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Title: Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 9
Author: Various
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 9" ***

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                            LIBRARY OF THE
                       WORLD'S BEST LITERATURE
                          ANCIENT AND MODERN

                        CHARLES DUDLEY WARNER


                         GEORGE HENRY WARNER

                          ASSOCIATE EDITORS

                         Connoisseur Edition

                               VOL. IX.

                               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. IX

                                                    LIVED       PAGE

  ADELBERT VON CHAMISSO                           1781-1838     3503

    The Bargain ('The Wonderful History of Peter Schlemihl')
    From 'Woman's Love and Life'

  WILLIAM ELLERY CHANNING                         1780-1842     3513

    The Passion for Power ('The Life and Character of
        Napoleon Bonaparte')
    The Causes of War ('Discourse before the Congregational
        Ministers of Massachusetts')
    Spiritual Freedom ('Discourse on Spiritual Freedom')

  GEORGE CHAPMAN                                  1559?-1634    3523

    Ulysses and Nausicaa (Translation of Homer's Odyssey)
    The Duke of Byron is Condemned to Death ('Tragedy of
        Charles, Duke of Byron')

  FRANÇOIS RENÉ AUGUSTE CHÂTEAUBRIAND             1768-1848     3531

    Christianity Vindicated ('The Genius of Christianity')
    Description of a Thunder-Storm in the Forest ('Atala')

  THOMAS CHATTERTON                               1752-1770     3539

    Final Chorus from 'Goddwyn'
    The Farewell of Sir Charles Baldwin to His Wife ('The
        Bristowe Tragedie')
    Mynstrelles Songe
    An Excelente Balade of Charitie
    The Resignation

  GEOFFREY CHAUCER                                13--?-1400    3551

                        BY THOMAS R. LOUNSBURY

    Prologue to the 'Canterbury Tales'
    From the Knight's Tale
    From the Wife of Bath's Tale
    From the Pardoner's Tale
    The Nun's Priest's Tale
    Truth--Ballade of Good Counsel

  ANDRÉ CHÉNIER                                   1762-1794     3601

                         BY KATHARINE HILLARD

    The Young Captive

  VICTOR CHERBULIEZ                               1829-         3609

    The Silent Duel ('Samuel Brohl and Company')
    Samuel Brohl Gives Up the Play (same)

  LORD CHESTERFIELD                               1694-1773     3625

    From 'Letters to His Son':
        Concerning Manners; The Control of One's Countenance;
        Dress as an Index to Character;
        Some Remarks on Good Breeding
    The Choice of a Vocation

  THE LITERATURE OF CHINA                                       3629

                         BY ROBERT K. DOUGLAS

    Selected Maxims of Morals, Philosophy of Life, Character,
        Circumstances, etc. (From the Chinese Moralists)

  RUFUS CHOATE                                    1799-1859     3649

                          BY ALBERT STICKNEY

    The Puritan in Secular and Religious Life (From Address at
        Ipswich Centennial, 1834)
    The New-Englander's Character (same)
    Of the American Bar (From Address before Cambridge Law School)
    Daniel Webster (From Eulogy at Dartmouth College)

  ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM                              347-407      3665

                            BY JOHN MALONE

    That Real Wealth is from Within
    On Encouragement During Adversity ('Letters to Olympias')
    Concerning the Statutes (Homily)

  MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO                           106-43 B.C.   3675

                      BY WILLIAM CRANSTON LAWTON

    Of the Offices of Literature and Poetry ('Oration for the
        Poet Archias')
    Honors Proposed for the Dead Statesman Sulpicius
        (Ninth Philippic)
    Old Friends Better than New ('Dialogue on Friendship')
    Honored Old Age ('Dialogue on Old Age')
    Death is Welcome to the Old (same)
    Great Orators and Their Training ('Dialogue on Oratory')
    Letters: To Tiro; To Atticus
    Sulpicius Consoles Cicero after His Daughter Tullia's Death
    Cicero's Reply to Sulpicius
    A Homesick Exile
    Cicero's Vacillation in the Civil War
    Cicero's Correspondents:
        Cæsar to Cicero; Cæsar to Cicero; Pompey to Cicero;
        Cælius in Rome to Cicero in Cilicia; Matins to Cicero
    The Dream of Scipio

  THE CID                                         1045?-1099    3725

                       BY CHARLES SPRAGUE SMITH

    From 'The Poem of My Cid':
        Leaving Burgos; Farewell to His Wife at San Pedro de
        Cardeña; Battle Scene; The Challenges; Conclusion

  EARL OF CLARENDON (Edward Hyde)                 1609-1674     3737

    The Character of Lord Falkland

  MARCUS A. H. CLARKE                             1846-1881     3745

    How a Penal System can Work ('His Natural Life')
    The Valley of the Shadow of Death (same)

  MATTHIAS CLAUDIUS                               1740-1815     3756

    Speculations on New-Year's Day (The Wandsbecker Bote)
    Rhine Wine
    Night Song

  HENRY CLAY                                      1777-1852     3761

                          BY JOHN R. PROCTER

    Public Spirit in Politics (Speech in 1849)
    On the Greek Struggle for Independence (Speech in 1824)
    South-American Independence as Related to the United States
        (Speech in 1818)
    From the Valedictory to the Senate in 1842
    From the Lexington 'Speech on Retirement to Private Life'

  CLEANTHES                                       331-232 B.C.  3784

    Hymn to Zeus

  SAMUEL LANGHORNE CLEMENS (Mark Twain)           1835-         3787

    The Child of Calamity ('Life on the Mississippi')
    A Steamboat Landing at a Small Town (same)
    The High River: and a Phantom Pilot (same)
    An Enchanting River Scene (same)
    The Lightning Pilot (same)
    An Expedition against Ogres ('A Connecticut Yankee in
        King Arthur's Court')
    The True Prince and the Feigned One ('The Prince and
        the Pauper')

  ARTHUR HUGH CLOUGH                              1819-1861     3821

                        BY CHARLES ELIOT NORTON

    There is No God
    The Latest Decalogue
    To the Unknown God
    Easter Day--Naples, 1849
    It Fortifies My Soul to Know
    Say Not, The Struggle Naught Availeth
    Come Back
    As Ships Becalmed
    The Unknown Course
    The Gondola
    The Poet's Place in Life
    On Keeping within One's Proper Sphere ('The Bothie of
    Consider It Again

  SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE                         1772-1834     3843

                        BY GEORGE E. WOODBERRY

    Kubla Khan
    The Albatross ('The Rime of the Ancient Mariner')
    Time, Real and Imaginary
    Dejection: An Ode
    The Three Treasures
    To a Gentleman
    Ode to Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire
    The Pains of Sleep
    Song, by Glyeine
    Youth and Age
    Phantom or Fact

  WILLIAM COLLINS                                 1721-1759     3871

    How Sleep the Brave
    The Passions
    To Evening
    Ode on the Death of Thomson

  WILLIAM WILKIE COLLINS                          1824-1889     3879

    The Sleep-Walking ('The Moonstone')
    Count Fosco ('The Woman in White')

                       FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS

                              VOLUME IX

  The Koran (Colored plate)                             Frontispiece
  Geoffrey Chaucer (Portrait)                                   3552
  Chaucer, Old Title-Page (Fac-simile)                          3562
  Lord Chesterfield (Portrait)                                  3626
  Oldest Chinese Writing (Fac-simile)                           3630
  Cicero (Portrait)                                             3676
  "Winter" (Photogravure)                                       3760
  Henry Clay (Portrait)                                         3762
  Samuel L. Clemens (Portrait)                                  3788
  "The Gondola" (Photogravure)                                  3838
  Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Portrait)                            3844

                          VIGNETTE PORTRAITS

  Adelbert von Chamisso
  William Ellery Channing
  George Chapman
  François René Auguste Châteaubriand
  Thomas Chatterton
  Andre Chénier
  Victor Cherbuliez
  Rufus Choate
  Earl of Clarendon
  Matthias Claudius
  William Collins
  William Wilkie Collins



[Illustration: CHAMISSO]

Louis Charles Adelaide de Chamisso, known as Adelbert von Chamisso, the
youngest son of Count Louis Marie de Chamisso, was born in the paternal
castle of Boncourt, in Champagne, January 30th, 1781. Driven into exile
by the Revolution, the family of loyalists sought refuge in the Low
Countries and afterward in Germany, settling in Berlin in 1797. In later
years the other members of the family returned to France and established
themselves once more as Frenchmen in their native land; but Adelbert von
Chamisso, German by nature and characteristics as well as by virtue of
his early education and environment, struck root in Germany and was the
genuine product of German soil. In 1796 the young Chamisso became page
to Queen Louise of Prussia, and while at court, by the Queen's
directions, he received the most careful education. He was made ensign
in 1798 and lieutenant in 1801, in the Regiment von Goetze. A military
career was repugnant to him, and his French antecedents did not tend to
make his life agreeable among the German officers. That the service was
not wholly without interest, however, is shown by the two treatises upon
military subjects written by him in 1798 and 1799.

As a young officer he belonged to a romantic brotherhood calling itself
"The Polar Star," which counted among its members his lifelong friend
Hitzig, Alexander zur Lippe, Varnhagen, and other young writers of the
day. He diligently applied himself to the mastery of the German tongue,
made translations of poems and dramas, and to relieve the irksomeness of
his military life incessantly studied Homer. His most ambitious literary
effort of this time was a 'Faust' (1803), a metaphysical, somewhat
sophomoric attempt, but the only one of his early poems that he admitted
into his collected works.

While still in the Prussian army, he edited with Varnhagen and Neumann a
periodical called the Musenalmanach (1804), which existed three years.
After repeated but vain efforts to obtain release from the uncongenial
military service, the capitulation of Hameln at length set him free
(1806). He left Germany and went to France; but, disappointed in his
hopes, unsettled and without plans, he returned, and several years were
lost in profitless and desultory wanderings. From 1810 to 1812 he was
again in France. Here he became acquainted with Alexander von Humboldt
and Uhland, and renewed his friendship with Wilhelm Schlegel. With
Helmina von Chézy he undertook the translation into French of Schlegel's
Vienna lectures upon art and literature. Chamisso was indifferent to the
task, and the translation went on but slowly. To expedite the work he
was invited to stay at Chaumont, the residence of Madame de Staël, where
Schlegel was a member of her household. Here his careless personal
habits and his inevitable pipe brought odium upon him in that polished

Madame de Staël was always his friend, and in 1811 he went to her at
Coppet, where by a happy chance he took up the study of botany, with
August de Staël as instructor. Filled with enthusiasm for his new
pursuit, he made excursions through Switzerland, collecting and
botanizing. The period of indecision was at an end, and in 1812, at the
age of thirty-one, he matriculated as student of medicine at the
University of Berlin, and applied himself with resolution to the study
of the natural sciences. During the war against Napoleon he sought
refuge in Kunersdorf with the Itzenplitz family, where he occupied his
time with botany and the instruction of young Itzenplitz. It was during
this time (1813) that 'Peter Schlemihl's Wundersame Geschichte' (Peter
Schlemihl's Wonderful History) was written,--one of the masterpieces of
German literature. His 'Faust' and 'Fortunatus' had in some degree
foreshadowed his later and more famous work,--'Faust' in the compact
with the devil, 'Fortunatus' in the possession of the magical
wishing-bag. The simple _motif_ of popular superstition, the loss of
one's shadow, familiar in folk-stories and already developed by Goethe
in his 'Tales,' and by Körner in 'Der Teufel von Salamanca' (The Devil
of Salamanca), was treated by Chamisso with admirable simplicity,
directness of style, and realism of detail.

Chamisso's divided allegiance to France and Germany made the political
situation of the times very trying for him, and it was with joy that he
welcomed an appointment as scientist to a Russian polar expedition,
fitted out under the direction of Count Romanzoff, and commanded by
Captain Kotzebue (1815-1818). The record of the scientific results of
this expedition, as published by Kotzebue, was full of misstatements;
and to correct these, Chamisso wrote the 'Tagebuch' (Journal) in 1835, a
work whose pure and plastic style places it in the first order of books
of travel, and entitles its author, in point of description, to rank
with Von Humboldt among the best writers of travels of the first half of
the century.

After three years of voyaging, Chamisso returned to Berlin, and in 1819
he was made a member of the Society of Natural Sciences and received the
degree of Ph.D. from the University of Berlin, was appointed adjunct
custodian of the botanical garden in New Schöneberg, and in September of
the same year he married Antonie Piaste.

An indemnity granted by France to the French emigrants put him in
possession of the sum of one hundred thousand francs, and in 1825 he
again visited Paris, where he remained some months among old friends and
new interests. The period of his great activity was after this date. His
life was now peaceful and domestic. Poetry and botany flourished side by
side. Chamisso, to his own astonishment, found himself read and admired,
and everywhere his songs were sung. To the influence of his wife we owe
the cycles of poems, 'Frauen-Liebe und Leben' (Woman's Love and Life),
and 'Lebens Lieder und Bilder' (Life's Songs and Pictures), for without
her they would have been impossible. The former cycle inspired Robert
Schumann in the first days of his happy married life, and the music of
these songs has made 'Woman's Love and Life' familiar to all the world.
'Salas y Gomez,' a reminiscence of his voyage around the world, appeared
in the Musenalmanach in 1830. The theme of this poem was the development
of the romantic possibilities suggested by the sight of the profound
loneliness and grandeur of the South Sea island, Salas y Gomez. Chamisso
translated Andersen and Béranger, made translations from the Chinese and
Tonga, and his version of the Eddic Song of Thrym ('Das Lied von Thrym')
is among the best translations from the Icelandic that have been made.

In 1832 he became associate editor of the Berlin Deutscher
Musenalmanach, which position he held until his death, and in his hands
the periodical attained a high degree of influence and importance. His
health failing, he resigned his position at the Botanical Garden,
retiring upon full pay. He died at Berlin, August 21st, 1838.

Frenchman though he was, his entire conception of life and the whole
character of his writings are purely German, and show none of the French
characteristics of his time. Chamisso, as botanist, traveler, poet, and
editor, made important contributions in each and every field, although
outside of Germany his fame rests chiefly upon his widely known
'Schlemihl,' which has been translated into all the principal languages
of Europe.


    From 'The Wonderful History of Peter Schlemihl'

After a fortunate, but for me very troublesome voyage, we finally
reached the port. The instant that I touched land in the boat, I loaded
myself with my few effects, and passing through the swarming people I
entered the first and least house before which I saw a sign hang. I
requested a room; the boots measured me with a look, and conducted me
into the garret. I caused fresh water to be brought, and made him
exactly describe to me where I should find Mr. Thomas John.

"Before the north gate; the first country-house on the right hand; a
large new house of red and white marble, with many columns."

"Good." It was still early in the day. I opened at once my bundle; took
thence my new black-cloth coat; clad myself cleanly in my best apparel;
put my letter of introduction into my pocket, and set out on the way to
the man who was to promote my modest expectations.

When I had ascended the long North Street, and reached the gate, I soon
saw the pillars glimmer through the foliage. "Here it is, then," thought
I. I wiped the dust from my feet with my pocket-handkerchief, put my
neckcloth in order, and in God's name rang the bell. The door flew open.
In the hall I had an examination to undergo; the porter however
permitted me to be announced, and I had the honor to be called into the
park, where Mr. John was walking with a select party. I recognized the
man at once by the lustre of his corpulent self-complacency. He received
me very well,--as a rich man receives a poor devil,--even turned towards
me, without turning from the rest of the company, and took the offered
letter from my hand. "So, so, from my brother. I have heard nothing from
him for a long time. But he is well? There," continued he, addressing
the company, without waiting for an answer, and pointing with the letter
to a hill, "there I am going to erect the new building." He broke the
seal without breaking off the conversation, which turned upon riches.

"He that is not master of a million at least," he observed, "is--pardon
me the word--a wretch!"

"Oh, how true!" I exclaimed, with a rush of overflowing feeling.

That pleased him. He smiled at me and said, "Stay here, my good friend;
in a while I shall perhaps have time to tell you what I think about
this." He pointed to the letter, which he then thrust into his pocket,
and turned again to the company. He offered his arm to a young lady; the
other gentlemen addressed themselves to other fair ones; each found what
suited him: and all proceeded towards the rose-blossomed mount.

I slid into the rear without troubling any one, for no one troubled
himself any further about me. The company was excessively lively; there
was dalliance and playfulness; trifles were sometimes discussed with an
important tone, but oftener important matters with levity; and the wit
flew with special gayety over absent friends and their circumstances. I
was too strange to understand much of all this; too anxious and
introverted to take an interest in such riddles.

We had reached the rosery. The lovely Fanny, who seemed the belle of the
day, insisted out of obstinacy in breaking off a blossomed stem herself.
She wounded herself on a thorn, and the purple streamed from her tender
hand as if from the dark roses. This circumstance put the whole party
into a flutter. English plaster was sought for. A quiet, thin, lanky,
longish, oldish man who stood near, and whom I had not hitherto
remarked, put his hand instantly into the tight breast-pocket of his old
gray French taffeta coat; produced thence a little pocket-book, opened
it, and presented to the lady with a profound obeisance the required
article. She took it without noticing the giver, and without thanks; the
wound was bound up and we went forward over the hill, from whose back
the company could enjoy the wide prospect over the green labyrinth of
the park to the boundless ocean.

The view was in reality vast and splendid. A light point appeared on the
horizon between the dark flood and the blue of the heaven. "A telescope
here!" cried John; and already, before the servants who appeared at the
call were in motion, the gray man, modestly bowing, had thrust his hand
into his coat pocket, drawn thence a beautiful Dollond, and handed it to
Mr. John. Bringing it immediately to his eye, he informed the company
that it was the ship which went out yesterday, and was detained in view
of port by contrary winds. The telescope passed from hand to hand, but
not again into that of its owner. I however gazed in wonder at the man,
and could not conceive how the great machine had come out of the narrow
pocket; but this seemed to have struck no one else, and nobody troubled
himself any further about the gray man than about myself.

Refreshments were handed round; the choicest fruits of every zone, in
the costliest vessels. Mr. John did the honors with an easy grace, and a
second time addressed a word to me: "Help yourself; you have not had the
like at sea." I bowed, but he did not see it; he was already speaking
with some one else.

The company would fain have reclined upon the sward on the slope of the
hill, opposite to the outstretched landscape, had they not feared the
dampness of the earth. "It were divine," observed one of the party, "had
we but a Turkey carpet to spread here." The wish was scarcely expressed
when the man in the gray coat had his hand in his pocket, and was busied
in drawing thence, with a modest and even humble deportment, a rich
Turkey carpet interwoven with gold. The servants received it as a matter
of course, and opened it on the required spot. The company, without
ceremony, took their places upon it; for myself, I looked again in
amazement on the man--at the carpet, which measured about twenty paces
long and ten in breadth and rubbed my eyes, not knowing what to think of
it, especially as nobody saw anything extraordinary in it.

I would fain have had some explanation regarding the man and have asked
who he was, but I knew not to whom to address myself, for I was almost
more afraid of the gentlemen's servants than of the served gentlemen. At
length I took courage, and stepped up to a young man who appeared to me
to be of less consideration than the rest, and who had often stood
alone. I begged him softly to tell me who the agreeable man in the gray
coat there was.

"He there, who looks like an end of thread that has escaped out of a
tailor's needle?"

"Yes, he who stands alone."

"I don't know him," he replied, and--in order to avoid a longer
conversation with me, apparently--he turned away and spoke of
indifferent matters to another.

The sun began now to shine more powerfully, and to inconvenience the
ladies. The lovely Fanny addressed carelessly to the gray man--whom, as
far as I am aware, no one had yet spoken to--the trifling question
whether he "had not, perchance, also a tent by him?" He answered her by
an obeisance most profound, as if an unmerited honor were done him, and
had already his hand in his pocket, out of which I saw come canvas,
poles, cordage, iron-work,--in short, everything which belongs to the
most splendid pleasure-tent. The young gentlemen helped to expand it,
and it covered the whole extent of the carpet, and nobody found anything
remarkable in it.

I had already become uneasy--nay, horrified--at heart; but how
completely so, as at the very next wish expressed I saw him pull out of
his pocket three roadsters I tell you, three beautiful great black
horses, with saddle and caparison. Take it in, for Heaven's sake!--three
saddled horses, out of the same pocket from which already a pocket-book,
a telescope, an embroidered carpet twenty paces long and ten broad, a
pleasure-tent of equal dimensions and all the requisite poles and irons,
had come forth! If I did not protest to you that I saw it myself with my
own eyes, you could not possibly believe it.

Embarrassed and obsequious as the man himself appeared to be, little as
was the attention which had been bestowed upon him, yet to me his grisly
aspect, from which I could not turn my eyes, became so fearful that I
could bear it no longer.

I resolved to steal away from the company, which from the insignificant
part I played in it seemed to me an easy affair. I proposed to myself to
return to the city to try my luck again on the morrow with Mr. John, and
if I could muster the necessary courage, to question him about the
singular gray man. Had I only had the good fortune to escape so well!

I had already actually succeeded in stealing through the rosery, and on
descending the hill found myself on a piece of lawn, when, fearing to be
encountered in crossing the grass out of the path, I cast an inquiring
glance round me. What was my terror to behold the man in the gray coat
behind me, and making towards me! The next moment he took off his hat
before me, and bowed so low as no one had ever yet done to me. There was
no doubt but that he wished to address me, and without being rude I
could not prevent it. I also took off my hat, bowed also, and stood
there in the sun with bare head as if rooted to the ground. I stared at
him full of terror, and was like a bird which a serpent has fascinated.
He himself appeared very much embarrassed. He did not raise his eyes,
again bowed repeatedly, drew nearer and addressed me with a soft
tremulous voice, almost in a tone of supplication:--

"May I hope, sir, that you will pardon my boldness in venturing in so
unusual a manner to approach you? but I would ask a favor. Permit me
most condescendingly--"

"But in God's name!" exclaimed I in my trepidation, "what can I do for a
man who--" we both started, and as I believe, reddened.

After a moment's silence he again resumed:--

"During the short time that I had the happiness to find myself near you,
I have, sir, many times,--allow me to say it to you,--really
contemplated with inexpressible admiration the beautiful, beautiful
shadow which, as it were with a certain noble disdain and without
yourself remarking it, you cast from you in the sunshine. The noble
shadow at your feet there! Pardon me the bold supposition, but possibly
you might not be indisposed to make this shadow over to me."

I was silent, and a mill-wheel seemed to whirl round in my head. What
was I to make of this singular proposition to sell my own shadow? He
must be mad, thought I; and with an altered tone which was more
assimilated to that of his own humility, I answered him thus:--

"Ha! ha! good friend, have not you then enough of your own shadow? I
take this for a business of a very singular sort--"

He hastily interrupted me:--"I have many things in my pocket which, sir,
might not appear worthless to you; and for this inestimable shadow I
hold the very highest price too small."

It struck cold through me again as I was reminded of the pocket. I knew
not how I could have called him good friend. I resumed the conversation,
and sought to set all right again by excessive politeness if possible.

"But, sir, pardon your most humble servant; I do not understand your
meaning. How indeed could my shadow--"

He interrupted me.

"I beg your permission only here on the spot to be allowed to take up
this noble shadow and put it in my pocket; how I shall do that, be my
care. On the other hand, as a testimony of my grateful acknowledgment to
you, I give you the choice of all the treasures which I carry in my
pocket,--the genuine 'spring-root,' the 'mandrake-root,' the
'change-penny,' the 'rob-dollar,' the 'napkin of Roland's page,' a
'mandrake-man,' at your own price. But these probably don't interest
you; rather 'Fortunatus's wishing-cap,' newly and stoutly repaired, and
a lucky-bag such as he had!"

"The luck-purse of Fortunatus!" I exclaimed, interrupting him; and great
as my anxiety was, with that one word he had taken my whole mind
captive. A dizziness seized me, and double ducats seemed to glitter
before my eyes.

"Honored sir, will you do me the favor to view and to make trial of this
purse?" He thrust his hand into his pocket and drew out a tolerably
large, well-sewed purse of stout Cordovan leather, with two strong
strings, and handed it to me. I plunged my hand into it, and drew out
ten gold pieces, and again ten. I extended him eagerly my hand. "Agreed!
the business is done: for the purse you have my shadow!"

He closed with me; kneeled instantly down before me, and I beheld him,
with an admirable dexterity, gently loosen my shadow from top to toe
from the grass, lift it up, roll it together, fold it, and finally
pocket it. He arose, made me another obeisance, and retreated towards
the rosery. I fancied that I heard him there softly laughing to himself,
but I held the purse fast by the strings; all round me lay the clear
sunshine, and within me was yet no power of reflection.

At length I came to myself, and hastened to quit the place where I had
nothing more to expect. In the first place I filled my pockets with
gold; then I secured the strings of the purse fast round my neck, and
concealed the purse itself in my bosom. I passed unobserved out of the
park, reached the highway and took the road to the city. As, sunk in
thought, I approached the gate, I heard a cry behind me:

"Young gentleman! eh! young gentleman! hear you!"

I looked round; an old woman called after me.

"Do take care, sir, you have lost your shadow!"

"Thank you, good mother!" I threw her a gold piece for her well-meant
intelligence, and stopped under the trees.

At the city gate I was compelled to hear again from the sentinel, "Where
has the gentleman left his shadow?" And immediately again from some
women, "Jesus Maria! the poor fellow has no shadow!" That began to
irritate me, and I became especially careful not to walk in the sun.
This could not, however, be accomplished everywhere; for instance, over
the broad street I must next take--actually, as mischief would have it,
at the very moment the boys came out of school. A cursed hunchbacked
rogue--I see him yet--spied out instantly that I had no shadow. He
proclaimed the fact with a loud outcry to the whole assembled literary
street youth of the suburb, who began forthwith to criticize me and to
pelt me with mud. "Decent people are accustomed to take their shadow
with them when they go into the sunshine." To defend myself from them I
threw whole handfuls of gold amongst them, and sprang into a hackney
coach which some compassionate soul procured for me. As soon as I found
myself alone in the rolling carriage, I began to weep bitterly. The
presentiment must already have arisen in me that on earth, far as gold
transcends merit and virtue in estimation, so much higher than gold
itself is the shadow valued; and as I had earlier sacrificed wealth to
conscience, I had now thrown away the shadow for mere gold. What in the
world could and would become of me!


  Thou ring upon my finger,
    My little golden ring,
  Against my fond bosom I press thee,
    And to thee my fond lips cling.

  My girlhood's dream was ended,
    Its peaceful, innocent grace,
  Forlorn I woke, and so lonely,
    In desolate infinite space.

  Thou ring upon my finger,
    Thou bringest me peace on earth,
  And thou my eyes hast opened
    To womanhood's infinite worth.

  I'll love and serve him forever,
    And live for him alone;
  I'll give him my life, but to find it
    Transfigured in his own.

  Thou ring upon my finger,
    My little golden ring,
  Against my fond bosom I press thee,
    And to thee my fond lips cling.

                               Translation of Charles Harvey Genung.



[Illustration: WILLIAM E. CHANNING]

Dr. Channing, the recognized leader although not the originator of the
Unitarian movement in this country, was a man of singular spirituality,
sweetness of disposition, purity of life, and nobility of character. He
was thought by some to be austere and cold in temperament, and timid in
action; but this was rather a misconception of a life given to
conscientious study, and an effort to allow due weight to opposing
arguments. He was not liable to be swept from his moorings by momentary
enthusiasm. As a writer he was clear and direct, admirably perspicuous
in style, without great ornament, much addicted to short and simple
sentences, though singularly enough an admirer of those which were long
and involved. A critic in Fraser's Magazine wrote of him:--"Channing is
unquestionably the first writer of the age. From his writings may be
extracted some of the richest poetry and richest conceptions, clothed in
language--unfortunately for our literature--too little studied in the
day in which we live."

He was of "blue blood,"--the grandson of William Ellery, one of the
signers of the Declaration,--and was born at Newport, Rhode Island,
April 7th, 1780. He was graduated at Harvard College with high honors in
1798, and first thought of studying medicine, but was inclined to the
direction of the ministry. He became a private tutor in Richmond,
Virginia, where he learned to detest slavery. Here he laid the seeds of
subsequent physical troubles by imprudent indulgence in asceticism, in a
desire to avoid effeminacy. He entered upon the study of theology, which
he continued in Cambridge; he was ordained in 1803, and soon became
pastor of the Federal Street Church in Boston, in charge of which
society he passed his ministerial life. In the following year he was
associated with Buckminster and others in the liberal Congregational
movement, and this led him into a position of controversy with his
orthodox brethren,--one he cordially disliked. But he could not refrain
from preaching the doctrines of the dignity of human nature, the
supremacy of reason, and religious freedom, of whose truth he was
profoundly assured.

It has been truly said that Channing was too much a lover of free
thought, and too desirous to hold only what he thought to be true, to
allow himself to be bound by any party ties. "I wish," he himself said,
"to regard myself as belonging not to a sect but to the community of
free minds, of lovers of truth and followers of Christ, both on earth
and in heaven. I desire to escape the narrow walls of a particular
church, and to stand under the open sky in the broad light, looking far
and wide, seeing with my own eyes, hearing with my own ears, and
following Truth meekly but resolutely, however arduous or solitary be
the path in which she leads."

He was greatly interested in temperance, in the anti-slavery movement,
in the elevation of the laboring classes, and other social reforms; and
after 1824, when Dr. Gannett became associate pastor, he gave much time
to work in these directions. His death occurred at Bennington, Vermont,
April 2d, 1842. His literary achievements are mainly or wholly in the
line of his work,--sermons, addresses, and essays; but they were
prepared with scrupulous care, and have the quality naturally to be
expected from a man of broad and catholic spirit, wide interests, and
strong love of literature. His works, in six volumes, are issued by the
American Unitarian Association, which also publishes a 'Memorial' by his
nephew, William Henry Channing, in three volumes.


    From 'The Life and Character of Napoleon Bonaparte'

The passion for ruling, though most completely developed in despotisms,
is confined to no forms of government. It is the chief peril of free
States, the natural enemy of free institutions. It agitates our own
country, and still throws an uncertainty over the great experiment we
are making here in behalf of liberty.... It is the distinction of
republican institutions, that whilst they compel the passion for power
to moderate its pretensions, and to satisfy itself with more limited
gratifications, they tend to spread it more widely through the
community, and to make it a universal principle. The doors of office
being opened to all, crowds burn to rush in. A thousand hands are
stretched out to grasp the reins which are denied to none. Perhaps in
this boasted and boasting land of liberty, not a few, if called to state
the chief good of a republic, would place it in this: that every man is
eligible to every office, and that the highest places of power and
trust are prizes for universal competition. The superiority attributed
by many to our institutions is, not that they secure the greatest
freedom, but give every man a chance of ruling; not that they reduce the
power of government within the narrowest limits which the safety of the
State admits, but throw it into as many hands as possible. The despot's
great crime is thought to be that he keeps the delight of dominion to
himself, that he makes a monopoly of it; whilst our more generous
institutions, by breaking it into parcels and inviting the multitude to
scramble for it, spread this joy more widely. The result is that
political ambition infects our country and generates a feverish
restlessness and discontent, which to the monarchist may seem more than
a balance for our forms of liberty. The spirit of intrigue, which in
absolute governments is confined to courts, walks abroad through the
land; and as individuals can accomplish no political purposes
single-handed, they band themselves into parties, ostensibly framed for
public ends, but aiming only at the acquisition of power. The nominal
sovereign,--that is, the people,--like all other sovereigns, is courted
and flattered and told that it can do no wrong. Its pride is pampered,
its passions inflamed, its prejudices made inveterate. Such are the
processes by which other republics have been subverted, and he must be
blind who cannot trace them among ourselves. We mean not to exaggerate
our dangers. We rejoice to know that the improvements of society oppose
many checks to the love of power. But every wise man who sees its
workings must dread it as one chief foe.

This passion derives strength and vehemence in our country from the
common idea that political power is the highest prize which society has
to offer. We know not a more general delusion, nor is it the least
dangerous. Instilled as it is in our youth, it gives infinite excitement
to political ambition. It turns the active talents of the country to
public station as the supreme good, and makes it restless, intriguing,
and unprincipled. It calls out hosts of selfish competitors for
comparatively few places, and encourages a bold, unblushing pursuit of
personal elevation, which a just moral sense and self-respect in the
community would frown upon and cover with shame.


    From a 'Discourse delivered before the Congregational ministers
    of Massachusetts'

One of the great springs of war may be found in a very strong and
general propensity of human nature--in the love of excitement, of
emotion, of strong interest; a propensity which gives a charm to those
bold and hazardous enterprises which call forth all the energies of our
nature. No state of mind, not even positive suffering, is more painful
than the want of interesting objects. The vacant soul preys on itself,
and often rushes with impatience from the security which demands no
effort, to the brink of peril. This part of human nature is seen in the
kind of pleasures which have always been preferred. Why has the first
rank among sports been given to the chase? Because its difficulties,
hardships, hazards, tumults, awaken the mind, and give to it a new
consciousness of existence, and a deep feeling of its powers. What is
the charm which attaches the statesman to an office which almost weighs
him down with labor and an appalling responsibility? He finds much of
his compensation in the powerful emotion and interest awakened by the
very hardships of his lot, by conflict with vigorous minds, by the
opposition of rivals, by the alternations of success and defeat. What
hurries to the gaming tables the man of prosperous fortune and ample
resources? The dread of apathy, the love of strong feeling and of mental
agitation. A deeper interest is felt in hazarding than in securing
wealth, and the temptation is irresistible.... Another powerful
principle of our nature which is the spring of war, is the passion for
superiority, for triumph, for power. The human mind is aspiring,
impatient of inferiority, and eager for control. I need not enlarge on
the predominance of this passion in rulers, whose love of power is
influenced by its possession, and who are ever restless to extend their
sway. It is more important to observe that were this desire restrained
to the breasts of rulers, war would move with a sluggish pace. But the
passion for power and superiority is universal; and as every individual,
from his intimate union with the community, is accustomed to appropriate
its triumphs to himself, there is a general promptness to engage in any
contest by which the community may obtain an ascendency over other
nations. The desire that our country should surpass all others would not
be criminal, did we understand in what respects it is most honorable for
a nation to excel; did we feel that the glory of a State consists in
intellectual and moral superiority, in pre-eminence of knowledge,
freedom and purity. But to the mass of the people this form of
pre-eminence is too refined and unsubstantial. There is another kind of
triumph which they better understand: the triumph of physical power,
triumph in battle, triumph not over the minds but the territory of
another State. Here is a palpable, visible superiority; and for this a
people are willing to submit to severe privations. A victory blots out
the memory of their sufferings, and in boasting of their extended power
they find a compensation for many woes.... Another powerful spring of
war is the admiration of the brilliant qualities displayed in war. Many
delight in war, not for its carnage and woes, but for its valor and
apparent magnanimity, for the self-command of the hero, the fortitude
which despises suffering, the resolution which courts danger, the
superiority of the mind to the body, to sensation, to fear. Men seldom
delight in war, considered merely as a source of misery. When they hear
of battles, the picture which rises to their view is not what it should
be--a picture of extreme wretchedness, of the wounded, the mangled, the
slain; these horrors are hidden under the splendor of those mighty
energies which break forth amidst the perils of conflict, and which
human nature contemplates with an intense and heart-thrilling delight.
Whilst the peaceful sovereign who scatters blessings with the silence
and constancy of Providence is received with a faint applause, men
assemble in crowds to hail the conqueror,--perhaps a monster in human
form, whose private life is blackened with lust and crime, and whose
greatness is built on perfidy and usurpation. Thus war is the surest and
speediest way to renown; and war will never cease while the field of
battle is the field of glory, and the most luxuriant laurels grow from a
root nourished with blood.


    From the 'Discourse on Spiritual Freedom,' 1830

I consider the freedom or moral strength of the individual mind as the
supreme good, and the highest end of government. I am aware that other
views are often taken. It is said that government is intended for the
public, for the community, not for the individual. The idea of a
national interest prevails in the minds of statesmen, and to this it is
thought that the individual may be sacrificed. But I would maintain that
the individual is not made for the State so much as the State for the
individual. A man is not created for political relations as his highest
end, but for indefinite spiritual progress, and is placed in political
relations as the means of his progress. The human soul is greater, more
sacred than the State, and must never be sacrificed to it. The human
soul is to outlive all earthly institutions. The distinction of nations
is to pass away. Thrones which have stood for ages are to meet the doom
pronounced upon all man's works. But the individual mind survives, and
the obscurest subject, if true to God, will rise to power never wielded
by earthly potentates.

A human being is a member of the community, not as a limb is a member of
the body, or as a wheel is a part of a machine, intended only to
contribute to some general joint result. He was created not to be merged
in the whole, as a drop in the ocean or as a particle of sand on the
seashore, and to aid only in composing a mass. He is an ultimate being,
made for his own perfection as his highest end; made to maintain an
individual existence, and to serve others only as far as consists with
his own virtue and progress. Hitherto governments have tended greatly to
obscure this importance of the individual, to depress him in his own
eyes, to give him the idea of an outward interest more important than
the invisible soul, and of an outward authority more sacred than the
voice of God in his own secret conscience. Rulers have called the
private man the property of the State, meaning generally by the State
themselves; and thus the many have been immolated to the few, and have
even believed that this was their highest destination. These views
cannot be too earnestly withstood. Nothing seems to me so needful as to
give to the mind the consciousness, which governments have done so much
to suppress, of its own separate worth. Let the individual feel that
through his immortality he may concentrate in his own being a greater
good than that of nations. Let him feel that he is placed in the
community, not to part with his individuality or to become a tool, but
that he should find a sphere for his various powers, and a preparation
for immortal glory. To me the progress of society consists in nothing
more than in bringing out the individual, in giving him a consciousness
of his own being, and in quickening him to strengthen and elevate his
own mind.

In thus maintaining that the individual is the end of social
institutions, I may be thought to discourage public efforts and the
sacrifice of private interests to the State. Far from it. No man, I
affirm, will serve his fellow-beings so effectually, so fervently, as he
who is not their slave; as he who, casting off every other yoke,
subjects himself to the law of duty in his own mind. For this law
enjoins a disinterested and generous spirit, as man's glory and likeness
to his Maker. Individuality, or moral self-subsistence, is the surest
foundation of an all-comprehending love. No man so multiplies his bonds
with the community, as he who watches most jealously over his own
perfection. There is a beautiful harmony between the good of the State
and the moral freedom and dignity of the individual. Were it not so,
were these interests in any case discordant, were an individual ever
called to serve his country by acts debasing his own mind, he ought not
to waver a moment as to the good which he should prefer. Property, life,
he should joyfully surrender to the State. But his soul he must never
stain or enslave. From poverty, pain, the rack, the gibbet, he should
not recoil; but for no good of others ought he to part with
self-control, or violate the inward law. We speak of the patriot as
sacrificing himself to the public weal. Do we mean that he sacrifices
what is most properly himself, the principle of piety and virtue? Do we
not feel that however great may be the good which through his sufferings
accrues to the State, a greater and purer glory redounds to himself; and
that the most precious fruit of his disinterested services is the
strength of resolution and philanthropy which is accumulated in his own

The advantages of civilization have their peril. In such a state of
society, opinion and law impose salutary restraint, and produce general
order and security. But the power of opinion grows into a despotism,
which more than all things represses original and free thought,
subverts individuality of character, reduces the community to a
spiritless monotony, and chills the love of perfection. Religion,
considered simply as the principle which balances the power of human
opinion, which takes man out of the grasp of custom and fashion, and
teaches him to refer himself to a higher tribunal, is an infinite aid to
moral strength and elevation.

An important benefit of civilization, of which we hear much from the
political economist, is the division of labor, by which arts are
perfected. But this, by confining the mind to an unceasing round of
petty operations, tends to break it into littleness. We possess improved
fabrics, but deteriorated men. Another advantage of civilization is,
that manners are refined and accomplishments multiplied; but these are
continually seen to supplant simplicity of character, strength of
feeling, the love of nature, the love of inward beauty and glory. Under
outward courtesy we see a cold selfishness, a spirit of calculation, and
little energy of love.

I confess I look round on civilized society with many fears, and with
more and more earnest desire that a regenerating spirit from heaven,
from religion, may descend upon and pervade it. I particularly fear that
various causes are acting powerfully among ourselves, to inflame and
madden that enslaving and degrading principle, the passion for property.
For example, the absence of hereditary distinctions in our country gives
prominence to the distinction of wealth, and holds up this as the chief
prize to ambition. Add to this the epicurean, self-indulgent habits
which our prosperity has multiplied, and which crave insatiably for
enlarging wealth as the only means of gratification. This peril is
increased by the spirit of our times, which is a spirit of commerce,
industry, internal improvements, mechanical invention, political
economy, and peace. Think not that I would disparage commerce,
mechanical skill, and especially pacific connections among States. But
there is danger that these blessings may by perversion issue in a
slavish love of lucre. It seems to me that some of the objects which
once moved men most powerfully are gradually losing their sway, and thus
the mind is left more open to the excitement of wealth. For example,
military distinction is taking the inferior place which it deserves: and
the consequence will be that the energy and ambition which have been
exhausted in war will seek new directions; and happy shall we be if
they do not flow into the channel of gain. So I think that political
eminence is to be less and less coveted; and there is danger that the
energies absorbed by it will be spent in seeking another kind of
dominion, the dominion of property. And if such be the result, what
shall we gain by what is called the progress of society? What shall we
gain by national peace, if men, instead of meeting on the field of
battle, wage with one another the more inglorious strife of dishonest
and rapacious traffic? What shall we gain by the waning of political
ambition, if the intrigues of the exchange take place of those of the
cabinet, and private pomp and luxury be substituted for the splendor of
public life? I am no foe to civilization. I rejoice in its progress. But
I mean to say that without a pure religion to modify its tendencies, to
inspire and refine it, we shall be corrupted, not ennobled by it. It is
the excellence of the religious principle, that it aids and carries
forward civilization, extends science and arts, multiplies the
conveniences and ornaments of life, and at the same time spoils them of
their enslaving power, and even converts them into means and ministers
of that spiritual freedom which when left to themselves they endanger
and destroy.

In order, however, that religion should yield its full and best fruit,
one thing is necessary; and the times require that I should state it
with great distinctness. It is necessary that religion should be held
and professed in a liberal spirit. Just as far as it assumes an
intolerant, exclusive, sectarian form, it subverts instead of
strengthening the soul's freedom, and becomes the heaviest and most
galling yoke which is laid on the intellect and conscience. Religion
must be viewed, not as a monopoly of priests, ministers, or sects, not
as conferring on any man a right to dictate to his fellow-beings, not as
an instrument by which the few may awe the many, not as bestowing on one
a prerogative which is not enjoyed by all; but as the property of every
human being and as the great subject for every human mind. It must be
regarded as the revelation of a common Father to whom all have equal
access, who invites all to the like immediate communion, who has no
favorites, who has appointed no infallible expounders of his will, who
opens his works and word to every eye, and calls upon all to read for
themselves, and to follow fearlessly the best convictions of their own
understandings. Let religion be seized on by individuals or sects, as
their special province; let them clothe themselves with God's
prerogative of judgment; let them succeed in enforcing their creed by
penalties of law, or penalties of opinion; let them succeed in fixing a
brand on virtuous men whose only crime is free investigation--and
religion becomes the most blighting tyranny which can establish itself
over the mind. You have all heard of the outward evils which religion,
when thus turned into tyranny, has inflicted; how it has dug dreary
dungeons, kindled fires for the martyr, and invented instruments of
exquisite torture. But to me all this is less fearful than its influence
over the mind. When I see the superstitions which it has fastened on the
conscience, the spiritual terrors with which it has haunted and subdued
the ignorant and susceptible, the dark appalling views of God which it
has spread far and wide, the dread of inquiry which it has struck into
superior understandings, and the servility of spirit which it has made
to pass for piety--when I see all this, the fire, the scaffold, and the
outward inquisition, terrible as they are, seem to me inferior evils. I
look with a solemn joy on the heroic spirits who have met, freely and
fearlessly, pain and death in the cause of truth and human rights. But
there are other victims of intolerance on whom I look with unmixed
sorrow. They are those who, spell-bound by early prejudice or by
intimidations from the pulpit and the press, dare not think; who
anxiously stifle every doubt or misgiving in regard to their opinions,
as if to doubt were a crime; who shrink from the seekers after truth as
from infection; who deny all virtue which does not wear the livery of
their own sect; who, surrendering to others their best powers, receive
unresistingly a teaching which wars against reason and conscience; and
who think it a merit to impose on such as live within their influence,
the grievous bondage which they bear themselves. How much to be deplored
is it, that religion, the very principle which is designed to raise men
above the judgment and power of man, should become the chief instrument
of usurpation over the soul!



[Illustration: GEORGE CHAPMAN]

George Chapman, the translator of Homer, is of all the Elizabethan
dramatists the most undramatic. He is akin to Marlowe in being more of
an epic poet than a playwright; but unlike his young compeer "of the
mighty line," who in his successive plays learnt how to subdue an
essentially epic genius to the demands of the stage, Chapman never got
near the true secret of dramatic composition. Yet he witnessed the
growth of the glorious Elizabethan drama, from its feeble beginning in
'Gorbodue' and 'Gammer Gurton's Needle' through its very flowering in
the immortal masterpieces. He was born about 1559, five years before
Marlowe, the "morning star" of the English drama, and he died in 1634,
surviving Shakespeare, in whom it reached its maturity, and Beaumont,
Middleton, and Fletcher, whose works foreshadow decay. From his native
town Hitchin he passed on to Oxford, where he distinguished himself as
a classical scholar. Then for sixteen years nothing definite is known
about him. His life has been called one of the great blanks of English
literature. He is sometimes sent traveling on the Continent, as a
convenient means of accounting for this gap, and also to explain the
intimate acquaintance with German manners and customs and the language
displayed in his tragedy 'Alphonsus, Emperor of Germany,' which argues
at least for a trip to that country. In 1594 he published the two hymns
in the 'Shadow of Night'; and soon after he must have begun writing
for the stage, for his first extant comedy, 'The Blind Beggar of
Alexandria,' was acted in 1596, and two years later he appears in
Francis Meres's famous enumeration of the poets and wits of the time.
Hereafter his life is to be dated by his publications.

He occupies a position unique among the Elizabethans, because of his
wide culture and the diverse character of his work. Though held together
by his strong personality, it yet can be divided into the distinct
groups of comedies, tragedies, poems, and translations. The first of
these is the weakest, for Chapman was not a comic genius. 'The Blind
Beggar of Alexandria' and 'An Humorous Day's Mirth' deserve but a
passing mention. In 1605 'All Fooles' was published, acted six years
earlier under the name 'The World Runs on Wheels.' It is a realistic
satire, with some good scenes and character-drawing. 'The Gentleman
Usher' is full of poetry and ingenious situations. 'Monsieur D'Oline'
contains also some good comedy work. 'The Widow's Tears' tells the
well-known story of the Ephesian matron; though coarse, it is handled
not without comic talent. In his comedy work Chapman is neither new nor
original; he followed in Jonson's footsteps, and suggests moreover
Terence, Plautus, Fletcher, and Lyly. He has wit, satire, and sarcasm;
but along with these, poor construction and little invention. He was
going against his grain, and we have here the frankest expression of
"pot-boiling" to be found among the Elizabethan dramatists. Writing for
the stage was the only kind of literature that really paid; the
playhouse was to the Elizabethan what the paper-covered novel is to a
modern reader. This accounts for the enormous dramatic productivity of
the time, and also explains why the most finely endowed minds, in need
of money, produced dramas instead of other imaginative work. By the time
he wrote his comedies, Chapman had already won his place as poet and
translator, but it earned him no income. Pope, one hundred and
twenty-five years later, made a fortune by his translation of Homer. But
then the number of readers had increased, and publishers could afford to
give large sums to a popular author. Chapman takes rank among the
dramatists mainly by his four chief tragedies: 'Bussy d'Ambois,' 'The
Revenge of Bussy d'Ambois,' 'The Conspiracy of Charles, Duke of Byron,'
and 'The Tragedy of Charles, Duke of Byron.' They are unique among the
plays of the period, in that they deal with almost contemporary events
in French history; not with the purpose of exciting any feeling for or
against the parties introduced, but in calm ignoring of public opinion,
they bring recent happenings on the stage to suit the dramatist's
purpose. He drew his material mainly from the 'Historiæ Sui Temporis' of
Jacques Auguste de Thou, but he troubled himself little about following
it with accuracy, or even painting the characters of the chief actors as
true to life. In these tragedies, more than in the comedies, we get
sight of Chapman the man; indeed, it is his great failing as playwright
that his own individuality is constantly cropping out. He alone, of all
the great Elizabethan dramatists, was unable to go outside of himself
and enter into the habits and thoughts of his characters. Chapman was
too much of a scholar and a thinker to be a successful delineator of
men. His is the drama of the man who thinks about life, not of one who
lives it in its fullness. He does not get into the hearts of men. He
has too many theories. Homer had become the ruling influence in his
life, and he looked at things from the Homeric point of view and
presented life epically. He is at his best in single didactic or
narrative passages, and exquisite bits of poetry are prodigally
scattered up and down the pages of his tragedies. Next to Shakespeare he
is the most sententious of dramatists. He sounded the depths of things
in thought which theretofore only Marlowe had done. He is the most
metaphysical of dramatists.

Yet his thought is sometimes too much for him, and he becomes obscure.
He packs words as tight as Browning, and the sense is often more
difficult to unravel. He is best in the closet drama. 'Cæsar and
Pompey,' published in 1631 but never acted, contains some of his finest

Chapman also collaborated with other dramatists. 'Eastward Ho,' in 1605,
written with Marston and Jonson, is one of the liveliest and best
constructed Elizabethan comedies, combining the excellences of the three
men without their faults. Some allusion to the Scottish nation offended
King James; the authors were confined in Fleet Prison and barely escaped
having their ears and noses slit. With Shirley he wrote the comedy 'The
Ball' and the tragedy 'Chabot, Admiral of France.'

Chapman wrote comedies to make money, and tragedies because it was the
fashion of the day, and he studded these latter with exquisite passages
because he was a poet born. But he was above all a scholar with wide and
deep learning, not only of the classics but also of the Renaissance
literature. From 1613 to 1631 he does not appear to have written for the
stage, but was occupied with his translations of Homer, Hesiod, Juvenal,
Musæus, Petrarch, and others. In 1614, at the marriage of the Princess
Elizabeth, was performed in the most lavish manner the 'Memorable Masque
of the two Honorable Houses or Inns of Court; the Middle Temple and
Lyncoln Inne.' Chapman also completed Marlowe's unfinished 'Hero and

His fame however rests on his version of Homer. The first portion
appeared in 1598: 'Seven Bookes of the Iliade of Homer, Prince of Poets;
Translated according to the Greeke in judgment of his best
Commentaries.' In 1611 the Iliad complete appeared, and in 1615 the
whole of the Odyssey; though he by no means reproduces Homer faithfully,
he approaches nearest to the original in spirit and grandeur. It is a
typical product of the English Renaissance, full of vigor and passion,
but also of conceit and fancifulness. It lacks the simplicity and the
serenity of the Greek, but has caught its nobleness and rapidity. As has
been said, "It is what Homer might have written before he came to years
of discretion." Yet with all its shortcomings it remains one of the
classics of Elizabethan literature. Pope consulted it diligently, and
has been accused of at times re-versifying this instead of the Greek.
Coleridge said of it:--

     "The Iliad is fine, but less equal in the translation [than the
     Odyssey], as well as less interesting in itself. What is
     stupidly said of Shakespeare is really true and appropriate of
     Chapman: 'Mighty faults counterpoised by mighty beauties.' ...
     It is as truly an original poem as the 'Faerie Queen';--it will
     give you small idea of Homer, though a far truer one than
     Pope's epigrams, or Cowper's cumbersome, most anti-Homeric
     Miltonisms. For Chapman writes and feels as a poet,--as Homer
     might have written had he lived in England in the reign of
     Queen Elizabeth. In short, it is an exquisite poem in spite of
     its frequent and perverse quaintnesses and awkwardness, which
     are however amply repaid by almost unexampled sweetness and
     beauty of language, all over spirit and feeling."

Keats's tribute, the sonnet 'On First Looking into Chapman's Homer,'
attests another poet's appreciation of the Elizabethan's paraphrase.
Keats diligently explored this "new planet" that swam into his ken, and
his own poetical diction is at times touched by the quaintness and
fancifulness of the elder poet he admired.

Lamb, that most sympathetic critic of the old dramatists, speaks of him
as follows:--

     "Webster has happily characterized the 'full and heightened'
     style of Chapman, who of all the English play-writers perhaps
     approaches nearest to Shakespeare in the descriptive and
     didactic, in passages which are less purely dramatic. He could
     not go out of himself, as Shakespeare could shift at pleasure,
     to inform and animate other existences, but in himself he had
     an eye to perceive and a soul to embrace all forms and modes of
     being. He would have made a great epic poet, if indeed he has
     not abundantly shown himself to be one; for his 'Homer' is not
     so properly a translation as the stories of Achilles and
     Ulysses rewritten. The earnestness and passion which he has put
     into every part of these poems would be incredible to a reader
     of more modern translations.... The great obstacle to Chapman's
     translations being read is their unconquerable quaintness. He
     pours out in the same breath the most just and natural, and the
     most violent and crude expressions. He seems to grasp at
     whatever words come first to hand while the enthusiasm is upon
     him, as if all others must be inadequate to the divine meaning.
     But passion (the all-in-all in poetry) is everywhere present,
     raising the low, dignifying the mean, and putting sense into
     the absurd. He makes his readers glow, weep, tremble, take any
     affection which he pleases, be moved by words, or in spite of
     them be disgusted and overcome their disgust."


    From the Translation of Homer's Odyssey

  Straight rose the lovely Morn, that up did raise
  Fair-veil'd Nausicaa, whose dream her praise
  To admiration took; who no time spent
  To give the rapture of her vision vent
  To her loved parents, whom she found within.
  Her mother set at fire, who had to spin
  A rock, whose tincture with sea-purple shined;
  Her maids about her. But she chanced to find
  Her father going abroad, to council call'd
  By his grave Senate; and to him exhaled
  Her smother'd bosom was:--"Loved sire," said she,
  "Will you not now command a coach for me,
  Stately and complete? fit for me to bear
  To wash at flood the weeds I cannot wear
  Before re-purified? Yourself it fits
  To wear fair weeds, as every man that sits
  In place of council. And five sons you have,
  Two wed, three bachelors, that must be brave
  In every day's shift, that they may go dance;
  For these three last with these things must advance
  Their states in marriage; and who else but I,
  Their sister, should their dancing rites supply?"
    This general cause she shew'd, and would not name
  Her mind of nuptials to her sire, for shame.
  He understood her yet, and thus replied:--
  "Daughter! nor these, nor any grace beside,
  I either will deny thee, or defer,
  Mules, nor a coach, of state and circular,
  Fitting at all parts. Go; my servants shall
  Serve thy desires, and thy command in all."
    The servants then commanded soon obey'd,
  Fetch'd coach, and mules join'd in it. Then the Maid
  Brought from the chamber her rich weeds, and laid
  All up in coach; in which her mother placed
  A maund of victuals, varied well in taste,
  And other junkets. Wine she likewise fill'd
  Within a goat-skin bottle, and distill'd
  Sweet and moist oil into a golden cruse,
  Both for her daughter's and her handmaid's use,
  To soften their bright bodies, when they rose
  Cleansed from their cold baths. Up to coach then goes
  Th' observed Maid; takes both the scourge and reins;
  And to her side her handmaid straight attains.
  Nor these alone, but other virgins, graced
  The nuptial chariot. The whole bevy placed,
  Nausicaa scourged to make the coach-mules run,
  That neigh'd, and paced their usual speed, and soon
  Both maids and weeds brought to the river-side,
  Where baths for all the year their use supplied.
  Whose waters were so pure they would not stain,
  But still ran fair forth; and did more remain
  Apt to purge stains, for that purged stain within,
  Which by the water's pure store was not seen.
    These, here arrived, the mules uncoach'd, and drave
  Up the gulfy river's shore, that gave
  Sweet grass to them. The maids from coach then took
  Their clothes, and steep'd them in the sable brook;
  Then put them into springs, and trod them clean
  With cleanly feet; adventuring wagers then,
  Who should have soonest and most cleanly done.
  When having thoroughly cleansed, they spread them on
  The flood's shore, all in order. And then, where
  The waves the pebbles wash'd, and ground was clear,
  They bathed themselves, and all with glittering oil
  Smooth'd their white skins; refreshing then their toil
  With pleasant dinner, by the river's side.
  Yet still watch'd when the sun their clothes had dried.
  Till which time, having dined, Nausicaa
  With other virgins did at stool-ball play,
  Their shoulder-reaching head-tires laying by.
  Nausicaa, with the wrists of ivory,
  The liking stroke strook, singing first a song,
  As custom order'd, and amidst the throng
  Made such a shew, and so past all was seen,
  As when the chaste-born, arrow-loving Queen,
  Along the mountains gliding, either over
  Spartan Taygetus, whose tops far discover,
  Or Eurymanthus, in the wild boar's chace,
  Or swift-hooved hart, and with her Jove's fair race,
  The field Nymphs, sporting; amongst whom, to see
  How far Diana had priority
  (Though all were fair) for fairness; yet of all,
  (As both by head and forehead being more tall)
  Latona triumph'd, since the dullest sight
  Might easily judge whom her pains brought to light;
  Nausicaa so, whom never husband tamed,
  Above them all in all the beauties flamed.
  But when they now made homewards, and array'd,
  Ordering their weeds; disorder'd as they play'd,
  Mules and coach ready, then Minerva thought
  What means to wake Ulysses might be wrought,
  That he might see this lovely-sighted maid,
  Whom she intended should become his aid,
  Bring him to town, and his return advance.
  Her mean was this, though thought a stool-ball chance:
  The queen now, for the upstroke, strook the ball
  Quite wide off th' other maids, and made it fall
  Amidst the whirlpools. At which outshriek'd all,
  And with the shriek did wise Ulysses wake;
  Who, sitting up, was doubtful who should make
  That sudden outcry, and in mind thus strived:--
  "On what a people am I now arrived?
  At civil hospitable men, that fear
  The gods? or dwell injurious mortals here,
  Unjust and churlish? Like the female cry
  Of youth it sounds. What are they? Nymphs bred high
  On tops of hills, or in the founts of floods,
  In herby marshes, or in leavy woods?
  Or are they high-spoke men I now am near?
  I'll prove and see." With this the wary peer
  Crept forth the thicket, and an olive bough
  Broke with his broad hand; which he did bestow
  In covert of his nakedness, and then
  Put hasty head out. Look how from his den
  A mountain lion looks, that, all embrued
  With drops of trees, and weatherbeaten-hued,
  Bold of his strength goes on, and in his eye
  A burning furnace glows, all bent to prey
  On sheep, or oxen, or the upland hart,
  His belly charging him, and he must part
  Stakes with the herdsman in his beasts' attempt,
  Even where from rape their strengths are most exempt:
  So wet, so weather-beat, so stung with need,
  Even to the home-fields of the country's breed
  Ulysses was to force forth his access,
  Though merely naked; and his sight did press
  The eyes of soft-haired virgins. Horrid was
  His rough appearance to them; the hard pass
  He had at sea stuck by him. All in flight
  The virgins scattered, frighted with this sight,
  About the prominent windings of the flood.
  All but Nausicaa fled; but she fast stood:
  Pallas had put a boldness in her breast,
  And in her fair limbs tender fear comprest.
  And still she stood him, as resolved to know
  What man he was; or out of what should grow
  His strange repair to them.


    From the 'Tragedy of Charles, Duke of Byron'

  By horror of death, let me alone in peace,
  And leave my soul to me, whom it concerns;
  You have no charge of it; I feel her free:
  How she doth rouse, and like a falcon stretch
  Her silver wings; a threatening death with death;
  At whom I joyfully will cast her off.
  I know this body but a sink of folly,
  The groundwork and raised frame of woe and frailty;
  The bond and bundle of corruption;
  A quick corse, only sensible of grief,
  A walking sepulchre, or household thief:
  A glass of air, broken with less than breath,
  A slave bound face to face to death, till death.
  And what said all you more? I know, besides,
  That life is but a dark and stormy night
  Of senseless dreams, terrors, and broken sleeps;
  A tyranny, devising pains to plague
  And make man long in dying, racks his death;
  And death is nothing: what can you say more?
  I bring a long globe and a little earth,
  Am seated like earth, betwixt both the heavens,
  That if I rise, to heaven I rise; if fall,
  I likewise fall to heaven; what stronger faith
  Hath any of your souls? what say you more?
  Why lose I time in these things? Talk of knowledge,
  It serves for inward use. I will not die
  Like to a clergyman; but like the captain
  That prayed on horseback, and with sword in hand,
  Threatened the sun, commanding it to stand;
  These are but ropes of sand.



[Illustration: CHÂTEAUBRIAND]

Viscount de Châteaubriand, the founder of the romantic school in French
literature, and one of the most brilliant and polished writers of the
first half of the nineteenth century, was born at St. Malo in Brittany,
September 14th, 1768. On the paternal side he was a direct descendant of
Thierri, grandson of Alain III., who was king of Armorica in the ninth
century. Destined for the Church, he became a pronounced skeptic, and
entered the army. In his nineteenth year he was presented at court, and
became acquainted with men of letters like La Harpe, Le Brun, and
Fontanes. At the outbreak of the Revolution he quitted the service, and
embarked for America in January, 1791. Tiring of the restraints of
civilization, civilization, he plunged into the virgin forests of
Canada, and for several months lived with the savages. This remarkable
experience inspired his most notable romantic work.

Returning to France in 1792, he cast his lot with the Royalists, was
wounded at Thionville, and finally retired to England, where for eight
years he earned a bare support by teaching and translating. His first
book was the 'Essay on Revolutions' (1797), which displayed some
imagination, little reflection, and an affectation of misanthropy and
skepticism. The subsequent change in his convictions followed on the
death of his pious mother in 1798. Returning to France he published
'Atala,' an idyll _á la mode_, founded on the loves of two young
savages. Teeming with glowing descriptions of nature, and marked by
elevation of sentiment combined with a sensuousness almost Oriental,
this barbaric 'Paul and Virginia' immediately established the author's
fame. Thus encouraged, in the following year he gave the world his
'Genius of Christianity,' in which the poetic and symbolic features of
Christianity are painted in dazzling colors and with great charm of
style. The enormous success of this book during the first decade of the
century unquestionably did more to revive French interest in religion
than the establishment of the Concordat itself. Napoleon testified his
gratitude by appointing the author secretary to the embassy at Rome, and
afterward minister plenipotentiary to the Valais. When the Duke
d'Enghien was assassinated (March 21st, 1804), Châteaubriand resigned
from the diplomatic service, although the ink was scarcely dry in which
the First Consul had signed his new commission. Two years later the
successful author departed on a sentimental pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
He visited Asia Minor, Egypt, and Spain, where amid the ruins of the
Alhambra he wrote 'The Last of the Abencerrages.' To this interesting
tour the world owes the 'Itinerary from Paris to Jerusalem' (1811), that
book which in Saintsbury's opinion remains "the pattern of all the
picturesque travels of modern times."

With the publication of the 'Itinerary' the literary career of
Châteaubriand virtually closes. On the return of the Bourbons to power,
the man of letters was tempted to enter the exciting arena of politics,
becoming successively ambassador at Berlin, at the court of St. James,
delegate to the Congress of Verona, and Minister of Foreign Affairs. In
1830, unwilling to pledge himself to Louis Philippe, he relinquished the
dignity of peer of the realm accorded him in 1815, and retired to a life
of comparative poverty, which was brightened by the friendship and
devotion of Madame Récamier. Until his death on the 4th of July, 1848,
Châteaubriand devoted himself to the completion of his 'Mémoires
d'Outre-Tombe,' an auto-biographical work which was published
posthumously, and which, although diffuse and even puerile at times,
contains much brilliant writing.

His contemporaries pronounced Châteaubriand the foremost man of letters
of France, if not of all Europe. During the last half of this century
his fame has sensibly diminished both at home and abroad, and in the
history of French literature he is chiefly significant as marking the
transition from the old classical to the modern romantic school. Yet
while admitting the glaring faults, exaggerations, affectations, and
egotism of the author of the 'Genius of Christianity,' a fair criticism
admits his best passages to be unsurpassed for perfection of style and
gorgeousness of coloring. 'Atala' is a classic with real life in it even
yet,--powerful, interesting, and even thrilling, in spite of its
theatricality, and often magnificent in description.

In 1811 Châteaubriand was elected to the French Academy as the successor
of the poet Chénier. Among his works not already mentioned are 'René'
(1807), a sort of sequel to 'Atala'; 'The Martyrs' (1810); 'The Natchez'
(1826), containing recollections of America; an 'Essay on English
Literature' (2 vols.); and a translation of Milton's 'Paradise Lost'


    From 'The Genius of Christianity'

During the reign of the Emperor Julian commenced a persecution, perhaps
more dangerous than violence itself, which consisted in loading the
Christians with disgrace and contempt. Julian began his hostility by
plundering the churches; he then forbade the faithful to teach or to
study the liberal arts and sciences. Sensible, however, of the important
advantages of the institutions of Christianity, the emperor determined
to establish hospitals and monasteries, and after the example of the
gospel system to combine morality with religion; he ordered a kind of
sermons to be delivered in the pagan temples....

From the time of Julian to that of Luther, the Church, flourishing in
full vigor, had no occasion for apologists; but when the Western schism
took place, with new enemies arose new defenders. It cannot be denied
that at first the Protestants had the superiority, at least in regard to
forms, as Montesquieu has remarked. Erasmus himself was weak when
opposed to Luther, and Theodore Beza had a captivating manner of
writing, in which his opponents were too often deficient....

It is natural for schism to lead to infidelity, and for heresy to
engender atheism. Bayle and Spinoza arose after Calvin, and they found
in Clarke and Leibnitz men of sufficient talents to refute their
sophistry. Abbadie wrote an apology for religion, remarkable for method
and sound argument. Unfortunately his style is feeble, though his ideas
are not destitute of brilliancy. "If the ancient philosophers," observes
Abbadie, "adored the Virtues, their worship was only a beautiful species
of idolatry."

While the Church was yet enjoying her triumph, Voltaire renewed the
persecution of Julian. He possessed the baneful art of making infidelity
fashionable among a capricious but amiable people. Every species of
self-love was pressed into this insensate league. Religion was attacked
with every kind of weapon, from the pamphlet to the folio, from the
epigram to the sophism. No sooner did a religious book appear than the
author was overwhelmed with ridicule, while works which Voltaire was the
first to laugh at among his friends were extolled to the skies. Such was
his superiority over his disciples that he sometimes could not forbear
diverting himself with their irreligious enthusiasm. Meanwhile the
destructive system continued to spread throughout France. It was first
adopted in those provincial academies, each of which was a focus of bad
taste and faction. Women of fashion and grave philosophers alike read
lectures on infidelity. It was at length concluded that Christianity was
no better than a barbarous system, and that its fall could not happen
too soon for the liberty of mankind, the promotion of knowledge, the
improvement of the arts, and the general comfort of life.

To say nothing of the abyss into which we were plunged by this aversion
to the religion of the gospel, its immediate consequence was a return,
more affected than sincere, to that mythology of Greece and Rome to
which all the wonders of antiquity were ascribed. People were not
ashamed to regret that worship which had transformed mankind into a herd
of madmen, monsters of indecency, or ferocious beasts. This could not
fail to inspire contempt for the writers of the age of Louis XIV., who
however had reached the high perfection which distinguished them only by
being religious. If no one ventured to oppose them face to face, on
account of their firmly established reputation, they were nevertheless
attacked in a thousand indirect ways. It was asserted that they were
unbelievers _in their hearts_; or at least that they would have been
much greater characters had they lived _in our times_. Every author
blessed his good fortune for having been born in the glorious age of the
Diderots and d'Alemberts, in that age when all the attainments of the
human mind were ranged in alphabetical order in the 'Encyclopédie,' that
Babel of the sciences and of reason....

It was therefore necessary to prove that on the contrary the Christian
religion, of all the religions that ever existed, is the most humane,
the most favorable to liberty and to the arts and sciences; that the
modern world is indebted to it for every improvement from agriculture to
the abstract sciences, from the hospitals for the reception of the
unfortunate to the temples reared by the Michael Angelos and embellished
by the Raphaels. It was necessary to prove that nothing is more divine
than its morality, nothing more lovely and more sublime than its tenets,
its doctrine, and its worship; that it encourages genius, corrects the
taste, develops the virtuous passions, imparts energy to the ideas,
presents noble images to the writer, and perfect models to the artist;
that there is no disgrace in being believers with Newton and Bossuet,
with Pascal and Racine. In a word, it was necessary to summon all the
charms of the imagination and all the interests of the heart to the
assistance of that religion against which they had been set in array.

The reader may now have a clear view of the object of our work. All
other kinds of apologies are exhausted, and perhaps they would be
useless at the present day. Who would now sit down to read a work
professedly theological? Possibly a few sincere Christians who are
already convinced. But, it may be asked, May there not be some danger in
considering religion in a merely human point of view? Why so? Does our
religion shrink from the light? Surely one great proof of its divine
origin is, that it will bear the test of the fullest and severest
scrutiny of reason. Would you have us always open to the reproach of
enveloping our tenets in sacred obscurity, lest their falsehood should
be detected? Will Christianity be the less true for appearing the more
beautiful? Let us banish our weak apprehensions; let us not, by an
excess of religion, leave religion to perish. We no longer live in those
times when you might say, "Believe without inquiring." People _will_
inquire in spite of us; and our timid silence, in heightening the
triumph of the infidel, will diminish the number of believers.

It is time that the world should know to what all those charges of
absurdity, vulgarity, and meanness, that are daily alleged against
Christianity, may be reduced. It is time to demonstrate that instead of
debasing the ideas, it encourages the soul to take the most daring
flights, and is capable of enchanting the imagination as divinely as the
deities of Homer and Virgil. Our arguments will at least have this
advantage, that they will be intelligible to the world at large and will
require nothing but common-sense to determine their weight and strength.
In works of this kind authors neglect, perhaps rather too much, to speak
the language of their readers. It is necessary to be a scholar with a
scholar, and a poet with a poet. The Almighty does not forbid us to
tread the flowery path, if it serves to lead the wanderer once more to
him; nor is it always by the steep and rugged mountain that the lost
sheep finds its way back to the fold.

We think that this mode of considering Christianity displays
associations of ideas which are but imperfectly known. Sublime in the
antiquity of its recollections, which go back to the creation of the
world; ineffable in its mysteries, adorable in its sacraments,
interesting in its history, celestial in its morality, rich and
attractive in its ceremonial,--it is fraught with every species of
beauty. Would you follow it in poetry? Tasso, Milton, Corneille, Racine,
Voltaire, will depict to you its miraculous effects. In belles-lettres,
in oratory, history, and philosophy, what have not Bossuet, Fénélon,
Massillon, Bourdaloue, Bacon, Pascal, Euler, Newton, Leibnitz, produced
by its inspiration! In the arts, what masterpieces! If you examine it in
its worship, what ideas are suggested by its antique Gothic churches,
its admirable prayers, its impressive ceremonies! Among its clergy,
behold all those scholars who have handed down to you the languages and
the works of Greece and Rome; all those anchorets of Thebais; all those
asylums for the unfortunate; all those missionaries to China, to Canada,
to Paraguay; not forgetting the military orders whence chivalry derived
its origin. Everything has been engaged in our cause--the manners of our
ancestors, the pictures of days of yore, poetry, even romances
themselves. We have called smiles from the cradle, and tears from the
tomb. Sometimes, with the Maronite monk, we dwell on the summits of
Carmel and Lebanon; at others we watch with the Daughter of Charity at
the bedside of the sick. Here two American lovers summon us into the
recesses of their deserts; there we listen to the sighs of the virgin in
the solitude of the cloister. Homer takes his place by Milton, and
Virgil beside Tasso; the ruins of Athens and of Memphis form contrasts
with the ruins of Christian monuments, and the tombs of Ossian with our
rural churchyards. At St. Denis we visit the ashes of kings; and when
our subject requires us to treat of the existence of God, we seek our
proofs in the wonders of Nature alone. In short, we endeavor to strike
the heart of the infidel in every possible way; but we dare not flatter
ourselves that we possess the miraculous rod of religion which caused
living streams to burst from the flinty rock.


    From 'Atala'

It was the twenty-seventh sun since our departure from the Cabins: the
_lune de fer_ (month of July) had commenced its course, and all signs
indicated the approach of a violent storm. Toward the hour when the
Indian matrons hang up the plowshares on the branches of the junipers,
and when the paroquets retire into the hollows of the cypress trees, the
sky grew overcast. The vague sounds of solitude gradually ceased, the
forests were wrapped in universal calm. Suddenly the pealing of distant
thunder, re-echoing through these vast woods as old as the world itself,
startled the ear with a diapason of noises sublime. Fearing to be
overwhelmed in the flood, we hastily disembarked on the river's bank and
sought safety in the seclusion of one of the forest glades.

The ground was swampy. We pressed forward with difficulty beneath a roof
of smilax, among grape-vines and climbing plants of all kinds, in which
our feet were continually entangled. The spongy soil trembled all around
us, and every instant we were on the verge of being engulfed in the
quagmires. Swarms of insects and enormous bats nearly blinded us;
rattlesnakes were heard on all sides; and the wolves, bears, panthers,
and badgers which had sought a refuge in this retreat filled the air
with their roarings.

Meanwhile the obscurity increased; the lowering clouds entered beneath
the shadows of the trees. The heavens were rent, and the lightning
traced a flashing zigzag of fire. A furious gale from the west piled up
the angry clouds in heavy masses; the mighty trees bowed their heads to
the blast. Again and again the sky was rent, and through the yawning
crevices one beheld new heavens and vales of fire. What an awful, what a
magnificent spectacle! The trees were struck by lightning and ignited;
the conflagration spread like a flaming garland; the showers of sparks
and the columns of smoke ascended to the very heavens, which vomited
their thunders into the sea of fire.

Then the Great Spirit enveloped the mountains in utter darkness; from
the midst of this vast chaos came a confused roaring made by the tumult
of many winds, the moaning of the trees, the howlings of ferocious
beasts, the crackling of the flames, and the descent of balls of fire
which hissed as they were extinguished in the water.

The Great Spirit knows the truth of what I now say! At this moment I saw
only Atala, I had no thought but for her. Beneath the bent trunk of a
birch-tree, I succeeded in protecting her from the torrents of rain.
Seated myself under the tree, supporting my well-beloved on my knees,
and chafing her bare feet between my hands, I was even happier than the
young wife who feels for the first time the consciousness of her




To the third quarter of the eighteenth century belongs the tragedy of
the life of Thomas Chatterton, who, misunderstood and neglected during
his brief seventeen years of poetic revery, has by the force of his
genius and by his actual achievement compelled the nineteenth century,
through one of its best critics, to acknowledge him as the father of the
New Romantic school, and to accord him thereby a place unique among his
contemporaries. His family and early surroundings serve in a way to
explain his development. He was born at Bristol, a town rich in the
traditions and monuments of bygone times. For nearly two hundred years
the office of sexton to the church of St. Mary Redcliffe had been handed
down in the family. At the time of the poet's birth it was held by a
maternal uncle; for his father, a "musical genius, somewhat of a poet,
an antiquary and dabbler in occult arts," was the first to aspire to a
position above the hereditary one, and had taken charge of the Pyle free
schools in Bristol. He died before his son's birth, and left his widow
to support her two children by keeping a little school and by
needlework. The boy, reserved and given to revery from his earliest
years, was at first considered dull, but finally learned to spell by
means of the illuminated capitals of an old musical folio and a
black-letter Bible. He spent much of his time with his uncle, in and
about the church. St. Mary Redcliffe, one of the finest specimens of
mediæval church architecture in England, is especially rich in altar
tombs with recumbent carved figures of knights, and ecclesiastic and
civic dignitaries of bygone days. These became the boy's familiar
associates, and he amused himself on his lonely visits by spelling out
the old inscriptions on their monuments. There he got hold of some
quaint oaken chests in the muniment room over the porch, filled with
parchments old as the Wars of the Roses, and these deeds and charters of
the Henrys and Edwards became his primers. In 1760 he entered Colston's
"Blue-Coat" charity school, located in a fine old building of the Tudor
times. The rules of the institution provided for the training of its
inmates "in the principles of the Christian religion as laid down in the
Church catechism," and in fitting them to be apprenticed in due course
to some trade. During the six years of his stay, Chatterton received
only the rudiments of a common-school education, and found little to
nourish his genius. But being a voracious reader, he went on his small
allowance through three circulating libraries, and became acquainted
with the older English poets, and also read history and antiquities. He
very early entertained dreams of ambition, without however finding any
sympathy; so he lived in a world of his own, conceiving before the age
of twelve the romance of Thomas Rowley, an imaginary clerk of the
fifteenth century, and his patron Master William Canynge, a former mayor
of Bristol whose effigy was familiar to him from the tomb in the church.
This fiction, which after his death gave rise to the celebrated
controversy of the 'Rowley Poems,' matured at this early age as a boy's
life-dream, he fashioned into a consistent romance, and wove into it
among the prose fragments the ballads and lyrics on which his fame as
poet now rests. His earliest literary forgery was a practical joke
played on a credulous pewterer at Bristol, for whom he fabricated a
pedigree dating back to the time of the Norman Conquest, which he
professed to have collected from ancient manuscripts. It is remarkable
as the work of a boy not yet fourteen. He was rewarded with a crown
piece, and the success of this hoax encouraged him further to play upon
the credulity of his townspeople, and to continue writing prose and
verse in pseudo-antique style.

In 1767 he was bound apprentice to John Lambert, attorney. The office
duties were light. He spent his spare time in poetizing, and sent
anonymously transcripts from professedly old poems to the local papers.
Their authorship being traced to him, he now claimed that his father had
found numerous old poems and other manuscripts in a coffer of the
muniment room at Redcliffe, and that he had transcribed them. Under
guise of this fiction he produced, within the two years of his
apprenticeship, a mass of pseudo-antique dramatic, lyric, and
descriptive poems, and fragments of local and general history, connected
all with his romance of the clerk of Bristol. A scholarly knowledge of
Middle English was rare one hundred and thirty years ago, and the
self-taught boy easily gulled the local antiquaries. He even deceived
Horace Walpole, who, dabbling in mediævalism, had opened the way for
prose romances with his 'Castle of Otranto,' a spurious antique of the
same time in which Chatterton had placed his fiction. Walpole at first
treated him courteously, even offering to print some of the poems. But
when Gray and Mason pronounced them modern, he at once gave Chatterton
the cold shoulder, entirely forgetting his own imposition on a credulous

Chatterton now turned to periodical literature and the politics of the
day, and began to contribute to various London magazines. In the spring
of 1770 he finally came up to London, to start on the life of a literary
adventurer on a capital of less than five pounds. He lived abstemiously
and worked incessantly, literally day and night. He had a wonderful
versatility; he would write in the manner of any one he chose to
imitate, and he tried his hand at every species of book-work. But even
under the strain of this incessant productivity he found time to turn
back to his boyhood dreams, and produced one of his finest poems, the
'Ballad of Charity.' At first his contributions were freely accepted,
but he was poorly paid, and sometimes not at all. Yet out of his scanty
earnings he bought costly presents for his mother and sister, as tokens
of affection and an earnest of what he hoped to do for them. After
scarcely two months in London he was at the end of his resources. He
made an attempt to gain a position as surgeon's assistant on board of an
African trader, but was unsuccessful. He now found himself face to face
with famine; and, too proud to ask for assistance or to accept even the
hospitality of a single meal, he on the night of August 25th, 1770,
locked himself into his garret, destroyed all his note-books and papers,
and swallowed a dose of arsenic. It is believed that he was privately
buried in the churchyard of St. Mary Redcliffe. There a monument has
been erected, with an inscription from his poem 'Will':--

     "To the memory of Thomas Chatterton. Reader! judge not. If thou
     art a Christian, believe that he shall be judged by a superior
     power. To that power alone is he now answerable."

His death attracted little notice, for he was regarded merely as the
transcriber of the 'Rowley' poems. They were collected after his death,
from the various persons to whom he had given the manuscripts, and
occasioned a controversy that has lasted almost down to the present
generation. But only an age untrained in philological research could
ever have received them as genuine productions of the fifteenth century:
for Chatterton, who knew little of the old authors antedating Spenser,
constructed with the help of Bailey's and Kersey's English dictionaries
a lingo of his own; he strung together old words of all periods and
dialects, and even coined words himself to suit the metre. His lingo
resembles anything rather than Middle English. It is supposed that he
wrote first in modern English, and then translated into his own dialect;
for the poems do not suffer by retranslation,--on the contrary, they are
more intelligible and often more rhythmical. Chatterton had a wonderful
memory, and having read enormously, there are frequent though perhaps
unconscious plagiarisms from Spenser, Shakespeare, Dryden, Pope, Gray,
and others.

Yet after all has been said against the spurious character of the
'Rowley' poems, Chatterton's two volumes of collected writings, produced
under the most adverse circumstances, are a record of youthful precocity
unparalleled in literary history. He wrote spirited satires at ten, and
some of his best old verse before sixteen. 'Ælla' is a dramatic poem of
sustained power and originality, and its songs have the true lyric ring;
the 'Ode to Liberty,' a fragment from the tragedy of 'Goddwyn,' is with
its bold imagery one of the finest martial lyrics in the language; the
'Ballad of Charity,' almost the last poem he wrote, comes in its
objectivity and artistic completeness near to some of Keats's best
ballad work. But more wonderful perhaps than this early blossoming of
his genius is its absolute originality. At a time when Johnson was the
literary dictator of London, and Pope's manner still paramount,
Chatterton, unmindful of their conventionalities and the current French
influence, instinctively turned to earlier models, and sought his
inspiration at the true source of English song. Bishop Percy's 'Reliques
of Old English Poetry,' published in 1765, first made the people
acquainted with their fine old ballads; but by that year Chatterton had
already planned the story of the monk of Bristol and written some of the
poems. Gifted with a rich vein of romance, he heralded the coming
revival of mediæval literature. But he not only divined the new
movements of poetry--he was also responsible for one side of its
development. He had a poet's ear for metrical effects, and transmitted
this gift to the romantic poets through Coleridge; for the latter,
deeply interested in the tragedy of the life of the Bristol boy, studied
his work; and traces of this study, resulting in freer rhythm and new
harmonies, are found in Coleridge's own verse. The influence of the
author of 'Christabel' on his brother poets is indisputable; hence his
indebtedness to Chatterton gives to the latter at once his rightful
position as the father of the New Romantic school. Keats also shows
signs of close acquaintance with Chatterton; and he proves moreover by
the dedication of his 'Endymion' that he cherished the memory of the
unfortunate young poet, with whom he had, as far as the romantic temper
on its objective side goes, perhaps the closest spiritual kinship of any
poet of his time.

But quite apart from his youthful precocity and his influence on later
poets, Chatterton holds no mean place in English literature because of
the intrinsic value of his performance. His work, on the one hand, aside
from the 'Rowley' poems, shows him a true poet of the eighteenth
century, and the best of it entitles him to a fair place among his
contemporaries; but on the other hand he stands almost alone in his
generation in possessing the highest poetic endowments,--originality of
thought, a quick eye to see and note, the gift of expression, sustained
power of composition, and a fire and intensity of imagination. In how
far he would have fulfilled his early promise it is idle to surmise; yet
what poet, in the whole range of English, nay of _all_ literature, at
seventeen years and nine months of age, has produced work of such
excellence as this "marvelous boy," who, unrecognized and driven by
famine, took his own life in a London garret?


  When Freedom, dreste yn blodde-steyned veste,
        To everie knyghte her warre-songe sunge,
    Uponne her hedde wylde wedes were spredde;
        A gorie anlace bye her honge.
        She dauncèd onne the heathe;
        She hearde the voice of deathe;
  Pale-eyned affryghte, hys harte of sylver hue,
    In vayne assayled her bosomme to acale;
  She hearde onflemed the shriekynge voice of woe,
    And sadnesse ynne the owlette shake the dale.
        She shooke the burled speere,
          On hie she jeste her sheelde,
        Her foemen all appere,
          And flizze alonge the feelde.
  Power, wythe his heafod straught ynto the skyes,
    Hys speere a sonne-beame, and hys sheelde a starre,
  Alyche twaie brendeynge gronfyres rolls hys eyes,
    Chaftes with hys yronne feete and soundes to war.
        She syttes upon a rocke,
          She bendes before hys speere,
        She ryses from the shocke,
          Wieldynge her owne yn ayre.
  Harde as the thonder dothe she drive ytte on,
    Wytte scillye wympled gies ytte to hys crowne,
  Hys longe sharpe speere, hys spreddynge sheelde ys gon,
    He falles, and fallynge rolleth thousandes down.
  War, goare-faced war, bie envie burld, arist,
    Hys feerie heaulme noddynge to the ayre,
  Tenne bloddie arrowes ynne hys streynynge fyste.


    From 'The Bristowe Tragedie'

  And nowe the bell beganne to tolle,
    And claryonnes to sounde;
  Syr Charles hee herde the horses' feete
    A-prauncing onne the grounde:

  And just before the officers
    His lovynge wyfe came ynne,
  Weepynge unfeignèd teeres of woe,
    Wythe loude and dysmalle dynne.

  "Sweet Florence! nowe I praie forbere,
    Ynne quiet lett mee die;
  Praie Godde, thatt ev'ry Christian soule
    May looke onne dethe as I.

  "Sweet Florence! why these brinie teeres?
    Theye washe my soule awaie,
  And almost make mee wyshe for lyfe,
    Wythe thee, sweete dame, to staie.

  "'Tys butt a journie I shalle goe
    Untoe the lande of blysse;
  Nowe, as a proofe of husbande's love,
    Receive thys holie kysse."

  Thenne Florence, fault'ring ynne her saie,
    Tremblynge these wordyès spoke:--
  "Ah, cruele Edwarde! bloudie kynge!
    My herte ys welle nyghe broke:

  "Ah, sweete Syr Charles! why wylt thou goe,
    Wythoute thye lovynge wyfe?
  The cruelle axe thatt cuttes thye necke,
    Ytte eke shall ende mye lyfe."

  And nowe the officers came ynne
    To brynge Syr Charles awaie,
  Whoe turnedd toe hys lovynge wyfe,
    And thus to her dydd saie:--

  "I goe to lyfe, and nott to dethe;
    Truste thou ynne Godde above,
  And teache thye sonnes to feare the Lorde,
    And ynne theyre hertes hym love:

  "Teache them to runne the nobile race
    Thatt I theyre fader runne:
  Florence! shou'd dethe thee take--adieu!
    Yee officers, leade onne."

  Thenne Florence rav'd as anie madde,
    And dydd her tresses tere;
  "Oh! staie, mye husbande! lorde! and lyfe!"
    Syr Charles thenne dropt a teare.

  'Tyll tyrèdd oute wythe ravynge loud,
    She fellen onne the flore;
  Syr Charles exerted alle hys myghte,
    And march'd fromme oute the dore.

  Uponne a sledde hee mounted thenne,
    Wythe lookes fulle brave and swete;
  Lookes, thatt enshone ne more concern
    Thanne anie ynne the strete.


  O! synge untoe mie roundelaie,
    O! droppe the brynie teare wythe mee,
  Daunce ne moe atte hallie daie,
    Lycke a reynynge ryver bee;
      Mie love ys dedde,
      Gon to hys deathe-bedde,
      Al under the wyllowe tree.

  Blacke hys cryne as the wyntere nyghte,
    Whyte hys rode as the sommer snowe,
  Rodde hys face as the mornynge lyghte,
    Cale he lyes ynne the grave belowe;
      Mie love ys dedde,
      Gon to hys deathe-bedde,
      Al under the wyllowe tree.

  Swote hys tyngue as the throstles note,
    Quycke ynn daunce as thoughte canne bee,
  Defte hys taboure, codgelle stote,
    O! hee lyes bie the wyllowe tree;
      Mie love ys dedde,
      Gonne to hys deathe-bedde,
      Alle underre the wvllowe tree.

  Harke! the ravenne flappes hys wynge,
    In the briered delle belowe;
  Harke! the dethe-owle loude dothe synge,
    To the nyghte-mares as heie goe;
      Mie love ys dedde,
      Gonne to hys deathe-bedde,
      Al under the wyllowe tree.

  See! the whyte moone sheenes onne hie;
    Whyterre ys mie true loves shroude;
  Whyterre yanne the mornynge skie,
    Whyterre yanne the evenynge cloude;
      Mie love ys dedde,
      Gon to hys deathe-bedde,
      Al under the wyllowe tree.

  Heere, uponne mie true loves grave,
    Schalle the baren fleurs be layde;
  Nee one hallie Seynete to save
    Al the eelness of a mayde.
      Mie love ys dedde,
      Gonne to hys deathe-bedde,
      Alle under the wyllowe tree.

  Wythe mie hondes I'll dente the brieres
    Rounde his hallie corse to gre;
  Ouphante fairie, lyghte youre fyres;
    Heere mie boddie stylle schalle bee.
      Mie love ys dedde,
      Gon to hys deathe-bedde,
      Al under the wyllowe tree.

  Comme, wythe acorne-coppe and thorne,
    Drayne mie hartys blodde awaie;
  Lyfe and all yttes goode I scorne,
    Daunce bie nete, or feaste by daie.
      Mie love ys dedde,
      Gon to hys deathe-bedde,
      Al under the wyllowe tree.

  Waterre wytches, crownede wythe reytes,
    Bere mee to yer leathalle tyde.
  I die! I come! mie true love waytes.
    Thus the damselle spake, and died.



    In Virgyne the sweltrie sun gan sheene,
      And hotte upon the mees did caste his raie:
    The apple rodded from its palic greene,
      And the mole peare did bende the leafy spraie;
      The peede chelandri sunge the livelong daie;
    'Twas nowe the pride, the manhode of the yeare,
  And eke the grounde was dighte in its mose defte aumere.

    The sun was glemeing in the midde of daie,
      Deadde still the aire, and eke the welken blue,
    When from the sea arist in drear arraie
      A hepe of cloudes of sable sullen hue,
      The which full fast unto the woodlande drewe,
    Hiltring attenes the sunnis fetyve face,
  And the blacke tempeste swolne and gatherd up apace.

    Beneathe an holme, faste by a pathwaieside,
      Which dyde unto Seynete Godwine's covent lede,
    A hapless pilgrim moneynge dyd abide;
      Pore in his viewe, ungentle in his weede,
      Longe bretful of the miseries of neede,
    Where from the hail-stone coulde the almer flie?
  He had no housen theere, ne anie covent nie.

    Look in his gloomed face, his sprighte there scanne;
      Howe woe-be-gone, how withered, forwynd, deade!
    Haste to thie church-glebe-house, asshrewed manne!
      Haste to thie kiste, thie onlie dortoure bedde.
      Cale, as the claie whiche will gre on thie hedde,
    Is Charitie and Love aminge highe elves;
  Knightis and Barons live for pleasure and themselves.

    The gatherd storme is rype; the bigge drops falle;
      The forswat meadowes smethe, and drenche the raine;
    The comyng ghastness do the cattle pall,
      And the full flockes are drivynge ore the plaine;
      Dashde from the cloudes the waters flott againe;
    The welkin opes; the yellow levynne flies;
  And the hot fierie smothe in the wide lowings dies.

    Liste! now the thunder's rattling clymmynge sound
      Cheves slowlie on, and then embollen clangs;
    Shakes the hie spyre, and losst, dispended, drown'd,
      Still on the gallard eare of terroure hanges;
      The windes are up; the lofty elmen swanges;
    Again the levynne and the thunder poures,
  And the full cloudes are braste attenes in stones showers.

    Spyrreynge his palfrie oere the watrie plaine,
      The Abbote of Seynete Godwynes convente came;
    His chapournette was drented with the reine,
      And his penete gyrdle met with mickle shame;
      He aynewarde tolde his bederoll at the same;
    The storme encreasen, and he drew aside,
  With the mist almes-craver neere to the holme to bide.

    His cope was all of Lyncolne clothe so fyne,
      With a gold button fasten'd neere his chynne;
    His autremete was edged with golden twynne,
      And his shoone pyke a loverds mighte have binne;
      Full well it shewn he thoughten coste no sinne:
    The trammels of the palfrye pleasde his sighte,
  For the horse-millanare his head with roses dighte.

    An almes, sir prieste! the droppynge pilgrim saide:
      O! let me waite within your covente dore,
    Till the sunne sheneth hie above our heade,
      And the loude tempeste of the aire is oer;
      Helpless and ould am I, alas! and poor:
    No house, ne friend, ne moneie in my pouche;
  All yatte I calle my owne is this my silver crouche.

    Varlet, replyd the Abbatte, cease your dinne;
      This is no season almes and prayers to give;
    Mie porter never lets a faitour in;
      None touch mie rynge who not in honour live.
      And now the sonne with the blacke cloudes did stryve,
    And shettynge on the grounde his glairie raie,
  The Abbatte spurrde his steede, and eftsoones roadde awaie.

