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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 86, December, 1864
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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THE

ATLANTIC MONTHLY.

A MAGAZINE OF LITERATURE, ART, AND POLITICS.


VOL. XIV.--DECEMBER, 1864.--NO. LXXXVI.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864, by TICKNOR AND
FIELDS, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of
Massachusetts.



THE HIGHLAND LIGHT.


This light-house, known to mariners as the Cape Cod or Highland Light,
is one of our "primary sea-coast lights," and is usually the first seen
by those approaching the entrance of Massachusetts Bay from Europe. It
is forty-three miles from Cape Ann Light, and forty-one from Boston
Light. It stands about twenty rods from the edge of the bank, which is
here formed of clay. I borrowed the plane and square, level and
dividers, of a carpenter who was shingling a barn near by, and, using
one of those shingles made of a mast, contrived a rude sort of quadrant,
with pins for sights and pivots, and got the angle of elevation of the
bank opposite the light-house, and with a couple of cod-lines the length
of its slope, and so measured its height on the shingle. It rises one
hundred and ten feet above its immediate base, or about one hundred and
twenty-three feet above mean low water. Graham, who has carefully
surveyed the extremity of the Cape, makes it one hundred and thirty
feet. The mixed sand and clay lay at an angle of forty degrees with the
horizon, where I measured it, but the clay is generally much steeper. No
cow nor hen ever gets down it. Half a mile farther south the bank is
fifteen or twenty-five feet higher, and that appeared to be the highest
land in North Truro. Even this vast clay-bank is fast wearing away.
Small streams of water trickling down it at intervals of two or three
rods have left the intermediate clay in the form of steep Gothic roofs
fifty feet high or more, the ridges as sharp and rugged-looking as
rocks; and in one place the bank is curiously eaten out in the form of a
large semicircular crater.

According to the light-house keeper, the Cape is wasting here on both
sides, though most on the eastern. In some places it had lost many rods
within the last year, and erelong the light-house must be moved. We
calculated, _from his data_, how soon the Cape would be quite worn away
at this point,--"for," said he, "I can remember sixty years back." We
were even more surprised at this last announcement--that is, at the slow
waste of life and energy in our informant, for we had taken him to be
not more than forty--than at the rapid wasting of the Cape, and we
thought that he stood a fair chance to outlive the former.

Between this October and June of the next year I found that the bank had
lost about forty feet in one place opposite the light-house, and it was
cracked more than forty feet farther from the edge at the last date, the
shore being strewn with the recent rubbish. But I judged that generally
it was not wearing away here at the rate of more than six feet annually.
Any conclusions drawn from the observations of a few years or one
generation only are likely to prove false, and the Cape may balk
expectation by its durability. In some places even a wrecker's foot-path
down the bank lasts several years. One old inhabitant told us that when
the light-house was built, in 1798, it was calculated that it would
stand forty-five years, allowing the bank to waste one length of fence
each year, "but," said he, "there it is" (or rather another near the
same site, about twenty rods from the edge of the bank).

The sea is not gaining on the Cape everywhere: for one man told me of a
vessel wrecked long ago on the north of Provincetown whose "_bones_"
(this was his word) are still visible many rods within the present line
of the beach, half buried in sand. Perchance they lie along-side the
_timbers_ of a whale. The general statement of the inhabitants is, that
the Cape is wasting on both sides, but extending itself on particular
points on the south and west, as at Chatham and Monomoy Beaches, and at
Billingsgate, Long, and Race Points. James Freeman stated in his day
that above three miles had been added to Monomoy Beach during the
previous fifty years, and it is said to be still extending as fast as
ever. A writer in the "Massachusetts Magazine," in the last century,
tells us, that, "when the English first settled upon the Cape, there was
an island off Chatham, at three leagues' distance, called Webb's Island,
containing twenty acres, covered with red-cedar or savin. The
inhabitants of Nantucket used to carry wood from it"; but he adds that
in his day a large rock alone marked the spot, and the water was six
fathoms deep there. The entrance to Nauset Harbor, which was once in
Eastham, has now travelled south into Orleans. The islands in Wellfleet
Harbor once formed a continuous beach, though now small vessels pass
between them. And so of many other parts of this coast.

Perhaps what the ocean takes from one part of the Cape it gives to
another,--robs Peter to pay Paul. On the eastern side the sea appears to
be everywhere encroaching on the land. Not only the land is undermined,
and its ruins carried off by currents, but the sand is blown from the
beach directly up the steep bank, where it is one hundred and fifty feet
high, and covers the original surface there many feet deep. If you sit
on the edge, you will have ocular demonstration of this by soon getting
your eyes full. Thus the bank preserves its height as fast as it is worn
away. This sand is steadily travelling westward at a rapid rate, "more
than a hundred yards," says one writer, within the memory of inhabitants
now living; so that in some places peat-meadows are buried deep under
the sand, and the peat is cut through it; and in one place a large
peat-meadow has made its appearance on the shore in the bank covered
many feet deep, and peat has been cut there. This accounts for that
great pebble of peat which we saw in the surf. The old oysterman had
told us that many years ago he lost a "crittur" by her being mired in a
swamp near the Atlantic side, east of his house, and twenty years ago he
lost the swamp itself entirely, but has since seen signs of it appearing
on the beach. He also said that he had seen cedar-stumps "as big as
cart-wheels" (!) on the bottom of the Bay, three miles off Billingsgate
Point, when leaning over the side of his boat in pleasant weather, and
that that was dry land not long ago. Another told us that a log canoe
known to have been buried many years before on the Bay side at East
Harbor in Truro, where the Cape is extremely narrow, appeared at length
on the Atlantic side, the Cape having rolled over it; and an old woman
said,--"Now, you see, it is true what I told you, that the Cape is
moving."

The bars along the coast shift with every storm, and in many places
there is occasionally none at all. We ourselves observed the effect of a
single storm with a high tide in the night, in July, 1855. It moved the
sand on the beach opposite the light-house to the depth of six feet, and
three rods in width as far as we could see north and south, and carried
it bodily off no one knows exactly where, laying bare in one place a
large rock five feet high which was invisible before, and narrowing the
beach to that extent. There is usually, as I have said, no bathing on
the back side of the Cape, on account of the undertow; but when we were
there last, the sea had, three months before, cast up a bar near this
light-house, two miles long and ten rods wide, over which the tide did
not flow, leaving a narrow cove, then a quarter of a mile long, between
it and the shore, which afforded excellent bathing. This cove had from
time to time been closed up as the bar travelled northward, in one
instance imprisoning four or five hundred whiting and cod, which died
there, and the water as often turned fresh and finally gave place to
sand. This bar, the inhabitants assured us, might be wholly removed, and
the water be six feet deep there in two or three days.

The light-house keeper said, that, when the wind blowed strong on to the
shore, the waves ate fast into the bank, but when it blowed off, they
took no sand away; for in the former case the wind heaped up the surface
of the water next to the beach, and to preserve its equilibrium a strong
undertow immediately set back again into the sea, which carried with it
the sand and whatever else was in the way, and left the beach hard to
walk on; but in the latter case the undertow set on, and carried the
sand with it, so that it was particularly difficult for shipwrecked men
to get to land when the wind blowed on to the shore, but easier when it
blowed off. This undertow, meeting the next surface-wave on the bar
which itself has made, forms part of the dam over which the latter
breaks, as over an upright wall. The sea thus plays with the land,
holding a sand-bar in its mouth awhile before it swallows it, as a cat
plays with a mouse; but the fatal gripe is sure to come at last. The sea
sends its rapacious east-wind to rob the land, but before the former has
got far with its prey, the land sends its honest west-wind to recover
some of its own. But, according to Lieutenant Davis, the forms, extent,
and distribution of sand-bars and banks are principally determined, not
by winds and waves, but by tides.

Our host said that you would be surprised, if you were on the beach when
the wind blew a hurricane directly on to it, to see that none of the
drift-wood came ashore, but all was carried directly northward and
parallel with the shore as fast as a man can walk, by the in-shore
current, which sets strongly in that direction at flood-tide. The
strongest swimmers also are carried along with it, and never gain an
inch toward the beach. Even a large rock has been moved half a mile
northward along the beach. He assured us that the sea was never still on
the back side of the Cape, but ran commonly as high as your head, so
that a great part of the time you could not launch a boat there, and
even in the calmest weather the waves run six or eight feet up the
beach, though then you could get off on a plank. Champlain and
Poitrincourt could not land here in 1606, on account of the swell, (_la
houlle_,) yet the savages came off to them in a canoe. In the Sieur de
la Borde's "Relation des Caraibes," my edition of which was published at
Amsterdam in 1711, at page 530 he says:--

     "Couroumon a Caraibe, also a star [_i.e._ a god], makes the
     great _lames à la mer_, and overturns canoes. _Lames à la mer_
     are the long _vagues_ which are not broken (_entrecoupées_),
     and such as one sees come to land all in one piece, from one
     end of a beach to another, so that, however little wind there
     may be, a shallop or a canoe could hardly land (_aborder
     terre_) without turning over, or being filled with water."

But on the Bay side, the water, even at its edge, is often as smooth and
still as in a pond. Commonly there are no boats used along this beach.
There was a boat belonging to the Highland Light, which the next keeper,
after he had been there a year, had not launched, though he said that
there was good fishing just off the shore. Generally the life-boats
cannot be used when needed. When the waves run very high, it is
impossible to get a boat off, however skilfully you steer it, for it
will often be completely covered by the curving edge of the approaching
breaker as by an arch, and so filled with water, or it will be lifted up
by its bows, turned directly over backwards, and all the contents
spilled out. A spar thirty feet long is served in the same way.

I heard of a party who went off fishing back of Wellfleet some years
ago, in two boats, in calm weather, who, when they had laden their boats
with fish, and approached the land again, found such a swell breaking on
it, though there was no wind, that they were afraid to enter it. At
first they thought to pull for Provincetown; but night coming on, and
that was many miles distant. Their case seemed a desperate one. As often
as they approached the shore and saw the terrible breakers that
intervened, they were deterred. In short, they were thoroughly
frightened. Finally, having thrown their fish overboard, those in one
boat chose a favorable opportunity, and succeeded, by skill and good
luck, in reaching the land; but they were unwilling to take the
responsibility of telling the others when to come in, and as the other
helmsman was inexperienced, their boat was swamped at once, yet all
managed to save themselves.

Much smaller waves soon make a boat "nail-sick," as the phrase is. The
keeper said that after a long and strong blow there would be three large
waves, each successively larger than the last, and then no large ones
for some time, and that, when they wished to land in a boat, they came
in on the last and largest wave. Sir Thomas Browne, (as quoted in
Brand's "Popular Antiquities," p. 372,) on the subject of the tenth wave
being "greater or more dangerous than any other," after quoting Ovid,--

    "Qui venit hic fluctus, fluctus supereminet omnes:
    Posterior nono est, undecimoque prior,"--

says, "Which, notwithstanding, is evidently false; nor can it be made
out by observation either upon the shore or the ocean, as we have with
diligence explored in both. And surely in vain we expect a regularity in
the waves of the sea, or in the particular motions thereof, as we may in
its general reciprocations, whose causes are constant, and effects
therefore correspondent; whereas its fluctuations are but motions
subservient, which winds, storms, shores, shelves, and every
interjacency irregulates."

We read that the Clay Pounds were so called "because vessels have had
the misfortune to be pounded against them in gales of wind," which we
regard as a doubtful derivation. There are small ponds here, upheld by
the clay, which were formerly called the Clay Pits. Perhaps this, or
Clay Ponds, is the origin of the name. Water is found in the clay quite
near the surface; but we heard of one man who had sunk a well in the
sand close by, "till he could see stars at noonday," without finding
any.

Over this bare highland the wind has full sweep. Even in July it blows
the wings over the heads of the young turkeys, which do not know enough
to head against it; and in gales the doors and windows are blown in, and
you must hold on to the light-house to prevent being blown into the
Atlantic. They who merely keep out on the beach in a storm in the winter
are sometimes rewarded by the Humane Society. If you would feel the full
force of a tempest, take up your residence on the top of Mount
Washington, or at the Highland Light in Truro.

It was said in 1794 that more vessels were cast away on the east shore
of Truro than anywhere in Barnstable County. Notwithstanding this
light-house has since been erected, after almost every storm we read of
one or more vessels wrecked here, and sometimes more than a dozen wrecks
are visible from this point at one time. The inhabitants hear the crash
of vessels going to pieces as they sit round their hearths, and they
commonly date from some memorable shipwreck. If the history of this
beach could be written from beginning to end, it would be a thrilling
page in the history of commerce.

Truro was settled in the year 1700 as _Dangerfield_. This was a very
appropriate name, for I read on a monument in the graveyard near Pamet
River the following inscription:--

          Sacred
      to the memory of
    57 citizens of Truro,
    who were lost in seven
      vessels, which
     foundered at sea in
     the memorable gale
      of Oct. 3d, 1841.

Their names and ages by families were recorded on different sides of the
stone. They are said to have been lost on George's Bank, and I was told
that only one vessel drifted ashore on the back side of the Cape, with
the boys locked into the cabin and drowned. It is said that the homes of
all were "within a circuit of two miles." Twenty-eight inhabitants of
Dennis were lost in the same gale; and I read that "in one day,
immediately after this storm, nearly or quite one hundred bodies were
taken up and buried on Cape Cod." The Truro Insurance Company failed for
want of skippers to take charge of its vessels. But the surviving
inhabitants went a-fishing again the next year as usual. I found that it
would not do to speak of shipwrecks there, for almost every family has
lost some of its members at sea. "Who lives in that house?" I inquired.
"Three widows," was the reply. The stranger and the inhabitant view the
shore with very different eyes. The former may have come to see and
admire the ocean in a storm; but the latter looks on it as the scene
where his nearest relatives were wrecked. When I remarked to an old
wrecker, partially blind, who was sitting on the edge of the bank
smoking a pipe, which he had just lit with a match of dried beach-grass,
that I supposed he liked to hear the sound of the surf, he answered,
"No, I do not like to hear the sound of the surf." He had lost at least
one son in "the memorable gale," and could tell many a tale of the
shipwrecks which he had witnessed there.

In the year 1717, a noted pirate named Bellamy was led on to the bar off
Wellfleet by the captain of a snow which he had taken, to whom he had
offered his vessel again, if he would pilot him into Provincetown
Harbor. Tradition says that the latter threw over a burning tar-barrel
in the night, which drifted ashore, and the pirates followed it. A storm
coming on, their whole fleet was wrecked, and more than a hundred dead
bodies lay along the shore. Six who escaped shipwreck were executed. "At
times to this day," (1793,) says the historian of Wellfleet, "there are
King William and Queen Mary's coppers picked up, and pieces of silver
called cob-money. The violence of the seas moves the sands on the outer
bar, so that at times the iron caboose of the ship [that is, Bellamy's]
at low ebbs has been seen." Another tells us, that, "for many years
after this shipwreck, a man of a very singular and frightful aspect used
every spring and autumn to be seen travelling on the Cape, who was
supposed to have been one of Bellamy's crew. The presumption is that he
went to some place where money had been secreted by the pirates, to get
such a supply as his exigencies required. When he died, many pieces of
gold were found in a girdle which he constantly wore."

As I was walking on the beach here in my last visit, looking for shells
and pebbles, just after that storm which I have mentioned as moving the
sand to a great depth, not knowing but I might find some cob-money, I
did actually pick up a French crown-piece, worth about a dollar and six
cents, near high-water mark, on the still moist sand, just under the
abrupt, caving base of the bank. It was of a dark slate-color, and
looked like a flat pebble, but still bore a very distinct and handsome
head of Louis XV., and the usual legend on the reverse, "_Sit Nomen
Domini Benedictum_," (Blessed be the Name of the Lord,)--a pleasing
sentiment to read in the sands of the sea-shore, whatever it might be
stamped on,--and I also made out the date, 1741. Of course, I thought at
first that it was that same old button which I have found so many times,
but my knife soon showed the silver. Afterward, rambling on the bars at
low tide, I cheated my companion by holding up round shells (_Scutellæ_)
between my fingers, whereupon he quickly stripped and came off to me.

In the Revolution, a British ship-of-war, called the Somerset, was
wrecked near the Clay Pounds, and all on board, some hundreds in number,
were taken prisoners. My informant said that he had never seen any
mention of this in the histories, but that at any rate he knew of a
silver watch, which one of those prisoners by accident left there, which
was still going to tell the story. But this event is noticed by some
writers.

The next summer I saw a sloop from Chatham dragging for anchors and
chains just off this shore. She had her boats out at the work while she
shuffled about on various tacks, and, when anything was found, drew up
to hoist it on board. It is a singular employment, at which men are
regularly hired and paid for their industry, to hunt to-day in pleasant
weather for anchors which have been lost,--the sunken faith and hope of
mariners, to which they trusted in vain: now, perchance, it is the rusty
one of some old pirate's ship or Norman fisherman, whose cable parted
here two hundred years ago; and now the best bower-anchor of a Canton or
a California ship, which has gone about her business. If the roadsteads
of the spiritual ocean could be thus dragged, what rusty flukes of hope
deceived and parted chain-cables of faith might again be windlassed
aboard! enough to sink the finder's craft, or stock new navies to the
end of time. The bottom of the sea is strown with anchors, some deeper
and some shallower, and alternately covered and uncovered by the sand,
perchance with a small length of iron cable still attached,--of which
where is the other end? So many unconcluded tales to be continued
another time. So, if we had diving-bells adapted to the spiritual deeps,
we should see anchors with their cables attached, as thick as eels in
vinegar, all wriggling vainly toward their holding-ground. But that is
not treasure for us which another man has lost; rather it is for us to
seek what no other man has found or can find,--not be Chatham men,
dragging for anchors.

The annals of this voracious beach! who could write them, unless it were
a shipwrecked sailor? How many who have seen it have seen it only in the
midst of danger and distress, the last strip of earth which their mortal
eyes beheld! Think of the amount of suffering which a single strand has
witnessed! The ancients would have represented it as a sea-monster with
open jaws, more terrible than Scylla and Charybdis. An inhabitant of
Truro told me that about a fortnight after the St. John was wrecked at
Cohasset he found two bodies on the shore at the Clay Pounds. They were
those of a man and a corpulent woman. The man had thick boots on, though
his head was off, but "it was along-side." It took the finder some weeks
to get over the sight. Perhaps they were man and wife, and whom God had
joined the ocean-currents had not put asunder. Yet by what slight
accidents at first may they have been associated in their drifting! Some
of the bodies of those passengers were picked up far out at sea, boxed
up and sunk; some brought ashore and buried. There are more consequences
to a shipwreck than the underwriters notice. The Gulf Stream may return
some to their native shores, or drop them in some out-of-the-way cave of
ocean, where time and the elements will write new riddles with their
bones.--But to return to land again.

In this bank, above the clay, I counted in the summer two hundred holes
of the bank-swallow within a space six rods long, and there were at
least one thousand old birds within three times that distance,
twittering over the surf. I had never associated them in my thoughts
with the beach before. One little boy who had been a-bird's-nesting had
got eighty swallows' eggs for his share. Tell it not to the Humane
Society! There were many young birds on the clay beneath, which had
tumbled out and died. Also there were many crow-blackbirds hopping about
in the dry fields, and the upland plover were breeding close by the
light-house. The keeper had once cut off one's wing while mowing, as she
sat on her eggs there. This is also a favorite resort for gunners in the
fall to shoot the golden plover. As around the shores of a pond are seen
devil's-needles, butterflies, etc., so here, to my surprise, I saw at
the same season great devil's-needles of a size proportionably larger,
or nearly as big as my finger, incessantly coasting up and down the edge
of the bank, and butterflies also were hovering over it, and I never saw
so many dor-bugs and beetles of various kinds as strewed the beach. They
had apparently flown over the bank in the night, and could not get up
again, and some had perhaps fallen into the sea and were washed ashore.
They may have been in part attracted by the light-house lamps.

The Clay Pounds are a more fertile tract than usual. We saw some fine
patches of roots and corn here. As generally on the Cape, the plants had
little stalk or leaf, but ran remarkably to seed. The corn was hardly
more than half as high as in the interior, yet the ears were large and
full, and one farmer told us that he could raise forty bushels on an
acre without manure, and sixty with it. The heads of the rye also were
remarkably large. The shadbush, (_Amelanchier_,) beach-plums, and
blueberries, (_Vaccinium Pennsylvanicum_,) like the apple-trees and
oaks, were very dwarfish, spreading over the sand, but at the same time
very fruitful. The blueberry was but an inch or two high, and its fruit
often rested on the ground, so that you did not suspect the presence of
the bushes, even on those bare hills, until you were treading on them. I
thought that this fertility must be owing mainly to the abundance of
moisture in the atmosphere, for I observed that what little grass there
was was remarkably laden with dew in the morning, and in summer dense
imprisoning fogs frequently last till mid-day, turning one's beard into
a wet napkin about his throat, and the oldest inhabitant may lose his
way within a stone's-throw of his house, or be obliged to follow the
beach for a guide. The brick house attached to the light-house was
exceedingly damp at that season, and writing-paper lost all its
stiffness in it. It was impossible to dry your towel after bathing, or
to press flowers without their mildewing. The air was so moist that we
rarely wished to drink, though we could at all times taste the salt on
our lips. Salt was rarely used at table, and our host told us that his
cattle invariably refused it when it was offered them, they got so much
with their grass and at every breath; but he said that a sick horse, or
one just from the country, would sometimes take a hearty draught of salt
water, and seemed to like it and be the better for it.

It was surprising to see how much water was contained in the terminal
bud of the sea-side golden-rod, standing in the sand early in July, and
also how turnips, beets, carrots, etc., flourished even in pure sand. A
man travelling by the shore near there not long before us noticed
something green growing in the pure sand of the beach, just at
high-water mark, and on approaching found it to be a bed of beets
flourishing vigorously, probably from seed washed out of the Franklin.
Also beets and turnips came up in the sea-weed used for manure in many
parts of the Cape. This suggests how various plants may have been
dispersed over the world to distant islands and continents. Vessels,
with seeds in their cargoes, destined for particular ports, where
perhaps they were not needed, have been cast away on desolate islands,
and though their crews perished, some of their seeds have been
preserved. Out of many kinds a few would find a soil and climate adapted
to them, become naturalized, and perhaps drive out the native plants at
last, and so fit the land for the habitation of man. It is an ill wind
that blows nobody any good, and for the time lamentable shipwrecks may
thus contribute a new vegetable to a continent's stock, and prove on the
whole a lasting blessing to its inhabitants. Or winds and currents might
effect the same without the intervention of man. What, indeed, are the
various succulent plants which grow on the beach but such beds of beets
and turnips, sprung originally from seeds which perhaps were cast on the
waters for this end, though we do not know the Franklin which they came
out of? In ancient times some Mr. Bell (?) was sailing this way in his
ark with seeds of rocket, saltwort, sandwort, beach-grass, samphire,
bayberry, poverty-grass, etc., all nicely labelled with directions,
intending to establish a nursery somewhere; and did not a nursery get
established, though he thought that he had failed?

About the light-house I observed in the summer the pretty _Polygala
polygama_, spreading ray-wise flat on the ground, white
pasture-thistles, (_Cirsium pumilum_,) and amid the shrubbery the
_Smilax glauca_, which is commonly said not to grow so far north. Near
the edge of the banks about half a mile southward, the broom-crowberry,
(_Empetrum Conradii_,) for which Plymouth is the only locality in
Massachusetts usually named, forms pretty green mounds four or five feet
in diameter by one foot high,--soft, springy beds for the wayfarer: I
saw it afterward in Provincetown. But prettiest of all, the scarlet
pimpernel, or poor-man's weather-glass, (_Anagallis arvensis_,) greets
you in fair weather on almost every square yard of sand. From Yarmouth I
have received the _Chrysopsis falcata_, (golden aster,) and _Vaccinium
stamineum_, (deer-berry or squaw-huckleberry,) with fruit not edible,
sometimes as large as a cranberry (Sept. 7).

The Highland Light-house,[A] where we were staying, is a
substantial-looking building of brick, painted white, and surmounted by
an iron cap. Attached to it is the dwelling of the keeper, one story
high, also of brick, and built by Government. As we were going to spend
the night in a light-house, we wished to make the most of so novel an
experience, and therefore told our host that we should like to accompany
him when he went to light up. At rather early candle-light he lighted a
small Japan lamp, allowing it to smoke rather more than we like on
ordinary occasions, and told us to follow him. He led the way first
through his bedroom, which was placed nearest to the light-house, and
then through a long, narrow, covered passage-way, between whitewashed
walls, like a prison-entry, into the lower part of the light-house,
where many great butts of oil were arranged around; thence we ascended
by a winding and open iron stairway, with a steadily increasing scent of
oil and lamp-smoke, to a trap-door in an iron floor, and through this
into the lantern. It was a neat building, with everything in apple-pie
order, and no danger of anything rusting there for want of oil. The
light consisted of fifteen argand lamps, placed within smooth concave
reflectors twenty-one inches in diameter, and arranged in two horizontal
circles one above the other, facing every way excepting directly down
the Cape. These were surrounded, at a distance of two or three feet, by
large plate-glass windows, which defied the storms, with iron sashes, on
which rested the iron cap. All the iron work, except the floor, was
painted white. And thus the light-house was completed. We walked slowly
round in that narrow space as the keeper lighted each lamp in
succession, conversing with him at the same moment that many a sailor on
the deep witnessed the lighting of the Highland Light. His duty was to
fill and trim and light his lamps, and keep bright the reflectors. He
filled them every morning, and trimmed them commonly once in the course
of the night. He complained of the quality of the oil which was
furnished. This house consumes about eight hundred gallons in a year,
which cost not far from one dollar a gallon; but perhaps a few lives
would be saved, if better oil were provided. Another light-house keeper
said that the same proportion of winter-strained oil was sent to the
southernmost light-house in the Union as to the most northern. Formerly,
when this light-house had windows with small and thin panes, a severe
storm would sometimes break the glass, and then they were obliged to put
up a wooden shutter in haste to save their lights and reflectors,--and
sometimes in tempests, when the mariner stood most in need of their
guidance, they had thus nearly converted the light-house into a
dark-lantern, which emitted only a few feeble rays, and those commonly
on the land or lee side. He spoke of the anxiety and sense of
responsibility which he felt in cold and stormy nights in the winter,
when he knew that many a poor fellow was depending on him, and his lamps
burned dimly, the oil being chilled. Sometimes he was obliged to warm
the oil in a kettle in his house at midnight, and fill his lamps over
again,--for he could not have a fire in the light-house, it produced
such a sweat on the windows. His successor told me that he could not
keep too hot a fire in such a case. All this because the oil was poor. A
government lighting the mariners on its wintry coast with
summer-strained oil, to save expense! That were surely a summer-strained
mercy!

