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Title: The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. IX (of X) - America - I
Author: Lodge, Henry Cabot, 1850-1924 [Editor], Halsey, Francis W. (Francis Whiting), 1851-1919 [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.

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          [Illustration: EMERSON, IRVING, COOPER, HAWTHORNE]



                               THE BEST

                                of the

                           WORLD'S CLASSICS

                         RESTRICTED TO PROSE



                          HENRY CABOT LODGE

                           Editor-in-Chief

                          FRANCIS W. HALSEY

                           Associate Editor


                With an Introduction, Biographical and
                       Explanatory Notes, etc.



                            IN TEN VOLUMES


                               Vol. IX

                              AMERICA--I



                       FUNK & WAGNALLS COMPANY

                         NEW YORK AND LONDON



                         COPYRIGHT, 1909, BY

                       FUNK & WAGNALLS COMPANY

       *       *       *       *       *



The Best of the World's Classics

VOL. IX

AMERICA--I

1579-1891

       *       *       *       *       *



CONTENTS


VOL. IX--AMERICA--I

                                                         _Page_

JOHN SMITH--(Born in 1579, died in 1631.)
         His Story of Pocahontas.
         (From the "General History of Virginia")           3

WILLIAM BRADFORD--(Born in 1590, died in 1657.)
         The Pilgrims Land and Meet the Indians.
         (From the "History of Plymouth")                  11

SAMUEL SEWALL--(Born in 1652, died in 1730.)
         How He Courted Madam Winthrop.
         (From his "Diary")                                19

COTTON MATHER--(Born in 1663, died in 1728.)
         In Praise of John Eliot.
         (From the "Magnalia Christi Americana")           33

WILLIAM BYRD--(Born in 1674, died in 1744.)
         At the Home of Colonel Spotswood.
         (From "A Visit to the Mines")                     38

JONATHAN EDWARDS--(Born in 1703, died in 1758.)
         Of Liberty and Moral Agencies.
         (From the "Freedom of the Will")                  44

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN--(Born in 1706, died in 1790.)
         I  His First Entry into Philadelphia.
            (From the "Autobiography")                     51

        II  Warnings Braddock Did Not Heed.
            (From the "Autobiography")                     55

       III  How to Draw Lightning from the Clouds.
            (From a letter to Peter Collinson)             59

        IV  The Way to Wealth.
            (From "Poor Richard's Almanac")                61

         V  Dialog with the Gout                           68

        VI  A Proposal to Madame Helvetius.
            (A letter to Madame Helvetius)                 76

GEORGE WASHINGTON--(Born in 1732, died in 1799.)

         I  To His Wife on Taking Command of the Army.
            (A letter written on June 18, 1775)            79

        II  Of His Army in Cambridge.
            (A letter to Joseph Reed)                      81

       III  To the Marquis Chastellux on His Marriage.
            (A letter of April 25, 1788)                   84

JOHN ADAMS--(Born in 1735, died in 1826.)

         I  On His Nomination of Washington to Be
                Commander-in-Chief.
            (From his "Diary")                             87

        II  An Estimate of Franklin.
            (From a letter to the Boston _Patriot_)        90

THOMAS PAINE--(Born in 1737, died in 1809.)

            In Favor of the Separation of the Colonies
                from Great Britain.
            (From "Common Sense")                          94

THOMAS JEFFERSON--(Born in 1743, died in 1826.)

         I  When the Bastile Fell.
            (From his "Autobiography")                     98

        II  The Futility of Disputes.
            (From a letter to his nephew)                 106

       III  Of Blacks and Whites in the South.
            (From the "Notes on the State of Virginia")   108

        IV  His Account of Logan's Famous Speech.
            (From the "Notes on Virginia")                114

GOUVERNEUR MORRIS--(Born in 1752, died in 1816.)

         I  The Opening of the French States-General.
            (From a letter to Mrs. Morris)                117

        II  Of the Execution of Louis XVI.
            (From a letter to Thomas Jefferson)           120

ALEXANDER HAMILTON--(Born in 1757, died in 1804.)

         I  Of the Failure of Confederation.
            (From _The Federalist_)                       123

        II  His Reasons for not Declining Burr's
                Challenge.
            (From a statement written before the
                day of the duel)                          129

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS--(Born in 1767, died in 1848.)

         I  Of His Mother.
            (From the "Diary")                            133

        II  The Moral Taint Inherent in Slavery.
            (From the "Diary")                            135

WILLIAM E. CHANNING--(Born in 1780, died in 1842.)

            Of Greatness in Napoleon.
            (From a review of Scott's "Life of Napoleon") 139

JOHN JAMES AUDUBON--(Born in 1780, died in 1857.)

            Where the Mocking Bird Dwells.
            (From the "Birds of America")                 144

WASHINGTON IRVING--(Born in 1783, died in 1859.)

         I  The Last of the Dutch Governors of New York.
            (From "Knickerbocker's History of New York")  147

        II  The Awakening of Rip Van Winkle.
            (From the "Sketch Book")                      151

       III  At Abbotsford with Scott.
            (From the "Crayon Miscellany")                161

FENIMORE COOPER--(Born in 1789, died in 1851.)

         I  His Father's Arrival at Otsego Lake.
            (From "The Pioneers")                         170

        II  Running the Gantlet.
            (From "The Last of the Mohicans")             178

       III  Leather-Stocking's Farewell.
            (From "The Pioneers")                         185

WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT--(Born in 1794, died in 1878.)

            An October Day in Florence.
            (From a letter)                               194

WILLIAM H. PRESCOTT--(Born in 1796, died in 1859.)

         I  The Fate of Egmont and Hoorne.
            (From "Philip II")                            198

        II  The Genesis of Don Quixote.
            (From the "Miscellanies")                     209

GEORGE BANCROFT--(Born in 1800, died in 1891.)

            The Fate of Evangeline's Countrymen.
            (From the "History of the United States")     217

RALPH WALDO EMERSON--(Born in 1803, died in 1882.)

         I  Thoreau's Broken Task.
            (From the "Funeral Address")                  223

        II  The Intellectual Honesty of Montaigne.
            (From "Representative Men")                   229

       III  His Visit to Carlyle at Craigen-puttock.
            (From "English Traits")                       231

NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE--(Born in 1804, died in 1864.)

         I  Occupants of an Old Manse.
            (From "Mosses from an Old Manse")             235

        II  Arthur Dimmesdale on the Scaffold.
            (From "The Scarlet Letter")                   242

       III  Of Life at Brook Farm.
            (From "The Blithedale Romance")               248

        IV  The Death of Judge Pyncheon.
            (From "The House of the Seven Gables")        252

       *       *       *       *       *



AMERICA--I

1579-1891


JOHN SMITH

     Born in England in 1579, died in 1631; served against the
     Turks, captured, but escaped and returned to England in
     1605; sailed for Virginia in 1606, and helped to found
     Jamestown; captured by Indians and his life saved by
     Pocahontas the same year; explored the Chesapeake to its
     head; president of the Colony in 1608; returned to London in
     1609; in 1614 explored the coast of New England; captured by
     the French in 1615 and escaped the same year; received the
     title of Admiral of New England in 1617; published his "True
     Relation" in 1608, "Map of Virginia" in 1612, "A Description
     of New England" in 1616, "New England's Trials" in 1620, and
     his "General History" in 1624.



HIS STORY OF POCAHONTAS[1]


Here more than two hundred of those grim Courtiers stood wondering at
him [John Smith], as he had beene a monster; till Powhatan[2] and his
train had put themselves in their greatest braveries. Before a fire
upon a seat like a bedsted, he sat covered with a great robe, made of
Rarowcun skinnes, and all the tayles hanging by. On either hand did
sit a young wench of 16 or 18 years, and along on each side the house,
two rowes of men, and behind them as many women, with all their heads
and shoulders painted red; many of their heads bedecked with the
white downe of Birds; but every one with something: and a great chain
of white beads about their necks.

[Footnote 1: From Smith's "Generall Historie of Virginia."]

[Footnote 2: Powhatan was chief of a confederacy of Indians known as
the Powhatans, which he had raised from one comprizing only seven
tribes to one of thirty. The word Powhatan means "falls in a stream,"
and was originally applied to the falls in the James river at
Richmond.]

At his entrance before the King, all the people gave a great shout.
The Queene of Appamatuck was appointed to bring him water to wash his
hands, and another brought him a bunch of feathers, instead of a towel
to dry them. Having feasted him after their best barbarous manner they
could, a long consultation was held, but the conclusion was, two great
stones were brought before Powhatan: then as many as could laid hands
on him, dragged him to them, and thereon laid his head, and being
ready with their clubs, to beate out his braines, Pocahontas the
King's dearest daughter, when no intreaty could prevaile, got his head
in her armes, and laid her owne upon his to save him from death:
whereat the Emperour was contented he should live to make him
hatchets, and her bells, beads, and copper; for they thought him as
well of all occupations as themselves. For the King himselfe will make
his owne robes, shooes, bowes, arrowes, pots; plant, hunt, or doe any
thing so well as the rest....

To conclude our peace, thus it happened. Captaine Argall[3] having
entered into a great acquaintance with Japazaws, an old friend of
Captaine Smith's, and so to all our Nation, ever since hee discovered
the Countrie: hard by him there was Pocahontas, whom Captaine Smith's
Relations intituleth the Numparell of Virginia, and tho she had beene
many times a preserver of him and the whole Colonie, yet till this
accident shee was never seene at James towne since his departure,
being at Patawomeke, as it seemes, thinking her selfe unknown, was
easily by her friend Japazaws perswaded to goe abroad with him and his
wife to see the ship, for Captaine Argall had promised him a Copper
Kettle to bring her but to him, promising no way to hurt her, but
keepe her till they could conclude a peace with her father. The
Salvage for this Copper Kettle would have done any thing, it seemed by
the Relation; for tho she had seene and beene in many ships, yet he
caused his wife to faine how desirous she was to see one, and that he
offered to beat her for her importunitie, till she wept.

[Footnote 3: Argall, through intimidation or bribery, had made
Pocahontas a captive in 1612, when she was the wife of an Indian
attached to her father as a subordinate chief or leader.]

But at last he told her, if Pocahontas would goe with her, he was
content: and thus they betrayed the poore innocent Pocahontas aboord,
where they were all kindly feasted in the cabin. Japazaws treading oft
on the Captaine's foot, to remember he had done his part, the Captaine
when he saw his time, perswaded Pocahontas to the gun-roome, faining
to have some conference with Japazaws, which was only that she should
not perceive he was any way guiltie of her captivitie: so sending for
her againe, he told her before her friends, she must goe with him, and
compound peace betwixt her Countrie and us, before she ever should see
Powhatan, whereat the old Jew and his wife began to howle and crie as
fast as Pocahontas, that upon the Captaine's fair perswasions, by
degrees pacifying her selfe, and Japazaws and his wife, with the
Kettle and other toys, went merrily on shore, and she to James towne.
A messenger forthwith was sent to her father, that his daughter
Pocahontas he loved so dearly, he must ransome with our men, swords,
pieces, tooles, etc., he trecherously had stolne....

Long before this, Master John Rolfe, an honest Gentleman, and of good
behaviour, had beene in love with Pocahontas, and she with him, which
thing at that instant I made knowne to Sir Thomas Dale by a letter
from him, wherein hee intreated his advice, and she acquainted her
brother with it, which resolution Sir Thomas Dale[4] well approved.
The bruit of this mariage came soone to the knowledge of Powhatan, a
thing acceptable to him, as appeared by his sudden consent, for within
ten days he sent Opachisco, an old Uncle of hers, and two of his sons,
to see the manner of the mariage, and to doe in that behalfe what they
requested, for the confirmation thereof, as his deputie; which was
accordingly done about the first of Aprill. And ever since we have had
friendly trade and commerce, as well with Powhatan himself, as all his
subjects....

[Footnote 4: Dale was colonial governor of Virginia in 1611 and again
in 1614-16. In the latter year he returned to England, taking with him
Captain Rolfe and Pocahontas.]

The Lady Rebecca,[5] alias Pocahontas, daughter to Powhattan, by the
diligent care of Master John Rolfe her husband and his friends, as
taught to speake such English as might well bee understood, well
instructed in Christianitie, and was become very formal and civil
after our English manner; she had also by him a childe which she loved
most dearely and the Treasurer and Company tooke order both for the
maintenance of her and it, besides there were divers persons of great
ranke and qualitie had beene very kinde to her; and before she arrived
at London, Captaine Smith to deserve her former courtesies, made her
qualities knowne to the Queene's most excellent Majestie and her
Court, and writ a little booke to this effect to the Queene: An
abstract whereof followeth.

[Footnote 5: Under that name Pocahontas had been baptized in the
original Jamestown church. A legend has survived that an old font, now
preserved in the church at Williamsburg, is the one from which she was
baptized.]

"_To the most high and vertuous Princesse Queene Anne of Great
Brittanie._

"MOST ADMIRED QUEENE,

"The love I beare my God, my King, and Countrie hath so oft emboldened
me in the worst of extreme dangers, that now honestie doth constraine
mee presume thus far beyond my selfe, to present your Majestie this
short discourse: If ingratitude be a deadly poyson to all honest
vertues, I must bee guiltie of that crime if I should omit any meanes
to bee thankful. So it is, that some ten yeers agoe being in Virginia,
and taken prisoner by the power of Powhatan their chiefe King, I
received from this great Salvage exceeding great courtesie, especially
from his son Nantaquaus, the most manliest, comeliest, boldest spirit,
I ever saw in a Salvage, and his sister Pocahontas, the King's most
deare and well-beloved daughter, being but a childe of twelve or
thirteene yeers of age, whose compassionate pitiful heart, of
desperate estate, gave me much cause to respect her: I being the
first Christian this proud King and his grim attendants ever saw: and
thus inthralled in their barbarous power, I cannot say I felt the
least occasion of want that was in the power of those my mortal foes
to prevent, notwithstanding all their threats. After some six weeks
fatting among those Salvage Courtiers, at the minute of my execution,
she hazarded the beating out of her owne braines to save mine, and not
only that, but so prevaild with her father, that I was safely
conducted to James towne, where I found about eight and thirtie
miserable poore and sicke creatures, to keepe possession of all those
large territories of Virginia. Such was the weaknesse of this poore
Commonwealth, as had the Salvages not fed us, we directly had starved.

"And this reliefe, most gracious Queene, was commonly brought us by
this Lady Pocahontas, notwithstanding all these passages when
inconstant Fortune turned our peace to war, this tender Virgin would
still not spare to dare to visit us, and by her our jars have beene
oft appeased, and our wants still supplyed; were it the policie of her
father thus to imploy her, or the ordinance of God thus to make her
His instrument, or her extraordinary affection to our Nation, I know
not: but of this I am sure:--when her father with the utmost of his
policie and power, sought to surprize mee, having but eighteene with
mee, the darke night could not affright her from comming through the
irkesome woods, and with watered eyes gave me intelligence, with her
best advice to escape his furie; which had hee knowne, hee had surely
slaine her. James towne with her wild traine she as freely
frequented, as her father's habitation; and during the time of two or
three yeeres, she next under God, was still the Instrument to preserve
this Colonie from death, famine and utter confusion, which if in those
times had once beene dissolved, Virginia might have line as it was at
our first arrival to this day. Since then, this businesse having beene
turned and varied by many accidents from that I left it at: it is most
certaine, after a long and troublesome war after my departure, betwixt
her father and our Colonie, all which time shee was not heard of,
about two yeeres after she her selfe was taken prisoner, being so
detained neere two yeeres longer, the Colonie by that meanes was
relieved, peace concluded, and at last rejecting her barbarous
condition, was maried to an English Gentleman, with whom at this
present she is in England; the first Christian ever of that Nation,
the first Virginian ever spake English, or had a childe in mariage by
an Englishman, a matter surely, if my meaning bee truly considered and
well understood, worthy a Prince's understanding....

"The small time I staid in London, divers Courtiers and others, my
acquaintances, hath gone with mee to see her, that generally
concluded, they did thinke God had a great hand in her conversion, and
they have seen many English Ladies worse favored, proportioned and
behaviored, and as since I have heard, it pleased both the King and
Queene's Majestie honorably to esteeme her, accompanied with that
honorable Lady the Lady De la Warre, and that honorable Lord her
husband, and divers other persons of good qualities, both publikely
at the maskes and otherwise, to her great satisfaction and content,
which doubtlesse she would have deserved had she lived to arrive in
Virginia."[6]

[Footnote 6: Pocahontas in England gave birth to a son. She died at
Gravesend in the following year, in 1617. The parish records of
Gravesend describe her as "a Virginia lady borne, here was buried in
ye chauncell." In London a well-known street preserves a memorial of
her in its name--La Belle Sauvage. Her son, Thomas Rolfe, after living
many years in England, settled in Virginia. Several families in that
State have traced their descent from him. One of these was the famous
John Randolph of Roanoke.]



WILLIAM BRADFORD

     Born in England in 1590, died at Plymouth, Mass., in 1657;
     governor of Plymouth Colony from 1627, except for five
     years, to 1657; wrote a "History of the Plymouth Plantation"
     for the period 1602-47, the manuscript of which was lost in
     England, but after the lapse of about seventy-five years it
     was found in a library in 1855, and in the following year
     published.



THE PILGRIMS LAND AND MEET THE INDIANS[7]

(1620)


Having the wind good, we sailed all that day along the coast about
fifteen leagues; but saw neither river nor creek to put into. After we
had sailed an hour or two, it began to snow and rain, and to be bad
weather. About the midst of the afternoon the wind increased, and the
seas began to be very rough; and the hinges of the rudder broke, so
that we could steer no longer with it, but two men, with much ado,
were fain to serve with a couple of oars. The seas were grown so great
that we were much troubled and in great danger; and night grew on.
Anon, Master Coppin bade us be of good cheer; he saw the harbor. As we
drew near, the gale being stiff, and we bearing great sail to get in,
split our mast in three pieces, and were like to have cast away our
shallop. Yet, by God's mercy, recovering ourselves, we had the flood
with us, and struck into the harbor.

[Footnote 7: From what was long known as "Mourt's Relation," published
in London in 1622, but more properly, and now generally, called the
"Journal," or diary, of Bradford and Edward Winslow. This important
historical document covers the first year of the Plymouth colony.]

Now he that thought that had been the place, was deceived, it being a
place where not any of us had been before; and coming into the harbor,
he that was our pilot, did bear up northward, which if he had
continued, we had been cast away. Yet still the Lord kept us and we
bare up for an island before us, and recovering of that island, being
compassed about with many rocks, and dark night growing upon us, it
pleased the Divine Providence that we fell upon a place of sandy
ground, where our shallop did ride safe and secure all that night; and
coming upon a strange island, kept our watch all night in the rain
upon that island. And in the morning we marched about it, and found no
inhabitants at all; and here we made our rendezvous all that day,
being Saturday, 10th of December. On the Sabbath day we rested; and on
Monday we sounded the harbor, and found it a very good harbor for our
shipping. We marched also into the land, and found divers cornfields,
and little running brooks, a place very good for situation. So we
returned to our ship again with good news to the rest of our people,
which did much comfort their hearts....

Some of us, having a good mind, for safety, to plant in the greater
isle, we crossed the bay, which is there five or six miles over, and
found the isle about a mile and half or two miles about, all wooded,
and no fresh water but two or three pits, that we doubted of fresh
water in summer, and so full of wood as we could hardly clear so much
as to serve us for corn. Besides, we judged it cold for our corn, and
some part very rocky; yet divers thought of it as a place defensible,
and of great security. That night we returned again a shipboard, with
resolution the next morning to settle on some of those places.

So in the morning, after we had called on God for direction, we came
to this resolution, to go presently ashore again, and to take a better
view of two places which we thought most fitting for us; for we could
not now take time for further search or consideration, our victuals
being much spent, especially our beer, and it being now the 19th of
December. After our landing and viewing of the places, so well as we
could, we came to a conclusion, by most voices, to set on the main
land, on the first place, on a high ground, where there is a great
deal of land cleared, and hath been planted with corn three or four
years ago; and there is a very sweet brook runs under the hill side,
and many delicate springs of as good water as can be drunk, and where
we may harbor our shallops and boats exceeding well; and in this brook
much good fish in their seasons; on the further side of the river also
much corn-ground cleared. In one field is a great hill, on which we
point to make a platform, and plant our ordnance, which will command
all round about. From thence we may see into the bay, and far into the
sea; and we may see thence Cape Cod. Our greatest labor will be
fetching of our wood, which is half a quarter of an English mile; but
there is enough so far off. What people inhabit here we yet know not,
for as yet we have seen none. So there we made our rendezvous, and a
place for some of our people, about twenty, resolving in the morning
to come all ashore and to build houses.

But the next morning, being Thursday, the 21st of December, it was
stormy and wet, that we could not go ashore; and those that remained
there all night could do nothing, but were wet, not having daylight
enough to make them a sufficient court of guard, to keep them dry. All
that night it blew and rained extremely. It was so tempestuous that
the shallop could not go on land so soon as was meet, for they had no
victuals on land. About eleven o'clock the shallop went off with much
ado with provision, but could not return, it blew so strong; and was
such foul weather that we were forced to let fall our anchor, and ride
with three anchors ahead.

Friday, the 22d, the storm still continued, that we could not get a
land, nor they come to us aboard....

Saturday, the 23d, so many of us as could went on shore, felled and
carried timber, to provide themselves stuff for building.

Sunday, the 24th, our people on shore heard a cry of some savages, as
they thought, which caused an alarm and to stand on their guard,
expecting an assault; but all was quiet.

Friday, the 16th, a fair warm day toward. This morning we determined
to conclude of the military orders, which we had begun to consider of
before, but were interrupted by the savages, as we mentioned formerly.
And while we were busied, hereabout, we were interrupted again; for
there presented himself a savage, which caused an alarm. He very
boldly came all alone, and along the houses, straight to the
rendezvous; where we intercepted him, not suffering him to go in, as
undoubtedly he would out of his boldness. He saluted us in English,
and bade us "Welcome!" for he had learned some broken English among
the Englishmen that came to fish at Monhiggon, and knew by name the
most of the captains, commanders and masters, that usually come. He
was a man free in speech, so far as he could express his mind, and of
a seemly carriage. We questioned him of many things; he was the first
savage we could meet withal. He said he was not of these parts, but of
Morattiggon, and one of the sagamores or lords thereof; and had been
eight months in these parts, it lying hence a day's sail with a great
wind, and five days by land. He discoursed of the whole country, and
of every province, and of their sagamores, and their number of men and
strength. The wind beginning to rise a little, we cast a horseman's
coat about him; for he was stark naked, only a leather about his
waist, with a fringe about a span long or little more. He had a bow
and two arrows, the one headed, and the other unheaded. He was a tall,
straight man, the hair of his head black, long behind, only short
before, none on his face at all. He asked some beer, but we gave him
strong water, and biscuit, and butter, and cheese, and pudding, and a
piece of mallard; all which he liked well, and had been acquainted
with such amongst the English. He told us the place where we now live
is called Patuxet, and that about four years ago all the inhabitants
died of an extraordinary plague, and there is neither man, woman, nor
child remaining, as indeed we have found none; so as there is none to
hinder our possession, or to lay claim unto it. All the afternoon we
spent in communication with him. We would gladly have been rid of him
at night, but he was not willing to go this night. Then we thought to
carry him on shipboard, wherewith he was well content, and went into
the shallop; but the wind was high and the water scant, that it could
not return back. We lodged him that night at Steven Hopkin's house,
and watched him.

The next day he went away back to the Masasoits, from whence he said
he came, who are our next bordering neighbors. They are sixty strong,
as he saith. The Nausites are as near, southeast of them, and are a
hundred strong; and those were they of whom our people were
encountered, as we before related. They are much incensed and provoked
against the English; and about eight months ago slew three Englishmen,
and two more hardly escaped by flight to Monhiggon. They were Sir
Ferdinando Gorge's[8] men, as this savage told us; as he did likewise
of the _huggery_, that is, fight, that our discoverers had with the
Nausites, and of our tools that were taken out of the woods, which we
willed him, should be brought again; otherwise we would right
ourselves. These people are ill affected toward the English by reason
of one Hunt, a master of a ship, who deceived the people and got them
under color of trucking with them, twenty out of this very place where
we inhabit, and seven men from the Nausites, and carried them away,
and sold them for slaves, like a wretched man (for twenty pound a man)
that cares not what mischief he doth for his profit.

[Footnote 8: Gorge was an English naval and military commander who
came of an ancient family in Somersetshire. He had undertaken several
schemes of discovery and settlement in America, but with small
success. His pioneer work, however, was of such importance that he has
sometimes been called "the father of English colonization in
America."]

Saturday, in the morning, we dismissed the savage, and gave him a
knife, a bracelet, and a ring. He promised within a night or two to
come again and to bring with him some of the Masasoits, our neighbors,
with such beavers' skins as they had to truck with us.

Saturday and Sunday reasonable fair days. On this day came again the
savage, and brought with him five other tall, proper men. They had
every man a deer's skin on him, and the principal of them had a wild
cat's skin, or such like, on the one arm. They had most of them long
hosen up to their groins, close made, and above their groins to their
waist another leather; they were altogether like the Irish trousers.
They are of complexion like our English gipseys; no hair or very
little on their faces; on their heads long hair to their shoulders,
only cut before; some trussed up before with a feather, broad-wise,
like a fan; another a fox-tail, hanging out. These left (according to
our charge given him before) their bows and arrows a quarter of a mile
from our town. We gave them entertainment as we thought was fitting
them. They did eat liberally of our English victuals. They made
semblance unto us of friendship and amity. They sang and danced after
their manner, like antics. They brought with them in a thing like a
bow-case (which the principal of them had about his waist) a little of
their corn pounded to powder, which, put to a little water, they eat.
He had a little tobacco in a bag; but none of them drank but when he
liked. Some of them had their faces painted black, from the forehead
to the chin, four or five fingers broad; others after other fashions,
as they liked. They brought three or four skins; but we would not
truck with them at all that day, but wished them to bring more, and we
would truck for all; which they promised within a night or two, and
would leave these behind them, tho we were not willing they should;
and they brought us all our tools again, which were taken in the
woods, in our men's absence. So, because of the day, we dismissed them
so soon as we could. But Samoset,[9] our first acquaintance, either
was sick or feigned himself so, and would not go with them, and stayed
with us till Wednesday morning. Then we sent him to them to know the
reason they came not according to their words; and we gave him a hat,
a pair of stockings and shoes, a shirt, and a piece of cloth to tie
about his waist.

[Footnote 9: Samoset is still famous as an Indian who remained firm in
his friendship with the Plymouth colonists.]



SAMUEL SEWALL

     Born in England in 1652, died in Boston in 1730; served in
     the Bay Colony as judge and in other public stations; one of
     the judges at trials for witchcraft in 1692; chief justice
     in 1718; a philanthropist, and in 1700 wrote a pamphlet
     against slavery; his other works: "Queries Respecting
     America," published in 1690; "The Kennebec Indians" in 1721,
     and his "Diary" covering the period 1664-1729 in 1882.



HOW HE COURTED MADAM WINTHROP[10]

(1720)


September 5, 1720. Mary Hirst goes to Board with Madam Oliver and her
Mother Loyd. Going to Son Sewall's I there meet with Madam Winthrop,
told her I was glad to meet her there, had not seen her a great while;
gave her Mr. Homes's Sermon....

[Footnote 10: From Sewall's "Diary," as published by the Massachusetts
Historical Society in 1882.

Mrs. Winthrop was the widow of General Waite Still Winthrop, a son of
John Winthrop, Governor of Connecticut, who was a son of John
Winthrop, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Her maiden name
was Katharine Brattle. She had first married John Eyre, with whom she
lived about twenty years, and by whom she had twelve children. She was
born in 1664, and at the time of Sewall's courtship of her was
fifty-six and he sixty-nine. General Winthrop and Mrs. Sewall had died
a few years before within a month of each other. Madam Winthrop did
not marry Judge Sewall, nor any one else. She died five years after
the date of this courtship.]

September 30. Mr. Colman's Lecture: Daughter Sewall acquaints Madam
Winthrop that if she pleas'd to be within at 3 P.M. I would wait on
her. She answer'd she would be at home.

October 1. Satterday, I dine at Mr. Stoddard's: from thence I went to
Madam Winthrop's just at 3. Spake to her, saying, my loving wife died
so soon and suddenly, 'twas hardly convenient for me to think of
marrying again; however I came to this Resolution, that I would not
make my Court to any person without first Consulting with her. Had a
pleasant discourse about 7 [seven] Single persons sitting in the
Fore-seat. She propounded one and another for me; but none would do,
said Mrs. Loyd was about her Age.

October 3. 2. Waited on Madam Winthrop again; 'twas a little while
before she came in. Her daughter Noyes being there alone with me, I
said, I hoped my Waiting on her Mother would not be disagreeable to
her. She answer'd she should not be against that that might be for her
Comfort. I Saluted her, and told her I perceived I must shortly wish
her a good Time; (her mother had told me, she was with Child, and
within a Moneth or two of her Time). By and by in came Mr. Airs,
Chaplain of the Castle, and hang'd up his Hat, which I was a little
startled at, it seeming as if he was to lodge there. At last Madam
Winthrop came too. After a considerable time, I went up to her and
said, if it might not be inconvenient I desired to speak with her. She
assented, and spake of going into another Room; but Mr. Airs and Mrs.
Noyes presently rose up, and went out, leaving us there alone. Then I
usher'd in Discourse from the names in the Fore-seat; at last I pray'd
that Katharine [Mrs. Winthrop] might be the person assign'd for me.
She instantly took it up in the way of Denyal, as if she had catch'd
at an Opportunity to do it, saying she could not do it before she was
asked. Said that was her mind unless she should Change it, which she
believed she should not; could not leave her Children. I express'd my
Sorrow that she should do it so Speedily, pray'd her Consideration,
and ask'd her when I should wait on her agen. She setting no time, I
mentioned that day Sennight. Gave her Mr. Willard's Fountain open'd
with the little print and verses; saying, I hop'd if we did well read
that book, we should meet together hereafter, if we did not now. She
took the Book, and put it in her Pocket. Took Leave.

October 5. Midweek, I din'ed with the Court; from thence went and
visited Cousin Jonathan's wife, Lying in with her little Betty. Gave
the Nurse 2s. Altho I had appointed to wait upon her, Madam Winthrop,
next Monday, yet I went from my Cousin Sewall's thither about 3 P.M.
The Nurse told me Madam dined abroad at her daughter Noyes's, they
were to go out together. I ask'd for the Maid, who was not within.
Gave Katee a penny and a Kiss, and came away. Accompanyed my Son and
daughter Cooper in their Remove to their New House.

October 6. A little after 6 P.M. I went to Madam Winthrop's. She was
not within. I gave Sarah Chickering the Maid 2s., Juno, who brought in
wood, 1s. Afterward the Nurse came in, I gave her 18d., having no
other small Bill. After awhile Dr. Noyes came in with his Mother; and
quickly after his wife came in: They sat talking, I think, till eight
a-clock. I said I fear'd I might be some Interruption to their
Business: Dr. Noyes reply'd pleasantly: He fear'd they might be an
Interruption to me, and went away. Madam seem'd to harp upon the same
string. Must take care of her Children; could not leave that House and
Neighborhood where she had dwelt so long. I told her she might doe her
children as much or more good by bestowing what she laid out in
Hous-keeping, upon them. Said her Son would be of age the 7th of
August. I said it might be inconvenient for her to dwell with her
Daughter-in-Law, who must be Mistress of the House. I gave her a piece
of Mr. Belcher's Cake and Ginger-Bread wrapped up in a clean sheet of
Paper; told her of her Father's kindness to me when Treasurer, and I
Constable. My Daughter Judith was gon from me and I was more
lonesom--might help to forward one another in our Journey to
Canaan.--Mr. Eyre[11] came within the door; I saluted him, ask'd how
Mr. Clark did, and he went away. I took leave about 9 a-clock. I told
[her] I came now to refresh her Memory as to Monday night; said she
had not forgot it. In discourse with her, I ask'd leave to speak with
her Sister; I meant to gain Madam Mico's favour to persuade her
Sister. She seem'd surpris'd and displeas'd, and said she was in the
same condition!...

[Footnote 11: A son of Madam Winthrop by her first marriage.]

October 10. In the Evening I visited Madam Winthrop, who treated me
with a great deal of Curtesy; Wine, Marmalade. I gave her a
News-Letter about the Thanksgiving; Proposals, for sake of the Verses
for David Jeffries. She tells me Dr. Increase Mather visited her this
day, in Mr. Hutchinson's Coach.

October 11. I writ a few Lines to Madam Winthrop to this purpose:
"Madam, These wait on you with Mr. Mayhew's Sermon, and Account of the
state of the Indians on Martha's Vinyard. I thank you for your
Unmerited Favors of yesterday; and hope to have the Happiness of
Waiting on you to-morrow before Eight a-clock after Noon. I pray GOD
to keep you, and give you a joyfull entrance upon the Two Hundred and
twenty-ninth year of Christopher Columbus his Discovery; and take
Leave, who am, Madam, your humble Servant. S. S."

Sent this by Deacon Green, who deliver'd it to Sarah Chickering, her
Mistress not being at home.

October 12. At Madam Winthrop's Steps I took leave of Capt Hill, &c.
Mrs. Anne Cotton came to door (twas before 8.) said Madam Winthrop was
within, directed me into the little Room, where she was full of work
behind a Stand Mrs. Cotton came in and stood. Madam Winthrop pointed
to her to set me a Chair. Madam Winthrop's Countenance was much
changed from what 'twas on Monday, look'd dark and lowering. At last,
the work, (black stuff or Silk) was taken away, I got my Chair in
place, had some Converse, but very Cold and indifferent to what 'twas
before. Ask'd her to acquit me of Rudeness if I drew off her Glove.
Enquiring the reason, I told her twas great odds between handling a
dead Goat, and a living Lady. Got it off. I told her I had one
Petition to ask of her, that was, that she would take off the Negative
she laid on me the third of October; She readily answer'd she could
not, and enlarg'd upon it; She told me of it so soon as she could;
could not leave her house, children, neighbours, business. I told her
she might do som Good to help and support me. Mentioning Mrs. Gookin,
Nath, the widow Weld was spoken of; said I had visited Mrs. Denison. I
told her Yes! Afterward I said, If after a first and second Vagary she
would Accept of me returning, Her Victorious Kindness and Good Will
would be very Obliging. She thank'd me for my Book, (Mr. Mayhew's
Sermon), But said not a word of the Letter. When she insisted on the
Negative, I pray'd there might be no more Thunder and Lightening, I
should not sleep all night. I gave her Dr. Preston, The Church's
Marriage and the Church's Carriage, which cost me 6s. at the Sale. The
door standing open, Mr. Airs came in, hung up His hat, and sat down.
After awhile, Madam Winthrop moving, he went out. Jno. Eyre look'd in,
I said How do ye, or your servant Mr. Eyre: but heard no word from
him. Sarah fill'd a Glass of Wine, she drank to me, I to her, She sent
Juno home with me with a good Lantern, I gave her 6d. and bid her
thank her Mistress. In some of our Discourse, I told her I had rather
go the Stone-House adjoining to her, than to come to her against her
mind. Told her the reason why I came every other night was lest I
should drink too deep draughts of Pleasure. She had talk'd of Canary,
her Kisses were to me better than the best Canary. Explain'd the
expression Concerning Columbus.

October 13. I tell my Son and daughter Sewall, that the Weather was
not so fair as I apprehended.

October 17. In the Evening I visited Madam Winthrop, who Treated me
Courteously, but not in Clean Linen as somtimes. She said, she did not
know whether I would come again, or no. I ask'd her how she could so
impute inconstancy to me. (I had not visited her since Wednesday night
being unable to get over the Indisposition received by the Treatment
received that night, and _I must_ in it seem'd to sound like a made
piece of Formality.) Gave her this day's Gazett. Heard David Jeffries
say the Lord's Prayer, and some other portions of the Scriptures. He
came to the door, and ask'd me to go into Chamber, where his
Grandmother was tending Little Katee, to whom she had given Physick;
but I chose to sit below. Dr. Noyes and his wife came in, and sat a
considerable time; had been visiting Son and daughter Cooper. Juno
came home with me.

October 18. Visited Madam Mico, who came to me in a splendid Dress. I
said, It may be you have heard of my Visiting Madam Winthrop, her
Sister. She answered, Her Sister had told her of it. I ask'd her good
Will in the Affair. She answer'd, If her Sister were for it, she
should not hinder it. I gave her Mr. Homes's Sermon. She gave me a
Glass of Canary, entertain'd me with good Discourse, and a Respectfull
Remembrance of my first Wife. I took Leave.

October 19. Midweek, Visited Madam Winthrop; Sarah told me she was at
Mr. Walley's, would not come home till late. I gave her Hannah 3
oranges with her Duty, not knowing whether I should find her or no.
Was ready to go home: but said if I knew she was there, I would go
thither. Sarah seem'd to speak with pretty good Courage, She would be
there. I went and found her there, with Mr. Walley and his wife in the
little Room below. At 7 a-clock I mentioned going home; at 8. I put on
my Coat, and quickly waited on her home. She found occasion to speak
loud to the servant, as if she had a mind to be known. Was Courteous
to me; but took occasion to speak pretty earnestly about my keeping a
Coach: I said 'twould cost £100. per annum: she said twould cost but
£40. Spake much against John Winthrop, his false-heartedness. Mr. Eyre
came in and sat awhile; I offer'd him Dr. Incr. Mather's Sermons,
whereof Mr. Appleton's Ordination Sermon was one; said he had them
already. I said I would give him another. Exit. Came away somewhat
late.

October 20. Promis'd to wait on the Governor about 7. Madam Winthrop
not being at Lecture, I went thither first; found her very Serene with
her daughter Noyes, Mrs. Dering, and the widow Shipreev sitting at a
little Table, she in her arm'd Chair. She drank to me, and I to Mrs.
Noyes. After awhile pray'd the favor to speak with her. She took one
of the Candles, and went into the best Room, clos'd the shutters, sat
down upon the Couch. She told me Madam Usher had been there, and said
the Coach must be set on Wheels, and not by Rusting. She spake
something of my needing a Wigg. Ask'd me what her Sister said to me. I
told her, She said, If her Sister were for it, She would not hinder
it. But I told her, she did not say she would be glad to have me for
her Brother. Said, I shall keep you in the Cold, and asked her if she
would be within to morrow night, for we had had but a running Feat.
She said she could not tell whether she should, or no. I took Leave.
As were drinking at the Governour's, he said: In England the Ladies
minded little more than that they might have Money, and Coaches to
ride in. I said, And New-England brooks its Name. At which Mr. Dudley
smiled. Governour said they were not quite so bad here.

October 21. Friday, My Son, the Minister, came to me P.M. by
appointment and we pray one for another in the Old Chamber; more
especially respecting my Courtship. About 6. a-clock I go to Madam
Winthrop's; Sarah told me her Mistress was gon out, but did not tell
me whither she went. She presently order'd me a Fire; so I went in,
having Dr. Sibb's Bowels with me to read. I read the two first
Sermons, still no body came in: at last about 9. a-clock Mr. Jno. Eyre
came in; I took the opportunity to say to him as I had done to Mrs.
Noyes before, that I hoped my Visiting his Mother would not be
disagreeable to him; He answered me with much Respect. When twas after
9. a-clock He of himself said he would go and call her, she was but at
one of his Brothers: A while after I heard Madam Winthrop's voice,
enquiring somthing about John. After a good while and Clapping the
Garden door twice or thrice, she came in. I mention'd somthing of the
lateness; she banter'd me, and said I was later. She receiv'd me
Courteously. I ask'd when our proceedings should be made publick: She
said They were like to be no more publick than they were already.
Offer'd me no Wine that I remember. I rose up at 11 a-clock to come
away, saying I would put on my Coat, She offer'd not to help me. I
pray'd her that Juno might light me home, she open'd the Shutter, and
said twas pretty light abroad; Juno was weary and gon to bed. So I
came home by Star-light as well as I could. At my first coming in, I
gave Sarah five Shillings. I writ Mr. Eyre his name in his book with
the date October 21, 1720. It cost me 8s. Jehovah jireh! Madam told me
she had visited M. Mico, Wendell, and Wm. Clark of the South [Church].