    Once moe the skie was blacke, the thounder rolde;
      Faste reyneynge oer the plaine a prieste was seen;
    Ne dighte full proude, ne buttoned up in golde;
      His cope and jape were graie, and eke were clene;
      A Limitoure he was of order seene;
    And from the pathwaie side then turned hee,
  Where the pore almer laie binethe the holmen tree.

    An almes, sir priest! the droppynge pilgrim sayde,
      For sweete Seynete Marie and your order sake.
    The Limitoure then loosen'd his pouche threade,
      And did thereoute a groate of silver take;
      The mister pilgrim dyd for halline shake.
    Here, take this silver, it maie eathe thie care;
  We are Goddes stewards all, nete of oure owne we bare.

    But ah! unhailie pilgrim, lerne of me,
      Scathe anie give a rentrolle to their Lorde.
    Here, take my semecope, thou arte bare I see;
      Tis thyne; the Seynetes will give me mie rewarde.
      He left the pilgrim, and his waie aborde.
    Virgynne and hallie Seynete, who sitte yn gloure,
  Or give the mittee will, or give the gode man power!


  O God! whose thunder shakes the sky,
    Whose eye this atom-globe surveys,
  To thee, my only rock, I fly,--
    Thy mercy in thy justice praise.

  The mystic mazes of thy will,
    The shadows of celestial night,
  Are past the power of human skill;
    But what the Eternal acts is right.

  O teach me, in the trying hour--
    When anguish swells the dewy tear--
  To still my sorrows, own thy power.
    Thy goodness love, thy justice fear.

  If in this bosom aught but thee,
    Encroaching, sought a boundless sway,
  Omniscience could the danger see,
    And Mercy look the cause away.

  Then why, my soul, dost thou complain--
    Why drooping seek the dark recess?
  Shake off the melancholy chain;
    For God created all to bless.

  But ah! my breast is human still;
    The rising sigh, the falling tear,
  My languid vitals' feeble rill,
    The sickness of my soul declare.

  But yet, with fortitude resigned,
    I'll thank the Inflictor of the blow--
  Forbid the sigh, compose my mind,
    Nor let the gush of misery flow.

  The gloomy mantle of the night,
    Which on my sinking spirit steals,
  Will vanish at the morning light,
    Which God, my East, my Sun, reveals.




English literature, in the strict sense of the word, dates its beginning
from the latter half of the fourteenth century. Not but an English
literature had existed long previous to that period. Furthermore, it
reckoned among its possessions works of value, and a few which in the
opinion of some display genius. But though the name was the same, the
thing was essentially different. A special course of study is required
for any comprehension whatever of the productions of that earliest
literature; and for the easy understanding of those written even but a
half-century or so before the period indicated, a mastery of many
peculiar syntactical constructions is demanded and an acquaintance with
a vocabulary differing in a large number of words from that now in use.

But by the middle of the fourteenth century this state of things can
hardly be said to exist any longer for us. Everything by that time had
become ripe for the creation of a literature of a far higher type than
had yet been produced. Furthermore, conditions prevailed which, though
their results could not then be foreseen, were almost certain to render
the literature thus created comparatively easy of comprehension to the
modern reader. The Teutonic and Romanic elements that form the
groundwork of our present vocabulary had at last become completely
fused. Of the various dialects prevailing, the one spoken in the
vicinity of the capital had gradually lifted itself up to a pre-eminence
it was never afterwards to lose. In this parent of the present literary
speech, writers found for the first time at their command a widely
accepted and comparatively flexible instrument of expression. As a
consequence, the literature then produced fixed definitely for all time
the main lines upon which both the grammar and the vocabulary of the
English speech were to develop. The result is that it now presents few
difficulties for its full comprehension and appreciation that are not
easily surmounted. The most effective deterrent to its wide study is one
formidable only in appearance. This is the unfamiliar way in which its
words are spelled; for orthography then sought to represent
pronunciation, and had not in consequence crystallized into fixed forms
with constant disregard of any special value to be attached to the signs
by which sounds are denoted.

Of the creators of this literature--Wycliffe, Langland, Chaucer, and
Gower--Chaucer was altogether the greatest as a man of letters. This is
no mere opinion of the present time: there has never been a period since
he flourished in which it has not been fully conceded. In his own day,
his fame swept beyond the narrow limits of country and became known to
the outside world. At home his reputation was firmly established, and
seems to have been established early. All the references to him by his
contemporaries and immediate successors bear witness to his universally
recognized position as the greatest of English poets, though we are not
left by him in doubt that he had even then met detractors. Still the
general feeling of the men of his time is expressed by his disciple
Occleve, who terms him

  "The firste finder[1] of our fair langage."

  [1] Poet.

Yet not a single incident of his life has come down to us from the men
who admired his personality, who enrolled themselves as his disciples,
and who celebrated his praises. With the exception of a few slight
references to himself in his writings, all the knowledge we possess of
the events of his career is due to the mention made of him in official
documents of various kinds and of different degrees of importance. In
these it is taken for granted that whenever Geoffrey Chaucer is spoken
of, it is the poet who is meant, and not another person of the same
name. The assumption almost approaches absolute certainty; it does not
quite attain to it. In those days it is clear that there were numerous
Chaucers. Still, no one has yet risen to dispute his being the very
person spoken of in these official papers. From these documents we
discover that Chaucer, besides being a poet, was also a man of affairs.
He was a soldier, a negotiator, a diplomatist. He was early employed in
the personal service of the king. He held various positions in the civil
service. It was a consequence that his name should appear frequently in
the records. It is upon them, and the references to him in documents
covering transactions in which he bore a part, that the story of his
life, so far as it exists for us at all, has been mainly built. It was
by them also that the series of fictitious events which for so long a
time did duty as the biography of the poet had their impossibility as
well as their absurdity exposed.

  [Illustration: GEOFFREY CHAUCER.]

The exact date of Chaucer's birth we do not know. The most that can be
said is that it must have been somewhere in the early years of the reign
of Edward III. (1327-77). The place of his birth was in all probability
London. His father, John Chaucer, was a vintner of that city, and there
is evidence to indicate that he was to some extent connected with the
court. In a deed dated June 19th, 1380, the poet released his right to
his father's former house, which is described as being in Thames Street.
The spot, however unsuitable for a dwelling-place now, was then in the
very heart of urban life, and in that very neighborhood it is reasonable
to suppose that Chaucer's earliest years were spent.

The first positive information we have, however, about the poet himself
belongs to 1356. In that year we find him attached to the household of
Lionel, Duke of Clarence, the third son of Edward III. He is there in
the service of the wife of that prince, but in what position we do not
know. It may have been that of a page. He naturally was in attendance
upon his mistress during her various journeyings; but most of her time
was passed at her residence in Hatfield, Yorkshire. Chaucer next appears
as having joined the army of Edward III. in his last invasion of France.
This expedition was undertaken in the autumn of 1359, and continued
until the peace of Bretigny, concluded in May, 1360. During this
campaign he was captured somewhere and somehow--we have no knowledge of
anything beyond the bare fact. It took place, however, before the first
of March, 1360; for on that date the records show that the King
personally contributed sixteen pounds towards his ransom.

From this last-mentioned date Chaucer drops entirely out of our
knowledge till June, 1367, when he is mentioned as one of the valets of
the King's chamber. In the document stating this fact he is granted a
pension--the first of several he received--for services already rendered
or to be rendered. It is a natural inference from the language employed,
that during these years of which no record exists he was in some
situation about the person of Edward III. After this time his name
occurs with considerable frequency in the rolls, often in connection
with duties to which he was assigned. His services were varied; in some
instances certainly they were of importance. From 1370 to 1380 he was
sent several times abroad to share in the conduct of negotiations. These
missions led him to Flanders, to France, and to Italy. The subjects were
very diverse. One of the negotiations in which he was concerned was in
reference to the selection of an English port for a Genoese commercial
establishment; another was concerning the marriage of the young monarch
of England with the daughter of the king of France. It is on his first
journey to Italy of which we have any record--the mission of 1372-73 to
Genoa and Florence--that everybody hopes and some succeed in having an
undoubting belief that Chaucer visited Petrarch at Padua, and there
heard from him the story of Griselda, which the Clerk of Oxford in the
'Canterbury Tales' states that he learned from the Italian poet.

But Chaucer's activity was not confined to foreign missions or to
diplomacy; he was as constantly employed in the civil service. In 1374
he was made controller of the great customs--that is, of wool, skins,
and leather--of the port of London. In 1382 he received also the post in
the same port of controller of the petty customs--that is, of wines,
candles, and other articles. The regulations of the office required him
to write the records with his own hand; and it is this to which Chaucer
is supposed to refer in the statement he makes about his official duties
in the 'House of Fame.' In that poem the messenger of Jupiter tells him
that though he has done so much in the service of the God of Love, yet
he has never received for it any compensation. He then goes on to add
the following lines, which give a graphic picture of the poet and of his
studious life:--

  "Wherfore, as I said ywis,[2]
  Jupiter considereth this,
  And also, beau sir, other things;
  That is, that thou hast no tidings
  Of Lovès folk, if they be glad,
  Ne of nought ellès, that God made;
  And nought only from far countree
  That there no tiding cometh to thee,
  But of the very neighèboúrs,
  That dwellen almost at thy doors,
  Thou hearest neither that nor this;
  But when thy labor all done is,
  And hast made all thy reckonings,
  Instead of rest and newè things,
  Thou goest home to thine house anon,
  And also[3] dumb as any stone,
  Thou sittest at another book,
  Till fully dazèd is thy look.
  And livest thus as an eremite,
  Although thine abstinence is lyte.[4]"

  [2] Certainly.

  [3] As.

  [4] Little.

In 1386 Chaucer was elected to Parliament as knight of the shire for
the county of Kent. In that same year he lost or gave up both his
positions in the customs. The cause we do not know. It may have been due
to mismanagement on his own part: it is far more likely that he fell a
victim to one of the fierce factional disputes that were going on during
the minority of Richard II. At any rate, from this time he again
disappears for two years from our knowledge. But in 1389 he is mentioned
as having been appointed clerk of the King's works at Westminster and
various other places; in 1390 clerk of the works for St. George's chapel
at Windsor. Both of these places he held until the middle of 1391. In
that last year he was made one of the commissioners to repair the
roadway along the Thames, and at about the same time was appointed
forester of North Petherton Park in Somerset, a post which he held till
his death. After 1386 he seems at times to have been in pecuniary
difficulties. To what cause they were owing, or how severe they were, it
is the emptiest of speculations to form any conjectures in the obscurity
that envelops this portion of his life. Whatever may have been his
situation, on the accession of Henry IV. in September, 1399, his
fortunes revived. The father of that monarch was John of Gaunt, the
fourth son of Edward III. That nobleman had pretty certainly been from
the outset the patron of Chaucer; it is possible--as the evidence fails
on one side, it cannot be regarded as proved--that by his marriage with
Katharine Swynford he became the poet's brother-in-law. Whatever may
have been the relationship, if any at all, it is a fact that one of the
very first things the new king did was to confer upon Chaucer an
additional pension. But the poet did not live long to enjoy the favor of
the monarch. On the 24th of December, 1399, he leased for fifty-three
years or during the term of his life a tenement in the garden of St.
Mary's Chapel, Westminster. But after the 5th of June, 1400, his name
appears no longer on any rolls. There is accordingly no reason to
question the accuracy of the inscription on his tombstone which
represents him as having died October 25th, 1400. He was buried in
Westminster Abbey. He was the first, and still remains perhaps the
greatest, of the English poets whose bones have there found their last

This comprises all the facts of importance we know of Chaucer's life.
Before leaving this branch of the subject, however, it may be well to
say that many fuller details about his career can be found in all older
accounts of the poet, and in spite of the repeated exposure of their
falsity still crop up occasionally in modern books of reference. Some
are objectionable only upon the ground of being untrue. Of these are
such statements as that he was born in 1328; that he was a student of
Oxford, to which Cambridge is sometimes added; that he was created
poet-laureate; and that he was knighted. But others are objectionable
not only on the ground of being false, but of being slanderous besides.
Of these the most offensive is the widely circulated and circumstantial
story that he was concerned in the conflict that went on in 1382 between
the city of London and the court in regard to the election of John of
Northampton to the mayoralty; that in consequence of his participation
in this contest he was compelled to seek refuge in the island of
Zealand; that there he remained for some time, but on his return to
England was arrested and thrown into the Tower; and that after having
been imprisoned for two or three years he was released at last on the
condition of betraying his associates, which he accordingly did. All
these details are fictitious. They were made up from inferences drawn
from obscure passages in a prose work entitled 'The Testament of Love.'
This was once attributed to the poet, but is now known not to have been
written by him. Even had it been his, the statements derived from it and
applied to the life of the poet would have been entirely unwarranted, as
they come into constant conflict with the official records. Not being
his, this piece of spurious biography has the additional discredit of
constituting an unnecessary libel upon his character.

From Chaucer the man, and the man of affairs, we proceed now to the
consideration of Chaucer the writer. He has left behind a body of verse
consisting of more than thirty-two thousand lines, and a smaller but
still far from inconsiderable quantity of prose. The latter consists
mainly if not wholly of translations--one a version of that favorite
work of the Middle Ages, the treatise of Boëtius on the 'Consolation of
Philosophy'; another the tale of Melibeus in the 'Canterbury Tales,'
which is taken directly from the French; thirdly, the Parson's Tale,
derived probably from the same quarter, though its original has not as
yet been discovered with certainty; and fourthly, an unfinished treatise
on the Astrolabe, undertaken for the instruction of his son Lewis. The
prose of any literature always lags behind, and sometimes centuries
behind, its poetry. It is therefore not surprising to find Chaucer
displaying in the former but little of the peculiar excellence which
distinguishes his verse. In the latter but little room is found for
hostile criticism. In the more than thirty thousand lines of which it is
composed there occur of course inferior passages, and some positively
weak; but taking it all in all, there is comparatively little in it,
considered as a whole, which the lover of literature as literature finds
it advisable or necessary to skip. In this respect the poet holds a
peculiar position, which makes the task of representation difficult. As
Southey remarked, Chaucer with the exception of Shakespeare is the most
various of all English authors. He appeals to the most diversified
tastes. He wrote love poems, religious poems, allegorical poems,
occasional poems, tales of common life, tales of chivalry. His range is
so wide that any limited selection from his works can at best give but
an inadequate idea of the variety and extent of his powers.

The canon of Chaucer's writings has now been settled with a reasonable
degree of certainty. For a long time the fashion existed of imputing to
him the composition of any English poem of the century following his
death which was floating about without having attached to it the name of
any author. The consequence is that the older editions contain a mass of
matter which it would have been distinctly discreditable for any one to
have produced, let alone a great poet. This has now been gradually
dropped, much to the advantage of Chaucer's reputation; though modern
scholarship also refuses to admit the production by him of two or three
pieces, such as 'The Court of Love,' 'The Flower and the Leaf,' 'The
Cuckoo and the Nightingale,' none of which was unworthy of his powers.
It is possible indeed that the poet himself may have had some dread of
being saddled with the responsibility of having produced pieces which he
did not care to father. It is certainly suggestive that he himself took
the pains on one occasion to furnish what it seems must have been at the
time a fairly complete list of his writings. In the prologue to the
'Legend of Good Women' he gave an idea of the work which up to that
period he had accomplished. The God of Love, in the interview which is
there described as having taken place, inveighs against the poet for
having driven men away from the service due to his deity, by the
character of what he had written. He says:--

                  "Thou mayst it not deny:
  For in plain text, withouten need of glose,[5]
  Thou hast translated the Romance of the Rose;
  That is an heresy agains my law,
  And makest wisè folk fro me withdraw.
  And of Cressid thou hast said as thee list;
  That makest men to women lessè trist,[6]
  That be as true as ever was any steel."

  [5] Commentary.

  [6] Trust.

Against this charge the queen Alcestis is represented as interposing to
the god a defense of the poet, in which occurs the following account of
Chaucer's writings:--

  "Albeit that he cannot well endite,
  Yet hath he makèd lewèd[7] folk delight
  To servè you, in praising of your name.
  He made the book that hight[8] the House of Fame,
  And eke the Death of Blanche the Duchess,
  And the Parliament of Fowlès, as I guess,
  And all the love of Palamon and Arcite
  Of Thebes, though the story is knowen lyte[9];
  And many an hymnè for your holy days
  That highten[10] ballades, roundels, virelays;
  And for to speak of other holiness,
  He hath in prosè translatéd Boece,
  And made the Life also of Saint Cecile;
  He made also, gone sithen a great while,[11]
  Origenes upon the Maudelain[12]:
  Him oughtè now to have the lessè pain;
  He hath made many a lay and many a thing."

  [7] Ignorant.

  [8] Is called.

  [9] Little.

  [10] Are called.

  [11] A great while ago.

  [12] Origen upon Mary Magdalen.

This prologue is generally conceded to have been written between 1382
and 1385. Though it does not profess to furnish a complete list of
Chaucer's writings, it can fairly be assumed that it included all which
he then regarded as of importance either on account of their merit or
their length. If so, the titles given above would embrace the
productions of what may be called the first half of his literary career.
In fact, his disciple Lydgate leads us to believe that 'Troilus and
Cressida' was a comparatively early production, though it may have
undergone and probably did undergo revision before assuming its present
form. The 'Legend of Good Women'--in distinction from its
prologue--would naturally occupy the time of the poet during the opening
period of what is here termed the second half of his literary career.
The prologue is the only portion of it, however, that is of distinctly
high merit. The work was never completed, and Chaucer pretty certainly
came soon to the conclusion that it was not worth completing. It was in
the taste of the times; but it did not take him long to perceive that an
extended work dealing exclusively with the sorrows of particular
individuals was as untrue to art as it was to life. It fell under the
ban of that criticism which in the 'Canterbury Tales' he puts into the
mouth of the Knight, who interrupts the doleful recital of the tragical
tales told by the Monk with these words:--

  "'Ho,' quoth the knight, 'good sir, no more of this:
  That ye have said is right enow, ywis,[13]
  And muchel[14] more; for little heaviness
  Is right enow to muchel folk, I guess.
  I say for me it is a great disease,[15]
  Where-as men have been in great wealth and ease,
  To hearen of hir sudden fall, alas!
  And the contráry is joy and great solas,[16]
  As when a man hath been in poor estate,
  And climbeth up and waxeth fortunate,
  And there abideth in prosperity.
  Such thing is gladsome, as it thinketh[17] me,
  And of such thing were goodly for to tell.'"

  [13] Certainly.

  [14] Much.

  [15] Discomfort.

  [16] Solace.

  [17] Seems.

Accordingly, from the composition of pieces of the one-sided and
unsatisfactory character of those contained in the 'Legend of Good
Women,' Chaucer turned to the preparation of his great work, the
'Canterbury Tales.' This gave him the fullest opportunity to display all
his powers, and must have constituted the main literary occupation of
his later life.

It will be noticed that two of the works mentioned in the prologue to
the 'Legend of Good Women' are translations, and are so avowed. One is
of the 'Roman de la Rose,' and the other of the philosophical treatise
of Boëtius. In regard to the version of the former which has come down,
it is sufficient to say that there was not long ago a disposition to
deny the genuineness of all of it. This now contents itself with denying
the genuineness of part of it. The question cannot be considered here:
it is enough to say that in the opinion of the present writer, while the
subject is attended with certain difficulties, the evidence is strongly
in favor of Chaucer's composition of the whole. But setting aside any
discussion of this point, there can scarcely be any doubt that Chaucer
began his career as a translator. At the period he flourished he could
hardly have done otherwise. It was an almost inevitable method of
procedure on the part of a man who found neither writers nor writings in
his own tongue worthy of imitation, and who could not fail to be struck
not merely by the excellence of the Latin classic poets but also by the
superior culture of the Continent. In the course of his literary
development he would naturally pass from direct translation to
adaptation. To the latter practice he assuredly resorted often. He took
the work of the foreign author as a basis, discarded what he did not
need or care for, and added as little or as much as suited his own
convenience. In this way the 5704 lines of the 'Filostrato' of Boccaccio
became 8246 in the 'Troilus and Cressida' of Chaucer; but even of the
5704 of the Italian poet, 2974 were not used by the English poet at all,
and the 2730 that were used underwent considerable compression. In a
similar way he composed the 'Knight's Tale,' probably the most perfect
narrative poem in our tongue. It was based upon the 'Theseide' of
Boccaccio. But the latter has 9896 lines, while the former comprises but
2250; and of these 2250 fully two-thirds are entirely independent of the
Italian poem.

With such free treatment of his material, Chaucer's next step would be
to direct composition, independent of any sources, save in that general
way in which every author is under obligation to what has been
previously produced. This finds its crowning achievement in the
'Canterbury Tales'; though several earlier pieces--such as the 'House of
Fame,' the 'Parliament of Fowls,' and the prologue to the 'Legend of
Good Women,'--attest that long before he had shown his ability to
produce work essentially original. But though in his literary
development Chaucer worked himself out of this exact reproduction of
his models, through a partial working over of them till he finally
attained complete independence, the habits of a translator clung to him
to the very end. Even after he had fully justified his claim to being a
great original poet, passages occur in his writings which are nothing
but the reproduction of passages found in some foreign poem in Latin, or
French, or Italian, the three languages with which he was conversant.
His translation of them was due to the fact that they had struck his
fancy; his insertion of them into his own work was to please others with
what had previously pleased himself. Numerous passages of this kind have
been pointed out; and doubtless there are others which remain to be
pointed out.

There is another important thing to be marked in the history of
Chaucer's artistic development. Not only was poetic material lacking in
the tongue at the time of his appearance, but also poetic form. The
measures in use, while not inadequate for literary expression, were
incapable of embodying it in its highest flights. Consequently what
Chaucer did not find, he had either to borrow or to invent. He did both.
In the lines which have been quoted he speaks of the "ballades,
roundels, and virelayes" which he had composed. These were all favorite
poetical forms in that Continental country with whose literature Chaucer
was mainly conversant. There can be little question that he tried all
manner of verse which the ingenuity of the poets of Northern France had
devised. As many of his shorter pieces have very certainly disappeared,
his success in these various attempts cannot be asserted with
positiveness. Still, what have survived show that he was a great
literary artist as well as a great poet. His feats of rhyming, in
particular in a tongue so little fitted for it as is ours, can be seen
in his unfinished poem of 'Queen Anelida and False Arcite,' in the
'Complaint to Venus,' and in the envoy which follows the Clerk's Tale.
In this last piece, though there are thirty-six lines, the rhymes are
only three; and two of these belong to fifteen lines respectively.

But far more important than such attempts, which prove interest in
versification rather than great poetic achievement, are the two measures
which he introduced into our tongue. The first was the seven-line
stanza. The rhyming lines in it are respectively the first and third;
the second, fourth, and fifth; and the sixth and seventh. At a later
period this was frequently called "rhyme royal," because the 'Kingis
Quair' was written in it. For fully two centuries it was one of the most
popular measures in English poetry. Since the sixteenth century,
however, it has been but little employed. Far different has been the
fate of the line of ten syllables, or rather of five accents. On account
of its frequent use in the 'Canterbury Tales' it was called for a long
period "riding rhyme"; but it now bears the title of "heroic verse." As
employed by Chaucer it varies in slight particulars from the way it is
now generally used. With him the couplet character was never made
prominent. The sense was not apt to end at the second line, but
constantly tended to run over into the line following. There was also
frequently with him an unaccented eleventh syllable; and this, though
not unknown to modern verse, is not common. Still, the difference
between the early and the later form are mere differences of detail, and
of comparatively unimportant detail. The introduction of this measure
into English may be considered Chaucer's greatest achievement in the
matter of versification. The heroic verse may have existed in the tongue
before he himself used it. If so, it lurked unseen and uninfluential. He
was the first to employ it on a grand scale, if not to employ it at all,
and to develop its capabilities. Much the largest proportion of his
greatest work is written in that measure. Yet in spite of his example,
it found for two centuries comparatively few imitators. It was not till
the end of the sixteenth century that the measure started on a new
course of life, and entered upon the great part it has since played in
English versification.

The most important of what are sometimes called the minor works of
Chaucer are the 'Parliament of Fowls,' the 'House of Fame,' 'Troilus and
Cressida,' and the 'Legend of Good Women.' These are all favorable
examples of his genius. But however good they may be in particular
portions and in particular respects, in general excellence they yield
place unquestionably to the 'Canterbury Tales.' It seems to have been
very clearly the intention of the poet to embody in this crowning
achievement of his literary life everything in the shape of a story he
had already composed or was purposing to compose. Two of the pieces, the
love of Palamon and Arcite and the Life of St. Cecilia, as we know from
the words of his already quoted, had appeared long before. The plan of
the work itself was most happily conceived; and in spite of most
painstaking efforts to find an original for it or suggestion of it
somewhere else, there seems no sufficient reason for doubting that the
poet himself was equal to the task of having devised it. No one
certainly can question the felicity with which the framework for
embodying the tales was constructed. All ranks and classes of society
are brought together in the company of pilgrims who assemble at the
Tabard Inn at Southwark to ride to the shrine of the saint at
Canterbury. The military class is represented by the Knight, belonging
to the highest order of the nobility, his son the Squire, and his
retainer the Yeoman; the church by the Abbot, the Friar, the Parson, the
Prioress with her attendant Nun, and the three accompanying Priests,
and less distinctly by the Scholar, the Clerk of Oxford, and by the
Pardoner and the Summoner. For the other professions are the Doctor of
Physic and the Serjeant of Law; for the middle-class landholders the
Franklin; and for the various crafts and occupations the Haberdasher,
the Carpenter, the Weaver, the Dyer, the Upholsterer, the Cook, the
Ploughman, the Sailor, the Reeve, the Manciple, and (joining the party
in the course of the pilgrimage) the assistant of the alchemist, who is
called the Canon's Yeoman. Into the mouths of these various personages
were to be put tales befitting their character and condition.
Consequently there was ample space for stories of chivalry, of religion,
of love, of magic, and in truth of every aspect of social life in all
its highest and lowest manifestations. Between the tales themselves were
connecting links, in which the poet had the opportunity to give an
account of the incidents that took place on the pilgrimage, the critical
opinions expressed by the hearers of what had been told, and the
disputes and quarrels that went on between the various members of the
party. So far as this portion of his plan was finished, these connecting
links furnish some of the most striking passages in the work. In one of
them--the prologue to the Wife of Bath's Tale--the genius of the poet
reaches along certain lines its highest development; while the general
prologue describing the various personages of the party, though not
containing the highest poetry of the work as poetry, is the most acute,
discriminating, and brilliant picture of men and manners that can be
found in our literature.

  [Illustration: _CHAUCER_

  Title-page of the first attempt to collect his works into one volume.

  The imprint reads:
    Imprinted at London by Thomas Godfray,
    The yeare of our lorde


    The Workes of Geffray Chaucer newly printed, with dyuers workes
    whiche were neuer in print before: As in the table more playnly
    dothe appere.

  Cum priuilegio.

  The Workes of Geoffrey Chaucer]

Such was the plan of the work. It was laid out on an extensive scale,
perhaps on too extensive a scale ever to have been completed. Certain it
is that it was very far from ever reaching even remotely that result.
According to the scheme set forth in the prologue, the work when
finished should have included over one hundred and twenty tales. It
actually comprises but twenty-four. Even of these, two are incomplete:
the Cook's Tale, which is little more than begun, and the romantic
Eastern tale of the Squire, which, in Milton's words, is "left half
told." To those that are finished, the connecting links have not been
supplied in many cases. Accordingly the work exists not as a perfect
whole, but in eight or nine fragmentary parts, each complete in itself,
but lacking a close connection with the others, though all are bound
together by the unity of a common central interest. The value of what
has been done makes doubly keen the regret that so much has been left
undone. Politics, religion, literature, manners, are all touched upon in
this wide-embracing view, which still never misses what is really
essential; and added to this is a skill of portrayal by which the
actors, whether narrating the tales themselves, or themselves forming
the heroes of the narration, fairly live and breathe before our eyes.
Had the work been completed on the scale upon which it was begun, we
should have had a picture of life and opinion in the fourteenth century
more vivid and exact than has been drawn of any century before or since.

The selections given are partly of extracts and partly of complete
pieces. To the former class belong the lines taken from the opening of
the 'Canterbury Tales,' with the description of a few of the characters;
the description of the temples of Mars, of Venus, and of Diana in the
Knight's Tale; and the account of the disappearance of the fairies at
the opening of the Wife of Bath's Tale. The complete pieces are the
tales of the Pardoner, and of the Nun's Priest. From the first, however,
has been dropped the discourse on drunkenness, profanity, and gambling,
which, though in keeping with the character of the narrator, has no
connection with the development of the story. The second, the tale of
the Nun's Priest, was modernized by Dryden under the title of the 'Cock
and the Fox.' All of these are in heroic verse. The final selection is
the ballade now usually entitled 'Truth.' In it the peculiar ballade
construction can be studied--that is, the formation in three stanzas,
either with or without an envoy; the same rhymes running through the
three stanzas; and the final line of each stanza precisely the same. One
of Chaucer's religious poems--the so-called 'A B C'--can be found under
Deguileville, from whose 'Pèlerinage la de Vie Humaine' it is

Chaucer's style, like that of all great early writers, is marked by
perfect simplicity, and his language is therefore comparatively easy to
understand. In the extracts here given the spelling has been modernized,
save occasionally at the end of the line, when the rhyme has required
the retention of an earlier form. The words themselves and grammatical
forms have of course undergone no change. There are two marks used to
indicate the pronunciation: first, the acute accent to indicate that a
heavier stress than ordinary is to be placed on the syllable over which
it stands; and secondly, the grave accent to indicate that the letter or
syllable over which it appears, though silent in modern pronunciation,
was then sounded. Thus _landès_, _grovès_, _friendès_, _knavès_, would
have the final syllable sounded; and in a similar way _timè_, _Romè_,
and others ending in _e_, when the next word begins with a vowel or _h_
mute. The acute accent can be exemplified in words like _couráge_,
_reasón_, _honoúr_, _translatéd_, where the accent would show that the
final syllable would either receive the main stress or a heavier stress
than is now given it. Again, a word like _cre-a-ture_ consists, in the
pronunciation here given, of three syllables and not of two, and is
accordingly represented by a grave accent over the _a_ to signify that
this vowel forms a separate syllable, and by the acute accent over the
_ture_ to indicate that this final syllable should receive more weight
of pronunciation than usual. It accordingly appears as _creàtúre_. In a
similar way _con-dit-i-on_ would be a word of four syllables, and its
pronunciation would be indicated by this method _conditìón_. It is never
to be forgotten that Chaucer had no superior in the English tongue as a
master of melody; and if a verse of his sounds inharmonious, it is
either because the line is corrupt or because the reader has not
succeeded in pronouncing it correctly.

The explanation of obsolete words or meanings is given in the
foot-notes. In addition to these the following variations from modern
English that occur constantly, and are therefore not defined, should be
noted. _Hir_ and _hem_ stand for 'their' and 'them.' The affix _y-_ is
frequently prefixed to the past participle, which itself sometimes omits
the final _en_ or _-n_, as 'ydrawe,' 'yshake.' The imperative plural
ends in _-th,_ as 'dreadeth.' The general negative _ne_ is sometimes to
be defined by 'not,' sometimes by 'nor'; and connected with forms of the
verb 'be' gives us _nis_, 'is not'; _nas_, 'was not.' _As_ is often an
expletive, and cannot be rendered at all; _that_ before 'one' and
'other' is usually the definite article; _there_ is frequently to be
rendered by 'where'; _mo_ always means 'more'; _thilke_ means 'that' or
'that same'; _del_ is 'deal' in the sense of 'bit,' 'whit'; and the
comparatives of 'long' and 'strong' are _lenger_ and _strenger_. Finally
it should be borne in mind that the double negative invariably
strengthens the negation.

                                    [Signature: Thomas R. Lounsbury]


  When that Aprílè with his showers swoot[18]
  The drought of March hath piercèd to the root,
  And bathèd every vein in such liqoúr
  Of which virtue engendered is the flower;
  When Zephyrús eke with his sweetè breath
  Inspirèd hath in every holt and heath
  The tender croppès, and the youngè sun
  Hath in the Ram his halfè course yrun,
  And smallè fowlès maken melody,
  That sleepen all the night with open eye,--
  So pricketh hem natúre in hir couráges[19]--
  Then longen folk to go on pilgrimáges,
  And palmers for to seeken strangè strands,
  To fernè hallows[20] couth[21] in sundry lands;
  And specially, from every shirès end
  Of Engèland, to Canterbury they wend,
  The holy blissful martyr for to seek,
  That hem hath holpen when that they were sick.
    Befell that in that season on a day,
  In Southwark at the Tabard[22] as I lay,
  Ready to wenden on my pilgrimáge
  To Canterbury with full devout couráge,
  At night were come into that hostelry
  Well nine and twenty in a company
  Of sundry folk, by áventúre[23] yfalle
  In fellowship, and pilgrims were they all,
  That toward Canterbury woulden ride.
  The chambers and the stables weren wide,
  And well we weren easèd[24] at the best.
  And shortly, when the sunnè was to rest,
  So had I spoken with hem evereach-one,[25]
  That I was of hir fellowship anon,
  And madè forward[26] early for to rise
  To take our way there-as I you devise.[27]
  But nathèless, while I have time and space,
  Ere that I further in this talè pace,
  Me thinketh it accordant to reasón,
  To tellen you all the conditìón
  Of each of hem, so as it seemèd me,
  And which they weren, and of what degree,
  And eke in what array that they were in:
  And at a knight then will I first begin.


    A knight there was, and that a worthy[28] man,
  That[29] from the timè that he first began
  To riden out, he[29] lovèd chivalry,
  Truth and honoúr, freedom[30] and courtesy.
  Full worthy was he in his Lordès war,
  And thereto had he ridden, no man farre,[31]
  As well in Christendom as in Heatheness,
  And ever honoured for his worthiness.
  At Alexandr' he was when it was won;
  Full oftè time he had the board begun[32]
  Aboven allè natìóns in Prusse;
  In Lettowe[33] had he reyséd[34] and in Russe,
  No Christian man so oft of his degree;
  In Gernade[35] at the siegè had he be
  Of Algezir,[36] and ridden in Belmarié.[37]
  At Lieys[38] was he, and at Satalié,[39]
  When they were won; and in the Greatè Sea[40]
  At many a noble army[41] had he be.
  At mortal battles had he been fifteen,
  And foughten for our faith at Tramassene[42]
  In listès thriès, and aye slain his foe.
  This ilkè[43] worthy knight had been also
  Sometimè with the lord of Palatié,[44]
  Again another heathen in Turkéy:
  And evermore he had a sovereign pris.[45]
  And though that he were worthy[46] he was wise,
  And of his port as meek as is a maid.
  He never yet no villainy[47] ne said
  In all his life unto no manner wight.[48]
  He was a very perfect gentle knight.
  But for to tellen you of his array,
  His horse were good, but he ne was not gay[49];
  Of fustìán he wearèd a gipon,[50]
  All besmuterèd[51] with his habergeón,
  For he was late ycome from his viáge.[52]
  And wentè for to do his pilgrimáge.


    There was also a Nun, a PRIORESS,
  That of her smiling was full simple and coy;
  Her greatest oath was but by Sáìnt Loy;
  And she was clepèd[53] Madame Eglentine.
  Full well she sang the servicè divine,
  Entunéd[54] in her nose full seemèly;
  And French she spake full fair and fetisly[55]
  After the school of Stratford-at-the-Bow,
  For French of Paris was to her unknowe.
  At meatè well ytaught was she withal;
  She let no morsel from her lippès fall,
  Ne wet her fingers in her saucè deep.
  Well could she carry a morsel, and well keep,
  That no dropè ne fell upon her breast.
  In courtesy was set full much her lest.[56]
  Her over-lippè wipèd she so clean,
  That in her cup there was no farthing[57] seen
  Of greasè, when she drunken had her draught;
  Full seemèly after her meat she raught[58]:
  And sickerly[59] she was of great disport,
  And full pleasánt and amiable of port,
  And painèd[60] her to counterfeiten[61] cheer
  Of court, and to be stately of manére,
  And to be holden digne[62] of revérence.
  But for to speaken of her consciénce,[63]
  She was so charitable and so pitoús,
  She wouldè weep if that she saw a mouse
  Caught in a trap, if it were dead or bled;
  Of smallè houndès had she, that she fed
  With roasted flesh, or milk and wastel-bread[64];
  But soré wept sh' if one of hem were dead,[65]
  Or if men[66] smote it with a yardè[67] smarte[68]:
  And all was conscìénce and tender heart.
  Full seemèly her wimple[69] pinchèd[70] was;
  Her nosè tretys, her eyen gray as glass,
  Her mouth full small and thereto soft and red;
  But sickerly[71] she had a fair forehéad;
  It was almost a spannè broad, I trow;
  For hardily[72] she was not undergrowe.[73]
  Full fetis[74] was her cloak, as I was ware.
  Of small corál about her arm she bare
  A pair[75] of beadès gauded all with green[76];
  And thereon hung a brooch of gold full sheen,
  On which ther was first writ a crownèd A,
  And after, _Amor vincit omnia_.
    Another Nunnè with her haddè she,
  That was her chapèlain,[77] and Priestès three.


    A Frere there was, a wanton and a merry,
  A limitoúr,[78] a full solemnè[79] man.
  In all the orders four is none that can[80]
  So much of dalliance and fair languáge.
  He haddè made full many a marrìáge
  Of youngè women at his owen cost.
  Unto his order he was a noble post;
  Full well beloved and fámiliár was he
  With franklins over-all[81] in his country,
  And eke with worthy[82] women of the town:
  For he had powèr of confessìón,
  As saidè hímself, more than a curáte,
  For of his order he was licentiáte.
  Full sweetèly heard he confessìón,
  And pleasant was his absolutìón.
  He was an easy man to give penánce,
  There-as he wist to have[83] a good pittánce;
  For unto a poor order for to give
  Is signè that a man is well yshrive;
  For if he gave, he durstè make avaunt,[84]
  He wistè that a man was répentánt.
  For many a man so hard is of his heart,
  He may not weep although him sorè smart;
  Therefore instead of weeping and prayérs,
  Men mote give silver to the poorè freres.
  His tippet was aye farsèd[85] full of knives
  And pinnès, for to given fairè wives;
  And certainly he had a merry note:
  Well could he sing and playen on a rote[86];
  Of yeddings[87] he bare utterly the pris.[88]
  His neckè white was as the fleur-de-lis.
  Thereto he strong was as a champión.
  He knew the taverns well in every town,
  And every hostèlér[89] and tapèstér,
  Bet than a lazár[90] or a beggestér[91];
  For unto such a worthy man as he
  Accorded nought, as by his faculty,
  To have with sickè lazárs ácquaintánce;
  It is not honest, it may not advance
  For to dealen with no such poraille,[92]
  But all with rich and sellers[93] of vitaille.[94]
  And o'er-all,[95] there-as profit should arise,
  Courteous he was and lowly of servíce.
  There was no man nowhere so virtuous[96];
  He was the bestè beggar in his house:
  [And gave a certain farmè[97] for the grant,
  None of his brethren came there in his haunt.]
  For though a widow haddè not a shoe,
  So pleasant was his _In principio_,[98]
  Yet would he have a farthing ere he went;
  His purchase[99] was well better than his rent.[100]
  And rage[101] he could as it were right a whelp:
  In lovèdays[102] there could he muchel help;
  For there he was not like a cloisterér
  With a threadbare cope, as is a poor scholér;
  But he was like a master or a pope,
  Of double worsted was his semicope,[103]
  That rounded as a bell out of the press.
  Somewhat he lispèd for his wantonness,
  To make his English sweet upon his tongue;
  And in his harping, when that he had sung,
  His eyen twinkled in his head aright,
  As do the starrès in the frosty night.
  This worthy limitour was cleped[104] Hubérd.


    A Clerk there was of Oxenford[105] also,
  That unto logic haddè long ygo.[106]
  As leanè was his horse as is a rake,
  And he was not right fat, I undertake,[107]
  But lookèd hollow, and thereto soberly.
  Full threadbare was his overest[108] courtepy,[109]
  For he had geten[110] him yet no benefice,
  Ne was so worldly for to have office.
  For him was liefer[111] have at his bed's head
  Twenty bookès clad in black or red,
  Of Aristotle, and his philosophy,
  Than robes rich, or fiddle, or gay psaltery.
  But albe that he was a philosópher,
  Yet haddè he but little gold in coffer,
  But all that he might of his friendès hent,[112]
  On bookès and his learning he it spent,
  And busily[113] gan for the soulès pray
  Of hem, that gave him wherewith to scolay[114];
  Of study took he most cure and most heed.
  Not one word spake he morè than was need;
  And that was said in form and reverence,
  And short and quick, and full of high senténce.[115]
  Sounding in moral virtue was his speech,
  And gladly would he learn and gladly teach.


    A sergeant of the Lawè, ware and wise,
  That often had ybeen at the Parvys,[116]
  There was also, full rich of excellence.
  Discreet he was and of great reverence;
  He seemèd such, his wordès were so wise;
  Justice he was full often in assize,
  By patent and by plein[117] commissìón.
  For his sciénce, and for his high renown,
  Of fees and robès had he many one;
  So great a purchaser[118] was nowhere none;
  All was fee simple to him in effect,
  His purchasíng mightè not be infect.[119]
  Nowhere so busy a man as he there nas,
  And yet he seemèd busier than he was.
  In termès had he case and doomès[120] all,
  That from the time of King Williám were fall.
  Thereto he could indite, and make a thing,
  There couldè no wight pinch[121] at his writíng;
  And every statute could[122] he plein[123] by rote.
  He rode but homely in a medley[124] coat,
  Girt with a ceint[125] of silk, with barrès smale[126];
  Of his array tell I no lenger tale.


  A shipman was there, woning[127] far by West:
  For aught I wot, he was of Dartèmouth.
  He rode upon a rouncy,[128] as he couth,[129]
  In a gown of falding[130] to the knee.
  A dagger hanging on a lace had he
  About his neck under his arm adown;
  The hotè summer had made his hue all brown;
  And certainly he was a good felláw.
  Full many a draught of wine had he ydrawe
  From Bourdeaux-ward, while that the chapman[131] sleep[132];
  Of nicè conscìénce took he no keep.[133]
  If that he fought, and had the higher hand,
  By water he sent hem home to every land.
  But of his craft to reckon well his tides,
  His streamès and his dangers him besides,
  His harbour and his moon, his lodemanáge,[134]
  There was none such from Hullè to Cartháge.
  Hardy he was, and wise to undertake;
  With many a tempest had his beard been shake.
  He knew well all the havens, as they were,
  From Gothland to the Cape of Finisterre,
  And every creek in Bretagne and in Spain:
  His barge yelepèd was the Maudelaine.

  [18] Sweet.

  [19] Hearts.

  [20] Distant saints.

  [21] Known.

  [22] Tabard: sign of the inn at Southwark.

  [23] Accident.

  [24] Accommodated.

  [25] Every one.

  [26] Agreement.

  [27] Tell.

  [28] Of high rank.

  [29] That--he = who.

  [30] Liberality.

  [31] Farther.

  [32] Sat at the head of the table.

  [33] Lithuania.

  [34] Traveled.

  [35] Grenada.

  [36] Algeciras.

  [37] Moorish Kingdom of Africa.

  [38] Lieys: in Armenia.

  [39] Satalie: ancient Attalia.

  [40] Mediterranean.

  [41] Armed expedition.

  [42] Tramassene: a kingdom in Africa.

  [43] Same.

  [44] Palatie: Palatine in Anatolia.

  [45] Estimation.

  [46] Of high rank.

  [47] Anything discourteous.

  [48] No sort of person.

  [49] Richly dressed.

  [50] Cassock.

  [51] Soiled.

  [52] Journey.

  [53] Called.

  [54] Intoned.

  [55] Properly.

  [56] Pleasure.

  [57] Bit.

  [58] Reached.

  [59] Certainly.

  [60] Took pains.

  [61] Imitate.

  [62] Worthy.

  [63] Tender-heartedness.

  [64] Bread of the finest flour.

  [65] Died.

  [66] One.

  [67] Staff.

  [68] Smartly.

  [69] Covering for the neck.

  [70] Plaited.

  [71] Certainly.

  [72] Certainly.

  [73] Undergrown.

  [74] Neat.

  [75] String.

  [76] Having the gaudies, or large beads, green.

  [77] Private secretary.

  [78] Licensed to beg within certain limits.

  [79] Festive.

  [80] Knows.

  [81] Everywhere.

  [82] Of high position.

  [83] Where he knew he should have.

  [84] Boast.

  [85] Stuffed.

  [86] A stringed instrument.

  [87] Songs.

  [88] Estimation.

  [89] Innkeeper.

  [90] Leper.

  [91] Beggar.

  [92] Poor people.

  [93] Givers.

  [94] Victuals.

  [95] Everywhere.

  [96] Efficient.

  [97] Rent.

  [98] _In principio_: In the beginning--the friar's salutation.

  [99] Proceeds from begging.

  [100] Income.

  [101] Toy wantonly.

  [102] Days for settling differences.

  [103] Short cape.

  [104] Called.

  [105] Oxford.

  [106] Gone.

  [107] Venture to say.

  [108] Uppermost.

  [109] Short cloak.

  [110] Gotten.

  [111] Rather.

  [112] Get.

  [113] Earnestly.

  [114] To attend school.

  [115] Matter.

  [116] Parvys: the portico of St. Paul's, frequented by lawyers for

  [117] Full.

  [118] Acquirer of property.

  [119] Tainted by illegality.

  [120] Cases and decisions.

  [121] Find a flaw.

  [122] Knew.

  [123] Fully.

  [124] Mixed in color.

  [125] Girdle.

  [126] Small.

  [127] Dwelling.

  [128] Hack.

  [129] Could.

  [130] Coarse cloth.

  [131] Supercargo.

  [132] Slept.

  [133] Heed.

  [134] Pilotage.


    From the Knight's Tale

  First in the temple of Venus mayst thou see
  Wrought on the wall, full piteous to behold,
  The broken sleepès, and the sighès cold,
  The sacred tearès, and the waimentíng,[135]
  The fiery strokès of the désiríng
  That lovès servants in this life enduren;
  The oathès, that hir covenánts assuren.
  Pleasance and hope, desire, foolhardiness,
  Beauty and youthè, bawdry and richesse,
  Charmès and force, leasíngs[136] and flattery,
  Dispencè,[137] business,[138] and jealousy
  That weared of yellow goldès[139] a garlánd,
  And a cuckoo sitting on her hand;
  Feastès, instruments, carólès, dances,
  Lust and array, and all the circumstances
  Of love, which that I reckoned have and reckon shall,
  By order weren painted on the wall,
  And mo than I can make of mentìón.
  For soothly all the mount of Citheron,
  There Venus hath her principal dwellíng,
  Was showèd on the wall in portrayíng,
  With all the garden and the lustiness.
  Nought was forgot the porter Idleness,
  Ne Narcissus the fair of yore agone,
  Ne yet the folly of King Solomon,
  Ne yet the greatè strength of Hercules,
  The enchantèments of Medea and Circes,
  N'of Turnús with the hardy fierce couráge,
  The richè Croesus caitiff[140] in serváge[141].
  Thus may ye see, that wisdom ne richesse,
  Beauty ne sleightè, strengthè, hardiness,
  Ne may with Venus holden champarty[142],
  For as her list the world then may she gye[143].
  Lo, all these folk so caught were in her las[144]
  Till they for woe full often said, "Alas!"
  Sufficeth here ensamples one or two,
  And though I couldè reckon a thousand mo.
    The statue of Venus, glorious for to see,
  Was naked fleting[145] in the largè sea,
  And from the navel down all covered was
  With wavès green, and bright as any glass,
  A citole[146] in her right hand haddé she,
  And on her head, full seemly for to see,
  A rosé garland fresh and well smellíng,
  Above her head her dovès flickeríng[147].
  Before her stood her sonè Cupido,
  Upon his shoulders wingès had he two;
  And blind he was, as it is often seen;
  A bow he bare and arrows bright and keen.
    Why should I not as well eke tell you all
  The portraitúre, that was upon the wall
  Within the temple of mighty Mars the red?
  All painted was the wall in length and brede[148]
  Like to the estres[149] of the grisly place,
  That hight the greatè temple of Mars in Thrace,
  In thilkè coldè frosty regìón,
  There-as Mars hath his sovereign mansìón.
    First on the wall was painted a forést,
  In which there dwelleth neither man ne beast,
  With knotty gnarry barren treès old
  Of stubbès[150] sharp and hideous to behold,
  In which there ran a rumble and a sough,
  As though a storm should bresten[151] every bough:
  And downward from an hill, under a bent,[152]
  There stood the temple of Mars armipotent,
  Wrought all of burnèd[153] steel, of which th' entry
  Was long and strait[154] and ghastly for to see.
  And thereout came a rage and such a vese,[155]
  That it made all the gatès for to rese.[156]
  The northern light in at the doorès shone,
  For window on the wall ne was there none
  Through which men mighten any light discern;
  The doors were all of adamant eterne,
  Yclenchèd overthwart and endèlong[157]
  With iron tough, and for to make it strong,
  Every pillár the temple to sustene
  Was tunnè-great,[158] of iron bright and sheen.
  There saw I first the dark imagining
  Of felony, and all the compassing;
  The cruel irè, red as any gleed,[159]
  The pickèpurse, and eke the palè drede[160];
  The smiler with the knife under the cloak;
  The shepen[161] brenning[162] with the blackè smoke;
  The treason of the murdering in the bed,
  The open war, with woundès all bebled;
  Contek[163] with bloody knife and sharp menáce.
  All full of chirking[164] was that sorry place.
  The slayer of himself yet saw I there,
  His heartè-blood hath bathèd all his hair:
  The nail ydriven in the shode[165] anight;
  The coldè death, with mouth gapíng upright.[166]
  Amiddès of the temple sat mischance,
  With díscomfórt and sorry countenance,
  Yet saw I woodness[167] laughing in his rage,
  Armèd complaint, outhees,[168] and fierce outrage;
  The carrion[169] in the bush, with throat ycorven,[170]
  A thousand slain, and not of qualm[171] ystorven[172];
  The tyrant with the prey by force yreft;
  The town destroyed, there was nothing left.
  Yet saw I brent[173] the shippès hoppèsteres,[174]
  The huntè[175] strangled with the wildè bears:
  The sowè freten[176] the child right in the cradle;
  The cook yscalded, for all his longè ladle.
  Nought was forgotten by th' infortúne of Marte;
  The carter overridden with his cart;
  Under the wheel full low he lay adown.
  There were also of Mars' divisìón,
  The barber, and the butcher, and the smith
  That forgeth sharpè swordès on his stith.[177]
  And all above depainted in a tower
  Saw I Conquést, sitting in great honóur,
  With the sharpè sword over his head
  Hanging by a subtle[178] twinès thread.
  Depainted was the slaughter of Juliús,
  Of great Neró, and of Antoniús:
  Albe that thilkè time they were unborn,
  Yet was hir death depainted therebeforn,
  By ménacíng of Mars, right by figúre,
  So was it showèd in that portraitúre,
  As is depainted in the stars above,
  Who shall be slain or ellès dead for love.
  Sufficeth one ensample in stories old,
  I may not reckon them allè though I wold.
    The statue of Mars upon a cartè stood
  Armèd, and lookèd grim as he were wood,[179]
  And over his head there shinen two figúres
  Of starrès, that be clepèd in scriptúres,[180]
  That one Puella, that other Rubeus.[181]
  This god of armès was arrayèd thus:
  A wolf there stood before him at his feet
  With eyen red, and of a man he eat:
  With subtle pencil depainted was this story,
  In redoubting[182] of Mars and of his glory.
    Now to the temple of Dián the chaste
  As shortly as I can I will me haste,
  To tellen you all the descriptìón:
  Depainted be the wallès up and down
  Of hunting and of shamefast chastity.
  There saw I how wofúl Calistope,[183]
  When that Dian aggrievèd was with her,
  Was turnèd from a woman to a bear,
  And after was she made the lodèstar[184]:
  Thus was it painted, I can say no farre[185];
  Her son is eke a star as men may see.
  There saw I Danè yturnèd till[186] a tree,
  I meanè not the goddesse Diánè,
  But Peneus' daughter, which that hightè Danè.
  There saw I Acteon an hart ymakèd,[187]
  For vengeance that he saw Dian all naked:
  I saw how that his houndès have him caught,
  And freten[188] him for that they knew him naught.
  Yet painted was a little furthermore,
  How Atalanta hunted the wild boar,
  And Meleager, and many another mo,
  For which Diana wrought him care and woe.
  There saw I many another wonder story,
  The which me list not drawen to memóry.
    This goddess on an hart full highè seet,[189]
  With smallè houndès all about her feet,
  And underneath her feet she had a moon,
  Waxing it was, and shouldè wanen soon.
  In gaudy-green[190] her statue clothèd was,
  With bow in hand and arrows in a case.
  Her eyen castè she full low adown
  There Pluto hath his darkè regìón.
  A woman travailing was her beforn,
  But for her child so longè was unborn
  Full piteously Lucina[191] gan she call,
  And saidè, "Help, for thou mayst best of all."
  Well could he painten lifely[192] that it[193] wrought,
  With many a florin he the huès bought.

  [135] Lamentation.

  [136] Lies.

  [137] Expense.

  [138] Anxiety.

  [139] The flower turnsol.

  [140] Wretched.

  [141] Slavery.

  [142] Partnership in power.

  [143] Guide.

  [144] Snare.

  [145] Floating.

  [146] Musical instrument.

  [147] Fluttering.

  [148] Breadth.

  [149] Interiors.

  [150] Projecting old roots.

  [151] Burst.

  [152] Slope.

  [153] Burnished.

  [154] Narrow.

  [155] Furious rush of wind.

  [156] Shake.

  [157] Across and lengthways.

  [158] Of the circumference of a tun.

  [159] Burning coal.

  [160] Coward.

  [161] Stables.

  [162] Burning.

  [163] Contention.

  [164] Shrieking.

  [165] Forehead.

  [166] Prone on back.

  [167] Madness.

  [168] Outcry.

  [169] Corpse.

  [170] Cut.

  [171] Disease.

  [172] Having died.

  [173] Burnt.

  [174] The dancing ships.

  [175] Hunter.

  [176] Devour.

  [177] Anvil.

  [178] Fine.

  [179] Mad.

  [180] Called in writings.

  [181] 'Puella' and 'Rubeus': two figures in Geomancy, representing
        two constellations,--the one signifying Mars retrograde, the
        other Mars direct.

  [182] Reverence.

  [183] 'Calistope' or Callisto: daughter of Lycaon--seduced by
        Jupiter--turned into a bear by Juno (or Diana)--and placed
        afterwards, with her son, as the Great Bear among the stars.

  [184] Pole-star.

  [185] Farther.

  [186] To.

  [187] Made.

  [188] Devour.

  [189] Sat.

  [190] Light-green.

  [191] 'Lucina': another name for Diana--as the goddess of

  [192] Lifelike.

  [193] What.


    From the Wife of Bath's Tale

  In th' oldè dayès of the king Arthúr
  Of which that Britons speaken great honóur,
  All was this land fulfilled of faèrié;
  The Elf-queen, with her jolly company,
  Dancèd full oft in many a greenè mead;
  This was the old opinion as I read:
  I speak of many hundred years ago;
  But now can no man see none elvès mo,
  For now the greatè charity and prayérs
  Of limitours[194] and other holy freres,
  That searchen every land and every stream,
  As thick as motès in the sunnè-beam,
  Blessing halles, chambers, kitchenès, bowers,
  Cities, boroughs, castles, highè towers,
  Thorpès, barnès, shepens,[195] daìriés,
  This maketh that there be no faèriés:
  For there as wont to walken was an elf,
  There walketh now the limitour himself,
  In undermelès[196] and in morwènings,
  And saith his matins and his holy things,
  As he goeth in his limitatìón,[197]
  Women may go now safely up and down,
  In every bush, and under every tree;
  There is none other incubus but he.

  [194] Begging friars.

  [195] Stables.

  [196] Afternoons.

  [197] Begging district.


  In Flanders whilom was a company
  Of youngè folk, that haunteden folly,
  As riot, hazard, stewès, and tavérns;
  Whereas with harpès, lutès, and gittérns,[198]
  They dance and play at dice both day and night,
  And eat also, and drinken o'er hir might;
  Through which they do the devil sacrifice
  Within the devil's temple, in cursed wise,
  By superfluity abomináble.
  Hir oathès be so great and so damnáble,
  That it is grisly[199] for to hear hem swear.
  Our blessèd Lordès body they to-tear[200];
  Hem thoughte[201] Jewès rent him not enough;
  And each of hem at otherès sinnè lough.[202]
    And right anon then comen tombesteres[203]
  Fetis[204] and small, and youngè fruitesteres,[205]
  Singers with harpès, bawdès, waferérs,[206]
  Which be the very devil's officérs,
  To kindle and blow the fire of lechery,
  That is annexèd unto gluttony.

       *       *       *       *       *

    These riotourès three, of which I tell,
  Long erst ere[207] primè rung of any bell,
  Were set hem in a tavern for to drink:
  And as they sat, they heard a bellè clink
  Before a corpse, was carried to his grave:
  That one of hem gan callen to his knave,[208]
  "Go bet,"[209] quoth he, "and askè readily,
  What corpse is this, that passeth here forby:
  And look that thou report his namè well."

    "Sir," quoth this boy, "it needeth never a del;
  It was me told ere ye came here two hours:
  He was pardie an old fellów of yours,
  And suddenly he was yslain to-night,
  Fordrunk[210] as he sat on his bench upright:
  There came a privy thief, men clepeth[211] Death,
  That in this country all the people slayéth,
  And with his spear he smote his heart atwo,
  And went his way withouten wordès mo.
  He hath a thousand slain this pestilénce:
  And, master, ere ye come in his presénce,
  Methinketh that it werè necessary,
  For to be ware of such an adversary;
  Be ready for to meet him evermore:
  Thus taughtè me my dame; I say no more."
    "By Saintè Mary," said this tavernér,[212]
  "The child saith sooth, for he hath slain this year
  Hence over a mile, within a great villáge,
  Both man and woman, child, and hine,[213] and page;
  I trow his habitatìón be there:
  To be avisèd[214] great wisdóm it were,
  Ere that he did a man a dishonóur."
    "Yea, Godès armès," quoth this riotóur,
  "Is it such peril with him for to meet?
  I shall him seek by way and eke by street,
  I make avow to Godès digne[215] bonès.
  Hearkeneth, fellówès, we three be all onès[216]:
  Let each of us hold up his hand till other,
  And each of us becomen otherès brother,
  And we will slay this falsè traitor Death:
  He shall be slain, which that so many slayeth,
  By Godès dignity, ere it be night."
    Together have these three hir truthès plight
  To live and dien each of hem for other,
  As though he were his own yborèn[217] brother.
  And up they start all drunken, in this rage,
  And forth they go towárdès that villáge.
  Of which the taverner had spoke beforn,
  And many a grisly[218] oath then have they sworn,
  And Christès blessed body they to-rent;[219]
  Death shall be dead,[220] if that they may him hent.[221]
    When they have gone not fully half a mile,
  Right as they would have trodden o'er a stile,
  An old man and a poorè with hem met.
  This oldè man full meekèly hem gret,[222]
  And saidè thus: "Now, lordès, God you see."[223]
    The proudest of these riotourès three
  Answéred again: "What, carl,[224] with sorry grace,
  Why art thou all forwrappèd[225] save thy face?
  Why livest thou so long in so great age?"
    This oldè man gan look on his viságe,
  And saidè thus: "For I ne cannot find
  A man, though that I walkèd into Ind,
  Neither in city, nor in no villáge,
  That wouldè change his youthè for mine age;
  And therefore mote I have mine agè still
  As longè time as it is Godès will.
  Ne death, alas! ne will not have my life;
  Thus walk I like a restèless cáìtiff,
  And on the ground, which is my mother's gate,
  I knockè with my staff, both early and late,
  And sayen, 'Liefè[226] mother, let me in.
  Lo, how I vanish, flesh, and blood, and skin;
  Alas! when shall my bonès be at rest?
  Mother, with you would I changen my chest,
  That in my chamber longè time hath be,
  Yea, for an hairè clout to wrappè me.'
  But yet to me she will not do that grace,
  For which full pale and welkèd[227] is my face.
    "But, sirs, to you it is no courtesy
  To speaken to an old man villainy,
  But[228] he trespass in word or else in deed.
  In holy writ ye may yourself well read;
  'Against[229] an old man, hoar upon his head,
  Ye should arise:' wherefore I give you rede,[230]
  Ne do unto an old man none harm now,
  No morè than ye would men did to you
  In agè, if that ye so long abide.
  And God be with you, where ye go or ride;
  I mote go thither as I have to go."
    "Nay, oldè churl, by God, thou shalt not so,"
  Saidè this other hazardour anon;
  "Thou partest not so lightly, by Saint John.
  Thou spake right now of thilkè traitor Death,
  That in this country all our friendès slayeth;
  Have here my truth, as thou art his espy;
  Tell where he is, or thou shalt it aby,[231]
  By God and by the holy sacrament;
  For soothly thou art one of his assent
  To slay us youngè folk, thou falsè thief."
    "Now, sirs," quoth he, "if that you be so lief[232]
  To finden Death, turn up this crooked way,
  For in that grove I left him, by my fay,
  Under a tree, and there he will abide;
  Not for your boast he will him nothing hide.
  See ye that oak? right there ye shall him find.
  God savè you, that bought again mankind,
  And you amend!" thus said this oldè man.
    And evereach[233] of these riotourès ran,
  Till he came to that tree, and there they found
  Of florins fine of gold ycoinèd round,
  Well nigh an eightè bushels, as hem thought.
  No lenger then after Death they sought,
  But each of hem so glad was of that sight,
  For that the florins be so fair and bright,
  That down they set hem by this precious hoard.
  The worst of hem he spake the firstè word.
    "Brethren," quoth he, "take keepè[234] what I say;
  My wit is great, though that I bourd[235] and play.
  This treasure hath fortúne unto us given
  In mirth and jollity our life to liven,
  And lightly as it cometh, so will we spend.
  Hey! Godès precious dignity! who wend[236]
  To-day, that we should have so fair a grace?
  But might this gold be carried from this place
  Home to mine house, or ellès unto yours,
  For well ye wot that all this gold is ours,
  Then werè we in high felicity.
  But trúèly by day it may not be;
  Men woulden say that we were thievès strong,
  And for our owen treasure do us hong.[237]
  This treasure must ycarried be by night
  As wisely and as slily as it might.
  Wherefore I rede,[238] that cut[239] among us all
  Be draw, and let see where the cut will fall:
  And he that hath the cut, with heartè blithè
  Shall rennè[240] to the town, and that full swith,[241]
  And bring us bread and wine full privily;
  And two of us shall keepen subtlely
  This treasure well; and if he will not tarry,
  When it is night, we will this treasure carry
  By one assent, where as us thinketh best."
    That one of hem the cut brought in his fist,
  And bade hem draw and look where it will fall,
  And it fell on the youngest of hem all:
  And forth towárd the town he went anon.
  And also[242] soon as that he was agone,
  That one of hem spake thus unto that other;
  "Thou knowest well thou art my sworen brother;
  Thy profit will I tellen thee anon.
  Thou wost[243] well that our fellow is agone,
  And here is gold, and that full great plenty,
  That shall departed be among us three.
  But nathèless, if I can shape it so,
  That it departed were among us two,
  Had I not done a friendès turn to thee?"
    That other answered, "I not[244] how that may be:
  He wot how that the gold is with us tway.[245]
  What shall we do? what shall we to him say?"
    "Shall it be counsel?" said the firstè shrew;
  "And I shall tellen thee in wordès few
  What we shall do, and bring it well about."
    "I grantè," quoth that other, "out of doubt,
  That by my truth I shall thee not bewray."
    "Now," quoth the first, "thou wost well we be tway,
  And two of us shall strenger be than one.
  Look, when that he is set, thou right anon
  Arise, as though thou wouldest with him play;
  And I shall rive him through the sidès tway,
  While that thou strugglest with him as in game,
  And with thy dagger look thou do the same;
  And then shall all this gold departed be,
  My dearè friend, betwixen me and thee:
  Then may we both our lustès all fulfill,
  And play at dice right at our owen will."
  And thus accorded be these shrewès tway
  To slay the third, as ye have heard me say.
    This youngest, which that went unto the town,
  Full oft in heart he rolleth up and down
  The beauty of these florins new and bright.
  "O Lord!" quoth he, "if so were that I might
  Have all this treasure to myself alone,
  There is no man that liveth under the throne
  Of God, that shouldè live so merry as I."
  And the last the fiend, our enemy,
  Put in his thought that he should poison bey,[246]
  With which he mightè slay his fellows twaye.
  Forwhy[247] the fiend found him in such livíng,
  That he had leavè him to sorrow bring.
  For this was utterly his full intent
  To slay hem both, and never to repent.
    And forth he goeth, no lenger would he tarry,
  Into the town unto a 'pothecary,
  And prayèd him that he him wouldè sell
  Some poison, that he might his rattès quell,
  And eke there was a polecat in his haw[248]
  That, as he said, his capons had yslawe[249];
  And fain he wouldè wreak[250] him if he might,
  On vermin, that destroyèd him by night.
    The 'pothecary answéred, "And thou shalt have
  A thing that, also[251] God my soulè save,
  In all this world there nis no créàtúre,
  That eaten or drunk hath of this cónfectúre,
  Naught but the mountance[252] of a corn of wheat,
  That he ne shall his life anon forlete[253];
  Yea, sterve[254] he shall, and that in lessè while,
  Than thou wilt go a pace[255] not but a mile:
  This poison is so strong and violent."
    This cursèd man hath in his hand yhent[256]
  This poison in a box, and sith he ran
  Into the nextè street unto a man,
  And borrowed of him largè bottles three;
  And in the two his poison pourèd he;
  The third he kept clean for his owen drink,
  For all the night he shope[257] him for to swink[258]
  In carrying the gold out of that place.
    And when this riotour, with sorry grace,
  Had filled with wine his greatè bottles three,
  To his fellóws again repaireth he.
    What needeth it to sermon of it more?
  For right as they had cast his death before,
  Right so they have him slain, and that anon.
  And when that this was done, thus spake that one:
  "Now let us sit and drink, and make us merry,
  And afterward we will his body bury."
  And with that word it happèd him _par cas_,[259]
  To take the bottle there the poison was,
  And drank, and gave his fellow drink also,
  For which anon they storven[260] bothè two.
    But certes I suppose that Avicen
  Wrote never in no canon, n' in no fen,[261]
  Mo wonder signès of empoisoning,
  Than had these wretches two ere hir endíng.
  Thus ended be these homicidès two,
  And eke the false empoisoner also.

  [198] Guitars.

  [199] Dreadful.

  [200] Tear in pieces.

  [201] It seemed to them.

  [202] Laughed.

  [203] Female dancers.

  [204] Neat.

  [205] Female fruit-sellers.

  [206] Sellers of wafer-cakes.

  [207] Long first before.

  [208] Servant.

  [209] Quickly.

  [210] Excessively drunk.

  [211] Call.

  [212] Innkeeper.

  [213] Peasant.

  [214] Watchful.

  [215] Worthy.

  [216] At one.

  [217] Born.

  [218] Dreadful.

  [219] Tear in pieces.

  [220] Die.

  [221] Seize.

  [222] Greeted.

  [223] Keep in sight, protect.

  [224] Churl.

  [225] Completely wrapped up.

  [226] Dear.

  [227] Withered.

  [228] Unless.

  [229] To meet.

  [230] Advice.

  [231] Suffer for.

  [232] Desirous.

  [233] Each one.

  [234] Heed.

  [235] Joke.

  [236] Thought.

  [237] Cause us to be hanged.

  [238] Advise.

  [239] Lot.

  [240] Run.

  [241] Quickly.

  [242] As.

  [243] Knowest.

  [244] Know not.

  [245] Two.

  [246] Buy.

  [247] Because.

  [248] Farm-yard.

  [249] Slain.

  [250] Revenge.

  [251] As.

  [252] Amount.

  [253] Give up.

  [254] Die.

  [255] At a footpace.

  [256] Seized.

  [257] Purposed.

  [258] Labor.

  [259] By chance.

  [260] Died.

  [261] 'Fen': the name of the sections of Avicenna's great work
        entitled 'Canon.'


  A poorè widow somedeal stope[262] in age,
  Was whilom dwelling in a narrow cottàge,
  Beside a grovè, standing in a dale.
  This widow, of which I tellè you my tale,
  Since thilkè day that she was last a wife,
  In patience led a full simple life.
  For little was her cattel[263] and her rent[264]:
  By husbandry[265] of such as God her sent
  She found[266] herself, and eke her daughtren two.
  Three largè sowès had she, and no mo;
  Three kine, and eke a sheep that hightè[267] Mall.
  Full sooty was her bower, and eke her hall,
  In which she ate full many a slender meal.
  Of poignant sauce her needed never a deal.[268]
  No dainty morsel passèd through her throat;
  Her diet was accordant to her cote.[269]
  Repletìón ne made her never sick;
  Attemper[270] diet was all her physíc,
  And exercise, and heartès suffisánce.[271]
  The goutè let[272] her nothing for to dance,
  N' apoplexy ne shentè[273] not her head.
  No wine ne drank she, neither white ne red:
  Her board was servèd most with white and black,
  Milk and brown bread, in which she found no lack,
  Seind[274] bacon, and sometime an egg or twey;
  For she was as it were a manner dey.[275]
    A yard she had, enclosed all about
  With stickès, and a dryè ditch without,
  In which she had a cock hight Chanticleer,
  In all the land of crowing was none his peer.
  His voice was merrier than the merry orgón,
  On massè days that in the churchè gon.
  Well sikerer[276] was his crowing in his lodge
  Than is a clock, or an abbéy horloge.[277]
  By nature he knew each ascensìón
  Of the equinoctiál in thilké town;
  For when degrees fifteenè were ascended,
  Then crew he, that it might not be amended.
    His comb was redder than the fine corál,
  And battled,[278] as it were a castle wall.
  His bill was black, and as the jet it shone;
  Like azure were his leggès and his ton[279];
  His nailès whiter than the lily flower,
  And like the burned[280] gold was his colóur.
    This gentle cock had in his governánce
  Seven hennès, for to do all his pleasánce,
  Which were his sisters and his paramours,
  And wonder like to him, as of coloúrs;
  Of which the fairest huèd on her throat
  Was clepèd fairè Damosel Partelote.
  Courteous she was, discreet, and debonair,
  And cómpanáble,[281] and bare herself so fair,
  Sin[282] thilkè day that she was sevennight old,
  That truèly she hath the heart in hold[283]
  Of Chanticleer, locken[284] in every lith[285];
  He loved her so, that well was him therewith.
  But such a joy was it to hear hem sing,
  When that the brightè sunnè gan to spring,
  In sweet accord, 'My lief is faren on land.'[286]
  For thilkè time, as I have understande,
  Beastès and birdès couldè speak and sing.
    And so befell, that in a dawèning,
  As Chanticleer among his wivès all
  Sat on his perchè, that was in the hall,
  And next him sat this fairè Partèlote,
  This Chanticleer gan groanen in his throat,
  As man that in his dream is drecchèd[287] sore,
  And when that Partèlote thus heard him roar,
  She was aghast, and said, "O heartè dear,
  What aileth you to groan in this mannére?
  Ye be a very sleeper, fie, for shame!"
    And he answéred and saidè thus: "Madáme,
  I pray you that ye take it not agrief[288];
  By God, me met[289] I was in such mischiéf[290]
  Right now, that yet mine heart is sore affright.
  Now God," quoth he, "my sweven[291] read[292] aright,
  And keep my body out of foul prisón.
  Me met how that I roamèd up and down
  Within our yard, where-as I saw a beast
  Was like an hound, and would have made arrest
  Upon my body, and have had me dead.
  His colour was betwixè yellow and red;
  And tippèd was his tail, and both his ears
  With black, unlike the remnant of his hairs.
  His snoutè small, with glowing eyen twey;
  Yet of his look for fear almost I dey[293]:
  This causèd me my groaning doubteless."
    "Avoy!" quoth she, "fie on you heartèless!
  Alas!" quoth she, "for by that God above
  Now have ye lost mine heart and all my love;
  I cannot love a coward, by my faith.
  For certes, what so any woman saith,
  We all desiren, if it mightè be,
  To have husbándès, hardy, wise, and free,
  And secre,[294] and no niggard ne no fool,
  Ne him that is aghast of every tool,
  Ne none avantour[295] by that God above.
  How durst ye say for shame unto your love,
  That anything might maken you afeard?
  Have ye no mannès heart, and have a beard?
  Alas! and can ye be aghast of swevenès[296]?
  Nothing but vanity, God wot, in sweven is,
  Swevens engender of repletions,
  And oft of fume, and of complexións,[297]
  When humours be too abundant in a wight.
  Certes this dream, which ye have met[298] to-night,
  Cometh of the greatè superfluity
  Of yourè redè colera,[299] pardié,
  Which causeth folk to dreamen in hir dreams
  Of arrows, and of fire with redè leames,[300]
  Of greatè beastes, that they will hem bite,
  Of contek[301] and of whelpès great and lite[302];
  Right as the humour of meláncholy
  Causeth full many a man in sleep to cry,
  For fear of blackè beares or bullès blake,
  Or ellès blackè devils will hem take.
  Of other humours could I tell also,
  That worken many a man in sleep full woe:
  But I will pass as lightly[303] as I can.
  Lo Cato, which that was so wise a man,
  Said he not thus? 'Ne do no force[304] of dreams.'"
    "Now, Sir," quoth she, "when ye fly from the beams,
  For Godès love, as take some laxative:
  Up[305] peril of my soul, and of my live,
  I counsel you the best, I will not lie,
  That both of choler, and of meláncholy
  Ye purgè you; and for ye shall not tarry,
  Though in this town is none apothecary,
  I shall myself to herbès teachen you,
  That shall be for your heal[306] and for your prow[307];
  And in our yard tho[308] herbès shall I find,
  The which have of hir property by kind[309]
  To purgen you beneath, and eke above.
  Forget not this for Godès owen love;
  Ye be full choleric of complexìón;
  Ware the sun in his ascensìón
  Ne find you not replete of humours hot:
  And if it do, I dare well lay a groat,
  That ye shall have a fever tertìán,
  Or an agúe, that may be yourè bane.
  A day or two ye shall have dígestives
  Of wormès, ere ye take your laxatíves,
  Of lauriol, centaury, and fumetere,[310]
  Or else of hellebore, that growreth there,
  Of catapucè,[311] or of gaitres-berríès,[312]
  Of herb ivy growing in our yard, that merry is:
  Pick hem up right as they grow, and eat hem in.
  Be merry, husband, for your father kin
  Dreadeth no dream; I can say you no more."
    "Madame," quoth he, "_grand mercy_ of" your lore.
  But nathèless, as touching Dan Caton,
  That hath of wisdom such a great renown,
  Though that he bade no dreamès for to drede,
  By God, men may in oldè bookès read,
  Of many a man, more of authority
  Than ever Cato was, so mote I the,[314]
  That all the réverse say of this senténce,
  And have well founden by experiénce,
  That dreamès be significatìóns
  As well of joy, as of tribulatìóns,
  That folk enduren in this life présent.
  There needeth make of this none argument;
  The very prevè[315] sheweth it indeed.
    "One of the greatest authors that men read,
  Saith thus, that whilom two fellówès went
  On pilgrimage in a full good intent;
  And happèd so, they came into a town,
  Where-as there was such congregatìón
  Of people, and eke so strait of herbergage,[316]
  That they ne found as much as one cottáge,
  In which they bothè might ylodgèd be:
  Wherefore they musten of necessity,
  As for that night, departen[317] company;
  And each of hem goeth to his hostelry,
  And took his lodging as it wouldè fall.
  That one of hem was lodgèd in a stall,
  Far in a yard, with oxen of the plow;
  That other man was lodgèd well enow,
  As was his áventúre, or his fortúne,
  That us govérneth all, as in commúne.
  And so befell, that, long ere it were day,
  This man met[318] in his bed, there-as he lay,
  How that his fellow gan upon him call,
  And said, 'Alas! for in an oxès stall
  This night I shall be murdered, there I lie.
  Now help me, dearè brother, or I die;
  In allè hastè come to me,' he said.
  This man out of his sleep for fear abraid[319];
  But when that he was wakened of his sleep,
  He turnèd him, and took of this no keep[320];
  Him thought his dream nas but a vanity.
  Thus twiès in his sleeping dreamèd he.
  And at the thirdè time yet his felláw
  Came, as him thought, and said, 'I am now slawe.[321]
  Behold my bloody woundès, deep and wide.
  Arise up early, in the morrow tide,
  And at the west gate of the town,' quoth he,
  'A cartè full of dung there shalt thou see,
  In which my body is hid full privily.
  Do thilkè cart arresten boldèly.
  My gold causèd my murder, sooth to sayn.'
  And told him every point how he was slain
  With a full piteous facè, pale of hue.
  And trusteth well, his dream he found full true;
  For on the morrow, as soon as it was day,
  To his fellówès inn he took his way:
  And when that he came to this oxès stall,
  After his fellow he began to call.
  The hostèler answérèd him anon,
  And saidè, 'Sir, your fellow is agone,
  As soon as day he went out of the town.'
    "This man gan fallen in suspicìón
  Remembering on his dreamès that he met,[322]
  And forth he goeth, no lenger would he let,[323]
  Unto the west gate of the town, and found
  A dung cart, as it were to dungè lond,
  That was arrayèd in that samè wise
  As ye have heard the deadè man devise:
  And with an hardy heart he gan to cry,
  'Vengeance and justice of this felony:
  My fellow murdered is this samè night,
  And in this cart he lieth, gaping upright.[324]
  I cry out on the ministers,' quoth he,
  'That shouldè keep and rulen this city:
  Harow! alas! here lieth my fellow slain.'
  What should I more unto this talè sayn?
  The people out start,[325] and cast the cart to ground,
  And in the middle of the dung they found
  The deadè man, that murdered was all new.
  O blissful God! that art so just and true,
  Lo, how that thou bewrayest[326] murder alway.
  Murder will out, that see we day by day.
  Murder is so wlatsom[327] and abomináble
  To God, that is so just and reasonáble,
  That he ne will not suffer it helèd[328] be,
  Though it abide a year, or two, or three;
  Murder will out, this is my conclusìón.
    "And right anon, minísters of that town
  Have hent[329] the carter, and so sore him pined,[330]
  And eke the hostèler so sore engíned,[331]
  That they beknew[332] hir wickedness anon,
  And were anhangèd by the neckè bone.
    "Here may men see that dreamès be to dread.
  And certes in the samè book I read,
  Right in the nextè chapter after this,
  (I gabbè[333] not, so have I joy and bliss,)
  Two men that would have passèd over sea
  For certain cause into a far country,
  If that the wind ne haddè been contráry,
  That made hem in a city for to tarry,
  That stood full merry upon an haven side.
  But on a day, again[334] the even tide,
  The wind gan change, and blew right as hem lest.[335]
  Jolly and glad they went unto hir rest,
  And casten hem full early for to sail;
  But to that one man fell a great marvail.
  That one of them in sleeping as he lay,
  He met[336] a wonder dream, again the day:
  Him thought a man stood by his beddès side,
  And him commanded that he should abide,
  And said him thus: 'If thou to-morrow wend,
  Thou shalt be dreynt[337]; my tale is at an end.'
  He woke, and told his fellow what he met,[336]
  And prayed him his voyagè to let[338];
  As for that day, he prayed him for to abide.
  His fellow, that lay by his beddès side,
  Gan for to laugh, and scorned him full fast.
  'No dream,' quoth he, 'may so my heart aghast,
  That I will letten for to do my things.
  I settè not a straw by thy dreamíngs,
  For swevens[339] be but vanities and japes.[340]
  Men dream all day of owlès or of apes,
  And eke of many a masè[341] therewithal;
  Men dream of thing that never was, ne shall.
  But sith I see that thou wilt here abide,
  And thus forslothen[342] wilfully thy tide,
  God wot it rueth[343] me, and have good day.'
  And thus he took his leave, and went his way.
  But ere that he had half his course ysailed,
  Nought I not[344] why, ne what mischance it ailed,
  But casually the shippès bottom rent,
  And ship and man under the water went
  In sight of other shippès there beside,
  That with hem sailèd at the samè tide.
    "And therefore, fairè Partèlote so dear,
  By such ensamples old yet mayst thou lere.[345]
  That no man shouldè be too reckèless
  Of dreamès, for I say thee doubtèless,
  That many a dream full sore is for to dread.
    "Lo, in the life of Saint Kenelm I read,
  That was Kenulphus son, the noble king
  Of Mercenrike,[346] how Kenelm met[347] a thing.
  A little ere he was murdered, on a day,
  His murder in his ávisión[348] he say.[349]
  His norice[350] him expounded every del
  His sweven, and bade him for to keep him well
  For[351] treason; but he nas but seven year old,
  And therefore little tale hath he told[352]
  Of any dream, so holy was his heart.
  By God, I haddè liefer than my shirt,
  That ye had read his legend, as have I.
    "Dame Partèlote, I say you truèly,
  Macrobius, that writ the ávisión[353]
  In Afric of the worthy Scipion,
  Affirmeth dreamès, and saith that they be
  Warning of thingès that men after see.
  And furthermore, I pray you looketh well
  In the Oldè Testament, of Daniél,
  If he held dreamès any vanity.
  Read eke of Joseph, and there shall ye see
  Where[354] dreamès be sometime (I say not all)
  Warning of thingès that shall after fall.
  Look of Egypt the king, Dan Pharao,
  His baker and his butèler also,
  Whether they ne felten none effect in dreams.
  Whoso will seeken acts of sundry remes,[355]
  May read of dreamès many a wonder thing.
  Lo Croesus, which that was of Lydia king,
  Met[356] he not that he sat upon a tree,
  Which signified he should anhangèd be?
    "Lo here, Andromache, Hectórès wife,
  That day that Hector shouldè lese[357] his life,
  She dreamèd on the samè night beforn,
  How that the life of Hector should be lorn,[358]
  If thilkè day he went into battáil:
  She warnèd him, but it might not avail;
  He wentè for to fighten nathèless,
  And he was slain anon of Achillés.
  But thilkè tale is all too long to tell,
  And eke it is nigh day, I may not dwell.
    "Shortly I say, as for conclusìón,
  That I shall have of this avisìón
  Adversity: and I say furthermore,
  That I ne tell[359] of laxatives no store,
  For they be venomous, I wot it well:
  I hem defy, I love hem never a del.
    "Now let us speak of mirth, and stint all this;
  Madamè Partèlote, so have I bliss,
  Of one thing God hath sent me largè grace:
  For when I see the beauty of your face,
  Ye be so scarlet red about your eyen,
  It maketh all my dreadè for to dien,
  For, also[360] sicker[361] as _In principio,
  Mulier est hominis confusio_,--
  Madam, the sentence[362] of this Latin is,
  Woman is mannès joy and all his bliss--
  For when I feel a-night your softè side,

       *       *       *       *       *

  I am so full of joy and of soláce,
  That I defyè bothè sweven[363] and dream."
    And with that word he flew down from the beam,
  For it was day, and eke his hennès all;
  And with a chuck he gan hem for to call,
  For he had found a corn, lay in the yard.
  Royal he was, he was no more afeard;

       *       *       *       *       *

  He looketh as it were a grim lión;
  And on his toes he roameth up and down,
  Him deignèd not to set his feet to ground:
  He chucketh, when he hath a corn yfound,
  And to him rennen then his wivès all.
  Thus royal, as a prince is in his hall,
  Leave I this Chanticleer in his pastúre;
  And after will I tell his áventúre.
    When that the month in which the world began,
  That hightè March, when God first makèd man,
  Was cómplete, and ypassèd were also,
  Sithen[364] March began, thirty dayès and two,
  Befell that Chanticleer in all his pride,
  His seven wivès walking by his side,
  Cast up his eyen to the brightè sun,
  That in the sign of Taurus had yrun
  Twenty degrees and one, and somewhat more:
  He knew by kind,[365] and by none other lore,
  That it was prime, and crew with blissful steven,[366]
  "The sun," he said, "is clomben up on heaven
  Forty degrees and one, and more ywis.[367]
  Madamè Partèlote, my worldès bliss,
  Hearkeneth these blissful birdès how they sing,
  And see the freshè flowers how they spring;
  Full is mine heart of revel and soláce."
    But suddenly him fell a sorrowful case;
  For ever the latter end of joy is woe:
  God wot that worldly joy is soon ago;
  And if a rethor[368] couldè fair indite,
  He in a chronique safely might it write,
  As for a sovereign notability.
    Now every wise man, let him hearken me:
  This story is also[369] true, I undertake,
  As is the book of Launcelot de Lake,
  That women hold in full great reverénce.
  Now will I turn again to my senténce.
    A col fox,[370] full of sly iniquity,
  That in the grove had wonèd[371] yearès three,
  By high imaginatìón forncast,[372]
  The samè night throughout the hedges brast[373]
  Into the yard, there Chanticleer the fair
  Was wont, and eke his wivès, to repair;
  And in a bed of wortès[374] still he lay,
  Till it was passèd undern[375] of the day,
  Waiting his time on Chanticleer to fall:
  As gladly do these homicidès all,
  That in awaitè lie to murder men.
    O falsè murderer! lurking in thy den!
  O newè 'Scariot, newè Genelon!
  Falsè dissimulour, O Greek Sinon.
  That broughtest Troy all utterly to sorrow!
  O Chanticleer! accursèd be that morrow,
  That thou into that yard flew from the beams,
  Thou were full well ywarnèd by thy dreams,
  That thilkè day was perilous to thee.
  But what that God forewot[376] mote needès be,
  After the opinìón of certain clerkès.
  Witness on him that any perfect clerk is,
  That in school is great altercatìón
  In this mattér, and great disputison,
  And hath been of an hundred thousand men.
  But I ne cannot bolt[377] it to the bren,[378]
  As can the holy doctor Augustin,
  Or Boece, or the bishop Bradwardin,
  Whether that Godès worthy forewïtíng[379]
  Straineth me needly for to do a thing,--
  Needly clepe I simple necessity--
  Or ellès if free choice be granted me
  To do that samè thing, or do it nought,
  Though God forewot it ere that it was wrought;
  Or if his witing[380] straineth never a del,
  But by necessity conditionèl.
  I will not have to do of such mattère;
  My tale is of a cock, as ye may hear,
  That took his counsel of his wife with sorrow
  To walken in the yard upon that morrow
  That he had met[381] the dream, that I of told.
  Womenès counsels be full often cold;
  Womanès counsel brought us first to woe,
  And made Adám from Paradise to go,
  There as he was full merry, and well at ease.
  But for I not,[382] to whom it might displease,
  If I counsél of women wouldè blame,
  Pass over, for I said it in my game.
  Read authors, where they treat of such mattére,
  And what they say of women ye may hear.
  These be the cockès wordès, and not mine;
  I can none harm of no woman divine.[383]
    Fair in the sand, to bathe her merrily,
  Lieth Partelote, and all her sisters by,
  Again the sun; and Chanticleer so free
  Sang merrier than the mermaid in the sea;
  For Physiologus saith sikerly,[384]
  How that they singen well and merrily.
    And so befell that as he cast his eye
  Among the wortès on a butterfly,
  He was ware of this fox that lay full low.
  Nothing ne list him thennè for to crow,
  But cried anon "Cock! cock!" and up he start,[385]
  As man that was affrayèd in his heart.
  For naturally a beast desireth flee
  From his contráry, if he may it see,
  Though he ne'er erst[386] had seen it with his eye.
    This Chanticleer, when he gan him espy,
  He would have fled, but that the fox anon
  Said, "Gentle Sir, alas! why will ye gon?
  Be ye afraid of me that am your friend?
  Now certes, I were worsè than a fiend,
  If I to you would harm or villainy.
  I am not come your counsel for to espy,
  But truèly the cause of my comíng
  Was only for to hearken how that ye sing:
  For truèly ye have as merry a steven,[387]
  As any angel hath that is in heaven;
  Therewith ye have in music more feelíng,
  Than had Boece, or any that can sing.
  My lord your father! God his soulè bless
  And eke your mother of her gentillesse,
  Have in mine house ybeen, to my great ease:
  And certes, sir, full fain would I you please.
  But for men speak of singing, I will say,
  So mote I brooken[388] well my eyen tway,
  Save you, I heardè never man so sing,
  As did your father in the morwening.
  Certes it was of heart all that he sung.
  And for to make his voice the morè strong,
  He would so pain him, that with both his eyen
  He mustè wink, so loud he wouldè crien,
  And standen on his tipton therewithal,
  And stretchen forth his neckè long and small.
  And eke he was of such discretìón,
  That there nas no man in no regìón,
  That him in song or wisdom mightè pass.
  I have well read in Dan Burnel the ass
  Among his verse, how that there was a cock,
  For that a priestès son gave him a knock
  Upon his leg, while he was young and nice,[389]
  He made him for to lese his benefice.
  But certain there nis no comparisón
  Betwix the wisdom and discretìón
  Of your fathèr, and of his subtilty.
  Now singeth, sir, for saintè Charity,
  Let see, can ye your father counterfeit?"
    This Chanticleer his wingès gan to beat,
  As man that could his treason not espy,
  So was he ravished with his flattery.
  Alas! ye lordès, many a false flatour[390]
  Is in your courts, and many a losengeour,[390]
  That pleasen you well morè, by my faith,
  Than he that soothfastness[391] unto you saith.
  Readeth Ecclesiast of flattèry,
  Beware, ye lordès, of hir treachery.
    This Chanticleer stood high upon his toes
  Stretching his neck, and held his eyen close,
  And gan to crowen loudè for the nonce:
  And Dan Russèl the fox start up at once,
  And by the garget[392] hentè[393] Chanticleer,
  And on his back toward the wood him bare.
  For yet ne was there no man that him sued.[394]
    O destiny, that mayst not be eschewed!
  Alas, that Chanticleer flew from the beams!
  Alas, his wife ne raughtè[395] not of dreams!
  And on a Friday fell all this mischance.
  O Venus, that art goddess of pleasánce.
  Sin that thy servant was this Chanticleer,
  And in thy service did all his powér,
  More for delight, than world to multiply,
  Why wouldst thou suffer him on thy day to die?
    O Gaufrid, dearè master sovèreígn,
  That, when thy worthy king Richárd was slain
  With shot, complainedest his death so sore,
  Why nad[396] I now thy sentence and thy lore,
  The Friday for to chide, as diden ye?--
  For on a Friday soothly slain was he,--
  Then would I shew you how that I could plain
  For Chanticleerès dread, and for his pain.
    Certes such cry, ne lamentatìón
  Was ne'er of ladies made, when Ilión
  Was won, and Pyrrhus with his streitè[397] swerd,
  When he had hent king Priam by the beard,
  And slain him, as saith us _Ænéidós_,
  As maden all the hennès in the close,
  When they had seen of Chanticleer the sight.
  But sovereignly Dame Partèlotè shright,[398]
  Full louder than did Hasdrubalès wife,
  When that her husband haddè lost his life,
  And that the Romans haddè burnt Cartháge.
  She was so full of torment and of rage,
  That willfully into the fire she start,
  And brent[399] herselven with a steadfast heart.
    O woful hennès! right so crieden ye,
  As when that Nero brentè[399] the city
  Of Romè, crieden senatorès wives
  For that their husbands losten all hir lives;
  Withouten guilt this Nero hath hem slain.
    Now will I turnè to my tale again;
  This sely[400] widow, and eke her daughters two,
  Hearden these hennès cry and maken woe,
  And out at doorès starten they anon,
  And saw the fox toward the grovè gon,
  And bare upon his back the cock away:
  They crieden, "Out! harow and welawa!
  Ha, ha! the fox!" and after him they ran,
  And eke with stavès many another man;
  Ran Coll our dog, and Talbot, and Garland,
  And Malkin with a distaff in her hand;
  Ran cow and calf, and eke the very hoggès,
  So were they feared for barking of the doggès,
  And shouting of the men and women eke,
  They rannen so, hem thought hir heartè breke.[401]
  They yellèden as fiendès do in hell:
  The duckès crieden as men would hem quell:
  The geese for fearè flewen o'er the trees,
  Out of the hivè came the swarm of bees,
  So hideous was the noise, a! _ben'cite!_
  Certes he Jackè Straw, and his meyné,[402]
  Ne maden never shoutès half so shrill,
  When that they woulden any Fleming kill,
  As thilkè day was made upon the fox.
  Of brass they broughten beamès[403] and of box,
  Of horn and bone, in which they blew and poopèd,[404]
  And therewithal they shriekèd and they hoopèd[405],
  It seemèd as that heaven shouldè fall.
    Now, goodè men, I pray you hearkeneth all;
  Lo, how Fortunè turneth suddenly
  The hope and pride eke of her enemy.
  This cock that lay upon the fox's back,
  In all his dread, unto the fox he spake,
  And saidè, "Sir, if that I were as ye,
  Yet would I say, as wis[406] God helpè me,
  'Turneth again, ye proudè churlès all;
  A very pestilence upon you fall!
  Now am I come unto the woodès side,
  Maugre your head, the cock shall here abide:
  I will him eat in faith, and that anon.'"
    The fox answéred, "In faith, it shall be done:"
  And as he spake that word, all suddenly
  This cock brake from his mouth deliverly,[407]
  And high upon a tree he flew anon.
    And when the fox saw that he was ygone,
  "Alas!" quoth he, "O Chanticleer, alas!
  I have to you," quoth he, "ydone trespáss,
  Inasmuch as I makèd you afeard,
  When I you hent,[408] and brought out of the yard;
  But, sir, I did it of no wicke[409] intent:
  Come down, and I shall tell you what I meant.
  I shall say sooth to you, God help me so."
    "Nay then," quoth he, "I shrew[410] us bothè two.
  And first I shrew myself, both blood and bonès,
  If thou beguile me any ofter than onès.
  Thou shalt no morè through thy flattery
  Do[411] me to sing and winken with mine eye.
  For he that winketh when he shouldè see,
  All willfully, God let him never the[412]!"
    "Nay," quoth the fox, "but God give him mischance,
  That is so indiscreet of governánce,
  That jangleth[413] when he shouldè hold his peace."
    Lo, such it is for to be reckèless
  And negligent, and trust on flattery.
  But ye that holden this tale a folly,
  As of a fox, or of a cock and hen,
  Take the morality thereof, good men.
  For Saint Paul saith, That all that written is,
  To our doctríne it is ywrit ywis,[414]
  Taketh the fruit, and let the chaff be still.
    Now goode God, if that it be thy will,
  As saith my lord, so make us all good men;
  And bring us to his highè bliss.--_Amen._

  [262] Advanced.

