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Title: Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 15
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 15" ***

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    [Illustration: _HOW KRIEMHILD IS LED TO ETZEL._

    From the Hundeshagen Nibelungen manuscripts of the 10th
    century, in the Royal Library at Berlin.

        "Let the messenger ride and thus we make
        Known to you how the queen rode the country."

    Kriemhild is the legendary heroine of the "Nibelungenlied,"
    and the rival of Brunhild. She was the wife of Siegfried
    who was slain by her brothers. Later, as the wife of Etzel
    (Attila) King of the Huns, she avenged the murder of
    Siegfried by compassing the death of her brothers, but was
    herself slain.]

                            LIBRARY OF THE
                       WORLD'S BEST LITERATURE
                          ANCIENT AND MODERN

                        CHARLES DUDLEY WARNER


                         GEORGE HENRY WARNER

                          ASSOCIATE EDITORS

                         Connoisseur Edition

                               VOL. XV.

                               NEW YORK
                      THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY

                         Connoisseur Edition


                         _No_.    ..........

                         Copyright, 1896, by
                      R. S. PEALE AND J. A. HILL
                        _All rights reserved_

                         THE ADVISORY COUNCIL

    Professor of Hebrew,        HARVARD UNIVERSITY, Cambridge, Mass.

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

    Professor of History and Political Science,
                              PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, Princeton, N. J.

    Professor of Literature,     COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, New York City.

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

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

    Director of the Lick Observatory, and Astronomer,
                            UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, Berkeley, Cal.

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

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

    Professor of Greek and Latin Literature,
                                UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, Chicago, Ill.

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

    Professor of Literature in the
                   CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA, Washington, D. C.

                          TABLE OF CONTENTS

                               VOL. XV

                                                    LIVED       PAGE
  FOLK-SONG                                                     5853
                           BY F. B. GUMMERE

  SAMUEL FOOTE                                    1720-1777     5878
    How to be a Lawyer ('The Lame Lover')
    A Misfortune in Orthography (same)
    From the 'Memoirs': A Cure for Bad Poetry; The Retort
      Courteous; On Garrick's Stature; Cape Wine; The Graces; The
      Debtor; Affectation; Arithmetical Criticism; The Dear Wife;
      Garrick and the Guinea; Dr. Paul Hifferman; Foote and
      Macklin; Baron Newman; Mrs. Abington; Garlic-Eaters; Mode of
      Burying Attorneys in London; Dining Badly; Dibble Davis; An
      Extraordinary Case; Mutability of the World; An Appropriate
      Motto; Real Friendship; Anecdote of an Author; Dr. Blair;
      Advice to a Dramatic Writer; The Grafton Ministry

  JOHN FORD                                       1586-?        5889
    From 'Perkin Warbeck'
    Penthea's Dying Song ('The Broken Heart')
    From 'The Lover's Melancholy': Amethus and Menaphon

  FRIEDRICH, BARON DE LA MOTTE FOUQUÉ             1777-1843     5895
    The Marriage of Undine ('Undine')
    The Last Appearance of Undine (same)
    Song from 'Minstrel Lore'

  ANATOLE FRANCE                                  1844-         5909
    In the Gardens ('The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard')
    Child-Life ('The Book of my Friend')
    From the 'Garden of Epicurus'

  ST. FRANCIS D'ASSISI                            1182-1226     5919
                       BY MAURICE FRANCIS EGAN
    The Canticle of the Sun

  BENJAMIN FRANKLIN                               1706-1790     5925
                           BY JOHN BIGELOW
    Of Franklin's Family and Early Life ('Autobiography')
    Franklin's Journey to Philadelphia: His Arrival There (same)
    Franklin as a Printer (same)
    Rules of Health ('Poor Richard's Almanack')
    The Way to Wealth (same)
    Speech in the Federal Convention, in Favor of Opening
      Its Sessions with Prayer
    On War
    Revenge: Letter to Madame Helvétius
    The Ephemera: an Emblem of Human Life
    A Prophecy (Letter to Lord Kames)
    Early Marriages (Letter to John Alleyne)
    The Art of Virtue ('Autobiography')

  LOUIS HONORÉ FRÉCHETTE                          1839-         5964
                       BY MAURICE FRANCIS EGAN
    Our History ('Le Légende d'un Peuple')
    Louisiana ('Les Feuilles Volantes')
    The Dream of Life (same)

  HAROLD FREDERIC                                 1856-         5971
    The Last Rite ('The Damnation of Theron Ware')

  EDWARD AUGUSTUS FREEMAN                         1823-1892     5977
                        BY JOHN BACH McMASTER
    The Altered Aspects of Rome ('Historical Essays')
    The Continuity of English History (same)
    Race and Language (same)
    The Norman Council and the Assembly of Lillebonne
      ('The History of the Norman Conquest of England')

  FERDINAND FREILIGRATH                           1810-1876     6002
    The Emigrants
    The Lion's Ride
    Rest in the Beloved
    Oh, Love so Long as Love Thou Canst

  GUSTAV FREYTAG                                  1816-1895     6011
    The German Professor ('The Lost Manuscript')

  FRIEDRICH FROEBEL                               1782-1852     6022
                       BY NORA ARCHIBALD SMITH
    The Right of the Child ('Reminiscences of Friedrich Froebel')
    Evolution ('The Mottoes and Commentaries of Mother Play')
    The Laws of the Mind ('The Letters of Froebel')
    For the Children (same)
    Motives ('The Education of Man')

  FROISSART                                       1337-1410?    6035
                       BY GEORGE McLEAN HARPER
    From the 'Chronicles':
    The Invasion of France by King Edward III., and the
      Battle of Crécy
    How the King of England Rode through Normandy
    Of the Great Assembly that the French King Made to
      Resist the King of England
    Of the Battle of Caen, and How the Englishmen Took the Town
    How the French King Followed the King of England
      in Beauvoisinois
    Of the Battle of Blanche-Taque
    Of the Order of the Englishmen at Cressy
    The Order of the Frenchmen at Cressy, and How They Beheld
      the Demeanor of the Englishmen
    Of the Battle of Cressy, August 26th, 1346

  JAMES ANTHONY FROUDE                            1818-1894     6059
    The Growth of England's Navy ('English Seamen in the
      Sixteenth Century')
    The Death of Colonel Goring ('Two Chiefs of Dunboy')
    Scientific Method Applied to History ('Short Studies on
      Great Subjects')
    The Death of Thomas Becket (same)
    Character of Henry VIII. ('History of England')
    On a Siding at a Railway Station ('Short Studies on
      Great Subjects')

  HENRY B. FULLER                                 1859-         6101
    At the Head of the March ('With the Procession')

  SARAH MARGARET FULLER (Marchioness Ossoli)      1810-1850     6119
    George Sand ('Memoirs')
    Americans Abroad in Europe ('At Home and Abroad')
    A Character Sketch of Carlyle ('Memoirs')

  THOMAS FULLER                                   1608-1661     6129
    The King's Children ('The Worthies of England')
    A Learned Lady (same)
    Henry de Essex, Standard-Bearer to Henry II. (same)
    The Good Schoolmaster ('The Holy and Profane State')
    On Books (same)
    London ('The Worthies of England')
    Miscellaneous Sayings

  ÉMILE GABORIAU                                  1835-1873     6137
    The Impostor and the Banker's Wife: The Robbery ('File No. 113')
    M. Lecoq's System (same)

  BENITO PEREZ GALDÓS                             1845-         6153
                       BY WILLIAM HENRY BISHOP
    The First Night of a Famous Play ('The Court of Charles IV.')
    Doña Perfecta's Daughter ('Doña Perfecta')
    Above Stairs in a Royal Palace ('La de Bringas')

  FRANCIS GALTON                                  1822-         6174
    The Comparative Worth of Different Races ('Hereditary Genius')

  ARNE GARBORG                                    1851-         6185
    The Conflict of the Creeds ('A Freethinker')

  HAMLIN GARLAND                                  1860-         6195
    A Summer Mood ('Prairie Songs')
    A Storm on Lake Michigan ('Rose of Butcher's Coolly')

  ELIZABETH STEVENSON GASKELL                     1810-1865     6205
    Our Society ('Cranford')
    Visiting (same)

  THÉOPHILE GAUTIER                               1811-1872     6221
                         BY ROBERT SANDERSON
    The Entry of Pharaoh into Thebes ('The Romance of a Mummy')
    From 'The Marsh'
    From 'The Dragon-Fly'
    The Doves
    The Pot of Flowers
    The Poet and the Crowd
    The First Smile of Spring
    The Veterans ('The Old Guard')

  JOHN GAY                                        1685-1732     6237
    The Hare and Many Friends ('Fables')
    The Sick Man and the Angel (same)
    The Juggler (same)
    Sweet William's Farewell to Black-Eyed Susan
    From 'What D'ye Call It?'

  EMANUEL VON GEIBEL                              1815-1884     6248
    See'st Thou the Sea?
    As it will Happen
    The Woodland
    At Last the Daylight Fadeth

                       FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS

                              VOLUME XV

  "How Kreimhild is Led to Etzel" (Colored Plate)       Frontispiece
  Russian Writing (Fac-simile)                                  5876
  Franklin (Portrait)                                           5925
  "Music, Science, and Art" (Photogravure)                      5964
  Freytag (Portrait)                                            6011
  "The Menagerie" (Photogravure)                                6034
  "The Wedding Dress" (Photogravure)                            6166
  "The Juggler" (Photogravure)                                  6244

                          VIGNETTE PORTRAITS

          Foqué                              Froude
          France                             Fuller (Margaret)
          Frederic                           Fuller (Thomas)
          Freeman                            Garland
          Freiligrath                        Gaskell
          Froebel                            Gautier
          Froissart                          Gay
                              Von Giebel



As in the case of ballads, or narrative songs, it was important to
sunder not only the popular from the artistic, but also the ballad of
the people from the ballad for the people; precisely so in the article
of communal lyric one must distinguish songs of the folk--songs made
by the folk--from those verses of the street or the music hall which
are often caught up and sung by the crowd until they pass as genuine
folk-song. For true folk-song, as for the genuine ballad, the tests
are simplicity, sincerity, mainly oral tradition, and origin in a
homogeneous community. The style of such a poem is not only simple,
but free from individual stamp; the metaphors, employed sparingly at
the best, are like the phrases which constantly occur in narrative
ballads, and belong to tradition. The metre is not so uniform as in
ballads, but must betray its origin in song. An unsung folk-song is
more than a contradiction,--it is an impossibility. Moreover, it is to
be assumed that primitive folk-songs were an outcome of the dance, for
which originally there was no music save the singing of the dancers. A
German critic declares outright that for early times there was "no
dance without singing, _and no song without a dance_; songs for the
dance were the earliest of all songs, and melodies for the dance the
oldest music of every race." Add to this the undoubted fact that
dancing by pairs is a comparatively modern invention, and that
primitive dances involved the whole able-bodied primitive community
(Jeanroy's assertion that in the early Middle Ages only women danced,
is a libel on human nature), and one begins to see what is meant by
folk-song; primarily it was made by the singing and dancing throng, at
a time when no distinction of lettered and unlettered classes divided
the community. Few, if any, of these primitive folk-songs have come
down to us; but they exist in survival, with more or less trace of
individual and artistic influences. As we cannot apply directly the
test of such a communal origin, we must cast about for other and more
modern conditions.

When Mr. George Saintsbury deplores "the lack, notorious to this day,
of one single original English folk-song of really great beauty,"
he leaves his readers to their own devices by way of defining this
species of poetry. Probably, however, he means the communal lyric
in survival, not the ballad, not what Germans would include under
_volkslied_ and Frenchmen under _chanson populaire_. This distinction,
so often forgotten by our critics, was laid down for English usage a
century ago by no less a person than Joseph Ritson. "With us," he
said, "songs of sentiment, expression, or even description, are
properly called Songs, in contradistinction to mere narrative
compositions, which now denominate Ballads."

Notwithstanding this lucid statement, we have failed to clear the
field of all possible causes for error. The song of the folk is
differentiated from the song of the individual poet; popular lyric is
set over against the artistic, personal lyric. But lyric is commonly
assumed to be the expression of individual emotion, and seems in its
very essence to exclude all that is not single, personal, and
conscious emotion. Professor Barrett Wendell, however, is fain to
abandon this time-honored notion of lyric as the subjective element in
poetry, the expression of individual emotion, and proposes a
definition based upon the essentially musical character of these
songs. If we adhere strictly to the older idea, communal lyric, or
folk-song, is a contradiction in terms; but as a musical expression,
direct and unreflective, of communal emotion, and as offspring of the
enthusiasm felt by a festal, dancing multitude, the term is to be
allowed. It means the lyric of a throng. Unless one feels this
objective note in a lyric, it is certainly no folk-song, but merely an
anonymous product of the schools. The artistic and individual lyric,
however sincere it may be, is fairly sure to be blended with
reflection; but such a subjective tone is foreign to communal
verse--whether narrative or purely lyrical. In other words, to study
the lyric of the people, one must banish that notion of individuality,
of reflection and sentiment, which one is accustomed to associate with
all lyrics. To illustrate the matter, it is evident that Shelley's 'O
World, O Life, O Time,' and Wordsworth's 'My Heart Leaps Up,' however
widely sundered may be the points of view, however varied the
character of the emotion, are of the same individual and reflective
class. Contrast now with these a third lyric, an English song of the
thirteenth century, preserved by some happy chance from the oblivion
which claimed most of its fellows; the casual reader would
unhesitatingly put it into the same class with Wordsworth's verses as
a lyric of "nature," of "joy," or what not,--an outburst of simple and
natural emotion. But if this 'Cuckoo Song' be regarded critically, it
will be seen that precisely those qualities of the individual and the
subjective are wanting. The music of it is fairly clamorous; the
refrain counts for as much as the verses; while the emotion seems to
spring from the crowd and to represent a community. Written down--no
one can say when it was actually composed--not later than the middle
of the thirteenth century, along with the music and a Latin hymn
interlined in red ink, this song is justly regarded by critics as
communal rather than artistic in its character; and while it is set
to music in what Chappell calls "the earliest secular composition, in
parts, known to exist in any country," yet even this elaborate music
was probably "a national song and tune, selected according to the
custom of the times as a basis for harmony," and was "not entirely a
scholastic composition." It runs in the original:--

  Sumer is icumen in.
    Lhude sing cuccu.
      Groweth sed
      And bloweth med
  And springth the wde nu.
        Sing cuccu.

  Awe bleteth after lomb,
    Lhouth after calve cu;
      Bulluc sterteth,
      Bucke verteth,
      Murie sing cuccu.
      Cuccu, cuccu.

  Wel singes thu cuccu,
  Ne swik thu naver nu.


  Sing cuccu nu. Sing cuccu.
  Sing cuccu. Sing cuccu nu.[1]

    [1] For facsimile of the MS., music, and valuable remarks,
    see Chappell, 'Ballad Literature and Popular Music of the
    Olden Time,' Vol. i., frontispiece, and pages 21 ff.
    For pronunciation, see A. J. Ellis, 'Early English
    Pronunciation,' ii., 419 ff. The translation given by Mr.
    Ellis is:--

    "Summer has come in; loudly sing, cuckoo! Grows seed and
    blossoms mead and springs the wood now. Sing, cuckoo! Ewe
    bleats after lamb, lows after (its) calf the cow; bullock
    leaps, buck verts (seeks the green); merrily sing, cuckoo!
    Cuckoo, cuckoo! Well singest thou, cuckoo; cease thou not
    never now. _Burden_.--Sing, cuckoo, now; sing, cuckoo! Sing,
    cuckoo, sing cuckoo, now."--_Lhude_, _wde_ (=_wude_), _awe_,
    _calve_, _bucke_, are dissyllabic. Mr. Ellis's translation of
    _verteth_ is very doubtful.

The monk, whose passion for music led him to rescue this charming
song, probably regretted the rustic quality of the words, and did
his best to hide the origin of the air; but behind the complicated
music is a tune of the country-side, and if the refrain is here a
burden, to be sung throughout the piece by certain voices while
others sing the words of the song, we have every right to think of
an earlier refrain which almost absorbed the poem and was sung by
a dancing multitude. This is a most important consideration. In all
parts of Europe, songs for the dance still abound in the shape of a
welcome to spring; and a lyrical outburst in praise of the jocund
season often occurs by way of prelude to the narrative ballad: witness
the beautiful opening of 'Robin Hood and the Monk.' The
troubadour of Provence, like the minnesinger of Germany, imitated
these invocations to spring. A charming _balada_ of Provence probably
takes us beyond the troubadour to the domain of actual folk-song.[2]
"At the entrance of the bright season," it runs, "in order to
begin joy and to tease the jealous, the queen will show that she is
fain to love. As far as to the sea, no maid nor youth but must join
the lusty dance which she devises. On the other hand comes the
king to break up the dancing, fearful lest some one will rob him of
his April queen. Little, however, cares she for the graybeard; a gay
young 'bachelor' is there to pleasure her. Whoso might see her as
she dances, swaying her fair body, he could say in sooth that nothing
in all the world peers the joyous queen!" Then, as after each
stanza, for conclusion the wild refrain--like a _procul este,
profani!_--"Away, ye jealous ones, away! Let us dance together,
together let us dance!" The interjectional refrain, "eya," a mere cry
of joy, is common in French and German songs for the dance, and gives
a very echo of the lusty singers. Repetition, refrain, the infectious
pace and merriment of this old song, stamp it as a genuine product of
the people.[3] The brief but emphatic praise of spring with which it
opens is doubtless a survival of those older pagan hymns and songs
which greeted the return of summer and were sung by the community in
chorus to the dance, now as a religious rite, now merely as the
expression of communal rejoicing. What the people once sang in chorus
was repeated by the individual poet. Neidhart the German is famous on
account of his rustic songs for the dance, which often begin with this
lusty welcome to spring: while the dactyls of Walther von der
Vogelweide not only echo the cadence of dancing feet, but so nearly
exclude the reflective and artistic element that the "I" of the singer
counts for little. "Winter," he sings,--

  Winter has left us no pleasure at all;
  Leafage and heather have fled with the fall,
  Bare is the forest and dumb as a thrall;
  If the girls by the roadside were tossing the ball,
  I could prick up my ears for the singing-birds' call![4]

    [2] The first stanza in the original will show the structure
    of this true "ballad" in the primitive sense of a dance-song.
    There are five of these stanzas, carrying the same rhymes

      A l'entrada del temps clar,--eya,--
      Per joja recomençar,--eya,--
      E per jelos irritar,--eya,--
      Vol la regina mostrar
      Qu' el' est si amoroza.


        Alavi', alavia, jelos,
        laissaz nos, laissaz nos
        ballar entre nos, entre nos!

    [3] Games and songs of children are still to be found which
    preserve many of the features of these old dance-songs. The
    dramatic traits met with in the games point back now to the
    choral poetry of pagan times, when perhaps a bit of myth was
    enacted, now to the communal dance where the stealing of a
    bride may have been imitated.

    [4] Unless otherwise credited, translations are by the

That is, "if spring were here, and the girls were going to the village
dance"; for ball-playing was not only a rival of the dance, but was
often combined with it. Walther's dactyls are one in spirit with the
fragments of communal lyric which have been preserved for us by
song-loving "clerks" or theological students, those intellectual
tramps of the Middle Ages, who often wrote down such a merry song of
May and then turned it more or less freely into their barbarous but
not unattractive Latin. For example:--

  Now is time for holiday!
  Let our singing greet the May:
  Flowers in the breezes play,
  Every holt and heath is gay.

  Let us dance and let us spring
    With merry song and crying!
  Joy befits the lusty May:
    Set the ball a-flying!
  If I woo my lady-love,
    Will she be denying?[5]

    [5] From 'Carmina Burana,' a collection of these songs in
    Latin and German preserved in a MS. of the thirteenth
    century; edited by J. A. Schmeller, Breslau, 1883. This song
    is page 181 ff., in German, 'Nu Suln Wir Alle Fröude Hân.'

The steps of the dance are not remote; and the same echo haunts
another song of the sort:--

  Dance we now the measure,
    Dance, lady mine!
  May, the month of pleasure,
    Comes with sweet sunshine.

  Winter vexed the meadow
    Many weary hours:
  Fled his chill and shadow,--
  Lo, the fields are laughing
    Red with flowers.[6]

    [6] Ibid., page 178: 'Springe wir den Reigen.'

Or the song at the dance may set forth some of the preliminaries, as
when a girl is supposed to sing:--

  Care and sorrow, fly away!
  On the green field let us play,
  Playmates gentle, playmates mine,
  Where we see the bright flowers shine,
    I say to thee, I say to thee,
    Playmate mine, O come with me!

  Gracious Love, to me incline,
  Make for me a garland fine,--
  Garland for the man to wear
  Who can please a maiden fair.
    I say to thee, I say to thee,
    Playmate mine, O come with me![7]

    [7] Ibid., page 213: 'Ich wil Trûren Varen lân.'

The greeting from youth to maiden, from maiden to youth, was doubtless
a favorite bit of folk-song, whether at the dance or as independent
lyric. Readers of the 'Library' will find such a greeting incorporated
in 'Child Maurice'[8]; only there it is from the son to his mother,
and with a somewhat eccentric list of comparisons by way of detail,
instead of the terse form known to German tradition:--

  Soar, Lady Nightingale, soar above!
  A hundred thousand times greet my love!

    [8] Article in 'Ballads,' Vol. iii., page 1340.

The variations are endless; one of the earliest is found in a charming
Latin tale of the eleventh century, 'Rudlieb,' "the oldest known
romance in European literature." A few German words are mixed with the
Latin; while after the good old ballad way the greeting is first given
to the messenger, and repeated when the messenger performs his
task:--"I wish thee as much joy as there are leaves on the trees,--and
as much delight as birds have, so much love (_minna_),--and as much
honor I wish thee as there are flowers and grass!" Competent critics
regard this as a current folk-song of greeting inserted in the
romance, and therefore as the oldest example of _minnesang_ in German
literature. Of the less known variations of this theme, one may be
given from the German of an old song where male singers are supposed
to compete for a garland presented by the maidens; the rivals not only
sing for the prize but even answer riddles. It is a combination of
game and dance, and is evidently of communal origin. The honorable
authorities of Freiburg, about 1556, put this practice of "dancing of
evenings in the streets, and singing for a garland, and dancing in a
throng" under strictest ban. The following is a stanza of greeting in
such a song:--

  Maiden, thee I fain would greet,
  From thy head unto thy feet.
  As many times I greet thee even
  As there are stars in yonder heaven,
  As there shall blossom flowers gay,
  From Easter to St. Michael's day![9]

    [9] Uhland, 'Volkslieder,' i. 12.

These competitive verses for the dance and the garland were, as we
shall presently see, spontaneous: composed in the throng by lad or
lassie, they are certainly entitled to the name of communal lyric.
Naturally, the greeting could ban as well as bless; and little Kirstin
(Christina) in the Danish ballad sends a greeting of double charge:--

  To Denmark's King wish as oft good-night
  As stars are shining in heaven bright;
  To Denmark's Queen as oft bad year
  As the linden hath leaves or the hind hath hair![10]

    [10] Grundtvig, 'Danmarks Gamle Folkeviser,' iii. 161.

Folk-song in the primitive stage always had a refrain or chorus. The
invocation of spring, met in so many songs of later time, is doubtless
a survival of an older communal chorus sung to deities of summer and
flooding sunshine and fertility. The well-known Latin 'Pervigilium
Veneris,' artistic and elaborate as it is in eulogy of spring and
love, owes its refrain and the cadence of its trochaic rhythm to some
song of the Roman folk in festival; so that Walter Pater is not far
from the truth when he gracefully assumes that the whole poem was
suggested by this refrain "caught from the lips of the young men,
singing because they could not help it, in the streets of Pisa,"
during that Indian summer of paganism under the Antonines. This
haunting refrain, with its throb of the spring and the festal throng,
is ruthlessly tortured into a heroic couplet in Parnell's

  Let those love now who never loved before;
  Let those who always loved now love the more!

Contrast the original!--

  _Cras amet qui nunquam amavit; quique amavit cras amet!_

This is the trochaic rhythm dear to the common people of Rome and the
near provinces, who as every one knows spoke a very different speech
from the speech of the patrician, and sang their own songs withal; a
few specimens of the latter, notably the soldiers' song about Cæsar,
have come down to us.[11]

    [11] We cannot widen our borders so as to include that
    solitary folk-song rescued from ancient Greek literature, the
    'Song of the Swallow,' sung by children of the Island of
    Rhodes as they went about asking gifts from house to house at
    the coming of the earliest swallow. The metre is interesting
    in comparison with the rhythm of later European folk-songs,
    and there is evident dramatic action. Nor can we include the
    fragments of communal drama found in the favorite Debates
    Between Summer and Winter,--from the actual contest, to such
    lyrical forms as the song at the end of Shakespeare's 'Love's
    Labor's Lost.' The reader may be reminded of a good specimen
    of this class in 'Ivy and Holly,' printed by Ritson, 'Ancient
    Songs and Ballads,' Hazlitt's edition, page 114 ff., with the

      Nay, Ivy, nay,
        Hyt shal not be, I wys;
      Let Holy hafe the maystry,
        As the maner ys.

The refrain itself, of whatever metre, was imitated by classical poets
like Catullus; and the earliest traditions of Greece tell of these
refrains, with gathering verses of lyric or narrative character, sung
in the harvest-field and at the dance. In early Assyrian poetry, even,
the refrain plays an important part; while an Egyptian folk-song, sung
by the reapers, seems to have been little else than a refrain. Towards
the end of the Middle Ages, courtly poets took up the refrain,
experimented with it, refined it, and so developed those highly
artificial forms of verse known as roundel, triolet, and ballade. The
refrain, in short, is corner-stone for all poetry of the people, if
not of poetry itself; beginning with inarticulate cries of joy or
sorrow, like the _eya_ noted above, mere emotional utterances or
imitations of various sounds, then growing in distinctness and
compass, until the separation of choral from artistic poetry, and the
increasing importance of the latter, reduced the refrain to a merely
ancillary function, and finally did away with it altogether. Many
refrains are still used for the dance which are mere exclamations,
with just enough coherence of words added to make them pass as poetry.
Frequently, as in the French, these have a peculiar beauty. Victor
Hugo has imitated them with success; but to render them into English
is impossible.

The refrain, moreover, is closely allied to those couplets or
quatrains composed spontaneously at the dance or other merry-making of
the people. In many parts of Germany, the dances of harvest were until
recent days enlivened by the so-called _schnaderhüpfl_, a quatrain
sung to a simple air, composed on the spot, and often inclining to the
personal and the satiric. In earlier days this power to make a
quatrain off-hand seems to have been universal among the peasants of
Europe. In Scandinavia such quatrains are known as _stev_. They are
related, so far as their spontaneity, their universal character, and
their origin are concerned, to the _coplas_ of Spain, the _stornelli_
of Italy, and the distichs of modern Greece. Of course, the specimens
of this poetry which can be found now are rude enough; for the life
has gone out of it, and to find it at its best one must go back to
conditions which brought the undivided genius of the community into
play. What one finds nowadays is such motley as this,--a so-called
_rundâ_ from Vogtland, answering to the Bavarian _schnaderhüpfl_:--

  I and my Hans,
  We go to the dance;
  And if no one will dance,
  Dance I and my Hans!

A _schnaderhüpfl_ taken down at Appenzell in 1754, and one of the
oldest known, was sung by some lively girl as she danced at the
reapers' festival:--

  Mine, mine, mine,--O my love is fine,
    And my favor shall he plainly see;
  Till the clock strike eight, till the clock strike nine,
    My door, my door shall open be.

It is evident that the great mass of this poetry died with the
occasion that brought it forth, or lingered in oral tradition, exposed
to a thousand chances of oblivion. The Church made war upon these
songs, partly because of their erotic character, but mainly, one may
assume, because of the chain of tradition from heathen times which
linked them with feasts in honor of abhorred gods, and with rustic
dances at the old pagan harvest-home. A study of all this, however,
with material at a minimum, and conjecture or philological combination
as the only possible method of investigation, must be relegated to the
treatise and the monograph;[12] for present purposes we must confine
our exposition and search to songs that shall attract readers as well
as students. Yet this can be done only by the admission into our pages
of folk-song which already bears witness, more or less, to the touch
of an artist working upon material once exclusively communal and

    [12] Folk-lore, mythology, sociology even, must share in this
    work. The reader may consult for indirect but valuable
    material such books as Frazer's 'Golden Bough,' or that
    admirable treatise, Tylor's 'Primitive Culture.'

Returning to our English type, the 'Cuckoo Song,' we are now to ask
what other communal lyrics with this mark upon them, denoting at once
rescue and contamination at the hands of minstrel or wandering clerk,
have come down to us from the later Middle Ages. Having answered this
question, it will remain to deal with the difficult material
accumulated in comparatively recent times. Ballads are far easier to
preserve than songs. Ballads have a narrative; and this story in them
has proved antiseptic, defying the chances of oral transmission. A
good story travels far, and the path which it wanders from people to
people is often easy to follow; but the more volatile contents of the
popular lyric--we are not speaking of its tune, which is carried in
every direction--are easily lost.[13] Such a lyric lives chiefly by
its sentiment, and sentiment is a fragile burden. We can however get
some notion of this communal song by process of inference, for the
earliest lays of the Provençal troubadour, and probably of the German
minnesinger, were based upon the older song of the country-side.
Again, in England there was little distinction made between the singer
who entertained court and castle and the gleeman who sang in the
villages and at rural festivals; the latter doubtless taking from the
common stock more than he contributed from his own. A certain proof of
more aristocratic and distinctly artistic, that is to say, individual
origin, and a conclusive reason for refusing the name of folk-song to
any one of these lyrics of love, is the fact that it happens to
address a married woman. Every one knows that the troubadour and the
minnesinger thus addressed their lays; and only the style and general
character of their earliest poetry can be considered as borrowed from
the popular muse. In other words, however vivacious, objective,
vigorous, may be the early lays of the troubadour, however one is
tempted to call them mere modifications of an older folk-song, they
are excluded by this characteristic from the popular lyric and belong
to poetry of the schools. Marriage, says Jeanroy, is always respected
in the true folk-song. Moreover, this is only a negative test. In
Portugal, many songs which must be referred to the individual and
courtly poet are written in praise of the unmarried girl; while in
England, whether it be set down to austere morals or to the practical
turn of the native mind, one finds little or nothing to match this
troubadour and minnesinger poetry in honor of the stately but
capricious dame.[14] The folk-song that we seek found few to record
it; it sounded at the dance, it was heard in the harvest-field; what
seemed to be everywhere, growing spontaneously like violets in spring,
called upon no one to preserve it and to give it that protection
demanded by exotic poetry of the schools. What is preserved is due
mainly to the clerks and gleemen of older times, or else to the
curiosity of modern antiquarians, rescuing here and there a belated
survival of the species. Where the clerk or the gleeman is in
question, he is sure to add a personal element, and thus to remove the
song from its true communal setting. Contrast the wonderful little
song, admired by Alceste in Molière's 'Misanthrope,' and as
impersonal, even in its first-personal guise as any communal lyric
ever made,--with a reckless bit of verse sung by some minstrel about
the famous Eleanor of Poitou, wife of Henry II. of England. The song
so highly commended by Alceste[15] runs, in desperately inadequate

  If the King had made it mine,
    Paris, his city gay,
  And I must the love resign
    Of my bonnie may,[16]--

  To King Henry I would say:
  Take your Paris back, I pray;
  Better far I love my may,--
                      O joy!--
    Love my bonnie may!

Let us hear the reckless "clerk":--

  If the whole wide world were mine,
  From the ocean to the Rhine,
    All I'd be denying
  If the Queen of England once
    In my arms were lying![17]

    [13] For early times translation from language to language is
    out of the question, certainly in the case of lyrics. It is
    very important to remember that primitive man regarded song
    as a momentary and spontaneous thing.

    [14] Yet even rough Scandinavia took up this brilliant but
    doubtful love poetry. To one of the Norse kings is attributed
    a song in which the royal singer informs his "lady" by way of
    credentials for his wooing,--"I have struck a blow in the
    Saracen's land; _let thy husband do the same!_"

    [15] 'Le Misanthrope,' i. 2; he calls it a _vielle chanson_.
    M. Tiersot concedes it to the popular muse, but thinks it is
    of the city, not of the country.

    [16] _May_, a favorite ballad word for "maid," "sweetheart."

    [17] 'Carm. Bur.,' page 185: "Wær diu werlt alliu mîn."

The tone is not directly communal, but it smacks more of the village
dance than of the troubadour's harp; for even Bernart of Ventadour did
not dare to address Eleanor save in the conventional tone of despair.
The clerks and gleemen, however, and even English peasants of modern
times,[18] took another view of the matter. The "clerk," that
delightful vagabond who made so nice a balance between church and
tavern, between breviary and love songs, has probably done more for
the preservation of folk-song than all other agents known to us. In
the above verses he protests a trifle or so too much about himself;
let us hear him again as mere reporter for the communal lyric, in
verses that he may have brought from the dance to turn into his
inevitable Latin:--

  Come, my darling, come to me,
  I am waiting long for thee,--
  I am waiting long for thee,
  Come, my darling, come to me!

  Rose-red mouth, so sweet and fain,
  Come and make me well again;--
  Come and make me well again,
  Rose-red mouth, so sweet and fain.[19]

    [18] See Child's Ballads, vi. 257, and Grandfer Cantle's
    ballad in Mr. Hardy's 'Return of the Native.' See next page.

    [19] 'Carm. Bur.,' page 208: "Kume, Kume, geselle min."

More graceful yet are the anonymous verses quoted in certain Latin
love-letters of a manuscript at Munich; and while a few critics rebel
at the notion of a folk-song, the pretty lines surely hint more of
field and dance than of the study.

      Thou art mine,
      I am thine,
  Of that may'st certain be;
      Locked thou art
      Within my heart,
  And I have lost the key:
  There must thou ever be!

Now it happens that this notion of heart and key recurs in later
German folk-song. A highly popular song of the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries has these stanzas:[20]

  For thy dear sake I'm hither come,
    Sweetheart, O hear me woo!
  My hope rests evermore on thee,
    I love thee well and true.
  Let me but be thy servant,
    Thy dear love let me win;
  Come, ope thy heart, my darling,
    And lock me fast within!

       *       *       *       *       *

  Where my love's head is lying,
    There rests a golden shrine;
  And in it lies, locked hard and fast,
    This fresh young heart of mine:
  Oh would to God I had the key,--
    I'd throw it in the Rhine;
  What place on earth were more to me,
    Than with my sweeting fine?

  Where my love's feet are lying,
    A fountain gushes cold,
  And whoso tastes the fountain
    Grows young and never old:
  Full often at the fountain
    I knelt and quenched my drouth,--
  Yet tenfold rather would I kiss
    My darling's rosy mouth!

  And in my darling's garden[21]
    Is many a precious flower;
  Oh, in this budding season,
    Would God 'twere now the hour
  To go and pluck the roses
    And nevermore to part:
  I think full sure to win her
    Who lies within my heart!

       *       *       *       *       *

  Now who this merry roundel
    Hath sung with such renown?
  That have two lusty woodsmen
    At Freiberg in the town,--
  Have sung it fresh and fairly,
    And drunk the cool red wine:
  And who hath sat and listened?--
    Landlady's daughter fine!

    [20] Translated from Böhme 'Altdeutsches Liederbuch,'
    Leipzig, 1877, page 233. Lovers of folk-song will find this
    book invaluable on account of the carefully edited musical
    accompaniments. With it and Chappell, the musician has ample
    material for English and German songs; for French, see
    Tiersot, 'La Chanson Populaire en France.'

    [21] The garden in these later songs is constantly a symbol
    of love. To pluck the roses, etc., is conventional for making

What with the more modern tone, and the lusty woodsmen, one has
deserted the actual dance, the actual communal origin of song; but one
is still amid communal influences. Another little song about the heart
and the key, this time from France, recalls one to the dance itself,
and to the simpler tone:--

  Shut fast within a rose
  I ween my heart must be;
  No locksmith lives in France
  Who can set it free,--
  Only my lover Pierre,
  Who took away the key![22]

    [22] Quoted by Tiersot, page 88, from 'Chansons à Danser en
    Rond,' gathered before 1704.

Coming back to England, and the search for her folk-song, it is in
order to begin with the refrain. A "clerk," in a somewhat artificial
lay to his sweetheart, has preserved as refrain what seems to be a bit
of communal verse:--

  Ever and aye for my love I am in sorrow sore;
  I think of her I see so seldom any more,[23]--

rather a helpless moan, it must be confessed.

    [23] Böddeker's 'Old Poems from the Harleian MS. 2253,' with
    notes, etc., in German; Berlin, 1878, page 179.

Better by far is the song of another _clericus_, with a lusty little
refrain as fresh as the wind it invokes, as certainly folk-song as
anything left to us:--

      Blow, northern wind,
  Send thou me my sweeting!
      Blow, northern wind,
        Blow, blow, blow!

The actual song, though overloaded with alliteration, has a good
movement. A stanza may be quoted:--

  I know a maid in bower so bright
  That handsome is for any sight,
  Noble, gracious maid of might,
      Precious to discover.

  In all this wealth of women fair,
  Maid of beauty to compare
  With my sweeting found I ne'er
      All the country over!

Old too is the lullaby used as a burden or refrain for a religious
poem printed by Thomas Wright in his 'Songs and Carols':--

  Lullay, myn lykyng, my dere sone, myn swetyng,
  Lullay, my dere herte, myn owyn dere derlyng.[24]

    [24] See also Ritson, 'Ancient Songs and Ballads,' 3rd Ed.,
    pages xlviii., 202 ff. The Percy folio MS. preserved a cradle
    song, 'Balow, my Babe, ly Still and Sleepe,' which was
    published as a broadside, and finally came to be known as
    'Lady Anne Bothwell's Lament.' These "balow" lullabies are
    said by Mr. Ebbsworth to be imitations of a pretty poem first
    published in 1593, and now printed by Mr. Bullen in his
    'Songs from Elizabethan Romances,' page 92.

The same English manuscript which has kept the refrain 'Blow, Northern
Wind,' offers another song which may be given in modern translation
and entire. All these songs were written down about the year 1310, and
probably in Herefordshire. As with the _carmina burana_, the lays of
German "clerks," so these English lays represent something between
actual communal verse and the poetry of the individual artist; they
owe more to folk-song than to the traditions of literature and art.
Some of the expressions in this song are taken, if we may trust the
critical insight of Ten Brink, directly from the poetry of the people.

  A maid as white as ivory bone,
  A pearl in gold that golden shone,
  A turtle-dove, a love whereon
        My heart must cling:
  Her blitheness nevermore be gone
        While I can sing!

  When she is gay,
  In all the world no more I pray
  Than this: alone with her to stay
        Withouten strife.
  Could she but know the ills that slay
        Her lover's life!

  Was never woman nobler wrought;
  And when she blithe to sleep is brought,
  Well for him who guessed her thought,
        Proud maid! Yet O,
  Full well I know she will me nought.
        My heart is woe.

  And how shall I then sweetly sing
  That thus am marréd with mourning?
  To death, alas, she will me bring
        Long ere my day.
  _Greet her well, the sweetë thing,
        With eyen gray!_

  Her eyes have wounded me, i-wis.
  Her arching brows that bring the bliss;
  Her comely mouth whoso might kiss,
        In mirth he were;
  And I would change all mine for his
        That is her fere.[25]

  Her fere, so worthy might I be,
  Her fere, so noble, stout and free,
  For this one thing I would give three,
        Nor haggle aught.
  From hell to heaven, if one could see,
        So fine is naught,
        [Nor half so free;[26]
  All lovers true, now listen unto me.]

  Now hearken to me while I tell,
  In such a fume I boil and well;
  There is no fire so hot in hell
        As his, I trow,
  Who loves unknown and dares not tell
        His hidden woe.

  _I will her well, she wills me woe;
  I am her friend, and she my foe;_
  Methinks my heart will break in two
        For sorrow's might;
  _In God's own greeting may she go,
        That maiden white!_

  _I would I were a throstlecock,
  A bunting, or a laverock,[27]
        Sweet maid!
  Between her kirtle and her smock
        I'd then be hid!_

    [25] _Fere_, companion, lover. "I would give all I have to
    be her lover."

    [26] Superfluous verses; but the MS. makes no distinction.
    _Free_ means noble, gracious. "If one could see everything
    between hell and heaven, one would find nothing so fair and

    [27] Lark. The poem is translated from Böddeker, page 161

The reader will easily note the struggle between our poet's
conventional and quite literary despair and the fresh communal tone in
such passages as we have ventured, despite Leigh Hunt's direful
example, to put in italics. This poet was a clerk, or perhaps not even
that,--a gleeman; and he dwells, after the manner of his kind, upon a
despair which springs from difference of station. But it is England,
not France; it is a maiden, not countess or queen, whom he loves; and
the tone of his verse is sound and communal at heart. True, the metre,
afterwards a favorite with Burns, is one used by the oldest known
troubadour of Provence, Count William, as well as by the poets of
miracle plays and of such romances as the English 'Octavian'; but like
Count William himself, who built on a popular basis, our clerk or
gleeman is nearer to the people than to the schools. Indeed, Uhland
reminds us that Breton _kloer_ ("clerks") to this day play a leading
part as lovers and singers of love in folk-song; and the English
clerks in question were not regular priests, consecrated and in
responsible positions, but students or unattached followers of
theology. They sang with the people; they felt and suffered with the
people--as in the case of a far nobler member of the guild, William
Langland; and hence sundry political poems which deal with wrongs and
suffering endured by the commons of that day. In the struggle of
barons and people against Henry III., indignation made verses; and
these, too, we owe to the clerks. Such a burst of indignation is the
song against Richard of Cornwall, with a turbulent refrain which
sounds like a direct loan from the people. One stanza, with this
refrain, will suffice. It opens with the traditional "lithe and
listen" of the ballad-singer:--

  Sit all now still and list to me:
  The German King, by my loyalty!
  Thirty thousand pound asked he
  To make a peace in this country,--
            And so he did and more!


  Richard, though thou be ever trichard,[28]
  Trichen[29] shalt thou nevermore!

This, however, like many a scrap of battle-song, ribaldry exchanged
between two armies, and the like, has interest rather for the
antiquarian than for the reader. We shall leave such fragments, and
turn in conclusion to the folk-song of later times.

    [28] Traitor.

    [29] Betray.

The England of Elizabeth was devoted to lyric poetry, and folk-song
must have flourished along with its rival of the schools. Few of these
songs, however, have been preserved; and indeed there is no final test
for the communal quality in such survivals. Certainly some of the
songs in the drama of that time are of popular origin; but the
majority, as a glance at Mr. Bullen's several collections will prove,
are artistic and individual, like the music to which they were sung.
Occasionally we get a tantalizing glimpse of another lyrical England,
the folk dancing and singing their own lays; but no Autolycus brings
these to us in his basket. Even the miracle plays had not despised
folk-song; unfortunately the writers are content to mention the songs,
like our Acts of Congress, only by title. In the "comedy" called 'The
Longer Thou Livest the More Foole Thou Art,' there are snatches of
such songs; and a famous list, known to all scholars, is given by
Laneham in a letter from Kenilworth in 1575, where he tells of certain
songs, "all ancient," owned by one Captain Cox. Again, nobody ever
praised songs of the people more sincerely than Shakespeare has
praised them; and we may be certain that he used them for the stage.
Such is the 'Willow Song' that Desdemona sings,--an "old thing," she
calls it; and such perhaps the song in 'As You Like It,'--'It Was a
Lover and His Lass.' Nash is credited with the use of folk-songs in
his 'Summer's Last Will and Testament'; but while the pretty verses
about spring and the tripping lines, 'A-Maying,' have such a note,
nothing could be further from the quality of folk-song than the solemn
and beautiful 'Adieu, Farewell, Earth's Bliss.' In Beaumont and
Fletcher's 'Knight of the Burning Pestle,' however, Merrythought sings
some undoubted snatches of popular lyric, just as he sings stanzas
from the traditional ballad; for example, his--

  Go from my window, love, go;
    Go from my window, my dear;
  The wind and the rain
  Will drive you back again,
    You cannot be lodged here,--

is quoted with variations in other plays, and was a favorite of the
time,[30] and like many a ballad appears in religious parody. A modern
variant, due to tradition, comes from Norwich; the third and fourth
lines ran:--

  For the wind is in the west,
  And the cuckoo's in his nest.

    [30] The music in Chappell, page 141.

From the time of Henry VIII. a pretty song is preserved of this same

  Westron wynde, when wyll thou blow!
    The smalle rain downe doth rayne;
  Oh if my love were in my armys,
    Or I in my bed agayne!

This sort of song between the lovers, one without and one within,
occurs in French and German at a very early date, and is probably much
older than any records of it; as serenade, it found great favor with
poets of the city and the court, and is represented in English by
Sidney's beautiful lines, admirable for purposes of comparison with
the folk-song:--

    "Who is it that this dark night
  Underneath my window plaineth?"
    "It is one who, from thy sight
  Being, ah, exiled! disdaineth
    Every other vulgar light."

The zeal of modern collectors has brought together a mass of material
which passes for folk-song. None of it is absolutely communal, for
the conditions of primitive lyric have long since been swept away;
nevertheless, where isolated communities have retained something of
the old homogeneous and simple character, the spirit of folk-song
lingers in survival. From Great Britain, from France, and particularly
from Germany, where circumstances have favored this survival, a few
folk-songs may now be given in inadequate translation. To go further
afield, to collect specimens of Italian, Russian, Servian, modern
Greek, and so on, would need a book. The songs which follow are
sufficiently representative for the purpose.

A pretty little song, popular in Germany to this day, needs no pompous
support of literary allusion to explain its simple pathos; still, it
is possible that one meets here a distant echo of the tragedy of
obstacles told in romance of Hero and Leander. When one hears this
song, one understands where Heine found the charm of his best

  Over a waste of water
    The bonnie lover crossed,
  A-wooing the King's daughter:
    But all his love was lost.

  Ah, Elsie, darling Elsie,
    Fain were I now with thee;
  But waters twain are flowing,
    Dear love, twixt thee and me![31]

    [31] Böhme, with music, page 94.

Even more of a favorite is the song which represents two girls in the
harvest-field, one happy in her love, the other deserted; the noise of
the sickle makes a sort of chorus. Uhland placed with the two stanzas
of the song a third stanza which really belongs to another tune; the
latter, however, may serve to introduce the situation:--

  I heard a sickle rustling,
    Ay, rustling through the corn:
  I heard a maiden sobbing
    Because her love was lorn.

  "Oh let the sickle rustle!
    I care not how it go;
  For I have found a lover,
                   A lover,
    Where clover and violets blow."

  "And hast thou found a lover
    Where clover and violets blow?
  I stand here, ah, so lonely,
                    So lonely,
    And all my heart is woe!"

Two songs may follow, one from France, one from Scotland, bewailing
the death of lover or husband. 'The Lowlands of Holland' was published
by Herd in his 'Scottish Songs.'[32] A clumsy attempt was made to fix
the authorship upon a certain young widow; but the song belies any
such origin. It has the marks of tradition:--

  My love has built a bonny ship, and set her on the sea,
  With sevenscore good mariners to bear her company;
  There's threescore is sunk, and threescore dead at sea,
  And the Lowlands of Holland has twin'd[33] my love and me.

  My love he built another ship, and set her on the main,
  And nane but twenty mariners for to bring her hame,
  But the weary wind began to rise, and the sea began to rout;
  My love then and his bonny ship turned withershins[34] about.

  There shall neither coif come on my head nor comb come in my hair;
  There shall neither coal nor candle-light come in my bower mair;
  Nor will I love another one until the day I die,
  For I never loved a love but one, and he's drowned in the sea.

  "O haud your tongue, my daughter dear, be still and be content;
  There are mair lads in Galloway, ye neen nae sair lament."
  O there is none in Gallow, there's none at a' for me;
  For I never loved a love but one, and he's drowned in the sea.

    [32] Quoted by Child, 'Ballads,' iv. 318.

    [33] Separated, divided.

    [34] An equivalent to upside down, "in the wrong direction."

The French song[35] has a more tender note:--

  Low, low he lies who holds my heart,
    The sea is rolling fair above;
  Go, little bird, and tell him this,--
    Go, little bird, and fear no harm,--
  Say I am still his faithful love,
    Say that to him I stretch my arms.

    [35] See Tiersot, 'La Chanson Populaire,' p. 103, with the
    music. The final verses, simple as they are, are not rendered
    even remotely well. They run:--

      Que je suis sa fidèle amie,
      Et que vers lui je tends les bras.

Another song, widely scattered in varying versions throughout France,
is of the forsaken and too trustful maid,--'En revenant des Noces.'
The narrative in this, as in the Scottish song, makes it approach the

  Back from the wedding-feast,
  All weary by the way,

  I rested by a fount
  And watched the waters' play;

  And at the fount I bathed,
  So clear the waters' play;

  And with a leaf of oak
  I wiped the drops away.

  Upon the highest branch
  Loud sang the nightingale.

  Sing, nightingale, oh sing,
  Thou hast a heart so gay!

  Not gay, this heart of mine:
  My love has gone away,

  Because I gave my rose
  Too soon, too soon away.

  Ah, would to God that rose
  Yet on the rosebush lay,--

  Would that the rosebush, even,
  Unplanted yet might stay,--

  Would that my lover Pierre
  My favor had to pray![36]

    [36] Tiersot, p. 90. In many versions there is further
    complication with king and queen and the lover. This song
    is extremely popular in Canada.

The corresponding Scottish song, beautiful enough for any land or age,
is the well-known 'Waly, Waly':--

  Oh waly, waly, up the bank,
    And waly, waly, down the brae,
  And waly, waly, yon burn-side,
    Where I and my love wont to gae.

  I lean'd my back unto an aik,
    I thought it was a trusty tree;
  But first it bowed and syne it brak,
    Sae my true-love did lightly[37] me.

  Oh waly, waly, but love be bonny
    A little time, while it is new;
  But when 'tis auld it waxeth cauld,
    And fades away like morning dew.

  Oh wherefore should I busk my head?
    Or wherefore should I kame my hair?
  For my true-love has me forsook,
    And says he'll never love me mair.

  Now Arthur's Seat shall be my bed,
    The sheets shall ne'er be fyled by me;
  Saint Anton's well shall be my drink,
    Since my true-love has forsaken me.

  Martinmas wind, when wilt thou blaw
    And shake the green leaves off the tree?
  O gentle Death, when wilt thou come?
    For of my life I am weary.

  'Tis not the frost that freezes fell,
    Nor blawing snaw's inclemency;
  'Tis not sic cauld that makes me cry,
    But my love's heart grown cauld to me.

  When we came in by Glasgow town,
    We were a comely sight to see;
  My love was clad in the black velvet,
    And I myself in cramasie.

  But had I wist, before I kissed,
    That love had been sae ill to win,
  I'd locked my heart in a case of gold.
    And pinned it with a silver pin.

  Oh, oh, if my young babe were born,
    And set upon the nurse's knee,
  And I myself were dead and gone,
    [And the green grass growing over me!]

    [37] Lightly (a verb) is to treat with contempt, to
    undervalue. Compare the burden quoted by Chappell, p. 458,
    and very old:--

      The bonny broome, the well-favored broome,
        The broome blooms faire on hill;
      What ailed my love to lightly me,
        And I working her will?

The same ballad touch overweighs even the lyric quality of the
verses about Yarrow:--

  "Willy's rare, and Willy's fair,
    And Willy's wondrous bonny,
  And Willy heght[38] to marry me
    Gin e'er he married ony.

  "Oh came you by yon water-side?
    Pu'd you the rose or lily?
  Or came you by yon meadow green?
    Or saw you my sweet Willy?"

  She sought him east, she sought him west,
    She sought him brade and narrow;
  Syne, in the clifting of a craig,
    She found him drowned in Yarrow.[39]

    [38] Promised.

    [39] Child's _Ballads_, vii. 179.

Returning to Germany and to pure lyric, we have a pretty bit which is
attached to many different songs.

  High up on yonder mountain
    A mill-wheel clatters round,
  And, night or day, naught else but love
    Within the mill is ground.

  The mill has gone to ruin,
    And love has had its day;
  God bless thee now, my bonnie lass,
    I wander far away.[40]

    [40] Böhme, p. 271.

But there is a more cheerful vein in this sort of song; and the
mountain offers pleasanter views:--

  Oh yonder on the mountain,
    There stands a lofty house,
  Where morning after morning,
                      Yes, morning,
    Three maids go in and out.[41]

  The first she is my sister,
    The second well is known,
  The third, I will not name her,
                      No, name her,
    And she shall be my own!

    [41] The rhyme in German leaves even more to be desired.

Finally, that pearl of German folk-song, 'Innsprück.' The wanderer
must leave the town and his sweetheart; but he swears to be true, and
prays that his love be kept safe till his return:--

  Innsprück, I must forsake thee,
  My weary way betake me
    Unto a foreign shore,
  And all my joy hath vanished,
  And ne'er while I am banished
    Shall I behold it more.

  I bear a load of sorrow,
  And comfort can I borrow,
    Dear love, from thee alone.
  Ah, let thy pity hover
  About thy weary lover
    When he is far from home.

  My one true love! Forever
  Thine will I bide, and never
    Shall our dear vow be vain.
  Now must our Lord God ward thee,
  In peace and honor guard thee,
    Until I come again.

In leaving the subject of folk-song, it is necessary for the reader
not only to consider anew the loose and unscientific way in which this
term has been employed, but also to bear in mind that few of the above
specimens can lay claim to the title in any rigid classification. Long
ago, a German critic reminded zealous collectors of his day that when
one has dipped a pailful of water from the brook, one has captured no
brook; and that when one has written down a folk-song, it has ceased
to be that eternally changing, momentary, spontaneous, dance-begotten
thing which once flourished everywhere as communal poetry. Always in
flux, if it stopped it ceased to be itself. Modern lyric is
deliberately composed by some one, mainly to be sung by some one else;
the old communal lyric was sung by the throng and was made in the
singing. When festal excitement at some great communal rejoicing in
the life of clan or tribe "fought its battles o'er again," the result
was narrative communal song. A disguised and baffled survival of this
most ancient narrative is the popular ballad. Still more disguised,
still more baffled, is the purely lyrical survival of that old
communal and festal song; and the best one can do is to present those
few specimens found under conditions which preserve certain qualities
of a vanished world of poetry.

    [Illustration: _RUSSIAN CURSIVE WRITING._
    A public document of Kamtschatka, written on birch bark.]

It may be asked why the contemporary songs found among Indian tribes
of our continent, or among remote islanders in low stages of culture,
should not reproduce for us the old type of communal verse. The answer
is simple. Tribes which have remained in low stages of culture do not
necessarily retain all the characteristics of primitive life among
races which had the germs of rapidly developing culture. That communal
poetry which gave life to the later epic of Hellenic or of Germanic
song must have differed materially, no matter in what stage of
development, from the uninteresting and monotonous chants of the
savage. Moreover, the specimens of savage verse which we know
retain the characteristics of communal verse, while they lack its
nobler and vital quality. The dance, the spontaneous production,
repetition,--these are all marked characteristics of savage verse.
But savage verse cannot serve as model for our ideas of primitive

                                        [Signature: F. B. Gummere]



The name of Samuel Foote suggests a whimsical, plump little man, with
a round face, twinkling eyes, and one of the readiest wits of the
eighteenth century. This contemporary of the elder Colman, Cumberland,
Mrs. Cowley, and the great Garrick, knew many famous men and women,
and they admired as well as feared his talents.

Samuel Foote was born at Truro in 1720. He was a young boy when he
first exhibited his powers of mimicry at his father's dinner-table. At
that time he did not expect to earn his living by them, for he came of
well-to-do people, and his mother, who was of aristocratic birth,
inherited a comfortable fortune.

Throughout his school days at Worcester and his college days at
Worcester College, Oxford, where he did not remain long enough to take
a degree, and the idle days when he was supposed to be studying law at
the Temple and was in reality frequenting coffee-houses and
drawing-rooms as a young man of fashion, he was establishing a
reputation for repartee, _bons mots_, and satiric imitation. So, when
the wasteful youth had squandered all his money, he naturally turned
to the stage as offering him the best opportunity. Like many another
amateur addicted to a mistaken ambition, Foote first tried tragedy,
and made his début as Othello. But in this and in other tragedies he
was a failure; so he soon took to writing comic plays with parts
especially adapted to himself. 'The Diversions of the Morning' was the
first of a long series, of which 'The Mayor of Garratt,' 'The Lame
Lover,' 'The Nabob,' and 'The Minor,' are among the best known. As
these were written from the actor's rather than from the dramatist's
point of view, they often seem faulty in construction and crude in
literary quality. They are farces rather than true comedies. But they
abound in witty dialogue, and in a satire which illuminates
contemporary vices and follies.

Foote seems to have been curiously lacking in conscience. He lived his
life with a gayety which no poverty, misfortune, or physical suffering
could long dampen. When he had money he spent it lavishly, and when
the supply ran short he racked his clever brains to make a new hit. To
accomplish this he was utterly unscrupulous, and never spared his
friends or those to whom he was indebted, if he saw good material in
their foibles. His victims smarted, but his ready tongue and personal
geniality usually extricated him from consequent unpleasantness.
Garrick, who aided him repeatedly, and who dreaded ridicule above all
things, was his favorite butt, yet remained his friend. The irate
members of the East India Company, who called upon him armed with
stout cudgels to administer a castigation for an offensive libel in
'The Nabob,' were so speedily mollified that they laid their cudgels
aside with their hats, and accepted his invitation to dinner.

To us, much of his charm has evaporated, for it lay in these very
personalities which held well-known people up to ridicule with a
precision which made it impossible for the originals to escape
recognition. Even irascible Dr. Johnson, who wished to disapprove of
him, admitted that there was no one like "that fellow Foote." So this
"Aristophanes of the English stage" was mourned when he died at the
age of fifty-seven, and a company of his friends and fellow-actors
buried him one evening by the dim light of torches in a cloister of
Westminster Abbey.

There is often a boisterous unreserve in the plays of Foote, as in
other eighteenth-century drama, which revolts modern taste. As they
consist of character study rather than incident, mere extracts are apt
to appear incomplete and meaningless. Therefore it seems fairer to
represent the famous wit not alone by formal citation, but also by
some of his _bons mots_ extracted from the collection of William Cooke
in his 'Memoirs of Samuel Foote' (2 vols. 1806).


From 'The Lame Lover'

    _Enter_ Jack

_Serjeant_--So, Jack, anybody at chambers to-day?

_Jack_--Fieri Facias from Fetter Lane, about the bill to be filed by
Kit Crape against Will Vizard this term.

_Serjeant_--Praying for an equal partition of plunder?

_Jack_--Yes, sir.

_Serjeant_--Strange world we live in, that even highwaymen can't be
true to each other! [_Half aside to himself._] But we shall make
Vizard refund; we'll show him what long hands the law has.

_Jack_--Facias says that in all the books he can't hit a precedent.

_Serjeant_--Then I'll make one myself; _Aut inveniam, aut faciam_, has
been always my motto. The charge must be made for partnership profit,
by bartering lead and gunpowder against money, watches, and rings, on
Epping Forest, Hounslow Heath, and other parts of the kingdom.

_Jack_--He says if the court should get scent of the scheme, the
parties would all stand committed.

_Serjeant_--Cowardly rascal! but however, the caution mayn't prove
amiss. [_Aside._] I'll not put my own name to the bill.

_Jack_--The declaration, too, is delivered in the cause of Roger
Rapp'em against Sir Solomon Simple.

_Serjeant_--What, the affair of the note?


_Serjeant_--Why, he is clear that his client never gave such a note.

_Jack_--Defendant never saw plaintiff since the hour he was born; but
notwithstanding, they have three witnesses to prove a consideration
and signing the note.

_Serjeant_--They have!

_Jack_--He is puzzled what plea to put in.

_Serjeant_--_Three_ witnesses ready, you say?


_Serjeant_--Tell him Simple must acknowledge the note [_Jack starts_];
and bid him against the trial comes on, to procure _four_ persons at
least to prove the payment at the Crown and Anchor, the 10th of

_Jack_--But then how comes the note to remain in plaintiff's

_Serjeant_--Well put, Jack: but we have a _salvo_ for that; plaintiff
happened not to have the note in his pocket, but promised to deliver
it up when called thereunto by defendant.

_Jack_--That will do rarely.

_Serjeant_--Let the defense be a secret; for I see we have able people
to deal with. But come, child, not to lose time, have you carefully
conned those instructions I gave you?

_Jack_--Yes, sir.

_Serjeant_--Well, that we shall see. How many points are the great
object of practice?


_Serjeant_--Which are they?

_Jack_--The first is to put a man into possession of what is his

_Serjeant_--The second?

_Jack_--Either to deprive a man of what is _really_ his right, or to
keep him as long as possible _out_ of possession.

_Serjeant_--Good boy! To gain the last end, what are the best means to
be used?

_Jack_--Various and many are the legal modes of delay.

_Serjeant_--Name them.

_Jack_--Injunctions, demurrers, sham pleas, writs of error,
rejoinders, sur-rejoinders, rebutters, sur-rebutters, re-plications,
exceptions, essoigns, and imparlance.

_Serjeant_ [_to himself_]--Fine instruments in the hands of a man who
knows how to use them. But now, Jack, we come to the point: if an able
advocate has his choice in a cause, which if he is in reputation he
may readily have, which side should he choose, the right or the wrong?

_Jack_--A great lawyer's business is always to make choice of the

_Serjeant_--And prithee, why so?

_Jack_--Because a good cause can speak for itself, whilst a bad one
demands an able counselor to give it a color.

_Serjeant_--Very well. But in what respects will this answer to the
lawyer himself?

_Jack_--In a twofold way. Firstly, his fees will be large in
proportion to the dirty work he is to do.


_Jack_--His reputation will rise, by obtaining the victory in a
desperate cause.

_Serjeant_--Right, boy. Are you ready in the case of the cow?

_Jack_--Pretty well, I believe.

_Serjeant_--Give it, then.

_Jack_--First of April, anno seventeen hundred and blank, John a-Nokes
was indicted by blank, before blank, in the county of blank, for
stealing a cow, _contra pacem_, etc., and against the statute in that
case provided and made, to prevent stealing of cattle.

_Serjeant_--Go on.

_Jack_--Said Nokes was convicted upon the said statute.

_Serjeant_--What followed upon?

_Jack_--Motion in arrest of judgment, made by Counselor Puzzle. First,
because the field from whence the cow was conveyed is laid in the
indictment _as round_, but turned out upon proof to be _square_.

_Serjeant_--That's well. A valid objection.

_Jack_--Secondly, because in said indictment the color of the cow is
called red; there being no such things _in rerum natura_ as red cows,
no more than black lions, spread eagles, flying griffins, or blue

_Serjeant_--Well put.

_Jack_--Thirdly, said Nokes has not offended against form of the
statute; because stealing of _cattle_ is there provided against:
whereas we are only convicted of stealing a _cow_. Now, though cattle
may be cows, yet it does by no means follow that cows must be cattle.

_Serjeant_--Bravo, bravo! buss me, you rogue; you are your father's
own son! go on and prosper. I am sorry, dear Jack, I must leave thee.
If Providence but sends thee life and health, I prophesy thou wilt
wrest as much land from the owners, and save as many thieves from the
gallows, as any practitioner since the days of King Alfred.

_Jack_--I'll do my endeavor. [_Exit Serjeant._]


From 'The Lame Lover'

SIR LUKE--A pox o' your law; you make me lose sight of my story. One
morning a Welsh coach-maker came with his bill to my lord, whose name
was unluckily Lloyd. My lord had the man up: "You are called, I think,
Mr. Lloyd?"--"At your Lordship's service, my lord."--"What, Lloyd with
an L?"--"It was with an L indeed, my lord."--"Because in your part of
the world I have heard that Lloyd and Floyd were synonymous, the very
same names."--"Very often indeed, my Lord."--"But you always spell
yours with an L?"--"Always."--"That, Mr. Lloyd, is a little unlucky;
for you must know I am now paying my debts alphabetically, and in four
or five years you might have come in with an F; but I am afraid I can
give you no hopes for your L. Ha, ha, ha!"



A physician of Bath told him that he had a mind to publish his own
poems; but he had so many irons in the fire he did not well know what
to do.

"Then take my advice, doctor," said Foote, "and put your poems where
your irons are."


Following a man in the street, who did not bear the best of
characters, Foote slapped him familiarly on the shoulder, thinking he
was an intimate friend. On discovering his mistake he cried out, "Oh,
sir, I beg your pardon! I really took you for a gentleman who--"

"Well, sir," said the other, "and am I not a gentleman?"

"Nay, sir," said Foote, "if you take it in that way, I must only beg
your pardon a second time."


Previously to Foote's bringing out his 'Primitive Puppet Show' at the
Haymarket Theatre, a lady of fashion asked him, "Pray, sir, are your
puppets to be as large as life?"

"Oh dear, madam, no. Not much above the size of Garrick!"


Being at the dinner-table one day when the Cape was going round in
remarkably small glasses, his host was very profuse on the excellence
of the wine, its age, etc. "But you don't seem to relish it, Foote, by
keeping your glass so long before you."

"Oh, yes, my lord, perfectly well. I am only admiring how little it
is, considering its great age."


Of an actress who was remarkably awkward with her arms, Foote said
that "she kept the Graces at arm's-length."


Of a young gentleman who was rather backward in paying his debts, he
said he was "a very promising young gentleman."


An assuming, pedantic lady, boasting of the many books which she had
read, often quoted 'Locke Upon Understanding,' a work she said she
admired above all things, yet there was one word in it which, though
often repeated, she could not distinctly make out; and that was the
word ide-a (pronouncing it very long): "but I suppose it comes from a
Greek derivation."

"You are perfectly right, madam," said Foote, "it comes from the word

"And pray, sir, what does that mean?"

"The feminine of idiot, madam."


A mercantile man of his acquaintance, who would read a poem of his to
him one day after dinner, pompously began:--

  "Hear me, O Phoebus! and ye Muses nine!
  Pray be attentive."

"I am," said Foote. "Nine and one are ten: go on."


A gentleman just married, telling Foote that he had that morning laid
out three thousand pounds in jewels for his "dear wife": "Well," said
the other, "you have but done her justice, as by your own reckoning
she must be a very valuable woman."


Foote and Garrick, supping together at the Bedford, the former in
pulling out his purse to pay the reckoning dropped a guinea, which
rolled in such a direction that they could not readily find it.

"Where the deuce," says Foote, "can it be gone to?"

"Gone to the Devil, I suppose," said Garrick.

"Well said, David; you are always what I took you for, ever contriving
to make a guinea go farther than any other man."


Paul was fond of laying, or rather offering, wagers. One day in the
heat of argument he cried out, "I'll lay my head you are wrong upon
that point."

"Well," said Foote, "I accept the wager. Any trifle, among friends,
has a value."


One night, when Macklin was formally preparing to begin a lecture,
hearing Foote rattling away at the lower end of the room, and thinking
to silence him at once, he called out in his sarcastic manner, "Pray,
young gentleman, do you know what I am going to say?"

"No, sir," said Foote quickly: "do you?"


This celebrated gambler (well known about town thirty years ago by the
title of the left-handed Baron), being detected in the rooms at Bath
in the act of secreting a card, the company in the warmth of their
resentment threw him out of the window of a one-pair-of-stairs room,
where they were playing. The Baron, meeting Foote some time afterward,
loudly complained of this usage, and asked him what he should do to
repair his injured honor.

"Do?" said the wit; "why, 'tis a plain case: never play so high again
as long as you live."


When Mrs. Abington returned from her very first successful trip to
Ireland, Foote wished to engage her for his summer theatre; but in the
mean time Garrick secured her for Drury Lane. Foote, on hearing this,
asked her why she gave Garrick the preference.

"I don't know how it was," said she: "he talked me over by telling me
that he would make me immortal, so that I did not know how to refuse

"Oh! did he so? Then I'll soon outbid him that way; for come to me and
I will give you two pounds a week more, and charge you nothing for


Laughing at the imbecilities of a common friend one day, somebody
observed, "It was very surprising; and Tom D---- knew him very well,
and thought him far from being a fool."

"Ah, poor Tom!" said Foote, "he is like one of those people who eat
garlic themselves, and therefore can't smell it in a companion."


A gentleman in the country, who had just buried a rich relation who
was an attorney, was complaining to Foote, who happened to be on a
visit with him, of the very great expense of a country funeral in
respect to carriages, hat-bands, scarves, etc.

"Why, do you bury your attorneys here?" asked Foote gravely.

"Yes, to be sure we do; how else?"

"Oh, we never do that in London."

"No?" said the other much surprised, "how do you manage?"

"Why, when the patient happens to die, we lay him out in a room over
night by himself, lock the door, throw open the sash, and in the
morning he is entirely off."

"Indeed!" said the other in amazement; "what becomes of him?"

"Why, that we cannot exactly tell, not being acquainted with
supernatural causes. All that we know of the matter is, that there's a
strong smell of brimstone in the room the next morning."


Foote, returning from dinner with a lord of the admiralty, was met by
a friend, who asked him what sort of a day he had had. "Very
indifferent indeed; bad company and a worse dinner."

"I wonder at that," said the other, "as I thought the admiral a good
jolly fellow."

"Why, as to that, he may be a good sea lord, but take it from me, he
is a very bad landlord."


Dibble Davis, one of Foote's butts-in-ordinary, dining with him one
day at North-end, observed that "well as he loved porter, he could
never drink it without a head."

"That must be a mistake, Dibble," returned his host, "as you have done
so to my knowledge alone these twenty years."


Being at the levee of Lord Townsend, when that nobleman was Lord
Lieutenant of Ireland, he thought he saw a person in his Excellency's
suite whom he had known to have lived many years a life of expediency
in London. To convince himself of the fact, he asked his Excellency
who it was.

"That is Mr. T----, one of my gentlemen at large," was the answer. "Do
you know him?"

"Oh, yes! perfectly well," said Foote, "and what your Excellency tells
me is doubly extraordinary: first, that he is a gentleman; and next,
that he is at large."


Being at dinner in a mixed company soon after the bankruptcy of one
friend and the death of another, the conversation naturally turned on
the mutability of the world. "Can you account for this?" said S----, a
master builder, who happened to sit next to Foote. "Why, not very
clearly," said the other; "except we could suppose the world was built
by contract."


During one of Foote's trips to Dublin, he was much solicited by a
silly young man of fashion to assist him in a miscellany of poems and
essays which he was about to publish; but when he asked to see the
manuscript, the other told him "that at present he had only conceived
the different subjects, but had put none of them to paper."

"Oh! if that be the state of the case," replied Foote, "I will give
you a motto from Milton for the work in its present state:

    'Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.'"


A young gentleman, making an apology to his father for coming late to
dinner, said "that he had been visiting a poor friend of his in St.
George's Fields." "Ah! a pretty kind of friend indeed," says the
father, "to keep us waiting for dinner in this manner."

"Aye, and for the best kind, too," said Foote: "as you know, my dear
sir, a friend in need is a friend indeed."


An author was boasting that as a reviewer he had the power of
distributing literary reputations as he liked. "Take care," said
Foote, "you are not too prodigal of that, or you may leave none for


When Foote first heard of Dr. Blair's writing 'Notes on Ossian' (a
work the reality of which has always been much doubted), he observed,
"The publishers ought to allow a great discount to the purchaser, as
the notes required such a stretch of credit."


A dull dramatic writer, who had often felt the severity of the public,
was complaining one day to Foote of the injustice done him by the
critics; but added, "I have, however, one way of being even with them,
by constantly laughing at all they say."

"You do perfectly right, my friend," said Foote; "for by this method
you will not only disappoint your enemies, but lead the merriest life
of any man in England."


A gentleman coming into the Cocoa-Tree one morning during the Duke of
Grafton's administration, was observing "that he was afraid the poor
ministry were at their wits' end."

"Well, if it should be so," said Foote, "what reason have they to
complain of so short a journey?"



The dramatic genius of the English Renaissance had well-nigh spent
itself when the sombre creations of John Ford appeared upon a stage
over which the clouds of the Civil War were fast gathering. Little is
known of this dramatist, who represents the decadent period which
followed the age of Shakespeare. He was born in 1586; entered the
Middle Temple in 1602; after 1641 he is swallowed up in the turmoil of
the time. The few scattered records of his life add nothing to, nor do
they take anything from, the John Ford of 'The Broken Heart' and
'Perkin Warbeck.'

His plays are infected with a spirit alien to the poise and beauty of
the best Elizabethan drama. His creations tell of oblique vision; of a
disillusioned genius, predisposed to abnormal or exaggerated forms of
human experience. He breaks through the moral order, in his love for
the eccentricities of passion. He weaves the spell of his genius
around strange sins.

The problems of despair which Ford propounds but never solves, form
the plot of 'The Broken Heart'; Calantha, Ithocles, Penthea, Orgilus,
are wan types of the passive suffering which numbs the soul to death.
Charles Lamb has eulogized the final scene of this drama. To many
critics, the self-possession of Calantha savors of the theatrical. The
scene between Penthea and her brother Ithocles, who had forced her to
marry Bassanes though she loved Orgilus, is replete with the
tenderness, the sense of subdued anguish, of which Ford was a master.
He is the dramatist of broken hearts, whose waste places are
unrelieved by a touch of sunlight. His love of "passion at war with
circumstance" again finds expression in 'Love's Sacrifice,' a drama of
moral confusions. In 'The Lover's Melancholy' sorrow has grown
pensive. A quiet beauty rests upon the famous scene in which
Parthenophil strives with the nightingale for the prize of music.

'The Lady's Trial,' 'The Fancies Chaste and Noble,' 'The Sun's
Darling' (written in conjunction with Dekker), are worthy only of
passing notice. They leave but a pale impression upon the mind. In
'Perkin Warbeck,' the one historical play of Ford, he exhibits his
mastery over straightforward, sinewy verse. 'The Witch of Edmonton,'
of which he wrote the first act, gives a signal example of his modern
style and spirit.

With the exception of 'Perkin Warbeck,' his dramas are destitute of
outlook. This moral contraction heightens the intensity of passion,
which in his conception of it has always its ancient significance of
suffering. His comic scenes are contemptible. He is at his greatest
when dealing with the subtleties of the human heart. Through him we
enter into the darker zones of the soul; we apprehend its remoter
sufferings. Confusion of spiritual vision, blended with the tyranny of
passion, produce his greatest scenes. His are the tragedies of
"unfulfilled desire."

The verse of Ford is measured, passionless, polished. There is a
subtle music in his lines which haunts the memory.

  "Parthenophil is lost, and I would see him;
  For he is like to something I remember,
  A great while since, a long, long time ago."

With Ford the sun-born radiance of the noblest Elizabethan drama fades
from the stage. An artificial light, thereafter, replaced it.


    [Perkin Warbeck and his followers are presented to King Henry
    VII. by Lord Dawbeny as prisoners.]


  Life to the King, and safety fix his throne.
  I here present you, royal sir, a shadow
  Of Majesty, but in effect a substance
  Of pity; a young man, in nothing grown
  To ripeness, but th' ambition of your mercy;
  Perkin, the Christian world's strange wonder!

_King Henry_--

  We observe no wonder; I behold ('tis true)
  An ornament of nature, fine and polished,
  A handsome youth, indeed, but not admire him.
  How come he to thy hands?


                                    From sanctuary.
  At Bewley, near Southampton; registered,
  With these few followers, for persons privileged.

_King Henry_--

  I must not thank you, sir! you were to blame
  To infringe the liberty of houses sacred;
  Dare we be irreligious?


                              Gracious lord!
  They voluntarily resigned themselves,
  Without compulsion.

_King Henry_--

                      So? 'twas very well
  'Twas very well. Turn now thine eyes,
  Young man! upon thyself and thy past actions:
  What revels in combustion through our kingdom
  A frenzy of aspiring youth has danced;
  Till wanting breath, thy feet of pride have slipt
  To break thy neck.


                      But not my heart; my heart
  Will mount till every drop of blood be frozen
  By death's perpetual winter. If the sun
  Of Majesty be darkened, let the sun
  Of life be hid from me, in an eclipse
  Lasting and universal. Sir, remember
  There was a shooting in of light when Richmond
  (Not aiming at the crown) retired, and gladly,
  For comfort to the Duke of Bretagne's court.
  Richard, who swayed the sceptre, was reputed
  A tyrant then; yet then, a dawning glimmer'd
  To some few wand'ring remnants, promising day
  When first they ventur'd on a frightful shore
  At Milford Haven.


                      Whither speeds his boldness?
  Check his rude tongue, great sir.

_King Henry_--

                                          Oh, let him range:
  The player's on the stage still; 'tis his part:
  He does but act.--What followed?


                                      Bosworth Field:
  Where at an instant, to the world's amazement,
  A morn to Richmond and a night to Richard
  Appear'd at once. The tale is soon applied:
  Fate which crowned these attempts, when least assured,
  Might have befriended others, like resolved.

_King Henry_--

  A pretty gallant! thus your aunt of Burgundy,
  Your duchess aunt, informed her nephew: so
  The lesson, prompted, and well conned, was molded
  Into familiar dialogue, oft rehearsed,
  Till, learnt by heart, 'tis now received for truth.


  Truth in her pure simplicity wants art
  To put a feigned blush on; scorn wears only
  Such fashion as commends to gazers' eyes
  Sad ulcerated novelty, far beneath; in such a court
  Wisdom and gravity are proper robes
  By which the sovereign is best distinguished
  From zanies to his greatness.

_King Henry_--

                                Sirrah, shift
  Your antic pageantry, and now appear
  In your own nature; or you'll taste the danger
  Of fooling out of season.


                            I expect
  No less than what severity calls justice,
  And politicians safety; let such beg
  As feed on alms: but if there can be mercy
  In a protested enemy, then may it
  Descend to these poor creatures whose engagements
  To the bettering of their fortunes have incurred
  A loss of all to them, if any charity
  Flow from some noble orator; in death
  I owe the fee of thankfulness.

_King Henry_--

                                  So brave?
  What a bold knave is this!
  We trifle time with follies.
  Urswick, command the Dukeling and these fellows
  To Digby, the Lieutenant of the Tower.

       *       *       *       *       *


                                          Noble thoughts
  Meet freedom in captivity: the Tower,
  Our childhood's dreadful nursery!

_King Henry_--

  Was ever so much impudence in forgery?
  The custom, sure, of being styled a king
  Hath fastened in his thought that he is such.


From 'The Broken Heart'

    Oh, no more, no more,--too late;
    Sighs are spent; the burning tapers
      Of a life as chaste as fate,
      Pure as are unwritten papers,
    Are burnt out; no heat, no light
    Now remains; 'tis ever night.
    Love is dead; let lovers' eyes
      Locked in endless dreams,
      Th' extremes of all extremes,
    Ope no more, for now Love dies;
        Now Love dies--implying
  Love's martyrs must be ever, ever dying.




  Passing from Italy to Greece, the tales
  Which poets of an elder time have feigned
  To glorify their Temple, bred in me
  Desire of visiting that paradise.
  To Thessaly I came; and living private
  Without acquaintance of more sweet companions
  Than the old inmates to my love, my thoughts,
  I day by day frequented silent groves
  And solitary walks. One morning early
  This accident encountered me: I heard
  The sweetest and most ravishing contention
  That art and nature ever were at strife in.


  I cannot yet conceive what you infer
  By art and nature.


                      I shall soon resolve ye.
  A sound of music touched my ears, or rather
  Indeed entranced my soul. As I stole nearer,
  Invited by the melody, I saw
  This youth, this fair-faced youth, upon his lute,
  With strains of strange variety and harmony,
  Proclaiming, as it seemed, so bold a challenge
  To the clear quiristers of the woods, the birds,
  That, as they flocked about him, all stood silent,
  Wondering at what they heard: I wondered too.


  And so do I: good, on!


                          A nightingale,
  Nature's best skilled musician, undertakes
  The challenge, and for every several strain
  The well-shaped youth could touch, she sung her own;
  He could not run division with more art
  Upon his quaking instrument than she,
  The nightingale, did with her various notes
  Reply to: for a voice and for a sound,
  Amethus, 'tis much easier to believe
  That such they were than hope to hear again.


  How did the rivals part?


                            You term them rightly;
  For they were rivals, and their mistress harmony.
  Some time thus spent, the young man grew at last
  Into a pretty anger, that a bird,
  Whom art had never taught cliffs, moods, or notes,
  Should vie with him for mastery, whose study
  Had busied many hours to perfect practice.
  To end the controversy, in a rapture
  Upon his instrument he plays so swiftly
  So many voluntaries and so quick,
  That there was curiosity and cunning,
  Concord in discord, lines of differing method
  Meeting in one full centre of delight.


  Now for the bird.


                     The bird, ordained to be
  Music's first martyr, strove to imitate
  These several sounds; which when her warbling throat
  Failed in, for grief down dropped she on his lute,
  And brake her heart. It was the quaintest sadness,
  To see the conqueror upon her hearse
  To weep a funeral elegy of tears;
  That trust me, my Amethus, I could chide
  Mine own unmanly weakness that made me
  A fellow mourner with him.


                              I believe thee.


  He looked upon the trophies of his art,
  Then sighed, then wiped his eyes, then sighed and cried:--
  "Alas, poor creature! I will soon revenge
  This cruelty upon the author of it;
  Henceforth this lute, guilty of innocent blood,
  Shall never more betray a harmless peace
  To an untimely end:" and in that sorrow,
  As he was pushing it against a tree,
  I suddenly stept in.



[Illustration: FOUQUÉ]

The romantic school had many false and erratic tendencies, but it
produced some of the most fanciful and poetic creations of literature.
Fouqué was called the Don Quixote of the Romanticists, and his early
romances of chivalry were devoured by the public as quickly as they
appeared. But his fame proved to be a passing fancy; and his later
works scarcely found a publisher. This was owing partly to a change in
public taste, and partly to his mannerisms. His descriptions often
deteriorate into tediousness, and the narrative is broken by
far-fetched digressions. He was so imbued with the spirit of chivalry
that he became one-sided, and his scenes were always laid in "the
chapel or the tilt-yard." Critics of his time speak of his mediæval
romances as "full of sweet strength and lovely virtue." Others say
"the heroes are almost absurd, and do not arouse enthusiasm." Heine
asserts that Fouqué's laurel is genuine; Coleridge places him above
Walter Scott; Thomas Carlyle compares him to Southey, and describes
him as a man of genius, with little more than an ordinary share of
talent. Fouqué was introduced to romanticism by Wilhelm von Schlegel,
and drew his first inspiration from Cervantes. Whatever his
shortcomings, it cannot be denied that he succeeded in catching the
spirit of chivalry. His knights may be unreal and quixotic, but he
delineates his characters with the irresistible touch of a poet, and
his work displays noble thoughts and depth of feeling.

Friedrich, Baron de la Motte Fouqué, was descended from a French
family that had emigrated to Prussia, and his grandfather was a
general under Frederick the Great. Fouqué was born at Brandenburg,
February 12th, 1777, and was a thorough German at heart. He received a
military education, and at the age of nineteen proved himself a brave
soldier in the campaign of the Rhine. He served under the Duke of
Weimar, and his friend, and comrade in arms was the wonderfully gifted
but unfortunate Heinrich von Kleist. He was obliged to resign on
account of ill health, and withdrawing to his estates he devoted
himself to literary pursuits. Once again, however, in the exciting
times of the war against Napoleon, his sword defended his country. He
enlisted as a volunteer, and was afterwards honorably retired with the
rank of major and decorated with the Order of St. John. One of his
patriotic poems, 'Frisch auf zum Fröhlichen Jagen' (Come, rouse ye for
the merry hunt), with reference to the rising against Napoleon, is
still a popular song. In Halle, Fouqué delivered lectures on history
and poetry which attracted much attention and admiration. In 1842 he
was called to Berlin by Frederick William IV., but his literary
efforts were at an end. He died in Berlin, January 23d, 1843.

At the beginning of this century, Fouqué was one of the most
celebrated authors. At the present day, with a few brilliant
exceptions, all of his plays, romances, and poems have been relegated
to oblivion. There is one work, however, a gem in German literature,
that has won for its author an enduring place in the memory of
readers; and that is the charming and graceful narrative of 'Undine.'
It affords an example of the writer's best style of production; it
breathes the fresh fragrance of the woods, and is animated by the
beautiful thought that peoples the sea and air with nymphs and
spirits. With exquisite tenderness Fouqué portrays the beautiful
character of Undine. At first her nature reflects all the
capriciousness of the elements, then, gradually growing more human
through her love, her soul expands and she becomes an ideal of womanly
love, devotion, and unselfishness.

The real and unreal are so perfectly blended in this story, that the
suffering of Undine excites deep sympathy. Undine, the foster-daughter
of a good old fisherman and his wife, is a water nymph, and as such is
born without a soul. The knight Huldbrand von Ringstetten is sent by
Bertalda in quest of adventure, and riding through an enchanted forest
he reaches the fisherman's hut, where he is detained by a storm. He
falls in love with the laughing, wayward Undine, and marries her. At
once the bewitching maiden gives up her wild pranks, grows gentle, and
is devoted to the knight with all her heart; for through her marriage
to a human being she receives a soul. Her uncle Kühleborn, a forest
brook, tries to entice her back to her native element the sea.

The bridal couple go to their castle, where Bertalda joins them, doing
much to disturb their happiness. Huldbrand, though he still loves his
beautiful wife, cannot at times suppress an instinctive shudder, and
he is attracted to Bertalda, whose nature is more akin to his own.

One day, while they are sailing on the Danube, Kühleborn manages to
steal away a necklace with which Bertalda is playing in the water.
Undine richly compensates Bertalda for her loss by a much rarer gift,
but Huldbrand angrily upbraids her for continuing to hold intercourse
with her uncanny relatives. In tears she parts from him, and vanishes
in the waves. The knight marries Bertalda, but on the wedding-day,
Undine, deeply veiled, rises from the sea to claim her husband, and
with a kiss she takes away his life.

Heine says of 'Undine':--

    "A wondrous lovely poem. The genius of Poetry kissed
    slumbering Spring, and smiling he opened his eyes, and all
    the roses and the nightingales sang; and what the fragrant
    roses said and what the nightingales sang, our worthy Fouqué
    put into words and called it 'Undine.'"


From 'Undine'

Before the nuptial ceremony, and during its performance, Undine had
shown a modest gentleness and maidenly reserve; but it now seemed as
if all the wayward freaks that effervesced within her burst forth with
an extravagance only the more bold and unrestrained. She teased her
bridegroom, her foster-parents, and even the priest, whom she had just
now revered so highly, with all sorts of childish tricks; but when the
ancient dame was about to reprove her too frolicsome spirit, the
knight in a few words imposed silence upon her by speaking of Undine
as his wife.

The knight was himself indeed just as little pleased with Undine's
childish behavior as the rest; but all his looks and half-reproachful
words were to no purpose. It is true, whenever the bride observed the
dissatisfaction of her husband--and this occasionally happened--she
became more quiet, and placed herself beside him, stroked his face
with caressing fondness, whispered something smilingly in his ear, and
in this manner smoothed the wrinkles that were gathering on his brow.
But the moment after, some wild whim would make her resume her antic
movements; and all went worse than before.

The priest then spoke in a kind although serious tone:--

"My fair young maiden, surely no one can look on you without pleasure;
but remember betimes so to attune your soul, that it may produce a
harmony ever in accordance with the soul of your wedded bridegroom."

"Soul!" cried Undine, with a laugh. "What you say has a remarkably
pretty sound; and for most people, too, it may be a very instructive
and profitable caution. But when a person has no soul at all, how, I
pray you, can such attuning be then possible? And this in truth is
just my condition."

The priest was much hurt, but continued silent in holy displeasure,
and turned away his face from the maiden in sorrow. She went up to
him, however, with the most winning sweetness, and said:--

"Nay, I entreat you, first listen to me, before you are angry with me;
for your anger is painful to me, and you ought not to give pain to a
creature that has not hurt you. Only have patience with me, and I will
explain to you every word of what I meant."

It was evident that she had come to say something important; when she
suddenly faltered as if seized with inward shuddering, and burst into
a passion of tears. They were none of them able to understand the
intenseness of her feelings; and with mingled emotions of fear and
anxiety, they gazed on her in silence. Then wiping away her tears and
looking earnestly at the priest, she at last said:--

"There must be something lovely, but at the same time something most
awful, about a soul. In the name of God, holy man, were it not better
that we never shared a gift so mysterious?"

Again she paused, and restrained her tears, as if waiting for an
answer. All in the cottage had risen from their seats, and stepped
back from her with horror. She, however, seemed to have eyes for no
one but the holy man; an awful curiosity was painted on her features,
which appeared terrible to the others.

"Heavily must the soul weigh down its possessor," she pursued, when no
one returned her any answer--"very heavily! for already its
approaching image overshadows me with anguish and mourning. And alas,
I have till now been so merry and light-hearted!" and she burst into
another flood of tears and covered her face with her veil.

The priest, going up to her with a solemn look, now addressed himself
to her, and conjured her, by the name of God most holy, if any spirit
of evil possessed her, to remove the light covering from her face. But
she sank before him on her knees, and repeated after him every sacred
expression he uttered, giving praise to God, and protesting that she
"wished well to the whole world."

The priest then spoke to the knight: "Sir bridegroom, I leave you
alone with her whom I have united to you in marriage. So far as I can
discover there is nothing of evil in her, but assuredly much that is
wonderful. What I recommend to you is prudence, love, and fidelity."

Thus speaking, he left the apartment; and the fisherman with his wife
followed him, crossing themselves.

Undine had sunk upon her knees. She uncovered her face, and exclaimed,
while she looked fearfully round upon Huldbrand, "Alas, you will now
refuse to look upon me as your own; and I still have done nothing
evil, poor unhappy child that I am!" She spoke these words with a look
so infinitely sweet and touching, that her bridegroom forgot both the
confession that had shocked and the mystery that had perplexed him;
and hastening to her, he raised her in his arms. She smiled through
her tears; and that smile was like the morning light playing upon a
small stream. "You cannot desert me!" she whispered confidingly, and
stroked the knight's cheeks with her little soft hands. He turned away
from the frightful thoughts that still lurked in the recesses of his
soul, and were persuading him that he had been married to a fairy, or
some spiteful and mischievous being of the spirit world. Only the
single question, and that almost unawares, escaped from his lips:--

"Dearest Undine, tell me this one thing: what was it you meant by
'spirits of earth' and 'Kühleborn,' when the priest stood knocking at
the door?"

"Tales! mere tales of children!" answered Undine laughing, now quite
restored to her wonted gayety. "I first frightened you with them, and
you frightened me. This is the end of my story, and of our nuptial

"Nay, not so," replied the enamored knight, extinguishing the tapers,
and a thousand times kissing his beautiful and beloved bride; while,
lighted by the moon that shone brightly through the windows, he bore
her into their bridal apartment.

The fresh light of morning woke the young married pair: but Huldbrand
lay lost in silent reflection. Whenever, during the night, he had
fallen asleep, strange and horrible dreams of spectres had disturbed
him; and these shapes, grinning at him by stealth, strove to disguise
themselves as beautiful females; and from beautiful females they all
at once assumed the appearance of dragons. And when he started up,
aroused by the intrusion of these hideous forms, the moonlight shone
pale and cold before the windows without. He looked affrighted at
Undine, in whose arms he had fallen asleep: and she was reposing in
unaltered beauty and sweetness beside him. Then pressing her rosy lips
with a light kiss, he again fell into a slumber, only to be awakened
by new terrors.

When fully awake he had thought over this connection. He reproached
himself for any doubt that could lead him into error in regard to his
lovely wife. He also confessed to her his injustice; but she only gave
him her fair hand, sighed deeply, and remained silent. Yet a glance of
fervent tenderness, an expression of the soul beaming in her eyes,
such as he had never witnessed there before, left him in undoubted
assurance that Undine bore him no ill-will.

