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Title: Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern — Volume 4
Author: Warner, Charles Dudley, 1829-1900 [Editor], Runkle, Lucia Isabella Gilbert, 1844- [Editor], Warner, George H., 1833-1919 [Editor], Mabie, Hamilton Wright, 1845-1916 [Editor]
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern — Volume 4" ***

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Connoisseur Edition



       *       *       *       *       *

   Professor of Hebrew,
   HARVARD UNIVERSITY, Cambridge, Mass.

   Professor of English in the Sheffield Scientific School of
   YALE UNIVERSITY, New Haven, Conn.

   Professor of History and Political Science,

   Professor of Literature,

   President of the UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, Ann Arbor, Mich.

   Late Professor of the Germanic and Scandinavian Languages
   and Literatures, CORNELL UNIVERSITY, Ithaca, N.Y.

   Director of the Lick Observatory, and Astronomer,

   Professor of the Romance Languages,
   TULANE UNIVERSITY, New Orleans, La.

   Dean of the Department of Arts and Sciences, and Professor of
   English and History, UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTH, Sewanee, Tenn.

   Professor of Greek and Latin Literature,

   United States Commissioner of Education,
   BUREAU OF EDUCATION, Washington, D.C.

   Professor of Literature in the



GEORGE BANCROFT--_Continued_:                           1800-1891
   Wolfe on the Plains of Abraham ('History of the
          United States')
   Lexington (same)
   Washington (same)

JOHN AND MICHAEL BANIM                                  1798-1874
   The Publican's Dream ('The Bit of Writin'')
   Soggarth Aroon
   Irish Maiden's Song

THÉODORE DE BANVILLE                                    1823--1891
   Le Café ('The Soul of Paris')
   The Mysterious Hosts of the Forests ('The
           Caryatids': Lang's Translation)
   Aux Enfants Perdus: Lang's Translation
   Ballade des Pendus: Lang's Translation

ANNA LÆITIA BARBAULD                                    1743-1825
   Against Inconsistency in Our Expectations
   A Dialogue of the Dead
   Praise to God

ALEXANDER BARCLAY                                       1475-1552
   The Courtier's Life (Second Eclogue)

RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM                                   1788-1845
   As I Laye A-Thynkynge
   The Lay of St. Cuthbert
   A Lay of St. Nicholas

SABINE BARING-GOULD                                     1834-
   St. Patrick's Purgatory ('Curious Myths of the
          Middle Ages')
   The Cornish Wreckers ('The Vicar of Morwenstow')

JANE BARLOW                                             18--
   Widow Joyce's Cloak ('Strangers at Lisconnel')
   Walled Out ('Bogland Studies')

JOEL BARLOW                                             1754-1812
   A Feast ('Hasty Pudding')

WILLIAM BARNES                                          1800-1886
   Blackmwore Maidens
   Milken Time
   Jessie Lee
   The Turnstile
   To the Water-Crowfoot
   Zummer an' Winter

JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE                                    1860-
   The Courtin' of T'nowhead's Bell ('Auld Licht Idylls')
   Jess Left Alone ('A Window in Thrums')
   After the Sermon ('The Little Minister')
   The Mutual Discovery (same)
   Lost Illusions ('Sentimental Tommy')
   Sins of Circumstance (same)

FRÉDÉRIC BASTIAT                                        1801-1850
   Petition of Manufacturers of Artificial Light
   Stulta and Puera
   Inapplicable Terms ('Economic Sophisms')

CHARLES BAUDELAIRE (by Grace King)                      1821-1867
   Death of the Poor
   The Broken Bell
   The Enemy
   The Painter of Modern Life ('L'Art Romantique')
   From 'Little Poems in Prose': Every One His Own Chimera;
          Humanity; Windows; Drink
   From a Journal

LORD BEACONSFIELD (by Isa Carrington Cabell)            1804-1881
   A Day at Ems ('Vivian Grey')
   The Festa in the Alhambra ('The Young Duke')
   Squibs from 'The Young Duke': Charles Annesley; The
          Fussy Hostess; Public Speaking; Female Beauty
   Lothair in Palestine ('Lothair')

BEAUMARCHAIS                                            1732-1799
   Outwitting a Guardian ('The Barber of Seville')
   Outwitting a Husband ('The Marriage of Figaro')

FRANCIS BEAUMONT AND JOHN FLETCHER                      1584-1625
   The Faithful Shepherdess
   Aspatia's Song
   Leandro's Song
   True Beauty
   Ode to Melancholy
   To Ben Jonson, on His 'Fox'
   On the Tombs in Westminster
   Arethusa's Declaration ('Philaster')
   The Story of Bellario (same)
   Evadne's Confession ('The Maid's Tragedy')
   Death of the Boy Hengo ('Bonduca')
   From 'The Two Noble Kinsmen'

WILLIAM BECKFORD                                        1759-1844
   The Incantation and the Sacrifice ('Vathek')
   Vathek and Nouronihar in the Halls of Eblis (same)

HENRY WARD BEECHER                                      1813-1887
   Book-Stores and Books ('Star Papers')
   Selected Paragraphs
   Sermon: Poverty and the Gospel
   A New England Sunday ('Norwood')

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (by Irenæus Stevenson)             1770-1827
   Letters: To Dr. Wegeler; To the Same; To Bettina
      Brentano; To Countess Giulietta Guicciardi; To the
      Same; To His Brothers; To the Royal and Imperial
      High Court of Appeal; To Baroness von Drossdick;
      To Zmeskall; To the Same; To Stephan v. Breuning

CARL MICHAEL BELLMAN (by Olga Flinch)                   1740-1795
   To Ulla
   Cradle-Song for My Son Carl
   Art and Politics
   Drink Out Thy Glass

JEREMY BENTHAM                                          1748-1832
   Of the Principle of Utility ('An Introduction to the
          Principles of Morals and Legislation')
   Reminiscences of Childhood
   Letter to George Wilson (1781)
   Fragment of a Letter to Lord Lansdowne (1790)

JEAN-PIERRE DE BÉRANGER (by Alcée Fortier)              1780-1857
   From 'The Gipsies'
   The Gad-Fly
   Draw It Mild
   The King of Yvetot
   The People's Reminiscences
   The Old Tramp
   Fifty Years
   The Garret
   My Tomb
   From His Preface to His Collected Poems

GEORGE BERKELEY                                         1685-1753
   On the Prospect of Planting Arts and Learning in America
   Essay on Tar-Water ('Siris')

HECTOR BERLIOZ                                          1803-1869
   The Italian Race as Musicians and Auditors ('Autobiography')
   The Famous "K Snuff-Box Treachery" (same)
   On Gluck (same)
   On Bach (same)
   Music as an Aristocratic Art (same)
   Beginning of a "Grand Passion" (same)
   On Theatrical Managers in Relation to Art

SAINT BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX                              1091-1153
   Saint Bernard's Hymn
   Monastic Luxury (Apology to the Abbot William of St. Thierry)
   From His Sermon on the Death of Gerard

BERNARD OF CLUNY (by William C. Prime)            Twelfth Century
   Brief Life Is Here Our Portion

JULIANA BERNERS                                 Fifteenth Century
   The Treatyse of Fyssbynge with an Angle

WALTER BESANT                                           1838-
   Old-Time London ('London')
   The Synagogue ('The Rebel Queen')

   The Lion
   The Pelican
   The Eagle
   The Phoenix
   The Ant
   The Siren
   The Whale
   The Crocodile
   The Turtle-Dove
   The Mandragora

MARIE-HENRI BEYLE (Stendhal) (by Frederic Taber Cooper) 1783-1842
   Princess Sanseverina's Interview ('Chartreuse de Parme')
   Clélia Aids Fabrice to Escape (same)

WlLLEM BlLDERDIJK                                       1756-1831
   Ode to Beauty
   From the 'Ode to Napoleon'
   Slighted Love
   The Village Schoolmaster ('Country Life')

BION                                          Second Century B.C.

AUGUSTINE BIRRELL                                       1850-
   Dr. Johnson ('Obiter Dicta')
   The Office of Literature (same)
   Truth-Hunting (same)
   Benvenuto Cellini (same)
   On the Alleged Obscurity of Mr. Browning's Poetry (same)



       *       *       *       *       *

Egyptian Hieroglyphics (Colored Plate)  Frontispiece
"The Irish Maiden's Song" (Photogravure)        1473
"Milking Time" (Photogravure)                   1567
"Music" (Photogravure)                          1625
Henry Ward Beecher (Portrait)                   1714
"Beethoven" (Photogravure)                      1750
Jean-Pierre de Béranger (Portrait)              1784
"Monastic Luxury" (Photogravure)                1824


John Banim
Théodore de Banville
Anna Lætitia Barbauld
Richard Harris Barham
Jane Barlow
Joel Barlow
James Matthew Barrie
Frédéric Bastiat
Charles Baudelaire
Lord Beaconsfield
Francis Beaumont
William Beckford
Ludwig van Beethoven
Jeremy Bentham
George Berkeley
Hector Berlioz
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
Juliana Berners
Walter Besant
Henri Beyle (Stendhal)
Augustine Birrell

GEORGE BANCROFT (Continued from Volume III)


From 'History of the United States'

But, in the meantime, Wolfe applied himself intently to reconnoitering
the north shore above Quebec. Nature had given him good eyes, as well as
a warmth of temper to follow first impressions. He himself discovered
the cove which now bears his name, where the bending promontories almost
form a basin, with a very narrow margin, over which the hill rises
precipitously. He saw the path that wound up the steep, though so narrow
that two men could hardly march in it abreast; and he knew, by the
number of tents which he counted on the summit, that the Canadian post
which guarded it could not exceed a hundred. Here he resolved to land
his army by surprise. To mislead the enemy, his troops were kept far
above the town; while Saunders, as if an attack was intended at
Beauport, set Cook, the great mariner, with others, to sound the water
and plant buoys along that shore.

The day and night of the twelfth were employed in preparations. The
autumn evening was bright; and the general, under the clear starlight,
visited his stations, to make his final inspection and utter his last
words of encouragement. As he passed from ship to ship, he spoke to
those in the boat with him of the poet Gray, and the 'Elegy in a Country
Churchyard.' "I," said he, "would prefer being the author of that poem
to the glory of beating the French to-morrow;" and, while the oars
struck the river as it rippled in the silence of the night air under the
flowing tide, he repeated:--

     "The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
       And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
     Await alike the inevitable hour--
       The paths of glory lead but to the grave."

Every officer knew his appointed duty, when, at one o'clock in the
morning of the thirteenth of September, Wolfe, Monckton, and Murray, and
about half the forces, set off in boats, and, using neither sail nor
oars, glided down with the tide. In three quarters of an hour the ships
followed; and, though the night had become dark, aided by the rapid
current, they reached the cove just in time to cover the landing. Wolfe
and the troops with him leaped on shore; the light infantry, who found
themselves borne by the current a little below the intrenched path,
clambered up the steep hill, staying themselves by the roots and boughs
of the maple and spruce and ash trees that covered the precipitous
declivity, and, after a little firing, dispersed the picket which
guarded the height; the rest ascended safely by the pathway. A battery
of four guns on the left was abandoned to Colonel Howe. When Townshend's
division disembarked, the English had already gained one of the roads to
Quebec; and, advancing in front of the forest, Wolfe stood at daybreak
with his invincible battalions on the Plains of Abraham, the
battle-field of the Celtic and Saxon races.

"It can be but a small party, come to burn a few houses and retire,"
said Montcalm, in amazement as the news reached him in his intrenchments
the other side of the St. Charles; but, obtaining better information,
"Then," he cried, "they have at last got to the weak side of this
miserable garrison; we must give battle and crush them before mid-day."
And, before ten, the two armies, equal in numbers, each being composed
of less than five thousand men, were ranged in presence of one another
for battle. The English, not easily accessible from intervening shallow
ravines and rail fences, were all regulars, perfect in discipline,
terrible in their fearless enthusiasm, thrilling with pride at their
morning's success, commanded by a man whom they obeyed with confidence
and love. The doomed and devoted Montcalm had what Wolfe had called but
"five weak French battalions," of less than two thousand men, "mingled
with disorderly peasantry," formed on commanding ground. The French had
three little pieces of artillery; the English, one or two. The two
armies cannonaded each other for nearly an hour; when Montcalm, having
summoned De Bougainville to his aid, and dispatched messenger after
messenger for De Vaudreuil, who had fifteen hundred men at the camp, to
come up before he should be driven from the ground, endeavored to flank
the British and crowd them down the high bank of the river. Wolfe
counteracted the movement by detaching Townshend with Amherst's
regiment, and afterward a part of the Royal Americans, who formed on the
left with a double front.

Waiting no longer for more troops, Montcalm led the French army
impetuously to the attack. The ill-disciplined companies broke by their
precipitation and the unevenness of the ground; and fired by platoons,
without unity. Their adversaries, especially the Forty-third and the
Forty-seventh, where Monckton stood, of which three men out of four were
Americans, received the shock with calmness; and after having, at
Wolfe's command, reserved their fire till their enemy was within forty
yards, their line began a regular, rapid, and exact discharge of
musketry. Montcalm was present everywhere, braving danger, wounded, but
cheering by his example. The second in command, De Sennezergues, an
associate in glory at Ticonderoga, was killed. The brave but untried
Canadians, flinching from a hot fire in the open field, began to waver;
and, so soon as Wolfe, placing himself at the head of the Twenty-eighth
and the Louisburg grenadiers, charged with bayonets, they everywhere
gave way. Of the English officers, Carleton was wounded; Barré, who
fought near Wolfe, received in the head a ball which made him blind of
one eye, and ultimately of both. Wolfe, also, as he led the charge, was
wounded in the wrist; but still pressing forward, he received a second
ball; and having decided the day, was struck a third time, and mortally,
in the breast. "Support me," he cried to an officer near him; "let not
my brave fellows see me drop." He was carried to the rear, and they
brought him water to quench his thirst. "They run! they run!" spoke the
officer on whom he leaned. "Who run?" asked Wolfe, as his life was fast
ebbing. "The French," replied the officer, "give way everywhere."
"What," cried the expiring hero, "do they run already? Go, one of you,
to Colonel Burton; bid him march Webb's regiment with all speed to
Charles River to cut off the fugitives." Four days before, he had looked
forward to early death with dismay. "Now, God be praised, I die happy."
These were his words as his spirit escaped in the blaze of his glory.
Night, silence, the rushing tide, veteran discipline, the sure
inspiration of genius, had been his allies; his battle-field, high over
the ocean river, was the grandest theatre for illustrious deeds; his
victory, one of the most momentous in the annals of mankind, gave to the
English tongue and the institutions of the Germanic race the unexplored
and seemingly infinite West and South. He crowded into a few hours
actions that would have given lustre to length of life; and, filling his
day with greatness, completed it before its noon.

Copyrighted by D. Appleton and Company, New York.


From 'History of the United States'

Day came in all the beauty of an early spring. The trees were budding;
the grass growing rankly a full month before its time; the bluebird and
the robin gladdening the genial season, and calling forth the beams of
the sun which on that morning shone with the warmth of summer; but
distress and horror gathered over the inhabitants of the peaceful town.
There on the green lay in death the gray-haired and the young; the
grassy field was red "with the innocent blood of their brethren slain,"
crying unto God for vengeance from the ground.

Seven of the men of Lexington were killed, nine wounded; a quarter part
of all who stood in arms on the green. These are the village heroes, who
were more than of noble blood, proving by their spirit that they were of
a race divine. They gave their lives in testimony to the rights of
mankind, bequeathing to their country an assurance of success in the
mighty struggle which they began. Their names are held in grateful
remembrance, and the expanding millions of their countrymen renew and
multiply their praise from generation to generation. They fulfilled
their duty not from the accidental impulse of the moment; their action
was the slowly ripened fruit of Providence and of time. The light that
led them on was combined of rays from the whole history of the race;
from the traditions of the Hebrews in the gray of the world's morning;
from the heroes and sages of republican Greece and Rome; from the
example of Him who died on the cross for the life of humanity; from the
religious creed which proclaimed the divine presence in man, and on this
truth, as in a life-boat, floated the liberties of nations over the dark
flood of the Middle Ages; from the customs of the Germans transmitted
out of their forests to the councils of Saxon England; from the burning
faith and courage of Martin Luther; from trust in the inevitable
universality of God's sovereignty as taught by Paul of Tarsus and
Augustine, through Calvin and the divines of New England; from the
avenging fierceness of the Puritans, who dashed the mitre on the ruins
of the throne; from the bold dissent and creative self-assertion of the
earliest emigrants to Massachusetts; from the statesmen who made, and
the philosophers who expounded, the revolution of England; from the
liberal spirit and analyzing inquisitiveness of the eighteenth century;
from the cloud of witnesses of all the ages to the reality and the
rightfulness of human freedom. All the centuries bowed themselves from
the recesses of the past to cheer in their sacrifice the lowly men who
proved themselves worthy of their forerunners, and whose children rise
up and call them blessed.

Heedless of his own danger, Samuel Adams, with the voice of a prophet,
exclaimed: "Oh, what a glorious morning is this!" for he saw his
country's independence hastening on, and, like Columbus in the tempest,
knew that the storm did but bear him the more swiftly toward the
undiscovered world.

Copyrighted by D. Appleton and Company, New York.


From 'History of the United States'

Then, on the fifteenth of June, it was voted to appoint a general.
Thomas Johnson, of Maryland, nominated George Washington; and as he had
been brought forward "at the particular request of the people of New
England," he was elected by ballot unanimously.

Washington was then forty-three years of age. In stature he a little
exceeded six feet; his limbs were sinewy and well-proportioned; his
chest broad; his figure stately, blending dignity of presence with ease.
His robust constitution had been tried and invigorated by his early life
in the wilderness, the habit of occupation out of doors, and rigid
temperance; so that few equaled him in strength of arm, or power of
endurance, or noble horsemanship. His complexion was florid; his hair
dark brown; his head in its shape perfectly round. His broad nostrils
seemed formed to give expression and escape to scornful anger. His
eyebrows were rayed and finely arched. His dark-blue eyes, which were
deeply set, had an expression of resignation, and an earnestness that
was almost pensiveness. His forehead was sometimes marked with thought,
but never with inquietude; his countenance was mild and pleasing and
full of benignity.

At eleven years old left an orphan to the care of an excellent but
unlettered mother, he grew up without learning. Of arithmetic and
geometry he acquired just knowledge enough to be able to practice
measuring land; but all his instruction at school taught him not so
much as the orthography or rules of grammar of his own tongue. His
culture was altogether his own work, and he was in the strictest sense a
self-made man; yet from his early life he never seemed uneducated. At
sixteen, he went into the wilderness as a surveyor, and for three years
continued the pursuit, where the forests trained him, in meditative
solitude, to freedom and largeness of mind; and nature revealed to him
her obedience to serene and silent laws. In his intervals from toil, he
seemed always to be attracted to the best men, and to be cherished by
them. Fairfax, his employer, an Oxford scholar, already aged, became his
fast friend. He read little, but with close attention. Whatever he took
in hand he applied himself to with care; and his papers, which have been
preserved, show how he almost imperceptibly gained the power of writing
correctly; always expressing himself with clearness and directness,
often with felicity of language and grace.

When the frontiers on the west became disturbed, he at nineteen was
commissioned an adjutant-general with the rank of major. At twenty-one,
he went as the envoy of Virginia to the council of Indian chiefs on the
Ohio, and to the French officers near Lake Erie. Fame waited upon him
from his youth; and no one of his colony was so much spoken of. He
conducted the first military expedition from Virginia that crossed the
Alleghanies. Braddock selected him as an aid, and he was the only man
who came out of the disastrous defeat near the Monongahela, with
increased reputation, which extended to England. The next year, when he
was but four-and-twenty, "the great esteem" in which he was held in
Virginia, and his "real merit," led the lieutenant-governor of Maryland
to request that he might be "commissioned and appointed second in
command" of the army designed to march to the Ohio; and Shirley, the
commander-in-chief, heard the proposal "with great satisfaction and
pleasure," for "he knew no provincial officer upon the continent to whom
he would so readily give that rank as to Washington." In 1758 he acted
under Forbes as a brigadier, and but for him that general would never
have crossed the mountains.

Courage was so natural to him that it was hardly spoken of to his
praise; no one ever at any moment of his life discovered in him the
least shrinking in danger; and he had a hardihood of daring which
escaped notice, because it was so enveloped by superior calmness
and wisdom.

His address was most easy and agreeable; his step firm and graceful;
his air neither grave nor familiar. He was as cheerful as he was
spirited, frank and communicative in the society of friends, fond of the
fox-chase and the dance, often sportive in his letters, and liked a
hearty laugh. "His smile," writes Chastellux, "was always the smile of
benevolence." This joyousness of disposition remained to the last,
though the vastness of his responsibilities was soon to take from him
the right of displaying the impulsive qualities of his nature, and the
weight which he was to bear up was to overlay and repress his gayety
and openness.

His hand was liberal; giving quietly and without observation, as though
he was ashamed of nothing but being discovered in doing good. He was
kindly and compassionate, and of lively sensibility to the sorrows of
others; so that, if his country had only needed a victim for its relief,
he would have willingly offered himself as a sacrifice. But while he was
prodigal of himself, he was considerate for others; ever parsimonious of
the blood of his countrymen.

He was prudent in the management of his private affairs, purchased rich
lands from the Mohawk valley to the flats of the Kanawha, and improved
his fortune by the correctness of his judgment; but, as a public man, he
knew no other aim than the good of his country, and in the hour of his
country's poverty he refused personal emolument for his service.

His faculties were so well balanced and combined that his constitution,
free from excess, was tempered evenly with all the elements of activity,
and his mind resembled a well-ordered commonwealth; his passions, which
had the intensest vigor, owned allegiance to reason; and with all the
fiery quickness of his spirit, his impetuous and massive will was held
in check by consummate judgment. He had in his composition a calm, which
gave him in moments of highest excitement the power of self-control, and
enabled him to excel in patience, even when he had most cause for
disgust. Washington was offered a command when there was little to bring
out the unorganized resources of the continent but his own influence,
and authority was connected with the people by the most frail, most
attenuated, scarcely discernible threads; yet, vehement as was his
nature, impassioned as was his courage, he so retained his ardor that he
never failed continuously to exert the attractive power of that
influence, and never exerted it so sharply as to break its force.

In secrecy he was unsurpassed; but his secrecy had the character of
prudent reserve, not of cunning or concealment. His great natural power
of vigilance had been developed by his life in the wilderness.

His understanding was lucid, and his judgment accurate; so that his
conduct never betrayed hurry or confusion. No detail was too minute for
his personal inquiry and continued supervision; and at the same time he
comprehended events in their widest aspects and relations. He never
seemed above the object that engaged his attention, and he was always
equal, without an effort, to the solution of the highest questions, even
when there existed no precedents to guide his decision. In the
perfection of the reflective powers, which he used habitually, he had
no peer.

In this way he never drew to himself admiration for the possession of
any one quality in excess, never made in council any one suggestion that
was sublime but impracticable, never in action took to himself the
praise or the blame of undertakings astonishing in conception, but
beyond his means of execution. It was the most wonderful accomplishment
of this man that, placed upon the largest theatre of events, at the head
of the greatest revolution in human affairs, he never failed to observe
all that was possible, and at the same time to bound his aspirations by
that which was possible.

A slight tinge in his character, perceptible only to the close observer,
revealed the region from which he sprung, and he might be described as
the best specimen of manhood as developed in the South; but his
qualities were so faultlessly proportioned that his whole country rather
claimed him as its choicest representative, the most complete expression
of all its attainments and aspirations. He studied his country and
conformed to it. His countrymen felt that he was the best type of
America, and rejoiced in it, and were proud of it. They lived in his
life, and made his success and his praise their own.

Profoundly impressed with confidence in God's providence, and exemplary
in his respect for the forms of public worship, no philosopher of the
eighteenth century was more firm in the support of freedom of religious
opinion, none more remote from bigotry; but belief in God, and trust in
his overruling power, formed the essence of his character. Divine wisdom
not only illumines the spirit, it inspires the will. Washington was a
man of action, and not of theory or words; his creed appears in his
life, not in his professions, which burst from him very rarely, and
only at those great moments of crisis in the fortunes of his country,
when earth and heaven seemed actually to meet, and his emotions became
too intense for suppression; but his whole being was one continued act
of faith in the eternal, intelligent, moral order of the universe.
Integrity was so completely the law of his nature, that a planet would
sooner have shot from its sphere than he have departed from his
uprightness, which was so constant that it often seemed to be almost
impersonal. "His integrity was the most pure, his justice the most
inflexible I have ever known," writes Jefferson; "no motives of interest
or consanguinity, of friendship or hatred, being able to bias his

They say of Giotto that he introduced goodness into the art of painting;
Washington carried it with him to the camp and the Cabinet, and
established a new criterion of human greatness. The purity of his will
confirmed his fortitude: and as he never faltered in his faith in
virtue, he stood fast by that which he knew to be just; free from
illusions; never dejected by the apprehension of the difficulties and
perils that went before him, and drawing the promise of success from the
justice of his cause. Hence he was persevering, leaving nothing
unfinished; devoid of all taint of obstinacy in his firmness; seeking
and gladly receiving advice, but immovable in his devotedness to right.

Of a "retiring modesty and habitual reserve," his ambition was no more
than the consciousness of his power, and was subordinate to his sense of
duty; he took the foremost place, for he knew from inborn magnanimity
that it belonged to him, and he dared not withhold the service required
of him; so that, with all his humility, he was by necessity the first,
though never for himself or for private ends. He loved fame, the
approval of coming generations, the good opinion of his fellow-men of
his own time, and he desired to make his conduct coincide with his
wishes; but not fear of censure, not the prospect of applause could
tempt him to swerve from rectitude, and the praise which he coveted was
the sympathy of that moral sentiment which exists in every human breast,
and goes forth only to the welcome of virtue.

There have been soldiers who have achieved mightier victories in the
field, and made conquests more nearly corresponding to the boundlessness
of selfish ambition; statesmen who have been connected with more
startling upheavals of society: but it is the greatness of Washington
that in public trusts he used power solely for the public good; that he
was the life and moderator and stay of the most momentous revolution in
human affairs; its moving impulse and its restraining power....

This also is the praise of Washington: that never in the tide of time
has any man lived who had in so great a degree the almost divine faculty
to command the confidence of his fellow-men and rule the willing.
Wherever he became known, in his family, his neighborhood, his county,
his native State, the continent, the camp, civil life, among the common
people, in foreign courts, throughout the civilized world, and even
among the savages, he, beyond all other men, had the confidence of
his kind.

Copyrighted by D. Appleton and Company, New York.


(1798-1846) (1796-1874)

Of the writers who have won esteem by telling the pathetic stories of
their country's people, the names of John and Michael Banim are ranked
among the Irish Gael not lower than that of Sir Walter Scott among the
British Gael. The works of the Banim brothers continued the same sad and
fascinating story of the "mere Irish" which Maria Edgeworth and Lady
Morgan had laid to the hearts of English readers in the late eighteenth
and early nineteenth century days. The Banim family was one of those
which belonged to the class of "middlemen," people so designated in
Ireland who were neither rich nor poor, but in the fortunate mean. The
family home was in the historic town of Kilkenny, famous alike for its
fighting confederation and its fighting cats. Here Michael was born
August 5th, 1796, and John April 3d, 1798. Michael lived to a green old
age, and survived his younger brother John twenty-eight years, less
seventeen days; he died at Booterstown, August 30th, 1874.

[Illustration: JOHN BANIM]

The first stories of this brotherly collaboration in letters appeared in
1825 without mark of authorship, as recitals contributed for instruction
and amusement about the hearth-stone of an Irish household, called 'The
O'Hara Family.' The minor chords of the soft music of the Gaelic English
as it fell from the tongues of Irish lads and lasses, whether in note of
sorrow or of sport, had already begun to touch with winsome tenderness
the stolid Saxon hearts, when that idyl of their country's penal days,
'The Bit o' Writin',' was sent out from the O'Hara fireside. The almost
instantaneous success and popularity of their first stories speedily
broke down the anonymity of the Banims, and publishers became eager and
gain-giving. About two dozen stories were published before the death of
John, in 1842. The best-known of them, in addition to the one already
mentioned, are 'The Boyne Water,' 'The Croppy,' and 'Father Connell.'

The fact that during the long survival of Michael no more of the Banim
stories appeared, is sometimes called in as evidence that the latter had
little to do with the writing of the series. Michael and John, it was
well known, had worked lovingly together, and Michael claimed a part in
thirteen of the tales, without excluding his brother from joint
authorship. Exactly what each wrote of the joint productions has never
been known. A single dramatic work of the Banim brothers has attained to
a position in the standard drama, the play of 'Damon and Pythias,' a
free adaptation from an Italian original, written by John Banim at the
instance of Richard Lalor Shiel. The songs are also attributed to John.
It is but just to say that the great emigration to the United States
which absorbed the Irish during the '40's and '50's depreciated the sale
of such works as those of the Banims to the lowest point, and Michael
had good reason, aside from the loss of his brother's aid, to lay down
his pen. The audience of the Irish story-teller had gone away across the
great western sea. There was nothing to do but sit by the lonesome
hearth and await one's own to-morrow for the voyage of the greater sea.


From 'The Bit o' Writin' and Other Tales'

The fair-day had passed over in a little straggling town in the
southeast of Ireland, and was succeeded by a languor proportioned to the
wild excitement it never failed to create. But of all in the village,
its publicans suffered most under the reaction of great bustle. Few of
their houses appeared open at broad noon; and some--the envy of their
competitors--continued closed even after that late hour. Of these
latter, many were of the very humblest kind; little cabins, in fact,
skirting the outlets of the village, or standing alone on the roadside a
good distance beyond it.

About two o'clock upon the day in question, a house of "Entertainment
for Man and Horse," the very last of the description noticed to be found
between the village and the wild tract of mountain country adjacent to
it, was opened by the proprietress, who had that moment arisen from bed.

The cabin consisted of only two apartments, and scarce more than
nominally even of two; for the half-plastered wicker and straw
partition, which professed to cut off a sleeping-nook from the whole
area inclosed by the clay walls, was little higher than a tall man, and
moreover chinky and porous in many places. Let the assumed distinction
be here allowed to stand, however, while the reader casts his eyes
around what was sometimes called the kitchen, sometimes the tap-room,
sometimes the "dancing-flure." Forms which had run by the walls, and
planks by way of tables which had been propped before them, were turned
topsy-turvy, and in some instances broken. Pewter pots and pints,
battered and bruised, or squeezed together and flattened, and fragments
of twisted glass tumblers, lay beside them. The clay floor was scraped
with brogue-nails and indented with the heel of that primitive
foot-gear, in token of the energetic dancing which had lately been
performed upon it. In a corner still appeared (capsized, however) an
empty eight-gallon beer barrel, recently the piper's throne, whence his
bag had blown forth the inspiring storms of jigs and reels, which
prompted to more antics than ever did a bag of the laughing-gas. Among
the yellow turf-ashes of the hearth lay on its side an old blackened tin
kettle, without a spout,--a principal utensil in brewing scalding water
for the manufacture of whisky-punch; and its soft and yet warm bed was
shared by a red cat, who had stolen in from his own orgies, through some
cranny, since day-break. The single four-paned window of the apartment
remained veiled by its rough shutter, that turned on leather hinges; but
down the wide yawning chimney came sufficient light to reveal the
objects here described.

The proprietress opened her back door. She was a woman of about forty;
of a robust, large-boned figure; with broad, rosy visage, dark, handsome
eyes, and well-cut nose: but inheriting a mouth so wide as to proclaim
her pure aboriginal Irish pedigree. After a look abroad, to inhale the
fresh air, and then a remonstrance (ending in a kick) with the hungry
pig, who ran, squeaking and grunting, to demand his long-deferred
breakfast, she settled her cap, rubbed down her _prauskeen_ [coarse
apron], tucked and pinned up her skirts behind, and saying in a loud,
commanding voice, as she spoke into the sleeping-chamber, "Get up now at
once, Jer, I bid you," vigorously if not tidily set about putting her
tavern to rights.

During her bustle the dame would stop an instant, and bend her ear to
listen for a stir inside the partition; but at last losing patience she

"Why, then, my heavy hatred on you, Jer Mulcahy, is it gone into a
_sauvaun_ [pleasant drowsiness] you are, over again? or maybe you stole
out of bed, an' put your hand on one o' them ould good-for-nothing
books, that makes you the laziest man that a poor woman ever had tinder
one roof wid her? ay, an' that sent you out of our dacent shop an'
house, in the heart of the town below, an' banished us here, Jer
Mulcahy, to sell drams o' whisky an' pots o' beer to all the riff-raff
o' the counthry-side, instead o' the nate boots an' shoes you served
your honest time to?"

She entered his, or her chamber, rather, hoping that she might detect
him luxuriantly perusing in bed one of the mutilated books, a love of
which (or more truly a love of indolence, thus manifesting itself) had
indeed chiefly caused his downfall in the world. Her husband, however,
really tired after his unusual bodily efforts of the previous day, only
slumbered, as Mrs. Mulcahy had at first anticipated; and when she had
shaken and aroused him, for the twentieth time that morning, and scolded
him until the spirit-broken blockhead whimpered,--nay, wept, or
pretended to weep,--the dame returned to her household duties.

She did not neglect, however, to keep calling to him every half-minute,
until at last Mr. Jeremiah Mulcahy strode into the kitchen: a tall,
ill-contrived figure, that had once been well fitted out, but that now
wore its old skin, like its old clothes, very loosely; and those old
clothes were a discolored, threadbare, half-polished kerseymere pair of
trousers, and aged superfine black coat, the last relics of his former
Sunday finery,--to which had recently and incongruously been added a
calfskin vest, a pair of coarse sky-blue peasant's stockings, and a pair
of brogues. His hanging cheeks and lips told, together, his present bad
living and domestic subjection; and an eye that had been blinded by the
smallpox wore neither patch nor band, although in better days it used to
be genteelly hidden from remark,--an assumption of consequence now
deemed incompatible with his altered condition in society.

"O Cauth! oh, I had such a dhrame," he said, as he made his appearance.

"An' I'll go bail you had," answered Cauth, "an' when do you ever go
asleep without having one dhrame or another, that pesters me off o' my
legs the livelong day, till the night falls again to let you have
another? Musha, Jer, don't be ever an' always such a fool; an' never
mind the dhrame now, but lend a hand to help me in the work o' the
house. See the pewther there: haive it up, man alive, an' take it out
into the garden, and sit on the big stone in the sun, an' make it look
as well as you can, afther the ill usage it got last night; come, hurry,
Jer--go an' do what I bid you."

He retired in silence to "the garden," a little patch of ground
luxuriant in potatoes and a few cabbages. Mrs. Mulcahy pursued her work
till her own sensations warned her that it was time to prepare her
husband's morning or rather day meal; for by the height of the sun it
should now be many hours past noon. So she put down her pot of potatoes;
and when they were boiled, took out a wooden trencher full of them, and
a mug of sour milk, to Jer, determined not to summon him from his useful
occupation of restoring the pints and quarts to something of their
former shape.

Stepping through the back door, and getting him in view, she stopped
short in silent anger. His back was turned to her, because of the sun;
and while the vessels, huddled about in confusion, seemed little the
better of his latent skill and industry, there he sat on his favorite
round stone, studiously perusing, half aloud to himself, some idle
volume which doubtless he had smuggled into the garden in his pocket.
Laying down her trencher and her mug, Mrs. Mulcahy stole forward on
tiptoe, gained his shoulder without being heard, snatched the imperfect
bundle of soiled pages out of his hand, and hurled it into a neighbor's

Jeremiah complained, in his usual half-crying tone, declaring that "she
never could let him alone, so she couldn't, and he would rather list for
a soger than lade such a life, from year's end to year's end, so
he would."

"Well, an' do then--an' whistle that idle cur off wid you," pointing to
a nondescript puppy, which had lain happily coiled up at his master's
feet until Mrs. Mulcahy's appearance, but that now watched her closely,
his ears half cocked and his eyes wide open, though his position
remained unaltered. "Go along to the divil, you lazy whelp you!"--she
took up a pint in which a few drops of beer remained since the previous
night, and drained it on the puppy's head, who instantly ran off,
jumping sideways, and yelping as loud as if some bodily injury had
really visited him--"Yes, an' now you begin to yowl, like your masther,
for nothing at all, only because a body axes you to stir your idle
legs--hould your tongue, you foolish baste!" she stooped for a
stone--"one would think I scalded you."

"You know you did, once, Cauth, to the backbone; an' small blame for
Shuffle to be afeard o' you ever since," said Jer.

This vindication of his own occasional remonstrances, as well as of
Shuffle's, was founded in truth. When very young, just to keep him from
running against her legs while she was busy over the fire, Mrs. Mulcahy
certainly had emptied a ladleful of boiling potato-water upon the poor
puppy's back; and from that moment it was only necessary to spill a drop
of the coldest possible water, or of any cold liquid, on any part of his
body, and he believed he was again dreadfully scalded, and ran out of
the house screaming in all the fancied theories of torture.

"Will you ate your good dinner, now, Jer Mulcahy, an' promise to do
something to help me, afther it?--Mother o' Saints!"--thus she
interrupted herself, turning towards the place where she had deposited
the eulogized food--"see that yon unlucky bird! May I never do an ill
turn but there's the pig afther spilling the sweet milk, an' now
shoveling the beautiful white-eyes down her throat at a mouthful!"

Jer, really afflicted at this scene, promised to work hard the moment he
got his dinner; and his spouse, first procuring a pitchfork to beat the
pig into her sty, prepared a fresh meal for him, and retired to eat her
own in the house, and then to continue her labor.

In about an hour she thought of paying him another visit of inspection,
when Jeremiah's voice reached her ear, calling out in disturbed accents,
"Cauth! Cauth! _a-vourneen!_ For the love o' heaven, Cauth! where
are you?"

Running to him, she found her husband sitting upright, though not upon
his round stone, amongst the still untouched heap of pots and pints, his
pock-marked face very pale, his single eye staring, his hands clasped
and shaking, and moisture on his forehead.

"What!" she cried, "the pewther just as I left it, over again!"

"O Cauth! Cauth! don't mind that now--but spake to me kind, Cauth, an'
comfort me."

"Why, what ails you, Jer _a-vous neen_?" affectionately taking his hand,
when she saw how really agitated he was.

"O Cauth, oh, I had such a dhrame, now, in earnest, at any rate!"

"A dhrame!" she repeated, letting go his hand, "a dhrame, Jer Mulcahy!
so, afther your good dinner, you go for to fall asleep, Jer Mulcahy,
just to be ready wid a new dhrame for me, instead of the work you came
out here to do, five blessed hours ago!"

"Don't scould me, now, Cauth; don't, a-pet: only listen to me, an' then
say what you like. You know the lonesome little glen between the hills,
on the short cut for man or horse, to Kilbroggan? Well, Cauth, there I
found myself in the dhrame; and I saw two sailors, tired afther a day's
hard walking, sitting before one of the big rocks that stand upright in
the wild place; an' they were ating or dhrinking, I couldn't make out
which; and one was a tall, sthrong, broad-shouldhered man, an' the other
was sthrong, too, but short an' burly; an' while they were talking very
civilly to each other, lo an' behould you, Cauth, I seen the tall man
whip his knife into the little man; an' then they both sthruggled, an'
wrastled, an' schreeched together, till the rocks rung again; but at
last the little man was a corpse; an' may I never see a sight o' glory,
Cauth, but all this was afore me as plain as you are, in this garden!
an' since the hour I was born, Cauth, I never got such a fright;
an'--oh, Cauth! what's that now?"

"What is it, you poor fool, you, but a customer, come at last into the
kitchen--an' time for us to see the face o' one this blessed day. Get up
out o' that, wid your dhrames--don't you hear 'em knocking? I'll stay
here to put one vessel at laste to rights--for I see I must."

Jeremiah arose, groaning, and entered the cabin through the back door.
In a few seconds he hastened to his wife, more terror-stricken than he
had left her, and settling his loins against the low garden wall,
stared at her.

"Why, then, duoul's in you, Jer Mulcahy (saints forgive me for
cursing!)--and what's the matter wid you, at-all at-all?"

"They're in the kitchen," he whispered.

"Well, an' what will they take?"

"I spoke never a word to them, Cauth, nor they to me;--I couldn't--an' I
won't, for a duke's ransom: I only saw them stannin' together, in the
dark that's coming on, behind the dour, an' I knew them at the first
look--the tall one an' the little one."

With a flout at his dreams, and his cowardice, and his
good-for-nothingness, the dame hurried to serve her customers. Jeremiah
heard her loud voice addressing them, and their hoarse tones answering.
She came out again for two pints to draw some beer, and commanded him to
follow her and "discoorse the customers." He remained motionless. She
returned in a short time, and fairly drove him before her into
the house.

He took a seat remote from his guests, with difficulty pronouncing the
ordinary words of "God save ye, genteels," which they bluffly and
heartily answered. His glances towards them were also few; yet enough to
inform him that they conversed together like friends, pledging healths
and shaking hands. The tall sailor abruptly asked him how far it was, by
the short cut, to a village where they proposed to pass the
night--Kilbroggan?--Jeremiah started on his seat, and his wife, after a
glance and a grumble at him, was obliged to speak for her husband. They
finished their beer; paid for it; put up half a loaf and a cut of bad
watery cheese, saying that they might feel more hungry a few miles on
than they now did; and then they arose to leave the cabin. Jeremiah
glanced in great trouble around. His wife had fortunately disappeared;
he snatched up his old hat, and with more energy than he could himself
remember, ran forward to be a short way on the road before them. They
soon approached him; and then, obeying a conscientious impulse, Jeremiah
saluted the smaller of the two, and requested to speak with him apart.
The sailor, in evident surprise, assented. Jer vaguely cautioned him
against going any farther that night, as it would be quite dark by the
time he should get to the mountain pass, on the by-road to Kilbroggan.
His warning was made light of. He grew more earnest, asserting, what was
not the fact, that it was "a bad road," meaning one infested by robbers.
Still the bluff tar paid no attention, and was turning away. "Oh, sir;
oh, stop, sir," resumed Jeremiah, taking great courage, "I have a thing
to tell you;" and he rehearsed his dream, averring that in it he had
distinctly seen the present object of his solicitude set upon and slain
by his colossal companion. The listener paused a moment; first looking
at Jer, and then at the ground, very gravely: but the next moment he
burst into a loud, and Jeremiah thought, frightful laugh, and walked
rapidly to overtake his shipmate. Jeremiah, much oppressed,
returned home.

Towards dawn, next morning, the publican awoke in an ominous panic, and
aroused his wife to listen to a loud knocking, and a clamor of voices at
their door. She insisted that there was no such thing, and scolded him
for disturbing her sleep. A renewal of the noise, however, convinced
even her incredulity, and showed that Jeremiah was right for the first
time in his life, at least. Both arose, and hastened to answer
the summons.

When they unbarred the front door, a gentleman, surrounded by a crowd of
people of the village, stood before it. He had discovered on the by-road
through the hills from Kilbroggan, a dead body, weltering in its gore,
and wearing sailor's clothes; had ridden on in alarm; had raised the
village; and some of its population, recollecting to have seen Mrs.
Mulcahy's visitors of the previous evening, now brought him to her house
to hear what she could say on the subject.

Before she could say anything, her husband fell senseless at her side,
groaning dolefully. While the bystanders raised him, she clapped her
hands, and exalted her voice in ejaculations, as Irishwomen, when
grieved or astonished or vexed, usually do; and now, as proud of
Jeremiah's dreaming capabilities as she had before been impatient of
them, rehearsed his vision of the murder, and authenticated the visit of
the two sailors to her house, almost while he was in the act of making
her the confidant of his prophetic ravings. The auditors stept back in
consternation, crossing themselves, smiting their breasts, and crying
out, "The Lord save us! The Lord have mercy upon us!"

Jeremiah slowly awoke from his swoon. The gentleman who had discovered
the body commanded his attendants back to the lonesome glen, where it
lay. Poor Jeremiah fell on his knees, and with tears streaming down his
cheeks, prayed to be saved from such a trial. His neighbors almost
forced him along.

All soon gained the spot, a narrow pass between slanting piles of
displaced rocks; the hills from which they had tumbled rising brown and
barren and to a great height above and beyond them. And there, indeed,
upon the strip of verdure which formed the winding road through the
defile, lay the corpse of one of the sailors who had visited the
publican's house the evening before.

Again Jeremiah dropt on his knees, at some distance from the body,
exclaiming, "Lord save us!--yes! oh, yes, neighbors, this is the very
place!--only--the saints be good to us again!--'twas the tall sailor I
seen killing the little sailor, and here's the tall sailor murthered by
the little sailor."

"Dhrames go by conthraries, some way or another," observed one of his
neighbors; and Jeremiah's puzzle was resolved.

Two steps were now indispensable to be taken; the county coroner should
be summoned, and the murderer sought after. The crowd parted to engage
in both matters simultaneously. Evening drew on when they again met in
the pass: and the first, who had gone for the coroner, returned with
him, a distance of near twenty miles; but the second party did not prove
so successful. In fact they had discovered no clue to the present
retreat of the supposed assassin.

The coroner impaneled his jury, and held his inquest under a large
upright rock, bedded in the middle of the pass, such as Jeremiah said he
had seen in his dream. A verdict of willful murder against the absent
sailor was quickly agreed upon; but ere it could be recorded, all
hesitated, not knowing how to individualize a man of whose name they
were ignorant.

The summer night had fallen upon their deliberations, and the moon arose
in splendor, shining over the top of one of the high hills that inclosed
the pass, so as fully to illumine the bosom of the other. During their
pause, a man appeared standing upon the line of the hill thus favored by
the moonlight, and every eye turned in that direction. He ran down the
abrupt declivity beneath him; he gained the continued sweep of jumbled
rocks which immediately walled in the little valley, springing from one
to another of them with such agility and certainty that it seemed almost
magical; and a general whisper of fear now attested the fact of his
being dressed in a straw hat, a short jacket, and loose white trousers.
As he jumped from the last rock upon the sward of the pass, the
spectators drew back; but he, not seeming to notice them, walked up to
the corpse, which had not yet been touched; took its hand; turned up
its face into the moonlight, and attentively regarded the features; let
the hand go; pushed his hat upon his forehead; glanced around him;
recognized the person in authority; approached, and stood still before
him, and said "Here I am, Tom Mills, that killed long Harry Holmes, and
there he lies."

The coroner cried out to secure him, now fearing that the man's
sturdiness meant farther harm. "No need," resumed the self-accused;
"here's my bread-and-cheese knife, the only weapon about me;" he threw
it on the ground: "I come back just to ax you, commodore, to order me a
cruise after poor Harry, bless his precious eyes, wherever he is bound."

"You have been pursued hither?"

"No, bless your heart; but I wouldn't pass such another watch as the
last twenty-four hours for all the prize-money won at Trafalgar. 'Tisn't
in regard of not tasting food or wetting my lips ever since I fell foul
of Harry, or of hiding my head like a cursed animal o' the yearth, and
starting if a bird only hopped nigh me: but I cannot go on living on
this tack no longer; that's it; and the least I can say to you, Harry,
my hearty."

"What caused your quarrel with your comrade?"

"There was no jar or jabber betwixt us, d'you see me."

"Not at the time, I understand you to mean; but surely you must have
long owed him a grudge?"

"No, but long loved him; and he me."

"Then, in heaven's name, what put the dreadful thought in your head?"

"The devil, commodore, (the horned lubber!) and another lubber to help
him"--pointing at Jeremiah, who shrank to the skirts of the crowd. "I'll
tell you every word of it, commodore, as true as a log-book. For twenty
long and merry years, Harry and I sailed together, and worked together,
thro' a hard gale sometimes, and thro' hot sun another time; and never a
squally word came between us till last night, and then it all came of
that lubberly swipes-seller, I say again. I thought as how it was a real
awful thing that a strange landsman, before ever he laid eyes on either
of us, should come to have this here dream about us. After falling in
with Harry, when the lubber and I parted company, my old mate saw I was
cast down, and he told me as much in his own gruff, well-meaning way;
upon which I gave him the story, laughing at it. _He_ didn't laugh in
return, but grew glum--glummer than I ever seed him; and I wondered,
and fell to boxing about my thoughts, more and more (deep sea sink that
cursed thinking and thinking, say I!--it sends many an honest fellow out
of his course); and 'It's hard to know the best man's mind,' I thought
to myself. Well, we came on the tack into these rocky parts, and Harry
says to me all on a sudden, 'Tom, try the soundings here, ahead, by
yourself--or let me, by myself.' I axed him why? 'No matter,' says Harry
again, 'but after what you chawed about, I don't like your company any
farther, till we fall in again at the next village.' 'What, Harry,' I
cries, laughing heartier than ever, 'are you afeard of your own mind
with Tom Mills?' 'Pho,' he made answer, walking on before me, and I
followed him.

"'Yes,' I kept saying to myself, 'he _is_ afeard of his own mind with
his old shipmate.' 'Twas a darker night than this, and when I looked
ahead, the devil (for I know 'twas _he_ that boarded me!) made me take
notice what a good spot it was for Harry to fall foul of me. And then I
watched him making way before me, in the dark, and couldn't help
thinking he was the better man of the two--a head and shoulders over me,
and a match for any two of my inches. And then again, I brought to mind
that Harry would be a heavy purse the better of sending me to Davy's
locker, seeing we had both been just paid off, and got a lot of
prize-money to boot;--and at last (the real red devil having fairly got
me helm a-larboard) I argufied with myself that Tom Mills would be as
well alive, with Harry Holmes's luck in his pocket, as he could be dead,
and _his_ in Harry Holmes's; not to say nothing of taking one's own
part, just to keep one's self afloat, if so be Harry let his mind run as
mine was running.

"All this time Harry never gave me no hail, but kept tacking through
these cursed rocks; and that, and his last words, made me doubt him more
and more. At last he stopped nigh where he now lies, and sitting with
his back to that high stone, he calls for my blade to cut the bread and
cheese he had got at the village; and while he spoke I believed he
looked glummer and glummer, and that he wanted the blade, the only one
between us, for some'at else than to cut bread and cheese; though now I
don't believe no such thing howsumdever; but then I did: and so, d'you
see me, commodore, I lost ballast all of a sudden, and when he stretched
out his hand for the blade (hell's fire blazing up in my lubberly
heart!)--'Here it is, Harry,' says I, and I gives it to him in the
side!--once, twice, in the right place!" (the sailor's voice, hitherto
calm, though broken and rugged, now rose into a high, wild
cadence)--"and then how we did grapple! and sing out one to another!
ahoy! yeho! aye; till I thought the whole crew of devils answered our
hail from the hill-tops!--But I hit you again and again, Harry! before
you could master me," continued the sailor, returning to the corpse, and
once more taking its hand--"until at last you struck,--my old
messmate!--And now--nothing remains for Tom Mills--but to man the

The narrator stood his trial at the ensuing assizes, and was executed
for this avowed murder of his shipmate; Jeremiah appearing as a
principal witness. Our story may seem drawn either from imagination, or
from mere village gossip: its chief acts rest, however, upon the
authority of members of the Irish bar, since risen to high professional
eminence; and they can even vouch that at least Jeremiah asserted the
truth of "The Publican's Dream."


     'Tis not for love of gold I go,
       'Tis not for love of fame;
     Tho' Fortune should her smile bestow,
       And I may win a name,
       And I may win a name.

     And yet it is for gold I go,
       And yet it is for fame,--
     That they may deck another brow
       And bless another name,
       And bless another name.

     For this, but this, I go--for this
       I lose thy love awhile;
     And all the soft and quiet bliss
       Of thy young, faithful smile,
       Of thy young, faithful smile.

     And I go to brave a world I hate
       And woo it o'er and o'er,
     And tempt a wave and try a fate
       Upon a stranger shore,
       Upon a stranger shore.

     Oh! when the gold is wooed and won,
       I know a heart will care!
     Oh! when the bays are all my own,
       I know a brow shall wear,
       I know a brow shall wear.

     And when, with both returned again,
       My native land to see,
     I know a smile will meet me there
       And a hand will welcome me,
       And a hand will welcome me!


     ("O Priest, O Love!")


     Am I the slave they say,
         Soggarth Aroon?
     Since you did show the way,
         Soggarth Aroon,
     Their slave no more to be,
     While they would work with me
     Ould Ireland's slavery,
         Soggarth Aroon?

     Why not her poorest man,
         Soggarth Aroon,
     Try and do all he can,
         Soggarth Aroon,
     Her commands to fulfill
     Of his own heart and will,
     Side by side with you still,
         Soggarth Aroon?

     Loyal and brave to you,
         Soggarth Aroon,
     Yet be no slave to you,
         Soggarth Aroon,
     Nor out of fear to you
     Stand up so near to you--
     Och! out of fear to _you!_
         Soggarth Aroon!

     Who, in the winter's night,
         Soggarth Aroon,
     When the cowld blast did bite,
         Soggarth Aroon,
     Came to my cabin door,
     And on my earthen floor
     Knelt by me, sick and poor,
         Soggarth Aroon?

     Who, on the marriage day,
         Soggarth Aroon,
     Made the poor cabin gay,
         Soggarth Aroon;
     And did both laugh and sing,
     Making our hearts to ring,
     At the poor christening,
         Soggarth Aroon?

     Who, as friend only met,
         Soggarth Aroon,
     Never did flout me yet,
         Soggarth Aroon?
     And when my hearth was dim
     Gave, while his eye did brim,
     What I should give to him,
         Soggarth Aroon?

     Och! you, and only you,
         Soggarth Aroon!
     And for this I was true to you,
         Soggarth Aroon;
     In love they'll never shake
     When for ould Ireland's sake
     We a true part did take,
         Soggarth Aroon!

[Illustration: _THE IRISH MAIDEN'S SONG._
Photogravure from a Painting by E. Hebert.]


     You know it now--it is betrayed
       This moment in mine eye,
     And in my young cheeks' crimson shade,
       And in my whispered sigh.
     You know it now--yet listen now--
       Though ne'er was love more true,
     My plight and troth and virgin vow
       Still, still I keep from you,

     Ever, until a proof you give
       How oft you've heard me say,
     I would not even his empress live
       Who idles life away,
     Without one effort for the land
       In which my fathers' graves
     Were hollowed by a despot hand
       To darkly close on slaves--

     See! round yourself the shackles hang,
       Yet come you to love's bowers,
     That only he may soothe their pang
       Or hide their links in flowers--
     But try all things to snap them first,
       And should all fail when tried,
     The fated chain you cannot burst
       My twining arms shall hide--



Théodore Faullain De Banville is best known as a very skillful maker of
polished artificial verse. His poetry stands high; but it is the poetry
not of nature, but of elegant society. His muse, as Mr. Henley says, is
always in evening dress. References to the classic poets are woven into
all of his descriptions of nature. He is distinguished, scholarly, full
of taste, and brilliant in execution; never failing in propriety, and
never reaching inspiration. As an artist in words and cadences he has
few superiors.

[Illustration: De Banville]

These qualities are partly acquired, and partly the result of birth.
Born in 1823, the son of a naval officer, from his earliest years he
devoted himself to literature. His birthplace, Moulins, an old
provincial town on the banks of the Allier, where he spent a happy
childhood, made little impression on him. Still almost a child he went
to Paris, where he led a life without events,--without even a marriage
or an election to the Academy; he died March 13th, 1891. His place was
among the society people and the artists; the painter Courbet and the
writers Mürger, Baudelaire, and Gautier were among his closest friends.
He first attracted attention in 1848 by the publication of a volume of
verse, 'The Caryatids.' In 1857 came another, 'Odes Funambulesque,' and
later another series under the same title, the two together containing
his best work in verse. Here he stands highest; though he wrote also
many plays, one of which, 'Gringoire,' has been acted in various
translations. 'The Wife of Socrates' also holds the stage. Like his
other work, his drama is artificial, refined, and skillful. He presents
a marked instance of the artist working for art's sake. During the
latter years of his life he wrote mostly prose, and he has left many
well-drawn portraits of his contemporaries, in addition to several books
of criticism, with much color and charm, but little definiteness. He was
always vague, for facts did not interest him; but he had the power of
making his remote, unreal world attractive, and among the writers of the
school of Gautier he stands among the first.


From 'The Soul of Paris'

Imagine a place where you do not endure the horror of being alone, and
yet have the freedom of solitude. There, free from the dust, the
boredom, the vulgarities of a household, you reflect at ease,
comfortably seated before a table, unincumbered by all the things that
oppress you in houses; for if useless objects and papers had accumulated
here they would have been promptly removed. You smoke slowly, quietly,
like a Turk, following your thoughts among the blue curves.

If you have a voluptuous desire to taste some warm or refreshing
beverage, well-trained waiters bring it to you immediately. If you feel
like talking with clever men who will not bully you, you have within
reach light sheets on which are printed winged thoughts, rapid, written
for you, which you are not forced to bind and preserve in a library when
they have ceased to please you. This place, the paradise of
civilization, the last and inviolable refuge of the free man, is
the café.

It is the café; but in the ideal, as we dream it, as it ought to be. The
lack of room and the fabulous cost of land on the boulevards of Paris
make it hideous in actuality. In these little boxes--of which the rent
is that of a palace--one would be foolish to look for the space of a
vestiary. Besides, the walls are decorated with stovepipe hats and
overcoats hung on clothes-pegs--an abominable sight, for which atonement
is offered by multitudes of white panels and ignoble gilding, imitations
made by economical process.

And (let us not deceive ourselves) the overcoat, with which one never
knows what to do, and which makes us worry everywhere,--in society, at
the theatre, at balls,--is the great enemy and the abominable
enslavement of modern life. Happy the gentlemen of the age of Louis
XIV., who in the morning dressed themselves for all day, in satin and
velvet, their brows protected by wigs, and who remained superb even when
beaten by the storm, and who, moreover, brave as lions, ran the risk of
pneumonia even if they had to put on, one outside the other, the
innumerable waistcoats of Jodelet in 'Les Précieuses Ridicules'!

"How shall I find my overcoat and my wife's party cape?" is the great
and only cry, the Hamlet-monologue of the modern man, that poisons every
minute of his life and makes him look with resignation toward his dying
hour. On the morning after a ball given by Marshal MacMahon nothing is
found: the overcoats have disappeared; the satin cloaks, the boas, the
lace scarfs have gone up in smoke; and the women must rush in despair
through the driving snow while their husbands try to button their
evening coats, which will not button!

One evening, at a party given by the wife of the President of the
Chamber of Deputies, at which the gardens were lighted by electricity,
Gambetta suddenly wished to show some of his guests a curiosity, and
invited them to go down with him into the bushes. A valet hastened to
hand him his overcoat, but the guests did not dare to ask for theirs,
and followed Gambetta as they were! However, I believe one or two of
them survived.

At the café no one carries off your overcoat, no one hides it; but they
are all hung up, spread out on the wall like masterpieces of art,
treated as if they were portraits of Mona Lisa or Violante, and you have
them before your eyes, you see them continually. Is there not reason to
curse the moment your eyes first saw the light? One may, as I have said,
read the papers; or rather one might read them if they were not hung on
those abominable racks, which remove them a mile from you and force you
to see them on your horizon.

As to the drinks, give up all hope; for the owner of the café has no
proper place for their preparation, and his rent is so enormous that he
has to make the best even of the quality he sells. But aside from this
reason, the drinks could not be good, because there are too many of
them. The last thing one finds at these coffee-houses is coffee. It is
delicious, divine, in those little Oriental shops where it is made to
order for each drinker in a special little pot. As to syrups, how many
are there in Paris? In what inconceivable place can they keep the jars
containing the fruit juices needed to make them? A few real ladies,
rich, well-born, good housekeepers, not reduced to slavery by the great
shops, who do not rouge or paint their cheeks, still know how to make in
their own homes good syrups from the fruit of their gardens and their
vineyards. But they naturally do not give them away or sell them to the
keepers of cafés, but keep them to gladden their flaxen-haired children.

Such as it is,--with its failings and its vices, even a full century
after the fame of Procope,--the café, which we cannot drive out of our
memories, has been the asylum and the refuge of many charming spirits.
The old Tabourey, who, after having been illustrious, now has a sort of
half popularity and a pewter bar, formerly heard the captivating
conversations of Barbey and of Aurevilly, who were rivals in the noblest
salons, and who sometimes preferred to converse seated before a marble
table in a hall from which one could see the foliage and the flowers of
the Luxembourg. Baudelaire also talked there, with his clear caressing
voice dropping diamonds and precious stones, like the princess of the
fairy tale, from beautiful red, somewhat thick lips.

A problem with no possible solution holds in check the writers and the
artists of Paris. When one has worked hard all day it is pleasant to
take a seat, during the short stroll that precedes the dinner, to meet
one's comrades and talk with them of everything but politics. The only
favorable place for these necessary accidental meetings is the café; but
is the game worth the candle, or, to speak more exactly, the blinding
gas-jets? Is it worth while, for the pleasure of exchanging words, to
accept criminal absinthe, unnatural bitters, tragic vermouth, concocted
in the sombre laboratories of the cafés by frightful parasites?

Aurélien Scholl, who, being a fine poet and excellent writer, is
naturally a practical man, had a pleasing idea. He wished that the
reunions in the cafés might continue at the absinthe hour, but without
the absinthe! A very honest man, chosen for that purpose, would pour out
for the passers-by, in place of everything else, excellent claret with
quinquina, which would have the double advantage of not poisoning them
and of giving them a wholesome and comforting drink. But this seductive
dream could never be realized. Of course, honest men exist in great
numbers, among keepers of cafés as well as in other walks of life; but
the individual honest man could not be found who would be willing to
pour out quinquina wine in which there was both quinquina and wine.

In the Palais Royal there used to be a café which had retained Empire
fittings and oil lamps. One found there real wine, real coffee, real
milk, and good beefsteaks. Roqueplan, Arsène Houssaye, Michel Lévy, and
the handsome Fiorentino used to breakfast there, and they knew how to
get the best mushrooms. The proprietor of the café had said that as soon
as he could no longer make a living by selling genuine articles, he
would not give up his stock in trade to another, but would sell his
furniture and shut up shop. He kept his word. He was a hero.


     From 'The Caryatids'

     Still sing the mocking fairies, as of old,
       Beneath the shade of thorn and holly-tree;
     The west wind breathes upon them pure and cold,
       And still wolves dread Diana roving free,
       In secret woodland with her company.
     'Tis thought the peasants' hovels know her rite
     When now the wolds are bathed in silver light,
       And first the moonrise breaks the dusky gray;
     Then down the dells, with blown soft hair and bright,
       And through the dim wood, Dian thrids her way.

     With water-weeds twined in their locks of gold
       The strange cold forest-fairies dance in glee;
     Sylphs over-timorous and over-bold
       Haunt the dark hollows where the dwarf may be,
       The wild red dwarf, the nixies' enemy:
     Then, 'mid their mirth and laughter and affright,
     The sudden goddess enters, tall and white,
       With one long sigh for summers passed away;
     The swift feet tear the ivy nets outright,
       And through the dim wood Dian thrids her way.

     She gleans her sylvan trophies; down the wold
       She hears the sobbing of the stags that flee,
     Mixed with the music of the hunting rolled,
       But her delight is all in archery,
       And naught of ruth and pity wotteth she
     More than the hounds that follow on the flight;
     The tall nymph draws a golden bow of might,
       And thick she rains the gentle shafts that slay;
     She tosses loose her locks upon the night,
       And through the dim wood Dian thrids her way.


     Prince, let us leave the din, the dust, the spite,
     The gloom and glare of towns, the plague, the blight;
       Amid the forest leaves and fountain spray
     There is the mystic home of our delight,
       And through the dim wood Dian thrids her way.

     Translation of Andrew Lang.


     I know Cythera long is desolate;
       I know the winds have stripped the garden green.
     Alas, my friends! beneath the fierce sun's weight
       A barren reef lies where Love's flowers have been,
       Nor ever lover on that coast is seen!
     So be it, for we seek a fabled shore,
     To lull our vague desires with mystic lore,
       To wander where Love's labyrinths beguile;
     There let us land, there dream for evermore,
       "It may be we shall touch the happy isle."

     The sea may be our sepulchre. If Fate,
       If tempests wreak their wrath on us, serene
     We watch the bolt of Heaven, and scorn the hate
       Of angry gods that smite us in their spleen.
       Perchance the jealous mists are but the screen
     That veils the fairy coast we would explore.
     Come, though the sea be vexed, and breakers roar,
       Come, for the breath of this old world is vile,
     Haste we, and toil, and faint not at the oar;
       "It may be we shall touch the happy isle."

     Gray serpents trail in temples desecrate
       Where Cypris smiled, the golden maid, the queen,
     And ruined is the palace of our state;
       But happy loves flit round the mast, and keen
       The shrill winds sings the silken cords between.
     Heroes are we, with wearied hearts and sore,
     Whose flower is faded and whose locks are hoar.
       Haste, ye light skiffs, where myrtle thickets smile
     Love's panthers sleep 'mid roses, as of yore:
       "It may be we shall touch the happy isle."


     Sad eyes! the blue sea laughs as heretofore.
     Ah, singing birds, your happy music pour;
       Ah, poets, leave the sordid earth awhile;
     Flit to these ancient gods we still adore:
       "It may be we shall touch the happy isle."

     Translation of Andrew Lang.


     Where wide the forest bows are spread,
       Where Flora wakes with sylph and fay,
     Are crowns and garlands of men dead,
       All golden in the morning gay;
     Within this ancient garden gray
       Are clusters such as no man knows,
     Where Moor and Soldan bear the sway:
       _This is King Louis's orchard close_!

     These wretched folk wave overhead,
       With such strange thoughts as none may say;
     A moment still, then sudden sped,
       They swing in a ring and waste away.
     The morning smites them with her ray;
       They toss with every breeze that blows,
     They dance where fires of dawning play:
       _This is King Louis's orchard close_!

     All hanged and dead, they've summonèd
       (With Hell to aid, that hears them pray)
     New legions of an army dread.
       Now down the blue sky flames the day;
     The dew dies off; the foul array
       Of obscene ravens gathers and goes,
     With wings that flap and beaks that flay:
       _This is King Louis's orchard close_!


     Prince, where leaves murmur of the May,
       A tree of bitter clusters grows;
     The bodies of men dead are they!
       _This is King Louis's orchard close_!

     Translation of Andrew Lang.



When Lætitia Aikin Barbauld was about thirty years old, her friend, Mrs.
Elizabeth Montague, wishing to establish a college for women, asked her
to be its principal. In her letter of refusal Mrs. Barbauld said:--"A
kind of Academy for ladies, where they are to be taught in a regular
manner the various branches of science, appears to me better calculated
to form such characters as the _Précieuses_ or _Femmes Savantes_ than
good wives or agreeable companions. The very best way for a woman to
acquire knowledge is from conversation with a father or brother.... The
thefts of knowledge in our sex are only connived at while carefully
concealed, and if displayed are punished with disgrace." It is odd to
find Mrs. Barbauld thus reflecting the old-fashioned view of the
capacity and requirements of her own sex, for she herself belonged to
that brilliant group--Hannah More, Fanny Burney, Maria Edgeworth, Jane
Austen, Joanna Baillie, Mary Russell Mitford--who were the living
refutation of her inherited theories. Their influence shows a pedagogic
impulse to present morally helpful ideas to the public.

[Illustration: ANNA L. BARBAULD]

From preceding generations whose lives had been concentrated upon
household affairs, these women pioneers had acquired the strictly
practical bent of mind which comes out in all their verse, as in all
their prose.

The child born at Kibworth Harcourt, Leicestershire, a century and a
half ago, became one of the first of these pleasant writers for young
and old. She was one of the thousand refutations of the stupid popular
idea that precocious children never amount to anything. When only two,
she "could read roundly without spelling, and in half a year more could
read as well as most women." Her father was master of a boys' school,
where her childhood was passed under the rule of a loving but austere
mother, who disliked all intercourse with the pupils for her daughter.
It was not the fashion for women to be highly educated; but, stimulated
perhaps by the scholastic atmosphere, Lætitia implored her father for a
classical training, until, against his judgment, he allowed her to
study Greek and Latin as well as French and Italian. Though not fond of
the housewifely accomplishments insisted upon by Mrs. Aikin, the eager
student also cooked and sewed with due obedience.

Her dull childhood ended when she was fifteen, for then her father
accepted a position as classical tutor in a boys' school at Warrington,
Lancashire, to which place the family moved. The new home afforded
greater freedom and an interesting circle of friends, among them Currie,
William Roscoe, John Taylor, and the famous Dr. Priestley. A very pretty
girl, with brilliant blonde coloring and animated dark-blue eyes, she
was witty and vivacious, too, under the modest diffidence to which she
had been trained. Naturally she attracted much admiration from the
schoolboys and even from their elders, but on the whole she seems to
have found study and writing more interesting than love affairs. The
first suitor, who presented himself when she was about sixteen, was a
farmer from her early home at Kibworth. He stated his wishes to her
father. "She is in the garden," said Mr. Aikin. "You may ask her
yourself." Lætitia was not propitious, but the young man was persistent,
and the position grew irksome. So the nimble girl scrambled into a
convenient tree, and escaped her rustic wooer by swinging herself down
upon the other side of the garden wall.

During these years at Warrington she wrote for her own pleasure, and
when her brother John returned home after several years' absence, he
helped her to arrange and publish a selection of her poems. The little
book which appeared in 1773 was highly praised, and ran through four
editions within a year. In spite of grace and fluency, most of these
verses seem flat and antiquated to the modern reader. Of the spirited
first poem 'Corsica,' Dr. Priestley wrote to her:--"I consider that you
are as much a general as Tyrtæus was, and your poems (which I am
confident are much better than his ever were) may have as great effect
as his. They may be the _coup de grace_ to the French troops in that
island, and Paoli, who reads English, will cause it to be printed in
every history in that renowned island."

Miss Aikin's next venture was a small volume in collaboration with her
brother, 'Miscellaneous Pieces in Prose by J. and A.L. Aikin.' This too
was widely read and admired. Samuel Rogers has related an amusing
conversation about the book in its first vogue:--"I am greatly pleased
with your 'Miscellaneous Pieces,'" said Charles James Fox to Mrs.
Barbauld's brother. Dr. Aikin bowed. "I particularly admire," continued
Fox, "your essay 'Against Inconsistency in our Expectations.'" "That,"
replied Aikin, "is my sister's." "I like much," continued Fox, "your
essay on 'Monastic Institutions.'" "That," answered Aikin, "is also my
sister's." Fox thought it wise to say no more about the book. The essay
'Against Inconsistency in our Expectations' was most highly praised by
the critics, and pronounced by Mackintosh "the best short essay in the

When thirty years old, Lætitia Aikin married Rochemont Barbauld, and
went to live at Palgrave in Suffolk, where her husband opened a boys'
school, soon made popular by her personal charm and influence. Sir
William Gell, a classic topographer still remembered; William Taylor,
author of a 'Historic Survey of German Poetry '; and Lord Chief Justice
Denman, were a few among the many who looked back with gratitude to a
childhood under her care.

Perhaps her best known work is the 'Early Lessons for Children,' which
was written during this period. Coming as it did when, as Hannah More
said, there was nothing for children to read between 'Cinderella' and
the Spectator, it was largely welcomed, and has been used by generations
of English children. The lessons were written for a real little Charles,
her adopted son, the child of her brother, Dr. Aikin. For him, too, she
wrote her 'Hymns in Prose for Children,' a book equally successful,
which has been translated into French, German, Spanish, Italian, and
even Latin.

After eleven busy years at Palgrave, during which, in spite of her
cheerful energy, Mrs. Barbauld had been much harassed by the nervous
irritability of her invalid husband, the Barbaulds gave up their school
and treated themselves to a year of Continental travel. On their return
they settled at Hampstead, where Mr. Barbauld became pastor of a small
Unitarian congregation. The nearness to London was a great advantage to
Mrs. Barbauld's refreshed activity, and she soon made the new home a
pleasant rendezvous for literary men and women. At one of her London
dinner parties she met Sir Walter Scott, who declared that her reading
of Taylor's translation of Bürger's 'Lenore' had inspired him to write
poetry. She met Dr. Johnson too, who, though he railed at her after his
fashion, calling her Deborah and Virago Barbauld, did sometimes betray a
sincere admiration for her character and accomplishments. Miss Edgeworth
and Hannah More were dear friends and regular correspondents.

From time to time she published a poem or an essay; not many, for in
spite of her brother's continual admonition to write, hers was a
somewhat indolent talent. In 1790 she wrote a capable essay upon the
repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts; a year later, a poetical
epistle to Mr. Wilberforce on the Slave Trade; in 1792, a defense of
Public Worship; and in 1793, a discourse as to a Fast Day upon the Sins
of Government.

In 1808 her husband's violent death, the result of a long insanity,
prostrated her for a time. Then as a diversion from morbid thought she
undertook an edition of the best English novels in fifty volumes, for
which she wrote an admirable introductory essay. She also made a
compilation from the Spectator, Tatler, Guardian, and Free-holder, with
a preliminary discourse, which she published in 1811. It was called 'The
Female Speaker,' and intended for young women. The same year her
'Eighteen Hundred and Eleven,' a patriotic didactic poem, wounded
national self-love and drew upon her much unfriendly criticism, which so
pained her that she would publish no more. But the stirring lines were
widely read, and in them Macaulay found the original of his famous
traveler from New Zealand, who meditates on the ruined arches of London
Bridge. Her prose style, in its light philosophy, its humorously
sympathetic dealing with every-day affairs, has been often compared with

Her old age was serene and happy, rich in intellectual companionships
and in the love and respect of many friends. Somewhere she speaks of
"that state of middling life to which I have been accustomed and which I
love." She disliked extremes, in emotion as in all things, and took what
came with cheerful courage. The poem 'Life,' which the self-satisfied
Wordsworth wished that he had written, expresses her serene and
philosophic spirit.


As most of the unhappiness in the world arises rather from disappointed
desires than from positive evil, it is of the utmost consequence to
attain just notions of the laws and order of the universe, that we may
not vex ourselves with fruitless wishes, or give way to groundless and
unreasonable discontent. The laws of natural philosophy, indeed, are
tolerably understood and attended to; and though we may suffer
inconveniences, we are seldom disappointed in consequence of them. No
man expects to preserve orange-trees in the open air through an English
winter; or when he has planted an acorn, to see it become a large oak in
a few months. The mind of man naturally yields to necessity; and our
wishes soon subside when we see the impossibility of their being

Now, upon an accurate inspection, we shall find in the moral government
of the world, and the order of the intellectual system, laws as
determinate, fixed, and invariable as any in Newton's 'Principia.' The
progress of vegetation is not more certain than the growth of habit; nor
is the power of attraction more clearly proved than the force of
affection or the influence of example. The man, therefore, who has well
studied the operations of nature in mind as well as matter, will acquire
a certain moderation and equity in his claims upon Providence. He never
will be disappointed either in himself or others. He will act with
precision; and expect that effect and that alone, from his efforts,
which they are naturally adapted to produce.

For want of this, men of merit and integrity often censure the
dispositions of Providence for suffering characters they despise to run
away with advantages which, they yet know, are purchased by such means
as a high and noble spirit could never submit to. If you refuse to pay
the price, why expect the purchase? We should consider this world as a
great mart of commerce, where fortune exposes to our view various
commodities,--riches, ease, tranquillity, fame, integrity, knowledge.
Everything is marked at a settled price. Our time, our labor, our
ingenuity, is so much ready money which we are to lay out to the best
advantage. Examine, compare, choose, reject; but stand to your own
judgment: and do not, like children, when you have purchased one thing,
repine that you do not possess another which you did not purchase. Such
is the force of well-regulated industry, that a steady and vigorous
exertion of our faculties, directed to one end, will generally
insure success.

Would you, for instance, be rich: Do you think that single point worth
the sacrificing everything else to? You may then be rich. Thousands have
become so from the lowest beginnings, by toil, and patient diligence,
and attention to the minutest article of expense and profit. But you
must give up the pleasures of leisure, of a vacant mind, of a free,
unsuspicious temper. If you preserve your integrity, it must be a
coarse-spun and vulgar honesty. Those high and lofty notions of morals
which you brought with you from the schools must be considerably
lowered, and mixed with the baser alloy of a jealous and worldly-minded
prudence. You must learn to do hard if not unjust things; and for the
nice embarrassments of a delicate and ingenuous spirit, it is necessary
for you to get rid of them as fast as possible. You must shut your heart
against the Muses, and be content to feed your understanding with plain,
household truths. In short, you must not attempt to enlarge your ideas,
or polish your taste, or refine your sentiments; but must keep on in one
beaten track, without turning aside either to the right hand or to the
left. "But I cannot submit to drudgery like this: I feel a spirit above
it." 'Tis well: be above it then; only do not repine that you are
not rich.

Is knowledge the pearl of price? That too may be purchased--by steady
application, and long solitary hours of study and reflection. Bestow
these, and you shall be wise. "But" (says the man of letters) "what a
hardship is it that many an illiterate fellow who cannot construe the
motto of the arms on his coach, shall raise a fortune and make a figure,
while I have little more than the common conveniences of life." _Et tibi
magni satis_!--Was it in order to raise a fortune that you consumed the
sprightly hours of youth in study and retirement? Was it to be rich that
you grew pale over the midnight lamp, and distilled the sweetness from
the Greek and Roman spring? You have then mistaken your path, and ill
employed your industry. "What reward have I then for all my labors?"
What reward! A large, comprehensive soul, well purged from vulgar fears
and perturbations and prejudices; able to comprehend and interpret the
works of man--of God. A rich, flourishing, cultivated mind, pregnant
with inexhaustible stores of entertainment and reflection. A perpetual
spring of fresh ideas; and the conscious dignity of superior
intelligence. Good heaven! and what reward can you ask besides?

"But is it not some reproach upon the economy of Providence that such a
one, who is a mean, dirty fellow, should have amassed wealth enough to
buy half a nation?" Not in the least. He made himself a mean, dirty
fellow for that very end. He has paid his health, his conscience, his
liberty, for it; and will you envy him his bargain? Will you hang your
head and blush in his presence because he outshines you in equipage and
show? Lift up your brow with a noble confidence, and say to yourself, I
have not these things, it is true; but it is because I have not sought,
because I have not desired them; it is because I possess something
better. I have chosen my lot. I am content and satisfied.

You are a modest man--you love quiet and independence, and have a
delicacy and reserve in your temper which renders it impossible for you
to elbow your way in the world, and be the herald of your own merits. Be
content then with a modest retirement, with the esteem of your intimate
friends, with the praises of a blameless heart, and a delicate,
ingenuous spirit; but resign the splendid distinctions of the world to
those who can better scramble for them.

The man whose tender sensibility of conscience and strict regard to the
rules of morality makes him scrupulous and fearful of offending, is
often heard to complain of the disadvantages he lies under in every path
of honor and profit. "Could I but get over some nice points, and conform
to the practice and opinion of those about me, I might stand as fair a
chance as others for dignities and preferment." And why can you not?
What hinders you from discarding this troublesome scrupulosity of yours
which stands so grievously in your way? If it be a small thing to enjoy
a healthful mind, sound at the very core, that does not shrink from the
keenest inspection; inward freedom from remorse and perturbation;
unsullied whiteness and simplicity of manners; a genuine integrity,

     "Pure in the last recesses of the mind;"

if you think these advantages an inadequate recompense for what you
resign, dismiss your scruples this instant, and be a slave-merchant, a
parasite, or--what you please.

     "If these be motives weak, break off betimes;"

and as you have not spirit to assert the dignity of virtue, be wise
enough not to forego the emoluments of vice.

I much admire the spirit of the ancient philosophers, in that they never
attempted, as our moralists often do, to lower the tone of philosophy,
and make it consistent with all the indulgences of indolence and
sensuality. They never thought of having the bulk of mankind for their
disciples; but kept themselves as distinct as possible from a worldly
life. They plainly told men what sacrifices were required, and what
advantages they were which might be expected.

     "Si virtus hoc una potest dare, fortis omissis
     Hoc age deliciis ..."

If you would be a philosopher, these are the terms. You must do thus and
thus; there is no other way. If not, go and be one of the vulgar.

There is no one quality gives so much dignity to a character as
consistency of conduct. Even if a man's pursuits be wrong and
unjustifiable, yet if they are prosecuted with steadiness and vigor, we
cannot withhold our admiration. The most characteristic mark of a great
mind is to choose some one important object, and pursue it through
life. It was this made Cæsar a great man. His object was ambition: he
pursued it steadily; and was always ready to sacrifice to it every
interfering passion or inclination.

There is a pretty passage in one of Lucian's dialogues, where Jupiter
complains to Cupid that though he has had so many intrigues, he was
never sincerely beloved. In order to be loved, says Cupid, you must lay
aside your aegis and your thunderbolts, and you must curl and perfume
your hair, and place a garland on your head, and walk with a soft step,
and assume a winning, obsequious deportment. But, replied Jupiter, I am
not willing to resign so much of my dignity. Then, returns Cupid, leave
off desiring to be loved. He wanted to be Jupiter and Adonis at the
same time.

It must be confessed that men of genius are of all others most inclined
to make these unreasonable claims. As their relish for enjoyment is
strong, their views large and comprehensive, and they feel themselves
lifted above the common bulk of mankind, they are apt to slight that
natural reward of praise and admiration which is ever largely paid to
distinguished abilities; and to expect to be called forth to public
notice and favor: without considering that their talents are commonly
very unfit for active life; that their eccentricity and turn for
speculation disqualifies them for the business of the world, which is
best carried on by men of moderate genius; and that society is not
obliged to reward any one who is not useful to it. The poets have been a
very unreasonable race, and have often complained loudly of the neglect
of genius and the ingratitude of the age. The tender and pensive Cowley,
and the elegant Shenstone, had their minds tinctured by this discontent;
and even the sublime melancholy of Young was too much owing to the
stings of disappointed ambition.

The moderation we have been endeavoring to inculcate will likewise
prevent much mortification and disgust in our commerce with mankind. As
we ought not to wish in ourselves, so neither should we expect in our
friends, contrary qualifications. Young and sanguine, when we enter the
world, and feel our affections drawn forth by any particular excellence
in a character, we immediately give it credit for all others; and are
beyond measure disgusted when we come to discover, as we soon must
discover, the defects in the other side of the balance. But nature is
much more frugal than to heap together all manner of shining qualities
in one glaring mass. Like a judicious painter, she endeavors to preserve
a certain unity of style and coloring in her pieces. Models of absolute
perfection are only to be met with in romance; where exquisite beauty,
and brilliant wit, and profound judgment, and immaculate virtue, are all
blended together to adorn some favorite character. As an anatomist knows
that the racer cannot have the strength and muscles of the
draught-horse; and that winged men, griffins, and mermaids must be mere
creatures of the imagination: so the philosopher is sensible that there
are combinations of moral qualities which never can take place but in
idea. There is a different air and complexion in characters as well as
in faces, though perhaps each equally beautiful; and the excellences of
one cannot be transferred to the other. Thus if one man possesses a
stoical apathy of soul, acts independent of the opinion of the world,
and fulfills every duty with mathematical exactness, you must not expect
that man to be greatly influenced by the weakness of pity, or the
partialities of friendship; you must not be offended that he does not
fly to meet you after a short absence, or require from him the convivial
spirit and honest effusions of a warm, open, susceptible heart. If
another is remarkable for a lively, active zeal, inflexible integrity, a
strong indignation against vice, and freedom in reproving it, he will
probably have some little bluntness in his address not altogether
suitable to polished life; he will want the winning arts of
conversation; he will disgust by a kind of haughtiness and negligence in
his manner, and often hurt the delicacy of his acquaintance with harsh
and disagreeable truths.

We usually say--That man is a genius, but he has some whims and
oddities--Such a one has a very general knowledge, but he is
superficial, etc. Now in all such cases we should speak more rationally,
did we substitute "therefore" for "but": "He is a genius, therefore he
is whimsical" and the like.

It is the fault of the present age, owing to the freer commerce that
different ranks and professions now enjoy with each other, that
characters are not marked with sufficient strength; the several classes
run too much into one another. We have fewer pedants, it is true, but we
have fewer striking originals. Every one is expected to have such a
tincture of general knowledge as is incompatible with going deep into
any science; and such a conformity to fashionable manners as checks the
free workings of the ruling passion, and gives an insipid sameness to
the face of society, under the idea of polish and regularity.

There is a cast of manners peculiar and becoming to each age, sex, and
profession; one, therefore, should not throw out illiberal and
commonplace censures against another. Each is perfect in its kind: a
woman as a woman; a tradesman as a tradesman. We are often hurt by the
brutality and sluggish conceptions of the vulgar; not considering that
some there must be to be hewers of wood and drawers of water, and that
cultivated genius, or even any great refinement and delicacy in their
moral feelings, would be a real misfortune to them.

Let us then study the philosophy of the human mind. The man who is
master of this science will know what to expect from every one. From
this man, wise advice; from that, cordial sympathy; from another, casual
entertainment. The passions and inclinations of others are his tools,
which he can use with as much precision as he would the mechanical
powers; and he can as readily make allowance for the workings of vanity,
or the bias of self-interest in his friends, as for the power of
friction, or the irregularities of the needle.



_Helen_--Whence comes it, my dear Madame Maintenon, that beauty, which
in the age I lived in produced such extraordinary effects, has now lost
almost all its power?

_Maintenon_--I should wish first to be convinced of the fact, before I
offer to give you a reason for it.

_Helen_--That will be very easy; for there is no occasion to go any
further than our own histories and experience to prove what I advance.
You were beautiful, accomplished, and fortunate; endowed with every
talent and every grace to bend the heart of man and mold it to your
wish; and your schemes were successful; for you raised yourself from
obscurity and dependence to be the wife of a great monarch.--But what is
this to the influence my beauty had over sovereigns and nations! I
occasioned a long ten-years' war between the most celebrated heroes of
antiquity; contending kingdoms disputed the honor of placing me on their
respective thrones; my story is recorded by the father of verse; and my
charms make a figure even in the annals of mankind. You were, it is
true, the wife of Louis XIV., and respected in his court, but you
occasioned no wars; you are not spoken of in the history of France,
though you furnished materials for the memoirs of a court. Are the love
and admiration that were paid you merely as an amiable woman to be
compared with the enthusiasm I inspired, and the boundless empire I
obtained over all that was celebrated, great, or powerful in the age
I lived in?

_Maintenon_--All this, my dear Helen, has a splendid appearance, and
sounds well in a heroic poem; but you greatly deceive yourself if you
impute it all to your personal merit. Do you imagine that half the
chiefs concerned in the war of Troy were at all influenced by your
beauty, or troubled their heads what became of you, provided they came
off with honor? Believe me, love had very little to do in the affair:
Menelaus sought to revenge the affront he had received; Agamemnon was
flattered with the supreme command; some came to share the glory, others
the plunder; some because they had bad wives at home, some in hopes of
getting Trojan mistresses abroad; and Homer thought the story extremely
proper for the subject of the best poem in the world. Thus you became
famous; your elopement was made a national quarrel; the animosities of
both nations were kindled by frequent battles; and the object was not
the restoring of Helen to Menelaus, but the destruction of Troy by the
Greeks.--My triumphs, on the other hand, were all owing to myself, and
to the influence of personal merit and charms over the heart of man. My
birth was obscure; my fortunes low; I had past the bloom of youth, and
was advancing to that period at which the generality of our sex lose all
importance with the other; I had to do with a man of gallantry and
intrigue, a monarch who had been long familiarized with beauty, and
accustomed to every refinement of pleasure which the most splendid court
in Europe could afford: Love and Beauty seemed to have exhausted all
their powers of pleasing for him in vain. Yet this man I captivated, I
fixed; and far from being content, as other beauties had been, with the
honor of possessing his heart, I brought him to make me his wife, and
gained an honorable title to his tenderest affection.--The infatuation
of Paris reflected little honor upon you. A thoughtless youth, gay,
tender, and impressible, struck with your beauty, in violation of all
the most sacred laws of hospitality carries you off, and obstinately
refuses to restore you to your husband. You seduced Paris from his duty,
I recovered Louis from vice; you were the mistress of the Trojan prince,
I was the companion of the French monarch.

_Helen_--I grant you were the wife of Louis, but not the Queen of
France. Your great object was ambition, and in that you met with a
partial success;--my ruling star was love, and I gave up everything for
it. But tell me, did not I show my influence over Menelaus in his taking
me again after the destruction of Troy?

_Maintenon_--That circumstance alone is sufficient to show that he did
not love you with any delicacy. He took you as a possession that was
restored to him, as a booty that he had recovered; and he had not
sentiment enough to care whether he had your heart or not. The heroes of
your age were capable of admiring beauty, and often fought for the
possession of it; but they had not refinement enough to be capable of
any pure, sentimental attachment or delicate passion. Was that period
the triumph of love and gallantry, when a fine woman and a tripod were
placed together for prizes at a wrestling-bout, and the tripod esteemed
the most valuable reward of the two? No; it is our Clélia, our Cassandra
and Princess of Cleves, that have polished mankind and taught them
how to love.

_Helen_--Rather say you have lost sight of nature and passion, between
bombast on one hand and conceit on the other. Shall one of the cold
temperament of France teach a Grecian how to love? Greece, the parent of
fair forms and soft desires, the nurse of poetry, whose soft climate and
tempered skies disposed to every gentler feeling, and tuned the heart to
harmony and love!--was Greece a land of barbarians? But recollect, if
you can, an incident which showed the power of beauty in stronger
colors--that when the grave old counselors of Priam on my appearance
were struck with fond admiration, and could not bring themselves to
blame the cause of a war that had almost ruined their country;--you see
I charmed the old as well as seduced the young.

_Maintenon_--But I, after I was grown old, charmed the young; I was
idolized in a capital where taste, luxury, and magnificence were at the
height; I was celebrated by the greatest wits of my time, and my letters
have been carefully handed down to posterity.

_Helen_--Tell me now sincerely, were you happy in your elevated

_Maintenon_--- Alas! Heaven knows I was far otherwise: a thousand times
did I wish for my dear Scarron again. He was a very ugly fellow, it is
true, and had but little money: but the most easy, entertaining
companion in the world: we danced, laughed, and sung; I spoke without
fear or anxiety, and was sure to please. With Louis all was gloom,
constraint, and a painful solicitude to please--which seldom produces
its effect; the king's temper had been soured in the latter part of life
by frequent disappointments; and I was forced continually to endeavor to
procure him that cheerfulness which I had not myself. Louis was
accustomed to the most delicate flatteries; and though I had a good
share of wit, my faculties were continually on the stretch to entertain
him,--a state of mind little consistent with happiness or ease; I was
afraid to advance my friends or punish my enemies. My pupils at St. Cyr
were not more secluded from the world in a cloister than I was in the
bosom of the court; a secret disgust and weariness consumed me. I had no
relief but in my work and books of devotion; with these alone I had a
gleam of happiness.

_Helen_--Alas! one need not have married a great monarch for that.

_Maintenon_--But deign to inform me, Helen, if you were really as
beautiful as fame reports? for to say truth, I cannot in your shade see
the beauty which for nine long years had set the world in arms.

_Helen_--Honestly, no: I was rather low, and something sunburnt; but I
had the good fortune to please; that was all. I was greatly obliged
to Homer.

_Maintenon_--And did you live tolerably with Menelaus after all your

_Helen_--As well as possible. Menelaus was a good-natured domestic man,
and was glad to sit down and end his days in quiet. I persuaded him that
Venus and the Fates were the cause of all my irregularities, which he
complaisantly believed. Besides, I was not sorry to return home: for to
tell you a secret, Paris had been unfaithful to me long before his
death, and was fond of a little Trojan brunette whose office it was to
hold up my train; but it was thought dishonorable to give me up. I began
to think love a very foolish thing: I became a great housekeeper, worked
the battles of Troy in tapestry, and spun with my maids by the side of
Menelaus, who was so satisfied with my conduct, and behaved, good man,
with so much fondness, that I verily think this was the happiest period
of my life.

_Maintenon_--Nothing more likely; but the most obscure wife in Greece
could rival you there.--Adieu! you have convinced me how little fame and
greatness conduce to happiness.


        Life! I know not what thou art,
        But know that thou and I must part;
           And when or how or where we met,
        I own to me's a secret yet.
        But this I know, when thou art fled,
        Where'er they lay these limbs, this head,
        No clod so valueless shall be,
        As all that then remains of me.
        O whither, whither dost thou fly,
        Where bend unseen thy trackless course,
           And in this strange divorce,
        Ah, tell where I must seek this compound I?
        To the vast ocean of empyreal flame,
           From whence thy essence came,
        Dost thou thy flight pursue, when freed
        From matter's base encumbering weed?
           Or dost thou, hid from sight,
           Wait, like some spell-bound knight,
     Through blank oblivion's years th' appointed hour,
     To break thy trance and reassume thy power?
     Yet canst thou without thought or feeling be?
     O say what art thou, when no more thou'rt thee?
           Life! we've been long together,
        Through pleasant and through cloudy weather;
        'Tis hard to part when friends are dear;
        Perhaps 'twill cost a sigh, a tear;
        Then steal away, give little warning,
                 Choose thine own time;
     Say not good-night, but in some brighter clime
                 Bid me good-morning.


     Praise to God, immortal praise,
     For the love that crowns our days--
     Bounteous source of every joy,
     Let Thy praise our tongues employ!

     For the blessings of the field,
     For the stores the gardens yield,
     For the vine's exalted juice,
     For the generous olive's use;

     Flocks that whiten all the plain,
     Yellow sheaves of ripened grain,
     Clouds that drop their fattening dews,
     Suns that temperate warmth diffuse--

     All that Spring, with bounteous hand,
     Scatters o'er the smiling land;
     All that liberal Autumn pours
     From her rich o'erflowing stores:

     These to Thee, my God, we owe--
     Source whence all our blessings flow!
     And for these my soul shall raise
     Grateful vows and solemn praise.

     Yet should rising whirlwinds tear
     From its stem the ripening ear--
     Should the fig-tree's blasted shoot
     Drop her green untimely fruit--

     Should the vine put forth no more,
     Nor the olive yield her store--
     Though the sickening flocks should fall,
     And the herds desert the stall--

     Should Thine altered hand restrain
     The early and the latter rain,
     Blast each opening bud of joy,
     And the rising year destroy:

     Yet to Thee my soul should raise
     Grateful vows and solemn praise,
     And, when every blessing's flown,
     Love Thee--for Thyself alone.



Barclay's reputation rests upon his translation of the famous 'Ship of
Fools' and his original 'Eclogues.' A controversy as to the land of his
birth--an event which happened about the year 1475--has lasted from his
century to our own. The decision in favor of Scotland rests upon the
testimony of two witnesses: first, Dr. William Bullim, a younger
contemporary of Barclay, who mentions him in 'A Dialogue Both Pleasaunt
and Pietifull Wherein is a Godlie Regement Against the Fever Pestilence
with a Consolation and Comforte Against Death,' which was published in
1564; and secondly, Barclay himself.

Bullim groups the Muses at the foot of Parnassus, and gathers about them
Greek and Latin poets, and such Englishmen as Chaucer, Gower, Skelton,
and Barclay, the latter "with an hoopyng russet long coate, with a
pretie hood in his necke, and five knottes upon his girdle, after
Francis's tricks. He was borne beyond the cold river of Twede. He lodged
upon a sweetebed of chamomill under the sinamone-tree: about him many
shepherdes and shepe, with pleasaunte pipes; greatly abhorring the life
of Courtiers, Citizens, Usurers, and Banckruptes, etc., whose daies are
miserable. And the estate of shepherdes and countrie people he accompted
moste happie and sure." Deprived of its poetic fancy, this passage means
that Barclay was a monk of the order of St. Francis, that he was born
north of the Tweed, that his verse was infused with such bitterness and
tonic qualities as camomile possesses, and that he advocated the cause
of the country people in his independent and admirable 'Eclogues,'
another title for the first three of which is 'Miseryes of Courtiers and
Courtes of all Princes in General.'

Barclay was educated at Oxford and Cambridge, and upon his return to
England after several years of residence abroad, he was made one of the
priests of Saint Mary Ottery, an institution of devout practice and
learning in Devonshire. Here in 1508 was finished 'The Shyp of Folys of
the Worlde translated out of Laten, Frenche, and Doche into Englysshe
tonge by Alexander Barclay, Preste, and at that time chaplen in the
sayd College.'

After his work was completed Barclay went to London, where his poem was
"imprentyd ... in Fleet Street at the signe of Saynt George by Rycharde
Pyreson to hys Coste and charge: ended the yere of our Saviour MDIX.
the XIII. day of December." That he became a Benedictine and lived at
the monastery of the order at Ely is evident from his 'Eclogues.' Here
he translated at the instance of Sir Giles Arlington, Knight, 'The
Myrrour of Good Maners,' from a Latin elegiac poem which Dominic Mancini
published in the year 1516.

"It was about this period of his life," says Mr. Jamieson in his
admirable edition of the 'Ship of Fools,' "probably the period of the
full bloom of his popularity, that the quiet life of the poet and priest
was interrupted by the recognition of his eminence in the highest
quarters, and by a request for his aid in maintaining the honor of the
country on an occasion to which the eyes of all Europe were then
directed. In a letter to Wolsey dated 10th April, 1520, Sir Nicholas
Vaux--busied with the preparation for that meeting of Henry VIII and
Francis I called the Field of the Cloth of Gold--begs the Cardinal to
send them ... Maistre Barkleye, the Black Monke and Poete, to devise
histoires and convenient raisons to florisshe the buildings and banquet
house withal."

He became a Franciscan, the habit of which order Bullim refers to; and
"sure 'tis," says Wood, "that living to see his monastery dissolv'd, in
1539, at the general dissolution by act of Henry VIII, he became vicar
of Much Badew in Essex, and in 1546, the same year, of the Church of St.
Matthew the Apostle at Wokey, in Somersetshire, and finally in 1552, the
year in which he died, of that of All Saints, Lombard Street, London. In
his younger days he was esteemed a good poet and orator, but when years
came on, he spent his time mostly in pious matters, and in reading the
histories of Saints."

'The Ship of Fools' is the most important work associated with Barclay's
name. It was a translation of Sebastian Brandt's 'Stultifera Navis,' a
book which had attracted universal attention on the Continent when it
appeared in 1494. In his preface, Barclay admits that "it is not
translated word by word according to the verses of my actor. For I have
but only drawn into our mother tongue in rude language the sentences of
the verses as near as the paucity of my wit will suffer me, sometime
adding, sometime detracting and taking away such things as seemeth me
necessary." The classes and conditions of society that Barclay knew were
as deserving of satire as those of Germany. He tells us that his work
was undertaken "to cleanse the vanity and madness of foolish people, of
whom over great number is in the Realm of England."

The diction of Barclay's version is exceptionally fine. Jamieson calls
it "a rich and unique exhibition of early art," and says:--"Page after
page, even in the antique spelling of Pynson's edition, may be read by
the ordinary reader of to-day without reference to a dictionary; and
when reference is required, it will be found in nine cases out of ten
that the archaism is Saxon, not Latin. This is all the more remarkable
that it occurs in the case of a priest translating mainly from the Latin
and French, and can only be explained with reference to his standpoint
as a social reformer of the broadest type, and to his evident intention
that his book should be an appeal to all classes, but especially to the
mass of people for amendment of their follies."

As the original work belonged to the German satirist, the extract from
the 'Ship of Fools' is placed under the essay entitled 'Sebastian
Brandt.' His 'Eclogues' show Barclay at his best. They portray the
manners and customs of the period, and are full of local proverbs and
wise sayings. According to Warton, Barclay's are the first 'Eclogues'
that appeared in the English language. "They are like Petrarch's," he
says, "and Mantuans of the moral and satirical kind; and contain but few
touches of moral description and bucolic imagery." Two shepherds meet to
talk about the pleasures and crosses of rustic life and life at court.
The hoary locks of the one show that he is old. His suit of Kendal green
is threadbare, his rough boots are patched, and the torn side of his
coat reveals a bottle never full and never empty. His wallet contains
bread and cheese; he has a crook, and an oaten pipe. His name is Cornix,
and he boasts that he has had worldly experience. The other shepherd,
Coridon, having seen nothing, complains of country life. He grumbles at
the summer's heat and the winter's cold; at beds on the flinty ground,
and the dangers of sleeping where the wolves may creep in to devour the
sheep; of his stiff rough hands, and his parched, wrinkled, and
weather-beaten skin. He asks whether all men are so unhappy. Cornix,
refreshing himself at intervals with his bottle and crusts, shows him
the small amount of liberty at court, discourses upon the folly of
ambition, lays bare the rapine, avarice, and covetousness of the
worldly-minded, and demonstrates that the court is "painted fair
without, but within it is ugly and vile." He then gives the picture of a
courtier's life, which is cited below. He tells how the minstrels and
singers, philosophers, poets, and orators are but the slaves of
patronizing princes; how beautiful women deceive; describes to him, who
has known nothing but a diet of bread and cheese, the delights of the
table; dilates on the cups of silver and gold, and the crystal glass
shining with red and yellow wine; the sewers bearing in roasted crane,
gorgeous peacocks, and savory joints of beef and mutton; the carver
wielding his dexterous knife; the puddings, the pasties, the fish fried
in sweet oils and garnished with herbs; the costumes of the men and
women in cloth of gold and silver and gay damask; the din of music,
voices, laughter, and jests; and then paints a picture of the lords and
ladies who plunge their knives into the meats and their hands into
platters, spilling wine and gravy upon their equally gluttonous
neighbors. He finishes by saying:--

     "Shepherds have not so wretched lives as they:
     Though they live poorely on cruddes, chese, and whey,
     On apples, plummes, and drinke cleree water deepe,
     As it were lordes reigning among their sheepe.
     The wretched lazar with clinking of his bell,
     Hath life which doth the courtiers excell;
     The caytif begger hath meate and libertie,
     When courtiers hunger in harde captivitie.
     The poore man beggeth nothing hurting his name,
     As touching courters they dare not beg for shame.
     And an olde proverb is sayde by men moste sage,
     That oft yonge courters be beggars in their age."

The third 'Eclogue' begins with Coridon relating a dream that he went to
court and saw the scullions standing

                             "about me thicke
     With knives ready for to flay me quicke."

This is a text for Cornix, who continues his tirade, and convinces
Coridon of the misery of the court and his happier life, ending as

     "Than let all shepheardes, from hence to Salisbury
     With easie riches, live well, laugh and be mery,
     Pipe under shadowes, small riches hath most rest,
     In greatest seas moste sorest is tempest,
     The court is nought els but a tempesteous sea;
     Avoyde the rockes. He ruled after me."

The fourth 'Eclogue' is a dialogue on the rich man's treatment of poets,
by two shepherds, Codrus and Menalcas, musing in "shadowe on the green,"
while their snowy flocks graze on the sweet meadow. This contains a fine
allegorical description of 'Labour.'

The fifth 'Eclogue' is the 'Cytezen and the Uplondyshman.' Here the
scene changes, and two shepherds, Faustus and Amyntas, discourse in a
cottage while the snows of January whirl without. Amyntas has learned in
London "to go so manerly." Not a wrinkle may be found in his clothes,
not a hair on his cloak, and he wears a brooch of tin high on his
bonnet. He has been hostler, costermonger, and taverner, and sings the
delights of the city. Faustus, the rustic, is contented with his lot.
The 'Cytezen and the Uplondyshman' was printed from the original edition
of Wynkyn de Worde, with a preface by F. W. Fairholt, Percy Society
(Vol. xxii.).

Other works ascribed to Barclay are:--'The Figure of Our Holy Mother
Church, Oppressed by the French King'; 'The Lyfe of the Glorious Martyr
Saynt George,' translated (from Mantuan) by Alexander Barclay; 'The Lyfe
of the Blessed Martyr, Saynte Thomas'; 'Contra Skeltonum,' in which the
quarrel he had with his contemporary poet, John Skelton, was doubtless

Estimates of Barclay may be found in 'The Ship of Fools,' edited by T.
H. Jamieson (1874); 'Sibbald's Chronicle of Scottish Poetry,' from the
thirteenth century to the union of the crowns (1802); 'The History of
English Poetry,' by Thomas Warton (1824); 'The History of Scottish
Poetry,' by David Irving (1861); and 'Chips from a German Workshop,' by
F. Max Müller (1870).


     Second Eclogue


     Some men deliteth beholding men to fight,
     Or goodly knights in pleasaunt apparayle,
     Or sturdie soldiers in bright harnes and male,
     Or an army arrayde ready to the warre,
     Or to see them fight, so that he stand afarre.
     Some glad is to see those ladies beauteous
     Goodly appoynted in clothing sumpteous:
     A number of people appoynted in like wise
     In costly clothing after the newest gise,
     Sportes, disgising, fayre coursers mount and praunce,
     Or goodly ladies and knightes sing and daunce,
     To see fayre houses and curious picture,
     Or pleasaunt hanging or sumpteous vesture
     Of silke, of purpure or golde moste oriente,
     And other clothing divers and excellent,
     Hye curious buildinges or palaces royall,
     Or chapels, temples fayre and substantial,
     Images graven or vaultes curious,
     Gardeyns and medowes, or place delicious,
     Forestes and parkes well furnished with dere,
     Cold pleasaunt streams or welles fayre and clere,
     Curious cundites or shadowie mountaynes,
     Swete pleasaunt valleys, laundes or playnes,
     Houndes, and such other things manyfolde
     Some men take pleasour and solace to beholde.