October 22. Daughter Cooper visited me before my going out of Town,
staid till about Sun set. I brought her going near as far as the
Orange Tree. Coming back, near Leg's Corner, Little David Jeffries saw
me, and looking upon me very lovingly, ask'd me if I was going to see
his Grandmother? I said, Not to-night. Gave him a peny, and bid him
present my Service to his Grandmother.

October 24. I went in the Hackny Coach through the Common, stop'd at
Madam Winthrop's (had told her I would take my departure from thence).
Sarah came to the door with Katee in her Arms: but I did not think to
take notice of the Child. Call'd her Mistress. I told her, being
encourag'd by David Jeffries loving eyes, and sweet Words, I was come
to enquire whether she could find in her heart to leave that House and
Neighbourhood, and go and dwell with me at the South-end; I think she
said softly, Not yet. I told her It did not ly in my Lands to keep a
Coach. If I should, I should be in danger to be brought to keep
company with her Neighbour Brooker, (he was a little before sent to
prison for Debt). Told her I had an Antipathy against those who would
pretend to give themselves; but nothing of their Estate. I would a
proportion of my Estate with my self. And I supposed she would do so.
As to a Perriwig, My best and greatest Friend, I could not possibly
have a greater, began to find me with Hair before I was born, and had
continued to do so ever since; and I could not find in my heart to go
to another. She commended the book I gave her, Dr. Preston, the Church
Marriage; quoted him saying 'twas inconvenient keeping out of a
Fashion commonly used. I said the Time and Tide did circumscribe my
Visit. She gave me a Dram of Black-Cherry Brandy, and gave me a lump
of the Sugar that was in it. She wish'd me a good Journy. I pray'd God
to keep her, and came away. Had a very pleasant Journy to Salem.

November 1. I was so taken up that I could not go if I would.

November 2. Midweek, went again, and found Mrs. Alden there, who
quickly went out. Gave her about 1/2 pound of Sugar Almonds, cost 3s.
per £. Carried them on Monday. She seem'd pleas'd with them, ask'd
what they cost. Spake of giving her a Hundred pounds per annum if I
dy'd before her. Ask'd her what sum she would give me, if she should
dy first? Said I would give her time to Consider of it. She said she
heard as if I had given all to my Children by Deeds of Gift. I told
her 'twas a mistake, Point-Judith was mine &c. That in England I
own'd, my Father's desire was that it should go to my eldest Son;
'twas 20£ per annum; she thought 'twas forty. I think when I seem'd to
excuse pressing this, she seemed to think twas best to speak of it; a
long winter was coming on. Gave me a Glass or two of Canary.

November 4. Friday, Went again, about 7. a-clock; found there Mr. John
Walley and his wife: sat discoursing pleasantly. I shew'd them Isaac
Moses's [an Indian] Writing. Madam W. serv'd Comfeits to us. After
awhile a Table was spread, and Supper was set. I urg'd Mr. Walley to
Crave a Blessing; but he put it upon me. About 9. they went away. I
ask'd Madam what fashioned Neck-lace I should present her with, She
said, None at all. I ask'd her Whereabout we left off last time;
mention'd what I had offer'd to give her; Ask'd her what she would
give me; She said she could not Change her Condition: She had said so
from the beginning; could not be so far from her Children, the
Lecture. Quoted the Apostle Paul affirming that a single Life was
better than a Married. I answered That was for the present Distress.
Said she had not pleasure in things of that nature as formerly: I
said, you are the fitter to make me a Wife. If she held in that mind,
I must go home and bewail my Rashness in making more haste than good
Speed. However, considering the Supper, I desired her to be within
next Monday night, if we liv'd so long. Assented. She charg'd me with
saying, that she must put away Juno, if she came to me: I utterly
deny'd it, it never came in my heart; yet she insisted upon it;
saying it came in upon discourse about the Indian woman that obtained
her Freedom this Court. About 10. I said I would not disturb the good
orders of her House, and came away. She not seeming pleas'd with my
Coming away. Spake to her about David Jeffries, had not seen him.

Monday, November 7. My Son pray'd in the Old Chamber. Our time had
been taken up by Son and Daughter Cooper's Visit; so that I only read
the 130th and 143. Psalm. Twas on the Account of my Courtship. I went
to Mad. Winthrop; found her rocking her little Katee in the Cradle. I
excus'd my Coming so late (near Eight). She set me an arm'd Chair and
Cusheon; and so the Cradle was between her arm'd Chair and mine. Gave
her the remnant of my Almonds; She did not eat of them as before; but
laid them away; I said I came to enquire whether she had alter'd her
mind since Friday, or remained of the same mind still. She said,
Thereabouts. I told her I loved her, and was so fond as to think that
she loved me: she said had a great respect for me. I told her, I had
made her an offer, without asking any advice; she had so many to
advise with, that 'twas an hindrance. The Fire was come to one short
Brand besides the Block, which Brand was set up in end; at last it
fell to pieces, and no Recruit was made: She gave me a glass of Wine.
I think I repeated again that I would go home and bewail my Rashness
in making more haste than good Speed. I would endeavor to contain
myself, and not go on to sollicit her to do that which she could not
Consent to. Took leave of her. As came down the steps she bid me have
a care. Treated me Courteously. Told her she had enter'd the 4th year
of her Widowhood. I had given her the News-Letter before: I did not
bid her draw off her Glove as sometime I had done. Her Dress was not
so clean as somtime it had been. Jehovah Jireh.

Midweek, November 9th. Dine at Brother Stoddard's: were so kind as to
enquire of me if they should invite Madam Winthrop; I answer'd No.
Thank'd my Sister Stoddard for her Courtesie. Had a noble Treat. At
night our Meeting was at the Widow Belknap's. Gave each one of the
Meeting One of Mr. Holmes's Sermons, 12 in all; She sent her servant
home with me with a Lantern. Madam Winthrop's Shutters were open as I
pass'd by.

November 11th. Went not to Madam Winthrop's. This is the 2d
Withdraw....

About the middle of December Madam Winthrop made a Treat for her
Children; Mr. Sewall, Prince, Willoughby: I knew nothing of it; but
the same day abode in the Council Chamber for fear of the Rain, and
din'd alone upon Kilby's Pyes and good Beer.[12]

[Footnote 12: In the following summer Judge Sewall made his addresses
to an old friend of his, then a widow, Mrs. Ruggles, by whom he was
rejected. In March of the next year he married Mrs. Mary Gibbs.]



COTTON MATHER

     Born in Boston in 1663, died in 1728; son of Increase
     Mather; colleague of his father in the North Church of
     Boston in 1684, remaining in that pulpit until his death;
     active in the suppression of witchcraft; published his
     "Magnalia" in 1702, his "Wonders of the Invisible World" in
     1692.



IN PRAISE OF JOHN ELIOT[13]


He that will write of Eliot must write of charity, or say nothing. His
charity was a star of the first magnitude in the bright constellation
of his vertues, and the rays of it were wonderfully various and
extensive. His liberality to pious uses, whether publick or private,
went much beyond the proportions of his little estate in the world.
Many hundreds of pounds did he freely bestow upon the poor; and he
would, with a very forcible importunity, press his neighbors to join
with him in such beneficences. It was a marvelous alacrity with which
he imbraced all opportunities of relieving any that were miserable;
and the good people of Roxbury doubtless cannot remember (but the
righteous God will!) how often, and with what ardors, with what
arguments, he became a beggar to them for collections in their
assemblies, to support such needy objects as had fallen under his
observation. The poor counted him their father, and repaired still
unto him with a filial confidence in their necessities; and they were
more than seven or eight, or indeed than so many scores, who received
their portions of his bounty. Like that worthy and famous English
general, he could not perswade himself "that he had anything but what
he gave away," but he drove a mighty trade at such exercises as he
thought would furnish him with bills of exchange, which he hoped
"after many days" to find the comfort of; and yet, after all, he would
say, like one of the most charitable souls that ever lived in the
world, "that looking over his accounts he could nowhere find the God
of heaven charged a debtor there." He did not put off his charity to
be put in his last will, as many who therein shew that their charity
is against their will; but he was his own administrator; he made his
own hands his executors, and his own eyes his overseers. It has been
remarked that liberal men are often long-lived men; so do they after
many days find the bread with which they have been willing to keep
other men alive. The great age of our Eliot was but agreeable to this
remark; and when his age had unfitted him for almost all employments,
and bereaved him of those gifts and parts which once he had been
accomplished with, being asked, "How he did?" he would sometimes
answer, "Alas, I have lost everything; my understanding leaves me, my
memory fails me, my utterance fails me; but, I thank God, my charity
holds out still; I find that rather grows than fails!" And I make no
question, that at his death his happy soul was received and welcomed
into the "everlasting habitations," by many scores got thither before
him, of such as his charity had been liberal unto.

[Footnote 13: From the "Magnalia Christi Americana." This work
comprizes an ecclesiastical history of early New England, and has been
in much favor with collectors. John Eliot has commonly been called
"The Apostle of the Indians." He labored among them many years and
translated into their language the Bible. Copies of the "Eliot Bible"
are now among the most valuable of early American books.]

But besides these more substantial expressions of his charity, he made
the odors of that grace yet more fragrant unto all that were about
him, by that pitifulness and that peaceableness which rendered him yet
further amiable. If any of his neighborhood were in distress, he was
like a "brother born for their adversity," he would visit them, and
comfort them with a most fraternal sympathy; yea, 'tis not easy to
recount how many whole days of prayer and fasting he has got his
neighbors to keep with him, on the behalf of those whose calamities he
found himself touched withal. It was an extreme satisfaction to him
that his wife had attained unto a considerable skill in physick and
chirurgery, which enabled her to dispense many safe, good and useful
medicines unto the poor that had occasion for them; and some hundreds
of sick and weak and maimed people owed praises to God for the benefit
which therein they freely received of her. The good gentleman her
husband would still be casting oil into the flame of that charity,
wherein she was of her own accord abundantly forward thus to be doing
of good unto all; and he would urge her to be serviceable unto the
worst enemies that he had in the world. Never had any man fewer
enemies than he! but once having delivered something in his ministry
which displeased one of his hearers, the man did passionately abuse
him for it, and this both with speeches and with writings that
reviled him. Yet it happening not long after that this man gave
himself a very dangerous wound, Mr. Eliot immediately sends his wife
to cure him; who did accordingly. When the man was well, he came to
thank her, but she took no rewards; and this good man made him stay
and eat with him, taking no notice of all the calumnies with which he
had loaded him; but by this carriage he mollified and conquered the
stomach of his reviler.

He was also a great enemy to all contention, and would ring aloud
courfeu bell wherever he saw the fires of animosity. When he heard any
ministers complain that such and such in their flocks were too
difficult for them, the strain of his answer still was, "Brother,
compass them!" and "Brother, learn the meaning of those three little
words, bear, forbear, forgive." Yea, his inclinations for peace,
indeed, sometimes almost made him to sacrifice right itself. When
there was laid before an assembly of ministers a bundle of papers
which contained certain matters of difference and contention between
some people which our Eliot thought should rather unite, with an
amnesty upon all their former quarrels, he (with some imitation of
what Constantine did upon the like occasion) hastily threw the papers
into the fire before them all, and, with a zeal for peace as hot as
that fire, said immediately, "Brethren, wonder not at what I have
done; I did it on my knees this morning before I came among you." Such
an excess (if it were one) flowed from his charitable inclinations to
be found among those peace-makers which, by following the example of
that Man who is our peace, come to be called "the children of God."
Very worthily might he be called an Irenæus as being all for peace;
and the commendation which Epiphanius gives unto the ancient of that
name, did belong unto our Eliot; he was "a most blessed and a most
holy man." He disliked all sorts of bravery; but yet with an ingenious
note upon the Greek word in Col. iii. 15, he propounded, "that peace
might brave it among us." In short, wherever he came, it was like
another old John, with solemn and earnest persuasives to love; and
when he could say little else he would give that charge, "My children,
love one another!"

Finally, 'twas his charity which disposed him to continual
applications for, and benedictions on those that he met withal; he had
an heart full of good wishes and a mouth full of kind blessings for
them. And he often made his expressions very wittily agreeable to the
circumstances which he saw the persons in. Sometimes when he came into
a family, he would call for all the young people in it, that so he
might very distinctly lay his holy hands upon every one of them, and
bespeak the mercies of heaven for them all.



WILLIAM BYRD

     Born in Virginia in 1674, died, in 1744; educated in England
     and the Netherlands; visited the court of France; chosen a
     Fellow of the Royal Society; receiver-general of the revenue
     in Virginia and three times colonial agent for Virginia in
     England; for thirty-seven years member, and finally
     president, of the Council of Virginia; his home in Virginia
     the famous ancestral seat called Westover.



AT THE HOME OF COLONEL SPOTSWOOD[14]


Sept., 1732. Colonel Spotswood's enchanted castle is on one side of
the street, and a baker's dozen of ruinous tenements on the other,
where so many German families had dwelt some years ago; but are now
removed ten miles higher, in the Fork of Rappahannock, to land of
their own. There had also been a chapel about a bow-shot from the
colonel's house, at the end of an avenue of cherry trees, but some
pious people had lately burned it down, with intent to get another
built nearer to their own homes. Here I arrived about three o'clock,
and found only Mrs. Spotswood at home, who received her old
acquaintance with many a gracious smile. I was carried into a room
elegantly set off with pier glasses, the largest of which came soon
after to an odd misfortune. Amongst other favorite animals that
cheered this lady's solitude, a brace of tame deer ran familiarly
about the house, and one of them came to stare at me as a stranger.
But unluckily spying his own figure in the glass, he made a spring
over the tea-table that stood under it, and shattered the glass to
pieces, and falling back upon the tea-table made a terrible fracas
among the china.

[Footnote 14: From "A Progress to the Mines," the date of the visit
being 1732, which was the year in which Washington was born. Byrd's
work is one of several admired writings by Byrd, now known
collectively as the "Westover Manuscripts." Colonel Spotswood, of whom
Byrd here writes, in early life had been a soldier under Marlborough,
and in 1710 Governor of Virginia. In 1714, on his appointment to
command a British expedition to the West Indies, he was made a
major-general, but he died before embarking. He maintained fine
establishments at Yorktown and on the Rapidan.]

This exploit was so sudden, and accompanied with such a noise, that it
surprized me, and perfectly frightened Mrs. Spotswood. But 'twas worth
all the damage to show the moderation and good humor with which she
bore this disaster. In the evening the noble colonel came home from
his mines, who saluted me very civilly, and Mrs. Spotswood's sister,
Miss Theky, who had been to meet him _en cavalier_, was so kind too as
to bid me welcome. We talked over a legend of old stories, supped
about 9, and then prattled with the ladies, till it was time for a
traveler to retire. In the mean time I observed my old friend to be
very uxorious, and exceedingly fond of his children. This was so
opposite to the maxims he used to preach up before he was married,
that I could not forbear rubbing up the memory of them. But he gave a
very good-natured turn to his change of sentiments by alleging that
whoever brings a poor gentlewoman into so solitary a place, from all
her friends and acquaintance, would be ungrateful not to use her and
all that belongs to her with all possible tenderness.

We all kept snug in our several apartments till nine, except Miss
Theky, who was the housewife of the family. At that hour we met over a
pot of coffee, which was not quite strong enough to give us the palsy.
After breakfast the colonel and I left the ladies to their domestic
affairs, and took a turn in the garden, which has nothing beautiful
but three terrace walks that fall in slopes one below another. I let
him understand that, besides the pleasure of paying him a visit, I
came to be instructed by so great a master in the mystery of making of
iron, wherein he had led the way, and was the Tubal Cain of Virginia.
He corrected me a little there, by assuring me he was not only the
first in this country, but the first in North America who had erected
a regular furnace. That they ran altogether upon bloomeries in New
England and Pennsylvania till his example had made them attempt
greater works. But in this last colony they have so few ships to carry
their iron to Great Britain that they must be content to make it only
for their own use, and must be obliged to manufacture it when they
have done. That he hoped he had done the country very great service by
setting so good an example....

Our conversation on this subject continued till dinner, which was both
elegant and plentiful. The afternoon was devoted to the ladies, who
showed me one of their most beautiful walks. They conducted me through
a shady lane to the landing, and by the way made me drink some very
fine water that issued from a marble fountain, and ran incessantly.
Just behind it was a covered bench, where Miss Theky often sat and
bewailed her virginity. Then we proceeded to the river, which is the
south branch of Rappahannock, about fifty yards wide, and so rapid
that the ferry boat is drawn over by a chain, and therefore called the
Rapidan. At night we drank prosperity to all the colonel's projects in
a bowl of rack punch, and then retired to our devotions.

Having employed about two hours in retirement, I sallied out at the
first summons to breakfast, where our conversation with the ladies,
like whip syllabub, was very pretty, but had nothing in it. This, it
seems, was Miss Theky's birthday, upon which I made her my
compliments, and wished she might live twice as long a married woman
as she had lived a maid. I did not presume to pry into the secret of
her age, nor was she forward to disclose it, for this humble reason,
lest I should think her wisdom fell short of her years....

We had a Michaelmas goose for dinner, of Miss Theky's own raising, who
was now good-natured enough to forget the jeopardy of her dog. In the
afternoon we walked in a meadow by the river side, which winds in the
form of a horseshoe about Germanna, making it a peninsula containing
about four hundred acres. Rappahannock forks about fourteen miles
below this place, the northern branch being the larger, and
consequently must be the river that bounds my Lord Fairfax's grant of
the northern neck.

The sun rose clear this morning, and so did I, and finished all my
little affairs by breakfast. It was then resolved to wait on the
ladies on horseback, since the bright sun, the fine air, and the
wholesome exercise, all invited us to it. We forded the river a little
above the ferry, and rode six miles up the neck to a fine level piece
of rich land, where we found about twenty plants of ginseng, with the
scarlet berries growing on the top of the middle stalk. The root of
this is of wonderful virtue in many cases, particularly to raise the
spirits and promote perspiration, which makes it a specific in colds
and coughs. The colonel complimented me with all we found, in return
for my telling him the virtues of it. We were all pleased to find so
much of this king of plants so near the colonel's habitation, and
growing, too, upon his own land; but were, however surprized to find
it upon level ground, after we had been told it grew only upon the
north side of Stony Mountains. I carried home this treasure with as
much joy as if every root had been a graft of the Tree of Life, and
washed and dried it carefully. This airing made us as hungry as so
many hawks, so that between appetite and a very good dinner, 'twas
difficult to eat like a philosopher. In the afternoon the ladies
walked me about amongst all their little animals, with which they
amuse themselves, and furnish the table; the worst of it is, they are
so tenderhearted they shed a silent tear every time any of them are
killed. At night the colonel and I quitted the threadbare subject of
iron, and changed the scene to politics. He told me the ministry had
receded from their demand upon New England, to raise a standing
salary for all succeeding governors, for fear some curious members of
the House of Commons should inquire how the money was disposed of that
had been raised in the other American colonies for the support of
their governors....

Our conversation was interrupted by a summons to supper, for the
ladies, to show their power, had by this time brought us tamely to go
to bed with our bellies full, tho we both at first declared positively
against it. So very pliable a thing is frail man, when women have the
bending of him.



JONATHAN EDWARDS

     Born In Connecticut in 1703, died in Princeton in 1758;
     pastor at Northampton, Mass., in 1727-50; missionary to the
     Indians at Stockbridge in 1751-58; president of Princeton in
     1758; his "Treatise Concerning the Religious Affections"
     published in 1746; "Qualifications for Full Communion" in
     1749; "The Freedom of the Will," his most famous book, in
     1754; "Doctrine of Original Sin Defended" in 1758, and
     "History of the Redemption" in 1772.



OF LIBERTY AND MORAL AGENCIES[15]


The plain and obvious meaning of the words freedom and liberty, in
common speech, is power, opportunity, or advantage, that any one has,
to do as he pleases. Or, in other words, his being free from hindrance
or impediment in the way of doing, or conducting in any respect, as he
wills. (I say not only doing, but conducting; because a voluntary
forbearing to do, sitting still, keeping silence, etc., are instances
of persons' conduct, about which liberty is exercised; tho they are
not so properly called doing.) And the contrary to Liberty, whatever
name we call that by, is a person's being hindered or unable to
conduct as he will, or being necessitated to do otherwise.

[Footnote 15: From "The Freedom of the Will." It is not alone as a
contribution to theology that this work has been much admired. It is
probably the most famous theological treatise yet produced in America;
one writer has called it "one of the most famous philosophical works
in the world." But as an intellectual achievement solely, and for the
perfection of its style, it has been quite as generally praised.]

If this which I have mentioned be the meaning of the word liberty, in
the ordinary use of language; as I trust that none that has ever
learned to talk, and is unprejudiced, will deny: then it will follow
that in propriety of speech neither liberty, nor its contrary, can
properly be ascribed to any being or thing but that which has such a
faculty, power or property as is called will. For that which is
possest of no such thing as will, can not have any power or
opportunity of doing according to its will, nor be necessitated to act
contrary to its will, nor be restrained from acting agreeably to it.
And therefore to talk of liberty, or the contrary, as belonging to the
very will itself is not to speak good sense; if we judge of sense and
nonsense by the original and proper signification of words. For the
will itself is not an agent that has a will: the power of choosing
itself has not a power of choosing. That which has the power of
volition or choice is the man or the soul, and not the power of
volition itself. And he that has the liberty of doing according to his
will, is the agent or doer who is possest of the will; and not the
will which he is possest of. We say with propriety that a bird let
loose has power and liberty to fly; but not that the bird's power of
flying has a power and liberty of flying. To be free is the property
of an agent, who is possest of powers and faculties, as much as to be
cunning, valiant, bountiful, or zealous. But these qualities are the
properties of men or persons and not the properties of properties.

There are two things that are contrary to this which is called liberty
in common speech. One is constraint; the same is otherwise called
force, compulsion, and coaction; which is a person's being
necessitated to do a thing contrary to his will. The other is
restraint; which is his being hindered, and not having power to do
according to his will. But that which has no will, can not be the
subject of these things. I need say the less on this head, Mr. Locke
having set the same thing forth, with so great clearness, in his
"Essay on the Human Understanding."

But one thing more I would observe concerning what is vulgarly called
liberty; namely, that power and opportunity for one to do and conduct
as he will, or according to his choice, is all that is meant by it;
without taking into the meaning of the word anything of the cause or
original of that choice; or at all considering how the person came to
have such a volition; whether it was caused by some external motive or
internal habitual bias; whether it was determined by some internal
antecedent volition, or whether it happened without a cause; whether
it was necessarily connected with something foregoing, or not
connected. Let the person come by his volition or choice how he will,
yet, if he is able, and there is nothing in the way to hinder his
pursuing and executing his will, the man is fully and perfectly free,
according to the primary and common notion of freedom.

What has been said may be sufficient to show what is meant by liberty,
according to the common notions of mankind, and in the usual and
primary acceptation of the word: but the word, as used by Arminians,
Pelagians and others, who oppose the Calvinists, has an entirely
different signification. These several things belong to their notion
of liberty. 1. That it consists in a self-determining power in the
will, or a certain sovereignty the will has over itself, and its own
acts, whereby it determines its own volitions; so as not to be
dependent, in its determinations, on any cause without itself, nor
determined by anything prior to its own acts. 2. Indifference belongs
to liberty in their notion of it, or that the mind, previous to the
act of volition, be in equilibrio. 3. Contingence is another thing
that belongs and is essential to it; not in the common acceptation of
the word, as that has been already explained, but as opposed to all
necessity, or any fixt and certain connection with some previous
ground or reason of its existence. They suppose the essence of liberty
so much to consist in these things that unless the will of man be free
in this sense, he has no real freedom, how much soever he may be at
liberty to act according to his will.

A moral agent is a being that is capable of those actions that have a
moral quality, and which can properly be denominated good or evil in a
moral sense, virtuous or vicious, commendable or faulty. To moral
agency belongs a moral faculty, or sense of moral good and evil, or of
such a thing as desert or worthiness, of praise or blame, reward or
punishment; and a capacity which an agent has of being influenced in
his actions by moral inducements or motives, exhibited to the view of
understanding and reason, to engage to a conduct agreeable to the
moral faculty.

The sun is very excellent and beneficial in its action and influence
on the earth, in warming it, and causing it to bring forth its fruits;
but it is not a moral agent. Its action, tho good, is not virtuous or
meritorious. Fire that breaks out in a city, and consumes great part
of it, is very mischievous in its operation; but is not a moral agent.
What it does is not faulty or sinful, or deserving of any punishment.
The brute creatures are not moral agents. The actions of some of them
are very profitable and pleasant; others are very hurtful; yet, seeing
they have no moral faculty, or sense of desert, and do not act from
choice guided by understanding, or with a capacity of reasoning and
reflecting, but only from instinct, and are not capable of being
influenced by moral inducements, their actions are not properly sinful
or virtuous; nor are they properly the subjects of any such moral
treatment for what they do, as moral agents are for their faults or
good deeds.

Here it may be noted that there is a circumstantial difference between
the moral agency of a ruler and a subject. I call it circumstantial,
because it lies only in the difference of moral inducements they are
capable of being influenced by, arising from the difference of
circumstances. A ruler, acting in that capacity only, is not capable
of being influenced by a moral law, and its sanctions of threatenings
and promises, rewards and punishments as the subject is; tho both may
be influenced by a knowledge of moral good and evil. And therefore
the moral agency of the Supreme Being, who acts only in the capacity
of a ruler toward His creatures, and never as a subject, differs in
that respect from the moral agency of created intelligent beings.
God's actions, and particularly those which are to be attributed to
Him as moral governor, are morally good in the highest degree. They
are most perfectly holy and righteous; and we must conceive of Him as
influenced in the highest degree by that which, above all others, is
properly a moral inducement, viz., the moral good which He sees in
such and such things: and therefore He is, in the most proper sense, a
moral agent, the source of all moral ability and agency, the fountain
and rule of all virtue and moral good; tho by reason of His being
supreme over all, it is not possible He should be under the influence
of law or command, promises or threatenings, rewards or punishments,
counsels or warnings. The essential qualities of a moral agent are in
God, in the greatest possible perfection; such as understanding, to
perceive the difference between moral good and evil; a capacity of
discerning that moral worthiness and demerit, by which some things are
praiseworthy, others deserving of blame and punishment; and also a
capacity of choice, and choice guided by understanding, and a power of
acting according to his choice or pleasure, and being capable of doing
those things which are in the highest sense praiseworthy. And herein
does very much consist that image of God wherein He made man (which we
read of Gen. i. 26, 27, and chapter ix. 6), by which God distinguishes
man from the beasts, viz., in those faculties and principles of
nature, whereby he is capable of moral agency. Herein very much
consists the natural image of God; as His spiritual and moral image,
wherein man was made at first, consisted in that moral excellency,
that he was endowed with.



BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

     Born in Boston in 1706, died in 1790; settled in
     Philadelphia in 1729; Postmaster of Philadelphia in 1737;
     discovered the identity of lightning with electricity in
     1753; proposed a "Plan of Union" at Albany in 1754; Colonial
     Agent for Pennsylvania in England in 1757-62 and 1764-75;
     Member of the Second Continental Congress in 1775; Member of
     the Committee which drew up the Declaration of Independence
     in 1776; Ambassador to France in 1776; helped to negotiate
     the treaty of peace with England in 1783; President of
     Pennsylvania in 1785-88; Member of the Constitutional
     Convention in 1787.



I

HIS FIRST ENTRY INTO PHILADELPHIA[16]

(1729)


I have been the more particular in this description of my journey, and
shall be so of my first entry into that city, that you may in your
mind compare such unlikely beginnings with the figure I have since
made there. I was in my working dress, my best clothes being to come
round by sea. I was dirty from my journey; my pockets were stuffed out
with shirts and stockings, and I knew no soul nor where to look for
lodging. I was fatigued with traveling, rowing and want of rest, I was
very hungry; and my whole stock of cash consisted of a Dutch dollar,
and about a shilling in copper. The latter I gave the people of the
boat for my passage, who at first refused it, on account of my rowing;
but I insisted on their taking it. A man being sometimes more generous
when he has but a little money than when he has plenty, perhaps
through fear of being thought to have but little.

[Footnote 16: From Chapters I and II of the "Autobiography."]

Then I walked up the street, gazing about till near the market-house I
met a boy with bread. I had made many a meal on bread, and, inquiring
where he got it, I went immediately to the baker's he directed me to,
in Second street, and asked for biscuit, intending such as we had in
Boston; but they, it seems, were not made in Philadelphia. Then I
asked for a three-penny loaf, and was told they had none such. So, not
considering or knowing the difference of money, and the greater
cheapness nor the names of his bread, I had him give me three
pennyworth of any sort. He gave me, accordingly, three great puffy
rolls. I was surprized at the quantity, but took it, and, having no
room in my pockets, walked off with a roll under each arm, and eating
the other. Thus I went up Market street as far as Fourth street,
passing by the door of Mr. Read, my future wife's father;[17] when
she, standing at the door, saw me, and thought I made, as I certainly
did, a most awkward, ridiculous appearance. Then I turned and went
down Chestnut street and part of Walnut street, eating my roll all the
way, and, coming round, found myself again at Market street wharf,
near the boat I came in, to which I went for a draft of the river
water; and, being filled with one of my rolls, gave the other two to a
woman and her child that came down the river in the boat with us, and
were waiting to go farther.

[Footnote 17: Deborah was Mr. Read's daughter's name. Her grave,
alongside Franklin's, in Philadelphia, has been a place of much
pilgrimage these many years. One of the letters of Mrs. Franklin that
has survived may be given here in illustration of her limited
education. It was addrest to Franklin while he was in England, being
dated "October ye 11, 1770":

"My dear Child:--the bairer of this is the Son of Dr. Phinis Bond his
only son and a worthey young man he is going to studey the Law he
desired a line to you I believe you have such a number of worthey
young Jentelmen as ever wonte to gather I hope to give you pleshner to
see such a number of fine youthes from your one country which will be
an Honour to thar parentes and Countrey.

  "I am my dear Child your
                      ffeckshonot
                                   Wife D. Franklin."]

Thus refreshed, I walked again up the street, which by this time had
many clean-drest people in it, who were all walking the same way. I
joined them, and thereby was led into the great meeting-house of the
Quakers near the market. I sat down among them, and, after looking
round awhile and hearing nothing said, being very drowsy through labor
and want of rest the preceding night, I fell fast asleep, and
continued so till the meeting broke up, when one was kind enough to
rouse me. This was, therefore, the first house I was in, or slept in,
in Philadelphia.

Walking down again toward the river, and, looking in the faces of
people, I met a young Quaker man, whose countenance I liked, and,
accosting him, requested he would tell me where a stranger could get
lodging. We were then near the sign of the Three Mariners. "Here,"
says he, "is one place that entertains strangers, but it is not a
reputable house; if thee wilt walk with me, I'll show thee a better."
He brought me to the Crooked Billet in Water street. Here I got a
dinner; and, while I was eating it, several sly questions were asked
me, as it seemed to be suspected, from my youth and appearance, that I
might be some runaway.

After dinner, my host having shown me to a bed, I laid myself on
without undressing, and slept till six in the evening, when I was
called to supper. I went to bed again very early, and slept very
soundly till next morning. Then I drest myself as neat as I could, and
went to Andrew Bradford the printer's. I found in the shop the old man
his father, whom I had seen at New York, and who, traveling on
horseback, had got to Philadelphia before me. He introduced me to his
son, who received me civilly, gave me a breakfast, but told me he did
not at present want a hand, being lately supplied with one; but there
was another printer in town, lately set up, one Keimer, who, perhaps,
might employ me; if not, I should be welcome to lodge at his house,
and he would give me a little work to do now and then till fuller
business should offer.



II

WARNINGS BRADDOCK DID NOT HEED[18]


This general [Braddock] was, I think, a brave man, and might probably
have made a figure as a good officer in some European war. But he had
too much self-confidence, too high an opinion of the validity of
regular troops, and too mean a one of both Americans and Indians.
George Croghan,[19] our Indian interpreter, joined him on his march
with one hundred of those people, who might have been of great use to
his army as guides, scouts, etc., if he had treated them kindly; but
he slighted and neglected them, and they gradually left him.

[Footnote 18: From Chapter X of the "Autobiography."]

[Footnote 19: Croghan afterward became associated closely with Sir
William Johnson in the Mohawk and Upper Susquehanna Valleys. He
acquired title to a large tract of land at the foot of Otsego Lake,
but, while settling it, mortgaged the land heavily, and eventually
lost it through foreclosure. William Cooper, father of the novelist,
subsequently obtained title to these lands and went into the country
to settle them. In the course of his labors, he founded the village of
Cooperstown, and made it his home. It was this circumstance which led
to Fenimore Cooper's knowledge of Indian and frontier life as depicted
in his writings. The home of William Cooper had previously been in
Burlington, N. J.]

In conversation with him one day he was giving me some account of his
intended progress. "After taking Fort Duquesne,"[20] says he, "I am to
proceed to Niagara; and, having taken that, to Frontenac,[21] if the
season will allow time; and I suppose it will, for Duquesne can hardly
detain me above three or four days; and then I see nothing that can
obstruct my march to Niagara." Having before revolved in my mind the
long line his army must make in their march by a very narrow road, to
be cut for them through the woods and bushes, and also what I had read
of a former defeat of fifteen hundred French, who invaded the Iroquois
country, I had conceived some doubts and some fears for the event of
the campaign. But I ventured only to say, "To be sure, sir, if you
arrive well before Duquesne, with these fine troops, so well provided
with artillery, that place, not yet completely fortified and as we
hear with no very strong garrison, can probably make but a short
resistance. The only danger I apprehend of obstruction to your march
is from ambuscades of Indians, who, by constant practise, are dextrous
in laying and executing them; and the slender line, near four miles
long, which your army must make, may expose it to be attacked by
surprize in its flanks, and to be cut like a thread into several
pieces, which, from their distance, can not come up in time to support
each other."

[Footnote 20: Now Pittsburg.]

[Footnote 21: In early times commonly called Fort Frontenac, but now
Kingston, Ontario, Canada. The name was changed to Kingston by
Loyalists who settled at the fort after the American Revolution.]

He smiled at my ignorance, and replied, "These savages may, indeed, be
a formidable enemy to your raw American militia, but upon the King's
regular and disciplined troops, sir, it is impossible they should make
any impression." I was conscious of an impropriety in my disputing
with a military man in matters of his profession, and said no more.
The enemy, however, did not take advantage of his army which I
apprehended its long line of march exposed it to, but let it advance
without interruption till within nine miles of the place; and then,
when more in a body (for it had just passed a river, where the front
had halted till all were come over), and in a more open part of the
woods than any it had passed, attacked its advanced guard by a heavy
fire from behind trees and bushes, which was the first intelligence
the general had of an enemy's being near him. This guard being
disordered, the general hurried the troops up to their assistance,
which was done in great confusion, through wagons, baggage, and
cattle; and presently the fire came upon their flank: the officers,
being on horseback, were more easily distinguished, picked out as
marks, and fell very fast; and the soldiers were crowded together in a
huddle, having or hearing no orders, and standing to be shot at till
two-thirds of them were killed; and then, being seized with a panic,
the whole fled with precipitation.

The wagoners took each a horse out of his team and scampered; their
example was immediately followed by others; so that all the wagons,
provisions, artillery, and stores were left to the enemy. The general,
being wounded, was brought off with difficulty; his secretary, Mr.
Shirley, was killed by his side; and out of eighty-six officers,
sixty-three were killed or wounded, and seven hundred and fourteen men
killed out of eleven hundred. These eleven hundred had been picked
men from the whole army; the rest had been left behind with Colonel
Dunbar, who was to follow with the heavier part of the stores,
provisions, and baggage. The flyers, not being pursued, arrived at
Dunbar's camp, and the panic they brought with them instantly seized
him and all his people; and, tho he had now above one thousand men,
and the enemy who had beaten Braddock did not at most exceed four
hundred Indians and French together, instead of proceeding, and
endeavoring to recover some of the lost honor, he ordered all the
stores, ammunition, etc., to be destroyed, that he might have more
horses to assist his flight toward the settlements, and less lumber to
remove. He was there met with requests from the governors of Virginia,
Maryland and Pennsylvania that he would post his troops on the
frontiers, so as to afford some protection to the inhabitants; but he
continued his hasty march through all the country, not thinking
himself safe till he arrived at Philadelphia, where the inhabitants
could protect him. This whole transaction gave us Americans the first
suspicion that our exalted ideas of the prowess of British regulars
had not been well founded.

In their first march, too, from their landing till they got beyond the
settlements, they had plundered and stript the inhabitants, totally
ruining some poor families, besides insulting, abusing, and confining
the people if they remonstrated. This was enough to put us out of
conceit of such defenders, if we had really wanted any. How different
was the conduct of our French friends in 1781, who, during a march
through the most inhabited part of our country, from Rhode Island to
Virginia, near seven hundred miles, occasioned not the smallest
complaint for the loss of a pig, a chicken, or even an apple.



III

HOW TO DRAW LIGHTNING FROM THE CLOUDS[22]


As frequent mention is made in public papers from Europe of the
success of the Philadelphia experiment for drawing the electric fire
from clouds by means of pointed rods of iron erected on high
buildings, etc., it may be agreeable to the curious to be informed
that the same experiment has succeeded in Philadelphia, tho made in a
different and more easy manner, which is as follows.

[Footnote 22: From a letter to Peter Collinson, dated October 19,
1752, and read before the Royal Society of London in December of the
same year.]

Make a small cross of two light strips of cedar, the arms so long as
to reach to the four corners of a large thin silk handkerchief when
extended; tie the corners of the handkerchief to the extremities of
the cross, so you have the body of a kite; which, being properly
accommodated with a tail, loop, and string, will rise in the air, like
those made of paper; but this being of silk is fitter to bear the wet
and wind of a thunder-gust without tearing. To the top of the upright
stick of the cross is to be fixt a very sharp pointed wire, rising a
foot or more above the wood. To the end of the twine, next the hand,
is to be tied a silk ribbon, and where the silk and twine join, a key
may be fastened. This kite is to be raised when a thunder-gust appears
to be coming on, and the person who holds the string must stand within
a door or window, or under some cover, so that the silk ribbon may not
be wet; and care must be taken that the twine does not touch the frame
of the door or window. As soon as any of the thunder-clouds come over
the kite, the pointed wire will draw the electric fire from them, and
the kite, with all the twine, will be electrified, and the loose
filaments of the twine will stand out every way, and be attracted by
an approaching finger. And when the rain has wetted the kite and
twine, so that it can conduct the electric fire freely, you will find
it stream out plentifully from the key on the approach of your
knuckle. At this key the vial may be charged; and from electric fire
thus obtained, spirits may be kindled, and all the other electric
experiments be performed, which are usually done by the help of a
rubbed glass globe or tube, and thereby the sameness of the electric
matter with that of lightning completely demonstrated.



IV

THE WAY TO WEALTH[23]


COURTEOUS reader:

I have heard that nothing gives an author so great pleasure as to find
his works respectfully quoted by others. Judge, then, how much I must
have been gratified by an incident I am going to relate to you. I
stopt my horse lately, where a great number of people were collected
at an auction of merchants' goods. The hour of the sale not being
come, they were conversing on the badness of the times; and one of the
company called to a plain, clean old man, with white locks, "Pray,
Father Abraham, what think you of the times? Will not these heavy
taxes quite ruin the country? How shall we ever be able to pay them?
What would you advise us to do?" Father Abraham stood up and replied,
"If you would have my advice, I will give it you in short; for 'A word
to the wise is enough,' as Poor Richard says." They joined in desiring
him to speak his mind, and gathering round him he proceeded as
follows.