This keeper's successor, who kindly entertained me the next year, stated
that one extremely cold night, when this and all the neighboring lights
were burning summer oil, but he had been provident enough to reserve a
little winter oil against emergencies, he was waked up with anxiety, and
found that his oil was congealed, and his lights almost extinguished;
and when, after many hours' exertion, he had succeeded in replenishing
his reservoirs with winter oil at the wick-end, and with difficulty had
made them burn, he looked out, and found that the other lights in the
neighborhood, which were usually visible to him, had gone out, and he
heard afterward that the Pamet River and Billingsgate Lights also had
been extinguished.

Our host said that the frost, too, on the windows caused him much
trouble, and in sultry summer nights the moths covered them and dimmed
his lights; sometimes even small birds flew against the thick
plate-glass, and were found on the ground beneath in the morning with
their necks broken. In the spring of 1855 he found nineteen small
yellow-birds, perhaps goldfinches or myrtle-birds, thus lying dead
around the light-house; and sometimes in the fall he had seen where a
golden plover had struck the glass in the night, and left the down and
the fatty part of its breast on it.

Thus he struggled, by every method, to keep his light shining before
men. Surely the light-house keeper has a responsible, if an easy,
office. When his lamp goes out, _he_ goes out; or, at most, only one
such accident is pardoned.

I thought it a pity that some poor student did not live there, to profit
by all that light, since he would not rob the mariner. "Well," he said,
"I do sometimes come up here and read the newspaper when they are noisy
down below." Think of fifteen argand lamps to read the newspaper by!
Government oil!--light enough, perchance, to read the Constitution by! I
thought that he should read nothing less than his Bible by that light. I
had a classmate who fitted for college by the lamps of a light-house,
which was more light, methinks, than the University afforded.

When we had come down and walked a dozen rods from the light-house, we
found that we could not get the full strength of its light on the narrow
strip of land between it and the shore, being too low for the focus,
and we saw only so many feeble and rayless stars; but at forty rods
inland we could see to read, though we were still indebted to only one
lamp. Each reflector sent forth a separate "fan" of light: one shone on
the windmill, and one in the hollow, while the intervening spaces were
in shadow. This light is said to be visible twenty nautical miles and
more, to an observer fifteen feet above the level of the sea. We could
see the revolving light at Race Point, the end of the Cape, about nine
miles distant, and also the light on Long Point, at the entrance of
Provincetown Harbor, and one of the distant Plymouth Harbor Lights,
across the Bay, nearly in a range with the last, like a star in the
horizon. The keeper thought that the other Plymouth Light was concealed
by being exactly in a range with the Long Point Light. He told us that
the mariner was sometimes led astray by a mackerel-fisher's lantern, who
was afraid of being run down in the night, or even by a cottager's
light, mistaking them for some well-known light on the coast,--and, when
he discovered his mistake, was wont to curse the prudent fisher or the
wakeful cottager without reason.

Though it was once declared that Providence placed this mass of clay
here on purpose to erect a light-house on, the keeper said that the
light-house should have been erected half a mile farther south, where
the coast begins to bend, and where the light could be seen at the same
time with the Nauset Lights, and distinguished from them. They now talk
of building one there. It happens that the present one is the more
useless now, so near the extremity of the Cape, because other
light-houses have since been erected there.

Among the many regulations of the Light-House Board, hanging against the
wall here, many of them excellent, perhaps, if there were a regiment
stationed here to attend to them, there is one requiring the keeper to
keep an account of the number of vessels which pass his light during the
day. But there are a hundred vessels in sight at once, steering in all
directions, many on the very verge of the horizon, and he must have more
eyes than Argus, and be a good deal farther-sighted, to tell which are
passing his light. It is an employment in some respects best suited to
the habits of the gulls which coast up and down here and circle over the
sea.

I was told by the next keeper, that on the eighth of June following, a
particularly clear and beautiful morning, he rose about half an hour
before sunrise, and, having a little time to spare, for his custom was
to extinguish his lights at sunrise, walked down toward the shore to see
what he might find. When he got to the edge of the bank, he looked up,
and, to his astonishment, saw the sun rising, and already part way above
the horizon. Thinking that his clock was wrong, he made haste back, and,
though it was still too early by the clock, extinguished his lamps, and
when he had got through and come down, he looked out of the window, and,
to his still greater astonishment, saw the sun just where it was before,
two-thirds above the horizon. He showed me where its rays fell on the
wall across the room. He proceeded to make a fire, and when he had done,
there was the sun still at the same height. Whereupon, not trusting to
his own eyes any longer, he called up his wife to look at it, and she
saw it also. There were vessels in sight on the ocean, and their crews,
too, he said, must have seen it, for its rays fell on them. It remained
at that height for about fifteen minutes by the clock, and then rose as
usual, and nothing else extraordinary happened during that day. Though
accustomed to the coast, he had never witnessed nor heard of such a
phenomenon before. I suggested that there might have been a cloud in the
horizon invisible to him, which rose with the sun, and his clock was
only as accurate as the average; or perhaps, as he denied the
possibility of this, it was such a looming of the sun as is said to
occur at Lake Superior and elsewhere. Sir John Franklin, for instance,
says in his "Narrative," that, when he was on the shore of the Polar
Sea, the horizontal refraction varied so much one morning that "the
upper limb of the sun twice appeared at the horizon before it finally
rose."

He certainly must be a son of Aurora to whom the sun looms, when there
are so many millions to whom it _glooms_ rather, or who never see it
till an hour _after_ it has risen. But it behooves us old stagers to
keep our lamps trimmed and burning to the last, and not trust to the
sun's looming.

This keeper remarked that the centre of the flame should be exactly
opposite the centre of the reflectors, and that accordingly, if he was
not careful to turn down his wicks in the morning, the sun falling on
the reflectors on the south side of the building would set fire to them,
like a burning-glass, in the coldest day, and he would look up at noon
and see them all lighted! When your lamp is ready to give light, it is
readiest to receive it, and the sun will light it. His successor said
that he had never known them to blaze in such a case, but merely to
smoke.

I saw that this was a place of wonders. In a sea-turn or shallow fog,
while I was there the next summer, it being clear overhead, the edge of
the bank twenty rods distant appeared like a mountain-pasture in the
horizon. I was completely deceived by it, and I could then understand
why mariners sometimes ran ashore in such cases, especially in the
night, supposing it to be far away, though they could see the land. Once
since this, being in a large oyster-boat two or three hundred miles from
here, in a dark night, when there was a thin veil of mist on land and
water, we came so near to running on to the land before our skipper was
aware of it, that the first warning was my hearing the sound of the surf
under my elbow. I could almost have jumped ashore, and we were obliged
to go about very suddenly to prevent striking. The distant light for
which we were steering, supposing it a light-house five or six miles
off, came through the cracks of a fisherman's bunk not more than six
rods distant.

The keeper entertained us handsomely in his solitary little ocean-house.
He was a man of singular patience and intelligence, who, when our
queries struck him, rang as clear as a bell in response. The light-house
lamps a few feet distant shone full into my chamber, and made it as
bright as day, so I knew exactly how the Highland Light bore all that
night, and I was in no danger of being wrecked. Unlike the last, this
was as still as a summer night. I thought, as I lay there, half awake
and half asleep, looking upward through the window at the lights
above my head, how many sleepless eyes from far out on the
ocean-stream--mariners of all nations spinning their yarns through the
various watches of the night--were directed toward my couch.

FOOTNOTES:

[A] The light-house has since been rebuilt, and shows a _Fresnel_ light.



ENGLISH AUTHORS IN FLORENCE.


Bella Firenze, "Flower of all Cities and City of all Flowers," is not
only the garden of Italy's intellect, but the hot-house to which many a
Northern genius has been transplanted. The house where Milton resided is
still pointed out and held sacred by his venerators; and Casa Guidi,
gloomier and grayer now that the grand light has gone out of it, is of
especial interest to every cultivated traveller. A gratified smile, born
of sorrow, passes over the stranger's face, as he reads the inscription
upon the tablet that makes Casa Guidi historical,--a tablet inserted by
the municipality of Florence as a grateful tribute to the memory of a
truly great woman, great enough to love Truth "more than Plato and
Plato's country, more than Dante and Dante's country, more even than
Shakspeare and Shakspeare's country."

            Quì scrisse e morì
        Elisabetta Barrett Browning
      Che in cuore di donna conciliava
    Scienza di dotto o spirito di poeta
      E fece del suo verso aureo anello
          Fra Italia e Inghilterra
            Pone questa memoria
              Firenze grata
                  1861

Here wrote and died Elizabeth Barrett Browning!

Tradition says that years ago Casa Guidi was the scene of several dark
deeds; and after having wandered through the great rooms, for the most
part perpetually in shadow, one's imagination puts full faith in a
time-worn story. Whatever may have been the stain left upon the old
palace by the Guidi, it has been removed by an alien woman,--by her who
sat "By the Fireside," and toiled unceasingly for the good of man and
the love, of God. Casa Guidi heard the whispering of "One Word More,"
the echo of which is growing fainter and fainter to the ear, but
subtiler to the soul; and looking up at _her_ house, we hear the murmur
of a poet's voice, saying,--

    "God be thanked, the meanest of His creatures
    Boasts two soul-sides, one to face the world with,
    One to show a woman when he loves her."

The unsuspected prophecy of "One Word More" has been fulfilled,--

    "Lines I write the first time and the last time,"--

for Destiny has given to them other than the author's meaning: because
of this destiny, we pass from the shadow of Casa Guidi with bowed head.

It is a beautiful custom, this of Italy, marking the spot where noble
souls have lived or died, that coming generations may learn to venerate
the greatness of the past, and become inspired thereby to exalted deeds
in the present. We of America, eagerly busy jostling the elbows of
To-Day, have not even a turn of the head for the haunts of dead men whom
we honor. No tablets mark their homes; and indeed they would be of
little profit to a country where mementos of "lang syne" are never
spared, when the requirements of commerce or of real estate issue their
universal mandate, "Destroy and build anew!" America shakes all dust
from off her feet, even that of great men's bones; though indeed Boston,
which is not wanting in esteem for its respectable antecedents, has made
a feeble attempt to do honor to the Father of his Country. The tablet is
but an attempt, however, which has become thoroughly demoralized by
keeping company with attorneys' signs and West-India goods; the bouquet
of law-papers, _plus_ coffee and tobacco, has deprived the salt of its
savor.

Far different is it in Florence, where the identical houses still
remain. Almost every street bears the record of a great man. To walk
there is to hold intimate communion with departed genius. What traveller
has not mused before Dante's stone? The most careless cannot pass
Palazzo Buonarotti without giving a thought to Michel Angelo and his
art. An afternoon's stroll along the Lung' Arno to drink in the warmth
of an Italian sunset is made doubly suggestive by a glance at the house
where set another sun when the Piedmontese poet-patriot, Alfieri, died.
We never passed through the Via Guicciardini, as clingy, musty, and
gloomy as the writings of the old historian whose palace gives name to
the street, without looking up at the weather-beaten _casa_ dedicated to
the memory of that wonderfully subtile Tuscan, Niccolò Macchiavelli; and
by dint of much looking we fancied ourselves drawn nearer to the
Florence of 1500, and read "The Prince," with a gusto and an
apprehension which nothing but the old house could have inspired. This,
at least, we believed, and our faith in the fancy remains unshaken, now
that Mr. Denton, the geologist, has expounded the theory of
"Psychometry," which he tells us is the divination of soul through the
contact of matter with a psychometrical mind. Had we in those days been
better versed in this theory of "the soul of things," we should have
made a gentle application of forehead to the door-step of Macchiavelli's
mundane residence, and doubtless have arisen thoroughly pervaded with
the true spirit of the man whose feet were familiar to a stone now
desecrated by wine-flasks, onions, cabbages, and _contadini_.

Mrs. Somerville, to whom the world is indebted for several developments
in physical geography, is almost as fixed a Florentine celebrity as the
Palazzo Vecchio; and Villino Trollope has become endeared to many
_forestieri_ from the culture and hospitality of its inmates. It is the
residence of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Adolphus Trollope, earnest contributors
to the literature of England, and active friends of Cavour's Italy.
Justice prompts us to say that no other foreigner of the present day has
done so much as Mr. Trollope to familiarize the Anglo-Saxon mind with
the genius and aspirations of Italy. A constant writer for the liberal
press of London, Mr. Trollope is also the author of several historical
works that have taken their place in a long-neglected niche. "A Decade
of Italian Women" has woven new interest around ten females of renown,
while his later works of "Filippo Strozzi" and "Paul the Pope and Paul
the Friar," have thrown additional light upon three vigorous historical
characters, as well as upon much Romish iniquity. "Tuscany in '48 and
'59" is the most satisfactory book of the kind that has been published,
Mr. Trollope's constant residence in Florence having made him perfectly
familiar with the actual _status_ of Tuscany during these important eras
in her history. The old saying, "Merit is its own reward," to which it
is usually necessary to give a Pre-Raphaelite interpretation, has had a
broader signification to Mr. Trollope, whose efforts in Italy's behalf
have been appreciated by the _Rè Galantuomo_, Victor Emanuel, by whom he
has been knighted with the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus. As the
decoration was entirely unsolicited,--for Mr. Trollope is a true
democrat,--and as he is nearly, if not quite, the only Englishman
similarly honored, the compliment is as pleasing as it is flattering.

Historian though he be, Mr. Trollope has more recently made his mark as
a novelist. "La Beata," an Italian story, published three years ago, is
greatly praised by London critics, one strong writer describing it as a
"beatific book." The character of the heroine has been drawn with a
pathos rare and heart-rending, nor can the reader fail to be impressed
with the nobility of the mind that could conceive of such exceeding
purity and self-sacrifice in woman. Mr. Trollope's later novels of
"Marietta" and "Giulio Malatesta" have also met with great success, and,
although not comparable with "La Beata," give most accurate pictures of
Italian life and manners,--and truth is ordinarily left out of
Anglo-Italian stories. "Giulio Malatesta" is of decided historical
interest, giving a side-view of the Revolution of '48 and of the Battle
of Curtatone, which was fought so nobly by Tuscan volunteers and
students. It is a matter of regret to all lovers of Italy that Mr.
Trollope's works have not been republished in America, as no American
has labored in the same field, nor do Americans _en masse_ possess very
correct ideas of a country whose great future is creating an additional
interest in her promising present and wonderful past. Mr. Trollope's
"History of Florence," upon which he is now at work, will be his most
valuable contribution to literature.

Mrs. Trollope, who from her polyglot accomplishments may be called a
many-sided woman, has been, both by Nature and education, most liberally
endowed with intellectual gifts. The depressing influence of continual
invalidism alone prevents her from taking that literary position which
good health and application would soon secure for her. Nevertheless,
Mrs. Trollope has for several years been a constant correspondent of the
London "Athenæum," and in all seasons Young Italy has found an
enthusiastic friend in her. Many are the machinations of the clerical
and Lorraine parties that have been revealed to the English reader by
Mrs. Trollope; and when, some time since, her letters upon the "Social
Aspects of Revolution in Italy," were collected and published in
book-form, they met with the cordial approbation of the critics. These
letters are marked by purity of style, quaint picturesqueness, and an
admirable _couleur locale_. As a translator, Mrs. Trollope possesses
very rare ability. Her natural aptitude for language is great. A
residence in Italy of seventeen years has made her almost as familiar
with the mother-tongue of Dante as with that of Shakspeare; and we make
bold to say that Giovan Battista Niccolini's most celebrated tragedy,
"Arnaldo da Brescia," loses none of its Italian lustre in Mrs.
Trollope's setting of English blank-verse,--Ah! we cannot soon forget
the first time that we saw this same Niccolini, the greatest poet of
modern Italy! It was in the spring of 1860, upon the memorable
inauguration of the Theatre Niccolini,--_ci-devant_ Cocomero,
(water-melon,)--when Florence gave its first public reception to the
poet, who was not only Tuscan, but Italianissimo, and rendered more than
a passing homage to his name in the new baptism of a charming theatre.
Since 1821 Niccolini had been fighting for the good cause with pen as
cutting as Damascus blade; the goal was not reached until the veteran of
eighty-two, paralyzed in body and mind, was borne into the presence of
an enthusiastic audience to receive its bravos. So lately as the
previous year the Ducal government had suppressed a demonstration in
Niccolini's favor: _this_ night must have atoned for the persecutions of
the past. It was then that we heard Rossi, the great actor, declaim
entire scenes from "Arnold of Brescia"; and though he stood before us as
plain citizen Rossi in a lustrous suit of broadcloth, the fervor and
intensity with which he interpreted the master-thoughts of Niccolini
forced the audience to see in him the embodiment of the grand
patriot-priest. We have witnessed but few greater dramatic performances;
never have we been present at so impassioned a political demonstration.
Freedom of speech was but just born to Italy, and Florence drew a long
breath in the presence of a national teacher. Eighteen months later
Niccolini gazed for the last time upon Italy, and saw the fulfilment of
his prophecies.

We wish there were a copy of Mrs. Trollope's translation of "Arnaldo da
Brescia" in America, that we might make noble extracts, and cause other
eyes to glisten with the fire of its passion. We can recall but one
passage, a speech made by Arnaldo to the recreant Pope Adrian. It is as
strong and fearless as was the monk himself.

    "Adrian, thou dost deceive thyself. The dread
    Of Roman thunderbolts is growing faint,
    And Reason slacks the bonds thou'dst have eternal.
    She'll break them; yet she is not well awake.
    Already human thought so far rebels,
    That tame it thou canst not: Christ cries to it,
    As to the sick of old, '_Arise and walk!_'
    'T will trample thee, if thou precede it not:
    The world has other truths than of the altar,
    Nor will endure a church which hideth Heaven.
    Thou wast a shepherd,--be a father: men
    Are tired at last of being called a flock;
    Too long have they stood trembling in the path
    Smit by your pastoral staff. Why in the name
    Of Heaven dost trample on the race of man,
    The latest offspring of the Thought Divine?"

It is not strange that the emancipated Florentines grow wild with
delight when Rossi declaimed such heresy as this.

Mrs. Trollope's later translations of the patriotic poems of Dall'
Ongaro, the clever Venetian, are very spirited; nor is she unknown as an
original poet. "Baby Beatrice," a poem inscribed to her own fairy child,
that appeared several years ago in "Household Words," is exceedingly
charming; and one of her fugitive pieces, having naturally transformed
itself into "_la lingua del sì_," has ever been attributed to her friend
Niccolini.

It was as a poet that Mrs. Trollope, then Miss Garrow, began to
write,--and indeed she may be called a _protégée_ of Walter Savage
Landor, for through his encouragement and instrumentality she first made
her appearance in print as a contributor to Lady Blessington's "Book of
Beauty." There are few who remember the old lion-poet's lines to Miss
Garrow, and their insertion here cannot be considered _mal-à-propos_.

"TO THEODOSIA GARROW.

    "Unworthy are these poems of the lights
    That now run over them, nor brief the doubt
    In my own breast if such should interrupt
    (Or follow so irreverently) the voice
    Of Attic men, of women such as thou,
    Of sages no less sage than heretofore,
    Of pleaders no less eloquent, of souls
    Tender no less, or tuneful, or devout.
    Unvalued, even by myself, are they,--
    Myself, who reared them; but a high command
    Marshalled them in their station; here they are;
    Look round; see what supports these parasites.
    Stinted in growth and destitute of odor,
    They grow where young Ternissa held her guide,
    Where Solon awed the ruler; there they grow,
    Weak as they are, on cliffs that few can climb.
    None to thy steps are inaccessible,
    Theodosia! wakening Italy with song
    Deeper than Filicaia's, or than his,
    The triple deity of plastic art.
    Mindful of Italy and thee, fair maid!
    I lay this sear, frail garland at thy feet."

Mrs. Trollope is still a young woman, and it is sincerely to be hoped
that improved health will give her the proper momentum for renewed
exertions in a field where nobly sowing she may nobly reap.

Ah, this Villino Trollope is quaintly fascinating, with its marble
pillars, its grim men in armor, starting like sentinels from the walls,
and its curiosities greeting you at every step. The antiquary revels in
its _majolica_, its old Florentine bridal chests and carved furniture,
its beautiful terra-cotta of the Virgin and Child by Orgagna, its
hundred _oggetti_ of the Cinque Cento. The bibliopole grows silently
ecstatic, as he sinks quietly into a mediaeval chair and feasts his eyes
on a model library, bubbling over with five thousand rare books, many
wonderfully illuminated and enriched by costly engravings. To those who
prefer (and who does not?) an earnest talk with the host and hostess on
politics, art, religion, or the last new book, there is the cozy
_laisser-faire_ study where Miss Puss and Bran, the honest dog, lie side
by side on Christian terms, and where the sunbeam Beatrice, when _very_
beaming, will sing to you the _canti popolari_ of Tuscany, like a young
nightingale in voice, though with more than youthful expression. Here
Anthony Trollope is to be found, when he visits Florence; and it is no
ordinary pleasure to enjoy simultaneously the philosophic reasoning of
Thomas Trollope,--looking half Socrates and half Galileo,--whom Mrs.
Browning was wont to call "Aristides the Just," and the almost boyish
enthusiasm and impulsive argumentation of Anthony Trollope, who is a
noble specimen of a thoroughly frank and loyal Englishman. The unity of
affection existing between these brothers is as charming as it is rare.

Then in spring, when the soft winds kiss the budding foliage and warm it
into bloom, the beautiful terrace of Villino Trollope is transformed
into a reception-room. Opening upon a garden, with its lofty pillars,
its tessellated marble floor, its walls inlaid with terra-cotta,
bas-reliefs, inscriptions, and coats-of-arms, with here and there a
niche devoted to some antique Madonna, the terrace has all the charm of
a _campo santo_ without the chill of the grave upon it; or were a few
cowled monks to walk with folded arms along its space, one might fancy
it the cloister of a monastery. And here of a summer's night, burning no
other lights than the stars, and sipping iced lemonade, one of the
specialties of the place, the intimates of Villino Trollope sit and talk
of Italy's future, the last _mot_ from Paris, and the last allocution at
Rome.

Many charming persons have we met at the Villino, the recollection of
whom is as bright and sunny to us as a June day,--persons whose lives
and motive-power have fully convinced us that the world is not quite as
hollow as it is represented, and that all is not vanity of vanities. In
one corner we have melodiously wrangled, in a _tempo_ decidedly _allegro
vivace_, with enthusiastic Mazzinians, who would say clever, sharp,
cruel things of Cavour, the man of all men to our way of thinking, "the
one man of three men in all Europe," according to Louis Napoleon.
Gesticulation grew as rampant at the mention of the French Emperor, who
was familiarly known as "_quel volpone_," (that fox,) as it becomes
to-day in America at the mention of Wendell Phillip's name to one of the
"Chivalry." Politics ran high in Italy in these days of the
_Renaissance_, and to have a pair of stout fists shaken in one's face in
a drawing-room for a difference of opinion is not as much "out of order"
as it would be on this more phlegmatic side of the Atlantic, where fists
have a deep significance not dreamed of by expansive Italians. In
another corner we have had many a _tête-à-tête_ with Dall' Ongaro, the
poet, who is as quick at an _impromptu_ as at a malediction against "_il
Papa_," and whose spirited recitations of his own patriotic poems have
inspired his private audiences with a like enthusiasm for Italian
liberty. Not unlike Garibaldi in appearance, he is a Mazzini-Garibaldian
at heart, and always knowing in the ways of that mysterious prophet of
the "Reds" who we verily believe fancies himself author not only of the
phrase "_Dio ed il Popolo_," but of the reality as well. When Mazzini
was denied entrance into Tuscany under pain of imprisonment, and yet, in
spite of Governor Ricasoli's decree, came to Florence _incognito_, it
was Dall' Ongaro who knew his hiding-place, and who conferred with him
much to the disgust and mortification of the Governor and his police,
who were outwitted by the astute republican. Mazzini is an incarnation
of the _Sub Rosa_, and we doubt whether he could live an hour, were it
possible to fulminate a bull for the abolition of intrigue and secret
societies. Dall' Ongaro was a co-laborer of Mazzini's in Rome in '48;
and when the downfall of the Republic forced its partisans to seek
safety in exile, he travelled about Europe with an American passport. "I
could not be an Italian," he said to us, "and I became, ostensibly, the
next best thing, a citizen of the United States. I sought shelter under
a republican flag."

It was at Villino Trollope that we first shook hands with Colonel
Peard,--"_l'Inglese con Garibaldi_," as the Italians used to call
him,--about whose exploits in sharp-shooting the newspapers manufactured
such marvellous stories. Colonel Peard assured us that he never _did_
keep a written account of the men he killed, for we were particular in
our inquiries on this interesting subject; but we know that as a
volunteer he fought under Garibaldi throughout the Lombard campaign and
followed his General into Sicily, where, facing the enemy most manfully,
Garibaldi promoted him from the rank of Captain to that of
Lieutenant-Colonel. It is good to meet a person like Colonel Peard,--to
see a man between fifty and sixty years of age, with noble head and gray
hair and a beard that any patriarch might envy surmounting a figure of
fine proportions endowed with all the robustness of healthy
maturity,--to see intelligence and years and fine appearance allied to
great amiability and a youthful enthusiasm for noble deeds, an
enthusiasm which was ready to give blood and treasure to the cause it
espoused from love. Such a reality is most exhilarating and delightful,
a fact that makes us take a much more hopeful view of humanity. We value
our photograph of Colonel Peard almost as highly as though the
picturesque _poncho_ and its owner had seen service in America instead
of Italy. His battle-cry is ours,--"Liberty!"

There, too, we met Frances Power Cobbe, author of that admirable book,
"Intuitive Morals." In her preface to the English edition of Theodore
Parker's works, of which she is the editor, Miss Cobbe has shown herself
as large by the heart as she is by the head. That sunny day in Florence,
when she, one of a chosen band, followed the great Crusader to his
grave, is a sad remembrance to us, and it seemed providentially ordained
that the apostle who had loved the man's _soul_ for so many years should
be brought face to face with the _man_ before that soul put on
immortality. Great was Miss Cobbe's interest in the bust of Theodore
Parker executed by the younger Robert Hart from photographs and casts,
and which is without doubt the best likeness of Parker that has yet been
taken. Its merits as a portrait-bust have never been appreciated, and
the artist, whose sad death occurred two years ago, did not live to
realize his hope of putting it into marble. The clay model still remains
in Florence.