  [263] Capital.

  [264] Income.

  [265] Economical management.

  [266] Supported.

  [267] Was called.

  [268] Whit.

  [269] Cottage.

  [270] Temperate.

  [271] Content.

  [272] Prevented.

  [273] Injured.

  [274] Singed, broiled.

  [275] A sort of dairy-woman.

  [276] Surer.

  [277] Clock, horologe.

  [278] Battlemented.

  [279] Toes.

  [280] Burnished.

  [281] Companionable.

  [282] Since.

  [283] Possession.

  [284] Locked, inclosed.

  [285] Limb.

  [286] "My love is gone to the country."

  [287] Oppressed.

  [288] In offence.

  [289] I dreamed.

  [290] Misfortune.

  [291] Dream.

  [292] Interpret.

  [293] 3 Die.

  [294] Secret.

  [295] Boaster of female favor.

  [296] Dreams.

  [297] Temperaments.

  [298] Dreamed.

  [299] Bile.

  [300] Flames.

  [301] Contention.

  [302] Little.

  [303] Quickly.

  [304] Make no account.

  [305] Upon.

  [306] Health.

  [307] Profit.

  [308] Those.

  [309] Nature.

  [310] Fumitory.

  [311] Spurge.

  [312] Dogwood berries.

  [313] Much obliged for.

  [314] Thrive.

  [315] Trial, experience.

  [316] Limited in accommodation.

  [317] Part.

  [318] Dreamed.

  [319] Awoke.

  [320] Heed.

  [321] Slain.

  [322] Dreamed.

  [323] Stay.

  [324] Prone on his back.

  [325] Started.

  [326] Revealest.

  [327] Loathsome.

  [328] Hidden.

  [329] Seized.

  [330] Tortured.

  [331] Racked.

  [332] Confessed.

  [333] Talk idly.

  [334] Toward.

  [335] Pleased.

  [336] Dreamed.

  [337] Drowned.

  [338] Stay.

  [339] Dreams.

  [340] Tricks.

  [341] Wild fancy.

  [342] Lose by sloth.

  [343] Moves my pity.

  [344] Know not.

  [345] Learn.

  [346] Mercia.

  [347] Dreamed.

  [348] Vision.

  [349] Saw.

  [350] Nurse.

  [351] For fear of.

  [352] Account hath he made.

  [353] Vision.

  [354] Whether.

  [355] Realms.

  [356] Dreamed.

  [357] Lose.

  [358] Lost.

  [359] Set no store.

  [360] As.

  [361] Certain.

  [362] Meaning.

  [363] Dream.

  [364] Since.

  [365] Instinct.

  [366] Voice.

  [367] Certainly.

  [368] Rhetorician.

  [369] As.

  [370] Crafty fox.

  [371] Dwelt.

  [372] Predestined.

  [373] Burst.

  [374] Herbs.

  [375] Mid-day meal time.

  [376] Foreknows.

  [377] Sift.

  [378] Bran.

  [379] Foreknowledge.

  [380] Knowledge.

  [381] Dreamed.

  [382] Know not.

  [383] Conjecture.

  [384] Certainly.

  [385] Started.

  [386] Before.

  [387] Voice.

  [388] Enjoy.

  [389] Foolish.

  [390] Flatterer.

  [391] Truth.

  [392] Throat.

  [393] Seized.

  [394] Followed.

  [395] Cared.

  [396] Had not.

  [397] Drawn.

  [398] Shrieked.

  [399] Burnt.

  [400] Simple.

  [401] Would break.

  [402] Followers.

  [403] Trumpets.

  [404] Trumpeted.

  [405] Whooped.

  [406] Surely.

  [407] Actively.

  [408] Seized.

  [409] Wicked.

  [410] Curse.

  [411] Cause.

  [412] Thrive.

  [413] Prateth.

  [414] Certainly.



  Flee from the press, and dwell with soothfastness[415];
    Suffice thine owen thing, though it be small;
  For hoard hath hate, and climbing tickleness,[416]
    Press hath envy, and weal blent[417] overall[418];
    Savour no more than thee behove shall;
  Rule well thyself, that other folk canst rede[419];
  And truthè shall deliver, it is no drede.[420]

  Tempest thee not all crooked to redress,
    In trust of her that turneth as a ball:
  For great rest stands in little businéss;
    Beware also to spurn against an awl;
    Strive not as doth the crockè with the wall;
  Dauntè thyself that dauntest otherès deed,
  And truthè shall deliver, it is no drede.[420]

  That[421] thee is sent receive in buxomness,[422]
    The wrestling for this world asketh a fall:
  Here is none home, here nis[423] but wilderness:
    Forth, pilgrim, forth! Forth, beast, out of thy stall!
    Know thy country, look up, thank God of all;
  Hold the high way, and let thy ghost[424] thee lead,
  And truthè shall deliver, it is no drede.[420]


  Therfore, thou vache,[425] leave thine old wretchedness
    Unto the worldè; leave now to be thrall;
  Cry him mercy, that of his high goodnéss
    Made thee of nought, and in especìál
    Draw unto him, and pray in generál
  For thee, and eke for other, heavenly meed,
  And truthè shall deliver, it is no drede.[420]

  [415] Truth.

  [416] Unsteadiness, unstability.

  [417] Blinds.

  [418] Everywhere.

  [419] Advise.

  [420] Doubt.

  [421] What.

  [422] Submissiveness.

  [423] Is not.

  [424] Spirit.

  [425] Beast.




[Illustration: ANDRÉ CHÉNIER]

There are some reputations which seem to depend upon their environment.
Certain names are surrounded by a halo of romance, through which all
outlines are enlarged and heightened in effect until it becomes
difficult to discern their true proportions through the golden mist.
When we think of André Chénier we see a youthful figure among a crowd of
fellow-prisoners, the light of genius in his eyes, the dark shadow of
impending death already enveloping him and climbing slowly upwards, as
the mist of the Highland second-sight rises higher as death draws near.
The pathetic character of his fate touches the heart, and disposes us to
judge the poems he wrote with that bias of personal interest which is so
apt to warp the verdict of the critical mind. Had André Chénier died
comfortably in his bed at a good old age, would Sainte-Beuve have been
so apt to call him "our greatest classic poet since Racine and Boileau"?
unless indeed he had vainly racked his memory to think of any other.

André-Marie de Chénier--as he was called until 1790 swept away all
ornamental particles--was born amid picturesque surroundings at
Constantinople, October 30th, 1762, where his father then held the
office of Consul-General. He had married a young Greek girl, a
Mademoiselle Santi-l'Homaka, whose family came originally from the
island of Cyprus. A Languedocian father, a Cyprian mother, an Oriental
birthplace,--it was no wonder that the passionate fire of his blood
flamed somewhat too hotly through his verse. André was the third of four
sons, and four daughters were also born to M. de Chénier. In 1765, when
he was but three years old, his father returned to France; but two years
afterwards left his native country again to fill a diplomatic position
in Morocco, while his wife remained in Paris with their children.

André seems to have always looked back with pleasure to his Eastern
birthplace, and long cherished the hope of revisiting it, but he never
got farther on the way than Italy. Madame de Chénier, who was a refined
and cultivated woman with much taste for art and literature, gave him
his first lessons; but he was soon sent with his brothers to the College
of Navarre. There he made many friendships that lasted to the end of his
short life, and his school-fellows, some of whom belonged to noble and
wealthy families, often took him to spend his holidays at their

At the age of sixteen he carried off a first prize in rhetoric; and from
that time began his apprenticeship to the trade of the Muses, as Ronsard
would say, by writing translations of Greek and Latin verse. He does not
seem to have been particularly precocious as a poet, and his imitations
of Sappho were even then considered rather feeble. His mother's salon
was thronged with artists, poets, writers, and men of the world, among
whom André might have found many indulgent listeners, were it not that
his reserve and fastidious taste made him rather chary of exhibiting his
youthful efforts. His mind was already full of ambitious projects for
future epics, and his leisure was spent very much as his classic models
had spent theirs, in light and facile pleasures and loves.

M. de Chénier, who watched over his family from afar, was ambitious for
the future of his sons; Constantine, the eldest, was already in the
diplomatic service; the other three were destined for the army. André
joined his regiment when he was twenty, and went to Strasbourg to learn
his new duties; but the life of a soldier was not congenial to him, and
although he made one or two dear friends in the garrison, the six months
that he spent there seemed interminable, and he returned to Paris to
resume his life of elegant dissipation among his rich and titled
acquaintances. But his health began to give way, and the hope of relief
from a change of climate induced him to join his old friends, the
brothers Louis and Charles Trudaine, in a journey they projected through
Switzerland and Italy to Constantinople. The three friends started
together in the summer of 1784, passed through Switzerland, and spent
the autumn and winter in Italy; but although they remained away a year,
they never got any further.

This journey and its experiences did much to educate and enrich the mind
of André, and he continued to devote much time to study and poetic
composition to the elaboration of vast schemes for dramas and epics, and
to the imitation of the Greek and Latin poets he loved and copied so
well. He wished to enlarge the province of the idyl, and to give to it
more variety than even Theocritus had succeeded in doing; to make it
more dramatic, less rustic, and in short if we may judge from the
assertions of his countrymen, a more perfect picture of that elegant and
aristocratic world in which he moved. The idyls of André Chénier are to
poetry very much what the pictures of Watteau and Boucher are to
painting. The variety he wished so much to impart to them is after all
confined to the grouping of the figures, and their greatest beauty is
the classic elegance of their style; as one of his French biographers
says, "The style of these poems makes up for what the sentiment lacks of
ideality, and lends a sort of purity to details which from any other pen
would have run great risk of coarseness." Sainte-Beuve speaks of "his
boxwood flute, his ivory lute"; but all this beauty of diction, this
smoothness and grace of verse, can hardly blind the unprejudiced critic
to the fact that "a sort of purity" will hardly make up for his too
frequent choice of subjects that appeal only to the grossest tastes. His
highest ideals, like those of most poets, were never reached. He had
lofty visions of writing a poem called 'Hermes,' which should be an
exposition of natural and social laws, principles, and progress; a
system of philosophy in heroic couplets, beginning with the birth of
humanity and its first questioning of natural phenomena, its first
efforts to solve the problems of the universe, and coming down to the
latest discoveries of physical and political science. He never succeeded
in completing the preliminary studies necessary to the carrying out of
this vast conception, and the 'Hermes' remains a mass of incoherent

André de Chénier had not the robust common-sense that underlay all the
poetic eccentricities of the poet whom in many ways he so much
resembled,--Alfred de Musset. The latter knew and recognized his
limitations. "My glass is not large, but I drink from my own glass," he
said, and what he did attempt was well within his possibilities and was
exquisitely done. Not so with Chénier. With a genius like that of De
Musset, pre-eminently lyrical, but with infinitely less variety and
richness, he laboriously accumulated vast piles of materials for dramas
and for epics that if ever completed must have but added another page to
the list of literary soporifics. He made a colossal sketch of another
poem, to be called 'America,'--a sort of geographical and historical
encyclopedia, M. Joubert calls it, whose enormous mass of detail could
scarcely be floated by any one current of interest, but whose principal
motive seemed meant to be the conquest of Peru.

In the midst of these enterprises he suddenly conceived what one of his
biographers calls "the amiable intention" of writing a poem on the story
of 'Susannah and the Elders,' but only completed a prose sketch with two
or three short passages in verse. He also began one or two tragedies
which were to be after Æschylus, a comedy called 'The Charlatans,' poems
on the literary life, and many other subjects; and at the same time he
was keeping up his relations with many of his distinguished
contemporaries;--the Polish poet Niemcewicz; Mrs. Cosway, the charming
young wife of the well-known English painter, and an artist herself; the
Italian poet Alfieri; and the Countess of Albany.

In 1787 his father, who had returned to Paris, was anxious that André
should begin his diplomatic career; and he was appointed attaché to M.
de la Luzerne, just sent as ambassador to England. The poet went to
London in December,--a most unpropitious season,--and naturally nothing
pleased him there; he found the climate detestable, the manners of the
English rude and cold, their literature of a barbaric richness, and in
fact he approved of nothing in England but its Constitution, which he
thought not only good but worthy of imitation.

He had been in London about sixteen months when the first rumors of the
French Revolution reached him and turned all his thoughts towards the
great political questions of the moment. The project of a rule of
liberty and justice for France appealed to the noblest side of his
nature; and while passionately opposed to all excess and violence, he
was eager to assist any movement that promised to help the people.

With his friends the brothers Trudaine, he joined the Society of '89,
when it was a centre for varying shades of opinion, reconciled by a
common love of liberty and hatred of anarchy. He returned to Paris
definitely in the summer of 1790, and wrote independent and impassioned
articles in the Journal of the Society of 1789, warning the people
against their real enemies, the fomenters of anarchy, while he expressed
much the same ideas in one of the most celebrated of his poems, the ode
to David's picture called 'Le Jeu de Paume,' representing the deputies
taking their famous oath in the Hall of the Jeu de Paume at Versailles.
Lacretelle, in his reminiscences published half a century later, spoke
of André Chénier as a fellow-member of the club called Friends of the
Constitution, as a man of great talent and great force of
character:--"The most decided and the most eloquently expressed opinions
always came from him. His strongly marked features, his athletic though
not lofty stature, his dark complexion, his glowing eyes, enforced and
illuminated his words. Demosthenes as well as Pindar had been the object
of his study."

But moderate opinions and a horror of the excesses of the Revolution
were very unsafe things to hold. Although André took refuge in 1793 in a
quiet little house at Versailles, he could not stay there altogether,
but made frequent visits to Paris; and an unfortunate chance caused his
arrest at the house of M. Pastoret at Passy, where he was accused of
having gone to warn his friend of his own danger. Chénier was first
taken to the prison of the Luxembourg, which was too full to receive
him, and then to St. Lazare, where he was registered on the 8th of
March, 1794.

Apart from the suspicion which caused his arrest, he could hardly have
escaped much longer; his fellow editor of the Journal de Paris had
already been in St. Lazare for several months, and his friends the
Trudaines joined him there before long. M. de Chénier exerted all his
influence to procure his son's liberation, but was put off with promises
and polite evasions; and not long after, his second son, Sauveur, was
imprisoned in the Conciergerie.

By this time there were nearly eight thousand persons in the prisons of
Paris; about eight hundred in St. Lazare, where Chénier found many of
his friends, and among the ladies there the beautiful and charming young
Duchess of Fleury. It was she who inspired the poet with the idea of his
poem called 'The Young Captive,' perhaps the most beautiful, as it is
the most touching, of all his poems.

Shortly before Chénier was arrested he had formed a close friendship
with Madame Pourrat of Luciennes and her two daughters, the Countess
Hocquart and Madame Laurent Lecoulteux. To the latter, under the name of
Fanny, he addressed many charming verses; one ode in particular, that
seems to have been intended to accompany the gift of a necklace, is
almost worthy of Ronsard, although like many of Chénier's poems it was
never finished.

His last poems were written in a very fine hand on some narrow strips of
paper that had escaped the vigilance of his jailers, and were smuggled
out of prison with the linen that went to the wash.

On the flimsy pretext of a conspiracy among the prisoners, André
Chénier, then only thirty-one, was condemned with twenty-five others as
"an enemy of the people, and for having shared in all the crimes
perpetrated by the tyrant, his wife, and his family; of writing against
liberty and in favor of tyranny; of corresponding with enemies of the
republic abroad and at home; and finally of conspiring, in the prison of
St. Lazare, to murder the members of the committees of general safety,
etc., and to re-establish royalty in France."

The twenty-five victims went through the mockery of their trial in the
morning of the 25th of July, 1794, and at six the same evening were
executed at the Barrière de Vincennes. Three days afterward, Robespierre
and many of his accomplices perished upon the scaffold, and the Reign of
Terror was at an end.

Very little of André Chénier's poetry was left in a state fit for
publication; he began so many vast enterprises of which he left but the
merest fragments, and he wrote so much that his literary executors
feared would shock the public taste. His brother published 'The Young
Captive' and one or two other poems some seven years after his death,
which were quoted by Châteaubriand in 1802 and warmly admired by him.
The first complete edition of his poems did not appear till 1819, a year
before Lamartine's 'Meditations' came out, and three years before Victor
Hugo's first collection was printed. He was not considered a great poet
by his first readers, and he would be almost a forgotten one now, were
it not for the romance of his short life and his early death. He was the
precursor of Byron and De Musset, having the ardent love of liberty of
the former and the sensuous grace of the latter; but he lacked the
strength for a sustained flight, and he did not know the measure of his
powers. He had saturated himself too completely with the honey of Greek
verse, and was prisoned in its cloying sweetness. When he would soar
into the empyrean, his wings were clogged, and he soon fell back again
among the flowers. But he will always be a notable figure in French
literature, although we may not consider him, with his French admirers,
as one of the masters among the poets of our own time.

                                     [Signature:  Katharine Hillard]


  "The corn in peace fills out its golden ear;
  Through the long summer days, the flowers without a fear
        Drink in the strength of noon.
  And I, a flower like them, as young, as fair, as pure,
  Though at the present hour some trouble I endure,
        I would not die so soon!

  "No, let the stoic heart call upon Death as kind!
  For me, I weep and hope; before the bitter wind
        I bend like some lithe palm.
  If there be long, sad days, others are bright and fleet;
  Alas! what honeyed draught holds nothing but the sweet?
        What sea is ever calm?

  "And still within my breast nestles illusion bright;
  In vain these prison walls shut out the noonday light;
        Fair Hope has lent me wings.
  So from the fowler's net, again set free to fly,
  More swift, more joyous, through the summer sky,
        Philomel soars and sings.

  "Is it my lot to die? In peace I lay me down,
  In peace awake again, a peace nor care doth drown,
        Nor fell remorse destroy.
  My welcome shines from every morning face,
  And to these downcast souls my presence in this place
        Almost restores their joy.

  "The voyage of life is but begun for me,
  And of the landmarks I must pass, I see
        So few behind me stand.
  At life's long banquet, now before me set,
  My lips have hardly touched the cup as yet
        Still brimming in my hand.

  "I only know the spring; I would see autumn brown;
  Like the bright sun, that all the seasons crown,
        I would round out my year.
  A tender flower, the sunny garden's boast,
  I have but seen the fires of morning's host;
        Would eve might find me here!

  "O Death, canst thou not wait? Depart from me, and go
  To comfort those sad hearts whom pale despair, and woe,
        And shame, perchance have wrung.
  For me the woods still offer verdant ways,
  The Loves their kisses, and the Muses praise:
        I would not die so young!"

  Thus, captive too, and sad, my lyre none the less
  Woke at the plaint of one who breathed its own distress,
        Youth in a prison cell;
  And throwing off the yoke that weighed upon me too,
  I strove in all the sweet and tender words I knew
        Her gentle grief to tell.

  Melodious witness of my captive days,
  These rhymes shall make some lover of my lays
        Seek the maid I have sung.
  Grace sits upon her brow, and all shall share,
  Who see her charms, her grief and her despair:
        They too "must die so young"!


  May fewer roses calls her own,
  And fewer vines wreathe Autumn's throne,
    Fewer the wheat-ears of the field,--
  Than all the songs that Fanny's smiles
  And Fanny's eyes and witching wiles
    Inspire my lips and lyre to yield.

  The secret longings of my heart
  In words of fire to being start,
    Moved by the magic of her name:
  As when from ocean's depths the shell
  Yields up the pearl it wrought so well,
    Worthy the Sultan's diadem.

  And thus from out the mulberry leaves
  The Cathay silkworm twines and weaves
    Her sparkling web of palest gold.
  Come, dear, my Muse has silk more pure
  And bright than hers, that shall endure,
    And all your loveliness enfold.

  And pearls of poetry divine
  With rosy fingers she shall twine,
    To make a necklace rich and rare;
  Come, Fanny, and that snowy neck
  Let me with radiant jewels deck,
    Although no pearl is half so fair.




In 1863 the Revue des Deux Mondes offered its readers a novel by a young
author very slightly known to Parisian _littérateurs_. But everybody
read him with interest, whether cordially approving or not. The story
was not evolutionary, had no definite moral purpose. Perhaps the public
were glad to temporarily lay aside their instruments for scientific
dissection of literary art; for 'Le Comte Kostia,' a lively tale of
romantic adventure, was the most popular story that had been published
by the Revue des Deux Mondes. Naturally the gratified editors accepted
the author as a regular contributor, which he has been ever since. He
had been introduced to them by George Sand, who, pleased with an earlier
work of his, wrote him appreciatively and did him this kind turn. This
earlier work, 'Un Cheval de Phidias' (A Horse by Phidias), cordially
praised by Sainte-Beuve, was a capable dissertation upon archæology and
art, strung on a thread of narrative.

The young author, Victor Cherbuliez,--Genevese, of French descent,--was
about thirty-four when 'Le Comte Kostia' appeared. A critic in
discussing him speaks almost enviously of the liberalizing influences
experienced in cosmopolitan little Switzerland. Cherbuliez's advantages
have been great. His father was a professor in the university, and of
his parents it has been pleasantly said that from his father he learned
all he ought to know, from his mother all he ought to be. He was
graduated from the University of Geneva, and later studied history and
philosophy at Paris, Bonn, and Berlin. For a time he taught at Geneva;
then he married, and with his wife traveled extensively in the East,
where he collected abundant material for his trained powers of
observation and his love of social and artistic questions. He has been a
member of the Academy since 1881, and now lives in Paris,--a perennial
novel-writer, distinguished also for the clever sketches on modern
French politics which appear regularly in the Revue des Deux Mondes
signed "George Valbert."

But his best and most abundant work has been in fiction, where his
talent lies in the union of romantic imagination with a practical view
of life. There is sometimes falsetto in the imagination, but it
gratifies a liking for falsetto in many readers. Translated, his novels
have been read almost as much in English as in French; and among the
best liked are 'L'Idée de Jean Tétérol' (Jean Tétérol's Idea); 'La
Revanche de Joseph Noircel' (Joseph Noircel's Revenge); 'Le Docteur

If they refuse Cherbuliez a place among great writers, at least the
critics always respect his cleverness, and recognize the range of his
information regarding the art, literature, politics, and history of
different lands. The prime quality of his work is _interest_. His
remarkable inventiveness shows in one unusual situation after another,
without repetition and with always fresh stimulus. His kinship with
George Sand's romantic spirit was felt at once, and his style has always
remained essentially unchanged. But that his earlier emotional
spontaneity has grown with maturity to a more conventional spirit, may
be seen by comparing the two ends of his work. In 'Le Comte Kostia' we
have the persecution of a beautiful young daughter by a Russian
nobleman. He forces her to hide her sex and personate the son he has
lost, and subjects her to many terrors until she is rescued by his
chivalrous young secretary, who in time discovers her secret and marries
her,--but first, numberless adventures and scenes of passion. In 'Le Roi
Epèpi' (King Epèpi: 1895) there is no profound emotion. It is the
cleverly cynical account of the rescue by a worldly old uncle of a
romantic and short-sighted nephew. The young man, infatuated by an
adventuress, insists upon marrying her. The uncle ingeniously, without
compromising himself, leads the lady to believe that he himself is in
love with her. Naturally she prefers proprietor to heir, and throws over
the latter only to find herself deceived.

Perhaps the best way to indicate Cherbuliez's place in French literature
is by comparison with the English Trollope. Both create interest. Both
have a swift firm style, with sometimes almost too facile a rush. But
while Trollope draws ordinary men and women who talk in ordinary
fashion, Cherbuliez invents brilliant-minded people who shower us with
epigram. They shoulder too much of their creator's erudition, and are
too clever to be quite natural.


    From 'Samuel Brohl and Company'

Madame de Lorcy ushered Samuel into the salon, where he had scarcely set
foot when he descried an old woman lounging on a _causeuse_, fanning
herself as she chatted with Abbé Miollens. He remained motionless, his
eyes fixed, scarcely breathing, cold as marble; it seemed to him that
the four walls of the salon swayed from right to left and left to right,
and that the floor was sliding from under his feet like the deck of a
pitching vessel.

The previous day, Antoinette once departed, Madame de Lorcy had resumed
her attack on Princess Gulof, and the princess had ended by consenting
to delay her departure, to dine with the adventurer of the green eyes,
and to subject him to a close scrutiny. There she was; yes, it was
indeed she! The first impulse of Samuel Brohl was to regain the door as
speedily as possible; but he did nothing of the kind. He looked at
Madame de Lorcy: she herself was regarding him with astonishment; she
wondered what could suddenly have overcome him; she could find no
explanation for the bewilderment apparent in his countenance.

"It is a mere chance," he thought at last; "she has not intentionally
drawn me into a snare." This thought was productive of a sort of

"_Eh bien!_ what is it?" she asked. "Has my poor salon still the
misfortune to be hurtful to you?"

He pointed to a jardinière, saying: "You are fond of hyacinths and
tuberoses; their perfume overpowered me for a moment. I fear you think
me very effeminate."

She replied in a caressing voice: "I take you for a most worthy man who
has terrible nerves; but you know by experience that if you have
weaknesses I have salts. Will you have my smelling-bottle?"

"You are a thousand times too good," he rejoined, and bravely marched
forward to face the danger. It is a well-known fact that dangers in a
silken robe are the most formidable of all.

Madame de Lorcy presented him to the princess, who raised her chin to
examine him with her little glittering eyes. It seemed to him that those
gray orbs directed at him were two balls, which struck him in the
heart; he quivered from head to foot and asked himself confusedly
whether he were dead or living. He soon perceived that he was still
living; the princess had remained impassible--not a muscle of her face
had moved. She ended by bestowing upon Samuel a smile which was almost
gracious, and addressing to him some insignificant words which he only
half understood, but which seemed to him exquisite--delicious. He
fancied that she was saying to him: "You have a chance--you were born
lucky; my sight has been impaired for some years, and I do not recognize
you. Bless your star, you are saved!" He experienced such a transport of
joy that he could have flung his arms about the neck of Abbé Miollens,
who came up to him with extended hand, saying:--

"What have you been thinking about, my dear count? Since we last met a
very great event has been accomplished. What woman wishes, God wishes;
but after all, my own humble efforts were not without avail, and I am
proud of it."

Madame de Lorcy requested Count Larinski to offer his arm to Princess
Gulof and lead her out to dinner. He mechanically complied; but he had
not the strength to utter a syllable as he conducted the princess to
table. She herself said nothing; she seemed wholly busied in arranging
with her unoccupied hand a lock of her gray hair, which had strayed too
far over her forehead. He looked fixedly at this short plump hand, which
one day in a fit of jealous fury had administered to him two smart
blows; his cheeks recognized it.

During dinner the princess was very gay: she paid more attention to Abbé
Miollens than to Count Larinski; she took pleasure in teasing the good
priest--in endeavoring to shock him a little. It was not easy to shock
him; to his natural easy good-nature he united an innate respect for
grandeurs and for princesses. She did not neglect so good an opportunity
to air her monkey-development theories. He merrily flung back the ball;
he declared that he should prefer to be a fallen angel rather than a
perfected monkey; that in his estimation a parvenu made a much sorrier
figure in the world than the descendant of an old family of ruined
nobility. She replied that she was more democratic than he. "It is
pleasant to me," said she, "to think that I am a progressive ape, who
has a wide future before him, and who by taking proper pains may hope to
attain new advancement."

While they were thus chatting, Samuel Brohl was striving with all his
might to recover from the terrible blow he had received. He noted with
keen satisfaction that the eyesight of the princess was considerably
impaired; that the microscopic studies for which she had always had a
taste had resulted in rendering her somewhat near-sighted; that she was
obliged to look out carefully to find her way among her wine-glasses.
"She has not seen me for six years," thought he, "and I have become a
different man; I have undergone a complete metamorphosis; I have
difficulty sometimes in recognizing myself. Formerly my face was
close-shaven; now I have let my entire beard grow. My voice, my accent,
the poise of my head, my manners, the expression of my countenance, all
are changed; Poland has entered into my blood--I am Samuel no longer, I
am Larinski." He blessed the microscope, which enfeebled the sight of
old women; he blessed Count Abel Larinski, who had made of him his twin
brother. Before the end of the repast he had recovered all his
assurance, all his aplomb. He began to take part in the conversation: he
recounted in a sorrowful tone a sorrowful little story; he retailed
sundry playful anecdotes with a melancholy grace and sprightliness; he
expressed the most chivalrous sentiments; shaking his lion's mane, he
spoke of the prisoner at the Vatican with tears in his voice. It were
impossible to be a more thorough Larinski.

The princess manifested, in listening to him, an astonished curiosity;
she concluded by saying to him, "Count, I admire you; but I believe only
in physiology, and you are a little too much of a Pole for me."

After they had left the table and repaired to the salon, several callers
dropped in. It was like a deliverance to Samuel. If the society was not
numerous enough for him to lose himself in it, at least it served him as
a shield. He held it for a certainty that the princess had not
recognized him; yet he did not cease feeling in her presence unutterably
ill at ease. This Calmuck visage of hers recalled to him all the
miseries, the shame, the hard grinding slavery of his youth; he could
not look at her without feeling his brow burn as though it were being
seared with a hot iron.

He entered into conversation with a supercilious, haughty, and pedantic
counselor-at-law, whose interminable monologues distilled ennui. This
fine speaker seemed charming to Samuel, who found in him wit,
knowledge, scholarship, and taste; he possessed the (in his eyes)
meritorious quality of not knowing Samuel Brohl. For Samuel had come to
divide the human race into two categories: the first comprehended those
well-to-do, thriving people who did not know a certain Brohl; he placed
in the second, old women who did know him. He interrogated the counselor
with deference, he hung upon his words, he smiled with an air of
approbation at all the absurdities which escaped him; he would have been
willing to have his discourse last three hours by the watch; if this
charming bore had shown symptoms of escaping him, he would have held him
back by the button.

Suddenly he heard a harsh voice saying to Madame de Lorcy, "Where is
Count Larinski? Bring him to me; I want to have a discussion with him."

He could not do otherwise than comply; he quitted his counselor with
regret, went over and took a seat in the arm-chair that Madame de Lorcy
drew up for him at the side of the princess, and which had for him the
effect of a stool of repentance. Madame de Lorcy moved away, and he was
left _tête-à-tête_ with Princess Gulof, who said to him, "I have been
told that congratulations are due you, and I must make them at
once--although we are enemies."

"By what right are we enemies, princess?" he asked, with a slightly
troubled feeling, which quickly passed away as she answered, "I am a
Russian and you are a Pole; but we shall have no time for fighting: I
leave for London to-morrow morning at seven o'clock."

He was on the point of casting himself at her feet and tenderly kissing
her two hands in testimony of his gratitude. "To-morrow at seven
o'clock," he mentally ejaculated. "I have slandered her: she has some
good in her."

"When I say that I am a Russian," resumed the princess, "it is merely a
formal speech. Love of country is a prejudice, an idea which has had its
day, which had sense in the times of Epaminondas or of Theseus, but
which has it no longer. We live in the age of the telegraph, the
locomotive; and I know of nothing more absurd now than a frontier, or
more ridiculous than a patriot. Rumor says that you fought like a hero
in the insurrection of 1863; that you gave proof of incomparable
prowess, and that you killed with your own hand ten Cossacks. What harm
had they done you, those poor Cossacks? Do they not sometimes haunt
your dreams? Can you think of your victims without disquietude and
without remorse?"

He replied in a dry, haughty tone: "I really do not know, princess, how
many Cossacks I have killed; but I do know that there are some subjects
on which I do not love to expatiate."

"You are right--I should not comprehend you. Don Quixote did not do
Sancho the honor to explain himself to him every day."

"Ah, I beg of you, let us talk a little of the man-monkey," he observed,
in a rather more pliant tone than he had at first assumed. "That is a
question which has the advantage of being neither Russian nor Polish."

"You will not succeed that way in throwing me off the track. I mean to
tell you all the evil I think of you, no matter how it may incense you.
You uttered, at table, theories which displeased me. You are not only a
Polish patriot,--you are an idealist, a true disciple of Plato, and you
do not know how I have always detested this man. In all these sixty
years that I have been in this world, I have seen nothing but
selfishness and grasping after self-gratification. Twice during dinner
you spoke of an ideal world. What is an ideal world? Where is it
situated? You speak of it as of a house whose inhabitants you are well
acquainted with, whose key is in your pocket. Can you show me the key? I
promise not to steal it from you. O Poet!--for you are quite as much of
a poet as of a Pole, which is not saying much--"

"Nothing remains but to hang me," he interposed, smilingly.

"No, I shall not hang you. Opinions are free, and there is room enough
in the world for all, even idealists. Besides, if you were to be hanged,
it would bring to the verge of despair a charming girl who adores you,
who was created expressly for you, and whom you will shortly marry. When
will the ceremony take place?"

"If I dared hope that you would do me the honor of being present,
princess, I should postpone it until your return from England."

"You are too amiable; but I could not on any consideration retard the
happiness of Mademoiselle Moriaz. There, my dear count, I congratulate
you sincerely. I had the pleasure to meet here the future Countess
Larinski. She is adorable! It is an exquisite nature, hers--a true
poet's wife. She must have brains, discernment; she has chosen you that
says everything. As to her fortune, I dare not ask you if she has any;
you would turn away from me in disgust. Do idealists trouble their heads
with such vile questions?"

She leaned toward him, and fanning herself excitedly, added, "These poor
idealists! they have one misfortune."

"And what is that, princess?"

"They dream with open eyes, and the awakening is sometimes disagreeable.
Ah, my dear Count Larinski, this, that, and the other, _et cætera_. Thus
endeth the adventure."

Then stretching out her neck until her face was close to his, she darted
at him a venomous viper-like look, and in a voice that seemed to cut
into his tympanum like a sharp-toothed saw, she hissed, "Samuel Brohl,
the man with the green eyes, sooner or later the mountains must meet!"

It seemed to him that the candelabra on the mantel-piece darted out jets
of flame, whose green, blue, and rose-colored tongues ascended to the
ceiling; and it appeared to him as though his heart was beating as
noisily as a clock pendulum, and that every one would turn to inquire
whence came the noise. But every one was occupied; no one turned round;
no one suspected that there was a man present on whom a thunderbolt had
just fallen.

The man passed his hand over his brow, which was covered with a cold
sweat; then dispelling by an effort of will the cloud that veiled his
eyes, he in turn leaned toward the princess and with quivering lip and
evil sardonic glance, said to her in a low voice:--

"Princess, I have a slight acquaintance with this Samuel Brohl of whom
you speak. He is not a man who will allow himself to be strangled
without a great deal of outcry. You are not much in the habit of
writing; nevertheless he received from you two letters, which he copied,
placing the originals in safety. If ever he sees the necessity of
appearing in a court of justice, these two letters can be made to create
quite a sensation, and unquestionably they will be the delight of all
the petty journals of Paris."

Thereupon he made a profound bow, respectfully took leave of Madame de
Lorcy, and retired, followed by Abbé Miollens, who inflicted a real
torture by insisting on accompanying him to the station.


    From 'Samuel Brohl and Company'

The gate opened and admitted Samuel Brohl, who had a smile on his lips.
His first words were--"And your umbrella! You have forgotten it?"

Mademoiselle de Moriaz replied, "Do you not see that there is no
sunshine?" And she remained leaning against the apple-tree.

He uplifted his hand to show her the blue sky; he let it fall again. He
looked at Antoinette, and he was afraid. He guessed immediately that she
knew all. At once he grew audacious.

"I spent a dull day yesterday," said he. "Madame de Lorcy invited me to
dine with a crazy woman; but the night made up for it. I saw Engadine in
my dreams--the firs, the Alpine pines, the emerald lakes, and a red

"I too dreamed last night. I dreamed that the bracelet you gave me
belonged to the crazy woman of whom you speak, and that she had her name
engraved on it."

She threw him the bracelet; he picked it up, examined it, turned and
re-turned it in his trembling fingers. She grew impatient. "Look at the
place that has been forced open. Don't you know how to read?"

He read, and became stupefied. Who would have believed that this trinket
that he had found among his father's old traps had come to him from
Princess Gulof; that it was the price she had paid for Samuel Brohl's
ignominy and shame? Samuel was a fatalist; he felt that his star had
set, that Fate had conspired to ruin his hopes, that he was found guilty
and condemned. His heart grew heavy within him.

"Can you tell me what I ought to think of a certain Samuel Brohl?" she

That name, pronounced by her, fell on him like a mass of lead; he never
would have believed that there could be so much weight in a human word.
He trembled under the blow; then he struck his brow with his clinched
hand and replied:--

"Samuel Brohl is a man as worthy of your pity as he is of mine. If you
knew all that he has suffered, all that he has dared, you could not help
deeply pitying and admiring him. Listen to me: Samuel Brohl is an
unfortunate man--"

"Or a wretch!" she interrupted in a terrible voice. She was seized by a
fit of nervous laughter; she cried out, "Madame Brohl! I will not be
called Madame Brohl. Ah! that poor Countess Larinski!"

He had a spasm of rage that would have terrified her had she conjectured
what agitated him. He raised his head, crossed his arms on his breast,
and said with a bitter smile, "It was not the man that you loved, it was
the count."

She replied, "The man whom I loved never lied."

"Yes, I lied," he cried, gasping for breath. "I drank that cup of shame
without remorse or disgust. I lied because I loved you madly. I lied
because you were dearer to me than my honor. I lied because I despaired
of touching your heart, and any road seemed good that led to you. Why
did I meet you? why could I not see you without recognizing in you the
dream of my whole life? Happiness had passed me by, it was about to take
flight; I caught it in a trap--I lied. Who would not lie, to be loved by

Samuel Brohl had never looked so handsome. Despair and passion kindled a
sombre flame in his eyes; he had the sinister charm of a fiery Satan. He
fixed on Antoinette a fascinating glance which said, "What matter my
name, my lies, and the rest? My face is not a mask, and I am the man who
pleased you." He had not the least suspicion of the astonishing facility
with which Antoinette had taken back the heart that she had given away
so easily; he did not suspect what miracles can be wrought by contempt.
In the Middle Ages people believed in _golems_, figures in clay of an
entrancing beauty, which had all the appearance of life. Under a lock of
hair was written, in Hebrew characters, on their brow, the word "Truth."
If they chanced to lie, the word was obliterated; they lost all their
charm; the clay was no longer anything but clay.

Mademoiselle Moriaz divined Samuel Brohl's thought; she exclaimed, "The
man I loved was he whose history you related to me."

He would have liked to kill her, so that she should never belong to
another. Behind Antoinette, not twenty steps distant, he descried the
curb of a well, and grew dizzy at the sight. He discovered with despair
that he was not made of the stuff for crime. He dropped down on his
knees in the grass and cried, "If you will not pardon me, nothing
remains for me but to die!" She stood motionless and impassive. She
repeated between her teeth Camille Langis's phrase: "I am waiting until
this great comedian has finished playing his piece."

He rose and started to run toward the well. She was in front of him and
barred the passage, but at the same moment she felt two hands clasp her
waist, and the breath of two lips which sought her lips and which
murmured, "You love me still, since you do not want me to die."

She struggled with violence and horror; she succeeded by a frantic
effort in disengaging herself from his grasp. She fled toward the house.
Samuel Brohl rushed after her in mad pursuit; he was just reaching her,
when he suddenly stopped. He had caught sight of M. Langis, hurrying
from out a thicket, where he had been hidden. Growing uneasy, he had
approached the orchard through a path concealed by the heavy foliage.
Antoinette, out of breath, ran to him, gasping, "Camille, save me from
this man!" and she threw herself into his arms, which closed about her
with delight. He felt her sink; she would have fallen had he not
supported her.

At the same instant a menacing voice saluted him with the words,
"Monsieur, we will meet again!"

"To-day, if you will," he replied.

Antoinette's wild excitement had given place to insensibility; she
neither saw nor heard; her limbs no longer sustained her. Camille had
great difficulty in bringing her to the house; she could not ascend the
steps of the terrace; he was obliged to carry her. Mademoiselle Moiseney
saw him, and filled the air with her cries. She ran forward, she
lavished her best care on her queen. All the time she was busy in
bringing her to her senses she was asking Camille for explanations, to
which she did not pay the least attention; she interrupted him at every
word to exclaim:--"This has been designed, and you are at the bottom of
the plot. I have suspected you--you owe Antoinette a grudge. Your
wounded vanity has never recovered from her refusal, and you are
determined to be revenged. Perhaps you flatter yourself that she will
end by loving you. She does not love you, and she never will love you.
Who are you, to dare compare yourself with Count Larinski?... Be
silent!... Do I believe in Samuel Brohl? I do not know Samuel Brohl. I
venture my head that there is no such person as Samuel Brohl."

"Not much of a venture, mademoiselle," replied M. Moriaz, who had
arrived in the mean time.

Antoinette remained during an hour in a state of mute languor; then a
violent fever took possession of her. When the physician who had been
sent for arrived, M. Langis accompanied him into the chamber of the sick
girl. She was delirious: seated upright, she kept continually passing
her hand over her brow; she sought to efface the taint of a kiss she had
received one moonlight night, and the impression in her hair of the
flapping of a bat's wings that had caught in her hood. These two things
were confounded in her memory. From time to time she said, "Where is my
portrait? Give me my portrait."

It was about ten o'clock when M. Langis called on Samuel Brohl, who was
not astonished to see him appear; he had hoped he would come. Samuel had
regained self-possession. He was calm and dignified. However, the
tempest through which he had gone had left on his features some vestige
of its passage. His lips quivered, and his beautiful chestnut locks
curled like serpents about his temples and gave his head a Medusa-like

He said to Camille, "Where and when? Our seconds will undertake the
arrangement of the rest."

"You mistake, monsieur, the motive of my visit," replied M. Langis. "I
am grieved to destroy your illusions, but I did not come to arrange a
meeting with you."

"Do you refuse to give me satisfaction?"

"What satisfaction do I owe you?"

"You insulted me."


"And you said, 'The day, the place, the weapons. I leave all to your

M. Langis could not refrain from smiling. "Ah! you at last acknowledge
that your fainting fit was comedy?" he rejoined.

"Acknowledge on your part," replied Samuel, "that you insult persons
when you believe that they are not in a state to hear you. Your courage
likes to take the safe side."

"Be reasonable," replied Camille. "I placed myself at Count Larinski's
disposal: you cannot require me to fight with a Samuel Brohl!"

Samuel sprang to his feet; with fierce bearing and head erect he
advanced to the young man, who awaited him unflinchingly, and whose
resolute manner awed him. He cast upon him a sinister look, turned and
reseated himself, bit his lips until the blood came; then said in a
placid voice:--

"Will you do me the favor of telling me, monsieur, to what I owe the
honor of this visit?"

"I came to demand of you a portrait that Mademoiselle Moriaz is desirous
of having returned."

"If I refuse to give it up, you will doubtless appeal to my delicacy?"

"Do you doubt it?" ironically replied Camille.

"That proves, monsieur, that you still believe in Count Larinski; that
it is to him you speak at this moment."

"You deceive yourself. I came to see Samuel Brohl, who is a business
man, and it is a commercial transaction that I intend to hold with him."
And drawing from his pocket a portemonnaie, he added, "You see I do not
come empty-handed."

Samuel settled himself in his arm-chair. Half closing his eyes, he
watched M. Langis through his eye-lashes. A change passed over his
features: his nose became more crooked, and his chin more pointed; he no
longer resembled a lion,--he was a fox. His lips wore the sugared smile
of a usurer, one who lays snares for the sons of wealthy families, and
who scents out every favorable case. If at this moment Jeremiah Brohl
had seen him from the other world, he would have recognized his own
flesh and blood.

He said at last to Camille, "You are a man of understanding, monsieur; I
am ready to listen to you."

"I am very glad of it, and to speak frankly, I had no doubts about it. I
knew you to be very intelligent, very much disposed to make the best of
an unpleasant conjuncture."

"Ah! spare my modesty. I thank you for your excellent opinion of me; I
should warn you that I am accused of being greedy after gain. You will
leave some of the feathers from your wings between my fingers."

For a reply M. Langis significantly patted the portemonnaie which he
held in his hand, and which was literally stuffed with bank-notes.
Immediately Samuel took from a locked drawer a casket, and proceeded to
open it.

"This is a very precious gem," he said. "The medallion is gold, and the
work on the miniature is exquisite. It is a masterpiece--the color
equals the design. The mouth is marvelously rendered. Mengs or Liotard
could not have done better. At what do you value this work of art?"

"You are more of a connoisseur than I. I will leave it to your own

"I will let you have the trinket for five thousand francs; it is almost

Camille began to draw out the five thousand francs from his
portemonnaie. "How prompt you are!" remarked Samuel. "The portrait has
not only a value as a work of art; I am sure you attach a sentimental
value to it, for I suspect you of being over head and ears in love with
the original."

"I find you too greedy," replied Camille, casting on him a crushing

"Do not be angry. I am accustomed to exercise methodical precision in
business affairs. My father always sold at a fixed price, and I too
never lower my charges. You will readily understand that what is worth
five thousand francs to a friend is worth double to a lover. The gem is
worth ten thousand francs. You can take it or leave it."

"I will take it," replied M. Langis.

"Since we agree," continued Samuel, "I possess still other articles
which might suit you."

"Why, do you think of selling me your clothing?"

"Let us come to an understanding. I have other articles of the same

And he brought from a closet the red hood, which he spread out on the

"Here is an article of clothing--to use your own words--that may be of
interest to you. Its color is beautiful; if you saw it in the sunshine,
it would dazzle you. I grant that the stuff is common--it is very
ordinary cashmere--but if you deign to examine it closely, you will be
struck by the peculiar perfume that it exhales. The Italians call it
'_l'odor femminino_.'"

"And what is your rate of charge for the '_odor femminino_'?"

"I will be moderate. I will let you have this article and its perfume
for five thousand francs. It is actually giving it away."

"Assuredly. We will say ten and five--that makes fifteen thousand."

"One moment. You can pay for all together. I have other things to offer
you.--One would say that the floor burned your feet, and that you could
not endure being in this room."

"I allow that I long to leave this--what shall I say?--this shop, lair,
or den."

"You are young, monsieur: it never does to hurry; haste causes us acts
of forgetfulness which we afterward regret. You would be very sorry not
to take away with you these two scraps of paper."

At these words he drew from his note-book two letters, which he

"Is there much more?" demanded Camille. "I fear that I shall become
short of funds, and be obliged to go back for more."

"Ah, these two letters! I will not part with them for a trifle; the
second especially. It is only twelve lines in length; but what pretty
English handwriting! Only see! and the style is loving and tender. I
will add that it is signed. Ah, monsieur, Mademoiselle Moriaz will be
charmed to see these scrawls again. Under what obligations will she be
to you! You will make the most of it; you will tell her that you wrested
them from me, your dagger at my throat--that you terrified me. With what
a gracious smile she will reward your heroism! According to my opinion
that smile is as well worth ten thousand francs as the medallion--the
two gems are of equal value."

"If you want more, it makes no difference."

"No, monsieur; I have told you I have only one price."

"At this rate, it is twenty-five thousand francs that I owe you. You
have nothing more to sell me?"

"Alas! that is all."

"Will you swear it?"

"What, monsieur! you admit then that Samuel Brohl has a word of
honor--that when he has sworn he can be believed?"

"You are right; I am still very young."

"That is all, then, I swear to you," affirmed Samuel, sighing. "My shop
is poorly stocked; I had commenced laying in a supply, but an
unfortunate accident deranged my little business."

"Bah! be consoled," replied M. Langis; "you will find another
opportunity: a genius of such lofty flights as yours is never at a loss.
You have been unfortunate; some day Fortune will compensate you for the
wrongs she has done you, and the world will accord justice to your fine

Speaking thus, he laid on the table twenty-five notes of a thousand
francs each. He counted them; Samuel counted them after him, and at
once delivered to him the medallion, the hood, and the two letters.

Camille rose to leave. "Monsieur Brohl," he said, "from the first day I
saw you, I formed the highest opinion of your character. The reality
surpasses my expectations. I am charmed to have made your acquaintance,
and I venture to hope that you are not sorry to have made mine. However,
I shall not say _au revoir_."

"Who knows?" replied Samuel, suddenly changing his countenance and
attitude. And he added, "If you are fond of being astonished, monsieur,
will you remain still another instant in this den?"

He rolled and twisted the twenty-five one-thousand-franc notes into
lamp-lighters; then with a grand gesture, _à la_ Poniatowski, he
approached the candle, held them in the flame until they blazed, and
then threw them on the hearth, where they were soon consumed.

Turning toward M. Langis, he cried, "Will you now do me the honor of
fighting with me?"

"After such a noble act as that, I can refuse you nothing," returned
Camille. "I will do you that signal honor."

"Just what I desire," replied Samuel. "I am the offended; I have the
choice of arms." And in showing M. Langis out, he said, "I will not
conceal from you that I have frequented the shooting galleries, and that
I am a first-class pistol-shot."

Camille bowed and went out.

The next day, in a lucid interval, Mademoiselle Moriaz saw at the foot
of her bed a medallion laid on a red hood. From that moment the
physician announced an improvement in her symptoms.

                       Copyrighted by D. Appleton and Company, 1877.



As the best representative of a creditable type among English noblemen
in the reign of George II.,--an accomplished courtier, a diplomatic
statesman worthy of reliance on occasions of emergency, a scholar, and
a patron of literature,--Philip Dormer Stanhope, fourth earl of
Chesterfield, occupied a prominent place in the history of his country
for more than forty years. He was the eldest son of Philip, third earl,
and was born at London in 1694. Most of his boyhood was spent under the
care of his grandmother, the Marchioness of Halifax. When eighteen, he
was entered at Trinity College, Cambridge, and became "an excellent
classical scholar." The principal events in his public career were his
election to Parliament in his twenty-first year; his appointment as
Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard in return for a political vote; his
selection for special service as Ambassador to The Hague after his
succession to the family title; his appointment as Lord High Steward,
with the Garter, as a reward for his success in Holland; his expulsion
from that position by Horace Walpole for political disobedience in
opposing an excise bill; his second successful mission to The Hague; his
selection, as a reward, for the responsible post of Viceroy in Ireland,
and subsequently his resignation and acceptance of office as Secretary
of State, this latter appointment being taken when the Earl had reached
his fiftieth year. Chesterfield was first a warm friend, then a bitter
enemy of Horace Walpole. He also antagonized George II., but that
monarch finally succumbed to diplomatic treatment at his hands and
offered his former antagonist a dukedom, which was courteously declined.
In his fifty-eighth year, partial deafness caused him to withdraw almost
wholly from public affairs. In diplomacy, his successful missions to The
Hague made him strong with officials in power. His ability as a
statesman was shown to great advantage in a firm yet popular
administration of Irish affairs during a critical period in Irish
history. As a patron of literature, Dr. Samuel Johnson deemed him a
distinct failure, and expressed this opinion forcibly to that effect in
his celebrated letter. His literary reputation rests chiefly on letters
addressed to his natural son Philip, who died in his thirty-sixth year,
greatly to his father's disappointment, he having looked forward to a
great career for the young man. His letters of counsel and advice were
to that end; oddly, they left the recipient still shy, awkward,
tactless, and immature. These epistles, not intended for public perusal,
were subsequently printed in book form.

The Earl of Chesterfield died in 1773. Four years after his death,
'Miscellaneous Works' were published in two volumes, also 'Characters.'
'The Art of Pleasing' and 'Letters to His Heir' appeared ten years from
the date of his decease, and this was followed, a few months later, by
'Memoirs of Asiaticus.'

  [Illustration: CHESTERFIELD.]



There is a _bienséance_ with regard to people of the lowest degree; a
gentleman observes it with his footman, even with the beggar in the
street. He considers them as objects of compassion, not of insult; he
speaks to neither _d'un ton brusque_, but corrects the one coolly, and
refuses the other with humanity. There is no one occasion in the world,
in which _le ton brusque_ is becoming a gentleman. In short, _les
bienséances_ are another word for _manners_, and extend to every part of
life. They are propriety; the Graces should attend in order to complete
them: the Graces enable us to do genteelly and pleasingly what _les
bienséances_ require to be done at all. The latter are an obligation
upon every man; the former are an infinite advantage and ornament to any


People unused to the world have babbling countenances, and are
unskillful enough to show what they have sense enough not to tell. In
the course of the world, a man must very often put on an easy, frank
countenance, upon very disagreeable occasions; he must seem pleased,
when he is very much otherwise; he must be able to accost and receive
with smiles those whom he would much rather meet with swords. In Courts
he must not turn himself inside out. All this may, nay, must be done,
without falsehood and treachery: for it must go no further than
politeness and manners, and must stop short of assurances and
professions of simulated friendship. Good manners to those one does not
love are no more a breach of truth than "your humble servant," at the
bottom of a challenge, is; they are universally agreed upon and
understood to be things of course. They are necessary guards of the
decency and peace of society: they must only act defensively; and then
not with arms poisoned with perfidy. Truth, but not the whole truth,
must be the invariable principle of every man who hath either religion,
honor, or prudence.


I cannot help forming some opinion of a man's sense and character from
his dress; and I believe most people do as well as myself. Any
affectation whatsoever in dress implies in my mind a flaw in the
understanding.... A man of sense carefully avoids any particular
character in his dress; he is accurately clean for his own sake; but all
the rest is for other people's. He dresses as well, and in the same
manner, as the people of sense and fashion of the place where he is. If
he dresses better, as he thinks,--that is, more than they,--he is a fop;
if he dresses worse, he is unpardonably negligent: but of the two, I
would rather have a young fellow too much than too little dressed: the
excess on that side will wear off with a little age and reflection; but
if he is negligent at twenty, he will be a sloven at forty and stink at
fifty years old. Dress yourself fine where others are fine, and plain
where others are plain; but take care always that your clothes are well
made and fit you, for otherwise they will give you a very awkward air.
When you are once well dressed for the day, think no more of it
afterwards; and without any stiffness or fear of discomposing that
dress, let all your motions be as easy and natural as if you had no
clothes on at all.


A friend of yours and mine has justly defined good breeding to be "the
result of much good sense, some good nature, and a little self-denial
for the sake of others, and with a view to obtain the same indulgence
from them." Taking this for granted (as I think it cannot be disputed),
it is astonishing to me that anybody who had good sense and good nature
(and I believe you have both) can essentially fail in good breeding. As
to the modes of it, indeed, they vary according to persons, places, and
circumstances, and are only to be acquired by observation and
experience; but the substance of it is everywhere and eternally the
same. Good manners are to particular societies what good morals are to
society in general--their cement and their security. And as laws are
enacted to enforce good morals, or at least to prevent the ill effects
of bad ones, so there are certain rules of civility, universally implied
and received, to enforce good manners and punish bad ones. And indeed
there seems to me to be less difference, both between the crimes and
punishments, than at first one would imagine.... Mutual complaisances,
attentions, and sacrifices of little conveniences, are as natural an
implied compact between civilized people as protection and obedience are
between kings and subjects: whoever in either case violates that
compact, justly forfeits all advantages arising from it. For my own
part, I really think that next to the consciousness of doing a good
action, that of doing a civil one is the most pleasing: and the epithet
which I should covet the most, next to that of Aristides, would be that
of "well-bred."



It is very certain that no man is fit for everything; but it is almost
as certain too that there is scarce any one man who is not fit for
something, which something nature plainly points out to him by giving
him a tendency and propensity to it. I look upon common-sense to be to
the mind what conscience is to the heart,--the faithful and constant
monitor of what is right or wrong. And I am convinced that no man
commits either a crime or a folly but against the manifest and sensible
representations of the one or the other. Every man finds in himself,
either from nature or education,--for they are hard to distinguish,--a
peculiar bent and disposition to some particular character; and his
struggling against it is the fruitless and endless labor of Sisyphus.
Let him follow and cultivate that vocation, he will succeed in it, and
be considerable in one way at least; whereas if he departs from it he
will at best be inconsiderable, probably ridiculous.



The distinguishing feature and the crowning glory of the Chinese nation
is its literature. It is true that the Chinese can boast of an ancient
empire, of a time-honored civilization, of conquests in the fields of
science, and, in spite of recent events, in the field of battle; but in
the mind of every true Son of Han these titles to fame sink into
insignificance before that of the possession of a literature which dates
back to a time when the Western world was yet in a state of barbarism,
and which as centuries have rolled by has been worthily supplemented in
every branch of knowledge.

  [Illustration: CONFUCIUS]

It may now be accepted as beyond dispute that the Chinese migrated into
China from southwestern Asia about B.C. 2300, bringing with them a
knowledge of writing, and in all probability the beginnings of a
literature. In the records of that distant past, history and fable are
so closely intermingled that it is difficult to pronounce definitely
upon any subject treated in them, and we are compelled to seek in
comparative philology for reasonable explanations of many points which
Chinese chroniclers are content to leave, not from want of assertion, in
the mists of uncertainty.

By common consent it is acknowledged that the 'Yi King,' Book of
Changes, is the oldest work extant in Chinese literature; though other
works, the names of which only have come down to us, were
contemporaneously current in the country. A peculiar veneration is
naturally felt by the Chinese for this sole surviving waif from a past
literature; and from the time of Confucius downward, scholars of every
age have attempted to explain its mystic pages. The basis of the work is
popularly believed to be eight diagrams, which are said to have been
designed by Fuh-hi (B.C. 2852), and which by subdivision have become
multiplied into sixty-four. One of these stands at the head of each of
the sixty-four chapters into which the work is now divided. Following
these diagrams is in each case an initial character, with short phrases
which have been held by Confucius and every subsequent native
commentator to explain the meaning of the diagrams. But the key to the
puzzle was denied to these scholars, who made confusion worse confounded
by their attempts to make sense of that which was unintelligible to
them. So mysterious a text was naturally believed to be a work on
divination; and accepting this cue, the commentators devoted their
energies to forcing into the Procrustean bed of divination the
disjointed phrases which follow the diagrams. The solution of the
mystery, which had escaped the keen study of five-and-twenty centuries
of native scholars, was discovered by the late Professor Terrieu de la
Couperie, who by many irrefragable proofs demonstrated that the 'Yi
King' consists "of old fragments of early times in China, mostly of a
lexical character." With this explanation the futility of the attempts
of the native scholars to translate it as a connected text at once
becomes apparent. A large proportion of the chapters are merely
syllabaries, similar to those of Chaldea. The initial character
represents the word to be explained, and the phrases following express
its various meanings.

An excellent translation of the 'Yi King' as it is understood by native
scholars was published by Professor Legge in 'The Sacred Books of the
East' (1882); and a comparison of his translation of the seventh chapter
with Professor T. de la Couperie's rendering of the same passage must be
enough to convince the most skeptical that even if he is not absolutely
correct, the native scholars must undoubtedly be wrong. The chapter is
headed by a diagram consisting of five divided lines and one undivided;
and the initial character is Sze, which is described in modern
dictionaries as meaning "a teacher," "instructor," "model," "an army,"
"a poet," "a multitude," "the people," "all," "laws," "an elder." Of the
phrases which follow, Professor Legge gives the following rendering:--

"Sze indicates how, in the case which it supposes, with firmness and
correctness, and [a leader of] age and experience, there will be good
fortune and no error.

"The first line, divided, shows the host going forward according to the
rules [for such a movement]. If these be not good, there will be evil.

"The second line, undivided, shows [the leader] in the midst of his
host. There will be good fortune and no error. The king has thrice
conveyed to him the orders [of his favor].

"The third line, divided, shows how the host may possibly have many
inefficient leaders. There will be evil.

"The fourth line, divided, shows the host in retreat. There is no error.

"The fifth line, divided, shows birds in the fields, which it will be
advantageous to seize and destroy. In that case there will be no error.
If the oldest son leads the host, and younger men [idly occupy offices
assigned to them], however firm and correct he may be, there will be

"The topmost line, divided, shows the great ruler delivering his charges
[appointing some], to be rulers of States, and others to undertake the
headship of clans; but small men should not be employed [in such


  From an inscription attributed to the Emperor Yao, 2350 B.C.

  The most ancient historical books of the Chinese date from
  the time of Yao. The events of his reign were chronicled by
  contemporaneous writers; tradition being the foundation of
  all previous Chinese history.]

It is impossible to read such an extract as the above without being
convinced that the explanation was not that which was intended by the
author or authors; and on the doctrine of probabilities, a perusal of
the following version by Professor T. de la Couperie would incline us to
accept his conclusions. But his theory does not rest on probabilities
alone; he is able to support it with many substantial proofs: and though
exception may possibly be taken to some of his renderings of individual
phrases, his general views may be held to be firmly established. This is
his version of the chapter quoted above, with the exception of the words
of good or ill omen:--

"Sze [is] a righteous great man. The Sze defines laws not biased. The
centre of the army. The three conveying orders [officers] of the
Sovereign. Sze [is] also corpse-like. Sze [is] an assistant officer. In
the fields are birds [so called]; many take the name [?] The elder sons
[are] the leaders of the army. The younger [are] the passive multitude
[?] Great Princes instructing. The group of men who have helped in the
organization of the kingdom. People gathered by the Wu flag [?]."

From what has been said, as well as from the above extracts, it will be
observed that to all except the native scholars who imagine that they
see in its pages deep divinatory lore, the chief interest of the 'Yi
King' lies in the linguistic and ethnographical indications which it
contains, and which at present we can but dimly discern. It is difficult
to assign a date to it, but it is certain that it existed before the
time of King Wên (B.C. 1143), who with his son the Duke of Chow edited
the text and added a commentary to it. That parts of it are very much
earlier than this period there can be no doubt; and it is safe to assume
that in the oldest portion of the work we have one of the first literary
efforts of the Chinese. It was not, however, until the time of Confucius
that the foundations of the national literature may be said to have been

From constant references in the early histories it is obvious that
before that period a literature of a certain kind existed. The Chinese
have an instinctive love of letters, and we know from the records that
to the courts of the various princes were attached historians whose duty
it was to collect the folk-lore songs of the people of the various
States. "If a man were permitted to make all the ballads of a nation, he
need not care who should make its laws," said Sir Andrew Fletcher of
Saltoun. So thought the Chinese legislators, who designed their
enactments with direct regard to the dispositions of the people as
displayed in their songs. At the time of Confucius (B.C. 551-479) a
large collection of these ballads existed in the archives of the
sovereign State of Chow; and as is generally believed, the sage revised
the collection, and omitting those he considered unworthy of
preservation, formed an edition containing three hundred and five
pieces. This work has come down to us under the title of the 'Shih King'
or Book of Odes. The ballads are just such as we should expect to find
under the circumstances. They are plainly the utterances of the people
in a primitive state of civilization, who nevertheless enjoyed
considerable freedom; and though they occasionally had to lament the
tyranny of individual princes, they cannot be described as having been
among the down-trodden nations of the earth. The domesticity which is
still a distinctive feature of Chinese life figures largely in them, and
the filial piety which to the present day is so highly esteemed finds
constant expression. The measure in which the odes have been handed down
to us makes it difficult to understand how any rhythm could be found in
them. With few exceptions they are all written in lines of four
characters each, and as read at the present day, consist therefore of
only four syllables. This seems to be so stunted and unnatural a metre
that one is inclined to accept Professor T. de la Couperie's suggestion,
for which he had much to say,--that at the time at which they were sung,
the characters which now represent a syllable each were polysyllabic. It
would seem probable that certainly in some cases compound characters
were pronounced as compounded of syllables in accordance with their
component parts, as certain of them are read by the Japanese at the
present time. Numerous translations of the odes into European languages
have been made, and the following extracts from Professor Legge's
rendering of the second ode, celebrating the industry and filial piety
of the reigning queen, give a good idea of the general tone of the

  "Sweet was the scene. The spreading dolichos
  Extended far, down to the valley's depths,
  With leaves luxuriant. The orioles
  Fluttered around, and on the bushy trees
  In throngs collected,--whence their pleasant notes
  Resounded far in richest melody....

  Now back to my old home, my parents dear
  To see, I go. The matron I have told,
  Who will announcement make. Meanwhile my clothes,
  My private clothes, I wash, and rinse my robes.
  Which of them need be rinsed? and which need not?
  My parents dear to visit back I go."

Such were the odes which Confucius found collected ready to his hand;
and faithful to his character of transmitter of the wisdom of the
ancients, he made them the common property of his countrymen. But these
were not the only records at the court of Chow which attracted his
attention. He found there historical documents, containing the leading
events in the history of the Chinese States from the middle of the
twenty-third century B.C. to 721. These curious records of a past time
possessed an irresistible attraction for him. By constant study he made
them his own, and with loving care collated and edited the texts. These
fragments are, from a historical point of view, of great value; and they
incidentally furnish evidence of the fact that China was not always the
stage on which the Chinese people have played their parts. There is no
sign in these records of the first steps in ethics and science which one
would expect to find in the primitive history of a race. The utterances
of the sovereigns and sages, with which they abound, are marked by a
comparatively matured knowledge and an advanced ethical condition. The
knowledge of astronomy displayed, though not profound, is considerable,
and the directions given by the Emperor Yao to his astronomers royal are
quite such as may have been given by any Emperor of China until the
advent of the Jesuit missionaries in the seventeenth century; and the
moral utterances of the sovereigns and their ministers are on a par with
the sentiments expressed in the Peking Gazette at the present time.
"Virtue," said the minister Yi addressing his Emperor Yü, "is the basis
of good government; and this consists first in procuring for the people
the things necessary for their sustenance, such as water, fire, metals,
wood, and grain. The ruler must also think of rendering them virtuous,
and of preserving them from whatever can injure life and health. When
you would caution them, use gentle words; when you would correct, employ
authority." "Do not be ashamed of mistakes, and thus make them crimes,"
was another piece of advice uttered forty centuries ago, which has a
peculiarly modern ring about it.

According to the system in vogue at the Chinese courts, the duty of
recording historical events was confided to historians of the right hand
and of the left. To the latter was given the duty of recording the
speeches and edicts of the sovereigns and their ministers, and to the
first that of compiling chronicles of events. The historians who had
placed on record the documents which Confucius edited in the 'Shu King'
or Book of History were historians of the left hand, and in the only
original work which we have by the Sage--'The Spring and Autumn
Annals'--he constituted himself a historian of the right. In this work
he traces the history of his native State of Lu from the year B.C. 722
to B.C. 484, and in the baldest and most calendar-like style enumerates,
without any comment or expression of opinion, the facts which he
considers of sufficient importance to report. However faulty we may
consider his manner of treatment, any criticism should be leveled
against the system rather than against the author. But in other respects
Confucius cannot shelter himself under the plea of usage. As a
historian, it was his bounden duty above all things to tell the truth,
and to distribute praise and blame without fear or favor. In this
elementary duty Confucius failed, and has left us a record in which he
has obviously made events to chime in with his preconceived ideas and
opinions. Considering the assumption of virtue with which Confucius
always clothed himself, this is the more noticeable; and still more is
it remarkable that his disciples should be so overcome by the glamour
which attached to his name, that his obvious lapses from the truth are
not only left unnoted, but the general tone and influence of the work
are described in the most eulogistic terms. "The world," said Mencius,
"had fallen into decay and right principles had dwindled away. Perverse
discourses and oppressive deeds had again waxen rife. Cases had occurred
of ministers who had murdered their rulers, and of sons who had murdered
their fathers. Confucius was afraid and made the 'Ch'un ch'iu.'" So
great, we are told, was the effect of the appearance of this work that
"rebellious ministers quaked with fear, and undutiful sons were overcome
with terror." Love of truth is not a characteristic of the Chinese
people; and unhappily their greatest men, Confucius among them, have
shown their countrymen a lamentable example in this respect.

So great is the admiration of the people for this work of Confucius that
by universal consent the 'Ch'un ch'iu' has through all ages been
included among the Five Classics of the country. Three others have
already been spoken of, and there remains only one more, the Book of
Rites, to mention. This work is the embodiment of, and authority for,
the ceremonial which influences the national policy of the country, and
directs the individual destinies of the people. We are informed on the
highest authority that there are three hundred rules of ceremony and
three thousand rules of behavior. Under a code so overwhelmingly
oppressive, it is difficult to imagine how the race can continue to
exist; but five-and-twenty centuries of close attention to the Book of
Rites have so molded the nation within the lines of the ceremonial which
it prescribes, that acquiescence with its rules has become a second
nature with the people, and requires no more guiding effort on their
part than does the automatic action of the nerves and limbs at the
bidding of the brain. Within its voluminous pages every act which one
man should perform to another is carefully and fully provided for; and
this applies not only to the daily life of the people, but also to the
official acts of the whole hierarchy of power from the Emperor downward.
No court ceremony is undertaken without its guidance, and no official
deed is done throughout the length and breadth of the eighteen Provinces
of the Empire without its sanction. Its spirit penetrates every Yamên
and permeates every household. It regulates the sacrifices which should
be offered to the gods, it prescribes the forms to be observed by the
Son of Heaven in his intercourse with his ministers, it lays down the
behavior proper to officials of all ranks, and it directs the conduct of
the people in every relation of life. It supplements in a practical form
the teachings of Confucius and others, and forms the most important link
in the chain which binds the people to the chariot wheels of the

Of canonical authority equal to the Five Classics if not greater, are
the 'Four Books' in which are recorded the _ipsissima verba_ of
Confucius. These are the 'Lunyü' or Sayings of Confucius, twenty books,
which contains a detailed description of the Sage's system of
philosophy; the 'Ta Hsio,' the Great Learning, ten chapters; the 'Chung
yung,' or the Doctrine of the Mean, thirty-three chapters; and the
development of Confucianism as enunciated by his great follower Mencius
in the 'Mêng tz[)u],' seven books. These works cover the whole field of
Confucianism; and as such, their contents claim the allegiance and
demand the obedience of ninety-nine out of every hundred Chinamen. To
the European student their contents are somewhat disappointing. The
system they enunciate wants completeness and life, although the
sentiments they express are unexceptionable; as for example when
Confucius said: "Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.
Have no friends not equal to yourself. When you have faults, do not fear
to abandon them." Admirable maxims such as these flowed from his lips in
abundance, but he could offer no reason why a man should rather obey the
advice thus presented than his own inclination. He had no reward to
offer for virtue, and no terrors with which to threaten the doers of
evil. In no sense do his teachings as they came from his lips constitute
a religion. He inculcated no worship of the Deity, and he refrained
altogether from declaring his belief or disbelief in a future existence.

The author of the 'Great Learning,' commonly said to be the disciple
Tsêng, describes the object of his work to be "to illustrate illustrious
virtue; to renovate the people; and to rest in the highest excellence."
And following on the lines indicated by his great master, he lays down
the ethical means by which these admirable ends may in his opinion be
attained. The 'Doctrine of the Mean' takes for its text the injunction,
"Let the states of equilibrium and harmony exist in perfection, and a
happy order will prevail throughout heaven and earth, and all things
will be nourished and flourish." The author of this work, Tz[)u]ss[)u],
goes deeper into the motives of human conduct than Confucius himself.
"First he shows clearly how the path of duty is to be traced to its
origin in Heaven, and is unchangeable, while the substance of it is
provided in ourselves, and may not be departed from. Next he speaks of
the importance of preserving and nourishing this, and of exercising a
watchful self-scrutiny with reference to it. Finally he speaks of the
meritorious achievements and transforming influence of sage and
spiritual men in their highest extent."

In the teachings of Mencius (B.C. 372-289) we see a distinct advance on
the doctrines of Confucius. He was a man of a far more practical frame
of mind than his great predecessor, and possessed the courage necessary
to speak plainly in the presence of kings and rulers. His knowledge of
political economy was considerable, and he brought to the test of
experience many of the opinions and doctrines which Confucius was
willing to express only in the abstract. Filial piety was his constant
theme. "The richest fruit of benevolence is this," he said,--"the
service of one's parents. The richest fruit of righteousness is
this,--the obeying of one's elder brothers. The richest fruit of wisdom
is this,--the knowing of these two things, and not departing from them."

These Five Classics and Four Books may be said to be the foundations on
which all Chinese literature has been based. The period when Confucius
and Mencius taught and wrote was one of great mental activity all over
the world. While the wise men of China were proclaiming their system of
philosophy, the Seven Sages of Greece were pouring out words of wisdom
in the schools at Athens, and the sound of the voice of Buddha (died 480
B.C.) had hardly ceased to be heard under the bôdhi tree in Central
India. From such beginnings arose the literatures which have since added
fame and splendor to the three countries in Asia and Europe. In China
the impetus given by these pioneers of learning was at once felt, and
called into existence a succession of brilliant writers who were as
distinguished for the boldness of their views as for the freedom with
which they gave them utterance.

The main subject discussed by these men was the principle underlying the
Confucian system; namely, that man's nature is in its origin perfectly
good, and that so long as each one remains uncontaminated by the world
and the things of the world, the path of virtue is to him the path of
least resistance. While therefore a man is able to remain unenticed by
the temptations which necessarily surround him, he advances in spotless
purity towards perfection, until virtue becomes in him so confirmed a
habit that neither the stings of conscience nor the exertion of
intellectual effort is required to maintain him in his position of
perfect goodness and of perfect peace.

These are still the opinions of orthodox Confucianists, but at different
times scholars have arisen, who from their own experiences in the
world, have come to conclusions diametrically opposed to those taught by
the Sage. In their opinion the Psalmist was right when he said, "The
heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked."
Scarcely had Confucius been gathered to his fathers when the Philosopher
Hsün enunciated this view, and since then the doctrine has formed the
chief ground of contention among all schools of philosophy down to the
present day. By certain writers it has been held that in man's nature
there is a mixture of good and evil, and by no one was this view more
ably expounded than by the philosopher Chu Hi (A.D. 1130-1200). In
season and out of season this great writer, who has done more than any
one else to elucidate the dark pages of the classics, "taught that good
and evil were present in the heart of every man, and that just as in
nature a duality of powers is necessary to the existence of nature
itself, so good and evil are inseparably present in the heart of every
human being."

But there were others who felt that the bald and conventional system
proclaimed by Confucius was insufficient to satisfy the desire for the
supernatural which is implanted in men of every race and of every clime,
and then at once a school arose, headed by Laotz[)u] (sixth century B.
C.), the Old Philosopher; which, adopting the spirit of Brahminism,
taught its sectaries to seek by self-abnegation freedom from the
entanglements of the world, and a final absorption into the Deity. The
minds of most Chinamen are not attuned to the apprehension of
philosophical subtleties, and the wisdom imparted by Laotz[)u] to his
countrymen in the pages of his 'Taotê King' (The Book of Reason and
Virtue), soon became debased into a superstitious system by a succession
of charlatans, who, adopting Laotz[)u]'s doctrine that death was only
another form of life, taught their followers to seek to prolong the
pleasures of the present state of existence by searching in the mazes of
alchemy for the elixir of life and the philosopher's stone. Before the
faith reached this degraded position, however, several writers
supplemented and enlarged on the doctrines advanced by Laotz[)u].
Foremost among these were Litz[)u] and Chwangtz[)u], who were both men
of great metaphysical ability, and whose speculations, though not always
in harmony with those of their great master, help to some extent to
elucidate his system and certainly add considerable interest to it.

Around the systems of Confucius and Laotz[)u] a considerable literature
grew up, which was cherished, copied, and discussed by all those
scholars who had time to spare from the contemplation of the records of
the various States into which the country was divided. These records had
assumed a permanent place in the literature of the land, and were bound
up with the feudal system which then existed. The time came, however,
when this feudal system was destined to come to an end. In the third
century before Christ a leader arose who proclaimed the States an Empire
and himself as Emperor. To so conservatively minded a people as the
Chinese the revolution was difficult of acceptance, and Shi Hwangti,
seeking to facilitate the transfer of their allegiance, ordered the
destruction of all books which might preserve the memory of a bygone
constitution. With ruthless severity the ukase was put into force, and
all works, with the exception of those on medicine and alchemy, were
thrown to the flames. Happily no tyrant, however powerful, can enforce
the complete fulfillment of such an edict; and in spite of threats and
persecutions, events showed that through all that fiery time manuscripts
had been carefully preserved, and that men had been found ready to risk
their lives in the sacred cause of learning.

Fortunately the Dynasty founded by Shi Hwangti was short-lived, and in
202 B.C. a revolution placed Kao ti, the founder of the Han Dynasty, on
the throne. With commendable wisdom Kao ti placed himself at once in
complete harmony with the national mind, and had no sooner assumed the
imperial yellow than he notified his desire to restore the national
literature to its former status. Under his fostering care, manuscripts
which had lain hidden were brought out from their places of concealment;
and to these works were added others, which were dictated by scholars
who had treasured them in their memories. That the works thus again
brought out were numerous, is proved by the fact that in the catalogue
of the Imperial Library of the Han Dynasty (B.C. 202 to A.D. 25),
mention is made of 11,312 works, consisting of volumes on the classics,
philosophy, poetry, military tactics, mathematics and medicine.

It was during this dynasty that the national history and poetry took
their rise in the shapes with which we are now familiar. After the night
of turmoil and darkness which had just passed away, men, as though
invigorated by the time of sterility, devoted themselves to the
production of cultured prose and original though pedantic poetry. It was
then that Ss[)u]ma Ch'ien, who has been called the Herodotus of China,
wrote his 'Shichi' (Historical Records), which embraces a period of
between two and three thousand years; namely, from the reign of Hwang ti
(B.C. 2697) to the reign of Wu ti of the Han Dynasty (B.C. 140-86).
Following the example of this great chronicler, Pan ku compiled the
records of the Han Dynasty in a hundred and twenty books, and it is on
the model thus laid down that all succeeding dynastic histories of China
have been written. Almost without variation the materials of these vast
depositories of information are arranged in the following order:--1.
Imperial records, consisting of the purely political events which
occurred in each reign. 2. Memoirs, including treatises on mathematical
chronology, rites, music, jurisprudence, political economy, State
sacrifices, astronomy, elemental influences, geography, literature,
biographies, and records of the neighboring countries.

_Tempora non animi mutant_, and in the poetry of this period we see a
close resemblance to the spirit which breathes in the odes collected by
Confucius. The measure shows signs of some elasticity, five characters
to a line taking the place of the older four-syllabled metre; but the
ideas which permeate it are the same. Like all Chinese poetry, it is
rather quaint than powerful, and is rather noticeable for romantic
sweetness than for the expression of strong passions. There is for the
most part a somewhat melancholy ring about it. The authors love to
lament their absence from home or the oppressed condition of the people,
or to enlarge on the depressing effect of rain or snow, and find sadness
in the strange beauty of the surrounding scenery or the loveliness of a
flower. The diction is smooth and the fancy wandering, but its lines do
not much stir the imagination or arouse the passions. These are
criticisms which apply to Chinese poetry of all ages. During the T'ang
and Sung Dynasties (A.D. 618-1127), periods which have been described
as forming the Augustan ages of Chinese literature, poets flourished
abundantly, and for the better expression of their ideas they adopted a
metre of seven characters or syllables, instead of the earlier and more
restricted measures. Tu Fu, Li T'aipai, and a host of others, enriched
the national poetry at the time, and varied the subjects which had been
the common themes of earlier poets by singing the praises of wine. To be
a poet it was considered necessary by them that a man should be a
wine-bibber, and their verses describe with enthusiasm the pleasures of
the cup and the joys of intoxication. The following is a specimen of
such an ode, taken from the works of Li T'aipai:--

  If life be nothing but an empty dream,
  Why vex one's self about the things of time?
  My part shall be to drain the flowing cup
  And sleep away the fumes of drowsy wine.

  When roused to life again, I straightway ask
  The Bird which sings in yonder leafy trees,
  What season of the year had come its round.
          "The Spring," he says,
  "When every breath of air suggests a song."

  Sad and disturbed, I heave a gentle sigh,
  And turn again to brightening, cheering wine,
  And sing until the moon shines, and until
  Sleep and oblivion close my eyes again.

But before the time of the T'ang Dynasty a new element had been
introduced into the national literature. With the introduction of
Buddhism the Chinese became acquainted with religious doctrines and
philosophical ideas, of which until then they had only been faintly
conscious from their contact with the debased form of Brahminical
teaching which under the name of Taoism had long existed in the land. A
complete knowledge of the teachings of Sakyamuni was however imparted to
them by the arrival, at the beginning of the first century of our era,
of two Shamans from India who settled at Loyang in the province of
Honan, and who translated the Sanskrit Sutra in forty-two sections into
Chinese. From this time onward a constant succession of Buddhist
missionaries visited China and labored with indefatigable industry, both
by oral teaching and by the translation of Sanskrit works into Chinese,
to convert the people to their faith.

The knowledge thus acquired was of great advantage to the literature of
the country. It enriched it with new ideas, and added wider knowledge to
its pages. The history and geography of India, with which scholars had
previously been scarcely acquainted, became, though indistinctly,
matters of knowledge to them. Already Fahsien, the great forerunner of
Chinese Buddhist pilgrims (B.C. 399), had visited India and had
described in his 'Fuh kwo chi' (The Records of Buddhist Countries) the
wonders which he had seen in Hindustan. With the spread of Buddhism in
China, a desire to follow in his footsteps prompted others to undertake
the long and arduous journey across the Mongolian steppes and over the
passes of the Himalayas into the plains of India. Sung yun in the sixth
century and Hüan Ts'ang in the seventh are conspicuous among those who
undertook this toilsome pilgrimage in the interest of the faith.

Notwithstanding the occasional influx of new sentiments, however, the
circumscribed circle of knowledge which was within the reach of Chinese
scholars, and the poverty of their vocabulary, have always necessarily
limited the wealth of their ideas; and at an early period of the history
of the country we see symptoms of sterility creeping over the national
mind. It is always easier to remember than to think; and it cannot but
be looked upon as a sign of decadence in a literature when collections
of ready-made knowledge take the place of original compositions, and
when scholars devote themselves to the production of anthologies and
encyclopædias instead of seeking out new thoughts and fresh branches of
learning. In the sixth century, a period which coincides with the
invention of printing, there was first shown that disposition to collect
extracts from works of merit into anthologies, which have ever since
been such a marked peculiarity of Chinese literature.

That the effect of these works, and of the encyclopædias which are in a
sense allied to them, has been detrimental to the national mind, there
cannot be a doubt. Scholars are no longer required to search for
themselves for the golden nuggets of knowledge in the mines of learning.
They have but to turn to the great depositories of carefully extracted
information, and they find ready to their hand the opinions and thoughts
of all those who are considered to be authorities on the subject with
which they desire to acquaint themselves. For the purposes of cram for
students at the competitive examinations, these treasuries of knowledge
are of inestimable value: and by their help, "scholars" who have neither
depth of knowledge nor power of thought are able to make a show of
erudition which is as hollow as it is valueless.

During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) this class of literature may be said
to have reached its highest development. In the reign of the Emperor
Yunglo (1403-1425) was compiled the largest encyclopædia which has ever
seen the light. This gigantic work, which was entitled 'Yunglo ta tien,'
consisted of no fewer than 22,877 books, and covered every branch of
knowledge possessed by the Chinese. Possibly owing to its immense
extent, it was never published; and such volumes as still survive the
destroying influences of neglect and decay are yet to be found in
manuscript on the shelves of the Imperial Library. Inspired perhaps by
the example thus set, the Emperor K'anghi of the present dynasty
appointed a commission of scholars to compile a similar work; and after
forty years had been consumed in extracting from the past literatures
every passage bearing on the 6109 headings which it was the will of
K'anghi should be illustrated, the compilers were able to lay before
their sovereign a work consisting of 5020 volumes, which they entitled
'Kin L'ing ku kin t'u shu chi ch'êng.' Unlike Yunglo's great work, this
one was printed; and though only, as it is said, a hundred copies were
issued, some still remain of the original edition. One such copy,
complete in every particular, is to be seen at the British Museum. For
completeness from a Chinese point of view this work stands out
pre-eminently above all others; but owing to the very limited number of
copies, it has never superseded the 'Wên hsien t'ung k'ao' by Ma
Twanlin, which, though published four hundred years earlier, still holds
its own in popular estimation.

Much has been written by Chinese authors on scientific subjects, but the
substance is remarkable for its extent rather than for its value. In
each branch of knowledge they have advanced under foreign influence up
to a certain point, and beyond that they have been unable to go. Their
knowledge of astronomy, which is of Chaldean origin, is sufficient to
enable them to calculate eclipses and to recognize the precession of the
equinoxes, but it has left them with confused notions on subjects which
are matters of common knowledge among Western people. It is the same in
the case of medicine. They understand certain general principles of
therapeutics and the use of certain herbs; but their knowledge is purely
empirical, and their acquaintance with surgery is of the most elementary

It is perhaps in their novels and plays, however, that the most marked
defects in the national mind become apparent. The systems of education
and the consequent mental habit in vogue are the outcomes of that lack
of imagination which distinguishes the people, and which finds its
reflection in all those branches of literature which are more directly
dependent on the flow of new and striking ideas. There is little
delineation of character either in their novels or their plays. The
personages portrayed are all either models of virtue and learning, or
shocking examples of ignorance and turpitude. Their actions are
mechanical, and the incidents described have little or no connection
with one another. The stories are in fact arranged much as a clever
child might be expected to arrange them, and they are by no means free
from the weary iterations in which untutored minds are apt to indulge.
Chinese scholars are conscious of these defects, and attempt to explain
them by describing novel-writing as being beneath the serious attention
of all those who are interested in learning. This view is commonly
accepted by their learned world, who divide literature into four
classes, viz., Classics, History, Philosophy, and Belles-lettres. The
last of these does not include either romances or plays; and with the
exception of two or three standard works of fiction and the 'Hundred
Plays of the Yüan Dynasty' (A.D. 1280-1368), no specimens of either of
these two classes of literature would ever be found in a library of
standing. But this contempt for works of imagination is probably less
the cause of their inferiority than the result of it. The Providence
which has given Chinamen untiring diligence, inexhaustible memories, and
a love of learning, has not vouchsafed to touch their tongues with the
live coal of imagination. They are plodding students, and though quite
capable of narrating events and of producing endless dissertations on
the interpretation of the classics and the true meaning of the
philosophy on which they are based, are entirely unprovided with that
power of fancy which is able to bring before the eye, as in a living
picture, the phantoms of the brain.

                                      [Signature: Nobert K. Douglas]



    From the Chinese Moralists

Filial piety and fraternal submission, are they not the root of all
benevolent actions?--CONFUCIAN AN., Heo Urh (ch. ii.).

The path of duty lies in what is near, and men seek for it in what
is remote. The work of duty lies in what is easy, and men seek for
it in what is difficult. If each man would love his parents and
show due respect to his elders, the whole empire would enjoy
tranquillity.--MENCIUS, Le Low (pt. i., ch. xi.).

Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.--CONFUCIAN AN.,
Heo Urh (ch. viii.).

If what we see is doubtful, how can we believe what is spoken behind the
back?--INSCRIPTION in "Celestial Influence Temple."

Words which are simple, while their meaning is far-reaching, are good
words. Principles which are held as compendious, while their application
is extensive, are good principles. The words of the superior man are not
necessarily high-sounding, but great principles are contained in
them.--MENCIUS, Tsin Sin (ch. xxxii.).

The superior man is correctly firm, and not firm merely.--CONFUCIAN AN.,
Wei Ling Kung (ch. xxxvi.).

For one word a man is often deemed to be wise; and for one word he is
often deemed to be foolish. We ought to be careful indeed in what we
say.--CONFUCIAN AN., Observations of Tsze Kung.

In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the
archer misses the centre of the target, he turns round and seeks for the
cause of his failure in himself.--DOCTRINE OF THE MEAN (ch. xiv.).

God leads men to tranquil security.--SHOO KING, ii., Numerous Officers
(ch. ii.).

The glory and tranquillity of a State may arise from the excellence of
one man.--SHOO KING, ii., Speech of the Duke of Tsin (ch. viii.).

Mencius said, The superior man has two things in which he delights, and
to be ruler over the empire is not one of them.

That his father and mother are both alive, and that the condition of his
brothers affords no cause for anxiety; this is one delight.

Then when looking up he has no occasion for shame before heaven, and
below he has no occasion to blush before men; this is a second
delight.--MENCIUS, Tsin Sin (pt. i., ch. xx.).

Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with
virtue.--CONFUCIAN AN., Yang Ho (ch. xvii.).

I am pleased with your intelligent virtue, not loudly proclaimed nor
portrayed, without extravagance or changeableness, without consciousness
of effort on your part, in accordance with the pattern of God.--SHE
KING, ii., Major Odes, Hwang I.

Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is
perilous.--CONFUCIAN AN., Wei Ching (ch. xv.).

Without recognizing the ordinances of Heaven it is impossible to be a
superior man.--CONFUCIAN AN., Yaou Yue (ch. iii.).

  Be tremblingly fearful,
  Be careful night and day;
  Men trip not on mountains,
  They trip on ant-hills.
                                 YAOU'S WARNING, Poem from Hwae Nan.

The ways of God are not invariable; on the good doer he sends down all
blessings, and on the evil doer he sends down all miseries.--SHOO KING,
Instructions of E (ch. iv.).

In the way of superior man there are four things, not one of which have
I as yet attained:--To serve my father as I would require my son to
serve me; to serve my Prince as I would require my minister to serve me;
to serve my elder brother as I would require my younger brother to serve
me; to set the example in behaving to a friend as I would require him to
behave to me.--DOCTRINE OF THE MEAN (ch. xiii.).

Virtue has no invariable model. A supreme regard to what is good gives
the model of it. What is good has no invariable characteristic to be
supremely regarded; it is found where there is conformity to the uniform
decision of the mind.--SHOO KING, Both Possessed Pure Virtue (ch. iii.).

  This King Wan
  Watchfully and reverently
  With entire intelligence served God,
  And so secured the great blessing.--
                                    SHE KING, Decade of King Wan II.

Man's nature to good is like the tendency of water to flow downwards.
There are none but have this tendency to good, just as all water flows
downwards.--MENCIUS, Kaou Tsze (pt. i., ch. ii).

Virtue is the root; wealth the result.--THE GREAT LEARNING (ch. x.).

Its sovereigns on their part were humbly careful not to lose the favor
of God.--SHOO KING, ii., Numerous Officers (ch. viii.).

He who loves his parents will not dare to incur the risk of being hated
by any man, and he who reveres his parents will not dare to incur the
risk of being condemned by any man.--HSIAO KING, Filial Piety (ch. ii.).

Do not speak lightly; your words are your own. Do not say, This is of
little importance; no one can hold my tongue for me; words are not to be
cast away. Every word finds its answer; every good deed has its
recompense.--SHE KING, ii., Major Odes, the Yi.

Looked at in friendly intercourse with superior men, you make your
countenance harmonious and mild, anxious not to do anything wrong.
Looked at in your chamber, you ought to be equally free from shame
before the light which shines in. Do not say, This place is not public;
no one can see me here: the approaches of spiritual beings cannot be
calculated beforehand, but the more should they not be slighted.--SHE
KING, ii., Major Odes, the Yi.

Let me not say that Heaven is high aloft above me. It ascends and
descends about our doings; it daily inspects us wherever we are.--SHE
KING, i., Sacrificial Odes of Kau, Ode, King Kih.

What future misery have they and ought they to endure who talk of what
is not good in others?--MENCIUS, Le Low (pt. ii., ch. ix.).

Above all, sternly keep yourself from drink.--SHOO KING, Announcement
about Drunkenness (ch. xiii.).