     But all these pleasoures be much more jocounde,
     To private persons which not to court be bounde,
     Than to such other whiche of necessitie
     Are bounde to the court as in captivitie;
     For they which be bounde to princes without fayle
     When they must nedes be present in battayle,
     When shall they not be at large to see the sight,
     But as souldiours in the middest of the fight,
     To runne here and there sometime his foe to smite,
     And oftetimes wounded, herein is small delite,
     And more muste he think his body to defende,
     Than for any pleasour about him to intende,
     And oft is he faynt and beaten to the grounde,
     I trowe in suche sight small pleasour may be founde.
     As for fayre ladies, clothed in silke and golde,
     In court at thy pleasour thou canst not beholde.
     At thy princes pleasour thou shalt them only see,
     Then suche shalt thou see which little set by thee,
     Whose shape and beautie may so inflame thine heart,
     That thought and languor may cause thee for to smart.
     For a small sparcle may kindle love certayne,
     But skantly Severne may quench it clene againe;
     And beautie blindeth and causeth man to set
     His hearte on the thing which he shall never get.
     To see men clothed in silkes pleasauntly
     It is small pleasour, and ofte causeth envy.
     While thy lean jade halteth by thy side,
     To see another upon a, courser ride,
     Though he be neyther gentleman nor knight,
     Nothing is thy fortune, thy hart cannot be light.
     As touching sportes and games of pleasaunce.
     To sing, to revell, and other daliaunce:
     Who that will truely upon his lord attende,
     Unto suche sportes he seldome may entende.
     Palaces, pictures, and temples sumptuous,
     And other buildings both gay and curious,
     These may marchauntes more at their pleasour see,
     Men suche as in court be bounde alway to bee.
     Sith kinges for moste part passe not their regions,
     Thou seest nowe cities of foreyn nations.
     Suche outwarde pleasoures may the people see,
     So may not courtiers for lacke of libertie.
     As for these pleasours of thinges vanable
     Whiche in the fieldes appeareth delectable,

     But seldome season mayest thou obtayne respite.
     The same to beholde with pleasour and delite,
     Sometime the courtier remayneth halfe the yere
     Close within walls muche like a prisonere,
     To make escapes some seldome times are wont,
     Save when the powers have pleasour for to hunt,
     Or its otherwise themselfe to recreate,
     And then this pleasour shall they not love but hate;
     For then shall they foorth most chiefely to their payne,
     When they in mindes would at home remayne.
     Other in the frost, hayle, or els snowe,
     Or when some tempest or mightie wind doth blowe,
     Or else in great heat and fervour excessife,
     But close in houses the moste parte waste their life,
     Of colour faded, and choked were with duste:
     This is of courtiers the joy and all the lust.


     What! yet may they sing and with fayre ladies daunce,
     Both commen and laugh; herein is some pleasaunce.


     Nay, nay, Coridon, that pleasour is but small,
     Some to contente what man will pleasour call,
     For some in the daunce his pincheth by the hande,
     Which gladly would see him stretched in a bande.
     Some galand seketh his favour to purchase
     Which playne abhorreth for to beholde his face.
     And still in dauncing moste parte inclineth she
     To one muche viler and more abject then he.
     No day over passeth but that in court men finde
     A thousande thinges to vexe and greve their minde;
     Alway thy foes are present in thy sight,
     And often so great is their degree and might
     That nedes must thou kisse the hand which did thee harm,
     Though thou would see it cut gladly from the arme.
     And briefly to speake, if thou to courte resorte,
     If thou see one thing of pleasour or comfort,
     Thou shalt see many, before or thou depart,
     To thy displeasour and pensiveness of heart:
     So findeth thy sight there more of bitternes
     And of displeasour, than pleasour and gladnes.



The author of the 'Ingoldsby Legends' belonged to a well-defined and
delightful class of men, chiefly found in modern England, and indeed
mostly bred and made possible by the conditions of English society and
the Anglican Church. It is that of clergymen who in the public eye are
chiefly wits and diners-out, jokers and literary humorists, yet are
conscientious and devoted ministers of their religion and curators of
their religious charges, honoring their profession and humanity by true
and useful lives and lovable characters. They are men of the sort
loathed by Lewis Carroll's heroine in the 'Two Voices,'

                 "a kind of folk
     Who have no horror of a joke,"

and indeed love it dearly, but are as firm in principle and
unostentatiously dutiful in conduct as if they were leaden Puritans or
narrow devotees.

[Illustration: RICHARD H. BARHAM]

By far the best remembered of this class, for themselves or their work,
are Sydney Smith and Richard Harris Barham; but their relative repute is
one of the oddest paradoxes in literary history. Roughly speaking, the
one is remembered and unread, the other read and unremembered. Sydney
Smith's name is almost as familiar to the masses as Scott's, and few
could tell a line that he wrote; Barham's writing is almost as familiar
as Scott's, and few would recognize his name. Yet he is in the foremost
rank of humorists; his place is wholly unique, and is likely to remain
so. It will be an age before a similar combination of tastes and
abilities is found once more. Macaulay said truly of Sir Walter Scott
that he "combined the minute learning of an antiquary with the fire of a
great poet." Barham combined a like learning in different fields, and
joined to a different outlook and temper of mind, with the quick
perceptions of a great wit, the brimming zest and high spirits of a
great joker, the genial nature and lightness of a born man of the world,
and the gifts of a wonderful improvisatore in verse. Withal, he had just
enough of serious purpose to give much of his work a certain measure of
cohesive unity, and thus impress it on the mind as no collection of
random skits could do. That purpose is the feathering which steadies the
arrows and sends them home.

It is pleasant to know that one who has given so good a time to others
had a very good time himself; that we are not, as so often happens,
relishing a farce that stood for tragedy with the maker, and
substituting our laughter for his tears. Barham had the cruel sorrows of
personal bereavement so few escape; but in material things his career
was wholly among pleasant ways. He was well born and with means, well
educated, well nurtured. He was free from the sordid squabbles or
anxious watching and privation which fall to the lot of so many of the
best. He was happy in his marriage and its attendant home and family,
and most fortunate in his friendships and the superb society he enjoyed.
His birth and position as a gentleman of good landed family, combined
with his profession, opened all doors to him.

But it was the qualities personal to himself, after all, which made
these things available for enjoyment. His desires were moderate; he
counted success what more eager and covetous natures might have esteemed
comparative failure. His really strong intellect and wide knowledge and
cultivation enabled him to meet the foremost men of letters on equal
terms. His kind heart, generous nature, exuberant fun, and entertaining
conversation endeared him to every one and made his company sought by
every one; they saved much trouble from coming upon him and lightened
what did come. And no blight could have withered that perennial fountain
of jollity, drollery, and light-heartedness. But these were only the
ornaments of a stanchly loyal and honorable nature, and a lovable and
unselfish soul. One of his friends writes of him thus:--

     "The profits of agitating pettifoggers would have materially
     lessened in a district where he acted as a magistrate; and
     duels would have been nipped in the bud at his regimental
     mess. It is not always an easy task to do as you would be
     done by; but to think as you would be thought of and thought
     for, and to feel as you would be felt for, is perhaps still
     more difficult, as superior powers of tact and intellect are
     here required in order to second good intentions. These
     faculties, backed by an uncompromising love of truth and fair
     dealing, indefatigable good nature, and a nice sense of what
     was due to every one in the several relations of life, both
     gentle and simple, rendered our late friend invaluable,
     either as an adviser or a peacemaker, in matters of delicate
     and difficult handling."

Barham was born in Canterbury, England, December 6th, 1788, and died in
London, June 17th, 1845. His ancestry was superior, the family having
derived its name from possessions in Kent in Norman days. He lost his
father--a genial _bon vivant_ of literary tastes who seems like a
reduced copy of his son--when but five years old; and became heir to a
fair estate, including Tappington Hall, the picturesque old gabled
mansion so often imaginatively misdescribed in the 'Ingoldsby Legends,'
but really having the famous blood-stained stairway. He had an expensive
private education, which was nearly ended with his life at the age of
fourteen by a carriage accident which shattered and mangled his right
arm, crippling it permanently. As so often happens, the disaster was
really a piece of good fortune: it turned him to or confirmed him in
quiet antiquarian scholarship, and established connections which
ultimately led to the 'Legends'; he may owe immortality to it.

After passing through St. Paul's (London) and Brasenose (Oxford), he
studied law, but finally entered the church. After a couple of small
curacies in Kent, he was made rector of Snargate and curate of Warehorn,
near Romney Marsh; all four in a district where smuggling was a chief
industry, and the Marsh in especial a noted haunt of desperadoes (for
smugglers then took their lives in their hands), of which the 'Legends'
are rich in reminiscences. In 1819, during this incumbency, he wrote a
novel, 'Baldwin,' which was a failure; and part of another, 'My Cousin
Nicholas,' which, finished fifteen years later, had fair success as a
serial in Blackwood's Magazine.

An opportunity offering in 1821, he stood for a minor canonry in St.
Paul's Cathedral, London, and obtained it; his income was less than
before, but he had entered the metropolitan field, which brought him
rich enjoyment and permanent fame. He paid a terrible price for them:
his unhealthy London house cost him the lives of three of his children.
To make up for his shortened means he became editor of the London
Chronicle and a contributor to various other periodicals, including the
notorious weekly John Bull, sometime edited by Theodore Hook. In 1824 he
became a priest in the Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace, and soon
after gained a couple of excellent livings in Essex, which put him at
ease financially.

He was inflexible in principle, a firm Tory, though without rancor. He
was very High Church, but had no sympathy with the Oxford movement or
Catholicism. He preached careful and sober sermons, without oratorical
display and with rigid avoidance of levity. He would not make the church
a field either for fireworks or jokes, or even for displays of
scholarship or intellectual gymnastics. In his opinion, religious
establishments were kept up to advance religion and morals. And both he
and his wife wrought zealously in the humble but exacting field of
parochial good works.

He was, however, fast becoming one of the chief ornaments of that
brilliant group of London wits whose repute still vibrates from the
early part of the century. Many of them--actors, authors, artists,
musicians, and others met at the Garrick Club, and Barham joined it. The
names of Sydney Smith and Theodore Hook are enough to show what it was;
but there were others equally delightful,--not the least so, or least
useful, a few who could not see a joke at all, and whose simplicity and
good nature made them butts for the hoaxes and solemn chaff of the rest.
Barbara's diary, quoted in his son's (Life,) gives an exquisite

In 1834 his old schoolmaster Bentley established Bentley's Miscellany;
and Barham was asked for contributions. The first he sent was the
amusing but quite "conceivable" (Spectre of Tappington); but there soon
began the immortal series of versified local stories, legendary church
miracles, antiquarian curios, witty summaries of popular plays, skits on
London life, and so on, under the pseudonym of 'Thomas Ingoldsby,' which
sprang instantly into wide popularity, and have never fallen from public
favor since--nor can they till appreciation of humor is dead in the
world. They were collected and illustrated by Leech, Cruikshank, and
others, who were inspired by them to some of their best designs: perhaps
the most perfect realization in art of the Devil in his moments of
jocose triumph is Leech's figure in 'The House-Warming.' A later series
appeared in Colburn's New Monthly Magazine in 1843.

He wrote some excellent pieces (of their kind) in prose, besides the one
already mentioned: the weird and well-constructed 'Leech of Folkestone'
and the 'Passage in the Life of Henry Harris,' both half-serious tales
of mediaeval magic; the thoroughly Ingoldsbian 'Legend of Sheppey,' with
its irreverent farce, high animal spirits, and antiquarianism; the
equally characteristic 'Lady Rohesia,' which would be vulgar but for his
sly wit and drollery. But none of these are as familiar as the versified
'Legends,' nor have they the astonishing variety of entertainment found
in the latter.

The 'Ingoldsby Legends' have been called an English naturalization of
the French metrical _contes;_ but Barham owes nothing to his French
models save the suggestion of method and form. Not only is his matter
all his own, but he has _Anglified_ the whole being of the metrical form
itself. His facility of versification, the way in which the whole
language seems to be liquid in his hands and ready to pour into any
channel of verse, was one of the marvelous things of literature. It did
not need the free random movement of the majority of the tales, where
the lines may be anything from one foot to six, from spondaic to
dactylic: in some of them he tied himself down to the most rigid and
inflexible metrical forms, and moved as lightly and freely in those
fetters as if they were non-existent. As to the astonishing rhymes which
meet us at every step, they form in themselves a poignant kind of wit;
often double and even treble, one word rhyming with an entire phrase or
one phrase with another,--not only of the oddest kind, but as nicely
adapted to the necessities of expression and meaning as if intended or
invented for that purpose alone,--they produce on us the effect of the
richest humor.

One of his most diverting "properties" is the set of "morals" he draws
to everything, of nonsensical literalness and infantile gravity, the
perfection of solemn fooling. Thus in the 'Lay of St. Cuthbert,' where
the Devil has captured the heir of the house,

     "Whom the nurse had forgot and left there in his chair,
     Alternately sucking his thumb and his pear,"

the moral is drawn, among others,--

     "Perhaps it's as well to keep children from plums,
     And pears in their season--and sucking their thumbs."

And part of the moral to the 'Lay of St. Medard' is--

     "Don't give people nicknames! don't, even in fun,
     Call any one 'snuff-colored son of a gun'!"

And they generally wind up with some slyly shrewd piece of worldly
wisdom and wit. Thus, the closing moral to 'The Blasphemer's
Warning' is:--

     "To married men this--For the rest of your lives,
     Think how your misconduct may act on your wives!
     Don't swear then before them, lest haply they faint,
     Or--what sometimes occurs--run away with a Saint!"

Often they are broader yet, and intended for the club rather than the
family. Indeed, the tales as a whole are club tales, with an audience of
club-men always in mind; not, be it remembered, bestialities like their
French counterparts, or the later English and American improvements on
the French, not even objectionable for general reading, but full of
exclusively masculine joking, allusions, and winks, unintelligible to
the other sex, and not welcome if they were intelligible.

He has plenty of melody, but it is hardly recognized because of the
doggerel meaning, which swamps the music in the farce. And this applies
to more important things than the melody. The average reader floats on
the surface of this rapid and foamy stream, covered with sticks and
straws and flowers and bonbons, and never realizes its depth and volume.
This light frothy verse is only the vehicle of a solid and laborious
antiquarian scholarship, of an immense knowledge of the world and
society, books and men. He modestly disclaimed having any imagination,
and said he must always have facts to work upon. This was true; but the
same may be said of some great poets, who have lacked invention except
around a skeleton ready furnished. What was true of Keats and Fitzgerald
cannot nullify the merit of Barham. His fancy erected a huge and
consistent superstructure on a very slender foundation. The same
materials lay ready to the hands of thousands of others, who, however,
saw only stupid monkish fables or dull country superstition.

His own explanation of his handling of the church legends tickles a
critic's sense of humor almost as much as the verses themselves. It is
true that while differing utterly in his tone of mind, and his attitude
toward the mediaeval stories, from that of the mediaeval artists and
sculptors,--whose gargoyles and other grotesques were carved without a
thought of travesty on anything religious,--he is at one with them in
combining extreme irreverence of form with a total lack of irreverence
of spirit toward the real spiritual mysteries of religion. He burlesques
saints and devils alike, mocks the swarm of miracles of the mediaeval
Church, makes salient all the ludicrous aspects of mediaeval religious
faith in its devout credulity and barbarous gropings; yet he never
sneers at holiness or real aspiration, and through all the riot of fun
in his masques, one feels the sincere Christian and the warm-hearted
man. But he was evidently troubled by the feeling that a clergyman ought
not to ridicule any form in which religious feeling had ever clothed
itself; and he justified himself by professing that he wished to expose
the absurdity of old superstitions and mummeries to help countervail the
effect of the Oxford movement. Ingoldsby as a soldier of Protestantism,
turning monkish stories into rollicking farces in order to show up what
he conceived to be the errors of his opponents, is as truly Ingoldsbian
a figure as any in his own 'Legends.' Yet one need not accuse him of
hypocrisy or falsehood, hardly even of self-deception. He felt that dead
superstitions, and stories not reverenced even by the Church that
developed them, were legitimate material for any use he could make of
them; he felt that in dressing them up with his wit and fancy he was
harming nothing that existed, nor making any one look lightly on the
religion of Christ or the Church of Christ: and that they were the
property of an opposing church body was a happy thought to set his
conscience at rest. He wrote them thenceforth with greater peace of mind
and added satisfaction, and no doubt really believed that he was doing
good in the way he alleged. And if the excuse gave to the world even one
more of the inimitable 'Legends,' it was worth feeling and making.

Barham's nature was not one which felt the problems and tragedies of the
world deeply. He grieved for his friends, he helped the distresses he
saw, but his imagination rested closely in the concrete. He was
incapable of _weltschmerz_; even for things just beyond his personal
ken he had little vision or fancy. His treatment of the perpetual
problem of sex-temptations and lapses is a good example: he never seems
to be conscious of the tragedy they envelop. To him they are always good
jokes, to wink over or smile at or be indulgent to. No one would ever
guess from 'Ingoldsby' the truth he finds even in 'Don Juan,' that

     "A heavy price must all pay who thus err,
     In some shape."

But we cannot have everything: if Barham had been sensitive to the
tragic side of life, he could not have been the incomparable fun-maker
he was. We do not go to the 'Ingoldsby Legends' to solace our souls when
hurt or remorseful, to brace ourselves for duty, or to feel ourselves
nobler by contact with the expression of nobility. But there must be
play and rest for the senses, as well as work and aspiration; and there
are worse services than relieving the strain of serious endeavor by
enabling us to become jolly pagans once again for a little space, and
care naught for the morrow.



     As I laye a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge,
     Merrie sang the Birde as she sat upon the spraye;
             There came a noble Knighte,
             With his hauberke shynynge brighte,
             And his gallant heart was lyghte,
                     Free and gaye;
     As I laye a-thynkynge, he rode upon his waye.

     As I laye a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge,
     Sadly sang the Birde as she sat upon the tree!
             There seemed a crimson plain,
             Where a gallant Knyghte lay slayne,
             And a steed with broken rein
                     Ran free,
     As I laye a-thynkynge, most pitiful to see!

     As I laye a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge,
     Merrie sang the Birde as she sat upon the boughe;
             A lovely mayde came bye,
             And a gentil youth was nyghe,
             And he breathed many a syghe,
                     And a vowe;
     As I laye a-thynkynge, her hearte was gladsome now.

     As I laye a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge,
     Sadly sang the Birde as she sat upon the thorne;
             No more a youth was there,
             But a Maiden rent her haire,
             And cried in sad despaire,
                     "That I was borne!"
     As I laye a-thynkynge, she perished forlorne.

     As I laye a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge,
     Sweetly sang the Birde as she sat upon the briar;
             There came a lovely childe,
             And his face was meek and milde,
             Yet joyously he smiled
                     On his sire;
     As I laye a-thynkynge, a Cherub mote admire.

     But I laye a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge,
     And sadly sang the Birde as it perched upon a bier;
             That joyous smile was gone,
             And the face was white and wan,
             As the downe upon the Swan
                     Doth appear,
     As I laye a-thynkynge,--oh! bitter flowed the tear!

     As I laye a-thynkynge, the golden sun was sinking,
     Oh, merrie sang that Birde, as it glittered on her breast
             With a thousand gorgeous dyes;
             While soaring to the skies,
             'Mid the stars she seemed to rise,
                     As to her nest;
     As I laye a-thynkynge, her meaning was exprest:--
             "Follow me away,
             It boots not to delay,"--
             'Twas so she seemed to saye,
                     "HERE IS REST!"





Nobilis quidam, cui nomen _Monsr. Lescrop, Chivaler_, cum invitasset
convivas, et, hora convivii jam instante et apparatu facto, spe
frustratus esset, excusantibus se convivis cur non compararent, prorupit
iratus in haec verba: "_Veniant igitur omnes dæmones, si nullus hominum
mecum esse potest_!"

Quod cum fieret, et Dominus, et famuli, et ancillæ, a domo properantes,
forte obliti, infantem in cunis jacentem secum non auferent, Dæmones
incipiunt commessari et vociferari, prospicereque per fenestras formis
ursorum, luporum, felium, et monstrare pocula vino repleta. _Ah_, inquit
pater, _ubi infans meus?_ Vix cum haec dixisset, unus ex Dæmonibus ulnis
suis infantem ad fenestram gestat, etc.--_Chronicon de Bolton_.

       It's in Bolton Hall, and the clock strikes One,
       And the roast meat's brown and the boiled meat's done,
       And the barbecued sucking-pig's crisped to a turn,
       And the pancakes are fried and beginning to burn;
               The fat stubble-goose
               Swims in gravy and juice,
       With the mustard and apple-sauce ready for use;
       Fish, flesh, and fowl, and all of the best,
       Want nothing but eating--they're all ready drest,
       But where is the Host, and where is the Guest?

       Pantler and serving-man, henchman and page
       Stand sniffing the duck-stuffing (onion and sage),
               And the scullions and cooks,
                   With fidgety looks,
       Are grumbling and mutt'ring, and scowling as black
       As cooks always do when the dinner's put back;
       For though the board's deckt, and the napery, fair
       As the unsunned snow-flake, is spread out with care,
       And the Dais is furnished with stool and with chair,
       And plate of _orféverie_ costly and rare,
       Apostle-spoons, salt-cellar, all are there,
               And Mess John in his place,
               With his rubicund face,
       And his hands ready folded, prepared to say Grace,
       Yet where is the Host?--and his convives--where?

       The Scroope sits lonely in Bolton Hall,
       And he watches the dial that hangs by the wall,
       He watches the large hand, he watches the small,
               And he fidgets and looks
               As cross as the cooks,
       And he utters--a word which we'll soften to "Zooks!"
       And he cries, "What on earth has become of them all?--
               What can delay
               De Vaux and De Saye?
       What makes Sir Gilbert de Umfraville stay?
       What's gone with Poyntz, and Sir Reginald Braye?
       Why are Ralph Ufford and Marny away?
     And De Nokes and De Styles, and Lord Marmaduke Grey?
                And De Roe?
                And De Doe?
       Poynings and Vavasour--where be they?
       Fitz-Walter, Fitz-Osbert, Fitz-Hugh, and Fitz-John,
       And the Mandevilles, _père et filz_ (father and son);
       Their cards said 'Dinner precisely at One!'
               There's nothing I hate, in
               The world, like waiting!
       It's a monstrous great bore, when a Gentleman feels
       A good appetite, thus to be kept from his meals!"

       It's in Bolton Hall, and the clock strikes Two!
       And the scullions and cooks are themselves "in a stew,"
       And the kitchen-maids stand, and don't know what to do,
       For the rich plum-puddings are bursting their bags,
       And the mutton and turnips are boiling to rags,
               And the fish is all spoiled,
               And the butter's all oiled,
       And the soup's got cold in the silver tureen,
       And there's nothing, in short, that is fit to be seen!
       While Sir Guy Le Scroope continues to fume,
       And to fret by himself in the tapestried room,
               And still fidgets and looks
               More cross than the cooks,
     And repeats that bad word, which we've softened to "Zooks!"

       Two o'clock's come, and Two o'clock's gone,
       And the large and the small hands move steadily on,
               Still nobody's there,
               No De Roos, or De Clare,
       To taste of the Scroope's most delicate fare,

       Or to quaff off a health unto Bolton's Heir,
       That nice little boy who sits in his chair,
       Some four years old, and a few months to spare,
       With his laughing blue eyes and his long curly hair,
       Now sucking his thumb, and now munching his pear.

       Again Sir Guy the silence broke,
       "It's hard upon Three!--it's just on the stroke!
       Come, serve up the dinner!--A joke is a joke"--
       Little he deems that Stephen de Hoaques,
       Who "his fun," as the Yankees say, everywhere "pokes,"
       And is always a great deal too fond of his jokes,
       Has written a circular note to De Nokes,
       And De Styles and De Roe, and the rest of the folks,
                   One and all,
                   Great and small,
               Who were asked to the Hall
       To dine there and sup, and wind up with a ball,
       And had told all the party a great bouncing lie, he
       Cooked up, that the "_fête_ was postponed _sine die_,
       The dear little curly-wigged heir of Le Scroope
       Being taken alarmingly ill with the croop!"

               When the clock struck Three,
               And the Page on his knee
       Said, "An't please you, Sir Guy Le Scroope, _On a servi_!"
       And the Knight found the banquet-hall empty and clear,
               With nobody near
               To partake of his cheer,
     He stamped, and he stormed--then his language!--Oh dear!
         'Twas awful to see, and 'twas awful to hear!
         And he cried to the button-decked Page at his knee,
         Who had told him so civilly "_On a servi,"_
         "Ten thousand fiends seize them, wherever they be!
         --The Devil take _them_! and the Devil take _thee!_

                       In a terrible fume
                   He bounced out of the room,
     He bounced out of the house--and page, footman, and groom
         Bounced after their master; for scarce had they heard
         Of this left-handed grace the last finishing word,
         Ere the horn at the gate of the Barbican tower
         Was blown with a loud twenty-trumpeter power,

                   And in rush'd a troop
               Of strange guests!--such a group
         As had ne'er before darkened the door of the Scroope!
         This looks like De Saye--yet--it is not De Saye--
         And this is--no, 'tis not--Sir Reginald Braye,
         This has somewhat the favor of Marmaduke Grey--
         But stay!--_Where on earth did he get those long nails?_
     Why, they're _claws_!--then Good Gracious!--they've all of them _tails!_
         That can't be De Vaux--why, his nose is a bill,
         Or, I would say a beak!--and he can't keep it still!--
         Is that Poynings?--Oh, Gemini! look at his feet!!
         Why, they're absolute _hoofs_!--is it gout or his corns,
         That have crumpled them up so?--by Jingo, he's _horns!_
       Run! run!--There's Fitz-Walter, Fitz-Hugh, and Fitz-John,
       And the Mandevilles, _père et filz_ (father and son),
       And Fitz-Osbert, and Ufford--_they've all got them on!_
               Then their great saucer eyes--
               It's the Father of lies
       And his Imps--run! run! run!--they're all fiends in disguise,
       Who've partly assumed, with more sombre complexions,
       The forms of Sir Guy Le Scroope's friends and connections,
       And He--at the top there--that grim-looking elf--
       Run! run!--that's the "muckle-horned Clootie" himself!

                   And now what a din
                   Without and within!
         For the courtyard is full of them.--How they begin
         To mop, and to mowe, and to make faces, and grin!
               Cock their tails up together,
               Like cows in hot weather,
         And butt at each other, all eating and drinking,
         The viands and wine disappearing like winking,
               And then such a lot
               As together had got!
         Master Cabbage, the steward, who'd made a machine
         To calculate with, and count noses,--I ween
         The cleverest thing of the kind ever seen,--
               Declared, when he'd made
               By the said machine's aid,
         Up, what's now called the "tottle" of those he surveyed,
         There were just--how he proved it I cannot divine--
         _Nine thousand, nine hundred, and ninety and nine._
                 Exclusive of Him
                 Who, giant in limb,

         And black as the crow they denominate _Jim_,
         With a tail like a bull, and a head like a bear,
         Stands forth at the window--and what holds he there,
                   Which he hugs with such care,
                   And pokes out in the air,
         And grasps as its limbs from each other he'd tear?
                   Oh! grief and despair!
                   I vow and declare
     It's Le Scroope's poor, dear, sweet, little, curly-wigged Heir!
         Whom the nurse had forgot and left there in his chair,
         Alternately sucking his thumb and his pear.

                   What words can express
                   The dismay and distress
         Of Sir Guy, when he found what a terrible mess
         His cursing and banning had now got him into?
         That words, which to use are a shame and a sin too,
         Had thus on their speaker recoiled, and his malison
         Placed in the hands of the Devil's own "pal" his son!--
                   He sobbed and he sighed,
                   And he screamed, and he cried,
         And behaved like a man that is mad or in liquor--he
         Tore his peaked beard, and he dashed off his "Vicary,"
                       Stamped on the jasey
                       As though he were crazy,
         And staggering about just as if he were "hazy,"
         Exclaimed, "Fifty pounds!" (a large sum in those times)
         "To the person, whoever he may be, that climbs
         To that window above there, _en ogive_, and painted,
         And brings down my curly-wi'--" Here Sir Guy fainted!

                       With many a moan,
                      And many a groan,
         What with tweaks of the nose, and some _eau de Cologne_,
         He revived,--Reason once more remounted her throne,
         Or rather the instinct of Nature--'twere treason
         To her, in the Scroope's case, perhaps, to say Reason--
         But what saw he then--Oh! my goodness! a sight
         Enough to have banished his reason outright!--
                 In that broad banquet-hall
                 The fiends one and all
         Regardless of shriek, and of squeak, and of squall,
         From one to another were tossing that small
         Pretty, curly-wigged boy, as if playing at ball;

         Yet none of his friends or his vassals might dare
         To fly to the rescue or rush up the stair,
         And bring down in safety his curly-wigged Heir!

                 Well a day! Well a day!
                     All he can say
         Is but just so much trouble and time thrown away;
         Not a man can be tempted to join the _mêlée:_
         E'en those words cabalistic, "I promise to pay
         Fifty pounds on demand," have for once lost their sway,
                 And there the Knight stands
                     Wringing his hands
         In his agony--when on a sudden, one ray
         Of hope darts through his midriff!--His Saint!--
                     Oh, it's funny
                 And almost absurd,
                 That it never occurred!--
     "Ay! the Scroope's Patron Saint!--he's the man for my money!
         Saint--who is it?--really I'm sadly to blame,--
         On my word I'm afraid,--I confess it with shame,--
         That I've almost forgot the good Gentleman's name,--
         Cut--let me see--Cutbeard?--no--CUTHBERT!--egad!
         St. Cuthbert of Bolton!--I'm right--he's the lad!
         O holy St. Cuthbert, if forbears of mine--
         Of myself I say little--have knelt at your shrine,
     And have lashed their bare backs, and--no matter--with twine,
                  Oh! list to the vow
                  Which I make to you now,
         Only snatch my poor little boy out of the row
         Which that Imp's kicking up with his fiendish bow-wow,
         And his head like a bear, and his tail like a cow!
         Bring him back here in safety!--perform but this task,
         And I'll give--Oh!--I'll give you whatever you ask!--
                  There is not a shrine
                  In the county shall shine
         With a brilliancy half so resplendent as thine,
         Or have so many candles, or look half so fine!--
         Haste, holy St. Cuthbert, then,--hasten in pity!--"

                  Conceive his surprise
                  When a strange voice replies,
         "It's a bargain!--but, mind, sir, THE BEST SPERMACETI!"--
         Say, whose that voice?--whose that form by his side,
         That old, old, gray man, with his beard long and wide,

                   In his coarse Palmer's weeds,
                   And his cockle and beads?--
         And how did he come?--did he walk?--did he ride?
         Oh! none could determine,--oh! none could decide,--
         The fact is, I don't believe any one tried;
         For while every one stared, with a dignified stride
                   And without a word more,
                     He marched on before,
         Up a flight of stone steps, and so through the front door,
         To the banqueting-hall that was on the first floor,
         While the fiendish assembly were making a rare
         Little shuttlecock there of the curly-wigged Heir.
         --I wish, gentle Reader, that you could have seen
         The pause that ensued when he stepped in between,
         With his resolute air, and his dignified mien,
         And said, in a tone most decided though mild,
         "Come! I'll trouble you just to hand over that child!"

                   The Demoniac crowd
                   In an instant seemed cowed;
         Not one of the crew volunteered a reply,
         All shrunk from the glance of that keen-flashing eye,
         Save one horrid Humgruffin, who seemed by his talk,
         And the airs he assumed, to be cock of the walk.
         He quailed not before it, but saucily met it,
         And as saucily said, "Don't you wish you may get it?"

         My goodness!--the look that the old Palmer gave!
     And his frown!--'twas quite dreadful to witness--"Why, slave!
                     You rascal!" quoth he,
                     "This language to ME!
         At once, Mr. Nicholas! down on your knee,
         And hand me that curly-wigged boy!--I command it--
     Come!--none of your nonsense!--you know I won't stand it."

         Old Nicholas trembled,--he shook in his shoes,
         And seemed half inclined, but afraid, to refuse.
                   "Well, Cuthbert," said he,
                     "If so it must be,
     For you've had your own way from the first time I knew ye;--
     Take your curly-wigged brat, and much good may he do ye!
         But I'll have in exchange"--here his eye flashed with rage--
         "That chap with the buttons--he _gave me_ the Page!"

         "Come, come," the saint answered, "you very well know
         The young man's no more his than your own to bestow.
       Touch one button of his if you dare, Nick---no! no!
     Cut your stick, sir--come, mizzle! be off with you! go!"--
                     The Devil grew hot--
                     "If I do I'll be shot!
         An you come to that, Cuthbert, I'll tell you what's what;
         He has _asked_ us to _dine here_, and go we will not!
                   Why, you Skinflint,--at least
                   You may leave us the feast!
         Here we've come all that way from our brimstone abode,
         Ten million good leagues, sir, as ever you strode,
         And the deuce of a luncheon we've had on the road--
         'Go!'--'Mizzle!' indeed--Mr. Saint, who are you,
         I should like to know?--'Go!' I'll be hanged if I do!
         He invited us all--we've a right here--it's known
         That a Baron may do what he likes with his own--
         Here, Asmodeus--a slice of that beef;--now the mustard!--
         What have _you_ got?--oh, apple-pie--try it with custard."

                     The Saint made a pause
                     As uncertain, because
         He knew Nick is pretty well "up" in the laws,
     And they _might_ be on _his_ side--and then, he'd such claws!
         On the whole, it was better, he thought, to retire
         With the curly-wigged boy he'd picked out of the fire,
         And give up the victuals--to retrace his path,
         And to compromise--(spite of the Member for Bath).
                     So to Old Nick's appeal,
                     As he turned on his heel,
         He replied, "Well, I'll leave you the mutton and veal,
        And the soup _à la Reine_, and the sauce _Bechamel;_
        As the Scroope _did_ invite you to dinner, I feel
         I can't well turn you out--'twould be hardly genteel---
         But be moderate, pray,--and remember thus much,
       Since you're treated as Gentlemen--show yourselves such,
                     And don't make it late,
                     But mind and go straight
     Home to bed when you've finished--and don't steal the plate,
         Nor wrench off the knocker, or bell from the gate.
         Walk away, like respectable Devils, in peace,
         And don't 'lark' with the watch, or annoy the police!"

                     Having thus said his say,
                         That Palmer gray
         Took up little La Scroope, and walked coolly away,
         While the Demons all set up a "Hip! hip! hurrah!"

         Then fell, tooth and nail, on the victuals, as they
         Had been guests at Guildhall upon Lord Mayor's day,
         All scrambling and scuffling for what was before 'em,
         No care for precedence or common decorum.
                    Few ate more hearty
                    Than Madame Astarte,
         And Hecate,--considered the Belles of the party.
         Between them was seated Leviathan, eager
         To "do the polite," and take wine with Belphegor;
         Here was _Morbleu_ (a French devil), supping soup-meagre,
         And there, munching leeks, Davy Jones of Tredegar
         (A Welsh one), who'd left the domains of Ap Morgan
         To "follow the sea,"--and next him Demogorgon,--
         Then Pan with his pipes, and Fauns grinding the organ
         To Mammon and Belial, and half a score dancers,
         Who'd joined with Medusa to get up 'the Lancers';
         Here's Lucifer lying blind drunk with Scotch ale,
         While Beelzebub's tying huge knots in his tail.
         There's Setebos, storming because Mephistopheles
                          Gave him the lie,
                     Said he'd "blacken his eye,"
         And dashed in his face a whole cup of hot coffee-lees;--
                         Ramping and roaring,
                         Hiccoughing, snoring,
         Never was seen such a riot before in
         A gentleman's house, or such profligate reveling
         At any _soirée_--where they don't let the Devil in.

                         Hark! as sure as fate
                         The clock's striking Eight!
         (An hour which our ancestors called "getting late,")
         When Nick, who by this time was rather elate,
         Rose up and addressed them:--
                                       "'Tis full time," he said,
         "For all elderly Devils to be in their bed;
         For my own part I mean to be jogging, because
         I don't find myself now quite so young as I was;
         But, Gentlemen, ere I depart from my post
         I must call on you all for one bumper--the toast
         Which I have to propose is,--OUR EXCELLENT HOST!
         Many thanks for his kind hospitality--may
                     _We_ also be able
                     To see at _our_ table
         Himself, and enjoy, in a family way,
         His good company _down-stairs_ at no distant day!
               You'd, I'm sure, think me rude
               If I did not include,
       In the toast my young friend there, the curly-wigged Heir!
         He's in very good hands, for you're all well aware
         That St. Cuthbert has taken him under his care;
               Though I must not say 'bless,'--
                 Why, you'll easily guess,--
         May our curly-wigged Friend's shadow never be less!"
         Nick took off his heel-taps--bowed--smiled---with an air
         Most graciously grim,--and vacated the chair.

                           Of course the _élite_
                       Rose at once on their feet,
         And followed their leader, and beat a retreat:
         When a sky-larking Imp took the President's seat,
         And requesting that each would replenish his cup,
         Said, "Where we have dined, my boys, there let us sup!"--
         It was three in the morning before they broke up!!!

       *       *       *       *       *

                       I scarcely need say
                       Sir Guy didn't delay
         To fulfill his vow made to St. Cuthbert, or pay
         For the candles he'd promised, or make light as day
         The shrine he assured him he'd render so gay.
         In fact, when the votaries came there to pray,
         All said there was naught to compare with it--nay,
                     For fear that the Abbey
                     Might think he was shabby,
         Four Brethren, thenceforward, two cleric, two lay,
         He ordained should take charge of a new-founded chantry,
         With six marcs apiece, and some claims on the pantry;
                     In short, the whole county
                     Declared, through his bounty,
         The Abbey of Bolton exhibited fresh scenes
         From any displayed since Sir William de Meschines
         And Cecily Roumeli came to this nation
         With William the Norman, and laid its foundation.

                      For the rest, it is said,
                      And I know I have read
         In some Chronicle--whose, has gone out of my head--

         That what with these candles, and other expenses,
         Which no man would go to if quite in his senses,
                   He reduced and brought low
                        His property so,
         That at last he'd not much of it left to bestow;
         And that many years after that terrible feast,
         Sir Guy, in the Abbey, was living a priest;
         And there, in one thousand and---something--deceased.
                   (It's supposed by this trick
                   He bamboozled Old Nick,
         And slipped through his fingers remarkably "slick.")
         While as to young Curly-wig,--dear little Soul,
         Would you know more of him, you must look at "The Roll,"
                   Which records the dispute,
                   And the subsequent suit,
         Commenced in "Thirteen sev'nty-five,"--which took root
         In Le Grosvenor's assuming the arms Le Scroope swore
         That none but _his_ ancestors, ever before,
         In foray, joust, battle, or tournament wore,
         To wit, "_On a Prussian-blue Field_, a _Bend Or_;"
         While the Grosvenor averred that _his_ ancestors bore
         The same, and Scroope lied like a--somebody tore
         Off the simile,--so I can tell you no more,
         Till some A double S shall the fragment restore.


     This Legend sound maxims exemplifies--_e.g._

  1_mo._     Should anything tease you,
                    Annoy, or displease you,
      Remember what Lilly says, "_Animum rege!_"
      And as for that shocking bad habit of swearing,--
      In all good society voted past bearing,--
      Eschew it! and leave it to dustmen and mobs,
    Nor commit yourself much beyond "Zooks!" or "Odsbobs!"

  2_do._ When asked out to dine by a Person of Quality,
      Mind, and observe the most strict punctuality!
                For should you come late,
                And make dinner wait,
      And the victuals get cold, you'll incur, sure as fate,
      The Master's displeasure, the Mistress's hate.
    And though both may perhaps be too well-bred to swear,
      They'll heartily _wish_ you--I will not say _Where_.

  3_tio._ Look well to your Maid-servants!--say you expect them
          To see to the children, and not to neglect them!
          And if you're a widower, just throw a cursory
          Glance in, at times, when you go near the Nursery.
          Perhaps it's as well to keep children from plums,
          And from pears in the season,--and sucking their thumbs!

  4_to._ To sum up the whole with a "saw" of much use,
          Be _just_ and be _generous_,--don't be _profuse!_--
          Pay the debts that you owe, keep your word to your friends,
          For of this be assured, if you "go it" too fast,
              You'll be "dished" like Sir Guy,
              And like him, perhaps, die
          A poor, old, half-starved Country Parson at last!


"Statim sacerdoti apparuit diabolus in specie puellæ pulchritudinis
miræ, et ecce Divus, fide catholicâ, et cruce, et aquâ benedicta armatus
venit, et aspersit aquam in nomine Sanctæ et Individuæ Trinitatis, quam,
quasi ardentem, diabolus, nequaquam sustinere valens, mugitibus

     "Lord Abbot! Lord Abbot! I'd fain confess;
       I am a-weary, and worn with woe;
     Many a grief doth my heart oppress,
       And haunt me whithersoever I go!"

     On bended knee spake the beautiful Maid;
       "Now lithe and listen, Lord Abbot, to me!"--
     "Now naye, fair daughter," the Lord Abbot said,
       "Now naye, in sooth it may hardly be.

     "There is Mess Michael, and holy Mess John,
       Sage penitauncers I ween be they!
     And hard by doth dwell, in St. Catherine's cell,
       Ambrose, the anchorite old and gray!"

     --"Oh, I will have none of Ambrose or John,
       Though sage penitauncers I trow they be;
     Shrive me may none save the Abbot alone--
       Now listen, Lord Abbot, I speak to thee.

     "Nor think foul scorn, though mitre adorn
       Thy brow, to listen to shrift of mine!
     I am a maiden royally born,
       And I come of old Plantagenet's line.

     "Though hither I stray in lowly array,
       I am a damsel of high degree;
     And the Compte of Eu, and the Lord of Ponthieu,
       They serve my father on bended knee!

     "Counts a many, and Dukes a few,
       A suitoring came to my father's Hall;
     But the Duke of Lorraine, with his large domain,
       He pleased my father beyond them all.

     "Dukes a many, and Counts a few,
       I would have wedded right cheerfullie;
     But the Duke of Lorraine was uncommonly plain,
       And I vowed that he ne'er should my bridegroom be!

     "So hither I fly, in lowly guise,
       From their gilded domes and their princely halls;
     Fain would I dwell in some holy cell,
       Or within some Convent's peaceful walls!"

     --Then out and spake that proud Lord Abbot,
       "Now rest thee, fair daughter, withouten fear.
     Nor Count nor Duke but shall meet the rebuke
       Of Holy Church an he seek thee here:

     "Holy Church denieth all search
       'Midst her sanctified ewes and her saintly rams,
     And the wolves doth mock who would scathe her flock,
       Or, especially, worry her little pet lambs.

     "Then lay, fair daughter, thy fears aside,
       For here this day shalt thou dine with me!"--
     "Now naye, now naye," the fair maiden cried;
       "In sooth, Lord Abbot, that scarce may be!

     "Friends would whisper, and foes would frown,
       Sith thou art a Churchman of high degree,
     And ill mote it match with thy fair renown
       That a wandering damsel dine with thee!

     "There is Simon the Deacon hath pulse in store,
       With beans and lettuces fair to see:
     His lenten fare now let me share,
       I pray thee, Lord Abbot, in charitie!"

     --"Though Simon the Deacon hath pulse in store,
       To our patron Saint foul shame it were
     Should wayworn guest, with toil oppressed,
       Meet in his Abbey such churlish fare.

     "There is Peter the Prior, and Francis the Friar,
       And Roger the Monk shall our convives be;
     Small scandal I ween shall then be seen:
       They are a goodly companie!"

     The Abbot hath donned his mitre and ring,
       His rich dalmatic, and maniple fine;
     And the choristers sing, as the lay-brothers bring
       To the board a magnificent turkey and chine.

     The turkey and chine, they are done to a nicety;
       Liver, and gizzard, and all are there;
     Ne'er mote Lord Abbot pronounce _Benedicite_
       Over more luscious or delicate fare.

     But no pious stave he, no _Pater_ or _Ave_
       Pronounced, as he gazed on that maiden's face;
     She asked him for stuffing, she asked him for gravy,
       She asked him for gizzard;--but not for grace!

     Yet gayly the Lord Abbot smiled, and pressed,
       And the blood-red wine in the wine-cup filled;
     And he helped his guest to a bit of the breast,
       And he sent the drumsticks down to be grilled.

     There was no lack of the old Sherris sack,
       Of Hippocras fine, or of Malmsey bright;
     And aye, as he drained off his cup with a smack,
       He grew less pious and more polite.

     She pledged him once, and she pledged him twice,
       And she drank as Lady ought not to drink;
     And he pressed her hand 'neath the table thrice,
       And he winked as Abbot ought not to wink.

     And Peter the Prior, and Francis the Friar,
       Sat each with a napkin under his chin;
     But Roger the Monk got excessively drunk,
       So they put him to bed, and they tucked him in!

     The lay-brothers gazed on each other, amazed;
       And Simon the Deacon, with grief and surprise.
     As he peeped through the key-hole, could scarce fancy real
       The scene he beheld, or believe his own eyes.

     In his ear was ringing the Lord Abbot singing--
       He could not distinguish the words very plain,
     But 'twas all about "Cole," and "jolly old Soul,"
       And "Fiddlers," and "Punch," and things quite as profane.

     Even Porter Paul, at the sound of such reveling,
       With fervor himself began to bless;
     For he thought he must somehow have let the Devil in--
       And perhaps was not very much out in his guess.

     The Accusing Byers[1] "flew up to Heaven's Chancery,"
       Blushing like scarlet with shame and concern;
     The Archangel took down his tale, and in answer he
       Wept (see the works of the late Mr. Sterne).

     Indeed, it is said, a less taking both were in
       When, after a lapse of a great many years,
     They booked Uncle Toby five shillings for swearing,
       And blotted the fine out again with their tears!

     But St. Nicholas's agony who may paint?
       His senses at first were well-nigh gone;
     The beatified saint was ready to faint
       When he saw in his Abbey such sad goings on!

     For never, I ween, had such doings been seen
       There before, from the time that most excellent Prince,
     Earl Baldwin of Flanders, and other Commanders,
       Had built and endowed it some centuries since.

     --But hark--'tis a sound from the outermost gate:
       A startling sound from a powerful blow.--
     Who knocks so late?--it is half after eight
       By the clock,--and the clock's five minutes too slow.

     Never, perhaps, had such loud double raps
       Been heard in St. Nicholas's Abbey before;
     All agreed "it was shocking to keep people knocking,"
       But none seemed inclined to "answer the door."

     Now a louder bang through the cloisters rang,
       And the gate on its hinges wide open flew;
     And all were aware of a Palmer there,
       With his cockle, hat, staff, and his sandal shoe.

     Many a furrow, and many a frown,
       By toil and time on his brow were traced;
     And his long loose gown was of ginger brown,
       And his rosary dangled below his waist.

     Now seldom, I ween, is such costume seen,
       Except at a stage-play or masquerade;
     But who doth not know it was rather the go
       With Pilgrims and Saints in the second Crusade?

     With noiseless stride did that Palmer glide
       Across that oaken floor;
     And he made them all jump, he gave such a thump
       Against the Refectory door!

     Wide open it flew, and plain to the view
       The Lord Abbot they all mote see;
     In his hand was a cup and he lifted it up,
       "Here's the Pope's good health with three!"

     Rang in their ears three deafening cheers,
       "Huzza! huzza! huzza!"
     And one of the party said, "Go it, my hearty!"--
       When outspake that Pilgrim gray--

     "A boon, Lord Abbot! a boon! a boon!
       Worn is my foot, and empty my scrip;
     And nothing to speak of since yesterday noon
       Of food, Lord Abbot, hath passed my lip.

     "And I am come from a far countree,
       And have visited many a holy shrine;
     And long have I trod the sacred sod
       Where the Saints do rest in Palestine!"--

     "An thou art come from a far countree,
       And if thou in Paynim lands hast been,
     Now rede me aright the most wonderful sight,
       Thou Palmer gray, that thine eyes have seen.

     "Arede me aright the most wonderful sight,
       Gray Palmer, that ever thine eyes did see,
     And a manchette of bread, and a good warm bed,
       And a cup o' the best shall thy guerdon be!"

     "Oh! I have been east, and I have been west,
       And I have seen many a wonderful sight;
     But never to me did it happen to see
       A wonder like that which I see this night!

     "To see a Lord Abbot, in rochet and stole,
       With Prior and Friar,--a strange mar-velle!--
     O'er a jolly full bowl, sitting cheek by jowl,
       And hob-nobbing away with a Devil from Hell!"

     He felt in his gown of ginger brown,
       And he pulled out a flask from beneath;
     It was rather tough work to get out the cork,
       But he drew it at last with his teeth.

     O'er a pint and a quarter of holy water,
       He made a sacred sign;
     And he dashed the whole on the _soi-disant_ daughter
       Of old Plantagenet's line!

     Oh! then did she reek, and squeak, and shriek,
       With a wild unearthly scream;
     And fizzled, and hissed, and produced such a mist,
       They were all half-choked by the steam.

     Her dove-like eyes turned to coals of fire,
       Her beautiful nose to a horrible snout,
     Her hands to paws, with nasty great claws,
       And her bosom went in and her tail came out.

     On her chin there appeared a long Nanny-goat's beard,
       And her tusks and her teeth no man mote tell;
     And her horns and her hoofs gave infallible proofs
       'Twas a frightful Fiend from the nethermost hell!

     The Palmer threw down his ginger gown,
       His hat and his cockle; and, plain to sight,
     Stood St. Nicholas' self, and his shaven crown
       Had a glow-worm halo of heavenly light.

     The fiend made a grasp the Abbot to clasp;
       But St. Nicholas lifted his holy toe,
     And, just in the nick, let fly such a kick
       On his elderly namesake, he made him let go.

     And out of the window he flew like a shot,
       For the foot flew up with a terrible thwack,
     And caught the foul demon about the spot
       Where his tail joins on to the small of his back.

     And he bounded away like a foot-ball at play,
       Till into the bottomless pit he fell slap,
     Knocking Mammon the meagre o'er pursy Belphegor,
       And Lucifer into Beëlzebub's lap.

     Oh! happy the slip from his Succubine grip,
       That saved the Lord Abbot,--though breathless with fright,
     In escaping he tumbled, and fractured his hip,
       And his left leg was shorter thenceforth than his right!

       *       *       *       *       *

     On the banks of the Rhine, as he's stopping to dine,
       From a certain inn-window the traveler is shown
     Most picturesque ruins, the scene of these doings,
       Some miles up the river south-east of Cologne.

     And while "_sauer-kraut_" she sells you, the landlady tells you
       That there, in those walls all roofless and bare,
     One Simon, a Deacon, from a lean grew a sleek one
       On filling a _ci-devant_ Abbot's state chair.

     How a _ci-devant_ Abbot, all clothed in drab, but
       Of texture the coarsest, hair shirt and no shoes
     (His mitre and ring, and all that sort of thing
       Laid aside), in yon cave lived a pious recluse;

     How he rose with the sun, limping "dot and go one,"
       To yon rill of the mountain, in all sorts of weather,
     Where a Prior and a Friar, who lived somewhat higher
       Up the rock, used to come and eat cresses together;

     How a thirsty old codger the neighbors called Roger,
       With them drank cold water in lieu of old wine!
     What its quality wanted he made up in quantity,
       Swigging as though he would empty the Rhine!

     And how, as their bodily strength failed, the mental man
       Gained tenfold vigor and force in all four;
     And how, to the day of their death, the "Old Gentleman"
       Never attempted to kidnap them more.

     And how, when at length, in the odor of sanctity,
       All of them died without grief or complaint,
     The monks of St. Nicholas said 'twas ridiculous
       Not to suppose every one was a Saint.

     And how, in the Abbey, no one was so shabby
       As not to say yearly four masses ahead,
     On the eve of that supper, and kick on the crupper
       Which Satan received, for the souls of the dead!

     How folks long held in reverence their reliques and memories,
       How the _ci-devant_ Abbot's obtained greater still,
     When some cripples, on touching his fractured _os femoris_,
       Threw down their crutches and danced a quadrille!

     And how Abbot Simon (who turned out a prime one)
       These words, which grew into a proverb full soon,
     O'er the late Abbot's grotto, stuck up as a motto,
       "Who Suppes with the Deville sholde have a long spoone!"

     [Footnote 1: The Prince of Peripatetic Informers, and terror of
     Stage Coachmen, when such things were.]



The Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould was born in Exeter, England, in 1834. The
addition of Gould to the name of Baring came in the time of his
great-grandfather, a brother of Sir Francis Baring, who married an only
daughter and heiress of W.D. Gould of Devonshire. Much of the early life
of Baring-Gould was passed in Germany and France, and at Clare College,
Cambridge, where he graduated in 1854, taking orders ten years later,
and in 1881 becoming rector of Lew Trenchard, Devonshire, where he holds
estates and privileges belonging to his family.

He has worked in many fields, and in all with so much acceptance that a
list of his books would be the best exposition of the range of his
untiring pen. To a gift of ready words and ready illustration, whether
he concerns himself with diversities of early Christian belief, the
course of country-dances in England, or the growth of mediaeval legends,
he adds the grace of telling a tale and drawing a character. He has
published nearly a hundred volumes, not one of them unreadable. But no
one man may write with equal pen of German history, of comparative
mythology and philology, of theological dissertations, and of the
pleasures of English rural life, while he adds to these a long list
of novels.

His secret of popularity lies not in his treatment, which is neither
critical nor scientific, but rather in a clever, easy, diffuse, jovial,
amusing way of saying clearly what at the moment comes to him to say.
His books have a certain raciness and spirit that recall the English
squire of tradition. They rarely smell of the lamp. Now and then appears
a strain of sturdy scholarship, leading the reader to wonder what his
author might have accomplished had he not enjoyed the comfortable ease
of a country justice of the peace, and a rector with large landed
estates, to whom his poorer neighbors appear a sort of dancing puppets.

Between 1857 and 1870, Baring-Gould had published nine volumes, the best
known of these being 'Curious Myths of the Middle Ages.' From 1870 to
1890 his name appeared as author on the title-page of forty-three books:
sermons, lectures, essays, archaeological treatises, memoirs,
curiosities of literature, histories, and fiction; sixteen novels,
tales, and romances being included. From 1890 to 1896 he published
seventeen more novels, and many of his books have passed through several
editions. His most successful novels are 'Mehalah; a Tale of the Salt
Marshes,' 'In the Roar of the Sea,' 'Red Spider,' 'Richard Cable,' and
'Noémi; a Story of Rock-Dwellers.'

In an essay upon his fiction, Mr. J.M. Barrie writes in The Contemporary
Review (February, 1890):--

     "Of our eight or ten living novelists who are popular by
     merit, few have greater ability than Mr. Baring-Gould. His
     characters are bold and forcible figures, his wit is as ready
     as his figures of speech are apt. He has a powerful
     imagination, and is quaintly fanciful. When he describes a
     storm, we can see his trees breaking in the gale. So enormous
     and accurate is his general information that there is no
     trade or profession with which he does not seem familiar. So
     far as scientific knowledge is concerned, he is obviously
     better equipped than any contemporary writer of fiction. Yet
     one rises from his books with a feeling of repulsion, or at
     least with the glad conviction that his ignoble views of life
     are as untrue as the characters who illustrate them. Here is
     a melancholy case of a novelist, not only clever but sincere,
     undone by want of sympathy.... The author's want of
     sympathy prevents 'Mehalah's' rising to the highest art; for
     though we shudder at the end, there the effect of the story
     stops. It illustrates the futility of battling with fate, but
     the theme is not allowable to writers with the modern notion
     of a Supreme Power.... But 'Mehalah' is still one of the
     most powerful romances of recent years."


From 'Curious Myths of the Middle Ages'

In that charming mediaeval romance 'Fortunatus and his Sons,' which by
the way is a treasury of popular mythology, is an account of a visit
paid by the favored youth to that cave of mystery in Lough Derg, the
Purgatory of St. Patrick.

Fortunatus, we are told, had heard in his travels of how two days'
journey from the town Valdric, in Ireland, was a town, Vernic, where was
the entrance to the Purgatory; so thither he went with many servants. He
found a great abbey, and behind the altar of the church a door, which
led into the dark cave which is called the Purgatory of St. Patrick. In
order to enter it, leave had to be obtained from the abbot; consequently
Leopold, servant to Fortunatus, betook himself to that worthy and made
known to him that a nobleman from Cyprus desired to enter the mysterious
cavern. The abbot at once requested Leopold to bring his master to
supper with him. Fortunatus bought a large jar of wine and sent it as a
present to the monastery, and followed at the meal-time.

"Venerable sir!" said Fortunatus, "I understand the Purgatory of St.
Patrick is here: is it so?"

The abbot replied, "It is so indeed. Many hundred years ago, this place,
where stand the abbey and the town, was a howling wilderness. Not far
off, however, lived a venerable hermit, Patrick by name, who often
sought the desert for the purpose of therein exercising his austerities.
One day he lighted on this cave, which is of vast extent. He entered it,
and wandering on in the dark, lost his way, so that he could no more
find how to return to the light of day. After long ramblings through the
gloomy passages, he fell on his knees and besought Almighty God, if it
were His will, to deliver him from the great peril wherein he lay.
Whilst Patrick thus prayed, he was ware of piteous cries issuing from
the depths of the cave, just such as would be the wailings of souls in
purgatory. The hermit rose from his orison, and by God's mercy found his
way back to the surface, and from that day exercised greater
austerities, and after his death he was numbered with the saints. Pious
people, who had heard the story of Patrick's adventure in the cave,
built this cloister on the site."

Then Fortunatus asked whether all who ventured into the place heard
likewise the howls of the tormented souls.

The abbot replied, "Some have affirmed that they have heard a bitter
crying and piping therein; whilst others have heard and seen nothing. No
one, however, has penetrated as yet to the furthest limits of
the cavern."

Fortunatus then asked permission to enter, and the abbot cheerfully
consented, only stipulating that his guest should keep near the entrance
and not ramble too far, as some who had ventured in had never returned.

Next day early, Fortunatus received the Blessed Sacrament with his
trusty Leopold; the door of the Purgatory was unlocked, each was
provided with a taper, and then with the blessing of the abbot they were
left in total darkness, and the door bolted behind them. Both wandered
on in the cave, hearing faintly the chanting of the monks in the church,
till the sound died away. They traversed several passages, lost their
way, their candles burned out, and they sat down in despair on the
ground, a prey to hunger, thirst, and fear.

The monks waited in the church hour after hour; and the visitors of the
Purgatory had not returned. Day declined, vespers were sung, and still
there was no sign of the two who in the morning had passed from the
church into the cave. Then the servants of Fortunatus began to exhibit
anger, and to insist on their master being restored to them. The abbot
was frightened, and sent for an old man who had once penetrated far into
the cave with a ball of twine, the end attached to the door-handle. This
man volunteered to seek Fortunatus, and providentially his search was
successful. After this the abbot refused permission to any one to
visit the cave.

In the reign of Henry II. lived Henry of Saltrey, who wrote a history of
the visit of a Knight Owen to the Purgatory of St. Patrick, which gained
immense popularity, ... was soon translated into other languages, and
spread the fable through mediaeval Europe.... In English there are two
versions. In one of these, 'Owayne Miles,' the origin of the purgatory
is thus described:--

     "Holy byschoppes some tyme ther were,
     That tawgte me of Goddes lore.
     In Irlonde preched Seyn Patryke;
     In that londe was non hym lyke:
     He prechede Goddes worde full wyde,
     And tolde men what shullde betyde.
     Fyrste he preched of Heven blysse,
     Who ever go thyder may ryght nowgt mysse:
     Sethen he preched of Hell pyne,
     Howe we them ys that cometh therinne:
     And then he preched of purgatory,
     As he fonde in hisstory;
     But yet the folke of the contré
     Beleved not that hit mygth be;
     And seyed, but gyf hit were so,
     That eny non myth hymself go,
     And se alle that, and come ageyn,
     Then wolde they beleve fayn."

Vexed at the obstinacy of his hearers, St. Patrick besought the Almighty
to make the truth manifest to the unbelievers; whereupon

     "God spakke to Saynt Patryke tho
     By nam, and badde hym with Hym go:
     He ladde hym ynte a wyldernesse,
     Wher was no reste more no lesse,
     And shewed that he might se
     Inte the erthe a pryvé entré:
     Hit was yn a depe dyches ende.
     'What mon,' He sayde, 'that wylle hereyn wende,
     And dwelle theryn a day and a nyght,
     And hold his byleve and ryght,
     And come ageyn that he ne dwelle,
     Mony a mervayle he may of telle.
     And alle tho that doth thys pylgrymage,
     I shalle hem graunt for her wage,
     Whether he be sqwyer or knave,
     Other purgatorye shalle he non have.'"

Thereupon St. Patrick, "he ne stynte ner day ne night," till he had
built there a "fayr abbey," and stocked it with pious canons. Then he
made a door to the cave, and locked the door, and gave the key to the
keeping of the prior. The Knight Owain, who had served under King
Stephen, had lived a life of violence and dissolution; but filled with
repentance, he sought by way of penance St. Patrick's Purgatory. Fifteen
days he spent in preliminary devotions and alms-deeds, and then he heard
mass, was washed with holy water, received the Holy Sacrament, and
followed the sacred relics in procession, whilst the priests sang for
him the Litany, "as lowde as they mygth crye." Then Sir Owain was locked
in the cave, and he groped his way onward in darkness, till he reached a
glimmering light; this brightened, and he came out into an underground
land, where was a great hall and cloister, in which were men with shaven
heads and white garments. These men informed the knight how he was to
protect himself against the assaults of evil spirits. After having
received this instruction, he heard "grete dynn," and

     "Then come ther develes on every syde,
     Wykked gostes, I wote, fro Helle,
     So mony that no tonge mygte telle:
     They fylled the hows yn two rowes;
     Some grenned on hym and some mad mowes."

He then visits the different places of torment. In one, the souls are
nailed to the ground with glowing hot brazen nails; in another they are
fastened to the soil by their hair, and are bitten by fiery reptiles. In
another, again, they are hung over fires by those members which had
sinned, whilst others are roasted on spits. In one place were pits in
which were molten metals. In these pits were men and women, some up to
their chins, others to their breasts, others to their hams. The knight
was pushed by the devils into one of these pits and was dreadfully
scalded, but he cried to the Savior and escaped. Then he visited a lake
where souls were tormented with great cold; and a river of pitch, which
he crossed on a frail and narrow bridge. Beyond this bridge was a wall
of glass, in which opened a beautiful gate, which conducted into
Paradise. This place so delighted him that he would fain have remained
in it had he been suffered, but he was bidden return to earth and finish
there his penitence. He was put into a shorter and pleasanter way back
to the cave than that by which he had come; and the prior found the
knight next morning at the door, waiting to be let out, and full of his
adventures. He afterwards went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and
ended his life in piety....

Froissart tells us of a conversation he had with one Sir William Lisle,
who had been in the Purgatory. "I asked him of what sort was the cave
that is in Ireland, called St. Patrick's Purgatory, and if that were
true which was related of it. He replied that there certainly was such
a cave, for he and another English knight had been there whilst the king
was at Dublin, and said that they entered the cave, and were shut in as
the sun set, and that they remained there all night and left it next
morning at sunrise. And then I asked if he had seen the strange sights
and visions spoken of. Then he said that when he and his companion had
passed the gate of the Purgatory of St. Patrick, that they had descended
as though into a cellar, and that a hot vapor rose towards them and so
affected their heads that they were obliged to sit down on the stone
steps. And after sitting there awhile they felt heavy with sleep, and so
fell asleep, and slept all night. Then I asked if they knew where they
were in their sleep, and what sort of dreams they had had; he answered
that they had been oppressed with many fancies and wonderful dreams,
different from those they were accustomed to in their chambers; and in
the morning when they went out, in a short while they had clean
forgotten their dreams and visions; wherefore he concluded that the
whole matter was fancy."

The next to give us an account of his descent into St. Patrick's
Purgatory is William Staunton of Durham, who went down into the cave on
the Friday next after the feast of Holyrood, in the year 1409.

"I was put in by the Prior of St. Matthew, of the same Purgatory, with
procession and devout prayers of the prior, and the convent gave me an
orison to bless me with, and to write the first word in my forehead, the
which prayer is this, 'Jhesu Christe, Fili Dei vivi, miserere mihi
peccatori.' And the prior taught me to say this prayer when any spirit,
good or evil, appeared unto me, or when I heard any noise that I should
be afraid of." When left in the cave, William fell asleep, and dreamed
that he saw coming to him St. John of Bridlington and St. Ive, who
undertook to conduct him through the scenes of mystery. After they had
proceeded a while, William was found to be guilty of a trespass against
Holy Church, of which he had to be purged before he could proceed much
further. Of this trespass he was accused by his sister, who appeared in
the way. "I make my complaint unto you against my brother that here
standeth; for this man that standeth hereby loved me, and I loved him,
and either of us would have had the other according to God's law, as
Holy Church teaches, and I should have gotten of me three-souls to God,
but my brother hindered us from marrying." St. John of Bridlington then
turned to William, and asked him why he did not allow the two who loved
one another to be married. "I tell thee there is no man that hindereth
man or woman from being united in the bond of God, though the man be a
shepherd and all his ancestors and the woman be come of kings or of
emperors, or if the man be come of never so high kin and the woman of
never so low kin, if they love one another, but he sinneth in Holy
Church against God and his deed, and therefore he shall have much pain
and tribulations." Being assoiled of this crying sin, St. John takes
William to a fire "grete and styngkyng," in which he sees people burning
in their gay clothes. "I saw some with collars of gold about their
necks, and some of silver, and some men I saw with gay girdles of silver
and gold, and harnessed with horns about their necks, some with mo
jagges on their clothes than whole cloth, others full of jingles and
bells of silver all over set, and some with long pokes on their sleeves,
and women with gowns trailing behind them a long space, and some with
chaplets on their heads of gold and pearls and other precious stones.
And I looked on him that I saw first in pain, and saw the collars and
gay girdles and baldrics burning, and the fiends dragging him by two
fingermits. And I saw the jagges that men were clothed in turn all to
adders, to dragons, and to toads, and 'many other orrible bestes,'
sucking them, and biting them, and stinging them with all their might,
and through every jingle I saw fiends smite burning nails of fire into
their flesh. I also saw fiends drawing down the skin of their shoulders
like to pokes, and cutting them off, and drawing them to the heads of
those they cut them from, all burning as fire. And then I saw the women
that had side trails behind them, and the side trails cut off by the
fiends and burned on their head; and some took of the cutting all
burning and stopped therewith their mouths, their noses, and their ears.
I saw also their gay chaplets of gold and pearls and precious stones
turned into nails of iron, burning, and fiends with burning hammers
smiting them into their heads." These were proud and vain people. Then
he saw another fire, where the fiends were putting out people's eyes and
pouring molten brass and lead into the sockets, and tearing off their
arms and the nails of their feet and hands, and soldering them on again.
This was the doom of swearers. William saw other fires wherein the
devils were executing tortures varied and horrible on their unfortunate
victims. We need follow him no further.

At the end of the fifteenth century the Purgatory in Lough Derg was
destroyed by orders of the Pope, on hearing the report of a monk of
Eymstadt in Holland, who had visited it, and had satisfied himself that
there was nothing in it more remarkable than in any ordinary cavern. The
Purgatory was closed on St. Patrick's Day, 1497; but the belief in it
was not so speedily banished from popular superstition. Calderon made it
the subject of one of his dramas; and it became the subject of numerous
popular chap-books in France and Spain, where during last century it
occupied in the religious belief of the people precisely the same
position which is assumed by the marvelous visions of heaven and hell
sold by hawkers in England at the present day.


From 'The Vicar of Morwenstow'

When the Rev. R.S. Hawker came to Morwenstow in 1834, he found that he
had much to contend with, not only in the external condition of church
and vicarage, but also in that which is of greater importance....

"The farmers of the parish were simple-hearted and respectable; but the
denizens of the hamlet, after receiving the wages of the harvest time,
eked out a precarious existence in the winter, and watched eagerly and
expectantly for the shipwrecks that were certain to happen, and upon the
plunder of which they surely calculated for the scant provision of their
families. The wrecked goods supplied them with the necessaries of life,
and the rended planks of the dismembered vessel contributed to the
warmth of the hovel hearthstone.

"When Mr. Hawker came to Morwenstow, 'the cruel and covetous natives of
the strand, the wreckers of the seas and rocks for flotsam and jetsam,'
held as an axiom and an injunction to be strictly obeyed:--

     "'Save a stranger from the sea,
     And he'll turn your enemy!'

"The Morwenstow wreckers allowed a fainting brother to perish in the
sea before their eyes without extending a hand of safety,--nay, more,
for the egotistical canons of a shipwreck, superstitiously obeyed,
permitted and absolved the crime of murder by 'shoving the drowning man
into the sea,' to be swallowed by the waves. Cain! Cain! where is thy
brother? And the wrecker of Morwenstow answered and pleaded in excuse,
as in the case of undiluted brandy after meals, 'It is Cornish custom.'
The illicit spirit of Cornish custom was supplied by the smuggler, and
the gold of the wreck paid him for the cursed abomination of drink."

One of Mr. Hawker's parishioners, Peter Barrow, had been for full forty
years a wrecker, but of a much more harmless description: he had been a
watcher of the coast for such objects as the waves might turn up to
reward his patience. Another was Tristam Pentire, a hero of contraband
adventure, and agent for sale of smuggled cargoes in bygone times. With
a merry twinkle of the eye, and in a sharp and ringing tone, he loved to
tell such tales of wild adventure and of "derring do," as would make the
foot of the exciseman falter and his cheek turn pale.

During the latter years of last century there lived in Wellcombe, one of
Mr. Hawker's parishes, a man whose name is still remembered with
terror--Cruel Coppinger. There are people still alive who remember
his wife.

Local recollections of the man have molded themselves into the rhyme--

     Will you hear of Cruel Coppinger?
       He came from a foreign land:
     He was brought to us by the salt water,
       He was carried away by the wind!"

His arrival on the north coast of Cornwall was signalized by a terrific
hurricane. The storm came up Channel from the south-west. A strange
vessel of foreign rig went on the reefs of Harty Race, and was broken to
pieces by the waves. The only man who came ashore was the skipper. A
crowd was gathered on the sand, on horseback and on foot, women as well
as men, drawn together by the tidings of a probable wreck. Into their
midst rushed the dripping stranger, and bounded suddenly upon the
crupper of a young damsel who had ridden to the beach to see the sight.
He grasped her bridle, and shouting in some foreign tongue, urged the
double-laden animal into full speed, and the horse naturally took his
homeward way. The damsel was Miss Dinah Hamlyn. The stranger descended
at her father's door, and lifted her off her saddle. He then announced
himself as a Dane, named Coppinger. He took his place at the family
board, and there remained until he had secured the affections and hand
of Dinah. The father died, and Coppinger at once succeeded to the
management and control of the house, which thenceforth became a den and
refuge of every lawless character along the coast. All kinds of wild
uproar and reckless revelry appalled the neighborhood day and night. It
was discovered that an organized band of smugglers, wreckers, and
poachers made this house their rendezvous, and that "Cruel Coppinger"
was their captain. In those days, and in that far-away region, the
peaceable inhabitants were unprotected. There was not a single resident
gentleman of property and weight in the entire district. No revenue
officer durst exercise vigilance west of the Tamar; and to put an end to
all such surveillance at once, the head of a gauger was chopped off by
one of Coppinger's gang on the gunwale of a boat.

Strange vessels began to appear at regular intervals on the coast, and
signals were flashed from the headlands to lead them into the safest
creek or cove. Amongst these vessels, one, a full-rigged schooner, soon
became ominously conspicuous. She was for long the chief terror of the
Cornish Channel. Her name was The Black Prince. Once, with Coppinger on
board, she led a revenue-cutter into an intricate channel near the Bull
Rock, where, from knowledge of the bearings, The Black Prince escaped
scathless, while the king's vessel perished with all on board. In those
times, if any landsman became obnoxious to Coppinger's men, he was
seized and carried on board The Black Prince, and obliged to save his
life by enrolling himself in the crew. In 1835, an old man of the age of
ninety-seven related to Mr. Hawker that he had been so abducted, and
after two years' service had been ransomed by his friends with a large
sum. "And all," said the old man very simply, "because I happened to see
one man kill another, and they thought I would mention it."

Amid such practices, ill-gotten gold began to flow and ebb in the hands
of Coppinger. At one time he had enough money to purchase a freehold
farm bordering on the sea. When the day of transfer came, he and one of
his followers appeared before the lawyer and paid the money in dollars,
ducats, doubloons, and pistoles. The man of law demurred, but Coppinger
with an oath bade him take this or none. The document bearing
Coppinger's name is still extant. His signature is traced in stern bold
characters, and under his autograph is the word "Thuro" (thorough) also
in his own handwriting.

Long impunity increased Coppinger's daring. There were certain bridle
roads along the fields over which he exercised exclusive control. He
issued orders that no man was to pass over them by night, and
accordingly from that hour none ever did. They were called "Coppinger's
Tracks." They all converged at a headland which had the name of Steeple
Brink. Here the cliff sheered off, and stood three hundred feet of
perpendicular height, a precipice of smooth rock towards the beach, with
an overhanging face one hundred feet down from the brow. Under this was
a cave, only reached by a cable ladder lowered from above, and made fast
below on a projecting crag. It received the name of "Coppinger's Cave."
Here sheep were tethered to the rock, and fed on stolen hay and corn
till slaughtered; kegs of brandy and hollands were piled around; chests
of tea; and iron-bound sea-chests contained the chattels and revenues of
the Coppinger royalty of the sea....

But the end arrived. Money became scarce, and more than one armed king's
cutter was seen day and night hovering off the land. So he "who came
with the water went with the wind." His disappearance, like his arrival,
was commemorated by a storm.

A wrecker who had gone to watch the shore, saw, as the sun went down, a
full-rigged vessel standing off and on. Coppinger came to the beach, put
off in a boat to the vessel, and jumped on board. She spread canvas,
stood off shore, and with Coppinger in her was seen no more. That night
was one of storm. Whether the vessel rode it out, or was lost,
none knew.

       *       *       *       *       *

In 1864 a large ship was seen in distress off the coast. The Rev. A.
Thynne, rector of Kilkhampton, at once drove to Morwenstow. The vessel
was riding at anchor a mile off shore, west of Hartland Race. He found
Mr. Hawker in the greatest excitement, pacing his room and shouting for
some things he wanted to put in his greatcoat-pockets, and intensely
impatient because his carriage was not round. With him was the Rev. W.
Valentine, rector of Whixley in Yorkshire, then resident at Chapel in
the parish of Morwenstow.

"What are you going to do?" asked the rector of Kilkhampton: "I shall
drive at once to Bude for the lifeboat."

"No good!" thundered the vicar, "no good comes out of the west. You must
go east. I shall go to Clovelly, and then, if that fails, to Appledore.
I shall not stop till I have got a lifeboat to take those poor fellows
off the wreck."

"Then," said the rector of Kilkhampton, "I shall go to Bude, and see to
the lifeboat there being brought out."

"Do as you like; but mark my words, no good comes of turning to the
west. Why," said he, "in the primitive church they turned to the west to
renounce the Devil."

His carriage came to the door, and he drove off with Mr. Valentine as
fast as his horses could spin him along the hilly, wretched roads.

Before he reached Clovelly, a boat had put off with the mate from the
ship, which was the Margaret Quail, laden with salt. The captain would
not leave the vessel; for, till deserted by him, no salvage could be
claimed. The mate was picked up on the way, and the three
reached Clovelly.

Down the street proceeded the following procession--the street of
Clovelly being a flight of stairs:--

_First_, the vicar of Morwenstow in a claret-colored coat, with long
tails flying in the gale, blue knitted jersey, and pilot-boots, his long
silver locks fluttering about his head. He was appealing to the
fishermen and sailors of Clovelly to put out in their lifeboat to rescue
the crew of the Margaret Quail. The men stood sulky, lounging about with
folded arms, or hands in their pockets, and sou'-westers slouched over
their brows. The women were screaming at the tops of their voices that
they would not have their husbands and sons and sweethearts enticed away
to risk their lives to save wrecked men. Above the clamor of their
shrill tongues and the sough of the wind rose the roar of the vicar's
voice: he was convulsed with indignation, and poured forth the most
sacred appeals to their compassion for drowning sailors.

_Second_ in the procession moved the Rev. W. Valentine, with purse full
of gold in his hand, offering any amount of money to the Clovelly men,
if they would only go forth in the lifeboat to the wreck.

_Third_ came the mate of the Margaret Quail, restrained by no
consideration of cloth, swearing and damning right and left, in a
towering rage at the cowardice of the Clovelly men.

_Fourth_ came John, the servant of Mr. Hawker, with bottles of whisky
under his arm, another inducement to the men to relent and be merciful
to their imperiled brethren.

The first appeal was to their love of heaven and to their humanity; the
second was to their pockets, their love of gold; the third to their
terrors, their fear of Satan, to whom they were consigned; and the
fourth to their stomachs, their love of grog.

But all appeals were in vain. Then Mr. Hawker returned to his carriage,
and drove away farther east to Appledore, where he secured the lifeboat.
It was mounted on a wagon; ten horses were harnessed to it; and as fast
as possible it was conveyed to the scene of distress.

But in the mean while the captain of the Margaret Quail, despairing of
help and thinking that his vessel would break up under him, came off in
his boat with the rest of the crew, trusting rather to a rotten boat,
patched with canvas which they had tarred over, than to the tender
mercies of the covetous Clovellites, in whose veins ran the too recent
blood of wreckers. The only living being left on board was a poor dog.

No sooner was the captain seen to leave the ship than the Clovelly men
lost their repugnance to go to sea. They manned boats at once, gained
the Margaret Quail, and claimed three thousand pounds for salvage.

There was an action in court, as the owners refused to pay such a sum;
and it was lost by the Clovelly men, who however got an award of twelve
hundred pounds. The case turned somewhat on the presence of the dog on
the wreck; and it was argued that the vessel was not deserted, because a
dog had been left on board to keep guard for its masters. The owner of
the cargo failed; and the amount actually paid to the salvors was six
hundred pounds to two steam-tugs (three hundred pounds each), and three
hundred pounds to the Clovelly skiff and sixteen men.

Mr. Hawker went round the country indignantly denouncing the sailors of
Clovelly, and with justice. It roused all the righteous wrath in his
breast. And as may well be believed, no love was borne him by the
inhabitants of that little fishing village. They would probably have
made a wreck of him had he ventured among them.

Jane Barlow


The general reader has yet to learn the most private and sacred events
of Miss Jane Barlow's life, now known only to herself and friends. She
is the daughter of Dr. Barlow of Trinity College, and lives in the
seclusion of a collage at Raheny, a hamlet near Dublin. Her family has
been in Ireland for generations, and she comes of German and Norman
stock. As some one has said, the knowledge and skill displayed in
depicting Irish peasant life, which her books show, are hers not through
Celtic blood and affinities, but by a sympathetic genius and

[Illustration: Jane Barlow]

The publication of her writings in book form was preceded by the
appearance of some poems and stories in the magazines, the Dublin
University Review of 1885 containing 'Walled Out; or, Eschatology in a
Bog.' 'Irish Idyls' (1892), and 'Bogland Studies' (of the same year),
show the same pitiful, sombre pictures of Irish peasant life about the
sodden-roofed mud hut and "pitaties" boiling, which only a genial,
impulsive, generous, light-hearted, half-Greek and half-philosophic
people could make endurable to the reader or attractive to the writer.
The innate sweetness of the Irish character, which the author brings out
with fine touches, makes it worth portrayal. "It is safe to say," writes
a critic, "that the philanthropist or the political student interested
in the eternal Irish problem will learn more from Miss Barlow's twin
volumes than from a dozen Royal Commissions and a hundred Blue Books."
Her sympathy constantly crops out, as, for instance, in the mirthful
tale of 'Jerry Dunne's Basket,' where--

     "Andy Joyce had an ill-advised predilection for seeing things
     which he called 'dacint and proper' about him, and he built
     some highly superior sheds on the lawn, to the bettering, no
     doubt, of his cattle's condition. The abrupt raising of his
     rent by fifty per cent, was a broad hint which most men would
     have taken; and it did keep Andy ruefully quiet for a season
     or two. Then, however, having again saved up a trifle, he
     could not resist the temptation to drain the swampy corner of
     the farthest river-field, which was as kind a bit of land as
     you could wish, only for the water lying on it, and in which
     he afterward raised himself a remarkably fine crop of white
     oats. The sight of them 'done his heart good,' he said,
     exultantly, nothing recking that it was the last touch of
     farmer's pride he would ever feel. Yet on the next
     quarter-day the Joyces received notice to quit, and their
     landlord determined to keep the vacated holding in his own
     hands; those new sheds were just the thing for his young
     stock. Andy, in fact, had done his best to improve himself
     off the face of the earth."

The long story which Miss Barlow has published, 'Kerrigan's Quality'
(1894), is told with her distinguishing charm, but the book has not the
close-knit force of the 'Idyls.' Miss Barlow herself prefers the
'Bogland Studies,' because, she says, they are "a sort of poetry." "I
had set my heart too long upon being a poet ever to give up the idea
quite contentedly; 'the old hope is hardest to be lost.' A real poet I
can never be, as I have, I fear, nothing of the lyrical faculty; and a
poet without that is worse than a bird without wings, so, like Mrs.
Browning's Nazianzen, I am doomed to look 'at the lyre hung out
of reach.'"

Besides the three books named, Miss Barlow has published 'Mockus of the
Shallow Waters' (1893); 'The End of Elfintown' (1894); 'The Battle of
the Frogs and Mice in English' (1894); 'Maureen's Fairing and other
Stories' (1895); and 'Strangers at Lisconnel,' a second series of 'Irish
Idyls' (1895). In the last book we again have the sorrows and joys of
the small hamlet in the west of Ireland, where "the broad level spreads
away and away to the horizon before and behind and on either side of
you, very sombre-hued, yet less black-a-vised than more frequent bergs,"
where in the distance the mountains "loom up on its borders much less
substantial, apparently, in fabric than so many spirals of blue turf
smoke," and where the curlew's cry "can set a whole landscape to
melancholy in one chromatic phrase."


From 'Strangers at Lisconnel'

Still, although the Tinkers' name has become a byword among us through a
long series of petty offenses rather than any one flagrant crime, there
is a notable misdeed on record against them, which has never been
forgotten in the lapse of many years. It was perpetrated soon after the
death of Mrs. Kilfoyle's mother, the Widow Joyce, an event which is but
dimly recollected now at Lisconnel, as nearly half a century has gone
by. She did not very long survive her husband, and he had left his
roots behind in his little place at Clonmena, where, as we know, he had
farmed not wisely but too well, and had been put out of it for his pains
to expend his energy upon our oozy black sods and stark-white bowlders.
But instead he moped about, fretting for his fair green fields, and few
proudly cherished beasts,--especially the little old Kerry cow. And at
his funeral the neighbors said, "Ah, bedad, poor man, God help him, he
niver held up his head agin from that good day to this."

When Mrs. Joyce felt that it behooved her to settle her affairs, she
found that the most important possession she had to dispose of was her
large cloak. She had acquired it at the prosperous time of her marriage,
and it was a very superior specimen of its kind, in dark-blue cloth
being superfine, and its ample capes and capacious hood being
double-lined and quilted and stitched in a way which I cannot pretend to
describe, but which made it a most substantial and handsome garment. If
Mrs. Joyce had been left entirely to her own choice in the matter, I
think she would have bequeathed it to her younger daughter Theresa,
notwithstanding that custom clearly designated Bessy Kilfoyle, the
eldest of the family, as the heiress. For she said to herself that poor
Bessy had her husband and childer to consowl her, any way, but little
Theresa, the crathur, had ne'er such a thing at all, and wouldn't have,
not she, God love her. "And the back of me hand to some I could name."
It seemed to her that to leave the child the cloak would be almost like
keeping a warm wing spread over her in the cold wide world; and there
was no fear that Bessy would take it amiss.

But Theresa herself protested strongly against such a disposition,
urging for one thing that sure she'd be lost in it entirely if ever she
put it on; a not unfounded objection, as Theresa was several sizes
smaller than Bessy, and even she fell far short of her mother in stature
and portliness. Theresa also said confidently with a sinking heart, "But
sure, anyhow, mother jewel, what matter about it? 'Twill be all gone to
houles and flitters and thraneens, and so it will, plase goodness, afore
there's any talk of anybody else wearin' it except your own ould self."
And she expressed much the same conviction one day to her next-door
neighbor, old Biddy Ryan, to whom she had run in for the loan of a sup
of sour milk, which Mrs. Joyce fancied. To Biddy's sincere regret she
could offer Theresa barely a skimpy noggin of milk, and only a meagre
shred of encouragement; and by way of eking out the latter with its
sorry substitute, consolation, she said as she tilted the jug
perpendicularly to extract its last drop:--

"Well, sure, me dear, I do be sayin' me prayers for her every sun goes
over our heads that she might be left wid you this great while yet;
'deed, I do so. But ah, acushla, if we could be keepin' people
that-a-way, would there be e'er a funeral iver goin' black on the road
at all at all? I'm thinkin' there's scarce a one livin', and he as ould
and foolish and little-good-for as you plase, but some crathur'ill be
grudgin' him to his grave, that's himself may be all the while wishin'
he was in it. Or, morebetoken, how can we tell what quare ugly
misfortin' thim that's took is took out of the road of, that we should
be as good as biddin' thim stay till it comes to ruinate them? So it's
prayin' away I am, honey," said old Biddy, whom Theresa could not help
hating heart-sickly. "But like enough the Lord might know better than to
be mindin' a word I say."

And it seemed that He did; anyway, the day soon came when the heavy blue
cloak passed into Mrs. Kilfoyle's possession.

At that time it was clear, still autumn weather, with just a sprinkle of
frost white on the wayside grass, like the wraith of belated moonlight,
when the sun rose, and shimmering into rainbow stars by noon. But about
a month later the winter swooped suddenly on Lisconnel: with wild winds
and cold rain that made crystal-silver streaks down the purple of the
great mountainheads peering in over our bogland.

So one perishing Saturday Mrs. Kilfoyle made up her mind that she would
wear her warm legacy on the bleak walk to Mass next morning, and
reaching it down from where it was stored away among the rafters wrapped
in an old sack, she shook it respectfully out of its straight-creased
folds. As she did so she noticed that the binding of the hood had ripped
in one place, and that the lining was fraying out, a mishap which should
be promptly remedied before it spread any further. She was not a very
expert needlewoman, and she thought she had better run over the way to
consult Mrs. O'Driscoll, then a young matron, esteemed the handiest and
most helpful person in Lisconnel.

"It's the nathur of her to be settin' things straight wherever she
goes," Mrs. Kilfoyle said to herself as she stood in her doorway waiting
for the rain to clear off, and looking across the road to the sodden
roof which sheltered her neighbor's head. It had long been lying low,
vanquished by a trouble which even she could not set to rights, and some
of the older people say that things have gone a little crookeder in
Lisconnel ever since.

The shower was a vicious one, with the sting of sleet and hail in its
drops, pelted about by gusts that ruffled up the puddles into ripples,
all set on end, like the feathers of a frightened hen. The hens
themselves stood disconsolately sheltering under the bank, mostly on one
leg, as if they preferred to keep up the slightest possible connection
with such a very damp and disagreeable earth. You could not see far in
any direction for the fluttering sheets of mist, and a stranger who had
been coming along the road from Duffelane stepped out of them abruptly
quite close to Mrs. Kilfoyle's door, before she knew that there was
anybody near. He was a tall, elderly man, gaunt and grizzled, very
ragged, and so miserable-looking that Mrs. Kilfoyle could have felt
nothing but compassion for him had he not carried over his shoulder a
bunch of shiny cans, which was to her mind as satisfactory a passport as
a ticket of leave. For although these were yet rather early days at
Lisconnel, the Tinkers had already begun to establish their reputation.
So when he stopped in front of her and said, "Good-day, ma'am," she only
replied distantly, "It's a hardy mornin'," and hoped he would move on.
But he said, "It's cruel could, ma'am," and continued to stand looking
at her with wide and woful eyes, in which she conjectured--erroneously,
as it happened--hunger for warmth or food. Under these circumstances,
what could be done by a woman who was conscious of owning a redly
glowing hearth with a big black pot, fairly well filled, clucking and
bobbing upon it? To possess such wealth as this, and think seriously of
withholding a share from anybody who urges the incontestable claim of
wanting it, is a mood altogether foreign to Lisconnel, where the
responsibilities of poverty are no doubt very imperfectly understood.
Accordingly Mrs. Kilfoyle said to the tattered tramp, "Ah, thin, step
inside and have a couple of hot pitaties." And when he accepted the
invitation without much alacrity, as if he had something else on his
mind, she picked for him out of the steam two of the biggest potatoes,
whose earth-colored skins, cracking, showed a fair flouriness within;
and she shook a little heap of salt, the only relish she had, onto the
chipped white plate as she handed it to him, saying, "Sit you down be
the fire, there, and git a taste of the heat."

Then she lifted her old shawl over her head, and ran out to see where at
all Brian and Thady were gettin' their deaths on her under the pours of
rain; and as she passed the Keoghs' adjacent door--which was afterward
the Sheridans', whence their Larry departed so reluctantly--young Mrs.
Keogh called her to come in and look at "the child," who, being a new
and unique possession, was liable to develop alarmingly strange
symptoms, and had now "woke up wid his head that hot, you might as well
put your hand on the hob of the grate." Mrs. Kilfoyle stayed only long
enough to suggest, as a possible remedy, a drop of two-milk whey. "But
ah, sure, woman dear, where at all 'ud we come by that, wid the crathur
of a goat scarce wettin' the bottom of the pan?" and to draw reassuring
omens from the avidity with which the invalid grabbed at a sugared
crust. In fact, she was less than five minutes out of her house; but
when she returned to it, she found it empty. First, she noted with a
moderate thrill of surprise that her visitor had gone away leaving his
potatoes untouched; and next, with a rough shock of dismay, that her
cloak no longer lay on the window seat where she had left it. From that
moment she never felt any real doubts about what had befallen her,
though for some time she kept on trying to conjure them up, and searched
wildly round and round and round her little room, like a distracted bee
strayed into the hollow furze-bush, before she sped over to Mrs.
O'Driscoll with the news of her loss.

It spread rapidly through Lisconnel, and brought the neighbors together
exclaiming and condoling, though not in great force, as there was a fair
going on down beyant, which nearly all the men and some of the women had
attended. This was accounted cruel unlucky, as it left the place without
any one able-bodied and active enough to go in pursuit of the thief. A
prompt start might have overtaken him, especially as he was said to be a
"thrifle lame-futted"; though Mrs. M'Gurk, who had seen him come down
the hill, opined that "'twasn't the sort of lameness 'ud hinder the
miscreant of steppin' out, on'y a quare manner of flourish he had in a
one of his knees, as if he was gatherin' himself up to make an offer at
a grasshopper's lep, and then thinkin' better of it."

Little Thady Kilfoyle reported that he had met the strange man a bit
down the road, "leggin' it along at a great rate, wid a black rowl of
somethin' under his arm that he looked to be crumplin' up as small as he
could,"--the word "crumpling" went acutely to Mrs. Kilfoyle's
heart,--and some long-sighted people declared that they could still
catch glimpses of a receding figure through the hovering fog on the way
toward Sallinbeg.

"I'd think he'd be beyant seein' afore now," said Mrs. Kilfoyle, who
stood in the rain, the disconsolate centre of the group about her door;
all women and children except old Johnny Keogh, who was so bothered and
deaf that he grasped new situations slowly and feebly, and had now an
impression of somebody's house being on fire. "He must ha' took off wid
himself the instiant me back was turned, for ne'er a crumb had he
touched of the pitaties."

"Maybe he'd that much shame in him," said Mrs. O'Driscoll.

"They'd a right to ha' choked him, troth and they had," said Ody
Rafferty's aunt.

"Is it chokin'?" said young Mrs. M'Gurk, bitterly. "Sure the bigger
thief a body is, the more he'll thrive on whatever he gits; you might
think villiny was as good as butter to people's pitaties, you might so.
Sharne how are you? Liker he'd ate all he could swally in the last place
he got the chance of layin' his hands on anythin'."

"Och, woman alive, but it's the fool you were to let him out of your
sight," said Ody Rafferty's aunt. "If it had been me, I'd niver ha' took
me eyes off him, for the look of him on'y goin' by made me flesh creep
upon me bones."

"'Deed was I," said Mrs. Kilfoyle, sorrowfully, "a fine fool. And vexed
she'd be, rael vexed, if she guessed the way it was gone on us, for the
dear knows what dirty ould rapscallions 'ill get the wearin' of it now.
Rael vexed she'd be."

This speculation was more saddening than the actual loss of the cloak,
though that bereft her wardrobe of far and away its most valuable
property, which should have descended as an heirloom to her little
Katty, who, however, being at present but three months old, lay sleeping
happily unaware of the cloud that had come over her prospects.

"I wish to goodness a couple of the lads 'ud step home wid themselves
this minit of time," said Mrs. M'Gurk. "They'd come tip wid him yet, and
take it off of him ready enough. And smash his ugly head for him, if he
would be givin' them any impidence."

"Aye, and 'twould be a real charity--the mane baste;--or sling him in
one of the bog-houles," said the elder Mrs. Keogh, a mild-looking little
old woman. "I'd liefer than nine nine-pennies see thim comin' along. But
I'm afeard it's early for thim yet."

Everybody's eyes turned, as she spoke, toward the ridge of the Knockawn,
though with no particular expectation of seeing what they wished upon
it. But behold, just at that moment three figures, blurred among the
gray rain-mists, looming into view.

"Be the powers," said Mrs. M'Gurk, jubilantly, "it's Ody Rafferty
himself. To your sowls! Now you've a great good chance, ma'am, to be
gettin' it back. He's the boy 'ill leg it over all before him"--for in
those days Ody was lithe and limber--"and it's hard-set the thievin'
Turk 'ill be to get the better of him at a racin' match--Hi--Och." She
had begun to hail him with a call eager and shrill, which broke off in a
strangled croak, like a young cock's unsuccessful effort. "Och, murdher,
murdher, murdher," she said to the bystanders, in a disgusted undertone.
"I'll give you me misfort'nit word thim other two is the pólis."

Now it might seem on the face of things that the arrival of those two
active and stalwart civil servants would have been welcomed as happening
just in the nick of time; yet it argues an alien ignorance to suppose
such a view of the matter by any means possible. The men in invisible
green tunics belonged completely to the category of pitaty-blights,
rint-warnin's, fevers, and the like devastators of life, that dog a man
more or less all through it, but close in on him, a pitiful quarry, when
the bad seasons come and the childer and the old crathurs are starvin'
wid the hunger, and his own heart is broke; therefore, to accept
assistance from them in their official capacity would have been a
proceeding most reprehensibly unnatural. To put a private quarrel or
injury into the hands of the peelers were a disloyal making of terms
with the public foe; a condoning of great permanent wrongs for the sake
of a trivial temporary convenience. Lisconnel has never been skilled in
the profitable and ignoble art of utilizing its enemies. Not that
anybody was more than vaguely conscious of these sentiments, much less
attempted to express them in set terms. When a policeman appeared there
in an inquiring mood, what people said among themselves was, "Musha
cock him up. I hope he'll get his health till I would be tellin' him,"
or words to that effect; while in reply to his questions, they made
statements superficially so clear and simple, and essentially so
bewilderingly involved, that the longest experience could do little more
for a constable than teach him the futility of wasting his time in
attempts to disentangle them.

Thus it was that when Mrs. Kilfoyle saw who Ody's companions were, she
bade a regretful adieu to her hopes of recovering her stolen property.
For how could she set him on the Tinker's felonious track without
apprising them likewise? You might as well try to huroosh one chicken
off a rafter and not scare the couple that were huddled beside it. The
impossibility became more obvious presently as the constables, striding
quickly down to where the group of women stood in the rain and wind with
fluttering shawls and flapping cap-borders, said briskly, "Good-day to
you all. Did any of yous happen to see e'er a one of them tinkerin'
people goin' by here this mornin'?"

It was a moment of strong temptation to everybody, but especially to
Mrs. Kilfoyle, who had in her mind that vivid picture of her precious
cloak receding from her along the wet road, recklessly wisped up in the
grasp of as thankless a thievin' black-hearted slieveen as ever stepped,
and not yet, perhaps, utterly out of reach, though every fleeting
instant carried it nearer to that hopeless point. However, she and her
neighbors stood the test unshaken. Mrs. Ryan rolled her eyes
deliberatively, and said to Mrs. M'Gurk, "The saints bless us, was it
yisterday or the day before, me dear, you said you seen a couple of them
below, near ould O'Beirne's?"

And Mrs. M'Gurk replied, "Ah, sure, not at all, ma'am, glory be to
goodness. I couldn't ha' tould you such a thing, for I wasn't next or
nigh the place. Would it ha' been Ody Rafferty's aunt? She was below
there fetchin' up a bag of male, and bedad she came home that dhreeped,
the crathur, you might ha' thought she'd been after fishin' it up out of
the botthom of one of thim bog-houles."

And Mrs. Kilfoyle heroically hustled her Thady into the house, as she
saw him on the brink of beginning loudly to relate his encounter with a
strange man, and desired him to whisht and stay where he was in a manner
so sternly repressive that he actually remained there as if he had been
a pebble dropped into a pool, and not, as usual, a cork to bob up again

Then Mrs. M'Gurk made a bold stroke, designed to shake off the
hampering presence of the professionals, and enable Ody's amateur
services to be utilized while there was yet time.

"I declare," she said, "now that I think of it, I seen a feller crossin'
the ridge along there a while ago, like as if he was comin' from
Sallinbeg ways; and according to the apparence of him, I wouldn't won'er
if he _was_ a one of thim tinker crathures--carryin' a big clump of cans
he was, at any rate--I noticed the shine of thim. And he couldn't ha'
got any great way yet to spake of, supposin' there was anybody lookin'
to folly after him."

But Constable Black crushed her hopes as he replied, "Ah, it's nobody
comin' _from_ Sallinbeg that we've anything to say to. There's after
bein' a robbery last night, down below at Jerry Dunne's--a shawl as good
as new took, that his wife's ragin' over frantic, along wid a sight of
fowl and other things. And the Tinkers that was settled this long while
in the boreen at the back of his haggard is quit out of it afore
daylight this mornin', every rogue of them. So we'd have more than a
notion where the property's went to if we could tell the road they've
took. We thought like enough some of them might ha' come this way."

Now, Mr. Jerry Dunne was not a popular person in Lisconnel, where he has
even become, as we have seen, proverbial for what we call "ould
naygurliness." So there was a general tendency to say, "The divil's cure
to him," and listen complacently to any details their visitors could
impart. For in his private capacity a policeman, provided that he be
otherwise "a dacint lad," which to do him justice is commonly the case,
may join, with a few unobtrusive restrictions, in our neighborly
gossips; the rule in fact being--Free admission except on business.

Only Mrs. Kilfoyle was so much cast down by her misfortune that she
could not raise herself to the level of an interest in the affairs of
her thrifty suitor, and the babble of voices relating and commenting
sounded as meaningless as the patter of the drops which jumped like
little fishes in the large puddle at their feet. It had spread
considerably before Constable Black said to his comrade:--

     "Well, Daly, we'd better be steppin' home wid ourselves as
     wise as we come, as the man said when he'd axed his road of
     the ould black horse in the dark lane. There's no good goin'
     further, for the whole gang of them's scattered over the
     counthry agin now like a seedin' thistle in a high win'."

     "Aye, bedad," said Constable Daly, "and be the same token,
     this win' ud skin a tanned elephant. It's on'y bogged and
     drenched we'd git. Look at what's comin' up over there. That
     rain's snow on the hills, every could drop of it; I seen Ben
     Bawn this mornin' as white as the top of a musharoon, and
     it's thickenin' wid sleet here this minute, and so it is."

     The landscape did, indeed, frown upon further explorations.
     In quarters where the rain had abated it seemed as if the
     mists had curdled on the breath of the bitter air, and they
     lay floating in long white bars and reefs low on the track of
     their own shadow, which threw down upon the sombre bogland
     deeper stains of gloom. Here and there one caught on the
     crest of some gray-bowldered knoll, and was teazed into
     fleecy threads that trailed melting instead of tangling. But
     toward the north the horizon was all blank, with one vast,
     smooth slant of slate-color, like a pent-house roof, which
     had a sliding motion onwards.

     Ody Rafferty pointed to it and said, "Troth, it's teemin'
     powerful this instiant up there in the mountains. 'Twill be
     much if you land home afore it's atop of you; for 'twould be
     the most I could do myself."

And as the constables departed hastily, most people forgot the stolen
cloak for a while to wonder whether their friends would escape being
entirely drowned on the way back from the fair.

Mrs. Kilfoyle, however, still stood in deep dejection at her door, and
said, "Och, but she was the great fool to go let the likes of him set
fut widin' her house."

To console her Mrs. O'Driscoll said, "Ah, sure, sorra a fool were you,
woman dear; how would you know the villiny of him? And if you'd turned
the man away widout givin' him e'er a bit, it's bad you'd be thinkin' of
it all the day after."

And to improve the occasion for her juniors, old Mrs. Keogh added, "Aye,
and morebetoken you'd ha' been committin' a sin."

But Mrs. Kilfoyle replied with much candor, "'Deed, then, I'd a dale
liefer be after committin' a sin, or a dozen sins, than to have me poor
mother's good cloak thieved away on me, and walkin' wild about
the world."

As it happened, the fate of Mrs. Kilfoyle's cloak was very different
from her forecast. But I do not think that a knowledge of it would have
teen consolatory to her by any means. If she had heard of it, she would
probably have said, "The cross of Christ upon us. God be good to the
misfort'nit crathur." For she was not at all of an implacable temper,
and would, under the circumstances, have condoned even the injury that
obliged her to appear at Mass with a flannel petticoat over her head
until the end of her days. Yet she did hold the Tinkers in a perhaps
somewhat too unqualified reprobation. For there are tinkers and tinkers.
Some of them, indeed, are stout and sturdy thieves,--veritable birds of
prey,--whose rapacity is continually questing for plunder. But some of
them have merely the magpies' and jackdaws' thievish propensity for
picking up what lies temptingly in their way. And some few are so honest
that they pass by as harmlessly as a wedge of high-flying wild duck. And
I have heard it said that to places like Lisconnel their pickings and
stealings have at worst never been so serious a matter as those of
another flock, finer of feather, but not less predacious in their
habits, who roosted, for the most part, a long way off, and made their
collections by deputy.

Copyrighted 1895, by Dodd, Mead and Company.


     From 'Bogland Studies'

     An' wanst we were restin' a bit in the sun on the smooth hillside,
     Where the grass felt warm to your hand as the fleece of a sheep,
                for wide,
     As ye'd look overhead an' around, 'twas all a-blaze and a-glow,
     An' the blue was blinkin' up from the blackest bog-holes below;

     An' the scent o' the bogmint was sthrong on the air, an' never a sound
     But the plover's pipe that ye'll seldom miss by a lone bit o' ground.
     An' he laned--Misther Pierce--on his elbow, an' stared at the sky
                as he smoked,
     Till just in an idle way he sthretched out his hand an' sthroked
     The feathers o' wan of the snipe that was kilt an' lay close by on
                the grass;
     An' there was the death in the crathur's eyes like a breath upon

     An' sez he, "It's quare to think that a hole ye might bore wid a pin
     'Ill be wide enough to let such a power o' darkness in
     On such a power o' light; an' it's quarer to think," sez he,
     "That wan o' these days the like is bound to happen to you an' me."
     Thin Misther Barry, he sez: "Musha, how's wan to know but there's
     On t'other side o' the dark, as the day comes afther the night?"
     An' "Och," says Misther Pierce, "what more's our knowin'--save the
     Than guessin' which way the chances run, an' thinks I they run to
                the dark;
     Or else agin now some glint of a bame'd ha' come slithered an' slid;
     Sure light's not aisy to hide, an' what for should it be hid?"
     Up he stood with a sort o' laugh: "If on light," sez he, "ye're set,
     Let's make the most o' this same, as it's all that we're like to get."

     Thim were his words, as I minded well, for often afore an' sin,
     The 'dintical thought 'ud bother me head that seemed to bother him
     An' many's the time I'd be wond'rin' whatever it all might mane,
     The sky, an' the lan', an' the bastes, an' the rest o' thim plain as
     And all behind an' beyant thim a big black shadow let fall;
     Ye'll sthrain the sight out of your eyes, but there it stands like a

     "An' there," sez I to meself, "we're goin' wherever we go,
     But where we'll be whin we git there it's never a know I know."
     Thin whiles I thought I was maybe a sthookawn to throuble me mind

     Wid sthrivin' to comprehind onnathural things o' the kind;
     An' Quality, now, that have larnin', might know the rights o' the
     But ignorant wans like me had betther lave it in pace.

     Priest, tubbe sure, an' Parson, accordin' to what they say,
     The whole matther's plain as a pikestaff an' clear as the day,
     An' to hear thim talk of a world beyant, ye'd think at the laste
     They'd been dead an' buried half their lives, an' had thramped it
                from west to aist;
     An' who's for above an' who's for below they've as pat as if they
                could tell
     The name of every saint in heaven an' every divil in hell.
     But cock up the lives of thimselves to be settlin' it all to their
     I sez, and the wife she sez I'm no more nor a haythin baste--

     For mighty few o' thim's rael Quality, musha, they're mostly a pack
     O' playbians, each wid a tag to his name an' a long black coat to
                his back;
     An' it's on'y romancin' they are belike; a man must stick be his
     An' _they_ git their livin' by lettin' on they know how wan's
                sowl is made.

     And in chapel or church they're bound to know somethin' for sure,
                good or bad,
     Or where'd be the sinse o' their preachin' an' prayers an' hymns an'
                howlin' like mad?
     So who'd go mindin' o' thim? barrin' women, in coorse, an' wanes,
     That believe 'most aught ye tell thim, if they don't understand what
                it manes--
     Bedad, if it worn't the nathur o' women to want the wit,
     Parson and Priest I'm a-thinkin' might shut up their shop an' quit.

