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Title: The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. X (of X) - America - II, Index
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: POE, LOWELL, LONGFELLOW, PARKMAN]



                               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. X

                             AMERICA--II

                                INDEX



                       FUNK & WAGNALLS COMPANY

                         NEW YORK AND LONDON


                         COPYRIGHT, 1909, BY

                       FUNK & WAGNALLS COMPANY

       *       *       *       *       *



The Best of the World's Classics

VOL. X

AMERICA--II

1807-1909

       *       *       *       *       *



CONTENTS


VOL. X--AMERICA--II


                                                               _Page_
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW--(Born in 1807, died in 1882.)
      Musings in Père Lachaise.
        (From "Outre-Mer")                                        3

EDGAR ALLAN POE--(Born in 1809, died in 1849.)
    I The Cask of Amontillado.
        (Published originally in _Godey's Magazine_ in 1846)     11
   II Of Hawthorne and the Short Story.
        (From a review of Hawthorne's "Twice Told Tales"
         and "Mosses from an Old Manse" published
         in _Godey's Magazine_ in 1846)                          19
  III Of Willis, Bryant, Halleck and Macaulay.
        (Passages selected from articles printed in
         Volume II of the "Works of Poe")                        25

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES--(Born in 1809, died in 1894.)
    I Of Doctors, Lawyers and Ministers.
        (From Chapter V of "The Poet at the Breakfast Table")    31
   II Of the Genius of Emerson.
        (From an address before the Massachusetts Historical
         Society in 1882)                                        36
  III The House in Which the Professor Lived.
        (From Part X of "The Autocrat of the Breakfast
         Table")                                                 42
   IV Of Women Who Put on Airs.
        (From Part XI of "The Autocrat of the Breakfast
         Table")                                                 49

MARGARET FULLER--(Born in 1810, lost in a shipwreck off
                  Fire Island in 1850.)
    I Her Visit to George Sand.
        (From a letter to Elizabeth Hoar)                        52
   II Two Glimpses of Carlyle.
        (From a letter to Emerson)                               54

HORACE GREELEY--(Born in 1811, died in 1872.)
      The Fatality of Self-Seeking in Editors and Authors.
        (Printed with the "Miscellanies" in the "Recollections
         of a Busy Life")                                        58

JOHN LOTHROP MOTLEY--(Born in 1814, died in 1877.)
    I Charles V and Philip II in Brussels.
        (From Chapter I of "The Rise of the Dutch Republic")     63
   II The Arrival of the Spanish Armada.
        (From Chapter XIX of the "History of the United
         Netherlands")                                           74
  III "The Spanish Fury."
        (From Part IV, Chapter V, of
         "The Rise of the Dutch Republic")                       84

RICHARD HENRY DANA, THE YOUNGER--(Born in 1815, died in 1882.)
      A Fierce Gale under a Clear Sky.
        (From "Two Years Before the Mast")                       93

HENRY DAVID THOREAU--(Born in 1817, died in 1862.)
    I The Building of His House at Walden Pond.
        (From Chapter I of "Walden, or, Life in the Woods")      99
   II How to Make Two Small Ends Meet.
        (From Chapters I and II of "Walden")                    103
  III On Reading the Ancient Classics.
        (From Chapter III of "Walden")                          115
   IV Of Society and Solitude.
        (From Chapter IV of "Walden")                           120

JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL--(Born in 1819, died in 1891.)
    I The Poet as Prophet.
        (From an essay contributed to _The Pioneer_ in 1843)    125
   II The First of the Moderns.
        (From the first essay in the first series, entitled
         "Among My Books")                                      129
  III Of Faults Found in Shakespeare.
        (From the essay entitled "Shakespeare Once More,"
         printed in the first series entitled "Among My Books") 133
   IV Americans as Successors of the Dutch.
        (From the essay entitled "On a Certain Condescension
         in Foreigners," printed in "From My Study Window")     138

CHARLES A. DANA--(Born in 1819, died in 1897.)
      Greeley as a Man of Genius.
        (From an article printed in the New York _Sun_,
         December 5, 1872)                                      146

JAMES PARTON--(Born in 1822, died in 1891.)
      Aaron Burr and Madame Jumel.
        (From his "Life of Burr")                               150

FRANCIS PARKMAN--(Born in 1823, died in 1893.)
    I Champlain's Battle with the Iroquois.
        (From Chapter X of "The Pioneers of France
         in the New World")                                     157
   II The Death of La Salle.
        (From Chapter XXV of "La Salle and the Discovery
         of the Great West")                                    161
  III The Coming of Frontenac to Canada.
        (From Chapters I and II of "Count Frontenac and
         New France")                                           167
   IV The Death of Isaac Jogues.
        (From Chapters XVI and XX of "The Jesuits in
         North America")                                        171
    V Why New France Failed.
        (From the Introduction to "The Pioneers of France
         in the New World")                                     176
   VI The Return of the Coureurs-de-Bois.
        (From Chapter XVIII of "The Old Régime in Canada")      179

GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS--(Born in 1824, died in 1892.)
      Our Cousin the Curate.
        (From Chapter VII of "Prue and I")                      183

ARTEMUS WARD--(Born in 1824, died in 1867.)
      Forrest as Othello.
        (From "Artemus Ward, His Book")                         191

THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH--(Born in 1836, died in 1908.)
    I A Sunrise in Stillwater.
        (From Chapter I of "The Stillwater Tragedy")            195
   II The Fight at Slatter's Hill.
        (From Chapter XIII of "The Story of a Bad Boy")         198
  III On Returning from Europe.
        (From Chapter IX of "From Ponkapog to Pesth")           204

WILLIAM DEAN HOWELLS--(Born in 1837.)
      To Albany by the Night Boat.
        (From Chapter III of "The Wedding Journey")             207

JOHN HAY--(Born in 1838, died in 1905.)
      Lincoln's Early Fame.
        (From Volume X, Chapter XVIII of "Abraham Lincoln,
         A History")                                            211

HENRY ADAMS--(Born in 1838.)
      Jefferson's Retirement.
        (From the "History of the United States")               219

BRET HARTE--(Born in 1839, died in 1902.)
    I Peggy Moffat's Inheritance.
        (From "The Twins of Table Mountain")                    224
   II John Chinaman.
        (From "The Luck of Roaring Camp")                       236
  III M'liss Goes to School.
        (From "M'liss," one of the stories in "The Luck
         of Roaring Camp")                                      240

HENRY JAMES--(Born in 1843.)
    I Among the Malvern Hills.
        (From "A Passionate Pilgrim and Other Tales")           246
   II Turgeneff's World.
        (From "French Poets and Novelists")                     252

INDEX TO THE TEN VOLUMES                                        255

       *       *       *       *       *



VOL. X

AMERICA--II

1807-1909

       *       *       *       *       *



HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW

     Born in 1807, died in 1882; graduated from Bowdoin in 1825;
     traveled in Europe in 1826-29; professor at Bowdoin in
     1829-35; again visited Europe in 1835-86; professor at
     Harvard in 1836-54; published "Voices of the Night" in 1839,
     "Evangeline" in 1847, "Hiawatha" in 1855, "Miles Standish"
     in 1858; "Tales of a Wayside Inn" in 1863, a translation of
     Dante in 1867-70, "The Divine Tragedy" in 1871, and many
     other volumes of verse; his prose writings include
     "Outre-Mer," published in 1835, and two novels, "Hyperion,"
     published in 1839, and "Kavanagh," in 1849.



MUSINGS IN PÈRE LACHAISE[1]


The cemetery of Père Lachaise is the Westminster Abbey of Paris. Both
are the dwellings of the dead; but in one they repose in green alleys
and beneath the open sky--in the other their resting place is in the
shadowy aisle and beneath the dim arches of an ancient abbey. One is a
temple of nature; the other a temple of art. In one the soft
melancholy of the scene is rendered still more touching by the warble
of birds and the shade of trees, and the grave receives the gentle
visit of the sunshine and the shower: in the other no sound but the
passing footfall breaks the silence of the place; the twilight steals
in through high and dusky windows; and the damps of the gloomy vault
lie heavy on the heart, and leave their stain upon the moldering
tracery of the tomb.

[Footnote 1: From "Outre-Mer."]

Père Lachaise stands just beyond the Barrière d'Aulney, on a hillside
looking toward the city. Numerous gravel walks, winding through shady
avenues and between marble monuments, lead up from the principal
entrance to a chapel on the summit. There is hardly a grave that has
not its little enclosure planted with shrubbery, and a thick mass of
foliage half conceals each funeral stone. The sighing of the wind, as
the branches rise and fall upon it--the occasional note of a bird
among the trees, and the shifting of light and shade upon the tombs
beneath have a soothing effect upon the mind; and I doubt whether any
one can enter that enclosure, where repose the dust and ashes of so
many great and good men, without feeling the religion of the place
steal over him, and seeing something of the dark and gloomy expression
pass off from the stern countenance of Death.

It was near the close of a bright summer afternoon that I visited this
celebrated spot for the first time. The first object that arrested my
attention on entering was a monument in the form of a small Gothic
chapel which stands near the entrance, in the avenue leading to the
right hand. On the marble couch within are stretched two figures,
carved in stone and drest in the antique garb of the Middle Ages. It
is the tomb of Abélard and Héloïse. The history of these two
unfortunate lovers is too well known to need recapitulation; but
perhaps it is not so well known how often their ashes were disturbed
in the slumber of the grave. Abélard died in the monastery of St.
Marcel, and was buried in the vaults of the church. His body was
afterward removed to the convent of the Paraclete, at the request of
Héloïse, and at her death her body was deposited in the same tomb.
Three centuries they reposed together; after which they were separated
to different sides of the church, to calm the delicate scruples of the
lady abbess of the convent. More than a century afterward they were
again united in the same tomb; and when at length the Paraclete was
destroyed, their moldering remains were transported to the church of
Nogent-sur-Seine. They were next deposited in an ancient cloister at
Paris, and now repose near the gateway of the cemetery of Père
Lachaise. What a singular destiny was theirs! that, after a life of
such passionate and disastrous love--such sorrows, and tears, and
penitence--their very dust should not be suffered to rest quietly in
the grave!--that their death should so much resemble their life in its
changes and vicissitudes, its partings and its meetings, its
inquietudes and its persecutions!--that mistaken zeal should follow
them down to the very tomb--as if earthly passion could glimmer, like
a funeral lamp, amid the damps of the charnel house, and "even in
their ashes burn their wonted fires"!

As I gazed on the sculptured forms before me, and the little chapel
whose Gothic roof seemed to protect their marble sleep, my busy memory
swung back the dark portals of the past, and the picture of their sad
and eventful lives came up before me in the gloomy distance. What a
lesson for those who are endowed with the fatal gift of genius! It
would seem, indeed, that He who "tempers the wind to the shorn lamb"
tempers also His chastisements to the errors and infirmities of a
weak and simple mind--while the transgressions of him upon whose
nature are more strongly marked the intellectual attributes of the
Deity are followed, even upon earth, by severer tokens of the Divine
displeasure. He who sins in the darkness of a benighted intellect sees
not so clearly, through the shadows that surround him, the countenance
of an offended God; but he who sins in the broad noonday of a clear
and radiant mind, when at length the delirium of sensual passion has
subsided and the cloud flits away from before the sun, trembles
beneath the searching eye of that accusing Power which is strong in
the strength of a godlike intellect. Thus the mind and the heart are
closely linked together, and the errors of genius bear with them their
own chastisement, even upon earth. The history of Abélard and Héloïse
is an illustration of this truth. But at length they sleep well. Their
lives are like a tale that is told; their errors are "folded up like a
book"; and what mortal hand shall break the seal that death has set
upon them?

Leaving this interesting tomb behind me, I took a pathway to the left,
which conducted me up the hillside. I soon found myself in the deep
shade of heavy foliage, where the branches of the yew and willow
mingled, interwoven with the tendrils and blossoms of the honeysuckle.
I now stood in the most populous part of this city of tombs. Every
step awakened a new train of thrilling recollections, for at every
step my eye caught the name of some one whose glory had exalted the
character of his native land and resounded across the waters of the
Atlantic. Philosophers, historians, musicians, warriors, and poets
slept side by side around me; some beneath the gorgeous monument, and
some beneath the simple headstone. But the political intrigue, the
dream of science, the historical research, the ravishing harmony of
sound, the tried courage, the inspiration of the lyre--where are they?
With the living, and not with the dead! The right hand has lost its
cunning in the grave; but the soul, whose high volitions it obeyed,
still lives to reproduce itself in ages yet to come.

Amid these graves of genius I observed here and there a splendid
monument, which had been raised by the pride of family over the dust
of men who could lay no claim either to the gratitude or remembrance
of posterity. Their presence seemed like an intrusion into the
sanctuary of genius. What had wealth to do there? Why should it crowd
the dust of the great? That was no thoroughfare of business--no mart
of gain! There were no costly banquets there; no silken garments, nor
gaudy liveries, nor obsequious attendants! "What servants," says
Jeremy Taylor, "shall we have to wait upon us in the grave? what
friends to visit us? what officious people to cleanse away the moist
and unwholesome cloud reflected upon our faces from the sides of the
weeping vaults, which are the longest weepers for our funerals?"
Material wealth gives a factitious superiority to the living, but the
treasures of intellect give a real superiority to the dead; and the
rich man, who would not deign to walk the street with the starving and
penniless man of genius, deems it an honor, when death has redeemed
the fame of the neglected, to have his ashes laid beside him, and to
claim with him the silent companionship of the grave.

I continued my walk through the numerous winding paths, as chance or
curiosity directed me. Now I was lost in a little green hollow
overhung with thick-leaved shrubbery, and then came out upon an
elevation, from which, through an opening in the trees, the eye caught
glimpses of the city, and the little esplanade at the foot of the hill
where the poor lie buried. There poverty hires its grave and takes but
a short lease of the narrow house. At the end of a few months, or at
most of a few years, the tenant is dislodged to give place to another,
and he in turn to a third. "Who," says Sir Thomas Browne, "knows the
fate of his bones, or how often he is to be buried? Who hath the
oracle of his ashes, or whither they are to be scattered?"

Yet even in that neglected corner the hand of affection had been busy
in decorating the hired house. Most of the graves were surrounded with
a slight wooden paling, to secure them from the passing footstep;
there was hardly one so deserted as not to be marked with its little
wooden cross and decorated with a garland of flowers; and here and
there I could perceive a solitary mourner, clothed in black, stooping
to plant a shrub on the grave, or sitting in motionless sorrow beside
it.

As I passed on amid the shadowy avenues of the cemetery, I could not
help comparing my own impressions with those which others have felt
when walking alone among the dwellings of the dead. Are, then, the
sculptured urn and storied monument nothing more than symbols of
family pride? Is all I see around me a memorial of the living more
than of the dead, an empty show of sorrow, which thus vaunts itself in
mournful pageant and funeral parade? Is it indeed true, as some have
said, that the simple wild flower which springs spontaneously upon the
grave, and the rose which the hand of affection plants there, are
fitter objects wherewith to adorn the narrow house? No! I feel that it
is not so! Let the good and the great be honored even in the grave.
Let the sculptured marble direct our footsteps to the scene of their
long sleep; let the chiseled epitaph repeat their names, and tell us
where repose the nobly good and wise! It is not true that all are
equal in the grave. There is no equality even there. The mere handful
of dust and ashes, the mere distinction of prince and beggar, of a
rich winding sheet and a shroudless burial, of a solitary grave and a
family vault--were this all, then, indeed it would be true that death
is a common leveler. Such paltry distinctions as those of wealth and
poverty are soon leveled by the spade and mattock; the damp breath of
the grave blots them out forever. But there are other distinctions
which even the mace of death can not level or obliterate. Can it break
down the distinction of virtue and vice? Can it confound the good with
the bad? the noble with the base? all that is truly great, and pure,
and godlike, with all that is scorned, and sinful, and degraded? No!
Then death is not a common leveler!...

Before I left the graveyard the shades of evening had fallen, and the
objects around me grown dim and indistinct. As I passed the gateway, I
turned to take a parting look. I could distinguish only the chapel on
the summit of the hill, and here and there a lofty obelisk of
snow-white marble, rising from the black and heavy mass of foliage
around, and pointing upward to the gleam of the departed sun, that
still lingered in the sky, and mingled with the soft starlight of a
summer evening.



EDGAR ALLAN POE

     Born in 1809, died in 1849; his father and mother actors;
     adopted by John Allan of Richmond after his mother's death;
     educated in Richmond, in England, at the University of
     Virginia, and at West Point; published "Tamerlane" in 1827;
     settled in Baltimore and devoted himself to literature;
     editor of several magazines 1835-44; published "The Raven"
     in 1845, "Al Aaraaf" in 1829, "Tales of the Grotesque and
     Arabesque" in 1840.



I

THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO[2]


It was about dusk, one evening during the supreme madness of the
carnival season, that I encountered my friend. He accosted me with
excessive warmth, for he had been drinking much. The man wore motley.
He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress, and his head was
surmounted by the conical cap and bells. I was so pleased to see him
that I thought I should never have done wringing his hand.

[Footnote 2: Published in _Godey's Magazine_ in 1846.]

I said to him: "My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met. How remarkable
well you are looking to-day! But I have received a pipe of what passes
for Amontillado, and I have my doubts."

"How?" said he. "Amontillado? A pipe? Impossible! And in the middle of
the carnival!"

"I have my doubts," I replied; "and I was silly enough to pay the full
Amontillado price without consulting you in the matter. You were not
to be found, and I was fearful of losing a bargain."

"Amontillado!"

"I have my doubts--"

"Amontillado!"

"And I must satisfy them."

"Amontillado!"

"As you are engaged, I am on my way to Luchesi. If any one has a
critical turn, it is he. He will tell me--"

"Luchesi can not tell Amontillado from Sherry."

"And yet some fools will have it that his taste is a match for your
own."

"Come, let us go."

"Whither?"

"To your vaults."

"My friend, no; I will not impose upon your good nature. I perceive
you have an engagement. Luchesi--"

"I have no engagement; come."

"My friend, no. It is not the engagement, but the severe cold with
which I perceive you are afflicted. The vaults are insufferably damp.
They are encrusted with niter."

"Let us go, nevertheless. The cold is merely nothing. Amontillado! You
have been imposed upon. And as for Luchesi, he can not distinguish
Sherry from Amontillado."

Thus speaking, Fortunato possest himself of my arm. Putting on a mask
of black silk, and drawing a _roquelaure_ closely about my person, I
suffered him to hurry me to my palazzo.

There were no attendants at home; they had absconded to make merry in
honor of the time. I had told them that I should not return until the
morning, and had given them explicit orders not to stir from the
house. These orders were sufficient, I well knew, to insure their
immediate disappearance, one and all, as soon as my back was turned.

I took from their sconces two flambeaux, and giving one to Fortunato,
bowed him through several suites of rooms to the archway that led into
the vaults. I passed down a long and winding staircase, requesting him
to be cautious as he followed. We came at length to the foot of the
descent, and stood together on the damp ground of the catacombs of the
Montresors.

The gait of my friend was unsteady, and the bells upon his cap jingled
as he strode.

"The pipe," said he.

"It is farther on," said I; "but observe the white web-work which
gleams from these cavern walls."

He turned toward me, and looked into my eyes with two filmy orbs that
distilled the rheum of intoxication.

"Niter?" he asked, at length.

"Niter," I replied. "How long have you had that cough?"

"Ugh! ugh! ugh--ugh! ugh! ugh!--ugh! ugh! ugh!--ugh! ugh! ugh!--ugh!
ugh! ugh!"

My poor friend found it impossible to reply for many minutes.

"It is nothing," he said, at last.

"Come," I said, with decision, "we will go back; your health is
precious. You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy,
as once I was. You are a man to be missed. For me it is no matter. We
will go back; you will be ill, and I can not be responsible. Besides,
there is Luchesi--"

"Enough," he said; "the cough is a mere nothing; it will not kill me.
I shall not die."

"True--true," I replied; "and, indeed, I had no intention of alarming
you unnecessarily--but you should use all proper caution. A draft of
this Medoc will defend us from the damps."

Here I knocked off the neck of a bottle which I drew from a long row
of its fellows that lay upon the mold.

"Drink," I said, presenting him the wine.

He raised it to his lips with a leer. He paused and nodded to me
familiarly, while his bells jingled.

"I drink," he said, "to the buried that repose around us."

"And I to your long life."

He again took my arm, and we proceeded.

"These vaults," he said, "are extensive."

"The Montresors," I replied, "were a great and numerous family."

"I forget your arms."

"A huge human foot d'or, in a field azure; the foot crushes a serpent
rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel."

"And the motto?"

_"Nemo me impune lacessit."_

"Good!" he said.

The wine sparkled in his eyes and the bells jingled. My own fancy grew
warm with the Medoc. We had passed through walls of piled bones, with
casks and puncheons intermingling, into the inmost recesses of the
catacombs. I paused again, and this time I made bold to seize
Fortunato by an arm above the elbow.

"The niter!" I said; "see, it increases. It hangs like moss upon the
vaults. We are below the river's bed. The drops of moisture trickle
among the bones. Come, we will go back ere it is too late. Your
cough--"

"It is nothing," he said; "let us go on. But first, another draft of
the Medoc."

I broke and reached him a flagon of De Grave. He emptied it at a
breath. His eyes flashed with a fierce light. He laughed and threw the
bottle upward with a gesticulation I did not understand.

I looked at him in surprize. He repeated the movement--a grotesque
one.

"You do not comprehend!" he said.

"Not I," I replied.

"Then you are not of the brotherhood."

"How?"

"You are not of the masons."

"Yes, yes," I said, "yes, yes."

"You? Impossible! A mason?"

"A mason," I replied.

"A sign," he said.

"It is this," I answered, producing a trowel from beneath the folds of
my _roquelaure_.

"You jest," he exclaimed, recoiling a few paces. "But let us proceed
to the Amontillado."

"Be it so," I said, replacing the tool beneath the cloak, and again
offering him my arm. He leaned upon it heavily. We continued our route
in search of the Amontillado. We passed through a range of low arches,
descended, passed on, and descending again, arrived at a deep crypt,
in which the foulness of the air caused our flambeaux rather to glow
than flame.

At the most remote end of the crypt there appeared another less
spacious. Its walls had been lined with human remains, piled to the
vault overhead, in the fashion of the great catacombs of Paris. Three
sides of this interior crypt were still ornamented in this manner.
From the fourth the bones had been thrown down, and lay promiscuously
upon the earth, forming at one point a mound of some size. Within the
walls thus exposed by the displacing of the bones, we perceived a
still interior recess, in depth about four feet, in width three, in
height six or seven. It seemed to have been constructed for no special
use within itself, but formed merely the interval between two of the
colossal supports of the roof of the catacombs, and was backed by one
of their circumscribing walls of solid granite.

It was in vain that Fortunato, uplifting his dull torch, endeavored to
pry into the depth of the recess. Its termination the feeble light did
not enable us to see.

"Proceed," I said, "herein is the Amontillado. As for Luchesi--"

"He is an ignoramus," interrupted my friend, as he stept unsteadily
forward, while I followed immediately at his heels. In an instant he
had reached the extremity of the niche, and finding his progress
arrested by the rock, stood stupidly bewildered. A moment more and I
had fettered him to the granite. In its surface were two iron staples,
distant from each other about two feet, horizontally. From one of
these depended a short chain, from the other a padlock. Throwing the
links about his waist, it was but the work of a few seconds to secure
it. He was too much astounded to resist. Withdrawing the key I stept
back from the recess.

"Pass your hand," I said, "over the wall; you can not help feeling the
niter. Indeed it is very damp. Once more let me implore you to return.
No? Then I must positively leave you. But I must first render you all
the little attentions in my power."

"The Amontillado!" ejaculated my friend, not yet recovered from his
astonishment.

"True," I replied; "the Amontillado."

As I said these words I busied myself among the pile of bones of which
I have before spoken. Throwing them aside, I soon uncovered a quantity
of building stone and mortar. With these materials and with the aid of
my trowel, I began vigorously to wall up the entrance of the niche.

I had scarcely laid the first tier of the masonry when I discovered
that the intoxication of Fortunato had in a great measure worn off.
The earliest indication I had of this was a low moaning cry from the
depth of the recess. It was _not_ the cry of a drunken man. There was
then a long and obstinate silence. I laid the second tier, and the
third, and the fourth; and then I heard the furious vibrations of the
chain. The noise lasted for several minutes, during which, that I
might harken to it with the more satisfaction, I ceased my labors and
sat down upon the bones. When at last the clanking subsided, I resumed
the trowel, and finished without interruption the fifth, the sixth,
and the seventh tier. The wall was now nearly upon a level with my
breast. I again paused, and holding the flambeaux over the mason-work,
threw a few feeble rays upon the figure within.

A succession of loud and shrill screams, bursting suddenly from the
throat of the chained form, seemed to thrust me violently back. For a
brief moment I hesitated--I trembled. Unsheathing my rapier, I began
to grope with it about the recess; but the thought of an instant
reassured me. I placed my hand upon the solid fabric of the catacombs,
and felt satisfied. I reapproached the wall. I replied to the yells of
him who clamored. I reechoed--I aided--I surpassed them in volume and
in strength. I did this, and the clamorer grew still.

It was now midnight, and my task was drawing to a close. I had
completed the eighth, the ninth, and the tenth tier. I had finished a
portion of the last and the eleventh; there remained but a single
stone to be fitted and plastered in. I struggled with its weight; I
placed it partially in its destined position. But now there came from
out the niche a low laugh that erected the hairs upon my head. It was
succeeded by a sad voice, which I had difficulty in recognizing as
that of the noble Fortunato. The voice said:

"Ha! ha! ha!--he! he!--a very good joke--indeed--an excellent jest. We
will have many a rich laugh about it at the palazzo--he! he! he!--over
our wine--he! he! he!"

"The Amontillado!" I said.

"He! he! he!--he! he! he!--yes, the Amontillado. But is it not getting
late? Will they not be awaiting us at the palazzo, the Lady Fortunato
and the rest? Let us be gone."

"Yes," I said, "let us be gone."

"For the love of God, Montresor!"

"Yes," I said, "for the love of God!"

But to these words I harkened in vain for a reply. I grew impatient. I
called aloud: "Fortunato!"

No answer. I called again: "Fortunato!"

No answer still. I thrust a torch through the remaining aperture and
let it fall within. There came forth in return only a jingling of the
bells. My heart grew sick--on account of the dampness of the
catacombs. I hastened to make an end of my labor. I forced the last
stone into its position; I plastered it up. Against the new masonry I
reerected the old rampart of bones. For the half of a century no
mortal has disturbed them. _In pace requiescat!_



II

OF HAWTHORNE AND THE SHORT STORY[3]


The reputation of the author of "Twice-Told Tales" has been confined,
until very lately, to literary society; and I have not been wrong,
perhaps, in citing him as the example, par excellence, in this
country, of the privately admired and publicly-unappreciated man of
genius. Within the last year or two, it is true, an occasional critic
has been urged, by honest indignation, into very warm approval. Mr.
Webber,[4] for instance (than whom no one has a keener relish for that
kind of writing which Mr. Hawthorne has best illustrated), gave us, in
a late number of _The American Review_, a cordial and certainly a full
tribute to his talents; and since the issue of the "Mosses from an Old
Manse" criticisms of similar tone have been by no means infrequent in
our more authoritative journals. I can call to mind few reviews of
Hawthorne published before the "Mosses." One I remember in _Arcturus_
(edited by Matthews and Duyckinck[5]) for May, 1841; another in the
_American Monthly_ (edited by Hoffman[6] and Herbert) for March, 1838;
a third in the ninety-sixth number of _The North American Review_.
These criticisms, however, seemed to have little effect on the popular
taste--at least, if we are to form any idea of the popular taste by
reference to its expression in the newspapers, or by the sale of the
author's book. It was never the fashion (until lately) to speak of
him in any summary of our best authors....

[Footnote 3: From a review of Hawthorne's "Twice Told Tales" and
"Mosses from an Old Manse," published in _Godey's Magazine_ in 1846.
Except for an earlier notice by Longfellow in _The North American
Review_, this was the first notable recognition Hawthorne's stories
received from a contemporary critic.]

[Footnote 4: Charles Wilkens Webber, magazine writer and author of a
dozen books now forgotten, was a native of Kentucky who settled in New
York. In 1855 he joined William Walker in his filibustering expedition
to Central America, and was killed in the battle of Rivas.]

[Footnote 5: Evert A. Duyckinck, joint editor with his brother of the
"Cyclopedia of American Literature."]

[Footnote 6: Charles Fenno Hoffman, poet, novelist, and critic, was
related to Mathilda Hoffman, the sweetheart of Washington Irving.]

Beyond doubt, this inappreciation of him on the part of the public
arose chiefly from the two causes to which I have referred--from the
facts that he is neither a man of wealth nor a quack; but these are
insufficient to account for the whole effect. No small portion of it
is attributable to the very marked idiosyncrasy of Mr. Hawthorne
himself. In one sense, and in great measure, to be peculiar is to be
original, and than the true originality there is no higher literary
virtue. This true or commendable originality, however, implies not the
uniform, but the continuous peculiarity--a peculiarity springing from
ever-active vigor of fancy--better still if from ever-present force of
imagination, giving its own hue, its own character to everything it
touches, and, especially, self-impelled to touch everything....

The pieces in the volumes entitled "Twice-Told Tales" are now in their
third republication, and, of course, are thrice-told. Moreover, they
are by no means all tales, either in the ordinary or in the legitimate
understanding of the term. Many of them are pure essays. Of the Essays
I must be content to speak in brief. They are each and all beautiful,
without being characterized by the polish and adaptation so visible in
the tales proper. A painter would at once note their leading or
predominant feature, and style it repose. There is no attempt at
effect. All is quiet, thoughtful, subdued. Yet this repose may exist
simultaneously with high originality of thought; and Mr. Hawthorne has
demonstrated the fact. At every turn we meet with novel combinations;
yet these combinations never surpass the limits of the quiet. We are
soothed as we read; and withal is a calm astonishment that ideas so
apparently obvious have never occurred or been presented to us before.
Herein our author differs materially from Lamb or Hunt or
Hazlitt--who, with vivid originality of manner and expression, have
less of the true novelty of thought than is generally supposed, and
whose originality, at best, has an uneasy and meretricious quaintness,
replete with startling effects unfounded in nature, and inducing
trains of reflection which lead to no satisfactory result. The essays
of Hawthorne have much of the character of Irving, with more of
originality, and less of finish; while, compared with the _Spectator_,
they have a vast superiority at all points. The Spectator, Mr. Irving
and Hawthorne have in common that tranquil and subdued manner which I
have chosen to denominate repose; but, in the ease of the two former,
this repose is attained rather by the absence of novel combination, or
of originality, than otherwise, and consists chiefly in the calm,
quiet, unostentatious expression of commonplace thoughts, in an
unambitious, unadulterated Saxon. In them, by strong effort, we are
made to conceive the absence of all. In the essays before me the
absence of effort is too obvious to be mistaken, and a strong
undercurrent of suggestion runs continuously beneath the upper stream
of the tranquil thesis. In short, these effusions of Mr. Hawthorne are
the product of a truly imaginative intellect, restrained, and in some
measure represt by fastidiousness of taste, by constitutional
melancholy, and by indolence.

But it is of his tales that I desire principally to speak. The tale
proper, in my opinion, affords unquestionably the fairest field for
the exercise of the loftiest talent which can be afforded by the wide
domains of mere prose. Were I bidden to say how the highest genius
could be most advantageously employed for the best display of its own
powers, I should answer, without hesitation--in the composition of a
rimed poem, not to exceed in length what might be perused in an hour.
Within this limit alone can the highest order of true poetry exist. I
need only here say, upon this topic, that, in almost all classes of
composition, the unity of effect or impression is a point of the
greatest importance. It is clear, moreover, that this unity can not be
thoroughly preserved in productions whose perusal can not be completed
at one sitting. We may continue the reading of a prose composition,
from the very nature of prose itself, much longer than we can
persevere, to any good purpose, in the perusal of a poem. This latter,
if truly fulfilling the demands of the poetic sentiment, induces an
exaltation of the soul which can not be long sustained. All high
excitements are necessarily transient. Thus a long poem is a paradox.
And, without unity of impression, the deepest effects can not be
brought about. Epics were the offspring of an imperfect sense of art,
and their reign is no more. A poem too brief may produce a vivid, but
never an intense or enduring impression. Without a certain continuity
of effort--without a certain duration or repetition of purpose--the
soul is never deeply moved. There must be the dropping of the water
upon the rock. De Béranger has wrought brilliant things--pungent and
spirit-stirring--but, like all impassive bodies, they lack momentum,
and thus fail to satisfy the poetic sentiment. They sparkle and
excite, but, from want of continuity, fail deeply to impress. Extreme
brevity will degenerate into epigrammatism; but the sin of extreme
length is even more unpardonable. _In medio tutissimus ibis._ Were I
called upon, however, to designate that class of composition which,
next to such a poem as I have suggested, should best fulfil the
demands of high genius--should offer it the most advantageous field of
exertion--I should unhesitatingly speak of the prose tale, as Mr.
Hawthorne has here exemplified it. I allude to the short prose
narrative, requiring from a half-hour to one or two hours in its
perusal.

Of Mr. Hawthorne's "Tales" we would say, emphatically that they belong
to the highest region of art--an art subservient to genius of a very
lofty order.... We know of few compositions which the critic can more
honestly commend than these "Twice-Told Tales." As Americans, we feel
proud of the book.

Mr. Hawthorne's distinctive trait is invention, creation, imagination,
originality--a trait which, in the literature of fiction, is
positively worth all the rest. But the nature of the originality, so
far as regards its manifestation in letters, is but imperfectly
understood. The inventive or original mind as frequently displays
itself in novelty of tone as in novelty of matter. Mr. Hawthorne is
original in all points. It would be a matter of some difficulty to
designate the best of these tales; we repeat that, without exception,
they are beautiful.

He has the purest style, the finest taste, the most available
scholarship, the most delicate humor, the most touching pathos, the
most radiant imagination, the most consummate ingenuity; and with
these varied good qualities he has done well as a mystic. But is there
any one of these qualities which should prevent his doing doubly as
well in a career of honest, upright, sensible, prehensible and
comprehensible things? Let him mend his pen, get a bottle of visible
ink, come out from the "Old Manse," cut Mr. Alcott, hang (if possible)
the editor of The Dial, and throw out of the window to the pigs all
his odd numbers of _The North American Review_.



III

OF WILLIS, BRYANT, HALLECK, AND MACAULAY[7]


Whatever may be thought of Mr. Willis's talents, there can be no doubt
about the fact that, both as an author and as a man, he has made a
good deal of noise in the world--at least for an American. His
literary life, in especial, has been one continual emeute; but then
his literary character is modified or impelled in a very remarkable
degree by his personal one. His success (for in point of fame, if of
nothing else, he has certainly been successful) is to be attributed
one-third to his mental ability and two-thirds to his physical
temperament--the latter goading him into the accomplishment of what
the former merely gave him the means of accomplishing.... At a very
early age, Mr. Willis seems to have arrived at an understanding that,
in a republic such as ours, the mere man of letters must ever be a
cipher, and endeavored, accordingly, to unite the eclat of the
litterateur with that of the man of fashion or of society. He "pushed
himself," went much into the world, made friends with the gentler sex,
"delivered" poetical addresses, wrote "scriptural" poems, traveled,
sought the intimacy of noted women, and got into quarrels with
notorious men. All these things served his purpose--if, indeed, I am
right in supposing that he had any purpose at all. It is quite
probable that, as before hinted, he acted only in accordance with his
physical temperament; but, be this as it may, his personal greatly
advanced, if it did not altogether establish his literary fame. I have
often carefully considered whether, without the physique of which I
speak, there is that in the absolute morale of Mr. Willis which would
have earned him reputation as a man of letters, and my conclusion is
that he could not have failed to become noted in some degree under
almost any circumstances, but that about two-thirds (as above stated)
of his appreciation by the public should be attributed to those
adventures which grew immediately out of his animal constitution.

[Footnote 7: Passages selected from articles now printed in Volume II
of the "Works of Poe," as published in New York in 1876.]

Mr. Bryant's position in the poetical world is, perhaps, better
settled than that of any American. There is less difference of opinion
about his rank; but, as usual, the agreement is more decided in
private literary circles than in what appears to be the public
expression of sentiment as gleaned from the press. I may as well
observe here, too, that this coincidence of opinion in private circles
is in all cases very noticeable when compared with the discrepancy of
the apparent public opinion. In private it is quite a rare thing to
find any strongly-marked disagreement--I mean, of course, about mere
authorial merit.... It will never do to claim for Bryant a genius of
the loftiest order, but there has been latterly, since the days of Mr.
Longfellow and Mr. Lowell, a growing disposition to deny him genius in
any respect. He is now commonly spoken of as "a man of high poetical
talent, very 'correct,' with a warm appreciation of the beauty of
nature and great descriptive powers, but rather too much of the
old-school manner of Cowper, Goldsmith and Young." This is the truth,
but not the whole truth. Mr. Bryant has genius, and that of a marked
character, but it has been overlooked by modern schools, because
deficient in those externals which have become in a measure symbolical
of those schools.

The name of Halleck is at least as well established in the poetical
world as that of any American. Our principal poets are, perhaps, most
frequently named in this order--Bryant, Halleck, Dana, Sprague,[8]
Longfellow, Willis, and so on--Halleck coming second in the series,
but holding, in fact, a rank in the public opinion quite equal to that
of Bryant. The accuracy of the arrangement as above made may, indeed,
be questioned. For my own part, I should have it thus--Longfellow,
Bryant, Halleck, Willis, Sprague, Dana; and, estimating rather the
poetic capacity than the poems actually accomplished, there are three
or four comparatively unknown writers whom I would place in the series
between Bryant and Halleck, while there are about a dozen whom I
should assign a position between Willis and Sprague. Two dozen at
least might find room between Sprague and Dana--this latter, I fear,
owing a very large portion of his reputation to his quondam editorial
connection with _The North American Review_. One or two poets, now in
my mind's eye, I should have no hesitation in posting above even Mr.
Longfellow--still not intending this as very extravagant praise....
Mr. Halleck, in the apparent public estimate, maintains a somewhat
better position than that to which, on absolute grounds, he is
entitled. There is something, too, in the bonhomie of certain of his
compositions--something altogether distinct from poetic merit--which
has aided to establish him; and much also must be admitted on the
score of his personal popularity, which is deservedly great. With all
these allowances, however, there will still be found a large amount of
poetical fame to which he is fairly entitled.... Personally he is a
man to be admired, respected, but more especially beloved. His address
has all the captivating bonhomie which is the leading feature of his
poetry, and, indeed, of his whole moral nature. With his friends he
is all ardor, enthusiasm and cordiality, but to the world at large he
is reserved, shunning society, into which he is seduced only with
difficulty, and upon rare occasions. The love of solitude seems to
have become with him a passion.

[Footnote 8: Charles Sprague, born in Boston in 1791, was known in his
own day as "the American Pope."]

Macaulay has obtained a reputation which, altho deservedly great, is
yet in a remarkable measure undeserved. The few who regard him merely
as a terse, forcible and logical writer, full of thought, and
abounding in original views, often sagacious and never otherwise than
admirably exprest--appear to us precisely in the right. The many who
look upon him as not only all this, but as a comprehensive and
profound thinker, little prone to error, err essentially themselves.
The source of the general mistake lies in a very singular
consideration--yet in one upon which we do not remember ever to have
heard a word of comment. We allude to a tendency in the public mind
toward logic for logic's sake--a liability to confound the vehicle
with the conveyed--an aptitude to be so dazzled by the luminousness
with which an idea is set forth as to mistake it for the luminousness
of the idea itself. The error is one exactly analogous with that which
leads the immature poet to think himself sublime wherever he is
obscure, because obscurity is a source of the sublime--thus
confounding obscurity of expression with the expression of obscurity.
In the case of Macaulay--and we may say, _en passant_, of our own
Channing--we assent to what he says too often because we so very
clearly understand what it is that he intends to say. Comprehending
vividly the points and the sequence of his argument, we fancy that we
are concurring in the argument itself. It is not every mind which is
at once able to analyze the satisfaction it receives from such essays
as we see here. If it were merely beauty of style for which they were
distinguished--if they were remarkable only for rhetorical
flourishes--we would not be apt to estimate these flourishes at more
than their due value. We would not agree with the doctrines of the
essayist on account of the elegance with which they were urged. On the
contrary, we would be inclined to disbelief. But when all ornament
save that of simplicity is disclaimed--when we are attacked by
precision of language, by perfect accuracy of expression, by
directness and singleness of thought, and above all by a logic the
most rigorously close and consequential--it is hardly a matter for
wonder that nine of us out of ten are content to rest in the
gratification thus received as in the gratification of absolute
truth.



OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES

     Born in 1809, died in 1894; professor in the Medical School
     of Harvard in 1847-82; wrote for the _Atlantic Monthly_ "The
     Autocrat of the Breakfast Table" in 1857-58, "The Professor
     at the Breakfast Table" in 1859, "The Poet at the Breakfast
     Table" in 1872; published "Elsie Venner" in 1861, "The
     Guardian Angel" in 1868, "A Mortal Antipathy" in 1885; a
     collection of verse entitled "Songs in Many Keys" in 1861,
     "Humorous Poems" in 1865, "Songs of Many Seasons," in 1874,
     "Before the Curfew" in 1888; also wrote volumes of essays
     and memoirs of Emerson and Motley.



I

OF DOCTORS, LAWYERS, AND MINISTERS[9]


"What is your general estimate of doctors, lawyers, and ministers?"
said I.

"Wait a minute, till I have got through with your first question,"
said the Master. "One thing at a time. You asked me about the young
doctors, and about our young doctors, they come home _très bien
chaussés_, as a Frenchman would say, mighty well shod with
professional knowledge. But when they begin walking round among their
poor patients--they don't commonly start with millionaires--they find
that their new shoes of scientific acquirements have got to be broken
in just like a pair of boots or brogans. I don't know that I have put
it quite strong enough. Let me try again. You've seen those fellows at
the circus that get up on horseback, so big that you wonder how they
could climb into the saddle. But pretty soon they throw off their
outside coat, and the next minute another one, and then the one under
that, and so they keep peeling off one garment after another till
people begin to look queer and think they are going too far for strict
propriety. Well, that is the way a fellow with a real practical turn
serves a good many of his scientific wrappers--flings 'em off for
other people to pick up, and goes right at the work of curing
stomach-aches and all the other little mean unscientific complaints
that make up the larger part of every doctor's business. I think our
Dr. Benjamin is a worthy young man, and if you are in need of a doctor
at any time I hope you will go to him; and if you come off without
harm, I will--recommend some other friend to try him."

[Footnote 9: From Chapter V of "The Poet at the Breakfast Table."
Copyright, 1872, 1891, by Oliver Wendell Holmes. Published by
Houghton, Mifflin Company.]

I thought he was going to say he would try him in his own person; but
the Master is not fond of committing himself.

"Now I will answer your other question," he said. "The lawyers are the
cleverest men, the ministers are the most learned, and the doctors are
the most sensible."