Miss Cobbe is the embodiment of genial philanthropy, as delightful a
companion as she is heroic in her great work of social reform. A true
daughter of Erin, she excels as a _raconteur_, nor does her philanthropy
confine itself to the human race. Italian maltreatment of animals has
almost reduced itself to a proverb, and often have we been witness to
her righteous indignation at flagrant cruelty to dumb beasts. Upon
expostulating one day with a coachman who was beating his poor straw-fed
horse most unmercifully, the man replied, with a look of wonderment,
"_Ma, che vole, Signora? non è Cristiano!_" (But what would you have,
Signora? he is not a Christian!) Not belonging to the Church, and having
no soul to save, why should a horse be spared the whip? The reasoning is
not logical to our way of thinking, yet it is Italian, and was delivered
in good faith. It will require many Miss Cobbes to lead the Italians out
of their Egypt of ignorance.

It was at Villino Trollope that we first saw the wonderfully clever
author, George Eliot. She is a woman of forty, perhaps, of large frame
and fair Saxon coloring. In heaviness of jaw and height of cheek-bone
she greatly resembles a German; nor are her features unlike those of
Wordsworth, judging from his pictures. The expression of her face is
gentle and amiable, while her manner is particularly timid and retiring.
In conversation Mrs. Lewes is most entertaining, and her interest in
young writers is a trait which immediately takes captive all persons of
this class. We shall not forget with what kindness and earnestness she
addressed a young girl who had just begun to handle a pen, how frankly
she related her own literary experience, and how gently she _suggested_
advice. True genius is always allied to humility, and in seeing Mrs.
Lewes do the work of a good Samaritan so unobtrusively, we learned to
respect the woman as much as we had ever admired the writer. "For
years," said she to us, "I wrote reviews because I knew too little of
humanity." In the maturity of her wisdom this gifted woman has startled
the world with such novels as "Scenes from Clerical Life," "Adam Bede,"
"Mill on the Floss," and "Silas Marner," making an era in English
fiction, and raising herself above rivalry. Experience has been much to
her: her men are men, her women women, and long did English readers rack
their brains to discover the sex of George Eliot. We do not aver that
Mrs. Lewes has actually encountered the characters so vividly portrayed
by her. Genius looks upon Nature, and then creates. The scene in the
pot-house in "Silas Marner" is as perfect as a Dutch painting, yet the
author never entered a pot-house. Her strong _physique_ has enabled her
to brush against the world, and in thus brushing she has gathered up the
dust, fine and coarse, out of which human beings great and small are
made. It is a powerful argument in the "Woman Question," that--without
going to France for George Sand--"Adam Bede" and the wonderfully unique
conception "Paul Ferroll" are women's work and yet real. Men cannot know
women by knowing men; and a discriminating public will soon admit, if it
has not done so already, that women are quite as capable of drawing male
portraits as men are of drawing female. Half a century ago a woman
maintained that genius had no sex;--the dawn of this truth is only now
flashing upon the world.

We know not whether George Eliot visited Florence _con intenzione_, yet
it almost seems as though "Romola" were the product of that fortnight's
sojourn. It could scarce have been written by one whose eye was
unfamiliar with the _tone_ of Florentine localities. As a novel,
"Romola" is not likely to be popular, however extensively it may be
read; but viewed as a sketch of Savonarola and his times, it is most
interesting and valuable. The deep research and knowledge of mediaeval
life and manners displayed are cause of wonderment to erudite
Florentines, who have lived to learn from a foreigner. "_Son
rimasti_" to use their own phraseology. The _couleur locale_ is
marvellous;--nothing could be more delightfully real, for example, than
the scenes which transpire in Nello's barber's-shop. Her _dramatis
personæ_ are not English men and women in fancy-dress, but true Tuscans
who express themselves after the manner of natives. It would be
difficult to find a greater contrast than exists between "Romola" and
the previous novels of George Eliot: they have little in common but
genius; and genius, we begin to think, has not only no sex, but no
nationality. "Romola" has peopled the streets of Florence still more
densely to our memory.

It would seem as though the newly revived interest in Savonarola, after
centuries of apathy, were a sign of the times. Uprisings of peoples and
wars for "ideas" have made such a market for martyrs as was never known
before. Could we jest upon what is a most encouraging trait in present
humanity, we should say that martyrs were fashionable; for even
Toussaint L'Ouverture has found a biographer, and _Frenchmen_ are
writing Lives of Jesus. Yet Orthodoxy stigmatizes this age of John
Browns as irreligious:--rather do we think it the dawn of the true
faith. It is to another _habitué_ of Villino Trollope, Pasquale Villari,
Professor of History at Pisa, that we owe in great part the revival of
Savonarola's memory; and it must have been no ordinary love for his
noble aspirations that led the young Neopolitan exile to bury the ten
best years of his life in old Florentine libraries, collecting material
for a full life of the friar of San Marco. So faithfully has he done his
work, that future writers upon Savonarola will go to Villari, and not to
Florentine manuscripts for their facts. This history was published in
1859, and it may be that "Romola" is the flower of the sombre Southern
plant. Genius requires but a suggestion to create,--though, indeed, Mr.
Lewes, who is a wonderfully clever man, _au fait_ in all things, from
acting to languages, living and dead, and from languages to natural
history, may have anticipated Villari in that suggestion.

Villino Trollope introduced us to "Owen Meredith," the poet from
melody,--one far older in experience than in years, looking like his
poetry, just so polished and graceful, just so sweetly in tune, just so
Gallic in taste, and--shall we say it?--just so _blasé_! We doubt
whether Robert Lytton, the diplomate, will ever realize the best
aspirations of "Owen Meredith," the poet. Good came out of Nazareth, but
it is not in our faith to believe that foreign courts can bear the rare
fruit of ideal truth and beauty.--Then there was Blumenthal, the
composer, who talked Buckle in admirable English, and played his own
Reveries most daintily,--Reveries that are all languor, sighs, and
tears, whose fitting home is the boudoirs of French marquises.
Blumenthal is a Thalberg in small.--We have pleasant recollections of
certain clever Oxonians, "Double-Firsts," potential in the classics and
mathematics. A "Double-First" is the incarnation of Oxford, a
masterpiece of Art. All that he knows he knows profoundly, nor does it
require an Artesian bore to bring that knowledge bubbling to the
surface. His mastery over his intellect is as great as that of Liszt
over the piano-forte,--it is a slave to do his bidding. He is the result
of a thousand years of culture. A "Double-First" never gives way to
enthusiasms; his heart never gets into his head. Impulse is snubbed as
though it were a poor relation; and argument is carried on by clear,
acute reason, independent of feeling. Woe unto the American who loses
his temper while duelling mentally with a "Double-First"! Oxford phlegm
will triumph. Of course a "Double-First" is conservative; he disbelieves
in republics and universal suffrage, attends the Established Church, and
won't publicly deny the Thirty-Nine Articles, whatever maybe his _very_
private opinion of them. He writes brilliant articles for the "Saturday
Review," (familiarly known among Liberals as the "Saturday Reviler,")
and ends by being a learned and successful barrister, or a Gladstone, or
both. Genius will rarely subscribe to the Thirty-Nine Articles. With all
his conservatism and want of what the French call _effusion_, a
"Double-First" can be a delightful companion and charming man,--even to
a democratic American.

We well remember with what admiring curiosity the Italians regarded Mrs.
Stowe one evening that she passed at Villino Trollope. "_È
la Signora Stowe?_"--"_Davvero?_"--"_L'autrice di 'Uncle
Tom'?_"--"_Possibile?_"--were their oft-repeated exclamations; for
"Uncle Tom's Cabin" is the one American book in which Italians are
deeply read. To most of them, Byron and "Uncle Tom" comprehend the whole
of English literature. However poorly informed an Italian may be as
regards America in other respects, he has a very definite idea of
slavery, thanks to Mrs. Stowe. To read "Uncle Tom's Cabin" aloud in
Italian to an Italian audience is productive of queer sensations. This
office an American woman took upon herself for the enlightenment of some
_contadine_ of Fiesole with whom she was staying. She appealed to a
thoroughly impartial jury. The verdict would have been balm of Gilead to
long-suffering Abolitionists. So admirable an idea of justice had these
acute peasant-women, so exalted was their opinion of America, which they
believed to be a model republic where all men were born free and equal,
that it was long before the reader could impress upon her audience the
fact of the existence of slavery there. When this fact _did_ take root
in their simple minds, their righteous indignation knew no bounds, and,
unlike the orator of the Bird o' Freedom, they thanked God that they
were _not_ Americans.

Then----But our recollections are too numerous for the patience of those
who do not know Villino Trollope; and we shut up in our thoughts many
"pictures beautiful that hang on Memory's walls," turning their faces so
that we, at least, may see and enjoy them.

But ere turning away, we pause before one face, now no longer of the
living, that of Mrs. Frances Trollope. Knowing how thoroughly erroneous
an estimate has been put upon Mrs. Trollope's character in this country,
we desire to give a glimpse of the real woman, now that her death has
removed the seal of silence.

Frances Trollope, daughter of the Reverend William Milton, a fellow of
New College, Oxford, was born at Stapleton, near Bristol, where her
father had a curacy. She died in Florence, on the sixth of October,
1863, at the advanced age of eighty-three. In 1809 she married Thomas
Anthony Trollope, barrister-at-law, by whom she had six children: Thomas
Adolphus, now of Florence,--Henry, who died unmarried at Bruges, in
Flanders, in 1834,--Arthur, who died under age,--Anthony, the well-known
novelist,--Cecilia, who married John Tilley, Assistant-Secretary of the
General Post-Office, London,--and Emily, who died under age.

Mr. Thomas Anthony Trollope married and became the father of a family as
presumptive heir to the good estate of an uncle. The latter, however, on
becoming a widower, unexpectedly married a second time, and in his old
age was himself a father. The sudden change thus caused in the position
and fortune of Mr. Trollope so materially deranged his affairs as to
necessitate the breaking-up of his establishment at Harrow-on-the-Hill,
near London. It was at this time that Miss Fanny Wright (whom Mr. and
Mrs. Trollope met at the country-house of Lafayette, when visiting the
General in France) persuaded Mrs. Trollope to proceed to America with
the hope of providing a career for her second son, Henry. Miss Wright
was then bent on founding an establishment, in accordance with her
cherished principles, at Nashaba, near Memphis, and the career marked
out for Henry Trollope was in connection with this scheme, the fruit of
which was disappointment to all the parties concerned. Mrs. Trollope
afterwards endeavored to establish her son in Cincinnati; but these
attempts were ill managed, and consequently proved futile. Both mother
and son then returned to England, the former taking with her a mass of
memoranda and notes which she had made during her residence in the
United States. These were shown to Captain Basil Hall, whose then recent
work on America had encountered bitterly hostile criticism and denial
with respect to many of its statements. Finding that Mrs. Trollope's
account of various matters was corroborative of his own, Basil Hall for
this reason, as also from friendly motives, urged Mrs. Trollope to bring
out a work on America. "The Domestic Manners of the Americans" was the
result, and so immense was its success that at the age of fifty Mrs.
Trollope adopted literature as a profession.

In the eyes of the patriots of thirty years ago Mrs. Trollope committed
the unpardonable sin, when she published her book on America; and
certainly no country ever rendered itself more ridiculous than did ours,
when it made the welkin ring with cries of indignation. The sensible
American of to-day reads this same book and wonders how his countrymen
lashed themselves into such a violent rage. In her comments upon America
Mrs. Trollope is certainly frequently at fault, but unintentionally. She
firmly believed all that she wrote, and did _not_ romance, as Americans
were wont to declare. When she finds fault with the disgusting practice
of tobacco-chewing, assails the too common custom of dram-drinking, and
complains of a want of refinement in some parts of the country, she
certainly has the right on her side. When she speaks of Jefferson's
_dictum_, "All men are born free and equal," as a phrase of mischievous
sophistry, and refers to his posthumous works as a mass of mighty
mischiefs,--when she accuses us of being drearily cold and lacking
enthusiasm, and regards the American women as the most beautiful in the
world, but the least attractive,--we may naturally differ from her, but
we have no right to tyrannize over her convictions. That she bore us no
malice is the verdict of every one who knew her ever so slightly; and
her sons, who were greatly subjected to her influence, entertain the
kindest and most friendly sentiments towards the United States.

Mrs. Trollope's works, beginning with the "Domestic Manners of the
Americans," published in 1832, and ending with "Paris and London," which
appeared in 1856, amount to _one hundred and fourteen_ volumes, all, be
it remembered, written after her fiftieth year. Of her novels perhaps
the most successful and widely known were the "Vicar of Wrexhill," a
violent satire on the Evangelical religionists, published in
1837,--"Widow Barnaby," in 1839,--and "The Ward of Thorpe Combe," in
1847. "Michael Armstrong," printed in 1840, was written with a view to
assist the movement in favor of protection to the factory-operatives,
which resulted in the famous "Ten-Hour Bill." The descriptions were the
fruits of a personal visit to the principal seats of factory-labor. At
the time, this book created considerable sensation.

Two works of travel and social sketches, "Paris and the Parisians," and
"Vienna and the Austrians," were also very extensively read. With regard
to the second we deem it proper to observe that Mrs. Trollope suffered
herself to be so far dazzled by the very remarkable cordiality of her
reception in the exclusive society of Vienna, and by the flattering
intimacy with which she was honored by Prince Metternich and his circle,
as to have been led to regard the then dominant Austrian political and
social system in a more favorable light than was consistent with the
generally liberal tone of her sentiments and opinions.

Though late in becoming an author, Mrs. Trollope had at all periods of
her life been inclined to literary pursuits, and in early youth enjoyed
the friendship of many distinguished men, among whom were Mathias, the
well-known author of the "Pursuits of Literature," Dr. Nott, the Italian
scholar, one of the few foreigners who have been members of the Della
Crusca,--General Pepe, the celebrated defender of Venice, whom she knew
intimately for many years,--General Lafayette,--and others.

Both before and after she achieved literary celebrity, Mrs. Trollope was
very popular in society, for the pleasures of which she was especially
fitted by her talents. In Florence she gathered around her persons of
eminence, both foreign and native, and her interest in men and things
remained undiminished until within a very few years of her death. Even
at an advanced age her mind was ready to receive new ideas and to deal
with them candidly. We have in our possession letters written by her in
'54 and '55 on the much-abused subject of Spiritualism, which was then
in its infancy. They are addressed to an American literary gentleman
then resident in Florence, and give so admirable an idea of Mrs.
Trollope's clearness of mental vision and the universally inquisitive
tendency of her mind that we insert them at large.--Dec. 21st, 1854,
Mrs. Trollope writes: "I am afraid, my dear Sir, that I am about to take
an unwarrantable liberty by thus intruding on your time, but I must
trust to your indulgence for pardon. During the few minutes that I had
the pleasure of speaking with you, the other evening, on the subject of
spiritual visitations, there was in your conversation a tone so equally
removed from enthusiasm on one side and incredulity on the other that I
felt more satisfaction in listening to you than I have ever done when
this subject has been the theme. That so many thousands of educated and
intelligent people should yield their belief to so bold a delusion as
this must be, if there be _no_ occult cause at work, is inconceivable.
By _occult_ cause I mean, of course, nothing at all analogous to hidden
_trickery_, but to the interference of some power with which the earth
has been hitherto unacquainted. If it were not taking too great a
liberty, I would ask you to call upon me,... that I might have the
pleasure and advantage of having your opinion more at length upon one or
two points connected with this most curious subject." The desired
interview took place, and a week later Mrs. Trollope returned a pamphlet
on spiritual manifestations with the following note: "Many thanks, my
dear Sir, for your kindness in permitting me a leisurely perusal of the
inclosed. It is a very curious and interesting document, and I think it
would be impossible to read it without arriving at the conviction that
the writer deserves to be listened to with great attention and great
confidence. But as yet I feel that we have no sure ground under our
feet. The only idea that suggests itself to me is that the medium is in
a mesmeric condition; and after giving considerable time and attention
to these mysterious mesmeric symptoms, I am persuaded that a patient
liable to such influence is in a diseased state. It has often appeared
to me that the soul was _partially_, as it were, disentangled from the
body. I have watched the ---- sisters (the well-known patients of Dr.
Elliotson) for more than a year, during which interval they were
perfectly, as to the mind, in an abnormal state,--not recognizing
father, mother, or brothers, or remembering _anything_ connected with
the year preceding their mesmeric condition. They learned everything
which was submitted to their _intellect_ during this interval with
something very like _supernatural_ intelligence. Emma, another
well-known patient of Dr. Elliotson, constantly described herself, when
in a mesmeric state, as 'greatly better than well,' and this was always
said with a countenance expressive of very sublime happiness,--but as if
her hearers were not capable of comprehending it. I shall feel very
anxious to hear the results of your own experience; for it appears to me
that you are in a state of mind equally unlikely to mistake truth for
falsehood, or falsehood for truth." Upon receiving a second pamphlet
treating on the same subject, Mrs. Trollope wrote as follows: "The
document you have sent me, my dear Sir, is indeed full of interest. Had
it been less so, I should not have retained it so long. In speaking of a
state of mesmerism as being one of disease, I by no means infer that the
mesmeric influence is either the cause or effect of disease, but that
only diseased persons are liable to it. I have listened to statements
from more than one physician in great practice tending very clearly to
show that the manifestations of this semi-spiritual state are never
observed in perfectly healthy persons. One gentleman in large practice
told me that he had almost constantly perceived in the last stage of
pulmonary consumption a manifest brightening of the intellect; and
children, at the moment of passing from this state to that which follows
it, will often (as I well know) speak with a degree of high intelligence
that strongly suggests the idea that _there are moments when the two
conditions touch_. That the region next above us is occupied by the
souls of men about to be made perfect, I have not the shadow of a doubt.
The puzzling part of the present question is this,--Why do we get a dark
and uncertain peep at this stage of existence, when philosophy has so
long been excluded from it? and I am inclined to say in reply, 'Be
patient and be watchful, and we shall all know more anon.'"--Such is the
character of notes that Mrs. Trollope wrote at the age of seventy-five.

Mrs. Trollope realized from her writings the large sum of one hundred
thousand dollars; but generous tastes and a numerous family created as
large a demand as there was supply, and kept her pen constantly busy.
She wrote with a rapidity which seems to have been inherited by both her
sons, more particularly by Anthony Trollope. One of her novels was
written in three weeks; another she wrote at the bedside of a son dying
of consumption, she being bound by contract to finish the work at a
given time. Acting day and night as nurse, the overtasked mother was
obliged to stimulate her nervous system by a constant use of strong
coffee, and betweenwhiles would turn to the unfinished novel and write
of fictitious joys and sorrows while her own heart was bleeding for the
beloved son dying beside her. It was no doubt owing to this constant
taxation of the brain that her intellect was but a wreck of its former
self during the last four years of her life. During this time her
condition was but a living death, though she was physically well. She
was watched over and cared for with the most unselfish devotion by her
son Thomas Adolphus and his wife, who gave up all pleasures away from
home to be near their mother. The favorite reading in these last days
was her son Anthony's novels.

And Thomas Trollope, writing of his mother's death, says: "Though we
have been so long prepared for it, and though my poor dear mother has
been in fact dead to us for many months past, and though her life, free
from suffering as it was, was such as those who loved her could not have
wished prolonged, yet for all this the last separation brings a pang
with it. She was as good and dear a mother as ever man had; and few sons
have passed so large a portion of their lives in such intimate
association with their mother as I have for more than thirty years."

This is a noble record for both mother and son. To her children Mrs.
Trollope was a providence and support in all time of sorrow or
trouble,--a cause of prosperity, a confidant, a friend, and a companion.

A grateful American makes this humble offering to her memory in the name
of justice.

There is a villa too, near Florence, "on the link of Bellosguardo," as
dear from association as Villino Trollope. It has for a neighbor the
Villa Mont' Auto, where Hawthorne lived, and which he transformed by the
magic of his pen into the Monte Bene of the "Marble Faun." Not far off
is the "tower" wherein Aurora Leigh sought peace,--and found it. The
inmate of this villa was a little lady with blue-black hair and
sparkling jet eyes, a writer whose dawn is one of promise, a chosen
friend of the noblest and best, and on her terrace the Brownings, Walter
Savage Landor, and many choice spirits have sipped tea while their eyes
drank in such a vision of beauty as Nature and Art have never equalled
elsewhere.

    "No sun could die, nor yet be born, unseen
    By dwellers at my villa: morn and eve
    Were magnified before us in the pure
    Illimitable space and pause of sky,
    Intense as angels' garments blanched with God,
    Less blue than radiant. From the outer wall
    Of the garden dropped the mystic floating gray
    Of olive-trees, (with interruptions green
    From maize and vine,) until 't was caught and torn
    On that abrupt line of dark cypresses
    Which signed the way to Florence. Beautiful
    The city lay along the ample vale,--
    Cathedral, tower and palace, piazza and street;
    The river trailing like a silver cord
    Through all, and curling loosely, both before
    And after, over the whole stretch of land,
    Sown whitely up and down its opposite slopes
    With farms and villas."

What Aurora Leigh saw from her tower is almost a counterpart of what
Mrs. Browning gazed upon so often from the terrace of Villa Brichieri.

Florence without the Trollopes and our Lady of Bellosguardo would be
like bread without salt. A blessing, then, upon houses which have been
spiritual asylums to many forlorn Americans!--a blessing upon their
inmates, whose hearts are as large and whose hands are as open as their
minds are broad and catholic!



A TOBACCONALIAN ODE.


    O plant divine!
    Not to the tuneful Nine,
    Who sit where purple sunlight longest lingers,
    Twining the bay, weaving with busy fingers
    The amaranth eterne and sprays of vine,
    Do I appeal. Ah, worthier brows than mine
    Shall wear those wreaths! But thou, O potent plant,
    Of thy broad fronds but furnish me a crown,
    Let others sing the yellow corn, the vine,
    And others for the laurel-garland pant,
    Content with my rich meed, I'll sit me down,
    Nor ask for fame, nor heroes' high renown,
    Nor wine.
    And ye, ye airy sprites,
    Born of the Morning's womb, sired of the Sun,
    Who cull with nice acumen, one by one,
    All gentle influences from the air,
    And from within the earth what most delights
    The tender roots of springing plants, whose care
    Distils from gross material its spirit
    To paint the flower and give the fruit its merit,
    Apply to my dull sense your subtile art!
    When ye, with nicest, finest skill, had wrought
    This chiefest work, the choicest blessings brought
    And stored them at its roots, prepared each part,
    Matured the bud, painted the dainty bloom,
    Ye stood and gazed until the fruit should come.
    Ah, foolish elves!
    Look ye that yon frail flower should be sublimed
    To fruit commensurate with all your power
    And cunning art? Was it for such ye climbed
    The slanting sunbeams, coaxing many a shower
    From the coy clouds? Ye did exceed yourselves;
    And as ye stand and gaze, lo, instantly
    The whole etherealized ye see:
    From topmost golden spray to lowest root,
    The whole is fruit.
    Well have ye wrought,
    And in your honor now shall incense rise.
    The oaken chair, the cheerful blaze, invite
    Calm meditation, while the flickering light
    Casts strange, fantastic shadows on the wall,
    Where goodly tomes, with ample lading fraught
    Of gold of wit and gems of fancy rare,
    Poet and sage, mute witnesses of all,
    Smile gently on me, as, with sober care,
    I reach the pipe and thoughtfully prepare
    The sacrifice.

    O fragile clay!
    Erst white as e'er a lily of old Nile,
    But now imbrowned and ambered o'er and through
    With richest tints and ever-deepening hue,
    Quintessence of rare essences the while
    Uphoarding, as thou farest day by day,
    Thou mind'st me of a genial face I knew.
    At first it was but fair, nought but a face;
    But as I read and learned it, wondrous grace
    And beauty marvellous did grow and grow,
    Till every hue of the sweet soul did show
    Most beautiful from brow and lip and eye.
    And thus, O clay,
    Child of the sea-foam, nursed amid the spray,
    Thy visage changes, ever grows more fair
    As the fine spirit works expression there!
    Blest be the tide that rapt thee from the roar
    And cast thee on the far Danubian shore,
    And blest the art that shaped thee daintily!
    And thou, O fragrant tube attenuate!
    No more in the sweet-blooming cherry-grove,
    Where the shy bulbul plaintive mourns her love,
    Shalt thou uplift thy blossoms to the sky,
    Or wave them o'er the waters rippling by;
    No more thy fruit shall stud with jewels red
    The leafy crown thou fashionedst for thy head.
    Not this thy fate.
    When the swart damsel from thy parent tree
    Did lop thee with thy fellows, and did strip
    From off thee, bleeding, leaf and bud and blossom,
    And bind the odorous fagot carefully,
    And bear thee in to whom should fashion thee
    And set new fruit of amber on thy tip,
    More grateful than the old to eye and lip,
    Ambrosial odors thou didst then exhale,
    Leaving thy fragrance in her tawny bosom.
    Thou still dost hold it. Nothing may avail
    To rob thee of the odorous memory
    Thou sweetly bearest of the cherry-grove,
    Where blossoms bloom and lovers tell their love.
    Bright amber, fragrant wood, enamelled clay,
    Help me to burn the incense worthily!
    Thou fire, assist! Promethean fire, unbound,
    The azure clouds go wreathing round and round,
    Float slowly up, then gently melt away;
    And in their circling wreaths I dimly spy
    Full many a fleeting vision's fantasy.
    Alas! alas!
    How bright soe'er before my view they pass,
    Whether it be that Memory, pointing back,
    Doth show each flower along the devious track
    By which I came forth from the fields of youth,--
    Or bright-robed Hope doth deck the sober truth
    With many-colored garments, pointing on
    To lighter days and envied honors won,--
    Or Fancy, taking many a meaner thing,
    Doth gild it o'er with bright imagining,--
    Alas! alas!
    Light as the circling smoke, they fade and pass,
    What time the last thin wreath hath faintly sped
    Up from the embers dying, dying, dead!
    So earth's best blessings fade and fleet away,--
    Nought left but ashes, smoke, and empty clay.

    Awake, my soul! 't is time thou wert awaking!
    For radiant spirits, innocent and fair,
    Walking beside thee, hovering in the air
    Adown the past, thronging thy future way,
    Wait but thy calling and the thraldom's breaking,
    Which, all unworthily, to sense hath bound thee,
    To bless thy days and make the night around thee
    As bright and beautiful and fair as day.
    Call thou on these, my soul, and fix thee there!
    Name nought divine which hath not godlike in it;
    And if thou burnest incense, let it be
    That of the heart, enkindled thankfully;
    And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out,
    Nor let it poison all thy sight forever;
    Whate'er thou hast to do of worth, begin it,
    Nor leave the issue free to any doubt,
    Forgetting never what thou art, and never
    Whither thou goest, to the far Forever.
    And then shall gentle Memory, pointing back,
    Show blessings scattered all along thy track;
    And bright-robed Hope, shaming thy dreams of youth,
    Shall lead thee up from dreaming to the truth;
    And Fancy, leaving every meaner thing,
    Shall see fulfilled each bright imagining.
    Then shall the ashes of thy musing be
    Only the ashes of thy naughtiness;
    The smoke, the remnant of thy vanity
    And thorny passions, which entangled thee
    Till thou didst pray deliverance; the clay,
    That empty clay e'en, hath a power to bless,--
    Empty for that a gem hath passed away,
    To shine forever in eternal day.