     But, och, it's lost an' disthracted the crathurs 'ud be without
     Their bit of divarsion on Sundays whin all o' thim gits about,
     Cluth'rin' an' pluth'rin' together like hins, an' a-roostin' in rows,
     An' meetin' their frins an' their neighbors, and wearin' their dacint
     An' sure it's quare that the clergy can't ever agree to keep
     Be tellin' the same thrue story, sin' they know such a won'erful heap;

     For many a thing Priest tells ye that Parson sez is a lie,
     An' which has a right to be wrong, the divil a much know I,
     For all the differ I see 'twixt the pair o' thim 'd fit in a nut:
     Wan for the Union, an' wan for the League, an' both o' thim bitther
                as sut.
     But Misther Pierce, that's a gintleman born, an' has college larnin'
                and all,
     There he was starin' no wiser than me where the shadow stands like
                a wall.

     Authorized American Edition, Dodd, Mead and Company.



One morning late in the July of 1778, a select company gathered in the
little chapel of Yale College to listen to orations and other exercises
by a picked number of students of the Senior class, one of whom, named
Barlow, had been given the coveted honor of delivering what was termed
the 'Commencement Poem.' Those of the audience who came from a distance
carried back to their homes in elm-shaded Norwich, or Stratford, or
Litchfield, high on its hills, lively recollections of a handsome young
man and of his 'Prospect of Peace,' whose cheerful prophecies in heroic
verse so greatly "improved the occasion." They had heard that he was a
farmer's son from Redding, Connecticut, who had been to school at
Hanover, New Hampshire, and had entered Dartmouth College, but soon
removed to Yale on account of its superior advantages; that he had twice
seen active service in the Continental army, and that he was engaged to
marry a beautiful New Haven girl.

[Illustration: Joel Barlow]

The brilliant career predicted for Barlow did not begin immediately.
Distaste for war, hope of securing a tutorship in college, and--we may
well believe--Miss Ruth's entreaties, kept him in New Haven two years
longer, engaged in teaching and in various courses of study. 'The
Prospect of Peace' had been issued in pamphlet form, and the compliments
paid the author incited him to plan a poem of a philosophic character on
the subject of America at large, bearing the title 'The Vision of
Columbus.' The appointment as tutor never came, and instead of
cultivating the Muse in peaceful New Haven, he was forced to evoke her
aid in a tent on the banks of the Hudson, whither after a hurried course
in theology, he proceeded as an army chaplain in 1780. During his
connection with the army, which lasted until its disbandment in 1783, he
won repute by lyrics written to encourage the soldiers, and by "a
flaming political sermon," as he termed it, on the treason of Arnold.

Army life ended, Barlow removed to Hartford, where he studied law,
edited the American Mercury,--a weekly paper he had helped to found,---
and with John Trumbull, Lemuel Hopkins, and David Humphreys formed a
literary club which became widely known as the "Hartford Wits." Its
chief publication, a series of political lampoons styled 'The
Anarchiad,' satirized those factions whose disputes imperiled the young
republic, and did much to influence public opinion in Connecticut and
elsewhere in favor of the Federal Constitution. A revision and
enlargement of Dr. Watts's 'Book of Psalmody,' and the publication
(1787) of his own 'Vision of Columbus,' occupied part of Barlow's time
while in Hartford. The latter poem was extravagantly praised, ran
through several editions, and was republished in London and Paris; but
the poet, who now had a wife to support, could not live by his pen nor
by the law, and when in 1788 he was urged by the Scioto Land Company to
become its agent in Paris, he gladly accepted. The company was a private
association, formed to buy large tracts of government land situated in
Ohio and sell them in Europe to capitalists or actual settlers. This
failed disastrously, and Barlow was left stranded in Paris, where he
remained, supporting himself partly by writing, partly by business
ventures. Becoming intimate with the leaders of the Girondist party, the
man who had dedicated his 'Vision of Columbus' to Louis XVI., and had
also dined with the nobility, now began to figure as a zealous
Republican and as a Liberal in religion. From 1790 to 1793 he passed
most of his time in London, where he wrote a number of political
pamphlets for the Society for Constitutional Information, an
organization openly favoring French Republicanism and a revision of the
British Constitution. Here also, in 1791, he finished a work entitled
'Advice to the Privileged Orders,' which probably would have run through
many editions had it not been suppressed by the British government. The
book was an arraignment of tyranny in church and state, and was quickly
followed by 'The Conspiracy of Kings,' an attack in verse on those
European countries which had combined to kill Republicanism in France.
In 1792 Barlow was made a citizen of France as a mark of appreciation of
a 'Letter' addressed to the National Convention, giving that body
advice, and when the convention sent commissioners to organize the
province of Savoy into a department, Barlow was one of the number. As a
candidate for deputy from Savoy, he was defeated; but his visit was not
fruitless, for at Chambéry the sight of a dish of maize-meal porridge
reminded him of his early home in Connecticut, and inspired him to write
in that ancient French town a typical Yankee poem, 'Hasty Pudding.' Its
preface, in prose, addressed to Mrs. Washington, assured her that
simplicity of diet was one of the virtues; and if cherished by her, as
it doubtless was, it would be more highly regarded by her countrywomen.

Between the years of 1795-97, Barlow held the important but unenviable
position of United States Consul at Algiers, and succeeded both in
liberating many of his countrymen who were held as prisoners, and in
perfecting treaties with the rulers of the Barbary States, which gave
United States vessels entrance to their ports and secured them from
piratical attacks. On his return to Paris he translated Volney's 'Ruins'
into English, made preparations for writing histories of the American
and French revolutions, and expanded his 'Vision of Columbus' into a
volume which as 'The Columbiad'--a beautiful specimen of typography--was
published in Philadelphia in 1807 and republished in London. The poem
was held to have increased Barlow's fame; but it is stilted and
monotonous, and 'Hasty Pudding' has done more to perpetuate his name.

In 1805 Barlow returned to the United States and bought an estate near
Washington, D.C., where he entertained distinguished visitors. In 1811
he returned to France authorized to negotiate a treaty of commerce.
After waiting nine months, he was invited by Napoleon, who was then in
Poland, to a conference at Wilna. On his arrival Barlow found the French
army on the retreat from Moscow, and endured such privations on the
march that on December 24th he died of exhaustion at the village of
Zarnowiec, near Cracow, and there was buried.

Barlow's part in developing American literature was important, and
therefore he has a rightful place in a work which traces that
development. He certainly was a man of varied ability and power, who
advanced more than one good cause and stimulated the movement toward
higher thought. The only complete 'Life and Letters of Joel Barlow,' by
Charles Burr Todd, published in 1888, gives him unstinted praise as
excelling in statesmanship, letters, and philosophy. With more assured
justice, which all can echo, it praises his nobility of spirit as a man.
No one can read the letter to his wife, written from Algiers when he
thought himself in danger of death, without a warm feeling for so
unselfish and affectionate a nature.


From 'Hasty Pudding'

There are various ways of preparing and eating Hasty Pudding, with
molasses, butter, sugar, cream, and fried. Why so excellent a thing
cannot be eaten alone? Nothing is perfect alone; even man, who boasts of
so much perfection, is nothing without his fellow-substance. In eating,
beware of the lurking heat that lies deep in the mass; dip your spoon
gently, take shallow dips and cool it by degrees. It is sometimes
necessary to blow. This is indicated by certain signs which every
experienced feeder knows. They should be taught to young beginners. I
have known a child's tongue blistered for want of this attention, and
then the school-dame would insist that the poor thing had told a lie. A
mistake: the falsehood was in the faithless pudding. A prudent mother
will cool it for her child with her own sweet breath. The husband,
seeing this, pretends his own wants blowing, too, from the same lips. A
sly deceit of love. She knows the cheat, but, feigning ignorance, lends
her pouting lips and gives a gentle blast, which warms the husband's
heart more than it cools his pudding.

     The days grow short; but though the falling sun
     To the glad swain proclaims his day's work done,
     Night's pleasing shades his various tasks prolong,
     And yield new subjects to my various song.
     For now, the corn-house filled, the harvest home,
     The invited neighbors to the husking come;
     A frolic scene, where work and mirth and play
     Unite their charms to chase the hours away.
       Where the huge heap lies centred in the hall,
     The lamp suspended from the cheerful wall,
     Brown corn-fed nymphs, and strong hard-handed beaux,
     Alternate ranged, extend in circling rows,
     Assume their seats, the solid mass attack;
     The dry husks rustle, and the corn-cobs crack;
     The song, the laugh, alternate notes resound,
     And the sweet cider trips in silence round.
       The laws of husking every wight can tell;
     And sure, no laws he ever keeps so well:
     For each red ear a general kiss he gains,
     With each smut ear he smuts the luckless swains;
     But when to some sweet maid a prize is cast,
     Red as her lips, and taper as her waist,
     She walks the round, and culls one favored beau,
     Who leaps, the luscious tribute to bestow.
     Various the sport, as are the wits and brains
     Of well-pleased lasses and contending swains;
     Till the vast mound of corn is swept away,
     And he that gets the last ear wins the day.
       Meanwhile the housewife urges all her care,
     The well-earned feast to hasten and prepare.
     The sifted meal already waits her hand,
     The milk is strained, the bowls in order stand,
     The fire flames high; and as a pool (that takes
     The headlong stream that o'er the mill-dam breaks)
     Foams, roars, and rages with incessant toils,
     So the vexed caldron rages, roars and boils.
       First with clean salt she seasons well the food,
     Then strews the flour, and thickens well the flood.
     Long o'er the simmering fire she lets it stand;
     To stir it well demands a stronger hand:
     The husband takes his turn, and round and round
     The ladle flies; at last the toil is crowned;
     When to the board the thronging huskers pour,
     And take their seats as at the corn before.
       I leave them to their feast. There still belong
     More useful matters to my faithful song.
     For rules there are, though ne'er unfolded yet,
     Nice rules and wise, how pudding should be ate.
       Some with molasses grace the luscious treat,
     And mix, like bards, the useful and the sweet;
     A wholesome dish, and well deserving praise,
     A great resource in those bleak wintry days,
     When the chilled earth lies buried deep in snow,
     And raging Boreas dries the shivering cow.
       Blest cow! thy praise shall still my notes employ,
     Great source of health, the only source of joy;
     Mother of Egypt's god, but sure, for me,
     Were I to leave my God, I'd worship thee.
     How oft thy teats these pious hands have pressed!
     How oft thy bounties prove my only feast!
     How oft I've fed thee with my favorite grain!
     And roared, like thee, to see thy children slain.
       Ye swains who know her various worth to prize,
     Ah! house her well from winter's angry skies.
     Potatoes, pumpkins, should her sadness cheer,
     Corn from your crib, and mashes from your beer;
     When spring returns, she'll well acquit the loan,
     And nurse at once your infants and her own.
       Milk, then, with pudding I should always choose;
     To this in future I confine my muse,
     Till she in haste some further hints unfold,
     Good for the young, nor useless to the old.
     First in your bowl the milk abundant take,
     Then drop with care along the silver lake
     Your flakes of pudding: these at first will hide
     Their little bulk beneath the swelling tide;
     But when their growing mass no more can sink,
     When the soft island looms above the brink,
     Then check your hand; you've got the portion due,
     So taught my sire, and what he taught is true.
       There is a choice in spoons. Though small appear
     The nice distinction, yet to me 'tis clear.
     The deep-bowled Gallic spoon, contrived to scoop
     In ample draughts the thin diluted soup,
     Performs not well in those substantial things,
     Whose mass adhesive to the metal clings;
     Where the strong labial muscles must embrace
     The gentle curve, and sweep the hollow space.
     With ease to enter and discharge the freight,
     A bowl less concave, but still more dilate,
     Becomes the pudding best. The shape, the size,
     A secret rests, unknown to vulgar eyes.
     Experienced feeders can alone impart
     A rule so much above the lore of art.
     These tuneful lips that thousand spoons have tried,
     With just precision could the point decide,
     Though not in song--the muse but poorly shines
     In cones, and cubes, and geometric lines;
     Yet the true form, as near as she can tell,
     Is that small section of a goose-egg shell,
     Which in two equal portions shall divide
     The distance from the centre to the side.
       Fear not to slaver; 'tis no deadly sin;--
     Like the free Frenchman, from your joyous chin
     Suspend the ready napkin; or like me,
     Poise with one hand your bowl upon your knee;
     Just in the zenith your wise head project,
     Your full spoon rising in a line direct,
     Bold as a bucket, heed no drops that fall.
     The wide-mouthed bowl will surely catch them all!



Had he chosen to write solely in familiar English, rather than in the
dialect of his native Dorsetshire, every modern anthology would be
graced by the verses of William Barnes, and to multitudes who now know
him not, his name would have become associated with many a country sight
and sound. Other poets have taken homely subjects for their themes,--the
hayfield, the chimney-nook, milking-time, the blossoming of
"high-boughed hedges"; but it is not every one who has sung out of the
fullness of his heart and with a naïve delight in that of which he sung:
and so by reason of their faithfulness to every-day life and to nature,
and by their spontaneity and tenderness, his lyrics, fables, and
eclogues appeal to cultivated readers as well as to the rustics whose
quaint speech he made his own.

Short and simple are the annals of his life; for, a brief period
excepted, it was passed in his native county--though Dorset, for all his
purposes, was as wide as the world itself. His birthplace was Bagbere in
the vale of Blackmore, far up the valley of the Stour, where his
ancestors had been freeholders. The death of his parents while he was a
boy threw him on his own resources; and while he was at school at
Sturminster and Dorchester he supported himself by clerical work in
attorneys' offices. After he left school his education was mainly
self-gained; but it was so thorough that in 1827 he became master of a
school at Mere, Wilts, and in 1835 opened a boarding-school in
Dorchester, which he conducted for a number of years. A little later he
spent a few terms at Cambridge, and in 1847 received ordination. From
that time until his death in 1886, most of his days were spent in the
little parishes of Whitcombe and Winterbourne Came, near Dorchester,
where his duties as rector left him plenty of time to spend on his
favorite studies. To the last, Barnes wore the picturesque dress of the
eighteenth century, and to the tourist he became almost as much a
curiosity as the relics of Roman occupation described in a guide-book
he compiled.

When one is at the same time a linguist, a musician, an antiquary, a
profound student of philology, and skilled withal in the graphic arts,
it would seem inevitable that he should have more than a local
reputation; but when, in 1844, a thin volume entitled 'Poems of Rural
Life in the Dorset Dialect' appeared in London, few bookshop
frequenters had ever heard of the author. But he was already well known
throughout Dorset, and there he was content to be known; a welcome guest
in castle and hall, but never happier than when, gathering about him the
Jobs and Lettys with whom Thomas Hardy has made us familiar, he
delighted their ears by reciting his verses. The dialect of Dorset, he
boasted, was the least corrupted form of English; therefore to commend
it as a vehicle of expression and to help preserve his mother tongue
from corruption, and to purge it of words not of Anglo-Saxon or Teutonic
origin,--this was one of the dreams of his life,--he put his impressions
of rural scenery and his knowledge of human character into metrical
form. He is remembered by scholars here and there for a number of works
on philology, and one ('Outline of English Speech-Craft') in which, with
zeal, but with the battle against him, he aimed to teach the English
language by using words of Teutonic derivation only; but it is through
his four volumes of poems that he is better remembered. These include
'Hwomely Rhymes' (1859), 'Poems of Rural Life' (1862), and 'Poems of
Rural Life in Common English' (1863). The three collections of dialect
poems were brought out in one volume, with a glossary, in 1879.

"A poet fresh as the dew," "The first of English purely pastoral poets,"
"The best writer of eclogues since Theocritus,"--these are some of the
tardy tributes paid him. With a sympathy for his fellow-man and a humor
akin to that of Burns, with a feeling for nature as keen as
Wordsworth's, though less subjective, and with a power of depicting a
scene with a few well-chosen epithets which recalls Tennyson, Barnes has
fairly earned his title to remembrance.

'The Life of William Barnes, Poet and Philologist,' written by his
daughter, Mrs. Baxter, was published in 1887. There are numerous
articles relating to him in periodical literature, one of which, a
sketch by Thomas Hardy, in Vol. 86 of the 'Athenaeum,' is of
peculiar interest.


     The primrwose in the sheäde do blow,
        The cowslip in the zun,
     The thyme upon the down do grow,
        The clote where streams do run;
     An' where do pretty maidens grow
        An' blow, but where the tow'r
     Do rise among the bricken tuns,
        In Blackmwore by the Stour?

     If you could zee their comely gait,
        An' pretty feäces' smiles,
     A-trippèn on so light o' waïght,
        An' steppèn off the stiles;
     A-gwaïn to church, as bells do swing
        An' ring 'ithin the tow'r,
     You'd own the pretty maïdens' pleäce
        Is Blackmwore by the Stour?

     If you vrom Wimborne took your road,
        To Stower or Paladore,
     An' all the farmers' housen show'd
        Their daughters at the door;
     You'd cry to bachelors at hwome--
        "Here, come: 'ithin an hour
     You'll vind ten maidens to your mind,
        In Blackmwore by the Stour."

     An' if you look'd 'ithin their door,
        To zee em in their pleäce,
     A-doèn housework up avore
        Their smilèn mother's feäce;
     You'd cry,--"Why, if a man would wive
        An' thrive, 'ithout a dow'r,
     Then let en look en out a wife
        In Blackmwore by the Stour."

     As I upon my road did pass
        A school-house back in May,
     There out upon the beäten grass
        Wer maïdens at their play;
     An' as the pretty souls did tweil
        An' smile, I cried, "The flow'r
     O' beauty, then, is still in bud
        In Blackmwore by the Stour."


     Come out o' door, 'tis Spring! 'tis May!
     The trees be green, the yields be gay;
     The weather's warm, the winter blast,
     Wi' all his traïn o' clouds, is past;
     The zun do rise while vo'k do sleep,
     To teäke a higher daily zweep,
     Wi' cloudless feäce a-flingèn down
     His sparklèn light upon the groun'.
     The aïr's a-streamèn soft,--come drow
     The winder open; let it blow
     In drough the house, where vire, an' door
     A-shut, kept out the cwold avore.
     Come, let the vew dull embers die,
     An' come below the open sky;
     An' wear your best, vor fear the groun'
     In colors gäy mid sheäme your gown:
     An' goo an' rig wi' me a mile
     Or two up over geäte an' stile,
     Drough zunny parrocks that do lead,
     Wi' crooked hedges, to the meäd,
     Where elems high, in steätely ranks,
     Do rise vrom yollow cowslip-banks,
     An' birds do twitter vrom the spräy
     O' bushes deck'd wi' snow-white mäy;
     An' gil' cups, wi' the deäisy bed,
     Be under ev'ry step you tread.
     We'll wind up roun' the hill, an' look
     All down the thickly timber'd nook,
     Out where the squier's house do show
     His gray-walled peaks up drough the row
     O' sheädy elems, where the rock
     Do build her nest; an' where the brook
     Do creep along the meäds, an' lie
     To catch the brightness o' the sky;
     An' cows, in water to theïr knees,
     Do stan' a-whiskèn off the vlees.
     Mother o' blossoms, and ov all
     That's feäir a-vield vrom Spring till Fall,
     The gookoo over white-weäv'd seas
     Do come to zing in thy green trees,
     An' buttervlees, in giddy flight,
     Do gleäm the mwost by thy gäy light.

[Illustration: _MILKING TIME_.
Photogravure from a Painting by A. Roll.]

Oh! when, at last, my fleshly eyes Shall shut upon the vields an'
skies, Mid zummer's zunny days be gone, An' winter's clouds be comèn on:
Nor mid I draw upon the e'th, O' thy sweet aïr my leätest breath;
Alassen I mid want to stäy Behine' for thee, O flow'ry May!


     'Poems of Rural Life'

     'Twer when the busy birds did vlee,
     Wi' sheenèn wings, vrom tree to tree,
     To build upon the mossy lim'
     Their hollow nestes' rounded rim;
     The while the zun, a-zinkèn low,
     Did roll along his evenèn bow,
     I come along where wide-horn'd cows,
     'Ithin a nook, a-screen'd by boughs,
     Did stan' an' flip the white-hooped pails
     Wi' heäiry tufts o' swingèn taïls;
     An' there were Jenny Coom a-gone
     Along the path a vew steps on,
     A-beärèn on her head, upstraïght,
     Her païl, wi' slowly-ridèn waight,
     An hoops a-sheenèn, lily-white,
     Ageän the evenèn's slantèn light;
     An' zo I took her païl, an' left
     Her neck a-freed vrom all his heft;
     An' she a-lookèn up an' down,
     Wi' sheäply head an' glossy crown,
     Then took my zide, an' kept my peäce,
     A-talkèn on wi' smilèn feäce,
     An' zettèn things in sich a light,
     I'd faïn ha' heär'd her talk all night;
     An' when I brought her milk avore
     The geäte, she took it in to door,
     An' if her païl had but allow'd
     Her head to vall, she would ha' bow'd;
     An' still, as 'twer, I had the zight
     Ov' her sweet smile, droughout the night.


     Above the timber's bendèn sh'ouds,
             The western wind did softly blow;
           An' up avore the knap, the clouds
         Did ride as white as driven snow.
       Vrom west to east the clouds did zwim
       Wi' wind that plied the elem's lim';
     Vrom west to east the stream did glide,
       A sheenèn wide, wi' windèn brim.

       How feäir, I thought, avore the sky
         The slowly-zwimmèn clouds do look;
       How soft the win's a-streamèn by;
         How bright do roll the weävy brook:
       When there, a-passèn on my right,
       A-walkèn slow, an' treadèn light,
     Young Jessie Lee come by, an' there
       Took all my ceäre, an' all my zight.

       Vor lovely wer the looks her feäce
         Held up avore the western sky:
       An' comely wer the steps her peäce
         Did meäke a-walkèn slowly by:
       But I went east, wi' beatèn breast,
       Wi' wind, an' cloud, an' brook, vor rest,
     Wi' rest a-lost, vor Jessie gone
       So lovely on, toward the west.

       Blow on, O winds, athirt the hill;
         Zwim on, O clouds; O waters vall,
       Down maeshy rocks, vrom mill to mill:
         I now can overlook ye all.
       But roll, O zun, an' bring to me
       My day, if such a day there be,
     When zome dear path to my abode
       Shall be the road o' Jessie Lee.


     Ah! sad wer we as we did peäce
     The wold church road, wi' downcast feäce,
     The while the bells, that mwoan'd so deep
     Above our child a-left asleep,
     Wer now a-zingèn all alive
     Wi' tother bells to meäke the vive.
     But up at woone pleäce we come by,
     'Twere hard to keep woone's two eyes dry;
     On Steän-cliff road, 'ithin the drong,
     Up where, as vo'k do pass along,
     The turnèn stile, a-painted white,
     Do sheen by day an' show by night.
     Vor always there, as we did goo
     To church, thik stile did let us drough,
     Wi' spreadèn eärms that wheel'd to guide
     Us each in turn to tother zide.
     An' vu'st ov all the traïn he took
     My wife, wi' winsome gaït an' look;
     An' then zent on my little maïd,
     A-skippèn onward, overjäy'd
     To reach ageän the pleäce o' pride,
     Her comely mother's left han' zide.
     An' then, a-wheelèn roun' he took
     On me, 'ithin his third white nook.
     An' in the fourth, a-sheäken wild,
     He zent us on our giddy child.
     But eesterday he guided slow
     My downcast Jenny, vull o' woe,
     An' then my little maïd in black,
     A-walken softly on her track;
     An' after he'd a-turn'd ageän,
     To let me goo along the leäne,
     He had noo little bwoy to vill
     His last white eärms, an' they stood still.


     O small-feäc'd flow'r that now dost bloom,
     To stud wi' white the shallow Frome,
     An' leäve the [2]clote to spread his flow'r
     On darksome pools o' stwoneless Stour,
     When sof'ly-rizèn airs do cool
     The water in the sheenèn pool,
     Thy beds o' snow white buds do gleam
     So feäir upon the sky-blue stream,
     As whitest clouds, a-hangèn high
     Avore the blueness of the sky.

     [Footnote 2: The yellow water-lily.]


     When I led by zummer streams
         The pride o' Lea, as naïghbours thought her,
       While the zun, wi' evenèn beams,
     Did cast our sheädes athirt the water:
           Winds a-blowèn,
           Streams a-flowèn,
           Skies a-glowèn,
     Tokens ov my jay zoo fleetèn,
     Heightened it, that happy meetèn.

     Then, when maïd and man took pleäces,
       Gay in winter's Chris'mas dances,
     Showèn in their merry feäces
       Kindly smiles an' glisnèn glances:
           Stars a-winkèn,
           Days a-shrinkèn,
           Sheädes a-zinkèn,
     Brought anew the happy meetèn,
     That did meäke the night too fleetèn.



James Matthew Barrie was born May 9th, 1860, at Kirriemuir, Scotland
('Thrums'); son of a physician whom he has lovingly embodied as 'Dr.
McQueen,' and with a mother and sister who will live as 'Jess' and
'Leeby.' After an academy course at Dumfries he entered the University
of Edinburgh at eighteen, where he graduated M.A., and took honors in
the English Literature class. A few months later he took a place on a
newspaper in Nottingham, England, and in the spring of 1885 went to
London, where the papers had begun to accept his work.

[Illustration: "JAMES M. BARRIE"]

Above all, the St. James's Gazette had published the first of the 'Auld
Licht Idylls' November 17th, 1884; and the editor, Frederick Greenwood,
instantly perceiving a new and rich genius, advised him to work the vein
further, enforcing the advice by refusing to accept his contributions on
other subjects.

He had the usual painful struggle to become a successful journalist,
detailed in 'When a Man's Single'; but his real work was other and
greater. In 1887 'When a Man's Single' came out serially in the British
Weekly; it has little merit except in the Scottish prelude, which is of
high quality in style and pathos. It is curious how utterly his powers
desert him the moment he leaves his native heath: like Antæus, he is a
giant on his mother earth and a pigmy off it. His first published book
was 'Better Dead' (1887); it works out a cynical idea which would be
amusing in five pages, but is diluted into tediousness by being spread
over fifty. But in 1889 came a second masterpiece, 'A Window in Thrums,'
a continuation of the Auld Licht series from an inside instead of an
outside standpoint,--not superior to the first, but their full equals in
a deliciousness of which one cannot say how much is matter and how much
style. 'My Lady Nicotine' appeared in 1890; it was very popular, and has
some amusing sketches, but no enduring quality. 'An Edinburgh Eleven'
(1890) is a set of sketches of his classmates and professors.

In 1891 the third of his Scotch works appeared,--'The Little
Minister,'--which raised him from the rank of an admirable sketch writer
to that of an admirable novelist, despite its fantastic plot and
detail. Since then he has written three plays,--'Walker, London,' 'Jane
Annie,' and 'The Professor's Love Story,' the latter very successful and
adding to his reputation; but no literature except his novel
'Sentimental Tommy,' just closed in Scribner's Magazine. This novel is
not only a great advance on 'The Little Minister' in symmetry of
construction, reality of matter, tragic power, and insight, but its tone
is very different. Though as rich in humor, the humor is largely of a
grim, bitter, and sardonic sort. The light, gay, buoyant fun of 'The
Little Minister,' which makes it a perpetual enjoyment, has mostly
vanished; in its stead we feel that the writer's sensitive nature is
wrung by the swarming catastrophes he cannot avert, the endless wrecks
on the ocean of life he cannot succor, and hardly less by those
spiritual tragedies and ironies so much worse, on a true scale of
valuation, than any material misfortune.

The full secret of Mr. Barrie's genius, as of all genius, eludes
analysis; but some of its characteristics are not hard to define. His
wonderful keenness of observation and tenacity of remembrance of the
pettinesses of daily existence, which in its amazing minuteness reminds
us of Dickens and Mark Twain, and his sensitiveness to the humorous
aspects of their little misfits and hypocrisies and lack of proportion,
might if untempered have made him a literary cynic like some others,
remembered chiefly for the salience he gave to the ugly meannesses of
life and the ironies of fate. But his good angel added to these a gift
of quick, sure, and spontaneous sympathy and wide spiritual
understanding. This fills all his higher work with a generous
appreciativeness, a justness of judgment, a tenderness of feeling, which
elevate as well as charm the reader. He makes us love the most grotesque
characters, whom in life we should dislike and avoid, by the sympathetic
fineness of his interpretation of their springs of life and their
warping by circumstance. The impression left on one by the studies of
the Thrums community is not primarily of intellectual and spiritual
narrowness, or niggardly thrift, or dour natures: all are there, but
with them are souls reaching after God and often flowering into beauty,
and we reverence the quenchless aspiration of maligned human nature for
an ideal far above its reach. He achieves the rare feat of portraying
every pettiness and prejudice, even the meannesses and dishonors of a
poor and hidebound country village, yet leaving us with both sincere
respect and warm liking for it; a thing possible only to one himself of
a fine nature as well as of a large mind. Nor is there any mawkishness
or cheap surface sentimentality in it all. His pathos never makes you
wince: you can always read his works aloud, the deadly and unfailing
test of anything flat or pinchbeck in literature. His gift of humor
saves him from this: true humor and true pathos are always found
together because they are not two but one, twin aspects of the very
same events. He who sees the ludicrous in misfits must see their sadness
too; he who can laugh at a tumble must grieve over it: both are
inevitable and both are coincident.

As a literary artist, he belongs in the foremost rank. He has that sense
of the typical in incident, of the universal in feeling, and of the
suggestive in language, which mark the chiefs of letters. No one can
express an idea with fewer strokes; he never expands a sufficient hint
into an essay. His management of the Scotch dialect is masterly: he uses
it sparingly, in the nearest form to English compatible with retaining
the flavor; he never makes it so hard as to interfere with enjoyment; in
few dialect writers do we feel so little alienness.

'Auld Licht Idylls' is a set of regular descriptions of the life of
"Thrums," with special reference to the ways and character of the "Old
Lights," the stubborn conservative Scotch Puritans; it contains also a
most amusing and characteristic love story of the sect (given below),
and a satiric political skit. 'A Window in Thrums' is mainly a series of
selected incidents in detail, partly from the point of view of a
crippled woman ("Jess"), sitting at her window and piecing out what she
sees with great shrewdness from her knowledge of the general current of
affairs, aided by her daughter "Leeby." 'The Little Minister' is
developed from the real story of a Scotch clergyman who brought home a
wife from afar, of so alien a sort to the general run that the parish
spent the rest of her short life in speculating on her previous history
and weaving legends about her. Barrie's imagined explanation is of
Arabian-Nights preposterousness of incident, and indeed is only a
careless fairy-tale in substance; but it is so rich in delicious
filling, so full of his best humor, sentiment, character-drawing, and
fine feeling, that one hardly cares whether it has any plot at all.
'Sentimental Tommy' is a study of a sensitive mobile boy, a born
_poseur_, who passes his life in cloud-castles where he always
dramatizes himself as the hero, who has no continuity of purpose, and no
capacity of self-sacrifice except in spasms of impulse, and in emotional
feeling which is real to itself; a spiritual Proteus who deceives even
himself, and only now and then recognizes his own moral illusiveness,
like Hawthorne's scarecrow-gentleman before the mirror: but with the
irresistible instincts also of the born literary creator and
constructor. The other characters are drawn with great power and truth.

The judgment of contemporaries is rarely conclusive; and we will not
attempt to anticipate that of posterity. It may be said, however, that
the best applicable touchstone of permanency is that of seeming
continuously fresh to cultivated tastes after many readings; and that
Mr. Barrie's four best books bear the test without failure.


From 'Auld Licht Idylls'

For two years it had been notorious in the square that Sam'l Dickie was
thinking of courting T'nowhead's Bell, and that if little Sanders
Elshioner (which is the Thrums pronunciation of Alexander Alexander)
went in for her, he might prove a formidable rival. Sam'l was a weaver
in the Tenements, and Sanders a coal-carter whose trade-mark was a bell
on his horse's neck that told when coals were coming. Being something of
a public man, Sanders had not, perhaps, so high a social position as
Sam'l; but he had succeeded his father on the coal-cart, while the
weaver had already tried several trades. It had always been against
Sam'l, too, that once when the kirk was vacant he had advised the
selection of the third minister who preached for it, on the ground that
it came expensive to pay a large number of candidates. The scandal of
the thing was hushed up, out of respect for his father, who was a
God-fearing man, but Sam'l was known by it in Lang Tammas's circle. The
coal-carter was called Little Sanders, to distinguish him from his
father, who was not much more than half his size. He had grown up with
the name, and its inapplicability now came home to nobody. Sam'l's
mother had been more far-seeing than Sanders's. Her man had been called
Sammy all his life, because it was the name he got as a boy, so when
their eldest son was born she spoke of him as Sam'l while still in his
cradle. The neighbors imitated her, and thus the young man had a better
start in life than had been granted to Sammy, his father.

It was Saturday evening--the night in the week when Auld Licht young men
fell in love. Sam'l Dickie, wearing a blue Glengarry bonnet with a red
ball on the top, came to the door of a one-story house in the Tenements,
and stood there wriggling, for he was in a suit of tweeds for the first
time that week, and did not feel at one with them. When his feeling of
being a stranger to himself wore off, he looked up and down the road,
which straggles between houses and gardens, and then, picking his way
over the puddles, crossed to his father's hen-house and sat down on it.
He was now on his way to the square.

Eppie Fargus was sitting on an adjoining dike, knitting stockings, and
Sam'l looked at her for a time.

"Is't yersel, Eppie?" he said at last.

"It's a' that," said Eppie.

"Hoo's a' wi' ye?" asked Sam'l.

"We're juist aff an' on," replied Eppie, cautiously.

There was not much more to say, but as Sam'l sidled off the hen-house,
he murmured politely, "Ay, ay." In another minute he would have been
fairly started, but Eppie resumed the conversation.

"Sam'l," she said, with a twinkle in her eye, "ye can tell Lisbeth
Fargus I'll likely be drappin' in on her aboot Munday or Teisday."

Lisbeth was sister to Eppie, and wife of Thomas McQuhatty, better known
as T'nowhead, which was the name of his farm. She was thus
Bell's mistress.

Sam'l leaned against the hen-house, as if all his desire to depart had

"Hoo d'ye kin I'll be at the T'nowhead the nicht?" he asked, grinning in

"Ou, I'se warrant ye'll be after Bell," said Eppie.

"Am no sae sure o' that," said Sam'l, trying to leer. He was enjoying
himself now.

"Am no sure o' that," he repeated, for Eppie seemed lost in stitches.



"Ye'll be speirin' her sune noo, I dinna doot?"

This took Sam'l, who had only been courting Bell for a year or two, a
little aback.

"Hoo d'ye mean, Eppie?" he asked.

"Maybe ye'll do't the nicht."

"Na, there's nae hurry," said Sam'l.

"Weel, we're a' coontin' on't, Sam'l."

"Gae wa wi' ye."

"What for no?"

"Gae wa wi' ye," said Sam'l again.

"Bell's gei an' fond o' ye, Sam'l."

"Ay," said Sam'l.

"But am dootin' ye're a fell billy wi' the lasses."

"Ay, oh, I d'na kin, moderate, moderate," said Sam'l, in high delight.

"I saw ye," said Eppie, speaking with a wire in her mouth, "gaen on
terr'ble wi' Mysy Haggart at the pump last Saturday."

"We was juist amoosin' oorsels," said Sam'l.

"It'll be nae amoosement to Mysy," said Eppie, "gin ye brak her heart."

"Losh, Eppie," said Sam'l, "I didna think o' that."

"Ye maun kin weel, Sam'l, at there's mony a lass wid jump at ye."

"Ou, weel," said Sam'l, implying that a man must take these things as
they come.

"For ye're a dainty chield to look at, Sam'l."

"Do ye think so, Eppie? Ay, ay; oh, I d'na kin am onything by the

"Ye mayna be," said Eppie, "but lasses doesna do to be ower partikler."

Sam'l resented this, and prepared to depart again.

"Ye'll no tell Bell that?" he asked, anxiously.

"Tell her what?"

"Aboot me an' Mysy."

"We'll see hoo ye behave yersel, Sam'l."

"No 'at I care, Eppie; ye can tell her gin ye like. I widna think twice
o' tellin' her mysel."

"The Lord forgie ye for leein', Sam'l," said Eppie, as he disappeared
down Tammy Tosh's close. Here he came upon Henders Webster.

"Ye're late, Sam'l," said Henders.

"What for?"

"Ou, I was thinkin' ye wid be gaen the length o' T'nowhead the nicht,
an' I saw Sanders Elshioner makkin's wy there an oor syne."

"Did ye?" cried Sam'l, adding craftily; "but its naething to me."

"Tod, lad," said Henders; "gin ye dinna buckle to, Sanders'll be
carryin' her off!"

Sam'l flung back his head and passed on.

"Sam'l!" cried Henders after him.

"Ay," said Sam'l, wheeling round.

"Gie Bell a kiss frae me."

The full force of this joke struck neither all at once. Sam'l began to
smile at it as he turned down the school-wynd, and it came upon Henders
while he was in his garden feeding his ferret. Then he slapped his legs
gleefully, and explained the conceit to Will'um Byars, who went into the
house and thought it over.

There were twelve or twenty little groups of men in the square, which
was lighted by a flare of oil suspended over a cadger's cart. Now and
again a staid young woman passed through the square with a basket on her
arm, and if she had lingered long enough to give them time, some of the
idlers would have addressed her, As it was, they gazed after her, and
then grinned to each other.

"Ay, Sam'l," said two or three young men, as Sam'l joined them beneath
the town clock.

"Ay, Davit," replied Sam'l.

This group was composed of some of the sharpest wits in Thrums, and it
was not to be expected that they would let this opportunity pass.
Perhaps when Sam'l joined them he knew what was in store for him.

"Was ye lookin' for T'nowhead's Bell, Sam'l?" asked one.

"Or mebbe ye was wantin' the minister?" suggested another, the same who
had walked out twice with Chirsty Duff and not married her after all.

Sam'l could not think of a good reply at the moment, so he laughed

"Ondoobtedly she's a snod bit crittur," said Davit, archly.

"An' michty clever wi' her fingers," added Jamie Deuchars.

"Man, I've thocht o' makkin' up to Bell myself," said Pete Ogle. "Wid
there be ony chance, think ye, Sam'l?"

"I'm thinkin' she widna hae ye for her first, Pete," replied Sam'l, in
one of those happy flashes that come to some men, "but there's nae
sayin' but what she micht tak ye to finish up wi'."

The unexpectedness of this sally startled every one. Though Sam'l did
not set up for a wit, however, like Davit, it was notorious that he
could say a cutting thing once in a way.

"Did ye ever see Bell reddin' up?" asked Pete, recovering from his
overthrow. He was a man who bore no malice.

"It's a sicht," said Sam'l, solemnly.

"Hoo will that be?" asked Jamie Deuchars.

"It's weel worth yer while," said Pete, "to ging atower to the T'nowhead
an' see. Ye'll mind the closed-in beds i' the kitchen? Ay, weel, they're
a fell spoilt crew, T'nowhead's litlins, an' no that aisy to manage. Th'
ither lasses Lisbeth's ha'en had a michty trouble wi' them. When they
war i' the middle o' their reddin up the bairns wid come tumlin' about
the floor, but, sal, I assure ye, Bell didna fash lang wi' them. Did
she, Sam'l?"

"She did not," said Sam'l, dropping into a fine mode of speech to add
emphasis to his remark.

"I'll tell ye what she did," said Pete to the others. "She juist lifted
up the litlins, twa at a time, an' flung them into the coffin-beds. Syne
she snibbit the doors on them, an' keepit them there till the floor
was dry."

"Ay, man, did she so?" said Davit, admiringly.

"I've seen her do't myself," said Sam'l.

"There's no a lassie maks better bannocks this side o' Fetter Lums,"
continued Pete.

"Her mither tocht her that," said Sam'l; "she was a gran' han' at the
bakin', Kitty Ogilvy."

"I've heard say," remarked Jamie, putting it this way so as not to tie
himself down to anything, "'at Bell's scones is equal to Mag Lunan's."

"So they are," said Sam'l, almost fiercely.

"I kin she's a neat han' at singein' a hen," said Pete.

"An' wi't a'," said Davit, "she's a snod, canty bit stocky in her
Sabbath claes."

"If onything, thick in the waist," suggested Jamie.

"I dinna see that," said Sam'l.

"I d'na care for her hair either," continued Jamie, who was very nice in
his tastes; "something mair yallowchy wid be an improvement."

"A'body kins," growled Sam'l, "'at black hair's the bonniest."

The others chuckled.

"Puir Sam'l!" Pete said.

Sam'l, not being certain whether this should be received with a smile or
a frown, opened his mouth wide as a kind of compromise. This was
position one with him for thinking things over.

Few Auld Lichts, as I have said, went the length of choosing a helpmate
for themselves. One day a young man's friends would see him mending the
washing-tub of a maiden's mother. They kept the joke until Saturday
night, and then he learned from them what he had been after. It dazed
him for a time, but in a year or so he grew accustomed to the idea, and
they were then married. With a little help, he fell in love just like
other people.

Sam'l was going the way of the others, but he found it difficult to come
to the point. He only went courting once a week, and he could never take
up the running at the place where he left off the Saturday before. Thus
he had not, so far, made great headway. His method of making up to Bell
had been to drop in at T'nowhead on Saturday nights and talk with the
farmer about the rinderpest.

The farm-kitchen was Bell's testimonial. Its chairs, tables, and stools
were scoured by her to the whiteness of Rob Angus's saw-mill boards, and
the muslin blind on the window was starched like a child's pinafore.
Bell was brave, too, as well as energetic. Once Thrums had been overrun
with thieves. It is now thought that there may have been only one; but
he had the wicked cleverness of a gang. Such was his repute, that there
were weavers who spoke of locking their doors when they went from home.
He was not very skillful, however, being generally caught, and when they
said they knew he was a robber he gave them their things back and went
away. If they had given him time there is no doubt that he would have
gone off with his plunder. One night he went to T'nowhead, and Bell, who
slept in the kitchen, was awakened by the noise. She knew who it would
be, so she rose and dressed herself, and went to look for him with a
candle. The thief had not known what to do when he got in, and as it was
very lonely he was glad to see Bell. She told him he ought to be ashamed
of himself, and would not let him out by the door until he had taken off
his boots, so as not to soil the carpet.

On this Saturday evening Sam'l stood his ground in the square, until by
and by he found himself alone. There were other groups there still, but
his circle had melted away. They went separately, and no one said
good-night. Each took himself off slowly, backing out of the group until
he was fairly started.

Sam'l looked about him, and then, seeing that the others had gone,
walked round the town-house into the darkness of the brae that leads
down and then up to the farm of T'nowhead.

To get into the good graces of Lisbeth Fargus you had to know her ways
and humor them. Sam'l, who was a student of women, knew this, and so,
instead of pushing the door open and walking in, he went through the
rather ridiculous ceremony of knocking. Sanders Elshioner was also aware
of this weakness of Lisbeth, but though he often made up his mind to
knock, the absurdity of the thing prevented his doing so when he reached
the door. T'nowhead himself had never got used to his wife's refined
notions, and when any one knocked he always started to his feet,
thinking there must be something wrong.

Lisbeth came to the door, her expansive figure blocking the way in.

"Sam'l," she said.

"Lisbeth," said Sam'l.

He shook hands with the farmer's wife, knowing that she liked it, but
only said, "Ay, Bell," to his sweetheart, "Ay, T'nowhead," to McQuhatty,
and "It's yersel, Sanders," to his rival.

They were all sitting round the fire; T'nowhead with his feet on the
ribs, wondering why he felt so warm, and Bell darned a stocking, while
Lisbeth kept an eye on a goblet full of potatoes.

"Sit in to the fire, Sam'l," said the farmer, not, however, making way
for him.

"Na, na," said Sam'l, "I'm to bide nae time." Then he sat in to the
fire. His face was turned away from Bell, and when she spoke he answered
her without looking round. Sam'l felt a little anxious. Sanders
Elshioner, who had one leg shorter than the other, but looked well when
sitting, seemed suspiciously at home. He asked Bell questions out of his
own head, which was beyond Sam'l, and once he said something to her in
such a low voice that the others could not catch it. T'nowhead asked
curiously what it was, and Sanders explained that he had only said, "Ay,
Bell, the morn's the Sabbath." There was nothing startling in this, but
Sam'l did not like it. He began to wonder if he was too late, and had he
seen his opportunity would have told Bell of a nasty rumor, that Sanders
intended to go over to the Free Church if they would make him

Sam'l had the good-will of T'nowhead's wife, who liked a polite man.
Sanders did his best, but from want of practice he constantly made
mistakes. To-night, for instance, he wore his hat in the house, because
he did not like to put up his hand and take it off. T'nowhead had not
taken his off either, but that was because he meant to go out by and by
and lock the byre door. It was impossible to say which of her lovers
Bell preferred. The proper course with an Auld Licht lassie was to
prefer the man who proposed to her.

"Yell bide a wee, an' hae something to eat?" Lisbeth asked Sam'l, with
her eyes on the goblet.

"No, I thank ye," said Sam'l, with true gentility.

"Ye'll better?"

"I dinna think it."

"Hoots ay; what's to hender ye?"

"Weel, since ye're sae pressin', I'll bide."

No one asked Sanders to stay. Bell could not, for she was but the
servant, and T'nowhead knew that the kick his wife had given him meant
that he was not to do so either. Sanders whistled to show that he was
not uncomfortable.

"Ay, then, I'll be stappin' ower the brae," he said at last.

He did not go, however. There was sufficient pride in him to get him off
his chair, but only slowly, for he had to get accustomed to the notion
of going. At intervals of two or three minutes he remarked that he must
now be going. In the same circumstances Sam'l would have acted
similarly. For a Thrums man it is one of the hardest things in life to
get away from anywhere.

At last Lisbeth saw that something must be done. The potatoes were
burning, and T'nowhead had an invitation on his tongue.

"Yes, I'll hae to be movin'," said Sanders, hopelessly, for the fifth

"Guid-nicht to ye, then, Sanders," said Lisbeth. "Gie the door a
fling-to ahent ye."

Sanders, with a mighty effort, pulled himself together. He looked boldly
at Bell, and then took off his hat carefully. Sam'l saw with misgivings
that there was something in it which was not a handkerchief. It was a
paper bag glittering with gold braid, and contained such an assortment
of sweets as lads bought for their lasses on the Muckle Friday.

"Hae, Bell," said Sanders, handing the bag to Bell in an off-hand way,
as if it were but a trifle. Nevertheless, he was a little excited, for
he went off without saying good-night.

No one spoke. Bell's face was crimson. T'nowhead fidgeted on his chair,
and Lisbeth looked at Sam'l. The weaver was strangely calm and
collected, though he would have liked to know whether this was
a proposal.

"Sit in by to the table, Sam'l," said Lisbeth, trying to look as if
things were as they had been before.

She put a saucerful of butter, salt, and pepper near the fire to melt,
for melted butter is the shoeing-horn that helps over a meal of
potatoes. Sam'l, however, saw what the hour required, and jumping up, he
seized his bonnet.

"Hing the tatties higher up the joist, Lisbeth," he said with dignity;
"I'se be back in ten meenits."

He hurried out of the house, leaving the others looking at each other.

"What do ye think?" asked Lisbeth.

"I d'na kin," faltered Bell.

"Thae tatties is lang o' comin' to the boil," said T'nowhead.

In some circles a lover who behaved like Sam'l would have been suspected
of intent upon his rival's life, but neither Bell nor Lisbeth did the
weaver that injustice. In a case of this kind it does not much matter
what T'nowhead thought.

The ten minutes had barely passed when Sam'l was back in the
farm-kitchen. He was too flurried to knock this time, and indeed Lisbeth
did not expect it of him.

"Bell, hae!" he cried, handing his sweetheart a tinsel bag twice the
size of Sanders' gift.

"Losh preserve's!" exclaimed Lisbeth; "I'se warrant there's a shillin's

"There's a' that, Lisbeth--an' mair," said Sam'l, firmly.

"I thank ye, Sam'l," said Bell, feeling an unwonted elation as she gazed
at the two paper bags in her lap.

"Ye're ower extravegint, Sam'l," Lisbeth said.

"Not at all," said Sam'l; "not at all. But I wouldna advise ye to eat
thae ither anes, Bell--they're second quality."

Bell drew back a step from Sam'l.

"How do ye kin?" asked the farmer, shortly; for he liked Sanders.

"I speired i' the shop," said Sam'l.

The goblet was placed on a broken plate on the table, with the saucer
beside it, and Sam'l, like the others, helped himself. What he did was
to take potatoes from the pot with his fingers, peel off their coats,
and then dip them into the butter. Lisbeth would have liked to provide
knives and forks, but she knew that beyond a certain point T'nowhead was
master in his own house. As for Sam'l, he felt victory in his hands, and
began to think that he had gone too far.

In the meantime, Sanders, little witting that Sam'l had trumped his
trick, was sauntering along the kirk-wynd with his hat on the side of
his head. Fortunately he did not meet the minister.

The courting of T'nowhead's Bell reached its crisis one Sabbath about a
month after the events above recorded. The minister was in great force
that day, but it is no part of mine to tell how he bore himself. I was
there, and am not likely to forget the scene. It was a fateful Sabbath
for T'nowhead's Bell and her swains, and destined to be remembered for
the painful scandal which they perpetrated in their passion.

Bell was not in the kirk. There being an infant of six months in the
house, it was a question of either Lisbeth or the lassie's staying at
home with him, and though Lisbeth was unselfish in a general way, she
could not resist the delight of going to church. She had nine children
besides the baby, and being but a woman, it was the pride of her life to
march them into the T'nowhead pew, so well watched that they dared not
disbehave, and so tightly packed that they could not fall. The
congregation looked at that pew, the mothers enviously, when they sung
the lines:--

     "Jerusalem like a city is
     Compactly built together."

The first half of the service had been gone through on this particular
Sunday without anything remarkable happening. It was at the end of the
psalm which preceded the sermon that Sanders Elshioner, who sat near the
door, lowered his head until it was no higher than the pews, and in that
attitude, looking almost like a four-footed animal, slipped out of the
church. In their eagerness to be at the sermon, many of the congregation
did not notice him, and those who did, put the matter by in their minds
for future investigation. Sam'l, however, could not take it so coolly.
From his seat in the gallery he saw Sanders disappear and his mind
misgave him. With the true lover's instinct, he understood it all.
Sanders had been struck by the fine turn-out in the T'nowhead pew. Bell
was alone at the farm. What an opportunity to work one's way up to a
proposal. T'nowhead was so overrun with children that such a chance
seldom occurred, except on a Sabbath. Sanders, doubtless, was off to
propose, and he, Sam'l, was left behind.

The suspense was terrible. Sam'l and Sanders had both known all along
that Bell would take the first of the two who asked her. Even those who
thought her proud admitted that she was modest. Bitterly the weaver
repented having waited so long. Now it was too late. In ten minutes
Sanders would be at T'nowhead; in an hour all would be over. Sam'l rose
to his feet in a daze. His mother pulled him down by the coat-tail, and
his father shook him, thinking he was walking in his sleep. He tottered
past them, however, hurried up the aisle, which was so narrow that Dan'l
Ross could only reach his seat by walking sideways, and was gone before
the minister could do more than stop in the middle of a whirl and gape
in horror after him.

A number of the congregation felt that day the advantage of sitting in
the laft. What was a mystery to those down-stairs was revealed to them.
From the gallery windows they had a fine open view to the south; and as
Sam'l took the common, which was a short cut, though a steep ascent, to
T'nowhead, he was never out of their line of vision. Sanders was not to
be seen, but they guessed rightly the reason why. Thinking he had ample
time, he had gone round by the main road to save his boots--perhaps a
little scared by what was coming. Sam'l's design was to forestall him by
taking the shorter path over the burn and up the commonty.

It was a race for a wife, and several onlookers in the gallery braved
the minister's displeasure to see who won. Those who favored Sam'l's
suit exultingly saw him leap the stream, while the friends of Sanders
fixed their eyes on the top of the common where it ran into the road.
Sanders must come into sight there, and the one who reached this point
first would get Bell.

As Auld Lichts do not walk abroad on the Sabbath, Sanders would probably
not be delayed. The chances were in his favor. Had it been any other day
in the week, Sam'l might have run. So some of the congregation in the
gallery were thinking, when suddenly they saw him bend low and then take
to his heels. He had caught sight of Sanders's head bobbing over the
hedge that separated the road from the common, and feared that Sanders
might see him. The congregation who could crane their necks sufficiently
saw a black object, which they guessed to be the carter's hat, crawling
along the hedge-top. For a moment it was motionless, and then it shot
ahead. The rivals had seen each other. It was now a hot race. Sam'l,
dissembling no longer, clattered up the common, becoming smaller and
smaller to the onlookers as he neared the top. More than one person in
the gallery almost rose to their feet in their excitement. Sam'l had it.
No, Sanders was in front. Then the two figures disappeared from view.
They seemed to run into each other at the top of the brae, and no one
could say who was first. The congregation looked at one another. Some
of them perspired. But the minister held on his course.

Sam'l had just been in time to cut Sanders out. It was the weaver's
saving that Sanders saw this when his rival turned the corner; for Sam'l
was sadly blown. Sanders took in the situation and gave in at once. The
last hundred yards of the distance he covered at his leisure, and when
he arrived at his destination he did not go in. It was a fine afternoon
for the time of year, and he went round to have a look at the pig, about
which T'nowhead was a little sinfully puffed up.

"Ay," said Sanders, digging his fingers critically into the grunting
animal; "quite so."

"Grumph!" said the pig, getting reluctantly to his feet.

"Ou ay; yes," said Sanders, thoughtfully.

Then he sat down on the edge of the sty, and looked long and silently at
an empty bucket. But whether his thoughts were of T'nowhead's Bell, whom
he had lost forever, or of the food the farmer fed his pig on, is
not known.

"Lord preserve's! Are ye no at the kirk?" cried Bell, nearly dropping
the baby as Sam'l broke into the room.

"Bell!" cried Sam'l.

Then T'nowhead's Bell knew that her hour had come.

"Sam'l," she faltered.

"Will ye hae's, Bell?" demanded Sam'l, glaring at her sheepishly.

"Ay," answered Bell.

Sam'l fell into a chair.

"Bring's a drink o' water, Bell," he said.

But Bell thought the occasion required milk, and there was none in the
kitchen. She went out to the byre, still with the baby in her arms, and
saw Sanders Elshioner sitting gloomily on the pig-sty.

"Weel, Bell," said Sanders.

"I thocht ye'd been at the kirk, Sanders," said Bell.

Then there was a silence between them.

"Has Sam'l speired ye, Bell?" asked Sanders, stolidly.

"Ay," said Bell again, and this time there was a tear in her eye.
Sanders was little better than an "orra man," and Sam'l was a
weaver, and yet--

But it was too late now. Sanders gave the pig a vicious poke with a
stick, and when it had ceased to grunt, Bell was back in the kitchen.
She had forgotten about the milk, however, and Sam'l only got water
after all.

In after days, when the story of Bell's wooing was told, there were some
who held that the circumstances would have almost justified the lassie
in giving Sam'l the go-by. But these perhaps forgot that her other lover
was in the same predicament as the accepted one--that, of the two,
indeed, he was the more to blame, for he set off to T'nowhead on the
Sabbath of his own accord, while Sam'l only ran after him. And then
there is no one to say for certain whether Bell heard of her suitors'
delinquencies until Lisbeth's return from the kirk. Sam'l could never
remember whether he told her, and Bell was not sure whether, if he did,
she took it in. Sanders was greatly in demand for weeks after to tell
what he knew of the affair, but though he was twice asked to tea to the
manse among the trees, and subjected thereafter to ministerial
cross-examinations, this is all he told. He remained at the pigsty until
Sam'l left the farm, when he joined him at the top of the brae, and they
went home together.

"It's yersel, Sanders," said Sam'l.

"It is so, Sam'l," said Sanders.

"Very cauld," said Sam'l.

"Blawy," assented Sanders.

After a pause--

"Sam'l," said Sanders.


"I'm hearin' yer to be mairit."


"Weel, Sam'l, she's a snod bit lassie."

"Thank ye," said Sam'l.

"I had ance a kin' o' notion o' Bell mysel," continued Sanders.

"Ye had?"

"Yes, Sam'l; but I thocht better o't."

"Hoo d'ye mean?" asked Sam'l, a little anxiously.

"Weel, Sam'l, mairitch is a terrible responsibeelity."

"It is so," said Sam'l, wincing.

"An' no the thing to take up withoot conseederation."

"But it's a blessed and honorable state, Sanders; ye've heard the
minister on't."

"They say," continued the relentless Sanders, "'at the minister doesna
get on sair wi' the wife himsel."

"So they do," cried Sam'l, with a sinking at the heart.

"I've been telt," Sanders went on, "'at gin you can get the upper han'
o' the wife for awhile at first, there's the mair chance o' a harmonious

"Bell's no the lassie," said Sam'l, appealingly, "to thwart her man."

Sanders smiled.

"D'ye think she is, Sanders?"

"Weel, Sam'l, I d'na want to fluster ye, but she's been ower lang wi'
Lisbeth Fargus no to hae learnt her ways. An' a'body kins what a life
T'nowhead has wi' her."

"Guid sake, Sanders, hoo did ye no speak o' this afoore?"

"I thocht ye kent o't, Sam'l."

They had now reached the square, and the U.P. kirk was coming out. The
Auld Licht kirk would be half an hour yet.

"But, Sanders," said Sam'l, brightening up, "ye was on yer wy to spier
her yersel."

"I was, Sam'l," said Sanders, "and I canna but be thankfu' ye was ower
quick for's."

"Gin't hadna been for you," said Sam'l, "I wid never hae thocht o't."

"I'm sayin' naething agin Bell," pursued the other, "but, man Sam'l, a
body should be mair deleeberate in a thing o' the kind."

"It was michty hurried," said Sam'l, wofully.

"It's a serious thing to spier a lassie," said Sanders.

"It's an awfu' thing," said Sam'l.

"But we'll hope for the best," added Sanders, in a hopeless, voice.

They were close to the Tenements now, and Sam'l looked as if he were on
his way to be hanged.


"Ay, Sanders."

"Did ye--did ye kiss her, Sam'l?"



"There's was varra little time, Sanders."

"Half an 'oor," said Sanders.

"Was there? Man Sanders, to tell ye the truth, I never thocht o't."

Then the soul of Sanders Elshioner was filled with contempt for Sam'l

The scandal blew over. At first it was expected that the minister would
interfere to prevent the union, but beyond intimating from the pulpit
that the souls of Sabbath-breakers were beyond praying for, and then
praying for Sam'l and Sanders at great length, with a word thrown in for
Bell, he let things take their course. Some said it was because he was
always frightened lest his young men should intermarry with other
denominations, but Sanders explained it differently to Sam'l.

"I hav'na a word to say agin the minister," he said; "they're gran'
prayers, but Sam'l, he's a mairit man himsel."

"He's a' the better for that, Sanders, isna he?"

"Do ye no see," asked Sanders, compassionately, "'at he's tryin' to mak
the best o't?"

"Oh, Sanders, man!" said Sam'l.

"Cheer up, Sam'l," said Sanders; "it'll sune be ower."

Their having been rival suitors had not interfered with their
friendship. On the contrary, while they had hitherto been mere
acquaintances, they became inseparables as the wedding-day drew near. It
was noticed that they had much to say to each other, and that when they
could not get a room to themselves they wandered about together in the
churchyard. When Sam'l had anything to tell Bell, he sent Sanders to
tell it, and Sanders did as he was bid. There was nothing that he would
not have done for Sam'l.

The more obliging Sanders was, however, the sadder Sam'l grew. He never
laughed now on Saturdays, and sometimes his loom was silent half the
day. Sam'l felt that Sanders's was the kindness of a friend for a
dying man.

It was to be a penny wedding, and Lisbeth Fargus said it was delicacy
that made Sam'l superintend the fitting-up of the barn by deputy. Once
he came to see it in person, but he looked so ill that Sanders had to
see him home. This was on the Thursday afternoon, and the wedding was
fixed for Friday.

"Sanders, Sanders," said Sam'l, in a voice strangely unlike his own,
"it'll a' be ower by this time the morn."

"It will," said Sanders.

"If I had only kent her langer," continued Sam'l.

"It wid hae been safer," said Sanders.

"Did ye see the yallow floor in Bell's bonnet?" asked the accepted

"Ay," said Sanders, reluctantly.

"I'm dootin'--I'm sair dootin' she's but a flichty, licht-hearted
crittur, after a'."

"I had ay my suspeecions o't," said Sanders.

"Ye hae kent her langer than me," said Sam'l.

"Yes," said Sanders, "but there's nae gettin' at the heart o' women. Man
Sam'l, they're desperate cunnin'."

"I'm dootin't; I'm sair dootin't."

"It'll be a warnin' to ye, Sam'l, no to be in sic a hurry i' the futur,"
said Sanders.

Sam'l groaned.

"Ye'll be gaein up to the manse to arrange wi' the minister the morn's
mornin'," continued Sanders, in a subdued voice.

Sam'l looked wistfully at his friend.

"I canna do't, Sanders," he said, "I canna do't."

"Ye maun," said Sanders.

"It's aisy to speak," retorted Sam'l, bitterly.

"We have a' oor troubles, Sam'l," said Sanders, soothingly, "an' every
man maun bear his ain burdens. Johnny Davie's wife's dead, an' he's no

"Ay," said Sam'l, "but a death's no a mairitch. We hae haen deaths in
our family, too."

"It may a' be for the best," added Sanders, "an' there wid be a michty
talk i' the hale country-side gin ye didna ging to the minister like
a man."

"I maun hae langer to think o't," said Sam'l.

"Bell's mairitch is the morn," said Sanders, decisively.

Sam'l glanced up with a wild look in his eyes.

"Sanders!" he cried.


"Ye hae been a guid friend to me, Sanders, in this sair affliction."

"Nothing ava," said Sanders; "dount mention't."

"But, Sanders, ye canna deny but what your rinnin oot o' the kirk that
awfu' day was at the bottom o't a'."

"It was so," said Sanders, bravely.

"An' ye used to be fond o' Bell, Sanders."

"I dinna deny't."

"Sanders, laddie," said Sam'l, bending forward and speaking in a
wheedling voice, "I aye thocht it was you she likit."

"I had some sic idea mysel," said Sanders.

"Sanders, I canna think to pairt twa fowk sae weel suited to ane
anither as you an' Bell."

"Canna ye, Sam'l?"

"She wid make ye a guid wife, Sanders. I hae studied her weel, and she's
a thrifty, douce, clever lassie. Sanders, there's no the like o' her.
Mony a time, Sanders, I hae said to mysel, There's a lass ony man micht
be prood to tak. A'body says the same, Sanders. There's nae risk ava,
man; nane to speak o'. Tak her, laddie, tak her, Sanders, it's a grand
chance, Sanders. She's yours for the speirin. I'll gie her up, Sanders."

"Will ye, though?" said Sanders.

"What d'ye think?" asked Sam'l.

"If ye wid rayther," said Sanders, politely.

"There's my han' on't," said Sam'l. "Bless ye, Sanders; ye've been a
true frien' to me."

Then they shook hands for the first time in their lives; and soon
afterward Sanders struck up the brae to T'nowhead.

Next morning Sanders Elshioner, who had been very busy the night before,
put on his Sabbath clothes and strolled up to the manse.

"But--but where is Sam'l?" asked the minister. "I must see himself."

"It's a new arrangement," said Sanders.

"What do you mean, Sanders?"

"Bell's to marry me," explained Sanders.

"But--- but what does Sam'l say?"

"He's willin'," said Sanders.

"And Bell?"

"She's willin', too. She prefers it."

"It is unusual," said the minister.

"It's a' richt," said Sanders.

"Well, you know best," said the minister.

"You see, the hoose was taen, at ony rate," continued Sanders. "An' I'll
juist ging in til't instead o' Sam'l."

"Quite so."

"An" I cudna think to disappoint the lassie."

"Your sentiments do you credit, Sanders," said the minister; "but I hope
you do not enter upon the blessed state of matrimony without full
consideration of its responsibilities. It is a serious business,

"It's a' that," said Sanders; "but I'm willin' to stan' the risk."

So, as soon as it could be done, Sanders Elshioner took to wife
T'nowhead's Bell, and I remember seeing Sam'l Dickie trying to dance at
the penny wedding.

Years afterward it was said in Thrums that Sam'l had treated Bell badly,
but he was never sure about it himself.

"It was a near thing--a michty near thing," he admitted in the square.

"They say," some other weaver would remark, "'at it was you Bell liked

"I d'na kin," Sam'l would reply, "but there's nae doot the lassie was
fell fond o' me. Ou, a mere passin' fancy's ye micht say."


From 'A Window in Thrums'

There may be a few who care to know how the lives of Jess and Hendry
ended. Leeby died in the back end of the year I have been speaking of,
and as I was snowed up in the school-house at the time, I heard the news
from Gavin Birse too late to attend her funeral. She got her death on
the commonty one day of sudden rain, when she had run out to bring in
her washing, for the terrible cold she woke with next morning carried
her off very quickly. Leeby did not blame Jamie for not coming to her,
nor did I, for I knew that even in the presence of death the poor must
drag their chains. He never got Hendry's letter with the news, and we
know now that he was already in the hands of her who played the devil
with his life. Before the spring came he had been lost to Jess.

"Them 'at has got sae mony blessin's mair than the generality," Hendry
said to me one day, when Craigiebuckle had given me a lift into Thrums,
"has nae shame if they would pray aye for mair. The Lord has gi'en this
hoose sae muckle, 'at to pray for mair looks like no bein' thankfu' for
what we've got. Ay, but I canna help prayin' to Him 'at in His great
mercy he'll tak Jess afore me. Noo 'at Leeby's gone, an' Jamie never
lets us hear frae him, I canna gulp doon the thocht o' Jess bein'
left alane."

This was a prayer that Hendry may be pardoned for having so often in his
heart, though God did not think fit to grant it. In Thrums, when a
weaver died, his women-folk had to take his seat at the loom, and those
who, by reason of infirmities, could not do so, went to a place, the
name of which, I thank God, I am not compelled to write in this chapter.
I could not, even at this day, have told any episode in the life of Jess
had it ended in the poor house.

Hendry would probably have recovered from the fever had not this
terrible dread darkened his intellect when he was still prostrate. He
was lying in the kitchen when I saw him last in life, and his parting
words must be sadder to the reader than they were to me.

"Ay, richt ye are," he said, in a voice that had become a child's; "I
hae muckle, muckle to be thankfu' for, an' no the least is 'at baith me
an' Jess has aye belonged to a bural society. We hae nae cause to be
anxious aboot a' thing bein' dune respectable aince we're gone. It was
Jess 'at insisted on oor joinin': a' the wisest things I ever did I was
put up to by her."

I parted from Hendry, cheered by the doctor's report, but the old weaver
died a few days afterward. His end was mournful, yet I can recall it now
as the not unworthy close of a good man's life. One night poor worn Jess
had been helped ben into the room, Tibbie Birse having undertaken to sit
up with Hendry.

Jess slept for the first time for many days, and as the night was dying
Tibbie fell asleep too. Hendry had been better than usual, lying
quietly, Tibbie said, and the fever was gone. About three o'clock Tibbie
woke and rose to mend the fire. Then she saw that Hendry was not in
his bed.

Tibbie went ben the house in her stocking soles, but Jess heard her.

"What is't, Tibbie?" she asked, anxiously.

"Ou, it's no naething," Tibbie said; "he's lyin' rale quiet."

Then she went up to the attic. Hendry was not in the house.

She opened the door gently and stole out. It was not snowing, but there
had been a heavy fall two days before, and the night was windy. A
tearing gale had blown the upper part of the brae clear, and from
T'nowhead's fields the snow was rising like smoke. Tibbie ran to the
farm and woke up T'nowhead.

For an hour they looked in vain for Hendry. At last some one asked who
was working in Elshioner's shop all night. This was the long
earthen-floored room in which Hendry's loom stood with three others.

"It'll be Sanders Whamond likely," T'nowhead said, and the other men

But it happened that T'nowhead's Bell, who had flung on a wrapper, and
hastened across to sit with Jess, heard of the light in
Elshioner's shop.

"It's Hendry," she cried; and then every one moved toward the workshop.

The light at the diminutive, darn-covered window was pale and dim, but
Bell, who was at the house first, could make the most of a
cruizey's glimmer.

"It's him," she said; and then, with swelling throat, she ran back to

The door of the workshop was wide open, held against the wall by the
wind. T'nowhead and the others went in. The cruizey stood on the little
window. Hendry's back was to the door, and he was leaning forward on the
silent loom. He had been dead for some time, but his fellow-workers saw
that he must have weaved for nearly an hour.

So it came about that for the last few months of her pilgrimage Jess was
left alone. Yet I may not say that she was alone. Jamie, who should have
been with her, was undergoing his own ordeal far away; where, we did not
now even know. But though the poorhouse stands in Thrums, where all may
see it, the neighbors did not think only of themselves.

Than Tammas Haggart there can scarcely have been a poorer man, but
Tammas was the first to come forward with offer of help. To the day of
Jess's death he did not once fail to carry her water to her in the
morning, and the luxuriously living men of Thrums in these present days
of pumps at every corner, can hardly realize what that meant. Often
there were lines of people at the well by three o'clock in the morning,
and each had to wait his turn. Tammas filled his own pitcher and pan,
and then had to take his place at the end of the line with Jess's
pitcher and pan, to wait his turn again. His own house was in the
Tenements, far from the brae in winter time, but he always said to Jess
it was "naething ava."

Every Saturday old Robbie Angus sent a bag of sticks and shavings from
the sawmill by his little son Rob, who was afterward to become a man for
speaking about at nights. Of all the friends that Jess and Hendry had,
T'nowhead was the ablest to help, and the sweetest memory I have of the
farmer and his wife is the delicate way they offered it. You who read
will see Jess wince at the offer of charity. But the poor have fine
feelings beneath the grime, as you will discover if you care to look for
them; and when Jess said she would bake if anyone would buy, you would
wonder to hear how many kindly folk came to her door for scones.

She had the house to herself at nights, but Tibbie Birse was with her
early in the morning, and other neighbors dropped in. Not for long did
she have to wait the summons to the better home.

"Na," she said to the minister, who has told me that he was a better man
from knowing her, "my thocht is no nane set on the vanities o' the world
noo. I kenna hoo I could ever hae haen sic an ambeetion to hae thae
stuff-bottomed chairs."

I have tried to keep away from Jamie, whom the neighbors sometimes
upbraided in her presence. It is of him you who read would like to hear,
and I cannot pretend that Jess did not sit at her window looking
for him.

"Even when she was bakin'," Tibbie told me, "she aye had an eye on the
brae. If Jamie had come at ony time when it was licht she would hae seen
'im as sune as he turned the corner."

"If he ever comes back, the sacket" (rascal), T'nowhead said to Jess,
"we'll show 'im the door gey quick."

Jess just looked, and all the women knew how she would take Jamie to her

We did not know of the London woman then, and Jess never knew of her.
Jamie's mother never for an hour allowed that he had become anything but
the loving laddie of his youth.

"I ken 'im ower weel," she always said, "my ain Jamie."

Toward the end she was sure he was dead. I do not know when she first
made up her mind to this, nor whether it was not merely a phrase for
those who wanted to discuss him with her. I know that she still sat at
the window looking at the elbow of the brae.

The minister was with her when she died. She was in her chair, and he
asked her, as was his custom, if there was any particular chapter which
she would like him to read. Since her husband's death she had always
asked for the fourteenth of John, "Hendry's chapter," as it is still
called among a very few old people in Thrums. This time she asked him to
read the sixteenth chapter of Genesis.

"When I came to the thirteenth verse," the minister told me, "'And she
called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me,' she
covered her face with her two hands, and said, 'Joey's text, Joey's
text. Oh, but I grudged ye sair, Joey.'"

"I shut the book," the minister said, "when I came to the end of the
chapter, and then I saw that she was dead. It is my belief that her
heart broke one-and-twenty years ago."


From 'The Little Minister': by permission of the American Publishers'

One may gossip in a glen on Sabbaths, though not in a town, without
losing his character, and I used to await the return of my neighbor, the
farmer of Waster Lunny, and of Birse, the Glen Quharity post, at the end
of the school-house path. Waster Lunny was a man whose care in his
leisure hours was to keep from his wife his great pride in her. His
horse, Catlaw, on the other hand, he told outright what he thought of
it, praising it to its face and blackguarding it as it deserved, and I
have seen him, when completely baffled by the brute, sit down before it
on a stone and thus harangue:--"You think you're clever, Catlaw, my
lass, but you're mista'en. You're a thrawn limmer, that's what you are.
You think you have blood in you. You ha'e blood! Gae awa, and dinna
blether. I tell you what, Catlaw, I met a man yestreen that kent your
mither, and he says she was a feikie,[3] fushionless besom. What do you
say to that?"

[Footnote 3: Feikie, over-particular.]

As for the post, I will say no more of him than that his bitter topic
was the unreasonableness of humanity, which treated him graciously when
he had a letter for it, but scowled at him when he had none, "aye
implying that I ha'e a letter, but keep it back."

On the Sabbath evening after the riot, I stood at the usual place
awaiting my friends, and saw before they reached me that they had
something untoward to tell. The farmer, his wife, and three children,
holding each other's hands, stretched across the road. Birse was a
little behind, but a conversation was being kept up by shouting. All
were walking the Sabbath pace, and the family having started half a
minute in advance, the post had not yet made up on them.

"It's sitting to snaw," Waster Lunny said, drawing near, and just as I
was to reply, "It is so," Silva slipped in the words before me.

"You wasna at the kirk," was Elspeth's salutation. I had been at the
glen church, but did not contradict her, for it is Established, and so
neither here nor there. I was anxious, too, to know what their long
faces meant, and therefore asked at once,--"Was Mr. Dishart on
the riot?"

"Forenoon, ay; afternoon, no," replied Waster Lunny, walking round his
wife to get nearer me. "Dominie, a queery thing happened in the kirk
this day, sic as--"

"Waster Lunny," interrupted Elspeth sharply, "have you on your Sabbath
shoon or have you no on your Sabbath shoon?"

"Guid care you took I should ha'e the dagont oncanny things on,"
retorted the farmer.

"Keep out o' the gutter, then," said Elspeth, "on the Lord's day."

"Him," said her man, "that is forced by a foolish woman to wear genteel
'lastic-sided boots canna forget them until he takes them aff. Whaur's
the extra reverence in wearing shoon twa sizes ower sma'?"

"It mayna be mair reverent," suggested Birse, to whom Elspeth's kitchen
was a pleasant place, "but it's grand, and you canna expect to be baith
grand and comfortable."

I reminded them that they were speaking of Mr. Dishart.

"We was saying," began the post briskly, "that--"

"It was me that was saying it," said Waster Lunny. "So, Dominie--"

"Haud your gabs, baith o' you," interrupted Elspeth. "You've been
roaring the story to one another till you're hoarse."

"In the forenoon," Waster Lunny went on determinedly, "Mr. Dishart
preached on the riot, and fine he was. Oh, dominie, you should hae heard
him ladling it on to Lang Tammas, no by name, but in sic a way that
there was no mistaking wha he was preaching at. Sal! oh, losh! Tammas
got it strong."

"But he's dull in the uptake," broke in the post, "by what I expected.
I spoke to him after the sermon, and I says, just to see if he was
properly humbled:--'Ay, Tammas,' I says, 'them that discourse was
preached against winna think themselves seven-feet men for a while
again.' 'Ay, Birse,' he answers, 'and glad I am to hear you admit it,
for he had you in his eye.' I was fair scunnered at Tammas the day."

"Mr. Dishart was preaching at the whole clan-jamfray o' you," said

"Maybe he was," said her husband, leering; "but you needna cast it at
us, for my certie, if the men got it frae him in the forenoon, the women
got it in the afternoon."

"He redd them up most michty," said the post. "Thae was his very words
or something like them:--'Adam,' says he, 'was an erring man, but aside
Eve he was respectable.'"

"Ay, but it wasna a' women he meant," Elspeth explained, "for when he
said that, he pointed his finger direct at T'nowhead's lassie, and I
hope it'll do her good."

"But, I wonder," I said, "that Mr. Dishart chose such a subject to-day.
I thought he would be on the riot at both services."

"You'll wonder mair," said Elspeth, "when you hear what happened afore
he began the afternoon sermon. But I canna get in a word wi' that man
o' mine."

"We've been speaking about it," said Birse, "ever since we left the kirk
door. Tod, we've been sawing it like seed a' alang the glen."

"And we meant to tell you about it at once," said Waster Lunny; "but
there's aye so muckle to say about a minister. Dagont, to hae ane keeps
a body out o' languor. Aye, but this breaks the drum. Dominie, either
Mr. Dishart wasna weel or he was in the devil's grip."

This startled me, for the farmer was looking serious.

"He was weel eneuch," said Birse, "for a heap o' fowk spiered at Jean if
he had ta'en his porridge as usual, and she admitted he had. But the
lassie was skeered hersel', and said it was a mercy Mrs. Dishart wasna
in the kirk."

"Why was she not there?" I asked anxiously.

"Ou, he winna let her out in sic weather."

"I wish you would tell me what happened," I said to Elspeth.

"So I will," she answered, "if Waster Lunny would haud his wheest for a
minute. You see the afternoon diet began in the ordinary way, and a'
was richt until we came to the sermon. 'You will find my text,' he says,
in his piercing voice, 'in the eighth chapter of Ezra.'"

"And at thae words," said Waster Lunny, "my heart gae a loup, for Ezra
is an unca ill book to find; ay, and so is Ruth."

"I kent the books o' the Bible by heart," said Elspeth, scornfully,
"when I was a sax-year-auld."

"So did I," said Waster Lunny, "and I ken them yet, except when I'm
hurried. When Mr. Dishart gave out Ezra he a sort o' keeked round the
kirk to find out if he had puzzled onybody, and so there was a kind o' a
competition among the congregation wha would lay hand on it first. That
was what doited me. Ay, there was Ruth when she wasna wanted, but Ezra,
dagont, it looked as if Ezra had jumped clean out o' the Bible."

"You wasna the only distressed crittur," said his wife. "I was ashamed
to see Eppie McLaren looking up the order o' the books at the beginning
o' the Bible."

"Tibbie Birse was even mair brazen," said the post, "for the sly cuttie
opened at Kings and pretended it was Ezra."

"None o' thae things would I do," said Waster Lunny, "and sal, I
dauredna, for Davit Lunan was glowering ower my shuther. Ay, you may
scowl at me, Elspeth Proctor, but as far back as I can mind Ezra has
done me. Mony a time afore I start for the kirk I take my Bible to a
quiet place and look Ezra up. In the very pew I says canny to mysel',
'Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job,' the which should be a help, but the
moment the minister gi'es out that awfu' book, away goes Ezra like the

"And you after her," said Elspeth, "like the weavers that wouldna fecht.
You make a windmill of your Bible."

"Oh, I winna admit I'm beat. Never mind, there's queer things in the
world forby Ezra. How is cripples aye so puffed up mair than other folk?
How does flour-bread aye fall on the buttered side?"

"I will mind," Elspeth said, "for I was terrified the minister would
admonish you frae the pulpit."

"He couldna hae done that, for was he no baffled to find Ezra himsel'?"

"Him no find Ezra!" cried Elspeth. "I hae telled you a dozen times he
found it as easy as you could yoke a horse."

"The thing can be explained in no other way," said her husband doggedly;
"if he was weel and in sound mind."

"Maybe the dominie can clear it up," suggested the post, "him being a

"Then tell me what happened," I asked.

"Man, hae we no telled you?" Birse said. "I thocht we had."

"It was a terrible scene," said Elspeth, giving her husband a shove. "As
I said, Mr. Dishart gave out Ezra eighth. Weel, I turned it up in a
jiffy, and syne looked cautiously to see how Eppie McLaren was getting
on. Just at that minute I heard a groan frae the pulpit. It didna stop
short o' a groan. Ay, you may be sure I looked quick at the minister,
and there I saw a sicht that would hae made the grandest gape. His face
was as white as a baker's, and he had a sort of fallen against the back
o' the pulpit, staring demented-like at his open Bible."

"And I saw him," said Birse, "put up his hand atween him and the Book,
as if he thocht it was to jump at him."

"Twice," said Elspeth, "he tried to speak, and twice he let the words

"That," said Waster Lunny, "the whole congregation admits, but I didna
see it mysel', for a' this time you may picture me hunting savage-like
for Ezra. I thocht the minister was waiting till I found it."

"Hendry Munn," said Birse, "stood upon one leg, wondering whether he
should run to the session-house for a glass of water."

"But by that time," said Elspeth, "the fit had left Mr. Dishart, or
rather it had ta'en a new turn. He grew red, and it's gospel that he
stamped his foot."

"He had the face of one using bad words," said the post. "He didna
swear, of course, but that was the face he had on."

"I missed it," said Waster Lunny, "for I was in full cry after Ezra,
with the sweat running down my face."

"But the most astounding thing has yet to be telled," went on Elspeth.
"The minister shook himsel' like one wakening frae a nasty dream, and he
cries in a voice of thunder, just as if he was shaking his fist at

"He cries," Birse interposed, cleverly, "he cries, 'You will find the
text in Genesis, chapter three, verse six.'"

"Yes," said Elspeth, "first he gave out one text, and then he gave out
another, being the most amazing thing to my mind that ever happened in
the town of Thrums. What will our children's children think o't? I
wouldna ha'e missed it for a pound note."

"Nor me," said Waster Lunny, "though I only got the tail o't. Dominie,
no sooner had he said Genesis third and sixth, than I laid my finger on
Ezra. Was it no provoking? Onybody can turn up Genesis, but it needs an
able-bodied man to find Ezra."

"He preached on the Fall," Elspeth said, "for an hour and twenty-five
minutes, but powerful though he was I would rather he had telled us what
made him gie the go-by to Ezra."

"All I can say," said Waster Lunny, "is that I never heard him mair
awe-inspiring. Whaur has he got sic a knowledge of women? He riddled
them, he fair riddled them, till I was ashamed o' being married."

"It's easy kent whaur he got his knowledge of women," Birse explained,
"it's a' in the original Hebrew. You can howk ony mortal thing out o'
the original Hebrew, the which all ministers hae at their finger ends.
What else makes them ken to jump a verse now and then when giving out
a psalm?"

"It wasna women like me he denounced," Elspeth insisted, "but young
lassies that leads men astray wi' their abominable wheedling ways."

"Tod," said her husband, "if they try their hands on Mr. Dishart they'll
meet their match."

"They will," chuckled the post. "The Hebrew's a grand thing, though
teuch, I'm telled, michty teuch."

"His sublimest burst," Waster Lunny came back to tell me, "was about the
beauty o' the soul being everything and the beauty o' the face no worth
a snuff. What a scorn he has for bonny faces and toom souls! I dinna
deny but what a bonny face fell takes me, but Mr. Dishart wouldna gi'e a
blade o' grass for't. Ay, and I used to think that in their foolishness
about women there was dagont little differ atween the unlearned and the
highly edicated."


From 'The Little Minister': by permission of the American Publishers'

A young man thinks that he alone of mortals is impervious to love, and
so the discovery that he is in it suddenly alters his views of his own
mechanism. It is thus not unlike a rap on the funny-bone. Did Gavin make
this discovery when the Egyptian left him? Apparently he only came to
the brink of it and stood blind. He had driven her from him for ever,
and his sense of loss was so acute that his soul cried out for the cure
rather than for the name of the malady.

In time he would have realized what had happened, but time was denied
him, for just as he was starting for the mudhouse Babbie saved his
dignity by returning to him.... She looked up surprised, or seemingly
surprised, to find him still there.

"I thought you had gone away long ago," she said stiffly.

"Otherwise," asked Gavin the dejected, "you would not have came back to
the well?"

"Certainly not."

"I am very sorry. Had you waited another moment I should have been

This was said in apology, but the willful Egyptian chose to change its

"You have no right to blame me for disturbing you," she declared with

"I did not. I only--"

"You could have been a mile away by this time. Nanny wanted more water."

Babbie scrutinized the minister sharply as she made this statement.
Surely her conscience troubled her, for on his not answering immediately
she said, "Do you presume to disbelieve me? What could have made me
return except to fill the pans again?"

"Nothing," Gavin admitted eagerly, "and I assure you---"

Babbie should have been grateful to his denseness, but it merely set her
mind at rest.

"Say anything against me you choose," she told him. "Say it as brutally
as you like, for I won't listen."

She stopped to hear his response to that, and she looked so cold that it
almost froze on Gavin's lips.

"I had no right," he said dolefully, "to speak to you as I did."

"You had not," answered the proud Egyptian. She was looking away from
him to show that his repentance was not even interesting to her.
However, she had forgotten already not to listen....

She was very near him, and the tears had not yet dried on her eyes. They
were laughing eyes, eyes in distress, imploring eyes. Her pale face,
smiling, sad, dimpled yet entreating forgiveness, was the one prominent
thing in the world to him just then. He wanted to kiss her. He would do
it as soon as her eyes rested on his, but she continued without
regarding him.

"How mean that sounds! Oh, if I were a man I would wish to be everything
that I am not, and nothing that I am. I would scorn to be a liar, I
would choose to be open in all things, I would try to fight the world
honestly. But I am only a woman, and so--well, that is the kind of man I
would like to marry."

"A minister may be all these things," said Gavin breathlessly.

"The man I could love," Babbie went on, not heeding him, almost
forgetting that he was there, "must not spend his days in idleness as
the men I know do."

"I do not."

"He must be brave, no mere worker among others, but a leader of men."

"All ministers are."

"Who makes his influence felt."


"And takes the side of the weak against the strong, even though the
strong be in the right."

"Always my tendency."

"A man who has a mind of his own, and having once made it up stands to
it in defiance even of--"

"Of his session."

"Of the world. He must understand me."

"I do."

"And be my master."

"It is his lawful position in the house."

"He must not yield to my coaxing or tempers."

"It would be weakness."

"But compel me to do his bidding; yes, even thrash me if-"

"If you won't listen to reason. Babbie," cried Gavin, "I am that man!"

Here the inventory abruptly ended, and these two people found themselves
staring at each other, as if of a sudden they had heard something
dreadful. I do not know how long they stood thus motionless and
horrified. I cannot tell even which stirred first. All I know is that
almost simultaneously they turned from each other and hurried out of the
wood in opposite directions.


From 'Sentimental Tommy'

To-morrow came, and with it two eager little figures rose and gulped
their porridge, and set off to see Thrums. They were dressed in the
black clothes Aaron Latta had bought for them in London, and they had
agreed just to walk, but when they reached the door and saw the
tree-tops of the Den they--they ran. Would you not like to hold them
back? It is a child's tragedy.

They went first into the Den, and the rocks were dripping wet, all the
trees save the firs were bare, and the mud round a tiny spring pulled
off one of Elspeth's boots.

"Tommy," she cried, quaking, "that narsty puddle can't not be the Cuttle
Well, can it?"

"No, it ain't," said Tommy, quickly, but he feared it was.

"It's c-c-colder here than London," Elspeth said, shivering, and Tommy
was shivering too, but he answered, "I'm--I'm--I'm warm."

The Den was strangely small, and soon they were on a shabby brae, where
women in short gowns came to their doors and men in night-caps sat down
on the shafts of their barrows to look at Jean Myles's bairns.

"What does yer think?" Elspeth whispered, very doubtfully.

"They're beauties," Tommy answered, determinedly.

Presently Elspeth cried, "Oh, Tommy, what a ugly stair! Where is the
beauty stairs as it wore outside for show?"

This was one of them, and Tommy knew it. "Wait till you see the west
town end," he said, bravely: "it's grand." But when they were in the
west town end, and he had to admit it, "Wait till you see the square,"
he said, and when they were in the square, "Wait," he said, huskily,
"till you see the town-house." Alas, this was the town-house facing
them, and when they knew it, he said, hurriedly, "Wait till you see the
Auld Licht kirk."

They stood long in front of the Auld Licht kirk, which he had sworn was
bigger and lovelier than St. Paul's, but--well, it is a different style
of architecture, and had Elspeth not been there with tears in waiting,
Tommy would have blubbered. "It's--it's littler than I thought," he
said, desperately, "but--the minister, oh, what a wonderful big man
he is!"

"Are you sure?" Elspeth squeaked.

"I swear he is."

The church door opened and a gentleman came out, a little man, boyish in
the back, with the eager face of those who live too quickly. But it was
not at him that Tommy pointed reassuringly; it was at the monster church
key, half of which protruded from his tail pocket and waggled as he
moved, like the hilt of a sword.

Speaking like an old residenter, Tommy explained that he had brought his
sister to see the church. "She's ta'en aback," he said, picking out
Scotch words carefully, "because it's littler than the London kirks, but
I telled her--I telled her that the preaching is better."

This seemed to please the stranger, for he patted Tommy on the head
while inquiring, "How do you know that the preaching is better?"

"Tell him, Elspeth," replied Tommy, modestly.

"There ain't nuthin' as Tommy don't know," Elspeth explained. "He knows
what the minister is like, too."

"He's a noble sight," said Tommy.

"He can get anything from God he likes," said Elspeth.

"He's a terrible big man," said Tommy.

This seemed to please the little gentleman less. "Big!" he exclaimed,
irritably; "why should he be big?"

"He is big," Elspeth almost screamed, for the minister was her last

"Nonsense!" said the little gentleman. "He is--well, I am the minister."

"You!" roared Tommy, wrathfully.

"Oh, oh, oh!" sobbed Elspeth.

For a moment the Rev. Mr. Dishart looked as if he would like to knock
two little heads together, but he walked away without doing it.

"Never mind," whispered Tommy hoarsely to Elspeth. "Never mind, Elspeth,
you have me yet."

This consolation seldom failed to gladden her, but her disappointment
was so sharp to-day that she would not even look up.

"Come away to the cemetery, it's grand," he said; but still she would
not be comforted.

"And I'll let you hold my hand--as soon as we're past the houses," he

"I'll let you hold it now," he said, eventually; but even then Elspeth
cried dismally, and her sobs were hurting him more than her.

He knew all the ways of getting round Elspeth, and when next he spoke it
was with a sorrowful dignity. "I didna think," he said, "as yer wanted
me never to be able to speak again; no, I didna think it, Elspeth."

She took her hands from her face and looked at him inquiringly.

"One of the stories mamma telled me and Reddy," he said, "were a man
what saw such a beauty thing that he was struck dumb with admiration.
Struck dumb is never to be able to speak again, and I wish I had been
struck dumb when you wanted it."

"But I didn't want it!" Elspeth cried.

"If Thrums had been one little bit beautier than it is," he went on,
solemnly, "it would have struck me dumb. It would have hurt me sore, but
what about that, if it pleased you!"

Then did Elspeth see what a wicked girl she had been, and when next the
two were seen by the curious (it was on the cemetery road), they were
once more looking cheerful. At the smallest provocation they exchanged
notes of admiration, such as, "O Tommy, what a bonny barrel!" or "O
Elspeth, I tell yer that's a dike, and there's just walls in London;"
but sometimes Elspeth would stoop hastily, pretending that she wanted to
tie her boot-lace, but really to brush away a tear, and there were
moments when Tommy hung very limp. Each was trying to deceive the other
for the other's sake, and one of them was never good at deception. They
saw through each other, yet kept up the chilly game, because they could
think of nothing better; and perhaps the game was worth playing, for
love invented it.

Scribner's Magazine. Copyrighted by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York.


From 'Sentimental Tommy'

With the darkness, too, crept into the Muckley certain devils in the
color of the night who spoke thickly and rolled braw lads in the mire,
and egged on friends to fight, and cast lewd thoughts into the minds of
the women. At first the men had been bashful swains. To the women's "Gie
me my faring, Jock," they had replied, "Wait, Jean, till I'm fee'd," but
by night most had got their arles, with a dram above it, and he who
could only guffaw at Jean a few hours ago had her round the waist now,
and still an arm free for rough play with other kimmers. The Jeans were
as boisterous as the Jocks, giving them leer for leer, running from them
with a giggle, waiting to be caught and rudely kissed. Grand, patient,
long-suffering fellows these men were, up at five, summer and winter,
foddering their horses, maybe, hours before there would be food for
themselves, miserably paid, housed like cattle, and when the rheumatism
seized them, liable to be flung aside like a broken graip. As hard was
the life of the women: coarse food, chaff beds, damp clothes their
portion; their sweethearts in the service of masters who were loth to
fee a married man. Is it to be wondered that these lads who could be
faithful unto death drank soddenly on their one free day; that these
girls, starved of opportunities for womanliness, of which they could
make as much as the finest lady, sometimes woke after a Muckley to wish
that they might wake no more?

Scribner's Magazine. Copyrighted by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York.



Political economy has been called the "dismal science"; and probably the
majority think of it as either merely a matter of words and phrases, or
as something too abstruse for the common mind to comprehend. It was the
distinction of Bastiat that he was able to write economic tracts in such
a language that he that ran might read, and to clothe the apparently dry
bones with such integuments as manifested vitality. Under his pen,
questions of finance, of tax, of exchange, became questions which
concern the lives of individual men and women, with sentiments, hopes,
and aspirations.

[Illustration: FRÉDÉRIC BASTIAT]

He was born at Bayonne in France, June 19th, 1801. At nine years of age
he was left an orphan, but he was cared for by his grandfather and aunt.
He received his schooling at the college of St. Sever and at Sorèze,
where he was noted as a diligent student. When about twenty years of age
he was taken into the commercial house of his uncle at Bayonne. His
leisure was employed in cultivating art and literature, and he became
accomplished in languages and in instrumental and vocal music. He was
early interested in political and social economy through the writings of
Adam Smith, J.B. Say, Comte, and others; and having inherited
considerable landed property at Mugron on the death of his grandfather
in 1827, he undertook the personal charge of it, at the same time
continuing his economic studies. His experiment in farming did not prove
successful; but he rapidly developed clear ideas upon economical
problems, being much assisted in their consideration by frequent
conferences with his neighbor, M. Felix Coudroy. These two worked much
together, and cherished a close sympathy in thought and heart.

The bourgeois revolution of 1830 was welcomed enthusiastically by
Bastiat. It was a revolution of prosperous and well-instructed men,
willing to make sacrifices to attain an orderly and systematic method of
government. To him the form of the administration did not greatly
matter: the right to vote taxes was the right which governed the
governors. "There is always a tendency on the part of governments to
extend their powers," he said; "the administration therefore must be
under constant surveillance." His motto was "Foi systematiqtie à la
libre activité de I'individu; defiance systematique vis-à-vis de l'État
conçu abstraitement,--c'est-à-dire, defiance parfaitement pure de toute
hostilité de parti." [Systematic faith in the free activity of the
individual; systematic distrust of the State conceived abstractly,--that
is, a distrust entirely free from prejudice.]

His work with his pen seems to have been begun about 1830, and from the
first was concerned with matters of economy and government. A year later
he was chosen to local office, and every opportunity which offered was
seized upon to bring before the common people the true milk of the
economic word, as he conceived it. The germ of his theory of values
appeared in a pamphlet of 1834, and the line of his development was a
steady one; his leading principles being the importance of restricting
the functions of government to the maintenance of order, and of removing
all shackles from the freedom of production and exchange. Through
subscription to an English periodical he became familiar with Cobden and
the Anti-Corn-Law League, and his subsequent intimacy with Cobden
contributed much to broaden his horizon. In 1844-5 appeared his
brilliant 'Sophismes économiques', which in their kind have never been
equaled; and his reputation rapidly expanded. He enthusiastically
espoused the cause of Free Trade, and issued a work entitled 'Cobden et
la Ligue, ou l'Agitation anglaise pour la liberté des échanges' (Cobden
and the League, or the English Agitation for Liberty of Exchange), which
attracted great attention, and won for its author the title of
corresponding member of the Institute. A movement for organization in
favor of tariff reform was begun, of which he naturally became a leader;
and feeling that Paris was the centre from which influence should flow,
to Paris he removed. M. de Molinari gives an account of his debut:--"We
still seem to see him making his first round among the journals which
had shown themselves favorable to cause of the freedom of commerce. He
had not yet had time to call upon a Parisian tailor or hatter, and in
truth it had not occurred to him to do so. With his long hair and his
small hat, his large surtout and his family umbrella, he would naturally
be taken for a reputable countryman looking at the sights of the
metropolis. But his countryman's-face was at the same time roguish and
spirituelle, his large black eyes were bright and luminous, and his
forehead, of medium breadth but squarely formed, bore the imprint of
thought. At a glance one could see that he was a peasant of the country
of Montaigne, and in listening to him one realized that here was a
disciple of Franklin."

He plunged at once into work, and his activity was prodigious. He
contributed to numerous journals, maintained an active correspondence
with Cobden, kept up communications with organizations throughout the
country, and was always ready to meet his opponents in debate.

The Republic of 1848 was accepted in good faith; but he was strongly
impressed by the extravagant schemes which accompanied the Republican
movement, as well as by the thirst for peace which animated multitudes.
The Provisional government had made solemn promises: it must pile on
taxes to enable it to keep its promises. "Poor people! How they have
deceived themselves! It would have been so easy and so just to have
eased matters by reducing the taxes; instead, this is to be done by
profusion of expenditure, and people do not see that all this machinery
amounts to taking away ten in order to return eight, _without counting
the fact that liberty will succumb under the operation_." He tried to
stem the tide of extravagance; he published a journal, the République
Française, for the express purpose of promulgating his views; he entered
the Constituent and then the Legislative Assembly, as a member for the
department of Landes, and spoke eloquently from the tribune. He was a
constitutional "Mugwump": he cared for neither parties nor men, but for
ideas. He was equally opposed to the domination of arbitrary power and
to the tyranny of Socialism. He voted with the right against the left on
extravagant Utopian schemes, and with the left against the right when he
felt that the legitimate complaints of the poor and suffering
were unheeded.

In the midst of his activity he was overcome by a trouble in the throat,
which induced his physicians to send him to Italy. The effort for relief
was a vain one, however, and he died in Rome December 24th, 1850. His
complete works, mostly composed of occasional essays, were printed in
1855. Besides those mentioned, the most important are 'Propriété et Loi'
(Property and Law), 'Justice et Fraternité,' 'Protectionisme et
Communisme,' and 'Harmonies économiques.' The 'Harmonies économiques'
and 'Sophismes économiques' have been translated and published
in English.



_To Messieurs the Members of the Chamber of Deputies:

Gentlemen_:--You are on the right road. You reject abstract theories,
and have little consideration for cheapness and plenty. Your chief care
is the interest of the producer. You desire to emancipate him from
external competition, and reserve the _national market_ for _national

We are about to offer you an admirable opportunity of applying
your--what shall we call it? your theory? no: nothing is more deceptive
than theory. Your doctrine? your system? your principle? but you dislike
doctrines, you abhor systems, and as for principles, you deny that there
are any in social economy. We shall say, then, your practice, your
practice without theory and without principle.

We are suffering from the intolerable competition of a foreign rival,
placed, it would seem, in a condition so far superior to ours for the
production of light, that he absolutely _inundates_ our _national
market_ with it at a price fabulously reduced. The moment he shows
himself, our trade leaves us--all consumers apply to him; and a branch
of native industry, having countless ramifications, is all at once
rendered completely stagnant. This rival, who is no other than the Sun,
wages war to the knife against us, and we suspect that he has been
raised up by _perfidious Albion_ (good policy as times go); inasmuch as
he displays towards that haughty island a circumspection with which he
dispenses in our case.

What we pray for is, that it may please you to pass a law ordering the
shutting up of all windows, skylights, dormer windows, outside and
inside shutters, curtains, blinds, bull's-eyes; in a word, of all
openings, holes, chinks, clefts, and fissures, by or through which the
light of the sun has been in use to enter houses, to the prejudice of
the meritorious manufactures with which we flatter ourselves we have
accommodated our country,--a country which, in gratitude, ought not to
abandon us now to a strife so unequal.

We trust, gentlemen, that you will not regard this our request as a
satire, or refuse it without at least previously hearing the reasons
which we have to urge in its support.

And first, if you shut up as much as possible all access to natural
light, and create a demand for artificial light, which of our French
manufactures will not be encouraged by it?

If more tallow is consumed, then there must be more oxen and sheep; and
consequently, we shall behold the multiplication of artificial meadows,
meat, wool, hides, and above all manure, which is the basis and
foundation of all agricultural wealth.

If more oil is consumed, then we shall have an extended cultivation of
the poppy, of the olive, and of rape. These rich and exhausting plants
will come at the right time to enable us to avail ourselves of the
increased fertility which the rearing of additional cattle will impart
to our lands.

Our heaths will be covered with resinous trees. Numerous swarms of bees
will, on the mountains, gather perfumed treasures, now wasting their
fragrance on the desert air, like the flowers from which they emanate.
No branch of agriculture but will then exhibit a cheering development.

The same remark applies to navigation. Thousands of vessels will proceed
to the whale fishery; and in a short time we shall possess a navy
capable of maintaining the honor of France, and gratifying the patriotic
aspirations of your petitioners, the under-signed candle-makers
and others.

But what shall we say of the manufacture of _articles de Paris?_
Henceforth you will behold gildings, bronzes, crystals, in candlesticks,
in lamps, in lustres, in candelabra, shining forth in spacious
warerooms, compared with which those of the present day can be regarded
but as mere shops.

No poor _résinier_ from his heights on the sea-coast, no coal-miner from
the depth of his sable gallery, but will rejoice in higher wages and
increased prosperity.

Only have the goodness to reflect, gentlemen, and you will be convinced
that there is perhaps no Frenchman, from the wealthy coal-master to the
humblest vender of lucifer matches, whose lot will not be ameliorated by
the success of this our petition.

We foresee your objections, gentlemen, but we know that you can oppose
to us none but such as you have picked up from the effete works of the
partisans of Free Trade. We defy you to utter a single word against us
which will not instantly rebound against yourselves and your
entire policy.

You will tell us that if we gain by the protection which we seek, the
country will lose by it, because the consumer must bear the loss.

We answer:--

You have ceased to have any right to invoke the interest of the
consumer; for whenever his interest is found opposed to that of the
producer, you sacrifice the former. You have done so for the purpose of
_encouraging labor and increasing employment_. For the same reason you
should do so again.

You have yourself refuted this objection. When you are told that the
consumer is interested in the free importation of iron, coal, corn,
textile fabrics--yes, you reply, but the producer is interested in their
exclusion. Well, be it so;--if consumers are interested in the free
admission of natural light, the producers of artificial light are
equally interested in its prohibition.

But again, you may say that the producer and consumer are identical. If
the manufacturer gain by protection, he will make the agriculturist also
a gainer; and if agriculture prosper, it will open a vent to
manufactures. Very well: if you confer upon us the monopoly of
furnishing light during the day,--first of all, we shall purchase
quantities of tallow, coals, oils, resinous substances, wax,
alcohol--besides silver, iron, bronze, crystal--to carry on our
manufactures; and then we, and those who furnish us with such
commodities, having become rich, will consume a great deal, and impart
prosperity to all the other branches of our national industry.

If you urge that the light of the sun is a gratuitous gift of nature,
and that to reject such gifts is to reject wealth itself under pretense
of encouraging the means of acquiring it, we would caution you against
giving a death-blow to your own policy. Remember that hitherto you have
always repelled foreign products, _because_ they approximate more nearly
than home products to the character of gratuitous gifts. To comply with
the exactions of other monopolists, you have only _half a motive_; and
to repulse us simply because we stand on a stronger vantage-ground than
others would be to adopt the equation, +X+=--; in other words, it would
be to heap _absurdity_ upon _absurdity_.

Nature and human labor co-operate in various proportions (depending on
countries and climates) in the production of commodities. The part
which nature executes is always gratuitous; it is the part executed by
human labor which constitutes value, and is paid for.

If a Lisbon orange sells for half the price of a Paris orange, it is
because natural and consequently gratuitous heat does for the one what
artificial and therefore expensive heat must do for the other.

When an orange comes to us from Portugal, we may conclude that it is
furnished in part gratuitously, in part for an onerous consideration; in
other words, it comes to us at _half-price_ as compared with those
of Paris.

Now, it is precisely the _gratuitous half_ (pardon the word) which we
contend should be excluded. You say, How can natural labor sustain
competition with foreign labor, when the former has all the work to do,
and the latter only does one-half, the sun supplying the remainder? But
if this _half_, being _gratuitous_, determines you to exclude
competition, how should the _whole_, being _gratuitous_, induce you to
admit competition? If you were consistent, you would, while excluding as
hurtful to native industry what is half gratuitous, exclude _a fortiori_
and with double zeal that which is altogether gratuitous.

Once more, when products such as coal, iron, corn, or textile fabrics
are sent us from abroad, and we can acquire them with less labor than if
we made them ourselves, the difference is a free gift conferred upon us.
The gift is more or less considerable in proportion as the difference is
more or less great. It amounts to a quarter, a half, or three-quarters
of the value of the product, when the foreigner only asks us for
three-fourths, a half, or a quarter of the price we should otherwise
pay. It is as perfect and complete as it can be, when the donor (like
the sun in furnishing us with light) asks us for nothing. The question,
and we ask it formally, is this, Do you desire for our country the
benefit of gratuitous consumption, or the pretended advantages of
onerous production? Make your choice, but be logical; for as long as you
exclude, as you do, coal, iron, corn, foreign fabrics, _in proportion_
as their price approximates to _zero_, what inconsistency would it be to
admit the light of the sun, the price of which is already at _zero_
during the entire day!


There were, no matter where, two towns called Fooltown and Babytown.
They completed at great cost a highway from the one town to the other.
When this was done, Fooltown said to herself, "See how Babytown
inundates us with her products; we must see to it." In consequence, they
created and paid a body of _obstructives_, so called because their
business was to place _obstacles_ in the way of traffic coming from
Babytown. Soon afterwards Babytown did the same.

At the end of some centuries, knowledge having in the interim made great
progress, the common sense of Babytown enabled her to see that such
reciprocal obstacles could only be reciprocally hurtful. She therefore
sent a diplomatist to Fooltown, who, laying aside official phraseology,
spoke to this effect:

"We have made a highway, and now we throw obstacles in the way of using
it. This is absurd. It would have been better to have left things as
they were. We should not, in that case, have had to pay for making the
road in the first place, nor afterwards have incurred the expense of
maintaining _obstructives_. In the name of Babytown, I come to propose
to you, not to give up opposing each other all at once,--that would be
to act upon a principle, and we despise principles as much as you
do,--but to lessen somewhat the present obstacles, taking care to
estimate equitably the respective _sacrifices_ we make for
this purpose."