  Of ten thousand evils, lewdness is the head.
  Of one hundred virtues, filial piety is the first.
                                                  CONFUCIAN PROVERB.

There are three thousand offenses against which the five punishments are
directed, and there is not one of them greater than being unfilial.--THE
HSIAO KING, The Five Punishments.

Benevolence is man's mind and righteousness is man's path.

How lamentable is it to neglect the path and not pursue it, to lose the
mind and not know to seek it again.--MENCIUS, Kaou Tsze (pt. i., ch.

Tsze Kung asked, saying, "What do you say of a man who is loved by all
the people of his village?" The Master replied, "We may not for that
accord our approval of him." "And what do you say of him who is hated by
all the people of his village?" The Master said, "We may not for that
conclude that he is bad. It is better than either of these cases that
the good in the village love him and the bad hate him."--CONFUCIAN AN.,
Tsze Loo (ch. xxiv.).

Men must be decided on what they will not do, and then they are able to
act with vigor in which they ought.--MENCIUS, Le Low (pt. ii., ch.

Learn as if you could not reach your object and were always fearing also
lest you should lose it.--CONFUCIAN AN., T'ae Pih (ch. xvii.).

King Wan looked on the people as he would on a man who was wounded, and
he looked toward the right path as if he could not see it.--MENCIUS, Le
Low (pt. ii., ch. xx.).

To nourish the heart there is nothing better than to make the desires
few.--MENCIUS, Tsin Sin (ch. xxxv.).

When Heaven is about to confer a great office on any man, it first
exercises his mind with suffering, and his sinews and bones with toil.
It exposes his body to hunger, and subjects him to extreme poverty. It
confounds his undertakings. By all these methods it stimulates his mind,
hardens his nature, and supplies his incompetencies.--MENCIUS, Kaou Tsze
(pt. ii. ch. xv.).

You should ever stand in awe of the punishment of Heaven.--SHOO KING,
ii.; Prince of Leu on Punishments.

Great Heaven is intelligent and is with you in all your doings. Great
Heaven is clear-seeing, and is with you in all your wanderings and
indulgences.--SHE KING, ii., Major Odes, the Pan.

Ke Loo asked about serving the spirits of the dead. The Master said,
"While you are not able to serve men, how can you serve their spirits?"
Ke Loo added, "I venture to ask about death." He was answered, "While
you do not know life, how can you know about death?"--CONFUCIAN AN.,
Seen Tsin (ch. xi.).

For all affairs let there be adequate preparation. With preparation
there will be no calamities.--SHOO KING, Charge of Yue (ch. i.).

As to what the superior man would feel to be a calamity, there is no
such thing. He does nothing which is not according to propriety. If
there should befall him one morning's calamity, the superior man does
not account it a calamity.--MENCIUS, Le Low (pt. ii., ch. xxviii.).

God is with you, have no doubts in your heart.--SHE KING, Decade of King
Wan II.

Beware. What proceeds from you will return to you again.--MENCIUS, King
Hwuy (pt. ii., ch. xii.).

Show reverence for the weak.--SHOO KING, Timber of the Tsze Tree (ch.

When the year becomes cold, then we know how the pine and the cypress
are the last to lose their leaves; _i.e._, men are not known save in
times of adversity.--CONFUCIAN AN., Tsze Han (ch. xxvii.).

By nature men are nearly alike; by practice they get to be wide
apart.--CONFUCIAN AN., Yang Ho (ch. ii.).

All are good at first, but few prove themselves to be so at the
last.--SHE KING, ii., Major Odes, the Tang.

In serving his parents a son may remonstrate with them, but gently; when
he sees that they do not incline to follow his advice he shows an
increased degree of reverence, but does not abandon his purpose; and
should they punish him he does not allow himself to murmur.--CONFUCIAN
AN., Le Yin (ch. xviii.).

The Great God has conferred on the inferior people a moral sense,
compliance with which would show their nature invariably right.--SHOO
KING, Announcement of T'ang (ch. ii.).

Confucius said:--"There are three things which the superior man guards
against. In youth when the physical powers are not yet settled, he
guards against lust. When he is strong and the physical powers are full
of vigor, he guards against quarrelsomeness. When he is old and the
animal powers are decayed, he guards against covetousness."--CONFUCIAN
AN., Ke She (ch. vii.).

He who stops short where stopping short is not allowable, will stop
short in everything. He who behaves shabbily to those whom he ought to
treat well, will behave shabbily to all.--MENCIUS, Tsin Sin (pt. i., ch.

Men are partial where they feel affection and love; partial where they
despise and dislike; partial where they stand in awe and reverence;
partial where they feel sorrow and compassion; partial where they are
arrogant and rude. Thus it is that there are few men in the world who
love and at the same time know the bad qualities of the object of their
love, or who hate and yet know the excellences of the object of their
hatred.--THE GREAT LEARNING (ch. viii.).

Heaven's plan in the production of mankind is this: that they who are
first informed should instruct those who are later in being informed,
and they who first apprehend principles should instruct those who are
slower to do so. I am one of Heaven's people who first apprehended. I
will take these principles and instruct this people in them.--MENCIUS,
Wan Chang (pt. i., ch. vii.).

    From 'The Proverbial Philosophy of Confucius': copyrighted 1895,
    by Forster H. Jennings; G. P. Putnam's Sons, Publishers




[Illustration: RUFUS CHOATE]

Rufus Choate, one of the greatest, if not the greatest, of advocates who
have appeared at the English or American bar, was one of the most
remarkable products of what is ordinarily considered hard, prosaic,
matter-of-fact New England. He was a man quite apart from the ordinary
race of lawyers or New-Englanders. He was as different from the typical
New-Englander as was Hawthorne or Emerson. He had the imagination of a
poet; and to his imagination, singular as it may seem, was largely due
his success in handling questions of fact before juries.

He was born of good old English stock, in the southeastern part of the
town of Ipswich, in the county of Essex and State of Massachusetts, on
the first day of October, 1799. His ancestors had lived in Essex County
from a very early date in its history and had filled important public
positions. He was born and bred in sight of the sea, and his love for it
stayed with him through life. One of his most eloquent addresses was on
'The Romance of the Sea.' And in his last illness at Halifax, his
keenest pleasure was to watch the ships sailing in front of his windows.
Dropping into sleep on one occasion, a few days before his death, he
said to his attendant, "If a schooner or sloop goes by, don't disturb
me; but if there is a square-rigged vessel, wake me."

Mr. Choate had the ordinary education then given in New England to young
men who had a love of learning. He began with the district school; from
there he went to the academy at Hampton, New Hampshire; and later he
entered Dartmouth College, where he graduated the first scholar in his
class, in 1819. It is hard to find an accurate standard of comparison
between the scholarship of that period and that of the present. No
doubt, in our New England colleges of to-day there is a larger number of
young men who have a considerable store of knowledge on many subjects of
classical learning. But it is very doubtful if the graduates of Harvard
and Yale of to-day are able to read the standard classic authors at the
day of their graduation, with the ease and accuracy of Mr. Choate at the
end of his active professional career in the year 1859. His continued
devotion to the classics is shown by the following extract from his
journal in the year 1844, while he was a member of Congress:--

"1. Some professional work must be done every day.... Recent experiences
suggest that I ought to be more familiar with evidence and Cowen's
Phillips; therefore, daily for half an hour, I will thumb
conscientiously. When I come home again, in the intervals of actual
employment, my recent methods of reading, accompanying the reports with
the composition of arguments upon the points adjudged, may be properly

"2. In my Greek, Latin, and French readings--Odyssey, Thucydides,
Tacitus, Juvenal, and some French orator or critic--I need make no
change. So, too, Milton, Johnson, Burke--_semper in manu--ut mos est._
To my Greek I ought to add a page a day of Crosby's Grammar, and the
practice of parsing every word in my few lines of Homer. On Sunday, the
Greek Testament, and Septuagint, and French. This, and the oration of
the Crown, which I will completely master, translate, annotate, and
commit, will be enough in this kind. If not, I will add a translation of
a sentence or two from Tacitus."

A similar extract from his journal under the date of December 15th,
1844, reads:--

"I begin a great work,--Thucydides, in Bloomfield's new edition,--with
the intention of understanding a difficult and learning something from
an instructive writer,--something for the more and more complicated,
interior, _inter-State_ American politics.

"With Thucydides, I shall read Wachsmuth, with historical references and
verifications. Schomann on the Assemblies of the Athenians, especially,
I am to meditate, and master Danier's Horace, Ode 1, 11th to 14th line,
translation and notes,--a pocket edition to be always in pocket."

Throughout his life Mr. Choate kept up his classical studies. Few of the
graduates of our leading colleges to-day carry from Commencement a
training which makes the study of the Greek and Latin authors either
easy or pleasant. Mr. Choate, like nearly every lawyer who has ever
distinguished himself at the English bar, was a monument to the value of
the study of the classics as a mere means of training for the active
practical work of a lawyer.

Mr. Choate studied law at Cambridge in the Harvard Law School. Nearly a
year he spent at Washington in the office of Mr. Wirt, then
Attorney-General of the United States. This was in 1821. Thereafter he
was admitted to the bar, in September, 1823. He opened his office in
Salem, but soon removed to Danvers, where he practiced for four or five

During these earliest years of his professional life he had the fortune
which many other brilliant men in his profession have experienced,--that
of waiting and hoping. During his first two or three years, it is said,
he was so despondent as to his chances of professional success that he
seriously contemplated abandoning the law. In time he got his
opportunity to show the stuff of which he was made. His first
professional efforts were in petty cases before justices of the peace.
Very soon however his great ability, with his untiring industry and his
intense devotion to any cause in his hands, brought the reputation which
he deserved, and reputation brought clients.

In 1828 he removed to Salem. The Essex bar was one of great ability. Mr.
Choate at once became a leader. Among his contemporaries at that bar was
Caleb Cushing. Mr. Choate at first had many criminal cases. In the year
1830 he was, with Mr. Webster, one of the counsel for the prosecution in
the celebrated White murder case.

In 1830 he was elected to Congress as a member of the House of
Representatives, at the age of thirty-one years. At once he laid out a
course of study which was to fit him for the duties of his public life.
An extract from it reads as follows:--

                                                      "Nov. 4, 1830.

      "_Facienda ad munus nuper impositum_.

  "i. Pers. quals. [personal qualities], Memory, Daily Food, and Cowper
      _dum ambulo_. Voice, Manner, _Exercitationes diurnæ_.

  "2. Current politics in papers. 1. _Cum Notulis_, daily,--Geog.,
      &c. 2. Annual Reg., Past Intelligencers, &c.

       *       *       *       *       *

  "4. Civil History of U. States--in Pitkin and original sources.

  "5. Exam. of Pending Questions: Tariff, Pub. Lands, Indians,

  "6. Am. and Brit. Eloquence,--Writing, Practice."

Then follow in his manuscript upwards of twenty pages of close writing,
consisting of memoranda and statements, drawn from a multitude of
sources, on the subjects laid down by him at the beginning as the ones
to be investigated.

In Congress he found himself in competition with many men of marked
ability. Among the members of Congress then from Massachusetts were Mr.
Webster in the Senate; and in the House, John Quincy Adams, Edward
Everett, Nathan Appleton, George N. Briggs, and John Davis. In the
Senate, from other States, were Peleg Sprague from Maine,--one of the
ablest jurists this country has produced; Samuel Prentiss, Mr. Marcy,
Mr. Dallas, Mr. Clayton, Mr. Clay, and Mr. Benton. In the House were
James M. Wayne, Mr. McDuffie, Mr. Polk, Mr. Corwin, and Mr. Verplanck.

Among men of this calibre Mr. Choate at once, with ease, took rank as
one of the first. He made but two speeches during the session; but these
gave him a position which he ever afterwards held among the most
eloquent and convincing speakers in public life.

In April 1833 Mr. Choate was re-elected to Congress. At this session he
made a speech on the removal of the public deposits by President Jackson
from the Bank of the United States. The following incident shows his
power as an orator:--

Benjamin Hardin was then a member from Kentucky, of the House of
Representatives; and was himself intending to speak on the same side of
the question with Mr. Choate. In such cases, Mr. Hardin's rule was to
listen to no other speaker before speaking himself. Consequently when
Mr. Choate began speaking, Mr. Hardin started to leave the House. He
waited however for a moment to listen to a few sentences from Mr.
Choate, and with this result, as told in his own words:--"The member
from Massachusetts rose to speak, and in accordance with my custom I
took my hat to leave, lingering a moment just to notice the tone of his
voice and the manner of his speech. But that moment was fatal to my
resolution. I became charmed by the music of his voice, and was
captivated by the power of his eloquence, and found myself wholly unable
to move until the last word of his beautiful speech had been uttered."

At the close of this session Mr. Choate resigned his seat in Congress
and went to Boston, there to follow the practice of his profession. At
the Boston bar he met a remarkably brilliant group of men. There were
Jeremiah Mason, whom Mr. Webster is said to have considered the
strongest man that he ever met in any legal contest; Franklin Dexter;
Chief Justice Shaw (then at the bar); Judges Wilde, Hoar, and Thomas,
afterwards of the Massachusetts Supreme Court; Mr. Fletcher, Judge
Benjamin R. Curtis, Sidney Bartlett, Richard H. Dana, William D. Sohier,
Henry W. Paine, Edward D. Sohier, with others whose names are now almost
forgotten. These men formed a bar the like of which has seldom if ever
been assembled in any one jurisdiction. Here too Mr. Choate at once came
to the front. With every talent which could make a man a great
advocate,--with a marvelous memory, a keen logical intellect, a sound
legal judgment,--he had now acquired a large professional experience and
a very complete professional training. As has been seen, he had a
thorough classical training,--that is, of the kind best fitted to his
needs. His professional studies before beginning his professional
practice had been the best then attainable; very possibly, for him, they
were quite as good as can be had at any of the law schools of to-day.
His range of reading and information was extremely wide. He had had
several years of experience at Washington in Congress. And ever since
leaving the law school his mere professional studies had been most
severe. It is hard to see how any man could be better equipped for
professional practice than Mr. Choate was at this time.

His success at the Boston bar was phenomenal. He was in a contest with
giants. Mr. Webster alone could be deemed to dispute with Mr. Choate the
place of supremacy. The general verdict has been that for pure
intellectual power Mr. Webster was the superior. But it may well be
doubted whether as an all-round advocate Mr. Choate did not carry off
the palm. The common idea of Mr. Choate has been that his marvelous
eloquence was his great source of strength and success in his forensic
contests. This is an error. Eloquent he undoubtedly was; few men have
ever been more so. But unless in frontier communities, eloquence alone
has never commanded great success at the bar--if indeed it has ever
existed--without strong logical power and sound judgment. The power of
convincing intelligent men always depends largely and mainly on
soundness of judgment in the selection of positions. Especially is this
so in the profession of the law. There have been, no doubt, many
instances where men of eloquence have captivated juries by appeals to
passion or prejudice. But in the vast majority of cases, success as an
advocate cannot be had without sound judgment in the selection of
positions, coupled with the power of clear logical statement. Mr. Choate
was no exception to this rule. Mr. Henry W. Paine, one of the leaders of
the Boston bar in Mr. Choate's time,--himself one of the most logical of
men,--once said that he did not care to hear Mr. Choate address a jury,
but to hear him argue a bill of exceptions before the full bench of the
Supreme Court was one of the greatest intellectual treats. With the
ordinary twelve men in a jury-box Mr. Choate was a wizard. His knowledge
of human nature, his wide and deep sympathies, his imagination, his
power of statement, with his rich musical voice and his wonderful
fascination of manner, made him a charmer of men and a master in the
great art of winning verdicts. So far as the writer is able to form an
opinion, there has never been at the English or American bar a man who
has been his equal in his sway over juries. Comparisons are often
condemned, but they are at times useful. Comparing Mr. Choate with Mr.
Webster, it must be conceded that Mr. Webster might at times carry a
jury against Mr. Choate by his force of intellect and the tremendous
power of his personal presence. Mr. O'Conor once said that he did not
consider Mr. Webster an eloquent man. "Mr. Webster," he said, "was an
intellectual giant. But he never impressed me as being an eloquent man."
The general judgment is that Mr. Webster had eloquence of a very high
order. But Mr. Choate was a magician. With any opponent of his time
except Mr. Webster, he was irresistible before juries. Mr. Justice
Catron of the United States Court is reported to have said of Mr.
Choate, "I have heard the most eminent advocates, but he surpasses them
all." His success came from a rare combination of eloquence, sound
logical judgment, and great powers of personal fascination.

In another respect the common opinion of Mr. Choate must be corrected.
His great powers of persuasion and conviction undoubtedly gave him some
victories which were not deserved by the mere merits of his cases. From
this fact there went abroad the impression that he was a man without
principle, and that his ethical standards were not high in his selection
and conduct of cases. This impression is quite contrary to the judgment
of the competent. The impression was due largely to his success in the
celebrated defense of Tirrell. Tirrell was indicted for the murder of a
woman named Bickford, with whom Tirrell had long associated, who was
found dead in a house of ill-repute. At about the hour when the woman
lost her life, either by her own hand or by that of Tirrell, the house
caught fire. The cause of the fire was not proved. Tirrell had been in
her company the preceding evening, and articles of clothing belonging to
him were found in the morning in her room. Many circumstances seemed to
indicate that the woman had been killed by Tirrell. He was also indicted
for arson in setting fire to the house. In addition to other facts
proved by the defense, it was shown by reputable witnesses that Tirrell
had from his youth been subject to somnambulism; and one of the
positions taken by Mr. Choate for the defense was that the killing, if
done by Tirrell at all, was done by him while unconscious, in a
condition of somnambulism. Tirrell was tried under both indictments and
was acquitted on both. The indictment for murder was tried before
Justices Wilde, Dewey, and Hubbard. The indictment for arson was tried
before Chief Justice Shaw and Justices Wilde and Dewey. The foreman of
the jury stated that the defense of somnambulism received no weight in
the deliberations of the jury. The judgment of the profession has been
that the verdicts were the only ones which could properly have been
rendered on the evidence. In the arson case the charge to the jury was
by Chief Justice Shaw, and was strongly in favor of the defense. No
doubt the defense was extremely able and ingenious. But the criticisms
against Mr. Choate for his conduct of those cases, in the opinion of
those members of the profession best qualified to judge, have been held
to be without good foundation. Lawyers--that is, reputable ones--do not
manufacture evidence, nor are they the witnesses who testify to facts.
The severe tests of cross-examination usually elicit the truth. No one
ever charged Mr. Choate with manufacturing evidence. And no lawyer of
good judgment, so far as the writer is aware, has ever charged him with
practices which were not in keeping with the very highest professional

In the space here allotted, any attempt to give an adequate idea of Mr.
Choate's professional and public work is quite out of the question. In
addition to the conduct of an unusually large professional practice he
did a large amount of literary work, mainly in the delivery of lectures,
which at that time in New England were almost a part of the public
system of education. Throughout his life he took an active part in
politics. He attended the Whig convention at Baltimore in 1852, where
General Scott received his nomination for the Presidency, and where Mr.
Choate made one of the most eloquent speeches of his life in his effort
to secure the nomination for Mr. Webster.

Mr. Choate finally killed himself by overwork. Though a man of great
physical strength and remarkable vitality, no constitution could stand
the strain of his intense labors in the different lines of law,
literature, and politics. His magnificent physique finally broke down.
He died on July 13th, 1859, being not quite sixty years. His death was
an important public event. In the public press, at many public meetings
throughout the country, and by public men of the highest distinction,
his death was treated as a public misfortune. In his day he rendered
distinguished public services. He had the capacities and the interests
which fitted him to be a great statesman. Had it not been for our system
of short terms, and rotation in office, Mr. Choate would probably have
remained in public life from the time of his entry into Congress, would
have been a most valuable public servant, and would have left a great
reputation as a statesman. As it was, he left, so far as now appears,
only the ephemeral reputation of a great advocate.

This scanty sketch can best be closed by a quotation from the address of
Richard H. Dana at the meeting of the Boston bar held just after Mr.
Choate's death. That extract will show the judgment of Mr. Choate which
was held by the giants among whom he lived and of whom he was the

"'The wine of life is drawn.' 'The golden bowl is broken.' The age of
miracles has passed. The day of inspiration is over. The Great
Conqueror, unseen and irresistible, has broken into our temple and has
carried off the vessels of gold, the vessels of silver, the precious
stones, the jewels, and the ivory; and like the priests of the temple of
Jerusalem after the invasion from Babylon, we must content ourselves as
we can with vessels of wood and of stone and of iron.

"With such broken phrases as these, Mr. Chairman, perhaps not altogether
just to the living, we endeavor to express the emotions natural to this
hour of our bereavement. Talent, industry, eloquence, and learning,
there are still, and always will be, at the bar of Boston. But if I say
that the age of miracles has passed, that the day of inspiration is
over,--if I cannot realize that in this place where we now are, the
cloth of gold was spread, and a banquet set fit for the gods,--I know,
sir, you will excuse it. Any one who has lived with him and now survives
him, will excuse it;--any one who like the youth in Wordsworth's Ode,--

            '--by the vision splendid
  Is on his way attended,
  At length ...  perceives it die away,
  And fade into the light of common day.'"

It will also tend to secure justice to Mr. Choate's memory, if there be
here recorded the statement by Judge Benjamin R. Curtis of the judgment
of the men of Mr. Choate's own profession, as to the moral standards by
which Mr. Choate was governed in his practice. Judge Curtis said in his
address at the same meeting of the Boston Bar:--

"I desire, therefore, on this occasion and in this presence, to declare
our appreciation of the injustice which would be done to this great and
eloquent advocate by attributing to him any want of loyalty to truth, or
any deference to wrong, because he employed all his great powers and
attainments, and used to the utmost his consummate skill and eloquence,
in exhibiting and enforcing the comparative merits of one side of the
cases in which he acted. _In doing so he but did his duty. If other
people did theirs, the administration of justice was secured._"

                                        [Signature: Albert Stickney]

  All the citations are from 'Addresses and Orations of Rufus Choate':
  copyrighted 1878, by Little, Brown and Company


    From Address Delivered at the Ipswich Centennial, 1834

Turn first now for a moment to the old English Puritans, the fathers of
our fathers, of whom came, of whom were, planters of Ipswich, of
Massachusetts, of New England,--of whom came, of whom were, our own
Ward, Parker, and Saltonstall, and Wise, Norton, and Rogers, and
Appleton, and Cobbet, and Winthrop,--and see whether they were likely to
be the founders of a race of freemen or slaves. Remember then, the true,
noblest, the least questioned, least questionable, praise of these men
is this: that for a hundred years they were the sole depositaries
of the sacred fire of liberty in England after it had gone out in
every other bosom,--that they saved at its last gasp the English
Constitution,--which the Tudors and the first two Stuarts were rapidly
changing into just such a gloomy despotism as they saw in France and
Spain,--and wrought into it every particle of freedom which it now
possesses,--that when they first took their seats in the House of
Commons, in the early part of the reign of Elizabeth, they found
it the cringing and ready tool of the throne, and that they reanimated
it, remodeled it, reasserted its privileges, restored it to its
constitutional rank, drew back to it the old power of making laws,
redressing wrongs, and imposing taxes, and thus again rebuilt and opened
what an Englishman called "the chosen temple of liberty," an English
House of Commons,--that they abridged the tremendous power of the crown
and defined it,--and when at last Charles Stuart resorted to arms to
restore the despotism they had partially overthrown, that they met him
on a hundred fields of battle, and buried, after a sharp and long
struggle, crown and mitre and the headless trunk of the king himself
beneath the foundations of a civil and religious commonwealth. This
praise all the historians of England--Whig and Tory, Protestant and
Catholic, Hume, Hallam, Lingard, and all--award to the Puritans. By what
causes this spirit of liberty had been breathed into the masculine,
enthusiastic, austere, resolute character of this extraordinary body of
men, in such intensity as to mark them off from all the rest of the
people of England, I cannot here and now particularly consider. It is a
thrilling and awful history of the Puritans in England, from their
first emerging above the general level of Protestants, in the time of
Henry VIII. and Edward VI., until they were driven by hundreds and
thousands to these shores; but I must pass it over. It was just when the
nobler and grander traits--the enthusiasm and piety and hardihood and
energy--of Puritanism had attained the highest point of exaltation to
which, in England, it ever mounted up, and the love of liberty had grown
to be the great master-passion that fired and guided all the rest,--it
was just then that our portion of its disciples, filled with the
undiluted spirit, glowing with the intensest fervors of Protestantism
and republicanism together, came hither, and in that elevated and holy
and resolved frame began to build the civil and religious structures
which you see around you.

Trace now their story a little farther onward through the Colonial
period to the War of Independence, to admire with me the providential
agreement of circumstances by which that spirit of liberty which brought
them hither was strengthened and reinforced; until at length, instructed
by wisdom, tempered by virtue, and influenced by injuries, by anger and
grief and conscious worth and the sense of violated right, it burst
forth here and wrought the wonders of the Revolution. I have thought
that if one had the power to place a youthful and forming people like
the Northern colonists, in whom the love of freedom was already vehement
and healthful, in a situation the most propitious for the growth and
perfection of that sacred sentiment, he could hardly select a fairer
field for so interesting an experiment than the actual condition of our
fathers for the hundred and fifty years after their arrival, to the War
of the Revolution.

They had freedom enough to teach them its value and to refresh and
elevate their spirits, wearied, not despondent, from the contentions and
trials of England. They were just so far short of perfect freedom that
instead of reposing for a moment in the mere fruition of what they had,
they were kept emulous and eager for more, looking all the while up and
aspiring to rise to a loftier height, to breathe a purer air, and bask
in a brighter beam. Compared with the condition of England down to
1688,--compared with that of the larger part of the continent of Europe
down to our Revolution,--theirs was a privileged and liberal condition.
The necessaries of freedom, if I may say so,--its plainer food and
homelier garments and humbler habitations,--were theirs. Its luxuries
and refinements, its festivals, its lettered and social glory, its
loftier port and prouder look and richer graces, were the growth of a
later day; these came in with independence. Here was liberty enough to
make them love it for itself, and to fill them with those lofty and
kindred sentiments which are at once its fruit and its nutriment and
safeguard in the soul of man. But their liberty was still incomplete,
and it was constantly in danger from England; and these two
circumstances had a powerful effect in increasing that love and
confirming those sentiments. It was a condition precisely adapted to
keep liberty, as a subject of thought and feeling and desire, every
moment in mind. Every moment they were comparing what they had possessed
with what they wanted and had a right to; they calculated by the rule of
three, if a fractional part of freedom came to so much, what would
express the power and value of the whole number! They were restive and
impatient and ill at ease; a galling wakefulness possessed their
faculties like a spell. Had they been wholly slaves, they had lain still
and slept. Had they been wholly free, that eager hope, that fond desire,
that longing after a great, distant, yet practicable good, would have
given way to the placidity and luxury and carelessness of complete
enjoyment; and that energy and wholesome agitation of mind would have
gone down like an ebb-tide. As it was, the whole vast body of waters all
over its surface, down to its sunless, utmost depths, was heaved and
shaken and purified by a spirit that moved above it and through it and
gave it no rest, though the moon waned and the winds were in their
caves; they were like the disciples of the old and bitter philosophy of
paganism, who had been initiated into one stage of the greater
mysteries, and who had come to the door, closed, and written over with
strange characters, which led up to another. They had tasted of truth,
and they burned for a fuller draught; a partial revelation of that which
shall be hereafter had dawned; and their hearts throbbed eager, yet not
without apprehension, to look upon the glories of the perfect day. Some
of the mystery of God, of Nature, of Man, of the Universe, had been
unfolded; might they by prayer, by abstinence, by virtue, by retirement,
by contemplation, entitle themselves to read another page in the clasped
and awful volume?


    From Address Delivered at the Ipswich Centennial, 1834

I hold it to have been a great thing, in the first place, that we had
among us, at that awful moment when the public mind was meditating the
question of submission to the tea tax, or resistance by arms, and at the
more awful moment of the first appeal to arms,--that we had some among
us who personally knew what war was. Washington, Putnam, Stark, Gates,
Prescott, Montgomery, were soldiers already. So were hundreds of others
of humbler rank, but not yet forgotten by the people whom they helped to
save, who mustered to the camp of our first Revolutionary armies. These
all had tasted a soldier's life. They had seen fire, they had felt the
thrilling sensations, the quickened flow of blood to and from the heart,
the mingled apprehension and hope, the hot haste, the burning thirst,
the feverish rapture of battle, which he who has not felt is unconscious
of one-half of the capacities and energies of his nature; which he who
has felt, I am told, never forgets. They had slept in the woods on the
withered leaves or the snow, and awoke to breakfast upon birch-bark and
the tender tops of willow-trees. They had kept guard on the outposts on
many a stormy night, knowing perfectly that the thicket half a
pistol-shot off was full of French and Indian riflemen.

I say it was something that we had such men among us. They helped
discipline our raw first levies. They knew what an army is, and what it
needs, and how to provide for it. They could take that young volunteer
of sixteen by the hand, sent by an Ipswich mother, who after looking
upon her son equipped for battle from which he might not return,
Spartan-like, bid him go and behave like a man--and many, many such
shouldered a musket for Lexington and Bunker Hill--and assure him from
their own personal knowledge that after the first fire he never would
know fear again, even that of the last onset. But the long and peculiar
wars of New England had done more than to furnish a few such officers
and soldiers as these. They had formed that public sentiment upon the
subject of war which re-united all the armies, fought all the battles,
and won all the glory of the Revolution. The truth is that war in some
form or another had been, from the first, one of the usages, one of the
habits, of colonial life. It had been felt from the first to be just as
necessary as planting or reaping--to be as likely to break out every day
and every night as a thunder-shower in summer, and to break out as
suddenly. There have been nations who boasted that their rivers or
mountains never saw the smoke of an enemy's camp. Here the war-whoop
awoke the sleep of the cradle; it startled the dying man on his pillow;
it summoned young and old from the meeting-house, from the burial, and
from the bridal ceremony, to the strife of death. The consequence was
that the steady, composed, and reflecting courage which belongs to all
the English race grew into a leading characteristic of New England; and
a public sentiment was formed, pervading young and old and both sexes,
which declared it lawful, necessary, and honorable to risk life and to
shed blood for a great cause,--for our family, for our fires, for our
God, for our country, for our religion. In such a cause it declared that
the voice of God himself commanded to the field. The courage of New
England was the "courage of conscience." It did not rise to that insane
and awful passion, the love of war for itself. It would not have hurried
her sons to the Nile, or the foot of the Pyramids, or across the great
raging sea of snows which rolled from Smolensko to Moscow, to set the
stars of glory upon the glowing brow of ambition. But it was a courage
which at Lexington, at Bunker Hill, at Bennington, and at Saratoga, had
power to brace the spirit for the patriot's fight, and gloriously roll
back the tide of menaced war from their homes, the soil of their birth,
the graves of their fathers, and the everlasting hills of their freedom.


    From the Address before the Cambridge Law School, 1845

Something such has, in all the past periods of our history, been one of
the functions of the American bar. To vindicate the true interpretation
of the charters of the colonies, to advise what forms of polity, what
systems of jurisprudence, what degree and what mode of liberty these
charters permitted,--to detect and expose that long succession of
infringement which grew at last to the Stamp Act and Tea Tax, and
compelled us to turn from broken charters to national independence,--to
conduct the transcendent controversy which preceded the Revolution, that
grand appeal to the reason of civilization,--this was the work of our
first generation of lawyers: to construct the American constitutions:
the higher praise of the second generation. I claim it in part for the
sobriety and learning of the American bar; for the professional instinct
towards the past; for the professional appreciation of order, forms,
obedience, restraints; for the more than professional, the profound and
wide intimacy with the history of all liberty, classical, mediæval, and
above all, of English liberty,--I claim it in part for the American bar
that, springing into existence by revolution,--revolution, which more
than anything and all things lacerates and discomposes the popular
mind,--justifying that revolution only on a strong principle of natural
right, with not one single element or agent of monarchy or aristocracy
on our soil or in our blood,--I claim it for the bar that the
constitutions of America so nobly closed the series of our victories!
These constitutions owe to the bar more than their terse and exact
expression and systematic arrangements: they owe to it in part, too,
their elements of permanence; their felicitous reconciliation of
universal and intense liberty with forms to enshrine and regulations to
restrain it; their Anglo-Saxon sobriety and gravity conveyed in the
genuine idiom, suggestive of the grandest civil achievements of that
unequaled race. To interpret these constitutions, to administer and
maintain them, this is the office of our age of the profession. Herein
have we somewhat wherein to glory; hereby we come into the class and
share in the dignity of founders of States, of restorers of States, of
preservers of States.

I said and I repeat that while lawyers, and because we are lawyers, we
are statesmen. We are by profession statesmen. And who may measure the
value of this department of public duty? Doubtless in statesmanship
there are many mansions, and large variety of conspicuous service.
Doubtless to have wisely decided the question of war or peace,--to have
adjusted by a skillful negotiation a thousand miles of unsettled
boundary-line,--to have laid the corner-stone of some vast policy
whereby the currency is corrected, the finances enriched, the measure of
industrial fame filled,--are large achievements. And yet I do not know
that I can point to one achievement of this department of American
statesmanship which can take rank for its consequences of good above
that single decision of the Supreme Court which adjudged that an act of
legislature contrary to the Constitution is void, and that the judicial
department is clothed with the power to ascertain the repugnancy and to
pronounce the legal conclusion. That the framers of the Constitution
intended this should be so is certain; but to have asserted it against
the Congress and the Executive,--to have vindicated it by that easy yet
adamantine demonstration than which the reasonings of the mathematics
show nothing surer,--to have inscribed this vast truth of conservatism
on the public mind, so that no demagogue, not in the last stage of
intoxication, denies it,--this is an achievement of statesmanship of
which a thousand years may not exhaust or reveal all the good.


    From Eulogy delivered at Dartmouth College, 1853

Sometimes it has seemed to me that to enable one to appreciate with
accuracy, as a psychological speculation, the intrinsic and absolute
volume and texture of that brain,--the real rate and measure of those
abilities,--it was better not to see or hear him, unless you could see
or hear him frequently, and in various modes of exhibition; for
undoubtedly there was something in his countenance and bearing so
expressive of command,--something even in his conversational language
when saying "Parva summisse et modica temperate," so exquisitely
plausible, embodying the likeness at least of a rich truth, the forms at
least of a large generalization, in an epithet,--an antithesis,--a
pointed phrase,--a broad and peremptory thesis,--and something in his
grander forthputting, when roused by a great subject or occasion
exciting his reason and touching his moral sentiments and his heart, so
difficult to be resisted, approaching so near, going so far beyond, the
higher style of man, that although it left you a very good witness of
his power of influencing others, you were not in the best condition
immediately to pronounce on the quality or the source of the influence.
You saw the flash and heard the peal, and felt the admiration and fear;
but from what region it was launched, and by what divinity, and from
what Olympian seat, you could not certainly yet tell. To do that you
must, if you saw him at all, see him many times; compare him with
himself and with others; follow his dazzling career from his father's
house; observe from what competitors he won those laurels; study his
discourses,--study them by the side of those of other great men of this
country and time, and of other countries and times, conspicuous in the
same fields of mental achievement,--look through the crystal water of
the style down to the golden sands of the thought; analyze and contrast
intellectual power somewhat; consider what kind and what quantity of it
has been held by students of mind needful in order to great eminence in
the higher mathematics, or metaphysics, or reason of the law; what
capacity to analyze, through and through, to the primordial elements of
the truths of that science; yet what wisdom and sobriety, in order to
control the wantonness and shun the absurdities of a mere scholastic
logic, by systematizing ideas, and combining them, and repressing one by
another, thus producing, not a collection of intense and conflicting
paradoxes, but _a code_, scientifically coherent and practically
useful,--consider what description and what quantity of mind have been
held needful by students of mind in order to conspicuous eminence--long
maintained--in statesmanship; that great practical science, that great
philosophical art, whose ends are the existence, happiness, and honor of
a nation; whose truths are to be drawn from the widest survey of
man,--of social man,--of the particular race and particular community
for which a government is to be made or kept, or a policy to be
provided; "philosophy in action," demanding at once or affording place
for the highest speculative genius and the most skillful conduct of men
and of affairs; and finally consider what degree and kind of mental
power has been found to be required in order to influence the reason of
an audience and a nation by speech,--not magnetizing the mere nervous or
emotional nature by an effort of that nature, but operating on reason by
reason--a great reputation in forensic and deliberative eloquence,
maintained and advancing for a lifetime,--it is thus that we come to be
sure that his intellectual power was as real and as uniform as its very
happiest particular display had been imposing and remarkable.


(A.D. 347-407)


A strong soldier of the Cross and from good fighting stock was that John
of Antioch who, among the people that were first of the earth to bear
the name of Christian, was called Chrysostom--"mouth of gold." His
father Secundus, who died about the time of Chrysostom's birth, was a
military commander in Syria under Constantine and Constantius II. John
was born at Antioch, A.D. 347, when the Eastern Empire and the City of
Constantine were new. His young mother Arethusa, a Christian, then but
twenty years of age, devoted herself to widowhood and the education of
her son in the city of his birth. The youth's early years were passed
under her careful guidance, and at the age of twenty he entered on the
study of oratory and philosophy under the celebrated Libanius. In 369 he
became a baptized Christian and reader in the house of Melitius the
bishop. The unhappy reigns of Valens and Valentinian, when neo-paganism
in the West and in the Gothic settlement in the East began to work the
Empire's fall, saw John devoted to an ascetic life, after the example of
the monks and hermits who sheltered in the mountains about the gay and
queenly city of his birth. His mother's grief and loneliness brought him
back from his cave to an energetic career as an outspoken preacher of
God's Word and the eternal profit of good stout-hearted workaday
well-doing. He made himself dear to the people of Antioch, for he had
eloquence such as had been unknown to Greeks since Demosthenes, and he
shrank not from labor and self-denial. So they called him
"golden-mouth," as the Indians call their tried men "straight-tongues."
On the death of Nectarius, the successor of Gregory of Nazianzenus,
Theophilus of Alexandria and Arcadius the Emperor made him Metropolitan
of Constantinople, A.D. 397. All before this time he was laying about
him with good ear-smiting Greek at vice and luxury, of which there was
abundance both in palace and in hovel; and his elevation to an Imperial
neighborhood did not stay him. He cleared Byzantium of pagan shows,
gathered the relics of the martyrs, and sent missionaries to preach to
the Goths in their own speech. Not many years of this kind of leadership
were allowed him. Arcadius, well disposed but indolent, was under the
rule of a willful woman; and when Chrysostom turned his swayful voice
against her pet vanities, the vexed Eudoxia intrigued his deposition.
In 403 John went to exile in Bithynia, with the words "The Lord hath
given, the Lord hath taken away" upon his lips. A great earthquake so
frightened the Imperial City and family that with one outcry they called
Chrysostom back. When the fear of the infirm earth had worn away,
Eudoxia remembered her enmity and took it back to nurse. So one day when
John had said in his sword-like invective that "Herodias was raging
again," she showed less mercy than the Baptist had obtained; for under
the plea that his restoration had been unwarranted, the Metropolitan was
sent to a forced wandering in the wilds of outer provinces, from which
there returned of him only the venerated relics of a martyr. Driven from
spot to spot, sometimes in chains, always under the prod of guarding
spears, one day of September, 407, he dragged himself to the tomb of the
martyr Basiliscus at Comana in Pontus, and laid his soul in the hands of
God. Thirty years afterward, Theodosius the Younger brought the body
back to Constantinople.

In person Chrysostom was small and spare. His life of rigorous fasting
and toil made him still more slight and hollow-cheeked, but it is told
that there was always a blaze of fire in the deep-set eyes. The work of
Chrysostom was chiefly ecclesiastical oratory, in which no one of his
own or later time surpassed him. First of the great Christian preachers
after the Church came from the caves, he was not less able as a teacher.
His letters, full of sweetness and firm honesty, his poetry, delicate
and musical, and his philosophic essays, rich with the clear-cut jewels
of dialectics, are worthy of his station in the first order of the
Doctors of the Church.

                                            [Signature: John Malone]


    From the 'Treatise to prove that no one can harm the man who does
    not injure himself'

What I undertake is to prove (only make no commotion) that no one of
those who are wronged is wronged by another, but experiences this injury
at his own hands.

But in order to make my argument plainer, let us first of all inquire
what injustice is, and of what kind of things the material of it is wont
to be composed; also what human virtue is, and what it is which ruins
it; and further, what it is which seems to ruin it but really does not.
For instance (for I must complete my argument by means of examples),
each thing is subject to one evil which ruins it: iron to rust, wool to
moth, flocks of sheep to wolves. The virtue of wine is injured when it
ferments and turns sour; of honey when it loses its natural sweetness
and is reduced to a bitter juice. Ears of corn are ruined by mildew and
drought, the fruit and leaves and branches of vines by the mischievous
host of locusts, other trees by the caterpillar, and irrational
creatures by diseases of various kinds; and not to lengthen the list by
going through all possible examples, our own flesh is subject to fevers
and palsies and a crowd of other maladies. As then each one of these
things is liable to that which ruins its virtue, let us now consider
what it is which injures the human race, and what it is which ruins the
virtue of a human being. Most men think that there are divers things
which have this effect; for I must mention the erroneous opinions on the
subject, and after confuting them, proceed to exhibit that which really
does ruin our virtue, and to demonstrate clearly that no one could
inflict this injury or bring this ruin upon us unless we betrayed
ourselves. The multitude then, having erroneous opinions, imagine that
there are many different things which ruin our virtue; some say it is
poverty, others bodily disease, others loss of property, others calumny,
others death, and they are perpetually bewailing and lamenting these
things: and whilst they are commiserating the sufferers and shedding
tears, they excitedly exclaim to one another, "What a calamity has
befallen such and such a man! he has been deprived of all his fortune at
a blow." Of another again one will say, "Such and such a man has been
attacked by severe sickness and is despaired of by the physicians in
attendance." Some bewail and lament the inmates of the prison, some
those who have been expelled from their country and transported to the
land of exile, others those who have been deprived of their freedom,
others those who have been seized and made captives by enemies, others
those who have been drowned, or burnt, or buried by the fall of a house,
but no one mourns those who are living in wickedness; on the contrary,
which is worse than all, they often congratulate them, a practice which
is the cause of all manner of evils. Come then (only, as I exhorted you
at the outset, do not make a commotion), let me prove that none of the
things which have been mentioned injure the man who lives soberly, nor
can ruin his virtue. For tell me, if a man has lost his all either at
the hands of calumniators or of robbers, or has been stripped of his
goods by knavish servants, what harm has the loss done to the virtue of
the man?

But if it seems well, let me rather indicate in the first place what is
the virtue of a man, beginning by dealing with the subject in the case
of existences of another kind, so as to make it more intelligible and
plain to the majority of readers.

What then is the virtue of a horse? is it to have a bridle studded with
gold and girths to match, and a band of silken threads to fasten the
housing, and clothes wrought in divers colors and gold tissue, and
head-gear studded with jewels, and locks of hair plaited with gold cord?
or is it to be swift and strong in its legs, and even in its paces, and
to have hoofs suitable to a well-bred horse, and courage fitted for long
journeys and warfare, and to be able to behave with calmness in the
battle-field, and if a rout takes place, to save its rider? Is it not
manifest that these are the things which constitute the virtue of the
horse, not the others? Again, what should you say was the virtue of
asses and mules? is it not the power of carrying burdens with
contentment, and accomplishing journeys with ease, and having hoofs like
rock? Shall we say that their outside trappings contribute anything to
their own proper virtue? By no means. And what kind of vine shall we
admire? one which abounds in leaves and branches, or one which is laden
with fruit? Or what kind of virtue do we predicate of an olive? is it to
have large boughs and great luxuriance of leaves, or to exhibit an
abundance of its proper fruit dispersed over all parts of the tree?
Well, let us act in the same way in the case of human beings also: let
us determine what is the virtue of man, and let us regard that alone as
an injury, which is destructive to it. What then is the virtue of man?
Not riches, that thou shouldst fear poverty; nor health of body, that
thou shouldst dread sickness; nor the opinion of the public, that thou
shouldst view an evil reputation with alarm, nor life simply for its own
sake, that death should be terrible to thee; nor liberty that thou
shouldst avoid servitude: but carefulness in holding true doctrine, and
rectitude in life. Of these things not even the devil himself will be
able to rob a man, if he who possesses them guards them with the needful
carefulness, and that most malicious and ferocious demon is aware of

Thus in no case will any one be able to injure a man who does not choose
to injure himself; but if a man is not willing to be temperate, and to
aid himself from his own resources, no one will ever be able to profit
him. Therefore also that wonderful history of the Holy Scriptures, as in
some lofty, large, and broad picture, has portrayed the lives of the men
of old time, extending the narrative from Adam to the coming of Christ:
and it exhibits to you both those who are vanquished and those who are
crowned with victory in the contest, in order that it may instruct you
by means of all examples that no one will be able to injure one who is
not injured by himself, even if all the world were to kindle a fierce
war against him. For it is not stress of circumstances, nor variation of
seasons, nor insults of men in power, nor intrigues besetting thee like
snow-storms, nor a crowd of calamities, nor a promiscuous collection of
all the ills to which mankind is subject, which can disturb even
slightly the man who is brave and temperate and watchful; just as on the
contrary the indolent and supine man who is his own betrayer cannot be
made better, even with the aid of innumerable ministrations.

          Copyrighted by the Christian Literature Company, New York.


    From the 'Letters to Olympias'

To my Lady, the most reverend and divinely favored Deaconess Olympias, I
John, Bishop, send greeting in the Lord: Come now, let me relieve the
wound of thy despondency, and disperse the thoughts which gather this
cloud of care around thee. For what is it which upsets thy mind, and why
art thou sorrowful and dejected? Is it because of the fierce black storm
which has overtaken the Church, enveloping all things in darkness as of
a night without a moon, and is growing to a head every day, travailing
to bring forth disastrous shipwrecks, and increasing the ruin of the
world? I know all this as well as you; none shall gainsay it, and if you
like I will form an image of the things now taking place so as to
present the tragedy yet more distinctly to thee. We behold a sea
upheaved from the very lowest depths, some sailors floating dead upon
the waves, others engulfed by them, the planks of the ships breaking up,
the sails torn to tatters, the masts sprung, the oars dashed out of the
sailors' hands, the pilots seated on the deck, clasping their knees with
their hands instead of grasping the rudder, bewailing the hopelessness
of their situation with sharp cries and bitter lamentations, neither sky
nor sea clearly visible, but all one deep and impenetrable darkness, so
that no one can see his neighbor; whilst mighty is the roaring of the
billows, and monsters of the sea attack the crews on every side.

But how much further shall I pursue the unattainable? for whatever image
of our present evils I may seek, speech shrinks baffled from the
attempt. Nevertheless, even when I look at these calamities I do not
abandon the hope of better things, considering as I do who the Pilot is
in all this--not one who gets the better of the storm by his art, but
calms the raging waters by his rod. But if he does not effect this at
the outset and speedily, such is his custom--he does not at the
beginning put down these terrible evils; but when they have increased
and come to extremities, and most persons are reduced to despair, then
he works wondrously and beyond all expectation, thus manifesting his own
power and training the patience of those who undergo these calamities.
Do not therefore be cast down. For there is only one thing, Olympias,
which is really terrible, only one real trial, and that is sin; and I
have never ceased continually harping upon this theme: but as for all
other things, plots, enmities, frauds, calumnies, insults, accusations,
confiscation, exile, the keen sword of the enemy, the peril of the deep,
warfare of the whole world, or anything else you like to name, they are
but idle tales. For whatever the nature of these things may be, they are
transitory and perishable, and operate in a mortal body without doing
any injury to the vigilant soul. Therefore the blessed Paul, desiring to
prove the insignificance both of the pleasures and sorrows relating to
this life, declared the whole truth in one sentence when he said, "For
the things which are seen are temporal." Why then dost thou fear
temporal things which pass away like the stream of a river? For such is
the nature of present things, whether they be pleasant or painful. And
another prophet compared all human prosperity not to grass, but to
another material even more flimsy, describing the whole of it "as the
flower of grass." For he did not single out any one part of it, as
wealth alone, or luxury alone, or power, or honor; but having comprised
all the things which are esteemed splendid amongst men under the one
designation of glory, he said, "All the glory of man is as the flower of

Nevertheless, you will say, adversity is a terrible thing and grievous
to be borne. Yet look at it again compared with another image, and then
also learn to despise it. For the railing, and insults, and reproaches,
and gibes, inflicted by enemies and their plots, are compared to a
worn-out garment and moth-eaten wool, when God says, "Fear ye not the
reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings, for they shall
wax old as doth a garment, and like moth-eaten wool so shall they be
consumed." Therefore let none of these things which are happening
trouble thee; but ceasing to invoke the aid of this or that person, and
to run after shadows (for such are human alliances), do thou
persistently call upon Jesus whom thou servest, merely to bow his head
and in a moment of time all these evils will be dissolved. But if thou
hast already called upon him, and yet they have not been dissolved, such
is the manner of God's dealing (for I will resume my former argument);
he does not put down evils at the outset, but when they have grown to a
head, when scarcely any form of the enemy's malice remains ungratified,
then he suddenly converts all things to a state of tranquillity and
conducts them to an unexpected settlement. For he is not only able to
turn as many things as we expect and hope, to good, but many more, yea
infinitely more. Wherefore also Paul saith, "Now to Him who is able to
do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think." Could he not,
for example, have prevented the Three Children at the outset from
falling into trial? But he did not choose to do this, thereby conferring
great pain upon them. Therefore he suffered them to be delivered into
the hands of barbarians, and the furnace to be heated to an immeasurable
height and the wrath of the king to blaze even more fiercely than the
furnace, and hands and feet to be bound with great severity, and they
themselves to be cast into the fire; and then, when all they who beheld
despaired of their rescue, suddenly and beyond all hope the
wonder-working power of God, the supreme artificer, was displayed, and
shone forth with exceeding splendor. For the fire was bound and the
bondmen were released; and the furnace became a temple of prayer, a
place of fountains and dew, of higher dignity than a royal court, and
the very hairs of their head prevailed over that all-devouring element
which gets the better even of iron and stone, and masters every kind of
substance. And a solemn song of universal praise was instituted there by
these holy men, inviting every kind of created thing to join in the
wondrous melody: and they uttered hymns of thanksgiving to God for that
they had been bound, and also burnt, as far at least as the malice of
their enemies had power; that they had been exiles from their country,
captives deprived of their liberty, wandering outcasts from city and
home, sojourners in a strange and barbarous land: for all this was the
outpouring of a grateful heart. And when the malicious devices of their
enemies were perfected (for what further could they attempt after their
death?) and the labors of the heroes were completed, and the garland of
victory was woven, and their rewards were prepared, and nothing more was
wanting for their renown, then at last their calamities were brought to
an end, and he who caused the furnace to be kindled, and delivered them
over to that great punishment, became himself the panegyrist of those
holy heroes and the herald of God's marvelous deed, and everywhere
throughout the world issued letters full of reverent praise, recording
what had taken place, and becoming the faithful herald of the miracles
wrought by the wonder-working God. For inasmuch as he had been an enemy
and adversary, what he wrote was above suspicion even in the opinion of

Dost thou see the abundance of resource belonging to God? his
extraordinary power, his loving-kindness and care? Be not therefore
dismayed or troubled, but continue to give thanks to God for all things,
praising and invoking him; beseeching and supplicating; even if
countless tumults and troubles come upon thee, even if tempests are
stirred up before thine eyes, let none of these things disturb thee. For
our Master is not baffled by the difficulty, even if all things are
reduced to the extremity of ruin. For it is possible for him to raise
those who have fallen, to convert those who are in error, to set
straight those who have been ensnared, to release those who have been
laden with countless sins, and make them righteous, to quicken those who
are dead, to restore lustre to decayed things, and freshness to those
who have waxen old. For if he makes things which are not to come into
being, and bestows existence on things which are nowhere by any means
manifest, how much more will he rectify things which already exist!

          Copyrighted by the Christian Literature Company, New York.


    From Homily VIII.

Knowing these things, let us take heed to our life: and let us not be
earnest as to the goods that perish; neither as to the glory that goeth
out; nor as to that body which groweth old; nor as to that beauty which
is fading; nor as to that pleasure which is fleeting: but let us expend
all our care about the soul, and let us provide for the welfare of this
in every way. For to cure the body when diseased is not an easy matter
to every one; but to cure a sick soul is easy to all: and the sickness
of the body requires medicines, as well as money, for its healing; but
the healing of the soul is a thing easy to procure, and devoid of
expense. And the nature of the flesh is with much labor delivered from
those wounds which are troublesome; for very often the knife must be
applied, and medicines that are bitter; but with respect to the soul
there is nothing of this kind. It suffices only to exercise the will and
the desire, and all things are accomplished. And this hath been the work
of God's providence. For inasmuch as from bodily sickness no great
injury could arise (for though we were not diseased, yet death would in
any case come, and destroy and dissolve the body); but everything
depends upon the health of our souls; this being by far the more
precious and necessary, he hath made the medicining of it easy, and void
of expense or pain. What excuse therefore or what pardon shall we
obtain, if when the body is sick, and money must be expended on its
behalf, and physicians called in, and much anguish endured, we make this
so much a matter of our care (though what might result from that
sickness could be no great injury to us), and yet treat the soul with
neglect? And this, when we are neither called upon to pay down money,
nor to give others any trouble, nor to sustain any sufferings; but
without any of all these things, by only choosing and willing, have it
in our power to accomplish the entire amendment of it: and knowing
assuredly that if we fail to do this, we shall sustain the extreme
sentence, and punishments, and penalties, which are inexorable! For tell
me, if any one promised to teach thee the healing art in a short space
of time, without money or labor, wouldst thou not think him a
benefactor? Wouldst thou not submit both to do and to suffer all things,
whatsoever he who promised these things commanded? Behold now, it is
permitted thee without labor to find a medicine for wounds, not of the
body, but of the soul, and to restore it to a state of health without
any suffering! Let us not be indifferent to the matter! For pray what is
the pain of laying aside anger against one who hath aggrieved thee? It
is a pain indeed to remember injuries, and not to be reconciled! What
labor is it to pray, and to ask for a thousand good things from God, who
is ready to give? What labor is it, not to speak evil of any one? What
difficulty is there in being delivered from envy and ill-will? What
trouble is it to love one's neighbor? What suffering is it not to utter
shameful words, nor to revile, nor to insult another? What fatigue is it
not to swear? for again I return to this same admonition. The labor of
swearing is indeed exceedingly great. Oftentimes, whilst under the
influence of anger or wrath, we have sworn, perhaps, that we would never
be reconciled to those who have injured us.

I am now for the sixth day admonishing you in respect of this precept.
Henceforth I am desirous to take leave of you, meaning to abstain from
the subject, that ye may be on your guard. There will no longer be any
excuse or allowance for you; for of right, indeed, if nothing had been
said on this matter, it ought to have been amended of yourselves, for it
is not a thing of an intricate nature, or that requires great
preparation. But since ye have enjoyed the advantage of so much
admonition and counsel, what excuse will ye have to offer, when ye stand
accused before that dread tribunal and are required to give account of
this transgression? It is impossible to invent any excuse; but of
necessity you must either go hence amended, or if you have not amended,
be punished, and abide the extremest penalty! Thinking therefore upon
all these things, and departing hence with much anxiety about them,
exhort ye one another, that the things spoken of during so many days may
be kept with all watchfulness in your minds; so that whilst we are
silent, ye instructing, edifying, exhorting one another, may exhibit
great improvement: and having fulfilled all the other precepts may enjoy
eternal crowns; which God grant we may all obtain through the grace and
loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ.

          Copyrighted by the Christian Literature Company, New York.


(106-43 B.C.)


The outward life, the political career, of Marcus Tullius Cicero, is to
nearly all students of history a tragic and pathetic story. He seems
peculiarly unfitted to the people and the time in which his lot was
cast. His enlightened love for the traditions of the past, his
passionate sentiment of patriotism, his forceful eloquence as a debater
in the Senate or as an orator in the Forum,--these qualities of a Burke
or a Webster stand out violently dissevered from the lurid history of
his time. This humane scholarly life was flung into the midst of the
wildest century in all Rome's grim annals; the hundred years of civic
turmoil and bloodshed, from the elder Gracchus's murder to the death of

And yet such was the marvelous activity, the all-sided productiveness,
of the Ciceronian intellect, that perhaps no human mind has ever so
fully exploited all its powers. Moreover, in each intellectual field
which he entered, the chances of time have removed nearly every Roman
rival, leaving us no choice save to accept Cicero's guidance. There was
many another orator, and history of eloquence. There were other
practical treatises on rhetoric. Many a notable correspondence was
actually preserved and published, though now lost. Even his free
transcriptions from Greek philosophical treatises--hastily conned and
perhaps imperfectly understood--have acquired, through the disappearance
of the Greek scrolls themselves, an ill-deserved authority as to the
tenets of the Epicurean and other schools.

Before and above all else, Cicero was a pleader. Out of that activity
grew his ill-starred political activity, while his other literary tastes
were essentially but a solace in times of enforced retirement. With the
discussion of his oratory, therefore, we may best combine a rapid
outline of his life.

By their common birthplace, Arpinum, and by a slight tie of kinship,
Cicero was associated with Marius; and he began life, like Disraeli,
with radical sympathies. He was the elder son of a wealthy Roman
citizen, but no ancestor had ennobled the family by attaining curule
office. After a most thorough course of training in Latin and Greek,
Cicero began to "practice law." The pleader in ancient Rome was supposed
to receive no fee, and even more than with us, found his profession the
natural stepping-stone to political honors.

At the age of twenty-six, Cicero (in 80 B.C.) defended his first
important client in a criminal case. In the closing days of the Sullan
proscriptions, young Roscius, of Ameria in Umbria, was charged with
murdering his own father in Rome. A pair of Roscius's kinsmen were
probably the real culprits, and had arranged with Chrysogonus, a wealthy
freedman and favorite of the Dictator, to insert the dead man's name
among the outlawed victims and to divide the confiscated estate. The son
was persecuted because he resisted this second outrage. Cicero says he
is himself protected by his obscurity, though no other advocate has
dared to plead for the unlucky youth. In our present text there are some
audacious words aimed at Sulla's own measures: they were probably
sharpened in a later revision. The case was won, against general
expectation. Cicero may have played the hero that day: certainly the
brief remainder of Sulla's life was spent by the young democratic
pleader traveling in the East,--"for his health," as Plutarch adds,
truly enough. At this time his style was chastened and his manner
moderated by the teachers of Athens, and especially by Molo in Rhodes.

Cicero's quæstorship was passed in Sicily, 75-4 B.C. Here he knit close
friendships with many Greek provincials, and did a creditable piece of
archæological work by rediscovering Archimedes's tomb. His impeachment
of Verres for misgovernment in Sicily was in 70 B.C. This time the
orator runs a less desperate risk. Since Sulla's death the old
constitution has languidly revived. Speech was comparatively free and
safe. The "knights" or wealthy middle class,--Cicero's own,--deprived by
Sulla of the right to sit as the jurors in impeachment trials like
Verres's, partially regain the privilege in this very year. The
overwhelming mass of evidence made Verres flee into exile, and
Hortensius, till then leader of the Roman bar, threw up the case in
despair. Nevertheless Cicero published the stately series of orations he
had prepared. They form the most vivid picture, and the deadliest
indictments ever drawn, of Roman provincial government,--and of a
ruthless art-collector. Cicero instantly became the foremost among
lawyers. Moreover, this success made Cicero a leader in the time of
reaction after Sulla, and hastened his elevation to posts where only men
of sterner nature could be fully and permanently successful.

  [Illustration: CICERO.]

Pompey, born in the same year, was at this time leading the revolt
against Sulla's measures. The attachment now formed, the warmer hearted
Cicero never wholly threw off. The young general's later foreign
victories are nowhere so generously set forth as in Cicero's
too-rhetorical plea "for the Manilian Law," in 66 B.C. Pompey was
then wintering in the East, after sweeping piracy in a single summer
from the Mediterranean. This plea gave him the larger command against
Mithridates. Despite the most extravagant laudation, however, Pompey
remains, here as elsewhere, one of those large but vague and misty
figures that stalk across the stage of history without ever once turning
upon us a fully human face. Far more distinct than he, there looms above
him the splendid triumphal pageant of Roman imperialism itself.

Cicero's unrivaled eloquence won him not only a golden shower of gifts
and legacies, but also the prætorship and consulship at the earliest
legal age. Perhaps some of the old nobles foresaw and prudently avoided
the Catilinarian storm of 63 B.C. The common dangers of that year, and
the pride of assured position, may have hastened the full transfer of
Cicero's allegiance to the old senatorial faction. Tiberius Gracchus,
boldly praised in January, has become for Cicero a notorious demagogue;
his slayers instead are the undoubted patriots, in the famous harangues
of November. These latter, by the way, were certainly under the file
three years afterward,--and it is not likely that we read any Ciceronian
speech just as it was delivered. If there be any thread of consistency
in Cicero's public career, it must be sought in his long but vain hope
to unite the nobility and the _equites_, in order to resist the growing

The eager vanity with which Cicero seized the proud title "Father of the
fatherland" is truly pathetic. The summary execution of the traitors may
have been prompted by that physical timidity so often associated with
the scholarly temperament. Whether needless or not, the act returned to
plague him.

The happiest effort of the orator in his consular year was the famous
plea for Murena. This consul-elect for 62 was a successful soldier.
Catiline must be met in the spring "in the jaws of Etruria." Cicero's
dearest friend, Servius Sulpicius Rufus, a defeated candidate, accused
Murena of bribery. The conditions of Roman politics, the character of
Sulpicius, the tone of Cicero himself, bid us adjudge Murena probably
guilty. Cicero had supported Sulpicius, but now feels it is no time to
"go behind the returns," or to replace a bold soldier by a scholarly

To win his case Cicero must heap ridicule upon his own profession in his
friend's person, and upon Stoic philosophy, represented by Cato,
Sulpicius's chief advocate. This he did so successfully that Cato
himself exclaimed with a grim smile, "What a jester our consul is!"
Cicero won his case--and kept his friends. This speech is cited _sixteen
times_ by Quintilian, and is a model of forensic ingenuity, wit, and
grace. Its patriotism may be plausibly defended, but hardly its moral

The next year produced the famous and successful defense of
Cluentius,--probably guilty of poisoning,--and also the most delightful
of all Cicero's speeches, the oration for the poet Archias. Whether the
old Greek's claim to Roman citizenship was beyond cavil we neither know
nor greatly care. The legal argument is suspiciously brief. The praise
of literature and the scholarly life, however, has re-echoed ever since,
and still reaches all hearts. Brother Quintus, sitting in judgment as
prætor, is pleasantly greeted.

This is the culmination in Cicero's career of success. Some boastful
words uttered in these days make us doubt if he remembered Solon's and
Sophocles's maxim, "Count no life happy before its close." The
fast-growing power of Cæsar presently made the two successful generals
Pompey and Crassus his political tools. Cicero refused to enter, on
similar conditions, the cabal later known as the "First Triumvirate."
Cæsar, about to depart for his long absence in Gaul, might well regard
the patriotic and impulsive orator as the most serious source of
possible opposition in his absence. Marcus refused, himself, to go along
to Gaul a-soldiering, though Brother Quintus accepted a commission and
served creditably. At last, reluctantly, Cæsar suffered Cicero's
personal enemy Clodius to bring forward a decree outlawing "those who
had put Roman citizens to death without trial" (March, 58 B.C.). Cicero
meekly withdrew from Rome, was condemned by name in absence, and his
town house and villas pillaged.

As to the cowardice of this hasty retreat, none need use severer words
than did the exile himself. It is the decisive event in his career. His
uninterrupted success was ended. His pride could never recover fully
from the hurt. Worst of all, he could never again pose, even before his
own eyes, as the fearless hero-patriot. In short, Cæsar, the consummate
master of action and of men, had humanely but decisively crippled the
erratic yet patriotic rhetorician.

In little more than a year the bad conduct of Clodius, the personal
good-will of the "triumvirs," and the whirligig of politics, brought
round Cicero's return from Greece. His wings were however effectively
clipped. After a brief and slight flutter of independence, he made full,
even abject, submission to the dominant Cæsarian faction. This was in 56
B.C. The next five years, inglorious politically, were however full of
activity in legal oratory and other literary work. In his eloquent
defense of Cælius Rufus, charged with an attempt to poison Clodia,
Cicero perforce whitewashes, or at least paints in far milder colors
than of old, Catiline, Cælius's lifelong friend! A still less pleasing
feature is the abusive attack on the famous and beautiful Clodia,
probably the "Lesbia" of Catullus. (The unhappy young poet seems to
have preceded Cælius in the fickle matron's favor.)

The events of the year 52 well illustrate the unfitness of Cicero for
politics in such an age. Rome was full of street brawls, which Pompey
could not check. The orator's old enemy Clodius, at the head of his
bravos, was slain by a fellow ruffian Milo in January. At Milo's trial
in April Cicero defended him, or attempted to do so. A court-room
encircled by a yelling mob and guarded by Pompey's legions caused him to
break down altogether. As afterward written out at leisure, the speech
is a masterpiece of special pleading. The exiled Milo's criticism on it
is well known: "I'm glad you never delivered it: I should not now be
enjoying the mullets of Marseilles."

The year 51-50 Cicero spent, most unwillingly, as proconsular governor
in far-off Cilicia. Though really humane and relatively honest, he
accumulated in these few months a handsome sum in "gifts" from
provincials and other perquisites. Even Cicero was a Roman.

Meantime the civil war had all but broken out at home. Cicero hesitated
long, and the correspondence with Atticus contains exhaustive analyses
of his motives and temptations. His naïve selfishness and vanity at
times in these letters seem even like self-caricature. Yet through it
all glimmers a vein of real though bewildered patriotism. Still the
craving for a triumph--he had fought some savage mountain clans in Asia
Minor!--was hardly less dominant.

Repairing late and with many misgivings to Pompey's camp in Epirus,
Cicero seems to have been there a "not unfeared, half-welcome" and
critical guest. Illness is his excuse for absence from the decisive
battle. He himself tells us little of these days. As Plutarch relates
the tale, after Pompey's flight to Egypt Cicero refused the supreme
command, and was thereupon threatened with death by young Gneius Pompey;
but his life was saved by Cato.

One thing at least is undisputed. The last man to decide for Pompey's
cause, he was the first to hurry back to Italy and crave Cæsar's grace!
For many months he waited in ignoble retirement, fearing the success of
his deserted comrades even more than Cæsar's victory. It is this action
that gives the _coup de grace_ to Cicero's character as a hero. With
whatever misgivings, he had chosen his side. Whatever disturbing threats
of violent revenge after victory he heard in Pompey's camp, he awaited
the decisive battle. Then there remained, for any brave man, only
constancy in defeat--or a fall upon his sword.

Throughout Cæsar's brief reign,--or long dictatorship,--from 48 to 44,
Cicero is the most stately and the most obsequious of courtiers. For him
who would plead for clemency, or return thanks for mercy accorded, at a
despot's footstool, there are no more graceful models than the 'Pro
Ligario' and the 'Pro Marcello.' Cæsar himself realized, and wittily
remarked, how irksome and hateful such a part must be to the older,
vainer, more self-conscious man of the twain.

Midway in this period Cicero divorced his wife after thirty years of
wedlock, seemingly from some dissatisfaction over her financial
management, and soon after married a wealthy young ward. This is the
least pleasing chapter of his private life, but perhaps the
mortification and suffering it entailed were a sufficient penalty. His
only daughter Tullia's death in 45 B.C. nearly broke the father's heart.

Whatever the reason, Cicero was certainly not in the secret of Cæsar's
assassination. Twice in letters to members of the conspiracy in later
months he begins: "How I wish you had invited me to your glorious
banquet on the Ides of March." "There would have been no remnants," he
once adds. That is, Antony would not have been left alive.

We have now reached the last two years--perhaps the most creditable
time--in Cicero's eventful life. This period runs from March 15th, 44
B.C., to December 7th, 43 B.C. It was one long struggle, first covert,
then open, between Antony and the slayers of Cæsar. Cicero's energy and
eloquence soon made him the foremost voice in the Senate once more. For
the first time since his exile, he is now speaking out courageously his
own real sentiments. His public action is in harmony with his own
convictions. The cause was not hopeless by any means, so far as the
destruction of Antony would have been a final triumph. Indeed, that wild
career seemed near its end, when Octavian's duplicity again threw the
game into his rival's reckless hands. However, few students of history
imagine that any effective restoration of senatorial government was
possible. The peculiar pathos of Cicero's end, patriot as he was, is
this: it removed one of the last great obstacles to the only stable and
peaceful rule Rome could receive--the imperial throne of Augustus.

This last period is however among the most creditable, perhaps the most
heroic, in Cicero's career. Its chief memorials are the fourteen extant
orations against Antony. The comparative sincerity of these
'Philippics,' and the lack of private letters for much of this time,
make them important historical documents. The only one which ranks among
his greatest productions--perhaps the classic masterpiece of
invective--is the 'Second Philippic.' This was never delivered at all,
but published as a pamphlet. This unquestioned fact throws a curious
light on passages like--"He is agitated, he perspires, he turns pale!"
describing Antony at the (imaginary) delivery of the oration. The
details of the behavior of Catiline and others may be hardly more
authentic. The 'Ninth Philippic' is a heartfelt funeral eulogy on that
same Sulpicius whom he had ridiculed in the 'Pro Murena.'

  "The milestones into headstones turn,
      And under each a friend."

A fragment from one of Livy's lost books says, "Cicero bore with
becoming spirit none of the ills of life save death itself." He indeed
perished not only bravely but generously, dissuading his devoted slaves
from useless resistance, and extending his neck to Antony's assassins.
Verres lived to exult at the news, and then shared his enemy's fate,
rather than give up his Greek vases to Antony! Nearly every Roman, save
Nero, dies well.

Upon Cicero's political career our judgment is already indicated. He was
always a patriot at heart, though often a bewildered one. His vanity,
and yet more his physical cowardice, caused some grievous blots upon the
record. His last days, and death, may atone for all--save one. The
precipitate desertion of the Pompeians is not to be condoned.

The best English life of Cicero is by Forsyth; but quaint, dogged,
prejudiced old Middleton should not be forgotten. Plutarch's Cicero
"needs no bush."

Cicero's oratory was splendidly effective upon his emotional Italian
hearers. It would not be so patiently accepted by any Teutonic folk. His
very copiousness, however, makes him as a rule wonderfully clear and
easy reading. Quintilian well says: "From Demosthenes's periods not a
word can be spared, to Cicero's not one could be added."

Despite the rout of Verres and of Catiline, the merciless dissection of
Clodia, and the statelier thunders of the 'Philippics,' Cicero was most
successful and happiest when "defending the interests of his friends."
Perhaps the greatest success against justice was the 'Pro Cluentio,'
which throws so lurid a light on ante-Borgian Italian criminology. This
speech is especially recommended by Niebuhr to young philologues as a
nut worthy of the strongest teeth. There is a helpful edition by Ramsay,
but Hertland's 'Murena' will be a pleasanter variation for students
wearying of the beaten track followed by the school editions. Both the
failure of the 'Pro Milone' and the world-wide success of the 'Pro
Archia' bid us repeat the vain wish, that this humane and essentially
modern nature might have fallen on a gentler age. Regarding his whole
political life as an uncongenial rôle forced on him by fate, we return
devout thanks for _fifty-eight_ orations, nearly all in revised and
finished literary form! Fragments of seventeen, and titles of still
thirty more, yet remain. From all his rivals, predecessors, pupils, not
one authentic speech survives.

The best complete edition of the orations with English notes is by
George Long, in the Bibliotheca Classica. The 'Philippics' alone are
better edited by J.R. King in the Clarendon Press series. School
editions of select speeches are superabundant. They regularly include
the four Catilinarians, the Manilian, and the pleas before the dictator,
sometimes a selection from the 'Philippics' or Verrine orations.

There is no masterly translation comparable with the fine work done by
Kennedy for Demosthenes. The Bohn version is respectable in quality.

Among Cicero's numerous works on rhetoric the chief is the 'De Oratore.'
Actually composed in 55 B.C., it is a dialogue, the scene set in 91
B.C., the characters being the chief Roman orators of that day. L.
Crassus, who plays the host gracefully at his Tusculan country-seat, is
also the chief speaker. These men were all known to Cicero in his
boyhood, but most of them perished soon after in the Marian
proscriptions. Of real character-drawing there is little, and all alike
speak in graceful Ciceronian periods. The exposition of the technical
parts of rhetoric goes on in leisurely wise, with copious illustrations
and digressions. There is much pleasant repetition of commonplaces.
Wilkins's edition of the 'De Oratore' is a good but not an ideal one.
The introductions are most helpful. Countless discussions on etymology,
etc., in the notes, should be relegated to the dictionaries. Instead, we
crave adequate cross-references to passages in this and other works. The
notes seem to be written too largely piecemeal, each with the single
passage in mind.

In Cicero's 'Brutus,' written in 46 B.C., Cicero, Brutus, and Atticus
carry on the conversation, but it is mostly a monologue of Cicero and a
historical sketch of Roman oratory. The affected modesty of the
autobiographic parts is diverting. Brutus was the chief exponent of a
terse, simple, direct, oratory,--far nearer, we judge, to English taste
than the Ciceronian; and the opposition between them already appears. A
convenient American edition is that by Kellogg (Ginn).

The opposition just mentioned comes out more clearly in the 'Orator.'
This portrays the ideal public speaker. His chief accomplishments are
summed up in versatility,--the power to adapt himself to any case and
audience. An interesting passage discusses the rhythms of prose. This
book has been elaborately edited by J.E. Sandys. In these three
dialogues Cicero says everything of importance, at least once; and the
other rhetorical works in the Corpus may be neglected here, the more as
the most practical working rhetoric among them all, the 'Auctor ad
Herennium,' is certainly not Cicero's. It is probably by Cornificius,
and is especially important as the _first_ complete prose work
transmitted to us in authentic Latin form. (Cato's 'De Re Rustica' has
been "modernized.")

The later history of the Ciceronian correspondence is a dark and much
contested field. (The most recent discussion, with bibliography, is by
Schanz, in Iwan Müller's Handbuch, Vol. viii., pp. 238-243.) Probably
Cicero's devoted freedman Tiro laid the foundations of our collections.
The part of Petrarch in recovering the letters during the "Revival of
Learning" was much less than has been supposed.

The letters themselves are in wild confusion. There are four
collections, entitled 'To Atticus,' 'To Friends,' 'To Brother Marcus,'
'To Brutus': altogether over eight hundred epistles, of which a
relatively small number are written _to_ Cicero by his correspondents.
The order is not chronological, and the dates can in many cases only be
conjectured. Yet these letters afford us our chief sources for the
history of this great epoch,--and the best insight we can ever hope to
have into the private life of Roman gentlemen.

The style of the cynical, witty Cælius, or of the learned lawyer
Sulpicius, differs perceptibly in detail from Cicero's own; yet it is
remarkable that all seem able to write clearly if not gracefully.
Cicero's own style varies very widely. The letters to Atticus are
usually colloquial, full of unexplained allusions, sometimes made
intentionally obscure and pieced out with a Greek phrase, for fear of
the carrier's treachery! Other letters again, notably a long 'Apologia'
addressed to Lentulus after Cicero's return from exile, are as plainly
addressed in reality to the public or to posterity as are any of the

Prof. R. Y. Tyrrell has long been engaged upon an annotated edition of
all the letters in chronological order. This will be of the utmost
value. An excellent selection, illustrating the orator's public life
chiefly, has been published by Professor Albert Watson. This volume
contains also very full tables of dates, bibliography of all Cicero's
works, and in general is indispensable for the advanced Latin student.
The same letters annotated by Professor Watson have been delightfully
translated by G. E. Jeans. To this volume, rather than to Forsyth's
biography, the English reader should turn to form his impressions of
Cicero at first hand. It is a model of scholarly--and also

The "New Academy," to which Cicero inclined in philosophy, was skeptical
in its tendencies, and regarded absolute truth as unattainable. This
made it easier for Cicero to cast his transcriptions in the form of
dialogues, revealing the beliefs of the various schools through the lips
of the several interlocutors. Thus the 'De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum'
sets forth in three successive conversations the ideas of Epicureans,
of Stoics, and of the Academy, on the Highest Good. It is perhaps the
chief of these treatises,--though we would still prefer to have even
those later compendiums of the Greek schools through which Cicero
probably cited the chief philosophers at second hand! J. S. Reid, an
eminent English scholar, has spent many years upon this dialogue, and
his work includes a masterly translation.

With a somewhat similar plan, the three books of the 'De Natura Deorum'
contain the views of the three schools on the Divine Beings. The
speakers are Cicero's Roman contemporaries. This rather sketchy work has
been annotated by J. B. Mayor in his usual exhaustive manner. The now
fragmentary dialogue entitled 'The Republic,' and its unfinished
supplement 'The Laws,' were composed and named in avowed rivalry with
Plato's two largest works, but fail to approach the master. The Roman
Constitution is defended as the ideal mingling of monarchy, aristocracy,
and democracy. The student of pure literature can for the most part
neglect these, and others among the hastily written philosophic works,
with the explicit approval of so indefatigable a student as Professor B.
L. Gildersleeve.

The chief fragment preserved of the 'Republic' is the 'Dream of Scipio.'
Its dependence on the vision at the close of Plato's 'Republic' should
be carefully observed. It may be fairly described as a free translation
and enlargement from Greek originals, of which Plato's passage is the
chief. Plagiarism was surely viewed quite otherwise then than now.
Still, the Roman additions and modifications are interesting also,--and
even as a translator Cicero is no ordinary cicerone! Moreover, in this
as in so many other examples, the Latin paraphrase had a wider and more
direct influence than the original. It has been accepted with justice
ever since, as the final and most hopeful pagan word in favor of the
soul's immortality. The lover of Chaucer will recall the genial
paraphrase of 'Scipio's Dream' in the 'Parlament of Foules' (stanzas
5-12). We give below, entire, in our quotations from Cicero, the
masterly version of the 'Dream,' prepared by Prof. T. R. Lounsbury for
his edition of Chaucer's poems. The speaker is the younger Scipio
Africanus, and his visit to Africa as a subaltern here described was in
149 B.C., three years previous to his own decisive campaign against
Carthage which ended in the destruction of the city.

Cicero shared in full the Roman tendency to give a practical, an ethical
turn to all metaphysical discussion. This is prominent in the popular
favorite among his larger volumes, the 'Tusculan Disputations.' In each
of the five related books a thesis is stated negatively, to be
triumphantly reversed later on:--

(1) "Death seems to me an evil."

(2) "I think pain the greatest of all evils."

(3) "Misery seems to me to befall the wise man."

(4) "It does not appear to me that the wise man can be secure from
distress of mind."

(5) "Character does not seem to me sufficient for happiness in life."

The original portion of this work is relatively large, and many Roman
illustrations occur. Dr. Peabody has included the Tusculans, the two
brief essays next mentioned, and the 'De Officiis,' in his excellent
series of versions (Little, Brown and Company).

The little dialogue on 'Old Age' is perhaps most read of all Cicero's
works. Its best thoughts, it must be confessed, are freely borrowed from
the opening pages of Plato's 'Republic.' Still, on this theme of
universal human interest, the Roman also offers much pleasant food for
thought. The moderation of the Greek is forgotten by Cicero, the
professional advocate and special pleader, who almost cries out to us at

              "Grow old along with me:
              The best is yet to be.
  The last of life, for which the first was made!"

It was written in 45-4 B.C. The other little essay 'On Friendship' does
not deserve to be bound up in such good company, though it usually is so
edited. Bacon's very brief essay has more meat in it. Cicero had many
good friends, but fully trusted hardly any one of them--not even
Atticus. It was an age which put friendship to fearful trial, and the
typical Roman seems to us rather selfish and cold. Certainly this essay
is in a frigid tone. Professor Gildersleeve, I believe, has likened it
to a treatise of Xenophon on hunting, so systematically is the _pursuit_
of friends discussed.

Perhaps the most practical among Roman Manuals of Morals is the treatise
on Duties ('De Officiis'), in three books. Here the personal experience
of sixty years is drawn upon, avowedly for the edification of young
Marcus, the author's unworthy son. This sole Ciceronian survivor of
Antony's massacres lived to be famous for his capacity in wine-drinking,
and to receive officially, as consul under Augustus, the news of
Antony's final defeat and death--a dramatic revenge.

Most of these philosophic treatises were composed near the end of
Cicero's life, largely in one marvelously productive year, 45-4 B.C.,
just previous to the slaying of Cæsar. Not all even of the extant works
have been catalogued here. The 'Academica' and 'De Divinatione' should
at least be mentioned.

Such were Cicero's distractions, when cut off from political life and
oratory, and above all when bereft by Tullia's death. The especial
'Consolatio,' composed to regain his courage after this blow, must head
the list of lost works. It took a most pessimistic view of human life,
for which it was reproved by Lactantius. Another perished essay, the
'Hortensius,' introducing the whole philosophic series, upheld Milton's
thesis, "How charming is divine philosophy," and first turned the
thoughts of Augustine to serious study.

Cicero's poems, chiefly translations, are extant in copious fragments.
They show metrical facility, a little taste, no creative imagination at
all. A final proof of his unresting activity is his attempt to write
history. Few, even among professional advocates, could have less of the
temper for mere narration and truth. Indeed, reasonable disregard for
the latter trammel is frankly urged upon a friend who was to write upon
the illustrious moments of Cicero's own career!

We said at first that the caprice of fate had exaggerated some sides of
Cicero's activity, by removing all competitors. In any case, however,
his supremacy among Italian orators, and in the ornate discursive school
of eloquence generally, could not have been questioned.

Yet more: As a stylist, he lifted a language hitherto poor in
vocabulary, and stiff in phrase, to a level it never afterward
surpassed. Many words he successfully coined, chiefly either by
translation or free imitation of Greek originals. His clear, copious,
rhythmical phrase was even more fully his own creation. Indeed, at the
present moment, four or five great forms of living speech testify to
Cicero's amazing mastery over both word and phrase. The eloquence of
Castelar, Crispi, and Gambetta, of Gladstone and of Everett, is shot
through and through, in all its warp and woof, with golden Ciceronian
threads. The 'Archias' speaks to any appreciative student of Western
Europe, as it were, in a mother tongue which dominates his vernacular
speech. Human language, then, has become a statelier memorial of Cicero
than even his vanity can ever have imagined.

(After writing the substance of this paragraph, I was glad to find
myself in close agreement with Mackail's words in his masterly little
'Latin Literature,' page 62.)


The chief encyclopædia of facts and citations for this period is the
cumbrous old 'Geschichte Roms, oder Pompeius Cæsar Cicero und ihre
Zeitgenossen' of W. Drumann (Königsberg: 1834-44). The plan is ideally
bad, being a series of _family chronicles_, while these three men are
more completely isolated from their families and kin than any other
great trio in all Roman history! The book is however an exhaustive,
inexhaustible, little acknowledged, but still worked quarry of
erudition. The best single book in English is Watson's edition of the
(selected) letters (or Jeans's translation), until it shall be
superseded by the complete annotated edition of the correspondence, by

Mommsen's severe judgment on Cicero is well known. The other standard
historians are less severe. Forsyth's life is not the final word on the
subject by any means, but gives a good general view. The stately
Ciceronian Lexicon by Merguet, already complete for the orations, will
eventually provide a complete concordance and copious elucidation for
all the works. The most accessible complete edition of Cicero's writings
in Latin is by Baiter and Kayser, in eleven volumes. The Index Nominum
alone fills four hundred closely printed pages of Vol. xi. The great
critical edition is that of Orelli (Zurich: 1826-38).

On Cicero as an author, and indeed in the whole field of Latin
literature, the 'Geschichte der Römischen Literatur' of Martin Schanz
(in I. Müller's 'Handbuch') is most helpful, and even readable.

                                [Signature: William Cranston Lawton]


    From the 'Oration for the Poet Archias'

You ask us, O Gratius, why we are so exceedingly attached to this man.
Because he supplies us with food whereby our mind is refreshed after
this noise in the Forum, and with rest for our ears after they have been
wearied with bad language. Do you think it possible that we could find a
supply for our daily speeches, when discussing such a variety of
matters, unless we were to cultivate our minds by the study of
literature? or that our minds could bear being kept so constantly on the
stretch if we did not relax them by that same study? But I confess that
I am devoted to those studies; let others be ashamed of them if they
have buried themselves in books without being able to produce anything
out of them for the common advantage, or anything which may bear the
eyes of men and the light. But why need I be ashamed, who for many years
have lived in such a manner as never to allow my own love of
tranquillity to deny me to the necessity or advantage of another, or my
fondness for pleasure to distract, or even sleep to delay, my attention
to such claims? Who then can reproach me, or who has any right to be
angry with me, if I allow myself as much time for the cultivation of
these studies as some take for the performance of their own business; or
for celebrating days of festival and games; or for other pleasures; or
even for the rest and refreshment of mind and body; or as others devote
to early banquets, to playing at dice, or at ball? And this ought to be
permitted to me, because by these studies my power of speaking and those
faculties are improved, which as far as they do exist in me have never
been denied to my friends when they have been in peril. And if that
ability appears to any one to be but moderate, at all events I know
whence I derive those principles which are of the greatest value. For if
I had not persuaded myself from my youth upwards, both by the precepts
of many masters and by much reading, that there is nothing in life
greatly to be desired except praise and honor, and that while pursuing
those things all tortures of the body, all dangers of death and
banishment are to be considered but of small importance, I should never
have exposed myself in defense of your safety to such numerous and
arduous contests, and to these daily attacks of profligate men. But all
books are full of such precepts, and all the sayings of philosophers,
and all antiquity, are full of precedents teaching the same lesson; but
all these things would lie buried in darkness if the light of literature
and learning were not applied to them. How many images of the bravest
men, carefully elaborated, have both the Greek and Latin writers
bequeathed to us, not merely for us to look at and gaze upon, but also
for our imitation! And I, always keeping them before my eyes as examples
for my own public conduct, have endeavored to model my mind and views by
continually thinking of those excellent men.

Some one will ask "What! were those identical great men, whose virtues
have been recorded in books, accomplished in all that learning which you
are extolling so highly?" It is difficult to assert this of all of them;
but still I know what answer I can make to that question: I admit that
many men have existed of admirable disposition and virtue, who without
learning, by the almost divine instinct of their own mere nature, have
been, of their own accord as it were, moderate and wise men. I even add
this, that very often nature without learning has had more to do with
leading men to credit and to virtue, than learning when not assisted by
a good natural disposition. And I also contend that when to an excellent
and admirable natural disposition there is added a certain system and
training of education, then from that combination arises an
extraordinary perfection of character: such as is seen in that godlike
man whom our fathers saw in their time--Africanus; and in Caius Lælius
and Lucius Furius, most virtuous and moderate men; and in that most
excellent man, the most learned man of his time, Marcus Cato the elder:
and all these men, if they had been to derive no assistance from
literature in the cultivation and practice of virtue, would never have
applied themselves to the study of it. Though even if there were no such
great advantage to be reaped from it, and if it were only pleasure that
is sought from these studies, still I imagine you would consider it a
most reasonable and liberal employment of the mind: for other
occupations are not suited to every time, nor to every age or place; but
these studies are the food of youth, the delight of old age; the
ornament of prosperity, the refuge and comfort of adversity; a delight
at home, and no hindrance abroad; they are companions by night, and in
travel, and in the country.

And if we ourselves were not able to arrive at these advantages, nor
even taste them with our senses, still we ought to admire them even when
we saw them in others.... And indeed, we have constantly heard from men
of the greatest eminence and learning that the study of other sciences
was made up of learning, and rules, and regular method; but that a poet
was such by the unassisted work of nature, and was moved by the vigor of
his own mind, and was inspired as it were by some divine wrath.
Wherefore rightly does our own great Ennius call poets holy; because
they seem to be recommended to us by some especial gift, as it were, and
liberality of the gods. Let then, judges, this name of poet, this name
which no barbarians even have ever disregarded, be holy in your eyes,
men of cultivated minds as you all are. Rocks and deserts reply to the
poet's voice; savage beasts are often moved and arrested by song; and
shall we who have been trained in the pursuit of the most virtuous acts
refuse to be swayed by the voice of poets? The Colophonians say that
Homer was their citizen; the Chians claim him as theirs; the Salaminians
assert their right to him; but the men of Smyrna loudly assert him to
be a citizen of Smyrna, and they have even raised a temple to him in
their city. Many other places also fight with one another for the honor
of being his birthplace.

They then claim a stranger, even after his death, because he was a poet:
shall we reject this man while he is alive, a man who by his own
inclination and by our laws does actually belong to us? especially when
Archias has employed all his genius with the utmost zeal in celebrating
the glory and renown of the Roman people? For when a young man, he
touched on our wars against the Cimbri and gained the favor even of
Caius Marius himself, a man who was tolerably proof against this sort of
study. For there was no one so disinclined to the Muses as not willingly
to endure that the praise of his labors should be made immortal by means
of verse. They say that the great Themistocles, the greatest man that
Athens produced, said when some one asked him what sound or whose voice
he took the greatest delight in hearing, "The voice of that by whom his
own exploits were best celebrated." Therefore, the great Marius was also
exceedingly attached to Lucius Plotius, because he thought that the
achievement which he had performed could be celebrated by his genius.
And the whole Mithridatic war, great and difficult as it was, and
carried on with so much diversity of fortune by land and sea, has been
related at length by him; and the books in which that is sung of, not
only make illustrious Lucius Lucullus, that most gallant and celebrated
man, but they do honor also to the Roman people. For while Lucullus was
general, the Roman people opened Pontus, though it was defended both by
the resources of the king and by the character of the country itself.
Under the same general the army of the Roman people, with no very great
numbers, routed the countless hosts of the Armenians. It is the glory of
the Roman people that by the wisdom of that same general, the city of
the Cyzicenes, most friendly to us, was delivered and preserved from all
the attacks of the kind, and from the very jaws as it were of the whole
war. Ours is the glory which will be for ever celebrated, which is
derived from the fleet of the enemy which was sunk after its admirals
had been slain, and from the marvelous naval battle off Tenedos: those
trophies belong to us, those monuments are ours, those triumphs are
ours. Therefore I say that the men by whose genius these exploits are
celebrated make illustrious at the same time the glory of the Roman
people. Our countryman Ennius was dear to the elder Africanus; and even
on the tomb of the Scipios his effigy is believed to be visible, carved
in the marble. But undoubtedly it is not only the men who are themselves
praised who are done honor to by those praises, but the name of the
Roman people also is adorned by them. Cato, the ancestor of this Cato,
is extolled to the skies. Great honor is paid to the exploits of the
Roman people. Lastly, all those great men, the Maximi, the Marcelli, and
the Fulvii, are done honor to, not without all of us having also a share
in the panegyric....

Certainly, if the mind had no anticipations of posterity, and if it were
to confine all its thoughts within the same limits as those by which the
space of our lives is bounded, it would neither break itself with such
severe labors, nor would it be tormented with such cares and sleepless
anxiety, nor would it so often have to fight for its very life. At
present there is a certain virtue in every good man, which night and day
stirs up the mind with the stimulus of glory, and reminds it that all
mention of our name will not cease at the same time with our lives, but
that our fame will endure to all posterity.

Do we all who are occupied in the affairs of the State, and who are
surrounded by such perils and dangers in life, appear to be so
narrow-minded as, though to the last moment of our lives we have never
passed one tranquil or easy moment, to think that everything will perish
at the same time as ourselves? Ought we not, when many most illustrious
men have with great care collected and left behind them statues and
images, representations not of their minds but of their bodies, much
more to desire to leave behind us a copy of our counsels and of our
virtues, wrought and elaborated by the greatest genius? I thought, at
the very moment of performing them, that I was scattering and
disseminating all the deeds which I was performing, all over the world
for the eternal recollection of nations. And whether that delight is to
be denied to my soul after death, or whether, as the wisest men have
thought, it will affect some portion of my spirit, at all events I am at
present delighted with some such idea and hope.


    From the 'Ninth Philippic'

Our ancestors indeed decreed statues to many men; public sepulchres to
few. But statues perish by weather, by violence, by lapse of time; the
sanctity of the sepulchres is in the soil itself, which can neither be
moved nor destroyed by any violence; and while other things are
extinguished, so sepulchres become holier by age.

Let then this man be distinguished by that honor also, a man to whom no
honor can be given which is not deserved. Let us be grateful in paying
respect in death to him to whom we can now show no other gratitude. And
by that same step let the audacity of Marcus Antonius, waging a
nefarious war, be branded with infamy. For when these honors have been
paid to Servius Sulpicius, the evidence of his embassy having been
insulted and rejected by Antonius will remain for everlasting.