"The lawyers are a picked lot, 'first scholars,' and the like, but
their business is as unsympathetic as Jack Ketch's. There is nothing
humanizing in their relations with their fellow creatures. They go for
the side that retains them. They defend the man they know to be a
rogue, and not very rarely throw suspicion on the man they know to be
innocent. Mind you, I am not finding fault with them--every side of a
case has a right to the best statement it admits of; but I say it does
not tend to make them sympathetic. Suppose in a case of Fever _vs._
Patient, the doctor should side with either party according to whether
the old miser or his expectant heir was his employer. Suppose the
minister should side with the Lord or the devil, according to the
salary offered, and other incidental advantages, where the soul of a
sinner was in question. You can see what a piece of work it would make
of their sympathies. But the lawyers are quicker witted than either of
the other professions, and abler men generally. They are good-natured,
or if they quarrel, their quarrels are above-board. I don't think they
are as accomplished as the ministers; but they have a way of cramming
with special knowledge for a case, which leaves a certain shallow
sediment of intelligence in their memories about a good many things.
They are apt to talk law in mixt company; and they have a way of
looking round when they make a point, as if they were addressing a
jury, that is mighty aggravating--as I once had occasion to see when
one of 'em, and a pretty famous one, put me on the witness stand at a
dinner party once.

"The ministers come next in point of talent. They are far more curious
and widely interested outside of their own calling than either of the
other professions. I like to talk with 'em. They are interesting men:
full of good feelings, hard workers, always foremost in good deeds,
and on the whole the most efficient civilizing class--working downward
from knowledge to ignorance, that is; not so much upward,
perhaps--that we have. The trouble is that so many of 'em work in
harness, and it is pretty sure to chafe somewhere. They feed us on
canned meats mostly. They cripple our instincts and reason, and give
us a crutch of doctrine. I have talked with a great many of 'em, of
all sorts of belief; and I don't think they are quite so easy in their
minds, the greater number of them, nor so clear in their convictions
as one would think to hear 'em lay down the law in the pulpit. They
used to lead the intelligence of their parishes; now they do pretty
well if they keep up with it, and they are very apt to lag behind it.
Then they must have a colleague. The old minister thinks he can hold
to his old course, sailing right into the wind's eye of human nature,
as straight as that famous old skipper John Bunyan; the young minister
falls off three or four points, and catches the breeze that left the
old man's sails all shivering. By-and-by the congregation will get
ahead of him, and then it must have another new skipper. The priest
holds his own pretty well; the minister is coming down every
generation nearer and nearer to the common level of the useful
citizen--no oracle at all, but a man of more than average moral
instincts, who, if he knows anything, knows how little he knows. The
ministers are good talkers, only the struggle between nature and grace
makes some of 'em a little awkward occasionally. The women do their
best to spoil 'em, as they do the poets. You find it pleasant to be
spoiled, no doubt; so do they. Now and then one of 'em goes over the
dam; no wonder--they're always in the rapids."

By this time our three ladies had their faces all turned toward the
speaker, like the weathercocks in a northeaster, and I thought it best
to switch off the talk on to another rail.

"How about the doctors?" I said.

"Theirs is the least learned of the professions, in this country at
least. They have not half the general culture of the lawyers, nor a
quarter of that of the ministers. I rather think, tho, they are more
agreeable to the common run of people than the men with the black
coats or the men with green bags. People can swear before 'em if they
want to, and they can't very well before ministers. I don't care
whether they want to swear or not, they don't want to be on their good
behavior. Besides, the minister has a little smack of the sexton about
him; he comes when people are _in extremis_, but they don't send for
him every time they make a slight moral slip--tell a lie, for
instance, or smuggle a silk dress through the custom-house: but they
call in the doctor when the child is cutting a tooth or gets a
splinter in its finger. So it doesn't mean much to send for him, only
a pleasant chat about the news of the day; for putting the baby to
rights doesn't take long. Besides, everybody doesn't like to talk
about the next world; people are modest in their desires, and find
this world as good as they deserve: but everybody loves to talk
physic. Everybody loves to hear of strange cases; people are eager to
tell the doctor of the wonderful cures they have heard of; they want
to know what is the matter with somebody or other who is said to be
suffering from "a complication of diseases," and above all to get a
hard name, Greek or Latin, for some complaint which sounds altogether
too commonplace in plain English. If you will only call a headache a
_Cephalalgia_, it acquires dignity at once, and a patient becomes
rather proud of it. So I think doctors are generally welcome in most
companies."



II

OF THE GENIUS OF EMERSON[10]


Emerson's was an Asiatic mind, drawing its sustenance partly from the
hard soil of our New England, partly, too, from the air that has known
Himalaya and the Ganges. So imprest with this character of his mind
was Mr. Burlingame,[11] as I saw him, after his return from his
mission, that he said to me, in a freshet of hyperbole, which was the
overflow of a channel with a thread of truth running in it, "There are
twenty thousand Ralph Waldo Emersons in China."

[Footnote 10: From an address before the Massachusetts Historical
Society in 1862. Published by Houghton, Mifflin Company.]

[Footnote 11: Anson Burlingame, famous in his time for treaties
negotiated between China and the United States, England, Denmark,
Sweden, Holland, and Prussia. His son, E. I. Burlingame, has long been
the editor of _Scribner's Magazine_.]

What could we do with this unexpected, unprovided for, unclassified,
half-unwelcome new-comer, who had been for a while potted, as it
were, in our Unitarian cold green-house, but had taken to growing so
fast that he was lifting off its glass roof and letting in the
hailstorms? Here was a protest that outflanked the extreme left of
liberalism, yet so calm and serene that its radicalism had the accents
of the gospel of peace. Here was an iconoclast without a hammer, who
took down our idols from their pedestals so tenderly that it seemed
like an act of worship.

The scribes and pharisees made light of his oracular sayings. The
lawyers could not find the witnesses to subpoena and the documents
to refer to when his case came before them, and turned him over to
their wives and daughters. The ministers denounced his heresies, and
handled his writings as if they were packages of dynamite, and the
grandmothers were as much afraid of his new teachings as old Mrs.
Piozzi[12] was of geology. We had had revolutionary orators,
reformers, martyrs; it was but a few years since Abner Kneeland had
been sent to jail for expressing an opinion about the great First
Cause; but we had had nothing like this man, with his seraphic voice
and countenance, his choice vocabulary, his refined utterance, his
gentle courage, which, with a different manner, might have been called
audacity, his temperate statement of opinions which threatened to
shake the existing order of thought like an earthquake.

[Footnote 12: Hester Lynch Salisbury, who married first Henry Thrale,
the English brewer, and second an Italian musician named Piozzi; but
her fame rests on her friendship of twenty years with Doctor Samuel
Johnson, of whom she wrote reminiscences, described by Carlyle as
"Piozzi's ginger beer."]

His peculiarities of style and of thinking became fertile parents of
mannerisms, which were fair game for ridicule as they appeared in his
imitators. For one who talks like Emerson or like Carlyle soon finds
himself surrounded by a crowd of walking phonographs, who mechanically
reproduce his mental and vocal accents. Emerson was before long
talking in the midst of a babbling Simonetta of echoes, and not
unnaturally was now and then himself a mark for the small-shot of
criticism. He had soon reached that height in the "cold thin
atmosphere" of thought where

                    "Vainly the fowler's eye
    Might mark his distant flight to do him wrong."

I shall add a few words, of necessity almost epigrammatic, upon his
work and character. He dealt with life, and life with him was not
merely this particular air-breathing phase of being, but the spiritual
existence which included it like a parenthesis between the two
infinities. He wanted his daily drafts of oxygen like his neighbors,
and was as thoroughly human as the plain people he mentions who had
successively owned or thought they owned the house-lot on which he
planted his hearthstone. But he was at home no less in the
interstellar spaces outside of all the atmospheres. The
semi-materialistic idealism of Milton was a gross and clumsy medium
compared to the imponderable ether of "The Over-soul" and the
unimaginable vacuum of "Brahma." He followed in the shining and daring
track of the _Graius homo_ of Lucretius:

          _"Vivida vis animi pervicit, et extra
    Processit longe flammantia moenia mundi."_

It always seemed to me as if he looked at this earth very much as a
visitor from another planet would look upon it. He was interested, and
to some extent curious about it, but it was not the first spheroid he
had been acquainted with, by any means. I have amused myself with
comparing his descriptions of natural objects with those of the Angel
Raphael in the seventh book of Paradise Lost. Emerson talks of his
titmouse as Raphael talks of his emmet. Angels and poets never deal
with nature after the manner of those whom we call naturalists.

To judge of him as a thinker, Emerson should have been heard as a
lecturer, for his manner was an illustration of his way of thinking.
He would lose his place just as his mind would drop its thought and
pick up another, twentieth cousin or no relation at all to it. This
went so far at times that one could hardly tell whether he was putting
together a mosaic of colored fragments, or only turning a kaleidoscope
where the pieces tumbled about as they best might. It was as if he had
been looking in at a cosmic peep-show, and turning from it at brief
intervals to tell us what he saw. But what fragments these colored
sentences were, and what pictures they often placed before us, as if
we too saw them! Never has this city known such audiences as he
gathered; never was such an Olympian entertainment as that which he
gave them.

It is very hard to speak of Mr. Emerson's poetry; not to do it
injustice, still more to do it justice. It seems to me like the robe
of a monarch patched by a New England housewife. The royal tint and
stuff are unmistakable, but here and there the gray worsted from the
darning-needle crosses and ekes out the Tyrian purple. Few poets who
have written so little in verse have dropped so many of those "jewels
five words long" which fall from their setting only to be more
choicely treasured. _E pluribus unum_ is scarcely more familiar to our
ears than "He builded better than he knew," and Keats's "thing of
beauty" is little better known than Emerson's "beauty is its own
excuse for being." One may not like to read Emerson's poetry because
it is sometimes careless, almost as if carefully so, tho never
undignified even when slipshod; spotted with quaint archaisms and
strange expressions that sound like the affectation of negligence, or
with plain, homely phrases such as the self-made scholar is always
afraid of. But if one likes Emerson's poetry he will be sure to love
it; if he loves it, its phrases will cling to him as hardly any others
do. It may not be for the multitude, but it finds its place like
pollen-dust and penetrates to the consciousness it is to fertilize and
bring to flower and fruit.

I have known something of Emerson as a talker, not nearly so much as
many others who can speak and write of him. It is unsafe to tell how a
great thinker talks, for perhaps, like a city dealer with a village
customer, he has not shown his best goods to the innocent reporter of
his sayings. However that may be in this case, let me contrast in a
single glance the momentary effect in conversation of the two
neighbors, Hawthorne and Emerson. Speech seemed like a kind of travail
to Hawthorne. One must harpoon him like a cetacean with questions to
make him talk at all. Then the words came from him at last, with
bashful manifestations, like those of a young girl, almost--words that
gasped themselves forth, seeming to leave a great deal more behind
them than they told, and died out discontented with themselves, like
the monologue of thunder in the sky, which always goes off mumbling
and grumbling as if it had not said half it wanted to, and ought to
say....

To sum up briefly what would, as it seems to me, be the text to be
unfolded in his biography, he was a man of excellent common sense,
with a genius so uncommon that he seemed like an exotic transplanted
from some angelic nursery. His character was so blameless, so
beautiful, that it was rather a standard to judge others by than to
find a place for on the scale of comparison. Looking at life with the
profoundest sense of its infinite significance, he was yet a cheerful
optimist, almost too hopeful, peeping into every cradle to see if it
did not hold a babe with the halo of a new Messiah about it. He
enriched the treasure-house of literature, but, what was far more, he
enlarged the boundaries of thought for the few that followed him, and
the many who never knew, and do not know to-day, what hand it was
which took down their prison walls. He was a preacher who taught that
the religion of humanity included both those of Palestine, nor those
alone, and taught it with such consecrated lips that the narrowest
bigot was ashamed to pray for him, as from a footstool nearer to the
throne. "Hitch your wagon to a star": this was his version of the
divine lesson taught by that holy George Herbert whose words he
loved. Give him whatever place belongs to him in our literature, in
the literature of our language, of the world, but remember this: the
end and aim of his being was to make truth lovely and manhood
valorous, and to bring our daily life nearer and nearer to the
eternal, immortal, invisible.



III

THE HOUSE IN WHICH THE PROFESSOR LIVED[13]


"This is the shortest way," she said, as we came to a corner.

"Then we won't take it," said I. The schoolmistress laughed a little,
and said she was ten minutes early, so she could go around.

[Footnote 13: From Part X of "The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table."
Published by Houghton, Mifflin Company.]

We walked around Mr. Paddock's row of English elms. The gray squirrels
were out looking for their breakfasts, and one of them came toward us
in light, soft, intermittent leaps, until he was close to the rail of
the burial ground. He was on a grave with a broad blue slate-stone at
its head, and a shrub growing on it. The stone said this was the grave
of a young man who was the son of an honorable gentleman, and who died
a hundred years ago and more. Oh, yes, died--with a small triangular
mark in one breast, and another smaller opposite, in his back, where
another young man's rapier had slid through his body; and so he lay
down out there on the Common, and was found cold the next morning,
with the night dews and the death dews mingled on his forehead.

"Let us have one look at poor Benjamin's grave," said I. "His bones
lie where his body was laid so long ago, and where the stone says they
lie--which is more than can be said of most of the tenants of this and
several other burial grounds....

"Stop before we turn away, and breathe a woman's sigh over poor
Benjamin's dust. Love killed him, I think. Twenty years old, and out
there fighting another young fellow on the common, in the cool of that
old July evening; yes, there must have been love at the bottom of it."

The schoolmistress dropt a rosebud she had in her hand through the
rails, upon the grave of Benjamin Woolbridge. That was all her comment
upon what I told her. "How women love Love!" said I; but she did not
speak.

We came opposite the head of a place or court running eastward from
the main street. "Look down there," I said; "my friend, the Professor,
lived in that house, at the left hand, next the further corner, for
years and years. He died out of it, the other day." "Died?" said the
schoolmistress. "Certainly," said I. "We die out of houses, just as we
die out of our bodies. A commercial smash kills a hundred men's homes
for them, as a railroad crash kills their mortal frames and drives out
the immortal tenants. Men sicken of houses until at last they quit
them, as the soul leaves its body when it is tired of its infirmities.
The body has been called 'the house we live in'; the house is quite
as much the body we live in. Shall I tell you some things the
Professor said the other day?" "Do!" said the schoolmistress.

"'A man's body,' said the Professor, 'is whatever is occupied by his
will and his sensibility. The small room down there, where I wrote
those papers you remember reading, was much more a part of my body
than a paralytic's senseless and motionless arm or leg is of his.

"'The soul of a man has a series of concentric envelopes around it,
like the core of an onion, or the innermost of a nest of boxes. First,
he has his natural garment of flesh and blood. Then his artificial
integuments, with their true skin of solid stuffs, their cuticle of
lighter tissues, and their variously tinted pigments. Third, his
domicile, be it a single chamber or a stately mansion. And then, the
whole visible world, in which Time buttons him up as in a loose
outside wrapper.

"'You shall observe,' the Professor said, for like Mr. John Hunter and
other great men, he brings in that 'shall' with great effect
sometimes, 'you shall observe that a man's clothing or series of
envelopes after a certain time mold themselves upon his individual
nature. We know this of our hats, and are always reminded of it when
we happen to put them on wrong side foremost. We soon find that the
beaver is a hollow cast of the skull, with all its irregular bumps and
depressions. Just so all that clothes a man, even to the blue sky
which caps his head--a little loosely--shapes itself to fit each
particular being beneath it. Farmers, sailors, astronomers, poets,
lovers, condemned criminals, all find it different, according to the
eyes with which they severally look.

"'But our houses shape themselves palpably on our inner and outer
natures. See a householder breaking up and you will be sure of it.
There is a shellfish which builds all manner of smaller shells into
the walls of its own. A house is never a home until we have crusted it
with the spoils of a hundred lives besides those of our own past. See
what these are, and you can tell what the occupant is.

"'I had no idea,' said the Professor, 'until I pulled up my domestic
establishment the other day, what an enormous quantity of roots I had
been making the years I was planted there. Why, there wasn't a nook or
a corner that some fiber had not worked its way into; and when I gave
the last wrench, each of them seemed to shriek like a mandrake, as it
broke its hold and came away.

"'There is nothing that happens, you know, which must not inevitably,
and which does not actually, photograph itself in every conceivable
aspect and in all dimensions. The infinite galleries of the Past await
but one brief process, and all their pictures will be called out and
fixt forever. We had a curious illustration of the great fact on a
very humble scale. When a certain bookcase, long standing in one
place, for which it was built, was removed, there was the exact image
on the wall of the whole, and of many of its portions. But in the
midst of this picture was another--the precise outline of a map which
hung on the wall before the bookcase was built. We had all forgotten
everything about the map until we saw its photograph on the wall.
Then we remembered it, as some day or other we may remember a sin
which has been built over and covered up, when this lower universe is
pulled away from the wall of Infinity, where the wrongdoing stands,
self-recorded.'

"The Professor lived in that house a long time--not twenty years, but
pretty near it. When he entered that door, two shadows glided over the
threshold; five lingered in the doorway when he passed through it for
the last time--and one of the shadows was claimed by its owner to be
longer than his own. What changes he saw in that quiet place! Death
rained through every roof but his; children came into life, grew to
maturity; wedded, faded away, threw themselves away; the whole drama
of life was played in that stock company's theater of a dozen houses,
one of which was his, and no deep sorrow or severe calamity ever
entered his dwelling. 'Peace be to those walls forever,' the Professor
said, for the many pleasant years he has passed within them.

"The Professor has a friend, now living at a distance, who has been
with him in many of his changes of place, and who follows him in
imagination with tender interest wherever he goes. In that little
court, where he lived in gay loneliness so long--in his autumnal
sojourn by the Connecticut, where it comes loitering down from its
mountain fastnesses like a great lord, swallowing up the small
proprietary rivulets very quietly as it goes, until it gets proud and
swollen and wantons in huge luxurious oxbows about the fair
Northampton meadows, and at last overflows the oldest inhabitant's
memory in profligate freshets at Hartford and all along its lower
shores--up in that caravansary on the banks of the stream where
Ledyard launched his log canoe, and the jovial old Colonel used to
lead the commencement processions--where blue Ascutney looked down
from the far distance, and the hills of Beulah, as the Professor
always called them, rolled up the opposite horizon in soft climbing
masses, so suggestive of the Pilgrim's Heavenward Path that he used to
look through his old 'Dollond' to see if the Shining Ones were not
within range of sight--sweet visions, sweetest in those Sunday walks
that carried them by the peaceful common, through the solemn village
lying in cataleptic stillness under the shadows of the rod of Moses,
to the terminus of their harmless stroll--the 'patulous fage,' in the
Professor's classic dialect--the spreading beech, in more familiar
phrase--[stop and breathe here a moment, for the sentence is not done
yet, and We have another long journey before us.]

"--and again once more up among those other hills that shut in the
amber-flowing Housatonic--dark stream, but clear, like the lucid orbs
that shine beneath the lids of auburn-haired, sherry-wine-eyed
demiblondes--in the home overlooking the winding stream and the
smooth, flat meadow; looked down upon by wild hills, where the tracks
of bears and catamounts may yet sometimes be seen upon the winter
snow; facing the twin summits which rise in the far North, the highest
waves of the great land storm in this billowy region--suggestive to
mad fancies of the breasts of a half-buried Titaness, stretched out by
a stray thunderbolt, and hastily hidden away beneath the leaves of
the forest--in that home where seven blest summers were passed, which
stand in memory like the seven golden candlesticks in the beatific
vision of the holy dreamer--

"--in that modest dwelling we were just looking at, not glorious, yet
not unlovely in the youth of its drab and mahogany--full of great and
little boys' playthings from top to bottom--in all these summer or
winter nests he was always at home and always welcome.

"This long articulated sigh of reminiscences--this calenture which
shows me the maple-shadowed plains of Berkshire and the
mountain-circled green of Grafton beneath the salt waves that come
feeling their way along the wall at my feet, restless and
soft-touching as blind men's busy fingers--is for that friend of mine
who looks into the waters of the Patapsco and sees beneath them the
same visions that paint themselves for me in the green depths of the
Charles."

Did I talk all this off to the schoolmistress? Why, no--of course not.
I have been talking with you, the reader, for the last ten minutes.
You don't think I should expect any woman to listen to such a sentence
as that long one, without giving her a chance to put in a word?

What did I say to the schoolmistress? Permit me one moment. I don't
doubt your delicacy and good-breeding; but in this particular case, as
I was allowed the privilege of walking alone with a very interesting
young woman, you must allow me to remark, in the classic version of a
familiar phrase, used by our Master Benjamin Franklin, it is _nullum
tui negotii_.

When the schoolmistress and I reached the schoolroom door, the damask
roses I spoke of were so much heightened in color by exercise that I
felt sure it would be useful to her to take a stroll like this every
morning, and made up my mind I would ask her to let me join her again.



IV

OF WOMEN WHO PUT ON AIRS[14]


I can't say just how many walks she (the schoolmistress) and I had
taken together before this one. I found the effect of going out every
morning was decidedly favorable on her health. Two pleasing dimples,
the places for which were just marked when she came, played, shadowy,
in her freshening cheeks when she smiled and nodded good-morning to me
from the schoolhouse steps.

[Footnote 14: From Part XI of "The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table."
Published by Houghton, Mifflin Company.]

I am afraid I did the greater part of the talking. At any rate, if I
should try to report all that I said during the first half-dozen walks
we took together, I fear that I might receive a gentle hint from my
friends the publishers that a separate volume, at my own risk and
expense, would be the proper method of bringing them before the
public.

I would have a woman as true as death. At the first real lie which
works from the heart outward she should be tenderly chloroformed into
a better world, where she can have an angel for a governess, and feed
on strange fruits which will make her all over again, even to her
bones and marrow. Whether gifted with the accident of beauty or not,
she should have been molded in the rose-red clay of love before the
breath of life made a moving mortal of her. Love capacity is a
congenital endowment; and I think, after a while, one gets to know the
warm-hued natures it belongs to from the pretty pipe-clay counterfeits
of it. Proud she may be, in the sense of respecting herself; but
pride, in the sense of contemning others less gifted than herself,
deserves the two lowest circles of a vulgar woman's Inferno, where the
punishments are smallpox and bankruptcy. She who nips off the end of a
brittle courtesy, as one breaks the tip of an icicle, to bestow upon
those whom she ought cordially and kindly to recognize, proclaims the
fact that she comes not merely of low blood, but of bad blood.
Consciousness of unquestioned position makes people gracious in proper
measure to all; but if a woman puts on airs with her real equals, she
has something about herself or her family she is ashamed of, or ought
to be. Middle, and more than middle-aged people, who know family
histories, generally see through it. An official of standing was rude
to me once. "Oh, that is the maternal grandfather," said a wise old
friend to me, "he was a boor." Better too few words, from the woman we
love, than too many: while she is silent, Nature is working for her;
while she talks, she is working for herself. Love is sparingly soluble
in the words of men; therefore they speak much of it; but one
syllable of woman's speech can dissolve more of it than a man's heart
can hold.

Whether I said any or all of these things to the schoolmistress or
not--whether I stole them put of Lord Bacon--whether I cribbed them
from Balzac--whether I dipt them from the ocean of Tupperian
wisdom--or whether I have just found them in my head (laid there by
that solemn fowl, Experience, who, according to my observation,
cackles oftener than she drops real, live eggs), I can not say. Wise
men have said more foolish things--and foolish men, I don't doubt,
have said as wise things. Anyhow, the schoolmistress and I had
pleasant walks and long talks, all of which I do not feel bound to
report.

You are a stranger to me, Ma'am.--I don't doubt you would like to know
all I said to the schoolmistress.--I shan't do it; I had rather get
the publishers to return the money you have invested in this. Besides,
I have forgotten a good deal of it. I shall tell only what I like of
what I remember.



MARGARET FULLER

     Born in Massachusetts in 1810; lost in a shipwreck off Fire
     Island in 1850; edited _The Dial_ in 1840-42; literary
     critic for the New York _Tribune_ in 1844-46; went to Europe
     in 1846; married the Marquis d'Ossoli in 1847; in Rome
     during the Revolution of 1848-49; published "A Summer on the
     Lakes" in 1843, "Woman in the Nineteenth Century" in 1845,
     "Papers on Art and Literature" in 1846.



I

HER VISIT TO GEORGE SAND[15]


It is the custom to go and call on those to whom you bring letters,
and push yourself upon their notice; thus you must go quite ignorant
whether they are disposed to be cordial. My name is always murdered by
the foreign servants who announce me. I speak very bad French; only
lately have I had sufficient command of it to infuse some of my
natural spirit in my discourse. This has been a great trial to me, who
am eloquent and free in my own tongue, to be forced to feel my
thoughts struggling in vain for utterance.

[Footnote 15: From a letter to Elizabeth Hoar, written in 1847 and
printed in the "Memoirs."]

The servant who admitted me was in the picturesque costume of a
peasant, and as Madame Sand afterward told me, her goddaughter, whom
she had brought from her province. She announced me as "Madame
Salère," and returned into the anteroom to tell me, "Madame says she
does not know you." I began to think I was doomed to rebuff among the
crowd who deserve it. However, to make assurance sure, I said, "Ask if
she has received a letter from me." As I spoke Madame Sand opened the
door, and stood looking at me an instant. Our eyes met.

I never shall forget her look at that moment. The doorway made a frame
for her figure; she is large but well formed. She was drest in a robe
of dark-violet silk, with a black mantle on her shoulders, her
beautiful hair drest with the greatest taste; her whole appearance and
attitude, in its simple and ladylike dignity, presented an almost
ludicrous contrast to the vulgar caricature idea of George Sand. Her
face is a very little like the portraits, but much finer; the upper
part of the forehead and eyes are beautiful, the lower strong and
masculine, expressive of a hardy temperament and strong passions, but
not in the least coarse; the complexion olive, and the air of the
whole head Spanish (as, indeed, she was born at Madrid, and is only on
one side of French blood).

All these I saw at a glance; but what fixt my attention was the
expression of goodness, nobleness, and power that pervaded the
whole--the truly human heart and nature that shone in the eyes. As our
eyes met, she said, "_C'est vous_," and held out her hand. I took it,
and went into her little study; we sat down a moment; then I said,
"_Il me fait de bien de vous voir_," and I am sure I said it with my
whole heart, for it made me very happy to see such a woman, so large
and so developed in character, and everything that is good in it so
really good. I loved, shall always love her.

She looked away, and said, _"Ah! vous m'avez écrit une lettre
charmante_." This was all the preliminary of our talk, which then went
on as if we had always known one another.... Her way of talking is
just like her writing--lively, picturesque, with an undertone of deep
feeling, and the same happiness in striking the nail on the head every
now and then with a blow.... I heartily enjoyed the sense of so rich,
so prolific, so ardent a genius. I liked the woman in her, too, very
much; I never liked a woman better.... For the rest, she holds her
place in the literary and social world of France like a man, and seems
full of energy and courage in it. I suppose she has suffered much, but
she has also enjoyed and done much.



II

TWO GLIMPSES OF CARLYLE[16]


Of the people I saw in London you will wish me to speak first of the
Carlyles. Mr. Carlyle came to see me at once, and appointed an evening
to be passed at their house. That first time I was delighted with him.
He was in a very sweet humor--full of wit and pathos, without being
overbearing or oppressive. I was quite carried away with the rich
flow of his discourse; and the hearty, noble earnestness of his
personal being brought back the charm which once was upon his writing,
before I wearied of it. I admired his Scotch, his way of singing his
great full sentences, so that each one was like the stanza of a
narrative ballad. He let me talk, now and then, enough to free my
lungs and change my position, so that I did not get tired. That
evening he talked of the present state of things in England, giving
light, witty sketches of the men of the day, fanatics and others, and
some sweet, homely stories he told of things he had known of the
Scotch peasantry. Of you he spoke with hearty kindness; and he told
with beautiful feeling a story of some poor farmer or artizan in the
country, who on Sunday lays aside the cark and care of that dirty
English world, and sits reading the "Essays" and looking upon the
sea....

[Footnote 16: From a letter to Emerson, written in 1846, and printed
in the "Memoirs."]

The second time Mr. Carlyle had a dinner party, at which was a witty,
French, flippant sort of a man, named Lewes,[17] author of a "History
of Philosophy," and now writing a life of Goethe, a task for which he
must be as unfit as irreligion and sparkling shallowness can make him.
But he told stories admirably, and was allowed sometimes to interrupt
Carlyle a little--of which one was glad, for that night he was in his
acrid mood; and tho much more brilliant than on the former evening,
grew wearisome to me, who disclaimed and rejected almost everything
he said....

[Footnote 17: George Henry Lewes, whose relations to George Eliot
began after Margaret Fuller's visit. Lewes was not a Frenchman, but of
Welsh descent, born in London, and a grandson of Charles Lee Lewes,
the actor.]

Accustomed to the infinite wit and exuberant richness of his writings,
his talk is still an amazement and a splendor scarcely to be faced
with steady eyes. He does not converse, only harangues. It is the
usual misfortune of such marked men--happily not one invariable or
inevitable--that they can not allow other minds room to breathe, and
show themselves in their atmosphere, and thus miss the refreshment and
instruction which the greatest never cease to need from the experience
of the humblest. Carlyle allows no one a chance, but bears down all
opposition, not only by his wit and onset of words, resistless in
their sharpness as so many bayonets, but by actual physical
superiority--raising his voice and rushing on his opponent with a
torrent of sound. This is not in the least from unwillingness to allow
freedom to others. On the contrary, no man would more enjoy a manly
resistance in his thoughts. But it is the impulse of a mind accustomed
to follow out its own impulse, as the hawk its prey, and which knows
not how to stop in the chase.

Carlyle indeed is arrogant and overbearing; but in his arrogance there
is no littleness, no self-love. It is the heroic arrogance of some old
Scandinavian conqueror; it is his nature, and the untamable impulse
that has given him power to crush the dragons. He sings rather than
talks. He pours upon you a kind of satirical, heroical, critical poem,
with regular cadences, and generally catching up, near the beginning,
some singular epithet which serves as a refrain when his song is
full, or with which, as with a knitting-needle, he catches up the
stitches, if he has chanced now and then to let fall a row. For the
higher kinds of poetry he has no sense, and his talk on that subject
is delightfully and gorgeously absurd. He sometimes stops a minute to
laugh at it himself, then begins anew with fresh vigor; for all the
spirits he is driving before him as Fata Morgana,[18] ugly masks, in
fact, if he can but make them turn about; but he laughs that they seem
to others such dainty Ariels. His talk, like his books, is full of
pictures; his critical strokes masterly. Allow for his point of view,
and his survey is admirable. He is a large subject. I can not speak
more or wiselier of him now, nor needs it; his works are true, to
blame and praise him--the Siegfried of England, great and powerful, if
not quite invulnerable, and of a might rather to destroy evil than
legislate for good.

[Footnote 18: Fata (a fairy) Morgana, sister of King Arthur, is a
leading figure in the "Morte d'Arthur" and other romances, including
Italian.]



HORACE GREELEY

     Born in New Hampshire in 1811, died in 1872; came to New
     York in 1831, where he edited the _Log Cabin_ during the
     Harrison-Tyler campaign; in 1841 founded _The Tribune;_
     member of Congress in 1848-49; prominent as an anti-slavery
     leader and supporter of the Union cause; nominated for
     president by the Liberal-Republican and Democratic parties
     in 1872, but defeated by Gen. Grant; published
     "Recollections of a Busy Life" in 1868, and "The American
     Conflict" in 1864-66.



I

THE FATALITY OF SELF-SEEKING IN EDITORS AND AUTHORS[19]


It only remains to me to speak more especially of my own vocation--the
editor's--which bears much the same relation to the author's that the
bellows-blower's bears to the organist's, the player's to the
dramatist's, Julian or Liszt to Weber or Beethoven. The editor, from
the absolute necessity of the case, can not speak deliberately; he
must write to-day of to-day's incidents and aspects, tho these may be
completely overlaid and transformed by the incidents and aspects of
to-morrow. He must write and strive in the full consciousness that
whatever honor or distinction he may acquire must perish with the
generation that bestowed them--with the thunders of applause that
greeted Kemble or Jenny Lind, with the ruffianism that expelled
Macready, or the cheerful laugh that erewhile rewarded the sallies of
Burton or Placide.[20]

[Footnote 19: Printed with the "Miscellanies" In the "Recollections of
a Busy Life."]

[Footnote 20: Henry Placide, an American actor born in Charleston, who
excelled in the parts of Sir Peter Teazle and Sir Anthony Absolute.]

No other public teacher lives so wholly in the present as the editor;
and the noblest affirmations of unpopular truth--the most
self-sacrificing defiance of a base and selfish public sentiment that
regards only the most sordid ends, and values every utterance solely
as it tends to preserve quiet and contentment, while the dollars fall
jingling into the merchant's drawer, the land-jobber's vault, and the
miser's bag--can but be noted in their day, and with their day
forgotten. It is his cue to utter silken and smooth sayings--to
condemn vice so as not to interfere with the pleasures or alarm the
conscience of the vicious--to praise and champion liberty so as not to
give annoyance or offense to slavery, and to commend and glorify labor
without attempting to expose or repress any of the gainful
contrivances by which labor is plundered and degraded. Thus sidling
dextrously between somewhere and nowhere, the able editor of the
nineteenth century may glide through life respectable and in good
ease, and lie down to his long rest with the non-achievements of his
life emblazoned on the very whitest marble, surmounting and glorifying
his dust.

There is a different and sterner path--I know not whether there be any
now qualified to tread it--I am not sure that even one has ever
followed it implicitly, in view of the certain meagerness of its
temporal rewards and the haste wherewith any fame acquired in a sphere
so thoroughly ephemeral as the editor's must be shrouded by the dark
waters of oblivion. This path demands an ear ever open to the plaints
of the wronged and the suffering, tho they can never repay advocacy,
and those who mainly support newspapers will be annoyed and often
exposed by it; a heart as sensitive to oppression and degradation in
the next street as if they were practised in Brazil or Japan; a pen as
ready to expose and reprove the crimes whereby wealth is amassed and
luxury enjoyed in our own country at this hour as if they had only
been committed by Turks or pagans in Asia some centuries ago.

Such an editor, could one be found or trained, need not expect to lead
an easy, indolent, or wholly joyous life--to be blest by archbishops
or followed by the approving shouts of ascendent majorities; but he
might find some recompense for their loss in the calm verdict of an
approving conscience; and the tears of the despised and the
friendless, preserved from utter despair by his efforts and
remonstrances, might freshen for a season the daisies that bloomed
above his grave.

Literature is a noble calling, but only when the call obeyed by the
aspirant issues from a world to be enlightened and blest, not from a
void stomach clamoring to be gratified and filled. Authorship is a
royal priesthood; but wo to him who rashly lays unhallowed hands on
the ark or the altar, professing a zeal for the welfare of the race
only that he may secure the confidence and sympathies of others, and
use them for his own selfish ends! If a man have no heroism in his
soul--no animating purpose beyond living easily and faring
sumptuously--I can imagine no greater mistake on his part than that of
resorting to authorship as a vocation. That such a one may achieve
what he regards as success I do not deny; but, if so, he does it at
greater risk and by greater exertion than would have been required to
win it in any other pursuit. No; it can not be wise in a selfish, or
sordid, or sensual man to devote himself to literature; the fearful
self-exposure incident to this way of life--the dire necessity which
constrains the author to stamp his own essential portrait on every
volume of his works, no matter how carefully he may fancy he has
erased, or how artfully he may suppose he has concealed it--this
should repel from the vestibule of the temple of fame the foot of
every profane or mocking worshiper.

But if you are sure that your impulse is not personal nor sinister,
but a desire to serve and ennoble your race, rather than to dazzle and
be served by it; that you are ready joyfully to "scorn delights, and
live laborious days," so that thereby the well-being of mankind may be
promoted--then I pray you not to believe that the world is too wise to
need further enlightenment, nor that it would be impossible for one so
humble as yourself to say aught whereby error may be dispelled or good
be diffused. Sell not your integrity; barter not your independence;
beg of no man the privilege of earning a livelihood by authorship;
since that is to degrade your faculty, and very probably to corrupt
it; but seeing through your own clear eyes, and uttering the impulses
of your own honest heart, speak or write as truth and love shall
dictate, asking no material recompense, but living by the labor of
your hands, until recompense shall be voluntarily tendered to secure
your service, and you may frankly accept it without a compromise of
your integrity or a peril to your freedom. Soldier in the long warfare
for man's rescue from darkness and evil, choose not your place on the
battle-field, but joyfully accept that assigned you; asking not
whether there be higher or lower, but only whether it is here that you
can most surely do your proper work, and meet your full share of the
responsibility and the danger.

Believe not that the heroic age is no more; since to that age is only
requisite the heroic purpose and the heroic soul. So long as ignorance
and evil shall exist so long there will be work for the devoted, and
so long will there be room in the ranks of those who, defying obloquy,
misapprehension, bigotry, and interested craft, struggle and dare for
the redemption of the world. "Of making many books there is no end,"
tho there is happily a speedy end of most books after they are made;
but he who by voice or pen strikes his best blow at the impostures and
vices whereby our race is debased and paralyzed may close his eyes in
death, consoled and cheered by the reflection that he has done what he
could for the emancipation and elevation of his kind.



JOHN LOTHROP MOTLEY

     Born in 1814, died in 1877; graduated from Harvard in 1831;
     studied at Göttingen and Berlin; returned to America in 1834
     and admitted to the bar, but soon took up the study of
     history; United States minister to Austria in 1861-68, and
     to Great Britain in 1869-70; published his "Rise of the
     Dutch Republic" in 1856, "History of the United Netherlands"
     in 1860-67, and "John of Barneveld" in 1874.



I

CHARLES V AND PHILIP II IN BRUSSELS[21]

(1555)


The Emperor, like many potentates before and since, was fond of great
political spectacles. He knew their influence upon the masses of
mankind. Altho plain even to shabbiness in his own costume, and
usually attired in black, no one ever understood better than he how to
arrange such exhibitions in a striking and artistic style. We have
seen the theatrical and imposing manner in which he quelled the
insurrection at Ghent, and nearly crusht the life forever out of that
vigorous and turbulent little commonwealth. The closing scene of his
long and energetic reign he had now arranged with profound study, and
with an accurate knowledge of the manner in which the requisite
effects were to be produced. The termination of his own career, the
opening of his beloved Philip's, were to be dramatized in a manner
worthy the august characters of the actors, and the importance of the
great stage where they played their parts. The eyes of the whole world
were directed upon that day toward Brussels; for an imperial
abdication was an event which had not, in the sixteenth century, been
staled by custom.

[Footnote 21: From Chapter I of the "The Rise of the Dutch Republic."
Published by Harper & Brothers. After his abdication Charles V retired
to a monastery, where he died three years later.]

The gay capital of Brabant--of that province which rejoiced in the
liberal constitution known by the cheerful title of the "joyful
entrance"--was worthy to be the scene of the imposing show. Brussels
had been a city for more than five centuries, and at that day numbered
about one hundred thousand inhabitants. Its walls, six miles in
circumference, were already two hundred years old. Unlike most
Netherland cities, lying usually upon extensive plains, it was built
along the sides of an abrupt promontory. A wide expanse of living
verdure--cultivated gardens, shady groves, fertile cornfields--flowed
round it like a sea. The foot of the town was washed by the little
river Senne, while the irregular but picturesque streets rose up the
steep sides of the hill like the semicircles and stairways of an
amphitheater. Nearly in the heart of the place rose the audacious and
exquisitely embroidered tower of the town-house, three hundred and
sixty-six feet in height; a miracle of needlework in stone, rivaling
in its intricate carving the cobweb tracery of that lace which has for
centuries been synonymous with the city, and rearing itself above a
façade of profusely decorated and brocaded architecture. The crest of
the elevation was crowned by the towers of the old ducal palace of
Brabant, with its extensive and thickly wooded park on the left, and
by the stately mansions of Orange, Egmont, Aremberg, Culemburg, and
other Flemish grandees, on the right....

The palace where the states-general were upon this occasion convened
had been the residence of the dukes of Brabant since the days of John
the Second, who had built it about the year 1300. It was a spacious
and convenient building, but not distinguished for the beauty of its
architecture. In front was a large open square, enclosed by an iron
railing; in the rear an extensive and beautiful park, filled with
forest trees, and containing gardens and labyrinths, fish-ponds and
game preserves, fountains and promenades, race-courses and archery
grounds. The main entrance to this edifice opened upon a spacious
hall, connected with a beautiful and symmetrical chapel. The hall was
celebrated for its size, harmonious proportions, and the richness of
its decorations. It was the place where the chapters of the famous
order of the Golden Fleece were held. Its walls were hung with a
magnificent tapestry of Arras, representing the life and achievements
of Gideon the Midianite, and giving particular prominence to the
miracle of the "fleece of wool," vouchsafed to that renowned champion,
the great patron of the Knights of the Fleece.

On the present occasion there were various additional embellishments
of flowers and votive garlands. At the western end a spacious platform
or stage, with six or seven steps, had been constructed, below which
was a range of benches for the deputies of the seventeen provinces.
Upon the stage itself there were rows of seats, covered with tapestry,
upon the right hand and upon the left. These were respectively to
accommodate the knights of the order and the guests of high
distinction. In the rear of these were other benches for the members
of the three great councils. In the center of the stage was a splendid
canopy, decorated with the arms of Burgundy, beneath which were placed
three gilded arm-chairs. All the seats upon the platform were vacant;
but the benches below, assigned to the deputies of the provinces, were
already filled. Numerous representatives from all the States but
two--Gelderland and Overyssel--had already taken their places. Grave
magistrates in chain and gown, and executive officers in the splendid
civic uniforms for which the Netherlands were celebrated, already
filled every seat within the space allotted. The remainder of the hall
was crowded with the more favored portion of the multitude, which had
been fortunate enough to procure admission to the exhibition. The
archers and halbardiers of the body-guard kept watch at all the doors.
The theater was filled, the audience was eager with expectation, the
actors were yet to arrive.

As the clock struck three, the hero of the scene appeared. Cæsar, as
he was always designated in the classic language of the day, entered,
leaning on the shoulder of William of Orange. They came from the
chapel, and were immediately followed by Philip the Second and Queen
Mary of Hungary. The Archduke Maximilian, the Duke of Savoy, and
other great personages came afterward, accompanied by a glittering
throng of warriors, councilors, governors, and Knights of the Fleece.

Many individuals of existing or future historic celebrity in the
Netherlands, whose names are so familiar to the student of the epoch,
seemed to have been grouped, as if by premeditated design, upon this
imposing platform, where the curtain was to fall forever upon the
mightiest emperor since Charlemagne, and where the opening scene of
the long and tremendous tragedy of Philip's reign was to be
simultaneously enacted. There was the bishop of Arras, soon to be
known throughout Christendom by the more celebrated title of Cardinal
Granvelle--the serene and smiling priest, whose subtle influence over
the destinies of so many individuals then present, and over the
fortunes of the whole land, was to be so extensive and so deadly.
There was that flower of Flemish chivalry, the lineal descendant of
ancient Frisian kings, already distinguished for his bravery in many
fields, but not having yet won those two remarkable victories which
were soon to make the name of Egmont like the sound of a trumpet
throughout the whole country. Tall, magnificent in costume, with dark
flowing hair, soft brown eye, smooth cheek, a slight mustache, and
features of almost feminine delicacy--such was the gallant and
ill-fated Lamoral Egmont. The Count of Hoorne,[22] too, with bold,
sullen face, and fan-shaped beard--a brave, honest, discontented,
quarrelsome, unpopular man; those other twins in doom, the Marquis
Berghen and the Lord of Montigny; the Baron Berlaymont, brave,
intensely loyal, insatiably greedy for office and wages, but who at
least never served but one party; the Duke of Arschot, who was to
serve all, essay to rule all, and to betray all--a splendid seignior,
magnificent in cramoisy velvet, but a poor creature, who traced his
pedigree from Adam according to the family monumental inscriptions at
Louvain, but who was better known as grandnephew of the Emperor's
famous tutor Chièvres; the bold, debauched Brederode, with handsome,
reckless face and turbulent demeanor; the infamous Noircarmes, whose
name was to be covered with eternal execration for aping toward his
own compatriots and kindred as much of Alva's atrocities and avarice
as he was permitted to exercise; the distinguished soldiers Meghen and
Aremberg--these, with many others whose deeds of arms were to become
celebrated throughout Europe, were all conspicuous in the brilliant
crowd. There, too, was that learned Frisian, President Viglius,
crafty, plausible, adroit, eloquent--a small, brisk man, with long
yellow hair, glittering green eyes, round, tumid, rosy cheeks, and
flowing beard. Foremost among the Spanish grandees, and close to
Philip, stood the famous favorite, Ruy Gomez, or, as he was familiarly
called, "_Re y Gomez_" (King and Gomez)--a man of meridional aspect,
with coal-black hair and beard, gleaming eyes, a face pallid with
intense application, and slender but handsome figure; while in
immediate attendance upon the Emperor was the immortal Prince of
Orange.