So spoke the diplomatist. Fooltown asked for time to consider the
proposal, and proceeded to consult in succession her manufacturers and
agriculturists. At length, after the lapse of some years, she declared
that the negotiations were broken off. On receiving this intimation, the
inhabitants of Babytown held a meeting. An old gentleman (they always
suspected he had been secretly bought by Fooltown) rose and said:--"The
obstacles created by Fooltown injure our sales, which is a misfortune.
Those which we have ourselves created injure our purchases, which is
another misfortune. With reference to the first, we are powerless; but
the second rests with ourselves. Let us at least get quit of one, since
we cannot rid ourselves of both evils. Let us suppress our
_obstructives_ without requiring Fooltown to do the same. Some day, no
doubt, she will come to know her own interests better."

A second counselor, a practical, matter-of-fact man, guiltless of any
acquaintance with principles, and brought up in the ways of his
forefathers, replied--

"Don't listen to that Utopian dreamer, that theorist, that innovator,
that economist; that _Stultomaniac_. We shall all be undone if the
stoppages of the road are not equalized, weighed, and balanced between
Fooltown and Babytown. There would be greater difficulty in _going_ than
in _coming_, in _exporting_ than in _importing_. We should find
ourselves in the same condition of inferiority relatively to Fooltown,
as Havre, Nantes, Bordeaux, Lisbon, London, Hamburg, and New Orleans,
are with relation to the towns situated at the sources of the Seine, the
Loire, the Garonne, the Tagus, the Thames, the Elbe, and the
Mississippi; for it is more difficult for a ship to ascend than to
descend a river. [_A Voice_--'Towns at the _embouchures_ of rivers
prosper more than towns at their source.'] This is impossible. [_Same
Voice_--'But it is so.'] Well, if it be so, they have prospered
_contrary to rules_."

Reasoning so conclusive convinced the assembly, and the orator followed
up his victory by talking largely of national independence, national
honor, national dignity, national labor, inundation of products,
tributes, murderous competition. In short, he carried the vote in favor
of the maintenance of obstacles; and if you are at all curious on the
subject, I can point out to you countries, where you will see with your
own eyes Roadmakers and Obstructives working together on the most
friendly terms possible, under the orders of the same legislative
assembly, and at the expense of the same taxpayers, the one set
endeavoring to clear the road, and the other set doing their utmost to
render it impassable.


From 'Economic Sophisms'

Let us give up ... the puerility of applying to industrial competition
phrases applicable to war,--a way of speaking which is only specious
when applied to competition between two rival trades. The moment we come
to take into account the effect produced on the general prosperity, the
analogy disappears.

In a battle, every one who is killed diminishes by so much the strength
of the army. In industry, a workshop is shut up only when what it
produced is obtained by the public from another source and in _greater
abundance_. Figure a state of things where for one man killed on the
spot two should rise up full of life and vigor. Were such a state of
things possible, war would no longer merit its name.

This, however, is the distinctive character of what is so absurdly
called _industrial war_.

Let the Belgians and the English lower the price of their iron ever so
much; let them, if they will, send it to us for nothing: this might
extinguish some of our blast-furnaces; but immediately, and as a
_necessary_ consequence of this very cheapness, there would rise up a
thousand other branches of industry more profitable than the one which
had been superseded.

We arrive, then, at the conclusion that domination by labor is
impossible, and a contradiction in terms, seeing that all superiority
which manifests itself among a people means cheapness, and tends only to
impart force to all other nations. Let us banish, then, from political
economy all terms borrowed from the military vocabulary: _to fight with
equal weapons, to conquer, to crush, to stifle, to be beaten, invasion,
tribute_, etc. What do such phrases mean? Squeeze them, and you obtain
nothing. Yes, you do obtain something; for from such words proceed
absurd errors, and fatal and pestilent prejudices. Such phrases tend to
arrest the fusion of nations, are inimical to their peaceful, universal,
and indissoluble alliance, and retard the progress of the human race.




Charles Baudelaire was born in Paris in 1821; he died there in 1867.
Between these dates lies the evolution of one of the most striking
personalities in French literature, and the development of an influence
which affected not only the literature of the poet's own country, but
that of all Europe and America. The genuineness of both personality and
influence was one of the first critical issues raised after Baudelaire's
advent into literature; it is still one of the main issues in all
critical consideration of him. A question which involves by implication
the whole relation of poetry, and of art as such, to life, is obviously
one that furnishes more than literary issues, and engages other than
literary interests. And thus, by easy and natural corollaries,
Baudelaire has been made a subject of appeal not only to judgment, but
even to conscience. At first sight, therefore, he appears surrounded
either by an intricate moral maze, or by a no less troublesome confusion
of contradictory theories from opposing camps rather than schools of
criticism. But no author--no dead author--is more accessible, or more
communicable in his way; his poems, his theories, and a goodly portion
of his life, lie at the disposition of any reader who cares to know him.


The Baudelaire legend, as it is called by French critics, is one of the
blooms of that romantic period of French literature which is presided
over by the genius of Théophile Gautier. Indeed; it is against the
golden background of Gautier's imagination that the picture of the
youthful poet is best preserved for us, appearing in all the delicate
and illusive radiance of the youth and beauty of legendary saints on the
gilded canvases of mediaeval art. The radiant youth and beauty may be no
more truthful to nature than the gilded background, but the fact of the
impression sought to be conveyed is not on that account to be

Baudelaire, Gautier writes, was born in the Rue Hautefeuille, in one of
those old houses with a pepper-pot turret at the corner which have
disappeared from the city under the advancing improvement of straight
lines and clear openings. His father, a gentleman of learning, retained
all the eighteenth-century courtesy and distinction of manner, which,
like the pepper-pot turret, has also disappeared under the advance of
Republican enlightenment. An absent-minded, reserved child, Baudelaire
attracted no especial attention during his school days. When they were
over, his predilection for a literary vocation became known. From this
his parents sought to divert him by sending him to travel. He voyaged
through the Indian Ocean, visiting the great islands: Madagascar,
Ceylon, Mauritius, Bourbon. Had there been a chance for irresolution in
the mind of the youth, this voyage destroyed it forever. His
imagination, essentially exotic, succumbed to the passionate charm of a
new, strange, and splendidly glowing form of nature; the stars, the
skies, the gigantic vegetation, the color, the perfumes, the
dark-skinned figures in white draperies, formed for him at that time a
heaven, for which his senses unceasingly yearned afterwards amid the
charms and enchantments of civilization, in the world's capital of
pleasure and luxury. Returning to Paris, of age and master of his
fortune, he established himself in his independence, openly adopting his
chosen career.

He and Théophile Gautier met for the first time in 1849, in the Hotel
Pimodau, where were held the meetings of the Hashish Club. Here in the
great Louis XIV. saloon, with its wood-work relieved with dull gold; its
corbeled ceiling, painted after the manner of Lesueur and Poussin, with
satyrs pursuing nymphs through reeds and foliage; its great red and
white spotted marble mantel, with gilded elephant harnessed like the
elephant of Porus in Lebrun's picture, bearing an enameled clock with
blue ciphers; its antique chairs and sofas, covered with faded tapestry
representing hunting scenes, holding the reclining figures of the
members of the club; women celebrated in the world of beauty, men in the
world of letters, meeting not only for the enjoyment of the artificial
ecstasies of the drug, but to talk of art, literature, and love, as in
the days of the Decameron--here Baudelaire made what might be called his
historic impression upon literature. He was at that time twenty-eight
years of age; and even in that assemblage, in those surroundings, his
personality was striking. His black hair, worn close to the head, grew
in regular scallops over a forehead of dazzling whiteness; his eyes, the
color of Spanish tobacco, were spiritual, deep, penetrating, perhaps too
insistently so, in expression; the mobile sinuous mouth had the ironical
voluptuous lips that Leonardo da Vinci loved to paint; the nose was
delicate and sensitive, with quivering nostrils; a deep dimple
accentuated the chin; the bluish-black tint of the shaven skin, softened
with rice-powder, contrasted with the clear rose and white of the upper
part of his cheeks. Always dressed with meticulous neatness and
simplicity, following English rather than French taste; in manner
punctiliously observant of the strictest conventionality, scrupulously,
even excessively polite; in talk measuring his phrases, using only the
most select terms, and pronouncing certain words as if the sound itself
possessed a certain subtle, mystical value,--throwing his voice into
capitals and italics;--in contrast with the dress and manners about him,
he, according to Gautier, looked like a dandy who had strayed
into Bohemia.

The contrast was no less violent between Baudelaire's form and the
substance of his conversation. With a simple, natural, and perfectly
impartial manner, as if he were conveying commonplace information about
every-day life, he would advance some axiom monstrously Satanic, or
sustain, with the utmost grace and coolness, some mathematical
extravagance in the way of a theory. And no one could so inflexibly push
a paradox to the uttermost limits, regardless of consequences to
received notions of morality or religion; always employing the most
rigorous methods of logic and reason. His wit was found to lie neither
in words nor thoughts, but in the peculiar standpoint from which he
regarded things, a standpoint which altered their outlines,--like those
of objects looked down upon from a bird's flight, or looked up to on a
ceiling. In this way, to continue the exposition of Gautier, Baudelaire
saw relations inappreciable to others, whose logical bizarrerie was

His first productions were critical articles for the Parisian journals;
articles that at the time passed unperceived, but which to-day furnish
perhaps the best evidences of that keen artistic insight and foresight
of the poet, which was at once his greatest good and evil genius. In
1856 appeared his translation of the works of Edgar Allan Poe; a
translation which may be said to have naturalized Poe in French
literature, where he has played a role curiously like that of Baudelaire
in Poe's native literature. The natural predisposition of Baudelaire,
which fitted him to be the French interpreter of Poe, rendered him also
peculiarly sensitive to Poe's mysteriously subtle yet rankly vigorous
charms; and he showed himself as sensitively responsive to these as he
had been to the exotic charms of the East. The influence upon his
intellectual development was decisive and final. His indebtedness to
Poe, or it might better be said, his identification with Poe, is visible
not only in his paradoxical manias, but in his poetry, and in his
theories of art and poetry set forth in his various essays and fugitive
prose expressions, and notably in his introduction to his translations
of the American author's works.

In 1857 appeared the "Fleurs du Mal" (Flowers of Evil), the volume of
poems upon which Baudelaire's fame as a poet is founded. It was the
result of his thirty years' devotion to the study of his art and
meditation upon it. Six of the poems were suppressed by the censor of
the Second Empire. This action called out, in form of protest, that fine
appreciation and defense of Baudelaire's genius and best defense of his
methods, by four of the foremost critics and keenest artists in poetry
of Paris, which form, with the letters from Sainte-Beuve, de Custine,
and Deschamps, a precious appendix to the third edition of the poems.

The name 'Flowers of Evil' is a sufficient indication of the intentions
and aim of the author. Their companions in the volume are: 'Spleen and
Ideal,' 'Parisian Pictures,' 'Wine,' 'Revolt,' 'Death.' The simplest
description of them is that they are indescribable. They must not only
be read, they must be studied repeatedly to be understood as they
deserve. The paradox of their most exquisite art, and their at times
most revolting revelations of the degradations and perversities of
humanity, can be accepted with full appreciation of the author's meaning
only by granting the same paradox to his genuine nature; by crediting
him with being not only an ardent idealist of art for art's sake, but an
idealist of humanity for humanity's sake; one to whom humanity, even in
its lowest degradations and vilest perversions, is sublimely
sacred;--one to whom life offered but one tragedy, that of human souls
flying like Cain from a guilt-stricken paradise, but pursued by the
remorse of innocence, and scourged by the consciousness of their own

But the poet's own words are the best explanation of his aim and

     "Poetry, though one delve ever so little into his own self,
     interrogate his own soul, recall his memories of enthusiasms,
     has no other end than itself; it cannot have any other aim,
     and no poem will be so great, so noble, so truly worthy of
     the name of poem, as that which shall have been written
     solely for the pleasure of writing a poem. I do not wish to
     say that poetry should not ennoble manners--that its final
     result should not be to raise man above vulgar interests.
     That would be an evident absurdity. I say that if the poet
     has pursued a moral end, he has diminished his poetic force,
     and it would not be imprudent to wager that his work would be
     bad. Poetry cannot, under penalty of death or forfeiture,
     assimilate itself to science or morality. It has not Truth
     for object, it has only itself. Truth's modes of
     demonstration are different and elsewhere. Truth has nothing
     to do with ballads; all that constitutes the charm, the
     irresistible grace of a ballad, would strip Truth of its
     authority and power. Cold, calm, impassive, the demonstrative
     temperament rejects the diamonds and flowers of the muse; it
     is, therefore, the absolute inverse of the poetic
     temperament. Pure Intellect aims at Truth, Taste shows us
     Beauty, and the Moral Sense teaches us Duty. It is true that
     the middle term has intimate connection with the two
     extremes, and only separates itself from Moral Sense by a
     difference so slight that Aristotle did not hesitate to
     class some of its delicate operations amongst the virtues.
     And accordingly what, above all, exasperates the man of taste
     is the spectacle of vice, is its deformity, its
     disproportions. Vice threatens the just and true, and revolts
     intellect and conscience; but as an outrage upon harmony, as
     dissonance, it would particularly wound certain poetic minds,
     and I do not think it would be scandal to consider all
     infractions of moral beauty as a species of sin against
     rhythm and universal prosody.

     "It is this admirable, this immortal instinct of the
     Beautiful which makes us consider the earth and its spectacle
     as a sketch, as a correspondent of Heaven. The insatiable
     thirst for all that is beyond that which life veils is the
     most living proof of our immortality. It is at once by poetry
     and across it, across and through music, that the soul gets a
     glimpse of the splendors that lie beyond the tomb. And when
     an exquisite poem causes tears to rise in the eye, these
     tears are not the proof of excessive enjoyment, but rather
     the testimony of a moved melancholy, of a postulation of the
     nerves, of a nature exiled in the imperfect, which wishes to
     take immediate possession, even on earth, of a
     revealed paradise.

     "Thus the principle of poetry is strictly and simply human
     aspiration toward superior beauty; and the manifestation of
     this principle is enthusiasm and uplifting of the
     soul,--enthusiasm entirely independent of passion,--which is
     the intoxication of heart, and of truth which is the food of
     reason. For passion is a natural thing, even too natural not
     to introduce a wounding, discordant tone into the domain of
     pure beauty; too familiar, too violent, not to shock the pure
     Desires, the gracious Melancholies, and the noble Despairs
     which inhabit the supernatural regions of poetry."

Baudelaire saw himself as the poet of a decadent epoch, an epoch in
which art had arrived at the over-ripened maturity of an aging
civilization; a glowing, savorous, fragrant over-ripeness, that is
already softening into decomposition. And to be the fitting poet of such
an epoch, he modeled his style on that of the poets of the Latin
decadence; for, as he expressed it for himself and for the modern school
of "decadents" in French poetry founded upon his name:--

     "Does it not seem to the reader, as to me, that the language
     of the last Latin decadence--that supreme sigh of a robust
     person already transformed and prepared for spiritual
     life--is singularly fitted to express passion as it is
     understood and felt by the modern world? Mysticism is the
     other end of the magnet of which Catullus and his band,
     brutal and purely epidermic poets, knew only the sensual
     pole. In this wonderful language, solecisms and barbarisms
     seem to express the forced carelessness of a passion which
     forgets itself, and mocks at rules. The words, used in a
     novel sense, reveal the charming awkwardness of a barbarian
     from the North, kneeling before Roman Beauty."

Nature, the nature of Wordsworth and Tennyson, did not exist for
Baudelaire; inspiration he denied; simplicity he scouted as an
anachronism in a decadent period of perfected art, whose last word in
poetry should be the apotheosis of the Artificial. "A little
charlatanism is permitted even to genius," he wrote: "it is like fard on
the cheeks of a naturally beautiful woman; an appetizer for the mind."
Again he expresses himself:

     "It seems to me, two women are presented to me, one a rustic
     matron, repulsive in health and virtue, without manners,
     without expression; in short, owing nothing except to simple
     nature;--the other, one of those beauties that dominate and
     oppress memory, uniting to her original and unfathomable
     charms all the eloquence of dress; who is mistress of her
     part, conscious of and queen of herself, speaking like an
     instrument well tuned; with looks freighted with thought, yet
     letting flow only what she would. My choice would not be
     doubtful; and yet there are pedagogic sphinxes who would
     reproach me as recreant to classical honor."

In music it was the same choice. He saw the consummate art and
artificiality of Wagner, and preferred it to all other music, at a time
when the German master was ignored and despised by a classicized musical
world. In perfumes it was not the simple fragrance of the rose or violet
that he loved, but musk and amber; and he said, "my soul hovers over
perfumes as the souls of other men hover over music."

Besides his essays and sketches, Baudelaire published in prose a
novelette; 'Fanfarlo,' 'Artificial Paradises,' opium and hashish,
imitations of De Quincey's 'Confessions of an Opium Eater'; and 'Little
Prose Poems,' also inspired by a book, the 'Gaspard de la Nuit' of
Aloysius Bertrand, and which Baudelaire thus describes:--

     "The idea came to me to attempt something analogous, and to
     apply to the description of modern life, or rather a modern
     and more abstract life, the methods he had applied to the
     painting of ancient life, so strangely picturesque. Which one
     of us in his ambitious days has not dreamed of a miracle of
     poetic prose, musical, without rhythm and without rhyme,
     supple enough and rugged enough to adapt itself to the
     lyrical movements of the soul, to the undulations of reverie,
     and to the assaults of conscience?"

Failing health induced Baudelaire to quit Paris and establish himself in
Brussels; but he received no benefit from the change of climate, and the
first symptoms of his terrible malady manifested themselves--a slowness
of speech, and hesitation over words. As a slow and sententious
enunciation was characteristic of him, the symptoms attracted no
attention, until he fell under a sudden and violent attack. He was
brought back to Paris and conveyed to a "maison de santé," where he
died, after lingering several months in a paralyzed condition,
motionless, speechless; nothing alive in him but thought, seeking to
express itself through his eyes.

The nature of Baudelaire's malady and death was, by the public at large,
accepted as confirmation of the suspicion that he was in the habit of
seeking his inspiration in the excitation of hashish and opium. His
friends, however, recall the fact of his incessant work, and intense
striving after his ideal in art; his fatigue of body and mind, and his
increasing weariness of spirit under the accumulating worries and griefs
of a life for which his very genius unfitted him. He was also known to
be sober in his tastes, as all great workers are. That he had lent
himself more than once to the physiological and psychological experiment
of hashish was admitted; but he was a rare visitor at the séances in the
saloon of the Hotel Pimodau, and came as a simple observer of others.
His masterly description of the hallucinations produced by hashish is
accompanied by analytical and moral commentaries which unmistakably
express repugnance to and condemnation of the drug:--

     "Admitting for the moment," he writes, "the hypothesis of a
     constitution tempered enough and strong enough to resist the
     evil effects of the perfidious drug, another, a fatal and
     terrible danger, must be thought of,--that of habit. He who
     has recourse to a poison to enable him to think, will soon
     not be able to think without the poison. Imagine the horrible
     fate of a man whose paralyzed imagination is unable to work
     without the aid of hashish or opium.... But man is not so
     deprived of honest means of gaining heaven, that he is
     obliged to invoke the aid of pharmacy or witchcraft; he need
     not sell his soul in order to pay for the intoxicating
     caresses and the love of houris. What is a paradise that one
     purchases at the expense of one's own soul?... Unfortunate
     wretches who have neither fasted nor prayed, and who have
     refused the redemption of labor, ask from black magic the
     means to elevate themselves at a single stroke to a
     supernatural existence. Magic dupes them, and lights for them
     a false happiness and a false light; while we, poets and
     philosophers, who have regenerated our souls by incessant
     work and contemplation, by the assiduous exercise of the will
     and permanent nobility of intention, we have created for our
     use a garden of true beauty. Confiding in the words that
     'faith will remove mountains,' we have accomplished the one
     miracle for which God has given us license."

The perfect art-form of Baudelaire's poems makes translation of them
indeed a literal impossibility. The 'Little Old Women,' 'The Voyage,'
'The Voyage to Cytherea,' 'A Red-haired Beggar-girl,' 'The Seven Old
Men,' and sonnet after sonnet in 'Spleen and Ideal,' seem to rise only
more and more ineffable from every attempt to filter them through
another language, or through another mind than that of their original,
and, it would seem, one possible creator.

[Illustration: Manuscript signature here: Grace King]


     Be pitiful, my sorrow--be thou still:
     For night thy thirst was--lo, it falleth down,
       Slowly darkening it veils the town,
     Bringing its peace to some, to some its ill.

       While the dull herd in its mad career
     Under the pitiless scourge, the lash of unclean desire,
     Goes culling remorse with fingers that never tire:--
       My sorrow,--thy hand! Come, sit thou by me here.

     Here, far from them all. From heaven's high balconies
     See! in their threadbare robes the dead years cast their eyes:
       And from the depths below regret's wan smiles appear.

     The sun, about to set, under the arch sinks low,
     Trailing its weltering pall far through the East aglow.
       Hark, dear one, hark! Sweet night's approach is near.

     Translated for the 'Library of the World's Best Literature.'


     This is death the consoler--death that bids live again;
         Here life its aim: here is our hope to be found,
       Making, like magic elixir, our poor weak heads to swim round,
     And giving us heart for the struggle till night makes end of the pain.

         Athwart the hurricane--athwart the snow and the sleet,
           Afar there twinkles over the black earth's waste,
     The light of the Scriptural inn where the weary and the faint may
       The sweets of welcome, the plenteous feast and the secure retreat.

           It is an angel, in whose soothing palms
           Are held the boon of sleep and dreamy balms,
             Who makes a bed for poor unclothèd men;
         It is the pride of the gods--the all-mysterious room,
         The pauper's purse--this fatherland of gloom,
           The open gate to heaven, and heavens beyond our ken.

     Translated for the 'Library of the World's Best Literature.'

[Illustration: _Copyright 1895, by the Photographische Gesellschaft_]
_MUSIC_. Photogravure from a Painting by J.M. Strudwick.


     Sweet music sweeps me like the sea
       Toward my pale star,
     Whether the clouds be there or all the air be free
       I sail afar.
     With front outspread and swelling breasts,
       On swifter sail
     I bound through the steep waves' foamy crests
       Under night's veil.
     Vibrate within me I feel all the passions that lash
       A bark in distress:
     By the blast I am lulled--by the tempest's wild crash
       On the salt wilderness.
     Then comes the dead calm--mirrored there
       I behold my despair.

     Translated for the 'Library of the World's Best Literature.'


     Bitter and sweet, when wintry evenings fall
       Across the quivering, smoking hearth, to hear
       Old memory's notes sway softly far and near,
     While ring the chimes across the gray fog's pall.

     Thrice blessed bell, that, to time insolent,
       Still calls afar its old and pious song,
       Responding faithfully in accents strong,
     Like some old sentinel before his tent.

     I too--my soul is shattered;--when at times
     It would beguile the wintry nights with rhymes
       Of old, its weak old voice at moments seems
     Like gasps some poor, forgotten soldier heaves
     Beside the blood-pools--'neath the human sheaves
       Gasping in anguish toward their fixèd dreams.

     Translated for the 'Library of the World's Best Literature.'

The two poems following are used by permission of the J.B. Lippincott


     My youth swept by in storm and cloudy gloom,
       Lit here and there by glimpses of the sun;
       But in my garden, now the storm is done,
     Few fruits are left to gather purple bloom.

     Here have I touched the autumn of the mind;
       And now the careful spade to labor comes,
     Smoothing the earth torn by the waves and wind,
       Full of great holes, like open mouths of tombs.

     And who knows if the flowers whereof I dream
     Shall find, beneath this soil washed like the stream,
     The force that bids them into beauty start?
       O grief! O grief! Time eats our life away,
     And the dark Enemy that gnaws our heart
       Grows with the ebbing life-blood of his prey!

     Translation of Miss Katharine Hillard.


     Beautiful am I as a dream in stone;
       And for my breast, where each falls bruised in turn,
       The poet with an endless love must yearn--
     Endless as Matter, silent and alone.

     A sphinx unguessed, enthroned in azure skies,
       White as the swan, my heart is cold as snow;
       No hated motion breaks my lines' pure flow,
     Nor tears nor laughter ever dim mine eyes.

     Poets, before the attitudes sublime
       I seem to steal from proudest monuments,
     In austere studies waste the ling'ring time;
       For I possess, to charm my lover's sight,
       Mirrors wherein all things are fair and bright--
       My eyes, my large eyes of eternal light!

     Translation of Miss Katharine Hillard.


     Ho, Death, Boatman Death, it is time we set sail;
       Up anchor, away from this region of blight:
     Though ocean and sky are like ink for the gale,
       Thou knowest our hearts are consoled with the light.

     Thy poison pour out--it will comfort us well;
       Yea--for the fire that burns in our brain
     We would plunge through the depth, be it heaven or hell,
       Through the fathomless gulf--the new vision to gain.

      Translated for the 'Library of the World's Best Literature.'


From 'L'Art Romantique'

The crowd is his domain, as the air is that of the bird and the water
that of the fish. His passion and his profession is "to wed the crowd."
For the perfect _flâneur_, for the passionate observer, it is an immense
pleasure to choose his home in number, change, motion, in the fleeting
and the infinite. To be away from one's home and yet to be always at
home; to be in the midst of the world, to see it, and yet to be hidden
from it; such are some of the least pleasures of these independent,
passionate, impartial minds which language can but awkwardly define. The
observer is a prince who everywhere enjoys his incognito. The amateur of
life makes the world his family, as the lover of the fair sex makes his
family of all beauties, discovered, discoverable, and indiscoverable, as
the lover of painting lives in an enchanted dreamland painted on canvas.
Thus the man who is in love with all life goes into a crowd as into an
immense electric battery. One might also compare him to a mirror as
immense as the crowd; to a conscious kaleidoscope which in each movement
represents the multiform life and the moving grace of all life's
elements. He is an ego insatiably hungry for the non-ego, every moment
rendering it and expressing it in images more vital than life itself,
which is always unstable and fugitive. "Any man," said Mr. G---- one
day, in one of those conversations which he lights up with intense look
and vivid gesture, "any man, not overcome by a sorrow so heavy that it
absorbs all the faculties, who is bored in the midst of a crowd is a
fool, a fool, and I despise him."

When Mr. G---- awakens and sees the blustering sun attacking the
window-panes, he says with remorse, with regret:--"What imperial order!
What a trumpet flourish of light! For hours already there has been light
everywhere, light lost by my sleep! How many lighted objects I might
have seen and have not seen!" And then he starts off, he watches in its
flow the river of vitality, so majestic and so brilliant. He admires the
eternal beauty and the astonishing harmony of life in great cities, a
harmony maintained in so providential a way in the tumult of human
liberty. He contemplates the landscapes of the great city, landscapes of
stone caressed by the mist or struck by the blows of the sun. He enjoys
the fine carriages, the fiery horses, the shining neatness of the
grooms, the dexterity of the valets, the walk of the gliding women, of
the beautiful children, happy that they are alive and dressed; in a
word, he enjoys the universal life. If a fashion, the cut of a piece of
clothing has been slightly changed, if bunches of ribbon or buckles have
been displaced by cockades, if the bonnet is larger and the back hair a
notch lower on the neck, if the waist is higher and the skirt fuller, be
sure that his eagle eye will see it at an enormous distance. A regiment
passes, going perhaps to the end of the earth, throwing into the air of
the boulevards the flourish of trumpets compelling and light as hope;
the eye of Mr. G---- has already seen, studied, analyzed the arms, the
gait, the physiognomy of the troop. Trappings, scintillations, music,
firm looks, heavy and serious mustaches, all enters pell-mell into him,
and in a few moments the resulting poem will be virtually composed. His
soul is alive with the soul of this regiment which is marching like a
single animal, the proud image of joy in obedience!

But evening has come. It is the strange, uncertain hour at which the
curtains of the sky are drawn and the cities are lighted. The gas throws
spots on the purple of the sunset. Honest or dishonest, sane or mad, men
say to themselves, "At last the day is at an end!" The wise and the
good-for-nothing think of pleasure, and each hurries to the place of his
choice to drink the cup of pleasure. Mr. G---- will be the last to leave
any place where the light may blaze, where poetry may throb, where life
may tingle, where music may vibrate, where a passion may strike an
attitude for his eye, where the man of nature and the man of convention
show themselves in a strange light, where the sun lights up the rapid
joys of fallen creatures! "A day well spent," says a kind of reader whom
we all know, "any one of us has genius enough to spend a day that way."
No! Few men are gifted with the power to see; still fewer have the power
of expression. Now, at the hour when others are asleep, this man is bent
over his table, darting on his paper the same look which a short time
ago he was casting on the world, battling with his pencil, his pen, his
brush, throwing the water out of his glass against the ceiling, wiping
his pen on his shirt,--driven, violent, active, as if he fears that his
images will escape him, a quarreler although alone,--a cudgeler of
himself. And the things he has seen are born again upon the paper,
natural and more than natural, beautiful and more than beautiful,
singular and endowed with an enthusiastic life like the soul of the
author. The phantasmagoria have been distilled from nature. All the
materials with which his memory is crowded become classified, orderly,
harmonious, and undergo that compulsory idealization which is the result
of a childlike perception, that is to say, of a perception that is keen,
magical by force of ingenuousness.


Thus he goes, he runs, he seeks. What does he seek? Certainly this man,
such as I have portrayed him, this solitary, gifted with an active
imagination, always traveling through the great desert of mankind, has a
higher end than that of a mere observer, an end more general than the
fugitive pleasure of the passing event. He seeks this thing which we may
call modernness, for no better word to express the idea presents itself.
His object is to detach from fashion whatever it may contain of the
poetry in history, to draw the eternal from the transitory. If we glance
at the exhibitions of modern pictures, we are struck with the general
tendency of the artists to dress all their subjects in ancient costumes.
That is obviously the sign of great laziness, for it is much easier to
declare that everything in the costume of a certain period is ugly than
to undertake the work of extracting from it the mysterious beauty which
may be contained in it, however slight or light it may be. The modern is
the transitory, the fleeting, the contingent, the half of art, whose
other half is the unchanging and the eternal. There was a modernness for
every ancient painter; most of the beautiful portraits which remain to
us from earlier times are dressed in the costumes of their times. They
are perfectly harmonious, because the costumes, the hair, even the
gesture, the look and the smile (every epoch has its look and its
smile), form a whole that is entirely lifelike. You have no right to
despise or neglect this transitory, fleeting element, of which the
changes are so frequent. In suppressing it you fall by necessity into
the void of an abstract and undefinable beauty, like that of the only
woman before the fall. If instead of the costume of the epoch, which is
a necessary element, you substitute another, you create an anomaly which
can have no excuse unless it is a burlesque called for by the vogue of
the moment. Thus, the goddesses, the nymphs, the sultans of the
eighteenth century are portraits morally accurate.



Under a great gray sky, in a great powdery plain without roads, without
grass, without a thistle, without a nettle, I met several men who were
walking with heads bowed down.

Each one bore upon his back an enormous Chimera, as heavy as a bag of
flour or coal, or the accoutrements of a Roman soldier.

But the monstrous beast was not an inert weight; on the contrary, it
enveloped and oppressed the man with its elastic and mighty muscles; it
fastened with its two vast claws to the breast of the bearer, and its
fabulous head surmounted the brow of the man, like one of those horrible
helmets by which the ancient warriors hoped to increase the terror of
the enemy.

I questioned one of these men, and I asked him whither they were bound
thus. He answered that he knew not, neither he nor the others; but that
evidently they were bound somewhere, since they were impelled by an
irresistible desire to go forward.

It is curious to note that not one of these travelers looked irritated
at the ferocious beast suspended from his neck and glued against his
back; it seemed as though he considered it as making part of himself.
None of these weary and serious faces bore witness to any despair; under
the sullen cupola of the sky, their feet plunging into the dust of a
soil as desolate as that sky, they went their way with the resigned
countenances of those who have condemned themselves to hope forever.

The procession passed by me and sank into the horizon's atmosphere,
where the rounded surface of the planet slips from the curiosity of
human sight, and for a few moments I obstinately persisted in wishing to
fathom the mystery; but soon an irresistible indifference fell upon me,
and I felt more heavily oppressed by it than even they were by their
crushing Chimeras.


At the feet of a colossal Venus, one of those artificial fools, those
voluntary buffoons whose duty was to make kings laugh when Remorse or
Ennui possessed their souls, muffled in a glaring ridiculous costume,
crowned with horns and bells, and crouched against the pedestal, raised
his eyes full of tears toward the immortal goddess. And his eyes
said:--"I am the least and the most solitary of human beings, deprived
of love and of friendship, and therefore far below the most imperfect of
the animals. Nevertheless, I am made, even I, to feel and comprehend the
immortal Beauty! Ah, goddess! have pity on my sorrow and my despair!"
But the implacable Venus gazed into the distance, at I know not what,
with her marble eyes.


He who looks from without through an open window never sees as many
things as he who looks at a closed window. There is no object more
profound, more mysterious, more rich, more shadowy, more dazzling than a
window lighted by a candle. What one can see in the sunlight is always
less interesting than what takes place behind a blind. In that dark or
luminous hole life lives, dreams, suffers.

Over the sea of roofs I see a woman, mature, already wrinkled, always
bent over something, never going out. From her clothes, her movement,
from almost nothing, I have reconstructed the history of this woman, or
rather her legend, and sometimes I tell it over to myself in tears.

If it had been a poor old man I could have reconstructed his story as

And I go to bed, proud of having lived and suffered in lives not my own.

Perhaps you may say, "Are you sure that this story is the true one?"
What difference does it make what is the reality outside of me, if it
has helped me to live, to know who I am and what I am?


One should be always drunk. That is all, the whole question. In order
not to feel the horrible burden of Time, which is breaking your
shoulders and bearing you to earth, you must be drunk without cease.

But drunk on what? On wine, poetry, or virtue, as you choose. But get

And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace, on the green grass of a
moat, in the dull solitude of your chamber, you awake with your
intoxication already lessened or gone, ask of the wind, the wave, the
star, the clock, of everything that flies, sobs, rolls, sings, talks,
what is the hour? and the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock
will answer, "It is the hour to get drunk!" Not to be the martyred slave
of Time, get drunk; get drunk unceasingly. Wine, poetry, or virtue, as
you choose.


I swear to myself henceforth to adopt the following rules as the
everlasting rules of my life.... To pray every morning to God, the
Fountain of all strength and of all justice; to my father, to Mariette,
and to Poe. To pray to them to give me necessary strength to accomplish
all my tasks, and to grant my mother a life long enough to enjoy my
reformation. To work all day, or at least as long as my strength lasts.
To trust to God--that is to say, to Justice itself--for the success of
my projects. To pray again every evening to God to ask Him for life and
strength, for my mother and myself. To divide all my earnings into four
parts--one for my daily expenses, one for my creditors, one for my
friends, and one for my mother. To keep to principles of strict
sobriety, and to banish all and every stimulant.




Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, born in London, December, 1804;
died there April 19th, 1881. His paternal ancestors were of the house of
Lara, and held high rank among Hebrew-Spanish nobles till the tribunal
of Torquemada drove them from Spain to Venice. There, proud of their
race and origin, they styled themselves, "Sons of Israel," and became
merchant princes. But the city's commerce failing, the grandfather of
Benjamin Disraeli removed to London with a diminished but comfortable
fortune. His son, Isaac Disraeli, was a well-known literary man, and the
author of 'The Curiosities of Literature.' On account of the political
and social ostracism of the Jews in England, he had all his family
baptized into the Church of England; but with Benjamin Disraeli
especially, Christianity was never more than Judaism developed. His
belief and his affections were in his own race.

[Illustration: Lord Beaconsfield]

Benjamin, like most Jewish youths, was educated in private schools, and
at seventeen entered a solicitor's office. At twenty-two he published
'Vivian Grey' (London, 1826), which readable and amusing take-off of
London society gave him great and instantaneous notoriety. Its minute
descriptions of the great world, its caricatures of well-known social
and political personages, its magnificent diction,--too magnificent to
be taken quite seriously,--excited inquiry; and the great world was
amazed to discover that the impertinent observer was not one of
themselves, but a boy in a lawyer's office. To add to the audacity, he
had conceived himself the hero of these diverting situations, and by his
cleverness had outwitted age, beauty, rank, diplomacy itself.

Statesmen, poets, fine ladies, were all genuinely amused; and the author
bade fair to become a lion, when he fell ill, and was compelled to leave
England for a year or more, which he spent in travel on the Continent
and in Egypt, Nubia, and Palestine. His visit to the birthplace of his
race made an impression on him that lasted through his life and
literature. It is embodied in his 'Letters to His Sister' (London,
1843), and the autobiographical novel 'Contarini Fleming' (1833), in
which he turned his adventures into fervid English, at a guinea a
volume. But although the spirit of poesy, in the form of a Childe
Harold, stalks rampant through the romance, there is both feeling and
fidelity to nature whenever he describes the Orient and its people. Then
the bizarre, brilliant _poseur_ forgets his rôle, and reveals his
highest aspirations.

When Disraeli returned to London he became the fashion. Everybody, from
the prime minister to Count D'Orsay, had read his clever novels. The
poets praised them, Lady Blessington invited him to dine, Sir Robert
Peel was "most gracious."

But literary success could never satisfy Disraeli's ambition: a seat in
Parliament was at the end of his rainbow. He professed himself a
radical, but he was a radical in his own sense of the term; and like his
own Sidonia, half foreigner, half looker-on, he felt himself endowed
with an insight only possible to, an outsider, an observer without
inherited prepossessions.

Several contemporary sketches of Disraeli at this time have been
preserved. His dress was purposed affectation; it led the beholder to
look for folly only: and when the brilliant flash came, it was the more
startling as unexpected from such a figure. Lady Dufferin told Mr.
Motley that when she met Disraeli at dinner, he wore a black-velvet coat
lined with satin, purple trousers with a gold band running down the
outside seam, a scarlet waistcoat, long lace ruffles falling down to the
tips of his fingers, white gloves with several rings outside, and long
black ringlets rippling down his shoulders. She told him he had made a
fool of himself by appearing in such a dress, but she did not guess why
it had been adopted. Another contemporary says of him, "When duly
excited, his command of language was wonderful, his power of sarcasm

He was busy making speeches and writing political squibs for the next
two years; for Parliament was before his eyes. "He knew," says Froude,
"he had a devil of a tongue, and was unincumbered by the foolish form of
vanity called modesty." 'Ixion in Heaven,' 'The Infernal Marriage,' and
'Popanilla' were attempts to rival both Lucian and Swift on their own
ground. It is doubtful, however, whether he would have risked writing
'Henrietta Temple' (1837) and 'Venetia' (1837), two ardent love stories,
had he not been in debt; for notoriety as a novelist is not always a
recommendation to a constituency.

In 'Henrietta' he found an opportunity to write the biography of a lover
oppressed by duns. It is a most entertaining novel even to a reader who
does not read for a new light on the great statesman, and is remarkable
as the beginning of what is now known as the "natural" manner; a revolt,
his admirers tell us, from the stilted fashion of making love that then
prevailed in novels.

'Venetia' is founded on the characters of Byron and Shelley, and is
amusing reading. The high-flown language incrusted with the gems of
rhetoric excites our risibilities, but it is not safe to laugh at
Disraeli; in his most diverting aspects he has a deep sense of humor,
and he who would mock at him is apt to get a whip across the face at an
unguarded moment. Mr. Disraeli laughs in his sleeve at many things, but
first of all at the reader.

He failed in his canvass for his seat at High Wycombe, but he turned his
failure to good account, and established a reputation for pluck and
influence. "A mighty independent personage," observed Charles Greville,
and his famous quarrel with O'Connell did him so little harm that in
1837 he was returned for Maidstone. His first speech was a failure. The
word had gone out that he was to be put down. At last, finding it
useless to persist, he said he was not surprised at the reception he had
experienced. He had begun several things many times and had succeeded at
last. Then pausing, and looking indignantly across the house, he
exclaimed in a loud and remarkable tone, "I will sit down now, but the
time will come when you will hear me."

He married the widow of his patron, Wyndham Lewis, in 1838. This put him
in possession of a fortune, and gave him the power to continue his
political career. His radicalism was a thing of the past. He had drifted
from Conservatism, with Peel for a leader, to aristocratic socialism;
and in 1844, 1845, and 1847 appeared the Trilogy, as he styled the
novels 'Coningsby,' 'Tancred,' and 'Sibyl.' Of the three, 'Coningsby'
will prove the most entertaining to the modern reader. The hero is a
gentleman, and in this respect is an improvement on Vivian Grey, for his
audacity is tempered by good breeding. The plot is slight, but the
scenes are entertaining. The famous Sidonia, the Jew financier, is a
favorite with the author, and betrays his affection and respect for
race. Lord Monmouth, the wild peer, is a rival of the "Marquis of
Steyne" and worthy of a place in 'Vanity Fair'; the political intriguers
are photographed from life, the pictures of fashionable London tickle
both the vanity and the fancy of the reader.

'Sibyl' is too clearly a novel with a motive to give so much pleasure.
It is a study of the contrasts between the lives of the very rich and
the hopelessly poor, and an attempt to show the superior condition of
the latter when the Catholic Church was all-powerful in England and the
king an absolute monarch.

'Tancred' was composed when Disraeli was under "the illusion of a
possibly regenerated aristocracy." He sends Tancred, the hero, the heir
of a ducal house, to Palestine to find the inspiration to a true
religious belief, and details his adventures with a power of sarcasm
that is seldom equaled. In certain scenes in this novel the author rises
from a mere mocker to a genuine satirist. Tancred's interview with the
bishop, in which he takes that dignitary's religious tenets seriously;
that with Lady Constance, when she explains the "Mystery of Chaos" and
shows how "the stars are formed out of the cream of the Milky Way, a
sort of celestial cheese churned into light" the vision of the angels on
Mt. Sinai, and the celestial Sidonia who talks about the "Sublime and
Solacing Doctrine of Theocratic Equality,"--all these are passages where
we wonder whether the author sneered or blushed when he wrote. Certainly
what has since been known as the Disraelian irony stings as we turn
each page.

Meanwhile Disraeli had become a power in Parliament, and the bitter
opponent of Peel, under whom Catholic emancipation, parliamentary
reform, and the abrogation of the commercial system, had been carried
without conditions and almost without mitigations.

Disraeli's assaults on his leader delighted the Liberals; the country
members felt indignant satisfaction at the deserved chastisement of
their betrayer. With malicious skill, Disraeli touched one after another
the weak points in a character that was superficially vulnerable.
Finally the point before the House became Peel's general conduct. He was
beaten by an overwhelming majority, and to the hand that dethroned him
descended the task of building up the ruins of the Conservative party.
Disraeli's best friends felt this a welcome necessity. There is no
example of a rise so sudden under such conditions. His politics were as
much distrusted as his serious literary passages. But Disraeli was the
single person equal to the task. For the next twenty-five years he led
the Conservative opposition in the House of Commons, varied by short
intervals of power. He was three times Chancellor of the Exchequer,
1853, 1858, and 1859; and on Lord Derby's retirement in 1868 he became
Prime Minister.

In 1870, having laid aside novel-writing for twenty years, he published
'Lothair.' It is a politico-religious romance aimed at the Jesuits, the
Fenians, and the Communists. It had an instantaneous success, for its
author was the most conspicuous figure in Europe, but its popularity is
also due to its own merits. We are all of us snobs after a fashion and
love high society. The glory of entering the splendid portals of the
real English dukes and duchesses seems to be ours when Disraeli throws
open the magic door and ushers the reader in. The decorations do not
seem tawdry, nor the tinsel other than real. We move with pleasurable
excitement with Lothair from palace to castle, and thence to
battle-field and scenes of dark intrigue. The hint of the love affair
with the Olympian Theodora appeals to our romance; the circumventing of
the wily Cardinal and his accomplices is agreeable to the Anglo-Saxon
Protestant mind; their discomfiture, and the crowning of virtue in the
shape of a rescued Lothair married to the English Duke's daughter with
the fixed Church of England views, is what the reader expects and prays
for, and is the last privilege of the real story-teller. That the author
has thrown aside his proclivities for Romanism as he showed them in
'Sibyl,' no more disturbs us than the eccentricities of his politics. We
do not quite give him our faith when he is most in earnest, talking
Semitic Arianism on Mt. Sinai.

A peerage was offered to him in 1868. He refused it for himself, but
asked Queen Victoria to grant the honor to his wife, who became the
Countess of Beaconsfield. But in 1876 he accepted the rank and title of
Earl of Beaconsfield. The author of 'Vivian Grey' received the title
that Burke had refused.

His last novel, 'Endymion,' was written for the £10,000 its publishers
paid for it. It adds nothing to his fame, but is an agreeable picture of
fashionable London life and the struggles of a youth to gain power
and place.

Lord Beaconsfield put more dukes, earls, lords and ladies, more gold and
jewels, more splendor and wealth into his books than any one else ever
tried to do. But beside his Oriental delight in the display of luxury,
it is interesting to see the effect of that Orientalism when he
describes the people from whom he sprang. His rare tenderness and
genuine respect are for those of the race "that is the aristocracy of
nature, the purest race, the chosen people." He sends all his heroes to
Palestine for inspiration; wisdom dwells in her gates. Another
aristocracy, that of talent, he recognizes and applauds. No dullard ever
succeeds, no genius goes unrewarded.

It is the part of the story-teller to make his story a probable one to
the listener, no matter how impossible both character and situation. Mr.
Disraeli was accredited with the faculty of persuading himself to
believe or disbelieve whatever he liked; and did he possess the same
power over his readers, these entertaining volumes would lift him to the
highest rank the novelist attains. As it is, he does not quite succeed
in creating an illusion, and we are conscious of two lobes in the
author's brain; in one sits a sentimentalist, in the other a
mocking devil.

[Illustration: Signature: Isa Carrington Cabell.]


From 'Vivian Grey'

"I think we'd better take a little coffee now; and then, if you like,
we'll just stroll into the REDOUTE" [continued Baron de Konigstein].

In a brilliantly illuminated saloon, adorned with Corinthian columns,
and casts from some of the most famous antique statues, assembled
between nine and ten o'clock in the evening many of the visitors at Ems.
On each side of the room was placed a long, narrow table, one of which
was covered with green baize, and unattended, while the variously
colored leather surface of the other was very closely surrounded by an
interested crowd. Behind this table stood two individuals of very
different appearance. The first was a short, thick man, whose only
business was dealing certain portions of playing cards with quick
succession, one after the other; and as the fate of the table was
decided by this process, did his companion, an extremely tall, thin man,
throw various pieces of money upon certain stakes, which were deposited
by the bystanders on different parts of the table; or, which was more
often the case, with a silver rake with a long ebony handle, sweep into
a large inclosure near him the scattered sums. This inclosure was called
the bank, and the mysterious ceremony in which these persons were
assisting was the celebrated game of _rouge-et-noir._ A deep silence was
strictly observed by those who immediately surrounded the table; no
voice was heard save that of the little, short, stout dealer, when,
without an expression of the least interest, he seemed mechanically to
announce the fate of the different colors. No other sound was heard save
the jingle of the dollars and napoleons, and the ominous rake of the
tall, thin banker. The countenances of those who were hazarding their
money were grave and gloomy their eyes were fixed, their brows
contracted, and their lips projected; and yet there was an evident
effort visible to show that they were both easy and unconcerned. Each
player held in his hand a small piece of pasteboard, on which, with a
steel pricker, he marked the run of the cards, in order, from his
observations, to regulate his own play: the _rouge-et-noir_ player
imagines that chance is not capricious. Those who were not interested in
the game promenaded in two lines within the tables; or, seated in
recesses between the pillars, formed small parties for conversation.

As Vivian and the baron entered, Lady Madeleine Trevor, leaning on the
arm of an elderly man, left the room; but as she was in earnest
conversation, she did not observe them.

"I suppose we must throw away a dollar or two, Grey!" said the baron, as
he walked up to the table.

"My dear De Konigstein--one pinch--one pinch!"

"Ah! marquis, what fortune to-night?"

"Bad--bad! I have lost my napoleon: I never risk further. There's that
cursed crusty old De Trumpetson, persisting, as usual, in his run of bad
luck, because he will never give in. Trust me, my dear De Konigstein,
it'll end in his ruin; and then, if there's a sale of his effects, I
shall perhaps get the snuff-box--a-a-h!"

"Come, Grey; shall I throw down a couple of napoleons on joint account?
I don't care much for play myself; but I suppose at Ems we must make up
our minds to lose a few louis. Here! now for the red--joint
account, mind!"


"There's the archduke! Let us go and make our bow; we needn't stick at
the table as if our whole soul were staked with our crown pieces--we'll
make our bow, and then return in time to know our fate." So saying, the
gentlemen walked up to the top of the room.

"Why, Grey!--surely no--it cannot be--and yet it is. De Boeffleurs, how
d'ye do?" said the baron, with a face beaming with joy, and a hearty
shake of the hand. "My dear, dear fellow, how the devil did you manage
to get off so soon? I thought you were not to be here for a fortnight:
we only arrived ourselves to-day."

"Yes--but I've made an arrangement which I did not anticipate; and so I
posted after you immediately. Whom do you think I have brought with me?"



"Ah! And the count?"

"Follows immediately. I expect him to-morrow or next day. Salvinski is
talking to the archduke; and see, he beckons to me. I suppose I am going
to be presented."

The chevalier moved forward, followed by the baron and Vivian.

"Any friend of Prince Salvinski I shall always have great pleasure in
having presented to me. Chevalier, I feel great pleasure in having you
presented to me! Chevalier, you ought to be proud of the name of
Frenchman. Chevalier, the French are a grand nation. Chevalier, I have
the highest respect for the French nation."

"The most subtle diplomatist," thought Vivian, as he recalled to mind
his own introduction, "would be puzzled to decide to which interest his
imperial highness leans."

The archduke now entered into conversation with the prince, and most of
the circle who surrounded him. As his highness was addressing Vivian,
the baron let slip our hero's arm, and seizing hold of the Chevalier de
Boeffleurs, began walking up and down the room with him, and was soon
engaged in very animated conversation. In a few minutes the archduke,
bowing to his circle, made a move and regained the side of a Saxon lady,
from whose interesting company he had been disturbed by the arrival of
Prince Salvinski--an individual of whose long stories and dull romances
the archduke had, from experience, a particular dread; but his highness
was always very courteous to the Poles.

"Grey, I've dispatched De Boeffleurs to the house to instruct the
servant and Ernstorff to do the impossible, in order that our rooms may
be all together. You'll be delighted with De Boeffleurs when you know
him, and I expect you to be great friends. Oh! by the by, his unexpected
arrival has quite made us forget our venture at _rouge-et-noir._ Of
course we're too late now for anything; even if we had been fortunate,
our doubled stake, remaining on the table, is of course lost; we may as
well, however, walk up." So saying, the baron reached the table.

"That is your excellency's stake!--that is your excellency's stake!"
exclaimed many voices as he came up.

"What's the matter, my friends? what's the matter?" asked the baron,
very calmly.

"There's been a run on the red! there's been a run on the red!
and your excellency's stake has doubled each time. It has been
4--8--16--32--64--128--256; and now it's 512!" quickly rattled a little
thin man in spectacles, pointing at the same time to his unparalleled
line of punctures. This was one of those officious, noisy little men,
who are always ready to give you unasked information on every possible
subject, and who are never so happy as when they are watching over the
interest of some stranger, who never thanks them for their unnecessary

Vivian, in spite of his philosophy, felt the excitement and wonder of
the moment. He looked very earnestly at the baron, whose countenance,
however, remained perfectly unmoved.

"Grey," said he, very coolly, "it seems we're in luck."

"The stake's then not all your own?" very eagerly asked the little man
in spectacles.

"No, part of it is yours, sir," answered the baron, very dryly.

"I'm going to deal," said the short, thick man behind. "Is the board

"Your excellency then allows the stake to remain?" inquired the tall,
thin banker, with affected nonchalance.

"Oh! certainly," said the baron, with real nonchalance.

"Three--eight--fourteen--twenty-four--thirty-four, Rouge 34--"

All crowded nearer; the table was surrounded five or six deep, for the
wonderful run of luck had got wind, and nearly the whole room were round
the table. Indeed, the archduke and Saxon lady, and of course the silent
suite, were left alone at the upper part of the room. The tall banker
did not conceal his agitation. Even the short, stout dealer ceased to be
a machine. All looked anxious except the baron. Vivian looked at the
table; his excellency watched, with a keen eye, the little dealer. No
one even breathed as the cards descended. "Ten--twenty--" here the
countenance of the banker brightened--"twenty-two--twenty-five--
twenty-eight--thirty-one'--Noir 31. The bank's broke; no
more play to-night. The roulette table opens immediately."

In spite of the great interest which had been excited, nearly the whole
crowd, without waiting to congratulate the baron, rushed to the opposite
side of the room in order to secure places at the roulette table.

"Put these five hundred and twelve Napoleons into a bag," said the
baron; "Grey, this is your share, and I congratulate you. With regard to
the other half, Mr. Hermann, what bills have you got?"

"Two on Gogel's house of Frankfort--accepted of course--for two hundred
and fifty each, and these twelve napoleons will make it right," said the
tall banker, as he opened a large black pocket-book, from which he took
out two small bits of paper. The baron examined them, and after having
seen them indorsed, put them calmly into his pocket, not forgetting the
twelve napoleons; and then taking Vivian's arm, and regretting extremely
that he should have the trouble of carrying such a weight, he wished Mr.
Hermann a very good-night and success at his roulette, and walked with
his companion quietly home. Thus passed a day at Ems!


From 'The Young Duke'

You entered the Alhambra by a Saracenic cloister, from the ceiling of
which an occasional lamp threw a gleam upon some Eastern arms hung up
against the wall. This passage led to the armory, a room of moderate
dimensions, but hung with rich contents. Many an inlaid
breastplate--many a Mameluke scimitar and Damascus blade--many a gemmed
pistol and pearl embroided saddle might there be seen, though viewed in
a subdued and quiet light. All seemed hushed and still, and shrouded in
what had the reputation of being a palace of pleasure.

In this chamber assembled the expected guests. His Grace and the Bird of
Paradise arrived first, with their foreign friends. Lord Squib and Lord
Darrell, Sir Lucius Grafton, Mr. Annesley, and Mr. Peacock Piggott
followed, but not alone. There were two ladies who, by courtesy if no
other right, bore the titles of Lady Squib and Mrs. Annesley. There was
also a pseudo Lady Aphrodite Grafton. There was Mrs. Montfort, the
famous _blonde_, of a beauty which was quite ravishing, and dignified
as beautiful. Some said (but really people say such things) that there
was a talk (I never believe anything I hear) that had not the Bird of
Paradise flown in (these foreigners pick up everything), Mrs. Montfort
would have been the Duchess of St. James. How this may be I know not;
certain, however, this superb and stately donna did not openly evince
any spleen at her more fortunate rival. Although she found herself a
guest at the Alhambra instead of being the mistress of the palace,
probably, like many other ladies, she looked upon this affair of the
singing-bird as a freak that must end--and then perhaps his Grace, who
was a charming young man, would return to his senses. There also was
her sister, a long, fair girl, who looked sentimental, but was only
silly. There was a little French actress, like a highly finished
miniature; and a Spanish _danseuse_, tall, dusky, and lithe, glancing
like a lynx, and graceful as a jennet.

Having all arrived, they proceeded down a small gallery to the
banqueting-room. The doors were thrown open. Pardon me if for a moment I
do not describe the chamber; but really, the blaze affects my sight. The
room was large and lofty. It was fitted up as an Eastern tent. The walls
were hung with scarlet cloth tied up with ropes of gold. Round the room
crouched recumbent lions richly gilt, who grasped in their paw a lance,
the top of which was a colored lamp. The ceiling was emblazoned with the
Hauteville arms, and was radiant with burnished gold. A cresset lamp was
suspended from the centre of the shield, and not only emitted an equable
flow of soft though brilliant light, but also, as the aromatic oil
wasted away, distilled an exquisite perfume.

The table blazed with golden plate, for the Bird of Paradise loved
splendor. At the end of the room, under a canopy and upon a throne, the
shield and vases lately executed for his Grace now appeared. Everything
was gorgeous, costly, and imposing; but there was no pretense, save in
the original outline, at maintaining the Oriental character. The
furniture was French; and opposite the throne Canova's Hebe, by
Bertolini, bounded with a golden cup from a pedestal of _ormolu_.

The guests are seated; but after a few minutes the servants withdraw.
Small tables of ebony and silver, and dumb-waiters of ivory and gold,
conveniently stored, are at hand, and Spiridion never leaves the room.
The repast was most refined, most exquisite, and most various. It was
one of those meetings where all eat. When a few persons, easy and
unconstrained, unincumbered with cares, and of dispositions addicted to
enjoyment, get together at past midnight, it is extraordinary what an
appetite they evince. Singers also are proverbially prone to gormandize;
and though the Bird of Paradise unfortunately possessed the smallest
mouth in all Singingland, it is astonishing how she pecked! But they
talked as well as feasted, and were really gay. It was amusing to
observe--that is to say, if you had been a dumb-waiter, and had time for
observation--how characteristic was the affectation of the women. Lady
Squib was witty, Mrs. Annesley refined, and the pseudo Lady Afy
fashionable. As for Mrs. Montfort, she was, as her wont, somewhat
silent but excessively sublime. The Spaniard said nothing, but no doubt
indicated the possession of Cervantic humor by the sly calmness with
which she exhausted her own waiter and pillaged her neighbors. The
little Frenchwoman scarcely ate anything, but drank champagne and
chatted, with equal rapidity and equal composure.

"Prince," said the duke, "I hope Madame de Harestein approves of your
trip to England?"

The prince only smiled, for he was of a silent disposition, and
therefore wonderfully well suited his traveling companion.

"Poor Madame de Harestein!" exclaimed Count Frill. "What despair she was
in when you left Vienna, my dear duke. Ah! _mon Dieu!_ I did what I
could to amuse her. I used to take my guitar, and sing to her morning
and night, but without the least effect. She certainly would have died
of a broken heart, if it had not been for the dancing-dogs."

"The dancing-dogs!" minced the pseudo Lady Aphrodite. "How shocking!"

"Did they bite her?" asked Lady Squib, "and so inoculate her with

"Oh! the dancing-dogs, my dear ladies! everybody was mad about the
dancing-dogs. They came from Peru, and danced the mazurka in green
jackets with a _jabot!_ Oh! what a _jabot!_"

"I dislike animals excessively," remarked Mrs. Annesley.

"Dislike the dancing-dogs!" said Count Frill. "Ah, my good lady, you
would have been enchanted. Even the kaiser fed them with pistachio nuts.
Oh, so pretty! delicate leetle things, soft shining little legs, and
pretty little faces! so sensible, and with such _jabots!_"

"I assure you, they were excessively amusing," said the prince, in a
soft, confidential undertone to his neighbor, Mrs. Montfort, who,
admiring his silence, which she took for state, smiled and bowed with
fascinating condescension.

"And what else has happened very remarkable, count, since I left you?"
asked Lord Darrell.

"Nothing, nothing, my dear Darrell. This _bêtise_ of a war has made us
all serious. If old Clamstandt had not married that gipsy little
Dugiria, I really think I should have taken a turn to Belgrade."

"You should not eat so much, poppet," drawled Charles Annesley to the

"Why not?" said the little French lady, with great animation, always
ready to fight anybody's battle, provided she could get an opportunity
to talk. "Why not, Mr. Annesley? You never will let anybody eat--I never
eat myself, because every night, having to talk so much, I am dry, dry,
dry--so I drink, drink, drink. It is an extraordinary thing that there
is no language which makes you so thirsty as French. I always have heard
that all the southern languages, Spanish and Italian, make you hungry."

"What can be the reason?" seriously asked the pseudo Lady Afy.

"Because there is so much salt in it," said Lord Squib.

"Delia," drawled Mr. Annesley, "you look very pretty to-night!"

"I am charmed to charm you, Mr. Annesley. Shall I tell you what Lord Bon
Mot said of you?"

"No, _ma mignonne_! I never wish to hear my own good things."

"_Spoiled_, you should add," said Lady Squib, "if Bon Mot be in the

"Lord Bon Mot is a most gentlemanly man," said Delia, indignant at an
admirer being attacked. "He always wants to be amusing. Whenever he
dines out, he comes and sits with me half an hour to catch the air of
Parisian badinage."

"And you tell him a variety of little things?" asked Lord Squib,
insidiously drawing out the secret tactics of Bon Mot.

"_Beaucoup, beaucoup_," said Delia, extending two little white hands
sparkling with gems. "If he come in ever so--how do you call it?
heavy--not that--in the domps--ah! it is that--if ever he come in the
domps, he goes out always like a _soufflée._"

"As empty, I have no doubt," said Lady Squib.

"And as sweet, I have no doubt," said Lord Squib; "for Delcroix
complains sadly of your excesses, Delia."

"Mr. Delcroix complain of me! That, indeed, is too bad. Just because I
recommended Montmorency de Versailles to him for an excellent customer,
ever since he abuses me, merely because Montmorency has forgot, in the
hurry of going off, to pay his little account."

"But he says you have got all the things," said Lord Squib, whose great
amusement was to put Delia in a passion.

"What of that?" screamed the little lady. "Montmorency gave them to

"Don't make such a noise," said the Bird of Paradise. "I never can eat
when there is a noise. St. James," continued she, in a fretful tone,
"they make such a noise!"

"Annesley, keep Squib quiet."

"Delia, leave that young man alone. If Isidora would talk a little more,
and you eat a little more, I think you would be the most agreeable
little ladies I know. Poppet! put those _bonbons_ in your pocket. You
should never eat sugar-plums in company."

Thus talking agreeable nonsense, tasting agreeable dishes, and sipping
agreeable wines, an hour ran on. Sweetest music from an unseen source
ever and anon sounded, and Spiridion swung a censer full of perfumes
around the chamber. At length the duke requested Count Frill to give
them a song. The Bird of Paradise would never sing for pleasure, only
for fame and a slight check. The count begged to decline, and at the
same time asked for a guitar. The signora sent for hers; and his
Excellency, preluding with a beautiful simper, gave them some slight
thing to this effect:--

     Charming Bignetta! charming Bignetta!
     What a gay little girl is charming Bignetta!
            She dances, she prattles,
            She rides and she rattles;
     But she always is charming--that charming Bignetta!

     Charming Bignetta! charming Bignetta!
     What a wild little witch is charming Bignetta!
            When she smiles I'm all madness;
            When she frowns I'm all sadness;
     But she always is smiling--that charming Bignetta!

     Charming Bignetta! charming Bignetta!
     What a wicked young rogue is charming Bignetta!
            She laughs at my shyness,
            And flirts with his highness;
     Yet still she is charming--that charming Bignetta!

     Charming Bignetta! charming Bignetta!
     What a dear little girl is charming Bignetta!
            "Think me only a sister,"
            Said she trembling; I kissed her.
     What a charming young sister is--charming Bignetta!

He ceased; and although

               "--the Ferrarese
     To choicer music chimed his gay guitar
               In Este's halls,"

as Casti himself, or rather Mr. Rose, choicely sings, yet still his song
served its purpose, for it raised a smile.

"I wrote that for Madame Sapiepha, at the Congress of Verona," said
Count Frill. "It has been thought amusing."

"Madame Sapiepha!" exclaimed the Bird of Paradise. "What! that pretty
little woman who has such pretty caps?"

"The same! Ah! what caps! _Mon Dieu!_ what taste! what taste!"

"You like caps, then?" asked the Bird of Paradise, with a sparkling eye.

"Oh! if there be anything more than other that I know most, it is the
cap. Here, _voici!_" said he, rather oddly unbuttoning his waistcoat,
"you see what lace I have got. _Voici! voici!_"

"Ah! me! what lace! what lace!" exclaimed the Bird in rapture. "St.
James, look at his lace. Come here, come here, sit next me. Let me look
at that lace." She examined it with great attention, then turned up her
beautiful eyes with a fascinating smile. "_Ah! c'est jolie, n'est-ce
pas?_ But you like caps. I tell you what, you shall see my caps.
Spiridion, go, _mon cher,_ and tell ma'amselle to bring my caps--all my
caps, one of each set."

In due time entered the Swiss, with the caps--all the caps--one of each
set. As she handed them in turn to her mistress, the Bird chirped a
panegyric upon each.

"That is pretty, is it not--and this also? but this is my favorite. What
do you think of this border? _c'est belle, cette garniture? et ce jabot,
c'est tres séduisant, n'est-ce pas? Mais voici,_ the cap of Princess
Lichtenstein. _C'est superb, c'est mon favori._ But I also love very
much this of the Duchesse de Berri. She gave me the pattern herself. And
after all, this _cornette à petite santé_ of Lady Blaze is a dear little
thing; then, again, this _coiffe à dentelle_ of Lady Macaroni is quite
a pet."

"Pass them down," said Lord Squib, "we want to look at them."
Accordingly they were passed down. Lord Squib put one on.

"Do I look superb, sentimental, or only pretty?" asked his lordship.
The example was contagious, and most of the caps were appropriated. No
one laughed more than their mistress, who, not having the slightest idea
of the value of money, would have given them all away on the spot; not
from any good-natured feeling, but from the remembrance that to-morrow
she might amuse half an hour buying others.

While some were stealing, and she remonstrating, the duke clapped his
hands like a caliph. The curtain at the end of the apartment was
immediately withdrawn and the ball-room stood revealed.

It was of the same size as the banqueting-hall. Its walls exhibited a
long perspective of gilt pilasters, the frequent piers of which were
entirely of plate looking-glass, save where occasionally a picture had
been, as it were, inlaid in its rich frame. Here was the Titian Venus of
the Tribune, deliciously copied by a French artist; there, the Roman
Fornarina, with her delicate grace, beamed like the personification of
Raphael's genius. Here Zuleikha, living in the light and shade of that
magician Guercino, in vain summoned the passions of the blooming Hebrew;
and there Cleopatra, preparing for her last immortal hour, proved by
what we saw that Guido had been a lover.

The ceiling of this apartment was richly painted and richly gilt; from
it were suspended three lustres by golden cords, which threw a softened
light upon the floor of polished and curiously inlaid woods. At the end
of the apartment was an orchestra, and here the pages, under the
direction of Carlstein, offered a very efficient domestic band.

Round the room waltzed the elegant revelers. Softly and slowly, led by
their host, they glided along like spirits of air; but each time that
the duke passed the musicians, the music became livelier, and the motion
more brisk, till at length you might have mistaken them for a college of
spinning dervishes. One by one, an exhausted couple slunk away. Some
threw themselves on a sofa, some monopolized an easy-chair; but in
twenty minutes all the dancers had disappeared. At length Peacock
Piggott gave a groan, which denoted returning energy, and raised a
stretching leg in air, bringing up, though most unwittingly, on his foot
one of the Bird's sublime and beautiful caps.

"Halloo! Piggott, armed _cap au pied_, I see," said Lord Squib. This
joke was a signal for general resuscitation....

Here they lounged in different parties, 'talking on such subjects as
idlers ever fall upon; now and then plucking a flower--now and then
listening to the fountain--now and then lingering over the distant
music--and now and then strolling through a small apartment which opened
to their walks, and which bore the title of the Temple of Gnidus. Here
Canova's Venus breathed an atmosphere of perfume and of light--that
wonderful statue whose full-charged eye is not very classical, to be
sure--but then, how true!

Lord Squib proposed a visit to the theatre, which he had ordered to be
lit up. To the theatre they repaired. They rambled over every part of
the house, amused themselves, to the horror of Mr. Annesley, with a
visit to the gallery, and then collected behind the scenes. They were
excessively amused with the properties; and Lord Squib proposed they
should dress themselves. Enough champagne had been quaffed to render any
proposition palatable, and in a few minutes they were all in costume. A
crowd of queens and chambermaids, Jews and chimney-sweeps, lawyers and
charleys, Spanish dons and Irish officers, rushed upon the stage. The
little Spaniard was Almaviva, and fell into magnificent attitudes, with
her sword and plume. Lord Squib was the old woman of Brentford, and very
funny. Sir Lucius Grafton, Harlequin; and Darrell, Grimaldi. The prince
and the count, without knowing it, figured as watchmen. Squib whispered
Annesley that Sir Lucius O'Trigger might appear in character, but was
prudent enough to suppress the joke.

The band was summoned, and they danced quadrilles with infinite spirit,
and finished the night, at the suggestion of Lord Squib, by breakfasting
on the stage. By the time this meal was dispatched, the purple light of
morn had broken into the building, and the ladies proposed an immediate
departure. Mrs. Montfort and her sister were sent home in one of the
duke's carriages; and the foreign guests were requested by him to be
their escort. The respective parties drove off. Two cabriolets lingered
to the last, and finally carried away the French actress and the Spanish
dancer, Lord Darrell, and Peacock Piggott; but whether the two gentlemen
went in one and two ladies in the other I cannot aver. I hope not.

There was at length a dead silence, and the young duke was left to
solitude and the signora!



Dandy has been voted vulgar, and beau is now the word. I doubt whether
the revival will stand; and as for the exploded title, though it had its
faults at first, the muse or Byron has made it not only English, but
classical. However, I dare say I can do without either of these words at
present. Charles Annesley could hardly be called a dandy or a beau.
There was nothing in his dress, though some mysterious arrangement in
his costume--some rare simplicity--some curious happiness--always made
it distinguished; there was nothing, however, in his dress which could
account for the influence which he exercised over the manners of his
contemporaries. Charles Annesley was about thirty. He had inherited from
his father, a younger brother, a small estate; and though heir to a
wealthy earldom, he had never abused what the world called "his
prospects." Yet his establishments--his little house in Mayfair--his
horses--his moderate stud at Melton--were all unique, and everything
connected with him was unparalleled for its elegance, its invention, and
its refinement. But his manner was his magic. His natural and subdued
nonchalance, so different from the assumed non-emotion of a mere dandy;
his coldness of heart, which was hereditary, not acquired; his cautious
courage, and his unadulterated self-love, had permitted him to mingle
much with mankind without being too deeply involved in the play of their
passions; while his exquisite sense of the ridiculous quickly revealed
those weaknesses to him which his delicate satire did not spare, even
while it refrained from wounding. All feared, many admired, and none
hated him. He was too powerful not to dread, too dexterous not to
admire, too superior to hate. Perhaps the great secret of his manner was
his exquisite superciliousness; a quality which, of all, is the most
difficult to manage. Even with his intimates he was never confidential,
and perpetually assumed his public character with the private coterie
which he loved to rule. On the whole, he was unlike any of the leading
men of modern days, and rather reminded one of the fine gentlemen of our
old brilliant comedy--the Dorimants, the Bellairs, and the Mirabels.


Men shrink from a fussy woman. And few can aspire to regulate the
destinies of their species, even in so slight a point as an hour's
amusement, without rare powers. There is no greater sin than to be _trop
prononcée_. A want of tact is worse than a want of virtue. Some women,
it is said, work on pretty well against the tide without the last. I
never knew one who did not sink who ever dared to sail without
the first.

Loud when they should be low, quoting the wrong person, talking on the
wrong subject, teasing with notice, excruciating with attentions,
disturbing a _tête-à-tête_ in order to make up a dance; wasting
eloquence in persuading a man to participate in amusement whose
reputation depends on his social sullenness; exacting homage with a
restless eye, and not permitting the least worthy knot to be untwined
without their divinityships' interference; patronizing the meek,
anticipating the slow, intoxicating with compliment, plastering with
praise that you in return may gild with flattery; in short, energetic
without elegance, active without grace, and loquacious without wit;
mistaking bustle for style, raillery for badinage, and noise for
gayety--these are the characters who mar the very career they think they
are creating, and who exercise a fatal influence on the destinies of all
those who have the misfortune to be connected with them.


Eloquence is the child of Knowledge. When a mind is full, like a
wholesome river, it is also clear. Confusion and obscurity are much
oftener the results of ignorance than of inefficiency. Few are the men
who cannot express their meaning when the occasion demands the energy;
as the lowest will defend their lives with acuteness, and sometimes even
with eloquence. They are masters of their subject. Knowledge must be
gained by ourselves. Mankind may supply us with facts; but the results,
even if they agree with previous ones, must be the work of our own mind.
To make others feel, we must feel ourselves; and to feel ourselves, we
must be natural. This we can never be when we are vomiting forth the
dogmas of the schools. Knowledge is not a mere collection of words; and
it is a delusion to suppose that thought can be obtained by the aid of
any other intellect than our own. What is repetition, by a curious
mystery, ceases to be truth, even if it were truth when it was first
heard; as the shadow in a mirror, though it move and mimic all the
actions of vitality, is not life. When a man is not speaking or writing
from his own mind, he is as insipid company as a looking-glass. Before a
man can address a popular assembly with command, he must know something
of mankind, and he can know nothing of mankind without he knows
something of himself. Self-knowledge is the property of that man whose
passions have their play, but who ponders over their results. Such a man
sympathizes by inspiration with his kind. He has a key to every heart.
He can divine, in the flash of a single thought, all that they require,
all that they wish. Such a man speaks to their very core. All feel that
a master hand tears off the veil of cant, with which, from necessity,
they have enveloped their souls; for cant is nothing more than the
sophistry which results from attempting to account for what is
unintelligible, or to defend what is improper.


There are some sorts of beauty which defy description, and almost
scrutiny. Some faces rise upon us in the tumult of life, like stars from
out the sea, or as if they had moved out of a picture. Our first
impression is anything but fleshly. We are struck dumb--we gasp for
breath--our limbs quiver--a faintness glides over our frame--we are
awed; instead of gazing upon the apparition, we avert the eyes, which
yet will feed upon its beauty. A strange sort of unearthly pain mixes
with the intense pleasure. And not till, with a struggle, we call back
to our memory the commonplaces of existence, can we recover our
commonplace demeanor. These, indeed, are rare visions--these, indeed,
are early feelings, when our young existence leaps with its mountain
torrents; but as the river of our life rolls on, our eyes grow dimmer,
or our blood more cold.


From 'Lothair'

A person approached Lothair by the pathway from Bethany. It was the
Syrian gentleman whom he had met at the consulate. As he was passing
Lothair, he saluted him with the grace which had been before remarked;
and Lothair, who was by nature courteous, and even inclined a little to
ceremony in his manners, especially with those with whom he was not
intimate, immediately rose, as he would not receive such a salutation in
a reclining posture.

"Let me not disturb you," said the stranger; "or, if we must be on equal
terms, let me also be seated, for this is a view that never palls."

"It is perhaps familiar to you," said Lothair; "but with me, only a
pilgrim, its effect is fascinating, almost overwhelming."

"The view of Jerusalem never becomes familiar," said the Syrian; "for
its associations are so transcendent, so various, so inexhaustible, that
the mind can never anticipate its course of thought and feeling, when
one sits, as we do now, on this immortal mount." ...

"I have often wished to visit the Sea of Galilee," said Lothair.

"Well, you have now an opportunity," said the Syrian: "the north of
Palestine, though it has no tropical splendor, has much variety and a
peculiar natural charm. The burst and brightness of spring have not yet
quite vanished; you would find our plains radiant with wild-flowers, and
our hills green with young crops, and though we cannot rival Lebanon, we
have forest glades among our famous hills that when once seen are

"But there is something to me more interesting than the splendor of
tropical scenery," said Lothair, "even if Galilee could offer it. I wish
to visit the cradle of my faith."

"And you would do wisely," said the Syrian, "for there is no doubt the
spiritual nature of man is developed in this land."

"And yet there are persons at the present day who doubt--even deny--the
spiritual nature of man," said Lothair. "I do not, I could not--there
are reasons why I could not."

"There are some things I know, and some things I believe," said the
Syrian. "I know that I have a soul, and I believe that it is immortal."

"It is science that, by demonstrating the insignificance of this globe
in the vast scale of creation, has led to this infidelity,"
said Lothair.

"Science may prove the insignificance of this globe in the scale of
creation," said the stranger, "but it cannot prove the insignificance of
man. What is the earth compared with the sun? a molehill by a mountain;
yet the inhabitants of this earth can discover the elements of which the
great orb consists, and will probably ere long ascertain all the
conditions of its being. Nay, the human mind can penetrate far beyond
the sun. There is no relation, therefore, between the faculties of man
and the scale in creation of the planet which he inhabits."

"I was glad to hear you assert the other night the spiritual nature of
man in opposition to Mr. Phoebus."

"Ah, Mr. Phoebus!" said the stranger, with a smile. "He is an old
acquaintance of mine. And I must say he is very consistent--except in
paying a visit to Jerusalem. That does surprise me. He said to me the
other night the same things as he said to me at Rome many years ago. He
would revive the worship of Nature. The deities whom he so eloquently
describes and so exquisitely delineates are the ideal personifications
of the most eminent human qualities, and chiefly the physical. Physical
beauty is his standard of excellence, and he has a fanciful theory that
moral order would be the consequence of the worship of physical beauty;
for without moral order he holds physical beauty cannot be maintained.
But the answer to Mr. Phoebus is, that his system has been tried and has
failed, and under conditions more favorable than are likely to exist
again; the worship of Nature ended in the degradation of the
human race."

"But Mr. Phoebus cannot really believe in Apollo and Venus," said
Lothair. "These are phrases. He is, I suppose, what is called a

"No doubt the Olympus of Mr. Phoebus is the creation of his easel,"
replied the Syrian. "I should not, however, describe him as a Pantheist,
whose creed requires more abstraction than Mr. Phoebus, the worshiper of
Nature, would tolerate. His school never care to pursue any
investigation which cannot be followed by the eye--and the worship of
the beautiful always ends in an orgy. As for Pantheism, it is Atheism in
domino. The belief in a Creator who is unconscious of creating is more
monstrous than any dogma of any of the churches in this city, and we
have them all here."

"But there are people now who tell you that there never was any
creation, and therefore there never could have been a Creator,"
said Lothair.

"And which is now advanced with the confidence of novelty," said the
Syrian, "though all of it has been urged, and vainly urged, thousands of
years ago. There must be design, or all we see would be without sense,
and I do not believe in the unmeaning. As for the natural forces to
which all creation is now attributed, we know they are unconscious,
while consciousness is as inevitable a portion of our existence as the
eye or the hand. The conscious cannot be derived from the unconscious.
Man is divine."

"I wish I could assure myself of the personality of the Creator," said
Lothair. "I cling to that, but they say it is unphilosophical."

"In what sense?" asked the Syrian. "Is it more unphilosophical to
believe in a personal God, omnipotent and omniscient, than in natural
forces unconscious and irresistible? Is it unphilosophical to combine
power with intelligence? Goethe, a Spinozist who did not believe in
Spinoza, said that he could bring his mind to the conception that in the
centre of space we might meet with a monad of pure intelligence. What
may be the centre of space I leave to the dædal imagination of the
author of 'Faust'; but a monad of pure intelligence--is that more
philosophical than the truth first revealed to man amid these
everlasting hills," said the Syrian, "that God made man in his
own image?"

"I have often found in that assurance a source of sublime consolation,"
said Lothair.

"It is the charter of the nobility of man," said the Syrian, "one of the
divine dogmas revealed in this land; not the invention of councils, not
one of which was held on this sacred soil, confused assemblies first got
together by the Greeks, and then by barbarous nations in
barbarous times."

"Yet the divine land no longer tells us divine things," said Lothair.

"It may or may not have fulfilled its destiny," said the Syrian. "'In my
Father's house are many mansions,' and by the various families of
nations the designs of the Creator are accomplished. God works by races,
and one was appointed in due season and after many developments to
reveal and expound in this land the spiritual nature of man. The Aryan
and the Semite are of the same blood and origin, but when they quitted
their central land they were ordained to follow opposite courses. Each
division of the great race has developed one portion of the double
nature of humanity, till, after all their wanderings, they met again,
and, represented by their two choicest families, the Hellenes and the
Hebrews, brought together the treasures of their accumulated wisdom, and
secured the civilization of man."

"Those among whom I have lived of late," said Lothair, "have taught me
to trust much in councils, and to believe that without them there could
be no foundation for the Church. I observe you do not speak in that
vein, though, like myself, you find solace in those dogmas which
recognize the relations between the created and the Creator."

"There can be no religion without that recognition," said the Syrian,
"and no creed can possibly be devised without such a recognition that
would satisfy man. Why we are here, whence we come, whither we go--these
are questions which man is organically framed and forced to ask himself,
and that would not be the case if they could not be answered. As for
churches depending on councils, the first council was held more than
three centuries after the Sermon on the Mount. We Syrians had churches
in the interval; no one can deny that. I bow before the divine decree
that swept them away from Antioch to Jerusalem, but I am not yet
prepared to transfer my spiritual allegiance to Italian popes and Greek
patriarchs. We believe that our family were among the first followers of
Jesus, and that we then held lands in Bashan which we hold now. We had a
gospel once in our district where there was some allusion to this, and
being written by neighbors, and probably at the time, I dare say it was
accurate; but the Western Churches declared our gospel was not
authentic, though why I cannot tell, and they succeeded in extirpating
it. It was not an additional reason why we should enter into their fold.
So I am content to dwell in Galilee and trace the footsteps of my Divine
Master, musing over his life and pregnant sayings amid the mounts he
sanctified and the waters he loved so well."




Pierre Augustin Caron was born in Paris, January 24th, 1732. He was the
son of a watchmaker, and learned his father's trade. He invented a new
escapement, and was allowed to call himself "Clockmaker to the
King"--Louis XV. At twenty-four he married a widow, and took the name of
Beaumarchais from a small fief belonging to her. Within a year his wife
died. Being a fine musician, he was appointed instructor of the King's
daughters; and he was quick to turn to good account the influence thus
acquired. In 1764 he made a sudden trip to Spain to vindicate a sister
of his, who had been betrothed to a man called Clavijo and whom this
Spaniard had refused to marry. He succeeded in his mission, and his own
brilliant account of this characteristic episode in his career suggested
to Goethe the play of 'Clavigo.' Beaumarchais himself brought back from
Madrid a liking for things Spanish and a knowledge of Iberian customs
and character.

[Illustration: Beaumarchais]

He had been a watchmaker, a musician, a court official, a speculator,
and it was only when he was thirty-five that he turned dramatist.
Various French authors, Diderot especially, weary of confinement to
tragedy and comedy, the only two forms then admitted on the French
stage, were seeking a new dramatic formula in which they might treat
pathetic situations of modern life; and it is due largely to their
efforts that the modern "play" or "drama," the story of every-day
existence, has been evolved. The first dramatic attempt of Beaumarchais
was a drama called 'Eugénie,' acted at the Théâtre Français in 1767, and
succeeding just enough to encourage him to try again. The second, 'The
Two Friends,' acted in 1770, was a frank failure. For the pathetic,
Beaumarchais had little aptitude; and these two serious efforts were of
use to him only so far as their performance may have helped him to
master the many technical difficulties of the theatre.

Beaumarchais had married a second time in 1768, and he had been engaged
in various speculations with the financier Pâris-Duverney. In 1770 his
wife died, and so did his associate; and he found himself soon involved
in lawsuits, into the details of which it is needless to go, but in the
course of which he published a series of memoirs, or statements of his
case for the public at large. These memoirs are among the most vigorous
of all polemical writings; they were very clever and very witty; they
were vivacious and audacious; they were unfailingly interesting; and
they were read as eagerly as the 'Letters of Junius.' Personal at first,
the suits soon became political; and part of the public approval given
to the attack of Beaumarchais on judicial injustice was due no doubt to
the general discontent with the existing order in France. His daring
conduct of his own cause made him a personality. He was intrusted with
one secret mission by Louis XV; and when Louis XVI came to the throne,
he managed to get him again employed confidentially.

Not long after his two attempts at the serious drama, he had tried to
turn to account his musical faculty by writing both the book and the
score of a comic opera, which had, however, been rejected by the
Comédie-Italienne (the predecessor of the present Opéra Comique). After
a while Beaumarchais cut out his music and worked over his plot into a
five-act comedy in prose, 'The Barber of Seville.' It was produced by
the Théâtre Français in 1775, and like the contemporary 'Rivals' of
Sheridan,--the one English author with whom Beaumarchais must always be
compared,--it was a failure on the first night and a lasting success
after the author had reduced it and rearranged it. 'The Barber of
Seville' was like the 'Gil Blas' of Lesage in that, while it was
seemingly Spanish in its scenes, it was in reality essentially French.
It contained one of the strongest characters in literature,--Figaro, a
reincarnation of the intriguing servant of Menander and Plautus and
Molière. Simple in plot, ingenious in incident, brisk in dialogue,
broadly effective in character-drawing, 'The Barber of Seville' is the
most famous French comedy of the eighteenth century, with the single
exception of its successor from the same pen, which appeared nine
years later.

During those years Beaumarchais was not idle. Like Defoe, he was always
devising projects for money-making. A few months after 'The Barber of
Seville' had been acted, the American Revolution began, and Beaumarchais
was a chief agent in supplying the Americans with arms, ammunition, and
supplies. He had a cruiser of his own, Le Fier Roderigue, which was in
D'Estaing's fleet. When the independence of the United States was
recognized at last, Beaumarchais had a pecuniary claim against the young
nation which long remained unsettled.

Not content with making war on his own account almost, Beaumarchais
also undertook the immense task of publishing a complete edition of
Voltaire. He also prepared a sequel to the 'Barber,' in which Figaro
should be even more important, and should serve as a mouthpiece for
declamatory criticism of the social order. But his 'Marriage of Figaro'
was so full of the revolutionary ferment that its performance was
forbidden. Following the example of Molière under the similar
interdiction of 'Tartuffe,' Beaumarchais was untiring in arousing
interest in his unacted play, reading it himself in the houses of the
great. Finally it was authorized, and when the first performance took
place at the Théâtre Français in 1784, the crush to see it was so great
that three persons were stifled to death. The new comedy was as amusing
and as adroit as its predecessor, and the hits at the times were sharper
and swifter and more frequent. How demoralized society was then may be
gauged by the fact that this disintegrating satire was soon acted by the
amateurs of the court, a chief character being impersonated by Marie
Antoinette herself.

The career of Beaumarchais reached its climax with the production of the
second of the Figaro plays. Afterward he wrote the libretto for an
opera, 'Tarare,' produced with Salieri's music in 1787; the year before
he had married for the third time. In a heavy play called 'The Guilty
Mother,' acted with slight success in 1790, he brought in Figaro yet
once more. During the Terror he emigrated to Holland, returning to Paris
in 1796 to find his sumptuous mansion despoiled. May 18th, 1799, he
died, leaving a fortune of $200,000, besides numerous claims against the
French nation and the United States.

An interesting parallel could be drawn between 'The Rivals' and the
'School for Scandal' on the one side, and on the other 'The Barber of
Seville' and 'The Marriage of Figaro'; and there are also piquant points
of likeness between Sheridan and Beaumarchais. But Sheridan, with all
his failings, was of sterner stuff than Beaumarchais. He had a loftier
political morality, and he served the State more loyally. Yet the two
comedies of Beaumarchais are like the two comedies of Sheridan in their
incessant wit, in their dramaturgic effectiveness, and in the histrionic
opportunities they afford. Indeed, the French comedies have had a wider
audience than the English, thanks to an Italian and a German,--to
Rossini who set 'The Barber of Seville' to music, and to Mozart who did
a like service for 'The Marriage of Figaro.'

[Illustration: Signature: Brander Matthews]



[Rosina's lover, Count Almaviva, attempts to meet and converse with her
by hoodwinking Dr. Bartolo, her zealous guardian. He comes in disguise
to Bartolo's dwelling, in a room of which the scene is laid.]

[_Enter Count Almaviva, dressed as a student_.]

_Count [solemnly]_--May peace and joy abide here evermore!

_Bartolo [brusquely]_--Never, young sir, was wish more àpropos! What do
you want?

_Count_--Sir, I am one Alonzo, a bachelor of arts--

_Bartolo_--Sir, I need no instructor.

_Count_---- ---- a pupil of Don Basilio, the organist of the convent,
who teaches music to Madame your--

_Bartolo [suspiciously]_--Basilio! Organist! Yes, I know him. Well?

_Count [aside]_--What a man! _[Aloud.]_ He's confined to his bed with a
sudden illness.

_Bartolo_--Confined to his bed! Basilio! He's very good to send word,
for I've just seen him.

_Count [aside]_--Oh, the devil! [_Aloud._] When I say to his bed, sir,
it's--I mean to his room.

_Bartolo_--Whatever's the matter with him, go, if you please.

_Count [embarrassed]_--Sir, I was asked--Can no one hear us?

_Bartolo [aside]_--It's some rogue! _[Aloud.]_ What's that? No, Monsieur
Mysterious, no one can hear! Speak frankly--if you can.

_Count [aside]_--Plague take the old rascal! _[Aloud.]_ Don Basilio
asked me to tell you--

_Bartolo_--Speak louder. I'm deaf in one ear.

_Count [raising his voice_]--Ah! quite right: he asks me to say to you
that one Count Almaviva, who was lodging on the great square--

_Bartolo [frightened]_--Speak low, speak low.

_Count [louder]_----moved away from there this morning. As it was I who
told him that this Count Almaviva--

_Bartolo_--Low, speak lower, I beg of you.

_Count [in the same tone_]--Was in this city, and as I have discovered
that Señorita Rosina has been writing to him--

_Bartolo_--Has been writing to him? My dear friend, I implore you, _do_
speak low! Come, let's sit down, let's have a friendly chat. You have
discovered, you say, that Rosina--

_Count_ [_angrily_]--Certainly. Basilio, anxious about this
correspondence on your account, asked me to show you her letter; but the
way you take things--

_Bartolo_--Good Lord! I take them well enough. But can't you possibly
speak a little lower?

_Count_--You told me you were deaf in one ear.

_Bartolo_--I beg your pardon, I beg your pardon, if I've been surly and
suspicious, Signor Alonzo: I'm surrounded with spies--and then your
figure, your age, your whole air--I beg your pardon. Well? Have you
the letter?

_Count_--I'm glad you're barely civil at last, sir. But are you quite
sure no one can overhear us?

_Bartolo_--Not a soul. My servants are all tired out. Señorita Rosina
has shut herself up in a rage! The very devil's to pay in this house.
Still I'll go and make sure. [_He goes to peep into Rosina's room_.]

_Count_ [_aside_]--Well, I've caught myself now in my own trap. Now what
shall I do about the letter? If I were to run off?--but then I might
just as well not have come. Shall I show it to him? If I could only warn
Rosina beforehand! To show it would be a master-stroke.

_Bartolo_ [_returning on tiptoe_]--She's sitting by the window with her
back to the door, and re-reading a cousin's letter which I opened. Now,
now--let me see hers.

_Count_ [_handing him Rosina's letter_]--Here it is. [_Aside._] She's
re-reading _my_ letter.

_Bartolo_ [_reads quickly_]--"Since you have told me your name and
estate--" Ah, the little traitress! Yes, it's her writing.

_Count_ [_frightened_]--Speak low yourself, won't you?

_Bartolo_--What for, if you please?

_Count_--When we've finished, you can do as you choose. But after all,
Don Basilio's negotiation with a lawyer--

_Bartolo_--With a lawyer? About my marriage?

_Count_--Would I have stopped you for anything else? He told me to say
that all can be ready to-morrow. Then, if she resists--

_Bartolo_--She will.

_Count_ [_wants to take back the letter; Bartolo clutches it_]--I'll
tell you what we'll do. We will show her her letter; and then, if
necessary, [_more mysteriously_] I'll even tell her that it was given to
me by a woman--to whom the Count is sacrificing her. Shame and rage may
bring her to terms on the spot.

_Bartolo_ [_laughing_]--Calumny, eh? My dear fellow, I see very well now
that you come from Basilio. But lest we should seem to have planned this
together, don't you think it would be better if she'd met you before?

_Count_ [_repressing a start of joy_]--Don Basilio thought so, I know.
But how can we manage it? It is late already. There's not much
time left.

_Bartolo_--I will tell her you've come in his place. Couldn't you give
her a lesson?

_Count_--I'll do anything you like. But take care she doesn't suspect.
All these dodges of pretended masters are rather old and theatrical.

_Bartolo_--She won't suspect if I introduce you. But how you do look!
You've much more the air of a disguised lover than of a zealous

_Count_--Really? Don't you think I can hoodwink her all the better for

_Bartolo_--She'll never guess. She's in a horrible temper this evening.
But if she'll only see you--Her harpsichord is in this room. Amuse
yourself while you're waiting. I'll do all I can to bring her here.

_Count_--Don't say a word about the letter.

_Bartolo_--Before the right moment? It would lose all effect if I did.
It's not necessary to tell me things twice; it's not necessary to tell
me things twice. [_He goes._]

_Count_ [_alone, soliloquizes_]--At last I've won! Ouf! What a difficult
little old imp he is! Figaro understands him. I found myself lying, and
that made me awkward; and he has eyes for everything! On my honor, if
the letter hadn't inspired me he'd have thought me a fool!--Ah, how they
are disputing in there!--What if she refuses to come? Listen--If she
won't, my coming is all thrown away. There she is: I won't show
myself at first.

[_Rosina enters_.]

_Rosina_ [_angrily_]--There's no use talking about it, sir. I've made up
my mind. I don't want to hear anything more about music.

_Bartolo_--But, my child, do listen! It is Señor Alonzo, the friend and
pupil of Don Basilio, whom he has chosen as one of our marriage
witnesses. I'm sure that music will calm you.

_Rosina_--Oh! you needn't concern yourself about that; and as for
singing this evening--Where is this master you're so afraid of
dismissing? I'll settle him in a minute--and Señor Basilio too. [_She
sees her lover and exclaims_:] Ah!

_Bartolo_--Eh, eh, what is the matter?

_Rosina_ [_pressing her hands to her heart_]--Ah, sir! Ah, sir!

_Bartolo_--She is ill again! Señor Alonzo!

_Rosina_--No, I am not ill--but as I was turning--ah!

_Count_--Did you sprain your foot, Madame?

_Rosina_--Yes, yes, I sprained my foot! I--hurt myself dreadfully.

_Count_--So I perceived.

_Rosina_ [_looking at the Count_]--The pain really makes me feel faint.

_Bartolo_--A chair--a chair there! And not a single chair here! [_He
goes to get one_.]

_Count_--Ah, Rosina!

_Rosina_--What imprudence!

_Count_--There are a hundred things I must say to you.

_Rosina_--He won't leave us alone.

_Count_--Figaro will help us.

_Bartolo_ [_bringing an arm-chair_]--Wait a minute, my child. Sit down
here. She can't take a lesson this evening, Señor: you must postpone
it. Good-by.

_Rosina_ [_to the Count_]--No, wait; my pain is better. [_To Bartolo_.]
I feel that I've acted foolishly! I'll imitate you, and atone at once by
taking my lesson.

_Bartolo_--Oh! Such a kind little woman at heart! But after so much
excitement, my child, I can't let you make any exertion. So good-bye,
Señor, good-bye.

_Rosina_ [_to the Count_]--Do wait a minute! [_To Bartolo_.] I shall
think that you don't care to please me if you won't let me show my
regret by taking my lesson.

_Count_ [_aside to Bartolo_]--I wouldn't oppose her, if I were you.

_Bartolo_--That settles it, my love: I am so anxious to please you that
I shall stay here all the time you are practicing.

_Rosina_--No, don't. I know you don't care for music.

_Bartolo_--It _will_ charm me this evening, I'm sure.

_Rosina [aside to the Count_]--I'm tormented to death!

_Count [taking a sheet of music from the stand_]--Will you sing this,

_Rosina_--Yes, indeed--it's a very pretty thing out of the opera 'The
Useless Precaution.'

_Bartolo_--Why do you _always_ sing from 'The Useless Precaution'?

_Count_--There is nothing newer! It's a picture of spring in a very
bright style. So if Madame wants to try it--

_Rosina [looking at the Count_]--With pleasure. A picture of spring is
delightful! It is the youth of nature. It seems as if the heart always
feels more when winter's just over. It's like a slave who finds liberty
all the more charming after a long confinement.

_Bartolo [to the Count_]--Always romantic ideas in her head!

_Count [in a low tone_]--Did you notice the application?


_[He sits down in the chair which Rosina has been occupying. Rosina
sings, during which Bartolo goes to sleep. Under cover of the refrain
the Count seizes Rosina's hand and covers it with kisses. In her emotion
she sings brokenly, and finally breaks off altogether. The sudden
silence awakens Bartolo. The Count starts up, and Rosina quickly resumes
her song_.]

       *       *       *       *       *

_[Don Basilio enters. Figaro in background_.]

_Rosina [startled, to herself_]--Don Basilio!

_Count [aside]_--Good Heaven!

_Figaro_--The devil!

_Bartolo [going to meet him_]--Ah! welcome, Basilio. So your accident
was not very serious? Alonzo quite alarmed me about you. He will tell
you that I was just going to see you, and if he had not detained me--

_Basilio [in astonishment_]--Señor Alonzo?

_Figaro [stamping his foot_]--Well, well! How long must I wait? Two
hours wasted already over your beard--Miserable business!

_Basilio [looking at every one in amazement_]--But, gentlemen, will you
please tell me--

_Figaro_--You can talk to him after I've gone.

_Basilio_--But still, would--

_Count_--You'd better be quiet, Basilio. Do you think you can inform
him of anything new? I've told him that you sent me for the music lesson
instead of coming himself.

_Basilio [still more astonished]_--The music lesson! Alonzo!

_Rosina [aside to Basilio]--Do_ hold your tongue, can't you?

_Basilio_--She, too!

_Count [to Bartolo]_--Let him know what you and I have agreed upon.

_Bartolo [aside to Basilio]_--Don't contradict, and say that he is not
your pupil, or you will spoil everything.

_Basilio_--Ah! Ah!

_Bartolo [aloud]_--Indeed, Basilio, your pupil has a great deal of

_Basilio [stupefied]_--My pupil! [_In a low tone_.] I came to tell you
that the Count has moved.

_Bartolo [low]_--I know it. Hush.

_Basilio [low]_--Who told you?

_Bartolo [low]_--He did, of course.

_Count [low]_--It was I, naturally. Just listen, won't you?

_Rosina [low to Basilio]_--Is it so hard to keep still?

_Figaro [low to Basilio]_--Hum! The sharper! He is deaf!

_Basilio [aside]_--Who the devil are they trying to deceive here?
Everybody seems to be in it!

_Bartolo [aloud]_--Well, Basilio--about your lawyer--?

_Figaro_--You have the whole evening to talk about the lawyer.

_Bartolo [to Basilio]_--One word; only tell me if you are satisfied with
the lawyer.

_Basilio [startled]_--With the lawyer?

_Count [smiling]_--Haven't you seen the lawyer?

_Basilio [impatient]_--Eh? No, I haven't seen the lawyer.

_Count [aside to Bartolo]_--Do you want him to explain matters before
her? Send him away.

_Bartolo [low to the Count]_--You are right. [_To Basilio_.] But what
made you ill, all of a sudden?

_Basilio [angrily]_--I don't understand you.

_Count [secretly slipping a purse into his hands]_--Yes: he wants to
know what you are doing here, when you are so far from well?

_Figaro_--He's as pale as a ghost!

_Basilio_--Ah! I understand.

_Count_--Go to bed, dear Basilio. You are not at all well, and you make
us all anxious. Go to bed.

_Figaro_--He looks quite upset. Go to bed.

_Bartolo_--I'm sure he seems feverish. Go to bed.

_Rosina_--Why did you come out? They say that it's catching. Go to bed.

_Basilio [in the greatest amazement]_--I'm to go to bed!

_All the others together_--Yes, you must.

_Basilio [looking at them all]_--Indeed, I think I will have to
withdraw. I don't feel quite as well as usual.

_Bartolo_--We'll look for you to-morrow, if you are better.

_Count_--I'll see you soon, Basilio.

_Basilio [aside]_--Devil take it if I understand all this! And if it
weren't for this purse--

_All_--Good-night, Basilio, good-night.

_Basilio [going]_--Very well, then; good-night, _good-night_.

[_The others, all laughing, push him civilly out of the room_.]



[The scene is the boudoir of young Countess Almaviva, the Rosina of the
previous selection. She is seated alone, when her clever maid Susanna
ushers in the young page Cherubino, just banished from the house because
obnoxious to the jealous Count.]

_Susanna_--Here's our young Captain, Madame.

_Cherubino [timidly]_--The title is a sad reminder that--that I must
leave this delightful home and the godmother who has been so kind--

_Susanna--And_ so beautiful!

_Cherubino [sighing]_--Ah, yes!

_Susanna [mocking his sigh]_--Ah, yes! Just look at his hypocritical
eyelids! Madame, make him sing his new song. [_She gives it to him_.]
Come now, my beautiful bluebird, sing away.

_Countess_--Does the manuscript say who wrote this--song?

_Susanna_--The blushes of guilt betray him.

_Cherubino_--Madame, I--I--tremble so.

_Susanna_--Ta, ta, ta, ta--! Come, modest author--since you are so
commanded. Madame, I'll accompany him.

_Countess [to Susanna]_--Take my guitar.

_[Cherubino sings his ballad to the air of 'Malbrouck.' The Countess
reads the words of it from his manuscript, with an occasional glance at
him; he sometimes looks at her and sometimes lowers his eyes as he
sings. Susanna, accompanying him, watches them both, laughing.]_

_Countess [folding the song]_--Enough, my boy. Thank you. It is very
good--full of feeling--

_Susanna_--Ah! as for feeling--this is a young man who--well!

_[Cherubino tries to stop her by catching hold of her dress. Susanna
whispers to him]_--Ah, you good-for-nothing! I'm going to tell her.
_[Aloud.]_ Well--Captain! We'll amuse ourselves by seeing how you look
in one of my dresses!

_Countess_--Susanna, how _can_ you go on so?

_Susanna [going up to Cherubino and measuring herself with him]_--He's
just the right height. Off with your coat. _[She draws it off.]_

_Countess_--But what if some one should come?

_Susanna_--What if they do? We're doing no wrong. But I'll lock the
door, just the same. _[Locks it.]_ I want to see him in a woman's

_Countess_--Well, you'll find my little cap in my dressing-room on the
toilet table.

_[Susanna gets the cap, and then, sitting down on a stool, she makes
Cherubino kneel before her and arranges it on his hair.]_

_Susanna_--Goodness, isn't he a pretty girl? I'm jealous. Cherubino,
you're altogether _too_ pretty.

_Countess_--Undo his collar a little; that will give a more feminine
air. [_Susanna loosens his collar so as to show his neck_.] Now push up
his sleeves, so that the under ones show more. [_While Susanna rolls up
Cherubino's sleeves, the Countess notices her lost ribbon around his
wrist_.] What is that? My ribbon?

_Susanna_--Ah! I'm very glad you've seen it, for I told him I should
tell. I should certainly have taken it away from him if the Count hadn't
come just then; for I am almost as strong as he is.

_Countess [with surprise, unrolling the ribbon]_--There's blood on it!

_Cherubino_--Yes, I was tightening the curb of my horse this morning, he
curvetted and gave me a push with his head, and the bridle stud
grazed my arm.

_Countess_--I never saw a ribbon used as a bandage before.

_Susanna_--Especially a _stolen_ ribbon. What may all those things
be--the curb, the curvetting, the bridle stud? [_Glances at his arms_.]
What white arms he has! just like a woman's. Madame, they are whiter
than mine.

_Countess_--Never mind that, but run and find me some oiled silk.

[_Susanna goes out, after humorously pushing Cherubino over so that he
falls forward on his hands. He and the Countess look at each other for
some time; then she breaks the silence_.]

_Countess_--I hope you are plucky enough. Don't show yourself before the
Count again to-day. We'll tell him to hurry up your commission in
his regiment.

_Cherubino_--I already have it, Madame. Basilio brought it to me. [_He
draws the commission from his pocket and hands it to her_.]

_Countess_--Already! They haven't lost any time. [_She opens it._] Oh,
in their hurry they've forgotten to add the seal to it.

_Susanna [returning with the oiled silk]_--Seal what?

_Countess_--His commission in the regiment.


_Countess_--That's what I said.

_Susanna_--And the bandage?

_Countess_--Oh, when you are getting my things, take a ribbon from one
of _your_ caps. [_Susanna goes out again_]

_Countess_--This ribbon is of my favorite color. I must tell you I was
greatly displeased at your taking it.

_Cherubino_--That one would heal me quickest.

_Countess_--And--why so?

_Cherubino_--When a ribbon--has pressed the head, and--touched the skin
of one--

_Countess [hastily]_--Very strange--then it can cure wounds? I never
heard that before. I shall certainly try it on the first wound of any
of--my maids--

_Cherubino [sadly]_--I must go away from here!

_Countess_--But not for always? [_Cherubino begins to weep._] And now
you are crying! At that prediction of Figaro?

_Cherubino_--I'm just where he said I'd be. [_Some one knocks on the

_Countess_--Who can be knocking like that?

_The Count [outside]_--Open the door!

_Countess_--Heavens! It's my husband. Where can you hide?

_The Count [outside]_--Open the door, I say.

_Countess_--There's no one here, you see.

_The Count_--But who are you talking to then?

_Countess_--To you, I suppose. [_To Cherubino._] Hide yourself,
quick--in the dressing-room!

_Cherubino_--Ah, after this morning, he'd kill me if he found me _here_.

[_He runs into the dressing-room on the right, which is also Susanna's
room; the Countess, after locking him in and taking the key, admits
the Count._]

_Count_--You don't usually lock yourself in, Madame.

_Countess_--I--I--was gossiping with Susanna. She's gone. [_Pointing to
her maid's room._]

_Count_--And you seem very much agitated, Madame.

_Countess_--Not at all, I assure you! We were talking about you. She's
just gone--as I told you.