On which account I give my vote for a decree in this form: "As Servius
Sulpicius Rufus, the son of Quintus, of the Lemonian tribe, at a most
critical period of the republic, and being ill with a very serious and
dangerous disease, preferred the authority of the Senate and the safety
of the republic to his own life; and struggled against the violence and
severity of his illness, in order to arrive at the camp of Antonius, to
which the Senate had sent him; and as he, when he had almost arrived at
the camp, being overwhelmed by the violence of the disease, has lost his
life in discharging a most important office of the republic; and as his
death has been in strict correspondence to a life passed with the
greatest integrity and honor, during which he, Servius Sulpicius, has
often been of great service to the republic, both as a private
individual and in the discharge of various magistracies: and as he,
being such a man, has encountered death on behalf of the republic while
employed on an embassy; the Senate decrees that a brazen pedestrian
statue of Servius Sulpicius be erected in the rostra in compliance with
the resolution of this order, and that his children and posterity shall
have a place round this statue of five feet in every direction, from
which to behold the games and gladiatorial combats, because he died in
the cause of the republic; and that this reason be inscribed on the
pedestal of the statue; and that Caius Pansa and Aulus Hirtius the
consuls, one or both of them, if it seem good to them, shall command the
quæstors of the city to let out a contract for making that pedestal and
that statue, and erecting them in the rostra; and that whatever price
they contract for, they shall take care the amount is given and paid to
the contractor; and as in old times the Senate has exerted its authority
with respect to the obsequies of, and honors paid to, brave men, it now
decrees that he shall be carried to the tomb on the day of his funeral
with the greatest possible solemnity. And as Servius Sulpicius Rufus,
the son of Quintus of the Lemonian tribe, has deserved so well of the
republic as to be entitled to be complimented with all those
distinctions; the Senate is of opinion, and thinks it for the advantage
of the republic, that the curule ædile should suspend the edict which
usually prevails with respect to funerals, in the case of the funeral of
Servius Sulpicius Rufus, the son of Quintus of the Lemonian tribe; and
that Caius Pansa the consul shall assign him a place for a tomb in the
Esquiline plain, or in whatever place shall seem good to him, extending
thirty feet in every direction, where Servius Sulpicius may be buried;
and that that shall be his tomb, and that of his children and posterity,
as having been a tomb most deservedly given to them by the public


    From the 'Dialogue on Friendship'

But there arises on this subject a somewhat difficult question: Whether
ever new friends, if deserving friendship, are to be preferred to old
ones, just as we are wont to prefer young colts to old horses?--a
perplexity unworthy of a man; for there ought to be no satiety of
friendship as of other things: everything which is oldest (as those
wines which bear age well) ought to be sweetest; and that is true which
is sometimes said, "Many bushels of salt must be eaten together," before
the duty of friendship can be fulfilled. But new friendships, if they
afford a hope that, as in the case of plants which never disappoint,
fruits shall appear, such are not to be rejected; yet the old one must
be preserved in its proper place, for the power of age and custom is
exceedingly great; besides, in the very case of the horse, which I just
mentioned, if there is no impediment, there is no one who does not more
pleasurably use that to which he is accustomed than one unbroken and
strange to him; and habit asserts its power, and habit prevails, not
only in the case of this, which is animate, but also in the cases of
those things which are inanimate; since we take delight in the very
mountainous or woody scenery among which we have long dwelt.


    From the 'Dialogue on Old Age'

But in my whole discourse remember that I am praising that old age which
is established on the foundations of youth: from which this is effected
which I once asserted with the great approbation of all present,--that
wretched was the old age which had to defend itself by speaking. Neither
gray hairs nor wrinkles can suddenly catch respect; but the former part
of life honorably spent, reaps the fruits of authority at the close. For
these very observances which seem light and common are marks of
honor--to be saluted, to be sought after, to receive precedence, to have
persons rising up to you, to be attended on the way, to be escorted
home, to be consulted; points which, both among us and in other States,
in proportion as they are the most excellent in their morals, are the
most scrupulously observed. They say that Lysander the Lacedæmonian,
whom I mentioned a little above, was accustomed to remark that Lacedæmon
was the most honorable abode for old age; for nowhere is so much
conceded to that time of life, nowhere is old age more respected. Nay,
further: it is recorded that when at Athens during the games a certain
elderly person had entered the theatre, a place was nowhere offered him
in that large assembly by his own townsmen; but when he had approached
the Lacedæmonians, who, as they were ambassadors, had taken their seats
together in a particular place, they all rose up and invited the old man
to a seat; and when reiterated applause had been bestowed upon them by
the whole assembly, one of them remarked that the Athenians knew what
was right, but were unwilling to do it. There are many excellent rules
in our college, but this of which I am treating especially, that in
proportion as each man has the advantage in age, so he takes precedence
in giving his opinion; and older augurs are preferred not only to those
who are higher in office, but even to such as are in actual command.
What pleasures, then, of the body can be compared with the privileges of
authority? which they who have nobly employed seem to me to have
consummated the drama of life, and not like inexpert performers to have
broken down in the last act. Still, old men are peevish, and fretful,
and passionate, and unmanageable,--nay, if we seek for such, also
covetous: but these are the faults of their characters, not of their old
age. And yet that peevishness and those faults which I have mentioned
have some excuse, not quite satisfactory indeed, but such as may be
admitted. They fancy that they are neglected, despised, made a jest of;
besides, in a weak state of body every offense is irritating. All which
defects however are extenuated by good dispositions and qualities; and
this may be discovered not only in real life, but on the stage, from the
two brothers that are represented in 'The Brothers'; how much austerity
in the one, and how much gentleness in the other! Such is the fact: for
as it is not every wine, so it is not every man's life, that grows sour
from old age. I approve of gravity in old age, but this in a moderate
degree, like everything else; harshness by no means. What avarice in an
old man can propose to itself I cannot conceive: for can anything be
more absurd than, in proportion as less of our journey remains, to seek
a greater supply of provisions?


    From the 'Dialogue on Old Age'

An old man indeed has nothing to hope for; yet he is in so much the
happier state than a young one, since he has already attained what the
other is only hoping for. The one is wishing to live long, the other has
lived long. And yet, good gods! what is there in man's life that can be
called long? For allow the latest period: let us anticipate the age of
the kings of the Tartessii. For there dwelt, as I find it recorded, a
man named Arganthonius at Gades, who reigned for eighty years, and lived
one hundred and twenty. But to my mind nothing whatever seems of long
duration, in which there is any end. For when that arrives, then the
time which has passed has flowed away; that only remains which you have
secured by virtue and right conduct. Hours indeed depart from us, and
days and months and years; nor does past time ever return, nor can it
be discovered what is to follow. Whatever time is assigned to each to
live, with that he ought to be content: for neither need the drama be
performed entire by the actor, in order to give satisfaction, provided
he be approved in whatever act he may be; nor need the wise man live
till the _plaudite_. For the short period of life is long enough for
living well and honorably; and if you should advance further, you need
no more grieve than farmers do when the loveliness of springtime hath
passed, that summer and autumn have come. For spring represents the time
of youth and gives promise of the future fruits; the remaining seasons
are intended for plucking and gathering in those fruits. Now the harvest
of old age, as I have often said, is the recollection and abundance of
blessings previously secured. In truth, everything that happens
agreeably to nature is to be reckoned among blessings. What, however, is
so agreeable to nature as for an old man to die? which even is the lot
of the young, though nature opposes and resists. And thus it is that
young men seem to me to die just as when the violence of flame is
extinguished by a flood of water; whereas old men die as the exhausted
fire goes out, spontaneously, without the exertion of any force: and as
fruits when they are green are plucked by force from the trees, but when
ripe and mellow drop off, so violence takes away their lives from
youths, maturity from old men; a state which to me indeed is so
delightful, that the nearer I approach to death, I seem as it were to be
getting sight of land, and at length after a long voyage to be just
coming into harbor.


    From the 'Dialogue on Oratory'

For who can suppose that amid the great multitude of students, the
utmost abundance of masters, the most eminent geniuses among men, the
infinite variety of causes, the most ample rewards offered to eloquence,
there is any other reason to be found for the small number of orators
than the incredible magnitude and difficulty of the art? A knowledge of
a vast number of things is necessary, without which volubility of words
is empty and ridiculous; speech itself is to be formed, not merely by
choice, but by careful construction of words; and all the emotions of
the mind which nature has given to man, must be intimately known; for
all the force and art of speaking must be employed in allaying or
exciting the feelings of those who listen. To this must be added a
certain portion of grace and wit, learning worthy of a well-bred man,
and quickness and brevity in replying as well as attacking, accompanied
with a refined decorum and urbanity. Besides, the whole of antiquity and
a multitude of examples is to be kept in the memory; nor is the
knowledge of laws in general, or of the civil law in particular, to be
neglected. And why need I add any remarks on delivery itself, which is
to be ordered by action of body, by gesture, by look, and by modulation
and variation of the voice, the great power of which, alone and in
itself, the comparatively trivial art of actors and the stage proves; on
which though all bestow their utmost labor to form their look, voice,
and gesture, who knows not how few there are, and have ever been, to
whom we can attend with patience? What can I say of that repository for
all things, the memory; which, unless it be made the keeper of the
matter and words that are the fruits of thought and invention, all the
talents of the orator, we see, though they be of the highest degree of
excellence, will be of no avail? Let us then cease to wonder what is the
cause of the scarcity of good speakers, since eloquence results from all
those qualifications, in each of which singly it is a great merit to
labor successfully; and let us rather exhort our children, and others
whose glory and honor is dear to us, to contemplate in their minds the
full magnitude of the object, and not to trust that they can reach the
height at which they aim by the aid of the precepts, masters, and
exercises that they are all now following, but to understand that they
must adopt others of a different character.

In my opinion, indeed, no man can be an orator possessed of every
praiseworthy accomplishment unless he has attained the knowledge of
everything important, and of all liberal arts; for his language must be
ornate and copious from knowledge, since unless there be beneath the
surface matter understood and felt by the speaker, oratory becomes an
empty and almost puerile flow of words....

"I am then of opinion," said Crassus, "that nature and genius in the
first place contribute most aid to speaking; and that to those writers
on the art to whom Antonius just now alluded, it was not skill and
method in speaking, but natural talent that was wanting; for there ought
to be certain lively powers in the mind and understanding, which may be
acute to invent, fertile to explain and adorn, and strong and retentive
to remember; and if any one imagines that these powers may be acquired
by art (which is false, for it is very well if they can be animated and
excited by art; but they certainly cannot by art be ingrafted or
instilled, since they are all the gifts of nature), what will he
say of those qualities which are certainly born with the man
himself--volubility of tongue, tone of voice, strength of lungs, and a
peculiar conformation and aspect of the whole countenance and body? I do
not say that art cannot improve in these particulars (for I am not
ignorant that what is good may be made better by education, and what is
not very good may be in some degree polished and amended); but there are
some persons so hesitating in their speech, so inharmonious in their
tone of voice, or so unwieldy and rude in the air and movements of their
bodies, that whatever power they possess either from genius or art, they
can never be reckoned in the number of accomplished speakers; while
there are others so happily qualified in these respects, so eminently
adorned with the gifts of nature, that they seem not to have been born
like other men, but molded by some divinity. It is indeed a great task
and enterprise for a person to undertake and profess that while every
one else is silent, he alone must be heard on the most important
subjects, and in a large assembly of men; for there is scarcely any one
present who is not sharper and quicker to discover defects in the
speaker than merits; and thus whatever offends the hearer effaces the
recollection of what is worthy of praise. I do not make these
observations for the purpose of altogether deterring young men from the
study of oratory, even if they be deficient in some natural endowments.
For who does not perceive that to C. Cælius, my contemporary, a new man,
the mere mediocrity in speaking which he was enabled to attain was a
great honor? Who does not know that Q. Varius, your equal in age, a
clumsy uncouth man, has obtained his great popularity by the cultivation
of such faculties as he has?

"But as our inquiry regards the complete orator, we must imagine in our
discussion an orator from whom every kind of fault is abstracted, and
who is adorned with every kind of merit. For if the multitude of suits,
if the variety of causes, if the rabble and barbarism of the forum,
afford room for even the most wretched speakers, we must not for that
reason take our eyes from the object of our inquiry. In those arts in
which it is not indispensable usefulness that is sought, but liberal
amusement for the mind, how nicely, how almost fastidiously, do we
judge! For there are no suits or controversies which can force men,
though they may tolerate indifferent orators in the forum, to endure
also bad actors upon the stage. The orator therefore must take the most
studious precaution not merely to satisfy those whom he necessarily must
satisfy, but to seem worthy of admiration to those who are at liberty to
judge disinterestedly. If you would know what I myself think, I will
express to you, my intimate friends, what I have hitherto never
mentioned, and thought that I never should mention. To me, those who
speak best and speak with the utmost ease and grace, appear, if they do
not commence their speeches with some timidity, and show some confusion
in the exordium, to have almost lost the sense of shame; though it is
impossible that such should not be the case: for the better qualified a
man is to speak, the more he fears the difficulties of speaking, the
uncertain success of a speech, and the expectation of the audience. But
he who can produce and deliver nothing worthy of his subject, nothing
worthy of the name of an orator, nothing worthy the attention of his
audience, seems to me, though he be ever so confused while he is
speaking, to be downright shameless; for we ought to avoid a character
for shamelessness, not by testifying shame, but by not doing that which
does not become us. But the speaker who has no shame (as I see to be the
case with many) I regard as deserving not only of rebuke but of personal
castigation. Indeed, what I often observe in you I very frequently
experience in myself; that I turn pale in the outset of my speech, and
feel a tremor through my whole thoughts, as it were, and limbs. When I
was a young man, I was on one occasion so timid in commencing an
accusation, that I owed to Q. Maximus the greatest of obligations for
immediately dismissing the assembly as soon as he saw me absolutely
disheartened and incapacitated through fear." Here, they all signified
assent, looked significantly at one another, and began to talk together;
for there was a wonderful modesty in Crassus, which however was not only
no disadvantage to his oratory, but even an assistance to it, by giving
it the recommendation of probity.


    [The following epistles are taken by permission from Jeans's
    'Letters of Cicero.' This letter gives a vivid glimpse of
    Cicero's tenderness to his slaves and freedmen. Tiro was
    probably the first editor of his former master's letters.]

Ægypta arrived here on the 12th of April. Although he reported that you
were now quite rid of your fever and going on very well, he nevertheless
caused me some anxiety by his report that you were not able to write to
me, the more so because Hermia, who ought to have been here on the same
day, has not yet come. I am more anxious than you can believe about your
health. Only free me from this anxiety and I will free you from all
duties. I would write you more if I thought you could now read more with
pleasure. Use all the talents you possess, of which I have no small
opinion, to keep yourself safe for my sake as well as your own. Again
and again I repeat, take every precaution about your health. Good-by.

P. S.--Hermia is just come. I have your note with its poor weak
handwriting--no wonder, too, after so severe an illness. I send out
Ægypta to stay with you because he is not a bad companion, and appeared
to me to be fond of you; and with him a cook, for you to make use of his
services. Good-by.


    [The family affection of Cicero might be illustrated by many
    such letters as the following:]

It being now eleven days since I left you, I am scrawling this little
bit of a note just as I am leaving my country-house before it is light.
I think of being at my place at Anagnia to-day, and Tusculum to-morrow;
only one day there, so that I shall come up all right to time on the
28th; and oh, if I could but run on at once to embrace my Tullia and
give Attica a kiss! Talking of this, by-the-by, do please write and let
me know while I am stopping at Tusculum what her prattle is like, or if
she is away in the country, what her letters to you are about. Meanwhile
either send or give her my love, and Pilia too. And even though we shall
meet immediately, yet will you write to me anything you can find to

P. S.--I was just fastening up this letter, but your courier has arrived
here after a long night journey with your letter. I was very sorry, you
may be sure, to find on reading it that Attica is feverish. Everything
else that I was waiting for I now know from your note; but when you tell
me that to have a little fire in the morning "_sent le vieillard_," I
retort _il le sent plus_ for one's poor old memory to begin to totter:
because it was the 29th I had promised to Axius; the 30th to you; and
the day of my arrival, the 31st, to Quintus. So take that for
yourself--you shall have no news. Then what on earth is the good of
writing? And what good is it when we are together and chatter whatever
comes to our tongues? Surely there is something in _causerie_ after all;
even if there is nothing under it, there is always at least the
delicious feeling that we are talking with one another.


For some time after I had received the information of the death of your
daughter Tullia, you may be sure that I bore it sadly and heavily, as
much indeed as was right for me. I felt that I shared that terrible loss
with you; and that had I but been where you are, you on your part would
not have found me neglectful, and I on mine should not have failed to
come to you and tell you myself how deeply grieved I am. And though it
is true that consolations of this nature are painful and distressing,
because those [dear friends and relations] upon whom the task naturally
devolves are themselves afflicted with a similar burden, and incapable
even of attempting it without many tears, so that one would rather
suppose them in need of the consolations of others for themselves than
capable of doing this kind office to others, yet nevertheless I have
decided to write to you briefly such reflections as have occurred to me
on the present occasion; not that I imagine them to be ignored by you,
but because it is possible that you may be hindered by your sorrow from
seeing them as clearly as usual.

What reason is there why you should allow the private grief which has
befallen you to distress you so terribly? Recollect how fortune has
hitherto dealt with us: how we have been bereft of all that ought to be
no less dear to men than their own children--of country, position, rank,
and every honorable office. If one more burden has now been laid upon
you, could any addition be made to your pain? Or is there any heart that
having been trained in the school of such events, ought not now to be
steeled by use against emotion, and think everything after them to be
comparatively light?

Or it is for her sake, I suppose, that you are grieving? How many times
must you have arrived at the same conclusion as that into which I too
have frequently fallen, that in these days theirs is not the hardest lot
who are permitted painlessly to exchange their life for the grave! Now
what was there at the present time that could attach her very strongly
to life? what hope? what fruition? what consolation for the soul? The
prospect of a wedded life with a husband chosen from our young men of
rank? Truly, one would think it was always in your power to choose a
son-in-law of a position suitable to your rank out of our young men, one
to whose keeping you would feel you could safely intrust the happiness
of a child. Or that of being a joyful mother of children, who would be
happy in seeing them succeeding in life; able by their own exertions to
maintain in its integrity all that was bequeathed them by their father;
intending gradually to rise to all the highest offices of the State; and
to use that liberty to which they were born for the good of their
country and the service of their friends. Is there any one of these
things that has not been taken away before it was given? But surely it
is hard to give up one's children? It is hard; but this is harder
still--that they should bear and suffer what we are doing.

A circumstance which was such as to afford me no light consolation I
cannot but mention to you, in the hope that it may be allowed to
contribute equally towards mitigating your grief. As I was returning
from Asia, when sailing from Ægina in the direction of Megara, I began
to look around me at the various places by which I was surrounded.
Behind me was Ægina, in front Megara; on the right the Piræus, on the
left Corinth; all of them towns that in former days were most
magnificent, but are now lying prostrate and in ruins before one's eyes.
"Ah me," I began to reflect to myself, "we poor feeble mortals, who can
claim but a short life in comparison, complain as though a wrong was
done us if one of our number dies in the course of nature, or has met
his death by violence; and here in one spot are lying stretched out
before me the corpses of so many cities! Servius, be master of yourself,
and remember that it is the lot of man to which you have been born."
Believe me, I found myself in no small degree strengthened by these
reflections. Let me advise you too, if you think good, to keep this
reflection before your eyes. How lately at one and the same time have
many of our most illustrious men fallen! how grave an encroachment has
been made on the rights of the sovereign people of Rome! every province
in the world has been convulsed with the shock: if the frail life of a
tender woman has gone too, who being born to the common lot of man must
needs have died in a few short years, even if the time had not come for
her now, are you thus utterly stricken down?

Do you then also recall your feelings and your thoughts from dwelling on
this subject, and as beseems your character bethink yourself rather of
this: that she has lived as long as life was of value to her; that she
has passed away only together with her country's freedom; that she lived
to see her father elected Prætor, Consul, Augur; that she had been the
wife of young men of the first rank; that after enjoying well-nigh every
blessing that life can offer, she left it only when the Republic itself
was falling. The account is closed, and what have you, what has she, to
charge of injustice against Fate? In a word, forget not that you are
Cicero--that you are he who was always wont to guide others and give
them good advice; and be not like those quack physicians who when others
are sick boast that they hold the key of the knowledge of medicine, to
heal themselves are never able; but rather minister to yourself with
your own hand the remedies which you are in the habit of prescribing for
others, and put them plainly before your own soul. There is no pain so
great but the lapse of time will lessen and assuage it: it is not like
yourself to wait until this time comes, instead of stepping forward by
your philosophy to anticipate that result. And if even those who are low
in the grave have any consciousness at all, such was her love for you
and her tenderness for all around her that surely she does not wish to
see this in you. Make this a tribute then to her who is dead; to all
your friends and relations who are mourning in your grief; and make it
to your country also, that if in anything the need should arise she may
be able to trust to your energy and guidance. Finally, since such is
the condition we have come to, that even this consideration must
perforce be obeyed, do not let your conduct induce any one to believe
that it is not so much your daughter as the circumstances of the
Republic and the victory of others which you are deploring.

I shrink from writing to you at greater length upon this subject, lest I
should seem to be doubtful of your own good sense; allow me therefore to
put before you one more consideration, and then I will bring my letter
to a close. We have seen you not once but many times bearing prosperity
most gracefully, and gaining yourself great reputation thereby: let us
see at last that you are capable also of bearing adversity equally well,
and that it is not in your eyes a heavier burden than it ought to seem;
lest we should think that of all the virtues this is the only one in
which you are wanting.

As for myself, when I find you are more composed in mind I will send you
information about all that is being done in these parts, and the state
in which the province finds itself at present. Farewell.


Yes, my dear Servius, I could indeed wish you had been with me, as you
say, at the time of my terrible trial. How much it was in your power to
help me if you had been here, by sympathizing with, and I may almost
say, sharing equally in my grief, I readily perceive from the fact that
after reading your letter I now feel myself considerably more composed;
for not only was all that you wrote just what is best calculated to
soothe affliction, but you yourself in comforting me showed that you too
had no little pain at heart. Your son Servius however has made it clear,
by every kindly attention which such an occasion would permit of, both
how great his respect was for myself and also how much pleasure his kind
feeling for me was likely to give you; and you may be sure that, while
such attentions from him have often been more pleasant to me, they have
never made me more grateful.

It is not however only your arguments and your equal share,--I may
almost call it,--in this affliction which comforts me, but also your
authority; because I hold it shame in me not to be bearing my trouble in
a way that you, a man endowed with such wisdom, think it ought to be
borne. But at times I do feel broken down, and I scarcely make any
struggle against my grief, because those consolations fail me which
under similar calamities were never wanting to any of those other people
whom I put before myself as models for imitation. Both Fabius Maximus,
for example, when he lost a son who had held the consulship, the hero of
many a famous exploit; and Lucius Paulus, from whom two were taken in
one week; and your own kinsman Gallus; and Marcus Cato, who was deprived
of a son of the rarest talents and the rarest virtue,--all these lived
in times when their individual affliction was capable of finding a
solace in the distinctions they used to earn from their country. For me,
however, after being stripped of all those distinctions which you
yourself recall to me, and which I had won for myself by unparalleled
exertions, only that one solace remained which has been torn away. My
thoughts were not diverted by work for my friends, or by the
administration of affairs of state; there was no pleasure in pleading in
the courts; I could not bear the very sight of the Senate House; I felt,
as was indeed too true, that I had lost all the harvest of both my
industry and my success. But whenever I wanted to recollect that all
this was shared with you and other friends I could name, and whenever I
was breaking myself in and forcing my spirit to bear these things with
patience, I always had a refuge to go to where I might find peace, and
in whose words of comfort and sweet society I could rid me of all my
pains and griefs. Whereas now, under this terrible blow, even those old
wounds which seemed to have healed up are bleeding afresh; for it is
impossible for me now to find such a refuge from my sorrows at home in
the business of the State, as in those days I did in that consolation of
home, which was always in store whenever I came away sad from thoughts
of State to seek for peace in her happiness. And so I stay away both
from home and from public life; because home now is no more able to make
up for the sorrow I feel when I think of our country, than our country
is for my sorrow at home. I am therefore looking forward all the more
eagerly to your coming, and long to see you as early as that may
possibly be; no greater alleviation can be offered me than a meeting
between us for friendly intercourse and conversation. I hope however
that your return is to take place, as I hear it is, very shortly. As for
myself, while there are abundant reasons for wanting to see you as soon
as possible, my principal one is in order that we may discuss together
beforehand the best method of conduct for present circumstances, which
must entirely be adapted to the wishes of one man only, a man
nevertheless who is far-seeing and generous, and also, as I think I have
thoroughly ascertained, to me not at all ill-disposed and to you
extremely friendly. But admitting this, it is still a matter for much
deliberation what is the line,--I do not say of action, but of keeping
quiet,--that we ought by his good leave and favor to adopt. Farewell.


I send this with love, my dearest Terentia, hoping that you and my
little Tullia and my Marcus are all well.

From the letters of several people and the talk of everybody I hear that
your courage and endurance are simply wonderful, and that no troubles of
body or mind can exhaust your energy. How unhappy I am to think that
with all your courage and devotion, your virtues and gentleness, you
should have fallen into such misfortunes for me! And my sweet Tullia
too,--that she who was once so proud of her father should have to
undergo such troubles owing to him! And what shall I say about my boy
Marcus, who ever since his faculties of perception awoke has felt the
sharpest pangs of sorrow and misery? Now could I but think, as you tell
me, that all this comes in the natural course of things, I could bear it
a little easier. But it has been brought about entirely by my own fault,
for thinking myself loved by those who were jealous of me, and turning
from those who wanted to win me.... I have thanked the people you wanted
me to, and mentioned that my information came from you. As to the block
of houses which you tell me you mean to sell--why, good heavens! my dear
Terentia, what _is_ to be done! Oh, what troubles I have to bear! And if
misfortune continues to persecute us, what will become of our poor boy?
I cannot continue to write--my tears are too much for me; nor would I
wish to betray you into the same emotion. All I can say is that if our
friends act up to their bounden duty we shall not want for money; if
they do not, you will not be able to succeed only with your own. Let our
unhappy fortunes, I entreat you, be a warning to us not to ruin our
boy, who is ruined enough already. If he only has something to save him
from absolute want, a fair share of talent and a fair share of luck will
be all that is necessary to win anything else. Do not neglect your
health; and send me messengers with letters to let me know what goes on,
and how you yourselves are faring. My suspense in any case cannot now be
long. Give my love to my little Tullia and my Marcus.

                                                DYRRACHIUM, Nov. 26.

P.S.--I have moved to Dyrrachium because it is not only a free city, but
very much in my interest, and quite near to Italy; but if the bustle of
the place proves an annoyance I shall betake myself elsewhere and give
you notice.


Being in extreme agitation about these great and terrible events, and
having no means of discussing matters with you in person, I want at any
rate to avail myself of your judgment. Now the question about which I am
in doubt is simply this: If Pompeius should fly from Italy (which I
suspect he will do), how do you think I ought to act? To make it easier
for you to advise me, I will briefly set forth the arguments that occur
to me on both sides of the question.

The obligations that Pompeius laid me under in the matter of my
restoration, my own intimacy with him, and also my patriotism, incline
me to think that I ought to make my decision as his decision, or in
other words, my fortunes as his fortunes. There is this reason also: If
I stay behind and desert my post among that band of true and illustrious
patriots, I must perforce fall completely under the yoke of one man. Now
although he frequently takes occasion to show himself friendly to
me--indeed, as you well know, anticipating this storm that is now
hanging over our heads, I took good care that he should be so long
ago--still I have to consider two different questions: first, how far
can I trust him; and secondly,--assuming it to be absolutely certain
that he is friendly disposed to me,--would it show the brave man or the
honest citizen to remain in a city where one has filled the highest
offices of peace and war, achieved immortal deeds, and been crowned with
the honors of her most dignified priesthood, only to become an empty
name and undergo some risk, attended also very likely with considerable
disgrace, should Pompeius ever again grasp the helm? So much for this
side; see now what may be said on the other.

Pompeius has in our cause done nothing wisely, nothing strongly;
nothing, I may add, that has not been contrary to my opinion and advice.
I pass over those old complaints, that it was he who himself nourished
this enemy of the republic, gave him his honors, put the sword into his
hand--that it was he who advised him to force laws through by violence,
trampling on the warnings of religion--that it was he who made the
addition of Transalpine Gaul, he who is his son-in-law, he who as Augur
allowed the adoption of Clodius; who showed more activity in recalling
me than in preventing my exile; who took it on him to extend Cæsar's
term of government; who supported all his proceedings while he was away;
that he too even in his third consulship, after he had begun to pose as
a defender of the constitution, actually exerted himself to get the ten
tribunes to propose that absence should not invalidate the election; nay
more, he expressly sanctioned this by one of his own acts, and opposed
the consul Marcus Marcellus, who proposed that the tenure of the Gallic
provinces should come to an end on the 1st of March--but anyhow, to pass
over all this, what could be more discreditable, what more blundering,
than this evacuation of the city, or I had better say, this ignominious
flight? What terms ought not to have been accepted sooner than abandon
our country? The terms were bad? That I allow; but is anything worse
than this? But he will win back the constitution? When? What
preparations have been made to warrant such a hope? Have we not lost all
Picenum? have we not left open the road to the capital? have we not
abandoned the whole of our treasure, public and private, to the foe? In
a word, there is no common cause, no strength, no centre, to draw such
people together as might yet care to show fight for the Republic. Apulia
has been chosen--the most thinly populated part of Italy, and the most
remote from the line of movement of this war: it would seem that in
despair they were looking for flight, with some easy access to the
coast. I took the charge of Capua much against my will--not that I would
evade that duty, but in a cause which evoked no sympathy from any class
as a whole, nor any openly even from individuals (there was some of
course among the good citizens, but as languid as usual), and where I
saw for myself that the mass of the people, and all the lowest stratum,
were more and more inclined to the other side, many even longing for a
revolution, I told him to his face I would undertake to do nothing
without forces and without money. Consequently I have had no
responsibility at all, because I saw from the very first that nothing
was really intended but flight. Say that I now follow this; then
whither? Not with him; I had already set out to join him when I found
that Cæsar was in those parts, so that I could not safely reach Luceria.
I must sail by the western sea, in the depth of winter, not knowing
where to steer for. And again, what about being with my brother, or
leaving him and taking my son? How then must I act, since either
alternative will involve the greatest difficulty, the greatest mental
anxiety? And then, too, what a raid he will make on me and my fortunes
when I am out of the way--fiercer than on other people, because he will
think perhaps that in outrages on me he holds a means of popularity.
Again, these fetters, remember,--I mean these laurels on my attendants'
staves,--how inconvenient it is to take them out of Italy! What place
indeed will be safe for me, supposing I now find the sea calm enough,
before I have actually joined him? though where that will be and how to
get there, I have no notion.

On the other hand, say that I stop where I am and find some place on
this side of the water, then my conduct will precisely resemble that of
Philippus, or Lucius Flaccus, or Quintus Mucius under Cinna's reign of
terror. And however this decision ended for the last-named, yet still he
at any rate used to say that he saw what really did happen would occur,
but that it was his deliberate choice in preference to marching sword in
hand against the homes of the very city that gave him birth. With
Thrasybulus it was otherwise, and perhaps better; but still there is a
sound basis for the policy and sentiments of Mucius; as there is also
for this [which Philippus did]: to wait for your opportunity when you
must, just as much as not to lose your opportunity when it is given. But
even in this case, those staves again of my attendants still involve
some awkwardness; for say that his feelings are friendly to me (I am not
sure that this is so, but let us assume it), then he will offer me a
triumph. I fear that to decline may be perilous--[to accept] an offense
with all good citizens. Ah, you exclaim, what a difficult, what an
insoluble problem! Yet the solution must be found; for what can one do?
And lest you should have formed the idea that I am rather inclined
towards staying because I have argued more on that side of the question,
it is quite possible, as is so frequently the case in debates, that one
side has more words, the other more worth. Therefore I should be glad if
when you give me your opinion you would look upon me as making up my
mind quite dispassionately on a most important question. I have a ship
both at Caieta and at Brundisium.

But lo and behold, while I am writing you these very lines by night in
my house at Cales, in come the couriers, and here is a letter to say
that Cæsar is before Corfinium, and that in Corfinium is Domitius, with
an army resolute and even eager for battle. I do not think our chief
will go so far as to be guilty of abandoning Domitius, though it is true
he had already sent Scipio on before with two cohorts to Brundisium, and
written a dispatch to the consuls ordering that the legion enrolled by
Faustus should go under the command of one consul to Sicily: but it is a
scandal that Domitius should be left to his fate when he is imploring
him for help. There is some hope, not in my opinion a very good one, but
strong in these parts, that there has been a battle in the Pyrenees
between Afranius and Trebonius; that Trebonius has been beaten off; that
your friend Fabius also has come over to us with all his troops; and to
crown it all, that Afranius is advancing with a strong force. If this be
so, we shall perhaps make a stand in Italy. As for me, since Cæsar's
route is uncertain--he is expected about equally by way of Capua and of
Luceria--I have sent Lepta to Pompeius with a letter, while I myself,
for fear of falling in with him anywhere, have started again for Formiæ.
I thought it best to let you know this, and am writing with more
composure than I have written of late; not inserting any opinion of my
own, but trying to elicit yours.


It seems desirable to add a few letters by other hands than Cicero's, to
indicate the manifold side-lights thrown on the inner history of this
intensely interesting period. Sulpicius's famous attempt at consolation
has already been given above. Two brief letters by Cæsar will illustrate
the dictator's marvelous ability to comprehend and control other men.
Pompey's gruff rudeness forms a contrast which is hardly accidental on
the editor's part. Cælius's wit is biting as ever; and lastly, Matius's
protest against being persecuted merely because he, who loved Cæsar,
openly mourned for his dead friend, has an unconscious tone of simple
heroism unequaled in the entire correspondence.

                                                            W. C. L.


You know me too well not to keep up your character as an Augur by
divining that nothing is more entirely alien from my nature than
cruelty: I will add that while my decision is in itself a great source
of pleasure to me, to find my conduct approved by you is a triumph of
gratification. Nor does the fact at all disturb me that those people
whom I have set at liberty are reported to have gone their ways only to
renew the attack upon me; because there is nothing I wish more than that
I may ever be as true to my own character as they to theirs.

May I hope that you will be near town when I am there, so that I may as
usual avail myself in everything of your advice and means of assistance?
Let me assure you that I am charmed beyond everything with your relation
Dolabella, to whom I shall acknowledge myself indeed indebted for this
obligation; for his kindliness is so great, and his feeling and
affection for me are such, that he cannot possibly do otherwise.


Though I had fully made up my mind that you would do nothing rashly,
nothing imprudently, still I was so far impressed by the rumors in some
quarters as to think it my duty to write to you, and ask it as a favor
due to our mutual regard that you will not take any step, now that the
scale is so decisively turned, which you would not have thought it
necessary to take even though the balance still stood firm. For it will
really be both a heavier blow to our friendship, and a step on your part
still less judicious for yourself, if you are to be thought not even to
have bowed the knee to success--for things seem to have fallen out as
entirely favorably for us as disastrously for them; nor yet to have been
drawn by attachment to a particular cause--for that has undergone no
change since you decided to remain aloof from their counsels;--but to
have passed a stern judgment on some act of mine, than which, from you,
no more painful thing could befall me; and I claim the right of our
friendship to entreat that you will not take this course.

Finally, what more suitable part is there for a good peace-loving man,
and a good citizen, than to keep aloof from civil dissensions? There
were not a few who admired this course, but could not adopt it by reason
of its danger: you, after having duly weighed both the conclusions of
friendship and the unmistakable evidence of my whole life, will find
that there is no safer nor more honorable course than to keep entirely
aloof from the struggle.


To-day, the 10th of February, Fabius Vergilianus has joined me. From him
I learn that Domitius with his eleven cohorts, and fourteen cohorts that
Vibullius has brought up, is on his way to me. His intention was to
start from Corfinium on the 13th, Hirrus to follow soon after with five
of the cohorts. I decide that you are to come to us at Luceria; here, I
think, you will be most in safety.


The capture of his Parthian Majesty and the storming of Seleuceia itself
had not been enough to compensate for missing the sight of our doings
here. Your eyes would never have ached again if you had only seen the
face of Domitius when he was not elected! The election was important,
and it was quite clear that party feeling determined the side which
people took: only a few could be brought to acknowledge the claims of
friendship. Consequently Domitius is so furious with me that he scarcely
hates any of his most intimate friends as much as he does me; and all
the more because he thinks that it was to do him wrong that his hopes of
being in the College of Augurs are snatched away, and that I am
responsible for it. He is savage now to see everybody so delighted at
his mortification, and myself more active than anybody, with one
exception, on behalf of Antonius.

As to political prospects, I have often mentioned to you that I do not
see any chance of peace lasting a year; and the nearer that struggle
which must infallibly take place, is drawing to us, the more manifest
does its danger become. The point at issue about which our lords and
masters are going to fight is this: Pompeius has absolutely determined
not to allow Cæsar to be elected consul on any terms except a previous
resignation of his army and his government, while Cæsar is convinced
that he must inevitably fall if he separates himself from his army. He
offers however this compromise, that they should both of them resign
their armies. So you see their great affection for one another and their
much-abused alliance has not even dwindled down into suppressed
jealousy, but has broken out into open war. Nor can I discover what is
the wisest course to take in my own interests: a question which I make
no doubt will give much trouble to you also. For while I have both
interest and connections among those who are on one side, on the other
too it is the cause and not the men themselves I dislike. You are not, I
feel sure, blind to the fact that where parties are divided within a
country, we are bound, so long as the struggle is carried on with none
but constitutional weapons, to support the more honorable cause, but
when we come to blows and to open war, then the safer one; and to count
that cause the better which is the less likely to be dangerous. In the
present division of feeling I see that Pompeius will have the Senate and
all judicially minded people on his side; those who have everything to
dread and little to hope for will flock to Cæsar: the army is not to be
compared. On the whole, we have plenty of time for balancing the
strength of parties and making our decision.

I had all but forgotten my principal reason for writing. Have you heard
of the wonderful doings of our censor Appius----how he is rigorously
inquiring into our statues and pictures, our amount of land, and our
debts? He has persuaded himself that his censorship is a moral soap or
toilet powder. He is wrong, I take it; for while he only wants to wash
off the dirt, he is really laying bare his veins and his flesh. Heaven
and earth! you must run, and come to laugh at the things here----Appius
questioning about pictures and statues. You must make haste, I assure

Our friend Curio is thought to have acted wisely in giving way about the
pay of Pompeius's troops. If I must sum up my opinion, as you ask, about
what will happen----unless one or other of them consents to go and fight
the Parthians, I see a great split impending, which will be settled by
the sword and by force; each is well inclined for this and well
equipped. If it could only be without danger to yourself, you would find
this a great and most attractive drama which Fortune is rehearsing.


I received great pleasure from your letter, because I found that your
opinion of me was what I had hoped and wished it to be; not that I was
in any doubt about it, but for the very reason that I valued it so
highly, I was most anxious that it should remain unimpaired. Conscious
however that I had done nothing which could give offense to the feelings
of any good citizen, I was naturally the less inclined to believe that
you, adorned as you are with so many excellences of the most admirable
kind, could have allowed yourself to be convinced of anything on mere
idle report; particularly seeing that you were a friend for whom my
spontaneous attachment had been and still was unbroken. And knowing now
that it has been as I hoped, I will answer those attacks which you have
often opposed on my behalf, as was fairly to be expected from your
well-known generosity and the friendship existing between us.

For I am well aware of all they have been heaping on me since Cæsar's
death. They make it a reproach against me that I go heavily for the loss
of a friend, and think it cruel that one whom I loved should have
fallen, because, say they, country must be put before friends----as
though they have hitherto been successful in proving that his death
really was the gain of the commonwealth. But I will not enter any subtle
plea; I admit that I have not attained to your higher grades of
philosophy: for I have neither been a partisan of Cæsar in our civil
dissensions,----though I did not abandon my friend even when his action
was a stumbling-block to me,----nor did I ever give my approval to the
civil war, or even to the actual ground of quarrel, of which indeed I
earnestly desired that the first sparks should be trampled out. And so
in the triumph of a personal friend I was never ensnared by the charms
either of place or of money; prizes which have been recklessly abused by
the rest, though they had less influence with him than I had. I may even
say that my own private property was impaired by that act of Cæsar,
thanks to which many of those who are rejoicing at Cæsar's death
continued to live in their own country. That our defeated fellow
countrymen should be spared was as much an object to me as my own
safety. Is it possible then for me, who wanted all to be left uninjured,
not to feel indignation that he by whom this was secured is dead? above
all when the very same men were the cause at once of his unpopularity
and his untimely end. You shall smart then, say they, since you dare to
disapprove of our deed. What unheard of insolence! One man then may
boast of a deed, which another is not even allowed to lament without
punishment. Why, even slaves have always been free of this----to feel
their fears, their joys, their sorrows as their own, and not at anybody
else's dictation; and these are the very things which now, at least
according to what your "liberators" have always in their mouths, they
are trying to wrest from us by terrorism. But they try in vain. There is
no danger which has terrors enough ever to make me desert the side of
gratitude or humanity; for never have I thought that death in a good
cause is to be shunned, often indeed that it deserves to be courted. But
why are they inclined to be enraged with me, if my wishes are simply
that they may come to regret their deed, desiring as I do that Cæsar's
death may be felt to be untimely by us all? It is my duty as a citizen
to desire the preservation of the constitution? Well, unless both my
life in the past and all my hopes for the future prove without any words
of mine that I do earnestly desire this, I make no demand to prove it by
my professions.

To you therefore I make a specially earnest appeal to let facts come
before assertions, and to take my word for it that, if you feel that
honesty is the best policy, it is impossible I should have any
association with lawless villains. Or can you believe that the
principles I pursued in the days of my youth, when even error could pass
with some excuse, I shall renounce now that I am going down the hill,
and with my own hands unravel all the web of my life? That I will not
do; nor yet will I commit any act that could give offense, beyond the
fact that I do lament the sad fall of one who was to me the dearest
friend and the most illustrious of men. But were I otherwise disposed, I
would never deny what I was doing, lest it should be thought I was at
once shameless in doing wrong and false and cowardly in dissembling it.

But then I undertook the management of those games which Cæsar's heir
celebrated for Cæsar's victory? Well, this is a matter which belongs to
one's private obligations, not to any political arrangement; it was
however in the first place a tribute of respect which I was called upon
to pay to the memory and the eminent position of a man whom I dearly
loved, even though he was dead, and also one that I could not refuse at
the request of a young man so thoroughly promising, and so worthy in
every way of Cæsar as he is.

Again, I have frequently paid visits of compliment to the consul
Antonius. And you will find that the very men who think me but a
lukewarm patriot are constantly going to his house in crowds, actually
for the purpose of soliciting or carrying away some favor. But what a
monstrous claim it is, that while Cæsar never laid any such embargo as
this to prevent me from associating freely with anybody I
pleased,----even if they were people whom he personally did not
like,----these men who have robbed me of my friend should attempt by
malicious insinuations to prevent my showing a kindness to whomsoever I

I have however no fear that the moderation of my life will hereafter
prove an insufficient defense against false insinuations, and that even
those who do not love me, because of my loyalty to Cæsar, would not
rather have their own friend imitate me than themselves. Such of life as
remains to me, at least if I succeed in what I desire, I shall spend in
quiet at Rhodes; but if I find that some chance has put a stop to this,
I shall simply live at Rome as one who is always desirous that right
should be done.

I am deeply grateful to our good friend Trebatius for having thus
disclosed to me your sincere and friendly feeling, and given me even an
additional reason for honoring and paying respect to one whom it has
always been a pleasure to me to regard as a friend. Farewell heartily,
and let me have your esteem.


    From the Dialogue (The Republic): Translation of Prof. T. R.

When I went into Africa with the consul Manius Manilius, holding the
rank, as you are aware, of military tribune of the fourth legion,
nothing lay nearer to my heart than to meet Masinissa, a king who, for
good reasons, was on the most friendly terms with our family. When I had
come to him, the old man embraced me with tears, and then looking up to
heaven, said:----"I give thanks to thee, O supremest Sol, and to you, ye
inhabitants of heaven! that before I depart this life I behold in my
dominions, and under this roof, Publius Cornelius Scipio, by whose very
name I am revived: so never passes away from my mind the memory of that
best and most invincible hero." Thereupon I made inquiries of him as to
the state of his own kingdom, and he of me as to our republic; and with
many words uttered on both sides, we spent the whole of that day.

Moreover, after partaking of a repast prepared with royal magnificence,
we prolonged the conversation late into the night. The old man would
speak of nothing but Africanus, and remembered not only all his deeds,
but likewise his sayings. After we parted to go to bed, a sounder sleep
than usual fell upon me, partly on account of weariness occasioned by
the journey, and partly because I had stayed up to a late hour. Then
Africanus appeared to me, I think in consequence of what we had been
talking about; for it often happens that our thoughts and speeches bring
about in sleep something of that illusion of which Ennius writes in
regard to himself and Homer, of which poet he was very often accustomed
to think and speak while awake. Africanus showed himself to me in that
form which was better known to me from his ancestral image than from my
recollection of his person. As soon as I recognized him I was seized
with a fit of terror; but he thereupon said:----

"Be of good courage, O Scipio! Lay aside fear, and commit to memory
these things which I am about to say. Do you see that State which,
compelled by me to submit to the Roman people, renews its former wars,
and cannot endure to remain at peace?" At these words, from a certain
lustrous and bright place, very high and full of stars, he pointed out
to me Carthage. "To fight against that city thou now comest in a rank
but little above that of a private soldier; but in two years from this
time thou shalt as consul utterly overthrow it, and in consequence
shalt gain by thy own exertions that very surname of Africanus which up
to this time thou hast inherited from us. But when thou shalt have
destroyed Carthage, shalt have had the honor of a triumph, and shalt
have been censor, thou shalt during thy absence be chosen consul for a
second time, shalt put an end to to a great war, and lay Numantia in
ruins. But when thou shalt be carried in thy triumphal chariot to the
capitol, thou wilt find the republic disturbed by the designs of my
grandson. Then, O Scipio! it will be necessary that thou exhibit the
purity and greatness of thy heart, thy soul, and thy judgment. But I see
at that time a double way disclose itself, as if the Fates were
undecided; for when thy life shall have completed eight times seven
revolutions of the sun, and these two numbers (each one of which is
looked upon as perfect; the one for one reason, the other for another)
shall have accomplished for thee by their natural revolution the fatal
product, to thee alone and to thy name the whole State shall turn; upon
thee the Senate, upon thee all good men, upon thee the allies, upon thee
the Latins, will fasten their eyes; thou wilt be the one upon whom the
safety of the State shall rest; and in short, as dictator, it will be
incumbent on thee to establish and regulate the republic, if thou art
successful in escaping the impious hands of kinsmen."

At this point, Lælius uttered an exclamation of sorrow, and the rest
groaned more deeply; but Scipio, slightly smiling, said, Keep silence, I
beg of you. Do not awake me from my dream, and hear the rest of his

"But, O Africanus! that thou mayest be the more zealous in the defense
of the republic, know this: For all who have preserved, who have
succored, who have aggrandized their country, there is in heaven a
certain fixed place, where they enjoy an eternal life of blessedness.
For to that highest God who governs the whole world there is nothing
which can be done on earth more dear than those combinations of men and
unions, made under the sanction of law, which are called States. The
rulers and preservers of them depart from this place, and to it they

I had been filled with terror, not so much at the fear of death as at
the prospect of treachery on the part of those akin to me; nevertheless
at this point I had the courage to ask whether my father Paulus was
living, and others whom we thought to be annihilated. "Certainly," said
he: "they alone live who have been set free from the fetters of the
body, as if from prison; for that which you call your life is nothing
but death. Nay, thou mayest even behold thy father Paulus coming towards

No sooner had I seen him than I burst into a violent fit of tears; but
he thereupon, embracing and kissing me, forbade my weeping. I, as soon
as I had checked my tears and was able again to speak, said to him,
"Tell me, I beseech thee, O best and most sacred father! since this is
life, as I hear Africanus say, why do I tarry upon earth? Why shall I
not hasten to go to you?"--"Not so," said he; "not until that God, whose
temple is all this which thou seest, shall have freed thee from the
bonds of the body, can any entrance lie open to thee here. For men are
brought into the world with this design, that they may protect and
preserve that globe which thou seest in the middle of this temple, and
which is called 'Earth.' To them a soul is given from these everlasting
fires which you name constellations and stars, which, in the form of
globes and spheres, run with incredible rapidity the rounds of their
orbits under the impulse of divine intelligences. Wherefore by thee, O
Publius! and by all pious men, the soul must be kept in the guardianship
of the body; nor without the command of Him by whom it is given to you
can there be any departure from this mortal life, lest you seem to have
shunned the discharge of that duty as men which has been assigned to you
by God. But, O Scipio! like as thy grandfather who stands here, like as
I who gave thee life, cherish the sense of justice and loyal affection;
which latter, in however great measure due to thy parents and kinsmen,
is most of all due to thy country. Such a life is the way to heaven, and
to that congregation of those who have ended their days on earth, and
freed from the body, dwell in that place which you see,--that place
which, as you have learned from the Greeks, you are in the habit of
calling the Milky Way."

This was a circle, shining among the celestial fires with a most
brilliant whiteness. As I looked from it, all other things seemed
magnificent and wonderful. Moreover, they were such stars as we have
never seen from this point of space, and all of such magnitude as we
have never even suspected. Among them, that was the least which, the
farthest from heaven, and the nearest to earth, shone with a borrowed
light. But the starry globes far exceeded the size of the earth: indeed
the earth itself appeared to me so small that I had a feeling of
mortification at the sight of our empire, which took up what seemed to
be but a point of it.

As I kept my eyes more intently fixed upon this spot, Africanus said to
me:--"How long, I beg of thee, will thy spirit be chained down to earth?
Seest thou not into what a holy place thou hast come? Everything is
bound together in nine circles, or rather spheres, of which the farthest
is the firmament, which embraces the rest, is indeed the supreme God
himself, confining and containing all the others. To that highest heaven
are fixed those orbits of the stars which eternally revolve. Below it
are seven spheres, which move backward with a motion contrary to that of
the firmament. One of these belongs to that star which on earth they
call Saturn; then follows that shining orb, the source of happiness and
health to the human race, which is called Jupiter; then the red planet,
bringing terror to the nations, to which you give the name of Mars;
then, almost directly under the middle region, stands the sun,--the
leader, the chief, the governor of the other luminaries, the soul of the
universe, and its regulating principle, of a size so vast that it
penetrates and fills everything with its own light. Upon it, as if they
were an escort, follow two spheres,--the one of Venus, the other of
Mercury; and in the lowest circle revolves the moon, illuminated by the
rays of the sun. Below it there is nothing which is not mortal and
transitory, save the souls which are given to mankind by the gift of the
gods; above the moon, all things are eternal. For that ninth sphere,
which is in the middle, is the earth: it has no motion; it is the lowest
in space; and all heavy bodies are borne toward it by their natural
downward tendency."

I looked at these, lost in wonder. As soon as I had recovered myself I
said, "What is this sound, so great and so sweet, which fills my
ears?"--"This," he replied, "is that music which, composed of intervals
unequal, but divided proportionately by rule, is caused by the swing and
movement of the spheres themselves, and by the proper combination of
acute tones with grave, creates with uniformity manifold and diverse
harmonies. For movements so mighty cannot be accomplished in silence;
and it is a law of nature that the farthest sphere on the one side gives
forth a base tone, the farthest on the other a treble; for which reason
the revolution of that uppermost arch of the heaven, the starry
firmament, whose motion is more rapid, is attended with an acute and
high sound; while that of the lowest, or lunar arch, is attended with a
very deep and grave sound. For the ninth sphere, the earth, embracing
the middle region of the universe, stays immovably in one fixed place.
But those eight globes between, two[A] of which have the same essential
action, produce tones, distinguished by intervals, to the number of
seven; which number indeed is the knot of almost all things. Men of
skill, by imitating the result on the strings of the lyre, or by means
of the human voice, have laid open for themselves a way of return to
this place, just as other men of lofty souls have done the same by
devoting themselves during their earthly life to the study of what is
divine. But the ears of men, surfeited by this harmony have become deaf
to it; nor is there in you any duller sense: just as, at that cataract
which is called Catadupa,--where the Nile rushes down headlong from the
lofty mountain-tops,--the people who dwell in that neighborhood have
lost the sense of hearing in consequence of the magnitude of the sound.
So likewise this harmony, produced by the excessively rapid revolution
of the whole universe, is so great that the ears of men are not able to
take it in, in the same manner as you are not able to look the sun in
the eye, and your sight is overcome by the power of its rays." Though I
was filled with wonder, nevertheless I kept turning my eyes from time to
time to the earth.

  [A] Mercury and Venus.

"I perceive," then said Africanus, "that thou still continuest to
contemplate the habitation of the home of man. If that seems to thee as
small as it really is, keep then thy eyes fixed on these heavenly
objects; look with contempt on those of mortal life. For what notoriety
that lives in the mouths of men, or what glory that is worthy of being
sought after, art thou able to secure? Thou seest that the earth is
inhabited in a few small localities, and that between those inhabited
places--spots as it were on the surface--vast desert regions lie spread
out; and that those who inhabit the earth are not only so isolated that
no communication can pass among them from one to another, but that some
dwell in an oblique direction as regards you, some in a diagonal, and
some stand even exactly opposite you. From these you are certainly not
able to hope for any glory.

"Moreover, thou observest that this same earth is surrounded, and as it
were, girdled, by certain zones, of which thou seest that two--the
farthest apart, and resting at both sides on the very poles of the
sky--are stiffened with frost; and that, again, the central and largest
one is burnt up with the heat of the sun. Two are habitable: of these
the southern one, in which dwell those who make their footprints
opposite yours, is a foreign world to your race. But even this other
one, which lies to the north, which you occupy,--see with how small a
part of it you come into contact! For all the land which is cultivated
by you, very narrow at the extremities but wider at the sides, is only a
small island surrounded by that water which on earth you call the
Atlantic, or the great sea, or the ocean. But though its name is so
high-sounding, yet thou beholdest how small it is. From these cultivated
and well-known regions can either thy name or the name of any of us
surmount and pass this Caucasus which thou seest, or cross yonder flood
of the Ganges? Who in the farthest remaining regions of the rising and
the setting sun, or on the confines of the north and the south, will
hear thy name? When these are taken away, thou assuredly perceivest how
immense is the littleness of that space in which your reputation seeks
to spread itself abroad. Moreover, even those who speak of us, for how
long a time will they speak?

"Nay, even if the generations of men were desirous, one after the other,
to hand down to posterity the praises of any one of us heard from their
fathers, nevertheless, on account of the changes in the earth,--wrought
by inundations and conflagration, which are sure to recur at certain
fixed epochs,--we are not simply unable to secure for ourselves a glory
which lasts forever, but are even unable to gain a glory which lasts for
a long time. Moreover, of what value is it that the speech of those who
are to be born hereafter shall be about thee, when nothing has been said
of thee by all those who were born before, who were neither fewer in
number and were unquestionably better men; especially when no one is
able to live in the memory of those very persons by whom one's name can
be heard, for the space of one year?

"For men commonly measure the year by the return to its place of the sun
alone, that is, of one star; but when all the stars shall have returned
to that same point from which they once set out, and after a long period
of time have brought back the same relative arrangement of the whole
heaven, that, then, can justly be called the complete year. In it I
hardly dare say how many ages of human life are contained. For once in
the past the sun seemed to disappear from the eyes of men and to be
annihilated, at the time when the soul of Romulus made its way into
this very temple. When, from the same region of the sky and at the same
moment of time, the sun shall have again vanished, then be sure that all
constellations and stars have come back to the position they had in the
beginning, and that the perfect year is completed. Of that year know
that now not even the twentieth part has passed.

"Wherefore, if thou givest up the hope of a return to this place, in
which all things exist for lofty and pre-eminent souls, yet of how much
value is that human glory which can hardly endure for even the small
part of a single year? But if, as I was saying, thou wishest to look on
high, and to fix thy gaze upon this abode of the blest and this eternal
home, never give thyself up to the applause of the vulgar, nor rest the
recompense of thy achievements in the rewards which can be bestowed upon
thee by men. It is incumbent on thee that Virtue herself shall draw thee
by her own charm to true glory. As for the way in which others talk
about thee, let them take care of that themselves; yet without doubt
they will talk. But all such renown is limited to the petty provinces of
the regions which thou seest: nor in the case of any one is it
everlasting; for it both dies with the death of men and is buried in
oblivion by the forgetfulness of posterity."

When he had said these things, "O Africanus!" I replied, "if the path
that leads to the entrance of heaven lies open to those who have
rendered great service to their country, although, in following from my
boyhood in thy footsteps and in those of my father, I have not failed in
sustaining the honor derived from you, yet henceforth I shall toil with
far more zeal, now that so great a reward has been held out before
me."--"Do thou indeed," said he, "continue to strive; and bear this in
mind, that thou thyself art not mortal, but this body of thine. For thou
art not the one which that form of thine proclaims thee to be: but the
soul of any one, that alone is he; not that external shape which can be
pointed out with the finger. Therefore know thyself to be a god, if that
is essentially god which lives, which feels, which remembers, which
foresees, which rules and regulates and moves that body over which it is
put in authority, as the Supreme Being governs this universe. And as the
eternal God moves the world, which in a certain point of view is
perishable, so the incorruptible soul moves the corruptible body. For
what always moves itself is eternal; but that which communicates to
anything a motion which it has itself received from another source, must
necessarily have an end of life when it has an end of motion: therefore
that alone never ceases to move which moves itself, for the reason that
it is never deserted by itself. This indeed is the well-head; this the
beginning of motion to all other things that are moved. But to a
beginning there is no birth; for all things are born from the beginning.
But it itself cannot be born of anything; for that would not be a
beginning which sprang from some other source. And just as it is never
begotten, so it never dies; for a beginning annihilated could neither
itself be brought back to life by anything else, nor could it create
anything else out of itself, since it is necessary that all things
should come from a beginning. So it results that the beginning of motion
is in itself, because it is self-moved. And this can neither be born nor
die, for if it did, the heavens would fall to ruin, and all nature would
stand still; nor could it come into the possession of any power by the
original impulse of which it might be put into motion.

"Since therefore it is clear that what is self-moved is eternal, who can
deny that this essential characteristic has been imparted to the soul?
For everything which is moved by a foreign impulse is without a soul;
but that which lives is made to go by an inward motion of its own, for
this is the special nature and power of the soul. But if it is the one
thing among all which is self-moved, then certainly it has had no
beginning, and is eternal. Do thou, then, employ it in the noblest
duties. But those are the loftiest cares which are concerned with the
well-being of our native land. The soul that is inspired by these, and
occupied with them, will hasten the quicker into this its real home and
habitation. So much the more speedily indeed will it do this, if while
it is shut up in the body it shall pass beyond its limits, and by the
contemplation of those things which are outside of it shall withdraw
itself as far as possible from the body. For the souls of those who have
given themselves up to sensual pleasures, and have made themselves as it
were ministers to these, and who under the pressure of desires which are
subservient to these pleasures have violated the laws of God and man,
when they shall have parted from the body, will fly about the earth
itself, nor will return to this place until they shall have suffered
torments for many ages." He departed. I awoke from my sleep.




In the Cid we have two distinct personages, Rodrigo or Ruy Diaz (Dia son
of Diego) who flourished during the last half of the eleventh century;
and that legendary hero of Spanish epic poems, ballads, and dramas, whom
Philip II. tried to have canonized. We are not left to our own
conjectures as to the character and life of the historical Cid. Both
Spanish and Arabic records place the main facts beyond all controversy.

He was born at Bivar, a hamlet three miles north of Burgos (circa
1040-1050), of an ancient Castilian family claiming descent from Lain
Calvo,--one of the two judges who, tradition declares, was named by the
Castilian people as their governor after the Leonese king had
treacherously put their counts to death (circa 923).

The period of the Cid coincides with the political disruption of Arabic
Spain. The Caliphate of Cordova, which in the preceding century had
attained its high point in power and in all the arts of civilization,
had fallen. A multitude of petty Moorish States disputed with each other
the heritage of the Ommiad caliphs. The Christian States were not slow
to profit by their opportunity. Ferdinand I. of Leon-Castile (surnamed
the Great, 1037-65) not only extended his territory at the expense of
the Moors, but also imposed tribute upon four of their more important
States--Saragossa, Toledo, Badajoz, and Seville. Valencia only escaped a
similar fate through his death.

The Peninsula was at this time divided among a large number of mutually
independent and warring States, Christian and Moslem. The sentiments of
loyalty to religion and to country were universally subordinated to
those of personal interest; Christians fought under Moorish banners,
Moors under Christian. Humanity toward the enemy, loyalty to oaths, were
not virtues in the common estimation. Between the Christian States of
Leon and Castile great jealousy ruled. Castile had come into being as a
border province of the Asturian kingdom, governed by military counts.
From the first there seems to have been a spirit of resistance to the
overrule of the Asturian kings (later known as kings of Leon). Finally,
under its Count Fernan Gonzalez (who died 970), Castile secured its
independence. But whether leading a separate political existence, or
united with Leon, Castile was ever jealously sensitive of any
precedence claimed or exercised by its sister kingdom. Ferdinand I. of
Leon-Castile, treating his territorial possessions as personal
property,--a policy repeatedly fatal to all advance in Spanish
history,--divided them at his death (1005), among his five children.
Sancho, the eldest, received Castile, Nahera, and Pampeluna; Alfonso,
Leon, and the Asturias; Garcia, Galicia, and that portion of Portugal
which had been wrested from the Moors; Urraca received the city of
Zamora; and Elvira, Toro.

The expected occurred. Sancho made war on his brothers, compelling both
to flee to Moorish territories, and wrested Toro from Elvira. Rodrigo
Diaz, the Cid, appears first at this period. He is the _alferez, i.e._,
the standard-bearer, or commander-in-chief under the King, in Sancho's
army. The brother Kings, Sancho and Alfonso, had agreed to submit their
dispute to a single combat, the victor to receive the territories of
both. Alfonso's Leonese army conquered the Castilian, and relying upon
the agreement withdrew to its tents. Rodrigo Diaz was already known as
the Campeador, a title won through his having, vanquished in single
combat the champion of Sancho of Navarre, and signifying probably one
skilled in battle, or champion.

Rodrigo gave a wily counsel to the routed Castilians. "The Leonese are
not expecting an attack," he said; "let us return and fall upon them at
unawares." The counsel was followed; the victors, resting in their
tents, were surprised at daybreak, and only a few, Alfonso among the
number, escaped with their lives. Alfonso was imprisoned at Burgos, but
soon released at the entreaty of the Princess Urraca, on condition of
his becoming a monk. Availing himself of such liberty, he escaped from
the monastery to the Moorish court of Mamoun, King of Toledo. Sancho
ruled thus over the entire heritage of his father,--Zamora excepted, the
portion of Urraca. While laying siege to that city, he was slain by a
cavalier in Urraca's service, Bellido Dolfos, who, sallying from the
city, made good his escape, though almost overtaken by the avenging
Campeador, 1072.

Alfonso, the fugitive at Toledo, was now rightful heir to the throne;
and however reluctant the Castilian nobles were to recognize the
authority of a Leonese king, they yielded to necessity. It is
asserted--but the historical evidence here is not complete--that before
recognizing Alfonso's authority the Castilian nobles required of him an
oath that he had no part in his brother's murder, and that it was the
Campeador who administered this oath, 1073. Whatever the facts, Alfonso
will have thought it wise to conciliate the good-will of the Castilian
grandees, and especially that of their leader Rodrigo, until at least
his own position became secure. To this we may attribute his giving to
Rodrigo in marriage of Jimena, daughter of Diego, Count of Oviedo, and
first cousin of the King. The marriage contract, bearing date 1074, is
preserved at Burgos.

Some years later Rodrigo was sent to collect the tribute due Alfonso by
his vassal Motamid, King of Seville. Finding the King of Granada at war
with Motamid, Rodrigo requested him not to attack an ally of Alfonso.
But prayers and threats were alike unavailing; it came to battle, and
Rodrigo conquered. Among the prisoners were several Christians in the
service of Granada, notably Garcia Ordonez, a scion of the royal Leonese
house. Not long after, we find Rodrigo charged with having appropriated
to his own use a portion of the tribute and gifts sent to Alfonso by
Motamid, Garcia Ordonez being his chief accuser. Taking advantage of the
pretext--it can have been but a pretext--of Rodrigo's attacking the
Moors without first securing the royal consent, Alfonso banished him.
Old wrongs still rankling in the King's memory furnished probably the
real motive.

And now began that career as soldier of fortune which has furnished
themes to Spanish poets of high and low degree, and which, transformed
and idealized by tradition, has made of Rodrigo the perfect cavalier of
crusading Christian Spain. He offered first, it would seem, his service
and that of his followers to the Christian Count of Barcelona, and when
refused by him, to the Moorish King of Saragossa. This State was one of
the more important of those resulting from the distribution of the
Caliphate of Cordova. The offer was accepted, and Rodrigo remained here
until 1088, serving successively three generations of the Beni-Hud,
father, son, and grandson, warring indifferently against Christians and
Moors, and through his successes rising to extraordinary distinction and

At this time--1088--the attention of both Mostain, the King of
Saragossa, and of his powerful captain Rodrigo, was drawn to Valencia.
This city after the fall of the Caliphate of Cordova had been ruled for
forty-four years by descendants of Almanzor, the great Prime Minister of
the last period of the Ommiad dynasty. Mamoun, King of Toledo, who
sheltered the fugitive Alfonso, deposed the last of these Valencian
kings, his son-in-law, and annexed the State to his own dominion. At
Mamoun's death in 1075 Valencia revolted; the governor declared himself
independent and placed himself under Alfonso's protection.

Ten years later Mamoun's successor, the weak Cadir, finding his position
a desperate one, offered to yield up to Alfonso his own capital Toledo,
on condition that the latter should place Valencia in his hands. Alfonso
consented. Valencia was too weak to offer resistance, but Cadir proved
equally incompetent as king and as general. Depending entirely upon his
Castilian soldiery, captained by Alvar Fañez, a kinsman of Rodrigo, he
grievously burdened the people in order to satisfy the demands of this
auxiliary troop. But grinding taxes and extortions alike failed; and the
soldiery, their wages in arrears, battened upon the country, the dregs
of the Moorish population joining them. The territory was delivered at
last from their robberies, rapes, and murders, by the appearance of the
Almoravides. This new Moslem sect had grown strong in Africa, attaining
there the political supremacy; and in their weakness the Moorish kings
of Spain implored its assistance in repelling the attacks of the
Christian North.

King Alfonso, alarmed at the appearance of these African hordes,
recalled Alvar Fañez, was defeated by the Almoravides at Zallaca in
1086, and could think no more of garrisoning Valencia for Cadir. The
position of Cadir became thus critical, and he appealed for help both to
Alfonso and to Mostain of Saragossa. Mostain sent Rodrigo, ostensibly to
his assistance; but a secret agreement had been made, Arabic historians
assert, between the king and his general, whereby Cadir was to be
despoiled, the city fall to Mostain, the booty to Rodrigo (1088).

The expedition was a successful one: Cadir's enemies were compelled to
withdraw, and Rodrigo established himself in Valencian territory. As the
recognized protector of the lawful king, in reality the suzerain of
Valencia, Rodrigo received a generous tribute; but he had no intention
of holding to his agreement with Mostain and assisting the latter to win
the city. It is clear on the contrary that he had already resolved to
secure, when opportunity offered, the prize for himself. Meanwhile he
skillfully held off, now by force, now by ruse, all other competitors,
Christian and Moslem alike; including among these King Alfonso, whose
territories he wasted with fire and sword when that monarch attempted
once, in Rodrigo's absence, to win Valencia for himself.

At another time we find him intriguing simultaneously with four
different rivals for the control of the city,--Alfonso and Mostain among
the number,--deceiving all with fair words.

As head of an independent army, Rodrigo made now successful forays in
all directions; despoiling, levying tribute, garrisoning strongholds,
strengthening thus in every way his position. At last the long awaited
opportunity came. During his temporary absence, Cadir was dethroned and
put to death; and the leader of the insurgents, the Cadi Ibn Djahhof,
named president of a republic.

Rodrigo returned, and appealing in turn to ruse and force, at last sat
down before the city to reduce it by famine. During the last period of
the siege, those who fled from the city to escape the famine were thrown
to dogs, or burned at slow fires. The city capitulated on favorable
terms, June 15th, 1094. But all the conditions of the capitulation were
violated. The Cadi-President was buried in a trench up to his arm-pits,
surrounded with burning brands, and slowly tortured to death, several of
his kinsmen and friends sharing his fate. Rodrigo was with difficulty
restrained from throwing into the flames the Cadi's children and the
women of his harem. Yet the lives and property of Ibn Djahhof and his
family had been expressly safeguarded in the capitulation. It is
probable that Rodrigo's title of "the Cid" or "my Cid" (Arabic, Sid-y =
my lord) was given to him at this time by his Moorish subjects.

Master of Valencia, the Cid dreamed of conquering all that region of
Spain still held by the Moors. An Arab heard him say, "One Rodrigo (the
last king of the Goths) has lost this peninsula; another Rodrigo will
recover it." Success crowned his arms for several years. But in 1099 the
troops he had sent against the Almoravides were utterly routed, few
escaping. The Cid, already enfeebled in health, died, it is said of
grief and shame (July, 1099). His widow held the city for two years
longer. Besieged at that time by the Almoravides, she sought help of
Alfonso. He came and forced the enemy to raise the siege; but judging
that it was not possible for him to defend a city so remote from his
dominions, counseled its abandonment. As the Christians, escorting the
body of the Cid, marched out, Valencia was fired; and only ruins awaited
the Almoravides (1102).

The Cid's body was brought to San Pedro de Cardeña, a monastery not far
from Burgos; enthroned, it is said, beside the high altar for ten years,
and thereafter buried. Jimena survived her husband until 1104.

Ibn Bassam, an Arabic contemporary, writing at Seville only ten years
after the death of the Cid, after describing his cruelty and duplicity,
adds:--"Nevertheless, that man, the scourge of his time, was one of the
miracles of the Lord in his love of glory, the prudent firmness of his
character, and his heroic courage. Victory always followed the banner of
Rodrigo (may God curse him!); he triumphed over the barbarians, ... he
put to flight their armies, and with his little band of warriors slew
their numerous soldiery."

The Cid, a man not of princely birth, through the exercise of virtues
which his time esteemed,--courage and shrewdness,--had won for himself
from the Moors an independent principality. Legend will have begun to
color and transform his exploits already during his lifetime. Some fifty
years later he had become the favorite hero of popular songs. It is
probable that these songs (_cantares_) were at first brief tales in rude
metrical form; and that the epic poems, dating from about 1200, used
them as sources. The earliest poetic monument in Castilian literature
which treats of the Cid is called 'The Poem of My Cid.' While based
upon history, its material is largely legendary. The date of its
composition is doubtful,--probably about 1200. The poem--the beginning
is lost--opens with the departure of "My Cid" from Bivar, and describes
his Moorish campaigns, culminating with the conquest of Valencia. Two
Leonese nobles, the Infantes (Princes) of Carrion, beseech Alfonso to
ask for them in marriage the conqueror's daughters. The Cid assents--to
his King he would refuse nothing--and the marriages are celebrated in
Valencia with due pomp. But the princes are arrant cowards. To escape
the gibes of the Cid's companions, after securing rich wedding portions
they depart for Carrion. In the oak wood of Carpes they pretend a desire
to be left alone with their wives. Despoiling them of their outer
garments, with saddle-girth and spurred boot they seek to revenge upon
the Cid's daughters the dishonor to which their own base conduct
subjected them while at the Cid's court. But time brings a requital. The
Infantes, called to account, forfeit property and honor, esteeming
themselves fortunate to escape with their lives from the judicial duels.
Princes of Navarre and Aragon present themselves as suitors, and in
second marriages Doña Elvira and Doña Sola become queens of Spain. The
marriages with the Infantes of Carrion are pure invention, intended
perhaps to defame the Leonese nobility, these nobles being princes of
the blood royal.

The second marriages, if we substitute Barcelona for Aragon, are
historical. Of the Cid's two daughters, one married Prince Ramiro of
Navarre and the other Count Raynard Berenger III. of Barcelona. In 1157
two of the Cid's great-grandchildren, Sancho VI. of Navarre and his
sister Doña Blanca, queen of Sancho III. of Castile, sat on Spanish
thrones. Through intermarriage the blood of the Cid has passed into the
Bourbon and Habsburg lines, and with Eleanor of Castile into the English
royal house.

The 'Poem of My Cid' is probably the earliest monument of Spanish
literature. It is also in our opinion the noblest expression--so far as
the characters are concerned; for the verse halts and the description
sometimes lags--of the entire mediæval folk epic of Europe. Homeric in
its simplicity, its characters are drawn with clearness, firmness, and
concision, presenting a variety true to nature, far different from the
uniformity we find in the 'Song of Roland.' The spirit which breathes in
it is of a noble, well-rounded humanity, a fearless and gentle courage,
a manly and modest self-reliance; an unswerving loyalty and simple trust
toward country, king, kinsmen, and friends; a child-faith in God,
slightly tinged with superstition, for "My Cid" believes in auguries;
and a chaste tender family affection, where the wife is loved and
honored as wife and as mother, and the children's welfare fills the
father's thoughts.

The duplicity of the historical Cid has left indeed its traces. When
abandoning Castile he sends to two Jewish money-lenders of Burgos,
chests filled, as he pretends, with fine gold, but in reality with sand;
borrows upon this security, and so far as we are informed, never repays
the loan. The Princes of Carrion, his sons-in-law, are duped into
thinking that they will escape from the accounting with the loss of
Tizon and Colada, the swords which the Cid gave them. But a certain
measure of prudent shrewdness is not out of place in dealing with men of
the treacherous character of the Infantes. And as to the Jewish
money-lenders, to despoil them would scarce have been regarded as an
offense against the moral law in mediæval Spain.

The second poetic monument is variously named. Amadar de los Rios, a
historian of Spanish literature, styles it 'The Legend or Chronicle of
the Youth of Rodrigo.' Its date also is disputed, some authorities
placing its composition earlier, others later than that of the Poem. The
weight of evidence seems to us in favor of the later date. It is rude
and of inferior merit, though not without vigorous passages. It treats
the earliest period of the Cid's life, and is (so far as we know) purely
legendary. The realm of Castile-Leon is at peace under the rule of
Ferdinand (the First), when the Count Don Gomez of Gormaz makes an
unprovoked descent upon the sheep-folds of Diego Lainez. A challenge of
battle follows. Rodrigo, only son of Diego, a lad in his thirteenth
year, insists upon being one of the hundred combatants on the side of
his family, and slays Don Gomez in single combat. Jimena, the daughter
of Gomez, implores justice of the King; but when Ferdinand declares that
there is danger of an insurrection if Rodrigo be punished, she proposes
reconciliation through marriage. Diego and his son are summoned to the
court, where Rodrigo's appearance and conduct terrify all. He denies
vassalship, and declares to King Ferdinand, "That my father kissed your
hand has foully dishonored me."

Married to Jimena against his will (Jimena Diaz, not Jimena Gomez, was
his historical wife), he vows never to recognize her as wife until he
has won five battles with the Moors in open field. Ferdinand plays a
very unkingly rôle in this poem. While his fierce vassal is absent the
King is helpless; and Rodrigo draws near only to assert anew his
contempt for the royal authority by blunt refusals of Ferdinand's
requests. He is always ready, however, to take up the gauntlet and
defend the realm against every enemy, Christian or Moor. But this rude
courage is coupled with devout piety, and is not insensible to pity. At
the ford of the Duero a wretched leper is encountered: all turn from him
with loathing save Rodrigo, who gives to him a brother's care. It is
Saint Lazarus, who departing blesses him.

At last a formidable coalition is formed against Spain. The Emperor of
Germany and the King of France, supported by the Pope and Patriarch,
require of Spain, in recognition of her feudal dependence upon the Roman
empire, a yearly tribute of fifteen noble virgins, besides silver,
horses, falcons, etc. Rodrigo appears when Ferdinand is in despair, and
kisses at last the royal hand in sign of vassalship. Though the enemy
gather "countless as the herbs of the fields," even Persia and Armenia
furnishing contingents, their battle array is vain.

The five Kings of Spain cross the Pyrenees. Arrived before Paris,
Rodrigo passes through the midst of the French army, strikes with his
hand the gates of the city, and challenges the twelve French peers to
combat. The allies in alarm implore a truce. At the council, Rodrigo,
seated at the feet of his King and acting as Ferdinand's spokesman,
curses the Pope when the latter offers the imperial crown of Spain. "We
came for that which was to be won," he declares, "not for that already
won." Against Rodrigo's advice the truce is accorded to all. Here the
poem is interrupted.

Besides these two epic poems, we have in the earlier Spanish literature
two chronicles in prose which describe the life of the Cid,--'The
General Chronicle of Alfonso the Learned' and 'The Chronicle of the
Cid,' the latter being drawn from the former. Both rest in part upon
historical sources, in part upon legend and tradition. Two centuries and
more after the Poem, we meet with the Romances or Ballads of the Cid.
For the earliest of these do not in their present form date far back of
1500. These ballads derive from all sources, but chiefly from the Cid
legend, which is here treated in a lyric, sentimental, popular, and at
times even vulgar tone.

Guillem de Castro (1569-1631) chose two themes from the life of the Cid
for dramatic treatment, composing a dual drama styled 'Las Mocedades del
Cid' (The Youth of the Cid). The first part is the more important. De
Castro, drawing from the ballads, told again the story of the insult to
Don Diego (according to the ballads, a blow in the face given by Don
Gomez in a moment of passion), its revenge, the pursuit of Rodrigo by
Jimena, demanding justice of King Ferdinand, and finally the
reconciliation through marriage. But De Castro added love, and the
conflict in the mind of Rodrigo and in that of Jimena between affection
and the claims of honor.

Corneille recast De Castro's first drama in his 'Le Cid,' condensing it
and giving to the verse greater dignity and nobility. The French
dramatist has worked with entire independence here, and both in what he
has omitted and what he has added has usually shown an unerring dramatic
instinct. In certain instances, however, through ignorance of the
spirit and sources of the Spanish drama he has erred. But the invention
is wholly De Castro's, and many of Corneille's most admired passages are
either free translations from the Spanish or expressions of some thought
or sentiment contained in De Castro's version.

In more recent times Herder has enriched German literature with free
renderings of some of the Cid ballads. Victor Hugo has drawn from the
Cid theme, in his 'La Legende des Siècles' (The Legend of the
Centuries), fresh inspiration for his muse.

                                  [Signature: Charles Sprague Smith]



  With tearful eyes he turned to gaze upon the wreck behind,
  His rifled coffers, bursten gates, all open to the wind:
  Nor mantle left, nor robe of fur; stript bare his castle hall;
  Nor hawk nor falcon in the mew, the perches empty all.
  Then forth in sorrow went my Cid, and a deep sigh sighed he;
  Yet with a measured voice and calm, my Cid spake loftily,--
  "I thank thee, God our Father, thou that dwellest upon high,
  I suffer cruel wrong to-day, but of mine enemy!"
  As they came riding from Bivar the crow was on the right;
  By Burgos's gate, upon the left, the crow was there in sight.
  My Cid he shrugged his shoulders and he lifted up his head:
  "Good tidings, Alvar Fañez! we are banished men!" he said.
  With sixty lances in his train my Cid rode up the town,
  The burghers and their dames from all the windows looking down;
  And there were tears in every eye, and on each lip one word:
  "A worthy vassal--would to God he served a worthy Lord!"


  The prayer was said, the mass was sung, they mounted to depart;
  My Cid a moment stayed to press Jimena to his heart;
  Jimena kissed his hand,--as one distraught with grief was she;
  He looked upon his daughters: "These to God I leave," said he....
  As when the finger-nail from out the flesh is torn away,
  Even so sharp to him and them the parting pang that day.
  Then to his saddle sprang my Cid, and forth his vassals led;
  But ever as he rode, to those behind he turned his head.


  Then cried my Cid--"In charity, as to the rescue--ho!"
  With bucklers braced before their breasts, with lances pointing low,
  With stooping crests and heads bent down above the saddle-bow,
  All firm of hand and high of heart they roll upon the foe.
  And he that in a good hour was born, his clarion voice rings out,
  And clear above the clang of arms is heard his battle shout:
  "Among them, gentlemen! Strike home for the love of charity!
  The champion of Bivar is here--Ruy Diaz--I am he!"
  Then bearing where Bermuez still maintains unequal fight,
  Three hundred lances down they come, their pennons flickering white;
  Down go three hundred Moors to earth, a man to every blow;
  And when they wheel, three hundred more, as charging back they go.
  It was a sight to see the lances rise and fall that day:
  The shivered shields and riven mail, to see how thick they lay;
  The pennons that went in snow-white came out gory red;
  The horses running riderless, the riders lying dead;
  While Moors call on Mohammed, and "Saint James!" the Christians cry,
  And sixty score of Moors and more in narrow compass lie.


    [Scene from the challenges that preceded the judicial duels.
    Ferrando, one of the Infantes, has just declared that the did
    right in spurning the Cid's daughters. The Cid turns to his

  "Now is the time, 'Dumb Peter'; speak. O man that sittest mute!
  My daughters' and thy cousins' name and fame are in dispute:
  To me they speak, to thee they look to answer every word.
  If I am left to answer now, thou canst not draw thy sword."
  Tongue-tied Bermuez stood; a while he strove for words in vain,
  But look you, when he once began he made his meaning plain.
  "Cid, first I have a word for you: you always are the same,
  In Cortes ever gibing me,--'Dumb Peter' is the name;
  It never was a gift of mine, and that long since you knew;
  But have you found me fail in aught that fell to me to do?--
  You lie, Ferrando, lie in all you say upon that score.
  The honor was to you, not him, the Cid Campeador;
  For I know something of your worth, and somewhat I can tell.
  That day beneath Valencia wall--you recollect it well--
  You prayed the Cid to place you in the forefront of the fray;
  You spied a Moor, and valiantly you went that Moor to slay;
  And then you turned and fled--for his approach you would not stay
  Right soon he would have taught you 'twas a sorry game to play,
  Had I not been in battle there to take your place that day.
  I slew him at the first onfall; I gave his steed to you;
  To no man have I told the tale from that hour hitherto.
  Before my Cid and all his men you got yourself a name,
  How you in single combat slew a Moor--a deed of fame;
  And all believed in your exploit; they wist not of your shame.
  You are a craven at the core,--tall, handsome, as you stand;
  How dare you talk as now you talk, you tongue without a hand?...
  Now take thou my defiance as a traitor, trothless knight;
  Upon this plea before our King Alfonso will I fight;
  The daughters of my lord are wronged, their wrong is mine to right.
  That ye those ladies did desert, the baser are ye then;
  For what are they?--weak women; and what are ye?--strong men.
  On every count I deem their cause to be the holier,
  And I will make thee own it when we meet in battle here.
  Traitor thou shalt confess thyself, so help me God on high,
  And all that I have said to-day my sword shall verify."

    Thus far these two. Diego rose, and spoke as ye shall hear:
  "Counts by our birth are we, of stain our lineage is clear.
  In this alliance with my Cid there was no parity.
  If we his daughters cast aside, no cause for shame we see.
  And little need we care if they in mourning pass their lives,
  Enduring the reproach that clings to scorned rejected wives.
  In leaving them we but upheld our honor and our right,
  And ready to the death am I, maintaining this, to fight."
  Here Martin Antolinez sprang upon his feet: "False hound!
  Will you not silent keep that mouth where truth was never found?
  For you to boast! the lion scare have you forgotten too?
  How through the open door you rushed, across the court-yard flew;
  How sprawling in your terror on the wine-press beam you lay?
  Ay! never more, I trow, you wore the mantle of that day.
  There is no choice; the issue now the sword alone can try;
  The daughters of my Cid ye spurned; that must ye justify.
  On every count I here declare their cause the cause of right,
  And thou shalt own thy treachery the day we join in fight."
  He ceased, and striding up the hall Assur Gonzalez passed;
  His cheek was flushed with wine, for he had stayed to break his fast;
  Ungirt his robe, and trailing low his ermine mantle hung;
  Rude was his bearing to the court, and reckless was his tongue.
  "What a to-do is here, my lords! was the like ever seen?
  What talk is this about my Cid--him of Bivar I mean?
  To Riodouirna let him go to take his millers' rent,
  And keep his mills a-going there, as once he was content.
  He, forsooth, mate his daughters with the Counts of Carrion!"
  Upstarted Muño Gustioz: "False, foul-mouthed knave, have done!
  Thou glutton, wont to break thy fast without a thought or prayer;
  Whose heart is plotting mischief when thy lips are speaking fair;
  Whose plighted word to friend or lord hath ever proved a lie;
  False always to thy fellow-man, falser to God on high,--
  No share in thy good-will I seek; one only boon I pray,
  The chance to make thee own thyself the villain that I say."
  Then spoke the king: "Enough of words: ye have my leave to fight,
  The challenged and the challengers; and God defend the right."


  And from the field of honor went Don Roderick's champions three.
  Thanks be to God, the Lord of all, that gave the victory!...
  But in the lands of Carrion it was a day of woe,
  And on the lords of Carrion it fell a heavy blow.
  He who a noble lady wrongs and casts aside---may he
  Meet like requital for his deeds, or worse, if worse there be!
  But let us leave them where they lie--their meed is all men's scorn.
  Turn we to speak of him that in a happy hour was born.
  Valencia the Great was glad, rejoiced at heart to see
  The honored champions of her lord return in victory:
  And Ruy Diaz grasped his beard: "Thanks be to God," said he,
  "Of part or lot in Carrion now are my daughters free;
  Now may I give them without shame, whoe'er their suitors be."
  And favored by the king himself, Alfonso of Leon,
  Prosperous was the wooing of Navarre and Aragon.
  The bridals of Elvira and of Sol in splendor passed;
  Stately the former nuptials were, but statelier far the last.
  And he that in a good hour was born, behold how he hath sped!
  His daughters now to higher rank and greater honor wed:
  Sought by Navarre and Aragon, for queens his daughters twain;
  And monarchs of his blood to-day upon the thrones of Spain.
  And so his honor in the land grows greater day by day.
  Upon the feast of Pentecost from life he passed away.
  For him and all of us the grace of Christ let us implore.
  And here ye have the story of my Cid Campeador.

                                         Translation of John Ormsby.




[Illustration: EARL OF CLARENDON]

The statesman first known as Mr. Hyde of the Inner Temple, then as Sir
Edward Hyde, and finally as the Earl of Clarendon, belongs to the small
but most valuable and eminent band who have both made and written
history; a group which includes among others Cæsar, Procopius, Sully,
and Baber, and on a smaller scale of active importance, Ammianus and
Finlay. Born in Dinton, Wiltshire, 1609, he was graduated at Oxford in
1626, and had attained a high standing in his profession when the civil
troubles began, and he determined to devote all his energies to his
public duties in Parliament. During the momentous period of the Long
Parliament he was strongly on the side of the people until the old
abuses had been swept away; but he would not go with them in paralyzing
the royal authority from distrust of Charles, and when the civil war
broke out he took the royal side, accompanying the King to Oxford, and
remaining his ablest adviser and loyal friend.

He was the guardian of Charles II. in exile and in 1661, after the
Restoration, was made Lord Chancellor and chief minister. Lord Macaulay
says of him:--"He was well fitted for his great place. No man wrote
abler state papers. No man spoke with more weight and dignity in council
and Parliament. No man was better acquainted with general maxims of
statecraft. No man observed the varieties of character with a more
discriminating eye. It must be added that he had a strong sense of moral
and religious obligation, a sincere reverence for the laws of his
country, and a conscientious regard for the honor and interest of the
Crown." But his faults were conspicuous. One of his critics insists that
"his temper was arbitrary and vehement. His arrogance was immeasurable.
His gravity assumed the character of censoriousness."

He took part in important and dangerous negotiations, and eventually
alienated four parties at once: the royalists by his Bill of Indemnity;
the low-churchmen and dissenters by his Uniformity act; the many who
suffered the legal fine for private assemblages for religious worship;
and the whole nation by selling Dunkirk to France. By the court he was
hated because he censured the extravagance and looseness of the life led
there; and finally Charles, who had long resented his sermons, deprived
him of the great seal, accused him of high treason, and doomed him to
perpetual banishment. Thus, after being the confidential friend of two
kings (and the future grandfather of two sovereigns, Mary and Anne), he
was driven out of England, to die in poverty and neglect at Rouen in
1674. But these last days were perhaps the happiest and most useful of
his life. He now indulged his master passion for literature, and revised
his 'History of the Rebellion,' which he had begun while a fugitive from
the rebels in the Isle of Jersey. In this masterpiece, "one of the
greatest ornaments of the historical literature of England," he has
described not only the events in which he participated, but noted people
of the time whom he had personally known. The book is written in a style
of sober and stately dignity, with great acuteness of insight and
weightiness of comment; it incorporates part of an autobiography
afterwards published separately, and is rather out of proportion. His
other works are 'The Essay on an Active and Contemplative Life'; 'The
Life of Edward, Earl of Clarendon'; 'Dialogues on Education and the Want
of Respect Paid to Age'; 'Miscellaneous Essays' and 'Contemplation of
the Psalms of David.'


If celebrating the memory of eminent and extraordinary persons, and
transmitting their great virtues for the imitation of posterity, be one
of the principal ends and duties of history, it will not be thought
impertinent in this place to remember a loss which no time will suffer
to be forgotten, and no success or good fortune could repair. In this
unhappy battle was slain the Lord Viscount Falkland; a person of such
prodigious parts of learning and knowledge, of that inimitable sweetness
and delight in conversation, of so flowing and obliging a humanity and
goodness to mankind, and of that primitive simplicity and integrity of
life, that if there were no other brand upon this odious and accursed
civil war than that single loss, it must be most infamous and execrable
to all posterity.

Before this Parliament, his condition of life was so happy that it was
hardly capable of improvement. Before he came to twenty years of age he
was master of a noble fortune, which descended to him by the gift of a
grandfather without passing through his father or mother, who were then
both alive, and not well enough contented to find themselves passed by
in the descent. His education for some years had been in Ireland, where
his father was Lord Deputy; so that when he returned into England to the
possession of his fortune, he was unentangled with any acquaintance or
friends, which usually grow up by the custom of conversation; and
therefore was to make a pure election of his company, which he chose by
other rules than were prescribed to the young nobility of that time. And
it cannot be denied, though he admitted some few to his friendship for
the agreeableness of their natures and their undoubted affection to him,
that his familiarity and friendship, for the most part, was with men of
the most eminent and sublime parts, and of untouched reputation in the
point of integrity; and such men had a title to his bosom.

He was a great cherisher of wit and fancy and good parts in any man; and
if he found them clouded with poverty or want, a most liberal and
bountiful patron towards them, even above his fortune; of which, in
those administrations, he was such a dispenser as if he had been trusted
with it to such uses; and if there had been the least of vice in his
expense he might have been thought too prodigal. He was constant and
pertinacious in whatsoever he resolved to do, and not to be wearied by
any pains that were necessary to that end. And therefore having once
resolved not to see London, which he loved above all places, till he had
perfectly learned the Greek tongue, he went to his own house in the
country and pursued it with that indefatigable industry that it will not
be believed in how short a time he was master of it, and accurately read
all the Greek historians.

In this time, his house being within ten miles of Oxford, he contracted
familiarity and friendship with the most polite and accurate men of that
university; who found such an immenseness of wit and such a solidity of
judgment in him, so infinite a fancy bound in by a most logical
ratiocination, such a vast knowledge that he was not ignorant in
anything, yet such an excessive humility as if he had known nothing,
that they frequently resorted and dwelt with him, as in a college
situated in a purer air; so that his house was a university bound in a
less volume, whither they came not so much for repose as study, and to
examine and refine those grosser propositions which laziness and consent
made current in vulgar conversation....

The great opinion he had of the uprightness and integrity of those
persons who appeared most active, especially of Mr. Hampden, kept him
longer from suspecting any design against the peace of the kingdom; and
though he differed commonly from them in conclusions, he believed long
their purposes were honest. When he grew better informed what was law,
and discerned (in them) a desire to control that law by a vote of one or
both Houses, no man more opposed those attempts, and gave the adverse
party more trouble by reason and argumentation; insomuch as he was, by
degrees, looked upon as an advocate for the court, to which he
contributed so little that he declined those addresses and even those
invitations which he was obliged almost by civility to entertain. And he
was so jealous of the least imagination that he should incline to
preferment, that he affected even a morosity to the court and to the
courtiers, and left nothing undone which might prevent and divert the
King's or Queen's favor towards him, but the deserving it. For when the
King sent for him once or twice to speak with him, and to give him
thanks for his excellent comportment in those councils which his Majesty
graciously termed doing him service, his answers were more negligent and
less satisfactory than might have been expected; as if he cared only
that his actions should be just, not that they should be acceptable, and
that his Majesty should think that they proceeded only from the
impulsion of conscience, without any sympathy in his affections; which
from a stoical and sullen nature might not have been misinterpreted; yet
from a person of so perfect a habit of generous and obsequious
compliance with all good men, might very well have been interpreted by
the King as more than an ordinary averseness to his service: so that he
took more pains and more forced his nature to actions unagreeable and
unpleasant to it, that he might not be thought to incline to the court,
than any man hath done to procure an office there....

