lay, 'until
further orders.' The sun sank behind the rise off to our right, a broad,
murky red disk, in a dense, leaden-hued haze; such a sunset as in
springtime is a certain betokening of rain. By this time cannonading had
entirely ceased, and likewise all musketry, save only a feeble, dropping
fire upon our right. Those sounds shortly died away, and the battle for
this day was over. Night fell and spread its funereal pall over a field
on which, almost without cessation since the dawn of daylight, had raged
a conflict which, for its desperation and carnage, had yet had no
parallel in American history.

On that field, freely and generously had been poured of the nation's
best blood, and many a nameless hero had sealed with his life a sublime
devotion far surpassing the noblest essay of eulogy and all the
extolments which rhetoric may recount. Thank God, those sacrifices had
not been wholly fruitless! The Army of the Tennessee, although at most
precious cost, had succeeded in staying those living waves of Southern
treason until the Army of the Ohio could come up, and Shiloh was saved.
The next day saw those waves rolled back in a broken, crimson current,
whose ebb ceased only when the humiliated enemy rested safe within his
fortifications at Corinth.



ÆNONE:

A TALE OF SLAVE LIFE IN ROME.


CHAPTER XIII.

With Sergius there was seldom any interval between impulse and action.
Now, without giving time for explanation, he made one bound to where
Cleotos stood; and, before the startled Greek had time to drop the
slender fingers which he had raised to his lips, the stroke of the
infuriated master's hand descended upon his head, and he fell senseless
at Ænone's feet, with one arm resting upon the lounge behind her.

'Is my honor of so little worth that a common slave should be allowed to
rob me of it?' Sergius exclaimed, turning to Ænone in such a storm of
passion that, for the moment, it seemed as though the next blow would
descend upon her.

Strangely enough, though she had ever been used to tremble at his
slightest frown, and though now, in his anger, there might even be
actual danger to her life, she felt, for the moment, no fear. Her
sympathy for the bleeding victim at her feet, of whose sad plight she
had been the innocent cause, and whose perils had probably as yet only
commenced--her consciousness that a crisis in her life had come,
demanding all her fortitude--her indignation that upon such slight
foundation she should thus be accused of falsity and shame--all combined
to create in her an unlooked-for calmness. Added to this was the
delusive impression that, as nothing had occurred which could not be
explained, her lord's anger would not be likely to prolong itself at the
expense of his returning sense of justice. What, indeed, could he have
witnessed which she could not account for with a single word? It was
true that within the past hour she had innocently and dreamily bestowed
upon the Greek caresses which might easily have been misunderstood; and
that all the while, the door having been partly open, a person standing
outside and concealed by the obscure gloom of the antechamber, could
have covertly witnessed whatever had transpired within. But Ænone knew
that whatever might be her husband's other faults, he was not capable of
countenancing the self-imposed degradation of espionage. Nor, even had
it been otherwise, could he have been able, if his jealousy was once
aroused by any passing incident, to control his impatient anger
sufficiently to await other developments. At the most, therefore, he
must merely, while passing, have chanced to witness the gesture of
mingled emotion and affection with which Cleotos had bidden her
farewell. Surely that was a matter which would require but little
explanation.

'Do you not hear me?' cried Sergius, glaring with wild passion from her
to Cleotos and back again to her. 'Was it necessary that my honor should
be placed in a slave's keeping? Was there no one of noble birth with
whom you could be false, but that you must bring this deeper degradation
upon my name?'

Ænone drew herself up with mingled scorn and indignation. His anger,
which at another time would have crushed her, now passed almost
unheeded; for the sense of injury resulting from his cruel taunt and
from his readiness, upon such slight foundation, to believe her guilty,
gave her strength to combat him. The words of self-justification and of
reproach toward him were at her lips, ready to break forth in
unaccustomed force. In another moment the torrent of her indignant
protestations would have burst upon him. Already his angry look began to
quail before the steadfast earnestness of her responsive gaze. But all
at once her tongue refused its utterance, her face turned ghastly pale,
and her knees seemed to sink beneath her.

For, upon glancing one side, she beheld the gaze of Leta fixedly
fastened upon her over Sergius's shoulder. In the sparkle of those
burning eyes and in the curve of those half-parted lips, there appeared
no longer any vestige of the former pretended sympathy or affection.
There was now malice, scorn, and hatred--all those expressions which,
from time to time, had separately excited doubt and dread, now combining
themselves into one exulting glance of open triumph, disdainful of
further concealment, since at last the long-sought purpose seemed
attained. Ænone turned away with a sickening, heart-breaking feeling
that she was now lost, indeed. It was no mystery, any longer, that the
slave girl must have listened at the open door, and have cunningly
contrived that her master should appear at such time as seemed most
opportune for her purposes. And how must every unconscious action, every
innocent saying have been noted down in the tablets of that crafty mind!
What explanation, indeed, could be given of those trivial caresses now
so surely magnified and distorted into evidences of degrading
criminality?

Faint at heart, Ænone turned away--unable longer to look upon that face
so exultant with the consciousness of a long-sought purpose achieved.
Rather would she prefer to encounter the angry gaze of her lord.
Terrible as his look was to her, she felt that, at the last, pity might
be found in him, if she could only succeed in making him listen to and
understand the whole story. But what mercy or release from jealous and
vindictive persecution could she hope to gain from the plotting Greek
girl, who had no pity in her heart, and who, even if she were so
disposed, could not, now that matters had progressed so far, dare to
surrender the life-and-death struggle? Alas! neither in the face of her
lord could she now see anything but settled, unforgiving pitilessness;
for though, for an instant, he had quailed before her gaze, yet when she
had, in turn, faltered at the sight of Leta, he deemed it a new proof of
guilt, and his suspended reproaches broke forth with renewed violence.

'Am I to have no answer?' he cried, seizing her by the arm. 'Having lost
all, are you now too poor-spirited to confess?'

'There is nothing for me to confess. Nor, if there had been, would I
deign to speak before that woman,' she answered with desperation, and
pointing toward Leta. 'What does she here? How, in her presence, can you
dare talk of sin--you who have so cruelly wronged me? And has all
manliness left you, that you should ask me to open my heart to you in
the presence of a slave; one, too, who has pursued me for weeks with her
treacherous hate, and now stands gloating over the misery which she has
brought upon me? I tell you that I have said or done nothing which I
cannot justify; but that neither will I deign to explain aught to any
but yourself alone.'

'The same old excuse!' retorted Sergius. 'No harm done--nothing which
cannot be accounted for in all innocence; and yet, upon some poor
pretence of wounded pride, that easy explanation will not be vouchsafed!
And all the while the damning proof and author of the guilt lies before
me!'

With that he extended his foot, and touched the senseless body of
Cleotos--striking it carelessly, and not too gently. The effect of the
speech and action was to arouse still more actively the energetic
impulses of Ænone--but not, alas! to that bold display of conscious
innocence with which, a moment before, she had threatened to sweep aside
his insinuations, and make good her justification. She was now rather
driven into a passion of reckless daring--believing that her fate was
prejudged and forestalled--caring but little what might happen to
her--wishing only to give way to her most open impulses, let the
consequences be what they might. Therefore, in yielding to that spirit
of defiance, she did the thing which of all others harmed her most,
since its immediate and natural result was to give greater cogency to
the suspicions against her. Stooping down and resting herself upon the
lounge, she raised the head of the still senseless Cleotos upon her lap,
and began tenderly to wipe his lips, from a wound in which a slight
stream of blood had begun to ooze.

'He and I are innocent,' she said. 'I have treated him as a brother,
that is all. It is years ago that I met him first, and then he was still
more to me than now. He is now poor and in misery, and I cannot abandon
him. Had he been in your place, and you in his, he would not have thus,
without proof, condemned you, and then have insulted your lifeless
body.'

For a moment Sergius stood aghast. Excuse and pleading he was prepared
to hear. Recriminations would not have surprised him, for he knew that
his own course would not bear investigation, and nothing, therefore,
could be more natural than that she should attempt to defend herself by
becoming the assailant in turn. But that she should thus defy
him--before his eyes should bestow endearments upon a slave, the partner
of her apparent guilt, and with whom she acknowledged having had an
intimacy years before, was too astounding for him at first to
understand. Then recovering himself, he cried aloud:

'Is this to be borne? Ho, there, Drumo! Meros! all of you! Take this
wretch and cast him into the prison! See that he does not escape, on
your lives! He shall feed the lions to-morrow! By the gods, he shall
feed the lions! Bear him away! Let me not see him again till I see his
blood lapped up in the arena. Away with him, I say!'

As the first cry of Sergius rang through the halls, the armor bearer
appeared at the door; and before many more seconds had elapsed, other
slaves, armed and unarmed, swarmed forth from different courts and
passages, until the antechamber was filled with them. None of them knew
what had happened, but they saw that, in some way, Cleotos had incurred
the anger of his master, and lay stunned and bleeding before them. To
obey was the work of a moment. The giant Drumo, stooping down, wound his
arm around the body of Cleotos, hoisted him upon his broad shoulder, and
stalked out of the room. The other slaves followed. Ænone, who, in the
delirium of her defiance, might have tried to resist, was overpowered by
her own attendants, who also had flocked in at Sergius's call, and now
gently forced her from the room. And in a moment more, Sergius was left
alone with Leta.

She, crouching in a dark corner of the room, awaited her opportunity to
say the words which she dared not say while he was in this storm of wild
passion; he, thinking himself entirely alone, stalked up and down like a
caged tiger, muttering curses upon himself, upon Ænone, upon the slave,
upon all who directly or indirectly had been concerned in his supposed
disgrace. Let it not be forgotten that, though at first he had acted
hastily and upon slight foundation of proof, and had cruelly wounded her
spirit by abhorrent insinuations, without giving time or opportunity for
her to explain herself, she had afterward given way to an insane
impulse, and had so conducted herself as to fix the suspicion of guilt
upon herself almost ineffaceably. What further proof could he need?
While, with false lips, she had denied all, had she not, at the same
time, lavished tender caresses upon the vile slave?

Then, too, what had he not himself done to add to the sting of his
disgrace? Convinced of her guilt, he should have quietly put her away,
and the truth would have leaked out only little by little, so as to be
stripped of half of its mortification. But he had called up his slaves.
They had entered upon the scene, and would guess at everything, if they
did not know it already! The mouths of menials could not be stopped.
To-morrow all Rome would know that the imperator Sergius, whose wife had
been the wonder of the whole city for her virtue and constancy, had been
deceived by her, and for a low-born slave! Herein, for the moment,
seemed to lie half the disgrace. Had it been a man of rank and celebrity
like himself--but a slave! And how would he dare to look the world in
the face--he who had been proud of his wife's unsullied reputation, even
when he had most neglected her, and who had so often boasted over his
happy lot to those who, having the reputation of being less fortunate,
had complacently submitted themselves to bear with indifference a
disgrace which, at that age, seemed to be almost the universal doom!

Frantically revolving these matters, he raged up and down the apartment
for some moments, while Leta watched him from her obscure corner. When
would it be time for her to advance and try her art of soothing? Not
yet; for while that paroxysm of rage lasted, he would be as likely to
strike her as to listen. Once he approached within a few feet of her,
and, as she believed herself observed, she trembled and crouched behind
a vase. He had not seen her, but his eye fell upon the vase, and with
one blow he rolled it off its pedestal, and let it fall shattered upon,
the marble floor. Was it simply because the costly toy stood in his way?
Or was it that he remembered it had been a favorite of Ænone? One
fragment of the vase, leaping up, struck Leta upon the foot and wounded
her, but she dared not cry out. She rather crouched closer behind the
empty pedestal, and drew a long breath of relief as, after a moment, he
turned away.

At last the violence of his passion seemed to have expended itself, and
he sank upon the lounge, and, burying his face in his hands, abandoned
himself to more composed reflection. Now was the time for her to
approach. And yet she would not address herself directly to him, but
would rather let him, in some accidental manner, detect her presence.
Upon a small table stood a bronze lamp with a little pitcher of olive
oil beside it. The wicks were already in the sockets, and she had only
to pour in the oil. This she did noiselessly, as one who has no thought
of anything beyond the discharge of an accustomed duty. Then she lighted
the wicks and stealthily looked up to see whether he had yet observed
her.

The lamp somewhat brightened the obscurity of the room, sending even a
faint glimmer into the farther corners, but he took no notice of it.
Perhaps he may have moved his head a little toward the light, but that
was all. Otherwise there was no apparent change or interruption in his
deep, troubled thought. Then Leta moved the table with the lamp upon it
a few paces toward him, so that the soft light could fall more directly
upon his face. Still no change. Then she softly approached and bent over
him.

What could he be thinking of? Could he be feeling aught but regret that
he had thrown away years of his life upon one who had betrayed him so
grossly at the end? Was he not telling himself how, upon the morrow, he
would put her away, with all ceremony, forever? And might he not be
reflecting that, Ænone once gone, there would be a vacant place to be
filled at his table? Would he not wish that it should be occupied
without delay, if only to show the world how little his misfortune had
affected him? And who more worthy to fill it than the one whose
fascinations over him had made it empty? Was not this, then, the time
for her to attract his notice, before other thoughts and interests could
come between her and him?

Softly she touched him upon the arm; and, like an unchained lion, he
sprang up and stared her in the face. There was a terrible look upon his
features, making her recoil in dismay. Was that the affectionate gaze
with which she had expected to be greeted? Was that the outward
indication of the pleasing resolves with which her eager fancy had
invested his mind?

Never had she been more mistaken than in her conceptions of his
thoughts. In them there was for herself not one kindly impulse; but for
the wife whom he had deemed so erring, there was much that was akin to
regret, if not to returning affection. The violence of his passion had
been so exhausting, that something like a reaction had come. A new
contradiction seemed developing itself in his nature. This man, who a
few minutes before had prejudged her guilty, because he had seen the
lips of a grateful slave pressed against her hand, now, after having
seen her so aroused and indifferent to reputation as to defend that
slave in her arms, and claim him for at least a friend and brother,
began to wonder whether she might not really be innocent. She had
confessed to nothing--she had asserted her blamelessness--she had never
been known to waver from the truth; might she not have been able to
explain her actions? With his regret for having, in such hasty passion,
so compromised her before the world that no explanation could henceforth
shield her from invidious slander, he now began to feel sorrow for
having so roughly used her. Whether she was false or not--whether or not
he now loved her--was it any the less true that she had once been
constant and loved by him, and did the memories of that time, not so
very long ago, bring no answering emotion to his heart? Who, after all,
had ever so worshipped him? And must he now really lose her? Might it
not be that he had been made the victim of some conspiracy, aided by
fortuitous elements?

It was just at this point, when, in his thoughts, he was stumbling near
the truth, that the touch of Leta's hand aroused him; and in that
instant her possible agency in the matter flashed upon him like a new
revelation. She saw the tiger-like look which he fastened upon her, and
she recoiled, perceiving at once that she had chosen an inopportune
moment to speak to him. But it was now too late to recede.

'Well?' he demanded.

'I have lighted the lamp,' she faltered forth. 'I knew not that I should
disturb you. Have you further commands for me?'

Still his fierce gaze fixed upon her; but now with a little more of the
composure of searching inquiry.

'It is you who have brought all this destruction and misery upon me,' he
said at length. 'From one step unto another, even to this end, I
recognize your work. I was a weak fool not to have seen it before.'

'Is it about my mistress that you speak?' she responded. 'Is it my fault
that she has been untrue?'

'If she is false, what need to have told me of it? Was it that the
knowledge of it would make me more happy? And did I give it into the
hands of my own slaves to watch over my honor? Is it a part of your duty
that for weeks you should have played the spy upon herself and me, so as
to bring her secret faults to light?'

She stood silent before him, not less amazed at his lingering fondness
for his wife than at his reproaches against herself.

'How know I that she is guilty at all?' he said, continuing the train of
thought into which his doubts and his better nature had led him. 'I must
feel all this for certain. How do I know but what you have brought it
about by some cunning intrigue for your own purposes? Speak!'

For Leta to stop now was destruction. Though to go on might bring no
profit to her, yet her safety depended upon closing forever the path of
reconciliation toward which his mind seemed to stray. And step by step,
shrouding as far as possible her own agency, she spread out before him
that basis of fact upon which she so well knew how to erect a false
superstructure. She told him how the intimacy of Ænone and Cleotos had
led her to keep watch--how Ænone had once confessed having had a lover
in the days of her obscurity and poverty--how that this Greek was that
same lover--and how improbable it was that he could have been domiciled
in that house by chance, or for any other purpose than that of being in
a situation to renew former intimacies. She told how, after long
suspicion, she had settled this identity of the former lover with the
slave--and how she had seen them, in the twilight of that very day,
standing near the window and addressing each other endearingly by their
own familiar names. As Sergius listened, the evident truthfulness of the
facts gradually impressed themselves upon him; and no longer doubting
his disgrace, he closed his heart against all further hope and charity
and affection. The pleasant past no longer whispered its memories to his
heart--those were now stifled and dead.

'And what reward for all this do you demand?' he hissed forth, seizing
Leta by the arm, 'For of course you have not thus dogged her steps day
after day, without expectation of recompense from me.'

Did he mean this--that she was capable of asking reward? Or was he
cunningly trying her nature, to see whether she might prove worthy of
the great recompense which she had promised herself? It was almost too
much now to expect; but her heart beat fast as she saw or fancied she
saw some strange significance in the gaze which he fastened upon her.
Babbling incoherently, she told how she did not wish reward--how she had
done it all for love of him--how she would be content to serve him for
life, with no other recompense than his smile--and the like. Still that
gaze was fastened upon her with penetrating power, more and more
confusing her, and again she babbled forth the same old expressions of
disinterested attachment. How it was that at last he understood her
secret thoughts and aspirations, she knew not. Certainly she had not
spoken, or even seemed to hint about them. But whether she betrayed
herself by some glance of the eye or tremor of the voice, or whether
some instinct had enabled him to read her, of a sudden he burst into a
wild, hollow laugh of disdain, threw her from him, and cried, with
unutterable contempt:

'This, then, was the purpose of all! This is what you dreamed of! That
you, a slave--an hour's plaything--could so mistake a word or two of
transient love-making as to fancy that you could ever be anything beyond
what you are now! Poor fool that thou art!--Oho, Drumo!'

The giant entered the room, and Leta again drew back into the closest
obscurity she could find, not knowing what punishment her audacity was
about to draw upon her. But worse, perhaps, than any other punishment,
was the discovery that Sergius had already forgotten her; or rather,
that he thought so little about her as to be able to dismiss her and her
pretensions with a single contemptuous rebuke. He had called his armor
bearer for another purpose than to speak of her. A new phase had passed
over his burdened and excited mind. He could not endure that solitude,
with ever-present disagreeable reflection. And since his disgrace must,
sooner or later, be known, he would brave it out by being himself the
first to publish it.

'Is it not to-morrow that the games begin?'

'Yes, master,' responded the armor bearer.

'And does it not--it seems to me that I promised to my friends a banquet
upon the previous night. If I did not, I meant to have done so. Go,
therefore, and bid them at once come hither! Tell the poet Emilius--and
Bassus--and the rest. You know all whom I would have. Let them know that
I hold revel here, and that not one must dare to stay away! Tell my
cooks to prepare a feast for the gods! Go! Despatch!'

The giant grinned his knowledge of all that his master's tastes would
require, and left the room to prepare for his errand. And in a moment
more Sergius also departed, without another thought of the Greek girl,
who stood shrinking from his notice in the shadow of the farthest
corner.



APHORISMS.--NO. XII.


Knowledge and Action.--It is a common fault of our humanity, when not
sunk too low in the scale of intellect, to seek knowledge rather than
attempt any laborious application of it. We love to add to our stock of
ideas, facts, or even notions of things, provided moderate pains will
suffice; but to put our knowledge in practice is too often esteemed
servile, or eschewed as mere drudgery. Useful activities flatter pride,
and gratify the imagination, too little. But of what avail, ordinarily,
is the possession of truth, unless as light to direct us in the ways of
beneficent labor, for ourselves and for our fellow men? There are,
indeed, objects of knowledge which elevate the soul in the mere act of
contemplation; but, in most cases, if what we learn is brought into no
definite relation to the practice of life, the acquisition is barren,
and the labor of making it apparently a loss of time and strength.

This is no censure upon the course of learning as a process of mental
discipline; for this in itself is one of the most productive forms of
human activity.



EXCUSE.


    Song, they say, should be a king,
  Crowned and throned by lightning-legions
    Only they may dare to sing
    Who can hear their voices ring
  Through the echoing thunder-regions.

    Yet, below the mountain's crest,
  Chime the valley-bells to heaven;
    If we may not grasp the best,
    Deeper, closer, be our quest
  For the good that Fate has given.

    Parching in its fever pain,
  Many a tortured life is thirsting
    For a cooling draught to drain,
    Though it flash no purple vein
  From the mellow grape-heart bursting.

    Must our sun-struck gaze despise
  Starry isles in light embosomed?
    Must we close our scornful eyes
    Where the valley lily lies,
  Just because the rose has blossomed?

    Though the lark, God's perfect strain,
  Steep his song in sunlit splendor;
    Though the nightingale's sweet pain
    With divine despair, enchain
  Dew-soft darks in silence tender;

    Not the less, from Song's excess,
  Sings the blackbird late and early:
    Nor the bobolink's trill the less
    Laughs for very happiness,
  Gurgling through its gateways pearly.

    Though we reach not heavenly heights,
  Where the sun-crowned souls sit peerless,
    Let us wing our farthest flights
    Underneath the lower lights;--
  Soar and sing, unfettered, fearless--

    Sings as bubbling water flows--
  Sing as smiles the summer sunny.
    Royal is the perfect rose,
    Yet, from many a bud that blows,
  Bees may drain a drop of honey.



AMERICAN WOMEN.


A great deal has been said and written in this age and country on the
subject of what is technically called _woman's rights_; and, in the
course of such agitation, many good and true things have been thought
out and made available to the bettering of her condition, besides many
foolish and impracticable, arising from a too grasping desire for a
wider and more exciting sphere of effort, as well as from a palpable
misapprehension of their own nature and their legitimate sphere, which
prevails quite extensively among women. The pioneers of the rights of
woman have done a good work, however, and may well be pardoned wherein
they have gone beyond what might be fairly and profitably demanded for
our sex. They have called the public attention to the subject, and have
enlisted the thoughts and the services of many earnest men as well as
women in their cause; thus provoking that inquiry which will eventually
lead to the finding of the whole truth concerning woman, her rights,
privileges, duties. And for this, in common with the pioneers in every
cause that has for its object the amelioration and advantage of any
class of human beings, they deserve the thanks of all. That there should
be some ultraists, who would not know where to stop in the extravagant
and unsuitable claims they urge, was to be expected. This should not
blind our eyes to the lawful claims of woman upon society, nor is it
sufficient to throw ridicule upon a movement which has, in this day,
indeed, borne its full share of obloquy from the careless, the
thoughtless, the too conservative, all of whom are alike clogs upon the
wheel of human progress.

This is not the age nor ours the people to shun the fair discussion of
any question, much less one which commends itself as of practical
importance. This American people has proved, by the calm and patient
consideration it has accorded to the advocates of woman's rights, that
it has reached that lofty point in the progress of society at which
woman is regarded as a positive quantity in the problem which society is
working out, and it marks an era in the history of the sex, prophetic of
the full enjoyment of _all_ the rights which are hers by nature, or may
be hers by favor. I think that in this country, at least, woman has been
put upon a very clear and unobstructed path, with many encouragements to
go on in the highest course of improvement of which she is capable.
There seems to be a general disposition to investigate, and to allow her
the rights she claims--rights of education, of labor, of property, of a
fair competition in any suitable field of enterprise; so that she bids
fair to become as self-supporting, independent, and intelligent as she
desires. It is true that much is still said of the jealousy and
selfishness of men, leading them to monopolize most of the sources of
profitable effort to their own use, thus cramping the sphere of woman,
and making her dependent and isolated.

Now, it is very much a question with me whether, after all, the failure,
so far, to secure these fancied rights, is not quite as much the result
of woman's backwardness and inefficiency as of man's jealous and greedy
monopoly; whether the greatest obstacle does not lie in the adverse
opinions prevailing among women themselves. According to my observation,
as fast as women have proved themselves adapted to compete with men in
any particular field, their brothers have forthwith striven to make the
path easy and pleasant for them.

But there is a natural and necessary jealousy excited when women attempt
to go out of the beaten track, and establish new conditions and
resources for themselves--a jealousy which has its source in the
instinctive feeling of civilized society, that the standard of womanhood
must not be lowered; that its safety and progressive well-being depend
upon the immaculate preservation of that pure and graceful ideal of
womanhood which every true man wishes to see guarded with a vestal
precision. And society will pause, thoughtfully to consider, before the
stamp of its approbation is affixed to any mode of development by which
that lofty ideal would suffer. Anything which tends in the least to
unsex, to unsphere woman, by so much works with a reflex influence on
man and on society, and produces in both a gradual and dangerous
deterioration. And self-preservation is the first instinct of society as
well as of the individual being. Man, and the eternal and infinite order
of the world, require that woman keep her proper place, and that she
demand nothing which, granted, would introduce confusion and disorder
among the social forces.

But it is not so much of woman's rights that I would speak. I am not
afraid but that she will possess these in due time, as fast as her
nature and true place and mission in the world come to be more fully
understood. I am far more anxious that she should come into such more
perfect understanding.

Woman has always been a puzzle, an enigma, to man. When, in the pride of
his anatomical skill, he has essayed to make her his study, thinking to
master the secret of her curious physical being, he has been forced to
stop short of his purpose, dumb and blind in the presence of that
wondrous complexity that no science of his own can master; and no
casuist has yet solved the _why_ of her equally wonderful and complex
mental and spiritual being. They have made Reason, cold, critical,
judge, the test; but the fine, delicate essence of her real being has
always eluded it. When Love seeks the solution--the large, generous
Love, that is one day to sit as the judge of all things, supreme over
purblind human Reason--then _she_ will be understood, for she will yield
to the asking of that all-seeing One. This will be when the world is
ripe for the advent of woman, who shall rule through love, the highest
rule of all. Slowly, slowly, though surely, is the world ascending,
through the wondrous secret chain of _influences_ binding her to the
moral order of the universe, to the height of this supernal law of love;
and there, in that new and holy kingdom, woman's crown and sceptre await
her.

But who shall say that a glimmer of this future royal beauty and glory
has yet dawned upon her?

If man has misunderstood woman, she has none the less misunderstood
herself. Indeed, her feet have for ages been treading debatable ground,
that has shaken beneath her through the clashings of man's ignorance and
her own vague, restless clamors and aimlessness. She has felt the
stirrings within of that real being she was created, but has never dared
to assert herself, or, to speak more truly, has only known to assert
herself in the wrong direction. False voices there have been without
number, but not even yet has true womanhood been able, in spite of its
irrepressible longings, to utter that clear, free, elevated speech that
shall yet stir the keenest pulses of the world.