_Count_--I must say, Madame, you and I seem to be surrounded by spiteful
people. Just as I'm starting for a ride, I'm handed a note which informs
me that a certain person whom I suppose far enough away is to visit you
this evening.

_Countess_--The bold fellow, whoever he is, will have to come here,
then; for I don't intend to leave my room to-day.

[_Something falls heavily in the dressing-room where Cherubino is._]

_Count_--Ah, Madame, something dropped just then!

_Countess_--I didn't hear anything.

_Count_--You must be very absent-minded, then. Somebody is in that room!

_Countess_--Who do you think could be there?

_Count_--Madame, that is what I'm asking _you_. I have just come in.

_Countess_--Probably it's Susanna wandering about.

_Count [pointing]_--But you just told me that she went that way.

_Countess_--This way or that--I don't know which.

_Count_--Very well, Madame, I must see her.--Come here, Susanna.

_Countess_--She cannot. Pray wait! She's but half dressed. She's trying
on things that I've given her for her wedding.

_Count_--Dressed or not, I wish to see her at once.

_Countess_--I can't prevent your doing so anywhere else, but here--

_Count_--You may say what you choose--I _will_ see her.

_Countess_--I thoroughly believe you'd like to see her in that state!

_Count_--Very well, Madame. If Susanna can't come out, at least she can
talk. [_Turning toward the dressing-room._] Susanna, are you there?
Answer, I command you.

_Countess_ [_peremptorily_]--Don't answer, Susanna! I forbid you! Sir,
how can you be such a petty tyrant? Fine suspicions, indeed!

[_Susanna slips by and hides behind the Countess's bed without being
noticed either by her or by the Count._]

_Count_--They are all the easier to dispel. I can see that it would be
useless to ask you for the key, but it's easy enough to break in the
door. Here, somebody!

_Countess_--Will you really make yourself the laughing-stock of the
chateau for such a silly suspicion?

_Count_--- You are quite right. I shall simply force the door myself. I
am going for tools.

_Countess_--Sir, if your conduct were prompted by love, I'd forgive your
jealousy for the sake of the motive. But its cause is only your vanity.

_Count_--Love _or_ vanity, Madame, I mean to know who is in that room!
And to guard against any tricks, I am going to lock the door to your
maid's room. You, Madame, will kindly come with me, and without any
noise, if you please. [_He leads her away._] As for the Susanna in the
dressing-room, she will please wait a few minutes.

_Countess_ [_going out with him_]--Sir, I assure you--

_Susanna_ [_coming out from behind the bed and running to the
dressing-room_]--Cherubino! Open quick! It's Susanna. [_Cherubino
hurries out of the dressing-room._] Escape--you haven't a minute
to lose!

_Cherubino_--Where can I go?

_Susanna_--I don't know, I don't know at all! but do go somewhere!

_Cherubino_ [_running to the window, then coming back_]--The window
isn't so very high.

_Susanna_ [_frightened and holding him back_]--He'll kill himself!

_Cherubino_--Ah, Susie, I'd rather jump into a gulf than put the
Countess in danger. [_He snatches a kiss, then runs to the window,
hesitates, and finally jumps down into the garden._]

_Susanna_--Ah! [_She falls fainting into an arm-chair. Recovering
slowly, she rises, and seeing Cherubino running through the garden she
comes forward panting._] He's far away already! ... Little scamp! as
nimble as he is handsome! [_She next runs to the dressing-room._] Now,
Count Almaviva, knock as hard as you like, break down the door. Plague
take me if I answer you. [_Goes into the dressing-room and shuts
the door._]

[_Count and Countess return._]

_Count_--Now, Madame, consider well before you drive me to extremes.

_Countess_--I--I beg of you--!

_Count_ [_preparing to burst open the door_]--You can't cajole me now.

_Countess_ [_throwing herself on her knees_]--Then I will open it! Here
is the key.

_Count_--So it is _not_ Susanna?

_Countess_--No, but it's no one who should offend you.

_Count_--If it's a man I kill him! Unworthy wife! You wish to stay shut
up in your room--you shall stay in it long enough, I promise you. _Now_
I understand the note--my suspicions are justified!

_Countess_--Will you listen to me one minute?

_Count_--Who is in that room?

_Countess_--Your page.

_Count_--Cherubino! The little scoundrel!--just let me catch him! I
don't wonder you were so agitated.

_Countess_--I--I assure you we were only planning an innocent joke.

[_The Count snatches the key, and goes to the dressing-room door; the
Countess throws herself at his feet._]

_Countess_--Have mercy, Count! Spare this poor child; and although the
disorder in which you will find him--

_Count_--What, Madame? What do you mean? What disorder?

_Countess_--He was just changing his coat--his neck and arms are bare--

[_The Countess throws herself into a chair and turns away her head._]

_Count_ [_running to the dressing-room_]--Come out here, you young

_Count_ [_seeing Susanna come out of the dressing-room_]--Eh! Why, it
_is_ Susanna! [_Aside._] What, a lesson!

_Susanna_ [_mocking him_]--"I will kill him! I will kill him!" Well,
then, why don't you kill this mischievous page?

_Count_ [_to the Countess, who at the sight of Susanna shows the
greatest surprise_]--So _you_ also play astonishment, Madame?

_Countess_--Why shouldn't I?

_Count_--But perhaps she wasn't alone in there. I'll find out. [_He goes
into the dressing-room._]

_Countess_--- Susanna, I'm nearly dead.

_Count_ [_aside, as he returns_]--No one there! So this time I really am
wrong. [_To the Countess, coldly._] You excel at comedy, Madame.

_Susanna_--And what about me, sir?

_Count_--And so do you.

_Countess_--Aren't you glad you found her instead of Cherubino?
[_Meaningly._] You are generally pleased to come across her.

_Susanna_--Madame ought to have let you break in the doors, call the

_Count_--Yes, it's quite true--I'm at fault--I'm humiliated enough! But
why didn't you answer, you cruel girl, when I called you?

_Susanna_--I was dressing as well as I could--with the aid of pins, and
Madame knew why she forbade me to answer. She had her lessons.

_Count_--Why don't you help me get pardon, instead of making me out as
bad as you can?

_Countess_--Did I marry you to be eternally subjected to jealousy and
neglect? I mean to join the Ursulines, and--

_Count_--But, Rosina!

_Countess_--I am no longer the Rosina whom you loved so well. I am only
poor Countess Almaviva, deserted wife of a madly jealous husband.

_Count_--I assure you, Rosina, this man, this letter, had excited me

_Countess_--I never gave my consent.

_Count_--What, you knew about it?

_Countess_--This rattlepate Figaro, without my sanction--

_Count_--He did it, eh! and Basilio pretended that a peasant brought it.
Crafty wag, ready to impose on everybody!

_Countess_--You beg pardon, but you never grant pardon. If I grant it,
it shall only be on condition of a general amnesty.

_Count_--Well, then, so be it. I agree. But I don't understand how your
sex can adapt itself to circumstances so quickly and so nicely. You were
certainly much agitated; and for that matter, you are yet.

_Countess_--Men aren't sharp enough to distinguish between honest
indignation at unjust suspicion, and the confusion of guilt.

_Count_--We men think we know something of politics, but we are only
children. Madame, the King ought to name you his ambassador to
London.--And now pray forget this unfortunate business, so
humiliating for me.

_Countess_--For us both.

_Count_--Won't you tell me again that you forgive me?

_Countess_--Have I said _that_, Susanna?

_Count_--Ah, say it now.

_Countess_--Do you deserve it, culprit?

_Count_--Yes, honestly, for my repentance.

_Countess [giving him her hand_]--How weak I am! What an example I set
you, Susanna! He'll never believe in a woman's anger.

_Susanna_--You are prisoner on parole; and you shall see we are


(1584-1616) (1579-1625)

"The names of Beaumont and Fletcher," says Lowell, in his lectures on
'Old English Dramatists,' "are as inseparably linked together as those
of Castor and Pollux. They are the double star of our poetical
firmament, and their beams are so indissolubly mingled that it is vain
to attempt any division of them that shall assign to each his rightful
share." Theirs was not that dramatic collaboration all too common among
the lesser Elizabethan dramatists, at a time when managers, eager to
satisfy a restless public incessantly clamoring for novelty, parceled
out single acts or even scenes of a play among two or three playwrights,
to put together a more or less congruous piece of work. Beaumont and
Fletcher joined partnership, not from any outward necessity, but
inspired by a common love of their art and true congeniality of mind.
Unlike many of their brother dramatists, whom the necessities of a lowly
origin drove to seek a livelihood in writing for the theatres, Beaumont
and Fletcher were of gentle birth, and sprung from families eminent at
the bar and in the Church.

[Illustration: Francis Beaumont]

Beaumont was born at Grace-Dieu in Leicestershire, 1584, the son of a
chief justice. His name is first mentioned as a gentleman commoner at
Broadgate Hall, now Pembroke College, Oxford. At sixteen he was entered
a member of the Inner Temple, but the dry facts of the law did not
appeal to his romantic imagination. Nowhere in his work does he draw
upon his barrister's experience to the extent that makes the plays of
Middleton, who also knew the Inner Temple at first hand, a storehouse of
information in things legal. His feet soon strayed, therefore, into the
more congenial fields of dramatic invention.

Fletcher was born in Rye, Sussex, the son of a minister who later became
Bishop of London. Giles Fletcher the Younger, and Phineas Fletcher, both
well-known poets in their day, were his cousins. His early life is as
little known as that of Beaumont, and indeed as the lives of most of the
other Elizabethan dramatists. He was a pensioner at Benet College, now
Corpus Christi, Cambridge, in 1591, and in 1593 he was "Bible-clerk"
there. Then we hear nothing of him until 'The Woman Hater' was brought
out in 1607. The play has been ascribed to Beaumont alone, to Fletcher
alone, and to the two jointly. Whoever may be the author, it is the
firstling of his dramatic muse, and worth merely a passing mention. How
or when their literary friendship began is not known; but since both
were friends of Jonson, both prefixing commendatory verses to the great
realist's play of 'The Fox,' it is fair to assume that through him they
were brought together, and that both belonged to that brilliant circle
of wits, poets, and dramatists who made famous the gatherings at the
Mermaid Inn.

They lived in the closest intimacy on the Bankside, near the Globe
Theatre in Southwark, sharing everything in common, even the bed, and
some say their clothing,--which is likely enough, as it can be
paralleled without going back three centuries. It is certain that the
more affluent circumstances of Beaumont tided his less fortunate friend
over many a difficulty; and the astonishing dramatic productivity of
Fletcher's later period was probably due to Beaumont's untimely death,
making it necessary for Fletcher to rely on his pen for support.

In 1613 Beaumont's marriage to a Kentish heiress put an end to the
communistic bachelor establishment. He died March 6th, 1616, not quite
six weeks before Shakespeare, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Fletcher survived him nine years, dying of the plague in 1625. He was
buried, not by the side of the poet with whose name his own is forever
linked, but at St. Saviour's, Southwark.

"A student of physiognomy," says Swinburne, "will not fail to mark the
points of likeness and of difference between the faces of the two
friends; both models of noble manhood.... Beaumont the statelier and
serener of the two, with clear, thoughtful eyes, full arched brows, and
strong aquiline nose, with a little cleft at the tip; a grave and
beautiful mouth, with full and finely curved lips; the form of face a
very pure oval, and the imperial head, with its 'fair large front' and
clustering hair, set firm and carried high with an aspect of quiet
command and knightly observation. Fletcher with more keen and fervid
face, sharper in outline every way, with an air of bright ardor and
glad, fiery impatience; sanguine and nervous, suiting the complexion and
color of hair; the expression of the eager eyes and lips almost rivaling
that of a noble hound in act to break the leash it strains at;--two
heads as lordly of feature and as expressive of aspect as any gallery of
great men can show."

It may not be altogether fanciful to transfer this description of their
physical bearing to their mental equipment, and draw some conclusions as
to their several endowments and their respective share in the work that
goes under their common name. Of course it is impossible to draw hard
and fast lines of demarkation, and assign to each poet his own words.
They, above all others, would probably have resented so dogmatic a
procedure, and affirmed the dramas to be their joint offspring,--even as
a child partakes of the nature of both its parents.

Their plays are organic structures, with well worked-out plots and for
the most part well-sustained characters. They present a complete fusion
of the different elements contributed by each author; never showing that
agglomeration of incongruous matter so often found among the work of the
lesser playwrights, where each hand can be singled out and held
responsible for its share. Elaborate attempts, based on verse tests,
have been made to disentangle the two threads of their poetic fabric.
These attempts show much patient analysis, and are interesting as
evidences of ingenuity; but they appeal more to the scholar than to the
lover of poetry. Yet a sympathetic reading and a comparison of the plays
professedly written by Fletcher alone, after Beaumont's death, with
those jointly produced by them in the early part of Fletcher's career,
shows the different qualities of mind that went to the making of the
work, and the individual characteristics of the men that wrote it. Here
Swinburne's eloquence gives concreteness to the picture.

In the joint plays there is a surer touch, a deeper, more pathetic note,
a greater intensity of emotion; there is more tragic pathos and passion,
more strong genuine humor, nobler sentiments. The predominance of these
graver, sweeter qualities may well be attributed to Beaumont's
influence. Although a disciple of Jonson in comedy, he was a close
follower of Shakespeare in tragedy, and a student of the rhythms and
metres of Shakespeare's second manner,--of the period that saw 'Hamlet,'
'Macbeth,' and the plays clustering around them. Too great a poet
himself merely to imitate, Beaumont yet felt the influence of that still
greater poet who swayed every one of the later dramatists, with the
single exception perhaps of Jonson. But in pure comedy, mixed with farce
and mock-heroic parody, he belongs to the school of "rare Ben."

Fletcher, on the other hand, is more brilliant, more rapid and supple,
readier in his resources, of more startling invention. He has an
extraordinary swiftness and fluency of speech; and no other dramatist,
not even Shakespeare, equals him in the remarkable facility with which
he reproduces in light, airy verse the bantering conversations of the
young beaux and court-gentlemen of the time of James I. His peculiar
trick of the redundant syllable at the end of many of his lines is
largely responsible in producing this effect of ordinary speech, that
yet is verse without being prosy. There is a flavor about Fletcher's
work peculiarly its own. He created a new form of mixed comedy and
dramatic romance, dealing with the humors and mischances of men, yet
possessing a romantic coloring. He had great skill in combining his
effects, and threw a fresh charm and vividness over his fanciful world.
The quality of his genius is essentially bright and sunny, and therefore
he is best in his comic and romantic work. His tragedy, although it has
great pathos and passion, does not compel tears, nor does it subdue by
its terror. It lacks the note of inevitableness which is the final
touchstone of tragic greatness.

Their first joint play, 'Philaster, or Love Lies a-Bleeding,' acted in
1608, is in its detached passages the most famous. Among the others,
'The Maid's Tragedy,' produced about the same time, is their finest play
on its purely tragic side, although the plot is disagreeable. 'King and
No King' attracts because of the tender character-drawing of Panthea.
'The Scornful Lady' is noteworthy as the best exponent, outside his own
work, of the school of Jonson on its grosser side. 'The Knight of the
Burning Pestle' is at once a burlesque on knight-errantry and a comedy
of manners.

Among the tragedies presumably produced by Fletcher alone, 'Bonduca' is
one of the best, followed closely by 'The False One,' 'Valentinian,' and
'Thierry and Theodoret.' 'The Chances' and 'The Wild Goose Chase' may be
taken as examples of the whole work on its comic side. 'The Humorous
Lieutenant' is the best expression of the faults and merits of Fletcher,
whose comedies Swinburne has divided into three groups: pure comedies,
heroic or romantic dramas, and mixed comedy and romance. To the first
group belong 'Rule a Wife and Have a Wife,' Fletcher's comic
masterpiece, 'Wit without Money,' 'The Wild Goose Chase,' 'The Chances,'
'The Noble Gentleman.' The second group includes 'The Knight of Malta,'
full of heroic passion and Catholic devotion, 'The Pilgrim,' 'The Loyal
Subject,' 'A Wife for a Month,' 'Love's Pilgrimage,' 'The Lover's
Progress.' The third group comprises 'The Spanish Curate,' 'Monsieur
Thomas,' 'The Custom of the Country,' 'The Elder Brother,' 'The Little
French Lawyer,' 'The Humorous Lieutenant,' 'Women Pleased,' 'Beggar's
Bush,' 'The Fair Maid of the Inn.'

Fletcher had a part with Shakespeare in the 'Two Noble Kinsmen,' and he
wrote also in conjunction with Massinger, Rowley, and others; Shirley,
too, is believed to have finished some of his plays.

Leaving aside Shakespeare, Beaumont and Fletcher's plays are the best
dramatic expression of the romantic spirit of Elizabethan England. Their
luxurious, playful fancy delighted in the highly colored, spicy tales of
the Southern imagination which the Renaissance was then bringing into
England. They drew especially upon Spanish material, and their plays are
rightly interpreted only when studied in reference to this Spanish
foundation. But they are at the same time true Englishmen, and above all
true Elizabethans; which is as much as to say that, borne along by the
eager, strenuous spirit of their time, reaching out toward new
sensations and impressions, new countries and customs, and dazzled by
the romanesque and fantastic, they took up this exotic material and made
it acceptable to the English mind. They satisfied the curiosity of their
time, and expressed its surface ideas and longings. This accounts for
their great popularity, which in their day eclipsed even Shakespeare's,
as it accounts also for their shortcomings. They skimmed over the
surface of passion, they saw the pathos and the pity of it but not the
terror; they lacked Shakespeare's profound insight into the well-springs
of human action, and sacrificed truth of life to stage effect. They
shared with him one grave fault which is indeed the besetting sin of
dramatists, resulting in part from the necessarily curt and outline
action of the drama, in part from the love of audiences for strong
emotional effects; namely, the abrupt and unexplained moral revolutions
of their characters. Effects are too often produced without apparent
causes; a novelist has space to fill in the blanks. The sudden
contrition of the usurper in 'As You Like It' is a familiar instance;
Beaumont and Fletcher have plenty as bad. Probably there was more of
this in real life during the Middle Ages, when most people still had
much barbaric instability of feeling and were liable to sudden
revulsions of purpose, than in our more equable society. On the other
hand, virtue often suffers needlessly and acquiescingly.

In their speech they indulged in much license, Fletcher especially; he
was prone to confuse right and wrong. The strenuousness of the earlier
Elizabethan age was passing away, and the relaxing morality of Jacobean
society was making its way into literature, culminating in the entire
disintegration of the time of Charles II., which it is very shallow to
lay entirely to the Puritans. There would have been a time of great
laxity had Cromwell or the Puritan ascendancy never existed. Beaumont
and Fletcher, in their eagerness to please, took no thought of the
after-effects of their plays; morality did not enter into their scheme
of life. Yet they were not immoral, but merely unmoral. They lacked the
high seriousness that gives its permanent value to Shakespeare's tragic
work. They wrote not to embody the everlasting truths of life, as he
did; not because they were oppressed with the weight of a new message
striving for utterance; not because they were aflame with the passion
for the unattainable, as Marlowe; not to lash with the stings of bitter
mockery the follies and vices of their fellow-men, as Ben Jonson; not
primarily to make us shudder at the terrible tragedies enacted by
corrupted hearts, and the needless unending sufferings of persecuted
virtue, as Webster; nor yet to give us a faithful picture of the
different phases of life in Jacobean London, as Dekker, Heywood,
Middleton, and others. They wrote for the very joy of writing, to give
vent to their over-bubbling fancy and their tender feeling.

They are lyrical and descriptive poets of the first order, with a
wonderful ease and grace of expression. The songs scattered throughout
their plays are second only to Shakespeare's. The volume and variety of
their work is astonishing. They left more than fifty-two printed plays,
and all of these show an extraordinary power of invention; the most
diverse passions, characters, and situations enter into the work, their
stories stimulate our curiosity, and their characters appeal to our
sympathies. Especially in half-farcical, half-pathetic comedy they have
no superior; their wit and spirit here find freest play. Despite much
coarseness, their work is full of delicate sensibility, and suffused
with a romantic grace of form and a tenderness of expression that
endears them to our hearts, and makes them more lovable than any of
their brother dramatists, with the possible exception of genial Dekker.
The spirit of chivalry breathes through their work, and the gentleman
and scholar is always present. For in contradiction to most of their
fellow-workers, they were not on the stage; they never took part in its
more practical affairs either as actors or managers; they derived the
technical knowledge necessary to a successful playwright from their
intimacy with stage folk.

As poets, aside from their dramatic work, they occupy a secondary place.
Beaumont especially has left, beyond one or two exquisite lyrics, little
that is noteworthy, except some commendatory verses addressed to Jonson.
On the other hand, Fletcher's 'Faithful Shepherdess,' with Jonson's 'Sad
Shepherd' and Milton's 'Comus,' form that delightful trilogy of the
first pastoral poems in the English language.

The popularity of Beaumont and Fletcher in the seventeenth century, as
compared to that of Shakespeare, has been over-emphasized; for between
1623 and 1685 they have only two folio editions, those of 1647 and 1679,
as against four of Shakespeare. Their position among the Elizabethans is
unique. They did not found a school either in comedy or tragedy.
Massinger, who had more in common with them than any other of the
leading dramatists, cannot be called their disciple; for though he
worked in the same field, he is more sober and severe, more careful in
the construction of his plots, more of a satirist and stern judge of
society. With the succeeding playwrights the decadence of the
Elizabethan drama began.



[Clorin, a shepherdess, watching by the grave of her lover, is found by
a Satyr.]

     CLORIN--Hail, holy earth, whose cold arms do embrace
             The truest man that ever fed his flocks
             By the fat plains of fruitful Thessaly.
             Thus I salute thy grave, thus do I pay
             My early vows, and tribute of mine eyes,
             To thy still loved ashes: thus I free
             Myself from all ensuing heats and fires
             Of love: all sports, delights, and jolly games,
             That shepherds hold full dear, thus put I off.
             Now no more shall these smooth brows be begirt
             With youthful coronals, and lead the dance.
             No more the company of fresh fair maids
             And wanton shepherds be to me delightful:
             Nor the shrill pleasing sound of merry pipes
             Under some shady dell, when the cool wind
             Plays on the leaves: all be far away,
             Since thou art far away, by whose dear side
             How often have I sat, crowned with fresh flowers
             For summer's queen, whilst every shepherd's boy
             Puts on his lusty green, with gaudy hook,
             And hanging script of finest cordevan!
             But thou art gone, and these are gone with thee,
             And all are dead but thy dear memory;
             That shall outlive thee, and shall ever spring,
             Whilst there are pipes, or jolly shepherds sing.
             And here will I, in honor of thy love,
             Dwell by thy grave, forgetting all those joys
             That former times made precious to mine eyes,
             Only remembering what my youth did gain
             In the dark hidden virtuous use of herbs.
             That will I practice, and as freely give
             All my endeavors, as I gained them free.
             Of all green wounds I know the remedies
             In men or cattle, be they stung with snakes,
             Or charmed with powerful words of wicked art;
             Or be they love-sick, or through too much heat
             Grown wild, or lunatic; their eyes, or ears,
             Thickened with misty film of dulling rheum:

     These I can cure, such secret virtue lies
     In herbs applied by a virgin's hand.
     My meat shall be what these wild woods afford,
     Berries and chestnuts, plantains, on whose cheeks
     The sun sits smiling, and the lofty fruit
     Pulled from the fair head of the straight-grown pine.
     On these I'll feed with free content and rest,
     When night shall blind the world, by thy side blessed

             [_A Satyr enters_.]

     _Satyr_--Through yon same bending plain
                   That flings his arms down to the main,
                   And through these thick woods have I run,
                   Whose bottom never kissed the sun.
                   Since the lusty spring began,
                   All to please my master Pan,
                   Have I trotted without rest
                   To get him fruit; for at a feast
                   He entertains this coming night
                   His paramour the Syrinx bright:
                   But behold a fairer sight!
                   By that heavenly form of thine,
                   Brightest fair, thou art divine,
                   Sprung from great immortal race
                   Of the gods, for in thy face
                   Shines more awful majesty
                   Than dull weak mortality
                   Dare with misty eyes behold,
                   And live: therefore on this mold
                   Lowly do I bend my knee
                   In worship of thy deity.
                   Deign it, goddess, from my hand
                   To receive whate'er this land
                   From her fertile womb doth send
                   Of her choice fruits; and--but lend
                   Belief to that the Satyr tells--
                   Fairer by the famous wells
                   To this present day ne'er grew,
                   Never better, nor more true.
                   Here be grapes, whose lusty blood
                   Is the learned poet's good;
                   Sweeter yet did never crown
                   The head of Bacchus: nuts more brown
                   Than the squirrels' teeth that crack them;
                   Deign, O fairest fair, to take them.
                   For these, black-eyed Driope
                   Hath oftentimes commanded me
                   With my clasped knee to climb.
                   See how well the lusty time
                   Hath decked their rising cheeks in red,
                   Such as on your lips is spread.
                   Here be berries for a queen;
                   Some be red, some be green;
                   These are of that luscious meat
                   The great god Pan himself doth eat:
                   All these, and what the woods can yield,
                   The hanging mountain, or the field,
                   I freely offer, and ere long
                   Will bring you more, more sweet and strong;
                   Till when humbly leave I take,
                   Lest the great Pan do awake,
                   That sleeping lies in a deep glade,
                   Under a broad beech's shade.
                   I must go, I must run,
                   Swifter than the fiery sun.

    _Clorin_--And all my fears go with thee.
                   What greatness, or what private hidden power,
                   Is there in me to draw submission
                   From this rude man and beast? sure. I am mortal,
                   The daughter of a shepherd; he was mortal,
                   And she that bore me mortal; prick my hand
                   And it will bleed; a fever shakes me, and
                   The self-same wind that makes the young lambs shrink,
                   Makes me a-cold: my fear says I am mortal:
                   Yet I have heard (my mother told it me)
                   And now I do believe it, if I keep
                   My virgin flower uncropped, pure, chaste, and fair,
                   No goblin, wood-god, fairy, elf, or fiend,
                   Satyr, or other power that haunts the groves,
                   Shall hurt my body, or by vain illusion
                   Draw me to wander after idle fires,
                   Or voices calling me in dead of night
                   To make me follow, and so tole me on
                   Through mire, and standing pools, to find my ruin.
                   Else why should this rough thing, who never knew
                   Manners nor smooth humanity, whose heats
                   Are rougher than himself, and more misshapen,
                   Thus mildly kneel to me? Sure there's a power
                   In that great name of Virgin, that binds fast
                   All rude uncivil bloods, all appetites
                   That break their confines. Then, strong Chastity,
                   Be thou my strongest guard; for here I'll dwell
                   In opposition against fate and hell.


     Care-charming Sleep, thou easer of all woes,
     Brother to Death, sweetly thyself dispose
     On this afflicted prince; fall, like a cloud,
     In gentle showers; give nothing that is loud
     Or painful to his slumbers; easy, light,
     And as a purling stream, thou son of Night,
     Pass by his troubled senses; sing his pain,
     Like hollow murmuring wind or silver rain;
     Into this prince gently, oh, gently slide,
     And kiss him into slumbers like a bride!


     God Lyæus, ever young,
     Ever honored, ever sung,
     Stained with blood of lusty grapes,
     In a thousand lusty shapes,
     Dance upon the mazer's brim,
     In the crimson liquor swim;
     From thy plenteous hand divine,
     Let a river run with wine.
       God of youth, let this day here
       Enter neither care nor fear!


     Lay a garland on my hearse
       Of the dismal yew;
     Maidens, willow-branches bear;
       Say I died true.

     My love was false, but I was firm
       From my hour of birth:
     Upon my buried body lie
       Lightly, gentle earth!



     Dearest, do not you delay me,
       Since thou know'st I must be gone;
     Wind and tide, 'tis thought, doth stay me,
       But 'tis wind that must be blown
           From that breath, whose native smell
           Indian odors far excel.

     Oh then speak, thou fairest fair!
       Kill not him that vows to serve thee;
     But perfume this neighboring air,
       Else dull silence, sure, will starve me:
           'Tis a word that's quickly spoken,
           Which being restrained, a heart is broken.


     May I find a woman fair,
     And her mind as clear as air:
     If her beauty go alone,
     'Tis to me as if 'twere none.

     May I find a woman rich,
     And not of too high a pitch:
     If that pride should cause disdain,
     Tell me, lover, where's thy gain?

     May I find a woman wise,
     And her falsehood not disguise:
     Hath she wit as she hath will,
     Double armed she is to ill.

     May I find a woman kind,
     And not wavering like the wind:
     How should I call that love mine,
     When 'tis his, and his, and thine?

     May I find a woman true,
     There is beauty's fairest hue,
     There is beauty, love, and wit:
     Happy he can compass it!


     By Fletcher

               Hence, all you vain delights,
                  As short as are the nights
                     Wherein you spend your folly!
               There's naught in this life sweet,
               If man were wise to see 't,
                  But only melancholy;
                  Oh, sweetest melancholy!
          Welcome, folded arms, and fixèd eyes,
             A sigh that piercing mortifies,
          A look that's fastened to the ground,
          A tongue chained up without a sound!

          Fountain heads, and pathless groves,
          Places which pale passion loves!
          Moonlight walks when all the fowls
          Are warmly housed, save bats and owls!
          A midnight bell, a parting groan!
          These are the sounds we feed upon;
     Then stretch our bones in a still gloomy valley;
     Nothing's so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy.



     By Beaumont

     If it might stand with justice to allow
     The swift conversion of all follies, now
     Such is my mercy, that I could admit
     All sorts should equally approve the wit
     Of this thy even work, whose growing fame
     Shall raise thee high, and thou it, with thy name;
     And did not manners and my love command
     Me to forbear to make those understand
     Whom thou, perhaps, hast in thy wiser doom
     Long since firmly resolved, shall never come
     To know more than they do,--I would have shown
     To all the world the art which thou alone
     Hast taught our tongue, the rules of time, of place,
     And other rites, delivered with the grace

     Of comic style, which only is fat more
     Than any English stage hath known before.
     But since our subtle gallants think it good
     To like of naught that may be understood,
     Lest they should be disproved, or have, at best,
     Stomachs so raw, that nothing can digest
     But what's obscene, or barks,--let us desire
     They may continue, simply to admire
     Fine clothes and strange words, and may live, in age
     To see themselves ill brought upon the stage,
     And like it; whilst thy bold and knowing Muse
     Contemns all praise, but such as thou wouldst choose.



       Mortality, behold, and fear!
         What a change of flesh is here!
         Think how many royal bones
       Sleep within this heap of stones:
       Here they lie had realms and lands,
     Who now want strength to stir their hands;
     Where from their pulpits, soiled with dust,
     They preach, "In greatness is no trust."
       Here's an acre sown indeed
       With the richest, royal'st seed,
       That, the earth did e'er suck in
       Since the first man died for sin:
       Here the bones of birth have cried,
     "Though gods they were, as men they died:"
       Here are sands, ignoble things,
       Dropt from the ruined sides of kings:
       Here's a world of pomp and state
       Buried in dust, once dead by fate.



     Lady--Here is my Lord Philaster.

     _Arethusa_--Oh, 'tis well.
     Withdraw yourself. _Exit Lady_.

     _Philaster_--Madam, your messenger
     Made me believe you wished to speak with me.

     _Arethusa_--'Tis true, Philaster, but the words are such
     I have to say, and do so ill beseem
     The mouth of woman, that I wish them said,
     And yet am loath to speak them. Have you known
     That I have aught detracted from your worth?
     Have I in person wronged you? or have set
     My baser instruments to throw disgrace
     Upon your virtues?

     _Philaster_--Never, madam, you.

     _Arethusa_--Why then should you, in such a public place,
     Injure a princess, and a scandal lay
     Upon my fortunes, famed to be so great,
     Calling a great part of my dowry in question?

     _Philaster_--Madam, this truth which I shall speak will be
     Foolish: but, for your fair and virtuous self,
     I could afford myself to have no right
     To any thing you wished.

     _Arethusa_--Philaster, know,
     I must enjoy these kingdoms.

     _Philaster_--Madam, both?

     _Arethusa_--Both, or I die; by fate, I die, Philaster,
     If I not calmly may enjoy them both.

     _Philaster_--I would do much to save that noble life,
     Yet would be loath to have posterity
     Find in our stories, that Philaster gave
     His right unto a sceptre and a crown
     To save a lady's longing.

     _Arethusa_--Nay, then, hear:
     I must and will have them, and more--

     _Philaster_--What more?

     _Arethusa_--Or lose that little life the gods prepared
     To trouble this poor piece of earth withal.

     _Philaster_--Madam, what more?

     _Arethusa_--Turn, then, away thy face.



     _Philaster_--I can endure it. Turn away my face!
     I never yet saw enemy that looked
     So dreadfully, but that I thought myself
     As great a basilisk as he; or spake
     So horribly, but that I thought my tongue
     Bore thunder underneath, as much as his;
     Nor beast that I could turn from: shall I then
     Begin to fear sweet sounds? a lady's voice,
     Whom I do love? Say, you would have my life:
     Why, I will give it you; for 'tis to me
     A thing so loathed, and unto you that ask
     Of so poor use, that I shall make no price:
     If you entreat, I will unmovedly hear.

     _Arethusa_--Yet, for my sake, a little bend thy looks.

     _Philaster_--I do.

     _Arethusa_--Then know, I must have them and thee.

     _Philaster_--And me?

     _Arethusa_--Thy love; without which, all the land
     Discovered yet will serve me for no use
     But to be buried in.

     _Philaster_--Is't possible?

     _Arethusa_--With it, it were too little to bestow
     On thee. Now, though thy breath do strike me dead,
     (Which, know, it may,) I have unript my breast.

     _Philaster_--Madam, you are too full of noble thoughts
     To lay a train for this contemnèd life,
     Which you may have for asking: to suspect
     Were base, where I deserve no ill. Love you!
     By all my hopes I do, above my life!
     But how this passion should proceed from you
     So violently, would amaze a man
     That would be jealous.

     _Arethusa_--Another soul into my body shot
     Could not have filled me with more strength and spirit
     Than this thy breath. But spend not hasty time
     In seeking how I came thus: 'tis the gods,
     The gods, that make me so; and sure, our love
     Will be the nobler and the better blest,
     In that the secret justice of the gods
     Is mingled with it. Let us leave, and kiss:
     Lest some unwelcome guest should fall betwixt us,
     And we should part without it.

     _Philaster_--'Twill be ill
     I should abide here long.

     _Arethusa_--'Tis true: and worse
     You should come often. How shall we devise
     To hold intelligence, that our true loves,
     On any new occasion, may agree
     What path is best to tread?

     _Philaster_--I have a boy,
     Sent by the gods, I hope, to this intent,
     Yet not seen in the court. Hunting the buck,
     I found him sitting by a fountain's side,
     Of which he borrowed some to quench his thirst,
     And paid the nymph again as much in tears.
     A garland lay him by, made by himself
     Of many several flowers bred in the vale,
     Stuck in that mystic order that the rareness
     Delighted me; but ever when he turned
     His tender eyes upon 'em, he would weep,
     As if he meant to make 'em grow again.
     Seeing such pretty helpless innocence
     Dwell in his face, I asked him all his story.
     He told me that his parents gentle died,
     Leaving him to the mercy of the fields,
     Which gave him roots; and of the crystal springs,
     Which did not stop their courses; and the sun,
     Which still, he thanked him, yielded him his light.
     Then took he up his garland, and did show
     What every flower, as country-people hold,
     Did signify, and how all, ordered thus,
     Expressed his grief; and, to my thoughts, did read
     The prettiest lecture of his country-art
     That could be wished: so that methought I could
     Have studied it. I gladly entertained
     Him, who was glad to follow: and have got
     The trustiest, loving'st, and the gentlest boy
     That ever master kept. Him will I send
     To wait on you, and bear our hidden love.


     PHILASTER--But, Bellario
     (For I must call thee still so), tell me why
     Thou didst conceal thy sex. It was a fault,
     A fault, Bellario, though thy other deeds
     Of truth outweighed it: all these jealousies
     Had flown to nothing, if thou hadst discovered
     What now we know.

     _Bellario_--My father oft would speak
     Your worth and virtue; and as I did grow
     More and more apprehensive, I did thirst
     To see the man so praised. But yet all this
     Was but a maiden-longing, to be lost
     As soon as found; till, sitting in my window,
     Printing my thoughts in lawn, I saw a god,
     I thought (but it was you), enter our gates:
     My blood flew out and back again, as fast
     As I had puffed it forth and sucked it in
     Like breath; then was I called away in haste
     To entertain you. Never was a man
     Heaved from a sheep-cote to a sceptre, raised
     So high in thoughts as I. You left a kiss
     Upon these lips then, which I mean to keep
     From you for ever; I did hear you talk,
     Far above singing. After you were gone,
     I grew acquainted with my heart, and searched
     What stirred it so: alas, I found it love!
     Yet far from lust; for, could I but have lived
     In presence of you, I had had my end.
     For this I did delude my noble father
     With a feigned pilgrimage, and dressed myself
     In habit of a boy; and, for I knew
     My birth no match for you, I was past hope
     Of having you; and, understanding well
     That when I made discovery of my sex
     I could not stay with you, I made a vow,
     By all the most religious things a maid
     Could call together, never to be known,
     Whilst there was hope to hide me from men's eyes.
     For other than I seemed, that I might ever
     Abide with you. Then sat I by the fount,
     Where first you took me up.

     _King_--Search out a match
     Within our kingdom, where and when thou wilt,
     And I will pay thy dowry; and thyself
     Wilt well deserve him.

     _Bellario_--Never, sir, will I
     Marry; it is a thing within my vow:
     But if I may have leave to serve the princess,
     To see the virtues of her lord and her,
     I shall have hope to live.

     _Arethusa_--I, Philaster,
     Cannot be jealous, though you had a lady
     Drest like a page to serve you; nor will I
     Suspect her living here.--Come, live with me;
     Live free as I do. She that loves my lord,
     Cursed be the wife that hates her!



     Evadne--Would I could say so [farewell] to my black disgrace!
     Oh, where have I been all this time? how friended,
     That I should lose myself thus desperately,
     And none for pity show me how I wandered?
     There is not in the compass of the light
     A more unhappy creature: sure, I am monstrous;
     For I have done those follies, those mad mischiefs,
     Would dare a woman. Oh, my loaden soul,
     Be not so cruel to me; choke not up
     The way to my repentance!

     [_Enter Amintor._]

                          O my lord!

     _Amintor_--How now?

     _Evadne_--My much-abused lord!     [_Kneels._]

     _Amintor_--This cannot be!

     _Evadne_--I do not kneel to live; I dare not hope it;
     The wrongs I did are greater. Look upon me,
     Though I appear with all my faults.

     _Amintor_--Stand up.
     This is a new way to beget more sorrows:
     Heaven knows I have too many. Do not mock me:

     Though I am tame, and bred up with my wrongs,
     Which are my foster-brothers, I may leap,
     Like a hand-wolf, into my natural wildness,
     And do an outrage: prithee, do not mock me,

     _Evadne_--My whole life is so leprous, it infects
     All my repentance. I would buy your pardon,
     Though at the highest set, even with my life:
     That slight contrition, that's no sacrifice
     For what I have committed.

     _Amintor_--Sure, I dazzle:
     There cannot be a faith in that foul woman,
     That knows no God more mighty than her mischiefs.
     Thou dost still worse, still number on thy faults,
     To press my poor heart thus. Can I believe
     There's any seed of virtue in that woman
     Left to shoot up that dares go on in sin
     Known, and so known as thine is? O Evadne!
     Would there were any safety in thy sex,
     That I might put a thousand sorrows off,
     And credit thy repentance! but I must not:
     Thou hast brought me to that dull calamity,
     To that strange misbelief of all the world
     And all things that are in it, that I fear
     I shall fall like a tree, and find my grave,
     Only remembering that I grieve.

     _Evadne_--My lord,
     Give me your griefs: you are an innocent,
     A soul as white as Heaven; let not my sins
     Perish your noble youth. I do not fall here
     To shadow by dissembling with my tears,
     (As all say women can,) or to make less
     What my hot will hath done, which Heaven and you
     Know to be tougher than the hand of time
     Can cut from man's remembrances; no, I do not;
     I do appear the same, the same Evadne,
     Drest in the shames I lived in, the same monster.
     But these are names of honor to what I am:
     I do present myself the foulest creature,
     Most poisonous, dangerous, and despised of men,
     Lerna e'er bred, or Nilus. I am hell,
     Till you, my dear lord, shoot your light into me,
     The beams of your forgiveness; I am soul-sick,
     And wither with the fear of one condemned,
     Till I have got your pardon.

     _Amintor_--Rise, Evadne.
     Those heavenly powers that put this good into thee
     Grant a continuance of it! I forgive thee:
     Make thyself worthy of it; and take heed,
     Take heed, Evadne, this be serious.
     Mock not the powers above, that can and dare
     Give thee a great example of their justice
     To all ensuing ages, if thou playest
     With thy repentance, the best sacrifice.

     _Evadne_--I have done nothing good to win belief,
     My life hath been so faithless. All the creatures
     Made for Heaven's honors have their ends, and good ones,
     All but the cozening crocodiles, false women:
     They reign here like those plagues, those killing sores,
     Men pray against; and when they die, like tales
     Ill told and unbelieved, they pass away,
     And go to dust forgotten. But, my lord,
     Those short days I shall number to my rest
     (As many must not see me) shall, though too late,
     Though in my evening, yet perceive a will,
     Since I can do no good, because a woman,
     Reach constantly at something that is near it;
     I will redeem one minute of my age,
     Or, like another Niobe, I'll weep,
     Till I am water.

     _Amintor_--I am now dissolved:
     My frozen soul melts. May each sin thou hast,
     Find a new mercy! Rise; I am at peace.

     [_Evadne rises_.]

     Hadst thou been thus, thus excellently good,
     Before that devil-king tempted thy frailty,
     Sure thou hadst made a star. Give me thy hand:
     From this time I will know thee; and as far
     As honor gives me leave, be thy Amintor.
     When we meet next, I will salute thee fairly,
     And pray the gods to give thee happy days:
     My charity shall go along with thee,
     Though my embraces must be far from thee.
     I should have killed thee, but this sweet repentance
     Locks up my vengeance: for which thus I kiss thee--

     [_Kisses her_.]

     The last kiss we must take; and would to Heaven
     The holy priest that gave our hands together
     Had given us equal virtues! Go, Evadne;
     The gods thus part our bodies. Have a care
     My honor falls no farther: I am well, then.

     _Evadne_--All the dear joys here, and above hereafter,
     Crown thy fair soul! Thus I take leave, my lord;
     And never shall you see the foul Evadne,
     Till she have tried all honored means, that may
     Set her in rest and wash her stains away.



     [_Scene: A field between the British and the Roman camps._]

     _Caratach_--How does my boy?

     _Hengo_--I would do well; my heart's well;
     I do not fear.

     _Caratach_--My good boy!

     _Hengo_--I know, uncle,
     We must all die: my little brother died;
     I saw him die, and he died smiling; sure,
     There's no great pain in't, uncle. But pray tell me,
     Whither must we go when we are dead?

     _Caratach [aside]_--Strange questions!
     Why, the blessed'st place, boy! ever sweetness
     And happiness dwell there.

     _Hengo_--Will you come to me?

     _Caratach_--Yes, my sweet boy.

     _Hengo_--Mine aunt too, and my cousins?

     _Caratach_--All, my good child.

     _Hengo_--No Romans, uncle?

     _Caratach_--No, boy.

     _Hengo_--I should be loath to meet them there.

     _Caratach_--No ill men,
     That live by violence and strong oppression,
     Come thither: 'tis for those the gods love, good men.

     _Hengo_--Why, then, I care not when I go, for surely
     I am persuaded they love me: I never
     Blasphemed 'em, uncle, nor transgressed my parents;
     I always said my prayers.

     _Caratach_--Thou shalt go, then;
     Indeed thou shalt.

     _Hengo_--When they please.

     _Caratach_--That's my good boy!
     Art thou not weary, Hengo?

     _Hengo_--Weary, uncle!
     I have heard you say you have marched all day in armor.

     _Caratach_--I have, boy.

     _Hengo_--Am not I your kinsman?


     _Hengo_--And am not I as fully allied unto you
     In those brave things as blood?

     _Caratach_--Thou art too tender.

     _Hengo_--To go upon my legs? they were made to bear me.
     I can play twenty miles a day; I see no reason
     But, to preserve my country and myself,
     I should march forty.

     _Caratach_--What wouldst thou be, living
     To wear a man's strength!

     _Hengo_--Why, a Caratach,
     A Roman-hater, a scourge sent from Heaven
     To whip these proud thieves from our kingdom. Hark!

     [_Drum within._]

       *       *       *       *       *

     [_They are on a rock in the rear of a wood._]

     _Caratach_--Courage, my boy! I have found meat: look, Hengo,
     Look where some blessèd Briton, to preserve thee,
     Has hung a little food and drink: cheer up, boy;
     Do not forsake me now.

     _Hengo_--O uncle, uncle,
     I feel I cannot stay long! yet I'll fetch it,
     To keep your noble life. Uncle, I am heart-whole,
     And would live.

     _Caratach_--Thou shalt, long, I hope.

     _Hengo_--But my head, uncle!
     Methinks the rock goes round.

     [_Enter Macer and Judas, and remain at the side of the stage._]

     _Macer_--Mark 'em well, Judas.

     _Judas_--Peace, as you love your life.

     _Hengo_--Do not you hear
     The noise of bells?

     _Caratach_--Of bells, boy! 'tis thy fancy;
     Alas, thy body's full of wind!

     _Hengo_--Methinks, sir,
     They ring a strange sad knell, a preparation
     To some near funeral of state: nay, weep not,
     Mine own sweet uncle; you will kill me sooner.

     _Caratach_--O my poor chicken!

     _Hengo_--Fie, faint-hearted uncle!
     Come, tie me in your belt and let me down.

     _Caratach_--I'll go myself, boy.

     _Hengo_--No, as you love me, uncle:
     I will not eat it, if I do not fetch it;
     The danger only I desire: pray, tie me.

     _Caratach_--I will, and all my care hang o'er thee! Come, child,
     My valiant child!

     _Hengo_--Let me down apace, uncle,
     And you shall see how like a daw I'll whip it
     From all their policies; for 'tis most certain
     A Roman train: and you must hold me sure, too;
     You'll spoil all else. When I have brought it, uncle,
     We'll be as merry--

     _Caratach_--Go, i' the name of Heaven, boy!

     [_Lets Hengo down by his belt._]

     _Hengo_--Quick, quick, uncle! I have it.
       [_Judas shoots Hengo with an arrow_.] Oh!

     _Caratach_--What ail'st thou?

     _Hengo_--Oh, my best uncle, I am slain!

     _Caratach [to Judas]_--I see you,
     And Heaven direct my hand! destruction
     Go with thy coward soul!

     [_Kills Judas with a stone, and then draws up Hengo. Exit Macer._]

                            How dost thou, boy?--
     O villain, pocky villain!

     _Hengo_--Oh, uncle, uncle,
     Oh, how it pricks me!--am I preserved for this?--
     Extremely pricks me!

     _Caratach_--Coward, rascal coward!
     Dogs eat thy flesh!

     _Hengo_--Oh, I bleed hard! I faint too; out upon't,
     How sick I am!--The lean rogue, uncle!

     _Caratach_--Look, boy;
     I have laid him sure enough.

     _Hengo_--Have you knocked his brains out?

     _Caratach_--I warrant thee, for stirring more: cheer up, child.

     _Hengo_--Hold my sides hard; stop, stop; oh, wretched fortune,
     Must we part thus? Still I grow sicker, uncle.

     _Caratach_--Heaven look upon this noble child!

     _Hengo_--I once hoped
     I should have lived to have met these bloody Romans
     At my sword's point, to have revenged my father,
     To have beaten 'em,--oh, hold me hard!--but, uncle--

     _Caratach_--Thou shalt live still, I hope, boy. Shall I draw it?

     _Hengo_--You draw away my soul, then. I would live
     A little longer--spare me, Heavens!--but only
     To thank you for your tender love: good uncle,
     Good noble uncle, weep not.

     _Caratach_--O my chicken,
     My dear boy, what shall I lose?

     _Hengo_--Why, a child,
     That must have died however; had this 'scaped me,
     Fever or famine--I was born to die, sir.

     _Caratach_--But thus unblown, my boy?

     _Hengo_--I go the straighter
     My journey to the gods. Sure, I shall know you
     When you come, uncle.

     _Caratach_--Yes, boy.

     _Hengo_--And I hope
     We shall enjoy together that great blessedness
     You told me of.

     _Caratach_--Most certain, child.

     _Hengo_--I grow cold;
     Mine eyes are going.

     _Caratach_--Lift 'em up.

     _Hengo_--Pray for me;
     And, noble uncle, when my bones are ashes,
     Think of your little nephew!--Mercy!

     You blessèd angels, take him!

     _Hengo_--Kiss me: so.
     Farewell, farewell! [_Dies._]

     _Caratach_--Farewell, the hopes of Britain!
     Thou royal graft, farewell for ever!--Time and Death,
     Ye have done your worst. Fortune, now see, now proudly
     Pluck off thy veil and view thy triumph; look,
     Look what thou hast brought this land to!--O fair flower,
     How lovely yet thy ruins show, how sweetly
     Even death embraces thee! the peace of Heaven,
     The fellowship of all great souls, be with thee!



     Roses, their sharp spines being gone,
     Not royal in their smells alone,
       But in their hue;
     Maiden-pinks, of odor faint,
     Daisies smell-less yet most quaint,
       And sweet thyme true;

     Primrose, first-born child of Ver,
     Merry spring-time's harbinger,
       With her bells dim;
     Oxlips in their cradles growing,
     Marigolds on death-beds blowing,
       Larks'-heels trim.

     All, dear Nature's children sweet,
     Lie 'fore bride and bridegroom's feet,
       Blessing their sense!
     Not an angel of the air,
     Bird melodious or bird fair,
       Be absent hence!

     The crow, the slanderous cuckoo, nor
     The boding raven, nor chough hoar,
       Nor chattering pie,
     May on our bride-house perch or sing,
     Or with them any discord bring,
       But from it fly!



The translation from a defective Arabic manuscript of the 'Book of the
Thousand Nights and A Night,' first into the French by Galland, about
1705, and presently into various English versions, exerted an immediate
influence on French, German, and English romance. The pseudo-Oriental or
semi-Oriental tale of home-manufacture sprang into existence right and
left with the publishers of London and Paris, and in German centres of
letters. Hope's 'Anastasius, or Memoirs of a Modern Greek,' Lewis's 'The
Monk,' the German Hauff's admirable 'Stories of the Caravan, the Inn,
and the Palace,' Rückert's 'Tales of the Genii,' and William Beckford's
'History of the Caliph Vathek,' are among the finest performances of the
sort: productions more or less Eastern in sentiment and in their details
of local color, but independent of direct originals in the Persian or
Arabic, so far as is conclusively known.

[Illustration: WILLIAM BECKFORD]

William Beckford, born at London in 1759 (of a strong line which
included a governor of Jamaica), dying in 1844, is a figure of
distinction merely as an Englishman of his time, aside from his one
claim to literary remembrance. His father's death left him the richest
untitled citizen of England. He was not sent to a university, but
immense care was given to his education, in which Lord Chatham
personally interested himself; and he traveled widely. The result of
this, on a very receptive mind with varied natural gifts, was to make
Beckford an ideal dilettante. His tastes in literature, painting, music
(in which Mozart was his tutor), sculpture, architecture, and what not,
were refined to the highest nicety. He was able to gratify each of them
as such a man can rarely have the means to do. He built palaces and
towers of splendor instead of merely a beautiful country seat. He tried
to reproduce Vathek's halls in stone and stucco, employing relays of
workmen by day and night, on two several occasions and estates, for many
months. Where other men got together moderate collections of _bibelots_,
Beckford amassed whole museums. If a builder's neglect or a fire
destroyed his rarities and damaged his estates to the extent of forty or
fifty thousand pounds, Beckford merely rebuilt and re-collected. These
tastes and lavish expenditures gradually set themselves in a current
toward things Eastern. His magnificent retreat at Cintra in Portugal,
his vast Fonthill Abbey and Lansdowne Hill estates in England, were only
appanages of his sumptuous state. England and Europe talked of him and
of his properties. He was a typical egotist: but an agreeable and
gracious man, esteemed by a circle of friends not called upon to be his
sycophants; and he kept in close touch with the intellectual life of
all Europe.

He wrote much, for an amateur, and in view of the tale which does him
most honor, he wrote with success. At twenty he invited publicity with a
satiric _jeu d'esprit,_ 'Biographical Memoirs of Extraordinary
Painters'; and his 'Italy, with Sketches of Spain and Portugal,' and
'Recollections of an Excursion to the Monasteries of Alcobaba and
Baltalha,' were well received. But these books could not be expected to
survive even three generations; whereas 'Vathek,' the brilliant, the
unique, the inimitable 'Vathek,' took at once a place in literature
which we may now almost dare to call permanent. This story, not a long
one,--indeed, no more than a novelette in size,--was originally written
in French, and still lives in that language; in which an edition, hardly
the best, has lately been issued under the editorship of M. Mallarmé.
But its history is complicated by one of the most notable acts of
literary treachery and theft on record. During the author's slow and
finicky composition of it at Lausanne, he was sending it piecemeal to
his friend Robert Henley in England for Henley to make an English
version, of course to be revised by himself. As soon as Henley had all
the parts, he published a hasty and slipshod translation, before
Beckford had seen it or was even ready to publish the French original;
and not only did so, but published it as a tale translated by himself
from a genuine Arabic original. This double violation of good faith of
course enraged Beckford, and practically separated the two men for the
rest of their lives; indeed, the wonder is that Beckford would ever
recognize Henley's existence again. The piracy was exposed and set
aside, and Beckford in self-defense issued the story himself in French
as soon as he could; indeed, he issued it in two versions with curious
and interesting differences, one published at Lausanne and the other at
Paris. The Lausanne edition is preferable.

'Vathek' abides to-day accredited to Beckford in both French and
English; a thing to keep his memory green as nothing else of his work or
personality will. The familiar legend that in its present form it was
composed at a single sitting, with such ardor as to entail a severe
illness, and "without the author's taking off his clothes," cannot be
reconciled with the known facts. But the intensely vivid movement of it
certainly suggests swift production; and it could easily be thought that
any author had sketched such a story in the heat of some undisturbed
sitting, and filled, finished, and polished it at leisure. It is an
extraordinary performance; even in Henley's unsatisfactory version it is
irresistible. We know that Beckford expected to add liberally to it by
inserting sundry subordinate tales, put into the mouths of some of the
personages appearing in the last scene. It is quite as well that he did
not. Its distinctive Orientalism, perhaps less remarkable than the
unfettered imagination of its episodes, the vividness of its characters,
the easy brilliancy of its literary manner--these things, with French
diction and French wit, alternate with startling descriptive
impressiveness. It is a French combination of Cervantes and Dante, in an
Oriental and bizarre narrative. It is not always delicate, but it is
never vulgar, and the sprightly pages are as admirable as the weird
ones. Its pictures, taken out of their connection, seem irrelevant, and
are certainly unlike enough; but they are a succession of surprises and
fascinations. Such are the famous description of the chase of Vathek's
court after the Giaour; the moonlit departure of the Caliph for the
Terrace of Istakhar; the episodes of his stay under the roof of the Emir
Fakreddin; the pursuit by Carathis on "her great camel Alboufaki,"
attended by "the hideous Nerkes and the unrelenting Cafour"; Nouronihar
drawn to the magic flame in the dell at night; the warning of the good
Jinn; and the tremendous final tableau of the Hall of Eblis.

The man curious in letters regards with affection the evidences of
vitality in a brief production little more than a century old; unique in
English and French literature, and occupying to-day a high rank among
the small group of _quasi_-Oriental narratives that represent the direct
workings of Galland on the Occidental literary temperament. Today
'Vathek' surprises and delights persons whose mental constitution puts
them in touch with it, just as potently as ever it did. And simply as a
wild story, one fancies that it will appeal quite as effectually, no
matter how many editions may be its future, to a public perhaps
unsympathetic toward its elliptical satire, its caustic wit, its
fantastic course of narrative, and its incongruous wavering between the
flippant, the grotesque, and the terrific.


From 'The History of the Caliph Vathek'

By secret stairs, known only to herself and her son, she [Carathis]
first repaired to the mysterious recesses in which were deposited the
mummies that had been brought from the catacombs of the ancient
Pharaohs. Of these she ordered several to be taken. From thence she
resorted to a gallery, where, under the guard of fifty female negroes,
mute, and blind of the right eye, were preserved the oil of the most
venomous serpents, rhinoceros horns, and woods of a subtle and
penetrating odor, procured from the interior of the Indies, together
with a thousand other horrible rarities. This collection had been formed
for a purpose like the present by Carathis herself, from a presentiment
that she might one day enjoy some intercourse with the infernal powers,
to whom she had ever been passionately attached, and to whose taste she
was no stranger.

To familiarize herself the better with the horrors in view the Princess
remained in the company of her negresses, who squinted in the most
amiable manner from the only eye they had, and leered with exquisite
delight at the skulls and skeletons which Carathis had drawn forth from
her cabinets....

Whilst she was thus occupied, the Caliph, who, instead of the visions he
expected, had acquired in these insubstantial regions a voracious
appetite, was greatly provoked at the negresses: for, having totally
forgotten their deafness, he had impatiently asked them for food; and
seeing them regardless of his demand, he began to cuff, pinch, and push
them, till Carathis arrived to terminate a scene so indecent....

"Son! what means all this?" said she, panting for breath. "I thought I
heard as I came up, the shriek of a thousand bats, tearing from their
crannies in the recesses of a cavern.... You but ill deserve the
admirable provision I have brought you."

"Give it me instantly!" exclaimed the Caliph: "I am perishing for

"As to that," answered she, "you must have an excellent stomach if it
can digest what I have been preparing."

"Be quick," replied the Caliph. "But oh, heavens! what horrors! What do
you intend?"

"Come, come," returned Carathis, "be not so squeamish, but help me to
arrange everything properly, and you shall see that what you reject
with such symptoms of disgust will soon complete your felicity. Let us
get ready the pile for the sacrifice of to-night, and think not of
eating till that is performed. Know you not that all solemn rites are
preceded by a rigorous abstinence?"

The Caliph, not daring to object, abandoned himself to grief, and the
wind that ravaged his entrails, whilst his mother went forward with the
requisite operations. Phials of serpents' oil, mummies, and bones were
soon set in order on the balustrade of the tower. The pile began to
rise; and in three hours was as many cubits high. At length darkness
approached, and Carathis, having stripped herself to her inmost garment,
clapped her hands in an impulse of ecstasy, and struck light with all
her force. The mutes followed her example: but Vathek, extenuated with
hunger and impatience, was unable to support himself, and fell down in a
swoon. The sparks had already kindled the dry wood; the venomous oil
burst into a thousand blue flames; the mummies, dissolving, emitted a
thick dun vapor; and the rhinoceros' horns beginning to consume, all
together diffused such a stench, that the Caliph, recovering, started
from his trance and gazed wildly on the scene in full blaze around him.
The oil gushed forth in a plenitude of streams; and the negresses, who
supplied it without intermission, united their cries to those of the
Princess. At last the fire became so violent, and the flames reflected
from the polished marble so dazzling, that the Caliph, unable to
withstand the heat and the blaze, effected his escape, and clambered up
the imperial standard.

In the mean time, the inhabitants of Samarah, scared at the light which
shone over the city, arose in haste, ascended their roofs, beheld the
tower on fire, and hurried half-naked to the square. Their love to their
sovereign immediately awoke; and apprehending him in danger of perishing
in his tower, their whole thoughts were occupied with the means of his
safety. Morakanabad flew from his retirement, wiped away his tears, and
cried out for water like the rest. Bababalouk, whose olfactory nerves
were more familiarized to magical odors, readily conjecturing that
Carathis was engaged in her favorite amusements, strenuously exhorted
them not to be alarmed. Him, however, they treated as an old poltroon;
and forbore not to style him a rascally traitor. The camels and
dromedaries were advancing with water, but no one knew by which way to
enter the tower. Whilst the populace was obstinate in forcing the doors,
a violent east wind drove such a volume of flame against them, as at
first forced them off, but afterwards rekindled their zeal. At the same
time, the stench of the horns and mummies increasing, most of the crowd
fell backward in a state of suffocation. Those that kept their feet
mutually wondered at the cause of the smell, and admonished each other
to retire. Morakanabad, more sick than the rest, remained in a piteous
condition. Holding his nose with one hand, he persisted in his efforts
with the other to burst open the doors, and obtain admission. A hundred
and forty of the strongest and most resolute at length accomplished
their purpose....

Carathis, alarmed at the signs of her mutes, advanced to the staircase,
went down a few steps, and heard several voices calling out
from below:--

"You shall in a moment have water!"

Being rather alert, considering her age, she presently regained the top
of the tower, and bade her son suspend the sacrifice for some
minutes, adding:--

"We shall soon be enabled to render it more grateful. Certain dolts of
your subjects, imagining, no doubt, that we were on fire, have been rash
enough to break through those doors, which had hitherto remained
inviolate, for the sake of bringing up water. They are very kind, you
must allow, so soon to forget the wrongs you have done them: but that is
of little moment. Let us offer them to the Giaour. Let them come up: our
mutes, who neither want strength nor experience, will soon dispatch
them, exhausted as they are with fatigue."

"Be it so," answered the Caliph, "provided we finish, and I dine."

In fact, these good people, out of breath from ascending eleven thousand
stairs in such haste, and chagrined at having spilt, by the way, the
water they had taken, were no sooner arrived at the top than the blaze
of the flames and the fumes of the mummies at once overpowered their
senses. It was a pity! for they beheld not the agreeable smile with
which the mutes and the negresses adjusted the cord to their necks:
these amiable personages rejoiced, however, no less at the scene. Never
before had the ceremony of strangling been performed with so much
facility. They all fell without the least resistance or struggle; so
that Vathek, in the space of a few moments, found himself surrounded by
the dead bodies of his most faithful subjects, all of which were thrown
on the top of the pile.


From 'The History of the Caliph Vathek'

The Caliph and Nouronihar beheld each other with amazement, at finding
themselves in a place which, though roofed with a vaulted ceiling, was
so spacious and lofty that at first they took it for an immeasurable
plain. But their eyes at length growing familiar with the grandeur of
the objects at hand, they extended their view to those at a distance,
and discovered rows of columns and arcades, which gradually diminished
till they terminated in a point, radiant as the sun when he darts his
last beams athwart the ocean; the pavement, strewed over with gold dust
and saffron, exhaled so subtle an odor as almost overpowered them; they
however went on, and observed an infinity of censers, in which ambergris
and the wood of aloes were continually burning; between the several
columns were placed tables, each spread with a profusion of viands, and
wines of every species sparkling in vases of crystal. A throng of genii
and other fantastic spirits of each sex danced lasciviously in troops,
at the sound of music which issued from beneath.

In the midst of this immense hall a vast multitude was incessantly
passing, who severally kept their right hands on their hearts, without
once regarding anything around them; they had all the livid paleness of
death; their eyes, deep sunk in their sockets, resembled those
phosphoric meteors that glimmer by night in places of interment. Some
stalked slowly on, absorbed in profound reverie; some, shrieking with
agony, ran furiously about, like tigers wounded with poisoned arrows;
whilst others, grinding their teeth in rage, foamed along, more frantic
than the wildest maniac. They all avoided each other, and though
surrounded by a multitude that no one could number, each wandered at
random, unheedful of the rest, as if alone on a desert which no foot
had trodden.

Vathek and Nouronihar, frozen with terror at a sight so baleful,
demanded of the Giaour what these appearances might seem, and why these
ambulating spectres never withdrew their hands from their hearts.

"Perplex not yourselves," replied he bluntly, "with so much at once; you
will soon be acquainted with all: let us haste and present you
to Eblis."

They continued their way through the multitude; but notwithstanding
their confidence at first, they were not sufficiently composed to
examine with attention the various perspectives of halls and of
galleries that opened on the right hand and left, which were all
illuminated by torches and braziers, whose flames rose in pyramids to
the centre of the vault. At length they came to a place where long
curtains, brocaded with crimson and gold, fell from all parts in
striking confusion; here the choirs and dances were heard no longer, the
light which glimmered came from afar.

After some time Vathck and Nouronihar perceived a gleam brightening
through the drapery, and entered a vast tabernacle carpeted with the
skins of leopards; an infinity of elders with streaming beards, and
Afrits in complete armor, had prostrated themselves before the ascent of
a lofty eminence, on the top of which, upon a globe of fire, sat the
formidable Eblis. His person was that of a young man, whose noble and
regular features seemed to have been tarnished by malignant vapors; in
his large eyes appeared both pride and despair; his flowing hair
retained some resemblance to that of an angel of light; in his hand,
which thunder had blasted, he swayed the iron sceptre that causes the
monster Ouranabad, the Afrits, and all the powers of the abyss to
tremble; at his presence the heart of the Caliph sunk within him, and
for the first time he fell prostrate on his face. Nouronihar, however,
though greatly dismayed, could not help admiring the person of Eblis;
for she expected to have seen some stupendous giant. Eblis, with a voice
more mild than might be imagined, but such as transfused through the
soul the deepest melancholy, said:--

"Creatures of clay, I receive you into mine empire; ye are numbered
amongst my adorers. Enjoy whatever this palace affords: the treasures of
the pre-Adamite Sultans, their bickering sabres, and those talismans
that compel the Dives to open the subterranean expanses of the mountain
of Kaf, which communicate with these. There, insatiable as your
curiosity may be, shall you find sufficient to gratify it; you shall
possess the exclusive privilege of entering the fortress of Aherman, and
the halls of Argenk, where are portrayed all creatures endowed with
intelligence, and the various animals that inhabited the earth prior to
the creation of that contemptible being whom ye denominate the Father
of Mankind."

Vathek and Nouronihar, feeling themselves revived and encouraged by
this harangue, eagerly said to the Giaour:--

"Bring us instantly to the place which contains these precious

"Come!" answered this wicked Dive, with his malignant grin, "come! and
possess all that my Sovereign hath promised, and more."

He then conducted them into a long aisle adjoining the tabernacle,
preceding them with hasty steps, and followed by his disciples with the
utmost alacrity. They reached at length a hall of great extent, and
covered with a lofty dome, around which appeared fifty portals of
bronze, secured with as many fastenings of iron. A funereal gloom
prevailed over the whole scene. Here, upon two beds of incorruptible
cedar, lay recumbent the fleshless forms of the pre-Adamite kings, who
had been monarchs of the whole earth. They still possessed enough of
life to be conscious of their deplorable condition; their eyes retained
a melancholy motion; they regarded each other with looks of the deepest
dejection, each holding his right hand motionless on his heart. At their
feet were inscribed the events of their several reigns, their power,
their pride, and their crimes. Soliman Raad, Soliman Daki, and Soliman
Di Gian Ben Gian, who, after having chained up the Dives in the dark
caverns of Kaf, became so presumptuous as to doubt of the Supreme
Power,--all these maintained great state, though not to be compared with
the eminence of Soliman Ben Daoud [Solomon the son of David].

This king, so renowned for his wisdom, was on the loftiest elevation,
and placed immediately under the dome; he appeared to possess more
animation than the rest, though from time to time he labored with
profound sighs, and like his companions, kept his right hand on his
heart; yet his countenance was more composed, and he seemed to be
listening to the sullen roar of a vast cataract, visible in part through
the grated portals; this was the only sound that intruded on the silence
of these doleful mansions. A range of brazen vases surrounded the

"Remove the covers from these cabalistic depositaries," said the Giaour
to Vathek, "and avail thyself of the talismans, which will break asunder
all these gates of bronze, and not only render thee master of the
treasures contained within them, but also of the spirits by which they
are guarded."

The Caliph, whom this ominous preliminary had entirely disconcerted,
approached the vases with faltering footsteps, and was ready to sink
with terror when he heard the groans of Soliman. As he proceeded, a
voice from the livid lips of the Prophet articulated these words:--

"In my lifetime I filled a magnificent throne, having on my right hand
twelve thousand seats of gold, where the patriarchs and the prophets
heard my doctrines; on my left the sages and doctors, upon as many
thrones of silver, were present at all my decisions. Whilst I thus
administered justice to innumerable multitudes, the birds of the air
librating over me served as a canopy from the rays of the sun; my people
flourished, and my palace rose to the clouds; I erected a temple to the
Most High which was the wonder of the universe. But I basely suffered
myself to be seduced by the love of women, and a curiosity that could
not be restrained by sublunary things; I listened to the counsels of
Aherman and the daughter of Pharaoh, and adored fire and the hosts of
heaven; I forsook the holy city, and commanded the Genii to rear the
stupendous palace of Istakhar, and the terrace of the watch-towers, each
of which was consecrated to a star. There for a while I enjoyed myself
in the zenith of glory and pleasure; not only men, but supernatural
existences were subject also to my will. I began to think, as these
unhappy monarchs around had already thought, that the vengeance of
Heaven was asleep, when at once the thunder burst my structures asunder
and precipitated me hither; where however I do not remain, like the
other inhabitants, totally destitute of hope, for an angel of light hath
revealed that, in consideration of the piety of my early youth, my woes
shall come to an end when this cataract shall for ever cease to flow.
Till then I am in torments, ineffable torments! an unrelenting fire
preys on my heart."

Having uttered this exclamation, Soliman raised his hands towards Heaven
in token of supplication, and the Caliph discerned through his bosom,
which was transparent as crystal, his heart enveloped in flames. At a
sight so full of horror, Nouronihar fell back like one petrified into
the arms of Vathek, who cried out with a convulsive sob:--

"O Giaour! whither hast thou brought us? Allow us to depart, and I will
relinquish all thou hast promised. O Mahomet! remains there no
more mercy?"

"None! none!" replied the malicious Dive, "Know, miserable prince! thou
art now in the abode of vengeance and despair; thy heart also will be
kindled, like those of the other votaries of Eblis. A few days are
allotted thee previous to this fatal period. Employ them as thou wilt:
recline on these heaps of gold; command the Infernal Potentates; range
at thy pleasure through these immense subterranean domains; no barrier
shall be shut against thee. As for me, I have fulfilled my mission; I
now leave thee to thyself." At these words he vanished.

The Caliph and Nouronihar remained in the most abject affliction; their
tears unable to flow, scarcely could they support themselves. At length,
taking each other despondingly by the hand, they went faltering from
this fatal hall, indifferent which way they turned their steps. Every
portal opened at their approach; the Dives fell prostrate before them;
every reservoir of riches was disclosed to their view: but they no
longer felt the incentives of curiosity, pride, or avarice. With like
apathy they heard the chorus of Genii, and saw the stately banquets
prepared to regale them. They went wandering on from chamber to chamber,
hall to hall, and gallery to gallery, all without bounds or limit, all
distinguishable by the same lowering gloom, all adorned with the same
awful grandeur, all traversed by persons in search of repose and
consolation, but who sought them in vain; for every one carried within
him a heart tormented in flames. Shunned by these various sufferers, who
seemed by their looks to be upbraiding the partners of their guilt, they
withdrew from them, to wait in direful suspense the moment which should
render them to each other the like objects of terror.

"What!" exclaimed Nouronihar; "will the time come when I shall snatch my
hand from thine?"

"Ah," said Vathek; "and shall my eyes ever cease to drink from thine
long draughts of enjoyment! Shall the moments of our reciprocal
ecstasies be reflected on with horror! It was not thou that broughtest
me hither: the principles by which Carathis perverted my youth have been
the sole cause of my perdition!" Having given vent to these painful
expressions, he called to an Afrit, who was stirring up one of the
braziers, and bade him fetch the Princess Carathis from the palace
of Samarah.

After issuing these orders, the Caliph and Nouronihar continued walking
amidst the silent crowd, till they heard voices at the end of the
gallery. Presuming them to proceed from some unhappy beings who, like
themselves, were awaiting their final doom, they followed the sound, and
found it to come from a small square chamber, where they discovered
sitting on sofas five young men of goodly figure, and a lovely female,
who were all holding a melancholy conversation by the glimmering of a
lonely lamp; each had a gloomy and forlorn air, and two of them were
embracing each other with great tenderness. On seeing the Caliph and the
daughter of Fakreddin enter, they arose, saluted and gave them place;
then he who appeared the most considerable of the group addressed
himself thus to Vathek:

"Strangers!--who doubtless are in the same state of suspense with
ourselves, as you do not yet bear your hand on your heart,--if you are
come hither to pass the interval allotted previous to the infliction of
our common punishment, condescend to relate the adventures that have
brought you to this fatal place, and we in return will acquaint you with
ours, which deserve but too well to be heard. We will trace back our
crimes to their source, though we are not permitted to repent; this is
the only employment suited to wretches like us!"

The Caliph and Nouronihar assented to the proposal, and Vathek began,
not without tears and lamentations, a sincere recital of every
circumstance that had passed. When the afflicting narrative was closed,
the young man entered on his own. Each person proceeded in order, and
when the fourth prince had reached the midst of his adventures, a sudden
noise interrupted him, which caused the vault to tremble and to open.

Immediately a cloud descended, which, gradually dissipating, discovered
Carathis on the back of an Afrit, who grievously complained of his
burden. She, instantly springing to the ground, advanced towards her son
and said:--

"What dost thou here in this little square chamber? As the Dives are
become subject to thy beck, I expected to have found thee on the throne
of the pre-Adamite Kings."

"Execrable woman!" answered the Caliph; "cursed be the day thou gavest
me birth! Go, follow this Afrit, let him conduct thee to the hall of the
Prophet Soliman; there thou wilt learn to what these palaces are
destined, and how much I ought to abhor the impious knowledge thou hast
taught me."

"The height of power to which thou art arrived has certainly turned thy
brain," answered Carathis; "but I ask no more than permission to show my
respect for the Prophet. It is however proper thou shouldest know that
(as the Afrit has informed me neither of us shall return to Samarah) I
requested his permission to arrange my affairs, and he politely
consented: availing myself therefore of the few moments allowed me, I
set fire to the tower, and consumed in it the mutes, negresses, and
serpents which have rendered me so much good service; nor should I have
been less kind to Morakanabad, had he not prevented me by deserting at
last to my brother. As for Bababalouk, who had the folly to return to
Samarah, and all the good brotherhood to provide husbands for thy wives,
I undoubtedly would have put them to the torture, could I but have
allowed them the time; being however in a hurry, I only hung him after
having caught him in a snare with thy wives, whilst them I buried alive
by the help of my negresses, who thus spent their last moments greatly
to their satisfaction. With respect to Dilara, who ever stood high in my
favor, she hath evinced the greatness of her mind by fixing herself near
in the service of one of the Magi, and I think will soon be our own."

Vathek, too much cast down to express the indignation excited by such a
discourse, ordered the Afrit to remove Carathis from his presence, and
continued immersed in thought, which his companion durst not disturb.

Carathis, however, eagerly entered the dome of Soliman, and without
regarding in the least the groans of the Prophet, undauntedly removed
the covers of the vases, and violently seized on the talismans. Then,
with a voice more loud than had hitherto been heard within these
mansions, she compelled the Dives to disclose to her the most secret
treasures, the most profound stores, which the Afrit himself had not
seen; she passed by rapid descents known only to Eblis and his most
favored potentates, and thus penetrated the very entrails of the earth,
where breathes the Sansar, or icy wind of death. Nothing appalled her
dauntless soul; she perceived however in all the inmates, who bore their
hands on their hearts, a little singularity, not much to her taste. As
she was emerging from one of the abysses, Eblis stood forth to her view;
but notwithstanding he displayed the full effulgence of his infernal
majesty, she preserved her countenance unaltered, and even paid her
compliments with considerable firmness.

This superb Monarch thus answered:--"Princess, whose knowledge and whose
crimes have merited a conspicuous rank in my empire, thou dost well to
employ the leisure that remains; for the flames and torments which are
ready to seize on thy heart will not fail to provide thee with full
employment." He said this, and was lost in the curtains of his

Carathis paused for a moment with surprise; but, resolved to follow the
advice of Eblis, she assembled all the choirs of Genii, and all the
Dives, to pay her homage; thus marched she in triumph through a vapor of
perfumes, amidst the acclamations of all the malignant spirits, with
most of whom she had formed a previous acquaintance. She even attempted
to dethrone one of the Solimans for the purpose of usurping his place,
when a voice proceeding from the abyss of Death proclaimed, "All is
accomplished!" Instantaneously the haughty forehead of the intrepid
princess was corrugated with agony; she uttered a tremendous yell, and
fixed, no more to be withdrawn, her right hand upon her heart, which was
become a receptacle of eternal fire.

In this delirium, forgetting all ambitious projects and her thirst for
that knowledge which should ever be hidden from mortals, she overturned
the offerings of the Genii, and having execrated the hour she was
begotten and the womb that had borne her, glanced off in a whirl that
rendered her invisible, and continued to revolve without intermission.

At almost the same instant the same voice announced to the Caliph,
Nouronihar, the five princes, and the princess, the awful and
irrevocable decree. Their hearts immediately took fire, and they at once
lost the most precious of the gifts of Heaven--Hope. These unhappy
beings recoiled with looks of the most furious distraction; Vathek
beheld in the eyes of Nouronihar nothing but rage and vengeance, nor
could she discern aught in his but aversion and despair. The two princes
who were friends, and till that moment had preserved their attachment,
shrunk back, gnashing their teeth with mutual and unchangeable hatred.
Kalilah and his sister made reciprocal gestures of imprecation, whilst
the two other princes testified their horror for each other by the most
ghastly convulsions, and screams that could not be smothered. All
severally plunged themselves into the accursed multitude, there to
wander in an eternity of unabating anguish.




The life of Henry Ward Beecher may be either compressed into a sentence
or expanded into a volume. He was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, on
the 24th day of June, 1813, the child of the well-known Lyman Beecher;
graduated at Amherst College in 1834, and subsequently studied at Lane
Theological Seminary (Cincinnati), of which his father was the
president; began his ministerial life as pastor of a Home Missionary
(Presbyterian) church at the little village of Lawrenceburg, twenty
miles south of Cincinnati on the Ohio River; was both sexton and pastor,
swept the church, built the fires, lighted the lamps, rang the bell, and
preached the sermons; was called to the pastorate of the First
Presbyterian Church of Indianapolis, the capital of Indiana, where he
remained for eight years, 1839 to 1847, and where his preaching soon won
for him a reputation throughout the State, and his occasional writing a
reputation beyond its boundaries; thence was called in 1847 to be the
first pastor of the newly organized Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, where he
remained with an ever increasing reputation as preacher, lecturer,
orator, and writer, until the day of his death, March 8th, 1887.

Such is the outline of a life, the complete story of which would be the
history of the United States during the most critical half-century of
the nation's existence. Living in an epoch when the one overshadowing
political issue was pre-eminently a moral issue, and when no man could
be a faithful preacher of righteousness and not a political preacher;
concerned in whatever concerned humanity; believing that love is the
essence of all true religion, and that love to God is impossible without
love to man; moral reformer not less than gospel preacher, and statesman
even more than theologian: throwing himself into the anti-slavery
conflict with all the courage of a heroic nature and all the ardor of an
intensely impulsive one,--he stands among the first half-score of
writers, orators, reformers, statesmen, and soldiers, who combined to
make the half-century from 1835 to 1885 as brilliant and as heroic as
any in human history.

The greatness of Henry Ward Beecher consisted not so much in a
predominance of any one quality as in a remarkable combination of many.
His physique justified the well-known characterization of Mr. Fowler,
the phrenologist, "Splendid animal." He was always an eager student,
though his methods were desultory. He was familiar with the latest
thought in philosophy, had studied Herbert Spencer before his works were
republished in the United States, yet was a child among children, and in
his old age retained the characteristic faults and virtues of childhood,
and its innocent impulsiveness.

His imagination might have made him a poet, his human sympathies a
dramatic poet, had not his strong common-sense kept him always in touch
with the actualities of life, and a masterful conscience compelled him
to use his æsthetic faculties in sterner service than in the
entertainment of mankind. The intensity of his moral nature enhanced
rather than subdued his exuberant humor, which love prevented from
becoming satire, and seriousness preserved from degenerating into wit.
His native faculty of mimicry led men to call him an actor, yet he
wholly lacked the essential quality of a good actor,--power to take on
another's character,--and used the mimic art only to interpret the truth
which at the moment possessed him.

Such power of passion as was his is not often seen mated to such
self-control; for while he spoke with utter abandon, he rarely if ever
did so until he had carefully deliberated the cause he was espousing. He
thought himself deficient in memory, and in fact rarely borrowed
illustrations from his reading either of history or of literature; but
his keenness of observation photographed living scenes upon an unfading
memory which years after he could and did produce at will. All these
contrary elements of his strangely composite though not incongruous
character entered into his style,--or, to speak more accurately, his
styles,--and make any analysis of them within reasonable limits
difficult, if not impossible.

For the writer is known by his style as the wearer by his clothes. Even
if it be no native product of the author's mind, but a conscious
imitation of carefully studied models,--what I may call a tailor-made
style, fashioned in a vain endeavor to impart sublimity to commonplace
thinking,--the poverty of the author is thereby revealed, much as the
boor is most clearly disclosed when wearing ill-at-ease, unaccustomed
broadcloth. Mr. Beecher's style was not artificial; its faults as well
as its excellences were those of extreme naturalness. He always wrote
with fury; rarely did he correct with phlegm. His sermons were published
as they fell from his lips,--correct and revise he would not. The too
few editorials which he wrote, on the eve of the Civil War, were written
while the press was impatiently waiting for them, were often taken page
by page from his hand, and were habitually left unread by him to be
corrected in proof by others.

[Illustration: HENRY WARD BEECHER.]

His lighter contributions to the New York Ledger were thrown off in
the same way, generally while the messenger waited to take them to the
editorial sanctum. It was his habit, whether unconscious or deliberate I
do not know, to speak to a great congregation with the freedom of
personal conversation, and to write for the press with as little reserve
as to an intimate friend. This habit of taking the public into his
confidence was one secret of his power, but it was also the cause of
those violations of conventionality in public address which were a great
charm to some and a grave defect to others. There are few writers or
orators who have addressed such audiences with such effect, whose style
has been so true and unmodified a reflection of their inner life. The
title of one of his most popular volumes might be appropriately made the
title of them all--'Life Thoughts.'

But while his style was wholly unartificial, it was no product of mere
careless genius; carelessness never gives a product worth possessing.
The excellences of Mr. Beecher's style were due to a careful study of
the great English writers; its defects to a temperament too eager to
endure the dull work of correction. In his early manhood he studied the
old English divines, not for their thoughts, which never took hold of
him, but for their style, of which he was enamored. The best
characterization of South and Barrow I ever heard he gave me once in a
casual conversation. The great English novelists he knew; Walter Scott's
novels, of which he had several editions in his library, were great
favorites with him, but he read them rather for the beauty of their
descriptive passages than for their romantic and dramatic interest.
Ruskin's 'Modern Painters' he both used himself and recommended to
others as a text-book in the observation of nature, and certain passages
in them he read and re-read.

But in his reading he followed the bent of his own mind rather than any
prescribed system. Neither in his public utterances nor in his private
conversation did he indicate much indebtedness to Shakespeare among the
earlier writers, nor to Emerson or Carlyle among the moderns. Though not
unfamiliar with the greatest English poets, and the great Greek poets in
translations, he was less a reader of poetry than of poetical prose. He
had, it is true, not only read but carefully compared Dante's 'Inferno'
with Milton's 'Paradise Lost'; still it was not the 'Paradise Lost,' it
was the 'Areopagitica' which he frequently read on Saturday nights, for
the sublimity of its style and the inspiration it afforded to the
imagination. He was singularly deficient in verbal memory, a deficiency
which is usually accompanied by a relatively slight appreciation of the
mere rhythmic beauty of literary form. It is my impression that for
amorous poems, such as Moore's songs, or even Shakespeare's sonnets, and
for purely descriptive poetry, such as the best of 'Childe Harold' and
certain poems of Wordsworth, he cared comparatively little.

But he delighted in religious poetry, whether the religion was that of
the pagan Greek Tragedies, the mediaeval Dante, or the Puritan Milton.
He was a great lover of the best hymns, and with a catholicity of
affection which included the Calvinist Toplady, the Arminian Wesley, the
Roman Catholic Faber, and the Unitarian Holmes. Generally, however, he
cared more for poetry of strength than for that of fancy or sentiment.
It was the terrific strength in Watts's famous hymn beginning

     "My thoughts on awful subjects dwell,
     Damnation and the dead,"

which caused him to include it in the 'Plymouth Collection,' abhorrent
as was the theology of that hymn alike to his heart and to his

In any estimate of Mr. Beecher's style, it must be remembered that he
was both by temperament and training a preacher. He was brought up not
in a literary, but in a didactic atmosphere. If it were as true as it is
false that art exists only for art's sake, Mr. Beecher would not have
been an artist. His art always had a purpose; generally a distinct moral
purpose. An overwhelming proportion of his contributions to literature
consists of sermons or extracts from sermons, or addresses not less
distinctively didactic. His one novel was written avowedly to rectify
some common misapprehensions as to New England life and character. Even
his lighter papers, products of the mere exuberance of a nature too full
of every phase of life to be quiescent, indicated the intensity of a
purposeful soul, much as the sparks in a blacksmith's shop come from the
very vigor with which the artisan is shaping on the anvil the nail
or the shoe.

But Mr. Beecher was what Mr. Spurgeon has called him, "the most
myriad-minded man since Shakespeare"; and such a mind must both deal
with many topics, and if it be true to itself, exhibit many styles. If
one were to apply to Mr. Beecher's writings the methods which have
sometimes been applied by certain Higher Critics to the Bible, he would
conclude that the man who wrote the Sermons on Evolution and Theology
could not possibly have also written the humorous description of a house
with all the modern improvements. Sometimes grave, sometimes gay,
sometimes serious, sometimes sportive, concentrating his whole power on
whatever he was doing, working with all his might but also playing with
all his might, when he is on a literary frolic the reader would hardly
suspect that he was ever dominated by a strenuous moral purpose. Yet
there were certain common elements in Mr. Beecher's character which
appeared in his various styles, though mixed in very different
proportions and producing very different combinations. Within the
limits of such a study as this, it must suffice to indicate in very
general terms some of these elements of character which appear in and
really produce his literary method.

Predominant among them was a capacity to discriminate between the
essentials and the accidentals of any subject, a philosophical
perspective which enabled him to see the controlling connection and to
discard quickly such minor details as tended to obscure and to perplex.
Thus a habit was formed which led him not infrequently to ignore
necessary limitations and qualifications, and to make him scientifically
inaccurate, though vitally and ethically true. It was this quality which
led critics to say of him that he was no theologian, though it is
doubtful whether any preacher in America since Jonathan Edwards has
exerted a greater influence on its theology. But this quality imparted
clearness to his style. He always knew what he wanted to say and said it
clearly. He sometimes produced false impressions by the very
strenuousness of his aim and the vehemence of his passion; but he was
never foggy, obscure, or ambiguous.

This clearness of style was facilitated by the singleness of his
purpose. He never considered what was safe, prudent, or expedient to
say, never reflected upon the effect which his speech might have on his
reputation or his influence, considered only how he could make his
hearers apprehend the truth as he saw it. He therefore never played with
words, never used them with a double meaning, or employed them to
conceal his thoughts. He was indeed utterly incapable of making a speech
unless he had a purpose to accomplish; when he tried he invariably
failed; no orator ever had less ability to roll off airy nothings for
the entertainment of an audience.

Coupled with this clearness of vision and singleness of purpose was a
sympathy with men singularly broad and alert. He knew the way to men's
minds, and adapted his method to the minds he wished to reach. This
quality put him at once _en rapport_ with his auditors, and with men of
widely different mental constitution. Probably no preacher has ever
habitually addressed so heterogeneous a congregation as that which he
attracted to Plymouth Church. In his famous speech at the Herbert
Spencer dinner he was listened to with equally rapt attention by the
great philosopher and by the French waiters, who stopped in their
service, arrested and held by his mingled humor, philosophy, and
restrained emotion. This human sympathy gave a peculiar dramatic quality
to his imagination. He not only recalled and reproduced material images
from the past with great vividness, he re-created in his own mind the
experiences of men whose mold was entirely different from his own. As an
illustration of this, a comparison of two sermons on Jacob before
Pharaoh, one by Dr. Talmage, the other by Mr. Beecher, is interesting
and instructive. Dr. Talmage devotes his imagination wholly to
reproducing the outward circumstances,--the court in its splendor and
the patriarch with his wagons, his household, and his stuff; this scene
Mr. Beecher etches vividly but carelessly in a few outlines, then
proceeds to delineate with care the imagined feelings of the king, awed
despite his imperial splendor by the spiritual majesty of the peasant
herdsman. Yet Mr. Beecher could paint the outer circumstances with care
when he chose to do so. Some of his flower pictures in 'Fruits, Flowers,
and Farming' will always remain classic models of descriptive
literature, the more amazing that some of them are portraits of flowers
he had never seen when he wrote the description.

While his imagination illuminated nearly all he said or wrote, it was
habitually the instrument of some moral purpose; he rarely ornamented
for ornament's sake. His pictures gave beauty, but they were employed
not to give beauty but clearness. He was thus saved from mixed
metaphors, the common fault of imaginative writings which are directed
to no end, and thus are liable to become first lawless, then false,
finally self-contradictory and absurd. The massive Norman pillars of
Durham Cathedral are marred by the attempt which some architect has made
to give them grace and beauty by adding ornamentation. Rarely if ever
did Mr. Beecher fall into the error of thus mixing in an incongruous
structure two architectural styles. He knew when to use the Norman
strength and solidity, and when the Gothic lightness and grace.

Probably his keen sense of humor would have preserved him from this not
uncommon error. It is said that the secret of humor is the quick
perception of incongruous relations. This would seem to have been the
secret of Mr. Beecher's humor, for he had in an eminent degree what the
phrenologists call the faculty of comparison. This was seen in his
arguments, which were more often analogical than logical; seen not less
in that his humor was not employed with deliberate intent to relieve a
too serious discourse, but was itself the very product of his
seriousness. He was humorous, but rarely witty, as, for the same reason,
he was imaginative but not fanciful. For both his imagination and his
humor were the servants of his moral purpose; and as he did not employ
the one merely as a pleasing ornament, so he never went out of his way
to introduce a joke or a funny story to make a laugh.

Speaking broadly, Mr. Beecher's style as an orator passed through three
epochs. In the first, best illustrated by his 'Sermons to Young Men,'
preached in Indianapolis, his imagination is the predominant faculty.
Those sermons will remain in the history of homiletical literature as
remarkable of their kind, but not as a pulpit classic for all times; for
the critic will truly say that the imagination is too exuberant, the
dramatic element sometimes becoming melodramatic, and the style lacking
in simplicity. In the second epoch, best illustrated by the Harper and
Brothers edition of his selected sermons, preached in the earlier and
middle portion of his Brooklyn ministry, the imagination is still
pervasive, but no longer predominant. The dramatic fire still burns, but
with a steadier heat. Imagination, dramatic instinct, personal sympathy,
evangelical passion, and a growing philosophic thought-structure,
combine to make the sermons of this epoch the best illustration of his
power as a popular preacher. In each sermon he holds up a truth like his
favorite opal, turning it from side to side and flashing its opalescent
light upon his congregation, but so as always to show the secret fire at
the heart of it. In the third epoch, best illustrated by his sermons on
Evolution and Theology, the philosophic quality of his mind
predominates; his imagination is subservient to and the instrument of
clear statement, his dramatic quality shows itself chiefly in his
realization of mental conditions foreign to his own, and his style,
though still rich in color and warm with feeling, is mastered, trained,
and directed by his intellectual purpose. In the first epoch he is the
painter, in the second the preacher, in the third the teacher.

Judgments will differ: in mine the last epoch is the best, and its
utterances will long live a classic in pulpit literature. The pictures
of the first epoch are already fading; the fervid oratory of the second
epoch depends so much on the personality of the preacher, that as the
one grows dim in the distance the other must grow dim also; but the
third, more enduring though less fascinating, will remain so long as the
heart of man hungers for the truth and the life of God,--that is, for a
rational religion, a philosophy of life which shall combine reverence
and love, and a reverence and love which shall not call for the
abdication of the reason.

[Illustration: Signature: Lyman Abbott]


From 'Star Papers'

Nothing marks the increasing wealth of our times, and the growth of the
public mind toward refinement, more than the demand for books. Within
ten years the sale of common books has increased probably two hundred
per cent., and it is daily increasing. But the sale of expensive works,
and of library editions of standard authors in costly bindings, is yet
more noticeable. Ten years ago such a display of magnificent works as is
to be found at the Appletons' would have been a precursor of bankruptcy.
There was no demand for them. A few dozen, in one little show-case, was
the prudent whole. Now, one whole side of an immense store is not only
filled with admirably bound library books, but from some inexhaustible
source the void continually made in the shelves is at once refilled. A
reserve of heroic books supply the places of those that fall. Alas!
where is human nature so weak as in a book-store! Speak of the appetite
for drink; or of a _bon vivant's_ relish for a dinner! What are these
mere animal throes and ragings compared with those fantasies of taste,
those yearnings of the imagination, those insatiable appetites of
intellect, which bewilder a student in a great bookseller's

How easily one may distinguish a genuine lover of books from a worldly
man! With what subdued and yet glowing enthusiasm does he gaze upon the
costly front of a thousand embattled volumes! How gently he draws them
down, as if they were little children; how tenderly he handles them! He
peers at the title-page, at the text, or the notes, with the nicety of a
bird examining a flower. He studies the binding: the leather,--russia,
English calf, morocco; the lettering, the gilding, the edging, the hinge
of the cover! He opens it and shuts it, he holds it off and brings it
nigh. It suffuses his whole body with book magnetism. He walks up and
down in a maze at the mysterious allotments of Providence, that gives so
much money to men who spend it upon their appetites, and so little to
men who would spend it in benevolence or upon their refined tastes! It
is astonishing, too, how one's necessities multiply in the presence of
the supply. One never knows how many things it is impossible to do
without till he goes to Windle's or Smith's house-furnishing stores.
One is surprised to perceive, at some bazaar or fancy and variety store,
how many _conveniences_ he needs. He is satisfied that his life must
have been utterly inconvenient aforetime. And thus too one is inwardly
convicted, at Appletons', of having lived for years without books which
he is now satisfied that one cannot live without!

Then, too, the subtle process by which the man convinces himself that he
can afford to buy. No subtle manager or broker ever saw through a maze
of financial embarrassments half so quick as a poor book-buyer sees his
way clear to pay for what he _must_ have. He promises himself marvels of
retrenchment; he will eat less, or less costly viands, that he may buy
more food for the mind. He will take an extra patch, and go on with his
raiment another year, and buy books instead of coats. Yea, he will write
books, that he may buy books! The appetite is insatiable. Feeding does
not satisfy it. It rages by the fuel which is put upon it. As a hungry
man eats first and pays afterward, so the book-buyer purchases and then
works at the debt afterward. This paying is rather medicinal. It cures
for a time. But a relapse takes place. The same longing, the same
promises of self-denial. He promises himself to put spurs on both heels
of his industry; and then, besides all this, he will _somehow_ get along
when the time for payment comes! Ah! this SOMEHOW! That word is as big
as a whole world, and is stuffed with all the vagaries and fantasies
that Fancy ever bred upon Hope. And yet, is there not some comfort in
buying books, _to be_ paid for? We have heard of a sot who wished his
neck as long as the worm of a still, that he might so much the longer
enjoy the flavor of the draught! Thus, it is a prolonged excitement of
purchase, if you feel for six months in a slight doubt whether the book
is honestly your own or not. Had you paid down, that would have been the
end of it. There would have been no affectionate and beseeching look of
your books at you, every time you saw them, saying, as plain as a book's
eyes can say, "Do not let me be taken from you."

Moreover, buying books before you can pay for them promotes caution. You
do not feel quite at liberty to take them home. You are married. Your
wife keeps an account-book. She knows to a penny what you can and what
you cannot afford. She has no "speculation" in _her_ eyes. Plain figures
make desperate work with airy "_somehows_." It is a matter of no small
skill and experience to get your books home, and into their proper
places, undiscovered. Perhaps the blundering express brings them to the
door just at evening. "What is it, my dear?" she says to you. "Oh!
nothing--a few books that I cannot do without." That smile! A true
housewife that loves her husband can smile a whole arithmetic at him at
one look! Of course she insists, in the kindest way, in sympathizing
with you in your literary acquisition. She cuts the strings of the
bundle (and of your heart), and out comes the whole story. You have
bought a complete set of costly English books, full bound in calf, extra
gilt! You are caught, and feel very much as if bound in calf yourself,
and admirably lettered.

Now, this must not happen frequently. The books must be smuggled home.
Let them be sent to some near place. Then, when your wife has a
headache, or is out making a call, or has lain down, run the books
across the frontier and threshold, hastily undo them, stop only for one
loving glance as you put them away in the closet, or behind other books
on the shelf, or on the topmost shelf. Clear away the twine and
wrapping-paper, and every suspicious circumstance. Be very careful not
to be too kind. That often brings on detection. Only the other day we
heard it said, somewhere, "Why, how good you have been lately. I am
really afraid that you have been carrying on mischief secretly." Our
heart smote us. It was a fact. That very day we had bought a few books
which "we could not do without." After a while you can bring out one
volume, accidentally, and leave it on the table. "Why, my dear, _what_ a
beautiful book! Where _did_ you borrow it?" You glance over the
newspaper, with the quietest tone you can command: "_That_! oh! that is
_mine_. Have you not seen it before? It has been in the house these two
months." and you rush on with anecdote and incident, and point out the
binding, and that peculiar trick of gilding, and everything else you can
think of; but it all will not do; you cannot rub out that roguish,
arithmetical smile. People may talk about the equality of the sexes!
They are not equal. The silent smile of a sensible, loving woman will
vanquish ten men. Of course you repent, and in time form a habit of

Another method which will be found peculiarly effective is to make a
_present_ of some fine work to your wife. Of course, whether she or you
have the name of buying it, it will go into your collection, and be
yours to all intents and purposes. But it stops remark in the
presentation. A wife could not reprove you for so kindly thinking of
her. No matter what she suspects, she will say nothing. And then if
there are three or four more works which have come home with the
gift-book--they will pass through the favor of the other.

These are pleasures denied to wealth and old bachelors. Indeed, one
cannot imagine the peculiar pleasure of buying books if one is rich and
stupid. There must be some pleasure, or so many would not do it. But the
full flavor, the whole relish of delight only comes to those who are so
poor that they must engineer for every book. They sit down before them,
and besiege them. They are captured. Each book has a secret history of
ways and means. It reminds you of subtle devices by which you insured
and made it yours, in spite of poverty!

Copyrighted by Fords, Howard and Hulbert, New York.


From 'Selections from the Published Works of Henry Ward Beecher',
compiled by Eleanor Kirk.

An intelligent conscience is one of the greatest of luxuries. It can
hardly be called a necessity, or how would the world have got along as
well as it has to this day?--SERMON: 'Conscience.'

A man undertakes to jump across a chasm that is ten feet wide, and jumps
eight feet; and a kind sympathizer says, "What is going to be done with
the eight feet that he did jump?" Well, what _is_ going to be done with
it? It is one of those things which must be accomplished in whole, or it
is not accomplished at all.--SERMON: 'The True Value of Morality.'

It is hard for a strong-willed man to bow down to a weak-willed man. It
is hard for an elephant to say his prayers to an ant.--SERMON: 'The
Reward of Loving.'

When Peter heard the cock crow, it was not the tail-feathers that crew.
The crowing came from the inside of the cock. Religion is something more
than the outward observances of the church.--SERMON: 'The Battle of

I have heard men, in family prayer, confess their wickedness, and pray
that God would forgive them the sins that they got from Adam; but I do
not know that I ever heard a father in family prayer confess that he had
a bad temper. I never heard a mother confess in family prayer that she
was irritable and snappish. I never heard persons bewail those sins
which are the engineers and artificers of the moral condition of the
family. The angels would not know what to do with a prayer that began,
"Lord, thou knowest that I am a scold."--SERMON: 'Peaceableness.'

Getting up early is venerable. Since there has been a literature or a
history, the habit of early rising has been recommended for health, for
pleasure, and for business. The ancients are held up to us for examples.
But they lived so far to the east, and so near the sun, that it was much
easier for them than for us. People in Europe always get up several
hours before we do; people in Asia several hours before Europeans do;
and we suppose, as men go toward the sun, it gets easier and easier,
until, somewhere in the Orient, probably they step out of bed
involuntarily, or, like a flower blossoming, they find their bed-clothes
gently opening and turning back, by the mere attraction of light.--'EYES

There are some men who never wake up enough to swear a good oath. The
man who sees the point of a joke the day after it is uttered,--because
_he_ never is known to act hastily, is he to take credit for
that?--SERMON: 'Conscience.'

If you will only make your ideal mean enough, you can every one of you
feel that you are heroic.--SERMON: 'The Use of Ideals.'

There is nothing more common than for men to hang one motive outside
where it can be seen, and keep the others in the background to turn the
machinery.--SERMON: 'Paul and Demetrius.'

Suppose I should go to God and say, "Lord, be pleased to give me salad,"
he would point to the garden and say, "There is the place to
get salad; and if you are too lazy to work for it, you may go
without."--LECTURE-ROOM TALKS: 'Answers to Prayer.'

God did not call you to be canary-birds in a little cage, and to hop up
and down on three sticks, within a space no larger than the size of the
cage. God calls you to be eagles, and to fly from sun to sun, over
continents.--SERMON: 'The Perfect Manhood.'

Do not be a spy on yourself. A man who goes down the street thinking of
himself all the time, with critical analysis, whether he is doing this,
that, or any other thing,--turning himself over as if he were a goose on
a spit before a fire, and basting himself with good resolutions,--is
simply belittling himself.--'LECTURES ON PREACHING.'

Many persons boil themselves down to a kind of molasses goodness. How
many there are that, like flies caught in some sweet liquid, have got
out at last upon the side of the cup, and crawl along slowly, buzzing a
little to clear their wings! Just such Christians I have seen,
creeping up the side of churches, soul-poor, imperfect, and

No man, then, need hunt among hair-shirts; no man need seek for blankets
too short at the bottom and too short at the top; no man need resort to
iron seats or cushionless chairs; no man need shut himself up in grim
cells; no man need stand on the tops of towers or columns,--in order to
deny himself.--SERMON-'Problem of Joy and Suffering in Life.'

Copyrighted by Fords, Howard and Hulbert, New York, 1887.



TEXTS: Luke iv. 17-21, Matt. xi. 2-6

Here was Christ's profession of his faith; here is the history also of
his examination, to see whether he were fit to preach or not. It is
remarkable that in both these instances the most significant indication
that he had, both of his descent from God and of his being worthy of the
Messiahship, consisted in this simple exposition of the line of his
preaching,--that he took sides with the poor, neglected, and lost. He
emphasized this, that his gospel was a gospel of mercy to the poor; and
that word "poor," in its most comprehensive sense, looked at
historically, includes in it everything that belongs to human misery,
whether it be by reason of sin or depravity, or by oppression, or by any
other cause. This, then, is the disclosure by Christ himself of the
genius of Christianity. It is his declaration of what the gospel meant.

It is still further interpreted when you follow the life of Christ, and
see how exactly in his conduct he interpreted, or rather fortified, the
words of the declaration. His earliest life was that of labor and
poverty, and it was labor and poverty in the poorest districts of
Palestine. The dignified, educated, and aristocratic part of the nation
dwelt in Judea, and the Athens of Palestine was Jerusalem. There Christ
spent the least part of his life, and that in perpetual discussions. But
in Galilee the most of his miracles, certainly the earlier, were
performed, and the most of his discourses that are contained bodily in
the gospels were uttered. He himself carried out the declaration that
the gospel was for the poor. The very miracles that Christ performed
were not philosophical enigmas, as we look at them. They were all of
them miracles of mercy. They were miracles to those who were suffering
helplessly where natural law and artificial means could not reach them.
In every case the miracles of Christ were mercies, though we look at
them in a spirit totally different from that in which he performed them.

In doing thus, Christ represented the best spirit of the Old Testament.
The Jewish Scriptures teach mercy, the very genius of Jewish
institutions was that of mercy, and especially to the poor, the weak,
the helpless. The crimes against which the prophets thundered their
severest denunciations were crimes upon the helpless. It was the avarice
of the rich, it was the unbounded lust and cruelty of the strong, that
were denounced by them. They did not preach against human nature in
general. They did not preach against total depravity and the original
condition of mankind. They singled out violations of the law in the
magistrate, in the king, in rich men, everywhere, and especially all
those wrongs committed by power either unconsciously or with purpose,
cruelty upon the helpless, the defenseless, the poor and the needy. When
Christ declared that this was his ministry, he took his text from the
Old Testament; he spoke in its spirit. It was to preach the gospel to
the poor that he was sent. He had come into the world to change the
condition of mankind. Beginning at the top? No; beginning at the bottom
and working up to the top from the bottom.

When this view of the gospel enters into our understanding and is fully
comprehended by us, how exactly it fits in with the order of nature, and
with the order of the unfolding of human life and human society! It
takes sides with the poor; and so the universal tendency of Providence
and of history, slowly unfolded, is on the whole going from low to high,
from worse to better, and from good toward the perfect. When we
consider, we see that man begins as a helpless thing, a baby zero
without a figure before it; and every step in life adds a figure to it
and gives it more and more worth. On the whole, the law of unfolding
throughout the world is from lower to higher; and though when applied to
the population of the globe it is almost inconceivable, still, with many
back-sets and reactions, the tendency of the universe is thus from lower
to higher. Why? Let any man consider whether there is not of necessity a
benevolent intelligence somewhere that is drawing up from the crude
toward the ripe, from the rough toward the smooth, from bad to good, and
from good through better toward best. The tendency upward runs like a
golden thread through the history of the whole world, both in the
unfolding of human life and in the unfolding of the race itself. Thus
the tendency of nature is in accordance with the tendency of the gospel
as declared by Jesus Christ, namely, that it is a ministry of mercy to
the needy.