[Footnote 23: From "Poor Richard's Almanac" for 1757, where it was
printed as a preface signed "Richard Saunders." Franklin began this
Almanac in 1732. John Bigelow, Franklin's biographer and editor, says
it "attained an astonishing popularity." For twenty-five years it had
an average circulation of 10,000 copies. Sometimes it was sent to
press as early as October in order to supply remote colonists in time
for the new year. Translations of it have been printed in nearly all
written languages.]

"Friends," said he, "the taxes are indeed very heavy, and, if those
laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might
more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more
grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our idleness,
three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly;
and from these taxes the commissioners can not ease or deliver us by
allowing an abatement. However, let us harken to good advice, and
something may be done for us; 'God helps them that help themselves,'
as Poor Richard says.

"I. It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people
one-tenth part of their time, to be employed in its service; but
idleness taxes many of us much more; sloth, by bringing on diseases,
absolutely shortens life. 'Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than
labor wears; while the used key is always bright,' as Poor Richard
says. 'But dost thou love life, then do not squander time, for that is
the stuff life is made of,' as Poor Richard says. How much more than
is necessary do we spend in sleep, forgetting that 'The sleeping fox
catches no poultry,' and that 'There will be sleeping enough in the
grave,' as Poor Richard says.

"'If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be,'
as Poor Richard says, 'the greatest prodigality'; since, as he
elsewhere tells us, 'Lost time is never found again; and what we call
time enough, always proves little enough.' Let us, then, up and be
doing, and doing to the purpose; so by diligence shall we do more with
less perplexity. 'Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry all
easy'; and 'He that riseth late must trot all day, and shall scarce
overtake his business at night'; while 'Laziness travels so slowly
that Poverty soon overtakes him. Drive thy business, let not that
drive thee'; and 'Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man
healthy, wealthy, and wise,' as Poor Richard says....

"Methinks I hear some of you say, 'Must a man afford himself no
leisure?' I will tell thee, my friend, what Poor Richard says, 'Employ
thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure; and, since thou art
not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour.' Leisure is time for
doing something useful; this leisure the diligent man will obtain, but
the lazy man never; for 'A life of leisure and a life of laziness are
two things. Many, without labor, would live by their wits only, but
they break for want of stock'; whereas industry gives comfort, and
plenty, and respect. 'Fly pleasures, and they will follow you. The
diligent spinner has a large shift; and now I have a sheep and a cow,
everybody bids me good morrow.'

"II. But with our industry we must likewise be steady, settled, and
careful, and oversee our own affairs with our own eye, and not trust
too much to others; for, as Poor Richard says,

    'I never saw an oft-removed tree,
    Nor yet an oft-removed family,
    That throve so well as those that settled be.'

And again, 'Three removes are as bad as a fire'; and again, 'Keep thy
shop, and thy shop will keep thee'; and again, 'If you would have your
business done, go; if not, send.' And again,

    'He that by the plough would thrive,
    Himself must either hold or drive.'

And again, 'The eye of a master will do more work than both his
hands'; and again, 'Want of care does us more damage than want of
knowledge'; and again, 'Not to oversee workmen, is to leave them your
purse open.' Trusting too much to others' care is the ruin of many;
for 'In the affairs of this world men are saved not by faith, but by
the want of it'; but a man's own care is profitable; for 'If you would
have a faithful servant, and one that you like, serve yourself. A
little neglect may breed great mischief; for want of a nail the shoe
was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a
horse the rider was lost, being overtaken and slain by the enemy; all
for want of a little care about a horseshoe nail.'

"III. So much for industry, my friends, and attention to one's own
business; but to these we must add frugality, if we would make our
industry more certainly successful. A man may, if he knows not how to
save as he gets, keep his nose all his life to the grindstone, and die
not worth a groat at last. 'A fat kitchen makes a lean will'; and

    'Many estates are spent in the getting,
    Since women for tea forsook spinning and knitting,
    And men for punch forsook hewing and splitting.'

'If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as of getting. The
Indies have not made Spain rich, because her outgoes are greater than
her incomes.'

"Away, then, with your expensive follies, and you will not then have
so much cause to complain of hard times, heavy taxes, and chargeable
families; for

    'Women and wine, game and deceit,
    Make the wealth small and the want great.'

"And further, 'What maintains one vice would bring up two children.'
You may think, perhaps, that a little tea, or a little punch now and
then, diet a little more costly, clothes a little finer, and a little
entertainment now and then can be no great matter; but remember, 'Many
a little makes a mickle.' Beware of little expenses; 'A small leak
will sink a great ship,' as Poor Richard says; and again, 'Who
dainties love, shall beggars prove'; and moreover, 'Fools makes
feasts, and wise men eat them.... If you would know the value of
money, go and try to borrow some; for he that goes a-borrowing goes
a-sorrowing,' as Poor Richard says; and, indeed, so does he that lends
to such people, when he goes to get it in again. Poor Dick further
advises, and says,

    'Fond pride of dress is sure a very curse;
    Ere fancy you consult, consult your purse.'

And again, 'Pride is as loud a beggar as Want, and a great deal more
saucy.' When you have bought one fine thing, you must buy ten more,
that your appearance may be all of a piece; but Poor Dick says, 'It is
easier to suppress the first desire than to satisfy all that follow
it.' And it is as truly folly for the poor to ape the rich as for the
frog to swell in order to equal the ox.

    'Vessels large may venture more,
    But little boats should keep near shore.

It is, however, a folly soon punished; for, as Poor Richard says,
'Pride that dines on vanity sups on contempt. Pride breakfasted with
Plenty, dined with Poverty, and supped with Infamy.' And, after all,
of what use is this pride of appearance, for which so much is risked,
so much is suffered? It can not promote health, nor ease pain; it
makes no increase of merit in the person; it creates envy; it hastens
misfortune.

"But what madness must it be to run in debt for these
superfluities.... When you have got your bargain, you may, perhaps,
think little of payment; but, as Poor Richard says, 'Creditors have
better memories than debtors; creditors are a superstitious sect,
great observers of set days and times.' The day comes round before you
are aware, and the demand is made before you are prepared to satisfy
it; or, if you bear your debt in mind, the term, which at first seemed
so long, will, as it lessens, appear extremely short. Time will seem
to have added wings to his heels as well as his shoulders. 'Those have
a short Lent who owe money to be paid at Easter.' At present, perhaps,
you may think yourselves in thriving circumstances, and that you can
bear a little extravagance without injury; but

    'For age and want save while you may;
    No morning sun lasts a whole day.'

Gain may be temporary and uncertain, but ever, while you live, expense
is constant and certain; and 'It is easier to build two chimneys than
to keep one in fuel,' as Poor Richard says; so, 'Rather go to bed
supperless than rise in debt.'

    'Get what you can, and what you get hold;
    'Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold.'

And when you have got the philosopher's stone, sure you will no longer
complain of bad times, or the difficulty of paying taxes.

"IV. This doctrine, my friends, is reason and wisdom; but, after all,
do not depend too much upon your own industry, and frugality, and
prudence, tho excellent things; for they may all be blasted without
the blessing of Heaven; and, therefore, ask that blessing humbly, and
be not uncharitable to those that at present seem to want it, but
comfort and help them. Remember, Job suffered, and was afterward
prosperous.

"And now, to conclude, 'Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will
learn in no other,' as Poor Richard says, and scarce in that; for, it
is true, 'We may give advice, but we can not give conduct.' However,
remember this, 'They that will not be counseled, can not be helped;'
and further, that 'If you will not hear Reason, she will surely rap
your knuckles' as Poor Richard says."

Thus the old gentleman ended his harangue. The people heard it and
approved the doctrine; and immediately practised the contrary, just as
if it had been a common sermon; for the auction opened, and they began
to buy extravagantly. I found the good man had thoroughly studied my
Almanacs, and digested all I had dropt on these topics during the
course of twenty-five years. The frequent mention he made of me must
have tired any one else; but my vanity was wonderfully delighted with
it, tho I was conscious that not a tenth part of the wisdom was my
own, which he ascribed to me, but rather the gleanings that I had made
of the sense of all ages and nations. However, I resolved to be the
better for the echo of it; and tho I had at first determined to buy
stuff for a new coat, I went away resolved to wear my old one a little
longer. Reader, if thou wilt do the same, thy profit will be as great
as mine.



V

A DIALOG WITH THE GOUT

[_Dated at midnight, 22 October,1780._]


_Franklin._ Eh! Oh! Eh! What have I done to merit these cruel
sufferings?

_Gout._ Many things; you have ate and drank too freely, and too much
indulged those legs of yours in their indolence.

_Franklin._ Who is it that accuses me?

_Gout._ It is I, even I, the Gout.

_Franklin._ What! my enemy in person?

_Gout._ No, not your enemy.

_Franklin._ I repeat it; my enemy; for you would not only torment my
body to death, but ruin my good name; you reproach me as a glutton
and a tippler; now all the world that knows me will allow that I am
neither the one nor the other.

_Gout._ The world may think as it pleases; it is always very
complaisant to itself, and sometimes to its friends; but I very well
know that the quantity of meat and drink proper for a man who takes a
reasonable degree of exercise, would be too much for another, who
never takes any.

_Franklin._ I take--Eh! Oh!--as much exercise--Eh!--as I can, Madam
Gout. You know my sedentary state, and on that account, it would seem,
Madam Gout, as if you might spare me a little, seeing it is not
altogether my own fault.

_Gout._ Not a jot; your rhetoric and your politeness are thrown away;
your apology avails nothing. If your situation in life is a sedentary
one, your amusements, your recreations, at least, should be active.
You ought to walk or ride; or, if the weather prevents that, play at
billiards. But let us examine your course of life. While the mornings
are long, and you have leisure to go abroad, what do you do? Why,
instead of gaining an appetite for breakfast, by salutary exercise,
you amuse yourself with books, pamphlets, or newspapers, which
commonly are not worth the reading. Yet you eat an inordinate
breakfast, four dishes of tea, with cream, and one or two buttered
toasts, with slices of hung beef, which I fancy are not things the
most easily digested. Immediately afterward you sit down to write at
your desk, or converse with persons who apply to you on business. Thus
the time passes till one, without any kind of bodily exercise.

But all this I could pardon, in regard, as you say, to your sedentary
condition. But what is your practise after dinner? Walking in the
beautiful gardens of those friends with whom you have dined would be
the choice of men of sense; yours is to be fixt down to chess, where
you are found engaged for two or three hours! This is your perpetual
recreation, which is the least eligible of any for a sedentary man,
because, instead of accelerating the motion of the fluids, the rigid
attention it requires helps to retard the circulation and obstruct
internal secretions. Wrapt in the speculations of this wretched game,
you destroy your constitution. What can be expected from such a course
of living but a body replete with stagnant humors, ready to fall a
prey to all kinds of dangerous maladies, if I, the Gout, did not
occasionally bring you relief by agitating those humors, and so
purifying or dissipating them? If it was in some nook or alley in
Paris, deprived of walks, that you played awhile at chess after
dinner, this might be excusable; but the same taste prevails with you
in Passy, Auteuil, Montmartre, or Sanoy, places where there are the
finest gardens and walks, a pure air, beautiful women, and most
agreeable and instructive conversation; all which you might enjoy by
frequenting the walks. But these are rejected for this abominable game
of chess. Fie, then, Mr. Franklin! But amidst my instructions, I had
almost forgot to administer my wholesome corrections; so take that
twinge--and that.

_Franklin._ Oh! Eh! Oh! Ohhh! As much instruction as you please, Madam
Gout, and as many reproaches; but pray, Madam, a truce with your
corrections!

_Gout._ No, Sir, no--I will not abate a particle of what is so much
for your good--therefore--

_Franklin._ Oh! Ehhh!--It is not fair to say I take no exercise, when
I do very often, going out to dine and returning in my carriage.

_Gout._ That, of all imaginable exercises, is the most slight and
insignificant, if you allude to the motion of a carriage suspended on
springs. By observing the degree of heat obtained by different kinds
of motion we may form an estimate of the quantity of exercise given by
each. Thus, for example, if you turn out to walk in winter with cold
feet, in an hour's time you will be in a glow all over; ride on
horseback, the same effect will scarcely be perceived by four hours'
round trotting; but if you loll in a carriage, such as you have
mentioned, you may travel all day, and gladly enter the last inn to
warm your feet by a fire. Flatter yourself then no longer that half an
hour's airing in your carriage deserves the name of exercise.
Providence has appointed few to roll in carriages, while he has given
to all a pair of legs, which are machines infinitely more commodious
and serviceable. Be grateful, then, and make a proper use of yours.
Would you know how they forward the circulation of your fluids, in the
very action of transporting you from place to place; observe when you
walk that all your weight is alternately thrown from one leg to the
other; this occasions a great pressure on the vessels of the foot, and
repels their contents; when relieved, by the weight being thrown on
the other foot, the vessels of the first are allowed to replenish,
and, by a return of this weight, this repulsion again succeeds, thus
accelerating the circulation of the blood. The heat produced in any
given time depends on the degree of this acceleration; the fluids are
shaken, the humors attenuated, the secretions facilitated, and all
goes well; the cheeks are ruddy, and health is established. Behold
your fair friend at Auteuil;[24] a lady who received from bounteous
nature more really useful science than half a dozen of such pretenders
to philosophy as you have been able to extract from all your books.
When she honors you with a visit, it is on foot. She walks all hours
of the day, and leaves indolence, and its concomitant maladies, to be
endured by her horses. In this see at once the preservative of her
health and personal charms. But when you go to Auteuil, you must have
your carriage, tho it is no farther from Passy to Auteuil than from
Auteuil to Passy.

[Footnote 24: The reference is to Madame Helvetius, whom Franklin knew
as the widow of the writer Claude Adrien Helvetius. Her home was long
a center of literary society in France. The friendship with Franklin
was a notable incident in his career as American Ambassador to France.
See his letter to her printed here as the sixth of these selections
from Franklin.]

_Franklin._ Your reasonings grow very tiresome.

_Gout._ I stand corrected. I will be silent and continue my office;
take that, and that.

_Franklin._ Oh! Ohh! Talk on, I pray you.

_Gout._ No, no; I have a good number of twinges for you to-night, and
you may be sure of some more to-morrow.

_Franklin._ What, with such a fever! I shall go distracted. Oh! Eh!
Can no one bear it for me?

_Gout._ Ask that of your horses; they have served you faithfully.

_Franklin._ How can you so cruelly sport with my torments?

_Gout._ Sport! I am very serious. I have here a list of offenses
against your own health distinctly written, and can justify every
stroke inflicted on you.

_Franklin._ Read it then.

_Gout._ It is too long a detail; but I will briefly mention some
particulars.

_Franklin._ Proceed. I am all attention.

_Gout._ Do you remember how often you have promised yourself, the
following morning, a walk in the grove of Boulogne, in the garden de
la Muette, or in your own garden, and have violated your promise,
alleging at one time it was too cold, at another too warm, too windy,
too moist, or what else you pleased; when in truth it was too nothing
but your insuperable love of ease?

_Franklin._ That I confess may have happened occasionally, probably
ten times in a year.

_Gout._ Your confession is very far short of the truth; the gross
amount is one hundred and ninety-nine times.

_Franklin._ Is it possible?

_Gout._ So possible that it is fact; you may rely on the accuracy of
my statement. You know Mr. Brillon's gardens, and what fine walks they
contain; you know the handsome flight of a hundred steps, which lead
from the terrace above to the lawn below. You have been in the
practise of visiting this amiable family twice a week, after dinner,
and it is a maxim of your own, that "a man may take as much exercise
in walking a mile up and down-stairs as in ten on level ground." What
an opportunity was here for you to have had exercise in both these
ways! Did you embrace it, and how often?

_Franklin._ I can not immediately answer that question.

_Gout._ I will do it for you; not once.

_Franklin._ Not once?

_Gout._ Even so. During the summer you went there at six o'clock. You
found the charming lady, with her lovely children and friends, eager
to walk with you, and entertain you with their agreeable conversation;
and what has been your choice? Why, to sit on the terrace, satisfying
yourself with the fine prospect, and passing your eye over the
beauties of the garden below, without taking one step to descend and
walk about in them.

On the contrary, dear sir, you call for tea and the chess-board; and
lo! you are occupied in your seat till nine o'clock, and that besides
two hours' play after dinner; and then, instead of walking home, which
would have bestirred you a little, you step into your carriage. How
absurd to suppose that all this carelessness can be reconcilable with
health, without my interposition!

_Franklin._ I am convinced now of the justness of Poor Richard's
remark that "Our debts and our sins are always greater than we think
for."

_Gout._ So it is. You philosophers are sages in your maxims, and fools
in your conduct.

_Franklin._ But do you charge, among my crimes, that I return in a
carriage from Mr. Brillon's?

_Gout._ Certainly; for having been seated all the while, you can not
object the fatigue of the day, and can not want, therefore, the
relief of a carriage.

_Franklin._ What, then, would you have me do with my carriage?

_Gout._ Burn it, if you choose; you would at least get heat out of it
once in this way, or, if you dislike that proposal, here's another for
you; observe the poor peasants, who work in the vineyards and grounds
about the villages of Passy, Auteuil, Chaillot, etc.; you may find
every day, among these deserving creatures, four or five old men and
women, bent and perhaps crippled by weight of years and too long and
too great labor. After a most fatiguing day, these people have to
trudge a mile or two to their smoky huts. Order your coachman to set
them down. This is an act that will be good for your soul; and, at the
same time, after your visit to the Brillons, if you return on foot,
that will be good for your body.

_Franklin._ Ah! how tiresome you are!

_Gout._ Well, then, to my office; it should not be forgotten that I am
your physician. There.

_Franklin._ Ohhh! what a devil of a physician!

_Gout._ How ungrateful you are to say so! Is it not I who, in the
character of your physician, have saved you from the palsy, dropsy and
apoplexy? one or other of which would have done for you long ago but
for me.

_Franklin._ I submit, and thank you for the past, but entreat the
discontinuance of your visits for the future; for, in my mind, one had
better die than be cured so dolefully. Permit me just to hint that I
have also not been unfriendly to you. I never feed physician or quack
of any kind, to enter the list against you; if, then, you do not
leave me to my repose, it may be said you are ungrateful too.

_Gout._ I can scarcely acknowledge that as any objection. As to
quacks, I despise them; they may kill you, indeed, but can not injure
me. And as to regular physicians, they are at last convinced that the
gout, in such a subject as you are, is no disease, but a remedy; and
wherefore cure a remedy?--but to our business--there.

_Franklin._ Oh! Oh!--for Heaven's sake leave me; and I promise
faithfully never more to play at chess, but to take exercise daily,
and live temperately.

_Gout._ I know you too well. You promise fair; after a few months of
good health you will return to your old habits; your fine promises
will be forgotten like the forms of the last year's clouds. Let us
then finish the account, and I will go. But leave you with an
assurance of visiting you again at a proper time and place; for my
object is your good, and you are sensible now that I am your real
friend.



VI

A PROPOSAL TO MADAME HELVETIUS[25]


Mortified at the barbarous resolution pronounced by you so positively
yesterday evening, that you would remain single for the rest of your
life as a compliment due to the memory of your husband, I retired to
my chamber. Throwing myself upon my bed I dreamt that I was dead, and
was transported to the Elysian fields.

[Footnote 25: A letter now printed in Volume VI of the "Works of
Franklin," edited by John Bigelow.]

I was asked whether I wished to see any persons in particular; to
which I replied that I wished to see the philosophers. "There are two
who live here at hand in this garden; they are good neighbors and very
friendly toward one another." "Who are they?" "Socrates and
Helvetius." "I esteem them both highly; but let me see Helvetius
first, because I understand a little French but not a word of Greek."
I was conducted to him; he received me with much courtesy, having
known me, he said, by character some time past. He asked me a thousand
questions relative to the war, the present state of religion, of
liberty, of the government in France. "You do not inquire, then," said
I, "after your dear friend, Madame Helvetius; yet she loves you
exceedingly. I was in her company not more than an hour ago." "Ah,"
said he, "you make me recur to my past happiness, which ought to be
forgotten in order to be happy here. For many years I could think of
nothing but her, tho at length I am consoled. I have taken another
wife, the most like her that I could find; she is not, indeed,
altogether so handsome, but she has a great fund of wit and good
sense, and her whole study is to please me. She is at this moment gone
to fetch the nectar and ambrosia to regale me; stay here awhile and
you will see her." "I perceive," said I, "that your former friend is
more faithful to you than you are to her; she has had several good
offers, but has refused them all. I will confess to you that I love
her extremely, but she was cruel to me and rejected me peremptorily
for your sake." "I pity you sincerely," said he, "for she is an
excellent woman, handsome and amiable. But do not the Abbe de la R----
and the Abbe M---- visit her?" "Certainly they do; not one of your
friends has dropt her acquaintance." "If you had gained the Abbe M----
with a bribe of good coffee and cream perhaps you would have
succeeded; for he is as deep a reasoner as Dun Scotus or St. Thomas;
he arranges and methodizes his arguments in such a manner that they
are almost irresistible. Or if by a fine edition of some old classic
you had gained the Abbe de la R---- to speak against you, that would
have been still better, as I always observed that when he recommended
anything to her, she had a great inclination to do exactly the
contrary."

As he finished these words the new Madame Helvetius entered with the
nectar and I recognized her immediately as my former American friend,
Mrs. Franklin! I reclaimed her, but she answered me coldly, "I was a
good wife to you for forty-nine years and four months, nearly half a
century; let that content you. I have formed a new condition here,
which will last to eternity."

Indignant at this refusal of my Eurydice, I immediately resolved to
quit those ungraceful shades and return to this good world again, to
behold the sun and you. Here am I; let us _avenge ourselves_.



GEORGE WASHINGTON

     Born in 1732, died in 1799; adjutant of Virginia troops in
     1751; sent on a mission to the French beyond the Alleghany
     River in 1753; defended Fort Necessity in 1754; with
     Braddock at his defeat in 1755; led the advance guard to
     Fort Duquesne in 1758; Member of the Continental Congress in
     1774-75; made Commander-in-chief of the Continental Army in
     1775; resigned his commission in 1783; President of the
     Constitutional Convention in 1787; elected President of the
     United States in 1789; reelected President in 1793;
     Commander-in-chief of the Army in 1798.



I

TO HIS WIFE ON TAKING COMMAND OF THE ARMY[26]


My Dearest: I am now set down to write to you on a subject which fills
me with inexpressible concern, and this concern is greatly aggravated
and increased when I reflect upon the uneasiness I know it will give
you. It has been determined in Congress that the whole army raised for
the defense of the American cause shall be put under my care, and that
it is necessary for me to proceed immediately to Boston to take upon
me the command of it.

[Footnote 26: A letter written in Philadelphia on June 18, 1775, three
days after his appointment.]

You may believe me, my dear Patsy, when I assure you, in the most
solemn manner, that, so far from seeking this appointment, I have used
every endeavor in my power to avoid it, not only from my
unwillingness to part with you and the family, but from a
consciousness of its being a trust too great for my capacity, and that
I should enjoy more real happiness in one month with you at home than
I have the most distant prospect of finding abroad, if my stay were to
be seven times seven years. But as it has been a kind of destiny that
has thrown me upon this service, I shall hope that my undertaking it
is designed to answer some good purpose.

You might, and I suppose did perceive, from the tenor of my letters,
that I was apprehensive I could not avoid this appointment, as I did
not pretend to intimate when I should return. That was the case. It
was utterly out of my power to refuse this appointment without
exposing my character to such censures as would have reflected
dishonor upon myself, and given pain to my friends. This, I am sure,
could not, and ought not, to be pleasing to you, and must have
lessened me considerably in my own esteem. I shall rely, therefore,
confidently on that Providence which has heretofore preserved and been
bountiful to me, not doubting but that I shall return safe to you in
the fall. I shall feel no pain from the toil or the danger of the
campaign; my unhappiness will flow from the uneasiness I know you will
feel from being left alone. I therefore beg that you will summon your
whole fortitude, and pass your time as agreeably as possible. Nothing
will give me so much sincere satisfaction as to hear this, and to hear
it from your own pen. My earnest and ardent desire is that you would
pursue any plan that is most likely to produce content, and a
tolerable degree of tranquillity; as it must add greatly to my uneasy
feelings to hear that you are dissatisfied or complaining at what I
really could not avoid.

As life is always uncertain, and common prudence dictates to every man
the necessity of settling his temporal concerns, while it is in his
power, and while the mind is calm and undisturbed, I have, since I
came to this place (for I had not time to do it before I left home)
got Colonel Pendleton to draft a will for me, by the directions I gave
him, which will I now enclose. The provision made for you in case of
my death will, I hope, be agreeable.

I shall add nothing more, as I have several letters to write, but to
desire that you will remember me to your friends, and to assure you
that I am with the most unfeigned regard, my dear Patsy, your
affectionate, etc.



II

OF HIS ARMY IN CAMBRIDGE[27]


Nothing would give me more real satisfaction than to know the
sentiments which are entertained of me by the public, whether they be
favorable or otherwise; and I urged as a reason that the man who
wished to steer clear of shelves and rocks must know where they lie. I
know the integrity of my own heart, but to declare it, unless to a
friend, may be an argument of vanity; I know the unhappy predicament I
stand in: I know that much is expected of me; I know that without men,
without arms, without ammunition, without anything fit for the
accommodation of a soldier, little is to be done; and, what is
mortifying, I know that I can not stand justified to the world without
exposing my own weakness, and injuring the cause by declaring my
wants, which I am determined not to do, further than unavoidable
necessity brings every man acquainted with them.

[Footnote 27: From the letter addrest to Joseph Reed, and dated
February 10, 1776. Washington had assumed command in Cambridge on July
3d of the previous year. Joseph Reed was President of the Pennsylvania
Provincial Congress in 1775, and afterward became Washington's
secretary and aide-de-camp. This letter was in reply to two letters
from Reed containing "early and regular communication of what is
passing in your quarter."]

If, under these disadvantages, I am able to keep above water, in the
esteem of mankind, I shall feel myself happy; but if, from the unknown
peculiarity of my circumstances, I suffer in the opinion of the world,
I shall not think you take the freedom of a friend, if you conceal the
reflections that may be cast upon my conduct. My own situation is so
irksome to me at times that, if I did not consult the public good more
than my own tranquillity, I should long ere this have put everything
on the cast of a die. So far from my having an army of twenty thousand
men well armed, I have been here with less than one-half of that
number, including sick, furloughed, and on command, and those neither
armed nor clothed, as they should be. In short, my situation has been
such, that I have been obliged to use art to conceal it from my own
officers.

The party sent to Bunker Hill had some good and some bad men engaged
in it. One or two courts have been held on the conduct of part of
them. To be plain, these people are not to be depended upon if
exposed; and any man will fight well if he thinks himself in no
danger. I do not apply this only to these people. I suppose it to be
the case with all raw and undisciplined troops. Yon may rely upon it
that transports left Boston six weeks ago with troops; where they are
gone, unless driven to the West Indies, I know not. You may also rely
upon General Clinton's sailing from Boston about three weeks ago, with
about four or five hundred men; his destination I am also a stranger
to. I am sorry to hear of the failures you speak of from France. But
why will not Congress forward part of the powder made in your
province? They seem to look upon this as the season for action, but
will not furnish the means. I will not blame them. I dare say the
demands upon them are greater than they can supply. The cause must be
starved till our resources are greater, or more certain within
ourselves.

With respect to myself, I have never entertained an idea of an
accommodation since I heard of the measures which were adopted in
consequence of the Bunker Hill fight. The King's speech has confirmed
the sentiments I entertained upon the news of that affair; and, if
every man was of my mind, the ministers of Great Britain should know,
in a few words, upon what issue the cause should be put. I would not
be deceived by artful declarations, nor specious pretenses; nor would
I be amused by unmeaning propositions; but in open, undisguised, and
manly terms proclaim our wrongs, and our resolution to be redressed.
I would tell them, that we had borne much, that we had long and
ardently sought for reconciliation upon honorable terms, that it had
been denied us, that all our attempts after peace had proved abortive,
and had been grossly misrepresented, that we had done everything which
could be expected from the best of subjects, that the spirit of
freedom rises too high in us to submit to slavery, and that, if
nothing else would satisfy a tyrant and his diabolical ministry, we
are determined to shake off all connections with a state so unjust and
unnatural. This I would tell them, not under covert, but in words as
clear as the sun in its meridian brightness.



III

TO THE MARQUIS DE CHASTELLUX ON HIS MARRIAGE[28]


My Dear Marquis: In reading your very friendly and acceptable letter,
which came to hand by the last mail, I was, as you may well suppose,
not less delighted than surprized to meet the plain American words,
"my wife." A wife! Well, my dear Marquis, I can hardly refrain from
smiling to find you are caught at last. I saw by the eulogium you
often made on the happiness of domestic life in America, that you had
swallowed the bait, and that you would as surely be taken, one day or
another, as that you were a philosopher and a soldier.

[Footnote 28: From a letter, written at Mount Vernon on April 25,
1788, and addrest to the Marquis de Chastellux, author of "Travels in
North America," and a major-general in the army of Rochambeau, who
served under Washington in the American Revolution.]

So your day has at length come. I am glad of it, with all my heart and
soul. It is quite good enough for you. Now you are well served for
coming to fight in favor of the American rebels, all the way across
the Atlantic Ocean, by catching that terrible contagion, domestic
felicity, which, like the smallpox or the plague, a man can have only
once in his life, because it commonly lasts him (at least with us in
America; I know not how you manage these matters in France), for his
whole lifetime. And yet, after all, the worst wish which I can find in
my heart to make against Madame de Chastellux and yourself is that you
may neither of you ever get the better of this same domestic felicity,
during the entire course of your mortal existence.

If so wonderful an event should have occasioned me, my dear Marquis,
to write in a strange style, you will understand me as clearly as if I
had said, what in plain English is the simple truth, "Do me the
justice to believe that I take a heartfelt interest in whatsoever
concerns your happiness." And, in this view, I sincerely congratulate
you on your auspicious matrimonial connection. I am happy to find that
Madame de Chastellux is so intimately connected with the Duchess of
Orleans; as I have always understood that this noble lady was an
illustrious example of connubial love, as well as an excellent pattern
of virtue in general.

While you have been making love under the banner of Hymen, the great
personages in the north have been making war under the inspiration,
or rather under the infatuation, of Mars. Now, for my part, I humbly
conceive that you have acted much the best and wisest part; for
certainly it is more consonant to all the principles of reason and
religion, natural and revealed, to replenish the earth with
inhabitants than to depopulate it by killing those already in
existence. Besides, it is time for the age of knight-errantry and mad
heroism to be at an end. Your young military men, who want to reap the
harvest of laurels, do not care, I suppose, how many seeds of war are
sown; but for the sake of humanity it is devoutly to be wished, that
the manly employment of agriculture, and the humanizing benefits of
commerce, would supersede the waste of war and the rage of conquest;
that the swords might be turned into plowshares, the spears into
pruning-hooks, and, as the Scriptures express it, the "nations learn
war no more."

Now I will give you a little news from this side of the water, and
then finish. As for us, we are plodding on in the dull road of peace
and politics. We, who live in these ends of the earth, only hear of
the rumors of war like the roar of distant thunder. It is to be hoped
that our remote local situation will prevent us from being swept into
its vortex.



JOHN ADAMS

     Born in 1735, died in 1826; second President of the United
     States; graduated from Harvard in 1755; active in opposing
     the Stamp Act; elected to the Revolutionary Congress of
     Massachusetts in 1774; delegate to the first and second
     Continental Congresses; proposed Washington as
     commander-in-chief; signed the Declaration of Independence;
     commissioner to France in 1777; to the Netherlands in 1782,
     to Great Britain in 1782-83, and to Prussia; minister to
     England in 1785; vice-president in 1789; elected President
     in 1796; unsuccessful candidate for President in 1800; his
     "Life and Works" in ten volumes published in 1850-56.



I

ON HIS NOMINATION OF WASHINGTON TO BE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF[29]


When Congress had assembled, I rose in my place, and in as short a
speech as the subject would admit, represented the state of the
colonies, the uncertainty in the minds of the people, their great
expectation and anxiety, the distresses of the army, the danger of its
dissolution, the difficulty of collecting another, and the probability
that the British army would take advantage of our delays, march out
of Boston, and spread desolation as far as they could go. I concluded
with a motion, in form, that Congress would adopt the army at
Cambridge, and appoint a general; that tho this was not the proper
time to nominate a general, yet, as I had reason to believe, this was
a point of the greatest difficulty. I had no hesitation to declare
that I had but one gentleman in my mind for that important command,
and that was a gentleman from Virginia who was among us and very well
known to all of us, a gentleman whose skill and experience as an
officer, whose independent fortune, great talents, and excellent
universal character, would command the approbation of all America, and
unite the cordial exertions of all the colonies better than any other
person in the Union. Mr. Washington, who happened to sit near the
door, as soon as he heard me allude to him, from his usual modesty,
darted into the library-room. Mr. Hancock--who was our President,
which gave me an opportunity to observe his countenance while I was
speaking on the state of the colonies, the army at Cambridge, and the
enemy--heard me with visible pleasure; but when I came to describe
Washington for the commander, I never remarked a more sudden and
striking change of countenance. Mortification and resentment were
exprest as forcibly as his face could exhibit them. Mr. Samuel Adams
seconded the motion, and that did not soften the President's
physiognomy at all.

[Footnote 29: From the "Diary," printed in the "Works of John Adams,"
as edited by Charles Francis Adams. In his speech naming Washington,
Adams referred to him as "one who could unite the cordial exertions of
all the colonies better than any other person." Two days later he
wrote to his wife that Congress had chosen "the modest and virtuous,
the amiable, generous and brave George Washington, Esq., to be chief
of the American army."]

The subject came under debate, and several gentlemen declared
themselves against the appointment of Mr. Washington, not on account
of any personal objection against him, but because the army were all
from New England, had a general of their own, appeared to be satisfied
with him, and had proved themselves able to imprison the British army
in Boston, which was all they expected or desired at that time. Mr.
Pendleton, of Virginia, Mr. Sherman, of Connecticut, were very
explicit in declaring this opinion; Mr. Cushing and several others
more faintly exprest their opposition, and their fears of discontents
in the army and in New England. Mr. Paine exprest a great opinion of
General Ward and a strong friendship for him, having been his
classmate at college, or at least his contemporary; but gave no
opinion upon the question. The subject was postponed to a future day.
In the mean time, pains were taken out-of-doors to obtain a unanimity,
and the voices were generally so clearly in favor of Washington, that
the dissentient members were persuaded to withdraw their opposition,
and Mr. Washington was nominated, I believe by Mr. Thomas Johnson of
Maryland, unanimously elected, and the army adopted.



II

AN ESTIMATE OF FRANKLIN[30]


His reputation was more universal than that of Leibnitz or Newton,
Frederick or Voltaire, and his character more beloved and esteemed
than any or all of them. Newton had astonished perhaps forty or fifty
men in Europe, for not more than that number probably at any one time
had read him and understood him, by his discoveries and
demonstrations. And these being held in admiration in their respective
countries, as at the head of the philosophers, had spread among
scientific people a mysterious wonder at the genius of this, perhaps,
the greatest man that ever lived. But this fame was confined to men of
letters. The common people knew little and cared nothing about such a
recluse philosopher. Leibnitz's name was more confined still.
Frederick was hated by more than half of Europe as much as Louis XIV
was and Napoleon is. Voltaire, whose name was more universal than any
of these before mentioned, was considered as a vain, profligate wit,
and not much esteemed or beloved by anybody, tho admired by all who
knew his works. But Franklin's fame was universal. His name was
familiar to governments and people, to kings, courtiers, nobility,
clergy and philosophers, as well as plebeians, to such a degree that
there was scarcely a peasant or citizen, a valet de chambre, coachman,
or footman, a lady's maid, or a scullion in a kitchen, who was not
familiar with it, and who did not consider him a friend to human kind.
When they spoke of him they seemed to think he was to restore the
Golden Age....

[Footnote 30: From a letter to the Boston _Patriot_ of May 15, 1811,
now given as an appendix to the "Works of John Adams." The differences
of Adams and Franklin form a striking incident in the biographies of
the two men. Colaborers as they were in a common cause, they had
constant disagreements as to methods while serving their country in
Europe. That they never openly quarreled Adams's biographer, John T.
Morse, attributes to "their sense of propriety and dignity, and to the
age and position of Dr. Franklin." The radical cause lay in the fact
that "they were utterly incompatible, both mentally and morally."]

Nothing perhaps that ever occurred upon this earth was so well
calculated to give any man an extensive and universal celebrity as the
discovery of the efficacy of iron points and the invention of
lightning-rods. The idea was one of the most sublime that ever entered
a human imagination that a mortal should disarm the clouds of heaven
and almost "snatch from his hand the scepter and the rod." The
ancients would have enrolled him with Bacchus and Ceres, Hercules and
Minerva....

Franklin had a great genius, original, sagacious, and inventive,
capable of discoveries in science no less than of improvements in the
fine arts and the mechanic arts. He had a vast imagination, equal to
the comprehension of the greatest objects, and capable of a steady and
cool comprehension of them. He had wit at will. He had humor that,
when he pleased, was delicate and delightful. He had a satire that was
good-natured or caustic, Horace or Juvenal, Swift or Rabelais, at his
pleasure. He had talents for irony, allegory, and fable, that he
could adapt with great skill to the promotion of moral and political
truth. He was master of that infantine simplicity which the French
call _naïveté_, which never fails to charm, in Phædrus and La
Fontaine, from the cradle to the grave.

Had he been blest with the same advantages of scholastic education in
his early youth, and pursued a course of studies as unembarrassed with
occupations of public and private life, as Sir Isaac Newton, he might
have emulated the first philosopher. Altho I am not ignorant that most
of his positions and hypotheses have been controverted, I can not but
think he has added much to the mass of natural knowledge, and
contributed largely to the progress of the human mind, both by his own
writings and by the controversies and experiments he has excited in
all parts of Europe. He had abilities for investigating statistical
questions, and in some parts of his life has written pamphlets and
essays upon public topics with great ingenuity and success; but after
my acquaintance with him, which commenced in Congress in 1775, his
excellence as a legislator, a politician, or a negotiator most
certainly never appeared. No sentiments more weak and superficial were
ever avowed by the most absurd philosopher than some of his,
particularly one that he procured to be inserted in the first
constitution of Pennsylvania, and for which he had such a fondness as
to insert it in his will. I call it weak, for so it must have been, or
hypocritical; unless he meant by one satiric touch to ridicule his own
republic, or throw it into everlasting contempt.

I must acknowledge, after all, that nothing in life has mortified or
grieved me more than the necessity which compelled me to oppose him so
often as I have. He was a man with whom I always wished to live in
friendship, and for that purpose omitted no demonstration of respect,
esteem, and veneration in my power, until I had unequivocal proofs of
his hatred, for no other reason under the sun, but because I gave my
judgment in opposition to his, in many points which materially
affected the interests of our country, and in many more which
essentially concerned our happiness, safety, and well-being. I could
not and would not sacrifice the clearest dictates of my understanding
and the purest principles of morals and policy in compliance to Dr.
Franklin.



THOMAS PAINE

     Born in England in 1737, died in New York in 1809; came to
     America in 1774; took a prominent part in the Revolution as
     a writer; his "Common Sense," advocating independence,
     published in 1776; published a periodical, _The Crisis_, in
     1776-83; went to Europe in 1787; in 1792 was outlawed from
     England for publishing his "Rights of Man"; went to France
     and elected to the National Convention in 1793; imprisoned
     in France in 1794; published his "Age of Reason" in 1794;
     returned to the United States in 1802.