[Footnote 22: See Prescott's account of the execution of Egmont and
Hoorne, in Volume IX of this collection.]

Such were a few only of the most prominent in that gay throng, whose
fortunes in part it will be our humble duty to narrate; how many of
them passing through all this glitter to a dark and mysterious gloom!
some to perish on public scaffolds, some by midnight assassination;
others, more fortunate, to fall on the battle-field; nearly all,
sooner or later, to be laid in bloody graves!

All the company present had risen to their feet as the Emperor
entered. By his command, all immediately after resumed their places.
The benches at either end of the platform were accordingly filled with
the royal and princely personages invited--with the Fleece Knights,
wearing the insignia of their order, with the members of the three
great councils, and with the governors. The Emperor, the King, and the
Queen of Hungary were left conspicuous in the center of the scene. As
the whole object of the ceremony was to present an impressive
exhibition, it is worth our while to examine minutely the appearance
of the two principal characters.

Charles the Fifth was then fifty-five years and eight months old; but
he was already decrepit with premature old age. He was of about the
middle height; and had been athletic and well proportioned. Broad in
the shoulders, deep in the chest, thin in the flank, very muscular in
the arms and legs, he had been able to match himself with all
competitors in the tourney and the ring, and to vanquish the bull with
his own hand in the favorite national amusement of Spain. He had been
able in the field to do the duty of captain and soldier, to endure
fatigue and exposure, and every privation except fasting. These
personal advantages were now departed. Crippled in hands, knees, and
legs, he supported himself with difficulty upon a crutch, with the aid
of an attendant's shoulder. In face he had always been extremely ugly,
and time had certainly not improved his physiognomy. His hair, once of
a light color, was now white with age, close-clipt and bristling; his
beard was gray, coarse, and shaggy. His forehead was spacious and
commanding; the eye was dark-blue, with an expression both majestic
and benignant. His nose was aquiline but crooked. The lower part of
his face was famous for its deformity. The under lip, a Burgundian
inheritance, as faithfully transmitted as the duchy and county, was
heavy and hanging; the lower jaw protruding so far beyond the upper
that it was impossible for him to bring together the few fragments of
teeth which still remained, or to speak a whole sentence in an
intelligible voice. Eating and talking, occupations to which he was
always much addicted, were becoming daily more arduous in consequence
of this original defect; which now seemed hardly human, but rather an
original deformity.

So much for the father. The son, Philip the Second, was a small,
meager man, much below the middle height, with thin legs, a narrow
chest, and the shrinking, timid air of a habitual invalid. He seemed
so little upon his first visit to his aunts, the Queens Eleanor and
Mary, accustomed to look upon proper men in Flanders and Germany, that
he was fain to win their favor by making certain attempts in the
tournament, in which his success was sufficiently problematical. "His
body," says his profest panegyrist, "was but a human cage, in which,
however brief and narrow, dwelt a soul to whose flight the
immeasurable expanse of heaven was too contracted." The same wholesale
admirer adds that "his aspect was so reverend that rustics who met him
alone in the wood, without knowing him, bowed down with instinctive
veneration." In face he was the living image of his father; having the
same broad forehead and blue eye, with the same aquiline, but better
proportioned, nose. In the lower part of the countenance the
remarkable Burgundian deformity was likewise reproduced: he had the
same heavy, hanging lip, with a vast mouth, and monstrously protruding
lower jaw. His complexion was fair, his hair light and thin, his beard
yellow, short, and pointed. He had the aspect of a Fleming, but the
loftiness of a Spaniard. His demeanor in public was still, silent,
almost sepulchral. He looked habitually on the ground when he
conversed, was chary of speech, embarrassed and even suffering in
manner. This was ascribed partly to a natural haughtiness, which he
had occasionally endeavored to overcome, and partly to habitual pains
in the stomach, occasioned by his inordinate fondness for pastry.

Such was the personal appearance of the man who was about to receive
into his single hand the destinies of half the world; whose single
will was, for the future, to shape the fortunes of every individual
then present, of many millions more in Europe, America, and at the
ends of the earth, and of countless millions yet unborn....

The Emperor then rose to his feet. Leaning on his crutch, he beckoned
from his seat the personage upon whose arm he had leaned as he
entered the hall. A tall, handsome youth of twenty-two came forward: a
man whose name from that time forward, and as long as history shall
endure, has been and will be more familiar than any other in the
mouths of Netherlanders. At that day he had rather a southern than a
German or Flemish appearance. He had a Spanish cast of features, dark,
well chiseled, and symmetrical. His head was small and well placed
upon his shoulders. His hair was dark brown, as were also his mustache
and peaked beard. His forehead was lofty, spacious, and already
prematurely engraved with the anxious lines of thought. His eyes were
full, brown, well opened, and expressive of profound reflection. He
was drest in the magnificent apparel for which the Netherlanders were
celebrated above all other nations, and which the ceremony rendered
necessary. His presence being considered indispensable at this great
ceremony, he had been summoned but recently from the camp on the
frontier, where, notwithstanding his youth, the Emperor had appointed
him to command his army in chief against such antagonists as Admiral
Coligny and the Duc de Nevers.

Thus supported upon his crutch and upon the shoulder of William of
Orange, the Emperor proceeded to address the States, by the aid of a
closely written brief which he held in his hand. He reviewed rapidly
the progress of events from his seventeenth year up to that day.
Turning to Philip, he observed that for a dying father to bequeath so
magnificent an empire to his son was a deed worthy of gratitude; but
that when the father thus descended to the grave before his time, and
by an anticipated and living burial sought to provide for the welfare
of his realms and the grandeur of his son, the benefit thus conferred
was surely far greater. He added that the debt would be paid to him
and with usury, should Philip conduct himself in his administration of
the province with a wise and affectionate regard to their true
interests....

Sobs were heard throughout every portion of the hall, and tears poured
profusely from every eye. The Fleece Knights on the platform and the
burghers in the background were all melted with the same emotion. As
for the Emperor himself, he sank almost fainting upon his chair as he
concluded his address. An ashy paleness overspread his countenance,
and he wept like a child. Even the icy Philip was almost softened, as
he rose to perform his part in the ceremony. Dropping upon his knees
before his father's feet, he reverently kissed his hand. Charles
placed his hands solemnly upon his son's head, made the sign of the
cross, and blest him in the name of the Holy Trinity. Then raising him
in his arms he tenderly embraced him, saying, as he did so, to the
great potentates around him, that he felt a sincere compassion for the
son on whose shoulders so heavy a weight had just devolved, and which
only a lifelong labor would enable him to support....

The orations and replies having now been brought to a close, the
ceremony was terminated. The Emperor, leaning on the shoulders of the
Prince of Orange and of the Count de Buren, slowly left the hall,
followed by Philip, the Queen of Hungary, and the whole court; all in
the same order in which they had entered, and by the same passage into
the chapel.



II

THE ARRIVAL OF THE SPANISH ARMADA[23]

(1588)


Almost at that very instant intelligence had been brought from the
court to the Lord Admiral at Plymouth that the Armada, dispersed and
shattered by the gales of June, was not likely to make its appearance
that year; and orders had consequently been given to disarm the four
largest ships and send them into dock. Even Walsingham had
participated in this strange delusion.

[Footnote 23: From Chapter XIX of the "History of the United
Netherlands." Published by Harper & Brothers. See Hume's account of
the arrival of the Armada in Volume IV, page 113, of this collection.]

Before Howard[24] had time to act upon this ill-timed suggestion--even
had he been disposed to do so--he received authentic intelligence that
the great fleet was off the Lizard. Neither he nor Francis Drake were
the men to lose time in such an emergency; and before that Friday
night was spent, sixty of the best English ships had been warped out
of Plymouth harbor.

[Footnote 24: Lord Howard of Effingham, commander of the English
fleet.]

On Saturday, 30th July, the wind was very light at southwest, with a
mist and drizzling rain; but by three in the afternoon the two fleets
could descry and count each other through the haze.

By nine o'clock, 31st July, about two miles from Looe on the Cornish
coast, the fleets had their first meeting. There were one hundred and
thirty-six sail of the Spaniards, of which ninety were large ships;
and sixty-seven of the English. It was a solemn moment. The
long-expected Armada presented a pompous, almost a theatrical
appearance. The ships seemed arranged for a pageant, in honor of a
victory already won. Disposed in form of a crescent, the horns of
which were seven miles asunder, those gilded, towered, floating
castles, with their gaudy standards and their martial music, moved
slowly along the channel, with an air of indolent pomp. Their
captain-general, the golden duke, stood in his private shot-proof
fortress, on the deck of his great galleon the _St. Martin_,
surrounded by generals of infantry and colonels of cavalry, who knew
as little as he did himself of naval matters.

The English vessels, on the other hand--with a few exceptions light,
swift, and easily handled--could sail round and round those unwieldy
galleons, hulks, and galleys rowed by fettered slave gangs. The
superior seamanship of free Englishmen commanded by such experienced
captains as Drake, Frobisher,[25] and Hawkins[26]--from infancy at
home on blue water--was manifest in the very first encounter. They
obtained the weather-gage at once, and cannonaded the enemy at
intervals with considerable effect; easily escaping at will out of
range of the sluggish Armada, which was incapable of bearing sail in
pursuit, altho provided with an armament which could sink all its
enemies at close quarters. "We had some small fight with them that
Sunday afternoon," said Hawkins.

[Footnote 25: Sir Martin Frobisher, who in 1576 commanded an
expedition in search of the Northwest Passage, and discovered the bay
since called after him.]

[Footnote 26: Sir John Hawkins at this time was a rear-admiral. He was
knighted after the defeat of the Armada.]

Medina Sidonia[27] hoisted the royal standard at the fore; and the
whole fleet did its utmost, which was little, to offer general battle.
It was in vain. The English, following at the heels of the enemy,
refused all such invitations, and attacked only the rear-guard of the
Armada, where Recalde commanded. That admiral, steadily maintaining
his post, faced his nimble antagonists, who continued to tease, to
maltreat, and to elude him, while the rest of the fleet proceeded
slowly up the Channel closely followed by the enemy. And thus the
running fight continued along the coast, in full view of Plymouth,
whence boats with reenforcements and volunteers were perpetually
arriving to the English ships, until the battle had drifted quite out
of reach of the town.

[Footnote 27: The Duke of Medina Sidonia, who commanded the Armada.]

Already in this first "small fight" the Spaniards had learned a
lesson, and might even entertain a doubt of their invincibility. But
before the sun set there were more serious disasters. Much powder and
shot had been expended by the Spaniard to very little purpose, and so
a master-gunner on board Admiral Oquendo's flag-ship was reprimanded
for careless ball-practise. The gunner, who was a Fleming, enraged
with his captain, laid a train to the powder-magazine, fired it, and
threw himself into the sea. Two decks blew up. The great castle at the
stern rose into clouds, carrying with it the paymaster-general of the
fleet, a large portion of treasure, and nearly two hundred men. The
ship was a wreck, but it was possible to save the rest of the crew. So
Medina Sidonia sent light vessels to remove them, and wore with his
flag-ship to defend Oquendo, who had already been fastened upon by his
English pursuers. But the Spaniards, not being so light in hand as
their enemies, involved themselves in much embarrassment by their
maneuver, and there was much falling foul of each other, entanglement
of rigging, and carrying away of yards. Oquendo's men, however, were
ultimately saved and taken to other ships.

Meantime Don Pedro de Valdez, commander of the Andalusian squadron,
having got his galleon into collision with two or three Spanish ships
successively, had at last carried away his foremast close to the deck,
and the wreck had fallen against his main-mast. He lay crippled and
helpless, the Armada was slowly deserting him, night was coming on,
the sea was running high, and the English, ever hovering near, were
ready to grapple with him. In vain did Don Pedro fire signals of
distress. The captain-general--even as tho the unlucky galleon had not
been connected with the Catholic fleet--calmly fired a gun to collect
his scattered ships, and abandoned Valdez to his fate. "He left me
comfortless in sight of the whole fleet," said poor Pedro; "and
greater inhumanity and unthankfulness I think was never heard of among
men."

Yet the Spaniard comported himself most gallantly. Frobisher, in the
largest ship of the English fleet, the _Triumph_, of eleven hundred
tons, and Hawkins in the _Victory_, of eight hundred, cannonaded him
at a distance, but night coming on, he was able to resist; and it was
not till the following morning that he surrendered to the _Revenge_.

Drake then received the gallant prisoner on board his flag-ship--much
to the disgust and indignation of Frobisher and Hawkins, thus
disappointed of their prize and ransom money--treated him with much
courtesy, and gave his word of honor that he and his men should be
treated fairly like good prisoners of war. This pledge was redeemed;
for it was not the English, as it was the Spanish custom, to convert
captives into slaves, but only to hold them for ransom. Valdez
responded to Drake's politeness by kissing his hand, embracing him,
and overpowering him with magnificent compliments. He was then sent on
board the Lord Admiral, who received him with similar urbanity, and
exprest his regret that so distinguished a personage should have been
so coolly deserted by the Duke of Medina. Don Pedro then returned to
the _Revenge_, where, as the guest of Drake, he was a witness to all
subsequent events up to the 10th of August; on which day he was sent
to London with some other officers, Sir Francis claiming his ransom as
his lawful due.

Here certainly was no very triumphant beginning for the Invincible Armada.
On the very first day of their being in presence of the English fleet--then
but sixty-seven in number, and vastly their inferior in size and weight of
metal--they had lost the flagships of the Guipuzcoan and of the Andalusian
squadrons, with a general-admiral, four hundred and fifty officers and men,
and some one hundred thousand ducats of treasure. They had been
outmaneuvered, outsailed, and thoroughly maltreated by their antagonists,
and they had been unable to inflict a single blow in return. Thus the
"small fight" had been a cheerful one for the opponents of the Inquisition,
and the English were proportionally encouraged....

Never, since England was England, had such a sight been seen as now
revealed itself in those narrow straits between Dover and Calais.
Along that long, low, sandy shore, and quite within the range of the
Calais fortifications, one hundred and thirty Spanish ships--the
greater number of them the largest and most heavily armed in the
world--lay face to face, and scarcely out of cannon-shot, with one
hundred and fifty English sloops and frigates, the strongest and
swiftest that the island could furnish, and commanded by men whose
exploits had rung through the world.

Farther along the coast, invisible, but known to be performing a most
perilous and vital service, was a squadron of Dutch vessels of all
sizes, lining both the inner and outer edges of the sandbanks off the
Flemish coasts, and swarming in all the estuaries and inlets of that
intricate and dangerous cruising-ground between Dunkirk and
Walcheren. Those fleets of Holland and Zeeland, numbering some one
hundred and fifty galleons, sloops, and fly-boats, under Warmond,
Nassau, Van der Does, De Moor, and Rosendael, lay patiently blockading
every possible egress from Newport, or Gravelines, or Sluys, or
Flushing, or Dunkirk; and longing to grapple with the Duke of Parma,
so soon as his fleet of gunboats and hoys, packed with his Spanish and
Italian veterans, should venture to set forth upon the sea for their
long-prepared exploit.

It was a pompous spectacle that midsummer night upon those narrow
seas. The moon, which was at the full, was rising calmly upon a scene
of anxious expectation. Would she not be looking, by the morrow's
night, upon a subjugated England, a reenslaved Holland--upon the
downfall of civil and religious liberty? Those ships of Spain, which
lay there with their banners waving in the moonlight, discharging
salvos of anticipated triumph and filling the air with strains of
insolent music--would they not, by daybreak, be moving straight to
their purpose, bearing the conquerors of the world to the scene of
their cherished hopes?

That English fleet, too, which rode there at anchor, so anxiously on
the watch--would that swarm of nimble, lightly handled, but slender
vessels, which had held their own hitherto in hurried and desultory
skirmishes, be able to cope with their great antagonist, now that the
moment had arrived for the death grapple? Would not Howard, Drake,
Frobisher, Seymour, Winter, and Hawkins be swept out of the straits at
last, yielding an open passage to Medina, Oquendo, Recalde, and
Farnese? Would those Hollanders and Zeelanders cruising so vigilantly
among their treacherous shallows dare to maintain their post now that
the terrible "Holoferness," with his invincible legions, was resolved
to come forth?

And the impatience of the soldiers and sailors on board the fleet was
equal to that of their commanders. There was London almost before
their eyes--a huge mass of treasure, richer and more accessible than
those mines beyond the Atlantic which had so often rewarded Spanish
chivalry with fabulous wealth. And there were men in those galleons
who remembered the sack of Antwerp eleven years before; men who could
tell, from personal experience, how helpless was a great commercial
city when once in the clutch of disciplined brigands; men who in that
dread "fury of Antwerp" had enriched themselves in an hour with the
accumulations of a merchant's lifetime, and who had slain fathers and
mothers, sons and daughters, brides and bridegrooms, before each
other's eyes, until the number of inhabitants butchered in the blazing
streets rose to many thousands, and the plunder from palaces and
warehouses was counted by millions, before the sun had set on the
"great fury." Those Spaniards, and Italians, and Walloons were now
thirsting for more gold, for more blood; and as the capital of England
was even more wealthy and far more defenseless than the commercial
metropolis of the Netherlands had been, so it was resolved that the
London "fury" should be more thorough and more productive than the
"fury of Antwerp," at the memory of which the world still shuddered.
And these professional soldiers had been taught to consider the
English as a pacific, delicate, effeminate race; dependent on good
living, without experience of war, quickly fatigued and discouraged,
and even more easily to be plundered and butchered than were the
excellent burghers of Antwerp.

And so these southern conquerors looked down from their great galleons
and galeasses upon the English vessels. More than three-quarters of
them were merchantmen. There was no comparison whatever between the
relative strength of the fleets. In number they were about equal,
being each from one hundred and thirty to one hundred and fifty
strong; but the Spaniards had twice the tonnage of the English, four
times the artillery, and nearly three times the number of men....

As the twilight deepened, the moon became totally obscured, dark cloud
masses spread over the heavens, the sea grew black, distant thunder
rolled, and the sob of an approaching tempest became distinctly
audible. Such indications of a westerly gale were not encouraging to
those cumbrous vessels, with the treacherous quicksands of Flanders
under their lee.

At an hour past midnight it was so dark that it was difficult for the
most practised eye to pierce far into the gloom. But a faint drip of
oars now struck the ears of the Spaniards as they watched from the
decks. A few moments afterward the sea became suddenly luminous; and
six flaming vessels appeared at a slight distance, bearing steadily
down upon them before the wind and tide.

There were men in the Armada who had been at the siege of Antwerp
only three years before. They remembered with horror the devil-ships
of Gianibelli--those floating volcanoes which had seemed to rend earth
and ocean, whose explosion had laid so many thousands of soldiers dead
at a blow, and which had shattered the bridge and floating forts of
Farnese as tho they had been toys of glass. They knew too that the
famous engineer was at that moment in England.

In a moment one of those horrible panics which spread with such
contagious rapidity among large bodies of men, seized upon the
Spaniards. There was a yell throughout the fleet--"The fire-ships of
Antwerp! the fire-ships of Antwerp!" and in an instant every cable was
cut, and frantic attempts were made by each galleon and galeasse to
escape what seemed imminent destruction. The confusion was beyond
description. Four or five of the largest ships became entangled with
each other. Two others were set on fire by the flaming vessels and
were consumed. Medina Sidonia, who had been warned, even before his
departure from Spain, that some such artifice would probably be
attempted, and who had even, early that morning, sent out a party of
sailors in a pinnace to search for indications of the scheme, was not
surprized or dismayed. He gave orders--as well as might be--that every
ship, after the danger should be passed, was to return to its post and
await his further orders. But it was useless in that moment of
unreasonable panic to issue commands. The despised Mantuan, who had
met with so many rebuffs at Philip's court, and who--owing to official
incredulity--had been but partially successful in his magnificent
enterprise at Antwerp, had now, by the mere terror of his name,
inflicted more damage on Philip's Armada than had hitherto been
accomplished by Howard and Drake, Hawkins and Frobisher combined.

So long as night and darkness lasted, the confusion and uproar
continued. When the Monday morning dawned, several of the Spanish
vessels lay disabled, while the rest of the fleet was seen at a
distance of two leagues from Calais, driving toward the Flemish coast.
The threatened gale had not yet begun to blow; but there were fresh
squalls from the W. S. W., which, to such awkward sailors as the
Spanish vessels, were difficult to contend with. On the other hand,
the English fleet were all astir, and ready to pursue the Spaniards,
now rapidly drifting into the North Sea.



III

"THE SPANISH FURY"[28]

(1576)


Meantime, while the short November day was fast declining, the combat
still raged in the interior of the city (Antwerp). Various currents of
conflict, forcing their separate way through many streets, had at last
mingled in the Grande Place. Around this irregular, not very spacious
square, stood the gorgeous Hotel de Ville, and the tall, many-storied,
fantastically gabled, richly decorated palaces of the guilds. Here a
long struggle took place. It was terminated for a time by the cavalry
of Vargas, who, arriving through the streets of Saint Joris,
accompanied by the traitor Van Ende, charged decisively into the
mêlée. The masses were broken, but multitudes of armed men found
refuge in the buildings, and every house became a fortress. From every
window and balcony a hot fire was poured into the square, as, pent in
a corner, the burghers stood at last at bay. It was difficult to carry
the houses by storm, but they were soon set on fire. A large number of
sutlers and other varlets had accompanied the Spaniards from the
citadel, bringing torches and kindling materials for the express
purpose of firing the town. With great dexterity, these means were now
applied, and in a brief interval the city hall and other edifices on
the square were in flames. The conflagration spread with rapidity,
house after house, street after street, taking fire. Nearly a thousand
buildings, in the most splendid and wealthy quarter of the city, were
soon in a blaze, and multitudes of human beings were burned with them.
In the city hall many were consumed, while others leapt from the
windows to renew the combat below. The many tortuous streets which led
down a slight descent from the rear of the town-house to the quays
were all one vast conflagration. On the other side, the magnificent
cathedral, separated from the Grande Place by a single row of
buildings, was lighted up, but not attacked by the flames. The tall
spire cast its gigantic shadow across the last desperate conflict. In
the street called the Canal au Sucre, immediately behind the
town-house, there was a fierce struggle, a horrible massacre. A crowd
of burghers, grave magistrates, and such of the German soldiers as
remained alive still confronted the ferocious Spaniards. There, amid
the flaming desolation, Goswyn Verreyck, the heroic margrave of the
city, fought with the energy of hatred and despair. The burgomaster
Van der Meere lay dead at his feet; senators, soldiers, citizens fell
fast around him, and he sank at last upon a heap of slain. With him
effectual resistance ended. The remaining combatants were butchered,
or were slowly forced downward to perish in the Scheld. Women,
children, old men were killed in countless numbers, and still, through
all this havoc, directly over the heads of the struggling throng,
suspended in mid-air above the din and smoke of the conflict, there
sounded, every half-quarter of every hour, as if in gentle mockery,
from the belfry of the cathedral, the tender and melodious chimes.

[Footnote 28: From Part IV of Chapter V of "The Rise of the Dutch
Republic." Published by Harper & Brothers. The name "Spanish Fury" was
given to the sack of Antwerp by the Spaniards.]

Never was there a more monstrous massacre, even in the blood-stained
history of the Netherlands. It was estimated that, in the course of
this and the two following days, not less than eight thousand human
beings were murdered. The Spaniards seemed to cast off even the vizard
of humanity. Hell seemed emptied of its fiends. Night fell upon the
scene before the soldiers were masters of the city; but worse horrors
began after the contest was ended. This army of brigands had come
thither with a definite, practical purpose, for it was not
blood-thirst, nor lust, nor revenge, which had impelled them, but it
was avarice, greediness for gold. For gold they had waded through all
this blood and fire. Never had men more simplicity of purpose, more
directness in its execution. They had conquered their India at last;
its golden mines lay all before them, and every sword should open a
shaft. Riot and rape might be deferred; even murder, tho congenial to
their taste, was only subsidiary to their business. They had come to
take possession of the city's wealth, and they set themselves
faithfully to accomplish their task. For gold, infants were dashed out
of existence in their mothers' arms; for gold, parents were tortured
in their children's presence; for gold, brides were scourged to death
before their husbands' eyes. Wherever treasure was suspected, every
expedient which ingenuity, sharpened by greediness, could suggest, was
employed to extort it from its possessors. The fire, spreading more
extensively and more rapidly than had been desired through the
wealthiest quarter of the city, had unfortunately devoured a vast
amount of property. Six millions, at least, had thus been swallowed; a
destruction by which no one had profited. There was, however, much
left. The strong boxes of the merchants, the gold, silver, and
precious jewelry, the velvets, satins, brocades, laces, and similar
well concentrated and portable plunder, were rapidly appropriated. So
far the course was plain and easy, but in private houses it was more
difficult. The cash, plate, and other valuables of individuals were
not so easily discovered.

Torture was, therefore, at once employed to discover the hidden
treasures. After all had been given, if the sum seemed too little, the
proprietors were brutally punished for their poverty or their supposed
dissimulation. A gentlewoman, named Fabry, with her aged mother and
other females of the family, had taken refuge in the cellar of her
mansion. As the day was drawing to a close, a band of plunderers
entered, who, after ransacking the house, descended to the cellarage.
Finding the door barred, they forced it open with gunpowder. The
mother, who was nearest the entrance, fell dead on the threshold.
Stepping across her mangled body, the brigands sprang upon her
daughter, loudly demanding the property which they believed to be
concealed. They likewise insisted on being informed where the master
of the house had taken refuge. Protestations of ignorance as to hidden
treasure, or the whereabouts of her husband, who, for aught she knew,
was lying dead in the streets, were of no avail. To make her more
communicative, they hanged her on a beam in the cellar, and after a
few moments cut her down before life was extinct. Still receiving no
satisfactory reply, where a satisfactory reply was impossible, they
hanged her again. Again, after another brief interval, they gave her a
second release, and a fresh interrogatory. This barbarity they
repeated several times, till they were satisfied that there was
nothing to be gained by it, while, on the other hand, they were losing
much valuable time. Hoping to be more successful elsewhere, they left
her hanging for the last time, and trooped off to fresher fields.
Strange to relate, the person thus horribly tortured survived. A
servant in her family, married to a Spanish soldier, providentially
entered the house in time to rescue her perishing mistress. She was
restored to existence, but never to reason. Her brain was hopelessly
crazed, and she passed the remainder of her life wandering about her
house, or feebly digging in her garden for the buried treasure which
she had been thus fiercely solicited to reveal.

A wedding-feast was rudely interrupted. Two young persons, neighbors
of opulent families, had been long betrothed, and the marriage-day had
been fixt for Sunday, the fatal 4th of November. The guests were
assembled, the ceremony concluded, and the nuptial banquet in
progress, when the horrible outcries in the streets proclaimed that
the Spaniards had broken loose. Hour after hour of trembling
expectation succeeded. At last, a thundering at the gate proclaimed
the arrival of a band of brigands. Preceded by their captain, a large
number of soldiers forced their way into the house, ransacking every
chamber, no opposition being offered by the family and friends, too
few and powerless to cope with this band of well-armed ruffians. Plate
chests, wardrobes, desks, caskets of jewelry were freely offered,
eagerly accepted, but not found sufficient, and to make the luckless
wretches furnish more than they possest, the usual brutalities were
employed. The soldiers began by striking the bridegroom dead. The
bride fell shrieking into her mother's arms, whence she was torn by
the murderers, who immediately put the mother to death, and an
indiscriminate massacre then followed the fruitless attempts to
obtain by threats and torture treasure which did not exist. The bride,
who was of remarkable beauty, was carried off to the citadel. Maddened
by this last outrage, the father, who was the only man of the party
left alive, rushed upon the Spaniards. Wresting a sword from one of
the crew, the old man dealt with it so fiercely that he stretched more
than one enemy dead at his feet, but it is needless to add that he was
soon dispatched.

Meantime, while the party were concluding the plunder of the mansion,
the bride was left in a lonely apartment of the fortress. Without
wasting time in fruitless lamentation, she resolved to quit the life
which a few hours had made so desolate. She had almost succeeded in
hanging herself with a massive gold chain which she wore, when her
captor entered the apartment. Inflamed, not with lust, but with
avarice, excited not by her charms, but by her jewelry, he rescued her
from her perilous position. He then took possession of her chain and
the other trinkets with which her wedding-dress was adorned, and
caused her to be entirely stript of her clothing. She was then
scourged with rods till her beautiful body was bathed in blood, and at
last alone, naked, nearly mad, was sent back into the city. Here the
forlorn creature wandered up and down through the blazing streets,
among the heaps of dead and dying, till she was at last put out of her
misery by a gang of soldiers.

Such are a few isolated instances, accidentally preserved in their
details, of the general horrors inflicted on this occasion. Others
innumerable have sunk into oblivion. On the morning of the 5th of
November Antwerp presented a ghastly sight. The magnificent marble
town-house, celebrated as a "world's wonder," even in that age and
country, in which so much splendor was lavished on municipal palaces,
stood a blackened ruin--all but the walls destroyed, while its
archives, accounts, and other valuable contents had perished. The more
splendid portion of the city had been consumed, at least five hundred
palaces, mostly of marble or hammered stone, being a smoldering mass
of destruction. The dead bodies of those fallen in the massacre were
on every side, in greatest profusion around the Place de Meer, among
the Gothic pillars of the Exchange, and in the streets near the
town-house. The German soldiers lay in their armor, some with their
heads burned from their bodies, some with legs and arms consumed by
the flames through which they had fought. The Margrave Goswyn
Verreyck, the burgomaster Van der Meere, the magistrates Lancelot Van
Urselen, Nicholas Van Boekholt, and other leading citizens lay among
piles of less distinguished slain. They remained unburied until the
overseers of the poor, on whom the living had then more importunate
claims than the dead, were compelled by Roda to bury them out of the
pauper fund. The murderers were too thrifty to be at funeral charges
for their victims. The ceremony was not hastily performed, for the
number of corpses had not been completed. Two days longer the havoc
lasted in the city. Of all the crimes which men can commit, whether
from deliberate calculation or in the frenzy of passion, hardly one
was omitted, for riot, gaming, rape, which had been postponed to the
more stringent claims of robbery and murder, were now rapidly added to
the sum of atrocities. History has recorded the account indelibly on
her brazen tablets; it can be adjusted only at the judgment-seat
above.

Of all the deeds of darkness yet compassed in the Netherlands this was
the worst. It was called The Spanish Fury, by which dread name it has
been known for ages. The city, which had been a world of wealth and
splendor, was changed to a charnel-house, and from that hour its
commercial prosperity was blasted. Other causes had silently girdled
the yet green and flourishing tree, but the Spanish Fury was the fire
which consumed it to ashes. Three thousand dead bodies were discovered
in the streets, as many more were estimated to have perished in the
Scheld, and nearly an equal number were burned or destroyed in other
ways. Eight thousand persons undoubtedly were put to death. Six
millions of property were destroyed by the fire, and at least as much
more was obtained by the Spaniards.



RICHARD HENRY DANA THE YOUNGER

     Born in Cambridge, Mass., in 1815; died in 1882; being in
     ill health, shipped before the mast in 1834, making a voyage
     to the Pacific, described in his book "Two Years Before the
     Mast," published in 1840; one of the founders of the Free
     Soil party in 1848; edited Wheaton's "Elements of
     International Law," published in 1866.



A FIERCE GALE UNDER A CLEAR SKY[29]


We had been below but a short time before we had the usual
premonitions of a coming gale--seas washing over the whole forward
part of the vessel, and her bows beating against them with a force and
sound like the driving of piles. The watch, too, seemed very busy
trampling about decks and singing out at the ropes. A sailor can tell
by the sound what sail is coming in; and in a short time we heard the
top-gallant-sails come in, one after another, and then the flying jib.
This seemed to ease her a good deal, and we were fast going off to the
land of Nod, when--bang, bang, bang on the scuttle, and "All hands,
reef topsails, ahoy!" started us out of our berths, and it not being
very cold weather, we had nothing extra to put on, and were soon on
deck.

[Footnote 29: From "Two Years Before the Mast."]

I shall never forget the fineness of the sight. It was a clear and
rather a chilly night; the stars were twinkling with an intense
brightness, and as far as the eye could reach there was not a cloud
to be seen. The horizon met the sea in a defined line. A painter could
not have painted so clear a sky. There was not a speck upon it. Yet it
was blowing great guns from the northwest. When you can see a cloud to
windward, you feel that there is a place for the wind to come from;
but here it seemed to come from nowhere. No person could have told
from the heavens, by their eyesight alone, that it was not a still
summer's night. One reef after another we took in the topsails, and
before we could get them hoisted up we heard a sound like a short
quick rattling of thunder, and the jib was blown to atoms out of the
bolt-rope. We got the topsails set, and the fragments of the jib
stowed away, and the foretopmast staysail set in its place, when the
great mainsail gaped open, and the sail ripped from head to foot. "Lay
up on that main yard and furl the sail, before it blows to tatters!"
shouted the captain; and in a moment we were up, gathering the remains
of it upon the yard. We got it wrapt round the yard, and passed
gaskets over it as snugly as possible, and were just on deck again,
when with another loud rent, which was heard throughout the ship, the
foretopsail, which had been double-reefed, split in two athwartships,
just below the reef-band, from earing to earing. Here again it
was--down yard, haul out reef-tackles, and lay out upon the yard for
reefing. By hauling the reef-tackles chock-a-block we took the strain
from the other earings, and passing the close-reef earing, and
knotting the points carefully, we succeeded in setting the sail, close
reefed.

We had but just got the rigging coiled up, and were waiting to hear
"Go below the watch!" when the main royal worked loose from the
gaskets, and blew directly out to leeward, flapping and shaking the
mast like a wand. Here was a job for somebody. The royal must come in
or be cut adrift, or the mast would be snapt short off. All the light
hands in the starboard watch were sent up one after another, but they
could do nothing with it. At length John, the tall Frenchman, the head
of the starboard watch (and a better sailor never stept upon a deck),
sprang aloft, and by the help of his long arms and legs succeeded
after a hard struggle--the sail blowing over the yard-arm to leeward,
and the skysail adrift directly over his head--in smothering it and
frapping it with long pieces of sinnet. He came very near being blown
or shaken from the yard several times, but he was a true sailor, every
finger a fish-hook. Having made the sail snug, he prepared to send the
yard down, which was a long and difficult job; for frequently he was
obliged to stop and hold on with all his might for several minutes,
the ship pitching so as to make it impossible to do anything else at
that height. The yard at length came down safe, and after it the fore
and mizzen royal yards were sent down. All hands were then sent aloft,
and for an hour or two we were hard at work, making the booms well
fast, unreefing the studding sail and royal and skysail gear, getting
rolling-ropes on the yard, setting up the weather breast-backstays,
and making other preparations for a storm. It was a fine night for a
gale, just cool and bracing enough for quick work, without being
cold, and as bright as day. It was sport to have a gale in such
weather as this. Yet it blew like a hurricane. The wind seemed to come
with a spite, an edge to it, which threatened to scrape us off the
yards. The force of the wind was greater than I had ever felt it
before; but darkness, cold, and wet are the worst parts of a storm to
a sailor.

Having got on deck again, we looked round to see what time of night it
was, and whose watch. In a few minutes the man at the wheel struck
four bells, and we found that the other watch was out and our own half
out. Accordingly, the starboard watch went below, and left the ship to
us for a couple of hours, yet with orders to stand by for a call.

Hardly had they got below before away went the foretopmast staysail,
blown to ribbons. This was a small sail, which we could manage in the
watch, so that we were not obliged to call up the other watch. We laid
upon the bowsprit, where we were under water half the time, and took
in the fragments of the sail; and as she must have some headsail on
her, prepared to bend another staysail. We got the new one out into
the nettings; seized on the tack, sheets, and halyards, and the hanks;
manned the halyards, cut adrift the frapping-lines, and hoisted away;
but before it was half-way up the stay it was blown all to pieces.
When we belayed the halyards, there was nothing left but the
bolt-rope. Now large eyes began to show themselves in the foresail;
and knowing that it must soon go, the mate ordered us upon the yard to
furl it. Being unwilling to call up the watch, who had been on deck
all night, he roused out the carpenter, sailmaker, cook, and steward,
and with their help we manned the foreyard, and after nearly half an
hour's struggle, mastered the sail and got it well furled round the
yard.

The force of the wind had never been greater than at this moment. In
going up the rigging it seemed absolutely to pin us down to the
shrouds; and on the yard there was no such thing as turning a face to
windward. Yet there was no driving sleet and darkness and wet and cold
as off Cape Horn; and instead of stiff oilcloth suits, southwester
caps, and thick boots, we had on hats, round jackets, duck trousers,
light shoes, and everything light and easy. These things make a great
difference to a sailor. When we got on deck the man at the wheel
struck eight bells (four o'clock in the morning), and "All
starbowlines, ahoy!" brought the other watch up, but there was no
going below for us. The gale was now at its height, "blowing like
scissors and thumb-screws"; the captain was on deck; the ship, which
was light, rolling and pitching as tho she would shake the long sticks
out of her, and the sails were gaping open and splitting in every
direction. The mizzen-topsail, which was a comparatively new sail and
close reefed, split from head to foot in the bunt; the foretopsail
went in one rent from clew to earing, and was blowing to tatters; one
of the chain bobstays parted; the spritsailyard sprung in the slings,
the martingale had slued away off to leeward; and owing to the long
dry weather the lee rigging hung in large bights at every lurch. One
of the main-topgallant shrouds had parted; and to crown all, the
galley had got adrift and gone over to leeward, and the anchor on the
lee bow had worked loose and was thumping the side. Here was work
enough for all hands for half a day. Our gang laid out on the
mizzen-top-sailyard, and after more than half an hour's hard work
furled the sail, tho it bellied out over our heads, and again, by a
slat of the wind, blew in under the yard with a fearful jerk and
almost threw us off from the foot-ropes....

It was now eleven o'clock, and the watch was sent below to get
breakfast, and at eight bells (noon), as everything was snug, altho
the gale had not in the least abated, the watch was set and the other
watch and idlers sent below. For three days and three nights the gale
continued with unabated fury, and with singular regularity. There were
no lulls, and very little variation in its fierceness. Our ship, being
light, rolled so as almost to send the fore yard-arm under water, and
drifted off bodily to leeward. All this time there was not a cloud to
be seen in the sky, day or night; no, not so large as a man's hand.
Every morning the sun rose cloudless from the sea, and set again at
night in the sea in a flood of light. The stars, too, came out of the
blue one after another, night after night, unobscured, and twinkled as
clear as on a still frosty night at home, until the day came upon
them. All this time the sea was rolling in immense surges, white with
foam, as far as the eye could reach, on every side; for we were now
leagues and leagues from shore.



HENRY DAVID THOREAU

     Born in Concord, Mass., in 1817; died in 1862; graduated
     from Harvard in 1837; taught school; practised surveying;
     lived alone at Walden Pond in 1845-47; a friend of Emerson
     and Alcott; imprisoned for refusal to pay a tax he believed
     to be unjust; published "A Week on the Concord and Merrimac
     Rivers" in 1849, and "Walden" in 1854; "Excursions"
     published after his death, with a memoir, by Emerson, "The
     Maine Woods" in 1864, "Cape Cod" in 1865; his "Journals" and
     other works also published after his death.



I

THE BUILDING OF HIS HOUSE AT WALDEN POND[30]


When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived
alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had
built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts,
and earned my living by the labor of my hands only. I lived there two
years and two months. At present I am a sojourner in civilized life
again....

[Footnote 30: From Chapter I of "Walden, or Life in the Woods."]

Near the end of March, 1845, I borrowed an ax and went down to the
woods by Walden Pond, nearest to where I intended to build my house,
and began to cut down some tall arrowy white pines, still in their
youth, for timber. It is difficult to begin without borrowing, but
perhaps it is the most generous course thus to permit your fellow men
to have an interest in your enterprise. The owner of the ax, as he
released his hold on it, said that it was the apple of his eye; but I
returned it sharper than I received it. It was a pleasant hillside
where I worked, covered with pine woods, through which I looked out on
the pond, and a small open field in the woods where pines and
hickories were springing up. The ice in the pond was not yet
dissolved, tho there were some open spaces, and it was all dark
colored and saturated with water. There were some slight flurries of
snow during the days that I worked there; but for the most part when I
came out on to the railroad, on my way home, its yellow sand heap
stretched away gleaming in the hazy atmosphere, and the rails shone in
the spring sun, and I heard the lark and pewee and other birds already
come to commence another year with us....

I hewed the main timbers six inches square, most of the studs on two
sides only, and the rafters and floor timbers on one side, leaving the
rest of the bark on, so that they were just as straight and much
stronger than sawed ones. Each stick was carefully mortised or tenoned
by its stump, for I had borrowed other tools by this time. My days in
the woods were not very long ones; yet I usually carried my dinner of
bread and butter, and read the newspaper in which it was wrapt, at
noon, sitting amid the green pine boughs which I had cut off, and to
my bread was imparted some of their fragrance, for my hands were
covered with a thick coat of pitch. Before I had done I was more the
friend than the foe of the pine-tree, tho I had cut down some of them,
having become better acquainted with it. Sometimes a rambler in the
wood was attracted by the sound of my ax, and we chatted pleasantly
over the chips which I had made....

I dug my cellar in the side of a hill sloping to the south, where a
woodchuck had formerly dug his burrow, down through sumac and
blackberry roots, and the lowest stain of vegetation, six feet square
by seven deep, to a fine sand where potatoes would not freeze in any
winter. The sides were left shelving, and not stoned; but the sun
having never shone on them, the sand still keeps its place. It was but
two hours' work. I took particular pleasure in this breaking of
ground, for in almost all latitudes men dig into the earth for an
equable temperature. Under the most splendid house in the city is
still to be found the cellar where they store their roots as of old,
and long after the superstructure has disappeared posterity will
remark its dent in the earth. The house is still but a sort of porch
at the entrance of a burrow.