As it is, the world has nearly outgrown the petty jealousy, the cool
assumption of inferiority, the flippant criticism of her weaknesses, the
insulting catering to her foibles, with which woman has been accustomed
to be treated, and which have made her either the slave, the toy, or the
ridicule of man; and it is getting to see that she is at least of as
much relative importance as man; that without her he will in vain
aspire to rise; that, by a law as infallible as that which moves and
regulates the spheres, his condition is determined by hers; that
wherever she has been a slave, he has been a tyrant, and that all
oppression and injustice practised upon her has been sure in the end to
rebound upon himself. If there is one thing more than another which, at
any given period and in any particular nation, has pointed to the true
state of society along the scale of advancement, it has been the degree
of woman's elevation; the undercurrents of history have all set steadily
and significantly in the direction of the truth, which the world has
been slow to accept and make use of, indeed, that society nears
perfection only in the proportion in which woman has been honored and
enfranchised; in which she has had opportunity and encouragement to work
and act in her own proper and lawful sphere.

Those who have gone the farthest in claiming special rights for woman
have generally based their demands upon a virtual abandonment of the
idea of _sex_, except in a physical sense. Here is a primary,
fundamental error. There is unquestionably a sex of mind, of soul, and
he who ignores or denies this is, it seems to me, studying his subject
without the key which alone will unlock it.

Another error which many of the advocates of _woman's rights_ have
fallen into, is that of assuming that those conditions are weaknesses,
disabilities, which God and nature have attested to be her crowning
glory and power. Or, rather, this second error results naturally and
most logically from the still more vital one of assuming that her sphere
is intended to be no way different from man's.

And still another, equally false and mischievous, would place her in
antagonism to man upon the question of comparative excellence and of
precedence in the scale of being.

A brief analysis of some of the points of difference between the mind
masculine and the mind feminine will show the futility of confounding
the two, or of drawing any useless or invidious comparisons. They are as
distinct in their normal action as any two things can well be. I begin,
then, by dividing our whole conscious human life into two comprehensive
departments, expressed by the generic terms, thought--feeling;
reflection--spontaneity; knowledge--emotion; perception--reception;
reason or intellect--affection or heart. The intelligent being unites
these conditions--he is supreme in but one. Man reasons--woman feels;
man analyzes--woman generalizes; man reaches his conclusions by
induction--woman seizes hers by intuition. There is just the difference,
_in kind_, between a man's mind and a woman's that there is between that
of a man of genius and a man of talent. Genius grasps the idea, and
works from it outward; talent moulds the form in which the already
created idea may be embodied. Genius is creative, comprehensive,
intuitive, all-seeing; talent is acute, one-sided, cumulative,
inductive. The men of genius will ever be found to be gifted with this
_womanly_ quality of mind--the power of seizing truth, ideas, with the
heart and soul, through love, rather than with the understanding,
through reason.

Woman understands faith, or the taking things on trust; she has no love
for that logical process of thought whereby, step by step, man delights
to prove a fact in nature or law with mathematical precision and
certainty. With the hard details and closely connected steps which make
up the body of any science, mathematical, physical, or metaphysical, she
has no patience. Her mind is not receptive of formulas or syllogisms.
She comprehends results, but is incurious as to causes. She knows what
love or benevolence means, under its triple form of charity, mercy,
magnanimity, which, like a sea, surrounds the universe; she has no idea
of law and justice, which are the eternal pillars thereof. If man feels
or loves, it is because his reason is convinced; woman's affections go
beyond reason, and without its aid, into the clear realm of ultimate
belief. This is why there are so few skeptics in religious things among
our sex. Woman's mental and spiritual constitution render belief or
faith easy and natural. She is receptive in all the parts of her being.

I conclude, therefore, that in the outer world of fact, of
demonstration, of volitions and knowledges, of tangible proofs and
causalities, of positive and logical effects of reason, of all outward
and material processes, man is supreme; while in that finer, higher,
more subtile sphere of intuitions, loves, faiths, spiritual convictions,
which overtop our actual life, and lead it up from grossness to glory,
woman is the oracle and priestess. In the basic qualities of our nature
man is stronger--woman, in those which, in grace, beauty, and sweetness,
taper nicely toward its apex.

But are the two spheres therefore at war? By no means. Are they at all
independent of each other? Are they not rather conjoined indissolubly?
It is a fatal mistake which places an antagonism between the two. There
should be between them harmony as sweet as that which moves the
concentric rings of Saturn. Untaught by the presence and inspiration of
woman, man becomes a cold, dry petrifaction, constantly obeying the
centripetal force of his being, and adoring _self_. Without his basal
firmness and strength, woman, in whom the centrifugal force is stronger,
remains a weak, vacillating, impulsive creature, feebly swayed by the
tides of emotion, lacking self-poise, and aimless and vagrant.

But teach her to reason--man to feel; open up to her the sources of
knowledge, and cause him to learn the times of the tides of affection;
cultivate her intellect and his heart, and in the healthy action and
reaction consequent upon such a balance of forces, you have the true
relationship established between the sexes, the relationship which the
Creator pronounced perfect in the beginning.

It will be seen that while I attribute to woman a certain superiority
both of nature and function, as to the highest part of the nature common
to both, I at the same time assert her inferiority in what may be called
its fundamental attributes, those which lie nearest to the constant and
successful prosecution of mundane affairs, and, consequently, I also
establish the fact of her absolute and inevitable dependence in such
sense on man. But do I thus degrade her, or in effect annul this
asserted superiority? Because man, and the strength, amplitude, and
stability of his more practical nature, form a sure basis upon which she
may rest, do I any the less make her the very crown and perfection of
God's human handiwork? Assuredly not. The truth is, if, instead of
making comparison where, from the nature of the case, comparison is
almost precluded, so great is the difference between them, I were to say
that each is the complement or counterpart of the other, and that,
alone, each is but a half sphere, and imperfectly rounded at that, I
should more nearly approach to accuracy. To make the perfect whole which
the Creator had in His idea, the two halves must be united. And so I
dignify the oldest of human institutions--marriage. I accord to it the
very perfection of wisdom, beauty, utility, adaptation. I am aware that
in so speaking I hold to an old-fashioned belief, and tread
incontinently, not only on a notion afloat among some of the
_strong-minded_ of my sex at the present day, that this institution is
nothing more nor less than an engine of selfish and despotic power on
the one hand, and of slavish subjection on the other; but on the more
moderate idea that it is not desirable for all women, nor even for a
majority. But I still think that this state of union is the most
natural, beneficent, satisfying condition possible for all of both
sexes--the condition most conducive to the highest, widest, happiest
development of the individual man or woman, especially the latter, for
it is through marriage only, through the beautiful and sacred wifehood
and motherhood which that institution guarantees in purity and holiness,
that woman's highest nature finds scope and opportunity. And I make no
exceptions. On the contrary, I should say that the exceptions which
might occur should invariably be counted as misfortunes. Not that many
good, true, noble women do not live and die unmarried. _Circumstances_,
that inflexible arbiter of human life, as it often seems, may strangely
turn into wide and unaccustomed channels the love, the devotion, the
energy, the self-sacrifice, that, in their pure, strong action, make
woman's best development, and so the world, the needy people of the
world, humanity at large, may receive the immediate benediction of it.
Let no woman who, alone it may be, goes steadfastly on her way of duty
and self-abnegation, think she has lived in vain because the special lot
of woman has been denied her. If not happiness, which comes from content
and satisfaction, yet there is something higher, diviner still, arising
from duty done and trials endured--blessedness. But such exceptions do
not, I conceive, invalidate the general fact that marriage was intended
to be the channel for the vast aggregate of human happiness and
improvement. I speak of marriage as it should be, as it might be, as it
will one day be, when men and women have acquainted themselves with the
laws, physical and spiritual, which were intended to adjust these unions
between the sexes in a harmonious manner, according to natural
sympathies and affinities; laws, infallible, inherent in the individual
constitution, and which, if understood and enforced, would obviate much
of the sin, misfortune, and misery in the earth. It is a great and
curious question, how much of the pain, suffering, and evil so rife
among men, is due to the one-sided, blindfold, inconsiderate, and
unsuitable marriages every day taking place; filling the homes of the
land with discontent, bickerings, disorder, and continual strife, from
the jostling together of antipathetic elements; cursing society with the
influences derived from character formed and nurtured in such pestilent
domestic atmospheres; and sending out thousands of unhealthy,
misorganized, wrongly educated beings, the fruit of these _dis_unions,
to work ill both to themselves and their race. The world has much yet to
learn with regard to the conditions necessary to a true and legitimate
marriage of the sexes. There are thousands of illegal unions that have
been blessed by church and magistrate, which yet carry only ban in their
train. Whether read literally or not, the old, old story of the
temptation and the fall has a significance not often dreamed of in
respect to this question of marriage. It was a disturbance of the pure
and perfect allegiance of each to the other, no less than a fall from
the intimate communion of both with the Father of spirits. And a thicker
darkness rests over the means whereby the institution of marriage may be
rescued from its degradation, and man and woman be reinstated in the
loyalty they owe to each other, than over the means by which the
creature may make himself acceptable to the offended Creator; inasmuch
as the former is left, without any special revelation, to the slow
process of thought among men, to the workings of experience and the
results of observation. And these laws are age-long in their evolutions.
But when men and women have learned to look within themselves, have
turned an intelligent eye upon the necessities of their threefold
being, and when they recognize the God-made laws regulating these
necessities, and have begun to mate themselves accordingly, the world
will have received a powerful impulse toward its promised millennial
epoch.

Such, then, being, in brief, the relation of woman to man, it is
necessary to inquire, as pertinent to my subject, not so much whether
man gives her all the rights within his own sphere which she may
beneficially claim, but whether she has yet understood the weight and
significance of her own position in the scale of being, and has
exercised all the rights consequent therefrom. To know is far easier
than to live according to knowledge. It is to be feared that women
themselves have but a poor appreciation of the ideal of true womanhood.
Oh, is it not time this ideal should be worthily understood? Has not
poor suffering humanity borne the burden of its woes long enough, and
will not woman help to lift it from the tired, stooping shoulders? For
she may. How? Simply by working out her own divinely appointed mission.
And is this not broad and absorbing enough? See what are some of its
objects of influence and endeavors. First, here are the very faintest
beginnings of intelligent existence to impress and mould--the embryos of
character to stamp. And who knows how important this moulding and
stamping may be? To go farther back still: Who knows what indelible
constitution may be, is, fixed upon the individual organism, for better,
for worse, by the authors of its life, that, if evil, no training, no
education, no work of grace, not even omnipotence, can expunge or alter?
This motherhood of woman, in its awful sanctity and mystery, in its
bearings upon the immortality of personal identity, is a fearful
dignity. Therein consists the first and chief claim of Woman to honor
and reverence. She who has been a mother has measured the profoundest as
well as the most exalted experience of which humanity is susceptible.
Let her see to it that she honor herself.

Here is the white and plastic tablet of the new-born soul. Let woman
fear and tremble to write on that, for the writing shall confront her
forever. Like the Roman Pilate, _what she has written, she has written_.
Here are the purblind human instincts to direct and culture; the
vagrant, unbridled hosts of the spontaneous emotions to be tutored and
restrained; the affections and the tastes to be trained toward the true,
the beautiful, and the good; the warring passions to be curbed and
disciplined; in short, the whole glorious domain of the heart and soul,
the moral and spiritual nature, is to be surveyed, studied, swayed by
that potential agency which woman possesses in a very eminent
degree--personal influence. By this agency, informed and vitalized by
love, she becomes the great educator in the great school of life, in the
family, in society, in the world. Women do not sufficiently appreciate
the importance of their work as the architects of character.
_Character!_ That, after all, is the man, the enduring individual, the
real _I_, to whom the Creator has said, _Live forever_! Character is
simply what education and habit make of a person, starting from the
foundation of his inherited organic idiosyncrasies. It is a result--the
work of time and countless shapings and impressings. It is not what a
man thinks of himself, nor what others think of him, but _what he really
is in the sight of God, his Maker_. This is what shall come out, at
last, from the obscurations and uncertainties of this lower atmosphere
into the clear, truthful light of eternity; shall cast off the devices,
the flimsy pretences, the temporary shows, the convenient disguises, of
this mortal life of mixed substance and shadow, and stand a bare, naked,
unclothed fact of being before itself, the universe, and God. Alas! what
multitudes of real dwarfs go out every day, 'unhouseled,' into that
searching light of eternity.

To be the builder of a fair and comely character; to chisel out a work
that shall please the eye of God Himself, in whose estimation Beauty,
being His own attribute, is a most holy thing; to see that work of
beauty take its place in the well-filled gallery of eternity, and to
know that it is your own immortal monument--is this not scope enough,
honor enough, praise and glory enough? If women would but rise to the
height of their real mission, and faithfully and earnestly assume the
rights and fulfil the duties which God has specially devolved upon them,
they would so lead man and society up to a higher point that the claims
they put forth need not be discussed for an hour; because, then, having
proved their adaptability to make good use of every lawful right,
society, which in the end always adjusts its forces properly and
instinctively, will have tacitly fallen into the necessity or the
feasibility of granting them.

Let man erect his scientific formulas, his schools of philosophy, his
structures of reason and thought; let him bid the giant forces of nature
go in harness for his schemes of improvement or aggrandizement; and by
all means let the intellect of woman be cultivated to comprehend
intelligently the marvels of man's work; let her, if she will, measure
the stellar distances, study the mechanical principles or the learned
professions, make a picture or write a book; and there have been women,
true and noble women, who have done all these, women who have proved
themselves capable of as high attainments, as keen and subtile thought
as man; but let her never for such as these abdicate her own nobler
work, neglecting the greater for the less. If a woman has a special
gift, let her exercise it; if she has a particular mission, let her work
it out. Few women, though, are of this elect class. I do not despise,
but rather encourage, natural gifts. But I would have women never forget
that it is not for what they may possibly add to the sum of human
knowledge that the world values them, primarily. _That_ some man is as
likely to do as not; but what women fail to do in their own peculiar
sphere, _no man can possibly do_.

When I aver that woman was intended to be a predominant influence in the
world through her moral and spiritual being, principally, I must not be
understood as depreciating the value to her of mere subjective
knowledge. So far from this, I believe that her means of acquiring
knowledge of all kinds should be limited only by her capacity. The more
her intellect is enlightened and disciplined, the better will she be
qualified to exert that refining, elevating influence which is expected
of her. There can be no beauty without the element of strength; there
can be no love worth the name without knowledge. Were her sense of
justice, her logical powers, her reflective faculties carefully trained
and exercised, her peculiar womanly graces of soul would shine with
tenfold lustre. I mean, simply, that knowledge is specially valuable to
her objectively--as a means, and the best means, to the highest end of
her being, which is concrete rather than abstract.

Briefly, I say, then, it is in the great departments of ethics, of
æsthetics, of religious and spiritual things, that woman is a vital
power in human life.

I have thrown out these general preliminary thoughts concerning the
nature of woman, and her relations to man and to society, chiefly with
reference to a phase of the subject which has not seemed to engage the
attention either of women themselves or of those who assume to advocate
their cause. It is the important consideration whether, in a free and
republican land, woman holds any certain and special relation toward the
Government. In other words, have American women any vital share or
interest in this grand, free Government of ours? With all the emphasis
of a profound conviction, I, answer, _Yes_. Such a touching and intimate
interest as no women ever had before in any Government under the sun.
And why?

_Because the principles embodied in and represented by it have made her
what she is, and they alone can make her what she hopes to be._

If it be true that the position of woman in society is a sure test of
its civilization, then is our American society already in the van of
progress. Nowhere else in the world is woman so free, so respected, so
obeyed, so beloved; nowhere else is the ideal of womanhood so
chivalrously worshipped and protected. In the spirit of our political
theory, that no class of society is to be regarded as permanently and
necessarily disabled from progress and elevation--to which, in our
practice, we have hitherto made but _one_ wicked and shameful
exception--and under the influence of the powerful tendency of our
system to _individualism_, woman has been allowed a freedom heretofore
unparalleled, and _onward and upward_ is still the word.

I do not claim perfection for our system. But I say we have the germs of
the healthiest national development. All that remains is to carry
forward those germs to maturity, and let them show their legitimate
results unhampered. That is what we want, what we claim. Society here is
unformed, in the rough. We lack the outward grace and polish belonging
only to old societies. We shall yet attain these, as well as some other
desirable things; but I believe that in no other country in the world is
there so much genuine, delicate, universal devotion manifested for woman
as among the Americans. Have you seen a boy of fourteen, shy, awkward,
uncouth in manner, rough in speech, but with a great, tender heart
thumping in his bosom? And did you know of the idolatrous worship he
could not wholly conceal for some fair, sweet, good girl older than
himself, a woman, even--a worship, which was not love, if love be other
than a high and tender sentiment, but which was capable of filling his
being to overflow with its glory and richness? I liken our American
chivalry to this. And it is this instinctive natural politeness of our
men toward women that, as much as anything else, keeps us from being
rude and unrefined while yet in our first adolescence.

I am aware that, hitherto, the South has laid claim to the lion's share
of this gallant spirit, as it has of many other polite and social
qualities. But we do not so readily now, as a few years ago, yield to
these Southern assumptions. We know now for just how much they stand.
And we know, too, in the better light of this hour, that it is not
possible for a very high and pure ideal of womanhood to be conceived in
the atmosphere of a system which, as slavery does, persistently, on
principle, and on a large scale, degrades a portion of the sex, no
matter how weak, poor, defenceless. Rather, the more defenceless the
greater is the wrong, the shame. I am not lauding that gallantry which
stands in polite posture in the presence of a lady, hat in hand, and
with its selectest bow and smile, and in the same breath turns to commit
the direst offences against the peace and purity of womanhood; but that
true and hearty, though simple and unostentatious, reverence for the
sex, that teaches men to regard all women as worthy of freedom, respect,
and protection, simply by virtue of their womanhood. I say not that this
chivalry is a Southern, but that it is an _American_ trait. As such I am
proud of it.

But does this high and honored place they hold in the hearts of their
countrymen devolve no corresponding responsibility upon American women?
Is it not a momentous inquiry how far they fall short of the high and
commanding standard of thought and action demanded of them in order to
meet this heavy obligation? It seems to me that the time is fully ripe
for the clearer perception of the fact, that because women are not men,
it does not follow that they are not in an important sense citizens. And
this, without any reference to the question whether they should be
permitted to vote and to legislate; though, as to the former, I do not
know of a single valid objection to the exercise of the privilege, while
there are several weighing in its favor; and as to the latter, it seems
to me that one single consideration would forever, under the present
constitution of things, debar her from a share in direct and positive
legislation. It is as follows: The central idea of all properly
constituted society, without which society would be an incoherent chaos,
and governments themselves but the impotent lords of anarchy and
misrule, is _the home_. Of the home, woman, from the very nature of the
case, is the inspiriting genius, the ever-present and ever-watchful
guardian. And the home, with its purities, its sanctities, its
retiracies, its reticences, is far removed from the noise and wranglings
of popular assemblies, the loud ambitions and selfish chicaneries of
political arenas. The very foundation, pivotal ideas of human nature
would be undermined by such publicity. The value of the home, as the
nursery of whatever is pure, lovely, holy in the human soul, rests
absolutely on the preservation of the modest purity and grace of woman.

How, then, is woman's influence as a citizen in a republican land to be
exercised, if she be excluded from positive legislation? I answer, by
the moral effect of her personal influence in the formation of mind and
character; by her work as the great educator in the home and in society.
If hers be not a moral and spiritual influence, it is none at all for
good. And of all the powers for good in a republic, this is the
strongest, most beneficent, did woman rightly comprehend the issue.

The purity, safety, and perpetuity of a free government rest,
ultimately, not so much on forms of law, on precedents, on the
ascendency of this or that party or administration, but on the
intelligence, morality, and devotion to freedom of the people. What
should woman care to legislate, when she may wield such an engine of
power as education puts into her hands; when she may mould the minds and
inspire the souls of those who are to be the future legislators; when
she may, even now, put forth a direct and immediate influence upon those
who are the legislators of the present time? For her influence on
society is twofold, direct and reflex, present and prospective; it is
the most powerful known, the most subtile and secret and determining,
viz., _personal_ influence.

To this end, therefore, that she may influence in the right direction,
women need to inform themselves, to acquire a knowledge of the
principles on which our system rests, and to become thoroughly imbued
with their spirit. This will necessitate an acquaintance with the nature
and details of our political creed, of which our women, especially, are
lamentably ignorant. How many out of every hundred, do you suppose, have
even read the Constitution, for instance? You may say that the majority
of men have never studied it either, even of the voters. I admit the
fact. There is a terrible lack of information among even men on public
subjects. But I think this: if women were to educate themselves and
their children, all whom they influence, indeed, to make these subjects
a matter of _personal interest_, instead of regarding them as foreign
matters, well enough for lawyers and politicians, perhaps, to
understand, or for those who expect to fill office, but of no manner of
importance to a person in strictly private life, this ignorance would
come to an end. This shifting of personal responsibility by the great
majority is the bane of our system. The truth is, no one, in a
republican government, can lead an absolutely private career. As one who
exercises the elective franchise, or one who influences the same, be it
man or woman, there is no dodging the responsibility of citizenship. A
better State of information on public affairs, also, will induce a
correct conception of a certain class of ideas which, more than any
others, perhaps, tend to strengthen, deepen, broaden, solidify the
mental powers--ideas of absolute law and justice. As I have before said,
the female mind is deficient in this particular.

To understand their government and institutions, then, is the first step
in the attainment of the standard demanded of American women; or, in
other words, an increase of political knowledge--a more thorough
political education.

Another step is, the enlargement and strengthening of their patriotism.
The former step, too, will conduce to this, and be its natural
consequence. I do not mean alone that loose and vagrant sentiment which
commonly passes for patriotism, which is aroused at some particular
occasion and slumbers the rest of the time; which is spasmodic,
temporary, impulsive, and devoid of principle; but that love of country
founded on knowledge and conviction; a living faith of the heart based
upon duty and principle; and which is, therefore, all-pervading,
abiding, intelligent, governing thought and action, and conforming the
life to the inner spirit. That sort of patriotism that lives as well in
peace time as in war time; that makes the heart throb as sympathetically
in behalf of country every day in the year as on the Fourth of July;
that leads us to conform our habits of life and thought to the spirit of
our institution and policy; that makes us as jealous of the honor, the
consistent greatness of our country when all men speak well of her, as
when her foes are bent upon her destruction. This _habit of mind_ is
what I mean, rather than any transient emotion of heart; an enlightened
and habitual spirit of patriotism.

I give American women all credit due them for the patriotic temper they
have evinced since this war began. I say that never have women showed
more loyalty and zeal for country than the women of the North. Let
sanitary fairs and commissions, let soldiers' aid societies from one end
of the land to the other, and in every nook and corner of it, let our
hospitals everywhere attest this heartfelt love and devotion on the part
of our women. It is a noble spectacle, and my heart thrills at the
thought of it. We have many noble ones who will stand in history along
with England's Florence Nightingale and the 'Mother of the Gracchi,'
those eternally fair and tender women, fit for the love and worship of
the race. The want is not in the feeling of patriotism, but in the
habitual principle and duty of the same. Since the war began, the fire
has not slackened. But how was it before the war, and how will it be
after it?

To prove what I say, let me dwell a moment on two or three of the most
prominent faults of our women, pronounced such by all the world. Of
these, the most mischievous and glaring, the most ruinous in thousands
of cases, is _extravagance_. Wastefulness is almost become a trait of
our society. American women, especially, are profuse and lavish of money
in dress, in equipage, in furniture, in houses, in entertainments, in
every particular of life. Everywhere this foolish and wasteful use of
money challenges the surprise and sarcasm of the observant foreign
tourist through our country. Perhaps the largeness and immensity of our
land, its resources and material, as well as the wonderful national
advance we have already made, tends to cultivate in our people a feeling
of profusion and a habit of extravagant display; but it is not in
sympathy either with our creed or our profession.

Were the money thus heedlessly expended made for them by slaves whom
they had from infancy been taught to regard as created solely to make
money for them to use and enjoy, this extravagant waste of money, while
none the less selfish and inexcusable, would appear to grow
spontaneously out of the arbitrary rule of slavery; or, if it had
descended to them by legal or ancestral inheritance, there might be some
show of reason for using it carelessly, though very small sense in so
doing. But in a land where labor is the universal law; where, if a man
makes money, he must work and sweat for its possession; when fortunes do
not arise by magic, but must be built up slowly, painfully, at the
expense of the nerve and sinew, the brain and heart of the builders, and
these builders, not slaves, but our fathers, husbands, brothers; when a
close attention to money-making is rapidly becoming a national badge,
and is in danger of eating out entirely what is of infinitely more value
than wealth--a high national integrity and conscience--and of sinking
the immaterial and intellectual in the material and sensual; in such
circumstances as these, I say, and under such temptations and dangers,
it is a sin, an unnatural crime, to squander what costs so dear.

Volumes might be written upon the frightful consequences of this
extravagance in money matters, this living too fast and beyond their
means, of which American women, especially, are guilty. Great financial
crises, in which colossal schemes burst like bubbles, and vast estates
are swallowed up like pebbles in the sea; commercial bankruptcies, in
which honorable names are bandied on the lips of common rumor, and white
reputations blackened by public suspicion; minds, that started in life
with pure and honest principles, determined to win fortune by the
straight path of rectitude, gradually growing distorted, gradually
letting go of truth, honor, uprightness, and ending by enthroning gold
in the place made vacant by the departed virtues; hearts, that were once
responsive to the fair and beautiful in life and in the universe, that
throbbed in unison with love, pity, kindness, and were wont to thrill
through and through at a noble deed or a fine thought, now pulseless and
hard as the nether millstone; souls, that once believed in God, heaven,
good, and had faith and hope in immortality, now worshipping commercial
success and its exponent, money, and living and dying with their eager
but fading eyes fixed earthward, dustward!

Oh, it is a fearful thought that woman's extravagant desires and demands
may thus kill all that is best and highest in those who should be her
nearest and dearest. Yet, if this wide-spread evil of wastefulness is to
be checked, it must be begun in the home, and by its guardian, woman.
There is a movement lately inaugurated, looking to retrenchment in the
matter of unnecessary expenditure, which, if it is to be regarded other
than as a temporary expedient, is worthy of the patriotic enthusiasm
which called it forth. I allude to the dress-reform movement made by the
loyal women of the great Northern cities. The _spirit_ of this movement
I could wish to see illustrated both during the continuance of and after
the war. It is this economical habit of mind for the sake of patriotic
principle, that I regard as a great step in the attainment of the
desired standard for American women.

Another plain fault of our women, and one which in a measure is the
cause of the fault above noticed, is the wild chase after and copying of
European fashions. We are accused of being a nation of copyists. This is
more than half true. And why we should be, I cannot understand. Are we
_never_ to have anything original, American? Are we always to be
content to be servile imitators of Europe in our art, literature,
social life, everything, except mere mechanical invention? I am thankful
that we are beginning to have an art, a literature, of our very own. Let
us also have a _fashion_, that shall be, distinctively, if not entirely,
American. There is surely enough of us, of our splendid country, our
institutions, our theories, our brave, free people, to build for
ourselves, from our own foundation, and with our own material. But
American Women have yet to inspire society with this patriotic ambition.

Not what is becoming or suitable to her, but what is _the fashion_, does
the American woman buy; not what she can afford to purchase, but what
her neighbors have, is too commonly the criterion. This constant pursuit
of Fashion, with her incessant changes, this emulation of their
neighbors in the manifold ways in which money and time can be alike
wasted, and not the necessary and sacred duties of home, the personal
attention and effort which the majority of American women have to give
to their household affairs, produce that _lack of time_ that is offered
as an excuse for the neglect of the duty of self-culture. This it is
which fritters away thought and the taste for higher things, leaving the
mind blank and nerveless except when thus superficially excited.