HALCYON DAYS.

    "Peace and good-will."


Who hath enchanted Goliath? He sleeps with a smile on his face, but his
secret is hid from the charmer. The treacherous will looks abashed on
the calm of his slumber, and laments, "The thing that I would I do not!"

Now while the halcyon broods through the Sabbath-days of winter, and,
looking from her nest, sees the waves of a summer calm and
brightness,--now while she meditates, with the eggs under her wings, of
a fast-approaching time when she shall teach her song to the little
flock that's coming,--let us also dream. The thing that hath been shall
be. Contentment, peace, and love! Fairy folk shall not personate this
blessedness for us. Who is your next-door neighbor? One face shines
serenely before me, and says, "The world is redeemed!" One voice,
sounding clear through all discords, has an echo, fine, true, and
eternal, in the midst of the Seraphim's praise.

Therefore, thou blue-winged halcyon, shall I sit beneath the dead
sycamore in whose topmost branches thy great nest is built,--finding
death crowned here, as everywhere, with life; here shall be told the
Christmas tale of contentment, peace, and love.

No tremulous tale of sorrow, of wrong endured and avenged; no report of
that Orthodox anguish which, renouncing the present, hopes only by the
hereafter; no story of desperate heroic achievement, or of
long-suffering patience, or even of martyrdom's glory. The sea is calm,
and the halcyon broods, and only love is eternal.

Let us not stint thee, as selfishness must; nor shame thee with praise
inadequate; nor walk with shod feet, as the base-bred, into thy palaces;
nor as the weak, nor as the wise, who so often profane thee, but as the
loving who love thee, holy Love, may we take thy name on our lips, and
lay our gift on thine altar! It is a Christmas offering, fashioned,
however rudely, from an absolute truth. If thou deem the ointment
precious, when I break the unjewelled box, I pour it on thy feet. Let
others crown, I would only refresh thee.

Children play on this white, shining, sandy beach, under the leafless
sycamore; they look for no shade, they would find no shade; there is
neither rock, nor shrub, nor evergreen-tree,--nothing but the white
sand, and the dead sycamore, and in the topmost branches the halcyon's
great nest.

Is it not a place for children? A little flourish of imagination, and we
see them,--Silas, who beats the drum, and Columbia, who carries the
flag, manifest leaders of the wild little company, mermen and mermaids
all; and the music is fit for the Siren, and the beauty would shame not
Venus.

Suppose we stroll home to their fathers, like respectable earth-keeping
creatures: the depths of human hearts have sometimes proved full of
mystery as the sea; and human faces sometimes glisten with a majesty of
feeling or of thought that reduces ocean-splendor to the subordinate
part of a similitude.

There is Andrew, father of Silas,--Andrew Swift, says the sign. He
dwells in Salt Lane, you perceive, and he deals in ship-stores,--a
husband and father by no means living on sea-weed. A yellow-haired
little man, shrewd, and a ready reckoner. Of a serious turn of mind.
Deficient in self-esteem; his anticipations of the most humble
character. A sinner, because fearful and unbelieving: for what right has
a man to be such a man as to inspire himself with misgiving? But his
offences offset each other: for, if he doubted, Andrew was also
obstinate. And obstinacy alone led him into ventures whose failure he
expected: as when he laid out the savings of years in the purchase of
goods, wherewith he opened those ship-stores in Salt Lane. Ship-stores!
that sounds well. One might suppose I referred to blocks of marble-faced
buildings, instead of three shelves, three barrels, and their contents!
The obstinacy of Andrew Swift was the foundation of his fortune. Men
have built on worse.

His opposite neighbor was one Silas Dexter, a flag- and banner-maker,
who went into business in Salt Lane sometime during that memorable year
of Andrew's venture. Apparently this young man was no better off than
Swift, between whom and himself a friendly intercourse was at once
established; but he had the advantage of a quick imagination and a
sanguine temperament; also the manly courage to look at Fortune with
respectful recognition, as we all look at royalty,--even as though he
had sometime been presented,--not with a snobbish conceit which would
seem to defy her Highness.

Indeed, he was such a man as would find exhilaration of spirit even in
the uncertainties of his position. The sight of his banners waving from
the sign-post, showing all sorts of devices, the flags flowing round the
walls of his shop, enlivening the little dark place with their many
gorgeous colors, sufficed for his encouragement. Utter ruin could not
have ruined the man. He could not have failed with failure. Some sense
of this fact he had, and he lived like one who has had his life insured.

Not a creature looked upon him but was free to the good he might derive.
The sparkling eyes, quick smile, and manly voice, the active limbs and
generous heart, seemed at the service of every soul that breathed.
Trashy thought and base utterance could not cheat his soul of her
integrity; the vileness of Salt Lane had nothing to do with him.

And I cannot account for this by bringing his wife forward. For how came
he by this wife, except by the excellence and soundness of the virtue
which preferred her to the world, and made him preferred of her? Still,
you see the ripe cherry, one half full, beautiful, luscious, the other a
patch of skin stretched over the pit, worthless and sad to view. This,
but for his choice and hers, might have served as an emblem of Dexter.

She was her husband's partner in a twofold sense: for it was DEXTER &
CO. on the sign-board, and Jessie was represented by the Company. Of
that woman I cannot refrain from saying what was so gracefully said of
"the fair and happy milkmaid,"--"All the excellences stand in her so
silently, as if they had stolen upon her without her knowledge."

The effect of these diverse influences, his wife Jessie in the house,
and his neighbor Andrew to the opposite, kept the spirit of Silas Dexter
at work like a ploughing Pegasus. He was full of pranks as a boy, but
malice found poor encouragement of him. Andrew was his garden, and he
was Andrew's sun: he shone across the lane with a brightness and a
warmth sufficient to quicken the poorest earth; and the crops he
perfected were various, all of the kind that flourish in heavy soil, but
various and good. Do you think the good Samaritan could take the
leprosy?

The sort of connection a man is bound to make between the everlasting
spirit-world and this transient mortal state Dexter proved in his humble
way. I doubt if spiritualists would have accepted his service as a
medium. He was neither profane nor imbecile; but he sat at the foot of a
ladder the pure ones could not fail to see, and by which they would not
disdain to descend. If they chose to come his way, the white robes would
take no taint.

Success attended Dexter with a modest grace, and Swift shared in the
good fortune. I do not say the profits of either shop were forty
millions a year. "Keep the best of everything," said Silas to Andrew;
"don't be too hard on 'em; they'll come after they've found your way."
And Swift proved the wisdom of such counsel, and tried to get the better
of his grim countenance while waiting on the customers Dexter directed
to his side: gradually succeeding,--proving down there in Salt Lane the
truth of that ancient saying, "Art is the perfection of Nature."

So these two men lived like brothers; and if it was a pleasant thing to
listen to Dexter's jokes and laughter, scarcely less profitable was it
to hear Swift praise the flag- and banner-maker when he was out of
sight.

Dexter's popularity had a varied character. Sea-captains and
ship-builders, circus-men, aëronauts, politicians, engineers,
target-companies, firemen, the military, deputies of all sorts, looked
over his goods, consulted his taste, left their orders. His interest in
the several occupations represented by the men who frequented his shop,
his ingenuity in devising designs, his skill and expedition in supplying
orders, his cheerful speech, and love of talk, and fun, gave the shopman
troops of "friends." He could read the common mass of men at a glance,
and he was justifiable in the devices he made use of in order to bring
his customers into the buying mood: for what he said was true,--they
could satisfy themselves in his store, if anywhere.

Dexter understood himself, and Jessie understood him: such folk make no
pretences; they are ineffably real.

"Principles, not Men," was the banner-maker's motto. You might have seen
the flag on which it was painted with a mighty flourish (and very poor
result) in his old shop in the old time. That painting was his first
great effort, that flag his first possession; he could not have parted
with it, so he _said_, and so he believed, for any sum whatever.

"Principles, not Men": he studied that sentiment in all his graver
moments, when he chanced to be alone in his shop,--you may guess with
what result, moral and philosophical.

Andrew Swift used to say to his wife, that, when Dexter was studying his
thoughts, it was better to hear him than the minister: and verily he did
put time-serving to shame by the distinct integrity of his warm speech,
and his eloquence of action.

Dexter married Jessie the day before he opened his flag-shop. She had
long been employed by his employer, and when she promised to be his, she
drew her earnings from the bank, and invested all with him. This was not
prudence, certainly, but it was love. Dexter might have failed in
business the first year,--might have died, you know, in six months, or
even in three, as men do sometimes. It was not prudence; but
Jessie--young lady determined on settlements!--Jessie was looking for
life and prosperity, as the honest and earnest and young have a right to
look in a world God created and governs. And if failure and death had in
fact choked the path that promised so fair, clear of regret, free of
reproaches, glad even of the losses that proved how love had once
blessed her, she would have buried the dead, and worked for the
retrieval of fortune.

They began their housekeeping-romance back of the shop in two little
rooms. Do you require the actual measurement? There have been wider
walls that could contain greatly less.

    "How big was Alexander, pa?
    The people called him _great_."

They considered the sixpences of their outlay and income with a purpose
and a spirit that made a miser of neither. But there was no delusion
indulged about the business. Jessie never mistook the hilarity of Silas
for an indication of incalculable prosperity. Silas never understood her
gravity for that of discontent and envy. They never spent in any week
more than they earned. They counted the cost of living, and were
therefore free and rich. "She was never alone," as Sir Thomas Overbury
said of that happy milkmaid, "but still accompanied with old songs,
honest thoughts, and prayers, but short ones." And Dexter loved her with
a valiant constancy that spoke volumes for both.

His days were spent, according to the promise advertised, in endeavors
to please the public; but, oh, if the public that traded with and liked
to patronize him, if the young lads and the old boys who hung about his
counters, could have seen him when he shut his shop-door behind him, and
went into the back-room where Jessie and he devised the patterns, where
she embroidered and lived, where she cooked and washed and ironed, where
she nursed Columbia, their daughter, one glance at all this, made with
the heart and the understanding, would--ah! _might_, have been to some
of them worth more than all Dexter's pleasant stones, and all the
contents of the shop, and all the profits the flag-maker would ever make
by trading.

For I can hardly believe, though this story be but of "_common_ life,"
when I take up the newspapers and glance along the items I am
constrained to doubt, that such people as Silas and Jessie live in every
house, in every alley, lane, and street, in every square and avenue, on
every farm, wherever walls inclose those divine temples of which
Apostles talked as belonging to God, which temples, said they, are holy!
I can hardly believe that Love, void of fear and of selfishness, speaks
through all our domestic policy, and devises those curious arrangements,
political, theological, social, whose result has approval and praise, it
may be, in the regions of outer darkness.

Dark faces, whose sleekness hides a gulf of waters more dead than those
of the dreadful Dead Sea, rise between me and the honest, brave face of
Silas,--dreary flats, whose wastes are not figured in utter barrenness
by the awful African deserts, where ranks upon ranks of women, like
Jessie at least in love and fidelity, must stand, or--"where is the
promise of His coming?"

The daughter of Silas and Jessie was called Columbia in honor of some
valiant enterprise, nautical or other, which charmed the patriotic
spirit of the father; and as he was not a fighting man or a speaking
man, he offered this modest comment on the brilliant event by way of
showing his appreciation.

Columbia Dexter was a great favorite with the children of Salt Lane for
various reasons, and among them this, that in all parades and
processions she supplied the banners. Columbia's friend of friends was
Silas, son of Andrew Swift,--and thus we come among the children of the
neighbors.

They were not dependent on Salt Lane for a play-ground. They had the
Long Wharf. Ships from the most distant foreign shores deposited their
loads of freightage there, and the children were free to read the
foreign brands, to guess the contents, and to watch the sailors,--free
to all brain-puzzling calculations, and to clothes-soiling,
clothes-rending feats, among the treasures of the ship-hold and the
wharf: no mean privileges, with the roar of ocean in their ears, and
great ships with their towering masts before their eyes. They had the
wharf for bustle, confusion, excitement,--and for this they loved it;
but the beach that stretched beyond they had for quiet, and there, for
miles and miles, curious shells and pretty pebbles, fish-bones and crabs
and sand, sea-weed fine and fair, and the old sycamores, the old dead
trees, in the tops of whose white branches the halcyon built its nest.
Well the children knew the winter days, so bright and mild, when the
brave birds were breeding. Well they knew when the young kingfisher
would begin to make his royal progress, with such safe dignity
descending, branch by branch, until he could no longer resist Nature,
but must dash out in a "fine frenzy" for the bounding waves!

Silas Swift, Dexter's namesake, was a grave, sturdy, somewhat
heavy-looking fellow, whose brain teemed with thoughts and projects of
which his slow-moving body offered no suggestion. Whoever prophesied of
them did so at his hazard. Let him play at his will, and the children
even were amazed. But this could not happen every day. Set him at work,
and the sanguine were in despair. This was because, when work must be
done, he deliberated, and did the thing that must be; so that, while
misapprehension fretted gently sometimes because of his dulness, he was
preparing for that which was not hoped. Celerity enough when he had come
to a decision, but no sign or token till he had come to that.

The first exercise of his imagination trusted to the inspection of
others was in behalf of Columbia Dexter, with intent to moderate her
grief over a dead kitten which they buried in the sand under the
sycamore-tree, the procession carrying banners furled and decorated with
badges of mourning. Silas made a monument then and there in the high
noon of a halcyon day: carved on a pine board which had served for a
bier was the face of Tabby, surrounded with devices intended to
represent the duration of her virtues. His work consoled Columbia, and
inspired him to a more ambitious enterprise, namely, the carving of the
same in a block of gypsum, which work of art Dexter obtaining sight of
declared that it would have done credit to an artist, and set it on his
mantel-shelf between two precious household cards lettered in gilt as
follows "_Union is Strength_," and "_Principles, not Men_."

I suppose no children ever led a happier life,--the special joy of
childhood being in sport, and food, and liberty, and the love of those
who own them. They basked in the sun; they were busy with sport, fretted
by no cares; kind words directed them. They lived in the midst of
illusions, like princes, or fairies, or spirits,--like _children_. They
followed about with processions, training in the rear of every
train-band, keeping time with the march of the happy Sunday-schools,
when they had their celebrations. Young Silas could be trusted with the
care of Columbia, and hand in hand, like brother and sister, they went.
Especially were they proud, if the procession carried one of Dexter's
flags. Silas, no doubt, had suggested a point of the device, or Columbia
had worked a corner.

When Dexter would go on board ship, or to some lodge, with the flags
which had been ordered of him, in anticipation of voyages and
processions, the children often accompanied him. I see them walking
shyly in the rear, and looking up to the father of the little girl with
the reverence he deserved. By-and-by would they grow wise and feel
ashamed of this? Will you see the fair Columbia, whom the captain pats
so kindly on the head, smiling broadly when he hears her name, will you
see her, a woman grown, attending her father on such errands? And if you
see her not, will the reason be such as proves her worthy to be old
Dexter's daughter? Will you hear her saying to her friends, as now,
"Guess who worked those flowers," while the target-shooters march past,
carrying their blue silk banner, royal with red roses? She and Silas
often run panting in the wake of great processions; they would not for
the world miss seeing the wide, fluttering folds of the Stars and
Stripes, or it might be the conquering St. George, or the transparencies
they were all so busy over a day or two ago. Their speed will soon
abate, and why?

Human beings are not children forever. Maturity must not manifest itself
as childhood does. Ah, but "Principles, not Men"! Is any truth involved
in that beyond what Silas recognizes in his trade? Is there another
reason which shall have power to make Columbia some day stand coolly on
the sidewalk, while her heart is beating fast,--which shall induce her
to point out the mottoes on the banners, and the various devices, to
another, without trembling in the voice or tears in the eye? If ever she
shall glide along the streets, she whose early race-course was Salt
Lane, if ever like a lady she shall walk there, will it be at the price
of forgetfulness of all this humble sport and joy,--as a sustainer of
feeble "social fictions," and a violator of the great covenant?

To the boy and girl it was not a question whether all their lives these
relations should continue, and this play go on; but even to them, as
children, a question that seriously concerned them, and in whose
discussion they bore serious part, arose.

The old building Dexter occupied was becoming unfit for tenants. It had
been patched over and over, until it was no longer safe, and agents
refused to insure it. The proprietor accordingly determined to pull it
down.

A change to a better locality had often been suggested to Dexter; but
his invariable reply was, that "people shouldn't try to run before they
were able to walk,--he was satisfied with Salt Lane and his neighbors":
though of late he had made such replies with gravity, thinking of his
daughter.

And now that the necessity was facing him, he met it like a man. He
talked the matter over with his wife, and the claim of their child was
urgent in the heart of each while they talked, and it could not have
surprised either when suddenly their hopes met in her benediction. For
Columbia's sake they must find a pleasant place for the new nest, some
nook where beauty would be welcome, and gentle grace, and quiet, and
light, and fair colors, and sweet odors would be possible; so pure and
fair a child she seemed to father Dexter, so did the mother's heart
desire to protect her from all odious influences and surroundings, that,
when the prospect of change was before them, it was in reference to her,
as well as trade, that the Company would make it.

Swift was taken into their confidence, and he walked with the pair
around the streets one evening to see the shop Dexter's eyes had fixed
on. It was a modest tenement in a crowded quarter, on whose door and
windows "_To Let_" was posted. Silas had been out house-hunting in the
afternoon, and this place appeared to meet his wishes; he had inquired
about the rent, it did not seem too high for a house so comfortable, and
it was probable that by to-morrow night the family would, after a
fashion, be settled within those walls.

They sat down on the door-step and talked about the change with serious
gravity, mindful that the old tenement they were about to leave had
sheltered them since their marriage-day, that they had prospered in Salt
Lane, and that the change they were about to make would be attended with
some risk. Andrew Swift sighed dolefully while Jessie or Silas Dexter
alluded to these matters of past experience: it was no easy matter to
talk him into a cheerful mood again; but the brave pair accomplished it
on their way home, when certainly either of them had as much need of a
comforter as he.

To have heard them, one might have supposed that no tears would be shed
when the tenement so long occupied by the flag-maker should come down.
Old Mortality will not be hindered in his thinking.

Andrew offered his son Silas to assist his neighbors in the labor of
removal, and his wife came with her service; and the rest of Salt Lane
was ready at the door to lend a helping hand, when it was understood
that the life and soul of the lane was going away to High Street.

Dexter's face was unusually bright while the work of packing went on. He
knew that for everybody's sake more light than usual must be diffused by
him that day. You know how it is that the brave win the notable
victories, when their troops have fallen back in despair, and would fain
beat a retreat. It is the living voice and the flashing eye, the courage
and the will. What is he, indeed, that he should surrender,--above all,
in the worst extremity?

How is death even swallowed up in victory, when the beleaguered spirit
dashes across the breach, and, unarmed, possesses life!

Dexter told Andrew Swift that Silas was worth a dozen draymen, and in
truth he was, that day; for he, and every one, were animated by the
spirit of the leader. Courage! at least for that day, though they dared
not look beyond it.

Thus these people went to High Street: into the house with many rooms,
four at least; into the rooms with many windows, and high ceilings,
which you could _not_ touch with your uplifted hand,--rooms whose walls
were papered, and whose floors should have carpets, for Dexter said the
house was leased for ten years, and they would make their home
comfortable. What ample scope they had! Many a fancy they had checked
before it became a wish in the old quarters, they were so cramped there,
though never in danger of suffocation, Heaven knows. Grandly the great
arch lifted over the old moss-grown roof. But now they need stifle no
fancy of all that should come to them; there was room in the house, and
behind it,--yes, a strip of ground in the rear, and against the brick
wall an apricot-tree and a grape-vine! Very Garden of Eden: was it big
enough for the Serpent?

It was a sight to see the happy family while they talked over their
possessions.

Over the shop, fronting the street, was a large apartment, by common
consent to be used for parlor and show-room: young Swift was to decorate
this, Dexter said, Columbia should be his helper, and he and his wife
would criticize the result. Dexter talked with a purpose when he made
these arrangements, but he kept the purpose secret until the work was
done.

In the three windows ornamental flags were hung, which should serve for
signs from the street: this was young Swift's design. In the middle
window, Columbia responded, should be the George Washington flag. Yes,
and to the left Lafayette, with Franklin for the right. Even so. Then
above the middle window they secured the gilded American eagle. Oh, the
harmony that prevailed among the young decorators!

Then "_Principles, not Men_" remained to be disposed of. They did it in
such a way that the gilded motto shone on the white wall. The mantel was
a masterpiece of arrangement, and solely after Columbia's suggestions.
There was the monumental cat for a centre-piece, with the more recent
creations of Silas Swift for immediate surroundings, and a banner at
either end floating from the shelf.

You can imagine, if your imagination is genial and kindly, how very
queer and fanciful the room looked with these decorations; and the
gentle heart will understand the loving humility, the pleasure, with
which Jessie surveyed all, when the children's work was done.

It was a pretty scene when Dexter came up, sent by Silas for an opinion,
while the latter kept the shop. At first he laughed a little, and
exclaimed, while he walked about; then Jessie turned away, and gave him
an opportunity to brush the tears from his eyes unobserved; but
presently she began to circle round him, unconsciously it seemed, till
she stood close beside him; then he took her hand and held it, and she
knew what he was thinking, and that he was proud and happy.

"It beats all!" he said more than once. And Columbia was talking of
Silas, showing his work, and repeating his words, till Dexter broke
out,--

"We must keep Silas! We can't get along without Silas! He mustn't go
back to Salt Lane. I'll teach him business in High Street."

And the father did not seem to notice when his child slipped away down
the stairs, to the shop, to the lad, who was thinking rather sadly,
that, now his work was done, there was no more chance for him here: she
had come to make him smile as much by her own delight as by his
satisfaction.

But all this excitement must pass off. And in spite of the general
gladness and gratulation, probably a more lonely, homesick party could
not have been easily found than the Dexter family in their new home.

Dexter could not reproach himself for his removal, as he thought the
matter seriously over. It was a forced removal, and certainly he would
have been without excuse, had he gone into worse quarters instead of
better, since better he could afford. It was not extravagance, but
homesickness, that tormented him.

He was too generous, when all was done, to torment his wife with such
misgivings as he had; and erelong the trouble, for want of nursing,
died, as most of this life's troubles will, after their shabby fashion.
But, indeed, how can they help it? that, too, is the will of Nature.

And was not Dexter himself, in the new neighborhood as in the old? His
customers were still of the same class. But his surroundings were of a
superior character,--there was a better atmosphere prevailing in High
Street, and more light in his house. He did not love darkness better.

Pretty and well-dressed women were to be seen in High Street, and they
never, except by mistake or disaster, wandered through Salt Lane.
Standing in his door, and observing them according to his thoughtful
fashion, Dexter remembered that his daughter was growing rapidly into a
tall, handsome girl, and foresaw that she could not always be a child.
He saw young misses going past with their school-books in their hands,
and if he followed them with his eyes as far as eyes could follow, it
was not for any reason save such as should have made them love and trust
the man. He was thinking so seriously about his daughter, up-stairs at
work with her mother, embroidering scarfs and banners.

He had only Columbia. She learned fast, when she went with Silas Swift
to the school in Salt Lane,--so they all said, and he knew she was fond
of her book. He had no ambition to make a lady of Columbia,--oh, no! But
he was looking forward, according to his nature, and--who could tell
what future might wait on her? He based his expectations for his child
on his own experience. Neither he nor Jessie had ever looked for such
good fortune as they had; and a step farther, must it not be a step
higher, and accordingly new prospects?

Prophecy is unceasing. In what does the prescience of love differ from
inspiration?

One morning Dexter was sent for by the principal of the seminary of the
town, to assist in the decoration of her school-room preparatory to the
examination and exhibition of her pupils.

While at work there, aided by Silas Swift, who was now his assistant in
business, and notable for his skill as a designer and painter and
painter of transparencies, and whatsoever in that line was desired for
public festivities, processions, illuminations, and general jubilation
of any character,--while at work in the great school-room, Mr. Dexter
was unusually silent.

This was no occasion for, there was no need of, much speaking or of
merriment. It was not expected of him. He was not dealing with, while he
worked for, others now, but he was dealt with constantly, to an extent
that confounded and embarrassed him. He did not make the demonstrations
people sometimes do in such a case, but was silent, and half sad.
Everything that passed before him he saw, it made an impression rapid
and deep on his mind. The pictures drawn and painted by the pupils, and
hung around the walls for exhibition, the pupils themselves, passing in
and out,--girls of all ages, ladies to look at, all of them,--suggested
anew the question, Why should his daughter be shut off from the
privileges of these? He felt ashamed when he asked. Yet the question
would be answered; and without palliation, self-excusing, or retort, he
meditated.

Finally he said to Silas Swift, who worked with him in silence broken
only by question and answer that referred merely to their business,--

"Look!"--and his eyes followed a young girl who had been hunting for
several minutes among the desks for a book.

The youth obeyed,--he looked, but seemed not to understand the
flag-maker as quickly or as clearly as was expected of him.

"Columby," said Dexter, with a wink and a nod, that to his mind
expressed everything.

"Oh, yes," said Silas, as if he understood.

His penetration was not put to further proof. The mere supposition of
his apprehension satisfied his employer, who could now go on without
embarrassment.

"She ought to come to school," said Dexter.

"Oh!" exclaimed Silas, with surprise sufficient to convince the father
that the young man had not attempted to practise a deceit.

"Yes," said Dexter, "she ought, she's old enough,"--as if that were all
he had been waiting for.

"I think so," answered Silas Swift, with a decision encouraging to hear,
and final as to influence.

"You do? Yes, I ought to afford it, if I lived on a crust to manage the
bills. Why not? What's the difference 'twixt her and the rest, I'd like
to know?"

"She could beat the whole batch at her books," said Silas, not doubting
that he spoke with moderation.

"Pretty quick, wasn't she?" said the pleased father. "Yes, I know
Columby!"

"And she deserves it."

"Deserves! You don't think I've been waiting to find that out! Well,
Sir, put it that way, I say, Yes, she does deserve it."

Dexter and young Swift, having spoken thus far, thought on in their
several directions, with serious, steady, strong, far-reaching looks
into the future.

Thus it was that Columbia Dexter took her place in the great school,
where girls, it was said, were regarded and taught as responsible human
beings.