The vast majority of mankind have been and yet are poor. There are ten
thousand men poor where there is one man even comfortably provided for,
body and soul, and hundreds of thousands where there is one rich, taking
the whole world together. The causes of poverty are worthy a moment's
consideration. Climate and soil have much to do with it. Men whose
winter lasts nine or ten months in the year, and who have a summer of
but one or two months, as in the extreme north,--how could they amass
property, how could they enlarge their conditions of peace and of
comfort? There are many parts of the earth where men live on the borders
of deserts, or in mountain fastnesses, or in arctic rigors, where
anything but poverty is impossible, and where it requires the whole
thought, genius, industry, and foresight of men, the year round, just to
feed themselves and to live. Bad government, where men are insecure in
their property, has always been a very fertile source of poverty. The
great valley of Esdraelon in Northern Palestine is one of the most
fertile in the world, and yet famine perpetually stalks on the heels of
the population; for if you sow and the harvest waves, forth come hordes
of Bedouins to reap your harvest for you, and leave you, after all your
labor, to poverty and starvation. When a man has lost his harvest in
that way two or three times, and is deprived of the reward of his
labors, he never emerges from poverty, but sinks into indolence; and
that, by and by, breeds apathetic misery. So where the government
over-taxes its subjects, as is the case in the Orient with perhaps
nearly all of the populations there to-day, it cuts the sinews and
destroys all the motives of industry; and without industry there can be
neither virtue, morality, nor religion in any long period. Wars breaking
out, from whatever cause, tend to absorb property, or to destroy
property, or to prevent the development of property. Yet, strange as it
may seem, the men who suffer from war are those whose passions generally
lead it on. The king may apply the spark, but the combustion is with the
common people. They furnish the army, they themselves become destroyers;
and the ravages of war, in the history of the human family, have
destroyed more property than it is possible to enter into the thoughts
of men to conceive.

But besides these external reasons of poverty, there are certain great
primary and fundamental reasons. Ignorance breeds poverty. What is
property? It is the product of intelligence, of skill, of thought
applied to material substances. All property is raw material that has
been shaped to uses by intelligent skill. Where intelligence is low, the
power of producing property is low. It is the husbandman who thinks,
foresees, plans, and calls on all natural laws to serve him, whose farm
brings forth forty, fifty, and a hundred fold. The ignorant peasant
grubs and groans, and reaps but one handful where he has sown two. It is
knowledge that is the gold mine; for although every knowing man may not
be able to be a rich man, yet out of ignorance riches do not spring
anywhere. Ignorant men may be made the factors of wealth when they are
guided and governed by superior intelligence. Slave labor produced
gigantic plantations and estates. The slave was always poor, but his
master was rich, because the master had the intelligence and the
knowledge, and the slave gave the work. All through human society, men
who represent simple ignorance will be tools, and the men who represent
intelligence will be the master mechanics, the capitalists. All society
to-day is agitated with this question of justice as between the laborer
and the thinker. Now, it is no use to kick against the pricks. A man who
can only work and not think is not the equal in any regard of the man
who can think, who can plan, who can combine, and who can live not for
to-day alone, but for to-morrow, for next month, for the next year, for
ten years. This is the man whose volume will just as surely weigh down
that of the unthinking man as a ton will weigh down a pound in the
scale. Avoirdupois is moral, industrial, as well as material, in this
respect; and the primary, most usual cause of unprosperity in industrial
callings therefore lies in the want of intelligence,--either in the
slender endowment of the man, or more likely the want of education in
his ordinary and average endowment. Any class of men who live for
to-day, and do not care whether they know anything more than they did
yesterday or last year--those men may have a temporary and transient
prosperity, but they are the children of poverty just as surely as the
decrees of God stand. Ignorance enslaves men among men; knowledge is the
creator of liberty and wealth.

As with undeveloped intelligence, so the appetites of men and their
passions are causes of poverty. Men who live from the basilar faculties
will invariably live in inferior stations. The men who represent
animalism are as a general fact at the bottom. They may say it is
government, climate, soil, want of capital, they may say what they
please, but it is the devil of laziness that is in them, or of passion,
that comes out in eating, in gluttony, in drinking and drunkenness, in
wastefulness on every side. I do not say that the laboring classes in
modern society are poor because they are self-indulgent, but I say that
it unquestionably would be wise for all men who feel irritated that they
are so unprosperous, if they would take heed to the moral condition in
which they are living, to self-denial in their passions and appetites,
and to increasing the amount of their knowledge and fidelity. Although
moral conditions are not the sole causes, they are principal causes, of
the poverty of the working classes throughout the world. It is their
misfortune as well as their fault; but it is the reason why they do not
rise. Weakness does not rise; strength does.

All these causes indicate that the poor need moral and intellectual
culture. "I was sent to preach the gospel to the poor:" not to
distribute provisions, not to relieve their wants; that will be
included, but that was not Christ's primary idea. It was not to bring in
a golden period of fruitfulness when men would not be required to work.
It was not that men should lie down on their backs under the trees, and
that the boughs should bend over and drop the ripe fruit into their
mouths. No such conception of equality and abundance entered into the
mind of the Creator or of Him who represented the Creator. To preach the
gospel to the poor was to awaken the mind of the poor. It was to teach
the poor--"Take up your cross, deny yourselves, and follow me. Restrain
all those sinful appetites and passions, and hold them back by the power
of knowledge and by the power of conscience; grow, because you are the
sons of God, into the likeness of your Father." So he preached to the
poor. That was preaching prosperity to them. That was teaching them how
to develop their outward condition by developing their inward forces. To
develop that in men which should make them wiser, purer, and stronger,
is the aim of the gospel. Men have supposed that the whole end of the
gospel was reconciliation between God and men who had fallen--though
they were born sinners in their fathers and grandfathers and ancestors;
to reconcile them with God--as if an abstract disagreement had been the
cause of all this world's trouble! But the plain facts of history are
simply that men, if they have not come from animals, have yet dwelt in
animalism, and that that which should raise them out of it was some such
moral influence as should give them the power of ascension into
intelligence, into virtue, and into true godliness. That is what the
gospel was sent for; good news, a new power that is kindled under men,
that will lift them from their low ignorances and degradations and
passions, and lift them into a higher realm; a power that will take away
all the poverty that needs to be taken away. Men may be doctrinally
depraved; they are much more depraved practically. Men may need to be
brought into the knowledge of God speculatively; but what they do need
is to be brought into the knowledge of themselves practically. I do not
say that the gospel has nothing in it of this kind of spiritual
knowledge; it is full of it, but its aim and the reason why it should be
preached is to wake up in men the capacity for good things, industries,
frugalities, purities, moralities, kindnesses one toward another: and
when men are brought into that state they are reconciled. When men are
reconciled with the law of creation and the law of their being, they are
reconciled with God. Whenever a man is reconciled with the law of
knowledge, he is reconciled with the God of knowledge, so far. Whenever
a man is reconciled with the law of purity he is so far reconciled with
a God of purity. When men have lifted themselves to that point that
they recognize that they are the children of God, the kingdom of God has
begun within them.

Although the spirit and practice of the gospel will develop charities,
will develop physical comfort, will feed men, will heal men, will
provide for their physical needs, yet the primary and fundamental result
of the gospel is to develop man himself, not merely to relieve his want
on an occasion. It does that as a matter of course, but that is scarcely
the first letter of the alphabet. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and
his righteousness, and all these things [food and raiment] shall be
added unto you." The way to relieve a man is to develop him so that he
will need no relief, or to raise higher and higher the character of the
help that he demands.

In testing Christianity, then, I remark first that it is to be tested
not by creeds, but by conduct. The evidence of the gospel, the reality
of the gospel that is preached in schools or churches, is to be found in
the spirit that is developed by it, not in the technical creeds that men
have constructed out of it. The biography of men who have died might be
hung up in their sepulchres; but you could not tell what kind of a man
this one had been, just by reading his life there--while he lay dead in
dust before you. There are thousands of churches that have a creed of
Christianity hung up in them, but the church itself is a sepulchre full
of dead men's bones; and indeed, many churches in modern times are
gnawing the bones of their ancestors, and doing almost nothing else.

The gospel, changed from a spirit of humanity into a philosophical
system of doctrine, is perverted. It is not the gospel. The great heresy
in the world of religion is a cold heart, not a luminous head. It is not
that intelligence is of no use in religion. By no means. Neither would
we wage a crusade against philosophical systems of moral truth. But
where the active sympathy and humanity of loving hearts for living men,
and for men in the ratio in which they are low, is laid aside or
diminished to a minimum, and in its place is a well-elaborated
philosophical system of moral truths, hewn and jointed,--the gospel is
gone. If you go along the sea-shores, you will often find the shells of
fish--the fish dead and gone, the shells left. And if you go along the
shores of ecclesiastical organization, you will find multitudes of
shells of the gospel, out of which the living substance has gone long
ago. Organized Christianity--that is, the institutions of Christianity
have been in the first instance its power, and in the second instance
its damnation. The moment you substitute the machinery of education for
education itself, the moment you build schools and do not educate, build
colleges that do not increase knowledge in the pupils, you have
sacrificed the aim for the instrument by which you were to gain that
aim. In churches, the moment it is more important to maintain buildings,
rituals, ministers, chanters, and all the paraphernalia of moral
education than the spirit of personal sympathy, the moment these are
more sacred to men than is the welfare of the population round about
which they were set to take care of, that very moment Christ is dead in
that place; that very moment religion in the midst of all its
institutions has perished. I am bound to say that in the history of the
world, while religious institutions have been valuable and have done a
great deal of good, they have perhaps done as much harm as good. There
is scarcely one single perversion of civil government, there is scarcely
one single persecution of men, there is scarcely a single one of the
great wars that have depopulated the globe, there is scarcely one great
heresy developed out of the tyranny of the church, that has not been the
fruit of institutional religion; while that spirit of humanity which was
to give the institution its motive power has to a certain extent died
out of it.

Secondly, churches organized upon elective affinities of men are
contrary to the spirit of the gospel. We may associate with men who are
of like taste with ours. We have that privilege. If men are
knowledgeable and intellectual, there is no sin in their choosing for
intimate companions and associates men of like pursuits and like
intellectual qualities. That is right. If men are rich, there is no
reason why men who hold like property should not confer with each other,
and form interests and friendships together. If men are refined, if they
have become æsthetic, there is no reason why they should not associate
in the realm of beauty, artists with artists, nor why the great enjoyers
of beauty should not be in sympathy. Exit all these are not to be
allowed to do it at the price of abandoning common humanity; you have no
right to make your nest in the boughs of knowledge, and let all the rest
of the world go as it will. You have no right to make your home among
those who are polished and exquisite and fastidious in their tastes,
whose garments are beauty, whose house is a temple of art, and all whose
associations are of like kind, and neglect common humanity. You have no
right to shut yourself up in a limited company of those who are like you
in these directions, and let all the rest of men go without sympathy and
without care. It is a right thing for a man to salute his neighbor who
salutes him; but if you salute those who salute you, says Christ, what
thank have ye--do not even the publicans so? It is no sin that a man,
being intellectual in his nature, should like intellectual people, and
gratify that which is divine and God-like in him; but if, because he
likes intellectual people, he loses all interest in ignorant people, it
convicts him of depravity and of moral perversion. When this is carried
out to such an extent that churches are organized upon sharp
classification, upon elective affinities, they not only cease to be
Christian churches, but they are heretical; not perhaps in doctrine, but
worse than that, heretical in heart.

The fact is that a church needs poor men and wicked men as much as it
does pure men and virtuous men and pious men. What man needs is
familiarity with universal human nature. He needs never to separate
himself from men in daily life. It is not necessary that in our houses
we should bring pestilential diseases or pestilential examples, but
somehow we must hold on to men if they are wicked; somehow the
circulation between the top and the bottom must be carried on; somehow
there must be an atoning power in the heart of every true believer of
the Lord Jesus Christ who shall say, looking out and seeing that the
world is lost, and is living in sin and misery, "I belong to it, and it
belongs to me." When you take the loaf of society and cut off the upper
crust, slicing it horizontally, you get an elect church. Yes, it is the
peculiarly elect church of selfishness. But you should cut the loaf of
society from the top down to the bottom, and take in something of
everything. True, every church would be very much edified and advantaged
if it had in it scholarly men, knowledgeable men; but the church is
strong in proportion as it has in it something of everything, from the
very top to the very bottom.

Now, I do not disown creeds--provided they are my own! Well, you smile;
but that is the way it has been since the world began. No denomination
believes in any creed except its own. I do not say that men's knowledge
on moral subjects may not be formulated. I criticize the formulation of
beliefs from time to time, in this: that they are very partial; that
they are formed upon the knowledge of a past age, and that that
knowledge perishes while higher and nobler knowledge comes in; that
there ought to be higher and better forms; and that while their power is
relatively small, the power of the spirit of humanity is relatively
great. When I examine a church, I do not so much care whether its
worship is to the one God or to the triune God. I do not chiefly care
for the catechism, nor for the confession of faith, although they are
both interesting. I do not even look to see whether it is a synagogue or
a Christian church--I do not care whether it has a cross over the top of
it or is Quaker plain. I do not care whether it is Protestant, Catholic,
or anything else. Let me read the living--- the living book! What is the
spirit of the people? How do they feel among each other? How do they
feel toward the community? What is their life and conduct in regard to
the great prime moral duty of man, "Love the Lord thy God and thy
neighbor as thyself," whether he be obscure or whether he be smiling in
the very plenitude of wealth and refinement? Have you a heart for
humanity? Have you a soul that goes out for men? Are you Christ-like?
Will you spend yourself for the sake of elevating men who need to be
lifted up? That is orthodox. I do not care what the creed is. If a
church has a good creed, that is all the more felicitous; and if it has
a bad creed, a good life cures the bad creed.

One of the dangers of our civilization may be seen in the light of these
considerations. We are developing so much strength founded on popular
intelligence, and this intelligence and the incitements to it are
developing such large property interests, that if the principle of
elective affinity shall sort men out and classify them, we are steering
to the not very remote danger of the disintegration of human society. I
can tell you that the classes of men who by their knowledge, refinement,
and wealth think they are justified in separating themselves, and in
making a great void between them and the myriads of men below them, are
courting their own destruction. I look with very great interest on the
process of change going on in Great Britain, where the top of society
had all the "blood," but the circulation is growing larger and larger,
and a change is gradually taking place in their institutions. The old
nobility of Great Britain is the lordliest of aristocracies existing in
the world. Happily, on the whole, a very noble class of men occupy the
high positions: but the spirit of suffrage, this angel of God that so
many hate, is coming in on them; and when every man in Great Britain can
vote, no matter whether he is poor or rich, whether he has knowledge or
no knowledge, there must be a very great change. Before the great day of
the Lord shall come, the valleys are to go up and the mountains are to
come down; and the mountains have started already in Great Britain and
must come down. There may be an aristocracy in any nation,--that is to
say, there may be "best men"; there ought to be an aristocracy in every
community,--that is, an aristocracy of men who speak the truth, who are
just, who are intelligent: but that aristocracy will be like a wave of
the sea; it has to be reconstituted in every generation, and the men who
are the best in the State become the aristocracy of that State. But
where rank is hereditary, if political suffrage becomes free and
universal, aristocracy cannot live. The spirit of the gospel is
democratic. The tendency of the gospel is leveling; leveling up, not
down. It is carrying the poor and the multitude onward and upward.

It is said that democracies have no great men, no heroic men. Why is it
so? When you raise the average of intelligence and power in the
community it is very hard to be a great man. That is to say, when the
great mass of citizens are only ankle-high, when among the Lilliputians
a Brobdingnagian walks, he is a great man. But when the Lilliputians
grow until they get up to his shoulder, he is not so great a man as he
was by the whole length of his body. So, make the common people grow,
and there is nobody tall enough to be much higher.

       *       *       *       *       *

The remarkable people of this world are useful in their way; but the
common people, after all, represent the nation, the age, and the
civilization. Go into any town or city: do not ask who lives in that
splendid house; do not say, This is a fine town, here are streets of
houses with gardens and yards, and everything that is beautiful the
whole way through. Go into the lanes, go into the back streets, go where
the mechanic lives; go where the day-laborer lives. See what is the
condition of the streets there. See what they do with the poor, with the
helpless, and the mean. If the top of society bends perpetually over the
bottom with tenderness, if the rich and strong are the best friends of
the poor and needy, that is a civilized and a Christian community; but
if the rich and the wise are the cream and the great bulk of the
population skim-milk, that is not a prosperous community.

There is a great deal of irreligion in men, there is a great deal of
wickedness and depravity in men, but there are times when it is true
that the church is more dissipated than the dissipated classes of the
community. If there is one thing that stood out more strongly than any
other in the ministry of our Lord, it is the severity with which he
treated the exclusiveness of men with knowledge, position, and a certain
sort of religion, a religion of particularity and carefulness; if there
is one class of the community against which he hurled his thunderbolts
without mercy and predicted woes, it was the scribes, Pharisees,
scholars, and priests of the temples. He told them in so many words,
"The publican and the harlot will enter the kingdom of God before you."
The worst dissipation in this world is the dry-rot of morality, and of
the so-called piety that separates men of prosperity and of power from
the poor and ignoble. They are our wards....

I am not a socialist. I do not preach riot. I do not preach the
destruction of property. I regard property as one of the sacred things.
The real property established by a man's own intelligence and labor is
the crystallized man himself. It is the fruit of what his life-work has
done; and not in vain, society makes crime against it amongst the most
punishable. But nevertheless, I warn these men in a country like ours,
where every man votes, whether he came from Hungary, or from Russia, or
from Germany, or from France or Italy, or Spain or Portugal, or from the
Orient,--from Japan and China, because they too are going to vote! On
the Niagara River, logs come floating down and strike an island, and
there they lodge and accumulate for a little while, and won't go over.
But the rains come, the snows melt, the river rises, and the logs are
lifted up and down, and they go swinging over the falls. The stream of
suffrage of free men, having all the privileges of the State, is this
great stream. The figure is defective in this, that the log goes over
the Niagara Falls, but that is not the way the country is going or will
go.... There is a certain river of political life, and everything has to
go into it first or last; and if, in days to come, a man separates
himself from his fellows without sympathy, if his wealth and power make
poverty feel itself more poor and men's misery more miserable, and set
against him the whole stream of popular feeling, that man is in danger.
He may not know who dynamites him, but there is danger; and let him take
heed who is in peril. There is nothing easier in the world than for rich
men to ingratiate themselves with the whole community in which they
live, and so secure themselves. It is not selfishness that will do it;
it is not by increasing the load of misfortune, it is not by wasting
substance in riotous living upon appetites and passions. It is by
recognizing that every man is a brother. It is by recognizing the
essential spirit of the gospel, "Love thy neighbor as thyself." It is by
using some of their vast power and riches so as to diffuse joy in every
section of the community.

Here then I close this discourse. How much it enrolls! How very simple
it is! It is the whole gospel. When you make an application of it to all
the phases of organization and classification of human interests and
developments, it seems as though it were as big as the universe. Yet
when you condense it, it all comes back to the one simple creed: "Thou
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbor as
thyself." Who is my neighbor? A certain man went down to Jericho, and so
on. That tells you who your neighbor is. Whosoever has been attacked by
robbers, has been beaten, has been thrown down--by liquor, by gambling,
or by any form of wickedness; whosoever has been cast into distress, and
you are called on to raise him up--that is your neighbor. Love your
neighbor as yourself. That is the gospel.


From 'Norwood'

It is worth all the inconveniences arising from the occasional
over-action of New England Sabbath observance, to obtain the full flavor
of a New England Sunday. But for this, one should have been born there;
should have found Sunday already waiting for him, and accepted it with
implicit and absolute conviction, as if it were a law of nature, in the
same way that night and day, summer and winter, are parts of nature. He
should have been brought up by parents who had done the same thing, as
_they_ were by parents even more strict, if that were possible; until
not religious persons peculiarly, but everybody--not churches alone, but
society itself, and all its population, those who broke it as much as
those who kept it--were stained through with the color of Sunday. Nay,
until Nature had adopted it, and laid its commands on all birds and
beasts, on the sun and winds, and upon the whole atmosphere; so that
without much imagination one might imagine, in a genuine New England
Sunday of the Connecticut River Valley stamp, that God was still on that
day resting from all the work which he had created and made, and that
all his work rested with him!

Over all the town rested the Lord's peace! The saw was ripping away
yesterday in the carpenter's shop, and the hammer was noisy enough.
Today there is not a sign of life there. The anvil makes no music
to-day. Tommy Taft's buckets and barrels give forth no hollow, thumping
sound. The mill is silent--only the brook continues noisy. Listen! In
yonder pine woods what a cawing of crows! Like an echo, in a wood still
more remote other crows are answering. But even a crow's throat to-day
is musical. Do they think, because they have black coats on, that they
are parsons, and have a right to play pulpit with all the pine-trees?
Nay. The birds will not have any such monopoly,--they are all singing,
and singing all together, and no one cares whether his song rushes
across another's or not. Larks and robins, blackbirds and orioles,
sparrows and bluebirds, mocking cat-birds and wrens, were furrowing the
air with such mixtures as no other day but Sunday, when all artificial
and human sounds cease, could ever hear. Every now and then a bobolink
seemed impressed with the duty of bringing these jangling birds into
more regularity; and like a country singing-master, he flew down the
ranks, singing all the parts himself in snatches, as if to stimulate and
help the laggards. In vain! Sunday is the birds' day, and they will have
their own democratic worship.

There was no sound in the village street. Look either way--not a
vehicle, not a human being. The smoke rose up soberly and quietly, as if
it said--It is Sunday! The leaves on the great elms hung motionless,
glittering in dew, as if they too, like the people who dwelt under their
shadow, were waiting for the bell to ring for meeting. Bees sung and
flew as usual; but honey-bees have a Sunday way with them all the week,
and could scarcely change for the better on the seventh day.

But oh, the Sun! It had sent before and cleared every stain out of the
sky. The blue heaven was not dim and low, as on secular days, but curved
and deep, as if on Sunday it shook off all incumbrance which during the
week had lowered and flattened it, and sprang back to the arch and
symmetry of a dome. All ordinary sounds caught the spirit of the day.
The shutting of a door sounded twice as far as usual. The rattle of a
bucket in a neighbor's yard, no longer mixed with heterogeneous noises,
seemed a new sound. The hens went silently about, and roosters crowed in
psalm-tunes. And when the first bell rung, Nature seemed overjoyed to
find something that it might do without breaking Sunday, and rolled the
sound over and over, and pushed it through the air, and raced with it
over field and hill, twice as far as on week-days. There were no less
than seven steeples in sight from the belfry, and the sexton said:--"On
still Sundays I've heard the bell, at one time and another, when the day
was fair, and the air moving in the right way, from every one of them
steeples, and I guess likely they've all heard our'n."

"Come, Rose!" said Agate Bissell, at an even earlier hour than when Rose
usually awakened--"Come, Rose, it is the Sabbath. We must not be late
Sunday morning, of all days in the week. It is the Lord's day."

There was little preparation required for the day. Saturday night, in
some parts of New England, was considered almost as sacred as Sunday
itself. After sundown on Saturday night no play, and no work except such
as is immediately preparatory to the Sabbath, were deemed becoming in
good Christians. The clothes had been laid out the night before. Nothing
was forgotten. The best frock was ready; the hose and shoes were
waiting. Every article of linen, every ruffle and ribbon, were selected
on Saturday night. Every one in the house walked mildly. Every one spoke
in a low tone. Yet all were cheerful. The mother had on her kindest
face, and nobody laughed, but everybody made it up in smiling. The nurse
smiled, and the children held on to keep down a giggle within the lawful
bounds of a smile; and the doctor looked rounder and calmer than ever;
and the dog flapped his tail on the floor with a softened sound, as if
he had fresh wrapped it in hair for that very day. Aunt Toodie, the cook
(so the children had changed Mrs. Sarah Good's name), was blacker than
ever and shinier than ever, and the coffee better, and the cream
richer, and the broiled chickens juicier and more tender, and the
biscuit whiter, and the corn-bread more brittle and sweet.

When the good doctor read the Scriptures at family prayer, the infection
of silence had subdued everything except the clock. Out of the wide hall
could be heard in the stillness the old clock, that now lifted up its
voice with unwonted emphasis, as if, unnoticed through the bustling
week, Sunday was its vantage ground, to proclaim to mortals the swift
flight of time. And if the old pedant performed the task with something
of an ostentatious precision, it was because in that house nothing else
put on official airs, and the clock felt the responsibility of doing it
for the whole mansion.

And now came mother and catechism; for Mrs. Wentworth followed the old
custom, and declared that no child of hers should grow up without
catechism. Secretly, the doctor was quite willing, though openly he
played off upon the practice a world of good-natured discouragement, and
declared that there should be an opposition set up--a catechism of
Nature, with natural laws for decrees, and seasons for Providence, and
flowers for graces! The younger children were taught in simple
catechism. But Rose, having reached the mature age of twelve, was now
manifesting her power over the Westminster Shorter Catechism; and as it
was simply an achievement of memory and not of the understanding, she
had the book at great advantage, and soon subdued every question and
answer in it. As much as possible, the doctor was kept aloof on such
occasions. His grave questions were not to edification, and often they
caused Rose to stumble, and brought down sorely the exultation with
which she rolled forth, "They that are effectually called do in this
life partake of justification, adoption, sanctification, and the several
benefits which in this life do either accompany or flow from them."

"What do those words mean, Rose?"

"Which words, pa?"

"Adoption, sanctification, and justification?"

Rose hesitated, and looked at her mother for rescue.

"Doctor, why do you trouble the child? Of course she don't know yet all
the meaning. But that will come to her when she grows older."

"You make a nest of her memory, then, and put words there, like eggs,
for future hatching?"

"Yes, that is it exactly: birds do not hatch their eggs the minute they
lay them. They wait."

"Laying eggs at twelve to be hatched at twenty is subjecting them to
some risk, is it not?"

"It might be so with eggs, but not with the catechism. That will keep
without spoiling a hundred years!"

"Because it is so dry?"

"Because it is so good. But do, dear husband, go away, and not put
notions in the children's heads. It's hard enough already to get them
through their tasks. Here's poor Arthur, who has been two Sundays on one
question, and has not got it yet."

Arthur, aforesaid, was sharp and bright in anything addressed to his
reason, but he had no verbal memory, and he was therefore wading
painfully through the catechism like a man in a deep-muddy road; with
this difference, that the man carries too much clay with him, while
nothing stuck to poor Arthur.

       *       *       *       *       *

The beauty of the day, the genial season of the year, brought forth
every one; old men and their feebler old wives, young and hearty men and
their plump and ruddy companions,--young men and girls and children,
thick as punctuation points in Hebrew text, filled the street. In a low
voice, they spoke to each other in single sentences.

"A fine day! There'll be a good congregation out to-day."

"Yes; we may expect a house full. How is Widow Cheney--have you heard?"

"Well, not much better; can't hold out many days. It will be a great
loss to the children."

"Yes; but we must all die--nobody can skip his turn. Does she still talk
about them that's gone?"

"They say not. I believe she's sunk into a quiet way; and it looks as if
she'd go off easy."

"Sunday is a good day for dying--it's about the only journey that speeds
well on this day!"

There was something striking in the outflow of people into the street,
that till now had seemed utterly deserted. There was no fevered hurry;
no negligent or poorly dressed people. Every family came in groups--old
folks and young children; and every member blossomed forth in his best
apparel, like a rose-bush in June. Do you know that man in a silk hat
and new black coat? Probably it is some stranger. No; it is the
carpenter, Mr. Baggs, who was racing about yesterday with his sleeves
rolled up, and a dust-and-business look in his face! I knew you would
not know him. Adams Gardner, the blacksmith,--does he not look every
inch a judge, now that he is clean-washed, shaved, and dressed? His eyes
are as bright as the sparks that fly from his anvil!

Are not the folks proud of their children? See what groups of them! How
ruddy and plump are most! Some are roguish, and cut clandestine capers
at every chance. Others seem like wax figures, so perfectly proper are
they. Little hands go slyly through the pickets to pluck a tempting
flower. Other hands carry hymn-books or Bibles. But, carry what they
may, dressed as each parent can afford, is there anything the sun shines
upon more beautiful than these troops of Sunday children?

The old bell had it all its own way up in the steeple. It was the
licensed noise of the day. In a long shed behind the church stood a
score and half-score of wagons and chaises and carryalls,--the horses
already beginning the forenoon's work of stamping and whisking the
flies. More were coming. Hiram Beers had "hitched up," and brought two
loads with his new hack; and now, having secured the team, he stood with
a few admiring young fellows about him, remarking on the people as
they came up.

"There's Trowbridge--he'll git asleep afore the first prayer's over. I
don't b'lieve he's heerd a sermon in ten years. I've seen him sleep
standin' up in singin'.

"Here comes Deacon Marble,--smart old feller, ain't he?--wouldn't think
it, jest to look at him! Face looks like an ear of last summer's sweet
corn, all dried up; but I tell ye he's got the juice in him yit! Aunt
Polly's gittin' old, ain't she? They say she can't walk half the
time--lost the use of her limbs; but it's all gone to her tongue. That's
as good as a razor, and a sight better 'n mine, for it never needs

"Stand away, boys, there's 'Biah Cathcart. Good horses--not fast, but
mighty strong, just like the owner."

And with that Hiram touched his new Sunday hat to Mrs. Cathcart and
Alice; and as he took the horses by the bits, he dropped his head and
gave the Cathcart boys a look of such awful solemnity, all except one
eye, that they lost their sobriety. Barton alone remained sober as
a judge.

"Here comes 'Dot-and-Go-One' and his wife. They're my kind o'
Christians. She is a saint, at any rate."

"How is it with you, Tommy Taft?"

"Fair to middlin', thank'e. Such weather would make a hand-spike
blossom, Hiram."

"Don't you think that's a leetle strong, Tommy, for Sunday? P'raps you
mean afore it's cut?"

"Sartin; that's what I mean. But you mustn't stop me, Hiram. Parson
Buell 'll be lookin' for me. He never begins till I git there."

"You mean you always git there 'fore he begins."

Next, Hiram's prying eyes saw Mr. Turfmould, the sexton and undertaker,
who seemed to be in a pensive meditation upon all the dead that he had
ever buried. He looked upon men in a mild and pitying manner, as if he
forgave them for being in good health. You could not help feeling that
he gazed upon you with a professional eye, and saw just how you would
look in the condition which was to him the most interesting period of a
man's earthly state. He walked with a soft tread, as if he was always at
a funeral; and when he shook your hand, his left hand half followed his
right, as if he were about beginning to lay you out. He was one of the
few men absorbed by his business, and who unconsciously measured all
things from its standpoint.

"Good-morning, Mr. Turfmould! How's your health? How is business with

"Good--the Lord be praised! I've no reason to complain."

And he glided silently and smoothly into the church.

"There comes Judge Bacon, white and ugly," said the critical Hiram. "I
wonder what he comes to meetin' for. Lord knows he needs it, sly,
slippery old sinner! Face's as white as a lily; his heart's as black as
a chimney flue afore it's cleaned. He'll get his flue burned out if he
don't repent, that's certain. He don't believe the Bible. They say he
don't believe in God. Wal, I guess it's pretty even between 'em.
Shouldn't wonder if God didn't believe in him neither."

As soon as the afternoon service was over, every horse on the green knew
that it was time for him to go home. Some grew restless and whinnied for
their masters. Nimble hands soon put them into the shafts or repaired
any irregularity of harness. Then came such a scramble of vehicles to
the church door for the older persons; while young women and children,
venturing further out upon the green, were taken up hastily, that the
impatient horses might as soon as possible turn their heads homeward.
Clouds of dust began to arise along every outward-going road. In less
than ten minutes not a wagon or chaise was seen upon the village green.
They were whirling homeward at the very best pace that the horses could
raise. Stiff old steeds vainly essayed a nimbler gait, but gave it up in
a few rods, and fell back to the steady jog. Young horses, tired of long
standing, and with a strong yearning for evening oats, shot along the
level ground, rushed up the little hills, or down upon the other side,
in the most un-Sunday-like haste. The scene was not altogether unlike
the return from a military funeral, _to_ which men march with sad music
and slow, but _from_ which they return nimbly marching to the most
brilliant quick-step.

In half an hour Norwood was quiet again. The dinner, on Sunday, when for
the sake of the outlying population the two services are brought near
together in the middle of the day, was usually deferred till the
ordinary supper hour. It was evident that the tone of the day was
changed. Children were not so strictly held in. There was no loud
talking, nor was laughing allowed, but a general feeling sprung up
around the table that the severer tasks of the day were ended.

Devout and age-sobered people sat in a kind of golden twilight of
meditation. The minister, in his well-ordered house, tired with a double
service, mingled thoughts both glad and sad. His tasks were ended. He
was conscious that he had manfully done his best. But that best doing,
as he reflected upon it, seemed so poor, so unworthy of the nobleness of
the theme, and so relatively powerless upon the stubborn stuff of which
his people's dispositions were made, that there remained a vague,
unquiet sense of blame upon his conscience.

It was Dr. Wentworth's habit to walk with his family in the garden,
early in the morning and late in the afternoon. If early, Rose was
usually his company; in the afternoon the whole family, Agate Bissell
always excepted. She had in full measure that peculiar New England
feeling that Sunday is to be kept by staying in the house, except such
time as is spent at church. And though she never, impliedly even,
rebuked the doctor's resort to his garden, it was plain that deep down
in her heart she thought it an improper way of spending Sunday; and in
that view she had the secret sympathy of almost all the noteworthy
villagers. Had any one, upon that day, made Agate a visit, unless for
some plain end of necessity or mercy, she would have deemed it a
personal affront.

Sunday was the Lord's day. Agate acted as if any use of it for her own
pleasure would be literal and downright stealing.

"We have six days for our own work. We ought not to begrudge the Lord
one whole day."

Two circumstances distressed honest Agate's conscience. The one was that
the incursion of summer visitors from the city was tending manifestly to
relax the Sabbath, especially after the church services. The other was
that Dr. Wentworth would occasionally allow Judge Bacon to call in and
discuss with him topics suggested by the sermons. She once expressed
herself in this wise:--

"Either Sunday is worth keeping, or it is not. If you do keep it, it
ought to be strictly done. But lately Sunday is raveling out at the end.
We take it on like a summer dress, which in the morning is clean and
sweet, but at night it is soiled at the bottom and much rumpled
all over."

Dr. Wentworth sat with Rose on one side and her mother on the other, in
the honeysuckle corner, where the west could be seen, great trees lying
athwart the horizon and checkering the golden light with their dark
masses. Judge Bacon had turned the conversation upon this very topic.

"I think our Sundays in New England are Puritan and Jewish more than
Christian. They are days of restriction rather than of joyousness. They
are fast days, not feast days."

"Do you say that as a mere matter of historical criticism, or do you
think that they could be improved practically?"

"Both. It is susceptible of proof that the early Christian Sunday was a
day of triumph and of much social joy. It would be well if we could
follow primitive example."

"Judge, I am hardly of your opinion. I should be unwilling to see our
New England Sunday changed, except perhaps by a larger social liberty
_in_ each family. Much might be done to make it attractive to children,
and relieve older persons from _ennui_. But after all, we must judge
things by their fruits. If you bring me good apples, it is in vain to
abuse the tree as craggy, rude, or homely. The fruit redeems the tree."

"A very comely figure, Doctor, but not very good reasoning. New England
has had something at work upon her beside her Sundays. What you call the
'fruit' grew, a good deal of it at any rate, on other trees than
Sunday trees."

"You are only partly right. New England character and history are the
result of a wide-spread system of influences of which the Sabbath day
was the type--and not only so, but the grand motive power. Almost every
cause which has worked benignly among us has received its inspiration
and impulse largely from this One Solitary Day of the week.

"It is true that all the vegetable growths that we see about us here
depend upon a great variety of causes; but there is one cause that is
the condition of power in every other, and that is the Sun! And so, many
as have been the influences working at New England character, Sunday has
been a generic and multiplex force, inspiring and directing all others.
It is indeed the _Sun's_ day.

"It is a little singular that, borrowing the name from the heathen
calendar, it should have tallied so well with the Scripture name, the
Lord's day--that Lord who was the Morning Star in early day, and at
length the Sun of Righteousness!

"The Jews called it the Sabbath--a day of rest. Modern Christians call
it the _Sun's_ day, or the day of light, warmth, and growth. If this
seems fanciful so far as the names of the day are concerned, it is
strikingly characteristic of the real spirit of the two days, in the
ancient and modern dispensation. I doubt if the old Jews ever kept a
Sabbath religiously, as we understand that term. Indeed, I suspect there
was not yet a religious strength in that national character that could
hold up religious feeling without the help of social and even physical
adjuvants. Their religious days were either fasts or like our
Thanksgiving days. But the higher and richer moral nature which has been
developed by Christianity enables communities to sustain one day in
seven upon a high spiritual plane, with the need of but very little
social help, and without the feasting element at all."

"That may be very well for a few saints like you and me, Doctor, but it
is too high for the majority of men. Common people find the strict
Sundays a great annoyance, and clandestinely set them aside."

"I doubt it. There are a few in every society that live by their
sensuous nature. Sunday must be a dead day to them--a dark room. No
wonder they break through. But it is not so with the sturdy,
unsophisticated laboring class in New England. If it came to a vote, you
would find that the farmers of New England would be the defenders of the
day, even if screwed up to the old strictness. Their instinct is right.
It is an observance that has always worked its best effects upon the
common people, and if I were to change the name, I should call Sunday

"Men do not yet perceive that the base of the brain is full of
despotism, and the coronal brain is radiant with liberty. I mean that
the laws and relations which grow out of men's relations in physical
things are the sternest and hardest, and at every step in the assent
toward reason and spirituality, the relations grow more kindly and free.

"Now, it is natural for men to prefer an animal life. By-and-by they
will learn that such a life necessitates force, absolutism. It is
natural for unreflecting men to complain when custom or institutions
hold them up to some higher degree. But that higher degree has in it an
element of emancipation from the necessary despotisms of physical life.
If it were possible to bring the whole community up to a plane of
spirituality, it would be found that there and there only could be the
highest measure of liberty. And this is my answer to those who grumble
at the restriction of Sunday liberty. It is only the liberty of the
senses that suffers. A higher and nobler civil liberty, moral liberty,
social liberty, will work out of it. Sunday is the common people's
Magna Charta."

"Well done, Doctor! I give up. Hereafter you shall see me radiant on
Sunday. I must not get my hay in if storms do threaten to spoil it; but
I shall give my conscience a hitch up, and take it out in that. I must
not ride out; but then I shall regard every virtuous self-denial as a
moral investment with good dividends coming in by-and-by. I can't let
the children frolic in the front dooryard; but then, while they sit
waiting for the sun to go down, and your _Sun_-day to be over, I shall
console myself that they are one notch nearer an angelic condition every
week. But good-night, good-night, Mrs. Wentworth. I hope you may not
become so spiritual as quite to disdain the body. I really think, for
this world, the body has some respectable uses yet. Good-night, Rose.
The angels take care of you, if there is one of them good enough."

And so the judge left.

They sat silently looking at the sun, now but just above the horizon. A
few scarfs of cloud, brilliant with flame-color, and every moment
changing forms, seemed like winged spirits, half revealed, that hovered
round the retiring orb.

Mrs. Wentworth at length broke the silence.

"I always thought, Doctor, that you believed Sunday over-strictly kept,
and that you were in favor of relaxation."

"I am. Just as fast as you can make it a day of real religious
enjoyment, it will relax itself. True and deep spiritual feeling is the
freest of all experiences. And it reconciles in itself the most perfect
consciousness of liberty with the most thorough observance of outward
rules and proprieties. Liberty is not an outward condition. It is an
inward attribute, or rather a name for the quality of life produced by
the highest moral attributes. When communities come to that condition,
we shall see fewer laws and higher morality.

"The one great poem of New England is her Sunday! Through that she has
escaped materialism. That has been a crystal dome overhead, through
which Imagination has been kept alive. New England's imagination is to
be found, not in art and literature, but in her inventions, her social
organism, and above all in her religious life. The Sabbath has been the
nurse of that. When she ceases to have a Sunday, she will be as this
landscape is:--now growing dark, all its lines blurred, its distances
and gradations fast merging into sheeted darkness and night. Come, let
us go in!"

Copyrighted by Fords, Howard and Hulbert.




We are warned on high authority that no man can serve two masters. The
caution should obtain in æsthetics as well as in ethics. As a general
rule, the painter must stick to his easel, the sculptor must carve, the
musician must score or play or sing, the actor must act,--each with no
more than the merest coquettings with sister arts. Otherwise his genius
is apt to suffer from what are side-issues for temperament. To many
minds a taste, and even a singular capacity, for an avocation has
injured the work done in the real vocation.

[Illustration: BEETHOVEN]

Of course there are exceptions. The versatility has not always been
fatal. We recall Leonardo, Angelo, Rossetti, and Blake among painters;
in the ranks of musicians we note Hoffmann, Berlioz, Schumann, Wagner,
Boito. In other art-paths, such personal pages as those of Cellini, and
the critical writings of Story, of to-day, may add their evidence. The
essentially autobiographic in such a connection must be accepted with
reserve. So must be taken much admirable writing as to the art in which
the critic or teacher has labored. Didactics are not necessarily
literature. Perhaps the best basis of determining the right to literary
recognition of men and women who have written and printed more or less
without actually professing letters, will be the interest of the matter
they have left to the kind of reader who does not care a pin about their
real life-work, or about their self-expression as it really comes
down to us.

In painting, the dual capacity--for the brush and for letters--has more
shining examples than in music. But with Beethoven, Schumann, Boito, and
Wagner, comes a striking succession of men who, as to autobiography or
criticism or verse, present a high quality of interest to the general
reader. In the instance of Beethoven the critical or essayistic side is
limited. It is by his letters and diary that we study (only less vividly
than in his music) a character of profound depth and imposing nobility;
a nature of exquisite sensitiveness. In them we follow, if
fragmentarily, the battle of personality against environment, the
secrets of strong but high passion, the artist temperament,--endowed
with a dignity and a moral majesty seldom equaled in an art indeed
called divine, but with children who frequently remind us that Pan
absorbed in playing his syrinx has a goat's hoof.

Beethoven in all his correspondence wrote himself down as what he
was,--a superior man, a mighty soul in many traits, as well as a supreme
creative musician. His letters are absorbing, whether they breathe love
or anger, discouragement or joy, rebellion against untoward conditions
of daily life or solemn resignation. The religious quality, too, is
strong in them; that element more in touch with Deism than with one or
another orthodoxy. Withal, he is as sincere in every line of such matter
as he was in the spoken word. His correspondence holds up the mirror to
his own nature, with its extremes of impulse and reserve, of affection
and austerity, of confidence and suspicion. It abounds, too, in that
brusque yet seldom coarse humor which leaps up in the Finale of the
Seventh Symphony, in the Eighth Symphony's waggery, the last movement of
the Concerto in E flat. They offer likewise verbal admissions of such
depression of heart as we recognize in the sternest episodes of the
later Sonatas and of the Galitzin Quartets, and in the awful Allegretto
of the Symphony in A. They hint at the amorous passion of the slow
movements of the Fourth and Ninth Symphonies, at the moral heroism of
the Fifth, at the more human courage of the 'Heroic,' at the mysticism
of the Ninth's tremendous opening. In interesting relation to the group,
and merely of superficial interest, are his hasty notes, his occasional
efforts to write in English or in French, his touches of musical

[Illustration: _BEETHOVEN._ Photogravure from the Original Painting
by C. Jäger.]

It is not in the purpose of these prefatory paragraphs to a too-brief
group of Beethoven's letters to enter upon his biography. That is
essentially a musician's life; albeit the life of a musician who, as Mr.
Edward Dannreuther suggests, leaves behind him the domain of mere art
and enters upon that of the seer and the prophet. He was born in Bonn in
1770, on a day the date of which is not certain (though we know that his
baptism was December 17th). His youth was not a sunshiny period.
Poverty, neglect, a drunken father, violin lessons under compulsion,
were the circumstances ushering him into his career. He was for a brief
time a pupil of Mozart; just enough so to preserve that succession of
royal geniuses expressed in linking Mozart to Haydn, and in remembering
that Liszt played for Beethoven and that Schubert stood beside
Beethoven's last sick-bed. High patronage and interest gradually took
the composer under its care. Austria and Germany recognized him,
England accepted him early, universal intelligence became enthusiastic
over utterances in art that seemed as much innovations as Wagneristic
writing seemed to the next generation. In Vienna, Beethoven may be said
to have passed his life. There were the friends to whom he wrote--who
understood and loved him. Afflicted early with a deafness that became
total,--the irony of fate,--the majority of his master-works were
evolved from a mind shut away from the pleasures and disturbances of
earthly sounds, and beset by invalidism and suffering. Naturally genial,
he grew morbidly sensitive. Infirmities of temper as well as of body
marked him for their own. But underneath all superficial shortcomings of
his intensely human nature was a Shakespearean dignity of moral and
intellectual individuality.

It is not necessary here even to touch on the works that follow him.
They stand now as firmly as ever--perhaps more firmly--in the honor and
the affection of all the world of auditors in touch with the highest
expressions in the tone-world. The mere mention of such monuments as the
sonatas, the nine symphonies, the Mass in D minor, the magnificent chain
of overtures, the dramatic concert-arias, does not exhaust the list.
They are the vivid self-expressions of one who learned in suffering what
he taught in song: a man whose personality impressed itself into almost
everything that he wrote, upon almost every one whom he met, and who
towers up as impressively as the author of 'Hamlet,' the sculptor of
'Moses,' the painter of 'The Last Supper.'

It is perhaps interesting to mention that the very chirography of
Beethoven's letters is eloquent of the man. Handwriting is apt to be.
Mendelssohn, the well-balanced, the precise, wrote like copper-plate.
Wagner wrote a fine strong hand, seldom with erasures. Spontini, the
soldier-like, wrote with the decision of a soldier. Beethoven's letters
and notes are in a large, open, dashing hand, often scrawls, always with
the blackest of ink, full of changes, and not a flourish to spare--the
handwriting of impulse and carelessness as to form, compared with a
writer's desire of making his meaning clear.

[Illustration: Signature: E. IRENÆUS STEVENSON]


In what an odious light have you exhibited me to myself! Oh! I
acknowledge it, I do not deserve your friendship. It was no intentional
or deliberate malice that induced me to act towards you as I did--but
inexcusable thoughtlessness alone.

I say no more. I am coming to throw myself into your arms, and to
entreat you to restore me my lost friend; and you will give him back to
me, to your penitent, loving, and ever grateful



VIENNA, June 29th, 1800.

_My dear and valued Wegeler:_

How much I thank you for your remembrance of me, little as I deserve it
or have sought to deserve it; and yet you are so kind that you allow
nothing, not even my unpardonable neglect, to discourage you, always
remaining the same true, good, and faithful friend. That I can ever
forget you or yours, once so dear and precious to me, do not for a
moment believe. There are times when I find myself longing to see you
again, and wishing that I could go to stay with you. My fatherland, that
lovely region where I first saw the light, is still as distinct and
beauteous in my eyes as when I quitted you; in short, I shall esteem the
time when I once more see you, and again greet Father Rhine, as one of
the happiest periods of my life. When this may be I cannot yet tell, but
at all events I may say that you shall not see me again till I have
become not only eminent as an artist, but better and more perfect as a
man; and if the condition of our fatherland be then more prosperous, my
art shall be entirely devoted to the benefit of the poor. Oh, blissful
moment!--how happy do I esteem myself that I can expedite it and bring
it to pass!

You desire to know something of my position: well! it is by no means
bad. However incredible it may appear, I must tell you that Lichnowsky
has been, and still is, my warmest friend (slight dissensions occurred
occasionally between us, and yet they only served to strengthen our
friendship). He settled on me last year the sum of six hundred florins,
for which I am to draw on him till I can procure some suitable
situation. My compositions are very profitable, and I may really say
that I have almost more commissions than it is possible for me to
execute. I can have six or seven publishers or more for every piece if I
choose: they no longer bargain with me--I demand, and they pay--so you
see this is a very good thing. For instance, I have a friend in
distress, and my purse does not admit of my assisting him at once, but I
have only to sit down and write, and in a short time he is relieved. I
am also become more economical than formerly....

To give you some idea of my extraordinary deafness, I must tell you that
in the theatre I am obliged to lean close up against the orchestra in
order to understand the actors, and when a little way off I hear none of
the high notes of instruments or singers. It is most astonishing that in
conversation some people never seem to observe this; as I am subject to
fits of absence, they attribute it to that cause. Often I can scarcely
hear a person if he speaks low; I can distinguish the tones but not the
words, and yet I feel it intolerable if any one shouts to me. Heaven
alone knows how it is to end! Vering declares that I shall certainly
improve, even if I be not entirely restored. How often have I cursed my
existence! Plutarch led me to resignation. I shall strive if possible to
set Fate at defiance, although there must be moments in my life when I
cannot fail to be the most unhappy of God's creatures. I entreat you to
say nothing of my affliction to any one, not even to Lorchen. I confide
the secret to you alone, and entreat you some day to correspond with
Vering on the subject. If I continue in the same state, I shall come to
you in the ensuing spring, when you must engage a house for me somewhere
in the country, amid beautiful scenery, and I shall then become a rustic
for a year, which may perhaps effect a change. Resignation!--what a
miserable refuge! and yet it is my sole remaining one. You will forgive
my thus appealing to your kindly sympathies at a time when your own
position is sad enough.

Farewell, my kind, faithful Wegeler! Rest assured of the love and
friendship of your



Never was there a lovelier spring than this year; I say so, and feel it
too, because it was then I first knew you. You have yourself seen that
in society I am like a fish on the sand, which writhes and writhes, but
cannot get away till some benevolent Galatea casts it back into the
mighty ocean. I was indeed fairly stranded, dearest friend, when
surprised by you at a moment in which moroseness had entirely mastered
me; but how quickly it vanished at your aspect! I was at once conscious
that you came from another sphere than this absurd world, where, with
the best inclinations, I cannot open my ears. I am a wretched creature,
and yet I complain of others!! You will forgive this from the goodness
of heart that beams in your eyes, and the good sense manifested by your
ears; at least they understand how to flatter, by the mode in which they
listen. My ears are, alas! a partition-wall, through which I can with
difficulty hold any intercourse with my fellow-creatures. Otherwise
perhaps I might have felt more assured with you; but I was only
conscious of the full, intelligent glance from your eyes, which affected
me so deeply that never can I forget it. My dear friend! dearest
girl!--Art! who comprehends it? with whom can I discuss this mighty
goddess? How precious to me were the few days when we talked together,
or, I should rather say, corresponded! I have carefully preserved the
little notes with your clever, charming, most charming answers; so I
have to thank my defective hearing for the greater part of our fugitive
intercourse being written down. Since you left this I have had some
unhappy hours,--hours of the deepest gloom, when I could do nothing. I
wandered for three hours in the Schönbrunn Allée after you left us, but
no _angel_ met me there to take possession of me as you did. Pray
forgive, my dear friend, this deviation from the original key, but I
must have such intervals as a relief to my heart. You have no doubt
written to Goethe about me? I would gladly bury my head in a sack, so
that I might neither see nor hear what goes on in the world, because I
shall meet you there no more; but I shall get a letter from you? Hope
sustains me, as it does half the world; through life she has been my
close companion, or what would have become of me? I send you 'Kennst Du
das Land,' written with my own hand, as a remembrance of the hour when I
first knew you....

If you mention me when you write to Goethe, strive to find words
expressive of my deep reverence and admiration. I am about to write to
him myself with regard to 'Egmont,' for which I have written some music
solely from my love for his poetry, which always delights me. Who can be
sufficiently grateful to a great poet,--the most precious jewel of
a nation!

     Kings and princes can indeed create professors and
     privy-councillors, and confer titles and decorations, but
     they cannot make great men,--spirits that soar above the base
     turmoil of this world. There their powers fail, and this it
     is that forces them to respect us. When two persons like
     Goethe and myself meet, these grandees cannot fail to
     perceive what such as we consider great. Yesterday on our way
     home we met the whole Imperial family; we saw them coming
     some way off, when Goethe withdrew his arm from mine, in
     order to stand aside; and say what I would, I could not
     prevail on him to make another step in advance. I pressed
     down my hat more firmly on my head, buttoned up my
     great-coat, and crossing my arms behind me, I made my way
     through the thickest portion of the crowd. Princes and
     courtiers formed a lane for me; Archduke Rudolph took off his
     hat, and the Empress bowed to me first. These great ones of
     the earth _know me_. To my infinite amusement, I saw the
     procession defile past Goethe, who stood aside with his hat
     off, bowing profoundly. I afterwards took him sharply to task
     for this; I gave him no quarter and upbraided him with all
     his sins.



You grieve! dearest of all beings! I have just heard that the letters
must be sent off very early. Mondays and Thursdays are the only days
when the post goes to K---- from here. You grieve! Ah! where I am, there
you are ever with me: how earnestly shall I strive to pass my life with
you, and what a life will it be!!! Whereas now!! without you!! and
persecuted by the kindness of others, which I neither deserve nor try
to deserve! The servility of man towards his fellow-man pains me, and
when I regard myself as a component part of the universe, what am I,
what is he who is called the greatest?--and yet herein are displayed the
godlike feelings of humanity!--I weep in thinking that you will receive
no intelligence from me till probably Saturday. However dearly you may
love me, I love you more fondly still. Never conceal your feelings from
me. Good-night! As a patient at these baths, I must now go to rest. [A
few words are here effaced by Beethoven himself.] Oh, heavens! so near,
and yet so far! Is not our love a truly celestial mansion, but firm as
the vault of heaven itself?

JULY 7th.

Good morning!

Even before I rise, my thoughts throng to you, my immortal
beloved!--sometimes full of joy, and yet again sad, waiting to see
whether Fate will hear us. I must live either wholly with you, or not at
all. Indeed, I have resolved to wander far from you till the moment
arrives when I can fly into your arms, and feel that they are my home,
and send forth my soul in unison with yours into the realm of spirits.
Alas! it must be so! You will take courage, for you know my fidelity.
Never can another possess my heart--never, never! Oh, heavens! Why must
I fly from her I so fondly love? and yet my existence in W--was as
miserable as here. Your love made me the most happy and yet the most
unhappy of men. At my age, life requires a uniform equality; can this be
found in our mutual relations? My angel! I have this moment heard that
the post goes every day, so I must conclude that you may get this letter
the sooner. Be calm! for we can only attain our object of living
together by the calm contemplation of our existence. Continue to love
me. Yesterday, to-day, what longings for you, what tears for you! for
you! for you! my life! my all! Farewell! Oh, love me for ever, and never
doubt the faithful heart of your lover, L.

Ever thine.

Ever mine.

Ever each other's.


HEILIGENSTADT, Oct. 6th, 1802.

Oh! Ye who think or declare me to be hostile, morose, and
misanthropical, how unjust you are, and how little you know the secret
cause of what appears thus to you! My heart and mind were ever from
childhood prone to the most tender feelings of affection, and I was
always disposed to accomplish something great. But you must remember
that six years ago I was attacked by an incurable malady, aggravated by
unskillful physicians, deluded from year to year, too, by the hope of
relief, and at length forced to the conviction of a _lasting affliction_
(the cure of which may go on for years, and perhaps after all prove

Born with a passionate and excitable temperament, keenly susceptible to
the pleasures of society, I was yet obliged early in life to isolate
myself, and to pass my existence in solitude. If I at any time resolved
to surmount all this, oh! how cruelly was I again repelled by the
experience, sadder than ever, of my defective hearing!--and yet I found
it impossible to say to others: Speak louder, shout! for I am deaf!
Alas! how could I proclaim the deficiency of a sense which ought to have
been more perfect with me than with other men--a sense which I once
possessed in the highest perfection, to an extent indeed that few of my
profession ever enjoyed! Alas! I cannot do this! Forgive me therefore
when you see me withdraw from you with whom I would so gladly mingle. My
misfortune is doubly severe from causing me to be misunderstood. No
longer can I enjoy recreation in social intercourse, refined
conversation, or mutual outpourings of thought. Completely isolated, I
only enter society when compelled to do so. I must live like an exile.
In company I am assailed by the most painful apprehensions, from the
dread of being exposed to the risk of my condition being observed. It
was the same during the last six months I spent in the country. My
intelligent physician recommended me to spare my hearing as much as
possible, which was quite in accordance with my present disposition,
though sometimes, tempted by my natural inclination for society, I
allowed myself to be beguiled into it. But what humiliation when any one
beside me heard a flute in the far distance, while I heard _nothing_, or
when others heard _a shepherd singing_, and I still heard _nothing!_
Such things brought me to the verge of desperation, and well-nigh caused
me to put an end to my life. _Art! art_ alone, deterred me. Ah! how
could I possibly quit the world before bringing forth all that I felt it
was my vocation to produce? And thus I spared this miserable life--so
utterly miserable that any sudden change may reduce me at any moment
from my best condition into the worst. It is decreed that I must now
choose _Patience_ for my guide! This I have done. I hope the resolve
will not fail me, steadfastly to persevere till it may please the
inexorable Fates to cut the thread of my life. Perhaps I may get better,
perhaps not. I am prepared for either. Constrained to become a
philosopher in my twenty-eighth year! This is no slight trial, and more
severe on an artist than on any one else. God looks into my heart, he
searches it, and knows that love for man and feelings of benevolence
have their abode there! Oh! ye who may one day read this, think that you
have done me injustice; and let any one similarly afflicted be consoled
by finding one like himself, who, in defiance of all the obstacles of
nature, has done all in his power to be included in the ranks of
estimable artists and men. My brothers Carl and Johann, as soon as I am
no more, if Professor Schmidt be still alive, beg him in my name to
describe my malady, and to add these pages to the analysis of my
disease, that at least, so far as possible, the world may be reconciled
to me after my death. I also hereby declare you both heirs of my small
fortune (if so it may be called). Share it fairly, agree together and
assist each other. You know that anything you did to give me pain has
been long forgiven. I thank you, my brother Carl in particular, for the
attachment you have shown me of late. My wish is that you may enjoy a
happier life, and one more free from care than mine has been. Recommend
_Virtue_ to your children; that alone, and not wealth, can insure
happiness. I speak from experience. It was _Virtue_ alone which
sustained me in my misery; I have to thank her and Art for not having
ended my life by suicide. Farewell! Love each other. I gratefully thank
all my friends, especially Prince Lichnowsky and Professor Schmidt. I
wish one of you to keep Prince L--'s instruments; but I trust this will
give rise to no dissension between you. If you think it more beneficial,
however, you have only to dispose of them. How much I shall rejoice if I
can serve you even in the grave! So be it then! I joyfully hasten to
meet Death. If he comes before I have had the opportunity of developing
all my artistic powers, then, notwithstanding my cruel fate, he will
come too early for me, and I should wish for him at a more distant
period; but even then I shall be content, for his advent will release me
from a state of endless suffering. Come when he may, I shall meet him
with courage. Farewell! Do not quite forget me, even in death: I deserve
this from you, because during my life I so often thought of you, and
wished to make you happy. Amen!


[_Written on the outside_.]

Thus, then, I take leave of you, and with sadness too. The fond hope I
brought with me here, of being to a certain degree cured, now utterly
forsakes me. As autumn leaves fall and wither, so are my hopes blighted.
Almost as I came, I depart. Even the lofty courage that so often
animated me in the lovely days of summer is gone forever. O Providence!
vouchsafe me one day of pure felicity! How long have I been estranged
from the glad echo of true joy! When! O my God! when shall I again feel
it in the temple of nature and of man?--never? Ah! that would be
too hard!

To be read and fulfilled after my death by my brothers Carl and Johann.


JANUARY 7th, 1820.

The welfare of my nephew is dearer to my heart than it can be to any one
else. I am myself childless, and have no relations except this boy, who
is full of talent, and I have good grounds to hope the best for him, if
properly trained.

       *       *       *       *       *

My efforts and wishes have no other aim than to give the boy the best
possible education--his abilities justifying the brightest hopes--and to
fulfill the trust placed in my brotherly love by his father. The shoot
is still flexible; but if longer neglected it will become crooked and
outgrow the gardener's training hand, and upright bearing, intellect,
and character be destroyed for ever....

I know no duty more sacred than the education and training of a child.
The chief duties of a guardian consist in knowing how to appreciate what
is good, and in adopting a right course; then alone has proper attention
been devoted to the welfare of his ward, whereas in opposing what is
good he neglects his duty.

Indeed, keeping in view what is most for the benefit of the boy, I do
not object to the mother in so far sharing in the duties of a guardian,
that she may visit her son, and see him, and be apprised of all the
measures adopted for his education; but to intrust her with his sole
guardianship without a strict guardian by her side would cause the
irretrievable ruin of her son.

On these cogent grounds I reiterate my well-founded solicitation, and
feel the more confident of a favorable answer, as the welfare of my
nephew alone guides my steps in this affair.


I live in entire quiet and solitude; and even though occasional flashes
of light arouse me, still since you all left, I feel a hopeless void
which even my art, usually so faithful to me, has not yet triumphed
over. Your pianoforte is ordered, and you shall soon have it. What a
difference you must have discovered between the treatment of the Theme I
extemporized on the other evening, and the mode in which I have recently
written it out for you! You must explain this yourself, only do not find
the solution in the punch! How happy you are to get away so soon to the
country! I cannot enjoy this luxury till the 8th. I look forward to it
with the delight of a child. What happiness I shall feel in wandering
among groves and woods, and among trees and plants and rocks! No man on
earth can love the country as I do! Thickets, trees, and rocks supply
the echo man longs for!



Most high-born of men!

We beg you to confer some goose-quills on us; we will in return send you
a whole bunch of the same sort, that you may not be obliged to pluck out
your own. It is just possible that you may yet receive the Grand Cross
of the Order of the Violoncello. We remain your gracious and most
friendly of all friends, BEETHOVEN.


FEBRUARY 2d, 1812.

Most wonderful of men!

We beg that your servant will engage a person to fit up my apartment; as
he is acquainted with the lodgings, he can fix the proper price at once.
Do this soon, you Carnival scamp!!!!!!!

The inclosed note is at least a week old.


BADEN, May 6th, 1825.

The bell and bell-pulls, etc., etc., are on no account whatever to be
left in my former lodging. No proposal was ever made to these people to
take any of my things. Indisposition prevented my sending for it, and
the locksmith had not come during my stay to take down the bell;
otherwise it might have been at once removed and sent to me in town, as
they have no right whatever to retain it. Be this as it may, I am quite
determined not to leave the bell there, for I require one here, and
therefore intend to use the one in question for my purpose, as a similar
one would cost me twice as much as in Vienna, bell-pulls being the most
expensive things locksmiths have. If necessary, apply at once to the
police. The window in my room is precisely in the same state as when I
took possession, but I am willing to pay for it, and also for the one in
the kitchen, 2 florins 12 kreuzers, for the two. The key I will not pay
for, as I found none; on the contrary, the door was fastened or nailed
up when I came, and remained in the same condition till I left; there
never was a key, so of course neither I myself, nor those who preceded
me, could make use of one. Perhaps it is intended to make a collection,
in which case I am willing to put my hand in my pocket.



_My dear and much loved Stephan_:

May our temporary estrangement be for ever effaced by the portrait I now
send. I know that I have rent your heart. The emotion which you cannot
fail now to see in mine has sufficiently punished me for it. There was
no malice towards you in my heart, for then I should be no longer worthy
of your friendship. It was _passion_ both on _your_ part and on _mine_;
but mistrust was rife within me, for people had come between us,
unworthy both of _you_ and of _me_.

My portrait was long ago intended for you; you knew that it was destined
for some one--and to whom could I give it with such warmth of heart, as
to you, my faithful, good, and noble Stephan?

Forgive me for having grieved you, but I did not myself suffer less when
I no longer saw you near me. I then first keenly felt how dear you were,
and ever will be to my heart. Surely you will once more fly to my arms
as you formerly did.




Carl Michael Bellman was born in Stockholm on the 4th of February, 1740.
His father, son of a professor at Upsala University, held a government
office; of his mother he wrote that she was "fair as day, unspeakably
good, dressed prettily, was kind to everybody, of a refined nature, and
had an excellent voice." From her he undoubtedly inherited the warm,
genial heart which beats in every one of his songs. His father's house
was the rendezvous of many of the noted men of the day, among them the
poet Dalin, who was then at the zenith of his popularity. The boy's
unusual gifts were early recognized, and everything was done to give him
the best instruction, especially after an attack of fever, during which
he not only spoke in rhyme, but sang his first improvised songs in a
clear, true voice. The tutor who was then chosen taught him, "besides
the art of making verse," English, French, German, and Italian; and he
progressed far enough in these studies to translate several German hymns
and religious and philosophic essays, no doubt influenced in this choice
of subjects by the religious atmosphere of his home. Moreover, he taught
himself to play the zither, and very soon began to pick out his own
melodies as an accompaniment to his songs. The instrument he used had
been brought home from Italy by his grandfather, became his closest
companion throughout life, and is now kept at the Royal Academy of Arts
at Stockholm.

At eighteen he entered the University of Upsala, and while there wrote a
satirical poem, "The Moon," which he submitted to the criticism of
Dalin, who however made but a single correction. It was written in the
manner of Dalin, and he continued to be influenced by the latter until
his twenty-fifth year. At this time, and within the same year, his
father and mother died, and seeking among his friends the social
stimulus which his nature craved, he became a frequent guest at the inns
in the company of Hallman and Krexel, who were making their mark by
their poetic and dramatic writings. It was then that his peculiar talent
came to its own; he threw away all foreign influence and began to sing
his songs, born of the impression of the moment and full of the charm of
spontaneity. Some of them he jotted down quickly, most of them he sang
to the sound of his zither, often fashioning them to suit well-known
melodies, and again creating the melody with the words, for the greater
part set in a form of verse not previously used. And so inseparably
linked are words and melody, that it has not occurred to any one to set
any other music to Bellman's songs than what he originally chose. He
took all his characters out of the life he saw around him; and with the
appreciation of the man to whom the present is everything, he seized the
charm of the fleeting moment and expressed it with such simplicity and
truth, and deep feeling withal, that it stands forth immortally fresh
and young. A number of these songs have probably been lost; he had no
thirst for fame, and took no pains to circulate them, but they found
their way to the public in written copies and cheap prints, and his name
was soon known throughout the country.

This way of living and singing like the birds of the air was, however,
not very conducive to the satisfaction of material wants. He had made
two attempts to go into business, but the more he was seen at the inns,
the less he was seen at his business.

Fortunately for him, Gustavus III., who was himself a poet, became at
this time king of Sweden. He was an adherent of the French school of
poetry, and Bellman's muse could hardly be said to belong to this: but
with considerable talent as a dramatic writer, Gustavus appreciated the
dramatic quality in Bellman's songs; and when Bellman sent him a rhymed
petition, still kept, in which he wrote that "if his Majesty would not
most graciously give him an office, he would most obediently be obliged
to starve to death before Christmas," the king made him secretary of the
lottery, with the title of court secretary, and a yearly income of three
thousand dollars. Bellman promptly gave half of this to an assistant,
who did the work, and continued his troubadour life on the other half
with a superb disdain of future needs. His affairs so well in order, he
could afford to get married; and chose for his wife Lovisa Grönlund, a
girl of a bright intellect and strong character, of which she ultimately
had great need, the responsibilities of their married life being left
altogether to her.

Bellman was now at his best; about this time he wrote most of 'Fredman's
Songs' and 'Actions concerning the Chapter of Bacchus order.' both rich
in lyric gems; he was the favorite companion of the King, to whom his
devotion was boundless, and he was happy in his chosen friends whose
company inspired him. Nevertheless he was now, as ever, in need of
money. Atterbom tells that "One day the King met him on the street, so
poorly dressed that he instinctively exclaimed, 'My dear Bellman, how
poorly you are clad!' The poet answered with a bow, 'I can nevertheless
most obediently assure your Majesty that I am wearing my entire
wardrobe.'" His ready wit never left him. "How goes the world with you?"
asked the King once when they met; "you don't look to me as if you could
turn a single rhyme to-day." The poet bowed and replied on the spur of
the moment:--

     "No scrip my purse doth hold;
     My lyre's unstrung, alas!
     But yet upon my glass
     Stands Gustaf's name in gold."

Another time the King sent his men for him, with the order to bring him
in whatever condition they found him. "He was found not entirely free
from drink, and not very presentable, but was nevertheless carried off,
zither and all, to Haga Castle, where he drank some champagne, sang some
songs, drank a little more, and finally fell asleep. The King left him
so to go to his supper; and when he returned and found his guest still
sleeping, he remarked, 'I wonder what Bellman would say if I awoke him
now and asked him to give me a song.' The poet sat up, blinked with his
eyes, and said, 'Then Bellman would say,--listen;' whereupon he sang to
the tune of 'Malbrouck s'en va-t-en guerre':--

        "'Oh, so heavily, heavily trailing,
         The clouds over Haga are sailing,
     And the stars their bright glances are veiling,
        While woods in the gloom disappear.
                Go, King, thy rest is dear,
                Go, King, thy respite taking,
     Rest softly, rest softly, then waking,
     When dawn through the darkness is breaking,
          Thy people with mild rule thou cheer!'

Then he fell into his former position again, and was carried home asleep
with a little gift in his hand."

The task of collecting, preserving, and publishing his works fell
entirely upon his friends; if it had depended on him, they would
probably never have been collected, much less published.

During the last fifteen years of his life, from 1780 to 1795, his health
grew very poor. In 1791 he was invited to be present at the distribution
of degrees at Upsala, and at the dinner he returned a toast with a song
born of the moment; but his voice had grown so weak from lung trouble
that only those nearest to him could hear him. To add to his sufferings,
he had to meet the great sorrow of his King's death at the hand of a
murderer, and his poem on the 'Death and Memory of the King' was not of
a nature to make friends for him at the new court. Thus it happened
that, poor and broken in health, he was put into the debtor's prison in
the very castle where he had been so happy a guest. Hallman and Krexel
and others of his best friends, as devoted to him as ever, were unable
to obtain his release; but he was at last bailed out by some one, who as
recompense asked him to sing one of his jolly songs, and in his poor
broken voice he sang. 'Drink out thy glass, see, Death awaits thee.'
Atterbom remarks about the man in question, "And maybe he did not find
that song so jolly after all."

While in prison he sent in a petition to the King,--somewhat different
from his first petition to Gustavus III.,--in which he asked permission
to live in the castle until his death. The following is one of
the verses:--

     "Spring commands; the birds are singing,
        Bees are swarming, fishes play;
        Now and then the zephyrs stray,
     Breath of life the poet bringing.
     Lift my load of sorrow clinging,
        Spare me one small nook, I pray."

Of his death Atterbom writes as follows:--

     "He had been the favorite of the nation and the King, content
     with the mere necessities of life, free from every care, not
     even desiring the immortality of fame; moderate in everything
     except in enthusiasm, he had enjoyed to the full what he
     wanted,--friendship, wine, and music. Now he lived to see the
     shadows fall over his life and genius. Feeling that his last
     hour was not far off, he sent word to his nearest friends
     that a meeting with them as in old times would be dear to
     him. He came to meet them almost a shadow, but with his old
     friendly smile; even in the toasts he took part, however
     moderately, and then he announced that he would let them
     'hear Bellman once more.' The spirit of song took possession
     of him, more powerfully than ever, and all the rays of his
     dying imagination were centred in an improvised good-by song.
     Throughout an entire night, under continual inspiration, he
     sang his happy life, his mild King's glory, his gratitude to
     Providence, who let him be born among a noble people in this
     beautiful Northern country,--finally he gave his grateful
     good-by to every one present, in a separate strophe and
     melody expressing the peculiar individuality of the one
     addressed and his relation to the poet. His friends begged
     him with tears to stop, and spare his already much weakened
     lungs; but he replied, 'Let us die, as we have lived, in
     music!'--emptied his last glass of champagne, and began at
     dawn the last verse of his song."

After this he sang no more. A few days later he went to bed, lingered
for ten weeks, and died on the 11th of February, 1795, aged fifty-four
years. He was buried in Clara cemetery.

Bellman's critics have given themselves much trouble about his personal
character. Some have thought him little better than a coarse drunkard;
others again have made him out a cynic who sneered at the life he
depicted; again others have laid the weight on the note found in 'Drink
out thy glass,' and have seen only the underlying sad pathos of his
songs. His contemporaries agree that he was a man of great consideration
for form, and assert that if there are coarse passages in his songs it
is because they only could express what he depicted. All coarseness was
foreign to his nature; he was reserved and somewhat shy, and only in the
company of his chosen few did he open his heart.

His critics have, moreover, assiduously sought the moral of his works.
If any was intended, it may have been that of fighting sentimentality
and all false feeling; but it seems more in accordance with his entire
life that he sang out of the fullness of his heart, as a bird sings,
simply because it must sing.

[Illustration: Signature: OLGA FLINCH]

                       TO ULLA

        Ulla, mine Ulla, tell me, may I hand thee
           Reddest of strawberries in milk or wine?
           Or from the pond a lively fish? Command me!
          Or, from the well, a bowl of water fine?
        Doors are blown open, the wind gets the blaming.
            Perfumes exhale from flower and tree.
        Clouds fleck the sky and the sun rises flaming,
                           As you see!
            Isn't it heavenly--the fish market? So?
                 "Heavenly, oh heavenly!"
      "See the stately trees there, standing row on row,--
               Fresh, green leaves show!
               And that pretty bay
                 Sparkling there?"  "Ah yes!"
              "And, seen where sunbeams play,
                The meadows' loveliness?
     Are they not heavenly--those bright fields?--Confess!"--

           Skål and good-noon, fair one in window leaning,
               Hark how the city bells their peals prolong!
           See how the dust the verdant turf is screening,
               Where the calashes and the wagons throng!
           Hand from the window--he's drowsy, the speaker,
                In my saddle I nod, cousin mine--
                Primo a crust, and secundo a beaker,
                         Hochländer wine!
       Isn't it heavenly--the fish-market? So?
                    "Heavenly, oh heavenly!"
       "See the stately trees there, standing row on row,--
                Fresh, green leaves show!
                And that pretty bay
                  Sparkling there?" "Ah yes!"
               "And, seen where sunbeams play,
                 The meadows' loveliness?
     Are they not heavenly--those bright fields?--Confess!"--

        Look, Ulla dear! To the stable they're taking
           Whinnying, prancing, my good steed, I see.
        Still in his stall-door he lifts his head, making
           Efforts to look up to thee: just to thee!
        Nature itself into flames will be bursting;
             Keep those bright eyes in control!
       Klang! at your casement my heart, too, is thirsting.
                Klang! Your Skål!
       Isn't it heavenly--the fish-market? So?
                  "Heavenly, oh heavenly!"
       "See the stately trees there, standing row on row,--
                  Fresh, green leaves show!
                  And that pretty bay
                    Sparkling there?" "Ah yes!"
                 "And, seen where sunbeams play,
                     The meadows' loveliness?
     Are they not heavenly--those bright fields?--Confess!"--


     Little Carl, sleep soft and sweet:
        Thou'lt soon enough be waking;
     Soon enough ill days thou'lt meet,
        Their bitterness partaking.
     Earth's an isle with grief o'ercast;
     Breathe our best, death comes at last,
          We but dust forsaking.

     Once, where flowed a peaceful brook
        Through a rye-field's stubble,
     Stood a little boy to look
        At himself; his double.
     Sweet the picture was to see;
     All at once it ceased to be;
          Vanished like a bubble!

     And thus it is with life, my pet,
        And thus the years go flying;
     Live we wisely, gaily, yet
        There's no escape from dying.
     Little Carl on this must muse
     When the blossoms bright he views
          On spring's bosom lying.

     Slumber, little friend so wee;
        Joy thy joy is bringing.
     Clipped from paper thou shalt see
        A sleigh, and horses springing;
     Then a house of cards so tall
     We will build and see it fall,
          And little songs be singing.

       *       *       *       *       *


     Up, Amarylis! Darling, awaken!
        Through the still bracken
          Soft airs swell;
        Iris, all dightly,
        Vestured so brightly,
          Coloreth lightly
          Wood and dell.

        Amaryllis, thy sweet name pronouncing,
        Thee in Neptune's cool embrace announcing.
        Slumber's god the while his sway renouncing,
      O'er your eyes sighs, and speech yields his spell.

         Now comes the fishing! The net we fasten;
                   This minute hasten!
                       Follow me!
               Don your skirt and jacket
               And veil, or you'll lack it;
               Pike and trout wait a racket;
                    Sails flap free.
           Waken, Amaryllis, darling, waken!
           Let me not by thy smile be forsaken:
           Then by dolphins and fair sirens overtaken,
         In our gay boat we'll sport in company.

     Come now, your rods, lines, and nets with you taking!
                   The day is breaking;
                     Hasten thee nigh!
                  Sweet little treasure,
                  Think ill in no measure;
                  For thee 'twere no pleasure
                      Me to deny.
       Let us to the little shallows wander,
       Or beside the inlet over yonder,
       Where the pledge-knot made our fond love fonder,
          O'er which Thyrsis erst was moved to sigh.

          Step in the boat, then--both of us singing,
                   Love his wand swinging
                       Over our fate.
                      Æol is moving,
                      But though wild proving,
                      In your arms loving
                        Comfort doth wait.
       Blest, on angry waves of ocean riding,
       By thee clasped, vain 'twere this dear thought hiding:
       Death shall find me in thy pathway biding.
              Sirens, sing ye, and my voice imitate!


     "Good servant Mollberg, what's happened to thee,
        Whom without coat and hatless I see?
        Bloody thy mouth--and thou'rt lacking a tooth!
     Where have you been, brother?--tell me the truth."
          "At Rostock, good sir,
          Did the trouble occur.
          Over me and my harp
          An argument sharp
     Arose, touching my playing--pling plingeli plang;
     And a bow-legged cobbler coming along
     Struck me in the mouth--pling plingeli plang.

     "I sat there and played--no carouse could one see--
     The Polish Queen's Polka--G-major the key:
     The best kind of people were gathered around,
     And each drank his schoppen 'down to the ground.'
          I don't know just how
          Began freshly the row,
          But some one from my head
          Knocked my hat, and thus said:
     'What is Poland to thee?'--Pling plingeli plang--
     'Play us no polka!' Another one sang:
     'Now silent be!'--Pling plingeli plang.

     "Hear, my Maecenas, what still came to pass.
     As I sat there in quiet, enjoying my glass,
     On Poland's condition the silence I broke:
     'Know ye, good people,' aloud thus I spoke,
          'That all monarchs I
          On this earth do defy
          My harp to prevent
          From giving song vent
     Throughout all this land--pling plingeli plang!
     Did only a single string to it hang,
     I'd play a polka--pling plingeli plang!'

     "There sat in the corner a sergeant old,
     Two notaries and a dragoon bold,
     Who cried 'Down with him! The cobbler is right!
     Poland earns the meeds of her evil might!'
          From behind the stove came
          An old squint-eyed dame,
          And flung at the harp
          Glass broken and sharp;
     But the cobbler--pling plingeli plang--
     Made a terrible hole in my neck--that long!
     There hast thou the story--pling plingeli plang.

     "O righteous world! Now I ask of thee
     If I suffered not wrongly?" "Why, certainly!"
     "Was I not innocent?" "Bless you, most sure!"
     "The harp rent asunder, my nose torn and sore,
          Twas hard treatment, I trow!
          Now no better I know
          Than to go through the land
          With my harp in my hand,
     Play for Bacchus and Venus--kling klang--
     With masters best that e'er played or sang;
     Attend me, Apollo!--pling plingeli plang."


     Drink out thy glass! See, on thy threshold, nightly,
           Staying his sword, stands Death, awaiting thee.
     Be not alarmed; the grave-door, opened slightly,
           Closes again; a full year it may be
         Ere thou art dragged, poor sufferer, to the grave.
                      Pick the octave!
          Tune up the strings! Sing of life with glee!

     Golden's the hue thy dull, wan cheeks are showing;
        Shrunken's thy chest, and flat each shoulder-blade.
     Give me thy hand! Each dark vein, larger growing,
        Is, to my touch, as if in water laid.
     Damp are these hands; stiff are these veins becoming.
                 Pick now, and strumming,
         Empty thy bottle! Sing! drink unafraid.

       .       .       .       .       .

     Skål, then, my boy! Old Bacchus sends last greeting;
        Freya's farewell receive thou, o'er thy bowl.
     Fast in her praise thy thin blood flows, repeating
        Its old-time force, as it was wont to roll.
     Sing, read, forget; nay, think and weep while thinking.
                 Art thou for drinking
     Another bottle? Thou art dead? No Skål!



Bentham, whose name rightly stands sponsor for the utilitarian theory of
morals in legislation, though not its originator, was a mighty and
unique figure in many ways. His childhood reminds us of that of his
disciple John Stuart Mill in its precocity; but fortunately for him,
life had more juice in it for young Bentham than it had for Mill. In his
maturity and old age he was widely recognized as a commanding authority,
notwithstanding some startling absurdities.

[Illustration: JEREMY BENTHAM]

He was born in London, February 15th, 1747-8; the child of an attorney
of ample means, who was proud of the youth, and did not hesitate to show
him off. In his fourth year he began the study of Latin, and a year
later was known in his father's circle as "the philosopher." At six or
seven he began the study of French. He was then sent to Westminster
school, where he must have had a rather uncomfortable time; for he was
small in body, sensitive and delicate, and not fond of boyish sports. He
had a much happier life at the houses of his grandmothers at Barking and
at Browning Hill, where much of his childhood was spent. His
reminiscences of these days, as related to his biographer, are full of
charm. He was a great reader and a great student; and going to Oxford
early, was only sixteen when he took his degree.

It must be confessed that he did not bear away with him a high
appreciation of the benefits which he owed to his alma mater. "Mendacity
and insincerity--- in these I found the effects, the sure and only sure
effects, of an English university education." He wrote a Latin ode on
the death of George II., which was much praised. In later years he
himself said of it, "It was a mediocre performance on a trumpery
subject, written by a miserable child."

On taking his degree he entered at Lincoln's Inn, but he never made a
success in the practice of the law. He hated litigation, and his mind
became immediately absorbed in the study and development of the
principles of legislation and jurisprudence, and this became the
business of his life. He had an intense antipathy to Blackstone, under
whom he had sat at Oxford; and in 1776 he published anonymously a severe
criticism of his work, under the title 'Fragments on Government, or a
Commentary on the Commentaries,' which was at first attributed to Lord
Mansfield, Lord Camden, and others. His identification as the author of
the 'Fragments' brought him into relations with Lord Shelburne, who
invited him to Bowood, where he made a long and happy visit, of which
bright and gossipy letters tell the story. Here he worked on his
'Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation,' in which he
developed his utilitarian theory, and here he fell in love with a young
lady who failed to respond to his wishes. Writing in 1827, he says:--

     "I am alive, more than two months advanced in my eightieth
     year, more lively than when you presented me in ceremony with
     a flower in Green Lane. Since that day not a single one has
     passed, not to speak of nights, in which you have not
     engrossed more of my thoughts than I could have wished....
     Embrace----; though it is for me, as it is by you, she will
     not be severe, nor refuse her lips to me as she did her hand,
     at a time perhaps not yet forgotten by her, any more than by

Bentham wrote voluminously on morals, on rewards and punishments, on the
poor laws, on education, on law reform, on the codification of laws, on
special legislative measures, on a vast variety of subjects. His style,
at first simple and direct, became turgid, involved, and obscure. He was
in the habit of beginning the same work independently many times, and
usually drove several horses abreast. He was very severe in his
strictures upon persons in authority, and upon current notions; and was
constantly being warned that if he should publish such or such a work he
would surely be prosecuted. Numerous books were therefore not published
until many years after they were written. His literary style became so
prolix and unintelligible that his disciples--Dumont, Mill, and
others--came to his rescue, and disentangled and prepared for the press
his innumerable pamphlets, full of suggestiveness and teeming with
projects of reform more or less completely realized since. His
publications include more than seventy titles, and he left a vast
accumulation of manuscript, much of which has never been read.

He had a wide circle of acquaintances, by whom he was held in high
honor, and his correspondence with the leading men of his time was
constant and important. In his later years he was a pugnacious writer,
but he was on intimate and jovial terms with his friends. In 1814 he
removed to Ford Abbey, near Chard, and there wrote 'Chrestomathea,' a
collection of papers on the principles of education, in which he laid
stress upon the value of instruction in science, as against the
excessive predominance of Greek and Latin. In 1823, in conjunction with
James Mill and others, he established the Westminster Review, but he did
not himself contribute largely to it. He continued, however, to the end
of his life to write on his favorite topics.

Robert Dale Owen, in his autobiography, gives the following description
of a visit to Bentham during the philosopher's later years:--

     "I preserve a most agreeable recollection of that grand old
     face, beaming with benignity and intelligence, and
     occasionally with a touch of humor which I did not expect....
     I do not remember to have met any one of his age
     [seventy-eight] who seemed to have more complete possession
     of his faculties, bodily and mental; and this surprised me
     the more because I knew that in his childhood he had been a
     feeble-limbed, frail boy.... I found him, having overpassed
     by nearly a decade the allotted threescore years and ten,
     with step as active and eye as bright and conversation as
     vivacious as one expects in a hale man of fifty....

     "I shall never forget my surprise when we were ushered by the
     venerable philosopher into his dining-room. An apartment of
     good size, it was occupied by a platform about two feet high,
     and which filled the whole room, except a passageway some
     three or four feet wide, which had been left so that one
     could pass all round it. Upon this platform stood the
     dinner-table and chairs, with room enough for the servants to
     wait upon us. Around the head of the table was a huge screen,
     to protect the old man, I suppose, against the draught from
     the doors....

     "When another half-hour had passed, he touched the bell
     again. This time his order to the servant startled me:--

     "'John, my night-cap!'

     "I rose to go, and one or two others did the same; Neal sat
     still. 'Ah!' said Bentham, as he drew a black silk night-cap
     over his spare gray hair, 'you think that's a hint to go. Not
     a bit of it. Sit down! I'll tell you when I am tired. I'm
     going to _vibrate_ a little; that assists digestion, too.'

     "And with that he descended into the trench-like passage, of
     which I have spoken, and commenced walking briskly back and
     forth, his head nearly on a level with ours, as we sat. Of
     course we all turned toward him. For full half an hour, as he
     walked, did he continue to pour forth such a witty and
     eloquent invective against kings, priests, and their
     retainers, as I have seldom listened to. Then he returned to
     the head of the table and kept up the conversation, without
     flagging, till midnight ere he dismissed us.

     "His parting words to me were characteristic:--'God bless
     you,--if there be such a being; and at all events, my young
     friend, take care of yourself.'"

His weak childhood had been followed by a healthy and robust old age.
But he wore out at last, and died June 6, 1832, characteristically
leaving his body to be dissected for the benefit of science. The greater
part of his published writings were collected by Sir John Browning, his
executor, and issued in nine large volumes in 1843.


From 'An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation'

Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters,
_pain_ and _pleasure_. It is for them alone to point out what we ought
to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the
standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and
effects, are fastened to their throne. They govern us in all we do, in
all we say, in all we think; every effort we can make to throw off our
subjection will serve but to demonstrate and confirm it. In words a man
may pretend to abjure their empire; but in reality he will remain
subject to it all the while. The _principle of utility_ recognizes this
subjection, and assumes it for the foundation of that system, the object
of which is to rear the fabric of felicity by the hands of reason and of
law. Systems which attempt to question it deal in sounds instead of
sense, in caprice instead of reason, in darkness instead of light.

But enough of metaphor and declamation: it is not by such means that
moral science is to be improved.

The principle of utility is the foundation of the present work; it will
be proper, therefore, at the outset to give an explicit and determinate
account of what is meant by it. By the principle of utility is meant
that principle which approves or disapproves of every action whatsoever,
according to the tendency which it appears to have to augment or
diminish the happiness of the party whose interest is in question; or,
what is the same thing in other words, to promote or to oppose that
happiness. I say of every action whatsoever; and therefore not only of
every action of a private individual, but of every measure of

By utility is meant that property in any object whereby it tends to
produce benefit, advantage, pleasure, good, or happiness (all this in
the present case comes to the same thing), or (what comes again to the
same thing) to prevent the happening of mischief, pain, evil, or
unhappiness to the party whose interest is considered: if that party be
the community in general, then the happiness of the community; if a
particular individual, then the happiness of that individual.

The interest of the community is one of the most general expressions
that can occur in the phraseology of morals: no wonder that the meaning
of it is often lost. When it has a meaning, it is this: The community
is a fictitious _body_, composed of the individual persons who are
considered as constituting, as it were, its _members_. The interest of
the community, then, is what? The sum of the interests of the several
members who compose it.

It is vain to talk of the interest of the community, without
understanding what is the interest of the individual. A thing is said to
promote the interest, or to be _for_ the interest, of an individual,
when it tends to add to the sum total of his pleasures: or, what comes
to the same thing, to diminish the sum total of his pains.

An action, then, may be said to be conformable to the principle of
utility, or for shortness' sake to utility (meaning with respect to the
community at large), when the tendency it has to augment the happiness
of the community is greater than any it has to diminish it.

A measure of government (which is but a particular kind of action,
performed by a particular person or persons) may be said to be
conformable to or dictated by the principle of utility, when in like
manner the tendency which it has to augment the happiness of the
community is greater than any which it has to diminish it.

When an action, or in particular a measure of government, is supposed by
a man to be conformable to the principle of utility, it may be
convenient for the purposes of discourse to imagine a kind of law or
dictate called a law or dictate of utility, and to speak of the action
in question as being conformable to such law or dictate.

A man may be said to be a partisan of the principle of utility, when the
approbation or disapprobation he annexes to any action, or to any
measure, is determined by and proportioned to the tendency which he
conceives it to have to augment or to diminish the happiness of the
community; or in other words, to its conformity or unconformity to the
laws or dictates of utility.

Of an action that is conformable to the principle of utility, one may
always say either that it is one that ought to be done, or at least that
it is not one that ought not to be done. One may say also that it is
right it should be done, at least that it is not wrong it should be
done; that it is a right action, at least that it is not a wrong action.
When thus interpreted, the words _ought_, and _right_ and _wrong_, and
others of that stamp, have a meaning; when otherwise, they have none.


During my visits to Barking, I used to be my grandmother's bedfellow.
The dinner hour being as early as two o'clock, she had a regular supper,
which was served up in her own sleeping-room; and immediately after
finishing it, she went to bed. Of her supper I was not permitted to
partake, nor was the privation a matter of much regret. I had what I
preferred--a portion of gooseberry pie; hers was a scrag of mutton,
boiled with parsley and butter. I do not remember any variety.

My amusements consisted in building houses with old cards, and sometimes
playing at 'Beat the knave out of doors' with my grandmother. My time of
going to bed was perhaps an hour before hers; but by way of preparation,
I never failed to receive her blessing. Previous to the ceremony, I
underwent a catechetical examination, of which one of the questions was,
"Who were the children that were saved in the fiery furnace?" Answer,
"Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego." But as the examination frequently got
no farther, the word Abednego got associated in my mind with very
agreeable ideas, and it ran through my ears like "Shadrach, Meshach, and
To-bed-we-go," in a sort of pleasant confusion, which is not yet
removed. As I grew in years, I became a fit receptacle for some of my
grandmother's communications, among which the state of her family and
the days of her youth were most prominent.

There hung on the wall, perpetually in view, a sampler, the produce of
the industry and ingenuity of her mother or her grandmother, of which
the subject-matter was the most important of all theologico-human
incidents, the fall of man in Paradise. There was Adam--there was
Eve--and there was the serpent. In these there was much to interest and
amuse me. One thing alone puzzled me; it was the forbidden fruit. The
size was enormous. It was larger than that species of the genus
_Orangeum_ which goes by the name of "the forbidden fruit" in some of
our West India settlements. Its size was not less than that of the outer
shell of a cocoanut. All the rest of the objects were as usual in
_plano_; this was in _alto_, indeed in _altissimo rilievo._ What to make
of it, at a time when my mind was unable to distinguish fictions from
realities, I knew not. The recollection is strong in me of the mystery
it seemed to be. My grandmother promised me the sampler after her death
as a legacy, and the promise was no small gratification; but the
promise, with many other promises of jewels and gold coins, was
productive of nothing but disappointment. Her death took place when I
was at Oxford. My father went down; and without consulting me, or giving
the slightest intimation of his intention, let the house, and sold to
the tenant almost everything that was in it. It was doing as he was wont
to do, notwithstanding his undoubted affection for me. In the same way
he sold the estate he had given to me as a provision on the occasion of
his second marriage. In the mass went some music-books which I had
borrowed of Mrs. Browne. Not long after, she desired them to be
returned. I stood before her like a defenseless culprit, conscious of my
inability to make restitution; and at the same time, such was my state
of mental weakness that I knew not what to say for apology or defense.

My grandmother's mother was a matron, I was told, of high respectability
and corresponding piety; well-informed and strong-minded. She was
distinguished, however; for while other matrons of her age and quality
had seen many a ghost, she had seen but _one_. She was in this
particular on a level with the learned lecturer, afterwards judge, the
commentator Blackstone. But she was heretical, and her belief bordered
on Unitarianism. And by the way, this subject of ghosts has been among
the torments of my life. Even now, when sixty or seventy years have
passed over my head since my boyhood received the impression which my
grandmother gave it, though my judgment is wholly free, my imagination
is not wholly so. My infirmity was not unknown to the servants. It was a
permanent source of amusement to ply me with horrible phantoms in all
imaginable shapes. Under the pagan dispensation, every object a man
could set his eyes on had been the seat of some pleasant adventure. At
Barking, in the almost solitude of which so large a portion of my life
was passed, every spot that could be made by any means to answer the
purpose was the abode of some spectre or group of spectres. So dexterous
was the invention of those who worked upon my apprehensions, that they
managed to transform a real into a fictitious being. His name was
_Palethorp_; and Palethorp, in my vocabulary, was synonymous with
hobgoblin. The origin of these horrors was this:--

My father's house was a short half-mile distant from the principal part
of the town, from that part where was situated the mansion of the lord
of the manor, Sir Crisp Gascoigne. One morning the coachman and the
footman took a conjunct walk to a public-house kept by a man of the name
Palethorp; they took me with them: it was before I was breeched. They
called for a pot of beer; took each of them a sip, and handed the pot to
me. On their requisition, I took another; and when about to depart, the
amount was called for. The two servants paid their quota, and I was
called on for mine. _Nemo dat quod non habet_--this maxim, to my no
small vexation, I was compelled to exemplify. Mr. Palethorp, the
landlord, had a visage harsh and ill-favored, and he insisted on my
discharging my debt. At this very early age, without having put in for
my share of the gifts of fortune, I found myself in the state of an
insolvent debtor. The demand harassed me so mercilessly that I could
hold out no longer: the door being open, I took to my heels; and as the
way was too plain to be missed, I ran home as fast as they could carry
me. The scene of the terrors of Mr. Palethorp's name and visitation, in
pursuit of me, was the country-house at Barking; but neither was the
town-house free from them; for in those terrors, the servants possessed
an instrument by which it was in their power at any time to get rid of
my presence. Level with the kitchen--level with the landing-place in
which the staircase took its commencement--were the usual offices. When
my company became troublesome, a sure and continually repeated means of
exonerating themselves from it was for the footman to repair to the
adjoining subterraneous apartments, invest his shoulders with some
strong covering, and concealing his countenance, stalk in with a hollow,
menacing, and inarticulate tone. Lest that should not be sufficient, the
servants had, stuck by the fireplace, the portraiture of a hobgoblin, to
which they had given the name of Palethorp. For some years I was in the
condition of poor Dr. Priestley, on whose bodily frame another name, too
awful to be mentioned, used to produce a sensation more than mental.


SUNDAY, 12 o'clock.

Where shall I begin?--Let me see--The first place, by common right, to
the ladies. The ideas I brought with me respecting the female part of
this family are turned quite topsy-turvy, and unfortunately they are not
yet cleared up. I had expected to find in Lady Shelburne a Lady Louisa
Fitzpatrick, sister of an Earl of Ossory, whom I remember at school;
instead of her, I find a lady who has for her sister a Miss Caroline
V-----: is not this the maid of honor, the sister to Lady G-----? the
lady who was fond of Lord C------, and of whom he was fond? and whom he
quitted for an heiress and a pair of horns? Be they who they may, the
one is loveliest of matrons, the other of virgins: they have both of
them more than I could wish of reserve, but it is a reserve of modesty
rather than of pride.

The quadrupeds, whom you know I love next, consist of a child of a year
old, a tiger, a spaniel formerly attached to Lady Shelburne--at present
to my Lord--besides four plebeian cats who are taken no notice of,
horses, etc., and a wild boar who is sent off on a matrimonial
expedition to the farm. The four first I have commenced a friendship
with, especially the first of all, to whom I am body-coachman
extraordinary _en titre d'office_: Henry, (for that is his name) [the
present Lord Lansdowne] for such an animal, has the most thinking
countenance I ever saw; being very clean, I can keep him without disgust
and even with pleasure, especially after having been rewarded, as I have
just now, for my attention to him, by a pair of the sweetest smiles
imaginable from his mamma and aunt. As Providence hath ordered it, they
both play on the harpsichord and at chess. I am flattered with the hopes
of engaging with them, before long, either in war or harmony: not
to-day--because, whether you know it or not, it is Sunday; I know it,
having been paying my devotions--our church, the hall--our minister, a
sleek young parson, the curate of the parish--our saints, a naked
Mercury, an Apollo in the same dress, and a Venus de' Medicis--our
congregation, the two ladies, Captain Blankett, and your humble servant,
upon the carpet by the minister--below, the domestics, _superioris et
inferioris ordinis_. Among the former I was concerned to see poor
Mathews, the librarian, who, I could not help thinking, had as good a
title to be upon the carpet as myself.

Of Lord Fitzmaurice I know nothing, but from his bust and letters: the
first bespeaks him a handsome youth, the latter an ingenious one. He is
not sixteen, and already he writes better than his father. He is under
the care of a Mr. Jervis, a dissenting minister, who has had charge of
him since he was six years old. He has never been at any public school
of education. He has now for a considerable time been traveling about
the kingdom, that he may know something of his own country before he
goes to others, and be out of the way of adulation.

I am interrupted--adieu! _le reste à l'ordinaire prochain_.


It was using me very ill, that it was, to get upon stilts as you did,
and resolve not to be angry with me, after all the pains I had taken to
make you so. You have been angry, let me tell you, with people as little
worth it before now; and your being so niggardly of it in my instance,
may be added to the account of your injustice. I see you go upon the old
Christian principle of heaping coals of fire upon people's heads, which
is the highest refinement upon vengeance. I see, moreover, that
according to your system of cosmogony, the difference is but accidental
between the race of kings and that of the first Baron of Lixmore: that
ex-lawyers come like other men from Adam, and ex-ministers from somebody
who started up out of the ground before him, in some more elevated part
of the country.

To lower these pretensions, it would be serving you right, if I were to
tell you that I was not half so angry as I appeared to be; that,
therefore, according to the countryman's rule, you have not so much the
advantage over me as you may think you have: that the real object of
what anger I really felt was rather the situation in which I found
myself than you or anybody; but that, as none but a madman would go to
quarrel with a nonentity called a situation, it was necessary for me to
look out for somebody who, somehow or other, was connected with it.




Béranger, like Hugo, has commemorated the date of his birth, but their
verses are very different. Hugo's poem is lofty in style, beginning--

     "Ce siècle avait deux ans! Rome remplaçait Sparte,
     Déjà Napoléon perçait sous Bonaparte,
     Et du premier consul déjà, par maint endroit,
     Le front de l'empereur brisait le masque étroit."

     (This century was two years old; Rome displaced Sparta,
     Napoleon already was visible in Bonaparte,
     And the narrow mask of the First Consul, in many places,
     Was already pierced by the forehead of the Emperor.)

Béranger's verses have less force, but are charming in their

        "Dans ce Paris plein d'or et de misère,
        En l'an du Christ mil sept cent quatre-vingt,
        Chez un tailleur, mon pauvre et vieux grand-père,
        Moi, nouveau-né, sachais ce qui m'advint."

     (In this Paris full of gold and misery,
     In the year of Christ one thousand seven hundred and eighty,
     At the house of a tailor, my grandfather poor and old,
     I, a new-born child, knew what happened to me.)

Authors of the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries are more
subjective in their writings than those of the seventeenth, whose
characters can rarely be known from their works. A glance at the life
and surroundings of Béranger will show their influence on his genius.

Béranger's mother was abandoned by her husband shortly after her
marriage, and her child was born at the house of her father, the old
tailor referred to in the song 'The Tailor and the Fairy.' She troubled
herself little about the boy, and he was forsaken in his childhood.
Béranger tells us that he does not know how he learned to read. In the
beginning of the year 1789 he was sent to a school in the Faubourg
Saint-Antoine, and there, mounted on the roof of a house, he saw the
capture of the Bastille on the 14th of July. This event made a great
impression on him, and may have laid the foundations of his republican
principles. When he was nine and a half his father sent him to one of
his sisters, an innkeeper at Péronne, that town in the north of France
famous for the interview in 1468 between Louis XI. and Charles the Bold,
when the fox put himself in the power of the lion, as related so vividly
in 'Quentin Durward.'

Béranger's aunt was very kind to him. At Péronne he went to a free
primary school founded by Ballue de Bellenglise, where the students
governed themselves, electing their mayor, their judges, and their
justices of the peace. Béranger was president of a republican club of
boys, and was called upon several times to address members of the
Convention who passed through Péronne. His aunt was an ardent
republican, and he was deeply moved by the invasion of France in 1792.
He heard with delight of the capture of Toulon in 1793 and of
Bonaparte's exploits, conceiving a great admiration for the
extraordinary man who was just beginning his military career. At the age
of fifteen Béranger returned to Paris, where his father had established
a kind of banking house. The boy had previously followed different
trades, and had been for two years with a publishing house as a
printer's apprentice. There he learned spelling and the rules of French
prosody. He began to write verse when he was twelve or thirteen, but he
had a strange idea of prosody. In order to get lines of the same length
he wrote his words between two parallel lines traced from the top to the
bottom of the page. His system of versification seemed to be correct
when applied to the Alexandrine verse of Racine; but when he saw the
fables of La Fontaine, in which the lines are very irregular, he began
to distrust his prosody.

[Illustration: P.J. DE BÉRANGER]

Béranger became a skillful financier, and was very useful to his father
in his business. When the banker failed the young man was thrown into
great distress. He now had ample opportunity to become familiar with the
garret, of which he has sung so well. In 1804 he applied for help to
Lucien Bonaparte, and received from Napoleon's brother his own fee as
member of the Institute. He obtained shortly afterwards a position in a
bureau of the University. Having a weak constitution and defective
sight, he avoided the conscription. He was however all his life a true
patriot, with republican instincts; and he says that he never liked
Voltaire, because that celebrated writer unjustly preferred foreigners
and vilified Joan of Arc, "the true patriotic divinity, who from my
childhood was the object of my worship." He had approved of the
eighteenth of Brumaire: for "my soul," says he, "has always vibrated
with that of the people as when I was nineteen years old;" and the great
majority of the French people in 1799 wished to see Bonaparte assume
power and govern with a firm hand. In 1813 Béranger wrote 'The King of
Yvetot,' a pleasing and amusing satire on Napoleon's reign. What a
contrast between the despotic emperor and ruthless warrior, and the
simple king whose crown is a nightcap and whose chief delight is his
bottle of wine! The song circulated widely in manuscript form, and the
author soon became popular. He made the acquaintance of Désaugiers and
became a member of the Caveau. Concerning this joyous literary society
M. Anatole France says, in his 'Vie Littéraire,' that the first Caveau
was founded in 1729 by Gallet, Piron, Crébillon _fils_, Collé, and
Panard. They used to meet at Laudelle the tavern-keeper's. The second
Caveau was inaugurated in 1759 by Marmontel, Suard, Lanoue, and Brissy,
and lasted until the Revolution. In 1806 Armand Gouffé and Capelle
established the modern Caveau, of which Désaugiers was president. The
members met at Balaine's restaurant. In 1834 the society was reorganized
at Champlanc's restaurant. The members wrote and published songs and
sang them after dinner. "The Caveau," says M. France, "is the French
Academy of song," and as such has some dignity. The same is true of the
Lice, while the Chat Noir is most _fin de siècle_.

To understand Béranger's songs and to excuse them somewhat, we must
remember that the French always delighted in witty songs and tales, and
pardoned the immorality of the works on account of the wit and humor.
This is what is called _l'esprit gaulois_, and is seen principally in
old French poetry, in the fabliaux, the farces, and 'Le Roman de
Renart.' Molière had much of this, as also had La Fontaine and Voltaire,
and Béranger's wildest songs appear mild and innocent when compared with
those of the Chat Noir. In his joyous songs he continues the traditions
of the farces and fabliaux of the Middle Ages, and in his political
songs he uses wit and satire just as in the _sottises_ of the time of
Louis XII.

Béranger's first volume of songs appeared at the beginning of the second
Restoration; and although it was hostile to the Bourbons, the author was
not prosecuted. In 1821, when his second volume was published, he
resigned his position as clerk at the University, and was brought to
trial for having written immoral and seditious songs. He was condemned,
after exciting scenes in court, to three months' imprisonment and a fine
of five hundred francs, and in 1828 to nine months' imprisonment and a
fine of ten thousand francs, which was paid by public subscription.