This duty of _self-culture_ I would notice as one of the demands of the
times upon American women in the attainment of the proposed standard. A
wide, liberal, generous self-culture, of intellect, of taste, of
conscience, for the sake of the better fulfilment of the mission to
which, as an American citizen, every woman in the land is called. We do
not begin to realize this. It is a great defect in our social system,
that, when a woman has left school and settled down in life, she
considers it the signal for her to quit all mental acquisition except
what she may gather from her desultory reading, and, henceforth, her
family and her immediate neighborhood absorb her whole soul under
ordinary circumstances. The great majority of our countrywomen thus grow
careworn, narrow-minded, self-absorbed. Now this is not right--it is not
necessary. A woman's first, most important duty is in her home; but this
need not clip the wings of her spirit, so that thought and affection
cannot go out into the great world, and feel themselves a part of its
restless, throbbing, many-sided life; brain and heart need not stagnate,
even if busy, work-a-day life does claim her first endeavors. Indeed,
the great danger to our women is not so much that they will become
trifling and frivolous, as that they will become narrow-minded and
selfish.

But these vices of extravagance and excessive devotion to fashion, of
which I have spoken, are due, largely, to a still more radical defect in
our social education. I mean its _anti-republican spirit_. This is our
crowning absurdity. We are good democrats--in theory. It is a pity that
our practice does not bear out our theory, for the sake of the homely
virtue of consistency. To a great many otherwise sensible people our
simple republican ways are distasteful, and they are apt to look with,
admiring, envious eyes on the conventional life of foreign lords, not
considering how burdened with forms it is, and full of the selfishness,
the pride and arrogance of the privileged and titled few, at the bitter
expense of the suffering, untitled many. The aping of aristocratic
pretensions has been a much-ridiculed foible of American women. It is
certain that American society needs republicanizing in all its grades.
We have widely departed from the simplicity of the early days and of the
founders of the republic, in social life, just as in our political
course we had suffered the vital essence of our organic law to become a
dead thing, and the whole machinery of the Government to work reversely
to its intention. And the cause has been the same in each case. The
spirit of a government and the theories embodying it are the reflection
of the social condition of a given age and people, so that the one will
never be of a higher order than the other; while it is, also, equally
true, that the best and most advanced political theories may be suffered
to languish in operation, or become wholly dormant, from the influence
of social causes. Thus it was that the demoralising effect of human
slavery did, up to the time of the great shock which the nation received
in the spring of 1861--a shock which galvanized it into life, and sent
the before vitiated blood coursing hotly, and, at last, healthfully
through all the veins and arteries of the national body--persistently
encroach alike upon Government and society. The slime of that serpent
was over everything in the North as well as the South, and if it did not
kill out the popular virtue and patriotism as completely here as there,
where it is intimately interwoven with the life of the people, the
difference is due to that very cause, as well as to the inextinguishable
vitality that God has conferred on the genius of human liberty, so that
when betrayed, hunted, starved, outlawed, she yet seeks some impregnable
fastness, and subsists on manna from the Divine Hand. This, then, is the
fourth step in the attainment of the true ideal of character for
American women--_the effort to renew society in the actual simplicity of
our republican institutions_. Women, American women, should hold dear as
anything in life the preservation and purity of those blessed
institutions, guaranteeing to them as they do all their eminent
privileges, and founded as they are on that emancipating genius of
Christianity, which, through every age, has pointed a finger of hope,
love, encouragement to woman as a chief instrument in the world's
promised elevation and enfranchisement.

While dwelling upon the faults of American women, I would at the same
time do full credit to their virtues. I believe that they occupy as high
a place as any women in the world, even a higher. But I trust that they
will rise to the height of the demands which the changed times and the
exigencies of the situation are pressing upon them, and will continue to
press. This war has clearly and forcibly eliminated truths and
principles which the long rule of the slave power had wellnigh eclipsed;
it has been a very spear of Ithuriel, at whose keen touch men and
principles start up in their real, not their simulated character. During
its three years of progress, the national education has been advanced
beyond computation. When it is over, things, ideas, will not go back to
the old standpoint. Then will arise the new conditions, demands,
possibilities. If there is one truth that has been unmistakably
developed by the war, it is the controlling moral power and sanction
which a free government derives from woman. And this has been shown not
only in the influence for good which the loyal women of the North have
contributed for the aid of the Government, but with equal power in the
influence for evil which the Southern women have exerted for its
destruction. I suppose it is true that this war for slavery has received
its strongest, fiercest continuing impulses from the women of the South.
Nothing could exceed the enthusiasm, the persistency, the heroic
endurance, the self-sacrifice they have manifested. Only had it been in
a good cause!

Just here let me say a word in behalf of these Southern women. There is
a disposition on the part of the Northern public, forming their opinion
from the instances of fierce spite and vindictiveness, of furious scorn
and hatred, which have been chronicled in the reports of army
correspondents and in the sensation items of the newspapers, to regard
them as little short of demons in female shape. All this is naturally
working a corresponding dislike and ill-feeling among the masses North.
To such I would say: These Southern sisters are not demons, but made of
the same flesh and blood, and passions and affections as yourselves. The
difference between you is purely one of circumstances and training, of
locality--above all, of education and institutions. It is as true that
_institutions are second nature_ as that _habit_ is.

The peculiar faults of Southern women they share with their Northern
sisters, only in a vastly enhanced degree; and besides these, they have
others, born of and nurtured by that terrible slavery system under whose
black shadow they live and die. Their idleness, their lack of neatness
and order, their dependence, their quick and sometimes cruel passions,
their unreason, their contempt of inferiors, their vanity and arrogance,
their ignorance, their lightness and superficiality, are all the
outgrowth of its diabolical influences. They are, in fact, no more idle,
thriftless, passionate, or supercilious, than Northern women would be in
similar circumstances. It is too much the habit among the unreflecting,
in judging of the Southern masses in their hostile attitude toward their
lawful Government, to give less weight than it deserves to the necessary
and inevitable tendency upon the mind and character of such an
institution as African slavery; and to let the blame be of a personal
and revengeful nature, which should fall most heavily on the sin itself,
the dire crime against God and society, against himself and his fellow
man, which the individual is all his life taught is no crime but a
positive good. This slavery is woman's peculiar curse, bearing almost
equally with its deadly, hideous weight on the white woman of the
dominant class as upon the black slave woman. And yet how deluded they
are! If that curse does come to an utter end in the South, as it surely
will, I shall hail, as one of the grandest results of its extinction,
next to the justice due the oppressed people of color, the emancipation
of the white women of that fair land, all of them, slaveholders and
non-slaveholders, from an influence too withering and deadly for
language to depict. Oh, when shall that scapegoat, slavery, with its
failures and losses and shortcomings, its frauds and sins and woes, be
sent off into the wilderness of non-existence, to be heard from
nevermore? God speed the hour!

But with all their faults, they have many and shining virtues. Though
the ideal of a Southern woman commonly received at the North and abroad,
is not true to the life, being neither so perfect nor so imperfect as
their eulogists, on the one hand, and their detractors, on the other,
would fain make it to be, there is yet much, very much, to elicit both
love and admiration in her character.

The Southern female mind is precocious, brilliant, impressible, ardent,
impulsive, fanciful. The quickness of parts of many girls of fifteen is
astonishing. I used often to think, what splendid women they would make,
with the training and facilities of our Northern home and school
education. But, as it was, they went under a cloud at seventeen,
marrying early, and either sinking into the inanition of plantation
life, or having their minds dissipated in a vain and frivolous round of
idle and selfish gayeties. I compare their intellects to a rich tropical
plant, which blossoms gorgeously and early, but rarely fruitens. The
Southern women are, for the most part, a capable but undeveloped race of
beings. With their precocity, like the exuberance of their vegetation,
and with their quick, impassioned feelings, like their storm-freighted
air, always bearing latent lightning in its bosom, they might become a
something rich, rare, and admirable; but, never bringing thought up to
the point of reflection; never learning self-control, nor the necessity
of holding passion in abeyance; never getting beyond the degrading
influence of intercourse with a race whose stolidity and servility, the
inevitable result of their condition, on the one hand, are both the
cause and effect of the habit of irresponsible power and selfish
disregard of right fostered in the ruling class, on the other--what
could be expected of them but to become splendid abortions?

There is another consideration in connection with the excessive war
spirit they have evinced, which may help to account for it. I have often
had occasion to notice the habit the educated class of Southern women
have of conversing familiarly with their male friends and relatives on
political subjects, and to contrast it with the almost total reticence
of Northern women on subjects of public interest. This, of course,
induces a more immediate and personal interest in them, and the more
intimate one's interest in a subject, the more easily enthusiasm is
aroused toward it.

Now, the very head and front, the bone and marrow of Southern politics
for more than three decades, has been--slavery, and plans for its
aggrandizement and perpetuation. _That_ has been the ulterior object of
all the past vociferations about _State rights_ and _Southern rights_.
Slavery is country, practically, with them, and as it lay at the root of
their society, and its check or its extinction would, in their false
view, overturn society itself, it was easy for the scheming, cunning
leaders of the slave faction to adroitly transfer this enthusiasm, and
to raise the watchword, which never yet among any people has been raised
in vain, _Your homes and firesides_! When ever did women hear that cry
unmoved?

When _country_, that grand idea and object of human hope, pride, and
affection, had degenerated into a section; and when a false and
miserable _institution_, from its very nature terribly intimate with the
life of society, became the most substantial feature of that section;
what wonder if the war has at last, whatever it might have been at
first, come to the complexion of a contest for home and fireside with
the masses of the people, with the majority of the Southern women?

The magnificent dreams and projects, too, of a great slave empire, that
should swallow up territory after territory, and astonish the world with
its wealth, power, and splendor, which were fused into life in the
brains of the great apostles of slavery and secession, had their
influence on minds which, like the minds of the Southern women, have a
natural, innate love for the gorgeous, the splendid, the profuse, and
showy; minds ambitious of, and accustomed to, rule, and impatient of
control; minds already glazed over with the influence of the lying
assertion, proved to their uncritical, passionate judgment by all the
sophistical arguments of which their religious and political guides were
capable, that slavery is the very best possible condition for the black
man, and the relation of master the only true and natural one for the
white. I say, I do not wonder at the Southern women so much. I pity them
infinitely. Just think what they have been educated to believe, and then
say if there is not something sadly splendid in the very spirit of
endurance, of defiance, of sacrifice, however wrong and mistaken, they
have shown. I pity them profoundly, for they are drinking to the lees
the cup of suffering, of deprivation, of humiliation, of bitter loss,
and stern retribution. And the end is not yet. Deeper chagrin and
humiliation must be theirs; more loss, more devastation, more death, and
ruin, before their proud hopes and visions are utterly crushed out of
life. Oh, are _they_ not being educated, too, as well as we of the
North?

When I think of all the grace, loveliness, and generosity of the many
Southern women I have known and loved; when I recall the admirable
qualities which distinguished them, the grace of manner, the social
tact and address, the intellectual sprightliness, the openness and
hospitality of soul, the kindliness and sympathy of heart, the Christian
gentleness and charity; I can but say to my Northern sisters, These
deluded women of the South would, in themselves, be worthy of your
esteem and love, could the demon of secession and slavery once be
exorcised. And I believe that when it is, and the poor, rent South sits
clothed and in her right mind, subdued through sheer exhaustion of
strength, and so made fit for the healthy recuperation that is one day
to begin, the cause of our beloved country, and of humanity through this
country, will have no more generous or loving supporters, ay, none so
enthusiastic and devoted as they. I glory in the anticipation of the
time when the ardent, impulsive, demonstrative South shall even lead the
colder North in the manifestation of a genuine patriotism, worthy of the
land and nation that calls it forth. We shall then have gained _a
country_, indeed, instead of being, as heretofore, several sections of a
country.

The consistent moulding of society in the spirit of our political ideas
is essential to securing us the respect of the world, and to vindicating
the principles, themselves, on which having built, they are our sole
claim to such honor and respect. As long as we fail so to do, we may be
the wonder, and we are likely to be the jest of the onlooking world, but
we never can be what we ought to be, its admired and beloved model. It
seems to me there is less danger now than formerly of our failure in
this important respect. The dangers, the expenses, the burdens, and
losses of this fearful civil war will surely create in the hearts of the
people everywhere, North and South, a revivified if not a new-born love
for, and appreciation of, republican principles, and will teach them
where the most insidious danger to them lies; not from open foes,
foreign or domestic; not from anything inherent in those free
principles; but from a cause exceedingly paradoxical: a democratic
people leaving to a party, to a section, the Government which should be
their very own; the virtue and intelligence of the nation absenting
themselves from the national councils, thus making way for corruption
and fraud to enter in an overwhelming flood; one half of the nation
rocking its conscience to sleep with the false lullaby of commercial
greatness and material prosperity, and the other, left to do the
governing, with seemingly no conscience at all, going to work with
satanic directness and acuteness, to undermine the principles thus left
without a guardian, and to inject the black blood of slavery into the
veins of the body politic, till the name _democracy_ became a misnomer
the most wretched, a sarcasm the most touching. I do not imagine we
shall ever again go back to that. It must be that, in future, the
American people will grow into the habit of demanding that an
enlightened, patriotic statesmanship shall rule, instead of an
unprincipled demagoguism. Also, that they will attend to it that better
men are sent to Washington; men chosen because they represent most
nearly the great national ideas and interests, which the people will
require shall absorb legislation rather than any sectional institution
whatever; and not because, primarily, they are the subservient idols of
this or that party. It must be that, hereafter, party will be less and
the nation more. Of course, parties will exist, necessarily; but if this
great American people, having carried on to perfect success this war
against a stupendous rebellion, and having gone through the school of
knowledge and experience it has been to them, can again settle down into
the mere political jobbery into which governmental affairs had
deteriorated before the earthquake of war stirred up the dregs of
things, it would be an instance of fruitless expenditure of means and
life, and of self-stultification, too pitiful for words--such an
instance as the world has not yet seen, thanks to the ordained
progression of the world.

When peace returns to the land once more; when the fierce fever of blood
and strife is quelled; when the vague fears and uncertainties of this
period of transition are over, and the keen pangs and bloody sweat of
the nation's new birth are all past--what will be the position of this
American people? I tremble to contemplate it. It will be much like what
I imagine the condition of a freed, redeemed soul to be, just escaped
the thraldom, perplexity, and sin of this lower life, and entered on a
purer, higher, freer plane of existence. Then comes reconstruction,
reorganization, a getting acquainted with the new order of things, and
the new duties and experiences to which it will give rise; then will be
discoveries of new truths, and new applications of old; old errors and
superstitions have been renounced, and facts and principles which have
long lain in abeyance, smothered under a weight of neglect and
unappreciation, will start into fresh magnitude. And, withal, will come
a sense of the reality and security there is in this great change, and
of infinite relief and blessedness therein, such as I suppose attends
every change from a lower to a higher condition, from darkness to light,
from cloud, mystery, and trouble, to the white air of peace and the
clear shining of the sun of knowledge.

_Then_, think of the career that lies ahead of this regenerated nation.
This war, fearful and costly as it is, was needed, to rouse men and
women to the conviction that there is something more in a people's life
than can be counted in dollars and cents; and that their strength
consists not alone in commercial superiority or material development,
but, principally, in virtue, justice, righteousness. It was needed, to
give the lie to that impious and infidel assumption of the South that
_Cotton is king_, and to prove that the God of this heaven-protected
land is a true and jealous God, who will not give his glory to Baal. It
was needed, to arrest the nation in the fearful mechanical tendency it
was assuming, whereby it was near denying the most holy and vital
principles of its being; and it was needed, to warm and quicken the
almost dead patriotism of the masses, and to educate them anew in the
high and pure sentiments they had suffered to be forgotten, and, in
forgetting which, many another ration has gone to irretrievable decay
and ruin.

I trust in God that this people have not suffered many things in vain,
and that the time is dawning when we shall be a _nation_ indeed, a
Christian nation, built upon those eternal ideas of truth, justice,
right, charity, holiness, which would make us the ideal nation of the
earth, dwelling securely under the very smile and benediction of
Jehovah.

In this time of which I speak, the people will see that to be a _nation_
we must not be merely servile imitators of Old World ideas, but must
develop our own _American ideas_ in every department of government and
society; thus, eventually, building up a national structure which shall,
which need, yield to none, but may take precedence of all.

We are too young, as yet, to have become such a nation, with its
distinctive and separate features, each clearly marked and
self-illustrating; but _not_ too young to understand the necessity of
working out our own special plan of civilization. As the American nation
did not follow the course of all others, by mounting from almost
impalpable beginnings up through successive stages to an assured
position of national influence and greatness; so need we not imitate
them in waiting for gray hairs to see ourselves possessed of a distinct
national character. As we did not have to go through the slow, age-long
process of originating, of developing ideas, principles, but took them
ready made, a legacy from the experience of all the foregoing ages; and
as our business is to apply these ideas to the problem we are set to
solve, not for ourselves alone, but for the world's peoples, for
aggregate humanity, so should we be neither laggard nor lukewarm in
fulfilling this high trust, this 'manifest destiny.' In the developing
of our special American ideas we have a great work before us--a work but
begun, as yet. There is an American art--an American literature--an
American society, as well as an American Government, to be shaped out of
the abundant material we possess, and compacted into the enduring
edifice of national renown. For what is national character, but ideas
crystallized in institutions? Until we have done this--given permanency
to our special ideas in our institutions--we are a nation in embryo; our
manhood exists only in prophecy.

To assist in this mighty work is the duty and privilege of American
women. What higher ambition could actuate their endeavors--what nobler
meed of glory win their aspirations?

O ye women, dear American sisters, whoever you are, who have offered up
your husbands, sons, brothers, lovers, on the red altar of your country,
that so that country may be rescued from the foes that seek her honor
and life; who have labored and toiled and spent your efforts in
supplying the needs of her brave defenders; whose hearts and prayers are
all for the success of our holy cause; who are glad with an infinite joy
at her successes, and who are sorry with profoundest grief at her
defeats; complete, I implore you, the sacrifice already begun, and give
to your regenerated country, in the very dawn of the new day which is to
see her start afresh upon the shining track of national glory,
yourselves, your best energies, and affections. Love liberty--love
justice--love simplicity--love truth and consistency. See to it that the
cause of republican freedom suffer not its greatest drawback from your
failure to lead society up to the point to which you have the power to
educate it. By your office as the natural leaders and educators of
society; by your mission as the friends and helpers of all who suffer;
by your high privilege as the ordained helpmate of man in the work,
under God and His truth, of evangelizing the world, and lifting it out
of its sin and sorrow; by your obligations to the glorious principles of
Christian republicanism; and by your hopes of complete ultimate
enfranchisement, I adjure you. The world has need of you, the erring,
sin-struck world. Your country, even now struggling in the throes of its
later birth, has desperate need of you. Man has need of you; already are
being woven between the long-estranged sexes new and indissoluble bonds
of union,--sympathies, beautiful, infinite, deathless; and, with a
pleased and tender smile of recognition across the continent, he hails
you _helper_! Your era dawns in sad and sombre seeming, indeed, in a
land deluged with fraternal blood; but yours are all who need, all who
sin, all who suffer. Shall the progress of humanity wait upon your
supineness, or neglect, or refusal? Or shall the era now beginning,
through you speedily culminate into the bright, perfect day of your
country's redemption, and thus lead progress and salvation throughout
the nations of the earth? Never were women so near the attainment of
woman's possibilities as we American women; never so near the
realization of that beautiful ideal which has ever shaped the dreams and
colored the visions of mankind, making Woman the brightest star of man's
love and worship.

Will she realize the dream--will she justify the worship? That is the
question that concerns her now.



A WREN'S SONG.


It is not often in these dark days that I can sleep as I used to do
before the flood came and swept away all that my soul held dear; but
last night, I was so weary in body with a long journey, that I fell
asleep as soon as my head touched the pillow, and slept on until the
early morning sun came in through the open window, and woke me with its
gentle touch. The air was sweet with spring fragrance, and the first
sound that came to my awakened ears was the song of a little wren, a
little wren who sang even as to-day in the days of my youth and joy,
whose nest is built over the window that was so often a frame for that
dearest-loved face. The song brought with it the recollection of all the
little songster had outlived--the love, hope, and fear that had sprung
up and grown and died, since I had first heard his warbling. And I broke
into those quiet tears that are now my only expression of a grief too
familiar to be passionate.

To-day is the first of June--a year to-day since all was over!

Three years ago, this very day, was to have been my wedding day. June
and its roses were made for lovers, as surely as May, with its May
flowers and little lilies, is the month of Mary the Blessèd. I had
always wished to be married in June, and circumstances combined to
render that time more convenient than any other. My love affair had been
a long one, and had met with no obstacles. Our families had always been
intimate, and I remember _him_ a boy of fourteen, when he first came to
live in the house opposite. At sixteen he went to West Point, and when
he came home in his furlough year, I was fifteen. We were both in
Washington until August; it was a long session; his father was in
Congress, and so was mine. Edward Mayne had nothing to do that summer,
and I never had much to occupy me; we saw each other every day, and so
we fell in love. The heads of both families saw all, smiled a little,
and teased a good deal; but no one interfered. My mother said it gave me
occupation and amusement, and helped me to pass the long summer
evenings, which I thought charming, and every one else thought a bore.
It was called a childish flirtation, and when he went back to the
Academy, and I to school, the thing dropped out of notice, and was soon
forgotten.

But not by us. We remembered each other, and, each in our different
lives, we were constant to our early love. And so it came to pass that,
when he came back again, after graduating, we were very glad to see each
other; the old intercourse was renewed, and the old feeling showed
itself stronger for the lapse of years. No one interfered with us; the
intimacy between our families had continued, and when we went to the
seaside for the hot months, the Maynes went to the same place; and in
August Edward had a leave, and came down to join them. I think he would
have come if they had not been there, but that makes no difference now.
One moonlit night, at the end of August, with the waves at our feet
sounding their infinite secret, I promised to marry him; and as we
parted that night at the door of our cottage, I looked at the
silver-streaked waters, and said to him that neither the broad sea of
death nor the stormy sea of life should ever part my soul from his. I
have kept my word.

So we were engaged to be married, and were as happy as two young lovers
ought to be. Both families were delighted, my father only stipulating
that the marriage should not take place immediately. But that we felt no
hardship, as Edward was stationed in Washington; and everything in the
future looked as bright as everything in the past had ever been. We were
sure of a happy winter, and hoped for a gay one, and we had both, though
the cloud that had first appeared when the little wren began his summer
song, had grown larger and darker day by day, until the signs of storm
were no longer to be overlooked, and the fearful prophesied that the day
of peace was over. Still I never dreamed of the difference it would make
to me.

New Tear's Eve it was decided that we should be married on the first of
June. As the clock struck twelve, and the last footfall of the old year
died away, Edward put out his hand to take mine, and said:

'A happy New Tear it will surely be to us, my Laura, for we shall spend
more than half of it together;' and I echoed his 'happy New Year'
without a dread. I knew the storm was coming; I feared its fury; but I
thought myself too secure, too near a haven to be lost; how could I know
that the brave ship was destined to go down in sight of land?

And yet I might have known it. For I came from the North, which was, and
is my home; and he was a Southern man. His family owned property and
slaves in Georgia; and, though Mr. Mayne's political career had
prevented their living there much, they considered it their home. One of
the sons, who was married, lived on the plantation, and managed it well;
the slaves were comparatively happy, and there were strong ties between
them, their master and his family. My sister, who was delicate, had
spent a winter in Florida, and I had accompanied her there. On our way
home we paid a visit to the Mayne plantation; my sister enjoyed herself
very much there, and was pro-slavery from that time; I was then sixteen,
and had always hated it, and what with my fears of snakes, and my
dislike of the black servants, whom I thought either inefficient or
impertinent, and my unconquerable liking for freedom, I was not so
fascinated. Edward Mayne himself did not like a planter's life, and he
thought slavery an evil, but an evil inherited and past curing. He
argued that the disease was not mortal and endurable, and that it would
kill the country to use the knife. His youngest sister and I were the
only two who ever discussed the subject; she talked a great deal of
nonsense, and probably I did, too; and as she always lost her temper, I
thought it wiser to let the subject drop, especially as I did not think
about it a great deal, and it annoyed Edward to have any coolness
between Georgy and me, and he himself never discussed the topic. We were
both very young and very happy, too young and thoughtless to care much
for any great question, so we sang our little song of happiness, and its
music filled our ears until it was no longer possible not to hear the
tumult of the world without.

The first day of January was our last day of perfect peace. Those who
had not thought of the question before had now to answer what part they
meant to take. People discussed less what States would secede, and more
what they would themselves do, and many who are now most firm on one
side or the other were then agitated by doubt and indecision. Events did
not tarry for individual minds. We all know the story now; I need not
repeat it. Still my future seemed unchanged, and I went to New York the
third of January to order my wedding clothes, but I stayed only three or
four days; I was restless for the continued excitement of Washington.
The day I came back Mississippi seceded, and with it went Mr. Davis. I
heard him make that farewell speech which so few listened to unmoved,
and at which I cried bitterly. I went to say good by to him, though I
could not say God speed, for already I was beginning to know that I had
principles, and which side they were on. As we parted, he said, in that
courteous way that has made so many bow at his shrine:

'We shall have you in the South very soon, Miss Laura,' and I did not
say no; but the mist lifted suddenly before my eyes, and I saw the rock
on which my life was to split, and that no striving against the stream
would avail me aught. Still I said nothing, and the days flew swiftly by
on restless wings; days so full of excitement that they seemed to take
years with them in their flight.

It was a lovely morning in February; the air had already a May softness
in it, and the crocuses were bright in the grounds of the Capitol, when
Edward and I went to take our favorite walk, and there, in sight of the
broad river which is now a world-known name of division, he told me he
had made up his mind to leave the army; that there might be fighting,
and he could not fight against his own people, whom he believed to be in
the right; that he thought it more honorable to resign at that moment
than to wait until the hour of need. I could not oppose him, for I knew
he thought he was doing his duty. I remembered how different his
opinions were from mine, and that his whole system of education had
trained him in dissimilar ideas of right from those held in the North.
Georgia was his country, for which he lived, and for which he thought he
ought to die, if need were. The shackles of inherited prejudices
trammelled his spirit, as they might have trammelled the spirit of a
wiser man, who could have shaken them off in the end; but my lover was
not wide-minded, and had not the clear sight that sees over and beyond
these petty lives of ours that are as nothing in the way of a great
principle and a God-bidden struggle; his eyes saw only what they had
been taught to see--his home, in its greenness and beauty, not the dank
soul-malaria, to which, alas! so many of us are acclimated.

He resigned, and his resignation was accepted without delay or
difficulty, as were all resignations in those days. The spring began to
break in all its glory, and the grass grew green in Virginia, on fields
that were trampled and bloody before that battle summer was over. The
little wren sang again its song. This year a song of promise--of promise
never to be fulfilled!

For the news of Sumter came, and the North rose with a cry, and my heart
leaped up within me with a thrill stronger and deeper and more masterful
than any mere personal feeling can ever give; a feeling that rules my
soul to-day even as it ruled in that first excited hour.