Silas Swift looked so grave, whenever the families mentioned Dexter's
resolution, that Columbia, who had made him repeat already many times
his reflections and observations in the school-room that day when he and
her father were employed in its decoration, said to him one morning,
when they happened to be alone together,--

"I'm afraid you don't think well of what we're going to do."

Whereupon he, somewhat proudly for him, answered,--

"I told your father, when he asked me, what I thought, before he had
made up his mind."

"What did you say?" she asked,--though she could have guessed correctly,
had he insisted upon it, but Silas was not in the mood.

"I said it should be done," he answered, seriously.

"I should go to school?"

"Yes, it is but right."

"Then why do you look so solemn?"

"You're going away from us."

Her hand was lying quietly in his, when she answered,--

"Going away? I shall see you three times every day. What do you mean?"

"When there was your father and mother and me, 'us four, and no more,'
there were not dozens to think about. You'll have dozens now."

"I hope they will be pleasant," she said, looking away, that he should
not see how bright her eyes were, when his were so grave.

"I hope they will. And I'm sure of it. Never fear. I suppose, too, they
must make you like themselves, some ways. I'd be glad, if I thought
you'd make any of them like you."

"How's that?" she asked, half laughing, but she trembled as well. What
would honest Silas say next, he was making such a very grave business
out of this school-going?

"True,--modest,--sensible,--respectful,--a lady, ten times more than
those they make up so fine," said he, slowly. And still he held her hand
as quietly as if it did not thrill with quickening pulses; and his
speech and composure showed what power of self-control the young man
had,--for he was fearful when he looked forward, anticipating the change
this year might bring to pass in and for Columbia Dexter.

But Dexter and Company looked forward with no forebodings, when they
bought the needful school-books, and saw their daughter fairly occupied
with them. They had not been ashamed to reveal their hopes and fears to
the principal. She really listened in a way that made them love her, you
will know how,--as if she had the interest of the girl at heart,--as
though she would not deal so sacrilegiously with their dear child as to
paste a few flashing ornaments upon her, worthless as dead fish-scales,
and swear she was covered with pearls. Honest and loving sponsors!
virtuous, confiding parents! they were ready to promise for Columbia;
she went from their hands a pure, industrious, obedient girl, only
fourteen; they were sure she would take pride in making good all
deficiencies of her past education. And the woman promised in
turn,--chiefly thinking, I infer, that here at least were responsible
paymasters. Why not? She taught for a living. Only we never like to
suppose that poets sing merely for money, or that kings reign for the
sake of the crown; we do not imagine a statesman delights in his
martyrdom for eight dollars a day. I know one woman who teaches because
it is her vocation; she loves the work God allows her. But even the
worst school that's used as a hot-bed could not have ruined a plant like
this bearing the Dexter label.

Thus this great fact of the flag-makers' married life transpired,--their
child went to school with the children of gentlemen. Dexter could tell
that figure among dozens of girls; under one modest bonnet was a young
face with brown eyes and brown hair, a fair, sweet countenance, which he
loved with a love we will not dwell upon. In the sacred narrative, as in
the sacred temple, is always a place hid from the eyes and the feet of
the congregation. We may be all Gentiles here.

Like responsible sentinels, Dexter and Jessie stood at their post. Like
debtors to the great universe, they made their calling sure. They were
living thus peacefully while nations went to war, while panics taught
the people it was not beneath their wisdom to look to the foundations
they built their pride upon,--thus, while great world-events were going
on that must concern every soul under the whole heaven. But never shall
the man be lost in the multitude; and was it not, is it not, of
incalculable importance that mortals by their own firesides should learn
to believe in peace and good-will,--else how shall come the universal
harmony?

Therefore I dwell thus on Dexter's humble fortunes. Let us not fear too
much reverence, too patient observation; every living creature is one
other evidence, speaking his yea or nay,--by joy or sorrow, shame or
honor, testifying to the eternal laws of God.

Sometime during the last six months of Columbia's second year at the
seminary among the books and new associates, Silas Swift had some
strange secret experiences, which came to their inevitable expression
when he told Mr. Dexter that he must leave his service. He perceived, he
said, that he could not spend life in a shop,--he must have other
employment. He hinted about the sea, but on that subject was not clear;
but he was clear in this,--tired of his life, sick, and knew not the
physician. Was a serpent distilling poison under the apricot-tree?

Dexter was amazed. Silas anticipated everything he said,--was prepared
to answer all; and he answered in a manner that showed the flag-maker
something instant and effective must be done. He talked the matter over
accordingly with Andrew Swift, and the two men were at their wits' end;
they did not understand, and knew not what to prescribe for the case, so
desperate it seemed. But Jessie said, "Take him in for a partner, Silas.
Let _him_ stand for Company. You and I are one; so the sign, as it goes,
is a fib, you know."

The two men looked at Jessie as if she had been an oracle. This very
promotion of their son had long seemed to Swift and his wife the most
desirable issue, of all their expectations; but they had not thought to
look for it these many years. However, Andrew was ready to pay down, any
day, whatever sum Silas Dexter should specify in order that his son
might be admitted to equal partnership.

So they waited together till young Swift came into the little room back
of the shop, where they were all looking for him. They laid their plan
before him. What could he do? Neither explain himself, nor yet defy them
all. He surrendered; and the next day the old sign, DEXTER & CO., meant
what it had not meant the day before. The word of any one of these
people was as good as a bond to the others; therefore no papers of
agreement were made out, but Andrew paid down the money, because that
was his way of satisfying himself,--and son Silas was now a partner.

Everybody concerned was so well pleased with this arrangement, that he
whose pleasure in it was specially desired had not the heart to speak
his mind, or to resolve further than that he would do his duty. Indeed,
he soon began to believe that he was satisfied.

Young Silas thought he saw good reason for bringing forward his
partner's motto into fresh conspicuity in these days: he believed in
that motto, he purposed to work by it, but it was not merely his policy
to give his faith manifestation. He made several efforts, after his own
odd, original style, to impress the pretty Columbia with the
significance of that sentiment. Often his talk with the young lady had
the gravity and weight of a moral essay, and she took it well,--was not
impatient,--would answer him as a child, "I know it is so, Silas,"--did
not imagine how much these very lectures cost him, or that he delivered
them with as much inward composure as an orator might be supposed to
feel on the brink of a precipice, where the awful rocks and depths gave
echo to his utterance.

Why should he so much disturb himself on her account?--she was so
studious, so blameless, what great need of this oversight he was
exercising continually?

Young Alexander, now Midshipman Alexander, once a cabin-boy, promoted
step by step on the score of actual merit and brave service
performed,--Midshipman Alexander, son of an old sailor's old widow, who
lived in Salt Lane, to whom Andrew Swift and Silas Dexter and other
well-disposed men had lent a helping hand when poverty had brought her
to some desperate strait,--this young Alexander, who had been coming
home once in every three years since his twelfth birthday, and who in
the course of many years of voyages came to look on Dexter's house as
his home on land, after his mother died,--he interfered with the peace
of Silas Swift.

He returned from service, after every voyage, a taller, stronger,
nobler, wiser, handsomer man. He had a career open before him; he could
not fail of honorable fortune. Every inch a hero Alexander looked, and
was; nobody ever tired of hearing his adventures; no one grew
unbelieving, when he spoke of the future,--all things seemed so possible
to him; and then he was really not possessed of the demon of vanity, the
ill-shaped evil monster, but was straightforward, and earnest, and
determined, and capable.

And Dexter, any one could see, was growing dreadfully proud of his
Columbia.

Silas Swift felt the sands moving under his feet. He dared not build on
a foundation so insecure. But, oh, he wished himself away from High
Street, ten thousand, thousand miles! He fell into dreaming moods that
did not leave him satisfied and cheerful. Surely, other quarters of the
globe had other circumstances than these which kept him to a life so
dull, under skies so leaden. Alas! the waving of the banners did not any
more uplift him, leading him on as a good soldier to battles and
victories. He tried to get the better of himself,--after the last visit
of this Alexander, he was tolerably successful; he studied hard,
ambitious to keep at least on an equality of learning with
Columbia,--and he went far ahead of her, for certain desperate reasons.
But when Dexter began to treat him with profound respect, as a man of
learning should be treated, according to his notions, the poor young
fellow, mortified and miserable, put away his books, and loathed his
false position.

The old time to which through all prosperity Silas clung with fond
fears, the dear old time was all over, he said to himself one day, when
Columbia called him up into the parlor, clapping her hands ever
suspecting that the theme might please another less,--there was but one
for him as if he had been a slave, a signal he well understood, and was
proud to understand,--when she asked him to bring the step-ladder, and
to help her, for the curtains must come down from the show-room, it was
going to be a parlor now, and no show-room again forever. With heavy
misgivings, with a feeling that they were hard on to "the parting of the
ways," Silas obeyed her.

Even so, according to her will was it that the drapery, the flags rich
in patriotic portraiture, the Washington, the Franklin, and the
Lafayette, must come down. Some pictures she had painted, some sketches
she had made, were to take their place: her father had insisted on
having them framed, and now they should hang on the walls.

He assisted Columbia without a word of comment. Now the room, she said,
would no longer look hot and uncomfortable. There would be less dust to
distract one on the walls. But Silas, the stickler for old things,
thought jealously, "There's always a reason ready to excuse every
change. It's pride that's to pay now,--she's getting ashamed of the
shop."

And he remembered the queer look Alexander had cast around him the last
time he entered that room; and he knew that this same Alexander was now
expected home daily.

This was the rock, then, against which the sturdy craft of Silas was
destined to strike and go to pieces! This was the whirlpool which should
uproot the fairest tree and swing it to final ingulfing! Dark
foreboding! sad fear! his heart was so concerned about Columbia Dexter.
Alas for the halcyon days! it was winter indeed, but a winter worthy of
Labrador.

So much she rejoiced in this midshipman's advancement, so proud of it
she seemed,--she was so bold in prophecy where he was concerned, so
manifestly fitted to appreciate a hero's career,--she could talk so long
about him without every suspecting that the theme might please another
less,--there was but one end likely, or desirable, for all this.

Then Alexander came. And his popularity waxed, instead of waning. So
Silas at last gravely said to himself, after his sensible, moderate
manner of dealing with that unhappy person, "If she and the young man
were only married and settled, there the business would end; _he_ should
no longer be distracted, as he did not deny he had long been, on her
account." That admission was fatal. It compelled him to ask himself
sharply why he should be distracted. "What business was this of his? Did
he not, above all things, desire that Columbia should be happy? Must she
not be the best judge of what could make her happiness?" He tried to
deal honestly with himself.

This endeavor led him to remark one morning to Columbia,--

"You and Alexander seem to be getting on finely."

"Oh, yes," said she,--"of course."

"I hope you always will," he continued, with a tragic vehemence of wish.

"Thank you, Silas; we shall, I think," she replied, with such an excess
of gratitude, so he deemed it, that the poor fellow attempted no more.

All that day he thought and thought; and at night Silas Swift looked
back from a corner of High Street at a building over whose door a flag
was waving, and said to himself, "I was born as free as others,"--and he
walked on silently, with himself for his dismal company.

It made no difference to him where he went, which path he took, he said;
but he passed Salt Lane, and crossed Long Wharf, and walked down the
beach, under the old sycamores, and wandered on. There was another
seaport-town some miles down the coast; he was walking in that
direction, but he did not acknowledge a purpose.

How splendid was the night! a night of magnificent constellations, of
flashing auroras, of many meteors; and he saw the comet, which he and
Columbia had looked for since its first announcement. But the heavens
might as well have been "hung in black." Chilled by more than the wintry
wind, he went his way. When the sun rose, he was still wandering on.
Light, heaven-deep, shone on land and sea. He sat down to rest, and to
order himself for future movements: for the town was now in sight; in an
hour or two he should come to the busy streets; already he could discern
the lofty spires, and the tall masts of the great vessels.

Yes,--he would find a situation on one of those ships. He would go out
as supercargo to China, or India, or Spain. He could get a situation
without difficulty, for he was well known in the town. Then, after he
had sailed, word could go back to his father and mother.

So, then, he should go to sea? Of course. It was now arranged,--to
foreign ports. He should see foreign people, and visit ancient places.
The strange would have advantage over the familiar. He did not desire
death. He had not that weakness, not being worn out by sickness, and
having never used this life as abusing it. The friends he loved were
living; his affections were strong. No, he could not think of death
without a shudder, for Love was on the earth. Yet--what had he to do
with Love? By her own election _she_ was no more to him than a hundred
others as good and fair might prove. Must he be so weak as to go through
life regretting? Not he, Silas Swift!

By-and-by he rose up from the sand. I think his face must have
resembled, then, the face of Elijah when the Lord inquied, with the
still, small voice, "What dost thou here?" For, as he arose, he looked
back on the waste by which he came,--his face turned homewards. Ay, and
his steps likewise; and not with indecision, as though fearing when he
surrendered to himself and One mightier.

Do they tell us filial reverence is a forgotten virtue? Silas was going
home. Child, do you call him coward? Perhaps he was that,--no, not even
yesterday, for the yesterday was capable of to-day! Do you, then, say,
with a doubting smile, "Love! Love!" Yea, verily, Love! The mount of God
takes up your word, so feebly and falsely spoken, and the echo is like
thunder whose fire can destroy. Yea, _Love_! Two old faces, wrinkled,
anxious. Eyes not so bright as once, dimmer to-day for tears; hair
sprinkled with gray. Prayers broken by sobbing; trust disappointed;
confidence violated. Ay, hearts that loved him first, and would surely
love him always. Smiles first recognized of all he has ever seen, that
could not change to frowns. They call him with tremulous tenderness, and
the heart of Silas breaks with hearing. Bleed, poor heart, but let not
those old hearts bleed!

The music of the inviting waves is not so soft as the sound of those
feeble voices,--the freedom they promise is not powerful to tempt him;
behold the arms that hang powerless yonder, and the hearts whose tides
are more wondrous than those of the sea! The halcyon days shall never
break through eternal ages on him, if he will walk on now in darkness.

"I will arise and go to my father."

The everlasting gates lift up their heads. The full-grown man reënters.
Love drove him forth with stripes; there may have been who rejoiced and
thought of fainting Ishmael. But against no man should this youth's hand
be lifted. No son of the bond-woman he. Isaac, not Ishmael.

Love drove him forth with stripes; but a holier drew him home. By his
past life's integrity the man was bound,--by the honor of a good name,
that waited to be justified.

He went home to ask forgiveness of LOVE. Not of Youth and Beauty, but of
Age and Trust.

He went home to souls which had proved themselves, each one, before the
divine messenger in the hours of his absence.

Back, once more to break on a little circle gathered in an obscure
corner of the town, talking his case over with distressed perplexity: to
women disturbed with fears incredible to them,--to three, save one who
did not seem distracted, and who looked around her with something like
triumph, as a prophet might gaze when his word was verified. She was the
youngest and the fairest of them all. How many times she had said, "He
can explain. He will come soon. How can you fear for Silas?"

He went back to the dead silence that fell with his appearing. His
mother was first to break it. With a faltering voice she spoke, but with
the authority of maternal love and faith,--through sobs, but with
authority.

"There! there! I told you! Now speak, Silas! quick! Did you find
him?"--and, half fainting, she threw her arms about her son.

The father would fain speak with severity, but he failed in the attempt;
he could no longer harbor his cruel fear, with the lad there before him.

"Silas, what do you mean, Sir? Here's Mr. Dexter's shop broke in, and
his till robbed, and you off, and the Devil to pay! But Columby, there,
said you had gone in search of the thief. Oh! oh!"

"Of course!" cried Dexter, the words rolling out as a cloud of smoke
from a conspicuous safety-valve,--"I knew 't was all right. I'd expect
the world to bu'st up as quick as for you to cheat us. I said it, I did,
fifty times." And there Dexter choked, and was silent.

Ay, time for him to return! "Glory to God!" said Silas, and he looked
around him, scanning every face, as a man might scan the faces of
accusers.

More than any said or thought he saw in Columbia's eyes. Silent, pale,
she merely sat gazing at him steadfastly. Oh, powers of speech,
surrender! It was a gaze that made the young fellow turn from all, that
the spasm of joy might pass, and leave him breath to declare himself
like a man in the hearing of those present.

The words he spoke might not disturb the dreaming halcyon, but they must
have brought angels nearer,--so near that not one there in the little
back-room could escape the heavenly atmosphere.

Was Love born in a stable? Is Nature changed since, that a little room
back of a shop should not be heaven itself, and the inmates kings and
priests, though without the ermine and ephod?

Shall we sing the halcyon's song?



ON TRANSLATING THE DIVINA COMMEDIA.


    Oft have I seen at some cathedral-door
    A laborer, pausing in the dust and heat,
    Lay down his burden, and with reverent feet
    Enter, and cross himself, and on the floor
    Kneel to repeat his pater-noster o'er;
    Far off the noises of the world retreat;
    The loud vociferations of the street
    Become an undistinguishable roar.
    So, as I enter here from day to day,
    And leave my burden at this minster-gate,
    Kneeling in prayer, and not ashamed to pray,
    The tumult of the time disconsolate
    To inarticulate murmurs dies away,
    While the eternal ages watch and wait.



HOUSE AND HOME PAPERS.

BY CHRISTOPHER CROWFIELD.


XI.

My wife and I were sitting at the open bow-window of my study, watching
the tuft of bright red leaves on our favorite maple, which warned us
that summer was over. I was solacing myself, like all the world in our
days, with reading the "Schönberg Cotta Family," when my wife made her
voice heard through the enchanted distance, and dispersed the pretty
vision of German cottage-life.

"Chris!"

"Well, my dear."

"Do you know the day of the month?"

Now my wife knows this is a thing that I never do know, that I can't
know, and, in fact, that there is no need I should trouble myself about,
since she always knows, and what is more, always tells me. In fact, the
question, when asked by her, meant more than met the ear. It was a
delicate way of admonishing me that another paper for the "Atlantic"
ought to be in train; and so I answered, not to the external form, but
to the internal intention.

"Well, you see, my dear, I haven't made up my mind what my next paper
shall be about."

"Suppose, then, you let me give you a subject."

"Sovereign lady, speak on! Your slave hears!"

"Well, then, take _Cookery_. It may seem a vulgar subject, but I think
more of health and happiness depends on that than on any other one
thing. You may make houses enchantingly beautiful, hang them with
pictures, have them clean and airy and convenient; but if the stomach is
fed with sour bread and burnt coffee, it will raise such rebellions that
the eyes will see no beauty anywhere. Now in the little tour that you
and I have been taking this summer, I have been thinking of the great
abundance of splendid material we have in America, compared with the
poor cooking. How often, in our stoppings, we have sat down to tables
loaded with material, originally of the very best kind, which had been
so spoiled in the treatment that there was really nothing to eat! Green
biscuit with acrid spots of alkali,--sour yeast-bread,--meat slowly
simmered in fat till it seemed like grease itself, and slowly congealing
in cold grease,--and above all, that unpardonable enormity, strong
butter! How often I have longed to show people what might have been done
with the raw material out of which all these monstrosities were
concocted!"

"My dear," said I, "you are driving me upon delicate ground. Would you
have your husband appear in public with that most opprobrious badge of
the domestic furies, a dish-cloth pinned to his coat-tail? It is coming
to exactly the point I have always predicted, Mrs. Crowfield: you must
write, yourself. I always told you that you could write far better than
I, if you would only try. Only sit down and write as you sometimes talk
to me, and I might hang up my pen by the side of 'Uncle Ned's' fiddle
and bow."

"Oh, nonsense!" said my wife. "I never could write. I know what ought to
be said, and I could _say_ it to any one; but my ideas freeze in the
pen, cramp in my fingers, and make my brain seem like heavy bread. I was
born for extemporary speaking. Besides, I think the best things on all
subjects in this world of ours are said not by the practical workers,
but by the careful observers."

"Mrs. Crowfield, that remark is as good as if I had made it myself,"
said I.

"It is true that I have been all my life a speculator and observer in
all domestic matters, having them so confidentially under my eye in our
own household; and so, if I write on a pure woman's matter, it must be
understood that I am only your pen and mouth-piece,--only giving
tangible form to wisdom which I have derived from you."

So down I sat and scribbled, while my sovereign lady quietly stitched by
my side. And here I tell my reader that I write on such a subject under
protest,--declaring again my conviction, that, if my wife only believed
in herself as firmly as I do, she would write so that nobody would ever
want to listen to me again.


COOKERY.

We in America have the raw material of provision in greater abundance
than any other nation. There is no country where an ample,
well-furnished table is more easily spread, and for that reason,
perhaps, none where the bounties of Providence are more generally
neglected. I do not mean to say that the traveller through the length
and breadth of our land could not, on the whole, find an average of
comfortable subsistence; yet, considering that our resources are greater
than those of any other civilized people, our results are comparatively
poorer.

It is said, that, a list of the summer vegetables which are exhibited on
New-York hotel-tables being shown to a French _artiste_, he declared
that to serve such a dinner properly would take till midnight. I
recollect how I was once struck with our national plenteousness, on
returning from a Continental tour, and going directly from the ship to a
New-York hotel, in the bounteous season of autumn. For months I had been
habituated to my neat little bits of chop or poultry garnished with the
inevitable cauliflower or potato, which seemed to be the sole
possibility after the reign of green-peas was over; now I sat down all
at once to a carnival of vegetables: ripe, juicy tomatoes, raw or
cooked; cucumbers in brittle slices; rich, yellow sweet-potatoes; broad
Lima-beans, and beans of other and various names; tempting ears of
Indian-corn steaming in enormous piles, and great smoking tureens of the
savory succotash, an Indian gift to the table for which civilization
need not blush; sliced egg-plant in delicate fritters; and
marrow-squashes, of creamy pulp and sweetness: a rich variety,
embarrassing to the appetite, and perplexing to the choice. Verily, the
thought has often impressed itself on my mind that the vegetarian
doctrine preached in America left a man quite as much as he had capacity
to eat or enjoy, and that in the midst of such tantalizing abundance he
really lost the apology which elsewhere bears him out in preying upon
his less gifted and accomplished animal neighbors.

But with all this, the American table, taken as a whole, is inferior to
that of England or France. It presents a fine abundance of material,
carelessly and poorly treated. The management of food is nowhere in the
world, perhaps, more slovenly and wasteful. Everything betokens that
want of care that waits on abundance; there are great capabilities and
poor execution. A tourist through England can seldom fail, at the
quietest country-inn, of finding himself served with the essentials of
English table-comfort,--his mutton-chop done to a turn, his steaming
little private apparatus for concocting his own tea, his choice pot of
marmalade or slice of cold ham, and his delicate rolls and creamy
butter, all served with care and neatness. In France, one never asks in
vain for delicious _café-au-lait_, good bread and butter, a nice omelet,
or some savory little portion of meat with a French name. But to a
tourist taking like chance in American country-fare what is the
prospect? What is the coffee? what the tea? and the meat? and above all,
the butter?

In lecturing on cookery, as on house-building, I divide the subject into
not four, but five grand elements: first, Bread; second, Butter; third,
Meat; fourth, Vegetables; and fifth, Tea,--by which I mean, generically,
all sorts of warm, comfortable drinks served out in teacups, whether
they be called tea, coffee, chocolate, broma, or what not.

I affirm, that, if these five departments are all perfect, the great
ends of domestic cookery are answered, so far as the comfort and
well-being of life are concerned. I am aware that there exists another
department, which is often regarded by culinary amateurs and young
aspirants as the higher branch and very collegiate course of practical
cookery, to wit, Confectionery,--by which I mean to designate all
pleasing and complicated compounds of sweets and spices, devised not for
health or nourishment, and strongly suspected of interfering with
both,--mere tolerated gratifications of the palate, which we eat, not
with the expectation of being benefited, but only with the hope of not
being injured by them. In this large department rank all sorts of cakes,
pies, preserves, ices, etc. I shall have a word or two to say under this
head before I have done. I only remark now, that in my tours about the
country I have often had a virulent ill-will excited towards these works
of culinary supererogation, because I thought their excellence was
attained by treading under foot and disregarding the five grand
essentials. I have sat at many a table garnished with three or four
kinds of well-made cake, compounded with citron and spices and all
imaginable good things, where the meat was tough and greasy, the bread
some hot preparation of flour, lard, saleratus, and acid, and the butter
unutterably detestable. At such tables I have thought, that, if the
mistress of the feast had given the care, time, and labor to preparing
the simple items of bread, butter, and meat that she evidently had given
to the preparation of these extras, the lot of a traveller might be much
more comfortable. Evidently, she never had thought of these common
articles as constituting a good table. So long as she had puff pastry,
rich black cake, clear jelly, and preserves, she seemed to consider that
such unimportant matters as bread, butter, and meat could take care of
themselves. It is the same inattention to common things as that which
leads people to build houses with stone fronts and window-caps and
expensive front-door trimmings, without bathing-rooms or fireplaces or
ventilators.

Those who go into the country looking for summer board in farm-houses
know perfectly well that a table where the butter is always fresh, the
tea and coffee of the best kinds and well made, and the meats properly
kept, dressed, and served, is the one table of a hundred, the fabulous
enchanted island. It seems impossible to get the idea into the minds of
people that what is called common food, carefully prepared, becomes, in
virtue of that very care and attention, a delicacy, superseding the
necessity of artificially compounded dainties.

To begin, then, with the very foundation of a good table,--_Bread:_ What
ought it to be? It should be light, sweet, and tender.

This matter of lightness is the distinctive line between savage and
civilized bread. The savage mixes simple flour and water into balls of
paste, which he throws into boiling water, and which come out solid,
glutinous masses, of which his common saying is, "Man eat dis, he no
die,"--which a facetious traveller who was obliged to subsist on it
interpreted to mean, "Dis no kill you, nothing will." In short, it
requires the stomach of a wild animal or of a savage to digest this
primitive form of bread, and of course more or less attention in all
civilized modes of bread-making is given to producing lightness. By
lightness is meant simply that the particles are to be separated from
each other by little holes or air-cells, and all the different methods
of making light bread are neither more nor less than the formation in
bread of these air-cells.

So far as we know, there are four practicable methods of aërating bread,
namely--by fermentation,--by effervescence of an acid and an
alkali,--by aërated egg, or egg which has been filled with air by the
process of beating,--and lastly, by pressure of some gaseous substance
into the paste, by a process much resembling the impregnation of water
in a soda-fountain. All these have one and the same object,--to give us
the cooked particles of our flour separated by such permanent air-cells
as will enable the stomach more readily to digest them.