At length, in the beginning of May, with the help of some of my
acquaintances, rather to improve so good an occasion for
neighborliness than from any necessity, I set up the frame of my
house. No man was ever more honored in the character of his raisers
than I. They are destined, I trust, to assist at the raising of
loftier structures one day. I began to occupy my house on the 4th of
July, as soon as it was boarded and roofed, for the boards were
carefully feather-edged and lapped, so that it was perfectly
impervious to rain; but before boarding I laid the foundation of a
chimney at one end, bringing two cartloads of stones up the hill from
the pond in my arms. I built the chimney after my hoeing in the fall,
before a fire became necessary for warmth, doing my cooking in the
meanwhile out-of-doors, on the ground, early in the morning; which
mode I still think is in some respects more convenient and agreeable
than the usual one. When it stormed before my bread was baked, I fixt
a few boards over the fire, and sat under them to watch my loaf, and
passed some pleasant hours in that way. In those days, when my hands
were much employed, I read but little, but the least scraps of paper
which lay on the ground, my holder, or tablecloth, afforded me as much
entertainment, in fact, answered the same purpose as the Iliad.

Before winter I built a chimney, and shingled the sides of my house,
which were already impervious to rain, with imperfect and sappy
shingles made of the first slice of the log, which edges I was obliged
to straighten with a plane.

I have thus a tight shingled and plastered house, ten feet wide by
fifteen long, and eight-feet posts, with a garret and a closet, a
large window on each side, two trap doors, one door at the end, and a
brick fireplace opposite. The exact cost of my house, paying the usual
price for such materials as I used, but not counting the work, all of
which was done by myself, was as follows; and I give the details
because very few are able to tell exactly what their houses cost, and
fewer still, if any, the separate cost of the various materials which
compose them:

Boards                                  $  8.03-1/2
Refuse shingles for roof and sides         4.00
Laths                                      1.25
Two second-hand windows with glass         2.43
One thousand old brick                     4.00
Two casks of lime (That was high)          2.40
Hair (More than I needed)                  0.31
Mantle-tree iron                           0.15
Nails                                      3.90
Hinges and screws                          0.14
Latch                                      0.10
Chalk                                      0.01
Transportation (I carried a good part
on my back)                                1.40
                                        ----------
In all                                   $28.12-1/2

These are all the materials excepting the timber, stones, and sand,
which I claimed by squatter's right. I have also a small woodshed
adjoining, made chiefly of the stuff which was left after building the
house.



II

HOW TO MAKE TWO SMALL ENDS MEET[31]


Before I finished my house, wishing to earn ten or twelve dollars by
some honest and agreeable method, in order to meet my unusual
expenses, I planted about two acres and a half of light and sandy soil
near it chiefly with beans, but also a small part with potatoes,
corn, peas, and turnips. The whole lot contains eleven acres, mostly
growing up to pines and hickories, and was sold the preceding season
for eight dollars and eight cents an acre. One farmer said that it was
"good for nothing but to raise cheeping squirrels on." I put no manure
whatever on this land, not being the owner, but merely a squatter, and
not expecting to cultivate so much again, and I did not quite hoe it
all once. I got out several cords of stumps in plowing, which supplied
me with fuel for a long time, and left small circles of virgin mold,
easily distinguishable through the summer by the greater luxuriance of
the beans there. The dead and for the most part unmerchantable wood
behind my house, and the driftwood from the pond, have supplied the
remainder of my fuel. I was obliged to hire a team and a man for the
plowing, tho I held the plow myself. My farm outgoes for the first
season were, for implements, seed, work, etc., $14.72-1/2. The seed
corn was given me. This never costs anything to speak of, unless you
plant more than enough. I got twelve bushels of beans, and eighteen
bushels of potatoes, besides some peas and sweet corn. The yellow corn
and turnips were too late to come to anything. My whole income from
the farm was

                                        $23.44
Deducting the outgoes                    14.72-1/2
                                     --------------
There are left                          $ 8.71-1/2

besides produce consumed and on hand at the time this estimate was
made of the value of $4.50--the amount on hand much more than
balancing a little grass which I did not raise. All things considered,
that is considering the importance of a man's soul and of to-day,
notwithstanding the short time occupied by my experiment, nay, partly
even because of its transient character I believe that that was doing
better than any farmer in Concord did that year.

[Footnote 31: From Chapters I and II of "Walden."]

The next year I did better still, for I spaded up all the land which I
required, about a third of an acre, and I learned from the experience
of both years, not being in the least awed by many celebrated works on
husbandry, Arthur Young among the rest, that if one would live simply
and eat only the crop which he raised, and raise no more than he ate,
and not exchange it for an insufficient quantity of more luxurious and
expensive things, he would need to cultivate only a few rods of
ground, and that it would be cheaper to spade up that than to use oxen
to plow it, and to select a fresh spot from time to time than to
manure the old, and he could do all his necessary farm work as it were
with his left hand at odd hours in the summer; and thus he would not
be tied to an ox, or horse, or cow, or pig, as at present. I desire to
speak impartially on this point, and as one not interested in the
success or failure of the present economical and social arrangements.
I was more independent than any farmer in Concord, for I was not
anchored to a house or farm, but could follow the bent of my genius,
which is a very crooked one, every moment. Besides being better off
than they already, if my house had been burned or my crops had failed,
I should have been nearly as well off as before....

By surveying, carpentry, and day-labor of various other kinds in the
village in the meanwhile, for I have as many trades as fingers, I had
earned $13.34. The expense of food for eight months, namely, from July
4th to March 1st, the time when these estimates were made, tho I lived
there more than two years--not counting potatoes, a little green corn,
and some peas, which I had raised, nor considering the value of what
was on hand at the last date, was

Rice                            $1.73-1/2}
Molasses (Cheapest form                  }
    of the saccharine)           1.73    }
Rye meal                         1.04-3/4}
Indian meal  (Cheaper                    }
    than rye)                    0.99-3/4}
Pork                             0.22    }
Flour (Costs more than                   }    All Experiments
   Indian meal, both                     }   which had failed
    money and trouble)           0.88    }
Sugar                            0.80    }
Lard                             0.65    }
Apples                           0.25    }
Dried apple                      0.22    }
Sweet potatoes                   0.10    }
One pumpkin                      0.06    }
One watermelon                   0.02    }
Salt                             0.03    }

Yes, I did eat $8.74, all told; but I should not thus unblushingly
publish my guilt, if I did not know that most of my readers were
equally guilty with myself, and that their deeds would look no better
in print. The next year I sometimes caught a mess of fish for my
dinner, and once I went so far as to slaughter a woodchuck which
ravaged my beanfield--effect his transmigration, as a Tartar would
say--and devour him, partly for experiment's sake; but tho it
afforded me a momentary enjoyment, notwithstanding a musky flavor, I
saw that the longest use would not make that a good practise, however
it might seem to have your woodchucks ready drest by the village
butcher.

Clothing and some incidental expenses within the same date, tho little
can be inferred from this item, amounted to

                                      $8.40-3/4
Oil and some household utensils        2.00

So that all the pecuniary outgoes, excepting for washing and mending,
which for the most part were done out of the house, and their bills
have not yet been received--and these are all and more than all the
ways by which money necessarily goes out in this part of the
world--were

House                                $28.12-1/2
Farm, one year                        14.72-1/2
Food, eight months                     8.74
Clothing, etc., eight months           8.40-3/4
Oil, etc., eight months                2.00
                                     -------
      In all                         $61.99-3/4

I address myself now to those of my readers who have a living to get.
And to meet this I have for farm produce sold

                                     $23.44
Earned by day-labor                   13.34
                                     ------
      In all                         $36.78

which subtracted from the sum of the outgoes leaves a balance of
$25.21-3/4 on the one side, this being very nearly the means with which I
started, and the measure of expenses to be incurred--and on the
other, besides the leisure and independence and health thus secured, a
comfortable house for me as long as I choose to occupy it.

These statistics, however accidental and therefore uninstructive they
may appear, as they have a certain completeness, have a certain value
also. Nothing was given me of which I have not rendered some account.
It appears from the above estimate that my food alone cost me in money
about twenty-seven cents a week. It was, for nearly two years after
this, rye and Indian meal without yeast, potatoes, rice, a very little
salt pork, molasses, and salt, and my drink water. It was fit that I
should live on rice, mainly, who loved so well the philosophy of
India. To meet the objections of some inveterate cavillers, I may as
well state that if I dined out occasionally, as I always had done, and
I trust shall have opportunities to do again, it was frequently to the
detriment of my domestic arrangements. But the dining out, being, as I
have stated, a constant element, does not in the least affect a
comparative statement like this.

I learned from my two years' experience that it would cost incredibly
little trouble to obtain one's necessary food, even in this latitude;
that a man may use as simple a diet as the animals, and yet retain
health and strength. I have made a satisfactory dinner, satisfactory
on several accounts, simply off a dish of purslane (_Portulaca
Oleracea_) which I gathered in my cornfield, boiled and salted. I give
the Latin on account of the savoriness of the trivial name. And pray
what more can a reasonable man desire, in peaceful times, in ordinary
noons, than sufficient number of ears of green sweet-corn boiled,
with the addition of salt? Even the little variety which I used was a
yielding to the demands of appetite, and not of health. Yet men have
come to such a pass that they frequently starve, not for want of
necessaries, but for want of luxuries; and I know a good woman who
thinks that her son lost his life because he took to drinking water
only.

The reader will perceive that I am treating the subject rather from an
economic than a dietetic point of view, and he will not venture to put
my abstemiousness to the test unless he has a well-stocked larder.

Bread I at first made of pure Indian meal and salt, genuine hoe-cakes,
which I baked before my fire out of doors on a shingle or the end of a
stick of timber sawed off in building my house; but it was wont to get
smoked and to have a piny flavor. I tried flour also; but have at last
found a mixture of rye and Indian meal most convenient and agreeable.
In cold weather it was no little amusement to bake several small
loaves of this in succession, tending and turning them as carefully as
an Egyptian his hatching eggs. They were a real cereal fruit which I
ripened, and they had to my senses a fragrance like that of other
noble fruits, which I kept in as long as possible by wrapping them in
cloths. I made a study of the ancient and indispensable art of
bread-making, consulting such authorities as offered, going back to
the primitive days and first invention of the unleavened kind, when
from the wildness of nuts and meats men first reached the mildness and
refinement of this diet, and traveling gradually down in my studies
through that accidental souring of the dough, which, it is supposed,
taught the leavening process, and through the various fermentations
thereafter, till I came to "good, sweet, wholesome bread," the staff
of life.

For more than five years I maintained myself thus solely by the labor
of my hands, and I found that by working about six weeks in a year, I
could meet all the expenses of living. The whole of my winters, as
well as most of my summers, I had free and clear for study. I have
thoroughly tried school-keeping, and found that my expenses were in
proportion, or rather out of proportion, to my income, for I was
obliged to dress and train, not to say think and believe, accordingly,
and I lost my time into the bargain. As I did not teach for the good
of my fellow men, but simply for a livelihood, this was a failure. I
have tried trade; but I found that it would take ten years to get
under way in that, and that then I should probably be on my way to the
devil. I was actually afraid that I might by that time be doing what
is called a good business. When formerly I was looking about to see
what I could do for a living, some sad experience in conforming to the
wishes of friends being fresh in my mind to tax my ingenuity, I
thought often and seriously of picking huckleberries; that surely I
could do, and its small profits might suffice--for my greatest skill
has been to want but little--so little capital it required, so little
distraction from my wonted moods, I foolishly thought. While my
acquaintances went unhesitatingly into trade or the professions, I
contemplated this occupation as most like theirs; ranging the hills
all summer to pick the berries which came in my way, and thereafter
carelessly dispose of them; so to keep the flocks of Admetus. I also
dreamed that I might gather the wild herbs, or carry evergreens to
such villagers as loved to be reminded of the woods, even to the city,
by hay-cart loads. But I have since learned that trade curses
everything it handles; and tho you trade in messages from heaven, the
whole curse of trade attaches to the business....

In short, I am convinced, both by faith and experience, that to
maintain one's self on this earth is not a hardship but a pastime, if
we will live simply and wisely; as the pursuits of the simpler nations
are still the sports of the more artificial. It is not necessary that
a man should earn his living by the sweat of his brow, unless he
sweats easier than I do....

The only house I had been the owner of before, if I except a boat, was
a tent, which I used occasionally when making excursions in the
summer, and this is still rolled up in my garret; but the boat, after
passing from hand to hand, has gone down the stream of time. With this
more substantial shelter about me, I had made some progress toward
settling in the world. This frame, so slightly clad, was a sort of
crystallization around me, and reacted on the builder. It was
suggestive as a picture in outlines. I did not need to go outdoors to
take the air, for the atmosphere within had lost none of its
freshness. It was not so much within doors as behind a door where I
sat, even in the rainiest weather. The Harivansa says, "An
abode-without birds is like a meat without seasoning." Such was not my
abode, for I found myself suddenly neighbor to the birds; not by
having imprisoned one, but having caged myself near them. I was not
only nearer to some of those which commonly frequent the garden and
the orchard, but to those wilder and more thrilling songsters of the
forest which never, or rarely, serenade a villager, the wood-thrush,
the veery, the scarlet tanager, the field-sparrow, the whippoorwill,
and many others.

I was seated by the shore of a small pond, about a mile and a half
south of the village of Concord, and somewhat higher than it, in the
midst of an extensive wood between that town and Lincoln, and about
two miles south of that our only field known to fame, Concord battle
ground; but I was so low in the woods that the opposite shore, half a
mile off, like the rest covered with wood, was my most distant
horizon. For the first week, whenever I looked out on the pond it
imprest me like a tarn high up on the side of a mountain, its bottom
far above the surface of other lakes, and, as the sun arose, I saw it
throwing off its mighty clothing of mist, and here and there, by
degrees, its soft ripples or its smooth reflecting surface were
revealed, while the mists, like ghosts, were stealthily withdrawing in
every direction into the woods, as at the breaking up of some
nocturnal conventicle. The very dew seemed to hang upon the trees
later into the day than usual, as on the sides of mountains.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front
only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what
it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not
lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear;
nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary.
I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so
sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to
cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and
reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, then to
get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to
the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be
able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. For most men,
it appears to me, are in a strange uncertainty about it, whether it is
of the devil or of God, and have somewhat hastily concluded that it is
the chief end of man here to "glorify God and enjoy Him forever."

Still we live meanly, like ants; tho the fable tells us that we were
long ago changed into men; like pygmies we fight with cranes; it is
error upon error, and clout upon clout, and our best virtue has for
its occasion a superfluous and evitable wretchedness. Our life is
frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more
than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and
lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your
affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead
of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb
nail. In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life, such are
the clouds and storms and quicksands and thousand and one items to be
allowed for that a man has to live, if he would not founder and go to
the bottom and not make his port at all, by dead reckoning, and he
must be a great calculator indeed who succeeds. Simplify, simplify.
Instead of three meals a day, if it be necessary, eat but one; instead
of a hundred dishes, five; and reduce other things in proportion.

Let us spend one day as deliberately as Nature, and not be thrown off
the track by every nutshell and mosquito's wing that falls on the
rails. Let us rise early and fast, or break fast, gently and without
perturbation; let company come and let company go, let the bells ring
and the children cry--determined to make a day of it. Why should we
knock under and go with the stream? Let us not be upset and
overwhelmed in that terrible rapid and whirlpool called a dinner,
situated in the meridian shallows. Weather this danger and you are
safe, for the rest of the way is down hill. With unrelaxed nerves,
with morning vigor, sail by it, looking another way, tied to the mast
like Ulysses. If the engine whistles, let it whistle till it is hoarse
for its pains. If the bell rings, why should we run? We will consider
what kind of music they are like.



III

ON READING THE ANCIENT CLASSICS[32]


The student may read Homer or Æschylus in the Greek without danger of
dissipation or luxuriousness, for it implies that he in some measure
emulates their heroes, and consecrates morning hours to their pages.
The heroic books, even if printed in the character of our mother
tongue, will always be in a language dead to degenerate times; and we
must laboriously seek the meaning of each word and line, conjecturing
a larger sense than common use permits out of that wisdom and valor
and generosity we have. The modern cheap and fertile press, with all
its translations, has done little to bring us nearer to the heroic
writers of antiquity. They seem as solitary, and the letter in which
they are printed as rare and curious as ever. It is worth the expense
of youthful days and costly hours, if you learn only some words of an
ancient language, which are raised out of the trivialness of the
street, to be perpetual suggestions and provocation. It is not in vain
that the farmer remembers and repeats the few Latin words which he has
heard. Men sometimes speak as if the study of the classics would at
length make way for more modern and practical studies; but the
adventurous student will always study classics, in whatever language
they may be written and however ancient they may be. For what are the
classics but the noblest recorded thoughts of man? They are the only
oracles which are not decayed, and there are such answers to the most
modern inquiry in them as Delphi and Dodona never gave. We might as
well omit to study Nature because she is old.

[Footnote 32: From Chapter III of "Walden."]

To read well, that is, to read true books in a true spirit, is a noble
exercise, and one that will tax the reader more than any exercise
which the customs of the day esteem. It requires a training such as
the athletes underwent, the steady intention almost of the whole life
to this object. Books must be read as deliberately and reservedly as
they were written. It is not enough even to be able to speak the
language of that nation by which they are written, for there is a
memorable interval between the spoken and the written language, the
language heard and the language read. The one is commonly transitory,
a sound, a tongue, a dialect merely, almost brutish, and we learn it
unconsciously, like the brutes, of our mothers. The other is the
maturity and experience of that; if that is our mother tongue, this is
our father tongue, a reserved and select expression, too significant
to be heard by the ear, which we must be born again in order to speak.
The crowds of men who merely spoke the Greek and Latin tongues in the
Middle Ages were not entitled by the accident of birth to read the
works of genius written in those languages; for these were not written
in that Greek or Latin which they knew, but in the select language of
literature. They had not learned the nobler dialects of Greece and
Rome, but the very materials on which they were written were waste
paper to them, and they prized instead a cheap contemporary
literature. But when the several nations of Europe had acquired
distinct tho rude written languages of their own, sufficient for the
purposes of their rising literatures, then first learning revived, and
scholars were enabled to discern from that remoteness the treasures of
antiquity. What the Roman and Grecian multitude could not hear, after
the lapse of ages a few scholars read, and a few scholars only are
still reading it.

However much we may admire the orator's occasional bursts of
eloquence, the noblest written words are commonly as far behind or
above the fleeting spoken language as the firmament with its stars is
behind the clouds. There are the stars, and they who can may read
them. The astronomers forever comment on and observe them. They are
not exhalations like our daily colloquies and vaporous breath. What is
called eloquence in the forum is commonly found to be rhetoric in the
study. The orator yields to the inspiration of a transient occasion,
and speaks to the mob before him, to those who can hear him; but the
writer, whose more equable life is his occasion, and who would be
distracted by the event and the crowd which inspire the orator, speaks
to the intellect and heart of mankind, to all in any age who can
understand him.

No wonder that Alexander carried the Iliad with him on his expeditions
in a precious casket. A written word is the choicest of relics. It is
something at once more intimate with us and more universal than any
other work of art. It is the work of art nearest to life itself. It
may be translated into every language, and not only be read but
actually breathed from all human lips; not be represented on canvas or
in marble only, but be carved out of the breath of life itself. The
symbol of an ancient man's thought becomes a modern man's speech. Two
thousand summers have imparted to the monuments of Grecian literature,
as to her marbles, only a maturer golden and autumnal tint, for they
have carried their own serene and celestial atmosphere into all lands
to protect them against the corrosion of time. Books are the treasured
wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and
nations. Books, the oldest and the best, stand naturally and
rightfully on the shelves of every cottage. They have no cause of
their own to plead, but while they enlighten and sustain the reader
his common sense will not refuse them. Their authors are a natural and
irresistible aristocracy in every society, and, more than kings or
emperors, exert an influence on mankind. When the illiterate and
perhaps scornful trader has earned by enterprise and industry his
coveted leisure and independence, and is admitted to the circles of
wealth and fashion, he turns inevitably at last to those still higher
but yet inaccessible circles of intellect and genius, and is sensible
only of the imperfection of his culture, and the vanity and
insufficiency of all his riches, and further proves his good sense by
the pains which he takes to secure for his children that intellectual
culture whose want he so keenly feels; and thus it is that he becomes
the founder of a family.

Those who have not learned to read the ancient classics in the
language in which they were written must have a very imperfect
knowledge of the history of the human race; for it is remarkable that
no transcript of them has ever been made into any modern tongue,
unless our civilization itself may be regarded as such a transcript.
Homer has never yet been printed in English, nor Æschylus, nor Virgil
even--works as refined, as solidly done, and as beautiful almost as
the morning itself; for later writers, say what we will of their
genius, have rarely, if ever, equaled the elaborate beauty and finish
and the lifelong and heroic literary labors of the ancients. They only
talk of forgetting them who never knew them. It will be soon enough to
forget them when we have the learning and the genius which will enable
us to attend to and appreciate them. That age will be rich, indeed,
when those relics which we call classics, and the still older and more
than classic but even less known scriptures of the nations, shall have
still further accumulated, when the Vaticans shall be filled with
Vedas and Zendavestas and Bibles, with Homers and Dantes and
Shakespeares, and all the centuries to come shall have successively
deposited their trophies in the forum of the world. By such a pile we
may hope to scale heaven at last.



IV

OF SOCIETY AND SOLITUDE[33]


When I return to my house I find that visitors have been there and
left their cards, either a bunch of flowers, or a wreath of evergreen,
or a name in pencil on a yellow walnut leaf or a chip. They who come
rarely to the woods take some little piece of the forest into their
hands to play with by the way, which they leave, either intentionally
or accidentally. One has peeled a willow wand, woven it into a ring,
and dropt it on my table. I could always tell if visitors had called
in my absence, either by the bended twigs or grass, or the print of
their shoes, and generally of what sex or age or quality they were by
some slight trace left, as a flower dropt, or a bunch of grass plucked
and thrown away, even as far off as the railroad, half a mile distant,
or by the lingering odor of a cigar or pipe. Nay, I was frequently
notified of the passage of a traveler along the highway sixty rods off
by the scent of his pipe....

[Footnote 33: From Chapter IV of "Walden."]

I have never felt lonesome, or in the least opprest by a sense of
solitude but once, and that was a few weeks after I came to the woods,
when, for an hour, I doubted if the near neighborhood of man was not
essential to a serene and healthy life. To be alone was something
unpleasant. But I was at the same time conscious of a slight insanity
in my mood, and seemed to foresee my recovery. In the midst of a
gentle rain while these thoughts prevailed, I was suddenly sensible of
such sweet and beneficent society in nature, in the very pattering of
the drops and in every sound and sight around my house, an infinite
and unaccountable friendliness all at once like an atmosphere
sustaining me, as made the fancied advantages of human neighborhood
significant, and I have never thought of them since. Every little pine
needle expanded and swelled with sympathy and befriended me. I was so
distinctly made aware of the presence of something kindred to me, even
in scenes which we are accustomed to call wild and dreary, and also
that the nearest of blood to me and humanest was not a person, nor a
villager, that I thought no place could ever be strange to me
again....

I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in
company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love
to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as
solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among
men than when we stay in our chambers. A man thinking or working is
always alone, let him be where he will. Solitude is not measured by
the miles of space that intervene between a man and his fellows. The
really diligent student in one of the crowded hives of Cambridge
College is as solitary as a dervish in the desert. The farmer can work
alone in the field all day, hoeing or chopping, and not feel lonesome,
because he is employed; but when he comes home at night he can not sit
down in a room alone, at the mercy of his thoughts, but must be where
he can "see the folks," and recreate, and, as he thinks, remunerate
himself for his day's solitude; and hence he wonders how the student
can sit alone in the house all night and most of the day without ennui
and "the blues"; but he does not realize that the student, tho in the
house, is still at work in his field, and chopping in his woods, as
the farmer in his, and in turn seeks the same recreation and society
that the latter does, tho it may be a more condensed form of it.

Society is commonly too cheap. We meet at very short intervals, not
having had time to acquire any new value for each other. We meet at
meals three times a day, and give each other a new taste of that old
musty cheese that we are. We have to agree on a certain set of rules,
called etiquette and politeness, to make this frequent meeting
tolerable and that we need not come to open war. We meet at the
post-office, and at the sociable, and about the fireside every night;
we live thick and are in each other's way, and stumble over one
another, and I think that we thus lose some respect for one another.
Certainly less frequency would suffice for all important and hearty
communications. Consider the girls in a factory--never alone, hardly
in their dreams. It would be better if there were but one inhabitant
to a square mile, as where I live. The value of a man is not in his
skin, that we should touch him.

I have a great deal of company in my house; especially in the morning,
when nobody calls. Let me suggest a few comparisons, that some one may
convey an idea of my situation. I am no more lonely than the loon in
the pond that laughs so loud, or than Walden pond itself. What
company has that lonely lake, I pray? And yet it has not the blue
devils, but the blue angels in it, in the azure tint of its waters.
The sun is alone, except in thick weather, when there sometimes appear
to be two, but one is a mock sun. God is alone--but the devil, he is
far from being alone; he sees a great deal of company; he is legion. I
am no more lonely than a single mullein or dandelion in a pasture, or
a bean leaf, or sorrel, or a horse-fly, or a humble-bee. I am no more
lonely than the Mill brook, or a weathercock, or the north star, or
the south wind, or an April shower, or a January thaw, or the first
spider in a new house.

I have occasional visits in the long winter evenings, when the snow
falls fast and the wind howls in the wood, from an old settler and
original proprietor, who is reported to have dug Walden pond, and
stoned it, and fringed it with pine woods; who tells me stories of old
time and of new eternity; and between us we manage to pass a cheerful
evening, with social mirth and pleasant views of things, even without
apples or cider; a most wise and humorous friend, whom I love much,
who keeps himself more secret than ever did Goffe or Whalley;[34] and
tho he is thought to be dead, none can show where he is buried. An
elderly dame, too, dwells in my neighborhood, invisible to most
persons, in whose odorous herb garden I love to stroll sometimes,
gathering simples and listening to her fables; for she has a genius of
unequaled fertility, and her memory runs back farther than mythology,
and she can tell me the original of every fable, and on what fact
every one is founded, for the incidents occurred when she was young. A
ruddy and lusty old dame, who delights in all weathers and seasons,
and is likely to outlive all her children yet.

[Footnote 34: The English regicides who came to America, and after
1660 lived in concealment in New England, a part of the time in a cave
near New Haven. William Goffe died in Hadley, Mass., in 1679. Edward
Whalley, who had been one of Cromwell's major generals, died also in
Hadley a year before Goffe.]



JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL

     Born in 1819, died in 1891; graduated from Harvard in 1838;
     in 1855 became professor at Harvard; editor of _The Atlantic
     Monthly_ in 1857-62, _The North American Review_ in 1863-72;
     minister to Spain in 1877-80, and Great Britain in 1880-85;
     published "A Year's Life" in 1841, "The Vision of Sir
     Launfal" in 1845, "A Fable for Critics" in 1848, "The Biglow
     Papers" in 1848, and a second series in 1867, "Under the
     Willows" in 1868, "The Cathedral" in 1869; among his
     best-known prose works, "Conversations on Some of the Old
     Poets" published in 1845, "Fireside Travels" in 1864, "Among
     My Books" in 1870 and 1876, "My Study Windows" in 1871; his
     "Letters" edited by Charles Eliot Norton, published in 1893.



I

THE POET AS PROPHET[35]


Poets are the forerunners and prophets of changes in the moral world.
Driven by their fine nature to search into and reverently contemplate
the universal laws of the soul, they find some fragment of the broken
tables of God's law, and interpret it, half-conscious of its mighty
import. While philosophers are wrangling, and politicians playing at
snapdragon with, the destinies of millions, the poet, in the silent
deeps of his soul, listens to those mysterious pulses which, from one
central heart, send life and beauty through the finest veins of the
universe, and utters truths to be sneered at, perchance, by
contemporaries, but which become religion to posterity. Not unwisely
ordered is that eternal destiny which renders the seer despised of
men, since thereby he is but the more surely taught to lay his head
meekly upon the mother-breast of Nature, and harken to the musical
soft beating of her bounteous heart.

[Footnote 35: From an essay contributed to _The Pioneer_ in 1843.
Lowell was the founder and editor of _The Pioneer_, Robert Carter
being his associate. The magazine lived only three months. Charles
Eliot Norton, the editor of Lowell's "Letters," says it "left its
projectors burdened with a considerable debt." "I am deeply in debt,"
wrote Lowell afterward, when hesitating to undertake a journey, "and
feel a twinge for every cent I spend."]

That Poesy, save as she can soar nearer to the blissful throne of the
Supreme Beauty, is of no more use than all other beautiful things are,
we are fain to grant. That she does not add to the outward wealth of
the body, and that she is only so much more excellent than any bodily
gift as spirit is more excellent than matter, we must also yield. But,
inasmuch as all beautiful things are direct messages and revelations
of himself, given us by our Father, and as Poesy is the searcher out
and interpreter of all these, tracing by her inborn sympathy the
invisible nerves which bind them harmoniously together, she is to be
revered and cherished. The poet has a fresher memory of Eden, and of
the path leading back thereto, than other men; so that we might almost
deem him to have been conceived, at least, if not borne and nursed,
beneath the ambrosial shadow of those dimly remembered bowers, and to
have had his infant ears filled with the divine converse of angels,
who then talked face to face with his sires, as with beloved younger
brethren, and of whose golden words only the music remained to him,
vibrating forever in his soul, and making him yearn to have all sounds
of earth harmonize therewith. In the poet's lofty heart Truth hangs
her aerie, and there Love flowers, scattering thence her winged seeds
over all the earth with every wind of heaven. In all ages the poet's
fiery words have goaded men to remember and regain their ancient
freedom, and, when they had regained it, have tempered it with a love
of beauty, so as that it should accord with the freedom of nature, and
be as unmovably eternal as that. The dreams of poets are morning
dreams, coming to them in the early dawn and daybreaking of great
truths, and are surely fulfilled at last. They repeat them, as
children do, and all Christendom, if it be not too busy with
quarreling about the meaning of creeds, which have no meaning at all,
listens with a shrug of the shoulders and a smile of pitying
incredulity; for reformers are always madmen in their own age, and
infallible saints in the next.

We love to go back to the writings of our old poets, for we find in
them the tender germs of many a thought which now stands like a huge
oak in the inward world, an ornament and a shelter. We can not help
reading with awful interest what has been written or rudely scrawled
upon the walls of this our earthly prison house, by former dwellers
therein. From that which centuries have established, too, we may draw
true principles of judgment for the poetry of our own day. A right
knowledge and apprehension of the past teaches humbleness and
self-sustainment to the present. Showing us what has been, it also
reveals what can be done. Progress is Janus-faced, looking to the
bygone as well as to the coming; and radicalism should not so much
busy itself with lopping off the dead or seeming dead limbs, as with
clearing away that poisonous rottenness around the roots, from which
the tree has drawn the principle of death into its sap. A love of the
beautiful and harmonious, which must be the guide and forerunner to
every onward movement of humanity, is created and cherished more
surely by pointing out what beauty dwells in anything, even the most
deformed (for there is something in that also, else it could not even
be), than by searching out and railing at all the foulnesses in
nature.

Not till we have patiently studied beauty can we safely venture to
look at defects, for not till then can we do it in that spirit of
earnest love, which gives more than it takes away. Exultingly as we
hail all signs of progress, we venerate the past also. The tendrils of
the heart, like those of ivy, cling but the more closely to what they
have clung to long, and even when that which they entwine crumbles
beneath them, they still run greenly over the ruin, and beautify those
defects which they can not hide. The past as well as the present,
molds the future, and the features of some remote progenitor will
revive again freshly in the latest offspring of the womb of time. Our
earth hangs well-nigh silent now, amid the chorus of her sister orbs,
and not till past and present move harmoniously together will music
once more vibrate on this long silent chord in the symphony of the
universe.



II

THE FIRST OF THE MODERNS[36]


Dryden has now been in his grave nearly a hundred and seventy years;
in the second class of English poets perhaps no one stands, on the
whole, so high as he; during his lifetime, in spite of jealousy,
detraction, unpopular politics, and a suspicious change of faith, his
preeminence was conceded; he was the earliest complete type of the
purely literary man, in the modern sense; there is a singular
unanimity in allowing him a certain claim to greatness which would be
denied to men as famous and more read--to Pope or Swift, for example;
he is supposed, in some way or other, to have reformed English poetry.
It is now about half a century since the only uniform edition of his
works was edited by Scott. No library is complete without him, no name
is more familiar than his, and yet it may be suspected that few
writers are more thoroughly buried in that great cemetery of the
"British Poets."

[Footnote 36: From the first essay in the first series entitled "Among
My Books." Copyright, 1870, by James Russell Lowell. Published by
Houghton, Mifflin Company.]

If contemporary reputation be often deceitful, posthumous fame may be
generally trusted, for it is a verdict made up of the suffrages of the
select men in succeeding generations. This verdict has been as good as
unanimous in favor of Dryden. It is, perhaps, worth while to take a
fresh observation of him, to consider him neither as warning nor
example, but to endeavor to make out what it is that has given so
lofty and firm a position to one of the most unequal, inconsistent,
and faulty writers that ever lived. He is a curious example of what we
often remark of the living, but rarely of the dead--that they get
credit for what they might be quite as much as for what they are--and
posterity has applied to him one of his own rules of criticism,
judging him by the best rather than the average of his achievement, a
thing posterity is seldom wont to do. On the losing side in politics,
it is true of his polemical writings as of Burke's--whom in many
respects he resembles, and especially in that supreme quality of a
reasoner, that his mind gathers not only heat, but clearness and
expansion, by its own motion--that they have won his battle for him in
the judgment of after times.

To us, looking back at him, he gradually becomes a singularly
interesting and even picturesque figure. He is, in more senses than
one, in language, in turn of thought, in style of mind, in the
direction of his activity, the first of the moderns. He is the first
literary man who was also a man of the world, as we understand the
term. He succeeded Ben Jonson as the acknowledged dictator of wit and
criticism, as Dr. Johnson, after nearly the same interval, succeeded
him. All ages are, in some sense, ages of transition; but there are
times when the transition is more marked, more rapid; and it is,
perhaps, an ill fortune for a man of letters to arrive at maturity
during such a period, still more to represent in himself the change
that is going on, and to be an efficient cause in bringing it about.
Unless, like Goethe, he is of a singularly uncontemporaneous nature,
capable of being _tutta in se romita_, and of running parallel with
his time rather than being sucked into its current, he will be
thwarted in that harmonious development of native force which has so
much to do with its steady and successful application. Dryden
suffered, no doubt, in this way. Tho in creed he seems to have drifted
backward in an eddy of the general current; yet of the intellectual
movement of the time, so far certainly as literature shared in it, he
could say, with Æneas, not only that he saw, but that himself was a
great part of it.

That movement was, on the whole, a downward one, from faith to scepticism,
from enthusiasm to cynicism, from the imagination to the understanding. It
was in a direction altogether away from those springs of imagination and
faith at which they of the last age had slaked the thirst or renewed the
vigor of their souls. Dryden himself recognized that indefinable and
gregarious influence which we call nowadays the spirit of the age, when he
said that "every age has a kind of universal genius." He had also a just
notion of that in which he lived; for he remarks, incidentally, that "all
knowing ages are naturally sceptic and not at all bigoted, which, if I am
not much deceived, is the proper character of our own." It may be conceived
that he was even painfully half-aware of having fallen upon a time
incapable, not merely of a great poet, but perhaps of any poet at all; for
nothing is so sensitive to the chill of a skeptical atmosphere as that
enthusiasm which, if it be not genius, is at least the beautiful illusion,
that saves it from the baffling quibbles of self-consciousness. Thrice
unhappy he who, born to see things as they might be, is schooled by
circumstances to see them as people say they are--to read God in a prose
translation. Such was Dryden's lot, and such, for a good part of his days,
it was by his own choice. He who was of a stature to snatch the torch of
life that flashes from lifted hand to hand along the generations, over the
heads of inferior men, chose rather to be a link-boy to the stews....

But at whatever period of his life we look at Dryden, and whatever,
for the moment, may have been his poetic creed, there was something in
the nature of the man that would not be wholly subdued to what it
worked in. There are continual glimpses of something in him greater
than he, hints of possibilities finer than anything he has done. You
feel that the whole of him was better than any random specimens, tho
of his best, seem to prove. _Incessu patet_, he has by times the large
stride of the elder race, tho it sinks too often into the slouch of a
man who has seen better days. His grand air may, in part, spring from
a habit of easy superiority to his competitors; but must also, in
part, be ascribed to an innate dignity of character. That this
preeminence should have been so generally admitted, during his life,
can only be explained by a bottom of good sense, kindliness, and sound
judgment, whose solid worth could afford that many a flurry of vanity,
petulance, and even error should flit across the surface and be
forgotten. Whatever else Dryden may have been, the last and abiding
impression of him is that he was thoroughly manly; and while it may be
disputed whether he was a great poet, it may be said of him, as
Wordsworth said of Burke, "that he was by far the greatest man of his
age, not only abounding in knowledge himself, but feeding, in various
directions, his most able contemporaries."



III

OF FAULTS FOUND IN SHAKESPEARE[37]


Mr. Matthew Arnold seems to think that Shakespeare has damaged English
poetry. I wish he had! It is true he lifted Dryden above himself in
"All for Love"; but it was Dryden who said of him, by instinctive
conviction rather than judgment, that within his magic circle none
dared tread but he. Is he to blame for the extravagances of modern
diction, which are but the reaction of the brazen age against the
degeneracy of art into artifice, that has characterized the silver
period in every literature? We see in them only the futile effort of
misguided persons to torture out of language the secret of that
inspiration which should be in themselves. We do not find the
extravagances in Shakespeare himself. We never saw a line in any
modern poet that reminded us of him, and will venture to assert that
it is only poets of the second class that find successful imitators.
And the reason seems to us a very plain one. The genius of the great
poet seeks repose in the expression of itself, and finds it at last in
style, which is the establishment of a perfect mutual understanding
between the worker and his material. The secondary intellect, on the
other hand, seeks for excitement in expression, and stimulates itself
into mannerism, which is the wilful obtrusion of self, as style is its
unconscious abnegation. No poet of the first class has ever left a
school, because his imagination is incommunicable; while, just as
surely as the thermometer tells of the neighborhood of an iceberg, you
may detect the presence of a genius of the second class in any
generation by the influence of his mannerism, for that, being an
artificial thing, is capable of reproduction. Dante, Shakespeare,
Goethe, left no heirs either to the form or mode of their expression;
while Milton, Sterne, and Wordsworth left behind them whole regiments
uniformed with all their external characteristics.

[Footnote 37: From the essay entitled "Shakespeare Once Again,"
printed in the first series entitled "Among My Books." Copyright,
1870, by James Russell Lowell. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.]

We do not mean that great poetic geniuses may not have influenced
thought (tho we think it would be difficult to show how Shakespeare
had done so, directly and wilfully), but that they have not infected
contemporaries or followers with mannerism. The quality in him which
makes him at once so thoroughly English and so thoroughly cosmopolitan
is that aeration of the understanding by the imagination which he has
in common with all the greater poets, and which is the privilege of
genius. The modern school, which mistakes violence for intensity,
seems to catch its breath when it finds itself on the verge of natural
expression, and to say to itself, "Good heavens! I had almost
forgotten I was inspired!" But of Shakespeare we do not even suspect
that he ever remembered it. He does not always speak in that intense
way that flames up in Lear and Macbeth through the rifts of a soil
volcanic with passion. He allows us here and there the repose of a
commonplace character, the consoling distraction of a humorous one. He
knows how to be equable and grand without effort, so that we forget
the altitude of thought to which he has led us, because the slowly
receding slope of a mountain stretching downward by ample gradations
gives a less startling impression of height than to look over the edge
of a ravine that makes but a wrinkle in its flank.

Shakespeare has been sometimes taxed with the barbarism of profuseness
and exaggeration. But this is to measure him by a Sophoclean scale.
The simplicity of the antique tragedy is by no means that of
expression, but is of form merely. In the utterance of great passions
something must be indulged to the extravagance of Nature; the subdued
tones to which pathos and sentiment are limited can not express a
tempest of the soul. The range between the piteous "no more but so,"
in which Ophelia compresses the heartbreak whose compression was to
make her mad, and that sublime appeal of Lear to the elements of
nature, only to be matched, if matched at all, in the "Prometheus," is
a wide one, and Shakespeare is as truly simple in the one as in the
other. The simplicity of poetry is not that of prose, nor its
clearness that of ready apprehension merely. To a subtile sense, a
sense heightened by sympathy, those sudden fervors of phrase, gone ere
one can say it lightens, that show us Macbeth groping among the
complexities of thought in his conscience-clouded mind, and reveal the
intricacy rather than enlighten it, while they leave the eye darkened
to the literal meaning of the words, yet make their logical sequence
the grandeur of the conception, and its truth to nature clearer than
sober daylight could. There is an obscurity of mist rising from the
undrained shallows of the mind, and there is the darkness of
thunder-cloud gathering its electric masses with passionate intensity
from the clear element of the imagination, not at random or wilfully,
but by the natural processes of the creative faculty, to brood those
flashes of expression that transcend rhetoric, and are only to be
apprehended by the poetic instinct.

In that secondary office of imagination, where it serves the artist,
not as the reason that shapes, but as the interpreter of his
conceptions into words, there is a distinction to be noticed between
the higher and lower mode in which it performs its function. It may be
either creative or pictorial, may body forth the thought or merely
image it forth. With Shakespeare, for example, imagination seems
immanent in his very consciousness; with Milton, in his memory. In the
one it sends, as if without knowing it, a fiery life into the verse,

   "Sei die Braut das Wort,
    Bräutigam der Geist";

in the other it elaborates a certain pomp and elevation. Accordingly,
the bias of the former is toward over-intensity, of the latter toward
over-diffuseness. Shakespeare's temptation is to push a willing
metaphor beyond its strength, to make a passion over-inform its
tenement of words; Milton can not resist running a simile on into a
fugue.

One always fancies Shakespeare in his best verses, and Milton at the
keyboard of his organ. Shakespeare's language is no longer the mere
vehicle of thought; it has become part of it, its very flesh and
blood. The pleasure it gives us is unmixt, direct, like that from the
smell of a flower or the flavor of a fruit. Milton sets everywhere his
little pitfalls of bookish association for the memory. I know that
Milton's manner is very grand. It is slow, it is stately, moving as in
triumphal procession, with music, with historic banners, with spoils
from every time and every region, and captive epithets, like huge
Sicambrians, thrust their broad shoulders between us and the thought
whose pomp they decorate. But it is manner, nevertheless, as is proved
by the ease with which it is parodied, by the danger it is in of
degenerating into mannerism whenever it forgets itself. Fancy a parody
of Shakespeare--I do not mean of his words, but of his tone, for that
is what distinguishes the master. You might as well try it with the
Venus of Melos. In Shakespeare it is always the higher thing, the
thought, the fancy, that is preeminent; it is Cæsar that draws all
eyes, and not the chariot in which he rides, or the throng which is
but the reverberation of his supremacy. If not, how explain the charm
with which he dominates in all tongues, even under the disenchantment
of translation? Among the most alien races he is as solidly at home as
a mountain seen from different sides by many lands, itself superbly
solitary, yet the companion of all thoughts and domesticated in all
imaginations.