Edward went South, and I let him go alone. I could not, I would not go
with him. I had no sympathy, no tenderness, scarcely forgiveness for the
men who had brought the evil upon us. We parted lovers, hoping for days
of peace, and sure of reunion when those days should come; and every
night and every morning I prayed for him; but first I prayed for the
safety of my country, and the victory of our cause.

Time crept on. The battle of Bull Run was fought; he was engaged in it,
and for many, many days I never knew whether he was living or dead. In
the autumn I heard he had been ordered West, and that winter was a time
of anxious days and restless nights. I never heard _from_ him, and I did
not think it fair to write; occasionally I heard _of_ him through an
aunt of his, who lived in Maryland, but she was gall and bitterness
itself on the political question, and never let me know anything she
could possibly keep from me. So my life passed in fruitless wondering
and bitter suspense; I never saw a soldier without thinking of Edward,
and my dreams showed him to me wounded, ill, or dying. No; the dead may
make their voices heard across the gulf that parts us from them, but not
the absent, or his soul would have heard my 'exceeding loud and bitter
cry,' and hearing, must have come.

I must not dwell on this. The days rolled on, and spring brightened the
air, the grass was green again, the dying hope in my heart revived, and
I listened again to the wren's song, and thought it yet promised a
summer for my life. But that was the year of the Peninsular campaign,
and the dying leaves fell on the graves of our bravest and brightest,
and the autumn wind sighed a lamentation in our ears, and our hearts
were mourning bitterly for the defeats of the summer, and no less
bitterly for the dear-bought glory of Antietam. And winter came again:
hope fled with the swallows, and my youth began to leave me.

In the late autumn I went to New York, to pay a visit to a friend. One
night I went with my brother to the theatre. The play was stupid, and
the _entr'actes_ were long. In the middle of the second act, while some
horrible nonsense was being talked upon the stage, I looked around the
theatre, and saw no face I had ever seen before, when a lady near me
moved her fan, and, a little distance beyond her, I saw--with a start I
saw--the face that was never long absent from my thoughts. Changed and
older, and brown and bearded; but I knew him; and he knew me, and
smiled; and there was no doubt in my mind. I was not even surprised. But
to the sickness of sudden joy soon succeeded the sickness of
apprehension. What brought him there? And what would be done to him if
he were discovered? How could I see him and speak to him? Oh! could it
be possible that we might not meet more nearly! I wonder I did not die
during that quarter of an hour. I turned and looked at my brother; his
eyes were fixed upon the stage, and he was as curiously unmoved as if
the world were still steady and firm beneath my feet.

I did not look at Edward again; I feared to betray him; and the green
curtain fell, and my brother said, if I did not mind being left alone
for a few minutes, he would go. He left me, and Edward came to me, and
once more I saw him, and once more I heard his voice. He stayed only one
moment, only long enough to make an appointment with me for the next
morning, and then he left the theatre. The people around us thought
probably that he was a casual acquaintance, if indeed they thought about
it at all; and when my brother came back, he found me looking listless
and bored, and apologized for having been detained.

I had--and still have, thank God!--a friend in whom I trusted; to her I
had recourse, and it was by her help that I was enabled to keep my
appointment. Only those who have known the pain of such a parting can
ever hope to know the joy of such a meeting. I would like to make the
rest of this as short as possible. Edward had run the blockade to see
me; he had been to Washington, had stayed there three days, had heard of
my absence, obtained my address, and followed me to New York; he had
waited until twilight, when he had come to look at the house where I was
staying; as he was walking slowly on the opposite side of the street, he
had seen me come out with my brother, and had followed us to the
theatre. He had trusted to his long beard and the cropping of his curly
head as the most effectual disguise, and so far no one had recognized
him. The only people who had known of his being in Washington were the
friends with whom he stayed, the tailor who had sold him his clothes,
who had a son with Stuart's cavalry, and the girl, my old school friend,
who had given him my address, whom he went to see in the dusk hours of
the afternoon, and who had hospitably received him in the coal
cellar--which struck me, at the moment, as an infallible method of
arousing suspicion. He wanted me to return with him, or to marry him
and follow him by flag of truce; he was sure Providence had made his way
smooth on purpose to effect our union. His arguments were perhaps not
very logical, but they almost convinced me of what I wished to believe.
I was willing to bear the anger of my family, but could not think of
again undergoing the wear and tear of separation. I promised to let him
know my decision early the next morning; I think I should have gone with
him, but that evening we were telegraphed to return to Washington--my
father had been stricken down by apoplexy; and my brother and I went
home in the night train. Edward knew the reason, for he read my father's
death in the morning's newspaper.

Three weeks afterward I had a letter from Edward Mayne by flag of truce;
that was the week before Fredericksburg; and then the agony again began.
It did not last very long. In the early spring came Chancellorsville,
and there Edward was slightly wounded and taken prisoner; he was removed
to the hospital at Point Lookout; his aunt went to nurse him, but I did
not go; he was doing very well, and I thought it was wiser not. And one
day in May--ah! that day!--I was looking out of my window, and I see now
the blue sky, the little white clouds, the roses, and the ivied wall
that I saw when my mother came in and said Mrs. Daingerfield had come to
take me to Edward, who was very ill and anxious to see me. I remember
how the blood seemed to sink away from my heart, and for a moment I
thought I was going to die; but in another moment I knew that I should
live. I was eager and excited, and not unhappy, from that time until the
end was at hand.

I had never been in a hospital before, and there was a long ward full of
men, who all looked to me as if they were dying, through which I passed
to reach the room in which Edward Mayne lay alone. He heard me coming,
and, as I opened the door, he raised himself in bed and put out his hand
to me....

That night the dreadful pain left him, and his aunt said he seemed
brighter and more hopeful; but when the surgeon saw him in the morning,
he shook his head. When the sun set, Edward knew that he should never
again see its evening glories. Into that dark, still room came a greater
than Solomon, and as the dread shadow of his wings fell on my life, I
hushed my prayers and tears. We sat and watched and waited; and there
came back a feeble strength into the worn frame, and he told us what he
wished. He said that perhaps he had been wrong, but he had thought
himself right; at least, he had given his life for his faith, and soon,
soon he would know all. Then he asked them to leave him alone with me
for a little while, and when they came back into the room, nothing
remained of him but the cast-off mortality. The sun was rising in the
east, but his soul was far beyond it; and the sunlight came in and
kissed the quiet pale face, that looked so peaceful and so happy there
could be no lamentation over it.

That day came his parole; the parole which we had so exerted ourselves
to obtain that he might go home to get well; and now it had found him
far beyond the captivity of bar or flesh--a freed spirit, 'gone up on
high.'

The kindness of the Government induced us to ask one more favor, which
was granted us. They let us take him home to Washington and bury him in
the place he had always wished to be buried in; and some Confederate
prisoners were given permission to attend his funeral. So he was buried
as a soldier should be buried, borne to the grave by his comrades, and
mourned by the woman dearest to him. He lies now on the sunniest slope
in that green graveyard, where the waters rush near his resting place,
and the trees make a shade for the daisies that brighten above him.

He died as the sun rose on the first of June; we buried him early on the
morning of the fifth. That night I left Washington, glad that it was to
be no longer my place of residence, glad that my family would soon
follow me to make another home where I could be stung by no
associations. The old house passed into the hands of my elder sister,
who is married to a Congressman from the West. But during this winter I
have been so often homesick, and this early spring has been so chill and
bleak compared with the May days of Washington, that I was fain to come
back for a brief hour; and I have chosen to come in these last May days,
that the first of June might find me here, true to the memory of the
past.

There is nothing left of the old days; the place is changed from what it
once was; the streets swarm with soldiers and strange faces; the houses
are used by Government, or are dwelt in by strangers; there is scarcely
a trace in this Sodom of the Sodom before the flood. No, there is
nothing left for me now, of the things I used to know, except the little
wren, whose song broke my heart this morning; and there is nothing here
for me to care for, except that young grave in Georgetown, whose white
cross bears but the initials and the date. I must now try to make myself
a new life elsewhere, and to-morrow I go forth, shaking off the dust
that soils my garments; hoping for the promise of the rainbow in this
storm--and sure of the strength that will not fail me. O world! be
better than thy wont to thy poor, weary child! O earth! be kindly to a
bruised reed! O hope! thou wilt not leave me till the end--the end for
which I wait.



WORD-STILTS


If the reader is so favored as to possess a copy of the 'Comparative
Physiognomy' of Dr. James W. Redfield (a work long out of market, and
which never had much of a sale), he may find in a chapter concerning the
likeness between certain men and parrots some wise remarks on ridiculous
eccentricities in literature. 'In inferior minds,' says the Doctor,'the
love of originality shows itself in oddity.' 'There is many a sober
innovator,' he continues, farther on,' whose delight it is to ponder

     'O'er many a volume of forgotten lore,'

that he may not be supposed to make use of the humdrum literature of the
day; who introduces obsolete words and coins new ones, and makes a
patchwork of all languages; makes use of execrable phrases, and invents
a style that may be called his own.' The Doctor compares these writers
to parrots.

Now it is a well-known peculiarity of parrots that they have a passion
for perching themselves in places where they will be on a level with the
heads of the superior race whose utterances they imitate. The perch a
parrot affects is almost always an altitude of about six feet, or the
height of the tallest men. They feel their inferiority keenly if you
leave them to hop about on the floor. It occurs to us that nothing could
please a parrot more, if it could be, than a pair of stilts on which it
could hop comfortably.

The literary parrot, more fortunate than his feathered fellow, finds
stilts in words--obsolete words, such as men do not use in common
intercourse with their fellows. Modern rhymesters more and more affect
this thing. Every day sees some _outre_ old word resurrected from its
burial of rubbish, and set in the trochaics and spondees of love songs
and sonnets. Dabblers in literature, who would walk unseen, pigmies
among a race of giants, get on their word-stilts, and straightway the
ear-tickled critics and the unconsciously nose-led public join in pæans
of applause. Sage men, who do not exactly see through the thing, nod
their heads approvingly, and remark: 'Something in that fellow!' And the
delighted ladies, prone as the dear creatures often are to be pleased
with jingle that they don't understand, exclaim: 'A'n't he delightful!'

The lamented Professor Alexander once produced a very excellent poem,
which contained only words of a single syllable, forcibly illustrating
the power of simple language. We should be glad to reproduce it here, by
way of contrapose to our own accompanying poem, but cannot now recall it
to memory in its completeness. Any child, who could talk as we all talk
in our families, could read and understand fully the poem to which I
refer. But ask any child to read the lines we have hammered out below,
and tell you what they mean! Nay, ask any man to do it, and see if he
_can_ do it. Probably not one in a hundred usual readers, could 'read
and translate' the word-stilts with which we have trammelled our poetic
feet, except with the aid of patient and repeated communion with his
English dictionary. There are, however, no words employed here which may
not be found in the standard dictionaries of our tongue.

To it:


THE POET INVOKETH HIS MUSE.

  Come, ethel muse, with fluxion tip my pen,
    For rutilant dignotion would I earn;
  As rhetor wise depeint me unto men:
    A thing or two I ghess they'll have to learn
  Ere they percipience can claim of what I'm up
    To, in macrology so very sharp as this;
  Off food oxygian hid them come and sup,
    Until, from very weariness, they all dehisce.


THE POET SEEKETH THE READER'S FORBEARANCE.

  Delitigate me not, O reader mine,
    If here you find not all like flies succinous;
  My hand is porrect--kindly take't in thine,
    While modestly my caput is declinous;
  Nor think that I sugescent motives have,
    In asking thee to read my chevisance.
  I weet it is depectible--but do not rave,
    Nor despumate on me with look askance.

  Existimation greatly I desire;
    'Tis so expetible I have sad fears
  That, excandescent, you will not esquire
    My meaning; see, I madefy my cheek with tears,
  On my bent knees implore forbearance kind;
    Be not retose in haught; I know 'tis sad,
  But get your Webster down, and you will find
    That he's to blame, not I--so don't get mad!


THE POET COMMENCETH TO SING.

  The morning dawned. The rorid earth upon,
    Old Sol looked down, to do his work siccate,
  My sneek I raised to greet the ethe sun,
    And sauntering forth passed out my garden gate.
  A blithe specht sat on yon declinous tree
    Bent on delection to its bark extern;
  A merle anear observed (it seemed to me)
    The work, in hopes to make owse how to learn.

  A drove of kee passed by; I made a stond,
    For fast as kee how could my old legs travel?
  But--immorigerous brutes!--with feet immund
    They seemed to try my broadcloth garb to javel.
  The semblance of a mumper then I wore,
    Though a faldisdory before I might have graced;
  Eftsoons I found, when standing flames before,
    The mud to siccate, it was soon erased.


If we should turn our attention studiously to this line of literary
effort, we feel encouraged to believe that our success in a field of
late so popular would be marked, and that we should obtain a degree of
fame herein, beside which that of the moat shining light in the stilted
firmament would pale its ray. But so long as God gives us the glorious
privilege of emulating the stars, we shall not seek to win a place among
the 'tallow dips' of parrot-poetry.



A GREAT SOCIAL PROBLEM.


MY DEAR CONTINENTAL:

When the meteorological question was despatched, ladies have long had a
habit of calling upon their servants to furnish them with small talk;
high wages, huge appetites, daintiness, laziness, breakage,
impertinence, are fruitful topics which they daily treat exhaustively;
always arriving at the hopeless conclusion: 'Did you ever hear of
anything like it?' and 'I wonder what we are coming to!'

Is it not possible that we may be coming to--no servants at all? To me
the signs seem to point that way. Cobbett said that in America public
servant means master: he might add, if he were writing now, and so does
private servant. Each house is divided against itself into two camps;
hostile, though perhaps not in open war with each other: and Camp
Kitchen has the advantage of position. Above stairs uneasy sits the
employer, timid, conciliating, temporizing; seeing as little as he can,
and overlooking half he sees; ready to change his habits and to subdue
his tastes to suit the whims of the _enemigos pagados_, as the Spaniards
call them, he has under his roof. Below stairs lounge the lordly
employés (a charming newspaper neologism for hotel waiters, street
sweepers, and railway porters), defiant, aggressive, and perfectly aware
that they are masters of the situation. Daily they become more like the
two Ganymedes of Griffith's boarding house: he called them Tide and
Tide--because they waited on no man. They have long ceased to be hewers
of wood and drawers of water, and yet they accomplish less than before
the era of modern improvements. It appears to be a law of domestic
economy that work is inversely as the increase of wages. Nowadays, if a
housekeeper visits a prison, he envies the whiteness of the floors and
the brightness of the coppers he sees there, and thinks, with a sigh,
how well it might be for his _subscalaneans_, if they could be made to
take a course of neatness for a few months in some such an institution.

Vain wish! The future is theirs, and they know it. Their services will
become gradually more worthless, until we shall find them only in grand
establishments: mere appendages kept for fashion and for show; as
useless as the rudimental legs of a snake, which he has apparently only
to indicate the distinguished class in animated nature he may claim to
belong to. We shall live to say, as Perrault sang:

  'J'aperçus l'ombre d'un cocher
  Tenant l'ombre d'une brosse
  Nettoyant l'ombre d'un carrosse.'

Alas! I fear that even these shadows of servants will one day vanish and
disappear from us altogether.

Time was when classes in society were as well defined as races still
are. The currents ran side by side, and never intermingled. Some were
born to furnish the blessings of life, and others to enjoy them. Some to
wait, and others to be waited upon. The producing class accepted their
destiny cheerfully, believed in their 'betters,' and were proud to serve
them. The last eighty years have pretty much broken down these
comfortable boundary lines between men. The feudal retainer, who was
ready to give his life for his lord, the clever valet, who took kicks
and caning as a matter of course when his master was in liquor or had
lost at cards, even the old family servants, are species as extinct as
the Siberian elephant, or the cave bear, or the dodo. And now the
advance of the Union armies southward has destroyed the last lingering
type of the servant post: the faithful black.

In this country there never was much distinction of classes. The
unwillingness of New England _help_ to admit of any superiority on the
part of their masters has furnished many amusing stories. Later, when
the Irish element penetrated into every kitchen, farmyard, and stable,
floating off the native born into higher stations, service became
limited to immigrants and to negroes. But the immigrant soon learned the
popular motto, 'I'm as good as you are,' and only remained a serving man
until he could save enough money to set up for himself: not a difficult
matter in the United States; and never so easy as at this moment. The
demands of the Government for soldiers and for supplies threaten us with
a _labor famine_ in spite of the large immigration. In Europe labor is
scarce and in demand. Commerce, manufactures, colonization have outrun
the supply. Wages have doubled in England and in France within the last
twenty years, and are rising. With increase of wages comes always
decrease of subordination. The knowledge of reading, now becoming
general, and exercised almost exclusively in cheap and worthless
newspapers, and the progress of the democratic movement, which for good
or for evil is destined to extend itself over the whole earth, make the
working classes restless and discontented. They chafe under restraints
as unavoidable as illness or death. What floods of nonsense have we not
seen poured out about the conflict between labor and capital? It is the
old fable over again: the strife of the members against the belly.

Gradually has sprung up the feeling that it is degrading to be a
servant; a terrible lion in the path of the quiet housekeeper in search
of _assistants_. There may arise some day a purer and a wiser state of
society, wherein the relation of master and man will be satisfactory to
both. A merchant exercises a much sharper control over his clerk than
over any servant in his house, and it is cheerfully submitted to. The
soldier, who is worse paid and worse fed than a servant, is a mere
puppet in the hands of his officers, obliged to obey the nod of twenty
masters, and to do any work he may be ordered to, without the noble
privilege of 'giving notice;' and yet there is never any difficulty in
obtaining a reasonable supply of soldiers--because clerks and soldiers
do not think themselves degraded by their positions, and servants _do_.
It may be a prejudice, but it is one which drives hundreds of women, who
might be fat and comfortable, to starve themselves over needlework in
hovels; and often to prefer downright vice, if they can hope to conceal
it, to virtue and a home in a respectable family. Any logic, you
perceive, is quite powerless against a prejudice of this size and
strength.

But is it altogether a prejudice? Is it not a sound view of that
condition of life?

I confess that it has long been a matter of surprise to me that men
should be found willing to hire themselves out for domestic service in a
country where bread and meat may so easily be obtained in other ways,
and where even independent manual labor is so often considered
derogatory to the dignity of the native born. To do our dirty work that
it disgusts us to do for ourselves, to stand behind our chairs at table,
to obey our whims and caprices, to have never a moment they can call
their own, to keep down their temper when we lose ours, to be compelled
to ask for permission to go out for a walk, seems to me a sad existence
even with good food and wages.

The fact is, my dear CONTINENTAL, that the relation between master and
servant has to be readjusted to suit the times. Indeed it is readjusting
itself. We see the signs, although we may not perceive their
significance. Our life is a dream. I use this venerable saying in
another sense than the one generally intended by it: I mean that we live
half our lives, if not more, in the imagination; and that the
imagination of every-day people is a dream made up of feelings brought
together from the habits, theories, and prejudices of the past of all
lands and all nations of men. The reality that was once in them has long
since been out of them; yet these vague and shadowy fancies are
all-powerful and govern our actions. So that morally we go about like
maskers in the carnival, dressed in the old clothes of our ancestors.
With this difference, that most of us do not see how shabby and
threadbare they are, and how unsuited to our present wants. And the few
who do see this have an inbred fondness for the old romantic rags, and
wear some of them in spite of their better judgment. Our moneyed class
cling in particular to the dream of an aristocracy, and love to look
down upon somebody. The man who made his fortune yesterday calls
to-day's lucky fellow a _nouveau riche_ and a _parvenu_. The counter
jumper who has snatched his thousands from a sudden rise in stocks, is
sure to invest some of his winnings in the tatters of feudalism, sports
a coat of arms on his carriage, has liveries, talks of his honor as a
gentleman, and expects from his servants the same respect that a baron
of the Middle Ages received from his hinds. It is a dream of most
baseless fabric. John and Thomas, with their dislike of the word
servant, their surliness and their impudence, swing too far, perhaps, in
the other direction, but they are more in unison with the spirit of the
age than their masters. I have seen an ardent democrat, who had roared
equal rights from many a stump, furious with the impertinence of a
waiter, whose answer, if it had come from an equal, he would scarcely
have noticed. And was not the waiter a man and a fellow voter? What
distinction of class have we in this country? It is true that the
property qualification we have discarded in our political system we have
retained as our test of social position. Indeed, no abstract rights of
man can make up the difference between rich and poor. But Fortune is
nowhere so blind nor so busy in twirling her wheel; and our two classes
are so apt to change places, that frequently the only difference between
the master and the footman who stands behind him, is the difference of
capital. And Europe is treading the same democratic path as ourselves,
limping along after us as fast as her old legs will carry her. The time
will come when the class from which we have so long enlisted recruits
for our _batteries de cuisine_ will find some other career better suited
to their expanded views.

What then? Do you suggest that we may lay a hand upon the colored
element, after the example of our honored President? But

  'While flares the epaulette like flambeau
  On Corporal Cuff and Ensign Sambo,'

can you expect either of these distinguished officers to leave the
service of the United States for ours? What with intelligent
contrabandism, emancipation, the right of suffrage, and the right to
ride in omnibuses, we fear that their domestic usefulness will be sadly
impaired.

Oh for machinery! automaton flunkies, requiring only to be wound up and
kept oiled! What a housekeeping Utopia! Thomson foreshadowed a home
paradise of this kind when he wrote the 'Castle of Indolence:'

  'You need but wish, and, instantly obeyed,
  Fair ranged the dishes rose and thick the glasses played.'

But as yet invention has furnished no reapers and mowers for within
doors. We have only dumb waiters; poor, creaking things, that break and
split, like their flesh-and-blood namesakes, and distribute the smell of
the kitchen throughout the house. Heine once proposed a society to
ameliorate the condition of the rich. He must have meant a model
intelligence office. I wish it had been established, for we may all need
its aid.

What are we to do when we come to the last of the servants? Darwin says
that the _Formica rufescens_ would perish without its slaves; we are
almost as dependent as these confederate ants. Our social civilization
is based upon servants. Certainly, the refinements of life, as we
understand it, could not exist Without them, and it is difficult to see
how any business of magnitude could be carried on. Briareus himself
could not take care of a large country place, with its stables, barns,
horses, cattle, and crops, even if Mrs. B. had the same physical
advantages, and was willing to help him. Must we tempt them back by
still larger salaries, or increase their social consideration, telling
them, as a certain clergyman once said of his order, that 'they are
supported, and not hired'?--changing the word help, as we have servant,
into household officer or assistant manager, or adopt a Chinese
euphemism, such as steward of the table or governor of the kitchen?
Fourier does something of this kind; in his system the class names of
young scullions are cherubs and seraphs! Or shall we adopt the
coöperative plan of Mill and others, and offer John an interest in the
family--say, possibly, the position of resident son-in-law after ten
years of honesty, sobriety, and industry--with a seat at table in the
mean while? Or must all the work be done by women, and a proprietor have
to seal his Biddies _more sanctorum_ in Utah? Or might not poor
relations, now confessedly nuisances, be made useful in this way? Some
marquis asked Sophie Arnould why she did not discharge her stupid
porter? 'I have often thought of it,' she answered, '_mais que voulez
vous, c'est mon père_.'

These resources failing, we must drop to the simplest form of existence:
hut, hovel, or shanty; where my lord digs and is dirty, and her
ladyship, guiltless of Italian, French, and the grand piano, cooks,
scrubs, darns, and keeps the peace between the pigs and the children. Or
else we must come to socialism, in the shape of Brook Farm communities,
or _phalanstères à la Fourier_, or, worse than either, to mammoth
hotels. American tastes incline that way. There we may live in huge
gilded pens, as characterless as sheep in the flock, attended upon by
waiters, chambermaids, and cooks, who will have a share in the profits,
and consequently will be happy to do anything to increase the income of
their house.

I see no other remedy, and I offer this great social problem to the
serious thoughts of your readers.

  Yours ever, G. V.



APHORISMS.--NO. XIII.


It was a frequent exclamation of Herder the Great: 'Oh, my life, that
has failed of its ends!' and many of us, no doubt, find ourselves
disposed to indulge in the same lament. But it deserves careful
attention; no man's life fails of its true end unless through some
grievous moral fault of his own.

The true end of life is that we may 'glorify God, and enjoy Him
forever.' How this may be attained, as far as outward circumstances or
activities are concerned, we can hardly judge for ourselves: but there
is one sure test; and that is in the duties of our station. If we
honestly perform them, and especially as under the teachings of the
gospel of Christ, there can be no real and permanent failure. We shall
have done what we were set to do upon the earth; and with this we may
well be content.



OUR GREAT AMERICA.


The republican government of the United States, when first originated by
the fathers of the commonwealth, was regarded by the old fossil
despotisms with secret dread and a strange foreboding; and neither the
ridicule which they heaped upon it, nor the professed contempt wherewith
its name was bandied from throne to throne, could wholly mask their
trepidation. They looked upon it, in the privacy of their chambers, as
the challenge of a mighty rebellion of the people against all kingly
rule and administration; they saw in it the embodiment of those popular
ideas of freedom, equality, and self-government, which for so many
centuries had been struggling for adequate utterance in England and
France, and they knew that the success of this sublime experiment must
eventually break asunder the colossal bones of the European monarchies,
and establish the new-born democracy upon their ruins.

That they saw truly and judged wisely in these respects, the history of
modern Europe, and the current revolutions of our time, bear ample
testimony. There is no luck nor chance in human events, but all things
follow each other in the legitimate sequences of law. The American
republic is no bastard, but a true son and heir of the ages; and sprang
forth in all its bravery and promise from the mammoth loins of the very
despotism which disowns and denounces it.

We have a full and perfect faith in the mission of this republic, which
breaks open a new seal in the apocalypse of government, and unfolds a
new phase in the destiny of mankind. Feudalism has had a sufficient
trial, and, on the whole, has done its work well. After the
dismemberment of the Roman Empire, we do not see how it was possible for
society to have assumed any other form than that of kings and princes
for rulers, and the people for passive and more or less obedient
subjects. It was a great problem to be resolved how society should exist
at all, and history gives us the solution of it. Despotism in politics
and authority in religion was the grand, primal, leading, and executive
idea of it. What learning and culture existed was confined to the guild
of the ecclesiastics, and they, for the most part, ruled the rulers as
well as the people, by _virtue of their intelligence_. It required many
centuries to usher in the dawn of unfettered thought, and generate the
idea of liberty. And when at last the epoch of Protestantism arrived,
and Luther, who was the exponent and historical embodiment of it,
gathered to its armories the spiritual forces then extant in Europe, and
overthrew therewith the immemorial supremacy of kings and priests over
the bodies and souls of men, he made all subsequent history possible,
and was the planter of nations, and the founder of yet undeveloped
civilizations.[A]

[Footnote A: A doubtful assertion. We, the children of the Puritans, and
educated in their views and prejudices, have still many lessons to learn
in the school of charily. It was not 'Luther who rendered subsequent
history possible,' but the ever onward growth of humanity itself. Luther
had no broader views of liberty of conscience than the church with which
he struggled. Mr. Hallam says: 'It has been often said that the
essential principle of Protestantism and that for which the struggle was
made, was something different from all we have mentioned: a perpetual
freedom from all authority in religious belief, or what goes by the name
of private judgment. But to look more nearly at what occurred, this
permanent independence was not much asserted, and still less acted upon.
The Reformation was a _change of masters_, a voluntary one, no doubt, in
those _who had any choice_, and in this sense an exercise, for the time,
of their personal judgment. But no one having gone over to the
Confession of Augsburg or that of Zurich, was deemed at liberty to
modify these creeds at his pleasure. He might, of course, become an
Anabaptist or Arian, but he was not the less a heretic in doing so than
if he had continued in the Church of Rome. By what light a Protestant
was to steer, might be a problem which at that time, as ever since, it
would perplex a theologian to decide: but in practice, the law of the
land which established one exclusive mode of faith, was the only safe,
as, in ordinary circumstances, it was, upon the whole, the most eligible
guide.' Speaking, in another place, of the causes which brought about
the decline of Protestantism, etc., Mr. Hallam says: 'We ought to reckon
also among the principal causes of this change, those perpetual
disputes, those irreconcilable animosities, that bigotry, above all, and
persecuting spirit, which were exhibited in the Lutheran and Calvinistic
churches. Each began with a common principle--the necessity of an
orthodox faith. But this orthodoxy meant nothing more than their _own_
belief as opposed to that of their adversaries; a belief acknowledged to
be fallible, yet maintained as certain; rejecting authority with one
breath and appealing to it in the next, and claiming to rest on sure
proofs of reason and Scripture, which their opponents were ready with
just as much confidence to invalidate.'