A very common mode of aërating bread, in America, is by the
effervescence of an acid and an alkali in the flour. The carbonic acid
gas thus formed produces minute air-cells in the bread, or, as the cook
says, makes it light. When this process is performed with exact
attention to chemical laws, so that the acid and alkali completely
neutralize each other, leaving no overplus of either, the result is
often very palatable. The difficulty is, that this is a happy
conjunction of circumstances which seldom occurs. The acid most commonly
employed is that of sour milk, and, as milk has many degrees of
sourness, the rule of a certain quantity of alkali to the pint must
necessarily produce very different results at different times. As an
actual fact, where this mode of making bread prevails, as we lament to
say it does to a great extent in this country, one finds five cases of
failure to one of success. It is a woful thing that the daughters of New
England have abandoned the old respectable mode of yeast-brewing and
bread-raising for this specious substitute, so easily made, and so
seldom well made. The green, clammy, acrid substance, called biscuit,
which many of our worthy republicans are obliged to eat in these days,
is wholly unworthy of the men and women of the Republic. Good patriots
ought not to be put off in that way,--they deserve better fare.

As an occasional variety, as a household convenience for obtaining bread
or biscuit at a moment's notice, the process we earnestly entreat
American housekeepers, in Scriptural language, to stand in the way and
ask for the old paths, and return to the good yeast-bread of their
sainted grandmothers.

If acid and alkali must be used, by all means let them be mixed in due
proportions. No cook should be left to guess and judge for herself about
this matter. There is an article, called "Preston's Infallible
Yeast-Powder," which is made by chemical rule, and produces very perfect
results. The use of this obviates the worst dangers in making bread by
effervescence.

Of all processes of aëration in bread-making, the oldest and most
time-honored is by fermentation. That this was known in the days of our
Saviour is evident from the forcible simile in which he compares the
silent permeating force of truth in human society to the very familiar
household process of raising bread by a little yeast.

There is, however, one species of yeast, much used in some parts of the
country, against which I have to enter my protest. It is called
salt-risings, or milk-risings, and is made by mixing flour, milk, and a
little salt together, and leaving them to ferment. The bread thus
produced is often very attractive, when new and made with great care. It
is white and delicate, with fine, even air-cells. It has, however, when
kept, some characteristics which remind us of the terms in which our old
English Bible describes the effect of keeping the manna of the ancient
Israelites, which we are informed, in words more explicit than
agreeable, "stank, and bred worms." If salt-rising bread does not fulfil
the whole of this unpleasant description, it certainly does emphatically
a part of it. The smell which it has in baking, and when more than a day
old, suggests the inquiry, whether it is the saccharine or the putrid
fermentation with which it is raised. Whoever breaks a piece of it after
a day or two will often see minute filaments or clammy strings drawing
out from the fragments, which, with the unmistakable smell, will cause
him to pause before consummating a nearer acquaintance.

The fermentation of flour by means of brewer's or distiller's yeast
produces, if rightly managed, results far more palatable and wholesome.
The only requisites for success in it are, first, good materials, and,
second, great care in a few small things. There are certain low-priced
or damaged kinds of flour which can never by any kind of domestic
chemistry be made into good bread; and to those persons whose stomachs
forbid them to eat gummy, glutinous paste, under the name of bread,
there is no economy in buying these poor brands, even at half the price
of good flour.

But good flour and good yeast being supposed, with a temperature
favorable to the development of fermentation, the whole success of the
process depends on the thorough diffusion of the proper proportion of
yeast through the whole mass, and on stopping the subsequent
fermentation at the precise and fortunate point. The true housewife
makes her bread the sovereign of her kitchen,--its behests must be
attended to in all critical points and moments, no matter what else be
postponed. She who attends to her bread when she has done this, and
arranged that, and performed the other, very often finds that the forces
of Nature will not wait for her. The snowy mass, perfectly mixed,
kneaded with care and strength, rises in its beautiful perfection till
the moment comes for fixing the air-cells by baking. A few minutes now,
and the acetous fermentation will begin, and the whole result be
spoiled. Many bread-makers pass in utter carelessness over this sacred
and mysterious boundary. Their oven has cake in it, or they are skimming
jelly, or attending to some other of the so-called higher branches of
cookery, while the bread is quickly passing into the acetous stage. At
last, when they are ready to attend to it, they find that it has been
going its own way,--it is so sour that the pungent smell is plainly
perceptible. Now the saleratus-bottle is handed down, and a quantity of
the dissolved alkali mixed with the paste,--an expedient sometimes
making itself too manifest by greenish streaks or small acrid spots in
the bread. As the result, we have a beautiful article spoiled,--bread
without sweetness, if not absolutely sour.

In the view of many, lightness is the only property required in this
article. The delicate, refined sweetness which exists in carefully
kneaded bread, baked just before it passes to the extreme point of
fermentation, is something of which they have no conception, and thus
they will even regard this process of spoiling the paste by the acetous
fermentation, and then rectifying that acid by effervescence with an
alkali, as something positively meritorious. How else can they value and
relish bakers' loaves, such as some are, drugged with ammonia and other
disagreeable things, light indeed, so light that they seem to have
neither weight nor substance, but with no move sweetness or taste than
so much white cotton?

Some persons prepare bread for the oven by simply mixing it in the mass,
without kneading, pouring it into pans, and suffering it to rise there.
The air-cells in bread thus prepared are coarse and uneven; the bread is
as inferior in delicacy and nicety to that which is well kneaded as a
raw Irish servant to a perfectly educated and refined lady. The process
of kneading seems to impart an evenness to the minute air-cells, a
fineness of texture, and a tenderness and pliability to the whole
substance, that can be gained in no other way.

The divine principle of beauty has its reign over bread as well as over
all other things; it has its laws of aesthetics; and that bread which is
so prepared that it can be formed into separate and well-proportioned
loaves, each one carefully worked and moulded, will develop the most
beautiful results. After being moulded, the loaves should stand a little
while, just long enough to allow the fermentation going on in them to
expand each little air-cell to the point at which it stood before it was
worked down, and then they should be immediately put into the oven.

Many a good thing, however, is spoiled in the oven. We cannot but
regret, for the sake of bread, that our old steady brick ovens have been
almost universally superseded by those of ranges and cooking-stoves,
which are infinite in their caprices, and forbid all general rules. One
thing, however, may be borne in mind as a principle,--that the
excellence of bread in all its varieties, plain or sweetened, depends on
the perfection of its air-cells, whether produced by yeast, egg, or
effervescence, that one of the objects of baking is to fix these
air-cells, and that the quicker this can be done through the whole mass
the better will the result be. When cake or bread is made heavy by
baking too quickly, it is because the immediate formation of the top
crust hinders the exhaling of the moisture in the centre, and prevents
the air-cells from cooking. The weight also of the crust pressing down
on the doughy air-cells below destroys them, producing that horror of
good cooks, a heavy streak. The problem in baking, then, is the quick
application of heat rather below than above the loaf, and its steady
continuance till all the air-cells are thoroughly dried into permanent
consistency. Every housewife must watch her own oven to know how this
can be best accomplished.

Bread-making can be cultivated to any extent as a fine art,--and the
various kinds of biscuit, tea-rusks, twists, rolls, into which bread may
be made, are much better worth a housekeeper's ambition than the
getting-up of rich and expensive cake or confections. There are also
varieties of material which are rich in good effects. Unbolted flour,
altogether more wholesome than the fine wheat, and when properly
prepared more palatable,--rye-flour and corn-meal, each affording a
thousand attractive possibilities,--each and all of these come under the
general laws of bread-stuffs, and are worth a careful attention.

A peculiarity of our American table, particularly in the Southern and
Western States, is the constant exhibition of various preparations of
hot bread. In many families of the South and West, bread in loaves to be
eaten cold is an article quite unknown. The effect of this kind of diet
upon the health has formed a frequent subject of remark among
travellers; but only those know the full mischiefs of it who have been
compelled to sojourn for a length of time in families where it is
maintained. The unknown horrors of dyspepsia from bad bread are a topic
over which we willingly draw a veil.

       *       *       *       *       *

Next to Bread comes _Butter_,--on which we have to say, that, when we
remember what butter is in civilized Europe, and compare it with what it
is in America, we wonder at the forbearance and lenity of travellers in
their strictures on our national commissariat.

Butter, in England, France, and Italy, is simply solidified cream, with
all the sweetness of the cream in its taste, freshly churned each day,
and unadulterated by salt. At the present moment, when salt is five
cents a pound and butter fifty, we Americans are paying, I should judge
from the taste, for about one pound of salt to every ten of butter, and
those of us who have eaten the butter of France and England do this with
rueful recollections.

There is, it is true, an article of butter made in the American style
with salt, which, in its own kind and way, has a merit not inferior to
that of England and France. Many prefer it, and it certainly takes a
rank equally respectable with the other. It is yellow, hard, and worked
so perfectly free from every particle of buttermilk that it might make
the voyage of the world without spoiling. It is salted, but salted with
care and delicacy, so that it may be a question whether even a
fastidious Englishman might not prefer its golden solidity to the white,
creamy freshness of his own. Now I am not for universal imitation of
foreign customs, and where I find this butter made perfectly, I call it
our American style, and am not ashamed of it. I only regret that this
article is the exception, and not the rule, on our tables. When I
reflect on the possibilities which beset the delicate stomach in this
line, I do not wonder that my venerated friend Dr. Mussey used to close
his counsels to invalids with the direction, "And don't eat grease on
your bread."

America must, I think, have the credit of manufacturing and putting into
market more bad butter than all that is made in all the rest of the
world together. The varieties of bad tastes and smells which prevail in
it are quite a study. This has a cheesy taste, that a mouldy,--this is
flavored with cabbage, and that again with turnip, and another has the
strong, sharp savor of rancid animal fat. These varieties, I presume,
come from the practice of churning only at long intervals, and keeping
the cream meanwhile in unventilated cellars or dairies, the air of which
is loaded with the effluvia of vegetable substances. No domestic
articles are so sympathetic as those of the milk tribe: they readily
take on the smell and taste of any neighboring substance, and hence the
infinite variety of flavors on which one mournfully muses who has late
in autumn to taste twenty firkins of butter in hopes of finding one
which will simply not be intolerable on his winter table.

A matter for despair as regards bad butter is that at the tables where
it is used it stands sentinel at the door to bar your way to every other
kind of food. You turn from your dreadful half-slice of bread, which
fills your mouth with bitterness, to your beefsteak, which proves
virulent with the same poison; you think to take refuge in vegetable
diet, and find the butter in the string-beans, and polluting the
innocence of early peas,--it is in the corn, in the succotash, in the
squash,--the beets swim in it, the onions have it poured over them.
Hungry and miserable, you think to solace yourself at the dessert,--but
the pastry is cursed, the cake is acrid with the same plague. You are
ready to howl with despair, and your misery is great upon
you,--especially if this is a table where you have taken board for three
months with your delicate wife and four small children. Your case is
dreadful,--and it is hopeless, because long usage and habit have
rendered your host perfectly incapable of discovering what is the
matter. "Don't like the butter, Sir? I assure you I paid an extra price
for it, and it's the very best in the market. I looked over as many as a
hundred tubs, and picked out this one." You are dumb, but not less
despairing.

Yet the process of making good butter is a very simple one. To keep the
cream in a perfectly pure, cool atmosphere, to churn while it is yet
sweet, to work out the buttermilk thoroughly, and to add salt with such
discretion as not to ruin the fine, delicate flavor of the fresh
cream,--all this is quite simple, so simple that one wonders at
thousands and millions of pounds of butter yearly manufactured which are
merely a hobgoblin-bewitchment of cream into foul and loathsome poisons.

       *       *       *       *       *

The third head of my discourse is that of _Meat_, of which America
furnishes, in the gross material, enough to spread our tables royally,
were it well cared for and served.

The faults in the meat generally furnished to us are, first, that it is
too new. A beefsteak, which three or four days of keeping might render
practicable, is served up to us palpitating with freshness, with all the
toughness of animal muscle yet warm. In the Western country, the
traveller, on approaching a hotel, is often saluted by the last shrieks
of the chickens which half an hour afterward are presented to him _à la_
spread-eagle for his dinner. The example of the Father of the Faithful,
most wholesome to be followed in so many respects, is imitated only in
the celerity with which the young calf, tender and good, was transformed
into an edible dish for hospitable purposes. But what might be good
housekeeping in a nomadic Emir, in days when refrigerators were yet in
the future, ought not to be so closely imitated as it often is in our
own land.

In the next place, there is a woful lack of nicety in the butcher's work
of cutting and preparing meat. Who that remembers the neatly trimmed
mutton-chop of an English inn, or the artistic little circle of
lamb-chop fried in bread-crumbs coiled around a tempting centre of
spinach which can always be found in France, can recognize any
family-resemblance to these dapper civilized preparations in those
coarse, roughly hacked strips of bone, gristle, and meat which are
commonly called mutton-chop in America? There seems to be a large dish
of something resembling meat, in which each fragment has about two or
three edible morsels, the rest being composed of dry and burnt skin,
fat, and ragged bone.

Is it not time that civilization should learn to demand somewhat more
care and nicety in the modes of preparing what is to be cooked and
eaten? Might not some of the refinement and trimness which characterize
the preparations of the European market be with advantage introduced
into our own? The housekeeper who wishes to garnish her table with some
of those nice things is stopped in the outset by the butcher. Except in
our large cities, where some foreign travel may have created the demand,
it seems impossible to get much in this line that is properly prepared.

I am aware, that, if this is urged on the score of aesthetics, the ready
reply will be,--"Oh, we can't give time here in America to go into
niceties and French whim-whams!" But the French mode of doing almost all
practical things is based on that true philosophy and utilitarian good
sense which characterize that seemingly thoughtless people. Nowhere is
economy a more careful study, and their market is artistically arranged
to this end. The rule is so to cut their meats that no portion designed
to be cooked in a certain manner shall have wasteful appendages which
that mode of cooking will spoil. The French soup-kettle stands ever
ready to receive the bones, the thin fibrous flaps, the sinewy and
gristly portions, which are so often included in our roasts or
broilings, which fill our plates with unsightly _débris_, and finally
make an amount of blank waste for which we pay our butcher the same
price that we pay for what we have eaten.

The dead waste of our clumsy, coarse way of cutting meats is immense.
For example, at the beginning of the present season, the part of a lamb
denominated leg and loin, or hind-quarter, sold for thirty cents a
pound. Now this includes, besides the thick, fleshy portions, a quantity
of bone, sinew, and thin fibrous substance, constituting full one-third
of the whole weight. If we put it into the oven entire, in the usual
manner, we have the thin parts overdone, and the skinny and fibrous
parts utterly dried up, by the application of the amount of heat
necessary to cook the thick portion. Supposing the joint to weigh six
pounds, at thirty cents, and that one-third of the weight is so treated
as to become perfectly useless, we throw away sixty cents. Of a piece of
beef at twenty-five cents a pound, fifty cents' worth is often lost in
bone, fat, and burnt skin.

The fact is, this way of selling and cooking meat in large, gross
portions is of English origin, and belongs to a country where all the
customs of society spring from a class who have no particular occasion
for economy. The practice of minute and delicate division comes from a
nation which acknowledges the need of economy, and has made it a study.
A quarter of lamb in this mode of division would be sold in three nicely
prepared portions. The thick part would be sold by itself, for a neat,
compact little roast; the rib-bones would be artistically separated, and
all the edible matters scraped away would form those delicate dishes of
lamb-chop, which, fried in bread-crumbs to a golden brown, are so
ornamental and so palatable a side-dish; the trimmings which remain
after this division would be destined to the soup-kettle or stew-pan. In
a French market is a little portion for every purse, and the far-famed
and delicately flavored soups and stews which have arisen out of French
economy are a study worth a housekeeper's attention. Not one atom of
food is wasted in the French modes of preparation; even tough animal
cartilages and sinews, instead of appearing burned and blackened in
company with the roast meat to which they happen to be related, are
treated according to their own laws, and come out either in savory
soups, or those fine, clear meat-jellies which form a garnish no less
agreeable to the eye than palatable to the taste.

Whether this careful, economical, practical style of meat-cooking can
ever to any great extent be introduced into our kitchens now is a
question. Our butchers are against it; our servants are wedded to the
old wholesale wasteful ways, which seem to them easier because they are
accustomed to them. A cook who will keep and properly tend a soup-kettle
which shall receive and utilize all that the coarse preparations of the
butcher would require her to trim away, who understands the art of
making the most of all these remains, is a treasure scarcely to be hoped
for. If such things are to be done, it must be primarily through the
educated brain of cultivated women who do not scorn to turn their
culture and refinement upon domestic problems.

When meats have been properly divided, so that each portion can receive
its own appropriate style of treatment, next comes the consideration of
the modes of cooking. These may be divided into two great general
classes: those where it is desired to keep the juices within the meat,
as in baking, broiling, and frying,--and those whose object is to
extract the juice and dissolve the fibre, as in the making of soups and
stews. In the first class of operations, the process must be as rapid as
may consist with the thorough cooking of all the particles. In this
branch of cookery, doing quickly is doing well. The fire must be brisk,
the attention, alert. The introduction of cooking-stoves offers to
careless domestics facilities for gradually drying-up meats, and
despoiling them of all flavor and nutriment,--facilities which appear to
be very generally laid hold of. They have almost banished the genuine,
old-fashioned roast-meat from our tables, and left in its stead dried
meats with their most precious and nutritive juices evaporated. How few
cooks, unassisted, are competent to the simple process of broiling a
beefsteak or mutton-chop! how very generally one has to choose between
these meats gradually dried away, or burned on the outside and raw
within! Yet in England these articles _never_ come on table done amiss;
their perfect cooking is as absolute a certainty as the rising of the
sun.

No one of these rapid processes of cooking, however, is so generally
abused as frying. The frying-pan has awful sins to answer for. What
untold horrors of dyspepsia have arisen from its smoky depths, like the
ghosts from witches' caldrons! The fizzle of frying meat is as a warning
knell on many an ear, saying, "Touch not, taste not, if you would not
burn and writhe!"

Yet those who have travelled abroad remember that some of the lightest,
most palatable, and most digestible preparations of meat have come from
this dangerous source. But we fancy quite other rites and ceremonies
inaugurated the process, and quite other hands performed its offices,
than those known to our kitchens. Probably the delicate _côtelletes_ of
France are not flopped down into half-melted grease, there gradually to
warm and soak and fizzle, while Biddy goes in and out on her other
ministrations, till finally, when thoroughly saturated, and dinner-hour
impends, she bethinks herself, and crowds the fire below to a roaring
heat, and finishes the process by a smart burn, involving the kitchen
and surrounding precincts in volumes of Stygian gloom.

From such preparations has arisen the very current medical opinion that
fried meats are indigestible. They are indigestible, if they are greasy;
but French cooks have taught us that a thing has no more need to be
greasy because emerging from grease than Venus had to be salt because
she rose from the sea.

There are two ways of frying employed by the French cook. One is, to
immerse the article to be cooked in _boiling_ fat, with an emphasis on
the present participle,--and the philosophical principle is, so
immediately to crisp every pore, at the first moment or two of
immersion, as effectually to seal the interior against the intrusion of
greasy particles; it can then remain as long as may be necessary
thoroughly to cook it, without imbibing any more of the boiling fluid
than if it were inclosed in an eggshell. The other method is to rub a
perfectly smooth iron surface with just enough of some oily substance to
prevent the meat from adhering, and cook it with a quick heat, as cakes
are baked on a griddle. In both these cases there must be the most rapid
application of heat that can be made without burning, and by the
adroitness shown in working out this problem the skill of the cook is
tested. Any one whose cook attains this important secret will find fried
things quite as digestible and often more palatable than any other.

In the second department of meat-cookery, to wit, the slow and gradual
application of heat for the softening and dissolution of its fibre and
the extraction of its juices, common cooks are equally untrained. Where
is the so-called cook who understands how to prepare soups and stews?
These are precisely the articles in which a French kitchen excels. The
soup-kettle, made with a double bottom, to prevent burning, is a
permanent, ever-present institution, and the coarsest and most
impracticable meats distilled through that alembic come out again in
soups, jellies, or savory stews. The toughest cartilage, even the bones,
being first cracked, are here made to give forth their hidden virtues,
and to rise in delicate and appetizing forms. One great law governs all
these preparations: the application of heat must be gradual, steady,
long protracted, never reaching the point of active boiling. Hours of
quiet simmering dissolve all dissoluble parts, soften the sternest
fibre, and unlock every minute cell in which Nature has stored away her
treasures of nourishment. This careful and protracted application of
heat and the skilful use of flavors constitute the two main points in
all those nice preparations of meat for which the French have so many
names,--processes by which a delicacy can be imparted to the coarsest
and cheapest food superior to that of the finest articles under less
philosophic treatment.

French soups and stews are a study,--and they would not be an
unprofitable one to any person who wishes to live with comfort and even
elegance on small means.

John Bull looks down from the sublime of ten thousand a year on French
kickshaws, as he calls them:--"Give me my meat cooked so I may know what
it is!" An ox roasted whole is dear to John's soul, and his
kitchen-arrangements are Titanic. What magnificent rounds and sirloins
of beef, revolving on self-regulating spits, with a rich click of
satisfaction, before grates piled with roaring fires! Let us do justice
to the royal cheer. Nowhere are the charms of pure, unadulterated animal
food set forth in more imposing style. For John is rich, and what does
he care for odds and ends and parings? Has he not all the beasts of the
forest, and the cattle on a thousand hills? What does he want of
economy? But his brother Jean has not ten thousand pounds a
year,--nothing like it; but he makes up for the slenderness of his purse
by boundless fertility of invention and delicacy of practice. John began
sneering at Jean's soups and ragouts, but all John's modern sons and
daughters send to Jean for their cooks, and the sirloins of England rise
up and do obeisance to this Joseph with a white apron who comes to rule
in their kitchens.

There is no animal fibre that will not yield itself up to
long-continued, steady heat. But the difficulty with almost any of the
common servants who call themselves cooks is that they have not the
smallest notion of the philosophy of the application of heat. Such a one
will complacently tell you concerning certain meats, that the harder you
boil them the harder they grow,--an obvious fact, which, under her mode
of treatment, by an indiscriminate galloping boil, has frequently come
under her personal observation. If you tell her that such meat must
stand for six hours in a heat just below the boiling-point, she will
probably answer, "Yes, Ma'am," and go on her own way. Or she will let it
stand till it burns to the bottom of the kettle,--a most common
termination of the experiment. The only way to make sure of the matter
is either to import a French kettle, or to fit into an ordinary kettle a
false bottom, such as any tinman may make, that shall leave a space of
an inch or two between the meat and the fire. This kettle may be
maintained as a constant _habitué_ of the range, and into it the cook
may be instructed to throw all the fibrous trimmings of meat, all the
gristle, tendons, and bones, having previously broken up these last with
a mallet.

Such a kettle will furnish the basis for clear, rich soups or other
palatable dishes. Clear soup consists of the dissolved juices of the
meat and gelatine of the bones, cleared from the fat and fibrous
portions by straining when cold. The grease, which rises to the top of
the fluid, may thus be easily removed. In a stew, on the contrary, you
boil down this soup till it permeates the fibre which long exposure to
heat has softened. All that remains, after the proper preparation of the
fibre and juices, is the flavoring, and it is in this, particularly,
that French soups excel those of America and England and all the world.

English and American soups are often heavy and hot with spices. There
are appreciable tastes in them. They burn your mouth with cayenne or
clove or allspice. You can tell at once what is in them, oftentimes to
your sorrow. But a French soup has a flavor which one recognizes at once
as delicious, yet not to be characterized as due to any single
condiment; it is the just blending of many things. The same remark
applies to all their stews, ragouts, and other delicate preparations. No
cook will ever study these flavors; but perhaps many cooks' mistresses
may, and thus be able to impart delicacy and comfort to economy.

As to those things called hashes, commonly manufactured by unwatched,
untaught cooks, out of the remains of yesterday's repast, let us not
dwell too closely on their memory,--compounds of meat, gristle, skin,
fat, and burnt fibre, with a handful of pepper and salt flung at them,
dredged with lumpy flour, watered from the spout of the tea-kettle, and
left to simmer at the cook's convenience while she is otherwise
occupied. Such are the best performances a housekeeper can hope for from
an untrained cook.

But the cunningly devised minces, the artful preparations choicely
flavored, which may be made of yesterday's repast,--by these is the true
domestic artist known. No cook untaught by an educated brain ever makes
these, and yet economy is a great gainer by them.

       *       *       *       *       *

As regards the department of _Vegetables_, their number and variety in
America are so great that a table might almost be furnished by these
alone. Generally speaking, their cooking is a more simple art, and
therefore more likely to be found satisfactorily performed, than that of
meats. If only they are not drenched with rancid butter, their own
native excellence makes itself known in most of the ordinary modes of
preparation.

There is, however, one exception.

Our stanch old friend, the potato, is to other vegetables what bread is
on the table. Like bread, it is held as a sort of _sine-qua-non_; like
that, it may be made invariably palatable by a little care in a few
plain particulars, through neglect of which it often becomes
intolerable. The soggy, waxy, indigestible viand that often appears in
the potato-dish is a downright sacrifice of the better nature of this
vegetable.

The potato, nutritive and harmless as it appears, belongs to a family
suspected of very dangerous traits. It is a family-connection of the
deadly-nightshade and other ill-reputed gentry, and sometimes shows
strange proclivities to evil,--now breaking out uproariously, as in the
noted potato-rot, and now more covertly in various evil affections. For
this reason scientific directors bid us beware of the water in which
potatoes are boiled,--into which, it appears, the evil principle is
drawn off; and they caution us not to shred them into stews without
previously suffering the slices to lie for an hour or so in salt and
water. These cautions are worth attention.

The most usual modes of preparing the potato for the table are by
roasting or boiling. These processes are so simple that it is commonly
supposed every cook understands them without special directions; and yet
there is scarcely an uninstructed cook who can boil or roast a potato.

A good roasted potato is a delicacy worth a dozen compositions of the
cook-book; yet when we ask for it, what burnt, shrivelled abortions are
presented to us! Biddy rushes to her potato-basket and pours out two
dozen of different sizes, some having in them three times the amount of
matter of others. These being washed, she tumbles them into her oven at
a leisure interval, and there lets them lie till it is time to serve
breakfast, whenever that may be. As a result, if the largest are cooked,
the smallest are presented in cinders, and the intermediate sizes are
withered and watery. Nothing is so utterly ruined by a few moments of
overdoing. That which at the right moment was plump with mealy richness,
a quarter of an hour later shrivels and becomes watery,--and it is in
this state that roast potatoes are most frequently served.

In the same manner we have seen boiled potatoes from an untaught cook
coming upon the table like lumps of yellow wax,--and the same article,
the day after, under the directions of a skilful mistress, appearing in
snowy balls of powdery lightness. In the one case, they were thrown in
their skins into water, and suffered to soak or boil, as the case might
be, at the cook's leisure, and after they were boiled to stand in the
water till she was ready to peel them. In the other case, the potatoes
being first peeled were boiled as quickly as possible in salted water,
which the moment they were done was drained off, and then they were
gently shaken for a minute or two over the fire to dry them still more
thoroughly. We have never yet seen the potato so depraved and given over
to evil that could not be reclaimed by this mode of treatment.