IV

AMERICANS AS SUCCESSORS OF THE DUTCH[38]


For more than a century the Dutch were the laughing-stock of polite
Europe. They were butter-firkins, swillers of beer and schnapps, and
their _vrouws_ from whom Holbein painted the all but loveliest of
Madonnas, Rembrandt the graceful girl who sits immortal on his knee in
Dresden, and Rubens his abounding goddesses, were the synonyms of
clumsy vulgarity. Even so late as Irving the ships of the greatest
navigators in the world were represented as sailing equally well
stern-foremost. That the aristocratic Venetians should have

                "Riveted with gigantic piles
    Thorough the center their new catchèd miles"

was heroic. But the far more marvelous achievement of the Dutch in
the same kind was ludicrous even to republican Marvell. Meanwhile,
during that very century of scorn, they were the best artists,
sailors, merchants, bankers, printers, scholars, jurisconsults, and
statesmen in Europe, and the genius of Motley has revealed them to us,
earning a right to themselves by the most heroic struggle in human
annals. But, alas! they were not merely simple burghers who had fairly
made themselves High Mightinesses, and could treat on equal terms with
anointed kings, but their commonwealth carried in its bosom the germs
of democracy. They even unmuzzled, at least after dark, that dreadful
mastiff, the Press, whose scent is, or ought to be, so keen for wolves
in sheep's clothing and for certain other animals in lions' skins.
They made fun of sacred majesty, and, what was worse, managed
uncommonly well without it. In an age when periwigs made so large a
part of the natural dignity of man people with such a turn of mind
were dangerous. How could they seem other than vulgar and hateful?

[Footnote 38: From the essay entitled "On a Certain Condescension in
Foreigners," printed in "From My Study Windows." Copyright, 1870,
1871, 1890, by James Russell Lowell. Published by Houghton, Mifflin
Company.]

In the natural course of things we succeeded to this unenviable
position of general butt. The Dutch had thriven under it pretty well,
and there was hope that we could at least contrive to worry along. And
we certainly did in a very redoubtable fashion. Perhaps we deserved
some of the sarcasm more than our Dutch predecessors in office. We had
nothing to boast of in arts or letters, and were given to bragging
overmuch of our merely material prosperity, due quite as much to the
virtue of our continent as to our own. There was some truth in
Carlyle's sneer after all. Till we had succeeded in some higher way
than this, we had only the success of physical growth. Our greatness,
like that of enormous Russia, was greatness on the map--barbarian mass
only; but had we gone down, like that other Atlantis, in some vast
cataclysm, we should have covered but a pin's point on the chart of
memory, compared with those ideal spaces occupied by tiny Attica and
cramped England. At the same time, our critics somewhat too easily
forgot that material must make ready the foundation for ideal
triumphs, that the arts have no chance in poor countries. But it must
be allowed that democracy stood for a great deal in our shortcoming.
The _Edinburgh Review_ never would have thought of asking, "Who reads
a Russian book?" and England was satisfied with iron from Sweden
without being impertinently inquisitive after her painters and
statuaries. Was it that they expected too much from the mere miracle
of freedom? Is it not the highest art of a republic to make men of
flesh and blood, and not the marble ideals of such? It may be fairly
doubted whether we have produced this higher type of man yet. Perhaps
it is the collective, not the individual humanity that is to have a
chance of nobler development among us. We shall see. We have a vast
amount of imported ignorance, and, still worse, of native ready-made
knowledge, to digest before even the preliminaries of such a
consummation can be arranged. We have got to learn that statesmanship
is the most complicated of all arts, and to come back to the
apprenticeship system too hastily abandoned....

So long as we continue to be the most common-schooled and the least
cultivated people in the world, I suppose we must consent to endure
this condescending manner of foreigners toward us. The more friendly
they mean to be the more ludicrously prominent it becomes. They can
never appreciate the immense amount of silent work that has been done
here, making this continent slowly fit for the abode of man, and which
will demonstrate itself, let us hope, in the character of the people.
Outsiders can only be expected to judge a nation by the amount it has
contributed to the civilization of the world; the amount, that is,
that can be seen and handled. A great place in history can only be
achieved by competitive examinations, nay, by a long course of them.
How much new thought have we contributed to the common stock? Till
that question can be triumphantly answered, or needs no answer, we
must continue to be simply interesting as an experiment, to be studied
as a problem, and not respected as an attained result or an
accomplished solution. Perhaps, as I have hinted, their patronizing
manner toward us is the fair result of their failing to see here
anything more than a poor imitation, a plaster-cast of Europe.

Are they not partly right? If the tone of the uncultivated American
has too often the arrogance of the barbarian, is not that of the
cultivated as often vulgarly apologetic? In the America they meet with
is there the simplicity, the manliness, the absence of sham, the faith
in human nature, the sensitiveness to duty and implied obligation,
that in any way distinguishes us from what our orators call "the
effete civilization of the Old World"? Is there a politician among us
daring enough (except a Dana[39] here and there) to risk his future on
the chance of our keeping our word with the exactness of superstitious
communities like England? Is it certain that we shall be ashamed of a
bankruptcy of honor, if we can only keep the letter of our bond? I
hope we shall be able to answer all these questions with a frank yes.

[Footnote 39: The reference is to Richard Henry Dana, author of "Two
Years Before the Mast," who in 1876 was appointed by President Grant
minister to England, but failed of confirmation in the Senate, owing
to political intrigues due to his independence. Lowell appears to have
inserted this reference to Dana in an edition published subsequent to
the first, the date of the first being 1871.]

At any rate, we would advise our visitors that we are not merely
curious creatures, but belong to the family of man, and that, as
individuals, we are not to be always subjected to the competitive
examination above mentioned, even if we acknowledged their competence
as an examining board. Above all, we beg them to remember that America
is not to us, as to them, a mere object of external interest to be
discust and analyzed, but in us, part of our very marrow. Let them not
suppose that we conceive of ourselves as exiles from the graces and
amenities of an older date than we, tho very much at home in a state
of things not yet all it might be or should be, but which we mean to
make so, and which we find both wholesome and pleasant for men (tho
perhaps not for _dilettanti_) to live in. "The full tide of human
existence"[40] may be felt here as keenly as Johnson felt it at
Charing Cross, and in a larger sense. I know one person who is
singular enough to think Cambridge the very best spot on the habitable
globe. "Doubtless God could have made a better, but doubtless He never
did."

[Footnote 40: A remark of Dr. Johnson's as reported by Boswell.]

It will take England a great while to get over her airs of patronage
toward us, or even passably to conceal them. She can not help
confounding the people with the country, and regarding us as lusty
juveniles. She has a conviction that whatever good there is in us is
wholly English, when the truth is that we are worth nothing except so
far as we have disinfected ourselves of Anglicism. She is especially
condescending just now, and lavishes sugar-plums on us as if we had
not outgrown them. I am no believer in sudden conversions, especially
in sudden conversions to a favorable opinion of people who have just
proved you to be mistaken in judgment and therefore unwise in policy.
I never blamed her for not wishing well to democracy--how should
she?--but _Alabamas_ are not wishes. Let her not be too hasty in
believing Mr. Reverdy Johnson's[41] pleasant words. Tho there is no
thoughtful man in America who would not consider a war with England
the greatest of calamities, yet the feeling toward her here is very
far from cordial, whatever our minister may say in the effusion that
comes after ample dining. Mr. Adams,[42] with his famous "My Lord,
this means war," perfectly represented his country. Justly or not, we
have a feeling that we have been wronged, not merely insulted. The
only sure way of bringing about a healthy relation between the two
countries is for Englishmen to clear their minds of the notion that we
are always to be treated as a kind of inferior and deported Englishman
whose nature they perfectly understand, and whose back they
accordingly stroke the wrong way of the fur with amazing perseverance.
Let them learn to treat us naturally on our merits as human beings, as
they would a German or a Frenchman, and not as if we were a kind of
counterfeit Briton whose crime appeared in every shade of difference,
and before long there would come that right feeling which we naturally
call a good understanding. The common blood, and still more the common
language, are fatal instruments of misapprehension. Let them give up
trying to understand us, still more thinking that they do, and acting
in various absurd ways as the necessary consequence, for they will
never arrive at that devoutly-to-be-wished consummation till they
learn to look at us as we are and not as they suppose us to be. Dear
old long-estranged mother-in-law, it is a great many years since we
parted. Since 1660, when you married again, you have been a
step-mother to us. Put on your spectacles, dear madam. Yes, we have
grown, and changed likewise. You would not let us darken your doors,
if you could possibly help it.

[Footnote 41: Reverdy Johnson of Maryland, Mr. Adams's successor as
minister to England, negotiated a settlement of the _Alabama_ dispute,
which was unfavorably received in this country and finally rejected by
the Senate, which led to his recall in 1869.]

[Footnote 42: Charles Francis Adams, our minister to England from 1861
to 1867, made this remark to a British cabinet minister at the time of
the threatened sailing of the Laird rams.]

We know that perfectly well. But pray, when we look to be treated as
men, don't shake that rattle in our faces, nor talk baby to us any
longer.

    "Do, child, go to it grandam, child;
    Give grandam kingdom, and it grandam will
    Give it a plum, a cherry, and a fig!"



CHARLES A. DANA

     Born in 1819, died in 1897; joined the Brook Farm Community
     in 1842; an editor of the New York _Tribune_ in 1847-62;
     Assistant Secretary of War in 1863-64; became editor of the
     New York _Sun_ in 1868, remaining editor until his death;
     published "A Household Book of Poetry" in 1857; joint editor
     with George Ripley of the "American Encyclopedia."



GREELEY AS A MAN OF GENIUS[43]


Those who have examined the history of this remarkable man and who
know how to estimate the friendlessness, the disabilities, and the
disadvantages which surrounded his childhood and youth; the scanty
opportunities, or rather the absence of all opportunity, of education;
the destitution and loneliness amid which he struggled for the
possession of knowledge; and the unflinching zeal and pertinacity with
which he provided for himself the materials for intellectual growth,
will heartily echo the popular judgment that he was indeed a man of
genius, marked out from his cradle to inspire, animate, and instruct
others.

[Footnote 43: From an article printed in the New York _Sun_, December
5, 1872. Greeley had died November 29, of this year.]

From the first, when a child in his father's log cabin, lying upon the
hearth that he might read by the flickering firelight, his attention
was given almost exclusively to public and political affairs. This
determined his vocation as a journalist; and he seems never to have
felt any attraction toward any other of the intellectual professions.
He never had a thought of being a physician, a clergyman, an engineer,
or a lawyer. Private questions, individual controversies had little
concern for him except as they were connected with public interests.
Politics and newspapers were his delight, and he learned to be a
printer in order that he might become a newspaper maker. And after he
was the editor of a newspaper, what chiefly engaged him was the
discussion of political and social questions. His whole greatness as a
journalist was in this sphere. For the collection and digestion of
news, with the exception of election statistics, he had no great
fondness and no special ability. He valued talent in that department
only because he knew it was essential to the success of the newspaper
he loved. His own thoughts were always elsewhere.

Accordingly there have been journalists who as such, strictly
speaking, have surpassed him. Minds not devoted to particular
doctrines, not absorbed in the advocacy of cherished ideas--in a word,
minds that believe little and aim only at the passing success of a
day--may easily excel one like him in the preparation of a mere
newspaper. Mr. Greeley was the antipodes of all such persons. He was
always absolutely in earnest. His convictions were intense; he had
that peculiar courage, most precious in a great man, which enables him
to adhere to his own line of action despite the excited appeals of
friends and the menaces of variable public opinion; and his constant
purpose was to assert his principles, to fight for them, and present
them to the public in the way most likely to give them the same hold
upon other minds which they had upon his own. In fact, he was not so
much a journalist, in the proper meaning of that term, as a
pamphleteer or writer of leading articles.

In this sphere of effort he had scarcely an equal. His command of
language was extraordinary, tho he had little imagination and his
vocabulary was limited; but he possest the faculty of expressing
himself in a racy, virile manner, within the apprehension of every
reader. As he treated every topic in a practical rather than a
philosophical spirit, and with strong feeling rather than infallible
logic, so he never wrote above the heads of the public. What he said
was plain, clear, striking. His illustrations were quaint and homely,
sometimes even vulgar, but they never failed to tell. He was gifted
also with an excellent humor which greatly enlivened his writing. In
retort, especially when provoked, he was dangerous to his antagonist;
and tho his reasoning might be faulty, he would frequently gain his
cause by a flash of wit that took the public, and, as it were, hustled
his adversary out of court. But he was not always a victorious
polemic. His vehemence in controversy was sometimes too precipitate
for his prudence; he would rush into a fight with his armor
unfastened, and with only a part of the necessary weapons; and as the
late Washington Hunt[44] once exprest it, he could be more damaging to
his friends than to his opponents....

[Footnote 44: Governor of New York in 1851-53, having been elected by
the Whigs.]

The occasional uncertainty of his judgment was probably due, in a
measure, to the deficiency of his education. Self-educated men are not
always endowed with the strong logical faculty and sure good sense
which are developed and strengthened by thorough intellectual culture.
Besides, a man of powerful intellect who is not regularly disciplined
is apt to fall into an exaggerated mental self-esteem from which more
accurate training and information would have preserved him. But the
very imperfection of Greeley's early studies had a compensation in the
fact that they left him, in all the tendencies and habits of his mind,
an American. No foreign mixture of thought or tradition went to the
composition of his strong intelligence. Of all the great men who have
become renowned on this side of the Atlantic he was most purely and
entirely the product of the country and its institutions. Accordingly,
a sturdy reliance on his own conclusions and a readiness to defy the
world in their behalf were among his most strongly marked
characteristics.

But a kind of moral unsteadiness diminished his power. The miseries of
his childhood had left their trace in a querulous, lamentable,
helpless tone of feeling, into which he fell upon any little
misfortune or disappointment; and as he grew older he came to lack
hope.



JAMES PARTON

     Born in 1822, died in 1891; noted biographer and
     miscellaneous writer; published "Life of Horace Greeley" in
     1855, "Aaron Burr" in 1857, "Andrew Jackson" in 1860,
     "Benjamin Franklin" in 1864, "Thomas Jefferson" in 1874,
     "Voltaire" in 1881; author of several other books.



AARON BURR AND MADAME JUMEL[45]


In the year 1822 M. Jumel lost a considerable part of his fortune, and
madame returned alone to New York, bringing with her a prodigious
quantity of grand furniture and paintings. Retiring to a seat in the
upper part of Manhattan Island, which she possest in her own
right,[46] she began with native energy the task of restoring her
husband's broken fortunes. She cultivated her farm; she looked
vigilantly to the remains of the estate; she economized. In 1828, when
M. Jumel returned to the United States, they were not as rich as in
former days, but their estate was ample for all rational purposes and
enjoyments. In 1832 M. Jumel, a man of magnificent proportions, very
handsome, and perfectly preserved (a great waltzer at seventy), was
thrown from a wagon and fatally injured. He died in a few days. Madame
was then little past her prime.

[Footnote 45: From the "Life of Burr."]

[Footnote 46: Still standing on an eminence near High Bridge and
popularly known as the Jumel House, tho it would more properly be
called the Morris House. It was built by Col. Roger Morris of the
British army after the old French war, his wife being Mary Philipse,
of Philipse Manor, a former sweetheart of Washington. During
Washington's sojourn in New York in 1776 it became his headquarters.
It is now owned by New York City and has become a museum of historical
relics.]

There was talk of cholera in the city. Madame Jumel resolved upon
taking a carriage tour in the country. Before setting out she wished
to take legal advice respecting some real estate, and as Colonel
Burr's reputation in that department was preeminent, to his office in
Reade street she drove. In other days he had known her well, and tho
many an eventful year had passed since he had seen her, he recognized
her at once. He received her in his courtliest manner, complimented
her with admirable tact, listened with soft deference to her
statement. He was the ideal man of business--confidential,
self-possest, polite--giving his client the flattering impression that
the faculties of his whole soul were concentrated upon the affair in
hand. She was charmed, yet feared him. He took the papers, named the
day when his opinion would be ready, and handed her to her carriage
with winning grace. At seventy-eight years of age, he was still
straight, active, agile, fascinating.

On the appointed day she sent to his office a relative, a student of
law, to receive his opinion. This young gentleman, timid and
inexperienced, had an immense opinion of Burr's talents; had heard all
good and all evil of him; supposed him to be, at least, the acutest of
possible men. He went. Burr behaved to him in a manner so exquisitely
pleasing that, to this hour, he has the liveliest recollection of the
scene. No topic was introduced but such as were familiar and
interesting to young men. His manners were such as this age of slangy
familiarity can not so much as imagine. The young gentleman went home
to Madame Jumel only to extol and glorify him.

Madame and her party began their journey, revisiting Ballston,
whither, in former times, she had been wont to go in a chariot drawn
by eight horses; visiting Saratoga, then in the beginning of its
celebrity, where, in exactly ten minutes after her arrival, the
decisive lady bought a house and all it contained. Returning to New
York to find that her mansion had been despoiled by robbers in her
absence, she lived for a while in the city. Colonel Burr called upon
the young gentleman who had been madame's messenger, and, after their
acquaintance had ripened, said to him, "Come into my office; I can
teach you more in a year than you can learn in ten in an ordinary
way." The proposition being submitted to Madame Jumel, she, anxious
for the young man's advancement, gladly and gratefully consented. He
entered the office. Burr kept him close at his books. He did teach him
more in a year than he could have learned in ten in an ordinary way.
Burr lived then in Jersey City. His office (23 Nassau street) swarmed
with applicants for aid, and he seemed now to have quite lost the
power of refusing. In no other respects, bodily or mental, did he
exhibit signs of decrepitude.

Some months passed on without his again meeting Madame Jumel. At the
suggestion of the student, who felt exceedingly grateful to Burr for
the solicitude with which he assisted in his studies, Madame Jumel
invited Colonel Burr to dinner. It was a grand banquet, at which he
displayed all the charms of his manner, and shone to conspicuous
advantage. On handing to dinner the giver of the feast, he said: "I
give you my hand, madame; my heart has long been yours." This was
supposed to be merely a compliment, and was little remarked at the
time. Colonel Burr called upon the lady; called frequently; became
ever warmer in his attentions; proposed, at length, and was refused.
He still plied his suit, however, and obtained at last, not the lady's
consent, but an undecided No. Improving his advantage on the instant,
he said, in a jocular manner, that he should bring out a clergyman to
Fort Washington on a certain day, and there he would once more solicit
her hand.

He was as good as his word. At the time appointed, he drove out in his
gig to the lady's country residence, accompanied by Dr. Bogart, the
very clergyman who, just fifty years before, had married him to the
mother of his Theodosia. The lady was embarrassed, and still refused.
But then the scandal! And, after all, why not? Her estate needed a
vigilant guardian, and the old house was lonely. After much
hesitation, she at length consented to be drest, and to receive her
visitors. And she was married. The ceremony was witnessed only by the
members of Madame Jumel's family, and by the eight servants of the
household, who peered eagerly in at the doors and windows. The
ceremony over, Mrs. Burr ordered supper. Some bins of M. Jumel's
wine-cellar, that had not been opened for half a century, were laid
under contribution. The little party was a very merry one. The parson,
in particular, it is remembered, was in the highest spirits,
overflowing with humor and anecdote. Except for Colonel Burr's great
age (which was not apparent), the match seemed not an unwise one. The
lurking fear he had had of being a poor and homeless old man was put
to rest. She had a companion who had been ever agreeable, and her
estate a steward than whom no one living was supposed to be more
competent.

As a remarkable circumstance connected with this marriage, it may be
just mentioned that there was a woman in New York who had aspired to
the hand of Colonel Burr, and who, when she heard of his union with
another, wrung her hands and shed tears! A feeling of that nature can
seldom, since the creation of man, have been excited by the marriage
of a man on the verge of fourscore.

A few days after the wedding the "happy pair" paid a visit to
Connecticut, of which State a nephew of Colonel Burr was then
governor. They were received with attention. At Hartford Burr advised
his wife to sell out her shares in the bridge over the Connecticut at
that place, and invest the proceeds in real estate. She ordered them
sold. The stock was in demand, and the shares brought several thousand
dollars. The purchasers offered to pay her the money, but she said,
"No; pay it to my husband." To him, accordingly, it was paid, and he
had it sewed up in his pocket, a prodigious bulk, and brought it to
New York, and deposited it in his own bank, to his own credit.

Texas was then beginning to attract the tide of emigration which, a
few years later, set so strongly thither. Burr had always taken a
great interest in that country. Persons with whom he had been
variously connected in life had a scheme on foot for settling a large
colony of Germans on a tract of land in Texas. A brig had been
chartered, and the project was in a state of forwardness, when the
possession of a sum of money enabled Burr to buy shares in the
enterprise. The greater part of the money which he had brought from
Hartford was invested in this way. It proved a total loss. The time
had not yet come for emigration to Texas. The Germans became
discouraged and separated, and, to complete the failure of the scheme,
the title of the lands in the confusion of the times proved defective.
Meanwhile madame, who was a remarkably thrifty woman, with a talent
for the management of property, wondered that her husband made no
allusion to the subject of the investment; for the Texas speculation
had not been mentioned to her. She caused him to be questioned on the
subject. He begged to intimate to the lady's messenger that it was no
affair of hers, and requested him to remind the lady that she now had
a husband to manage her affairs, and one who would manage them.

Coolness between the husband and wife was the result of this colloquy.
Then came remonstrances. Then estrangement. Burr got into the habit of
remaining at his office in the city. Then partial reconciliation. Full
of schemes and speculations to the last, without retaining any of his
former ability to operate successfully, he lost more money, and more,
and more. The patience of the lady was exhausted. She filed a
complaint accusing him of infidelity, and praying that he might have
no more control or authority over her affairs. The accusation is now
known to have been groundless; nor, indeed, at the time was it
seriously believed. It was used merely as the most convenient legal
mode of depriving him of control over her property. At first he
answered the complaint vigorously, but afterward he allowed it to go
by default, and proceedings were carried no further. A few short weeks
of happiness, followed by a few months of alternate estrangement and
reconciliation, and this union, that began not inauspiciously, was, in
effect, tho never in law, dissolved. What is strangest of all is that
the lady, tho she never saw her husband during the last two years of
his life, cherished no ill-will toward him, and shed tears at his
death. To this hour Madame Jumel thinks and speaks of him with
kindness, attributing what was wrong or unwise in his conduct to the
infirmities of age.

Men of seventy-eight have been married before and since. But,
probably, never has there been another instance of a man of that age
winning a lady of fortune and distinction, grieving another by his
marriage, and exciting suspicions of incontinence against himself by
his attentions to a third!



FRANCIS PARKMAN

     Born in 1823, died in 1893; graduated from Harvard in 1844;
     studied law, but abandoned it for literature; his eyesight
     so defective he was nearly blind; professor at Harvard in
     1871-72; published his "Conspiracy of Pontiac" in 1851,
     "Pioneers of France in the New World" in 1865, "Jesuits in
     North America" in 1867, "La Salle and the Discovery of the
     Great West" in 1869, "The Old Régime in Canada" in 1874,
     "Count Frontenac" in 1877, "Montcalm and Wolfe" in 1884, "A
     Half-Century of Conflict" in 1892.



I

CHAMPLAIN'S BATTLE WITH THE IROQUOIS[47]

(1609)


It was ten o'clock in the evening when, near a projecting point of
land, which was probably Ticonderoga, they descried dark objects in
motion on the lake before them. These were a flotilla of Iroquois
canoes, heavier and slower than theirs, for they were made of oak
bark. Each party saw the other, and the mingled war-cries pealed over
the darkened water. The Iroquois, who were near the shore, having no
stomach for an aquatic battle, landed, and, making night hideous with
their clamors, began to barricade themselves. Champlain could see them
in the woods, laboring like beavers, hacking down trees with iron axes
taken from the Canadian tribes in war, and with stone hatchets of
their own making. The allies remained on the lake, a bowshot from the
hostile barricade, their canoes made fast together by poles lasht
across. All night they danced with as much vigor as the frailty of
their vessels would permit, their throats making amends for the
enforced restraint of their limbs. It was agreed on both sides that
the fight should be deferred till daybreak; but meanwhile a commerce
of abuse, sarcasm, menace, and boasting gave unceasing exercise to the
lungs and fancy of the combatants--"much," says Champlain, "like the
besiegers and besieged in a beleaguered town."

[Footnote 47: From Chapter X of "The Pioneers of France in the New
World." Copyright, 1865, by Francis Parkman. Published by Little,
Brown & Co. It may be noted here that one of the most remarkable
coincidences in the history of exploration is the fact that, at the
time of this battle between Champlain and the Iroquois, Henry Hudson
was ascending the river that bears his name. Hudson went as far as the
site of Albany. The two explorers, therefore, at the same time had
reached points distant from each other only about one hundred miles,
and yet each was unaware of the other's presence. Champlain and Hudson
represented the opposing forces in race and system of government
which, from that time until the death of Montcalm at Quebec, were to
contend for mastery of the North American continent.]

As day approached, he and his two followers put on the light armor of
the time. Champlain wore the doublet and long hose then in vogue. Over
the doublet he buckled on a breastplate, and probably a back-piece,
while his thighs were protected by cuisses of steel, and his head by a
plumed casque. Across his shoulder hung the strap of his bandoleer, or
ammunition-box; at his side was his sword, and in his hand his
arquebus. Such was the equipment of this ancient Indian-fighter, whose
exploits date eleven years before the landing of the Puritans at
Plymouth, and sixty-six years before King Philip's War.

Each of the three Frenchmen was in a separate canoe, and, as it grew
light, they kept themselves hidden, either by lying at the bottom, or
covering themselves with an Indian robe. The canoes approached the
shore, and all landed without opposition at some distance from the
Iroquois, whom they presently could see filing out of their barricade,
tall, strong men, some two hundred in number, the boldest and fiercest
warriors of North America. They advanced through the forest with a
steadiness which excited the admiration of Champlain. Among them could
be seen three chiefs, made conspicuous by their tall plumes. Some bore
shields of wood and hide, and some were covered with a kind of armor
made of tough twigs interlaced with a vegetable fiber supposed by
Champlain to be cotton.

The allies, growing anxious, called with loud cries for their
champion, and opened their ranks that he might pass to the front. He
did so, and, advancing before his red companions in arms, stood
revealed to the gaze of the Iroquois, who, beholding the warlike
apparition in their path, stared in mute amazement. "I looked at
them," says Champlain, "and they looked at me. When I saw them getting
ready to shoot their arrows at us, I leveled my arquebus, which I had
loaded with four balls, and aimed straight at one of the three chiefs.
The shot brought down two, and wounded another. On this, our Indians
set up such a yelling that one could not have heard a thunder-clap,
and all the while the arrows flew thick on both sides. The Iroquois
were greatly astonished and frightened to see two of their men killed
so quickly, in spite of their arrow-proof armor. As I was reloading,
one of my companions fired a shot from the woods, which so increased
their astonishment that, seeing their chiefs dead, they abandoned the
field and fled into the depth of the forest." The allies dashed after
them. Some of the Iroquois were killed, and more were taken. Camp,
canoes, provisions, all were abandoned, and many weapons flung down in
the panic flight. The victory was complete.

At night the victors led out one of the prisoners, told him that he
was to die by fire, and ordered him to sing his death-song, if he
dared. Then they began the torture, and presently scalped their victim
alive, when Champlain, sickening at the sight, begged leave to shoot
him. They refused, and he turned away in anger and disgust; on which
they called him back and told him to do as he pleased. He turned again
and a shot from his arquebus put the wretch out of misery.

The scene filled him with horror; but, a few months later, on the
Place de la Grève at Paris, he might have witnessed tortures equally
revolting and equally vindictive, inflicted on the regicide
Ravaillac[48] by the sentence of grave and learned judges.

[Footnote 48: Ravaillac, a religious fanatic, was the assassin of
Henry IV of France. After climbing on to the rear of the King's
carriage in one of the streets of Paris, he stabbed the King twice,
the second wound proving fatal. Ravaillac met his death by being torn
asunder by horses.]



II

THE DEATH OF LA SALLE[49]

(1687)


Night came; the woods grew dark; the evening meal was finished, and
the evening pipes were smoked. The order of the guard was arranged;
and, doubtless by design, the first hour of the night was assigned to
Moranget, the second to Saget, and the third to Nika. Gun in hand,
each stood watch in turn over the silent but not sleeping forms around
him, till, his time expiring, he called the man who was to relieve
him, wrapt himself in his blanket, and was soon buried in a slumber
that was to be his last. Now the assassins rose. Duhaut and Hiens
stood with their guns cocked, ready to shoot down any one of the
destined victims who should resist or fly. The surgeon, with an ax,
stole toward the three sleepers, and struck a rapid blow at each in
turn. Saget and Nika died with little movement; but Moranget started
spasmodically into a sitting posture, gasping and unable to speak; and
the murderers compelled De Marle, who was not in their plot, to
compromise himself by dispatching him.

[Footnote 49: From Chapter XXVII of "La Salle and the Discovery of the
Great West." La Salle was assassinated by some of his own men, near a
branch of the Trinity river in Texas. He had sailed from France in
1684 for the purpose of founding a colony at the mouth of the
Mississippi, and had landed at Matagorda Bay, mistaking it for an
outlet of the Mississippi. He was about to sail for Canada in order to
get supplies for his colony, when he met the fate here described.
Copyright, 1860, 1879, 1897, by Francis Parkman, published by Little,
Brown & Company.]

The floodgates of murder were open, and the torrent must have its way.
Vengeance and safety alike demanded the death of La Salle. Hiens, or
"English Jem," alone seems to have hesitated; for he was one of those
to whom that stern commander had always been partial. Meanwhile, the
intended victim was still at his camp, about six miles distant. It is
easy to picture, with sufficient accuracy, the features of the
scene--the sheds of bark and branches, beneath which, among blankets
and buffalo-robes, camp utensils, pack-saddles, rude harness, guns,
powder-horns, and bullet-pouches, the men lounged away the hour,
sleeping or smoking, or talking among themselves; the blackened
kettles that hung from tripods of poles over the fires; the Indians
strolling about the place or lying, like dogs in the sun, with eyes
half-shut, yet all observant; and, in the neighboring meadow, the
horses grazing under the eye of a watchman.

It was the eighteenth of March. Moranget and his companions had been
expected to return the night before; but the whole day passed, and
they did not appear. La Salle became very anxious. He resolved to go
and look for them; but, not well knowing the way, he told the Indians
who were about the camp that he would give them a hatchet if they
would guide him. One of them accepted the offer; and La Salle prepared
to set out in the morning, at the same time directing Joutel to be
ready to go with him. Joutel says: "That evening, while we were
talking about what could have happened to the absent men, he seemed
to have a presentiment of what was to take place. He asked me if I had
heard of any machinations against them, or if I had noticed any bad
design on the part of Duhaut and the rest. I answered that I had heard
nothing, except that they sometimes complained of being found fault
with so often; and that this was all I knew, besides which, as they
were persuaded that I was in his interest, they would not have told me
of any bad design they might have. We were very uneasy all the rest of
the evening."

In the morning La Salle set out with his Indian guide. He had changed
his mind with regard to Joutel, whom he now directed to remain in
charge of the camp and to keep a careful watch. He told the friar
Anastase Douay to come with him instead of Joutel, whose gun, which
was the best in the party, he borrowed for the occasion, as well as
his pistol. The three proceeded on their way--La Salle, the friar, and
the Indian. "All the way," writes the friar, "he spoke to me of
nothing but matters of piety, grace, and predestination; enlarging on
the debt he owed to God, who had saved him from so many perils during
more than twenty years of travel in America. Suddenly, I saw him
overwhelmed with a profound sadness, for which he himself could not
account. He was so much moved that I scarcely knew him." He soon
recovered his usual calmness; and they walked on till they approached
the camp of Duhaut, which was on the farther side of a small river.
Looking about him with the eye of a woodsman, La Salle saw two eagles
circling in the air nearly over him, as if attracted by carcasses of
beasts or men. He fired his gun and his pistol, as a summons to any of
his followers who might be within hearing. The shots reached the ears
of the conspirators.

Rightly conjecturing by whom they were fired, several of them, led by
Duhaut, crossed the river at a little distance above, where trees or
other intervening objects hid them from sight. Duhaut and the surgeon
crouched like Indians in the long, dry, reed-like grass of the last
summer's growth, while L'Archeveque stood in sight near the bank. La
Salle, continuing to advance, soon saw him, and calling to him,
demanded where was Moranget. The man, without lifting his hat, or any
show of respect, replied in an agitated and broken voice, but with a
tone of studied insolence, that Moranget was strolling about
somewhere. La Salle rebuked and menaced him. He rejoined with
increased insolence, drawing back, as he spoke, toward the ambuscade,
while the incensed commander advanced to chastise him. At that moment,
a shot was fired from the grass, instantly followed by another; and,
pierced through the brain, La Salle dropt dead.

The friar at his side stood terror-stricken, unable to advance or to
fly; when Duhaut, rising from the ambuscade, called out to him to take
courage, for he had nothing to fear. The murderers now came forward,
and with wild looks gathered about their victim. "There thou liest,
great Bashaw! There thou liest!" exclaimed the surgeon Liotot, in base
exultation over the unconscious corpse. With mockery and insult, they
stript it naked, dragged it into the bushes, and left it there, a prey
to buzzards and wolves.

Thus, in the vigor of his manhood, at the age of forty-three, died
Robert Cavelier de La Salle, "one of the greatest men," writes Tonty,
"of this age"; without question one of the most remarkable explorers
whose names live in history. His faithful officer Joutel thus sketches
his portrait: "His firmness, his courage, his great knowledge of the
arts and sciences, which made him equal to every undertaking, and his
untiring energy, which enabled him to surmount every obstacle, would
have won at last a glorious success for his grand enterprise, had not
all his fine qualities been counterbalanced by a haughtiness of manner
which often made him unsupportable, and by a harshness toward those
under his command which drew upon him an implacable hatred, and was at
last the cause of his death."

The enthusiasm of the disinterested and chivalrous Champlain was not
the enthusiasm of La Salle, nor had he any part in the self-devoted
zeal of the early Jesuit explorers. He belonged not to the age of the
knight-errant and the saint, but to the modern world of practical
study and practical action. He was the hero, not of a principle nor of
a faith, but simply of a fixt idea and a determined purpose. As often
happens with concentered and energetic natures, his purpose was to him
a passion and an inspiration; and he clung to it with a certain
fanaticism of devotion. It was the offspring of an ambition vast and
comprehensive, yet acting in the interest both of France and of
civilization.

Serious in all things, incapable of the lighter pleasures, incapable
of repose, finding no joy but in the pursuit of great designs, too shy
for society and too reserved for popularity, often unsympathetic and
always seeming so, smothering emotions which he could not utter,
schooled to universal distrust, stern to his followers and pitiless to
himself, bearing the brunt of every hardship and every danger,
demanding of others an equal constancy joined to an implicit
deference, heeding no counsel but his own, attempting the impossible
and grasping at what was too vast to hold--he contained in his own
complex and painful nature the chief springs of his triumphs, his
failures, and his death.

It is easy to reckon up his defects, but it is not easy to hide from
sight the Roman virtues that redeemed them. Beset by a throng of
enemies, he stands, like the King of Israel, head and shoulders above
them all. He was a tower of adamant, against whose impregnable front
hardship and danger, the rage of man and of the elements, the southern
sun, the northern blast, fatigue, famine, and disease, delay,
disappointment, and deferred hope emptied their quivers in vain. That
very pride which, Coriolanus-like, declared itself most sternly in the
thickest press of foes, has in it something to challenge admiration.
Never, under the impenetrable mail of paladin or crusader, beat a
heart of more intrepid mettle than within the stoic panoply that armed
the breast of La Salle. To estimate aright the marvels of his patient
fortitude, one must follow on his track through the vast scene of his
interminable journeyings, those thousands of weary miles of forest,
marsh, and river, where, again and again, in the bitterness of baffled
striving, the untiring pilgrim pushed onward toward the goal which he
was never to attain. America owes him an enduring memory; for, in this
masculine figure, she sees the pioneer who guided her to the
possession of her richest heritage.



III

THE COMING OF FRONTENAC TO CANADA[50]

(1672)


Count Frontenac came of an ancient and noble race, said to have been of
Basque origin. His father held a high post in the household of Louis XIII,
who became the child's godfather, and gave him his own name. At the age of
fifteen, the young Louis showed an uncontrollable passion for the life of a
soldier. He was sent to the seat of war in Holland, to serve under the
Prince of Orange. At the age of nineteen, he was a volunteer at the siege
of Hesdin; in the next year he was at Arras, where he distinguished himself
during a sortie of the garrison; in the next, he took part in the siege of
Aire; and, in the next, in those of Callioure and Perpignan. At the age of
twenty-three, he was made colonel of the regiment of Normandy, which he
commanded in repeated battles and sieges of the Italian campaign. He was
several times wounded, and in 1646 he had an arm broken at the siege of
Orbitello. In the same year, when twenty-six years old, he was raised to
the rank of maréchal de camp, equivalent to that of brigadier-general. A
year or two later we find him at Paris, at the house of his father, on the
Quai des Célestins.

[Footnote 50: From Chapters I and II of "Count Frontenac and New
France Under Louis XIV." Copyright, 1877, by Francis Parkman.
Published by Little, Brown & Company.]

In the same neighborhood lived La Grange-Trianon, Sieur de Neuville, a
widower of fifty, with one child, a daughter of sixteen, whom he had
placed in the charge of his relative, Madame de Bouthillier. Frontenac
fell in love with her. Madam de Bouthillier opposed the match, and
told La Grange that he might do better for his daughter than marry her
to a man who, say what he might, had but twenty thousand francs a
year. La Grange was weak and vacillating: sometimes he listened to his
prudent kinswoman, and sometimes to the eager suitor; treated him as a
son-in-law, carried love messages from him to his daughter, and ended
by refusing him her hand, and ordering her to renounce him on pain of
being immured in a convent. Neither Frontenac nor his mistress was of
a pliant temper. In the neighborhood was the little church of St.
Pierre aux Boeufs, which had the privilege of uniting couples without
the consent of their parents; and here, on a Wednesday in October,
1648, the lovers were married in presence of a number of Frontenac's
relatives. La Grange was furious at the discovery; but his anger soon
cooled, and complete reconciliation followed.

The happiness of the newly wedded pair was short. Love soon changed to
aversion, at least on the part of the bride. She was not of a tender
nature; her temper was imperious, and she had a restless craving for
excitement. Frontenac, on his part, was the most wayward and
headstrong of men. She bore him a son; but maternal cares were not to
her liking....

At Versailles there is a portrait of a lady, beautiful and young. She
is painted as Minerva, a plumed helmet on her head, and a shield on
her arm. In a corner of the canvas is written Anne de La
Grange-Trianon, Comtesse de Frontenac. This blooming goddess was the
wife of the future governor of Canada.

Madame de Frontenac, at the age of about twenty, was a favorite
companion of Mademoiselle de Montpensier, the grand-daughter of Henry
IV and a daughter of the weak and dastardly Gaston, Duke of Orleans.
Nothing in French annals has found more readers than the story of the
exploit of this spirited princess at Orleans during the civil war of
the Fronde. Her cousin Condé, chief of the revolt, had found favor in
her eyes; and she had espoused his cause against her cousin, the
King....

In 1669, a Venetian embassy came to France to beg for aid against the
Turks, who for more than two years had attacked Candia in overwhelming
force. The ambassadors offered to place their own troops under French
command, and they asked Turenne to name a general officer equal to the
task. Frontenac had the signal honor of being chosen by the first
soldier of Europe for this most arduous and difficult position. He
went accordingly. The result increased his reputation for ability and
courage; but Candia was doomed, and its chief fortress fell into the
hands of the infidels, after a protracted struggle, which is said to
have cost them a hundred and eighty thousand men.

Three years later Frontenac received the appointment of Governor and
Lieutenant-General for the King in all New France. "He was," says
Saint-Simon, "a man of excellent parts, living much in society, and
completely ruined. He found it hard to bear the imperious temper of
his wife and he was given the government of Canada to deliver him from
her, and afford him some means of living." Certain scandalous songs of
the day assign a different motive for his appointment. Louis XIV was
enamored of Madame de Montespan. She had once smiled upon Frontenac;
and it is said that the jealous King gladly embraced the opportunity
of removing from his presence and from hers a lover who had
forestalled him.

Frontenac's wife had no thought of following him across the sea, a
more congenial life awaiting her at home....

Frontenac was fifty-two years old when he landed at Quebec. If time
had done little to cure his many faults, it had done nothing to weaken
the springs of his unconquerable vitality. In his ripe middle age he
was as keen, fiery, and perversely headstrong as when he quarreled
with Prefontaine in the hall at St. Fargeau.

Had nature disposed him to melancholy, there was much in his position
to awaken it. A man of courts and camps, born and bred in the focus of
a most gorgeous civilization, he was banished to the ends of the
earth, among savage hordes and half-reclaimed forests, to exchange the
splendors of St. Germain and the dawning glories of Versailles for a
stern gray rock, haunted by somber priests, rugged merchants and
traders, blanketed Indians, and wild bushrangers. But Frontenac was a
man of action. He wasted no time in vain regrets, and set himself to
his work with the elastic vigor of youth. His first impressions had
been very favorable. When, as he sailed up the St. Lawrence, the basin
of Quebec opened before him, his imagination kindled with the grandeur
of the scene. "I never," he wrote, "saw anything more superb than the
position of this town. It could not be better situated as the future
capital of a great empire."



IV

THE DEATH OF ISAAC JOGUES[51]

(1646)


Late in the autumn a party of the Indians set forth on their yearly
deer-hunt, and Jogues was ordered to go with them. Shivering and
half-famished, he followed them through the chill November forest, and
shared their wild bivouac in the depths of the wintry desolation. The
game they took was devoted to Areskoui, their god, and eaten in his
honor. Jogues would not taste the meat offered to a demon; and thus he
starved in the midst of plenty. At night, when the kettle was slung,
and the savage crew made merry around their fire, he crouched in a
corner of the hut, gnawed by hunger, and pierced to the bone with
cold. They thought his presence unpropitious to their hunting, and the
women especially hated him. His demeanor at once astonished and
incensed his masters. He brought them fire-wood, like a squaw; he did
their bidding without a murmur, and patiently bore their abuse; but
when they mocked at his God, and laughed at his devotions, their slave
assumed an air and tone of authority, and sternly rebuked them.

[Footnote 51: From Chapters XVI and XX of "The Jesuits in North
America." Copyright, 1867, 1895, by Francis Parkman. Published by
Little, Brown & Company. The site of Jogues's martyrdom is near
Auriesville in the Mohawk valley, where a memorial chapel in his honor
is now maintained, the Rev. John J. Wynne, S. J., having been active
in securing and maintaining it.]

He would sometimes escape from "this Babylon," as he calls the hut,
and wander in the forest, telling his beads and repeating passages of
Scripture. In a remote and lonely spot he cut the bark in the form of
the cross from the trunk of a great tree; and here he made his
prayers. This living martyr, half-clad in shaggy furs, kneeling on the
snow among the icicled rocks and beneath the gloomy pines, bowing in
adoration before the emblem of the faith in which was his only
consolation and his only hope, is alike a theme for the pen and a
subject for the pencil....

He remained two days, half-stifled, in this foul lurking-place,[52]
while the Indians, furious at his escape, ransacked the settlement in
vain to find him. They came off to the vessel, and so terrified the
officers that Jogues was sent on shore at night, and led to the fort.
Here he was hidden in the garret of a house occupied by a miserly old
man, to whose charge he was consigned. Food was sent to him; but, as
his host appropriated the larger part to himself, Jogues was nearly
starved. There was a compartment of his garret, separated from the
rest by a partition of boards. Here the old Dutchman, who, like many
others of the settlers, carried on a trade with the Mohawks, kept a
quantity of goods for that purpose; and hither he often brought his
customers. The boards of the partition had shrunk, leaving wide
crevices; and Jogues could plainly see the Indians, as they passed
between him and the light. They, on their part, might as easily have
seen him, if he had not, when he heard them entering the house, hidden
himself behind some barrels in the corner, where he would sometimes
remain crouched for hours, in a constrained and painful posture,
half-suffocated with heat, and afraid to move a limb. His wounded leg
began to show dangerous symptoms; but he was relieved by the care of a
Dutch, surgeon of the fort. The minister, Megapolensis, also visited
him, and did all in his power for the comfort of his Catholic brother,
with whom he seems to have been well pleased, and whom he calls "a
very learned scholar."