Luther was one of the many reformers who, feeling the necessity of
freedom for themselves, never dream of according it to others. His
self-hold, his 'me,' was masterful, and led him far astray from the
inevitable logic of his perilous position. His 'I-ness' was so supreme
that he mistook his own convictions for the truths of the Most High--a
common mistake among reformers! He did not feel the sovereignty of man
with regard to his fellow man, his positive inalienable right to deal
with his God alone in matters of faith and religious conviction. The
golden rule of our Master, 'Do as you would be done by,' seems simple
and self-evident, and yet it is a late fruit in the garden of human
culture. Mr. Roscoe says: 'When Luther was engaged in his opposition to
the Church of Rome, he asserted the right of private judgment with the
confidence and courage of a martyr. But no sooner had he freed his
followers from the chains of papal domination, than he forget other in
many respects equally intolerable: and it was the employment of his
latter years to counteract the beneficial effects produced by his former
labors.'

Any system which saps the foundation of religious liberty, which forces
itself between man and his Maker, cannot guarantee to us one of the main
objects of all free governments--security in the pursuit of happiness.
The Reformation did not give us religious freedom, therefore it did not
give or suggest to us our democratic institutions. All that is true and
pure in them springs from the very heart of Christianity itself. 'Where
the spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.' Much of the manifestation
of the philosophy of freedom depends on individual character. Pope
Alexander III., A.D. 1167, writes: 'Nature having made no slaves, all
men have an equal right to liberty.' Luther, in 1524, says to the German
peasants; 'You wish to emancipate yourselves from slavery, but slavery
is as old as the world. Abraham had slaves, and St. Paul established
rules for those whom the laws of nations reduced to that state.' Many of
our modern priests reëcho these sentiments! Guizot says: 'The
emancipation of the human mind and _absolute_ monarchy triumphed
simultaneously.' The truth is we want a philosophical history of the
Reformation, written neither from a Catholic, Protestant, nor infidel
point of view, that we may rightly estimate what we lost, what gained in
its wild storms. In judging this, we should not quite forget that it was
the Catholic Lord Baltimore and Catholic colonists of Maryland who in
1648 first proclaimed on these shores the glorious principle of
_universal toleration_, while the Puritans were persecuting in New
England and the Episcopalians in Virginia. 'Nothing extenuate nor aught
set down in malice,' should be the rule of our souls. Humanity means
eternal Progress, and its path is onward.--ED. CON.]

It would, however, be by no means difficult, were it in accordance with
our present design and purpose, to show that the first germ of
republican liberty sprang into life amid the sedges and savage marshes
of uncultivated ages, far remote even from the discovery of America, and
trace it through successive rebellions, both of a political and
religious character, from and before the times of Wycliffe, down to
Oliver Cromwell and George Washington; for all through English history
it has left a broad red mark behind it, like the auroral pathway of a
conqueror. The first man who prayed without book, and denied the
authority of the church over the human soul, as the brave Loilards did,
was the pioneer of Protestantism and the father of all the births which
ushered this mighty epoch upon the stage of the world; Protestantism,
which means so much and includes so many vast emprises--establishing for
freedom so grand a battle ground, and for philosophy and learning so
wide and magnificent a dominion.

The same spirit which made nonconformists of the first seekers and
worshippers of God apart from the churches and cathedrals of Rome, in
the sublimer cathedrals of nature, when the Roman hierarchy was master
of Europe--made republicans also of the first rebels who resisted the
tyranny of kings. Political and religious liberty are the two sides of
the democrat idea, and have always marched hand in hand together. They
culminated in England during the Commonwealth, and became thenceforth
the base and dome of popular government.

The republic of America was born of this idea, and is the last great
birth of Protestantism, big already with the destinies of mankind. Here,
upon this mighty platform, these destinies, as we believe, have to be
wrought out by their final issues, and close the drama of human
development. All things are possible for America under the beneficent
institutions and laws of the republic, now that the hideous skeleton of
black slavery is to pollute the soil no more nor make brother war
against brother any more on account of it; and at no distant period the
awful conflict which at present shakes the earth with the thunder of its
clashing and embattled hosts, shall give lasting place to the
interchanges of commerce and the peaceful enterprises of civil life.

It was impossible that American society could hold together with this
accursed African vulture eating at its heart. Nor could the aristocratic
idea of the South, which slavery had interwoven through every fibre of
the people, through all the forms of its social condition, and into all
its State laws and institutions, exist side by side with the democratic
idea of the North, without an inevitable conflict sooner or later. The
present war is but a renewal of the old battles which make up the sum of
history, between liberty and despotism, civilization and barbarism. No
one can doubt in whose hands will be the victory; and happy will the
result be for future generations.

Hitherto we have exhibited to the world the amazing spectacle of a
republic which, proclaiming the freedom and equality of every one of its
subjects, holds four millions of men in a terrible and appalling
bondage. So frightful a mockery of freedom, perpetrated in her great
name, and sanctioned by tradition and the authority of law, could not,
ought not, be suffered to grin its ghastly laughter in the face of the
world. And when the hour was ripe, and the doomsday of the monstrous
iniquity was proclaimed aloud by the dreadful Nemesis of God, the people
of the free North clothed themselves in the majesty of the nation, and
rose as one man to sweep it from the soil in whirlwinds of fire and
wrath.

Slavery has been an unmitigated curse to America in every one of its
aspects and especially to the South, out of which it has eaten, with its
revengeful and retributive teeth, all the vitalities and grandeurs of
character which belong to the uncorrupted Anglo-Saxon race. It has
destroyed all the incentives to industry, all self-reliance, and
enterprise, and the sterner virtues and moralities of life. It has put a
ban upon trade and manufactures, and a premium upon indolence. The white
population--the poor white trash, as the very negroes call them--are
ignorant, brutal, and live in the squalor of savages. It has driven
literature and poetry, art and science, from its soil, and robbed
religion of all its humanity and beauty. Worse than this, if worse
be possible, it has darkened with the shadow of its apparition the
minds of the Southerners themselves, and defaced their highest
attributes--confounding within them the great cardinal distinctions
between right and wrong, until, abandoned by Heaven, they were given
over to their own lusts, and to a belief in the lie which they had
created under the very ribs of the republic.

We do not speak this as partisans, nor in any spirit of enmity against
the South as a political faction. It is the fact which concerns us, and
which we deal with as history, and not here and now in any other sense.
Nor do we blame the Southern aristocracy for riding so long on the black
horse, which has at last thrown and killed them. For proud and insolent
as they have ever shown themselves in their bearing toward the North,
they were in reality mere pawns on the chessboard of Fate, necessary
tools in working out the game of civilization on this continent. Who can
calculate the sum of the divine forces which the institution of slavery,
and its blasphemous reversion of the commands of the Decalogue, and all
its cruel outrages and inhuman crimes, have awakened in the souls of the
freemen of the North? The loathsomeness of its example and the infernal
malice of its designs against liberty and truth, righteousness and
justice, and whatsoever holy principles in life and government the
saints, martyrs, and apostles of the ages have won for us, by their
agony and bloody sweat upon scaffolds and funeral pyres--regarding them
as a cheap purchase, though paid for by such high and costly
sacrifices--these appalling instances, we say, have at last produced so
powerful a reaction in the national mind that millions of men have
marshalled themselves into avenging armies to rid the earth of their
presence.

That, too, was fated and necessary, and a part of the predestined
programme. The nation could not progress with this corrupting monster in
its pathway; and the battle between them has not come an hour too soon.
The monster must be exterminated, and that, too, without mercy and
without compassion, as the sworn and implacable enemy both of God and
man. Otherwise this glorious country, which has so long worn the garland
and surging robe of liberty, will become a dungeon of desolation from
the Atlantic to the Pacific, resounding only with the shrieks of
mandrakes and the clank of chains.

This obstruction removed, there is, as we said above, no height of
greatness which the American people may not reach. Then, and then only,
shall we begin to consolidate ourselves into a nation, with a distinct
organon of principles, feelings, and loyalties, to which the mighty
heart and brain of the people shall throb and vibrate in pulsations of
sublime unity. At present we are only a people in the making, and very
few there are calling themselves Americans who have any idea of what
America is and means in relation to history. By and by we shall all
apprehend the riddle more wisely, and be more worthy of the great name
we bear.

In the meanwhile it is no marvel that we are not a homogeneous people.
Our time has not come for that, and may yet lie afar off in the shadowy
centuries. Consider how and through what alien sources we have
multiplied the original population of the associated colonies as they
existed when our fathers raised them to a nationality. There is not a
nation in all Europe, to say nothing of Asia and the islands, which is
not represented in our blood and does not form a part of our lineage. It
is true that the old type predominates, and that we have the virtues and
the vices of the Anglo-Saxons in us; but we are far too individual at
present, Celt and Dane and Spaniard and Teuton, and all the rest of our
motley humanities, will have to be fused into one great Anglo-American
race, before we can call ourselves a distinct nation. It took England
many centuries to accomplish this work, and fashion herself into the
plastic form and comeliness of her present unity and proportion. We, who
work at high pressure and make haste in our begettings and growth, can
scarcely hope to make a national sculpture at all commensurate with the
genius of the people and the continent, in one or two or even half a
dozen generations; for we cannot coerce the laws of nature, although it
is quite certain, from what we have done, that we can perform anything
within the range of possible achievement.

We have all the elements within and around us necessary to constitute a
great people. We started on our career with a long background of
experience to guide and to warn us. We saw what Europe had done for
civilization with her long roll of kings and priests, her despotic
governments, and her unequal laws--the people in most cases ciphers, and
in all cases ignorant and enslaved--with no room for expansion, and
little or no hope of political or social betterment; every inch of
liberty, in every direction, which they had gained, wrung from their
oppressors piecemeal, in bloody throes of agony.

Our fathers had not the best materials out of which to build up a
republic; neither, in all cases, were they themselves sufficiently ripe
for the experiment. They had the old leaven of European prejudice
largely intermingled in their minds and character. They could not help,
it is true, their original make, nor the fashioning which their age,
time, and circumstances had put upon them. All this has to be taken into
the estimate of any philosophical judgment respecting their
performances. But they had learned from the past to trust the present,
and to span the future with rainbows of hope. They stood face to face
with the people, and each looked into the others' eyes and read there
the grounds and sureties of an immortal triumph. Instead, therefore, of
resting the supreme power of government in the hands of a person, or a
class, making the former a monarch, and creating the other an
aristocracy, those grand magistrates and senators of human liberty who
framed the Constitution of the new American Nation, made the nation its
own sovereign, and clothed it with the authority and majesty of
self-government.

A venture so daring, and of an audacity so Titanic and sublime, seemed
at that time and long afterward to require the wisdom and omnipotence of
gods to guide it over the breakers, and steer it into the calm waters of
intelligent government. All the world, except the handful of thinkers
and enthusiasts scattered here and there over Europe, was against it,
mocked at its bravery and aspirations, and sincerely hoped and believed
that some great and sudden calamity would dissolve it like a baleful
enchantment. But the hope of the republic was in the people, and they
justified the fathers and the institution.

Here, therefore, was opened in all the directions of human inquiry and
action a new world of hope and promise. The people were no longer bound
by old traditions, nor clogged by any formulas of state religions, nor
hampered by the dicta of philosophical authority. Their minds were free
to choose or to reject whatever propositions were presented to them from
the wide region of speculation and belief. The Constitution was the only
instrument which prescribed laws and principles for their unconditional
acceptance and guidance; and this was a thing of their own choice, the
charter and seal of their liberties, to which they rendered a cheerful
and grateful obedience.

With this mighty security for a platform, they pursued their daily
avocations in peace, trusting their own souls, and working out the
problem of republican society, with a most healthy unconsciousness.
Sincere and earnest, they troubled themselves with no social theories,
no visions of Utopia, nor dreams of Paradise and El Dorados, leaving the
spirit which animated them to build up the architecture of its own
_cultus_, with an unexpressed but perfect faith in the final justice and
satisfaction of results.

Religion, therefore, and politics--literature, learning, and art--trade,
commerce, manufactures, agriculture--and the amenities of society and
manners, were allowed to develop themselves in their own way, without
reference to rule and preconcerted dogmas. Hence the peculiarities which
mark the institutions of America--their utter freedom from cant and the
shows and pageantry of state. Bank, titles, and caste were abolished;
and the enormous gulfs which separate the European man from the European
lordling were bridged over by Equality with the solid virtues of
humanity.

What a stride was here taken over time and space, and the historic
records of man, in the fossil formations of the Old World during the
ante-American periods! It had come at last, this long-prophesied reign
of Apollo and the Muses, of freedom and the rights of man. Afar off, on
the summits of imaginative mountains, were beheld, through twilight
vistas of night and chaos, the proud ruins of dead monarchies, and the
cruel forms of extinct tyrannies and oppressions, crowned and mitred no
more; whose mandates had once made the nations tremble, and before whose
judgment seats Mercy pleaded in vain, and Justice muffled up her face
and sat dumb and weeping in the dust. Over the wolds of their desolation
hyenas prowled, snuffing the noisome air as for a living prey; ghouls
and vampyres shrieked in hellish chorus, as they tore up forgotten
graves; and all manner of hateful and obscure things crawled familiarly
in and out of palaces and holy places, as if they were the ghosts of the
former inhabitants; and, high above them all, in the bloody light of the
setting sun, wheeled kites and choughs and solitary vultures; owls and
dismal bats flitting, ever and anon, athwart the shadows of their grim
processions.

No matter that this vision was in reality but the symbolism of
imagination and poetry, that Europe was not dead, but alive with the
struggling vitalities of good and evil, and all those contending forces
out of which American freedom was born--the vision itself was not the
less true, either as feeling or insight; for Europe was now literally
cut adrift from America, and the hopes and aspirations of the young
republic were entirely different from hers, and removed altogether from
the plane of her orbit and action.

The liberalists and thinkers of the age expected great things from a
people thus fortunately conditioned and circumstanced. For the first
time in modern history a genuine democratic government was inaugurated
and fairly put upon its trial. The horizon of thought was now to be
pushed back far beyond the old frontiers into the very regions of the
infinite; and a universal liberty was to prevail throughout the length
and breadth of the land. No more dead formalities, nor slavish
submissions, but new and fuller life, self-reliance, self-development,
and the freest individuality. Gladly the people accepted the
propositions and principles of their national existence. Not a doubt
anywhere of the result; no faltering, no looking back; but brave hearts,
everywhere, and bold fronts, and conquering souls. Before them, through
the mists of the starry twilight, loomed the mountain peaks and shadowy
seas of the unventured and unknown future; and thitherward they pressed
with undaunted steps, and with a haughty and sublime defiance of
obstructions and dangers; fearing God, doing their best, and leaving the
issue in His hands.

We know now, after nearly a hundred years of trial, what that issue in
the main is, and whitherward it still tends. During that little
breathing time, which, compared with the life of other nations, is but a
gasp in the record, what unspeakable triumphs have been accomplished!
Nearly a whole continent has been reclaimed from the savage and the wild
beasts, and the all-conquering American has paved the wilderness, east,
west, north, and south, with high roads--dug canals into its hidden
recesses, connected the great Gulf with the far-off West by a vast
network of railways and telegraphs--planted cities and villages
everywhere, and fashioned the routes of civilization; bound Cape Race to
the Crescent City and the Atlantic to the Pacific, sending human
thoughts, winged with lightning, across thousands of miles of plains and
mountains and rivers, and making neighborly the most distant peoples and
the most widely sundered States of the mighty Union. Let any man try to
estimate the value of this immense contribution to human history and
happiness; let him try to measure the vast extent of empire which it
covers, and sum up the mighty expenditure of physical and intellectual
labor which has conquered those savage wilds, and converted them into
blooming cornfields and orchards; which has built these miraculous
cities by the sea, and made their harbors populous with native ships and
the marine of every nation under heaven; those busy inland cities, the
hives of manufacturing industry and the marts of a commerce which
extends over all the regions of civilization, from the rising to the
setting sun; those innumerable towns of the great corn-growing
districts; those pleasant hamlets and pastoral homes which fringe the
forest, and girdle the mountains as with the arms of human affection and
the passion of love; those mills on the far-off rivers, whose creaking
machinery and revolving wheels are the prelude of a yet unborn, but
rapidly approaching civility, and whose music, heard by the right ears,
is of the divinest depth and diapason, and in full concord with the
immeasurable orchestra of triumph and rejoicing which the nation
celebrates in the perpetual marches of her starry progress.

No man can compass this vast dominion, and no intellect can plumb its
soundings or prophesy of its upshot. Who could have foretold what has
already happened on this continent, had he stood with the Pilgrim
Fathers on Plymouth Rock, that memorable day of the landing? Looking
back to that great epoch in American history, we have no dim regions of
antiquity to traverse, no mythic periods as of Memnon and the Nile, but
a mere modern landscape, so to speak, shut in by less than two
centuries. And yet what unspeakable things are included in that brief
period! If we have made such vast strides and so rapid a development in
those few years of our national life, with the heterogeneous and
unmalleable materials with which we had to deal, converting the filth of
Europe into grass and flowers for the decoration of the republic, what
may we not achieve hereafter, when this dreadful war is over, and the
negro question is adjusted, and the sundered States are reunited, and
the Western wilderness is clothed with the glory of a perfect
cultivation, and the genius of the people, no longer trammelled by
Southern despotism, shall have free room to wing its flight over the
immeasurable future?

There will be no likeness, in any mirror of the past, to the American
civilization that is to be. New manners, customs, thinkings, literature,
art, and life, will mark our progress and attest the mission of the
nation. We are fast outgrowing the ideas and influences of that brave
company of Puritans out of whose loins our beginning proceeded; and
already each man goes alone, insular, self-reliant, and self-sustained.
We owe the Puritans a large debt, but it is altogether a pretty fiction
to call them the founders of American civilization. They helped to lay
in the foundation stones of that early society, and kept them together
by cementing them with their love of religious truth and liberty, so far
as they understood these primal elements of a state; and we are likewise
their debtors for the integrity which they put into their laws and
government. But it is too high a demand to claim for them that they were
the founders of the republic, and the originators of those great ideas
which are embodied in our institutions and literature.

They came to this country with no very enlarged notions, either of
religion or freedom, although they were perfectly sincere in their
professions of regard for both; and it was this very sincerity which
gave solidity and permanence to their colonies. We suppose we may repeat
what history has made notorious respecting them, that they were, both in
belief and civil practice, very narrow and limited in their
outlooks--by no means given to intellectual speculations--and with but
little faith in the intellect itself--which, indeed, was proscribed as a
sort of outlaw when it stood upon its own authority, outside the pale of
_their_ church. The religion which they established had its origin in
the reign of Elizabeth, and was a sort of revived Lollardism, which last
dated as far back as Wycliffe, long before the Reformation. They thought
they could worship God in conventicles, and in the great open-air
cathedrals of nature, with quite as much purity of motive and heavenly
acceptance as in regularly consecrated churches, and that the right of
praying and preaching was inalienable, and secured to all godly men by
the charter and seal of Calvary.

They had no idea, however, of non-conformity which was not based upon an
orthodox creed, upon _their_ creed, as they subscribed it on Plymouth
Rock. They fled from persecution themselves, and sought freedom for
themselves in the barren regions of our dear and now hospitable New
England; and they, in their simplicity and good faith before God, sought
to organize a system of civil and religious polity which should incrust
all future generations, and harden them into a fossil state of perpetual
orthodoxy.

They were a stern, implacable race, these early fathers, in all that
related to belief, and the discipline of moral conduct; and we owe many
of the granite securities which lie at the bottom of our social life and
government to this harsh and unyielding sternness. It held the framework
of the colonies together until they were consolidated into the United
States, and until the modern culture of the people relaxed it into a
universal liberty of thought and worship.

The Puritans, however, had no notion of such a result to their teachings
and labors; and would have looked with pious horror upon them if they
could have beheld them in some Agrippa's mirror of the future.

The truth--unpalatable as it may be--is simply this about the Puritans:
they were narrow-minded, bigoted, and furious at times with the spirit
of persecution; sincerely so, it is true, and believing they did God
service; but that does not alter the fact. They had no conception
of the meaning of liberty--and especially of religious liberty as a
development of Protestantism. Their idea of it was liberty for
themselves--persecution to all who differed from them; and this, too,
for Christ's sake, in order that the lost sheep might be brought back,
if possible, to their bleak and comfortless folds. They could not help
it; they meant no wrong by it, and the evil which they thus did was good
in the making, and sprang from the bleeding heart of an infinite love.

We like them, nevertheless; and cannot choose but like them, thinking it
generous and loving to invest them with as much poetry as we can command
from the wardrobes of the imagination. But we can never forgive them--in
critical moods--for their inhuman, although strictly logical persecution
of Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, who represented in his
person all the liberal-thoughts-men, both in religion and speculation,
then existing on this continent.

This man of capacious intellect and most humane heart was hunted by them
out of the associated colonies, as if he had been some ferocious beast
of prey, because he differed from them in his religious opinions; and
this drove him to found a state in accordance with the most liberal
interpretation of Christianity. He had more than once, by his influence
with the Indians, saved them from a general massacre; but their
theological hate of him was so intense that they would not allow him to
pass through their territories on a necessary journey; and once, on his
return from England, where he had been negotiating with ministers for
their benefit, they capped the climax of their bigoted ingratitude by
refusing him permission even to land on their soil, lest his holy feet
should pollute it.

It is a little too much, therefore, to say that all our ideas of liberty
and religion have sprung from this stout race of persecutors. They were
pioneers for us, bu nothing more. Our progress has been the untying of
their old cords of mental oppression, and the undoing of many things
which they had set up. This was so much rubbish to be moved out of the
path of the nation, and by no means aids to its advancement, except as
provocatives. What we now are, we have become by our own culture and
development, and by the inflowing of those great modern ideas which have
affected all the world, and helped to build up its civilization into
such stately proportions.

Puritanism, as it then existed in its exclusive power, is, to all
intents and purposes, dead upon this continent. The form of it still
lingers in our midst, it is true, and in the Protestant parts of Europe
its ritual survives, and pious hearts, which would be pious in spite of
it, still cling to its dead corpse as if it were alive, and kindle their
sacred fires upon the altar of its wellnigh forsaken sanctuaries. We
should count it no gain to us, however--the extinction of this old and
venerable faith--if we had no high and certain assurance that a nobler
and sublimer religion was reserved for our consolation and guidance. We
cannot afford, in one sense, to give up even the semblances and shows of
religion, and these will survive until the new dayspring from on high
shall supersede the necessity of their existence. 'Take care,' said
Goethe, in some such words as these, 'lest, in letting the dead forms of
religion go, you sacrifice all reverence and worship, and thus lose
religion itself!' There is great danger of this in the transition state
of human thought and speculation which marks the present crisis of
American history. We are not a religious people, and shall not present
any development of that sort until the intellectual reaction which has
set in among us against the old modes and organons of belief has
exhausted the tests of its crucibles, and reduced the dross to a
residuum of gold which shall form the basis of a new and sacred
currency, acceptable to all men for the highest interchanges.

In the mean while we must work out the problem of this religion of the
future in any and all ways which lie open to us--doubting nothing of the
final issues. The wildest theories of Millerites, Spiritists,
Naturalists, and Supernaturalists, are all genuine products of the time,
and of the spirit of man struggling upward to this solution--blindly
struggling, it is true, but gradually approaching the light of the
far-off truth, as the twilight monsters of geology gradually approached
the far-off birth of man, who came at last, and redeemed the savage
progressive, the apparent wild unreason of the terrestrial creation.

It is more than probable that this great fratricidal war with which we
are now struggling, will prove, in its results, of the very highest
service to the nation, and make us all both better and wiser men than we
were before. We have already gained by it many notable experiences, and
it has put our wisdom, and our foolishness also, to the test. It has
both humbled and exalted our pride. It has cut away from the national
character all those inane excrescences of vanity and brag which
judicious people everywhere, who were friendly to us, could not choose
but lament to see us exercise at such large discretion. It has brought
us face to face with realities the most terrible the world has ever
beheld. It has measured our strength and our weakness, and has developed
within us the mightiest intellectual and physical resources. All the wit
and virtue which go to make up a great people have been proven in a
hundred times and ways during the war, to exist in us. Courage,
forethought, endurance, self-sacrifice, magnaminity, and a noble sense
of honor, are a few of the virtues which we have cropped from the bloody
harvest of the battle field.

It is true that wicked men are among us--for when did a company, godly
or otherwise, engage in any work, and Satan did not also fling his
wallet over his shoulder and set out with them for evil purposes of his
own?--but after all, these are but a small minority, and their efforts
to ruin the republic and bring defeat and dishonor upon the Federal
arms, have not yet proved to be of a very formidable nature. These, the
enemies of America, though her native-born sons, the people can afford
to treat with the contempt which they merit. For the rest, this war will
make us a nation, and bind us together with bonds as strong as those of
the old European nationalities. It will make us great, and loving
patriots also; and root out from among us a vast amount of sham and
political fraud, to the great bettering of society.

We shall have reason in many ways to bless its coming and its
consequences. It was indeed just as necessary to our future national
life and happiness as the bursting out of a volcano is to the general
safety of the earth. It will destroy slavery for ever, and thus relieve
us from the great contention which has so long and so bitterly occupied
the lives of our public men and the thoughts of the world. In reality,
we have never yet given republicanism a fair trial upon this continent.
With that dreadful curse and crime of slavery tearing at its heart and
brain, how was it possible for equality and self-government to be
anything else but a delusion and a mockery? This cleared out of our
pathway, and we have enough virtue, intelligence, and wealth of physical
resources in the land to realize the prophecy and the hope of all noble
thinkers and believes on the planet, and place America first and
foremost among the nations--the richest, the wisest, the best, and the
bravest.