As to fried potatoes, who that remembers the crisp, golden slices of the
French restaurant, thin as wafers and light as snow-flakes, does not
speak respectfully of them? What cousinship with these have those
coarse, greasy masses of sliced potato, wholly soggy and partly burnt,
to which we are treated under the name of fried potatoes _à la_ America?
In our cities the restaurants are introducing the French article to
great acceptance, and to the vindication of the fair fame of this queen
of vegetables.

       *       *       *       *       *

Finally, I arrive at the last great head of my subject, to wit,
TEA,--meaning thereby, as before observed, what our Hibernian friend did
in the inquiry, "Will y'r Honor take 'tay tay' or coffee tay?"

I am not about to enter into the merits of the great tea-and-coffee
controversy, or say whether these substances are or are not wholesome. I
treat of them as actual existences, and speak only of the modes of
making the most of them.

The French coffee is reputed the best in the world; and a thousand
voices have asked, What is it about the French coffee?

In the first place, then, the French coffee is coffee, and not chiccory,
or rye, or beans, or peas. In the second place, it is freshly roasted,
whenever made,--roasted with great care and evenness in a little
revolving cylinder which makes part of the furniture of every kitchen,
and which keeps in the aroma of the berry. It is never overdone, so as
to destroy the coffee-flavor, which is in nine cases out of ten the
fault of the coffee we meet with. Then it is ground, and placed in a
coffee-pot with a filter, through which it percolates in clear drops,
the coffee-pot standing on a heated stove to maintain the temperature.
The nose of the coffee-pot is stopped up to prevent the escape of the
aroma during this process. The extract thus obtained is a perfectly
clear, dark fluid, known as _café noir_, or black coffee. It is black
only because of its strength, being in fact almost the very essential
oil of coffee. A table-spoonful of this in boiled milk would make what
is ordinarily called a strong cup of coffee. The boiled milk is prepared
with no less care. It must be fresh and new, not merely warmed or even
brought to the boiling-point, but slowly simmered till it attains a
thick, creamy richness. The coffee mixed with this, and sweetened with
that sparkling beet-root sugar which ornaments a French table, is the
celebrated _café-au-lait_, the name of which has gone round the world.

As we look to France for the best coffee, so we must look to England for
the perfection of tea. The tea-kettle is as much an English institution
as aristocracy or the Prayer-Book; and when one wants to know exactly
how tea should be made, one has only to ask how a fine old English
housekeeper makes it.

The first article of her faith is that the water must not merely be hot,
not merely _have boiled_ a few moments since, but be actually _boiling_
at the moment it touches the tea. Hence, though servants in England are
vastly better trained than with us, this delicate mystery is seldom left
to their hands. Tea-making belongs to the drawing-room, and high-born
ladies preside at "the bubbling and loud-hissing urn," and see that all
due rites and solemnities are properly performed,--that the cups are
hot, and that the infused tea waits the exact time before the libations
commence. Oh, ye dear old English tea-tables, resorts of the
kindest-hearted hospitality in the world! we still cherish your memory,
even though you do not say pleasant things of us there. One of these
days you will think better of us. Of late, the introduction of English
breakfast-tea has raised a new sect among the tea-drinkers, reversing
some of the old canons. Breakfast-tea must be boiled! Unlike the
delicate article of olden time, which required only a momentary infusion
to develop its richness, this requires a longer and severer treatment to
bring out its strength,--thus confusing all the established usages, and
throwing the work into the hands of the cook in the kitchen.

The faults of tea, as too commonly found at our hotels and
boarding-houses, are that it is made in every way the reverse of what it
should be. The water is hot, perhaps, but not boiling; the tea has a
general flat, stale, smoky taste, devoid of life or spirit; and it is
served, usually, with thin milk, instead of cream. Cream is as essential
to the richness of tea as of coffee. We could wish that the English
fashion might generally prevail, of giving the traveller his own kettle
of boiling water and his own tea-chest, and letting him make tea for
himself. At all events, he would then be sure of one merit in his
tea,--it would be hot, a very simple and obvious virtue, but one very
seldom obtained.

Chocolate is a French and Spanish article, and one seldom served on
American tables. We, in America, however, make an article every way
equal to any which can be imported from Paris, and he who buys Baker's
best vanilla-chocolate may rest assured that no foreign land can
furnish anything better. A very rich and delicious beverage may be made
by dissolving this in milk slowly boiled down after the French fashion.

       *       *       *       *       *

I have now gone over all the ground I laid out, as comprising the great
first principles of cookery; and I would here modestly offer the opinion
that a table where all these principles are carefully observed would
need few dainties. The struggle after so-called delicacies comes from
the poorness of common things. Perfect bread and butter would soon drive
cake out of the field: it has done so in many families. Nevertheless, I
have a word to say under the head of _Confectionery_, meaning by this
the whole range of ornamental cookery,--or pastry, ices, jellies,
preserves, etc. The art of making all these very perfectly is far better
understood in America than the art of common cooking.

There are more women who know how to make good cake than good
bread,--more who can furnish you with a good ice-cream than a
well-cooked mutton-chop; a fair charlotte-russe is easier to come by
than a perfect cup of coffee, and you shall find a sparkling jelly to
your dessert where you sighed in vain for so simple a luxury as a
well-cooked potato.

Our fair countrywomen might rest upon their laurels in these higher
fields, and turn their great energy and ingenuity to the study of
essentials. To do common things perfectly is far better worth our
endeavor than to do uncommon things respectably. We Americans in many
things as yet have been a little inclined to begin making our shirt at
the ruffle; but, nevertheless, when we set about it, we can make the
shirt as nicely as anybody,--it needs only that we turn our attention to
it, resolved, that, ruffle or no ruffle, the shirt we will have.

I have also a few words to say as to the prevalent ideas in respect to
French cookery. Having heard much of it, with no very distinct idea what
it is, our people have somehow fallen into the notion that its forte
lies in high spicing,--and so, when our cooks put a great abundance of
clove, mace, nutmeg, and cinnamon into their preparations, they fancy
that they are growing up to be French cooks. But the fact is, that the
Americans and English are far more given to spicing than the French.
Spices in our made dishes are abundant, and their taste is strongly
pronounced. In living a year in France I forgot the taste of nutmeg,
clove, and allspice, which had met me in so many dishes in America.

The thing may be briefly defined. The English and Americans deal in
_spices_, the French in _flavors_,--flavors many and subtile, imitating
often in their delicacy those subtile blendings which Nature produces in
high-flavored fruits. The recipes of our cookery-books are most of them
of English origin, coming down from the times of our phlegmatic
ancestors, when the solid, burly, beefy growth of the foggy island
required the heat of fiery condiments, and could digest heavy sweets.
Witness the national recipe for plum-pudding, which may be
rendered,--Take a pound of every indigestible substance you can think
of, boil into a cannonball, and serve in flaming brandy. So of the
Christmas mince-pie and many other national dishes. But in America,
owing to our brighter skies and more fervid climate, we have developed
an acute, nervous delicacy of temperament far more akin to that of
France than of England.

Half of the recipes in our cook-books are mere murder to such
constitutions and stomachs as we grow here. We require to ponder these
things, and think how we in our climate and under our circumstances
ought to live, and in doing so, we may, without accusation of foreign
foppery, take some leaves from many foreign books.

       *       *       *       *       *

But Christopher has prosed long enough. I must now read this to my wife,
and see what she says.



ON THE COLUMBIA RIVER.


I have never known, nor seen any person who did know, why Portland, the
metropolis of Oregon, was founded on the Willamette River. I am unaware
why the accent is on the penult, and not on the ultimate of Willamette.
These thoughts perplexed me more than a well man would have suffered
them, all the way from the Callapooya Mountains to Portland. I had been
laid up in the backwoods of Oregon, in a district known as the Long-Tom
Country,--(and certainly a longer or more tedious Tom never existed
since the days of him additionally hight Aquinas,)--by a violent attack
of pneumonia, which came near terminating my earthly with my Oregon
pilgrimage. I had been saved by the indefatigable nursing of the best
friend I ever travelled with,--by wet compresses, and the impossibility
of sending for any doctor in the region. I had lived to pay
San-Francisco hotel-prices for squatter-cabin accommodations in the
rural residence of an Oregon landholder, whose tender mercies I fell
into from my saddle when the disease had reached its height, and who
explained his unusual charges on the ground that his wife had felt for
me like a mother. In the Long-Tom Country maternal tenderness is a
highly estimated virtue. It cost Bierstadt and myself sixty dollars,
besides the reasonable charge for five days' board and attendance to a
man who ate nothing and was not waited on, with the same amount against
his well companion. We had suffered enough extortion before that to
exhaust all our native grumblery. So we paid the bill, and entered on
our notebooks the following

_Mem._ "In stopping with anybody in the Long-Tom Country, make a special
contract for maternal tenderness, as it will invariably be included in
the bill."

I had ridden on a straw-bed in the wagon of the man whose wife
cultivated the maternal virtues, until I was once more able to go along
by myself,--paying, you may be sure, maternal-virtue fare for my
carriage. During the period that I jolted on the straw, I diversified
the intervals between pulmonary spasms with a sick glance at the pages
of Bulwer's "Devereux" and Lever's "Day's Ride." The nature of these
works did not fail to attract the attention of my driver. It aroused in
him serious concern for my spiritual welfare. He addressed me with
gentle firmness,--

"D' ye think it's exackly the way for an immortal creatur' to be
spendin' his time, to read them _novels_?"

"Why is it particularly out of the way for an immortal creature?"

"Because his higher interests don't give him no time for sich follies."

"How can an immortal creature be pressed for time?"

"Wal, you'll find out some day. G' lang, Jennie."

I thought I had left this excellent man in a metaphysical bog. But he
had not discharged his duty, so he scrambled out and took new ground.

"Now say,--d' _you_ think it's exackly a Christian way of spendin' time,
yourself?"

"I know a worse way."

"Eh? What's that?"

"In the house of a Long-Tom settler who charges five dollars a day extra
because his wife feels like a mother."

He did not continue the conversation. I myself did not close it in
anger, but solely to avoid an extra charge, which in the light of
experience seemed imminent, for concern about my spiritual welfare. On
the maternal-tenderness scale of prices, an indulgence in this luxury
would have cleaned out Bierstadt and myself before we effected junction
with our drawers of exchange, and I was discourteous as a matter of
economy.

We had enjoyed, from the summit of a hill twenty miles south of Salem,
one of the most magnificent views in all earthly scenery. Within a
single sweep of vision were seven snow-peaks, the Three Sisters, Mount
Jefferson, Mount Hood, Mount Adams, and Mount St. Helen's, with the dim
suggestion of an eighth colossal mass, which might be Rainier. All these
rose along an arc of not quite half the horizon, measured between ten
and eighteen thousand feet in height, were nearly conical, and
absolutely covered with snow from base to pinnacle. The Three Sisters, a
triplet of sharp, close-set needles, and the grand masses of Hood and
Jefferson, showed mountainesque and earthly; it was at least possible to
imagine them of us and anchored to the ground we trod on. Not so with
the others. They were beautiful, yet awful ghosts,--spirits of dead
mountains buried in old-world cataclysms, returning to make on the
brilliant azure of noonday blots of still more brilliant white. I cannot
express their vague, yet vast and intense splendor, by any other word
than incandescence. It was as if the sky had suddenly grown white-hot in
patches. When we first looked, we thought St. Helen's an illusion,--an
aurora, or a purer kind of cloud. Presently we detected the luminous
chromatic border,--a band of refracted light with a predominant
orange-tint, which outlines the higher snow-peaks seen at long
range,--traced it down, and grasped the entire conception of the mighty
cone. No man of enthusiasm, who reflects what this whole sight must have
been, will wonder that my friend and I clasped each other's hands before
it, and thanked God we had lived to this day.

We had followed down the beautiful valley of the Willamette to Portland,
finding everywhere glimpses of autumnal scenery as delicious as the
hills and meadows of the Housatonic. Putting up in Portland at the
Dennison House, we found the comforts of civilization for the first time
since leaving Sisson's, and a great many kind friends warmly interested
in furthering our enterprise. I have said that I do not know why
Portland was built on the Willamette. The point of the promontory
between the Willamette and the Columbia seems the proper place for the
chief commercial city of the State; and Portland is a dozen miles south
of this, up the tributary stream. But Portland does very well as it
is,--growing rapidly in business-importance, and destined, when the
proper railway-communications are established, to be a sort of Glasgow
to the London of San Francisco. When we were there, there was crying
need of a telegraph to the latter place. That need has now been
supplied, and the construction of the no less desirable railroad must
follow speedily. The country between Shasta Peak and Salem is at present
virtually without an outlet to market. No richer fruit and grain region
exists on the Pacific slope of the continent. No one who has not
travelled through it can imagine the exhaustless fertility which will be
stimulated and the results which will be brought forth, when a
continuous line of railroad unites Sacramento or even Tehama with the
metropolis of Oregon.

Among the friends who welcomed us to Portland were Messrs. Ainsworth and
Thompson, of the Oregon Steamship Company. By their courtesy we were
afforded a trip up the Columbia River, in the pleasantest quarters and
under the most favorable circumstances.

We left Portland the evening before their steamer sailed, taking a boat
belonging to a different line, that we might pass a night at Fort
Vancouver, and board the Company's boat when it touched at that place
the next morning. We recognized our return from rudimentary society to
civilized surroundings and a cultivated interest in art and literature,
when the captain of the little steamer Vancouver refused to let either
of us buy a ticket, because he had seen Bierstadt on the upper deck at
work with his sketch-book, and me by his side engaged with my journal.

The banks of the Willamette below Portland are low and cut up by small
tributaries or communicating lagoons which divide them into islands. The
largest of these, measuring its longest border, has an extent of twenty
miles, and is called Sauveur's. Another, called "Nigger Tom's," was
famous as the seigniory of a blind African nobleman so named, living in
great affluence of salmon and whiskey with three or four devoted Indian
wives, who had with equal fervor embraced the doctrine of Mormonism and
the profession of day's-washing to keep their liege in luxury due his
rank. The land along the shore of the river was usually well timbered,
and in the level openings looked as fertile as might be expected of an
alluvial first-bottom frequently overflowed. At its junction with the
Columbia the Willamette is about three-quarters of a mile in width, and
the Columbia may be half a mile wider, though at first sight the
difference seems more than that from the tributary's entering the main
river at an acute angle and giving a diagonal view to the opposite
shore. Before we passed into the Columbia, we had from the upper deck a
magnificent glimpse to the eastward of Hood's spotless snow-cone rosied
with the reflection of the dying sunset. Short and hurried as it was,
this view of Mount Hood was unsurpassed for beauty by any which we got
in its closer vicinity and afterward, though nearness added rugged
grandeur to the sight.

Six miles' sail between low and uninteresting shores brought us from the
mouth of the Willamette to Fort Vancouver, on the Washington-Territory
side of the river. Here we debarked for the night, making our way, in an
ambulance sent for us from the post, a distance of two minutes' ride, to
the quarters of General Alvord, the commandant. Under his hospitable
roof we experienced, for the first time in several months and many
hundred miles, the delicious sensation of a family-dinner, with a
refined lady at the head of the table and well-bred children about the
sides. A very interesting guest of General Alvord's was Major Lugenbeel,
who had spent his life in the topographical service of the United
States, and combined the culture of a student with an amount of
information concerning the wildest portions of our continent which I
have never seen surpassed nor heard communicated in style more
fascinating. He had lately come from the John-Day, Boisé, and
Snake-River Mines, where the Government was surveying routes of
emigration, and pronounced the wealth of the region exhaustless.

After a pleasant evening and a good night's rest, we took the Oregon
Company's steamer, Wilson G. Hunt, and proceeded up the river, leaving
Fort Vancouver about seven A.M. To our surprise, the Hunt proved an old
acquaintance. She will be remembered by most people who during the last
twelve years have been familiar with the steamers hailing from New York
Bay. Though originally built for river-service such as now employs her,
she came around from the Hudson to the Columbia by way of Cape Horn. By
lessening her top-hamper and getting new stanchions for her perilous
voyage, she performed it without accident.

Such a vivid souvenir of the Hudson reminded me of an assertion I had
often heard, that the Columbia resembles it. There is some ground for
the comparison. Each of the rivers breaks through a noble
mountain-system in its passage to the sea, and the walls of its avenue
are correspondingly grand. In point of variety the banks of the Hudson
far surpass those of the Columbia,--trap, sandstone, granite, limestone,
and slate succeeding each other with a rapidity which presents ever new
outlines to the eye of the tourist. The scenery of the Columbia, between
Fort Vancouver and the Dalles, is a sublime monotone. Its banks are
basaltic crags or mist-wrapt domes, averaging below the cataract from
twelve to fifteen hundred feet in height, and thence decreasing to the
Dalles, where the escarpments, washed by the river, are low trap bluffs
on a level with the steamer's walking-beam, and the mountains have
retired, bare and brown, like those of the great continental basin
farther south, toward Mount Hood in that direction, and Mount Adams on
the north. If the Palisades were quintupled in height, domed instead of
level on their upper surfaces, extended up the whole navigable course of
the Hudson, and were thickly clad with evergreens wherever they were not
absolutely precipitous, the Hudson would much more closely resemble the
Columbia.

I was reminded of another Eastern river, which I had never heard
mentioned, in the same company. As we ascended toward the cataract, the
Columbia water assumed a green tint as deep and positive as that of the
Niagara between the Falls and Lake Ontario. Save that its surface was
not so perturbed with eddies and marbled with foam, it resembled the
Niagara perfectly.

We boarded the Hunt in a dense fog, and went immediately to breakfast.
With our last cup of coffee the fog cleared away and showed us a sunny
vista up the river, bordered by the columnar and mural trap formations
above mentioned, with an occasional bold promontory jutting out beyond
the general face of the precipice, its shaggy fell of pines and firs all
aflood with sunshine to the very crown. The finest of these promontories
was called Cape Horn, the river bending around it to the northeast. The
channel kept mid-stream with considerable uniformity,--but now and then,
as in the highland region of the Hudson, made a _détour_ to avoid some
bare, rocky island. Several of these islands were quite columnar,--being
evidently the emerged capitals of basaltic prisms, like the other
uplifts on the banks. A fine instance of this formation was the stately
and perpendicular "Rooster Rock" on the Oregon side, but not far from
Cape Horn. Still another was called "Lone Rock," and rose from the
middle of the river. These came upon our view within the first hour
after breakfast, in company with a slender, but graceful stream, which
fell into the river over a sheer wall of basalt seven hundred feet in
height. This little cascade reminded us of Po-ho-nó, or The Bridal Veil,
near the lower entrance of the Great Yo-Semite.

As the steamer rounded a point into each new stretch of silent, green,
and sunny river, we sent a flock of geese or ducks hurrying cloudward or
shoreward. Here, too, for the first time in a state of absolute Nature,
I saw that royal bird, the swan, escorting his mate and cygnets on an
airing or a luncheon-tour. It was a beautiful sight, though I must
confess that his Majesty and all the royal family are improved by
civilization. One of the great benefits of civilization is, that it
restricts its subjects to doing what they can do best. Park-swans seldom
fly,--and flying is something that swans should never attempt, unless
they wish to be taken for geese. I felt actually _désillusionné_, when a
princely _cortége_, which had been rippling their snowy necks in the
sunshine, clumsily lifted themselves out of the water and slanted into
the clouds, stretching those necks straight as a gun-barrel. Every line
of grace seemed wire-drawn out of them in a moment. Song is as little
their forte as flight,--barring the poetic license open to moribund
members of their family,--and I must confess, that, if this privilege
indicate approaching dissolution, the most intimate friends of the
specimens we heard have no cause for apprehension. An Adirondack loon
fortifying his utterance by a cracked fish-horn is the nearest approach
to a healthy swan-song. On the whole, the wild swan cannot afford to
"pause in his cloud" for all the encomiums of Mr. Tennyson, and had
better come down immediately to the dreamy water-level where he floats
dream within dream, like a stable vapor in a tangible sky. Anywhere else
he seems a court-beauty wandering into metaphysics.

Alternating with these swimmers came occasional flocks of shag, a bird
belonging to the cormorant tribe, and here and there a gull, though
these last grew rarer as we increased our distance from the sea. I was
surprised to notice a fine seal playing in the channel, twenty miles
above Fort Vancouver, but learned that it was not unusual for these
animals to ascend nearly to the cataract. Both the whites and Indians
scattered along the river-banks kill them for their skin and
blubber,--going out in boats for the purpose. My informant's boat had on
one occasion taken an old seal nursing her calf. When the dam was towed
to shore, the young one followed her, occasionally putting its
fore-flippers on the gunwale to rest, like a Newfoundland dog, and
behaving with such innocent familiarity that malice was disarmed. It
came ashore with the boat's-crew and the body of its parent; no one had
the heart to drive it away; so it stayed and was a pet of the camp from
that time forward. After a while the party moved its position a
distance of several miles while Jack was away in the river on a
fishing-excursion, but there was no eluding him. The morning after the
shift he came wagging into camp, a faithful and much-overjoyed, but
exceedingly battered and used-up seal. He had evidently sought his
friends by rock and flood the entire night preceding.

Occasionally the lonely river-stretches caught a sudden human interest
in some gracefully modelled canoe gliding out with a crew of Chinook
Indians from the shadow of a giant promontory, propelled by a square
sail learned of the whites. Knowing the natural, ingrained laziness of
Indians, one can imagine the delight with which they comprehended that
substitute for the paddle. After all, this may perhaps be an ill-natured
thing to say. Who does like to drudge when he can help it? Is not this
very Wilson G. Hunt a triumph of human laziness, vindicating its claim
to be the lord of matter by an ingenuity doing labor's utmost without
sweat? After all, nobody but a fool drudges for other reason than that
he may presently stop drudging.

At short intervals along the narrow strip of shore under the more
gradual steeps, on the lower ledges of the basaltic precipices, and on
little rock-islands in the river, appeared rude-looking stacks and
scaffoldings where the Indians had packed their salmon. They left it in
the open air without guard, as fearless of robbers as if the fish did
not constitute their almost entire subsistence for the winter. And
within their own tribes they have justification for this fearlessness.
Their standard of honor is in most respects curiously adjustable,--but
here virtue is defended by the necessities of life.

In the immediate vicinity of the cured article (I say "cured," though
the process is a mere drying without smoke or salt) maybe seen the
apparatus contrived for getting it in the fresh state. This is the
scaffolding from which the salmon are caught. It is a horizontal
platform shaped like a capital A, erected upon a similarly framed, but
perpendicular set of braces, with a projection of several feet over the
river-brink at a place where the water runs rapidly close in-shore. If
practicable, the constructor modifies his current artificially, banking
it inward with large stones, so as to form a sort of sluice in which
passing fish will be more completely at his mercy. At the season of
their periodic ascent, salmon swarm in all the rivers of our Pacific
coast; the Columbia and Willamette are alive with them for a long
distance above the cascades of the one and the Oregon-City fall of the
other. The fisherman stands, nearly or quite naked, at the edge of his
scaffolding, armed with a net extended at the end of a long pole, and so
ingeniously contrived that the weight of the salmon and a little
dexterous management draw its mouth shut on the captive like a purse as
soon as he has entered. A helper stands behind the fisherman to assist
in raising the haul,--to give the fish a tap on the nose, which kills
him instantly,--and finally to carry him ashore to be split and dried,
without any danger of his throwing himself back into the water from the
hands of his captors, as might easily happen by omitting the
_coup-de-grace_. Another method of catching salmon, much in vogue among
the Sacramento and Pitt-River tribes, but apparently less employed by
the Indians of the Columbia, is harpooning with a very clever instrument
constructed after this wise. A hard-wood shaft is neatly, but not
tightly, fitted into the socket of a sharp-barbed spear-head carved from
bone. Through a hole drilled in the spear-head a stout cord of
deer-sinew is fastened by one end, its other being secured to the shaft
near its insertion. The salmon is struck by this weapon in the manner of
the ordinary fish-spear; the head slips off the shaft as soon as the
barbs lodge, and the harpoon virtually becomes a fishing-rod, with the
sinew for a line. This arrangement is much more manageable than the
common spear, as it greatly diminishes the chances of losing fish and
breaking shafts.

There can scarcely be a more sculpturesque sight than that of a finely
formed, well-grown young Indian struggling on his scaffold with an
unusually powerful fish. Every muscle of his wiry frame stands out in
its turn in unveiled relief, and you see in him attitudes of grace and
power which will not let you regret the Apollo Belvedere or the
Gladiator. The only pity is that this ideal Indian is a rare being. The
Indians of this coast and river are divided into two broad classes,--the
Fish Indians, and the Meat Indians. The latter, _ceteris paribus_, are
much the finer race, derive the greater portion of their subsistence
from the chase, and possess the athletic mind and body which result from
active methods of winning a livelihood. The former are, to a great
extent, victims of that generic and hereditary _tabes mesenterica_ which
produces the peculiar pot-bellied and spindle-shanked type of savage;
their manners are milder; their virtues and vices are done in
water-color, as comports with their source of supply. There are some
tribes which partake of the habits of both classes, living in
mountain-fastnesses part of the year by the bow and arrow, but coming
down to the river in the salmon-season for an addition to their winter
bill-of-fare. Anywhere rather than among the pure Fish Indians is the
place to look for savage beauty. Still these tribes have fortified their
feebleness by such a cultivation of their ingenuity as surprises one
seeing for the first time their well-adapted tools, comfortable lodges,
and, in some cases, really beautiful canoes. In the last respect,
however, the Indians nearer the coast surpass those up the
Columbia,--some of their carved and painted canoes equalling the
"crackest" of shell-boats in elegance of line and beauty of ornament.

In a former article devoted to the Great Yo-Semite I had occasion to
remark that Indian legend, like all ancient poetry, often contains a
scientific truth embalmed in the spices of metaphor,--or, to vary the
figure, that Mudjekeewis stands holding the lantern for Agassiz and Dana
to dig by.

Coming to the Falls of the Columbia, we find a case in point. Nearly
equidistant from the longitudes of Fort Vancouver and Mount Hood, the
entire Columbia River falls twenty feet over a perpendicular wall of
basalt, extending, with minor deviations from the right angle, entirely
between-shores, a breadth of about a mile. The height of Niagara and the
close compression of its vast volume make it a grander sight than the
Falls of the Columbia,--but no other cataract known to me on this
continent rivals it for an instant. The great American Falls of Snake
are much loftier and more savage than either, but their volume is so
much less as to counterbalance those advantages. Taking the Falls of the
Columbia all in all,--including their upper and lower rapids,--it must
be confessed that they exhibit every phase of tormented water in its
beauty of color or grace of form, its wrath or its whim.