Two reasons prevailed with him to receive the seals, and but for those
he had resolutely avoided them. The first, consideration that it [his
refusal] might bring some blemish upon the King's affairs, and that men
would have believed that he had refused so great an honor and trust
because he must have been with it obliged to do somewhat else not
justifiable. And this he made matter of conscience, since he knew the
King made choice of him before other men especially because he thought
him more honest than other men. The other was, lest he might be thought
to avoid it out of fear to do an ungracious thing to the House of
Commons, who were sorely troubled at the displacing of Harry Vane, whom
they looked upon as removed for having done them those offices they
stood in need of; and the disdain of so popular an incumbrance wrought
upon him next to the other. For as he had a full appetite of fame by
just and generous actions, so he had an equal contempt of it by any
servile expedients; and he had so much the more consented to and
approved the justice upon Sir Harry Vane in his own private judgment, by
how much he surpassed most men in the religious observation of a trust,
the violation whereof he would not admit of any excuse for.

For these reasons he submitted to the King's command and became his
secretary, with as humble and devout an acknowledgment of the greatness
of the obligation as could be expressed, and as true a sense of it in
his own heart. Yet two things he could never bring himself to whilst he
continued in that office, that was to his death; for which he was
contented to be reproached, as for omissions in a most necessary part of
his office. The one, employing of spies, or giving any countenance or
entertainment to them. I do not mean such emissaries as with danger
would venture to view the enemy's camp and bring intelligence of their
number and quartering, or such generals as such an observation can
comprehend; but those who by communication of guilt or dissimulation of
manners wound themselves into such trusts and secrets as enabled them to
make discoveries for the benefit of the State. The other, the liberty of
opening letters upon a suspicion that they might contain matter of
dangerous consequence. For the first he would say, such instruments must
be void of all ingenuity and common honesty, before they could be of
use; and afterwards they could never be fit to be credited: and that no
single preservation could be worth so general a wound and corruption of
human society as the cherishing such persons would carry with it. The
last, he thought such a violation of the law of nature that no
qualification by office could justify a single person in the trespass;
and though he was convinced by the necessity and iniquity of the time
that those advantages of information were not to be declined and were
necessarily to be practiced, he found means to shift it from himself;
when he confessed he needed excuse and pardon for the omission: so
unwilling he was to resign anything in his nature to an obligation in
his office.

In all other particulars he filled his place plentifully, being
sufficiently versed in languages to understand any that [are] used in
business, and to make himself again understood. To speak of his
integrity, and his high disdain of any bait that might seem to look
towards corruption, _in tanto viro, injuria virtutum fuerit_ [in the
case of so great a man, would be an insult to his merits]....

He had a courage of the most clear and keen temper, and so far from fear
that he was not without appetite of danger; and therefore, upon any
occasion of action, he always engaged his person in those troops which
he thought by the forwardness of the commanders to be most like to be
farthest engaged; and in all such encounters he had about him a strange
cheerfulness and companionableness, without at all affecting the
execution that was then principally to be attended, in which he took no
delight, but took pains to prevent it, where it was not by resistance
necessary; insomuch that at Edgehill, when the enemy was routed, he was
like to have incurred great peril by interposing to save those who had
thrown away their arms, and against whom, it may be, others were more
fierce for their having thrown them away: insomuch as a man might think
he came into the field only out of curiosity to see the face of danger,
and charity to prevent the shedding of blood. Yet in his natural
inclination he acknowledged that he was addicted to the profession of a
soldier; and shortly after he came to his fortune, and before he came to
age, he went into the Low Countries with a resolution of procuring
command, and to give himself up to it, from which he was converted by
the complete inactivity of that summer: and so he returned into England
and shortly after entered upon that vehement course of study we
mentioned before, till the first alarm from the North; and then again he
made ready for the field, and though he received some repulse in the
command of a troop of horse of which he had a promise, he went volunteer
with the Earl of Essex.

From the entrance into this unnatural war his natural cheerfulness and
vivacity grew clouded, and a kind of sadness and dejection of spirit
stole upon him which he had never been used to; yet being one of those
who believed that one battle would end all differences, and that there
would be so great a victory on the one side that the other would be
compelled to submit to any conditions from the victor (which supposition
and conclusion generally sunk into the minds of most men, and prevented
the looking after many advantages which might then have been laid hold
of), he resisted those indispositions, _et in luctu, bellum inter
remedia erat_ [and in his grief, strife was one of his curatives]. But
after the King's return from Brentford, and the furious resolution of
the two Houses not to admit any treaty for peace, those indispositions
which had before touched him grew into a perfect habit of
uncheerfulness; and he who had been so exactly unreserved and affable to
all men that his face and countenance was always present and vacant to
his company, and held any cloudiness and less pleasantness of the visage
a kind of rudeness or incivility, became, on a sudden, less
communicable; and thence, very sad, pale, and exceedingly affected with
the spleen. In his clothes and habit, which he had intended before
always with more neatness and industry and expense than is usual in so
great a mind, he was now not only incurious, but too negligent; and in
his reception of suitors, and the necessary or casual addresses to his
place, so quick and sharp and severe that there wanted not some men (who
were strangers to his nature and disposition) who believed him proud and
imperious,--from which no mortal man was ever more free.

The truth is, that as he was of a most incomparable gentleness,
application, and even a demissness and submission to good and worthy and
entire men, so he was naturally (which could not but be more evident in
his place, which objected him to another conversation and intermixture
than his own election had done) _adversus malos injucundus_ [toward
evil-doers ungracious] and was so ill a dissembler of his dislike and
disinclination to ill men that it was not possible for such not to
discern it. There was once in the House of Commons such a declared
acceptation of the good service an eminent member had done to them, and
as they said, to the whole kingdom, that it was moved, he being present,
that the Speaker might in the name of the whole House give him thanks;
and then, that every member might as a testimony of his particular
acknowledgment stir or move his hat towards him; the which (though not
ordered) when very many did, the Lord Falkland (who believed the
service itself not to be of that moment, and that an honorable and
generous person could not have stooped to it for any recompense),
instead of moving his hat, stretched both his arms out and clasped his
hands together upon the crown of his hat, and held it close down to his
head; that all men might see how odious that flattery was to him, and
the very approbation of the person, though at that time most popular.

When there was any overture or hope of peace, he would be more erect and
vigorous, and exceedingly solicitous to press anything which he thought
might promote it; and sitting amongst his friends, often, after a deep
silence and frequent sighs, would with a shrill and sad accent
ingeminate the word _Peace, Peace_; and would passionately profess that
the very agony of the war and the view of the calamities and desolation
the kingdom did and must endure, took his sleep from him, and would
shortly break his heart. This made some think or pretend to think that
he was so much enamored on peace, that he would have been glad the King
should have bought it at any price; which was a most unreasonable
calumny. As if a man that was himself the most punctual and precise in
every circumstance that might reflect upon conscience or honor, could
have wished the King to have committed a trespass against either....

In the morning before the battle, as always upon action, he was very
cheerful, and put himself into the first rank of the Lord Byron's
regiment, who was then advancing upon the enemy, who had lined the
hedges on both sides with musketeers, from whence he was shot with a
musket in the lower part of the belly, and in the instant falling from
his horse, his body was not found till the next morning; till when,
there was some hope he might have been a prisoner; though his nearest
friends, who knew his temper, received small comfort from that
imagination. Thus fell that incomparable young man, in the
four-and-thirtieth year of his age, having so much dispatched the
business of life that the oldest rarely attain to that immense
knowledge, and the youngest enter not into the world with more
innocence: and whosoever leads such a life needs not care upon how short
warning it be taken from him.



Although a native of England, Marcus Clarke is always classed as an
Australian novelist. The son of a barrister, he was born in Kensington
April 24th, 1846. In 1864 he went to seek his fortune in Australia. His
taste for adventure soon led him to "the bush," where he acquired many
experiences afterwards used by him for literary material. Drifting into
journalism, he joined the staff of the Melbourne Argus. After publishing
a series of essays called 'The Peripatetic Philosopher,' he purchased
the Australian Magazine, the name of which he changed to the Colonial
Monthly, and in 1868 published in it his first novel, entitled 'Long
Odds.' Owing to a long illness, this tale of sporting life was completed
by other hands. When he resumed his literary work he contributed to the
Melbourne Punch, and edited the Humbug, a humorous journal. He
dramatized Charles Reade's and Dion Boucicault's novel of 'Foul Play';
adapted Moliere's 'Bourgeois Gentilhomme'; wrote a drama entitled
'Plot,' successfully performed at the Princess Theatre in 1873; and
another play called 'A Daughter of Eve.' He was connected with the
Melbourne press until his death, August 2d, 1881.

Clarke's literary fame rests upon the novel 'His Natural Life,' a strong
story, describing the life of an innocent man under a life sentence for
felony. The story is repulsive, but gives a faithful picture of the
penal conditions of the time, and is built upon official records. It
appeared in the Australian Magazine, and before it was issued in book
form, Clarke, with the assistance of Sir Charles Gavin Duffy, revised it
almost beyond recognition. It was republished in London in 1875 and in
New York in 1878. He was also the author of 'Old Tales of a New
Country'; 'Holiday Peak,' another collection of short stories; 'Four
Stories High'; and an unfinished novel called 'Felix and Felicitas.'

Clarke was a devoted student of Balzac and Poe, and some of his sketches
of rough life in Australia have been compared to Bret Harte's pictures
of primitive California days. His power in depicting landscape is shown
by this glimpse of a midnight ride in the bush, taken from 'Holiday

"There is an indescribable ghastliness about the mountain bush at
midnight, which has affected most imaginative people. The grotesque and
distorted trees, huddled here and there together in the gloom like
whispering conspirators; the little open flats encircled by bowlders,
which seem the forgotten altars of some unholy worship; the white, bare,
and ghostly gum-trees, gleaming momentarily amid the deeper shades of
the forest; the lonely pools begirt with shivering reeds and haunted by
the melancholy bittern only; the rifted and draggled creek-bed, which
seems violently gouged out of the lacerated earth by some savage
convulsion of nature; the silent and solitary places where a few blasted
trees crouch together like withered witches, who, brooding on some deed
of blood, have suddenly been stricken horror-stiff. Riding through this
nightmare landscape, a whirr of wings and a harsh cry disturb you from
time to time, hideous and mocking laughter peals above and about you,
and huge gray ghosts with little red eyes hop away in gigantic but
noiseless bounds. You shake your bridle, the mare lengthens her stride,
the tree-trunks run into one another, the leaves make overhead a
continuous curtain, the earth reels out beneath you like a strip of gray
cloth spun by a furiously flying loom, the air strikes your face
sharply, the bush--always gray and colorless--parts before you and
closes behind you like a fog. You lose yourself in this prevailing
indecision of sound and color. You become drunk with the wine of the
night, and losing your individuality, sweep onward, a flying phantom in
a land of shadows."


    From 'His Natural Life'

The next two days were devoted to sight-seeing. Sylvia Frere was taken
through the hospital and the workshops, shown the semaphores, and shut
up by Maurice in a "dark cell." Her husband and Burgess seemed to treat
the prison like a tame animal, whom they could handle at their leisure,
and whose natural ferocity was kept in check by their superior
intelligence. This bringing of a young and pretty woman into immediate
contact with bolts and bars had about it an incongruity which pleased
them. Maurice Frere penetrated everywhere, questioned the prisoners,
jested with the jailers; even, in the munificence of his heart, bestowed
tobacco on the sick.

With such graceful rattlings of dry bones, they got by-and-by to Point
Puer, where a luncheon had been provided.

An unlucky accident had occurred at Point Puer that morning, however;
and the place was in a suppressed ferment. A refractory little thief
named Peter Brown, aged twelve years, had jumped off the high rock and
drowned himself in full view of the constables. These "jumpings-off" had
become rather frequent lately, and Burgess was enraged at one happening
on this particular day. If he could by any possibility have brought the
corpse of poor little Peter Brown to life again, he would have soundly
whipped it for its impertinence.

"It is most unfortunate," he said to Frere, as they stood in the cell
where the little body was laid, "that it should have happened to-day."

"Oh," says Frere, frowning down upon the young face that seemed to smile
up at him, "it can't be helped. I know those young devils. They'd do it
out of spite. What sort of a character had he?"

"Very bad. Johnson, the book."

Johnson bringing it, the two saw Peter Brown's iniquities set down in
the neatest of running-hand, and the record of his punishments
ornamented in quite an artistic way with flourishes of red ink.

"20th November, disorderly conduct, 12 lashes. 24th November, insolence
to hospital attendant, diet reduced. 4th December, stealing cap from
another prisoner, 12 lashes. 15th December, absenting himself at
roll-call, two days' cells. 23d December, insolence and insubordination,
two days' cells. 8th January, insolence and insubordination, 12 lashes.
20th January, insolence and insubordination, 12 lashes. 22d February,
insolence and insubordination, 12 lashes and one week's solitary. 6th
March, insolence and insubordination, 20 lashes."

"That was the last?" asked Frere.

"Yes, sir," says Johnson.

"And then he--hum--did it?"

"Just so, sir. That was the way of it."

Just so! The magnificent system starved and tortured a child of twelve
until he killed himself. That was the way of it....

After the farce had been played again, and the children had stood up and
sat down, and sung a hymn, and told how many twice five were, and
repeated their belief in "One God the Father Almighty, maker of Heaven
and earth," the party reviewed the workshops, and saw the church, and
went everywhere but into the room where the body of Peter Brown, aged
twelve, lay starkly on its wooden bench, staring at the jail roof which
was between it and heaven.

Just outside this room Sylvia met with a little adventure. Meekin had
stopped behind, and Burgess being suddenly summoned for some official
duty, Frere had gone with him, leaving his wife to rest on a bench
that, placed at the summit of the cliff, overlooked the sea. While
resting thus she became aware of another presence, and turning her head,
beheld a small boy with his cap in one hand and a hammer in the other.
The appearance of the little creature, clad in a uniform of gray cloth
that was too large for him, and holding in his withered little hand a
hammer that was too heavy for him, had something pathetic about it.

"What is it, you mite?" asked Sylvia.

"We thought you might have seen him, mum," said the little figure,
opening its blue eyes with wonder at the kindness of the tone.

"Him? Whom?"

"Cranky Brown, mum," returned the child; "him as did it this morning. Me
and Billy knowed him, mum; he was a mate of ours, and we wanted to know
if he looked happy."

"What do you mean, child?" said she, with a strange terror at her heart;
and then, filled with pity at the aspect of the little being, she drew
him to her, with sudden womanly instinct, and kissed him.

He looked up at her with joyful surprise. "Oh!" he said.

Sylvia kissed him again.

"Does nobody ever kiss you, poor little man?" said she.

"Mother used to," was the reply; "but she's at home. Oh, mem," with a
sudden crimsoning of the little face, "may I fetch Billy?"

And taking courage from the bright young face, he gravely marched to an
angle of the rock, and brought out another little creature, with another
gray uniform, and another hammer.

"This is Billy, mum," he said. "Billy never had no mother. Kiss Billy."

The young wife felt the tears rush to her eyes.

"You two poor babies!" she cried. And then, forgetting that she was a
lady, dressed in silk and lace, she fell on her knees in the dust, and
folding the friendless pair in her arms, wept over them.

"What is the matter, Sylvia?" said Frere, when he came up. "You've been

"Nothing, Maurice; at least, I will tell you by-and-by."

When they were alone that evening she told him of the two little boys,
and he laughed.

"Artful little humbugs," he said, and supported his argument by so many
illustrations of the precocious wickedness of juvenile felons that his
wife was half convinced against her will.

Unfortunately, when Sylvia went away, Tommy and Billy put into execution
a plan which they had carried in their poor little heads for some weeks.

"I can do it now," said Tommy. "I feel strong."

"Will it hurt much, Tommy?" said Billy, who was not so courageous.

"Not so much as a whipping."

"I'm afraid! Oh, Tom, it's so deep! Don't leave me, Tom!"

The bigger boy took his little handkerchief from his neck, and with it
bound his own left hand to his companion's right.

"Now I _can't_ leave you."

"What was it the lady that kissed us said, Tommy?"

"Lord, have pity of them two fatherless children!" repeated Tommy.

"Let's say it, Tom."

And so the two babies knelt on the brink of the cliff, and raising the
bound hands together, looked up at the sky, and ungrammatically said,
"Lord, have pity on we two fatherless children." And then they kissed
each other, and "did it."


    From 'His Natural Life'

It was not until they had scrambled up the beach to safety that the
absconders became fully aware of the loss of another of their
companions. As they stood on the break of the beach, wringing the water
from their clothes, Gabbett's small eye, counting their number, missed
the stroke oar.

"Where's Cox?"

"The fool fell overboard," said Jemmy Vetch, shortly. "He never had as
much sense in that skull of his as would keep it sound on his

Gabbett scowled. "That's three of us gone," he said, in the tones of a
man suffering some personal injury.

They summed up their means of defense against attack. Sanders and
Greenhill had knives. Gabbett still retained the axe in his belt. Vetch
had dropped his musket at the Neck; and Bodenham and Cornelius were

"Let's have a look at the tucker," said Vetch.

There was but one bag of provisions. It contained a piece of salt pork,
two loaves, and some uncooked potatoes. Signal Hill station was not rich
in edibles.

"That ain't much," said the Crow, with rueful face. "Is it, Gabbett?"

"It must do, anyway," returned the giant, carelessly.

The inspection over, the six proceeded up the shore, and encamped under
the lee of a rock. Bodenham was for lighting a fire; but Vetch, who by
tacit consent had been chosen leader of the expedition, forbade it,
saying that the light might betray them. "They'll think we're drowned,
and won't pursue us," he said. So all that night the miserable wretches
crouched fireless together.

       *       *       *       *       *

Morning breaks clear and bright, and--free for the first time in ten
years--they comprehend that their terrible journey has begun. "Where are
we to go? How are we to live?" asks Bodenham, scanning the barren bush
that stretches to the barren sea. "Gabbett, you've been out
before--how's it done?"

"We'll make the shepherds' huts, and live on their tucker till we get a
change o'clothes," said Gabbett, evading the main question. "We can
follow the coast-line."

"Steady, lads," said prudent Vetch; "we must sneak round yon sandhills,
and so creep into the scrub. If they've a good glass at the Neck, they
can see us."

"It does seem close," said Bodenham, "I could pitch a stone on to the
guard-house. Good-by, you bloody spot!" he adds, with sudden rage,
shaking his fist vindictively at the penitentiary, "I don't want to see
you no more till the Day o' Judgment."

Vetch divides the provisions, and they travel all that day until dark
night. The scrub is prickly and dense. Their clothes are torn, their
hands and feet bleeding. Already they feel out-wearied. No one pursuing,
they light a fire, and sleep. The second day they come to a sandy spit
that runs out into the sea, and find that they have got too far to the
eastward, and must follow the shore-line to East Bay Neck. Back through
the scrub they drag their heavy feet. That night they eat the last crumb
of the loaf. The third day at high noon, after some toilsome walking,
they reach a big hill, now called Collins's Mount, and see the upper
link of the ear-ring, the isthmus of East Bay Neck, at their feet. A
few rocks are on their right hand, and blue in the lovely distance lies
hated Maria Island. "We must keep well to the eastward," said Greenhill,
"or we shall fall in with the settlers and get taken." So, passing the
isthmus, they strike into the bush along the shore, and tightening their
belts over their gnawing bellies, camp under some low-lying hills.

The fourth day is notable for the indisposition of Bodenham, who is a
bad walker, and falling behind, delays the party by frequent cooeys.
Gabbett threatens him with a worse fate than sore feet if he lingers.
Luckily, that evening Greenhill espies a hut; but not trusting to the
friendship of the occupant, they wait until he quits it in the morning,
and then send Vetch to forage. Vetch, secretly congratulating himself on
having by his counsel prevented violence, returns bending under half a
bag of flour. "You'd better carry the flour," said he to Gabbett, "and
give me the axe." Gabbett eyes him for a while, as if struck by his puny
form, but finally gives the axe to his mate Sanders. That day they creep
along cautiously between the sea and the hills, camping at a creek.
Vetch, after much search, finds a handful of berries, and adds them to
the main stock. Half of this handful is eaten at once, the other half
reserved for "to-morrow." The next day they come to an arm of the sea,
and as they struggle northward Maria Island disappears, and with it all
danger from telescopes. That evening they reach the camping-ground by
twos and threes; and each wonders--between the paroxysms of hunger--if
his face is as haggard and his eyes as blood-shot as those of his

On the seventh day Bodenham says his feet are so bad he can't walk, and
Greenhill, with a greedy look at the berries, bids him stay behind.
Being in a very weak condition, he takes his companion at his word, and
drops off about noon the next day. Gabbett, discovering this defection,
however, goes back, and in an hour or so appears, driving the wretched
creature before him with blows, as a sheep is driven to the shambles.
Greenhill remonstrates at another mouth being thus forced upon the
party, but the giant silences him with a hideous glance. Jemmy Vetch
remembers that Greenhill accompanied Gabbett once before, and feels
uncomfortable. He gives hint of his suspicions to Sanders, but Sanders
only laughs. It is horribly evident that there is an understanding among
the three.

The ninth sun of their freedom, rising upon sandy and barren hillocks,
bristling thick with cruel scrub, sees the six famine-stricken wretches
cursing their God, and yet afraid to die. All round is the fruitless,
shadeless, shelterless bush. Above, the pitiless heaven. In the distance
the remorseless sea. Something terrible must happen. That gray
wilderness, arched by gray heaven stooping to gray sea, is a fitting
keeper of hideous secrets. Vetch suggests that Oyster Bay cannot be far
to the eastward,--the line of ocean is deceitfully close,--and though
such a proceeding will take them out of their course, they resolve to
make for it. After hobbling five miles they seem no nearer than before,
and nigh dead with fatigue and starvation, sink despairingly upon the
ground. Vetch thinks Gabbett's eyes have a wolfish glare in them, and
instinctively draws off from him. Said Greenhill, in the course of a
dismal conversation, "I am so weak that I could eat a piece of a man."

On the tenth day Bodenham refuses to stir, and the others, being
scarcely able to drag along their limbs, sit on the ground about him.
Greenhill, eyeing the prostrate man, said slowly, "I have seen the same
done before, boys, and it tasted like pork."

Vetch, hearing his savage comrade give utterance to a thought all had
secretly cherished, speaks out, crying, "It would be murder to do it;
and then perhaps we couldn't eat it."

"Oh," said Gabbett, with a grin, "I'll warrant you that; but you must
all have a hand in it."

Gabbett, Sanders, and Greenhill then go aside, and presently Sanders,
coming to the Crow, said, "He consented to act as flogger. He deserves

"So did Gabbett, for that matter," shudders Vetch.

"Ay, but Bodenham's feet are sore," said Sanders, "and 'tis a pity to
leave him."

Having no fire, they made a little break-wind; and Vetch, half dozing
behind this, at about three in the morning hears some one cry out
"Christ!" and awakes, sweating ice.

No one but Gabbett and Greenhill would eat that night. That savage pair,
however, make a fire, fling ghastly fragments on the embers, and eat the
broil before it is right warm. In the morning the frightful carcass is

That day's march takes place in silence, and at the mid-day halt
Cornelius volunteers to carry the billy, affecting great restoration
from the food. Vetch gives it him, and in half an hour afterward
Cornelius is missing. Gabbett and Greenhill pursue him in vain, and
return with curses. "He'll die like a dog," said Greenhill, "alone in
the bush." Jemmy Vetch, with his intellect acute as ever, thinks that
Cornelius prefers such a death to the one in store for him, but says

The twelfth morning dawns wet and misty, but Vetch, seeing the provision
running short, strives to be cheerful, telling stories of men who have
escaped greater peril. Vetch feels with dismay that he is the weakest of
the party, but has some sort of ludicro-horrible consolation in
remembering that he is also the leanest. They come to a creek that
afternoon, and look until nightfall in vain for a crossing-place. The
next day Gabbett and Vetch swim across, and Vetch directs Gabbett to cut
a long sapling, which being stretched across the water, is seized by
Greenhill and the Moocher, who are dragged over.

"What would you do without me?" said the Crow, with a ghastly grin.

They cannot kindle a fire, for Greenhill, who carries the tinder, has
allowed it to get wet. The giant swings his axe in savage anger at
enforced cold, and Vetch takes an opportunity to remark privately to him
what a _big_ man Greenhill is.

On the fourteenth day they can scarcely crawl, and their limbs pain
them. Greenhill, who is the weakest, sees Gabbett and the Moocher go
aside to consult, and crawling to the Crow, whimpers, "For God's sake,
Jemmy, don't let 'em murder me!"

"I can't help you," says Vetch, looking about in terror. "Think of poor
Tom Bodenham."

"But he was no murderer. If they kill me, I shall go to hell with Tom's
blood on my soul."

He writhes on the ground in sickening terror, and Gabbett, arriving,
bids Vetch bring wood for the fire. Vetch going, sees Greenhill clinging
to wolfish Gabbett's knees, and Sanders calls after him, "You will hear
it presently, Jem."

The nervous Crow puts his hands to his ears, but is conscious,
nevertheless, of a dull crash and a groan. When he comes back, Gabbett
is putting on the dead man's shoes, which are better than his own.

"We'll stop here a day or so and rest," said he, "now we've got

Two more days pass, and the three, eying each other suspiciously, resume
their march. The third day--the sixteenth of their awful journey--such
portions of the carcass as they have with them prove unfit to eat. They
look into each other's famine-sharpened faces, and wonder "Who next?"

"We must all die together," said Sanders, quickly, "before anything else
must happen."

Vetch marks the terror concealed in the words, and when the dreaded
giant is out of ear-shot, says, "For God's sake, let's go on alone,
Alick. You see what sort of a cove that Gabbett is,--he'd kill his
father before he'd fast one day."

They made for the bush, but the giant turned and strode toward them.
Vetch skipped nimbly on one side, but Gabbett struck the Moocher on the
forehead with the axe. "Help! Jem, help!" cried the victim, cut but not
fatally, and in the strength of his desperation tore the axe from the
monster who bore it, and flung it to Vetch. "Keep it. Jemmy," he cried;
"let's have no more murder done!"

They fare again through the horrible bush until nightfall, when Vetch,
in a strange voice, called the giant to him.

"He must die."

"Either you or he," laughs Gabbett. "Give me the axe."

"No, no," said the Crow, his thin malignant face distorted by a horrible
resolution. "I'll keep the axe. Stand back! You shall hold him, and I'll
do the job."

Sanders, seeing them approach, knew his end had come, and submitted,
crying, "Give me half an hour to pray for myself." They consent, and the
bewildered wretch knelt down and folded his hands like a child. His big
stupid face worked with emotion. His great cracked lips moved in
desperate agony. He wagged his head from side to side, in pitiful
confusion of his brutalized senses. "I can't think o' the words, Jem!"

"Pah," snarled the cripple, swinging the axe, "we can't starve here all

Four days had passed, and the two survivors of this awful journey sat
watching each other. The gaunt giant, his eyes gleaming with hate and
hunger, sat sentinel over the dwarf. The dwarf, chuckling at his
superior sagacity, clutched the fatal axe. For two days they had not
spoken to each other. For two days each had promised himself that on the
next his companion must _sleep_--and die. Vetch comprehended the
devilish scheme of the monster who had entrapped five of his
fellow-beings to aid him by their deaths to his own safety, and held
aloof. Gabbett watched to snatch the weapon from his companion, and
make the odds even for once and forever. In the daytime they traveled
on, seeking each a pretext to creep behind the other. In the night-time
when they feigned slumber, each stealthily raising a head caught the
wakeful glance of his companion. Vetch felt his strength deserting him,
and his brain overpowered by fatigue. Surely the giant, muttering,
gesticulating, and slavering at the mouth, was on the road to madness.
Would the monster find opportunity to rush at him, and braving the
blood-stained axe, kill him by main force? or would he sleep, and be
himself a victim? Unhappy Vetch! It is the terrible privilege of
insanity to be sleepless.

On the fifth day, Vetch, creeping behind a tree, takes off his belt, and
makes a noose. He will hang himself. He gets one end of the belt over a
bough, and then his cowardice bids him pause. Gabbett approaches; he
tries to evade him, and steal away into the bush. In vain. The
insatiable giant, ravenous with famine and sustained by madness, is not
to be shaken off. Vetch tries to run, but his legs bend under him. The
axe that has tried to drink so much blood feels heavy as lead. He will
fling it away. No--he dares not. Night falls again. He must rest, or go
mad. His limbs are powerless. His eyelids are glued together. He sleeps
as he stands. This horrible thing must be a dream. He is at Port Arthur,
or will wake on his pallet in the penny lodging-house he slept at when a
boy. Is that the deputy come to wake him to the torment of living? It is
not time--surely not time yet. He sleeps--and the giant, grinning with
ferocious joy, approaches on clumsy tiptoe and seizes the coveted axe.

On the northeast coast of Van Diemen's Land is a place called St.
Helen's Point, and a certain skipper, being in want of fresh water,
landing there with a boat's crew, found on the banks of the creek a
gaunt and blood-stained man, clad in tattered yellow, who carried on his
back an axe and a bundle. When the sailors came within sight of him he
made signs to them to approach, and opening his bundle with much
ceremony, offered them some of its contents. Filled with horror at what
the maniac displayed, they seized and bound him. At Hobart Town he was
recognized as the only survivor of the nine desperadoes who had escaped
from Colonel Arthur's "natural penitentiary."




Matthias Claudius, best known as "the Wandsbecker Bote" (the Messenger
from Wandsbeck), was born at Reinfeld in Holstein, August 15th, 1740. He
was of excellent stock, coming from a long line of clergymen. It was
said that scarcely another family in Schleswig-Holstein had given to the
church so many sons.

There is but little to record of the quiet boyhood passed in the
picturesque stillness of the North German village. At the outset the
education of Claudius was conducted by his father, the village pastor.
From beginning to end his life was simple, moderate, and well ordered.
After finishing his school days at Ploen, he entered the University of
Jena (1759), with the intention of studying theology, in order to follow
the traditions of the family and enter the ministry. This idea he was
soon obliged to relinquish on account of a pulmonary weakness, and he
turned instead to the study of jurisprudence. His strongest attraction
was towards literature. He became a member of the literary guild in
Jena; and later, when he had attained fame as the "Wandsbecker Bote," he
was intimately associated with Voss, F.L. Stolberg, Herder, and others
of the Göttingen fraternity. His first verses, published in Jena in
1763, under the title "Tändeleien und Erzählungen' (Trifles and Tales),
gave no indication of his talents, and were no more than the usual
student efforts of unconscious imitation; they have absolutely no poetic
value, and are interesting only as they indicate a stage of development.
In editing his works in later years, Claudius preserved of this early
poetry only one song, 'An eine Quelle' (To a Spring).

After leaving the university in 1764, he took a position as private
secretary to Count Holstein in Copenhagen; and here, under the powerful
influence of Klopstock, whose friendship was at this time the most
potent element of his life, and in the brilliant circle which that poet
had drawn around him, Claudius entered fully into the life of sentiment
and ideas which conduced so largely to his intellectual development.
Some years later, after a fallow period spent in the quiet of his
father's house at Reinfeld, he settled at Wandsbeck, near Altona (1771),
where in connection with Bode he published the Wandsbecker Bote, the
popular weekly periodical so indissolubly associated with his name. His
contributions under the name of "Asmus" found everywhere the warmest
acceptance. In 1775, through Herder's recommendation, Claudius was
appointed Chief Land Commissioner at Darmstadt; but circumstances
rendering the position uncongenial, he returned to his beloved
Wandsbeck, where he supported his family by his pen until 1788, when
Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark appointed him revisor of the Holstein
Bank at Altona. He died in Hamburg, January 1st, 1815, in the house of
his son-in-law, the bookseller Perthes.

A collection of his works, with the title 'Asmus omnia sua secum
portans, oder Sämmtliche Werke des Wandsbecker Boten' (The Collected
Works of the Wandsbeck Messenger), appeared at Hamburg, 1775-1812. These
collected works comprise songs, romances, fables, poems, letters, etc.,
originally published in various places. The translation of Saint Martin
and Fénelon marked the pietistic spirit of his later years, and is in
strong contrast to the exuberance which produced the 'Rheinweinlied'
(Rhine Wine Song) and 'Urian's Reise um die Welt' (Urian's Journey
around the World).

Claudius as a poet won the hearts of his countrymen. His verses express
his idyllic love of nature and his sympathy with rustic life. The poet
and the man are one. His pure and simple style appealed to the popular
taste, and some of his lyrics have become genuine folk-songs.


    From the Wandsbecker Bote

A happy new year! A happy new year to my dear country, the land of old
integrity and truth! A happy new year to friends and enemies, Christians
and Turks, Hottentots and Cannibals! To all on whom God permits his sun
to rise and his rain to fall! Also to the poor negro slaves who have to
work all day in the hot sun. It's wholly a glorious day, the New Year's
Day! At other times I can bear that a man should be a little bit
patriotic, and not make court to other nations. True, one must not speak
evil of any nation. The wiser part are everywhere silent; and who would
revile a whole nation for the sake of the loud ones? As I said, I can
bear at other times that a man should be a little patriotic: but on New
Year's Day my patriotism is dead as a mouse, and it seems to me on that
day as if we were all brothers, and had one Father who is in heaven; as
if all the goods of the world were water which God has created for all
men, as I once heard it said.

And so I am accustomed, every New Year's morning, to sit down on a stone
by the wayside, to scratch with my staff in the sand before me, and to
think of this and of that. Not of my readers. I hold them in all honor:
but on New Year's morning, on the stone by the wayside, I think not of
them; but I sit there and think that during the past year I saw the sun
rise so often, and the moon,--that I saw so many rainbows and flowers,
and breathed the air so often, and drank from the brook,--and then I do
not like to look up, and I take with both hands my cap from my head and
look into that.

Then I think also of my acquaintances who have died during the year; and
how they can talk now with Socrates and Numa, and other men of whom I
have heard so much good, and with John Huss. And then it seems as if
graves opened round me, and shadows with bald crowns and long gray
beards came out of them and shook the dust out of their beards. That
must be the work of the "Everlasting Huntsman," who has his doings about
the twelfth. The old pious long-beards would fain sleep. But a glad new
year to your memory and to the ashes in your graves!


  With laurel wreathe the glass's vintage mellow,
        And drink it gayly dry!
  Through farthest Europe, know, my worthy fellow,
        For such in vain ye'll try.

  Nor Hungary nor Poland e'er could boast it:
        And as for Gallia's vine,
  Saint Veit the Ritter, if he choose, may toast it,--
        We Germans love the Rhine.

  Our fatherland we thank for such a blessing,
        And many more beside;
  And many more, though little show possessing,
        Well worth our love and pride.

  Not everywhere the vine bedecks our border,
        As well the mountains show,
  That harbor in their bosoms foul disorder;
        Not worth their room below.

  Thuringia's hills, for instance, are aspiring
        To rear a juice like wine;
  But that is all; nor mirth nor song inspiring,
        It breathes not of the vine.

  And other hills, with buried treasures glowing,
        For wine are far too cold;
  Though iron ores and cobalt there are growing,
        And 'chance some paltry gold.

  The Rhine,--the Rhine,--there grow the gay plantations!
        Oh, hallowed be the Rhine!
  Upon his banks are brewed the rich potations
        Of this consoling wine.

  Drink to the Rhine! and every coming morrow
        Be mirth and music thine!
  And when we meet a child of care and sorrow,
        We'll send him to the Rhine.



  Old Winter is the man for me--
    Stout-hearted, sound, and steady;
  Steel nerves and bones of brass hath he:
    Come snow, come blow, he's ready!

  If ever man was well, 'tis he;
    He keeps no fire in his chamber,
  And yet from cold and cough is free
    In bitterest December.

  He dresses him out-doors at morn,
    Nor needs he first to warm him;
  Toothache and rheumatis' he'll scorn,
    And colic don't alarm him.

  In summer, when the woodland rings,
    He asks "What mean these noises?"
  Warm sounds he hates, and all warm things
    Most heartily despises.

  But when the fox's bark is loud;
    When the bright hearth is snapping;
  When children round the chimney crowd,
    All shivering and clapping;--

  When stone and bone with frost do break,
    And pond and lake are cracking,--
  Then you may see his old sides shake,
    Such glee his frame is racking.

  Near the North Pole, upon the strand,
    He has an icy tower;
  Likewise in lovely Switzerland
    He keeps a summer bower.

  So up and down--now here--now there--
    His regiments manoeuvre;
  When he goes by, we stand and stare,
    And cannot choose but shiver.

  [Illustration: _WINTER._
  Photogravure from a painting by L. Munthe.]


  The moon is up in splendor,
  And golden stars attend her;
    The heavens are calm and bright;
  Trees cast a deepening shadow;
  And slowly off the meadow
    A mist is rising silver-white.

  Night's curtains now are closing
  Round half a world, reposing
    In calm and holy trust;
  All seems one vast, still chamber,
  Where weary hearts remember
    No more the sorrows of the dust.

                                  Translations of Charles T. Brooks.




Henry Clay must not be judged as an orator by his reported speeches,
which are but skeletons of the masterly originals, but by the lasting
effect of these speeches on those who heard them, and by his ability as
an originator of important measures and his success in carrying these
measures to a conclusion by convincing and powerful oratory. Judged by
his achievements and by his wide-spread influence, he must take rank as
a statesman and orator of pre-eminent ability. The son of a poor Baptist
clergyman, with but scant advantages for acquiring an education; leaving
home at an early age and going among strangers to a community where
family ties and social connections were a controlling element;--this
poor boy, with no family influence, assumed at once, by sheer force of
character and ability, a leadership which he held undisputed until his
death. And years after he had passed away, it was the "followers of
Henry Clay" who kept Kentucky from joining the States of the South in
their unsuccessful efforts to withdraw from the Union.

Of his oratory Robert C. Winthrop wrote after a lapse of years: "I can
only bear witness to an impressiveness of speech never exceeded, if ever
equaled, within an experience of half a century, during which I have
listened to many of the greatest orators on both sides of the Atlantic."
As a parliamentary leader, Rhodes calls him the greatest in our history.
"His leadership," says Mr. Schurz, "was not of that mean order which
merely contrives to organize a personal following; it was the leadership
of a statesman zealously striving to promote great public interests."

As a presiding officer he was the most commanding Speaker the National
House of Representatives has ever had. Winthrop, who served long with
him in Congress, said of him:--"No abler or more commanding presiding
officer ever sat in the Speaker's chair on either side of the Atlantic.
Prompt, dignified, resolute, fearless, he had a combination of
intellectual and physical qualities which made him a natural ruler over
men." He was six times elected Speaker, sometimes almost by acclamation;
and during the many years which he presided over the House not one of
his decisions was ever reversed.

As a Secretary of State, during his term of four years the treaties with
foreign countries negotiated by him exceeded in numbers all that had
been negotiated by other secretaries, during the previous thirty-five
years of our constitutional history. As a diplomat, he showed himself at
Ghent more than a match for the trained diplomatists of the old world.

And with all these he was--at his ideal country home, Ashland,
surrounded by wooded lawns and fertile acres of beautiful blue-grass
land--a most successful farmer and breeder of thoroughbred stock, from
the Scotch collie to the thoroughbred race-horse. I have been told by
one who knew him as a farmer that no one could guess nearer to the
weight of a Shorthorn bullock than he. He was as much at home with
horses and horsemen as with senators and diplomats. I have known many
men who were friends and followers of Mr. Clay, and from the love and
veneration these men had for his memory, I can well understand why the
historian Rhodes says, "No man has been loved as the people of the
United States loved Henry Clay."

Clay seemed to have had honors and leadership thrust upon him. Arriving
in Kentucky in 1797, he at once advocated the gradual emancipation of
slaves, regardless of the strong prejudices to the contrary of the rich
slaveholding community in which he had cast his lot; yet, unsolicited on
his part, this community elected him to the State Legislature by a large
majority in 1803, and before three years of service he was chosen by his
fellow members to fill a vacancy in the United States Senate. And until
his death in 1852, his constituents in Kentucky vied with each other in
their desires to keep him as their representative in either the national
Senate or House of Representatives. He entered the latter in 1811, and
was selected as Speaker of that body almost by acclamation on the first
day of his taking his seat. After a long life spent in his country's
service he was elected _unanimously_ to the Senate in 1848, despite
party strife and the fact that the two parties were almost evenly
divided in Kentucky.

No attempt can here be made to even recapitulate the events of
importance connected with his long public services. I will call
attention only to some of the most important measures which he carried
by his magnificent leadership.

  [Illustration: HENRY CLAY.]

WAR OF 1812

Clay assumed the leadership of those who urged resistance to the unjust
and overbearing encroachments of Great Britain, and he more than any one
else was instrumental in overcoming opposition and forcing a
declaration of war. This war--a second war for independence, which
changed this country from a disjointed confederacy liable to fall
asunder, to a compact, powerful, and self-respecting Union--will ever be
regarded as one of the crowning glories of his long and brilliant
career. He proved more than a match in debate for Randolph, Quincy, and
other able advocates for peace. When asked what we were to gain by war,
he answered, "What are we not to lose by peace? Commerce, character,--a
nation's best treasure, honor!"

In answer to the arguments that certificates of protection authorized by
Congress were fraudulently used, his magnificent answer, "The colors
that float from the mast-head should be the credentials of our seamen,"
electrified the patriots of the country. There is but a meagre report of
this great speech, but the effect produced was overwhelming and bore
down all opposition. It is said that men of both parties, forgetting all
antipathies under the spell of his eloquence, wept together. Mr. Clay's
first speech on entering Congress was in favor of the encouragement of
domestic manufactures, mainly as a defensive measure in anticipation of
a war with Great Britain; arguing that whatever doubts might be
entertained as to the general policy of encouraging domestic
manufactures by import duties, none could exist regarding the propriety
of adopting measures for producing such articles as are requisite in
times of war. If his measure for the increase of the standing army had
been adopted in time, the humiliating reverses on land during the early
part of the war would have been averted. He carried through a bill for
the increase of the navy, and the brilliant naval victories of the war
of 1812 followed. In the debate on the bill to provide for a standing
army, it was argued that twenty-five thousand could not be had in the
United States. Clay aroused the people of Kentucky to such enthusiasm
that fifteen thousand men volunteered in that State alone, and members
of Congress shouldered their muskets and joined the ranks.


Henry Clay's faith in the destiny of his country, and his heroic
determination that a continuation of the war was preferable to the terms
proposed, prevented humiliating concessions. The American Commissioners
were Henry Clay, John Quincy Adams, Albert Gallatin, James A. Bayard,
and Jonathan Russell, and the British Commissioners Lord Gambier, Henry
Goulbourn, and William Adams. The news received by Clay on his arrival
in Europe was not calculated to inspire him with hope. From Mr. Bayard
he received a letter (dated April 20th, 1814) with news of the triumph
of the allies over Napoleon, and stating:--

"There is reason to think that it has materially changed the views of
the British Ministry.... The great augmentation of their disposable
force presents an additional temptation to prosecute the war."

By the same mail Mr. Gallatin writes from London (April 22d, 1814):--

"You are sufficiently aware of the total change in our affairs produced
by the late revolution, and by the restoration of universal peace in the
European world, from which we are alone excluded. A well-organized and
large army is at once liberated from any European employment, and ready,
together with a superabundant naval force, to act independently against
us. How ill prepared we are to meet it in a proper manner, no one knows
better than yourself; but above all, our own divisions and the hostile
attitude of the Eastern States give room to apprehend that a
continuation of the war might prove vitally fatal to the United States."

Mr. Russell writes from Stockholm (July 2d, 1814):--

"My distress at the delay which our joint errand has encountered has
almost been intolerable, and the kind of comfort I have received from
Mr. Adams has afforded very little relief. His apprehensions are rather
of a gloomy cast with regard to the result of our labors."

Mr. Crawford, our Minister to France, who with Clay favored a vigorous
prosecution of the war, writes to him (July 4th, 1814):--

"I am thoroughly convinced that the United States can never be called
upon to treat under circumstances less auspicious than those which exist
at the present moment, unless our internal bickerings shall continue to
weaken the effects of the government."

With discouraging news from home, the seat of government taken, and the
Capitol burned, the Eastern States opposing the war and threatening to
withdraw from the Union, and his fellow commissioners in the despondent
mood evidenced by the above-quoted letters,--it is amazing that Clay,
whom some historians have called a compromiser by nature, opposed any
and all concessions and wished that the war should go on.

By the third article of the treaty of 1783 it was agreed that citizens
of the United States should not fish in the waters or cure fish on the
land of any of the maritime provinces north of the United States after
they were settled, without a previous agreement with the inhabitants or
possessors of the ground.

By the eighth article of the same treaty, it was agreed that the
navigation of the Mississippi River should _ever_ remain free and open
to the subjects of Great Britain and the United States. It was then
supposed that the British Canadian possessions included the head-waters
of this river. By the Jay treaty of 1794 this was confirmed, and "that
all ports and places on its eastern side, to whichsoever of the parties
belonging, might be freely resorted to and used by both parties." At
this time Spain possessed the sovereignty of the west side of the river,
and both sides from its mouth to 31° north latitude. The United States
acquired by the Louisiana purchase of 1803 all the sovereignty of Spain
which had previously been acquired by France.

Gallatin proposed to insert a provision for the renewal to the United
States of the rights in the fisheries, and as an equivalent to give to
Great Britain the right to the navigation of the Mississippi River. This
was favored by Gallatin, Adams, and Bayard, and opposed by Clay and
Russell. Mr. Clay, seeing that he was in a minority, stated that he
would affix his name to no treaty which contained such a provision.
After his firm stand Mr. Bayard left the majority. Clay's "obstinacy" in
opposing concessions is well shown in Mr. Adams's Journal:--

"To this last article [the right of the British to navigate the
Mississippi River] Mr. Clay makes strong objections. He is willing to
leave the matter of the fisheries as a nest-egg for another war.... He
considers it a privilege much too important to be conceded for the mere
liberty of drying fish upon a desert, but the Mississippi was destined
to form a most important part of the interests of the American Union....
Mr. Clay, of all the members, had alone been urgent to present an
article stipulating the abolition of impressment. Mr. Clay lost his
temper, as he generally does whenever the right of the British to
navigate the Mississippi is discussed....

"December 11th. He [Clay] was for war three years longer. He had no
doubt but three years more of war would make us a warlike people, and
that then we should come out of the war with honor.... December 22d. At
last he turned to me, and asked me whether I would not join him now and
break off negotiations."

After five months of weary negotiations under most adverse conditions so
far as the American commissioners were concerned, the treaty was signed
on December 24th, 1814. During all these months Clay had resisted any
and all concessions, and none were made. The Marquis of Wellesley
declared in the House of Lords that the American commissioners had shown
a most astonishing superiority over the British during the whole of the

During Mr. Clay's absence at Ghent, his admiring constituents returned
him to Congress by an almost unanimous vote. A year later in Congress,
Clay referred to his part in the bringing on the war as follows:--

"I gave a vote for a declaration of war. I exerted all the little
influence and talent I could command to make the war. The war was made.
It is terminated. And I declare with perfect sincerity, if it had been
permitted to me to lift the veil of futurity and to foresee the precise
series of events which had occurred, my vote would have been unchanged.
We had been insulted and outraged and spoliated upon by almost all
Europe,--by Great Britain, by France, Spain, Denmark, Naples, and to cap
the climax, by the little contemptible power of Algiers. We had
submitted too long and too much. We had become the scorn of foreign
powers and the derision of our own citizens. What have we gained by the
war? Let any man look at the degraded condition of this country before
the war, the scorn of the universe, the contempt of ourselves; and tell
me if we have gained nothing by the war? What is our situation now?
Respectability and character abroad, security and confidence at home."

Clay more than any other man forced the war. It was the successful
military hero of this war--the victor of New Orleans--who defeated him
in after years for the Presidency.


The heated struggle in Congress over the admission of Missouri into the
Union first brought prominently forward the agitation of the slavery
question. This struggle, which lasted from 1818 to 1821, threatened the
very existence of the Union. Jefferson wrote from Monticello:--

"The Missouri question is the most portentous one that has ever
threatened the Union. In the gloomiest moments of the Revolutionary War
I never had any apprehension equal to that I feel from this source."

Mr. Schurz, writing of the feeling at the time, says:--

"While thus the thought of dissolving the Union occurred readily to the
Southern mind, the thought of maintaining the government and preserving
the Union by means of force hardly occurred to anybody. It seemed to be
taken for granted on all sides that if the Southern States insisted on
cutting loose from the Union, nothing could be done but to let them go."

The two sections were at this time so evenly balanced that the
maintenance of the Union by force could not have been successfully
attempted. The compromise which admitted Missouri to the Union as a
slave State, and recognized the right of settlers to carry slaves into
the territory south of 36° 30', was carried through by the splendid
leadership of Clay, who thus earned the title of "the great
pacificator." Future historians will accord to him the title of the
savior of the Union.

Upon the adoption of the compromise measures Mr. Clay resigned his seat
in Congress to give his attention to his private affairs, being
financially embarrassed by indorsing for a friend. During his stay at
home there was a fierce controversy over the issue of paper money and
relief measures to favor debtors who had become involved through the
recklessness following such inflation. Against what seemed to be an
overwhelming popular feeling, Clay arrayed himself on the side of sound
money and sound finance. In 1823 he was again returned to the House of
Representatives without opposition, and was chosen Speaker by a vote of
139 to 42.


Soon after his entrance into Congress Clay took advanced ground in favor
of building roads, improving water-ways, and constructing canals by the
general government, in order to connect the seaboard States with the
"boundless empire" of the growing West. He became the leader, the
foremost champion, of a system which was bitterly opposed by some of the
ablest statesmen of the time as unauthorized by the Constitution. Clay
triumphed, and during his long public service was the recognized leader
of a system which though opposed at first, has been accepted as a
national policy by both of the great political parties. That he was
actuated by a grand conception of the future destiny of the country, and
the needs of such improvements to insure a more perfect union, his able
speeches on these questions will show. In one he said:--

"Every man who looks at the Constitution in the spirit to entitle him to
the character of statesman, must elevate his views to the height to
which this nation is destined to reach in the rank of nations. We are
not legislating for this moment only, or for the present generation, or
for the present populated limits of the United States; but our acts must
embrace a wider scope,--reaching northward to the Pacific and
southwardly to the river Del Norte. Imagine this extent of territory
with sixty or seventy or a hundred millions of people. The powers which
exist now will exist then; and those which will exist then exist now....
What was the object of the Convention in framing the Constitution? The
leading object was UNION,--Union, then peace. Peace external and
internal, and commerce, but more particularly union and peace, the great
objects of the framers of the Constitution, should be kept steadily in
view in the interpretation of any clause of it; and when it is
susceptible of various interpretation, that construction should be
preferred which tends to promote the objects of the framers of the
Constitution, to the consolidation of the Union.... No man deprecates
more than I do the idea of consolidation; yet between separation and
consolidation, painful as would be the alternative, I should greatly
prefer the latter."

Congress now appropriates yearly for internal improvements a sum far
greater than the entire revenue of the government at the time Clay made
this speech.


It was but natural that Clay's ardent nature and his love of liberty
would incline him to aid the people of Central and South America in
their efforts to free themselves from Spanish oppression and misrule.
Effective here as in all things undertaken by him, his name must always
be linked with the cause of Southern American independence. Richard
Rush, writing from London to Clay in 1825, says: "The South-Americans
owe to you, more than to any other man of either hemisphere, their
independence." His speeches, translated into Spanish, were read to the
revolutionary armies, and "his name was a household name among the
patriots." Bolivar, writing to him from Bogotá in 1827, says:--"All
America, Colombia, and myself, owe your Excellency our purest gratitude
for the incomparable services which you have rendered to us, by
sustaining our cause with sublime enthusiasm."

In one of his speeches on this subject Clay foreshadows a great American
Zollverein. The failure of the Spanish-American republics to attain the
high ideals hoped for by Clay caused him deep regret in after years.


The tariff law of 1824 was another triumph of Clay's successful
leadership, since which time he has been called the father of what has
been termed the "American System." It must be remembered that Clay was
first led to propose protective duties in order to prepare this country
for a war which he felt could not be avoided without loss of national
honor. When in 1824 he advocated increased tariff duties in order to
foster home industries, protection was universal; even our agricultural
products were excluded from British markets by the Corn Laws. The man
who would now advocate in Congress duties as low as those levied by the
tariff law of 1824, would be called by protectionists of the present day
a free-trader. When in 1833 nullification of the tariff laws was
threatened, Clay, while demanding that the laws should be enforced and
that if necessary nullification should be put down by the strong arm of
the government, feared that the growing discontent of the South and the
obstinacy of a military President threatened the Union, introduced and
carried to a conclusion a compromise tariff measure that brought peace
to the country.


It was unfortunate that Clay temporarily relinquished his leadership in
Congress to accept the premiership in the Cabinet of President Adams.
Although the exacting official duties were not congenial, and proved
injurious to his health, his administration of this high office was
brilliant and able, as is well attested by the number of important
treaties concluded, and by his brilliant state papers. His instructions
to the United States delegates to the Panama Congress of American
Republics will grow in importance in the years to come, because of the
broad principles there enunciated,--that private property should be
exempt from seizure on the high seas in times of war.

His chivalrous loyalty to President Adams was fully appreciated, and his
friendship reciprocated. After the close of his administration Mr. Adams
in a speech said:--

"As to my motives for tendering him the Department of State when I did,
let the man who questions them come forward. Let him look around among
the statesmen and legislators of the nation and of that day. Let him
select and name the man whom, by his pre-eminent talents, by his
splendid services, by his ardent patriotism, by his all-embracing public
spirit, by his fervid eloquence in behalf of the rights and liberties of
mankind, by his long experience in the affairs of the Union, foreign and
domestic, a President of the United States intent only upon the honor
and welfare of his country ought to have preferred to Henry Clay."

Just before the close of his administration President Adams offered him
a position on the bench of the Supreme Court, which he declined.


Clay was a slaveholder, a kind master--but through his entire public
life an open advocate of emancipation. He probably received his early
predilections against slavery from his association with Chancellor
Wythe, before removing from Virginia, as indeed the best part of his
education probably came from personal contact with that able man. The
intellectual forces of the border slave States were arrayed in favor of
emancipation, until, as Clay writes with some feeling in 1849, they were
driven to an opposite course "by the violent and indiscreet course of
ultra abolitionists in the North"; but Clay remained to his death
hopeful that by peaceable means his country might be rid of this great
evil. In the letter above quoted, writing of his failure to establish a
system of gradual emancipation in Kentucky, he says:--

"It is a consoling reflection that although a system of gradual
emancipation cannot be established, slavery is destined inevitably to
extinction by the operation of peaceful and natural causes. And it is
also gratifying to believe that there will not be probably much
difference in the period of its existence, whether it terminates legally
or naturally. The chief difference in the two modes is that according to
the first, we should take hold of the institution intelligently and
dispose of it cautiously and safely; while according to the other it
will some day or other take hold of us, and constrain us in some manner
or other to get rid of it."

As early as 1798, he made his first political speeches in Kentucky
advocating an amendment to the State Constitution, providing for the
gradual emancipation of the slaves. Referring to the failure to adopt
this amendment, he said in a speech delivered in the capital of Kentucky
in 1829:--

"I shall never cease to regret a decision, the effects of which have
been to place us in the rear of our neighbors who are exempt from
slavery, in the state of agriculture, the progress of manufactures, the
advance of improvements, and the general progress of society."

In these days, when public men who should be leaders bend to what they
believe to be the popular wishes, the example of Clay, in his bold
disregard of the prejudices and property interests of his constituents,
is inspiring.

George W. Prentice was sent from New England to Kentucky to write a life
of Clay, and writing in 1830 he says:--

"Whenever a slave brought an action at law for his liberty, Mr. Clay
volunteered as his advocate, and it is said that in the whole course of
his practice he never failed to obtain a verdict in the slave's
favor.... He has been the slaves' friend through life. In all stations
he has pleaded the cause of African freedom without fear from high or
low. To him more than to any other individual is to be ascribed the
great revolution which has taken place upon this subject--a revolution
whose wheels must continue to move onward till they reach the goal of
universal freedom."

Three years before this was written, Clay in a speech before the
Colonization Society said:--

"If I could be instrumental in eradicating this deepest stain upon the
character of my country, and removing all cause of reproach on account
of it by foreign nations; if I could only be instrumental in ridding of
this foul blot that revered State which gave me birth, or that not less
beloved State which kindly adopted me as her son, I would not exchange
the proud satisfaction which I should enjoy for the honor of all the
triumphs ever decreed to the most successful conqueror."

He longed to add the imperial domain of Texas to this country, but
feared that it would so strengthen the slave power as to endanger the
Union; and when finally he yielded to the inevitable, the Free-Soilers
threw their votes to Birney and thus defeated Clay for the Presidency.
He deprecated the war with Mexico, yet gave his favorite son as a
soldier, who fell at Buena Vista. He stood for the reception of
anti-slavery petitions by Congress, against the violent opposition of
the leading men of his own section. He continued steadfast to the end,
writing in 1849 that if slavery were, as claimed, a blessing, "the
principle on which it is maintained would require that one portion of
the white race should be reduced to bondage to serve another portion of
the same race, when black subjects of slavery could not be obtained." He
proposed reasonable schemes for gradual emancipation and deportation,
which would, if adopted, have averted the war and settled peaceably the
serious problem. He warned the Southerners in 1849 that their demands
were unreasonable, and would "lead to the formation of a sectional
Northern party, which will sooner or later take permanent and exclusive
possession of the Government."

Seeming inconsistencies in Mr. Clay's record on this subject will
disappear with a full understanding of the difficulties of his position.
Living in a State midway between the North and South, where slavery
existed in its mildest and least objectionable form, yet fully alive to
its evils, recognizing that the grave problem requiring solution was not
alone slavery, but the presence among a free people of a numerous,
fecund, servile, alien race; realizing that one section of the country,
then relatively too powerful to be ignored, was ready to withdraw from
the Union rather than to submit to laws that would endanger slavery;
loving the Union with an ardor not excelled by that of any public man in
our history; wishing and striving for the emancipation of the slaves,
yet too loyal to the Union to follow the more zealous advocates of
freedom in their "higher law than the Constitution" crusade,--Mr. Clay
in his whole course on this question was consistent and patriotic in the
highest degree.


The crowning triumph of a long life of great achievements was his great
compromise measures of 1850. These, with their predecessors of 1821 and
1833, have caused some writers to speak of Clay as a man of compromising
nature. The reverse is true. Bold, aggressive, uncompromising, and often
dictatorial by nature, he favored compromise when convinced that only by
such means could civil war or a disruption of the Union be averted. And
he was right. He averted a conflict or separation from the Union when
the relative strength of the South was such as to have rendered
impossible the preservation of the Union by force. The Constitution was
a compromise, without which there would have been no union of States.
That the compromise did not long survive him was no fault of Clay's, but
chargeable to the agitators of both sections, who cared less for the
Union than for their pet theories or selfish interests.

Two years after his death the compromise measures were repealed, and the
most destructive civil war of modern times and a long list of resultant
evils are the result. Those who knew Henry Clay and had felt his
wonderful power as a leader, are firm in the belief that had he been
alive and in the possession of his faculties in 1861, the Civil War
would have been averted. His name and the memory of his love for the
Union restrained his adopted State from joining the South.

The struggle over the passage of the compromise measures, lasting for
seven months, was one of the most memorable parliamentary struggles on
record. The old hero, Henry Clay, broken in health, with the stamp of
death upon him, for six weary months led the fight with much of his
old-time fire and ability. Sustained by indomitable will and supreme
love of country, "I am here," he said, "expecting soon to go hence, and
owing no responsibility but to my own conscience and to God."

In his opening speech, which lasted for two days, he said:--

"I owe it to myself to say that no earthly power could induce me to vote
for a specific measure for the introduction of slavery where it had not
before existed, either south or north of that line. Sir, while you
reproach, and justly too, our British ancestors for the introduction of
this institution upon the continent of America, I am for one unwilling
that the posterity of the present inhabitants of California and New
Mexico shall reproach us for doing just what we reproach Great Britain
for doing to us."

He upbraided on the one hand the ultra abolitionists as reckless
agitators, and hurled defiance at disunionists of the South, while at
the same time appealing to the loftier nature and patriotic impulses of
his hearers:--

"I believe from the bottom of my soul that this measure is the reunion
of the Union. And now let us discard all resentments, all passions, all
petty jealousies, all personal desires, all love of peace, all hungering
after gilded crumbs which fall from the table of power. Let us forget
popular fears, from whatever quarter they may spring. Let us go to the
fountain of unadulterated patriotism, and performing a solemn
lustration, return divested of all selfish, sinister, and sordid
impurities, and think alone of our God, our country, our conscience, and
our glorious Union."

As described by Bancroft, Clay was "in stature over six feet, spare and
long-limbed; he stood erect as if full of vigor and vitality, and ever
ready to command. His countenance expressed perpetual wakefulness and
activity. His voice was music itself, and yet penetrating and
far-reaching, enchanting the listeners; his words flowed rapidly without
sing-song or mannerism, in a clear and steady stream. Neither in public
nor in private did he know how to be dull."

Bold, fearless, commanding, the lordliest leader of his day, he was yet
gentle, and as an old friend wrote, "was the most emotional man I ever
knew. I have seen his eyes fill instantly on shaking the hand of an old
friend, however obscure, who had stood by him in his early struggles."
The manliest of men, yet his voice would tremble with emotion on reading
aloud from a letter the love messages from a little grandchild.

The following, told me by a gentleman who knew Mr. Clay, illustrates the
true gentleman he was:--

"When I was a small boy my father took me with him to visit Mr. Clay at
his home Ashland. We found some gentlemen there who had been invited to
dinner. Just before they went in to dinner my father told me privately
to run out and play on the lawn while they were dining. As the gentlemen
came out, Mr. Clay saw me, and calling me to him said, 'My young friend,
I owe you an apology.' Turning to the gentlemen he said, 'Go into the
library, gentlemen, and light your cigars--I will join you presently.'
Taking me by the hand he returned with me to the table, ordered the
servants to attend to my wants, and conversed most delightfully with me
until I had finished my dinner."

He had the faculty of making friends and holding them through life by
ties which no circumstances or conditions could sever.

When Clay passed away there was no one whose Unionism embraced all
sections, who could stand between the over-zealous advocates of
abolition of slavery on the one side and the fiery defenders of the
"divine institution" on the other. Sectionalism ran riot, and civil war
was the result. During the many years when the North and South were
divided on the question of slavery, and sectional feeling ran high,
Henry Clay was the only man in public life whose broad nationalism and
intense love for the Union embraced all sections, with no trace of
sectional bias. He can well be called "The Great American."

                                        [Signature: John R. Procter]


    From a Speech at Buffalo, July 17th, 1839

Are we not then called upon by the highest duties to our country, to its
free institutions, to posterity, and to the world, to rise above all
local prejudices and personal partialities, to discard all collateral
questions, to disregard every subordinate point, and in a genuine spirit
of compromise and concession, uniting heart and hand to preserve for
ourselves the blessings of a free government, wisely, honestly, and
faithfully administered, and as we received them from our fathers, to
transmit them to our children? Should we not justly subject ourselves to
eternal reproach, if we permitted our differences about mere men to
bring defeat and disaster upon our cause? Our principles are
imperishable, but men have but a fleeting existence, and are themselves
liable to change and corruption during its brief continuance.


    From a Speech in 1824

Are we so mean, so base, so despicable, that we may not attempt to
express our horror, utter our indignation, at the most brutal and
atrocious war that ever stained earth or shocked high Heaven? at the
ferocious deeds of a savage and infuriated soldiery, stimulated and
urged on by the clergy of a fanatical and inimical religion, and rioting
in all the excesses of blood and butchery, at the mere details of which
the heart sickens and recoils?

If the great body of Christendom can look on calmly and coolly while all
this is perpetrated on a Christian people, in its own immediate
vicinity, in its very presence, let us at least evince that one of its
remote extremities is susceptible of sensibility to Christian wrongs,
and capable of sympathy for Christian sufferings; that in this remote
quarter of the world there are hearts not yet closed against compassion
for human woes, that can pour out their indignant feelings at the
oppression of a people endeared to us by every ancient recollection and
every modern tie. Sir, attempts have been made to alarm the committee
by the dangers to our commerce in the Mediterranean; and a wretched
invoice of figs and opium has been spread before us to repress our
sensibilities and to eradicate our humanity. Ah, sir! "What shall it
profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" or what
shall it avail a nation to save the whole of a miserable trade and lose
its liberties?


    From a Speech before the House of Representatives in 1818

It is the doctrine of thrones that man is too ignorant to govern
himself. Their partisans assert his incapacity, in reference to all
nations; if they cannot command universal assent to the proposition, it
is then demanded as to particular nations; and our pride and our
presumption too often make converts of us. I contend that it is to
arraign the dispositions of Providence himself, to suppose that he has
created beings incapable of governing themselves, and to be trampled on
by kings. Self-government is the natural government of man, and for
proof I refer to the aborigines of our own land. Were I to speculate in
hypotheses unfavorable to human liberty, my speculations should be
founded rather upon the vices, refinements, or density of population.
Crowded together in compact masses, even if they were philosophers, the
contagion of the passions is communicated and caught, and the effect too
often, I admit, is the overthrow of liberty. Dispersed over such an
immense space as that on which the people of Spanish America are spread,
their physical and I believe also their moral condition both favor their

With regard to their superstition, they worship the same God with us.
Their prayers are offered up in their temples to the same Redeemer whose
intercession we expect to save us. Nor is there anything in the Catholic
religion unfavorable to freedom. All religions united with government
are more or less inimical to liberty. All separated from government are
compatible with liberty. If the people of Spanish America have not
already gone as far in religious toleration as we have, the difference
in their condition from ours should not be forgotten. Everything is
progressive; and in time I hope to see them imitating in this respect
our example. But grant that the people of Spanish America are ignorant,
and incompetent for free government; to whom is that ignorance to be
ascribed? Is it not to the execrable system of Spain, which she seeks
again to establish and to perpetuate? So far from chilling our hearts,
it ought to increase our solicitude for our unfortunate brethren. It
ought to animate us to desire the redemption of the minds and bodies of
unborn millions from the brutifying effects of a system whose tendency
is to stifle the faculties of the soul, and to degrade them to the level
of beasts. I would invoke the spirits of our departed fathers. Was it
for yourselves only that you nobly fought? No, no! It was the chains
that were forging for your posterity that made you fly to arms; and
scattering the elements of these chains to the winds, you transmitted to
us the rich inheritance of liberty.


From 1806, the period of my entrance upon this noble theatre, with short
intervals, to the present time, I have been engaged in the public
councils at home or abroad. Of the services rendered during that long
and arduous period of my life it does not become me to speak; history,
if she deign to notice me, and posterity, if the recollection of my
humble actions shall be transmitted to posterity, are the best, the
truest, and the most impartial judges. When death has closed the scene,
their sentence will be pronounced, and to that I commit myself. My
public conduct is a fair subject for the criticism and judgment of my
fellow men; but the motives by which I have been prompted are known only
to the great Searcher of the human heart and to myself; and I trust I
may be pardoned for repeating a declaration made some thirteen years
ago, that whatever errors--and doubtless there have been many--may be
discovered in a review of my public service, I can with unshaken
confidence appeal to that divine Arbiter for the truth of the
declaration that I have been influenced by no impure purpose, no
personal motive; have sought no personal aggrandizement; but that in all
my public acts I have had a single eye directed and a warm and devoted
heart dedicated to what, in my best judgment, I believed the true
interests, the honor, the union, and the happiness of my country

During that long period, however, I have not escaped the fate of other
public men, nor failed to incur censure and detraction of the bitterest,
most unrelenting, and most malignant character; and though not always
insensible to the pain it was meant to inflict, I have borne it in
general with composure and without disturbance, waiting as I have done,
in perfect and undoubting confidence, for the ultimate triumph of
justice and of truth, and in the entire persuasion that time would
settle all things as they should be; and that whatever wrong or
injustice I might experience at the hands of man, He to whom all hearts
are open and fully known, would by the inscrutable dispensations of His
providence rectify all error, redress all wrong, and cause ample justice
to be done.

But I have not meanwhile been unsustained. Everywhere throughout the
extent of this great continent I have had cordial, warm-hearted,
faithful, and devoted friends, who have known me, loved me, and
appreciated my motives. To them, if language were capable of fully
expressing my acknowledgments, I would now offer all the return I have
the power to make for their genuine, disinterested, and persevering
fidelity and devoted attachment, the feelings and sentiments of a heart
overflowing with never-ceasing gratitude. If, however, I fail in
suitable language to express my gratitude to them for all the kindness
they have shown me, what shall I say, what can I say, at all
commensurate with those feelings of gratitude with which I have been
inspired by the State whose humble representative and servant I have
been in this chamber?

I emigrated from Virginia to the State of Kentucky now nearly forty-five
years ago; I went as an orphan boy who had not yet attained the age of
majority; who had never recognized a father's smile, nor felt his warm
caresses; poor, penniless, without the favor of the great, with an
imperfect and neglected education, hardly sufficient for the ordinary
business and common pursuits of life; but scarce had I set my foot upon
her generous soil when I was embraced with parental fondness, caressed
as though I had been a favorite child, and patronized with liberal and
unbounded munificence. From that period the highest honors of the State
have been freely bestowed upon me; and when in the darkest hour of
calumny and detraction I seemed to be assailed by all the rest of the
world, she interposed her broad and impenetrable shield, repelled the
poisoned shafts that were aimed for my destruction, and vindicated my
good name from every malignant and unfounded aspersion. I return with
indescribable pleasure to linger a while longer, and mingle with the
warm-hearted and whole-souled people of that State; and when the last
scene shall forever close upon me, I hope that my earthly remains will
be laid under her green sod with those of her gallant and patriotic

That my nature is warm, my temper ardent, my disposition--especially in
relation to the public service--enthusiastic, I am ready to own; and
those who suppose that I have been assuming the dictatorship, have only
mistaken for arrogance or assumption that ardor and devotion which are
natural to my constitution, and which I may have displayed with too
little regard to cold, calculating, and cautious prudence, in sustaining
and zealously supporting important national measures of policy which I
have presented and espoused....

I go from this place under the hope that we shall mutually consign to
perpetual oblivion whatever personal collisions may at any time
unfortunately have occurred between us; and that our recollections shall
dwell in future only on those conflicts of mind with mind, those
intellectual struggles, those noble exhibitions of the powers of logic,
argument, and eloquence, honorable to the Senate and to the nation, in
which each has sought and contended for what he deemed the best mode of
accomplishing one common object, the interest and the most happiness of
our beloved country. To these thrilling and delightful scenes it will be
my pleasure and my pride to look back in my retirement with unmeasured

May the most precious blessings of Heaven rest upon the whole Senate and
each member of it, and may the labors of every one redound to the
benefit of the nation and to the advancement of his own fame and renown.
And when you shall retire to the bosom of your constituents, may you
receive the most cheering and gratifying of all human rewards,--their
cordial greeting of "Well done, good and faithful servant."


It would neither be fitting, nor is it my purpose, to pass judgment on
all the acts of my public life; but I hope I shall be excused for one or
two observations which the occasion appears to me to authorize.

I never but once changed my opinion on any great measure of national
policy, or on any great principle of construction of the national
Constitution. In early life, on deliberate consideration, I adopted the
principles of interpreting the federal Constitution which have been so
ably developed and enforced by Mr. Madison in his memorable report to
the Virginia Legislature; and to them, as I understood them, I have
constantly adhered. Upon the question coming up in the Senate of the
United States to re-charter the first Bank of the United States, thirty
years ago, I opposed the re-charter upon convictions which I honestly
entertained. The experience of the war which shortly followed, the
condition into which the currency of the country was thrown without a
bank, and I may now add, later and more disastrous experience, convinced
me I was wrong. I publicly stated to my constituents, in a speech in
Lexington (that which I made in the House of Representatives of the
United States not having been reported), my reasons for that change, and
they are preserved in the archives of the country. I appeal to that
record, and I am willing to be judged now and hereafter by their

I do not advert to the fact of this solitary instance of change of
opinion as implying any personal merit, but because it is a fact. I will
however say that I think it very perilous to the utility of any public
man to make frequent changes of opinion, or any change, but upon grounds
so sufficient and palpable that the public can clearly see and approve
them. If we could look through a window into the human breast and there
discover the causes which led to changes of opinion, they might be made
without hazard. But as it is impossible to penetrate the human heart and
distinguish between the sinister and honest motives which prompt it, any
public man that changes his opinion, once deliberately formed and
promulgated, under other circumstances than those which I have stated,
draws around him distrust, impairs the public confidence, and lessens
his capacity to serve his country.

I will take this occasion now to say, that I am and have been long
satisfied that it would have been wiser and more politic in me to have
declined accepting the office of Secretary of State in 1825. Not that my
motives were not as pure and as patriotic as ever carried any man into
public office. Not that the calumny which was applied to the fact was
not as gross and as unfounded as any that was ever propagated. Not that
valued friends and highly esteemed opponents did not unite in urging my
acceptance of the office. Not that the administration of Mr. Adams will
not, I sincerely believe, advantageously compare with any of his
predecessors, in economy, purity, prudence, and wisdom. Not that Mr.
Adams was himself wanting in any of those high qualifications and
upright and patriotic intentions which were suited to the office....

But my error in accepting the office arose out of my under rating the
power of detraction and the force of ignorance, and abiding with too
sure a confidence in the conscious integrity and uprightness of my own
motives. Of that ignorance I had a remarkable and laughable example on
an occasion which I will relate. I was traveling in 1828 through--I
believe it was Spottsylvania County in Virginia, on my return to
Washington, in company with some young friends. We halted at night at a
tavern, kept by an aged gentleman who, I quickly perceived from the
disorder and confusion which reigned, had not the happiness to have a
wife. After a hurried and bad supper the old gentleman sat down by me,
and without hearing my name, but understanding that I was from Kentucky,
remarked that he had four sons in that State, and that he was very sorry
they were divided in politics, two being for Adams and two for Jackson;
he wished they were all for Jackson. "Why?" I asked him.--"Because," he
said, "that fellow Clay, and Adams, had cheated Jackson out of the
Presidency."--"Have you ever seen any evidence, my old friend," said I,
"of that?"--"No," he replied, "none," and he wanted to see none. "But,"
I observed, looking him directly and steadily in the face, "suppose Mr.
Clay were to come here and assure you upon his honor that it was all a
vile calumny, and not a word of truth in it, would you believe
him?"--"No," replied the old gentleman, promptly and emphatically. I
said to him in conclusion, "Will you be good enough to show me to bed?"
and bade him good-night. The next morning, having in the interval
learned my name, he came to me full of apologies; but I at once put him
at his ease by assuring him that I did not feel in the slightest degree
hurt or offended with him....

If to have served my country during a long series of years with fervent
zeal and unshaken fidelity, in seasons of peace and war, at home and
abroad, in the legislative halls and in an executive department; if to
have labored most sedulously to avert the embarrassment and distress
which now overspread this Union, and when they came, to have exerted
myself anxiously at the extra session, and at this, to devise healing
remedies; if to have desired to introduce economy and reform in the
general administration, curtail enormous executive power, and amply
provide at the same time for the wants of the government and the wants
of the people, by a tariff which would give it revenue and then
protection; if to have earnestly sought to establish the bright but too
rare example of a party in power faithful to its promises and pledges
made when out of power: if these services, exertions, and endeavors
justify the accusation of ambition, I must plead guilty to the charge.

I have wished the good opinion of the world; but I defy the most
malignant of my enemies to show that I have attempted to gain it by any
low or groveling arts, by any mean or unworthy sacrifices, by the
violation of any of the obligations of honor, or by a breach of any of
the duties which I owed to my country....

How is this right of the people to abolish an existing government, and
to set up a new one, to be practically exercised? Our revolutionary
ancestors did not tell us by words, but they proclaimed it by gallant
and noble deeds. Who are the people that are to tear up the whole fabric
of human society, whenever and as often as caprice or passion may prompt
them? When all the arrangements and ordinances of existing organized
society are prostrated and subverted, as must be supposed in such a
lawless and irregular movement as that in Rhode Island, the established
privileges and distinctions between the sexes, between the colors,
between the ages, between natives and foreigners, between the sane and
the insane, and between the innocent and the guilty convict, all the
offspring of positive institutions, are cast down and abolished, and
society is thrown into one heterogeneous and unregulated mass. And is it
contended that the major part of this Babel congregation is invested
with the right to build up at its pleasure a new government? that as
often, and whenever, society can be drummed up and thrown into such a
shapeless mass, the major part of it may establish another and another
new government in endless succession? Why, this would overturn all
social organization, make revolutions--the extreme and last resort of an
oppressed people--the commonest occurrences of human life, and the
standing order of the day. How such a principle would operate in a
certain section of this Union, with a peculiar population, you will
readily conceive. No community could endure such an intolerable state of
things anywhere, and all would sooner or later take refuge from such
ceaseless agitation in the calm repose of absolute despotism....

Fellow-citizens of all parties! The present situation of our country is
one of unexampled distress and difficulty; but there is no occasion for
any despondency. A kind and bountiful Providence has never deserted us;
punished us he perhaps has, for our neglect of his blessings and our
misdeeds. We have a varied and fertile soil, a genial climate, and free
institutions. Our whole land is covered in profusion with the means of
subsistence and the comforts of life. Our gallant ship, it is
unfortunately true, lies helpless, tossed on a tempestuous sea amid the
conflicting billows of contending parties, without a rudder and without
a faithful pilot. But that ship is our country, embodying all our past
glory, all our future hopes. Its crew is our whole people, by whatever
political denomination they are known. If she goes down, we all go down
together. Let us remember the dying words of the gallant and lamented
Lawrence, "Don't give up the ship." The glorious banner of our country,
with its unstained stars and stripes, still proudly floats at its
mast-head. With stout hearts and strong arms we can surmount all our
difficulties. Let us all, all, rally round that banner, and finally
resolve to perpetuate our liberties and regain our lost prosperity.

Whigs! Arouse from the ignoble supineness which encompasses you; awake
from the lethargy in which you lie bound; cast from you that unworthy
apathy which seems to make you indifferent to the fate of your country.
Arouse! awake! shake off the dewdrops that glitter on your garments, and
once more march to battle and to victory. You have been disappointed,
deceived, betrayed; shamefully deceived and betrayed. But will you
therefore also prove false and faithless to your country, or obey the
impulses of a just and patriotic indignation? As for Captain Tyler, he
is a mere snap, a flash in the pan; pick your Whig flints and try your
rifles again.

         From 'The Speeches of Henry Clay; Edited by Calvin Colton.'
         Copyright, 1857, by A. S. Barnes and Company.


(331-232 B.C.)

Cleanthes, the immediate successor of Zeno, the founder of Stoicism, was
born at Assos, in the Troad, in B.C. 331. Of his early life we know
nothing, except that he was for a time a prize-fighter. About the age of
thirty he came to Athens with less than a dollar in his pocket, and
entered the school of Zeno, where he remained for some nineteen years.
At one time the Court of Areopagus, not seeing how he could make an
honest livelihood, summoned him to appear before it and give an account
of himself. He did so, bringing with him his employers, who proved that
he spent much of the night in carrying water for gardens, or in kneading
dough. The court, filled with admiration, offered him a pension, which
he refused by the advice of his master, who thought the practice of
self-dependence and strong endurance an essential part of education.
Cleanthes's mind was slow of comprehension but extremely retentive; like
a hard tablet, Zeno said, which retains clearest and longest what is
written on it. He was not an original thinker, but the strength and
loftiness of his character and his strong religious sense gave him an
authority which no other member of the school could claim. For many
years head of the Stoa, he reached the ripe age of ninety-nine, when,
falling sick, he refused to take food, and died of voluntary starvation
in B.C. 232. Long afterwards, the Roman Senate caused a statue to be
erected to his memory in his native town. Almost the only writing of his
that has come down to us is his noble Hymn to the Supreme Being.


  Most glorious of all the Undying, many-named, girt round with awe!
  Jove, author of Nature, applying to all things the rudder of law--
  Hail! Hail! for it justly rejoices the races whose life is a span
  To lift unto thee their voices--the Author and Framer of man.
  For we are thy sons; thou didst give us the symbols of speech at our
  Alone of the things that live, and mortal move upon earth.
  Wherefore thou shalt find me extolling and ever singing thy praise;
  Since thee the great Universe, rolling on its path round the world,
  Obeys thee, wherever thou guidest, and gladly is bound in thy bands,
  So great is the power thou confidest, with strong, invincible hands,
  To thy mighty ministering servant, the bolt of the thunder, that
  Two-edged, like a sword, and fervent, that is living and never dies.
  All nature, in fear and dismay, doth quake in the path of its stroke,
  What time thou preparest the way for the one Word thy lips have spoke,
  Which blends with lights smaller and greater, which pervadeth and
          thrilleth all things,
  So great is thy power and thy nature--in the Universe Highest of
  On earth, of all deeds that are done, O God! there is none without
  In the holy ether not one, nor one on the face of the sea,
  Save the deeds that evil men, driven by their own blind folly, have
  But things that have grown uneven are made even again by thy hand;
  And things unseemly grow seemly, the unfriendly are friendly to thee;
  For so good and evil supremely thou hast blended in one by decree.
  For all thy decree is one ever--a Word that endureth for aye,
  Which mortals, rebellious, endeavor to flee from and shun to obey--
  Ill-fated, that, worn with proneness for the lordship of goodly
  Neither hear nor behold, in its oneness, the law that divinity brings;
  Which men with reason obeying, might attain unto glorious life,
  No longer aimlessly straying in the paths of ignoble strife.
  There are men with a zeal unblest, that are wearied with following of
  And men with a baser quest, that are turned to lucre and shame.
  There are men too that pamper and pleasure the flesh with delicate
  All these desire beyond measure to be other than all these things.
  Great Jove, all-giver, dark-clouded, great Lord of the thunderbolt's
  Deliver the men that are shrouded in ignorance dismal as death.
  O Father! dispel from their souls the darkness, and grant them the
  Of reason, thy stay, when the whole wide world thou rulest with might,
  That we, being honored, may honor thy name with the music of hymns,
  Extolling the deeds of the Donor, unceasing, as rightly beseems
  Mankind; for no worthier trust is awarded to God or to man
  Than forever to glory with justice in the law that endures and is One.



Samuel L. Clemens has made the name he assumed in his earliest
"sketches" for newspapers so completely to usurp his own in public and
private, that until recently the world knew him by no other; his world
of admirers rarely use any other in referring to the great author, and
even to his intimate friends the borrowed name seems the more real. The
pseudonym so lightly picked up has nearly universal recognition, and it
is safe to say that the name "Mark Twain" is known to more people of all
conditions, the world over, than any other in this century, except that
of some reigning sovereign or great war captain. The term is one used by
the Mississippi River pilots to indicate the depth of water (two
fathoms) when throwing the lead. It was first employed by a river
correspondent in reporting the state of the river to a New Orleans
newspaper. This reporter died just about the time Mr. Clemens began to
write, and he "jumped" the name.

Mr. Clemens was born in Hannibal, Missouri, a small town on the west
bank of the Mississippi, in 1835. He got the rudiments of an education
at a village school, learned boy-life and human nature in a frontier
community, entered a printing office and became an expert compositor,
traveled and worked as a journeyman printer, and at length reached the
summit of a river boy's ambition in a Mississippi steamboat in learning
the business of a pilot. It is to this experience that the world is
indebted for some of the most amusing, the most real and valuable, and
the most imaginative writing of this century, which gives the character
and interest and individuality to this great Western river that history
has given to the Nile. If he had no other title to fame, he could rest
securely on his reputation as the prose poet of the Mississippi. Upon
the breaking out of the war the river business was suspended. Mr.
Clemens tried the occupation of war for a few weeks, on the Confederate
side, in a volunteer squad which does not seem to have come into
collision with anything but scant rations and imaginary alarms; and then
he went to Nevada with his brother, who had been appointed secretary of
that Territory. Here he became connected with the Territorial
Enterprise, a Virginia City newspaper, as a reporter and sketch-writer,
and immediately opened a battery of good-natured and exaggerated and
complimentary description that was vastly amusing to those who were not
its targets. Afterwards he drifted to the Coast, tried mining, and then
joined that group of young writers who illustrated the early history of
California. A short voyage in the Sandwich Islands gave him new material
for his pen, and he made a successful début in San Francisco as a
humorous lecturer.

The first writing to attract general attention was 'The Jumping Frog of
Calaveras,' which was republished with several other sketches in book
form in New York. Shortly after this he joined the excursion of the
Quaker City steamship to the Orient, wrote letters about it to American
newspapers, and advertised it quite beyond the expectations of its
projectors. These letters, collected and revised, became 'The Innocents
Abroad,' which instantly gave him a world-wide reputation. This was
followed by 'Roughing It,' most amusing episodes of frontier life. His
pen became immediately in great demand, and innumerable sketches flowed
from it, many of them recklessly exaggerated for the effect he wished to
produce; always laughter-provoking, and nearly always having a wholesome
element of satire of some sham or pretense or folly. For some time he
had charge of a humorous department in the Galaxy Magazine. These
sketches and others that followed were from time to time collected into
volumes which had a great sale. About this time he married, and
permanently settled in Hartford, where he began the collection of a
library, set himself to biographical and historical study, made
incursions into German and French, and prepared himself for the more
serious work that was before him.

A second sojourn in Europe produced 'A Tramp Abroad,' full of stories
and adventures, much in the spirit of his original effort. But with more
reading, reflection, and search into his own experiences, came 'Old
Times on the Mississippi,' 'Tom Sawyer,' and 'Huckleberry Finn,' in
which the author wrote out of his own heart. To interest in social
problems must be attributed the beautiful idyl of 'The Prince and the
Pauper,' and 'The Yankee at the Court of King Arthur,' which latter the
English thought lacked reverence for the traditions of chivalry.

During all this period Mr. Clemens was in great demand as a lecturer and
an after-dinner speaker. His remarks about New England weather, at a New
England dinner in New York, are a favorite example of his humor and his
power of poetic description. As a lecturer, a teller of stories, and
delineator of character, he had scarcely a rival in his ability to draw
and entertain vast audiences. He made a large income from his lectures
in America and in England, and from his books, which always had a
phenomenally large sale. Very remunerative also was the play of 'Colonel
Sellers,' constructed out of a novel called 'The Gilded Age.'

  [Illustration: S. L. CLEMENS.]

Since 1890 Mr. Clemens and his family have lived most of the time in
Europe. For some time before he had written little, but since that his
pen has again become active. He has produced many magazine papers, a
story called 'Pudd'nhead Wilson,' and the most serious and imaginative
work of his life in 'The Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc,' feigned
to be translated from a contemporary memoir left by her private
secretary. In it the writer strikes the universal chords of sympathy and
pathos and heroic elevation. In 1895-6 he made a lecturing tour of the
globe, speaking in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and India, and
everywhere received an ovation due to his commanding reputation. He is
understood to be making this journey the subject of another book.

Mr. Clemens is universally recognized as the first of living humorists;
but if the fashion of humor changes, as change it may, he will remain
for other qualities--certain primordial qualities such as are exhibited
in his work on the Mississippi--a force to be reckoned with in the
literature of this century. Mr. Clemens's humor has the stamp of
universality, which is the one indispensable thing in all enduring
literary productions, and his books have been translated and very widely
diffused and read in German, French, and other languages. This is a
prophecy of his lasting place in the world of letters.


    From 'Life on the Mississippi': copyright 1883, by James R.
    Osgood and Company

By way of illustrating keelboat talk and manners, and that now departed
and hardly remembered raft life, I will throw in, in this place, a
chapter from a book which I have been working at by fits and starts
during the past five or six years, and may possibly finish in the course
of five or six more. The book is a story which details some passages in
the life of an ignorant village boy, Huck Finn, son of the town drunkard
of my time out West there. He has run away from his persecuting father,
and from a persecuting good widow who wishes to make a nice
truth-telling respectable boy of him; and with him a slave of the
widow's has also escaped. They have found a fragment of a lumber raft
(it is high water and dead summer-time), and are floating down the river
by night and hiding in the willows by day,--bound for Cairo,--whence the
negro will seek freedom in the heart of the free States. But in a fog,
they pass Cairo without knowing it. By-and-by they begin to suspect the
truth, and Huck Finn is persuaded to end the dismal suspense by swimming
down to a huge raft which they have seen in the distance ahead of them,
creeping aboard under cover of the darkness, and gathering the needed
information by eavesdropping:--

But you know a young person can't wait very well when he is impatient to
find a thing out. We talked it over, and by-and-by Jim said it was such
a black night now that it wouldn't be no risk to swim down to the big
raft and crawl aboard and listen,--they would talk about Cairo, because
they would be calculating to go ashore there for a spree, maybe, or
anyway they would send boats ashore to buy whisky or fresh meat or
something. Jim had a wonderful level head, for a nigger: he could 'most
always start a good plan when you wanted one.

I stood up and shook my rags off and jumped into the river, and struck
out for the raft's light. By-and-by, when I got down nearly to her, I
eased up and went slow and cautious. But everything was all
right--nobody at the sweeps. So I swum down along the raft till I was
'most abreast the camp fire in the middle, then I crawled aboard and
inched along and got in amongst some bundles of shingles on the weather
side of the fire. There was thirteen men there--they was the watch on
deck, of course. And a mighty rough-looking lot too. They had a jug, and
tin cups, and they kept the jug moving. One man was singing--roaring,
you may say; and it wasn't a nice song--for a parlor anyway. He roared
through his nose, and strung out the last word of every line very long.
When he was done they all fetched a kind of Injun war-whoop, and then
another was sung. It begun:--

  "There was a woman in our towdn.
    In our towdn did dwed'l (dwell),
  She loved her husband dear-i-lee,
    But another man twyste as wed'l.

  "Singing too, riloo, riloo, riloo,
    Ri-loo, riloo, rilay---e,
  She loved her husband dear-i-lee,
    But another man twyste as wed'l."

And so on--fourteen verses. It was kind of poor, and when he was going
to start on the next verse one of them said it was the tune the old cow
died on; and another one said, "Oh, give us a rest." And another one
told him to take a walk. They made fun of him till he got mad and jumped
up and begun to cuss the crowd, and said he could lam any thief in the

They was all about to make a break for him, but the biggest man there
jumped up and says:--

"Set whar you are, gentlemen. Leave him to me; he's my meat."

Then he jumped up in the air three times and cracked his heels together
every time. He flung off a buckskin coat that was all hung with fringes,
and says, "You lay thar tell the chawin-up's done;" and flung his hat
down, which was all over ribbons, and says, "You lay thar tell his
sufferins is over."

Then he jumped up in the air and cracked his heels together again and
shouted out:--

"Whoo-oop! I'm the old original iron-jawed, brass-mounted,
copper-bellied corpse-maker from the wilds of Arkansaw!--Look at me! I'm
the man they call Sudden Death and General Desolation! Sired by a
hurricane, dam'd by an earthquake, half-brother to the cholera, nearly
related to the small-pox on the mother's side! Look at me! I take
nineteen alligators and a bar'l of whisky for breakfast when I'm in
robust health, and a bushel of rattlesnakes and a dead body when I'm
ailing! I split the everlasting rocks with my glance, and I squench the
thunder when I speak! Whoo-oop! Stand back and give me room according to
my strength! Blood's my natural drink, and the wails of the dying is
music to my ear! Cast your eye on me, gentlemen!--and lay low and hold
your breath, for I'm 'bout to turn myself loose!"

All the time he was getting this off, he was shaking his head and
looking fierce and kind of swelling around in a little circle, tucking
up his wrist-bands and now and then straightening up and beating his
breast with his fist, saying "Look at me, gentlemen!" When he got
through he jumped up and cracked his heels together three times, and let
off a roaring "Whoo-oop! I'm the bloodiest son of a wildcat that lives!"