LONGING


The corruption of a noble disposition is invariably from some false
charm of fancy or imagination which has over-mastered the mind with its
powerful magic and carried away the will captive. It is some perverted
apprehension or illusory power of the infinite which causes a man who
has once fallen a prey to any strong passion to devote all his energies,
thoughts, and feelings to _one_ object, or to surrender himself, heart
and soul, to the despotic tyranny of some favorite pursuit. For man's
natural longing after the infinite, even when showing itself in his
passions and feelings, cannot, where genuine, be satisfied with any
earthly object or sensual gratification or external possession. When,
however, this pursuit, keeping itself free from all delusions of sense,
really directs its endeavor toward the infinite, and only to what is
truly such, it can never rest or be stationary. Ever advancing, step by
step, it ever rises higher and higher. This pure feeling of endless
longing, with the dim memories of eternal love ever surging through the
soul, are the heavenward--bearing wings which bear it ever on toward
God. Longing is man's intuition of enternity!--SCHLEGEL.



THE LESSON OF THE HOUR.


  I.

  Strong in faith for the future,
    Drawing our hope from the past,
  Manfully standing to battle,
    However may blow the blast:
  Onward still pressing undaunted,
    Let the foe be strong as he may,
  Though the sky be dark as midnight,
    Remembering the dawn of day.


  II.

  Strong in the cause of freedom,
    Bold for the sake of right,
  Watchful and ready always,
    Alert by day and night:
  With a sword for the foe of freedom,
    From whatever side he come,
  The same for the open foeman
    And the traitorous friend at home.


  III.

  Strong with the arm uplifted,
    And nerved with God's own might,
  In an age of glory living
    In a holy cause to fight:
  And whilom catching music
    Of the future's minstrelsy,
  As those who strike for freedom
    Blows that can never die.


  IV.

  Strong, though the world may threaten,
    Though thrones may totter down,
  And in many an Old World palace,
    Uneasy sits the crown:
  Not for the present only
    Is the war we wage to-day,
  But the sound shall echo ever
    When we shall have passed away.


  V.

  Strong--'tis an age of glory,
    And worth a thousand years
  Of petty, weak disputings,
    Of ambitious hopes and fears:
  And we, if we learn the lesson
    All-glorious and sublime,
  Shall go down to future ages
    As heroes for all time.


  VI.

  Strong--not in human boasting,
    But with high and holy will,
  The means of a mighty Worker
    His purpose to fulfil:
  O patient warriors, watchers--
    A thousandfold your power
  If ye read with prayerful purpose
    The Lesson of the Hour.



THE SCIENTIFIC UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE: ITS CHARACTER AND RELATION TO OTHER
LANGUAGES.

_ARTICLE ONE._

THE ORIGIN OF SPEECH.


The CONTINENTAL for May contained an article, written by Stephen Pearl
Andrews, entitled: A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE: ITS POSSIBILITY, SCIENTIFIC
NECESSITY, AND APPROPRIATE CHARACTERISTICS. Although then treated
hypothetically, or as something not impossible of achievement _in the
future_, a Language constructed upon the method therein briefly and
generally explained, is, in fact, substantially completed at the present
time. It is one of the developments of a new and vast scientific
discovery--comprising the Fundamental Principles of all Thought and
Being, and the Law of Analogy--on which Mr. Andrews has bestowed the
name of UNIVERSOLOGY. The public announcement of this discovery,
together with a general statement of its character, has been recently
made in the columns of a leading literary paper--_The Home Journal._

Although the principle involved in the Language discussed in the article
referred to is wholly different from that upon which all former attempts
at the construction of a common method of lingual communication have
been based; and although such merely mechanical _inventions_ were
therein distinguished from a Language _discovered as existing in the
nature of things_; several criticisms, emanating from high literary
quarters, indicate that there is still much misunderstanding as to the
real nature of a Universal Language framed upon the principles of
Analogy between Sense and Sound. This misunderstanding seems most
prevalent in respect to the two points relating directly to the
practical utility of such a Lingual Organ. It is assumed that a Language
so constituted must be wholly different in its material and structure
from any now existing, and that the latter would have to be abandoned as
soon as the former was adopted. It is supposed, therefore, that in
order to introduce the SCIENTIFIC UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE, the people must be
induced to learn something entirely new, and to forsake for it their old
and cherished Mother-tongues. The accomplishment of such an undertaking
is naturally regarded as highly improbable, if not impossible.

It is also supposed that every word of the Language is to be determined
in accordance with exact scientific formulas;--a process which, if
employed, would, as is conceived, give a stiff, inflexible, monotonous,
and cramped character to the Language itself; and would be wanting in
that profusion of synonymes which gives an artistic and life-like
character to the lingual growths of the past.

Both of these objections arise, as we shall hereafter see, from an
erroneous impression of the nature of Language based on Analogy, coupled
with a misconception of the real character and constituents of existing
Languages. It is the purpose of the present papers to correct these
false notions. In order to do so--and, what is essential to this, to
present a clear exposition of the true character of the Language under
consideration, and of its relations to the Lingual Structures of the
past and present--it is necessary to give a preliminary examination to
the fundamental question of the Origin of Speech. By means of this
examination we shall come to understand that the existence and general
use of a Universal Language with the elements of which Nature has
herself furnished us, would not involve the abrupt or total abandonment
of the Tongues now commonly employed; but, on the contrary, while
preserving all that is substantially valuable in each, would enable us
to acquire a knowledge of them with a facility which Comparative
Philology, as now developed, lays no claim to impart.

How, then, did Language originate? In setting out to answer this
question, Professor Max Müller says, in his _Lectures on the Science of
Language_:[A]

[Footnote A: Lectures on the Science of Language, delivered at the Royal
Institution of Great Britain, in April, May, and June, 1861, by Max
Müller, M. A. From the second London edition, revised. New York: Charles
Scribner, 124 Grand street. 1862.]

     'If we were asked the riddle how images of the eye and all the
     sensations of our senses could be represented by sounds, nay, could
     be so embodied in sounds as to express thought and to excite
     thought, we should probably give it up as the question of a madman,
     who, mixing up the most heterogeneous subjects, attempted to change
     color and sound into thought. Yet this is the riddle we have now to
     solve.

     'It is quite clear that we have no means of solving the problem of
     the origin of language _historically_, or of explaining it as a
     matter of fact which happened once in a certain locality and at a
     certain time. History does not begin till long after mankind had
     acquired the power of language, and even the most ancient
     traditions are silent as to the manner in which man came in
     possession of his earliest thoughts and words. Nothing, no doubt,
     would be more interesting than to know from historical documents
     the exact process by which the first man began to lisp his first
     words, and thus to be rid forever of all the theories on the origin
     of speech. But this knowledge is denied us; and, if it had been
     otherwise, we should probably be quite unable to understand those
     primitive events in the history of the human mind. We are told that
     the first man was the son of God, that God created him in His own
     image, formed him of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his
     nostrils the breath of life. These are simple facts, and to be
     accepted as such; if we begin to reason on them, the edge of the
     human understanding glances off. Our mind is so constituted that it
     cannot apprehend the absolute beginning or the absolute end of
     anything. If we tried to conceive the first man created as a child,
     and gradually unfolding his physical and mental powers, we could
     not understand his living for _one_ day without supernatural aid.
     If, on the contrary, we tried to conceive the first man created
     full-grown in body and mind; the conception of an effect without a
     cause, of a full-grown mind without a previous growth, would
     equally transcend our reasoning powers. It is the same with the
     first beginnings of language. Theologians who claim for language a
     divine origin, ... when they enter into any details as to the
     manner in which they suppose Deity to have compiled a dictionary
     and grammar in order to teach them to the first man, as a
     schoolmaster teaches the deaf and dumb, ... have explained no more
     than how the first man might have learnt a language, if there was a
     language ready made for him. How that language was made would
     remain as great a mystery as ever. Philosophers, on the contrary,
     who imagine that the first man, though left to himself, would
     gradually have emerged from a state of mutism and have invented
     words for every new conception that arose in his mind, forget that
     man could not, by his own power, have acquired _the faculty_ of
     speech, which is the distinctive character of mankind, unattained
     and unattainable by the mute creation. It shows a want of
     appreciation as to the real bearings of our problem, if
     philosophers appeal to the fact that children are born without
     language, and gradually emerge from mutism to the full command of
     articulate speech.... Children, in learning to speak, do not invent
     language. Language is there ready made for them. It has been there
     for thousands of years. They acquire the use of a language, and, as
     they grow up, they may acquire the use of a second and a third. It
     is useless to inquire whether infants, left to themselves, would
     invent a language.... All we know for certain is, that an English
     child, if left to itself, would never begin to speak English, and
     that history supplies no instance of any language having thus been
     invented....

     'Speech is a specific faculty of man. It distinguishes man from all
     other creatures; and if we wish to acquire more definite ideas as
     to the real nature of human speech, all we can do is to compare man
     with those animals that seem to come nearest to him, and thus to
     try to discover what he shares in common with these animals, and
     what is peculiar to him, and to him alone. After we have discovered
     this we may proceed to inquire into the conditions under which
     speech becomes possible, and we shall then have done all that we
     can do, considering that the instruments of our knowledge,
     wonderful as they are, are yet too weak to carry us into all the
     regions to which we may soar on the wings of our imagination.'

As the result of a comparison of the human with the animal kingdom,
Professor Müller remarks that, 'no one can doubt that certain animals
possess all the physical acquirements for articulate speech. There is no
letter of the alphabet which a parrot will not learn to pronounce. The
fact, therefore, that the parrot is without a language of his own, must
be explained by a difference between the _mental_, not between the
_physical_ faculties of the animal and man; and it is by a comparison of
the mental faculties alone, such as we find them in man and brutes, that
we may hope to discover what constitutes the indispensable qualification
for language, a qualification to be found in man alone, and in no other
creature on earth.'

Of mental faculties, the author whose ideas we are stating, claims a
large share for the higher animals. 'These animals have _sensation_,
_perception_, _memory_, _will_, and _intellect_, only we must restrict
intellect to the comparing or interlacing of single perceptions.' But
man transcends in his mental powers the barriers of the brute intellect
at a point which coincides with the starting-point of language. And in
this coincidence Professor Müller endeavors to find a sufficiently
fundamental explanation of the problem of the origin of language.

In reference to this point of coincidence, he quotes Locke as saying
that, 'the having of general ideas is that which puts a perfect
distinction betwixt man and brutes, and is an excellency which the
faculties of brutes do by no means attain to,' and then adds:

     'If Locke is right in considering the having of general ideas as
     the distinguishing feature between man and brutes, and, if we
     ourselves are right in pointing to language as the one palpable
     distinction between the two, it would seem to follow that language
     is the outward sign and realization of that inward faculty which
     is called the faculty of abstraction, but which is better known to
     us by the homely name of reason.

     'Let us now look back to the result of former lectures. It was
     this: After we had explained everything in the growth of language
     that can be explained, there remained in the end, as the only
     inexplicable residuum, what we called _roots_. These roots formed
     the constituent elements of all languages.... What, then, are these
     roots?'

Two theories have been started to solve this problem: the Onomatopoetic,
according to which roots are imitations of sounds; and the
Interjectional, which regards them as involuntary ejaculations. Having
discussed these theories, and taken the position that, although there
are roots in every language which are respectively imitations of sounds
and involuntary exclamations, it is, nevertheless, impossible to regard
any considerable number of roots, and much less, all roots, as
originating from these sources, the distinguished Philologist announces
as the true theory, that every root 'expresses a general, not an
individual, idea;' just the opposite of what he deems would be the case
if the Onomatopoetic and Interjectional theories explained the origin of
speech.

Some paragraphs are then devoted to the examination of the merits of a
controversy which has existed among philosophers as to

     'whether language originated in general appellations, or in proper
     names. It is the question of the _primum cognitum_, and its
     consideration will help us perhaps in discovering the true nature
     of the root, or the _primum appellatum_. Some philosophers, among
     whom I may mention Locke, Condillac, Adam Smith, Dr. Brown, and,
     with some qualification, Dugald Stewart, maintain that all terms,
     as at first employed, are expressive of individual objects. I quote
     from Adam Smith. 'The assignation,' he says, 'of particular names
     to denote particular objects, that is, the institution of nouns
     substantive, would probably be one of the first steps toward the
     formation of language.... The particular cave whose covering
     sheltered them from the weather, the particular tree whose fruit
     relieved their hunger, the particular fountain whose water allayed
     their thirst, would first be denominated by the words _cave_,
     _tree_, _fountain_, or by whatever other appellations they might
     think proper, in that primitive jargon, to mark them. Afterward,
     when the more enlarged experience of these savages had led them to
     observe, and their necessary occasions obliged them to make mention
     of, other caves, and other trees, and other fountains, they would
     naturally bestow upon each of those new objects the same name by
     which they had been accustomed to express the similar object they
     were first acquainted with.''

This view of the primitive formation of thought and language, is
diametrically opposed to the theory held by Leibnitz, who maintained
that 'general terms are necessary for the essential constitution of
languages.' 'Children,' he says, 'and those who know but little of the
language which they attempt to speak, or little of the subject on which
they would employ it, make use of general terms, as _thing_, _plant_,
_animal_, instead of using proper names, of which they are destitute.
And it is certain that all proper or individual names have been
originally appellative or general.'

Notwithstanding the contradictory and seemingly antagonistic nature of
these positions, Professor Müller shows that they are not
irreconcilable.

     'Adam Smith is no doubt right, when he says that the first
     individual cave which is called cave, gave the name to all other
     caves; ... and the history of almost every substantive might be
     cited in support of his view. But Leibnitz is equally right when,
     in looking beyond the first emergence of such names as cave, town,
     or palace, he asks how such names could have arisen. Let us take
     the Latin names of cave. A cave in Latin is called _antrum_,
     _cavea_, _spelunca_. Now _antrum_ means really the same as
     _internum_. Antar, in Sanskrit means _between_ or _within_.
     _Antrum_, therefore, meant originally what is within or inside the
     earth or anything else. It is clear, therefore, that such a name
     could not have been given to any individual cave, unless the
     general idea of being within, or inwardness, had been present in
     the mind. This general idea once formed, and once expressed by the
     pronominal root _an_ or _antar_, the process of naming is clear and
     intelligible. The place where the savage could live safe from rain
     and from the sudden attacks of wild beasts, a natural hollow in the
     rock, he would call his _within_, his _antrum_; and afterward
     similar places, whether dug in the earth or cut in a tree, would be
     designated by the same name ... Let us take another word for cave,
     which is _cavea_ or _caverna_. Here again Adam Smith would be
     perfectly right in maintaining that this name, when first given,
     was applied to one particular cave, and was afterward extended to
     other caves. But Leibnitz would be equally right in maintaining
     that in order to call even the first hollow _cavea_, it was
     necessary that the general idea of hollow should have been formed
     in the mind, and should have received its vocal expression _cav_
     ...

     _'The first thing really known is the general. It is through it
     that we know and name afterward individual objects of which any
     general idea can be predicated, and it is only in the third stage
     that these individual objects, thus known and named, become again
     the representatives of whole classes, and their names or proper
     names are raised into appellatives.'_

The italics in the last paragraph are my own.

But the name of a thing, runs the argument, meant originally that by
which we know a thing. And how do we know things? Knowing is more than
perceiving by our senses, which convey to us information about single
things only. 'To _know_ is more than to feel, than to perceive, more
than to remember, more than to compare. We know a thing if we are able
to bring it, and [or?] any part of it, under more general ideas.' The
facts of nature are perceived by our senses; the thoughts of nature, to
borrow an expression of Oersted's, can be conceived by our reason only.
The first step toward this real knowledge is the '_naming of a thing_,
or the making a thing knowable;' and it is this step which separates man
forever from all other animals. For all naming is classification,
bringing the individual under the general; and whatever we know, whether
empirically or scientifically, we know it only by means of our general
ideas. Other animals have sensation, perception, memory, and, in a
certain sense, intellect; but all these, in the animal, are conversant
with single objects only. Man has, in addition to these, reason, and it
is his reason only that is conversant with general ideas.

     'At the very point where man parts company with the brute world, at
     the first flash of reason as the manifestation of the light within
     us, there we see the true genius of language. Analyze any word you
     like, and you will find that it expressed a general idea peculiar
     to the individual to which the name belongs. What is the meaning of
     moon?--the measurer. What is the meaning of sun?--the begetter ...

     'If the serpent is called in Sanskrit _sarpa_, it is because it was
     conceived under the general idea of creeping, an idea expressed by
     the word _srip_. But the serpent was also called _ahi_ in Sanskrit,
     in Greek _echis_ or _echidna_, in Latin _anguis_. This name is
     derived from quite a different root and idea. The root is _ah_ in
     Sanskrit, or _anh_, which means to press together, to choke, to
     throttle. Here the distinguishing mark from which the serpent was
     named was his throttling, and _ahi_ meant serpent, as expressing
     the general idea of throttler. It is a curious root this _anh_, and
     it still lives in several modern words. In Latin it appears as
     _ango_, _anxi_, _anctum_, to strangle, in _angina_, quinsy, in
     _angor_, suffocation. But _angor_ meant not only quinsy or
     compression of the neck; it assumed a moral import, and signifies
     anguish or anxiety. The two adjectives _angustus_, narrow, and
     _anxius_, uneasy, both come from the same source. In Greek the root
     retained its natural and material meaning; in _eggys_, near, and
     _echis_, serpent, throttler. But in Sanskrit it was chosen with
     great truth as the proper name for sin. Evil no doubt presented
     itself under various aspects to the human mind, and its names are
     many; but none so expressive as those derived from our root _anh_,
     to throttle. _Anhas_ in Sanskrit means sin, but it does so only
     because it meant originally throttling--the consciousness of sin
     being like the grasp of the assassin on the throat of his victim
     ... This _anhas_ is the same word as the Greek _agos_, sin ... The
     English _anguish_ is from the French _angoisse_, the Italian
     _angoscia_, a corruption of the Latin _angustiæ_, a strait ... _Mâ_
     in Sanskrit means to measure, from which we had the name of the
     moon. _Man_, a derivative root, means to think. From this we have
     the Sanskrit _manu_, originally thinker, then man. In the later
     Sanskrit we find derivatives, such as _mânava_, _mânusha_,
     _manushya_, all expressing man. In Gothic we find both _man_ and
     _mannisks_, the modern German _mann_ and _mensch_.'

And now we are brought by the author of _The Science of Language_ to the
great question to which the foregoing is merely preparatory, to the
fundamental consideration of Philological research: 'How can sound
express thought? How did roots become the signs of general ideas? How
was the abstract idea of measuring expressed by _mâ_, the idea of
thinking by _man_? How did _gâ_ come to mean going, _sthâ_ standing,
_sad_ sitting, _dâ_ giving, _mar_ dying, _char_ walking, _kar_ doing?'
Here is his answer:

     'The four or five hundred roots which remain as the constituent
     elements in different families of languages are not interjections,
     nor are they imitations. They are _phonetic types_, produced by a
     power inherent in nature. They exist, as Plato would say, by
     nature; though with Plato we should add that, when we say by
     nature, we mean by the hand of God. There is a law which runs
     through nearly the whole of nature, that everything which is struck
     rings. Each substance has its peculiar ring. We can tell the more
     or less perfect structure of metals by their vibrations, by the
     answer which they give. Gold rings differently from tin, wood rings
     differently from stone; and different sounds are produced according
     to the nature of each percussion. It was the same with man, the
     most highly organized of nature's works. Man, in his primitive and
     perfect state, was not only endowed, like the brute, with the power
     of expressing his sensations by interjections, and his perceptions
     by onomatopoieia. He possessed likewise the faculty of giving more
     articulate expression to the rational conceptions of his mind. That
     faculty was not of his own making. It was an instinct, an instinct
     of the mind as irresistible as any other instinct. So far as
     language is the production of that instinct, it belongs to the
     realm of nature. Man loses his instincts as he ceases to want them.
     His senses become fainter when, as in the case of scent, they
     become useless. Thus the creative faculty which gave to each
     conception, as it thrilled for the first time through the brain, a
     phonetic expression, became extinct when its object was fulfilled.
     The number of these _phonetic types_ must have been almost infinite
     in the beginning, and it was only through the same process of
     _natural elimination_ which we observed in the early history of
     words, that clusters of roots, more or less synonymous, were
     gradually reduced to one definite type.'

Professor Max Müller occupies a commanding position in the foremost rank
of the students of Philology. His work on _The Science of Language_,
from which the preceding discussion of the Origin of Speech is taken,
is, so far as I am aware, the latest volume treating of the problem in
question which has issued from what is commonly regarded as high
authority in the department of Language. It is to that volume,
therefore, that we are to look for the last word of elucidation which
the Comparative Philologist can furnish respecting it. And it is for
this reason--in order that we might have before us the results of the
latest research of the schools--that the exposition of the Origin of
Language given in the work referred to has been so fully stated.

Where, then, does this explanation of the problem leave us? Does it go
to the bottom of the matter? Is it sufficiently distinct and
satisfactory? In brief, does it give us any clear understanding of the
Origin of Speech? Does it not rather leave us at the crucial point of
the whole inquiry, with the essence and core of the subject untouched
and shrouded in mystery? Some indefinite hundreds of roots, obtained, it
is assumed, by means of some indescribable and unknown mental instinct!
This is the sober and contented answer of Philology to the investigator
who would know of the Sources of Language, and its constituent elements.
But of the component parts of these roots--the true and fundamental
constituent elements of Speech, without a knowledge of which there can
be no basic and conclusive comprehension of the meaning of roots--and of
the nature of the method by which these elements become expressive of
thoughts or ideas, there is no word. Language, as it now rests in the
hands of the Comparative Philologists, is in the same state that
Chemistry was when Earth, Air, Fire, and Water were supposed to be the
ultimate constituent elements of Matter, ere a single real ultimate
element was known as such. But Chemistry, _as a science_, had no
existence prior to the discovery of the simple constituents of Physical
creation. In like manner, a _Science_ of Language must be founded on a
knowledge of the nature and _meaning_ of the simple elements of Speech.
Until this knowledge is in our possession it is only on the outskirts of
the subject that we are able to tread. Roots are, it is true, the actual
bases of Language, so far as its concrete, working, or synthetical
structure is concerned; in the same sense that _compound_ substances are
the main constituents found in the Universe as it really and naturally
exists. But, although the proportion of simple chemical elements, in the
real constitution of things, is small, as compared with that of compound
substances; yet it is only by our ability to separate compound
substances into these elements that we arrive at an understanding of
their true character and place in the realm of Matter. So it is only by
our ability to analyze roots--the compound constituents of
Language--into the prime elements which have, except rarely, no
distinctive and individual embodiment in it, that we can hope to gain a
clear comprehension of the nature of Language itself, or of its most
primitive concrete or composite foundations.

Comparative Philology furnishes us with admirable guidance--so far as it
goes. But we do not wish to stop at the terminus which it seems to
consider a satisfactory one. The final answer it offers us, we do not
regard as final. We gladly accept the analysis of Language down to its
Roots. But we wish to analyze Roots also. That the Moon derives its name
from being regarded as the _Measurer_ of time; and Man, from the notion
of _thinking_; that an (_anh_) is a widely-diffused root, signifying
_pressure_; and that _gâ_ denotes _going_; with similar expositions, is
valuable information, and takes us a great way toward the goal of our
seeking. But the question of questions relating to Language is not
answered by it. Why should the abstract idea of measuring be expressed
by _mâ_; and that of thinking by _man_? How did _an_ come to signify
pressure; and _gâ_, going? Is there any special relationship between
these roots and the ideas which they respectively indicate? Or was it by
chance merely that they were adopted in connection with each other?
Might _dâ_ just as meet have been taken to denote doing, and _kar_,
giving, as _vice versa_? Has the root _an_ any distinguishing
characteristics peculiarly fitting it to suggest _choking_ or
_pressure_? Or might that notion have been equally well expressed by
_sthâ_?

It is at this fundamental stage of the investigation, whence a true
_Science_ of Language must take its departure, that the labors and
disclosures of Comparative Philology cease; leaving the problem of the
Origin of Language involved in the same state of unintelligibility with
which it has always been surrounded. It is just at this point, however,
that the SCIENTIFIC UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE previously noticed begins its
developments. By means of its assistance we may hope, therefore, to
arrive at a satisfactory solution of the problem in question, and,
through this solution, at a clear understanding of the more specific
objects of our present inquiry. Before approaching this main object--the
exposition of the general character of the NEW SCIENTIFIC UNIVERSAL
LANGUAGE and its relations to existing Tongues--and still in aid of that
purpose, I must offer some further comments upon the excerpts already
made from 'The Science of Language;' and upon a few other points which
remain to be extracted from that work.

Of the four or five hundred roots which remain, the insoluble residuum
(so thought by Professor Müller) of Language, after eliminating the
immense mass of variable and soluble material, he says: 1. That 'they
are _phonetic types_ produced by a power inherent in human nature;' 2.
'Man, in his primitive and perfect state, was not only endowed like the
brute with the power of expressing his sensations by interjections, and
his perceptions by onomatopoieia [mere imitation of sound]. He possessed
_likewise_ the power of giving _more articulate_ expression to the
_rational conceptions of his mind_.' The italics here are, again, my
own, introduced for more emphasis and more ready reference to the
central thought of the writer. 3. 'That faculty was not of his own
making. It was an instinct, an instinct of the mind, as irresistible as
any other instinct. So far as language is the production of that
instinct, it belongs to the realm of nature. Man loses his instincts as
he ceases to want them. His senses become fainter when, as in the case
of scent, they become useless. Thus the creative faculty which gave to
each conception, as it thrilled for the first time through the brain, a
phonetic expression, became extinct when its object was fulfilled.' 4.
'The number of these _phonetic types_ [root-syllables] must have been
almost infinite in the beginning, and it was only through the same
process of _natural elimination_ which we observed in the early history
of words, that clusters of roots more or less synonymous, were gradually
reduced to one definite type.'

Professor Müller, in stopping with root-syllables (to the number of four
or five hundred), as the _least_ or ultimate elements to which Language
can be reduced, has, naturally enough, and along with all Comparative
Philologists hitherto, committed the error of _insufficient analysis_;
an error of precisely the same kind which the founders of Syllabic
Alphabets have committed, as compared with the work of Cadmus, or any
founder of a veritable alphabet. The true and radical analysis carries
us back in both cases to the _Primitive Individual Sounds_, the Vowels
and Consonants of which Language is composed.

It is clear enough that the analysis must be carried to the very
ultimate in order to reach the true foundation for an effective and
sufficient alphabetic _Representation_ of Language. Precisely the same
necessity is upon us in order that we may lay a secure and adequate
foundation for a _True Science of Language_. This will explain more
fully what was meant in a preceding paragraph, when it was stated that
the labors of Mr. Andrews begin, in this department of Language, just
where the labors of the whole school of Comparative Philologists have
ended. He first completes the analysis of Language, by going down and
back to the Phonetic _Elements_, the ulterior roots, the Vowels and
Consonants of Language. Then by putting Nature to the crucial test, so
to speak, to compel her to disclose the hidden meaning with which each
of these absolute (ultimate) Elements of Speech is inherently laden, he
discovers--what might readily be an _à priori_ conception--that these
_Elements_, and not any compound root-syllables whatsoever, are the true
'_Phonetic Types_,' representative in Nature of '_the Rational
Conceptions_ of the human mind.'