He then rose joyfully, and leaving her, went to the common apartment,
where the inmates of the house had already met. The three were sitting
round the hearth with an air of anxiety about them, as if they feared
trusting themselves to raise their voice above a low, apprehensive
undertone. The priest appeared to be praying in his inmost spirit,
with a view to avert some fatal calamity. But when they observed the
young husband come forth so cheerful, they dispelled the cloud that
remained upon their brows: the old fisherman even began to laugh with
the knight, till his aged wife herself could not help smiling with
great good-humor.

Undine had in the mean time got ready, and now entered the room: all
rose to meet her, but remained fixed in perfect admiration--she was so
changed, and yet the same. The priest, with paternal affection beaming
from his countenance, first went up to her; and as he raised his hand
to pronounce a blessing, the beautiful bride sank on her knees before
him with religious awe; she begged his pardon in terms both respectful
and submissive for any foolish things she might have uttered the
evening before, and entreated him with emotion to pray for the welfare
of her soul. She then rose, kissed her foster-parents, and after
thanking them for all the kindness they had shown her, said:

"Oh, I now feel in my inmost heart how much, how infinitely much, you
have done for me, you dear, dear friends of my childhood!"

At first she was wholly unable to tear herself away from their
affectionate caresses; but the moment she saw the good old mother
busy in getting breakfast, she went to the hearth, applied herself to
cooking the food and putting it on the table, and would not suffer her
to take the least share in the work.

She continued in this frame of spirit the whole day: calm, kind,
attentive--half matronly and half girlish. The three who had been
longest acquainted with her expected every instant to see her
capricious spirit break out in some whimsical change or sportive
vagary. But their fears were quite unnecessary. Undine continued as
mild and gentle as an angel. The priest found it all but impossible to
remove his eyes from her; and he often said to the bridegroom:--

"The bounty of Heaven, sir, through me its unworthy instrument,
intrusted to you yesterday an invaluable treasure: cherish it as you
ought, and it will promote your temporal and eternal welfare."

Toward evening Undine was hanging upon the knight's arm with lowly
tenderness, while she drew him gently out before the door, where the
setting sun shone richly over the fresh grass and upon the high
slender boles of the trees. Her emotion was visible; the dew of
sadness and love swam in her eyes, while a tender and fearful secret
seemed to hover upon her lips, but was only made known by hardly
breathed sighs. She led her husband farther and farther onward without
speaking. When he asked her questions, she replied only with looks, in
which, it is true, there appeared to be no immediate answer to his
inquiries, but a whole heaven of love and timid devotion. Thus they
reached the margin of the swollen forest stream, and the knight was
astonished to see it gliding away with so gentle a murmuring of its
waves, that no vestige of its former swell and wildness was now

"By morning it will be wholly drained off," said the beautiful wife,
almost weeping, "and you will then be able to travel, without anything
to hinder you, whithersoever you will."

"Not without you, dear Undine," replied the knight, laughing: "think
only, were I disposed to leave you, both the Church and the spiritual
powers, the emperor and the laws of the realm, would require the
fugitive to be seized and restored to you."

"All this depends on you--all depends on you," whispered his little
companion, half weeping and half smiling. "But I still feel sure that
you will not leave me; I love you too deeply to fear that misery. Now
bear me over to that little island which lies before us. There shall
the decision be made. I could easily, indeed, glide through that mere
rippling of the water without your aid, but it is so sweet to lie in
your arms; and should you determine to put me away, I shall have
rested in them once more, ... for the last time."

Huldbrand was so full of strange anxiety and emotion, that he knew not
what answer to make her. He took her in his arms and carried her over,
now first realizing the fact that this was the same little island from
which he had borne her back to the old fisherman, the first night of
his arrival. On the farther side he placed her upon the soft grass,
and was throwing himself lovingly near his beautiful burden; but she
said to him:--"Not here, but opposite me. I shall read my doom in your
eyes, even before your lips pronounce it; now listen attentively to
what I shall relate to you." And she began:--

"You must know, my own love, that there are beings in the elements
which bear the strongest resemblance to the human race, and which at
the same time but seldom become visible to you. The wonderful
salamanders sparkle and sport amid the flames; deep in the earth the
meagre and malicious gnomes pursue their revels; the forest spirits
belong to the air, and wander in the woods; while in the seas, rivers,
and streams live the widespread race of water spirits. These last,
beneath resounding domes of crystal, through which the sky can shine
with its sun and stars, inhabit a region of light and beauty; lofty
coral-trees glow with blue and crimson fruits in their gardens; they
walk over the pure sand of the sea, among exquisitely variegated
shells, and amid whatever of beauty the old world possessed, such as
the present is no more worthy to enjoy,--creations which the floods
covered with their secret veils of silver; and now these noble
monuments sparkle below, stately and solemn, and bedewed by the water,
which loves them, and calls forth from their crevices delicate
moss-flowers and enwreathing tufts of sedge.

"Now, the nation that dwell there are very fair and lovely to behold,
for the most part more beautiful than human beings. Many a fisherman
has been so fortunate as to catch a view of a delicate maiden of the
waters, while she was floating and singing upon the deep. He would
then spread far the fame of her beauty; and to such wonderful females
men are wont to give the name of Undines.--But what need of saying
more? You, my dear husband, now actually behold an Undine before

The knight would have persuaded himself that his lovely wife was under
the influence of one of her odd whims, and that she was only amusing
herself and him with her extravagant inventions. He wished it might be
so. But with whatever emphasis he said this to himself, he still could
not credit the hope for a moment: a strange shivering shot through his
soul; unable to utter a word, he gazed upon the sweet speaker with a
fixed eye. She shook her head in distress, sighed from her full heart,
and then proceeded in the following manner:--

"We should be far superior to you, who are another race of the human
family,--for we also call ourselves human beings, as we resemble them
in form and features,--had we not one evil peculiar to ourselves. Both
we and the beings I have mentioned as inhabiting the other elements
vanish into air at death and go out of existence, spirit and body, so
that no vestige of us remains; and when you hereafter awake to a purer
state of being, we shall remain where sand and sparks and wind and
waves remain. Thus, we have no souls; the element moves us, and again
is obedient to our will while we live, though it scatters us like dust
when we die; and as we have nothing to trouble us, we are as merry as
nightingales, little gold-fishes, and other pretty children of nature.

"But all beings aspire to rise in the scale of existence higher than
they are. It was therefore the wish of my father, who is a powerful
water prince in the Mediterranean Sea, that his only daughter should
become possessed of a soul, although she should have to endure many of
the sufferings of those who share that gift.

"Now, the race to which I belong have no other means of obtaining a
soul than by forming with an individual of your own the most intimate
union of love. I am now possessed of a soul, and my soul thanks you,
my best beloved, and never shall cease to thank you, if you do not
render my whole future life miserable. For what will become of me, if
you avoid and reject me? Still, I would not keep you as my own by
artifice. And should you decide to cast me off, then do it now, and
return alone to the shore. I will plunge into this brook, where my
uncle will receive me; my uncle, who here in the forest, far removed
from his other friends, passes his strange and solitary existence. But
he is powerful, as well as revered and beloved by many great rivers;
and as he brought me hither to the fisherman a light-hearted and
laughing child, he will take me home to my parents a woman, gifted
with a soul, with power to love and to suffer."

She was about to add something more, when Huldbrand with the most
heartfelt tenderness and love clasped her in his arms, and again bore
her back to the shore. There amid tears and kisses he first swore
never to forsake his affectionate wife, and esteemed himself even more
happy than Pygmalion, for whom Venus gave life to this beautiful
statue, and thus changed it into a beloved wife. Supported by his arm,
and in the confidence of affection, Undine returned to the cottage;
and now she first realized with her whole heart how little cause she
had for regretting what she had left--the crystal palaces of her
mysterious father.


From 'Undine'

Should I relate to you how passed the marriage feast at Castle
Ringstetten, it would be as if you saw a heap of bright and pleasant
things, but all overspread with a black mourning crape, through whose
darkening veil their brilliancy would appear but a mockery of the
nothingness of all earthly joys.

It was not that any spectral delusion disturbed the scene of
festivity; for the castle, as we well know, had been secured against
the mischief of the water spirits. But the knight, the fisherman, and
all the guests were unable to banish the feeling that the chief
personage of the feast was still wanting, and that this chief
personage could be no other than the gentle and beloved Undine.

Whenever a door was heard to open, all eyes were involuntarily turned
in that direction; and if it was nothing but the steward with new
dishes, or the cup-bearer with a supply of wine of higher flavor than
the last, they again looked down in sadness and disappointment, while
the flashes of wit and merriment which had been passing at times from
one to another were extinguished by tears of mournful remembrance.

The bride was the least thoughtful of the company, and therefore the
most happy; but even to her it sometimes seemed strange that she
should be sitting at the head of the table, wearing a green wreath and
gold-embroidered robe, while Undine was lying a corpse, stiff and
cold, at the bottom of the Danube, or carried out by the current into
the ocean. For ever since her father had suggested something of this
sort, his words were continually sounding in her ear; and this day in
particular, they would neither fade from her memory nor yield to other

Evening had scarcely arrived when the company returned to their homes;
not dismissed by the impatience of the bridegroom, as wedding parties
are sometimes broken up, but constrained solely by heavy sadness and
forebodings of evil. Bertalda retired with her maidens, and the knight
with his attendants, to undress; but there was no gay laughing company
of bridesmaids and bridesmen at this mournful festival.

Bertalda wished to awake more cheerful thoughts: she ordered her
maidens to spread before her a brilliant set of jewels, a present from
Huldbrand, together with rich apparel and veils, that she might select
from among them the brightest and most beautiful for her dress in the
morning. The attendants rejoiced at this opportunity of pouring forth
good wishes and promises of happiness to their young mistress, and
failed not to extol the beauty of the bride with the most glowing
eloquence. This went on for a long time, until Bertalda at last,
looking in a mirror, said with a sigh:--

"Ah, but do you not see plainly how freckled I am growing? Look here
on the side of my neck."

They looked at the place and found the freckles indeed, as their fair
mistress had said; but they called them mere beauty-spots, the
faintest touches of the sun, such as would only heighten the whiteness
of her delicate complexion. Bertalda shook her head, and still viewed
them as a blemish.

"And I could remove them," she said at last, sighing. "But the castle
fountain is covered, from which I formerly used to have that precious
water, so purifying to the skin. Oh, had I this evening only a single
flask of it!"

"Is that all?" cried an alert waiting-maid, laughing as she glided out
of the apartment.

"She will not be so foolish," said Bertalda, well pleased and
surprised, "as to cause the stone cover of the fountain to be taken
off this very evening?" That instant they heard the tread of men
already passing along the court-yard, and could see from the window
where the officious maiden was leading them directly up to the
fountain, and that they carried levers and other instruments on their

"It is certainly my will," said Bertalda with a smile, "if it does not
take them too long." And pleased with the thought that a word from her
was now sufficient to accomplish what had formerly been refused with a
painful reproof, she looked down upon their operations in the bright
moonlit castle court.

The men raised the enormous stone with an effort; some one of the
number indeed would occasionally sigh, when he recollected that they
were destroying the work of their former beloved mistress. Their
labor, however, was much lighter than they had expected. It seemed as
if some power from within the fountain itself aided them in raising
the stone.

"It appears," said the workmen to one another in astonishment, "as if
the confined water had become a springing fountain." And the stone
rose more and more, and almost without the assistance of the
workpeople, rolled slowly down upon the pavement with a hollow sound.
But an appearance from the opening of the fountain filled them with
awe, as it rose like a white column of water; at first they imagined
it really to be a fountain, until they perceived the rising form to be
a pale female, veiled in white. She wept bitterly, raised her hands
above her head, wringing them sadly as with slow and solemn step she
moved toward the castle. The servants shrank back, and fled from the
spring, while the bride, pale and motionless with horror, stood with
her maidens at the window. When the figure had now come close beneath
their room, it looked up to them sobbing, and Bertalda thought she
recognized through the veil the pale features of Undine. But the
mourning form passed on, sad, reluctant, and lingering, as if going to
the place of execution. Bertalda screamed to her maids to call the
knight; not one of them dared to stir from her place; and even the
bride herself became again mute, as if trembling at the sound of her
own voice.

While they continued standing at the window, motionless as statues,
the mysterious wanderer had entered the castle, ascended the
well-known stairs, and traversed the well-known halls, in silent
tears. Alas, how differently had she once passed through these rooms!

The knight had in the mean time dismissed his attendants. Half
undressed and in deep dejection, he was standing before a large
mirror; a wax taper burned dimly beside him. At this moment some one
tapped at his door very, very softly. Undine had formerly tapped in
this way, when she was playing some of her endearing wiles.

"It is all an illusion!" said he to himself. "I must to my nuptial

"You must indeed, but to a cold one!" he heard a voice, choked with
sobs, repeat from without; and then he saw in the mirror that the door
of his room was slowly, slowly opened, and the white figure entered,
and gently closed it behind her.

"They have opened the spring," said she in a low tone; "and now I am
here, and you must die."

He felt in his failing breath that this must indeed be; but covering
his eyes with his hands, he cried:--"Do not in my death-hour, do not
make me mad with terror. If that veil conceals hideous features, do
not lift it! Take my life, but let me not see you."

"Alas!" replied the pale figure, "will you not then look upon me once
more? I am as fair now as when you wooed me on the island!"

"Oh, if it indeed were so," sighed Huldbrand, "and that I might die by
a kiss from you!"

"Most willingly, my own love," said she. She threw back her veil;
heavenly fair shone forth her pure countenance. Trembling with love
and the awe of approaching death, the knight leant towards her. She
kissed him with a holy kiss; but she relaxed not her hold, pressing
him more closely in her arms, and weeping as if she would weep away
her soul. Tears rushed into the knight's eyes, while a thrill both of
bliss and agony shot through his heart, until he at last expired,
sinking softly back from her fair arms upon the pillow of his couch a

"I have wept him to death!" said she to some domestics who met her in
the ante-chamber; and passing through the terrified group, she went
slowly out, and disappeared in the fountain.


  Oh welcome, Sir Bolt, to me!
  And a welcome, Sir Arrow, to thee!
    But wherefore such pride
    In your swift airy ride?
  You're but splints of the ashen tree.
    When once on earth lying,
    There's an end of your flying!
      Lullaby! lullaby! lullaby!
    But we freshly will wing you
    And back again swing you,
    And teach you to wend
    To your Moorish friend.

  Sir Bolt, you have oft been here;
  And Sir Arrow, you've often flown near;
    But still from pure haste
    All your courage would waste
  On the earth and the streamlet clear.
    What! over all leaping,
    In shame are you sleeping?
      Lullaby! lullaby! lullaby!
    Or if you smote one,
    'Twas but darklingly done,
    As the grain that winds fling
    To the bird on the wing.



[Illustration: ANATOLE FRANCE]

Anatole France, whose real name of Thibault is sunk in his literary
signature, was born in Paris, April 16th, 1844. His father, a wealthy
bookseller, seems to have been a thoughtful, meditative man, and his
mother a woman of great refinement and tenderness. Their son shows the
result of the double influence. Always fond of books, he early devoted
himself to literary work, and made his début as writer in 1868 in a
biographical study of Alfred de Vigny. This was shortly followed by
two volumes of poetry: 'Les Poèmes Dorés' (Golden Verses) and 'Les
Noces Corinthéennes' (Corinthian Revels). Since this work of his youth
he has published at least twelve novels and romances, of which the
most familiar are: 'Le Crime de Sylvestre Bonnard' (The Crime of
Sylvestre Bonnard), 'Le Livre de Mon Ami' (My Friend's Book), 'Le Lys
Rouge' (The Red Lily), and 'Les Désirs de Jean Servieu' (Jean
Servieu's Wishes). Several volumes of essays, critical introductions
to splendid editions of Racine, Molière, La Fontaine, and Le Sage, of
'Manon Lescaut' and 'Paul and Virginia,' numberless studies of men and
books for the reviews and journals,--these measure the tireless
industry of an incessant worker. In 1876 M. France became an attaché
of the Library of the Senate. In December 1896 he was received as
member of the French Academy, succeeding to the chair of Ferdinand de
Lesseps, whose eulogy he pronounced with exquisite taste and grace.

Like Renan, whose disciple he is, this fine artist was formed in the
clerical schools. His perfection of style, clear, distinguished,
scintillating with wit and fancy, furnishes, as a distinguished French
critic remarks, a strong contrast to the painful and heavy periods of
the literary products of a State education. He is an enthusiastic
humanist, a fervent Neo-Hellenist, delicately sensitive to the beauty
of the antique, the magic of words, and the harmony of phrase.

Outside of France, his best known works are 'Le Crime de Sylvestre
Bonnard' (crowned by the Academy) and 'Le Livre de Mon Ami.' The
first of these expresses the author's Hellenism, sentiment,
experience, love of form, and gentle pessimism. Into the character of
Sylvestre Bonnard, that intelligent, contemplative, ironical,
sweet-natured old philosopher, he has put most of himself. In 'Le
Livre de Mon Ami' are reflected the childhood and youth of the author.
It is a living book, made out of the impulses of the heart, holding
the very essence of moral grace, written with exquisite irony
absolutely free from bitterness.

It is to be regretted that in some of his later writings this charming
writer has fallen short of the standard of these works, though the
versatility of talent he displays is great and admirable. In 'Thaïs'
he has painted the magnificent Alexandria of the Ptolemies; in 'Le Lys
Rouge' the Florence of to-day. In 'La Rôtisserie de la Reine Pedauque'
(The Cook-Shop of the Queen Pedauque) and in 'Les Opinions de M.
Jérome Coignard,' Gil Blas, Rabelais, Wilhelm Meister, and Montaigne
seem to jostle each other. In 'Le Jardin d'Épicure' (The Garden of
Epicurus) a modern Epicurus, discreet, indulgent, listless, listens to
lively discussions between the shades of Plato, Origen, Augustine,
Hegel, and Schopenhauer, while an Esquimaux refutes Bossuet, a
Polynesian develops his theory of the soul, and Cicero and Cousin
agree in their estimate of a future life.

In his own words, M. Anatole France has always been inclined to take
life as a spectacle, offering no solution of its perplexities,
proposing no remedies for its ills. His literary quality, as M. Jules
Lemaître observes, owes little or nothing to the spirit or literature
of the North. His intelligence is the pure and extreme product of
Greek and Latin tradition.


From 'The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard.' Copyright, 1890, by Harper &

                                                         APRIL 16.

St. Droctoveus and the early abbots of Saint-Germain-des-Prés have
been occupying me for the past forty years; but I do not know whether
I shall be able to write their history before I go to join them. It is
already quite a long time since I became an old man. One day last
year, on the Pont des Arts, one of my fellow-members at the Institute
was lamenting before me over the _ennui_ of becoming old.

"Still," Sainte-Beuve replied to him, "it is the only way that has yet
been found of living a long time."

I have tried this way, and I know just what it is worth. The trouble
of it is not that one lasts too long, but that one sees all about him
pass away--mother, wife, friends, children. Nature makes and unmakes
all these divine treasures with gloomy indifference, and at last we
find that we have not loved,--we have only been embracing shadows. But
how sweet some shadows are! If ever creature glided like a shadow
through the life of a man, it was certainly that young girl whom I
fell in love with when--incredible though it now seems--I was myself a

A Christian sarcophagus from the catacombs of Rome bears a formula of
imprecation, the whole terrible meaning of which I only learned with
time. It says:--"_Whatsoever impious man violates this sepulchre, may
he die the last of his own people!_" In my capacity of archæologist I
have opened tombs and disturbed ashes, in order to collect the shreds
of apparel, metal ornaments, or gems that were mingled with those
ashes. But I did it only through that scientific curiosity which does
not exclude the feelings of reverence and of piety. May that
malediction graven by some one of the first followers of the Apostles
upon a martyr's tomb never fall upon me! I ought not to fear to
survive my own people so long as there are men in the world; for there
are always some whom one can love.

But the power of love itself weakens and gradually becomes lost with
age, like all the other energies of man. Example proves it; and it is
this which terrifies me. Am I sure that I have not myself already
suffered this great loss? I should surely have felt it, but for the
happy meeting which has rejuvenated me. Poets speak of the Fountain of
Youth: it does exist; it gushes up from the earth at every step we
take. And one passes by without drinking of it!

The young girl I loved, married of her own choice to a rival, passed,
all gray-haired, into the eternal rest. I have found her daughter--so
that my life, which before seemed to me without utility, now once more
finds a purpose and a reason for being.

To-day I "take the sun," as they say in Provence; I take it on the
terrace of the Luxembourg, at the foot of the statue of Marguerite de
Navarre. It is a spring sun, intoxicating as young wine. I sit and
dream. My thoughts escape from my head like the foam from a bottle of
beer. They are light, and their fizzing amuses me. I dream; such a
pastime is certainly permissible to an old fellow who has published
thirty volumes of texts, and contributed to the Journal des Savants
for twenty-six years. I have the satisfaction of feeling that I
performed my task as well as it was possible for me, and that I
utilized to their fullest extent those mediocre faculties with which
nature endowed me. My efforts were not all in vain, and I have
contributed, in my own modest way, to that renaissance of historical
labors which will remain the honor of this restless century. I shall
certainly be counted among those ten or twelve who revealed to France
her own literary antiquities. My publication of the poetical works of
Gautier de Coincy inaugurated a judicious system and made a date. It
is in the austere calm of old age that I decree to myself this
deserved credit, and God, who sees my heart, knows whether pride or
vanity have aught to do with this self-award of justice.

But I am tired; my eyes are dim; my hand trembles, and I see an image
of myself in those old men of Homer, whose weakness excluded them from
the battle, and who, seated upon the ramparts, lifted up their voices
like crickets among the leaves.

So my thoughts were wandering, when three young men seated themselves
near me. I do not know whether each one of them had come in three
boats, like the monkey of La Fontaine, but the three certainly
displayed themselves over the space of twelve chairs. I took pleasure
in watching them, not because they had anything very extraordinary
about them, but because I discerned in them that brave joyous manner
which is natural to youth. They were from the schools. I was less
assured of it by the books they were carrying than by the character of
their physiognomy. For all who busy themselves with the things of the
mind can be at once recognized by an indescribable something which is
common to all of them. I am very fond of young people; and these
pleased me, in spite of a certain provoking wild manner which recalled
to me my own college days with marvelous vividness. But they did not
wear velvet doublets and long hair, as we used to do; they did not
walk about, as we used to do, with a death's-head; they did not cry
out, as we used to do, "Hell and malediction!" They were quite
properly dressed, and neither their costume nor their language had
anything suggestive of the Middle Ages. I must also add that they paid
considerable attention to the women passing on the terrace, and
expressed their admiration of some of them in very animated language.
But their reflections, even on this subject, were not of a character
to oblige me to flee from my seat. Besides, so long as youth is
studious, I think it has a right to its gayeties.

One of them having made some gallant pleasantry which I forget, the
smallest and darkest of the three exclaimed, with a slight Gascon

"What a thing to say! Only physiologists like us have any right to
occupy ourselves about living matter. As for you, Gélis, who only live
in the past,--like all your fellow archivists and paleographers,--you
will do better to confine yourself to those stone women over there,
who are your contemporaries."

And he pointed to the statues of the Ladies of Ancient France which
towered up, all white, in a half-circle under the trees of the
terrace. This joke, though in itself trifling, enabled me to know that
the young man called Gélis was a student at the École des Chartes.
From the conversation which followed I was able to learn that his
neighbor, blond and wan almost to diaphaneity, taciturn and sarcastic,
was Boulmier, a fellow-student. Gélis and the future doctor (I hope he
will become one some day) discoursed together with much fantasy and
spirit. In the midst of the loftiest speculations they would play upon
words, and make jokes after the peculiar fashion of really witty
persons--that is to say, in a style of enormous absurdity. I need
hardly say, I suppose, that they only deigned to maintain the most
monstrous kind of paradoxes. They employed all their powers of
imagination to make themselves as ludicrous as possible, and all their
powers of reasoning to assert the contrary of common-sense. All the
better for them! I do not like to see young folks too rational.

The student of medicine, after glancing at the title of the book that
Boulmier held in his hand, exclaimed:--

"What!--you read Michelet--you?"

"Yes," replied Boulmier very gravely. "I like novels."

Gélis, who dominated both by his fine stature, imperious gestures, and
ready wit, took the book, turned over a few pages rapidly, and said:--

"Michelet always had a great propensity to emotional tenderness. He
wept sweet tears over Maillard, that nice little man who introduced
_la paperasserie_ into the September massacres. But as emotional
tenderness leads to fury, he becomes all at once furious against the
victims. There is no help for it. It is the sentimentality of the age.
The assassin is pitied, but the victim is considered quite
unpardonable. In his later manner Michelet is more Michelet than ever
before. There is no common-sense in it; it is simply wonderful!
Neither art nor science, neither criticism nor narrative; only furies
and fainting spells and epileptic fits over matters which he never
deigns to explain. Childish outcries--_envies de femme grosse!_--and a
style, my friends!--not a single finished phrase! It is astounding!"

And he handed the book back to his comrade. "This is amusing madness,"
I thought to myself, "and not quite so devoid of common-sense as it
appears. This young man, though only playing, has sharply touched the
defect in the cuirass."

But the Provençal student declared that history was a thoroughly
despicable exercise of rhetoric. According to him, the only true
history was the natural history of man. Michelet was in the right path
when he came in contact with the fistula of Louis XIV., but he fell
back into the old rut almost immediately afterwards.

After this judicious expression of opinion, the young physiologist
went to join a party of passing friends. The two archivists, less well
acquainted in the neighborhood of a garden so far from the Rue
Paradis-aux-Marais, remained together, and began to chat about their
studies. Gélis, who had completed his third class-year, was preparing
a thesis, on the subject of which he expatiated with youthful
enthusiasm. Indeed, I thought the subject a very good one,
particularly because I had recently thought myself called upon to
treat a notable part of it. It was the 'Monasticum Gallicanum.' The
young erudite (I give him the name as a presage) wants to describe all
the engravings made about 1690 for the work which Dom Michel Germain
would have had printed, but for the one irremediable hindrance which
is rarely foreseen and never avoided. Dom Michel Germain left his
manuscript complete, however, and in good order when he died. Shall I
be able to do as much with mine?--but that is not the present
question. So far as I am able to understand, M. Gélis intends to
devote a brief archæological notice to each of the abbeys pictured by
the humble engravers of Dom Michel Germain.

His friend asked him whether he was acquainted with all the
manuscripts and printed documents relating to the subject. It was then
that I pricked up my ears. They spoke at first of original sources;
and I must confess they did so in a satisfactory manner, despite
their innumerable and detestable puns. Then they began to speak about
contemporary studies on the subject.

"Have you read," asked Boulmier, "the notice of Courajod?"

"Good!" I thought to myself.

"Yes," replied Gélis; "it is accurate."

"Have you read," said Boulmier, "the article by Tamisey de Larroque in
the Revue des Questions Historiques?"

"Good!" I thought to myself, for the second time.

"Yes," replied Gélis, "it is full of things...."

"Have you read," said Boulmier, "the 'Tableau des Abbayes Bénédictines
en 1600,' by Sylvestre Bonnard?"

"Good!" I said to myself, for the third time.

"_Ma foi!_ no!" replied Gélis. "Bonnard is an idiot!"

Turning my head, I perceived that the shadow had reached the place
where I was sitting. It was growing chilly, and I thought to myself
what a fool I was to have remained sitting there, at the risk of
getting the rheumatism, just to listen to the impertinence of those
two young fellows!

"Well! well!" I said to myself as I got up. "Let this prattling
fledgeling write his thesis, and sustain it! He will find my colleague
Quicherat, or some other professor at the school, to show him what an
ignoramus he is. I consider him neither more nor less than a rascal;
and really, now that I come to think of it, what he said about
Michelet awhile ago was quite insufferable, outrageous! To talk in
that way about an old master replete with genius! It was simply


From 'The Book of My Friend'

Everything in immortal nature is a miracle to the little child.

I was happy. A thousand things at once familiar and mysterious filled
my imagination, a thousand things which were nothing in themselves,
but which made my life. It was very small, that life of mine; but it
was a life--which is to say, the centre of all things, the kernel of
the world. Do not smile at what I say,--or smile only in sympathy, and
reflect: whoever lives, be it only a dog, is at the centre of all

Deciding to be a hermit and a saint, and to resign the good things of
this world, I threw my toys out of the window.

"The child is a fool!" cried my father, closing the window. I felt
anger and shame at hearing myself thus judged. But immediately I
considered that my father, not being so holy as I, could never share
with me the glory of the blessed, and this thought was for me a great

Every Saturday we were taken to confession. If any one will tell me
why, he will greatly oblige me. The practice inspired me with both
respect and weariness. I hardly think it probable that M. le Curé took
a lively interest in hearing my sins; but it was certainly
disagreeable to me to cite them to him. The first difficulty was to
find them. You can perhaps believe me, when I declare that at ten
years of age I did not possess the psychic qualities and the methods
of analysis which would have made it possible rationally to explore my
inmost conscience. Nevertheless it was necessary to have sins: for--no
sins, no confession. I had been given, it is true, a little book which
contained them all: I had only to choose. But the choice itself was
difficult. There was so much obscurely said of "larceny, simony,
prevarication"! I read in the little book, "I accuse myself of having
despaired; I accuse myself of having listened to evil conversations."
Even this furnished little wherewith to burden my conscience.
Therefore ordinarily I confined myself to "distractions." Distractions
during mass, distractions during meals, distractions in "religious
assemblies,"--I avowed all; yet the deplorable emptiness of my
conscience filled me with deep shame. I was humiliated at having no

I will tell you what, each year, the stormy skies of autumn, the first
dinners by lamplight, the yellowing leaves on the shivering trees,
bring to my mind; I will tell you what I see as I cross the Luxembourg
garden in the early October days--those sad and beautiful days when
the leaves fall, one by one, on the white shoulders of the statues

What I see then is a little fellow who with his hands in his pockets
is going to school, hopping along like a sparrow. I see him in thought
only, for he is but a shadow, a shadow of the "me" as I was
twenty-five years ago. Really, he interests me,--this little fellow.
When he was living I gave him but little thought, but now that he is
no more, I love him well. He was worth altogether more than the rest
of the "me's" that I have been since. He was a happy-hearted boy as he
crossed the Luxembourg garden in the fresh air of the morning. All
that he saw then I see to-day. It is the same sky, and the same
earth; the same soul of things is here as before,--that soul that
still makes me gay, or sad, or troubled: only _he_ is no more! He was
heedless enough, but he was not wicked; and in justice to him I must
declare that he has not left me a single harsh memory. He was an
innocent child that I have lost. It is natural that I should regret
him; it is natural that I should see him in thought, and delight in
recalling him to memory....

Nothing is of more value for giving a child a knowledge of the great
social machine than the life of the streets. He should see in the
morning the milkwomen, the water carriers, the charcoal men; he should
look in the shop windows of the grocer, the pork vender, and the
wine-seller; he should watch the regiments pass, with the music of the
band. In short, he should suck in the air of the streets, that he may
learn that the law of labor is Divine, and that each man has his work
to do in the world....

Oh! ye sordid old Jews of the Rue Cherche-Midi, and you my masters,
simple sellers of old books on the quays, what gratitude do I owe you!
More and better than university professors, have you contributed to my
intellectual life! You displayed before my ravished eyes the
mysterious forms of the life of the past, and every sort of monument
of precious human thought. In ferreting among your shelves, in
contemplating your dusty display laden with the pathetic relics of our
fathers and their noble thoughts, I have been penetrated with the most
wholesome of philosophies. In studying the worm-eaten volumes, the
rusty iron-work, the worn carvings of your stock, I experienced, child
as I was, a profound realization of the fluent, changing nature of
things and the nothingness of all, and I have been always since
inclined to sadness, to gentleness, and pity.

The open-air school taught me, as you see, great lessons; but the home
school was more profitable still. The family repast, so charming when
the glasses are clear, the cloth white, and the faces tranquil,--the
dinner of each day with its familiar talk,--gives to the child the
taste for the humble and holy things of life, the love of loving. He
eats day by day that blessed bread which the spiritual Father broke
and gave to the pilgrims in the inn at Emmaus, and says, like them,
"My heart is warmed within me." Ah! how good a school is the school of

The little fellow of whom I spoke but just now to you, with a sympathy
for which you pardon me, perhaps, reflecting that it is not egotistic
but is addressed only to a shadow,--the little fellow who crossed the
Luxembourg garden, hopping like a sparrow,--became later an
enthusiastic humanist.

I studied Homer. I saw Thetis rise like a white mist over the sea, I
saw Nausicaa and her companions, and the palm-tree of Delos, and the
sky, and the earth, and the sea, and the tearful smile of Andromache.
I comprehended, I felt. For six months I lived in the Odyssey. This
was the cause of numerous punishments: but what to me were _pensums_?
I was with Ulysses on his violet sea. Alcestis and Antigone gave me
more noble dreams than ever child had before. With my head swallowed
up in the dictionary on my ink-stained desk, I saw divine
forms,--ivory arms falling on white tunics,--and heard voices sweeter
than the sweetest music, lamenting harmoniously.

This again cost me fresh punishments. They were just; I was "busying"
myself "with things foreign to the class." Alas! the habit remains
with me still. In whatever class in life I am put for the rest of my
days, I fear yet, old as I am, to encounter again the reproach of my
old professor: "Monsieur Pierre Nozièrre, you busy yourself with
things foreign to the class."

       *       *       *       *       *

But the evening falls over the plane-trees of the Luxembourg, and the
little phantom which I have evoked disappears in the shadow. Adieu!
little "me" whom I have lost, whom I should forever regret, had I not
found thee again, beautified, in my son!

          Translated for 'A Library of the World's Best Literature.'


Irony and pity are two good counselors: the one, who smiles, makes
life amiable; the other, who weeps, makes it sacred. The Irony that I
invoke is not cruel. She mocks neither love nor beauty. She is gentle
and benevolent. Her smile calms anger, and it is she who teaches us to
laugh at fools and sinners whom, but for her, we might be weak enough
to hate.




Francis d'Assisi was at first called Francis Bernardone. His father
Pietro was a merchant of Assisi, much given to the pomps and vanities
of the world, a lover of France and of everything French. It was after
a visit to France in 1182 that, rejoining his beloved wife Pica in the
vale of Umbria, he found that God had given to him a little son. Pica
called the boy John, in honor of the playmate of the little Christ;
but Pietro commanded that he should be named Francis, because of the
bright land from whence he drew the rich silks and thick velvets he
liked to handle and to sell.

The vale of Umbria is the place for poets; it should be visited in the
summer, when the roses bloom on the trellises which the early Italian
painters put as backgrounds to their mothers and children. Florence is
not far away; and near is the birthplace of one of the fathers of the
sonnet, Fra Guittone, and of another poet, Propertius.

Francis's childhood, boyhood, and later youth were happy. His father
denied him no luxury in his power to give; he was sent to the priests
of the church of St. George. They taught him some Latin and much of
the Provençal tongue,--for at that time there was no Italian language;
there were only dialects, and the Provençal was used by the elegant,
those who loved poetry. Francis Bernardone was one of these; he sang
the popular Provençal songs of the day to the lute, for he had learned
music. And so passionately did he long for "excess of it," that, the
legend says, he stayed up all one night singing a duet with a
nightingale. The bird conquered; and later, Francis made a poem
glorifying the Creator who had given such a thrilling voice to it.

Up to the age of twenty-four Francis had been one of the lightest
hearted and the lightest headed of the rich young men of Assisi. His
father openly rejoiced in his extravagance, and admired the graceful
manner with which he wore gay clothes cut in latest fashions of
France. Madonna Pica, his mother, trembled for his future, while she
adored him and in spite of herself believed in him. Her neighbors
reproached her: "Your son throws money away; he is the son of a
prince!" And Pica, troubled, answered, "He whom you call the child of
a prince will one day be a child of God."

Pietro was delighted to see his son lead in all the sports of the
_corti_ of Assisi. The _corti_ were associations of young men addicted
to Provençal poetry and music and all sorts of gayety. Folgore da San
Gemiano gives, in a series of sonnets, well translated by Dante
Gabriel Rossetti, descriptions of their sports arranged according to
the months. March was the season for

  "--lamprey, salmon, eel, and trout,
  Dental and dolphin, sturgeon, all the rout
  Of fish in all the streams that fill the seas."

In April are dances:--

  "And through hollow brass
  A sound of German music on the air."

When summer came, Folgore says the _corti_ had other things:--

  "For July, in Siena by the willow-tree
  I give you barrels of white Tuscan wine,
  In ice far down your cellars stored supine;
  And morn and eve to eat, in company,
  Of those vast jellies dear to you and me;
  Of partridges and youngling pheasants sweet,
  Boiled capons, sovereign kids;--and let their treat
  Be veal and garlic, with whom these agree."

Francis was permeated with the ideas of chivalry, and his language was
its phraseology. So much was he in love with chivalry that he became
the founder of a new order, whose patroness should be the Lady
Poverty. Never had there been a time in Europe since the decay of the
Roman empire, when poverty was more derided. Princes, merchants, even
many prelates and priests, neglected and contemned the poor. The
voices of the outcasts and the leper went up to God, and he sent their
terrible echoes to awaken the heart of Francis.

In Sicily, Frederick II.--the Julian of the time--lived among
fountains and orange blossoms and gorgeous pomegranate arches,--a type
of the arrogant voluptuousness of the time, a voluptuousness which
Dante symbolized later as the leopard. Against this luxury Francis put
the lady of his love, Poverty. In the 'Poètes Franciscains,' Frederick
Ozanam says:--

"He thus designated what had become for him the ideal of all
perfection,--the type of all moral beauty. He loved to personify
Poverty as the symbolic genius of his time: he imagined her as the
daughter of Heaven; and he called her by turns the lady of his
thoughts, his affianced, and his bride."

The towns of Italy were continually at war, in 1206 and thereabout.
Francis was taken prisoner in a battle of his native townsmen with the
Perugians. Restless and depressed, unsatisfied by the revelry of his
comrades, he threw himself into the train of the Count de Brienne, who
was making war on the German Emperor for the two Sicilies. About this
time, he was moved to give his fine military clothes to a shivering
soldier. At Spoleto, after this act of charity, he dreamed that the
voice of God asked what he valued most in life. "Earthly fame," he
said.--"But which of two is better for you,--the Master, or the
servant? And why will you forsake the Master for the servant, the Lord
for the slave?"--"O Lord, what shall I do?" asked Francis.--"Return
unto the city," said the voice, "and there it will be told you what
you shall do and how you may interpret this vision."

He obeyed; he left the army; his old companions were glad to see him,
and again he joined the _corti_. But he was paler and more silent.
"You are in love!" his companions said, laughingly.

"I am in truth thinking of a bride more noble, more richly dowered,
and more beautiful than the world has ever seen."

Pietro was away from home, and his son made donations to the poor. He
grew more tranquil, though the Voice had not explained its message. He
knelt at the foot of the crucifix one day in the old chapel of St.
Damian, and waited. Then the revelation came:--"Francis, go to rebuild
my house, which is falling into ruin!"

Francis took this command, which seemed to have come from the lips of
his crucified Redeemer, literally. It meant that he should repair the
chapel of St. Damian. Later, he accepted it in a broader sense. More
important things than the walls of St. Damian were falling into ruin.

Francis was a man of action, and one who took life literally. He went
to his father's shop, chose some precious stuffs, and sold them with
his horse at Foliquo, for much below their value. Pietro had brought
Francis up in a princely fashion: why should he not behave as a
prince? And surely the father who had not grudged the richest of his
stuffs for the celebrations of the _corti_, would not object to their
sacrifice at the command of the Voice for the repairing of St. Damian!
Pietro, who had not heard the Voice, vowed vengeance on his son for
his foolishness. The priest at St. Damian's had refused the money; but
Francis threw it into the window, and Pietro, finding it, went away
swearing that his son had kept some of it. Francis wandered about
begging stones for the rebuilding of St. Damian's. Pietro, maddened by
the foolishness of his son, appealed to a magistrate. Francis cast off
all his garments, and gave them to his father. The Bishop of Assisi
covered his nakedness with his own mantle until the gown of a poor
laborer was brought to him. Dipping his right hand in a pile of
mortar, Francis drew a rough cross upon his breast: "Pietro
Bernardone," he said, "until now I have called you my father;
henceforth I can truly say, 'Our Father who art in heaven,' for
he is my wealth, and in him do I place all my hope."

Francis went away, to build his chapel and sing in the Provençal
speech hymns in honor of God and of love for his greatness. In June
1208 he began to preach. He converted two men, one rich and of rank,
the other a priest. They gave all to the poor, and took up their abode
near a hospital for lepers. They had no home but the chapel of the
Angels, near the Portiuncula. This was the beginning of the great
order of the Friars Minors, the Franciscans.

Francis was the first poet to use the Italian speech--a poet who was
inspired to change the fate of Europe. "He would never," the author of
a recent monograph on St. Francis says, "destroy or tread on a written
page. If it were Christian writing, it might contain the name of God;
even if it were the work of a pagan, it contained the letters that
make up the sacred name. When St. Francis, of the people and singing
for the people, wrote in the vernacular, he asked Fra Pacifico, who
had been a great poet in the world, to reduce his verses to the rules
of metre."

St. Bonaventura, Jacomino di Verona, and Jacopone di Todi, the author
of the 'Stabat Mater,' were Franciscans who followed in his footsteps.
"The Crusades were," to quote again, "defensive as well as offensive.
The Sultan, whom St. Francis visited and filled with respect, was not
far from Christendom." Frederick of Sicily, with his Saracens, menaced
Assisi itself. Hideous doctrines and practices were rife; and the
thirty thousand friars who soon enrolled themselves in the band of
Francis gained the love of the people, preached Christianity anew,
symbolized it rudely for folk that could not read, and, as St. Francis
had done, they appealed to the imagination. The legends of St.
Francis--one can find them in the 'Little Flowers,' of which there are
at least two good English translations--became the tenderest poems of
the poor.

If St. Francis had been less of a poet, he would have been less of a
saint. He died a poet, on October 4, 1226: he asked to be buried on
the Infernal Hill of Assisi, where the crusaders were laid to rest;
"and," he said, "sing my 'Canticle of the Sun,' so that I may add a
song in praise of my sister Death. The lines," he added, "will be
found at the end of the 'Cantico del Sole.'"

Paul Sabatier's 'Life of St. Francis,' and Mrs. Oliphant's, are best
known to English-speaking readers. The most exhaustive 'Life' is by
the Abbé Leon Le Monnier, in two volumes. It has lately been
translated into English.

                                 [Signature: Maurice Francis Egan]


[_Our Lord Speaks_]

  And though I fill thy heart with hottest love,
    Yet in true order must thy heart love me,
    For without order can no virtue be;
  By thine own virtue, then, I from above
  Stand in thy soul; and so, most earnestly,
  Must love from turmoil be kept wholly free:
    The life of fruitful trees, the seasons of
    The circling year move gently as a dove:
  I measured all the things upon the earth;
    Love ordered them, and order kept them fair,
      And love to order must be truly wed.
  O soul, why all this heat of little worth?
    Why cast out order with no thought of care?
      For by love's heat must love be governed?

                                Translation of Maurice Francis Egan.


    [The title is 'Incipiunt Laudes Creaturarum quas fecit
    Franciscus ad Laudem et Honorem Dei cum esset Infirmus ad
    Sanctum Damianum.' It is sometimes called the 'Canticle of
    the Creatures.' It is in Italian, and it opens with these
    words:--"Altissimi, omnipotente, bon Signore, tue so le laude
    la gloria e l'onore et omne benedictione."]

O Most High, Almighty, good Lord God, to thee belong praise, glory,
honor, and all blessing.

Praised be my Lord God, with all his creatures, and specially our
brother the sun, who brings us the day and who brings us the light;
fair is he, and he shines with a very great splendor. O Lord, he
signifies to us thee!

Praised be my Lord for our sister the moon, and for the stars, the
which he has set clear and lovely in heaven.

Praised be my Lord for our brother the wind, and for air and clouds,
calms and all weather, by which thou upholdest life in all creatures.

Praised be my Lord for our sister water, who is very serviceable to
us, and humble and precious and clean.

Praised be my Lord for our brother fire, through whom thou givest us
light in the darkness; and he is bright and pleasant, and very mighty
and strong.

Praised be my Lord for our mother the earth, the which doth sustain us
and keep us, and bringest forth divers fruits, and flowers of many
colors, and grass.

Praised be my Lord for all those who pardon one another for love's
sake, and who endure weakness and tribulation; blessed are they who
peacefully shall endure, for thou, O Most High, wilt give them a

Praised be my Lord for our sister the death of the body, from which no
man escapeth. Woe to him who dieth in mortal sin. Blessed are those
who die in thy most holy will, for the second death shall have no
power to do them harm. Praise ye and bless the Lord, and give thanks
to him and serve him with great humility.

    [The last stanza, in praise of death, was added to the poem
    on the day St. Francis left the world, October 4th, 1225.]

                                Translation of Maurice Francis Egan.

[Illustration: B. FRANKLIN.]




The youngest son of the seventeen children of a Boston tallow-chandler
named Franklin was born a subject of Queen Anne of England, on the 6th
of January, 1706; and on the same day received the baptismal name of
Benjamin at the Old South Church in that city. He continued for more
than seventy of the eighty-four years of his life a subject of four
successive British monarchs. During that period, neither Anne nor
either of the three Georges who succeeded her had a subject of whom
they had more reason to be proud, nor one whom at his death their
people generally supposed they had more reason to detest. No
Englishman of his generation can now be said to have established a
more enduring fame, in any way, than Franklin established in many
ways. As a printer, as a journalist, as a diplomatist, as a statesman,
as a philosopher, he was easily first among his peers.

On the other hand, it is no disparagement of the services of any of
his contemporaries on either side of the Atlantic, to say that no one
of his generation contributed more effectually to the dissolution of
the bonds which united the principal British-American colonies to the
mother country, and towards conferring upon them independence and a
popular government.

As a practical printer Franklin was reported to have had no superiors;
as a journalist he exerted an influence not only unrivaled in his day,
but more potent, on this continent at least, than either of his
sovereigns or their Parliaments. The organization of a police, and
later of the militia, for Philadelphia; of companies for extinguishing
fires; making the sweeping and paving of the streets a municipal
function; the formation of the first public library for Philadelphia,
and the establishment of an academy which has matured into the now
famous University of Pennsylvania, were among the conspicuous reforms
which he planted and watered in the columns of the Philadelphia
Gazette. This journal he founded; upon the earnings of it he mainly
subsisted during a long life, and any sheet of it to-day would bring a
larger price in the open market probably than a single sheet of any
other periodical ever published.

Franklin's Almanack, his crowning work in the sphere of journalism,
published under the pseudonym of Richard Saunders,--better known since
as Poor Richard,--is still one of the marvels of modern literature.
Under one or another of many titles the contents of this publication,
exclusive of its calendars, have been translated into every tongue
having any pretensions to a literature; and have had more readers,
probably, than any other publication in the English or indeed in any
other language, with the single exception of the Bible. It was the
first issue from an American press that found a popular welcome in
foreign lands, and it still enjoys the special distinction of being
the only almanac ever published that owed its extraordinary popularity
entirely to its literary merit.

What adds to the surprise with which we contemplate the fame and
fortunes of this unpretentious publication, is the fact that its
reputation was established by its first number, and when its author
was only twenty-six years of age. For a period of twenty-six years,
and until Franklin ceased to edit it, this annual was looked forward
to by a larger portion of the colonial population and with more
impatience than now awaits a President's annual message to Congress.

Franklin graduated from journalism into diplomacy as naturally as
winter glides into spring. This was simply because he was by common
acclaim the fittest man for any kind of public service the colony
possessed, and especially for any duty requiring talents for
persuasion, in which he proved himself to be unquestionably past
master among the diplomatists of his time.

The question of taxing the Penn proprietary estates in Pennsylvania,
for the defense of the province from the French and Indians, had
assumed such an acute stage in 1757 that the Assembly decided to
petition the King upon the subject; and selected Franklin, then in the
forty-first year of his age, to visit London and present their
petition. The next forty-one years of his life were practically all
spent in the diplomatic service. He was five years absent on this his
first mission. Every interest in London was against him. He finally
surmounted all obstacles by a compromise, which pledged the Assembly
to pass an act exempting from taxation the unsurveyed lands of the
Penn estate,--the surveyed waste lands, however, to be assessed at the
usual rate. For his success the Penns and their partisans never
forgave him, and his fellow colonists never forgot him.

Franklin returned to Philadelphia in 1762, but not to remain. The
question of taxing the colonies without representation was soon thrust
upon them in the shape of a stamp duty, and Franklin was sent out
again to urge its repeal. He reached London in November 1764, where he
remained the next eleven years and until it became apparent that the
surrender of the right to arbitrarily tax the colonies would never be
made by England during the life of the reigning sovereign, George III.
Satisfied that his usefulness in England was at an end, he sailed for
Philadelphia on the 21st of March, 1775; and on the morning of his
arrival was elected by the Assembly of Pennsylvania a delegate to the
Continental Congress which consolidated the armies of the colonies,
placed General George Washington in command of them, issued the first
Continental currency, and assumed the responsibility of resisting the
imperial government; his last hope of maintaining the integrity of the
empire having been dissipated by recent collisions between the people
and the royalist troops at Concord and Lexington. Franklin served on
ten committees in this Congress. He was one of the five who drew up
the Declaration of Independence in July 1776, and in September
following was chosen unanimously as one of the three commissioners to
be sent out to solicit for the infant republic the aid of France and
the sympathies of continental Europe. In this mission, the importance
of which to his country can hardly be exaggerated, he was greatly
favored by the reputation which had preceded him as a man of science.
While yet a journalist he had made some experiments in electricity,
which established its identity with lightning. The publication by an
English correspondent of the letters in which he gave an account of
these experiments, secured his election as an honorary member of the
Royal Society of London and undisputed rank among the most eminent
natural philosophers of his time. When he arrived in Paris, therefore,
he was already a member of every important learned society in Europe,
one of the managers of the Royal Society of London, and one of the
eight foreign members of the Royal Academy in Paris, where three
editions of his scientific writings had already been printed. To these
advantages must be added another of even greater weight: his errand
there was to assist in dismembering the British Empire, than which
nothing of a political nature was at this time much nearer every
Frenchman's heart.

The history of this mission, and how Franklin succeeded in procuring
from the French King financial aid to the amount of twenty-six
millions of francs, at times when the very existence of the republic
depended upon them, and finally a treaty of peace more favorable to
his country than either England or France wished to concede, has been
often told; and there is no chapter in the chronicles of this republic
with which the world is more familiar.

Franklin's reputation grew with his success. "It was," wrote his
colleague John Adams, "more universal than that of Leibnitz or Newton,
Frederick the Great or Voltaire, and his character more beloved and
esteemed than all of them.... If a collection could be made of all the
gazettes of Europe for the latter half of the eighteenth century, a
greater number of panegyrical paragraphs upon _le grand Franklin_
would appear, it is believed, than upon any other man that ever

A few weeks after signing the definitive treaty of peace in 1783,
Franklin renewed an application which he had previously made just
after signing the preliminary treaty, to be relieved of his mission;
but it was not until the 7th of March, 1785, that Congress adopted a
resolution permitting "the Honorable Benjamin Franklin to return to
America as soon as convenient." Three days later, Thomas Jefferson was
appointed to succeed him.

On the 13th of September, 1785, and after a sojourn of nearly nine
years in the French capital, first in the capacity of commissioner and
subsequently of minister plenipotentiary, Franklin once more landed in
Philadelphia, on the same wharf on which, sixty-two years before, he
had stepped, a friendless and practically penniless runaway apprentice
of seventeen.

Though now in his seventy-ninth year, and a prey to infirmities not
the necessary incidents of old age, he had scarcely unpacked his
trunks after his return when he was chosen a member of the municipal
council of Philadelphia, and its chairman. Shortly after, he was
elected president of Pennsylvania, his own vote only lacking to make
the vote unanimous. "I have not firmness," he wrote to a friend, "to
resist the unanimous desire of my countryfolks; and I find myself
harnessed again into their service another year. They engrossed the
prime of my life; they have eaten my flesh, and seem resolved now to
pick my bones."

He was unanimously re-elected to this dignity for the two succeeding
years, and while holding that office was chosen a member of the
convention which met in May 1787 to frame the Constitution under which
the people of the United States are still living.

With the adoption of that instrument, to which he probably contributed
as much as any other individual, he retired from official life; though
not from the service of the public, to which for the remaining years
of his stay on earth his genius and his talents were faithfully

Among the fruits of that unfamiliar leisure, always to be remembered
among the noblest achievements of his illustrious career, was the part
he had in organizing the first anti-slavery society in the world; and
as its president, writing and signing the first remonstrance against
slavery ever addressed to the Congress of the United States.

In surveying the life of Dr. Franklin as a whole, the thing that most
impresses one is his constant study and singleness of purpose to
promote the welfare of human society. It was his daily theme as a
journalist, and his yearly theme as an almanac-maker. It is that
which first occurs to us when we recall his career as a member of the
Colonial Assembly; as an agent of the provinces in England; as a
diplomatist in France; and as a member of the conventions which
crowned the consistent labors of his long life. Nor are there any now
so bold as to affirm that there was any other person who could have
been depended upon to accomplish for his country or the world, what
Franklin did in any of the several stages of his versatile career.

Though holding office for more than half of his life, the office
always sought Franklin, not Franklin the office. When sent to England
as the agent of the colony, he withdrew from business with a modest
competence judiciously invested mostly in real estate. He never seems
to have given a thought to its increase. Frugal in his habits, simple
in his tastes, wise in his indulgences, he died with a fortune neither
too large nor too small for his fame as a citizen or a patriot. For
teaching frugality and economy to the colonists, when frugality and
economy were indispensable to the conservation of their independence
and manhood, he has been sneered at as the teacher of a
"candle-end-saving philosophy," and his 'Poor Richard' as a
"collection of receipts for laying up treasures on earth rather than
in heaven." Franklin never taught, either by precept or example, to
lay up treasures on earth. He taught the virtues of industry, thrift,
and economy, as the virtues supremely important in his time, to keep
people out of debt and to provide the means of educating and
dignifying society. He never countenanced the accumulation of wealth
for its own sake, but for its uses,--its prompt convertibility into
social comforts and refinements. It would be difficult to name another
man of any age to whom an ambition to accumulate wealth as an end
could be imputed with less propriety. Though probably the most
inventive genius of his age, and thus indirectly the founder of many
fortunes, he never asked a patent for any of his inventions or
discoveries. Though one of the best writers of the English language
that his country has yet produced, he never wrote a line for money
after he withdrew from the calling by which he made a modest provision
for his family.

For the remaining half of his life both at home and abroad, though
constantly operating upon public opinion by his pen, he never availed
himself of a copyright or received a penny from any publisher or
patron for any of these labors. In none of the public positions which
he held, even when minister plenipotentiary, did his pay equal his
expenditures. He was three years president of Pennsylvania after his
return from France, and for his services declined to appropriate to
his own use anything beyond his necessary expenditures for stationery,
postage, and transportation. It is not by such methods that men
justly incur the implied reproach of "laying up treasures on earth,"
or of teaching a candle-end-saving philosophy.

Franklin courted fame no more than fortune. The best of his writings,
after his retirement from journalism, he never gave to the press at
all; not even his incomparable autobiography, which is still
republished more frequently than any of the writings of Dickens or of
Thackeray. He always wrote for a larger purpose than mere personal
gratification of any kind. Even his bagatelles and _jeux d'esprit_
read in the salons of Paris, though apparently intended for the eyes
of a small circle, were inspired by a desire to make friends and
create respect for the struggling people and the great cause he
represented. Few if any of them got into print until many years after
his decease.

Franklin was from his youth up a leader, a lion in whatever circle he
entered, whether in the printing-house, the provincial Assemblies, as
agent in England, or as a courtier in France. There was no one too
eminent in science or literature, on either side of the Atlantic, not
to esteem his acquaintance a privilege. He was an honorary member of
every important scientific association in the world, and in friendly
correspondence with most of those who conferred upon those bodies any
distinction; and all this by force of a personal, not to say
planetary, attraction that no one brought within his sphere could long

Pretty much all of importance that we know of Franklin we gather from
his private correspondence. His contemporaries wrote or at least
printed very little about him; scarcely one of the multitude whose
names he embalmed in his 'Autobiography' ever printed a line about
him. All that we know of the later half of his life not covered by his
autobiography, we owe almost exclusively to his private and official
correspondence. Though reckoning among his warm friends and
correspondents such men as David Hume, Dr. Joseph Priestley, Dr.
Price, Lord Kames, Lord Chatham, Dr. Fothergill, Peter Collinson,
Edmund Burke, the Bishop of St. Asaph and his gifted daughters,
Voltaire, the habitués of the Helvétius salon, the Marquis de Ségur,
the Count de Vergennes, his near neighbors De Chaumont and Le
Veillard, the _maire_ of Passy,--all that we learn of his
achievements, of his conversation, of his daily life, from these or
many other associates of only less prominence in the Old World, might
be written on a single foolscap sheet. Nor are we under much greater
obligations to his American friends. It is to his own letters (and
except his 'Autobiography,' he can hardly be said to have written
anything in any other than the epistolary form; and that was written
in the form of a letter to his son William, and most of it only began
to be published a quarter of a century after his death) that we must
turn to learn how full of interest and importance to mankind was this
last half-century of his life. Beyond keeping copies of his
correspondence, which his official character made a duty as well as a
necessity, he appears to have taken no precautions to insure the
posthumous fame to which his correspondence during that period was
destined to contribute so much. Hence, all the biographies--and they
are numberless--owe almost their entire interest and value to his own
pen. All, so far as they are biographies, are autobiographies; and for
that reason it may be fairly said that all of them are interesting.

It is also quite remarkable that though Franklin's life was a
continuous warfare, he had no personal enemies. His extraordinary and
even intimate experience of every phase of human life, from the very
lowest to the very highest, had made him so tolerant that he regarded
differences of opinion and of habits much as he regarded the changes
of the weather,--as good or bad for his purposes, but which, though he
might sometimes deplore, he had no right to quarrel with or assume
personal responsibility for. Hence he never said or did things
personally offensive. The causes that he represented had enemies, for
he was all his life a reformer. All men who are good for anything have
such enemies. "I have, as you observe," wrote Franklin to John Jay the
year that he retired from the French mission, "some enemies in
England, but they are my enemies as an American; I have also two or
three in America who are my enemies as a minister; but I thank God
there are not in the whole world any who are my enemies as a man: for
by his grace, through a long life, I have been enabled so to conduct
myself that there does not exist a human being who can justly say,
'Ben Franklin has wronged me.' This, my friend, is in old age a
comfortable reflection. You too have or may have your enemies; but let
not that render you unhappy. If you make a right use of them, they
will do you more good than harm. They point out to us our faults; they
put us upon our guard and help us to live more correctly."

Franklin's place in literature as a writer has not been generally
appreciated, probably because with him writing was only a means, never
an end, and his ends always dwarfed his means, however effective. He
wrote to persuade others, never to parade his literary skill. He never
wrote a dull line, and was never _nimious_. The longest production of
his pen was his autobiography, written during the closing years of his
life. Nearly all that he wrote besides was in the form of letters,
which would hardly average three octavo pages in length. And yet
whatever the subject he touched upon, he never left the impression of
incompleteness or of inconclusiveness. Of him may be said, perhaps
with as much propriety as of any other man, that he never said a word
too soon, nor a word too late, nor a word too much. Tons of paper have
been devoted to dissuasives from dueling, but the argument was never
put more effectively than Franklin put it in these dozen lines of a
letter to a Mr. Percival, who had sent him a volume of literary and
moral dissertations.

    "A gentleman in a coffee-house desired another to sit further
    from him. 'Why so?'--'Because you stink.'--'That is an
    affront, and you must fight me.'--'I will fight you if you
    insist upon it, but I do not see how that will mend the
    matter. For if you kill me, I shall stink too; and if I kill
    you, you will stink, if possible, worse than at present.' How
    can such miserable sinners as we are, entertain so much pride
    as to conceit that every offense against our imagined honor
    merits death? These petty princes, in their opinion, would
    call that sovereign a tyrant who should put one of them to
    death for a little uncivil language, though pointed at his
    sacred person; yet every one of them makes himself judge in
    his own cause, condemns the offender without a jury, and
    undertakes himself to be the executioner."

Some one wrote him that the people in England were abusing the
Americans and speaking all manner of evil against them. Franklin
replied that this was natural enough:

    "They impute to us the evil they wished us. They are angry
    with us, and speak all manner of evil of us; but we flourish
    notwithstanding. They put me in mind of a violent High Church
    factor, resident in Boston when I was a boy. He had bought
    upon speculation a Connecticut cargo of onions which he
    flattered himself he might sell again to great profit; but
    the price fell, and they lay upon his hands. He was heartily
    vexed with his bargain, especially when he observed they
    began to grow in his store he had filled with them. He showed
    them one day to a friend. 'Here they are,' said he, 'and they
    are growing too. I damn them every day, but I think they are
    like the Presbyterians; the more I curse them, the more they

Mr. Jefferson tells us that Franklin was sitting by his side in the
convention while the delegates were picking his famous declaration of
Independence to pieces, and seeing how Jefferson was squirming under
their mutilations, comforted him with the following stories, the rare
excellence of which has given them a currency which has long since
worn off their novelty:--

    "'I have made it a rule,' said he, 'whenever in my power, to
    avoid becoming the draftsman of papers to be reviewed by a
    public body. I took my lesson from an incident which I will
    relate to you.

    "'When I was a journeyman printer, one of my companions, an
    apprenticed hatter, having served out his time, was about to
    open shop for himself. His first concern was to have a
    handsome sign-board with the proper inscription. He composed
    it in these words: _John Thompson, Hatter, makes and sells
    Hats for ready Money_, with a figure of a hat subjoined. But
    he thought he would submit it to his friends for their
    amendments. The first he showed it to thought the word
    _hatter_ tautologous, because followed by the words _makes
    hats_, which showed he was a hatter. It was struck out. The
    next observed that the word _makes_ might as well be omitted,
    because his customers would not care who made the hats; if
    good and to their mind, they would buy, by whomsoever made.
    He struck it out. A third said he thought the words _for
    ready money_ were useless, as it was not the custom of the
    place to sell on credit: every one who purchased expected to
    pay. They were parted with, and the inscription now stood,
    _John Thompson sells hats_. "_Sells_ hats," says his next
    friend; "why, nobody will expect you to give them away. What
    then is the use of that word?" It was stricken out, and
    _hats_ followed, the rather as there was one painted on the
    board. So his inscription was ultimately reduced to _John
    Thompson_, with the figure of a hat subjoined.'"

When the members were about to sign the document, Mr. Hancock is
reported to have said, "We must be unanimous; there must be no pulling
different ways; we must all hang together." "Yes," replied Franklin,
"we must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang

The Doric simplicity of his style; his incomparable facility of
condensing a great principle into an apologue or an anecdote, many of
which, as he applied them, have become the folk-lore of all nations;
his habitual moderation of statement, his aversion to exaggeration,
his inflexible logic, and his perfect truthfulness,--made him one of
the most persuasive men of his time, and his writings a model which no
one can study without profit. A judicious selection from Franklin's
writings should constitute a part of the curriculum of every college
and high school that aspires to cultivate in its pupils a pure style
and correct literary taste.

There was one incident in Franklin's life, which, though more
frequently referred to in terms of reproach than any other, will
probably count for more in his favor in the Great Assize than any
other of his whole life. While yet in his teens he became a father
before he was a husband. He never did what men of the loftiest moral
pretensions not unfrequently do,--shirk as far as possible any
personal responsibility for this indiscretion. On the contrary, he
took the fruit of it to his home; gave him the best education the
schools of the country then afforded. When he went abroad, this son
accompanied him, was presented as his son wherever he went, was
presented in all the great houses in which he himself was received; he
entered him at the Inns of Court, and in due time had him admitted to
the English bar; made him his private secretary, and at an early age
caused him to be appointed by the Crown, Governor of New Jersey. The
father not only did everything to repair the wrong he had done his
son, but at a time when he was at the zenith of his fame and official
importance, publicly proclaimed it as one of the great errors of his
life. The world has always abounded with bastards; but with the
exception of crowned heads claiming to hold their sceptres by Divine
right, and therefore beyond the reach of popular criticism or
reproach, it would be difficult to name another parent of his
generation of anything like corresponding eminence with Franklin, who
had the courage and the magnanimity to expiate such a wrong to his
offspring so fully and effectively.

Franklin was not a member of the visible Church, nor did he ever
become the adherent of any sect. He was three years younger than
Jonathan Edwards, and in his youth heard his share of the then
prevailing theology of New England, of which Edwards was regarded, and
perhaps justly, as the most eminent exponent. The extremes to which
Edwards carried those doctrines at last so shocked the people of
Massachusetts that he was rather ignominiously expelled from his
pulpit at Northampton; and the people of Massachusetts, in very
considerable proportions, gradually wandered over into the Unitarian
communion. To Jonathan Edwards and the inflexible law of action and
reaction, more than to Priestley or any one else of their generation,
that sect owes to this day its numerical strength, its influence, and
its dignity, in New England. With the creed of that sect Dr. Franklin
had more in common than with any other, though he was much too wise a
man to suppose that there was but one gate of admission to the Holy
City. He believed in one God; that Jesus was the best man that ever
lived, and his example the most profitable one ever given us to
follow. He never succeeded in accepting the doctrine that Jehovah and
Jesus were one person, or that miracles attributed to the latter in
the Bible were ever worked. He thought the best service and sufficient
worship of God was in doing all the good we can to his creatures. He
therefore never occupied himself much with ecclesiastical ceremonies,
sectarian differences, or theological subtleties. A reverend candidate
for episcopal orders wrote to Franklin, complaining that the
Archbishop of Canterbury had refused to ordain him unless he would
take the oath of allegiance, which he was too patriotic a Yankee to
do. Franklin, in reply, asked what necessity there was for his being
connected with the Church of England; if it would not be as well were
it the Church of Ireland. Perhaps were he to apply to the Bishop of
Derry, who was a man of liberal sentiments, he might give him orders,
as of that Church. Should both England and Ireland refuse, Franklin
assumed that the Bishops of Sweden and Norway would refuse also,
unless the candidates embraced Lutheranism. He then added:--

    "Next to becoming Presbyterians, the Episcopalian clergy of
    America, in my humble opinion, cannot do better than to
    follow the example of the first clergy of Scotland, soon
    after the conversion of that country to Christianity. When
    the King had built the cathedral of St. Andrew's, and
    requested the King of Northumberland to lend his bishops to
    ordain one for them, that their clergy might not as
    heretofore be obliged to go to Northumberland for orders, and
    their request was refused, they assembled in the cathedral,
    and the mitre, crosier, and robes of a bishop being laid upon
    the altar, they after earnest prayers for direction in their
    choice elected one of their own number; when the King said to
    him, "_Arise, go to the altar, and receive your office at the
    hand of God._" His brethren led him to the altar, robed him,
    put the crosier in his hand and the mitre on his head, and he
    became the first Bishop of Scotland.

    "If the British islands were sunk in the sea (and the surface
    of this globe has suffered great changes), you would probably
    take some such method as this; and if they persist in denying
    your ordination, it is the same thing. A hundred years hence,
    when people are more enlightened, it will be wondered at that
    men in America, qualified by their learning and piety to pray
    for and instruct their neighbors, should not be permitted to
    do it till they had made a voyage of six thousand miles out
    and home, to ask leave of a cross old gentleman at

Franklin, however, was in no sense an agnostic. What he could not
understand he did not profess to understand or believe; neither was
he guilty of the presumption of holding that what he could not
understand, he might not have understood if he had been a wiser and
better man. Though impatient of cant and hypocrisy, especially in the
pulpit, he never spoke lightly of the Bible, or of the Church and its
offices. When his daughter Sally was about to marry, he wrote to

    "My dear child, the natural prudence and goodness of heart
    God has blest you with, make it less necessary for me to be
    particular in giving you advice. I shall therefore only say,
    that the more attentively dutiful and tender you are towards
    your good mamma, the more you will recommend yourself to me.
    But why should I mention _me_, when you have so much higher a
    promise in the Commandments, that such conduct will recommend
    you to the favor of God? You know I have many enemies, all
    indeed on the public account (for I cannot recollect that I
    have in a private capacity given just cause of offense to any
    one whatever): yet they are enemies, and very bitter ones;
    and you must expect their enmity will extend in some degree
    to you, so that your slightest indiscretions will be
    magnified into crimes, in order the more sensibly to wound
    and afflict me. It is therefore the more necessary for you to
    be extremely circumspect in all your behavior, that no
    advantage may be given to their malevolence.

    "Go constantly to church, whoever preaches. The act of
    devotion in the Common Prayer Book is your principal business
    there, and if properly attended to will do more towards
    amending the heart than sermons generally can do. For they
    were composed by men of much greater piety and wisdom than
    our common composers of sermons can pretend to be; and
    therefore I wish you would never miss the prayer days: yet
    I do not mean you should despise sermons, even of the
    preachers you dislike, for the discourse is often much better
    than the man, as sweet and clear waters come through very
    dirty earth. I am the more particular on this head, as you
    seemed to express a little before I came away some
    inclination to leave our church, which I would not have you

I cannot more fitly close this imperfect sketch of America's
most illustrious citizen, than by quoting from a touching and
most affectionate letter from Mrs. Hewson (Margaret Stevenson),--one
of Franklin's worthiest, most faithful, and most valued
friends,--addressed to one of Franklin's oldest friends in England.

    "We have lost that valued, venerable, kind friend whose
    knowledge enlightened our minds and whose philanthropy warmed
    our hearts. But we have the consolation to think that if a
    life well spent in acts of universal benevolence to mankind,
    a grateful acknowledgment of Divine favor, a patient
    submission under severe chastisement, and an humble trust in
    Almighty mercy, can insure the happiness of a future state,
    our present loss is his gain. I was the faithful witness of
    the closing scene, which he sustained with that calm
    fortitude which characterized him through life. No repining,
    no peevish expression ever escaped him during a confinement
    of two years, in which, I believe, if every moment of ease
    could be added together, would not amount to two whole
    months. When the pain was not too violent to be amused, he
    employed himself with his books, his pen, or in conversation
    with his friends; and upon every occasion displayed the
    clearness of his intellect and the cheerfulness of his
    temper. Even when the intervals from pain were so short that
    his words were frequently interrupted, I have known him to
    hold a discourse in a sublime strain of piety. I say this to
    you because I know it will give you pleasure.

    "I never shall forget one day that I passed with our friend
    last summer. I found him in bed in great agony; but when that
    agony abated a little I asked if I should read to him. He
    said yes; and the first book I met with was Johnson's 'Lives
    of the Poets.' I read the 'Life of Watts,' who was a favorite
    author with Dr. Franklin; and instead of lulling him to
    sleep, it roused him to a display of the powers of his memory
    and his reason. He repeated several of Watts's 'Lyric Poems,'
    and descanted upon their sublimity in a strain worthy of them
    and of their pious author. It is natural for us to wish that
    an attention to some ceremonies had accompanied that religion
    of the heart which I am convinced Dr. Franklin always
    possessed; but let us who feel the benefit of them continue
    to practice them, without thinking lightly of that piety
    which could support pain without a murmur, and meet death
    without terror."

Franklin made a somewhat more definite statement of his views on the
subject of religion, in reply to an inquiry from President Styles of
Yale College, who expressed a desire to know his opinion of Jesus of
Nazareth. Franklin's reply was written the last year of his life, and
in the eighty-fourth of his age:--

    "You desire to know something of my religion. It is the first
    time I have been questioned upon it. But I cannot take your
    curiosity amiss, and shall endeavor in a few words to gratify
    it. Here is my creed. I believe in one God, the creator of
    the universe. That he governs it by his Providence. That he
    ought to be worshiped. That the most acceptable service we
    render to him is doing good to his other children. That the
    soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in
    another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to
    be the fundamental points in all sound religion, and I regard
    them as you do in whatever sect I meet with them.

    "As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly
    desire, I think his system of morals and his religion, as he
    left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is like to
    see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting
    changes, and I have, with most of the present Dissenters in
    England, some doubts as to his Divinity; though it is a
    question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it,
    and think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I
    expect soon an opportunity of knowing the truth with less
    trouble. I see no harm, however, in its being believed, if
    that belief has the good consequence, as probably it has, of
    making his doctrines more respected and more observed;
    especially as I do not perceive that the Supreme takes it
    amiss, by distinguishing the unbelievers in his government of
    the world with any peculiar marks of his displeasure.

    "I shall only add, respecting myself, that, having
    experienced the goodness of that Being in conducting me
    prosperously through a long life, I have no doubt of its
    continuance in the next, though without the smallest conceit
    of meriting such goodness. My sentiments on this head you
    will see in the copy of an old letter inclosed, which I wrote
    in answer to one from an old religionist whom I had relieved
    in a paralytic case by electricity, and who, being afraid I
    should grow proud upon it, sent me his serious though rather
    impertinent caution."

                                         [Signature: John Bigelow]


From the 'Autobiography,' in Bigelow's Edition of Franklin's Works

Josiah, my father, married young, and carried his wife with three
children into New England about 1682. The conventicles having been
forbidden by law and frequently disturbed, induced some considerable
men of his acquaintance to remove to that country, and he was
prevailed with to accompany them thither, where they expected to enjoy
their mode of religion with freedom. By the same wife he had four
children more born there, and by a second wife ten more, in all
seventeen; of which I remember thirteen sitting at one time at his
table, who all grew up to be men and women, and married. I was the
youngest son and the youngest child but two, and was born in Boston,
New England. My mother, the second wife, was Abiah Folger, daughter of
Peter Folger, one of the first settlers of New England, of whom
honorable mention is made by Cotton Mather in his church history of
that country, entitled 'Magnalia Christi Americana,' as "_a goodly,
learned Englishman_," if I remember the words rightly. I have heard
that he wrote sundry small occasional pieces, but only one of them was
printed, which I saw now many years since....

My elder brothers were all put apprentices to different trades. I was
put to the grammar school at eight years of age, my father intending
to devote me, as the tithe of his sons, to the service of the Church.
My early readiness in learning to read (which must have been very
early, as I do not remember when I could not read), and the opinion of
all his friends that I should certainly make a good scholar,
encouraged him in this purpose of his. My uncle Benjamin too approved
of it, and proposed to give me all his short-hand volumes of
sermons,--I suppose as a stock to set up with,--if I would learn his
character. I continued, however, at the grammar school not quite one
year, though in that time I had risen gradually from the middle of the
class of that year to be the head of it, and farther was removed into
the next class above it, in order to go with that into the third at
the end of the year. But my father in the mean time,--from a view of
the expense of a college education, which having so large a family he
could not well afford, and the mean living many so educated were
afterwards able to obtain,--reasons that he gave to his friends in my
hearing,--altered his first intention, took me from the grammar
school, and sent me to a school for writing and arithmetic, kept by a
then famous man, Mr. George Brownell, very successful in his
profession generally, and that by mild, encouraging methods. Under him
I acquired fair writing pretty soon, but I failed in the arithmetic,
and made no progress in it. At ten years old I was taken home to
assist my father in his business, which was that of a tallow-chandler
and soap-boiler,--a business he was not bred to, but had assumed on
his arrival in New England, and on finding his dyeing trade would not
maintain his family, being in little request. Accordingly I was
employed in cutting wick for the candles, filling the dipping-mold and
the molds for cast candles, attending the shop, going of errands, etc.

I disliked the trade, and had a strong inclination for the sea, but my
father declared against it: however, living near the water, I was much
in and about it, learnt early to swim well and to manage boats; and
when in a boat or canoe with other boys I was commonly allowed to
govern, especially in any case of difficulty; and upon other occasions
I was generally a leader among the boys, and sometimes led them into
scrapes, of which I will mention one instance, as it shows an early
projecting public spirit, though not then justly conducted.

There was a salt-marsh that bounded part of the mill-pond, on the edge
of which, at high water, we used to stand to fish for minnows. By much
trampling we had made it a mere quagmire. My proposal was to build a
wharf there, fit for us to stand upon; and I showed my comrades a
large heap of stones which were intended for a new house near the
marsh, and which would very well suit our purpose. Accordingly, in the
evening, when the workmen were gone, I assembled a number of my
playfellows, and working with them diligently like so many emmets,
sometimes two or three to a stone, we brought them all away and built
our little wharf. The next morning the workmen were surprised at
missing the stones, which were found in our wharf. Inquiry was made
after the removers; we were discovered and complained of; several of
us were corrected by our fathers, and though I pleaded the usefulness
of the work, mine convinced me that nothing was useful which was not

I continued thus employed in my father's business for two years, that
is, till I was twelve years old; and my brother John, who was bred to
that business, having left my father, married, and set up for himself
at Rhode Island, there was all appearance that I was destined to
supply his place and become a tallow-chandler. But my dislike to the
trade continuing, my father was under apprehensions that if he did not
find one for me more agreeable, I should break away and get to sea, as
his son Josiah had done, to his great vexation. He therefore sometimes
took me to walk with him, and see joiners, bricklayers, turners,
braziers, etc., at their work, that he might observe my inclination,
and endeavor to fix it on some trade or other on land. It has ever
since been a pleasure to me to see good workmen handle their tools;
and it has been useful to me, having learnt so much by it as to be
able to do little jobs myself in my house when a workman could not
readily be got, and to construct little machines for my experiments,
while the intention of making the experiment was fresh and warm in my
mind. My father at last fixed upon the cutler's trade, and my uncle
Benjamin's son Samuel, who was bred to that business in London, being
about that time established in Boston, I was sent to be with him some
time on liking. But his expectations of a fee with me displeasing my
father, I was taken home again.

From a child I was fond of reading, and all the little money that came
into my hands was ever laid out in books. Pleased with the 'Pilgrim's
Progress,' my first collection was of John Bunyan's works in separate
little volumes. I afterward sold them to enable me to buy R. Burton's
'Historical Collections'; they were small chapmen's books, and cheap,
40 or 50 in all. My father's little library consisted chiefly of books
in polemic divinity, most of which I read, and have since often
regretted that at a time when I had such a thirst for knowledge, more
proper books had not fallen in my way, since it was now resolved I
should not be a clergyman. Plutarch's Lives there was, in which I read
abundantly, and I still think that time spent to great advantage.
There was also a book of De Foe's, called 'An Essay on Projects,' and
another of Dr. Mather's, called 'Essays To Do Good,' which perhaps
gave me a turn of thinking that had an influence on some of the
principal future events of my life.

This bookish inclination at length determined my father to make me a
printer, though he had already one son (James) of that profession. In
1717 my brother James returned from England with a press and letters,
to set up his business in Boston. I liked it much better than that of
my father, but still had a hankering for the sea. To prevent the
apprehended effect of such an inclination, my father was impatient to
have me bound to my brother. I stood out some time, but at last was
persuaded, and signed the indentures when I was yet but twelve years
old. I was to serve as an apprentice till I was twenty-one years of
age, only I was to be allowed journeyman's wages during the last year.
In a little time I made great proficiency in the business, and became
a useful hand to my brother. I now had access to better books. An
acquaintance with the apprentices of booksellers enabled me sometimes
to borrow a small one, which I was careful to return soon and clean.
Often I sat up in my room reading the greatest part of the night, when
the book was borrowed in the evening and to be returned early in the
morning, lest it should be missed or wanted.


From the 'Autobiography,' in Bigelow's Edition of Franklin's Works

I proceeded on my journey on foot, having fifty miles to Burlington,
where I was told I should find boats that would carry me the rest of
the way to Philadelphia.

It rained very hard all the day; I was thoroughly soaked, and by noon
a good deal tired; so I stopt at a poor inn, where I stayed all night,
beginning now to wish that I had never left home. I cut so miserable a
figure too that I found, by the questions asked me, I was suspected to
be some runaway servant, and in danger of being taken up on that
suspicion. However, I proceeded the next day, and got in the evening
to an inn within eight or ten miles of Burlington, kept by one Dr.
Brown. He entered into conversation with me while I took some
refreshment; and finding I had read a little, became very sociable and
friendly. Our acquaintance continued as long as he lived. He had been,
I imagine, an itinerant doctor, for there was no town in England or
country in Europe of which he could not give a very particular
account. He had some letters, and was ingenious, but much of an
unbeliever, and wickedly undertook, some years after, to travestie the
Bible in doggrel verse, as Cotton had done Virgil. By this means he
set many of the facts in a very ridiculous light, and might have hurt
weak minds if his work had been published, but it never was.

At his house I lay that night, and the next morning reached
Burlington, but had the mortification to find that the regular boats
were gone a little before my coming, and no other expected to go
before Tuesday, this being Saturday; wherefore I returned to an old
woman in the town, of whom I had bought ginger-bread to eat on the
water, and asked her advice. She invited me to lodge at her house
till a passage by water should offer; and being tired with my
foot-traveling, I accepted the invitation. She, understanding I was a
printer, would have had me stay at that town and follow my business,
being ignorant of the stock necessary to begin with. She was very
hospitable, gave me a dinner of ox-cheek with great good-will,
accepting only of a pot of ale in return; and I thought myself fixed
till Tuesday should come. However, walking in the evening by the side
of the river, a boat came by, which I found was going towards
Philadelphia, with several people in her. They took me in, and as
there was no wind, we rowed all the way; and about midnight, not
having yet seen the city, some of the company were confident we must
have passed it, and would row no farther; the others knew not where we
were; so we put toward the shore, got into a creek, landed near an old
fence, with the rails of which we made a fire,--the night being cold,
in October,--and there we remained till daylight. Then one of the
company knew the place to be Cooper's Creek, a little above
Philadelphia, which we saw as soon as we got out of the creek, and
arrived there about eight or nine o'clock on the Sunday morning, and
landed at the Market Street wharf.

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

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

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


From the 'Autobiography,' in Bigelow's Edition of Franklin's Works

I now began to think of getting a little money beforehand, and
expecting better work, I left Palmer's to work at Watts's, near
Lincoln's Inn Fields, a still greater printing-house. Here I continued
all the rest of my stay in London.

At my first admission into this printing-house I took to working at
press, imagining I felt a want of the bodily exercise I had been used
to in America, where presswork is mixed with composing. I drank only
water; the other workmen, near fifty in number, were great guzzlers of
beer. On occasion, I carried up and down stairs a large form of types
in each hand, when others carried but one in both hands. They wondered
to see, from this and several instances, that the _Water American_, as
they called me, was _stronger_ than themselves, who drank _strong_
beer! We had an alehouse boy, who attended always in the house to
supply the workmen. My companion at the press drank every day a pint
before breakfast, a pint at breakfast with his bread and cheese, a
pint between breakfast and dinner, a pint at dinner, a pint in the
afternoon about six o'clock, and another when he had done his day's
work. I thought it a detestable custom; but it was necessary, he
supposed, to drink _strong_ beer that he might be _strong_ to labor. I
endeavored to convince him that the bodily strength afforded by beer
could only be in proportion to the grain or flour of the barley
dissolved in the water of which it was made; that there was more flour
in a pennyworth of bread; and therefore, if he would eat that with a
pint of water, it would give him more strength than a quart of beer.
He drank on, however, and had four or five shillings to pay out of his
wages every Saturday night for that muddling liquor; an expense I was
free from. And thus these poor devils keep themselves always under.

Watts after some weeks desiring to have me in the composing-room, I
left the pressmen: a new _bien venu_ or sum for drink, being five
shillings, was demanded of me by the compositors. I thought it an
imposition, as I had paid below: the master thought so too, and
forbade my paying it. I stood out two or three weeks, was accordingly
considered as an excommunicate, and had so many little pieces of
private mischief done me, by mixing my sorts, transposing my pages,
breaking my matter, etc., etc., if I were ever so little out of the
room,--and all ascribed to the chappel ghost, which they said ever
haunted those not regularly admitted,--that notwithstanding the
master's protection I found myself obliged to comply and pay the
money, convinced of the folly of being on ill terms with those one is
to live with continually.

I was now on a fair footing with them, and soon acquired considerable
influence. I proposed some reasonable alterations in their chappel
laws, and carried them against all opposition. From my example, a
great part of them left their muddling breakfast of beer and bread and
cheese, finding they could with me be supplied from a neighboring
house with a large porringer of hot water-gruel sprinkled with pepper,
crumbed with bread, and a bit of butter in it, for the price of a pint
of beer; viz., three half-pence. This was a more comfortable as well
as cheaper breakfast, and kept their heads clearer. Those who
continued sotting with beer all day were often, by not paying, out of
credit at the alehouse, and used to make interest with me to get beer;
their _light_, as they phrased it, _being out_. I watched the
pay-table on Saturday night, and collected what I stood engaged for
them, having to pay sometimes near thirty shillings a week on their
account. This, and my being esteemed a pretty good _rigile_,--that is,
a jocular verbal satirist,--supported my consequence in the society.
My constant attendance (I never making a St. Monday) recommended me to
the master; and my uncommon quickness at composing occasioned my being
put upon all work of dispatch, which was generally better paid. So I
went on now very agreeably.


From Poor Richard's Almanack: 1742

Eat and drink such an exact quantity as the constitution of thy body
allows of, in reference to the services of the mind.

They that study much ought not to eat as much as those that work hard,
their digestion being not so good.

The exact quantity and quality being found out, is to be kept to

Excess in all other things whatever, as well as in meat and drink, is
also to be avoided.

Youth, age, and sick require a different quantity.

And so do those of contrary complexions; for that which is too much
for a phlegmatic man, is not sufficient for a choleric.

The measure of food ought to be (as much as possibly may be) exactly
proportionable to the quality and condition of the stomach, because
the stomach digests it.

That quantity that is sufficient, the stomach can perfectly concoct
and digest, and it sufficeth the due nourishment of the body.

A greater quantity of some things may be eaten than of others, some
being of lighter digestion than others.

The difficulty lies in finding out an exact measure; but eat for
necessity, not pleasure: for lust knows not where necessity ends.

Wouldst thou enjoy a long life, a healthy body, and a vigorous mind,
and be acquainted also with the wonderful works of God, labor in the
first place to bring thy appetite to reason.


From Poor Richard's Almanack

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

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

"Beware of little expenses: 'A small leak will sink a great ship,' as
Poor Richard says; and again, 'Who dainties love, shall beggars
prove;' and moreover, 'Fools make feasts, and wise men eat them.'

"Here you are all got together at this sale of fineries and
knick-knacks. You call them _goods_; but if you do not take care, they
will prove _evils_ to some of you. You expect they will be sold cheap,
and perhaps they may, for less than they cost; but if you have no
occasion for them, they must be dear to you. Remember what Poor
Richard says: 'Buy what thou hast no need of, and ere long thou shalt
sell thy necessaries.' And again, 'At a great pennyworth pause a
while.' He means that perhaps the cheapness is apparent only and not
real; or the bargain, by straitening thee in thy business, may do thee
more harm than good. For in another place he says, 'Many have been
ruined by buying good pennyworths.' Again, 'It is foolish to lay out
money in a purchase of repentance;' and yet this folly is practiced
every day at auctions, for want of minding the Almanack. Many a one,
for the sake of finery on the back, have gone with a hungry belly and
half starved their families. 'Silks and satins, scarlet and velvets,
put out the kitchen fire,' as Poor Richard says.

"These are not the necessaries of life; they can scarcely be called
the conveniences: and yet, only because they look pretty, how many
want to have them! By these and other extravagances the genteel are
reduced to poverty, and forced to borrow of those whom they formerly
despised, but who through industry and frugality have maintained their
standing; in which case it appears plainly that 'A plowman on his legs
is higher than a gentleman on his knees,' as poor Richard says.
Perhaps they have had a small estate left them, which they knew not
the getting of; they think, 'It is day, and will never be night;' that
a little to be spent out of so much is not worth minding; but 'Always
taking out of the meal-tub and never putting in, soon comes to the
bottom,' as Poor Richard says; and then, 'When the well is dry, they
know the worth of water.' But this they might have known before, if
they had taken his advice. 'If you would know the value of money, go
and try to borrow some: for he that goes a-borrowing goes
a-sorrowing,' as Poor Richard says; and indeed, so does he that lends
to such people, when he goes to get it in again. Poor Dick further
advises and says:--

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

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

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

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

"But what madness must it be to _run in debt_ for these superfluities!
We are offered by the terms of this sale six months' credit; and that
perhaps has induced some of us to attend it, because we cannot spare
the ready money, and hope now to be fine without it. But ah! think
what you do when you run in debt: you give to another power over your
liberty. If you cannot pay at the time, you will be ashamed to see
your creditor; you will be in fear when you speak to him; you will
make poor, pitiful, sneaking excuses, and by degrees come to lose your
veracity and sink into base downright lying; for 'The second vice is
lying, the first is running in debt,' as Poor Richard says: and again
to the same purpose, 'Lying rides upon Debt's back;' whereas a
free-born Englishman ought not to be ashamed nor afraid to see or
speak to any man living. But poverty often deprives a man of all
spirit and virtue. 'It is hard for an empty bag to stand upright.'

"What would you think of that prince or of that government who should
issue an edict forbidding you to dress like a gentleman or a
gentlewoman, on pain of imprisonment or servitude? Would you not say
that you were free, have a right to dress as you please; and that such
an edict would be a breach of your privileges, and such a government
tyrannical? And yet you are about to put yourself under such tyranny,
when you run in debt for such dress! Your creditor has authority, at
his pleasure, to deprive you of your liberty by confining you in jail
till you shall be able to pay him. When you have got your bargain, you
may perhaps think little of payment; but as Poor Richard says,
'Creditors have better memories than debtors; creditors are a
superstitious sect, great observers of set days and times.' The day
comes round before you are aware, and the demand is made before you
are prepared to satisfy it; or if you bear your debt in mind, the
term which at first seemed so long will, as it lessens, appear
extremely short. Time will seem to have added wings to his heels as
well as his shoulders. 'Those have a short Lent who owe money to be
paid at Easter.' At present, perhaps, you may think yourselves in
thriving circumstances, and that you can bear a little extravagance
without injury, but--

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                   RICHARD SAUNDERS.


_Mr. President:_

The small progress we have made, after four or five weeks' close
attendance and continual reasons with each other, our different
sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as
many _Noes_ as _Ayes_, is, methinks, a melancholy proof of the
imperfection of the human understanding. We indeed seem to _feel_ our
own want of political wisdom, since we have been running all about in
search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of
government, and examined the different forms of those republics,
which, having been originally formed with the seeds of their own
dissolution, now no longer exist; and we have viewed modern States all
round Europe, but find none of their constitutions suitable to our

In this situation of this assembly, groping as it were in the dark to
find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented
to us, how has it happened, sir, that we have not hitherto once
thought of humbly applying to the Father of Lights to illuminate our
understandings? In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we
were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for the
Divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard; and they were
graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must
have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our
favor. To that kind Providence we owe this happy opportunity of
consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national
felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? or do we
imagine we no longer need its assistance? I have lived, sir, a long
time; and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this
truth, _that_ GOD _governs in the affairs of men_. And if a sparrow
cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an
empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, sir, in the
sacred writings, that "except the Lord build the house, they labor in
vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that
without his concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political
building no better than the builders of Babel: we shall be divided by
our little partial local interests, our projects will be confounded,
and we ourselves shall become a reproach and a byword down to future
ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter, from this unfortunate
instance, despair of establishing government by human wisdom, and
leave it to chance, war, and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move,--

That henceforth prayers, imploring the assistance of Heaven and its
blessing on our deliberations, be held in this assembly every morning
before we proceed to business; and that one or more of the clergy of
this city be requested to officiate in that service.