No doubt he contributed to the Revolution of July, 1830; but although he
was a republican, he favored the monarchy of Louis Philippe, saying that
"it was a plank to cross over the gutter, a preparation for the
republic." The king wished to see him and thank him, but Béranger
replied that "he was too old to make new acquaintances." He was invited
to apply for a seat in the French Academy, and refused that honor as he
had refused political honors and positions. He said that he "wished to
be nothing"; and when in 1848 he was elected to the Constitutional
Assembly, he resigned his seat almost immediately. He has been accused
of affectation, and of exaggeration in his disinterestedness; but he was
naturally timid in public, and preferred to exert an influence over his
countrymen by his songs rather than by his voice in public assemblies.

Béranger was kind and generous, and ever ready to help all who applied
to him. He had a pension given to Rouget de l'Isle, the famous author of
the 'Marseillaise,' who was reduced to poverty, and in 1835 he took into
his house his good aunt from Péronne, and gave hospitality also to his
friend Mlle. Judith Frère. In 1834 he sold all his works to his
publisher, Perrotin, for an annuity of eight hundred francs, which was
increased to four thousand by the publisher. On this small income
Béranger lived content till his death on July 16th, 1857. The government
of Napoleon III. took charge of his funeral, which was solemnized with
great pomp. Although Béranger was essentially the poet of the middle
classes, and was extremely popular, care was taken to exclude the people
from the funeral procession. While he never denied that he was the
grandson of a tailor, he signed _de_ Béranger, to be distinguished from
other writers of the same name. The _de_, however, had always been
claimed by his father, who had left him nothing but that pretense
of nobility.

For forty years, from 1815 to his death, Béranger was perhaps the most
popular French writer of his time, and he was ranked amongst the
greatest French poets. There has been a reaction against that
enthusiasm, and he is now severely judged by the critics. They say that
he lacked inspiration, and was vulgar, bombastic, and grandiloquent.
Little attention is paid to him, therefore, in general histories of
French literature. But if he is not entitled to stand on the high
pedestal given to him by his contemporaries, we yet cannot deny genius
to the man who for more than a generation swayed the hearts of the
people at his will, and exerted on his countrymen and on his epoch an
immense influence.

Many of his songs are coarse and even immoral; but his muse was often
inspired by patriotic subjects, and in his poems on Napoleon he sings of
the exploits of the great general defending French soil from foreign
invasion, or he delights in the victories of the Emperor as reflecting
glory upon France. Victor Hugo shared this feeling when he wrote his
inspiring verses in praise of the conqueror. Both poets, Béranger and
Hugo, contributed to create the Napoleonic legend which facilitated the
election of Louis Napoleon to the presidency in 1848, and brought about
the Second Empire. What is more touching than 'The Reminiscences of the
People'? Are we not inclined to cry out, like the little children
listening to the old grandmother who speaks of Napoleon: "He spoke to
you, grandmother! He sat down there, grandmother! You have yet his
glass, grandmother!" The whole song is poetic, natural, and simple.
François Coppée, the great poet, said of it: "Ah! if I had only written
'The Reminiscences of the People,' I should not feel concerned about the
judgment of posterity."

Other works of Béranger's are on serious subjects, as 'Mary Stuart's
Farewell to France,' 'The Holy Alliance,' 'The Swallows,' and 'The Old
Banner,' All his songs have a charm. His wit is not of the highest
order, and he lacks the _finesse_ of La Fontaine, but he is often quaint
and always amusing in his songs devoted to love and Lisette, to youth
and to wine. He is not one of the greatest French lyric poets, and
cannot be compared with Lamartine, Hugo, Musset, and Vigny; nevertheless
he has much originality, and is without doubt the greatest song-writer
that France has produced. He elevated the song and made it both a poem
and a drama, full of action and interest.

Béranger wrote slowly and with great care, and many of his songs cost
him much labor. He was filled with compassion for the weak, for the poor
and unfortunate; he loved humanity, and above all he dearly loved
France. Posterity will do him justice and will preserve at least a great
part of his work. M. Ernest Legouvé in his interesting work, 'La Lecture
en Action,' relates that one day, while walking with Béranger in the
Bois de Boulogne, the latter stopped in the middle of an alley, and
taking hold of M. Legouvé's hand, said with emotion, "My dear friend, my
ambition would be that one hundred of my lines should remain." M.
Legouvé adds, "There will remain more than that," and his words have
been confirmed. If we read aloud, if we sing them, we too shall share
the enthusiasm of our fathers, who were carried away by the pathos, the
grandeur, the wit, the inexpressible charm of the unrivaled

[Illustration: Signature: ALCÉE FORTIER]



     To see is to have. Come, hurry anew!
         Life on the wing
         Is a rapturous thing.
     To see is to have. Come, hurry anew!
     For to see the world is to conquer it too.

       *       *       *       *       *

     So naught do we own, from pride left free,
         From statutes vain,
         From heavy chain;
     So naught do we own, from pride left free,--
     Cradle nor house nor coffin have we.

     But credit our jollity none the less,
         Noble or priest, or
         Servant or master;
     But credit our jollity none the less.--
     Liberty always means happiness.


     (LA MOUCHE)

     In the midst of our laughter and singing,
       'Mid the clink of our glasses so gay,
     What gad-fly is over us winging,
       That returns when we drive him away?
     'Tis some god. Yes, I have a suspicion
       Of our happiness jealous, he's come:
     Let us drive him away to perdition,
       That he bore us no more with his hum.

     Transformed to a gad-fly unseemly,
       I am certain that we must have here
     Old Reason, the grumbler, extremely
       Annoyed by our joy and our cheer.
     He tells us in tones of monition
       Of the clouds and the tempests to come:
     Let us drive him away to perdition,
       That he bore us no more with his hum.

     It is Reason who comes to me, quaffing,
       And says, "It is time to retire:
     At your age one stops drinking and laughing,
       Stops loving, nor sings with such fire;"--
     An alarm that sounds ever its mission
       When the sweetest of flames overcome:
     Let us drive him away to perdition,
       That he bore us no more with his hum.

     It is Reason! Look out there for Lizzie!
       His dart is a menace alway.
     He has touched her, she swoons--she is dizzy:
       Come, Cupid, and drive him away.
     Pursue him; compel his submission,
       Until under your strokes he succumb.
     Let us drive him away to perdition,
       That he bore us no more with his hum.

     Hurrah, Victory! See, he is drowning
       In the wine that Lizzetta has poured.
     Come, the head of Joy let us be crowning,
       That again he may reign at our board.
     He was threatened just now with dismission,
       And a fly made us all rather glum:
     But we've sent him away to perdition;
       He will bore us no more with his hum.

     Translation of Walter Learned.



     Let's learn to temper our desires,
       Not harshly to constrain;
     And since excess makes pleasure less,
       Why, so much more refrain.
     Small table--cozy corner--here
       We well may be beguiled;
     Our worthy host old wine can boast:
       Drink, drink--but draw it mild!

     He who would many an evil shun
       Will find my plan the best--
     To trim the sail as shifts the gale,
       And half-seas over rest.
     Enjoyment is an art--disgust
       Is bred of joy run wild;
     Too deep a drain upsets the brain:
       Drink, drink--but draw it mild!

     Our indigence--let's cheer it up;
       'Tis nonsense to repine;
     To give to Hope the fullest scope
       Needs but one draught of wine.
     And oh! be temperate, to enjoy,
       Ye on whom Fate hath smiled;
     If deep the bowl, your thirst control:
       Drink, drink--but draw it mild!

     What, Phyllis, dost thou fear? at this
       My lesson dost thou scoff?
     Or would'st thou say, light draughts betray
       The toper falling off?
     Keen taste, eyes keen--whate'er be seen
       Of joy in thine, fair child,
     Love's philtre use, but don't abuse:
       Drink, drink--but draw it mild!

     Yes, without hurrying, let us roam
       From feast to feast of gladness;
     And reach old age, if not quite sage,
       With method in our madness!
     Our health is sound, good wines abound;
       Friends, these are riches piled.
     To use with thrift the twofold gift:
       Drink, drink--but draw it mild!

     Translation of William Young.


     There was a king of Yvetot,
           Of whom renown hath little said,
         Who let all thoughts of glory go,
       And dawdled half his days a-bed;
     And every night, as night came round,
     By Jenny with a nightcap crowned,
             Slept very sound:
           Sing ho, ho, ho! and he, he, he!
           That's the kind of king for me.

     And every day it came to pass,
       That four lusty meals made he;
     And step by step, upon an ass,
       Rode abroad, his realms to see;
     And wherever he did stir,
     What think you was his escort, sir?
             Why, an old cur.
           Sing ho, ho, ho! and he, he, he!
           That's the kind of king for me.

     If e'er he went into excess,
       'Twas from a somewhat lively thirst;
     But he who would his subjects bless,
       Odd's fish!--must wet his whistle first;
     And so from every cask they got,
     Our king did to himself allot
             At least a pot.
           Sing ho, ho, ho! and he, he, he!
           That's the kind of king for me.

     To all the ladies of the land
       A courteous king, and kind, was he--
     The reason why, you'll understand,
       They named him Pater Patriae.
     Each year he called his fighting men,
     And marched a league from home, and then
             Marched back again.
           Sing ho, ho, ho! and he, he, he!
           That's the kind of king for me.

     Neither by force nor false pretense,
       He sought to make his kingdom great,
     And made (O princes, learn from hence)
       "Live and let live" his rule of state.
     'Twas only when he came to die,
     That his people who stood by
             Were known to cry.
           Sing ho, ho, ho! and he, he, he!
           That's the kind of king for me.

     The portrait of this best of kings
       Is extant still, upon a sign
     That on a village tavern swings,
       Famed in the country for good wine.
     The people in their Sunday trim,
     Filling their glasses to the brim,
             Look up to him,
           Singing "ha, ha, ha!" and "he, he, he!
           That's the sort of king for me."

     Version of W.M. Thackeray.


     Rap! rap!--Is that my lass--
         Rap! rap!--is rapping there?
       It is Fortune. Let her pass!
         I'll not open the door to her.
           Rap! rap!--

     All of my friends are making gay
       My little room, with lips wine-wet:
       We only wait for you, Lisette!
     Fortune! you may go your way.
           Rap! rap!--

     If we might credit half her boast,
       What wonders gold has in its gift!
       Well, we have twenty bottles left
     And still some credit with our host.
           Rap! rap!--

     Her pearls, and rubies too, she quotes,
       And mantles more than sumptuous:
       Lord! but the purple's naught to us,--
     We're just now taking off our coats.
           Rap! rap!--

     She treats us as the rawest youths,
       With talk of genius and of fame:
       Thank calumny, alas, for shame!
     Our faith is spoiled in laurel growths.
           Rap! rap!--

     Far from our pleasures, we care not
       Her highest heavens to attain;
       She fills her big balloons in vain
     Till we have swamped our little boat.
           Rap! rap!--

     Yet all our neighbors crowd to be
       Within her ring of promises,
       Ah! surely, friends! our mistresses
     Will cheat us more agreeably.
           Rap! rap!--



     Ay, many a day the straw-thatched cot
       Shall echo with his glory!
     The humblest shed, these fifty years,
       Shall know no other story.
     There shall the idle villagers
       To some old dame resort,
     And beg her with those good old tales
       To make their evenings short.
     "What though they say he did us harm?
       Our love this cannot dim;
     Come, granny, talk of him to us;
       Come, granny, talk of him."

     "Well, children--with a train of kings,
       Once he passed by this spot;
     'Twas long ago; I had but just
       Begun to boil the pot.
     On foot he climbed the hill, whereon
       I watched him on his way:
     He wore a small three-cornered hat;
       His overcoat was gray.
     I was half frightened till he said
       'Good day, my dear!' to me."
     "O granny, granny, did he speak?
       What, granny! you and he?"

     "Next year, as I, poor soul, by chance
       Through Paris strolled one day,
     I saw him taking, with his court,
       To Notre Dame his way.
     The crowd were charmed with such a show;
       Their hearts were filled with pride:
     'What splendid weather for the fête!
       Heaven favors him!' they cried.
     Softly he smiled, for God had given
       To his fond arms a boy."
     "Oh, how much joy you must have felt!
       O granny, how much joy!"

     "But when at length our poor Champagne
       By foes was overrun,
     He seemed alone to hold his ground;
       Nor dangers would he shun.
     One night--as might be now--I heard
       A knock--the door unbarred--
     And saw--good God! 'twas he, himself,
       With but a scanty guard.
     'Oh, what a war is this!' he cried,
       Taking this very chair."
     "What! granny, granny, there he sat?
       What! granny, he sat there?"

     "'I'm hungry,' said he: quick I served
       Thin wine and hard brown bread;
     He dried his clothes, and by the fire
       In sleep dropped down his head.
     Waking, he saw my tears--'Cheer up,
       Good dame!' says he, 'I go
     'Neath Paris' walls to strike for France
       One last avenging blow.'
     He went; but on the cup he used
       Such value did I set--
     It has been treasured."--"What! till now?
       You have it, granny, yet?"

     "Here 'tis: but 'twas the hero's fate
       To ruin to be led;
     He whom a Pope had crowned, alas!
       In a lone isle lies dead.
     'Twas long denied: 'No, no,' said they,
       'Soon shall he reappear!
     O'er ocean comes he, and the foe
       Shall find his master here.'
     Ah, what a bitter pang I felt,
       When forced to own 'twas true!"
     "Poor granny! Heaven for this will look--
       Will kindly look on you."

     Translation of William Young.



       Here in this gutter let me die:
         Weary and sick and old, I've done.
       "He's drunk," will say the passers-by:
         All right, I want no pity--none.
       I see the heads that turn away,
         While others glance and toss me sous:
       "Off to your junket! go!" I say:
     Old tramp,--to die I need no help from you.

       Yes, of old age I'm dying now:
         Of hunger people never die.
       I hoped some almshouse might allow
         A shelter when my end was nigh;
       But all retreats are overflowed,
         Such crowds are suffering and forlorn.
       My nurse, alas! has been the road:
     Old tramp,--here let me die where I was born.

       When young, it used to be my prayer
         To craftsmen, "Let me learn your trade."
       "Clear out--we've got no work to spare;
         Go beg," was all reply they made.
       You rich, who bade me work, I've fed
         With relish on the bones you threw;
       Made of your straw an easy bed:
     Old tramp,--I have no curse to vent on you.

       Poor wretch, I had the choice to steal;
         But no, I'd rather beg my bread.
       At most I thieved a wayside meal
         Of apples ripening overhead.
       Yet twenty times have I been thrown
         In prison--'twas the King's decree;
       Robbed of the only thing I own:
     Old tramp,--at least the sun belongs to me.

       The poor man--is a country his?
         What are to me your corn and wine,
       Your glory and your industries,
         Your orators? They are not mine.
       And when a foreign foe waxed fat
         Within your undefended walls,
       I shed my tears, poor fool, at that:
     Old tramp,--his hand was open to my calls.

       Why, like the hateful bug you kill,
         Did you not crush me when you could?

       Or better, teach me ways and skill
         To labor for the common good?

       The ugly grub an ant may end,
         If sheltered from the cold and fed.

       You might have had me for a friend:
     Old tramp,--I die your enemy instead.

     Translated for the 'World's Best Literature.'



     Wherefore these flowers? floral applause?
       Ah, no, these blossoms came to say
     That I am growing old, because
       I number fifty years to-day.
     O rapid, ever-fleeting day!
       O moments lost, I know not how!
     O wrinkled cheek and hair grown gray!
          Alas, for I am fifty now!

     Sad age, when we pursue no more--
       Fruit dies upon the withering tree:
     Hark! some one rapped upon my door.
       Nay, open not. 'Tis not for me--
     Or else the doctor calls. Not yet
       Must I expect his studious bow.
     Once I'd have called, "Come in, Lizzette"--
          Alas, for I am fifty now!

     In age what aches and pains abound.
       The torturing gout racks us awhile;
     Blindness, a prison dark, profound;
       Or deafness that provokes a smile.
     Then Reason's lamp grows faint and dim
       With flickering ray. Children, allow
     Old Age the honor due to him--
          Alas, for I am fifty now!

     Ah, heaven! the voice of Death I know,
       Who rubs his hands in joyous mood;
     The sexton knocks and I must go--
       Farewell, my friends the human brood!
     Below are famine, plague, and strife;
       Above, new heavens my soul endow:
     Since God remains, begin, new life!
       Alas, for I am fifty now!

     But no, 'tis you, sweetheart, whose youth,
       Tempting my soul with dainty ways,
     Shall hide from it the sombre truth,
       This incubus of evil days.
     Springtime is yours, and flowers; come then,
       Scatter your roses on my brow,
     And let me dream of youth again--
       Alas, for I am fifty now!

     Translation of Walter Learned.


     With pensive eyes the little room I view,
       Where in my youth I weathered it so long,
     With a wild mistress, a stanch friend or two,
       And a light heart still breaking into song;
     Making a mock of life, and all its cares,
       Rich in the glory of my rising sun:
     Lightly I vaulted up four pair of stairs,
       In the brave days when I was twenty-one.

     Yes; 'tis a garret--let him know't who will---
       There was my bed--full hard it was and small;
     My table there--and I decipher still
       Half a lame couplet charcoaled on the wall.
     Ye joys, that Time hath swept with him away,
       Come to mine eyes, ye dreams of love and fun:
     For you I pawned my watch how many a day,
       In the brave days when I was twenty-one!

     And see my little Jessy, first of all;
       She comes with pouting lips and sparkling eyes:
     Behold, how roguishly she pins her shawl
       Across the narrow casement, curtain-wise:
     Now by the bed her petticoat glides down,
       And when did women look the worse in none?
     I have heard since who paid for many a gown,
       In the brave days when I was twenty-one.

     One jolly evening, when my friends and I
       Made happy music with our songs and cheers,
     A shout of triumph mounted up thus high,
       And distant cannon opened on our ears;
     We rise,--we join in the triumphant strain,--
       Napoleon conquers--Austerlitz is won--
     Tyrants shall never tread us down again,
       In the brave days when I was twenty-one.

     Let us begone--the place is sad and strange--
       How far, far off, these happy times appear!
     All that I have to live I'd gladly change
       For one such month as I have wasted here--
     To draw long dreams of beauty, love, and power,
       From founts of hope that never will outrun,
     And drink all life's quintessence in an hour:
       Give me the days when I was twenty-one.

     Version of W.M. Thackeray.

     MY TOMB


     What! whilst I'm well, beforehand you design,
     At vast expense, for me to build a shrine?
     Friends, 'tis absurd! to no such outlay go;
     Leave to the great the pomp and pride of woe.
     Take what for marble or for brass would pay--
     For a dead beggar garb by far too gay--
     And buy life-stirring wine on my behalf:
     The money for my tomb right gayly let us quaff!

     A mausoleum worthy of my thanks
     At least would cost you twenty thousand francs:
     Come, for six months, rich vale and balmy sky,
     As gay recluses, be it ours to try.
     Concerts and balls, where Beauty's self invites,
     Shall furnish us our castle of delights;
     I'll run the risk of finding life too sweet:
     The money for my tomb right gayly let us eat!

     But old I grow, and Lizzy's youthful yet:
     Costly attire, then, she expects to get;
     For to long fast a show of wealth resigns--
     Bear witness Longchamps, where all Paris shines!
     You to my fair one something surely owe;
     A Cashmere shawl she's looking for, I know:
     'Twere well for life on such a faithful breast
     The money for my tomb right gayly to invest!

     No box of state, good friends, would I engage,
     For mine own use, where spectres tread the stage:
     What poor wan man with haggard eyes is this?
     Soon must he die--ah, let him taste of bliss!
     The veteran first should the raised curtain see--
     There in the pit to keep a place for me,
     (Tired of his wallet, long he cannot live)--
     The money for my tomb to him let's gayly give!

     What doth it boot me, that some learned eye
     May spell my name on gravestone, by and by?
     As to the flowers they promise for my bier,
     I'd rather, living, scent their perfume here.
     And thou, posterity!--that ne'er mayst be--
     Waste not thy torch in seeking signs of me!
     Like a wise man, I deemed that I was bound
     The money for my tomb to scatter gayly round!

     Translation of William Young.


I have treated it [the revolution of 1830] as a power which might have
whims one should be in a position to resist. All or nearly all my
friends have taken office. I have still one or two who are hanging from
the greased pole. I am pleased to believe that they are caught by the
coat-tails, in spite of their efforts to come down. I might therefore
have had a share in the distribution of offices. Unluckily I have no
love for sinecures, and all compulsory labor has grown intolerable to
me, except perhaps that of a copying clerk. Slanderers have pretended
that I acted from virtue. Pshaw! I acted from laziness. That defect has
served me in place of merits; wherefore I recommend it to many of our
honest men. It exposes one, however, to curious reproaches. It is to
that placid indolence that severe critics have laid the distance I have
kept myself from those of my honorable friends who have attained power.
Giving too much honor to what they choose to call my fine intellect, and
forgetting too much how far it is from simple good sense to the science
of great affairs, these critics maintain that my counsels might have
enlightened more than one minister. If one believes them, I, crouching
behind our statesmen's velvet chairs, would have conjured down the
winds, dispelled the storms, and enabled France to swim in an ocean of
delights. We should all have had liberty to sell, or rather to give
away, but we are still rather ignorant of the price. Ah! my two or three
friends who take a song-writer for a magician, have you never heard,
then, that power is a bell which prevents those who set it ringing from
hearing anything else? Doubtless ministers sometimes consult those at
hand: consultation is a means of talking about one's self which is
rarely neglected. But it will not be enough even to consult in good
faith those who will advise in the same way. One must still act: that is
the duty of the position. The purest intentions, the most enlightened
patriotism, do not always confer it. Who has not seen high officials
leave a counselor with brave intentions, and an instant after return to
him, from I know not what fascination, with a perplexity that gave the
lie to the wisest resolutions? "Oh!" they say, "we will not be caught
there again! what drudgery!" The more shamefaced add, "I'd like to see
you in my place!" When a minister says that, be sure he has no longer a
head. There is indeed one of them, but only one, who, without having
lost his head, has often used this phrase with the utmost sincerity; he
has therefore never used it to a friend.



Few readers in the United States are unfamiliar with the lines,
"Westward the course of empire takes its way." It is vaguely remembered
that a certain Bishop Berkeley was the author of a treatise on
tar-water. There is moreover a general impression that this Bishop
Berkeley contended for the unreality of all things outside of his own
mind, and now and then some recall Byron's lines--

     "When Bishop Berkeley said 'there was no matter,'
     And proved it,--'twas no matter what he said."

This is the substance of the popular knowledge of one of the profoundest
thinkers of the early part of the eighteenth century,--the time of
Shaftesbury and Locke, of Addison and Steele, of Butler, Pope, and
Swift,--one of the most fascinating men of his day, and one of the best
of any age. Beside, or rather above, Byron's line should be placed
Pope's tribute:--

     "To Berkeley, every virtue under Heaven."

[Illustration: GEORGE BERKELEY.]

Berkeley was born in Ireland, probably at Dysart Castle in the Valley of
the Nore, near Kilkenny, March 12, 1685. The family having but lately
come into Ireland, Berkeley always accounted himself an Englishman. At
Kilkenny School he met the poet Prior, who became his intimate friend,
his business representative, and his most regular correspondent for
life. Swift preceded him at this school and at Trinity College, Dublin,
whither Berkeley went March 21, 1700, being then fifteen years of age.
Here as at Kilkenny he took rank much beyond his years, and was soon
deep in philosophical speculations.

In Professor Fraser's edition of the 'Life and Works of Berkeley'
appears a 'Common-Place Book,' kept during the Trinity College terms,
and full of most remarkable memoranda for a youth of his years. In 1709,
while still at Trinity, he published an 'Essay toward a New Theory of
Vision,' which foreshadowed imperfectly his leading ideas. In the
following year he published a 'Treatise concerning the Principles of
Human Knowledge.' Two or three years later he went to London, where he
was received with unusual favor and quickly became intimate in the
literary circles of the day. He made friends everywhere, being
attractive in all ways, young, handsome, graceful, fascinating in
discourse, enthusiastic, and full of thought. Swift was especially
impressed by him, and did much to further his fortunes.

His philosophical conceptions he at this time popularized in 'Three
Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous,' a work rated by some critics as
at the head of its class.

Before going to London, Berkeley had been made a Fellow of Trinity, had
been appointed to various college offices, and had taken orders. He
remained away from Dublin for about eight years, on leave frequently
extended, writing in London, and traveling, teaching, and writing on the
Continent. On his return from his foreign travels in 1720 or 1721, he
found society completely demoralized by the collapse of the South Sea
bubble. He was much depressed by the conditions around him, and sought
to awaken the moral sense of the people by 'An Essay toward Preventing
the Ruin of Great Britain.' Returning to Dublin and resuming college
duties, he was shortly made Dean of Dromore, and then Dean of Derry.
Hardly had he received these dignified appointments when he began
planning to rid himself of them, being completely absorbed in a scheme
for a University in the Bermudas, which should educate scholars,
teachers, and ministers for the New World, to which his hope turned. To
this scheme he devoted himself for many years. A singular occurrence,
which released him from pecuniary cares, enabled him to give his time as
well as his heart to the work. Miss Vanhomrigh, the 'Vanessa' of Swift,
upon her mother's death, left London, and went to live in Ireland, to be
near her beloved Dean; and there she was informed of Swift's marriage to
'Stella.' The news killed her, but she revoked the will by which her
fortune was bequeathed to Swift, and left one-half of it, or about
£4,000, to Berkeley, whom she had met but once. He must have "kept an
atmosphere," as Bagehot says of Francis Horner.

Going to London on fire with his great scheme, prepared to resign his
deanery and cast in his lot with that of the proposed University,
Berkeley wasted years in the effort to secure a charter and grant from
the administration. His enthusiasm and his fascinating manners effected
much, and over and over again only the simplest formalities seemed
necessary to success. Only the will of Sir Robert Walpole stood in the
way, but Walpole's will sufficed. At last, in September, 1728, tired of
waiting at court, Berkeley, who had just married, sailed with three or
four friends, including the artist Smibert, for Rhode Island, intending
to await there the completion of his grant, and then proceed to Bermuda.
He bought a farm near Newport, and built a house which he called
Whitehall, in which he lived for about three years, leaving a tradition
of a benignant but retired and scholastic life. Among the friends who
were here drawn to him was the Rev. Samuel Johnson of Stratford,
afterward the first President of King's (now Columbia) College, with
whom he corresponded during the remainder of his life, and through whom
he was able to aid greatly the cause of education in America.

The Newport life was idyllic. Berkeley wrote home that the winters were
cooler than those of the South of Ireland, but not worse than he had
known in Italy. He brought over a good library, and read and wrote. The
principal work of this period, written in a romantic cleft in the rocks,
was 'Alciphron, or the Minute Philosopher,' in seven dialogues, directed
especially against atheism.

At length, through Lord Percival, Berkeley learned that Walpole would
not allow the parliamentary grant of, £20,000 for the Bermuda College,
and returned to England at the close of 1732. His Whitehall estate he
conveyed to Yale College for the maintenance of certain scholarships.
From England he sent over nearly a thousand volumes for the Yale
library, the best collection of books ever brought at one time to
America, being helped in the undertaking by some of the Bermuda
subscribers. A little later he sent a collection of books to Harvard
College also, and presented a valuable organ to Trinity Church
in Newport.

Shortly after his return, Berkeley was appointed Bishop of Cloyne, near
Cork in Ireland, and here he remained for about eighteen years. Although
a recluse, he wrote much, and he kept up his loving relations with old
friends who still survived. He had several children to educate, and he
cultivated music and painting. He attempted to establish manufactures,
and to cultivate habits of industry and refinement among the people. The
winter of 1739 was bitterly cold. This was followed by general want,
famine, and disease. Berkeley and his family lived simply and gave away
what they could save. Large numbers of the people died from an epidemic.
In America Berkeley's attention had been drawn to the medicinal virtues
of tar, and he experimented successfully with tar-water as a remedy.
Becoming more and more convinced of its value, he exploited his supposed
discovery with his usual ardor, writing letters and essays, and at
length 'A Chain of Philosophical Reflections and Enquiries concerning
the Virtues of Tar-water and divers other subjects connected together
and arising one from another.' This was called 'Siris' in a second
edition which was soon demanded. Beginning with the use of tar-water as
a remedy, the treatise gradually developed into the treatment of the
largest themes, and offered the ripest fruits of the Bishop's

Berkeley's system was neither consistent nor complete, but much of it
remains sound. In brief, he contended that matter has no independent
existence, but is an idea in the supreme mind, which is realized in
various forms by the human mind. Without mind nothing exists. Cause
cannot exist except as it rests in mind and will. All so-called physical
causes are merely cases of constant sequence of phenomena. Far from
denying the reality of phenomena, Berkeley insists upon it; but contends
that reality depends upon the supremacy of mind. Abstract matter does
not and cannot exist. The mind can only perceive qualities of objects,
and infers the existence of the objects from them; or as a modern writer
tersely puts it, "The only thing certain is mind. Matter is a doubtful
and uncertain inference of the human intellect."

The essay upon Tar-water attracted great attention. The good bishop
wrote much also for periodicals, mainly upon practical themes; and in
The Querist, an intermittent journal, considered many matters of ethical
and political importance to the country. Though a bishop of the
Established Church, he lived upon the most friendly terms with his Roman
Catholic neighbors, and his labors were highly appreciated by them.

But his life was waning. His friends had passed away, he had lost
several children, his health was broken. He desired to retire to Oxford
and spend the remainder of his life in scholarly seclusion. He asked to
exchange his bishopric for a canonry, but this could not be permitted.
He then begged to be allowed to resign his charge, but the king replied
that he might live where he pleased, but that he should die a bishop in
spite of himself. In August, 1752, Bishop Berkeley removed himself, his
wife, his daughter, and his goods to Oxford, where his son George was a
student; and here on the fourteenth of the following January, as he was
resting on his couch by the fireside at tea-time, his busy brain stopped
thinking, and his kind heart ceased to beat.


     The Muse, disgusted at an age and clime
       Barren of every glorious theme,
     In distant lands now waits a better time,
       Producing subjects worthy fame:

     In happy climes, where from the genial sun
       And virgin earth such scenes ensue,
     The force of art by nature seems outdone,
       And fancied beauties by the true;

     In happy climes, the seat of innocence,
       Where nature guides and virtue rules,
     Where men shall not impose for truth and sense
       The pedantry of courts and schools:

     There shall be sung another golden age,
       The rise of empire and of arts,
     The good and great inspiring epic rage,
       The wisest heads and noblest hearts.

     Not such as Europe breeds in her decay;
       Such as she bred when fresh and young,
     When heavenly flame did animate her clay,
       By future poets shall be sung.

     Westward the course of empire takes its way;
       The four first Acts already past,
     A fifth shall close the Drama with the day;
       Time's noblest offspring is the last.


From 'Siris'

The seeds of things seem to lie latent in the air, ready to appear and
produce their kind, whenever they light on a proper matrix. The
extremely small seeds of fern, mosses, mushrooms, and some other plants,
are concealed and wafted about in the air, every part whereof seems
replete with seeds of one kind or other. The whole atmosphere seems
alive. There is everywhere acid to corrode, and seed to engender. Iron
will rust, and mold will grow, in all places. Virgin earth becomes
fertile, crops of new plants ever and anon show themselves, all which
demonstrate the air to be a common seminary and receptacle of all
vivifying principles....

The eye by long use comes to see, even in the darkest cavern; and there
is no subject so obscure, but we may discern some glimpse of truth by
long poring on it. Truth is the cry of all, but the game of a few.
Certainly where it is the chief passion, it doth not give way to vulgar
cares and views; nor is it contented with a little ardor in the early
time of life; active, perhaps, to pursue, but not so fit to weigh and
revise. He that would make a real progress in knowledge, must dedicate
his age as well as youth, the later growth as well as first fruits, at
the altar of truth....

As the nerves are instruments of sensation, it follows that spasms in
the nerves may produce all symptoms, and therefore a disorder in the
nervous system shall imitate all distempers, and occasion, in
appearance, an asthma for instance, a pleurisy, or a fit of the stone.
Now, whatever is good for the nerves in general is good against all such
symptoms. But tar-water, as it includes in an eminent degree the virtues
of warm gums and resins, is of great use for comforting and
strengthening the nerves, curing twitches in the nervous fibres, cramps
also, and numbness in the limbs, removing anxieties and promoting sleep,
in all which cases I have known it very successful.

This safe and cheap medicine suits all circumstances and all
constitutions, operating easily, curing without disturbing, raising the
spirits without depressing them, a circumstance that deserves repeated
attention, especially in these climates, where strong liquors so fatally
and so frequently produce those very distresses they are designed to
remedy; and if I am not misinformed, even among the ladies themselves,
who are truly much to be pitied. Their condition of life makes them a
prey to imaginary woes, which never fail to grow up in minds unexercised
and unemployed. To get rid of these, it is said, there are who betake
themselves to distilled spirits. And it is not improbable they are led
gradually to the use of those poisons by a certain complaisant pharmacy,
too much used in the modern practice, palsy drops, poppy cordial, plague
water, and such-like, which being in truth nothing but drams disguised,
yet coming from the apothecaries, are considered only as medicines.

The soul of man was supposed by many ancient sages to be thrust into
the human body as into a prison, for punishment of past offenses. But
the worst prison is the body of an indolent epicure, whose blood is
inflamed by fermented liquors and high sauces, or rendered putrid,
sharp, and corrosive by a stagnation of the animal juices through sloth
and indolence; whose membranes are irritated by pungent salts; whose
mind is agitated by painful oscillations of the nervous system, and
whose nerves are mutually affected by the irregular passions of his
mind. This ferment in the animal economy darkens and confounds the
intellect. It produceth vain terrors and vain conceits, and stimulates
the soul with mad desires, which, not being natural, nothing in nature
can satisfy. No wonder, therefore, there are so many fine persons of
both sexes, shining themselves, and shone on by fortune, who are
inwardly miserable and sick of life.

The hardness of stubbed vulgar constitutions renders them insensible of
a thousand things that fret and gall those delicate people, who, as if
their skin was peeled off, feel to the quick everything that touches
them. The remedy for this exquisite and painful sensibility is commonly
sought from fermented, perhaps from distilled liquors, which render many
lives wretched that would otherwise have been only ridiculous. The
tender nerves and low spirits of such poor creatures would be much
relieved by the use of tar-water, which might prolong and cheer their
lives. I do therefore recommend to them the use of a cordial, not only
safe and innocent, but giving health and spirit as sure as other
cordials destroy them.

I do verily think there is not any other medicine whatsoever so
effectual to restore a crazy constitution and cheer a dreary mind, or so
likely to subvert that gloomy empire of the spleen which tyrannizeth
over the better sort (as they are called) of these free nations, and
maketh them, in spite of their liberty and property, more wretched
slaves than even the subjects of absolute power who breathe clear air in
a sunny climate, while men of low degree often enjoy a tranquillity and
content that no advantage of birth or fortune can equal. Such indeed was
the case while the rich alone could afford to be debauched; but when
even beggars became debauchees, the case was altered.

The public virtue and spirit of the British legislature never showed
itself more conspicuous in any act, than in that for suppressing the
immoderate use of distilled spirits among the people, whose strength
and numbers constitute the true wealth of a nation: though evasive arts
will, it is feared, prevail so long as distilled spirits of any kind are
allowed, the character of Englishmen in general being that of Brutus,
_Quicquid vult valde vult_ [whatever he desires he desires intensely].
But why should such a canker be tolerated in the vitals of a State,
under any pretense, or in any shape whatsoever? Better by far the whole
present set of distillers were pensioners of the public, and their trade
abolished by law; since all the benefit thereof put together would not
balance the hundredth part of its mischief.

This tar-water will also give charitable relief to the ladies, who often
want it more than the parish poor; being many of them never able to make
a good meal, and sitting pale and puny, and forbidden like ghosts, at
their own table, victims of vapors and indigestion.

Studious persons also, pent up in narrow holes, breathing bad air, and
stooping over their books, are much to be pitied. As they are debarred
the free use of air and exercise, this I will venture to recommend as
the best succedaneum to both; though it were to be wished that modern
scholars would, like the ancients, meditate and converse more in walks
and gardens and open air, which upon the whole would perhaps be no
hindrance to their learning, and a great advantage to their health. My
own sedentary course of life had long since thrown me into an ill habit,
attended with many ailments, particularly a nervous colic, which
rendered my life a burden, and the more so because my pains were
exasperated by exercise. But since the use of tar-water, I find, though
not a perfect recovery from my old and rooted illness, yet such a
gradual return of health and ease, that I esteem my having taken this
medicine the greatest of all temporal blessings, and am convinced that
under Providence I owe my life to it.



To the concert-goer the name Hector Berlioz calls up a series of vast
and magnificent whirlwinds of vocal and orchestral sonority, the
thoughts of scores that sound and look imposingly complex to the eyes
and ears of both the educated and uneducated in the composer's art. We
have a vision of close pages embodying the most unequivocal and drastic
of musical "realism." The full audacity and mastery of a certain sort of
genius are represented in his vast works. They bespeak, too, the
combative musician and reformer. Berlioz took the kingdom of music
by violence.

[Illustration: Hector Berlioz]

His _chef d'oeuvres_ do not all say to us as much as he meant them to
say, not as much as they all uttered twenty years ago. There is much
clay as well as gold in them. But such tremendous products of his energy
and intellect as the 'Requiem,' the 'Te Deum,' 'The Damnation of Faust,'
his best descriptive symphonies such as the 'Romeo and Juliet,' are yet
eloquent to the public and to the critical-minded. His best was so very
good that his worst--weighed as a matter of principle or execution,
regarded as music or "programme music"--can be excused.

Berlioz's actual biography is a long tale of storm and stress. Not only
was he slow in gaining appreciation while he lived; full comprehension
of his power was not granted him till after his energetic life was over.
Recognition in his own country is incomplete to day. He was born in
1803, near picturesque Grenoble, in the little town of Côte St. André,
the son of an excellent country doctor. Sent to Paris to study medicine,
he became a musician against his father's wish, and in lieu of the
allowance that his father promptly withdrew, the young man lived by
engaging in the chorus of the Gymnase, and by catching at every straw
for subsistence. He became a regular music-student of the Conservatory,
under the admirable Lesueur and Reicha; quitted the Conservatory in
disgust at its pedantry, in 1825; and lived and advanced in musical
study as best he could for a considerable time. His convictions in art
were founded largely on the rock of Gluck, Mozart, Beethoven, and
Weber; and however modern, and however widely his work departs from such
academic models, Berlioz never forswore a certain allegiance to these
great and serene masters. He returned to the Conservatory, studied hard,
gained the Prix de Rome, gradually took a prominent place among Parisian
composers, and was as enthusiastically the subject of a cult as was
Wagner. His concerts and the production of his operas encountered
shameful cabals. His strongest works were neglected or ill-served. To
their honor, German musicians understood him, Schumann and Liszt in
especial. Only in Germany to-day are his colossal operas heard. The
Italian Paganini showed a generous interest in his struggles. Russia and
Austria too admired him, while his compatriots hissed. His career was
one of endless work, disappointments, brief successes, battles, hopes,
and despairs. Personally, too, it was full of the happiness and
unhappiness of the artistic temperament.

It was between the two periods of his Conservatory life that he endured
his chief sentimental misfortune,--his falling in love with and finally
marrying Henrietta Smithson. Miss Smithson was a young English actress
playing Shakespearean roles in France with a passing success. She was
exquisitely lovely--Delaroche has painted her spirituelle beauty in his
'Ophelia.' The marriage was the typically unfortunate artist-match; and
she became a paralytic invalid for years. After her death, tours in
Germany and elsewhere, new works, new troubles, enthusiasms, and
disappointments filled up the remainder of the composer's days. He
returned to his beloved Dauphiné, war-worn and almost as one who has
outlived life. In his provincial retreat he composed the huge operatic
duology 'The Trojans at Carthage,' and 'The Taking of Troy,' turning
once more to Virgil, his early literary love. Neither of them is often
heard now, any more than his amazing 'Benvenuto Cellini.' Their author
died in Dauphiné in 1869, weary, disenchanted, but conscious that he
would be greater in the eyes of a coming generation than ever he had
been during his harassed life.

Berlioz's literary remains are valuable as criticisms, and their
personal matter is of brisk and varied charm. His intense feeling for
Shakespeare influenced his whole æsthetic life. He was extremely well
read. His most unchecked tendency to romanticism was balanced by a fine
feeling for the classics. He loved the greater Greek and Latin writers.
His Autobiography is a perfect picture of himself emotionally, and
exhibits his wide æsthetic nature. His Letters are equally faithful as
portraiture. He possessed a distinctively literary style. He tells us
how he fell in love--twice, thrice; records the disgraceful cabals and
intrigues against his professional success, and explains how a landscape
affected his nerves. He is excellent reading, apparently without taking
much pains to be so. Vivacity, wit, sincerity, are salient traits. In
his volume of musical essays entitled 'A Travers Chants' (an
untranslatable title which may be paraphrased 'Memoirs of Music and
Musicians') are superior appreciations of musicians and interpreters and
performances in opera-house and concert-hall, expressed with grace and
taste in the _feuilletonist's_ best manner. In the Journal des Débats,
year by year, he wrote himself down indisputably among the great French
critics; and he never misused his critical post to make it a lever for
his own advantage. His great treatise on Orchestration is a standard
work not displaced by Gevaert or more recent authorities. He was not
only a musical intelligence of enormous capacity: he offers perhaps as
typical an embodiment of the French artistic temperament as can be
pointed out.


From Berlioz's Autobiography

It appears, however,--so at least I am assured,--that the Italians do
occasionally listen. But at any rate, music to the Milanese, no less
than to the Neapolitans, Romans, Florentines, and Genoese, means nothing
but an air, a duet, or a trio, well sung. For anything beyond this they
feel simply aversion or indifference. Perhaps these antipathies are
mainly due to the wretched performance of their choruses and orchestras,
which effectually prevents their knowing anything good outside the
beaten track they have so long followed. Possibly, too, they may to a
certain extent understand the flights of men of genius, if these latter
are careful not to give too rude a shock to their rooted predilections.
The great success of 'Guillaume Tell' at Florence supports this opinion,
and even Spontini's sublime 'Vestale' obtained a series of brilliant
representations at Naples some twenty-five years ago. Moreover, in those
towns which are under the Austrian rule, you will see the people rush
after a military band, and listen with avidity to the beautiful German
melodies, so unlike their usual insipid cavatinas. Nevertheless, in
general it is impossible to disguise the fact that the Italians as a
nation really appreciate only the material effects of music, and
distinguish nothing but its exterior forms.

Indeed, I am much inclined to regard them as more inaccessible to the
poetical side of art, and to any conceptions at all above the common,
than any other European nation. To the Italians music is a sensual
pleasure, and nothing more. For this most beautiful form of expression
they have scarcely more respect than for the culinary art. In fact, they
like music which they can take in at first hearing, without reflection
or attention, just as they would do with a plate of macaroni.

Now, we French, mean and contemptible musicians as we are, although we
are no better than the Italians when we furiously applaud a trill or a
chromatic scale by the last new singer, and miss altogether the beauty
of some grand recitative or animated chorus, yet at least we can listen,
and if we do not take in a composer's ideas it is not our fault. Beyond
the Alps, on the contrary, people behave in a manner so humiliating both
to art and to artists, whenever any representation is going on, that I
confess I would as soon sell pepper and spice at a grocer's in the Rue
St. Denis as write an opera for the Italians--nay, I would _sooner_
do it.

Added to this, they are slaves to routine and to fanaticism to a degree
one hardly sees nowadays, even at the Academy. The slightest unforeseen
innovation, whether in melody, harmony, rhythm, or instrumentation, puts
them into a perfect fury; so much so, that the _dilettanti_ of Rome, on
the appearance of Rossini's 'Barbiere di Seviglia' (which is Italian
enough in all conscience), were ready to kill the young maestro for
having the insolence to do anything unlike Paisiello.

But what renders all hope of improvement quite chimerical, and tempts
one to believe that the musical feeling of the Italians is a mere
necessary result of their organization,--the opinion both of Gall and
Spurzheim,--is their love for all that is dancing, brilliant,
glittering, and gay, to the utter neglect of the various passions by
which the characters are animated, and the confusion of time and
place--in a word, of good sense itself. Their music is always laughing:
and if by chance the composer in the course of the drama permits himself
for one moment not to be absurd, he at once hastens back to his
prescribed style, his melodious roulades and _grupetti_, his trills and
contemptible frivolities, either for voice or orchestra; and these,
succeeding so abruptly to something true to life, have an unreal effect,
and give the _opera seria_ all the appearance of a parody or caricature.

I could quote plenty of examples from famous works; but speaking
generally of these artistic questions, is it not from Italy that we get
those stereotyped conventional forms adopted by so many French
composers, resisted by Cherubim and Spontini alone among the Italians,
though rejected entirely by the Germans? What well-organized person with
any sense of musical expression could listen to a quartet in which four
characters, animated by totally conflicting passions, should
successively employ the same melodious phrase to express such different
words as these: "O, toi que j'adore!" "Quelle terreur me glace!" "Mon
coeur bat de plaisir!" "La fureur me transporte!" To suppose that music
is a language so vague that the natural inflections of fury will serve
equally well for fear, joy, and love, only proves the absence of that
sense which to others makes the varieties of expression in music as
incontestable a reality as the existence of the sun.... I regard the
course taken by Italian composers as the inevitable result of the
instincts of the public, which react more or less on the composers


From the Autobiography

Now for another intrigue, still more cleverly contrived, the black
depths of which I hardly dare fathom. I incriminate no one; I simply
give the naked facts, without the smallest commentary, but with
scrupulous exactness. General Bernard having himself informed me that my
Requiem was to be performed on certain conditions, ... I was about to
begin my rehearsals when I was sent for by the Director of the

"You know," said he, "that Habeneck has been commissioned to conduct all
the great official musical festivals?" ("Come, good!" thought I: "here
is another tile for my devoted head.") "It is true that you are now in
the habit of conducting the performance of your works yourself; but
Habeneck is an old man" (another tile), "and I happen to know that he
will be deeply hurt if he does not preside at your Requiem. What terms
are you on with him?"

"What terms? We have quarreled. I hardly know why. For three years he
has not spoken to me. I am not aware of his motives, and indeed have not
cared to ask. He began by rudely refusing to conduct one of my concerts.
His behavior towards me has been as inexplicable as it is uncivil.
However, as I see plainly that he wishes on the present occasion to
figure at Marshal Damrémont's ceremony, and as it would evidently be
agreeable to you, I consent to give up the baton to him, on condition
that I have at least one full rehearsal."

"Agreed," replied the Director; "I will let him know about it."

The rehearsals were accordingly conducted with great care. Habeneck
spoke to me as if our relations with each other had never been
interrupted, and all seemed likely to go well.

The day of the performance arrived, in the Church of the Invalides,
before all the princes, peers, and deputies, the French press, the
correspondents of foreign papers, and an immense crowd. It was
absolutely essential for me to have a great success; a moderate one
would have been fatal, and a failure would have annihilated me

Now listen attentively.

The various groups of instruments in the orchestra were tolerably widely
separated, especially the four brass bands introduced in the 'Tuba
mirum,' each of which occupied a corner of the entire orchestra. There
is no pause between the 'Dies Iræ' and the 'Tuba mirum,' but the pace of
the latter movement is reduced to half what it was before. At this point
the whole of the brass enters, first all together, and then in passages,
answering and interrupting, each a third higher than the last. It is
obvious that it is of the greatest importance that the four beats of the
new _tempo_ should be distinctly marked, or else the terrible explosion,
which I had so carefully prepared with combinations and proportions
never attempted before or since, and which, rightly performed, gives
such a picture of the Last Judgment as I believe is destined to live,
would be a mere enormous and hideous confusion.

With my habitual mistrust, I had stationed myself behind Habeneck, and
turning my back on him, overlooked the group of kettle-drums, which he
could not see, when the moment approached for them to take part in the
general melee. There are perhaps one thousand bars in my Requiem.
Precisely in that of which I have just been speaking, when the movement
is retarded, and the wind instruments burst in with their terrible
flourish of trumpets; in fact, just in _the_ one bar where the
conductor's motion is absolutely indispensable, Habeneck _puts down his
baton, quietly takes out his snuff box_, and proceeds to take a pinch
of snuff. I always had my eye in his direction, and instantly turned
rapidly on one heel, and springing forward before him, I stretched out
my arm and marked the four great beats of the new movement. The
orchestras followed me, each in order. I conducted the piece to the end,
and the effect which I had longed for was produced. When, at the last
words of the chorus, Habeneck saw that the 'Tuba mirum' was saved, he
said, "What a cold perspiration I have been in! Without you we should
have been lost." "Yes, I know," I answered, looking fixedly at him. I
did not add another word.... Had he done it on purpose? ... Could it be
possible that this man had dared to join my enemy, the Director, and
Cherubini's friends, in plotting and attempting such rascality? I don't
wish to believe it ... but I cannot doubt it. God forgive me if I am
doing the man injustice!


From the Autobiography

Of all the ancient composers, Gluck has, I believe, the least to fear
from the incessant revolutions of art. He sacrificed nothing either to
the caprices of singers, the exigencies of fashion, or the inveterate
routine with which he had to contend on his arrival in France, after his
protracted struggles with the Italian theatres. Doubtless his conflicts
at Milan, Naples, and Parma, instead of weakening him, had increased his
strength by revealing its full extent to himself; for in spite of the
fanaticism then prevalent in our artistic customs, he broke these
miserable trammels and trod them underfoot with the greatest ease. True,
the clamor of the critics once succeeded in forcing him into a reply;
but it was the only indiscretion with which he had to reproach himself,
and thenceforth, as before, he went straight to his aim in silence. We
all know what that aim was; we also know that it was never given to any
man to succeed more fully. With less conviction or less firmness, it is
probable that, notwithstanding his natural genius, his degenerate works
would not have long survived those of his mediocre rivals now completely
forgotten. But truth of expression, purity of style, and grandeur of
form belong to all time. Gluck's fine passages will always be fine.
Victor Hugo is right: the heart never grows old.


From the Autobiography

You will not, my dear Demarest, expect an analysis from me of Bach's
great work: such a task would quite exceed my prescribed limits. Indeed,
the movement performed at the Conservatoire three years ago may be
considered the type of the author's style throughout the work. The
Germans profess an unlimited admiration for Bach's recitatives; but
their peculiar characteristic necessarily escaped me, as I did not
understand the language and was unable to appreciate their expression.
Whoever is familiar with our musical customs in Paris must witness, in
order to believe, the attention, respect, and even reverence with which
a German public listens to such a composition. Every one follows the
words on the book with his eyes; not a movement among the audience, not
a murmur of praise or blame, not a sound of applause; they are listening
to a solemn discourse, they are hearing the gospel sung, they are
attending divine service rather than a concert. And really such music
ought to be thus listened to. They adore Bach, and believe in him,
without supposing for a moment that his divinity could ever be called
into question. A heretic would horrify them, he is forbidden even to
speak of him. God is God and Bach is Bach. Some days after the
performance of Bach's _chef d'oeuvre_, the Singing Academy announced
Graun's 'Tod Jesu.' This is another sacred work, a holy book; the
worshipers of which are, however, mainly to be found in Berlin, whereas
the religion of Bach is professed throughout the north of Germany.


From the Autobiography

Dramatic art in the time of Shakespeare was more appreciated by the
masses than it is in our day by those nations which lay most claim to
possess a feeling for it. Music is essentially aristocratic; it is a
daughter of noble race, such as princes only can dower nowadays; it must
be able to live poor and unmated rather than form a _mésalliance_.


From the Autobiography

I have now come to the grand drama of my life; but I shall not relate
all its painful details. It is enough to say that an English company
came over to perform Shakespeare's plays, then entirely unknown in
France, at the Odéon. I was present at the first performance of
'Hamlet,' and there, in the part of Ophelia, I saw Miss Smithson, whom I
married five years afterward. I can only compare the effect produced by
her wonderful talent, or rather her dramatic genius, on my imagination
and heart, with the convulsion produced on my mind by the work of the
great poet whom she interpreted. It is impossible to say more.

This sudden and unexpected revelation of Shakespeare overwhelmed me. The
lightning-flash of his genius revealed the whole heaven of art to me,
illuminating its remotest depths in a single flash. I recognized the
meaning of real grandeur, real beauty, and real dramatic truth; and I
also realized the utter absurdity of the ideas circulated by Voltaire in
France about Shakespeare, and the pitiful pettiness of our old poetic
school, the offspring of pedagogues and _frères ignorantins_.

But the shock was too great, and it was a long while before I recovered
from it. I became possessed by an intense, overpowering sense of
sadness, that in my then sickly, nervous state produced a mental
condition adequately to describe which would take a great physiologist.
I could not sleep, I lost my spirits, my favorite studies became
distasteful to me, and I spent my time wandering aimlessly about Paris
and its environs. During that long period of suffering, I can only
recall four occasions on which I slept, and then it was the heavy,
death-like sleep produced by complete physical exhaustion. These were
one night when I had thrown myself down on some sheaves in a field near
Ville-Juif; one day in a meadow in the neighborhood of Sceaux; once on
the snow on the banks of the frozen Seine, near Neuilly; and lastly, on
a table in the Café du Cardinal at the corner of the Boulevard des
Italiens and the Rue Richelieu, where I slept for five hours, to the
terror of the _garçons_, who thought I was dead and were afraid to
come near me.

It was on my return from one of these wanderings, in which I must have
seemed like one seeking his soul, that my eyes fell on Moore's 'Irish
Melodies,' lying open on my table at the song beginning "When he who
adores thee." I seized my pen, and then and there wrote the music to
that heart-rending farewell, which is published at the end of my
collection of songs, 'Irlande,' under the title of 'Elégie.' This is the
only occasion on which I have been able to vent any strong feeling in
music while still under its influence. And I think that I have rarely
reached such intense truth of musical expression, combined with so much
realistic power of harmony.


From the 'Autobiography'

I have often wondered why theatrical managers everywhere have such a
marked predilection for what genuine artists, cultivated minds, and even
a certain section of the public itself persist in regarding as very poor
manufacture, short-lived productions, the handiwork of which is as
valueless as the raw material itself. Not as though platitudes always
succeeded better than good works; indeed, the contrary is often the
case. Neither is it that careful compositions entail more expense than
"shoddy." It is often just the other way. Perhaps it arises simply from
the fact that the good works demand the care, study, attention, and, in
certain cases, even the mind, talent, and inspiration of every one in
the theatre, from the manager down to the prompter. The others, on the
contrary, being made especially for lazy, mediocre, superficial,
ignorant, and silly people, naturally find a great many supporters.
Well! a manager likes, above everything, whatever brings him in amiable
speeches and satisfied looks from his underlings, he likes things that
require no learning and disturb no accepted ideas or habits, which
gently go with the stream of prejudice, and wound no self-love, because
they reveal no incapacity; in a word, things which do not take too long
to get up.



Born in 1091, at Fontaines, a castle of his father Tescelin, near Dijon,
France, and devotedly instructed by his pious and gentle mother Aleth,
Bernard of Clairvaux was from early childhood imbued with an active
religious enthusiasm. When the time came to choose his way of life,
instead of going into battle with his knighted brothers, he made them,
as well as his uncle the count of Touillon, join a band of thirty
companions, with whom he knelt in the rude chapel at Citeaux to beg the
tonsure from Abbot Stephen Harding. To rise at two o'clock in the
morning and chant the prayer-offices of the church until nine, to do
hard manual labor until two, when the sole meal of the day--composed of
vegetable food only--was taken, to labor again until nightfall and sing
the vespers until an early bedtime hour: such was the Cistercian's daily
observance of his vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience,--vows which
Bernard and his followers were to lay down only upon the cross of ashes
spread upon the hard cell floor to receive their outstretched,
dying bodies.

[Illustration: SAINT BERNARD]

Citeaux became famous from the coming of these new recruits. There was,
in those tough old days, a soldierly admiration for faithfulness to
discipline; and when Bernard was professed in 1114, Abbot Stephen was
obliged to enlarge the field of work. Bernard was sent in 1115 to build
a house and clear and cultivate a farm in a thickly wooded and
thief-infested glen to the north of Dijon, known as the Valley of
Wormwood. Here at the age of twenty-four, in a rude house built by their
own hands with timber cut from the land, the young abbot and his
companions lived like the sturdy pioneers of our Northwest, the earth
their floor and narrow wooden bunks in a low dark loft their beds. Of
course the stubborn forest gave way slowly, and grudgingly opened sunny
hillsides to the vine and wheat-sheaf. The name of the settlement was
changed to Clairvaux, but for many years the poor monks' only food was
barley bread, with broth made from boiled beech leaves. Here Tescelin
came in his old age to live under the rule of his sons; and Humbeline,
the wealthy and rank-proud daughter, one day left her gay retinue at the
door of their little abbey and went to join the nuns at Jouilly.

While Bernard was studying and planting at Clairvaux, the word of his
piety and worth went everywhere through the land, and he came to be
consulted not only by his Superior at Citeaux, but by villein and noble,
even to the august persons of Louis the Fat of France and Henry the
Norman of England. His gentleness and integrity became the chief
reliance of the royal house of France, and his sermons and letters began
to be quoted at council board and synod even as far as Rome. The
austerity and poverty of the Cistercians had caused some friends of the
monks of Cluny to fall under Bernard's zealous indignation. He wrote to
William of St. Thierry a famous letter, mildly termed an Apology; in
which, by the most insinuating and biting satire, the laxity and
indulgence which had weakened or effaced the power of monastic example
(from which arraignment the proud house of Cluny was deemed not to
escape scot-free) were lashed with uncompromising courage.

France and Burgundy, with the more or less helpful aid of the Norman
dukes in England, had been very loyal to the interests of the Papacy.
When the schism of Anacletus II. arose in 1130, Innocent II., driven
from Rome by the armed followers of Peter de Leon, found his way at once
to the side of Louis VI. There he found Bernard, and upon him he leaned
from that time until the latter had hewed a road for him back to Rome
through kings, prelates, statesmen, and intriguers, with the same
unflinching steadfastness with which he had cut a way to the sunlight
for his vines and vegetables in the Valley of Wormwood. Bernard it was
who persuaded Henry of England to side with Innocent, and it was he who
stayed the revival of the question of investitures and won the Emperor
to the Pope at Liege. At the Council of Rheims in October 1131, Bernard
was the central figure; and when the path was open for a return to
Italy, the restored Pope took the abbot with him, leaving in return a
rescript releasing Citeaux from tithes. Bernard stayed in Italy until
1135, and left Innocent secure in Rome.

After a short period of peace at Clairvaux, he had to hurry off again to
Italy on account of the defection of the influential monastery of Monte
Casino to Anacletus.

Not long after his last return from Italy, Bernard met Pierre Abélard.
This brilliant and unfortunate man had incurred the charge of heresy,
and at some time in the year 1139 Bernard was induced to meet and confer
with him. Nothing seems to have resulted from the conference, for
Abélard went in 1140 to the Bishop of Sens and demanded an opportunity
of being confronted with Bernard at an approaching synod. The abbot of
Clairvaux, although unwilling, was at last persuaded to accept the
challenge. Louis VII., King of France, Count Theobald of Champagne, and
the nobles of the realm assembled to witness the notable contest.
Abélard came with a brilliant following; but on the second day of the
synod, to the surprise of everybody, he abruptly closed the proceeding
by appealing to Rome. The works of Abélard were condemned, but his
appeal and person were respected, and Bernard prepared a strong
condemnatory letter to be sent to the Pope. As the great scholar was on
his way to Rome to follow his appeal, he stayed to rest at Cluny with
Peter the Venerable, who persuaded him to go to Bernard. When the two
great hearts met in the quiet of Clairvaux, all animosities were
resolved in peace; and Abélard, returning to Cluny, abandoned his appeal
and observed the rule of the house until his death, which he endured, as
Peter the Venerable wrote to Héloise, fully prepared and comforted, at
Châlons in 1142.

The infidels of the East having taken Edessa in 1146, the power of the
Christians in the Holy Land was broken; and Eugenius III., who had been
a monk of Clairvaux, appointed Bernard to preach a new crusade. He set
on foot a vast host under the personal leadership of Louis VII. and
Conrad the Emperor, accompanied by Queen Eleanor and many noble ladies
of both realms. The ill fortunes which attended this war brought to
Bernard the greatest bitterness of his life. So signal was the failure
of the Second Crusade, that but a pitiful remnant of the brilliant army
which had crossed the Bosphorus returned to Europe, and Bernard was
assailed with execration from hut and castle throughout the length of
Europe. His only answer was as gentle as his life: "Better that I be
blamed than God." He did not neglect, however, to point out that the
evil lives and excesses of those who attempted the Crusade were the real
causes of the failure of the Christian arms.

In Languedoc in 1147 he quelled a dangerous heresy, and silenced
Gilbert, bishop of Poitiers, at the Council of Rheims.

In 1148 Malachy, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland, who nine
years before had visited Clairvaux and formed a lasting friendship for
Bernard, came there again to die in the arms of his friend. It is
related that the two saints had exchanged habits upon the first visit,
and that Malachy wore that of Bernard on his death-bed. The funeral
sermon preached by Bernard upon the life and virtue of his Irish comrade
is reputed to be one of the finest extant. It seemed as if the Gael had
come to show the Goth the way of death. Bernard's health, early broken
by self-imposed austerity and penances, had never been robust, and it
had often seemed that nothing but the vigor of his will had kept him
from the grave. In the year 1153 he was stricken with a fatal illness.
Yet when the archbishop of Trèves came to his bedside, imploring his aid
to put an end to an armed quarrel between the nobles and the people of
Metz, he went cheerfully but feebly to the field between the contending
parties, and by words which came with pain and in the merest whispers,
he persuaded the men who were already at each other's throats to forget
their enmities.

He died at Clairvaux on January 12th, 1153, and was buried, as he
wished, in the habit of Saint Malachy. In 1174 he was sainted, and his
life is honored in the liturgy of the church on the 20th of August.

The marks of Saint Bernard's character were sweetness and gentle
tolerance in the presence of honest opposition, and implacable vigor
against shams and evil-doing. His was the perfect type of well-regulated
individual judgment. His humility and love of poverty were true and
unalterable. In Italy he refused the mitres of Genoa and Milan in turn,
and in France successively declined the sees of Châlons, Langres, and
Rheims. He wrote and spoke with simplicity and directness, and with an
energy and force of conviction which came from absolute command of his
subject. He did not disdain to use a good-tempered jest as occasion
required, and his words afford some pleasant examples of naïve puns. He
was a tireless letter-writer, and some of his best writings are in that
form. He devoted much labor to his sermons on the Canticle of Canticles,
the work remaining unfinished at his death. He wrote a long poem on the
Passion, one beautiful hymn of which is included in the Roman Breviary.


     Jesu! the very thought of thee
       With sweetness fills my breast,
     But sweeter far thy face to see
       And in thy presence rest.

     Nor voice can sing nor heart can frame,
       Nor can the memory find,
     A sweeter sound than thy blest name,
       O Savior of mankind!

     O hope of every contrite heart!
       O joy of all the meek!
     To those who fall, how kind thou art,
       How good to those who seek!

     But what to those who find? Ah, this
       Nor tongue nor pen can show.
     The love of Jesus, what it is
       None but his loved ones know.

     Jesu! our only joy be thou,
       As thou our prize wilt be!
     Jesu! be thou our glory now
       And through eternity!


From the Apology to the Abbot William of St. Thierry

There is no conversation concerning the Scriptures, none concerning the
salvation of souls; but small-talk, laughter, and idle words fill the
air. At dinner the palate and ears are equally tickled--the one with
dainties, the other with gossip and news, which together quite prevent
all moderation in feeding. In the mean time dish after dish is set on
the table; and to make up for the small privation of meat, a double
supply is provided of well-grown fish. When you have eaten enough of the
first, if you taste the second course, you will seem to yourself hardly
to have touched the former: such is the art of the cooks, that after
four or five dishes have been devoured, the first does not seem to be in
the way of the last, nor does satiety invade the appetite.... Who could
say, to speak of nothing else, in how many forms eggs are cooked and
worked up? with what care they are turned in and out, made hard or soft,
or chopped fine; now fried, now roasted, now stuffed; now they are
served mixed with other things, now by themselves. Even the external
appearance of the dishes is such that the eye, as well as the taste, is

Not only have we lost the spirit of the old monasteries, but even its
outward appearance. For this habit of ours, which of old was the sign of
humility, by the monks of our day is turned into a source of pride. We
can hardly find in a whole province wherewithal we condescend to be
clothed. The monk and the knight cut their garments, the one his cowl,
the other his cloak, from the same piece. No secular person, however
great, whether king or emperor, would be disgusted at our vestments if
they were only cut and fitted to his requirements. But, say you,
religion is in the heart, not in the garments? True; but you, when you
are about to buy a cowl, rush over the towns, visit the markets,
examine the fairs, dive into the houses of the merchants, turn over all
their goods, undo their bundles of cloth, feel it with your fingers,
hold it to your eyes or to the rays of the sun, and if anything coarse
or faded appears, you reject it. But if you are pleased with any object
of unusual beauty or brightness, you at once buy it, whatever the price.
I ask you, Does this come from the heart, or your simplicity?

I wonder that our abbots allow these things, unless it arises from the
fact that no one is apt to blame any error with confidence if he cannot
trust in his own freedom from the same; and it is a right human quality
to forgive without much anger those self-indulgences in others for which
we ourselves have the strongest inclination. How is the light of the
world overshadowed! Those whose lives should have been the way of life
to us, by the example they give of pride, become blind leaders of the
blind. What a specimen of humility is that, to march with such pomp and
retinue, to be surrounded with such an escort of hairy men, so that one
abbot has about him people enough for two bishops. I lie not when I say,
I have seen an abbot with sixty horses after him, and even more. Would
you not think, as you see them pass, that they were not fathers of
monasteries, but lords of castles--not shepherds of souls, but princes
of provinces? Then there is the baggage, containing table-cloths, and
cups and basins, and candlesticks, and well-filled wallets--not with the
coverlets, but the ornaments of the beds. My lord abbot can never go
more than four leagues from his home without taking all his furniture
with him, as if he were going to the wars, or about to cross a desert
where necessaries cannot be had. Is it quite impossible to wash one's
hands in, and drink from, the same vessel? Will not your candle burn
anywhere but in that gold or silver candlestick of yours, which you
carry with you? Is sleep impossible except upon a variegated mattress,
or under a foreign coverlet? Could not one servant harness the mule,
wait at dinner, and make the bed? If such a multitude of men and horses
is indispensable, why not at least carry with us our necessaries, and
thus avoid the severe burden we are to our hosts?...

[Illustration: _MONASTIC LUXURY._
Photogravure from a Painting by Edward Grützner.]

By the sight of wonderful and costly vanities men are prompted to give,
rather than to pray. Some beautiful picture of a saint is exhibited--and
the brighter the colors the greater the holiness attributed to it: men
run, eager to kiss; they are invited to give, and the beautiful is
more admired than the sacred is revered. In the churches are suspended,
not _coronae_, but wheels studded with gems and surrounded by lights,
which are scarcely brighter than the precious stones which are near
them. Instead of candlesticks, we behold great trees of brass fashioned
with wonderful skill, and glittering as much through their jewels as
their lights. What do you suppose is the object of all this? The
repentance of the contrite, or the admiration of the gazers? O vanity of
vanities! but not more vain than foolish. The church's walls are
resplendent, but the poor are not there.... The curious find wherewith
to amuse themselves; the wretched find no stay for them in their misery.
Why at least do we not reverence the images of the saints, with which
the very pavement we walk on is covered? Often an angel's mouth is spit
into, and the face of some saint trodden on by passers-by.... But if we
cannot do without the images, why can we not spare the brilliant colors?
What has all this to do with monks, with professors of poverty, with men
of spiritual minds?

Again, in the cloisters, what is the meaning of those ridiculous
monsters, of that deformed beauty, that beautiful deformity, before the
very eyes of the brethren when reading? What are disgusting monkeys
there for, or satyrs, or ferocious lions, or monstrous centaurs, or
spotted tigers, or fighting soldiers, or huntsmen sounding the bugle?
You may see there one head with many bodies, or one body with numerous
heads. Here is a quadruped with a serpent's tail; there is a fish with a
beast's head; there a creature, in front a horse, behind a goat; another
has horns at one end, and a horse's tail at the other. In fact, such an
endless variety of forms appears everywhere, that it is more pleasant to
read in the stonework than in books, and to spend the day in admiring
these oddities than in meditating on the law of God. Good God! if we are
not ashamed of these absurdities, why do we not grieve at the cost
of them?


"As the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon."--Sol. Song i. 5

Perhaps both members of the comparison--viz., "As the tents of Kedar, as
the curtains of Solomon"--refer only to the first words, "I am black."
It may be, however, that the simile is extended to both clauses, and
each is compared with each. The former sense is the more simple, the
latter the more obscure. Let us try both, beginning with the latter,
which seems the more difficult. There is no difficulty, however, in the
first comparison, "I am black as the tents of Kedar," but only in the
last. For Kedar, which is interpreted to mean "darkness" or "gloom," may
be compared with blackness justly enough; but the curtains of Solomon
are not so easily likened to beauty. Moreover, who does not see that
"tents" fit harmoniously with the comparison? For what is the meaning of
"tents" except our bodies, in which we sojourn for a time? Nor have we
an abiding city, but we seek one to come. In our bodies, as under tents,
we carry on warfare. Truly, we are violent to take the kingdom. Indeed,
the life of man here on earth is a warfare; and as long as we do battle
in this body, we are absent from the Lord,--i.e., from the light. For
the Lord is light; and so far as any one is not in Him, so far he is in
darkness, i.e., in Kedar. Let each one then acknowledge the sorrowful
exclamation as his own:--"Woe is me that my sojourn is prolonged! I have
dwelt with those who dwell in Kedar. My soul hath long sojourned in a
strange land." Therefore this habitation of the body is not the mansion
of the citizen, nor the house of the native, but either the soldier's
tent or the traveler's inn. This body, I say, is a tent, and a tent of
Kedar, because, by its interference, it prevents the soul from beholding
the infinite light, nor does it allow her to see the light at all,
except through a glass darkly, and not face to face.

Do you not see whence blackness comes to the Church--whence a certain
rust cleaves to even the fairest souls? Doubtless it comes from the
tents of Kedar, from the practice of laborious warfare, from the long
continuance of a painful sojourn, from the straits of our grievous
exile, from our feeble, cumbersome bodies; for the corruptible body
presseth down the soul, and the earthly tabernacle weigheth down the
mind that museth upon many things. Therefore the souls' desire to be
loosed, that being freed from the body they may fly into the embraces of
Christ. Wherefore one of the miserable ones said, groaning, "O wretched
man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death!" For a
soul of this kind knoweth that, while in the tents of Kedar, she cannot
be entirely free from spot or wrinkle, nor from stains of blackness, and
wishes to go forth and to put them off. And here we have the reason why
the spouse calls herself black as the tents of Kedar. But now, how is
she beautiful as the curtains of Solomon? Behind these curtains I feel
that an indescribable holiness and sublimity are veiled, which I dare
not presume to touch, save at the command of Him who shrouded and sealed
the mystery. For I have read, He that is a searcher of Majesty shall be
overwhelmed with the glory. I pass on therefore. It will devolve on you,
meanwhile, to obtain grace by your prayers, that we may the more
readily, because more confidently, recur to a subject which needs
attentive minds; and it may be that the pious knocker at the door will
discover what the bold explorer seeks in vain.


Twelfth Century


Little is known concerning the monk Bernard, sometimes called Bernard of
Morlay and sometimes Bernard of Cluny. The former name is probably
derived from the place of his origin, the latter from the fact that in
the introduction to his poem 'De Contemptu Mundi' he describes himself
as a brother of the monks of Cluny. He lived in the twelfth century, a
period of much learning in the church; and that he was himself a man of
broad scholarship and brilliant abilities, the Latin poem, his only
surviving work, abundantly testifies.

This poem, divided into three books, consists in all of about three
thousand lines. It is introduced by a short address in prose to Father
Peter, the abbot of the monastery, in which the author describes the
peculiar operations of his mind in undertaking and accomplishing his
marvelous poem. He believes and asserts, "not arrogantly, but in all
humility and therefore boldly," that he had divine aid. "Unless the
spirit of wisdom and understanding had been with me and filled me, I had
never been able to construct so long a work in such a difficult metre."

This metre is peculiar. In technical terms each line consists of three
parts: the first part including two dactyls, the second part two
dactyls, the third part one dactyl and one trochee. The final trochee, a
long and a short syllable, rhymes with the following or preceding line.
There is also a rhyme, in each line, of the second dactyl with the
fourth. This will be made plain to the ordinary reader by quoting the
first two lines of the poem, divided into feet:--

     Hora no | vissima | tempora | pessima | sunt, vigi | lemus;
     Ecce mi | naciter | imminet | arbiter | ille su | premus.

The adoption of such a metre would seem to be a clog on flexibility and
force of expression. But in this poem it is not so. The author rejoices
in absolute freedom of diction. The rhythm and rhyme alike lend
themselves to the uses, now of bitter satire and revilings, now of
overpowering hope and exultant joy.

The title scarcely gives an idea of the subject-matter of the poem. The
old Benedictine, living for the time in his cell, had nevertheless known
the world of his day, had lived in it and been of it. To him it seemed
an evil world, full of crimes, of moils, of deceits, of abominations;
the Church seemed corrupt, venal, shameless, and Rome the centre and the
soul of this accursed world. Pondering on these conditions, the monk
turned his weary gaze toward the celestial country, the country of
purity and peace, and to the King on his throne, the centre and source
of eternal beatitude. The contrast, on which he dwelt for a long time,
filled him on the one hand with burning indignation, on the other with
entrancing visions and longings.

At last he broke out into magnificent poetry. It is not possible to
translate him into any other language than the Latin in which he wrote,
and preserve any of the grandeur and beauty which result from the union
of ardent thought with almost miraculous music of language. Dr. Neale
aptly speaks of the majestic sweetness which invests Bernard's poem. The
expression applies specially to those passages, abounding in all parts
of the poem, in which he describes the glory and the peace of the better
country. Many of these have been translated or closely imitated by Dr.
Neale, with such excellent effect that several hymns which are very
popular in churches of various denominations have been constructed from
Dr. Neale's translations. Other portions of the poem, especially those
in which the vices and crimes of the Rome of that time are denounced and
lashed with unsparing severity, have never been translated, and are not
likely ever to be, because of the impossibility of preserving in English
the peculiar force of the metre; and translation without this would be
of small value. The fire of the descriptions of heaven is increased by
the contrast in which they stand with descriptions of Rome in the
twelfth century. Here, for example, is a passage addressed to Rome:--

     "Fas mihi dicere, fas mihi scribere 'Roma fuisti,'
     Obruta moenibus, obruta moribus, occubuisti.
     Urbs ruis inclita, tam modo subdita, quam prius alta:
     Quo prius altior, tam modo pressior, et labefacta.
     Fas mihi scribere, fas mihi dicere 'Roma, peristi.'
     Sunt tua moenia vociferantia 'Roma ruisti.'"

And here is one addressed to the City of God:--

     "O sine luxibus, O sine luctibus, O sine lite,
     Splendida curia, florida patria, patria vitæ.
     Urbs Syon inclita, patria condita littore tuto,
     Te peto, te colo, te flagro, te volo, canto, saluto."

While no translation exists of this remarkable work, nor indeed can be
made to reproduce the power and melody of the original, yet a very good
idea of its spirit may be had from the work of Dr. J. Mason Neale, who
made from selected portions this English poem, which is very much more
than what he modestly called it, "a close imitation." Dr. Neale has made
no attempt to reproduce the metre of the original.

[ILLUSTRATION: signature: W.T. Prince]


     Brief life is here our portion,
       Brief sorrow, short-lived care:
     The Life that knows no ending,
       The tearless Life, is _there_:
     O happy retribution,
        Short toil, eternal rest!
     For mortals and for sinners
        A mansion with the Blest!
     That we should look, poor wanderers,
        To have our home on high!
     That worms should seek for dwellings
        Beyond the starry sky!
     And now we fight the battle,
        And then we wear the Crown
     Of full and everlasting
        And passionless renown:
     Then glory, yet unheard of,
        Shall shed abroad its ray;
     Resolving all enigmas,
        An endless Sabbath-day.
     Then, then, from his oppressors
        The Hebrew shall go free,
     And celebrate in triumph
        The year of Jubilee:
     And the sun-lit land that recks not
        Of tempest or of fight
     Shall fold within its bosom
        Each happy Israelite.
     'Midst power that knows no limit,
        And wisdom free from bound,
     The Beatific Vision
        Shall glad the Saints around;
     And peace, for war is needless,
        And rest, for storm is past,
     And goal from finished labor,
        And anchorage at last.
     There God, my King and Portion,
        In fullness of His Grace,
     Shall we behold forever,
        And worship face to face;
     There Jacob into Israel,
        From earthlier self estranged,
     And Leah into Rachel
        Forever shall be changed;
     There all the halls of Syon
        For aye shall be complete:
     And in the land of Beauty
        All things of beauty meet.
     To thee, O dear, dear country!
        Mine eyes their vigils keep;
     For very love, beholding
        Thy happy name, they weep:
     The mention of Thy glory
        Is unction to the breast,
     And medicine in sickness,
        And love, and life, and rest.
     O one, O onely mansion!
        O Paradise of joy!
     Where tears are ever banished,
        And smiles have no alloy:
     Beside thy living waters
        All plants are, great and small;
     The cedar of the forest,
        The hyssop of the wall;
     With jaspers glow thy bulwarks,
        Thy streets with emeralds blaze;
     The sardius and the topaz
        Unite in thee their rays;
     Thine ageless walls are bonded
        With amethyst unpriced;
     Thy saints build up its fabric,
        And the Corner-stone is CHRIST.
     Thou hast no shore, fair Ocean!
        Thou hast no time, bright Day!
     Dear fountain of refreshment
        To pilgrims far away!
     Upon the Rock of Ages
        They raise thy holy Tower.
     Thine is the Victor's laurel,
        And thine the golden dower.
     Thou feel'st in mystic rapture,
        O Bride that know'st no guile,
     The Prince's sweetest kisses,
        The Prince's loveliest smile.
     Unfading lilies, bracelets
        Of living pearl, thine own;
     The Lamb is ever near thee,
        The Bridegroom thine alone;
     And all thine endless leisure
        In sweetest accents sings
     The ills that were thy merit,
        The joys that are thy King's.
     Jerusalem the golden!
        With milk and honey blest,
     Beneath thy contemplation
        Sink heart and voice opprest;
     I know not, oh, I know not
        What social joys are there,
     What radiancy of glory,
        What light beyond compare;
     And when I fain would sing them,
        My spirit fails and faints,
     And vainly would it image
        The assembly of the Saints.
     They stand, those halls of Syon,
        All jubilant with song,
     And bright with many an Angel,
        And many a Martyr throng;
     The Prince is ever in them,
        The light is aye serene;
     The Pastures of the Blessed
        Are decked in glorious sheen;
     There is the Throne of David,
        And there, from toil released,
     The shout of them that triumph,
        The song of them that feast;
     And they, beneath their Leader,
        Who conquered in the fight,
     For ever and for ever
        Are clad in robes of white.
     Jerusalem the glorious!
        The glory of the elect,
     O dear and future vision
        That eager hearts expect:
     Ev'n now by faith I see thee,
        Ev'n here thy walls discern;
     To thee my thoughts are kindled
        And strive and pant and yearn:
     Jerusalem the onely,
        That look'st from Heav'n below,
     In thee is all my glory,
        In me is all my woe:
     And though my body may not,
        My spirit seeks thee fain;
     Till flesh and earth return me
        To earth and flesh again.
     O Land that seest no sorrow!
        O State that fear'st no strife!
     O princely bowers! O Land of flowers!
        O realm and Home of Life!


(Fifteenth Century)

About the year 1475 one William Caxton, a prosperous English wool
merchant of good standing and repute, began printing books. The art
which he introduced into his native country was quickly taken up by
others; first, it seems, by certain monks at St. Albans, and shortly
afterward by Wynkyn de Worde, who had been an apprentice to Caxton. In
1486 the press at St. Albans issued two books printed in English, of
which one was entitled 'The Boke of St. Albans.' Of this volume only
three perfect copies are known to exist. It is a compilation of
treatises on hawking, on hunting, and on heraldry, and contained but
little evidence as to their authorship. Ten years later Wynkyn de Worde
reprinted the work with additions, under the following elaborate title,
in the fashion of the time:--'Treatyse perteynynge to Hawkynge,
Huntynge, and Fysshynge with an Angle; also a right noble Treatyse on
the Lynage of Coote Armeris; ending with a Treatyse which specyfyeth of
Blasyng of Armys.'

[Illustration: JULIANA BERNERS]

The authorship of this volume, one of the earliest books printed in the
English language, has generally been ascribed to a certain (or
uncertain) Juliana Berners, Bernes, or Barnes, who lived in the early
part of the fifteenth century, and who is reputed to have been prioress
of the Nunnery of Sopwell,--long since in ruins,--near St. Albans, and
close to the little river Ver, which still conceals in its quiet pools
the speckled trout. If this attribution be correct, Dame Berners was the
first woman to write a book in English. Although the question of the
authorship is by no means settled, yet it is clear that the printer
believed the treatise on hunting to have been written by this lady, and
the critics now generally assign a portion at least of the volume to
her. In the sixteenth century the book became very popular, and was
reprinted many times.

Of the several treatises it contains, that on fishing has the greatest
interest, an interest increased by the fact that it probably suggested
'The Compleat Angler' of Izaak Walton, which appeared one hundred and
sixty years later.



Salomon in his parablys sayth that a glad spyryte makyth a flourynge
aege, that is a fayre aege and a longe. And syth it is soo: I aske this
questyon, whiche ben the meanes and the causes that enduce a man in to a
mery spyryte: Truly to my beste dyscrecon it seemeth good dysportes and
honest gamys in whom a man Joyeth without any repentaunce after.

Thenne folowyth it yt gode dysportes and honest games ben cause of
mannys fayr aege and longe life. And therefore now woll I chose of foure
good disportes and honest gamys, that is to wyte: of huntynge: hawkynge:
fysshynge: and foulynge. The best to my symple dyscrecon whyche is
fysshynge: called Anglynge wyth a rodde: and a lyne and an hoke. And
thereof to treate as my symple wytte may suffyce: both for the said
reason of Salomon and also for the reason that phisyk makyth in this
wyse. _Si tibi deficiant medici tibi fiant: hec tria mens leta labor et
moderata dieta_. Ye shall vnderstonde that this is for to saye, Yf a man
lacke leche or medicyne he shall make thre thynges his leche and
medicyne: and he shall nede neuer no moo. The fyrste of theym is a mery
thought. The seconde is labour not outrageo. The thyrd is dyete

Here folowyth the order made to all those whiche shall haue the
vnderstondynge of this forsayd treatyse & vse it for theyr pleasures.

Ye that can angle & take fysshe to your pleasures as this forsayd
treatyse techyth & shewyth you: I charge & requyre you in the name of
alle noble men that ye fysshe not in noo poore mannes seuerall water: as
his ponde: stewe: or other necessary thynges to kepe fysshe in wythout
his lycence & good wyll. Nor that ye vse not to breke noo mannys gynnys
lyenge in theyr weares & in other places dve vuto theym. Ne to take the
fysshe awaye that is taken in theym. For after a fysshe is taken in a
mannys gynne yf the gynne be layed in the comyn waters: or elles in
suche waters as he hireth, it is his owne propre goodes. And yf ye take
it awaye ye robbe hym: whyche is a ryght shamfull dede to ony noble man
to do yt that theuys & brybours done: whyche are punysshed for theyr
evyll dedes by the necke & other wyse whan they maye be aspyed & taken.
And also yf ye do in lyke manere as this treatise shewyth you: ye shal
haue no nede to take of other menys: whiles ye shal haue ynough of your
owne takyng yf ye lyste to labour therfore. Whyche shall be to you a
very pleasure to se the fayr bryght shynynge scalyd fysshes dysceyved by
your crafty meanes & drawen vpon londe. Also that ye breke noo mannys
heggys in goynge abowte your dysportes: ne opyn noo mannes gates but
that ye shytte theym agayn. Also ye shall not vse this forsayd crafty
dysporte for no covety senes to thencreasynge & sparynge of your money
oonly, but pryncypally for your solace & to cause the helthe of your
body, and specyally of your soule. For whanne ye purpoos to goo on your
disportes in fysshyng ye woll not desyre gretly many persones wyth you,
whiche myghte lette you of your game. And thenne ye maye serue God
deuowtly in sayenge affectuously youre custumable prayer. And thus
doynge ye shall eschewe & voyde many vices, as ydylnes whyche is
pryncypall cause to enduce man to many other vyces, as it is ryght
well knowen.

Also ye shall not be to rauenous in takyng of your sayd game as to moche
at one tyme: whyche ye maye lyghtly doo, yf ye doo in euery poynt as
this present treatyse shewyth you in euery poynt, whyche lyghtly be
occasyon to dystroye your owne dysportes & other mennys also. As whan ye
haue a suffycyent mese ye sholde coveyte nomore as at that tyme. Also ye
shall besye yourselfe to nouryssh the game in all that ye maye: & to
dystroye all such thynges as ben devourers of it. And all those that
done after this rule shall haue the blessynge of god & saynt Petyr,
whyche be theym graunte that wyth his precyous blood vs boughte.

And for by cause that this present treatyse sholde not come to the
hondys of eche ydle persone whyche wolde desire it yf it were enpryntyd
allone by itself & put in a lytyll plaunflet therfore I have compylyd it
in a greter volume of dyverse bokys concernynge to gentyll & noble men
to the entent that the forsayd ydle persones whyche sholde have but
lytyll mesure in the sayd dysporte of fyshyng sholde not by this meane
utterly dystroye it.


Reprinted by Thomas White, Crane Court




Walter Besant, born in Portsmouth, England, in 1838, did not begin his
career as a novelist till he was thirty years old. His preparation for
the works that possess so certain a maturity of execution, with as
certain an ideal of performance, was made at King's College, London, and
afterwards at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he took mathematical
honors. Abandoning his idea of entering the Church, he taught for seven
years in the Royal College of Mauritius. Ill health compelled his return
to England, and he then took up literature as a profession. His first
novel he had the courage to burn when the first publisher to whom he
showed it refused it.

But the succeeding years brought forth 'Studies in Early French Poetry,'
a delicate and scholarly series of essays; an edition of Rabelais, of
whom he is the biographer and disciple, and, with Professor Palmer, a
'History of Jerusalem,' a work for which he had equipped himself when
secretary of the Palestine Exploration Fund.

[Illustration: WALTER BESANT]

Mr. Besant was also a student in another special field. He knew his
Dickens as no other undergraduate in the University knew that branch of
polite literature, and passed an examination on the 'Pickwick Papers'
which the author declared that he himself would have failed in. By these
processes Mr. Besant fitted himself mentally and socially for the task
of story-telling. The relations of a man of letters to the rest of the
world are comprehensively revealed in the long list of his novels.

From the beginning he was one who comes with a tale "which holdeth
children from play and old men from the chimney corner"; nor is the
charm lessened by the sense of a living and kindly voice addressing the
hearer. His novels are easy reading, and do not contain an obscure
sentence. As art is an expression of the artist's mind, and not a rigid
ecclesiastical canon, it may be expressed in as many formulas as there
are artists. Therefore, while to few readers life casts the rosy
reflection that we have learned to call Besantine, one would not wish it
to disappear nor to be discredited.

It was in the year 1869 that Walter Besant, by a happy chance, made the
acquaintance of James Rice, the editor of Once a Week, and became a
contributor to that magazine. In 1871 that literary partnership between
them began, which is interesting in the history of collaboration. Mr.
Rice had been a barrister, and added legal lore to Mr. Besant's varied
and accurate literary equipment. The brilliant series of novels that
followed includes 'Ready-Money Morti-boy,' 'My Little Girl,' 'With Harp
and Crown,' 'The Golden Butterfly,' 'The Seamy Side,' and 'The Chaplain
of the Fleet.' The latter story, that of an innocent young country girl
left to the guardianship of her uncle, chaplain of the Fleet prison, by
the death of her father, is delicately and surprisingly original. The
influence of Dickens is felt in the structure of the story, and the
faithful, almost photographic fidelity to locality betrays in whose
footsteps the authors have followed; but the chaplain, though he belongs
to a family whose features are familiar to the readers of 'Little
Dorrit' and 'Great Expectations,' has not existed until he appears in
these pages,--pompous, clever, and without principle, but not lacking in
natural affection. The young girl whose guileless belief in everybody
forces the worst people to assume the characters her purity and
innocence endows them with, is to the foul prison what Picciola was to
Charney. Nor will the moralist find fault with the author whose kind
heart teaches him to include misfortune in his catalogue of virtues.

Mr. Rice died in 1882, and 'All Sorts and Conditions of Men,' Mr.
Besant's first independent novel, appeared the same year. It is a novel
with a purpose, and accomplished its purpose because an artist's hand
was necessary to paint the picture of East London that met with such a
response as the People's Palace. The appeal to philanthropy was a new
one. It was a plea for a little more of the pleasures and graces of life
for the two million of people who inhabit the east end of the great
city. It is not a picture of life in the lowest phases, where the scenes
are as dramatic as in the highest social world, but a story of human
life; the nobility, the meanness, the pathos of it in hopelessly
commonplace surroundings, where the fight is not a hand-to-hand struggle
with bitter poverty or crime, but with dullness and monotony. The
characters in 'All Sorts and Conditions of Men' are possibly more
typical than real, but one hesitates to question either characters or
situation. The "impossible story" has become true, and the vision that
the enthusiastic young hero and heroine dream has materialized into a
lovely reality.

'The Children of Gibeon' (1884) and 'The World Went Very Well Then'
(1885) are written with the same philanthropic purpose; but if Sir
Walter Besant were not first of all a story-teller, the possessor of a
living voice that holds one spellbound till he has finished his tale,
the reader would be more sensible of the wide knowledge of the novelist,
and his familiarity with life in its varied forms.

Here are about thirty novels, displaying an intimate knowledge of many
crafts, trades, and professions, the ways of landsman and voyager, of
country and town, of the new world and the old, of modern charlatanism
as shown in 'Herr Paulus,' of the "woman question" among London Jews as
in the 'Rebel Queen,' and the suggestion of the repose and sufficiency
of life's simple needs as told in 'Call Her Mine' and 'Celia's Arbor.'

In the 'Ivory Gate' the hero is the victim of a remarkable
hallucination; in the story of 'The Inner House' the plummet of
suggestion plunges into depths not sounded before, and the soul's
regeneration is unfolded in the loveliest of parables.

The range of Sir Walter Besant reaches from the somewhat
conventionalized 'Dorothy Forster' to 'St. Katharine's Tower,' where
deep tragedy approaches the melodramatic, or from the fascination of
'The Master Craftsman' to the 'Wapping Idyll' of the heaps of miser's
treasure. There is largeness of stroke in this list, and a wide
prospect. His humor is of the cheerful outdoor kind, and the laugh is at
foibles rather than weakness. He pays little attention to fashion in
literature, except to give a good-natured nod to a passing fad.

It would be difficult to classify him under any school. His stories are
not analytical, nor is one conscious of that painstaking fidelity to art
which is no longer classed among the minor virtues. When he fights, it
is with wrong and oppression and the cheerless monotony of the lives of
the poor; but he fights classes rather than individuals, although
certain characters like Fielding the plagiarist, in 'Armorel of
Lyonesse,' are studied from life. The village of bankrupts in 'All in a
Garden Fair' is a whimsical conceit, like the disguise of Angela in 'All
Sorts and Conditions of Men,' and the double identity of Edmund Gray in
'The Ivory Gate.' In reading Besant we are constantly reminded that
humanity is wider than the world; and though its simplest facts are its
greatest, there is both interest and edification in eccentricities.

In 1895 he was made a baronet, and is president of the Society of
Authors, of whom he has been a gallant champion against the publishers.


From Sir Walter Besant's 'London': Harper and Brothers

The London house, either in Saxon or Norman time, presented no kind of
resemblance to the Roman villa. It had no cloisters, no hypocaust, no
suite or sequence of rooms. This unlikeness is another proof, if any
were wanting, that the continuity of tenure had been wholly broken. If
the Saxons went into London, as has been suggested, peaceably, and left
the people to carry on their old life and their trade in their own way,
the Roman and British architecture--no new thing, but a style grown up
in course of years and found fitted to the climate--would certainly have
remained. That, however, was not the case. The Englishman developed his
house from the patriarchal idea.

First, there was the common hall; in this the household lived, fed,
transacted business, and made their cheer in the evenings. It was built
of timber, and to keep out the cold draughts it was afterwards lined
with tapestry. At first they used simple cloths, which in great houses
were embroidered and painted; _perches_ of various kinds were affixed to
the walls, whereon the weapons, the musical instruments, the cloaks,
etc., were hung up. The lord and lady sat on a high seat; not, I am
inclined to think, on a dais at the end of the hall, which would have
been cold for them, but on a great chair near the fire, which was
burning in the middle of the hall. This fashion long continued. I have
myself seen a college hall warmed by a fire in a brazier burning under
the lantern of the hall. The furniture consisted of benches; the table
was laid on trestles, spread with a white cloth, and removed after
dinner; the hall was open to all who came, on condition that the guest
should leave his weapons at the door.

The floor was covered with reeds, which made a clean, soft, and warm
carpet, on which the company could, if they pleased, lie round the fire.
They had carpets or rugs also, but reeds were commonly used. The
traveler who chances to find himself at the ancient and most interesting
town of Kingston-on-Hull, which very few English people, and still fewer
Americans, have the curiosity to explore, should visit the Trinity
House. There, among many interesting things, he will find a hall where
reeds are still spread, but no longer so thickly as to form a complete
carpet. I believe this to be the last survival of the reed carpet.

The times of meals were: the breakfast at about nine; the "noon-meat,"
or dinner, at twelve; and the "even-meat," or supper, probably at a
movable time, depending on the length of the day. When lighting was
costly and candles were scarce, the hours of sleep would be naturally
longer in winter than in the summer.

In their manner of living the Saxons were fond of vegetables, especially
of the leek, onion, and garlic. Beans they also had (these were
introduced probably at the time when they commenced intercourse with the
outer world), pease, radishes, turnips, parsley, mint, sage, cress, rue,
and other herbs. They had nearly all our modern fruits, though many show
by their names, which are Latin or Norman, a later introduction. They
made use of butter, honey, and cheese. They drank ale and mead. The
latter is still made, but in small quantities, in Somerset and Hereford
shires. The Normans brought over the custom of drinking wine.

In the earliest times the whole family slept in the common hall. The
first improvement was the erection of the solar, or upper chamber. This
was above the hall, or a portion of it, or over the kitchen and buttery
attached to the hall. The arrangement may be still observed in many of
the old colleges of Oxford or Cambridge. The solar was first the
sleeping-room of the lord and lady; though afterward it served not only
this purpose, but also for an ante-chamber to the dormitory of the
daughters and the maid-servants. The men of the household still slept in
the hall below. Later on, bed recesses were contrived in the wall, as
one may find in Northumberland at the present day. The bed was commonly,
but not for the ladies of the house, merely a big bag stuffed with
straw. A sheet wrapped round the body formed the only night-dress. But
there were also pillows, blankets, and coverlets. The early English bed
was quite as luxurious as any that followed after, until the invention
of the spring mattress gave a new and hitherto unhoped-for joy to the
hours of night.

The second step in advance was the ladies' bower, a room or suite of
rooms set apart for the ladies of the house and their women. For the
first time, as soon as this room was added, the women could follow their
own vocations of embroidery, spinning, and needlework of all kinds,
apart from the rough and noisy talk of the men.

The main features, therefore, of every great house, whether in town or
country, from the seventh to the twelfth century, were the hall, the
solar built over the kitchen and buttery, and the ladies' bower.

There was also the garden. In all times the English have been fond of
gardens. Bacon thought it not beneath his dignity to order the
arrangement of a garden. Long before Bacon, a writer of the twelfth
century describes a garden as it should be. "It should be adorned on
this side with roses, lilies, and the marigold; on that side with
parsley, cost, fennel, southernwood, coriander, sage, savery, hyssop,
mint, vine, dettany, pellitory, lettuce, cresses, and the peony. Let
there be beds enriched with onions, leeks, garlic, melons, and
scallions. The garden is also enriched by the cucumber, the soporiferous
poppy, and the daffodil, and the acanthus. Nor let pot herbs be wanting,
as beet-root, sorrel, and mallow. It is useful also to the gardener to
have anise, mustard, and wormwood.... A noble garden will give you
medlars, quinces, the pear main, peaches, pears of St. Regle,
pomegranates, citrons, oranges, almonds, dates, and figs." The latter
fruits were perhaps attempted, but one doubts their arriving at
ripeness. Perhaps the writer sets down what he hoped would be some
day achieved.

The indoor amusements of the time were very much like our own. We have a
little music in the evening; so did our forefathers. We sometimes have a
little dancing; so did they, but the dancing was done for them. We go to
the theatres to see the mime; in their days the mime made his theatre in
the great man's hall. He played the fiddle and the harp; he sang songs,
he brought his daughter, who walked on her hands and executed
astonishing capers; the gleeman, minstrel, or jongleur was already as
disreputable as when we find him later on with his _ribauderie_. Again,
we play chess; so did our ancestors. We gamble with dice; so did they.
We feast and drink together; so did they. We pass the time in talk; so
did they. In a word, as Alphonse Karr put it, the more we change, the
more we remain the same.

Out-of-doors, as Fitz-Stephen shows, the young men skated, wrestled,
played ball, practiced archery, held water tournaments, baited bull and
bear, fought cocks, and rode races. They were also mustered sometimes
for service in the field, and went forth cheerfully, being specially
upheld by the reassuring consciousness that London was always on the
winning side.

The growth of the city government belongs to the history of London.
Suffice it here to say that the people in all times enjoyed a freedom
far above that possessed by any other city of Europe. The history of
municipal London is a history of continual struggle to maintain this
freedom against all attacks, and to extend it and to make it
impregnable. Already the people are proud, turbulent, and confident in
their own strength. They refuse to own any other lord but the king
himself; there is no Earl of London. They freely hold their free and
open meetings, their folk-motes,--in the open space outside the
northwest corner of St. Paul's Churchyard. That they lived roughly,
enduring cold, sleeping in small houses in narrow courts; that they
suffered much from the long darkness of winter; that they were always in
danger of fevers, agues, "putrid" throats, plagues, fires by night, and
civil wars; that they were ignorant of letters,--three schools only for
the whole of London,--all this may very well be understood. But these
things do not make men and women wretched. They were not always
suffering from preventable disease; they were not always hauling their
goods out of the flames; they were not always fighting. The first and
most simple elements of human happiness are three; to wit, that a man
should be in bodily health, that he should be free, that he should enjoy
the produce of his own labor. All these things the Londoner possessed
under the Norman kings nearly as much as in these days they can be
possessed. His city has always been one of the healthiest in the world;
whatever freedom could be attained he enjoyed; and in that rich trading
town all men who worked lived in plenty.

The households, the way of living, the occupations of the women, can be
clearly made out in every detail from the Anglo-Saxon literature. The
women in the country made the garments, carded the wool, sheared the
sheep, washed the things, beat the flax, ground the corn, sat at the
spinning-wheel, and prepared the food. In the towns they had no shearing
to do, but all the rest of their duty fell to their province. The
English women excelled in embroidery. "English" work meant the best kind
of work. They worked church vestments with gold and pearls and precious
stones. "Orfrey," or embroidery in gold, was a special art. Of course
they are accused by the ecclesiastics of an overweening desire to wear
finery; they certainly curled their hair, and, one is sorry to read,
they painted, and thereby spoiled their pretty cheeks. If the man was
the hlaf-ord [lord],--the owner or winner of the loaf,--the wife was the
hlaf-dig [lady], its distributor; the servants and the retainers were
hlaf-oetas, or eaters of it. When nunneries began to be founded, the
Saxon ladies in great numbers forsook the world for the cloister. And
here they began to learn Latin, and became able at least to carry on
correspondence--specimens of which still exist--in that language. Every
nunnery possessed a school for girls. They were taught to read and to
write their own language and Latin, perhaps also rhetoric and
embroidery. As the pious Sisters were fond of putting on violet
chemises, tunics, and vests of delicate tissue, embroidered with silver
and gold, and scarlet shoes, there was probably not much mortification
of the flesh in the nunneries of the later Saxon times.

This for the better class. We cannot suppose that the daughters of the
craftsmen became scholars of the nunnery. Theirs were the lower
walks--to spin the linen and to make the bread and carry on the


From 'The Rebel Queen': Harper and Brothers

     "D'un jour intérieur je me sens éclairé,
     Et j'entends une voix qui me dit d'espérer."--LAMARTINE.

"Are you ready, Francesca?"

Nelly ran lightly down the narrow stairs, dressed for Sabbath and
Synagogue. She was dainty and pretty at all times in the matter of
dress, but especially on a summer day, which affords opportunity for
bright color and bright drapery and an ethereal appearance. This morning
she was full of color and light. When, however, she found herself
confronted with Francesca's simple gray dress, so closely fitting, so
faultless, and her black-lace hat with its single rose for color,
Nelly's artistic sense caused her heart to sink like lead. It is not for
nothing that one learns and teaches the banjo; one Art leads to another;
she who knows music can feel for dress. "Oh!" she cried, clasping her
hands. "That's what we can never do!"


"That fit! Look at me! Yet they call me clever. Clara gives me the new
fashions and I copy them, and the girls in our street copy me--poor
things!--and the dressmaker comes to talk things over and to learn from
me. I make everything for myself. And they call me clever! But I can't
get near it; and if I can't nobody can."...

A large detached structure of red brick stood east and west, with a flat
façade and round windows that bore out the truth of the
date--1700--carved upon the front. A word or two in that square
character--that tongue which presents so few attractions to most of us
compared with other tongues--probably corroborated the internal evidence
of the façade and the windows.

"This is the synagogue," said Nelly. She entered, and turning to the
right, led the way up-stairs to a gallery running along the whole side
of the building. On the other side was another gallery. In front of both
was a tolerably wide grill, through which the congregation below could
be seen perfectly.

"This is the women's gallery," whispered Nell--there were not many women
present. "We'll sit in the front. Presently they will sing. They sing
beautifully. Now they're reading prayers and the Law. They've got to
read the whole Law through once a week, you know." Francesca looked
curiously through the grill. When one is in a perfectly strange place,
the first observations made are of small and unimportant things. She
observed that there was a circular inclosure at the east end, as if for
an altar; but there was no altar: two doors indicated a cupboard in the
wall. There were six tall wax-lights burning round the inclosure,
although the morning was fine and bright. At the west end a high screen
kept the congregation from the disturbance of those who entered or went
out. Within the screen was a company of men and boys, all with their
hats and caps on their heads; they looked like the choir. In front of
the choir was a platform railed round. Three chairs were placed at the
back of the platform. There was a table covered with red velvet, on
which lay the book of the Law, a ponderous roll of parchment provided
with silver staves or handles. Before this desk or table stood the
Reader. He was a tall and handsome man, with black hair and full black
beard, about forty years of age. He wore a gown and large Geneva bands,
like a Presbyterian minister; on his head he had a kind of biretta. Four
tall wax candles were placed round the front of the platform. The chairs
were occupied by two or three elders. A younger man stood at the desk
beside the Reader. The service was already begun--it was, in fact,
half over.

Francesca observed next that all the men wore a kind of broad scarf,
made of some white stuff about eight feet long and four feet broad.
Bands of black or blue were worked in the ends, which were also provided
with fringes. "It is the Talleth," Nelly whispered. Even the boys wore
this white robe, the effect of which would have been very good but for
the modern hat, tall or pot, which spoiled all. Such a robe wants a
turban above it, not an English hat. The seats were ranged along the
synagogue east and west. The place was not full, but there were a good
many worshipers. The service was chanted by the Reader. It was a kind of
chant quite new and strange to Francesca. Like many young persons
brought up with no other religion than they can pick up for themselves,
she was curious and somewhat learned in the matter of ecclesiastical
music and ritual, which she approached, owing to her education, with
unbiased mind. She knew masses and anthems and hymns and chants of all
kinds; never had she heard anything of this kind before. It was not
congregational, or Gregorian; nor was it repeated by the choir from
side to side; nor was it a monotone with a drop at the end; nor was it a
florid, tuneful chant such as one may hear in some Anglican services.
This Reader, with a rich, strong voice, a baritone of great power, took
nearly the whole of the service--it must have been extremely
fatiguing--upon himself, chanting it from beginning to end. No doubt, as
he rendered the reading and the prayers, so they had been given by his
ancestors in Spain and Portugal generation after generation, back into
the times when they came over in Phoenician ships to the Carthaginian
colonies, even before the dispersion of the Ten Tribes. It was a
traditional chant of antiquity beyond record--not a monotonous chant.
Francesca knew nothing of the words; she grew tired of trying to make
out whereabouts on the page the Reader might be in the book lent her,
which had Hebrew on one side and English on the other. Besides, the man
attracted her--by his voice, by his energy, by his appearance. She
closed her book and surrendered herself to the influence of the voice
and the emotions which it expressed.

There was no music to help him. From time to time the men in the
congregation lifted up their voices--not seemingly in response, but as
if moved to sudden passion and crying out with one accord. This helped
him a little, otherwise he was without any assistance.

A great Voice. The man sometimes leaned over the Roll of the Law,
sometimes he stood upright, always his great Voice went up and down and
rolled along the roof and echoed along the benches of the women's
gallery. Now the Voice sounded a note of rejoicing; now, but less often,
a note of sadness; now it was a sharp and sudden cry of triumph. Then
the people shouted with him--it was as if they clashed sword on shield
and yelled for victory; now it was a note of defiance, as when men go
forth to fight an enemy; now it sank to a murmur, as of one who consoles
and soothes and promises things to come; now it was a note of rapture,
as if the Promised Land was already recovered.