The ultimate Rational Conceptions of the Human Mind are confessedly,
among all Philosophers of the Mind, not four or five hundred, but like
the Alphabetic Sounds of Language, a mere handful in number. Precisely
how many they are and how they are best distributed has not been agreed
upon. Aristotle classed them as _Ten_. Kant tells us there are _Twelve_
only of the Categories of the Understanding. Spencer, while finding the
Ultimate of Ultimates in the idea of _Force_ alone, admits its immediate
expansion into this handful of Primitive Conceptions, but without
attempting their inventory or classification. The discoverer of
UNIVERSOLOGY, first settling and establishing the fact that the Elements
of Sound in Speech are the natural Phonetic Types, equal in number to
the inventory of the Primitive Rational Conceptions of the Human Mind,
is then enabled to work the new discovery backward, and, by the aid of
the classifications which Nature herself has clearly introduced among
these Sounds (into Vowels, Consonants, Liquids, etc.), to arrive at a
classification of all the Primitive Rational Conceptions, which cannot
fail to be completely satisfactory and final. The same discovery leads,
therefore, to the reconstruction of the Science of Language, on the one
hand, and of Ontology, the Science of the highest Metaphysical domain,
on the other.

But, again, it is one of the demonstrations of UNIVERSOLOGY that all
careers, that of the development of the Human Mind among others, pass
through three Successive Stages correspondential with each other in the
different domains of Being. As respects the Mind, these are: 1.
_Intuitional_ (or Instinctive); 2. _Intellectual_ (or Reflective); and
3. _Composite_ (or Integral). It is another of these demonstrations that
the Intuitional (_Unismal_) development of Mind, and the Intellectual
(_Duismal_), proceed in opposite courses or directions; so that the
highest _Intellectual_ development reaches and investigates _in its own
way_ just those questions with which the _Intuitional_ development
('Instinct,' as Professor Müller denominates it) began; and which, in
the very earliest times, it disposed of in _its_ appropriate way _as if_
finally.

By this means, the road having been passed over completely in both
directions, the way is prepared for the inauguration of the third or
Integral Stage, which consists in putting the road intelligently to all
its possible uses.

To apply these statements to the instance before us, for the elucidation
both of the statements themselves and of the matter to be expounded; it
is the _test labor_ of the highest _Intellectual_ development to come
back upon precisely those recondite points of knowledge which the
nascent _Intuition_ of the race felt or 'smelt' out blindly; and, by the
sight of the Mind's eye, to arrive more lucidly at the understanding of
the same subject. Not that the nature of the Understanding by any two
senses or faculties is ever the same; but that each has _its own method_
of cognizing the same general field of investigation. It is the
_re-investigation_, _intellectually_, of the Relationship of the (true,
not the pseudo) _Phonetic Types_ with the Fundamental Rational
Conceptions of the Human Mind, which is the first step taken by Mr.
Andrews, in laying the basis for the new and coming stage of the
development of the Science of Language.

It is the completion of this Intellectually Analytical process which
offers the _point of incipency_ for the new and immense Lingual
Structure of the future, and the ultimate virtual unification of Human
Speech. It may be quite true, as Professor Müller affirms, that the
Instinctual Development of Language--by which _we_ mean the whole
Lingual History of the Past, with the exception of our present very
imperfect Scientific nomenclatures--has never proved adequate to the
introduction of a single new _root_, since the 'Instinct' exhausted
itself, as he says, in the nascent effort. But it is a pure assumption,
when he supposes, for that reason, that the informed Human Intellect of
the Future will not be competent to constitute thousands of them. It is
just as legitimate as would have been the assumption in the infancy of
Chemistry, that because Nature never _synthetized_ in _her_ laboratory
more than a few simple salts, the modern chemist would never be able to
produce any one of the two thousand salts now known to him. This kind of
assumption is the common error of the expounders of existing science, as
contrasted with the bolder originality of discoverers.

But, again, though it is true that the _Intuitional_ (or Instinctual)
faculty of man has, in a manner, declined, as in the case of the sense
of Smell, while the _Intellect_ (the Analogue of the Eye) has been
developed, still it is assuming too much to say that it utterly fails us
even yet. It remains, like the sense of Smell, an important helper even
in our present investigations. Professor Müller should not, because he
may happen to have a cold, affirm that nobody smells anything any more.
To explain what I mean in this respect, the following extract may serve
as a text:

     'It is curious to observe how apt we are to deceive ourselves when
     we once adopt this system of Onomatopoieia. Who does not imagine
     that he hears in the word 'thunder' an imitation of the rolling and
     rumbling noise which the old Germans ascribed to their god Thor
     playing at nine-pins? Yet _thunder_ is clearly the same word as the
     Latin _tonitru_. The root is _tan_, to stretch. From this root
     _tan_ we have in Greek _tonos_, our tone, _tone_ being produced by
     the stretching and vibrating of cords. In Sanskrit the sound
     thunder is expressed by the same root _tan_; but in the derivatives
     _tanyu_, _tanyatu_, and _tanayitnu_, thundering, we perceive no
     trace of the rumbling noise which we imagined we perceived in the
     Latin _tonitru_ and the English _thunder_. The very same root
     _tan_, to stretch, yields some derivatives which are anything but
     rough and noisy. The English _tender_, the French _tendre_, the
     Latin _tener_ are derived from it. Like _tenuis_, the Sanskrit
     _tanu_, the English _thin_, _tener_ meant originally what was
     extended over a larger surface, then _thin_, then _delicate_. The
     relationship betwixt _tender_, _thin_, and _thunder_ would be hard
     to establish if the original conception of thunder had really been
     its rumbling noise.

     'Who does not imagine that he hears something sweet in the French
     _sucre_, _sucré_? Yet sugar came from India, and it is there called
     _'sarkhara_, which is anything but sweet sounding. This _'sarkhara_
     is the same word as _sugar_; it was called in Latin _saccharum_,
     and we still speak of _saccharine_ juice, which is sugar juice.'

It may appear, on a closer inspection at this point, that it is
Professor Müller who is deceived, and not the common verdict, both in
respect to the question whether such words as _thunder_, _sucré_, etc.,
really do or do not have some inherent and organic relation in the Human
Mind to the ideas of rumbling noise and sweetness respectively; and in
respect to the value and significance of the fact. He has, it would
seem, confounded two separate and distinct questions. 1st. Is there such
a relation between the sound and the sense? and 2d. Were these words
introduced into speech because of that resemblance?

In respect to the latter of these questions, Professor Müller's answer,
so far as the word _thunder_ is concerned, is rather in favor of an
affirmative answer than against it. So far from its being 'hard to
establish the relationship betwixt _tender_, _thin_, and _thunder_,' on
the hypothesis that 'the original conception of thunder had really been
its rumbling noise; 'it is just as easy to establish this relationship
as it is to show the connection between the root _tan_, to stretch, and
its derivatives _tonos_, _tone_, _tendre_, _tener_, _thin_, and
_delicate_;--an undertaking which Professor Müller finds no difficulty
whatever in accomplishing.

The idea of _stretching_ signified by the original root _tan_ has no
_direct_ or _immediate_ connection with any of the conceptions expressed
by the derivative words. But by stretching an object it is diminished in
_breadth_ and _depth_, while it increases in _length_; hence it becomes
_thinner_; so that the Mind readily makes the transition from the
primitive conception of _stretch_ to that of _thinness_, indicated by
the English word, and by the Sanskrit _tanu_, and the Latin _tener_,
_tenuis_. _Thinness_, again, is allied to _slimness_, _slenderness_,
_fineness_, etc.; ideas which are involved in the conception of
_delicate_, and furnish an easy transition to it.

But it is also from the notion of _stretching_, though in a still less
direct manner, that we gain an idea of sound as conveyed by musical
tones; '_tone_,' as Professor Müller remarks, 'being produced by the
_stretching_ and vibrating of cords.' Still further: if we cause a heavy
piece of cord to vibrate, or, what is better, the bass string of a
violin or guitar, or strike a very low key on the piano, and pronounce
the word _tone_ in a full voice at the same time, the remarkable
similarity of the two sounds thus produced will be clearly apparent.
Thus the root _tan_, to stretch, becomes also expressive of the idea of
_sound_ as seen in the words _tonos_, _tone_, _tonitru_, _thunder_, etc.
But what is especially to be noticed is this: that in those derivatives
of _tan_, to stretch, which are _not_ indicative of ideas of sound (as
_tenuis_, thin, etc.), the sounds of the words do _not_ cause us to
imagine that we hear the imitation of noise; while in those derivatives
which _are_ expressive of it, we not only imagine that we _do_ hear it,
but, in the case of _tonos_ and _tone_ at least, have an instance in
which we _know_ that the word employed to convey the idea is a
proximately perfect representation of the sound out of which the idea
arose. Even in _tanyu_, _tanyatu_, _tanayitnu_, thundering, in which
Professor Müller affirms that 'we perceive no trace of the rumbling
noise which we imagined we perceived in the Latin _tonitru_ and the
English _thunder_'--although he seems to admit that it is perceptible in
the Sanskrit word for thunder expressed by the same root _tan_--the
reason why we cannot trace it may be because of the terminations, which,
as it were, absorb the sound that is there, although less obviously, in
the _tan_, or shade it off so that it becomes diluted and hardly
traceable.

Vowel Sounds are so fluctuating and evanescent that they go for
comparatively little in questions of Etymology. _Tan_ is equivalent to
T--n; the place of the dash being filled by any vowel. _T_ is readily
replaced by _th_ or _d_, and _n_ by _ng_; as is known to every
Philological student. The object, which in English we call _tin_, and
its name, are peculiar and important in this connection, as combining
the two ideas in question: 1st, that of outstretched surface or
_thinness_; and, 2d, that of a persistent tendency to give forth just
that species of sound which we call, by a slight shade of difference in
the form of the word, a _din_. The Latin _tintinnabulum_, a little bell,
and the English _tinkle_, the sound made by a little bell, are among the
words which are readily recognized as having a natural relation to a
certain trivial variety of sound. The English _ding-dong_ and
_ding-dong-bell_ are well-known imitations of sound; and are, at the
same time, etymologically, mere modifications of the root under
consideration. As _tone_ and _strain_ or _stretch_ are related in idea,
as seen in the case of musical notes or tones, is it not as probable
that the original root-word of which _tan_, _ton_, _thun_, _tin_, _din_,
_ding_, _dong_, etc., are mere variations, took its rise from the
imitation of sound, as it is that the fact of _strain_ or _stretch_ was
the first to be observed and to obtain the name from which, afterward
and accidentally, so to speak, were derived words which confessedly
have a relation in their own sound to other and external sounds, as in
the case of thunder, musical tone, the sheet of tin, and the bell? Is it
not, in fact, more probable?

In respect to the question whether _sucre_ and _sucré_ were introduced
into Language because of their resemblance to the idea of sweetness,
Professor Müller gives a valid negative answer. He shows that the word
is derived from the Sanskrit _'sarkhara_, 'which,' as he says, 'is
anything but sweet sounding.'

The question whether the words under consideration (_sucre_, _sucré_)
are really sweet-sounding words, Professor Müller decides by implication
in the affirmative, and, perhaps, quite unconsciously, by the very act
of contrasting them with another word which, as he affirms, is not at
all sweet sounding.

But this is by far the more important point than that of the mere
historical genesis of the word; and a point which really touches vitally
the whole question of the nature and Origin of Language.

How should any word be either _sweet-sounding_ or _not sweet-sounding_?
Sound is a something which has no _taste_, and sweetness is a something
which makes no _noise_. Now the very gist and crux of this whole
question of Language consists in confounding or not confounding a case
like this with _mere_ Onomatopoieia, or the direct and simple imitation
of one sound by another. All that Professor Müller says against the
Origin of Language in this 'bow-wow' way is exceedingly well said; and
it is important that it should be said. But unconsciously he is now
confounding with the Bow-wow, something else and totally different; and
something which is just as vital and profound in regard to the whole
question of the origin and true basis of the reconstruction of Language,
as the thing with which he confounds it is trivial and superficial.

The point is so important that I beg the reader's best attention to it,
in order that he may become fully seized of the idea.

I can imitate very closely the buzz of a bee, by forcing the breath
through my nearly-touching teeth. A mimic can imitate the natural sounds
of many animals, and other sounds heard in Nature. This _mere imitation_
is what Lingual Scholars have dignified by the high-sounding and rather
repulsive technicality, _Onomatopoieia_. In the early and simple period
of Lingual Science much has been made, in striving to account for the
Origin of Language, of this faculty of imitation, and of the fact that
there are undoubtedly certain words in every language consisting of such
imitations. It is against this simple and superficial theory that
Professor Müller has argued so well. But in these words _sucre_,
_sucré_, incautiously included by him as instances of the same thing, we
are in the presence of a very different problem. To imitate one sound by
another sound is a mere simple, external, and trivial imitation;
onomatopoieia, and nothing more than that. But to imitate a _sound_, by
a _taste_, or to recognize that such an imitation has occurred, is a
testimony to the existence of that recondite and all-important _echo of
likeness_ through domains of Being themselves the most unlike, which we
call ANALOGY.

That we do recognize such _analogy_ or _correspondence of meaning_, that
Professor Müller himself does so, is admitted when he tells us that
another form of the words in question is 'not at all sweet-sounding.' It
is not in this perception, therefore, that we deceive ourselves, but
only in supposing that these particular words came to mean sugar,
_because_ they were sweet-sounding. That there is this perception of the
analogy in question is again confessed by the fact that we have the same
feeling in respect to the German _süsse_, sweet; while the English words
_sugar_ and _sweet_, notwithstanding any greater familiarity of
association, do not convey the same ideas in the same marked degree.
The words _mellifluous_ (honey-flowing) and _melody_ (honey-sound) are
themselves standing witnesses in behalf of the existence of the same
perception. The fact that we instinctually speak of a _sweet_ voice, is
another witness.

If, then, there is an echo of likeness (real analogy) between these two
unlike spheres of Thought and Being, _Sound_ and _Taste_, may there not
be precisely a similar echo through other and all spheres; so that there
shall be a Something in Number, in Form, in Chemical Constitution, in
the Properties of Mind, in Ultimate Rational Conceptions, in fine, that
echoes to this idea, which, by a stretch of the powers of Language, we
call _sweet_, both in respect to Sound and Taste? May it not have been
precisely this Something and the other handful of primitive Somethings,
each with its multitudinous echoes, that the _Nascent Intuition_ of the
race laid hold of and availed itself of _irreflectively_ for laying the
foundations of Speech? Again, may it not happen that the _Reflective
Intellect_ should in turn discover _intelligently_ (or _reflectively_)
just that _underlying_ system of Analogy which the primitive Instinct
was competent to appreciate unintelligently; and, by the greater
clearness of this intelligent perception, be able to elevate the Science
of Language, and found it upon a new and constructive, instead of upon
this merely instinctual plane? To all these questions the
Universologists return an affirmative answer. They go farther, and aver
that this great intellectual undertaking is now fully achieved, and is
only awaiting the opportunity for elaborate demonstration and
promulgation.

A word further on this subject. To pronounce the words _sucre_, _sucré_,
_süsse_, the lips are necessarily pinched or perked up, in a certain
exquisite way, as if we were sucking something very gratifying to the
taste. This consideration carries us over to the further analogy with
_shapes_ or _forms_, and, hence, with the Organic or Mechanical
production of sounds; another grand element, the main one, in fact, of
the whole investigation.

Among the infinite contingencies of the origin and successive
modifications of words, it is very possible that the word _'sarkhara_,
although meaning sugar in a particular tongue, may not have primarily
related to its property of sweetness; and that, therefore, its phonetic
form should not be accordant with that property. It may have meant the
_cane-plant_, for instance, before its sweetness was known. Then it is
possible that a derivative and modified form of the same word should
happen to drift into that precise phonetic; form which is accordant with
that property. But the marvel, and the point of importance is, that so
soon as this happens, the 'instinct' of the race, even that of Professor
Müller himself, remains good enough to recognize the fact. 'Who does not
imagine,' he says, 'that he hears something sweet in the French _sucre_,
_sucré_?' But why do we all imagine that we hear what does not exist?
The uniformity of the imagination proves it to be a _real_ perception.
If the universal consciousness of mankind be not valid evidence, where
shall we hope to find it?

The consideration of Analogy as existing between the Ultimate Elements
of Sound and Ultimate Rational Conceptions will be the subject of the
next paper.



FLOWER ODORS.


There is a sheltered nook in a certain garden, where, on a sunny spring
morning, the passer-by inhales with startled pleasure the very soul of
the 'sweet south,' and, stooping down, far in among brown and crackling
leaves, lo the blue hoods of English violets! The fragrance of the
violet! What flower scent is like it? Does not the subtle
sweetness--half caught, half lost upon the wind--at times sweep over one
a vague and thrilling tenderness, an exquisite emotion, partly grief and
partly mild delight?

The violet is the poet's darling, perhaps because its frail breath seems
to waft from out the delicate blue petals the rare imaginings native to
a poet's soul.

May it not be that thus, in the eloquence of perfume, it is but
rendering to him who can best respond thereto, a revelation of its inner
essences?--showing, to him who can comprehend the sign, a reason why it
grows.

Is this too fanciful? Certainly the violet was not made in vain--and in
the Eternal Correspondence known to higher intelligences than our own,
there surely must exist a grand and beautiful Flower lore, wherein each
blossom has an individual word to speak, a lesson to unfold, by form and
coloring, and, more than all, by exhaled fragrance.

Doubtless there is a mystery here too deep for us in this gross world to
wholly understand; but can we not search after knowledge? Would we not
like to grasp an enjoyment less merely of the senses from the geranium's
balm and the mayflower's spice?

And notice here how strongly association binds us by the sense of
smell--the sense so closely connected with the brain that, through its
instrumentality, the mind, it is said, is quickest reached, is soonest
moved. So that when perfumes quiver through us, are we oftenest
constrained to blush and smile, or shrink and shiver. Perhaps through
perfumes also memory knocks the loudest on our heart-doors; until it has
come to pass that unto scented handkerchief or withering leaf has been
given full power to fire the eye or blanch the cheek; while from secret
drawers one starts appalled at flower breaths, stifling, shut up long
ago. The sprays themselves might drop unheeded down--dead with the young
hopes that laid them there--but the old-time emotion wraps one yet in
that undying--ah, how sickening! fragrance.

So in the very nature of the task proposed is couched assistance, since
thus to the breath of the flowers does association lend its own
interpretation, driving deep the sharpest stings or dropping down the
richest consolation through the most humble plants. But is this the end
of the matter? Is there not, apart from all that our personal interest
may discover, in each flower an unchanging address all its own--an
unvaried salutation proffered ever to the world at large? Why is a
passion wafted through a nosegay? What purifies the air around a lily?
And why are bridal robes rich with orange blooms?

Surely poetry and tradition have but here divined certain truths,
omnipotent behind a veil, and recognized their symbols in these chosen
blossoms?

But if the flowers are truly types, how should they be interpreted?

There are hints laid in their very structure and outer semblance, hints
afforded also by art and romance from time immemorial; and all these,
suggestions of the hidden wisdom, must be gathered patiently and wrought
out to a fuller clearness, through careful attention to the intuitions
of one's own awakened imagination.

But what expression can be found for the _soul_ of a flower--for the
evanescent odor that floats upon us only with the dimmest mists of
meaning?

In a novel of a few years since, a people dwelling in Mid Africa are
described as skilled in the acts of a singular civilization, and
especial mention is made of an instrument analogous to an organ, but
which evoked perfumes instead of musical sounds. A curious idea, but
possibly giving the nearest representation to be made of the effect of
odor: by its help, then, by regarding flowers as instruments whose
fragrant utterances might be as well conveyed in music, we may be able
to translate aright the effluence that stirs beyond the reach of speech.

Let us now try to distinguish, if only for a pleasant pastime, some few
favorite strains in those wonderful, _unheard_ melodies with which our
gardens ring.

Hear first the roses. The beautiful blush rose, opening fresh and rosy
on a dewy June morning, echoes gleefully the birds' 'secret jargoning.'

The saffron tea-rose is an exotic of exotics, and the daintiest of fine
ladies bears it in her jewelled fingers to the opera, and there imbues
it with the languid ecstasy of an Italian melody. The aroma, floating
round those creamy buds, vibrates to the impassioned agony of artistic
luxury--to the pleasurable pain that dies away in rippling undulations
of the tones.

But the red rose is dyed deep with simpler passion. War notes are hers,
but not trumpet tongued, as they pour from out the fiery cactus. No; it
is as if a woman's heart thrilled through the red rose to sadden the
reveille for country and for God!--an irrepressible undertone of
mourning surging over the anguish that must surely come.

Love songs belong, too, to the damask rose, but love still set to
martial chords, wrung, as it were, from heroes' wives, in a rapture of
patriotic sacrifice.

The white roses are St. Cecilia's, and swell to organ strains; all but
that whitest rose, so wan and fragile, which haunts old shady gardens,
and never seems to have been there when all things were in their prime,
but to have blossomed out of the surrounding decay and fading
loveliness. From its bowed head falls drearily upon the ear a low lament
over the departed life it would commemorate.

With roses comes the honeysuckle--the real New England one--brimful of
nutmeg; and the sweetbriar, piquant with a _L'Allegro_ strain left by
Milton. Then the laburnum, which, dripping gold, drips honey likewise,
and the locust clusters, and the wistaria, dropping lusciousness.

These are all joy-bells evidently, outbursts of the bliss of nature, but
the garb of the wistaria is more sober than her brilliant sisters, whose
attire is bright and shining.

There are flowers that seem set to sacred music. Lilies, white and
sweet, which, from the Lily of the Annunciation to the lily of the
valley, are hallowed by every reverent fancy; for

  'In the beauty of the lilies
  Christ was born across the sea.'

And the little white verbena, which recalls, in some mystic way, the old
Puritan tune, 'Naomi,' whose words of calm submission are so closely
interwoven with one's earliest religious faith.

But in contrast to this meek northern saint of a flower, there is a
southern flush of oleander bloom, that pours out hymns of mystical
devotion, overflowing with the exuberant vitality, glowing with the
intense fervor, of the Tropics.

There are flowers, also, the burden of whose odorous airs is sensibly of
this world only, earthy, sensuous. Such are the cape jessamine and the
narcissus, alike glistening in satin raiment, and alike distilling
aromatic essence. Something akin to the waltzes of Strauss, one might
fancy, is the music suited to their mood.

And the night-blooming cercus--that uncanny white witch of a creature,
with its petals moulded in wax or ivory, its golden-brown
leaf-sheathings, and its unequalled emerald (is it a tint, or is it but
a shadow?) far down within the lovely cup, with that overpowering
voluptuous odor, burdening the atmosphere, permeating the innermost
fibres of sensation, steeping the soul in lethargy! What more fit
exponent can there be for this weird plant's expression than the song of
the serpent-charmer, the singing which can root the feet unto the ground
and stay the flowing of the impetuous blood?

But carnations have a wide-awake aspect, which brings one back to
every-day life again. Their pleasant pungency is like a bugle note. They
seem glad to start the nerves of human beings.

The tulips have taken the sun home to them. Deep down in their hearts
you smell it, while you listen to a cheery carol welling up from the
comfort warm within.

The pond lilies likewise breathe forth the inspiration of the sun. And
they chant in their pure home thanksgivings therefore, happy songs of
chaste praise.

These are flowers which _look_ their fragrance; but there are those that
startle by the contrast between their outer being and their inner
spirit.

What an intoxicating draught the obscure heliotrope offers! One thinks
of Heloise in the garments of a nun. The arbutus, also, and the dear
daphne-cups, plain, unnoticeable little things, remind one of the
nightingales, so insignificant in their appearance, so peerless in their
gushes of delicious breath.

The demure Quaker is like the peculiar fragrance of the mignonette. It
is hard to believe so many people really like mignonette as profess to
do so, it has such a caviare-to-the-general odor. The popular taste here
would seem really guided by a fashion of fastidiousness. But the lemon
verbena--which, if not a flower, is so high-bred an herb that it
deserves to be considered one--one can easily see why that is valued.
What a refined, _spirituelle_ smell it has? Hypatia might have worn it,
or Lady Jane Grey--or better still, Mrs. Browning's Lady Geraldine might
have plucked it in the pauses of the 'woodland singing' the poet tells
of.

Nature is very liberal in all things; and we have coarse and
disagreeable flower odors, supplied by peonies, marigolds, the gay
bouvardia, and a still more odious greenhouse flower--a yellowish,
toadlike thing, which those who have once known will never forget, and
for which perhaps they can supply a name. If odor be the flower's
expression of its soul, what rude and evil tenants must dwell within
those luckless mansions!

But if a flower's soul speaks through odor, what of scentless blossoms?
Are they dumb or dead? Some may be too young to speak--as the infantile
anemones, daisies, and innocents.

Perhaps some are thus most meet for symbols of the dead; the stately,
frozen calla, which seems a fit trophy, bound with laurel leaves, to lay
upon a soldier's bier; and the snow-cold camelia, whose stony
sculpturing is the very emblem for those white features whence God has
drained away the life.

But, camelias warmed with color, fuchsias, abutilons, the cultivated
azalia (the wild one has a scent), asters, and a host of other loved and
lovely flowers--why are they deprived of language?

Perhaps they _have_ a fragrance, felt by subtler senses than we mortals
own. But, at least, if they must now appear as mute, we may yet hope
that in a more spiritual existence we shall behold their very doubles,
gifted with a novel charm, a captivating perfume, we cannot conceive of
here. For in the vast harmony of the universe one cannot believe there
can be any floral instruments whose strings are never to be awakened.

It _has_ been but the pastime of a half hour that we have given to the
flower odors, when an ever-widening field for speculation lies before
us. But imagination droops exhausted, baffled by the innumerable
enchanting riddles still to solve. And this must now suffice.

If it serve to excite any dormant thought in the more ingenious mind of
another--if it be able to call out the learned conceits of some scholar,
or the delicate symbolisms of some dreamer, it has done its work.

The hand that has thus far guided the pen, to dally with a subject all
the dearer because so generally disregarded, will now gladly yield it to
the control of a fresher fancy, a truer observation.



LOCOMOTION.


The utilitarian spirit of the age is strikingly exhibited in the intense
desire to diminish the quantity of time necessary to pass from one spot
of the earth's surface to another, and to communicate almost
instantaneously with a remote distance. The great triumphs of genius,
within the last half century, have been accomplished within the domain
of commerce. And in contemplating the progress which has ensued, it is a
cause of humiliation that, as in the case of other great discoveries, so
many centuries have elapsed, during which the powers of steam, an
element almost constantly within the observation of man, were, although
perceived, unemployed. But reflection upon the nature of man, and his
slow advancement in the great path of fact and science, will at once
hush the expression of our wondering regret over the past, while a
nobler occupation for the mind offers itself in speculation upon the
future. The plank road, the canal, the steamboat, and the railway, are
all the productions of the last few years. At the close of the last
century, with the exception of a few military roads inherited from the
Romans, and the roads of the same description constructed by Napoleon,
the means of communication between distant parts was almost entirely
confined to inland seas and the larger rivers. It is for this reason
that the maritime cities and provinces attained such disproportionate
wealth.