I agree with you perfectly in your disapprobation of war. Abstracted
from the inhumanity of it, I think it wrong in point of human
prudence; for whatever advantage one nation would obtain from another,
whether it be part of their territory, the liberty of commerce with
them, free passage on their rivers, etc., it would be much cheaper to
purchase such advantage with ready money than to pay the expense of
acquiring it by war. An army is a devouring monster; and when you have
raised it, you have, in order to subsist it, not only the fair charges
of pay, clothing, provisions, arms, and ammunition, with numberless
other contingent and just charges to answer and satisfy, but you have
all the additional knavish charges of the numerous tribe of
contractors to defray, with those of every other dealer who furnishes
the articles wanted for your army, and takes advantage of that want to
demand exorbitant prices. It seems to me that if statesmen had a
little more arithmetic, or were more accustomed to calculation, wars
would be much less frequent. I am confident that Canada might have
been purchased from France for a tenth part of the money England spent
in the conquest of it. And if instead of fighting with us for the
power of taxing us, she had kept us in good humor by allowing us to
dispose of our own money, and now and then giving us a little of hers,
by way of donation to colleges, or hospitals, or for cutting canals,
or fortifying ports, she might have easily drawn from us much more by
our occasional voluntary grants and contributions than ever she could
by taxes. Sensible people will give a bucket or two of water to a dry
pump, that they may afterwards get from it all they have occasion for.
Her ministry were deficient in that little point of common-sense; and
so they spent one hundred millions of her money and after all lost
what they contended for.



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

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

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



You may remember, my dear friend, that when we lately spent that happy
day in the delightful garden and sweet society of the Moulin Joly, I
stopped a little in one of our walks, and stayed some time behind the
company. We had been shown numberless skeletons of a kind of little
fly, called an ephemera, whose successive generations, we were told,
were bred and expired within the day. I happened to see a living
company of them on a leaf, who appeared to be engaged in conversation.
You know I understand all the inferior animal tongues. My too great
application to the study of them is the best excuse I can give for the
little progress I have made in your charming language. I listened
through curiosity to the discourse of these little creatures; but as
they in their natural vivacity spoke three, or four together, I could
make but little of their conversation. I found however by some broken
expressions that I heard now and then, they were disputing warmly on
the merit of two foreign musicians, one a _cousin_, the other a
_moscheto_; in which dispute they spent their time, seemingly as
regardless of the shortness of life as if they had been sure of living
a month. Happy people! thought I; you are certainly under a wise,
just, and mild government, since you have no public grievances to
complain of, nor any subject of contention but the perfections and
imperfections of foreign music. I turned my head from them to an old
gray-headed one, who was single on another leaf, and talking to
himself. Being amused with his soliloquy, I put it down in writing, in
hopes it will likewise amuse her to whom I am so much indebted for the
most pleasing of all amusements, her delicious company and heavenly

"It was," said he, "the opinion of learned philosophers of our race
who lived and flourished long before my time, that this vast world,
the Moulin Joly, could not itself subsist more than eighteen hours;
and I think there was some foundation for that opinion, since by the
apparent motion of the great luminary that gives life to all nature,
and which in my time has evidently declined considerably towards the
ocean at the end of our earth, it must then finish its course, be
extinguished in the waters that surround us, and leave the world in
cold and darkness, necessarily producing universal death and
destruction. I have lived seven of those hours, a great age, being no
less than four hundred and twenty minutes of time. How very few of us
continue so long! I have seen generations born, flourish, and expire.
My present friends are the children and grandchildren of the friends
of my youth, who are now, alas, no more! And I must soon follow them;
for by the course of nature, though still in health, I cannot expect
to live above seven or eight minutes longer. What now avails all my
toil and labor in amassing honey-dew on this leaf, which I cannot
live to enjoy? What the political struggles I have been engaged in for
the good of my compatriot inhabitants of this bush, or my
philosophical studies for the benefit of our race in general? for in
politics, what can laws do without morals? Our present race of
ephemeræ will in a course of minutes become corrupt, like those of
other and older bushes, and consequently as wretched. And in
philosophy how small our progress! Alas! art is long and life is
short! My friends would comfort me with the idea of a name they say I
shall leave behind me; and they tell me I have lived long enough to
nature and to glory. But what will fame be to an ephemera who no
longer exists? and what will become of all history in the eighteenth
hour, when the world itself, even the whole Moulin Joly, shall come to
its end, and be buried in universal ruin?"

To me, after all my eager pursuits, no solid pleasures now remain but
the reflection of a long life spent in meaning well, the sensible
conversation of a few good lady ephemeræ, and now and then a kind
smile and a tune from the ever amiable Brillante.



No one can more sincerely rejoice than I do, on the reduction of
Canada; and this is not merely as I am a colonist, but as I am a
Briton. I have long been of opinion that _the foundations of the
future grandeur and stability of the British empire lie in America_;
and though like other foundations they are low and little now, they
are nevertheless broad and strong enough to support the greatest
political structure that human wisdom ever yet erected. I am therefore
by no means for restoring Canada. If we keep it, all the country from
the St. Lawrence to the Mississippi will in another century be filled
with British people. Britain itself will become vastly more populous,
by the immense increase of its commerce; the Atlantic sea will be
covered with your trading ships; and your naval power, thence
continually increasing, will extend your influence round the whole
globe, and awe the world! If the French remain in Canada they will
continually harass our colonies by the Indians, and impede if not
prevent their growth; your progress to greatness will at best be
slow, and give room for many accidents that may forever prevent it.
But I refrain, for I see you begin to think my notions extravagant,
and look upon them as the ravings of a mad prophet.



You desire, you say, my impartial thoughts on the subject of an early
marriage, by way of answer to the numberless objections that have been
made by numerous persons to your own. You may remember, when you
consulted me on the occasion, that I thought youth on both sides to be
no objection. Indeed, from the marriages that have fallen under my
observation, I am rather inclined to think that early ones stand the
best chance of happiness. The temper and habits of the young are not
become so stiff and uncomplying as when more advanced in life; they
form more easily to each other, and hence many occasions of disgust
are removed. And if youth has less of that prudence which is necessary
to manage a family, yet the parents and elder friends of young married
persons are generally at hand to afford their advice, which amply
supplies that defect; and by early marriage, youth is sooner formed to
regular and useful life; and possibly some of those accidents or
connections that might have injured the constitution or reputation, or
both, are thereby happily prevented.

Particular circumstances of particular persons may possibly sometimes
make it prudent to delay entering into that state; but in general,
when nature has rendered our bodies fit for it, the presumption is in
nature's favor, that she has not judged amiss in making us desire it.
Late marriages are often attended, too, with this further
inconvenience: that there is not the same chance that the parents will
live to see their offspring educated. "_Late children_," says the
Spanish proverb, "_are early orphans_." A melancholy reflection to
those whose case it may be! With us in America, marriages are
generally in the morning of life; our children are therefore educated
and settled in the world by noon: and thus, our business being done,
we have an afternoon and evening of cheerful leisure to ourselves;
such as our friend at present enjoys. By these early marriages we are
blessed with more children; and from the mode among us, founded by
nature, every mother suckling and nursing her own child, more of them
are raised. Thence the swift progress of population among us,
unparalleled in Europe.

In fine, I am glad you are married, and congratulate you most
cordially upon it. You are now in the way of becoming a useful
citizen; and you have escaped the unnatural state of celibacy for
life, the fate of many here who never intended it, but who, having too
long postponed the change of their condition, find at length that it
is too late to think of it, and so live all their lives in a situation
that greatly lessens a man's value. An odd volume of a set of books
bears not the value of its proportion to the set. What think you of
the odd half of a pair of scissors? It cannot well cut anything; it
may possibly serve to scrape a trencher.

Pray make my compliments and best wishes acceptable to your bride. I
am old and heavy, or I should ere this have presented them in person.
I shall make but small use of the old man's privilege, that of giving
advice to younger friends. Treat your wife always with respect: it
will procure respect to you, not only from her, but from all that
observe it. Never use a slighting expression to her, even in jest; for
slights in jest, after frequent bandyings, are apt to end in angry
earnest. Be studious in your profession, and you will be learned. Be
industrious and frugal, and you will be rich. Be sober and temperate,
and you will be healthy. Be in general virtuous, and you will be
happy: at least, you will, by such conduct, stand the best chance for
such consequences. I pray God to bless you both; being ever your
affectionate friend.


From the 'Autobiography,' in Bigelow's Edition of Franklin's Works

We have an English proverb that says, "_He that would thrive must ask
his wife_." It was lucky for me that I had one as much disposed to
industry and frugality as myself. She assisted me cheerfully in my
business, folding and stitching pamphlets, tending shop, purchasing
old linen rags for the paper-makers, etc., etc. We kept no idle
servants; our table was plain and simple, our furniture of the
cheapest. For instance, my breakfast was a long time bread and milk
(no tea), and I ate it out of a twopenny earthen porringer, with a
pewter spoon. But mark how luxury will enter families, and make a
progress, in spite of principle: being called one morning to
breakfast, I found it in a china bowl, with a spoon of silver! They
had been bought for me without my knowledge by my wife, and had cost
her the enormous sum of three-and-twenty shillings, for which she had
no other excuse or apology to make but that she thought _her_ husband
deserved a silver spoon and china bowl as well as any of his
neighbors. This was the first appearance of plate and china in our
house, which afterward, in a course of years, as our wealth increased,
augmented gradually to several hundred pounds in value.

I had been religiously educated as a Presbyterian; and though some of
the dogmas of that persuasion, such as _the eternal decrees of God,
election, reprobation_, etc., appeared to me unintelligible, others
doubtful, and I early absented myself from the public assemblies of
the sect (Sunday being my studying day), I never was without some
religious principles. I never doubted, for instance, the existence of
the Deity; that he made the world, and governed it by his Providence;
that the most acceptable service of God was the doing good to man;
that our souls are immortal; and that all crime will be punished and
virtue rewarded, either here or hereafter. These I esteemed the
essentials of every religion; and being to be found in all the
religions we had in our country, I respected them all, though with
different degrees of respect, as I found them more or less mixed with
other articles, which, without any tendency to inspire, promote, or
confirm morality, served principally to divide us and make us
unfriendly to one another. This respect to all, with an opinion that
the worst had some good effects, induced me to avoid all discourse
that might tend to lessen the good opinion another might have of his
own religion; and as our province increased in people, and new places
of worship were continually wanted, and generally erected by voluntary
contribution, my mite for such purpose, whatever might be the sect,
was never refused.

Though I seldom attended any public worship, I had still an opinion of
its propriety, and of its utility when rightly conducted, and I
regularly paid my annual subscription for the support of the only
Presbyterian minister or meeting we had in Philadelphia. He used to
visit me sometimes as a friend, and admonish me to attend his
administrations; and I was now and then prevailed on to do so, once
for five Sundays successively. Had he been in my opinion a good
preacher, perhaps I might have continued, notwithstanding the occasion
I had for the Sunday's leisure in my course of study; but his
discourses were chiefly either polemic arguments, or explications of
the peculiar doctrines of our sect, and were all to me very dry,
uninteresting, and unedifying, since not a single moral principle was
inculcated or enforced; their aim seeming to be rather to make us
Presbyterians than good citizens.

At length he took for his text that verse of the fourth chapter of
Philippians, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, honest,
just, pure, lovely, or of good report, if there be any virtue or any
praise, think on these things." And I imagined, in a sermon on such a
text, we could not miss of having some morality. But he confined
himself to five points only, as meant by the Apostle, viz.:--1.
Keeping holy the Sabbath day. 2. Being diligent in reading the holy
Scriptures. 3. Attending duly the public worship. 4. Partaking of the
Sacrament. 5. Paying a due respect to God's ministers.--These might be
all good things; but as they were not the kind of good things that I
expected from that text, I despaired of ever meeting with them from
any other, was disgusted, and attended his preaching no more. I had
some years before composed a little liturgy, or form of prayer, for my
own private use (viz., in 1728), entitled 'Articles of Belief and Acts
of Religion.' I returned to the use of this, and went no more to the
public assemblies. My conduct might be blamable, but I leave it,
without attempting further to excuse it; my present purpose being to
relate facts, and not to make apologies for them.

It was about this time I conceived the bold and arduous project of
arriving at moral perfection. I wished to live without committing any
fault at any time; I would conquer all that either natural
inclination, custom, or company might lead me into. As I knew, or
thought I knew, what was right and wrong, I did not see why I might
not always do the one and avoid the other....

I made a little book in which I allotted a page for each of the
virtues. I ruled each page with red ink so as to have seven columns,
one for each day of the week, marking each column with a letter for
the day. I crossed these columns with thirteen red lines, marking the
beginning of each line with the first letter of one of the virtues,
on which line, and in its proper column, I might mark, by a little
black spot, every fault I found upon examination to have been
committed respecting that virtue upon that day.

And conceiving God to be the fountain of wisdom, I thought it right
and necessary to solicit his assistance for obtaining it; to this end
I formed the following little prayer, which was prefixed to my tables
of examination, for daily use:--

    "O powerful Goodness! bountiful Father! merciful Guide!
    Increase in me that wisdom which discovers my truest
    interest. Strengthen my resolutions to perform what that
    wisdom dictates. Accept my kind offices to thy other children
    as the only return in my power for thy continual favors to

I used also sometimes a little prayer which I took from Thomson's
Poems, viz.:--

  "Father of light and life, thou Good supreme!
  O teach me what is good; teach me thyself!
  Save me from folly, vanity, and vice,
  From every low pursuit; and fill my soul
  With knowledge, conscious peace, and virtue pure;
  Sacred, substantial, never-fading bliss!"

I entered upon the execution of this plan for self-examination, and
continued it with occasional intermissions for some time. I was
surprised to find myself so much fuller of faults than I had imagined;
but I had the satisfaction of seeing them diminish.

My scheme of _Order_ gave me the most trouble; and I found that though
it might be practicable where a man's business was such as to leave
him the disposition of his time,--that of a journeyman printer, for
instance,--it was not possible to be exactly observed by a master, who
must mix with the world, and often receive people of business at their
own hours. _Order_, too, with regard to places for things, papers,
etc., I found extremely difficult to acquire. I had not been early
accustomed to it; and having an exceeding good memory, I was not so
sensible of the inconvenience attending want of method. This article,
therefore, cost me so much painful attention, and my faults in it
vexed me so much, and I made so little progress in amendment, and had
such frequent relapses, that I was almost ready to give up the
attempt, and content myself with a faulty character in that respect;
like the man who in buying an axe of a smith, my neighbor, desired to
have the whole of its surface as bright as the edge. The smith
consented to grind it bright for him if he would turn the wheel; he
turned, while the smith pressed the broad face of the axe hard and
heavily on the stone, which made the turning of it very fatiguing. The
man came every now and then from the wheel to see how the work went
on, and at length would take his axe as it was without farther
grinding. "No," said the smith, "turn on, turn on; we shall have it
bright by-and-by; as yet, it is only speckled." "Yes," says the man,
"_but I think I like a speckled axe best_." And I believe this may
have been the case with many who, having for want of some such means
as I employed, found the difficulty of obtaining good and breaking bad
habits in other points of vice and virtue, have given up the struggle
and concluded that "_a speckled axe was best_": for something that
pretended to be reason was every now and then suggesting to me that
such extreme nicety as I exacted of myself might be a kind of foppery
in morals, which if it were known would make me ridiculous; that a
perfect character might be attended with the inconvenience of being
envied and hated; and that a benevolent man should allow a few faults
in himself, to keep his friends in countenance.

In truth, I found myself incorrigible with respect to order; and now I
am grown old, and my memory bad, I feel very sensibly the want of it.
But on the whole, though I never arrived at the perfection I had been
so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet I was, by the
endeavor, a better and a happier man than I otherwise should have been
if I had not attempted it; as those who aim at perfect writing by
imitating the engraved copies, though they never reach the wished-for
excellence of those copies, their hand is mended by the endeavor, and
is tolerable while it continues fair and legible.

It may be well my posterity should be informed that to this little
artifice, with the blessing of God, their ancestor owed the constant
felicity of his life down to his 79th year, in which this is written.
What reverses may attend the remainder is in the hand of Providence;
but if they arrive, the reflection on past happiness enjoyed ought to
help his bearing them with more resignation. To Temperance he ascribes
his long-continued health, and what is still left to him of a good
constitution; to Industry and Frugality, the early easiness of his
circumstances and acquisition of his fortune, with all that knowledge
that enabled him to be a useful citizen, and obtained for him some
degree of reputation among the learned; to Sincerity and Justice, the
confidence of his country, and the honorable employs it conferred upon
him; and to the joint influence of the whole mass of the virtues, even
in the imperfect state he was able to acquire them, all that evenness
of temper, and that cheerfulness in conversation, which makes his
company still sought for, and agreeable even to his younger
acquaintance. I hope therefore that some of my descendants may follow
the example and reap the benefit.

It will be remarked that though my scheme was not wholly without
religion, there was in it no mark of any of the distinguishing tenets
of any particular sect. I had purposely avoided them; for being fully
persuaded of the utility and excellency of my method, and that it
might be serviceable to people in all religions, and intending some
time or other to publish it, I would not have anything in it that
should prejudice any one of any sect against it.

In this piece it was my design to explain and enforce this doctrine:
that vicious actions are not hurtful because they are forbidden, but
forbidden because they are hurtful, the nature of man alone
considered; that it was therefore every one's interest to be virtuous,
who wished to be happy even in this world; and I should from this
circumstance (there being always in the world a number of rich
merchants, nobility, States, and princes who have need of honest
instruments for the management of their affairs, and such being so
rare) have endeavored to convince young persons that no qualities were
so likely to make a poor man's fortune as those of probity and

My list of virtues contained at first but twelve: but a Quaker friend
having kindly informed me that I was generally thought proud; that my
pride showed itself frequently in conversation; that I was not content
with being in the right when discussing any point, but was overbearing
and rather insolent, of which he convinced me by mentioning several
instances;--I determined endeavoring to cure myself, if I could, of
this vice or folly among the rest, and I added _Humility_ to my list,
giving an extensive meaning to the word.

I cannot boast of much success in acquiring the _reality_ of this
virtue, but I had a good deal with regard to the _appearance_ of it.
I made it a rule to forbear all direct contradiction to the sentiments
of others, and all positive assertion of my own. I even forbid myself,
agreeably to the old laws of our Junto, the use of every word or
expression in the language that imported a fixed opinion, such as
_certainly_, _undoubtedly_, etc., and I adopted, instead of them, _I
conceive_, _I apprehend_, or _I imagine_ a thing to be so or so; or it
_so appears to me at present_. When another asserted something that I
thought an error, I denied myself the pleasure of contradicting him
abruptly, and of showing immediately some absurdity in his
proposition; and in answering I began by observing that in certain
cases or circumstances his opinion would be right, but in the present
case there _appeared_ or _seemed_ to me some difference, etc. I soon
found the advantage of this change in my manner; the conversations I
engaged in went on more pleasantly. The modest way in which I proposed
my opinions procured them a readier reception and less contradiction;
I had less mortification when I was found to be in the wrong, and I
more easily prevailed with others to give up their mistakes and join
with me when I happened to be in the right.

And this mode, which I at first put on with some violence to natural
inclination, became at length so easy and so habitual to me, that
perhaps for these fifty years past no one has ever heard a dogmatical
expression escape me. And to this habit (after my character of
integrity) I think it principally owing that I had early so much
weight with my fellow-citizens when I proposed new institutions, or
alterations in the old, and so much influence in public councils when
I became a member; for I was but a bad speaker, never eloquent,
subject to much hesitation in my choice of words, hardly correct in
language: and yet I generally carried my points.

In reality, there is perhaps no one of our natural passions so hard to
subdue as _pride_. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle
it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will
every now and then peep out and show itself; you will see it perhaps
often in this history; for even if I could conceive that I had
completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.




Louis Honoré Fréchette, the best known of the French-Canadian poets,
was born near the forties, at Lévis, a suburb of Quebec. He is
patriotic; his genius is plainly that of New France, while the form of
it is of that older France which produced the too exquisite sonnets of
Voiture; and what counts greatly with the Canadians, he has received
the approbation of the Academy; he is a personage in Paris, where he
spends a great deal of time. From 'Nos Gens de Lettres' (Our Literary
Workers: Montreal, 1873), we learn that the father of M. Fréchette was
a man of business, and that he did not encourage his son's poetic
tendencies to the detriment of the practical side of his character.

Lévis has traditions which are part of that stirring French-Canadian
history now being made known to us by Mrs. Catherwood and Gilbert
Parker. And the great St. Lawrence spoke to him in

  "All those nameless voices, which are
  Beating at the heart."

At the age of eight he began to write verses. He was told by his
careful father that poets never become rich; but he still continued
to make verses. He grew to be a philosopher as well as a poet, and a
little later became firmly of Horace's opinion, that a poet to be
happy does not need riches gained by work. His father, who no doubt
felt that a philosopher of this cult was not fit for the world, sent
him to the Seminary at Quebec. At the Seminary he continued to write
verses. The teachers there found merit in the verses. The "nameless
voices" still beat at his heart, though the desks of the preparatory
college had replaced the elms of the St. Lawrence. But poets are so
rare that even when one is caught young, his captors doubt his
species. The captors in this case determined to see whether Pegasus
could trot as well as gallop. "Transport yourself, little Fréchette,"
they said, "to the Council of Clermont and be a troubadour." What is
time to the poet? He became a troubadour: but this was not enough; his
preceptors were still in doubt; they locked him in a room and gave him
as a subject the arrival of Mgr. de Laval in Canada. An hour passed;
the first sufferings of the young poet having abated, he produced his
verses. It was evident that Pegasus could acquire any pace. His
talent was questioned no more.

    [Illustration: _MUSIC, SCIENCE AND ART._
    Photogravure from a Painting by Francois Lafon.]

As he became older, Fréchette had dreams of becoming a man of action,
and began to learn telegraphy at Ogdensburg; but he found the art too
long and life too brief. He went back to the seminary and contributed
'Mes Loisirs' (My Spare Hours) to the college paper. From the
seminary--the _Petit Seminaire_, of course,--he went to the College of
Ste. Anne, to Nicolet, and finally to Laval University, "singing, and
picking up such crumbs of knowledge as suited his taste."

In 1864 M. Fréchette was admitted to practice at the bar of Quebec. He
was a poet first and always; but just at this time he was second a
journalist, third a politician, and perhaps fourth a barrister. He
began to publish a paper, Le Journal de Lévis. It failed: disgusted,
he bade farewell to Canada, and began in Chicago the publication of
L'Observateur: it died in a day. He poured forth his complaints in
'Voix d'un Exilé' (The Voice of an Exile). "Never," cries M. Darveau
in 'Nos Gens de Lettres' (Our Literary Workers), "did Juvenal scar the
faces of the corrupt Romans as did Fréchette lash the shoulders of our
wretched politicians." His L'Amérique, a journal started in Chicago,
had some success, but it temporarily ruined Fréchette, as the Swiss
whom he had placed in charge of it suddenly changed its policy, and
made it sympathize with Germany in the Franco-Prussian war.

Fréchette's early prose is fiery and eloquent; his admirers compared
it to that of Louis Veuillot and Junius, for the reason, probably,
that he used it to denounce those whom he hated politically.
Fréchette's verse has the lyrical ring. And although M. Camille Doucet
insisted that the French Academy in crowning his poems honored a
Frenchman, it must be remembered that Fréchette is both an American
and a British subject; and these things, not likely to disarm
Academical conservatism, made the action the more significant of the
poet's value.

There is strong and noble passion in 'La Voix d'un Exilé' and in the
'Ode to the Mississippi.' His arraignment of the Canadian politicians
may be forgotten without loss,--no doubt he has by this time forgiven
them,--but the real feeling of the poet, who finds in the Mississippi
the brother of his beloved St. Lawrence, is permanent:--

  "Adieu, vallons ombreux, mes campagnes fleuries,
  Mes montagnes d'azur et mes blondes prairies,
  Mon fleuve harmonieux, mon beau del embaumé--
  Dans les grandes cités, dans les bois, sur les grêves,
  Ton image flottera dans mes rêves,
                      O mon Canada, bien aimé.

  Je n'écouterai plus, dans nos forêts profondes,
  Dans nos près verdoyants, et sur nos grandes ondes,
  Toutes ces voix sans nom qui font battre le coeur."

    [Farewell, shaded valleys, my flowery meadows, my azure
    mountains and my pale prairies, my musical stream, my fair
    sky! In the great towns, in the wood, along the water-sides,
    thy scenes will float on in my dreams, O Canada, my beloved!

    I shall hear no more, in our deep forests, in our verdant
    meads and upon our broad waters, all those nameless voices
    which make one's heart throb.]

In 1865 the first book of poems which appealed to the world from
French Canada appeared. It was Fréchette's 'Mes Loisirs' (My Spare
Hours). Later came 'Pêle-Mêle' (Pell-Mell), full of fine cameo-like
poems,--but like cameos that are flushed by an inner and vital fire.
Longfellow praised 'Pêle-Mêle': it shows the influence of Hugo and
Lamartine; it has the beauty of De Musset, with more freshness and
"bloom" than that poet of a glorious past possessed; but there are
more traces of Lamartine in 'Pêle-Mêle' than of Hugo.

"Fréchette's imagination," says an admiring countryman of his, "is a
chisel that attacks the soulless block; and with it he easily forms a
column or a flower." His poems have grown stronger as he has become
more mature. There is a great gain in dramatic force, so that it has
surprised none of his readers that he should have attempted tragedy
with success. He lost some of that quality of daintiness which
distinguished 'Le Matin' (Morning), 'La Nuit' (Night), and 'Fleurs
Fanées' (Faded Flowers). The 'Pensées d'Hiver' (Winter Reflections)
had this quality, but 'La Dernière Iroquoise' (The Last Iroquois) rose
above it, and like much of 'Les Fleurs Boréales' (Boreal Flowers) and
his latest work, it is powerful in spirit, yet retains the greatest
chastity of form.

M. Fréchette translated several of Shakespeare's plays for the Théâtre
Français. After 'Les Fleurs Boréales' was crowned by the Academy,
there appeared 'Les Oiseaux de Neige' (The Snow-Birds), 'Feuilles
Volantes' (Leaves in the Wind), and 'La Forêt Vierge' (The Virgin
Forest). The volume which shows the genius of Fréchette at its highest
is undoubtedly 'La Légende d'un Peuple' (The Legend of a Race), which
has an admirable preface by Jules Claretie.

                                 [Signature: Maurice Francis Egan]


Fragments from 'La Légende d'un Peuple': translated by Maurice Francis

  O history of my country,--set with pearls unknown,--
  With love I kiss thy pages venerated.

  O register immortal, poem of dazzling light
  Written by France in purest of her blood!
  Drama ever acting, records full of pictures
  Of high facts heroic, stories of romance,
  Annals of the giants, archives where we follow,
  As each leaf we turn, a life resplendent,
  And find a name respected or a name beloved,
  Of men and women of the antique time!

  Where the hero of the past and the hero of the future
  Give the hand of friendship and the kiss of love;
  Where the crucifix and sword, the plowshare and the volume,--
  Everything that builds and everything that saves,--
  Shine, united, living glories of past time
  And of time that is to be.

  The glories of past time, serene and pure before you,
  O virtues of our day!
  Hail first to thee, O Cartier, brave and hardy sailor,
  Whose footstep sounded on the unexplored shores
  Of our immense St. Lawrence. Hail, Champlain,
  Maisonneuve, illustrious founders of two cities,
  Who show above our waves their rival beauties.
  There was at first only a group of Bretons
  Brandishing the sword-blade and the woodman's axe,
  Sea-wolves bronzed by sea-winds at the port of St. Malo;
  Cradled since their childhood beneath the sky and water.
  Men of iron and high of heart and stature,
  They, under eye of God, set sail for what might come.
  Seeking, in the secrets of the foggy ocean,
  Not the famous El Dorados, but a soil where they might plant,
  As symbols of their saving, beside the cross of Christ,
  The flag of France.

  After them came blond-haired Normans
  And black-eyed Pontevins, robust colonists,
  To make the path a road, and for this holy work
  To offer their strong arms: the motive was the same;
  The dangers that they fronted brought out prodigies of courage.
  They seemed to know no dangers; or rather,
  They seemed to seek the ruin that they did not meet.
  Frightful perils vainly rose before them,
  And each element against them vainly had conspired:
  These children of the furrow founded an empire!

  Then, conquering the waves of great and stormy lakes,
  Crossing savannahs with marshes of mud,
  Piercing the depths of the forests primeval,
  Here see our founders and preachers of Faith!
  Apostles of France, princes of our God,
  Having said farewell to the noise of the world,
  They came to the bounds of the New World immense
  To sow the seed of the future,
  And to bear, as the heralds of eternal law,
  To the end of the world the torch of progress.

  Leaning on his bow, ferociously calm,
  The child of the forest, bitter at heart,
  A hunted look mingling with his piercing glance,
  Sees the strangers pass,--encamped on the plain or ambushed in
          the woods,--
  And thinks of the giant spirits he has seen in his dreams.
  For the first time he trembles and fears--
  Then casting off his deceitful calm,
  He will rush forth, uttering his war-cry,
  To defend, foot by foot, his soil so lately virgin,
  And ferocious, tomahawk in hand, bar this road to civilization!

       *       *       *       *       *

  A cowardly king, tool of a more cowardly court,
  Satyr of the _Parc aux cerfs_, slave at the Trianon,
  Plunged in the horrors of nameless debauches,
  At the caprice of Pompadour dancing like an atom,--
  The blood of his soldiers and the honor of his kingdom,
  Of our dying heroes hearing he no voice.
  Montcalm, alas! conquered for the first time,
  Falling on the field of battle, wrapped in his banner.
  Lévis, last fighter of the last fight,
  Tears--avenging France and her pride!--
  A supreme triumph from fate.

       *       *       *       *       *

  That was all. In front of our tottering towers
  The stranger planted his insolent colors,
  And an old flag, wet with bitter tears,
  Closed its white wings and went across the sea!


Paraphrased by Maurice Francis Egan

  A world in agony breathes its last sigh!
    Gaze on the remnants of an ancient race,--
    Great kings of desert terrible to face,
  Crushed by the new weights that upon them lie;
    Stand near the Falls, and at this storied place
    You see a humble hamlet;--by-and-by
  You'll talk of ambuscades and treacherous chase.

  Can history or sight a traitor be?
    Where are the red men of the rolling plains?
    Ferocious Iroquois,--ah, where is he?--
  Without concealment (this for all our pains!)
  The Chief sells groceries for paltry gains,
    With English tang in speech of Normandy!


Paraphrased from 'Les Feuilles Volantes,' by Maurice Francis Egan

  Land of the Sun! where Fancy free
    Weaveth her woof beneath a sky of gold,
  Another Andalusia, thee I see;
    Thy charming memories my heart-strings hold,
    As if the song of birds had o'er them rolled.

  In thy fresh groves, where scented orange glows,
    Circle vague loves about my longing heart;
  Thy dark banana-trees, when soft wind flows,
    In concert weird take up their sombre part,
    As evening shadows, listening, float and dart.

  'Neath thy green domes, where the lianas cling,
    Show tropic flowers with wide-opened eyes,
  With arteries afire till morn-birds sing;
    More than old Werthier, in new love's surprise,
    Stand on the threshold of thy Paradise.

  Son of the North, I, of the realm of snows,--
    Vision afar, but always still a power,--
  In these soft nights and in the days of rose,
    Dreaming I feel, e'en in the saddest hour,
    Within my heart unclose a golden flower.



Paraphrased from 'Les Feuilles Volantes,' by Maurice Francis Egan

  At twenty years, a poet lone,
    I, when the rosy season came,
  Walked in the woodland, to make moan
    For some fair dame;

  And when the breezes brought to me
    The lilac spent in fragrant stream,
  I wove her infidelity
    In love's young dream.

  A lover of illusions, I!
    Soon other dreams quite filled my heart,
  And other loves as suddenly
    Took old love's part.

  One Glory, a deceitful fay,
    Who flies before a man can stir,
  Surprised my poor heart many a day,--
    I dreamed of her!

  But now that I have grown so old,
    At lying things I grasp no more.
  My poor, deceived heart takes hold
    Of other lore.

  Another life before us glows,
    Casts on all faithful souls its gleam:
  Late, late, my heart its glory knows,--
    Of it I dream!



[Illustration: HAROLD FREDERIC]

Mr. Frederic was born in Utica, New York, August 19th, 1856. He spent
his boyhood in that neighborhood, and was educated in its schools. The
rural Central New York of a half-century ago was a region of rich
farms, of conservative ideas, and of strong indigenous types of
character. These undoubtedly offered unconscious studies to the future

Like many of his guild he began writing on a newspaper, rising by
degrees from the position of reporter to that of editor. The drill and
discipline taught him to make the most of time and opportunity, and he
contrived leisure enough to write two or three long stories. Working
at journalism in Utica, Albany, and New York, in 1884 he became chief
foreign correspondent of the New York Times, making his headquarters
in London, where he has since lived.

Mr. Frederic's reputation rests on journalistic correspondence of the
higher class, and on his novels, of which he has published six. His
stories are distinctively American. He has caught up contrasting
elements of local life in the eastern part of the United States, and
grouped them with ingenuity and power. His first important story was
'Seth's Brother's Wife,' originally appearing as a serial in
Scribner's Magazine. Following this came 'The Lawton Girl,' a study
of rustic life; 'In the Valley,' a semi-historical novel, turning on
aspects of colonial times along the Mohawk River; 'The Copperhead,'
a tale of the Civil War; 'Mukena and Other Stories,' graphic character
sketches, displaying humor and insight; 'The Damnation of Theron
Ware,' the most serious and carefully studied of his books; and 'March
Hares,' a sketch of contemporary society.

A student of the life about him, possessing a dramatic sense and
a saving grace of humor, Mr. Frederic in his fiction is often
photographic and minute in detail, while he does not forget the
importance of the mass which the detail is to explain or embellish.
He likes to deal with types of that mixed population peculiar to
the farming valleys of Central New York,--German, Irish, and
American,--bringing out by contrast their marked social and individual
traits. Not a disciple of realism, his books are emphatically "human

There is always moreover a definite plot, often a dramatic
development. But it is the attrition of character against character
that really interests him. 'Seth's Brother's Wife' and 'The Lawton
Girl' leave a definite ethical intention. In the 'Damnation of Theron
Ware' is depicted the tragedy of a weak and crude character suddenly
put in touch with a higher intellectual and emotional life, which it
is too meagre and too untrained to adopt, and through which it suffers
shipwreck. In 'In the Valley' the gayety and seriousness of homely
life stand out against a savage and martial background.

Mr. Frederic profoundly respects his art, is never careless, and never
unconscientious. Of his constructive instinct a distinguished English
critic has said that it "ignores nothing that is significant; makes
use of nothing that is not significant; and binds every element of
character and every incident together in a consistent, coherent,
dramatic whole."


From 'The Damnation of Theron Ware.' Copyright 1896, by Stone &

Walking homeward briskly now, with his eyes on the sidewalk, and his
mind all aglow with crowding suggestions for the new work and
impatience to be at it, Theron Ware came abruptly upon a group of men
and boys who occupied the whole path, and were moving forward so
noiselessly that he had not heard them coming. He almost ran into the
leader of this little procession, and began a stammering apology, the
final words of which were left unspoken, so solemnly heedless of him
and his talk were all the faces he saw.

In the centre of the group were four workingmen, bearing between them
an extemporized litter of two poles and a blanket hastily secured
across them with spikes. Most of what this litter held was covered by
another blanket, rounded in coarse folds over a shapeless bulk. From
beneath its farther end protruded a big broom-like black beard, thrown
upward at such an angle as to hide everything beyond those in front.
The tall young minister, stepping aside and standing tiptoe, could see
sloping downward, behind this hedge of beard, a pinched and
chalk-like face, with wide-open, staring eyes. Its lips, of a dull
lilac hue, were moving ceaselessly, and made a dry, clicking sound.

Theron instinctively joined himself to those who followed the litter,
a motley dozen of street idlers, chiefly boys. One of these in
whispers explained to him that the man was one of Jerry Madden's
workmen in the wagonshops, who had been deployed to trim an elm-tree
in front of his employer's house, and being unused to such work, had
fallen from the top and broken all his bones. They would have cared
for him at Madden's house, but he insisted upon being taken home. His
name was MacEvoy, and he was Joey MacEvoy's father, and likewise Jim's
and Hughey's and Martin's. After a pause, the lad, a bright-eyed,
freckled, barefooted wee Irishman, volunteered the further information
that his big brother had run to bring "Father Forbess," on the chance
that he might be in time to administer "extry munction."

The way of the silent little procession led through back
streets,--where women hanging up clothes in the yards hurried to the
gates, their aprons full of clothes-pins, to stare open-mouthed at the
passers-by,--and came to a halt at last in an irregular and muddy
lane, before one of a half-dozen shanties reared among the ash-heaps
and débris of the town's most bedraggled outskirts.

A stout, middle-aged, red-armed woman, already warned by some
messenger of calamity, stood waiting on the roadside bank. There were
whimpering children clinging to her skirts, and a surrounding cluster
of women of the neighborhood; some of the more elderly of whom,
shriveled little crones in tidy caps, and with their aprons to their
eyes, were beginning in a low-murmured minor the wail which presently
should rise into the _keen_ of death. Mrs. MacEvoy herself made no
moan, and her broad ruddy face was stern in expression rather than
sorrowful. When the litter stopped beside her, she laid a hand for an
instant on her husband's wet brow, and looked--one could have sworn
impassively--into his staring eyes. Then, still without a word, she
waved the bearers toward the door, and led the way herself.

Theron, somewhat wonderingly, found himself a minute later inside a
dark and ill-smelling room, the air of which was humid with the steam
from a boiler of clothes on the stove, and not in other ways improved
by the presence of a jostling score of women, all straining their gaze
upon the open door of the only other apartment, the bedchamber.
Through this they could see the workmen laying MacEvoy on the bed, and
standing awkwardly about thereafter, getting in the way of the wife
and old Maggie Quirk as they strove to remove the garments from his
crushed limbs. As the neighbors watched what could be seen of these
proceedings, they whispered among themselves eulogies of the injured
man's industry and good temper, his habit of bringing his money home
to his wife, and the way he kept his Father Mathew pledge and attended
to his religious duties. They admitted freely that by the light of his
example, their own husbands and sons left much to be desired; and from
this wandered easily off into domestic digressions of their own. But
all the while their eyes were bent upon the bedroom door; and Theron
made out, after he had grown accustomed to the gloom and the smell,
that many of them were telling their beads even while they kept the
muttered conversation alive. None of them paid any attention to him,
or seemed to regard his presence there as unusual.

Presently he saw enter through the sunlit street doorway a person of a
different class. The bright light shone for a passing instant upon a
fashionable, flowered hat, and upon some remarkably brilliant shade of
red hair beneath it. In another moment there had edged along through
the throng, to almost within touch of him, a tall young woman, the
owner of this hat and wonderful hair. She was clad in light and
pleasing spring attire, and carried a parasol with a long oxidized
silver handle of a quaint pattern. She looked at him, and he saw that
her face was of a lengthened oval, with a luminous rose-tinted skin,
full red lips, and big brown, frank eyes with heavy auburn lashes. She
made a grave little inclination of her head toward him, and he bowed
in response. Since her arrival, he noted, the chattering of the others
had entirely ceased.

"I followed the others in, in the hope that I might be of some
assistance," he ventured to explain to her in a low murmur, feeling
that at last here was some one to whom an explanation of his presence
in this Romish house was due. "I hope they won't feel that I have

She nodded her head as if she quite understood.

"They'll take the will for the deed," she whispered back. "Father
Forbes will be here in a minute. Do you know, is it too late?"

Even as she spoke, the outer doorway was darkened by the commanding
bulk of a new-comer's figure. The flash of a silk hat, and the
deferential way in which the assembled neighbors fell back to clear a
passage, made his identity clear. Theron felt his blood tingle in an
unaccustomed way as this priest of a strange Church advanced across
the room,--a broad-shouldered, portly man of more than middle height,
with a shapely, strong-lined face of almost waxen pallor, and a firm,
commanding tread. He carried in his hands, besides his hat, a small
leather-bound case. To this and to him the women curtsied and bowed
their heads as he passed.

"Come with me," whispered the tall girl with the parasol, to Theron;
and he found himself pushing along in her wake until they intercepted
the priest just outside the bedroom door. She touched Father Forbes on
the arm.

"Just to tell you that I am here," she said. The priest nodded with a
grave face, and passed into the other room. In a minute or two the
workmen, Mrs. MacEvoy, and her helper came out, and the door was shut
behind them.

"He is making his confession," explained the young lady. "Stay here
for a minute."

She moved over to where the woman of the house stood, glum-faced and
tearless, and whispered something to her. A confused movement among
the crowd followed, and out of it presently resulted a small table,
covered with a white cloth, and bearing on it two unlighted candles, a
basin of water, and a spoon, which was brought forward and placed in
readiness before the closed door. Some of those nearest this cleared
space were kneeling now, and murmuring a low buzz of prayer to the
click of beads on their rosaries.

The door opened, and Theron saw the priest standing in the doorway
with an uplifted hand. He wore now a surplice, with a purple band over
his shoulders, and on his pale face there shone a tranquil and tender

One of the workmen fetched from the stove a brand, lighted the two
candles, and bore the table with its contents into the bedroom. The
young woman plucked Theron's sleeve, and he dumbly followed her into
the chamber of death, making one of the group of a dozen, headed by
Mrs. MacEvoy and her children, which filled the little room, and
overflowed now outward to the street door. He found himself bowing
with the others to receive the sprinkled holy water from the priest's
white fingers; kneeling with the others for the prayers; following in
impressed silence with the others the strange ceremonial by which the
priest traced crosses of holy oil with his thumb upon the eyes, ears,
nostrils, lips, hands, and feet of the dying man, wiping off the oil
with a piece of cotton-batting each time after he had repeated the
invocation to forgiveness for that particular sense. But most of all
he was moved by the rich, novel sound of the Latin as the priest
rolled it forth in the 'Asperges me, Domine,' and 'Misereatur vestri
omnipotens Deus,' with its soft Continental vowels and liquid _r_'s.
It seemed to him that he had never really heard Latin before. Then the
astonishing young woman with the red hair declaimed the 'Confiteor'
vigorously and with a resonant distinctness of enunciation. It was a
different Latin, harsher and more sonorous; and while it still
dominated the murmured undertone of the other's prayers the last
moment came.

Theron had stood face to face with death at many other bed-sides; no
other final scene had stirred him like this. It must have been the
girl's Latin chant, with its clanging reiteration of the great
names,--'beatum Michaelem Archangelum,' 'beatum Joannem Baptistam,'
'sanctos Apostolos Petrum et Paulum,'--invoked with such proud
confidence in this squalid little shanty, which so strangely affected

He came out with the others at last,--the candles and the folded hands
over the crucifix left behind,--and walked as one in a dream. Even by
the time that he had gained the outer doorway, and stood blinking at
the bright light and filling his lungs with honest air once more, it
had begun to seem incredible to him that he had seen and done all




[Illustration: EDWARD A. FREEMAN]

Edward Augustus Freeman, one of the most prolific of recent English
historians, was born at Harborne in Staffordshire, England, on August
2d, 1823. His early education was received at home and in private
schools, from which at the age of eighteen he went up to Oxford, where
he was elected a scholar of Trinity College. Four years later (1845)
he took his degree and was elected a Fellow of Trinity, an honor which
he held till his marriage in 1847 forced him to relinquish it.

Long before this event, Freeman was deep in historical study. His
fortune was easy. The injunction that he should eat bread in the sweat
of his face had not been laid on him. His time was his own, and was
devoted with characteristic zeal and energy to labor in the field of
history, which in the course of fifty years was made to yield him a
goodly crop.

Year after year he poured forth a steady stream of Essays, Thoughts,
Remarks, Suggestions, Lectures, Short Histories on matters of current
interest, little monographs on great events or great men,--all
covering a range of subjects which bear evidence to most astonishing
versatility and learning. Sometimes his topic was a cathedral church,
as that of Wells or Leominster Priory; or a cathedral city, as Ely or
Norwich. At others it was a grave historical theme, as the 'Unity of
History'; or 'Comparative Politics'; or the 'Growth of the English
Constitution from the Earliest Times'; or 'Old English History for
Children.' His 'General Sketch of European History' is still a
standard text book in our high schools and colleges. His 'William the
Conqueror' in Macmillan's 'Twelve English Statesmen'; his 'Short
History of the Norman Conquest of England' in the Clarendon Press
Series; his studies of Godwin, Harold, and the Normans, in the
'Encyclopædia Britannica,' are the best of their kind.

His contributions to the reviews and magazines make a small library,
encyclopædic in character. Thirty-one essays were published in the
Fortnightly Review; thirty in the Contemporary Review; twenty-seven in
Macmillan's Magazine; twelve in the British Quarterly, and as many
more in the National Review; while such as are scattered through the
other periodicals of Great Britain and the United States swell the
list to one hundred and fifty-seven titles. Every conceivable subject
is treated,--politics, government, history, field sports,
architecture, archaeology, books, linguistics, finance, great men
living and dead, questions of the day. But even this list does not
comprise all of Freeman's writings, for regularly every week, for more
than twenty years, he contributed two long articles to the Saturday

Taken as a whole, this array of publications represents an industry
which was simply enormous, and a learning as varied as it was immense.
If classified according to their subjects, they fall naturally into
six groups. The antiquarian and architectural sketches and addresses
are the least valuable and instructive. They are of interest because
they exhibit a strong bent of mind which appears constantly in
Freeman's works, and because it was by the aid of such remains that he
studied the early history of nations. Then come the studies in
politics and government, such as the essays on presidential
government; on American institutional history; on the House of Lords;
the growth of commonwealths, and such elaborate treatises as the six
lectures on 'Comparative Politics,' and the 'History of Federal
Government,'--all notable because of the liberal spirit and breadth of
view that mark them, and because of a positiveness of statement and
confidence in the correctness of the author's judgments. Then come the
historical essays; then the lectures and addresses; then his
occasional pieces, written at the request of publishers or editors to
fill some long-felt want; and finally the series of histories on
which, in the long run, the reputation of Freeman must rest. These, in
the order of merit and value, are the 'Norman Conquest'; the 'Reign of
William Rufus,' which is really a supplement to the 'Conquest'; the
'History of Sicily,' which the author did not live to finish.

The roll of his works is enough to show that the kind of history which
appealed to Freeman was that of the distant past, and that which dealt
with politics rather than with social life. Of ancient history he had
a good mastery; English history from its dawn to the thirteenth
century he knew minutely: European history of the same period he knew
profoundly. After the thirteenth century his interest grew less and
less as modern times were approached, and his knowledge smaller and
smaller till it became that of a man very well read in history and no

Freeman was therefore essentially a historian of the far past; and as
such had, it is safe to say, no living superior in England. But in his
treatment of the past he presents a small part of the picture. He is
concerned with great conquerors, with military leaders, with battles
and sieges and systems of government. The mass of the people have no
interest for him at all. His books abound in battle-pieces of the age
of the long-bow and the javelin, of the battle-axe, the mace, and the
spear; of the age when brain went for little and when brawn counted
for much; and when the fate of nations depended less on the skill of
individual commanders than on the personal prowess of those who met in
hand-to-hand encounters. He delights in descriptions of historic
buildings; he is never weary of drawing long analogies between one
kind of government and another; but for the customs, the manner, the
usages, the daily life of the people, he has never a word. "History,"
said he on one occasion, "is past politics; politics is present
history," and to this epigram he is strictly faithful. The England of
the serf and the villein, the curfew and the monastery, is brushed
aside to leave room for the story of the way in which William of
Normandy conquered the Saxons, and of the way in which William Rufus
conducted his quarrels with Bishop Anselm.

With all of this no fault is to be found. It was his cast of mind, his
point of view; and the questions which alone concern us in any
estimate of his work are: Did he do it well? What is its value? Did he
make a real contribution to historical knowledge? What are its merits
and defects? Judged by the standard he himself set up, Freeman's chief
merits, the qualities which mark him out as a great historian, are an
intense love of truth and a determination to discover it at any cost;
a sincere desire to mete out an even-handed justice to each and every
man; unflagging industry, common-sense, broad views, and the power to
reproduce the past most graphically.

From these merits comes Freeman's chief defect,--prolixity. His
earnest desire to be accurate made him not only say the same thing
over and over again, but say it with an unnecessary and useless
fullness of detail, and back up his statement with a profusion of
notes, which in many cases amount to more than half the text. Indeed,
were they printed in the same type as the text, the space they occupy
would often exceed it. Thus, in the first volume of the 'Norman
Conquest' there are 528 pages of text, with foot-notes occupying from
a third to a half of almost every page, and an appendix of notes of
244 pages; in the second volume, the text and foot-notes amount to
512, and the appendix 179; in the third, the text covers 562 and the
appendix 206 pages. These notes are always interesting and always
instructive. But the end of a volume is not the place for an
exhibition of the doubts and fears that have tormented the historian,
for a statement of the reasons which have led him to one conclusion
rather than another, nor for the denunciation or reputation of the
opinions of his predecessors. When the building is finished, we do not
want to see the lumber used as the scaffolding piled in the back yard.
Mr. Freeman's histories would be all the better for a condensation of
the text and an elimination of the long appendices.

With these exceptions, the workmanship is excellent. He entered so
thoroughly into the past that it became to him more real and
understandable than the present. He was not merely the contemporary
but the companion of the men he had to deal with. He knew every spot
of ground, every Roman ruin, every mediæval castle, that came in any
way to be connected with his story, as well as he knew the topography
of the country that stretched beneath his study window, or the
arrangement of the house in which he lived.

In his histories, therefore, we are presented at every turn with
life-like portraits of the illustrious dead, bearing all the marks of
having been taken from life; with descriptions of castles and towers,
minsters and abbeys, and of the scenes that have made them memorable;
with comparisons of one ruler with another, always sane and just; and
with graphic pictures of coronations, of battles, sieges, burnings,
and all the havoc and pomp of war.

The essays and studies in politics show Mr. Freeman in a yet more
interesting light; many are elaborate reviews of historical works, and
therefore cover a wide range of topics, both ancient and of the
present time. Now his subject is Mr. Bryce's 'Holy Roman Empire'; now
the Flavian Cæsars; now Mr. Gladstone's 'Homer and the Homeric Age';
now Kirk's 'Charles the Bold'; now presidential government; now
Athenian democracy; now the Byzantine Empire; now the Eastern Church;
now the growth of commonwealths; now the geographical aspects of the
Eastern Question.

By so wide a range of topics, an opportunity is afforded for a variety
of remarks, analogies, judgments of men and times, far greater than
the histories could give. In the main, these judgments may be
accepted; but so thoroughly was Freeman a historian of the past, that
some of his estimates of contemporary men and things were singularly
erroneous. While our Civil War was still raging he began a 'History of
Federal Government,' which was to extend from the Achaean League "to
the disruption of the United States." A prudent historian would not
have taken up the role of prophet. He would have waited for the end of
the struggle. But absolute self-confidence in his own good judgment
was one of Freeman's most conspicuous traits. His estimate of Lincoln
is another instance of inability to understand the times in which he
lived. In the 'Essay on Presidential Government,' published in the
National Review in 1864 and republished in the first series of
'Historical Essays' in 1871, the greatest President and the grandest
public character the United States has yet produced is declared
inferior to each and all the Presidents from Washington to John Quincy
Adams. A comparison of Lincoln with Monroe or Madison or Jefferson by
Freeman would have been entertaining.

Two views of history as set forth in the essays are especially
deserving of notice. He is never weary of insisting on the unity and
the continuity of history in general and that of England in
particular, and he attaches unreasonable importance to the influence
of the Teutonic element in English history. This latter was the
inevitable result of his method of studying the past along the lines
of philology and ethnology, and has carried him to extremes which
taken by anybody else he would have been quick to see.

An examination of Freeman's minor contributions to the reviews--such
essays, sketches, and discussions as he did not think important enough
to republish in book form--is indicative of his interest in current
affairs. They made little draft on his learning, yet the point of view
is generally the result of his learning. He believed, for instance,
that a sound judgment on the Franco-Prussian War could not be found
save in the light of history. "The present war," he wrote to the Pall
Mall Gazette, "has largely risen out of a misconception of history,
out of the dream of a frontier of the Rhine which never existed. The
war on the part of Germany is in truth a vigorous setting forth of the
historical truth that the Rhine is, and always has been, a German

Freeman was still busy with his 'History of Sicily' from the earliest
times, and had just finished the preface to the third volume, when he
died at Alicante in Spain, March 16th, 1892. Since his death a fourth
volume, prepared from his notes, has been published.

But one biography of Freeman has yet appeared, 'The Life and Letters
of Edward A. Freeman,' by W. R. W. Stephens, 2 vols., 1895.

                                   [Signature: John Bach McMartin]


From 'Historical Essays of Edward A. Freeman,' Third Series. London,
Macmillan & Co., 1879

The two great phenomena, then, of the general appearance of Rome, are
the utter abandonment of so large a part of the ancient city and the
general lack of buildings of the Middle Ages. Both of these facts are
fully accounted for by the peculiar history of Rome. It may be that
the sack and fire under Robert Wiscard--a sack and fire done in the
cause of a pope in warfare against an emperor--was the immediate cause
of the desolation of a large part of Rome; but if so, the destruction
which was then wrought only gave a helping hand to causes which were
at work both before and after. A city could not do otherwise than
dwindle away, in which neither emperor nor pope nor commonwealth could
keep up any lasting form of regular government; a city which had no
resources of its own, and which lived, as a place of pilgrimage, on
the shadow of its own greatness. Another idea which is sure to suggest
itself at Rome is rather a delusion. The amazing extent of ancient
ruins at Rome unavoidably fills us with the notion that an unusual
amount of destruction has gone on there. When we cannot walk without
seeing, besides the more perfect monuments, gigantic masses of ancient
wall on every side,--when we stumble at every step on fragments of
marble columns or on richly adorned tombs,--we are apt to think that
they must have perished in some special havoc unknown in other places.
The truth is really the other way. The abundance of ruins and
fragments--again setting aside the more perfect monuments--proves that
destruction has been much less thorough in Rome than in almost any
other Roman city. Elsewhere the ancient buildings have been utterly
swept away; at Rome they survive, though mainly in a state of ruin.
But by surviving in a state of ruin they remind us of their former
existence, which in other places we are inclined to forget. Certainly
Rome is, even in proportion to its greatness above all other Roman
cities, rich in ancient remains above all other Roman cities. Compare
those cities of the West which at one time or another supplanted Rome
as the dwelling-places of her own Cæsars,--Milan, Ravenna, York, Trier
itself. York may be looked upon as lucky in having kept a tower and
some pieces of wall through the havoc of the English conquest. Trier
is rich above all the rest, and she has, in her _Porta Nigra_, one
monument of Roman power which Rome herself cannot outdo. But rich as
Trier--the second Rome--is, she is certainly not richer in proportion
than Rome herself. The Roman remains at Milan hardly extend beyond a
single range of columns, and it may be thought that that alone is
something, when we remember the overthrow of the city under Frederick
Barbarossa. But compare Rome and Ravenna: no city is richer than
Ravenna in monuments of its own special class,--Christian Roman,
Gothic, Byzantine, but of works of the days of heathen Rome there is
no trace--no walls, no gates, no triumphal arch, no temple, no
amphitheatre. The city of Placidia and Theodoric is there; but of the
city which Augustus made one of the two great maritime stations of
Italy there is hardly a trace. Verona, as never being an imperial
residence, was not on our list; but rich as Verona is, Rome is--even
proportionally--far richer. Provence is probably richer in Roman
remains than Italy herself; but even the Provençal cities are hardly
so full of Roman remains as Rome herself. The truth is, that there is
nothing so destructive to the antiquities of a city as its continued
prosperity. A city which has always gone on flourishing according to
the standard of each age, which has been always building and
rebuilding and spreading itself beyond its ancient bounds, works a
gradual destruction of its ancient remains beyond anything that the
havoc of any barbarians on earth can work. In such a city a few
special monuments may be kept in a perfect or nearly perfect state;
but it is impossible that large tracts of ground can be left covered
with ruins as they are at Rome. Now, it is the ruins, rather than the
perfect buildings, which form the most characteristic feature of Roman
scenery and topography, and they have been preserved by the decay of
the city; while in other cities they have been swept away by their
prosperity. As Rome became Christian, several ancient buildings,
temples and others, were turned into churches, and a greater number
were destroyed to employ their materials, especially their marble
columns, in the building of churches. But though this cause led to the
loss of a great many ancient buildings, it had very little to do with
the creation of the vast mass of the Roman ruins. The desolation of
the Flavian amphitheatre and of the baths of Antoninus Caracalla comes
from another cause. As the buildings became disused,--and if we
rejoice at the disuse of the amphitheatre, we must both mourn and
wonder at the disuse of the baths,--they were sometimes turned into
fortresses, sometimes used as quarries for the building of fortresses.
Every turbulent noble turned some fragment of the buildings of the
ancient city into a stronghold from which he might make war upon his
brother nobles, from which he might defy every power which had the
slightest shadow of lawful authority, be it emperor, pope, or senator.
Fresh havoc followed on every local struggle: destruction came
whenever a lawful government was overthrown and whenever a lawful
government was restored; for one form of revolution implied the
building, the other implied the pulling down, of these nests of
robbers. The damage which a lying prejudice attributes to Goths and
Vandals was really done by the Romans themselves, and in the Middle
Ages mainly by the Roman nobles. As for Goths and Vandals, Genseric
undoubtedly did some mischief in the way of carrying off precious
objects, but even he is not charged with the actual destruction of any
buildings. And it would be hard to show that any Goth, from Alaric to
Tovilas, ever did any mischief whatever to any of the monuments of
Rome, beyond what might happen through the unavoidable necessities and
accidents of warfare. Theodoric of course stands out among all the
ages as the great preserver and repairer of the monuments of Ancient
Rome. The few marble columns which Charles the Great carried away from
Rome, as well as from Ravenna, can have gone but a very little way
towards accounting for so vast a havoc. It was almost wholly by Roman
hands that buildings which might have defied time and the barbarian
were brought to the ruined state in which we now find them.

But the barons of mediæval Rome, great and sad as was the destruction
which was wrought by them, were neither the most destructive nor the
basest of the enemies at whose hands the buildings of ancient Rome
have had to suffer. The mediæval barons simply did according to their
kind. Their one notion of life was fighting, and they valued buildings
or anything else simply as they might be made use of for that one
purpose of life. There is something more revolting in the systematic
destruction, disfigurement, and robbery of the ancient monuments of
Rome, heathen and Christian, at the hands of her modern rulers and
their belongings. Bad as contending barons or invading Normans may
have been, both were outdone by the fouler brood of papal nephews.
Who that looks on the ruined Coliseum, who that looks on the palace
raised out of its ruins, can fail to think of the famous line--

  "Quod non fecere barbari, fecere Barberini"?

And well-nigh every other obscure or infamous name in the roll-call of
the mushroom nobility of modern Rome has tried its hand at the same
evil work. Nothing can be so ancient, nothing so beautiful, nothing so
sacred, as to be safe against their destroying hands. The boasted age
of the _Renaissance_, the time when men turned away from all reverence
for their own forefathers and professed to recall the forms and the
feelings of ages which are forever gone, was the time of all times
when the monuments of those very ages were most brutally destroyed.
Barons and Normans and Saracens destroyed what they did not understand
or care for; the artistic men of the fifteenth, sixteenth, and
seventeenth centuries destroyed the very things which they professed
to admire and imitate. And when they did not actually destroy, as in
the case of statues, sarcophagi, and the like, they did all they could
to efface their truest interest, their local and historical

A museum or collection of any kind is a dreary place. For some kinds
of antiquities, for those which cannot be left in their own places,
and which need special scientific classification, such collections are
necessary. But surely a statue or a tomb should be left in the spot
where it is found, or in the nearest possible place to it. How far
nobler would be the associations of Pompey's statue, if the hero had
been set up in the nearest open space to his own theatre; even if he
had been set up with Marcus and the Great Twin Brethren on the
Capitol, instead of being stowed away in an unmeaning corner of a
private palace! It is sadder still to wind our way through the
recesses of the great Cornelian sepulchre, and to find that
sacrilegious hands have rifled the resting-place of the mighty dead;
that the real tombs, the real inscriptions, have been stolen away, and
that copies only are left in their places. Far more speaking, far more
instructive, would it have been to grope out the antique letters of
the first of Roman inscriptions, to spell out the name and deeds of
"Cornelius Lucius Scipio Barbatus Gnaivod patre prognatus" by the
light of a flickering torch in the spot where his kinsfolk and
_gentiles_ laid him, than to read it in the full light of the Vatican,
numbered as if it stood in a shop to be sold, and bearing a fulsome
inscription recording the "munificentia" of the triple-crowned robber
who wrought the deed of selfish desecration. Scipio indeed was a
heathen; but Christian holy places, places which are the very homes of
ecclesiastical history or legend, are no safer than the monuments of
heathendom against the desolating fury of ecclesiastical destroyers.

Saddest of all it is to visit the sepulchral church of St.
Constantia--be her legend true or false, it makes no difference--to
trace out the series of mosaics, where the old emblems of Bacchanalian
worship, the vintage and the treading of the wine-press, are turned
about to teach a double lesson of Christian mysteries; and then to see
the place of the tomb empty, and to find that the tomb itself, the
central point of the building, with the series of images which is
begun in the pictures and continued in its sculpture, has been torn
away from the place where it had meaning and almost life, to stand as
number so-and-so among the curiosities of a dreary gallery. Such is
the reverence of modern pontiffs for the most sacred antiquities,
pagan and Christian, of the city where they have too long worked their
destroying will.

In one part however of the city, destruction has been, as in other
cities, the consequence of reviving prosperity on the part of the city
itself. One of the first lessons to be got by heart on a visit to Rome
is the way in which the city has shifted its site. The inhabited parts
of ancient and of modern Rome have but a very small space of ground in
common. While so large a space within the walls both of Aurelius and
of Servius lies desolate, the modern city has spread itself beyond
both. The Leonine city beyond the Tiber, the Sixtine city on the Field
of Mars--both of them beyond the wall of Servius, the Leonine city
largely beyond the wall of Aurelian--together make up the greater part
of modern Rome. Here, in a thickly inhabited modern city, there is no
space for the ruins which form the main features of the Palatine,
Coelian, and Aventine Hills. Such ancient buildings as have been
spared remain in a state far less pleasing than that of their ruined
fellows. The Pantheon was happily saved by its consecration as a
Christian church. But the degraded state in which we see the theatre
of Marcellus and the beautiful remains of the portico of Octavia;
above all, the still lower fate to which the mighty sepulchre of
Augustus has been brought down,--if they enable the moralist to point
a lesson, are far more offensive to the student of history than the
utter desolation of the Coliseum and the imperial palace. The mole of
Hadrian has undergone a somewhat different fate; its successive
transformations and disfigurements are a direct part, and a most
living and speaking part, of the history of Rome. Such a building, at
such a point, could not fail to become a fortress, long before the
days of contending Colonnas and Orsini; and if the statues which
adorned it were hurled down on the heads of Gothic besiegers, that is
a piece of destruction which can hardly be turned to the charge of the
Goths. It is in these parts of Rome that the causes which have been at
work have been more nearly the same as those which have been at work
in other cities. At the same time, it must be remembered that it is
only for a much shorter period that they have been fully at work. And
wretched as with one great exception is their state, it must be
allowed that the actual amount of ancient remains preserved in the
Leonine and Sixtine cities is certainly above the average amount of
such remains in Roman cities elsewhere.


From 'Historical Essays of Edward A. Freeman,' First Series. London,
Macmillan & Co., 1871

A comparison between the histories of England, France, and Germany,
as regards their political development, would be a subject well worth
working out in detail. Each country started with much that was common
to all three, while the separate course of each has been wholly
different. The distinctive character of English history is its
continuity. No broad gap separates the present from the past. If there
is any point at which a line between the present and the past is to be
drawn, it is at all events not to be drawn at the point where a
superficial glance might perhaps induce us to draw it,--at the Norman
invasion in 1066. At first sight, that event might seem to separate
us from all before it in a way to which there is no analogy in the
history either of our own or of kindred lands. Neither France nor
Germany ever saw any event to be compared to the Norman Conquest.
Neither of them has ever received a permanent dynasty of foreign
kings; neither has seen its lands divided among the soldiers of a
foreign army, and its native sons shut out from every position of
wealth or dignity. England, alone of the three, has undergone a real
and permanent foreign conquest. One might have expected that the
greatest of all possible historical chasms would have divided the ages
before and the ages after such an event. Yet in truth modern England
has practically far more to do with the England of the West-Saxon
kings than modern France or Germany has to do with the Gaul and
Germany of Charles the Great, or even of much more recent times. The
England of the age before the Norman Conquest is indeed, in all
external respects, widely removed from us. But the England of the age
immediately succeeding the Norman Conquest is something more widely
removed still. The age when Englishmen dwelt in their own land as a
conquered race, when their name and tongue were badges of contempt and
slavery, when England was counted for little more than an accession of
power to the Duke of Rouen in his struggle with the King of Paris, is
an age than which we can conceive none more alien to every feeling and
circumstance of our own.

When, then, did the England in which we still live and move have its
beginning? Where are we to draw the broad line, if any line is to be
drawn, between the present and the past? We answer, In the great
creative and destructive age of Europe and of civilized Asia--the
thirteenth century. The England of Richard Coeur de Lion is an England
which is past forever; but the England of Edward the First is
essentially the still living England in which we have our own being.
Up to the thirteenth century our history is the domain of antiquaries;
from that point it becomes the domain of lawyers. A law of King
Ælfred's Witenagemót is a valuable link in the chain of our political
progress, but it could not have been alleged as any legal authority by
the accusers of Strafford or the defenders of the Seven Bishops. A
statute of Edward the First is quite another matter. Unless it can be
shown to have been repealed by some later statute, it is just as good
to this day as a statute of Queen Victoria. In the earlier period we
may indeed trace the rudiments of our laws, our language, our
political institutions; but from the thirteenth century onwards we see
the things themselves, in that very essence which we all agree in
wishing to retain, though successive generations have wrought
improvement in many points of detail and may have left many others
capable of further improvement still.

Let us illustrate our meaning by the greatest of all examples. Since
the first Teutonic settlers landed on her shores, England has never
known full and complete submission to a single will. Some Assembly,
Witenagemót, Great Council, or Parliament, there has always been,
capable of checking the caprices of tyrants and of speaking, with more
or less of right, in the name of the nation. From Hengest to Victoria,
England has always had what we may fairly call a parliamentary
constitution. Normans, Tudors, and Stewarts might suspend or weaken
it, but they could not wholly sweep it away. Our Old-English
Witenagemóts, our Norman Great Councils, are matters of antiquarian
research, whose exact constitution it puzzles our best antiquaries
fully to explain. But from the thirteenth century onwards we have a
veritable Parliament, essentially as we see it before our own eyes. In
the course of the fourteenth century every fundamental constitutional
principle becomes fully recognized. The best worthies of the
seventeenth century struggled, not for the establishment of anything
new, but for the preservation of what even then was already old. It is
on the Great Charter that we still rest the foundation of all our
rights. And no later parliamentary reformer has ever wrought or
proposed so vast a change as when Simon of Montfort, by a single writ,
conferred their parliamentary being upon the cities and boroughs of

This continuity of English history from the very beginning is a point
which cannot be too strongly insisted on, but it is its special
continuity from the thirteenth century onwards which forms the most
instructive part of the comparison between English history and the
history of Germany and France. At the time of the Norman Conquest the
many small Teutonic kingdoms in Britain had grown into the one
Teutonic kingdom of England, rich in her barbaric greatness and
barbaric freedom, with the germs, but as yet only the germs, of every
institution which we most dearly prize. At the close of the thirteenth
century we see the England with which we are still familiar, young
indeed and tender, but still possessing more than the germs,--the very
things themselves. She has already King, Lords, and Commons; she has a
King, mighty indeed and honored, but who may neither ordain laws nor
impose taxes against the will of his people. She has Lords with high
hereditary powers, but Lords who are still only the foremost rank of
the people, whose children sink into the general mass of Englishmen,
and into whose order any Englishman may be raised. She has a Commons
still diffident in the exercise of new-born rights; but a Commons
whose constitution and whose powers we have altered only by gradual
changes of detail; a Commons which, if it sometimes shrank from hard
questions of State, was at least resolved that no man should take
their money without their leave. The courts of justice, the great
offices of State, the chief features of local administration, have
assumed, or are rapidly assuming, the form whose essential character
they still retain. The struggle with Papal Rome has already begun;
doctrines and ceremonies indeed remain as yet unchallenged, but
statute after statute is passed to restrain the abuses and exactions
of the ever-hateful Roman court. The great middle class of England is
rapidly forming; a middle class not, as elsewhere, confined to a few
great cities, but spread, in the form of a minor gentry and a wealthy
yeomanry, over the whole face of the land. Villanage still exists, but
both law and custom are paving the way for that gradual and silent
extinction of it, which without any formal abolition of the legal
status left, three centuries later, not a legal villain among us.

With this exception, there was in theory equal law for all classes,
and imperfectly as the theory may have been carried out, it was at
least far less imperfectly so than in any other kingdom. Our language
was fast taking its present shape; English, in the main intelligible
at the present day, was the speech of the mass of the people, and it
was soon to expel French from the halls of princes and nobles. England
at the close of the century is, for the first time since the Conquest,
ruled by a prince bearing a purely English name, and following a
purely English policy. Edward the First was no doubt as despotic as he
could be or dared to be; so was every prince of those days who could
not practice the superhuman righteousness of St. Lewis. But he ruled
over a people who knew how to keep even his despotism within bounds.
The legislator of England, the conqueror of Wales and Scotland, seems
truly like an old Bretwalda or West-Saxon Basileus, sitting once more
on the throne of Cerdic and of Ælfred. The modern English nation is
now fully formed; it stands ready for those struggles for French
dominion in the two following centuries, which, utterly unjust and
fruitless as they were, still proved indirectly the confirmation of
our liberties at home, and which forever fixed the national character
for good and for evil.

Let us here sketch out a comparison between the history and
institutions of England and those of France and Germany. As we before
said, our modern Parliament is traced up in an unbroken line to the
early Great Council, and to the still earlier Witenagemót. The latter
institution, widely different as it is from the earlier, has not been
substituted for the earlier, but has grown out of it. It would be
ludicrous to look for any such continuity between the Diet of
ambassadors which meets at Frankfurt and the Assemblies which met to
obey Henry the Third and to depose Henry the Fourth. And how stands
the case in France? France has tried constitutional government in all
its shapes; in its old Teutonic, in its mediæval, and in all its
modern forms--Kings with one Chamber and Kings with two, Republics
without Presidents and Republics with, Conventions, Directories,
Consulates, and Empires. All of these have been separate experiments;
all have failed; there is no historical continuity between any of
them. Charles the Great gathered his Great Council around him year by
year; his successors in the Eastern _Francia_, the Kings of the
Teutonic Kingdom, went on doing so long afterwards. But in Gaul, in
Western _Francia_, after it fell away from the common centre, no such
assembly could be gathered together. The kingdom split into fragments;
every province did what was right in its own eyes; Aquitaine and
Toulouse had neither fear nor love enough for their nominal King to
contribute any members to a Council of his summoning. Philip the Fair,
for his own convenience, summoned the States-General. But the
States-General were no historical continuation of the old Frankish
Assemblies; they were a new institution of his own, devised, it maybe,
in imitation of the English Parliament or of the Spanish Cortes. From
that time the French States-General ran a brilliant and a fitful
course. Very different indeed were they from the homely Parliaments of
England. Our stout knights and citizens were altogether guiltless of
political theories. They had no longing after great and comprehensive
measures. But if they saw any practical abuses in the land, the King
could get no money out of them till he set matters right again. If
they saw a bad law, they demanded its alteration; if they saw a wicked
minister, they demanded his dismissal. It is this sort of bit-by-bit
reform, going on for six hundred years, which has saved us alike from
magnificent theories and from massacres in the cause of humanity. Both
were as familiar in France in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
as ever they were at the close of the eighteenth. The demands of the
States-General, and of what we may call the liberal party in France
generally, throughout those two centuries, are as wide in their
extent, and as neatly expressed, as any modern constitution from 1791
to 1848. But while the English Parliament, meeting year after year,
made almost every year some small addition or other to the mass of our
liberties, the States-General, meeting only now and then, effected
nothing lasting, and gradually sank into as complete disuse as the old
Frankish Assemblies. By the time of the revolution of 1789, their
constitution and mode of proceeding had become matters of antiquarian
curiosity. Of later attempts, National Assemblies, National
Conventions, Chambers of Deputies, we need not speak. They have risen
and they have fallen, while the House of Lords and the House of
Commons have gone on undisturbed.


From 'Historical Essays of Edward A. Freeman,' First Series. London,
Macmillan & Co., 1871

Having ruled that races and nations, though largely formed by the
working of an artificial law, are still real and living things, groups
in which the idea of kindred is the idea around which everything has
grown,--how are we to define our races and our nations? How are we to
mark them off one from the other? Bearing in mind the cautions and
qualifications which have been already given, bearing in mind large
classes of exceptions which will presently be spoken of, I say
unhesitatingly that for practical purposes there is one test, and one
only; and that that test is language.

It is hardly needful to show that races and nations cannot be defined
by the merely political arrangements which group men under various
governments. For some purposes of ordinary language, for some purposes
of ordinary politics, we are tempted, sometimes driven, to take this
standard. And in some parts of the world, in our own Western Europe
for instance, nations and governments do in a rough way fairly answer
to one another. And in any case, political divisions are not without
their influence on the formation of national divisions, while national
divisions ought to have the greatest influence on political
divisions. That is to say, _primâ facie_ a nation and a government
should coincide. I say only _primâ facie_, for this is assuredly no
inflexible rule; there are often good reasons why it should be
otherwise; only, whenever it is otherwise, there should be some good
reason forthcoming. It might even be true that in no case did a
government and a nation exactly coincide, and yet it would none the
less be the rule that a government and a nation should coincide. That
is to say, so far as a nation and a government coincide, we accept it
as the natural state of things, and ask no question as to the cause;
so far as they do not coincide, we mark the case as exceptional by
asking what is the cause. And by saying that a government and a nation
should coincide, we mean that as far as possible the boundaries of
governments should be so laid out as to agree with the boundaries of
nations. That is, we assume the nation as something already existing,
something primary, to which the secondary arrangements of government
should as far as possible conform. How then do we define the nation
which is, if there is no special reason to the contrary, to fix the
limits of a government? Primarily, I say, as a rule,--but a rule
subject to exceptions,--as a _primâ facie_ standard, subject to
special reasons to the contrary,--we define the nation by language. We
may at least apply the test negatively. It would be unsafe to rule
that all speakers of the same language must have a common nationality;
but we may safely say that where there is not community of language,
there is no common nationality in the highest sense. It is true that
without community of language there may be an artificial nationality,
a nationality which may be good for all political purposes, and which
may engender a common national feeling. Still, this is not quite the
same thing as that fuller national unity which is felt where there is
community of language.

In fact, mankind instinctively takes language as the badge of
nationality. We so far take it as the badge, that we instinctively
assume community of language as a nation as the rule, and we set down
anything that departs from that rule as an exception. The first idea
suggested by the word Frenchman, or German, or any other national
name, is that he is a man who speaks French or German as his mother
tongue. We take for granted, in the absence of anything to make us
think otherwise, that a Frenchman is a speaker of French and that a
speaker of French is a Frenchman. Where in any case it is otherwise,
we mark that case as an exception, and we ask the special cause.
Again, the rule is none the less the rule nor the exceptions the
exceptions, because the exceptions may easily outnumber the instances
which conform to the rule. The rule is still the rule, because we take
the instances which conform to it as a matter of course, while in
every case which does not conform to it we ask for the explanation.
All the larger countries of Europe provide us with exceptions; but we
treat them all as exceptions. We do not ask why a native of France
speaks French. But when a native of France speaks as his mother tongue
some other tongue than French, when French, or something which
popularly passes for French, is spoken as his mother tongue by some
one who is not a native of France, we at once ask the reason. And the
reason will be found in each case in some special historical cause,
which withdraws that case from the operation of the general law. A
very good reason can be given why French, or something which popularly
passes for French, is spoken in parts of Belgium and Switzerland whose
inhabitants are certainly not Frenchmen. But the reason has to be
given, and it may fairly be asked.

In the like sort, if we turn to our own country, whenever within the
bounds of Great Britain we find any tongue spoken other than English,
we at once ask the reason and we learn the special historic cause. In
a part of France and a part of Great Britain we find tongues spoken
which differ alike from English and from French, but which are
strongly akin to one another. We find that these are the survivals of
a group of tongues once common to Gaul and Britain, but which the
settlement of other nations, the introduction and the growth of other
tongues, have brought down to the level of survivals. So again we find
islands which both speech and geographical position seem to mark as
French, but which are dependencies, and loyal dependencies, of the
English crown. We soon learn the cause of the phenomenon which seems
so strange. Those islands are the remains of a State and a people
which adopted the French tongue, but which, while it remained one, did
not become a part of the French State. That people brought England by
force of arms under the rule of their own sovereigns. The greater part
of that people were afterwards conquered by France, and gradually
became French in feeling as well as in language. But a remnant clave
to their connection with the land which their forefathers had
conquered, and that remnant, while keeping the French tongue, never
became French in feeling. This last case, that of the Norman Islands,
is a specially instructive one. Normandy and England were politically
connected, while language and geography pointed rather to a union
between Normandy and France. In the case of Continental Normandy,
where the geographical tie was strongest, language and geography
together would carry the day, and the Continental Norman became a
Frenchman. In the islands, where the geographical tie was less strong,
political traditions and manifest interest carried the day against
language and a weaker geographical tie. The insular Norman did not
become a Frenchman. But neither did he become an Englishman. He alone
remained Norman, keeping his own tongue and his own laws, but attached
to the English crown by a tie at once of tradition and of advantage.
Between States of the relative size of England and the Norman Islands,
the relation naturally becomes a relation of dependence on the part of
the smaller members of the union. But it is well to remember that our
forefathers never conquered the forefathers of the men of the Norman
Islands, but that their forefathers did once conquer ours.

These instances and countless others bear out the position, that while
community of language is the most obvious sign of common
nationality,--while it is the main element, or something more than an
element, in the formation of nationality,--the rule is open to
exceptions of all kinds; and that the influence of language is at all
times liable to be overruled by other influences. But all the
exceptions confirm the rule, because we specially remark those cases
which contradict the rule, and we do not specially remark those cases
which do conform to it.


From 'The History of the Norman Conquest of England'

The case of William had thus to be brought to bear on the minds of his
own people, on the minds of the neighboring countries whence he
invited and looked for volunteers, on the minds of the foreign princes
whose help or at least whose neutrality he asked for, and above all,
on the minds of the Roman Pontiff and his advisers. The order of these
various negotiations is not very clear, and in all probability all
were being carried on at once. But there is little doubt that
William's first step, on receiving the refusal of Harold to surrender
his crown,--or whatever else was the exact purport of the English
King's answer,--was to lay the matter before a select body of his most
trusted counselors. The names of most of the men whom William thus
honored with his special confidence are already familiar to us. They
were the men of his own blood, the friends of his youth, the faithful
vassals who had fought at his side against French invaders and Norman
rebels. There was his brother, Robert, Count of Mortain, the lord of
the castle by the waterfalls, the spoil of the banished Warling. And
there was one closer than a brother,--the proud William the son of
Osborn, the son of the faithful guardian of his childhood. There,
perhaps the only priest in that gathering of warriors, was his other
brother, Odo of Bayeux, soon to prove himself a warrior as stout of
heart and as strong of arm as any of his race. There too, not
otherwise renowned, was Iwun-al-Chapel, the husband of the sister of
William, Robert, and Odo. There was a kinsman, nearer in legitimate
succession to the stock of Rolf than William himself,--Richard of
Evreux, the son of Robert the Archbishop, the grandson of Richard the
Fearless. There was the true kinsman and vassal who guarded the
frontier fortress of Eu, the brother of the traitor Busac and of the
holy prelate of Lisieux. There was Roger of Beaumont, who rid the
world of Roger of Toesny, and Ralph, the worthier grandson of that old
foe of Normandy and mankind. There was Ralph's companion in
banishment, Hugh of Grantmesnil, and Roger of Montgomery, the loyal
son-in-law of him who cursed the Bastard in his cradle. There too were
the other worthies of the day of Mortemar, Walter Giffard and Hugh of
Montfort, and William of Warren, the valiant youth who had received
the chiefest guerdon of that memorable ambush. These men, chiefs of
the great houses of Normandy, founders, some of them, of greater
houses in England, were gathered together at their sovereign's
bidding. They were to be the first to share his counsels in the
enterprise which he was planning, an enterprise planned against the
land which with so many in that assembly was to become a second home,
a home perhaps all the more cherished that it was won by the might of
their own right hands.

To this select Council the duke made his first appeal. He told them,
what some of them at least knew well already, of the wrongs which he
had suffered from Harold of England. It was his purpose to cross the
sea, in order to assert his rights and to chastise the wrong-doer.
With the help of God and with the loyal service of his faithful
Normans, he doubted not his power to do what he purposed. He had
gathered them together to know their minds upon the matter. Did they
approve of his purpose? Did they deem the enterprise within his power?
Were they ready themselves to help him to the uttermost to recover his
right? The answer of the Norman leaders, the personal kinsmen and
friends of their sovereign, was wise and constitutional. They approved
his purpose; they deemed that the enterprise was not beyond the power
of Normandy to accomplish. The valor of the Norman knighthood, the
wealth of the Norman Church, was fully enough to put their duke in
possession of all that he claimed. Their own personal service they
pledged at once; they would follow him to the war; they would pledge,
they would sell, their lands to cover the costs of the expedition. But
they would not answer for others. Where all were to share in the work,
all ought to share in the counsel. Those whom the duke had gathered
together were not the whole baronage of Normandy. There were other
wise and brave men in the duchy, whose arms were as strong, and whose
counsel would be as sage, as those of the chosen party to whom he
spoke. Let the duke call a larger meeting of all the barons of his
duchy, and lay his designs before them.

The duke hearkened to this advice, and he at once sent forth a summons
for the gathering of a larger Assembly. This is the only time when we
come across any details of the proceedings of a Norman Parliament. And
we at once see how widely the political condition of Normandy differed
from that of England. We see how much further England had advanced, or
more truly, how much further Normandy had gone back, in the path of
political freedom. The Norman Assembly which assembled to discuss the
war against England was a widely different body from the Great Cemór
which had voted for the restoration of Godwine. Godwine had made his
speech before the King and all the people of the land. That people had
met under the canopy of heaven, beneath the walls of the greatest city
of the realm. But in William's Assembly we hear of none but barons.
The old Teutonic constitution had wholly died away from the memories
of the descendants of the men who followed Rolf and Harold Blaatand.
The immemorial democracy had passed away, and the later constitution
of the mediæval States had not yet arisen. There was no Third Estate,
because the personal right of every freeman to attend had altogether
vanished, while the idea of the representation of particular
privileged towns had not yet been heard of. And if the Third Order was
wanting, the First Order was at least less prominent than it was in
other lands. The wealth of the Church had been already pointed out as
an important element in the duke's ways and means, and both the wealth
and the personal prowess of the Norman clergy were, when the day came,
freely placed at William's disposal. The peculiar tradition of Norman
Assemblies, which shut out the clergy from all share in the national
deliberations, seems now to have been relaxed. It is implied rather
than asserted that the bishops of Normandy were present in the
Assembly which now met; but it is clear that the main stress of the
debates fell on the lay barons, and that the spirit of the Assembly
was a spirit which was especially theirs.

Narrow as was the constitution of the Assembly, it showed, when it
met, no lack either of political foresight or of parliamentary
boldness. In a society so aristocratically constituted as that of
Normandy was, the nobles are in truth, in a political sense, the
people, and we must expect to find in any gathering of nobles both the
virtues and the vices of a real Popular Assembly. William had already
consulted his Senate; he had now to bring his resolution, fortified by
their approval, before the body which came as near as any body in
Normandy could come to the character of an Assembly of the Norman
people. The valiant gentlemen of Normandy, as wary as they were
valiant, proved good guardians of the public purse, trusty keepers of
what one knows not whether to call the rights of the nation or the
privileges of their order. The duke laid his case before them. He told
once more the tale of his own rights and of the wrong which Harold had
done him. He said that his own mind was to assert his rights by force
of arms. He would fain enter England in the course of the year on
which they had entered. But without their help he could do nothing. Of
his own he had neither ships enough nor men enough for such an
enterprise. He would not ask whether they would help him in such a
cause. He took their zeal and loyalty for granted; he asked only how
many ships, how many men, each of his hearers would bring as a
free-will offering.

A Norman Assembly was not a body to be surprised into a hasty assent,
even when the craft and the eloquence of William was brought to bear
upon it. The barons asked for time to consider of their answer. They
would debate among themselves, and they would let him know the
conclusion to which they came. William was obliged to consent to this
delay, and the Assembly broke up into knots, greater or smaller, each
eagerly discussing the great question. Parties of fifteen, twenty,
thirty, forty, sixty, a hundred, gathered round this or that energetic
speaker. Some professed their readiness to follow the duke; others
were in debt, and were too poor to venture on such hazards. Other
speakers set forth the dangers and difficulties of the enterprise.
Normandy could not conquer England; their fair and flourishing land
would be ruined by the attempt. The conquest of England was an
undertaking beyond the power of a Roman emperor. Harold and his land
were rich; they had wealth to take foreign kings and dukes into their
service; their own forces were in mere numbers such as Normandy could
not hope to strive against. They had abundance of tried soldiers, and
above all, they had a mighty fleet, with crews skilled beyond other
men in all that pertained to the warfare of the sea. How could a fleet
be raised, how could the sailors be gathered together, how could they
be taught, within a year's space, to cope with such an enemy? The
feeling of the Assembly was distinctly against so desperate an
enterprise as the invasion of England. It seemed as if the hopes and
schemes of William were about to be shattered in their beginning
through the opposition of his own subjects.

A daring though cunning attempt was now made by William Fitz-Osbern,
the duke's nearest personal friend, to cajole the Assembly into an
assent to his master's will. He appealed to their sense of feudal
honor; they owed the duke service for their fiefs: let them come
forward and do with a good heart all, and more than all, that their
tenure of their fiefs bound them to. Let not their sovereign be driven
to implore the services of his subjects. Let them rather forestall his
will; let them win his favor by ready offerings even beyond their
power to fulfill. He enlarged on the character of the lord with whom
they had to deal. William's jealous temper would not brook
disappointment at their hands. It would be the worse for them in the
end, if the duke should ever have to say that he had failed in his
enterprise because they had failed in readiness to support him.

The language of William Fitz-Osbern seems to have startled and
perplexed even the stout hearts with whom he had to deal. The barons
prayed him to be their spokesman with the duke. He knew their minds
and could speak for them all, and they would be bound by what he said.
But they gave him no direct commission to bind them to any consent to
the duke's demand. Their words indeed tended ominously the other way;
they feared the sea,--so changed was the race which had once manned
the ships of Rolf and Harold Blaatand,--and they were not bound to
serve beyond it.

A point seemed to have been gained, by the seeming license given by
the Assembly to the duke's most intimate friend to speak as he would
in the name of the whole baronage. William Fitz-Osbern now spoke to
the duke. He began with an exordium of almost cringing loyalty,
setting forth how great was the zeal and affection of the Normans for
their prince, and how there was no danger which they would not
willingly undergo in his service. But the orator soon overshot his
mark. He promised, in the name of the whole Assembly, that every man
would not only cross the sea with the duke, but would bring with him
double the contingent to which his holding bound him. The lord of
twenty knights' fees would serve with forty knights, and the lord of a
hundred with two hundred. He himself, of his love and zeal, would
furnish sixty ships, well equipped, and filled with fighting men.

The barons now felt themselves taken in a snare. They were in nearly
the same case as the king against whom they were called on to march.
They had indeed promised; they had commissioned William Fitz-Osbern to
speak in their names. But their commission had been stretched beyond
all reasonable construction; their spokesman had pledged them to
engagements which had never entered into their minds. Loud shouts of
dissent rose through the hall. The mention of serving with double the
regular contingent awakened special indignation. With a true
parliamentary instinct, the Norman barons feared lest a consent to
this demand should be drawn into a precedent, and lest their fiefs
should be forever burthened with this double service. The shouts grew
louder; the whole hall was in confusion; no speaker could be heard; no
man would hearken to reason or render a reason for himself.

The rash speech of William Fitz-Osbern had thus destroyed all hope of
a regular parliamentary consent on the part of the Assembly. But it is
possible that the duke gained in the end by the hazardous experiment
of his seneschal. It is even possible that the manoeuvre may have been
concerted beforehand between him and his master. It was not likely
that any persuasion could have brought the Assembly as a body to agree
to the lavish offer of volunteer service which was put into its mouth
by William Fitz-Osbern. There was no hope of carrying any such vote on
a formal division. But the confusion which followed the speech of the
seneschal hindered any formal division from being taken. The Assembly,
in short, as an assembly, was broken up. The fagot was unloosed, and
the sticks could now be broken one by one. The baronage of Normandy
had lost all the strength of union; they were brought, one by one,
within the reach of the personal fascinations of their sovereign.
William conferred with each man apart; he employed all his arts on
minds which, when no longer strengthened by the sympathy of a crowd,
could not refuse anything that he asked. He pledged himself that the
doubling of their services should not become a precedent; no man's
fief should be burthened with any charge beyond what it had borne from
time immemorial. Men thus personally appealed to, brought in this way
within the magic sphere of princely influence, were no longer slack to
promise; and having once promised, they were not slack to fulfill.
William had more than gained his point. If he had not gained the
formal sanction of the Norman baronage to his expedition, he had won
over each individual Norman baron to serve him as a volunteer. And
wary as ever, William took heed that no man who had promised should
draw back from his promise. His scribes and clerks were at hand, and
the number of ships and soldiers promised by each baron was at once
set down in a book. A Domesday of the conquerors was in short drawn up
in the ducal hall at Lillebonne, a forerunner of the greater Domesday
of the conquered, which twenty years later was brought to King William
of England in his royal palace at Winchester.




In times of political degradation the poets of Germany, turning from
their own surroundings, have sought poetical material either in the
glories of a dim past or in the exotic splendors of remote lands.
Goethe, disquieted by the French Revolution, took up Chinese and
Persian studies; the romantic poets revivified the picturesqueness of
the Middle Ages; and during the second quarter of this century the
Orient began to exercise a potent charm. Platen wrote his beautiful
'Gaselen,' Rückert sang in Persian measure and translated the
Indian 'Sakuntala,' and Bodenstedt fashioned the dainty songs of
"Mirza-Schaffy." Freiligrath too, a child of his time, entered upon
his literary career with poems which took their themes from distant
climes. Among his earliest verses after 'Moosthee' (Iceland-Moss Tea),
written at the age of sixteen, were 'Africa,' 'Der Scheik am Sinai'
(The Sheik on Sinai), and 'Der Löwenritt' (The Lion's Ride). Even in
these early poems, we find all that brilliancy of Oriental imagery to
which he tells us he had been inspired by much poring over an
illustrated Bible in his childhood.

But Freiligrath, like Uhland and Herwegh, was a man of action and a
patriot. The revolution of 1848 had brought fresh breezes into the
stagnation of political life; and though they soon were stilled again,
the men who had breathed that air ceased to be the dreamers of dreams
that the romantic poets had been. They were conscious of a mission,
and became the robust heralds of a larger and a freer time.