[Footnote 52: Near Albany, or Fort Orange, as it was then called.]

When Jogues had remained for six weeks in this hiding-place, his Dutch
friends succeeded in satisfying his Indian masters by the payment of a
large ransom. A vessel from Manhattan, now New York, soon after brought up
an order from the Director-General, Kieft, that he should be sent to him.
Accordingly, he was placed in a small vessel, which carried him down the
Hudson. The Dutch on board treated him with great kindness; and, to do him
honor, named after him one of the islands in the river. At Manhattan he
found a dilapidated fort, garrisoned by sixty soldiers, and containing a
stone church and the Director-General's house, together with storehouses
and barracks. Near it were ranges of small houses, occupied chiefly by
mechanics and laborers; while the dwellings of the remaining colonists,
numbering in all four or five hundred, were scattered here and there on the
island and the neighboring shores. The settlers were of different sects and
nations, but chiefly Dutch Calvinists. Kieft told his guest that eighteen
different languages were spoken at Manhattan. The colonists were in the
midst of a bloody Indian war, brought on by their own besotted cruelty; and
while Jogues was at the fort, some forty of the Dutchmen were killed on the
neighboring farms, and many barns and houses burned.

The Director-General, with a humanity that was far from usual with
him, exchanged Jogues's squalid and savage dress for a suit of Dutch
cloth, and gave him passage in a small vessel which was then about to
sail....

Jogues became a center of curiosity and reverence. He was summoned to
Paris. The Queen, Anne of Austria, wished to see him; and when the
persecuted slave of the Mohawks was conducted into her presence, she
kissed his mutilated hands, while the ladies of the court thronged
around to do him homage. We are told, and no doubt with truth, that
these honors were unwelcome to the modest and single-hearted
missionary, who thought only of returning to his work of converting
the Indians. A priest with any deformity of body is debarred from
saying mass. The teeth and knives of the Iroquois had inflicted an
injury worse than the tortures imagined, for they had robbed Jogues of
the privilege which was the chief consolation of his life; but the
Pope, by a special dispensation, restored it to him, and with the
opening spring he sailed again for Canada....

In the evening--it was the eighteenth of October--Jogues, smarting
with his wounds and bruises, was sitting in one of the lodges, when an
Indian entered, and asked him to a feast. To refuse would have been an
offense. He arose and followed the savage, who led him to the lodge of
the Bear chief. Jogues bent his head to enter, when another Indian,
standing concealed within, at the side of the doorway, struck at him
with a hatchet. An Iroquois, called by the French Le Berger, who seems
to have followed in order to defend him, bravely held out his arm to
ward off the blow; but the hatchet cut through it, and sank into the
missionary's brain. He fell at the feet of his murderer, who at once
finished the work by hacking off his head. Lalande was left in
suspense all night, and in the morning was killed in a similar manner.
The bodies of the two Frenchmen were then thrown into the Mohawk, and
their heads displayed on the points of the palisade which enclosed the
town.

Thus died Isaac Jogues, one of the purest examples of Roman Catholic
virtue which this western continent has seen.



V

WHY NEW FRANCE FAILED[53]


New France was all head. Under king, noble, and Jesuit, the lank, lean
body would not thrive. Even commerce wore the sword, decked itself
with badges of nobility, aspired to forest seigniories and hordes of
savage retainers. Along the borders of the sea an adverse power was
strengthening and widening, with slow but stedfast growth, full of
blood and muscle--a body without a head. Each had its strength, each
its weakness, each its own modes of vigorous life: but the one was
fruitful, the other barren; the one instinct with hope, the other
darkening with shadows of despair.

[Footnote 53: From the introduction to "The Pioneers of France in the
New World." Copyright, 1865, 1885, by Francis Parkman. Published by
Little, Brown & Company.]

By name, local position, and character one of these communities of
freemen stands forth as the most conspicuous representative of this
antagonism--liberty and absolutism, New England and New France. The
one was the offspring of a triumphant government; the other, of an
opprest and fugitive people: the one, an unflinching champion of the
Roman Catholic reaction; the other, a vanguard of the Reform. Each
followed its natural laws of growth, and each came to its natural
results. Vitalized by the principles of its foundation, the Puritan
commonwealth grew apace. New England was preeminently the land of
material progress. Here the prize was within every man's reach;
patient industry need never doubt its reward; nay, in defiance of the
four gospels, assiduity in pursuit of gain was promoted to the rank of
a duty, and thrift and godliness were linked in equivocal wedlock.
Politically she was free; socially she suffered from that subtile and
searching oppression which the dominant opinion of a free community
may exercise over the members who compose it. As a whole, she grew
upon the gaze of the world, a signal example of expansive energy; but
she has not been fruitful in those salient and striking forms of
character which often give a dramatic life to the annals of nations
far less prosperous.

We turn to New France, and all is reversed. Here was a bold attempt to
crush under the exactions of a grasping hierarchy, to stifle under the
curbs and trappings of a feudal monarchy a people compassed by
influences of the wildest freedom--whose schools were the forest and
the sea, whose trade was an armed barter with savages, and whose daily
life a lesson of lawless independence. But this fierce spirit had its
vent. The story of New France is from the first a story of war: of
war--for so her founders believed--with the adversary of mankind
himself; war with savage tribes and potent forest commonwealths; war
with the encroaching powers of heresy and of England. Her brave,
unthinking people were stamped with the soldier's virtues and the
soldier's faults; and in their leaders were displayed, on a grand and
novel stage, the energies, aspirations, and passions which belong to
hopes vast and vague, ill-restricted powers, and stations of command.

The growth of New England was a result of the aggregate efforts of a
busy multitude, each in his narrow circle toiling for himself, to
gather competence or wealth. The expansion of New France was the
achievement of a gigantic ambition striving to grasp a continent. It
was a vain attempt. Long and valiantly her chiefs upheld their cause,
leading to battle a vassal population, warlike as themselves. Borne
down by numbers from without, wasted by corruption from within, New
France fell at last; and out of her fall grew revolutions whose
influence to this hour is felt through every nation of the civilized
world.

The French dominion is a memory of the past; and when we evoke its
departed shades, they rise upon us from their graves in strange,
romantic guise. Again their ghostly camp-fires seem to burn, and the
fitful light is cast around on lord and vassal and black-robed priest,
mingled with wild forms of savage warriors, knit in close fellowship
on the same stern errand. A boundless vision grows upon us; an untamed
continent; vast wastes of forest verdure; mountains silent in primeval
sleep; river, lake, and glimmering pool; wilderness oceans mingling
with the sky. Such was the domain which France conquered for
civilization. Plumed helmets gleamed in the shade of its forests,
priestly vestments in its dens and fastnesses of ancient barbarism.
Men steeped in antique learning, pale with the close breath of the
cloister, here spent the noon and evening of their lives, ruled savage
hordes with a mild, parental sway, and stood serene before the direst
shapes of death. Men of courtly nurture, heirs to the polish of a
far-reaching ancestry, here, with their dauntless hardihood, put to
shame the boldest sons of toil.



VI

THE RETURN OF THE COUREURS-DE-BOIS[54]


It was a curious scene when a party of _coureurs de bois_ returned
from their rovings. Montreal was their harboring place, and they
conducted themselves much like the crew of a man-of-war paid off after
a long voyage. As long as their beaver-skins lasted, they set no
bounds to their riot. Every house in the place, we are told, was
turned into a drinking-shop. The newcomers were bedizened with a
strange mixture of French and Indian finery; while some of them, with
instincts more thoroughly savage, stalked about the streets as naked
as a Pottawottamie or a Sioux. The clamor of tongues was prodigious,
and gambling and drinking filled the day and the night. When at last
they were sober again, they sought absolution for their sins; nor
could the priests venture to bear too hard on their unruly penitents,
lest they should break wholly with the church and dispense
thenceforth with her sacraments.

[Footnote 54: From Chapter XVII of "The Old Régime in Canada."
Copyright, 1874, by Francis Parkman. Published by Little, Brown & Co.]

Under such leaders as Du Lhut, the _coureurs de bois_ built forts of
palisades at various points throughout the West and Northwest. They
had a post of this sort at Detroit some time before its permanent
settlement, as well as others on Lake Superior and in the valley of
the Mississippi. They occupied them as long as it suited their
purposes, and then abandoned them to the next comer. Michillimackinac
was, however, their chief resort; and thence they would set out, two
or three together, to roam for hundreds of miles through the endless
meshwork of interlocking lakes and rivers which seams the northern
wilderness.

No wonder that a year or two of bushranging spoiled them for
civilization. Tho not a very valuable member of society, and tho a
thorn in the side of princes and rulers, the _coureur de bois_ had his
uses, at least from an artistic point of view; and his strange figure,
sometimes brutally savage, but oftener marked with the lines of a
daredevil courage, and a reckless, thoughtless gaiety, will always be
joined to the memories of that grand world of woods which the
nineteenth century is fast civilizing out of existence. At least, he
is picturesque, and with his redskin companion serves to animate
forest scenery. Perhaps he could sometimes feel, without knowing that
he felt them, the charms of the savage nature that had adopted him.

Rude as he was, her voice may not always have been meaningless for one
who knew her haunts so well; deep recesses where, veiled in foliage,
some wild shy rivulet steals with timid music through breathless caves
of verdure; gulfs where feathered crags rise like castle walls, where
the noonday sun pierces with keen rays athwart the torrent, and the
mossed arms of fallen pines cast wavering shadows on the illumined
foam; pools of liquid crystal turned emerald in the reflected green of
impending woods; rocks on whose rugged front the gleam of sunlit
waters dances in quivering light; ancient trees hurled headlong by the
storm to dam the raging stream with their forlorn and savage ruin; or
the stern depths of immemorial forests, dim and silent as a cavern,
columned with innumerable trunks, each like an Atlas upholding its
world of leaves, and sweating perpetual moisture down its dark and
channelled rind; some strong in youth, some grisly with decrepit age,
nightmares of strange distortion, gnarled and knotted with wens and
goitres; roots intertwined beneath like serpents petrified in an agony
of contorted strife; green and glistening mosses carpeting the rough
ground, mantling the rocks, turning pulpy stumps to mounds of verdure,
and swathing fallen trunks as, bent in the impotence of rottenness,
they lie outstretched over knoll and hollow, like moldering reptiles
of the primeval world, while around, and on and through them, springs
the young growth that fattens on their decay--the forest devouring its
own dead. Or, to turn from its funereal shade to the light and life of
the open woodland, the sheen of sparkling lakes, and mountains basking
in the glory of the summer noon, flecked by the shadows of passing
clouds that sail on snowy wings across the azure.

Yet it would be false coloring to paint the half-savage _coureur de
bois_ as a romantic lover of nature. He liked the woods because they
emancipated him from restraint. He liked the lounging ease of the
camp-fire, and the license of Indian villages. His life has a dark and
ugly side.



GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS

     Born in 1824, died in 1892; joined the Brook Farm Community;
     traveled in Europe in 1846-50; became connected with the New
     York _Tribune_ in 1850; editor of _Putnam's Monthly_ in
     1852-57, with _Harper's Magazine_ in 1854, and with
     _Harper's Weekly_ in 1863; prominent advocate of civil
     service reform, being one of the commissioners appointed by
     President Grant in 1871, but resigned on account of
     differences with the President; president of the State Civil
     Service League in 1880, and of the National Civil Service
     Reform League afterward until his death; published "Nile
     Notes of a Howadji" in 1851, "Lotus Eating" in 1852,
     "Potiphar Papers" in 1853, "Prue and I" in 1856.



OUR COUSIN THE CURATE[55]


Our cousin the curate loved, while he was yet a boy, Flora, of the
sparkling eyes and the ringing voice. His devotion was absolute. Flora
was flattered, because all the girls, as I said, worshiped him; but
she was a gay, glancing girl, who had invaded the student's heart with
her audacious brilliancy, and was half-surprized that she had subdued
it. Our cousin--for I never think of him as my cousin only--wasted
away under the fervor of his passion. His life exhaled an incense
before her. He wrote poems to her, and sang them under her window, in
the summer moonlight. He brought her flowers and precious gifts. When
he had nothing else to give, he gave her his love in a homage so
eloquent and beautiful that the worship was like the worship of the
wise men. The gay Flora was proud and superb. She was a girl, and the
bravest and best boy loved her. She was young, and the wisest and
truest youth loved her. They lived together, we all lived together, in
the happy valley of childhood. We looked forward to manhood as
island-poets look across the sea, believing that the whole world
beyond is a blest Araby of spices.

[Footnote 55: From Chapter VII of "Prue and I."]

The months went by, and the young love continued. Our cousin and Flora
were only children still, and there was no engagement. The elders
looked upon the intimacy as natural and mutually beneficial. It would
help soften the boy and strengthen the girl; and they took for granted
that softness and strength were precisely what were wanted. It is a
great pity that men and women forget that they have been children.
Parents are apt to be foreigners to their sons and daughters. Maturity
is the gate of paradise, which shuts behind us; and our memories are
gradually weaned from the glories in which our nativity was cradled.

The months went by, the children grew older, and they constantly
loved. Now Prue always smiles at one of my theories; she is entirely
skeptical of it; but it is, nevertheless, my opinion that men love
most passionately, and women most permanently. Men love at first and
most warmly; women love last and longest. This is natural enough; for
nature makes women to be won, and men to win. Men are the active,
positive force, and therefore, they are more ardent and
demonstrative....

Why our cousin should have loved the gay Flora so ardently was hard to
say; but that he did so, was not difficult to see. He went away to
college. He wrote the most eloquent and passionate letters; and when
he returned in vacations, he had no eyes, ears, nor heart for any
other being. I rarely saw him, for I was living away from our early
home, and was busy in a store--learning to be bookkeeper--but I heard
afterward from himself the whole story.

One day when he came home for the holidays, he found a young foreigner
with Flora--a handsome youth, brilliant and graceful. I have asked
Prue a thousand times why women adore soldiers and foreigners. She
says it is because they love heroism and are romantic. A soldier is
professionally a hero, says Prue, and a foreigner is associated with
all unknown and beautiful regions. I hope there is no worse reason....

Our cousin came home and found Flora and the young foreigner
conversing. The young foreigner had large, soft, black eyes, and the
dusky skin of the tropics. His manner was languid and fascinating,
courteous and reserved. It assumed a natural supremacy, and you felt
as if here were a young prince traveling before he came into
possession of his realm....

Our cousin the curate no sooner saw the tropical stranger and marked
his impression upon Flora than he felt the end. As the shaft struck
his heart, his smile was sweeter, and his homage even more poetic and
reverential. I doubt if Flora understood him or herself. She did not
know, what he instinctively perceived, that she loved him less. But
there are no degrees in love; when it is less than absolute and
supreme, it is nothing. Our cousin and Flora were not formally
engaged, but their betrothal was understood by all of us as a thing of
course. He did not allude to the stranger; but as day followed day, he
saw with every nerve all that passed. Gradually--so gradually that she
scarcely noticed it--our cousin left Flora more and more with the
soft-eyed stranger, whom he saw she preferred. His treatment of her
was so full of tact, he still walked and talked with her so familiarly
that she was not troubled by any fear that he saw what she hardly saw
herself. Therefore, she was not obliged to conceal anything from him
or from herself; but all the soft currents of her heart were setting
toward the West Indian. Our cousin's cheek grew paler, and his soul
burned and wasted within him. His whole future--all his dream of
life--had been founded upon his love. It was a stately palace built
upon the sand, and now the sand was sliding away. I have read
somewhere that love will sacrifice everything but itself. But our
cousin sacrificed his love to the happiness of his mistress. He ceased
to treat her as peculiarly his own. He made no claim in word or manner
that everybody might not have made. He did not refrain from seeing
her, or speaking of her as of all his other friends; and, at length,
altho no one could say how or when the change had been made, it was
evident and understood that he was no more her lover, but that both
were the best of friends.

He still wrote to her occasionally from college, and his letters were
those of a friend, not of a lover. He could not reproach her. I do
not believe any man is secretly surprized that a woman ceases to love
him. Her love is a heavenly favor won by no desert of his. If it
passes, he can no more complain than a flower when the sunshine leaves
it.

Before our cousin left college Flora was married to the tropical
stranger. It was the brightest of June days, and the summer smiled
upon the bride. There were roses in her hand and orange flowers in her
hair, and the village church bell rang out over the peaceful fields.
The warm sunshine lay upon the landscape like God's blessing, and Prue
and I, not yet married ourselves, stood at an open window in the old
meeting-house, hand in hand, while the young couple spoke their vows.
Prue says that brides are always beautiful, and I, who remember Prue
herself upon her wedding-day--how can I deny it? Truly, the gay Flora
was lovely that summer morning, and the throng was happy in the old
church. But it was very sad to me, altho I only suspected then what
now I know. I shed no tears at my own wedding, but I did at Flora's,
altho I knew she was marrying a soft-eyed youth whom she dearly loved,
and who, I doubt not, dearly loved her.

Among the group of her nearest friends was our cousin the curate. When
the ceremony was ended, he came to shake her hand with the rest. His
face was calm, and his smile sweet, and his manner unconstrained.
Flora did not blush--why should she?--but shook his hand warmly, and
thanked him for his good wishes. Then they all sauntered down the
aisle together; there were some tears with the smiles among the other
friends; our cousin handed the bride into her carriage, shook hands
with the husband, closed the door, and Flora drove away.

I have never seen her since; I do not even know if she be living
still. But I shall always remember her as she looked that June
morning, holding roses in her hand, and wreathed with orange flowers.
Dear Flora! it was no fault of hers that she loved one man more than
another: she could not be blamed for not preferring our cousin to the
West Indian: there is no fault in the story, it is only a tragedy.

Our cousin carried all the collegiate honors--but without exciting
jealousy or envy. He was so really the best, that his companions were
anxious he should have the sign of his superiority. He studied hard,
he thought much, and wrote well. There was no evidence of any blight
upon his ambition or career, but after living quietly in the country
for some time, he went to Europe and traveled. When he returned, he
resolved to study law, but presently relinquished it. Then he
collected materials for a history, but suffered them to lie unused.
Somehow the mainspring was gone. He used to come and pass weeks with
Prue and me. His coming made the children happy, for he sat with them,
and talked and played with them all day long, as one of themselves....

At length our cousin went abroad again to Europe. It was many years
ago that we watched him sail away, and when Titbottom, and Prue, and I
went home to dinner, the grace that was said that day was a fervent
prayer for our cousin the curate. Many an evening afterward, the
children wanted him, and cried themselves to sleep calling upon his
name. Many an evening still our talk flags into silence as we sit
before the fire, and Prue puts down her knitting and takes my hand, as
if she knew my thoughts, altho we do not name his name.

He wrote us letters as he wandered about the world. They were
affectionate letters, full of observation, and thought, and
description. He lingered longest in Italy, but he said his conscience
accused him of yielding to the sirens; and he declared that his life
was running uselessly away. At last he came to England. He was charmed
with everything, and the climate was even kinder to him than that of
Italy. He went to all the famous places, and saw many of the famous
Englishmen, and wrote that he felt England to be his home. Burying
himself in the ancient gloom of a university town, altho past the
prime of life, he studied like an ambitious boy. He said again that
his life had been wine poured upon the ground, and he felt guilty. And
so our cousin became a curate....

Our children have forgotten their old playmate; but I am sure if there
be any children in his parish, over the sea, they love our cousin the
curate, and watch eagerly for his coming. Does his step falter now, I
wonder; is that long fair hair gray; is that laugh as musical in those
distant homes as it used to be in our nursery; has England among all
her great and good men any man so noble as our cousin the curate?

The great book is unwritten; the great deeds are undone; in no
biographical dictionary will you find the name of our cousin the
curate. Is his life therefore lost? Have his powers been wasted?

I do not dare to say it, for I see Bourne on the pinnacle of
prosperity, but still looking sadly for his castles in Spain; I see
Titbottom, an old deputy bookkeeper, whom nobody knows, but with his
chivalric heart loyal to children, his generous and humane spirit,
full of sweet hope and faith and devotion; I see the superb Auriel, so
lovely that the Indians would call her a smile of the Great Spirit,
and as beneficent as a saint of the calendar--how shall I say what is
lost and what is won. I know that in every way and by all His
preachers God is served and His purposes accomplished. How shall I
explain or understand? I, who am only an old bookkeeper in an old
cravat.



ARTEMUS WARD

     Born in 1834, died in England in 1867; his real name Charles
     Farrar Browne; noted as a humorous lecturer here and in
     England; published "Artemus Ward: His Book" in 1862;
     "Artemus Ward: His Travels" in 1865; "Artemus Ward in
     London" in 1867.



FORREST AS OTHELLO[56]


Durin a recent visit to New York the undersined went to see Edwin
Forrest. As I am into the moral show biziness myself I ginrally go to
Barnum's moral museum, where only moral peeple air admitted, partickly
on Wednesday arternoons. But this time I thot I'd go and see Ed. Ed
has bin actin out on the stage for many years. There is varis 'pinions
about his actin, Englishmen ginrally bleevin that he's far superior to
Mister Macready; but on one pint all agree, & that is that Ed draws
like a six-ox team. Ed was actin at Niblo's Garding, which looks
considerable more like a parster than a garding, but let that pars. I
sot down in the pit, took out my spectacles and commenced peroosin the
evenin's bill. The awjince was all-fired large & the boxes was full of
the elitty of New York. Several opery glasses was leveled at me by
Gotham's fairest darters, but I didn't let on as tho I noticed it, tho
mebby I did take out my sixteen-dollar silver watch & brandish it
round more than was necessary. But the best of us has our weaknesses &
if a man has gewelry let him show it. As I was peroosin the bill a
grave young man who sot near me axed me if I'd ever seen Forrest
dance the Essence of Old Virginny, "He's immense in that," sed the
young man. "He also does a fair champion jig," the young man
continnered, "but his Big Thing is the Essence of Old Virginny." Sez
I, "Fair youth, do you know what I'd do with you if you was my sun?"

[Footnote 56: From "Artemus Ward: His Book."]

"No," sez he.

"Wall," sez I, "I'd appint your funeral to-morrow arternoon, & the
_korps should be ready_. You're too smart to live on this yerth."

He didn't try any more of his capers on me. But another pussylanermuss
individooul in a red vest and patent leather boots told me his name
was Bill Astor & axed me to lend him 50 cents till early in the
mornin. I told him I'd probly send it round to him before he retired
to his virtoous couch, but if I didn't he might look for it next fall
as soon as I'd cut my corn.

The orchestry was now fiddling with all their might & as the peeple
didn't understan anything about it they applaudid versifrusly.
Presently old Ed cum out. The play was Otheller or More of Veniss.
Otheller was writ by Wm. Shakspeer. The seene is laid in Veniss.
Otheller was a likely man & was a ginral in the Veniss army. He eloped
with Desdemony, a darter of the Hon. Mr. Brabantio who represented one
of the back districks in the Veneshun legislater. Old Brabantio was as
mad as thunder at this & tore round considerable, but finally cooled
down, telling Otheller, howsoever, that Desdemony had come it over her
par, & that he had better look out or she'd come it over him
likewise.

Mr. and Mrs. Otheller git along very comfortable-like for a spell. She
is sweet-tempered and lovin--a nice, sensible female, never goin in
for he-female conventions, green cotton umbrellers, and pickled beats.
Otheller is a good provider and thinks all the world of his wife. She
has a lazy time of it, the hird girl doin all the cookin and washin.
Desdemony in fact don't have to git the water to wash her own hands
with. But a low cuss named Iago, who I bleeve wants to git Otheller
out of his snug government birth, now goes to work & upsets the
Otheller family in most outrajus stile. Iago falls in with a brainless
youth named Roderigo & wins all his money at poker. (Iago allers
played foul.) He thus got money enuff to carry out his onprincipled
skeem. Mike Cassio, a Irishman, is selected as a tool by Iago. Mike
was a clever feller & a orficer in Otheller's army. He liked his tods
too well, howsoever, & they floored him as they have many other
promisin young men. Iago injuces Mike to drink with him, Iago slily
throwin his whiskey over his shoulder. Mike gits as drunk as a biled
owl & allows that he can lick a yard full of the Veneshun fancy before
breakfast, without sweating a hair. He meets Roderigo & proceeds for
to smash him. A feller named Mentano undertakes to slap Cassio, when
that infatooated person runs his sword into him.

That miserble man, Iago, pretends to be very sorry to see Mike conduck
hisself in this way & undertakes to smooth the thing over to Otheller,
who rushes in with a drawn sword & wants to know what's up. Iago
cunningly tells his story & Otheller tells Mike that he thinks a good
deal of him but that he cant train no more in his regiment. Desdemony
sympathizes with poor Mike & interceds for him with Otheller. Iago
makes him bleeve she does this because she thinks more of Mike than
she does of hisself. Otheller swallers Iagos lying tail & goes to
makin a noosence of hisself ginrally. He worries poor Desdemony
terrible by his vile insinuations & finally smothers her to death with
a piller. Mrs. Iago comes in just as Otheller has finished the fowl
deed & givs him fits right & left, showin him that he has been orfully
gulled by her miserble cuss of a husband. Iago cums in & his wife
commences rakin him down also, when he stabs her. Otheller jaws him a
spell & then cuts a small hole in his stummick with his sword. Iago
pints to Desdemony's deth bed & goes orf with a sardonic smile onto
his countenance. Otheller tells the peeple that he has dun the state
some service & they know it; axes them to do as fair a thing as they
can for him under the circumstances, & kills hisself with a
fish-knife, which is the most sensible thing he can do. This is a
breef skedule of the synopsis of the play.

Edwin Forrest is a grate acter. I thot I saw Otheller before me all
the time he was actin &, when the curtin fell, I found my spectacles
was still mistened with salt-water, which had run from my eyes while
poor Desdemony was dyin. Betsy Jane--Betsy Jane! let us pray that our
domestic bliss may never be busted up by a Iago!

Edwin Forrest makes money acting out on the stage. He gits five
hundred dollars a nite & his board & washin. I wish I had such a
Forrest in my Garding!



THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH

     Born in 1836; died in 1908; a literary man in New York in
     early life; removing to Boston, became editor of _Every
     Saturday_ in 1870-74; editor of the _Atlantic Monthly_ in
     1881-1890; among his works "The Ballad of Babie Bell"
     published in 1856, "Cloth of Gold" in 1874, "Flower and
     Thorn" in 1876, "Story of a Bad Boy" in 1870, "Marjorie Daw"
     in 1873, "Prudence Palfrey" in 1874, "The Queen of Sheba" in
     1877, "The Stillwater Tragedy" in 1880, "From Ponkapog to
     Pesth" in 1883, "The Sister's Tragedy" in 1891.



I

A SUNRISE IN STILLWATER[57]


It is close upon daybreak. The great wall of pines and hemlocks that
keep off the east wind from Stillwater stretches black and
indeterminate against the sky. At intervals a dull, metallic sound,
like the guttural twang of a violin string, rises from the
frog-invested swamp skirting the highway. Suddenly the birds stir in
their nests over there in the woodland, and break into that wild
jargoning chorus with which they herald the advent of a new day. In
the apple orchards and among the plum-trees of the few gardens in
Stillwater the wrens and the robins and the blue-jays catch up the
crystal crescendo, and what a melodious racket they make of it with
their fifes and flutes and flageolets!

[Footnote 57: From Chapter I of "The Stillwater Tragedy." Copyright,
1880, by Thomas Bailey Aldrich. Published by Houghton, Mifflin
Company.]

The village lies in a trance like death. Possibly not a soul hears
this music, unless it is the watchers at the bedside of Mr. Leonard
Tappleton, the richest man in town, who has lain dying these three
days, and can not last till sunrise. Or perhaps some mother, drowsily
hushing her wakeful baby, pauses a moment and listens vacantly to the
birds singing. But who else?

The hubbub suddenly ceases--ceases as suddenly as it began--and all is
still again in the woodland. But it is not so dark as before. A faint
glow of white light is discernible behind the ragged line of the tree
tops. The deluge of darkness is receding from the face of the earth,
as the mighty waters receded of old.

The roofs and tall factory chimneys of Stillwater are slowly taking
shape in the gloom. Is that a cemetery coming into view yonder, with
its ghostly architecture of obelisks and broken columns and huddled
headstones? No, that is only Slocum's marble yard, with the finished
and unfinished work heaped up like snowdrifts--a cemetery in embryo.
Here and there in an outlying farm a lantern glimmers in the
barn-yard: the cattle are having their fodder betimes. Scarlet-capped
chanticleer gets himself on the nearest rail fence and lifts up his
rancorous voice like some irate old cardinal launching the curse of
Rome. Something crawls swiftly along the gray of the serpentine
turnpike--a cart, with the driver lashing a jaded horse. A quick wind
goes shivering by, and is lost in the forest.

Now a narrow strip of two-colored gold stretches along the horizon.

Stillwater is gradually coming to its senses. The sun has begun to
twinkle on the gilt cross of the Catholic chapel and make itself known
to the doves in the stone belfry on the South Church. The patches of
cobweb that here and there cling tremulously to the coarse grass of
the inundated meadows have turned into silver nets, and the
mill-pond--it will be steel-blue later--is as smooth and white as if
it had been paved with one vast unbroken slab out of Slocum's marble
yard. Through a row of buttonwoods on the northern skirt of the
village is seen a square, lap-streaked building, painted a
disagreeable brown, and surrounded on three sides by a platform--one
of seven or eight similar stations strung like Indian beads on a
branch thread of the Great Sagamore Railway.

Listen! That is the jingle of the bells on the baker's cart as it
begins its rounds. From innumerable chimneys the curled smoke gives
evidence that the thrifty housewife--or, what is rarer in Stillwater,
the hired girl--has lighted the kitchen fire.

The chimney-stack of one house at the end of a small court--the last
house on the easterly edge of the village, and standing quite
alone--sends up no smoke. Yet the carefully trained ivy over the
porch, and the lemon verbena in a tub at the foot of the steps,
intimate that the place is not unoccupied. Moreover, the little
schooner which acts as weathercock on one of the gables, and is now
heading due west, has a new topsail. It is a story-and-a-half cottage,
with a large expanse of roof, which, covered with porous, unpainted
shingles, seems to repel the sunshine that now strikes full upon it.
The upper and lower blinds on the main building, as well as those on
the extensions, are tightly closed. The sun appears to beat in vain at
the casements of this silent house, which has a curiously sullen and
defiant air, as if it had desperately and successfully barricaded
itself against the approach of morning; yet if one were standing in
the room that leads from the bedchamber on the ground floor--the room
with the latticed window--one would see a ray of light thrust through
a chink of the shutters, and pointing like a human finger at an object
which lies by the hearth.

This finger, gleaming, motionless, and awful in its precision, points
to the body of old Mr. Lemuel Shackford, who lies there dead in his
night-dress, with a gash across his forehead.

In the darkness of that summer night a deed darker than the night
itself had been done in Stillwater.



II

THE FIGHT AT SLATTER'S HILL[58]


The memory of man, even that of the oldest inhabitant runneth not back
to the time when there did not exist a feud between the North End and
the South End boys of Rivermouth.

[Footnote 58: From Chapter XIII of "The Story of a Bad Boy."
Copyright, 1869, 1877, by Thomas Bailey Aldrich. Published by
Houghton, Mifflin Company.]

The origin of the feud is involved in mystery; it is impossible to say
which party was the first aggressor in the far-off anterevolutionary ages;
but the fact remains that the youngsters of those antipodal sections
entertained a mortal hatred for each other, and that this hatred had been
handed down from generation to generation, like Miles Standish's
punch-bowl.

I know not what laws, natural or unnatural, regulated the warmth of
the quarrel; but at some seasons it raged more violently than at
others. This winter both parties were unusually lively and
antagonistic. Great was the wrath of the South-Enders when they
discovered that the North-Enders had thrown up a fort on the crown of
Slatter's Hill.

Slatter's Hill, or No-man's-land, as it was generally called, was a
rise of ground covering, perhaps, an acre and a quarter, situated on
an imaginary line marking the boundary between the two districts. An
immense stratum of granite, which here and there thrust out a wrinkled
boulder, prevented the site from being used for building purposes. The
street ran on either side of the hill, from one part of which a
quantity of rock had been removed to form the underpinning of the new
jail. This excavation made the approach from that point all but
impossible, especially when the ragged ledges were a-glitter with ice.
You see what a spot it was for a snow-fort.

One evening twenty or thirty of the North-Enders quietly took
possession of Slatter's Hill, and threw up a strong line of
breastworks. The rear of the entrenchment, being protected by the
quarry, was left open. The walls were four feet high, and twenty-two
inches thick, strengthened at the angles by stakes driven firmly into
the ground.

Fancy the rage of the South-Enders the next day, when they spied our
snowy citadel, with Jack Harris's red silk pocket-handkerchief
floating defiantly from the flagstaff.

In less than an hour it was known all over town, in military circles
at least, that the "puddle-dockers" and the "river-rats" (these were
the derisive sub-titles bestowed on our South End foes) intended to
attack the fort that Saturday afternoon.

At two o'clock all the fighting boys of the Temple Grammar School, and
as many recruits as we could muster, lay behind the walls of Fort
Slatter, with three hundred compact snowballs piled up in pyramids,
awaiting the approach of the enemy. The enemy was not slow in making
his approach--fifty strong, headed by one Mat Ames. Our forces were
under the command of General J. Harris.

Before the action commenced a meeting was arranged between the rival
commanders, who drew up and signed certain rules and regulations
respecting the conduct of the battle. As it was impossible for the
North-Enders to occupy the fort permanently, it was stipulated that
the South-Enders should assault it only on Wednesday and Saturday
afternoons between the hours of two and six. For them to take
possession of the place at any other time was not to constitute a
capture, but, on the contrary, was to be considered a dishonorable and
cowardly act.

The North-Enders, on the other hand, agreed to give up the fort
whenever ten of the storming party succeeded in obtaining at one time
a footing on the parapet, and were able to hold the same for the space
of two minutes. Both sides were to abstain from putting pebbles into
their snowballs, nor was it permissible to use frozen ammunition. A
snowball soaked in water and left out to cool was a projectile which
in previous years had been resorted to with disastrous results.

These preliminaries settled, the commanders retired to their
respective corps. The interview had taken place on the hillside
between the opposing lines.

General Harris divided his men into two bodies; the first comprized
the most skilful marksmen, or gunners; the second, the reserve force,
was composed of the strongest boys, whose duty it was to repel the
scaling parties, and to make occasional sallies for the purpose of
capturing prisoners, who were bound by the articles of treaty to
faithfully serve under our flag until they were exchanged at the close
of the day.

The repellers were called light infantry; but when they carried on the
operations beyond the fort they became cavalry. It was also their
duty, when not otherwise engaged, to manufacture snowballs. The
General's staff consisted of five Templars (I among the number, with
the rank of major), who carried the General's orders and looked after
the wounded.

General Mat Ames, a veteran commander, was no less wide-awake in the
disposition of his army. Five companies, each numbering but six men,
in order not to present too big a target to our sharpshooters, were
to charge the fort from different points, their advance being covered
by a heavy fire from the gunners posted in the rear. Each scaler was
provided with only two rounds of ammunition, which were not to be used
until he had mounted the breastwork and could deliver his shots on our
heads.

The thrilling moment had now arrived. If I had been going into a real
engagement I could not have been more deeply imprest by the importance
of the occasion.

The fort opened fire first--a single ball from the dextrous hand of
General Harris taking General Ames in the very pit of his stomach. A
cheer went up from Fort Slatter. In an instant the air was thick with
flying missiles, in the midst of which we dimly descried the storming
parties sweeping up the hill, shoulder to shoulder. The shouts of the
leaders, and the snowballs bursting like shells about our ears made it
very lively.

Not more than a dozen of the enemy succeeded in reaching the crest of
the hill; five of these clambered upon the icy walls, where they were
instantly grabbed by the legs and jerked into the fort. The rest
retired confused and blinded by our well-directed fire.

When General Harris (with his right eye bunged up) said, "Soldiers, I
am proud of you!" my heart swelled in my bosom.

The victory, however, had not been without its price. Six
North-Enders, having rushed out to harass the discomfited enemy, were
gallantly cut off by General Ames and captured. Among these were
Lieutenant P. Whitcomb (who had no business to join in the charge,
being weak in the knees) and Captain Fred Langdon, of General Harris's
staff. Whitcomb was one of the most notable shots on our side, tho he
was not much to boast of in a rough-and-tumble fight, owing to the
weakness before mentioned. General Ames put him among the gunners, and
we were quickly made aware of the loss we had sustained by receiving a
frequent artful ball which seemed to light with unerring instinct on
any nose that was the least bit exposed. I have known one of Pepper's
snowballs, fired point-blank, to turn a corner and hit a boy who
considered himself absolutely safe.

But we had no time for vain regrets. The battle raged. Already there
were two bad cases of black eye, and one of nose-bleed, in the
hospital.

It was glorious excitement, those pell-mell onslaughts and
hand-to-hand struggles. Twice we were within an ace of being driven
from our stronghold, when General Harris and his staff leapt
recklessly upon the ramparts and hurled the besiegers heels over head
down hill.

At sunset the garrison of Fort Slatter was still unconquered, and the
South-Enders, in a solid phalanx, marched off whistling "Yankee
Doodle," while we cheered and jeered them until they were out of
hearing.



III

ON RETURNING FROM EUROPE[59]


This page will be wafted possibly through a snow-storm to the reader's
hand; but it is written while a few red leaves are still clinging to
the maple bough, and the last steamer of the year from across the
ocean has not yet discharged on our shores the final cargo of
returning summer tourists. How glad they will be, like those who came
over in previous ships, to sight that fantomish, white strip of Yankee
land called Sandy Hook! It is thinking of them that I write.

[Footnote 59: From Chapter IX of "From Ponkapog to Pesth." Copyright,
1883, by Thomas Bailey Aldrich. Published by Houghton, Mifflin
Company.]

Some one--that anonymous person who is always saying the wisest and
most delightful things just as you are on the point of saying them
yourself--has remarked that one of the greatest pleasures of foreign
travel is to get home again. But no one--that irresponsible person
forever to blame in railway accidents, but whom, on the whole, I
vastly prefer to his garrulous relative quoted above--no one, I
repeat, has pointed out the composite nature of this pleasure, or
named the ingredient in it which gives the chief charm to this getting
back. It is pleasant to feel the pressure of friendly hands once more;
it is pleasant to pick up the threads of occupation which you dropt
abruptly, or perhaps neatly knotted together and carefully laid away,
just before you stept on board the steamer; it is very pleasant, when
the summer experience has been softened and sublimated by time, to sit
of a winter night by the cheery wood fire, or even at the register,
since one must make one's self comfortable in so humiliating a
fashion, and let your fancy wander back in the old footprints; to form
your thoughts into happy summer pilgrims, and dispatch them to Arles
or Nuremberg, or up the vine-clad heights of Monte Cassino, or embark
them at Vienna for a cruise down the swift Danube to Budapest. But in
none of these things lies the subtle charm I wish to indicate. It lies
in the refreshing, short-lived pleasure of being able to look at your
own land with the eyes of an alien; to see novelty blossoming on the
most commonplace and familiar stems; to have the old manner and the
threadbare old custom to present themselves to you as absolutely
new--or if not new, at least strange.

After you have escaped from the claws of the custom-house
officers--who are not nearly as affable birds as you once thought
them--and are rattling in an oddly familiar hack through well-known
but half-unrecognizable streets, you are struck by something comical
in the names on the shop signs--are American names comical, as
Englishmen seem to think?--by the strange fashion of the iron
lamp-post at the corner, by peculiarities in the architecture, which
you ought to have noticed, but never did notice until now. The candid
incivility of the coachman, who does not touch his hat to you, but
swears at you, has the vague charm of reminiscence. You regard him as
the guests regarded the poor relation at table in Lamb's essay; you
have an impression that you have seen him somewhere before. The truth
is, for the first time in your existence, you have a full,
unprejudiced look at the shell of the civilization from which you
emerged when you went abroad. Is it a pretty shell? Is it a
satisfactory shell? Not entirely. It has strange excrescences and
blotches on it. But it is a shell worth examining; it is the best you
can ever have; and it is expedient to study it very carefully the two
or three weeks immediately following your return to it, for your
privilege of doing so is of the briefest tenure. Some precious things
you do not lose, but your newly acquired vision fails you shortly.
Suddenly, while you are comparing, valuing, and criticizing, the old
scales fall over your eyes, you insensibly slip back into the
well-worn grooves, and behold all outward and most inward things in
nearly the same light as your untraveled neighbor, who has never known

   "The glory that was Greece
    And the grandeur that was Rome."

You will have to go abroad again to renew those magical spectacles
which enabled you for a few weeks to see your native land.



WILLIAM DEAN HOWELLS

     Born in Ohio in 1837; consul to Venice in 1861-65; editor of
     _The Atlantic Monthly_ in 1871-81; associate editor of
     _Harper's Magazine_ since 1886; among his many works,
     "Venetian Life" published in 1866, "Italian Journeys" in
     1869, "Poems" in 1867, "Their Wedding Journey" in 1872, "A
     Chance Acquaintance" in 1873, "The Lady of the Aroostook" in
     1875, "The Undiscovered Country" in 1880, "A Modern
     Instance" in 1882, "Silas Lapham" in 1885, "Annie Kilburn"
     in 1888.



TO ALBANY BY THE NIGHT BOAT[60]


There is little proportion about either pain or pleasure: a headache
darkens the universe while it lasts, a cup of tea really lightens the
spirit bereft of all reasonable consolation. Therefore I do not think
it trivial or untrue to say that there is for the moment nothing more
satisfactory in life than to have bought your ticket on the night boat
up the Hudson and secured your stateroom key an hour or two before
departure, and some time even before the pressure at the clerk's
office has begun. In the transaction with this castellated baron, you
have, of course, been treated with haughtiness, but not with ferocity,
and your self-respect swells with a sense of having escaped positive
insult; your key clicks cheerfully in your pocket against its
gutta-percha number, and you walk up and down the gorgeously
carpeted, single-columned, two-story cabin, amid a multitude of plush
sofas and chairs, a glitter of glass, and a tinkle of prismatic
chandeliers overhead, unawed even by the aristocratic gloom of the
yellow waiters. Your own stateroom, as you enter it from time to time,
is an ever new surprize of splendors, a magnificent effect of
amplitude, of mahogany bedstead, of lace curtains, and of marble topt
washstand. In the mere wantonness of an unalloyed prosperity you say
to the saffron nobleman nearest your door, "Bring me a pitcher of
ice-water, quick, please!" and you do not find the half-hour that he
is gone very long.

[Footnote 60: From Chapter III of "Their Wedding Journey." Copyright,
1871, 1888, Houghton, Mifflin Company.]

If the ordinary wayfarer experiences so much pleasure from these
things, then imagine the infinite comfort of our wedding journeyers,
transported from Broadway on that pitiless afternoon to the shelter
and the quiet of that absurdly palatial steamboat. It was not yet
crowded, and by the river-side there was almost a freshness in the
air. They disposed of their troubling bags and packages; they
complimented the ridiculous princeliness of their stateroom, and then
they betook themselves to the sheltered space aft of the saloon, where
they sat down for the tranquiller observance of the wharf and whatever
should come to be seen by them. Like all people who have just escaped
with their lives from some menacing calamity, they were very
philosophical in spirit; and having got aboard of their own motion,
and being neither of them apparently the worse for the ordeal they had
passed through, were of a light, conversational temper.