IN FAVOR OF SEPARATION OF THE COLONIES FROM GREAT BRITAIN[31]


The blood of the slain, the weeping voice of nature cries, "'tis time
to part." Even the distance at which the Almighty hath placed England
and America, is a strong and natural proof that the authority of the
one over the other was never the design of heaven. The time, likewise,
at which the continent was discovered, adds weight to the argument,
and the manner in which it was peopled, increases the force of it. The
Reformation was preceded by the discovery of America, as if the
Almighty graciously meant to open a sanctuary to the persecuted in
future years, when home should afford neither friendship nor safety.

[Footnote 31: From "Common Sense," a pamphlet issued by Paine in
Philadelphia on January 1, 1776. In this work Paine advocated complete
separation from England. His arguments helped to consolidate and make
effective a sentiment which already was drifting in the same
direction. Washington said he effected "a powerful change in the minds
of many men."]

The authority of Great Britain over this continent is a form of
government which sooner or later must have an end: and a serious mind
can draw no true pleasure by looking forward, under the painful and
positive conviction that what he calls "the present constitution" is
merely temporary. As parents, we can have no joy knowing that this
government is not sufficiently lasting to insure anything which we may
bequeath to posterity; and by a plain method of argument, as we are
running the next generation into debt, we ought to do the work of it,
otherwise we use them meanly and pitifully. In order to discover the
line of our duty rightly, we should take our children in our hand, and
fix our station a few years farther into life; that eminence will
present a prospect which a few present fears and prejudices conceal
from our sight.

Tho I would carefully avoid giving unnecessary offense, yet I am
inclined to believe that all those who espouse the doctrine of
reconciliation may be included within the following descriptions:

Interested men, who are not to be trusted; weak men, who can not see;
prejudiced men, who will not see; and a certain set of moderate men,
who think better of the European world than it deserves: and this last
class, by an ill-judged deliberation, will be the cause of more
calamities to this continent than all the other three.

It is the good fortune of many to live distant from the scene of
sorrow; the evil is not sufficiently brought to their doors to make
them feel the precariousness with which all American property is
possest. But let our imaginations transport us a few moments to
Boston; that seat of wretchedness will teach us wisdom, and instruct
us forever to renounce a power in whom we can have no trust. The
inhabitants of that unfortunate city, who but a few months ago were in
ease and affluence, have now no other alternative than to stay and
starve, or turn out to beg. Endangered by the fire of their friends if
they continue within the city, and plundered by the soldiery if they
leave it. In their present situation they are prisoners without the
hope of redemption, and in a general attack for their relief they
would be exposed to the fury of both armies.

Men of passive tempers look somewhat lightly over the offenses of
Britain, and, still hoping for the best, are apt to call out, "Come,
come, we shall be friends again for all this." But examine the
passions and feelings of mankind, bring the doctrine of reconciliation
to the touchstone of nature, and then tell me whether you can
hereafter love, honor, and faithfully serve the power that hath
carried fire and sword into your land? If you can not do all these,
then are you only deceiving yourselves, and by your delay bringing
ruin upon your posterity. Your future connection with Britain, whom
you can neither love nor honor, will be forced and unnatural, and
being formed only on the plan of present convenience, will in a little
time fall into a relapse more wretched than the first. But if you say
you can still pass the violations over, then I ask, hath your house
been burnt? Hath your property been destroyed before your face? Are
your wife and children destitute of a bed to lie on, or bread to live
on? Have you lost a parent or a child by their hands, and yourself the
ruined and wretched survivor? If you have not, then are you not a
judge of those who have. But if you have, and can still shake hands
with the murderers, then are you unworthy the name of husband, father,
friend, or lover, and, whatever may be your rank or title in life, you
have the heart of a coward and the spirit of a sycophant.



THOMAS JEFFERSON

     Born In 1743, died in 1826; Member of the Virginia House of
     Burgesses in 1769-75, and again in 1776-78; Member of the
     Continental Congress in 1775; drafted the Declaration of
     Independence in 1776; Governor of Virginia in 1779; Member
     of Congress in 1783; Minister to France in 1785; Secretary
     of State in 1790; Vice-President in 1797; elected President
     in 1801 and reelected in 1805.



I

WHEN THE BASTILE FELL[32]


In the meantime these troops, to the number of twenty to thirty
thousand, had arrived and were posted in and between Paris and
Versailles. The bridges and passes were guarded. The King was now
completely in the hands of men the principal among whom had been
noted, through their lives, for the Turkish despotism of their
characters, and who were associated around the King as proper
instruments for what was to be executed. The news of this change began
to be known at Paris about one or two o'clock. In the afternoon a body
of about one hundred German cavalry were advanced, and drawn up in the
Place Louis XV, and about two hundred Swiss posted at a little
distance in their rear. This drew people to the spot, who thus
accidentally found themselves in front of the troops, merely at first
as spectators; but, as their numbers increased, their indignation
rose. They retired a few steps, and posted themselves on and behind
large piles of stones, large and small, collected in that place for a
bridge, which was to be built adjacent to it.

[Footnote 32: From the "Autobiography," now printed in Volume I of the
"Writings of Jefferson," edited by Paul Leicester Ford.]

In this position, happening to be in my carriage on a visit, I passed
through the lane they had formed without interruption. But the moment
after I had passed, the people attacked the cavalry with stones. They
charged, but the advantageous position of the people, and the showers
of stones, obliged the horse to retire, and quit the field altogether,
leaving one of their number on the ground, and the Swiss in the rear
not moving to their aid. This was the signal for universal
insurrection, and this body of cavalry, to avoid being massacred,
retired toward Versailles. The people now armed themselves with such
weapons as they could find in armorers' shops, and private houses, and
with bludgeons; and were roaming all night, through all parts of the
city, without any decided object.

The next day (the 13th) the Assembly prest on the King to send away
the troops, to permit the bourgeoisie of Paris to arm for the
preservation of order in the city, and offered to send a deputation
from their body to tranquillize them; but their propositions were
refused. A committee of magistrates and electors of the city were
appointed by those bodies, to take upon them its government. The
people, now openly joined by the French guards, forced the prison of
St. Lazare, released all the prisoners, and took a great store of
corn, which they carried to the corn-market. Here they got some arms,
and the French guards began to form and train them. The city committee
determined to raise forty-eight thousand bourgeoisie, or rather to
restrain their numbers to forty-eight thousand.

On the 14th, they sent one of their members (Monsieur de Corny) to the
Hotel des Invalides, to ask arms for their Garde Bourgeoisie. He was
followed by, and he found there, a great collection of people. The
Governor of the Invalids came out, and represented the impossibility
of his delivering arms without the orders of those from whom he
received them. De Corny advised the people then to retire, and retired
himself; but the people took possession of the arms. It was remarkable
that not only the Invalids themselves made no opposition, but that a
body of five thousand foreign troops, within four hundred yards, never
stirred. M. De Corny, and five others, were then sent to ask arms of
M. de Launay, Governor of the Bastile. They found a great collection
of people already before the place, and they immediately planted a
flag of truce, which was answered by a like flag hoisted on the
parapet. The deputation prevailed on the people to fall back a little,
advanced themselves to make their demand of the Governor, and in that
instant a discharge from the Bastile killed four persons of those
nearest to the deputies. The deputies retired. I happened to be at the
house of M. de Corny, when he returned to it, and received from him a
narrative of these transactions.

On the retirement of the deputies the people rushed forward, and almost in
an instant were in possession of a fortification of infinite strength,
defended by one hundred men, which in other times had stood several regular
sieges, and had never been taken. How they forced their entrance has never
been explained. They took all the arms, discharged the prisoners, and such
of the garrison as were not killed in the first moment of fury; carried the
Governor and Lieutenant-Governor to the Place de Grève (the place of public
execution), cut off their heads, and sent them through the city, in
triumph, to the Palais royal. About the same instant a treacherous
correspondence having been discovered in M. de Flesseles, Prevôt des
Marchands, they seized him in the Hotel de Ville, where he was in the
execution of his office, and cut off his head.

These events, carried imperfectly to Versailles, were the subject of
two successive deputations from the Assembly to the King, to both of
which he gave dry and hard answers; for nobody had as yet been
permitted to inform him, truly and fully, of what had passed at Paris.
But at night the Duke de Liancourt forced his way into the King's
bedchamber, and obliged him to hear a full and animated detail of the
disasters of the day in Paris. He went to bed fearfully imprest. The
decapitation of de Launay worked powerfully through the night on the
whole Aristocratic party; insomuch that in the morning those of the
greatest influence on the Count d'Artois represented to him the
absolute necessity that the King should give up everything to the
Assembly. This according with the dispositions of the King, he went
about eleven o'clock, accompanied only by his brothers, to the
Assembly, and there read to them a speech, in which he asked their
interposition to reestablish order. Altho couched in terms of some
caution, yet the manner in which it was delivered made it evident that
it was meant as a surrender at discretion. He returned to the Chateau
afoot, accompanied by the Assembly.

They sent off a deputation to quiet Paris, at the head of which was
the Marquis de La Fayette, who had, the same morning, been named
Commandant en chef of the Milice Bourgeoise; and Monsieur Bailly,
former President of the States General, was called for as Prevôt des
Marchands. The demolition of the Bastile was now ordered and begun. A
body of the Swiss guards, of the regiment of Ventimille, and the city
horse guards joined the people. The alarm at Versailles increased. The
foreign troops were ordered off instantly. Every minister resigned.
The King confirmed Bailly as Prevôt des Marchands, wrote to M. Necker,
to recall him, sent his letter open to the Assembly, to be forwarded
by them, and invited them to go with him to Paris the next day, to
satisfy the city of his dispositions; and that night, and the next
morning, the Count d'Artois, and M. de Montesson, a deputy connected
with him, Madame de Polignac, Madame de Guiche, and the Count de
Vaudreuil, favorites of the Queen, the Abbe de Vermont, her confessor,
the Prince of Conde, and the Duke of Bourbon fled.

The King came to Paris, leaving the Queen in consternation for his
return. Omitting the less important figures of the procession, the
King's carriage was in the center; on each side of it the Assembly, in
two ranks afoot; at their head the Marquis de La Fayette, as
Commander-in-chief, on horseback, and Bourgeois guards before and
behind. About sixty thousand citizens, of all forms and conditions,
armed with the conquests of the Bastile and Invalids, as far as they
would go, the rest with pistols, swords, pikes, pruning-hooks,
scythes, etc., lined all the streets through which the procession
passed, and with the crowds of people in the streets, doors, and
windows, saluted them everywhere with the cries of "vive la nation,"
but not a single "vive le roi" was heard. The King stopt at the Hotel
de Ville. There M. Bailly presented, and put into his hat the popular
cockade, and addrest him. The King being unprepared, and unable to
answer, Bailly went to him, gathered from him some scraps of
sentences, and made out an answer, which he delivered to the audience
as from the King. On their return, the popular cries were "vive le Roi
et la nation." He was conducted by a Garde Bourgeoise to his palace at
Versailles, and thus concluded an "amende honorable," as no sovereign
ever made, and no people ever received.

And here, again, was lost another precious occasion of sparing to
France the crimes and cruelties through which she has since passed,
and to Europe, and finally America, the evils which flowed on them
also from this mortal source. The King was now become a passive
machine in the hands of the National Assembly, and had he been left to
himself, he would have willingly acquiesced in whatever they should
devise as best for the nation. A wise constitution would have been
formed, hereditary in his line, himself placed at its head, with
powers so large as to enable him to do all the good of his station,
and so limited as to restrain him from its abuse. This he would have
faithfully administered, and more than this I do not believe he ever
wished. But he had a Queen of absolute sway over his weak mind and
timid virtue, and of a character the reverse of his in all points.
This angel, as gaudily painted in the rhapsodies of Burke,[33] with
some smartness of fancy, but no sound sense, was proud, disdainful of
restraint, indignant at all obstacles to her will, eager in the
pursuit of pleasure, and firm enough to hold to her desires, or perish
in their wreck. Her inordinate gambling and dissipations, with those
of the Count d'Artois, and others of her _clique_, had been a sensible
item in the exhaustion of the treasury, which called into action the
reforming hand of the nation; and her opposition to it, her inflexible
perverseness, and dauntless spirit, led herself to the guillotine,
drew the King on with her, and plunged the world into crimes and
calamities which will forever stain the pages of modern history.

[Footnote 33: See page 214 of Volume IV of this collection for this
tribute from Burke.]

I have ever believed that had there been no Queen there would have
been no revolution. No force would have been provoked, nor exercised.
The King would have gone hand in hand with the wisdom of his sounder
counselors, who, guided by the increased lights of the age, wished
only, with the same pace, to advance the principles of their social
constitution. The deed which closed the mortal course of these
sovereigns I shall neither approve nor condemn. I am not prepared to
say that the first magistrate of a nation can not commit treason
against his country, or is unamenable to its punishment; nor yet that
where there is no written law, no regulated tribunal, there is not a
law in our hearts, and a power in our hands, given for righteous
employment in maintaining right and redressing wrong. Of those who
judged the King many thought him wilfully criminal; many, that his
existence would keep the nation in perpetual conflict with the horde
of kings who would war against a generation which might come home to
themselves, and that it were better that one should die than all. I
should not have voted with this portion of the Legislature. I should
have shut up the Queen in a convent, putting harm out of her power,
and placed the King in his station, investing him with limited powers,
which, I verily believe, he would have honestly exercised, according
to the measure of his understanding. In this way no void would have
been created, courting the usurpation of a military adventurer, nor
occasion given for those enormities which demoralized the nations of
the world, and destroyed, and are yet to destroy millions and millions
of its inhabitants.



II

THE FUTILITY OF DISPUTES[34]


I have mentioned good humor as one of the preservatives of our peace
and tranquillity. It is among the most effectual, and its effect is so
well imitated and aided, artificially, by politeness that this also
becomes an acquisition of first-rate value. In truth, politeness is
artificial good humor; it covers the natural want of it, and ends by
rendering habitual a substitute nearly equivalent to the real virtue.
It is the practise of sacrificing to those whom we meet in society all
the little conveniences and preferences which will gratify them, and
deprive us of nothing worth a moment's consideration; it is the giving
a pleasing and flattering turn to our expressions, which will
conciliate others, and make them pleased with us as well as
themselves. How cheap a price for the good will of another! When this
is in return for a rude thing said by another, it brings him to his
senses, it mortifies and corrects him in the most salutary way, and
places him at the feet of your good nature in the eyes of the company.

[Footnote 34: From a letter to Thomas Jefferson Randolph, dated
Washington, Nov. 24, 1808.]

But in stating prudential rules for our government in society I must
not omit the important one of never entering into dispute or argument
with another. I never saw an instance of one of two disputants
convincing the other by argument. I have seen many, on their getting
warm, becoming rude, and shooting one another. Conviction is the
effect of our own dispassionate reasoning, either in solitude, or
weighing within ourselves, dispassionately, what we hear from others,
standing uncommitted in argument ourselves. It was one of the rules
which, above all others, made Doctor Franklin the most amiable of men
in society "never to contradict anybody." If he was urged to announce
an opinion, he did it rather by asking questions, as if for
information, or by suggesting doubts. When I hear another express an
opinion which is not mine, I say to myself he has a right to his
opinion, as I to mine; why should I question it? His error does me no
injury, and shall I become a Don Quixote, to bring all men by force of
argument to one opinion? If a fact be misstated, it is probable he is
gratified by a belief of it, and I have no right to deprive him of the
gratification. If he wants information, he will ask it, and then I
will give it in measured terms; but if he still believes his own
story, and shows a desire to dispute the fact with me, I hear him and
say nothing. It is his affair, not mine, if he prefers error.

There are two classes of disputants most frequently to be met with
among us. The first is of young students, just entered the threshold
of science, with a first view of its outlines, not yet filled up with
the details and modifications which a further progress would bring to
their knowledge. The other consists of the ill-tempered and rude men
in society, who have taken up a passion for politics. (Good humor and
politeness never introduce into mixt society a question on which they
foresee there will be a difference of opinion.) From both of those
classes of disputants, my dear Jefferson, keep aloof as you would from
the infected subjects of yellow fever or pestilence. Consider
yourself, when with them, as among the patients of Bedlam, needing
medical more than moral counsel. Be a listener only, keep within
yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of
silence, especially on politics. In the fevered state of our country
no good can ever result from any attempt to set one of these fiery
zealots to rights, either in fact or principle. They are determined as
to the facts they will believe, and the opinions on which they will
act. Get by them, therefore, as you would by an angry bull; it is not
for a man of sense to dispute the road with such an animal.



III

OF BLACKS AND WHITES IN THE SOUTH[35]


It will probably be asked, Why not retain and incorporate the blacks
into the state, and thus save the expense of supplying by importation
of white settlers the vacancies they will leave? Deep-rooted
prejudices entertained by the whites; ten thousand recollections, by
the blacks, of the injuries they have sustained; new provocations; the
real distinctions which nature has made; and many other circumstances
will divide us into parties, and produce convulsions which will
probably never end but in the extermination of the one or the other
race. To these objections, which are political, may be added others,
which are physical and moral.

[Footnote 35: From Query No. 14 of the "Notes on the State of
Virginia," which, says Jefferson in an "advertisement," "were written
in Virginia in the year 1781 and somewhat corrected and enlarged in
the winter of 1782, in answer to queries proposed to the author by a
foreigner of distinction then residing among us."]

The first difference which strikes us is that of color. Whether the
black of the negro resides in the reticular membrane between the skin
and the scarf-skin, or in the scarf-skin itself; whether it proceeds
from the color of the blood, the color of the bile, or from that of
some other secretion, the difference is fixt in nature, and is as real
as if its seat and cause were better known to us. And is this
difference of no importance? Is it not the foundation of a greater or
less share of beauty in the two races? Are not the fine mixtures of
red and white, the expressions of every passion by greater or less
suffusions of color in the one, preferable to that eternal monotony
which reigns in the countenances, that immovable veil of black which
covers all the emotions of the other race?

Add to these flowing hair, a more elegant symmetry of form, their own
judgment in favor of the whites, declared by their preference of them,
as uniformly as is the preference of the orangutan for the black women
over those of his own species. The circumstance of superior beauty is
thought worthy attention in the propagation of our horses, dogs, and
other domestic animals; why not in that of man? Besides those of
color, figure, and hair, there are other physical distinctions
proving a difference of race. They have less hair on the face and
body. They secrete less by the kidneys, and more by the glands of the
skin, which gives them a very strong and disagreeable odor. This great
degree of transpiration renders them more tolerant of heat, and less
so of cold than the whites.

Perhaps, too, a difference of structure in the pulmonary apparatus,
which a late ingenious experimentalist has discovered to be the
principal regulator of animal heat, may have disabled them from
extricating, in the act of inspiration, so much of that fluid from the
outer air, or obliged them in expiration to part with more of it. They
seem to require less sleep. A black, after hard labor through the day,
will be induced by the slightest amusement to sit up till midnight, or
later, tho knowing he must be out with the first dawn of the morning.
They are at least as brave, and more adventuresome.

But this may perhaps proceed from a want of forethought, which
prevents their seeing a danger till it be present. When present, they
do not go through it with more coolness or steadiness than the whites.
They are more ardent after their female; but love seems with them to
be more an eager desire than a tender, delicate mixture of sentiment
and sensation. Their griefs are transient. Those numberless
afflictions, which render it doubtful whether heaven has given life to
us in mercy or in wrath, are less felt, and sooner forgotten with
them. In general, their existence appears to participate more of
sensation than reflection. To this must be ascribed their disposition
to sleep when abstracted from their diversions, and unemployed in
labor. An animal, whose body is at rest and who does not reflect, must
be disposed to sleep, of course. Comparing them by their faculties of
memory, reason, and imagination, it appears to me that in memory they
are equal to the whites; in reason much inferior, as I think one could
scarcely be found capable of tracing and comprehending the
investigations of Euclid; and that in imagination they are dull,
tasteless, and anomalous.

It would be unfair to follow them to Africa for this investigation. We
will consider them here, on the same stage with the whites, and where
the facts are not apocryphal on which a judgment is to be formed. It
will be right to make great allowances for the difference of
condition, of education, of conversation, of the sphere in which they
move. Many millions of them have been brought to, and born in America.
Most of them, indeed, have been confined to tillage, to their own
homes, and their own society; yet many have been so situated that they
might have availed themselves of the conversation of their masters;
many have been brought up to the handicraft arts, and from that
circumstance have always been associated with the white. Some have
been liberally educated, and all have lived in countries where the
arts and sciences are cultivated to a considerable degree, and have
had before their eyes samples of the best works from abroad.

The Indians, with no advantages of their kind, will often carve
figures on their pipes not destitute of design and merit. They will
crayon out an animal, a plant, or a country, so as to prove the
existence of a germ in their minds which only wants cultivation. They
astonish you with strokes of the most sublime oratory; such as prove
their reason and sentiment strong, their imagination glowing and
elevated. But never yet could I find that a black had uttered a
thought above the level of plain narration; never saw even an
elementary trait of painting or sculpture. In music they are more
generally gifted than the whites with accurate ears for tune and time,
and they have been found capable of imagining a small catch. Whether
they will be equal to the composition of a more extensive run of
melody, or of complicated harmony is yet to be proved. Misery is often
the parent of the most affecting touches in poetry. Among the blacks
is misery enough, God knows, but no poetry. Love is the peculiar
oestrum of the poet. Their love is ardent, but it kindles the senses
only, not the imagination.

There must doubtless be an unhappy influence on the manners of our
people produced by the existence of slavery among us. The whole
commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most
boisterous passions--the most unremitting despotism on the one part
and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this, and
learn to imitate it; for man is an imitative animal. This quality is
the germ of all education in him. From his cradle to his grave he is
learning to do what he sees others do. If a parent could find no
motive either in his philanthropy or his self-love for restraining the
intemperance of passion toward his slave, it should always be a
sufficient one that his child is present.

But generally it is not sufficient. The parent storms; the child looks
on, catches the lineaments of wrath, puts on the same airs, in the
circle of smaller slaves gives a loose to the worst of passions, and
thus nursed, educated, and daily exercised in tyranny, can not but be
stamped by it with odious peculiarities. The man must be a prodigy who
can retain his manners and morals undepraved by such circumstances.
And with what execrations should the statesman be loaded who,
permitting one-half the citizens thus to trample on the rights of the
other, transforms those into despots and these into enemies, destroys
the morals of the one part and the _amor patriæ_ of the other! For if
a slave can have a country in this world, it must be any other in
preference to that in which he is born to live and labor for another;
in which he must lock up the faculties of his nature, contribute as
far as depends on his individual endeavors to the evanishment of the
human race, or entail his own miserable condition on the endless
generations proceeding from him. With the morals of the people, their
industry is destroyed. For in a warm climate no man will labor for
himself who can make another labor for him. This is so true that of
the proprietors of slaves a very small proportion indeed are ever seen
to labor.



IV

HIS ACCOUNT OF LOGAN'S FAMOUS SPEECH[36]


The principles of their society forbidding all compulsion, they are to
be led to duty and to enterprise by personal influence and persuasion.
Hence eloquence in council, bravery and success in war become the
foundations of all consequence with them. To these acquirements all
their faculties are directed. Of their bravery and address in war we
have multiplied proofs, because we have been the subjects on which
they were exercised. Of their eminence in oratory we have fewer
examples, because it is displayed chiefly in their own councils. Some,
however, we have of very superior luster. I may challenge the whole
orations of Demosthenes and Cicero, and of any more eminent orator, if
Europe has furnished any more eminent, to produce a single passage
superior to the speech of Logan, a Mingo chief, to Lord Dunmore, when
governor of this State. And, as a testimony of their talents in this
line, I beg leave to introduce it, first stating the incidents
necessary for understanding it.

[Footnote 36: From Query VI of the "Notes on Virginia."]

In the spring of the year 1774 a robbery was committed by some Indians
on certain land adventurers on the river Ohio. The whites in that
quarter, according to their custom, undertook to punish this outrage
in a summary way. Captain Michael Cresap, and a certain Daniel
Greathouse leading on these parties, surprized, at different times,
traveling and hunting parties of the Indians, having their women and
children with them, and murdered many. Among these were unfortunately
the family of Logan, a chief celebrated in peace and war, and long
distinguished as the friend of the whites. This unworthy return
provoked his vengeance. He accordingly signalized himself in the war
which ensued. In the autumn of the same year a decisive battle was
fought at the mouth of the Great Kanawha, between the collected forces
of the Shawanese, Mingoes and Delawares, and a detachment of the
Virginia militia. The Indians were defeated and sued for peace. Logan,
however, disdained to be seen among the suppliants. But lest the
sincerity of a treaty should be disturbed, from which so distinguished
a chief absented himself, he sent, by a messenger, the speech, to be
delivered to Lord Dunmore.[37]...

[Footnote 37: For the text of Logan's speech see Volume VIII of "The
World's Famous Orations," William J. Bryan, editor-in-chief; Francis
W. Halsey, associate editor; Funk and Wagnalls Company, publishers.]

The story of Logan is repeated precisely as it had been current for
more than a dozen years before it was published. When Lord Dunmore
returned from the expedition against the Indians, in 1774, he and his
officers brought the speech of Logan, and related the circumstances
connected with it. These were so affecting, and the speech itself so
fine a morsel of eloquence, that it became the theme of every
conversation, in Williamsburg particularly, and generally, indeed,
wheresoever any of the officers resided or resorted. I learned it in
Williamsburgh; I believe at Lord Dunmore's; and I find in my
pocket-book of that year (1774) an entry of the narrative, as taken
from the mouth of some person, whose name, however, is not noted, nor
recollected, precisely in the words stated in the "Notes on Virginia."
The speech was published in the _Virginia Gazette_ of that time (I
have it myself in the volume of gazettes of that year), and tho in a
style by no means elegant, yet it was so admired that it flew through
all the public papers of the continent, and through the magazines and
other periodical publications of Great Britain; and those who were
boys at that day will now attest that the speech of Logan used to be
given them as a school exercise for repetition. It was not till about
thirteen or fourteen years after the newspaper publications that the
"Notes on Virginia" were published in America. Combating in these the
contumelious theory of certain European writers, whose celebrity have
currency and weight to their opinions, that our country, from the
combined effects of soil and climate, degenerated animal nature, in
the general, and particularly the moral faculties of man, I considered
the speech of Logan as an apt proof of the contrary, and used it as
such; and I copied, verbatim, the narrative I had taken down in 1774
and the speech as it had been given us in a better translation by Lord
Dunmore.[38]

[Footnote 38: The above final paragraph is from the appendix to the
second edition of the "Notes on Virginia," and was called forth by
public criticism of the statements made in the text.]



GOUVERNEUR MORRIS

     Born in 1752, died in 1816; member of the First and Second
     Continental Congresses; chairman of the committee which
     conferred with the British peace commissioners in 1778;
     drafted a scheme for a system of coinage which is the basis
     of our present system; member of the Convention which
     drafted the Constitution, taking a leading part in all the
     debates; went to France in 1789 on private business, and
     witnessed the outbreak of the Revolution; kept a diary and
     wrote important letters; minister to France in 1792; United
     States Senator from New York in 1800; active in promoting
     the Erie Canal project until his death; his biography
     written by Theodore Roosevelt; his "Diary and Letters"
     published in 1888.



I

THE OPENING OF THE FRENCH STATES-GENERAL[39]


I had the honor to be present on the fifth of this month at the
opening of the States-General; a spectacle more solemn to the mind
than gaudy to the eye. And yet, there was displayed everything of
noble and of royal in this titled country. A great number of fine
women, and a very great number of fine dresses, ranged round the hall.
On a kind of stage the throne; on the left of the King and a little
below him the Queen; a little behind him to the right, and on chairs,
the princes of the blood; on the right and left, at some distance
from the throne, the various princesses, with the gentlemen and ladies
of their retinue. Advanced on the stage, to the left of the throne,
the Keeper of the Seals. Several officers of the household, richly
caparisoned, strewed about in different places. Behind the throne a
cluster of guards, of the largest size, drest in ancient costumes,
taken from the times of chivalry. In front of the throne on the right,
below the stage, the ministers of state, with a long table before
them. On the opposite side of the hall some benches, on which sat the
maréchals of France, and other great officers. In front of the
ministers, on benches facing the opposite side of the hall, sat the
representatives of the clergy, being priests of all colors, scarlet,
crimson, black, white, and gray, to the number of three hundred. In
front of the maréchals of France, on benches facing the clergy, sat an
equal number of representatives of the nobility, drest in a robe of
black, waistcoats of cloth of gold, and over their shoulders, so as to
hang forward to their waists, a kind of lapels about a quarter of a
yard wide at top, and wider at bottom, made of cloth of gold. On
benches, which reached quite across the hall, and facing the stage,
sat the representatives of the people clothed in black. In the space
between the clergy and nobles, directly in front of the
representatives of the people, and facing the throne, stood the
heralds-at-arms, with their staves and in very rich dresses.

[Footnote 39: From a letter written in 1789 and addrest to Mrs. Morris
of Philadelphia. Copyright, 1888, by Charles Scribner's Sons.]

When the King entered, he was saluted with a shout of applause. Some
time after he had taken his seat, he put on a round beaver,
ornamented with white plumes, the part in front turned up, with a
large diamond button in the center. He read his speech well, and was
interrupted at a part which affected his audience by a loud shout of
_Vive le Roi_. After this had subsided, he finished his speech, and
received again an animated acclamation of applause. He then took off
his hat, and after a while put it on again, at which the nobles also
put on their hats, which resembled the King's, excepting the button.
The effect of this display of plumage was fine.

The Keeper of the Seals then performed his genuflexions to the throne,
and mumbled out, in a very ungraceful manner, a speech of considerable
length, which nobody pretends to judge of, because nobody heard it. He
was succeeded by M. Necker,[40] who soon handed his speech to his
clerk, being unable to go through with it. The clerk delivered it much
better than the minister, and that is no great praise. It was three
hours long, contained many excellent things, but too much of
compliment, too much of repetition, and indeed too much of everything,
for it was too long by two hours, and yet fell short in some capital
points of great expectation. He received, however, very repeated
plaudits from the audience, some of which were merited, but more were
certainly paid to his character than to his composition. M. Necker's
long speech now comes to a close, and the King rises to depart. The
hall resounds with a long loud _Vive le Roi_. He passes the Queen, who
rises to follow him. At this moment some one, imbued with the milk of
human kindness, originates a faint _Vive la Reine_. She makes a humble
courtesy and presents the sinking of the high Austrian spirit; a
livelier acclamation in return, and to this her lowlier bending, which
is succeeded by a shout of loud applause. Here drops the curtain on
the first great act of this great drama, in which Bourbon gives
freedom. His courtiers seem to feel what he seems to be insensible of,
the pang of greatness going off.

[Footnote 40: Jacques Necker, director of the Treasury in 1776;
resigned in 1781; recalled in 1788; convened the States-General in
1789; dismissed in the same year and again recalled, but finally
resigned in 1790. Married Mlle. Suzanne Curchod, Gibbon's early love,
and became the father of Madame de Staël.]



II

OF THE EXECUTION OF LOUIS XVI[41]


The late King of this country has been publicly executed. He died in a
manner becoming his dignity. Mounting the scaffold, he exprest anew
his forgiveness of those who persecuted him, and a prayer that his
deluded people might be benefited by his death. On the scaffold he
attempted to speak, but the commanding officer, Santerre, ordered the
drums to beat. The King made two unavailing efforts, but with the same
bad success. The executioners threw him down, and were in such haste
as to let fall the ax before his neck was properly placed, so that he
was mangled.

[Footnote 41: From a letter to Thomas Jefferson, dated Paris, January
25, 1793, printed in Volume II, Chapter 28, of Morris's "Diary and
Letters." Copyright, 1888, by Charles Scribner's Sons.]

It would be needless to give you an affecting narrative of
particulars. I proceed to what is more important, having but a few
minutes to write in by the present good opportunity. The greatest care
was taken to prevent a concourse of people. This proves a conviction
that the majority was not favorable to that severe measure. In fact,
the great mass of the people mourned the fate of their unhappy prince.
I have seen grief, such as for the untimely death of a beloved parent.
Everything wears an appearance of solemnity which is awfully
distressing. I have been told by a gentleman from the spot that
putting the King to death would be a signal for disbanding the army in
Flanders. I do not believe this, but incline to think it will have
some effect on the army, already perishing by want and moldering fast
away. The people of that country, if the French army retreats, will, I
am persuaded, take a severe vengeance for the injuries they have felt
and the insults they have been exposed to. Both are great. The war
against France is become popular in Austria, and is becoming so in
Germany. If my judgment be good, the testament of Louis the Sixteenth
will be more powerful against the present rulers of this country than
any army of a hundred thousand men. You will learn the effect it has
in England. I believe that the English will be wound up to a pitch of
enthusiastic horror against France, which their cool and steady temper
seems to be scarcely susceptible of.

I enclose you a translation of a letter from Sweden, which I have
received from Denmark. You will see thereby that the Jacobin
principles are propagated with zeal in every quarter. Whether the
Regent of Sweden intends to make himself king is a moot point. All the
world knows that the young prince is not legitimate, altho born under
circumstances which render it, legally speaking, impossible to
question his legitimacy. I consider a war between Britain and France
is inevitable. I have not proof, but some very leading circumstances.
Britain will, I think, suspend her blow until she can strike very
hard, unless, indeed, they should think it advisable to seize the
moment of indignation against late events for a declaration of war.
This is not improbable, because it may be coupled with those general
declarations against all kings, under the name of tyrants, which
contain a determination to destroy them, and the threat that if the
ministers of England presume to declare war, an appeal shall be made
to the people at the head of an invading army. Of course, a design may
be exhibited of entering into the heart of Great Britain, to overrun
the Constitution, destroy the rights of property, and finally to
dethrone and murder the King--all which are things the English will
neither approve of nor submit to.



ALEXANDER HAMILTON

     Born in 1757, died in 1804; a pamphleteer in the agitation
     preceding the Revolution; a captain of artillery in 1776; on
     Washington's staff in 1777-81: won distinction at Yorktown
     in 1781; member of the Continental Congress in 1782; member
     of the Constitutional Convention of 1787; Secretary of the
     Treasury in 1789; Commander-in-chief of the army in 1799;
     killed in a duel by Aaron Burr in 1804.



I

OF THE FAILURE OF CONFEDERATION[42]


In the course of the preceding papers, I have endeavored, my fellow
citizens, to place before you, in a clear and convincing light, the
importance of union to your political safety and happiness. I have
unfolded to you a complication of dangers to which you would be
exposed, should you permit that sacred knot, which binds the people of
America together, to be severed or dissolved by ambition or by
avarice, by jealousy or by misrepresentation. In the sequel of the
inquiry through which I propose to accompany you the truths intended
to be inculcated will receive further confirmation from facts and
arguments hitherto unnoticed. If the road over which you will still
have to pass should in some places appear to you tedious or irksome,
you will recollect that you are in quest of information on a subject
the most momentous which can engage the attention of a free people;
that the field through which you have to travel is in itself spacious,
and that the difficulties of the journey have been unnecessarily
increased by the mazes with which sophistry has beset the way. It will
be my aim to remove the obstacles to your progress in as compendious a
manner as it can be done without sacrificing utility to dispatch.

[Footnote 42: From No. 15 of the "Federalist" Papers, now printed in
Volume IX of the "Works of Hamilton," edited by Henry Cabot Lodge.]

In pursuance of the plan which I have laid down for the discussion of
the subject, the point next in order to be examined is the
"insufficiency of the present confederation to the preservation of the
Union."

It may perhaps be asked what need there is of reasoning or proof to
illustrate a position which is neither controverted nor doubted; to
which the understandings and feelings of all classes of men assent;
and which in substance is admitted by the opponents as well as by the
friends of the new constitution? It must in truth be acknowledged
that, however these may differ in other respects, they in general
appear to harmonize in the opinion that there are material
imperfections in our national system, and that something is necessary
to be done to rescue us from impending anarchy. The facts that support
this opinion are no longer objects of speculation. They have forced
themselves upon the sensibility of the people at large, and have at
length extorted from those whose mistaken policy has had the principal
share in precipitating the extremity at which we are arrived, a
reluctant confession of the reality of many of those defects in the
scheme of our federal government which have been long pointed out and
regretted by the intelligent friends of the Union.

We may, indeed, with propriety be said to have reached almost the last
stage of national humiliation. There is scarcely anything that can
wound the pride, or degrade the character of an independent people
which we do not experience. Are there engagements, to the performance
of which we are held by every tie respectable among men? These are the
subjects of constant and unblushing violation. Do we owe debts to
foreigners, and to our own citizens, contracted in a time of imminent
peril, for the preservation of our political existence? These remain
without any proper or satisfactory provision for their discharge. Have
we valuable territories and important posts in the possession of a
foreign power, which, by express stipulations, ought long since to
have been surrendered? These are still retained, to the prejudice of
our interests not less than of our rights. Are we in a condition to
resent or to repel the aggression? We have neither troops, nor
treasury, nor government. Are we even in a condition to remonstrate
with dignity? The just imputations on our own faith, in respect to the
same treaty, ought first to be removed. Are we entitled, by nature and
compact, to a free participation in the navigation of the Mississippi?
Spain excludes us from it. Is public credit an indispensable resource
in time of public danger? We seem to have abandoned its cause as
desperate and irretrievable. Is commerce of importance to national
wealth? Ours is at the lowest point of declension. Is respectability
in the eyes of foreign powers a safeguard against foreign
encroachments? The imbecility of our government even forbids them to
treat with us: our ambassadors abroad are the mere pageants of mimic
sovereignty.

Is a violent and unnatural decrease in the value of land a symptom of
national distress? The price of improved land, in most parts of the
country, is much lower than can be accounted for by the quantity of
waste land at market, and can only be fully explained by that want of
private and public confidence which are so alarmingly prevalent among
all ranks, and which have a direct tendency to depreciate property of
every kind. Is private credit the friend and patron of industry? That
most useful kind which relates to borrowing and lending is reduced
within the narrowest limits, and this still more from an opinion of
insecurity than from a scarcity of money. To shorten an enumeration of
particulars which can afford neither pleasure nor instruction, it may
in general be demanded what indication is there of national disorder,
poverty, and insignificance that could befall a community so
peculiarly blest with natural advantages as we are, which does not
form a part of the dark catalog of our public misfortunes?

This is the melancholy situation to which we have been brought by
those very maxims and counsels which would now deter us from adopting
the proposed constitution; and which, not content with having
conducted us to the brink of a precipice, seem resolved to plunge us
into the abyss that awaits us below. Here, my countrymen, impelled by
every motive that ought to influence an enlightened people, let us
make a firm stand for our safety, our tranquillity, our dignity, our
reputation. Let us at last break the fatal charm which has too long
seduced us from the paths of felicity and prosperity.

It is true, as has been before observed, that facts too stubborn to be
resisted have produced a species of general assent to the abstract
proposition that there exist material defects in our national system;
but the usefulness of the concession, on the part of the old
adversaries of federal measures, is destroyed by a strenuous
opposition to a remedy, upon the only principles that can give it a
chance of success. While they admit that the government of the United
States is destitute of energy, they contend against conferring upon it
those powers which are requisite to supply that energy. They seem
still to aim at things repugnant and irreconcilable; at an
augmentation of federal authority, without a diminution of State
authority; at sovereignty in the Union, and complete independence in
the members. They still, in fine, seem to cherish with blind devotion
the political monster of an _imperium in imperio_. This renders a full
display of the principal defects of the confederation necessary in
order to show that the evils we experience do not proceed from minute
or partial imperfections, but from fundamental errors in the structure
of the building, which can not be amended otherwise than by an
alteration in the very elements and main pillars of the fabric.