Freiligrath was a schoolmaster's son; he was born at Detmold on June
17th, 1810, and much against his private inclinations, he was sent in
his sixteenth year to an uncle in Soest to prepare himself for a
mercantile career. The death of his father threw him upon his own
resources, and he took a position in an Amsterdam bank. Here the
inspiration of the sea widened the range of his poetic fancy. To
Chamisso is due the credit of introducing the poet to the general
public through the pages of the Musenalmanach. This was in 1835. In
1838 appeared the first volume of his poems, and it won instant and
unusual favor; Gutzkow called him the German Hugo. With this
encouragement Freiligrath definitely abandoned mercantile life. In
1841 he married. At the suggestion of Alexander von Humboldt, the King
of Prussia granted him a royal pension; and as no conditions were
attached, it was accepted. This was a bitter disappointment to the
ardent revolutionary poets, who had counted Freiligrath as one of
themselves; but the turbulent times which preceded the revolution soon
forced him into an open declaration of principles, and although he had
said in one of his poems that the poet was above all party, in 1844,
influenced by Hoffmann von Fallersleben, he resigned his pension,
announced his position, and in May published a volume of revolutionary
poems entitled 'Mein Glaubensbekenntniss' (My Confession of Faith).
This book created the wildest enthusiasm, and placed its author at
once in the front rank of the people's partisans. He fled to Brussels,
and in 1846 published under the title of 'Ça Ira' six new songs, which
were a trumpet-call to revolution. The poet deemed it prudent to
retire to London, and he was about to accept an invitation from
Longfellow to cross the ocean when the revolution broke out, and he
returned to Düsseldorf to put himself at the head of the democratic
party on the Rhine. But he was a poet and not a leader, and he
indiscreetly exposed himself to arrest by an inflammatory poem, 'Die
Todten an die Lebenden' (The Dead to the Living). The jury however
acquitted him, and he at once assumed the management of the New
Rhenish Gazette at Cologne.

It is a curious fact that during this agitated time Freiligrath wrote
some of his tenderest poetry. In the collection which appeared in 1849
with the title 'Zwischen den Garben' (Between the Sheaves), was
included that exquisite hymn to love: 'Oh, Love So Long as Love Thou
Canst,' perhaps the most perfect of all his lyrical productions, and
certainly evidence that the poet could touch the strings to deep
emotions. In the following year both volumes of his 'New Political and
Social Poems' were ready. Once more he prudently retired to London;
his fears were confirmed by the immediate confiscation of these new
volumes, and by the publication of a letter of apprehension. By way of
reprisal he wrote his poem 'The Revolution,' which was published in

In 1867 the Swiss bank with which Freiligrath was connected closed its
London branch, and the poet again faced an uncertain future. His
friends on the Rhine, hearing of his difficulties, raised a generous
subscription, and taking advantage of a general amnesty, he returned
to the fatherland and became associated with the Stuttgart Illustrated
Magazine. In 1870 appeared a complete collection of his poems; in
1876, 'New Poems'; and in the latter year, on March 18th, he died at
Cannstatt in Würtemburg.

The question which Freiligrath asks the emigrants in his early poem of
that name,--'O say, why seek ye other lands?'--was destined to find
frequent and bitter answer in his own checkered career; but he never
swerved from the liberal principles which he had publicly announced.
His political poems were among the most powerful influences of his
time, and they have a permanent value as the expression of the spirit
of freedom. His translations are marvels of fidelity and beauty. His
'Hiawatha' and 'The Ancient Mariner,' together with his versions of
Victor Hugo, are perhaps the best examples of his surpassing skill.
His own works have been for the most part excellently translated into
English. His daughter published during her father's lifetime a volume
of his poems, in which were collected all the best English
translations then available. The exotic subjects of his early poems
make them seem the most original, as for example 'Der Mohrenfürst'
(The Moorish Prince) and 'Der Blumen Rache' (The Revenge of the
Flowers); the unusual rhymes hold the attention, and the sonorous
melody of the verse delights the ear: but it is in a few of his superb
love lyrics that he touches the highest point of his genius, although
his fame continues to rest upon his impassioned songs of freedom and
his name to be associated with the rich imagery of the Orient.


  I cannot take my eyes away
    From you, ye busy, bustling band,
  Your little all to see you lay
    Each in the waiting boatman's hand.

  Ye men, that from your necks set down
    Your heavy baskets on the earth,
  Of bread, from German corn baked brown
    By German wives on German hearth,--

  And you, with braided tresses neat,
    Black-Forest maidens, slim and brown,
  How careful on the sloop's green seat
    You set your pails and pitchers down!

  Ah! oft have home's cool shady tanks
    Those pails and pitchers filled for you;
  By far Missouri's silent banks
    Shall these the scenes of home renew,--

  The stone-rimmed fount in village street
    Where oft ye stooped to chat and draw,--
  The hearth, and each familiar seat,--
    The pictured tiles your childhood saw.

  Soon, in the far and wooded West
    Shall log-house walls therewith be graced;
  Soon many a tired tawny guest
    Shall sweet refreshment from them taste.

  From them shall drink the Cherokee,
    Faint with the hot and dusty chase;
  No more from German vintage, ye
    Shall bear them home, in leaf-crowned grace.

  O say, why seek ye other lands?
    The Neckar's vale hath wine and corn;
  Full of dark firs the Schwarzwald stands;
    In Spessart rings the Alp-herd's horn.

  Ah, in strange forests you will yearn
    For the green mountains of your home,--
  To Deutschland's yellow wheat-fields turn,--
    In spirit o'er her vine-hills roam.

  How will the form of days grown pale
    In golden dreams float softly by,
  Like some old legendary tale,
    Before fond memory's moistened eye!

  The boatman calls,--go hence in peace!
    God bless you,--wife, and child, and sire!
  Bless all your fields with rich increase,
    And crown each faithful heart's desire!

                                         Translation of C.T. Brooks.


  What! wilt thou bind him fast with a chain?
    Wilt bind the king of the cloudy sands?
    Idiot fool! he has burst from thy hands and bands,
  And speeds like Storm through his far domain.
      See! he crouches down in the sedge,
                By the water's edge,
  Making the startled sycamore boughs to quiver!
  Gazelle and giraffe, I think, will shun that river.

  Not so! The curtain of evening falls,
    And the Caffre, mooring his light canoe
    To the shore, glides down through the hushed karroo,
  And the watch-fires burn in the Hottentot kraals,
      And the antelope seeks a bed in the bush
              Till dawn shall blush,
  And the zebra stretches his limbs by the tinkling fountain,
  And the changeful signals fade from the Table Mountain.

  Now look through the dusk! What seest thou now?
    Seest such a tall giraffe! She stalks,
    All majesty, through the desert walks,--
  In search of water to cool her tongue and brow.
      From tract to tract of the limitless waste
              Behold her haste!
  Till, bowing her long neck down, she buries her face in
  The reeds, and kneeling, drinks from the river's basin.

  But look again! look! see once more
    Those globe-eyes glare! The gigantic reeds
    Lie cloven and trampled like puniest weeds,--
  The lion leaps on the drinker's neck with a roar!
      Oh, what a racer! Can any behold,
              'Mid the housings of gold
  In the stables of kings, dyes half so splendid
  As those on the brindled hide of yon wild animal blended?

  Greedily fleshes the lion his teeth
    In the breast of his writhing prey; around
    Her neck his loose brown mane is wound.
  Hark, that hollow cry! She springs up from beneath
      And in agony flies over plains and heights.
              See, how she unites,
  Even under such monstrous and torturing trammel,
  With the grace of the leopard, the speed of the camel!

  She reaches the central moon-lighted plain,
    That spreadeth around all bare and wide;
    Meanwhile, adown her spotted side
  The dusky blood-gouts rush like rain--
      And her woeful eyeballs, how they stare
              On the void of air!
  Yet on she flies--on, on; for her there is no retreating;
  And the desert can hear the heart of the doomed one beating!

  And lo! A stupendous column of sand,
    A sand-spout out of that sandy ocean, upcurls
    Behind the pair in eddies and whirls;
  Most like some colossal brand,
          Or wandering spirit of wrath
              On his blasted path,
  Or the dreadful pillar that lighted the warriors and women
  Of Israel's land through the wilderness of Yemen.

  And the vulture, scenting a coming carouse,
    Sails, hoarsely screaming, down the sky;
    The bloody hyena, be sure, is nigh,--
  Fierce pillager, he, of the charnel-house!
      The panther, too, who strangles the Cape-Town sheep
              As they lie asleep,
  Athirst for his share in the slaughter, follows;
  While the gore of their victim spreads like a pool in the sandy

  She reels,--but the king of the brutes bestrides
    His tottering throne to the last: with might
    He plunges his terrible claws in the bright
  And delicate cushions of her sides.
      Yet hold!--fair play!--she rallies again!
              In vain, in vain!
  Her struggles but help to drain her life-blood faster;
  She staggers, gasps, and sinks at the feet of her slayer and master!

  She staggers, she falls; she shall struggle no more!
    The death-rattle slightly convulses her throat;
    Mayest look thy last on that mangled coat,
  Besprent with sand, and foam, and gore!
      Adieu! The orient glimmers afar,
              And the morning-star
  Anon will rise over Madagascar brightly.--
  So rides the lion in Afric's deserts nightly.



    From 'Lyrics and Ballads of Heine and Other German Poets.'
    Copyright 1892, by Frances Hellman. Reprinted by permission
    of G.P. Putnam's Sons, publishers, New York.

  Oh, here forever let me stay, love!
    Here let my resting-place e'er be;
  And both thy tender palms then lay, love,
    Upon my hot brow soothingly.
  Here at thy feet, before thee kneeling,
    In heavenly rapture let me rest,
  And close my eyes, bliss o'er me stealing,
    Within thine arms, upon thy breast.

  I'll open them but to the glances
    That from thine own in radiance fall;
  The look that my whole soul entrances,
    O thou who art my life, my all!
  I'll open them but at the flowing
    Of burning tears that upward swell,
  And joyously, without my knowing,
    From under drooping lashes well.

  Thus am I meek, and kind, and lowly,
    And good and gentle evermore;
  I have thee--now I'm blessed wholly;
    I have thee--now my yearning's o'er.
  By thy sweet love intoxicated,
    Within thine arms I'm lulled to rest,
  And every breath of thine is freighted
    With slumber songs that soothe my breast.

  A life renewed each seems bestowing;
    Oh, thus to lie day after day,
  And hearken with a blissful glowing
    To what each other's heart-beats say!
  Lost in our love, entranced, enraptured,
    We disappear from time and space;
  We rest and dream; our souls lie captured
    Within oblivion's sweet embrace.


  Oh, love so long as love thou canst!
    Oh, love so long thy soul have need!
  The hour will come, the hour will come,
    When by the grave thy heart shall bleed!

  And let thy heart forever glow
    And throb with love, and hold love's heat,
  So long on earth another heart
    Shall echo to its yearning beat.

  And who to thee his heart shall show,
    Oh raise it up and make it glad!
  Oh make his every moment blithe,
    And not a moment make him sad!

  Guard well thy tongue; a bitter word
    Soon from the mouth of anger leaps.
  O God! it was not meant to wound,--
    But ah! the other goes and weeps.

  Oh, love so long as love thou canst!
    Oh, love so long thy soul have need!
  The hour will come, the hour will come,
    When by the grave thy heart shall bleed!

  Thou kneelest down upon the grave,
    And sink'st in agony thine eyes,--
  They never more the dead shall see,--
    The silent church-yard hears thy sighs.

  Thou mourn'st:--"Oh, look upon this heart,
    That here doth weep upon this mound!
  Forgive me if I caused thee pain,--
    O God, it was not meant to wound!"

  But he, he sees and hears thee not;
    He comes not, he can never know:
  The mouth that kissed thee once says not,
    "Friend, I forgave thee long ago!"

  He did forgive thee long ago,
    Though many a hot tear bitter fell
  For thee and for thy angry word;
    But still he slumbers soft and well!

  Oh, love so long as love thou canst!
    Oh, love so long thy soul have need!
  The hour will come, the hour will come,
    When by the grave thy heart shall bleed!

                                    Translation of Dr. Edward Breck.

[Illustration: FREYTAG]



Gustav Freytag, one of the foremost of German novelists, was born July
13th, 1816, in Kreuzburg, Silesia, where his father was a physician.
He studied alternately at Breslau and Berlin, at which latter
university he was given the degree of a doctor of philosophy in 1838.
In 1839 he settled as a _privatdocent_ at the University of Breslau,
where he lectured on the German language and literature until 1844,
when he resigned his position to devote himself to literature. He
removed to Leipzig in 1846, and the following year to Dresden, where
he married. In 1848 he returned to Leipzig to edit with Julian Schmidt
the weekly journal Die Grenzboten, which he conducted until 1861, and
again from 1869 to 1870. In 1867 he became Liberal member for Erfurt
in the North German Reichstag. In 1870, on the breaking out of the
Franco-Prussian war, he was attached to the staff of the Crown Prince,
later the German Emperor Frederick III., and remained in service until
after the battle of Sedan. Subsequently to 1870 his journalistic work
was chiefly for the newly established weekly periodical Im Neuen
Reich. In 1879 he retired from public life and afterward lived in
Wiesbaden, except for the summer months, which he spent on his estate
Siebleben near Gotha. He died at Wiesbaden, April 30th, 1895.

All of Freytag's earliest work, with the single exception of a volume
of poems published in 1845 under the title 'In Breslau,' is dramatic.
His first production was a comedy, 'Die Brautfahrt' (The Wedding
Journey), published in 1844, which although it was awarded a prize
offered by the Royal Theatre in Berlin, found but indifferent popular
favor, as did its successor, the one-act tragedy 'Die Gelehrte' (The
Scholar). With his next play, 'Die Valentine' (1846), Freytag however
was signally successful. This was followed the year after by 'Graf
Waldemar.' He attained his highest dramatic success with the comedy
'Die Journalisten' (The Journalists), which appeared in 1853, and
since its first production in 1854 has maintained its place as one of
the most popular plays on the German stage. But one other play
followed, the tragedy 'Die Fabier' (The Fabii), which appeared in

He had begun in the mean time his career as a novelist with his most
famous novel, 'Soll und Haben' (Debit and Credit), which was
published in 1855 and met with an immediate and unbounded success.
The appearance of this first novel, furthermore, was most significant,
for it marked at the same time an era both in German literature and in
its author's own career, in that it introduced into the one in its
most recent phase one of the profoundest problems of modern life in
Germany, and unmistakably pointed out, in the other, the direction
which he was subsequently to follow. This latter statement has a
twofold bearing. It is not only that as a writer of novels Freytag did
his most important and lasting work, but that the whole of this work
was in a manner the development of a similar tendency. Although as
different as need be in environment, all of his subsequent novels
embody inherently the characteristics of 'Debit and Credit,' for like
it, they are all well-defined attempts to depict the typical social
conditions of the period in which they move, and their characters are
the carefully considered types of their time. Freytag, with a
philosophic seriousness of purpose perhaps characteristically German,
is writing not only novels but the history of civilization, in his
early work. Later on, the didactic purpose to a certain extent
overshadows the rest; and although he never loses his power of telling
a story, it is the history in the end that is paramount.

'Debit and Credit' is a novel of the century, and it takes up the
great problem of the century, the position of modern industrialism in
the social life of the day. Its principal centre of action is the
business house of the wholesale grocer T.O. Schröter, who is an
admirable embodiment of the careful, industrious, and successful
merchant. In sharp contradistinction to him is the Baron von
Rothsattel, the representative of earlier conditions in the
organization of the State, which made the nobleman pre-eminently a
social force. Freytag's polemic is not only the dignity of labor under
present conditions, but the absolute effeteness of the old order of
things that despised it. The real hero of the story is Anton
Wohlfahrt, who begins his commercial career as a youth in the house of
T.O. Schröter, and ends, after some vicissitudes, as a member of the
firm. Mercantile life has nowhere been better described in its
monotony, its interests, and its aspirations, as the story is
developed; and although at first sight no field could be more barren
in literary interest, there is in reality no lack of incident and
action, whose inevitable sequence makes the plot. Anton's career in
the house of Schröter is interrupted by his connection with the Baron
von Rothsattel, who has, through his want of a business training and
his lack of a knowledge of men, fallen into the hands of a Jew
money-lender; by whom he is persuaded to mortgage his land in order to
embark in a business undertaking which it is presumed will increase
his fortune. His mill fails, however, and he is involved in
difficulties from which he is unable to extricate himself. Anton, the
intimate friend of the family, is therefore persuaded by the Baroness
to undertake the management of matters, and after vainly endeavoring
to induce his principal to interest himself in the affair, sacrifices
his position to accompany the family to their dilapidated estate in a
distant province. The Baron will tolerate no interference, however,
and Anton finally returns to the house of Schröter and is reinstated
in the business. Lenore, the Baron's daughter, the first cause of
Anton's interest, meantime becomes engaged to the young nobleman Fink;
who has been an associate of Anton's in the office of T. O. Schröter,
has but recently returned from the United States, and who first
advances funds for the improvement of the estate and ultimately
purchases it.

Fink acts his part in the author's philosophy as a contrast to the
Baron von Rothsattel. Although a nobleman, he has adapted himself to
the conditions of the century, and is free from any hallucinations of
his hereditary rank, even while he is perfectly awake to its
traditions. He has entered upon a commercial career not from choice,
but from necessity; but he has accepted his fate and has made
successful use of his opportunities. Anton marries the sister of T. O.
Schröter, and becomes a partner in the business. Fink is however
really the one who gains the princess in this modern tale, and is
plainly to have the more important share as an actual social force in
the future. The old feudal nobility has played its part on the stage
of the world; and being so picturesque, and full of romantic
opportunity, its loss is doubtless to be regretted. The tamer
realities of the modern industrial state have succeeded it. As Freytag
solves the problem in 'Soll und Haben,' it is the man who works, the
man of the industrial classes alone, to whom the victory belongs in
the modern social struggle, be his antecedents bourgeois or

Freytag's second great novel, 'Die Verlorene Handschrift' (The Lost
Manuscript), which appeared in 1864, concerns itself with another
phase of the same problem. This time, however, instead of the merchant
and man of affairs, it is the scholar about whom the action centres.
Felix Werner, professor of philology, has come upon unmistakable
traces of the lost books of Tacitus, whose recovery is the object of
his life. In his search for the manuscript in an old house in the
country he finds his future wife Ilse, one of the finest types in all
German literature of the true German woman, both while at home a maid
in her father's house and subsequently as the professor's wife in the
university town. Werner, in his scholarly absorption, unwittingly
neglects his wife, whose beauty has attracted the attention of the
prince; and there is a series of intrigues which threaten seriously to
involve the innocent Ilse, until the prince's evil intentions become
evident even to the unsuspecting Werner. The covers of the lost
manuscript are actually discovered at last, but the book itself has
vanished. In this second novel Freytag displays a most genial humor,
unsuspected in the author of 'Debit and Credit,' but apparent enough
in 'The Journalists.' The professorial life is admirably drawn with
all its lights and shadows; and its motives and ambitions, its
peculiar struggles and strivings, have never been more understandingly
treated. The story, however, even more than 'Debit and Credit,'
displays the author's weaknesses of construction. The plot is so
confused by digressions that the main thread is sometimes lost sight
of, and the tendency to philosophical generalization, which as a
German is to some extent the author's birthright, reaches in these
pages an appalling exemplification. What had been an extraordinary
novel pruned of these defects, is still not an ordinary novel with
them; and as a picture of German university life from the point of
view of the professor, 'The Lost Manuscript' stands unrivaled in
literature. Again the thesis in this second novel is the dignity of
labor, and the nobleman fares no better at the author's hands than in
the mercantile environment of the first.

These two novels, which outside of Germany are Freytag's best claim to
attention, were followed by the four volumes of 'Bilder aus der
Deutschen Vergangenheit' (Pictures from the German Past: 1859-62), a
series of studies of German life from different epochs of its history,
intended to illustrate the evolution of modern conditions through
their successive stages from the remote past. Freytag's early work as
a university _docent_ had particularly fitted him for this sort of
writing, and some of his best is contained in these books.

More important still, however, was his next great work, the long
series of historical novels 'Die Ahnen' (The Ancestors: 1872-80), an
ambitious plan, born of the stirring events of the Franco-Prussian War
and the resultant awakening of the new spirit of nationality, to trace
the development of the German people from the earliest time down to
the present day. To carry out this purpose he accordingly selects a
typical German family, which he describes under the characteristic
conditions of each period, with the most conscientious attention to
manners and customs and social environment. The same family thus
appears from generation to generation under the changing conditions of
the different epochs of German history, and the whole forms together
the consecutive _Culturgeschichte_ of the nation.

This whole long series of 'The Ancestors' stands as a monument of
careful research into the most minute factors of German life in their
time of action. Freytag's antiquarianism is not of the dilettante kind
that is content to masquerade modern motives in ancient garb and
setting. He was fully conscious of all the elements of his problem,
and he sought to reproduce the intellectual point of view of his
actors, and to account for their motives of action, as well as to
picture accurately their material environment. It is in his
super-conscientiousness in these directions that the inherent
weakness of the novels of this series lies. They are too palpably
reconstructions with a purpose. Their didacticism is wrapped around
them like a garment; and much of the time, that is all that is visible
upon the surface. As the series advances this fault grows upon them.
They are in reality of very unequal interest. 'Ingo' and 'Ingraban'
are the sprightliest in action, and have been as a consequence the
most widely read of these later works, many of which are, in part at
least, far too serious of purpose to play their part conspicuously
well as novels.

The novels of 'The Ancestors' are a culmination of Freytag's literary
evolution. As a playwright he will no doubt be forgotten except for
'The Journalists'; in which he has, however, left an imperishable play
which German critics have not hesitated to call the best comedy of the
century. The two novels of modern life from his middle period form
together his greatest work, although here, and particularly in 'The
Lost Manuscript,' he has overweighted his material with abstract
discussion, in which his perspective has sometimes all but
disappeared. Subsequently, both the 'Bilder' and 'Die Ahnen' show his
decided predilection for historical studies. The struggle in his own
case was between the scholar and the man of letters, in which the
scholar eventually won possession of the field.

Freytag's other work includes--'Die Technik des Dramas' (The Technique
of the Drama: 1863), a consideration of the principles of dramatic
construction; the life of his friend Karl Malthy, 1870; and 'Der
Kronprinz und die Deutsche Kaiserkrone' (The Crown Prince and the
German Imperial Crown: 1889), written after the death of Frederick
III., with whom Freytag had had personal relations. To accompany
the collected edition of his works (1887-88), he wrote a short
autobiography, 'Erinnerungen aus Meinem Leben' (Recollections from
My Life).


From 'The Lost Manuscript'

Professors' wives also have trouble with their husbands. Sometimes
when Ilse was seated in company with her intimate friends--with Madame
Raschke, Madame Struvelius, or little Madame Günther--at one of those
confidential coffee parties which they did not altogether despise,
many things would come to light.

The conversation with these intellectual women was certainly very
interesting. It is true the talk sometimes passed lightly over the
heads of the servants, and sometimes housekeeping troubles ventured
out of the pond of pleasant talk like croaking frogs. To Ilse's
surprise, she found that even Flaminia Struvelius could discourse
seriously about preserving little gherkins, and that she sought
closely for the marks of youth in a plucked goose. The merry Madame
Günther aroused horror and laughter in more experienced married women,
when she asserted that she could not endure the crying of little
children, and that from the very first she would force her child
(which she had not yet got) to proper silence by chastisement. Thus
conversation sometimes left greater subjects to stray into this
domain. And when unimportant subjects were reviewed, it naturally came
about that the men were honored by a quiet discussion. At such times
it was evident that although the subject under consideration was men
in general, each of the wives was thinking of her own husband, and
that each silently carried about a secret bundle of cares, and
justified the conclusion of her hearers that that husband too must be
difficult to manage.

Madame Raschke's troubles could not be concealed; the whole town knew
them. It was notorious that one market day her husband had gone to the
university in his dressing-gown--in a brilliant dressing-gown, blue
and orange, with a Turkish pattern. His students, who loved him dearly
and were well aware of his habits, could not succeed in suppressing a
loud laugh; and Raschke had calmly hung the dressing-gown over his
pulpit, held his lecture in his shirt-sleeves, and returned home in
one of the students' overcoats. Since that time Madame Raschke never
let her husband go out without herself inspecting him. It also
appeared that all these ten years he had not been able to learn his
way about the town, and she dared not change her residence, because
she was quite sure that her professor would never remember it, and
always return to his old home. Struvelius also occasioned much
anxiety. Ilse knew about the last and greatest cause; but it also came
to light that he expected his wife to read Latin proof-sheets, as she
knew something of that language. Besides, he was quite incapable of
refusing commissions to amiable wine merchants. At her marriage Madame
Struvelius had found a whole cellar full of large and small wine
casks, none of which had been drawn off, while he complained bitterly
that no wine was ever brought into his cellar. Even little Madame
Günther related that her husband could not give up night work; and
that once, when he wandered with a lamp among his books, he came too
near the curtain, which caught fire. He tore it off, and in so doing
burnt his hands, and burst into the bedroom with blackened fingers in
great alarm, and resembling Othello more than a mineralogist....

Raschke was wandering about in the ante-room. Here too was confusion.
Gabriel had not yet returned from his distant errand; the cook had
left the remains of the meal standing on a side-table till his return;
and Raschke had to find his greatcoat by himself. He rummaged among
the clothes, and seized hold of a coat and a hat. As he was not so
absent-minded as usual to-day, a glance at the despised supper
reminded him just in time that he was to eat a fowl; so he seized hold
of the newspaper which Gabriel had laid ready for his master, hastily
took one of the chickens out of the dish, wrapped it in the journal,
and thrust it in his pocket, agreeably surprised at the depth and
capaciousness it revealed. Then he rushed past the astonished cook,
and out of the house. When he opened the door of the _étage_ he
stumbled against something that was crouching on the threshold. He
heard a horrible growling behind him, and stormed down the stairs and
out of doors.

The words of the friend whom he had left now came into his mind.
Werner's whole bearing was very characteristic; and there was
something fine about it. It was strange that in a moment of anger
Werner's face had acquired a sudden resemblance to a bull-dog's. Here
the direct chain of the philosopher's contemplations was crossed by
the remembrance of the conversation on animals' souls.

"It is really a pity that it is still so difficult to determine an
animal's expression of soul. If we could succeed in that, science
would gain. For if we could compare in all their minutiæ the
expression and gestures of human beings and higher animals, we might
make most interesting deductions from their common peculiarities and
their particular differences. In this way the natural origin of their
dramatic movements, and perhaps some new laws, would be discovered."

While the philosopher was pondering thus, he felt a continued pulling
at his coat-tails. As his wife was in the habit of giving him a gentle
pull when he was walking next her absorbed in thought and they met
some acquaintance, he took no further notice of it, but took off his
hat, and bowing politely towards the railing of the bridge, said

"These common and original elements in the mimic expression of human
beings and higher animals might, if rightly understood, even open out
new vistas into the great mystery of life." Another pull. Raschke
mechanically took off his hat. Another pull. "Thank you, dear Aurelia,
I did bow." As he spoke, the thought crossed his mind that his wife
would not pull at his coat so low down. It was not she, but his little
daughter Bertha who was pulling; for she often walked gravely next
him, and like her mother, pulled at the bell for bows. "That will do,
my dear," said he, as Bertha continued to snatch and pull at his
coat-tails. "Come here, you little rogue!" and he absently put his
hand behind him to seize the little tease. He seized hold of something
round and shaggy; he felt sharp teeth on his fingers, and turned with
a start. There he saw in the lamplight a reddish monster with a big
head, shaggy hair, and a little tassel that fell back into its hind
legs in lieu of a tail. His wife and daughter were horribly
transformed; and he gazed in surprise on this indistinct creature
which seated itself before him, and glared at him in silence.

"A strange adventure!" exclaimed Raschke. "What are you, unknown
creature? Presumably a dog. Away with you!" The animal retreated a few
steps. Raschke continued his meditations: "If we trace back the
expression and gestures of the affections to their original forms in
this manner, one of the most active laws would certainly prove to be
the endeavor to attract or repel the extraneous. It would be
instructive to distinguish, by means of these involuntary movements of
men and animals, what is essential and what conventional. Away, dog!
Do me a favor and go home. What does he want with me? Evidently he
belongs to Werner's domain. The poor creature will assuredly lose
itself in the town under the dominion of an _idée fixe_."

Meantime Speihahn's attacks were becoming more violent; and now he was
marching in a quite unnatural and purely conventional manner on his
hind legs, while his fore paws were leaning against the professor's
back, and his teeth were actually biting into the coat.

A belated shoemaker's boy stood still and beat his leathern apron. "Is
not the master ashamed to let his poor apprentice push him along like
that?" In truth, the dog behind the man looked like a dwarf pushing a
giant along the ice.

Raschke's interest in the dog's thoughts increased. He stood still
near a lantern, examined and felt his coat. This coat had developed a
velvet collar and very long sleeves, advantages that the philosopher
had never yet remarked in his greatcoat. Now the matter became clear
to him: absorbed in thought, he had chosen a wrong coat, and the
worthy dog insisted on saving his master's garment, and making the
thief aware that there was something wrong. Raschke was so pleased
with this sagacity that he turned round, addressed some kind words to
Speihahn, and made an attempt to stroke his shaggy hair. The dog again
snapped at his hand. "You are quite right to be angry with me,"
replied Raschke; "I will prove to you that I acknowledge my fault." He
took off the coat and hung it over his arm. "Yes, it is much heavier
than my own." He walked on cheerfully in his thin coat, and observed
with satisfaction that the dog abandoned the attacks on his back. But
instead, Speihahn sprang upon his side, and again bit at the coat and
the hand, and growled unpleasantly.

The professor got angry with the dog, and when he came to a bench on
the promenade he laid down the coat, intending to face the dog
seriously and drive him home. In this manner he got rid of the dog,
but also of the coat. For Speihahn sprang upon the bench with a mighty
bound, placed himself astride the coat, and met the professor, who
tried to drive him away, with hideous growling and snarling.

"It is Werner's coat," said the professor, "and it is Werner's dog: it
would be wrong to beat the poor creature because it is becoming
violent in its fidelity, and it would be wrong to leave the dog and
the coat." So he remained standing before the dog and speaking kindly
to him: but Speihahn no longer took any notice of the professor; he
turned against the coat itself, which he scratched, rummaged, and bit.
Raschke saw that the coat could not long endure such rage. "He is
frantic or mad," said he suspiciously. "I shall have to use force
against you after all, poor creature;" and he considered whether he
should also jump upon the seat and push the mad creature by a violent
kick into the water, or whether it would be better to open the
inevitable attack from below. He resolved on the latter course, and
looked round to see whether he could anywhere discover a stone or
stick to throw at the raging beast. As he looked, he observed the
trees and the dark sky above him, and the place seemed quite
unfamiliar. "Has magic been at work here?" he exclaimed, with
amusement. He turned politely to a solitary wanderer who was passing
that way: "Would you kindly tell me in what part of the town we are?
And could you perhaps lend me your stick for a moment?"

"Indeed," angrily replied the person addressed, "those are very
suspicious questions. I want my stick myself at night. Who are you,
sir?" The stranger approached the professor menacingly.

"I am peaceable," replied Raschke, "and by no means inclined to
violent attacks. A quarrel has arisen between me and the animal on
this seat for the possession of a coat, and I should be much obliged
to you if you would drive the dog away from the coat. But I beg you
not to hurt the animal any more than is absolutely necessary."

"Is that your coat there?" asked the man.

"Unfortunately I cannot give you an affirmative answer," replied
Raschke conscientiously.

"There must be something wrong here," exclaimed the stranger, again
eyeing the professor suspiciously.

"There is, indeed," replied Raschke. "The dog is out of his mind; the
coat is exchanged, and I do not know where we are."

"Close to the valley gate, Professor Raschke," answered the voice of
Gabriel, who hastily joined the group. "Excuse me, but what brings you

"Capital!" exclaimed Raschke joyously. "Pray take charge of this coat
and this dog."

Gabriel gazed in amazement at Speihahn, who was now lying on the coat
and bending his head before his friend. Gabriel threw down the dog and
seized the coat. "Why, that is our greatcoat!" exclaimed he.

"Yes, Gabriel," said the professor, "that was my mistake, and the dog
has shown marvelous fidelity to the coat."

"Fidelity!" exclaimed Gabriel indignantly, as he drew a parcel out of
the coat pocket. "It was greedy selfishness, sir; there must be some
food in this pocket."

"Yes, true," exclaimed Raschke; "it is all the chicken's fault. Give
me the parcel, Gabriel; I must eat the fowl myself; and we might bid
each other good-night now with mutual satisfaction, if you would just
show me my way a little among these trees."

"But you must not go home in the night air without an overcoat,"
said Gabriel considerately. "We are not far from our house; the best
way would really be for you to come back with me, sir."

Raschke considered and laughed.

"You are right, Gabriel; my departure was awkward; and to-day an
animal's soul has restored a man's soul to order."

"If you mean this dog," said Gabriel, "it would be the first time he
ever did anything good. I see he must have followed you from our door;
for I put little bones there for him of an evening."

"Just now he seemed not to be quite in his right mind," said the

"He is cunning enough when he pleases," continued Gabriel
mysteriously; "but if I were to speak of my experiences with this

"Do speak, Gabriel," eagerly exclaimed the philosopher. "There is
nothing so valuable concerning animals as a truthful statement from
those who have carefully observed them."

"I may say that I have done so," confirmed Gabriel, with satisfaction;
"and if you want to know exactly what he is, I can assure you that he
is possessed of the devil, he is a thief, he is embittered, and he
hates all mankind."

"Ah, indeed!" replied the professor, somewhat disconcerted. "I see it
is much more difficult to look into a dog's heart than into a

Speihahn crept along silent and suppressed, and listened to the
praises that fell to his lot; while Professor Raschke, conducted by
Gabriel, returned to the house by the park. Gabriel opened the
sitting-room door, and announced:--

"Professor Raschke."

Ilse extended both her hands to him.

"Welcome, welcome, dear Professor Raschke!" and led him to her
husband's study.

"Here I am again," said Raschke cheerfully, "after wandering as in a
fairy tale. What has brought me back were two animals, who showed me
the right way,--a roast fowl and an embittered dog."

Felix sprang up; the men greeted one another warmly, shaking hands,
and after all misadventures, spent a happy evening.

When Raschke had gone home late, Gabriel said sadly to his mistress,
"This was the new coat; the fowl and the dog have put it in a horrible





It was Froebel who said, "The clearer the thread that runs through our
lives backward to our childhood, the clearer will be our onward glance
to the goal;" and in the fragment of autobiography he has left us, he
illustrates forcibly the truth of his own saying. The motherless baby
who plays alone in the village pastor's quiet house, the dreamy child
who wanders solitary in the high-walled garden; the thoughtful lad,
neglected, misunderstood, who forgets the harsh realities of life in
pondering the mysteries of the flowers, the contradictions of
existence, and the dogmas of orthodox theology; who decides in early
boyhood that the pleasures of the senses are without enduring
influence and therefore on no account to be eagerly pursued;--these
presentments of himself, which he summons up for us from the past,
show the vividness of his early recollections and indicate the course
which the stream of his life is to run.

The coldness and injustice of the new mother who assumed control of
the household when he was four years old, his isolation from other
children, the merely casual notice he received from the busy father
absorbed in his parish work, all tended to turn inward the tide of his
mental and spiritual life. He studied himself, not only because it was
the bent of his nature, but because he lacked outside objects of
interest; and to this early habit of introspection we owe many of the
valuable features of his educational philosophy. Whoever has learned
thoroughly to understand one child, has conquered a spot of firm
ground on which to rest while he studies the world of children; and
because the great teacher realized this truth, because he longed to
give to others the means of development denied to himself, he turns
for us the heart-leaves of his boyhood.

It would appear that Froebel's characteristics were strongly marked
and unusual from the beginning. Called by every one "a moon-struck
child" in Oberweissbach, the village of his birth, he was just as
unanimously considered "an old fool" when, crowned with the experience
of seventy years, he played with the village children on the green
hills of Thuringia. The intensity of his inward life, the white heat
of his convictions, his absolute blindness to any selfish idea or aim,
his enthusiasm, the exaltation of his spiritual nature, all furnish so
many cogent reasons why the people of any day or of any community
should have failed to understand him, and scorned what they could not
comprehend. It is the old story of the seers and the prophets repeated
as many times as they appear; for "these colossal souls," as Emerson
said, "require a long focal distance to be seen."

At ten years old the sensitive boy was fortunately removed from the
uncongenial atmosphere of the parental household; and in his uncle's
home he spent five free and happy years, being apprenticed at the end
of this time to a forester in his native Thuringian woods. Then
followed a year's course in the University of Jena, and four years
spent in the study of farming, in clerical work of various kinds, and
in land-surveying. All these employments, however, Froebel himself
felt to be merely provisional; for like the hazel wand in the
diviner's hand, his instinct was blindly seeking through these
restless years the well-spring of his life.

In Frankfort, where he had gone intending to study architecture,
Destiny touched him on the shoulder, and he turned and knew her.
Through a curious combination of circumstances he gained employment in
Herr Gruner's Model School, and it was found at once that he was what
the Germans love to call "a teacher by the grace of God." The first
time he met his class of boys he tells us that he felt inexpressibly
happy; the hazel wand had found the waters and was fixed at last. From
this time on, all the events of his life were connected with his
experience as a teacher. Impelled as soon as he had begun his work by
a desire for more effective methods, he visited Yverdon, then the
centre of educational thought, and studied with Pestalozzi. He went
again in 1808, accompanied by three pupils, and spent two years there,
alternately studying and teaching.

There was a year of lectures at Göttingen after this, and one at the
University of Berlin, accompanied by unceasing study and research both
in literary and scientific lines; but in the fateful year 1813 this
quiet student life was broken in upon, for impelled by strong moral
conviction, Froebel joined Baron von Lützow's famous volunteer corps,
formed to harass the French by constant skirmishes and to encourage
the smaller German States to rise against Napoleon.

No thirst for glory prompted this action, but a lofty conception of
the office of the educator. How could any young man capable of bearing
arms, Froebel says, become a teacher of children whose Fatherland he
had refused to defend? how could he in after years incite his pupils
to do something noble, something calling for sacrifice and
unselfishness, without exposing himself to their derision and
contempt? The reasoning was perfect, and he made practice follow upon
the heels of theory as closely as he had always done since he became
master of his fate.

After the Peace of Paris he settled down for a time to a quiet life in
the mineralogical museum at the University of Berlin, his duties being
the care, arrangement, and investigation of crystals. Surrounded thus
by the exquisite formations whose development according to law is so
perfect, whose obedience to the promptings of an inward ideal so
complete, he could not but learn from their unconscious ethics to look
into the depths of his own nature, and there recognize more clearly
the purpose it was intended to work out.

In 1816 he quietly gave up his position, and taking as pupils five of
his nephews, three of whom were fatherless, he entered upon his life
work, the first step in which was the carrying out of his plan for a
"Universal German Educational Institute." He was without money, of
course, as he had always been and always would be,--his hands were
made for giving, not for getting; he slept in a barn on a wisp of
straw while arranging for his first school at Griesheim; but outward
things were so little real to him in comparison with the life of the
spirit, that bodily privations seemed scarcely worth considering. The
school at Keilhau, to which he soon removed, the institutions later
established in Wartensee and Willisau, the orphanage in Burgdorf, all
were most successful educationally, but, it is hardly necessary to
say, were never a source of profit to their head and founder.

Through the twenty succeeding years, busy as he was in teaching, in
lecturing, in writing, he was constantly shadowed by dissatisfaction
with the foundation upon which he was building. A nebulous idea for
the betterment of things was floating before him; but it was not until
1836 that it appeared to his eyes as a "definite truth." This definite
truth, the discovery of his old age, was of course the kindergarten;
and from this time until the end, all other work was laid aside, and
his entire strength given to the consummate flower of his educational

The first kindergarten was opened in 1837 at Blankenburg (where a
memorial school is now conducted), and in 1850 the institution at
Marienthal for the training of kindergartners was founded, Froebel
remaining at its head until his death two years after.

With the exception of that remarkable book 'The Education of Man'
(1826), his most important literary work was done after 1836;
'Pedagogics of the Kindergarten,' the first great European
contribution to the subject of child-study, appearing from 1837 to
1840 in the form of separate essays, and the 'Mutter-und-Kose Lieder'
(Mother-Play) in 1843. Many of his educational aphorisms and
occasional speeches were preserved by his great disciple the Baroness
von Marenholtz-Bülow in her 'Reminiscences of Froebel'; and though two
most interesting volumes of his correspondence have been published,
there remain a number of letters, as well as essays and educational
sketches, not yet rendered into English.

Froebel's literary style is often stiff and involved, its phrases
somewhat labored, and its substance exceedingly difficult to translate
with spirit and fidelity; yet after all, his mannerisms are of a kind
to which one easily becomes accustomed, and the kernel of his thought
when reached is found well worth the trouble of removing a layer of
husk. He had always an infinitude of things to say, and they were all
things of purpose and of meaning; but in writing, as well as in formal
speaking, the language to clothe the thought came to him slowly and
with difficulty. Yet it appears that in friendly private intercourse
he spoke fluently, and one of his students reports that in his classes
he was often "overpowering and sublime, the stream of his words
pouring forth like fiery rain."

It is probable that in daily life Froebel was not always an agreeable
house-mate; for he was a genius, a reformer, and an unworldly
enthusiast, believing in himself and in his mission with all the ardor
of a heart centred in one fixed purpose. He was quite intolerant of
those who doubted or disbelieved in his theories, as well as of those
who, believing, did not carry their faith into works. The people who
stood nearest him and devoted themselves to the furthering of his
ideas slept on no bed of roses, certainly; but although he sometimes
sacrificed their private interests to his cause, it must not be
forgotten that he first laid himself and all that he had upon the same
altar. His nature was one that naturally inspired reverence and
loyalty, and drew from his associates the most extraordinary devotion
and self-sacrifice. Then, as now, women were peculiarly attracted by
his burning enthusiasm, his prophetic utterances, and his lofty views
of their sex and its mission; and then, as now, the almost fanatical
zeal of his followers is perhaps to be explained by the fact that he
gives a new world-view to his students,--one that produces much the
same effect upon the character as the spiritual exaltation called
"experiencing religion."

He was twice married, in each case to a superior woman of great gifts
of mind and character, and both helpmates joyfully took up a life of
privation and care that they might be associated with him and with his
work. Those memorable words spoken of our Washington,--"Heaven left
him childless that a nation might call him father," are even more
applicable to Froebel, for his wise and tender fatherhood extends to
all the children of the world. When he passed through the village
streets of his own country, little ones came running from every
doorstep; the babies clinging to his knees and the older ones hanging
about his neck and refusing to leave the dear play-master, as they
called him. So the kindergartners love to think of him to-day,--the
tall spare figure, the long hair, the wise, plain, strong-featured
face, the shining eyes, and the little ones clustering about him as
they clustered about another Teacher in Galilee, centuries ago.

Froebel's educational creed cannot here be cited at length, but some
of its fundamental articles are:--

The education of the child should begin with its birth, and should be
threefold, addressing the mental, spiritual, and physical natures.

It should be continued as it has begun, by appealing to the heart and
the emotions as the starting-point of the human soul.

There should be sequence, orderly progression, and one continuous
purpose throughout the entire scheme of education, from kindergarten
to university.

Education should be conducted according to nature, and should be a
free, spontaneous growth,--a development from within, never a
prescription from without.

The training of the child should be conducted by means of the
activities, needs, desires, and delights, which are the common
heritage of childhood.

The child should be led from the beginning to feel that one life
thrills through every manifestation of the universe, and that he is a
part of all that is.

The object of education is the development of the human being in the
totality of his powers as a child of nature, a child of man, and a
child of God.

These principles of Froebel's, many of them the products of his own
mind, others the pure gold of educational currency upon which he has
but stamped his own image, are so true and so far-reaching that they
have already begun to modify all education and are destined to work
greater magic in the future. The great teacher's place in history may
be determined, by-and-by, more by the wonderful uplift and impetus he
gave to the whole educational world, than by the particular system of
child-culture in connection with which he is best known to-day.

Judged by ordinary worldly standards, his life was an unsuccessful
one, full of trials and privations, and empty of reward. His
death-blow was doubtless struck by the prohibition of kindergartens
in Prussia in 1851, an edict which remained nine years in force. His
strength had been too sorely tried to resist this final crushing
misfortune, and he passed away the following year. His body was borne
to the grave through a heavy storm of wind and rain that seemed to
symbolize the vicissitudes of his earthly days, while as a forecast of
the future the sun shone out at the last moment, and the train of
mourners looked back to see the low mound irradiated with glory.

In Thuringia, where the great child-lover was born, the kindergartens,
his best memorials, cluster thickly now; and on the face of the cliffs
that overhang the bridle-path across the Glockner mountain may be seen
in great letters the single word _Froebel_, hewn deep into the solid

                                 [Signature: Nora Archibald Smith]


From 'Reminiscences of Friedrich Froebel,' by Baroness B. von
Marenholtz-Bülow. Copyright 1877, by Mary Mann. Reprinted by
permission of Lee & Shepard, publishers, Boston.

All that does not grow out of one's inner being, all that is not one's
own original feeling and thought, or that at least does not awaken
that, oppresses and defaces the individuality of man instead of
calling it forth, and nature becomes thereby a caricature. Shall we
never cease to stamp human nature, even in childhood, like coins? to
overlay it with foreign images and foreign superscriptions, instead of
letting it develop itself and grow into form according to the law of
life planted in it by God the Father, so that it may be able to bear
the stamp of the Divine, and become an image of God?...

This theory of love is to serve as the highest goal and polestar of
human education, and must be attended to in the germ of humanity, the
child, and truly in his very first impulses. The conquest of
self-seeking _egoism_ is the most important task of education; for
selfishness isolates the individual from all communion, and kills the
life-giving principle of love. Therefore the first object of education
is to teach to love, to break up the egoism of the individual, and to
lead him from the first stage of communion in the family through all
the following stages of social life to the love of humanity, or to the
highest self-conquest by which man rises to Divine unity....

Women are to recognize that childhood and womanliness (the care of
childhood and the life of women) are inseparably connected; that they
form a unit; and that God and nature have placed the protection of the
human plant in their hands. Hitherto the female sex could take only a
more or less passive part in human history, because great battles and
the political organization of nations were not suited to their powers.
But at the present stage of culture, nothing is more pressingly
required than the cultivation of every human power for the arts of
peace and the work of higher civilization. The culture of individuals,
and therefore of the whole nation, depends in great part upon the
earliest care of childhood. On that account women, as one half of
mankind, have to undertake the most important part of the problems of
the time, problems that men are not able to solve. If but one half of
the work be accomplished, then our epoch, like all others, will fail
to reach the appointed goal. As educators of mankind, the women of the
present time have the highest duty to perform, while hitherto they
have been scarcely more than the beloved mothers of human beings....

But I will protect childhood, that it may not as in earlier
generations be pinioned, as in a strait-jacket, in garments of custom
and ancient prescription that have become too narrow for the new time.
I shall show the way and shape the means, that every human soul may
grow of itself, out of its own individuality. But where shall I find
allies and helpers if not in women, who as mothers and teachers may
put my idea in execution? Only intellectually active women can and
will do it. But if these are to be loaded with the ballast of dead
knowledge that can take no root in the unprepared ground, if the
fountains of their own original life are to be choked up with it, they
will not follow my direction nor understand the call of the time for
the new task of their sex, but will seek satisfaction in empty

To learn to comprehend nature in the child,--is not that to comprehend
one's own nature and the nature of mankind? And in this comprehension
is there not involved a certain degree of comprehension of all things
else? Women cannot learn and take into themselves anything higher and
more comprehensive. It should therefore at least be the beginning,
and the love of childhood should be awakened in the mind (and in a
wider sense, this is the love of humanity), so that a new, free
generation of men can grow up by right care.


From 'The Mottoes and Commentaries of Mother-Play.' Copyright 1895, by
D. Appleton & Co.

What shall we learn from our yearning look into the heart of the
flower and the eye of the child? This truth: Whatever develops, be it
into flower or tree or man, is from the beginning implicitly that
which it has the power to become. The possibility of perfect manhood
is what you read in your child's eye, just as the perfect flower is
prophesied in the bud, or the giant oak in the tiny acorn. A
presentiment that the ideal or generic human being slumbers, dreams,
stirs in your unconscious infant--this it is, O mother, which
transfigures you as you gaze upon him. Strive to define to yourself
what is that generic ideal which is wrapped up in your child. Surely,
as _your_ child--or in other words, as child of man--he is destined to
live in the past and future as well as in the present. His earthly
being implies a past heaven; his birth makes a present heaven; in his
soul he holds a future heaven. This threefold heaven, which you also
bear within you, shines out on you through your child's eyes.

The beast lives only in the present. Of past and future he knows
naught. But to man belong not only the present, but also the future
and the past. His thought pierces the heaven of the future, and hope
is born. He learns that all human life is one life; that all human
joys and sorrows are his joys and sorrows, and through participation
enters the present heaven--the heaven of love. He turns his mind
towards the past, and out of retrospection wrests a vigorous faith.
What soul could fail to conquer an invincible trust in the pure, the
good, the holy, the ideally human, the truly Divine, if it would look
with single eye into its own past, into the past of history? Could
there be a man in whose soul such a contemplation of the past would
fail to blossom into devout insight, into self-conscious and
self-comprehending faith? Must not such a retrospect unveil the truth?
Must not the beauty of the unveiled truth allure him to Divine doing,
Divine living? All that is high and holy in human life meets in that
faith which is born of the unveiling of a heaven that has always been;
in that hope born of a vision of the heaven that shall be; in that
love which creates a heaven in the eternal Now. These three heavens
shine out upon you through your child's eye. The presentiment that he
carries these three heavens within him transfigures your countenance
as you gaze upon him. Cherish this premonition, for thereby you will
help him to make his life a musical chord wherein are blended the
three notes of faith, hope, and love. These celestial virtues will
link his life with the Divine life through which all life is one--with
the God who is the supernal fountain of life, light, and love....

Higher and more important than the cultivation of man's outer ear, is
the culture of that inner sense of harmony whereby the soul learns to
perceive sweet accord in soundless things, and to discern within
itself harmonies and discords. The importance of wakening the inner
ear to this music of the soul can scarcely be exaggerated. Learning to
hear it within, the child will strive to give it outer form and
expression; and even if in such effort he is only partially
successful, he will gain thereby the power to appreciate the more
successful effort of others. Thus enriching his own life by the life
of others, he solves the problem of development. How else were it
possible within the quickly fleeting hours of mortal life to develop
our being in all directions, to fathom its depths, scale its heights,
measure its boundaries? What we are, what we would be, we must learn
to recognize in the mirror of all other lives. By the effort of each,
and the recognition of all, the Divine man is revealed in humanity....

Against the bright light which shines on the smooth white wall is
thrust a dark object, and straightway appears the form which so
delights the child. This is the outward fact; what is the truth which
through this fact is dimly hinted to the prophetic mind? Is it not the
creative and transforming power of light, that power which brings form
and color out of chaos, and makes the beauty which gladdens our
hearts? Is it not more than this,--a foreshadowing, perhaps, of the
spiritual fact that our darkest experiences may project themselves in
forms that will delight and bless, if in our hearts shines the light
of God? The sternest crags, the most forbidding chasms, are beautiful
in the mellow sunshine; while the fairest landscape loses all charm,
and indeed ceases to be, when the light which created it is
withdrawn. Is it not thus also with our lives? Yesterday, touched by
the light of enthusiastic emotion, all our relationships seemed
beautiful and blessed; to-day, when the glow of enthusiasm has faded,
they oppress and repulse us. Only the conviction that it is the
darkness within us which makes the darkness without, can restore the
lost peace of our souls. Be it therefore, O mother, your sacred duty
to make your darling early feel the working both of the outer and
inner light. Let him see in one the symbol of the other, and tracing
light and color to their source in the sun, may he learn to trace the
beauty and meaning of his life to their source in God.

                                       Translation of Susan E. Blow.


From 'The Letters of Froebel'

I am firmly convinced that all the phenomena of the child-world, those
which delight us as well as those which grieve us, depend upon fixed
laws as definite as those of the cosmos, the planetary system, and the
operations of nature; and it is therefore possible to discover them
and examine them. When once we know and have assimilated these laws,
we shall be able powerfully to counteract any retrograde and faulty
tendencies in the children, and to encourage, at the same time, all
that is good and virtuous.


From 'The Letters of Froebel'

I wish you could have been here this evening, and seen the many
beautiful and varied forms and lovely patterns which freely and
spontaneously developed themselves from some systematic variations of
a simple ground form, in stick-playing. No one would believe, without
seeing it, how the child soul, the child life, develops when treated
as a whole, and in the sense of forming a part of the great connected
life of the world, by some skilled kindergarten teacher--nay, even by
one who is only simple-hearted, thoughtful, and attentive; nor how it
blooms into delicious harmonies like a beautifully tinted flower. Oh,
if I could only shout aloud with ten thousand lung-power the truth
that I now tell you in silence! Then would I make the ears of a
hundred thousand men ring with it! What keenness of sensation, what
a soul, what a mind, what force of will and active energy, what
dexterity and skill of muscular movement and of perception, and what
calm and patience, will not all these things call out in the children!

How is it that parents are so blind and deaf, when they profess to be
so eager to work for the welfare, the health, and peace of their
children? No! I cannot understand it; and yet a whole generation has
passed since this system first delivered its message, first called for
educational amendment, first pointed out where the need for it lay,
and showed how it could be satisfied.

If I were not afraid of being taken for an idiot or an escaped
lunatic, I would run barefoot from one end of Germany to the other and
cry aloud to all men:--"Set to work at once for your children's sake
on some universally developing plan, aiming at unity of life purpose,
and through that at joy and peace." But what good would it do? A
Curtman and a Ramsauer, in their stupidity or maliciousness, make it
their duty to stigmatize my work as sinful, when I am but quietly
corresponding with just my own friends and sympathizers; for they say
I am destroying all pleasure in life for the parents: "Who could be so
silly as I,--amongst sane men who acknowledge that parents have a
right to enjoy life,--I who perpetually call to these parents in tones
of imperative demand, 'Come, let us live for our children!'" (Kommt,
laszt uns unseren Kindern leben!)


From 'The Education of Man.' By permission of Josephine Jarvis, the
translator, and A. Lovell & Co., publishers

Only in the measure that we are thoroughly penetrated by the pure,
spiritual, inward, human relations, and are faithful to them even in
the smallest detail in life, do we attain to the complete knowledge
and perception of the Divine-human relation; only in that measure do
we anticipate them so deeply, vividly, and truly, that every yearning
of our whole being is thereby satisfied,--at least receives its whole
meaning, and is changed from a constantly unfulfilled yearning to an
immediately rewarded effort....

How we degrade and lower the human nature which we should raise, how
we weaken those whom we should strengthen, when we hold up to them an
inducement to act virtuously, even though we place this inducement in
another world! If we employ an outward incentive, though it be the
most spiritual, to call forth better life, and leave undeveloped the
inner, spontaneous, and independent power of representing pure
humanity which rests in each man, we degrade our human nature.

But how wholly different every thing is, if man, especially in
boyhood, is made to observe the reflex action of his conduct, not on
his outward more or less agreeable position, but on his inner,
spontaneous or fettered, clear or clouded, satisfied or dissatisfied
condition of spirit and mind! The experiences which proceed from this
observation will necessarily more and more awaken the inner sense of
man: and then true sense, the greatest treasure of boy and man, comes
into his life.


I see in every child the possibility of a perfect man.

The child-soul is an ever-bubbling fountain in the world of humanity.

The plays of childhood are the heart-leaves of the whole future life.

Childish unconsciousness is rest in God.

From each object of nature and of life, there goes a path toward God.

Perfect human joy is also worship, for it is ordered by God.

The first groundwork of religious life is love--love to God and
man--in the bosom of the family.

Childhood is the most important stage of the total development of man
and of humanity.

Women must make of their educational calling a priestly office.

Isolation and exclusion destroy life; union and participation create

Without religious preparation in childhood, no true religion and no
union with God is possible for men.

The tree germ bears within itself the nature of the whole tree; the
human being bears in himself the nature of all humanity; and is not
therefore humanity born anew in each child?

In the children lies the seed-corn of the future.

The lovingly cared for, and thereby steadily and strongly developed
human life, also the cloudless child life, is of itself a Christ-like

In all things works one creative life, because the life of all things
proceeds from one God.

Let us live with our children: so shall their lives bring peace and
joy to us; so shall we begin to be and to become wise.

What boys and girls play in earliest childhood will become by-and-by a
beautiful reality of serious life; for they expand into stronger and
lovelier youthfulness by seeking on every side appropriate objects to
verify the thoughts of their inmost souls.

This earliest age is the most important one for education, because the
beginning decides the manner of progress and the end. If national
order is to be recognized in later years as a benefit, childhood must
first be accustomed to law and order, and therein find the means of
freedom. Lawlessness and caprice must rule in no period of life, not
even in that of the nursling.

The kindergarten is the free republic of childhood.

A deep feeling of the universal brotherhood of man,--what is it but a
true sense of our close filial union with God?

Man must be able to fail, in order to be good and virtuous; and he
must be able to become a slave in order to be truly free.

My teachers are the children themselves, with all their purity, their
innocence, their unconsciousness, and their irresistible claims; and I
follow them like a faithful, trustful scholar.

A story told at the right time is like a looking-glass for the mind.

I wish to cultivate men who stand rooted in nature, with their feet in
God's earth, whose heads reach toward and look into the heavens; whose
hearts unite the richly formed life of earth and nature, with the
purity and peace of heaven,--God's earth and God's heaven.

    [Illustration: _THE MENAGERIE._
    Photogravure from a Painting by T. R. Sunderland.

    "What boys and girls play in earliest childhood will become
    by-and-by a beautiful reality of serious life; for they
    expand into stronger and lovelier youthfulness by seeking on
    every side appropriate objects to verify the thoughts of
    their inmost souls."--_Froebel._]




[Illustration: FROISSART]

Froissart is the artist of chivalry. On his pages are painted, with
immortal brilliancy, the splendid shows, the coronations, weddings,
tourneys, marches, feasts, and battles of the English and French
knighthood just before the close of the Middle Ages. "I intend," he
says in the Prologue of his chronicle, "to treat and record history
and matter of great praise, to the end that the honorable emprises and
noble adventures and deeds of arms, which have come about from the
wars of France and England, may be notably enregistered and placed in
perpetual memory, whereby chevaliers may take example to encourage
them in well-doing."

Chivalry, in the popular understanding, is the fine flower of
feudalism, its bloom of poetic and heroic life. But in reality it was
artificial, having grown from an exaggerated respect for certain human
qualities, at the expense of others fully as essential and indeed no
less beautiful. Courage is good; but it is not rare, and the love of
fighting for fighting's sake is made possible only by disregarding
large areas of life to which war brings no harvest of happiness, and
over which it does not even cast the glamor of romance. The works of
civilized communities--agriculture, industry, commerce, art, learning,
religion--were nearly at a standstill in the middle of the fourteenth
century, when Europe was turned into a playground for steel-clad

This perversion of nature could not last. The wretched Hundred Years'
War had run but half its course when the misery and disgust among the
real people, who thought and wrought, drove them to such despairing
efforts as the Jacquerie in France and Wat Tyler's Rebellion in
England. It was the English archers, as Froissart reluctantly admits,
and not the knights, who won the battle of Poitiers. Gunpowder and
cannon, a few years later, doomed the man-at-arms, and the rise of
strong monarchies crowded out the feudal system. The thunder of
artillery which echoes faintly in the last pages of Froissart is like
a parting salvo to all the pageantry the volume holds. From
cannon-ball and musket-shot the glittering procession has found refuge
there. Into the safe retreat of these illuminated parchments, all the
banners and pennons, lances, crests, and tapestries, knights and
horses under clanking mail, had time--and but just time--to withdraw.
We find them there, fresh as when they hurried in, the colors bright,
the trumpets blowing.

Jean Froissart was born at Valenciennes in Hainault, in 1337, the year
of his birth almost coinciding with Chaucer's. He tells us in his long
autobiographical poem, 'L'Espinette Amoureuse,' that he was fond of
play when a boy, and delighted in dances, carols, and poems, and had a
liking for all those who loved dogs and birds. In the school where he
was sent, he says, there were little girls whom he tried to please by
giving them rings of glass, and pins, and apples, and pears. It seemed
to him a most worthy thing to acquire their favor, and he wondered
when it would be his turn to fall really in love. Much of this poem,
which narrates tediously the love affair that was not long in coming,
is probably fictitious; but there is no doubt of the accuracy of his
description of himself in the opening lines, as fond of pleasure,
prone to gallantry, and susceptible to all the bright faces of
romance. From love and arms, he says, we are often told that all joy
and every honor flow. He informs us elsewhere that he was no sooner
out of school than he began to write, putting into verse the wars of
his time.

In 1361 he went to England, where Edward III was reigning with
Philippa his queen, a daughter of the Count of Hainault. His passport
to the favor of his great countrywoman was a book, the result of these
rhymings, covering the period from the battle of Poitiers, 1356, to
the time of his voyage. This volume is not known to exist, nor any
copy of it. The Queen made him a clerk of her chamber. He had abundant
opportunity in England to gratify his curiosity and fill his
note-book, for the court was full of French noblemen, lately come over
as hostages for King Jean of France, who was captured at the battle of

In 1365 he took letters of recommendation from the Queen to David
Bruce, King of Scotland, whom he followed for three months in his
progress through that realm; spending a fortnight at the castle of
William Douglas and making everywhere diligent inquiry about the
recent war of 1345. In his delightful little poem 'The Debate between
the Horse and the Greyhound,' beginning, "Froissart from Scotland was
returning," we have a lifelike figure of the inquisitive young
chronicler, pushing unweariedly from inn to inn on a tired horse and
leading a footsore dog.

Between his thirtieth and his thirty-fourth year he was sometimes in
England and sometimes in various parts of the Continent. In August
1369, while he was abroad, his patroness Queen Philippa died. She had
encouraged him to continue his researches and writings, and he had
presented her with a second volume, in prose, which has come down to
us as a part of the chronicle. He admits that his work was an
expansion of the chronicle of Jean le Bel, Canon of Saint Lambert at
Liège, for he says:--"As all great rivers are made by the gathering
together of many streams and springs, so the sciences also are
extracted and compiled by many clerks: what one knows, the other does

On hearing of the Queen's death, Froissart settled in his own country
of Hainault. There he won favor from princes, as was his custom, by
giving them manuscripts of his chronicle, which was growing apace. By
the middle of 1373 we find him become a churchman and provided with a
living, in which he remained ten years, compiling fresh history and
correcting what he had already written and put in circulation. A
little later, 1376 to 1383, he made a more thorough revision of his
chronicle, going so far as to modify its spirit, which had been
favorable to English character and policy, and make it more agreeable
to partisans of France. Although Froissart was not a Frenchman, his
writings are all in the French language, which was of course his
native tongue.

About the beginning of 1384 he was made a canon of the Church, at
Chimay, a small town near the French frontier, and in this region he
observed the military movements then going on there, and recorded them
immediately in Book ii. of his chronicle. Four years of quiet were
however too much for his mobile and energetic spirit; and in 1388,
hearing that the Count Gaston de Foix, in the Pyrenees, was a man
likely to know many details of the English wars in Gascony and
Guyenne, he set out to visit him, taking among other presents a book
of his poetry and two couples of hounds. When he still had ten days to
travel he met a gentleman of Foix, with whom he journeyed the rest of
the way, beguiling the time with talk about the sieges the various
towns upon their route had suffered.

    "At the words which he spoke I was delighted, for they
    pleased me much, and right well did I retain them all; and as
    soon as I had dismounted at the hostelries along the road
    which we traveled together, I wrote them down, at evening as
    in the morning, to have a better record of them in times to
    come; for there is nothing so retentive as writing."

Count Gaston received him hospitably, and filled his three months'
sojourn with stories of great events. Then Froissart visited many
towns of Provence and Languedoc. These peregrinations furnished much
of the material for Book iii. Little more is known of his life, except
with respect to a visit to England which he made in 1394, and which
enabled him to collect material for a large part of Book iv., the last
in the chronicle. He is supposed to have died at Chimay, later than
1400, and perhaps, as tradition asserts, in 1410.

It is an engaging picture, this, of a genial, sharp-eyed, somewhat
worldly churchman, riding his gray horse over hill and dale in quest
of knowledge. We can fancy him arriving at his inn of an evening, and
at once asking the obsequious host what knight or other great person
dwells in the neighborhood. He loses no time before calling at the
castle, and is gladly admitted when he tells his well-known name. He
is ready to pay for any historical information with a story from his
own collection. He is welcome everywhere, and for his part does not
regret the time thus spent, nor the money,--several fortunes, by his
own count,--for he has the light heart of the true traveler. It is
always sunshine where he goes. The clangor of arms and the blare of
trumpets hover ever above the horizon. Around the corner of every hill
sits a fair castle by a shining river. From town to town, from
province to province, his love of listening draws him on. To realize
the charm of journeying in those days, we must remember that the local
customs and qualities were almost undisturbed by communication; two
French cities only a score of miles apart would often differ from each
other as much as Nuremberg does from Venice.

    "And I tell you for a truth," we read, "that to make these
    chronicles I have gone in my time much through the world,
    both to fulfill my pleasure by seeing the wonders of the
    earth, and to inquire about the arms and adventures that are
    written in this book."

So to horse, good Canon of Chimay! Throw aside books; there is news of
fighting in the South; after the battle, soldiers will talk. There
have been deeds of courage and romance. Hasten thither, while the tale
of them is new!

If he were not so celebrated as a chronicler, Froissart would be known
as one of the last of the wandering minstrels. He had the roving foot;
he lived by charming the rich into generosity with his recitals. And
he wrote much poetry, which is little read, except where it has some
autobiographical interest. We possess the long poems, 'L'Espinette
Amoureuse,' 'Le Buisson de Jeunesse,' 'Le Dit du Florin,' and several
shorter pieces, with fragments of his once famous versified romance

His great prose work, while professing to be a history, in distinction
from the chronicles of previous writers, is however not an orderly
narration, nor is it a philosophical treatment of political causes and
effects. It is a collection of pictures and stories, without much
unity except the constant purpose of exhibiting the prowess of
knighthood. There is not much indication even of partisanship or
patriotic feeling. Froissart generally gives due meed of praise to the
best knight in every bout, the best battalion in every encounter,
regardless of sides.

The subjects treated are so numerous and disparate that no general
idea of them can be given. They cover the time from 1326 to 1394, and
lead us through England, Scotland, Flanders, Hainault, France, Italy,
Spain, and Northern Africa. Among the most interesting passages are
the story of King Edward's campaign against the Scots; his march
through France; the battle of Crécy; the siege of Calais; Wat Tyler's
Rebellion, which Froissart the well-fed parasite treats with an odd
and inconsistent mingling of horror and contempt; the Jacquerie, which
he says was the work of peasant dogs, the scum of the earth; the
battle of Poitiers, with a fine description of the Black Prince
waiting at table on poor captured King Jean; and the rise and fall of
Philip van Artevelde.

Froissart's chronicle used to be regarded as authoritative history.
But as might have been expected from his mode of inquiry, it is full
of geographical, chronological, and other errors. Getting his
information by ear, he wrote proper names phonetically, or turned them
into something resembling French. Thus Worcester becomes "Vaucestre,"
Seymour "Simon," Sutherland "Surlant," Walter Tyler "Vautre Tuilier,"
Edinburgh "Hedaimbourch," Stirling "Eturmelin." The persons from whom
he got his material were generally partisans either of France or of
England, and often told him their stories years after the events; so
that although he tried to be impartial himself, and to offset one
witness by another, he seldom heard a judicial account of a battle or
a quarrel. He seems to have consulted few written records, though he
might easily have seen the State papers of England and Hainault.

It is useless to blame him, however; for the writing of mere history
was not his purpose. With all his fine devotion to his life work,--a
devotion which is the more admirable when we consider his
pleasure-loving nature,--with all his attention to fairness, his great
concern was not so much to instruct as to delight, first himself,
secondly the great people of his age, and lastly posterity, on whom he
ever and anon cast a shrewd and longing glance. To please his
contemporaries, he several times revised his work. Posterity has
nearly always preferred what might be called the first edition, which
is the most unconscious and entertaining, though the least precise.

But if we must deny him much of the value as a political historian
which was once attributed to him, we may still regard him as a great
authority for the general aspect of life in the fourteenth century.
Manners, customs, morals, as well as armor and dress, are no doubt
correctly portrayed in his book. We learn from it what was deemed
virtue and what vice; we learn that although religion was sincerely
professed by the upper classes, it was not very successfully
practiced, and had amazingly little effect upon morals. We are struck,
for instance, with the absence of imagination or sympathy which
permitted people to witness the horrible tortures inflicted on
prisoners and criminals, although their minds were frequently filled
with visions of supernatural beings. Froissart unconsciously makes
himself, too, a medium for studying human character in his time, by
his negative morality, his complacent recording of crimes, his
unconcerned mention of horrors. Yet from his bringing up as a poet,
and his scholarly associations, and his connection with the Church, it
is likely he was a gentler man than nine-tenths of the knights and
squires and men-at-arms about him.

There is an indifference colder even than cynicism in his failure to
remark on the sufferings of the poor, which were so awful in his age.
It is the result of class prejudice, and seems deliberate. The burned
village, the trampled grain-field, the cowering women, the starved
children, the rotting corpses, the mangled forms of living and
agonizing foot-soldiers,--all these consequences of war he sees and
occasionally mentions, yet they hardly touch him. But he is forever
mourning the death of stricken knights as if it were a woeful loss.
Yet for all his association with the governing class, we never find
ourselves thinking of him as anything but a commoner raised to fortune
by genius and favor. He has not the distinction of Joinville, who was
a nobleman in the conventional sense and also in the truest sense.

Froissart's merit, then, is not that he is a great political
historian, nor even a great historian of the culture of his time. He
did not see accurately enough to be the first, nor broadly and deeply
and independently enough to be the second. But kindly Nature made him
something else, and enabled him to win that name "which honoreth most
and most endureth." She gave him the painter's eye, the poet's fancy,
and it is as the artist of chivalry he lives to-day. His chronicle may
be often false to historical fact, it may not display a broad and
sympathetic intelligence or a generous impatience of conventionality,
but it does please, it does enthrall. It is one of those books without
moral intent, like the Arabian Nights, which the boys of all ages will
persist in reading, and which men delight in if they love good
pictures and good story-telling. No more lasting colors have come down
to us from Venetian painters than those which rush out from the words
on his pages. His scenes do not take shape in our minds as etchings or
engravings, but smile themselves into being, like oil-paintings.
Sunlight, the glint of steel, red and yellow banners waving, white
horses galloping over the sand, flashing armor, glittering spurs, the
shining faces of eager men, fill with glory this great pictorial
wonder-book of the Middle Ages.

                                    [Signature: Geo McLean Harper]


From the 'Chronicles': Translation of John Bourchier, Lord Berners


When the King of England arrived in the Hogue Saint-Vaast, the King
issued out of his ship, and the first foot that he set on the ground
he fell so rudely that the blood brast out of his nose. The knights
that were about him took him up and said, "Sir, for God's sake enter
again into your ship, and come not aland this day, for this is but an
evil sign for us." Then the King answered quickly and said,
"Wherefore? This is a good token for me, for the land desireth to have
me." Of the which answer all his men were right joyful. So that day
and night the King lodged on the sands, and in the mean time
discharged the ships of their horses and other baggages; there the
King made two marshals of his host, the one the Lord Godfrey of
Harcourt and the other the Earl of Warwick, and the Earl of Arundel
constable. And he ordained that the Earl of Huntingdon should keep the
fleet of ships with a hundred men of arms and four hundred archers;
and also he ordained three battles, one to go on his right hand,
closing to the seaside, and the other on his left hand, and the King
himself in the midst, and every night to lodge all in one field.

Thus they set forth as they were ordained, and they that went by the
sea took all the ships that they found in their ways; and so long they
went forth, what by sea and what by land, that they came to a good
port and to a good town called Barfleur, the which incontinent was
won, for they within gave up for fear of death. Howbeit, for all that,
the town was robbed, and much gold and silver there found, and rich
jewels; there was found so much riches, that the boys and villains of
the host set nothing by good furred gowns; they made all the men of
the town to issue out and to go into the ships, because they would not
suffer them to be behind them for fear of rebelling again. After the
town of Barfleur was thus taken and robbed without brenning, then they
spread abroad in the country and did what they list, for there was not
to resist them. At last they came to a great and a rich town called
Cherbourg; the town they won and robbed it, and brent part thereof,
but into the castle they could not come, it was so strong and well
furnished with men of war.


Thus by the Englishmen was brent, exiled, robbed, wasted, and pilled
the good plentiful country of Normandy. Then the French King sent for
the Lord John of Hainault, who came to him with a great number; also
the King sent for other men of arms, dukes, earls, barons, knights,
and squires, and assembled together the greatest number of people that
had been seen in France a hundred year before. He sent for men into so
far countries, that it was long or they came together, wherefore the
King of England did what him list in the mean season. The French King
heard well what he did, and sware and said how they should never
return again unfought withal, and that such hurts and damages as they
had done should be dearly revenged; wherefore he had sent letters to
his friends in the Empire, to such as were farthest off, and also to
the gentle King of Bohemia and to the Lord Charles his son, who from
thenceforth was called King of Almaine; he was made King by the aid of
his father and the French King, and had taken on him the arms of the
Empire: the French King desired them to come to him with all their
powers, to the intent to fight with the King of England, who brent and
wasted his country. These Princes and Lords made them ready with great
number of men of arms, of Almains, Bohemians, and Luxemburgers, and so
came to the French King. Also King Philip sent to the Duke of
Lorraine, who came to serve him with three hundred spears; also there
came the Earl [of] Salm in Saumois, the Earl of Sarrebruck, the Earl
of Flanders, the Earl William of Namur, every man with a fair company.

Ye have heard herebefore of the order of the Englishmen; how they went
in three battles, the marshals on the right hand and on the left, the
King and the Prince of Wales his son in the midst. They rode but small
journeys, and every day took their lodgings between noon and three of
the clock, and found the country so fruitful that they needed not to
make no provision for their host, but all only for wine; and yet they
found reasonably sufficient thereof. It was no marvel, though, they of
the country were afraid; for before that time they had never seen men
of war, nor they wist not what war or battle meant. They fled away as
far as they might hear speaking of the Englishmen, and left their
houses well stuffed, and granges full of corn; they wist not how to
save and keep it. The King of England and the Prince had in their
battle a three thousand men of arms and six thousand archers, and a
ten thousand men afoot, beside them that rode with the marshals....

Then the King went toward Caen, the which was a greater town and full
of drapery and other merchandise, and rich burgesses, noble ladies and
damosels, and fair churches, and specially two great and rich abbeys,
one of the Trinity, another of Saint Stephen; and on the one side of
the town one of the fairest castles of all Normandy, and captain
therein was Robert of Wargny, with three hundred Genoways, and in the
town was the Earl of Eu and of Guines, Constable of France, and the
Earl of Tancarville, with a good number of men of war. The King of
England rode that day in good order and lodged all his battles
together that night, a two leagues from Caen, in a town with a little
haven called Austrehem, and thither came also all his navy of ships
with the Earl of Huntingdon, who was governour of them.

The constable and other lords of France that night watched well the
town of Caen, and in the morning armed them with all them of the town:
then the constable ordained that none should issue out, but keep their
defenses on the walls, gate, bridge, and river; and left the suburbs
void, because they were not closed; for they thought they should have
enough to do to defend the town, because it was not closed but with
the river. They of the town said how they would issue out, for they
were strong enough to fight with the King of England. When the
constable saw their good wills, he said, "In the name of God be it,
ye shall not fight without me." Then they issued out in good order,
and made good face to fight and to defend them and to put their lives
in adventure.


The same day the Englishmen rose early and appareled them ready to go
to Caen.[A] The King heard mass before the sun-rising, and then took
his horse, and the Prince his son, with Sir Godfrey of Harcourt,
marshal and leader of the host, whose counsel the King much followed.
Then they drew toward Caen with their battles in good array, and so
approached the good town of Caen. When they of the town, who were
ready in the field, saw these three battles coming in good order, with
their banners and standards waving in the wind, and the archers, the
which they had not been accustomed to see, they were sore afraid and
fled away toward the town without any order or good array, for all
that the constable could do; then the Englishmen pursued them eagerly.
When the constable and the Earl Tancarville saw that, they took a gate
at the entry and saved themselves and certain with them, for the
Englishmen were entered into the town. Some of the knights and squires
of France, such as knew the way to the castle, went thither, and the
captain there received them all, for the castle was large. The
Englishmen in the chase slew many, for they took none to mercy.

Then the constable and the Earl of Tancarville, being in the little
tower at the bridge foot, looked along the street and saw their men
slain without mercy; they doubted to fall in their hands. At last they
saw an English knight with one eye, called Sir Thomas Holland, and a
five or six other knights with him; they knew them, for they had seen
them before in Pruce, in Granade, and in other viages. Then they
called to Sir Thomas and said how they would yield themselves
prisoners. Then Sir Thomas came thither with his company and mounted
up into the gate, and there found the said lords with twenty-five
knights with them, who yielded them to Sir Thomas; and he took them
for his prisoners and left company to keep them, and then mounted
again on his horse and rode into the streets, and saved many lives of
ladies, damosels, and cloisterers from defoiling,--for the soldiers
were without mercy. It fell so well the same season for the
Englishmen, that the river, which was able to bear ships, at that time
was so low that men went in and out beside the bridge. They of the
town were entered into their houses, and cast down into the street
stones, timber, and iron, and slew and hurt more than five hundred
Englishmen; wherewith the King was sore displeased. At night when he
heard thereof, he commanded that the next day all should be put to the
sword and the town brent; but then Sir Godfrey of Harcourt
said:--"Dear sir, for God's sake assuage somewhat your courage, and
let it suffice you that ye have done. Ye have yet a great voyage to do
or ye come before Calais, whither ye purpose to go: and sir, in this
town there is much people who will defend their houses, and it will
cost many of your men their lives, or ye have all at your will;
whereby peradventure ye shall not keep your purpose to Calais, the
which should redound to your rack. Sir, save your people, for ye shall
have need of them or this month pass; for I think verily your
adversary King Philip will meet with you to fight, and ye shall find
many strait passages and rencounters; wherefore your men, an ye had
more, shall stand you in good stead: and sir, without any further
slaying ye shall be lord of this town; men and women will put all that
they have to your pleasure." Then the King said, "Sir Godfrey, you are
our marshal; ordain everything as ye will." Then Sir Godfrey with his
banner rode from street to street, and commanded in the King's name
none to be so hardy to put fire in any house, to slay any person, nor
to violate any woman. When they of the town heard that cry, they
received the Englishmen into their houses and made them good cheer,
and some opened their coffers and bade them take what them list, so
they might be assured of their lives; howbeit there were done in the
town many evil deeds, murders, and robberies. Thus the Englishmen were
lords of the town three days and won great riches, the which they sent
by barks and barges to Saint-Saviour by the river of Austrehem, a two
leagues thence, whereas all their navy lay. Then the King sent the
Earl of Huntingdon with two hundred men of arms and four hundred
archers, with his navy and prisoners and riches that they had got,
back again into England. And the King bought of Sir Thomas Holland
the Constable of France and the Earl of Tancarville, and paid for
them twenty thousand nobles....

The next day the King departed, brenning and wasting all before him,
and at night lodged in a good village called Grandvilliers. The next
day the King passed by Dargies; there was none to defend the castle,
wherefore it was soon taken and brent. Then they went forth destroying
the country all about, and so came to the castle of Poix, where there
was a good town and two castles. There was nobody in them but two fair
damosels, daughters to the Lord of Poix; they were soon taken, and had
been violated, an two English knights had not been, Sir John Chandos
and Sir Basset; they defended them and brought them to the King, who
for his honor made them good cheer and demanded of them whither they
would fainest go. They said, "To Corbie," and the King caused them to
be brought thither without peril. That night the King lodged in the
town of Poix. They of the town and of the castles spake that night
with the marshals of the host, to save them and their town from
brenning, and they to pay a certain sum of florins the next day as
soon as the host was departed. This was granted them, and in the
morning the King departed with all his host, except a certain that
were left there to receive the money that they of the town had
promised to pay. When they of the town saw the host depart and but a
few left behind, then they said they would pay never a penny, and so
ran out and set on the Englishmen, who defended themselves as well as
they might and sent after the host for succor. When Sir Raynold Cobham
and Sir Thomas Holland, who had the rule of the rear guard, heard
thereof, they returned and cried, "Treason, treason!" and so came
again to Poix-ward and found their companions still fighting with them
of the town. Then anon they of the town were nigh all slain, and the
town brent, and the two castles beaten down. Then they returned to the
King's host, who was as then at Airaines and there lodged, and had
commanded all manner of men on pain of death to do no hurt to no town
of Arsyn,[B] for there the King was minded to lie a day or two to take
advice how he might pass the river of Somme; for it was necessary for
him to pass the river, as ye shall hear after.

    [A] This was 26th July, 1346. Edward arrived at Poissy on
    12th August; Philip of Valois left Paris on the 14th; the
    English crossed the Seine at Poissy on the 16th, and the
    Somme at Blanche-taque on the 24th.

    [B] Probably a misunderstanding by Froissart of the English
    word "arson": the king's command being not to burn the towns
    on the Somme, as he wanted them for shelter.


Now let us speak of King Philip, who was at Saint-Denis and his people
about him, and daily increased. Then on a day he departed and rode so
long that he came to Coppegueule, a three leagues from Amiens, and
there he tarried. The King of England, being at Airaines, wist not
where for to pass the river of Somme, the which was large and deep,
and all bridges were broken and the passages well kept. Then at the
King's commandment his two marshals with a thousand men of arms and
two thousand archers went along the river to find some passage, and
passed by Longpré, and came to the bridge of Remy, the which was well
kept with a great number of knights and squires and men of the
country. The Englishmen alighted afoot and assailed the Frenchmen from
the morning till it was noon; but the bridge was so well fortified and
defended that the Englishmen departed without winning of anything.
Then they went to a great town called Fountains, on the river of
Somme, the which was clean robbed and brent, for it was not closed.
Then they went to another town called Long-en-Ponthieu; they could not
win the bridge, it was so well kept and defended. Then they departed
and went to Picquigny, and found the town, the bridge, and the castle
so well fortified that it was not likely to pass there; the French
King had so well defended the passages, to the intent that the King of
England should not pass the river of Somme, to fight with him at his
advantage or else to famish him there.

When these two marshals had assayed in all places to find passage and
could find none, they returned again to the King, and shewed how they
could find no passage in no place. The same night the French King came
to Amiens with more than a hundred thousand men. The King of England
was right pensive, and the next morning heard mass before the
sun-rising and then dislodged; and every man followed the marshals'
banners, and so rode in the country of Vimeu approaching to the good
town of Abbeville, and found a town thereby, whereunto was come much
people of the country in trust of a little defense that was there; but
the Englishmen anon won it, and all they that were within slain, and
many taken of the town and of the country. The King took his lodging
in a great hospital[C] that was there. The same day the French King
departed from Amiens and came to Airaines about noon; and the
Englishmen were departed thence in the morning. The Frenchmen found
there great provision that the Englishmen had left behind them,
because they departed in haste. There they found flesh ready on the
broaches, bread and pasties in the ovens, wine in tuns and barrels,
and the tables ready laid. There the French King lodged and tarried
for his lords.

That night the King of England was lodged at Oisemont. At night when
the two marshals were returned, who had that day overrun the country
to the gates of Abbeville and to Saint-Valery and made a great
skirmish there, then the King assembled together his council and made
to be brought before him certain prisoners of the country of Ponthieu
and of Vimeu. The King right courteously demanded of them if there
were any among them that knew any passage beneath Abbeville, that he
and his host might pass over the river of Somme: if he would shew him
thereof, he should be quit of his ransom, and twenty of his company
for his love. There was a varlet called Gobin Agace, who stepped forth
and said to the King:--"Sir, I promise you on the jeopardy of my head
I shall bring you to such a place, whereas ye and all your host shall
pass the river of Somme without peril. There be certain places in the
passage that ye shall pass twelve men afront two times between day and
night; ye shall not go in the water to the knees. But when the flood
cometh, the river then waxeth so great that no man can pass; but when
the flood is gone, the which is two times between day and night, then
the river is so low that it may be passed without danger both
a-horseback and afoot. The passage is hard in the bottom, with white
stones, so that all your carriage may go surely; therefore the passage
is called Blanche-Taque. An ye make ready to depart betimes, ye may be
there by the sun-rising." The King said, "If this be true that ye
say, I quit thee thy ransom and all thy company, and moreover shall
give thee a hundred nobles." Then the King commanded every man to be
ready at the sound of the trumpet to depart.

    [C] That is, a house of the Knights of St. John.


The King of England slept not much that night, for at midnight he
arose and sowned his trumpet; then incontinent they made ready
carriages and all things, and at the breaking of the day they departed
from the town of Oisemont and rode after the guiding of Gobin Agace,
so that they came by the sun-rising to Blanche-Taque: but as then the
flood was up, so that they might not pass, so the King tarried there
till it was prime; then the ebb came.

The French King had his currours in the country, who brought him word
of the demeanor of the Englishmen. Then he thought to close the King
of England between Abbeville and the river of Somme, and so to fight
with him at his pleasure. And when he was at Amiens he had ordained a
great baron of Normandy, called Sir Godemar du Fay, to go and keep the
passage of Blanche-Taque, where the Englishmen must pass or else in
none other place. He had with him a thousand men of arms and six
thousand afoot, with the Genoways; so they went by Saint-Riquier in
Ponthieu and from thence to Crotoy, whereas the passage lay: and also
he had with him a great number of men of the country, and also a great
number of them of Montreuil, so that they were a twelve thousand men
one and other.

When the English host was come thither, Sir Godemar du Fay arranged
all his company to defend the passage. The King of England let not for
all that; but when the flood was gone, he commanded his marshals to
enter into the water in the name of God and St. George. Then they that
were hardy and courageous entered on both parties, and many a man
reversed. There were some of the Frenchmen of Artois and Picardy that
were as glad to joust in the water as on the dry land.

The Frenchmen defended so well the passage at the issuing out of the
water, that they had much to do. The Genoways did them great trouble
with their cross-bows; on the other side the archers of England shot
so wholly together, that the Frenchmen were fain to give place to the
Englishmen. There was a sore battle, and many a noble feat of arms
done on both sides. Finally the Englishmen passed over and assembled
together in the field. The King and the Prince passed, and all the
lords; then the Frenchmen kept none array, but departed, he that
might best. When Sir Godemar saw that discomfiture, he fled and saved
himself; some fled to Abbeville and some to Saint-Riquiers. They that
were there afoot could not flee, so that there were slain a great
number of them of Abbeville, Montreuil, Rue, and of Saint-Riquiers;
the chase endured more than a great league. And as yet all the
Englishmen were not passed the river, and certain currours of the King
of Bohemia and of Sir John of Hainault came on them that were behind,
and took certain horses and carriages and slew divers, or they could
take the passage.

The French King the same morning was departed from Airaines, trusting
to have found the Englishmen between him and the river of Somme; but
when he heard how that Sir Godemar du Fay and his company were
discomfited, he tarried in the field and demanded of his marshals what
was best to do. They said, "Sir, ye cannot pass the river but at the
bridge of Abbeville, for the flood is come in at Blanche-Taque;" then
he returned and lodged at Abbeville.

The King of England, when he was past the river, he thanked God, and
so rode forth in like manner as he did before. Then he called Gobin
Agace and did quit him his ransom and all his company, and gave him a
hundred nobles and a good horse. And so the King rode forth fair and
easily, and thought to have lodged in a great town called Noyelles;
but when he knew that the town pertained to the Countess d'Aumale,
sister to the Lord Robert of Artois,[D] the King assured the town and
country as much as pertained to her, and so went forth: and his
marshals rode to Crotoy on the seaside and brent the town, and found
in the haven many ships and barks charged with wines of Poitou,
pertaining to the merchants of Saintonge and of Rochelle; they brought
the best thereof to the King's host. Then one of the marshals rode to
the gates of Abbeville and from thence to Saint-Riquiers, and after to
the town of Rue-Saint-Esprit. This was on a Friday, and both battles
of the marshals returned to the King's host about noon and so lodged
all together near to Cressy in Ponthieu.

The King of England was well informed how the French King followed
after him to fight. Then he said to his company, "Let us take here
some plot of ground, for we will go no farther till we have seen our
enemies. I have good cause here to abide them, for I am on the right
heritage of the Queen my mother, the which land was given at her
marriage: I will challenge it of mine adversary Philip of Valois." And
because that he had not the eighth part in number of men as the French
King had, therefore he commanded his marshals to chose a plot of
ground somewhat for his advantage; and so they did, and thither the
King and his host went. Then he sent his currours to Abbeville, to see
if the French King drew that day into the field or not. They went
forth and returned again, and said how they could see none appearance
of his coming; then every man took their lodging for that day, and to
be ready in the morning at the sound of the trumpet in the same place.
This Friday the French King tarried still in Abbeville abiding for his
company, and sent his two marshals to ride out to see the dealing of
the Englishmen; and at night they returned, and said how the
Englishmen were lodged in the fields. That night the French King made
a supper to all the chief lords that were there with him, and after
supper the King desired them to be friends each to other. The King
looked for the Earl of Savoy, who should come to him with a thousand
spears, for he had received wages for a three months of them at Troyes
in Champagne.

    [D] She was in fact his daughter.


On the Friday, as I said before, the King of England lay in the
fields, for the country was plentiful of wines and other victual, and
if need had been, they had provision following in carts and other
carriages. That night the King made a supper to all his chief lords of
his host and made them good cheer; and when they were all departed to
take their rest, then the King entered into his oratory and kneeled
down before the altar, praying God devoutly that if he fought the next
day, that he might achieve the journey to His honor; then about
midnight he laid him down to rest, and in the morning he rose betimes
and heard mass, and the Prince his son with him, and the most part of
his company, were confessed and houseled; and after the mass said, he
commanded every man to be armed and to draw to the field to the same
place before appointed. Then the King caused a park to be made by the
wood-side behind his host, and there was set all carts and carriages,
and within the park were all their horses, for every man was afoot;
and into this park there was but one entry. Then he ordained three
battles: In the first was the young Prince of Wales, with him the Earl
of Warwick and Oxford, the Lord Godfrey of Harcourt, Sir Raynold
Cobham, Sir Thomas Holland, the Lord Stafford, the Lord of Mohun, the
Lord Delaware, Sir John Chandos, Sir Bartholomew de Burghersh, Sir
Robert Nevill, the Lord Thomas Clifford, the Lord Bourchier, the Lord
de Latimer, and divers other knights and squires that I cannot name;
they were an eight hundred men of arms and two thousand archers, and a
thousand of other with the Welshmen; every lord drew to the field
appointed under his own banner and pennon. In the second battle was
the Earl of Northampton, the Earl of Arundel, the Lord Ros, the Lord
Lucy, the Lord Willoughby, the Lord Basset, the Lord of Saint-Aubin,
Sir Louis Tufton, the Lord of Multon, the Lord Lascelles and divers
other, about an eight hundred men of arms and twelve hundred archers.
The third battle had the King; he had seven hundred men of arms and
two thousand archers. Then the King leapt on a hobby, with a white rod
in his hand, one of his marshals on the one hand and the other on the
other hand: he rode from rank to rank desiring every man to take heed
that day to his right and honor. He spake it so sweetly and with so
good countenance and merry cheer, that all such as were discomfited
took courage in the seeing and hearing of him. And when he had thus
visited all his battles, it was then nine of the day; then he caused
every man to eat and drink a little, and so they did at their leisure.
And afterward they ordered again their battles; then every man lay
down on the earth and by him his salet and bow, to be the more fresher
when their enemies should come.