Then the man that had started the row tilted his old slouch hat down
over his right eye; then he bent stooping forward, with his back sagged
and his south end sticking out far, and his fists a-shoving out and
drawing in in front of him, and so went around in a little circle about
three times, swelling himself up and breathing hard. Then he
straightened, and jumped up and cracked his heels together three times
before he lit again (that made them cheer), and he begun to shout like
this:--"Whoo-oop! bow your neck and spread, for the kingdom of sorrow's
a-coming! Hold me down to the earth, for I feel my powers a-working!
whoo-oop! I'm a child of sin; _don't_ let me get a start! Smoked glass,
here, for all! Don't attempt to look at me with the naked eye,
gentlemen! When I'm playful I use the meridians of longitude and
parallels of latitude for a seine, and drag the Atlantic Ocean for
whales! I scratch my head with the lightning and purr myself to sleep
with the thunder! When I'm cold I bile the Gulf of Mexico and bathe in
it; when I'm hot I fan myself with an equinoctial storm; when I'm
thirsty I reach up and suck a cloud dry like a sponge; when I range the
earth hungry, famine follows in my tracks! Whoo-oop! Bow your neck and
spread! I put my hand on the sun's face and make it night in the earth;
I bite a piece out of the moon and hurry the seasons; I shake myself and
crumble the mountains! Contemplate me through leather--_don't_ use the
naked eye! I'm the man with a petrified heart and biler-iron bowels! The
massacre of isolated communities is the pastime of my idle moments, the
destruction of nationalities the serious business of my life! The
boundless vastness of the great American desert is my inclosed property,
and I bury my dead on my own premises!" He jumped up and cracked his
heels together three times before he lit (they cheered him again), and
as he came down he shouted out: "Whoo-oop! bow your neck and spread, for
the pet child of calamity's a-coming!"

Then the other one went to swelling around and blowing again--the first
one--the one they called Bob; next, the Child of Calamity chipped in
again, bigger than ever; then they both got at it at the same time,
swelling round and round each other and punching their fists 'most into
each other's faces, and whooping and jawing like Injuns; then Bob called
the Child names, and the Child called him names back again: next, Bob
called him a heap rougher names, and the Child come back at him with the
very worst kind of language; next, Bob knocked the Child's hat off, and
the Child picked it up and kicked Bob's ribbony hat about six foot; Bob
went and got it and said never mind, this warn't going to be the last of
this thing, because he was a man that never forgot and never forgive,
and so the Child better look out; for there was a time a-coming, just
as sure as he was a living man, that he would have to answer to him with
the best blood in his body. The Child said no man was willinger than he
was for that time to come, and he would give Bob fair warning, _now_,
never to cross his path again, for he could never rest till he had waded
in his blood; for such was his nature, though he was sparing him now on
account of his family, if he had one.

Both of them was edging away in different directions, growling and
shaking their heads and going on about what they was going to do; but a
little black-whiskered chap skipped up and says:--

"Come back here, you couple of chicken-livered cowards, and I'll thrash
the two of ye!"

And he done it, too. He snatched them, he jerked them this way and that,
he booted them around, he knocked them sprawling faster than they could
get up. Why, it warn't two minutes till they begged like dogs--and how
the other lot did yell and laugh and clap their hands all the way
through, and shout "Sail in, Corpse-Maker!" "Hi! at him again, Child of
Calamity!" "Bully for you, little Davy!" Well, it was a perfect pow-wow
for a while. Bob and the Child had red noses and black eyes when they
got through. Little Davy made them own up that they was sneaks and
cowards, and not fit to eat with a dog or drink with a nigger; then Bob
and the Child shook hands with each other very solemn, and said they had
always respected each other and was willing to let bygones be bygones.
So then they washed their faces in the river; and just then there was a
loud order to stand by for a crossing, and some of them went forward to
man the sweeps there, and the rest went aft to handle the after-sweeps.


    From 'Life on the Mississippi': copyright 1883, by James R.
    Osgood and Company

Once a day a cheap gaudy packet arrived upward from St. Louis, and
another downward from Keokuk. Before these events, the day was glorious
with expectancy; after them, the day was a dead and empty thing. Not
only the boys but the whole village felt this. After all these years I
can picture that old time to myself now, just as it was then: the white
town drowsing in the sunshine of a summer's morning; the streets empty,
or pretty nearly so; one or two clerks sitting in front of the Water
Street stores, with their splint-bottomed chairs tilted back against the
wall, chins on breasts, hats slouched over their faces, asleep--with
shingle-shavings enough around to show what broke them down; a sow and a
litter of pigs loafing along the sidewalk, doing a good business in
watermelon rinds and seeds; two or three lonely little freight piles
scattered about the "levee"; a pile of "skids" on the slope of the
stone-paved wharf, and the fragrant town drunkard asleep in the shadow
of them; two or three wood flats at the head of the wharf, but nobody to
listen to the peaceful lapping of the wavelets against them; the great
Mississippi, the majestic, the magnificent Mississippi, rolling its
mile-wide tide along, shining in the sun; the dense forest away on the
other side; the "point" above the town and the "point" below, bounding
the river-glimpse and turning it into a sort of sea, and withal a very
still and brilliant and lonely one. Presently a film of dark smoke
appears above one of those remote "points"; instantly a negro drayman,
famous for his quick eye and prodigious voice, lifts up the cry,
"S-t-e-a-m-boat a-comin'!" and the scene changes! The town drunkard
stirs, the clerks wake up, a furious clatter of drays follows, every
house and store pours out a human contribution, and all in a twinkling
the dead town is alive and moving. Drays, carts, men, boys, all go
hurrying from many quarters to a common centre, the wharf. Assembled
there, the people fasten their eyes upon the coming boat, as upon a
wonder they are seeing for the first time. And the boat _is_ rather a
handsome sight too. She is long and sharp and trim and pretty; she has
two tall fancy-topped chimneys, with a gilded device of some kind swung
between them; a fanciful pilot-house, all glass and "gingerbread,"
perched on top of the "texas" deck behind them; the paddle-boxes are
gorgeous with a picture or with gilded rays above the boat's name; the
boiler deck, the hurricane deck, and the texas deck are fenced and
ornamented with clean white railings; there is a flag gallantly flying
from the jack-staff; the furnace doors are open and the fires glaring
bravely; the upper decks are black with passengers; the captain stands
by the big bell, calm, imposing, the envy of all; great volumes of the
blackest smoke are rolling and tumbling out of the chimneys--a husbanded
grandeur created with a bit of pitch-pine just before arriving at a
town; the crew are grouped on the forecastle; the broad stage is run far
out over the port bow, and an envied deck hand stands picturesquely on
the end of it with a coil of rope in his hand; the pent steam is
screaming through the gauge-cocks; the captain lifts his hand, a bell
rings, the wheels stop; then they turn back, churning the water to a
foam, and the steamer is at rest. Then such a scramble as there is to
get aboard, and to get ashore, and to take in freight and to discharge
freight, all at one and the same time; and such a yelling and cursing as
the mates facilitate it all with! Ten minutes later the steamer is under
way again, with no flag on the jack-staff and no black smoke issuing
from the chimneys. After ten more minutes the town is dead again, and
the town drunkard asleep by the skids once more.


    From 'Life on the Mississippi': copyright 1883, by James R.
    Osgood and Company

During this big rise these small-fry craft were an intolerable nuisance.
We were running chute after chute,--a new world to me,--and if there was
a particularly cramped place in a chute, we would be pretty sure to meet
a broad-horn there; and if he failed to be there, we would find him in a
still worse locality, namely, the head of the chute, on the shoal water.
And then there would be no end of profane cordialities exchanged.

Sometimes, in the big river, when we would be feeling our way cautiously
along through a fog, the deep hush would suddenly be broken by yells
and a clamor of tin pans, and all in an instant a log raft would appear
vaguely through the webby veil, close upon us; and then we did not wait
to swap knives, but snatched our engine bells out by the roots and piled
on all the steam we had, to scramble out of the way! One doesn't hit a
rock or a solid log raft with a steamboat when he can get excused.

You will hardly believe it, but many steamboat clerks always carried a
large assortment of religious tracts with them in those old departed
steamboating days. Indeed they did. Twenty times a day we would be
cramping up around a bar, while a string of these small-fry rascals were
drifting down into the head of the bend away above and beyond us a
couple of miles. Now a skiff would dart away from one of them, and come
fighting its laborious way across the desert of water. It would "ease
all," in the shadow of our forecastle, and the panting oarsmen would
shout, "Gimme a pa-a-per!" as the skiff drifted swiftly astern. The
clerk would throw over a file of New Orleans journals. If these were
picked up _without comment_, you might notice that now a dozen other
skiffs had been drifting down upon us without saying anything. You
understand, they had been waiting to see how No. 1 was going to fare.
No. 1 making no comment, all the rest would bend to their oars and come
on now; and as fast as they came the clerk would heave over neat bundles
of religious tracts, tied to shingles. The amount of hard swearing which
twelve packages of religious literature will command when impartially
divided up among twelve raftsmen's crews, who have pulled a heavy skiff
two miles on a hot day to get them, is simply incredible.

As I have said, the big rise brought a new world under my vision. By the
time the river was over its banks we had forsaken our old paths and were
hourly climbing over bars that had stood ten feet out of water before;
we were shaving stumpy shores, like that at the foot of Madrid Bend,
which I had always seen avoided before; we were clattering through
chutes like that of 82, where the opening at the foot was an unbroken
wall of timber till our nose was almost at the very spot. Some of these
chutes were utter solitudes. The dense untouched forest over-hung both
banks of the crooked little crack, and one could believe that human
creatures had never intruded there before. The swinging grapevines, the
grassy nooks and vistas, glimpsed as we swept by, the flowering
creepers waving their red blossoms from the tops of dead trunks, and all
the spendthrift richness of the forest foliage, were wasted and thrown
away there. The chutes were lovely places to steer in; they were deep,
except at the head; the current was gentle; under the "points" the water
was absolutely dead, and the invisible banks so bluff that where the
tender willow thickets projected you could bury your boat's broadside in
them as you tore along, and then you seemed fairly to fly.

Behind other islands we found wretched little farms and wretcheder
little log cabins; there were crazy rail fences sticking a foot or two
above the water, with one or two jeans-clad, chills-racked, yellow-faced
male miserables roosting on the top rail, elbows on knees, jaws in
hands, grinding tobacco and discharging the result at floating chips
through crevices left by lost teeth; while the rest of the family and
the few farm animals were huddled together in an empty wood flat riding
at her moorings close at hand. In this flatboat the family would have to
cook and eat and sleep for a lesser or greater number of days (or
possibly weeks), until the river should fall two or three feet and let
them get back to their log cabin and their chills again--chills being a
merciful provision of an all-wise Providence to enable them to take
exercise without exertion. And this sort of watery camping out was a
thing which these people were rather liable to be treated to a couple of
times a year: by the December rise out of the Ohio, and the June rise
out of the Mississippi. And yet these were kindly dispensations, for
they at least enabled the poor things to rise from the dead now and
then, and look upon life when a steamboat went by. They appreciated the
blessing too, for they spread their mouths and eyes wide open and made
the most of these occasions. Now what _could_ these banished creatures
find to do to keep from dying of the blues during the low-water season!

Once in one of these lovely island chutes we found our course completely
bridged by a great fallen tree. This will serve to show how narrow some
of the chutes were. The passengers had an hour's recreation in a virgin
wilderness while the boat hands chopped the bridge away; for there was
no such thing as turning back, you comprehend.

From Cairo to Baton Rouge, when the river is over its banks, you have no
particular trouble in the night, for the thousand-mile wall of dense
forest that guards the two banks all the way is only gapped with a farm
or wood-yard opening at intervals, and so you can't "get out of the
river" much easier than you could get out of a fenced lane; but from
Baton Rouge to New Orleans it is a different matter. The river is more
than a mile wide, and very deep--as much as two hundred feet, in places.
Both banks, for a good deal over a hundred miles, are shorn of their
timber and bordered by continuous sugar plantations, with only here and
there a scattering sapling or row of ornamental China-trees. The timber
is shorn off clear to the rear of the plantations, from two to four
miles. When the first frost threatens to come, the planters snatch off
their crops in a hurry. When they have finished grinding the cane, they
form the refuse of the stalks (which they call _bagasse_) into great
piles and set fire to them, though in other sugar countries the bagasse
is used for fuel in the furnaces of the sugar-mills. Now the piles of
damp bagasse burn slowly, and smoke like Satan's own kitchen.

An embankment ten or fifteen feet high guards both banks of the
Mississippi all the way down that lower end of the river, and this
embankment is set back from the edge of the shore from ten to perhaps a
hundred feet, according to circumstances; say thirty or forty feet as a
general thing. Fill that whole region with an impenetrable gloom of
smoke from a hundred miles of burning bagasse piles, when the river is
over the banks, and turn a steamboat loose along there at midnight and
see how she will feel. And see how you will feel too! You find yourself
away out in the midst of a vague dim sea that is shoreless, that fades
out and loses itself in the murky distances; for you cannot discern the
thin rib of embankment, and you are always imagining you see a
straggling tree when you don't. The plantations themselves are
transformed by the smoke and look like a part of the sea. All through
your watch you are tortured with the exquisite misery of uncertainty.
You hope you are keeping in the river, but you do not know. All that you
are sure about is that you are likely to be within six feet of the bank
_and_ destruction, when you think you are a good half-mile from shore.
And you are sure also that if you chance suddenly to fetch up against
the embankment and topple your chimneys overboard, you will have the
small comfort of knowing that it is about what you were expecting to do.
One of the great Vicksburg packets darted out into a sugar plantation
one night, at such a time, and had to stay there a week. But there was
no novelty about it: it had often been done before.

I thought I had finished this chapter, but I wish to add a curious thing
while it is in my mind. It is only relevant in that it is connected with
piloting. There used to be an excellent pilot on the river, a Mr. X.,
who was a somnambulist. It was said that if his mind was troubled about
a bad piece of river, he was pretty sure to get up and walk in his sleep
and do strange things. He was once fellow pilot for a trip or two with
George Ealer, on a great New Orleans passenger packet. During a
considerable part of the first trip George was uneasy, but got over it
by-and-by, as X. seemed content to stay in his bed when asleep. Late one
night the boat was approaching Helena, Arkansas; the water was low, and
the crossing above the town in a very blind and tangled condition. X.
had seen the crossing since Ealer had, and as the night was particularly
drizzly, sullen, and dark, Ealer was considering whether he had not
better have X. called to assist in running the place, when the door
opened and X. walked in. Now on very dark nights, light is a deadly
enemy to piloting; you are aware that if you stand in a lighted room on
such a night, you cannot see things in the street to any purpose; but if
you put out the lights and stand in the gloom you can make out objects
in the street pretty well. So on very dark nights pilots do not smoke;
they allow no fire in the pilot-house stove if there is a crack which
can allow the least ray to escape; they order the furnaces to be
curtained with huge tarpaulins and the skylights to be closely blinded.
Then no light whatever issues from the boat. The undefinable shape that
now entered the pilot-house had Mr. X.'s voice. This said:--

"Let me take her, George; I've seen this place since you have, and it is
so crooked that I reckon I can run it myself easier than I could tell
you how to do it."

"It is kind of you, and I swear _I_ am willing. I haven't got another
drop of perspiration left in me. I have been spinning around and around
the wheel like a squirrel. It is so dark I can't tell which way she is
swinging till she is coming around like a whirligig."

So Ealer took a seat on the bench, panting and breathless. The black
phantom assumed the wheel without saying anything, steadied the
waltzing steamer with a turn or two, and then stood at ease, coaxing her
a little to this side and then to that, as gently and as sweetly as if
the time had been noonday. When Ealer observed this marvel of steering,
he wished he had not confessed! He stared and wondered, and finally

"Well, I thought I knew how to steer a steamboat, but that was another
mistake of mine."

X. said nothing, but went serenely on with his work. He rang for the
leads; he rang to slow down the steam; he worked the boat carefully and
neatly into invisible marks, then stood at the centre of the wheel and
peered blandly out into the blackness, fore and aft, to verify his
position; as the leads shoaled more and more, he stopped the engines
entirely, and the dead silence and suspense of "drifting" followed; when
the shoalest water was struck, he cracked on the steam, carried her
handsomely over, and then began to work her warily into the next system
of shoal marks; the same patient, heedful use of leads and engines
followed, the boat slipped through without touching bottom, and entered
upon the third and last intricacy of the crossing; imperceptibly she
moved through the gloom, crept by inches into her marks, drifted
tediously till the shoalest water was cried, and then, under a
tremendous head of steam, went swinging over the reef and away into deep
water and safety!

Ealer let his long-pent breath pour out in a great relieving sigh, and

"That's the sweetest piece of piloting that was ever done on the
Mississippi River! I wouldn't believed it could be done, if I hadn't
seen it."

There was no reply, and he added:--

"Just hold her five minutes longer, partner, and let me run down and get
a cup of coffee."

A minute later Ealer was biting into a pie, down in the "texas," and
comforting himself with coffee. Just then the night watchman happened
in, and was about to happen out again, when he noticed Ealer and

"Who is at the wheel, sir?"


"Dart for the pilot-house, quicker than lightning!"

The next moment both men were flying up the pilot-house companion-way,
three steps at a jump! Nobody there! The great steamer was whistling
down the middle of the river at her own sweet will! The watchman shot
out of the place again; Ealer seized the wheel, set the engine back with
power, and held his breath while the boat reluctantly swung away from a
"towhead" which she was about to knock into the middle of the Gulf of

By-and-by the watchman came back and said:--

"Didn't that lunatic tell you he was asleep when he first came up here?"


"Well, he was. I found him walking along on top of the railings, just as
unconcerned as another man would walk a pavement; and I put him to bed;
now just this minute there he was again, away astern, going through that
sort of tightrope deviltry the same as before."

"Well, I think I'll stay by, next time he has one of those fits. But I
hope he'll have them often. You just ought to have seen him take this
boat through Helena crossing. _I_ never saw anything so gaudy before.
And if he can do such gold-leaf, kid-glove, diamond-breastpin piloting
when he is sound asleep, what _couldn't_ he do if he was dead!"


    From 'Life on the Mississippi': copyright 1883, by James R.
    Osgood and Company

The face of the water in time became a wonderful book--a book that was a
dead language to the uneducated passenger, but which told its mind to me
without reserve, delivering its most cherished secrets as clearly as if
it uttered them with a voice. And it was not a book to be read once and
thrown aside, for it had a new story to tell every day. Throughout the
long twelve hundred miles there was never a page that was void of
interest, never one that you could leave unread without loss, never one
that you would want to skip, thinking you could find higher enjoyment in
some other thing. There never was so wonderful a book written by man;
never one whose interest was so absorbing, so unflagging, so sparklingly
renewed with every re-perusal. The passenger who could not read it was
charmed with a peculiar sort of faint dimple on its surface (on the rare
occasions when he did not overlook it altogether); but to the pilot
that was an _italicized_ passage; indeed it was more than that,--it was
a legend of the largest capitals, with a string of shouting
exclamation-points at the end of it; for it meant that a wreck or a rock
was buried there, that could tear the life out of the strongest vessel
that ever floated. It is the faintest and simplest expression the water
ever makes, and the most hideous to a pilot's eye. In truth, the
passenger who could not read this book saw nothing but all manner of
pretty pictures in it, painted by the sun and shaded by the clouds;
whereas to the trained eye these were not pictures at all, but the
grimmest and most dead-earnest of reading matter.

Now when I had mastered the language of this water and had come to know
every trifling feature that bordered the great river as familiarly as I
knew the letters of the alphabet, I had made a valuable acquisition. But
I had lost something too. I had lost something which could never be
restored to me while I lived. All the grace, the beauty, the poetry had
gone out of the majestic river! I still kept in mind a certain wonderful
sunset which I witnessed when steamboating was new to me. A broad
expanse of the river was turned to blood; in the middle distance the red
hue brightened into gold, through which a solitary log came floating,
black and conspicuous; in one place a long slanting mark lay sparkling
upon the water; in another the surface was broken by boiling tumbling
rings that were as many-tinted as an opal; where the ruddy flush was
faintest, was a smooth spot that was covered with graceful circles and
radiating lines, ever so delicately traced; the shore on our left was
densely wooded, and the sombre shadow that fell from this forest was
broken in one place by a long ruffled trail that shone like silver; and
high above the forest wall a clean-stemmed dead tree waved a single
leafy bough, that glowed like a flame in the unobstructed splendor that
was flowing from the sun. There were graceful curves, reflected images,
woody heights, soft distances; and over the whole scene, far and near,
the dissolving lights drifted steadily, enriching it every passing
moment with new marvels of coloring.

I stood like one bewitched. I drank it in, in a speechless rapture. The
world was new to me, and I had never seen anything like this at home.
But as I have said, a day came when I began to cease from noting the
glories and the charms which the moon and the sun and the twilight
wrought upon the river's face; another day came when I ceased
altogether to note them. Then, if that sunset scene had been repeated, I
should have looked upon it without rapture and should have commented
upon it inwardly after this fashion: This sun means that we are going to
have wind to-morrow; that floating log means that the river is rising,
small thanks to it; that slanting mark on the water refers to a bluff
reef which is going to kill somebody's steamboat one of these nights, if
it keeps on stretching out like that; those tumbling "boils" show a
dissolving bar and a changing channel there; the lines and circles in
the slick water over yonder are a warning that that troublesome place is
shoaling up dangerously; that silver streak in the shadow of the forest
is the "break" from a new snag, and he has located himself in the very
best place he could have found to fish for steamboats; that tall dead
tree, with a single living branch, is not going to last long, and then
how is a body ever going to get through this blind place at night
without the friendly old landmark?

No, the romance and the beauty were all gone from the river. All the
value any feature of it had for me now was the amount of usefulness it
could furnish toward compassing the safe piloting of a steamboat. Since
those days I have pitied doctors from my heart. What does the lovely
flush in a beauty's cheek mean to a doctor but a "break" that ripples
above some deadly disease? Are not all her visible charms sown thick
with what are to him the signs and symbols of hidden decay? Does he ever
see her beauty at all, or doesn't he simply view her professionally and
comment upon her unwholesome condition all to himself? And doesn't he
sometimes wonder whether he has gained most or lost most by learning his


    From 'Life on the Mississippi': copyright 1883, by James R.
    Osgood and Company

Next morning I felt pretty rusty and low-spirited. We went booming
along, taking a good many chances, for we were anxious to "get out of
the river" (as getting out to Cairo was called) before night should
overtake us. But Mr. Bixby's partner, the other pilot, presently
grounded the boat, and we lost so much time getting her off that it was
plain the darkness would overtake us a good long way above the mouth.
This was a great misfortune; especially to certain of our visiting
pilots, whose boats would have to wait for their return, no matter how
long that might be. It sobered the pilot-house talk a good deal. Coming
up-stream, pilots did not mind low water or any kind of darkness;
nothing stopped them but fog. But down-stream work was different; a boat
was too nearly helpless, with a stiff current pushing behind her; so it
was not customary to run down-stream at night in low water.

There seemed to be one small hope, however: if we could get through the
intricate and dangerous Hat Island crossing before night, we could
venture the rest, for we would have plainer sailing and better water.
But it would be insanity to attempt Hat Island at night. So there was a
deal of looking at watches all the rest of the day, and a constant
ciphering upon the speed we were making; Hat Island was the eternal
subject; sometimes hope was high, and sometimes we were delayed in a bad
crossing, and down it went again. For hours all hands lay under the
burden of this suppressed excitement; it was even communicated to me,
and I got to feeling so solicitous about Hat Island, and under such an
awful pressure of responsibility, that I wished I might have five
minutes on shore to draw a good full relieving breath, and start over
again. We were standing no regular watches. Each of our pilots ran such
portions of the river as he had run when coming up-stream, because of
his greater familiarity with it; but both remained in the pilot-house

An hour before sunset, Mr. Bixby took the wheel and Mr. W---- stepped
aside. For the next thirty minutes every man held his watch in his hand
and was restless, silent, and uneasy. At last somebody said with a
doomful sigh:--

"Well, yonder's Hat Island--and we can't make it."

All the watches closed with a snap, everybody sighed and muttered
something about its being "too bad, too bad--ah, if we could _only_ have
got here half an hour sooner!" and the place was thick with the
atmosphere of disappointment. Some started to go out, but loitered,
hearing no bell-tap to land. The sun dipped behind the horizon, the boat
went on. Inquiring looks passed from one guest to another; and one who
had his hand on the door-knob and had turned it, waited, then presently
took away his hand and let the knob turn back again. We bore steadily
down the bend. More looks were exchanged, and nods of surprised
admiration--but no words. Insensibly the men drew together behind Mr.
Bixby, as the sky darkened and one or two dim stars came out. The dead
silence and sense of waiting became oppressive. Mr. Bixby pulled the
cord, and two deep mellow notes from the big bell floated off on the
night. Then a pause, and one more note was struck. The watchman's voice
followed, from the hurricane deck:--

"Labboard lead, there! Stabboard lead!"

The cries of the leadsmen began to rise out of the distance, and were
gruffly repeated by the word-passers on the hurricane deck.

"M-a-r-k three!... M-a-r-k three!... Quarter-less-three!... Half
twain!... Quarter twain!... M-a-r-k twain!... Quarter-less--"

Mr. Bixby pulled two bell-ropes, and was answered by faint jinglings far
below in the engine-room, and our speed slackened. The steam began to
whistle through the gauge-cocks. The cries of the leadsmen went on--and
it is a weird sound always in the night. Every pilot in the lot was
watching now, with fixed eyes, and talking under his breath. Nobody was
calm and easy but Mr. Bixby. He would put his wheel down and stand on a
spoke, and as the steamer swung into her (to me) utterly invisible
marks--for we seemed to be in the midst of a wide and gloomy sea--he
would meet and fasten her there. Out of the murmur of half-audible talk
one caught a coherent sentence now and then, such as:--

"There; she's over the first reef all right!"

After a pause, another subdued voice:--

"Her stern's coming down just _exactly_ right, by _George_!"

"Now she's in the marks; over she goes!"

Somebody else muttered:--

"Oh, it was done beautiful--_beautiful_!"

Now the engines were stopped altogether, and we drifted with the
current. Not that I could see the boat drift, for I could not, the stars
being all gone by this time. This drifting was the dismalest work; it
held one's heart still. Presently I discovered a blacker gloom than that
which surrounded us. It was the head of the island. We were closing
right down upon it. We entered its deeper shadow, and so imminent seemed
the peril that I was likely to suffocate; and I had the strongest
impulse to do _something_, anything, to save the vessel. But still Mr.
Bixby stood by his wheel, silent, intent as a cat, and all the pilots
stood shoulder to shoulder at his back.

"She'll not make it!" somebody whispered.

The water grew shoaler and shoaler, by the leadsman's cries, till it was
down to--

"Eight-and-a-half!... E-i-g-h-t feet!... E-i-g-h-t feet!... Seven-and--"

Mr. Bixby said warningly through his speaking-tube to the engineer:--

"Stand by, now!"

"Ay-ay, sir!"

"Seven-and-a-half! Seven feet! _Six_-and--"

We touched bottom! Instantly Mr. Bixby set a lot of bells ringing,
shouted through the tube, "_Now_ let her have it--every ounce you've
got!" then to his partner, "Put her hard down! snatch her! snatch her!"
The boat rasped and ground her way through the sand, hung upon the apex
of disaster a single tremendous instant, and then over she went! And
such a shout as went up at Mr. Bixby's back never loosened the roof of a
pilot-house before!

There was no more trouble after that. Mr. Bixby was a hero that night;
and it was some little time, too, before his exploit ceased to be talked
about by river men.


    From 'A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court':
    copyright 1889, by Charles L. Webster and Company

My expedition was all the talk that day and that night, and the boys
were very good to me, and made much of me, and seemed to have forgotten
their vexation and disappointment, and come to be as anxious for me to
hive those ogres and set those ripe old virgins loose as if it were
themselves that had the contract. Well, they _were_ good children--but
just children, that is all. And they gave me no end of points about how
to scout for giants, and how to scoop them in; and they told me all
sorts of charms against enchantments, and gave me salves and other
rubbish to put on my wounds. But it never occurred to one of them to
reflect that if I was such a wonderful necromancer as I was pretending
to be, I ought not to need salves, or instructions, or charms against
enchantments, and least of all arms and armor, on a foray of any
kind--even against fire-spouting dragons and devils hot from perdition,
let alone such poor adversaries as these I was after, these commonplace
ogres of the back settlements.

I was to have an early breakfast, and start at dawn, for that was the
usual way; but I had the demon's own time with my armor, and this
delayed me a little. It is troublesome to get into, and there is so much
detail. First you wrap a layer or two of blanket around your body for a
sort of cushion, and to keep off the cold iron; then you put on your
sleeves and shirt of chain-mail--these are made of small steel links
woven together, and they form a fabric so flexible that if you toss your
shirt on to the floor it slumps into a pile like a peck of wet fish-net;
it is very heavy and is nearly the uncomfortablest material in the world
for a night shirt, yet plenty used it for that--tax collectors and
reformers, and one-horse kings with a defective title, and those sorts
of people; then you put on your shoes--flatboats roofed over with
interleaving bands of steel--and screw your clumsy spurs into the heels.
Next you buckle your greaves on your legs and your cuisses on your
thighs; then come your backplate and your breastplate, and you begin to
feel crowded; then you hitch on to the breastplate the half-petticoat of
broad overlapping bands of steel which hangs down in front but is
scolloped out behind so you can sit down, and isn't any real improvement
on an inverted coal-scuttle, either for looks, or for wear, or to wipe
your hands on; next you belt on your sword; then you put your stove-pipe
joints on to your arms, your iron gauntlets on to your hands, your iron
rat-trap on to your head, with a rag of steel web hitched on to it to
hang over the back of your neck--and there you are, snug as a candle in
a candle-mold. This is no time to dance. Well, a man that is packed away
like that is a nut that isn't worth the cracking, there is so little of
the meat, when you get down to it, by comparison with the shell.

The boys helped me, or I never could have got in. Just as we finished,
Sir Bedivere happened in, and I saw that as like as not I hadn't chosen
the most convenient outfit for a long trip. How stately he looked; and
tall and broad and grand. He had on his head a conical steel casque that
only came down to his ears, and for visor had only a narrow steel bar
that extended down to his upper lip and protected his nose; and all the
rest of him, from neck to heel, was flexible chain-mail, trousers and
all. But pretty much all of him was hidden under his outside garment,
which of course was of chain-mail, as I said, and hung straight from his
shoulders to his ankles; and from his middle to the bottom, both before
and behind, was divided, so that he could ride and let the skirts hang
down on each side. He was going grailing, and it was just the outfit for
it, too. I would have given a good deal for that ulster, but it was too
late now to be fooling around. The sun was just up; the king and the
court were all on hand to see me off and wish me luck; so it wouldn't be
etiquette for me to tarry. You don't get on your horse yourself; no, if
you tried it you would get disappointed. They carry you out, just as
they carry a sun-struck man to the drug-store, and put you on, and help
get you to rights, and fix your feet in the stirrups; and all the while
you do feel so strange and stuffy and like somebody else--like somebody
that has been married on a sudden, or struck by lightning, or something
like that, and hasn't quite fetched around yet, and is sort of numb, and
can't just get his bearings. Then they stood up the mast they called a
spear in its socket by my left foot, and I gripped it with my hand;
lastly they hung my shield around my neck, and I was all complete and
ready to up anchor and get to sea. Everybody was as good to me as they
could be, and a maid of honor gave me the stirrup-cup her own self.
There was nothing more to do now but for that damsel to get up behind me
on a pillion, which she did, and put an arm or so around me to hold on.

And so we started; and everybody gave us a good-by and waved their
handkerchiefs or helmets. And everybody we met, going down the hill and
through the village, was respectful to us except some shabby little boys
on the outskirts. They said:--

"Oh, what a guy!" and hove clods at us.

In my experience boys are the same in all ages. They don't respect
anything, they don't care for anything or anybody. They say "Go up,
bald-head!" to the prophet going his unoffending way in the gray of
antiquity; they sass me in the holy gloom of the Middle Ages; and I had
seen them act the same way in Buchanan's administration; I remember,
because I was there and helped. The prophet had his bears and settled
with his boys; and I wanted to get down and settle with mine, but it
wouldn't answer, because I couldn't have got up again. I hate a country
without a derrick.

Straight off, we were in the country. It was most lovely and pleasant in
those sylvan solitudes in the early cool morning in the first freshness
of autumn. From hilltops we saw fair green valleys lying spread out
below, with streams winding through them, and island groves of trees
here and there, and huge lonely oaks scattered about and casting black
blots of shade; and beyond the valleys we saw the ranges of hills, blue
with haze, stretching away in billowy perspective to the horizon, with
at wide intervals a dim fleck of white or gray on a wave-summit, which
we knew was a castle. We crossed broad natural lawns sparkling with dew,
and we moved like spirits, the cushioned turf giving out no sound of
footfall; we dreamed along through glades in a mist of green light that
got its tint from the sun-drenched roof of leaves overhead, and by our
feet the clearest and coldest of runlets went frisking and gossiping
over its reefs and making a sort of whispering music comfortable to
hear; and at times we left the world behind and entered into the solemn
great deeps and rich gloom of the forest, where furtive wild things
whisked and scurried by and were gone before you could even get your eye
on the place where the noise was; and where only the earliest birds were
turning out and getting to business, with a song here and a quarrel
yonder and a mysterious far-off hammering and drumming for worms on a
tree-trunk away somewhere in the impenetrable remoteness of the woods.
And by-and-by out we would swing again into the glare.

About the third or fourth or fifth time that we swung out into the
glare--it was along there somewhere, a couple of hours or so after
sun-up--it wasn't as pleasant as it had been. It was beginning to get
hot. This was quite noticeable. We had a very long pull, after that,
without any shade. Now it is curious how progressively little frets grow
and multiply after they once get a start. Things which I didn't mind at
all at first, I began to mind now--and more and more, too, all the time.
The first ten or fifteen times I wanted my handkerchief I didn't seem to
care; I got along, and said never mind, it isn't any matter, and dropped
it out of my mind. But now it was different: I wanted it all the time;
it was nag, nag, nag, right along, and no rest; I couldn't get it out of
my mind; and so at last I lost my temper, and said hang a man that
would make a suit of armor without any pockets in it. You see I had my
handkerchief in my helmet, and some other things; but it was that kind
of a helmet that you can't take off by yourself. That hadn't occurred to
me when I put it there; and in fact I didn't know it. I supposed it
would be particularly convenient there. And so now the thought of its
being there, so handy and close by, and yet not get-at-able, made it all
the worse and the harder to bear. Yes, the thing that you can't get is
the thing that you want, mainly; every one has noticed that. Well, it
took my mind off from everything else; took it clear off and centred it
in my helmet; and mile after mile there it stayed, imagining the
handkerchief, picturing the handkerchief; and it was bitter and
aggravating to have the salt sweat keep trickling down into my eyes, and
I couldn't get at it. It seems like a little thing on paper, but it was
not a little thing at all; it was the most real kind of misery. I would
not say it if it was not so. I made up my mind that I would carry along
a reticule next time, let it look how it might and people say what they
would. Of course these iron dudes of the Round Table would think it was
scandalous, and maybe raise sheol about it, but as for me, give me
comfort first and style afterwards. So we jogged along, and now and then
we struck a stretch of dust, and it would tumble up in clouds and get
into my nose and make me sneeze and cry; and of course I said things I
oughtn't to have said,--I don't deny that. I am not better than others.
We couldn't seem to meet anybody in this lonesome Britain, not even an
ogre; and in the mood I was in then, it was well for the ogre; that is,
an ogre with a handkerchief. Most knights would have thought of nothing
but getting his armor; but so I got his bandana, he could keep his
hardware for all me.

Meantime it was getting hotter and hotter in there. You see the sun was
beating down and warming up the iron more and more all the time. Well,
when you are hot, that way, every little thing irritates you. When I
trotted I rattled like a crate of dishes, and that annoyed me; and
moreover I couldn't seem to stand that shield slatting and banging, now
about my breast, now around my back; and if I dropped into a walk my
joints creaked and screeched in that wearisome way that a wheelbarrow
does, and as we didn't create any breeze at that gait, I was like to get
fried in that stove; and besides, the quieter you went the heavier the
iron settled down on you, and the more and more tons you seemed to weigh
every minute. And you had to be always changing hands and passing your
spear over to the other foot, it got so irksome for one hand to hold it
long at a time.

Well, you know when you perspire that way, in rivers, there comes a time
when you--when you--well, when you itch. You are inside, your hands are
outside: so there you are; nothing but iron between. It is not a light
thing, let it sound as it may. First it is one place; then another; then
some more; and it goes on spreading and spreading, and at last the
territory is all occupied, and nobody can imagine what you feel like,
nor how unpleasant it is. And when it had got to the worst, and it
seemed to me that I could not stand anything more, a fly got in through
the bars and settled on my nose, and the bars were stuck and wouldn't
work, and I couldn't get the visor up; and I could only shake my head,
which was baking hot by this time, and the fly--well, you know how a fly
acts when he has got a certainty: he only minded the shaking enough to
change from nose to lip, and lip to ear, and buzz and buzz all around in
there, and keep on lighting and biting in a way that a person already so
distressed as I was simply could not stand. So I gave in, and got
Alisande to unship the helmet and relieve me of it. Then she emptied the
conveniences out of it and fetched it full of water, and I drank and
then stood up and she poured the rest down inside the armor. One cannot
think how refreshing it was. She continued to fetch and pour until I was
well soaked and thoroughly comfortable.

It was good to have a rest--and peace. But nothing is quite perfect in
this life at any time. I had made a pipe a while back, and also some
pretty fair tobacco; not the real thing, but what some of the Indians
use: the inside bark of the willow, dried. These comforts had been in
the helmet, and now I had them again, but no matches.

Gradually, as the time wore along, one annoying fact was borne in upon
my understanding--that we were weather-bound. An armed novice cannot
mount his horse without help and plenty of it. Sandy was not enough; not
enough for me, anyway. We had to wait until somebody should come along.
Waiting in silence would have been agreeable enough, for I was full of
matter for reflection, and wanted to give it a chance to work. I wanted
to try and think out how it was that rational or even half-rational men
could ever have learned to wear armor, considering its inconveniences;
and how they had managed to keep up such a fashion for generations when
it was plain that what I had suffered to-day they had had to suffer all
the days of their lives. I wanted to think that out; and moreover I
wanted to think out some way to reform this evil and persuade the people
to let the foolish fashion die out: but thinking was out of the question
in the circumstances. You couldn't think where Sandy was. She was a
quite biddable creature and good-hearted, but she had a flow of talk
that was as steady as a mill and made your head sore like the drays and
wagons in a city. If she had had a cork she would have been a comfort.
But you can't cork that kind; they would die. Her clack was going all
day, and you would think something would surely happen to her works
by-and-by; but no, they never got out of order; and she never had to
slack up for words. She could grind and pump and churn and buzz by the
week, and never stop to oil up or blow out. And yet the result was just
nothing but wind. She never had any ideas, any more than a fog has. She
was a perfect blatherskite; I mean for jaw, jaw, jaw, talk, talk, talk,
jabber, jabber, jabber;--but just as good as she could be. I hadn't
minded her mill that morning, on account of having that hornet's nest of
other troubles; but more than once in the afternoon I had to say:--

"Take a rest, child; the way you are using up all the domestic air, the
kingdom will have to go to importing it by to-morrow, and it's a low
enough treasury without that."

                  By permission of S. L. Clemens and his publishers.


    From 'The Prince and the Pauper': copyright 1889, by Charles
    L. Webster and Company

At last the final act was at hand. The Archbishop of Canterbury lifted
up the crown of England from its cushion and held it out over the
trembling mock king's head. In the same instant a rainbow radiance
flashed along the spacious transept; for with one impulse every
individual in the great concourse of nobles lifted a coronet and poised
it over his or her head--and paused in that attitude.

A deep hush pervaded the Abbey. At this impressive moment a startling
apparition intruded upon the scene--an apparition observed by none in
the absorbed multitude, until it suddenly appeared, moving up the great
central isle. It was a boy, bare-headed, ill shod, and clothed in coarse
plebeian garments that were falling to rags. He raised his hand with a
solemnity which ill comported with his soiled and sorry aspect, and
delivered this note of warning:--

"I forbid you to set the crown of England upon that forfeited head. _I_
am the king!"

In an instant several indignant hands were laid upon the boy, but in the
same instant Tom Canty, in his regal vestments, made a swift step
forward and cried out in a ringing voice:--

"Loose him and forbear! He _is_ the king!"

A sort of panic of astonishment swept the assemblage, and they partly
rose in their places and stared in a bewildered way at one another and
at the chief figures in this scene, like persons who wondered whether
they were awake and in their senses or asleep and dreaming. The Lord
Protector was as amazed as the rest, but quickly recovered himself and
exclaimed in a voice of authority:--

"Mind not his Majesty, his malady is upon him again--seize the

He would have been obeyed, but the mock king stamped his foot and cried

"On your peril! Touch him not, he is the king!"

The hands were withheld; a paralysis fell upon the house; no one moved,
no one spoke; indeed no one knew how to act or what to say, in so
strange and surprising an emergency. While all minds were struggling to
right themselves, the boy still moved steadily forward, with high port
and confident mien; he had never halted from the beginning; and while
the tangled minds still floundered helplessly, he stepped upon the
platform, and the mock king ran with a glad face to meet him, and fell
on his knees before him and said:--

"O my lord the king, let poor Tom Canty be first to swear fealty to
thee, and say, 'Put on thy crown and enter into thine own again!'"

The Lord Protector's eye fell sternly upon the new-comer's face; but
straightway the sternness vanished away, and gave place to an expression
of wondering surprise. This thing happened also to the other great
officers. They glanced at each other, and retreated a step by a common
and unconscious impulse. The thought in each mind was the same: "What a
strange resemblance!"

The Lord Protector reflected a moment or two in perplexity; then he
said, with grave respectfulness:--

"By your favor, sir, I desire to ask certain questions which--"

"I will answer them, my lord."

The duke asked him many questions about the court, the late king, the
prince, the princesses,--the boy answered them correctly and without
hesitating. He described the rooms of state in the palace, the late
king's apartments, and those of the Prince of Wales.

It was strange; it was wonderful; yes, it was unaccountable--so all said
that heard it. The tide was beginning to turn, and Tom Canty's hopes to
run high, when the Lord Protector shook his head and said:--

"It is true it is most wonderful--but it is no more than our lord the
king likewise can do." This remark, and this reference to himself as
still the king, saddened Tom Canty, and he felt his hopes crumbling
under him. "These are not _proofs_," added the Protector.

The tide was turning very fast now, very fast indeed--but in the wrong
direction; it was leaving poor Tom Canty stranded on the throne, and
sweeping the other out to sea. The Lord Protector communed with
himself--shook his head; the thought forced itself upon him, "It is
perilous to the State and to us all, to entertain so fateful a riddle as
this; it could divide the nation and undermine the throne." He turned
and said:--

"Sir Thomas, arrest this--No, hold!" His face lighted, and he confronted
the ragged candidate with this question:--

"Where lieth the Great Seal? Answer me this truly, and the riddle is
unriddled; for only he that was Prince of Wales _can_ so answer! On so
trivial a thing hang a throne and a dynasty!"

It was a lucky thought, a happy thought. That it was so considered by
the great officials was manifested by the silent applause that shot from
eye to eye around their circle in the form of bright approving glances.
Yes, none but the true prince could dissolve the stubborn mystery of the
vanished Great Seal--this forlorn little impostor had been taught his
lesson well, but here his teachings must fail, for his teacher himself
could not answer _that_ question--ah, very good, very good indeed; now
we shall be rid of this troublesome and perilous business in short
order! And so they nodded invisibly and smiled inwardly with
satisfaction, and looked to see this foolish lad stricken with a palsy
of guilty confusion. How surprised they were, then, to see nothing of
the sort happen--how they marveled to hear him answer up promptly in a
confident and untroubled voice and say:--

"There is naught in this riddle that is difficult." Then, without so
much as a by-your-leave to anybody, he turned and gave this command with
the easy manner of one accustomed to doing such things: "My lord St.
John, go you to my private cabinet in the palace,--for none knoweth the
place better than you,--and close down to the floor, in the left corner,
remotest from the door that opens from the ante-chamber, you shall find
in the wall a brazen nail-head; press upon it and a little jewel-closet
will fly open, which not even you do know of--no, nor any soul else in
all the world but me and the trusty artisan that did contrive it for me.
The first thing that falleth under your eye will be the Great
Seal--fetch it hither."

All the company wondered at this speech, and wondered still more to see
the little mendicant pick out this peer without hesitancy or apparent
fear of mistake, and call him by name with such a placidly convincing
air of having known him all his life. The peer was almost surprised into
obeying. He even made a movement as if to go, but quickly recovered his
tranquil attitude and confessed his blunder with a blush. Tom Canty
turned upon him and said sharply:--

"Why dost thou hesitate? Hast not heard the king's command? Go!"

The lord St. John made a deep obeisance--and it was observed that it was
a significantly cautious and non-committal one, it not being delivered
at either of the kings, but at the neutral ground about half-way between
the two--and took his leave.

Now began a movement of the gorgeous particles of that official group
which was slow, scarcely perceptible, and yet steady and persistent,--a
movement such as is observed in a kaleidoscope that is turned slowly,
whereby the components of one splendid cluster fall away and join
themselves to another--a movement which little by little, in the present
case, dissolved the glittering crowd that stood about Tom Canty and
clustered it together again in the neighborhood of the new-comer. Tom
Canty stood almost alone. Now ensued a brief season of deep suspense and
waiting--during which even the few faint-hearts still remaining near Tom
Canty gradually scraped together courage enough to glide, one by one,
over to the majority. So at last Tom Canty, in his royal robes and
jewels, stood wholly alone and isolated from the world, a conspicuous
figure, occupying an elegant vacancy.

Now the lord St. John was seen returning. As he advanced up the
mid-aisle, the interest was so intense that the low murmur of
conversation in the great assemblage died out and was succeeded by a
profound hush, a breathless stillness, through which his footfalls
pulsed with a dull and distant sound. Every eye was fastened upon him as
he moved along. He reached the platform, paused a moment, then moved
toward Tom Canty with a deep obeisance, and said:--

"Sire, the Seal is not there!"

A mob does not melt away from the presence of a plague-patient with more
haste than the band of pallid and terrified courtiers melted away from
the presence of the shabby little claimant of the crown. In a moment he
stood all alone, without friend or supporter, a target upon which was
concentrated a bitter fire of scornful and angry looks. The Lord
Protector called out fiercely:--

"Cast the beggar into the street, and scourge him through the town--the
paltry knave is worth no more consideration!"

Officers of the guard sprang forward to obey, but Tom Canty waved them
off and said:--

"Back! Whoso touches him perils his life!"

The Lord Protector was perplexed in the last degree. He said to the lord
St. John:--

"Searched you well?--but it boots not to ask that. It doth seem passing
strange. Little things, trifles, slip out of one's ken, and one does not
think it matter for surprise; but how so bulky a thing as the Seal of
England can vanish away and no man be able to get track of it again--a
massy golden disk--"

Tom Canty, with beaming eyes, sprang forward and shouted:

"Hold, that is enough! Was it round?--and thick?--and had it letters and
devices graved upon it?--Yes? Oh, _now_ I know what this Great Seal is,
that there's been such worry and pother about! An ye had described it to
me, ye could have had it three weeks ago. Right well I know where it
lies; but it was not I that put it there--first."

"Who then, my liege?" asked the Lord Protector.

"He that stands there--the rightful king of England. And he shall tell
you himself where it lies--then you will believe he knew it of his own
knowledge. Bethink thee, my king--spur thy memory--it was the last, the
very _last_ thing thou didst that day before thou didst rush forth from
the palace, clothed in my rags, to punish the soldier that insulted me."

A silence ensued, undisturbed by a movement or a whisper, and all eyes
were fixed upon the new-comer, who stood with bent head and corrugated
brow, groping in his memory among a thronging multitude of valueless
recollections for one single little elusive fact, which, found, would
seat him upon a throne--unfound, would leave him as he was for good and
all--a pauper and an outcast. Moment after moment passed--the moments
built themselves into minutes--still the boy struggled silently on, and
gave no sign. But at last he heaved a sigh, shook his head slowly, and
said, with a trembling lip and in a despondent voice:--

"I call the scene back--all of it--but the Seal hath no place in it." He
paused, then looked up, and said with gentle dignity, "My lords and
gentlemen, if ye will rob your rightful sovereign of his own for lack of
this evidence which he is not able to furnish, I may not stay ye, being
powerless. But--"

"Oh folly, oh madness, my king!" cried Tom Canty in a panic;
"wait!--think! Do not give up!--the cause is not lost! nor _shall_ be,
neither! List to what I say--follow every word--I am going to bring
that morning back again, every hap just as it happened. We talked--I
told you of my sisters, Nan and Bet--ah yes, you remember that; and
about my old grandam--and the rough games of the lads of Offal
Court--yes, you remember these things also; very well, follow me still,
you shall recall everything. You gave me food and drink, and did with
princely courtesy send away the servants, so that my low breeding might
not shame me before them--ah yes, this also you remember."

As Tom checked off his details, and the other boy nodded his head in
recognition of them, the great audience and the officials stared in
puzzled wonderment; the tale sounded like true history, yet how could
this impossible conjunction between a prince and a beggar boy have come
about? Never was a company of people so perplexed, so interested, and so
stupefied before.

"For a jest, my prince, we did exchange garments. Then we stood before a
mirror; and so alike were we that both said it seemed as if there had
been no change made--yes, you remember that. Then you noticed that the
soldier had hurt my hand--look! here it is, I cannot yet even write with
it, the fingers are so stiff. At this your Highness sprang up, vowing
vengeance upon that soldier, and ran toward the door--you passed a
table--that thing you call the Seal lay on that table--you snatched it
up and looked eagerly about, as if for a place to hide it--your eye
caught sight of--"

"There, 'tis sufficient!--and the dear God be thanked!" exclaimed the
ragged claimant, in a mighty excitement. "Go, my good St. John,--in an
arm-piece of the Milanese armor that hangs on the wall, thou'lt find the

"Right, my king! right!" cried Tom Canty; "_now_ the sceptre of England
is thine own; and it were better for him that would dispute it that he
had been born dumb! Go, my lord St. John, give thy feet wings!"

The whole assemblage was on its feet now, and well-nigh out of its mind
with uneasiness, apprehension, and consuming excitement. On the floor
and on the platform a deafening buzz of frantic conversation burst
forth, and for some time nobody knew anything or heard anything or was
interested in anything but what his neighbor was shouting into his ear,
or he was shouting into his neighbor's ear. Time--nobody knew how much
of it--swept by unheeded and unnoted.--At last a sudden hush fell upon
the house, and in the same moment St. John appeared upon the platform
and held the Great Seal aloft in his hand. Then such a shout went up!

"Long live the true king!"

For five minutes the air quaked with shouts and the crash of musical
instruments, and was white with a storm of waving handkerchiefs; and
through it all a ragged lad, the most conspicuous figure in England,
stood, flushed and happy and proud, in the centre of the spacious
platform, with the great vassals of the kingdom kneeling around him.

Then all rose, and Tom Canty cried out:--

"Now, O my king, take these regal garments back, and give poor Tom thy
servant his shreds and remnants again."

The Lord Protector spoke up:--

"Let the small varlet be stripped and flung into the Tower."

But the new king, the true king, said:--

"I will not have it so. But for him I had not got my crown again--none
shall lay a hand upon him to harm him. And as for thee, my good uncle,
my Lord Protector, this conduct of thine is not grateful toward this
poor lad, for I hear he hath made thee a duke"--the Protector
blushed--"yet he was not a king; wherefore, what is thy fine title worth
now? To-morrow you shall sue to me, _through him_, for its confirmation,
else no duke, but a simple earl, shalt thou remain."

Under this rebuke his Grace the Duke of Somerset retired a little from
the front for the moment. The king turned to Tom, and said kindly:--

"My poor boy, how was it that you could remember where I hid the Seal,
when I could not remember it myself?"

"Ah, my king, that was easy, since I used it divers days."

"Used it,--yet could not explain where it was?"

"I did not know it was _that_ they wanted. They did not describe it,
your Majesty."

"Then how used you it?"

The red blood began to steal up into Tom's cheeks, and he dropped his
eyes and was silent.

"Speak up, good lad, and fear nothing," said the king. "How used you the
Great Seal of England?"

Tom stammered a moment in a pathetic confusion, then got it out:--

"To crack nuts with!"

Poor child, the avalanche of laughter that greeted this nearly swept him
off his feet. But if a doubt remained in any mind that Tom Canty was not
the king of England and familiar with the august appurtenances of
royalty, this reply disposed of it utterly.

Meantime the sumptuous robe of state had been removed from Tom's
shoulders to the king's, whose rags were effectually hidden from sight
under it. Then the coronation ceremonies were resumed; the true king was
anointed and the crown set upon his head, whilst cannon thundered the
news to the city, and all London seemed to rock with applause.

                   By permission of S.L. Clemens and his publishers.




The intellectual mood of many of the finest spirits in England and New
England during the second quarter of the nineteenth century had
something of the nature of a surprise to themselves, no less than to
those who came within their influence. It was indeed a natural though
unforeseen result of forces, various in kind, that had long been
silently at work. The conflicting currents of thought and moral
sentiment, which in all ages perplex and divide the hearts of men, took
a new direction and seemed to have gathered volume and swiftness. Hardly
since the Reformation had there been so deep and general a stirring of
the questions, the answers to which, whether they be final or merely
provisional, involve conclusions relating to the deepest interests of
men. Old convictions were confronted by new doubts; ancient authority
was met by a modern spirit of independence. This new intellectual mood
was perhaps first distinctly manifest in England in Carlyle's essays,
and correspondingly in New England in the essays and poems of Emerson;
it was expressed in 'In Memoriam' and 'Maud'; it gave the undertone of
Arnold's most characteristic verse, and it found clear and strikingly
distinctive utterance in the poems of Clough. His nature was of rare
superiority alike of character and intellect. His moral integrity and
sincerity imparted clearness to his imagination and strength to his
intelligence, so that while the most marked distinction of his poems is
that which they possess as a mirror of spiritual conditions shared by
many of his contemporaries, they have hardly less interest as the
expression and image of his own individuality.

Arthur Hugh Clough was born at Liverpool on New Year's Day, 1819.[A]
His father, who came of an old Welsh family (his mother, Anne Perfect,
was from Yorkshire), had established himself in Liverpool as a cotton
merchant. Toward the end of 1822 he emigrated with his wife and four
children to Charleston, South Carolina, and here for four years was
their home. For Arthur they were important years. He was a shy,
sensitive boy, "already considered as the genius of the family." He was
his mother's darling. She was a woman "rigidly simple in her tastes and
habits, of stern integrity"; of cultivated intelligence, fond of poetry,
a lover of nature, and quickly sympathetic with high character, whether
in real life or in the pages of romance. While his father taught him his
Latin grammar and his arithmetic, his mother read with him from Pope's
Iliad and Odyssey, from Scott's novels and other books fitted to quicken
the imagination. Her influence was strong in the shaping of his taste
and disposition.

  [A] Ruskin and Lowell were his close contemporaries; they were born
      in February of the same year.

In 1828 the family returned for a visit to England, and Arthur was put
to school at Chester, whence in the next year he was transferred to
Rugby. Dr. Arnold had then very lately become the headmaster at Rugby,
and was already giving to the school a tone and quality unknown
previously to the public schools of England. He strove to impress upon
the boys the sense of personal responsibility, and to rouse their
conscience to the doing of duty, not so much as a matter essential to
the discipline of the school as to the formation of manly and religious
character. The influence of his high, vigorous, and ardent nature was of
immense force. But its virtue was impaired by the artificiality of the
ecclesiastical system of the Church of England, and the irrationality of
the dogmatic creed which, even to a nature as liberal as Dr. Arnold's,
seemed to belong to the essentials of religion, and to be indissoluble
from the foundation of morality.

Clough became Arnold's devoted disciple, but he had intellectual
independence and sincerity enough to save him from yielding his own
individuality to any stream of external influence, however powerful.
What he called "the busy argufying spirit of the prize schoolboy" stood
him in good stead. But the moral stress was great, and it left him early
with a sense of strain and of perplexity, as his mind opened to the
wider and deeper problems of life, for the solution of which the
traditional creed seemed insufficient. His career at school was of the
highest distinction; and when he was leaving Rugby for Oxford in 1836,
Dr. Arnold broke the rule of silence to which he almost invariably
adhered in the delivery of prizes, and congratulated Clough on having
gained every honor which Rugby could bestow, and on having done the
highest credit to the school at the University,--for he had won the
Balliol Scholarship, "then and now the highest honor which a schoolboy
could obtain."

Clough went into residence at Oxford in October, 1837. It was a time of
stirring of heart and trouble of mind at the University. The great
theological controversy which was to produce such far-reaching effects
upon the lives of individuals, and upon the Church of England as a
whole, was then rising to its height. Newman was at the acme of his
popularity and influence. His followers were zealous and active. Ward,
his most earnest disciple, was one of Clough's nearest friends. Clough,
not yet nineteen years old, but morally and intellectually developed
beyond his years and accustomed already to independent speculation in
regard to creed and conduct, was inevitably drawn into the deep waters
of theological discussion. He heard, too, those other voices which
Matthew Arnold in his admirable lecture on Emerson has spoken of as
deeply affecting the more sensitive youthful spirits of the Oxford of
this time,--the voices of Goethe, of Carlyle, and of Emerson. He studied
hard, but his studies seemed, for the moment at least, to be of
secondary importance. Although unusually reserved in demeanor and silent
in general company, his reputation grew, not merely as a scholar, but as
a man distinguished above his fellows for loftiness of spirit, for
sweetness of disposition, and for superiority of moral no less than of
intellectual qualities. With much interior storm and stress, his
convictions were gradually maturing. He resisted the prevailing
tendencies of Oxford thought, but did not easily find a secure basis for
his own beliefs. In 1841 he tried for and missed his first class in the
examinations. It was more a surprise and disappointment to others than
to himself. He knew that he had not shown himself in the examinations
for what he really was, and his failure did not affect his confidence in
his own powers, nor did others lose faith in him, as was shown by his
election in the next year to a fellowship at Oriel, and the year later
to his appointment as tutor.

His livelihood being thus assured, he led from 1843 to 1848 a "quiet,
hard-working, uneventful tutor's life, diversified with reading parties"
in the vacations. He was writing poems from time to time, but his
vocation as poet was not fully recognized by himself or by others. He
had been obliged, in assuming the duties of tutor, to sign the
Thirty-nine Articles,--though as he wrote to a friend, "reluctantly
enough, and I am not quite sure whether or not in a justifiable sense.
However, I have for the present laid by that perplexity, though it may
perhaps recur at some time or other; and in general, I do not feel
perfectly satisfied about staying in my tutor capacity at Oxford."

The perplexity would not down, but as the years went on, the troubled
waters of his soul gradually cleared themselves. He succeeded in
attaining independence of mind such as few men attain, and in finding,
if not a solution of the moral perplexities of life, at least a position
from which they might be frankly confronted without blinking and without
self-deception. It became impossible for him to accept, however they
might be interpreted, the doctrines of any church. He would not play
tricks with words nor palter with the integrity of his soul. This
perfect mental honesty of Clough, and his entire sincerity of
expression, were a stumbling-block to many of his more conventional
contemporaries, and have remained as a rock of offense to many of the
readers of his poetry, who find it disturbing to be obliged to recognize
in his work a test of their own sincerity in dealing with themselves.
With how few are conviction and profession perfectly at one! The
difficulty of the struggle in Clough's case, the difficulty of freeing
himself from the chains of association, of tradition, of affection, of
interest, which bound him to conformity with and acceptance of the
popular creed in one or the other of its forms, has led superficial
critics of his life and poetry to find in them evidence that the
struggle was too hard for him and the result unsatisfactory. There could
not be a greater error. Clough's honest acceptance of the insolubility
of the vain questions which men are perpetually asking, and his
recognition of the insufficiency of the answers which they are ready to
accept or to pretend to accept, left him as regards his most inward soul
one of the serenest of men. The questions of practical life, of action,
of duty, indeed presented themselves to his sensitive and contemplative
nature with their full perplexity; but his spiritual life was based on a
foundation that could not be shaken. He had learned the lesson of
skepticism, and accepted without trouble the fact of the limitation of
human faculties and the insolubility of the mystery of life. He was
indeed tired with the hard work of years, and worried by the uncertainty
of his future; when at length, in order to deliver himself from a
constrained if not a false position, and to obtain perfect freedom of
expression as well as of thought, he resigned in 1848 both his
fellowship and tutorship.

It was a momentous decision, for it left him without any definite means
of support, it alienated the authorities of the University, it isolated
him from many old friends. Immediately after resigning his tutorship
Clough went to Paris with Emerson, then on a visit to Europe, as his
companion. They were drawn thither by interest in the strange Revolution
which was then in progress, and by desire to watch its aspects. The
social conditions of England had long been matter of concern to Clough.
He had been deeply touched by the misery of the Irish famine in 1847,
and had printed a very striking pamphlet in the autumn of that year,
urging upon the students at Oxford retrenchment of needless expenditure
and restrictions of waste and luxury. His sympathies were with the poor,
and he was convinced of the need of radical social reform. He therefore
observed the course of revolution on the Continent not merely with
curiosity, but with sympathetic hope.

In the autumn of this year, after his return home, and while at
Liverpool with his mother and sister, he wrote his first long poem, 'The
Bothie of Tober-na-Vuolich; a Long-Vacation Pastoral.' It had no great
immediate success, but it made him known to a somewhat wider public than
that of Oxford. It was in its form the fruit of the reading parties in
the Highlands in previous summers. It was in hexameters, and he asked
Emerson to "convey to Mr. Longfellow the fact that it was a reading of
his 'Evangeline' aloud to my mother and sister, which, coming after a
re-perusal of the Iliad, occasioned this outbreak of hexameters." It is
a delightful poem, full of vitality and variety, original in design,
simple in incident. It has the freshness and wholesomeness of the open
air, the charm of nature and of life, with constant interplay of serious
thought and light humor, of gravity and gayety of sentiment.

Its publication was followed speedily by a little volume entitled
'Ambarvalia,' made up of two parts; one, of poems by Clough, and one, of
those by an old school and college friend, Mr. Burbidge. Clough's part
consisted, as he wrote to Emerson, of "old things, the casualties of at
least ten years." But many of these "casualties" are characteristic
expressions of personal experience, to which Clough's absolute sincerity
gives deep human interest. They are the records of "his search amid the
maze of life for a clue whereby to move." They deal with the problems of
his own life, and these problems perplex other men as well. "I have seen
higher, holier things than these," he writes in 1841:--

  "I have seen higher, holier things than these,
    And therefore must to these refuse my heart,
  Yet I am panting for a little ease;
    I'll take, and so depart."

But he checks himself:--

  "Ah, hold! the heart is prone to fall away,
    Her high and cherished visions to forget;
  And if thou takest, how wilt thou repay
    So vast, so dread a debt?"

The little volume appealed to but a small band of readers. The poems it
contained did not allure by fluency of fancy or richness of diction;
they were not of a kind to win sudden popularity: but they gave evidence
of a poet who, though not complete master of his art, and not arrived at
a complete understanding of himself, had yet a rare power of reflection
and expression and a still rarer sincerity of imaginative vision. They
were poems that gave large promise, and that promise was already in part
fulfilled by the 'Bothie.'

Early in 1849 the headship of University Hall in London was offered to
Clough and accepted by him. This was an institution professedly
non-sectarian, established for the purpose of receiving students in
attendance upon the lectures at University College. He was not to enter
upon the duties of the place until October, and he spent the greater
part of the intervening period in a fruitful visit to Italy. He reached
Rome in April. All Italy was in revolution. The Pope had fled from Rome.
The Republic had been declared, and Mazzini was in control of the
government. The French army was approaching to besiege the city, and
Clough resolved to await the event. No more vivid and picturesque
account of aspects of the siege exists than is to be found in his poem
of 'Amours de Voyage,' written in great part at Rome, under the pressure
and excitement of the moment; then laid aside in the poet's desk, and
not published till long afterward. It consists of a series of letters
supposed to be written by various persons, in which a narrative of
passing events is interwoven with a love story. The hero of the story is
a creation of extraordinary subtlety and interest. He has much of the
temperament of Hamlet: not wanting in personal courage, nor in
resolution when forced to action, but hesitating through sensitiveness
of conscience, through dread of mistaking momentary impulse for fixed
conviction, through the clearness with which diverging paths of conduct
present themselves to his imagination, with the inevitable doubt as to
which be the right one to follow. The character, though by no means an
exact or complete image of the poet's own, is yet drawn in part from
himself, and affords glimpses of his inner nature, of the delicacy of
his sensitive poetic spirit, of his tendency to subtle introspective
reflection, of his honesty in dealing with facts and with himself. To
see things as they are, to keep his eyes clear, to be true to

  "The living central inmost I
  Within the scales of mere exterior--"

was the principle of his life. The charm of 'Amours de Voyage,' however,
consists not merely in animated description, in delicate sentiment, and
in the poetic representation of sensitive, impressionable, and
high-minded youth, but in its delicate humor in the delineation of
character, and in its powerful, imaginative, picturesque reproduction of
the atmosphere and influence of Rome, and of the spirit of the moment to
which the poem relates. It is as unique and as original in its kind as
the 'Bothie.' It is a poem that appeals strongly to the lovers of the
poetry of high culture, and is not likely to lack such readers in future

From Rome in July Clough went to Naples, and there wrote another of his
most striking poems, 'Easter Day.' In the autumn of 1850 he again went
during a short vacation to Italy, but now to Venice; and while there
began his third long poem, 'Dipsychus,' of which the scene is in that
city. In this poem, which represents the conflict of the soul in its
struggles to maintain itself against the temptations of the world and
the Devil, Clough again wrote out much of his inner life. It is not so
much a piece of strict autobiography of the spirit of an individual, as
an imaginative drama of the spiritual experience common in all times to
men of fine nature, seeking a solution of the puzzle of their own
hearts. In none of his other poems is there such variety of tone, or
such an exhibition of mature poetic power. It is indeed loosely
constructed; but its separate parts, each contributing to the
development of its main theme, with their diversity of imagination,
reflection, wit, and sentiment, combine in an impressive unity of

The position at University Hall proved not altogether satisfactory; and
no other opening for him offering itself in England, Clough determined
after much hesitation and deliberation to try his fortune as a teacher
and writer in America. He sailed in October, 1852, on a steamer on which
he had Lowell and Thackeray for fellow passengers. He spent the next
eight months at Cambridge, employed in tutoring and in literary work,
winning the warm regard of the remarkable group of men of letters who
then gave distinction to the society of Cambridge and of Boston, and
especially keeping up his friendship with Emerson by frequent visits to
Concord. There seemed a fair prospect of success for him in his new
career. But his friends at home, deeply attached to him, and ill content
that he should leave them, obtained for him an appointment as examiner
in the Education Department of the Council Office. The salary would give
to him a secure though moderate income. He was the more drawn to accept
the place, because shortly before leaving England he had become engaged
to be married; and accordingly in July, 1853, he returned home and at
once entered on the duties of his office. In June 1854 he married. For
the next seven years his life was tranquil, laborious, and happy. The
account of these years contained in the beautiful sketch of his life by
his wife, which is prefixed to the collection of his 'Letters, Poems and
Prose Remains,'[B] gives a picture of Clough's domestic felicity, and of
the various interests which engaged him outside of the regular drudgery
of official work. His own letters bear witness to the content of his
days. He had little leisure for poetry. He was overworked, and in 1860
his health gave way. Leave of absence from the office was given to him.
He went to the seashore; he visited the Continent: but though at times
he seemed to gain strength, there was no steady recovery. In the autumn
of 1861 he went to Italy, accompanied by his wife; he enjoyed the
journey, but they had only reached the Lakes when he experienced a touch
of fever. They went on to Florence; he became more seriously ill. He
began however apparently to recover, but a sudden blow of paralysis
struck him down, and on the 13th day of November he died.

  [B] It is on this sketch of his life that the present account of him
      is mainly based.

Among the most original and beautiful of Matthew Arnold's poems is his
'Thyrsis, a Monody,' to commemorate his friend Arthur Hugh Clough.
Thyrsis his mate has gone:--

  "No purer or more subtle soul"

than he ever sought the light that

                "leaves its seeker still untired,--
  Still onward faring by his own heart inspired."

The lament is as true as it is tender. The singer continues:--

  "What though the music of thy rustic flute
    Kept not for long its happy country tone;
  Lost it too soon, and learnt a stormy note
    Of men contention-tost, of men who groan,
  Which tasked thy pipe too sore, and tired thy throat,--
        It failed, and thou wast mute!
  Yet hadst thou always visions of our light."

Yes, always visions of the light! But Arnold's usual felicity of
discrimination is lacking in this last stanza. The stormy note is not
the characteristic note of Clough's mature song, nor does his art betray
the overtasked pipe. His pipe indeed is not attuned, as was Arnold's
own, to the soft melancholy of regret at leaving behind the happy fields
of the past in the quest for the light that shines beyond and across the
untraveled and dim waste before them; its tone was less pathetic, but
not less clear. The music of each is the song of travelers whose road is
difficult, whose goal is uncertain. Their only guide is the fugitive
light, now faint, now distinct, which allures them with irresistible
compulsion. Their pathways at times diverge; but when most divergent,
the notes of their accordant pipes are heard in the same direction.

The memory of Clough remains, with those who had the happiness of
knowing him in life, distinct and precious. It is that of one of the
highest and purest souls. Sensitive, simple, tender, manly, his figure
stands as one of the ideal figures of the past, the image of the true
poet, the true friend, the true man. He died too young for his full
fame, but not too young for the love which is better than fame.

                                   [Signature: Charles Eliot Norton]


  "There is no God," the wicked saith,
    "And truly it's a blessing,
  For what he might have done with us
    It's better only guessing."

  "There is no God," a youngster thinks,
    "Or really, if there may be,
  He surely didn't mean a man
    Always to be a baby."

  "There is no God, or if there is,"
    The tradesman thinks, "'twere funny
  If he should take it ill in me
    To make a little money."

  "Whether there be," the rich man says,
    "It matters very little,
  For I and mine, thank somebody,
    Are not in want of victual."

  Some others, also, to themselves,
    Who scarce so much as doubt it,
  Think there is none, when they are well,
    And do not think about it.

  But country folks who live beneath
    The shadow of the steeple;
  The parson and the parson's wife,
    And mostly married people;

  Youths green and happy in first love,
    So thankful for illusion;
  And men caught out in what the world
    Calls guilt, in first confusion;

  And almost every one when age,
    Disease, or sorrows strike him,--
  Inclines to think there is a God,
    Or something very like him.


  Thou shalt have one God only: who
  Would be at the expense of two?
  No graven images may be
  Worshiped, save in the currency.
  Swear not at all; since for thy curse
  Thine enemy is none the worse.
  At church on Sunday to attend
  Will serve to keep the world thy friend:
  Honor thy parents; that is, all
  From whom advancement may befall.
  Thou shalt not kill; but need'st not strive
  Officiously to keep alive.
  Adultery it is not fit
  Or safe (for woman) to commit.
  Thou shalt not steal: an empty feat,
  When 'tis as lucrative to cheat.
  Bear not false witness: let the lie
  Have time on its own wings to fly.
  Thou shalt not covet; but tradition
  Approves all forms of competition.


  O Thou whose image in the shrine
  Of human spirits dwells divine;
  Which from that precinct once conveyed,
  To be to outer day displayed,
  Doth vanish, part, and leave behind
  Mere blank and void of empty mind,
  Which willful fancy seeks in vain
  With casual shapes to fill again!

  O Thou that in our bosom's shrine
  Dost dwell, unknown because divine!
  I thought to speak, I thought to say,
  "The light is here,"--"Behold the way,"--
  "The voice was thus,"--and "Thus the word,"--
  And "Thus I saw,"--and "That I heard,"--
  But from the lips that half assayed
  The imperfect utterance fell unmade.

  O Thou, in that mysterious shrine
  Enthroned, as I must say, divine!
  I will not frame one thought of what
  Thou mayest either be or not.
  I will not prate of "thus" and "so,"
  And be profane with "yes" and "no";
  Enough that in our soul and heart
  Thou, whatsoe'er Thou may'st be, art.

  Unseen, secure in that high shrine
  Acknowledged present and divine,
  I will not ask some upper air,
  Some future day to place Thee there;
  Nor say, nor yet deny, such men
  And women say Thee thus and then:
  Thy name was such, and there or here
  To him or her Thou didst appear.

  Do only Thou in that dim shrine,
  Unknown or known, remain, divine;
  There, or if not, at least in eyes
  That scan the fact that round them lies,
  The hand to sway, the judgment guide,
  In sight and sense Thyself divide:
  Be Thou but there, in soul and heart,--
  Will not ask to feel Thou art.


NAPLES, 1849

      Through the great sinful streets of Naples as I past,
          With fiercer heat than flamed above my head,
      My heart was hot within me; till at last
          My brain was lightened when my tongue had said--
                    Christ is not risen!

                  Christ is not risen, no--
                  He lies and molders low;
                    Christ is not risen!

      What though the stone were rolled away, and though
              The grave found empty there?--
              If not there, then elsewhere;
      If not where Joseph laid him first, why then
                      Where other men
        Translaid him after, in some humbler clay.
                      Long ere to-day
        Corruption that sad perfect work hath done,
        Which here she scarcely, lightly, had begun:
                The foul engendered worm
        Feeds on the flesh of the life-giving form
        Of our most Holy and Anointed One.
                  He is not risen, no--
                  He lies and molders low;
                    Christ is not risen!

          What if the women, ere the dawn was gray,
          Saw one or more great angels, as they say
    (Angels, or Him himself)? Yet neither there, nor then,
          Nor afterwards, nor elsewhere, nor at all,
            Hath he appeared to Peter or the Ten;
        Nor, save in thunderous terror, to blind Saul;
        Save in an after-Gospel and late Creed,
                  He is not risen, indeed,--
                    Christ is not risen!

        Or what if e'en, as runs a tale, the Ten
        Saw, heard, and touched, again and yet again?
        What if at Emmaüs's inn, and by Capernaum's Lake,
            Came One, the bread that brake--
        Came One that spake as never mortal spake,
  And with them ate, and drank, and stood, and walked about?
            Ah! "some" did well to "doubt"!
      Ah! the true Christ, while these things came to pass,
      Nor heard, nor spake, nor walked, nor lived, alas!
                  He was not risen, no--
                  He lay and moldered low;
                    Christ was not risen!

        As circulates in some great city crowd
        A rumor changeful, vague, importunate, and loud,
        From no determined centre, or of fact
                  Or authorship exact,
                  Which no man can deny
                        Nor verify;
                  So spread the wondrous fame;
                      He all the same
                  Lay senseless, moldering low;
                  He was not risen, no--
                    Christ was not risen!

          Ashes to ashes, dust to dust;
          As of the unjust, also of the just--
                Yea, of that Just One, too!
          This is the one sad Gospel that is true--
                    Christ is not risen!

      Is he not risen, and shall we not rise?
                      Oh, we unwise!
      What did we dream, what wake we to discover?
      Ye hills, fall on us, and ye mountains, cover!
                In darkness and great gloom
      Come ere we thought it is _our_ day of doom;
      From the cursed world, which is one tomb,
                    Christ is not risen!

      Eat, drink, and play, and think that this is bliss:
                There is no heaven but this;
                      There is no hell,
      Save earth, which serves the purpose doubly well,
                  Seeing it visits still
              With equalest apportionment of ill
      Both good and bad alike, and brings to one same dust
                  The unjust and the just
                With Christ, who is not risen.

  Eat, drink, and die, for we are souls bereaved:
     Of all the creatures under heaven's wide cope
     We are most hopeless, who had once most hope,
  And most beliefless, that had most believed.

          Ashes to ashes, dust to dust;
          As of the unjust, also of the just--
                Yea, of that Just One, too!
          It is the one sad Gospel that is true--
                    Christ is not risen!

              Weep not beside the tomb,
              Ye women, unto whom
    He was great solace while ye tended him;
          Ye who with napkin o'er the head
    And folds of linen round each wounded limb
          Laid out the Sacred Dead;
    And thou that bar'st him in thy wondering womb;
          Yea, Daughters of Jerusalem, depart,
  Bind up as best you may your own sad bleeding heart:
        Go to your homes, your living children tend,
            Your earthly spouses love;
        Set your affections _not_ on things above,
  Which moth and rust corrupt, which quickliest come to end:
  Or pray, if pray ye must, and pray, if pray ye can,
  For death; since dead is he whom ye deemed more than man,
                  Who is not risen: no--
                  But lies and molders low--
                    Who is not risen!

                    Ye men of Galilee!
  Why stand ye looking up to heaven, where him ye ne'er may see,
      Neither ascending hence, nor returning hither again?
                Ye ignorant and idle fishermen!
      Hence to your huts, and boats, and inland native shore,
                And catch not men, but fish;
                Whate'er things ye might wish,
      Him neither here nor there ye e'er shall meet with more.
                Ye poor deluded youths, go home,
                Mend the old nets ye left to roam,
              Tie the split oar, patch the torn sail:
              It was indeed an "idle tale"--
                    He was not risen!

              And oh, good men of ages yet to be,
              Who shall believe _because_ ye did not see--
                Oh, be ye warned, be wise!
                No more with pleading eyes,
                And sobs of strong desire,
                Unto the empty vacant void aspire,
          Seeking another and impossible birth
        That is not of your own, and only mother earth.
          But if there is no other life for you,
        Sit down and be content, since this must even do;
                    He is not risen!

                 One look and then depart,
             Ye humble and ye holy men of heart;
      And ye! ye ministers and stewards of a Word
      Which ye would preach, because another heard--
             Ye worshipers of that ye do not know,
             Take these things hence and go:--
                    He is not risen!

                  Here, on our Easter Day
        We rise, we come, and lo! we find Him not,
        Gardener nor other, on the sacred spot:
        Where they have laid Him there is none to say;
            No sound, nor in, nor out--no word
        Of where to seek the dead or meet the living Lord.
          There is no glistering of an angel's wings,
        There is no voice of heavenly clear behest:
          Let us go hence, and think upon these things
                  In silence, which is best.
                  Is He not risen? No--
                  But lies and molders low?
                    Christ is not risen?


  It fortifies my soul to know
  That though I perish, Truth is so;
  That howsoe'er I stray and range,
  Whate'er I do, Thou dost not change;
  I steadier step when I recall
  That if I slip, Thou dost not fall!


  Say not, the struggle naught availeth,
    The labor and the wounds are vain,
  The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
    And as things have been, they remain.

  If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
    It may be, in yon smoke concealed,
  Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers,
    And but for you, possess the field.

  For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
    Seem here no painful inch to gain,
  Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
    Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

  And not by eastern windows only,
    When daylight comes, comes in the light;
  In front, the sun climbs slow, how slowly!
    But westward, look, the land is bright.


  Come back, come back! behold with straining mast
  And swelling sail, behold her steaming fast:
  With one new sun to see her voyage o'er,
  With morning light to touch her native shore.
        Come back, come back!

  Come back, come back! while westward laboring by,
  With sailless yards, a bare black hulk we fly.
  See how the gale we fight with sweeps her back
  To our lost home, on our forsaken track.
        Come back, come back!

  Come back, come back! across the flying foam
  We hear faint far-off voices call us home:
  Come back! ye seem to say; ye seek in vain;
  We went, we sought, and homeward turned again.
        Come back, come back!

  Come back, come back! and whither back, or why?
  To fan quenched hopes, forsaken schemes to try;
  Walk the old fields; pace the familiar street;
  Dream with the idlers, with the bards compete.
        Come back, come back!

  Come back, come back! and whither and for what?
  To finger idly some old Gordian knot,
  Unskilled to sunder, and too weak to cleave,
  And with much toil attain to half-believe.
        Come back, come back!

  Come back, come back! yea, back indeed do go
  Sighs panting thick, and tears that want to flow;
  Fond fluttering hopes upraise their useless wings,
  And wishes idly struggle in the strings.
        Come back, come back!

  Come back, come back! more eager than the breeze
  The flying fancies sweep across the seas,
  And lighter far than ocean's flying foam
  The heart's fond message hurries to its home.
        Come back, come back!

            Come back, come back!
  Back flies the foam; the hoisted flag streams back;
  The long smoke wavers on the homeward track;
  Back fly with winds things which the wind obey:
  The strong ship follows its appointed way.


  As ships becalmed at eve, that lay
    With canvas drooping, side by side,
  Two towers of sail, at dawn of day,
    Are scarce long leagues apart descried.

  When fell the night, up sprang the breeze,
    And all the darkling hours they plied;
  Nor dreamt but each the self-same seas
    By each was clearing, side by side:

  E'en so--but why the tale reveal
    Of those whom, year by year unchanged,
  Brief absence joined anew, to feel,
    Astounded, soul from soul estranged?

  At dead of night their sails were filled.
    And onward each rejoicing steered;
  Ah! neither blame, for neither willed
    Or wist what first with dawn appeared.

  To veer, how vain! On, onward strain,
    Brave barks!--in light, in darkness too!
  Through winds and tides one compass guides
    To that and your own selves be true.

  But O blithe breeze! and O great seas!
    Though ne'er that earliest parting past,
  On your wide plain they join again,
    Together lead them home at last.

  One port, methought, alike they sought,--
    One purpose hold, where'er they fare;
  O bounding breeze, O rushing seas,
    At last, at last, unite them there.


  Where lies the land to which the ship would go?
  Far, far ahead, is all her seamen know;
  And where the land she travels from? Away,
  Far, far behind, is all that they can say.

  On sunny noons upon the deck's smooth face,
  Linked arm in arm, how pleasant here to pace!
  Or, o'er the stern reclining, watch below
  The foaming wake far widening as we go.

  On stormy nights, when wild Northwesters rave,
  How proud a thing to fight with wind and wave!
  The dripping sailor on the reeling mast
  Exults to bear, and scorns to wish it past.

  Where lies the land to which the ship would go?
  Far, far ahead, is all her seamen know.
  And where the land she travels from? Away,
  Far, far behind, is all that they can say.


  Afloat; we move--delicious! Ah,
  What else is like the gondola?
  This level flow of liquid glass
  Begins beneath us swift to pass.
  It goes as though it went alone
  By some impulsion of its own.
  (How light it moves, how softly! Ah,
  Were all things like the gondola!)

  How light it moves, how softly! Ah,
  Could life, as does our gondola,
  Unvexed with quarrels, aims, and cares,
  And moral duties and affairs,
  Unswaying, noiseless, swift, and strong,
  For ever thus--thus glide along!
  (How light we move, how softly! Ah,
  Were life but as the gondola!)

  With no more motion than should bear
  A freshness to the languid air;
  With no more effort than expressed
  The need and naturalness of rest,
  Which we beneath a grateful shade
  Should take on peaceful pillows laid!
  (How light we move, how softly! Ah,
  Were life but as the gondola!)

  In one unbroken passage borne
  To closing night from opening morn,
  Uplift at whiles slow eyes to mark
  Some palace-front, some passing bark;
  Through windows catch the varying shore,
  And hear the soft turns of the oar!
  (How light we move, how softly! Ah,
  Were life but as the gondola!)

  [Illustration: _THE GONDOLA._
  View on the Grand Canal in Venice. Photogravure from a Photograph.]


  Come, Poet, come!
  A thousand laborers ply their task,
  And what it tends to, scarcely ask,
  And trembling thinkers on the brink
  Shiver, and know not what to think.
  To tell the purport of their pain,
  And what our silly joys contain;
  In lasting lineaments portray
  The substance of the shadowy day;
  Our real and inner deeds rehearse,
  And make our meaning clear in verse--
  Come, Poet, come! for but in vain
  We do the work or feel the pain,
  And gather up the evening gain,
  Unless before the end thou come
  To take, ere they are lost, their sum.

  Come, Poet, come!
  To give an utterance to the dumb,
  And make vain babblers silent, come;
  A thousand dupes point here and there,
  Bewildered by the show and glare;
  And wise men half have learnt to doubt
  Whether we are not best without.
  Come, Poet; both but wait to see
  Their error proved to them in thee.

  Come, Poet, come!
  In vain I seem to call. And yet
  Think not the living times forget.
  Ages of heroes fought and fell
  That Homer in the end might tell;
  O'er groveling generations past
  Upstood the Doric fane at last;
  And countless hearts on countless years
  Had wasted thoughts, and hopes, and fears,
  Rude laughter and unmeaning tears,--
  Ere England Shakespeare saw, or Rome
  The pure perfection of her dome.
  Others, I doubt not, if not we,
  The issue of our toils shall see;
  Young children gather as their own
  The harvest that the dead had sown--
  The dead forgotten and unknown.


    From 'The Bothie of Tober-na-Vuolich'

  [A party of Oxford men spend their long vacation in Scotland. In due
  course they return to their colleges. Adam, one of the party,--

                              "The grave man nicknamed Adam,
    White-tied, clerical, silent, with antique square-cut waistcoat,"

  receives a letter at Christmas from Philip (Hewson),

              "The Chartist, the poet, the eloquent speaker."]

  What I said at Balloch has truth in it; only distorted.
  Plants are some for fruit, and some for flowering only;
  Let there be deer in parks as well as kine in paddocks,
  Grecian buildings upon the earth, as well as Gothic.
  There may be men perhaps whose vocation it is to be idle,
  Idle, sumptuous even, luxurious, if it must be:
  Only let each man seek to be that for which Nature meant him,
  Independent surely of pleasure, if not regardless,
  Independent also of station, if not regardless;
  Irrespective also of station, as of enjoyment;
  Do his duty in that state of life to which God, not man, shall call

  If you were meant to plow, Lord Marquis, out with you and do it;
  If you were meant to be idle, O beggar, behold I will feed thee:
  Take my purse; you have far better right to it, friend, than the
  If you were born for a groom,--and you seem by your dress to believe
  Do it like a man, Sir George, for pay, in a livery-stable;
  Yes, you may so release that slip of a boy at the corner,
  Fingering books at the window, misdoubting the Eighth Commandment.
  What, a mere Dean with those wits, that debtor-and-creditor headpiece!
  Go, my detective D.D., take the place of Burns the gauger.
  Ah, fair Lady Maria, God meant you to live and be lovely:
  Be so then, and I bless you. But ye, ye spurious ware, who
  Might be plain women, and can be by no possibility better!
  Ye unhappy statuettes, ye miserable trinkets,
  Poor alabaster chimney-piece ornaments under glass cases,
  Come, in God's name, come down! the very French clock by you
  Puts you to shame with ticking; the fire-irons deride you.
  Break your glasses; ye can! come down; ye are not really plaster,
  Come, in God's name, come down! do anything, be but something!

  You, young girl, who have had such advantages, learnt so quickly,
  Can you not teach? Oh, yes, and she likes Sunday-school extremely,
  Only it's soon in the morning. Away! if to teach be your calling,
  It is no play, but a business: off! go teach and be paid for it.
  Surely that fussy old dowager yonder was meant for the counter;
  Oh, she is notable very, and keeps her servants in order
  Past admiration. Indeed, and keeps to employ her talent
  How many, pray? to what use? Away! the hotel's her vocation.

  Lady Sophie's so good to the sick, so firm and so gentle:
  Is there a nobler sphere than of hospital nurse and matron?
  Hast thou for cooking a turn, little Lady Clarissa? in with them,
  In with your fingers! Their beauty it spoils, but your own it
  For it is beautiful only to do the thing we are meant for.

  But they will marry, have husbands, and children, and guests, and
  Are there so many trades for a man,--for women one only,
  First to look out for a husband and then to preside at his table?

       *       *       *       *       *

  Have you ever, Philip, my boy, looked at it in this way?
  When the armies are set in array, and the battle beginning,
  Is it well that the soldier whose post is far to the leftward
  Say, I will go to the right, it is there I shall do best service?
  There is a great Field-Marshal, my friend, who arrays our battalions;
  Let us to Providence trust, and abide and work in our stations.


  "Old things need not be therefore true."
  O brother men, nor yet the new;
  Ah! still awhile the old thought retain,
  And yet consider it again!

  The souls of now two thousand years
  Have laid up here their toils and fears,
  And all the earnings of their pain,--
  Ah, yet consider it again!

  We! what do you see? each a space
  Of some few yards before his face;
  Does that the whole wide plan explain?
  Ah, yet consider it again!

  Alas! the great world goes its way,
  And takes its truth from each new day;
  They do not quit, nor yet retain,
  Far less consider it again.




Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the English poet and philosopher, was born at
Ottery St. Mary, in Devonshire, October 21st, 1772. He was the ninth and
youngest son of the vicar of the parish,--a man characterized by
learning and also by some of its foibles,--under whose care he passed
his childhood; but on the death of his father he was sent up to London
to be educated at Christ's Hospital, and there spent, in companionship
with Lamb, his school days from 1782 to 1791. He went in the latter year
to Jesus College Cambridge. His career as an undergraduate was marked by
an escapade,--his enlistment in the King's Regiment of Light Dragoons in
the winter of 1793-94, from which he was released by the influence of
his relatives; and in more important ways by his friendship with
Southey, whom he found on a visit to Oxford, and his engagement to Sarah
Fricker in the summer of 1794. He had already been attached to another
young lady, Mary Evans, with whose family he had been intimate. In
December 1794 he left Cambridge without taking a degree, and on October
21st, 1795, he was married. His biography from this point is one of
confused and intricate detail, which only a long story could set forth
plainly and exactly. Its leading external events were a residence in
Germany in 1798-99 and a voyage to Malta, with travel in Sicily and
Italy in 1804-6; in its inward development, the turning-points of his
life were his first intimacy with the Wordsworths in 1797, during which
his best poems were composed; his subjection to the opium habit, with
increasing domestic unhappiness, in 1801-2; and his retreat under
medical control to Highgate in 1816. He was practically separated from
his family from the time of his voyage to Malta. Troubles of many kinds
filled all these years, but he had always a power to attract friends who
were deeply interested in his welfare, and he was never without admirers
and helpers. Before he withdrew to Highgate he had resided first at
Stowey in the neighborhood of Tom Poole, and later at Greta Hall near
the Wordsworths; but he was often away from home, and after he ceased to
be an inmate there, from 1806 to 1816, he led a wandering life, either
in lodgings frequently changed, or in visits to his friends. His
resources were always small, and from the start his friends were his
patrons, making up subscriptions, loans, and gifts for him; in 1798 the
Wedgwoods gave him a pension of £150 for life, which was soon secured
for the support of his family, and in 1812 one-half of this was
withdrawn; in 1825 he was granted a royal pension of one hundred
guineas, and when this lapsed in 1830 Frere made it up to him. De
Quincey had distinguished himself by an act of singular and impulsive
generosity to him, upon first acquaintance. He was always cared for,
though his indulgence in opium made it difficult for those who knew the
fact to assist him directly in a wise way. His pecuniary embarrassment,
however, was constant and trying during a great part of his life; his
own wretchedness of spirit, under the painful conditions of his bodily
state and his moral as well as material position, was very great; but
through all these sufferings and trials he maintained sufficient energy
to leave behind him a considerable body of literary work. He died July
25th, 1834.

The poetic genius of Coleridge, the highest of his many gifts, found
brilliant and fascinating expression. His poems--those in which his fame
lives--are as unique as they are memorable; and though their small
number, their confined range, and the brief period during which his
faculty was exercised with full freedom and power, seem to indicate a
narrow vein, yet the remainder of his work in prose and verse leaves an
impression of extraordinary and abundant intellectual force. In
proportion as his imaginative creations stand apart, the spirit out of
which they came must have possessed some singularity: and if the reader
is not content with simple aesthetic appreciation of what the gods
provide, but has some touch of curiosity leading him to look into the
source of such remarkable achievement and its human history, he is at
once interested in the personality of the "subtle-souled psychologist,"
as Shelley with his accurate critical insight first named him; in
experiencing the fascination of the poetry one remembers the charm which
Coleridge had in life, that quality which arrested attention in all
companies and drew men's minds and hearts with a sense of something
marvelous in him--"the most wonderful man," said Wordsworth, "that I
ever met." The mind and heart of Coleridge, his whole life, have been
laid open by himself and his friends and acquaintances without reserve
in many volumes of letters and memoirs; it is easy to figure him as he
lived and to recover his moods and aspect: but in order to conceive his
nature and define its traits, it is necessary to take account especially
of his incomplete and less perfect work, of his miscellaneous interests,
and those activities which filled and confused his life without having
any important share in establishing his fame.