The great and radical vice in the construction of the existing
confederation is in the principle of legislation for states or
governments in their corporate or collective capacities, and as
contra-distinguished from the individuals of whom they consist. Tho
this principle does not run through all the powers delegated to the
Union; yet it pervades and governs those on which the efficacy of the
rest depends: except as to the rule of apportionment, the United
States have an indefinite discretion to make requisitions for men and
money; but they have no authority to raise either by regulations
extending to the individual citizens of America. The consequence of
this is that, tho in theory their resolutions concerning those objects
are laws constitutionally binding on the members of the Union, yet in
practise they are mere recommendations, which the States observe or
disregard at their option.

It is a singular instance of the capriciousness of the human mind that
after all the admonitions we have had from experience on this head,
there should still be found men who object to the new constitution for
deviating from a principle which has been found the bane of the old;
and which is, in itself, evidently incompatible with the idea of a
government; a principle, in short, which, if it is to be executed at
all, must substitute the violent and sanguinary agency of the sword to
the mild influence of the magistracy.



II

HIS REASONS FOR NOT DECLINING BURR'S CHALLENGE[43]


On my expected interview with Col. Burr, I think it proper to make
some remarks explanatory of my conduct, motives, and views. I was
certainly desirous of avoiding this interview for the most urgent
reasons:

[Footnote 43: Written the day before the duel, which took place in
Weehawken, N. J., on July 11, 1804. Hamilton, wounded, was taken to
his house in the upper part of Manhattan Island and there died on the
following day. This statement is now printed in Volume VIII of the
"Works of Hamilton."]

1. My religious and moral principles are strongly opposed to the
practise of duelling, and it would ever give me pain to be obliged to
shed the blood of a fellow creature in a private combat forbidden by
the law.

2. My wife and children are extremely dear to me, and my life is of
the utmost importance to them in various views.

3. I feel a sense of obligation toward my creditors, who, in case of
accident to me, by the forced sale of my property, may be in some
degree sufferers. I did not think myself at liberty, as a man of
probity, lightly to expose them to this hazard.

4. I am conscious of no ill-will toward Col. Burr, distinct from
political opposition, which, as I trust, has proceeded from pure and
upright motives.

Lastly, I shall hazard much and can probably gain nothing by the issue
of this interview.

But it was, as I conceive, impossible to avoid it. There were
intrinsic difficulties in the thing, an artificial embarrassment from
the manner of proceeding on the part of Col. Burr.

Intrinsic, because it is not to be denied that my animadversion on the
political principles, character and views of Col. Burr have been
extremely severe; and on different occasions I, in common with many
others, have made very unfavorable criticisms on particular instances
of the private conduct of this gentleman. In proportion as these
impressions were entertained with sincerity and uttered with motives
and for purposes which might appear to me commendable would be the
difficulty (until they could be removed by evidence of their being
erroneous) of explanation or apology. The disavowal required of me by
Col. Burr in a general and indefinite form was out of my power, if it
had really been proper for me to submit to be questioned, but I was
sincerely of the opinion that this could not be, and in this opinion I
was confirmed by a very moderate and judicious friend whom I
consulted. Besides that, Col. Burr appeared to me to assume, in the
first instance, a tone unnecessarily peremptory and menacing, and, in
the second, positively offensive. Yet I wished as far as might be
practicable to leave a door open to accommodation. This, I think, will
be inferred from the written communication made by me and by my
directions, and would be confirmed by the conversation between Mr. Van
Ness and myself which arose out of the subject. I am not sure whether,
under all the circumstances, I did not go further in the attempt to
accommodate than a punctilious delicacy will justify. If so, I hope
the motives I have stated will excuse me. It is not my design by what
I have said to affix any odium on the conduct of Col. Burr in this
case. He doubtless has heard of animadversions of mine which bore very
hard upon him, and it is probable that, as usual, they were
accompanied with some falsehoods. He may have supposed himself under
the necessity of acting as he has done. I hope the ground of his
proceeding is such as ought to satisfy his own conscience. I trust, at
the same time, that the world will do me the justice to believe that I
have not censured him on light grounds nor from unworthy motives. I
certainly have had strong reasons for what I have said, tho it is
possible in some particulars I may have been influenced by
misconstructions or misinformation. It is also my ardent wish that I
may have been more mistaken than I think I have been, and that he, by
his future conduct, may show himself worthy of all confidence and
esteem and prove an ornament and a blessing to the country as well,
because it is possible I may have injured Col. Burr, however convinced
myself that my opinions and declarations may have been well founded.

As for my general principles and temper in relation to similar
affairs, I have resolved, if our interview is conducted in the usual
manner, and it pleases God to give me the opportunity, to reserve and
throw away my first fire, and I have thoughts even of reserving my
second fire, and thus giving a double opportunity to Col. Burr to
pause and reflect. It is not, however, my intention to enter into any
explanation on the ground. Apology, from principle, I hope, rather
than pride, is out of the question. To those who, with me abhorring
the practise of duelling, may think that I ought on no account to have
added to the number of examples, I answer that my relative situation
as well in public as in private, enforcing all the considerations
which constitute what men of the world denominate honor, inspired in
me (as I thought) a peculiar necessity not to decline the call. The
ability to be useful in future, whether in resisting mischief or in
effecting good, in those crises of our public affairs which seem
lately to happen would probably be inseparable from a conformity with
public prejudice in this particular.[44]

[Footnote 44: Among the Hamilton papers is a letter addrest as follows
to Mrs. Hamilton, dated the day before the duel:

"This letter, my dear Eliza, will not be delivered to you unless I
shall first have terminated my earthly career, to begin, as I humbly
hope from redeeming grace and divine mercy, a happy immortality. If it
had been possible for me to have avoided the interview, my love for
you and my precious children would have been alone a decisive motive.
But it was not possible without sacrifice which would have rendered me
unworthy of your esteem. I need not tell you of the pangs I feel from
the idea of quitting you and exposing you to the anguish I know you
would feel. Nor could I dwell on the topic lest it should unman me.
The consolations of religion, my beloved, can alone support you; and
these you have a right to enjoy. Fly to the bosom of your God and be
comforted. With my last idea I shall cherish the sweet hope of meeting
you in a better world. Adieu, best of wives, best of women. Embrace
all my darling children for me."]



JOHN QUINCY ADAMS

     Born in Massachusetts in 1767, died in Washington in 1848;
     son of John Adams; graduated from Harvard in 1787; admitted
     to the bar in 1791; minister to the Netherlands in 1794-97;
     minister to Prussia in 1797-1801; Senator from Massachusetts
     in 1803-08; professor at Harvard in 1806-09; minister to
     Russia in 1809-14; minister to England in 1815-17; Secretary
     of State in 1817-25; elected President in 1824; defeated for
     the Presidency by Jackson in 1828; Member of Congress in
     1831-48; unsuccessful candidate for Governor of
     Massachusetts in 1834; his "Diary" published in 1874-77.



I

OF HIS MOTHER[45]


There is not a virtue that can abide in the female heart but it was
the ornament of hers. She had been fifty-four years the delight of my
father's heart, the sweetener of all his toils, the comforter of all
his sorrows, the sharer and heightener of all his joys. It was but the
last time when I saw my father that he told me, with an ejaculation of
gratitude to the Giver of every good and every perfect gift, that in
all the vicissitudes of his fortunes, through all the good report and
evil report of the world, in all his struggles and in all his
sorrows, the affectionate participation and cheering encouragement of
his wife had been his never-failing support, without which he was sure
he should never have lived through them....

[Footnote 45: From the "Diary." Adams's mother was Abigail Smith
Adams, daughter of the Rev. William Smith of Weymouth, Mass. Her
letters, which have been much admired, have been published in a work
entitled "The Familiar Letters of John Adams and his Wife."]

Never have I known another human being the perpetual object of whose
life was so unremittingly to do good. It was a necessity of her
nature. Yet so unostentatious, so unconscious even of her own
excellence that even the objects of her kindness often knew not whence
it came. She had seen the world--its glories without being dazzled;
its vices and follies without being infected by them. She had suffered
often and severely from fits of long and painful sickness, always with
calmness and resignation. She had a profound, but not an obtrusive
sensibility. She was always cheerful, never frivolous; she had neither
gall nor guile.

Her attention to the domestic economy of her family was
unrivaled--rising with the dawn, and superintending the household
concerns with indefatigable and all-foreseeing care. She had a warm
and lively relish for literature, for social conversation, for
whatever was interesting in the occurrences of the time, and even in
political affairs. She had been, during the war of our Revolution, an
ardent patriot, and the earliest lesson of unbounded devotion to the
cause of their country that her children received was from her. She
had the most delicate sense of propriety of conduct, but nothing
uncharitable, nothing bitter. Her price was indeed above rubies.



II

THE MORAL TAINT INHERENT IN SLAVERY[46]


After this meeting I walked home with Calhoun, who said that the
principles which I had avowed were just and noble; but that in the
Southern country, whenever they were mentioned, they were always
understood as applying only to white men. Domestic labor was confined
to the blacks, and such was the prejudice that if he, who was the most
popular man in his district, were to keep a white servant in his
house, his character and reputation would be irretrievably ruined.

[Footnote 46: From the "Diary."]

I said that this confounding of the ideas of servitude and labor was
one of the bad effects of slavery; but he thought it attended with
many excellent consequences. It did not apply to all kinds of
labor--not, for example, to farming. He himself had often held the
plow; so had his father. Manufacturing and mechanical labor was not
degrading. It was only manual labor--the proper work of slaves. No
white person could descend to that. And it was the best guarantee to
equality among the whites. It produced an unvarying level among them.
It not only did not excite, but did not even admit of inequalities by
which one white man could domineer over another.

I told Calhoun I could not see things in the same light. It is, in
truth, all perverted sentiment--mistaking labor for slavery, and
dominion for freedom. The discussion of the Missouri question has
betrayed the secret of their souls. In the abstract they admit that
slavery is an evil, they disclaim all participation in the
introduction of it, and cast it all upon the shoulders of our old
granddam Britain. But when probed to the quick upon it, they show at
the bottom of their souls pride and vainglory in their condition of
masterdom. They fancy themselves more generous and noble-hearted than
the plain freemen who labor for subsistence. They look down upon the
simplicity of a Yankee's manners, because he has no habits of
overbearing like theirs and can not treat negroes like dogs.

It is among the evils of slavery that it taints the very sources of
moral principle. It establishes false estimates of virtue and vice;
for what can be more false and heartless than this doctrine which
makes the first and holiest rights of humanity to depend upon the
color of the skin? It perverts human reason, and reduces man endowed
with logical powers to maintain that slavery is sanctioned by the
Christian religion, that slaves are happy and contented in their
condition, that between master and slave there are ties of mutual
attachment and affection, that the virtues of the master are refined
and exalted by the degradation of the slave; while at the same time
they vent execrations upon the slave-trade, curse Britain for having
given them slaves, burn at the stake negroes convicted of crimes for
the terror of the example, and writhe in agonies of fear at the very
mention of human rights as applicable to men of color. The impression
produced upon my mind by the progress of this discussion is that the
bargain between freedom and slavery contained in the Constitution of
the United States is morally and politically vicious, inconsistent
with the principles upon which alone our Revolution can be justified;
cruel and oppressive, by riveting the chains of slavery, by pledging
the faith of freedom to maintain and perpetuate the tyranny of the
master; and grossly unequal and impolitic, by admitting that slaves
are at once enemies to be kept in subjection, property to be secured
or restored to their owners, and persons not to be represented
themselves, but for whom their masters are privileged with nearly a
double share of representation.

The consequence has been that this slave representation has governed
the Union. Benjamin portioned above his brethren has ravened as a
wolf. In the morning he has devoured the prey, and at night he has
divided the spoil. It would be no difficult matter to prove, by
reviewing the history of the Union under this Constitution, that
almost everything which has contributed to the honor and welfare of
the nation has been accomplished in despite of them or forced upon
them, and that everything unpropitious and dishonorable, including the
blunders and follies of their adversaries, may be traced to them. I
have favored this Missouri compromise, believing it to be all that
could be effected under the present Constitution, and from extreme
unwillingness to put the Union at hazard. But perhaps it would have
been a wiser as well as a bolder course to have persisted in the
restriction upon Missouri, till it should have terminated in a
convention of the States to amend and revise the Constitution. This
would have produced a new Union of thirteen or fourteen States
unpolluted with slavery, with a great and glorious object to effect,
namely, that of rallying to their standard the other States by the
universal emancipation of their slaves. If the Union must be
dissolved, slavery is precisely the question upon which it ought to
break. For the present, however, this contest is laid asleep.



WILLIAM E. CHANNING

     Born in Rhode Island in 1780, died in Vermont in 1842;
     clergyman, author and philanthropist; one of the chief
     founders of Unitarianism; pastor of the Federal Street
     Church in Boston in 1803; his complete works published in
     1848.



OF GREATNESS IN NAPOLEON[47]


We close our view of Bonaparte's character by saying that his original
propensities, released from restraint, and pampered by indulgence to a
degree seldom allowed to mortals, grew up into a spirit of despotism
as stern and absolute as ever usurped the human heart. The love of
power and supremacy absorbed, consumed him. No other passion, no
domestic attachment, no private friendship, no love of pleasure, no
relish for letters or the arts, no human sympathy, no human weakness,
divided his mind with the passion for dominion and for dazzling
manifestations of his power. Before this, duty, honor, love, humanity
fell prostrate. Josephine, we are told, was dear to him; but the
devoted wife, who had stood firm and faithful in the day of his
doubtful fortunes, was cast off in his prosperity to make room for a
stranger, who might be more subservient to his power. He was
affectionate, we are told, to his brothers and mother; but his
brothers, the moment they ceased to be his tools, were disgraced; and
his mother, it is said, was not allowed to sit in the presence of her
imperial son. He was sometimes softened, we are told, by the sight of
the field of battle strewn with the wounded and dead. But, if the
Moloch of his ambition claimed new heaps of slain to-morrow, it was
never denied. With all his sensibility, he gave millions to the sword
with as little compunction as he would have brushed away so many
insects which had infested his march. To him all human will, desire,
power were to bend. His superiority none might question. He insulted
the fallen, who had contracted the guilt of opposing his progress; and
not even woman's loveliness, and the dignity of a queen could give
shelter from his contumely. His allies were his vassals, nor was their
vassalage concealed. Too lofty to use the arts of conciliation,
preferring command to persuasion, overbearing, and all-grasping, he
spread distrust, exasperation, fear, and revenge through Europe; and,
when the day of retribution came, the old antipathies and mutual
jealousies of nations were swallowed up in one burning purpose to
prostrate the common tyrant, the universal foe.

[Footnote 47: From a review of Sir Walter Scott's "Life of Napoleon,"
printed in the _Christian Examiner_ in 1827 and now included in Volume
I of the collected edition of Channing's writings.]

Such was Napoleon Bonaparte. But some will say he was still a great
man. This we mean not to deny. But we would have it understood that
there are various kinds or orders of greatness, and that the highest
did not belong to Bonaparte. There are different orders of greatness.
Among these the first rank is unquestionably due to moral greatness,
or magnanimity; to that sublime energy by which the soul, smitten with
the love of virtue, binds itself indissolubly, for life and for death,
to truth and duty; espouses as its own the interests of human nature;
scorns all meanness and defies all peril; hears in its own conscience
a voice louder than threatenings and thunders; withstands all the
powers of the universe which would sever it from the cause of freedom
and religion; reposes an unfaltering trust in God in the darkest hour,
and is ever "ready to be offered up" on the altar of its country or of
mankind.

Of this moral greatness, which throws all other forms of greatness
into obscurity, we see not a trace in Napoleon. Tho clothed with the
power of a god, the thought of consecrating himself to the
introduction of a new and higher era, to the exaltation of the
character and condition of his race, seems never to have dawned on his
mind. The spirit of disinterestedness and self-sacrifice seems not to
have waged a moment's war with self-will and ambition. His ruling
passions, indeed, were singularly at variance with magnanimity. Moral
greatness has too much simplicity, is too unostentatious, too
self-subsistent and enters into others' interests with too much
heartiness, to live an hour for what Napoleon always lived, to make
itself the theme, and gaze, and wonder of a dazzled world. Next to
moral, comes intellectual greatness, or genius in the highest sense of
that word; and by this we mean that sublime capacity of thought,
through which the soul, smitten with the love of the true and the
beautiful, essays to comprehend the universe, soars into the heavens,
penetrates the earth, penetrates itself, questions the past,
anticipates the future, traces out the general and all-comprehending
laws of nature, binds together by innumerable affinities and relations
all the objects of its knowledge, rises from the finite and transient
to the infinite and the everlasting, frames to itself from its own
fulness lovelier and sublimer forms than it beholds, discerns the
harmonies between the world within and the world without us, and finds
in every region of the universe types and interpreters of its own deep
mysteries and glorious inspirations. This is the greatness which
belongs to philosophers, and to the master-spirits in poetry and the
fine arts.

Next comes the greatness of action; and by this we mean the sublime
power of conceiving bold and extensive plans; of constructing and
bringing to bear on a mighty object a complicated machinery of means,
energies, and arrangements, and of accomplishing great outward
effects. To this head belongs the greatness of Bonaparte, and that he
possest it we need not prove, and none will be hardy enough to deny. A
man who raised himself from obscurity to a throne, who changed the
face of the world, who made himself felt through powerful and
civilized nations, who sent the terror of his name across seas and
oceans, whose will was pronounced and feared as destiny, whose
donatives were crowns, whose antechamber was thronged by submissive
princes, who broke down the awful barrier of the Alps and made them a
highway, and whose fame was spread beyond the boundaries of
civilization to the steppes of the Cossack, and the deserts of the
Arab; a man who has left this record of himself in history, has taken
out of our hands the question whether he shall be called great. All
must concede to him a sublime power of action, an energy equal to
great effects.



JOHN JAMES AUDUBON

     Born in New Orleans In 1780, died in New York in 1857;
     educated in France, where he was a pupil of David; failing
     to establish himself in business in America, he devoted his
     time to the study of birds, making long excursions on foot;
     published his "Birds of America" in 1827-30, the price per
     copy being $1,000; published his "Ornithological Biography"
     in 5 volumes in 1831-39.



WHERE THE MOCKING-BIRD DWELLS[48]


It is where the great magnolia shoots up its majestic trunk, crowned
with evergreen leaves, and decorated with a thousand beautiful
flowers, that perfume the air around; where the forests and fields are
adorned with blossoms of every hue; where the golden orange ornaments
the gardens and groves; where bignonias of various kinds interlace
their climbing stems around the white-flowered stuartia, and, mounting
still higher, cover the summits of the lofty trees around, accompanied
with innumerable vines that here and there festoon the dense foliage
of the magnificent woods, lending to the vernal breeze a slight
portion of the perfume of their clustered flowers; where a genial
warmth seldom forsakes the atmosphere; where berries and fruits of all
descriptions are met with at every step--in a word, it is where Nature
seems to have paused, as she passed over the earth, and, opening her
stores, to have strewed with unsparing hand the diversified seeds from
which have sprung all the beautiful and splendid forms which I should
in vain attempt to describe, that the mocking-bird should have fixt
its abode--there only that its wondrous song should be heard.

[Footnote 48: From Volume II, page 187, of the "Birds of America,"
edition of 1841.]

But where is that favored land? It is in that great continent to whose
distant shores Europe has sent forth her adventurous sons, to wrest
for themselves a habitation from the wild inhabitants of the forest,
and to convert the neglected soil into fields of exuberant fertility.
It is, reader, in Louisiana that these bounties of nature are in the
greatest perfection. It is there that you should listen to the love
song of the mocking-bird, as I at this moment do. See how he flies
round his mate, with motions as light as those of the butterfly! His
tail is widely expanded, he mounts in the air to a small distance,
describes a circle, and, again alighting, approaches his beloved one,
his eyes gleaming with delight, for she has already promised to be his
and his only. His beautiful wings are gently raised, he bows to his
love, and, again bouncing upward, opens his bill and pours forth his
melody, full of exultation at the conquest he has made.

They are not the soft sounds of the flute or the hautboy that I hear,
but the sweeter notes of nature's own music. The mellowness of the
song, the varied modulations and gradations, the extent of its
compass, the great brilliancy of execution are unrivaled. There is
probably no bird in the world that possesses all the musical
qualifications of this king of song, who has derived all from Nature's
self. Yes, reader, all!

No sooner has he again alighted, and the conjugal contract has been
sealed, than, as if his breast were about to be rent with delight, he
again pours forth his notes with more softness and richness than
before. He now soars higher, glancing around with a vigilant eye, to
assure himself that none has witnessed his bliss. When these love
scenes are over, he dances through the air, full of animation and
delight, and, as if to convince his lovely mate that to enrich her
hopes he has much more love in store, he that moment begins anew, and
imitates all the notes which nature has imparted to the other
songsters of the grove.



WASHINGTON IRVING

     Born in New York in 1783, died at Sunnyside in 1859; studied
     law, but owing to ill health went abroad in 1804, remaining
     two years; returning home, began to publish "Salmagundi" in
     company with James K. Paulding; published in 1809 his
     "History of New York," which established his literary
     reputation; went abroad in 1815, remaining until 1832;
     attached to the legation in Madrid in 1826; secretary of
     legation in London in 1829; minister to Spain in 1842;
     published the "Sketch Book" in 1819-20, "Bracebridge Hall"
     in 1822, "Tales of a Traveler" in 1824, "Christopher
     Columbus" in 1828, "Conquest of Granada" in 1829, "The
     Alhambra" in 1832, "Life of Washington" in 1855-59; author
     of many other books; his "Life and Letters" published in
     1861-67.



I

THE LAST OF THE DUTCH GOVERNORS OF NEW YORK[49]


Peter Stuyvesant was the last, and, like the renowned Wouter Van
Twiller, the best of our ancient Dutch governors. Wouter having
surpassed all who preceded him, and Peter, or Piet, as he was sociably
called by the old Dutch burghers, who were ever prone to familiarize
names, having never been equaled by any successor. He was, in fact,
the very man fitted by nature to retrieve the desperate fortunes of
her beloved province, had not the Fates, those most potent and
unrelenting of all ancient spinsters, destined them to inextricable
confusion.

[Footnote 49: From Book V, Chapter I, of "Knickerbocker's History of
New York."]

To say merely that he was a hero would be doing him great
injustice--he was in truth a combination of heroes--for he was of a
sturdy, raw-boned make like Ajax Telamon, with a pair of round
shoulders that Hercules would have given his hide for (meaning his
lion's hide) when he undertook to ease old Atlas of his load. He was,
moreover, as Plutarch describes Coriolanus, not only terrible for the
force of his arm, but likewise of his voice, which sounded as tho it
came out of a barrel; and, like the self-same warrior, he possest a
sovereign contempt for the sovereign people, and an iron aspect, which
was enough of itself to make the very bowels of his adversaries quake
with terror and dismay. All this martial excellency of appearance was
inexpressibly heightened by an accidental advantage, with which I am
surprized that neither Homer nor Virgil have graced any of their
heroes. This was nothing less than a wooden leg,[50] which was the
only prize he had gained in bravely fighting the battles of his
country, but of which he was so proud that he was often heard to
declare he valued it more than all his other limbs put together;
indeed, so highly did he esteem it that he had it gallantly enchased
and relieved with silver devices, which caused it to be related in
divers histories and legends that he wore a silver leg.

[Footnote 50: Stuyvesant lost his leg in the West Indies, where he was
serving in a Dutch command. In 1634 he became director of the colony
of Curaçao. In 1636 he was made director-general of the Dutch colony
in North America. He retained this office, in which he was notably
efficient, until the surrender of New Amsterdam to the English in
1664. Stuyvesant spent the remainder of his life in New York on a farm
called the Bowery, where he died in 1672. He was buried in grounds
where now stands St. Mark's Church.]

Like that choleric warrior Achilles, he was somewhat subject to
extempore bursts of passion, which were rather unpleasant to his
favorites and attendants, whose perceptions he was apt to quicken,
after the manner of his illustrious imitator, Peter the Great, by
anointing their shoulders with his walking-staff.

Tho I can not find that he had read Plato, or Aristotle, or Hobbes, or
Bacon, or Algernon Sydney, or Tom Paine, yet did he sometimes manifest
a shrewdness and sagacity in his measures that one would hardly expect
from a man who did not know Greek, and had never studied the ancients.
True it is, and I confess it with sorrow, that he had an unreasonable
aversion to experiments, and was fond of governing his province after
the simplest manner; but then he contrived to keep it in better order
than did the erudite Kieft,[51] tho he had all the philosophers,
ancient and modern, to assist and perplex him. I must likewise own
that he made but very few laws; but then again he took care that those
few were rigidly and impartially enforced: and I do not know but
justice on the whole was as well administered as if there had been
volumes of sage acts and statutes yearly made, and daily neglected and
forgotten.

[Footnote 51: William Kieft, the predecessor of Stuyvesant in the
government of New Amsterdam, was a tyrannical, blundering
administrator, whose rule was marked by disastrous wars with the
Indians and dissension among his own people which nearly ruined the
province. He was recalled by the home government, and while on his way
to Holland was lost in the wreck, on the English coast, of the ship in
which he had sailed.]

He was, in fact, the very reverse of his predecessors, being neither
tranquil and inert, like Walter the Doubter, nor restless and
fidgeting, like William the Testy; but a man, or rather a governor of
such uncommon activity and decision of mind that he never sought nor
accepted the advice of others; depending bravely upon his single head,
as would a hero of yore upon his single arm, to carry him through all
difficulties and dangers. To tell the simple truth, he wanted nothing
more to complete him as a statesman than to think always right; for no
one can say but that he always acted as he thought. He was never a man
to flinch when he found himself in a scrape; but to dash forward
through thick and thin, trusting, by hook or by crook, to make all
things straight in the end. In a word, he possest, in an eminent
degree, that great quality in a statesman, called perseverance by the
polite, but nicknamed obstinacy by the vulgar. A wonderful salve for
official blunders; since he who perseveres in error without flinching
gets the credit of boldness and consistency, while he who wavers in
seeking to do what is right gets stigmatized as a trimmer. This much
is certain; and it is a maxim well worthy the attention of all
legislators, great and small, who stand shaking in the wind,
irresolute which way to steer, that a ruler who follows his own will
pleases himself; while he who seeks to satisfy the wishes and whims of
others runs great risk of pleasing nobody. There is nothing, too, like
putting down one's foot resolutely, when in doubt, and letting things
take their course. The clock that stands still points right twice in
the four-and-twenty hours: while others may keep going continually and
be continually going wrong.

Nor did this magnanimous quality escape the discernment of the good
people of Nieuw Nederlandts; on the contrary, so much were they struck
with the independent will and vigorous resolution displayed on all
occasions by their new governor, that they universally called him
Hard-Koppig Piet; or Peter the Headstrong--a great compliment to the
strength of his understanding.

If, from all that I have said, thou dost not gather, worthy reader,
that Peter Stuyvesant was a tough, sturdy, valiant, weather-beaten,
mettlesome, obstinate, leather-sided, lion-hearted, generous-spirited
old governor, either I have written to but little purpose, or thou art
very dull at drawing conclusions.



II

THE AWAKENING OF RIP VAN WINKLE[52]


On waking, he found himself on the green knoll whence he had first
seen the old man of the glen. He rubbed his eyes--it was a bright
sunny morning. The birds were hopping and twittering among the
bushes, and the eagle was wheeling aloft, and breasting the pure
mountain breeze. "Surely," thought Rip, "I have not slept here all
night." He recalled the occurrences before he fell asleep. The strange
man with a keg of liquor--the mountain ravine--the wild retreat among
the rocks--the wo-begone party at nine-pins--the flagon--"Oh! that
flagon! that wicked flagon!" thought Rip--"what excuse shall I make to
Dame Van Winkle!"

[Footnote 52: From the "Sketch Book," originally published in parts in
1819-20, "Rip Van Winkle" being included in the first number. Irving's
story has furnished the material for eight or ten plays, the most
successful of which was written by Dion Boucicault. Boucicault's work
was materially altered by Joseph Jefferson into the play now closely
associated with Jefferson's fame.]

He looked round for his gun, but in place of the clean well-oiled
fowling-piece, he found an old firelock lying by him, the barrel
incrusted with rust, the lock falling off, and the stock worm-eaten.
He now suspected that the grave roysterers of the mountain had put a
trick upon him, and, having dosed him with liquor, had robbed him of
his gun. Wolf, too, had disappeared, but he might have strayed away
after a squirrel or partridge. He whistled after him and shouted his
name, but all in vain; the echoes repeated his whistle and shout, but
no dog was to be seen.

He determined to revisit the scene of the last evening's gambol, and
if he met with any of the party, to demand his dog and gun. As he rose
to walk, he found himself stiff in the joints, and wanting in his
usual activity. "These mountain beds do not agree with me," thought
Rip, "and if this frolic should lay me up with a fit of the
rheumatism, I shall have a blest time with Dame Van Winkle." With some
difficulty he got down into the glen: he found the gully up which he
and his companion had ascended the preceding evening; but to his
astonishment a mountain stream was now foaming down it, leaping from
rock to rock, and filling the glen with babbling murmurs. He, however,
made shift to scramble up its sides, working his toilsome way through
thickets of birch, sassafras, and witch-hazel, and sometimes tript up
or entangled by the wild grape-vines that twisted their coils or
tendrils from tree to tree, and spread a kind of network in his path.

At length he reached to where the ravine had opened through the cliffs
to the amphitheater; but no traces of such opening remained. The rocks
presented a high impenetrable wall over which the torrent came
tumbling in a sheet of feathery foam, and fell into a broad deep
basin, black from the shadows of the surrounding forest. Here, then,
poor Rip was brought to a stand. He again called and whistled after
his dog; he was only answered by the cawing of a flock of idle crows,
sporting high in air about a dry tree that overhung a sunny precipice;
and who, secure in their elevation, seemed to look down and scoff at
the poor man's perplexities. What was to be done? the morning was
passing away, and Rip felt famished for want of his breakfast. He
grieved to give up his dog and gun; he dreaded to meet his wife; but
it would not do to starve among the mountains. He shook his head,
shouldered the rusty firelock, and, with a heart full of trouble and
anxiety, turned his steps homeward.

As he approached the village he met a number of people, but none whom
he knew, which somewhat surprized him, for he had thought himself
acquainted with every one in the country round. Their dress, too, was
of a different fashion from that to which he was accustomed. They all
stared at him with equal marks of surprize, and whenever they cast
their eyes upon him, invariably stroked their chins. The constant
recurrence of this gesture induced Rip, involuntarily, to do the same,
when, to his astonishment, he found his beard had grown a foot long!

He had now entered the skirts of the village. A troop of strange
children ran at his heels, hooting after him, and pointing at his gray
beard. The dogs, too, not one of which he recognized for an old
acquaintance, barked at him as he passed. The very village was
altered; it was larger and more populous. There were rows of houses
which he had never seen before, and those which had been his familiar
haunts had disappeared. Strange names were over the doors--strange
faces at the windows--everything was strange. His mind now misgave
him; he began to doubt whether both he and the world around him were
not bewitched. Surely this was his native village, which he had left
but the day before. There stood the Catskill Mountains--there ran the
silver Hudson at a distance--there was every hill and dale precisely
as it had always been--Rip was sorely perplexed--"That flagon last
night," thought he, "has addled my poor head sadly!"

It was with some difficulty that he found the way to his own house,
which he approached with silent awe, expecting every moment to bear
the shrill voice of Dame Van Winkle. He found the house gone to
decay--the roof fallen in, the windows shattered, and the doors off
the hinges. A half-starved dog that looked like Wolf was skulking
about it. Rip called him by name, but the cur snarled, showed his
teeth, and passed on. This was an unkind cut indeed--"My very dog,"
sighed poor Rip, "has forgotten me!"

He entered the house, which, to tell the truth, Dame Van Winkle had
always kept in neat order. It was empty, forlorn, and apparently
abandoned. This desolateness overcame all his connubial fears--he
called loudly for his wife and children--the lonely chambers rang for
a moment with his voice, and then all again was silence.

He now hurried forth, and hastened to his old resort, the village
inn--but it too was gone. A large rickety wooden building stood in its
place, with great gaping windows, some of them broken and mended with
old hats and petticoats, and over the door was painted, "The Union
Hotel, by Jonathan Doolittle." Instead of the great tree that used to
shelter the quiet little Dutch inn of yore, there now was reared a
tall naked pole, with something on the top that looked like a red
night-cap, and from it was fluttering a flag, on which was a singular
assemblage of stars and stripes--all this was strange and
incomprehensible. He recognized on the sign, however, the ruby face of
King George, under which he had smoked so many a peaceful pipe; but
even this was singularly metamorphosed. The red coat was changed for
one of blue and buff, a sword was held in the hand instead of a
scepter, the head was decorated with a cocked hat, and underneath was
painted in large characters, GENERAL WASHINGTON.

There was, as usual, a crowd of folk about the door, but none that
Rip recollected. The very character of the people seemed changed.
There was a busy, bustling, disputatious tone about it, instead of the
accustomed phlegm and drowsy tranquillity. He looked in vain for the
sage Nicholas Vedder, with his broad face, double chin, and fair long
pipe, uttering clouds of tobacco-smoke instead of idle speeches; or
Van Bummel, the schoolmaster, doling forth the contents of an ancient
newspaper. In place of these, a lean, bilious-looking fellow, with his
pockets full of handbills, was haranguing vehemently about rights of
citizens--elections--members of Congress--liberty--Bunker Hill--heroes
of seventy-six--and other words, which were a perfect Babylonish
jargon to the bewildered Van Winkle.

The appearance of Rip, with his long grizzled beard, his rusty
fowling-piece, his uncouth dress, and an army of women and children at
his heels, soon attracted the attention of the tavern politicians.
They crowded round him, eyeing him from head to foot with great
curiosity. The orator bustled up to him, and, drawing him partly
aside, inquired "on which side he voted?" Rip stared in vacant
stupidity. Another short but busy little fellow pulled him by the arm,
and, rising on tiptoe, inquired in his ear "whether he was Federal or
Democrat?" Rip was equally at a loss to comprehend the question; when
a knowing, self-important old gentleman, in a sharp cocked hat, made
his way through the crowd, putting them to right and left with his
elbows as he passed, and planting himself before Van Winkle, with arms
akimbo, the other resting on his cane, his keen eyes and sharp hat
penetrating, as it were, into his very soul, demanded in an austere
tone "what brought him to the election with a gun on his shoulder, and
a mob at his heels, and whether he meant to breed a riot in the
village?" "Alas! gentlemen," cried Rip, somewhat dismayed, "I am a
poor quiet man, a native of the place, and a loyal subject of the
King, God bless him!"

Here a general shout burst from the bystanders--"A Tory! a Tory! a
spy! a refugee! hustle him! away with him!" It was with great
difficulty that the self-important man in the cocked hat restored
order; and, having assumed a tenfold austerity of brow, demanded again
of the unknown culprit what he came there for, and whom he was
seeking? The poor man humbly assured him that he meant no harm, but
merely came there in search of some of his neighbors, who used to keep
about the tavern.

"Well--who are they?--name them."

Rip bethought himself a moment, and inquired, "Where's Nicholas
Vedder?"

There was a silence for a little while, when an old man replied, in a
thin piping voice, "Nicholas Vedder! why, he is dead and gone these
eighteen years! There was a wooden tombstone in the churchyard that
used to tell all about him, but that's rotten and gone too."

"Where's Brom Dutcher?"

"Oh, he went off to the army in the beginning of the war; some say he
was killed at the storming of Stony Point--others say he was drowned
in a squall at the foot of Antony's Nose. I don't know--he never came
back again."

"Where's Van Bummel, the schoolmaster?"

"He went off to the wars too, was a great militia general, and is now
in Congress."

Rip's heart died away at hearing of these sad changes in his home and
friends, and finding himself thus alone in the world. Every answer
puzzled him too, by treating of such enormous lapses of time, and of
matters which he could not understand: war--Congress--Stony Point; he
had no courage to ask after any more friends, but cried out in
despair, "Does nobody here know Rip Van Winkle?"

"Oh, Rip Van Winkle!" exclaimed two or three--"oh, to be sure! that's
Rip Van Winkle yonder, leaning against the tree."

Rip looked, and beheld a precise counterpart of himself, as he went up
the mountain: apparently as lazy, and certainly as ragged. The poor
fellow was now completely confounded. He doubted his own identity, and
whether he was himself or another man. In the midst of his
bewilderment, the man in the cocked hat demanded who he was, and what
was his name?

"God knows," exclaimed he, at his wit's end; "I'm not myself--I'm
somebody else--that's me yonder--no--that's somebody else got into my
shoes--I was myself last night, but I fell asleep on the mountain, and
they've changed my gun, and everything's changed, and I'm changed, and
I can't tell what's my name, or who I am!"

The bystanders began now to look at each other, nod, wink
significantly, and tap their fingers against their foreheads. There
was a whisper, also, about securing the gun, and keeping the old
fellow from doing mischief, at the very suggestion of which the
self-important man in the cocked hat retired with some precipitation.
At this critical moment a fresh comely woman prest through the throng
to get a peep at the gray-bearded man. She had a chubby child in her
arms, which, frightened at his looks, began to cry. "Hush, Rip," cried
she, "hush, you little fool; the old man won't hurt you." The name of
the child, the air of the mother, the tone of her voice, all awakened
a train of recollections in his mind. "What is your name, my good
woman," asked he.

"Judith Gardenier."

"And your father's name?"

"Ah, poor man, Rip Van Winkle was his name, but it's twenty years
since he went away from home with his gun, and never has been heard of
since--his dog came home without him; but whether he shot himself, or
was carried away by the Indians, nobody can tell. I was then but a
little girl."

Rip had but one question more to ask; but he put it with a faltering
voice:

"Where's your mother?"

"Oh, she too had died but a short time since; she broke a blood-vessel
in a fit of passion at a New England peddler."

There was a drop of comfort, at least, in this intelligence. The
honest man could contain himself no longer. He caught his daughter and
her child in his arms. "I am your father!" cried he--"Young Rip Van
Winkle once--old Rip Van Winkle now!--Does nobody know poor Rip Van
Winkle?"

All stood amazed, until an old woman, tottering out from among the
crowd, put her hand to her brow, and peering under it in his face for
a moment, exclaimed, "Sure enough! it is Rip Van Winkle--it is
himself! Welcome home again, old neighbor--why, where have you been
these twenty long years?"

Rip's story was soon told, for the whole twenty years had been to him
but as one night. The neighbors stared when they heard it; some were
seen to wink at each other, and put their tongues in their cheeks: and
the self-important man in the cocked hat, who, when the alarm was
over, had returned to the field, screwed down the corners of his
mouth, and shook his head--upon which there was a general shaking of
the head throughout the assemblage.

It was determined, however, to take the opinion of old Peter
Vanderdonk, who was seen slowly advancing up the road. He was a
descendant of the historian of that name, who wrote one of the
earliest accounts of the province. Peter was the most ancient
inhabitant of the village, and well versed in all the wonderful events
and traditions of the neighborhood. He recollected Rip at once, and
corroborated his story in the most satisfactory manner. He assured the
company that it was a fact, handed down from his ancestor the
historian, that the Catskill Mountains had always been haunted by
strange beings. That it was affirmed that the great Hendrick Hudson,
the first discoverer of the river and country, kept a kind of vigil
there every twenty years, with his crew of the _Half-moon_; being
permitted in this way to revisit the scenes of his enterprise, and
keep a guardian eye upon the river, and the great city called by his
name. That his father had once seen them in their old Dutch dresses
playing at nine-pins in a hollow of the mountain; and that he himself
had heard, one summer afternoon, the sound of their balls, like
distant peals of thunder.