Was all that in the Voice? Did the congregation, all sitting wrapped in
their white robes, feel these emotions as the Voice thundered and
rolled? I know not. Such was the effect produced upon one who heard this
Voice for the first time. At first it seemed loud, even barbaric; there
was lacking something which the listener and stranger had learned to
associate with worship. What was it? Reverence? But she presently found
reverence In plenty, only of a kind that differed from that of Christian
worship. Then the listener made another discovery. In this ancient
service she missed the note of humiliation. There was no Litany at a
Faldstool. There was no kneeling in abasement; there was no appearance
of penitence, sorrow, or the confession of sins. The Voice was as the
Voice of a Captain exhorting his soldiers to fight. The service was
warlike, the service of a people whose trust in their God is so great
that they do not need to call perpetually upon Him for the help and
forgiveness of which they are assured. Yes, yes--she thought--this is
the service of a race of warriors; they are fighting men: the Lord is
their God; He is leading them to battle: as for little sins, and
backslidings, and penitences, they belong to the Day of Atonement--which
comes once a year. For all the other days in the year, battle and
victory occupy all the mind. The service of a great fighting people; a
service full of joy, full of faith, full of assurance, full of hope and
confidence--such assurance as few Christians can understand, and of
faith to which few Christians can attain. Perhaps Francesca was wrong;
but these were her first impressions, and these are mostly true.

In the body of the synagogue men came late. Under one gallery was a
school of boys, in the charge of a graybeard, who, book in hand,
followed the service with one eye, while he admonished perpetually the
boys to keep still and to listen. The boys grew restless; it was tedious
to them--the Voice which expressed so much to the stranger who knew no
Hebrew at all was tedious to the children; they were allowed to get up
and run into the court outside and then to come back again; nobody
heeded their going in and out. One little boy of three, wrapped, like
the rest, in a white Talleth, ran up and down the side aisle without
being heeded--even by the splendid Beadle with the gold-laced hat, which
looked so truly wonderful above the Oriental Talleth. The boys in the
choir got up and went in and out just as they pleased. Nobody minded.
The congregation, mostly well-to-do men with silk hats, sat in their
places, book in hand, and paid no attention.

Under the opposite gallery sat two or three rows of worshipers, who
reminded Francesca of Browning's poem of St. John's Day at Rome. For
they nudged and jostled each other; they whispered things; they even
laughed over the things they whispered. But they were clad like those in
the open part in the Talleth, and they sat book in hand, and from time
to time they raised their voices with the congregation. They showed no
reverence except that they did not talk or laugh loudly. They were like
the children, their neighbors,--just as restless, just as uninterested,
just as perfunctory. Well, they were clearly the poorer and the more
ignorant part of the community. They came here and sat through the
service because they were ordered so to do; because, like Passover, and
the Feast of Tabernacles, and the Fast of Atonement, it was the Law of
their People.

The women in the gallery sat or stood. They neither knelt nor sang
aloud; they only sat when it was proper to sit, or stood when it was
proper to stand. They were like the women, the village women, in a
Spanish or Italian church, for whom everything is done. Francesca, for
the moment, felt humiliated that she should be compelled to sit apart
from the congregation, railed off in the women's gallery, to have her
religion done for her, without a voice of her own in it at all. So, I
have heard, indignation sometimes fills the bosom of certain ladies when
they reflect upon the fact that they are excluded from the choir, and
forbidden even to play the organ in their own parish church.

The chanting ceased; the Reader sat down. Then the Choir began. They
sang a hymn--a Hebrew hymn--the rhythm and metre were not English; the
music was like nothing that can be heard in a Christian Church. "It is
the music," said Nelly, "to which the Israelites crossed the Red Sea:" a
bold statement, but--why not? If the music is not of Western origin and
character, who can disprove such an assertion? After the hymn the
prayers and reading went on again.

There came at last--it is a long service, such as we poor weak-kneed
Anglicans could not endure--the end. There was a great bustle and
ceremony on the platform; they rolled up the Roll of the Law; they
wrapped it in a purple velvet cloth; they hung over it a silver
breastplate set with twelve jewels for the Twelve Tribes--in memory of
the Urim and Thummim. Francesca saw that the upper ends of the staves
were adorned with silver pomegranates and with silver bells, and they
placed it in the arms of one of those who had been reading the law; then
a procession was formed, and they walked, while the Choir sang one of
the Psalms of David--but not in the least like the same Psalm sung in
an English Cathedral--bearing the Roll of the Law to the Ark, that is to
say, to the cupboard, behind the railing and inclosure at the east end.

The Reader came back. Then with another chanted Prayer--it sounded like
a prolonged shout of continued Triumph--he ended his part of
the service.

And then the choir sang the last hymn--a lovely hymn, not in the least
like a Christian, or at least an English hymn--a psalm that breathed a
tranquil hope and a perfect faith. One needed no words to understand the
full meaning and beauty and depth of that hymn.

The service was finished. The men took off their white scarfs and folded
them up. They stood and talked in groups for a few minutes, gradually
melting away. As for the men under the gallery, who had been whispering
and laughing, they trooped out of the synagogue all together. Evidently,
to them the service was only a form. What is it, in any religion, but a
form, to the baser sort?

The Beadle put out the lights. Nelly led the way down the stairs.
Thinking of what the service had suggested to herself--- all those
wonderful things above enumerated--Francesca wondered what it meant to a
girl who heard it every Sabbath morning. But she refrained from asking.
Custom too often takes the symbolism out of the symbols and the poetry
out of the verse. Then the people begin to worship the symbols and make
a fetich of the words. We have seen this elsewhere--in other forms of
faith. Outside they found Emanuel. They had not seen him in the
congregation, probably because it is difficult to recognize a man merely
by the top of his hat.

"Come," he said, "let us look around the place. Afterwards, perhaps, we
will talk of our Service. This synagogue is built on the site of the one
erected by Manasseh and his friends when Oliver Cromwell permitted them
to return to London after four hundred years of exile. They were forced
to wear yellow hats at first, but that ordinance soon fell into disuse,
like many other abominable laws. When you read about mediaeval laws,
Francesca, remember that when they were cruel or stupid they were seldom
carried into effect, because the arm of the executive was weak. Who was
there to oblige the Jews to wear the yellow hat? The police? There were
no police. The people? What did the people care about the yellow hat?
When the Fire burned down London, sparing not even the great Cathedral,
to say nothing of the Synagogue, this second Temple arose, equal in
splendor to the first. At that time all the Jews in London were
Sephardim of Spain and Portugal and Italy. Even now there are many of
the people here who speak nothing among themselves but Spanish, just as
there are Askenazim who speak nothing among themselves but Yiddish. Come
with me; I will show you something that will please you."

He led the way into another flagged court, larger than the first. There
were stone staircases, mysterious doorways, paved passages, a suggestion
of a cloister, an open space or square, and buildings on all sides with
windows opening upon the court.

"It doesn't look English at all," said Francesca. "I have seen something
like it in a Spanish convent. With balconies and a few bright hangings
and a black-haired woman at the open windows, and perhaps a coat of arms
carved upon the wall, it would do for part of a Spanish street. It is a
strange place to find in the heart of London."

"You see the memory of the Peninsula. What were we saying yesterday?
Spain places her own seal upon everything that belongs to her--people,
buildings, all. What you see here is the central Institute of our
People, the Sephardim--the Spanish part of our People. Here is our
synagogue, here are schools, alms-houses, residence of the Rabbi, and
all sorts of things. You can come here sometimes and think of Spain,
where your ancestors lived. Many generations in Spain have made you--as
they have made me--a Spaniard."

They went back to the first court. On their way out, as they passed the
synagogue, there came running across the court a girl of fifteen or so.
She was bareheaded; a mass of thick black hair was curled round her
shapely head; her figure was that of an English girl of twenty; her eyes
showed black and large and bright as she glanced at the group standing
in the court; her skin was dark; she was oddly and picturesquely dressed
in a grayish-blue skirt, with a bright crimson open jacket. The color
seemed literally to strike the eye. The girl disappeared under a
doorway, leaving a picture of herself in Francesca's mind--a picture to
be remembered.

"A Spanish Jewess," said Emanuel. "An Oriental. She chooses by instinct
the colors that her great-grandmother might have worn to grace the
triumph of David the King."



One of the marked features of literary investigation during the present
century is the interest which it has manifested in the Middle Ages. Not
only have specialists devoted themselves to the detailed study of the
Sagas of the North and the great cycles of Romance in France and
England, but the stories of the Edda, of the Nibelungen, and of
Charlemagne and King Arthur have become popularized, so that to-day they
are familiar to the general reader. There is one class of literature,
however, which was widespread and popular during the Middle Ages, but
which is to-day known only to the student,--that is, the so-called
Bestiaries and Lapidaries, or collections of stories and superstitions
concerning the marvelous attributes of animals and of precious stones.

The basis of all Bestiaries is the Greek Physiologus, the origin of
which can be traced back to the second century before Christ. It was
undoubtedly largely influenced by the zoölogy of the Bible; and in the
references to the Ibex, the Phoenix, and the tree Paradixion, traces of
Oriental and old Greek superstitions can be seen. It was from the Latin
versions of the Greek original that translations were made into nearly
all European languages. There are extant to-day, whole or in fragments,
Bestiaries in German, Old English, Old French, Provençal, Icelandic,
Italian, Bohemian, and even Armenian, Ethiopic, and Syriac. These
various versions differ more or less in the arrangement and number of
the animals described, but all point back to the same ultimate source.

The main object of the Bestiaries was not so much to impart scientific
knowledge, as by means of symbols and allegories to teach the doctrines
and mysteries of the Church: At first this symbolical application was
short and concise, but later became more and more expanded, until it
often occupied more space than the description of the animal which
served as a text.

Some of these animals are entirely fabulous, such as the siren, the
phoenix, the unicorn; others are well known, but possess certain
fabulous attributes. The descriptions of them are not the result of
personal observation, but are derived from stories told by travelers or
read in books, or are merely due to the imagination of the author; these
stories, passing down from hand to hand, gradually became
accepted facts.

These books were enormously popular during the Middle Ages, a fact which
is proved by the large number of manuscripts still extant. Their
influence on literature was likewise very great. To say nothing of the
encyclopaedic works,--such as 'Li Tresors' of Brunetto Latini, the
'Image du Monde,' the 'Roman de la Rose,'--which contain extracts from
the Bestiaries,--there are many references to them in the great writers,
even down to the present day. There are certain passages in Dante,
Chaucer, and Shakespeare, that would be unintelligible without some
knowledge of these mediaeval books of zoölogy.

Hence, besides the interest inherent in these quaint and childish
stories, besides their value in revealing the scientific spirit and
attainments of the times, some knowledge of the Bestiaries is of
undoubted value and interest to the student of literature.

Closely allied to the Bestiaries (and indeed often contained in the same
manuscript) are the Lapidaries, in which are discussed the various kinds
of precious stones, with their physical characteristics,--shape, size,
color, their use in medicine, and their marvelous talismanic properties.
In spite of the fact that they contain the most absurd fables and
superstitions, they were actually used as text-books in the schools, and
published in medical treatises. The most famous of them was written in
Latin by Marbode, Bishop of Rennes (died in 1123), and translated many
times into Old French and other languages.

The following extracts from the Bestiaries are translated from 'Le
Bestiaire' of Guillaume Le Clerc, composed in the year 1210 (edited by
Dr. Robert Reinsch, Leipzig, 1890). While endeavoring to retain somewhat
of the quaintness and naïveté of the original, I have omitted those
repetitions and tautological expressions which are so characteristic of
mediaeval literature. The religious application of the various animals
is usually very long, and often is the mere repetition of the same idea.
The symbolical meaning of the lion here given may be taken as a type of
all the rest.

[Illustration: Signature: L. OSCAR KUHNS]


It is proper that we should first speak of the nature of the lion, which
is a fierce and proud beast and very bold. It has three especially
peculiar characteristics. In the first place it always dwells upon a
high mountain. From afar off it can scent the hunter who is pursuing it.
And in order that the latter may not follow it to its lair it covers
over its tracks by means of its tail. Another wonderful peculiarity of
the lion is that when it sleeps its eyes are wide open, and clear and
bright. The third characteristic is likewise very strange. For when the
lioness brings forth her young, it falls to the ground, and gives no
sign of life until the third day, when the lion breathes upon it and in
this way brings it back to life again.

The meaning of all this is very clear. When God, our Sovereign father,
who is the Spiritual lion, came for our salvation here upon earth, so
skillfully did he cover his tracks that never did the hunter know that
this was our Savior, and nature marveled how he came among us. By the
hunter you must understand him who made man to go astray and seeks after
him to devour him. This is the Devil, who desires only evil.

When this lion was laid upon the Cross by the Jews, his enemies, who
judged him wrongfully, his human nature suffered death. When he gave up
the spirit from his body, he fell asleep upon the holy cross. Then his
divine nature awoke. This must you believe if you wish to live again.

When God was placed in the tomb, he was there only three days, and on
the third day the Father breathed upon him and brought him to life
again, just as the lion did to its young.


The pelican is a wonderful bird which dwells in the region about the
river Nile. The written history[4] tells us that there are two
kinds,--those which dwell in the river and eat nothing but fish, and
those which dwell in the desert and eat only insects and worms. There is
a wonderful thing about the pelican, for never did mother-sheep love her
lamb as the pelican loves its young. When the young are born, the
parent bird devotes all his care and thought to nourishing them. But the
young birds are ungrateful, and when they have grown strong and
self-reliant they peck at their father's face, and he, enraged at their
wickedness, kills them all.

[Footnote 4: The reference here is probably to the 'Liber de Bestiis et
Aliis Rebus' of Hugo de St. Victor.]

On the third day the father comes to them, deeply moved with pity and
sorrow. With his beak he pierces his own side, until the blood flows
forth. With the blood he brings back life into the body of his young[5].

[Footnote 5: There are many allusions in literature to this story. Cf.

     "Like the kind life-rendering pelican,
     Repast them with my blood."--'Hamlet,' iv. 5.

"Those pelican daughters."--Lear, iii. 4. Cf. also the beautiful metaphor
of Alfred de Musset, in his 'Nuit de Mai.']


The eagle is the king of birds. When it is old it becomes young again in
a very strange manner. When its eyes are darkened and its wings are
heavy with age, it seeks out a fountain clear and pure, where the water
bubbles up and shines in the clear sunlight. Above this fountain it
rises high up into the air, and fixes its eyes upon the light of the sun
and gazes upon it until the heat thereof sets on fire its eyes and
wings. Then it descends down into the fountain where the water is
clearest and brightest, and plunges and bathes three times, until it is
fresh and renewed and healed of its old age[6].

[Footnote 6: "Bated like eagles having lately bathed."--'I Henry IV.,'
iv. I.]

The eagle has such keen vision, that if it is high up among the clouds,
soaring through the air, it sees the fish swimming beneath it, in river
or sea; then down it shoots upon the fish and seizes and drags it to the
shore. Again, if unknown to the eagle its eggs should be changed and
others put into its nest,--when the young are grown, before they fly
away, it carries them up into the air when the sun is shining its
brightest. Those which can look at the rays of the sun, without
blinking, it loves and holds dear; those which cannot stand to look at
the light, it abandons, as base-born, nor troubles itself henceforth
concerning them[7].

[Footnote 7:
     "Nay, if thou be that princely eagle's bird,
     Show thy descent by gazing 'gainst the sun."--'3 Henry VI.,' ii. I.]


There is a bird named the phoenix, which dwells in India and is never
found elsewhere. This bird is always alone and without companion, for
its like cannot be found, and there is no other bird which resembles it
in habits or appearance[8]. At the end of five hundred years it feels
that it has grown old, and loads itself with many rare and precious
spices, and flies from the desert away to the city of Leopolis. There,
by some sign or other, the coming of the bird is announced to a priest
of that city, who causes fagots to be gathered and placed upon a
beautiful altar, erected for the bird. And so, as I have said, the bird,
laden with spices, comes to the altar, and smiting upon the hard stone
with its beak, it causes the flame to leap forth and set fire to the
wood and the spices. When the fire is burning brightly, the phoenix lays
itself upon the altar and is burned to dust and ashes.

[Footnote 8: "Were man as rare as phoenix."--'As You Like It,' iv. 3.]

Then comes the priest and finds the ashes piled up, and separating them
softly he finds within a little worm, which gives forth an odor sweeter
than that of roses or of any other flower. The next day and the next the
priest comes again, and on the third day he finds that the worm has
become a full-grown and full-fledged bird, which bows low before him and
flies away, glad and joyous, nor returns again before five
hundred years[9].

[Footnote 9:
                "But as when
     The Bird of Wonder dies, the maiden phoenix,
     Her ashes new create another heir."--'Henry VIII.,' v. 5.]


There is another kind of ant up in Ethiopia, which is of the shape and
size of dogs. They have strange habits, for they scratch into the ground
and extract therefrom great quantities of fine gold. If any one wishes
to take this gold from them, he soon repents of his undertaking; for the
ants run upon him, and if they catch him they devour him instantly. The
people who live near them know that they are fierce and savage, and that
they possess a great quantity of gold, and so they have invented a
cunning trick. They take mares which have unweaned foals, and give them
no food for three days. On the fourth the mares are saddled, and to the
saddles are fastened boxes that shine like gold. Between these people
and the ants flows a very swift river. The famished mares are driven
across this river, while the foals are kept on the hither side. On the
other side of the river the grass is rich and thick. Here the mares
graze, and the ants seeing the shining boxes think they have found a
good place to hide their gold, and so all day long they fill and load
the boxes with their precious gold, till night comes on and the mares
have eaten their fill. When they hear the neighing of their foals they
hasten to return to the other side of the river. There their masters
take the gold from the boxes and become rich and powerful, but the ants
grieve over their loss.


The siren is a monster of strange fashion, for from the waist up it is
the most beautiful thing in the world, formed in the shape of a woman.
The rest of the body is like a fish or a bird. So sweetly and
beautifully does she sing that they who go sailing over the sea, as soon
as they hear the song, cannot keep from going towards her. Entranced by
the music, they fall asleep in their boat, and are killed by the siren
before they can utter a cry[10].

[Footnote 10: References to the siren are innumerable; the most famous
perhaps is Heine's 'Lorelei.' Cf. also Dante, 'Purgatorio,' xix. 19-20.]


In the sea, which is mighty and vast, are many kinds of fish, such as
the turbot, the sturgeon, and the porpoise. But there is one monster,
very treacherous and dangerous. In Latin its name is Cetus. It is a bad
neighbor for sailors. The upper part of its back looks like sand, and
when it rises from the sea, the mariners think it is an island. Deceived
by its size they sail toward it for refuge, when the storm comes upon
them. They cast anchor, disembark upon the back of the whale, cook their
food, build a fire, and in order to fasten their boat they drive great
stakes into what seems to them to be sand. When the monster feels the
heat of the fire which burns upon its back, it plunges down into the
depths of the sea, and drags the ship and all the people after it.

When the fish is hungry it opens its mouth very wide, and breathes forth
an exceedingly sweet odor. Then all the little fish stream thither, and,
allured by the sweet smell, crowd into its throat. Then the whale closes
its jaws and swallows them into its stomach, which is as wide as a

[Footnote 11: "Who is a whale to virginity and devours up all the fry it
finds."--'All's Well that Ends Well,' iv. 3.]


The crocodile is a fierce beast that lives always beside the river Nile.
In shape it is somewhat like an ox; it is full twenty ells long, and as
big around as the trunk of a tree. It has four feet, large claws, and
very sharp teeth; by means of these it is well armed. So hard and tough
is its skin, that it minds not in the least hard blows made by sharp
stones. Never was seen another such a beast, for it lives on land and in
water. At night it is submerged in water, and during the day it reposes
upon the land. If it meets and overcomes a man, it swallows him entire,
so that nothing remains. But ever after it laments him as long as it
lives[12]. The upper jaw of this beast is immovable when it eats, and
the lower one alone moves. No other living creature has this
peculiarity. The other beast of which I have told you (the
water-serpent), which always lives in the water, hates the crocodile
with a mortal hatred. When it sees the crocodile sleeping on the ground
with its mouth wide open, it rolls itself in the slime and mud in order
to become more slippery. Then it leaps into the throat of the crocodile
and is swallowed down into its stomach. Here it bites and tears its way
out again, but the crocodile dies on account of its wounds.

[Footnote 12: "Crocodile tears" are proverbial. Cf:
               "As the mournful crocodile
     With sorrow snares relenting passengers."--'2 Henry VI.,' iii. 1.
     "Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile."--'Othello' iv. 1.]


Now I must tell you of another bird which is courteous and beautiful,
and which loves much and is much loved. This is the turtle-dove. The
male and the female are always together in mountain or in desert, and if
perchance the female loses her companion never more will she cease to
mourn for him, never more will she sit upon green branch or leaf.
Nothing in the world can induce her to take another mate, but she ever
remains loyal to her husband. When I consider the faithfulness of this
bird, I wonder at the fickleness of man and woman. Many husbands and
wives there are who do not love as the turtle-dove; but if the man bury
his wife, before he has eaten two meals he desires to have another woman
in his arms. The turtle-dove does not so, but remains patient and
faithful to her companion, waiting if haply he might return[13].

[Footnote 13:
     "Like to a pair of loving turtle-doves,
     That could not live asunder day or night."--'I Henry VI.,' ii. 2.]


The mandragora is a wild plant, the like of which does not exist. Many
kinds of medicine can be made of its root; this root, if you look at it
closely, will be seen to have the form of a man. The bark is very
useful; when well boiled in water it helps many diseases. The skillful
physicians gather this plant when it is old, and they say that when it
is plucked it weeps and cries, and if any one hears the cry he will
die[14]. But those who gather it do this so carefully that they receive
no evil from it. If a man has a pain in his head or in his body, or in
his hand or foot, it can be cured by this herb. If you take this plant
and beat it and let the man drink of it, he will fall asleep very
softly, and no more will he feel pain[15]. There are two kinds of this
plant,--male and female. The leaves of both are beautiful. The leaf of
the female is thick like that of the wild lettuce.

[Footnote 14: "Would curses kill as doth the mandrake's groan."--'2
Henry VI.,' iii. 2. ]

[Footnote 15:
          "Not poppy, nor mandragora,
     Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world."--'Othello,' iii. 3.]


The following two extracts are translated from 'Les Lapidaires Français
du Moyen Âge,' by Leopold Pannier, Paris, 1882.

The sapphire is beautiful, and worthy to shine on the fingers of a king.
In color it resembles the sky when it is pure and free from clouds[16].
No precious stone has greater virtue or beauty. One kind of sapphire is
found among the pebbles in the country of Libya; but that which comes
from the land of the Turk is more precious. It is called the gem of
gems, and is of great value to men and women. It gives comfort to the
heart and renders the limbs strong and sound. It takes away envy and
perfidy and can set the prisoner at liberty. He who carries it about him
will never have fear. It pacifies those who are angry, and by means of
it one can see into the unknown.

[Footnote 16: Cf. the exquisite line of Dante, 'Purgatorio,' i. 13:--
     'Dolce color d'oriental zaffiro.']

It is very valuable in medicine. It cools those who are feverish and who
on account of pain are covered with perspiration. When powdered and
dissolved in milk it is good for ulcers. It cures headache and diseases
of the eyes and tongue. He who wears it must live chastely and
honorably; so shall he never feel the distress of poverty.


Coral grows like a tree in the sea, and at first its color is green.
When it reaches the air it becomes hard and red. It is half a foot in
length. He who carries it will never be afraid of lightning or tempest.
The field in which it is placed will be very fertile, and rendered safe
from hail or any other kind of storm. It drives away evil spirits, and
gives a good beginning to all undertakings and brings them to a
good end.




Marie-Henri Beyle, French novelist and man of letters, who is better
known under his bizarre pseudonym of Stendhal, is a somewhat unusual
figure among French writers. He was curiously misappreciated by his own
generation, whose literary movements he in turn confessedly ignored. He
is recognized to-day as an important link in the development of modern
fiction, and is even discussed concurrently with Balzac, in the same way
that we speak of Dickens and Thackeray, Emerson and Lowell.

[Illustration: HENRI BEYLE]

There is nothing dramatic in Stendhal's life, which, viewed impartially,
is a simple and somewhat pathetic record of failure and disillusion. He
was six years older than Balzac, having been born January 23d, 1783, in
the small town of Grenoble, in Dauphiné, which, with its narrow
prejudices and petty formalism, seemed to him in after years "the
souvenir of an abominable indigestion." He early developed an abnormal
sensibility, which would have met with ready response had his mother
lived, but which a keen dread of ridicule taught him to hide from an
unsympathetic father and a still more unkind aunt,--later his
step-mother, Séraphie Gagnon. He seemed predestined to be
misunderstood--even his school companions finding him odd, and often
amusing themselves at his expense. Thus he grew up with a sense of
isolation in his own home, and when, in 1800, he had the opportunity of
going to some distant relatives in Paris, the Daru family, he seized it
eagerly. The following year he accompanied the younger Darus to Italy,
and was present at the battle of Marengo. This was the turning-point of
Stendhal's career. He was dazzled by Napoleon's successes, and
fascinated with the beauty and gayety of Milan, where he found himself
for the first time in a congenial atmosphere, and among companions
animated by a common cause. His consequent sense of freedom and
exaltation knew no bounds. Henceforth Napoleon was to be his hero, and
Italy the land of his election; two lifelong passions which furnish the
clew to much that is enigmatic in his character.

During the ensuing years, while he followed the fortunes of Napoleon
throughout the Prussian campaign and until after the retreat from
Moscow, Italy was always present in his thoughts, and when Waterloo
ended his political and military aspirations he hastened back to Milan,
declaring that he "had ceased to be a Frenchman," and settled down to a
life of tranquil Bohemianism, too absorbed in the paintings of Correggio
and in the operas of Rossini to be provident of the future. The
following years, the happiest of his life, were also the period of
Stendhal's chief intellectual growth,--due quite as much to the
influence exerted on him by Italian art and music as by his contact with
men like Manzoni, Monti, and Silvio Pellico. Unfortunately, his
relations with certain Italian patriots aroused the suspicions of the
Austrian police, and he was abruptly banished. He returned to Paris,
where to his surprise life proved more than tolerable, and where he made
many valuable acquaintances, such as Benjamin Constant, Destutt de
Tracy, and Prosper Mérimée. The revolution of July brought him a change
of fortune; for he was in sympathy with Louis Philippe, and did not
scruple to accept the consulship offered him at Cività Vecchia. He soon
found, however, that a small Mediterranean seaport was a poor substitute
for his beloved Milan, while its trying climate undoubtedly shortened
his life. In 1841 failing health forced him to abandon his duties and
return to Paris, where he died of apoplexy on March 23d, 1842.

So much at least of Stendhal's life must be known in order to understand
his writings; all of which, not excepting the novels, belong to what
Ferdinand Brunetière stigmatizes as "personal literature." Indeed, the
chief interest of many of his books lies in the side-lights they throw
upon his curious personality. He was a man of violent contrasts, a
puzzle to his best friends; one day making the retreat from Moscow with
undaunted zeal, the next settling down contentedly in Milan, to the very
_vie de café_ he affected to despise. He was a strange combination of
restless energy and philosophic contemplation; hampered by a morbid
sensibility which tended to increase, but which he flattered himself
that he "had learned to hide under an irony imperceptible to the
vulgar," yet continually giving offense to others by his caustic tongue.
He seemed to need the tonic of strong emotions, and was happiest when
devoting himself heart and soul to some person or cause, whether a
Napoleon, a mistress, or a question of philosophy. His great
preoccupation was the analysis of the human mind, an employment which in
later years became a positive detriment. He was often led to attribute
ulterior motives to his friends, a course which only served to render
him morbid and unjust; while his equally pitiless dissection of his own
sensations often robbed them of half their charm. Even love and war, his
favorite emotions, left him disillusioned, asking "Is that all it
amounts to?" He always had a profound respect for force of character,
regarding even lawlessness as preferable to apathy; but he was
implacable towards baseness or vulgarity. Herein lies, perhaps, the
chief reason for Stendhal's ill success in life; he would never stoop to
obsequiousness or flattery, and in avoiding even the semblance of
self-interest, allowed his fairest chances to pass him by. "I have
little regret for my lost opportunities," he wrote in 1835. "In place of
ten thousand, I might be getting twenty; in place of Chevalier, I might
be Officer of the Legion of Honor: but I should have had to think three
or four hours a day of those platitudes of ambition which are dignified
by the name of politics; I should have had to commit many base acts:" a
brief but admirable epitome of Stendhal's whole life and character.

Aside from his works of fiction, Stendhal's works may be conveniently
grouped under biographies,--'Vie de Haydn, de Mozart, et de Metastase,'
'Vie de Napoléon,' 'Vie de Rossini'; literary and artistic
criticism,--'Histoire de la Peinture en Italie,' 'Racine et
Shakespeare,' 'Mélanges d'Art et de Littérature'; travels,--'Rome,
Naples, et Florence,' 'Promenades dans Rome,' 'Mémoires d'un Touriste';
and one volume of sentimental psychology, his 'Essai sur l'Amour,' to
which Bourget owes the suggestion of his 'Physiologie de l'Amour
Moderne.' Many of these works merit greater popularity, being written in
an easy, fluent style, and relieved by his inexhaustible fund of
anecdote and personal reminiscence. His books of travel, especially, are
charming _causeries_, full of a sympathetic spontaneity which more than
atones for their lack of method; his 'Walks in Rome' is more readable
than two-thirds of the books since written on that subject.

Stendhal's present vogue, however, is due primarily to his novels, to
which he owes the almost literal fulfillment of his prophecy that he
would not be appreciated until 1880. Before that date they had been
comparatively neglected, in spite of Balzac's spontaneous and
enthusiastic tribute to the 'Chartreuse de Parme,' and the appreciative
criticisms of Taine and Prosper Mérimée. The truth is that Stendhal was
in some ways a generation behind his time, and often has an odd,
old-fashioned flavor suggestive of Marivaux and Crébillon _fils_. On the
other hand, his psychologic tendency is distinctly modern, and not at
all to the taste of an age which found Chateaubriand or Madame de Staël
eminently satisfactory. But he appeals strongly to the speculating,
self-questioning spirit of the present day, and Zola and Bourget in turn
have been glad to claim kinship with him.

Stendhal, however, cannot be summarily labeled and dismissed as a
realist or psychologue in the modern acceptation of the term, although
he was a pioneer in both fields. He had a sovereign contempt for
literary style or method, and little dreamed that he would one day be
regarded as the founder of a school. It must be remembered that he was a
soldier before he was a man of letters, and his love of adventure
occasionally got the better of his love of logic, making his novels a
curious mixture of convincing truth and wild romanticism. His heroes are
singularly like himself, a mixture of morbid introspection and restless
energy: he seems to have taken special pleasure in making them succeed
where he had failed in life, and when the spirit of the story-teller
gets the better of the psychologist, he sends them on a career of
adventure which puts to shame Dumas _père_ or Walter Scott. And yet
Stendhal was a born analyst, a self-styled "observer of the human
heart"; and the real merit of his novels lies in the marvelous fidelity
with which he interprets the emotions, showing the inner workings of his
hero's mind from day to day, and multiplying petty details with
convincing logic. But in his preoccupation for mental conditions he is
apt to lose sight of the material side of life, and the symmetry of his
novels is marred by a meagreness of physical detail and a lack of
atmosphere. Zola has laid his finger upon Stendhal's real weakness when
he points out that "the landscape, the climate, the time of day, the
weather,.--Nature herself, in other words,--never seems to intervene and
exert an influence on his characters"; and he cites a passage which in
point of fact admirably illustrates his meaning, the scene from the
'Rouge et Noir', where Julien endeavors to take the hand of Mme. de
Rênal, which he characterizes as "a little mute drama of great power,"
adding in conclusion:--"Give that episode to an author for whom the
_milieu_ exists, and he will make the night, with its odors, its voices,
its soft voluptuousness, play a part in the defeat of the woman. And
that author will be in the right; his picture will be more complete." It
is this tendency to leave nature out of consideration which gives
Stendhal's characters a flavor of abstraction, and caused Sainte-Beuve
to declare in disgust that they were "not human beings, but ingeniously
constructed automatons." Yet it is unfair to conclude with Zola, that
Stendhal was a man for whom the outside world did not exist; he was not
insensible to the beauties of nature, only he looked upon them as a
secondary consideration. After a sympathetic description of the Rhone
valley, he had to add, "But the interest of a landscape is insufficient;
in the long run, some moral or historical interest is indispensable."
Yet he recognized explicitly the influence of climate and environment
upon character, and seems to have been sensible of his own shortcomings
as an author. "I abhor material descriptions," he confesses in
'Souvenirs d'Égotisme': "the _ennui_ of making them deters me from
writing novels."

Nevertheless, aside from his short 'Chroniques' and 'Nouvelles,' and
the posthumous 'Lamiel' which he probably intended to destroy, Stendhal
has left four stories which deserve detailed consideration: 'Armance,'
'Le Rouge et Le Noir,' 'La Chartreuse de Parme,' and the fragmentary
novel 'Lucien Leuwen.'

As has been justly pointed out by Stendhal's sympathetic biographer,
Edouard Rod, the heroes of the four books are essentially of one type,
and all more or less faithful copies of himself; having in common a need
of activity, a thirst for love, a keen sensibility, and an unbounded
admiration for Napoleon--and differing only by reason of the several
_milieus_ in which he has placed them. The first of these, 'Armance,'
appeared in 1827. The hero, Octave, is an aristocrat, son of the Marquis
de Malivert, who "was very rich before the Revolution, and when he
returned to Paris in 1814, thought himself beggared on an income of
twenty or thirty thousand." Octave is the most exaggerated of all
Stendhal's heroes; a mysterious, sombre being, "a misanthrope before his
time"; coupling with his pride of birth a consciousness of its
vanity:--"Had heaven made me the son of a manufacturer of cloth, I
should have worked at my desk from the age of sixteen, while now my sole
occupation has been luxury. I should have had less pride and more
happiness. Ah, how I despise myself!" Yet it is part of Octave's
pretensions to regard himself as superior to love. When he discovers his
passion for his cousin Armance, he is overwhelmed with despair: "I am in
love," he said in a choked voice. "I, in love! Great God!" The object of
this reluctant passion, Armance de Zohiloff, is a poor orphan, dependent
upon a rich relative. Like Octave, she struggles against her affection,
but for better reasons: "The world will look upon me as a lady's-maid
who has entrapped the son of the family." The history of their long and
secret struggle against this growing passion, complicated by outside
incidents and intrigues, forms the bulk of the volume. At last Octave is
wounded in a duel, and moved by the belief that he is dying, they
mutually confess their affection. Octave unexpectedly recovers, and as
Armance about this time receives an inheritance from a distant relative,
the story promises to end happily; but at the last moment he is induced
to credit a calumny against her, and commits suicide, when Armance
retires to a convent. The book is distinctly inferior to his later
efforts, and M. Rod is the first to find hidden beauties in it.

Very different was his next book, 'Le Rouge et Le Noir,' the Army and
the Priesthood, which appeared in 1830, and is now recognized as
Stendhal's masterpiece. As its singular name is intended to imply, it
deals with the changed social conditions which confronted the young men
of France after the downfall of Napoleon,--the reaction against war and
military glory in favor of the Church; a topic which greatly occupied
Stendhal, and which is well summed up in the words of his hero
Julien:--"When Bonaparte made himself talked about, France was afraid of
invasion; military merit was necessary and fashionable. Today one sees
priests of forty with appointments of a hundred thousand francs, three
times that of Napoleon's famous generals;" and he concludes, "The thing
to do is to be a priest."

This Julien Sorel is the son of a shrewd but ignorant peasant, owner of
a prosperous saw-mill in the small town of Verrières, in Franche-Comté.
"He was a small young man, of feeble appearance, with irregular but
delicate features, and an aquiline nose; ... who could have divined that
that girlish face, so pale, and gentle, hid an indomitable resolution to
expose himself to a thousand deaths sooner than not make his fortune?"
His only schooling is gained from a cousin, an old army surgeon, who
taught him Latin and inflamed his fancy with stories of Napoleon, and
from the aged Abbé Chélan who grounds him in theology,--for Julien had
proclaimed his intention of studying for the priesthood. By unexpected
good luck, his Latin earned him an appointment as tutor to the children
of M. de Rênal, the pompous and purse-proud Mayor of Verrières. Julien
is haunted by his peculiar notions of duties which he owes it to himself
to perform as steps towards his worldly advancement; for circumstances
have made him a consummate hypocrite. One of these duties is to make
love to Mme. de Rênal: "Why should he not be loved as Bonaparte, while
still poor, had been loved by the brilliant Mme. de Beauharnais?" His
pursuit of the Mayor's gentle and inexperienced wife proves only too
successful, but at last reaches the ears of the Abbé Chélan, whose
influence compels Julien to leave Verrières and go to the Seminary at
Besançon, to finish his theological studies. His stay at the Seminary
was full of disappointment, for "it was in vain that he made himself
small and insignificant, he could not please: he was too different." At
last he has a chance to go to Paris, as secretary to the influential
Marquis de La Mole, who interests himself in Julien and endeavors to
advance him socially. The Marquis has a daughter, Mathilde, a female
counterpart of Stendhal's heroes; with exalted ideas of duty, and a
profound reverence for Marguerite of Navarre, who dared to ask the
executioner for the head of her lover, Boniface de La Mole, executed
April 30th, 1574. Mathilde always assumed mourning on April 30th. "I
know of nothing," she declared, "except condemnation to death, which
distinguishes a man: it is the only thing which cannot be bought."
Julien soon conceives it his duty to win Mathilde's affections, and the
love passages which ensue between these two "ésprits supérieurs" are
singular in the extreme: they arrive at love only through a complicated
intellectual process, in which the question of duty, either to
themselves or to each other, is always paramount. At last it becomes
necessary to confess their affection to the Marquis, who is naturally
furious. "For the first time in his life this nobleman forgot his
manners: he overwhelmed him with atrocious insults, worthy of a
cab-driver. Perhaps the novelty of these oaths was a distraction." What
hurts him most is that Mathilde will be plain Mme. Sorel and not a
duchess. But at this juncture the father receives a letter from Mme. de
Rênal, telling of her relations with Julien, and accusing him of having
deliberately won Mathilde in order to possess her wealth. Such baseness
the Marquis cannot pardon, and at any cost he forbids the marriage.
Julien returns immediately to Verrières, and finding Mme. de Rênal in
church, deliberately shoots her. She ultimately recovers from her wound,
but Julien is nevertheless condemned and guillotined. Mme. de Rênal dies
of remorse, while Mathilde, emulating Marguerite de Navarre, buries
Julien's head with her own hands.

The 'Chartreuse de Parme,' although written the same year as the 'Rouge
et Noir', was not published until 1839, two years before his death, and
was judged his best effort. "He has written 'The Modern Prince,'"
declared Balzac, "the book which Macchiavelli would have written if he
had been living exiled from Italy in the nineteenth century." The action
takes place at Parma; and as a picture of court life in a small Italian
principality, with all its jealousies and intrigues, the book is
certainly a masterpiece. But it is marred by the extravagance of its
plot. The hero, Fabrice, is the younger son of a proud and bigoted
Milanese nobleman, the Marquis del Dongo, who "joined a sordid avarice
to a host of other fine qualities," and in his devotion to the House of
Austria was implacable towards Napoleon. Fabrice, however, was "a young
man susceptible of enthusiasm," and on learning of Napoleon's return
from Elba, hastened secretly to join him, and participated in the battle
of Waterloo. This escapade is denounced by his father to the Austrian
police, and on his return Fabrice is forced to take refuge in Swiss
territory. About this time his aunt Gina, the beautiful Countess
Pietranera, goes to live at Parma; and to conceal a love affair with the
prime minister Mosca marries the old Duke of Sanseverina-Taxis, who
obligingly leaves on his wedding-day for a distant embassy. Gina has
always felt a strong interest for Fabrice, which later ripens into a
passion. It is agreed that Fabrice shall study for the priesthood, and
that Count Mosca will use his influence to have him made Archbishop of
Parma, an office frequently held in the past by Del Dongos.
Unfortunately Fabrice is drawn into a quarrel with a certain Giletti, a
low comedy actor, whom he kills in self-defense. Ordinarily the killing
of a fellow of Giletti's stamp by a Del Dongo would have been
considered a trifling matter; but this offense assumes importance
through the efforts of a certain political faction to discredit the
minister through his protégé. The situation is further complicated by
the Prince, Ernest IV., who has come under the spell of Gina's beauty,
and furious at finding her obdurate, is glad of an opportunity to
humiliate her. Fabrice is condemned to ten years' imprisonment in the
Farnese tower, the Prince treacherously disregarding his promise of
pardon. From this point the plot becomes fantastic. From his window in
the tower, Fabrice overlooks that of Clélia, daughter of General Fabio
Conti, governor of the prison. It is a case of mutual love at first
sight, and for months the two hold communication by signs above the
heads of the passing sentries. After his fabulous escape, effected by
the help of his aunt, Fabrice is inconsolable, and at length returns
voluntarily to the tower in order to be near Clélia. It is not until
after the death of the Prince that the Duchess obtains Fabrice's pardon
from his son and successor. At last Clélia dies, and Fabrice enters the
neighboring monastery, the Chartreuse of Parma.

Fabrice's experiences on the battle-field of Waterloo, where as a raw
youth he first "smelled powder," are recounted with a good deal of
realistic detail. They suggest a comparison with a book of more recent
date devoted to a similar subject, Stephen Crane's 'Red Badge of
Courage,' though of course the latter does not approach Stendhal in
artistic self-restraint and mastery over form.

The remaining novel, 'Lucien Leuwen,' was left in an unfinished state,
and thus published after the author's death, under the title of 'Le
Chasseur Vert.' Recently they have been republished, under the name of
'Lucien Leuwen,' with additional material which the editor, M. Jean de
Mitty, claims to have deciphered from almost illegible manuscripts found
in the library at Grenoble. But even without these additions there is
enough to show that 'Lucien Leuwen' would have been one of his best
efforts, second only, perhaps, to the 'Rouge et Noir.' The hero, Lucien,
is the son of a rich financier, who "was never out of temper and never
took a serious tone with his son," but cheerfully paid his debts, saying
"A son is a creditor provided by nature." Out of mere _ennui_ from lack
of serious employment, Lucien enters as sub-lieutenant a regiment of
Lancers in garrison at Nancy. He has no illusions about military life in
times of peace:--"I shall wage war only upon cigars; I shall become the
pillager of a military café in the gloomy garrison of an ill-paved
little town.... What glory! My soul will be well caught when I present
myself to Napoleon in the next world. 'No doubt,' he will say, 'you were
dying of hunger when you took up this life?' 'No, General,' I shall
reply, 'I thought I was imitating you.'" His early experiences at
Nancy, his subsequent meeting with and love for Mme. de Chasteller, are
admirable equally for their moderation and their fidelity.

Since Stendhalism has become a cult, so much has been written on the
subject that a complete bibliography of Stendhaliana would occupy
several pages. Aside from the well-known criticisms of Balzac, Taine,
and Sainte-Beuve, the most important contributions to the subject are
the article by Zola in 'Romanciers Naturalistes,' that by Bourget in
'Essais de Psychologie Contemporaine,' and the biography by Edouard Rod
in the 'Grands Écrivains Français' (Great French Writers) Series. Thanks
to the zeal of M. Casimir Stryienski, a considerable amount of
autobiographical material has lately been brought to light: 'Journal de
Stendhal' 'Vie de Henri Broulard,' and 'Souvenirs d'Égotisme,' which,
together with his 'Correspondence,' are indispensable for a true
knowledge of the man.

[Illustration: Signature: FREDERIC TABER COOPER]


From 'La Chartreuse de Parme'

While Fabrice was gone a-hunting after love adventures in a small
village close by Parma, the Fiscal General, Rassi, unaware that he was
so near, continued to treat his case as though he had been a Liberal.
The witnesses for the defense he pretended that he could not find, or
rather that he had frightened them off; and finally, after nearly a year
of such sharp practice, and about two months after Fabrice's last return
to Bologna, on a certain Friday, the Marquise Raversi, intoxicated with
joy, stated publicly in her salon that on the following day "the
sentence which had just been passed upon that little Del Dongo would be
presented to the Prince for signature, and would be approved by him."
Shortly afterwards the Duchess learned these remarks of her enemy.

"The Count must be very poorly served by his agents," she said to
herself: "only this morning he was sure that sentence could not be
passed inside of a week: perhaps he would not be sorry to have my young
Grand Vicar removed from Parma some day. But," she added, "we shall see
him come back, and he shall be our Archbishop." The Duchess rang.

"Summon all the servants to the waiting-room," she said to her
valet-de-chambre, "even the cooks; go and obtain from the officer in
command the requisite permit for four post-horses; and see that in less
than half an hour these horses are attached to my landau." All her women
were soon busied in packing the trunks: the Duchess hastily donned a
traveling dress, without once sending word to the Count; the idea of
amusing herself at his expense filled her with joy.

"My friend," she said to the assembled servants, "is about to suffer
condemnation by default for having had the audacity to defend his life
against a madman; it was Giletti who meant to kill him. You have all
been able to see how gentle and inoffensive Fabrice's character is.
Justly incensed at this atrocious injury, I am starting for Florence. I
shall leave ten years' wages for each of you; if you are unhappy, write
to me; and so long as I have a sequin, there shall be something
for you."

The Duchess felt exactly as she spoke, and at her last words the
servants burst into tears; she herself had moist eyes. She added in a
voice of emotion:--"Pray to God for me and for Monsigneur Fabrice del
Dongo, first Grand Vicar of this Diocese, who will be condemned
to-morrow morning to the galleys, or what would be less stupid, to the
penalty of death."

The tears of the servants redoubled, and little by little changed into
cries which were very nearly seditious. The Duchess entered her carriage
and drove directly to the palace of the Prince. In spite of the untimely
hour, she solicited an audience, through General Fontana, acting
aide-de-camp. She was nowise in full court toilette, a fact which threw
that aide-de-camp into a profound stupor.

The Prince, for his part, was by no means surprised, still less annoyed,
at this request for an audience. "We are going to see tears shed by
lovely eyes," said he, rubbing his hands; "she is coming to ask for
grace; at last that proud beauty has to humble herself! Really she has
been too insupportable with her little independent airs! Those eloquent
eyes always seemed to be saying to me, at the least thing which annoyed
her, 'Naples or Milan would be an abode offering very different
attractions from those of your small town of Parma.' True enough, I do
not reign over Naples or Milan; but all the same, this fine lady has
come to ask me something which depends exclusively upon me, and which
she is burning to obtain. I always thought the coming of that nephew
would give me some hold upon her."

While the Prince was smiling over his thoughts, and giving himself up to
all these agreeable anticipations, he was striding up and down his
cabinet, at the door of which General Fontana still remained standing,
erect and stiff as a soldier at carry-arms. Seeing the Prince's flashing
eye and recalling the Duchess's traveling dress, he prepared for a
dissolution of the monarchy. His confusion knew no bounds when he heard
the Prince's order: "Beg Madame the Duchess to wait a small quarter of
an hour." The general-aide-de-camp executed a right-about-face, like a
soldier on parade; the Prince still smiled. "Fontana is not accustomed,"
he said to himself, "to see our proud Duchess kept waiting. The
astonished face with which he has gone to tell her 'to wait that small
quarter of an hour' will pave the way for those touching tears which
this cabinet is about to witness." This small quarter of an hour was
delicious to the Prince; he paced the floor with a firm and measured
step, he _reigned_. "The important thing now is to say nothing which is
not perfectly in keeping. It will not do to forget that she is one of
the highest ladies of my court. How would Louis XIV. have spoken to the
princesses his daughters when he had occasion to be displeased with
them?" and his eyes sought the portrait of the great king.

The amusing part of the matter was that the Prince did not even think of
asking himself whether he would show clemency to Fabrice, and how far
such clemency would go. Finally, at the end of twenty minutes, the
faithful Fontana presented himself anew at the door, but without
uttering a word. "The Duchess Sanseverina may enter," cried the Prince
with a theatrical air. "The tears are about to commence," he told
himself, and as if to be prepared for such a spectacle, he drew out his

Never had the Duchess appeared so gay and charming; she did not look
twenty-five. The poor aide-de-camp, seeing that her light and rapid
footstep barely seemed to skim the carpet, was on the point of losing
his reason once for all.

"I must crave many pardons of your Most Serene Highness," said the
Duchess in her soft tones of careless gayety: "I have taken the liberty
of presenting myself in a toilette which is not altogether appropriate;
but your Highness has so accustomed me to his favors that I have
ventured to hope that he would accord me this additional grace."

The Duchess spoke quite slowly, so as to give herself time to enjoy the
expression of the Prince. It was delicious, on account of his profound
astonishment, and that remnant of grand airs which the pose of his head
and arms still betrayed. The Prince had remained as if struck by a
thunderbolt; from time to time, he exclaimed, in his high-pitched voice,
shrill and perturbed, as though articulating with difficulty: _"How is
this? how is this?"_ After concluding her compliment, the Duchess, as
though from respect, afforded him ample time to reply; then she added:--

"I venture to hope that your Most Serene Highness will deign to pardon
the incongruity of my costume:" but as she spoke, her mocking eyes
flashed with so bright a gleam that the Prince could not meet them. He
looked at the ceiling, a sign with him of the most extreme

"How is this? how is this?" he said to himself again; then by good luck,
he found a phrase: "Madame la Duchesse, pray be seated," and he himself
pushed forward a chair, with fairly good grace. The Duchess was by no
means insensible to this attention, and she moderated the petulance of
her glance.

"How is this? how is this?" still repeated the Prince inwardly, shifting
so uneasily in his chair that one would have said that he could not find
a secure position.

"I am going to take advantage of the freshness of the night to travel
post," resumed the Duchess, "and as my absence may be of some duration,
I was unwilling to leave the territory of your Most Serene Highness
without expressing my thanks for all the favors which for five years
your Highness has deigned to show me." At these words the Prince at last
understood; he turned pale. It was as man of the world that he felt it
most keenly, on finding himself mistaken in his predictions. Then he
assumed a grand air, in every way worthy of the portrait of Louis XIV.,
which was before his eyes. "Admirable," said the Duchess to herself,
"there is a man."

"And what is the motive of this sudden departure?" asked the Prince, in
a fairly firm tone.

"I have contemplated leaving, for some time," replied the Duchess, "and
a slight insult which has been shown to _Monsignor_ del Dongo, who is to
be condemned to-morrow to death or to the galleys makes me hasten my

"And to what city are you going?"

"To Naples, I think." As she arose, she added, "It only remains for me
to take leave of your Most Serene Highness, and to thank him very humbly
for all his _earlier_ kindnesses." She, on her part, spoke with so firm
an air that the Prince saw clearly that in a few seconds all would be
finished. He knew that if a triumphant departure was once effected, all
compromise would be impossible. She was not the woman to retrace her
steps. He hastened after her.

"But you know very well, Madame la Duchesse," he said, taking her hand,
"that I have always regarded you with a friendship to which it needed
only a word from you to give another name. But a murder has been
committed; there is no way of denying that. I have intrusted the conduct
of the case to my best judges ..."

At these words the Duchess drew herself up to her full height: All
semblance of respect, or even of urbanity, disappeared in a flash. The
outraged woman was clearly revealed, the outraged woman addressing
herself to the one whom she knows to be of bad faith. It was with an
expression of keenest anger and even of contempt that she said to the
Prince, dwelling upon every word:--

"I am leaving forever the States of your Most Serene Highness, in order
that I shall never again hear mentioned the Fiscal Rassi, or the other
infamous assassins who have condemned my nephew and so many others to
death. If your Most Serene Highness does not wish to mingle a tinge of
bitterness with the last moments which I am to pass with a prince who is
both polite and entertaining when he is not misled, I beg him very
humbly not to recall the thought of those infamous judges who sell
themselves for a thousand crowns or a decoration."

The admirable accent, and above all the tone of sincerity, with which
these words were uttered, made the Prince tremble; for an instant he
feared to see his dignity compromised by a still more direct accusation.
On the whole, however, his sensations quickly culminated in one of
pleasure. He admired the Duchess, and at this moment her entire person
attained a sublime beauty.

"Heavens! how beautiful she is," the Prince said to himself: "one may
well overlook something in so unique a woman, one whose like perhaps is
not to be found in all Italy.--Well, with a little diplomacy it might
not be altogether impossible to make her mine.--There is a wide
difference between such a being and that doll of a Marquise Balbi;
besides, the latter steals at least three hundred thousand francs a year
from my poor subjects.--But did I understand her aright?" he thought all
of a sudden: "she said, 'condemned my nephew and so many others.'" His
anger came to the surface, and it was with a haughtiness worthy of
supreme rank that the Prince said, "And what must be done to keep Madame
from leaving?"

"Something of which you are not capable," replied the Duchess, with an
accent of the bitterest irony and the most thinly disguised contempt.

The Prince was beside himself, but thanks to his long practice of the
profession of absolute sovereign, he found the strength to resist his
first impulse. "That woman must be mine," he said to himself. "I owe
myself at least that; then I must let her perish under my contempt. If
she leaves this room, I shall never see her again." But, intoxicated as
he was at this moment with wrath and hatred, how was he to find words
which would at once satisfy what was due to himself and induce the
Duchess not to desert his court on the instant? "A gesture," he thought,
"is something which can neither be repeated nor turned into ridicule,"
and he went and placed himself between the Duchess and the door of his
cabinet. Just then he heard a slight tapping at this door.

"Who is this jackanapes?" he cried, at the top of his lungs, "who is
this jackanapes who comes here, thrusting his idiotic presence upon me?"
Poor General Fontana showed his face, pale and in evident discomfiture,
and with the air of a man at his last gasp, indistinctly pronounced
these words:--"His Excellency Count Mosca solicits the honor of being

"Let him enter," said the Prince in a loud voice; and as Mosca made his
salutation, greeted him with:--

"Well, sir, here is Madame the Duchess Sanseverina, who declares that
she is on the point of leaving Parma to go and settle at Naples, and has
made me saucy speeches into the bargain."

"How is this?" said Mosca, turning pale.

"What, then you knew nothing of this project of departure?"

"Not the first word. At six o'clock I left Madame joyous and contented."

This speech produced an incredible effect upon the Prince. First he
glanced at Mosca, whose growing pallor proved that he spoke the truth
and was in no way the accomplice of the Duchess's sudden freak. "In that
case," he said to himself, "I am losing her forever. Pleasure and
vengeance, everything is escaping me at once. At Naples she will make
epigrams with her nephew Fabrice, about the great wrath of the little
Prince of Parma." He looked at the Duchess; anger and the most violent
contempt were struggling in her heart; her eyes were fixed at that
moment upon Count Mosca, and the fine lines of that lovely mouth
expressed the most bitter disdain. The entire expression of her face
seemed to say, "Vile courtier!" "So," thought the Prince, after having
examined her, "I have lost even this means of calling her back to our
country. If she leaves the room at this moment, she is lost to me. And
the Lord only knows what she will say in Naples of my judges, and with
that wit and divine power of persuasion with which heaven has endowed
her, she will make the whole world believe her. I shall owe her the
reputation of being a ridiculous tyrant, who gets up in the middle of
the night to look under his bed!"

Then, by an adroit movement, and as if striving to work off his
agitation by striding up and down, the Prince placed himself anew before
the door of his cabinet. The count was on his right, pale, unnerved, and
trembling so that he had to lean for support upon the back of the chair
which the Duchess had occupied at the beginning of the audience, and
which the Prince, in a moment of wrath, had hurled to a distance. The
Count was really in love. "If the Duchess goes away, I shall follow
her," he told himself; "but will she tolerate my company? that is the

On the left of the Prince stood the Duchess, her arms crossed and
pressed against her breast, looking at him with superb intolerance; a
complete and profound pallor had succeeded the glowing colors which just
before had animated those exquisite features.

The Prince, in contrast with both the others, had a high color and an
uneasy air; his left hand played in a nervous fashion with the cross
attached to the grand cordon of his order, which he wore beneath his
coat; with his right hand he caressed his chin.

"What is to be done?" he said to the Count, not altogether realizing
what he was doing himself, but yielding to his habit of consulting the
latter about everything.

"Indeed, Most Serene Highness, I know nothing about it," answered the
Count, with the air of a man who is rendering up his final sigh; he
could hardly utter the words of his response. His tone of voice gave the
Prince the first consolation which his wounded pride had found during
the interview, and this slight satisfaction helped him to a phrase which
was comforting to his self-esteem:--

"Well," said he, "I am the most reasonable of all three; I am quite
ready to leave my position in the world entirely out of consideration.
_I am going to speak as a friend_," and he added with a charming smile
of condescension, a fine imitation of the happy times of Louis XIV, "_as
a friend speaking to friends:_ Madame la Duchesse," he continued, "what
are we to do to make you forget your untimely resolution?"

"Really, I am at a loss to say," replied the Duchess, with a deep sigh,
"really, I am at a loss to say: I have such a horror of Parma!" There
was no attempt at epigram in this speech; one could see that she spoke
in all sincerity.

The Count turned sharply away from her; his courtier's soul was
scandalized. Then he cast a supplicating glance at the Prince. With much
dignity and self-possession the latter allowed a moment to pass; then,
addressing himself to the Count, "I see," said he, "that your charming
friend is altogether beside herself. It is perfectly simple, she
_adores_ her nephew;" and turning towards the Duchess, he added with the
most gallant glance, and at the same time with the air which one assumes
in borrowing a phrase from a comedy: _"What must we do to find favor in
these lovely eyes?"_

The Duchess had had time to reflect: She answered in a firm, slow tone,
as if she were dictating her ultimatum:--

"His Highness might write me a gracious letter, such as he knows so well
how to write: he might say to me, that being by no means convinced of
the guilt of Fabrice del Dongo, First Grand Vicar of the Archbishop, he
will refuse to sign the sentence when they come to present it to him,
and that this unjust procedure shall have no consequence in the future."

"How is that? Unjust!" cried the Prince, coloring to the whites of his
eyes, and with renewed anger.

"That is not all," replied the Duchess with truly Roman pride, "_this
very evening_--and," she interposed, glancing at the clock, "it is
already a quarter past eleven--this very evening, his Most Serene
Highness will send word to the Marquise Raversi that he advises her to
go into the country to recuperate from the fatigues which she must have
suffered from a certain trial which she was discussing in her salon
early in the evening." The Prince strode up and down his cabinet, like a
madman. "Did one ever see such a woman?" he exclaimed. "She is lacking
in respect for me."

The Duchess replied with perfect grace:--

"I have never in my life dreamed of lacking respect for his Most Serene
Highness; His Highness has had the extreme condescension to say that he
was speaking _as a friend to friends_. What is more, I have not the
smallest desire to remain in Parma," she added, glancing at the Count
with the last degree of contempt. This glance decided the Prince, who up
to that moment had been quite uncertain, notwithstanding that his words
had seemed to imply a promise; he had a fine contempt for words.

There were still a few more words exchanged; but at last Count Mosca
received the order to write the gracious note solicited by the Duchess.
He omitted the phrase "this unjust procedure shall have no consequence
in the future." "It is sufficient," said the Count to himself, "if the
Prince promises not to sign the sentence which is to be presented to
him." The Prince thanked him by a glance, as he signed.

The Count made a great mistake; the Prince was wearied and would have
signed the whole. He thought that he was getting out of the scene well,
and the whole affair was dominated, in his eyes, by the thought--"If the
Duchess leaves, I shall find my court a bore inside of a week." The
Count observed that his master corrected the date, and substituted that
of the next day. He looked at the clock; it indicated almost midnight.
The minister saw, in this altered date, nothing more than a pedantic
desire to afford proof of exactitude and good government. As to the
exile of the Marquise Raversi, the Prince did not even frown; the Prince
had a special weakness for exiling people.

"General Fontana!" he cried, half opening the door.

The General appeared, with such an astonished and curious a face that a
glance of amusement passed between the Duchess and the Count, and this
glance established peace.

"General Fontana," said the Prince, "you are to take my carriage, which
is waiting under the colonnade; you will go to the house of Mme.
Raversi, and have yourself announced: if she is in bed, you will add
that you are my representative, and when admitted to her chamber, you
will say precisely these words, and no others:--'Mme. la Marquise
Raversi, his Most Serene Highness requires that you shall depart before
eight o'clock to-morrow morning, for your chateau of Valleja. His
Highness will notify you when you may return to Parma.'"

The Prince's eyes sought those of the Duchess, but the latter, omitting
the thanks which he had expected, made him an extremely respectful
reverence, and rapidly left the room.

"What a woman!" said the Prince, turning towards Count Mosca.

Copyrighted by George H. Richmond and Company.


From "La Chartreuse de Parme"

One day--Fabrice had been a captive nearly three months, had had
absolutely no communication with the outside world, and yet was not
unhappy--Grillo had remained hanging about the cell until a late hour of
the morning. Fabrice could think of no way of getting rid of him, and
was on pins and needles; half-past twelve had struck when at last he was
enabled to open the little trap in the hateful shutter.

Clélia was standing at the window of the aviary in an expectant
attitude, an expression of profound despair on her contracted features.
As soon as she saw Fabrice she signaled to him that all was lost; then,
hurrying to her piano, and adapting her words to the accompaniment of a
recitative from a favorite opera, in accents tremulous with her emotion
and the fear of being overheard by the sentry beneath, she sang:--

"Ah, do I see you still alive? Praise God for his infinite mercy!
Barbone, the wretch whose insolence you chastised the day of your
arrival here, disappeared some time ago and for a few days was not seen
about the citadel. He returned day before yesterday, and since then I
have reason to fear he has a design of poisoning you. He has been seen
prowling about the kitchen of the palace where your meals are prepared.
I can assert nothing positively, but it is my maid's belief that his
skulking there bodes you no good. I was frightened this morning, not
seeing you at the usual time; I thought you must be dead. Until you hear
more from me, do not touch the food they give you; I will try to manage
to convey a little chocolate to you. In any case, if you have a cord, or
can make one from your linen, let it down from your window among the
orange-trees this evening at nine o'clock. I will attach a stronger cord
to it, and with its aid you can draw up the bread and chocolate I will
have in readiness."

Fabrice had carefully preserved the bit of charcoal he had found in the
stove; taking advantage of Clélia's more softened mood, he formed on the
palm of his hand a number of letters in succession, which taken together
made up these words:--

"I love you, and life is dear to me only when I can see you. Above all
else, send me paper and a pencil."

As Fabrice had hoped and expected, the extreme terror visible in the
young girl's face operated to prevent her from terminating the interview
on receipt of this audacious message; she only testified her displeasure
by her looks. Fabrice had the prudence to add:--"The wind blows so hard
to-day that I couldn't catch quite all you said; and then, too, the
sound of the piano drowns your voice. You were saying something about
poison, weren't you--what was it?"

At these words the young girl's terror returned in all its violence; she
hurriedly set to work to describe with ink a number of large capital
letters on the leaves she tore from one of her books, and Fabrice was
delighted to see her at last adopt the method of correspondence that he
had been vainly advocating for the last three months. But this system,
although an improvement on the signals, was less desirable than a
regular exchange of letters, so Fabrice constantly feigned to be unable
to decipher the words of which she exhibited the component letters.

A summons from her father obliged her to leave the aviary. She was in
great alarm lest he might come to look for her there; his suspicious
nature would have been likely to scent danger in the proximity of his
daughter's window to the prisoner's. It had occurred to Clélia a short
time before, while so anxiously awaiting Fabrice's appearance, that
pebbles might be made factors in their correspondence, by wrapping the
paper on which the message was written round them and throwing them up
so they should fall within the open upper portion of the screen. The
device would have worked well unless Fabrice's keeper chanced to be in
the room at the time.

Our prisoner proceeded to tear one of his shirts into narrow strips,
forming a sort of ribbon. Shortly after nine o'clock that evening he
heard a tapping on the boxes of the orange-trees under his window; he
cautiously lowered his ribbon, and on drawing it up again found attached
to its free end a long cord by means of which he hauled up a supply of
chocolate, and, to his inexpressible satisfaction, a package of
note-paper and a pencil. He dropped the cord again, but to no purpose;
perhaps the sentries on their rounds had approached the orange-trees.
But his delight was sufficient for one evening. He sat down and wrote a
long letter to Clélia; scarcely was it ended when he fastened it to the
cord and let it down. For more than three hours he waited in vain for
some one to come and take it; two or three times he drew it up and made
alterations in it. "If Clélia does not get my letter to-night," he said
to himself, "while those ideas of poison are troubling her brain, it is
more than likely that to-morrow she will refuse to receive it."

The fact was that Clélia had been obliged to drive to the city with her
father. Fabrice knew how matters stood when he heard the General's
carriage enter the court about half-past twelve; he knew it was the
General's carriage by the horses' step. What was his delight when,
shortly after hearing the jingle of the General's spurs as he crossed
the esplanade, and the rattle of muskets as the sentries presented arms,
he felt a gentle tug at the cord, the end of which he had kept wrapped
around his wrist! Something heavy was made fast to the cord; two little
jerks notified him to haul up. He had some difficulty in landing the
object over a cornice that projected under his window.

The article that he had secured at expense of so much trouble proved to
be a carafe of water wrapped in a shawl. The poor young man, who had
been living for so long a time in such complete solitude, covered the
shawl with rapturous kisses. But words are inadequate to express his
emotion when, after so many days of vain waiting, he discovered a scrap
of paper pinned to the shawl.

"Drink no water but this; satisfy your hunger with chocolate," said this
precious missive. "To-morrow I will try to get some bread to you; I will
mark the crust at top and bottom with little crosses made with ink. It
is a frightful thing to say, but you must know it:--I believe others are
implicated in Barbone's design to poison you. Could you not have
understood that the subject you spoke of in your letter in pencil is
displeasing to me? I should not think of writing to you were it not for
the great peril that is hanging over us. I have seen the Duchess; she is
well, as is the Count, but she is very thin. Write no more on that
subject which you know of: would you wish to make me angry?"

It cost Clélia an effort to write the last sentence but one of the above
note. It was in everybody's mouth in court circles that Mme. Sanseverina
was manifesting a great deal of friendly interest in Count Baldi, that
extremely handsome man and quondam friend of the Marquise Raversi. The
one thing certain was that he and the Marquise had separated, and he was
alleged to have behaved most shamefully toward the lady who for six
years had been to him a mother and given him his standing in society.

The next morning, long before the sun was up, Grillo entered Fabrice's
cell, laid down what seemed to be a pretty heavy package, and vanished
without saying a word. The package contained a good-sized loaf of bread,
plentifully ornamented with, little crosses made with a pen. Fabrice
covered them with kisses. Why? Because he was in love. Beside the loaf
lay a rouleau incased in many thicknesses of paper; it contained six
thousand francs in sequins. Finally, Fabrice discovered a handsome
brand-new prayer-book: these words, in a writing he was beginning to be
acquainted with, were written on the fly-leaf:--

"_Poison!_ Beware the water, the wine, everything; confine yourself to
chocolate. Give the untasted dinner to the dog; it will not do to show
distrust; the enemy would have recourse to other methods. For God's
sake, be cautious! no rashness!"

Fabrice made haste to remove the telltale writing which might have
compromised Clélia, and to tear out a number of leaves from the
prayer-book, with which he made several alphabets; each letter was
neatly formed with powdered charcoal moistened with wine. The alphabets
were quite dry when at a quarter to twelve Clélia appeared at the window
of the aviary. "The main thing now is to persuade her to use them," said
Fabrice to himself. But as it happened, fortunately, she had much to say
to the young prisoner in regard to the plan to poison him (a dog
belonging to one of the kitchen-maids had died after eating a dish
cooked for Fabrice), so that Clélia not only made no objection to the
use of the alphabets, but had herself prepared one in the highest style
of art with ink. Under this method, which did not work altogether
smoothly at the beginning, the conversation lasted an hour and a half,
which was as long as Clélia dared remain in the aviary. Two or three
times, when Fabrice trespassed on forbidden ground and alluded to
matters that were taboo, she made no answer and walked away to feed
her birds.

Fabrice requested that when she sent him his supply of water at evening
she would accompany it with one of her alphabets, which, being traced in
ink, were legible at a greater distance. He did not fail to write her a
good long letter, and was careful to put in it no soft nonsense--at
least, of a nature to offend.

The next day, in their alphabetical conversation, Clélia had no reproach
to make him. She informed him that there was less to be apprehended from
the poisoners. Barbone had been waylaid and nearly murdered by the
lovers of the Governor's scullery-maids; he would scarcely venture to
show his face in the kitchens again. She owned up to stealing a
counter-poison from her father; she sent it to him with directions how
to use it, but the main thing was to reject at once all food that seemed
to have an unnatural taste.

Clélia had subjected Don Cesare to a rigorous examination, without
succeeding in discovering whence came the six thousand francs received
by Fabrice. In any case, it was a good sign: it showed that the severity
of his confinement was relaxing.

The poison episode had a very favorable effect on our hero's amatory
enterprise: still, he could never extort anything at all resembling a
confession of love; but he had the felicity of living on terms of
intimacy with Clélia. Every morning, and often at evening also, there
was a long conversation with the alphabets; every evening at nine
o'clock Clélia received a lengthy letter, and sometimes accorded it a
few brief words of answer; she sent him the daily paper and an
occasional new book; finally, the rugged Grillo had been so far tamed as
to keep Fabrice supplied with bread and wine, which were handed him
daily by Clélia's maid. This led honest Grillo to conclude that the
Governor was not of the same mind as those who had engaged Barbone to
poison the young Monsignor; at which he rejoiced exceedingly, as did his
comrades, for there was a saying current in the prison--"You have only
to look Monsignor del Dongo in the face; he is certain to give
you money."

Fabrice was very pale; lack of exercise was injuring his health: but for
all that he had never been so happy. The tone of the conversation
between Clélia and him was familiar and often gay. The only moments of
the girl's life not beset with dark forebodings and remorse were those
spent in conversing with him. She was so thoughtless as to remark
one day:--

"I admire your delicacy: because I am the Governor's daughter you have
nothing to say to me of the pleasures of freedom!"

"That's because I am not so absurd as to have aspirations in that
direction," replied Fabrice. "How often could I hope to see you if I
were living in Parma, a free man again? And life would not be worth
living if I could not tell you all my thoughts--no, not that exactly:
you take precious good care I don't tell you _all_ my thoughts! But in
spite of your cruel tyranny, to live without seeing you daily would be a
far worse punishment than captivity; in all my life I was never so
happy! Isn't it strange to think happiness was awaiting me in a prison?"

"There is a good deal to be said on that point," rejoined Clélia, with
an air that all at once became very serious, almost threatening.

"What!" exclaimed Fabrice, in alarm, "am I in danger of losing the small
place I have won in your heart, my sole joy in this world?"

"Yes," she replied. "Although your reputation in society is that of a
gentleman and gallant man, I have reason to believe you are not acting
ingenuously toward me. But I don't wish to discuss this matter to-day."

This strange exordium cast an element of embarrassment into the
conversation, and tears were often in the eyes of both.

Copyrighted by George H. Richmond and Company.



Willem Bilderdijk's personality, even more than his genius, exerted so
powerful an influence over his time that it has been said that to think
of a Dutchman of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century was to
think of Bilderdijk. He stands as the representative of the great
literary and intellectual awakening which took place in Holland
immediately after that country became part of the French empire. The
history of literature has many examples of how, under political
disturbances, the agitated mind has sought refuge in literary and
scientific pursuits, and it seemed at that time as if Dutch literature
was entering a new Golden Age. The country had never known better poets;
but it was the poetry of the eighteenth century, to quote Ten Brink,
"ceremonious and stagy."

In 'Herinnering van mijne Kindheit' (Reminiscences of My Childhood), a
book which is not altogether to be relied upon, Bilderdijk gives a
charming picture of his father, a physician in Amsterdam, but speaks of
his mother in less flattering terms. He was born in Amsterdam in 1756.
At an early age he suffered an injury to his foot, a peasant boy having
carelessly stepped on it; attempts were made to cure him by continued
bleedings, and the result was that he was confined to his bed for twelve
years. These years laid the foundation of a character lacking in power
to love and to call forth love, and developing into an almost fierce
hypochondria, full of complaints and fears of death. In these years,
however, he acquired the information and the wonderful power of language
which appear in his sinewy verse.

One of his poems, dated 1770, has been preserved, but is principally
interesting as a first attempt. Others, written in his twentieth year,
were prize poems, and are sufficiently characterized by their
titles:--'Kunst wordt door Arbeid verkregen' (Art came through Toil),
and 'Inloed der Dichthunst op het Staets bestuur' (Influence of Poetry
on Statesmanship). When he went to Leyden in 1780 to study law, he was
already famous. His examinations passed, he settled at the Hague to
practice, and in 1785 married Katharina Rebekka Woesthoven. The
following year he published his romance, 'Elius,' in seven songs. The
romance ultimately became his favorite form of verse; but this was not
the form now called romance. It was the rhymed narrative of the
eighteenth century, written with endless care and reflection, and in
his case with so superior a treatment of language that no Dutch poet
since Huygens had approached it.

The year 1795 was the turning-point in Bilderdijk's life. He had been
brought up in unswerving faith in the cause of the house of Orange, was
a fanatic monarchist and Calvinist, "anti-revolutionary,
anti-Barneveldtian, anti-Loevesteinisch, anti-liberal" (thus Da Costa),
a warm supporter of William the Fifth, and at the entrance of the French
in 1795 he refused to give his oath of allegiance to the cause of the
citizens and the sovereignty of the people. He was exiled, left the
Hague, and went to London, and later to Brunswick. This was not
altogether a misfortune for him, nor an unrelieved sorrow. He had been
more successful as poet than as husband or financier, and by his
compulsory banishment escaped his financial difficulties and what he
considered the chains of his married life. In London Bilderdijk met his
countryman the painter Schweikhardt; and with this meeting begins a
period of his life over which his admirers would fain draw a veil. With
Schweikhardt were his two daughters, of whom the younger, Katherina
Wilhelmina, became Bilderdijk's first pupil, and, excepting his
"intellectual son," Isaak da Costa, probably his only one. Besides her
great poetic gifts she possessed beauty and charm. She fell in love with
her teacher and followed him to Brunswick, where she lived in his house
under the name of Frau van Heusden. In spite of this arrangement, the
poet seems to have considered himself a most faithful husband; and he
did his best to persuade his wife to join him with their children, but
naturally without success. In 1802 the marriage was legally annulled,
and Frau van Heusden took his name. She did her best to atone for the
blot on her repute by a self-sacrificing lovableness, and was in close
sympathy with Bilderdijk on the intellectual side. Like him she was
familiar with all the resources of the art of poetry. Most famous of her
poems are the long one 'Rodrigo de Goth,' and her touching, graceful
'Gedichten voor Kinderen' (Poems for Children). Bilderdijk's verses show
what she was to him:--

     In the shadow of my verdure, firmly on my trunk depending,
     Grew the tender branch of cedar, never longing once to leave me;
     Faithfully through rain and tempest, modest at my side it rested,
     Bearing to my honor solely the first twig it might its own call;
     Fair the wreath thy flowers made me for my knotted trunk fast withering,
     And my soul with pride was swelling at the crown of thy young blossoms;
     Straight and strong and firmly rooted, tall and green thy head arises,
     Bright the glory of its freshness; never yet by aught bedimmed.
     Lo! my crown to thine now bending, only thine the radiant freshness,
     And my soul finds rest and comfort in thy sheltering foliage.

Meanwhile he was no better off materially. The Duke of Brunswick, who
had known him previously, received the famous Dutch exile with open
arms, and granted him a pension; but it never sufficed. Many efforts
were made to have his decree of exile annulled; but they failed through
his own peevish insolence and his boundless ingratitude. King Louis
(Bonaparte) of Holland extended his protection to the dissatisfied old
poet; and all these royal gentlemen were most generous. When the house
of Orange returned to Holland, William I. continued the favor already
shown him, obtained a high pension for him, and when it proved
insufficient, supplemented it with gifts. In this way Bilderdijk's
income in the year 1816 amounted to twenty thousand gold pieces. That
this should be sufficient to keep the wolf from the door in a city like
Amsterdam, Bilderdijk thought too much to expect, and consequently left
in great indignation and went to Leyden in 1817.

But these personal troubles in no way interfered with his talent. On the
contrary, the history of literature has seldom known so great an
activity and productiveness; all in all, his works amounted to almost a
hundred volumes. What he accomplished during his stay in Germany was
almost incredible. He gave lessons to exiled Dutch in a great variety of
branches, he saw volume upon volume through print; he wrote his famous
'Het Buitenleven' (Country Life) after Delille, he translated Fingal
after Ossian, he wrote 'Vaderlandsche Orangezucht' (Patriotic Love for
Orange). After his return to Holland he wrote 'De Ziekte der Geleerden'
(The Disease of Genius: 1817), 'Leyden's Kamp' (Leyden's Battle: 1808),
and the first five songs of 'De Ondergang der eerste Wereld'
(Destruction of the First World: 1809), probably his masterpiece;
moreover, the dramas 'Floris V.,' 'Willem van Holland,' and 'Kounak.'
The volumes published between 1815 and 1819 bore the double signature
Willem and Wilhelmina Katherina Bilderdijk.

But it was as though time had left him behind. The younger Holland shook
its head over the old gentleman of the past century, with his antagonism
for the poetry of the day and his rage against Shakespeare and the
latter's "puerile" 'King Lear.' For to Bilderdijk even more than to
Voltaire, Shakespeare was an abomination. Then in 1830 he received the
severest blow of his life: Katherina Wilhelmina died. This happened in
Haarlem, whither he had gone in 1827. With this calamity his strength
was broken and his life at an end. He followed her in 1831.

He was in every way a son of the eighteenth century; he began as a
didactic and patriotic poet, and might at first be considered a follower
of Jakob Cats. He became principally a lyric poet, but his lyric knew no
deep sentiment, no suppressed feeling; its greatness lay in its
rhetorical power. His ode to Napoleon may therefore be one of the best
to characterize his genius. When he returned to his native country after
eleven years' exile, with heart and mind full of Holland, it was old
Holland he sought and did not find. He did not understand young Holland.
In spite of this, his fame and powerful personality had an attraction
for the young; but it was the attraction of a past time, the fascination
of the glorious ruin. Young Holland wanted freedom, individual
independence, and this Bilderdijk considered a misfortune. "One should
not let children, women, and nations know that they possess other rights
than those naturally theirs. This matter must be a secret between the
prince and his heart and reason,--to the masses it ought always to be
kept as hidden as possible." The new age which had made its entry with
the cry of Liberty would not tolerate such sentiments, and he stood
alone, a powerful, demonic, but incomprehensible spirit.

Aside from his fame as a poet, he deserves to be mentioned as Jacob
Grimm's correspondent, as philologist, philosopher, and theologian.


     Child of the Unborn! dost thou bend
       From Him we in the day-beams see,
     Whose music with the breeze doth blend?--
       To feel thy presence is to be.
     Thou, our soul's brightest effluence--thou
     Who in heaven's light to earth dost bow,
       A Spirit 'midst unspiritual clods--
     Beauty! who bear'st the stamp profound
     Of Him with all perfection crowned,
       Thine image--thine alone--is God's....

     How shall I catch a single ray
       Thy glowing hand from nature wakes--
     Steal from the ether-waves of day
       One of the notes thy world-harp shakes--
     Escape that miserable joy,
     Which dust and self with darkness cloy,
       Fleeting and false--and, like a bird,
     Cleave the air-path, and follow thee
     Through thine own vast infinity,
       Where rolls the Almighty's thunder-word?

     Perfect thy brightness in heaven's sphere,
       Where thou dost vibrate in the bliss
     Of anthems ever echoing there!
       That, that is life--not this--not this:
     There in the holy, holy row--
     And not on earth, so deep below--
       Thy music unrepressed may speak;
     Stay, shrouded, in that holy place;--
     Enough that we have seen thy face,
       And kissed the smiles upon thy cheek.

     We stretch our eager hands to thee,
       And for thine influence pray in vain;
     The burden of mortality
       Hath bent us 'neath its heavy chain;--
     And there are fetters forged by art,
     And science cold hath chilled the heart,
       And wrapped thy god-like crown in night;
     On waxen wings they soar on high,
     And when most distant deem, thee nigh--
       They quench thy torch, and dream of light.

     Child of the Unborn! joy! for thou
       Shinest in every heavenly flame,
     Breathest in all the winds that blow,
       While self-conviction speaks thy name:
     Oh, let one glance of thine illume
     The longing soul that bids thee come,
       And make me feel of heaven, like thee!
     Shake from thy torch one blazing drop,
     And to my soul all heaven shall ope,
       And I--dissolve in melody!

     Translated in Westminster Review.


     Poesy, nay! Too long art silent!
     Seize now the lute! Why dost thou tarry?
     Let sword the Universe inherit,
     Noblest as prize of war be glory.
     Let thousand mouths sing hero-actions:
     E'en so, the glory is not uttered.
     Earth-gods--an endless life, ambrosial,
     Find they alone in song enchanting.

     Watch thou with care thy heedless fingers
     Striking upon the lyre so godlike;
     Hold thou in check thy lightning-flashes,
     That where they chance to fall are blighting.
     He who on eagle's wing soars skyward
     Must at the sun's bright barrier tremble.
     Frederic, though great in royal throning,
     Well may amaze the earth, and heaven,
     When clothed by thunder and the levin
     Swerves he before the hero's fanfare.

       *       *       *       *       *

     Pause then, Imagination! Portals
     Hiding the Future, ope your doorways!
     Earth, the blood-drenched, yields palms and olives.
     Sword that hath cleft on bone and muscle,
     Spear that hath drunk the hero's lifeblood,
     Furrow the soil, as spade and ploughshare.
     Blasts that alarm from blaring trumpets
     Laws of fair Peace anon shall herald:
     Heaven's shame, at last, its end attaining.

     Earth, see, O see your sceptres bowing.
     Gone is the eagle once majestic;
     On us a cycle new is dawning;
     Look, from the skies it hath descended.
     O potent princes, ye the throne-born!
     See what Almighty will hath destined.
     Quit ye your seats, in low adoring,
     Set all the earth, with you, a-kneeling;
     Or--as the free-born men should perish--
     Sink in grave with crown and kingdom.

     Glorious in lucent rays, already
     Brighter than gold a sceptre shineth;
     No warring realm shall dim its lustre,
     No earth-storm veil its blaze to dimness.
     Can it be true that, centuries ended,
     God's endless realm, the Hebrew, quickens
     Lifting its horns--though not for always?
     Shines in the East the sun, like noonday?
     Shall Hagar's wandering sons be heartened
     After the Moslem's haughty baiting?

     Speed toward us, speed, O days so joyous!
     Even if blood your cost be reckoned;
     Speed as in Heaven's gracious favor,
     Bringing again Heaven's earthly kingdom.
     Yea, though through waters deep we struggle,
     Joining in fight with seas of troubles.
     Suffer we, bear we--hope--be silent!
     On us shall dawn a coming daybreak--
     With it, the world of men be happy!

Translated in the metre of the original, by E. Irenæus Stevenson, for
the (World's Best Literature)



     Splendid rose the star of evening, and the gray dusk was
     O'er it with a hand of mildness, now the Night her veil was
     Abensaïd, valiant soldier, from Medina's ancient gateway,
     To the meadows, rich with blossoms, walked in darkest mood of
     Where the Guadalete's wild waves foaming wander through the
               flat lands,
     Where, within the harbor's safety, loves to wait the weary seaman.
     Neither hero's mood nor birth-pride eased his spirit of its suffering
     For his youth's betrothed, Zobeïde; she it was who caused him
     Faithless had she him forsaken, she sometime his best-beloved,
     Left him, though already parted by strange fate, from realm and
     Oh, that destiny he girds not--strength it gave him, hero-courage,
     Added to his lofty spirit, touches of nobler feeling--
     'Tis that she, ill-starred one, leaves him! takes the hand so
     Of that old man, Seville's conqueror!
     Into the night, along the river, Abensaïd now forth rushes:
     Loudly to the rocky limits, Echo bears his lamentations.
     "Faithless maid, more faithless art thou than the sullen water!
     Harder thou than even the hardened bosom of yon rigid rockwall!
     Ah, bethinkest thou, Zobeïde, still upon our solemn love-oath?
     How thy heart, this hour so faithless, once belonged to me, me only?
     Canst thou yield thy heart, thy beauty, to that old man, dead to
     Wilt thou try to love the tyrant lacking love despite his treasure?
     Dost thou deem the sands of desert higher than are virtue--
     Allah grant, then, that he hate thee! That thou lovest yet
     That thou soon thyself surrender to the scorned one's bitter feeling.
     Rest may night itself deny thee, and may day to thee be terror!
     Be thy face before thy husband as a thing of nameless loathing!
     May his eye avoid thee ever, flee the splendor of thy beauty!
     May he ne'er, in gladsome gathering, stretch his hand to thee for
     Never gird himself with girdle which for him thy hand embroidered!
     Let his heart, thy love forsaking, in another love be fettered;
     The love-tokens of another may his scutcheon flame in battle,
     While behind thy grated windows year by year, away thou
     To thy rival may he offer prisoners that his hand has taken!
     May the trophies of his victory on his knees to _her_ be proffered!
     May he hate thee! and thy heart's faith to him be but thing
     These things, aye and more still! be thy cure for all my sting
               and sorrow!"
     Silent now goes Abensaïd, unto Xeres, in the midnight;
     Dazzling shone the palace, lighted, festal for the loathsome marriage,
     Richly-robed Moors were standing 'neath the shimmer of the
     On the jubilant procession of the marriage-part proceeded.
     In the path stands Abensaïd, frowning, as the bridegroom nears
     Strikes the lance into his bosom, with the rage of sharpest
     'Gainst the heaven rings a loud cry, those at hand their swords
               are baring--
     But he rushes through the weapons, and in safety gains his own

Translation through the German, in the metre of the original, by E.
Irenæus Stevenson.


     From "Country Life"

     There he sits; his figure and his rigid bearing
     Let us know most clearly what is his ideal:--
     Confidence in self, in his lofty standing;
     Thereto add conceit in his own great value.
     Certain, he can read--yes, and write and cipher;
     In the almanac no star-group's a stranger.
     In the church he, faithful, leads the pious chorus;
     Drums the catechism into young ones' noddles.
     Disputation to him's half the joy of living;
     Even though he's beaten, he will not give over.
     Watch him, when he talks, in how learned fashion!
     Drags on every word, spares no play of muscle.
     Ah, what pains he takes to forget no syllable--
     Consonants and vowels rightly weighed and measured.
     Often is he, too, of this and that a poet!
     Every case declines with precisest conscience;
     Knows the history of Church and State, together--
     Every Churchly light,--of pedant-deeds the record.
     All the village world speechless stands before him.
     Asking "How can _one_ brain be so ruled by Wisdom?"
     Sharply, too, he looks down on one's transgressions.
     'Gainst his judgment stern, tears and prayers avail not.
     He appears--one glance (from a god that glance comes!)
     At a flash decides what the youngster's fate is.
     At his will a crowd runs, at his beck it parteth.
     Doth he smile? all frolic; doth he frown--all cower.
     By a tone he threatens, gives rewards, metes justice.
     Absent though he be, every pupil dreads him,
     For he sees, hears, knows, everything that's doing.
     On the urchin's forehead he can see it written.
     He divines who laughs, idles, yawns, or chatters,
     Who plays tricks on others, or in prayer-time's lazy.
     With its shoots, the birch-rod lying there beside him
     Knows how all misdeeds in a trice are settled.
     Surely by these traits you've our dorf-Dionysius!

     [Footnote 17: Compare Goldsmith's famous portrait in
     "The Deserted Village".]

Translation through the German, in the meter of the original, by E.
Irenætis Stevenson, for the "World's Best Literature".


(275 B.C.)

Of Bion, the second of the Sicilian idyllists, of whom Theocritus was
the first and Moschus the third and last, but little knowledge and few
remains exist. He was born near Smyrna, says Suidas; and from the elegy
on his death, attributed to his pupil Moschus, we infer that he lived in
Sicily and died there of poison. "Say that Bion the herdsman is dead,"
says the threnody, appealing to the Sicilian muses, "and that song has
died with Bion, and the Dorian minstrelsy hath perished.... Poison came,
Bion, to thy mouth. What mortal so cruel as to mix poison for thee!" As
Theocritus is also mentioned in the idyl, Bion is supposed to have been
his contemporary, and to have flourished about 275 B. C.

Compared with Theocritus, his poetry is inferior in simplicity and
naïveté, and declines from the type which Theocritus had established for
the out-door, open-field idyl. With Bion, bucolics first took on the air
of the study. Although at first this art and affectation were rarely
discernible, they finally led to the mold of brass in which for
centuries Italian and English pastorals were cast, and later to the
complete devitalizing which marks English pastoral poetry in the
eighteenth century, with the one exception of Allan Ramsay's "Gentle
Shepherd". Theocritus had sung with genuine feeling of trees and
wandering winds, of flowers and the swift mountain stream. His poetry
has atmosphere; it is vital with sunlight, color, and the beauty which
is cool and calm and true. Although Bion's poems possess elegance and
sweetness, and abound in pleasing imagery, they lack the naturalness of
the idyls of Theocritus. Reflection has crept into them; they are in
fact love-songs, with here and there a tinge of philosophy,

The most famous as well as the most powerful and original of Bion's
poems remaining to us is the threnody upon Adonis. It was doubtless
composed in honor of the rites with which Greek women celebrated certain
Eastern festivals; for the worship of Adonis still lingered among them,
mixed with certain Syrian customs.

                  "Thammuz came next behind,
     Whose annual wound in Lebanon allured
     The Syrian damsels to lament his fate
     In amorous ditties all a summer's day,
     While smooth Adonis from his native rock
     Ran purple to the sea, supposed with blood
     Of Thammuz yearly wounded."

Thammuz is identified with Adonis. "We came to a fair large river,"
writes an old English traveler, "doubtless the ancient river Adonis,
which at certain seasons of the year, especially about the feast of
Adonis, is of a bloody color, which the heathens looked upon as
proceeding from a kind of sympathy in the river for the death of Adonis,
who was killed by a wild boar in the mountains out of which the stream
issues. Something like this we saw actually come to pass; for the water
was stained to a surprising redness, and, as we observed in traveling,
had discolored the sea a great way into a reddish hue, occasioned
doubtless by a sort of minium, or red earth, washed into the river by
the violence of the rain."

The poem is colored by the Eastern nature of its subject, and its
rapidity, vehemence, warmth, and unrestraint are greater than the strict
canon of Greek art allows. It is noteworthy, aside from its varied
beauties, because of its fine abandonment to grief and its appeal for
recognition of the merits of the dead youth it celebrates. Bion's
threnody has undoubtedly become a criterion and given the form to some
of the more famous "songs of tears". The laudatory clegy of Moschus for
his master--we say of Moschus, although Ahrens, in his recension,
includes the lament under 'Incertorum Idyllia' at the end of 'Moschi
Reliquiæ'--follows it faithfully. Milton in his great ode of 'Lycidas'
does not depart from the Greek lines; and Shelley, lamenting Keats in
his 'Adonaïs,' reverts still more closely to the first master, adding
perhaps an element of artificiality one does not find in other
threnodies. The broken and extended form of Tennyson's celebration of
Arthur Hallam takes it out of a comparison with the Greek; but the
monody of 'Thyrsis', Matthew Arnold's commemoration of Clough,
approaches nearer the Greek. Yet no other lament has the energy and
rapidity of Bion's; the refrain, the insistent repetition of the words
"I wail for Adonis",--"Alas for Cypris!" full of pathos and unspoken
irrepressible woe, is used only by his pupil Moschus, though hinted at
by Milton.

The peculiar rhythm, the passion and delicate finish of the song, have
attracted a number of translators, among whose versions Mrs. Browning's
'The Lament for Adonis' is considered the best. The subjoined version in
the Spenserian stanza, by Anna C. Brackett, follows its model closely in
its directness and fervor of expression, and has moreover in itself
genuine poetic merit. The translation of a fragment of 'Hesperos' is
that of J.A. Symonds. Bion's fluent and elegant versification invites
study, and his few idyls and fragments have at various times been turned
into English by Fawkes (to be found in Chalmers's 'Works of English
Poets'), Polwhele, Banks, Chapman, and others.


     I weep for Adonaïs--he is dead!
        Dead Adonaïs lies, and mourning all,
     The Loves wail round his fair, low-lying head.
        O Cypris, sleep no more! Let from thee fall
     Thy purple vestments--hear'st thou not the call?
        Let fall thy purple vestments! Lay them by!
     Ah, smite thy bosom, and in sable pall
        Send shivering through the air thy bitter cry
     For Adonaïs dead, while all the Loves reply.

        I weep for Adonaïs--weep the Loves.
           Low on the mountains beauteous lies he there,
        And languid through his lips the faint breath moves,
           And black the blood creeps o'er his smooth thigh, where
           The boar's white tooth the whiter flesh must tear.
        Glazed grow his eyes beneath the eyelids wide;
           Fades from his lips the rose, and dies--Despair!
        The clinging kiss of Cypris at his side--
     Alas, he knew not that she kissed him as he died!

        I wail--responsive wail the Loves with me.
           Ah, cruel, cruel is that wound of thine,
        But Cypris' heart-wound aches more bitterly.
           The Oreads weep; thy faithful hounds low whine;
           But Cytherea's unbound tresses fine
        Float on the wind; where thorns her white feet wound,
           Along the oaken glades drops blood divine.
        She calls her lover; he, all crimsoned round
     His fair white breast with blood, hears not the piteous sound.

        Alas! for Cytherea wail the Loves,
           With the beloved dies her beauty too.
        O fair was she, the goddess borne of doves,
           While Adonaïs lived; but now, so true
           Her love, no time her beauty can renew.
        Deep-voiced the mountains mourn; the oaks reply;
           And springs and rivers murmur sorrow through
        The passes where she goes, the cities high;
     And blossoms flush with grief as she goes desolate by.

        Alas for Cytherea! he hath died--
           The beauteous Adonaïs, he is dead!
        And Echo sadly back "_is dead_" replied.
           Alas for Cypris! Stooping low her head,
           And opening wide her arms, she piteous said,
        "O stay a little, Adonaïs mine!
           Of all the kisses ours since we were wed,
        But one last kiss, oh, give me now, and twine
     Thine arms close, till I drink the latest breath of thine!

        "So will I keep the kiss thou givest me
           E'en as it were thyself, thou only best!
        Since thou, O Adonaïs, far dost flee--
           Oh, stay a little--leave a little rest!--
           And thou wilt leave me, and wilt be the guest
           Of proud Persephone, more strong than I?
           All beautiful obeys her dread behest--
        And I a goddess am, and _cannot_ die!
     O thrice-beloved, listen!--mak'st thou no reply?

        "Then dies to idle air my longing wild,
           As dies a dream along the paths of night;
        And Cytherea widowed is, exiled
           From love itself; and now--an idle sight--
           The Loves sit in my halls, and all delight
        My charmèd girdle moves, is all undone!
           Why wouldst thou, rash one, seek the maddening fight?
        Why, beauteous, wouldst thou not the combat shun?"--
     Thus Cytherea--and the Loves weep, all as one.

        Alas for Cytherea!--he is dead.
           Her hopeless sorrow breaks in tears, that rain
        Down over all the fair, beloved head,--
           Like summer showers, o'er wind-down-beaten grain;
           They flow as fast as flows the crimson stain
        From out the wound, deep in the stiffening thigh;
           And lo! in roses red the blood blooms fair,
        And where the tears divine have fallen close by,
     Spring up anemones, and stir all tremblingly.

        I weep for Adonaïs--he is dead!
           No more, O Cypris, weep thy wooer here!
        Behold a bed of leaves! Lay down his head
           As if he slept--as still, as fair, as dear,--
           In softest garments let his limbs appear,
        As when on golden couch his sweetest sleep
           He slept the livelong night, thy heart anear;
        Oh, beautiful in death though sad he keep,
     No more to wake when Morning o'er the hills doth creep.

        And over him the freshest flowers fling--
           Ah me! all flowers are withered quite away
        And drop their petals wan! yet, perfumes bring
           And sprinkle round, and sweetest balsams lay;--
           Nay, perish perfumes since thine shall not stay!
        In purple mantle lies he, and around,
           The weeping Loves his weapons disarray,
        His sandals loose, with water bathe his wound,
     And fan him with soft wings that move without a sound.

        The Loves for Cytherea raise the wail.
           Hymen from quenched torch no light can shake.
        His shredded wreath lies withered all and pale;
           His joyous song, alas, harsh discords break!
           And saddest wail of all, the Graces wake;
        "The beauteous Adonaïs! He is dead!"
           And sigh the Muses, "Stay but for our sake!"
        Yet would he come, Persephone is dead;--
     Cease, Cypris! Sad the days repeat their faithful tread!

     Paraphrase of Anna C. Brackett, in Journal of Speculative Philosophy.


     Hesper, thou golden light of happy love,
     Hesper, thou holy pride of purple eve,
     Moon among stars, but star beside the moon,
     Hail, friend! and since the young moon sets to-night
     Too soon below the mountains, lend thy lamp
     And guide me to the shepherd whom I love.
     No theft I purpose; no wayfaring man
     Belated would I watch and make my prey:
     Love is my goal; and Love how fair it is,
     When friend meets friend sole in the silent night,
     Thou knowest, Hesper!



Those to whom the discovery of a relishing new literary flavor means the
permanent annexation of a new tract of enjoyment have not forgotten what
happened in 1885. A slender 16mo volume entitled "Obiter Dicta",
containing seven short literary and biographic essays, came out in that
year, anonymous and unheralded, to make such way as it might among a
book-whelmed generation. It had no novelty of subject to help it to a
hearing; the themes were largely the most written-out, in all seeming,
that could have been selected,--a few great orthodox names on which
opinion was closed and analysis exhausted. Browning, Carlyle, Charles
Lamb, and John Henry Newman are indeed very beacons to warn off the
sated bookman. A paper on Benvenuto Cellini, one on Actors, and one on
Falstaff (by another hand) closed the list. Yet a few weeks made it the
literary event of the day. Among epicures of good reading the word
swiftly passed along that here was a new sensation of unusually
satisfying charm and freshness. It was a _tour de force_ like the
"Innocents Abroad", a journey full of new sights over the most staled
and beaten of tracks. The triumph was all the author's own.


Two years later came another volume as a "Second Series", of the same
general character but superior to the first. Among the subjects of its
eleven papers were Milton, Pope, Johnson, Burke, Lamb again, and
Emerson; with some general essays, including that on "The Office of
Literature", given below.

In 1892 appeared "Res Judicatæ", really a third volume of the same
series, and perhaps even richer in matter and more acute and original in
thought. Its first two articles, prepared as lectures on Samuel
Richardson and Edward Gibbon, are indeed his high-water, mark in both
substance and style. Cowper, George Borrow, Newman again, Lamb a third
time (and fresh as ever), Hazlitt, Matthew Arnold, and Sainte-Beuve are
brought in, and some excellent literary miscellanea.

A companion volume called 'Men, Women, and Books' is disappointing
because composed wholly of short newspaper articles: Mr. Birrell's
special quality needs space to make itself felt. He needs a little time
to get up steam, a little room to unpack his wares; he is no pastel
writer, who can say his say in a paragraph and runs dry in two. Hence
these snippy editorials do him no justice: he is obliged to stop every
time just as he is getting ready to say something worth while. They are
his, and therefore readable and judicious; but they give no idea of his
best powers.

He has also written a life of Charlotte Brontë. But he holds his place
in the front rank of recent essayists by the three 'Obiter Dicta' and
'Res Judicatæ' volumes of manly, luminous, penetrating essays, full of
racy humor and sudden wit; of a generous appreciativeness that seeks
always for the vital principle which gave the writer his hold on men;
still more, of a warm humanity and a sure instinct for all the higher
and finer things of the spirit which never fail to strike chords in the
heart as well as the brain. No writer's work leaves a better taste in
the mouth; he makes us think better of the world, of righteousness, of
ourselves. Yet no writer is less of a Puritan or a Philistine; none
writes with less of pragmatic purpose or a less obtrusive load of
positive fact. He scorns such overladen pedantry, and never loses a
chance to lash it. He tells us that he has "never been inside the
reading-room of the British Museum," and "expounds no theory save the
unworthy one that literature ought to please." He says the one question
about a book which is to be part of _literature_ is, "Does it read?"
that "no one is under any obligation to read any one else's book," and
therefore it is a writer's business to make himself welcome to readers;
that he does not care whether an author was happy or not, he wants the
author to make him happy. He puts his theory in practice: he makes
himself welcome as a companion at once stimulating and restful, of
humane spirit and elevated ideals, of digested knowledge and original
thought, of an insight which is rarely other than kindly and a deep
humor which never lapses into cynicism.

Mr. Birrell helps to justify Walter Bagehot's dictum that the only man
who can write books well is one who knows practical life well; but still
there are congruities in all things, and one feels a certain shock of
incongruity in finding that this man of books and purveyor of light
genial book-talk, who can hardly write a line without giving it a
quality of real literary savor, is a prominent lawyer and member of
Parliament, and has written a law book which ranks among recognized
legal authorities. This is a series of lectures delivered in 1896, and
collected into a volume on 'The Duties and Liabilities of Trustees.' But
some of the surprise vanishes on reading the book: even as 'Alice in
Wonderland' shows on every page the work of a logician trained to use
words precisely and criticize their misuse, so in exactly the opposite
way this book is full of the shrewd judgment, the knowledge of life, and
even the delightful humor which form so much of Birrell's best equipment
for a man of letters.

Mr. Birrell's work is not merely good reading, but is a mental clarifier
and tonic. We are much better critics of other writers through his
criticisms on his selected subjects. After every reading of 'Obiter
Dicta' we feel ashamed of crass and petty prejudice, in the face of his
lessons in disregarding surface mannerisms for the sake of vital
qualities. Only in one case does he lose his impartiality: he so objects
to treating Emerson with fairness that he even goes out of his way to
berate his idol Matthew Arnold for setting Emerson aloft. But what he
says of George Borrow is vastly more true of himself: he is one of the
writers we cannot afford to be angry with.


"Criticism," writes Johnson in the 60th Idler, "is a study by which men
grow important and formidable at a very small expense. The power of
invention has been conferred by nature upon few, and the labor of
learning those sciences which may by mere labor be obtained, is too
great to be willingly endured: but every man can exert such judgment as
he has upon the works of others; and he whom nature has made weak, and
idleness keeps ignorant, may yet support his vanity by the name of
a critick."

To proceed with our task by the method of comparison is to pursue a
course open to grave objection; yet it is forced upon us when we find,
as we lately did, a writer in the Times newspaper, in the course of a
not very discriminating review of Mr. Froude's recent volumes, casually
remarking, as if it admitted of no more doubt than the day's price of
consols, that Carlyle was a greater man than Johnson. It is a good thing
to be positive. To be positive in your opinions and selfish in your
habits is the best recipe, if not for happiness, at all events for that
far more attainable commodity, comfort, with which we are acquainted. "A
noisy man," sang poor Cowper, who could not bear anything louder than
the hissing of a tea-urn, "a noisy man is always in the right," and a
positive man can seldom be proved wrong. Still, in literature it is very
desirable to preserve a moderate measure of independence, and we
therefore make bold to ask whether it is as plain as the "old hill of
Howth" that Carlyle was a greater man than Johnson? Is not the precise
contrary the truth? No abuse of Carlyle need be looked for, here or from
me. When a man of genius and of letters happens to have any striking
virtues, such as purity, temperance, honesty, the novel task of dwelling
on them has such attraction for us that we are content to leave the
elucidation of his faults to his personal friends, and to stern,
unbending moralists like Mr. Edmund Yates and the World newspaper. To
love Carlyle is, thanks to Mr. Froude's superhuman ideal of friendship,
a task of much heroism, almost meriting a pension; still it is quite
possible for the candid and truth-loving soul. But a greater than
Johnson he most certainly was not.

There is a story in Boswell of an ancient beggar-woman who, whilst
asking an alms of the Doctor, described herself to him, in a lucky
moment for her pocket, as "an old struggler." Johnson, his biographer
tells us, was visibly affected. The phrase stuck to his memory, and was
frequently applied to himself. "I too," so he would say, "am an old
struggler." So too, in all conscience, was Carlyle. The struggles of
Johnson have long been historical; those of Carlyle have just become so.
We are interested in both. To be indifferent would be inhuman. Both men
had great endowments, tempestuous natures, hard lots. They were not
amongst Dame Fortune's favorites. They had to fight their way. What they
took they took by storm. But--and here is a difference indeed--Johnson
came off victorious, Carlyle did not.

Boswell's book is an arch of triumph, through which, as we read, we see
his hero passing into eternal fame, to take up his place with those--

     "Dead but sceptred sovereigns who still rule
       Our spirits from their urns."

Froude's book is a tomb over which the lovers of Carlyle's genius will
never cease to shed tender but regretful tears.

We doubt whether there is in English literature a more triumphant book
than Boswell's. What materials for tragedy are wanting? Johnson was a
man of strong passions, unbending spirit, violent temper, as poor as a
church-mouse, and as proud as the proudest of Church dignitaries;
endowed with the strength of a coal-heaver, the courage of a lion, and
the tongue of Dean Swift, he could knock down booksellers and silence
bargees; he was melancholy almost to madness, "radically wretched,"
indolent, blinded, diseased. Poverty was long his portion; not that
genteel poverty that is sometimes behindhand with its rent, but that
hungry poverty that does not know where to look for its dinner. Against
all these things had this "old struggler" to contend; over all these
things did this "old struggler" prevail. Over even the fear of death,
the giving up of "this intellectual being," which had haunted his gloomy
fancy for a lifetime, he seems finally to have prevailed, and to have
met his end as a brave man should.

Carlyle, writing to his wife, says, and truthfully enough, "The more the
devil worries me the more I wring him by the nose;" but then if the
devil's was the only nose that was wrung in the transaction, why need
Carlyle cry out so loud? After buffeting one's way through the
storm-tossed pages of Froude's (Carlyle,)--in which t