The intellectual precocity which is the leading trait of Coleridge's
boyhood, in the familiar portrait of "the inspired charity-boy" drawn by
Lamb from schoolboy memories, is not unusual in a youth of genius; but
the omnivorousness of knowledge which he then displayed continued into
his manhood. He consumed vast quantities of book-learning. It is a more
remarkable characteristic that from the earliest period in which he
comes into clear view, he was accustomed to give out his ideas with
freedom in an inexhaustible stream of talk. The activity of his mind was
as phenomenal as its receptivity. In his college days, too, he was
fanatical in all his energies. The remark of Southey after Shelley's
visit to him, that here was a young man who was just what he himself had
been in his college days, is illustrative; for if Southey was then
inflamed with radicalism, Coleridge was yet more deeply infected and
mastered by that wild fever of the revolutionary dawn. The tumult of
Coleridge's mind, its incessant action, the lack of discipline in his
thought, of restraint in his expression, of judgment in his affairs, are
all important elements in his character at a time which in most men
would be called the formative period of manhood, but which in him seems
to have been intensely chaotic; what is most noticeable, however, is the
volume of his mental energy. He expressed himself, too, in ways natural
to such self-abundance. He was always a discourser, if the name may be
used, from the London days at the "Salutation and the Cat" of which Lamb
tells, saying that the landlord was ready to retain him because of the
attraction of his conversation for customers; and as he went on to the
more set forms of such monologue, he became a preacher without pay in
Unitarian chapels, a journalist with unusual capacity for ready and
sonorous writing in the press, a composer of whole periodicals such as
his ventures The Watchman and The Friend, and a lecturer using only
slight notes as the material of his remarks upon literature, education,
philosophy, theology, or whatever the subject might be. In all these
methods of expression which he took up one after the other, he merely
talked in an ample way upon multifarious topics; in the conversation,
sermon, leading article, written discourse, or flowing address, he was
master of a swelling and often brilliant volubility, but he had neither
the certainty of the orator nor the unfailing distinction of the author;
there was an occasional and impromptu quality, a colloquial and
episodical manner, the style of the irresponsible speaker. In his
earlier days especially, the dominant note in Coleridge's whole nature
was excitement. He was always animated, he was often violent, he was
always without the principle of control. Indeed, a weakness of moral
power seems to have been congenital, in the sense that he was not
permanently bound by a practical sense of duty nor apparently observant
of what place duty has in real life. There was misdirection of his
affairs from the time when they came into his own hands; there was
impulsiveness, thoughtlessness, a lack of judgment which augured ill for
him; and in its total effect this amounted to folly. His intoxication
with the scheme known as Pantisocracy, by which he with Southey and a
few like-minded projectors were to found a socialistic community on the
banks of the Susquehanna, is the most obvious comment on his practical
sense. But his marriage, with the anecdotes of its preliminaries (one of
which was that in those colloquies with Lamb at the London tavern, so
charmingly described by his boon companion, he had forgotten his
engagement or was indifferent to it), more strikingly exemplifies the
irresponsible course of his life, more particularly as it proved to be
ill-sorted, full of petty difficulties and makeshift expedients, and in
the end a disastrous failure. A radical social scheme and an imprudent
marriage might have fallen to his share of human folly, however, without
exciting remark, if in other ways or at a later time he had exhibited
the qualities which would allow one to dismiss these matters as mere
instances of immaturity; but wherever Coleridge's reasonable control
over himself or his affairs is looked to, it appears to have been
feeble. On the other hand, the constancy of his excitement is plain. It
was not only mental, but physical. He was, as a young man, full of
energy and capable of a good deal of hard exercise; he had animal
spirits, and Wordsworth describes him as "noisy" and "gamesome," as one

  "His limbs would toss about him with delight,
  Like branches when strong winds the trees annoy;"

and from several passages of his own writing, which are usually
disregarded, the evidence of a spirit of rough humor and fun is easily
obtained. The truth is that Coleridge changed a great deal in his life;
he felt himself to be very different in later years from what he was in
the time when to his memory even he was a sort of glorified spirit: and
this earlier Coleridge had many traits which are ignored sometimes, as
Carlyle ignored them, and are sometimes remembered rather as
idealizations of his friends in their affectionate thoughts of him, but
in any event are irreconcilable with the figure of the last period of
his life.

It has been suggested that there was something of disease or at least
of ill health in Coleridge always, and that it should be regarded as
influencing his temperament. Whether it were so or not, the plea itself
shows the fact. If excitement was the dominant note, as has been said,
in his whole nature, it could not exist without a physical basis and
accompaniment; and his bodily state appears to have been often less one
of animation than of agitation, and his correspondence frequently
discloses moods that seem almost frantic. In the issue, under stress of
pain and trouble, he became an opium-eater; but his physical nature may
fairly be described as predisposed to such states as lead to the use of
opium and also result from its use, with the attendant mental moods. His
susceptibility to sensuous impressions, to a voluptuousness of the
entire being, together with a certain lassitude and languor, lead to the
same conclusion, which thus seems to be supported on all sides,--that
Coleridge was, in his youth and early manhood, fevered through all his
intellectual and sensuous nature, and deficient on the moral and
practical sides in those matters that related to his personal affairs.
It is desirable to bring this out in plain terms, because in Coleridge
it is best to acknowledge at once that his character was, so far as our
part--the world's part--in him is concerned, of less consequence than
his temperament; a subtler and more profound thing than character,
though without moral meaning. It is not unfair to say, since literature
is to be regarded most profitably as the expression of human
personality, that with Coleridge the modern literature of temperament,
as it has been lately recognized in extreme phases, begins; not that
temperament is a new thing in the century now closing, nor that it has
been without influence hitherto, but that now it is more often
considered, and has in fact more often been, an exclusive ground of
artistic expression. The temperament of Coleridge was one of diffused
sensuousness physically, and of abnormal mental moods,--moods of
weakness, languor, collapse, of visionary imaginative life with a night
atmosphere of the spectral, moonlit, swimming, scarcely substantial
world; and the poems he wrote, which are the contributions he made to
the world's literature, are based on this temperament, like some Fata
Morgana upon the sea. The apparent exclusion of reality from the poems
in which his genius was most manifest finds its analogue in the
detachment of his own mind from the moral, the practical, the usual in
life as he led it in his spirit; and his work of the highest creative
sort, which is all there is to his enduring fame, stands amid his prose
and verse composition of a lower sort like an island in the waste of
waters. This may be best shown, perhaps, by a gradual approach through
his cruder to his more perfect compositions.

The cardinal fact in Coleridge's genius is that notwithstanding his
immense sensuous susceptibilities and mental receptivity, and the
continual excitement of his spirit, he never rose into the highest
sphere of creative activity except for the brief period called his
_annus mirabilis_, when his great poems were written; and with this is
the further related fact that in him we witness the spectacle of the
imaginative instinct overborne and supplanted by the intellectual
faculty exercising its speculative and critical functions; and in
addition, one observes in his entire work an extraordinary inequality
not only of treatment, but also of subject-matter. In general, he was an
egoistic writer. His sensitiveness to nature was twofold: in the first
place he noticed in the objects and movements of nature evanescent and
minute details, and as his sense of beauty was keen, he saw and recorded
truly the less obvious and less common loveliness in the phenomena of
the elements and the seasons, and this gave distinction to his mere
description and record of fact; in the second place he often felt in
himself moods induced by nature, but yet subjective,--states of his own
spirit, which sometimes deepened the charm of night, for example, by his
enjoyment of its placid aspects, and sometimes imparted to the external
world a despair reflected from his personal melancholy. In his direct
treatment of nature, however, as Mr. Stopford Brooke points out, he
seldom achieves more than a catalogue of his sensations, which though
touched with imaginative detail are never lifted and harmonized into
lyrical unity; though he can moralize nature in Wordsworth's fashion,
when he does so the result remains Wordsworth's and is stamped with that
poet's originality; and in his own original work Coleridge never equaled
either the genius of Shelley, who can identify nature with himself, or
the charm of Tennyson, who can at least parallel nature's phenomena with
his own human moods. Coleridge would not be thought of as a poet of
nature, except in so far as he describes what he observes in the way of
record, or gives a metaphysical interpretation to phenomena. This is the
more remarkable because he had to an eminent degree that intellectual
power, that overmastering desire of the mind, to rationalize the facts
of life. It was this quality that made him a philosopher, an analyst, a
critic on the great lines of Aristotle, seeking to impose an order of
ethics and metaphysics on all artistic productions. But in those poems
in which he describes nature directly and without metaphysical thought,
there is no trace of anything more than a sensuous order of his own
perceptions. Beautiful and often unique as his nature poems are, they
are not creative. They are rather in the main autobiographic; and it is
surprising to notice how large a proportion of his verse is thus
autobiographic, not in those phases of his own life which may be, or at
least are thought of as representative of human life in the mass, but
which are personal, such as the lines written after hearing Wordsworth
read the 'Prelude,' or those entitled 'Dejection.' When his verse is not
confined to autobiographic expression, it is often a product of his
interest in his friends or in his family. What is not personal in it, of
this sort, is apt to be domestic or social.

If we turn from the poems of nature to those concerned with man, a
similar shallowness, either of interest or of power, appears. He was in
early years a radical; he was stirred by the Revolution in France, and
he was emotionally charged with the ideas of the time,--ideas of
equality, fraternity, and liberty. But this interest died out, as is
shown by his political verse. He had none but a social and a
philosophical interest in any case. Man, the individual, did not at any
time attract him. There was nothing dramatic in his genius, in the
narrow and exact sense: he did not engage his curiosity or his
philosophy in individual fortunes. It results from this limitation that
his verse lacks human interest of the dramatic kind. The truth was that
he was interested in thought rather than in deeds, in human nature
rather than in its concrete pity and terror. Thus he did not seize on
life itself as the material of his imagination and reflection. In the
case of man as in the case of nature he gives us only an egoistic
account, telling us of his own private fortune, his fears, pains, and
despairs, but only as a diary gives them; as he did not transfer his
nature impressions into the world of creative art, so he did not
transfer his personal experiences into that world.

What has been said would perhaps be accepted, were it not for the
existence of those poems, 'The Ancient Mariner,' 'Christabel,' 'Kubla
Khan,' which are the marvelous creations of his genius. In these it will
be said there is both a world of nature new created, and a dramatic
method and interest. It is enough for the purpose of the analysis if it
be granted that nowhere else in Coleridge's work, except in these and
less noticeably in a few other instances, do these high characteristics
occur. The very point which is here to be brought out is that Coleridge
applied that intellectual power, that overmastering desire of the mind
to rationalize the phenomena of life, which has been mentioned as his
great mental trait,--that he applied this faculty with different degrees
of power at different times, so that his poetry falls naturally into
higher and inferior categories; in the autobiographic verse, in the
political and dramatic verse which forms so large a part of his work, it
appears that he did not have sufficient feeling or exercise sufficient
power to raise it out of the lower levels of composition; in his great
works of constructive and impersonal art, of moral intensity or romantic
beauty and fascination, he did so exercise the creative imagination as
to make these of the highest rank, or at least one of them.

'The Ancient Mariner,' apart from its many minor merits, has this
distinction in Coleridge's work,--it is a poem of perfect unity.
'Christabel' is a fragment, 'Kubla Khan' is a glimpse; and though the
'Ode to France,' 'Love, Youth, and Age,' and possibly a few other short
pieces, have this highest artistic virtue of unity, yet in them it is of
a simpler kind. 'The Ancient Mariner,' on the other hand, is a marvel of
construction in that its unity is less complex than manifold; it exists,
however the form be examined. In the merely external sense, the telling
of the tale to the Wedding Guest, with the fact that the wedding is
going on, gives it unity; in the merely internal sense, the moral lesson
of the salvation of the slayer of the albatross by the medium of love
felt toward living things, subtly yet lucidly worked out as the notion
is, gives it unity; but in still other ways, as a story of connected and
consequential incidents with a plot, a change of fortune, a climax, and
the other essentials of this species of tale-telling, it has unity; and
if its conception either of the physical or the ethical world be
analyzed, these too--and these are the fundamental things--are found
consistent wholes. It nevertheless remains true that this system of
nature as a vitalized but not humanized mode of life, with its bird, its
spirit, its magical powers, is not the nature that we know or believe to
be,--it is a modern presentation of an essentially primitive and
animistic belief; and similarly this system of human life,--if the word
human can be applied to it, with its dead men, its skeleton ship, its
spirit sailors, its whole miracle of spectral being,--is not the life we
know or believe to be: it is an incantation, a simulacrum. It may still
be true therefore that the imaginative faculty of Coleridge was not
applied either to nature or human life, in the ordinary sense. And this
it is that constitutes the uniqueness of the poem, and its wonderful
fascination. Coleridge fell heir, by the accidents of time and the
revolutions of taste, to the ballad style, its simplicity, directness,
and narrative power; he also was most attracted to the machinery of the
supernatural, the weird, the terrible, almost to the grotesque and
horrid, as these literary motives came into fashion in the crude
beginnings of romanticism in our time; his subtle mind, his fine senses,
his peculiar susceptibility to the mystic and shadowy in nature,--as
shown by his preference of the moonlight, dreamy, or night aspects of
real nature, to its brilliant beauties in the waking world,--gave him
ease and finesse in the handling of such subject-matter; and he lived
late enough to know that all this eerie side of human experience and
imaginative capacity, inherited from primeval ages but by no means yet
deprived of plausibility, could be effectively used only as an allegoric
or scenic setting of what should be truth to the ethical sense; he
combined one of the highest lessons of advanced civilization, one of the
last results of spiritual perception,--the idea of love toward life in
any form,--with the animistic beliefs and supernatural fancies of the
crude ages of the senses. This seems to be the substantial matter; and
in this he was, to repeat Shelley's phrase, the "subtle-souled
psychologist." The material of his imagination, on the sensuous side,
was of the slightest: it was the supernaturalism of the romantic
movement, somewhat modified by being placed in connection with the
animal world; and he put this to use as a means of illustrating
spiritual truth. He thus became the first of those who have employed the
supernatural in our recent literature without losing credence for it, as
an allegory of psychological states, moral facts, or illusions real to
the eye that sees them and having some logical relation to the past of
the individual; of such writers Hawthorne and Poe are eminent examples,
and both of them, it may be remarked, are writers in whom temperament
rather than character is the ground of their creative work. The intimate
kinship between imagination so directed and the speculative
philosophical temper is plain to see. In 'Christabel' on the other hand,
the moral substance is not apparent: the place filled by the moral ideas
which are the centres of the narrative in 'The Ancient Mariner,' is
taken here by emotional situations; but the supernaturalism is
practically the same in both poems, and in both is associated with that
mystery of the animal world to man, most concentrated and vivid in the
fascination ascribed traditionally to the snake, which is the animal
motive in 'Christabel' as the goodness of the albatross in the 'The
Ancient Mariner.' In these poems the good and the bad omens that ancient
augurs minded are made again dominant over men's imagination. Such are
the signal and unique elements in these poems, which have besides that
wealth of beauty in detail, of fine diction, of liquid melody, of
sentiment, thought, and image, which belong only to poetry of the
highest order, and which are too obvious to require any comment. 'Kubla
Khan' is a poem of the same kind, in which the mystical effect is given
almost wholly by landscape; it is to 'The Ancient Mariner' and
'Christabel' what protoplasm is to highly organized cells.

If it be recognized then that the imagery of Coleridge in the
characteristic parts of these cardinal poems is as pure allegory, is as
remote from nature or man, as is the machinery of fairy-land and
chivalry in Spenser, for example, and he obtains credibility by the
psychological and ethical truth presented in this imagery, it is not
surprising that his work is small in amount; for the method is not only
a difficult one, but the poetic machinery itself is limited and meagre.
The poverty of the subject-matter is manifest, and the restrictions to
its successful use are soon felt. It may well be doubted whether
'Christabel' would have gained by being finished. In 'The Ancient
Mariner' the isolation of the man is a great advantage; if there had
been any companion for him, the illusion could not have been entire: as
it is, what he experiences has the wholeness and truth within itself of
a dream, or of a madman's world,--there is no standard of appeal outside
of his own senses and mind, no real world; but in 'Christabel' the
serpentine fable goes on in a world of fact and action, and as soon as
the course of the story involved this fable in the probabilities and
actual occurences of life, it might well be that the tale would have
turned into one of simple enchantment and magic, as seems likely from
what has been told of its continuation; certainly it could not have
equaled the earlier poem, or have been in the same kind with it, unless
the unearthly magic, the spell, were finally completely dissolved into
the world of moral truth as is the case with 'The Ancient Mariner.'
Coleridge found it still more impossible to continue 'Kubla Khan.' It
seems a fair inference to conclude that Coleridge's genius, however it
suffered from the misfortunes and ills of his life, was in these works
involved in a field, however congenial, yet of narrow range and
infertile in itself. In poetic style it is to be observed that he kept
what he had gained; the turbid diction of the earlier period never came
back to trouble him, and the cadences he had formed still gave their
music to his verse. The change, the decline, was not in his power of
style; it was in his power of imagination, if at all, but the fault may
have laid in the capacities of the subject-matter. A similar thing
certainly happened in his briefer ballad poetry, in that of which
'Love,' 'The Three Graces,' 'Alice Du Clos,' and 'The Dark Ladie,' are
examples; the matter there, the machinery of the romantic ballad, was no
longer capable of use; that sort of literature was dead from the
exhaustion of its motives. The great 'Ode to France,' in which he
reached his highest point of eloquent and passionate expression, seems
to mark the extinction in himself of the revolutionary impulse. On the
whole, while the excellence of much of the remainder of his verse, even
in later years, is acknowledged, and its originality in several
instances, may it not be that in his greatest work Coleridge came to an
end because of an impossibility in the kind itself? The supernatural is
an accessory rather than a main element in the interpretation of life
which literary genius undertakes; Coleridge so subordinates it here by
making it contributory to a moral truth; but such a practice would seem
to be necessarily incidental to a poet who was also so intellectual as
Coleridge, and not to be adopted as a permanent method of

From whatever cause, the fact was that Coleridge ceased to create in
poetry, and fell back on that fluent, manifold, voluminous faculty he
possessed of absorbing and giving out ideas in vast quantities, as it
were by bulk. He attended especially to the theory of art as he found it
illustrated in the greatest poets, and he popularized among literary men
a certain body of doctrine regarding criticism, its growth and methods;
and in later years he worked out metaphysical theological views which he
inculcated in ways which won for him recognition as a practical
influence in contemporary church opinion. In these last years of his
lecturing and discoursing in private, the figure he makes is pathetic,
though Carlyle describes it with a grim humor, as any one may read in
the 'Life of Sterling': over against that figure should be set the
descriptions of the young Coleridge by Dorothy Wordsworth and Lamb; and
after these perhaps the contrast which Coleridge himself draws between
his spirit and his body may enable a reader to fuse the two--youth and
age--into one. Whatever were the weaknesses of his nature and the trials
of his life, of which one keeps silent, he was deeply loved by friends
of many different minds, who if they grew cold, had paid at least once
this tribute to the charm, the gentleness, and the delight of his human

                                        [Signature: G. E. Woodberry]


      In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
    A stately pleasure-dome decree,
    Where Alph the sacred river ran
  Through caverns measureless to man
    Down to a sunless sea.
  So twice five miles of fertile ground
  With wall and towers were girdled round;
  And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
    Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
  And here were forests ancient as the hills,
    Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

  But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
    Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover:
  A savage place! as holy and enchanted
  As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
    By woman wailing for her demon lover!
  And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
  As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
    A mighty fountain momently was forced;
    Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
  Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
  Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail;
  And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
  It flung up momently the sacred river.
  Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
    Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
    Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
  And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
  And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
  Ancestral voices prophesying war!

  The shadow of the dome of pleasure
    Floated midway on the waves;
  Where was heard the mingled measure
    From the fountain and the caves.
  It was a miracle of rare device,
  A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!
        A damsel with a dulcimer
        In a vision once I saw;
        It was an Abyssinian maid,
        And on her dulcimer she played,
        Singing of Mount Abora.
      Could I revive within me
        Her symphony and song
  To such a deep delight 'twould win me
      That with music loud and long,
      I would build that dome in air--

  That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
      And all who heard should see them there,
  And all should cry, Beware! beware
      His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
  Weave a circle round him thrice,
      And close your eyes with holy dread,
      For he on honey-dew hath fed
  And drunk the milk of Paradise.


    From 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner'

  With sloping masts and dripping prow,
    As who, pursued with yell and blow,
  Still treads the shadow of his foe,
    And forward bends his head,
  The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast,
    And southward aye we fled.

  And now there came both mist and snow,
    And it grew wondrous cold;
  And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
    As green as emerald.

  And through the drifts the snowy clifts
    Did send a dismal sheen;
  Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken--
    The ice was all between.

  The ice was here, the ice was there,
    The ice was all around;
  It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
    Like noises in a swound!

  At length did cross an Albatross:
    Thorough the fog it came;
  As if it had been a Christian soul,
    We hailed it in God's name.

  It ate the food it ne'er had eat,
    And round and round it flew.
  The ice did split with a thunder-fit;
    The helmsman steered us through!

  And a good south-wind sprung up behind;
    The Albatross did follow,
  And every day, for food or play,
    Came to the mariner's hollo!

  In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
    It perched for vespers nine;
  Whilst all the night, through fog-smoke white,
    Glimmered the white moonshine.--

  God save thee, ancient Mariner!
    From the fiends that plague thee thus!
  Why look'st thou so?--With my cross-bow
    I shot the Albatross!

       *       *       *       *       *

  The Sun now rose upon the right;
    Out of the sea came he,
  Still hid in mist, and on the left
    Went down into the sea.

  And the good south-wind still blew behind,
    But no sweet bird did follow,
  Nor any day for food or play
    Came to the mariner's hollo!

  And I had done a hellish thing,
    And it would work 'em woe:
  For all averred, I had killed the bird
    That made the breeze to blow.
  Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay,
    That made the breeze to blow!

  Nor dim nor red, like God's own head
    The glorious Sun uprist:
  Then all averred, I had killed the bird
    That brought the fog and mist.
  'Twas right, said they, such birds to slay,
    That bring the fog and mist.

  The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
    The furrow followed free;
  We were the first that ever burst
    Into that silent sea.

  Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,
    'Twas sad as sad could be;
  And we did speak only to break
    The silence of the sea!

  All in a hot and copper sky,
    The bloody Sun, at noon,
  Right up above the mast did stand,
    No bigger than the Moon.

  Day after day, day after day,
    We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
  As idle as a painted ship
    Upon a painted ocean.

  Water, water, everywhere,
    And all the boards did shrink:
  Water, water, everywhere,
    Nor any drop to drink.

  The very deep did rot: O Christ!
    That ever this should be!
  Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
    Upon the slimy sea.

  About, about, in reel and rout
    The death-fires danced at night;
  The water, like a witch's oils,
    Burnt green, and blue, and white.

  And some in dreams assured were
    Of the spirit that plagued us so;
  Nine fathoms deep he had followed us
    From the land of mist and snow.

  And every tongue, through utter drought,
    Was withered at the root;
  We could not speak, no more than if
    We had been choked with soot.

  Ah! well-a-day! what evil looks
    Had I from old and young!
  Instead of the cross, the Albatross
    About my neck was hung.


  On the wide level of a mountain's head
    (I knew not where, but 'twas some faery place),
  Their pinions, ostrich-like, for sails outspread,
    Two lovely children run an endless race,
      A sister and a brother!
      This far outstript the other;
  Yet ever runs she with reverted face,
  And looks and listens for the boy behind:
      For he, alas! is blind!
  O'er rough and smooth with even step he passed,
  And knows not whether he be first or last.


      Late, late yestreen I saw the new Moon,
        With the old Moon in her arms;
      And I fear, I fear, my Master dear!
        We shall have a deadly storm.


  Well! if the bard was weather-wise, who made
      The grand old ballad of Sir Patrick Spence,
      This night, so tranquil now, will not go hence
    Unroused by winds that ply a busier trade
  Than those which mold yon cloud in lazy flakes,
  Or the dull sobbing draft that moans and rakes
    Upon the strings of this Æolian lute,
          Which better far were mute.

        For lo! the New Moon, winter-bright
        And overspread with phantom light,
    With swimming phantom light o'erspread,
    But rimmed and circled by a silver thread;
  I see the old Moon in her lap, foretelling
    The coming on of rain and squally blast.
  And oh! that even now the gust were swelling,
    And the slant night-shower driving hard and fast!
  Those sounds, which oft have raised me, whilst they awed,
                And sent my soul abroad,
    Might now perhaps their wonted impulse give--
  Might startle this dull pain and make it move and live.

    A grief without a pang, void, dark, and drear--
      A stifled, drowsy, unimpassioned grief,
      Which finds no natural outlet, no relief,
                In word, or sigh, or tear--
    O Lady! in this wan and heartless mood,
    To other thoughts by yonder throstle wooed,
    All this long eve, so balmy and serene,
      Have I been gazing on the western sky,
    And its peculiar tint of yellow-green;
    And still I gaze--and with how blank an eye!
    And those thin clouds above, in flakes and bars,
    That give away their motion to the stars,--
    Those stars that glide behind them or between,
    Now sparkling, now bedimmed, but always seen;
    Yon crescent Moon, as fixed as if it grew
    In its own cloudless, starless lake of blue:
    I see them all so excellently fair--
    I see, nor feel, how beautiful they are!

            My genial spirits fail;
            And what can these avail,
    To lift the smothering weight from off my breast?
            It were a vain endeavor,
            Though I should gaze forever
    On that green light that lingers in the west:
    I may not hope from outward forms to win
  The passion and the life whose fountains are within.

      O lady! we receive but what we give,
      And in our life alone does Nature live;
    Ours is her wedding garment, ours her shroud!
    And would we aught behold of higher worth
      Than that inanimate cold world allowed
    To the poor loveless, ever-anxious crowd--
      Ah! from the soul itself must issue forth
    A light, a glory, a fair luminous cloud
                 Enveloping the earth;
    And from the soul itself must there be sent
      A sweet and potent voice of its own birth,
    Of all sweet sounds the life and element!

    O pure of heart! thou need'st not ask of me
    What this strong music in the soul may be,
            What and wherein it doth exist,
    This light, this glory, this fair luminous mist,
    This beautiful and beauty-making power:
      Joy, virtuous lady! Joy that ne'er was given
    Save to the pure, and in their purest hour,
    Life, and life's effluence, cloud at once and shower--
    Joy, lady, is the spirit and the power
    Which wedding nature to us, gives in dower
              A new Earth and Heaven,
    Undreamt-of by the sensual and the proud;
    Joy is the sweet voice, Joy the luminous cloud--
              We in ourselves rejoice!
    And thence flows all that charms or ear or sight,
      All melodies the echoes of that voice,
    All colors a suffusion from that light.
    There was a time when, though my path was rough,
      This joy within me dallied with distress;
    And all misfortunes were but as the stuff
      Whence fancy made me dreams of happiness.
    For hope grew round me like the twining vine;
    And fruits and foliage, not my own, seemed mine.

    But now afflictions bow me down to earth,
    Nor care I that they rob me of my mirth;
                But oh! each visitation
    Suspends what nature gave me at my birth,
      My shaping spirit of imagination.
    For not to think of what I needs must feel,
      But to be still and patient, all I can;
    And haply by abstruse research to steal
      From my own nature all the natural man--
      This was my sole resource, my only plan;
    Till that which suits a part infects the whole,
  And now is almost grown the habit of my soul.

    Hence, viper thoughts that coil around my mind--
                Reality's dark dream!
    I turn from you, and listen to the wind,
      Which long has raved unnoticed. What a scream
    Of agony, by torture lengthened out,
    That lute sent forth! Thou wind, that ravest without!
      Bare crag, or mountain-tairn, or blasted tree,
    Or pine-grove whither woodman never clomb,
    Or lonely house, long held the witches' home,
      Methinks were fitter instruments for thee,
    Mad lutanist! who in this month of showers,
    Of dark-brown gardens, and of peeping flowers,
    Makest devils' Yule, with worse than wintry song,
    The blossoms, buds, and timorous leaves among!
      Thou actor, perfect in all tragic sounds!
    Thou mighty poet, e'en to frenzy bold!
            What tell'st thou now about?
        'Tis of the rushing of a host in rout,
    With groans of trampled men, with smarting wounds--
    At once they groan with pain, and shudder with the cold

    But hush! there is a pause of deepest silence!
      And all that noise, as of a rushing crowd,
    With groans and tremulous shudderings--all is over--
      It tells another tale, with sounds less deep and loud!
              A tale of less affright,
              And tempered with delight,
    As Otway's self had framed the tender lay;
              'Tis of a little child
              Upon a lonesome wild--
    Not far from home, but she hath lost her way;
    And now moans low in bitter grief and fear--
  And now screams loud, and hopes to make her mother hear.

    'Tis midnight, but small thoughts have I of sleep;
    Full seldom may my friend such vigils keep!
    Visit her, gentle Sleep, with wings of healing!
      And may this storm be but a mountain-birth;
    May all the stars hang bright above her dwelling,
      Silent as though they watched the sleeping earth!
            With light heart may she rise,--
            Gay fancy, cheerful eyes--
      Joy lift her spirit, joy attune her voice;
    To her may all things live, from pole to pole--
    Their life the eddying of her living soul!
      O simple spirit, guided from above!
    Dear Lady! friend devoutest of my choice!
    Thus mayest thou ever, evermore rejoice.



  How seldom, Friend! a good great man inherits
    Honor or wealth, with all his worth and pains!
  It sounds like stories from the land of spirits,
  If any man obtain that which he merits,
    Or any merit that which he obtains.


  For shame, dear Friend; renounce this canting strain!
  What wouldst thou have a good great man obtain?
  Place--titles--salary--a gilded chain--
  Or throne of corses which his sword has slain?
  Greatness and goodness are not means, but ends!
  Hath he not always treasures, always friends,
  The good great man? three treasures,--love and light,
  And calm thoughts, regular as infant's breath;
  And three firm friends, more sure than day and night--
  Himself, his Maker, and the angel Death.



  Friend of the Wise! and Teacher of the Good!
  Into my heart have I received that lay
  More than historic, that prophetic lay.
  Wherein (high theme by thee first sung aright)
  Of the foundations and the building up
  Of a Human Spirit thou hast dared to tell
  What may be told, to the understanding mind
  Revealable; and what within the mind.
  By vital breathings secret as the soul
  Of vernal growth, oft quickens in the heart
  Thoughts all too deep for words!

                                    Theme hard as high!
  Of smiles spontaneous, and mysterious fears,
  The first-born they of Reason, and twin-birth;
  Of tides obedient to external force,
  And currents self-determined, as might seem,
  Or by some inner Power; of moments awful.
  Now in thy inner life, and now abroad,
  When Power stream'd from thee, and thy soul received
  The light reflected, as a light bestowed
  Of fancies fair, and milder hours of youth.
  Hyblean murmurs of poetic thought,
  Industrious in its joy, in Vales and Glens
  Native or outland, Lakes and famous Hills!
  Or on the lonely High-road, when the Stars
  Were rising; or by secret mountain Streams.
  The Guides and the Companions of thy way!

        Of more than Fancy, of the Social Sense
  Distending wide, and Man beloved as Man,
  Where France in all her town lay vibrating
  Like some becalmed bark beneath the burst
  Of Heaven's immediate thunder, when no cloud
  Is visible, or shadow on the Main.
  For thou wert there, thine own brows garlanded,
  Amid the tremor of a realm aglow.
  Amid a mighty nation jubilant,
  When from the general heart of humankind
  Hope sprang forth like a full-born Deity!
  ... Of that dear Hope afflicted and struck down
  So summoned homeward, thenceforth calm and sure,
  From the dread watch-tower of man's absolute Self
  With light unwaning on her eyes, to look
  Far on--herself a glory to behold,
  The Angel of the vision! Then (last strain)
  Of Duty, chosen laws controlling choice,
  Action and Joy!--An Orphic song indeed,
  A song divine of high and passionate thoughts,
  To their own music chanted!

                                  O great Bard!
  Ere yet that last strain, dying, awed the air,
  With stedfast eye I viewed thee in the choir
  Of ever-enduring men. The truly Great
  Have all one age, and from one visible space
  Shed influence! They, both in power and act,
  Are permanent, and Time is not with _them_,
  Save as it worketh _for_ them, they _in_ it.
  Nor less a sacred roll than those of old,
  And to be placed, as they, with gradual fame
  Among the archives of mankind, thy work
  Makes audible a linked lay of Truth,
  Of Truth profound a sweet continuous lay,
  Not learnt, but native, her own natural notes!
  Ah! as I listened with a heart forlorn,
  The pulses of my being beat anew:
  And even as life returns upon the drowned,
  Life's joy rekindling roused a throng of pains--
  Keen Pangs of Love, awakening as a babe
  Turbulent, with an outcry in the heart;
  And Fears self-willed that shunned the eye of Hope,
  And Hope that scarce would know itself from Fear,
  Sense of past Youth; and Manhood come in vain,
  And all which I had culled in wood-walks wild,
  And all which patient toil had reared, and all,
  Commune with _thee_ had opened out--but flowers
  Strewed on my corse, and borne upon my bier,
  In the same coffin, for the self-same grave!

  That way no more! and ill beseems it me
  Who came a welcomer in herald's guise
  Singing of Glory and Futurity,
  To wander back on such unhealthful road.
  Plucking the poisons of self-harm! And ill
  Such intertwine beseems triumphal wreaths
  Strewed before _thy_ advancing!

                                Nor do thou,
  Sage Bard! impair the memory of that hour
  Of my communion with thy nobler mind
  Pity or Grief, already felt too long!
  Nor let my words import more blame than needs.
  The tumult rose and ceased: for Peace is nigh
  Where Wisdom's voice has found a listening heart.
  Amid the howl of more than wintry storms,
  The Halcyon hears the voice of vernal hours
  Already on the wing.

                          Eve following eve,
  Dear tranquil time, when the sweet sense of Home
  Is sweetest! moments for their own sake hailed
  And more desired, more precious for thy song,
  In silence listening, like a devout child,
  My soul lay passive, by the various strain
  Driven as in surges now beneath the stars,
  With momentary Stars of my own birth,
  Fair constellated Foam, still darting off
  Into the darkness; now a tranquil sea,
  Outspread and bright, yet swelling to the Moon.
  And when--O Friend! my comforter and guide!
  Strong in thyself, and powerful to give strength!--
  Thy long-sustained song finally closed,
  And thy deep voice had ceased--yet thou thyself
  Wert still before my eyes, and round us both
  That happy vision of beloved faces--
  Scarce conscious, and yet conscious of its close,
  I sate, my being blended in one thought
  (Thought was it? or Aspiration? or Resolve?)
  Absorbed, yet hanging still upon the sound--
  And when I rose, I found myself in prayer.



  And hail the Chapel! hail the Platform wild!
  Where Tell directed the avenging Dart,
  With well-strung arm, that first preserved his Child,
  Then aim'd the arrow at the Tyrant's heart.

  Splendor's fondly fostered child!
  And did you hail the platform wild
    Where once the Austrian fell
    Beneath the shaft of Tell?
  O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure!
  Whence learnt you that heroic measure?

  Light as a dream your days their circlets ran;
  From all that teaches Brotherhood to Man,
  Far, far removed! from want, from hope, from fear.
  Enchanting music lulled your infant ear,
  Obeisance, praises, soothed your infant heart;
    Emblazonments and old ancestral crests,
  With many a bright obtrusive form of art,
    Detained your eye from nature's stately vests
  That veiling strove to deck your charms divine;
  Rich viands and the pleasurable wine,
  Where yours unearned by toil; nor could you see
  The unenjoying toiler's misery.
  And yet, free Nature's uncorrupted child,
  You hailed the Chapel and the Platform wild,
          Where once the Austrian fell
          Beneath the shaft of Tell!
      O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure!
      Where learnt you that heroic measure?

  There crowd your finely fibred frame,
    All living faculties of bliss;
  And Genius to your cradle came,
  His forehead wreathed with lambent flame,
    And bending low, with godlike kiss
    Breathed in a more celestial life;
  But boasts not many a fair compeer
  A heart as sensitive to joy and fear?

  And some, perchance, might wage an equal strife,
      Some few, to nobler being wrought,
      Co-rivals in the nobler gift of thought.
        Yet _these_ delight to celebrate
        Laureled War and plumy State;
        Or in verse and music dress
        Tales of rustic happiness--
      Pernicious Tales! insidious Strains!
        That steel the rich man's breast,
        And mock the lot unblest,
      The sordid vices and the abject pains,
        Which evermore must be
        The doom of Ignorance and Penury!
      But you, free Nature's uncorrupted child.
      You hailed the Chapel and the Platform wild,
        Where once the Austrian fell
        Beneath the shaft of Tell!
      O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure!
      Where learnt you that heroic measure?

      You were a Mother! That most holy name,
        Which Heaven and Nature bless,
      I may not vilely prostitute to those
        Whose Infants owe them less
      Than the poor Caterpillar owes
              Its gaudy Parent Fly.
      You were a Mother! at your bosom fed
        The Babes that loved you. You, with laughing eye,
      Each twilight-thought, each nascent feeling read.
        Which you yourself created. Oh, delight!
      A second time to be a Mother,
        Without the Mother's bitter groans:
      Another thought, and yet another,
        By touch, or taste, by looks or tones,
        O'er the growing Sense to roll,
        The Mother of your infant's Soul!
      The Angel of the Earth, who while he guides
        His chariot-planet round the goal of day,
      All trembling gazes on the Eye of God,
        A moment turned his face away;
      And as he viewed you, from his aspect sweet
        New influences in your being rose,
      Blest Intuitions and Communions fleet
        With living Nature, in her joys and woes!

    Thenceforth your soul rejoiced to see
    The shrine of social Liberty!
    O beautiful! O Nature's child!
    'Twas thence you hailed the Platform wild,
    Where once the Austrian fell
    Beneath the shaft of Tell!
  O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure!
  Thence learnt you that heroic measure.


  Ere on my bed my limbs I lay,
  It hath not been my use to pray
  With moving lips or bended knees;
  But silently, by slow degrees,
  My spirit I to Love compose,
  In humble Trust mine eyelids close,
  With reverential resignation;
  No wish conceived, no thought expressed!
  Only a _sense_ of supplication,
  A sense o'er all my soul imprest
  That I am weak, yet not unblest;
  Since in me, round me, everywhere,
  Eternal Strength and Wisdom are.

  But yesternight I prayed aloud
    In anguish and in agony,
  Upstarting from the fiendish crowd
    Of shapes and thoughts that tortured me:
  A lurid light, a trampling throng,
  Sense of intolerable wrong,
  And whom I scorned, those only strong!
  Thirst of revenge, the powerless will
  Still baffled, and yet burning still!
  Desire with loathing strangely mixed
  On wild or hateful objects fixed.
  Fantastic passions! maddening brawl!
  And shame and terror over all!
    Deeds to be hid which were not hid,
  Which, all confused, I could not know
    Whether I suffered, or I did:
  For all seemed guilt, remorse, or woe,--
  My own or others', still the same
  Life-stifling fear, soul-stifling shame.
  So two nights passed: the night's dismay
  Saddened and stunned the coming day.
  Sleep, the wide blessing, seemed to me
  Distemper's worst calamity.
  The third night, when my own loud scream
  Had waked me from the fiendish dream,
  O'ercome with sufferings strange and wild,
  I wept as I had been a child;
  And having thus by tears subdued
  My anguish to a milder mood,
  Such punishments, I said, were due
  To natures deepliest stained with sin;
  For aye entempesting anew
  The unfathomable hell within,
  The horror of their deeds to view,
  To know and loathe, yet wish to do!

  Such griefs with such men well agree,
  But wherefore, wherefore fall on me?
  To be beloved is all I need,
  And whom I love, I love indeed.


  A sunny shaft did I behold,
  From sky to earth it slanted;
  And poised therein a bird so bold--
  Sweet bird, thou wert enchanted!

  He sunk, he rose, he twinkled, he trolled
    Within that shaft of sunny mist;
  His eyes of fire, his beak of gold,
          All else of amethyst!

  And thus he sang: "Adieu! adieu!
    Love's dreams prove seldom true.
  The blossoms, they make no delay:
  The sparkling dewdrops will not stay.
    Sweet month of May,
      We must away;
        Far, far away!
          To-day! to-day!"


  Verse, a breeze 'mid blossoms straying,
    Where Hope clung feeding, like a bee--
  Both were mine! Life went a-Maying
    With Nature, Hope, and Poesy,
        When I was young!
  _When_ I was young?--Ah, woful _when_!
  Ah, for the change 'twixt now and then!
  This breathing house not built with hands,
    This body that does me grievous wrong,
  O'er airy cliffs and glittering sands,
    How lightly _then_ it flashed along:--
  Like those trim skiffs, unknown of yore,
    On winding lakes and rivers wide,
  That ask no aid of sail or oar,
    That fear no spite of wind or tide!
  Naught cared this body for wind or weather
  When Youth and I lived in't together.

  Flowers are lovely; Love is flower-like,
    Friendship is a sheltering tree;
  O the joys that came down shower-like,
    Of Friendship, Love, and Liberty!
        Ere I was old!
  _Ere_ I was old? Ah, woful _Ere_,
  Which tells me Youth's no longer here!
  O Youth! for years so many and sweet,
    'Tis known that thou and I were one;
  I'll think it but a fond conceit--
    It cannot be that thou art gone!
  Thy vesper bell hath not yet tolled:--
  And thou wert aye a masker bold!
  What strange disguise hast now put on
  To _make believe_ that thou art gone?
  I see these locks in silvery slips,
    This drooping gait, this alter'd size:
  But spring-tide blossoms on thy lips,
    And tears take sunshine from thine eyes!
  Life is but thought: so think I will
  That Youth and I are housemates still.



  A lovely form there sate beside my bed,
  And such a feeding calm its presence shed,
  A tender love, so pure from earthly leaven
  That I unnethe the fancy might control,
  'Twas my own spirit newly come from heaven,
  Wooing its gentle way into my soul!
  But ah! the change--it had not stirred, and yet--
  Alas! that change how fain would I forget!
  That shrinking back like one that had mistook!
  That weary, wandering, disavowing Look!
  'Twas all another,--feature, look, and frame,--
  And still, methought, I knew it was the same!


  This riddling tale, to what does it belong?
  Is't history? vision? or an idle song?
  Or rather say at once, within what space
  Of time this wild disastrous change took place?


  Call it a _moment's_ work (and such it seems);
  This tale's a fragment from the life of dreams:
  But say that years matured the silent strife,
  And 'tis a record from the dream of Life.



[Illustration: WILLIAM COLLINS]

There is much to inspire regretful sympathy in the short life of William
Collins. He was born at Chichester, and received his education at
Winchester College and at Magdalen College, Oxford. A delicate, bookish
boy, he had every stimulus toward a literary career. With a fine
appreciation of beauty in all forms of art, and a natural talent for
versification, he wrote poems of much promise when very young. His
'Persian Eclogues' appeared when he was only seventeen. Then Collins
showed his impatient spirit and fickleness of purpose by deserting his
work at Oxford and going to London with the intention of authorship. His
head was full of brilliant schemes,--too full; for with him as with most
people, conception was always easier than execution. But finding it far
more difficult to win fame than he anticipated, he had not courage to
persevere, and fell into dissipated, extravagant ways which soon
exhausted his small means.

In 1746 he published the 'Odes, Descriptive and Allegorical,' his most
characteristic work. They were never widely read, and it took the public
some time to appreciate their lyric fervor, their exquisite imagery, and
their musical verse. In spite of occasional obscurities induced by
careless treatment, they are among the finest of English odes. His love
for nature and sympathy with its calmer aspects is very marked. Speaking
of the 'Ode to Evening,' Hazlitt says that "the sounds steal slowly over
the ear like the gradual coming on of evening itself." According to
Swinburne, the 'Odes' do not contain "a single false note." "Its grace
and vigor, its vivid and pliant dexterity of touch," he says of the 'Ode
to the Passions,' "are worthy of their long inheritance of praise."

But the inheritance did not come at once, although Collins has always
received generous praise from fellow poets. His mortified self-love
resented lack of success. With a legacy bequeathed him by an uncle he
bought his book back from the publisher Millar, and the unsold
impressions he burned in "angry despair."

Meantime he went on planning works quite beyond his power of execution.
He advertised 'Proposals for a History of the Revival of Learning,'
which he never wrote. He began several tragedies, but his indolent
genius would not advance beyond devising the plots. As he was always
wasteful and dissipated, he was continually in debt. In spite of his
unusual gifts, he had not the energy and self-control necessary for
adequate literary expression. Dr. Johnson, who admired and tried to
befriend him, found a bailiff prowling around the premises when he went
to call. At his instigation a bookseller advanced money to get Collins
out of London, for which in return he was to translate Aristotle's
'Poetics' and to write a commentary. Probably he never fulfilled the
agreement. Indeed, he had some excuse. "A man doubtful of his dinners,
or trembling at a creditor, is not disposed to abstract meditation or
remote inquiries," comments Dr. Johnson.

Collins was always weak of body, and when still a young man was seized
by mental disease. Weary months of despondency were succeeded by
madness, until he was, as Dr. Wharton describes it, with "every spark of
imagination extinguished, and with only the faint traces of memory and
reason left." Then the unhappy poet was taken to Chichester and cared
for by a sister. There he who had loved music so passionately hated the
cathedral organ in his madness, and when he heard it, howled in

Among the best examples of his verse, besides the poems already
mentioned, are the 'Dirge to Cymbeline,' 'Ode to Fear,' and the 'Ode on
the Poetical Character,' which Hazlitt calls "the best of all."


  How sleep the brave, who sink to rest
  By all their country's wishes blest!
  When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
  Returns to deck their hallowed mold,
  She there shall dress a sweeter sod
  Than Fancy's feet have ever trod.

  By fairy hands their knell is rung,
  By forms unseen their dirge is sung;
  There Honor comes, a pilgrim gray,
  To bless the turf that wraps their clay,
  And Freedom shall a while repair,
  To dwell a weeping hermit there!


      When Music, heavenly maid! was young,
      While yet in early Greece she sung,
      The Passions oft, to hear her shell,
      Thronged around her magic cell.
      Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting,
      Possest beyond the Muse's painting;
      By turns they felt the glowing mind
      Disturbed, delighted, raised, refined:
      Till once, 'tis said, when all were fired,
      Filled with fury, rapt, inspired,
      From the supporting myrtles round
      They snatched her instruments of sound,
      And as they oft had heard apart
      Sweet lessons of her forceful art,
      Each--for Madness ruled the hour--
      Would prove his own expressive power.

      First Fear his hand, its skill to try,
        Amid the chords bewildered laid;
      And back recoiled, he knew not why,
        E'en at the sound himself had made.

      Next Anger rushed; his eyes on fire,
        In lightnings owned his secret stings;
      In one rude clash he struck the lyre,
        And swept with hurried hand the strings.

      With woful measures wan Despair--
        Low solemn sounds--his grief beguiled,
      A sullen, strange, and mingled air;
        'Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild.

    But thou, O Hope! with eyes so fair,
      What was thy delighted measure?
      Still it whispered promised pleasure,
    And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail!
      Still would her touch the strain prolong,
    And from the rocks, the woods, the vale,
      She called on Echo still through all the song;
    And where her sweetest theme she chose,
    A soft responsive voice was heard at every close,
  And Hope enchanted smiled, and waved her golden hair.

    And longer had she sung,--but with a frown,
                Revenge impatient rose;
    He threw his blood-stained sword in thunder down,
          And with a withering look
          The war-denouncing trumpet took,
          And blew a blast so loud and dread,
      Were ne'er prophetic sounds so full of woe!
          And ever and anon he beat
          The doubling drum with furious heat;
    And though sometimes, each dreary pause between,
          Dejected Pity, at his side,
          Her soul-subduing voice applied,
      Yet still he kept his wild unaltered mien,
  While each strained ball of sight seemed bursting from his head.

      Thy numbers, Jealousy, to naught were fixed,
          Sad proof of thy distressful state!
      Of differing themes the veering song was mixed,
  And now it courted Love, now raving called on Hate.

            With eyes upraised, as one inspired,
            Pale Melancholy sat retired;
            And from her wild sequestered seat,
            In notes by distance made more sweet,
    Poured through the mellow horn her pensive soul;
            And dashing soft from rocks around,
            Bubbling runnels joined the sound.
  Through glades and glooms the mingled measure stole,
    Or o'er some haunted streams with fond delay,
            Round an holy calm diffusing,
            Love of peace and lonely musing,
              In hollow murmurs died away.

    But oh, how altered was its sprightlier tone
        When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest hue,
        Her bow across her shoulders flung,
        Her buskins gemmed with morning dew,
    Blew an inspiring air that dale and thicket rung!
        The hunter's call, to Faun and Dryad known.
  The oak-crowned Sisters, and their chaste-eyed Queen,
        Satyrs and sylvan boys were seen,
        Peeping from forth their alleys green;
          Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear,
  And Sport leapt up, and seized his beechen spear.

        Last came Joy's ecstatic trial;
        He with viny crown advancing,
  First to the lively pipe his hand addrest;
    But soon he saw the brisk awakening viol,
  Whose sweet entrancing voice he loved the best.
    They would have thought who heard the strain,
  They saw in Tempe's vale her native maids,

      Amidst the festal sounding shades,
    To some unwearied minstrel dancing;
  While, as his flying fingers kissed the strings,
  Love framed with Mirth a gay fantastic round;
  Loose were her tresses seen, her zone unbound;
    And he, amidst his frolic play,
  As if he would the charming air repay,
  Shook thousand odors from his dewy wings.

      O Music! sphere-descended maid,
      Friend of pleasure, Wisdom's aid!
      Why, goddess, why, to us denied,
      Lay'st thou thy ancient lyre aside?
      As in that loved Athenian bower,
      You learned an all-commanding power,
      Thy mimic soul, O nymph endeared!
      Can well recall what then it heard.
      Where is that native simple heart,
      Devote to Virtue, Fancy, Art?
      Arise, as in that elder time,
      Warm, energetic, chaste, sublime!
      Thy wonders, in that godlike age,
      Fill thy recording Sister's page.
      'Tis said--and I believe the tale--
      Thy humblest reed could more prevail,
      Had more of strength, diviner rage,
      Than all which charms this laggard age;
      E'en all at once together found
      Cecilia's mingled world of sound.
      Oh bid our vain endeavors cease,
      Revive the just designs of Greece;
      Return in all thy simple state!
      Confirm the tales her sons relate!


  If aught of oaten stop, or pastoral song,
  May hope, chaste Eve, to soothe thy modest ear
              Like thy own solemn springs,
              Thy springs and dying gales;

  O nymph reserved! while now the bright-haired sun
  Sits in yon western tent, whose cloudy skirts,
              With brede ethereal wove,
              O'erhang his wavy bed:--

  Now air is hushed, save where the weak-eyed bat
  With short shrill shriek flits by on leathern wing;
              Or where the beetle winds
              His small but sullen horn,

  As oft he rises 'midst the twilight path,
  Against the pilgrim borne in heedless hum:
              Now teach me, maid composed,
              To breathe some softened strain,

  Whose numbers, stealing through thy dark'ning vale,
  May not unseemly with its stillness suit,
              As, musing slow, I hail
              Thy genial loved return!

  For when thy folding-star arising shows
  His paly circlet, at his warning lamp
              The fragrant hours, and elves
              Who slept in buds the day,

  And many a nymph who wreathes her brows with sedge,
  And sheds the freshening dew, and lovelier still,
              The pensive Pleasures sweet,
              Prepare thy shadowy ear,--

  Then let me rove some wild and heathy scene,
  Or find some ruin 'midst its dreary dells,
              Whose walls more awful nod
              By thy religious gleams.

  Or if chill blustering winds, or driving rain,
  Prevent my willing feet, be mine the hut
              That from the mountain's side
              Views wilds and swelling floods,

  And hamlets brown, and dim-discovered spires,
  And hears their simple bell, and marks o'er all
              Thy dewy fingers draw
              The gradual dusky veil.

  While Spring shall pour his showers, as oft he wont,
  And bathe thy breathing tresses, meekest Eve!
              While Summer loves to sport
              Beneath thy lingering light:

  While sallow Autumn fills thy lap with leaves;
  Or Winter, yelling through the troublous air,
              Affrights thy shrinking train,
              And rudely rends thy robes:

  So long, regardful of thy quiet rule,
  Shall Fancy, Friendship, Science, smiling Peace,
              Thy gentlest influence own,
              And love thy favorite name!


  In yonder grave a Druid lies,
        Where slowly winds the stealing wave!
  The year's best sweets shall duteous rise,
        To deck its poet's sylvan grave!

  In yon deep bed of whisp'ring reeds
        His airy harp shall now be laid;
  That he whose heart in sorrow bleeds
        May love through life the soothing shade.

  Then maids and youths shall linger here,
        And while its sounds at distance swell,
  Shall sadly seem in Pity's ear
        To hear the woodland pilgrim's knell.

  Remembrance oft shall haunt the shore
        When Thames in summer wreaths is drest;
  And oft suspend the dashing oar
        To bid his gentle spirit rest.

  And oft as Ease and Health retire
        To breezy lawn, or forest deep,
  The friend shall view yon whitening spire,
        And 'mid the varied landscape weep.

  But thou, who own'st that earthly bed,
        Ah! what will every dirge avail!
  Or tears which Love and Pity shed,
        That mourn beneath the gliding sail!

  Yet lives there one, whose heedless eye
        Shall scorn thy pale shrine glimm'ring near--
  With him, sweet bard, may Fancy die,
        And Joy desert the blooming year.

  But thou, lorn stream, whose sullen tide
        No sedge-crowned sisters now attend,
  Now waft me from the green hill's side,
        Whose cold turf hides the buried friend!

  And see, the fairy valleys fade,
        Dun Night has veiled the solemn view!
  Yet once again, dear parted shade,
        Meek Nature's child, again adieu!

  The genial meads, assigned to bless
        Thy life, shall mourn thy early doom!
  There hinds and shepherd girls shall dress
        With simple hands thy rural tomb.

  Long, long, thy stone and pointed clay
        Shall melt the musing Briton's eyes:
  "O vales and wild woods!" shall he say,
        "In yonder grave your Druid lies!"



[Illustration: WILKIE COLLINS]

Wilkie Collins has proved that the charm of a story does not necessarily
depend upon the depiction of character or an appeal to the sympathies.
As he said:--"I have always held the old-fashioned opinion that the
primary object of a work of fiction should be to tell a story." He also
aspired to draw living men and women, in which he was less successful.
Count Fosco, Miss Gwilt, Armadale, Laura Fairlie, and others, are indeed
distinct; but the interest centres not on them but on the circumstances
in which they are involved. This is the main reason why the critics,
even in admiring his talent, speak of Collins with faint depreciation,
as certainly not one of the greatest novelists of the century, although
holding a place of his own which forces recognition. For novel-readers
have delighted in his many volumes in spite of the critics, and there is
a steady demand for the old favorites. Translated into French, Italian,
Danish, and Russian, many of them continue to inspire the same interest
in foreign lands.

Wilkie Collins, born January 8th, 1824, did not show any special
precocity in boyhood and youth. He probably learned much more from his
self-guided reading than from his schooling at Highbury, especially
after his acquisition of French and Italian during two years in Italy in
his early teens. The influences about him were strongly artistic. His
father, William Collins, was distinguished as a landscape painter. The
well-known portrait painter Mrs. Carpenter was his aunt, and the
distinguished Scotch artist David Wilkie his godfather. But human action
and emotion interested him more than art. He was very young when he
expressed a desire to write, and perpetrated blank verse which justified
his father in vigorous opposition to his adoption of authorship as a
profession. So, his school days ended, he presented the not unusual
figure of a bright young Englishman who must earn his bread, yet had no
particular aptitude for doing it. He tried business first, and became
articled clerk with a City house in the tea trade. But the work was
uncongenial; and after a few unsatisfactory years he fell in with his
father's views, and was entered at Lincoln's Inn and in due time
admitted to the bar, although he never practiced law.

He continued writing for amusement, however, producing sketches and
stories valuable as training. On his father's death he prepared a
biography of that artist in two volumes (1848), which was considered a
just as well as a loving appreciation. His first novel, however, was
rejected by every publisher to whom he submitted it. His second,
'Antonina,' a story of the fall of Rome, was mediocre. He was about
twenty-six when he met Charles Dickens, then a man of forty, at the
height of his fame, and with the kindliest feeling for younger writers
still struggling for recognition. Dickens, whose own work was always
prompted by sympathetic intuition, and to whom character development
came more easily than ingenious plots, cordially admired Collins's skill
in devising and explaining the latter. He invited the younger man to
become collaborator upon Household Words, and thus initiated a warm
friendship which lasted until his own death. Encouraged by him, Collins
essayed drama and wrote 'The Light-House,' played at Gadshill by
distinguished amateurs, Dickens himself among them. At first thought,
his would seem an essentially dramatic talent, and several of his novels
have been successfully dramatized. But the very cleverness and intricacy
of his situations make them unsuited to the stage. They are too
difficult of comprehension to be taken in at a glance by an average
audience, in the swift passage of stage action.

It was also the influence of Dickens which inspired Collins to attempt
social reform. In 'Man and Wife' he tries to show the injustice of
Scotch marriage laws; in 'The New Magdalen,' the possible regeneration
of fallen women; in 'Heart and Science,' the abuses of vivisection; and
other stories are incumbered with didactic purpose. Mr. Swinburne
comments upon this aspect of his career in a jocular couplet--

  "What brought good Wilkie's genius nigh perdition?
  Some demon whispered, 'Wilkie! have a mission!'"

But in all "tendency" novels it is not the discussion of problems that
makes them live; and Wilkie Collins, like others, survives by purely
literary qualities. Soon after his death the critic of the Spectator
gave the following capable summary of his peculiar method:--

"He was a literary chess player of the first force, with power of
carrying his plan right through the game and making every move tell. His
method was to introduce a certain number of characters, set before them
a well-defined object, such as the discovery of a secret, the
re-vindication of a fortune, the tracking of a crime, or the
establishment of a doubted marriage, and then bring in other characters
to resist or counterplot their efforts. Each side makes moves, almost
invariably well-considered and promising moves; the counter-moves are
equally good; the interest goes on accumulating till the looker-on--the
reader is always placed in that attitude--is rapt out of himself by
strained attention; and then there is a sudden and totally unexpected
mate. It is chess which is being played; and in the best of all his
stories, the one which will live for years,--'The Moonstone,'--the
pretense that it is anything else is openly disregarded."

This analysis however must not be too narrowly construed, as petty
critics often do, to mean that the only interest in Mr. Collins's novels
is that of disentangling the plot. If this were so, no one would read
them more than once; while in fact the best of them are eminently
readable again and again. This shallow judgment evidently galled the
novelist himself, and 'The New Magdalen' in one aspect was a
throwing-down of the gauntlet to the critics; for in it he tells the
plot page by page, almost paragraph by paragraph, as he goes along, and
even far in advance of the story, yet it is one of the most fascinating
of his novels. He proved that he could do admirably what they said he
could not do at all--make people read his story with breathless
absorption when they knew its end long before they came to it; and it
was as interesting backward as forward. 'No Name' is in some sort a
combination of the two methods,--a revelation of the end, with perpetual
interest in the discovery of means.

'The Moonstone' and 'The Woman in White' are unquestionably his
masterpieces. In both he throws light upon a complex plot by means of
his favorite expedient of letters and diaries written by different
characters, who thus take the reader into their confidence and bewilder
him with conflicting considerations, until the author comes forward with
an ingenious and lucid solution. 'The Moonstone,' however, is immensely
superior in matter even to its fellow; its plot is better (in one place
'The Woman in White' comes to a dead wall which the author calmly
ignores and goes on), and some passages are worth reading over and over
for pure pathos or description. Mr. Collins was in fact, aside from his
special gift, a literary artist of no mean power, even if not the
highest: with an eye for salient effects, a skill in touching the more
obvious chords of emotion, a knowledge of life and books, that enrich
his stories with enough extraneous wealth to prolong their life for many
years, and some of them perhaps for generations.


    From 'The Moonstone'

    [This episode is related by the physician in charge of Mr.
    Franklin Blake, whose good name he wishes to clear from a charge
    of fraud.]

Two o'clock A.M.--The experiment has been tried. With what result I am
now to describe.

At eleven o'clock I rang the bell for Betteredge and told Mr. Blake that
he might at last prepare himself for bed.... I followed Betteredge out
of the room, and told him to remove the medicine chest into Miss
Verinder's sitting-room.

The order seemed to take him completely by surprise. He looked as if he
suspected me of some occult design on Miss Verinder! "Might I presume to
ask," he said, "what my young lady and the medicine chest have got to do
with each other?"

"Stay in the sitting-room and you will see."

Betteredge appeared to doubt his own unaided capacity to superintend me
effectually, on an occasion when a medicine chest was included in the

"Is there any objection, sir," he asked, "to taking Mr. Bruff into this
part of the business?"

"Quite the contrary! I am now going to ask Mr. Bruff to accompany me

Betteredge withdrew to fetch the medicine chest without another word. I
went back into Mr. Blake's room, and knocked at the door of
communication. Mr. Bruff opened it, with his papers in his
hand--immersed in Law, impenetrable to Medicine.

"I am sorry to disturb you," I said. "But I am going to prepare the
laudanum for Mr. Blake; and I must request you to be present and to see
what I do."

"Yes," said Mr. Bruff, with nine-tenths of his attention riveted on his
papers, and with one-tenth unwillingly accorded to me. "Anything else?"

"I must trouble you to return here with me, and to see me administer the

"Anything else?"

"One thing more. I must put you to the inconvenience of remaining in Mr.
Blake's room to see what happens."

"Oh, very good!" said Mr. Bruff. "My room or Mr. Blake's room,--it
doesn't matter which; I can go on with my papers anywhere. Unless you
object, Mr. Jennings, to my importing _that_ amount of common-sense into
the proceedings?"

Before I could answer, Mr. Blake addressed himself to the lawyer,
speaking from his bed.

"Do you really mean to say that you don't feel any interest in what you
are going to do?" he asked. "Mr. Bruff, you have no more imagination
than a cow!"

"A cow is a very useful animal, Mr. Blake," said the lawyer. With that
reply he followed me out of the room, still keeping his papers in his

We found Miss Verinder pale and agitated, restlessly pacing her
sitting-room from end to end. At a table in a corner stood Betteredge,
on guard over the medicine chest. Mr. Bruff sat down on the first chair
that he could find, and (emulating the usefulness of the cow) plunged
back again into his papers on the spot.

Miss Verinder drew me aside, and reverted instantly to her one
all-absorbing interest--the interest in Mr. Blake.

"How is he now?" she asked. "Is he nervous? is he out of temper? Do you
think it will succeed? Are you sure it will do no harm?"

"Quite sure. Come and see me measure it out."

"One moment. It is past eleven now. How long will it be before anything

"It is not easy to say. An hour, perhaps."

"I suppose the room must be dark, as it was last year?"


"I shall wait in my bedroom--just as I did before. I shall keep the door
a little way open. It was a little way open last year. I will watch the
sitting-room door; and the moment it moves I will blow out my light. It
all happened in that way on my birthday night. And it must all happen
again in the same way, mustn't it?"

"Are you sure you can control yourself, Miss Verinder?"

"In _his_ interests I can do anything!" she answered fervently.

One look at her face told me I could trust her. I addressed myself again
to Mr. Bruff.

"I must trouble you to put your papers aside for a moment," I said.

"Oh, certainly!" He got up with a start--as if I had disturbed him at a
particularly interesting place--and followed me to the medicine chest.
There, deprived of the breathless excitement incidental to the practice
of his profession, he looked at Betteredge and yawned wearily.

Miss Verinder joined me with a glass jug of cold water which she had
taken from a side table. "Let me pour out the water," she whispered;
"I _must_ have a hand in it!"

I measured out the forty minims from the bottle, and poured the laudanum
into a glass. "Fill it till it is three parts full," I said, and handed
the glass to Miss Verinder. I then directed Betteredge to lock up the
medicine chest, informing him that I had done with it now. A look of
unutterable relief overspread the old servant's countenance. He had
evidently suspected me of a medical design on his young lady!

After adding the water as I had directed, Miss Verinder seized a
moment--while Betteredge was locking the chest and while Mr. Bruff was
looking back at his papers--and slyly kissed the rim of the medicine
glass. "When you give it to him," whispered the charming girl, "give it
to him on that side."

I took the piece of crystal which was to represent the Diamond from my
pocket and gave it to her.

"You must have a hand in this too," I said. "You must put it where you
put the Moonstone last year."

She led the way to the Indian cabinet, and put the mock Diamond into the
drawer which the real Diamond had occupied on the birthday night. Mr.
Bruff witnessed this proceeding, under protest, as he had witnessed
everything else. But the strong dramatic interest which the experiment
was now assuming proved (to my great amusement) to be too much for
Betteredge's capacity of self-restraint. His hand trembled as he held
the candle, and he whispered anxiously, "Are you sure, miss, it's the
right drawer?"

I led the way out again, with the laudanum and water in my hand. At the
door I stood to address a last word to Miss Verinder.

"Don't be long in putting out the lights," I said.

"I will put them out at once," she answered. "And I will wait in my
bedroom with only one candle alight."

She closed the sitting-room door behind us. Followed by Bruff and
Betteredge, I went back to Mr. Blake's room.

We found him moving restlessly from side to side of the bed, and
wondering irritably whether he was to have the laudanum that night. In
the presence of the two witnesses I gave him the dose, and shook up his
pillows, and told him to lie down again quietly and wait.

His bed, provided with light chintz curtains, was placed with the head
against the wall of the room, so as to leave a good open space on either
side of it. On one side I drew the curtains completely, and in the part
of the room thus screened from his view I placed Mr. Bruff and
Betteredge to wait for the result. At the bottom of the bed I half drew
the curtains, and placed my own chair at a little distance, so that I
might let him see me or not see me, just as the circumstances might
direct. Having already been informed that he always slept with a light
in the room, I placed one of the two lighted candles on a little table
at the head of the bed, where the glare of the light would not strike on
his eyes. The other candle I gave to Mr. Bruff; the light in this
instance being subdued by the screen of the chintz curtains. The window
was open at the top so as to ventilate the room. The rain fell softly;
the house was quiet. It was twenty minutes past eleven by my watch when
the preparations were completed, and I took my place on the chair set
apart at the bottom of the bed.

Mr. Bruff resumed his papers, with every appearance of being as deeply
interested in them as ever. But looking toward him now, I saw certain
signs and tokens which told me that the Law was beginning to lose its
hold on him at last. The suspended interest of the situation in which we
were now placed was slowly asserting its influence even on _his_
unimaginative mind. As for Betteredge, consistency of principle and
dignity of conduct had become in his case mere empty words. He forgot
that I was performing a conjuring trick on Mr. Franklin Blake; he forgot
that I had upset the house from top to bottom; he forgot that I had not
read 'Robinson Crusoe' since I was a child. "For the Lord's sake, sir,"
he whispered to me, "tell us when it will begin to work."

"Not before midnight," I whispered back. "Say nothing and sit still."

Betteredge dropped to the lowest depth of familiarity with me, without a
struggle to save himself. He answered by a wink!

Looking next toward Mr. Blake, I found him as restless as ever in his
bed; fretfully wondering why the influence of the laudanum had not begun
to assert itself yet. To tell him in his present humor that the more he
fidgeted and wondered the longer he would delay the result for which we
were now waiting, would have been simply useless. The wiser course to
take was to dismiss the idea of the opium from his mind by leading him
insensibly to think of something else.

With this view I encouraged him to talk to me, contriving so to direct
the conversation, on my side, as to lead him back again to the subject
which had engaged us earlier in the evening,--the subject of the
Diamond. I took care to revert to those portions of the story of the
Moonstone which related to the transport of it from London to Yorkshire;
to the risk which Mr. Blake had run in removing it from the bank at
Frizinghall; and to the expected appearance of the Indians at the house
on the evening of the birthday. And I purposely assumed, in referring to
these events, to have misunderstood much of what Mr. Blake himself had
told me a few hours since. In this way I set him talking on the subject
with which it was now vitally important to fill his mind--without
allowing him to suspect that I was making him talk for a purpose. Little
by little he became so interested in putting me right that he forgot to
fidget in the bed. His mind was far away from the question of the opium
at the all-important time when his eyes first told me that the opium was
beginning to lay its hold upon his brain.

I looked at my watch. It wanted five minutes to twelve when the
premonitory symptoms of the working of the laudanum first showed
themselves to me.

At this time no unpracticed eye would have detected any change in him.
But as the minutes of the new morning wore away, the swiftly subtle
progress of the influence began to show itself more plainly. The sublime
intoxication of opium gleamed in his eyes; the dew of a steady
perspiration began to glisten on his face. In five minutes more the talk
which he still kept up with me failed in coherence. He held steadily to
the subject of the Diamond; but he ceased to complete his sentences. A
little later the sentences dropped to single words. Then there was an
interval of silence. Then he sat up in bed. Then, still busy with the
subject of the Diamond, he began to talk again--not to me but to
himself. That change told me the first stage in the experiment was
reached. The stimulant influence of the opium had got him.

The time now was twenty-three minutes past twelve. The next half-hour,
at most, would decide the question of whether he would or would not get
up from his bed and leave the room.

In the breathless interest of watching him--in the unutterable triumph
of seeing the first result of the experiment declare itself in the
manner, and nearly at the time, which I had anticipated--I had utterly
forgotten the two companions of my night vigil. Looking toward them now,
I saw the Law (as represented by Mr. Bruff's papers) lying unheeded on
the floor. Mr. Bruff himself was looking eagerly through a crevice left
in the imperfectly drawn curtains of the bed. And Betteredge, oblivious
of all respect for social distinctions, was peeping over Mr. Bruff's

They both started back on finding that I was looking at them, like two
boys caught out by their schoolmaster in a fault. I signed to them to
take off their boots quietly, as I was taking off mine. If Mr. Blake
gave us the chance of following him, it was vitally necessary to follow
him without noise.

Ten minutes passed--and nothing happened.

Then he suddenly threw the bedclothes off him. He put one leg out of
bed. He waited.

"I wish I had never taken it out of the bank," he said to himself. "It
was safe in the bank."

My heart throbbed fast; the pulses at my temples beat furiously. The
doubt about the safety of the Diamond was once more the dominant
impression in his brain! On that one pivot the whole success of the
experiment turned. The prospect thus suddenly opened before me was too
much for my shattered nerves. I was obliged to look away from him, or I
should have lost my self-control.

There was another interval of silence.

When I could trust myself to look back at him he was out of his bed,
standing erect at the side of it. The pupils of his eyes were now
contracted; his eyeballs gleamed in the light of the candle as he moved
his head slowly to and fro. He was thinking; he was doubting; he spoke

"How do I know?" he said. "The Indians may be hidden in the house."

He stopped, and walked slowly to the other end of the room. He
turned,--waited,--came back to the bed.

"It's not even locked up," he went on. "It's in the drawer of her
cabinet. And the drawer doesn't lock."

He sat down on the side of the bed. "Anybody might take it," he said.

He rose again restlessly, and reiterated his first words. "How do I
know? The Indians may be hidden in the house."

He waited again. I drew back behind the half-curtain of the bed. He
looked about the room, with the vacant glitter in his eyes. It was a
breathless moment. There was a pause of some sort. A pause in the action
of the opium? a pause in the action of the brain? Who could tell?
Everything depended now on what he did next.

He laid himself down again on the bed!

A horrible doubt crossed my mind. Was it possible that the sedative
action of the opium was making itself felt already? It was not in my
experience that it should do this. But what is experience where opium is
concerned? There are probably no two men in existence on whom the drug
acts in exactly the same manner. Was some constitutional peculiarity in
him feeling the influence in some new way? Were we to fail, on the very
brink of success?

No! He got up again very abruptly. "How the devil am I to sleep," he
said, "with _this_ on my mind?"

He looked at the light burning on the table at the head of his bed.
After a moment he took the candle in his hand.

I blew out the second candle burning behind the closed curtains. I drew
back, with Mr. Bruff and Betteredge, into the farthest corner by the
bed. I signed to them to be silent, as if their lives depended on it.

We waited--seeing and hearing nothing. We waited, hidden from him by the

The light which he was holding on the other side of us moved suddenly.
The next moment he passed us, swift and noiseless, with the candle in
his hand.

He opened the bedroom door and went out.

We followed him along the corridor. We followed him down the stairs. We
followed him along the second corridor. He never looked back; he never

He opened the sitting-room door and went in, leaving it open behind him.

The door was hung (like all the other doors in the house) on large
old-fashioned hinges. When it was opened, a crevice was opened between
the door and the post. I signed to my two companions to look through
this, so as to keep them from showing themselves. I placed
myself--outside the door also--on the opposite side. A recess in the
wall was at my left hand, in which I could instantly hide myself if he
showed any signs of looking back into the corridor.

He advanced to the middle of the room, with the candle still in his
hand; he looked about him,--but he never looked back.

I saw the door of Miss Verinder's bedroom standing ajar. She had put out
her light. She controlled herself nobly. The dim white outline of her
summer dress was all that I could see. Nobody who had not known it
beforehand would have suspected that there was a living creature in the
room. She kept back in the dark; not a word, not a movement escaped her.

It was now ten minutes past one. I heard through the silence the soft
drip of the rain, and the tremulous passage of the night air through the

After waiting irresolute for a minute or more in the middle of the room,
he moved to the corner near the window where the Indian cabinet stood.

He put his candle on the top of the cabinet. He opened and shut one
drawer after another, until he came to the drawer in which the mock
Diamond was put. He looked into the drawer for a moment. Then he took
the mock Diamond out with his right hand. With the other hand he took
the candle from the top of the cabinet.

He walked back a few steps toward the middle of the room and stood still

Thus far he had exactly repeated what he had done on the birthday night.
Would his next proceeding be the same as the proceeding of last year?
Would he leave the room? Would he go back now, as I believed he had gone
back then, to his bed-chamber? Would he show us what he had done with
the Diamond when he had returned to his own room?

His first action, when he moved once more, proved to be an action which
he had _not_ performed when he was under the influence of the opium for
the first time. He put the candle down on a table and wandered on a
little toward the farther end of the room. There was a sofa here. He
leaned heavily on the back of it with his left hand--then roused himself
and returned to the middle of the room. I could now see his eyes. They
were getting dull and heavy; the glitter in them was fast dying out.

The suspense of the moment proved too much for Miss Verinder's
self-control. She advanced a few steps,--then stopped again. Mr. Bruff
and Betteredge looked across the open doorway at me for the first time.
The prevision of a coming disappointment was impressing itself on their
minds as well as on mine. Still, so long as he stood where he was, there
was hope. We waited in unutterable expectation to see what would happen

The next event was decisive. He let the mock Diamond drop out of his

It fell on the floor, before the doorway--plainly visible to him and to
every one. He made no effort to pick it up; he looked down at it
vacantly, and as he looked, his head sank on his breast. He
staggered--roused himself for an instant--walked back unsteadily to the
sofa--and sat down on it. He made a last effort; he tried to rise, and
sank back. His head fell on the sofa cushions. It was then twenty-five
minutes past one o'clock. Before I had put my watch back in my pocket he
was asleep.

It was over now. The sedative influence had got him; the experiment was
at an end.

I entered the room, telling Mr. Bruff and Betteredge that they might
follow me. There was no fear of disturbing him. We were free to move and

"The first thing to settle," I said, "is the question of what we are to
do with him. He will probably sleep for the next six or seven hours at
least. It is some distance to carry him back to his own room. When I was
younger I could have done it alone. But my health and strength are not
what they were--I am afraid I will have to ask you to help me."

Before they could answer, Miss Verinder called to me softly. She met me
at the door of her room with a light shawl and with the counterpane from
her own bed.

"Do you mean to watch him while he sleeps?" she asked.

"Yes. I am not sure enough of the action of the opium in this case, to
be willing to leave him alone."

She handed me the shawl and the counterpane.

"Why should you disturb him?" she whispered. "Make his bed on the sofa.
I can shut my door and keep in my room."

It was infinitely the simplest and the safest way of disposing of him
for the night. I mentioned the suggestion to Mr. Bruff and Betteredge,
who both approved of my adopting it. In five minutes I had laid him
comfortably on the sofa, and had covered him lightly with the
counterpane and the shawl. Miss Verinder wished us good-night and closed
the door. At my request we three then drew round the table in the middle
of the room, on which the candle was still burning, and on which writing
materials were placed.

"Before we separate," I began, "I have a word to say about the
experiment which has been tried to-night. Two distinct objects were to
be gained by it. The first of these objects was to prove that Mr. Blake
entered this room and took the Diamond last year, acting unconsciously
and irresponsibly, under the influence of opium. After what you have
both seen, are you both satisfied so far?"

They answered me in the affirmative, without a moment's hesitation.

"The second object," I went on, "was to discover what he did with the
Diamond after he was seen by Miss Verinder to leave her sitting-room
with the jewel in his hand on the birthday night. The gaining of this
object depended, of course, on his still continuing exactly to repeat
his proceedings of last year. He has failed to do that; and the purpose
of the experiment is defeated accordingly. I can't assert that I am not
disappointed at the result--but I can honestly say that I am not
surprised by it. I told Mr. Blake from the first that our complete
success in this matter depended on our completely reproducing in him the
physical and moral conditions of last year; and I warned him that this
was the next thing to a downright impossibility. We have only partially
reproduced the conditions, and the experiment has been only partially
successful in consequence. It is also possible that I may have
administered too large a dose of laudanum. But I myself look upon the
first reason that I have given as the true reason why we have to lament
a failure, as well as to rejoice over a success."

After saying those words I put the writing materials before Mr. Bruff,
and asked him if he had any objection, before we separated for the
night, to draw out and sign a plain statement of what he had seen. He at
once took the pen, and produced the statement with the fluent readiness
of a practiced hand.

"I owe you this," he said, signing the paper, "as some atonement for
what passed between us earlier in the evening. I beg your pardon, Mr.
Jennings, for having doubted you. You have done Franklin Blake an
inestimable service. In our legal phrase, you have proved your case."

Betteredge's apology was characteristic of the man.

"Mr. Jennings," he said, "when you read 'Robinson Crusoe' again (which I
strongly recommend you to do), you will find that he never scruples to
acknowledge it when he turns out to have been in the wrong. Please to
consider me, sir, as doing what Robinson Crusoe did on the present
occasion." With those words he signed the paper in his turn.

Mr. Bruff took me aside as we rose from the table.

"One word about the Diamond," he said. "Your theory is that Franklin
Blake hid the Moonstone in his room. My theory is that the Moonstone is
in the possession of Mr. Luker's bankers in London. We won't dispute
which of us is right. We will only ask, which of us is in a position to
put his theory to the test first?"

"The test in my case," I answered, "has been tried to-night, and has

"The test in my case," rejoined Mr. Bruff, "is still in process of
trial. For the last two days I have had a watch set for Mr. Luker at the
bank; and I shall cause that watch to be continued until the last day of
the month. I know that he must take the Diamond himself out of his
bankers' hands, and I am acting on the chance that the person who has
pledged the Diamond may force him to do this by redeeming the pledge. In
that case I may be able to lay my hand on the person. And there is a
prospect of our clearing up the mystery exactly at the point where the
mystery baffles us now! Do you admit that, so far?"

I admitted it readily.

"I am going back to town by the ten o'clock train," pursued the lawyer.
"I may hear, when I get back, that a discovery has been made--and it may
be of the greatest importance that I should have Franklin Blake at hand
to appeal to if necessary. I intend to tell him, as soon as he wakes,
that he must return with me to London. After all that has happened, may
I trust to your influence to back me?"

"Certainly!" I said.

Mr. Bruff shook hands with me and left the room. Betteredge followed him

I went to the sofa to look at Mr. Blake. He had not moved since I had
laid him down and made his bed,--he lay locked in a deep and quiet

While I was still looking at him I heard the bedroom door softly opened.
Once more Miss Verinder appeared on the threshold in her pretty summer

"Do me a last favor," she whispered. "Let me watch him with you."

I hesitated--not in the interest of propriety; only in the interest of
her night's rest. She came close to me and took my hand.

"I can't sleep; I can't even sit still in my own room," she said. "Oh,
Mr. Jennings, if you were me, only think how you would long to sit and
look at him! Say yes! Do!"

Is it necessary to mention that I gave way? Surely not!

She drew a chair to the foot of the sofa. She looked at him in a silent
ecstasy of happiness till the tears rose in her eyes. She dried her eyes
and said she would fetch her work. She fetched her work, and never did a
single stitch of it. It lay in her lap--she was not even able to look
away from him long enough to thread her needle. I thought of my own
youth; I thought of the gentle eyes which had once looked love at _me_.
In the heaviness of my heart I turned to my Journal for relief, and
wrote in it what is written here.

So we kept our watch together in silence,--one of us absorbed in his
writing; the other absorbed in her love.

Hour after hour he lay in deep sleep. The light of the new day grew and
grew in the room, and still he never moved.

Toward six o'clock I felt the warning which told me that my pains were
coming back. I was obliged to leave her alone with him for a little
while. I said I would go up-stairs and fetch another pillow for him out
of his room. It was not a long attack this time. In a little while I was
able to venture back and let her see me again.

I found her at the head of the sofa when I returned. She was just
touching his forehead with her lips. I shook my head as soberly as I
could, and pointed to her chair. She looked back at me with a bright
smile and a charming color in her face. "You would have done it," she
whispered, "in my place!"...

It is just eight o'clock. He is beginning to move for the first time.

Miss Verinder is kneeling by the side of the sofa. She has so placed
herself that when his eyes first open they must open upon her face.

Shall I leave them together?



    From 'The Woman in White'

He looks like a man who could tame anything. If he married a tigress
instead of a woman, he would have tamed the tigress. If he had married
_me_, I should have made his cigarettes as his wife does; I should have
held my tongue when he looked at me as she holds hers.

I am almost afraid to confess it even to these secret pages. The man has
interested me, has attracted me, has forced me to like him. In two short
days he has made his way straight into my favorable estimation; and how
he has worked the miracle is more than I can tell.

It absolutely startles me, now he is in my mind, to find how plainly I
see him! how much more plainly than I see Sir Percival, or Mr. Fairlie,
or Walter Hartright, or any other absent person of whom I think, with
the one exception of Laura herself. I can hear his voice as if he was
speaking at this moment. I know what his conversation was yesterday,
as well as if I was hearing it now. How am I to describe him? There
are peculiarities in his personal appearance, his habits, and his
amusements, which I should blame in the boldest terms or ridicule in the
most merciless manner, if I had seen them in another man. What is it
that makes me unable to blame them or to ridicule them in _him_?

For example, he is immensely fat. Before this time, I have always
especially disliked corpulent humanity. I have always maintained that
the popular notion of connecting excessive grossness of size and
excessive good-humor as inseparable allies was equivalent to declaring
either that no people but amiable people ever get fat, or that the
accidental addition of so many pounds of flesh has a directly favorable
influence over the disposition of the person on whose body they
accumulate. I have invariably combated both these absurd assertions by
quoting examples of fat people who were as mean, vicious, and cruel as
the leanest and worst of their neighbors. I have asked whether Henry the
Eighth was an amiable character? whether Pope Alexander the Sixth was a
good man? whether Mr. Murderer and Mrs. Murderess Manning were not both
unusually stout people? whether hired nurses, proverbially as cruel a
set of women as are to be found in all England, were not, for the most
part, also as fat a set of women as are to be found in all England?--and
so on through dozens of other examples, modern and ancient, native and
foreign, high and low. Holding these strong opinions on the subject with
might and main, as I do at this moment, here nevertheless is Count
Fosco, as fat as Henry the Eighth himself, established in my favor at
one day's notice, without let or hindrance from his own odious
corpulence. Marvelous indeed!

Is it his face that has recommended him?

It may be his face. He is a most remarkable likeness, on a large scale,
of the great Napoleon. His features have Napoleon's magnificent
regularity; his expression recalls the grandly calm immovable power of
the Great Soldier's face. This striking resemblance certainly impressed
me, to begin with; but there is something in him besides the
resemblance, which has impressed me more. I think the influence I am now
trying to find is in his eyes. They are the most unfathomable gray eyes
I ever saw; and they have at times a cold, clear, beautiful,
irresistible glitter in them, which forces me to look at him, and yet
causes me sensations, when I do look, which I would rather not feel.
Other parts of his face and head have their strange peculiarities. His
complexion, for instance, has a singular sallow-fairness, so much at
variance with the dark-brown color of his hair that I suspect the hair
of being a wig; and his face, closely shaven all over, is smoother and
freer from all marks and wrinkles than mine, though (according to Sir
Percival's account of him) he is close on sixty years of age. But these
are not the prominent personal characteristics which distinguish him, to
my mind, from all the other men I have ever seen. The marked peculiarity
which singles him out from the rank and file of humanity lies entirely,
so far as I can tell at present, in the extraordinary expression and
extraordinary power of his eyes.

His manner, and his command of our language, may also have assisted him
in some degree to establish himself in my good opinion. He has that
quiet deference, that look of pleased attentive interest, in listening
to a woman, and that secret gentleness in his voice in speaking to a
woman, which say what we may, we can none of us resist. Here too his
unusual command of the English language necessarily helps him. I had
often heard of the extraordinary aptitude which many Italians show in
mastering our strong hard Northern speech, but until I saw Count Fosco I
had never supposed it possible that any foreigner could have spoken
English as he speaks it. There are times when it is almost impossible to
detect by his accent that he is not a countryman of our own; and as for
fluency, there are very few born Englishmen who can talk with as few
stoppages and repetitions as the Count. He may construct his sentences
more or less in the foreign way; but I have never yet heard him use a
wrong expression, or hesitate for a moment in his choice of words.

All the smallest characteristics of this strange man have something
strikingly original and perplexingly contradictory in them. Fat as he
is, and old as he is, his movements are astonishingly light and easy. He
is as noiseless in a room as any of us women; and more than that, with
all his look of unmistakable mental firmness and power, he is as
nervously sensitive as the weakest of us. He starts at chance noises as
inveterately as Laura herself. He winced and shuddered yesterday when
Sir Percival beat one of the spaniels, so that I felt ashamed of my own
want of tenderness and sensibility by comparison with the Count.

The relation of this last incident reminds me of one of his most curious
peculiarities, which I have not yet mentioned--his extraordinary
fondness for pet animals.

Some of these he has left on the Continent; but he has brought with him
to this house a cockatoo, two canary-birds, and a whole family of white
mice. He attends to all the necessities of these strange favorites
himself, and he has taught the creatures to be surprisingly fond of him
and familiar with him. The cockatoo, a most vicious and treacherous bird
toward every one else, absolutely seems to love him. When he lets it out
of its cage it hops on to his knee, and claws its way up his great big
body, and rubs its topknot against his sallow double chin in the most
caressing manner imaginable. He has only to set the doors of the
canaries' cage open, and to call them; and the pretty little cleverly
trained creatures perch fearlessly on his hand, mount his fat
outstretched fingers one by one when he tells them to "go up-stairs,"
and sing together as if they would burst their throats with delight when
they get to the top finger. His white mice live in a little pagoda of
gayly painted wire-work, designed and made by himself. They are almost
as tame as the canaries, and they are perpetually let out, like the
canaries. They crawl all over him, popping in and out of his waistcoat,
and sitting in couples, white as snow, on his capacious shoulders. He
seems to be even fonder of his mice than of his other pets; smiles at
them, and kisses them, and calls them all sorts of endearing names. If
it be possible to suppose an Englishman with any taste for such childish
interests and amusements as these, that Englishman would certainly feel
rather ashamed of them, and would be anxious to apologize for them in
the company of grown-up people. But the Count apparently sees nothing
ridiculous in the amazing contrast between his colossal self and his
frail little pets. He would blandly kiss his white mice and twitter to
his canary-birds amidst an assembly of English fox-hunters, and would
only pity them as barbarians when they were all laughing their loudest
at him.

It seems hardly credible while I am writing it down, but it is certainly
true that this same man, who has all the fondness of an old maid for his
cockatoo, and all the small dexterities of an organ-boy in managing his
white mice, can talk, when anything happens to rouse him, with a daring
independence of thought, a knowledge of books in every language, and an
experience of society in half the capitals of Europe, which would make
him the prominent personage of any assembly in the civilized world. This
trainer of canary-birds, this architect of a pagoda for white mice, is
(as Sir Percival himself has told me) one of the first experimental
chemists living, and has discovered among other wonderful inventions a
means of petrifying the body after death, so as to preserve it, as hard
as marble, to the end of time. This fat, indolent, elderly man, whose
nerves are so finely strung that he starts at chance noises, and winces
when he sees a house spaniel get a whipping, went into the stable-yard
the morning after his arrival, and put his hand on the head of a chained
bloodhound--a beast so savage that the very groom who feeds him keeps
out of his reach. His wife and I were present, and I shall not forget
the scene that followed, short as it was.

"Mind that dog, sir," said the groom; "he flies at everybody!" "He does
that, my friend," replied the Count quietly, "because everybody is
afraid of him. Let us see if he flies at _me_." And he laid his plump
yellow-white fingers, on which the canary-birds had been perching ten
minutes before, upon the formidable brute's head, and looked him
straight in the eyes. "You big dogs are all cowards," he said,
addressing the animal contemptuously, with his face and the dog's within
an inch of each other. "You would kill a poor cat, you infernal coward.
You would fly at a starving beggar, you infernal coward. Anything that
you can surprise unawares--anything that is afraid of your big body, and
your wicked white teeth, and your slobbering, bloodthirsty mouth, is the
thing you like to fly at. You could throttle me at this moment, you mean
miserable bully; and you daren't so much as look me in the face, because
I'm not afraid of you. Will you think better of it, and try your teeth
in my fat neck? Bah! not you!" He turned away, laughing at the
astonishment of the men in the yard; and the dog crept back meekly to
his kennel. "Ah! my nice waistcoat!" he said pathetically. "I am sorry
I came here. Some of that brute's slobber has got on my pretty clean
waistcoat." Those words express another of his incomprehensible
oddities. He is as fond of fine clothes as the veriest fool in
existence, and has appeared in four magnificent waistcoats already--all
of light garish colors and all immensely large, even for him--in the two
days of his residence at Blackwater Park.

His tact and cleverness in small things are quite as noticeable as the
singular inconsistencies in his character, and the childish triviality
of his ordinary tastes and pursuits.

I can see already that he means to live on excellent terms with all of
us during the period of his sojourn in this place. He has evidently
discovered that Laura secretly dislikes him (she confessed as much to me
when I pressed her on the subject), but he has also found out that she
is extravagantly fond of flowers. Whenever she wants a nosegay he has
got one to give her, gathered and arranged by himself; and greatly to my
amusement, he is always cunningly provided with a duplicate, composed of
exactly the same flowers, grouped in exactly the same way, to appease
his icily jealous wife, before she can so much as think herself
aggrieved. His management of the Countess (in public) is a sight to see.
He bows to her; he habitually addresses her as "my angel"; he carries
his canaries to pay her little visits on his fingers, and to sing to
her; he kisses her hand when she gives him his cigarettes; he presents
her with sugar-plums in return, which he puts into her mouth playfully,
from a box in his pocket. The rod of iron with which he rules her never
appears in company--it is a private rod and is always kept up-stairs.

His method of recommending himself to _me_ is entirely different. He
flatters my vanity by talking to me as seriously and sensibly as if I
was a man. Yes! I can find him out when I am away from him; I know he
flatters my vanity, when I think of him up here in my own room--and yet
when I go down-stairs and get into his company again he will blind me
again, and I shall be flattered again, just as if I had never found him
out at all! He can manage me as he manages his wife and Laura, as he
manages the bloodhound in the stable yard, as he manages Sir Percival
himself every hour in the day. "My good Percival! how I like your rough
English humor!"--"My good Percival! how I enjoy your solid English
sense!" He puts the rudest remarks Sir Percival can make on his
effeminate tastes and amusements quietly away from him in that
manner--always calling the baronet by his Christian name; smiling at him
with the calmest superiority; patting him on the shoulder; and bearing
with him benignantly, as a good-humored father bears with a wayward son.

The interest which I really cannot help feeling in this strangely
original man has led me to question Sir Percival about his past life.

Sir Percival either knows little, or will tell me little about it. He
and the Count first met many years ago, at Rome, under the dangerous
circumstances to which I have alluded elsewhere. Since that time they
have been perpetually together, in London, in Paris, and in Vienna--but
never in Italy again; the Count having, oddly enough, not crossed the
frontiers of his native country for years past. Perhaps he has been made
the victim of some political persecution? At all events, he seems to be
patriotically anxious not to lose sight of any of his own countrymen who
may happen to be in England. On the evening of his arrival, he asked
how far we were from the nearest town, and whether we knew of any
Italian gentlemen who might happen to be settled there. He is certainly
in correspondence with people on the Continent, for his letters have all
sorts of odd stamps on them; and I saw one for him this morning, waiting
in his place at the breakfast-table, with a huge official-looking seal
on it. Perhaps he is in correspondence with his government? And yet that
is hardly to be reconciled, either, with my other idea that he may be a
political exile.

How much I seem to have written about Count Fosco! And what does it all
amount to?--as poor dear Mr. Gilmore would ask in his impenetrable
business-like way. I can only repeat that I do assuredly feel, even on
this short acquaintance, a strange, half-willing, half-unwilling liking
for the Count. He seems to have established over me the same sort of
ascendency which he has evidently gained over Sir Percival. Free and
even rude as he may occasionally be in his manner toward his fat friend,
Sir Percival is nevertheless afraid, as I can plainly see, of giving any
serious offense to the Count. I wonder whether I am afraid too? I
certainly never saw a man, in all my experience, whom I should be so
sorry to have for an enemy. Is this because I like him, or because I am
afraid of him? _Chi sa?_--as Count Fosco might say in his own language.
Who knows?


1. Passages in italics are surrounded by _underscores_.

2. Images have been moved from the middle of a paragraph to the closest
paragraph break. Also the footnotes have been moved to the end of the
paragraph or poem in which they are referred.

3. The words Croesus and manoeuvre use "oe" ligature in the original.

4. In this text, u with a breve is represented by [)u].

5. Other than the corrections listed above, printer's inconsistencies
in spelling, punctuation, hyphenation, and ligature usage have been

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