To make a long story short, the company broke up, and returned to the
more important concerns of the election. Rip's daughter took him home
to live with her; she had a snug, well-furnished house, and a stout
cheery farmer for a husband, whom Rip recollected for one of the
urchins that used to climb upon his back. As to Rip's son and heir,
who was the ditto of himself, seen leaning against the tree, he was
employed to work on the farm; but evinced an hereditary disposition to
attend to anything else but his business.



III

AT ABBOTSFORD WITH SCOTT[53]


I had a letter of introduction to him from Thomas Campbell the poet,
and had reason to think, from the interest he had taken in some of my
earlier scribblings,[54] that a visit from me would not be deemed an
intrusion.

[Footnote 53: From the collection of papers entitled "Crayon
Miscellany." Irving's visit was made in 1817. His account of it was
not published until nearly twenty years afterward--that is, after
Scott's death.]

[Footnote 54: Irving at that time had published little more than the
"Salmagundi" papers and "Knickerbocker's History of New York."]

On the following morning, after an early breakfast, I set off in a
post-chaise for the Abbey.

On the way thither I stopt at the gate of Abbotsford, and sent the
postilion to the house with the letter of introduction and my card, on
which I had written that I was on my way to the ruins of Melrose
Abbey, and wished to know whether it would be agreeable to Mr. Scott
(he had not yet been made a baronet) to receive a visit from me in the
course of the morning....

In a little while the "lord of the castle" himself made his
appearance. I knew him at once by the descriptions I had read and
heard, and the likeness that had been published of him. He was tall,
and of a large and powerful frame. His dress was simple, and almost
rustic: an old green shooting-coat, with a dog-whistle at the
buttonhole, brown linen pantaloons, stout shoes that tied at the
ankles, and a white hat that had evidently seen service. He came
limping up the gravel-walk, aiding himself by a stout walking-staff,
but moving rapidly and with vigor. By his side jogged along a large
iron-gray stag-hound of most grave demeanor, who took no part in the
clamor of the canine rabble, but seemed to consider himself bound, for
the dignity of the house, to give me a courteous reception.

Before Scott had reached the gate he called out in a hearty tone,
welcoming me to Abbotsford, and asking news of Campbell. Arrived at
the door of the chaise, he grasped me warmly by the hand: "Come, drive
down, drive down to the house," said he, "ye're just in time for
breakfast, and afterward ye shall see all the wonders of the Abbey."

I would have excused myself, on the plea of having already made my
breakfast. "Hout, man," cried he, "a ride in the morning in the keen
air of the Scotch hills is warrant enough for a second breakfast." I
was accordingly whirled to the portal of the cottage, and in a few
moments found myself seated at the breakfast-table....

Scott proposed a ramble to show me something of the surrounding
country. As we sallied forth, every dog in the establishment turned
out to attend us. There was the old stag-hound Maida, a noble animal,
and a great favorite of Scott's; and Hamlet, the black greyhound, a
wild thoughtless youngster, not yet arrived to the years of
discretion; and Finette, a beautiful setter, with soft silken hair,
long pendent ears, and a mild eye, the parlor favorite. When in front
of the house, we were joined by a superannuated greyhound, who came
from the kitchen wagging his tail, and was cheered by Scott as an old
friend and comrade.

In our walks, Scott would frequently pause in conversation to notice
his dogs and speak to them, as if rational companions; and, indeed,
there appears to be a vast deal of rationality in these faithful
attendants on man, derived from their close intimacy with him. Maida
deported himself with a gravity becoming his age and size, and seemed
to consider himself called upon to preserve a great degree of dignity
and decorum in our society. As he jogged along a little distance ahead
of us, the young dogs would gambol about him, leap on his neck, worry
at his ears, and endeavor to tease him into a frolic. The old dog
would keep on for a long time with imperturbable solemnity, now and
then seeming to rebuke the wantonness of his young companions....

We had not walked much further before we saw the two Miss Scotts
advancing along the hillside to meet us. The morning's studies being
over, they had set off to take a ramble on the hills, and gather
heather-blossoms with which to decorate their hair for dinner. As they
came bounding lightly, like young fawns, and their dresses fluttering
in the pure summer breeze, I was reminded of Scott's own description
of his children in his introduction to one of the cantos of "Marmion."

As they approached, the dogs all sprang forward and gamboled around
them. They played with them for a time, and then joined us with
countenances full of health and glee. Sophia,[55] the eldest, was the
most lively and joyous, having much of her father's varied spirit in
conversation, and seeming to catch excitement from his words and
looks. Ann was of quieter mood, rather silent, owing, in some measure,
no doubt, to her being some years younger.

[Footnote 55: Sophia three years later became the wife of John Gibson
Lockhart, the biographer of Scott.]

At the dinner Scott had laid by his half-rustic dress, and appeared
clad in black. The girls, too, in completing their toilet, had twisted
in their hair the sprigs of purple heather which they had gathered on
the hillside, and looked all fresh and blooming from their breezy
walk.

There was no guest at dinner but myself. Around the table were two or
three dogs in attendance. Maida, the old stag-hound, took his seat at
Scott's elbow, looking up wistfully in his master's eye, while
Finette, the pet spaniel, placed herself near Mrs. Scott, by whom, I
soon perceived, she was completely spoiled....

Among the other important and privileged members of the household who
figured in attendance at the dinner was a large gray cat, who, I
observed, was regaled from time to time with titbits from the table.
This sage grimalkin was a favorite of both master and mistress, and
slept at night in their room; and Scott laughingly observed that one
of the least wise parts of their establishment was that the window was
left open at night for puss to go in and out. The cat assumed a kind
of ascendency among the quadrupeds--sitting in state in Scott's
armchair, and occasionally stationing himself on a chair beside the
door, as if to review his subjects as they passed, giving each dog a
cuff beside the ears as he went by. This clapper-clawing was always
taken in good part; it appeared to be, in fact, a mere act of
sovereignty on the part of grimalkin, to remind the others of their
vassalage; which they acknowledged by the most perfect acquiescence. A
general harmony prevailed between sovereign and subjects, and they
would all sleep together in the sunshine....

After dinner we adjourned to the drawing-room, which served also for
study and library. Against the wall on one side was a long
writing-table, with drawers; surmounted by a small cabinet of polished
wood, with folding-drawers richly studded with brass ornaments, within
which Scott kept his most valuable papers. Above the cabinet, in a
kind of niche, was a complete corselet of glittering steel, with a
closed helmet, and flanked by gantlets and battle-axes. Around were
hung trophies and relics of various kinds; a simitar of Tipu Sahib; a
Highland broadsword from Flodden field; a pair of Rippon spurs from
Bannockburn, and above all, a gun which had belonged to Rob Roy, and
bore his initials, R. M. C.,[56] an object of peculiar interest to me
at the time, as it was understood Scott was actually engaged in
printing a novel founded on the story of that famous outlaw.

[Footnote 56: Robert McGregor Campbell was the real name of Rob Roy.]

On each side of the cabinet were bookcases, well stored with works of
romantic fiction in various languages, many of them rare and
antiquated. This, however, was merely his cottage library, the
principal part of his books being at Edinburgh.

From this little cabinet of curiosities Scott drew forth a manuscript
picked up on the field at Waterloo, containing copies of several songs
popular at the time in France. The paper was dabbled with blood--"the
very life-blood, very possibly," said Scott, "of some gay young
officer who had cherished these songs as a keepsake from some
lady-love in Paris."...

The evening passed away delightfully in this quaint-looking apartment,
half study, half drawing-room. Scott had read several passages from
the old romances of Arthur, with a fine deep sonorous voice, and a
gravity of tone that seemed to suit the antiquated black-letter
volume. It was a rich treat to hear such a work, read by such a
person, and in such a place; and his appearance as he sat reading, in
a large armed chair, with his favorite hound Maida at his feet and
surrounded by books and relics, and border trophies, would have formed
an admirable and most characteristic picture.

While Scott was reading, the sage grimalkin already mentioned had
taken his seat in a chair beside the fire, and remained with fixt eye
and grave demeanor, as if listening to the reader. I observed to Scott
that his cat seemed to have a black-letter taste in literature.

"Ah," said he, "these cats are a very mysterious kind of folk. There
is always more passing in their minds than we are aware of. It comes,
no doubt, from their being so familiar with witches and warlocks."...

When I retired for the night, I found it almost impossible to sleep;
the idea of being under the roof of Scott, of being on the borders of
the Tweed in the very center of that region which had for some time
past been the favorite scene of romantic fiction, and above all, the
recollections of the ramble I had taken, the company in which I had
taken it, and the conversation which had passed, all fermented in my
mind, and nearly drove sleep from my pillow.

On the following morning the sun darted his beams from over the hills
through the low lattice window. I rose at an early hour, and looked
out between the branches of eglantine which overhung the casement. To
my surprize Scott was already up and forth, seated on a fragment of
stone, and chatting with the workmen employed on the new building.[57]
I had supposed, after the time he had wasted upon me yesterday, he
would be closely occupied this morning; but he appeared like a man of
leisure, who had nothing to do but bask in the sunshine and amuse
himself.

[Footnote 57: This "new building" became in time the mansion now known
as Abbotsford. At the time of Irving's visit Scott was living in a
small villa which he had built after settling at the place in 1812.
The present large castellated residence was produced by making
extensive additions to the original villa.]

I soon drest myself and joined him. He talked about his proposed plans
of Abbotsford: happy would it have been for him could he have
contented himself with his delightful little vine-covered cottage, and
the simple yet hearty and hospitable style in which he lived at the
time of my visit. The great pile of Abbotsford, with the huge expense
it entailed upon him, of servants, retainers, guests, and baronial
style, was a drain upon his purse, a tax upon his exertions, and a
weight upon his mind, and finally crusht him....

After breakfast Scott was occupied for some time correcting
proof-sheets, which he had received by the mail. The novel of "Rob
Roy,"[58] as I have already observed, was at that time in the press,
and I supposed them to be the proof-sheets of that work. The
authorship of the Waverley novels was still a matter of conjecture and
uncertainty; tho few doubted their being principally written by Scott.
One proof to me of his being the author was that he never adverted to
them. A man so fond of anything Scottish, and anything relating to
national history or local legend, could not have been mute respecting
such productions, had they been written by another. He was fond of
quoting the works of his contemporaries; he was continually reciting
scraps of border songs, or relating anecdotes of border story. With
respect to his own poems and their merits, however, he was mute, and
while with him I observed a scrupulous silence on the subject.

[Footnote 58: Of his novels Scott at this time had published only
"Waverley," "Guy Mannering," "The Antiquarii," "Old Mortality," and
the "Black Dwarf."]



JAMES FENIMORE COOPER

     Born In New Jersey in 1789, died in Cooperstown, N. Y., in
     1851; son of William Cooper, the pioneer who founded
     Cooperstown; settled in Cooperstown in 1790; entered Yale
     College in 1803, remaining three years; midshipman in the
     navy in 1808; married in 1811 and resigned from the navy;
     published "Precaution" and "The Spy," both in 1821; the
     latter established his literary reputation; "The Pioneers"
     in 1823, "The Pilot" in 1823, "The Last of the Mohicans" in
     1826; "The Prairie" in 1827, "The Pathfinder" in 1840, "The
     Deerslayer" in 1841; author of many other books.



I

HIS FATHER'S ARRIVAL AT OTSEGO LAKE[59]


Near the center of the State of New York lies an extensive district of
country whose surface is a succession of hills and dales, or, to speak
with greater deference to geographical definitions, of mountains and
valleys. It is among these hills that the Delaware takes its rise;
and, flowing from the limpid lakes and thousand springs of this
region, the numerous sources of the Susquehanna meander through the
valleys, until, uniting their streams, they form one of the proudest
rivers of the United States. The mountains are generally arable to the
tops, altho instances are not wanting where the sides are jutted with
rocks, that aid greatly in giving to the country that romantic and
picturesque character which it so eminently possesses.

[Footnote 59: From Chapters I and III of "The Pioneers." Cooper's
father, Judge William Cooper, the founder of Cooperstown, first
visited Otsego Lake in 1785, built a house there in 1787 and in 1790
made it the permanent home of his family. In 1790 the place contained
35 other people. The selection here given pictures the circumstances
in which Judge Cooper, as well as Marmaduke Temple, visited Otsego
Lake. Fenimore Cooper was not two years old when his father settled
there. His native place was Burlington, N. J. Judge Cooper's settling
at Cooperstown was a consequence of his having acquired, through
foreclosure, extensive lands which George Croghan had failed in an
attempt to settle, near the lake. Except for this circumstance, it is
unlikely that his son ever would have acquired that intimate knowledge
of Indian and frontier life of which he has left such notable pictures
in his books.]

The vales are narrow, rich and cultivated, with a stream uniformly
winding through each. Beautiful and thriving villages are found
interspersed along the margins of the small lakes, or situated at
those points of the stream which are favorable for manufacturing; and
neat and comfortable farms, with every indication of wealth about
them, are scattered profusely through the vales, and even to the
mountain tops. Roads diverge in every direction from the even and
graceful bottoms of the valleys to the most rugged and intricate
passes of the hills. Academies[60] and minor edifices of learning meet
the eye of the stranger at every few miles as he winds his way through
this uneven territory, and places for the worship of God abound with
that frequency which characterizes a moral and reflecting people, and
with that variety of exterior and canonical government which flows
from unfettered liberty of conscience....

[Footnote 60: An "academy" was a high school or seminary, of which an
example could be found as late as fifty years ago in almost every
prosperous village of Central New York.]

It was near the setting of the sun, on a clear, cold day in December,
when a sleigh was moving slowly up one of the mountains in the
district we have described. The day had been fine for the season, and
but two or three large clouds, whose color seemed brightened by the
light reflected from the mass of snow that covered the earth, floated
in a sky of the purest blue. The road wound along the brow of a
precipice, and on one side was upheld by a foundation of logs, piled
one upon the other, while a narrow excavation in the mountain in the
opposite direction had made a passage of sufficient width for the
ordinary traveling of that day. But logs, excavation, and everything
that did not reach several feet above the earth lay alike buried
beneath the snow. A single track, barely wide enough to receive the
sleigh, denoted the route of the highway, and this was sunk nearly two
feet below the surrounding surface.

In the vale, which lay at a distance of several hundred feet lower,
there was what, in the language of the country, was called a clearing,
and all the usual improvements of a new settlement; these even
extended up the hill to the point where the road turned short and ran
across the level land, which lay on the summit of the mountain; but
the summit itself remained in the forest. There was glittering in the
atmosphere, as if it was filled with innumerable shining particles;
and the noble bay horses that drew the sleigh were covered, in many
parts, with a coat of hoar-frost. The vapor from their nostrils was
seen to issue like smoke; and every object in the view, as well as
every arrangement of the travelers, denoted the depth of a winter in
the mountains.

The harness, which was of a deep, dull black, differing from the
glossy varnishing of the present day, was ornamented with enormous
plates and buckles of brass, that shone like gold in those transient
beams of the sun which found their way obliquely through the tops of
the trees. Huge saddles, studded with nails and fitted with cloth that
served as blankets to the shoulders of the cattle, supported four
high, square-topped turrets, through which the stout reins led from
the mouths of the horses to the hands of the driver, who was a negro
of apparently twenty years of age. His face, which Nature had colored
with a glistening black, was now mottled with the cold, and his large
shining eyes filled with tears; a tribute to its power, that the keen
frosts of those regions always extracted from one of his African
origin. Still, there was a smiling expression of good humor in his
happy countenance, that was created by the thoughts of home, and a
Christmas fireside, with its Christmas frolics....

A dark spot of a few acres in extent at the southern extremity of this
beautiful flat, and immediately under the feet of our travelers, alone
showed by its rippling surface, and the vapors which exhaled from it,
that what at first might seem a plain was one of the mountain lakes,
locked in the frosts of winter. A narrow current rushed impetuously
from its bosom at the open place we mentioned and was to be traced for
miles as it wound its way toward the south through the real valley, by
its borders of hemlock and pine, and by the vapor which arose from its
warmer surface into the chill atmosphere of the hills. The banks of
this lovely basin, at its outlet,[61] or southern end, were steep, but
not high; and in that direction the land continued, far as the eye
could reach, a narrow but graceful valley, along which the settlers
had scattered their humble habitations, with a profusion that bespoke
the quality of the soil, and the comparative facilities of
intercourse.

[Footnote 61: The outlet of this lake is the Susquehanna River.]

Immediately on the bank of the lake and at its foot stood the village
of Templeton.[62] It consisted of some fifty buildings, including
those of every description, chiefly built of wood and which in their
architecture bore no great marks of taste, but which also, by the
unfinished appearance of most of the dwellings, indicated the hasty
manner of their construction. To the eye they presented a variety of
colors. A few were white in both front and rear, but more bore that
expensive color on their fronts only, while their economical but
ambitious owners had covered the remaining sides of the edifices with
a dingy red. One or two were slowly assuming the russet of age; while
the uncovered beams that were to be seen through the broken windows on
their second stories showed that either the taste or the vanity of
their proprietors had led them to undertake a task which they were
unable to accomplish.

[Footnote 62: Templeton is another name for Cooperstown.]

The whole were grouped in a manner that aped the streets of the city,
and were evidently so arranged by the directions of one who looked to
the wants of posterity rather than to the convenience of the present
incumbents. Some three or four of the better sort of buildings, in
addition to the uniformity of their color, were fitted with green
blinds, which, at that season at least, were rather strangely
contrasted to the chill aspect of the lake, the mountains, the
forests, and the wide fields of snow. Before the doors of these
pretentious dwellings were placed a few saplings, either without
branches, or possessing only the feeble shoots of one or two summers'
growth, that looked not unlike tall grenadiers on post near the
threshold of princes. In truth, the occupants of these favored
habitations were the nobles of Templeton, as Marmaduke was its king.
They were the dwellings of two young men who were cunning in the law;
an equal number of that class who chaffered to the wants of the
community under the title of storekeepers; and a disciple of
Æsculapius, who, for a novelty, brought more subjects into the world
than he sent out of it.

In the midst of this incongruous group of dwellings rose the mansion
of the Judge, towering above all its neighbors. It stood in the center
of an enclosure of several acres, which was covered with fruit-trees.
Some of the latter had been left by the Indians, and began already to
assume the moss and inclination of age, therein forming a very marked
contrast to the infant plantations that peered over most of the
picketed fences of the village. In addition to this show of
cultivation were two rows of young Lombardy poplars, a tree but lately
introduced into America, formally lining either side of a pathway
which led from a gate that opened on the principal street to the front
door of the building. The house itself had been built entirely under
the superintendence of a certain Mr. Richard Jones, whom we have
already mentioned, and who, from his cleverness in small matters, and
an entire willingness to exert his talents, added to the circumstances
of their being sisters' children, ordinarily superintended all the
minor concerns of Marmaduke Temple. Richard was fond of saying that
this child of invention consisted of nothing more or less than what
should form the groundwork of every clergyman's discourse, viz., a
firstly and a lastly. He had commenced his labors, in the first year
of their residence, by erecting a tall, gaunt edifice of wood, with
its gable toward the highway. In this shelter, for it was little more,
the family resided three years. By the end of that period Richard had
completed his design. He had availed himself, in this heavy
undertaking, of the experience of a certain wandering Eastern
mechanic, who, by exhibiting a few soiled plates of English
architecture, and talking learnedly of friezes, entablatures, and
particularly of the composite order, had obtained a very undue
influence over Richard's taste in everything that pertained to that
branch of the fine arts. Not that Mr. Jones did not affect to consider
Hiram Doolittle a perfect empiric in his profession, being in the
constant habit of listening to his treatises on architecture with a
kind of indulgent smile; yet, either from an inability to oppose them
by anything plausible from his own stores of learning, or from secret
admiration, Richard generally submitted to the arguments of his
coadjutor.

Together they had not only directed a dwelling for Marmaduke, but they
had given a fashion to the architecture of the whole country. The
composite order, Mr. Doolittle would contend, was an order composed of
many others, and was intended to be the most useful of all, for it
admitted into its construction such alterations as convenience or
circumstances might require. To this proposition Richard usually
assented; and when rival geniuses, who monopolize not only all the
reputation, but most of the money of the neighborhood, are of a mind,
it is not uncommon to see them lead the fashion, even in graver
matters. In the present instance, as we have already hinted, the
castle, as Judge Temple's dwelling was termed in common parlance, came
to be the model, in some one or other of its numerous excellences, for
every aspiring edifice within twenty miles of it.[63]

[Footnote 63: Judge Cooper's new home was called Otsego Hall. It was
afterward improved by Fenimore Cooper and remained his home during the
many years he spent in Cooperstown. A few years after his death it was
destroyed by fire. Its site is now a village park.]



II

RUNNING THE GANTLET[64]


Tho astonished at first by the uproar, Heyward was soon enabled to
find its solution by the scene that followed. There yet lingered
sufficient light in the heavens to exhibit those bright openings among
the tree-tops where different paths left the clearing to enter the
depths of the wilderness. Beneath one of them, a line of warriors
issued from the woods and advanced slowly toward the dwellings. One in
front bore a short pole, on which, as it afterward appeared, were
suspended several human scalps. The startling sounds that Duncan had
heard were what the whites have not inappropriately called the
"death-hallo"; and each repetition of the cry was intended to announce
to the tribe the fate of an enemy. Thus far the knowledge of Heyward
assisted him in the explanation; and as he knew that the interruption
was caused by the unlooked-for return of a successful war-party, every
disagreeable sensation was quieted in inward congratulations for the
opportune relief and insignificance it conferred on himself.

[Footnote 64: From Chapter XXIII of "The Last of the Mohicans."]

When at the distance of a few hundred feet from the lodges, the newly
arrived warriors halted. The plaintive and terrific cry which was
intended to represent equally the wailings of the dead and the triumph
of the victors, had entirely ceased. One of their number now called
aloud, in words that were far from appalling, tho not more
intelligible to those for whose ears they were intended than their
expressive yells. It would be difficult to convey a suitable idea of
the savage ecstasy with which the news thus imparted was received. The
whole encampment in a moment became a scene of the most violent bustle
and commotion. The warriors drew their knives, and flourishing them,
they arranged themselves in two lines, forming a lane that extended
from the war-party to the lodges. The squaws seized clubs, axes, or
whatever weapons of offense first offered itself to their hands, and
rushed eagerly to act their part in the cruel game that was at hand.
Even the children would not be excluded; but boys, little able to
wield the instruments, tore the tomahawks from the belts of their
fathers, and stole into the ranks, apt imitators of the savage traits
exhibited by their parents.

Large piles of brush lay scattered about the clearing, and a wary and
aged squaw was occupied firing as many as might serve to light the
coming exhibition. As the flame arose, its power exceeded that of the
parting day, and assisted to render objects at the same time more
distinct and more hideous. The whole scene formed a striking picture,
whose frame was composed of the dark and tall border of pines. The
warriors just arrived were the most distant figures. A little in
advance stood two men, who were apparently selected from the rest as
the principal actors in what was to follow. The light was not strong
enough to render their features distinct, tho it was quite evident
that they were governed by very different emotions. While one stood
erect and firm, prepared to meet his fate like a hero, the other bowed
his head, as if palsied by terror or stricken with shame.

The high-spirited Duncan felt a powerful impulse of admiration and
pity toward the former, tho no opportunity could offer to exhibit his
generous emotions. He watched his slightest movement, however, with
eager eyes; and as he traced the fine outline of his admirably
proportioned and active frame, he endeavored to persuade himself that
if the powers of man, seconded by such noble resolution, could bear
one harmless through so severe a trial, the youthful captive before
him might hope for success in the hazardous race he was about to run.
Insensibly the young man drew nigher to the swarthy lines of the
Hurons, and scarcely breathed, so intense became his interest in the
spectacle. Just then the signal yell was given, and the momentary
quiet which had preceded it was broken by a burst of cries that far
exceeded any before heard. The most abject of the two victims
continued motionless; but the other bounded from the place at the cry,
with the activity and the swiftness of a deer. Instead of rushing
through the hostile lines as had been expected, he just entered the
dangerous defile, and before time was given for a single blow, turned
short, and leaping the heads of a row of children, he gained at once
the exterior and safer side of the formidable array. The artifice was
answered by a hundred voices raised in imprecations, and the whole of
the excited multitude broke from their order and spread themselves
about the place in wild confusion.

A dozen blazing piles now shed their lurid brightness on the place,
which resembled some unhallowed and supernatural arena in which
malicious demons had assembled to act their bloody and lawless rites.
The forms in the background looked like unearthly beings gliding
before the eye and cleaving the air with frantic and unmeaning
gestures; while the savage passions of such as passed the flames were
rendered fearfully distinct by the gleams that shot athwart their
inflamed visages.

It will easily be understood that amid such a concourse of vindictive
enemies no breathing-time was allowed the fugitive. There was a single
moment when it seemed as if he would have reached the forest; but the
whole body of his captors threw themselves before him, and drove him
back into the center of his relentless persecutors. Turning like a
headed deer, he shot with the swiftness of an arrow through a pillar
of forked flame, and passing the whole multitude harmless he appeared
on the opposite side of the clearing. Here, too, he was met and turned
by a few of the older and more subtle of the Hurons. Once more he
tried the throng, as if seeking safety in its blindness; and then
several moments succeeded, during which Duncan believed the active and
courageous young stranger was lost.

Nothing could be distinguished but a dark mass of human forms tossed
and involved in inexplicable confusion. Arms, gleaming knives, and
formidable clubs appeared, above them, but the blows were evidently
given at random. The awful effect was heightened by the piercing
shrieks of the women and the fierce yells of the warriors. Now and
then Duncan caught a glimpse of a light form cleaving the air in some
desperate bound, and he rather hoped than believed that the captive
yet retained the command of his astonishing powers of activity.
Suddenly the multitude rolled backward, and approached the spot where
he himself stood. The heavy body in the rear prest upon the women and
children in front, and bore them to the earth. The stranger reappeared
in the confusion. Human power could not, however, much longer endure
so severe a trial....

There was no term of abuse known to the Huron vocabulary that the
disappointed women did not lavishly expend on the successful stranger.
They flouted at his efforts, and told him with bitter scoffs that his
feet were better than his hands, and that he merited wings, while he
knew not the use of an arrow or a knife. To all this the captive made
no reply, but was content to preserve an attitude in which dignity was
singularly blended with disdain. Exasperated as much by his composure
as by his good fortune, their words became unintelligible, and were
succeeded by shrill piercing yells. Just then the crafty squaw who had
taken the necessary precautions to fire the piles made her way through
the throng, and cleared a place for herself in front of the captive.
The squalid and withered person of this hag might well have obtained
for her the character of possessing more than human cunning. Throwing
back her light vestment, she Stretched forth her long skinny arm in
derision, and using the language of the Lenape, as more intelligible
to the subject of her gibes, she commenced aloud:

"Look you, Delaware," she said, snapping her fingers in his face,
"your nation is a race of women, and the hoe is better fitted to your
hands than the gun. Your squaws are the mothers of deer; but if a bear
or a wild cat or a serpent were born among you, ye would flee. The
Huron girls shall make you petticoats, and we will find you a
husband."

A burst of savage laughter succeeded this attack, during which the
soft and musical merriment of the younger females strangely chimed
with the cracked voice of their older and more malignant companion.
But the stranger was superior to all their efforts. His head was
immovable, nor did he betray the slightest consciousness that any were
present, except when his haughty eyes rolled toward the dusky forms of
the warriors who stalked in the background, silent and sullen
observers of the scene.

Infuriated at the self-command of the captive, the woman placed her
arms akimbo, and throwing herself into a posture of defiance she broke
out anew, in a torrent of words that no art of ours could commit
successfully to paper. Her breath was, however, expended in vain; for,
altho distinguished in her nation as a proficient in the art of abuse,
she was permitted to work herself into such a fury as actually to foam
at the mouth, without causing a muscle to vibrate in the motionless
figure of the stranger. The effect of his indifference began to extend
itself to the other spectators, and a youngster who was just quitting
the condition of a boy to enter the state of manhood, attempted to
assist the termagant by flourishing his tomahawk before their victim
and adding his empty boasts to the taunts of the woman. Then, indeed,
the captive turned his face toward the light, and looked down on the
stripling with an expression that was superior to contempt. At the
next moment he resumed his quiet and reclining attitude against the
post. But the change of posture had permitted Duncan to exchange
glances with the firm and piercing eyes of Uncas.

Breathless with amazement, and heavily opprest with the critical
situation of his friend, Heyward recoiled before the look, trembling
lest its meaning might in some unknown manner hasten the prisoner's
fate. There was not, however, any instant cause for such an
apprehension. Just then a warrior forced his way into the exasperated
crowd. Motioning the women and children aside with a stern gesture, he
took Uncas by the arm and led him toward the door of the council
lodge. Thither all the chiefs and most of the distinguished warriors
followed, among whom the anxious Heyward found means to enter without
attracting any dangerous attention to himself.

A few minutes were consumed in disposing of those present in a manner
suitable to their rank and influence in the tribe. An order very
similar to that adopted in the preceding interview was observed, the
aged and superior chiefs occupying the area of the spacious apartment,
within the powerful light of a glaring torch, while their juniors and
inferiors were arranged in the background, presenting a dark outline
of swarthy and marked visages. In the very center of the lodge,
immediately under an opening that admitted the twinkling light of one
or two stars, stood Uncas, calm, elevated, and collected. His high and
haughty carriage was not lost on his captors, who often bent their
looks on his person with eyes which, while they lost none of their
inflexibility of purpose, plainly betrayed their admiration of the
stranger's daring.



III

LEATHER-STOCKING'S FAREWELL[65]


Effingham and Elizabeth were surprized at the manner of the
Leather-Stocking, which was unusually impressive and solemn; but,
attributing it to the scene, the young man turned to the monument, and
read aloud:

"Sacred to the memory of Oliver Effingham, Esquire, formerly a major
in his B. Majesty's 60th Foot; a soldier of tried valor; a subject of
chivalrous loyalty; and a man of honesty. To these virtues he added
the graces of a Christian. The morning of his life was spent in
honor, wealth, and power; but its evening was obscured by poverty,
neglect, and disease, which were alleviated only by the tender care of
his old, faithful, and upright friend and attendant, Nathaniel Bumppo.
His descendants rear this stone to the virtues of the master, and to
the enduring gratitude of the servant."

[Footnote 65: From Chapter XLI of "The Pioneers." Leather-Stocking was
a name given by Cooper to his character Natty Bumppo, who, also, in
various works, bore the name of Hawkeye, Pathfinder and Deerslayer.
Leather-Stocking appears in five of Cooper's books, which are commonly
and collectively known as "the Leather-Stocking Tales." He has
generally been accepted as a type of the hardy frontiersman who, in
the years following the Revolution, carried civilization westward.]

The Leather-Stocking stared at the sound of his own name, and a smile
of joy illumined his wrinkled features as he said:

"And did ye say it, lad? have you then got the old man's name cut in
the stone by the side of his master's? God bless ye, children! 'twas a
kind thought, and kindness goes to the heart as life shortens."

Elizabeth turned her back to the speakers. Effingham made a fruitless
effort before he succeeded in saying:

"It is there cut in plain marble; but it should have been written in
letters of gold!"

"Show me the name, boy," said Natty, with simple eagerness; "let me
see my own name placed in such honor. 'Tis a gin'rous gift to a man
who leaves none of his name and family behind him, in a country where
he has tarried so long."

Effingham guided his finger to the spot, and Natty followed the
windings of the letters to the end with deep interest, when he raised
himself from the tomb, and said:

"I suppose it's all right; and it's kindly thought, and kindly done!
But what have ye put over the redskin?"

"You shall hear:

"'This stone is raised to the memory of an Indian chief, of the
Delaware tribe, who was known by the several names of John Mohegan;
Mohican'"--

"Mo-hee-can, lad, they call theirselves! 'he-can."

"Mohican; 'and Chingagook'"--

"'Gach, boy; 'gach-gook; Chingachgook, which, intarpreted, means Big
Sarpent. The name should be set down right, for an Indian's name has
always some meaning in it."

"I will see it altered. 'He was the last of his people who continued
to inhabit this country; and it may be said of him that his faults
were those of an Indian, and his virtues those of a man.'"

"You never said truer word, Mr. Oliver; ah's me! if you had knowed him
as I did, in his prime, in that very battle where the old gentleman,
who sleeps by his side, saved his life, when them thieves, the
Iroquois, had him at the stake, you'd have said all that, and more
too. I cut the thongs with this very hand, and gave him my own
tomahawk and knife, seeing that the rifle was always my fav'rite
weapon. He did lay about him like a man! I met him as I was coming
home from the trail, with eleven Mingo scalps on his pole. You needn't
shudder, Madam Effingham, for they was all from shaved heads and
warriors. When I look about me, at these hills, where I used to count
sometimes twenty smokes, curling over the tree-tops, from the Delaware
camps, it raises mournful thoughts, to think that not a redskin is
left of them all; unless it be a drunken vagabond from the Oneidas, or
them Yankee Indians, who, they say, be moving up from the sea-shore;
and who belong to none of God's creatures, to my seeming, being, as it
were, neither fish nor flesh--neither white man nor savage. Well,
well! the time has come at last, and I must go"--

"Go!" echoed Edwards, "whither do you go?"

The Leather-Stocking, who had imbibed, unconsciously, many of the
Indian qualities, tho he always thought of himself as of a civilized
being, compared with even the Delawares, averted his face to conceal
the workings of his muscles, as he stooped to lift a large pack from
behind the tomb, which he placed deliberately on his shoulders.

"Go!" exclaimed Elizabeth, approaching him with a hurried step; "you
should not venture so far in the woods alone, at your time of life,
Natty; indeed, it is imprudent. He is bent, Effingham, on some distant
hunting."

"What Mrs. Effingham tells you is true, Leather-Stocking," said
Edwards; "there can be no necessity for your submitting to such
hardships now! So throw aside your pack, and confine your hunt to the
mountains near us, if you will go."

"Hardship! 'tis a pleasure, children, and the greatest that is left me
on this side the grave."

"No, no; you shall not go to such a distance," cried Elizabeth, laying
her white hand on his deerskin pack; "I am right! I feel his
camp-kettle, and a canister of powder! he must not be suffered to
wander so far from us, Oliver; remember how suddenly Mohegan dropt
away."

"I knowed the parting would come hard, children; I knowed it would!"
said Natty, "and so I got aside to look at the graves by myself, and
thought if I left ye the keepsake which the Major gave me, when we
first parted in the woods, ye wouldn't take it unkind, but would know
that, let the old man's body go where it might, his feeling stayed
behind him."

"This means something more than common!" exclaimed the youth; "where
is it, Natty, that you purpose going?"

The hunter drew nigh him with a confident, reasoning air, as if what
he had to say would silence all objections, and replied:

"Why, lad, they tell me that on the Big Lakes there's the best of
hunting, and a great range, without a white man on it, unless it may
be one like myself. I'm weary of living in clearings, and where the
hammer is sounding in my ears from sunrise to sundown. And tho I'm
much bound to ye both, children--I wouldn't say it if it was not
true--I crave to go into the woods ag'in, I do."

"Woods!" echoed Elizabeth, trembling with her feelings; "do you not
call these endless forests woods?"

"Ah! child, these be nothing to a man that's used to the wilderness. I
have took but little comfort sin' your father come on with his
settlers; but I wouldn't go far, while the life was in the body that
lies under the sod there. But now he's gone, and Chingachgook is gone;
and you be both young and happy. Yes! the big house has rung with
merriment this month past! And now, I thought, was the time to try to
get a little comfort in the close of my days. Woods! indeed! I
doesn't call these woods, Madam Effingham, where I lose myself every
day of my life in the clearings."

"If there be anything wanting to your comfort, name it,
Leather-Stocking; if it be attainable it is yours."

"You mean all for the best, lad; I know it; and so does Madam, too:
but your ways isn't my ways. 'Tis like the dead there, who thought,
when the breath was in them, that one went east, and one went west to
find their heavens; but they'll meet at last; and so shall we,
children. Yes, ind as you've begun, and we shall meet in the land of
the just at last."

"This is so new! so unexpected!" said Elizabeth, in almost breathless
excitement; "I had thought you meant to live with us and die with us,
Natty."

"Words are of no avail," exclaimed her husband; "the habits of forty
years are not to be dispossest by the ties of a day. I know you too
well to urge you further, Natty; unless you will let me build you a
hut on one of the distant hills, where we can sometimes see you, and
know that you are comfortable."

"Don't fear for the Leather-Stocking, children; God will see that his
days be provided for, and his ind happy. I know you mean all for the
best, but our ways doesn't agree. I love the woods, and ye relish the
face of man; I eat when hungry, and drink when a-dry; and ye keep
stated hours and rules: nay, nay, you even overfeed the dogs, lad,
from pure kindness; and hounds should be gaunty to run well. The
meanest of God's creatures be made for some use, and I'm formed for
the wilderness; if ye love me, let me go where my soul craves to be
ag'in!"

The appeal was decisive; and not another word of entreaty for him to
remain was then uttered; but Elizabeth bent her head to her bosom and
wept, while her husband dashed away the tears from his eyes; and, with
hands that almost refused to perform their office, he produced his
pocket-book, and extended a parcel of banknotes to the hunter.

"Take these," he said, "at least take these; secure them about your
person, and in the hour of need they will do you good service."

The old man took the notes, and examined them with a curious eye.

"This, then, is some of the new-fashioned money that they've been
making at Albany, out of paper! It can't be worth much to they that
hasn't l'arning! No, no, lad--take back the stuff; it will do me no
sarvice. I took kear to get all the Frenchman's powder afore he broke
up, and they say lead grows where I'm going. It isn't even fit for
wads, seeing that I use none but leather! Madam Effingham, let an old
man kiss your hand, and wish God's choicest blessings on you and
your'n."

"Once more let me beseech you, stay!" cried Elizabeth. "Do not,
Leather-Stocking, leave me to grieve for the man who has twice rescued
me from death, and who has served those I love so faithfully. For my
sake, if not for your own, stay. I shall see you in those frightful
dreams that still haunt my nights, dying in poverty and age, by the
side of those terrific beasts you slew. There will be no evil that
sickness, want, and solitude can inflict that my fancy will not
conjure as your fate. Stay with us, old man, if not for your own sake,
at least for ours."

"Such thoughts and bitter dreams, Madam Effingham," returned the
hunter, solemnly, "will never haunt an innocent parson long. They'll
pass away with God's pleasure. And if the catamounts be yet brought to
your eyes in sleep, 'tis not for my sake, but to show you the power of
Him that led me there to save you. Trust in God, madam, and your
honorable husband, and the thoughts for an old man like me can never
be long nor bitter. I pray that the Lord will keep you in mind--the
Lord that lives in clearings as well as in the wilderness--and bless
you, and all that belong to you, from this time till the great day
when the whites shall meet the redskins in judgment, and justice shall
be the law, and not power."

Elizabeth raised her head, and offered her colorless cheek to his
salute, when he lifted his cap and touched it respectfully. His hand
was grasped with convulsive fervor by the youth, who continued silent.
The hunter prepared himself for his journey, drawing his belt tighter,
and wasting his moments in the little reluctant movements of a
sorrowful departure. Once or twice he essayed to speak, but a rising
in his throat prevented it. At length he shouldered his rifle, and
cried with a clear huntsman's call that echoed through the woods:

"He-e-e-re, he-e-e-re, pups--away, dogs, away; ye'll be footsore afore
ye see the ind of the journey!"

The hounds leapt from the earth at this cry, and scenting around the
graves and the silent pair, as if conscious of their own destination,
they followed humbly at the heels of their master. A short pause
succeeded, during which even the youth concealed his face on his
grandfather's tomb. When the pride of manhood, however, had supprest
the feelings of nature, he turned to renew his entreaties, but saw
that the cemetery was occupied only by himself and his wife.