This Saturday the French King rose betimes and heard mass in Abbeville
in his lodging in the abbey of St. Peter, and he departed after the
sun-rising. When he was out of the town two leagues, approaching
towards his enemies, some of his lords said to him, "Sir, it were good
that ye ordered your battles, and let all your footmen pass somewhat
on before, that they be not troubled with the horsemen." Then the King
sent four knights, the Moine [of] Bazeilles, the Lord of Noyers, the
Lord of Beaujeu, and the Lord d'Aubigny, to ride to aview the English
host; and so they rode so near that they might well see part of their
dealing. The Englishmen saw them well and knew well how they were come
thither to aview them; they let them alone and made no countenance
toward them, and let them return as they came. And when the French
King saw these four knights return again, he tarried till they came to
him and said, "Sirs, what tidings?" These four knights each of them
looked on other, for there was none would speak before his companion;
finally the King said to [the] Moine, who pertained to the King of
Bohemia and had done in his days so much that he was reputed for one
of the valiantest knights of the world, "Sir, speak you." Then he
said:--"Sir, I shall speak, sith it pleaseth you, under the correction
of my fellows. Sir, we have ridden and seen the behaving of your
enemies: know ye for truth they are rested in three battles abiding
for you. Sir, I will counsel you as for my part, saving your
displeasure, that you and all your company rest here and lodge for
this night; for or they that be behind of your company be come hither,
and or your battles be set in good order, it will be very late, and
your people be weary and out of array, and ye shall find your enemies
fresh and ready to receive you. Early in the morning ye may order your
battles at more leisure and advise your enemies at more deliberation,
and to regard well what way ye will assail them; for, sir, surely they
will abide you."

Then the King commanded that it should be so done. Then his two
marshals one rode before, another behind, saying to every banner,
"Tarry and abide here in the name of God and St. Denis." They that
were foremost tarried, but they that were behind would not tarry, but
rode forth, and said how they would in no wise abide till they were as
far forward as the foremost; and when they before saw them come on
behind, then they rode forward again, so that the King nor his
marshals could not rule them. So they rode without order or good
array, till they came in sight of their enemies; and as soon as the
foremost saw them they reculed then aback without good array, whereof
they behind had marvel and were abashed, and thought that the foremost
company had been fighting. Then they might have had leisure and room
to have gone forward, if they had list; some went forth, and some
abode still. The commons, of whom all the ways between Abbeville and
Cressy were full, when they saw that they were near to their enemies,
they took their swords and cried, "Down with them! let us slay them
all." There is no man, though he were present at the journey, that
could imagine or shew the truth of the evil order that was among the
French party, and yet they were a marvelous great number. That I write
in this book I learned it specially of the Englishmen, who well beheld
their dealing; and also certain knights of Sir John of Hainault's, who
was always about King Philip, shewed me as they knew.


The Englishmen, who were in three battles lying on the ground to rest
them, as soon as they saw the Frenchmen approach, they rose upon their
feet fair and easily without any haste, and arranged their battles.
The first, which was the Prince's battle, the archers there stood in
manner of a herse and the men of arms in the bottom of the battle. The
Earl of Northampton and the Earl of Arundel with the second battle
were on a wing in good order, ready to comfort the Prince's battle, if
need were.

The lords and knights of France came not to the assembly together in
good order, for some came before and some came after, in such haste
and evil order that one of them did trouble another. When the French
King saw the Englishmen his blood changed, and said to his marshals,
"Make the Genoways go on before, and begin the battle, in the name of
God and St. Denis." There were of the Genoways' cross-bows about a
fifteen thousand, but they were so weary of going afoot that day a six
leagues armed with their cross-bows, that they said to their
constables, "We be not well ordered to fight this day, for we be not
in the case to do any great deed of arms: we have more need of rest."
These words came to the Earl of Alençon, who said, "A man is well at
ease to be charged with such a sort of rascals, to be faint and fail
now at most need." Also the same season there fell a great rain and a
clipse with a terrible thunder, and before the rain there came flying
over both battles a great number of crows for fear of the tempest
coming. Then anon the air began to wax clear, and the sun to shine
fair and bright, the which was right in the Frenchmen's eyen and on
the Englishmen's backs. When the Genoways were assembled together and
began to approach, they made a great leap and cry to abash the
Englishmen, but they stood still and stirred not for all that; then
the Genoways again the second time made another leap and a fell cry,
and stept forward a little, and the Englishmen removed not one foot;
thirdly, again they leapt and cried, and went forth till they came
within shot; then they shot fiercely with their cross-bows. Then the
English archers stept forth one pace and let fly their arrows so
wholly [together] and so thick, that it seemed snow. When the Genoways
felt the arrows piercing through heads, arms, and breasts, many of
them cast down their cross-bows, and did cut their strings and
returned discomfited. When the French King saw them fly away, he said,
"Slay these rascals, for they shall let and trouble us without
reason." Then ye should have seen the men of arms dash in among them
and killed a great number of them; and ever still the Englishmen shot
whereas they saw thickest press: the sharp arrows ran into the men of
arms and into their horses, and many fell, horse and men, among the
Genoways, and when they were down, they could not relieve again; the
press was so thick that one overthrew another. And also among the
Englishmen there were certain rascals that went afoot with great
knives, and they went in among the men of arms and slew and murdered
many as they lay on the ground, both earls, barons, knights, and
squires; whereof the King of England was after displeased, for he had
rather they had been taken prisoners.

The valiant King of Bohemia called Charles of Luxembourg, son to the
noble Emperor Henry of Luxembourg, for all that he was nigh blind,
when he understood the order of the battle, he said to them about him,
"Where is the Lord Charles my son?" His men said, "Sir, we cannot
tell; we think he be fighting." Then he said, "Sirs, ye are my men, my
companions and friends in this journey: I require you bring me so far
forward that I may strike one stroke with my sword." They said they
would do his commandment, and to the intent that they should not lose
him in the press, they tied all their reins of their bridles each to
other and set the King before to accomplish his desire, and so they
went on their enemies. The Lord Charles of Bohemia his son, who wrote
himself King of Almaine and bare the arms, he came in good order to
the battle; but when he saw that the matter went awry on their party,
he departed, I cannot tell you which way. The King his father was so
far forward that he strake a stroke with his sword, yea, and more than
four, and fought valiantly, and so did his company; and they
adventured themselves so forward that they were there all slain, and
the next day they were found in the place about the King, and all
their horses tied each to other.

The Earl of Alençon came to the battle right ordinately and fought
with the Englishmen, and the Earl of Flanders also on his part. These
two lords with their companies coasted the English archers and came to
the Prince's battle, and there fought valiantly long. The French King
would fain have come thither, when he saw their banners, but there was
a great hedge of archers before him. The same day the French King had
given a great black courser to Sir John of Hainault, and he made the
Lord Thierry of Senzeille to ride on him and to bear his banner. The
same horse took the bridle in the teeth and brought him through all
the currours of the Englishmen, and as he would have returned again,
he fell in a great dike and was sore hurt, and had been there dead, an
his page had not been, who followed him through all the battles and
saw where his master lay in the dike, and had none other let but for
his horse; for the Englishmen would not issue out of their battle for
taking of any prisoner. Then the page alighted and relieved his
master: then he went not back again the same way that they came; there
was too many in his way.

This battle between Broye and Cressy this Saturday was right cruel and
fell, and many a feat of arms done that came not to my knowledge. In
the night divers knights and squires lost their masters, and sometime
came on the Englishmen, who received them in such wise that they were
ever nigh slain; for there was none taken to mercy nor to ransom, for
so the Englishmen were determined.

In the morning the day of the battle certain Frenchmen and Almains
perforce opened the archers of the Prince's battle, and came and
fought with the men of arms hand to hand. Then the second battle of
the Englishmen came to succor the Prince's battle, the which was time,
for they had as then much ado; and they with the Prince sent a
messenger to the King, who was on a little windmill hill. Then the
knight said to the King, "Sir, the Earl of Warwick and the Earl of
Oxford, Sir Raynold Cobham and other, such as be about the Prince
your son, are fiercely fought withal and are sore handled; wherefore
they desire you that you and your battle will come and aid them; for
if the Frenchmen increase, as they doubt they will, your son and they
shall have much ado." Then the King said, "Is my son dead, or hurt, or
on the earth felled?" "No, sir," quoth the knight, "but he is hardly
matched; wherefore he hath need of your aid." "Well," said the King,
"return to him and to them that sent you hither, and say to them that
they send no more to me for any adventure that falleth, as long as my
son is alive: and also say to them that they suffer him this day to
win his spurs; for if God be pleased, I will this journey be his and
the honor thereof, and to them that be about him." Then the knight
returned again to them and shewed the King's words, the which greatly
encouraged them, and repoined in that they had sent to the King as
they did.

Sir Godfrey of Harcourt would gladly that the Earl of Harcourt, his
brother, might have been saved; for he heard say by them that saw his
banner how that he was there in the field on the French party: but Sir
Godfrey could not come to him betimes, for he was slain or he could
come at him, and so was also the Earl of Aumale his nephew. In another
place the Earl of Alençon and the Earl of Flanders fought valiantly,
every lord under his own banner; but finally they could not resist
against the puissance of the Englishmen, and so there they were also
slain, and divers other knights and squires. Also the Earl Louis of
Blois, nephew to the French King, and the Duke of Lorraine, fought
under their banners; but at last they were closed in among a company
of Englishmen and Welshmen, and there were slain for all their
prowess. Also there was slain the Earl of Auxerre, the Earl of
Saint-Pol, and many other.

In the evening the French King, who had left about him no more than a
threescore persons, one and other, whereof Sir John of Hainault was
one, who had remounted once the King, for his horse was slain with an
arrow, then he said to the King, "Sir, depart hence, for it is time;
lose not yourself willfully: if ye have loss at this time, ye shall
recover it again another season." And so he took the King's horse by
the bridle and led him away in a manner perforce. Then the King rode
till he came to the castle of Broye. The gate was closed, because it
was by that time dark: then the King called the captain, who came to
the walls and said, "Who is that calleth there this time of night?"
Then the King said, "Open your gate quickly, for this is the fortune
of France." The captain knew then it was the King, and opened the gate
and let down the bridge. Then the King entered, and he had with him
but five barons, Sir John of Hainault, Sir Charles of Montmorency, the
Lord of Beaujeu, the Lord d'Aubigny, and the Lord of Montsault. The
King would not tarry there, but drank and departed thence about
midnight, and so rode by such guides as knew the country till he came
in the morning to Amiens, and there he rested.

This Saturday the Englishmen never departed from their battles for
chasing of any man, but kept still their field, and ever defended
themselves against all such as came to assail them. This battle ended
about evensong time.




[Illustration: J. A. FROUDE]

James Anthony Froude, English historian and essayist, was born April
23d, 1818, and died October 20th, 1894. His father was a clergyman,
and the son was sent to Westminster School and to Oriel College,
Oxford. In 1842 he became a fellow of Exeter, and two years later he
was ordained a deacon; an office which he did not formally lay down
until many years later, although his earliest publications, 'Shadows
of the Clouds' and 'Nemesis of Faith,' showed that he had come to
hold--and what perhaps is more to the point, dared to express,--views
hardly compatible with the character of a docile and unreasoning

These books were severely censured by the authorities, and cost
him--to the great benefit of the world--an appointment he had received
of teacher in Tasmania. He resigned his fellowship and took up the
profession of letters, writing much for Fraser and the Westminster,
and becoming for a short period the editor of the former. His _magnum
opus_ is his 'History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Defeat
of the Spanish Armada,' in twelve volumes, from 1856 to 1870. His
other principal publications are--'The English in Ireland in the
Eighteenth Century' (1874); 'Cæsar' (1879); 'Bunyan' (1880); 'Thomas
Carlyle (first forty years of his life)' (1882); 'Life in London'
(1884); 'Short Studies on Great Subjects' (1882, four series); 'The
Two Chiefs of Dunboy' (1889); 'The English in the West Indies' (1889);
'The Divorce of Catharine of Aragon' (1892); 'The Life and Letters of
Erasmus' (1892); 'English Seamen in the Sixteenth Century' (1892); and
'The Council of Trent.' 'Shadows of the Clouds,' 'The Nemesis of
Faith,' and 'The Two Chiefs of Dunboy' are in the form of fiction; and
though they--especially the last--contain some charming descriptive
passages, and evince some of Froude's power of character sketching,
they serve on the whole to prove that he was not a novelist. The
fortunes of his group of people are of less absorbing interest to him
than questions of social and racial ethics. There is nothing more
annoying than to have an essayist stand behind a story-teller and
interrupt him from time to time with acute philosophical comments on
ultimate causes. The characters of Morty and Sylvester Sullivan are
admirably contrasted Celtic types, but both they and the English
Colonel Goring are a trifle stagy and stiff in their joints. The
murders of the two chiefs, Morty Sullivan and Colonel Goring, are
dramatically told; but Froude's deficient sense of humor, at least of
that quality of humor which gives a subtle sense of congruity, results
in an attempt to combine the elements of the tale and the didactic
society in impossible proportions. He is an essayist and historian,
not a novel-writer.

Froude stands before the English-reading public prominent in three
characteristics: First, as a technical prose artist, in which regard
he is entitled to be classed with Ruskin, Newman, and Pater; less
enthusiastic and elaborately ornamental than the first, less musically
and delicately fallacious than the second, and less self-conscious and
phrase-caressing than the third, but carrying a solider burden of
thought than all three. Second, as a historian of the modern school,
which aims by reading the original records to produce an independent
view of historical periods. Third, as the most clear-sighted and
broad-minded of those whose position near the centre of the Oxford
movement and intimacy with the principal actors gave them an insight
into its inner nature.

There can be but one opinion of Froude as a master of English. In some
of his early work there are traces of the manner of Macaulay in the
succession of short assertive sentences, most of which an ordinary
writer would group as limiting clauses about the main assertion. This
method gives a false appearance of vigor and definiteness; it makes
easy reading by relieving the mind from the necessity of weighing the
modifying propositions: but it is entirely unadapted to nice
modulations of thought. Froude very soon avoided the vices of
Macaulayism, and attained a narrative style which must be regarded as
the best in an age which has paid more attention than any other to the
art of telling a story. In descriptive historical narrative he is
unrivaled, because he is profoundly impressed not only with the
dramatic qualities but with the real significance of a scene; unlike
Macaulay, to whom the superficial theatrical elements appeal. A
reading of Macaulay's description of the trial of Warren Hastings, and
Froude's narrative of the killing of Thomas Becket or of the execution
of Mary Queen of Scots, will bring out at once Froude's radical
superiority in both conception and execution.

This is not the place to debate the question of Froude's historical
accuracy, further than to remark that he was an industrious reader of
historical documents, and by nature a seeker after the truth. If a
profound conviction of the harmfulness of ecclesiasticism colored the
light with which he illuminated the records of the past, we must
remember that history is at best largely the impressions of
historians; and that if it be true that Froude does present one side,
it is the side on which the warnings to posterity are most distinctly
inscribed. A reading of the controversy between Froude and Freeman in
the calmer light of the present leads to the conclusion that the
_suppressio veri_ with which Froude was charged is not a _suggestio
falsi_, but an artistic selection of the characteristic. He felt a
certain contempt for the minute and meaningless fidelity to the
record, which is not writing history but editing documents. He
possessed, too, among his other literary powers, the rare one of being
able to individualize the man whose life he studies and of presenting
the character so as to be consistent and human. This power fills his
history and sketch with rare personalities. Thomas Becket, Henry III.,
Henry VIII., Queen Catharine, Mary Queen of Scots, and Elizabeth, are
more than historical portraits in the ordinary sense: they are
conceptions of individuals, vivified by the artistic sense. Whether or
not they are true to the originals as reflected in the contemporary
documents, they are at least human possibilities, and therefore truer
than the distorted automata that lie in state on the pages of some
historians. A human character is so exceedingly complex and so
delicately balanced with contradictory elements, that it is probable
that no two persons ever estimate it exactly alike. Besides, prominent
historical personages become in the popular imagination invested with
exaggerated attributes, and it is not likely that men will ever agree
even as to which of them was the hero and which the villain of the
drama. It was to be expected that Froude should be violently assailed
by those who accepted a traditional view of Henry VIII. and of Mary.
It was inevitable that he should differ from them, because he had more
than a view: he had a conception. His historical personages are
certainly possibilities, because they are human, and the traditional
figures are either monsters or saints; and humanity--at least Teutonic
humanity--does not produce unadulterated saints nor unrelieved

While Froude's historical work has been criticized for lack of minute
accuracy in details, his books on Carlyle have been criticized for the
opposite fault of quoting too fully and literally; from letters and
journals, matter never intended for the public, and of a nature not
only to wound living persons but to create an erroneous impression of
the writer. The habit of expressing himself in pithy and pungent
personalities seems to have been with Carlyle a sort of intellectual
exercise, and should not necessarily be taken as an index of morose
ill-temper. A very delicate literary tact was necessary to his
literary executor, in selecting from the matter put in his hands that
which would combine to make a true picture of a crude and powerful
genius without making him appear to the ordinary reader a selfish,
willful man. Froude's idea of the duty of an editor of contemporary
biography seems to have been that it was limited to careful
publication of all the available material as _mémoires pour servir_.
Such miscellaneous printing may in the end serve truth, but at the
time it arouses resentment. It resulted, however, in the production of
a book far preferable to the non-committal, evasive, destructively
laudatory biography of a public man, of which every year brings a new
specimen. It is at least honest, if not tactful.

Froude's early connection with the Oxford movement and his work on the
Lives of the Saints first called his attention to the study of
historical documents, and to the large amount of fiction with which
truth is diluted in them. His further researches among the authorities
recently made accessible, for the history of the destruction of the
monasteries, impressed on him the fact that an assumption of spiritual
authority is as dangerous to those who assume it as to those over whom
it is assumed, exactly as physical slavery is in the end as harmful to
the masters as it is to the slaves. He saw that ecclesiasticism had
been profoundly hostile to morals, and he judged the present by the
past till he really believed that the precious fruits of the
Reformation would be lost if the ritualists obtained control of the
Church. He persuaded himself that under such influence--

  "Civilization would ebb, the great moral lights be extinguished,
  Over the world would creep an unintelligent darkness
  Under which men would be portioned anew 'twixt the priest and the

It is perhaps too much to expect of a man of the imaginative
temperament of Froude, to whom the abominations of the Church from the
twelfth to the sixteenth century were as real as if he had witnessed
them, to retain judicial calmness under the vituperation with which he
was assailed; but his profound distrust of the mediæval Church
certainly does give an air of partisanship to his strictures on its
modern ineffectual revival. He forgot that great principles of justice
and toleration are now so embodied in law and fixed in the hearts of
the English-speaking people that society is protected, and the evils
of spiritual tyranny are restricted to the few who are willing to
abase their intellects to it; that the corroding evil of conventual
life is minimized by healthy outside influences; and that the most
advanced modern ritualist would prove too good a Christian to light an
_auto da fé_. It was but natural that he should forget this, for he
was a strong man in the centre of the conflict, and independence was
the core of his being.

This strength of independence is shown by the fact that though young,
and profoundly sensitive to the attraction of a character like
Newman's, he was from the first able to resist the fascination which
that remarkable man exerted over all with whom he came in contact. The
pure spiritual nature possesses a mysterious power over young men, so
great that they often yield to its counterfeit. Newman was the true
priest, and Froude recognized his genius and that his soul was "an
adumbration of the Divine." But he felt instinctively the radical
unsoundness of Newman's thought, and "would not follow, though an
angel led." Others fell off for prudential reasons; but Froude was
indifferent to these, and obedient to a conviction the strength of
which must be estimated by the depth of his feeling for character.

Froude was sometimes criticized for writing history under the
influence of personal feeling. It is difficult to see how a readable
history can be written except by one who at least takes an interest in
the story; but whether capacity for feeling makes a man a less
trustworthy historian, depends upon how far this emotional
susceptibility is controlled by intellectual insight and just views of
the laws under which society develops. That Froude was an absolutely
perfect historian, no one would claim: he was too intensely human to
be perfect. It is safe to say that the perfect historian will not
exist until Shakespeare and Bacon reappear combined in one man. For
the great historian must be both scholar and artist. As scholar he
must possess, too, both the acquisitive and the organizing intellect.
He must both gather facts and interpret them. He must have the
artistic sense which selects from the vast mass of fact that which is
significant. This power of artistic selection is of course influenced
by his unconscious ideals, by his conception of the relative
importance of the forces which move mankind, and of the ultimate goal
of progress. His philosophy directs his art, and his art interprets in
the light of his philosophy.

It may be admitted that Froude possesses a larger share of the
artistic than of the philosophic qualities necessary to the great
historian. At times his hatred of ecclesiasticism becomes almost a
prejudice. In his writings on Irish and colonial questions he evinces
the Englishman's love of the right, but sometimes, unfortunately, the
Englishman's inability to do justice to other races in points which
distinguish them from his own. In some expressions he seems to
distrust democracy in much the same unreasoning way in which Mr.
Ruskin distrusts machinery. He had imbibed something of Mr. Carlyle's
belief in the "strong man"; though he, no more than Carlyle, can show
how the strong, just ruler can be produced or selected. But a more
serious deficiency in Froude's philosophy arises from his imperfect
conception of the method of evolution which governs all organizations,
civil and religious, so that they continually throw off short-lived
varieties and history becomes a continual giving way of the old order
to the new. To fear, as Froude seems to, lest a survival may become a
governing type, is as unreasonable as to fear that old men will live
forever. Certainly he would have taken a juster, saner view of the
English Reformation, had he been convinced that all the collisions
between the moral laws and the rebellious wills of men, which are the
burden of the years, are in the end obliterated in the slow onward
movement of the race; but then perhaps his history would have lost in
interest what it might have gained in philosophic breadth and balance.
For it cannot be denied that feeling has given his narrative that most
valuable quality--life.

The general recognition of Froude's power, and the growing conviction
that he was far nearer right than the theological school he so
cordially detested, was vindicated by his appointment as Professor of
History at Oxford to succeed Freeman, one of the severest critics of
his historical fairness. He lived to deliver but three courses of
lectures, one of which has been published in that delightful volume
'The Life and Letters of Erasmus.' The others, 'English Seamen of the
XVIth Century,' 'Lectures on the Council of Trent,' and the very able
paper on Job in 'Short Studies on Great Subjects,' even if taken by
themselves, would cause us to form a high opinion of the scope and
range of Froude's powers. Those to whom brilliancy is synonymous with
unsoundness may perhaps continue to call him merely a "brilliant
writer"; but the general verdict will be that his brilliancy is the
structural adornment of a well-fitted framework of thought.

                                   [Signature: Charles F. Johnson]


From 'English Seamen in the Sixteenth Century'

Jean Paul the German poet said that God had given to France the empire
of the land, to England the empire of the sea, and to his own country
the empire of the air. The world has changed since Jean Paul's days.
The wings of France have been clipped: the German Empire has become a
solid thing: but England still holds her watery dominion; Britannia
does still rule the waves, and in this proud position she has spread
the English race over the globe; she is peopling new Englands at the
Antipodes; she has made her Queen Empress of India; and is in fact the
very considerable phenomenon in the social and political world which
all acknowledge her to be. And all this she has achieved in the course
of three centuries, entirely in consequence of her predominance as an
ocean power. Take away her merchant fleets, take away the navy that
guards them,--her empire will come to an end, her colonies will fall
off like leaves from a withered tree, and Britain will become once
more an insignificant island in the North Sea, for the future students
in Australian and New Zealand universities to discuss the fate of in
their debating societies.

How the English navy came to hold so extraordinary a position is worth
reflecting on. Much has been written on it, but little, as it seems to
me, which touches the heart of the matter. We are shown the power of
our country growing and expanding. But how it grew; why, after a sleep
of so many hundred years, the genius of our Scandinavian forefathers
suddenly sprang again into life,--of this we are left without

The beginning was undoubtedly the defeat of the Spanish Armada in
1588. Down to that time the sea sovereignty belonged to the Spaniards,
and had been fairly won by them. The conquest of Granada had
stimulated and elevated the Spanish character. The subjects of
Ferdinand and Isabella, of Charles V., and Philip II., were
extraordinary men and accomplished extraordinary things. They
stretched the limits of the known world; they conquered Mexico and
Peru; they planted their colonies over the South-American continent;
they took possession of the great West-Indian islands, and with so
firm a grasp that Cuba at least will never lose the mark of the hand
which seized it. They built their cities as if for eternity. They
spread to the Indian Ocean, and gave their monarch's name to the
Philippines. All this they accomplished in half a century, and as it
were, they did it with a single hand; with the other they were
fighting Moors and Turks, and protecting the coasts of the
Mediterranean from the corsairs of Tunis and Constantinople.

They had risen on the crest of the wave, and with their proud _Non
Sufficit Orbis_ were looking for new worlds to conquer, at a time when
the bark of the English water-dogs had scarcely been heard beyond
their own fishing grounds, and the largest merchant vessel sailing
from the port of London was scarce bigger than a modern coasting
collier. And yet within the space of a single ordinary life these
insignificant islanders had struck the sceptre from the Spaniards'
grasp and placed the ocean crown on the brow of their own sovereign.
How did it come about? What Cadmus had sown dragons' teeth in the
furrows of the sea, for the race to spring from who manned the ships
of Queen Elizabeth, who carried the flag of their own country round
the globe, and challenged and fought the Spaniards on their own coasts
and in their own harbors?

The English sea power was the legitimate child of the Reformation. It
grew, as I shall show you, directly out of the new despised
Protestantism. Matthew Parker and Bishop Jewell, the judicious Hooker
himself, excellent men as they were, would have written and preached
to small purpose without Sir Francis Drake's cannon to play an
accompaniment to their teaching. And again, Drake's cannon would not
have roared so loudly and so widely, without seamen already trained in
heart and hand to work his ships and level his artillery. It was to
the superior seamanship, the superior quality of English ships and
crews, that the Spaniards attributed their defeat. Where did these
ships come from? Where and how did these mariners learn their trade?
Historians talk enthusiastically of the national spirit of a people
rising with a united heart to repel the invader, and so on. But
national spirit could not extemporize a fleet, or produce trained
officers and sailors to match the conquerors of Lepanto. One slight
observation I must make here at starting, and certainly with no
invidious purpose. It has been said confidently,--it has been
repeated, I believe, by all modern writers,--that the Spanish invasion
suspended in England the quarrels of creed, and united Protestants and
Roman Catholics in defense of their Queen and country. They remind us
especially that Lord Howard of Effingham, who was Elizabeth's admiral,
was himself a Roman Catholic. But was it so? The Earl of Arundel, the
head of the House of Howard, was a Roman Catholic, and he was in the
Tower praying for the success of Medina Sidonia. Lord Howard of
Effingham was no more a Roman Catholic than--I hope I am not taking
away their character--than the present Archbishop of Canterbury or the
Bishop of London. He was a Catholic, but an English Catholic, as those
reverend prelates are. Roman Catholic he could not possibly have been,
nor any one who on that great occasion was found on the side of
Elizabeth. A Roman Catholic is one who acknowledges the Roman Bishop's
authority. The Pope had excommunicated Elizabeth, had pronounced her
deposed, had absolved her subjects from their allegiance and forbidden
them to fight for her. No Englishman who fought on that great occasion
for English liberty was, or could have been, in communion with Rome.
Loose statements of this kind, lightly made, fall in with the modern
humor. They are caught up, applauded, repeated, and pass unquestioned
into history. It is time to correct them a little.


From 'Two Chiefs of Dunboy'

Fatally mistaking what was intended for a friendly warning, the
colonel conceived that there was some one in the forge whom the smith
wanted to conceal.

"I may return or not," he said; "but I must first have a word with
these strangers of yours. We can meet as friends for once, with
nothing to dispute over."

Minahan made no further attempt to prevent him from going in. If
gentlemen chose to have their quarrels, he muttered between his teeth,
it was no business of his.

Goring pushed open the door and entered. By the dim light--for the
shutter that had been thrown back had been closed again, and the only
light came from a window in the roof--he made out three figures
standing together at the further end of the forge, in one of whom,
though he tried to conceal himself, he instantly recognized his
visitor of the previous evening.

"You here, my man?" he said. "You left my house two hours ago. Why are
you not on your way home?"

Sylvester, seeing he was discovered, turned his face full round, and
in a voice quietly insolent, replied, "I fell in with some friends of
mine on the road. We had a little business together, and it is good
luck that has brought your honor to us while we are talking, for the
jintlemen here have a word or two they would like to be saying to ye,
colonel, before ye leave them."

"To me!" said Goring, turning from Sylvester to the two figures, whose
faces were still covered by their cloaks. "If these gentlemen are what
I suppose them to be, I am glad to meet them, and will hear willingly
what they may have to say."

"Perhaps less willingly than you think, Colonel Goring," said the
taller of the two, who rose and stepped behind him to the door, which
he closed and barred. Goring, looking at him with some surprise, saw
that he was the person whom he had met on the mountains, and had
afterwards seen at the funeral at Derreen. The third man rose from a
bench on which he had been leaning, lifted his cap, and said:--

"There is an old proverb, sir, that short accounts make long friends.
There can be no friendship between you and me, but the account between
us is of very old standing. I have returned to Ireland, only for a
short stay; I am about to leave it, never to come back. A gentleman
and a soldier, like yourself, cannot wish that I should go while that
account is still unsettled. Our fortunate meeting here this morning
provides us with an opportunity."

It was Morty's voice that he heard, and Morty's face that he saw as he
became accustomed to the gloom. He looked again at the pretended
messenger from the carded curate, and he then remembered the old
Sylvester who had brought the note from Lord Fitzmaurice to the agent
from Kenmare. In an instant the meaning of the whole situation flashed
across him. It was no casual re-encounter. He had been enticed into
the place where he found himself, with some sinister and perhaps
deadly purpose. A strange fatality had forced him again and again into
collision with the man of whose ancestral lands he had come into
possession. Once more, by a deliberate and treacherous contrivance, he
and the chief of the O'Sullivans had been brought face to face
together, and he was alone, without a friend within call of him;
unless his tenant, who as he could now see had intended to give him
warning, would interfere further in his defense. And of this he knew
Ireland well enough to be aware that there was little hope.

He supposed that they intended to murder him. The door, at which he
involuntarily glanced, was fastened by this time with iron bolts. He
was a man of great personal strength and activity, but in such a
situation neither would be likely to avail him. Long inured to danger,
and ready at all moments to meet whatever peril might threaten him, he
calmly faced his adversary and said:--

"This meeting is not accidental, as you would have me believe. You
have contrived it. Explain yourself further."

"Colonel Goring," said Morty Sullivan, "you will recall the
circumstances under which we last parted. Enemy as you are and always
have been to me and mine, I will do you the justice to say that on
that occasion you behaved like a gentleman and a man of courage. But
our quarrel was not fought out. Persons present interfered between us.
We are now alone, and can complete what was then left unfinished."

"Whether I did well or ill, sir," the colonel answered, "in giving you
the satisfaction which you demanded of me at the time you speak of, I
will not now say. But I tell you that the only relations which can
exist between us at present are those between a magistrate and a
criminal who has forfeited his life. If you mean to murder me, you can
do it; you have me at advantage. You can thus add one more to the list
of villainies with which you have stained an honorable name. If you
mean that I owe you a reparation for personal injuries, such as the
customs of Ireland allow one gentleman to require from another, this,
as you well know, is not the way to ask for it. But I acknowledge no
such right. When I last encountered you I but partly knew you. I now
know you altogether. You have been a pirate on the high seas. Your
letters of marque do not cover you, for you are a subject of the King,
and have broken your allegiance. Such as you are, you stand outside
the pale of honorable men, and I should degrade the uniform I wear if
I were to stoop to measure arms with you."

The sallow olive of Morty's cheek turned livid. He clutched the bench
before him, till the muscles of his hands stood out like knots of

"You are in my power, colonel," he said: "do not tempt me too far. If
my sins have been many, my wrongs are more. It must be this or worse.
One word from me, and you are a dead man."

He laid four pistols on the smith's tool-chest. "Take a pair of them,"
he said. "They are loaded alike. Take which you please. Let us stand
on the opposite sides of this hovel, and so make an end. If I fall, I
swear on my soul you shall have no hurt from any of my people. My
friend Connell is an officer of mine, but he holds a commission
besides in the Irish Brigade. There is no better-born gentleman in
Kerry. His presence here is your sufficient security. You shall return
to Dunboy as safe from harm as if you had the Viceroy's body-guard
about you, or your own boat's crew that shot down my poor fellows at
Glengariff. To this I pledge you my honor."

"Your honor!" said Goring; "your honor! And you tempted me here by a
lying tale, sent by the lips of yonder skulking rascal. That alone,
sir, were there nothing else, would have sufficed to show what you

A significant click caught the ear of both the speakers. Looking
round, they saw Sylvester had cocked a pistol.

"Drop that," said Morty, "or by God! kinsman of mine though you be, I
will drive a bullet through the brain of you. Enough of this, sir," he
said, turning to Goring. "Time passes, and this scene must end. I
would have arranged it otherwise, but you yourself know that by this
way alone I could have brought you to the meeting. Take the pistols, I
say, or by the bones of my ancestors that lie buried under Dunboy
Castle yonder, I will call in my men from outside, and they shall
strip you bare, and score such marks on you as the quartermaster
leaves on the slaves that you hire to fight your battles. Prince
Charles will laugh when I tell him in Paris how I served one at least
of the hounds that chased him at Culloden."

The forge in which this scene was going on was perfectly familiar to
Goring, for he had himself designed it and built it. There was the
ordinary broad open front to the road, constructed of timber, which
was completely shut. The rest of the building was of stone, and in the
wall at the back there was a small door leading into a field, and
thence into the country. Could this door be opened, there was a
chance, though but a faint one, of escape. A bar lay across, but of no
great thickness. The staple into which it ran was slight. A vigorous
blow might shatter both.

Sylvester caught the direction of Goring's eye, caught its meaning,
and threw himself in the way. The colonel snatched a heavy hammer
which stood against the wall. With the suddenness of an electric flash
he struck Sylvester on the shoulder, broke his collar-bone, and hurled
him back senseless, doubled over the anvil. A second stroke, catching
the bar in the middle, shattered it in two, and the door hung upon the
latch. Morty and Connell, neither of whom had intended foul play,
hesitated, and in another moment Goring would have been free and away.
Connell, recovering himself, sprang forward and closed with him. The
colonel, who had been the most accomplished wrestler of his regiment,
whirled him round, flung him with a heavy fall on the floor, and had
his hand on the latch when, half stunned as he was, Connell recovered
his feet, drew a skene, and rushed at Colonel Goring again. So sudden
it all was, so swift the struggle, and so dim the light, that from the
other end it was hard to see what was happening. Wrenching the skene
out of Connell's hands, and with the hot spirit of battle in him,
Colonel Goring was on the point of driving it into his assailant's

"Shoot, Morty! shoot, or I am a dead man!" Connell cried.

Morty, startled and uncertain what to do, had mechanically snatched up
a pistol when Sylvester was struck down. He raised his hand at
Connell's cry. It shook from excitement, and locked together as the
two figures were, he was as likely to hit friend as foe. Again Connell
called, and Morty fired and missed; and the mark of the bullet is
still shown in the wall of the smithy as a sacred reminiscence of a
fight for Irish liberty. The second shot went true to its mark.
Connell had been beaten down, though unwounded, and Goring's tall form
stood out above him in clear view. This time Morty's hand did not fail
him. A shiver passed through Goring's limbs. His arms dropped. He
staggered back against the door, and the door yielded, and he fell
upon the ground outside. But it was not to rise and fly. The ball had
struck him clean above the ear, and buried itself in the brain. He was


From 'Short Studies on Great Subjects'

Historical facts can only be verified by the skeptical and the
inquiring, and skepticism and inquiry nip like a black frost the eager
credulity in which legendary biographies took their rise. You can
watch such stories as they grew in the congenial soil of belief. The
great saints of the fifth, sixth, and seventh centuries, who converted
Europe to Christianity, were as modest and unpretending as true,
genuine men always are. They claimed no miraculous powers for
themselves. Miracles might have been worked in the days of their
fathers. They for their own parts relied on nothing but the natural
powers of persuasion and example. Their companions, who knew them
personally in life, were only a little more extravagant. Miracles and
portents vary in an inverse ratio with the distance of time. St.
Patrick is absolutely silent about his own conjuring performances. He
told his followers, perhaps, that he had been moved by his good angel
to devote himself to the conversion of Ireland. The angel of metaphor
becomes in the next generation an actual seraph. On a rock in the
county of Down there is, or was, a singular mark, representing rudely
the outline of a foot. From that rock, where the young Patrick was
feeding his master's sheep, a writer of the sixth century tells us
that the angel Victor sprang back to heaven after delivering his
message, and left behind him the imprinted witness of his august
visit. Another hundred years pass, and legends from Hegesippus are
imported into the life of the Irish apostle. St. Patrick and the Druid
enchanter contend before King Leogaire on Tara Hill, as Simon Magus
and St. Peter contended before the Emperor Nero. Again a century, and
we are in a world of wonders where every human lineament is lost. St.
Patrick, when a boy of twelve, lights a fire with icicles; when he
comes to Ireland he floats thither upon an altar-stone which Pope
Celestine had blessed for him. He conjures a Welsh marauder into a
wolf, makes a goat cry out in the stomach of a thief who had stolen
him, and restores dead men to life, not once or twice but twenty
times. The wonders with which the atmosphere is charged gravitate
towards the largest concrete figure which is moving in the middle of
them, till at last, as Gibbon says, the sixty-six lives of St. Patrick
which were extant in the twelfth century must have contained at least
as many thousand lies. And yet of conscious lying there was very
little; perhaps nothing at all. The biographers wrote in good faith
and were industrious collectors of material, only their notions of
probability were radically different from ours. The more marvelous a
story, the less credit we give to it; warned by experience of
carelessness, credulity, and fraud, we disbelieve everything for which
we cannot find contemporary evidence, and from the value of that
evidence we subtract whatever may be due to prevalent opinion or
superstition. To the mediæval writer, the more stupendous the miracle
the more likely it was to be true; he believed everything which he
could not prove to be false, and proof was not external testimony, but
inherent fitness.

So much for the second period of what is called human history. In the
first or mythological there is no historical groundwork at all. In the
next or heroic we have accounts of real persons, but handed down to
us by writers to whom the past was a world of marvels, whose delight
was to dwell upon the mighty works which had been done in the old
times, whose object was to elevate into superhuman proportions the
figures of the illustrious men who had distinguished themselves as
apostles or warriors. They thus appear to us like their portraits in
stained-glass windows, represented rather in a transcendental
condition of beatitude than in the modest and checkered colors of real
life. We see them not as they were, but as they appeared to an adoring
imagination, and in a costume of which we can only affirm with
certainty that it was never worn by any child of Adam on this plain,
prosaic earth. For facts as facts there is as yet no appreciation;
they are shifted to and fro, dropped out of sight, or magnified, or
transferred from owner to owner,--manipulated to suit or decorate a
preconceived and brilliant idea. We are still in the domain of poetry,
where the canons of the art require fidelity to general principles,
and allow free play to fancy in details. The Virgins of Raphael are no
less beautiful as paintings, no less masterpieces of workmanship,
though in no single feature either of face or form or costume they
resemble the historical mother of Christ, or even resemble one

At the next stage we pass with the chroniclers into history proper.
The chronicler is not a poet like his predecessor. He does not shape
out consistent pictures with a beginning, a middle, and an end. He is
a narrator of events, and he connects them together on a chronological
string. He professes to be relating facts. He is not idealizing, he is
not singing the praises of the heroes of the sword or the crosier; he
means to be true in the literal and commonplace sense of that
ambiguous word. And yet in his earlier phases, take him in what part
of the world we please,--take him in ancient Egypt or Assyria, in
Greece or in Rome, or in modern Europe,--he is but a step in advance
of his predecessor. He is excellent company. He never moralizes, never
bores you with philosophy of history or political economy. He never
speculates about causes. But on the other hand, he is uncritical. He
takes unsuspectingly the materials which he finds ready to his
hand,--the national ballads, the romances, and the biographies. He
transfers to his pages whatever catches his fancy. The more
picturesque an anecdote, the more unhesitatingly he writes it down,
though in the same proportion it is the less likely to be authentic.
Romulus and Remus suckled by the wolf; Curtius jumping into the gulf;
our English Alfred spoiling the cakes; or Bruce watching the leap of
the spider,--stories of this kind he relates with the same simplicity
with which he records the birth in his own day, in some outlandish
village, of a child with two heads, or the appearance of the
sea-serpent or the flying dragon. Thus the chronicle, however
charming, is often nothing but poetry taken literally and translated
into prose. It grows, however, and improves insensibly with the growth
of the nation. Like the drama, it develops from poor beginnings into
the loftiest art, and becomes at last perhaps the very best kind of
historical writing which has yet been produced. Herodotus and Livy,
Froissart and Hall and Holinshed, are as great in their own
departments as Sophocles or Terence or Shakespeare. We are not yet
entirely clear of portents and prodigies. Superstition clings to us as
our shadow, and is to be found in the wisest as well as the weakest.
The Romans, the most practical people that ever lived,--a people so
pre-eminently effective that they have printed their character
indelibly into the constitution of Europe,--these Romans, at the very
time they were making themselves the world's masters, allowed
themselves to be influenced in the most important affairs of State by
a want of appetite in the sacred chickens, or the color of the
entrails of a calf. Take him at his best, man is a great fool. It is
likely enough that we ourselves habitually say and practice things
which a thousand years hence will seem not a jot less absurd. Cato
tells us that the Roman augurs could not look one another in the face
without laughing; and I have heard that bishops in some parts of the
world betray sometimes analogous misgivings.

In able and candid minds, however, stuff of this kind is tolerably
harmless, and was never more innocent than in the case of the first
great historian of Greece. Herodotus was a man of vast natural powers.
Inspired by a splendid subject, and born at the most favorable time,
he grew to manhood surrounded by the heroes of Marathon and Salamis
and Platæa. The wonders of Egypt and Assyria were for the first time
thrown open to the inspection of strangers. The gloss of novelty was
not yet worn off, and the impressions falling fresh on an eager,
cultivated, but essentially simple and healthy mind, there were
qualities and conditions combined which produced one of the most
delightful books which was ever written. He was an intense patriot;
and he was unvexed with theories, political or moral. His philosophy
was like Shakespeare's,--a calm, intelligent insight into human
things. He had no views of his own, which the fortunes of Greece or
other countries were to be manipulated to illustrate. The world as he
saw it was a well-made, altogether promising and interesting world;
and his object was to relate what he had seen and what he had heard
and learnt, faithfully and accurately. His temperament was rather
believing than skeptical; but he was not idly credulous. He can be
critical when occasion requires. He distinguishes always between what
he had seen with his own eyes and what others told him. He uses his
judgment freely, and sets his readers on their guard against uncertain
evidence. And there is not a book existing which contains in the same
space so much important truth,--truth which survives the sharpest test
that modern discoveries can apply to it.

The same may be said in a slightly less degree of Livy and of the best
of the late European chroniclers: you have the same freshness, the
same vivid perception of external life, the same absence of what
philosophers call subjectivity,--the projection into the narrative of
the writer's own personality, his opinions, thoughts, and theories.
Still, in all of them, however vivid, however vigorous the
representation, there is a vein of fiction largely and perhaps
consciously intermingled. In a modern work of history, when a
statesman is introduced as making a speech, the writer at any rate
supposes that such a speech was actually made. He has found an account
of it somewhere either in detail or at least in outline or epitome.
The boldest fabricator would not venture to introduce an entire and
complete invention. This was not the case with the older authors.
Thucydides tells us frankly that the speeches which he interweaves
with his narrative were his own composition. They were intended as
dramatic representations of the opinions of the factions and parties
with which Greece was divided, and they were assigned to this person
or to that, as he supposed them to be internally suitable. Herodotus
had set Thucydides the example, and it was universally followed. No
speech given by any old historian can be accepted as literally true
unless there is a specific intimation to that effect. Deception was
neither practiced nor pretended. It was a convenient method of
exhibiting characters and situations, and it was therefore adopted
without hesitation or reserve.


From 'Short Studies on Great Subjects'

The knights were introduced. They advanced. The archbishop neither
spoke nor looked at them, but continued talking to a monk who was next
him. He himself was sitting on a bed. The rest of the party present
were on the floor. The knights seated themselves in the same manner,
and for a few moments there was silence. Then Becket's black, restless
eye glanced from one to the other. He slightly noticed Tracy; and
Fitzurse said a few unrecorded sentences to him, which ended with "God
help you!" To Becket's friends the words sounded like insolence. They
may have meant no more than pity for the deliberate fool who was
forcing destruction upon himself.

Becket's face flushed. Fitzurse went on, "We bring you the commands of
the King beyond the sea; will you hear us in public or in private?"
Becket said he cared not. "In private, then," said Fitzurse. The monks
thought afterwards that Fitzurse had meant to kill the archbishop
where he sat. If the knights had entered the palace, thronged as it
was with men, with any such intention, they would scarcely have left
their swords behind them. The room was cleared, and a short
altercation followed, of which nothing is known save that it ended
speedily in high words on both sides. Becket called in his clergy
again, his lay servants being excluded, and bade Fitzurse go on. "Be
it so," Sir Reginald said. "Listen, then, to what the King says. When
the peace was made, he put aside all his complaints against you. He
allowed you to return, as you desired, free to your see. You have now
added contempt to your other offenses. You have broken the treaty. You
have allowed your pride to tempt you to defy your lord and master to
your own sorrow. You have censured the bishops by whose administration
the Prince was crowned. You have pronounced an anathema against the
King's ministers, by whose advice he is guided in the management of
the empire. You have made it plain that if you could you would take
the Prince's crown from him. Your plots and contrivances to attain
your ends are notorious to all men. Say, then, will you attend us to
the King's presence, and there answer for yourself? For this we are

The archbishop declared that he had never wished any hurt to the
Prince. The King had no occasion to be displeased if crowds came
about him in the towns and cities, after having been so long deprived
of his presence. If he had done any wrong he would make satisfaction,
but he protested against being suspected of intentions which had never
entered his mind.

Fitzurse did not enter into an altercation with him, but
continued:--"The King commands further that you and your clerks repair
without delay to the young King's presence, and swear allegiance, and
promise to amend your faults."

The archbishop's temper was fast rising. "I will do whatever may be
reasonable," he said, "but I tell you plainly, the King shall have no
oaths from me, nor from any one of my clergy. There has been too much
perjury already. I have absolved many, with God's help, who had
perjured themselves. I will absolve the rest when he permits."

"I understand you to say that you will not obey," said Fitzurse, and
went on in the same tone:--"The King commands you to absolve the
bishops whom you have excommunicated without his permission" (_absque
licentiâ suâ_).

"The Pope sentenced the bishops," the archbishop said. "If you are not
pleased, you must go to him. The affair is none of mine."

Fitzurse said it had been done at his instigation, which he did not
deny; but he proceeded to reassert that the King had given his
permission. He had complained at the time of the peace of the injury
which he had suffered in the coronation, and the King had told him
that he might obtain from the Pope any satisfaction for which he liked
to ask.

If this was all the consent which the King had given, the pretense of
his authority was inexcusable. Fitzurse could scarce hear the
archbishop out with patience. "Ay, ay!" said he; "will you make the
King out to be a traitor, then? The King gave you leave to
excommunicate the bishops when they were acting by his own order! It
is more than we can bear to listen to such monstrous accusations."

John of Salisbury tried to check the archbishop's imprudent tongue,
and whispered to him to speak to the knights in private; but when the
passion was on him, no mule was more ungovernable than Becket. Drawing
to a conclusion, Fitzurse said to him:--"Since you refuse to do any
one of those things which the King requires of you, his final commands
are that you and your clergy shall forthwith depart out of this realm
and out of his dominions, never more to return. You have broken the
peace, and the King cannot trust you again."

Becket answered wildly that he would not go--never again would he
leave England. Nothing but death should now part him from his church.
Stung by the reproach of ill-faith, he poured out the catalogue of his
own injuries. He had been promised restoration, and instead of
restoration he had been robbed and insulted. Ranulf de Broc had laid
an embargo on his wine. Robert de Broc had cut off his mule's tail;
and now the knights had come to menace him.

De Morville said that if he had suffered any wrong he had only to
appeal to the Council, and justice would be done.

Becket did not wish for the Council's justice. "I have complained
enough," he said; "so many wrongs are daily heaped upon me that I
could not find messengers to carry the tale of them. I am refused
access to the court. Neither one king nor the other will do me right.
I will endure it no more. I will use my own powers as archbishop, and
no child of man shall prevent me."

"You will lay the realm under interdict, then, and excommunicate the
whole of us?" said Fitzurse.

"So God help me," said one of the others, "he shall not do that. He
has excommunicated over-many already. We have borne too long with

The knights sprang to their feet, twisting their gloves and swinging
their arms. The archbishop rose. In the general noise words could no
longer be accurately heard. At length the knights moved to leave the
room, and addressing the archbishop's attendants, said, "In the King's
name we command you to see that this man does not escape."

"Do you think I shall fly, then?" cried the archbishop. "Neither for
the King nor for any living man will I fly. You cannot be more ready
to kill me than I am to die.... Here you will find me," he shouted,
following them to the door as they went out, and calling after them.
Some of his friends thought that he had asked De Morville to come back
and speak quietly with him, but it was not so. He returned to his
seat, still excited and complaining.

"My lord," said John of Salisbury to him, "it is strange that you will
never be advised. What occasion was there for you to go after these
men and exasperate them with your bitter speeches? You would have
done better, surely, by being quiet and giving them a milder answer.
They mean no good, and you only commit yourself."

The archbishop sighed, and said, "I have done with advice. I know what
I have before me."

It was four o'clock when the knights entered. It was now nearly five;
and unless there were lights the room must have been almost dark.
Beyond the archbishop's chamber was an ante-room, beyond the ante-room
the hall. The knights, passing through the hall into the quadrangle,
and thence to the lodge, called their men to arms. The great gate was
closed. A mounted guard was stationed outside, with orders to allow no
one to go out or in. The knights threw off their cloaks and buckled on
their swords. This was the work of a few minutes. From the cathedral
tower the vesper bell was beginning to sound. The archbishop had
seated himself to recover from the agitation of the preceding scene,
when a breathless monk rushed in to say that the knights were arming.
"Who cares? Let them arm," was all that the archbishop said. His
clergy was less indifferent. If the archbishop was ready for death,
they were not. The door from the hall into the court was closed and
barred, and a short respite was thus secured. The intention of the
knights, it may be presumed, was to seize the archbishop and carry him
off to Saltwood or to De Morville's castle at Knaresborough, or
perhaps to Normandy. Coming back to execute their purpose, they found
themselves stopped by the hall door. To burst it open would require
time; the ante-room between the hall and the archbishop's apartments
opened by an oriel window and an outside stair into a garden. Robert
de Broc, who knew the house well, led the way to it in the dark. The
steps were broken, but a ladder was standing against the window, by
which the knights mounted, and the crash of the falling casement told
the fluttered group about the archbishop that their enemies were upon
them. There was still a moment. The party who entered by the window,
instead of turning into the archbishop's room, first went into the
hall to open the door and admit their comrades. From the archbishop's
room a second passage, little used, opened into the northwest corner
of the cloister, and from the cloister there was a way into the north
transept of the cathedral. The cry was "To the church! To the church!"
There at least there would be immediate safety.

The archbishop had told the knights that they would find him where
they left him. He did not choose to show fear; or he was afraid, as
some thought, of losing his martyrdom. He would not move. The bell had
ceased. They reminded him that vespers had begun, and that he ought to
be in the cathedral. Half yielding, half resisting, his friends swept
him down the passage into the cloister. His cross had been forgotten
in the haste. He refused to stir till it was fetched and carried
before him as usual. Then only, himself incapable of fear, and
rebuking the terror of the rest, he advanced deliberately to the door
into the south transept. His train was scattered behind him, all along
the cloister from the passage leading out of the palace. As he entered
the church, cries were heard, from which it became plain that the
knights had broken into the archbishop's room, had found the passage,
and were following him. Almost immediately Fitzurse, Tracy, De
Morville, and Le Breton were discerned in the dim light, coming
through the cloister in their armor, with drawn swords, and axes in
their left hands. A company of men-at-arms was behind them. In front
they were driving before them a frightened flock of monks.

From the middle of the transept in which the archbishop was standing,
a single pillar rose into the roof. On the eastern side of it opened a
chapel of St. Benedict, in which were the tombs of several of the old
primates. On the west, running of course parallel to the nave, was a
Lady chapel. Behind the pillar, steps led up into the choir, where
voices were already singing vespers. A faint light may have been
reflected into the transept from the choir tapers, and candles may
perhaps have been burning before the altars in the two chapels; of
light from without through the windows at that hour there could have
been none. Seeing the knights coming on, the clergy who had entered
with the archbishop closed the door and barred it. "What do you fear?"
he cried in a clear, loud voice. "Out of the way, you coward! the
Church of God must not be made a fortress." He stepped back and
reopened the door with his own hands, to let in the trembling wretches
who had been shut out among the wolves. They rushed past him, and
scattered in the hiding-places of the vast sanctuary, in the crypt, in
the galleries, or behind the tombs. All, or almost all, even of his
closest friends,--William of Canterbury, Benedict, John of Salisbury
himself,--forsook him to shift for themselves, admitting frankly that
they were unworthy of martyrdom. The archbishop was left alone with
his chaplain Fitzstephen, Robert of Merton his old master, and Edward
Grim, the stranger from Cambridge,--or perhaps with Grim only, who
says that he was the only one who stayed, and was the only one
certainly who showed any sign of courage. A cry had been raised in the
choir that armed men were breaking into the cathedral. The vespers
ceased; the few monks assembled left their seats and rushed to the
edge of the transept, looking wildly into the darkness.

The archbishop was on the fourth step beyond the central pillar
ascending into the choir, when the knights came in. The outline of his
figure may have been just visible to them, if light fell upon it from
candles in the Lady chapel. Fitzurse passed to the right of the
pillar, De Morville, Tracy, and Le Breton to the left. Robert de Broc,
and Hugh Mauclerc, another apostate priest, remained at the door by
which they entered. A voice cried, "Where is the traitor? Where is
Thomas Becket?" There was silence; such a name could not be
acknowledged. "Where is the archbishop?" Fitzurse shouted. "I am
here," the archbishop replied, descending the steps, and meeting the
knights full in the face. "What do you want with me? I am not afraid
of your swords. I will not do what is unjust." The knights closed
round him. "Absolve the persons whom you have excommunicated,"
they said, "and take off the suspensions." "They have made no
satisfaction," he answered; "I will not." "Then you shall die as
you have deserved," they said.

They had not meant to kill him--certainly not at that time and in that
place. One of them touched him on the shoulder with the flat of his
sword, and hissed in his ears, "Fly, or you are a dead man." There was
still time; with a few steps he would have been lost in the gloom of
the cathedral, and could have concealed him in any one of a hundred
hiding-places. But he was careless of life, and he felt that his time
was come. "I am ready to die," he said. "May the Church through my
blood obtain peace and liberty! I charge you in the name of God that
you hurt no one here but me."

The people from the town were now pouring into the cathedral; De
Morville was keeping them back with difficulty at the head of the
steps from the choir, and there was danger of a rescue. Fitzurse
seized him, meaning to drag him off as a prisoner. He had been calm so
far; his pride rose at the indignity of an arrest. "Touch me not,
thou abominable wretch!" he said, wrenching his cloak out of
Fitzurse's grasp. "Off, thou pander, thou!" Le Breton and Fitzurse
grasped him again, and tried to force him upon Tracy's back. He
grappled with Tracy and flung him to the ground, and then stood with
his back against the pillar, Edward Grim supporting him. Fitzurse,
stung by the foul epithet which Becket had thrown at him, swept his
sword over him and dashed off his cap. Tracy, rising from the
pavement, struck direct at his head. Grim raised his arm and caught
the blow. The arm fell broken, and the one friend found faithful sank
back disabled against the wall. The sword with its remaining force
wounded the archbishop above the forehead, and the blood trickled down
his face. Standing firmly, with his hands clasped, he bent his neck
for the death-stroke, saying in a low voice, "I am prepared to die for
Christ and for his Church." These were his last words. Tracy again
struck him. He fell forward upon his knees and hands. In that position
Le Breton dealt him a blow which severed the scalp from the head and
broke the sword against the stone, saying, "Take that for my Lord
William." De Broc or Mauclerc--the needless ferocity was attributed to
both of them--strode forward from the cloister door, set his foot on
the neck of the dead lion, and spread the brains upon the pavement
with his sword's point. "We may go," he said; "the traitor is dead,
and will trouble us no more."

Such was the murder of Becket, the echoes of which are still heard
across seven centuries of time, and which, be the final judgment upon
it what it may, has its place among the most enduring incidents of
English history. Was Becket a martyr, or was he justly executed as a
traitor to his sovereign? Even in that supreme moment of terror and
wonder, opinions were divided among his own monks. That very night
Grim heard one of them say, "He is no martyr, he is justly served."
Another said--scarcely feeling, perhaps, the meaning of the
words,--"He wished to be king and more than king. Let him be king, let
him be king." Whether the cause for which he died was to prevail, or
whether the sacrifice had been in vain, hung on the answer which would
be given to this momentous question. In a few days or weeks an answer
came in a form to which in that age no rejoinder was possible; and the
only uncertainty which remained at Canterbury was whether it was
lawful to use the ordinary prayers for the repose of the dead man's
soul, or whether, in consequence of the astounding miracles which
were instantly worked by his remains, the Pope's judgment ought not to
be anticipated, and the archbishop ought not to be at once adored as a
saint in heaven.


From the 'History of England'

Protestants and Catholics united to condemn a government under which
both had suffered; and a point on which enemies were agreed was
assumed to be proved. When I commenced the examination of the records,
I brought with me the inherited impression, from which I had neither
any thought nor any expectation that I should be disabused. I found
that it melted between my hands, and with it disappeared that other
fact, so difficult to credit, yet as it had appeared so impossible to
deny, that English Parliaments, English judges, English clergy,
statesmen whose beneficent legislature survives among the most valued
of our institutions, prelates who were the founders and martyrs of the
English Church, were the cowardly accomplices of abominable
atrocities, and had disgraced themselves with a sycophancy which the
Roman Senate imperfectly approached when it fawned on Nero.

Henry had many faults. They have been exhibited in the progress of the
narrative: I need not return to them. But his position was one of
unexampled difficulty; and by the work which he accomplished, and the
conditions, internal and external, under which his task was allotted
to him, he, like every other man, ought to be judged. He was
inconsistent: he can bear the reproach of it. He ended by accepting
and approving what he had commenced with persecuting; yet it was with
the honest inconsistency which distinguishes the conduct of most men
of practical ability in times of change, and even by virtue of which
they obtain their success. If at the commencement of the movement he
had regarded the eucharist as a "remembrance," he must either have
concealed his convictions or he would have forfeited his throne; if he
had been a stationary bigot, the Reformation might have waited for a
century, and would have been conquered only by an internecine war.

But as the nation moved the King moved, leading it, but not outrunning
it; checking those who went too fast, dragging forward those who
lagged behind. The conservatives, all that was sound and good among
them, trusted him because he so long continued to share their
conservatism; when he threw it aside he was not reproached with breach
of confidence, because his own advance had accompanied theirs.

Protestants have exclaimed against the Six Articles Bill; Romanists
against the Act of Supremacy. Philosophers complain that the
prejudices of the people were needlessly violated, that opinions
should have been allowed to be free, and the reform of religion have
been left to be accomplished by reason. Yet, however cruel was the Six
Articles Bill, the governing classes even among the laity were
unanimous in its favor. The King was not converted by a sudden
miracle; he believed the traditions in which he had been trained; his
eyes, like the eyes of others, opened but slowly; and unquestionably,
had he conquered for himself in their fullness the modern principles
of toleration, he could not have governed by them a nation which was
itself intolerant. Perhaps, of all living Englishmen who shared
Henry's faith, there was not one so little desirous in himself of
enforcing it by violence. His personal exertions were ever to mitigate
the action of the law, while its letter was sustained; and England at
its worst was a harbor of refuge to the Protestants, compared to the
Netherlands, to France, to Spain, or even to Scotland.

That the Romanists should have regarded him as a tyrant is natural;
and were it true that English subjects owed fealty to the Pope, their
feeling was just. But however desirable it may be to leave religious
opinion unfettered, it is certain that if England was legitimately
free, she could tolerate no difference of opinion on a question of
allegiance, so long as Europe was conspiring to bring her back into
slavery. So long as the English Romanists refused to admit without
mental reservation that, if foreign enemies invaded this country in
the Pope's name, their place must be at the side of their own
sovereign, "religion" might palliate the moral guilt of their treason,
but it could not exempt them from its punishment.

But these matters have been discussed in the details of this history,
where alone they can be understood.

Beyond and besides the Reformation, the constitution of these islands
now rests in large measure on foundations laid in this reign. Henry
brought Ireland within the reach of English civilization. He absorbed
Wales and the Palatinates into the general English system. He it was
who raised the House of Commons from the narrow duty of voting
supplies, and of passing without discussion the measures of the Privy
Council, and converted them into the first power in the State under
the Crown. When he ascended the throne, so little did the Commons care
for their privileges that their attendance at the sessions of
Parliament was enforced by a law. They woke into life in 1529, and
they became the right hand of the King to subdue the resistance of the
House of Lords, and to force upon them a course of legislation which
from their hearts they detested. Other kings in times of difficulty
summoned their "great councils," composed of peers, or prelates, or
municipal officials, or any persons whom they pleased to nominate.
Henry VIII. broke through the ancient practice, and ever threw himself
on the representatives of the people. By the Reformation and by the
power which he forced upon them, he had so interwoven the House of
Commons with the highest business of the State that the peers
thenceforward sunk to be their shadow.

Something, too, ought to be said of his individual exertions in the
details of State administration. In his earlier life, though active
and assiduous, he found leisure for elegant accomplishments, for
splendid amusements, for relaxations careless, extravagant, sometimes
questionable. As his life drew onwards, his lighter tastes
disappeared, and the whole energy of his intellect was pressed into
the business of the commonwealth. Those who have examined the printed
State papers may form some impression of his industry from the
documents which are his own composition, and the letters which he
wrote and received: but only persons who have seen the original
manuscripts, who have observed the traces of his pen in side-notes and
corrections, and the handwritings of his secretaries in diplomatic
commissions, in drafts of Acts of Parliament, in expositions and
formularies, in articles of faith, in proclamations, in the countless
multitude of documents of all sorts, secular or ecclesiastical, which
contain the real history of this extraordinary reign,--only they can
realize the extent of labor to which he sacrificed himself, and which
brought his life to a premature close. His personal faults were great,
and he shared, besides them, in the errors of his age; but far deeper
blemishes would be but as scars upon the features of a sovereign who
in trying times sustained nobly the honor of the English name, and
carried the commonwealth securely through the hardest crisis in its


From 'Short Studies on Great Subjects'

Some years ago I was traveling by railway, no matter whence or
whither. I was in a second-class carriage. We had been long on the
road, and had still some distance before us, when one evening our
journey was brought unexpectedly to an end by the train running into a
siding. The guards opened the doors, we were told that we could
proceed no further, and were required to alight. The passengers were
numerous, and of all ranks and sorts. There were third class, second,
first, with saloon carriages for several great persons of high
distinction. We had ministers of State, judges on circuit, directors,
leading men of business, idle young men of family who were out amusing
themselves, an archbishop, several ladies, and a duke and duchess with
their suite. These favored travelers had Pullman cars to themselves,
and occupied as much room as was allotted to scores of plebeians. I
had amused myself for several days in observing the luxurious
appurtenances by which they were protected against discomfort,--the
piles of cushions and cloaks, the baskets of dainties, the novels and
magazines to pass away the time, and the profound attention which they
met with from the conductors and station-masters on the line. The rest
of us were a miscellaneous crowd,--commercial people, lawyers,
artists, men of letters, tourists moving about for pleasure or because
they had nothing to do; and in third-class carriages, artisans and
laborers in search of work, women looking for husbands or for service,
or beggars flying from starvation in one part of the world to find it
follow them like their shadows, let them go where they pleased. All
these were huddled together, feeding hardly on such poor provisions as
they carried with them or could pick up at the stopping-places. No
more consideration was shown them than if they had been so many
cattle. But they were merry enough: songs and sounds of laughter came
from their windows, and notwithstanding all their conveniences, the
languid-looking fine people in the large compartments seemed to me to
get through their journey with less enjoyment after all than their
poor fellow travelers. These last appeared to be of tougher texture,
to care less for being jolted and shaken, to be better humored and
kinder to one another. They had found life go hard with them wherever
they had been, and not being accustomed to have everything which they
wished for, they were less selfish and more considerate.

The intimation that our journey was for the present at an end came on
most of us as an unpleasant surprise. The grandees got out in a high
state of indignation. They called for their servants, but their
servants did not hear them, or laughed and passed on. The conductors
had forgotten to be obsequious. All classes on the platform were
suddenly on a level. A beggar woman hustled the duchess, as she was
standing astonished because her maid had left her to carry her own
bag. The patricians were pushed about among the crowd with no more
concern than if they had been common mortals. They demanded loudly to
see the station-master. The minister complained angrily of the delay;
an important negotiation would be imperiled by his detention, and he
threatened the company with the displeasure of his department. A
consequential youth who had just heard of the death of his elder
brother was flying home to take his inheritance. A great lady had
secured, as she had hoped, a brilliant match for her daughter; her
work over, she had been at the baths to recover from the dissipation
of the season; difficulty had arisen unlooked for, and unless she was
at hand to remove it the worst consequences might be feared. A banker
declared that the credit of a leading commercial house might fail,
unless he could be at home on the day fixed for his return; he alone
could save it. A solicitor had the evidence in his portmanteau which
would determine the succession to the lands and title of an ancient
family. An elderly gentleman was in despair about his young wife, whom
he had left at home; he had made a will by which she was to lose his
fortune if she married again after his death, but the will was lying
in his desk unsigned. The archbishop was on his way to a synod, where
the great question was to be discussed whether gas might be used at
the altar instead of candles. The altar candles were blessed before
they were used, and the doubt was whether gas could be blessed. The
right reverend prelate conceived that if the gas tubes were made in
the shape of candles the difficulty could be got over, but he feared
that without his moderating influence the majority might come to a
rash decision.

All these persons were clamoring over their various anxieties with the
most naïve frankness, the truth coming freely out, whatever it might
be. One distinguished-looking lady in deep mourning, with a sad,
gentle face, alone was resigned and hopeful. It seemed that her
husband had been stopped not long before at the same station. She
thought it possible that she might meet him again.

The station-master listened to the complaints with composed
indifference. He told the loudest that they need not alarm themselves.
The State would survive the absence of the minister. The minister, in
fact, was not thinking of the State at all, but of the party triumph
which he expected; and the peerage which was to be his reward, the
station-master said, would now be of no use to him. The youth had a
second brother who would succeed instead of him, and the tenants would
not be inconvenienced by the change. The fine lady's daughter would
marry to her own liking instead of her mother's, and would be all the
happier for it. The commercial house was already insolvent, and the
longer it lasted the more innocent people would be ruined by it. The
boy whom the lawyer intended to make into a rich baronet was now
working industriously at school, and would grow up a useful man. If a
great estate fell in to him he would be idle and dissolute. The old
man might congratulate himself that he had escaped so soon from the
scrape into which he had fallen. His wife would marry an adventurer,
and would suffer worse from inheriting his fortune. The archbishop was
commended for his anxiety. His solution of the candle problem was no
doubt an excellent one; but his clergy were now provided with a
harmless subject to quarrel over, and if it was adopted they might
fall out over something else which might be seriously mischievous.

"Do you mean, then, that you are not going to send us forward at all?"
the minister inquired sternly.

"You will see," the station-master answered with a curious short
laugh. I observed that he looked more gently at the lady in mourning.
She had said nothing, but he knew what was in her mind, and though he
held out no hope in words that her wish would be gratified, he smiled
sadly, and the irony passed out of his face.

The crowd meanwhile were standing about the platform, whistling tunes
or amusing themselves, not ill-naturedly at the distress of their
grand companions. Something considerable was happening. But they had
so long experienced the ups and downs of things that they were
prepared for what fortune might send. They had not expected to find a
Paradise where they were going, and one place might be as good as
another. They had nothing belonging to them except the clothes they
stood in and their bits of skill in their different trades. Wherever
men were, there would be need of cobblers, and tailors, and smiths,
and carpenters. If not, they might fall on their feet somehow, if
there was work to be done of any sort.

Presently a bell rang, a door was flung open, and we were ordered into
a waiting-room, where we were told that our luggage was to be
examined. It was a large, barely furnished apartment, like the _salle
d'attente_ at the Northern Railway Station at Paris. A rail ran
across, behind which we were all penned; opposite to us was the usual
long table, on which were piled boxes, bags, and portmanteaus, and
behind them stood a row of officials, in a plain uniform with gold
bands round their caps, and the dry peremptory manner which passengers
accustomed to deference so particularly dislike. At their backs was a
screen extending across the room, reaching half-way to the ceiling; in
the rear of it there was apparently an office.

We each looked to see that our particular belongings were safe, but we
were surprised to find that we could recognize none of them. Packages
there were in plenty, alleged to be the property of the passengers who
had come in by the train. They were arranged in the three
classes,--first, second, and third,--but the proportions were
inverted: most of it was labeled as the luggage of the travelers in
fustian, who had brought nothing with them but what they carried in
their hands; a moderate heap stood where the second-class luggage
should have been, and some of superior quality; but none of us could
make out the shapes of our own trunks. As to the grand ladies and
gentlemen, the innumerable articles which I had seen put as theirs
into the van were nowhere to be found. A few shawls and cloaks lay
upon the planks, and that was all. There was a loud outcry; but the
officials were accustomed to it, and took no notice. The
station-master, who was still in charge of us, said briefly that the
saloon luggage would be sent forward in the next train. The late
owners would have no more use for it, and it would be delivered to
their friends.

The late owners! Were we no longer actual owners, then? My individual
loss was not great, and besides, it might be made up to me; for I saw
my name on a strange box on the table, and being of curious
disposition, the singularity of the adventure made it interesting to
me. The consternation of the rest was indescribable. The minister
supposed that he had fallen among communists, who disbelieved in
property, and was beginning a speech on the elementary conditions of
society; when silence was called, and the third-class passengers were
ordered to advance, that their boxes might be opened. Each man had his
own carefully docketed. The lids flew off, and within, instead of
clothes, and shoes, and dressing apparatus, and money, and jewels, and
such-like, were simply samples of the work which he had done in his
life. There was an account-book also, in which were entered the number
of days which he had worked, the number and size of the fields, etc.,
which he had drained and inclosed and plowed, the crops which he had
reaped, the walls which he had built, the metal which he had dug out
and smelted and fashioned into articles of use to mankind, the leather
which he had tanned, the clothes which he had woven,--all entered with
punctual exactness; and on the opposite page, the wages which he had
received, and the share which had been allotted to him of the good
things which he had helped to create.

Besides his work, so specifically called, there were his actions,--his
affection for his parents or his wife and children, his self-denials,
his charities, his purity, his truth, his honesty; or it might be ugly
catalogues of sins and oaths and drunkenness and brutality. But
inquiry into action was reserved for a second investigation before a
higher commissioner. The first examination was confined to the literal
work done by each man for the general good,--how much he had
contributed, and how much society had done for him in return; and no
one, it seemed, could be allowed to go any further without a
certificate of having passed this test satisfactorily. With the
workmen, the balance in most instances was found enormously in their
favor. The state of the case was so clear that the scrutiny was
rapidly got over, and they and their luggage were passed in to the
higher court. A few were found whose boxes were empty, who had done
nothing useful all their lives, and had subsisted by begging and
stealing. These were ordered to stand aside till the rest of us had
been disposed of.

The saloon passengers were taken next. Most of them, who had nothing
at all to show, were called up together and were asked what they had
to say for themselves. A well-dressed gentleman, who spoke for the
rest, said that the whole investigation was a mystery to him. He and
his friends had been born to good fortunes, and had found themselves,
on entering upon life, amply provided for. They had never been told
that work was required of them, either work with their hands or work
with their heads,--in fact, work of any kind. It was right of course
for the poor to work, because they could not honestly live otherwise.
For themselves, they had spent their time in amusements, generally
innocent. They had paid for everything which they had consumed. They
had stolen nothing, taken nothing from any man by violence or fraud.
They had kept the Commandments, all ten of them, from the time when
they were old enough to understand them. The speaker, at least,
declared that he had no breach of any Commandment on his own
conscience, and he believed that he might say as much of his
companions. They were superior people, who had been always looked up
to and well spoken of; and to call upon them to show what they had
done was against reason and equity.

"Gentlemen," said the chief official, "we have heard this many times;
yet as often as it is repeated we feel fresh astonishment. You have
been in a world where work is the condition of life. Not a meal can be
had by any man that some one has not worked to produce. Those who work
deserve to eat; those who do not work deserve to starve. There are but
three ways of living: by working, by stealing, or by begging. Those
who have not lived by the first have lived by one of the other two.
And no matter how superior you think yourselves, you will not pass
here till you have something of your own to produce. You have had your
wages beforehand--ample wages, as you acknowledge yourselves. What
have you to show?"

"Wages!" the speaker said: "we are not hired servants; we received no
wages. What we spent was our own. All the orders we received were that
we were not to do wrong. We have done no wrong. I appeal to the higher

But the appeal could not be received. To all who presented themselves
with empty boxes, no matter who they were, or how excellent their
characters appeared to one another, there was the irrevocable
answer--"No admittance, till you come better furnished." All who were
in this condition, the duke and duchess among them, were ordered to
stand aside with the thieves. The duchess declared that she had given
the finest parties in the season, and as it was universally agreed
that they had been the most tedious, and that no one had found any
pleasure there, a momentary doubt rose whether they might not have
answered some useful purpose in disgusting people with such modes of
entertainment; but no evidence of this was forthcoming: the world had
attended them because the world had nothing else to do, and she and
her guests had been alike unprofitable. Thus the large majority of the
saloon passengers was disposed of. The minister, the archbishop, the
lawyer, the banker, and others who although they had no material work
credited to them had yet been active and laborious in their different
callings, were passed to the superior judges.

Our turn came next,--ours of the second class,--and a motley gathering
we were. Busy we must all have been, from the multitude of articles
which we found assigned to us: manufacturers with their wares,
solicitors with their law-suits, doctors and clergymen with the bodies
and souls which they had saved or lost, authors with their books,
painters and sculptors with their pictures and statues. But the hard
test was applied to all that we had produced,--the wages which we had
received on one side, and the value of our exertions to mankind on the
other,--and imposing as our performances looked when laid out to be
examined, we had been paid, most of us, out of all proportion to what
we were found to have deserved. I was reminded of a large compartment
in the Paris Exhibition, where an active gentleman, wishing to show
the state of English literature, had collected copies of every book,
review, pamphlet, or newspaper which had been published in a single
year. The bulk was overwhelming, but the figures were only decimal
points, and the worth of the whole was a fraction above zero. A few of
us were turned back summarily among the thieves and the fine gentlemen
and ladies: speculators who had done nothing but handle money which
had clung to their fingers in passing through them, divines who had
preached a morality which they did not practice, and fluent orators
who had made speeches which they knew to be nonsense; philosophers who
had spun out of moonshine systems of the universe, distinguished
pleaders who had defeated justice while they established points of
law, writers of books upon subjects of which they knew enough to
mislead their readers, purveyors of luxuries which had added nothing
to human health or strength, physicians and apothecaries who had
pretended to knowledge which they knew that they did not
possess,--these all, as the contents of their boxes bore witness
against them, were thrust back into the rejected herd.

There were some whose account stood better, as having at least
produced something of real merit, but they were cast on the point of
wages: modest excellence had come badly off; the plausible and
unscrupulous had thriven and grown rich. It was tragical, and
evidently a surprise to most of us, to see how mendacious we had been:
how we had sanded our sugar, watered our milk, scamped our
carpentering and mason's work, literally and metaphorically; how in
all things we had been thinking less of producing good work than of
the profit which we could make out of it; how we had sold ourselves to
tell lies and act them, because the public found lies pleasant and
truth expensive and troublesome. Some of us were manifest rogues, who
had bought cheap and sold dear, had used false measures and weights,
had made cotton pass for wool, and hemp for silk, and tin for silver.
The American peddler happened to be in the party, who had put a rind
upon a grindstone and had sold it as a cheese. These were promptly
sifted out and placed with their fellows; only persons whose services
were on the whole greater than the pay which they had received were
allowed their certificates. When my own box was opened, I perceived
that though the wages had been small, the work done seemed smaller
still; and I was surprised to find myself among those who had passed.

The whistle of a train was heard at this moment, coming in upon the
main line. It was to go in half an hour, and those who had been turned
back were told that they were to proceed by it to the place where they
had been originally going. They looked infinitely relieved at the
news; but before they started, a few questions had to be put to them,
and a few alterations made which were to affect their future. They
were asked to explain how they had come to be such worthless
creatures. They gave many answers, which came mainly to the same
thing. Circumstances had been against them. It was all owing to
circumstances. They had been badly brought up. They had been placed in
situations where it had been impossible for them to do better. The
rich people repeated that they had never been informed that any work
was expected of them. Their wants had all been provided for, and it
was unfair to expect that they should have exerted themselves of their
own accord when they had no motive for working. If they had only been
born poor, all would have gone well with them. The cheating tradesman
declared that the first duty of a shopkeeper, according to all
received principles, was to make money and better his condition. It
was the buyer's business to see to the quality of the articles which
he purchased; the shopkeeper was entitled to sell his wares at the
highest price which he could get for them. So, at least, it was
believed and taught by the recognized authorities on the subject. The
orators, preachers, newspaper writers, novel-writers, etc., etc., of
whom there were a great many, appealed to the crowds who came to
listen to them, or bought and read their productions. _Tout le monde_,
it was said, was wiser than the wisest single sage. They had given the
world what the world wished for and approved; they had worked at
supplying it with all their might, and it was extremely hard to blame
them for guiding themselves by the world's judgment. The thieves and
vagabonds argued that they had been brought into existence without
their consent being asked: they had not wished for it; although they
had not been without their pleasures, they regarded existence on the
whole as a nuisance which they would gladly have been spared. Being
alive, however, they had to keep alive; and for all that they could
see, they had as full a right to the good things which the world
contained as anybody else, provided they could get them. They were
called thieves. Law and language were made by the property-owners, who
were their natural enemies. If society had given them the means of
living honestly they would have found it easy to be honest. Society
had done nothing for them--why should they do anything for society?

So, in their various ways, those who had been "plucked" defended
themselves. They were all delighted to hear that they were to have
another chance; and I was amused to observe that though some of them
had pretended that they had not wished to be born, and had rather not
have been born, not one of them protested against being sent back. All
they asked was that they should be put in a new position, and that the
adverse influences should be taken off. I expected that among these
adverse influences they would have mentioned the faults of their
own dispositions. My own opinion had been that half the misdoings
of men came from congenital defects of character which they had
brought with them into the world, and that constitutional courage,
right-mindedness, and practical ability were as much gifts of nature
or circumstance as the accidents of fortune. A change in this respect
was of more consequence than in any other. But with themselves they
were all apparently satisfied, and they required only an improvement
in their surroundings. The alterations were rapidly made. The duchess
was sent to begin her life again in a laborer's cottage. She was to
attend the village school and rise thence into a housemaid. The fine
gentleman was made a plowboy. The authors and preachers were to become
mechanics, and bound apprentices to carpenters and blacksmiths. A
philosopher who, having had a good fortune and unbroken health, had
insisted that the world was as good as it could be made, was to be
born blind and paralytic, and to find his way through life under the
new conditions. The thieves and cheats, who pretended that their
misdemeanors were due to poverty, were to find themselves, when they
arrived in the world again, in palaces surrounded with luxury. The cup
of Lethe was sent round. The past became a blank. They were hurried
into the train; the engine screamed and flew away with them.

"They will be all here again in a few years," the station-master said,
"and it will be the same story over again. I have had these very
people in my hands a dozen times. They have been tried in all
positions, and there is still nothing to show, and nothing but
complaints of circumstances. For my part, I would put them out
altogether." "How long is it to last?" I asked. "Well," he said, "it
does not depend on me. No one passes here who cannot prove that he has
lived to some purpose. Some of the worst I have known made at last
into pigs and geese, to be fatted up and eaten, and made of use that
way. Others have become asses, condemned to carry burdens, to be
beaten with sticks, and to breed asses like themselves for a hundred
generations. All animated creatures tend to take the shape at last
which suits their character."

The train was scarcely out of sight when again the bell rang. The
scene changed as at a theatre. The screen was rolled back, and we who
were left found ourselves in the presence of four grave-looking
persons, like the board of examiners whom we remembered at college. We
were called up one by one. The work which had passed the first ordeal
was again looked into, and the quality of it compared with the talent
or faculty of the producer, to see how far he had done his
best,--whether anywhere he had done worse than he might have done and
knew how to have done; while besides, in a separate collection, were
the vices, the sins, the selfishnesses and ill-humors, with--in the
other scale--the acts of personal duty, of love and kindness and
charity, which had increased the happiness or lightened the sorrows of
those connected with him. These last, I observed, had generally been
forgotten by the owner, who saw them appear with surprise, and even
repudiated them with protest. In the work, of course, both material
and moral, there was every gradation both of kind and merit. But while
nothing was absolutely worthless, everything, even the highest
achievements of the greatest artist or the greatest saint, fell short
of absolute perfection. Each of us saw our own performances, from our
first ignorant beginnings to what we regarded as our greatest triumph;
and it was easy to trace how much of our faults were due to natural
deficiencies and the necessary failures of inexperience, and how much
to self-will or vanity or idleness. Some taint of mean motives,
too,--some desire of reward, desire of praise or honor or wealth, some
foolish self-satisfaction, when satisfaction ought not to have been
felt,--was to be seen infecting everything, even the very best which
was presented for scrutiny.

So plain was this that one of us, an earnest, impressive-looking
person, whose own work bore inspection better than that of most of us,
exclaimed passionately that so far as he was concerned the examiners
might spare their labor. From his earliest years he had known what he
ought to do, and in no instance had he ever completely done it. He had
struggled; he had conquered his grosser faults: but the farther he had
gone, and the better he had been able to do, his knowledge had still
grown faster than his power of acting upon it; and every additional
day that he had lived, his shortcomings had become more miserably
plain to him. Even if he could have reached perfection at last, he
could not undo the past, and the faults of his youth would bear
witness against him and call for his condemnation. Therefore, he said,
he abhorred himself. He had no merit which could entitle him to look
for favor. He had labored on to the end, but he had labored with a
full knowledge that the best which he could offer would be unworthy of
acceptance. He had been told, and he believed, that a high Spirit not
subject to infirmity had done his work for him, and done it perfectly,
and that if he abandoned all claim on his own account, he might be
accepted for the sake of what another had done. This, he trusted, was
true, and it was his sole dependence. In the so-called good actions
with which he seemed to be credited, there was nothing that was really
good; there was not one which was altogether what it ought to have

He was evidently sincere, and what he said was undoubtedly true--true
of him and true of every one. Even in the vehemence of his
self-abandonment a trace lingered of the taint which he was
confessing, for he was a polemical divine; he had spent his life and
gained a reputation in maintaining this particular doctrine. He
believed it, but he had not forgotten that he had been himself its

The examiner looked kindly at him, but answered:--

"We do not expect impossibilities; and we do not blame you when you
have not accomplished what is beyond your strength. Only those who are
themselves perfect can do anything perfectly. Human beings are born
ignorant and helpless. They bring into the world with them a
disposition to seek what is pleasant to themselves, and what is
pleasant is not always right. They learn to live as they learn
everything else. At first they cannot do rightly at all. They improve
under teaching and practice. The best only arrive at excellence. We do
not find fault with the painter on account of his first bad copies, if
they were as good as could be looked for at his age. Every craftsman
acquires his art by degrees. He begins badly; he cannot help it; and
it is the same with life. You learn to walk by falling down. You learn
to live by going wrong and experiencing the consequences of it. We do
not record against a man 'the sins of his youth' if he has been
honestly trying to improve himself. We do not require the same
self-control in a child as in a man. We do not require the same
attainments from all. Some are well taught, some are ill taught, some
are not taught at all. Some have naturally good dispositions, some
have naturally bad dispositions. Not one has had power 'to fulfill the
law,' as you call it, completely. Therefore it is no crime in him if
he fails. We reckon as faults those only which arise from idleness,
willfulness, selfishness, and deliberate preference of evil to good.
Each is judged according to what he has received."

I was amused to observe how pleased the archbishop looked while the
examiner was speaking. He had himself been engaged in controversy with
this gentleman on the share of "good works" in justifying a man; and
if the examiner had not taken his side in the discussion, he had at
least demolished his adversary. The archbishop had been the more
disinterested in the line which he had taken, as his own "works,"
though in several large folios, weighed extremely little; and indeed,
had it not been for passages in his early life,--he had starved
himself at college that he might not be a burden upon his widowed
mother,--I do not know but that he might have been sent back into the
world to serve as a parish clerk.

For myself, there were questions which I was longing to ask, and I was
trying to collect my courage to speak. I wanted chiefly to know what
the examiner meant by "natural disposition." Was it that a man might
be born with a natural capacity for becoming a saint, as another man
with a capacity to become a great artist or musician, and that each of
us could only grow to the limits of his natural powers? And again,
were idleness, willfulness, selfishness, etc., etc., natural
dispositions? for in that case--

But at the moment the bell rang again, and my own name was called.
There was no occasion to ask who I was. In every instance the identity
of the person, his history, small or large, and all that he had said
or done, was placed before the court so clearly that there was no need
for extorting a confession. There stood the catalogue inexorably
impartial, the bad actions in a schedule painfully large, the few good
actions veined with personal motives which spoilt the best of them. In
the way of work there was nothing to be shown but certain books and
other writings, and these were spread out to be tested. A fluid was
poured on the pages, the effect of which was to obliterate entirely
every untrue proposition, and to make every partially true proposition
grow faint in proportion to the false element which entered into it.
Alas! chapter after chapter vanished away, leaving the paper clean, as
if no compositor had ever labored in setting type for it. Pale and
illegible became the fine-sounding paragraphs on which I had secretly
prided myself. A few passages, however, survived here and there at
long intervals. They were those on which I had labored least, and had
almost forgotten; or those, as I observed in one or two instances,
which had been selected for special reprobation in the weekly
journals. Something stood to my credit, and the worst charge, of
willfully and intentionally setting down what I did not believe to be
true, was not alleged against me. Ignorance, prejudice, carelessness;
sins of infirmity,--culpable indeed, but not culpable in the last
degree; the water in the ink, the commonplaces, the ineffectual
sentiments--these, to my unspeakable comfort, I perceived were my
heaviest crimes. Had I been accused of absolute worthlessness, I
should have pleaded guilty in the state of humiliation to which I was
reduced; but things were better than they might have been. I was
flattering myself that when it came to the wages question, the balance
would be in my favor: so many years of labor--such and such cheques
received from my publisher. Here at least I held myself safe, and I
was in good hope that I might scrape through.

The examiner was good-natured in his manner. A reviewer who had been
listening for my condemnation was beginning to look disgusted, when
suddenly one of the walls of the court became transparent, and there
appeared an interminable vista of creatures--creatures of all kinds
from land and water, reaching away into the extreme distance. They
were those which in the course of my life I had devoured, either in
part or whole, to sustain my unconscionable carcass. There they stood
in lines with solemn and reproachful faces,--oxen and calves, sheep
and lambs, deer, hares, rabbits, turkeys, ducks, chickens, pheasants,
grouse, and partridges, down to the larks and sparrows and blackbirds
which I had shot when a boy and made into puddings. Every one of them
had come up to bear witness against their murderer; out of sea and
river had come the trout and salmon, the soles and turbots, the ling
and cod, the whiting and mackerel, the smelts and whitebait, the
oysters, the crabs, the lobsters, the shrimps. They seemed literally
to be in millions, and I had eaten them all. I talked of wages. These
had been my wages. At this enormous cost had my existence been
maintained. A stag spoke for the rest: "We all," he said, "were
sacrificed to keep this cormorant in being, and to enable him to
produce the miserable bits of printed paper which are all that he has
to show for himself. Our lives were dear to us. In meadow and wood, in
air and water, we wandered harmless and innocent, enjoying the
pleasant sunlight, the light of heaven and the sparkling waves. We
were not worth much; we have no pretensions to high qualities. If the
person who stands here to answer for himself can affirm that his value
in the universe was equivalent to the value of all of us who were
sacrificed to feed him, we have no more to say. Let it be so
pronounced. We shall look at our numbers, and we shall wonder at the
judgment, though we shall withdraw our complaint. But for ourselves
we say freely that we have long watched him,--him and his
fellows,--and we have failed to see in what the superiority of the
human creature lies. We know him only as the most cunning, the most
destructive, and unhappily the longest lived of all carnivorous
beasts. His delight is in killing. Even when his hunger is satisfied,
he kills us for his mere amusement."

The oxen lowed approval, the sheep bleated, the birds screamed, the
fishes flapped their tails. I, for myself, stood mute and
self-condemned. What answer but one was possible? Had I been myself on
the bench I could not have hesitated. The fatal sentence of
condemnation was evidently about to be uttered, when the scene became
indistinct, there was a confused noise, a change of condition, a sound
of running feet and of many voices. I awoke. I was again in the
railway carriage; the door was thrown open; porters entered to take
our things. We stepped out upon the platform. We were at the terminus
for which we had been originally destined. Carriages and cabs were
waiting; tall powdered footmen flew to the assistance of the duke and
duchess. The station-master was standing hat in hand, and obsequiously
bowing; the minister's private secretary had come to meet his right
honorable chief with the red dispatch box, knowing the impatience with
which it was waited for. The duke shook hands with the archbishop
before he drove away. "Dine with us to-morrow?" he said. "I have had a
very singular dream. You shall be my Daniel and interpret it for me."
The archbishop regretted infinitely that he must deny himself the
honor; his presence was required at the Conference. "I too have
dreamt," he said; "but with your Grace and me the realities of this
world are too serious to leave us leisure for the freaks of



New England blood reveals itself in certain characteristics of Mr.
Henry B. Fuller's fiction, though his grandfather took root in Chicago
even after its incorporation in 1840. Born in the "windy city," of
prosperous merchant stock, he is of the intellectual race of Margaret
Fuller; and the saying of one of his characters, "Get the right kind
of New England face, and you can't do much better," shows his liking
for the transplanted qualities which began the good fortunes of the
Great West.

Family councils decreed that he should fill an important inherited
place in the business world; but temperament was too strong for
predestination. He might have been an architect, he might have been a
musician, had he not turned out a novelist. But a creative artist he
was constrained by nature to become. His first story, unacknowledged
at first, and entitled 'The Chevalier of Pensieri-Vani,' attracted
little notice until it fell by chance under the eye of Professor
Norton of Cambridge, who sent it with a kindly word to Lowell. This
fine critic wrote a cordial letter of praise to the author, and the
book was republished by the Century Company of New York in 1892 and
widely read. 'The Chatelaine of La Trinité,' his next venture,
appeared as a serial in the Century Magazine during the same year.
Both of these stories have a European background; in both a certain
remoteness and romantic quality predominates, and both have little in
common with this workaday world.

To the amazement of his public, Mr. Fuller's next book--published as a
serial in Harper's Weekly, during the summer of the World's Fair, and
called 'The Cliff-Dwellers'--pictured Chicago in its most sordid and
utilitarian aspect. King Money sat on the throne, and the whole
community paid tribute. The intensity of the struggle for existence,
the push of competition, the relentlessness of the realism of the
book, left the reader almost breathless at the end, uncertain
whether to admire the force of the story-teller or to lament his

In 1895 appeared 'With the Procession,' another picture of Chicago
social life, but painted with a more kindly touch. The artist still
delineates what he sees, but he sees more truly, because more
sympathetically. The theme of the story is admirable, and it is
carried out with a half humorous and wholly serious thoroughness. This
theme is the total reconstruction of the social concepts of an
old-fashioned, rich, stolid, commercial Chicago family, in obedience
to the decree of the modernized younger son and daughters. The process
is more or less tragic, though it is set forth with an artistic
lightness of touch. 'With the Procession' is such a story as might
happen round the corner in any year. Herr Sienkiewicz's Polanyetskis
are not more genuinely "children of the soil" than Mr. Fuller's
Marshalls and Bateses. In these later stories he seems to be asking
himself, in most serious words, what is to be the social outcome of
the great industrial civilization of the time, and to demand of his
readers that they too shall fall to thinking.