The invention of _chariots_, and the manner of harnessing horses to draw
them, is ascribed to Ericthonius of Athens, B.C. 1486. The chariots of
the ancients were like our _phaetons_, and drawn by one horse. The
invention of the _chaise_, or calash, is ascribed to Augustus Cæsar,
about A.D. 7. Postchaises were introduced by Trajan about A.D. 100.
_Carriages_ were known in France in the reign of Henry II., A.D. 1547;
there were but three in Paris in 1550; they were of rude construction.
Henry IV. had one, but it was without straps or springs. A strong
cob-horse (_haquenée_) was let for short journeys; latterly these were
harnessed to a plain vehicle, called _coche-a-haquenée_: hence the name,
_hackney coach_. They were first let for hire in Paris, in 1650, at the
Hotel Fiacre. They were known in England in 1555, but not the art of
making them. When first manufactured in England, during the reign of
Elizabeth, they were called _whirlicotes_. The duke of Buckingham, in
1619, drove six horses, and the duke of Northumberland, in rivalry,
drove eight. _Cabs_ are also of Parisian origin, where the driver sat in
the inside; but the aristocratic tastes of the English suggested the
propriety of compelling the driver to be seated outside. _Omnibuses_
also originated in Paris, and were introduced into London in 1827, by
an enterprising coach proprietor named Shillaber. They were introduced
into New York, in 1828, by Kipp & Brown. _Horse railroads_ were
introduced into New York, in 1851, upon the Sixth Avenue.

In 1660 there were but six _stage coaches_ in England; two days were
occupied in passing from London to Oxford, fifty-four miles. In 1669, it
was announced that a vehicle, described as the _flying coach_, would
perform the whole journey between sunrise and sunset. It excited as much
interest as the opening of a new railway in our time. The Newcastle
_Courant_, of October 11th, 1812, advertises 'that all that desire to
pass from Edinborough to London, or from London to Edinborough, or any
place on that road, let them repair to Mr. John Baillie's, at the Coach
and Horses, at the head of Cannongate, Edinborough, every other
Saturday; or to the Black Swan, in Holborn, every other Monday; at both
of which places they may be received in a stage coach, which performs
the whole journey in _thirteen days, without any stoppage_ (_if God
permit_), having eighty able horses to perform the whole stage--each
passenger paying £4 10s. for the whole journey. The coach sets out at
six in the morning.' And it was not until 1825 that a daily line of
stage coaches was established between the two cities, accomplishing the
distance in forty-six hours. And even so late as 1835 there were only
seven coaches which ran daily.

In 1743, Benjamin Franklin, postmaster of Philadelphia, in an
advertisement, dated April 14th, announces 'that the northern post will
set out for New York on Thursdays, at three o'clock in the afternoon,
till Christmas. The southern post sets out next Monday for Annapolis,
and continues going every fortnight during the summer season.' In 1773,
Josiah Quincy, father and grandfather of the mayors of that name, of
Boston, spent thirty-three days upon a journey from Georgetown, South
Carolina, to Philadelphia. In 1775, General Washington was eleven days
going from Philadelphia to Boston; upon his arrival at Watertown the
citizens turned out and congratulated him upon the _speed_ of his
journey! Fifty years ago the regular mail time, between New York and
Albany, was eight days. Even as late as 1824, the United States mail was
thirty-two days in passing from Portland to New Orleans. The news of the
death of Napoleon Bonaparte, at St. Helena, May 5th, 1821, reached New
York on the fifteenth day of August.

Canals were known to the ancients, and have been used, in a small way,
by all nations, particularly the Dutch. But the world did not awake to
their importance until 1817, when the State of New York entered upon the
Erie Canal project, which was completed in 1825. The introduction of
steamboats for river navigation, and of locomotives upon railways, have
superseded canals, and invested them with an air of antiquity. It was
not until 1807 that Robert Fulton put his first vessel in operation on
the Hudson River.

To the American steamship Savannah, built by Croker & Fickett, at
Corlear's Hook, New York, is universally conceded the honor of being the
first steam-propelled vessel that ever crossed the Atlantic ocean. She
was three hundred and eighty tons burden, ship-rigged, and was equipped
with a horizontal engine, placed between decks, with boilers in the
hold. She was built through the agency of Captain Moses Rogers, by a
company of gentlemen, with a view of selling her to the emperor of
Russia. She sailed from New York in 1819, and went first to Savannah;
thence she proceeded direct to Liverpool, where she arrived after a
passage of eighteen days, during seven of which she was under steam. As
it was nearly or quite impossible to carry sufficient fuel for the
voyage, during pleasant weather the wheels were removed, and canvas
substituted. At Liverpool she was visited by many persons of
distinction, and afterward departed for Elsinore, on her way to St.
Petersburg. She was not, however, sold as expected, and next touched at
Copenhagen, where Captain Rogers was offered one hundred thousand
dollars for her by the king of Sweden; but the offer was declined. She
then sailed for home, putting into Elsington, on the coast of Norway.
From the latter place she was twenty-two days in reaching Savannah. On
account of the high price of fuel, she carried no steam on the return
passage, and the wheels were taken off. Upon the completion of the
voyage, she was purchased by Captain Nathaniel Holdredge, divested of
her steam apparatus, and run as a packet between Savannah and New York.
She subsequently went ashore on Long Island, and broke up. Sixty
thousand dollars were sunk in the transaction. Captain Rogers died a few
years ago on the Pee Dee river, North Carolina. He is believed to be the
first man that ran a steamboat to Philadelphia or Baltimore. The mate
was named Stephen Rogers, and was living a few years ago at New London,
Connecticut.

The first railway in England was between Stockton and Darlington; and
the first locomotive built in the world was used upon that road, and is
still in existence, being preserved at Darlington depot, upon a platform
erected for the purpose; the date 1825 is engraved upon its plate. The
first railway charter in the United States was granted March 4th, 1826,
to Thomas H. Perkins and others, 'to convey granite from the ledges in
Quincy to tidewater in that town.' The first railway in the United
States upon which passengers were conveyed, was the Baltimore and Ohio,
which was opened December 28, 1829, to Ellicott's Mills, thirteen miles
from Baltimore. A single horse was attached to two of Winan's carriages,
containing forty-one persons, which were drawn, with ease, eleven miles
per hour. The South Carolina Railway, from Charleston to Hamburg, was
the first constructed in the United States with a view to use _steam_
instead of _animal_ power. The first locomotive constructed in the
United States was built for this road. It was named the _Best Friend_,
and afterward changed to _Phoenix_. It was built at the West Point
foundery by the Messrs. Kemble, under the direction of E.L. Miller, Esq.
Its performance was tested on the 9th December, 1830, and exceeded
expectations. To Mr. Miller, therefore, belongs the honor of planning
and constructing the first locomotive operated in the United States.
This road was the first to carry the United States mail, and, when
completed, October 2d, 1833, one hundred and thirty-seven miles in
length, was the longest railway in the world. The number of miles of
railway in operation in the United States, at the present time, is
thirty-two thousand; and the number of passengers conveyed upon them in
1863 was one hundred millions. Railways did not cross the Mississippi
river until 1851. The number of miles of railway in the world is
seventy-two thousand; and the amount of steamboat tonnage is five
millions of tons.

Yet more astonishing than the railway is the magnetic telegraph, whose
exploits are literally miraculous, annihilating space and time. The
extremities of the globe are brought into immediate contact; the
merchant, the friend, or the lover converses with whom he wishes, though
thousands of miles apart, as if they occupied the same parlor; and the
speech uttered in Washington to-day may be read in San Francisco three
hours before it is delivered. Could the wires be extended around the
globe, we should be able to hear the news one day before it occurred.



LITERARY NOTICES.


     NAOMI TORRENTE: The History of a Woman. By GERTRUDE F. DE VINGUT.
     'Every dream of love argues a reality in the world of supreme
     beauty. Believe all that thy heart prompts, for everything that it
     seeks, exists.'--_Plato_. New York: John Bradburn (late M.
     Doolady), publisher, 49 Walker street.


Who could look on the fair high face, facing our title page, and have
the heart to criticize the revelations of its soul? Naomi is a book of
feeling, passion, and considerable, if not yet mature, power. It is
dedicated to Sr. Dn. Juan Clemente Zenea, editor of _La Charanga_,
Havana. Our authoress says in her dedication: 'It is to you, therefore;
and those who like you have deeply felt, that the history of a woman's
soul-life will prove more interesting than the mere narrative of the
chances and occurrences that make up the every-day natural existence.'
Naomi is a woman of artistic genius and passionate character, becalmed
in the stagnation of conventional life, who, throwing off the fetters of
an uncongenial and inconsiderate marriage, attempts to find happiness
and independence in the cultivation of her own powers. She is eminently
successful as prima donna, is brilliant and self-sustained--but fails to
attain the imagined happiness, the Love-Eden so fervently sought.


     MARGARET AND HER BRIDESMAIDS. By the Author of 'The Queen of the
     Country,' 'The Challenge,' etc. 'Queen Rose of the Rosebud garden
     of girls.'--_Tennyson_. Loring, publisher, 314 Washington street,
     Boston. 1864.

A novel of domestic life, in which the plot, apparently simple, is yet
artistic and skilfully managed. The thread of life of the bridesmaids is
held with that of the bride, the development of character, distinctly
marked in each, progresses through a series of natural events, until the
young people reach the point of life when impulse settles into
principle, amiability into virtue, generosity into self-abnegation, and
we feel that each may now be safely left to life as it is, that
circumstance can no longer mould character, and are willing to leave
them, certain they will henceforth remain true to themselves, and to
those whose happiness may depend upon them, whatever else may betide.
The bride is a pure, sweet, generous woman, but the character of the
book is decidedly Lotty. Childish, petite, and indulged, she is yet
magnanimous, brave, and self-sacrificing; fiery, fearless, and frank,
she is still patient, forbearing, and reticent; we love her as child,
while we soon learn to venerate her as woman. She and her docile
bloodhound, Bear, form pictures full of magic contrast, groups of which
we never tire. The cordiality and heartiness of her admiring relatives,
the Beauvilliers, are contagious; we live for the time in their life,
and grow stronger as we read. The book is charming. Its moral is
unexceptionable, its characters well drawn, its plot and incidents
simple and natural, and its interest sustained from beginning to end.


     ENOCH ARDEN, etc. By ALFRED TENNYSON, D.C.L., Poet Laureate.
     Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 1864.

Tennyson has so many devoted admirers, that this volume cannot fail to
receive due attention. The principal poem therein, Enoch Arden, is one
of touching pathos and simplicity. Three children, Enoch Arden, Philip
Ray, and Annie Lee, grew up together on the British coast a hundred
years ago. Both youths loved Annie: she loved and married Enoch. They
live happily together until three children are born to the house: then
poverty threatens, and Arden leaves home to provide for the loved ones.
He is cast away on an island, is not heard, from for ten years, and
Annie reluctantly consents to marry Philip, who has been a father to her
children during their long orphanage. Arden returns at last to his
native village, so old, gray, and broken, that no one recognizes him.
He hears how true his wife had been to him until all hope had died away,
and how Philip cared for her peace, and cherished his children. The
wretched man resolves to bear his grief in silence, and never to bring
agony and shame to a peaceful home by disclosing his return. He does
this in a spirit of Christian self-abnegation, lives near the
unconscious darlings of his heart, earns his frugal living, watching
round, but never entering the lost Paradise of his youth. He dies, and
only at the hour of death, reveals to Annie how he had lived and loved.
The _theme_ of this tale has often been taken before. It has been
elaborated with passion and power in the 'Homeward Bound' of Adelaide
Procter, a poetess too little known among us.

There is great purity of delineation and conception in Enoch Arden. The
characters stand out real and palpable in their statuesque simplicity.
There is agony enough, but neither impatience nor sin. The epithets are
well chosen; but the usual wildering sensuousness of Tennyson's glowing
imagery is subdued and tender throughout the progress of this melancholy
tale.

'Aylmer's Field,' about the same length, is a poem of more stormy mould.
It hurls fierce rebukes at family pride, and just censures at tyrannical
parents.

The volume contains many shorter poems, some of which are already
familiar to our readers.


     AZARIAN: An Episode. By HARRIET ELIZABETH PRESCOTT, Author of 'The
     Amber Gods,' etc. Boston: Ticknor & Fields.

We like 'Azarian' better than any work we have yet seen from Miss
Prescott. Ruth Yetton, the heroine, is so truly feminine, she might
serve as a type of half our innocent maidens from sixteen to twenty.
Azarian is real and drawn to the life, a hero who has his counterpart in
every civilized city; a man of _savoir-vivre_, glittering and
attractive, but selfish, inconsequent, frivolous, and deadly to the
peace of those who love him. Miss Prescott's style is elaborate and
florid, frequently of rare beauty, always giving evidence of culture and
scholarship. Do we find fault with the hundred-leaved rose? Her fancy is
luxuriant, of more power than her imagination. Her descriptions of
flowers in the volume before us are accurate and tenderly beautiful. She
knows them all, and evidently loves them well. Nor are the fragile
blossoms of the trees less dear to her. She reads their secrets, and
treasures them in her heart. She paints them with her glowing words, and
placing our old darlings before us again, exultingly points out their
hidden charms.


     THE FOREST ARCADIA OF NORTHERN NEW YORK: Embracing a View of its
     Mineral, Agricultural, and Timber Resources. Boston: Published by
     T.O.H.P. Burnham. New York: Oliver S. Felt. 1864.

The author of this pleasant, unpretending little book visited the 'great
wilderness of Northern New York, which lies in St. Lawrence county, on
the western slope of the Adirondack Mountains. It forms part of an
extensive plateau, embracing an area of many thousand square miles, and
is elevated from fifteen to eighteen hundred feet above the sea. The
mineral resources of the plateau are of great value, immense ranges of
magnetic iron traverse the country, and there are indications of more
valuable minerals in a few localities. Of its agricultural importance
too much cannot be said. The soil is rich and strong, peculiarly adapted
to the grazing of cattle. The climate is that of the hill country of New
England.'

The reader will see from this extract of what the book treats. The
volume is pleasantly and simply written, imparts considerable
information with respect to the region which it describes, is redolent
of spicy forest breath, and brings before us Indian, deer, and beaver.


     RHODE ISLAND IN THE REBELLION. By EDWIN W. STONE, of the First
     Regiment Rhode Island Light Artillery. Providence: George H.
     Whitney. 1864.

'These Letters were written amid camp scenes and on the march,' says our
author, 'under circumstances unfavorable to literary composition, and
were intended for private perusal alone. Portions of them appeared in
the _Providence Journal_, and were received with a favor alike
unexpected and gratifying. Numerous requests having been made that they
should be gathered up as a Rhode Island contribution to the history of
the War of the Rebellion, the author, with unaffected distrust of
himself, has yielded to the judgment of others. While the aim has been
to show the honorable position of the State in an unhappy war, it has
also been the design to present a comprehensive view of the consecutive
campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, with the fortunes of which several
of the Rhode Island regiments and most of the batteries have, for longer
or shorter periods, been identified.'

It is a noble record for Rhode Island, and a valuable contribution to
the history of the war. It deals with facts, not polities or prejudices.
We think every loyal State should prepare such a volume. A simple and
reliable statement of what she has herself done, a sketch of her heroes
of all ranks and parties, of her batteries, regiments, and companies, of
her commandants and the battles in which her troops bore part, should be
therein contained. This would lead to noble emulation among the States
struggling for a common cause, and would be of great value both to State
and general history. We look upon this book as a beginning in the right
way. Such national records of nobly borne suffering and deeds of glory
would be truly Books of Honor.


     ROBINSON'S MATHEMATICAL SERIES: Arithmetical Examples; or, Test
     Exercises for the Use of Advanced Classes. New York: Ivison,
     Phinney, Blakeman & Co., 48 & 50 Walker street. Chicago: S.C.
     Griggs & Co., 39 & 41 Lake street. 1864.

This book was issued to meet the demand in advanced schools for a larger
number of carefully prepared and practical examples for review and drill
exercises than are furnished from ordinary text books, and may be used
in connection with any other books on this subject. 'The examples are
designed to test the pupil's judgment; to bring into use his knowledge
of the theory and applications of numbers; to cultivate habits of
patient investigation and self-reliance; to test the truth and accuracy
of his own processes by proof--the only test he will have to depend on
in the real business transactions of afterlife; in a word, to make him
independent of all text books, of written rules and analyses.'


     A LATIN GRAMMAR FOR SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES. By ALBERT HARKNESS, Ph.
     D., Professor in Brown University, Author of 'A First Latin Book,'
     'A Second Latin Book,' 'A First Greek Book,' etc. New York: D.
     Appleton & Co., 443 & 445 Broadway.

Prof. Harkness's Grammar will be welcomed both by teacher and student.
Our author is a man of great experience in the subjects of which he
treats, and we doubt not he has supplied a general want in the work
before us, and furnished a true grammar of the Latin tongue, worthy of
adoption in all our educational institutions.


     RITA: An Autobiography. By HAMILTON AIDE, Author of 'Confidences,'
     'Carr of Carrlyon,' 'Mr. and Mrs. Faulconbridge,' etc. Boston:
     Published by T.O.P. Burnham. New York: Oliver S. Felt.

This novel is the autobiography of a young English girl, thrown by her
father, a man of high birth, but worthless character, into the vicious
influences of corrupt English and French society. The story is one of a
constant struggle between these base examples on the one hand, and a
strong sense of right and justice on the other. The plot is original and
quite elaborate, and the interest well sustained. The character of the
unprincipled, heartless, gambling father is well drawn, as well as that
of the weak but self-sacrificing mother. Some of the scenes evince
considerable power.



EDITOR'S TABLE


Readers of THE CONTINENTAL, your servant and faithful caterer has been a
sad idler and vagrant for the last month, thinking more of his own
pleasures than of your needs and requirements. Forgive him, he is again
a working bee and seeking honey for your hives. Have patience, irate
correspondents; we have absconded with no manuscripts, and are again at
our desk to give bland answers to curt missives.

We have been among the Adirondacks; congratulate us right heartily
thereon! We have traversed pathless primeval forests of larches,
balsams, white pines, and sugar maples; we have floated upon lakes
lovely enough to have mirrored Paradise; we have clambered down
waterfalls whose broken drops turned into diamonds as they fell; have
scaled mountains and seen earth in its glory, and looked clear up into
the infinite blue of the eye of God.

We have seen the gleaming trout, changeful as a prisoned rainbow, lured
from his cool stream; and the poor deer chased from his forest home by
savage dogs and cruel men, driven into crystal lakes, lassoed there with
ropes, throats cut with dull knives, and backs broken with flying balls.
Immortal Shakspeare! had thy lines no power to awaken pity for
frightened fawn and flying doe? Did they not see

  'The wretched animal heave forth such groans
  That their discharge did stretch his leathern coat
  Almost to bursting; while the big round tears
  Coursed one another down his innocent nose
  In Piteous chase?'

Alas, 'poor hairy fool!' why should they seek thee in thy mountain
homes?

We have sat by the side of fair fragile country girls, and heard the
experiences of the stout pioneers of civilization. We have tried to keep
step with city maidens, shorn of ridiculous hoops and trailing trains.
We nave known them trip up the great sides of Tahawus, press through the
trunked and bouldered horrors of Indian Pass, float over Lake Placid,
and scale the long steep slide up the crest of White Face. Lovely as
dreams and light as clouds, no toil stayed them, no danger appalled;
panther, wolf, and bear stories were told in vain by lazy brothers and
reluctant lovers; on they went in their restless search for beauty,
their Turkish dress and scarlet tunics gleaming through the trees, to
the delight of the old mountain guides, who chuckled over their
Camilla-like exploits, and laughed, as they plucked the fragrant boughs
for their spicy couch, over the ignorance and awkwardness of their lazy
city beaux. These fair Dians shoot no deer, nor lure the springing
trout. We blessed them as they went their thymy way.

We have sat in the hut of the farmer, the skiff of the oarsman, the
parlor of the host of the inn; tried wagons, stages, and buck-board
conveyances; we have disputed no bill, been subjected to no extortion,
and, save the death of the 'hairy fools,' known no sorrow. We have sat
by the grave of old John Brown, seen the glorious view from his simple
home, heard his strange generosity extolled by his political enemies,
and think we understand better than of old the sublime madness of his
fanaticism. We have returned to our labor with a new love of country, a
deeper sense of responsibility, of the worth of our institutions, and of
the glory yet to be in 'Our Great America.' What a land to live and die
for! Every drop of martyr blood poured upon it but makes it dearer to
the heart.



PEERLESS COLUMBIA.


_A National Song._

            God of our Fathers,
              Smile on our land!
            Lo, the storm gathers--
              Stretch forth Thy hand!

  _Chorus._--Shield us and guard us from mountain to sea!
            Make the homes happy where manhood is free!

            Brave is our nation,
              Hopeful and young;
            High is her station
              Countries among.

  _Chorus._--Holy our banner! from mountain to sea
            Floating in splendor o'er homes ever free.

            Proud is our story,
              Written in light;
            Stars tell its glory,
              Victory, might.

  _Chorus._--Peerless Columbia! from mountain to sea
            Throbs every pulse through the heart of the free.

            Up with our banner!
              Hope in each fold--
            Stout hearts will man her,
              Millions untold.

  _Chorus._--Millions now greet her from mountain to sea,
            Hope of the toil-worn! blest Flag of the free!

       *       *       *       *       *

The following thoughts on some of the uses subserved by Art, are from
the pen of the Rev. J. Byington Smith. There is so much truth in their
suggestions, that we heartily commend them to our readers.


ART AS A MEANS OF HOME-CULTURE.

BY J. BYINGTON SMITH.

Art is closely allied to nature in giving impress to character. The
scenery by which a people is surrounded, will modify and almost control
its mode of being. The soft, rich landscapes of Italy enervate, while
the rough mountainous country of the North imparts force and vigor.
Mountains and seas are nature's healthful stimulants. Man grows in their
vastness and is energized in their strength. Whatever may be the scenery
of a people, it will mirror itself in the mind, and stamp its impress
upon character.

Art reproduces nature, arranging its illimitable stores in closer unity,
idealizing its charms, and bringing into nearer view its symmetry and
beauty. Bearing its lessons from afar, it colors the glowing canvas and
chisels the stone to awaken the impressions it designs to make on the
human soul. Thus art, like nature, becomes a means of culture. When the
Lombards wished to give hardihood and system to the enervated body and
enfeebled mind of the people, they covered their churches with the
sculptured representation of vigorous bodily exercises, such as war and
hunting. In the great church of St. Mark, at Venice, people were taught
the history of the Scriptures by means of imagery; a picture on the
walls being more easily read than a chapter. Such walls were styled the
poor man's Bible.

A picture reveals at a single glance that which we would be otherwise
forced to glean by a slow process from the scattered material furnished
by the printed page; hence the delight taken in illustrations, the
importance of pictorial instruction for the young, and the almost
universal demand for the illustrated publications of the day.

The teaching of art through painting, sculpture, and engraving, finds
its way into our homes, and while lessons may be duly read from books
and then laid aside, the lessons in the niche or on the wall repeat
themselves hour by hour, and day by day, looking even into the pure eyes
of infancy, and aiding in the formation of the character of every child
subjected to their ceaseless influence. Their power is none the less
because they never break the home-silence; they mould the young life and
stamp their impress upon it. How important then that all such objects
should be chosen, not only as treasures of artistic beauty, but for
their power to elevate and ennoble character.

How often will you find in the room of the scholar, the studio of the
artist, the picture or bust of some old master in art or letters, as if
the occupant were conscious of the incentive such presence offered to
his own efforts--the guardian genius of the spot.

In the study of one of the old divines might have been seen a painted
eye, gazing forever down upon him, to render him sensible of the
presence of the All-Seeing--to stamp the 'Thou God seest me' upon the
very tablets of his heart.

A child is not so readily tempted into sin when surrounded by pure and
beautiful imagery, or when gentle loving eyes are looking down upon him.
On the other hand, the walls of the degraded are lined with amorous and
obscene images, that vicious habits and debased tastes may find their
suitable incentives.

A window shade bearing the design of a little girl issuing, basket in
hand, from the door of a humble cottage, to relieve the wants of a poor
blind beggar, will certainly take its place among the early developments
of the children growing up under its influence, and in their simple
charity they may be found, basket in hand, looking out for real or
fancied beggars. Such lessons are never lost. In a parlor which I often
frequent is a picture of a Sabbath scene: an aged grand-sire is seated
by a table on which lies an open Bible, a bright-eyed boy is opposite,
his father and mother on either side, a little shy girl is on the knee
of the old man, all are listening reverently to the holy Word of God,
books and a vase of gay flowers are on the table, green boughs fill the
great old-fashioned fireplace. The whole picture wears an air of
serenity and calm happiness, and is an impressive plea that we 'remember
and keep holy the Sabbath day'--and we verily believe that such a
picture will do more to influence our children to love the Sabbath, than
any amount of parental restraint or lectures on moral obligation.

There is another picture in the same quiet room: 'The Mother's Dream.'
She is worn with watching, and lies dreaming beside the couch of the
child. Rays of light open a bright pathway into the skies, while an
angel is bearing the spirit child along it up to heaven. We think such a
picture is worth more to familiarize childhood with death and
resurrection, and will leave a sweeter and more lasting impression upon
the young soul, than the most learned dissertation or simplest
explanation.

Landscape painting exerts a mellowing influence, and leads to the
observation and love of nature, while historical pictures stimulate
research, and nerve the mind to deeds of heroism and virtue.

The influence of pictures in forming character and shaping the course of
life is illustrated with peculiar power in the history of the sons of a
quiet family in the interior, who all insisted upon going to sea. The
parents were grieved that none of their boys would remain at home to
care for the homestead, and be the comfort of their declining years.
They expressed their disappointment to a friend then on a visit to them,
and wondered what could have induced the boys, one after the other, to
embrace a life so full of storm and danger. Directly over the open
fireplace hung a picture of a vessel with fluttering, snowy sails,
tossing and rocking amid the bright, green, yeasty waves. The friend saw
it, read the mystery, and quietly inquired how long it had been there.
'Since we commenced housekeeping,' was the unconscious reply. Not
wishing to wound them, he was silent, and concealed his thoughts in his
own breast, but the solution of the choice of life in the absent ones
was clear enough to him: _that picture had sent them off, one after
another, to sea_.

How careful we should then be in surrounding youth and childhood with
pure, elevating objects of art, as means of constant home-culture! We
know we shall be told, 'This is all very good, but we cannot afford it.'
Let us reason together. Can you not deduct something from your elaborate
furniture, your expensive dress, and devote it to models, lithographs,
or paintings? Subtract but the half from these luxuries and devote the
sum to designs of art, and you will contribute doubly to the
attractiveness and pleasantness of your home. Where we cannot hope to
possess the original masterpiece, we may have photographic or
lithographic copies, which are within the compass of very humble means.
You will freely toss away five dollars in useless embroidery or surplus
furniture, and it would buy you a lithograph of Raphael's immortal
picture, giving the results of a whole age of artistic culture, or a
photograph of Cheney's Madonna and Child, bearing the very spirit of the
original, or a plaster cast of noble statuary, the original of which
could not be obtained for any namable sum--and yet you say you cannot
afford works of art!

There is surely nothing you can afford better than to make your home
attractive, and to introduce therein every available means of mental and
moral culture. If you cannot afford to make home lovely, others will
succeed in making dangerous places attractive to your children. There
are spots enough kept light and picturesque, perilously fascinating to
those whose homes boast no attractions. It will likely cost you far more
in money, more surely in heart-anguish and sorrow, to have your children
entertained in these places full of snares, where corrupt art lavishes
her designs with unsparing hand, to vitiate the young imagination and
debase the mind, than to exalt her in her chaste and ennobling power in
the sanctuary of your homes, as one of the means of home-culture,
stimulating to virtue and stamping the character with genuine worth.





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