"He is gone!" cried Effingham.

Elizabeth raised her face, and saw the old hunter standing, looking
back for a moment, on the verge of the wood. As he caught their
glances, he drew his hard hand hastily across his eyes again, waved it
on high for an adieu, and uttering a forced cry to his dogs, who were
crouching at his feet, he entered the forest.

This was the last that they ever saw of the Leather-Stocking, whose
rapid movements preceded the pursuit which Judge Temple both ordered
and conducted. He had gone far toward the setting sun--the foremost in
that band of pioneers who are opening the way for the march of the
nation across the continent.



WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT

     Born in Massachusetts in 1794, died in New York in 1878;
     studied at Williams College in 1810-11; admitted to the bar
     in 1815; published "Thanatopsis" in 1816; a volume of
     "Poems" in 1821; joined the staff of the New York _Evening
     Post_, becoming its chief editor in 1829; published another
     volume of poems in 1832; opposed the extension of slavery;
     published a translation of Homer in 1870-71; his "Prose
     Writings" published after his death.



AN OCTOBER DAY IN FLORENCE[66]


Waked by the jangling of all the bells in Florence and by the noise of
carriages departing loaded with travelers for Rome and other places in
the south of Italy, I rise, dress myself, and take my place at the
window. I see crowds of men and women from the country, the former in
brown velvet jackets, and the latter in broad-brimmed straw hats,
driving donkeys loaded with panniers or trundling handcarts before
them, heaped with grapes, figs and all the fruits of the orchard, the
garden, and the field. They have hardly passed when large flocks of
sheep and goats make their appearance, attended by shepherds and their
families, driven by the approach of winter from the Apenines, and
seeking the pastures of the Maremma, a rich, but, in the summer, an
unhealthy tract on the coast. The men and boys are drest in
knee-breeches, the women in bodices, and both sexes wear capotes with
pointed hoods, and felt hats with conical crowns; they carry long
staves in their hands, and their arms are loaded with kids and lambs
too young to keep pace with their mothers.

[Footnote 66: From the "Letters of a Traveler," first published in
book form in 1850. The selection here given was written in 1834. It
has been republished by Parke Godwin, Bryant's biographer and editor,
in one of his two volumes devoted to the "Prose Writings."]

After the long procession of sheep and goats and dogs and men and
women and children, come horses loaded with cloths and poles for
tents, kitchen utensils, and the rest of the younglings of the flock.
A little after sunrise I see well-fed donkeys, in coverings of red
cloth, driven over the bridge to be milked for invalids.
Maid-servants, bareheaded, with huge, high-carved combs in their hair,
waiters of coffee-houses carrying the morning cup of coffee or
chocolate to their customers, bakers' boys with a dozen loaves on a
board balanced on their heads, milkmen with rush baskets filled with
flasks of milk are crossing the streets in all directions. A little
later the bell of the small chapel opposite to my window rings
furiously for a quarter of an hour, and then I hear mass chanted in a
deep strong nasal tone. As the day advances, the English, in white
hats and white pantaloons, come out of their lodgings, accompanied
sometimes by their hale and square-built spouses, and saunter stiffly
along the Arno, or take their way to the public galleries and museums.
Their massive, clean, and brightly polished carriages also begin to
rattle through the streets, setting out on excursions to some part of
the environs of Florence--to Fiesole, to the Pratolino, to the Bello
Sguardo, to the Poggio Imperiale.

Sights of a different kind now present themselves. Sometimes it is a
troop of stout Franciscan friars, in sandals and brown robes, each
carrying his staff and wearing a brown, broad-brimmed hat with a
hemispherical crown. Sometimes it is a band of young theological
students, in purple cassocks with red collars and cuffs, let out on a
holiday, attended by their clerical instructors, to ramble in the
Cascine. There is a priest coming over the bridge, a man of venerable
age and great reputation for sanctity. The common people crowd around
him to kiss his hand, and obtain a kind word from him as he passes.
But what is that procession of men in black gowns, black gaiters, and
black masks moving swiftly along, and bearing on their shoulders a
litter covered with black cloth? These are the Brethren of Mercy, who
have assembled at the sound of the cathedral bell, and are conveying
some sick or wounded person to the hospital.

As the day begins to decline, the number of carriages in the streets,
filled with gaily drest people attended by servants in livery,
increases. The Grand Duke's equipage, an elegant carriage drawn by six
horses, with coachmen, footmen, and outriders in drab-colored livery,
comes from the Pitti Palace, and crosses the Arno, either by the
bridge close to my lodgings, or by that called Alla Santa Trinita,
which is in full sight from the windows. The Florentine nobility, with
their families, and the English residents now throng to the Cascine,
to drive at a slow pace through its thickly planted walks of elms,
oaks and ilexes. As the sun is sinking I perceive the quay on the
other side of the Arno filled with a moving crowd of well-drest people
walking to and fro and enjoying the beauty of the evening.

Travelers now arrive from all quarters, in cabriolets, in calashes, in
the shabby vettura, and in the elegant private carriage drawn by
post-horses, and driven by postilions in the tightest possible
deerskin breeches, the smallest red coats, and the hugest jack-boots.
The streets about the doors of the hotels resound with the crackling
of whips and the stamping of horses, and are encumbered with
carriages, heaps of baggage, porters, postilions, couriers, and
travelers. Night at length arrives--the time of spectacles and
funerals. The carriages rattle toward the opera-houses. Trains of
people, sometimes in white robes and sometimes in black, carrying
blazing torches and a cross elevated on a high pole before a coffin,
pass through the streets chanting the service for the dead. The
Brethren of Mercy may also be seen engaged in their office. The
rapidity of their pace, the flare of their torches, the gleam of their
eyes through their masks, and their sable garb, give them a kind of
supernatural appearance. I return to bed and fall asleep amidst the
shouts of people returning from the opera, singing as they go snatches
of the music with which they had been entertained during the evening.



WILLIAM H. PRESCOTT

     Born in Salem, Mass., in 1796; died in Boston in 1859;
     studied at Harvard, where, through an accident to his eyes,
     he became nearly blind; devoted himself to the study of
     Spanish history, employing a reader and using a specially
     constructed writing apparatus; published his "Ferdinand and
     Isabella" in 1838; "Conquest of Mexico" in 1843, "Conquest
     of Peru" in 1847, and "Philip II" in 1855-58.



I

THE FATE OF EGMONT AND HOORNE[67]


On the second of June, 1568, a body of three thousand men was ordered
to Ghent to escort the Counts Egmont and Hoorne to Brussels. No
resistance was offered, altho the presence of the Spaniards caused a
great sensation among the inhabitants of the place, who too well
foreboded the fate of their beloved lord.

[Footnote 67: From Book III, Chapter V, of the "History of the Reign
of Philip II, King of Spain."]

The nobles, each accompanied by two officers, were put into separate
chariots. They were guarded by twenty companies of pikemen and
arquebusiers; and a detachment of lancers, among whom was a body of
the duke's own horse, rode in the van, while another of equal strength
protected the rear. Under this strong escort they moved slowly toward
Brussels. One night they halted at Dendermonde, and toward evening, on
the fourth of the month, entered the capital. As the martial array
defiled through its streets, there was no one, however stout-hearted
he might be, says an eye-witness, who could behold the funeral pomp of
the procession, and listen to the strains of melancholy music without
a feeling of sickness at his heart.

The prisoners were at once conducted to the _Brod-huys_, or
"Bread-house," usually known as the _Maison du Roi_--that venerable
pile in the market-place of Brussels, still visited by every traveler
for its curious architecture, and yet more as the last resting-place
of the Flemish lords. Here they were lodged in separate rooms, small,
dark, and uncomfortable, and scantily provided with furniture. Nearly
the whole of the force which had escorted them to Brussels was
established in the great square, to defeat any attempt at a rescue.
But none was made; and the night passed away without disturbance,
except what was occasioned by the sound of busy workmen employed in
constructing a scaffold for the scene of execution on the following
day.

On the afternoon of the fourth, the Duke of Alva[68] had sent for
Martin Rithovius, bishop of Ypres; and, communicating to him the
sentence of the nobles, he requested the prelate to visit the
prisoners, acquaint them with their fate, and prepare them for their
execution on the following day. The bishop, an excellent man, and the
personal friend of Egmont, was astounded by the tidings. He threw
himself at Alva's feet, imploring mercy for the prisoners, and if he
could not spare their lives, beseeching him at least to grant them
more time for preparation. But Alva sternly rebuked the prelate,
saying that he had been summoned not to thwart the execution of the
law, but to console the prisoners and enable them to die like
Christians. The bishop, finding his entreaties useless, rose and
addrest himself to his melancholy mission.

[Footnote 68: The Duke of Alva was sent to the Netherlands as governor
in 1567 where, as an instrument of his cruelty, he established what is
known as "The Council of Blood," a court of inquiry and persecution
which, in the course of three months, put to death 1,600 persons.]

It was near midnight when he entered Egmont's apartment, where he
found the poor nobleman, whose strength had been already reduced by
confinement, and who was wearied by the fatigue of the journey, buried
in slumber. It is said that the two lords, when summoned to Brussels,
had indulged the vain hope that it was to inform them of the
conclusion of their trial and their acquittal! However this may be,
Egmont seems to have been but ill prepared for the dreadful tidings he
received. He turned deadly pale as he listened to the bishop, and
exclaimed, with deep emotion, "It is a terrible sentence. Little did I
imagine that any offense I had committed against God or the king could
merit such punishment. It is not death that I fear. Death is the
common lot of all. But I shrink from dishonor. Yet I may hope that my
sufferings will so far expiate my offenses that my innocent family
will not be involved in my ruin by the confiscation of my property.
This much, at least, I think I may claim in consideration of my past
services." Then, after a pause, he added, "Since my death is the will
of God and his Majesty, I will try to meet it with patience." He
asked the bishop if there were no hope. On being answered, "None
whatever," he resolved to devote himself at once to preparing for the
solemn change.

He rose from his couch, and hastily drest himself. He then made his
confession to the prelate, and desired that mass might be said, and
the sacrament administered to him. This was done with great solemnity,
and Egmont received the communion in the most devout manner,
manifesting the greatest contrition for his sins. He next inquired of
the bishop to what prayer he could best have recourse to sustain him
in this trying hour. The prelate recommended to him that prayer which
our Savior had commended to his disciples. The advice pleased the
count, who earnestly engaged in his devotions. But a host of tender
recollections crowded on his mind, and the images of his wife and
children drew his thoughts in another direction, till the kind
expostulations of the prelate again restored him to himself.

Egmont asked whether it would be well to say anything on the scaffold
for the edification of the people. But the bishop discouraged him,
saying that he would be imperfectly heard, and that the people, in
their present excitement, would be apt to misinterpret what he said to
their own prejudice.

Having attended to his spiritual concerns, Egmont called for writing
materials, and wrote a letter to his wife, whom he had not seen during
his long confinement; and to her he now bade a tender farewell. He
then addrest another letter, written in French, in a few brief and
touching sentences, to the King--which fortunately has been preserved
to us. "This morning," he says, "I have been made acquainted with the
sentence which it has pleased your majesty to pass upon me. And altho
it has never been my intent to do aught against the person or the
service of your majesty, or against our true, ancient, and Catholic
faith, yet I receive in patience what it has pleased God to send me.
If during these troubles I have counseled or permitted aught which
might seem otherwise, I have done so from a sincere regard for the
service of God and your majesty, and from what I believed the
necessity of the times. Wherefore I pray your majesty to pardon it,
and for the sake of my past services to take pity on my poor wife, my
children, and my servants. In this trust I commend myself to the mercy
of God." The letter is dated Brussels, "on the point of death," June
5th, 1568.

Having time still left, the count made a fair copy of the two letters,
and gave them to the bishop, entreating him to deliver them according
to their destination. He accompanied that to Philip with a ring, to be
given at the same time to the monarch. It was of great value, and, as
it had been the gift of Philip himself during the count's late visit
to Madrid, it might soften the heart of the King by reminding him of
happier days, when he had looked with an eye of favor on his unhappy
vassal.

Having completed all his arrangements, Egmont became impatient for the
hour of his departure; and he exprest the hope that there would be no
unnecessary delay. At ten in the morning the soldiers appeared who
were to conduct him to the scaffold. They brought with them cords, as
usual, to bind the prisoner's hands. But Egmont remonstrated, and
showed that he had himself cut off the collar of his doublet and
shirt, in order to facilitate the stroke of the executioner. This he
did to convince them that he meditated no resistance; and on his
promising that he would attempt none, they consented to his remaining
with his hands unbound.

Egmont was drest in a crimson damask robe, over which was a Spanish
mantle fringed with gold. His breeches were of black silk, and his
hat, of the same material, was garnished with white and sable plumes.
In his hand, which, as we have seen, remained free, he held a white
handkerchief. On his way to the place of execution he was accompanied
by Julian de Romero, _maître de camp_, by the captain, Salinas, who
had charge of the fortress of Ghent, and by the bishop of Ypres. As
the procession moved slowly forward, the count repeated some portion
of the fifty-first Psalm--"Have mercy on me, O God!"--in which the
good prelate joined with him. In the center of the square, on the spot
where so much of the best blood of the Netherlands had been shed,
stood the scaffold, covered with black cloth. On it were two velvet
cushions with a small table, shrouded likewise in black, and
supporting a silver crucifix. At the corners of the platform were two
poles, pointed at the end with steel, intimating the purpose for which
they were intended.

In front of the scaffold was the provost of the court, mounted on
horseback, and bearing the red wand of office in his hand. The
executioner remained, as usual, below the platform, screened from
view, that he might not, by his presence before it was necessary,
outrage the feelings of the prisoners. The troops, who had been under
arms all night, were drawn up around in order of battle; and strong
bodies of arquebusiers were posted in the great avenues which led to
the square. The space left open by the soldiery was speedily occupied
by a crowd of eager spectators. Others thronged the roofs and windows
of the buildings that surrounded the market-place, some of which,
still standing at the present day, show, by their quaint and venerable
architecture, that they must have looked down on the tragic scene we
are now depicting.

It was indeed a gloomy day for Brussels--so long the residence of the
two nobles, where their forms were as familiar and where they were
held in as much love and honor as in any of their own provinces. All
business was suspended. The shops were closed. The bells tolled in all
the churches. An air of gloom, as of some impending calamity, settled
on the city. "It seemed," says one residing there at the time, "as if
the day of judgment were at hand!"

As the procession slowly passed through the ranks of the soldiers,
Egmont saluted the officers--some of them his ancient companions--with
such a sweet and dignified composure in his manner as was long
remembered by those who saw it. And few even of the Spaniards could
refrain from tears as they took their last look at the gallant noble
who was to perish so miserably.

With a steady step he mounted the scaffold, and, as he crossed it,
gave utterance to the vain wish that, instead of meeting such a fate,
he had been allowed to die in the service of his King and country. He
quickly, however, turned to other thoughts, and, kneeling on one of
the cushions, with the bishop beside him on the other, he was soon
engaged earnestly in prayer. With his eyes raised toward heaven with a
look of unutterable sadness, he prayed so fervently and loud as to be
distinctly heard by the spectators. The prelate, much affected, put
into his hands the silver crucifix, which Egmont repeatedly kissed;
after which, having received absolution for the last time, he rose and
made a sign to the bishop to retire. He then stript off his mantle and
robe; and, again kneeling, he drew a silk cap, which he had brought
for the purpose, over his eyes, and, repeating the words, "Into Thy
hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit," he calmly awaited the stroke of
the executioner.

The low sounds of lamentation which from time to time had been heard
among the populace were now hushed into silence as the minister of
justice, appearing on the platform, approached his victim and with a
single blow of the sword severed the head from the body. A cry of
horror rose from the multitude, and some, frantic with grief, broke
through the ranks of the soldiers and wildly dipped their
handkerchiefs in the blood that streamed from the scaffold, treasuring
them up, says the chronicler, as precious memorials of love and
incitements to vengeance. The head was then set on one of the poles at
the end of the platform, while a mantle thrown over the mutilated
trunk hid it from the public gaze.

It was near noon when orders were sent to lead forth the remaining
prisoner to execution. It had been assigned to the curate of La
Chapelle to acquaint Count Hoorne with his fate. That nobleman
received the awful tidings with less patience than was shown by his
friend. He gave way to a burst of indignation at the cruelty and
injustice of the sentence. It was a poor requital, he said, for
eight-and-twenty years of faithful service to his sovereign. Yet, he
added, he was not sorry to be released from a life of such incessant
fatigue. For some time he refused to confess, saying he had done
enough in the way of confession. When urged not to throw away the few
precious moments that were left to him, he at length consented.

The count was drest in a plain suit of black, and wore a Milanese cap
upon his head. He was, at this time, about fifty years of age. He was
tall, with handsome features, and altogether of a commanding presence.
His form was erect, and as he passed with a steady step through the
files of soldiers, on his way to the place of execution, he frankly
saluted those of his acquaintance whom he saw among the spectators.
His look had in it less of sorrow than of indignation, like that of
one conscious of enduring wrong. He was spared one pang, in his last
hour, which had filled Egmont's cup with bitterness; tho, like him, he
had a wife, he was to leave no orphan family to mourn him.

As he trod the scaffold, the apparatus of death seemed to have no
power to move him. He still repeated the declaration that, "often as
he had offended his Maker, he had never, to his knowledge, committed
any offense against the King." When his eyes fell on the bloody shroud
that enveloped the remains of Egmont, he inquired if it were the body
of his friend. Being answered in the affirmative, he made some remark
in Castilian, not understood. He then prayed for a few moments, but in
so low a tone that the words were not caught by the bystanders, and,
rising, he asked pardon of those around if he had ever offended any of
them, and earnestly besought their prayers. Then, without further
delay, he knelt down, and, repeating the words, "_In manus tuas,
Domine_," he submitted himself to his fate.

His bloody head was set up opposite to that of his fellow sufferer.
For three hours these ghastly trophies remained exposed to the gaze of
the multitude. They were then taken down, and, with the bodies, placed
in leaden coffins, which were straightway removed--that containing the
remains of Egmont to the convent of Santa Clara, and that of Hoorne to
the ancient church of Ste. Gudule. To these places, especially to
Santa Clara, the people now flocked as to the shrine of a martyr. They
threw themselves on the coffin, kissing it and bedewing it with their
tears, as if it had contained the relics of some murdered saint; while
many of them, taking little heed of the presence of informers,
breathed vows of vengeance, some even swearing not to trim either hair
or beard till these vows were executed. The government seems to have
thought it prudent to take no notice of this burst of popular feeling.
But a funeral hatchment, blazoned with the arms of Egmont, which, as
usual after the master's death, had been fixt by his domestics on the
gates of his mansion, was ordered to be instantly removed--no doubt,
as tending to keep alive the popular excitement. The bodies were not
allowed to remain long in their temporary places of deposit, but were
transported to the family residences of the two lords in the country,
and laid in the vaults of their ancestors.

Thus by the hand of the common executioner perished these two
unfortunate noblemen, who, by their rank, possessions, and personal
characters, were the most illustrious victims that could have been
selected in the Netherlands. Both had early enjoyed the favor of
Charles the Fifth, and both had been entrusted by Philip with some of
the highest offices in the state. Philip de Montmorency, Count Hoorne,
the elder of the two, came of the ancient house of Montmorency in
France. Besides filling the high post of Admiral of the Low Countries,
he was made governor of the provinces of Guelders and Zutphen, was a
councilor of state, and was created by the Emperor a knight of the
Golden Fleece. His fortune was greatly inferior to that of Count
Egmont; yet its confiscation afforded a supply by no means unwelcome
to the needy exchequer of the Duke of Alva.

However nearly on a footing they might be in many respects, Hoorne was
altogether eclipsed by his friend in military renown.



II

THE GENESIS OF "DON QUIXOTE"[69]


The age of chivalry, as depicted in romances, could never, of course,
have had any real existence; but the sentiments which are described as
animating that age have been found more or less operative in different
countries and different periods of society. In Spain, especially, this
influence is to be discerned from a very early date. Its inhabitants
may be said to have lived in a romantic atmosphere, in which all the
extravagances of chivalry were nourished by their peculiar situation.
Their hostile relations with the Moslem kept alive the full glow of
religious and patriotic feeling. Their history is one interminable
crusade. An enemy always on the borders invited perpetual displays of
personal daring and adventure. The refinement and magnificence of the
Spanish Arabs throw a luster over these contests such as could not be
reflected from the rude skirmishes with their Christian neighbors.
Lofty sentiments, embellished by the softer refinements of courtesy,
were blended in the martial bosom of the Spaniard, and Spain became
emphatically the land of romantic chivalry.

[Footnote 69: From the "Biographical and Critical Miscellanies," which
were collected by the author for publication in England in 1845. This
essay, and the others in the volume, with one exception, had been
published originally in _The North American Review_.]

The very laws themselves, conceived in this spirit, contributed
greatly to foster it. The ancient code of Alfonso X, in the thirteenth
century, after many minute regulations for the deportment of the good
knight, enjoins on him to "invoke the name of his mistress in the
fight, that it may infuse new ardor into his soul and preserve him
from the commission of unknightly actions." Such laws were not a dead
letter. The history of Spain shows that the sentiment of romantic
gallantry penetrated the nation more deeply and continued longer than
in any other quarter of Christendom....

The taste for these romantic extravagances naturally fostered a
corresponding taste for the perusal of tales of chivalry. Indeed, they
acted reciprocally on each other. These chimerical legends had once,
also, beguiled the long evenings of our Norman ancestors, but, in the
progress of civilization, had gradually given way to other and more
natural forms of composition. They still maintained their ground in
Italy, whither they had passed later, and where they were consecrated
by the hand of genius. But Italy was not the true soil of chivalry,
and the inimitable fictions of Bojardo, Pulci, and Ariosto were
composed with that lurking smile of half-supprest mirth which, far
from a serious tone, could raise only a corresponding smile of
incredulity in the reader.

In Spain, however, the marvels of romance were all taken in perfect
good faith. Not that they were received as literally true; but the
reader surrendered himself up to the illusion, and was moved to
admiration by the recital of deeds which, viewed in any other light
than as a wild frolic of imagination, would be supremely ridiculous;
for these tales had not the merit of a seductive style and melodious
versification to relieve them. They were, for the most part, an
ill-digested mass of incongruities, in which there was as little
keeping and probability in the characters as in the incidents, while
the whole was told in that stilted "Hercles' vein" and with that
licentiousness of allusion and imagery which could not fail to debauch
both the taste and the morals of the youthful reader. The mind,
familiarized with these monstrous, over-colored pictures, lost all
relish for the chaste and sober productions of art. The love of the
gigantic and the marvelous indisposed the reader for the simple
delineations of truth in real history....

Cervantes brought forward a personage, in whom were embodied all those
generous virtues which belong to chivalry; disinterestedness, contempt
of danger, unblemished honor, knightly courtesy, and those aspirations
after ideal excellence which, if empty dreams, are the dreams of a
magnanimous spirit. They are, indeed, represented by Cervantes as too
ethereal for this world, and are successively dispelled as they come
in contact with the coarse realities of life. It is this view of the
subject which has led Sismondi, among other critics, to consider that
the principal end of the author was "the ridicule of enthusiasm--the
contrast of the heroic with the vulgar"--and he sees something
profoundly sad in the conclusions to which it leads. This sort of
criticism appears to be over-refined. It resembles the efforts of some
commentators to allegorize the great epics of Homer and Virgil,
throwing a disagreeable mistiness over the story by converting mere
shadows into substances, and substances into shadows.

The great purpose of Cervantes was, doubtless, that expressly avowed
by himself, namely, to correct the popular taste for romances of
chivalry. It is unnecessary to look for any other in so plain a tale,
altho, it is true, the conduct of the story produces impressions on
the reader, to a certain extent, like those suggested by Sismondi. The
melancholy tendency, however, is in a great degree counteracted by the
exquisitely ludicrous character of the incidents. Perhaps, after all,
if we are to hunt for a moral as the key of the fiction, we may with
more reason pronounce it to be the necessity of proportioning our
undertakings to our capacities.

The mind of the hero, Don Quixote, is an ideal world into which
Cervantes has poured all the rich stores of his own imagination, the
poet's golden dreams, high romantic exploit, and the sweet visions of
pastoral happiness; the gorgeous chimeras of the fancied age of
chivalry, which had so long entranced the world; splendid illusions,
which, floating before us like the airy bubbles which the child throws
off from his pipe, reflect, in a thousand variegated tints, the rude
objects around, until, brought into collision with these, they are
dashed in pieces and melt into air. These splendid images derive
tenfold beauty from the rich antique coloring of the author's
language, skilfully imitated from the old romances, but which
necessarily escapes in the translation into a foreign tongue. Don
Quixote's insanity operates both in mistaking the ideal for the real,
and the real for the ideal. Whatever he has found in romances he
believes to exist in the world; and he converts all he meets with in
the world into the visions of his romances. It is difficult to say
which of the two produces the most ludicrous results.

For the better exposure of these mad fancies Cervantes has not only
put them into action in real life, but contrasted them with another
character which may be said to form the reverse side of his hero's.
Honest Sancho represents the material principle as perfectly as his
master does the intellectual or ideal. He is of the earth, earthy.
Sly, selfish, sensual, his dreams are not of glory, but of good
feeding. His only concern is for his carcass. His notions of honor
appear to be much the same with those of his jovial contemporary
Falstaff, as conveyed in his memorable soliloquy. In the sublime
night-piece which ends with the fulling-mills--truly sublime until we
reach the dénouement--Sancho asks his master: "Why need you go about
this adventure? It is main dark, and there is never a living soul sees
us; we have nothing to do but to sheer off and get out of harm's way.
Who is there to take notice of our flinching?" Can anything be
imagined more exquisitely opposed to the true spirit of chivalry? The
whole compass of fiction nowhere displays the power of contrast so
forcibly as in these two characters; perfectly opposed to each other,
not only in their minds and general habits, but in the minutest
details of personal appearance.

It was a great effort of art for Cervantes to maintain the dignity of
his hero's character in the midst of the whimsical and ridiculous
distresses in which he has perpetually involved him. His infirmity
leads us to distinguish between his character and his conduct, and to
absolve him from all responsibility for the latter. The author's art
is no less shown in regard to the other principal figure in the piece,
Sancho Panza, who, with the most contemptible qualities, contrives to
keep a strong hold on our interest by the kindness of his nature and
his shrewd understanding. He is far too shrewd a person, indeed, to
make it natural for him to have followed so crack-brained a master
unless bribed by the promise of a substantial recompense. He is a
personification, as it were, of the popular wisdom--a "bundle of
proverbs," as his master somewhere styles him; and proverbs are the
most compact form in which the wisdom of a people is digested. They
have been collected into several distinct works in Spain, where they
exceed in number those of any other, if not every other country in
Europe. As many of them are of great antiquity, they are of
inestimable price with the Castilian jurists, as affording rich
samples of obsolete idioms and the various mutations of the language.

"Don Quixote" may be said to form an epoch in the history of letters,
as the original of that kind of composition, the novel of character,
which is one of the distinguishing peculiarities of modern literature.
When well executed, this sort of writing rises to the dignity of
history itself, and may be said to perform no insignificant part of
the functions of the latter. History describes men less as they are
than as they appear, as they are playing a part on the great
political theater--men in masquerade. It rests on state documents,
which too often cloak real purposes under an artful veil of policy, or
on the accounts of contemporaries blinded by passion or interest. Even
without these deductions, the revolutions of states, their wars, and
their intrigues do not present the only aspect, nor, perhaps, the most
interesting, under which human nature can be studied. It is man in his
domestic relations, around his own fireside, where alone his real
character can be truly disclosed; in his ordinary occupations in
society, whether for purposes of profit or pleasure; in his every-day
manner of living, his tastes and opinions, as drawn out in social
intercourse; it is, in short, under all those forms which make up the
interior of society that man is to be studied, if we would get the
true form and pressure of the age--if, in short, we would obtain clear
and correct ideas of the actual progress of civilization.

But these topics do not fall within the scope of the historian. He can
not find authentic materials for them. They belong to the novelist,
who, indeed, contrives his incidents and creates his characters, but
who, if true to his art, animates them with the same tastes,
sentiments, and motives of action which belong to the period of his
fiction. His portrait is not the less true because no individual has
sat for it. He has seized the physiognomy of the times. Who is there
that does not derive a more distinct idea of the state of society and
manners in Scotland from the "Waverley Novels" than from the best of
its historians? Of the condition of the Middle Ages from the single
romance of "Ivanhoe" than from the volumes of Hume or Hallam? In like
manner, the pencil of Cervantes has given a far more distinct and a
richer portraiture of life in Spain in the sixteenth century than can
be gathered from a library of monkish chronicles.



GEORGE BANCROFT

     Born in Massachusetts in 1800; died in Washington in 1891;
     graduated from Harvard in 1817; studied in Germany; taught
     Greek in Harvard; established a private school at
     Northampton in 1823; collector of the Port of Boston in
     1838; unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Massachusetts
     in 1844; Secretary of the Navy in 1845; established the
     Naval Academy at Annapolis; minister to England in 1846;
     minister to Berlin in 1867; published his "History of the
     United States" in 10 volumes in 1834-74.



THE FATE OF EVANGELINE'S COUNTRYMEN[70]

(1755)


They [the French inhabitants of Acadia] still counted in their
villages "eight thousand" souls, and the English not more than "three
thousand"; they stood in the way of "the progress of the settlement";
"by their non-compliance with the conditions of the treaty of Utrecht
they had forfeited their possessions to the crown"; after the
departure "of the fleet and troops, the province would not be in a
condition to drive them out." "Such a juncture as the present might
never occur"; so he [the chief justice, Belcher] advised "against
receiving any of the French inhabitants to take the oath," and for the
removal of "all" of them from the province.

[Footnote 70: From Volume IV, Chapter VIII, of "The History of the
United States," as published in 1862. Acadia was the name of the
original French colony in the eastern part of Canada, including Nova
Scotia, New Brunswick and adjacent islands. It was first colonized by
the French in 1604. It is more particularly of the French settlers in
Nova Scotia that Bancroft writes. These were deported by the British
in 1755. Longfellow's poem "Evangeline" is founded on an incident in
this deportation, by which two lovers were hopelessly parted.
Hawthorne is said first to have heard this story and considered it as
the theme for a novel, but, unable to use it satisfactorily to
himself, he passed it on to Longfellow.]

That the cruelty might have no palliation, letters arrived leaving no
doubt that the shores of the Bay of Fundy were entirely in the
possession of the British; and yet at a council, at which Vice-Admiral
Boscawen and Rear-Admiral Mostyn were present by invitation, it was
unanimously determined to send the French inhabitants out of the
province; and, after mature consideration, it was further unanimously
agreed that, to prevent their attempting to return and molest the
settlers that were to be set down on their lands, it would be most
proper to distribute them among the several colonies on the continent.

To hunt them into the net was impracticable; artifice was therefore
resorted to. By a general proclamation, on one and the same day, the
scarcely conscious victims, "both old men and young men, as well as
all the lads of ten years of age," were peremptorily ordered to
assemble at their respective posts. On the appointed fifth of
September they obeyed. At Grand Pré, for example, four hundred and
eighteen unarmed men came together. They were marched into the church
and its avenues were closed, when Winslow, the American commander,
placed himself in their center, and spoke:

"You are convened together to manifest to you his majesty's final
resolution to the French inhabitants of this his province. Your lands
and tenements, cattle of all kinds, and live stock of all sorts, are
forfeited to the crown, and you yourselves are to be removed from this
his province. I am, through his majesty's goodness, directed to allow
you liberty to carry off your money and household goods, as many as
you can, without discommoding the vessels you go in."

And he then declared them the King's prisoners. Their wives and
families shared their lot; their sons, five hundred and twenty-seven
in number; their daughters, five hundred and seventy-six; in the
whole, women and babes and old men and children all included, nineteen
hundred and twenty-three souls. The blow was sudden; they had left
home but for the morning, and they never were to return. Their cattle
were to stay unfed in the stalls, their fires to die out on their
hearths. They had for that first day even no food for themselves or
their children, and were compelled to beg for bread.

The tenth of September was the day for the embarkation of a part of
the exiles. They were drawn up six deep; and the young men, one
hundred and sixty-one in number, were ordered to march first on board
the vessel. They could leave their farms and cottages, the shady rocks
on which they had reclined, their herds, and their garners; but nature
yearned within them, and they would not be separated from their
parents. Yet of what avail was the frenzied despair of the unarmed
youth? They had not one weapon; the bayonet drove them to obey; and
they marched slowly and heavily from the chapel to the shore, between
women and children, who, kneeling, prayed for blessings on their
heads, they themselves weeping and praying and singing hymns. The
seniors went next; the wives and children must wait till other
transport vessels arrive. The delay had its horrors. The wretched
people left behind were kept together near the sea, without proper
food, or raiment, or shelter, till other ships came to take them away;
and December, with its appalling cold, had struck the shivering,
half-clad, broken-hearted sufferers, before the last of them were
removed.

"The embarkation of the inhabitants goes on but slowly," wrote
Monckton, from Fort Cumberland, near which he had burned three
hamlets; "the most part of the wives of the men we have prisoners are
gone off with their children, in hopes I would not send off their
husbands without them." Their hope was vain. Near Annapolis a hundred
heads of families fled to the woods, and a party was detached on the
hunt to bring them in. "Our soldiers hate them," wrote an officer on
this occasion; "and, if they can but find a pretext to kill them, they
will." Did a prisoner seek to escape, he was shot down by the
sentinel. Yet some fled to Quebec; more than three thousand had
withdrawn to Miramachi and the region south of the Restigouche; some
found rest on the banks of the St. John's and its branches; some found
a lair in their native forests; some were charitably sheltered from
the English in the wigwams of the savages. But seven thousand of these
banished people were driven on board ships, and scattered among the
British colonies, from New Hampshire to Georgia--one thousand and
twenty to South Carolina alone. They were cast ashore without
resources, hating the poorhouse as a shelter for their offspring, and
abhorring the thought of selling themselves as laborers. Households,
too, were separated; the colonial newspapers contained advertisements
of members of families seeking their companions, of sons anxious to
reach and relieve their parents, of mothers moaning for their
children.

The wanderers sighed for their native country; but, to prevent their
return, their villages, from Annapolis to the isthmus, were laid
waste. Their old homes were but ruins. In the district of Minas, for
instance, two hundred and fifty of their houses, and more than as many
barns, were consumed. The live stock which belonged to them,
consisting of great numbers of horned cattle, hogs, sheep, and horses,
were seized as spoils and disposed of by the English officials. A
beautiful and fertile tract of country was reduced to a solitude.
There was none left round the ashes of the cottages of the Acadians
but the faithful watch-dog, vainly seeking the hands that fed him.
Thickets of forest-trees choked their orchards; the ocean broke over
their neglected dikes, and desolated their meadows.

Relentless misfortune pursued the exiles wherever they fled. Those
sent to Georgia, drawn by a love for the spot where they were born, as
strong as that of the captive Jews who wept by the rivers of Babylon
for their own temple and land, escaped to sea in boats, and went
coasting from harbor to harbor; but when they had reached New
England, just as they would have set sail for their native fields,
they were stopt by orders from Nova Scotia. Those who dwelt on the St.
John's were torn from their new homes. When Canada surrendered, hatred
with its worst venom pursued the fifteen hundred who remained south of
the Restigouche. Once those who dwelt in Pennsylvania presented a
humble petition to the Earl of Loudoun, then the British
commander-in-chief in America; and the cold-hearted peer, offended
that the prayer was made in French, seized their five principal men,
who in their own land had been persons of dignity and substance, and
shipped them to England, with the request that they might be kept from
ever again becoming troublesome by being consigned to service as
common sailors on board ships-of-war. No doubt existed of the King's
approbation. The lords of trade, more merciless than the savages and
than the wilderness in winter, wished very much that every one of the
Acadians should be driven out; and, when it seemed that the work was
done, congratulated the King that "the zealous endeavors of Lawrence
had been crowned with an entire success."



RALPH WALDO EMERSON

     Born in 1803, died In 1882, a Unitarian clergyman in Boston
     in 1829-32; began a long career as lecturer in 1833; settled
     in Concord in 1834; editor of _The Dial_ in 1842-44;
     published "Nature" in 1836; "Essays," two series, in
     1841-44; "Poems" in 1846; "Representative Men" in 1850;
     "English Traits" in 1856; "Conduct of Life" in 1860;
     "Society and Solitude" in 1870; "Letters and Social Aims" in
     1876.



I

THOREAU'S BROKEN TASK[71]


His robust common sense, armed with stout hands, keen perceptions, and
strong will, can not yet account for the superiority which shone in
his simple and hidden life. I must add the cardinal fact that there
was an excellent wisdom in him, proper to a rare class of men, which
showed him the material world as a means and symbol. This discovery,
which sometimes yields to poets a certain casual and interrupted
light, serving for the ornament of their writing, was in him an
unsleeping insight; and whatever faults or obstructions of temperament
might cloud it, he was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. In his
youth he said one day, "The other world is all my art: my pencils
will draw no other; my jack-knife will cut nothing else; I do not use
it as a means." This was the muse and genius that ruled his opinions,
conversation, studies, work and course of life. This made him a
searching judge of men. At first glance he measured his companion,
and, tho insensible to some fine traits of culture, could very well
report his weight and caliber. And this made the impression of genius
which his conversation often gave.

[Footnote 71: From Emerson's address at the funeral of Thoreau, as
expanded for the _Atlantic Monthly_ of August, 1862; usually printed
since as an introduction to Thoreau's volume entitled "Excursions,"
published by Houghton, Mifflin & Company.]

I think his fancy for referring everything to the meridian of Concord
did not grow out of any ignorance or depreciation of other longitudes
or latitudes, but was rather a playful expression of his conviction of
the indifferency of all places, and that the best place for each is
where he stands. He exprest it once in this wise: "I think nothing is
to be hoped from you, if this bit of mold under your feet is not
sweeter to you to eat than any other in this world, or in any world."

The other weapon with which he conquered all obstacles in science was
patience. He knew how to sit immovable, a part of the rock he rested
on, until the bird, the reptile, the fish, which had retired from him,
should come back, and resume his habits, nay, moved by curiosity,
should come to him and watch him.

It was a pleasure and a privilege to walk with him. He knew the
country like a fox or a bird, and passed through it as freely by paths
of his own. He knew every track in the snow or on the ground, and what
creature had taken this path before him. One must submit abjectly to
such a guide, and the reward was great. Under his arm he carried an
old music-book to press plants; in his pocket his diary and pencil, a
spyglass for birds, microscope, jack-knife, and twine. He wore straw
hat, stout shoes, strong gray trousers, to brave shrub-oaks and
smilax, and to climb a tree for a hawk's or a squirrel's nest. He
waded into the pool for the water-plants, and his strong legs were no
insignificant part of his armor.

No college ever offered him a diploma, or a professor's chair; no
academy made him its corresponding secretary, its discoverer, or even
its member. Perhaps these learned bodies feared the satire of his
presence. Yet so much knowledge of Nature's secret and genius few
others possest, none in a more large and religious synthesis. For not
a particle of respect had he to the opinions of any man or body of
men, but homage solely to the truth itself; and as he discovered
everywhere among doctors some leaning of courtesy, it discredited
them. He grew to be revered and admired by his townsmen, who had at
first known him only as an oddity. The farmers who employed him as a
surveyor soon discovered his rare accuracy and skill, his knowledge of
their lands, of trees, of birds, of Indian remains, and the like,
which enabled him to tell every farmer more than he knew before of his
own farm; so that he began to feel as if Mr. Thoreau had better rights
in his land than he. They felt, too, the superiority of character
which addrest all men with a native authority.