From 'With the Procession.' Copyright 1894 by Henry B. Fuller, and
reprinted by permission of Harper & Brothers, publishers, New York

"Well, here goes!" said Jane half aloud, with her foot on the lowest
of the glistening granite steps. The steps led up to the ponderous
pillared arches of a grandiose and massive porch; above the porch a
sturdy and rugged balustrade half intercepted the rough-faced glitter
of a vast and variegated façade; and higher still, the morning sun
shattered its beams over a tumult of angular roofs and towering

"It _is_ swell, I declare!" said Jane, with her eye on the
wrought-iron work of the outer doors, and the jewels and bevels of the
inner ones.

"Where is the thingamajig, anyway?" she inquired of herself. She was
searching for the door-bell, and she fell back on her own rustic lingo
in order to ward off the incipient panic caused by this overwhelming
splendor. "Oh, here it is! There!" She gave a push. "And now I'm in
for it." She had decided to take the richest and best known and most
fashionable woman on her list to start with; the worst over at the
beginning, she thought, the rest would follow easily enough.

"I suppose the 'maid' will wear a cap and a silver tray," she observed
further. "Or will it be a gold one, with diamonds around the edge?"

The door-knob turned from within. "Is Mrs. Bates--" she began.

The door opened half-way. A grave, smooth-shaven man appeared; his
chin and upper lip had the mottled smudge that shows in so many of
those conscientious portraits of the olden time.

"Gracious me!" said the startled Jane to herself.

She dropped her disconcerted vision to the door-mat. Then she saw that
the man wore knee-breeches and black-silk stockings.

"Heaven be merciful!" was her inward cry. "It's a footman, as I live.
I've been reading about them all my life, and now I've met one. But I
never suspected that there was really anything of the kind in _this_

She left the contemplation of the servant's pumps and stockings, and
began to grapple fiercely with the catch of her hand-bag.

The man in the meanwhile studied her with a searching gravity, and as
it seemed, with some disapproval. The splendor of the front that his
master presented to the world had indeed intimidated poor Jane; but
there were many others upon whom it had no deterring effect at all.
Some of these brought art-books in monthly parts; others brought
polish for the piano legs. Many of them were quite as prepossessing in
appearance as Jane was; some of them were much less plain and dowdy;
few of them were so recklessly indiscreet as to betray themselves at
the threshold by exhibiting a black leather bag.

"There!" remarked Jane to the footman, "I knew I should get at it
eventually." She smiled at him with a friendly good-will: she
acknowledged him as a human being, and she hoped to propitiate him
into the concession that she herself was nothing less.

The man took her card, which was fortunately as correct as the most
discreet and contemporaneous stationer could fashion. He decided that
he was running no risk with his mistress, and "Miss Jane Marshall" was
permitted to pass the gate.

She was ushered into a small reception-room. The hard-wood floor was
partly covered by a meagre Persian rug. There was a plain sofa of
forbidding angles, and a scantily upholstered chair which insisted
upon nobody's remaining longer than necessary. But through the narrow
door Jane caught branching vistas of room after room heaped up with
the pillage of a sacked and ravaged globe, and a stairway which led
with a wide sweep to regions of unimaginable glories above.

"Did you ever!" exclaimed Jane. It was of the footman that she was
speaking; he in fact loomed up, to the practical eclipse of all this
luxury and display. "Only eighty years from the Massacre, and hardly
eight hundred feet from the Monument!"

Presently she heard a tapping and a rustling without. She thought that
she might lean a few inches to one side with no risk of being detected
in an impropriety, and she was rewarded by seeing the splendid vacuity
of the grand stairway finally filled--filled more completely, more
amply, than she could have imagined possible through the passage of
one person merely. A woman of fifty or more was descending with a slow
and somewhat ponderous stateliness. She wore an elaborate morning-gown
with a broad plait down the back, and an immensity of superfluous
material in the sleeves. Her person was broad, her bosom ample, and
her voluminous gray hair was tossed and fretted about the temples
after the fashion of a marquise of the old régime. Jane set her jaw
and clamped her knotty fingers to the two edges of her inhospitable

"I don't care if she _is_ so rich," she muttered, "and so famous, and
so fashionable, and so terribly handsome; she can't bear _me_ down."

The woman reached the bottom step, and took a turn that for a moment
carried her out of sight. At the same time the sound of her footsteps
was silenced by one of the big rugs that covered the floor of the wide
and roomy hall. But Jane had had a glimpse, and she knew with whom she
was to deal: with one of the big, the broad, the great, the
triumphant; with one of a Roman amplitude and vigor, an Indian
keenness and sagacity, an American ambition and determination; with
one who baffles circumstance and almost masters fate--with one of the
conquerors, in short.

"I don't hear her," thought the expectant girl, in some trepidation;
"but all the same, she's got to cross that bare space just outside the
door before--yes, there's her step! And here she is herself!"

Mrs. Bates appeared in the doorway. She had a strong nose of the lofty
Roman type; her bosom heaved with breaths deep, but quiet and regular.
She had a pair of large, full blue eyes, and these she now fixed on
Jane with an expression of rather cold questioning.

"Miss Marshall?" Her voice was firm, smooth, even, rich, deep. She
advanced a foot or two within the room and remained standing

"My father," Jane began again, in the same tone, "is David Marshall.
He is very well known, I believe, in Chicago. We have lived here a
great many years. It seems to me that there ought to--"

"David Marshall?" repeated Mrs. Bates, gently. "Ah, I _do_ know David
Marshall--yes," she said; "or did--a good many years ago." She looked
up into Jane's face now with a completely altered expression. Her
glance was curious and searching, but it was very kindly. "And you are
David Marshall's daughter?" She smiled indulgently at Jane's outburst
of spunk. "Really--David Marshall's daughter?"

"Yes," answered Jane, with a gruff brevity. She was far from ready to
be placated yet.

"David Marshall's daughter! Then, my dear child, why not have said so
in the first place, without lugging in everybody and everything else
you could think of? Hasn't your father ever spoken of me? And how is
he, anyway? I haven't seen him--to really speak to him--for fifteen
years. It may be even more."

She seemed to have laid hands on a heavy bar, to have wrenched it from
its holds, to have flung it aside from the footpath, and to be
inviting Jane to advance without let or hindrance.

But Jane stood there with pique in her breast, and her long thin arms
laid rigid against her sides. "Let her 'dear child' me, if she wants
to; she sha'n't bring me around in any such way as that."

All this, however, availed little against Mrs. Bates's new manner. The
citadel so closely sealed to charity was throwing itself wide open to
memory. The portcullis was dropped, and the late enemy was invited to
advance as a friend.

Nay, urged. Mrs. Bates presently seized Jane's unwilling hands. She
gathered those poor, stiff, knotted fingers into two crackling bundles
within her own plump and warm palms, squeezed them forcibly, and
looked into Jane's face with all imaginable kindness. "I had just that
temper once myself," she said.

The sluice gates of caution and reserve were opening wide; the streams
of tenderness and sympathy were bubbling and fretting to take their

"And your father is well? And you are living in the same old place?
Oh, this terrible town! You can't keep your old friends; you can
hardly know your new ones. We are only a mile or two apart, and yet it
is the same as if it were a hundred."

Jane yielded up her hands half unwillingly. She could not, in spite of
herself, remain completely unrelenting, but she was determined not to
permit herself to be patronized. "Yes, we live in the same old place.
And in the same old way," she added--in the spirit of concession.

Mrs. Bates studied her face intently. "Do you look like him--like your

"No," answered Jane. "Not so very much. Nor like any of the rest of
the family." The statue was beginning to melt. "I'm unique." And
another drop fell.

"Don't slander yourself." She tapped Jane lightly on the shoulder.

Jane looked at her with a protesting, or at least a questioning,
seriousness. It had the usual effect of a wild stare. "I wasn't
meaning to," she said, shortly, and began to congeal again. She also
shrugged her shoulder; she was not quite ready yet to be tapped and

"But don't remain standing, child," Mrs. Bates proceeded, genially.
She motioned Jane back to her chair, and herself advanced to the
roomier sofa. "Or no; this little pen is like a refrigerator to-day;
it's so hard, every fall, to get the steam heat running as it should.
Come, it ought to be warmer in the music-room."

"The fact is," she proceeded, as they passed through the hall, "that I
have a spare hour on my hands this morning--the first in a month. My
music teacher has just sent word that she is down with a cold. You
shall have as much of that hour as you wish. So tell me all about your
plans; I dare say I can scrape together a few pennies for Jane

"Her music teacher!" thought Jane. She was not yet so far appeased nor
so far forgetful of her own initial awkwardness as to refrain from
searching out the joints in the other's armor. "What does a woman of
fifty-five want to be taking music lessons for?"

The music-room was a lofty and spacious apartment done completely in
hard-woods; its paneled walls and ceilings rang with a magnificent
sonority as the two pairs of feet moved across the mirror-like
marquetry of the floor.

To one side stood a concert-grand; its case was so unique and so
luxurious that even Jane was conscious of its having been made by
special order and from a special design. Close at hand stood a tall
music-stand in style to correspond. It was laden with handsomely bound
scores of all the German classics and the usual operas of the French
and Italian schools. These were all ranged in precise order; nothing
there seemed to have been disturbed for a year past. "My! isn't it
grand!" sighed Jane. She already felt herself succumbing beneath these
accumulated splendors.

Mrs. Bates carelessly seated herself on the piano stool, with her back
to the instrument. "I don't suppose," she observed, casually, "that I
have sat down here for a month."

"What!" cried Jane, with a stare. "If I had such a lovely room as this
I should play in it every day."

"Dear me," rejoined Mrs. Bates, "what pleasure could I get from
practicing in this great barn of a place, that isn't half full until
you've got seventy or eighty people in it? Or on this big sprawling
thing?"--thrusting out her elbow backward towards the shimmering cover
of the keyboard.

"So then," said Jane to herself, "it's all for show. I knew it was. I
don't believe she can play a single note."

"What do you suppose happened to me last winter?" Mrs. Bates went on.
"I had the greatest set-back of my life. I asked to join the Amateur
Musical Club. They wouldn't let me in."

"Why not?"

"Well, I played before their committee, and then the secretary wrote
me a note. It was a nice enough note, of course, but I knew what it
meant. I see now well enough that my fingers _were_ rather stiffer
than I realized, and that my 'Twinkling Sprays' and 'Fluttering
Zephyrs' were not quite up to date. They wanted Grieg and Lassen and
Chopin. 'Very well,' said I, 'just wait.' Now, I never knuckle under.
I never give up. So I sent right out for a teacher. I practiced scales
an hour a day for weeks and months. Granger thought I was crazy. I
tackled Grieg and Lassen and Chopin,--yes, and Tschaikowsky, too. I'm
going to play for that committee next month. Let me see if they'll
dare to vote me out again!"

"Oh, _that's_ it!" thought Jane. She was beginning to feel desirous of
meting out exact and even-handed justice. She found it impossible to
withhold respect from so much grit and determination.

"But your father liked those old-time things, and so did all the other
young men." Mrs. Bates creased and folded the end of one of her long
sleeves, and seemed lapsing into a retrospective mood. "Why, some
evenings they used to sit two deep around the room to hear me do the
'Battle of Prague.' Do you know the 'Java March'?" she asked suddenly.

"I'm afraid not," Jane was obliged to confess.

"Your father always had a great fondness for that. I don't know," she
went on, after a short pause, "whether you understand that your father
was one of my old beaux--at least, I always counted him with the rest.
I was a gay girl in my day, and I wanted to make the list as long as I
could; so I counted in the quiet ones as well as the noisy ones. Your
father was one of the quiet ones."

"So I should have imagined," said Jane. Her maiden delicacy was just a
shade affrighted at the turn the talk was taking.

"When I was playing he would sit there by the hour and never say a
word. My banner piece was really a fantasia on 'Sonnambula'--a new
thing here; I was the first one in town to have it. There were
thirteen pages, and there was always a rush to see who should turn
them. Your father didn't often enter the rush, but I really liked his
way of turning the best of any. He never turned too soon or too late;
he never bothered me by shifting his feet every second or two, nor by
talking to me at the hard places. In fact, he was the only one who
could do it right."

"Yes," said Jane, with an appreciative sigh; "that's pa--all over."

Mrs. Bates was twisting her long sleeves around her wrists. Presently
she shivered slightly. "Well, really," she said, "I don't see that
this place is much warmer than the other; let's try the library."

In this room our antique and Spartan Jane was made to feel the need of
yet stronger props to hold her up against the overbearing weight of
latter-day magnificence. She found herself surrounded now by a sombre
and solid splendor. Stamped hangings of Cordova leather lined the
walls, around whose bases ran a low range of ornate bookcases,
constructed with the utmost taste and skill of the cabinet-maker's
art. In the centre of the room a wide and substantial table was set
with all the paraphernalia of correspondence, and the leathery abysses
of three or four vast easy-chairs invited the reader to bookish

"How glorious!" cried Jane, as her eyes ranged over the ranks and rows
of formal and costly bindings. It all seemed doubly glorious after
that poor sole book-case of theirs at home--a huge black-walnut thing
like a wardrobe, and with a couple of drawers at the bottom,
receptacles that seemed less adapted to pamphlets than to goloshes.
"How grand!" Jane was not exigent as regarded music, but her whole
being went forth towards books. "Dickens and Thackeray and Bulwer and
Hume and Gibbon, and Johnson's 'Lives of the Poets', and--"

"And twenty or thirty yards of Scott," Mrs. Bates broke in genially;
"and enough Encyclopædia Britannica to reach around the corner and
back again. Sets--sets--sets."

"What a lovely chair to sit and study in!" cried Jane, not at all
abashed by her hostess's comments. "What a grand table to sit and
write papers at!" Writing papers was one of Jane's chief interests.

"Oh, yes," said Mrs. Bates with a quiet toleration, as she glanced
towards the shining inkstand and the immaculate blotting-pad. "But
really, I don't suppose I've written two lines at that table since it
was put there. And as for all these books, Heaven only knows where the
keys are to get at them with. _I_ can't do anything with them; why,
some of them weigh five or six pounds!"

Jane shriveled and shivered under this. She regretted doubly that she
had been betrayed into such an unstinted expression of her honest
interest. "All for show and display," she muttered, as she bowed her
head to search out new titles; "bought by the pound and stacked by the
cord; doing nobody any good--their owners least of all." She resolved
to admire openly nothing more whatever.

Mrs. Bates sank into one of the big chairs and motioned Jane
towards another. "Your father was a great reader," she said, with
a resumption of her retrospective expression. "He was very fond of
books--especially poetry. He often read aloud to me; when he thought I
was likely to be alone, he would bring his Shakespeare over. I believe
I could give you even now, if I was put to it, Antony's address to the
Romans. Yes; and almost all of Hamlet's soliloquies, too."

Jane was preparing to make a stand against this woman; and here
apparently was the opportunity. "Do you mean to tell me," she
inquired, with something approaching sternness, "that my father--_my
father_--was ever fond of poetry and--and music, and--and all that
sort of thing?"

"Certainly. Why not? I remember your father as a high-minded young
man, with a great deal of good taste; I always thought him much above
the average. And that Shakespeare of his--I recall it perfectly. It
was a chubby little book bound in brown leather, with an embossed
stamp, and print a great deal too fine for _my_ eyes. He always had to
do the reading; and he read very pleasantly." She scanned Jane
closely. "Perhaps you have never done your father justice."

Jane felt herself driven to defense--even to apology. "The fact is,"
she said, "pa is so quiet; he never says much of anything. I'm about
the only one of the family who knows him very well, and I guess _I_
don't know him any too well." She felt, though, that Mrs. Bates had no
right to defend her father against his own daughter; no, nor any need.

"I suppose so," said Mrs. Bates slowly. She crossed over to the
radiator and began working at the valve. "I _told_ Granger I knew he'd
be sorry if he didn't put in furnace flues too. I really can't ask you
to take your things off down here; let's go up-stairs--that's the only
warm place I can think of."

She paused in the hall. "Wouldn't you like to see the rest of the
rooms before you go up?"

"Yes--I don't mind," responded Jane. She was determined to encourage
no ostentatious pride; so she made her acceptance as indifferent as
she felt good manners would allow.

Mrs. Bates crossed over the hall and paused in a wide doorway. "This,"
she indicated, in a tone slightly suggestive of the cicerone, "is
the--well, the Grand Salon; at least, that's what the newspapers have
decided to call it. Do you care anything for Louis Quinze?"

Jane found herself on the threshold of a long and glittering
apartment; it was full of the ornate and complicated embellishments of
the eighteenth century--an exhibition of decorative whip-cracking.
Grilles, panels, mirror frames, all glimmered in green and gold, and a
row of lustres, each multitudinously candled, hung from the lofty

Jane felt herself on firmer ground here than in the library, whose
general air of distinction, with no definite detail by way of
guide-post, had rather baffled her.

"Hem!" she observed critically, as her eyes roamed over the spacious
splendor of the place; "quite an epitome of the whole rococo period;
done, too, with a French grace and a German thoroughness. Almost a
real _jardin d'hiver_, in fact. Very handsome indeed."

Mrs. Bates pricked up her ears; she had not expected quite such a
response as this. "You are posted on these things, then?"

"Well," said Jane, "I belong to an art class. We study the different
periods in architecture and decoration."

"Do you? I belong to just such a class myself--and to three or four
others. I'm studying and learning right along; I never want to stand
still. You were surprised, I saw, about my music lessons. It _is_ a
little singular, I admit--my beginning as a teacher and ending as a
pupil. You know, of course, that I _was_ a school-teacher? Yes, I had
a little class down on Wabash Avenue near Hubbard Court, in a church
basement. I began to be useful as early as I could. We lived in a
little bit of a house a couple of blocks north of there; you know
those old-fashioned frame cottages--one of them. In the early days pa
was a carpenter--a boss carpenter, to do him full justice; the town
was growing, and after a while he began to do first-rate. But at the
beginning ma did her own work, and I helped her. I swept and dusted,
and wiped the dishes. She taught me to sew, too; I trimmed all my own
hats till long after I was married."

Mrs. Bates leaned carelessly against the tortured framework of a
tapestried _causeuse_. The light from the lofty windows shattered on
the prisms of her glittering chandeliers, and diffused itself over the
paneled Loves and Graces around her.

"When I got to be eighteen I thought I was old enough to branch out
and do something for myself--I've always tried to hold up my own end.
My little school went first-rate. There was only one drawback--another
school next door, full of great rowdy boys. They would climb the fence
and make faces at my scholars; yes, and sometimes they would throw
stones. But that wasn't the worst: the other school taught
book-keeping. Now, I never was one of the kind to lag behind, and I
used to lie awake nights wondering how I could catch up with the rival
institution. Well, I hustled around, and finally I got hold of two or
three children who were old enough for accounts, and I set them to
work on single entry. I don't know whether they learned anything, but
_I_ did--enough to keep Granger's books for the first year after we
started out."

Jane smiled broadly; it was useless to set a stoic face against such
confidences as these.

"We were married at the most fashionable church in town--right there
in Court-house Square; and ma gave us a reception, or something like
it, in her little front room. We weren't so very stylish ourselves,
but we had some awfully stylish neighbors--all those Terrace Row
people, just around the corner. 'We'll get there too, sometime,' I
said to Granger. 'This is going to be a big town, and we have a good
show to be big people in it. Don't let's start in life like beggars
going to the back door for cold victuals; let's march right up the
front steps and ring the bell _like_ somebody.' So, as I say, we were
married at the best church in town; we thought it safe enough to
discount the future."

"Good for you," said Jane, who was finding her true self in the thick
of these intimate revelations; "you guessed right."

"Well, we worked along fairly for a year or two, and finally I said to
Granger:--'Now, what's the use of inventing things and taking them to
those companies and making everybody rich but yourself? You pick out
some one road, and get on the inside of that, and stick there, and--'
The fact is," she broke off suddenly, "you can't judge at all of this
room in the daytime. You must see it lighted and filled with people.
You ought to have been here at the _bal poudré_ I gave last
season--lots of pretty girls in laces and brocades, and powder on
their hair. It was a lovely sight.... Come; we've had enough of this."
Mrs. Bates turned a careless back upon all her Louis Quinze splendor.
"The next thing will be something else."

Jane's guide passed swiftly into another large and imposing apartment.
"This I call the Sala de los Embajadores; here is where I receive my
distinguished guests."

"Good!" cried Jane, who knew Irving's 'Alhambra' by heart. "Only it
isn't Moorish; it's Baroque--and a very good example."

The room had a heavy paneled ceiling of dark wood, with a cartouche in
each panel; stacks of seventeenth-century armor stood in the corners,
half a dozen large Aubusson tapestries hung on the walls, and a vast
fireplace, flanked by huge Atlantes and crowned by a heavy pediment,
broken and curled, almost filled one whole side. "That fireplace is
Baroque all over."

"See here," said Mrs. Bates, suddenly, "are you the woman who read
about the 'Decadence of the Renaissance Forms' at the last

"I'm the woman," responded Jane modestly.

"I don't know why I didn't recognize you before. But you sat in an
awfully bad light, for one thing. Besides, I had so much on my mind
that day. Our dear little Reginald was coming down with something--or
so we thought. And the bonnet I was forced to wear--well, it just made
me blue. You didn't notice it?"

"I was too flustered to notice anything. It was my first time there."

"Well, it was a good paper, although I couldn't half pay attention to
it; it gave me several new notions. All my decorations, then--you
think them corrupt and degraded?"

"Well," returned Jane, at once soothing and judicial, "all these later
forms are interesting from a historical and sociological point of
view. And lots of people find them beautiful, too, for that matter."
Jane slid over these big words with a practiced ease.

"They impressed my notables, any way," retorted Mrs. Bates. "We
entertained a good deal during the Fair--it was expected, of course,
from people of our position. We had princes and counts and honorables
without end. I remember how delighted I was with my first prince--a
Russian. H'm! later in the season Russian princes were as plentiful as
blackberries: you stepped on one at every turn. We had some of the
English too. One of their young men visited us at Geneva during the
summer. I never quite made out who invited him; I have half an idea
that he invited himself. He was a great trial. Queer about the
English, isn't it? How can people who are so clever and capable in
practical things ever be such insolent tom-fools in social things?
Well, we might just stick our noses in the picture gallery for a

"We're almost beginners in this branch of industry," she expounded, as
she stood beside Jane in the centre of the room under the coldly
diffused glare of the skylight. "In my young days it was all Bierstadt
and De Haas; there wasn't supposed to be anything beyond. But as soon
as I began to hear about the Millet and the Barbizon crowd, I saw
there was. Well, I set to work, as usual. I studied and learned. I
_want_ to learn. I want to move; I want to keep right up with the
times and the people. I got books and photographs, and I went to all
the galleries. I read the artists' biographies and took in all the
loan collections. Now I'm loaning, too. Some of these things are going
to the Art Institute next week--that Daubigny, for one. It's little,
but it's good: there couldn't be anything more like him, could there?

"We haven't got any Millet yet, but that morning thing over there is a
Corot--at least we think so. I was going to ask one of the French
commissioners about it last summer, but my nerve gave out at the last
minute. Mr. Bates bought it on his own responsibility. I let him go
ahead; for after all, people of our position would naturally be
expected to have a Corot. I don't care to tell you what he paid for

"There's some more high art," said Mrs. Bates, with a wave of her hand
towards the opposite wall. "Carolus Duran; fifty thousand francs; and
he wouldn't let me pick out my own costume either....

"And now," she said, "let's go up-stairs." Jane followed her, too
dazed to speak or even to smile.

Mrs. Bates hastened forward light-footedly. "Conservatory--_that's_
Moorish," she indicated casually; "nothing in it but orchids and
things. Come along." Jane followed--dumbly, humbly.

Mrs. Bates paused on the lower step of her great stairway. A huge vase
of Japanese bronze flanked either newel, and a Turkish lantern
depended above her head. The bright green of a dwarf palm peeped over
the balustrade, and a tempered light strained down through the painted
window on the landing-stage.

"There!" she said, "you've seen it all." She stood there in a kind of
impassioned splendor, her jeweled fingers shut tightly, and her fists
thrown out and apart so as to show the veins and cords of her wrists.
"_We_ did it, we two--just Granger and I. Nothing but our own hands
and hearts and hopes, and each other. We have fought the fight--a fair
field and no favor--and we have come out ahead. And we shall stay
there too; keep up with the procession is my motto, and head it if you
can. I _do_ head it, and I feel that I'm where I belong. When I can't
foot it with the rest, let me drop by the wayside and the crows have
me. But they'll never get me--never! There's ten more good years in me
yet; and if we were to slip to the bottom to-morrow we should work
back to the top again before we finish. When I led the grand march at
the Charity Ball I was accused of taking a vainglorious part in a
vainglorious show. Well, who would look better in such a role than I,
or who has earned a better right to play it? There, child! ain't that
success? ain't that glory? ain't that poetry?--h'm," she broke off
suddenly, "I'm glad Jimmy wasn't by to hear that! He's always taking
up his poor mother."

"Jimmy? Is he humble-minded, do you mean?"

"Humble-minded? one of my boys humble-minded? No indeed; he's
grammatical, that's all: he prefers 'isn't.' Come up."

Mrs. Bates hurried her guest over the stairway and through several
halls and passages, and introduced her finally into a large and
spacious room done in white and gold. In the glittering electrolier
wires mingled with pipes, and bulbs with globes. To one side stood a
massive brass bedstead full-panoplied in coverlet and pillow-cases,
and the mirror of the dressing-case reflected a formal row of
silver-backed brushes and combs.

"My bedroom," said Mrs. Bates. "How does it strike you?"

"Why," stammered Jane, "it's all very fine, but--"

"Oh, yes; I know what they say about it--I've heard them a dozen
times: 'It's very big and handsome and all, but not a bit home-like.
_I_ shouldn't want to sleep here.' Is that the idea?"

"About," said Jane.

"Sleep here!" echoed Mrs. Bates. "I _don't_ sleep here. I'd as soon
think of sleeping out on the prairie. That bed isn't to _sleep_ in;
it's for the women to lay their hats and cloaks on. Lay yours there

Jane obeyed. She worked herself out of her old blue sack, and disposed
it, neatly folded, on the brocaded coverlet. Then she took off her
mussy little turban and placed it on the sack. "What a strange woman,"
she murmured to herself. "She doesn't get any music out of her piano;
she doesn't get any reading out of her books; she doesn't even get any
sleep out of her bed." Jane smoothed down her hair and awaited the
next stage of her adventure.

"This is the way." Mrs. Bates led her through a narrow side door....
"This is my office." She traversed the "office," passed into a room
beyond, pushed Jane ahead of her, and shut the door....

The door closed with a light click, and Jane looked about her with a
great and sudden surprise. Poor stupid, stumbling child!--she
understood at last in what spirit she had been received and on what
footing she had been placed.

She found herself in a small, cramped, low-ceiled room which was
filled with worn and antiquated furniture. There was a ponderous old
mahogany bureau, with the veneering cracked and peeled, and a bed to
correspond. There was a shabby little writing-desk, whose let-down lid
was lined with faded and blotted green baize. On the floor there was
an old Brussels carpet, antique as to pattern, and wholly threadbare
as to surface. The walls were covered with an old-time paper whose
plaintive primitiveness ran in slender pink stripes alternating with
narrow green vines. In one corner stood a small upright piano whose
top was littered with loose sheets of old music, and on one wall hung
a set of thin black-walnut shelves strung together with cords and
loaded with a variety of well-worn volumes. In the grate was a coal

Mrs. Bates sat down on the foot of the bed, and motioned Jane to a
small rocker that had been re-seated with a bit of old rugging.

"And now," she said, cheerily, "let's get to business. Sue Bates, at
your service."

"Oh, no," gasped Jane, who felt, however dumbly and mistily, that this
was an epoch in her life. "Not here; not to-day."

"Why not? Go ahead; tell me all about the charity that isn't a
charity. You'd better; this is the last room--there's nothing beyond."
Her eyes were twinkling, but immensely kind.

"I know it," stammered Jane. "I knew it in a second." She felt too
that not a dozen persons had ever penetrated to this little chamber.
"How good you are to me!"

Presently, under some compulsion, she was making an exposition of her
small plan. Mrs. Bates was made to understand how some of the old
Dearborn Seminary girls were trying to start a sort of club-room in
some convenient down-town building for typewriters and saleswomen and
others employed in business. There was to be a room where they could
get lunch, or bring their own to eat, if they preferred; also a parlor
where they could fill up their noon hour with talk or reading or
music; it was the expectation to have a piano and a few books and

"I remembered Lottie as one of the girls who went with us there, down
on old Dearborn Place, and I thought perhaps I could interest Lottie's
mother," concluded Jane.

"And so you can," said Lottie's mother, promptly. "I'll have Miss
Peters--but don't you find it a little warm here? Just pass me that

Mrs. Bates had stepped to her single little window. "Isn't it a gem?"
she asked, "I had it made to order; one of the old-fashioned sort, you
see--two sash, with six little panes in each. No weights and cords,
but simple catches at the side. It opens to just two widths; if I want
anything different, I have to contrive it for myself. Sometimes I use
a hair-brush and sometimes a paper-cutter."...

She dropped her voice.

"Did you ever have a private secretary?"

"Me?" called Jane. "I'm my own."

"Keep it that way," said Mrs. Bates, impressively. "Don't ever
change--no matter how many engagements and appointments and letters
and dates you come to have. You'll never spend a happy day afterwards.
Tutors are bad enough--but thank goodness, my boys are past that age.
And men-servants are bad enough--every time I want to stir in my own
house I seem to have a footman on each toe and a butler standing on my
train; however, people in our position--well, Granger insists, you

"And now business is over," she continued. "Do you like my posies?"
She nodded towards the window where, thanks to the hair-brush, a row
of flowers in a long narrow box blew about in the draft.


"No, no, no! But I hoped you'd guess asters. They're
chrysanthemums--you see, fashion will penetrate even here. But they're
the smallest and simplest I could find. What do I care for orchids and
American beauties, and all those other expensive things under glass?
How much does it please me to have two great big formal beds of
gladiolus and foliage in the front yard, one on each side of the
steps? Still, in our position, I suppose it can't be helped. No; what
I want is a bed of portulaca, and some cypress vines running up
strings to the top of a pole. As soon as I get poor enough to afford
it I'm going to have a lot of phlox and London-pride and
bachelor's-buttons out there in the back yard, and the girls can run
their clothes-lines somewhere else."

"It's hard to keep flowers in the city," said Jane.

"I know it is. At our old house we had such a nice little rose-bush in
the front yard. I hated so to leave it behind--one of those little
yellow brier roses. No, it wasn't yellow; it was just--'yaller.' And
it always scratched my nose when I tried to smell it. But oh,
child"--wistfully--"if I could only smell it now!"

"Couldn't you have transplanted it?" asked Jane, sympathetically.

"I went back the very next day after we moved out, with a peach basket
and fire shovel. But my poor bush was buried under seven feet of
yellow sand. To-day there's seven stories of brick and mortar. So all
I've got from the old place is just this furniture of ma's and the

"The wall-paper?"

"Not the identical same, of course. It's like what I had in my bedroom
when I was a girl. I remembered the pattern, and tried everywhere to
match it. At first I just tried on Twenty-second street. Then I went
down-town. Then I tried all the little places away out on the West
Side. Then I had the pattern put down on paper and I made a tour of
the country. I went to Belvidere, and to Beloit, and to Janesville,
and to lots of other places between here and Geneva. And finally--"

"Well, what--finally?"

"Finally, I sent down East and had eight or ten rolls made to order. I
chased harder than anybody ever chased for a Raphael, and I spent more
than if I had hung the room with Gobelins; but--"

She stroked the narrow strips of pink and green with a fond hand, and
cast on Jane a look which pleaded indulgence. "Isn't it just too
quaintly ugly for anything?"

"It isn't any such thing," cried Jane. "It's just as sweet as it can
be! I only wish mine was like it."




[Illustration: MARGARET FULLER]

"Margaret was one of the few persons who looked upon life as an art,
and every person not merely as an artist, but as a work of art," wrote
Emerson. "She looked upon herself as a living statue, which should
always stand on a polished pedestal, with right accessories, and under
the most fitting lights. She would have been glad to have everybody so
live and act. She was annoyed when they did not, and when they did not
regard her from the point of view which alone did justice to her....
It is certain that her friends excused in her, because she had a right
to it, a tone which they would have reckoned intolerable in any
other." In the coolest way she said to her friends:--

    "I take my natural position always: and the more I see, the
    more I feel that it is regal. Without throne, sceptre, or
    guards, still a queen....In near eight years' experience I
    have learned as much as others would in eighty, from my great
    talent at explanation.... But in truth I have not much to
    say; for since I have had leisure to look at myself, I find
    that so far from being an original genius, I have not yet
    learned to think to any depth; and that the utmost I have
    done in life has been to form my character to a certain
    consistency, cultivate my tastes, and learn to tell the truth
    with a little better grace than I did at first. When I look
    at my papers I feel as if I had never had a thought that was
    worthy the attention of any but myself; and 'tis only when on
    talking with people I find I tell them what they did not
    know, that my confidence at all returns.... A woman of tact
    and brilliancy, like me, has an undue advantage in
    conversation with men. They are astonished at our instincts.
    They do not see where we got our knowledge; and while they
    tramp on in their clumsy way, we wheel and fly, and dart
    hither and thither, and seize with ready eye all the weak
    points, like Saladin in the desert. It is quite another thing
    when we come to write, and without suggestion from another
    mind, to declare the positive amount of thought that is in
    us.... Then gentlemen are surprised that I write no better,
    because I talk so well. I have served a long apprenticeship
    to the one, none to the other. I shall write better, but
    never, I think, so well as I talk; for then I feel
    inspired.... For all the tides of life that flow within me, I
    am dumb and ineffectual when it comes to casting my thought
    into a form. No old one suits me. If I could invent one, it
    seems to me the pleasure of creation would make it possible
    for me to write. What shall I do, dear friend? I want force
    to be either a genius or a character. One should be either
    private or public. I love best to be a woman; but womanhood
    is at present too straitly bounded to give me scope. At
    hours, I live truly as a woman; at others, I should stifle."

All these naïve confessions were made, it must be remembered,
either in her journal, or in letters to her nearest friends, and without
fear of misinterpretation.

This complex, self-conscious, but able woman was born in Cambridgeport,
Massachusetts, in 1810, in the house of her father, Timothy
Fuller, a lawyer. Her mother, it is reported, was a mild, self-effacing
lover of flower-bulbs and gardens, of a character to supplement, and
never combat, a husband who exercised all the domestic dictation
which Puritan habits and the marital law encouraged.

    "He thought to gain time by bringing forward the intellect as
    early as possible," wrote Margaret in her autobiographical
    sketch. "Thus I had tasks given me, as many and as various as
    the hours would allow, and on subjects beyond my age; with
    the additional disadvantage of reciting to him in the evening
    after he returned from his office. As he was subject to many
    interruptions, I was often kept up till very late, and as he
    was a severe teacher, both from his habits of mind and his
    ambition for me, my feelings were kept on the stretch till
    the recitations were over. Thus, frequently, I was sent to
    bed several hours too late, with nerves unnaturally
    stimulated. The consequence was a premature development of
    the brain that made me a 'youthful prodigy' by day, and by
    night a victim of spectral illusions, nightmare, and
    somnambulism, which at the time prevented the harmonious
    development of my bodily powers and checked my growth, while
    later they induced continual headache, weakness, and nervous
    affections of all kinds.... I was taught Latin and English
    grammar at the same time, and began to read Latin at six
    years old, after which, for some years, I read it daily....
    Of the Greek language I knew only enough to feel that the
    sounds told the same story as the mythology; that the law of
    life in that land was beauty, as in Rome it was stern
    composure.... With these books I passed my days. The great
    amount of study exacted of me soon ceased to be a burden, and
    reading became a habit and a passion. The force of feeling
    which under other circumstances might have ripened thought,
    was turned to learn the thoughts of others."

By the time she entered mature womanhood, Margaret had made
herself acquainted with the masterpieces of German, French, and
Italian literatures. It was later that she became familiar with the
great literature of her own tongue. Her father died in 1835, and in
1836 she went to Boston to teach languages.

    "I still," wrote Emerson (1851), "remember the first
    half-hour of Margaret's conversation. She was then twenty-six
    years old. She had a face and a frame that would indicate
    fullness and tenacity of life. She was rather under the
    middle height; her complexion was fair, with strong, fair
    hair. She was then, as always, carefully and becomingly
    dressed, and of ladylike self-possession. For the rest, her
    appearance had nothing prepossessing. Her extreme
    plainness,--a trick of incessantly opening and shutting her
    eyelids,--the nasal tone of her voice,--all repelled; and I
    said to myself, 'We shall never get far.' It is to be said
    that Margaret made a disagreeable first impression on most
    persons, including those who became afterwards her best
    friends, to such an extreme that they did not wish to be in
    the same room with her. This was partly the effect of her
    manners, which expressed an overweening sense of power, and
    slight esteem of others, and partly the prejudice of her
    fame. She had a dangerous reputation for satire, in addition
    to her great scholarship. The men thought she carried too
    many guns, and the women did not like one who despised them."

In 1839 Margaret began her famous "Conversations" in Boston,
continuing these for five winters. "Their theory was not high-flown
but eminently sensible," writes Mr. Higginson, "being based expressly
on the ground stated in her circular; that the chief disadvantage of
women in regard to study was in not being called upon, like men, to
reproduce in some way what they had learned. As a substitute for
this she proposed to try the uses of conversation, to be conducted in
a somewhat systematic way under efficient leadership." In 1839 she
published her translation of Eckermann's 'Conversations with Goethe,'
and in 1842 of the 'Correspondence of Fräulein Günerode and Bettine
von Arnim.' The year 1839 had seen the full growth of New
England transcendentalism, which was a reaction against Puritanism
and a declaration in vague phrases of God in man and of the indwelling
of the spirit in each soul,--an admixture of Platonism, Oriental
pantheism, and the latest German idealism, with a reminiscence of
the stoicism of Seneca and Epictetus. In 1840 The Dial was founded
to be the expression of these ideas, with Margaret as editor and
Emerson and George Ripley as aids. To this quarterly she gave
two years of hard work and self-sacrifice.

Another outcome of the transcendental movement, the community
of Brook Farm, was to her, says Mr. Higginson, "simply an experiment
which had enlisted some of her dearest friends; and later, she
found [there] a sort of cloister for occasional withdrawal from her
classes and her conversations. This was all: she was not a stockholder,
nor a member, nor an advocate of the enterprise; and even
'Miss Fuller's cow,' which Hawthorne tried so hard to milk, was a
being as wholly imaginary as [Hawthorne's] Zenobia."

Her 'Woman in the Nineteenth Century' (1844)led Horace Greeley to
offer her a place in the literary department of the New York Tribune.
It is her praise that she was able to impart a purely literary
interest to a daily journal, and to make its critical judgment
authoritative. The best of her contributions to that journal were
published, with articles from the Dial and other periodicals, under
the title of 'Papers on Art and Literature' (1846).

In that year she paid the visit to Europe of which she had dreamed and
written; and her letters to her friends at home are now, perhaps, the
most readable of her remains. Taking up her residence in Italy in
1847, and sympathizing passionately with Mazzini and his republican
ideas, she met and married the Marquis Giovanni Angelo Ossoli. Her
husband was seven years her junior, but his letters written while he
was serving as a soldier at Rome, and she was absent with their baby
in the country, reveal the ardor of his love for her. During the siege
of Rome by the French, Mazzini put in her charge the hospital of the
Trinity of the Pilgrims. "At the very moment when Lowell was
satirizing her in his 'Fables for Critics,'" says Mr. Higginson, "she
was leading such a life as no American woman had led in this century
before." Her Southern nature and her longing for action and love had
found expression. In May 1850 she sailed with her husband and son from
Leghorn for America. But the vessel was wrecked off Fire Island within
a day's sail of home and friends, and, save the body of her child and
a trunk of water-soaked papers, the sea swallowed up all remnants of
the happiness of her later life.

The position which Margaret Fuller held in the small world of letters
about her is not explained by her writings. She seems to have
possessed great personal magnetism. She was strong, she had
intellectual grasp and poise, possibly at times she had the tact she
so much admired, she had unusual knowledge, and above all a keen
self-consciousness. Her nature was too Southern in its passions, just
as it was too large in intellectual vigor, for the environment in
which she was born. She was in fact stifled until she escaped from her
egotism and self-consciousness, and from the pale New England life and
movement, to find a larger existence in her Italian lover and husband,
and their child. And then she died.

The affectionate admiration which she aroused in her friends has found
expression in three notable biographies: 'Memoirs of Margaret Fuller
Ossoli,' by her brother; 'Margaret Fuller Ossoli,' by Thomas Wentworth
Higginson ('American Men of Letters Series'); and 'Margaret Fuller
(Marchesa Ossoli)' by Julia Ward Howe ('Eminent Women Series').



From 'Memoirs': Paris, ----, 1847

You wished to hear of George Sand, or as they say in Paris, "Madame
Sand." I find that all we had heard of her was true in the outline; I
had supposed it might be exaggerated....

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.

The servant who admitted me was in the picturesque costume of a
peasant, and as Madame Sand afterwards told me, her goddaughter, whom
she had brought from her province. She announced me as "Madame
Salère," and returned into the ante-room 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 dressed in a robe of
dark-violet silk, with a black mantle on her shoulders, her beautiful
hair dressed 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 fixed
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.


From 'At Home and Abroad'

The American in Europe, if a thinking mind, can only become more
American. In some respects it is a great pleasure to be here. Although
we have an independent political existence, our position toward Europe
as to literature and the arts is still that of a colony, and one feels
the same joy here that is experienced by the colonist in returning to
the parent home. What was but picture to us becomes reality; remote
allusions and derivations trouble no more; we see the pattern of the
stuff, and understand the whole tapestry. There is a gradual clearing
up on many points, and many baseless notions and crude fancies are
dropped. Even the post-haste passage of the business American through
the great cities, escorted by cheating couriers and ignorant _valets
de place_, unable to hold intercourse with the natives of the country,
and passing all his leisure hours with his countrymen, who know no
more than himself, clears his mind of some mistakes,--lifts some mists
from his horizon.

There are three species: First, the servile American,--a being utterly
shallow, thoughtless, worthless. He comes abroad to spend his money
and indulge his tastes. His object in Europe is to have fashionable
clothes, good foreign cookery, to know some titled persons, and
furnish himself with coffee-house gossip, by retailing which among
those less traveled and as uninformed as himself he can win importance
at home. I look with unspeakable contempt on this class,--a class
which has all the thoughtlessness and partiality of the exclusive
classes in Europe, without any of their refinement, or the chivalric
feeling which still sparkles among them here and there. However,
though these willing serfs in a free age do some little hurt, and
cause some annoyance at present, they cannot continue long; our
country is fated to a grand independent existence, and as its laws
develop, these parasites of a bygone period must wither and drop away.

Then there is the conceited American, instinctively bristling and
proud of--he knows not what. He does not see, not he! that the history
of humanity, for many centuries, is likely to have produced results it
requires some training, some devotion, to appreciate and profit by.
With his great clumsy hands, only fitted to work on a steam-engine, he
seizes the old Cremona violin, makes it shriek with anguish in his
grasp, and then declares he thought it was all humbug before he came,
and now he knows it; that there is not really any music in these old
things; that the frogs in one of our swamps make much finer, for they
are young and alive. To him the etiquettes of courts and camps, the
ritual of the Church, seem simply silly,--and no wonder, profoundly
ignorant as he is of their origin and meaning. Just so the legends
which are the subjects of pictures, the profound myths which are
represented in the antique marbles, amaze and revolt him; as, indeed,
such things need to be judged of by another standard than that of the
Connecticut Blue Laws. He criticizes severely pictures, feeling quite
sure that his natural senses are better means of judgment than the
rules of connoisseurs,--not feeling that to see such objects mental
vision as well as fleshly eyes are needed, and that something is aimed
at in art beyond the imitation of the commonest forms of nature. This
is Jonathan in the sprawling state, the booby truant, not yet aspiring
enough to be a good schoolboy. Yet in his folly there is a meaning;
add thought and culture to his independence, and he will be a man of
might: he is not a creature without hope, like the thick-skinned dandy
of the class first specified.

The artists form a class by themselves. Yet among them, though seeking
special aims by special means, may also be found the lineaments of
these two classes, as well as of the third, of which I am now to

This is that of the thinking American,--a man who, recognizing the
immense advantage of being born to a new world and on a virgin soil,
yet does not wish one seed from the past to be lost. He is anxious to
gather and carry back with him every plant that will bear a new
climate and new culture. Some will dwindle; others will attain a bloom
and stature unknown before. He wishes to gather them clean, free from
noxious insects, and to give them a fair trial in his new world. And
that he may know the conditions under which he may best place them in
that new world, he does not neglect to study their history in this.

The history of our planet in some moments seems so painfully mean and
little,--such terrible bafflings and failures to compensate some
brilliant successes; such a crushing of the mass of men beneath the
feet of a few, and these too often the least worthy; such a small drop
of honey to each cup of gall, and in many cases so mingled that it is
never one moment in life purely tasted; above all, so little achieved
for humanity as a whole, such tides of war and pestilence intervening
to blot out the traces of each triumph,--that no wonder if the
strongest soul sometimes pauses aghast; no wonder if the many
indolently console themselves with gross joys and frivolous prizes.
Yes! those men _are_ worthy of admiration, who can carry this cross
faithfully through fifty years; it is a great while for all the
agonies that beset a lover of good, a lover of men; it makes a soul
worthy of a speedier ascent, a more productive ministry in the next
sphere. Blessed are they who ever keep that portion of pure, generous
love with which they began life! How blessed those who have deepened
the fountains, and have enough to spare for the thirst of others! Some
such there are; and feeling that, with all the excuses for failure,
still only the sight of those who triumph gives a meaning to life or
makes its pangs endurable, we must arise and follow.



From 'Memoirs': Paris, ----, 1846

I enjoyed the time extremely [in London]. I find myself much in my
element in European society. It does not indeed come up to my ideal,
but so many of the incumbrances are cleared away that used to weary me
in America, that I can enjoy a freer play of faculty, and feel, if not
like a bird in the air, at least as easy as a fish in water....

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 artisan 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....

The second time, Mr. Carlyle had a dinner party, at which was a witty,
French, flippant sort of a man, named Lewes, 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 though much more brilliant than on the former evening,
grew wearisome to me, who disclaimed and rejected almost everything he

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 cannot 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, 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 cannot 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.



[Illustration: THOMAS FULLER]

The fragrance which surrounds the writings of Thomas Fuller seems
blended of his wit, his quaint worldliness, his sweet and happy
spirit. The after-glow of the dazzling day of Shakespeare and his
brotherhood rests upon the pages of this divine. In Fuller the
world-spirit of the Elizabethan dramatists becomes urbanity, the
mellow humor of the dweller in the town. Too well satisfied with the
kindly comforts of life to agonize over humanity and the eternal
problems of existence, Fuller, although a Church of England clergyman,
was no less a cavalier at heart than the most jaunty follower of King
Charles. He had not the intensity of nature which characterizes the
theologian by the grace of God. His 'Holy and Profane State,' his
'Good Thoughts in Bad Times,' and 'Good Thoughts in Worse Times,'
evidence a comfortable and reasonable reliance on the Unseen; but they
will not be read for their spiritual insight so much as for their
well-seasoned and delightful English. That quaint and fragrant style
of his lends charm even to those passages in which his thought is

It is in Thomas Fuller the historian and biographer, that posterity
recognizes a man of marked intellectual power. His scholarship is
exhibited in such a work as the 'Church History of Britain'; his
peculiar faculty for happy description in the 'Worthies of England.'
Fuller was fitted by temperament and training to be a recorder of his
own country and countrymen. His life was spent upon his island; his
love was fastened upon its places and its people. Born the same year
as Milton, 1608, the son of a clergyman of the same name as his own,
he was from boyhood both a scholar and an observer of men and things.
His education at Cambridge fostered his love of books.

His subsequent incumbency of various comfortable livings afforded him
opportunities for close acquaintance with the English world of his
day, and especially with its "gentry." By birth, education, and
inclination, Fuller was an aristocrat. During the civil war he took
the side of King Charles, to whose stately life and mournful death he
has devoted the last volume of his great work, the 'History of the
Church of Britain.' Under the Protectorate, the genial priest and man
of the world found himself in an alien atmosphere. Like many others in
Anglican orders, he was "silenced" by the sour Puritan authorities,
but was permitted to preach again in London by the grace of Cromwell.
He was subsequently appointed chaplain to Charles II., but did not
live long after the Restoration, dying of a fever in 1661.

An early instance of modern scholarship is found in the histories
written by Thomas Fuller. Being by nature an antiquarian, he was not
inclined to find his material at second hand. He went back always to
the earliest sources for his historical data. It is this fact which
gives their permanent value to the 'History of the Church of Britain'
and to the 'History of the Holy War.' These works bear witness to wide
and patient research, to a thorough sifting of material. The
antiquarian spirit displayed in them loses some of its scholarly
dignity, and takes on the social humor of the gossip, in the 'Worthies
of England.' Fuller's other writings may be of more intrinsic value,
but it is through the 'Worthies' that he is remembered and loved. The
book is rich in charm. It is as quaint as an ancient flower garden,
where blooms of every sort grow in lavish tangle. He considers the
counties of England, one by one, telling of their physical
characteristics, of their legends, of their proverbs, of the princely
children born in them, of the other "Worthies"--scholars, soldiers,
and saints--who have shed lustre upon them. Fuller gathered his
material for this variegated record from every quarter of his beloved
little island. As a chaplain in the Cavalier army, he had many
opportunities of visiting places and studying their people. As an
incumbent of country parishes, he would listen to the ramblings of the
old women of the hamlets, for the sake of discovering in their talk
some tradition of the country-side, or some quaint bit of folk-lore.
He writes of the strange, gay, sad lives of princely families as
familiarly as he writes of the villagers and townsfolk. Sometimes an
exquisite tenderness lies like light upon his record, as in this, of
the little Princess Anne, daughter to Charles I.:--

    She was a very pregnant lady above her years, and died in her
    infancy, when not fully four years old. Being minded by those
    about her to call upon God even when the pangs of death were
    upon her, "I am not able," saith she, "to say my long prayer"
    (meaning the Lord's Prayer), "but I will say my short one,
    'Lighten mine eyes, O Lord, lest I sleep the sleep of
    death.'" This done, the little lamb gave up the ghost.

Because of passages like these, Thomas Fuller will always be numbered
among those writers who, irrespective of their rank in the world of
letters, awaken a deep and lasting affection in the hearts of their


From 'The Worthies of England'

Katherine, fourth daughter to Charles the First and Queen Mary, was
born at Whitehall (the Queen mother then being at St. James), and
survived not above half an hour after her baptizing; so that it is
charity to mention her, whose memory is likely to be lost, so short
her continuance in this life,--the rather because her name is not
entered, as it ought, into the register of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields;
as indeed none of the King's children, save Prince Charles, though
they were born in that parish. And hereupon a story depends.

I am credibly informed that at the birth of every child of kings born
at Whitehall or St. James's, full five pounds were ever faithfully
paid to some unfaithful receivers thereof, to record the names of such
children in the register of St. Martin's. But the money being
embezzled (we know by some, God knows by whom), no memorial is entered
of them. Sad that bounty should betray any to baseness, and that which
was intended to make them the more solemnly remembered should occasion
that they should be more silently forgotten! Say not, "Let the
children of mean persons be written down in registers: kings' children
are registers to themselves;" or, "All England is a register to them;"
for sure I am, this common confidence hath been the cause that we have
been so often at a loss about the nativities and other properties of
those of royal extraction.


From 'The Worthies of England'

Margaret More.--Excuse me, reader, for placing a lady among men and
learned statesmen. The reason is because of her unfeigned affection to
her father, from whom she would not willingly be parted (and from me
shall not be), either living or dead.

She was born in Bucklersburie in London at her father's house therein,
and attained to that skill in all learning and languages that she
became the miracle of her age. Foreigners took such notice thereof
that Erasmus hath dedicated some epistles unto her. No woman that
could speak so well did speak so little; whose secrecy was such, that
her father intrusted her with his most important affairs.

Such was her skill in the Fathers that she corrected a depraved place
in Cyprian; for where it was corruptly written "Nisi vos sinceritas"
she amended it "Nervos sinceritas." Yea, she translated Eusebius out
of Greek; but it was never printed, because J. Christopherson had done
it so exactly before.

She was married to William Roper of Eltham in Kent, Esquire, one of a
bountiful heart and plentiful estate. When her father's head was set
up on London Bridge, it being suspected it would be cast into the
Thames to make room for divers others (then suffering for denying the
King's supremacy), she bought the head and kept it for a relic (which
some called affection, others religion, others superstition in her),
for which she was questioned before the Council, and for some short
time imprisoned until she had buried it; and how long she herself
survived afterwards is to me unknown.


From 'The Worthies of England'

It happened in the reign of this King, there was a fierce battle
fought in Flintshire in Coleshall, between the English and
Welsh, wherein this Henry de Essex, _animum et signum simul
abjecit_,--betwixt traitor and coward,--cast away both his courage and
banner together, occasioning a great overthrow of English. But he that
had the baseness to do, had the boldness to deny, the doing of so foul
a fact, until he was challenged in combat by Robert de Momford, a
knight, eye-witness thereof, and by him overcome in a duel. Whereupon
his large inheritance was confiscated to the King, and he himself,
partly thrust, partly going, into a convent, hid his head in a cowl,
under which, between shame and sanctity, he blushed out the remainder
of his life.


From 'The Holy and Profane State'

There is scarcely any profession in the commonwealth more necessary,
which is so slightly performed. The reasons whereof I conceive to be
these: First, young scholars make this calling their refuge; yea,
perchance before they have taken any degree in the university,
commence schoolmasters in the country, as if nothing else were
required to set up this profession but only a rod and a ferula.
Secondly, others who are able use it only as a passage to better
preferment, to patch the rents in their present fortune, till they can
provide a new one and betake themselves to some more gainful calling.
Thirdly, they are disheartened from doing their best with the
miserable reward which in some places they receive, being masters to
their children and slaves to their parents. Fourthly, being grown
rich, they grow negligent, and scorn to touch the school but by the
proxy of the usher. But see how well our schoolmaster behaves

He studieth his scholars' natures as carefully as they were books, and
ranks their dispositions into several forms. And though it may seem
difficult for him in a great school to descend to all particulars, yet
experienced schoolmasters may quickly make a grammar of boys' natures,
and reduce them all--saving some few exceptions--to these general

1. Those that are ingenious and industrious. The conjunction of two
such planets in a youth presages much good unto him. To such a lad a
frown may be a whipping, and a whipping a death; yea, where their
master whips them once, shame whips them all the week after. Such
natures he useth with all gentleness.

2. Those that are ingenious and idle. These think, with the hare in
the fable, that running with snails--so they count the rest of their
schoolfellows--they shall come soon enough to the post, though
sleeping a good while before their starting. Oh! a good rod would
finely take them napping!

3. Those that are dull and diligent. Wines, the stronger they be, the
more lees they have when they are new. Many boys are muddy-headed till
they be clarified with age, and such afterwards prove the best.
Bristol diamonds are both bright, and squared, and pointed by nature,
and yet are soft and worthless; whereas Orient ones in India are rough
and rugged naturally. Hard, rugged, and dull natures of youth acquit
themselves afterwards the jewels of the country, and therefore their
dullness at first is to be borne with if they be diligent. The
schoolmaster deserves to be beaten himself, who beats Nature in a boy
for a fault. And I question whether all the whipping in the world can
make their parts, which are naturally sluggish, rise one minute before
the hour Nature hath appointed.

4. Those that are invincibly dull, and negligent also. Correction may
reform the latter, not amend the former. All the whetting in the world
can never set a razor's edge on that which hath no steel in it. Such
boys he consigneth over to other professions. Shipwrights and
boat-makers will choose those crooked pieces of timber which other
carpenters refuse. Those may make excellent merchants and mechanics
who will not serve for scholars.

He is able, diligent, and methodical in his teaching; not leading them
rather in a circle than forwards. He minces his precepts for children
to swallow, hanging clogs on the nimbleness of his own soul, that his
scholars may go along with him.


From 'The Holy and Profane State'

It is a vanity to persuade the world one hath much learning by getting
a great library. As soon shall I believe every one is valiant that
hath a well-furnished armory. I guess good housekeeping by the
smoking, not the number of the tunnels, as knowing that many of
them--built merely for uniformity--are without chimneys, and more
without fires.

Some books are only cursorily to be tasted of: namely, first,
voluminous books, the task of a man's life to read them over;
secondly, auxiliary books, only to be repaired to on occasions;
thirdly, such as are mere pieces of formality, so that if you look on
them you look through them, and he that peeps through the casement of
the index sees as much as if he were in the house. But the laziness of
those cannot be excused who perfunctorily pass over authors of
consequence, and only trade in their tables and contents. These, like
city cheaters, having gotten the names of all country gentlemen, make
silly people believe they have long lived in those places where they
never were, and flourish with skill in those authors they never
seriously studied.


From 'The Worthies of England'

It is the second city in Christendom for greatness, and the first for
good government. There is no civilized part of the world but it has
heard thereof, though many with this mistake: that they conceive
London to be the country and England but the city therein.

Some have suspected the declining of the lustre thereof, because of
late it vergeth so much westward, increasing in buildings, Covent
Garden, etc. But by their favor (to disprove their fear) it will be
found to burnish round about with new structures daily added

It oweth its greatness under God's divine providence to the
well-conditioned river of Thames, which doth not (as some tyrant
rivers of Europe) abuse its strength in a destructive way, but
employeth its greatness in goodness, to be beneficial to commerce, by
the reciprocation of the tide therein. Hence it was that when King
James, offended with the city, threatened to remove his court to
another place, the Lord Mayor (boldly enough) returned that "he might
remove his court at his pleasure, but could not remove the river

Erasmus will have London so called from Lindus, a city of Rhodes;
averring a great resemblance betwixt the languages and customs of the
Britons and Grecians. But Mr. Camden (who no doubt knew of it)
honoreth not this his etymology with the least mention thereof. As
improbable in my apprehension is the deduction from Lud's-Town,--town
being a Saxon, not British termination; and that it was so termed from
Lan Dian, a temple of Diana (standing where now St. Paul's doth), is
most likely in my opinion.


It is dangerous to gather flowers that grow on the banks of the pit of
hell, for fear of falling in; yea, they which play with the Devil's
rattles will be brought by degrees to wield his sword; and from making
of sport they come to doing of mischief.

A public office is a guest which receives the best usage from them who
never invited it.

Scoff not at the natural defects of any, which are not in their power
to amend. Oh! 'tis cruel to beat a cripple with his own crutches.

Learning has gained most by those books by which the printers have

Moderation is the silken string running through the pearl chain of all

To smell to a turf of fresh earth is wholesome for the body; no less
are thoughts of mortality cordial to the soul.

The lion is not so fierce as painted.

... Their heads sometimes so little that there is no room for wit;
sometimes so long that there is no wit for so much room.

Often the cock-loft is empty in those whom nature hath built many
stories high.

The Pyramids themselves, doting with age, have forgotten the names of
their founders.

... One that will not plead that cause wherein his tongue must be
confuted by his conscience.

But our captain counts the image of God--nevertheless his image--cut
in ebony as if done in ivory; and in the blackest Moors he sees the
representation of the King of Heaven.



To speak of the detective novel is to speak of Gaboriau. He cannot be
called the father of it; but the French novelist made his field so
peculiarly his own, developed its type of human nature so
painstakingly, created so distinctive a reputation associated with it,
that it is doubtful whether any one can be said to have outrivaled

Born at Saujon, in the Department of the Charente-Inférieure, in 1835,
Gaboriau drifted from school into the cavalry service; then into three
or four less picturesque methods of keeping body and soul together;
and finally, by a kind of literary accident, he became the private
secretary of the Parisian novelist Paul Féval. His first successful
story ran as a continued one in a journal called Le Pays. It was 'The
Lerouge Affair,' but it did not even under newspaper circumstances
find any considerable favor until it caught the eye of the astute
Millaud, the founder of the Petit Journal. Millaud recognized in the
fiction a new note in detective-novel making. He transferred it to
another journal, Le Soleil. There it made an instant and tremendous

From that moment Gaboriau's career was determined and fortunate. In
rapid succession followed 'The Crime of Oreival' (1867); 'File No.
113' (1867); the elaborate 'Slaves of Paris' (1869); 'M. Lecoq'
(1869),--in which title appears the name of the moving spirit of
almost all the other stories; 'The Infernal Life' (1870); and four or
five others. All these stories have been translated into almost every
modern language that has a reading public. They brought Gaboriau
a large income during his lifetime, and they are still valuable
literary properties. Their author died in Paris, his health broken
in consequence of incessant overwork, in September 1873.

Gaboriau elevated the detective story to something like a superior
plane in popular fiction. It is a question whether he did not say in a
large measure the strongest word in it, and to all intents and
purposes the last word. His books all have a certain resemblance, in
that we start into a complex drama with a riddle of crime. The
unfolding always brings us sooner or later to a dramatic family
secret, of which the original crime has only been an outside detail.
The secret is the mainspring of the book, and about the middle of it
the reader finds himself chiefly absorbed by it. Indeed, Gaboriau's
novels have often been spoken of as "told backward." Most of the
novels too gain their movement from one source--the wonderful
shrewdness and audacity of a certain M. Lecoq of the Paris detective
service. M. Lecoq was really an exaggeration of the well-known and
wonderfully able Paris detective, M. Vidocq; and there are dozens of
episodes in the course of Vidocq's brilliant professional career which
Gaboriau did not dress up so very much in introducing them into his
stories. There is an individuality to each novel, in spite of the
family likeness. Occasionally, like Dickens, the author attacked
abuses with effect; as in 'The Infernal Life' and 'The Slaves of
Paris' and other books where he has set forth the merciless system of
private blackmailing in Paris with little exaggeration.

As to literary manner, Gaboriau was not a writer of the first order,
even as a French popular novelist. But he knew how to write; and there
is a correctness of diction and a nervous vivacity that is much to his
credit, considering the rapidity with which he produced his work, and
the fact that he had no sufficient early training for his profession.
He is seldom slipshod, and he is never really negligent. He has been
criticized for making his denouements too simple, if one regards them
as a whole process; but his details are full of variety, and the
reader of Gaboriau never is troubled to keep his attention on the
author's pages, even in the case of those stories that are not of the
first class among his works. Perhaps the best of all the novels is one
of the shorter ones, 'File No. 113.'


From 'File No. 113'

Raoul Spencer, supposed to be Raoul de Clameran, began to triumph over
his instincts of revolt. He ran to the door and rang the bell. It

"Is my aunt at home?" he asked the footman.

"Madame is alone in the boudoir next her room," replied the servant.

Raoul ascended.

Clameran had said to Raoul, "Above all, be careful about your
entrance; your appearance must express everything, and thus you will
avoid impossible explanations."

The suggestion was useless.

When Raoul entered the little reception-room, his pale face and wild
eyes frightened Madame Fauvel, who cried:--

"Raoul! What has happened to you?"

The sound of her gentle voice produced upon the young vagrant the
effect of an electric shock. He trembled from head to foot: yet his
mind was clear; Louis had not been mistaken in him. Raoul continued
his role as if on the stage, and as assurance came to him his knavery
crushed his better nature.

"Mother, the misfortune which has come to me," he replied, "is the
last one."

Madame Fauvel had never seen him like this. Trembling with emotion,
she rose and stood before him, with her tender face near his. She
fixed in a steady gaze the power of her will, as if she meant to read
the depths of his soul.

"What is it?" she insisted. "Raoul, my son, tell me."

He pushed her gently away.

"What has happened," he replied in a choked voice which pierced the
heart of Madame Fauvel, "proves that I am unworthy of you, unworthy of
my noble and generous father."

She moved her head in protestation.

"Ah!" he continued, "I know and judge myself. No one could reproach my
own infamous conduct so cruelly as my own conscience. I was not born
wicked, but I am a miserable fool. I have hours when, as if in a
vertigo, I do not know what I am doing. Ah! I should not have been
like this, mother, if you had been with me in my childhood. But
brought up among strangers, and left to myself without any guides but
my own instincts, I am at the mercy of my own passions. Possessing
nothing, not even my stolen name, I am vain and devoured by ambition.
Poor and without resources but your help, I have the tastes and vices
of a millionaire's son. Alas! when I recovered you, the harm was done.
Your affection, your maternal tenderness which have given me my only
days of happiness, could not save me. I who have suffered so much, who
have endured so many privations, who have known hunger, have been
spoiled by this new luxury with which you have surrounded me. I threw
myself into pleasure as a drunkard rushes for the strong drink of
which he has been deprived."

Raoul expressed himself with such intense conviction and assurance
that Madame Fauvel did not interrupt.

Mute and terrified, she dared not question him, fearful of learning
some horrible news.

He however continued:--"Yes, I have been a fool. Happiness has passed
by me, and I did not know enough to stretch out my hand to take it. I
have rejected an exquisite reality for the pursuit of a phantom. I,
who should have spent my life by your side and sought constantly for
new proofs of my love and gratitude, I, a dark shadow, give you a
cruel stab, cause you sorrow, and render you the most unfortunate of
beings. Ah! what a brute I have been! For the sake of a creature whom
I should despise, I have thrown to the wind a fortune whose every
piece of gold has cost you a tear! With you lies happiness. I know it
too late."

He stopped, overcome by the thought of his evil conduct, ready to
burst into tears.

"It is never too late to repent, my son," murmured Madame Fauvel, "and
redeem your wrong."

"Ah, if I could!" cried Raoul; "but no, it is too late. Who knows how
long my good resolutions will last? It is not only to-day that I have
condemned myself without pity. Seized by remorse at each new failure,
I have sworn to regain my self-respect. Alas! to what has my
periodical repentance amounted? At the first new temptation I forget
my remorse and my oaths. You consider me a man: I am only an unstable
child. I am weak and cowardly, and you are not strong enough to
dominate my weakness and control my vacillating character. I have the
best intentions in the world, yet my actions are those of a scoundrel.
The gap between my position and my nature is too wide for me to
reconcile them. Who knows where my deplorable character may lead me?"

He gave a gesture expressing recklessness, and added, "I myself will
bring justice upon myself."

Madame Fauvel was too deeply agitated to follow Raoul's sudden moods.

"Speak!" she cried; "explain yourself. Am I not your mother? You must
tell me the truth; I must hear all."

He appeared to hesitate, as if he feared to give so terrible a shock
to his mother. Finally, in a hollow voice he said, "I am ruined!"


"Yes, and I have nothing more to wait for nor to hope for. I am
dishonored, and through my own fault, my own grievous fault!"


"It is true. But fear not, mother; I will not drag the name that you
bestowed upon me in the dirt. I have the vulgar courage not to survive
my dishonor. Go, waste no sympathy on me. I am one of those creatures
of destiny who have no refuge save death. I am the victim of fate.
Have you not been forced to deny my birth? Did not the memory of me
haunt you and deprive your nights of sleep? And now, having found you,
in exchange for your devotion I bring into your life a bitter curse."

"Ungrateful child! Have I ever reproached you?"

"Never. And therefore with your blessing, and with your loved name on
his lips, your Raoul will--die!"

"Die? You?"

"Yes, mother: honor bids it. I am condemned by inexorable judges--my
will and my conscience."

An hour earlier Madame Fauvel would have sworn that Raoul had made her
suffer all that a woman could endure; and now he had brought her a new
grief so acute that the former ones seemed naught in comparison.

"What have you done?" she stammered.

"Money was intrusted to me. I played, and lost it."

"Was it a large amount?"

"No, but neither you nor I can replace it. Poor mother, have I not
taken everything from you? Haven't you given me your last jewel?"

"But M. De Clameran is rich; he has put his fortune at my disposal. I
will order the carriage and go to him."

"M. De Clameran, mother, is absent for eight days; and I must have the
money to-night, or I am lost. Go! I have thought of everything before
deciding. But one loves life at twenty!"

He drew a pistol half out of his pocket, saying with a grim smile,
"This will arrange everything."

Madame Fauvel was too unnerved in reflecting upon the horror of the
conduct of the supposed Raoul de Clameran to fancy that this last wild
menace was but a means for obtaining money.

Forgetting the past, ignoring the future, and concentrating her
thought on the present situation, she saw but one thing--that her son
was about to kill himself, and that she was powerless to arrest his

"Wait, wait," she said; "André will soon return, and I will tell him
that I have need of--How much did you lose?"

"Thirty thousand francs."

"You shall have them to-morrow."

"I must have them to-night."

She seemed to be going mad; she wrung her hands in despair.

"To-night!" she said: "why didn't you come sooner? Do you lack
confidence in me? To-night there is no one to open the safe--without

The expectant Raoul caught the word. He gave an exclamation of joy, as
if a light had broken upon his dark despair.

"The safe!" he cried; "do you know where the key is?"

"Yes, it is here."

"Thank heaven!"

He looked at Madame Fauvel with such a demoniacal glance that she
dropped her eyes.

"Give it to me, mother," he entreated.

"Miserable boy!"

"It is life that I ask of you."

This prayer decided her. Taking a candle, she stepped quickly into her
room, opened the writing-desk, and there found M. Fauvel's own key.

But as she was handing it to Raoul, reason returned.

"No," she murmured; "no, it is impossible."

He did not insist, and indeed seemed willing to retire.

"Ah, well!" he said. "Then, my mother, one last kiss."

She stopped him:--"What will you do with the key, Raoul? Have you also
the secret word?"

"No, but I can try."

"You know there is never money in the safe."

"Let us try. If I open it by a miracle, and if there is money in the
box, then I shall believe that God has taken pity upon us."

"And if you do not succeed? Then will you swear that you will wait
until to-morrow?"

"Upon the memory of my father, I swear it."

"Then here is the key! Come." ...

They had now reached Prosper's office, and Raoul had placed the lamp
on a high shelf, from which point it lighted the entire room. He had
recovered all of his self-possession, or rather that peculiar
mechanical precision of action which seems to be independent of the
will, and which men accustomed to peril always find at their service
in times of pressing need. Rapidly, and with the dexterity of
experience, he placed the five buttons of the iron box upon the
letters forming the name g,y,p,s,y. His expression during this short
performance was one of intense anxiety. He began to fear that the
excited energy which he had summoned might fail him, and also that if
he did open the box he might not find the hoped-for sum. Prosper might
have changed the letters, and he might have been sent to the bank that

Madame Fauvel watched Raoul with pathetic distress. She read in his
wild eyes that despair of the unfortunate, who so passionately desire
a result that they fancy their unassisted will can overcome all

Being intimate with Prosper, and having frequently watched him close
the office, Raoul knew perfectly well--indeed, he had made it a study
and attempted it himself, for he was a far-seeing youth--how to
manipulate the key in the lock.

He inserted it gently, turned it, pushed it in deeper, and turned it
again, then he pushed it in with a violent shock and turned it once
more. His heart beat so loudly that Madame Fauvel could hear it.

The word had not been changed: the box opened.

Raoul and his mother uttered cries--hers of terror, his of triumph.

"Shut it!" screamed Madame Fauvel, frightened at this inexplicable and
incomprehensible result; "leave it--come!"

And half mad, she threw herself upon Raoul, clinging to his arm in
desperation and drawing him to her with such violence that the key was
dragged from the lock and along the door of the coffer, leaving a long
and deep mark.

But Raoul had had time to notice upon the upper shelf of the box three
bundles of bank-notes. These he quickly snatched with his left hand,
slipped them under his coat and placed them between his waistcoat and

Exhausted by her efforts, and yielding to the violence of her
emotions, Madame Fauvel dropped Raoul's arm, and to avoid falling,
supported herself on the back of Prosper's arm-chair.

"I implore you, Raoul," she said, "I beseech you to put those
bank-notes back in the box. I shall have money to-morrow, I swear it
to you a hundred times over, and I will give it to you, my son. I beg
you to take pity on your mother!"

He paid no attention to her. He was examining the long scratch on the
door. This mark of the theft was very convincing and disturbing.

"At least," implored Madame Fauvel, "don't take all. Keep what you
need to save yourself, and leave the rest."

"What for? Would a balance make discovery less easy?"

"Yes, because I--you see I can manage it. Let me arrange it! I can
find an explanation! I will tell André that I needed money--"

With precaution, Raoul closed the safe.

"Come," he said to his mother, "let us leave, so that we may not be
suspected. One of the servants might go to the drawing-room and be
surprised not to find us there."

His cruel indifference and cold calculation at such a moment filled
Madame Fauvel with indignation. Yet she still hoped that she might
influence her son. She still believed in the power of her entreaties
and tears.

"Ah me!" she said, "it might be as well! If they discover us, I care
little or nothing. We are lost! André will drive me from the house, a
miserable creature. But at least, I will not sacrifice the innocent.
To-morrow Prosper will be accused. Clameran has taken from him the
woman he loves, and you, now you will rob him of his honor. I will

She spoke so loud and with such a penetrating voice that Raoul was
alarmed. He knew that the office clerk slept in an adjoining room.
Although it was not late, he might have gone to bed; and if so, he
could hear every word.

"Let us go," he said, seizing Madame Fauvel by the arm.

But she resisted, and clung to a table, the better to resist.

"I have been a coward to sacrifice Madeleine," she said quietly. "I
will not sacrifice Prosper!"

Raoul knew of a victorious argument which would break Madame Fauvel's

"Ah!" he cried with a cynical laugh; "you do not know, then, that
Prosper and I are in league, and that he shares my fate."

"That is impossible."

"What do you think? Do you imagine that it was chance which gave me
the secret word and opened the box?"

"Prosper is honest."

"Of course, and so am I. But--we need the money."

"You speak falsely!"

"No, dear mother. Madeleine left Prosper, and--well, bless me! he has
tried to console himself, the poor fellow; and such consolations are

He had lifted the lamp; and gently but with much force pushed Madame
Fauvel towards the staircase.

She seemed to be more dumbfounded than when she saw the open safe.

"What," she said, "Prosper a thief?"

She asked herself if she were not the victim of a terrible nightmare;
if an awakening would not rid her of this unspeakable torture. She
could not control her thoughts, and mechanically, supported by Raoul,
she placed her foot on the narrow stairs.

"The key must be returned to the writing-desk," said Raoul, when they
reached the bedroom.

She appeared not to hear, and it was Raoul who replaced the key in the
box from which he had seen her take it.

He then led or rather carried Madame Fauvel to the little drawing-room
where he had found her upon his arrival, and placed her in an
easy-chair. The utter prostration of this unhappy woman, her fixed
eyes, and her loss of expression, revealed only too well the agony of
her mind. Raoul, frightened, asked if she had gone mad?

"Come, mother dear," he said, as he tried to warm her icy hands, "come
to yourself. You have saved my life, and we have both rendered a great
service to Prosper. Fear nothing: all will come straight. Prosper will
be accused, perhaps arrested. He expects that; but he will deny it,
and as his guilt cannot be proved, he will be released."

But his lies and his efforts were lost upon Madame Fauvel, who was too
distracted to hear them.

"Raoul," she murmured, "my son, you have killed me!"

Her voice was so impressive in its sorrow, her tone was so tender in
its despair, that Raoul was affected, and even decided to restore the
stolen money. But the thought of Clameran returned.

Then, noticing that Madame Fauvel remained in her chair, bewildered
and as still as death, trembling at the thought that M. Fauvel or
Madeleine might enter at any moment, he pressed a kiss upon his
mother's forehead--and fled.

          Translated for 'A Library of the World's Best Literature.'


From 'File No. 113'

In the centre of a large and curiously furnished room, half library
and half actor's study, was seated at a desk the same person wearing
gold spectacles who had said at the police station to the accused
cashier Prosper Bertomy, "Take courage!" This was M. Lecoq in his
official character.

Upon the entrance of Fanferlot, who advanced respectfully, curving his
backbone as he bowed, M. Lecoq slightly lifted his head and laid down
his pen, saying, "Ah! you have come at last, my boy! Well, you don't
seem to be progressing with the Bertomy case."

"Why, really," stammered Fanferlot, "you know--"

"I know that you have muddled everything, until you are so blinded
that you are ready to give over."

"But master, it was not I--"

M. Lecoq had arisen and was pacing the floor. Suddenly he stopped
before Fanferlot, nicknamed "the Squirrel."

"What do you think, Master Squirrel," he asked in a hard and ironical
tone, "of a man who abuses the confidence of those who employ him, who
reveals enough of what he has discovered to make the evidence
misleading, and who betrays for the benefit of his foolish vanity the
cause of justice--and an unhappy prisoner?"

The frightened Fanferlot recoiled a step.

"I should say," he began, "I should say--"

"You think this man should be punished and dismissed; and you are
right. The less a profession is honored, the more honorable should be
those who follow it. You however are treacherous. Ah! Master Squirrel,
we are ambitious, and we try to play the police in our own way! We let
Justice wander where she will, while we search for other things. It
takes a more cunning bloodhound than you, my boy, to hunt without a
hunter and at his own risk."

"But master, I swear--"

"Be silent. Do you wish me to prove that you have told everything to
the examining magistrate, as was your duty? Go to! While others were
charging the cashier, _you_ informed against the banker! _You_ watched
him; you became intimate with his _valet de chambre_!"

Was M. Lecoq really in anger? Fanferlot, who knew him well, doubted it
a little; but with this devil of a man one never quite knew how to
take him.

"If you were only clever," he continued, "but no! You wish to be a
master, and you are not even a good workman."

"You are right, master," said Fanferlot piteously, who could deny no
longer. "But how could I work upon a business like this, when there
was no trace, no mark, no sign, no conviction,--nothing, nothing?"

M. Lecoq raised his shoulders.

"Poor boy!" he said. "Know, then, that the day when you were summoned
with the commissary to verify the robbery, you had--I will not say
certainly but very probably--between your two large and stupid hands
the means of knowing which key, the banker's or the cashier's, had
been used in committing the theft."

"What an idea!"

"You want proof? Very well. Do you remember that mark which you
observed on the side of the copper? It struck you, for you did not
repress an exclamation when you saw it. You examined it carefully with
a glass; and you were convinced that it was quite fresh, and therefore
made recently. You said, and with reason, that this mark dated from
the moment of the theft. But with what had it been made? With a key,
evidently. That being the case, you should have demanded the keys of
the banker and the cashier, and examined them attentively. One of
these would have shown some atoms of the green paint with which a
strong-box is usually coated."

Fanferlot listened with open mouth to this explanation. At the last
words, he slapped his forehead violently, and cried--of

"You are right," replied M. Lecoq--"imbecile. What! With such a guide
before your eyes, you neglected it and drew no conclusion! This is the
one clue to the affair. If I find the guilty one, it will be by means
of this mark, and I will find him; I am determined to do it."

When away from Lecoq, Fanferlot, nicknamed the Squirrel, often
slandered and defied him; but in his presence he yielded to the
magnetic influence which this extraordinary man exercised upon all who
came near him.

Such exact information and such minute details perplexed his mind.
Where and how could M. Lecoq have gathered them?

"You have been studying the case, master?"

"Probably. But as I am not infallible, I may have let some valuable
point escape me. Sit down, and tell me all that you know."

One could not prevaricate with M. Lecoq. Therefore Fanferlot told the
exact truth,--which was not his custom. However, before the end of his
recital, his vanity prevented him from telling how he had been tricked
by Mademoiselle Nina Gypsy and the stout gentleman.

Unfortunately, M. Lecoq was never informed by halves.

"It seems to me, Master Squirrel," he said, "that you have forgotten
something. How far did you follow the empty cab?"

Fanferlot, despite his assurance, blushed to his ears, and dropped his
eyes like a schoolboy caught in a guilty act.

"O patron," he stammered, "you know that too? How could you have--"

Suddenly a thought flashed through his brain: he stopped, and bounding
from his chair, cried, "Oh, I am sure--that stout gentleman with the
red whiskers was you!"

Fanferlot's surprise gave such a ridiculous expression to his face
that M. Lecoq could not help smiling.

"Then it _was_ you," continued the amazed detective, "it was you, that
fat man at whom I stared. I did not recognize you! Ah, patron, what an
actor you would make if you pleased! And _I_ was disguised also!"

"But very poorly, my poor boy, I tell you for your own good. Do you
think a heavy beard and a blouse sufficient to evade detection? But
the eye, stupid fellow, the eye! It is the eye that must be changed.
There is the secret."

This theory of disguise explains why the official, lynx-like Lecoq
never appeared at the police office without his gold spectacles.

"But then, patron," continued Fanferlot, working out the idea, "you
have made the little girl confess, although Madame Alexandre failed?
You know then why she left 'The Grand-Archange'; why she did not wait
for M. Louis de Clameran; and why she bought calico dresses for

"She never acts without my instructions."

"In this case," said the detective, greatly discouraged, "there is
nothing more for me to do except acknowledge myself a fool."

"No, Squirrel," replied M. Lecoq with kindness; "no, you are not a
fool; you are simply wrong in undertaking a task beyond your powers.
Have you made one progressive step since you began this case? No. This
only proves that you are incomparable as a lieutenant, but that you
have not the _sang-froid_ of a general. I will give you an aphorism;
keep it, and make it a rule of conduct--'Some men may shine in the
second who are eclipsed in the first rank.'"...

Egotist, like all great artists, M. Lecoq had never had, nor did he
wish to have, a pupil. He worked alone. He despised assistants; for he
did not wish to share the pleasures of triumph nor the bitterness of

Therefore Fanferlot, who knew his patron so well, was astonished to
hear him, who had heretofore given nothing but orders, helping him
with counsel.

He was so mystified that he could not help showing his surprise.

"It seems to me, patron," he risked saying, "that you take a strong
personal interest in this case, that you study it so closely."

M. Lecoq started nervously,--which motion escaped his detective,--and
then, frowning, he said in a hard voice:--

"It is your nature to be curious, Master Squirrel; but take care that
you do not go too far. Do you understand?"

Fanferlot began to offer excuses.

"Enough! Enough!" interrupted M. Lecoq. "If I lend you a helping hand,
it is because I wish to. I wish to be the head while you are the arm.
Alone, with your preconceived ideas, you never would find the guilty
one. If we two do not find him together, then I am not M. Lecoq."

"We shall succeed, if you make it your business."

"Yes, I am entangled in it, and during four days I have learned many
things. However, keep this quiet. I have reasons for not being known
in this case. Whatever happens, I forbid you to mention my name. If we
succeed, the success must be given to you. And above all, do not seek
explanations. Be satisfied with what I tell you."

These charges seemed to fill Fanferlot with confidence.

"I will be discreet, patron," he promised.

"I depend upon you, my boy. To begin: Carry this photograph of the
strong box to the examining magistrate. M. Patrigent, I know, is as
perplexed as possible upon the subject of the prisoner. You must
explain, as if it were your own discovery, what I have just shown you.
When you repeat all this to him with these indications, I am sure he
will release the cashier. Prosper Bertomy, the accused cashier, must
be free before I begin my work."

"I understand, patron. But shall I let M. Patrigent see that I suspect
another than the banker or the cashier?"

"Certainly. Justice demands that you follow up the case. M. Patrigent
will charge you to watch Prosper; reply that you will not lose sight
of him. I assure you that he will be in good hands."

"And if he asks news of--Mademoiselle Gypsy?"

M. Lecoq hesitated for a moment.

"You will say to him," he said finally, "that you have decided, in the
interest of Prosper, to place her in a house where she can watch some
one whom you suspect."

The joyous Fanferlot rolled the photograph, took his hat, and prepared
to leave. M. Lecoq detained him by a gesture:--"I have not finished,"
he said. "Do you know how to drive a carriage and take care of a

"Why, patron, you ask me that--an old rider of the Bouthor Circus?"

"Very well. As soon as the judge has dismissed you, return home, and
prepare a wig and livery of a _valet de chambre_ of the first class;
and having dressed, go with this letter to the Agency on the Rue

"But, patron--"

"There are no 'buts,' my boy; for this agent will send you to M. Louis
de Clameran, who needs a new _valet de chambre_, his own having left
yesterday evening."

"Excuse me if I dare say that you are deceived. Clameran will not
agree to the conditions: he is no friend of the cashier."

"How you always interrupt me," said M. Lecoq, in his most imperative
tones. "Do only what I tell you, and let everything else alone. M.
Clameran is not a friend to Prosper. I know that. But he is the friend
and protector of Raoul de Lagors. Why? Who can explain the intimacy of
these two men of such different ages? We must know this. We must also
know who _is_ M. Louis de Clameran--this forge-master who lives in
Paris and never goes to his own factories! A jolly dog who has taken
it into his head to live at the Hôtel du Louvre and who mingles in
the whirling crowd, is difficult to watch. Through you, I shall have
my eye on him. He has a carriage; you will drive it; and in the
easiest way you will know his acquaintances, and be able to give me an
account of his slightest proceedings."

"You shall be obeyed, patron."

"Still another word. M. De Clameran is very irritable and suspicious.
You will be introduced to him as Joseph Dubois. He will ask for your
recommendations. Here are three, showing that you have served the
Marquis de Sairmeuse, the Count de Commarin, and your last place--the
house of the Baron de Wortschen, who has just gone to Germany. Keep
your eyes open, be correct, and watch his movements. Serve well, but
without excess of manner. But don't be too cringing, for that would
arouse suspicion."

"Make yourself easy, patron: now, where shall I report?"

"I will come to see you every day. Until you have an order, don't step
inside of this house: you might be followed. If anything unforeseen
occurs, send a dispatch to your wife, and she will advise me. Now go;
and be prudent."

The door shut behind Fanferlot, and M. Lecoq passed quickly into his

In the twinkling of an eye he stripped off all traces of the official
detective chief,--the starched cravat, the gold spectacles, and the
wig, which when removed released the thick black hair.

The official Lecoq disappeared; the true Lecoq remained, a person that
no one knew,--a handsome young man with brilliant eyes and a resolute

Only a moment was he visible. Seated before a dressing-table, on which
were spread a greater array of paints, essences, rouge, cosmetics, and
false hair than is required for a modern belle, he began to substitute
a new face for the one accorded him by nature.

He worked slowly, handling his little brushes with extreme care, and
in about an hour had achieved one of his periodical masterpieces. When
he had finished, he was no longer Lecoq: he was the stout gentleman
with the red whiskers, not recognized by Fanferlot.

"There," he exclaimed, giving a last glance in the mirror, "I have
forgotten nothing; I have left nothing to chance. All my threads are
tied, and I can progress. I hope the Squirrel will not lose time."

But Fanferlot was too joyous to squander a moment. He did not run,--he
flew along the way toward the Palais de Justice and M. Patrigent the

At last he had the opportunity of demonstrating his own superior

It never occurred to him that he was striving to triumph through the
ideas of another man. The greater part of the world is content to
strut, like the jackdaw, in peacock's feathers.

The result did not blight his hopes. If M. Patrigent was not
altogether convinced, he at least admired the ingenuity of the

"This is what I will do," he said in dismissing Fanferlot: "I will
present a favorable report to the council chamber, and to-morrow,
most likely, the cashier will be released."

Immediately he began to write one of those terrible decisions of "Not
Proven," which restores liberty to the accused man, but not honor;
which says that he is not guilty, but which does not declare him

"Whereas, against the prisoner Prosper Bertomy sufficient charges do
not exist, in accordance with Article 128 of the Criminal Code, we
declare there are no grounds at present for prosecution against the
aforesaid prisoner: we therefore order that he be released from the
prison where he is now detained, and set at liberty by the jailer,"

When this was finished, M. Patrigent remarked to his registrar
Sigault:--"Here is one of those mysterious crimes which baffle
justice! This is another file to be added to the archives of the
record office." And with his own hand he wrote upon the outside the
official number, "_File No. 113_."

          Translated for 'A Library of the World's Best Literature.'





The contemporary school of Spanish fiction dates from about the
revolution of 1868, which drove out Isabel II. and brought in a more
liberal form of government. Without this revolution, it would scarcely
have found opportunity for the free expression of opinion and the bold
critical tone towards ancient institutions which are among its leading
characteristics. It is a fresh stirring of the human intellect, a
distinctly new product, and a valuable contribution to the world's
literature. It has affiliation with the Russian, the English, and
other vital modern movements in fiction, and yet it can by no means be
confused with that of any other country. Its method is realistic; but
one of its leading figures, De Pereda, a strong delineator of rural
life, protests, as to him and his works, against the use of the
word,--"if," he says vigorously, "it means to rank me under the
triumphal French banner of foul-smelling realism." That is to say,
they consider the best material for fiction to be the better and
sweeter part of life and its higher aspirations, and not that coarse
part of it to which the French would seem to have devoted an undue
amount of attention. The reader of Anglo-Saxon origin approaches this
fiction with ease and sympathy; he has not to acquire any new point of
view in order to understand it, nor to unlearn any wonted standards of
taste or morals.

An informing Spanish critic, Emilia Pardo Bazan, herself a novelist of
talent, points out that the present Spanish school cannot be said to
have a "yesterday," but only "a day before yesterday." She means that
it has skipped a certain interval, and connects itself with remoter,
and not with recent, tradition. It really comes down from a time
antedating even the great "Golden Age." It takes its rise in the
wonderful naturalness of the 'Celestina,' a quaint "tragi-comedy" of
the year 1499. It bears a close relationship, next, to Don Quixote and
to the "Novelas Picarescas," the stories of amusing knaves in very low
life, of which 'Lazarillo de Tormes' and 'Guzman de Alfarache' are the
best examples, and that French imitation, 'Gil Blas,' better than the
originals. A period of very stiff Classicism in the eighteenth
century, and of extravagant Romanticism in the beginning of the
nineteenth, followed, constituting the omitted "yesterday"; and then
arrived the vigorous literature of the present time, here in question.
The qualities of truth to nature, practical good sense, genuine humor,
and play of imagination, have nearly always characterized Spanish
fiction, and these qualities seem possessed by the contemporary
novelists in a higher degree than ever before. The Picaresque or Rogue
stories seem to be--their naturalness admitted--a mere string of
disconnected adventures, written to the taste of a period that had not
the habit of keeping its attention fixed upon anything long; and we
scarcely know any leading character more intimately at the end than at
the beginning. As against this, we have now complete and lengthy
novels, in which situations and characters are all worked out upon a
symmetrical plan, and in which the conclusions generally follow like
those of fate; that is to say, they are not arbitrary, but inevitably
result from the conditions and circumstances given.

So far as there is English influence in this literature, it may be
said to be more in the form of example than as a direct component. It
has given the Spanish movement courage and persistence, to see the
same ideals elsewhere affording profit and pleasure to millions of
men. Otherwise it is a mere coloring, a superficial trace. In
particular, Pérez Galdós is fond of introducing English characters.
Some of them have the Dickens-like trait of a beaming, exuberant
benevolence, and the athletic parson in 'Gloria' who risks his life
pulling out to the rescue of a wrecked steamer is like Barrie's Little
Minister. Many of his leading characters are of that mixed blood, at
Cadiz and elsewhere in the South, where one parent is English and the
other Spanish, and the offspring have had the advantage of an
education in England. He admires English types and ways, and yet with
a reluctance too; which brings it about that they are generally
introduced subject to considerable satire and mockery. English
steadiness and thrift,--yes, very well; but he has a lingering
tenderness still for Spanish levity and improvidence. In 'Halma,' all
the Marquis de Feramor's children have English names, as "Sandy"
(_Alexandrito_), "Frank" (_Paquito_), and "Kitty" (_Catalanita_). The
Marquis has been a student at Cambridge, and he imports into his
career in Spanish politics the thorough study of the question at
issue, the conservative temper and abhorrence of extremes, and the
correct "good form" of some finished English statesman. These ideas of
English policy and conservatism are talked over again, in the
_tertulias_ of the amusing family in 'El Amigo Manso,' who have come
back wealthy from Cuba, the head of the household with the purpose of
going into Parliament and securing a title. The English and the
Spanish literary movements may be said to accompany each other
amicably, much as Wellington's red-coats and the Spanish troops
marched side by side in the War of Independence, which has left a
feeling of friendship between the two nations ever since.