"What an amusingly superb affair!" Basil cried as they glanced through
an open window down the long vista of the saloon. "Good heavens!
Isabel, does it take all this to get us plain republicans to Albany in
comfort and safety, or are we really a nation of princes in disguise?
Well, I shall never be satisfied with less hereafter," he added. "I am
spoiled for ordinary paint and upholstery from this hour; I am a
ruinous spendthrift, and a humble three-story swell-front up at the
South End is no longer the place for me. Dearest,

     'Let us swear an oath, and keep it with an equal mind,'

never to leave this Aladdin's-palace-like steamboat, but spend our
lives in perpetual trips up and down the Hudson."

To which not very costly banter Isabel responded in kind, and rapidly
sketched the life they could lead aboard. Since they could not help
it, they mocked the public provision which, leaving no interval
between disgraceful squalor and ludicrous splendor, accommodates our
democratic menage to the taste of the richest and most extravagant
plebeian amongst us. He, unhappily, minds danger and oppression as
little as he minds money, so long as he has a spectacle and a
sensation, and it is this ruthless imbecile who will have lace
curtains to the steamboat berth into which he gets with his pantaloons
on, and out of which he may be blown by an exploding boiler at any
moment; it is he who will have for supper that overgrown and shapeless
dinner in the lower saloon, and will not let any one else buy tea or
toast for a less sum than he pays for his surfeit; it is he who
perpetuates the insolence of the clerk and the reluctance of the
waiters; it is he, in fact, who now comes out of the saloon, with his
womenkind, and takes chairs under the awning where Basil and Isabel
sit. Personally, he is not so bad; he is good-looking, like all of us;
he is better drest than most of us; he behaves himself quietly, if not
easily; and no lord so loathes a scene. Next year he is going to
Europe, where he will not show to so much advantage as here; but for
the present it would be hard to say in what way he is vulgar, and
perhaps vulgarity is not so common a thing after all.



JOHN HAY

     Born in Indiana in 1838, died in 1905; graduated from Brown
     University in 1858; admitted to the bar in Illinois; one of
     the private secretaries of President Lincoln; secretary of
     Legation in Paris, Madrid and Vienna; Assistant Secretary of
     State in 1879-81; president of the International Sanitary
     Commission in 1891; ambassador to England in 1897-98;
     Secretary of State in 1898; author of "Castilian Days,"
     published in 1871, "Pike County Ballads" in 1871, "Abraham
     Lincoln: a History," in collaboration with John G. Nicolay
     in 1890.



LINCOLN'S EARLY FAME[61]


His death seemed to have marked a step in the education of the people
everywhere. It requires years, perhaps centuries, to build the
structure of a reputation which rests upon the opinion of those
distinguished for learning or intelligence; the progress of opinion
from the few to the many is slow and painful. But in the case of
Lincoln the many imposed their opinion all at once; he was canonized,
as he lay on his bier, by the irresistible decree of countless
millions. The greater part of the aristocracy of England thought
little of him; but the burst of grief from the English people silenced
in an instant every discordant voice. It would have been as imprudent
to speak slightingly of him in London as it was in New York.
Especially among the Dissenters was honor and reverence shown to his
name. The humbler people instinctively felt that their order had lost
its wisest champion.

[Footnote 61: From Volume X, Chapter XVIII, of "Abraham Lincoln: a
History." Copyright, 1886, 1890, by John G. Nicolay and John Hay.
Published by the Century Co.]

Not only among those of Saxon blood was this outburst of emotion seen.
In France a national manifestation took place, which the government
disliked but did not think it wise to suppress. The students of Paris
marched in a body to the American Legation to express their sympathy.
A two-cent subscription was started to strike a massive gold medal;
the money was soon raised, but the committee was forced to have the
work done in Switzerland. A committee of French liberals brought the
medal to the American minister, to be sent to Mrs. Lincoln. "Tell
her," said Eugène Pelletan, "the heart of France is in that little
box." The inscription had a double sense; while honoring the dead
republican, it struck at the Empire: "Lincoln--the Honest Man;
abolished Slavery, reestablished the Union; Saved the Republic,
without veiling the Statue of Liberty."

Everywhere on the Continent the same swift apotheosis of the people's
hero was seen. An Austrian deputy said to the writer, "Among my people
his memory has already assumed superhuman proportions; he has become a
myth, a type of ideal democracy." Almost before the earth closed over
him he began to be the subject of fable. The Freemasons of Europe
generally regard him as one of them--his portrait in masonic garb is
often displayed; yet he was not one of that brotherhood. The
spiritualists claim him as their most illustrious adept, but he was
not a spiritualist; and there is hardly a sect in the Western world,
from the Calvinist to the atheist, but affects to believe he was of
their opinion.

A collection of the expressions of sympathy and condolence which came
to Washington from foreign governments, associations, and public
bodies of all sorts, was made by the State Department, and afterward
published by order of Congress. It forms a large quarto of a thousand
pages, and embraces the utterances of grief and regret from every
country under the sun, in almost every language spoken by man.

But admired and venerated as he was in Europe, he was best understood
and appreciated at home. It is not to be denied that in his case, as
in that of all heroic personages who occupy a great place in history,
a certain element of legend mingles with his righteous fame. He was a
man, in fact, especially liable to legend....

Because Lincoln kept himself in such constant sympathy with the common
people, whom he respected too highly to flatter or mislead, he was
rewarded by a reverence and a love hardly ever given to a human being.
Among the humble working people of the South whom he had made free
this veneration and affection easily passed into the supernatural. At
a religious meeting among the negroes of the Sea Islands a young man
exprest the wish that he might see Lincoln. A gray-headed negro
rebuked the rash aspiration: "No man see Linkum. Linkum walk as Jesus
walk; no man see Linkum."...

The quick instinct by which the world recognized him even at the
moment of his death as one of its greatest men, was not deceived. It
has been confirmed by the sober thought of a quarter of a century.
The writers of each nation compare him with their first popular hero.
The French find points of resemblance in him to Henry IV; the Dutch
liken him to William of Orange: the cruel stroke of murder and treason
by which all three perished in the height of their power naturally
suggests the comparison, which is strangely justified in both cases,
tho the two princes were so widely different in character. Lincoln had
the wit, the bonhomie, the keen practical insight into affairs, of the
Béarnais; and the tyrannous moral sense, the wide comprehension, the
heroic patience of the Dutch patriot, whose motto might have served
equally well for the American President--_"Sævis tranquillus in
undis."_ European historians speak of him in words reserved for the
most illustrious names.

In this country, where millions still live who were his
contemporaries, and thousands who knew him personally; where the
envies and jealousies which dog the footsteps of success still linger
in the hearts of a few; where journals still exist that loaded his
name for four years with daily calumny, and writers of memoirs vainly
try to make themselves important by belittling him--his fame has
become as universal as the air, as deeply rooted as the hills. The
faint discords are not heard in the wide chorus that hails him second
to none and equaled by Washington alone. The eulogies of him form a
special literature. Preachers, poets, soldiers, and statesmen employ
the same phrases of unconditional love and reverence. Men speaking
with the authority of fame use unqualified superlatives....

It is not difficult to perceive the basis of this sudden and
world-wide fame, nor rash to predict its indefinite duration. There
are two classes of men whose names are more enduring than any
monument: the great writers, and the men of great achievement--the
founders of states, the conquerors. Lincoln has the singular fortune
to belong to both these categories; upon these broad and stable
foundations his renown is securely built. Nothing would have more
amazed him while he lived than to hear himself called a man of
letters; but this age has produced few greater writers. We are only
recording here the judgment of his peers. Emerson ranks him with Æsop
and Pilpay, in his lighter moods....

The more his writings are studied in connection with the important
transactions of his age, the higher will his reputation stand in the
opinion of the lettered class. But the men of study and research are
never numerous; and it is principally as a man of action that the
world at large will regard him. It is the story of his objective life
that will forever touch and hold the heart of mankind. His birthright
was privation and ignorance--not peculiar to his family, but the
universal environment of his place and time; he burst through those
enchaining conditions by the force of native genius and will: vice had
no temptation for him; his course was as naturally upward as the
skylark's; he won, against all conceivable obstacles, a high place in
an exacting profession and an honorable position in public and private
life; he became the foremost representative of a party founded on an
uprising of the national conscience against a secular wrong, and thus
came to the awful responsibilities of power in a time of terror and
gloom. He met them with incomparable strength and virtue. Caring for
nothing but the public good, free from envy or jealous fears, he
surrounded himself with the leading men of his party, his most
formidable rivals in public esteem, and through four years of
stupendous difficulties he was head and shoulders above them all in
the vital qualities of wisdom, foresight, knowledge of men, and
thorough comprehension of measures. Personally opposed, as the
radicals claim, by more than half of his own party in Congress, and
bitterly denounced and maligned by his open adversaries, he yet bore
himself with such extraordinary discretion and skill that he obtained
for the government all the legislation it required, and so imprest
himself upon the national mind that without personal effort or
solicitation he became the only possible candidate of his party for
reelection, and was chosen by an almost unanimous vote of the
electoral colleges....

To these qualifications of high literary excellence, and easy
practical mastery of affairs of transcendent importance we must add,
as an explanation of his immediate and world-wide fame, his possession
of certain moral qualities rarely combined in such high degree in one
individual. His heart was so tender that he would dismount from his
horse in a forest to replace in their nest young birds which had
fallen by the roadside; he could not sleep at night if he knew that a
soldier-boy was under sentence of death; he could not, even at the
bidding of duty or policy, refuse the prayer of age or helplessness in
distress. Children instinctively loved him; they never found his
rugged features ugly; his sympathies were quick and seemingly
unlimited. He was absolutely without prejudice of class or condition.
Frederick Douglass says he was the only man of distinction he ever met
who never reminded him, by word or manner, of his color; he was as
just and generous to the rich and well-born as to the poor and
humble--a thing rare among politicians. He was tolerant even of evil:
tho no man can ever have lived with a loftier scorn of meanness and
selfishness, he yet recognized their existence and counted with them.
He said one day, with a flash of cynical wisdom worthy of a La
Rochefoucauld, that honest statesmanship was the employment of
individual meanness for the public good. He never asked perfection of
any one; he did not even insist, for others, upon the high standards
he set up for himself. At a time before the word was invented he was
the first of opportunists. With the fire of a reformer and a martyr in
his heart, he yet proceeded by the ways of cautious and practical
statecraft. He always worked with things as they were, while never
relinquishing the desire and effort to make them better. To a hope
which saw the delectable mountains of absolute justice and peace in
the future, to a faith that God in his own time would give to all men
the things convenient to them, he added a charity which embraced in
its deep bosom all the good and the bad, all the virtues and the
infirmities of men, and a patience like that of nature, which in its
vast and fruitful activity knows neither haste nor rest.

A character like this is among the precious heirlooms of the
republic; and by a special good fortune every part of the country has
an equal claim and pride in it. Lincoln's blood came from the veins of
New England emigrants, of Middle State Quakers, of Virginia planters,
of Kentucky pioneers; he himself was one of the men who grew up with
the earliest growth of the great West. Every jewel of his mind or his
conduct sheds radiance on each portion of the nation. The marvelous
symmetry and balance of his intellect and character may have owed
something to this varied environment of his race, and they may fitly
typify the variety and solidity of the republic. It may not be
unreasonable to hope that his name and his renown may be forever a
bond of union to the country which he loved with an affection so
impartial, and served, in life and in death, with such entire
devotion.



HENRY ADAMS

     Born in Boston in 1838; graduated from Harvard in 1858,
     private secretary to his father, Charles Francis Adams,
     American Minister to England in 1861-68; a professor at
     Harvard in 1870-77; editor of the _North American Review_ in
     1870-76; author of "Essays in Anglo-Saxon Law," "Life of
     Albert Gallatin," and a "History of the United States" in
     nine volumes.



JEFFERSON'S RETIREMENT[62]


The repeal of the embargo, which received the President's signature
March 1, closed the long reign of President Jefferson; and with but
one exception the remark of John Randolph was destined to remain true,
that "never has there been any administration which went out of office
and left the nation in a state so deplorable and calamitous." That the
blame for this failure rested wholly upon Jefferson might be doubted;
but no one felt more keenly than he the disappointment under which his
old hopes and ambitions were crusht.

[Footnote 62: From the final chapter of the "History of the United
States in the Administration of Thomas Jefferson." Copyright, 1889, by
Charles Scribners' Sons.]

Loss of popularity was his bitterest trial. He who longed like a
sensitive child for sympathy and love left office as strongly and
almost as generally disliked as the least popular president who
preceded or followed him. He had undertaken to create a government
which should interfere in no way with private action, and he had
created one which interfered directly in the concerns of every private
citizen in the land. He had come into power as the champion of state
rights, and had driven states to the verge of armed resistance. He had
begun by claiming credit for stern economy, and ended by exceeding the
expenditure of his predecessors. He had invented a policy of peace,
and his invention resulted in the necessity of fighting at once the
two greatest powers in the world....

In truth, the disaster was appalling; and Jefferson described it in
moderate terms by admitting that the policy of peaceable coercion
brought upon him mortification such as no other president ever
suffered. So complete was his overthrow that his popular influence
declined even in the South. Twenty years elapsed before his political
authority recovered power over the Northern people; for not until the
embargo and its memories faded from men's minds did the mighty shadow
of Jefferson's Revolutionary name efface the ruin of his presidency.
Yet he clung with more and more tenacity to the faith that his theory
of peaceable coercion was sound; and when within a few months of his
death he alluded for the last time to the embargo, he spoke of it as
"a measure which, persevered in a little longer, we had subsequent and
satisfactory assurance would have effected its object completely."

A discomfiture so conspicuous could not fail to bring in its train a
swarm of petty humiliations which for the moment were more painful
than the great misfortune. Jefferson had hoped to make his country
forever pure and free; to abolish war with its train of debt,
extravagance, corruption and tyranny; to build up a government devoted
only to useful and moral objects; to bring upon earth a new era of
peace and good-will among men. Throughout the twistings and windings
of his course as president he clung to this main idea; or if he seemed
for a moment to forget it, he never failed to return and to persist
with almost heroic obstinacy in enforcing its lessons. By repealing
the embargo, Congress avowedly and even maliciously rejected and
trampled upon the only part of Jefferson's statesmanship which claimed
originality, or which in his own opinion entitled him to rank as
philosophic legislator. The mortification he felt was natural and
extreme, but such as every great statesman might expect, and such as
most of them experienced. The supreme bitterness of the moment lay
rather in the sudden loss of respect and consideration which at all
times marked the decline of power, but became most painful when the
surrender of office followed a political defeat at the hands of
supposed friends....

In his style of life as President, Jefferson had indulged in such easy
and liberal expenses as suited the place he held. Far from showing
extravagance, the White House and its surroundings had in his time the
outward look of a Virginia plantation. The President was required to
pay the expenses of the house and grounds. In consequence, the grounds
were uncared for, the palings broken or wanting, the paths undefined,
and the place a waste, running imperceptibly into the barren fields
about it. Within, the house was as simple as without, after the usual
style of Virginia houses, where the scale was often extravagant but
the details plain. Only in his table did Jefferson spend an unusual
amount of money with excellent results for his political influence,
for no president ever understood better than Jefferson the art of
entertaining; yet his table cost him no excessive sums. For the best
champagne he paid less than a dollar a bottle; for the best Bordeaux
he paid a dollar; and the Madeira which was drunk in pipes at the
White House cost between fifty and sixty cents a bottle. His French
cook and cook's assistant were paid about four hundred dollars a year.
On such a scale his salary of twenty-five thousand dollars was
equivalent to fully sixty thousand dollars of modern money; and his
accounts showed that for the first and probably the most expensive
year of his presidency he spent only $16,800 which could properly be
charged to his public and official character. A mode of life so simple
and so easily controlled should in a village like Washington have left
no opening for arrears of debt; but when Jefferson, about to quit the
White House forever, attempted to settle his accounts, he discovered
that he had exceeded his income. Not his expenses as President, but
his expenses as planter dragged him down. At first he thought that his
debts would reach seven or eight thousand dollars, which must be
discharged from a private estate hardly exceeding two hundred thousand
dollars in value at the best of times, and rendered almost worthless
by neglect and by the embargo. The sudden demand for this sum of
money, coming at the moment of his political mortifications, wrung
from him cries of genuine distress such as no public disaster had
called out....

On horseback, over roads impassable to wheels, through snow and storm,
he hurried back to Monticello to recover in the quiet of home the
peace of mind he had lost in the disappointments of his statesmanship.
He arrived at Monticello March 15, and never again passed beyond the
bounds of a few adjacent counties.



BRET HARTE

     Born in 1839, died in 1902; removed to California in 1854,
     where in 1868 he founded _The Overland Monthly_; professor
     in the University of California in 1870; removed to New York
     in 1871; consul at Crefeld, Germany, in 1878-80, and at
     Glasgow in 1880-85; published "The Luck of Roaring Camp" in
     1868, "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" in 1869, "Poems" in 1871,
     "Stories of the Sierras" in 1872, "Tales of the Argonauts"
     in 1875, "Gabriel Conroy" in 1876, "Two Men of Sandy Bar" (a
     play) in 1877, "A Phyllis of the Sierras" in 1888.



I

PEGGY MOFFAT'S INHERITANCE[63]


The first intimation given of the eccentricity of the testator was, I
think, in the spring of 1854. He was at that time in possession of a
considerable property, heavily mortgaged to one friend, and a wife of
some attraction, on whose affections another friend held an
encumbering lien. One day it was found that he had secretly dug, or
caused to be dug, a deep trap before the front door of his dwelling,
into which a few friends in the course of the evening casually and
familiarly dropt. This circumstance, slight in itself, seemed to point
to the existence of a certain humor in the man, which might eventually
get into literature; altho his wife's lover--a man of quick
discernment, whose leg was broken by the fall--took other views. It
was some weeks later that while dining with certain other friends of
his wife, he excused himself from the table, to quietly reappear at
the front window with a three-quarter-inch hydraulic pipe, and a
stream of water projected at the assembled company. An attempt was
made to take public cognizance of this; but a majority of the citizens
of Red Dog who were not at dinner decided that a man had a right to
choose his own methods of diverting his company. Nevertheless, there
were some hints of his insanity: his wife recalled other acts clearly
attributable to dementia; the crippled lover argued from his own
experience that the integrity of her limbs could only be secured by
leaving her husband's house; and the mortgagee, fearing a further
damage to his property, foreclosed. But here the cause of all this
anxiety took matters into his own hands and disappeared.

[Footnote 63: From "The Twins of Table Mountain." Copyright, 1879, by
Houghton, Mifflin Company.]

When we next heard from him, he had in some mysterious way been
relieved alike of his wife and property and was living alone at
Rockville, fifty miles away, and editing a newspaper. But that
originality he had displayed when dealing with the problems of his own
private life, when applied to politics in the columns of _The
Rockville Vanguard_ was singularly unsuccessful. An amusing
exaggeration, purporting to be an exact account of the manner in which
the opposing candidate had murdered his Chinese laundryman, was, I
regret to say, answered only by assault and battery. A gratuitous and
purely imaginative description of a great religious revival in
Calaveras, in which the sheriff of the county--a notoriously profane
skeptic--was alleged to have been the chief exhorter, resulted only
in the withdrawal of the county advertising from the paper.

In the midst of this practical confusion he suddenly died. It was then
discovered, as a crowning proof of his absurdity, that he had left a
will, bequeathing his entire effects to a freckle-faced maid-servant
at the Rockville Hotel. But that absurdity became serious when it was
also discovered that among these effects were a thousand shares in the
Rising Sun Mining Company, which a day or two after his demise, and
while people were still laughing at his grotesque benefaction,
suddenly sprang into opulence and celebrity. Three millions of dollars
was roughly estimated as the value of the estate thus wantonly
sacrificed. For it is only fair to state, as a just tribute to the
enterprise and energy of that young and thriving settlement, that
there was not probably a single citizen who did not feel himself
better able to control the deceased humorist's property. Some had
exprest a doubt of their ability to support a family; others had felt
perhaps too keenly the deep responsibility resting upon them when
chosen from the panel as jurors, and had evaded their public duties; a
few had declined office and a low salary; but no one shrank from the
possibility of having been called upon to assume the functions of
Peggy Moffat the heiress.

The will was contested--first by the widow, who it now appeared had
never been legally divorced from the deceased; next by four of his
cousins, who awoke, only too late, to a consciousness of his moral and
pecuniary worth. But the humble legatee--a singularly plain,
unpretending, uneducated Western girl--exhibited a dogged pertinacity
in claiming her rights. She rejected all compromises. A rough sense of
justice in the community, while doubting her ability to take care of
the whole fortune, suggested that she ought to be content with three
hundred thousand dollars. "She's bound to throw even that away on some
derned skunk of a man, natoorally; but three millions is too much to
give a chap for makin' her onhappy. It's offerin' a temptation to
cussedness."

The only opposing voice to this counsel came from the sardonic lips of
Mr. Jack Hamlin. "Suppose," suggested that gentleman, turning abruptly
on the speaker, "suppose, when you won twenty thousand dollars of me
last Friday night--suppose that instead of handing you over the money
as I did--suppose I'd got up on my hind legs and said, 'Look yer, Bill
Wethersbee, you're a d----d fool. If I give ye that twenty thousand
you'll throw it away in the first skin game in 'Frisco, and hand it
over to the first short card-sharp you'll meet. There's a
thousand--enough for you to fling away--take it and get!' Suppose what
I'd said to you was the frozen truth, and you knowed it, would that
have been the square thing to play on you?"

But here Wethersbee quickly pointed out the inefficiency of the
comparison by stating that he had won the money fairly with a stake.

"And how do you know," demanded Hamlin savagely, bending his black
eyes on the astonished casuist, "how do you know that the gal hezn't
put down a stake?"

The man stammered an unintelligible reply.

The gambler laid his white hand on Wethersbee's shoulder.

"Look yer, old man," he said, "every gal stakes her whole pile--you
can bet your life on that--whatever's her little game. If she took to
keerds instead of her feelings, if she'd put up chips instead o' body
and soul, she'd burst every bank 'twixt this and 'Frisco! You hear
me?"

Somewhat of this idea was conveyed, I fear not quite as sentimentally,
to Peggy Moffat herself. The best legal wisdom of San Francisco,
retained by the widow and relatives, took occasion, in a private
interview with Peggy, to point out that she stood in the
quasi-criminal attitude of having unlawfully practised upon the
affections of an insane elderly gentleman, with a view of getting
possession of his property; and suggested to her that no vestige of
her moral character would remain after the trial, if she persisted in
forcing her claims to that issue. It is said that Peggy, on hearing
this, stopt washing the plate she had in her hands, and twisting the
towel around her fingers, fixt her small pale blue eyes on the lawyer.

"And ez that the kind o' chirpin' these critters keep up?"

"I regret to say, my dear young lady," responded the lawyer, "that the
world is censorious. I must add," he continued, with engaging
frankness, "that we professional lawyers are apt to study the opinion
of the world, and that such will be the theory of--our side."

"Then," said Peggy stoutly, "ez I allow I've got to go into court to
defend my character, I might as well pack in them three millions
too."

There is hearsay evidence that Peg added to this speech a wish and
desire to "bust the crust" of her traducers, and remarking that "that
was the kind of hair-pin" she was, closed the conversation with an
unfortunate accident to the plate, that left a severe contusion on the
legal brow of her companion. But this story, popular in the bar-rooms
and gulches, lacked confirmation in higher circles....

The case came to trial. Everybody remembers it--how for six weeks it
was the daily food of Calaveras County; how for six weeks the
intellectual and moral and spiritual competency of Mr. James Byways to
dispose of his property was discust with learned and formal obscurity
in the court, and with unlettered and independent prejudice by
camp-fires and in bar-rooms. At the end of that time, when it was
logically established that at least nine-tenths of the population of
Calaveras were harmless lunatics, and everybody else's reason seemed
to totter on its throne, an exhausted jury succumbed one day to the
presence of Peg in the courtroom. It was not a prepossessing presence
at any time; but the excitement, and an injudicious attempt to
ornament herself, brought her defects into a glaring relief that was
almost unreal. Every freckle on her face stood out and asserted itself
singly; her pale blue eyes, that gave no indication of her force of
character, were weak and wandering, or stared blankly at the judge;
her over-sized head, broad at the base, terminating in the scantiest
possible light colored braid in the middle of her narrow shoulders,
was as hard and uninteresting as the wooden spheres that topt the
railing against which she sat. The jury, who for six weeks had had
her described to them by the plaintiffs as an arch, wily enchantress,
who had sapped the failing reason of Jim Byways, revolted to a man.
There was something so appallingly gratuitous in her plainness that it
was felt that three millions was scarcely a compensation for it. "Ef
that money was give to her, she earned it sure, boys; it wasn't no
softness of the old man," said the foreman. When the jury retired, it
was felt that she had cleared her character; when they reentered the
room with their verdict, it was known that she had been awarded three
millions damages for its defamation.

She got the money. But those who had confidently expected to see her
squander it were disappointed: on the contrary, it was presently
whispered that she was exceeding penurious. That admirable woman Mrs.
Stiver of Red Dog, who accompanied her to San Francisco to assist her
in making purchases, was loud in her indignation. "She cares more for
two bits than I do for five dollars. She wouldn't buy anything at the
'City of Paris' because it was 'too expensive,' and at last rigged
herself out a perfect guy at some cheap slop-shops in Market Street.
And after all the care Jane and me took of her, giving up our time and
experience to her, she never so much as made Jane a single present."
Popular opinion, which regarded Mrs. Stiver's attention as purely
speculative, was not shocked at this unprofitable denouement; but when
Peg refused to give anything to clear the mortgage off the new
Presbyterian church, and even declined to take shares in the Union
Ditch, considered by many as an equally sacred and safe investment,
she began to lose favor. Nevertheless, she seemed to be as regardless
of public opinion as she had been before the trial; took a small
house, in which she lived with an old woman who had once been a fellow
servant, on apparently terms of perfect equality, and looked after her
money.

I wish I could say that she did this discreetly; but the fact is, she
blundered. The same dogged persistency she had displayed in claiming
her rights was visible in her unsuccessful ventures. She sunk two
hundred thousand dollars in a worn-out shaft originally projected by
the deceased testator; she prolonged the miserable existence of _The
Rockville Vanguard_ long after it had ceased to interest even its
enemies; she kept the doors of the Rockville Hotel open when its
custom had departed; she lost the cooperation and favor of a fellow
capitalist through a trifling misunderstanding in which she was
derelict and impenitent; she had three lawsuits on her hands that
could have been settled for a trifle. I note these defects to show
that she was by no means a heroine. I quote her affair with Jack
Folinsbee to show she was scarcely the average woman....

Nothing was known definitely until Jack a month later turned up in
Sacramento, with a billiard cue in his hand, and a heart overcharged
with indignant emotion.

"I don't mind saying to you gentlemen in confidence," said Jack to a
circle of sympathizing players, "I don't mind telling you regarding
this thing, that I was as soft on that freckle-faced, red-eyed,
tallow-haired gal as if she'd been--a--a--an actress. And I don't mind
saying, gentlemen, that as far as I understand women, she was just as
soft on me. You kin laugh; but it's so. One day I took her out
buggy-riding--in style too--and out on the road I offered to do the
square thing, just as if she'd been a lady--offered to marry her then
and there. And what did she do?" said Jack with a hysterical laugh.
"Why, blank it all! offered me twenty-five dollars a week
allowance--pay to be stopt when I wasn't at home!" The roar of
laughter that greeted this frank confession was broken by a quiet
voice asking, "And what did you say?" "Say?" screamed Jack, "I just
told her to go to ---- with her money."...

During the following year she made several more foolish ventures and
lost heavily. In fact, a feverish desire to increase her store at
almost any risk seemed to possess her. At last it was announced that
she intended to reopen the infelix Rockville Hotel, and keep it
herself. Wild as this scheme appeared in theory, when put into
practical operation there seemed to be some chance of success. Much
doubtless was owing to her practical knowledge of hotel-keeping, but
more to her rigid economy and untiring industry. The mistress of
millions, she cooked, washed, waited on table, made the beds, and
labored like a common menial. Visitors were attracted by this novel
spectacle. The income of the house increased as their respect for the
hostess lessened. No anecdote of her avarice was too extravagant for
current belief. It was even alleged that she had been known to carry
the luggage of guests to their rooms, that she might anticipate the
usual porter's gratuity. She denied herself the ordinary necessaries
of life. She was poorly clad, she was ill-fed--but the hotel was
making money.

It was the particular fortune of Mr. Jack Hamlin to be able to set the
world right on this and other questions regarding her.

A stormy December evening had set in when he chanced to be a guest of
the Rockville Hotel.... At midnight, when he was about to retire, he
was a little surprized however by a tap on his door, followed by the
presence of Mistress Peg Moffat, heiress, and landlady of Rockville
Hotel.

Mr. Hamlin, despite his previous defense of Peg, had no liking for
her. His fastidious taste rejected her uncomeliness; his habits of
thought and life were all antagonistic to what he had heard of her
niggardliness and greed. As she stood there in a dirty calico wrapper,
still redolent with the day's _cuisine_, crimson with embarrassment
and the recent heat of the kitchen range, she certainly was not an
alluring apparition. Happily for the lateness of the hour, her
loneliness, and the infelix reputation of the man before her, she was
at least a safe one. And I fear the very consciousness of this
scarcely relieved her embarrassment....

"I wanted to ask ye a favor about Mr.--about--Jack Folinsbee," began
Peg hurriedly. "He's ailin' agin, and is mighty low. And he's losin' a
heap o' money here and thar, and mostly to you. You cleaned him out of
two thousand dollars last night--all he had."

"Well?" said the gambler coldly.

"Well, I thought as you woz a friend o' mine, I'd ask ye to let up a
little on him," said Peg with an affected laugh. "You kin do it.
Don't let him play with ye."

"Mistress Margaret Moffat," said Jack with lazy deliberation, taking off
his watch and beginning to wind it up, "ef you're that much stuck after
Jack Folinsbee, you kin keep him off of me much easier than I kin. You're a
rich woman. Give him enough money to break my bank, or break himself for
good and all; but don't keep him foolin' round me in hopes to make a raise.
It don't pay, Mistress Moffat--it don't pay!"...

"When Jim Byways left me this yer property," she began, looking
cautiously around, "he left it to me on conditions; not conditions ez
waz in his written will, but conditions ez waz spoken. A promise I
made him in this very room, Mr. Hamlin--this very room, and on that
very bed you're sittin' on, in which he died."

Like most gamblers, Mr. Hamlin was superstitious. He rose hastily from
the bed, and took a chair beside the window. The wind shook it as if
the discontented spirit of Mr. Byways were without, reenforcing his
last injunction.

"I don't know if you remember him," said Peg feverishly. "He was a man
ez hed suffered. All that he loved--wife, fammerly, friends--had gone
back on him. He tried to make light of it afore folks; but with me,
being a poor gal, he let himself out. I never told anybody this. I
don't know why he told me; I don't know," continued Peggy with a
sniffle, "why he wanted to make me unhappy too. But he made me promise
that if he left me his fortune, I'd never, never--so help me
God!--never share it with any man or woman that I loved. I didn't
think it would be hard to keep that promise then, Mr. Hamlin, for I
was very poor, and hedn't a friend nor a living bein' that was kind to
me but him."

"But you've as good as broken your promise already," said Hamlin.
"You've given Jack money, as I know."

"Only what I made myself. Listen to me, Mr. Hamlin. When Jack proposed
to me, I offered him about what I kalkilated I could earn myself. When
he went away, and was sick and in trouble, I came here and took this
hotel. I knew that by hard work I could make it pay. Don't laugh at
me, please. I did work hard, and did make it pay--without takin' one
cent of the fortin'. And all I made, workin' by night and day, I gave
to him; I did, Mr. Hamlin. I ain't so hard to him as you think, tho I
might be kinder, I know."

Mr. Hamlin rose, deliberately resumed his coat, watch, hat, and
overcoat. When he was completely drest again, he turned to Peg.

"Do you mean to say that you've been givin' all the money you made
here to this A1 first-class cherubim?"

"Yes; but he didn't know where I got it. O Mr. Hamlin! he didn't know
that."

"Do I understand you that he's been bucking agin faro with the money
that you raised on hash? and you makin' the hash?"

"But he didn't know that. He wouldn't hev took it if I'd told him."

"No, he'd hev died fust!" said Mr. Hamlin gravely. "Why, he's that
sensitive that it nearly kills him to take money even of me."



II

JOHN CHINAMAN[64]


The expression of the Chinese face in the aggregate is neither
cheerful nor happy. In an acquaintance of half a dozen years, I can
only recall one or two exceptions to this rule. There is an abiding
consciousness of degradation--a secret pain or self-humiliation
visible in the lines of the mouth and eye. Whether it is only a
modification of Turkish gravity, or whether it is the dread Valley of
the Shadow of the Drug through which they are continually straying, I
can not say. They seldom smile, and their laughter is of such an
extraordinary and sardonic nature--so purely a mechanical spasm, quite
independent of any mirthful attribute--that to this day I am doubtful
whether I ever saw a Chinaman laugh. A theatrical representation by
natives, one might think, would have set my mind at ease on this
point; but it did not. Indeed, a new difficulty presented itself--the
impossibility of determining whether the performance was a tragedy or
farce. I thought I detected the low comedian in an active youth who
turned two somersaults, and knocked everybody down on entering the
stage. But, unfortunately, even this classic resemblance to the
legitimate farce of our civilization was deceptive. Another brocaded
actor, who represented the hero of the play, turned three
somersaults, and not only upset my theory and his fellow actors at the
same time, but apparently ran amuck behind the scenes for some time
afterward. I looked around at the glinting white teeth to observe the
effect of these two palpable hits. They were received with equal
acclamation, and apparently equal facial spasms. One or two beheadings
which enlivened the play produced the same sardonic effect, and left
upon my mind a painful anxiety to know what was the serious business
of life in China. It was noticeable, however, that my unrestrained
laughter had a discordant effect, and that triangular eyes sometimes
turned ominously toward the "Fanqui devil"; but as I retired
discreetly before the play was finished, there were no serious
results. I have only given the above as an instance of the
impossibility of deciding upon the outward and superficial expression
of Chinese mirth. Of its inner and deeper existence I have some
private doubts. An audience that will view with a serious aspect the
hero, after a frightful and agonizing death, get up and quietly walk
off the stage, can not be said to have remarkable perceptions of the
ludicrous.

[Footnote 64: From "The Luck of Roaring Camp." Copyright, 1871, 1899,
Houghton, Mifflin Company.]

I have often been struck with the delicate pliability of the Chinese
expression and taste that might suggest a broader and deeper criticism
than is becoming these pages. A Chinaman will adopt the American
costume, and wear it with a taste of color and detail that will
surpass those "native, and to the manner born." To look at a Chinese
slipper, one might imagine it impossible to shape the original foot to
anything less cumbrous and roomy, yet a neater-fitting boot than that
belonging to the Americanized Chinaman is rarely seen on this side of
the continent. When the loose sack or paletot takes the place of his
brocade blouse, it is worn with a refinement and grace that might
bring a jealous pang to the exquisite of our more refined
civilization. Pantaloons fall easily and naturally over legs that have
known unlimited freedom and bagginess, and even garrote collars meet
correctly around sun-tanned throats. The new expression seldom
overflows in gaudy cravats. I will back my Americanized Chinaman
against any neophyte of European birth in the choice of that article.
While in our own State, the greaser resists one by one the garments of
the Northern invader, and even wears the livery of his conqueror with
a wild and buttonless freedom, the Chinaman, abused and degraded as he
is, changes by correctly graded transition to the garments of
Christian civilization. There is but one article of European wear that
he avoids. These Bohemian eyes have never yet been pained by the
spectacle of a tall hat on the head of an intelligent Chinaman.

My acquaintance with John has been made up of weekly interviews,
involving the adjustment of the washing accounts, so that I have not
been able to study his character from a social viewpoint or observe
him in the privacy of the domestic circle. I have gathered enough to
justify me in believing him to be generally honest, faithful, simple,
and painstaking. Of his simplicity let me record an instance where a
sad and civil young Chinaman brought me certain shirts with most of
the buttons missing and others hanging on delusively by a single
thread. In a moment of unguarded irony I informed him that unity would
at least have been preserved if the buttons were removed altogether.
He smiled sadly and went away. I thought I had hurt his feelings,
until the next week, when he brought me my shirts with a look of
intelligence, and the buttons carefully and totally erased. At another
time, to guard against his general disposition to carry off anything
as soiled clothes that he thought could hold water, I requested him to
always wait until he saw me. Coming home late one evening, I found the
household in great consternation over an immovable Celestial who had
remained seated on the front door-step during the day, sad and
submissive, firm but also patient, and only betraying any animation or
token of his mission when he saw me coming. This same Chinaman evinced
some evidences of regard for a little girl in the family, who in her
turn reposed such faith in his intellectual qualities as to present
him with a preternaturally uninteresting Sunday-school book, her own
property. This book John made a point of carrying ostentatiously with
him in his weekly visits. It appeared usually on the top of the clean
clothes, and was sometimes painfully clasped outside of the big bundle
of soiled linen. Whether John believed he unconsciously imbibed some
spiritual life through its pasteboard cover, as the Prince in the
"Arabian Nights" imbibed the medicine through the handle of the
mallet, or whether he wished to exhibit a due sense of gratitude, or
whether he hadn't any pockets, I have never been able to ascertain. In
his turn he would sometimes cut marvelous imitation roses from
carrots for his little friend. I am inclined to think that the few
roses strewn in John's path were such scentless imitations. The thorns
only were real. From the persecutions of the young and old of a
certain class his life was a torment. I don't know what was the exact
philosophy that Confucius taught, but it is to be hoped that poor John
in his persecution is still able to detect the conscious hate and fear
with which inferiority always regards the possibility of even-handed
justice, and which is the keynote to the vulgar clamor about servile
and degraded races.



III

M'LISS GOES TO SCHOOL[65]


Just where the Sierra Nevada begins to subside in gentler undulations,
and the rivers grow less rapid and yellow, on the side of a great red
mountain, stands "Smith's Pocket." Seen from the red road at sunset,
in the red light and the red dust, its white houses look like the
outcroppings of quartz on the mountain-side. The red stage topped with
red-shirted passengers is lost to view half a dozen times in the
tortuous descent, turning up unexpectedly in out-of-the-way places,
and vanishing altogether within a hundred yards of the town. It is
probably owing to this sudden twist in the road that the advent of a
stranger at Smith's Pocket is usually attended with a peculiar
circumstance. Dismounting from the vehicle at the stage office, the
too confident traveler is apt to walk straight out of town under the
impression that it lies in quite another direction. It is related that
one of the tunnelmen, two miles from town, met one of these
self-reliant passengers with a carpet-bag, umbrella, _Harper's
Magazine_, and other evidences of "civilization and refinement,"
plodding along over the road he had just ridden, vainly endeavoring to
find the settlement of Smith's Pocket.

[Footnote 65: From M'Liss, one of the stories in "The Luck of Roaring
Camp" volume. Copyright, 1871, 1899. Houghton, Mifflin Company.]

An observant traveler might have found some compensation for his
disappointment in the weird aspect of that vicinity. There were huge
fissures on the hillside, and displacements of the red soil,
resembling more the chaos of some primary elemental upheaval than the
work of man; while, half-way down, a long flume straddled its narrow
body and disproportionate legs over the chasm, like an enormous fossil
of some forgotten antediluvian. At every step smaller ditches crossed
the road, hiding in their sallow depths unlovely streams that crept
away to a clandestine union with the great yellow torrent below, and
here and there were the ruins of some cabin with the chimney alone
left intact and the hearthstone open to the skies.

The settlement of Smith's Pocket owed its origin to the finding of a
"pocket" on its site by a veritable Smith. Five thousand dollars were
taken out of it in one half-hour by Smith. Three thousand dollars were
expended by Smith and others in erecting a flume and in tunnelling.
And then Smith's Pocket was found to be only a pocket, and subject,
like other pockets, to depletion. Altho Smith pierced the bowels of
the great red mountain, that five thousand dollars was the first and
last return of his labor. The mountain grew reticent of its golden
secrets, and the flume steadily ebbed away the remainder of Smith's
fortune. Then Smith went into quartz-mining; then into quartz-milling;
then into hydraulics and ditching, and then by easy degrees into
saloon-keeping. Presently it was whispered that Smith was drinking a
great deal; then it was known that Smith was a habitual drunkard, and
then people began to think, as they are apt to, that he had never been
anything else. But the settlement of Smith's Pocket, like that of most
discoveries, was happily not dependent on the fortune of its pioneer,
and other parties projected tunnels and found pockets. So Smith's
pocket became a settlement with its two fancy stores, its two hotels,
its one express office, and its two first families. Occasionally its
one long straggling street was overawed by the assumption of the
latest San Francisco fashions, imported per express, exclusively to
the first families; making outraged Nature, in the ragged outline of
her furrowed surface, look still more homely, and putting personal
insult on that greater portion of the population to whom the Sabbath,
with a change of linen, brought merely the necessity of cleanliness,
without the luxury of adornment. Then there was a Methodist church,
and hard by a Monte bank, and a little beyond, on the mountain-side, a
graveyard; and then a little schoolhouse.

"The Master," as he was known to his little flock, sat alone one night
in the schoolhouse, with some open copy-books before him, carefully
making those bold and full characters which are supposed to combine
the extremes of chirographical and moral excellence, and had got as
far as "Riches are deceitful," and was elaborating the noun with an
insincerity of flourish that was quite in the spirit of his text, when
he heard a gentle tapping. The woodpeckers had been busy about the
roof during the day, and the noise did not disturb his work. But the
opening of the door, and the tapping continuing from the inside,
caused him to look up. He was slightly startled by the figure of a
young girl, dirty and shabbily clad. Still her great black eyes, her
coarse, uncombed, lusterless black hair falling over her sun-burned
face, her red arms and feet streaked with the red soil, were all
familiar to him. It was Melissa Smith--Smith's motherless child.

"What can she want here?" thought the master. Everybody knew "M'liss,"
as she was called, throughout the length and height of Red Mountain.
Everybody knew her as an incorrigible girl. Her fierce, ungovernable
disposition, her mad freaks and lawless character were in their way as
proverbial as the story of her father's weaknesses, and as
philosophically accepted by the townsfolk. She wrangled with and
fought the schoolboys with keener invective and quite as powerful arm.
She followed the trails with a woodman's craft, and the master had met
her before, miles away, shoeless, stockingless, and bareheaded, on the
mountain road. The miners' camps along the stream supplied her with
subsistence during these voluntary pilgrimages, in freely offered
alms. Not but that a larger protection had been previously extended to
M'liss. The Rev. Joshua McSnagley, "stated" preacher, had placed her
in the hotel as servant, by way of preliminary refinement, and had
introduced her to his scholars at Sunday school. But she threw plates
occasionally at the landlord, and quickly retorted to the cheap
witticisms of the guests, and created in the Sabbath school a
sensation that was so inimical to the orthodox dulness and placidity
of that institution, that, with a decent regard for the starched
frocks and unblemished morals of the two pink-and-white-faced children
of the first families, the reverend gentleman had her ignominiously
expelled. Such were the antecedents, and such the character of M'liss,
as she stood before the master. It was shown in the ragged dress, the
unkempt hair, and bleeding feet, and asked his pity. It flashed from
her black, fearless eyes, and commanded his respect.