His virtues, of course, sometimes ran into extremes. It was easy to
trace to the inexorable demand on all for exact truth that austerity
which made this willing hermit more solitary even than he wished.
Himself of a perfect probity, he required not less of others. He had a
disgust for crime, and no worldly success could cover it. He detected
paltering as readily in dignified and prosperous persons as in
beggars, and with equal scorn. Such dangerous frankness was in his
dealing that his admirers called him "that terrible Thoreau," as if he
spoke when silent, and was still present when he had departed. I think
the severity of his ideal interfered to deprive him of a healthy
sufficiency of human society.

The habit of a realist to find things the reverse of their appearance
inclined him to put every statement in a paradox. A certain habit of
antagonism defaced his earlier writings--a trick of rhetoric not quite
outgrown in his later, of substituting for the obvious word and
thought its diametrical opposite. He praised wild mountains and winter
forests for their domestic air, in snow and ice he would find
sultriness, and commended the wilderness for resembling Rome and
Paris. "It was so dry that you might call it wet."

The tendency to magnify the moment, to read all the laws of Nature in
the one object or one combination under your eye, is of course comic
to those who do not share the philosopher's perception of identity. To
him there was no such thing as size. The pond was a small ocean; the
Atlantic a large Walden Pond. He referred every minute fact to
cosmical laws. Tho he meant to be just, he seemed haunted by a certain
chronic assumption that the science of the day pretended
completeness, and he had just found out that the savants had neglected
to discriminate a particular botanical variety, had failed to describe
the seeds or count the sepals. "That is to say," we replied, "the
blockheads were not born in Concord; but who said they were? It was
their unspeakable misfortune to be born in London, or Paris, or Rome;
but, poor fellows, they did what they could, considering that they
never saw Bateman's Pond, or Nine-acre Corner, or Becky Stow's Swamp.
Besides, what were you sent into the world for but to add this
observation?"

Had this genius been only contemplative, he had been fitted to his
life, but with his energy and practical ability he seemed born for
great enterprise and for command; and I so much regret the loss of his
rare powers of action that I can not help counting it a fault in him
that he had no ambition. Wanting this, instead of engineering for all
America, he was the captain of a huckleberry party. Pounding beans is
good to the end of pounding empires one of these days; but if, at the
end of years, it is still only beans!

But these foibles, real or apparent, were fast vanishing in the
incessant growth of a spirit so robust and wise, and which effaced its
defeats with new triumphs. His study of nature was a perpetual
ornament to him, and inspired his friends with curiosity to see the
world through his eyes, and to hear his adventures. They possest every
kind of interest.

He had many elegances of his own, while he scoffed at conventional
elegance. Thus, he could not bear to hear the sound of his own steps, the
grit of gravel; and therefore never willingly walked in the road, but in
the grass, on mountains and in woods. His senses were acute, and he
remarked that by night every dwelling-house gives out bad air, like a
slaughter-house. He liked the pure fragrance of melilot. He honored certain
plants with special regard, and, over all, the pond lily, then the gentian,
and the _Mikania scandens_, and "life-everlasting," and a bass-tree which
he visited every year when it bloomed, in the middle of July. He thought
the scent a more oracular inquisition than the sight--more oracular and
trustworthy. The scent, of course, reveals what it concealed from the other
senses. By it he detected earthiness. He delighted in echoes, and said they
were almost the only kind of kindred voices that he heard. He loved Nature
so well, was so happy in her solitude, that he became very jealous of
cities, and the sad work which their refinements and artifices made with
man and his dwelling. The ax was always destroying his forest. "Thank God,"
he said, "they can not cut down the clouds!"....

The scale on which his studies proceeded was so large as to require
longevity, and we were the less prepared for his sudden disappearance.
The country knows not yet, or in the least part, how great a son it
has lost. It seems an injury that he should leave in the midst his
broken task, which none else can finish--a kind of indignity to so
noble a soul, that it should depart out of Nature before yet he has
been really shown to his peers for what he is. But he, at least, is
content. His soul was made for the noblest society; he had in a short
life exhausted the capabilities of this world; wherever there is
knowledge, wherever there is virtue, wherever there is beauty, he will
find a home.



II

THE INTELLECTUAL HONESTY OF MONTAIGNE[72]


A single odd volume of Cotton's translation of the Essays remained to
me from my father's library, when a boy. It lay long neglected, until,
after many years, when I was newly escaped from college, I read the
book, and procured the remaining volumes. I remember the delight and
wonder in which I lived with it. It seemed to me as if I had myself
written the book, in some former life, so sincerely it spoke to my
thought and experience. It happened, when in Paris, in 1833, that, in
the cemetery of Pere la Chaise, I came to a tomb of August Collignon,
who died in 1830, aged sixty-eight years, and who, said the monument,
"lived to do right, and had formed himself to virtue on the Essays of
Montaigne." Some years later, I became acquainted with an accomplished
English poet, John Sterling; and, in prosecuting my correspondence, I
found that, from a love of Montaigne, he had made a pilgrimage to his
chateau, still standing near Castellan, in Perigord, and, after two
hundred and fifty years, had copied from the walls of his library the
inscriptions which Montaigne had written there. That Journal of Mr
Sterling's, published in the _Westminster Review_, Mr. Hazlitt has
reprinted in the Prolegomena to his edition of the Essays. I heard
with pleasure that one of the newly-discovered autographs of William
Shakespeare was in a copy of Florio's translation of Montaigne. It is
the only book which we certainly know to have been in the poet's
library. And, oddly enough, the duplicate copy of Florio, which the
British Museum purchased with a view of protecting the Shakespeare
autograph (as I was informed in the Museum), turned out to have the
autograph of Ben Jonson in the fly-leaf. Leigh Hunt relates of Lord
Byron that Montaigne was the only great writer of past times whom he
read with avowed satisfaction. Other coincidences, not needful to be
mentioned here, concurred to make this old Gascon still new and
immortal for me.

[Footnote 72: From "Montaigne; or The Skeptic," in "Representative
Men." Published by Houghton, Mifflin & Company.]

In 1571, on the death of his father, Montaigne, then thirty-eight
years old, retired from the practise of law at Bordeaux, and settled
himself on his estate. Tho he had been a man of pleasure, and
sometimes a courtier, his studious habits now grew on him, and he
loved the compass, staidness, and independence of the country
gentleman's life. He took up his economy in good earnest, and made his
farms yield the most. Downright and plain-dealing, and abhorring to be
deceived or to deceive, he was esteemed in the country for his sense
and probity. In the civil wars of the League, which converted every
house into a fort, Montaigne kept his gates open, and his house
without defense. All parties freely came and went, his courage and
honor being universally esteemed. The neighboring lords and gentry
brought jewels and papers to him for safe-keeping. Gibbon reckons, in
these bigoted times, but two men of liberality in France--Henry IV and
Montaigne.



III

HIS VISIT TO CARLYLE AT CRAIGEN-PUTTOCK[73]

(1833)


From Edinburgh I went to the Highlands. On my return I came from
Glasgow to Dumfries, and being intent on delivering a letter which I
had brought from Rome, inquired for Craigen-puttock. It was a farm in
Nithsdale, in the parish of Dunscore, sixteen miles distant. No public
coach passed near it, so I took a private carriage from the inn. I
found the house amid desolate heathery hills, where the lonely scholar
nourished his mighty heart. Carlyle was a man from his youth, an
author who did not need to hide from his readers, and as absolute a
man of the world, unknown and exiled on that hill-farm, as if holding
on his own terms what is best in London. He was tall and gaunt, with
cliff-like brow, self-possest, and holding his extraordinary powers of
conversation in easy command; clinging to his northern accent with
evident relish; full of lively anecdote, and with a streaming humor,
which floated everything he looked upon. His talk playfully exalting
the familiar objects, put the companion at once into an acquaintance
with his Lars and Lemurs, and it was very pleasant to learn what was
predestined to be a pretty mythology. Few were the objects and lonely
the man, "not a person to speak to within sixteen miles except the
minister of Dunscore"; so that books inevitably made his topics.

[Footnote 73: From Chapter I of "English Traits," published by
Houghton, Mifflin Company. At the time of this visit, Emerson had
published none of his books, but Carlyle was known as the author of
many of the "Essays" now included among his collected writings, and
had published the "Life of Schiller" and his translation of Goethe's
"Wilhelm Meister." "Sartor Resartus" in that year was beginning its
course through the monthly numbers of _Fraser's Magazine_.]

He had names of his own for all the matters familiar to his discourse.
_Blackwood's_ was the "sand magazine"; _Fraser's_ nearer approach to
possibility of life was the "mud magazine"; a piece of road near by
that marked some failed enterprise was the "grave of the last
sixpence." When too much praise of any genius annoyed him, he profest
hugely to admire the talent shown by his pig. He had spent much time
and contrivance in confining the poor beast to one enclosure in his
pen, but pig, by great strokes of judgment, had found out how to let a
board down, and had foiled him. For all that, he still thought man the
most plastic little fellow in the planet, and he liked Nero's death,
"_Qualis artifex pereo!_" better than most history. He worships a man
that will manifest any truth to him. At one time he had inquired and
read a good deal about America. Landor's principle was mere rebellion,
and _that_ he feared was the American principle. The best thing he
knew of that country was that in it a man can have meat for his
labor. He had read in Stewart's book that, when he inquired in a New
York hotel for the Boots, he had been shown across the street and had
found Mungo in his own house dining on roast turkey.

We talked of books. Plato he does not read, and he disparaged
Socrates; and, when prest, persisted in making Mirabeau a hero. Gibbon
he called the splendid bridge from the old world to the new. His own
reading had been multifarious. "Tristram Shandy" was one of his first
books after "Robinson Crusoe," and Robertson's "America" an early
favorite. Rousseau's "Confessions" had discovered to him that he was
not a dunce; and it was now ten years since he had learned German, by
the advice of a man who told him he would find in that language what
he wanted.

He took despairing or satirical views of literature at this moment;
recounted the incredible sums paid in one year by the great
booksellers for puffing. Hence it comes that no newspaper is trusted
now, no books are bought, and the booksellers are on the eve of
bankruptcy.

He still returned to English pauperism, the crowded country, the
selfish abdication by public men of all that public persons should
perform. "Government should direct poor men what to do. Poor Irish
folk come wandering over these moors. My dame makes it a rule to give
to every son of Adam bread to eat, and supplies his wants to the next
house. But here are thousands of acres which might give them all meat,
and nobody to bid these poor Irish go to the moor and till it. They
burned the stacks, and so found a way to force the rich people to
attend to them."

We went out to walk over long hills, and looked at Criffel, then
without his cap, and down into Wordsworth's country. There we sat
down, and talked of the immortality of the soul. It was not Carlyle's
fault that we talked on that topic, for he had the natural
disinclination of every nimble spirit to bruise itself against walls,
and did not like to place himself where no step can be taken. But he
was honest and true, and cognizant of the subtile links that bind ages
together, and saw how every event affects all the future. "Christ died
on the tree: that built Dunscore kirk yonder: that brought you and me
together. Time had only a relative existence."

He was already turning his eyes toward London with a scholar's
appreciation. London is the heart of the world, he said, wonderful
only from the mass of human beings. He liked the huge machine. Each
keeps its own round. The baker's boy brings muffins to the window at a
fixt hour every day, and that is all the Londoner knows or wishes to
know on the subject. But it turned out good men. He named certain
individuals, especially one man of letters, his friend, the best mind
he knew, whom London had well served.



NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE

     Born in Salem, Mass., in 1804; died in 1864; graduated from
     Bowdoin College in 1825; served in the Custom House in
     Boston; joined the Brook Farm community in 1841; surveyor of
     the port of Salem in 1846-49; consul at Liverpool in
     1853-57; published "Fanshawe" at his own expense in 1826,
     "Twice Told Tales" in 1837-42; "Mosses from an Old Manse" in
     1846, "The Scarlet Letter" in 1850, "House of the Seven
     Gables" in 1851, "The Marble Faun" in 1860, "Our Old Home"
     in 1863.



I

OCCUPANTS OF AN OLD MANSE[74]


Between two tall gate-posts of rough-hewn stone (the gate itself
having fallen from its hinges at some unknown epoch) we beheld the
gray front of the old parsonage terminating the vista of an avenue of
black-ash trees. It was now a twelvemonth since the funeral procession
of the venerable clergyman, its last inhabitant, had turned from that
gateway toward the village burying-ground. The wheel track leading to
the door, as well as the whole breadth of the avenue, was almost
overgrown with grass, affording dainty mouthfuls to two or three
vagrant cows and an old white horse who had his own living to pick up
along the roadside. The glimmering shadows that lay half asleep
between the door of the house and the public highway were a kind of
spiritual medium, seen through which the edifice had not quite the
aspect of belonging to the material world. Certainly, it had little in
common with those ordinary abodes which stand so imminent upon the
road that every passer-by can thrust his head, as it were, into the
domestic circle. From these quiet windows the figures of passing
travelers look too remote and dim to disturb the sense of privacy. In
its near retirement and accessible seclusion, it was the very spot for
the residence of a clergyman--a man not estranged from human life, yet
enveloped, in the midst of it, with a veil woven of intermingled gloom
and brightness. It was worthy to have been one of the time-honored
parsonages of England, in which through many generations a succession
of holy occupants pass from youth to age, and bequeath each an
inheritance of sanctity to pervade the house and hover over it as with
an atmosphere.

[Footnote 74: From the introductory chapter of "Mosses from an Old
Manse," published by Houghton, Mifflin Company. This house, built in
1765, is still standing in Concord. Emerson lived there while writing
his "Nature." Hawthorne made it his home soon after his marriage in
1842.]

Nor, in truth, had the Old Manse ever been profaned by a lay occupant
until that memorable summer afternoon when I entered it as my home. A
priest had built it; a priest had succeeded to it; other priestly men
from time to time had dwelt in it; and children born in its chambers
had grown up to assume the priestly character. It was awful to reflect
how many sermons must have been written there. The latest inhabitant
alone--he by whose translation to paradise the dwelling was left
vacant--had penned nearly three thousand discourses, besides the
better if not the greater number that gushed living from his lips. How
often, no doubt, had he paced to and fro along the avenue, attuning
his meditations to the sighs and gentle murmurs and deep and solemn
peals of the wind among the tops of the lofty trees! In that variety
of natural utterances he could find something accordant with every
passage of his sermon, were it of tenderness or reverential fear. The
boughs over my head seemed shadowy with solemn thoughts, as well as
with rustling leaves.

I took shame to myself for having been so long a writer of idle
stories, and ventured to hope that wisdom would descend upon me with
the falling leaves of the avenue, and that I should light upon an
intellectual treasure in the Old Manse well worth those hoards of
long-hidden gold which people seek for in moss-grown houses. Profound
treatises of morality, a layman's unprofessional and therefore
unprejudiced views of religion, histories (such as Bancroft might have
written had he taken up his abode here, as he once proposed) bright
with picture, gleaming over a depth of philosophic thought--these were
the works that might fitly have flowed from such a retirement. In the
humblest event, I resolved at least to achieve a novel that should
evolve some deep lesson, and should possess physical substance enough
to stand alone....

The study had three windows set with little old-fashioned panes of
glass, each with a crack across it. The two on the western side looked
or rather peeped between the willow branches down into the orchard,
with glimpses of the river through the trees. The third, facing
northward, commanded a broader view of the river at a spot where its
hitherto obscure waters gleam forth into the light of history. It was
at this window that the clergyman who then dwelt in the manse stood
watching the outbreak of a long and deadly struggle between two
nations.[75] He saw the irregular array of his parishioners on the
farther side of the river, and the glittering line of the British on
the hither bank; he awaited in an agony of suspense the rattle of the
musketry. It came; and there needed but a gentle wind to sweep the
battle smoke around this quiet house....

[Footnote 75: The bridge at Concord, where the battle of April, 1775,
was fought, stands only a short distance from the old manse.]

When summer was dead and buried, the Old Manse became as lonely as a
hermitage. Not that ever--in my time at least--it had been thronged
with company; but at no rare intervals we welcomed some friend out of
the dusty glare and tumult of the world, and rejoiced to share with
him the transparent obscurity that was floating over us. In one
respect our precincts were like the Enchanted Ground through which the
pilgrim traveled on his way to the Celestial City. The guests, each
and all, felt a slumbrous influence upon them; they fell asleep in
chairs, or took a more deliberate siesta on the sofa, or were seen
stretched among the shadows of the orchard, looking up dreamily
through the boughs. They could not have paid a more acceptable
compliment to my abode, nor to my own qualities as a host. I held it
as a proof that they left their cares behind them as they passed
between the stone gate-posts at the entrance of our avenue, and that
the so powerful opiate was the abundance of peace and quiet within and
all around us....

Hobgoblins of flesh and blood were attracted thither by the
wide-spreading influence of a great original thinker, who had his
earthly abode at the opposite extremity of our village. His mind acted
upon other minds of a certain constitution with wonderful magnetism,
and drew many men upon long pilgrimages to speak with him face to
face. Young visionaries, to whom just so much of insight had been
imparted as to make life all a labyrinth around them, came to seek the
clue that should guide them out of their self-involved bewilderment.
Gray-headed theorists, whose systems, at first air, had finally
imprisoned them in an iron framework, traveled painfully to his door,
not to ask deliverance, but to invite the free spirit into their own
thraldom. People that had lighted on a new thought, or a thought that
they fancied new, came to Emerson, as the finder of a glittering gem
hastens to a lapidary to ascertain its quality and value. Uncertain,
troubled, earnest wanderers through the midnight of a moral world
beheld its intellectual fire as a beacon burning on a hill-top, and
climbing the difficult ascent, looked forth into the surrounding
obscurity more hopefully than hitherto. The light revealed objects
unseen before--mountains, gleaming lakes, glimpses of a creation among
the chaos; but also, as was unavoidable, it attracted bats and owls
and the whole host of night birds, which flapped their dusky wings
against the gazer's eyes, and sometimes were mistaken for fowls of
angelic feather. Such delusions always hover nigh whenever a
beacon-fire of truth is kindled.

For myself, there had been epochs of my life when I too might have
asked of this prophet the master word that should solve me the riddle
of the universe; but now, being happy, I felt as if there were no
question to be put, and therefore admired Emerson as a poet of deep
beauty and austere tenderness, but sought nothing from him as a
philosopher. It was good nevertheless to meet him in the wood paths,
or sometimes in our avenue, with that pure intellectual gleam diffused
about his presence like the garment of a Shining One; and he so quiet,
so simple, so without pretension, encountering each man alike as if
expecting to receive more than he could impart. And in truth, the
heart of many an ordinary man had, perchance, inscriptions which he
could not read.

But it was impossible to dwell in his vicinity without inhaling more
or less the mountain atmosphere of his lofty thought, which in the
brains of some people wrought a singular giddiness--new truth being as
heady as new wine. Never was a poor little country village infested
with such a variety of queer, strangely drest, oddly behaved mortals,
most of whom took upon themselves to be important agents of the
world's destiny, yet were simply bores of a very intense water. Such,
I imagine, is the invariable character of persons who crowd so closely
about an original thinker as to draw in his unuttered breath, and thus
to become imbued with a false originality. This triteness of novelty
is enough to make any man of common sense blaspheme at all ideas of
less than a century's standing, and pray that the world may be
petrified and rendered immovable in precisely the worst moral and
physical state that it ever yet arrived at, rather than be benefited
by such schemes of such philosophers....

Glancing back over what I have written, it seems but the scattered
reminiscences of a single summer. In fairyland there is no measurement
of time; and in a spot so sheltered from the turmoil of life's ocean,
three years hasten away with a noiseless flight, as the breezy
sunshine chases the cloud shadows across the depths of a still valley.
Now came hints, growing more and more distinct, that the owner of the
old house was pining for his native air. Carpenters next appeared,
making a tremendous racket among the outbuildings, strewing the green
grass with pine shavings and chips of chestnut joists, and vexing the
whole antiquity of the place with their discordant renovations. Soon,
moreover, they divested our abode of the veil of woodbine which had
crept over a large portion of its southern face. All the aged mosses
were cleared unsparingly away, and there were horrible whispers about
brushing up the external walls with a coat of paint--a purpose as
little to my taste as might be that of rouging the venerable cheeks of
one's grandmother. But the hand that renovates is always more
sacrilegious than that which destroys. In fine, we gathered up our
household goods, drank a farewell cup of tea in our pleasant little
breakfast-room--delicately fragrant tea, an unpurchasable luxury, one
of the many angel gifts that had fallen like dew upon us--and passed
forth between the tall stone gate-posts, as uncertain as the wandering
Arabs where our tent might next be pitched. Providence took me by the
hand, and--an oddity of dispensation which, I trust, there is no
irreverence in smiling at--has led me, as the newspapers announce,
while I am writing from the Old Manse, into a custom-house.[76] As a
story-teller I have often contrived strange vicissitudes for my
imaginary personages, but none like this.

[Footnote 76: A reference to his appointment to a position in the
Boston Custom-house.]



II

ARTHUR DIMMESDALE ON THE SCAFFOLD[77]


The crowd was in a tumult. The men of rank and dignity, who stood more
immediately around the clergyman, were so taken by surprize, and so
perplexed as to the purport of what they saw--unable to receive the
explanation which most readily presented itself, or to imagine any
other--that they remained silent and inactive spectators of the
judgment which Providence seemed about to work. They beheld the
minister, leaning on Hester's shoulder, and supported by her arm
around him, approach the scaffold, and ascend its steps; while still
the little hand of the sin-born child was clasped in his. Old Roger
Chillingworth followed, as one intimately connected with the drama of
guilt and sorrow in which they had all been actors, and well entitled,
therefore, to be present at its closing scene.

[Footnote 77: From Chapters XIII and XIV of "The Scarlet Letter,"
published by Houghton, Mifflin & Company.]

"Hadst thou sought the whole earth over," said he, looking darkly at
the clergyman, "there was no one place so secret--no high place nor
lowly place, where thou couldst have escaped me--save on this very
scaffold!"

"Thanks be to Him who hath led me hither!" answered the minister.

Yet he trembled, and turned to Hester with an expression of doubt and
anxiety in his eyes, not the less evidently betrayed that there was a
feeble smile upon his lips.

"Is not this better," murmured he, "than what we dreamed of in the
forest?"

"I know not! I know not!" she hurriedly replied. "Better? Yea; so we
may both die, and little Pearl die with us!"

"For thee and Pearl, be it as God shall order," said the minister;
"and God is merciful! Let me now do the will which He hath made plain
before my sight. For, Hester, I am a dying man. So let me make haste
to take my shame upon me!"

Partly supported by Hester Prynne, and holding one hand of little
Pearl's, the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale turned to the dignified and
venerable rulers; to the holy ministers, who were his brethren; to the
people, whose great heart was thoroughly appalled, yet overflowing
with tearful sympathy, as knowing that some deep life-matter--which,
if full of sin, was full of anguish and repentance likewise--was now
to be laid open to them. The sun, but little past its meridian, shone
down upon the clergyman, and gave a distinctness to his figure as he
stood out from all the earth to put in his plea of guilty at the bar
of Eternal Justice.

"People of New England!" cried he, with a voice that rose over them,
high, solemn, and majestic--yet had always a tremor through it, and
sometimes a shriek, struggling up out of a fathomless depth of remorse
and wo--"ye that have loved me!--ye that have deemed me holy!--behold
me here, the one sinner of the world! At last!--at last!--I stand upon
the spot where, seven years since, I should have stood; here, with
this woman, whose arm, more than the little strength wherewith I have
crept hitherward, sustains me, at this dreadful moment, from groveling
down upon my face! Lo, the scarlet letter which Hester wears! Ye have
all shuddered at it! Wherever her walk hath been--wherever, so
miserably burdened, she may have hoped to find repose--it hath cast a
lurid gleam of awe and horrible repugnance round about her. But there
stood one in the midst of you, at whose brand of sin and infamy ye
have not shuddered!"

It seemed, at this point, as if the minister must leave the remainder
of his secret undisclosed. But he fought back the bodily
weakness--and, still more, the faintness of heart--that was striving
for the mastery with him. He threw off all assistance, and stept
passionately forward a pace before the woman and the child.

"It was on him!" he continued, with a kind of fierceness--so
determined was he to speak out the whole. "God's eye beheld it! The
angels were forever pointing at it! The devil knew it well, and
fretted it continually with the touch of his burning finger! But he
hid it cunningly from men, and walked among you with the mien of a
spirit, mournful, because so pure in a sinful world--and sad, because
he missed his heavenly kindred! Now, at the death-hour, he stands up
before you! He bids you look again at Hester's scarlet letter! He
tells you that, with all its mysterious horror, it is but the shadow
of what he bears on his own breast, and that even this, his own red
stigma, is no more than the type of what has seared his inmost heart!
Stand any here that question God's judgment on a sinner? Behold!
Behold a dreadful witness of it!"

With a convulsive motion, he tore away the ministerial band from his
breast. It was revealed! But it were irreverent to describe that
revelation. For an instant the gaze of the horror-stricken multitude
was concentrated on the ghastly miracle; while the minister stood,
with a flush of triumph in his face, as one who, in the crisis of
acutest pain, had won a victory. Then, down he sank upon the scaffold!
Hester partly raised him, and supported his head against her bosom.
Old Roger Chillingworth knelt down beside him, with a blank, dull
countenance, out of which the life seemed to have departed.

"Thou hast escaped me!" he repeated more than once. "Thou hast escaped
me!"

"May God forgive thee!" said the minister. "Thou, too, hast deeply
sinned!"

He withdrew his dying eyes from the old man, and fixt them on the
woman and the child.

"My little Pearl," said he, feebly--and there was a sweet and gentle
smile over his face, as of a spirit sinking into deep repose; nay, now
that the burden was removed, it seemed almost as if he would be
sportive with the child--"dear little Pearl, wilt thou kiss me now?
Thou wouldst not yonder, in the forest! But now thou wilt?"

Pearl kissed his lips. A spell was broken. The great scene of grief,
in which the wild infant bore a part, had developed all her
sympathies; and as her tears fell upon her father's cheek, they were
the pledge that she would grow up amid human joy and sorrow, nor
forever do battle with the world, but be a woman in it. Toward her
mother, too, Pearl's errand as a messenger of anguish was all
fulfilled.

"Hester," said the clergyman, "farewell!"

"Shall we not meet again?" whispered she, bending her face down close
to his. "Shall we not spend our immortal life together? Surely,
surely, we have ransomed one another with all this wo! Thou lookest
far into eternity, with those bright dying eyes! Then tell me what
thou seest?"

"Hush, Hester, hush!" said he, with tremulous solemnity. "The law we
broke!--the sin here so awfully revealed!--let these be in thy
thoughts! I fear! I fear! It may be that, when we forgot our God--when
we violated our reverence each for the other's soul--it was
thenceforth vain to hope that we could meet hereafter, in an
everlasting and pure reunion. God knows; and He is merciful! He hath
proved His mercy, most of all, in my afflictions. By giving me this
burning torture to bear upon my breast! By sending yonder dark and
terrible old man, to keep the torture always at red heat! By bringing
me hither to die this death of triumphant ignominy before the people!
Had either of these agonies been wanting, I had been lost forever!
Praised be His name! His will be done! Farewell!"

That final word came forth with the minister's expiring breath. The
multitude, silent till then, broke out in a strange, deep voice of awe
and wonder, which could not as yet find utterance save in this murmur
that rolled so heavily after the departed spirit.

After many days, when time sufficed for the people to arrange their
thoughts in reference to the foregoing scene, there was more than one
account of what had been witnessed on the scaffold.

Most of the spectators testified to having seen on the breast of the
unhappy minister a SCARLET LETTER--the very semblance of that worn by
Hester Prynne--imprinted in the flesh. As regarded its origin, there
were various explanations, all of which must necessarily have been
conjectural. Some affirmed that the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale, on the
very day when Hester Prynne first wore her ignominious badge, had
begun a course of penance--which he afterward, in so many futile
methods, followed out--by inflicting a hideous torture on himself.
Others contended that the stigma had not been produced until a long
time subsequent, when old Roger Chillingworth, being a potent
necromancer, had caused it to appear, through the agency of magic and
poisonous drugs. Others, again--and those best able to appreciate the
minister's peculiar sensibility, and the wonderful operation of his
spirit upon the body--whispered their belief that the awful symbol was
the effect of the ever-active tooth of remorse, gnawing from the
inmost heart outwardly, and at last manifesting Heaven's dreadful
judgment by the visible presence of the letter. The reader may choose
among these theories. We have thrown all the light we could acquire
upon the portent, and would gladly, now that it has done its office,
erase its deep print out of our own brain, where long meditation has
fixt it in very undesirable distinctness.



III

OF LIFE AT BROOK FARM[78]


We had very young people with us, it is true--downy lads, rosy girls
in their first teens, and children of all heights above one's knee;
but these had chiefly been sent hither for education, which it was one
of the objects and methods of our institution to supply. Then we had
boarders from town and elsewhere, who lived with us in a familiar way,
sympathized more or less in our theories, and sometimes shared in our
labors.

[Footnote 78: From "The Blithedale Romance," published by Houghton,
Mifflin Company. Hawthorne was a member of the Brook Farm Community of
Roxbury, Mass., and from it derived at least suggestions for the scene
and action of this story.]

On the whole, it was a society such as has seldom met together; nor,
perhaps, could it reasonably be expected to hold together long.
Persons of marked individuality--crooked sticks, as some of us might
be called--are not exactly the easiest to bind up into a fagot. But,
so long as our union should subsist, a man of intellect and feeling,
with a free nature in him, might have sought far and near without
finding so many points of attraction as would allure him hitherward.
We were of all creeds and opinions, and generally tolerant of all, on
every imaginable subject. Our bond, it seems to me, was not
affirmative, but negative. We had individually found one thing or
another to quarrel with in our past life, and were pretty well agreed
as to the inexpediency of lumbering along with the old system any
further. As to what should be substituted there was much less
unanimity. We did not greatly care--at least, I never did--for the
written constitution under which our millennium had commenced. My hope
was that, between theory and practise, a true and available mode of
life might be struck out; and that, even should we ultimately fail,
the months or years spent in the trial would not have been wasted,
either as regarded passing enjoyment, or the experience which makes
men wise.

Arcadians tho we were, our costume bore no resemblance to the
beribboned doublets, silk breeches and stockings, and slippers
fastened with artificial roses, that distinguish the pastoral people
of poetry and the stage. In outward show, I humbly conceive, we looked
rather like a gang of beggars, or banditti, than either a company of
honest laboring-men, or a conclave of philosophers. Whatever might be
our points of difference, we all of us seemed to have come to
Blithedale with the one thrifty and laudable idea of wearing out our
old clothes. Such garments as had an airing whenever we strode afield!
Coats with high collars and with no collars, broad-skirted or
swallow-tailed, and with the waist at every point between the hip and
the armpit; pantaloons of a dozen successive epochs, and greatly
defaced at the knees by the humiliations of the wearer before his
lady-love--in short, we were a living epitome of defunct fashions, and
the very raggedest presentment of men who had seen better days. It was
gentility in tatters. Often retaining a scholarlike or clerical air,
you might have taken us for the denizens of Grub street, intent on
getting a comfortable livelihood by agricultural labor; or,
Coleridge's projected Pantisocracy in full experiment; or Candide and
his motley associates, at work in their cabbage-garden; or anything
else that was miserably out at elbows, and most clumsily patched in
the rear. We might have been sworn comrades to Falstaff's ragged
regiment. Little skill as we boasted in other points of husbandry,
every mother's son of us would have served admirably to stick up for a
scarecrow. And the worst of the matter was that the first energetic
movement essential to one downright stroke of real labor was sure to
put a finish to these poor habiliments. So we gradually flung them all
aside, and took to honest homespun and linsey-woolsey, as preferable,
on the whole, to the plan recommended, I think, by Virgil--"_Ara
nudus; sere nudus_,"--which, as Silas Foster remarked, when I
translated the maxim, would be apt to astonish the women-folks.

After a reasonable training, the yeoman life throve well with us. Our
faces took the sunburn kindly; our chests gained in compass, and our
shoulders in breadth and squareness; our great brown fists looked as
if they had never been capable of kid gloves. The plow, the hoe, the
scythe, and the hay-fork grew familiar to our grasp. The oxen
responded to our voices. We could do almost as fair a day's work as
Silas Foster himself, sleep dreamlessly after it, and awake at
daybreak with only a little stiffness of the joints, which was usually
quite gone by breakfast-time.

To be sure, our next neighbors pretended to be incredulous as to our
real proficiency in the business which we had taken in hand. They told
slanderous fables about our inability to yoke our own oxen, or to
drive them afield when yoked, or to release the poor brutes from their
conjugal bond at nightfall. They had the face to say, too, that the
cows laughed at our awkwardness at milking-time, and invariably kicked
over the pails; partly in consequence of our putting the stool on the
wrong side, and partly because, taking offense at the whisking of
their tails, we were in the habit of holding these natural
fly-flappers with one hand, and milking with the other. They further
averred that we hoed up whole acres of Indian corn and other crops,
and drew the earth carefully about the weeds; and that we raised five
hundred tufts of burdock, mistaking them for cabbages; and that, by
dint of unskilful planting, few of our seeds ever came up at all, or,
if they did come up, it was stern-foremost; and that we spent the
better part of the month of June in reversing a field of beans, which
had thrust themselves out of the ground in this unseemly way. They
quoted it as nothing more than an ordinary occurrence for one or other
of us to crop off two or three fingers, of a morning, by our clumsy
use of the hay-cutter. Finally, and as an ultimate catastrophe, these
mendacious rogues circulated a report that we communitarians were
exterminated, to the last man, by severing ourselves asunder with the
sweep of our own scythes!--and that the world had lost nothing by this
little accident.



IV

THE DEATH OF JUDGE PYNCHEON[79]


Meanwhile the twilight is glooming upward out of the corners of the
room. The shadows of the tall furniture grow deeper, and at first
become more definite; then, spreading wider, they lose their
distinctness of outline in the dark gray tide of oblivion, as it were,
that creeps slowly over the various objects, and the one human figure
sitting in the midst of them. The gloom has not entered from without;
it has brooded here all day, and now, taking its own inevitable time,
will possess itself of everything. The Judge's face, indeed, rigid,
and singularly white, refuses to melt into this universal solvent.
Fainter and fainter grows the light. It is as if another
double-handful of darkness had been scattered through the air. Now it
is no longer gray, but sable. There is still a faint appearance at
the window; neither a glow, nor a gleam, nor a glimmer--any phrase of
light would express something far brighter than this doubtful
perception, or sense, rather, that there is a window there. Has it yet
vanished? No!--yes!--not quite! And there is still the swarthy
whiteness--we shall venture to marry these ill-agreeing words--the
swarthy whiteness of Judge Pyncheon's face. The features are all gone:
there is only the paleness of them left. And how looks it now? There
is no window! There is no face! An infinite, inscrutable blackness has
annihilated sight! Where is our universe? All crumbled away from us;
and we, adrift in chaos, may harken to the gusts of homeless wind,
that go sighing and murmuring about, in quest of what was once a
world!

[Footnote 79: From Chapter XVIII of "The House of the Seven Gables."
Published by Houghton, Mifflin & Company.]

Is there no other sound? One other, and a fearful one. It is the
ticking of the Judge's watch, which, ever since Hepzibah left the room
in search of Clifford, he has been holding in his hand. Be the cause
what it may, this little, quiet, never-ceasing throb of Time's pulse,
repeating its small strokes with such busy regularity, in Judge
Pyncheon's motionless hand, has an effect of terror, which we do not
find in any other accompaniment of the scene.

But, listen! That puff of the breeze was louder; it had a tone unlike
the dreary and sullen one which has bemoaned itself, and afflicted all
mankind with miserable sympathy, for five days past. The wind has
veered about! It now comes boisterously from the northwest, and,
taking hold of the aged framework of the Seven Gables, gives it a
shake, like a wrestler that would try strength with his antagonist.
Another and another sturdy tussle with the blast! The old house creaks
again, and makes a vociferous but somewhat unintelligible bellowing in
its sooty throat (the big flue, we mean, of its wide chimney), partly
in complaint at the rude wind, but rather, as befits their century and
a half of hostile intimacy, in tough defiance. A rumbling kind of a
bluster roars behind the fireboard. A door has slammed above stairs. A
window, perhaps, has been left open, or else is driven in by an unruly
gust. It is not to be conceived, beforehand, what wonderful
wind-instruments are these old timber mansions, and how haunted with
the strangest noises, which immediately begin to sing, and sigh, and
sob, and shriek--and to smite with sledge-hammers, airy but ponderous,
in some distant chamber--and to tread along the entries as with
stately footsteps, and rustle up and down the staircase, as with silks
miraculously stiff--whenever the gale catches the house with a window
open, and gets fairly into it. Would that we were not an attendant
spirit here! It is too awful! This clamor of the wind through the
lonely house; the Judge's quietude, as he sits invisible; and that
pertinacious ticking of his watch!...

Yonder leaden Judge sits immovably upon our soul. Will he never stir
again? We shall go mad unless he stirs! You may the better estimate
his quietude by the fearlessness of a little mouse, which sits on its
hind legs, in a streak of moonlight, close by Judge Pyncheon's foot,
and seems to meditate a journey of exploration over this great black
bulk. Ha! what has startled the nimble little mouse? It is the visage
of grimalkin, outside of the window, where he appears to have posted
himself for a deliberate watch. This grimalkin has a very ugly look.
Is it a cat watching for a mouse, or the devil for a human soul? Would
we could scare him from the window!

Thank heaven, the night is well-nigh past! The moonbeams have no
longer so silvery a gleam, nor contrast so strongly with the blackness
of the shadows among which they fall. They are paler, now; the shadows
look gray, not black. The boisterous wind is hushed. What is the hour?
Ah! the watch has at last ceased to tick; for the Judge's forgetful
fingers neglected to wind it up, as usual, at ten o'clock, being half
an hour or so before his ordinary bedtime--and it has run down, for
the first time in five years. But the great world-clock of Time still
keeps its beat. The dreary night--for, oh, how dreary seems its
haunted waste, behind us--gives place to a fresh, transparent
cloudless morn. Blest, blest radiance! The day-beam--even what little
of it finds its way into this always dusky parlor--seems part of the
universal benediction, annulling evil, and rendering all goodness
possible and happiness attainable. Will Judge Pyncheon now rise up
from his chair? Will he go forth, and receive the early sunbeams on
his brow? Will he begin this new day--which God has smiled upon, and
blest, and given to mankind--will he begin it with better purposes
than the many that have been spent amiss? Or are all the deep-laid
schemes of yesterday as stubborn in his heart, and as busy in his
brain, as ever?...

The morning sunshine glimmers through the foliage, and, beautiful and
holy as it is, shuns not to kindle up your face. Rise up, thou subtle,
worldly, selfish, iron-hearted hypocrite, and make thy choice whether
still to be subtle, worldly, selfish, iron-hearted, and hypocritical,
or to tear these sins out of thy nature, tho they bring the life-blood
with them! The Avenger is upon thee! Rise up, before it be too late!

What! Thou art not stirred by this last appeal? No, not a jot! And
there we see a fly--one of your common house-flies, such as are always
buzzing on the window-pane--which has smelt out Governor Pyncheon, and
alights, now on his forehead, now on his chin, and now, heaven help
us! is creeping over the bridge of his nose, toward the would-be chief
magistrate's wide-open eyes! Canst thou not brush the fly away? Art
thou too sluggish? Thou man, that hadst so many busy projects
yesterday! Art thou too weak, that wast so powerful? Not brush away a
fly? Nay, then, we give thee up!

And hark! the shop-bell rings. After hours like these latter ones,
through which we have borne our heavy tale, it is good to be made
sensible that there is a living world, and that even this old, lonely
mansion retains some manner of connection with it. We breathe more
freely, emerging from Judge Pyncheon's presence into the street before
the Seven Gables.


END OF VOLUME IX





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