At the head of the school of fiction in question are four writers,
namely, José María de Pereda, Armando Palacio Valdés, Benito Pérez
Galdós, and Juan Valera. They may be considered, in their various
ways, as of well-nigh equal merit; each one has some very
distinguished and distinguishing quality, in virtue of which he cannot
justly be rated below the others. De Pereda occupies a position apart
in devoting himself wholly to the lives of humble people, the
mountaineers and fishermen of the Biscayan Provinces. He never
willingly departs from these scenes either in his literary or personal
excursions; he has his home among them, near Santander. Valera stands
apart in a different way, and would occupy himself by preference with
the opposite class of society. He is the most learned and scholarly of
the quartette, and his writing is the most carefully polished in
style. He is a scholarly critic and essayist as well as a novelist. He
is a realist like the rest, yet eschews, for instance, the imitation
of dialect: he is not a realist in quite the same energetic and
conscientious way; his atmosphere, while no doubt equally true, is
rather dreamy and poetic. Valdés and Galdós are much more vividly
modern, and they treat many of the same kind of subjects, the events
of real life such as we see it all around us. Of the four, Valdés has
perhaps, in certain passages, the truest tenderness and most delicate
pathos, and the most genuine humor, of that sunny kind which allows us
to laugh without bitterness. He can sometimes be bitter too, and such
a severe social satire as 'Froth' and such books as 'The Grandee' and
'The Origin of Thought' leave, like many of those of Galdós, an
impression of gloom; yet even in these we are charmed on the way by
his light touch and easy grace of treatment. Galdós is he who takes
the gravest attitude; many great problems of life and destiny occupy
him seriously; he not only is very earnest, but seems so,--which does
not however preclude a plentiful use of humor, as will be seen in the
examples given. Furthermore, he is much the most prolific of the
distinguished group, and to that extent he may be said to have the
widest range.

These writers are a highly beneficent influence in Spain at the
present time, spreading over it as they do a multitude of stimulating
pictures and liberalizing ideas, cast into charming literary form.
They cannot fail to have a considerable effect upon conduct. In its
manner, its aversion to obscurity, and fondness for floods of daylight
that almost abolish shadow, this fiction is like the Spanish-Roman
school of art, the painting of Fortuny, the two Madrazos, and others:
the two seem but manifestations of a common impulse. On another side
it is to be recommended to foreigners, as affording a body of
information about Spain such as the mere traveler could never attain,
and which it is useless to look for in fiction depending for its
interest upon clever devices of plot and fantastic adventure. It lets
an illumination into the heart of what has been the most reserved and
mysterious country of Europe. It shows the true Spain, and not merely
the conventional one of strumming guitars and jingling mule bells.
With all its strangeness, we see it full of that genuine human nature
that makes the world akin; and we see, with pleasure and hope, the
breaking up of the forces of mediævalism, the working of a mental and
moral turmoil that is preparing the way for a general betterment.

It would not be reasonable to suppose that Spanish literature remained
wholly unaffected by the vigorous French movement just across the
border. On the contrary, it clearly shows the trace of the robust
modern style that has prevailed in France from Balzac to Zola. This
trace, however, is in the style and not in the matter. It may possibly
have aided the plainness of speech in the Spanish work, which is
greater than in English books; and yet this plainness of speech is
probably not greater than all books should be allowed, in the interest
of their own usefulness, and in order not to be narrow instead of
broad pictures of life. The tone towards sexual problems is never
flippant; immorality is never put in an attractive light; there is
hardly anywhere a more severe homily on the text that "the wages of
sin is death" than is found in the wretched career of the
transgressors in such books as Galdós's 'Lo Prohibido,' 'Tormento,'
and 'La Desheredada.'

Just as in English books, the young girl, her aspirations and her
innocent love affairs before marriage, figure largely in these novels.
It is not necessary for her to wait until she is married in order to
become a suitable heroine for fiction. Religious revolt or dissent,
again, is one of the features most often used. There is still a very
close union of Church and State in Spain, and life has a very
ecclesiastical coloring. Nearly every family has ties of relationship
or intimacy with some ecclesiastical person of either sex. This brings
it about that such figures are as frequent in books as,
correspondingly, in real life. In Valera's 'Pepita Ximenez' we find an
earnest young student, a candidate for the priesthood, son of a noble
house, turned aside from his holy career--through his father's
connivance--by the fascinations of a most charming woman, their
neighbor. In Valdés's 'Sister San Sulpicio' it is a young novice, a
delightfully gay and bright creature, whom love and matrimony withdraw
from her convent. In the same author's 'Marta y Maria' a fair young
girl is seen endeavoring to conform in the midst of modern life to
the ascetic ideals of the mediæval saints, even to the point of
wearing hair-cloth and beating her tender shoulders with a scourge.
Galdós's 'Doña Perfecta' and 'The Family of Leon Roch' combat the
undue influence of the confessor, or religious adviser, in the family,
and 'Gloria' combats the immemorial bitter prejudice against the Jews.
As may be seen, many of these subjects, if approached in a flippant
way, might easily lend themselves to grossness and scandal; but such
is not the Spanish spirit. The tone towards the Church is severely
critical, but not destructive. It is the true secular tone of this
century, which holds that a conventional attention to the things of
the next world is only due when all demands for benevolence towards
living men are satisfied. Howells points out that Galdós attacks only
the same intolerant eccelesiastical spirit that elsewhere would be
known by another name. These critics would "reform the party from
within"; and as they handle with so much skill and consideration the
sensibilities of their countrymen who still adhere to the fold, their
efforts are the more likely to have a potent effect. It seems a
curious anomaly that Pereda, the one of them who is the most modern
and stirring in the intellectual way, professes himself the champion
of monarchy in its most absolute form.

The beginnings of the present fiction are somewhat feebly found in
Antonio de Trueba, and Madame Böhl de Faber, who signed herself
"Fernan Caballero,"--one of the first of those who took a man's name,
after the fashion of George Sand. These first wrote of other things
than the romantic knights and castles, Moors and odalisques, of Scott
and Victor Hugo. Fernan Caballero (1797 to 1877), a genial optimist
who wrote idealized descriptions of nature, still has a certain vogue.
Perez Escrich produced a large number of novels of a humanitarian
cast; Fernandez y Gonzalez poured them out, of a cheap order, in a
torrent, and became the very type of hasty production. Pedro de
Alarcon figures as a kind of link uniting the earlier period to the
present, and such a book as his 'El Sombrero de Tres Picos' (The
Three-Cornered Hat) is said to be read by some of the present
generation with admiration. But it seems to others a trifle, of no
great merit, marred by an excessive straining after effect; nothing in
it is simply or naturally said. Students of the more realistic side of
the movement should read Madame Pardo Bazan's valuable critical study,
'La Cuestion Palpitante' (The Vital Question). Various books by the
leading authors named have been well translated into English by Clara
Bell, Mrs. Mary J. Serrano, Mary Springer, Rollo Ogden, Nathan Haskell
Dole, and others.


Benito Pérez Galdós was born May 10th, 1845, in the Canary Islands.
Las Palmas, his birthplace, capital of the Grand Canary, is a
well-built little town of about eighteen thousand people, and the
island is the most fertile of the group. In climate and situation the
islands belong rather to Africa than Europe. The people are considered
descendants of the Gothic inhabitants of Spain, who sought refuge
there from the Saracen invasion. Their existence was all but lost to
sight for some centuries, and they were only brought under European
sway about the time of the discovery of America. These Fortunate
Islands, the somewhat unusual scene where Galdós was born and passed
his youth, would seem to offer a fresh literary field, yet no word of
description or reminiscence concerning them appears in any of his
books. This is perhaps part of the policy of reserve that induces him
to deny, even by implication, any biographical details concerning
himself,--a reserve so marked as to have been generally noted as an
eccentricity. Leopoldo Alas, his biographer, in the 'Celebridades
Españiolas Contemporanéas,' assures us that it was only with the
greatest difficulty he drew from him the bare admission that he was
born in the Canary Islands. He made his studies there in the State
college, and came to Madrid at the age of eighteen to study law. He
had no great liking for it, and did not follow it further, unless as
it became a step for entrance into political life, for he has been a
deputy in the National Cortes, for Porto Rico. He did not acquire
skill in forensic eloquence; his biographer, above, states that he
cannot put four words together in public, nor in private either. A
reticent man, he is forced to write in order to find expression.

He wrote his first book in 1867 and '68, but it was not published till
1871. In the mean time the revolution of 1868 took place, which
enlarged the boundaries of freedom in literature as in many other
directions; and Galdós at Barcelona had some small part in it. The
book was 'La Fontana de Oro' (The Fount of Gold). It treats of the
aspirations of the "ardent youth" of 1820, who rebelled against the
reactionary policy brought in by Ferdinand VII. after the expulsion of
the French from the country; and in the student hero Lázaro he perhaps
displays his own ideas at the period. Violent political clubs were
formed, on the model of the Jacobin Clubs of the French Revolution,
and it is from the name of a café that was the meeting-place of the
most famous of these clubs that the name of the story is derived. His
next book was 'El Audaz' (The Fearless: 1872). The period is the same.
The hero is an utterly fearless young radical, who has been driven to
revolt through wrongs done his family by the Count de Cerezuelo. By a
peculiar hazard, though far below her in social station, he meets the
daughter of the count, a very proud and disdainful beauty. It is her
caprice to fall in love with him, and she remains true to him to the
end, when he dies in a street tumult, having first gone mad with his
superheated enthusiasm. These early books are conceived upon
conventional romantic lines, and hardly gave promise of their
author's future fame. They contain however passages of strong
character-drawing, like that of the Porreños, three ancient spinster
sisters of a fallen patrician house in 'El Audaz,' which are equal to
his later work.

He next entered upon an extensive enterprise which soon began to give
him both reputation and profit. This was the writing of a score of
historical romances, after the model of those of Erckmann-Chatrian,
called 'Episódios Nacionales' (National Episodes). They are divided
into two series, the first beginning with 'Trafalgar' (1873), the
second with 'El Equipaje del Rey José' (King Joseph's Baggage: 1875).
They deal with the two modern periods comprising the deliverance of
the country from the usurpation of the French, and the more obscure
struggles against Ferdinand VII., who sought to reduce the country
under the same absolutist rule that had prevailed before the ideas of
the French Revolution liberalized the whole of Europe. The history in
these romances is intermingled with personal interests and adventures,
to give it an air of informality; and though each is complete in
itself, some knowledge of Spanish history is desirable as an aid to
understanding them. They are considerably interlinked among
themselves, the same characters appearing more or less in successive
volumes. The hero of the first series is one Gabriel, who narrates
them all in the first person. He is a poor boy who becomes servant to
a family near Cadiz. He accompanies his master on board the huge
Santissima Trinidad, the largest ship of her age, and is able to
describe in detail the action of Trafalgar, the description being the
more interesting for us as coming from the Spanish point of view. In
'La Corte de Carlos IV.' (The Court of Charles IV.: 1873), we find him
page to a leading actress, and an eye-witness to the degeneracy of
that monarch and his favorite Godoy, which resulted in the seizure of
the country by Napoleon for his brother Joseph. In 'La Batalla de los
Arapiles' (translated by Rollo Ogden as 'The Battle of Salamanca':
1875), the last of the series, the same Gabriel is a major, and
performs an important commission for Wellington. He has risen to this
level step by step, and on the way has had as many adventures as one
of Dumas's guardsmen, and has carried them off as gallantly. In the
second series of 'Episódios,' Salvador Monsalud is the principal
character. He is a young fellow who is led by dire want--and also by
sharing the liberalized French view of the decadence and
worthlessness of the Spanish form of rule--to take service in the
body-guard of Joseph Bonaparte. A chapter full of strength and pathos,
in 'King Joseph's Baggage,' shows him disowned by his mother and cast
off by his village sweetheart on account of such service, both of them
frantic with a spirit of independence like that which animated the
Maid of Saragossa. A feature of this book that gives it originality is
that the action turns not upon the usual principal features of battle,
but upon the fate of the rich baggage train of booty with which Joseph
Bonaparte had hoped to escape to France after his brief, disastrous

The 'Episódios' have had an extensive influence, and have been
imitated, under a like title, in the Spanish Americas. The author's
tone toward the past is generally severe and disdainful. "Had Spain,
perchance, a 'constitution' when she was the foremost nation in the
world?" he puts into the mouth of one of his characters, with sardonic
intent. He has been called unappreciative, and his attitude towards
Spanish antiquity has been protested against by other leading writers,
of more conservative feeling, as unwarranted. These romances contain
some passages showing aversion to the barbarities of war, but in
general they are less humanitarian than those of Erckmann-Chatrian:
they are principally devoted to glorifying Spanish fortitude and
courage. These books are a great advance upon the two earlier novels;
from the first they showed literary workmanship of a high order: they
possess ingenuity of plot, sufficient probability, and graphic power
of description, movement, and conversation. In the latter respects,
indeed, they surpass some of the author's later works that make more
serious pretensions.

The wider and more definitely literary reputation of Pérez Galdós
rests upon more than a score of other works, in addition to the above.
These are distinctly novels, as contrasted with romances; and they
treat of contemporary life, in a method that aims to be
conscientiously observant and impartial. It is often said, without
much reflection, that we see enough of the things close about us, and
need our literary recreation in the remote and strange. But it must be
recalled that we see those things without the eyes of genius, and he
is a true benefactor who poetizes and dignifies life in making evident
that all of life is vivid with interest, even that part of it nearest
to us, which without such illumination we may have thought devoid of
it. The words in which the ostensible narrator of 'Lo Prohibido'
(Forbidden Fruit: 1885), explains the purpose of his journal may well
enough be taken to exhibit the method of Galdós. It was to set down
"my prosaic adventures, events that in no way differ from those that
fill and make up the lives of other men. I aspire to no further
effects than such as the sincere and unaffected presentation of the
truth may produce; and I have no design upon the reader's emotions by
means of calculated surprises, frights, or conjurer's tricks, through
which things look one way for a time and then turn out in a manner
diametrically opposite."

The titles of a number of his principal books, not hitherto given,
with dates, are as follows. The dates are those when they were
written, and they were generally published shortly after: 'Doña
Perfecta,' 1876; 'Gloria,' 1876; 'Torquemada en la Hoguera'
(Torquemada at the Stake: 1876); 'Marianela,' 1878; 'La Familia de
Leon Roch' (Leon Roch's Family: 1878); 'Los Cien Mil Hijos de San
Luis' (The Hundred Thousand Sons of Saint Louis: 1877) of the
Episódios; 'Un Faccioso Más' (A Rebel the More: 1879) the completion
of the Episódios; 'La Desheredada' (The Disowned: 1881); 'El Amigo
Manso' (Friend Mildman: 1882); 'El Doctor Centeno,' 1883; 'Tormento,'
1884; 'La de Bringas' (That Mrs. de Bringas: 1884); 'Fortunata y
Jacinta,' 1886; 'Miau,' 1888; 'La Incógnita' (The Unknown: 1889);
'Realidad' (Reality: 1890); 'Angel Guerra,' 1891; 'Torquemada en la
Cruz' (Torquemada on the Cross: 1894); 'Torquemada en el Purgatorio'
(Torquemada in Purgatory: 1894); 'Torquemada y San Pedro,' 1895;
'Nazarin,' 1895; 'Halma,' 1896.

Even in his new departure, Galdós did not at once enter upon his final
manner. 'Doña Perfecta,' 'The Family of Leon Roch,' and 'Gloria' are
quite distinctly didactic, or "novels with a purpose"; while
'Marianela' is somewhat cloyingly sentimental, a prose poem after the
manner of Ouida. In spite of all this, however, 'Doña Perfecta' has
been pronounced by many his best work. It is the one that has obtained
greatest celebrity abroad, and it is the one, all things considered,
likely to be the most satisfactory example of his work to the English
reader. 'La Desheredada' marks the transition to his final period, and
he has put it upon record that with this book the real difficulties of
his vocation began. It is a poignantly affecting story of a poor girl
who was brought up, by a parent half knave and half insane, to believe
that she was not his daughter but that of a noble house. After his
death she undertakes in all good faith to prosecute her claim, and is
thrown into prison as an impostor. Her heart is broken by the
disillusionment; she cannot adjust herself to life again without the
sweetness of that beguiling belief, and so, in the end, not having the
boldness to die, she throws herself upon the street, a social outcast.
Both in the person of Isidora and others, the book is a moving
treatise on false education. Other leading figures are her brother, a
young "hoodlum" and thief, the burden of whose career she has also to
bear upon her slender shoulders, and the pampered son of the poor
Sastres, who have denied themselves bread that he might have an
education and luxuries. He has a hundred fine schemes for getting a
living, but never a one of them includes turning his hand to a stroke
of honest labor.

'El Amigo Manso' is an extended piece of character-drawing, self-told,
in a gently humorous vein. It gives an account of a college
instructor, very benevolent, very methodical and prudent, and a trifle
conceited and patronizing, who is in love with a pretty governess. By
the time he has settled all his judicious pros and cons, the pretty
governess, who really cared nothing about him, is engaged to a suitor
of a more dashing sort. The scenes of 'Tormento,' 'La de Bringas,' and
'Miau' are laid chiefly among the class of minor office-holders, with
whose manners the author shows an exhaustive familiarity, and each has
its peculiar tragic situation in itself. 'Realidad,' written once in
the form of a novel, and again as a drama, treats of the subject of a
wife's infidelity, as it might pass in real life, instead of in the
conventional and hackneyed way. Its title seems to propose to adhere
even closer to the exact truth than do the others. There come to mind,
in its suppressed passion and its calm, intellectual, and bitter
philosophy, suggestions both of Ibsen and Suderman. The banker Orozco,
a noble and reserved nature, does not slay his wife, does not banish
her from him, nor even make her reproaches. Augusta, on her side,
wonders if his mind is not giving way. This bitter commentary on life
is as near as her smaller mind can approach to a comprehension of his
magnanimous conduct. The same Augusta, earlier, has said in
conversation, "Real life is the greatest of all inventors; the only
one who is ever ready, fresh, and inexhaustible in resource." In these
books, however serious, the purpose does not obtrude to the detriment
of art; the reader is left free to draw his own conclusions, as from
events in actual life; the author ostensibly is neither for nor
against, and yet he leaves us in no doubt as to his decision, always a
moral and stimulating one.

The favorite scenes of Galdós's books are in Madrid and the small
suburban resorts round about it, or at the numerous mineral springs
which are so important a feature of Spanish summer life. He himself
lives at Madrid, but goes for the season to a summer place he owns on
the bold cliffs of the Bay of Biscay, at Santander. There, too he is
near to Pereda, between whom and himself a remarkable friendship
exists. A friendship so strong, warm, and long continued has been
recognized as a notable feature in the careers of both. It is the more
remarkable because except in literature, which both set above
everything else, he is violently opposed to most of the views of
Pereda--a conservative of the conservatives, even to the point of
preferring the absolutist pretender Don Carlos for king. Even at
Madrid and at Santander, however, Galdós's scenery is mere stage
setting; he does not describe nature sympathetically nor aim to
render local color in an accurate way. As the action must pass
somewhere, he gives it just as much of a setting as will suffice, and
seems satisfied with that. The impression of his books, on the whole,
is a gloomy one. He who sees life clearly must perchance see it
darkly, and few see it more clearly than Galdós. Yet his admirers will
not have it that he is pessimistic, because Nature herself is not
pessimistic. Even the sadness of nightfall ought not to be considered
gloomy, they say, with much show of reason, since it is only the
preparation for another day.

                                 [Signature: William Henry Bishop]


From 'The Court of Charles IV.' Copyright 1888, by W.S. Gottsberger.
Reprinted by permission of George G. Peck, publisher, New York

    [Gabriel, a boy of sixteen, has taken service as page with a
    very charming actress of the Principe Theatre. Between this
    theatre and La Cruz exists the same sort of hostility as
    between the rival theatres at Venice when Goldoni inaugurated
    his reform. La Cruz represents the new and "natural" spirit
    in the drama, as against the absurd artificial tradition that
    had prevailed up to that time. A part of Gabriel's duties is
    to go and hiss the plays at that theatre. The principal
    occasion of this kind is when he accompanies a band, led by a
    rival playwright, to the first performance of 'El Sí de las
    Niñas' (The Maidens' Yes), by the famous Moratin, the leading
    piece of the new school.]

"What an opening!" he [the rival poet and playwright] exclaimed, as he
listened to the first dialogue between Don Diego and Simon. "A pretty
way to begin a comedy! The scene a village inn! What can happen of any
interest in a village inn? In all my plays, and they are many,--though
never a one has been represented,--the action opens in a Corinthian
garden, with monumental fountains to the right and left, and a temple
of Juno in the background; or in a wide square with three regiments
drawn up, and in the background the city of Warsaw, with a bridge, and
so forth. And just listen to the twaddle this old man is made to talk!
He is about to marry a young girl who has been brought up by the nuns
of Guadalajara. Well, is that very remarkable? Is not that a matter of
every-day occurrence?"

Pouring out these remarks, that confounded poet did not allow me to
hear a word of the piece, and though I answered all his comments with
humbly acquiescent monosyllables, I only wished that he would hold his
tongue, deuce take him!...

"What a vulgar subject! what low ideas!" he exclaimed, loud enough for
every one to hear. "And this is how comedies are written!"...

"But let us listen to it," said I, finding my chief's comments quite
intolerable. "We can laugh at Moratin afterwards."

"But I cannot bear such a medley of absurdities," he went on. "We do
not come to the theatre to see just what is to be seen any day in the
streets, or in every house you go into. If instead of enlarging on her
matrimonial experiences, the lady were to come in invoking curses on
an enemy because he had killed one-and-twenty of her sons in battle,
and left her with only the twenty-second, still an infant at the
breast, and if she had to carry that one off to save him from being
eaten by the besieged, all dying of famine--then there would be some
interest in the plot, and the public would clap their hands till they
were sore. Gabriel, my boy, we must protest, protest vehemently. We
must thump the floor with our feet and sticks to show that we are
bored and out of patience. Yawn; open your mouth till your jaws are
dislocated; look about you; let all the neighbors see that we are
people of taste, and utterly weary of this tiresome and monstrous

No sooner said than done: we began thumping on the floor, and yawning
in chorus, exclaiming, "What a bore!" "What a dreary piece!" "What
waste of money!" and other phrases to the same effect; all of which
soon bore fruit. The party in the pit imitated our patriotic example
with great exactness. A general murmur of dissatisfaction was
presently audible from every part of the theatre; for though the
author had enemies, he had no lack of friends too, scattered
throughout the pit, boxes, and upper tiers, and they were not slow to
protest against our demonstration, sometimes by applauding, and then
again by roaring at us with threats and oaths, to be silent; till a
stentorian voice from the very back of the pit bellowed, "Turn the
blackguards out!" raising a noisy storm of applause that reduced us to

Our poetaster was almost jumping out of his skin with indignation, and
persisted in making his remarks as the piece went on....

"A pretty plot indeed! It seems hardly credible that a civilized
nation should applaud it. I would sentence Moratin to the galleys, and
forbid his writing such coarse stuff as long as he lives. So you call
this a play, Gabrielito? There is no intrigue, no plot, no surprise,
no catastrophe, no illusion, no _quid pro quo_; no attempt at
disguising a character to make it seem another--not even the little
complication that comes of two men provoking each other as enemies,
and then discovering that they are father and son. If Don Diego now,
were to catch his nephew and kill him out of hand in the cellar, and
prepare a banquet and have a dish of the victim's flesh served up to
his bride, well disguised with spice and bay leaves, there would be
some spirit in the thing."...

I could not, in fact, conceal my enjoyment of the scene, which seemed
to me a masterpiece of nature, grace, and interesting comedy. The poet
however called me to order, abusing me for deserting to the hostile

"I beg your pardon," said I. "It was a mistake. And yet--does it not
strike you, too, that this scene is not altogether bad?"

"How should you be able to judge?--a mere novice who never wrote a
line in your life! Pray what is there in this scene in the least
remarkable, or pathetic, or historical?"

"But it is nature itself. I feel that I have seen in the real world
just what the author has set on the stage."

"Gaby! simpleton! that is exactly what makes it so bad. Have you not
observed that in 'Frederick the Second,' in 'Catharine of Russia,' in
'The Slave of Negroponte,' and other fine works, nothing ever takes
place that has the smallest resemblance to real life? Is not
everything in those plays strange, startling, exceptional, wonderful,
and surprising? That is why they are so good. The poets of to-day do
not choose to imitate those of my time, and hence art has fallen to
the lowest depths."

"And yet, begging your pardon," I said, "I cannot help thinking--The
play is wretched, I quite agree, and when you say so there must be a
good reason for it. But the idea here seems to me a good one, since I
fancy the author has intended to censure the vicious system of
education which young girls get nowadays."...

"And who asks the author to introduce all this philosophy?" said the
pedant. "What has the theatre to do with moralizing? In the 'Magician
of Astrakhan,' in 'Leon and the Asturias Gave Heraldry to Spain,' and
in the 'Triumphs of Don Pelayo'--plays that all the world admires--did
you ever find a passage that describes how girls are to be brought

"I have certainly read or heard somewhere that the theatre was to
serve the purposes of entertainment and instruction."

"Stuff and nonsense!"

                                          Translation of Clara Bell.


From 'Doña Perfecta.' Copyright 1895, by Harper & Brothers

    [Pepe Rey, a young engineer, arrives at Orbajosa to marry his
    cousin Rosario, the match having been made up between his
    father and Doña Perfecta, the girl's mother, who is warmly
    attached to the father of Pepe, her brother, and furthermore
    under heavy obligations to him for his excellent management
    of her large property interests. The landscape is the arid
    and poverty-stricken country of central Spain, though the
    town itself--"seated on the slope of a hill from the midst of
    whose closely clustered houses arose many dark towers, and on
    the height above it the ruins of a dilapidated castle"--such
    a town would probably be more appreciated by a traveler from
    abroad and a lover of the picturesque, than by a Spaniard,
    too familiar with its type. Orbajosa is a little place, full
    of narrow prejudices and vanities. Pepe Rey, with his modern
    ways, soon finds that he is wounding these prejudices at
    every turn. We look on with pained surprise at the
    difficulties that grow up around the young man, an excellent
    and kind-hearted fellow. Lawsuits are multiplied against him;
    he is turned out of the cathedral by order of the bishop for
    strolling about during service-time to look at some
    architectural features; and he is refused the hand of his
    cousin. Doña Perfecta herself joins in this hostility, which
    finally develops into a venomous bitterness that menaces his
    life. Such a feeling was not the outgrowth of mere provincial
    narrowness: we see in the end that it was the result of the
    plot of Maria Remedios, a woman of a humble sort, who aspired
    to secure the heiress Rosario for her own chubby-faced
    home-bred son. She influenced the village priest, and he
    influenced Doña Perfecta. Early in the day the young engineer
    would have abandoned the sinister place but for Rosario, who
    really loved him. She conveyed to him, on a scrap from the
    margin of a newspaper, the message:

    "They say you are going away. If you do, I shall die."

    She is a charming picture of girlhood,--lovely, true-hearted,
    affectionate, aspiring to be heroic, and yet crippled at last
    by a filial conscience and the long habit of clinging
    dependence. She has agreed to flee at night with her lover,
    and he is already in the garden. Her mother, the stern Doña
    Perfecta, ranging uneasily through the house, enters her room
    about the appointed time for the escape.]

    [Illustration: _THE WEDDING DRESS._
    Photogravure from a Painting by Worms.]

"Why don't you sleep?" her mother asked her.

"What time is it?" asked the girl.

"It will soon be midnight."...

Rosario was trembling, and everything about her denoted the keenest
anxiety. She lifted her eyes to heaven supplicatingly, and then turned
them on her mother with a look of the utmost terror.

"Why, what is the matter with you?"

"Did you not say it was midnight?"


"Then--but is it already midnight?"...

"Something is the matter with you; you have something on your mind,"
said her mother, fixing on her daughter her penetrating eyes.

"Yes--I wanted to tell you," stammered the girl, "I wanted to
say--Nothing, nothing; I will go to sleep."

"Rosario, Rosario! your mother can read your heart like an open book,"
exclaimed Doña Perfecta with severity. "You are agitated. I have
already told you that I am willing to pardon you if you will repent,
if you are a good and sensible girl."

"Why, am I not good? Ah, mamma, mamma! I am dying." Rosario burst into
a flood of bitter and disconsolate tears.

"What are these tears about?" said her mother, embracing her. "If they
are tears of repentance, blessed be they."

"I don't repent! I can't repent!" cried the girl, in a burst of
sublime despair. She lifted her head, and in her face was depicted a
sudden inspired strength. Her hair fell in disorder over her
shoulders. Never was there seen a more beautiful image of a rebellious

"What is this? Have you lost your senses?" said Doña Perfecta, laying
both hands on her daughter's shoulders.

"I am going away! I am going away!" said the girl with the exaltation
of delirium. And she sprang out of bed.

"Rosario, Rosario--my daughter! For God's sake, what is this?"

"Ah mamma, señora!" exclaimed the girl, embracing her mother; "bind me

"In truth, you would deserve it. What madness is this?"

"Bind me fast! I am going away--I am going away with him!"...

"Has he told you to do so? has he counseled you to do that? has he
commanded you to do that?" asked the mother, launching these words
like thunderbolts against her daughter.

"He has counseled me to do it. We have agreed to be married. We must
be married, mamma, dear mamma. I will love you--I know that I ought to
love you--I shall be forever lost if I do not love you."

"Rosario, Rosario!" cried Doña Perfecta in a terrible voice, "rise!"

There was a short pause.

"This man--has he written to you?"


"Have you seen him again since that night?"


"And you have written to him?"

"I have written to him also. O señora! why do you look at me in that
way? You are not my mother."

"Would to God that I were not! Rejoice in the harm you are doing me.
You are killing me; you have given me my death-blow!" cried Doña
Perfecta, with indescribable agitation. "You say that that man--"

"Is my husband--I will be his wife, protected by the law. You are not
a woman! Why do you look at me in that way? You make me tremble.
Mother, mother, do not condemn me!"

"You have already condemned yourself--that is enough. Obey me, and I
will forgive you. Answer me--when did you receive letters from that


"What treachery! what infamy!" cried her mother, roaring rather than
speaking. "Had you appointed a meeting?"





"Here, here! I will confess everything, everything! I know it is a
crime. I am a wretch; but you, my mother, will take me out of this
hell. Give your consent. Say one word to me, only one word!"

"That man here in my house!" cried Doña Perfecta, springing back
several paces from her daughter.

Rosario followed her on her knees.

At the same instant three blows were heard, three crashes, three
explosions. [Maria Remedios had spied upon Pepe Rey, the lover; shown
Caballuco, a brutal servant and ally, how to follow him stealthily
into the garden; and had then come to arouse the house.] It was the
heart of Maria Remedios knocking at the door through the knocker. The
house trembled with an awful dread. Mother and daughter stood as
motionless as statues.

A servant went down-stairs to open the door, and shortly afterward
Maria Remedios, who was not now a woman but a basilisk enveloped in a
mantle, entered Doña Perfecta's room. Her face, flushed with anxiety,
exhaled fire.

"He is there, he is there," she said, as she entered. "He got into the
garden through the condemned door." She paused for breath at every

"I know already," returned Doña Perfecta, with a sort of bellow.

Rosario fell senseless to the floor.

"Let us go down-stairs," said Doña Perfecta, without paying any
attention to her daughter's swoon.

The two women glided down-stairs like two snakes. The maids and the
man-servant were in the hall, not knowing what to do. Doña Perfecta
passed through the dining-room into the garden, followed by Maria

"Fortunately we have Ca-Ca-Ca-balluco there," said the canon's niece.


"In the garden, also. He cli-cli-climbed over the wall."

Doña Perfecta explored the darkness with her wrathful eyes. Rage gave
them the singular power of seeing in the dark that is peculiar to the
feline race.

"I see a figure there," she said. "It is going towards the oleanders."

"It is he," cried Remedios. "But there comes Ramos--Ramos!" [Cristóbal
Ramos, or "Cabulluco."]

The colossal figure of the Centaur was plainly distinguishable.

"Towards the oleanders, Ramos! Towards the oleanders!"

Doña Perfecta took a few steps forward. Her hoarse voice, vibrating
with a terrible accent, hissed forth these words:--

"Cristobal, Cristobal,--kill him!"

A shot was heard. Then another.

                                     Translation of Mary J. Serrano.


    Don Francisco de Bringas y Caballero had a second-class
    clerkship in one of the most ancient of the royal bureaus. He
    belonged to a family which had held just such offices for time
    out of mind. "Government employees were his parents and his
    grandparents, and it is believed that his great-grandparents,
    and even the ancestors of these, served in one way and another
    in the administration of the two worlds." His wife Doña
    Rosalia Pipaon was equally connected with the official class,
    and particularly with that which had to do with the domestic
    service of the royal abodes. Thus, "on producing her family
    tree, this was found to show not so much glorious deeds of war
    and statesmanship as those humbler doings belonging to a long
    and intimate association with the royal person. Her mother had
    been lady of the queen's wardrobe, her uncle a halberdier of
    the royal guard, her grandfather keeper of the buttery, other
    uncles at various removes, equerries, pages, dispatch-bearers,
    huntsmen, and managers of the royal farm at Aranjuez, and so
    forth and so on.... For this dame there existed two things
    wholly Divine; namely, heaven and that almost equally
    desirable dwelling-place for the elect which we indicate by
    the mere laconic word 'the Palace.' In the Palace were her
    family history and her ideal; her aspiration was that Bringas
    might obtain a superior post in the royal exchequer, and that
    then they should go and take up their abode in one of the
    apartments of the second story of the great mansion which were
    conceded to such tenants." The above is from 'Tormento.' In
    the next succeeding novel, 'La de Bringas,' this aspiration is
    gratified; the Bringas family are installed in the Palace, in
    the quarters assigned to the employees of the royal household.
    The efforts of two of their acquaintances to find them, in the
    puzzling intricacies of the place, are thus amusingly


From 'La de Bringas'

Well, this is about the way it was. We threw ourselves bravely into
the interminable corridor, a veritable street, or alley at least,
paved with red tiles, feebly lighted with gas jets, and full of
doublings and twistings. Now and then it spread out into broad
openings like little plazas, inundated with sunlight which entered
through large openings from the main court-yard. This illumination
penetrated lengthwise along the white walls of the narrow passageways,
alleys, or tunnels, or whatever they may be called, growing ever
feebler and more uncertain as it went, till finally it fainted away
entirely at sight of the fan-shaped yellow gas flames, smoking little
circlets upon their protecting metal disks. There were uncounted
paneled doors with numbers on them, some newly painted and others
moldering and weather-stained, but not one displaying the figure we
were seeking. At this one you would see a rich silken bell cord, some
happy find in the royal upholstery shop, while the next had nothing
more than a poor frayed rope's-end; and these were an indication of
what was likely to be found within, as to order and neatness or
disarray and squalor. So, too, the mats or bits of carpet laid before
the doors threw a useful light upon the character of the lodgings. We
came upon vacant apartments with cobwebs spun across the openings, and
the door gratings thick with dust, and through broken transoms, drew
chill drafts that conveyed the breath of silence and desolation. Even
whole precincts were abandoned, and the vaultings, of unequal height,
returned the sound of our footsteps hollowly to our ears. We passed up
one stairway, then down another, and then, as likely as not, we would
ascend again.... The labyrinthine maze led us on and ever onward....

"It is useless to come here," at length said Pez, decidedly losing
patience, "without charts and a mariner's compass. I suppose we are
now in the south wing of the palace. The roofs down there must be
those of the Hall of Columns and the outer stairway, are they not?
What a huge mass of a place!" The roofs of which he spoke were great
pyramidal shapes protected with lead, and they covered in the ceilings
on which Bayeu's frescoed cherubs cut their lively pigeon-wings and

Still going on and on and onward without pause, we found ourselves
shut up in a place without exit, a considerable inclosure lighted from
the top, and we had to turn round and beat a retreat by the way we had
entered. Any one who knows the palace and its symmetrical grandeur
only from without could never divine all these irregularities that
constitute a veritable small town in its upper regions. In truth, for
an entire century there has been but one continual modifying of the
original plan, a stopping up here and an opening there, a condemning
of staircases, a widening of some rooms at the expense of others, a
changing of corridors into living-rooms and of living-rooms into
corridors, and a cutting through of partitions and a shutting up of
windows. You fall in with stairways that begin but never arrive
anywhere, and with balconies that are but the made-over roof coverings
of dwelling-places below. These dove-cotes were once stately
drawing-rooms, and on the other hand, these fine salons have been made
out of the inclosing space of a grand staircase. Then again winding
stairs are frequent; but if you should take them, Heaven knows what
would become of you; and frequent, too, are glazed doors permanently
closed, with naught behind them but silence, dust, and darkness....

"We are looking for the apartment of Don Francisco Bringas."

"Bringas? yes, yes," said an old woman; "you're close to it. All you
have got to do is, go down the first circular stairway you come to,
and then make a half-turn. Bringas? yes to be sure; he's sacristan of
the chapel."

"Sacristan,--he? What is the matter with you? He is head clerk of the
Administrative Department."

"Oh, then he must be lower down, just off the terrace. I suppose you
know your way to the fountain?"

"No, not we."

"You know the stairs called the Cáceres Staircase?"

"No, not that either."

"At any rate, you know where the Oratory is?"

"We know nothing about it."

"But the choir of the Oratory? but the dove-cotes?"--

Sum total, we had not the slightest acquaintance with any of that
congeries of winding turns, sudden tricks, and baffling surprises. The
architectural arrangement was a mad caprice, a mocking jest at all
plan and symmetry. Nevertheless, despite our notable lack of
experience we stuck to our quest, and even carried our infatuation so
far as to reject the services of a boy who offered himself as our

"We are now in the wing facing on the Plaza de Oriente," said Pez;
"that is to say, at exactly the opposite extreme from the wing in
which our friend resides." His geographical notions were delivered
with the gravity and conviction of some character in Jules Verne.
"Hence, the problem now demanding our attention is by what route to
get from here to the western wing. In the first place, the cupola of
the chapel and the grand stairway roof-covering furnish us with a
certain basis; we should take our bearings from them. I assume that,
having once arrived in the western wing, we shall be numskulls indeed
if we do not strike Bringas's abode. All the same, I for one will
never return to these outlandish regions without a pocket compass, and
what is more, without a good supply of provender too, against such
emergencies as this."

Before striking out on the new stage of our explorations, as thus
projected, we paused to look down from the window. The Plaza de
Oriente lay below us in a beautiful panorama, and beyond it a portion
of Madrid crested with at least fifty cupolas, steeples, and bell
towers. The equestrian Philip IV. appeared a mere toy, and the Royal
Theatre a paltry shed.... The doves had their nests far below where we
stood, and we saw them, by pairs or larger groups, plunge headlong
downward into the dizzy abyss, and then presently come whirling upward
again, with swift and graceful motion, and settle on the carved
capitals and moldings. It is credibly stated that all the political
revolutions do not matter a jot to these doves, and there is nothing
either in the ancient pile they inhabit or in the free realms of air
around it, to limit their sway. They remain undisputed masters of the

Away we go once more. Pez begins to put the geographical notions he
has acquired from the books of Jules Verne yet further into practice.
At every step he stops to say to me, "Now we are making our way
northward.--We shall undoubtedly soon find a road or trail on our
right, leading to the west.--There is no cause to be alarmed in
descending this winding stairway to the second story.--Good, it is
done! Well, bless me! where are we now? I don't see the main dome any
longer, not so much as a lightning-rod of it.--We are in the realms of
the feebly flickering gas once more.--Suppose we ascend again by this
other stairway luckily just at hand. What now? Well, here we are back
again in the eastward wing and nothing else, just where we were
before. Are we? no, yes; see, down there in the court the big dome is
still on our right. There's a regular grove of chimney stacks. You may
believe it or not, but this sort of thing begins to make my head swim;
it seems as if the whole place gave a lurch now and then, like a ship
at sea.--The fountain must be over that way, do you see? for the maids
are coming and going from there with their pitchers.--Oh well, I for
one give the whole thing up. We want a guide, and an expert, or we'll
never get out of this. I can't take another step; we've walked miles
and I can't stand on my legs.--Hey, there, halloo! send us a
guide!--Oh for a guide! Get me out of this infernal tangle

We came at last to Bringas's apartment. When we got there, we
understood how we must have passed it, earlier, without knowing it,
for its number was quite rubbed out and invisible.

                                Translation of William Henry Bishop.



The modern doctrine of heredity regards man less as an individual than
as a link in a series, involuntarily inheriting and transmitting a
number of peculiarities, physical and mental. The general acceptance
of this doctrine would necessitate a modification of popular ethical
conceptions, and consequently of social conditions. Except Darwin,
probably no one has done so much to place the doctrine on a scientific
basis as Francis Galton, whose brilliant researches have sought to
establish the hereditary nature of psychical as well as physical

Mr. Galton first took up the subject of the transmissibility of
intellectual gifts in his 'Hereditary Genius' (1869). An examination
of the relationships of the judges of England for a period of two
hundred years, of the statesmen of the time of George III., of the
premiers of the last one hundred years, and of a certain selection of
divines and modern scholars, together with the kindred of the most
illustrious commanders, men of letters and science, poets, painters,
and musicians of all times and nations, resulted in his conclusion
that man's mental abilities are derived by inheritance under exactly
the same limitations as are the forms and features of the whole
organic world. Mr. Galton argued that, as it is practicable to produce
a highly gifted race of men by judicious marriages during several
consecutive generations, the State ought to encourage by dowries and
other artificial means such marriages as make for the elevation of the

Having set forth the hereditary nature of general intellectual
ability, he attempts to discover what particular qualities commonly
combine to form genius, and whether they also are transmissible.
'English Men of Science: Their Nature and Nurture' (1874) was a
summary of the results obtained from inquiries addressed to the most
eminent scientific men of England, respecting the circumstances of
heredity and environment which might have been influential in
directing them toward their careers. One hundred and eighty persons
were questioned. From the replies it appeared that in the order of
their prevalence, the chief qualities that commonly unite to form
scientific genius are energy both of body and mind; good health; great
independence of character; tenacity of purpose; practical business
habits; and strong innate tastes for science generally, or for some
branch of it. The replies indicated the hereditary character of the
qualities in question, showing incidentally that in the matter of
heredity the influence of the father is greater than that of the
mother. It would have been interesting to have had the results of
similar inquiries in the case of other classes of eminent
persons,--statesmen, lawyers, poets, divines, etc. However, it is
problematical whether other classes would have entered so heartily
into the spirit of the inquiry, and given such full and frank replies.

Large variation in individuals from their parents is, he argues, not
only not incompatible with the strict doctrine of heredity, but is a
consequence of it wherever the breed is impure. Likewise, abnormal
attributes of individual parents are less transmissible than the
general characteristics of the family. Both these influences operate
to deprive the science of heredity of the certainty of prediction in
individual cases. The latter influence--_i. e._, the law of
reversion--is made the subject of a separate inquiry in the volume
entitled 'Natural Inheritance' (1889).

In 'Inquiries into the Human Faculty and its Development' (1883), he
described a method of accurately measuring mental processes, such as
sensation, volition, the formation of elementary judgments, and the
estimation of numbers; suggested composite photography as a means of
studying the physiognomy of criminal and other classes; treated the
subject of heredity in crime; and discussed the mental process of

'Finger Prints' (1892) is a study from the point of view of heredity
of the patterns observed in the skin of finger-tips. These patterns
are not only hereditary, but also furnish a certain means of
identification--an idea improved in Mark Twain's story of 'Pudd'nhead

Mr. Galton is himself an example of the heredity of genius, being a
grandson of Erasmus Darwin, the author of 'Zoönomia,' and a cousin of
Charles Darwin. Born near Birmingham in 1822, he studied some time at
Birmingham Hospital and at King's College, London, with the intention
of entering the medical profession; but abandoned this design, and was
graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1844. He soon after made
two journeys of exploration in Africa, the latter of which is
described in his 'Narrative of an Explorer in South Africa' (1853). An
indirect result of these journeys was 'The Art of Travel; or Shifts
and Contrivances in Wild Countries' (1855).

'Meteorographica' (1863) is noteworthy as the first attempt ever made
to represent in charts on a large scale the progress of the weather,
and on account of the theory of anti-cyclones which Mr. Galton
advances in it.

Although strictly scientific in aim and method, Mr. Galton's writings,
particularly those on heredity, appeal to all classes of readers and
possess a distinct literary value. One may admire in them simplicity
and purity of diction, animation of style, fertility in the
construction of theory, resourcefulness in the search for proof, and a
fine enthusiasm for the subject under consideration.


From 'Hereditary Genius'

Every long-established race has necessarily its peculiar fitness for
the conditions under which it has lived, owing to the sure operation
of Darwin's law of natural selection. However, I am not much concerned
for the present with the greater part of those aptitudes, but only
with such as are available in some form or other of high civilization.
We may reckon upon the advent of a time when civilization, which is
now sparse and feeble and far more superficial than it is vaunted to
be, shall overspread the globe. Ultimately it is sure to do so,
because civilization is the necessary fruit of high intelligence when
found in a social animal, and there is no plainer lesson to be read
off the face of Nature than that the result of the operation of her
laws is to evoke intelligence in connection with sociability.
Intelligence is as much an advantage to an animal as physical strength
or any other natural gift; and therefore, out of two varieties of any
race of animal who are equally endowed in other respects, the most
intelligent variety is sure to prevail in the battle of life.
Similarly, among animals as intelligent as man, the most social race
is sure to prevail, other qualities being equal.

Under even a very moderate form of material civilization, a vast
number of aptitudes acquired through the "survivorship of the fittest"
and the unsparing destruction of the unfit, for hundreds of
generations, have become as obsolete as the old mail-coach habits and
customs since the establishment of railroads, and there is not the
slightest use in attempting to preserve them; they are hindrances, and
not gains, to civilization. I shall refer to some of these a little
further on, but I will first speak of the qualities needed in
civilized society. They are, speaking generally, such as will enable a
race to supply a large contingent to the various groups of eminent men
of whom I have treated in my several chapters. Without going so far as
to say that this very convenient test is perfectly fair, we are at all
events justified in making considerable use of it, as I will do in the
estimates I am about to give.

In comparing the worth of different races, I shall make frequent use
of the law of deviation from an average, to which I have already been
much beholden; and to save the reader's time and patience, I propose
to act upon an assumption that would require a good deal of discussion
to limit, and to which the reader may at first demur, but which cannot
lead to any error of importance in a rough provisional inquiry. I
shall assume that the _intervals_ between the grades of ability are
the _same_ in all the races.... I know this cannot be strictly true,
for it would be in defiance of analogy if the variability of all races
were precisely the same; but on the other hand, there is good reason
to expect that the error introduced by the assumption cannot sensibly
affect the off-hand results for which alone I propose to employ it;
moreover, the rough data I shall adduce will go far to show the
justice of this expectation.

Let us then compare the negro race with the Anglo-Saxon, with respect
to those qualities alone which are capable of producing judges,
statesmen, commanders, men of literature and science, poets, artists,
and divines. If the negro race in America had been affected by no
social disabilities, a comparison of their achievements with those of
the whites in their several branches of intellectual effort, having
regard to the total number of their respective populations, would give
the necessary information. As matters stand, we must be content with
much rougher data.

First, the negro race has occasionally, but very rarely, produced such
men as Toussaint L'Ouverture....

Secondly, the negro race is by no means wholly deficient in men
capable of becoming good factors, thriving merchants, and otherwise
considerably raised above the average of whites....

Thirdly, we may compare, but with much caution, the relative position
of negroes in their native country with that of the travelers who
visit them. The latter no doubt bring with them the knowledge current
in civilized lands, but that is an advantage of less importance than
we are apt to suppose. The native chief has as good an education in
the art of ruling men as can be desired; he is continually exercised
in personal government, and usually maintains his place by the
ascendency of his character, shown every day over his subjects and
rivals. A traveler in wild countries also fills to a certain degree
the position of a commander, and has to confront native chiefs at
every inhabited place. The result is familiar enough--the white
traveler almost invariably holds his own in their presence. It is
seldom that we hear of a white traveler meeting with a black chief
whom he feels to be the better man. I have often discussed this
subject with competent persons, and can only recall a few cases of the
inferiority of the white man,--certainly not more than might be
ascribed to an average actual difference of three grades, of which one
may be due to the relative demerits of native education, and the
remaining two to a difference in natural gifts.

Fourthly, the number among the negroes of those whom we should call
half-witted men is very large. Every book alluding to negro servants
in America is full of instances. I was myself much impressed by this
fact during my travels in Africa. The mistakes the negroes made in
their own matters were so childish, stupid, and simpleton-like as
frequently to make me ashamed of my own species. I do not think it any
exaggeration to say that their _c_ is as low as our _e_, which would
be a difference of two grades, as before. I have no information as to
actual idiocy among the negroes--I mean, of course, of that class of
idiocy which is not due to disease.

The Australian type is at least one grade below the African negro. I
possess a few serviceable data about the natural capacity of the
Australian, but not sufficient to induce me to invite the reader to
consider them.

The average standard of the Lowland Scotch and the English North
Country men is decidedly a fraction of a grade superior to that of the
ordinary English, because the number of the former who attain to
eminence is far greater than the proportionate number of their race
would have led us to expect. The same superiority is distinctly shown
by a comparison of the well-being of the masses of the population; for
the Scotch laborer is much less of a drudge than the Englishman of the
Midland counties--he does his work better, and "lives his life"
besides. The peasant women of Northumberland work all day in the
fields, and are not broken down by the work; on the contrary, they
take a pride in their effective labor as girls, and when married they
attend well to the comfort of their homes. It is perfectly distressing
to me to witness the draggled, drudged, mean look of the mass of
individuals, especially of the women, that one meets in the streets of
London and other purely English towns. The conditions of their life
seem too hard for their constitutions, and to be crushing them into

The ablest race of whom history bears record is unquestionably the
ancient Greek, partly because their masterpieces in the principal
departments of intellectual activity are still unsurpassed and in many
respects unequaled, and partly because the population that gave birth
to the creators of those masterpieces was very small. Of the various
Greek sub-races, that of Attica was the ablest, and she was no doubt
largely indebted to the following cause for her superiority: Athens
opened her arms to immigrants, but not indiscriminately, for her
social life was such that none but very able men could take any
pleasure in it; on the other hand, she offered attractions such as men
of the highest ability and culture could find in no other city. Thus
by a system of partly unconscious selection she built up a magnificent
breed of human animals, which in the space of one century--viz.,
between 530 and 430 B. C.--produced the following illustrious persons,
fourteen in number:--

_Statesmen and Commanders._--Themistocles (mother an alien),
Miltiades, Aristides, Cimon (son of Miltiades), Pericles (son of
Xanthippus, the victor at Mycale).

_Literary and Scientific Men._--Thucydides, Socrates, Xenophon, Plato.

_Poets._--Æschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes.


We are able to make a closely approximate estimate of the population
that produced these men, because the number of the inhabitants of
Attica has been a matter of frequent inquiry, and critics appear at
length to be quite agreed in the general results.... The average
ability of the Athenian race is, on the lowest possible estimate, very
nearly two grades higher than our own--that is, about as much as our
race is above that of the African negro. This estimate, which may seem
prodigious to some, is confirmed by the quick intelligence and high
culture of the Athenian commonalty, before whom literary works were
recited, and works of art exhibited, of a far more severe character
than could possibly be appreciated by the average of our race, the
calibre of whose intellect is easily gauged by a glance at the
contents of a railway book-stall.

We know, and may guess something more, of the reason why this
marvelously gifted race declined. Social morality grew exceedingly
lax; marriage became unfashionable, and was avoided; many of the more
ambitious and accomplished women were avowed courtesans and
consequently infertile, and the mothers of the incoming population
were of a heterogeneous class. In a small sea-bordered country, where
emigration and immigration are constantly going on, and where the
manners are as dissolute as were those of Greece in the period of
which I speak, the purity of a race would necessarily fail. It can be
therefore no surprise to us, though it has been a severe misfortune to
humanity, that the high Athenian breed decayed and disappeared; for if
it had maintained its excellence, and had multiplied and spread over
large countries, displacing inferior populations (which it well might
have done, for it was exceedingly prolific), it would assuredly have
accomplished results advantageous to human civilization, to a degree
that transcends our powers of imagination.

If we could raise the average standard of our race only one grade,
what vast changes would be produced! The number of men of natural
gifts equal to those of the eminent men of the present day would be
necessarily increased more than tenfold;... but far more important to
the progress of civilization would be the increase in the yet higher
orders of intellect. We know how intimately the course of events is
dependent on the thoughts of a few illustrious men. If the first-rate
men in the different groups had never been born, even if those among
them who have a place in my appendices on account of their hereditary
gifts had never existed, the world would be very different to what it

It seems to me most essential to the well-being of future generations,
that the average standard of ability of the present time should be
raised. Civilization is a new condition imposed upon man by the course
of events, just as in the history of geological changes new conditions
have continually been imposed on different races of animals. They have
had the effect either of modifying the nature of the races through the
process of natural selection, whenever the changes were sufficiently
slow and the race sufficiently pliant, or of destroying them
altogether, when the changes were too abrupt or the race unyielding.
The number of the races of mankind that have been entirely destroyed
under the pressure of the requirements of an incoming civilization,
reads us a terrible lesson. Probably in no former period of the world
has the destruction of the races of any animal whatever been effected
over such wide areas, and with such startling rapidity, as in the case
of savage man. In the North-American continent, in the West-Indian
islands, in the Cape of Good Hope, in Australia, New Zealand, and Van
Diemen's Land, the human denizens of vast regions have been entirely
swept away in the short space of three centuries, less by the pressure
of a stronger race than through the influence of a civilization they
were incapable of supporting. And we too, the foremost laborers in
creating this civilization, are beginning to show ourselves incapable
of keeping pace with our own work. The needs of centralization,
communication, and culture, call for more brains and mental stamina
than the average of our race possess. We are in crying want for a
greater fund of ability in all stations of life; for neither the
classes of statesmen, philosophers, artisans, nor laborers are up to
the modern complexity of their several professions. An extended
civilization like ours comprises more interests than the ordinary
statesmen or philosophers of our present race are capable of dealing
with, and it exacts more intelligent work than our ordinary artisans
and laborers are capable of performing. Our race is overweighted, and
appears likely to be drudged into degeneracy by demands that exceed
its powers....

When the severity of the struggle for existence is not too great for
the powers of the race, its action is healthy and conservative;
otherwise it is deadly, just as we may see exemplified in the scanty,
wretched vegetation that leads a precarious existence near the summer
snow line of the Alps, and disappears altogether a little higher up.
We want as much backbone as we can get, to bear the racket to which we
are henceforth to be exposed, and as good brains as possible to
contrive machinery, for modern life to work more smoothly than at
present. We can in some degree raise the nature of man to a level with
the new conditions imposed upon his existence; and we can also in some
degree modify the conditions to suit his nature. It is clearly right
that both these powers should be exerted, with the view of bringing
his nature and the conditions of his existence into as close harmony
as possible.

In proportion as the world becomes filled with mankind, the relations
of society necessarily increase in complexity, and the nomadic
disposition found in most barbarians becomes unsuitable to the novel
conditions. There is a most unusual unanimity in respect to the causes
of incapacity of savages for civilization, among writers on those
hunting and migratory nations who are brought into contact with
advancing colonization, and perish, as they invariably do, by the
contact. They tell us that the labor of such men is neither constant
nor steady; that the love of a wandering, independent life prevents
their settling anywhere to work, except for a short time, when urged
by want and encouraged by kind treatment. Meadows says that the
Chinese call the barbarous races on their borders by a phrase which
means "hither and thither," "not fixed." And any amount of evidence
might be adduced, to show how deeply Bohemian habits of one kind or
another were ingrained in the nature of the men who inhabited most
parts of the earth, now overspread by the Anglo-Saxon and other
civilized races. Luckily there is still room for adventure, and a man
who feels the cravings of a roving, adventurous spirit to be too
strong for resistance, may yet find a legitimate outlet for it in the
colonies, in the army, or on board ship. But such a spirit is, on the
whole, an heirloom that brings more impatient restlessness and beating
of the wings against cage bars, than persons of more civilized
characters can readily comprehend, and it is directly at war with the
more modern portion of our moral natures. If a man be purely a nomad,
he has only to be nomadic and his instinct is satisfied; but no
Englishmen of the nineteenth century are purely nomadic. The most so
among them have also inherited many civilized cravings that are
necessarily starved when they become wanderers, in the same way as the
wandering instincts are starved when they are settled at home.
Consequently their nature has opposite wants, which can never be
satisfied except by chance, through some very exceptional turn of
circumstances. This is a serious calamity; and as the Bohemianism in
the nature of our race is destined to perish, the sooner it goes the
happier for mankind. The social requirements of English life are
steadily destroying it. No man who only works by fits and starts is
able to obtain his living nowadays, for he has not a chance of
thriving in competition with steady workmen. If his nature revolts
against the monotony of daily labor, he is tempted to the
public-house, to intemperance, and it may be to poaching, and to much
more serious crime; otherwise he banishes himself from our shores. In
the first case, he is unlikely to leave as many children as men of
more domestic and marrying habits; and in the second case, his breed
is wholly lost to England. By this steady riddance of the Bohemian
spirit of our race, the artisan part of our population is slowly
becoming bred to its duties, and the primary qualities of the typical
modern British workman are already the very opposite of those of the
nomad. What they are now was well described by Mr. Chadwick as
consisting of "great bodily strength, applied under the command of a
steady, persevering will; mental self-contentedness; impassibility to
external irrelevant impressions, which carries them through the
continued repetition of toilsome labor, 'steady as time.'"

It is curious to remark how unimportant to modern civilization has
become the once famous and thoroughbred-looking Norman. The type of
his features, which is probably in some degree correlated with his
peculiar form of adventurous disposition, is no longer characteristic
of our rulers, and is rarely found among celebrities of the present
day; it is more often met with among the undistinguished members of
highly born families, and especially among the less conspicuous
officers of the army. Modern leading men in all paths of eminence, as
may easily be seen in a collection of photographs, are of a coarser
and more robust breed: less excitable and dashing, but endowed with
far more ruggedness and real vigor. Such also is the case as regards
the German portion of the Austrian nation....

Much more alien to the genius of an enlightened civilization than the
nomadic habit is the impulsive and uncontrolled nature of the savage.
A civilized man must bear and forbear; he must keep before his mind
the claims of the morrow as clearly as those of the passing minute; of
the absent as well as of the present. This is the most trying of the
new conditions imposed on man by civilization, and the one that makes
it hopeless for any but exceptional natures among savages to live
under them. The instinct of a savage is admirably consonant with the
needs of savage life; every day he is in danger through transient
causes; he lives from hand to mouth, in the hour and for the hour,
without care for the past or forethought for the future: but such an
instinct is utterly at fault in civilized life. The half-reclaimed
savage, being unable to deal with more subjects of consideration than
are directly before him, is continually doing acts through mere
maladroitness and incapacity, at which he is afterwards deeply grieved
and annoyed. The nearer inducements always seem to him, through his
uncorrected sense of moral perspective, to be incomparably larger than
others of the same actual size but more remote; consequently, when the
temptation of the moment has been yielded to and passed away, and its
bitter result comes in its turn before the man, he is amazed and
remorseful at his past weakness. It seems incredible that he should
have done that yesterday which to-day seems so silly, so unjust, and
so unkindly. The newly reclaimed barbarian, with the impulsive,
unstable nature of the savage, when he also chances to be gifted with
a peculiarly generous and affectionate disposition, is of all others
the man most oppressed with the sense of sin.

Now, it is a just assertion, and a common theme of moralists of many
creeds, that man, such as we find him, is born with an imperfect
nature. He has lofty aspirations, but there is a weakness in his
disposition which incapacitates him from carrying his nobler purposes
into effect. He sees that some particular course of action is his
duty, and should be his delight; but his inclinations are fickle and
base, and do not conform to his better judgment. The whole moral
nature of man is tainted with sin, which prevents him from doing the
things he knows to be right.

The explanation I offer to this apparent anomaly seems perfectly
satisfactory from a scientific point of view. It is neither more nor
less than that the development of our nature, whether under Darwin's
law of natural selection or through the effects of changed ancestral
habits, has not yet overtaken the development of our moral
civilization. Man was barbarous but yesterday, and therefore it is not
to be expected that the natural aptitudes of his race should already
have become molded into accordance with his very recent advance. We,
men of the present centuries, are like animals suddenly transplanted
among new conditions of climate and of food: our instincts fail us
under the altered circumstances.

My theory is confirmed by the fact that the members of old
civilizations are far less sensible than recent converts from
barbarism, of their nature being inadequate to their moral needs. The
conscience of a negro is aghast at his own wild, impulsive nature, and
is easily stirred by a preacher; but it is scarcely possible to ruffle
the self-complacency of a steady-going Chinaman.

The sense of original sin would show, according to my theory, not that
man was fallen from high estate, but that he was rising in moral
culture with more rapidity than the nature of his race could follow.
My view is corroborated by the conclusion reached at the end of each
of the many independent lines of ethnological research--that the human
race were utter savages in the beginning; and that after myriads of
years of barbarism, man has but very recently found his way into the
paths of morality and civilization.



Arne Garborg is one of the most potent forces in the new school of
Norwegian literature. The contemporary of Alexander Kielland, who is
more widely known abroad, he is however the representative of a vastly
different phase. Kielland's works, except for their setting, are the
result of general European culture; whereas Garborg has laid the
foundations of a literature essentially Norse.

The new literature of young Norway is a true exponent of its social
conditions. The ferment of its strivings and its discontent permeates
the whole people. Much of Garborg's work is the chronicle of this
social unrest, particularly among the peasant classes, where he
himself by birth belongs. In the reaction against the sentimental
idealism of the older school, he is the pioneer who has blazed the
paths. Where Björnson gives rose-colored pictures of what peasant life
might be, Garborg with heavy strokes of terrible meaning draws the
outline of what it is. His daring and directness of speech aroused a
storm of opposition, and he has also been made to suffer in a material
way for the courage of his opinions, in that the position which he had
held in the government service since 1879 was taken from him as a
consequence of his books.

Arne Garborg was born at Jæderen, in the southwestern part of Norway,
January 1851. The circumstances of his life were humble, and all of
his surroundings were meagre in the extreme. His father, a village
schoolmaster, was a man of nervous, fanatical temperament, with whom
religion was a mania. In the obscure little village where he lived,
Garborg's boyhood was outwardly uneventful but inwardly filled with
conflict. Brought up in an atmosphere of pietism, the natural reaction
led him into a kind of romantic atheistic unbelief. In the turmoil of
his mind, the battles were fought again and again, until at length he
reached the middle ground of modern thought. His education was
extremely desultory; but from the age of nine, when from the only
models within his reach he wrote hymns and sermons, he showed a strong
tendency for literature. He passed the required examinations for a
school-teacher in 1870, and alternately taught and studied, until in
1875 he entered the University of Christiania. His life as a student
was by no means smooth, but he persisted, in spite of poverty and
indeed sometimes actual want.

He had previously, in Risör, published a Teacher's Journal (1871), a
small paper dealing principally though not exclusively with school
affairs; and a year later, in Tvedestrand, he established the
Tvedestrand Post. This experience as county editor and printer had
qualified him for newspaper work, and in 1877 he became connected with
the Aftenbladet of Christiania. The same year he founded the
Fedraheimen, "a weekly paper for the Norse people." This was really
the beginning of his literary career, although besides his early
enterprises in journalism he had as a student contributed occasional
articles to the newspapers, and had already published his first book,
a critical essay on Ibsen's 'Emperor and Galilean.'

The attempt made by Ivar Aasen to establish in Norway a national
language through a normalization of the peasant dialects, found in
Garborg one of its warmest supporters. Discarding Danish as a literary
medium, he advocated the use of the strong Norse, and the Fedraheimen
appeared as the organ of the new movement. Garborg wrote a book upon
the subject in the year after the establishment of his journal, and
ever since, by precept and practice, he has been the chief
propagandist of the new speech.

His first novel, 'En Fritenkjar' (A Freethinker), appeared anonymously
in the Fedraheimen in 1878. The subject of the story was one of the
vital questions of the day, the conflict between iron-bound dogmatism
and rational thought; a theme now threadbare with much handling, but
then startlingly new. The author's early training and his own
environment of intolerant theology supplied material for the story.
The hero of the tale, the man who dared to think for himself, was
looked upon as a criminal, to be ranked with house-breakers and
thieves. The ostracism which he brought upon himself was but the just
punishment for his crimes. The Freethinker, treated as a moral leper,
is driven from his home and goes abroad to expiate his sin of
unorthodoxy. In later years he returns to his native land, to find
most of his acquaintances dead. Of his family only one still lives,
and that is his son, who has become a clergyman!

Garborg's second romance, 'Bondestudentar' (Peasant Students) (1883),
deals with a problem no less real. In Norway, although there is no
rank of nobility, class distinctions are nevertheless strongly marked;
and in this novel his pen is directed against the evils which result
from the inordinate striving of the lower orders for a position to
which they are unfitted both by nature and circumstances. This book,
again, is to a degree autobiographical; for Garborg, as has been said,
is himself peasant, and he has fought the fight and suffered the
anguish of the new culture attained with incalculable sacrifice.
'Peasant Students' is undoubtedly his greatest work. Nowhere else has
he indicated more clearly his seriousness of purpose, or worked out
his theme with more effectiveness. The hero, Daniel Braut, is the
representative of the ideal student, a son of the people who shall
strive for "poetry and the soul" and introduce the elements of culture
among his class. Manual labor is his aversion; and at last, forced by
the weakness of his nature and the necessity of his poverty, he goes
over to the ranks of philistinism, marries a woman of property, and
studies theology. Both books are stories of high ideals and
humiliating compromises. The author's pessimism is in the ascendant,
and in the end the lower nature conquers.

In 'Mannfolk' (1886) he takes up a different theme, the relation of
the sexes, a question which he treats with startling frankness.
Garborg is a realist in so far that he prefers to depict life as it
is, well knowing that fiction cannot approach truth in point of
interest. He bears true testimony of what he sees and knows, but his
realism is very far removed from the naturalism of the French school.

Following 'Peasant Students' appeared in 1884 'Forteljinger og Sogar'
(Narratives and Tales), a volume of stories dealing sometimes with
subjects generally proscribed. Of his other works the most important
are the narrative 'Hjaa ho Mor' (With Mama), 'Kolbotnbrev og andre
Skildringar' (Kolbotn Letters and Other Sketches: 1890), the novels
'Trætte Mænd' (Weary Souls: 1891), 'Fred' (Peace: 1893), and the drama
'Uforsonlige' (The Irreconcilables: 1888).

After being deprived of his government position upon the publication
of 'Mannfolk,' Arne Garborg retired with his wife and child into the
solitude of the mountains, where for two years he lived and wrote in
his sæter hut; but at last, overcome by the loneliness of this
isolated life, he left Norway and settled in Germany.


From 'A Freethinker'

The noise of carriage wheels increased. The carriage drove up before
the door, and all the people of the parsonage sprang up in joy. Ragna
however reddened somewhat. A minute after, both Hans Vangen and
Eystein Hauk stood in the room. Hans embraced his parents and his
sister, and on the surface was happy; Hauk greeted them kindly and
warmly like an acquaintance of the family, and bowed deep before

"A good evening to you, and a merry Christmas-time!" called out Hans.
"Here is the great foreign traveler and wise man Eystein Hauk, and
here"--he pointed to the chaplain--"is the strict man of God, Balle;
chaplain now, pastor later on, finally bishop; a well-founded
theologian and a true support to the Church in these distracted times.
It will be well with you if you do not fall into a quarrel about

There was talking and laughing; the pastor's wife poured out wine; the
new-comers sat down; the table was quickly set, and then they went
into the dining-room, where Christmas grits and Christmas fish stood
smoking in a great dish and "awaited the help of the people." The
pastor read a blessing, which was not listened to with any further
devoutness. Ragna and Balle sat for the most part and looked at Hauk,
but Hauk looked at Ragna, and the pastor's wife said of Hans how he
had grown during the past year, and how his good looks and his
affability had improved.

The one who talked most at the table was Hans. Hauk was rather silent.
The pastor asked him in a few words about his travels abroad; he
answered promptly but shortly, and often in such a cleverly turned way
of speaking that it was difficult to find out his real meaning.

The chaplain, too, would have liked to hear about foreign lands. What
was the state of the Christian religion in France?--Well, it was
various. It was there as here: there were people of all sorts.--But
was not the great majority unchristian?--Well, of enlightened and
learned people it was, to be sure, the smallest part who strictly
could be called Christians.--But with morals? Was there not a great
deal of social viciousness and impropriety?--Well, if it were only
considered under certain conditions, in certain cities, it was
probably there as in other places.--Indeed!--Balle, rebuffed, looked
away from Hauk, and did not talk with him afterward.

When they left the table there was set out dessert, with wine, and
pipes were also brought. The conversation went on as before, but it
was none the less Hans who talked most. He was a fresh, happy fellow.
His mother sat and found pleasure in looking at him. The pastor and
Balle sat and smoked; glanced now and then at Hauk, who was a little
way off at a smaller table, talking small-talk with Ragna. The pastor
had become more silent, and Balle looked as if he little liked the
state of things, although he tried to control himself. Hans understood
this, and laughed.

"Do not bother yourself about Hauk," said he. "He has been in Paris
and has learned French manners, and consequently he likes women's
society best; but even if he is a little grand, he will quickly become
Norse again, keep to his pipe and his glass, and let the women take
care of themselves."

Balle bit his lips; the pastor smiled a little. "Young people are more
bashful here in Norway," said he. "That is true," he continued. "You
have read the new novel 'Virginia,' that the people have waited so
long for?"

"'Virginia'?--pfh! that is a vile book," answered Hans, and smiled.

"Vile?" said the chaplain questioningly.

"It is a scandalous book! says Christiania. It has set the whole town
on end. It works destruction upon marriage, they say; upon morals,
upon society. I have never seen Christiania so moral as in these

"H'm!" said Balle; "Christiania is on the whole a moral town."

"It is at this time! The young poets are happy for all the days of
their life. The men forbid the women to read the book, and the women
forbid their daughters--"

"And so they all read it together?" said the pastor.

"Certainly! The women read it and say, 'Paugh! the poets do not know
life.' The daughters, the poor dear angels, they read it and say,
'Dear me, is that anything? Have we not read worse books than that?'"

"But tell us, then, what the book is about?" said the pastor.

"It is about--that married people shall love each other," said Hans

"Oho! free love!" called out the chaplain.

"Certainly! Free love! 'All true love is free,' says the fool-hardy
fellow of a poet."

"Do you hear that, pastor?" said Balle.

"If our own poets also take it up, let us have a care! Then he
recognizes 'free thought'; and what then?" asked the chaplain.

"That is true," replied Hans. "'All thoughts are free,' he says, 'and
not merely duty free.'"

"Of course he does not believe in God?"

"I doubt it; but even that is not the worst."

"Not the--"

"No, for there are many people in Christiania who do not believe in
God. But these poets do not even believe in the Devil!" Hans laughed
like a child at the face that the chaplain made; the pastor looked
severely at Hans, who cast down his eyes and was silent.

"Worthless fruit," sighed the chaplain. "Our poets have hitherto kept
themselves free from these godless thoughts, even if they have not
always had the right opinion of Christianity, and particularly have
taken up with the confusions of Grundtvigianism; but now, now it has
taken another path. Do you see the spirit of revolt, pastor? Do you
hear how they rise and tear asunder all its bonds; how opposition
arises against all that is high and holy, and they storm even against
the foundations of society?"

"May God help us!" sighed the pastor. "It does not look right. Is
there anything new in the newspapers?" he asked, as if to get away
from a conversation that plainly oppressed him.

Hans ran out, and came quickly in again with the newspapers. Such of
these as were French he took for himself, the rest he gave to Balle.

"Do you see, father?" said Hans with the mien of a schoolmaster. "If
you will have politics, you must turn to France. All other politics
are merely an echo of theirs. France is Europe. France is the world!"

"Do you hear, pastor?" said Balle. "Do you hear how the French spirit
spreads and increases in power? the French spirit, which has always
been one and the same with rationalism and revolution?"

"Here is an article that will do Balle good!" called out Hans. "It
does not assume the good tone or prattle tediously like our Norse
newspaper articles. There is fire and burning in it; you recognize
something like a clenched fist back of the words, prepared for
everything upon which it may hit. That is what I call politics!"

"Oh, you are a foolish fellow," said the pastor. "Come, out with it!"

Hans read an article against the priestly party or clericals, and the
piece was severely radical. It was particularly to the effect that the
clergy and Christianity must be ousted from the public schools, if
thinkers were to be really for a genuine and sound popular education.
Christianity had already done what it could do; hereafter it lay
merely in the way. "Freedom and self-government" was the war-cry now,
for this generation. They might be fair enough, many of the dreams
which the new time compelled us to abandon; but light and life and
truth were ten times fairer than all dreams.

The chaplain sat and sulked, and looked into one of the Norse papers.
"Here stands the same," said he. "No, but--? Yes, the same, and yet
not the same. The Norse paper has cut out or changed all that treats
directly of Christianity; the rest is the same."

"Ha, ha, ha!" laughed Hans.

"Yes, they are as wise as serpents," sighed the chaplain. "Here may
plainly be seen how the matter stands. It is hidden away in politics,
but the spirit they cannot conceal; it is precisely the same French
spirit of hell, the spirit of revolt, the spirit of the Devil, which
lifts itself against even the living God. Do you see that, pastor? Do
you see how wholly these 'freedom politics,' as they are called, are
held up and impregnated with this godless spirit of revolt? In truth,
it becomes more and more clear that it is the part of us, the watchmen
of Zion,--more now than ever before,--to watch and pray."

The pastor sat and meditated. He looked oppressed and sorrowful. It
was too quiet for Hans: he moved away to Hauk and Ragna. The chaplain
appeared to like this, and became more calm.

"Dear pastor," said he after a while, "just as surely as there is
truth in our work,--yes, this question presses itself more and more in
upon me,--as surely as there is truth in our work: that we shall watch
over God's house and people,--we _cannot_ remain silent and be calm
when we see a spirit like this coming bearing in upon us--a spirit
which is directly founded upon heathenism, and so plainly shows its
Satanic origin. Shall it be? Can we answer for that before our Lord
and God?"

The pastor was silent. He was in great doubt and uncertainty of mind.
"I do not believe that it is right to bring politics into the house of
God," said he at last.

"Politics, no! But this is not politics; this is a spirit of the
times, a view of life which takes the outward garb of politics, but at
the bottom is merely a new outbreak of the same old heathenism that
the Church at all times has had to contend with. I, for my part, do
not believe that I can keep silent with a quiet conscience."

The pastor held his peace and thought. "This is a hard question," he
said finally. "May our Lord give us wisdom!"

"Amen," said the chaplain....

That night the old pastor did not sleep well. He walked up and down
his chamber and thought. "When it comes to the point," said he to
himself, "Balle is right; there _is_ something bad and evil in the
spirit of the time; there _is_ something devilish. Merely look, now,
at this Eystein Hauk, this clever fine fellow: he is not to be got at.
He is frozen to ice and hardened to steel, slippery and smooth as a
serpent. There came such an uncanny spirit from him that he made me
downright sick: no respect, no veneration even for his own father; God
knows how he can hold fast to his Christian faith. They call it
freedom, humanity; but it is not that. It is hate, venom, bad blood.
They will tear from them all bonds, as Balle says, raise a
revolt--revolt against all that is beautiful and good, against God,
against belief. H'm! Build the State, this whole earthly life, upon a
heathen foundation! Sever connection with Christianity, cast the
Church away from them like old trash. That is terrible! And free love,
free thought--the Christian religion out of the schools--no! that is
Satan himself who rages. Free thoughts in my time were not so: they
were warm and beautiful; there was heart in them; they made us good
and happy." He shook himself, as if to throw off a chill. Should one
be silent at such things? Should one look quietly on while this evil
spirit eats itself in among the people? or should one, like a disciple
of God, lift up the sword of the Word and the Spirit against this
poisonous basilisk?

He read in the Bible and in Luther. Then he got up again and walked.
The clock struck hour after hour, but the old man did not hear it. He
thought only of the heavy responsibility. Was it not to profane the
house of God and the holy office, to drag the struggle and strife of
the day into it? Was he not set to watch over word and teaching, but
not to be a judge in the world's disputes? But of his flock, the
people of the Church, the Bride of Christ, whom he should watch, but
who stood in the midst of a wicked world, and whose souls were harmed
when such evil gusts blew? Would not every soul at the Judgment Day be
demanded at his hands? And was he a good shepherd, who indeed kept
watch against the wolf when the wolf came having on his right garb,
but looked on and was silent when he came clothed in sheep's garments
and pretended to belong among the good? He read anew in Luther. At
last he knelt down and prayed for a long time, and ended with a
fervent and heartfelt "Our Father."

Then he arose as if freed from doubt, looked meekly up to heaven, and
said, "As thou wilt, O Lord!" He seated himself in his arm-chair,
weary but happy, and fell asleep for a while. Presently, however, the
day grew gray in the east and he awoke. He read the morning prayers to
himself, chose his text, and thought about the sermon. When the bell
began to ring he went to church. He was pale, but calm and kindly. The
farmers looked at him and greeted him more warmly than usual. The
pastor's wife and Ragna came shortly after; Hans and Eystein did not
arrive at the church until the pastor stood in the pulpit.

The Christmas sermon was fervid and good. He spoke about the angels'
song, "Peace on earth." They had seldom heard the old man preach so
well. But at the end came a turn in the thought that caused some
astonishment. It was about politics.

"Dear Christians," he said, "how is it in our days with 'peace on
earth'? Ah, my brothers, we know that all too well. Peace has gone
from us. It has vanished like a beautiful evening cloud. Evil powers
rise up in these hours. The Devil is abroad, and tempts anew mankind
to eat of the tree of knowledge and to tear themselves loose from God.
Take heed, take heed, dear brothers! Take heed of the false prophets,
who proclaim a new gospel and promise you 'freedom' and
'enlightenment,' and all that is good,--yes, promise you righteousness
and power, if you will eat of the forbidden tree. They give themselves
out for sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. They promise you
freedom, but they give you thraldom, the thraldom of sin, which is the
worst of all. They promise you blessings and joy, but they steal you
away from Him who alone has blessings and freedom for our poor race.
They promise you security and defense against all tyranny and
oppression, but they give you gladly into his power who is the father
of all tyranny and of all evil; he who is the destroyer of man from
the beginning. Dear Christians, let us watch and pray! Let us prove
the spirit, whether it is from God! Let us harden our ears and our
hearts against false voices and magic songs that deceive, which come
to us out of the dark chasms and abysses in this wicked world! Let us
be fearful of this wild and sinful thought of freedom, that from Adam
down has been the deep and true source of all our woe! Let us pray for
'peace on earth,' for only then can our Lord God have consideration
for mankind." With this he ended his sermon.

          Translated for 'A Library of the World's Best Literature,'
          by William H. Carpenter



[Illustration: HAMLIN GARLAND]

Hamlin Garland is a favorable example of a class of young writers
which is coming to the fore in the Middle West of the United
States,--fresh, original, full of faith and energy, with a robust and
somewhat aggressive Americanism. In native endowment he is a strong
man, and his personal character is manly, clean, and high. At times,
carelessness of technique and lack of taste can be detected in his
writings, but his strength and spirit make amends for these defects.

Mr. Garland was born September 16th, 1860, in the La Crosse Valley,
Wisconsin. His family is of Scotch descent,--sturdy farmer folk,
remarkable for their physical powers. His maternal grandfather was an
Adventist, with the touch of mysticism that word implies. Garland was
reared in the picturesque coulé country (French _coulée_, a dry
gulch); living in various Western towns, one of them being the Quaker
community of Hesper, Iowa. His early education was received from the
local schools; the unconscious assimilation of the Western ways came
while he rode horses, herded cattle, and led the wholesome, simple
open-air life of the middle-class people. Some years were spent in a
small seminary at Osage, Wisconsin, whence he was graduated at
twenty-one years of age. His kin moved to Dakota, but Hamlin faced
Eastward, eager to see the world. Two years of travel and teaching in
Illinois found him in 1883 "holding down" a Dakota claim--the only
result of the land boom being a rich field of literary ore. Then in
1884 he went to Boston, made his headquarters at the Public Library,
read diligently, taught literature and elocution in the School of
Oratory, and became one of the literary workers there, remaining until
1891. Since then he has lectured much throughout the country, and has
settled in Chicago, his summer home being at West Salem, Wisconsin, in
the beautiful coulé region of his boyhood.

Mr. Garland's main work is in fiction, but he has also tried his hand
at verse and the essay. His volume 'Crumbling Idols,' published in
1894, a series of audacious papers in which the doctrine of realism is
cried up and the appeal to past literary canons made a mock of,
called out critical abuse and ridicule, and no doubt shows a lack of
perspective. Yet the book is racy and stimulating in the extreme. The
volume of poetry, 'Prairie Songs' (1893), has the merit of dealing
picturesquely and at first hand with Western scenery and life, and
contains many a stroke of imaginative beauty. Of the half-dozen books
of tales and longer stories, 'Main-Traveled Roads,' Mr. Garland's
first collection of short stories, including work as striking as
anything he has done, gives vivid pastoral pictures of the Mississippi
Valley life. 'A Little Norsk' (1893), along with its realism in
sketching frontier scenes, possesses a fine romantic flavor. And 'Rose
of Dutcher's Coolly' (1895), decidedly his strongest full-length
fiction, is a delineation of Wisconsin rustic and urban life,
including a study of Chicago, daringly unconventional, but strong,
earnest, evidently drawn from the author's deepest experiences and
convictions. Other books of fiction are 'Jason Edwards,' 'A Member of
the Third House,' 'A Spoil of Office,' and 'Prairie Folks.'

Mr. Garland's work in its increasing command of art, its understanding
of and sincere sympathy with the life of the great toiling population
of the Middle West, and its unmistakable qualities of independence,
vigor, and ideality, is worthy of warm praise. A rich, large nature is
felt beneath his fiction. His literary creed is "truth for truth's
sake," and his conception of his art is broad enough to include love
of country and belief in his fellow-man.


From 'Prairie Songs.' Copyright 1893 by Hamlin Garland, and published
by Stone & Kimball

  Oh, to be lost in the wind and the sun,
    To be one with the wind and the stream!
  With never a care while the waters run,
    With never a thought in my dream.
  To be part of the robin's lilting call
    And part of the bobolink's rhyme.
  Lying close to the shy thrush singing alone,
    And lapped in the cricket's chime!

  Oh, to live with these beautiful ones!
    With the lust and the glory of man
  Lost in the circuit of springtime suns--
    Submissive as earth and part of her plan;
  To lie as the snake lies, content in the grass!
    To drift as the clouds drift, effortless, free,
  Glad of the power that drives them on,
    With never a question of wind or sea.


From 'Rose of Dutcher's Coolly.' Copyright 1895 by Hamlin Garland, and
published by Stone & Kimball

As the winter deepened, Rose narrowed the circle of conquest. She no
longer thought of conquering the world; it came to be the question of
winning the approbation of one human soul. That is, she wished to win
the approbation of the world in order that Warren Mason might smile
and say "Well done!"

She did not reach this state of mind smoothly and easily. On the
contrary, she had moments when she rebelled at the thought of any
man's opinion being the greatest good in the world to her. She
rebelled at the implied inferiority of her position in relation to
him, and also at the physical bondage implied. In the morning, when
she was strong, in the midst of some social success, when people
swarmed about her and men bent deferentially, then she held herself
like a soldier on a tower, defying capture.

But at night, when the lights were all out, when she felt her
essential loneliness and weakness and need, when the world seemed cold
and cruel and selfish,--then it seemed as if the sweetest thing in the
universe would be to have him open his arms and say "Come!"

There would be rest there, and repose. His judgment, his keen wit, his
penetrating, powerful influence, made him seem a giant to her; a giant
who disdained effort and gave out an appearance of indifference and
lassitude. She had known physical giants in her neighborhood, who
spoke in soft drawl and slouched lazily in action, but who were
invincible when aroused.

She imagined she perceived in Mason a mental giant, who assumed
irresolution and weakness for reasons of his own. He was always off
duty when she saw him, and bent more upon rest than a display of
power. Once or twice she saw him roused, and it thrilled her; that
measured lazy roll of voice changed to a quick, stern snarl, the brows
lowered, and the big plump face took on battle lines. It was like a
seemingly shallow pool, suddenly disclosed to be of soundless depths
by a wind of passion.

The lake had been the refuge of the distracted and restless girl. She
went to it often in the autumn days, for it rested her from the noise
of grinding wheels, and screams, and yells. Its smooth rise and fall,
its sparkle of white-caps, its sailing gulls, filled her with
delicious pleasure. It soothed her and it roused her also. It gave her
time to think.

The street disturbed her, left her purposeless and powerless; but out
there where the ships floated like shadows, and shadows shifted like
flame, and the wind was keen and sweet,--there she could get her
mental breath again. She watched it change to wintry desolation, till
it grew empty of vessels and was lonely as the Arctic Sea; and always
it was grand and thought-inspiring.

She went out one day in March, when the home longing was upon her and
when it seemed that the city would be her death. She was tired of her
food, tired of Mary, tired of her room. Her forehead was knotted
tensely with pain of life and love--

She cried out with sudden joy, for she had never seen the lake more
beautiful. Near the shore a great mass of churned and heaving ice and
snow lay like a robe of shaggy fur. Beyond this the deep water spread,
a vivid pea-green broken by wide irregular strips of dark purple. In
the open water by the wall a spatter of steel blue lay like the petals
of some strange flower, scattered upon the green.

Great splendid clouds developed, marvelously like the clouds of June,
making the girl's heart swell with memories of summer. They were white
as wool, these mountainous clouds, and bottomed in violet, and as they
passed the snow-fields they sent down pink-purple misty shadows, which
trailed away in splendor toward the green which flamed in bewildering
beauty beyond. The girl sat like one in a dream, while the wind blew
the green and purple of the outer sea into fantastic, flitting forms
which dazzled her eyes like the stream of mingled banners.

Each form seemed more beautiful than the preceding one; each
combination had such unearthly radiance, her heart ached with
exquisite sorrow to see it vanish. The girl felt that spring was
coming on the wing of the southern wind, and the desire to utter her
passion grew almost into pain.

It had other moods, this mighty spread of water. It could be angry,
dangerous. Sometimes it rolled sullenly, and convoluted in oily surges
beneath its coverlid of snow, like a bed of monstrous serpents.
Sometimes the leaden sky shut down over it, and from the desolate
northeast a snow-storm rushed, hissing and howling. Sometimes it
slumbered for days, quiet as a sleeping boa, then awoke and was a
presence and a voice in the night, fit to make the hardiest tremble.

Rose saw it when it was roused, but she had yet to see it in a frenzy.
The knowledge of its worst came to her early in May, just before her
return to the Coulé.

The day broke with the wind in the northeast. Rose, lying in her bed,
could hear the roar of the lake; never before had its voice penetrated
so far. She sprang up and dressed, eager to see it in such a mood.
Mary responded sleepily to her call, saying the lake would be there
after breakfast.

Rose did not regret her eagerness, though it was piercingly cold and
raw. The sea was already terrific. Its spread of tawny yellow showed
how it had reached down and laid hold on the sand of its bed. There
were oily splotches of plum color scattered over it where the wind
blew it smooth, and it reached to the wild east sky, cold, desolate,

It had a fierce, breathing snarl like a monster at meat. It leaped
against the sea-wall like a rabid tiger, its sleek and spotted hide
rolling. Every surge sent a triangular sheet of foam twenty-five feet
above the wall, yellow and white and shadowed with dull blue; and the
wind caught it as it rose, and its crest burst into great clouds of
spray, which sailed across the streets and dashed along the walk like
rain, making the roadway like a river; while the main body of each
upleaping wave, falling back astride the wall, crashed like the fall
of glass, and the next wave met it with a growl of thunderous rage,
striking it with concave palm with a sound like a cannon's exploding

Out of the appalling obscurity to the north, frightened ships scudded
at intervals, with bare masts bending like fire-trimmed pines. They
hastened like the homing pigeons, which do not look behind. The
helmsmen stood grimly at their wheels, with eyes on the harbor ahead.

The girl felt it all as no one native to the sea can possibly do. It
seemed as if the bounds of the flood had been overcome, and that it
was about to hurl itself upon the land. The slender trees, standing
deep in the swash of water, bowed like women in pain; the wall was
half hidden, and the flood and the land seemed mingled in battle.

Rose walked along the shore, too much excited to go back to her
breakfast. At noon she ate lunch hurriedly and returned to the shore.
There were hundreds of people coming and going along the drive; young
girls shrieking with glee, as the sailing clouds of spray fell upon
them. Rose felt angry to think they could be so silly in face of such
dreadful power.

She came upon Mason, dressed in a thick mackintosh coat, taking notes
rapidly in a little book. He did not look up, and she passed him,
wishing to speak, yet afraid to speak. Near him a young man was

Mason stood like a rock in his long, close-fitting rain coat, while
she was blown nearly off her feet by the blast. She came back against
the wind, feeling her soul's internal storm rising. It seemed quite
like a proposal of marriage to go up and speak to him--yet she could
not forego the pleasure.

He did not see her until she came into his lee; then he smiled,
extending his hand. She spoke first:--

"May I take shelter here?"

His eyes lightened with a sudden tender humor.

"Free anchorage," he said, and drew her by the hand closer to his
shoulder. It was a beautiful moment to her, and a dangerous one to
him. He took refuge in outside matters.

"How does that strike your inland eyes?" He pointed to the north.

"It's awful. It's like the anger of God." She spoke into his bowed

"Please don't think I'm reporting it," he explained. "I'm only making
a few notes about it for an editorial on the need of harbors."

Each moment the fury increased, the waves deepened. The commotion sank
down amid the sands of the deeper inshore water, and it boiled like
milk. Splendid colors grew into it near at hand; the winds tore at the
tops of the waves, and wove them into tawny banners, which blurred the
air like blown sand. On the horizon the waves leaped in savage ranks,
clutching at the sky like insane sea monsters,--frantic, futile.

"I've seen the Atlantic twice during a gale," shouted the artist to a
companion, "but I never saw anything more awful than this. These waves
are quicker and higher. I don't see how a vessel could live in it if
caught broadside."

"It's the worst I ever saw here."

"I'm going down to the south side: would you like to go?" Mason asked
of Rose.

"I would indeed," she replied.

Back from the lake shore the wind was less powerful but more
uncertain. It came in gusts which nearly upturned the street cars. Men
and women scudded from shelter to shelter, like beleaguered citizens
avoiding cannon shots.

"What makes our lake so terrible," said Mason in the car, "is the fact
that it has a smooth shore--no indentations, no harbors. There is only
one harbor here at Chicago, behind the breakwater, and every vessel in
mid-lake must come here. Those flying ships are seeking safety here
like birds. The harbor will be full of disabled vessels."

As they left the car, a roaring gust swept around a twenty-story
building with such power [that] Rose would have been taken off her
feet had not Mason put his arms about her shoulders.

"You're at a disadvantage," he said, "with skirts." He knew she prided
herself on her strength, and he took no credit to himself for standing
where she fell.

It was precisely as if they were alone together; the storm seemed to
wall them in, and his manner was more intimate than ever before. It
was in very truth the first time they had been out together, and also
it was the only time he had assumed any physical care of her. He had
never asserted his greater muscular power and mastery of material
things, and she was amazed to see that his lethargy was only a mood.
He could be alert and agile at need. It made his cynicism appear to be
a mood also; at least, it made her heart wondrously light to think so.

They came upon the lake shore again, near the Auditorium. The refuge
behind the breakwater was full of boats, straining at anchor, rolling,
pitching, crashing together. Close about the edge of the breakwater,
ships were rounding hurriedly, and two broken vessels lay against the
shore, threshing up and down in the awful grasp of the breakers. Far
down toward the south the water dashed against the spiles, shooting
fifty feet above the wall, sailing like smoke, deluging the street,
and lashing against the row of buildings across the way.