"I come here to-night," she said rapidly and boldly, keeping her hard
glance on his, "because I knew you was alone. I wouldn't come here
when them gals was here. I hate 'em and they hates me. That's why. You
keep school, don't you? I want to be teached!"

If to the shabbiness of her apparel and uncomeliness of her tangled
hair and dirty face she had added the humility of tears, the master
would have extended to her the usual moiety of pity, and nothing more.
But with the natural, tho illogical instincts of his species, her
boldness awakened in him something of that respect which all original
natures pay unconsciously to one another in any grade. And he gazed at
her the more fixedly as she went on still rapidly, her hand on that
door-latch and her eyes on his:

"My name's M'liss--M'liss Smith! You can bet your life on that. My
father's Old Smith--Old Bummer Smith--that's what's the matter with
him. M'liss Smith--and I'm coming to school!"

"Well?" said the master.

Accustomed to be thwarted and opposed, often wantonly and cruelly, for
no other purpose than to excite the violent impulses of her nature,
the master's phlegm evidently took her by surprize. She stopt; she
began to twist a lock of her hair between her fingers; and the rigid
line of upper lip, drawn over the wicked little teeth, relaxed and
quivered slightly. Then her eyes dropt, and something like a blush
struggled up to her cheek, and tried to assert itself through the
splashes of redder soil, and the sunburn of years. Suddenly she threw
herself forward, calling on God to strike her dead, and fell quite
weak and helpless, with her face on the master's desk, crying and
sobbing as if her heart would break.



HENRY JAMES

     Born in 1843; son of the elder Henry James; educated in
     Europe; studied law at Harvard; began to write for
     periodicals in 1866; has lived mostly in England since 1869;
     "A Passionate Pilgrim" published in 1875, "The American" in
     1877, "French Poets and Novelists" in 1878, "Daisy Miller"
     in 1878, "Life of Hawthorne" in 1879, "Portrait of a Lady"
     in 1881, "A Little Tour in France" in 1884, "The Bostonians"
     in 1886, "What Maisie Knew" in 1897, "The Awkward Age" in
     1899, "The Sacred Fount" in 1901.



I

AMONG THE MALVERN HILLS[66]


Between the fair boundaries of the counties of Hereford and Worcester
rise in a long undulation the sloping pastures of the Malvern Hills.
Consulting a big red book on the castles and manors of England, we
found Lockley Park to be seated near the base of this grassy range,
tho in which county I forget. In the pages of this genial volume
Lockley Park and its appurtenances made a very handsome figure. We
took up our abode at a certain little wayside inn, at which in the
days of leisure the coach must have stopt for lunch, and burnished
pewters of rustic ale been tenderly exalted to "outsides" athirst with
breezy progression. Here we stopt, for sheer admiration of its steep
thatched roof, its latticed windows, and its homely porch. We allowed
a couple of days to elapse in vague undirected strolls and sweet
sentimental observance of the land, before we prepared to execute the
especial purpose of our journey. This admirable region is a compendium
of the general physiognomy of England. The noble friendliness of the
scenery, its subtle old friendliness, the magical familiarity of
multitudinous details, appealed to us at every step and at every
glance. Deep in our souls a natural affection answered. The whole
land, in the full, warm rains of the last of April, had burst into
sudden perfect spring. The dark walls of the hedge-rows had turned
into blooming screens; the sodden verdure of lawn and meadow was
streaked with a ranker freshness. We went forth without loss of time
for a long walk on the hills. Reaching their summits, you find half
England unrolled at your feet. A dozen broad counties, within the vast
range of your vision, commingle their green exhalations. Closely
beneath us lay the dark, rich flats of hedgy Worcestershire and the
copse-checkered slopes of rolling Hereford, white with the blossom of
apples. At widely opposite points of the large expanse two great
cathedral towers rise sharply, taking the light, from the settled
shadow of the circling towns--the light, the ineffable English light!
"Out of England," cried Searle, "it's but a garish world!"

[Footnote 66: From "A Passionate Pilgrim and Other Tales." Copyright,
1875. Houghton, Mifflin Company.]

The whole vast sweep of our surrounding prospect lay answering in a
myriad fleeting shades the cloudy process of the tremendous sky. The
English heaven is a fit antithesis to the complex English earth. We
possess in America the infinite beauty of the blue; England possesses
the splendor of combined and animated clouds. Over against us, from
our station on the hills, we saw them piled and dissolved, compacted
and shifted, blotting the azure with sullen rain-spots, stretching,
breeze-fretted, into dappled fields of gray, bursting into a storm of
light or melting into a drizzle of silver. We made our way along the
rounded summits of these well-grazed heights--mild, breezy inland
downs--and descended through long-drawn slopes of fields, green to
cottage doors, to where a rural village beckoned us from its seat
among the meadows. Close beside it, I admit, the railway shoots
fiercely from its tunnel in the hills; and yet there broods upon this
charming hamlet an old-time quietude and privacy, which seems to make
it a violation of confidence to tell its name so far away. We struck
through a narrow lane, a green lane, dim with its height of hedges; it
led us to a superb old farm-house, now jostled by the multiplied lanes
and roads which have curtailed its ancient appanage. It stands in
stubborn picturesqueness, at the receipt of sad-eyed contemplation and
the sufferance of "sketches." I doubt whether out of Nuremberg--or
Pompeii!--you may find so forcible an image of the domiciliary genius
of the past. It is cruelly complete; its bended beams and joists,
beneath the burden of its gables, seem to ache and groan with memories
and regrets. The short, low windows, where lead and glass combine in
equal proportions to hint to the wondering stranger of the medieval
gloom within, still prefer their darksome office to the grace of
modern day.

Such an old house fills an American with an indefinable feeling of
respect. So propt and patched and tinkered with clumsy tenderness,
clustered so richly about its central English sturdiness, its oaken
vertebrations, so humanized with ages of use and touches of beneficent
affection, it seemed to offer to our grateful eyes a small, rude
synthesis of the great English social order. Passing out upon the
highroad, we came to the common browsing-patch, the "village green" of
the tales of our youth. Nothing was wanting; the shaggy, mouse-colored
donkey, nosing the turf with his mild and huge proboscis, the geese,
the old woman--the old woman, in person, with her red cloak and black
bonnet, frilled about the face and double-frilled beside her decent,
placid cheeks--the towering plowman with his white smock-frock,
puckered on chest and back, his short corduroys, his mighty calves,
his big, red, rural face. We greeted these things as children greet
the loved pictures in a story book, lost and mourned and found again.
It was marvelous how well we knew them. Beside the road we saw a
plow-boy straddle, whistling on a stile. Gainsborough might have
painted him. Beyond the stile, across the level velvet of a meadow, a
footpath lay, like a thread of darker woof. We followed it from field
to field and from stile to stile. It was the way to church. At the
church we finally arrived, lost in its rook-haunted churchyard, hidden
from the work-day world by the broad stillness of pastures--a gray,
gray tower, a huge black yew, a cluster of village graves, with
crooked headstones, in grassy, low relief. The whole scene was deeply
ecclesiastical. My companion was overcome.

"You must bury me here," he cried. "It's the first church I have seen
in my life. How it makes a Sunday where it stands!"

The next day we saw a church of statelier proportions. We walked over
to Worcester, through such a mist of local color that I felt like one
of Smollett's pedestrian heroes, faring tavern-ward for a night of
adventures. As we neared the provincial city we saw the steepled mass
of the cathedral, long and high, rise far into the cloud-freckled
blue. And as we came nearer still, we stopt on the bridge and viewed
the solid minster reflected in the yellow Severn. And going farther
yet we entered the town--where surely Miss Austen's heroines, in
chariots and curricles, must often have come a-shopping for
swan's-down boas and high lace mittens; we lounged about the gentle
close and gazed insatiably at that most soul-soothing sight, the
waning, wasting afternoon light, the visible ether which feels the
voices of the chimes, far aloft on the broad perpendicular field of
the cathedral tower; saw it linger and nestle and abide, as it loves
to do on all bold architectural spaces, converting them graciously
into registers and witnesses of nature; tasted, too, as deeply of the
peculiar stillness of this clerical precinct; saw a rosy English lad
come forth and lock the door of the old foundation school, which
marries its hoary basement to the soaring Gothic of the church, and
carry his big responsible key into one of the quiet canonical houses;
and then stood musing together on the effect on one's mind of having
in one's boyhood haunted such cathedral shades as a King's scholar,
and yet kept ruddy with much cricket in misty meadows by the Severn.
On the third morning we betook ourselves to Lockley Park, having
learned that the greater part of it was open to visitors, and that,
indeed, on application, the house was occasionally shown.

Within its broad enclosure many a declining spur of the great hills
melted into parklike slopes and dells. A long avenue wound and circled
from the outermost gate through an untrimmed woodland, whence you
glanced at further slopes and glades and copses and bosky recesses--at
everything except the limits of the place. It was as free and wild and
untended as the villa of an Italian prince; and I have never seen the
stern English fact of property put on such an air of innocence. The
weather had just become perfect; it was one of the dozen exquisite
days of the English year--days stamped with a refinement of purity
unknown in more liberal climes. It was as if the mellow brightness, as
tender as that of the primroses which starred the dark waysides like
petals wind-scattered over beds of moss, had been meted out to us by
the cubic foot--tempered, refined, recorded!



II

TURGENEFF'S WORLD[67]


We hold to the good old belief that the presumption, in life, is in
favor of the brighter side, and we deem it, in art, an indispensable
condition of our interest in a deprest observer that he should have at
least tried his best to be cheerful. The truth, we take it, lies for
the pathetic in poetry and romance very much where it lies for the
"immoral." Morbid pathos is reflective pathos; ingenious pathos,
pathos not freshly born of the occasion; noxious immorality is
superficial immorality, immorality without natural roots in the
subject. We value most the "realists" who have an ideal of delicacy
and the elegiasts who have an ideal of joy.

[Footnote 67: From "French Poets and Novelists," published by
Macmillan & Company, of London.]

"Picturesque gloom, possibly," a thick and thin admirer of M.
Turgeneff's may say to us, "at least you will admit that it is
picturesque." This we heartily concede, and, recalled to a sense of
our author's brilliant diversity and ingenuity, we bring our
restrictions to a close. To the broadly generous side of his
imagination it is impossible to pay exaggerated homage, or, indeed,
for that matter, to its simple intensity and fecundity. No romancer
has created a greater number of the figures that breathe and move and
speak, in their habits as they might have lived; none, on the whole,
seems to us to have had such a masterly touch in portraiture, none
has mingled so much ideal beauty with so much unsparing reality. His
sadness has its element of error, but it has also its larger element
of wisdom. Life is, in fact, a battle. On this point optimists and
pessimists agree. Evil is insolent and strong; beauty enchanting but
rare; goodness very apt to be weak; folly very apt to be defiant;
wickedness to carry the day; imbeciles to be in great places, people
of sense in small, and mankind generally, unhappy. But the world as it
stands is no illusion, no fantasm, no evil dream of a night; we wake
up to it again for ever and ever; we can neither forget it nor deny it
nor dispense with it. We can welcome experience as it comes, and give
it what it demands, in exchange for something which it is idle to
pause to call much or little so long as it contributes to swell the
volume of consciousness. In this there is mingled pain and delight,
but over the mysterious mixture there hovers a visible rule, that bids
us learn to will and seek to understand.

So much as this we seem to decipher between the lines of M.
Turgeneff's minutely written chronicle. He himself has sought to
understand as zealously as his most eminent competitors. He gives, at
least, no meager account of life, and he has done liberal justice to
its infinite variety. This is his great merit; his great defect,
roughly stated, is a tendency to the abuse of irony. He remains,
nevertheless, to our sense, a very welcome mediator between the world
and our curiosity. If we had space, we should like to set forth that
he is by no means our ideal story-teller--this honorable genius
possessing, attributively, a rarer skill than the finest required for
producing an artful _réchauffé_ of the actual. But even for better
romancers we must wait for a better world. Whether the world in its
higher state of perfection will occasionally offer color to scandal,
we hesitate to pronounce; but we are prone to conceive of the ultimate
novelist as a personage altogether purged of sarcasm. The imaginative
force now expended in this direction he will devote to describing
cities of gold and heavens of sapphire. But, for the present, we
gratefully accept M. Turgeneff, and reflect that his manner suits the
most frequent mood of the greater number of readers. If he were a
dogmatic optimist we suspect that, as things go, we should long ago
have ceased to miss him from our library. The personal optimism of
most of us no romancer can confirm or dissipate, and our personal
troubles, generally, place fictions of all kinds in an impertinent
light. To our usual working mood the world is apt to seem M.
Turgeneff's hard world, and when, at moments, the strain and the
pressure deepen, the ironical element figures not a little in our form
of address to those short-sighted friends who have whispered that it
is an easy one.


END OF VOL. X



INDEX TO THE TEN VOLUMES

[Roman numerals indicate volumes, Arabic numerals indicate pages]


Adams, Henry;
  biographical note on, X, 219;
  Jefferson's retirement, 219.

Adams, John;
  biographical note on, IX, 87;
  articles by--on his  nomination  of Washington to be
    commander-in-chief, 87;
  an estimate of Franklin, 90.

Adams, John Quincy;
  biographical note on, IX, 133;
  articles by--of his mother, 133;
  the moral taint inherent in slavery, 135.

Addison, Joseph;
  biographical note on, III, 236;
  articles by--in Westminster Abbey, 236;
  Will Honeycomb and his marriage, 240;
  on pride of birth, 246;
  Sir Roger and his home, 251.

Aldrich, Thomas Bailey;
  biographical note on, X, 195;
  articles by--a sunrise in Stillwater, 195;
  the fight at Slatter's Hill, 198;
  on returning from Europe, 204.

Andersen, Hans Christian;
  biographical note on, VIII, 231;
  the Emperor's new clothes, 231.

Aquinas, St. Thomas;
  biographical note on, VII, 12;
  a definition of happiness, 12.

Aristotle;
  biographical note on, I, 149;
  articles by--what things are pleasant, 149;
  the lite most desirable, 155;
  ideal husbands and wives, 158;
  happiness as an end of human action, 165.

Arnold, Matthew;
  biographical note on, VI, 208;
  on the motive for culture, 208.

Ascham, Roger;
  biographical note on, III, 40;
  article by--on gentle methods in teaching, 40.

Aucassin and Nicolette;
  note on the authorship of the work bearing that name, VII, 30;
  a passage from the book, 30.

Audubon, John James;
  biographical note on, IX, 144;
  where the mocking-bird dwells, 144.

Augustine, Aurelius St.;
  biographical note on, VII, 3;
  on imperial power for good and bad men 3.


Bacon, Francis;
  biographical note on, III, 53;
  essays by--of travel, 53;
  of riches, 56;
  of youth and age, 60;
  of revenge, 63;
  of marriage and single life, 65;
  of envy, 67;
  of goodness and goodness of nature, 74;
  of studies, 77;
  of regiment of health, 79.

Balzac, Honoré de;
  biographical note on, VII, 210;
  articles by--the death of Père Goriot, 210;
  Birotteau's early married life, 215.

Bancroft, George;
  biographical note on, IX, 217;
  the fate of Evangeline's countrymen, 217.

Beaconsfield, Lord;
  biographical note on, VI, 31;
  on Jerusalem by moonlight, 31.

Bellay, Joachim du;
  biographical note on, VII, 87;
  why old French was not as rich as Greek and Latin, 87.

Blackstone, Sir William;
  biographical note on, IV, 169;
  on professional soldiers in free countries, 169.

Boccaccio, Giovanni;
  biographical note on, VIII, 167;
  the patient Griselda, 167.

Boethius, Anicius;
  biographical note on, VII, 6;
  on the highest happiness, 6.

Bolingbroke, Lord;
  biographical note on, IV, 32;
  articles by--of the shortness of human life, 32;
  rules for the study of history, 36.

Boswell, James;
  biographical note on V, 3;
  articles by--Boswell's introduction to Dr. Johnson, 3;
  Johnson's audience with George III, 8;
  the meeting of Johnson and John Wilkes, 15;
  Johnson's wedding-day, 21.

Bradford, William;
  biographical note on, IX, 11;
  his account of the landing of the Pilgrims, 11.

Bronté, Charlotte;
  biographical note on, VI, 119;
  of the author of "Vanity Fair," 119.

Brown, John;
  biographical note on, VI, 56;
  of Rab and the game chicken, 56.

Browne, Sir Thomas;
  biographical note on, III, 114;
  articles by--of charity in judgments, 114;
  nothing strictly immortal, 116.

Bryant, William Cullen;
  biographical note on, IX, 194;
  an October day in Florence, 194.

Buckle, Henry Thomas;
  biographical note on, VI, 198;
  articles by--the isolation of Spain, 198;
  George III and the elder Pitt, 204.

Bunyan, John;
  biographical note on, III, 165;
  articles by--a dream of the Celestial City, 165;
  the death of Valiant-for-truth and of Stand-fast, 169;
  ancient Vanity Fair, 172.

Burke, Edmund;
  biographical note on, IV, 194;
  articles by--the principles of good taste, 194;
  a letter to a noble lord, 207;
  on the death of his son, 212;
  Marie Antoinette, 214.

Burnet, Gilbert;
  biographical note on, III, 195;
  on Charles II, 195.

Bury, Richard de;
  biographical note on, III, 3;
  in praise of books, 3.

Byrd, William;
  biographical note on, IX, 38;
  at the home of Colonel Spotswood, 38.

Byron, Lord;
  biographical note on, V, 134;
  articles by--his mother's treatment of him, 134;
  to his wife after the separation, 138;
  to Sir Walter Scott, 140;
  of art and nature as poetical subjects, 143.


Cæsar, Julius;
  biographical note on, II, 61;
  articles by--the building of the bridge across the Rhine, 61;
  the invasion of Britain, 64;
  overcoming the Nervii, 71;
  the Battle of Pharsalia and the death of Pompey, 78.

Calvin, John;
  biographical note on, VII, 84;
  of freedom for the will, 84.

Carlyle, Thomas;
  biographical note on, V, 179;
  articles by--Charlotte Corday, 179;
  the blessedness of work, 187;
  Cromwell, 190;
  in praise of those who toil, 201;
  the certainty of justice, 202;
  the greatness of Scott, 206;
  Boswell and his book, 214;
  might Burns have been saved, 223.

Casanova, Jacques (Chevalier de Seingalt);
  biographical note on, VIII, 200;
  an interview with Frederick the Great, 200.

Cato, the Censor;
  biographical note on, II, 3;
  on work on a Roman Farm, 3.

Caxton, William;
  biographical note on, III, 22;
  on true nobility and chivalry, 22.

Cellini, Benvenuto;
  biographical note on, VIII, 182;
  the casting of his Perseus and Medusa, 182.

Cervantes, Miguel de;
  biographical note on, VIII, 218;
  articles by--the beginnings of Don Quixote's Career, 218;
  how Don Quixote died, 224.

Channing, William E.;
  biographical note on, IX, 139;
  of greatness in Napoleon, 139.

Chateaubriand, Viscomte de;
  biographical note on, VII, 182;
  in an American forest, 182.

Chaucer, Geoffrey;
  biographical note on, III, 17;
  on acquiring and using riches, 17.

Chesterfield, Lord;
  biographical note on, IV, 66;
  articles by--on good manners, dress and the world, 66;
  of attentions to ladies, 71.

Cicero;
  biographical note on, II, 8;
  articles by--the blessings of old age, 8;
  on the death of his daughter Tullia, 34;
  of brave and elevated spirits, 37;
  of Scipio's death and of friendship, 43.

Clarendon, Lord;
  biographical note on, III, 144;
  on Charles I, 144.

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor;
  biographical note on, V, 70;
  articles by--does fortune favor fools? 70;
  the destiny of the United States, 76.

Comines, Philipe de;
  biographical note on, VII, 46;
  the character of Louis XI, 46.

Cooper, James Fenimore;
  biographical note on, IX, 170;
  articles by--his father's arrival at Otsego Lake, 170;
  running the gantlet, 178;
  Leather-stocking's farewell, 185.

Cowley, Abraham;
  biographical note on, III, 156;
  articles by--of obscurity, 156;
  of procrastination, 159.

Cowper, William;
  biographical note on, IV, 217;
  articles by--on keeping one's self employed, 217;
  Johnson's treatment of Milton, 219;
  the publication of his books, 221.

Curtis, George William;
  biographical note on, X, 183;
  our cousin the curate, 183.


Dana, Charles A.;
  biographical note on, X, 146;
  Greeley as a man of genius, 146.

Dana, Richard Henry (the younger);
  biographical note on, X, 93;
  a fierce gale under a clear sky, 93.

D'Angoulême, Marguerite;
  biographical note on, VII, 53;
  of husbands who are unfaithful, 53.

Dante Alighieri;
  biographical note on, VIII, 152;
  articles by--that long descent makes no man noble, 152;
  of Beatrice and her death, 157.

Darwin, Charles;
  biographical note on, VI, 47;
  articles by--on variations in mammals, birds and fishes, 47;
  on the genesis of his great book, 51.

Daudet, Alphonse;
  biographical note on, VIII, 55;
  articles by--a great man's widow, 55;
  his first dress coat, 61.

Defoe, Daniel;
  biographical note on, III, 201;
  the shipwreck of Crusoe, 201;
  the rescue of Man Friday, 204;
  the time of the great plague, 211.

De Quincey, Thomas;
  biographical note on, V, 115;
  articles by--dreams of an opium eater, 115;
  Joan of Arc, 123;
  Charles Lamb, 128.

Descartes, René;
  biographical note on, VII, 107;
  of material things and of the existence of God, 107.

Dickens, Charles;
  biographical note on, VI, 86;
  articles by--Sydney Carton's death, 86;
  Bob Sawyer's party, 88;
  Dick Swiveler and the Marchioness, 97;
  a happy return of the day, 105.

Dryden, John;
  biographical note on, III, 181;
  of Elizabethan dramatists, 181.

Dumas, Alexander;
  biographical note on, VII, 241;
  the shoulder, the belt and the handkerchief, 241.


Edwards, Jonathan;
  biographical note on, IX, 44;
  on liberty and moral agencies, 44.

Eliot, George;
  biographical note on, VI, 167;
  the Hall Farm, 167.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo;
  biographical note on, IX, 223;
  articles by--Thoreau's broken task, 223;
  the intellectual honesty of Montaigne, 229;
  his visit to Carlyle at Craigenputtock, 231.

Epictetus;
  biographical note on, I, 223;
  articles by--on freedom, 223;
  on friendship, 229;
  the philosopher and the crowd, 235.

Erasmus, Desiderius;
  biographical note on, VIII, 209;
  specimens of his wit and wisdom, 209.


Fielding, Henry;
  biographical note on, IV, 75;
  articles by--Tom the hero enters the stage, 75;
  Partridge sees Garrick at the play, 83;
  Mr. Adams in a political light, 89.

Flaubert, Gustave;
  biographical note on, VIII, 22;
  Yonville and its people, 22.

Fox, George;
  biographical note on, III, 161;
  an interview with Oliver Cromwell, 161.

Foxe, John;
  biographical note on, III, 45;
  on the death of Anne Boleyn, 45.

Franklin, Benjamin;
  biographical note on, IX, 51;
  articles by--his first entry into Philadelphia, 51;
  warnings Braddock did not heed, 55;
  how to draw lightning from the clouds, 59;
  the way to wealth, 61;
  a dialog with the gout, 68;
  a proposal to Madame Helvetius, 76.

Freeman, Edward A.;
  biographical note on, VI, 214;
  the death of William the Conqueror, 214.

Froissart, Jean;
  biographical note on, VII, 39;
  the battle of Crécy, 39.

Froude, James Anthony;
  biographical note on, VI, 122;
  articles by--of history as a science, 122;
  the character of Henry VIII, 132;
  Cæsar's mission, 136.

Fuller, Margaret;
  biographical note on, X, 52;
  articles by--her visit to George Sand, 52;
  two glimpses of Carlyle, 54.

Fuller, Thomas;
  biographical note on, III, 149;
  on the qualities of the good school-master, 149.


Gautier, Theophile;
  biographical note on, VIII, 14;
  Pharaoh's entry into Thebes, 14.

Gibbon, Edward;
  biographical note on, IV, 226;
  articles by--the romance of his youth, 226;
  the inception and completion of his "Decline and Fall," 229;
  the fall of Zenobia, 230;
  Alaric's entry into Rome, 237;
  the death of Hosein, 242;
  the causes of the destruction of the city of Rome, 246.

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von;
  biographical note on, VIII, 95;
  articles by--on first reading Shakespeare, 95;
  the coronation of Joseph II, 99.

Goldsmith, Oliver;
  biographical note on, IV, 177;
  articles by--the ambitions of the vicar's family, 177;
  sagacity in insects, 182;
  a Chinaman's view of London, 188.

Gray, Thomas;
  biographical note on, IV, 141;
  articles by--Warwick Castle, 141;
  to his friend Mason on the death of Mason's mother, 143;
  on his own writings, 144;
  his friendship for Bonstetten, 146.

Greeley, Horace;
  biographical note on, X, 58;
  the fatality of self-seeking in editors and authors, 58.

Green, John Richard;
  biographical note on, VI, 242;
  on George Washington, 242.

Grote, George;
  biographical note on, V, 165;
  articles by--the mutilation of the Hermæ, 165;
  if Alexander had lived, 172.

Guizot, François;
  biographical note on, VII, 189;
  Shakespeare as an example of civilization, 189.


Hamilton, Alexander;
  biographical note on, IX, 123;
  articles by--of the failure of the Confederation, 123;
  his reasons for not declining Burr's challenge, 129.

Harrison, Frederick;
  biographical note on, VI, 230;
  the great books of the world, 230.

Harte, Bret;
  biographical note on, X, 224;
  articles by--Peggy Moffat's inheritance, 224;
  John Chinaman, 236;
  M'liss goes to school, 240.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel;
  biographical note on, IX, 235;
  articles by--occupants of an old manse, 235;
  Arthur Dimmesdale on the scaffold, 242;
  of life at Brook Farm, 248;
  the death of Judge Pyncheon, 252.

Hay, John;
  biographical note on, X, 211;
  Lincoln's early fame, 211.

Hazlitt, William;
  biographical note on, V, 111;
  on Hamlet, 111.

Heine, Heinrich;
  biographical note on, VIII, 139;
  reminiscences of Napoleon, 139.

Herodotus;
  biographical note on, I, 3;
  articles by--Solon's words of wisdom to Croesus, 3;
  Babylon and its capture by Cyrus, 9;
  the pyramid of Cheops, 18;
  the story of Periander's son, 20.

Holmes, Oliver Wendell;
  biographical note on, X, 31;
  articles by--of doctors, lawyers and ministers, 31;
  of the genius of Emerson, 36;
  the house in which the professor lived, 42;
  of women who put on airs, 49.

Howell, James;
  biographical note on, III, 106;
  articles by--the Bucentaur in Venice, 106;
  the city of Rome in 1621, 109.

Howells, William Dean;
  biographical note on, X, 207;
  to Albany by the night boat, 207.

Hugo, Victor;
  biographical note on, VII, 228;
  articles by--the Battle of Waterloo, 228;
  the beginnings and expansions of Paris, 235.

Humboldt, Alexander von;
  biographical note on, VIII, 130;
  an essay on man, 130.

Hume, David;
  biographical note on, IV, 110;
  articles by--on the character of Queen Elizabeth, 110;
  the defeat of the Armada, 113;
  the first principles of government, 118.

Huxley, Thomas Henry;
  biographical note on, VI, 219;
  a piece of chalk, 219.


Ibsen, Henrik;
  biographical note on, VIII, 245;
  the thought child, 245.

Irving, Washington;
  biographical note on, IX, 147;
  articles by--the last of the Dutch governors of New York, 147;
  the awakening of Rip Van Winkle, 151;
  at Abbotsford with Scott, 161.


James, Henry;
  biographical note on, X, 246;
  articles by--among the Malvern Hills, 246;
  Turgeneff's world, 252.

Jefferson, Thomas;
  biographical note on, IX, 98;
  articles by--when the Bastile fell, 98;
  the futility of disputes, 106;
  of blacks and whites in the South, 108;
  his account of Logan's famous speech, 114.

Johnson, Samuel;
  biographical note on, IV, 94;
  articles by--on publishing his "Dictionary," 94;
  Pope and Dryden compared, 97;
  his letter to Chesterfield on the completion of his "Dictionary," 101;
  on the advantage of living in a garret, 104.

Joinville, Jean de;
  biographical note on, VII, 27;
  Greek fire in battle described, 27.

Jonson, Ben;
  biographical note on, III, 87;
  of Shakespeare and other wits, 87.


Kempis, Thomas à;
  biographical note on VII, 16;
  of eternal life and of striving for it, 16.

Kinglake, Alexander W.;
  biographical note on, VI, 42;
  articles by--on mocking at the Sphinx, 42;
  on the beginnings of the Crimean war 44.

Knox, John;
  biographical note on, III, 36;
  his account of his interview with Mary Queen of Scots, 36.


Lamartine, Alphonse de;
  biographical note on, VII, 195;
  of Mirabeau's origin and place in history, 195.

Lamb, Charles;
  biographical note on, V, 93;
  articles by--dream children, 93;
  poor relations, 99;
  the origin of roast pig, 102;
  that we should rise with the lark, 107.

Landor, Walter Savage;
  biographical note on, V, 87;
  articles by--the death of Hofer, 87;
  Napoleon and Pericles, 91.

La Rochefoucauld, Duc de;
  biographical note on, VII, 112;
  selections from the "Maxims," 112.

Le Sage, Alain René;
  biographical note on, VII, 129;
  articles by--in the service of Dr. Sangrado, 129;
  as an archbishop's favorite, 135.

Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim;
  biographical note on, VIII, 86;
  articles by--poetry and painting compared, 86;
  of suffering in restraint, 89.

Livy;
  biographical note on, II, 105;
  articles by--Horatius Cocles at the bridge, 105;
  Hannibal's crossing of the Alps, 108;
  Hannibal and Scipio at Zama, 117.

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth;
  biographical note on, X, 3;
  musings in Père Lachaise, 3.

Lowell, James Russell;
  biographical note on, X, 125;
  articles by--the poet as prophet, 125;
  the first of the moderns, 129;
  of faults found in Shakespeare, 133;
  Americans as successors of the Dutch, 138.

Lucian;
  biographical note on, I, 237;
  articles by--a descent to the unknown, 237;
  among the philosophers, 243;
  of liars and lying, 253.

Luther, Martin;
  biographical note on, VIII, 79;
  some of his table talk and sayings, 79.

Lytton, Edward Bulwer;
  biographical note on, VI, 21;
  his description of the descent of Vesuvius on Pompeii, 21.


Macaulay, Lord;
  biographical note on, V, 233;
  articles by--Puritan and Royalist, 233;
  Cromwell's army, 238;
  the opening of the trial of Warren Hastings, 242;
  the gift of Athens to man, 248;
  the pathos of Byron's life, 251.

Machiavelli, Niccolo;
  biographical note on, VIII, 178;
  ought princes to keep their promises, 178.

Malory, Sir Thomas;
  biographical note on, III, 26;
  article by--on the finding of a sword for Arthur, 26.

Mandeville, Sir John;
  biographical note on, III, 8;
  articles by--the route from England to Constantinople, 8;
  at the court of the great Chan, 11.

Marcus Aurelius;
  biographical note on, II, 248;
  his debt to others, 248.

Mather, Cotton;
  biographical note on, IX, 33;
  in praise of John Eliot, 33.

Maupassant, Guy de;
  biographical note on, VIII, 69;
  Madame Jeanne's last days, 69.

Merivale, Charles;
  biographical note on, VI, 37;
  on the personality of Augustus, 37.

Milton, John;
  biographical note on, III, 121;
  articles by--on his own literary ambitions, 121;
  a complete education defined, 126;
  on reading in his youth, 129;
  in defense of books, 131;
  a noble and puissant nation, 135;
  of fugitive and cloistered virtue, 141.

Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley;
  biographical note on, IV, 58;
  articles by--on happiness in the matrimonial state, 58;
  inoculation for the smallpox, 63.

Montaigne, Michel de;
  biographical note on, VII, 90;
  articles by--a word to his readers, 90;
  of society and solitude, 92;
  of his own library, 94;
  that the soul discharges her passions among false objects where
    true ones are wanting, 99;
  that men are not to judge of our happiness until after death, 102.

Montesquieu, Baron de;
  biographical note on, VII, 150;
  articles by--of the causes which destroyed Rome, 150;
  of the relation of laws to different human beings, 156.

More, Sir Thomas;
  biographical note on, III, 29;
  on life in Utopia, 29.

Morley, John;
  biographical note on, VI, 244;
  on Voltaire as an author and man of action, 244.

Morris, Gouverneur;
  biographical note on, IX, 117;
  articles by--the opening of the French States-General, 117;
  the execution of Louis XVI, 120.

Motley, John Lothrop;
  biographical note on, X, 68;
  articles by--Charles V and Phillip II in Brussels, 63;
  the arrival of the Spanish Armada, 74;
  "The Spanish Fury," 84.

Musset, Alfred de;
  biographical note on, VIII, 8;
  Titian's son after a night at play, 8.


Newman, John Henry;
  biographical note on, VI, 3;
  articles by--on the beginnings of tractarianism, 3;
  on his submission to the Catholic Church, 7;
  of Athens as a true university, 13.


Paine, Thomas;
  biographical note on, IX, 94;
  in favor of the separation of the colonies from Great Britain, 94.

Parkman, Francis;
  biographical note on, X, 157;
  articles by--Champlain's battle with the Iroquois, 157;
  the death of LaSalle, 161;
  the coming of Frontenae to Canada, 167;
  the death of Isaac Jogues, 171;
  why New France failed, 176;
  the return of the Coureurs-de-Bois, 179.

Parton, James;
  biographical note on, X, 150;
  Aaron Burr and Madame Jumel, 150.

Pascal, Blaise;
  biographical note on, VII, 118;
  of the prevalence of self-love, 118.

Pepys, Samuel;
  biographical note on, III, 185;
  on various doings of Mr. and Mrs. Pepys, 185;
  of England without Cromwell, 191.

Petrarch, Francis;
  biographical note on, VIII, 162;
  of good and evil fortune, 162.

Plato;
  biographical note on, I, 95;
  articles by--the image of the cave, 95;
  of good and evil, 103;
  Socrates in praise of love, 108;
  the praise of Socrates by Alcibiades, 121;
  the refusal of Socrates to escape from prison, 133;
  the death of Socrates, 143.

Pliny, the Elder;
  biographical note on, II, 162;
  articles by--the qualities of the dog, 162;
  three great artists of Greece, 165.

Pliny, the younger;
  biographical note on, II, 218;
  articles by--the Christians in his province, 218;
  to Tacitus on the eruption of Vesuvius, 222.

Plutarch;
  biographical note on, I, 190;
  articles by--Demosthenes and Cicero compared, 190;
  the assassination of Cæsar, 197;
  Cleopatra's barge, 207;
  the death of Antony and Cleopatra, 211.

Poe, Edgar Allan;
  biographical note on, X, 11;
  articles by--the cask of Amontillado, 11;
  of Hawthorne and the short story, 19;
  of Willis, Bryant, Halleck and Macaulay, 25.

Polo, Marco;
  biographical note on, VIII, 147;
  a description of Japan, 147.

Polybius;
  biographical note on, I, 171;
  articles by--the battle of Cannæ, 171;
  Hannibal's advance on Rome, 178;
  the defense of Syracuse by Archimedes, 183.

Pope, Alexander;
  biographical note on, IV, 41;
  articles by--an ancient English country seat, 41;
  his compliments to Lady Mary, 47;
  how to make an epic poem, 52.

Prescott, William H.;
  biographical note on, IX, 198;
  articles by--the fate of Egmont and Hoorne, 198;
  the genesis of "Don Quixote," 209.


Quintillian;
  biographical note on, II, 171;
  articles by--on the orator as a good man, 171.


Rabelais, François;
  biographical note on, VII, 58;
  articles by--Gargantua and his childhood, 58;
  Gargantua's education, 64;
  of the founding of an ideal abbey, 74.

Raleigh, Sir Walter;
  biographical note on, III, 49;
  on the mutability of human affairs, 49.

Renan, Joseph Ernest;
  biographical note on, VIII, 30;
  the Roman empire in robust youth, 30.

Rousseau, Jean Jacques;
  biographical note on, VII, 170;
  articles by--of Christ and Socrates, 170;
  of the management of children, 173.

Ruskin, John;
  biographical note on, VI, 140;
  articles by--of the history and sovereignty of Venice, 140;
  St. Marks at Venice, 151;
  of water, 159.


Saint-Simon, Duc de;
  biographical note on, VII, 141;
  articles by--the death of the Dauphin, 141;
  the public watching the king and madame, 145.

Sallust;
  biographical note on, II, 91;
  articles by--the genesis of Catiline, 91;
  the fate of the conspirators, 98.

Sand, George;
  biographical note on, VII, 250;
  Leila and the poet, 250.

Schiller, Friedrich von;
  biographical note on, VIII, 107;
  articles by--the battle of Lutzen, 107;
  Philip II and the Netherlands, 117.

Schlegel, August Wilhelm von;
  biographical note on, VIII, 124;
  on Shakespeare's "Macbeth," 124.

Scott, Sir Walter;
  biographical note on, V, 31;
  articles by--the arrival of the master of Ravenswood, 31;
  the death of Meg Merriles, 35;
  a vision of Rob Roy, 40;
  Queen Elizabeth and Amy Robsart at Kenilworth, 48;
  the illness and death of Lady Scott, 62.

Seneca;
  biographical note on, II, 128;
  articles by--the wise man, 128;
  consolation for the loss of friends, 134;
  to Nero on clemency, 141;
  the pilot, 149;
  a happy life, 153.

Sévigné, Madame de;
  biographical note on, VII, 123;
  articles by--great news from Paris, 123;
  an imposing funeral described, 125.

Sewall, Samuel;
  biographical note on, IX, 19;
  his account of how he courted Madame Winthrop, 19.

Shakespeare, William;
  biographical note on, III, 82;
  the speech of Brutus to his countrymen, 82;
  Shylock in defense of his race, 83;
  Hamlet to the players, 85.

Shelley, Percy Bysshe;
  biographical note on, V, 151;
  articles by--in defense of poetry, 151;
  the baths of Caracalla, 155;
  the ruins of Pompeii, 158.

Smith, Adam;
  biographical note on, IV, 163;
  articles by--of ambition misdirected, 163;
  the advantages of a division of labor, 166.

Smith, John;
  biographical note on, IX, 3;
  his story of Pocahontas, 3.

Southey, Robert;
  biographical note on, V, 80;
  Nelson's death at Trafalgar, 80.

Spencer, Herbert;
  biographical note on, VI, 173;
  articles by--the origin of professional occupations, 173;
  self-dependence and paternalism, 181;
  the ornamental and the useful in education, 186;
  reminiscences of his boyhood, 191;
  a tribute to E. L. Youmans, 195;
  why he never married, 197.

Staël, Madame de;
  biographical note on, VII, 178;
  of Napoleon Bonaparte, 178.

Steele, Sir Richard;
  biographical note on, IV, 3;
  articles by--of companions and flatterers, 3;
  the story-teller and his art, 7;
  Sir Roger and the widow, 10;
  the Coverley family portraits, 16;
  on certain symptoms of greatness, 21;
  how to be happy tho married, 26.

Sterne, Laurence;
  biographical note on, IV, 123;
  articles by--the starling in captivity, 123;
  to Moulines with Maria, 127;
  the death of LeFevre, 129;
  passages from the romance of my Uncle Toby and the widow, 131.

Stevenson, Robert Louis;
  biographical note on, VI, 247;
  articles by--Francis Villon's terrors, 247;
  the lantern bearers, 251.

Suetonius;
  biographical note on, II, 231;
  articles by--the last days of Augustus, 231;
  the good deeds of Nero, 236;
  the death of Nero, 241.

Swift, Jonathan;
  biographical note on, III, 216;
  on pretense in philosophers, 216;
  on the hospitality of the vulgar, 221;
  the art of lying in politics, 224;
  a meditation upon a broomstick, 228;
  Gulliver among the giants, 230.


Tacitus;
  biographical note on, II, 177;
  articles by--from Republican to Imperial Rome, 177;
  the funeral of Germanicus, 183;
  the death of Seneca, 189;
  the burning of Rome by order of Nero, 193;
  the burning of the capitol at Rome, 202;
  the siege of Cremona, 205;
  Agricola, 212.

Taine, Hippolite Adolphe;
  biographical note on, VIII, 38;
  articles by--on Thackeray as a satirist, 38;
  on the king's getting up for the day, 43.

Taylor, Jeremy;
  biographical note on, III, 153;
  on the benefits of adversity, 153.

Thackeray, William M.;
  biographical note on, VI, 62;
  articles by--the imperturbable Marlborough, 62;
  the ball before the battle of Waterloo, 65;
  the death of Colonel Newcome, 75;
  London in the time of the first George, 80.

Thiers, Louis Adolph;
  biographical note on, VII, 201;
  the burning of Moscow, 201.

Thoreau, Henry David;
  biographical note on, X, 99;
  articles by--the building of his house at Walden Pond, 99;
  how to make two small ends meet, 103;
  on reading the ancient classics, 115;
  of society and solitude, 120.

Thucydides;
  biographical note on, I, 25;
  articles by--the Athenians and Spartans contrasted, 25;
  the plague at Athens, 38;
  the sailing of the Athenian fleet for Sicily, 45;
  the completion of the Athenian defeat at Syracuse, 52.

Tocqueville, Alexis de;
  biographical note on, VIII, 3;
  on the tyranny of the American majority, 3.

Tolstoy, Count Leo;
  biographical note on, VIII, 252;
  Shakespeare not a great genius, 252.

Turgeneff, Ivan;
  biographical note on, VIII, 239;
  Bazarov's death, 239.


Vasari, Giorgio;
  biographical note on, VIII, 192;
  of Raphael and his early death, 192.

Vigny, Alfred de;
  biographical note on, VII, 222;
  Richelieu's way with his master, 222.

Ville-Hardouin, Geoffrey de;
  biographical note on, VII, 23;
  the sack of Constantinople, 23.

Voltaire, François Arouet;
  biographical note on, VII, 160;
  articles by--of Bacon's greatness, 160;
  England's regard for men of letters, 164.


Walpole, Horace;
  biographical note on, IV, 149;
  articles by--on Hogarth, 149;
  the war in America, 154;
  the death of George II, 155.

Walton, Izaak;
  biographical note on, III, 92;
  articles by--the antiquity of angling, 92;
  of the trout, 96;
  the death of George Herbert, 101.

Ward, Artemus;
  biographical note on, X, 191;
  Forrest as Othello, 191.

Washington, George;
  biographical note on, IX, 79;
  articles by--to his wife on taking command of the army, 79;
  of his army in Cambridge, 81;
  to the Marquis de Chastellux on his marriage, 84.

White, Gilbert;
  biographical note on, IV, 158;
  on the chimney swallow, 158.

Wordsworth, William;
  biographical note on, V, 23;
  a poet defined, 23.

Wyclif, John;
  biographical note on, III, 4;
  a passage from his translation of the Bible, 14.


Xenophon;
  biographical note on, I, 68;
  articles by--the character of Cyrus the younger, 68;
  the Greek army in the snows of Armenia, 75;
  the battle of Leuctra, 81;
  the army of the Spartans, 84;
  how to choose and manage saddle horses, 87.


Zola, Emile;
  biographical note on, VIII, 48;
  Napoleon III in time of war, 48.

       *       *       *       *       *





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