Mason's keen eye took in the situation:--

"Every vessel that breaks anchor is doomed! Nothing can keep them from
going on shore. Doubtless those two schooners lost anchor--that one
there is dragging anchor." He said suddenly, "She is shifting
position, and see that hulk--"

Rose for a moment could not see it. She lay flat on her side, a
two-master, her sails flapping and floating on the waves. Her anchor
still held, but she had listed her cargo, careened, and so lay

"There are men on it!" cried some one. "Three men--don't you see them?
The water goes over them every time!"

"Sure enough! I wonder if they are going to let them drown, here in
the harbor!"

Rose grew numb with horror. On the rounded side of the floating hulk
three men were clinging, looking like pegs of tops. They could only be
seen at intervals, for the water broke clear over their heads. It was
only when one of them began to move to and fro that the mighty crowd
became certainly aware of life still clinging to the hull. It was an
awful thing to stand helplessly by and see those brave men battle, but
no life-boat or tug could live out there. In the station, men wept and
imprecated in their despair; twice they tried to go to the rescue of
the beleaguered men, but could not reach them.

Suddenly a flare of yellow spread out on the wave. A cry arose:--

"She's breaking up!"

Rose seized Mason's arm in a frenzy of horror.

"O God! can't somebody help them?"

"They're out of reach!" said Mason solemnly. And then the throng was

"They are building a raft!" shouted a man with a glass, speaking at
intervals for the information of all. "One man is tying a rope to
planks; ... he is helping the other men; ... he has his little raft
nearly ready; ... they are crawling toward him--"

"Oh, see them!" exclaimed Rose. "Oh, the brave men! There! they are
gone--the vessel has broken up."

On the wave nothing now lived but a yellow spread of lumber; the glass
revealed no living thing.

Mason turned to Rose with a grave and tender look.

"You have seen human beings engulfed like flies--"

"No! no! There they are!" shouted a hundred voices, as if in answer to
Mason's thought.

Thereafter the whole great city seemed to be watching those specks of
human life, drifting toward almost certain death upon the breakwater
of the south shore. For miles the beach was clustered black with
people. They stood there, it seemed for hours, watching the slow
approach of that tiny raft. Again and again the waves swept over it,
and each time that indomitable man rose from the flood and was seen to
pull his companions aboard.

Other vessels drifted upon the rocks. Other steamers rolled heavily
around the long breakwater, but nothing now distracted the gaze of the
multitude from this appalling and amazing struggle against death.
Nothing? No; once and only once did the onlookers shift their intent
gaze, and that was when a vessel passed the breakwater and went
sailing toward the south through the fleet of anchored, straining,
agonized ships. At first no one paid much attention to this late-comer
till Mason lifted his voice.

"By Heaven, the man is _sailing_!"

It was true; steady, swift, undeviating, the vessel headed through the
fleet. She did not drift nor wander nor hesitate. She sailed as if the
helmsman, with set teeth, were saying:--

"By God! If I must die on the rocks, I'll go to my death the captain
of my vessel!"

And so with wheel in his hand and epic oaths in his mouth, he sailed
directly into the long row of spiles, over which the waves ran like
hell-hounds; where half a score of wrecks lay already churning into
fragments in the awful tumult.

The sailing vessel seemed not to waver, nor seek nor dodge--seemed
rather to choose the most deadly battle-place of waves and wall.

"God! but that's magnificent of him!" Mason said to himself.

Rose held her breath, her face white and set with horror.

"Oh, must he die?"

"There is no hope for him. She will strike in a moment--she
strikes!--she is gone!"

The vessel entered the gray confusion of the breakers and struck the
piles like a battering-ram; the waves buried her from sight; then the
recoil flung her back; for the first time she swung broadside to the
storm. The work of the helmsman was over. She reeled--resisted an
instant, then submitted to her fate, crumbled against the pitiless
wall like paper, and thereafter was lost to sight.

This dramatic and terrible scene had held the attention of the
onlookers--once more they searched for the tiny raft. It was nearing
the lake wall at another furious point of contact. An innumerable
crowd spread like a black robe over the shore, waiting to see the tiny
float strike.

A hush fell over every voice. Each soul was solemn as if facing the
Maker of the world. Out on the point, just where the doomed sailors
seemed like to strike, there was a little commotion. A tiny figure was
seen perched on one of the spiles. Each wave, as it towered above him,
seemed ready to sweep him away, but each time he bowed his head and
seemed to sweep through the gray wall. He was a negro, and he held a
rope in his hands.

As they comprehended his danger the crowd cheered him, but in the
thunder of the surf no human voice could avail. The bold negro could
not cry out, he could only motion; but the brave man on the raft saw
his purpose--he was alone with the shipwrecked ones.

In they came, lifted and hurled by a prodigious swell. They struck the
wall just beneath the negro and disappeared beneath the waves.

All seemed over, and some of the spectators fell weeping; others
turned away.

Suddenly the indomitable commander of the raft rose, then his
companions, and then it was perceived that he had bound them all to
the raft.

The negro flung his rope and one man caught at it, but it was swept
out of reach on a backward-leaping billow. Again they came in, their
white, strained, set faces and wild eyes turned to the intrepid
rescuer. Again they struck, and this time the negro caught and held
one of the sailors, held him while the foam fell away, and the
succeeding wave swept him over the spiles to safety. Again the
resolute man flung his noose and caught the second sailor, whose rope
was cut by the leader, the captain, who was last to be saved.

As the negro came back, dragging his third man over the wall, a mighty
cry went up, a strange, faint, multitudinous cry, and the negro was
swallowed up in the multitude.

Mason turned to Rose and spoke: "Sometimes men seem to be worth



[Illustration: ELIZABETH S. GASKELL]

Critics agree in placing the novels of Mrs. Gaskell on a level with
the works of Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronté. It is more than
probable that future generations will turn to her stories for correct
pictures of simple every-day life that must fade in the swift
succession of years. She has been compared to a naturalist who knows
intimately the flora and fauna of his native heath.

Elizabeth Cleghorn Stevenson was born in Chelsea, England, September
29th, 1810, the daughter of William Stevenson, a literary man,
who was keeper of the records of the Treasury. She lived with her
aunt at Knutsford in Cheshire, was sent to a private school in
Stratford-on-Avon, and visited London and Edinburgh, where her beauty
was much admired. In 1832 she was married to the Rev. William Gaskell,
minister of a Unitarian chapel in Manchester. Mrs. Gaskell did not
begin to write until she had reached middle age, and then chiefly to
distract her thoughts after the death of their only son in 1844. Her
first book, 'Mary Barton,' published anonymously in 1848, achieved
extraordinary success. This was a "novel with a purpose," for Mrs.
Gaskell believed that the hostility between employers and employed,
which constantly disturbed the manufacturing beehive of Manchester,
was caused by mutual ignorance. She therefore set herself the task of
depicting faithfully the lives of the people around her. It must be
remembered, too, that the social types chosen by her were at that
moment peculiarly interesting to a public weary of the novel of
fashionable high life. The story provoked much public discussion; and
among other critics, the social economist Mr. W. R. Greg, in his
'Essay on Mary Barton,' published in 1849, took the part of the
manufacturer. 'Mary Barton' has been translated into French, German,
and other languages, including Hungarian and Finnish. The story has
for its central theme the gradual degeneration of John Barton, a
workman who has a passionate hatred of the classes above him, and who,
embittered by poverty and the death of his son and wife, joins the
law-breakers of the town, and finally murders Henry Corson, a master
manufacturer. 'North and South,' published in 1855, was written from
the point of view of the masters, an admirable contrast to Barton
being found in Thornton, the hero of this novel.

In 1850, when Dickens was about to establish Household Words, he
invited Mrs. Gaskell to contribute. This magazine contained her story
'Lizzie Leigh' and those immortal pictures of village life known as
'Cranford.' Mrs. Gaskell's other novels are: 'Ruth,' the tragical
story of a pretty young milliner's apprentice; 'Sylvia's Lovers,'
whose scene is Monkhaven (Whitby), at the end of the last century;
'Cousin Phillis,' a simple story of a farmer's daughter, which
appeared first in the Cornhill Magazine in 1863-64; and 'Wives and
Daughters,' also contributed to the Cornhill, and left unfinished by
her death in Manchester, November 12th, 1865. By many persons the last
novel is considered her best work, owing to its strength of
characterization. Molly Gibson, the heroine; Cynthia, a heartless
coquette; Squire Hamley and his sons Roger and Osborne, of Hamley
Hall; and the Earl of Cumnor and his family at the Towers,--all are
treated with impartial skill. Her famous 'Life of Charlotte Bronté'
appeared in 1857. She became acquainted with Miss Bronté in 1850, and
they were friends at once.

A collected edition of Mrs. Gaskell's works, published in seven
volumes in 1873, includes the short stories 'The Grey Woman,' 'Morton
Hall,' 'Mr. Harrison's Confessions,' 'A Dark Night's Work,' 'The
Moorland Cottage,' 'Round the Sofa,' 'The Old Nurse's Story,' 'The
Well of Pen-Morfa,' 'The Sexton's Hero,' 'Lois the Witch,' and others.
Cranford is identified as the town of Knutsford. Its population
consists of widows and maiden ladies, in bonds to their ancient
gentility. With deft touch Mrs. Gaskell brings out the humor and
pathos of these quaint characters, her finest creation being Miss
Matty Jenkyns.


From 'Cranford'

In the first place, Cranford is in possession of the Amazons; all the
holders of houses, above a certain rent, are women. If a married
couple come to settle in the town, somehow the gentleman disappears;
he is either fairly frightened to death by being the only man in the
Cranford evening parties, or he is accounted for by being with his
regiment, his ship, or closely engaged in business all the week in the
great neighboring commercial town of Drumble, distant only twenty
miles on a railroad. In short, whatever does become of the gentlemen,
they are not at Cranford. What could they do if they were there? The
surgeon has his round of thirty miles, and sleeps at Cranford; but
every man cannot be a surgeon. For keeping the trim gardens full of
choice flowers without a weed to speck them; for frightening away
little boys who look wistfully at the said flowers through the
railings; for rushing out at the geese that occasionally venture into
the gardens if the gates are left open; for deciding all questions of
literature and politics without troubling themselves with unnecessary
reasons or arguments; for obtaining clear and correct knowledge of
everybody's affairs in the parish; for keeping their neat
maid-servants in admirable order; for kindness (somewhat dictatorial)
to the poor, and real tender good offices to each other whenever they
are in distress,--the ladies of Cranford are quite sufficient. "A
man," as one of them observed to me once, "is _so_ in the way in the
house!" Although the ladies of Cranford know all each other's
proceedings, they are exceedingly indifferent to each other's
opinions. Indeed, as each has her own individuality, not to say
eccentricity, pretty strongly developed, nothing is so easy as verbal
retaliation; but somehow, good-will reigns among them to a
considerable degree.

The Cranford ladies have only an occasional little quarrel, spurted
out in a few peppery words and angry jerks of the heads; just enough
to prevent the even tenor of their lives from becoming too flat. Their
dress is very independent of fashion: as they observe, "What does it
signify how we dress here at Cranford, where everybody knows us?" And
if they go from home, their reason is equally cogent: "What does it
signify how we dress here, where nobody knows us?" The materials of
their clothes are in general good and plain, and most of them are
nearly as scrupulous as Miss Tyler of cleanly memory; but I will
answer for it, the last gigot, the last tight and scanty petticoat in
wear in England, was seen in Cranford--and seen without a smile.

I can testify to a magnificent family red-silk umbrella, under which a
gentle little spinster, left alone of many brothers and sisters, used
to patter to church on rainy days. Have you any red-silk umbrellas in
London? We had a tradition of the first that had ever been seen in
Cranford; and the little boys mobbed it, and called it "a stick in
petticoats." It might have been the very red-silk one I have
described, held by a strong father over a troop of little ones; the
poor little lady--the survivor of all--could scarcely carry it.

Then there were rules and regulations for visiting and calls; and they
were announced to any young people who might be staying in the town,
with all the solemnity with which the old Manx laws were read once a
year on the Tinwald Mount.

"Our friends have sent to inquire how you are after your journey
to-night, my dear" (fifteen miles in a gentleman's carriage); "they
will give you some rest to-morrow, but the next day, I have no doubt,
they will call; so be at liberty after twelve--from twelve to three
are our calling hours."

Then, after they had called:--

"It is the third day: I daresay your mamma has told you, my dear,
never to let more than three days elapse between receiving a call and
returning it; and also, that you are never to stay longer than a
quarter of an hour."

"But am I to look at my watch? How am I to find out when a quarter of
an hour has passed?"

"You must keep thinking about the time, my dear, and not allow
yourself to forget it in conversation."

As everybody had this rule in their minds, whether they received or
paid a call, of course no absorbing subject was ever spoken about. We
kept ourselves to short sentences of small-talk, and were punctual to
our time.

I imagine that a few of the gentlefolks of Cranford were poor, and had
some difficulty in making both ends meet; but they were like the
Spartans, and concealed their smart under a smiling face. We none of
us spoke of money, because that subject savored of commerce and trade,
and though some might be poor, we were all aristocratic. The
Cranfordians had that kindly _esprit de corps_ which made them
overlook all deficiencies in success when some among them tried to
conceal their poverty. When Mrs. Forrester, for instance, gave a party
in her baby-house of a dwelling, and the little maiden disturbed the
ladies on the sofa by a request that she might get the tea-tray out
from underneath, every one took this novel proceeding as the most
natural thing in the world, and talked on about household forms and
ceremonies as if we all believed that our hostess had a regular
servants' hall, second table, with housekeeper and steward, instead of
the one little charity-school maiden, whose short ruddy arms could
never have been strong enough to carry the tray up-stairs if she had
not been assisted in private by her mistress, who now sat in state,
pretending not to know what cakes were sent up, though she knew, and
we knew, and she knew that we knew, and we knew that she knew that we
knew, she had been busy all the morning making tea-bread and

There were one or two consequences arising from this general but
unacknowledged poverty and this very much acknowledged gentility,
which were not amiss, and which might be introduced into many circles
of society to their great improvement. For instance, the inhabitants
of Cranford kept early hours, and clattered home in their pattens
under the guidance of a lantern-bearer about nine o'clock at night;
and the whole town was abed and asleep by half-past ten. Moreover, it
was considered "vulgar" (a tremendous word in Cranford) to give
anything expensive in the way of eatable or drinkable, at the evening
entertainments. Wafer bread and butter and sponge-biscuits were all
that the Honorable Mrs. Jamieson gave; and she was sister-in-law to
the late Earl of Glenmire, although she did practice such "elegant

"Elegant economy!" How naturally one falls back into the phraseology
of Cranford! There, economy was always "elegant," and money-spending
always "vulgar and ostentatious"; a sort of sour-grapeism which made
us very peaceful and satisfied. I never shall forget the dismay felt
when a certain Captain Brown came to live at Cranford, and openly
spoke about his being poor--not in a whisper to an intimate friend,
the doors and windows being previously closed, but in the public
street! in a loud military voice! alleging his poverty as a reason for
not taking a particular house. The ladies of Cranford were already
rather moaning over the invasion of their territories by a man and a
gentleman. He was a half-pay captain, and had obtained some situation
on a neighboring railroad, which had been vehemently petitioned
against by the little town; and if in addition to his masculine gender
and his connection with the obnoxious railroad, he was so brazen as to
talk of being poor--why then indeed he must be sent to Coventry. Death
was as true and as common as poverty; yet people never spoke about
that, loud out in the streets. It was a word not to be mentioned to
ears polite. We had tacitly agreed to ignore that any with whom we
associated on terms of visiting equality could ever be prevented by
poverty from doing anything that they wished. If we walked to or from
a party, it was because the night was _so_ fine, or the air _so_
refreshing; not because sedan-chairs were expensive. If we wore prints
instead of summer silks, it was because we preferred a washing
material; and so on, till we blinded ourselves to the vulgar fact that
we were all of us people of very moderate means. Of course, then, we
did not know what to make of a man who could speak of poverty as if it
was not a disgrace. Yet somehow Captain Brown made himself respected
in Cranford, and was called upon, in spite of all resolutions to the
contrary. I was surprised to hear his opinions quoted as authority at
a visit which I paid to Cranford about a year after he had settled in
the town. My own friends had been among the bitterest opponents of any
proposal to visit the captain and his daughters only twelve months
before; and now he was even admitted in the tabooed hours before
twelve. True, it was to discover the cause of a smoking chimney,
before the fire was lighted; but still Captain Brown walked up-stairs,
nothing daunted, spoke in a voice too large for the room, and joked
quite in the way of a tame man about the house. He had been blind to
all the small slights, and omissions of trivial ceremonies, with which
he had been received. He had been friendly, though the Cranford ladies
had been cool; he had answered small sarcastic compliments in good
faith; and with his manly frankness had overpowered all the shrinking
which met him as a man who was not ashamed to be poor. And at last his
excellent masculine common-sense, and his facility in devising
expedients to overcome domestic dilemmas, had gained him an
extraordinary place as authority among the Cranford ladies. He himself
went on in his course, as unaware of his popularity as he had been of
the reverse....

I wondered what the Cranford ladies did with Captain Brown at their
parties. We had often rejoiced, in former days, that there was no
gentleman to be attended to and to find conversation for, at the card
parties. We had congratulated ourselves upon the snugness of the
evenings, and in our love for gentility and distaste of mankind we had
almost persuaded ourselves that to be a man was to be "vulgar"; so
that when I found my friend and hostess Miss Jenkyns was going to have
a party in my honor, and that Captain and the Miss Browns were
invited, I wondered much what would be the course of the evening. Card
tables, with green-baize tops, were set out by daylight, just as
usual: it was the third week in November, so the evenings closed in
about four. Candles and clean packs of cards were arranged on each
table. The fire was made up; the neat maid-servant had received her
last directions: and there we stood, dressed in our best, each with a
candle-lighter in our hands, ready to dart at the candles as soon as
the first knock came. Parties in Cranford were solemn festivities,
making the ladies feel gravely elated as they sat together in their
best dresses. As soon as three had arrived, we sat down to Preference,
I being the unlucky fourth. The next four comers were put down
immediately to another table; and presently the tea-trays, which I had
seen set out in the store-room as I passed in the morning, were placed
each on the middle of a card table. The china was delicate egg-shell;
the old-fashioned silver glittered with polishing; but the eatables
were of the slightest description.

While the trays were yet on the tables, Captain and the Miss Browns
came in; and I could see that, somehow or other, the captain was a
favorite with all the ladies present. Ruffled brows were smoothed,
sharp voices lowered at his approach. Miss Brown looked ill, and
depressed almost to gloom. Miss Jessie smiled as usual, and seemed
nearly as popular as her father. He immediately and quietly assumed
the man's place in the room; attended to every one's wants, lessened
the pretty maid-servant's labor by waiting on empty cups and
bread-and-butterless ladies; and yet did it all in so easy and
dignified a manner, and so much as if it were a matter of course for
the strong to attend to the weak, that he was a true man throughout.
He played for threepenny points with as grave an interest as if they
had been pounds; and yet in all his attention to strangers he had an
eye on his suffering daughter--for suffering I was sure she was,
though to many eyes she might only appear to be irritable. Miss Jessie
could not play cards, but she talked to the sitters-out, who before
her coming had been rather inclined to be cross. She sang, too, to an
old cracked piano which I think had been a spinet in its youth. Miss
Jessie sang 'Jock o' Hazeldean' a little out of tune; but we were none
of us musical, though Miss Jenkyns beat time, out of time, by way of
appearing to be so.

It was very good of Miss Jenkyns to do this; for I had seen that, a
little before, she had been a good deal annoyed by Miss Jessie Brown's
unguarded admission (àpropos of Shetland wool) that she had an uncle,
her mother's brother, who was a shopkeeper in Edinburgh. Miss
Jenkyns tried to drown this confession by a terrible cough--for the
Honorable Mrs. Jamieson was sitting at the card table nearest Miss
Jessie, and what would she say or think if she found out that she was
in the same room with a shopkeeper's niece! But Miss Jessie Brown (who
had no tact, as we all agreed the next morning) _would_ repeat the
information, and assure Miss Pole she could easily get her the
identical Shetland wool required "through my uncle, who has the best
assortment of Shetland goods of any one in Edinbro'." It was to take
the taste of this out of our mouths, and the sound of this out of our
ears, that Miss Jenkyns proposed music: so I say again, it was very
good of her to beat time to the song.

When the trays reappeared with biscuits and wine, punctually at a
quarter to nine, there was conversation, comparing of cards, and
talking over tricks; but by-and-by Captain Brown sported a bit of

"Have you seen any numbers of 'The Pickwick Papers'?" said he. (They
were then publishing in parts.) "Capital thing!"

Now, Miss Jenkyns was daughter of a deceased rector of Cranford, and
on the strength of a number of manuscript sermons and a pretty good
library of divinity considered herself literary, and looked upon any
conversation about books as a challenge to her. So she answered and
said, "Yes, she had seen them; indeed, she might say she had read

"And what do you think of them?" exclaimed Captain Brown. "Aren't they
famously good?"

So urged, Miss Jenkyns could not but speak.

"I must say, I don't think they are by any means equal to Dr. Johnson.
Still, perhaps, the author is young. Let him persevere, and who knows
what he may become if he will take the great Doctor for his model."

This was evidently too much for Captain Brown to take placidly; and I
saw the words on the tip of his tongue before Miss Jenkyns had
finished her sentence.

"It is quite a different sort of thing, my dear madam," he began.

"I am quite aware of that," returned she; "and I make allowances,
Captain Brown."

"Just allow me to read you a scene out of this month's number,"
pleaded he. "I had it only this morning, and I don't think the company
can have read it yet."

"As you please," said she, settling herself with an air of
resignation. He read the account of the "swarry" which Sam Weller gave
at Bath. Some of us laughed heartily. I did not dare, because I was
staying in the house. Miss Jenkyns sat in patient gravity. When it was
ended, she turned to me, and said, with mild dignity:--

"Fetch me 'Rasselas,' my dear, out of the book-room."

When I brought it to her, she turned to Captain Brown:--

"Now allow _me_ to read you a scene, and then the present company can
judge between your favorite Mr. Boz and Dr. Johnson."

She read one of the conversations between Rasselas and Imlac, in a
high-pitched, majestic voice; and when she had ended she said, "I
imagine I am now justified in my preference of Dr. Johnson as a writer
of fiction." The captain screwed his lips up, and drummed on the
table, but he did not speak. She thought she would give a finishing
blow or two.

"I consider it vulgar, and below the dignity of literature, to publish
in numbers."

"How was The Rambler published, ma'am?" asked Captain Brown, in a low
voice, which I think Miss Jenkyns could not have heard.

"Dr. Johnson's style is a model for young beginners. My father
recommended it to me when I began to write letters--I have formed my
own style upon it; I recommend it to your favorite."

"I should be very sorry for him to exchange his style for any such
pompous writing," said Captain Brown.

Miss Jenkyns felt this as a personal affront, in a way of which the
captain had not dreamed. Epistolary writing she and her friends
considered as her _forte_. Many a copy of many a letter have I seen
written and corrected on the slate, before she "seized the half-hour
just previous to post-time to assure her friends" of this or that; and
Dr. Johnson was, as she said, her model in these compositions. She
drew herself up with dignity, and only replied to Captain Brown's last
remark by saying, with marked emphasis on every syllable, "I prefer
Dr. Johnson to Mr. Boz."

It is said--I won't vouch for the fact--that Captain Brown was heard
to say, _sotto voce_, "D----n Dr. Johnson!" If he did, he was penitent
afterwards, as he showed by going to stand near Miss Jenkyns's
arm-chair, and endeavoring to beguile her into conversation on some
more pleasing subject. But she was inexorable.


From 'Cranford'

One morning, as Miss Matty and I sat at our work--it was before twelve
o'clock, and Miss Matty had not changed the cap with yellow ribbons
that had been Miss Jenkyns's best, and which Miss Matty was now
wearing out in private, putting on the one made in imitation of Mrs.
Jamieson's at all times when she expected to be seen--Martha came up,
and asked if Miss Betty Barker might speak to her mistress. Miss Matty
assented, and quickly disappeared to change the yellow ribbons while
Miss Barker came up-stairs; but as she had forgotten her spectacles,
and was rather flurried by the unusual time of the visit, I was not
surprised to see her return with one cap on the top of the other. She
was quite unconscious of it herself, and looked at us with bland
satisfaction. Nor do I think Miss Barker perceived it; for putting
aside the little circumstance that she was not so young as she had
been, she was very much absorbed in her errand, which she delivered
herself of with an oppressive modesty that found vent in endless

Miss Betty Barker was the daughter of the old clerk at Cranford who
had officiated in Mr. Jenkyns's time. She and her sister had had
pretty good situations as ladies'-maids, and had saved money enough to
set up a milliner's shop, which had been patronized by the ladies in
the neighborhood. Lady Arley, for instance, would occasionally give
Miss Barkers the pattern of an old cap of hers, which they immediately
copied and circulated among the _élite_ of Cranford. I say the
_élite_, for Miss Barkers had caught the trick of the place, and
piqued themselves upon their "aristocratic connection." They would not
sell their caps and ribbons to any one without a pedigree. Many a
farmer's wife or daughter turned away huffed from Miss Barkers' select
millinery, and went rather to the universal shop, where the profits of
brown soap and moist sugar enabled the proprietor to go straight to
(Paris, he said, until he found his customers too patriotic and
John-Bullish to wear what the Mounseers wore) London, where, as he
often told his customers, Queen Adelaide had appeared only the very
week before in a cap exactly like the one he showed them, trimmed with
yellow and blue ribbons, and had been complimented by King William on
the becoming nature of her head-dress.

Miss Barkers, who confined themselves to truth and did not approve of
miscellaneous customers, throve notwithstanding. They were
self-denying, good people. Many a time have I seen the eldest of them
(she that had been maid to Mrs. Jamieson) carrying out some delicate
mess to a poor person. They only aped their betters in having "nothing
to do" with the class immediately below theirs. And when Miss Barker
died, their profits and income were found to be such that Miss Betty
was justified in shutting up shop and retiring from business. She also
(as I think I have before said) set up her cow,--a mark of
respectability in Cranford almost as decided as setting up a gig is
among some people. She dressed finer than any lady in Cranford, and we
did not wonder at it; for it was understood that she was wearing out
all the bonnets and caps and outrageous ribbons which had once formed
her stock in trade. It was five or six years since she had given up
shop, so in any other place than Cranford her dress might have been
considered _passé_.

And now Miss Betty Barker had called to invite Miss Matty to tea at
her house on the following Tuesday. She gave me also an impromptu
invitation, as I happened to be a visitor--though I could see she had
a little fear lest, since my father had gone to live in Drumble, he
might have engaged in that "horrid cotton trade," and so dragged his
family down out of "aristocratic society." She prefaced this
invitation with so many apologies that she quite excited my curiosity.
"Her presumption" was to be excused. What had she been doing? She
seemed so overpowered by it, I could only think that she had been
writing to Queen Adelaide to ask for a receipt for washing lace; but
the act which she so characterized was only an invitation she had
carried to her sister's former mistress, Mrs. Jamieson. "Her former
occupation considered, could Miss Matty excuse the liberty?" Ah!
thought I, she has found out that double cap, and is going to rectify
Miss Matty's head-dress. No; it was simply to extend her invitation to
Miss Matty and to me. Miss Matty bowed acceptance; and I wondered that
in the graceful action she did not feel the unusual weight and
extraordinary height of her head-dress. But I do not think she did,
for she recovered her balance, and went on talking to Miss Betty in a
kind, condescending manner, very different from the fidgety way she
would have had if she had suspected how singular her appearance was.

"Mrs. Jamieson is coming, I think you said?" asked Miss Matty.

"Yes. Mrs. Jamieson most kindly and condescendingly said she would be
happy to come. One little stipulation she made, that she should bring
Carlo. I told her that if I had a weakness, it was for dogs."

"And Miss Pole?" questioned Miss Matty, who was thinking of her pool
at Preference, in which Carlo would not be available as a partner.

"I am going to ask Miss Pole. Of course, I could not think of asking
her until I had asked you, madam--the rector's daughter, madam.
Believe me, I do not forget the situation my father held under yours."

"And Mrs. Forrester, of course?"

"And Mrs. Forrester. I thought, in fact, of going to her before I went
to Miss Pole. Although her circumstances are changed, madam, she was
born a Tyrrell, and we can never forget her alliance to the Bigges of
Bigelow Hall."

Miss Matty cared much more for the little circumstance of her being a
very good card-player. Miss Barker looked at me with sidelong dignity,
as much as to say, although a retired milliner, she was no democrat,
and understood the difference of ranks.

"May I beg you to come as near half-past six to my little dwelling as
possible, Miss Matilda? Mrs. Jamieson dines at five, but has kindly
promised not to delay her visit beyond that time--half-past six." And
with a swimming curtsy Miss Betty Barker took her leave....

The spring evenings were getting bright and long, when three or four
ladies in calashes met at Miss Barker's door. Do you know what a
calash is? It is a covering worn over caps, not unlike the heads
fastened on old-fashioned gigs; but sometimes it is not quite so
large. This kind of head-gear always made an awful impression on the
children in Cranford; and now two or three left off their play in the
quiet sunny little street, and gathered in wondering silence round
Miss Pole, Miss Matty, and myself. We were silent too, so that we
could hear loud suppressed whispers inside Miss Barker's house: "Wait,
Peggy! wait till I've run up-stairs and washed my hands. When I cough,
open the door; I'll not be a minute."

And true enough, it was not a minute before we heard a noise, between
a sneeze and a crow; on which the door flew open. Behind it stood a
round-eyed maiden, all aghast at the honorable company of calashes,
who marched in without a word. She recovered presence of mind enough
to usher us into a small room, which had been a shop, but was now
converted into a temporary dressing-room. There we unpinned and shook
ourselves, and arranged our features before the glass into a sweet and
gracious company face; and then, bowing backwards with "After you,
ma'am," we allowed Mrs. Forrester to take precedence up the narrow
staircase that led to Miss Barker's drawing-room. There she sat, as
stately and composed as though we had never heard that odd-sounding
cough, from which her throat must have been even then sore and rough.
Kind, gentle, shabbily dressed Mrs. Forrester was immediately
conducted to the second place of honor--a seat arranged something like
Prince Albert's near the Queen's--good, but not so good. The place of
pre-eminence was of course reserved for the Honorable Mrs. Jamieson,
who presently came panting up the stairs--Carlo rushing round her on
her progress, as if he meant to trip her up.

And now Miss Betty Barker was a proud and happy woman! She stirred the
fire, and shut the door, and sat as near to it as she could, quite on
the edge of her chair. When Peggy came in, tottering under the weight
of the tea-tray, I noticed that Miss Barker was sadly afraid lest
Peggy should not keep her distance sufficiently. She and her mistress
were on very familiar terms in their every-day intercourse, and Peggy
wanted now to make several little confidences to her, which Miss
Barker was on thorns to hear, but which she thought it her duty as a
lady to repress. So she turned away from all Peggy's asides and signs;
but she made one or two very malapropos answers to what was said; and
at last, seized with a bright idea, she exclaimed, "Poor sweet Carlo!
I'm forgetting him. Come down-stairs with me, poor little doggie, and
it shall have its tea, it shall!"

In a few minutes she returned, bland and benignant as before; but I
thought she had forgotten to give the "poor little doggie" anything to
eat, judging by the avidity with which he swallowed down chance pieces
of cake. The tea tray was abundantly laden--I was pleased to see it, I
was so hungry; but I was afraid the ladies present might think it
vulgarly heaped up. I know they would have done at their own houses;
but somehow the heaps disappeared here. I saw Mrs. Jamieson eating
seed-cake slowly and considerately, as she did everything; and I was
rather surprised, for I knew she had told us on the occasion of her
last party that she never had it in her house, it reminded her so much
of scented soap. She always gave us Savoy biscuits. However, Mrs.
Jamieson, kindly indulgent to Miss Barker's want of knowledge of the
customs of high life, and to spare her feelings, ate three large
pieces of seed-cake, with a placid, ruminating expression of
countenance, not unlike a cow's.

After tea there was some little demur and difficulty. We were six in
number; four could play at Preference, and for the other two there was
Cribbage. But all except myself (I was rather afraid of the Cranford
ladies at cards, for it was the most earnest and serious business they
ever engaged in) were anxious to be of the "pool." Even Miss Barker,
while declaring she did not know Spadille from Manille, was evidently
hankering to take a hand. The dilemma was soon put an end to by a
singular kind of noise. If a baron's daughter-in-law could ever be
supposed to snore, I should have said Mrs. Jamieson did so then; for
overcome by the heat of the room, and inclined to doze by nature, the
temptation of that very comfortable arm-chair had been too much for
her, and Mrs. Jamieson was nodding. Once or twice she opened her eyes
with an effort, and calmly but unconsciously smiled upon us; but
by-and-by even her benevolence was not equal to this exertion, and she
was sound asleep.

"It is very gratifying to me," whispered Miss Barker at the card table
to her three opponents, whom notwithstanding her ignorance of the game
she was "basting" most unmercifully--"very gratifying indeed, to see
how completely Mrs. Jamieson feels at home in my poor little dwelling;
she could not have paid me a greater compliment."

Miss Barker provided me with some literature, in the shape of three or
four handsomely bound fashion-books ten or twelve years old;
observing, as she put a little table and a candle for my special
benefit, that she knew young people liked to look at pictures. Carlo
lay and snorted and started at his mistress's feet. He too was quite
at home.

The card table was an animated scene to watch: four ladies' heads,
with niddle-noddling caps, all nearly meeting over the middle of the
table in their eagerness to whisper quick enough and loud enough; and
every now and then came Miss Barker's "Hush, ladies! if you please,
hush! Mrs. Jamieson is asleep."

It was very difficult to steer clear between Mrs. Forrester's deafness
and Mrs. Jamieson's sleepiness. But Miss Barker managed her arduous
task well. She repeated the whisper to Mrs. Forrester, distorting her
face considerably in order to show by the motions of her lips what was
said; and then she smiled kindly all round at us, and murmured to
herself, "Very gratifying indeed; I wish my poor sister had been alive
to see this day."

Presently the door was thrown wide open; Carlo started to his feet
with a loud snapping bark, and Mrs. Jamieson awoke; or perhaps she had
not been asleep--as she said almost directly, the room had been so
light she had been glad to keep her eyes shut, but had been listening
with great interest to all our amusing and agreeable conversation.
Peggy came in once more, red with importance. Another tray! "O
gentility!" thought I, "can you endure this last shock?" For Miss
Barker had ordered (nay, I doubt not prepared, although she did say,
"Why! Peggy, what have you brought us?" and looked pleasantly
surprised at the unexpected pleasure) all sorts of good things for
supper--scalloped oysters, potted lobsters, jelly, a dish called
"little Cupids" (which was in great favor with the Cranford ladies,
although too expensive to be given except on solemn and state
occasions--macaroons sopped in brandy, I should have called it, if I
had not known its more refined and classical name). In short, we were
evidently to be feasted with all that was sweetest and best; and we
thought it better to submit graciously, even at the cost of our
gentility--which never ate suppers in general, but which, like most
non-supper-eaters, was particularly hungry on all special occasions.

Miss Barker in her former sphere had, I daresay, been made acquainted
with the beverage they call cherry brandy. We none of us had ever seen
such a thing, and rather shrank back when she proffered it us--"just a
little, leetle glass, ladies; after the oysters and lobsters, you
know. Shell-fish are sometimes thought not very wholesome." We all
shook our heads like female mandarins; but at last Mrs. Jamieson
suffered herself to be persuaded, and we followed her lead. It was not
exactly unpalatable, though so hot and so strong that we thought
ourselves bound to give evidence that we were not accustomed to such
things by coughing terribly--almost as strangely as Miss Barker had
done, before we were admitted by Peggy.

"It's very strong," said Miss Pole, as she put down her empty glass;
"I do believe there's spirit in it."

"Only a little drop--just necessary to make it keep," said Miss
Barker. "You know we put brandy paper over preserves to make them
keep. I often feel tipsy myself from eating damson tart."

I question whether damson tart would have opened Mrs. Jamieson's heart
as the cherry brandy did; but she told us of a coming event,
respecting which she had been quite silent till that moment.

"My sister-in-law, Lady Glenmire, is coming to stay with me." There
was a chorus of "Indeed!" and then a pause. Each one rapidly reviewed
her wardrobe, as to its fitness to appear in the presence of a baron's
widow; for of course a series of small festivals were always held in
Cranford on the arrival of a visitor at any of our friends' houses. We
felt very pleasantly excited on the present occasion.

Not long after this, the maids and the lanterns were announced. Mrs.
Jamieson had the sedan-chair, which squeezed itself into Miss Barker's
narrow lobby with some difficulty, and most literally "stopped the
way." It required some skillful manoeuvring on the part of the old
chairmen (shoemakers by day, but when summoned to carry the sedan,
dressed up in a strange old livery--long greatcoats with small capes,
coeval with the sedan and similar to the dress of the class in
Hogarth's pictures) to edge, and back, and try at it again, and
finally to succeed in carrying their burden out of Miss Barker's front
door. Then we heard their pit-a-pat along the quiet little street, as
we put on our calashes and pinned up our gowns; Miss Barker hovering
about us with offers of help, which if she had not remembered her
former occupation, and wished us to forget it, would have been much
more pressing.





Théophile Gautier was born in Tarbes (Department of the
Hautes-Pyrénées) in Southern France, August 31st, 1811. Like all
French boys, he was sent to the lycée (academy), where he promised to
be a brilliant scholar; but his father was really his tutor, and to
him Gautier attributed his instruction. Young Théophile showed marked
preference for the so-called authors of the Decadence--Claudianus,
Martial, Petronius, and others; also for the old French writers,
especially Villon and Rabelais, whom he says he knew by heart. This is
significant, in view of the young man's strong tendencies, later on,
towards the new romantic school. The artistic temperament was very
strong in him; and while still carrying on his studies at college he
entered the painter Rioult's studio. His introduction to Victor Hugo
in 1830 may be considered the decisive point in Gautier's career: from
that day he gave up painting and became a fanatic admirer of the
romantic leader.

A short time afterwards, the first representation of 'Hernani' took
place (February 25th, 1830), an important date in the life of Gautier.
It was on this occasion that he put on for the only time that famous
red waistcoat, which, with his long black mane streaming down his
back, so horrified the staid Parisian bourgeois. This red waistcoat
turns out, after all, not to have been a waistcoat at all, but a
doublet; nor was it red, but pink. No truer is the legend, according
to Gautier, that on this memorable occasion, armed with his two
formidable fists, he felled right and left the terrified bourgeois. He
says that he was at that time rather delicate, and had not yet
developed that prodigious strength which later on enabled him to
strike a 520-pound blow on a Turk's-head. In appearance Gautier was a
large corpulent man with a leonine countenance, swarthy complexion,
long black hair falling over his shoulders, black beard, and brilliant
black eyes; an Oriental in looks as well as in some of his tastes. He
had a passion for cats. His house was overrun by them, and he seldom
wrote without having one on his lap. The privations he underwent
during the siege of Paris, doubly hard to a man of Gautier's
Gargantuesque appetite, no doubt hastened his death. He died on
October 23d, 1872, of hypertrophy of the heart.

Gautier is one of those writers of whom one may say a vast deal of
good and a vast deal of harm. His admirers think that justice has not
been done him, that his fame will go on rising and his name will live
as one of the great writers of France; others think that his name may
perhaps not entirely disappear, but that if he is remembered at all it
will be solely as the author of 'Émaux et Camées' (Enamels and
Cameos). He wrote in his youth a book that did him great harm in the
eyes of the public; but he has written something else besides
'Mademoiselle de Maupin,' and both in prose and poetry we shall find a
good deal to admire in him. One thing is certain: he is a marvelous
stylist. In his earliest poems Gautier already possesses that
admirable artistic skill that prompts him to choose his words as a
painter his colors, or a jeweler his gems and stones, so as to produce
the most brilliant effects: these first compositions also have a
grace, a charm, that we shall find lacking later on, for as he
proceeds with his work he pays more and more attention to form and

'Albertus, or Soul and Sin,' the closing poem of Gautier's first
collection, is a "semi-diabolic, semi-fashionable" legend. An old
witch, Veronica, a second Meg Merrilies, transforms herself into a
beautiful maiden and makes love to Albertus, a young artist--otherwise
Gautier himself. He cares for nothing but his art, but falls a victim
to the spell cast over him by the siren. At the stroke of midnight,
Veronica, to the young man's horror, from a beautiful woman changes
back to the old hag she was, and carries him off to a place where
witches, sorcerers, hobgoblins, harpies, ghouls, and other frightful
creatures are holding a monstrous saturnalia; at the end of which,
Albertus is left for dead in a ditch of the Appian Way with broken
back and twisted neck. What does it all mean? the reader may ask. That
"the wages of sin is death" seems to be the moral contained in this
poem, if indeed any moral is intended at all. Be that as it may,
'Albertus' is a literary gem in its way; a work in which the poet has
given free scope to his brilliant imagination, and showered by the
handful the gems and jewels in his literary casket. Gautier may be
said to have possessed the poetry of Death--some would say its
horrors. This sentiment of horror at the repulsive manner of man's
total destruction finds most vivid expression in 'The Comedy of
Death,' a fantastic poem divided into two parts, 'Death in Life' and
'Life in Death.' The dialogue between the bride and the earth-worm is
of a flesh-creeping nature.

It is however as the poet of 'Émaux et Camées' (Enamels and Cameos)
that Théophile Gautier will be chiefly remembered. Every poem but one
in this collection is written in short octosyllabic verse, and every
one is what the title implies,--a precious stone, a chiseled gem.
Gautier's wonderful and admirable talent for grouping together certain
words that produce on one's eye and mind the effect of a beautiful
picture, his intense love of art, of the outline, the plastic, appear
throughout this work. You realize on reading 'Émaux et Camées,' more
perhaps than in any other work by this writer, that the poet is fully
conscious of his powers and knows just how to use them. Any poem may
be selected at random, and will be found a work of art.

The same qualities that distinguish Gautier as a poet are to be found
in his novels, narratives of travels, criticisms,--in short, in
everything he wrote; intense love for the beautiful,--physically
beautiful,--wonderful talent for describing it. Of his novels,
properly speaking, there are four that stand out prominently, each
very different in its subject,--a proof of Gautier's great
versatility,--all perfect in their execution. The first is
'Mademoiselle de Maupin'; it is an immoral book, but it is a beautiful
book, not only because written with a rare elegance of style, but also
because it makes you love beauty. Briefly, 'Mademoiselle de Maupin'
may be called a pæan to beauty, sung by its high priest Théophile

The other remarkable novels by this writer are 'Le Capitaine Fracasse'
(Captain Smash-All), 'Le Roman de la Momie' (The Romance of the
Mummy), and 'Spirite.' 'Captain Fracasse,' although not published
until 1863, had been announced long beforehand; and Gautier had worked
at it, off and on, for twenty years. It belongs to that class of novel
known as picaresque--romances of adventures and battles. 'Captain
Fracasse' is certainly the most popular of Gautier's works.

'The Romance of the Mummy' is a very remarkable book, in which science
and fiction have been blended in the most artistic and clever manner;
picturesque, like all of Gautier's writings, but the work of a savant
as well as of a novelist. Here more than in any other book by this
author,--with the exception perhaps of 'Arria Marcella,'--Gautier has
revived in a most lifelike way an entire civilization, so long
extinct. 'The Romance of the Mummy' abounds in beautiful descriptions.
The description of the finding of the mummy, that of the royal tombs,
of Thebes with its hundred gates, the triumphal entrance of Pharaoh
into that city, the crossing of the Red Sea by the Israelites, are all
marvelous pictures, that not only fill the reader with the same
admiration he would evince at the sight of a painting by one of the
great masters, but give him the illusion of witnessing in the body the
scenes so admirably described.

'Spirite,' a fantastic story, is a source of surprise to readers
familiar with Gautier's other works: they find it hard to conceive
that so thorough a materialist as Gautier could ever have produced a
work so spiritualistic in its nature. The clever handling of a mystic
subject, the richness and coloring of the descriptions, together with
a certain ideal and poetical vein that runs through the book, make of
'Spirite' one of Gautier's most remarkable works.

Théophile Gautier has also written a number of _nouvelles_ or short
novels, and tales, some of which are striking compositions. 'Arria
Marcella' is one of these; a brilliant, masterly composition, in which
Gautier gives us such a perfect illusion of the past. Under his magic
pen we find ourselves walking the streets of Pompeii and living over
the life of the Romans in the first century of our era; and 'Une Nuit
de Cléopâtre' (A Night with Cleopatra) is a vivid resurrection of the
brilliant Egyptian court.

Of his various journeys to Spain, Italy, and the Orient, Gautier has
given us the most captivating relations. To many this is not the least
interesting portion of Gautier's work. The same qualities that are so
striking in his poems and novels--vividness of description, love of
the picturesque, wonderful power of expression--are likewise apparent
in his relations of travels.

As a literary and especially as an art critic, Gautier ranks high.
Bringing to this branch of literature the same qualities that
distinguish him in others, he created a descriptive and picturesque
method of criticism peculiarly his own. Of his innumerable articles on
art and literature, some have been collected under the names of 'Les
Grotesques,' a series of essays on a number of poets of the end of the
sixteenth and first half of the seventeenth centuries, ridiculed by
Boileau, but in whom Gautier finds some wheat among the chaff. The
'History of Dramatic Art in France for the Last Twenty-five Years,'
beginning with the year 1837, will be consulted with great profit by
those who are curious to follow the dramatic movement in that country.
Of his essays on art, one is as excellent as the other; all the great
masters are treated with a loving and admiring hand.

Among the miscellaneous works of this prolific writer should be
mentioned 'Ménagerie Intime' (Home Menagerie), in which the author
makes us acquainted in a most charming and familiar way with his home
life, and the various pets, cats, dogs, white rats, parrots, etc.,
that in turn shared his house with him; _la Nature chez elle_ (Nature
at home), that none but a close observer of nature could have

The last book written by Gautier before his death was 'Tableaux de
Siège' (Siege Pictures, 1871). The subjects are treated just in the
way we might expect from such a writer, from a purely artistic point
of view.

Gautier has written for the stage only short plays and ballets; but if
all he ever wrote were published, his works would fill nearly three
hundred volumes. In spite of the quantity and quality of his books,
the French Academy did not open her doors to him; but no more did it
to Molière, Beaumarchais, Balzac, and many others. Opinions still vary
greatly as to Théophile Gautier's literary merits; but his brilliant
descriptive powers, his eminent qualities as a stylist, together with
the influence he exercised over contemporary letters as the introducer
of the plastic in literature, would seem sufficient to rank him among
the great writers of France.

                                     [Signature: Robert Sanderson]


From 'The Romance of a Mummy'

At length their chariot reached the manoeuvring-ground, an immense
inclosure, carefully leveled, used for splendid military displays.
Terraces, one above the other, which must have employed for years the
thirty nations led away into slavery, formed a frame _en relief_ for
the gigantic parallelogram; sloping walls built of crude bricks lined
these terraces; their tops were covered, several rows deep, by
hundreds of thousands of Egyptians, whose white or brightly colored
costumes blazed in the sun with that perpetually restless movement
which characterizes a multitude, even when it appears motionless;
behind this line of spectators the cars, chariots, and litters, with
their drivers, grooms, and slaves, looked like the encampment of an
emigrating nation, such was their immense number; for Thebes, the
marvel of the ancient world, counted more inhabitants than did some

The fine, even sand of the vast arena, bordered with a million heads,
gleamed like mica dust beneath the light, falling from a sky as blue
as the enamel on the statuettes of Osiris. On the south side of the
field the terraces were broken, making way for a road which stretched
towards Upper Ethiopia, the whole length of the Libyan chain. In the
corresponding corner, the opening in the massive brick walls prolonged
the roads to the Rhamses-Maïamoun palace....

A frightful uproar, rumbling, deep, and mighty as that of an
approaching sea, arose in the distance and drowned the thousand
murmurs of the crowd, like the roar of the lion which hushes the
barking of the jackals. Soon the noise of instruments of music could
be distinguished amidst this terrestrial thunder, produced by the
chariot wheels and the rhythmic pace of the foot-soldiers. A sort of
reddish cloud, like that raised by the desert blasts, filled the sky
in that direction, yet the wind had gone down; there was not a breath
of air, and the smallest branches of the palm-trees hung motionless,
as if they had been carved on a granite capital; not a hair moved on
the women's moist foreheads, and the fluted streamers of their
head-dresses hung loosely down their backs. This powdery fog was
caused by the marching army, and hung over it like a fallow cloud.

The tumult increases; the whirlwinds of dust opened, and the first
files of musicians entered the immense arena, to the great
satisfaction of the multitude, who in spite of its respect for his
Majesty were beginning to tire of waiting beneath a sun which would
have melted any other skulls than those of the Egyptians.

The advance guard of musicians halted for several instants; colleges
of priests, deputations of the principal inhabitants of Thebes,
crossed the manoeuvring-ground to meet the Pharaoh, and arranged
themselves in a row in postures of the most profound respect, in such
manner as to give free passage to the procession.

The band, which alone was a small army, consisted of drums, tabors,
trumpets, and sistras.

The first squad passed, blowing a deafening blast upon their short
clarions of polished brass, which shone like gold. Each of these
trumpeters carried a second horn under his arm, as if the instrument
might grow weary sooner than the man. The costume of these men
consisted of a short tunic, fastened by a sash with ends falling in
front; a small band, in which were stuck two ostrich feathers hanging
over on either side, bound their thick hair. These plumes, so worn,
recalled to mind the antennae of scarabæi, and gave the wearers an odd
look of being insects.

The drummers, clothed in a simple gathered skirt, and naked to the
waist, beat the onagra-skin heads of their rounded drums with
sycamore-wood drumsticks, their instruments suspended by leathern
shoulder-belts, and observed the time which a drum-major marked for
them by repeatedly turning towards them and clapping his hands.

After the drummers came the sistra-players, who shook their
instruments by a quick, abrupt motion, and made at measured intervals
the metal links ring on the four bronze bars.

The tabor-players carried their oblong instruments crosswise, held up
by a scarf passed around the neck, and struck the lightly stretched
parchment with both hands.

Each company of musicians numbered at least two hundred men; but the
hurricane of noise produced by trumpets, drums, tabors, and sistras,
and which would have drawn blood from the ears inside a palace, was
none too loud or too unbearable beneath the vast cupola of heaven, in
the midst of this immense open space, amongst this buzzing crowd, at
the head of this army which would baffle nomenclators, and which was
now advancing with a roar as of great waters.

And was it too much to have eight hundred musicians preceding a
Pharaoh who was the best loved of Ammon-Ra, represented by colossal
statues of basalt and granite sixty cubits high, whose name was
written in cartouches on imperishable monuments, and his history
painted and sculptured and painted on the walls of the hypostyle
chambers, on the sides of pylons, in interminable _bas-reliefs_, in
frescoes without end? Was it indeed too much for a king who could
raise a hundred conquered races by the hair of their heads, and from
his high throne corrected the nations with his whip; for a living sun
burning their dazzled eyes; for a god, almost eternal?

After the musicians came the barbarian captives, strangely formed,
with brutish faces, black skins, woolly hair, resembling apes as much
as men, and dressed in the costume of their country, a short skirt
above the hips, held by a single brace, embroidered in different

An ingenious and whimsical cruelty had suggested the way in which the
prisoners were chained. Some were bound with their elbows drawn behind
their backs; others with their hands lifted above their heads, in a
still more painful position; one had his wrists fastened in wooden
cangs (instruments of torture, still used in China); another was half
strangled in a sort of pillory; or a chain of them were linked
together by the same rope, each victim having a knot round his neck.
It seemed as if those who had bound these unfortunates had found a
pleasure in forcing them into unnatural positions; and they advanced
before their conqueror with awkward and tottering gait, rolling their
large eyes and contorted with pain.

Guards walked beside them, regulating their step by beating them with

Tawny women, with long flowing hair, carrying their children in ragged
strips of cloth bound about their foreheads, came behind them; bent,
covered with shame, exhibiting their naked squalor and deformity: a
wretched company, devoted to the most degrading uses.

Others, young and beautiful, with lighter skin, their arms encircled
by broad ivory bracelets, their ears pulled down by large metal discs,
were enveloped in long tunics with wide sleeves, an embroidered hem
around the neck, and falling in small flat folds to their ankles, upon
which anklets rattled. Poor girls, torn from country, family, perhaps
lovers, smiling through their tears! For the power of beauty is
boundless; strangeness gives rise to caprice; and perhaps the royal
favor awaited one of these barbarian captives in the depths of the

They were accompanied by soldiers who kept away the crowd.

The standard-bearers came next, lifting high the gilded staves of
their flags, representing mystic baris, sacred hawks, heads of Hathor
crowned with ostrich plumes, winged ibexes, inscriptions embellished
with the King's name, crocodiles, and other religious or warlike
emblems. Long white streamers, spotted with black, were tied to these
standards, and floated gracefully with every motion. At sight of the
standards announcing the appearance of Pharaoh, the deputations of
priests and notables raised towards him their supplicating hands, or
let them hang, palm outwards, against their knees. Some even
prostrated themselves, with elbows pressed to their sides, their faces
in the dust, in attitudes of absolute submission and profound
adoration. The spectators waved their large palm-leaves in every

A herald, or reader, holding in one hand a roll covered with
hieroglyphics, came forward quite alone between the standard-bearers
and the incense-bearers who preceded the King's litter.

He proclaimed in a loud voice, resounding as a brass trumpet, the
victories of the Pharaoh; he recounted the results of the different
battles, the number of captives and war chariots taken from the enemy,
the amount of plunder, the measures of gold dust, and the elephant's
tusks, the ostrich feathers, the masses of fragrant gum, the giraffes,
lions, panthers, and other rare animals; he mentioned the names of the
barbarian chiefs killed by the javelins or the arrows of his Majesty,
Aroëris, the all-powerful, the loved of the gods.

At each announcement the people sent up an immense cry, and from the
top of the slopes strewed the conqueror's path with long green
palm-branches they held in their hands.

At last the Pharaoh appeared!

Priests, turning towards him at regular intervals, stretched out their
amschiras to him, first throwing incense on the coals blazing in the
little bronze cup, holding them by a handle formed like a sceptre,
with the head of some sacred animal at the other end; they walked
backwards respectfully, while the fragrant blue smoke ascended to the
nostrils of the triumpher, apparently as indifferent to these honors
as a divinity of bronze or basalt.

Twelve oëris, or military chiefs, their heads covered by a light
helmet surrounded by ostrich feathers, naked to the waist, their loins
enveloped in a narrow skirt with stiff folds, their targes suspended
from the front of their belts, supported a sort of huge shield, on
which rested the Pharaoh's throne. It was a chair, with arms and legs
in the form of a lion, high-backed, with large full cushion, adorned
on the sides with a kind of trellis-work of pink and blue flowers; the
arms, legs, moldings of the seat were gilded, and the parts which were
not, flamed with bright colors.

On either side of the litter, four fan-bearers waved enormous
semicircular fans, fixed to gilded staves; two priests held aloft a
large richly decorated horn of plenty, from which fell bunches of
enormous lotus blooms. The Pharaoh wore a mitre-like helmet, cut out
to make room for the ear, and brought down over the back of the neck
to protect it. On the blue ground of the helmet scintillated a
quantity of dots like the eyes of birds, made of three circles, black,
white, and red; a scarlet and yellow border ran along the edge, and
the symbolic viper, twisting its golden coils at the back, stood erect
above the royal forehead; two long curled feathers, purple in color,
floated over his shoulders, and completed his majestically elegant

A wide gorget, with seven rows of enamels, precious stones, and golden
beads, fell over the Pharaoh's chest and gleamed brightly in the
sunlight. His upper garment was a sort of loose shirt, with pink and
black squares; the ends, lengthening into narrow slips, were wound
several times about his bust and bound it closely; the sleeves, cut
short near the shoulder, and bordered with intersecting lines of gold,
red, and blue, exposed his round, strong arms, the left furnished with
a large metal wristband, meant to lessen the vibration of the string
when he discharged an arrow from his triangular bow; and the right,
ornamented by a bracelet in the form of a serpent in several coils,
held a long gold sceptre with a lotus bud at the end. The rest of his
body was wrapped in drapery of the finest linen, minutely plaited,
bound about the waist by a belt inlaid with small enamel and gold
plates. Between the band and the belt his torso appeared, shining and
polished like pink granite shaped by a cunning workman. Sandals with
returned toes, like skates, shod his long narrow feet, placed together
like those of the gods on the temple walls.

His smooth beardless face, with large clearly cut features, which it
seemed beyond any human power to disturb, and which the blood of
common life did not color, with its death-like pallor, sealed lips,
enormous eyes enlarged with black lines, the lids no more lowered than
those of the sacred hawk, inspired by its very immobility a feeling of
respectful fear. One might have thought that these fixed eyes were
searching for eternity and the Infinite; they never seemed to rest on
surrounding objects. The satiety of pleasures, the surfeit of wishes
satisfied as soon as expressed, the isolation of a demigod who has no
equal among mortals, the disgust for perpetual adoration, and as it
were the weariness of continual triumph, had forever frozen this face,
implacably gentle and of granite serenity. Osiris judging the souls
could not have had a more majestic and calm expression.

A large tame lion, lying by his side, stretched out its enormous paws
like a sphinx on its pedestal, and blinked its yellow eyes.

A rope, attached to the litter, bound the war chariots of the
vanquished chiefs to the Pharaoh. He dragged them behind him like
animals in leash. These men, with fierce despairing faces, their
elbows drawn together by a strap and forming an ungraceful angle,
tottered awkwardly at every motion of the chariots, driven by

Next came the chariots of the young princes royal, drawn by
thoroughbred horses, elegantly and nobly formed, with slender legs,
sinewy houghs, their manes cut short like a brush, harnessed by twos,
tossing their red-plumed heads, with metal-bossed headstalls and
frontlets. A curved pole, upheld on their withers, covered with
scarlet panels, two collars surmounted by balls of polished brass,
bound together by a light yoke bent like a bow with upturned ends; a
bellyband and breastband elaborately stitched and embroidered, and
rich housings with red or blue stripes and fringed with tassels,
completed this strong, graceful, and light harness.

The body of the chariot, painted red and white, ornamented with bronze
plaques and half-spheres, something like the umbo of the shields, was
flanked with two large quivers placed diagonally opposite each other,
one filled with arrows and the other with javelins. On the front of
each, a carved, gilded lion, with set paws, and muzzle wrinkled into a
frightful grin, seemed ready to spring with a roar upon the enemy.

The young princes had their hair bound with a narrow band, in which
the royal viper was twisted; their only garment was a tunic gaudily
embroidered at the neck and sleeves, and held in at the waist by a
belt of black leather, clasped with a metal plate engraved with
hieroglyphics. In this belt was a long dagger, with triangular brass
blade, the handle channeled crosswise, terminated by a hawk's head.

In the chariot, by the side of each prince, stood the charioteer, who
drove it in battle, and the groom, whose business it was to ward off
with the shield the blows aimed at the combatant, while the latter
discharged the arrows or threw the javelins which he took from the
quivers on either side of the car.

In the wake of the princes followed the chariots, the Egyptian
cavalry, twenty thousand in number, each drawn by two horses and
holding three men. They advanced ten in a line, the axletrees
perilously near together, but never coming in contact with each other,
so great was the address of the drivers.

Several lighter chariots, used for skirmishing and reconnoitring,
marched at the head and carried one warrior only, who in order to
leave his hands free for fighting wound the reins around his body: by
bending to the right or the left, or backwards, he guided or stopped
his horses; and it was really wonderful to see the noble animals,
apparently left to themselves, but governed by imperceptible
movements, keep up an undisturbedly regular pace....

The stamping of the horses, held in with difficulty, the thundering of
the bronze-covered wheels, the metallic clash of weapons, gave to this
line something formidable and imposing enough to raise terror in the
most intrepid bosoms. The helmets, plumes, and breastplates dotted
with red, green, and yellow, the gilded bows and brass swords,
glittered and blazed terribly in the light of the sun, open in the
sky, above the Libyan chain, like a great Osirian eye; and it was felt
that the onslaught of such an army must sweep away the nations like a
whirlwind which drives a light straw before it.

Beneath these innumerable wheels the earth resounded and trembled, as
if it had been moved by some convulsion of nature.

To the chariots succeeded the battalions of infantry, marching in
order, their shields on the left arm; in the right hand the lance,
curved club, bow, sling, or axe, according as they were armed; the
heads of these soldiers were covered with helmets, adorned with two
horsehair tails, their bodies girded with a cuirass belt of crocodile
skin. Their impassible look, the perfect regularity of their
movements, their reddish copper complexions, deepened by a recent
expedition to the burning regions of Upper Ethiopia, their clothing
powdered with the desert sand, they awoke admiration by their
discipline and courage. With soldiers like these, Egypt could conquer
the world. After them came the allied troops, recognizable from the
outlandish form of their head-pieces, which looked like truncated
mitres, or were surmounted by crescents spitted on sharp points. Their
wide-bladed swords and jagged axes must have produced wounds which
could not be healed.

Slaves carried on their shoulders or on barrows the spoils enumerated
by the herald, and wild-beast tamers dragged behind them leashed
panthers, cheetahs, crouching down as if trying to hide themselves,
ostriches fluttering their wings, giraffes which overtopped the crowd
by the entire length of their necks, and even brown bears,--taken,
they said, in the Mountains of the Moon.

The procession was still passing, long after the King had entered his


  It is a pond, whose sleepy water
  Lies stagnant, covered with a mantle
  Of lily pads and rushes. . . .
  Under the creeping duck-weed
  The wild ducks dip
  Their sapphire necks glazed with gold;
  At dawn the teal is seen bathing,
  And when twilight reigns,
  It settles between two rushes and sleeps.


  Upon the heather sprinkled
      With morning dew;
  Upon the wild-rose bush;
  Upon the shady trees;
      Upon the hedges
  Growing along the path;

  Upon the modest and dainty
  That droops its dreamy brow;
  Upon the rye, like a green billow
  By the winged caprice of the wind,
  The dragon-fly gently rocks.


  On the hill-side, yonder where are the graves,
  A fine palm-tree, like a green plume,
  Stands with head erect; in the evening the doves
  Come to nestle under its cover.

  But in the morning they leave the branches;
  Like a spreading necklace, they may be seen
  Scattering in the blue air, perfectly white,
  And settling farther upon some roof.

  My soul is the tree where every eve, as they,
  White swarms of mad visions
  Fall from heaven, with fluttering wings,
  To fly away with the first rays.


  Sometimes a child finds a small seed,
  And at once, delighted with its bright colors,
  To plant it he takes a porcelain jar
  Adorned with blue dragons and strange flowers.

  He goes away. The root, snake-like, stretches,
  Breaks through the earth, blooms, becomes a shrub;
  Each day, farther down, it sinks its fibrous foot,
  Until it bursts the sides of the vessel.

  The child returns: surprised, he sees the rich plant
  Over the vase's débris brandishing its green spikes;
  He wants to pull it out, but the stem is stubborn.
  The child persists, and tears his fingers with the pointed arrows.

  Thus grew love in my simple heart;
  I believed I sowed but a spring flower;
  'Tis a large aloe, whose root breaks
  The porcelain vase with the brilliant figures.


  As a guardian angel, take me under your wing;
  Deign to stoop and put out, smiling,
  Your maternal hand to my little hand
  To support my steps and keep me from falling!

  For Jesus the sweet Master, with celestial love,
  Suffered little children to come to him;
  As an indulgent parent, he submitted to their caresses
  And played with them without showing weariness.

  O you who resemble those church pictures
  Where one sees, on a gold background, august Charity
  Preserving from hunger, preserving from cold,
  A fair and smiling group sheltered in her folds;

  Like the nursling of the Divine mother,
  For pity's sake, lift me to your lap;
  Protect me, poor young girl, alone, an orphan,
  Whose only hope is in God, whose only hope is in you!


  One day the plain said to the idle mountain:--
  Nothing ever grows upon thy wind-beaten brow!
  To the poet, bending thoughtful over his lyre,
  The crowd also said:--Dreamer, of what use art thou?

  Full of wrath, the mountain answered the plain:--
  It is I who make the harvests grow upon thy soil;
  I temper the breath of the noon sun,
  I stop in the skies the clouds as they fly by.

  With my fingers I knead the snow into avalanches,
  In my crucible I dissolve the crystals of glaciers,
  And I pour out, from the tip of my white breasts,
  In long silver threads, the nourishing streams.

       *       *       *       *       *

  The poet, in his turn, answered the crowd:--
  Allow my pale brow to rest upon my hand.
  Have I not from my side, from which runs out my soul,
  Made a spring gush to slake men's thirst?


  While to their perverse work
  Men run panting,
  March that laughs, in spite of showers,
  Quietly gets Spring ready.

  For the little daisies,
  Slyly, when all sleep,
  He irons little collars
  And chisels gold studs.

  Through the orchard and the vineyard,
  He goes, cunning hair-dresser,
  With a swan-puff,
  And powders snow-white the almond-tree.

  Nature rests in her bed;
  He goes down to the garden
  And laces the rosebuds
  In their green velvet corsets.

  While composing solfeggios
  That he sings in a low tone to the blackbirds,
  He strews the meadows with snowdrops
  And the woods with violets.

  By the side of the cress in the brook
  Where drinks the stag, with listening ear,
  With his concealed hand he scatters
  The silver bells of the lilies of the valley.

       *       *       *       *       *

  Then, when his work is done
  And his reign about to end,
  On the threshold of April, turning his head,
  He says, Spring, you may come!


From 'The Old Guard'

  The thing is worth considering;
  Three ghosts of old veterans
  In the uniform of the Old Guard,
  With two shadows of hussars!

  Since the supreme battle
  One has grown thin, the other stout;
  The coat once made to fit them
  Is either too loose or too tight.

  Don't laugh, comrade;
  But rather bow low
  To these Achilles of an Iliad
  That Homer would not have invented.

  Their faces with the swarthy skin
  Speak of Egypt with the burning sun,
  And the snows of Russia
  Still powder their white hair.

  If their joints are stiff, it is because on the battle-field
  Flags were their only blankets:
  And if their sleeves don't fit,
  It is because a cannon-ball took off their arm.



[Illustration: JOHN GAY]

"In the great society of the wits," said Thackeray, "John Gay deserves
to be a favorite, and to have a good place." The wits loved him. Prior
was his faithful ally; Pope wrote him frequent letters of affectionate
good advice; Swift grew genial in his merry company; and when the
jester lapsed into gloom, as jesters will, all his friends hurried to
coddle and comfort him. His verse is not of the first order, but the
list of "English classics" contains far poorer; it is entertaining
enough to be a pleasure even to bright children of this generation,
and each succeeding one reads it with an inherited fondness not by any
means without help from its own merits. And the man who invented comic
opera, one of the most enduring molds in which English humor has been
cast, deserves the credit of all important literary pioneers.

Kind, lazy, clever John Gay came of a good, impoverished Devonshire
family, which seems to have done its best for the bright lad of twelve
when it apprenticed him to a London silk mercer. The boy hated this
employment, grew ill under its fret and confinement, went back to the
country, studied, possibly wrote poor verses, and presently drifted
back to London. The cleverest men of the time frequented the crowded
taverns and coffee-houses, and the talk that he heard at Will's and
Button's may have determined his profession. Thither came Pope and
Addison, Swift and Steele, Congreve, St. John, Prior, Arbuthnot,
Cibber, Hogarth, Walpole, and many a powerful patron who loved good

Perhaps through some kind acquaintance made in this informal circle,
Gay obtained a private secretaryship, and began the flirtation with
the Muse which became serious only after some years of coldness on
that humorous lady's part. His first poem, 'Wine,' published when he
was twenty-three, is not included in his collected works: perhaps
because it is written in blank verse; perhaps because his maturer
taste condemned it. Three years later, in 1711, when the success of
the Spectator was yet new, and Pope had just completed his brilliant
'Art of Criticism,' and Swift was editing the Examiner and working on
that defense of a French peace, 'The Conduct of the Allies,' which was
to make him the talk of London,--Gay sent forth his second venture; a
curious, unimportant pamphlet, 'The Present State of Wit.' Late in
1713 he is contributing to Dicky Steele's Guardian, and sending
elegies to his 'Poetical Miscellanies'; and a little later, having
become a favorite with the powerful Mr. Pope, he is made to bring up
new reinforcements to the battle of that irascible gentleman with his
ancient enemy Ambrose Phillips. This he does in 'The Shepherd's Week,'
a sham pastoral, which is full of wit and easy versification, and
shows very considerable talents as a parodist. This skit the luckless
satirist dedicated to Bolingbroke, whose brilliant star was just
passing into eclipse. Swift thought this harmless courtesy the real
cause of the indifference of the Brunswick princes to the merits of
the poet; and in an age when every spark of literary genius was so
carefully nursed and utilized to sustain the weak dynasty, most likely
he was right.

For this reason or another, indifferent they were; and in a time when
court favor counted enormously, poor indolent luxury-loving Gay had to
earn his loaf by hard work, or go without it. He produced a
tragi-comi-pastoral farce called 'What D'ye Call It?' which was the
lineal ancestor of 'Pinafore' and the 'Pirates of Penzance' in its
method of treating farcical incidents in a grave manner. But the town
did not see the fun of this expedient, and the play failed, though it
contained, among other famous songs, ''Twas When the Seas Were
Roaring.' In 1716 'Trivia, or the Art of Walking the Streets of
London,' put some money into the poet's empty pocket, thanks to Pope's
good offices. A year later a second comedy of his, 'Three Hours after
Marriage,' met with well-deserved failure. And now, as always, when
his spirits sank, his good friends showered kindnesses upon him. Mr.
Secretary Pulteney carried him off to Aix. Lord Bathurst and Lord
Burlington were his to command. Many fine gentlemen, and particularly
many fine ladies, pressed him to make indefinite country visits. In
1720 his friends managed the publication of his poems in two quarto
volumes, subscribing for ten, twenty, and even fifty copies apiece,
some of them, and securing to the poet, it is said, £1,000. The
younger Craggs, the bookseller, gave him some South-Sea stock which
rose rapidly, and at one time the improvident little gentleman found
himself in possession of £20,000. All his friends besought him to
sell, but Alnaschar Gay had visions of a splendid ease and opulence.
The bubble burst, and poor Alnaschar had not wherewithal to pay his

The Duchess of Queensborough (Prior's "Kitty, beautiful and young")
had already annexed the charmer, and now carried him off to
Petersham. "I wish you had a little villakin in Mr. Pope's
neighborhood," scolds Swift to him; "but you are yet too volatile, and
any lady with a coach and six horses might carry you to Japan;" and
again:--"I know your arts of patching up a journey between
stagecoaches and friend's coaches--for you are as arrant a cockney as
any hosier in Cheapside. I have often had it in my head to put it into
yours, that you ought to have some great work in scheme which may take
up seven years to finish, besides two or three under ones that may add
another thousand pounds to your stock; and then I shall be in less
pain about you. I know you can find dinners, but you love twelvepenny
coaches too well, without considering that the interest of a whole
thousand pounds brings you but half a crown a day." Gay went to Bath
with the Queensberrys, and to Oxford. Swift complained to Pope:--"I
suppose Mr. Gay will return from Bath with twenty pounds more flesh,
and two hundred pounds less money. Providence never designed him to be
above two-and-twenty, by his thoughtlessness and gullibility. He has
as little foresight of age, sickness, poverty, or loss of admirers as
a girl of fifteen." And his dear Mrs. Howard, afterwards Lady Suffolk,
took him affectionately to task:--"Your head is your best friend: it
would clothe, lodge, and feed you; but you neglect it, and follow that
false friend your heart, which is such a foolish, tender thing that it
makes others despise your head, that have not half so good a one on
their own shoulders. In short, John, you may be a snail, or a
silkworm; but by my consent you shall never be a hare again."

He lived under other great roofs, if not contentedly, at least
gracefully and agreeably. If his dependent state irked him, his hosts
did not perceive it. To Swift he wrote, indeed, "They wonder at each
other for not providing for me, and _I_ wonder at them all." Yet, for
the nine years from 1722 to 1731 he had a small official salary, on
which a thriftier or more industrious mortal would have managed to
live respectably even in that expensive age; and for at least a part
of the time he had official lodgings at Whitehall.

In 1725 was published the first edition of his famous 'Fables,' which
had been written for the moral behoof of Prince William, afterward
Duke of Cumberland, of unblessed memory. The book did not make his
fortune with the court, as he had hoped, and in 1728 he produced his
best known work, 'The Beggar's Opera.' Nobody had much faith in this
"Newgate Pastoral," least of all Swift, who had first suggested it.
But it took the town by storm, running for sixty-three consecutive
nights. As the heroine, Polly Peachum, the lovely Lavinia Fenton
captured a duchess's coronet. The songs were heard alike in West End
drawing-rooms and East End slums. Swift praised it for its morality,
and the Archbishop of Canterbury scored it for its condonation of
vice. The breath of praise and blame filled equally its prosperous
sails, blew it all over the kingdom wherever a theatre could be found,
and finally wafted it to Minorca. So well did the opera pay him that
Gay wrote a sequel called 'Polly,' which, being prohibited through
some notion of Walpole's, sold enormously by subscription and earned
Gay £1,200.

After this the hospitable Queensberrys seem to have adopted him. He
produced a musical drama, 'Acis and Galatea,' written long before and
set to Handel's music; a few more 'Fables'; a thin opera called
'Achilles'; and then his work was done. He died in London of a swift
fever, in December 1732, before his kind Kitty and her husband could
reach him, or his other great friend, the Countess of Suffolk.
Arbuthnot watched over him; Pope was with him to the last; Swift
indorsed on the letter that brought him the tidings, "On my dear
friend Mr. Gay's death; received on December 15th, but not read till
the 20th, by an impulse foreboding some misfortune." So faithfully did
the "giants," as Thackeray calls them, cherish this gentle, friendly,
affectionate, humorous comrade. He seems indeed to have been almost
the only companion with whom Swift did not at some time fall out, and
of his steadfastness the gloomy great man in his 'Verses on my Own
Death' could write:--

  "Poor Pope will grieve a month, and Gay
  A week, and Arbuthnot a day."

The 'Trivia' and the 'Shepherd's Week,' the 'Acis and Galatea' and
even the 'Beggar's Opera,' gradually faded into the realm of "old,
forgotten, far-off things"; while the 'Fables' passed through many
editions, found their place in school reading-books, were committed to
memory by three generations of admiring pupils, and included in the
most orthodox libraries. Yet criticism now reverts to the earlier
standard; approves the songs, and the minute observation, the nice
phrasing, and the humorous swing of the pastorals and operas, and
finds the fables dull, commonplace, and monotonous. Pope said in his
affectionate epitaph that the poet had been laid in Westminster Abbey,
not for ambition, but--

  "That the worthy and the good shall say,
  Striking their pensive bosoms, '_Here_ lies Gay.'"

If to-day the worthy and the good do not know even where he lies, not
the less is he to be gratefully remembered whom the best and greatest
of his own time so much admired, and of whom Pope and Johnson and
Thackeray and Dobson have written with the warmth of friendship.


From the 'Fables'

  Friendship, like love, is but a name,
  Unless to one you stint the flame.
  The child whom many fathers share
  Hath seldom known a father's care.
  'Tis thus in friendships: who depend
  On many, rarely find a friend.

  A Hare, who in a civil way
  Complied with everything, like Gay,
  Was known by all the bestial train
  Who haunt the wood or graze the plain.
  Her care was, never to offend,
  And ev'ry creature was her friend.

  As forth she went at early dawn
  To taste the dew-besprinkled lawn,
  Behind she hears the hunters' cries,
  And from the deep-mouthed thunder flies.
  She starts, she stops, she pants for breath;
  She hears the near advance of death;
  She doubles to mislead the hound,
  And measures back her mazy round;
  Till fainting in the public way,
  Half dead with fear, she gasping lay.

  What transport in her bosom grew,
  When first the horse appeared in view!
  "Let me," says she, "your back ascend,
  And owe my safety to a friend.
  You know my feet betray my flight;
  To friendship every burden's light."

  The Horse replied:--"Poor honest Puss,
  It grieves my heart to see thee thus:
  Be comforted, relief is near;
  For all your friends are in the rear."

  She next the stately Bull implored;
  And thus replied the mighty lord:--
  "Since every beast alive can tell
  That I sincerely wish you well,
  I may, without offense, pretend
  To take the freedom of a friend.

  Love calls me hence; a favorite cow
  Expects me near yon barley-mow:
  And when a lady's in the case,
  You know all other things give place.
  To leave you thus might seem unkind;
  But see, the Goat is just behind."

  The Goat remarked her pulse was high,
  Her languid head, her heavy eye;
  "My back," says he, "may do you harm:
  The Sheep's at hand, and wool is warm."

  The Sheep was feeble, and complained
  His sides a load of wool sustained:
  Said he was slow, confessed his fears;
  For hounds eat Sheep, as well as Hares!

  She now the trotting Calf addressed,
  To save from death a friend distressed.
  "Shall I," says he, "of tender age,
  In this important care engage?
  Older and abler passed you by;
  How strong are those! how weak am I!
  Should I presume to bear you hence,
  Those friends of mine may take offense.
  Excuse me then. You know my heart:
  But dearest friends, alas! must part.
  How shall we all lament! Adieu!
  For see, the hounds are just in view."


From the 'Fables'

  Is there no hope? the Sick Man said.
  The silent doctor shook his head,
  And took his leave with signs of sorrow,
  Despairing of his fee to-morrow.
    When thus the Man with gasping breath:--
  I feel the chilling wound of death;
  Since I must bid the world adieu,
  Let me my former life review.
  I grant, my bargains well were made,
  But all men overreach in trade;
  'Tis self-defense in each profession;
  Sure, self-defense is no transgression.
  The little portion in my hands,
  By good security on lands,
  Is well increased. If unawares,
  My justice to myself and heirs
  Hath let my debtor rot in jail,
  For want of good sufficient bail;
  If I by writ, or bond, or deed,
  Reduced a family to need,--
  My will hath made the world amends;
  My hope on charity depends.
  When I am numbered with the dead,
  And all my pious gifts are read,
  By heaven and earth 'twill then be known,
  My charities were amply shown.
    An Angel came. Ah, friend! he cried,
  No more in flattering hope confide.
  Can thy good deeds in former times
  Outweigh the balance of thy crimes?
  What widow or what orphan prays
  To crown thy life with length of days?
  A pious action's in thy power;
  Embrace with joy the happy hour.
  Now, while you draw the vital air,
  Prove your intention is sincere:
  This instant give a hundred pound;
  Your neighbors want, and you abound.
    But why such haste? the Sick Man whines:
  Who knows as yet what Heaven designs?
  Perhaps I may recover still;
  That sum and more are in my will.
    Fool, says the Vision, now 'tis plain,
  Your life, your soul, your heaven was gain;
  From every side, with all your might,
  You scraped, and scraped beyond your right;
  And after death would fain atone,
  By giving what is not your own.
    Where there is life there's hope, he cried;
  Then why such haste?--so groaned and died.


From the 'Fables'

  A juggler long through all the town
  Had raised his fortune and renown;
  You'd think (so far his art transcends)
  The Devil at his fingers' ends.
    Vice heard his fame; she read his bill;
  Convinced of his inferior skill,
  She sought his booth, and from the crowd
  Defied the man of art aloud.
    Is this, then, he so famed for sleight?
  Can this slow bungler cheat your sight?
  Dares he with me dispute the prize?
  I leave it to impartial eyes.
    Provoked, the Juggler cried, 'Tis done.
  In science I submit to none.
    Thus said, the cups and balls he played;
  By turns, this here, that there, conveyed.
  The cards, obedient to his words,
  Are by a fillip turned to birds.
  His little boxes change the grain;
  Trick after trick deludes the train.
  He shakes his bag, he shows all fair;
  His fingers spreads,--and nothing there;
  Then bids it rain with showers of gold,
  And now his ivory eggs are told.
  But when from thence the hen he draws,
  Amazed spectators hum applause.
    Vice now stept forth, and took the place
  With all the forms of his grimace.
    This magic looking-glass, she cries
  (There, hand it round), will charm your eyes.
  Each eager eye the sight desired,
  And ev'ry man himself admired.
    Next to a senator addressing:
  See this bank-note; observe the blessing,
  Breathe on the bill. Heigh, pass! 'Tis gone;
  Upon his lips a padlock shone.
  A second puff the magic broke,
  The padlock vanished, and he spoke.
    Twelve bottles ranged upon the board,
  All full, with heady liquor stored,
  By clean conveyance disappear,
  And now two bloody swords are there.
    A purse she to a thief exposed,
  At once his ready fingers closed:
  He opes his fist, the treasure's fled:
  He sees a halter in its stead.
    She bids ambition hold a wand;
  He grasps a hatchet in his hand.
    A box of charity she shows:
  Blow here; and a churchwarden blows.
  'Tis vanished with conveyance neat,
  And on the table smokes a treat.
    She shakes the dice, the board she knocks,
  And from her pockets fills her box.

       *       *       *       *       *

    A counter in a miser's hand
  Grew twenty guineas at command.
  She bids his heir the sum retain,
  And 'tis a counter now again.
    A guinea with her touch you see
  Take ev'ry shape but Charity;
  And not one thing you saw, or drew,
  But changed from what was first in view.
    The Juggler now, in grief of heart,
  With this submission owned her art.
  Can I such matchless sleight withstand?
  How practice hath improved your hand!
  But now and then I cheat the throng;
  You every day, and all day long.

    [Illustration: _THE JUGGLER._
    Photogravure from a Painting by L. Knaus.]



    All in the Downs the fleet was moored,
      The streamers waving in the wind,
    When black-eyed Susan came aboard:
      Oh, where shall I my true love find!
  Tell me, ye jovial sailors, tell me true,
  If my sweet William sails among the crew.

    William, who high upon the yard
      Rocked with the billow to and fro,
    Soon as her well-known voice he heard,
      He sighed and cast his eyes below;
  The cord slides swiftly through his glowing hands,
  And quick as lightning on the deck he stands.

    So the sweet lark, high poised in air,
      Shuts close his pinions to his breast
    (If, chance, his mate's shrill call he hear),
      And drops at once into her nest.
  The noblest captain in the British fleet
  Might envy William's lip those kisses sweet.

    O Susan, Susan, lovely dear,
      My vows shall ever true remain;
    Let me kiss off that falling tear;
      We only part to meet again.
  Change, as ye list, ye winds; my heart shall be
  The faithful compass that still points to thee.

    Believe not what the landmen say,
      Who tempt with doubts thy constant mind:
    They'll tell thee, sailors when away
      In every port a mistress find.
  Yes, yes, believe them when they tell thee so,
  For thou art present wheresoe'er I go.

    If to far India's coast we sail,
      Thy eyes are seen in diamonds bright;
    Thy breath is Afric's spicy gale,
      Thy skin is ivory so white.
  Thus every beauteous object that I view,
  Wakes in my soul some charm of lovely Sue.

    Though battle call me from thy arms,
      Let not my pretty Susan mourn;
    Though cannons roar, yet safe from harms,
      William shall to his dear return.
  Love turns aside the balls that round me fly,
  Lest precious tears should drop from Susan's eye.

    The boatswain gave the dreadful word;
      The sails their swelling bosom spread;
    No longer must she stay aboard:
      They kissed, she sighed, he hung his head:
  Her lessening boat unwilling rows to land:
  Adieu! she cries; and waved her lily hand.



  T'was when the seas were roaring
    With hollow blasts of wind,
  A damsel lay deploring,
    All on a rock reclined.
  Wide o'er the foaming billows
    She cast a wistful look;
  Her head was crowned with willows,
    That tremble o'er the brook.

  "Twelve months are gone and over,
    And nine long tedious days;
  Why didst thou, venturous lover,
    Why didst thou trust the seas?
  Cease, cease, thou cruel ocean,
    And let my lover rest:
  Ah! what's thy troubled motion
    To that within my breast?

  "The merchant robbed of pleasure
    Sees tempests in despair;
  But what's the loss of treasure,
    To losing of my dear?
  Should you some coast be laid on,
    Where gold and diamonds grow,
  You'll find a richer maiden,
    But none that loves you so.

  "How can they say that nature
    Has nothing made in vain;
  Why then, beneath the water,
    Should hideous rocks remain?
  No eyes the rocks discover
    That lurk beneath the deep,
  To wreck the wandering lover,
    And leave the maid to weep."

  All melancholy lying,
    Thus wailed she for her dear!
  Repaid each blast with sighing,
    Each billow with a tear.
  When o'er the white wave stooping,
    His floating corpse she spied,--
  Then, like a lily drooping,
    She bowed her head and died.



[Illustration: EMANUEL VON GEIBEL]

The chief note in Geibel's nature was reverence. A spirit of reverent
piety, using the phrase in its widest as well as in its strictly
religious sense, characterizes all his poetical utterances. He
intended to devote himself to theology, but the humanistic tendencies
of the age, combined with his own peculiar endowments, led him to
abandon the Church for pure literature. The reverent attitude of mind,
however, remained, and has left its impress even upon his most
impassioned love lyrics. It appears too in his first literary venture,
a volume of 'Classical Studies' undertaken in collaboration with his
friend Ernst Curtius, in which is displayed his loving reverence for
the great monuments of Greek antiquity. He felt himself an exile from
Greece, and like Goethe's Iphigenia, his soul was seeking ever for the
land of Hellas. And through the influence of Bettina von Arnim this
longing was satisfied; he secured the post of tutor in the household
of the Russian ambassador to Athens.

Geibel was only twenty-three years of age when this good fortune fell
to his lot. He was born at Lübeck on October 18th, 1815. His poetic
gifts, early manifested, secured him a welcome in the literary circles
of Berlin. During the two years that he spent in Greece he was enabled
to travel over a large part of the Grecian Archipelago in the
inspiring company of Curtius; and it was upon their return to Germany
in 1840 that the 'Classical Studies' appeared, and were dedicated to
the Queen of Greece. Then Geibel eagerly took up the study of French
and Spanish, with the result that many valuable volumes were published
in collaboration with Paul Heyse, Count von Schack, and Leuthold,
which introduced to the German public a vast treasury of song from the
literatures of France, Spain, and Portugal. The first collection of
Geibel's own poems in 1843 secured for the poet a modest pension from
the King of Prussia.

Geibel also made several essays at dramatic composition. He wrote for
Mendelssohn the text of a 'Lorelei,' but the composer died before the
music was completed. A comedy called 'Master Andrew' was successful in
a number of cities; and of his more ambitious tragedies, 'Brunhild'
and 'Sophonisba,' the latter won the famous Schiller prize in 1869.

In 1852 Geibel received an appointment as royal reader to Maximilian
II., and was made professor at the University of Munich. It was also
from the King of Bavaria that he procured his patent of nobility. In
the same year that he took up his residence in Munich he married; but
the death of his wife terminated his happy family relations three
years later, and the death of the King severed his connection with the
Bavarian court. Moreover, his sympathy with the revolutionary poets,
such as his intimate friend Freiligrath, his own enthusiasm for the
popular movement, and the faith which he placed in the King of
Prussia, led to bitter attacks upon him in the Bavarian press, and
eventually to his resignation from the faculty of the university. He
returned to his native city of Lübeck. The Prussian King trebled his
annual income, and the poet was raised above pecuniary cares. The last
years of his life were saddened, without being embittered, by feeble
health. He died on April 6th, 1884.

There was sometimes a touch of effeminate sentimentality in Geibel's
work, but he did not lack force and virility, as his famous 'Twelve
Sonnets' and his political poems, entitled 'Zeitgedichte,' show. He
could speak strong words for right and justice, and in all his poems
there is a musical beauty of language and a perfection of form that
render his songs contributions of permanent value to the lyric
treasury of German literature.


  See'st thou the sea? The sun gleams on its wave
            With splendor bright;
  But where the pearl lies buried in its cave
            Is deepest night.
  The sea am I. My soul, in billows bold,
            Rolls fierce and strong;
  And over all, like to the sunlight's gold,
            There streams my song.
  It throbs with love and pain as though possessed
            Of magic art,
  And yet in silence bleeds, within my breast,
            My gloomy heart.

                     Translation of Frances Hellman. Copyright 1892.


  "He loves thee not! He trifles but with thee!"
    They said to her, and then she bowed her head,
  And pearly tears, like roses' dew, wept she.
    Oh, that she ever trusted what they said!
  For when he came and found his bride in doubt,
    Then, from sheer spite, he would not show his sorrow;
  He played and laughed and drank, day in, day out,--
    To weep from night until the morrow!

  'Tis true, an angel whispered in her heart,
    "He's faithful still; oh lay thy hand in his!"
  And he too felt, 'midst grief and bitter smart,
    "She loves thee! After all, thy love she is;
  Let but a gentle word pass on each side,
    The spell that parts you now will then be broken!"
  They came--each looked on each--oh, evil pride!--
    That single word remained unspoken!

  They parted then. As in a church one oft
    Extinguished sees the altar lamps' red fires,
  Their light grows dim, then once more flares aloft
    In radiance bright,--and thereupon expires,--
  So died their love; at first lamented o'er,
    Then yearned for ardently, and then--forgotten,
  Until the thought that they had loved before
    Of mere delusion seemed begotten!

  But sometimes when the moon shone out at night,
    Each started from his couch! Ah, was it not
  Bedewed with tears? And tears, too, dimmed their sight,
    Because these two had dreamed--I know not what!
  And then the dear old times woke in their heart,
    Their foolish doubts, their parting, that had driven
  Their souls so far, so very far apart,--
    Oh God! let both now be forgiven!

                     Translation of Frances Hellman. Copyright 1892.


  Oh, come to me when through the night
      The starry legions ride!
  Then o'er the sea, in the moonshine bright,
      Our gondola will glide.
  The air is soft as a lover's jest,
      And gently gleams the light;
  The zither sounds, and thy soul is blest
      To join in this delight.
  Oh, come to me when through the night
      The starry legions ride!
  Then o'er the sea, in the moonshine bright,
      Our gondola will glide.

  This is the hour for lovers true,
      Darling, like thee and me;
  Serenely smile the heavens blue
      And calmly sleeps the sea.
  And as it sleeps, a glance will say
      What speech in vain has tried;
  The lips then do not shrink away,
      Nor is a kiss denied.
  Oh, come to me when through the night
      The starry legions ride!
  Then o'er the sea, in the moonshine bright,
      Our gondola will glide.

                     Translation of Frances Hellman. Copyright 1892.


  The wood grows denser at each stride;
      No path more, no trail!
    Only murm'ring waters glide
  Through tangled ferns and woodland flowers pale.
      Ah, and under the great oaks teeming
    How soft the moss, the grass, how high!
    And the heavenly depth of cloudless sky,
  How blue through the leaves it seems to me!
      Here I'll sit, resting and dreaming,
              Dreaming of thee.

                               Translation of Charles Harvey Genung.


  Cease thy dreaming! Cease thy quailing!
    Wander on untiringly.
  Though thy strength may all seem failing,
    Onward! must thy watchword be.

  Durst not tarry, though life's roses
    Round about thy footsteps throng,
  Though the ocean's depth discloses
    Sirens with their witching song.

  Onward! onward! ever calling
    On thy Muse, in life's stern fray,
  Till thy fevered brow feels, falling
    From above, a golden ray.

  Till the verdant wreath victorious
    Crown with soothing shade thy brow;
  Till the spirit's flames rise glorious
    Over thee, with sacred glow.

  Onward then, through hostile fire,
    Onward through death's agony!
  Who to heaven would aspire
    Must a valiant warrior be.

                     Translation of Frances Hellman. Copyright 1892.


  At last the daylight fadeth,
    With all its noise and glare;
  Refreshing peace pervadeth
    The darkness everywhere.

  On the fields deep silence hovers;
    The woods now wake alone;
  What daylight ne'er discovers,
    Their songs to the night make known.

  And what when the sun is shining
    I ne'er can tell to thee,
  To whisper it now I am pining,--
    Oh, come and hearken to me!

                     Translation of Frances Hellman. Copyright 1892.

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