The Indians have a tradition that the river once followed a uniform
level from the Dalles to the sea. This tradition states that Mounts Hood
and St. Helen's are husband and wife,--whereby is intended that their
tutelar divinities stand in that mutual relation; that in comparatively
recent times there existed a rocky bridge across the Columbia at the
present site of the cataract, and that across this bridge Hood and St.
Helen's were wont to pass for interchange of visits; that, while this
bridge existed, there was a free subterraneous passage under it for the
river and the canoes of the tribes (indeed, this tradition is so
universally credited as to stagger the skeptic by a mere calculation of
chances); that, on a certain occasion, the mountainous pair, like others
not mountainous, came to high words, and during their altercation broke
the bridge down; falling into the river, this colossal Rialto became a
dam, and ever since that day the upper river has been backed to its
present level, submerging vast tracts of country far above its original
bed.

I notice that excellent geological authorities are willing to treat this
legend respectfully, as containing in symbols the probable key to the
natural phenomena. Whether the original course of the Columbia at this
place was through a narrow _cañon_ or under an actual roof of rock, the
adjacent material has been at no very remote date toppled into it to
make the cataract and alter the bed to its present level. Both Hood and
St. Helen's are volcanic cones. The latter has been seen to smoke within
the last twelve years. It is not unlikely that during the last few
centuries some intestine disturbance may have occurred along the axis
between the two, sufficient to account for the precipitation of that
mass of rock which now forms the dam. That we cannot refer the cataclysm
to a very ancient date seems to be argued by the state of preservation
in which we still find the stumps of the celebrated "submerged forest,"
extending a long distance up the river above the Falls.

At the foot of the cataract we landed from the steamer on the Washington
side of the river, and found a railroad-train waiting to do our portage.
It was a strange feeling, that of whirling along by steam where so few
years before the Indian and the trader had toiled through the virgin
forest, bending under the weight of their canoes. And this is one of the
characteristic surprises of American scenery everywhere. You cannot
isolate yourself from the national civilization. In a Swiss _châlet_ you
may escape from all memories of Geneva; among the Grampians you find an
entirely different set of ideas from those of Edinburgh: but the same
enterprise which makes itself felt in New York and Boston starts up for
your astonishment out of all the fastnesses of the continent. Virgin
Nature wooes our civilization to wed her, and no obstacles can conquer
the American fascination. In our journey through the wildest parts of
this country, we were perpetually finding patent washing-machines among
the _chaparral_,--canned fruit in the desert,--Voigtlander's
field-glasses on the snow-peak,--lemon-soda in the _cañon_,--men who
were sure a railroad would be run by their cabin within ten years, in
every spot where such a surprise was most remarkable.

The portage-road is six miles in length, leading nearly all the way
close along the edge of the North Bluff, which, owing to a recession of
the mountains, seems here only from fifty to eighty feet in height. From
the windows of the train we enjoyed an almost uninterrupted view of the
rapids, which are only less grand and forceful in their impression than
those above Niagara. They are broken up into narrow channels by numerous
bold and naked islands of trap. Through these the water roars, boils,
and, striking projections, spouts upward in jets whose plumy top blows
off in sheets of spray. It is tormented into whirlpools; it is combed
into fine threads, and strays whitely over a rugged ledge like old men's
hair; it takes all curves of grace and arrow-flights of force; it is
water doing all that water can do or be made to do. The painter who
spent a year in making studies of it would not throw his time away; when
he had finished, he could not misrepresent water under any phases.

At the upper end of the portage-road we found another and smaller
steamer awaiting us, with equally kind provision for our comfort made by
the Company and the captain. In both steamers we were accorded
excellent opportunities for drawing and observation, getting seats in
the pilot-house.

Above the rapids the river-banks were bold and rocky. The stream changed
from its recent Niagara green to a brown like that of the Hudson; and
under its waters, as we hugged the Oregon side, could be seen a
submerged alluvial plateau, studded thick with drowned stumps, here and
there lifting their splintered tops above the water, and measuring from
the diameter of a sapling to that of a trunk which might once have been
one hundred feet high.

Between Fort Vancouver and the cataract the banks of the river seem
nearly as wild as on the day they were discovered by the whites. On
neither the Oregon nor the Washington side is there any settlement
visible,--a small wood-wharf, or the temporary hut of a salmon-fisher,
being the only sign of human possession. At the Falls we noticed a
single white house standing in a commanding position high up on the
wooded ledges of the Oregon shore; and the taste shown in placing and
constructing it was worthy of a Hudson-River landholder. This is,
perhaps, the first attempt at a distinct country-residence made in
Oregon, and belongs to a Mr. Olmstead, who was one of the earliest
settlers and projectors of public improvements in the State. He was
actively engaged in the building of the first portage-railroad, which
ran on the Oregon side. The entire interests of both have, I believe,
been concentrated in the newer one, and the Oregon road, after building
itself by feats of business-energy and ingenuity known only to American
pioneer enterprise, has fallen into entire or comparative disuse.

Above the Falls we found as unsettled a river-margin as below.
Occasionally, some bright spot of color attracted us, relieved against
the walls of trap or glacis of evergreen, and this upon nearer approach
or by the glass was resolved into a group of river Indians,--part with
the curiously compressed foreheads of the Flat-head tribe, their serene
nakedness draped with blankets of every variety of hue, from fresh
flaming red to weather-beaten army-blue, and adorned as to their cheeks
with smutches of the cinnabar-rouge which from time immemorial has been
a prime article of import among the fashionable native circles of the
Columbia,--the other part round-headed, and (I have no doubt it appears
a perfect _sequitur_ to the Flat-head conservatives) therefore slaves.
The captive in battle seems more economically treated among these
savages than is common anywhere else in the Indian regions we traversed,
(though I suppose slavery is to some extent universal throughout the
tribes,)--the captors properly arguing, that, so long as they can make a
man fish and boil pot for them, it is a very foolish waste of material
to kill him.

At intervals above the Falls we passed several small islands of especial
interest as being the cemeteries of river-tribes. The principal, called
"Mimitus," was sacred as the resting-place of a very noted chief. I have
forgotten his name, but I doubt whether his friends see the "Atlantic"
regularly; so that oversight is of less consequence. The deceased is
entombed like a person of quality, in a wooden mausoleum having
something the appearance of a log-cabin upon which pains have been
expended, and containing, with the human remains, robes, weapons,
baskets, canoes, and all the furniture of Indian _ménage_, to an extent
which among the tribes amounts to a fortune. This sepulchral idea is a
clear-headed one, and worthy of Eastern adoption. Old ladies with lace
and nieces, old gentlemen with cellars and nephews, might be certain
that the solace which they received in life's decline was purely
disinterested, if about middle age they should announce that their Point
and their Port were going to Mount Auburn with them.

The river grew narrower, its banks becoming low, perpendicular walls of
basalt, water-worn at the base, squarely cut and castellated at the top,
and bare everywhere as any pile of masonry. The hills beyond became
naked, or covered only with short grass of the _grama_ kind and
dusty-gray sage-brush. Simultaneously they lost some of their previous
basaltic characteristics, running into more convex outlines, which
receded from the river. We could not fail to recognize the fact that we
had crossed one of the great thresholds of the continent,--were once
more east of the Sierra-Nevada axis, and in the great central plateau
which a few months previous, and several hundred miles farther south, we
had crossed amid so many pains and perils by the Desert route to Washoe.
From the grizzly mountains before us to the sources of the Snake Fork
stretched an almost uninterrupted wilderness of sage. The change in
passing to this region from the fertile and timbered tracts of the
Cascades and the coast is more abrupt than can be imagined by one
familiar with our delicately modulated Eastern scenery. This sharpness
of definition seems to characterize the entire border of the plateau.
Five hours of travel between Washoe and Sacramento carry one out of the
nakedest stone heap into the grandest forest of the continent.

As we emerged from the confinement of the nearer ranges, Mount Hood,
hitherto visible only through occasional rifts, loomed broadly into
sight almost from base to peak, covered with a mantle of perennial snow
scarcely less complete to our near inspection than it had seemed from
our observatory south of Salem. Only here and there toward its lower rim
a tatter in it revealed the giant's rugged brown muscle of volcanic
rock. The top of the mountain, like that of Shasta, in direct sunlight
is an opal. So far above the line of thaw, the snow seems to have
accumulated until by its own weight it has condensed into a more
compactly crystalline structure than ice itself, and the reflections
from it, as I stated of Shasta, seem rather emanations from some
interior source of light. The look is distinctly opaline, or, as a poet
has called the opal, like "a pearl with a soul in it."

About five o'clock in the afternoon we reached the Oregon town and
mining-depot of Dalles City. A glance at any good War-Department map of
Oregon and Washington Territories will explain the importance of this
place, where considerably previous to the foundation of the present
large and growing settlement there existed a fort and trading-post of
the same name. It stands, as we have said, at the entrance to the great
pass by which the Columbia breaks through the mountains to the sea. Just
west of it occurs an interruption to the navigation of the river,
practically as formidable as the first cataract. This is the upper
rapids and "the Dalles" proper,--presently to be described in detail.
The position of the town, at one end of a principal portage, and at the
easiest door to the Pacific, renders it a natural entrepot between the
latter and the great central plateau of the continent. This it must have
been in any case for fur-traders and emigrants, but its business has
been vastly increased by the discovery of that immense mining-area
distributed along the Snake River and its tributaries as far east as the
Rocky Mountains. The John-Day, Boisé, and numerous other tracts both in
Washington and Idaho Territories draw most of their supplies from this
entrepot, and their gold comes down to it either for direct use in the
outfit-market, or to be passed down the river to Portland and the
San-Francisco mint.

In a late article upon the Pacific Railroad, I laid no particular stress
upon the mines of Washington and Idaho as sources of profit to the
enterprise. This was for the reason that the Snake River seems the
proper outlet to much of the auriferous region, and this route may be
susceptible of improvement by an alternation of portages, roads, and
water-levels, which for a long time to come will form a means of
communication more economical and rapid than a branch to the Pacific
Road. The northern mines east of the Rocky range will find themselves
occupying somewhat similar relations to the Missouri River, which
rises, as one might almost say, out of the same spring as the
Snake,--certainly out of the same ridge of the Rocky Mountains.

"The Dalles" is a town of one street, built close along the edge of a
bluff of trap thirty or forty feet high, perfectly perpendicular, level
on the top as if it had been graded for a city, and with depth of water
at its base for the heaviest draught boats on the river. In fact, the
whole water-front is a natural quay,--which wants nothing but time to
make it alive with steam-elevators, warehouses, and derricks. To
Portland and the Columbia it stands much as St. Louis to New Orleans and
the Mississippi. There is no reason why it should not some day have a
corresponding business, for whose wharfage-accommodation it has even
greater natural advantages.

Architecturally, the Dalles cannot be said to lean very heavily on the
side of beauty. The houses are mostly two-story structures of wood,
occupied by all the trades and professions which flock to a new
mining-entrepot. Outfit-merchants, blacksmiths, printing-office, (for
there is really a very well-conducted daily at the Dalles,) are cheek by
jowl with doctors, tailors, and Cheap Johns,--the latter being only less
merry and thrifty over their incredible sacrifices in everything, from
pins to corduroy, than that predominant class of all, the bar-keepers
themselves. The town was in a state of bustle when our steamer touched
the wharf; it bustled more and more from there to the Umatilla House,
where we stopped; the hotel was one organized bustle in bar and
dining-room; and bed-time brought no hush. The Dalles, like the
Irishman, seemed sitting up all night to be fresh for an early start in
the morning.

We found everybody interested in gold. Crowds of listeners, with looks
of incredulity or enthusiasm, were gathered around the party in the
bar-room which had last come in from the newest of the new mines, and a
man who had seen the late Fort-Hall discoveries was "treated" to that
extent that he might have become intoxicated a dozen times without
expense to himself. The charms of the interior were still further
suggested by placards posted on every wall, offering rewards for the
capture of a person who on the great gold route had lately committed
some of the grimmest murders and most talented robberies known in any
branch of Newgate enterprise. I had for supper a very good omelet,
(considering its distance from the culinary centres of the universe,)
and a Dalles editorial debating the claims of several noted cut-throats
to the credit of the operations ascribed to them,--feeling that in the
_ensemble_ I was enjoying both the exotic and the indigenous luxuries of
our virgin soil.

After supper and a stroll I returned to the ladies' parlor of the
Umatilla House, rubbed my eyes in vain to dispel the illusion of a piano
and a carpet at this jumping-off place of civilization, and sat down at
a handsome centre-table to write up my journal. I had reviewed my way
from Portland as far as Fort Vancouver, when another illusion happened
to me in the shape of a party of gentlemen and ladies, in ball-dresses,
dress-coats, white kids, and elaborate hair, who entered the parlor to
wait for further accessions from the hotel. They were on their way with
a band of music to give some popular citizen a surprise-party. The
popular citizen never got the fine edge of that surprise. I took it off
for him. If it were not too much like a little Cockney on Vancouver's
Island who used the phrase on all occasions, from stubbing his toe to
the death of a Cabinet Lord, I should say, "I never was more astonished
in me life!"

None of them had ever seen me before,--and with my books and maps about
me, I may have looked like some public, yet mysterious character. I felt
a pleasant sensation of having interest taken in me, and, wishing to
make an ingenuous return, looked up with a casual smile at one of the
party. Again to my surprise, this proved to be a very charming young
lady, and I timidly became aware that the others were equally pretty in
their several styles. Not knowing what else to do under the
circumstances, I smiled again, still more casually. An equal uncertainty
as to alternative set the ladies smiling quite across the row, and then,
to my relief, the gentlemen joined them, making it pleasant for us all.
A moment later we were engaged in general conversation,--starting from
the bold hypothesis, thrown out by one of the gentlemen, that perhaps I
was going to Boisé, and proceeding, by a process of elimination, to the
accurate knowledge of what I was going to do, if it wasn't that. I
enjoyed one of the most cheerful bits of social relaxation I had found
since crossing the Missouri, and nothing but my duty to my journal
prevented me, when my surprise-party left, from accompanying them, by
invitation, under the brevet title of Professor, to the house of the
popular citizen, who, I was assured, would be glad to see me. I
certainly should have been glad to see him, if he was anything like
those guests of his who had so ingenuously cultivated me in a far land
of strangers, where a man might have been glad to form the acquaintance
of his mother-in-law. This is not the way people form acquaintances in
New York; but if I had wanted that, why not have stayed there? As a
cosmopolite, and on general principles of being, I prefer the Dalles
way. I have no doubt I should have found in that circle of spontaneous
recognitions quite as many people who stood wear and improved on
intimacy as were ever vouchsafed to me by social indorsement from
somebody else. We are perpetually blaming our heads of Government
Bureaus for their poor knowledge of character,--their subordinates, we
say, are never pegs in the right holes. If we understood our civilized
system of introductions, we could not rationally expect anything else.
The great mass of polite mankind are trained _not_ to know character,
but to take somebody else's voucher for it. Their acquaintances, most of
their friendships, come to them through a succession of indorsers, none
of whom may have known anything of the goodness of the paper. A sensible
man, conventionally introduced to his fellow, must always wonder why the
latter does not turn him around to look for signatures in chalk down the
back of his coat; for he knows that Brown indorsed him over to Jones,
and Jones negotiated him with Robinson, through a succession in which
perhaps two out of a hundred took pains to know whether he represented
metal. You do not find the people of new countries making mistakes in
character. Every man is his own guaranty,--and if he has no just cause
to suspect himself bogus, there will be true pleasure in a frank opening
of himself to the examination and his eyes for the study of others. Not
to be accused of intruding radical reform under the guise of
belles-lettres, let me say that I have no intention of introducing this
innovation at the East.

After a night's rest, Bierstadt spent nearly the entire morning in
making studies of Hood from an admirable post of observation at the top
of one of the highest foot-hills,--a point several miles southwest of
the town, which he reached under guidance of an old Indian interpreter
and trapper. His work upon this mountain was in some respects the best
he ever accomplished, being done with a loving faithfulness hardly
called out by Hood's only rival, the Peak of Shasta. The result of his
Hood studies, as seen in the nearly completed painting, has a
superiority corresponding to that of the studies themselves, possessing
excellences not included even in the well-known "Lander's Peak."

In the afternoon, we were provided, by the courtesy of the Company, with
a special train on the portage-railroad connecting Dalles City with a
station known as Celilo. This road had but recently come into full
operation, and was now doing an immense freight-business between the two
river-levels separated by the intervening "Dalles." It seemed somewhat
longer than the road around the Falls. Its exact length has escaped me,
but I think it about eight or nine miles.

With several officers of the road, who vied in giving us opportunities
of comfort and information, we set out, about three P.M., from a station
on the water-front below the town, whence we trundled through the long
main street, and were presently shot forth upon a wilderness of sand. An
occasional trap uplift rose on our right, but, as we were on the same
bluff-level as Dalles City, we met no lofty precipices. We were
constantly in view of the river, separated from its Oregon brink at the
farthest by about half a mile of the dreariest dunes of shifting sand
ever seen by an amateur in deserts. The most arid tracts along the
Platte could not rival this. The wind was violent when we left Dalles
City, and possessed the novel faculty of blowing simultaneously from all
points of the compass. It increased with every mile of advance, both in
force and faculty, until at Celilo we found it a hurricane. The
gentlemen of the Company who attended us told us, as seemed very
credible, that the highest winds blowing here (compared with which the
present might be styled a zephyr) banked the track so completely out of
sight with sand that a large force of men had to be steadily employed in
shovelling out trains that had been brought to a dead halt, and clearing
a way for the slow advance of others. I observed that the sides of some
of the worst sand-cuts had been planked over to prevent their sliding
down upon the road. Occasionally, the sand blew in such tempests as to
sift through every cranny of the cars, and hide the river-glimpses like
a momentary fog. But this discomfort was abundantly compensated by the
wonderfully interesting scenery on the Columbia side of our train.

The river for the whole distance of the portage is a succession of
magnificent rapids, low cataracts, and narrow, sinuous channels,--the
last known to the old French traders as "_Dales_" or "Troughs," and to
us by the very natural corruption of "Dalles." The alternation between
these phases is wonderfully abrupt. At one point, about half-way between
Dalles City and Celilo, the entire volume of the Columbia River (and how
vast that is may be better understood by following up on the map the
river itself and all its tributaries) is crowded over upon the Oregon
shore through a passage not more than fifty yards in width, between
perfectly naked and perpendicular precipices of basalt. Just beyond this
mighty mill-race, where one of the grandest floods of the continent is
sliding in olive-green light and umber shadow, smoothly and resistlessly
as time, the river is a mile wide, and plunges over a ragged wall of
trap blocks, reaching, as at the lower cataract, from shore to shore. In
other neighboring places it attains even a greater width, but up to
Celilo is never out of torment from the obstructions of its bed. Not
even the rapids of Niagara can vie with these in their impression of
power, and only the Columbia itself can describe the lines of grace made
by its water, rasped to spray, churned to froth, tired into languid
sheets that flow like sliding glass, or shot up in fountains frayed away
to rainbows on their edges, as it strikes some basalt hexagon rising in
mid-stream. The Dalles and the Upper Cataracts are still another region
where the artist might stay for a year's University-course in
water-painting.

At Celilo we found several steamers, in register resembling our second
of the day previous. They measured on the average about three hundred
tons. One of them had just got down from Walla Walla, with a large party
of miners from gold-tracts still farther off, taking down five hundred
thousand dollars in dust to Portland and San Francisco. We were very
anxious to accept the Company's extended invitation, and push our
investigations to or even up the Snake River. But the expectation that
the San-Francisco steamer would reach Portland in a day or two, and that
we should immediately return by her to California, turned us most
reluctantly down the river after Bierstadt and I had made the fullest
notes and sketches attainable. Bad weather on the coast falsified our
expectations. For a week we were rain-bound in Portland, unable to leave
our hotel for an hour at a time without being drenched by the floods
which just now set in for the winter season, and regretting the lack of
that prescience which would have enabled us to accomplish one of the
most interesting side-trips in our whole plan of travel. While this
pleasure still awaited us, and none in particular of any kind seemed
present, save the in-door courtesies of our Portland friends, it was
still among the memories of a lifetime to have seen the Columbia in its
Cataracts and its Dalles.



OUR LAST DAY IN DIXIE.


It was not far from eleven o'clock at night when we took leave of the
Rebel President, and, arm in arm with Judge Ould, made our way through
the silent, deserted streets to our elevated quarters in the Spotswood
Hotel at Richmond. As we climbed the long, rickety stairs which led to
our room in the fourth story, one of us said to our companion,--

"We can accomplish nothing more by remaining here. Suppose we shake the
sacred soil from our feet to-morrow?"

"Very well. At what hour will you start?" he replied.

"The earlier, the better. As near daybreak as may be,--to avoid the
sun."

"We can't be ready before ten o'clock. The mules are quartered six miles
out of town."

That sounded strange, for Jack, our ebony Jehu, had said to me only the
day before, "Dem _is_ mighty foine mules, Massa. I 'tends ter dem mules
myself; _we keeps 'em right round de corner_." Taken together, the
statements of the two officials had a bad look; but Mr. Davis had just
given me a message to his niece, and Mr. Benjamin had just intrusted
Colonel Jaquess with a letter--contraband, because three pages long--for
delivery within the limits of the "United States"; therefore the
discrepancy did not alarm me, for the latter facts seemed to assure our
safe deliverance from Dixie. Merely saying, "Very well,--ten o'clock,
then, let it be,--we'll be ready,"--we bade the Judge good-night at the
landing, and entered our apartment.

We found the guard, Mr. Javins, stretched at full length on his bed, and
snoring like the Seven Sleepers. Day and night, from the moment of our
first entrance into the Rebel dominions, that worthy, with a revolver in
his sleeve, our door-key in his pocket, and a Yankee in each one of his
eyes, had implicitly observed his instructions,--"Keep a constant watch
upon them"; but overtasked nature had at last got the better of his
vigilance, and he was slumbering at his post. Not caring to disturb him,
we bolted the door, slid the key under his pillow, and followed him to
the land of dreams.

It was a little after two o'clock, and the round, ruddy moon was looking
pleasantly in at my window, when a noise outside awoke me. Lifting the
sash, I listened. There was a sound of hurrying feet in the neighboring
street, and a prolonged cry of murder! It seemed the wild, strangled
shriek of a woman. Springing to the floor, I threw on my clothes, and
shook Javins.

"Wake up! Give me the key! They're murdering a woman in the street!" I
shouted, loud enough to be heard in the next world.

But he did not wake, and the Colonel, too, slept on, those despairing
cries in his ears, as peacefully as if his great dream of peace had been
realized. Still those dreadful shrieks, mingled now with curses hot from
the bottomless pit, came up through the window. No time was to be
lost,--so, giving another and a desperate tug at Javins, I thrust my
hand under his pillow, drew out his revolver and the door-key, and,
three steps at a time, bounded down the stairways. At the outer entrance
a half-drunken barkeeper was rubbing his eyes, and asking, "What's the
row?"--but not another soul was stirring. Giving no heed to him, I
hurried into the street. I had not gone twenty paces, however, before a
gruff voice from the shadow of the building called out,--

"Halt! Who goes thar'?"

"A friend," I answered.

"Advance, friend, and give the countersign."

"I don't know it."

"Then ye carn't pass. Orders is strict."

"What is this disturbance? I heard a woman crying murder."

The stifled shrieks had died away, but low moans, and sounds like
hysterical weeping, still came up from around the corner.

"Oh! nothin',--jest some nigger fellers on a time. Thet's all."

"And you stood by and saw it done!" I exclaimed, with mingled contempt
and indignation.

"Sor it? How cud _I_ holp it? I hes my orders,--ter keep my eye on thet
'ar' door; 'sides, thar' war' nigh a dozen on 'em, and these Richmond
nigs, now thet the white folks is away, is more lawless nor old Bragg
himself. My life 'ou'dn't ha' been wuth a hill o' beans among 'em."

By this time I had gradually drawn the sentinel to the corner of the
building, and looking down the dimly lighted street whence the sounds
proceeded, I saw that it was empty.

"They are gone now," I said, "and the woman may be dying. Come, go down
there with me."

"Carn't, Cunnel. I 'ou'dn't do it fur all the women in Richmond."

"Was your mother a woman?"

"I reckon, and a right peart 'un,--ye mought bet yer pile on thet."

"I'll bet my pile she'd disown you, if she knew you turned your back on
a woman."

He gave me a wistful, undecided look, and then, muttering something
about "orders," which I did not stop to bear, followed me, as I hurried
down the street.

Not three hundred yards away, in a narrow recess between two buildings,
we found the woman. She lay at full length on the pavement, her neat
muslin gown torn to shreds, and her simple lace bonnet crushed into a
shapeless mass beside her. Her thick, dishevelled hair only
half-concealed her open bosom, and from the corners of her mouth the
blood was flowing freely. She was not dead,--for she still moaned
pitifully,--but she seemed to be dying. Lifting her head as tenderly as
I could, I said to her,--

"Are you much hurt? Can't you speak to me?"

She opened her eyes, and staring at the sentinel with a wild, crazed
look, only moaned,--

"Oh! don't! Don't,--any more! Let me die! Oh! let me die!"

"Not yet. You are too young to die yet. Come, see if you can't sit up."

Something, it may have been the tone of my voice, seemed to bring her to
her senses, for she again opened her eyes, and, with a sudden effort,
rose nearly to her feet. In a moment, however, she staggered back, and
would have fallen, had not the sentinel caught her.

"There, don't try again. Rest awhile. Take some of this,--it will give
you strength"; and I emptied my brandy-flask into her mouth. "Our
General" had filled it the morning we set out from his camp; but two
days' acquaintance with the Judge, who declared "_such_ brandy
contraband of war," had reduced its contents to a low ebb. Still, there
was enough to do that poor girl a world of good. She shortly revived,
and sitting up, her head against the sentinel's shoulder, told us her
story. She was a white woman, and served as nursery-maid in a family
that lived hard by. All of its male members being away with the array,
she had been sent out at that late hour to procure medicine for a sick
child, and, waylaid by a gang of black fiends, had been gagged and
outraged in the very heart of Richmond! And this is Southern
civilization under Jefferson I.!

At the end of a long hour, I returned to the hotel. The sentry was
pacing to and fro before it, and, seating myself on the door-step, I
drew him into conversation.

"Do such things often happen in Richmond?" I asked him.

"Often! Ye's strange yere, I reckon," he replied.

"No,--I've been here forty times, but not lately. Things must be in a
bad way here, now."

"Wai, they is! Thar' 's nary night but thair' 's lots o' sech doin's. Ye
see, thar' ha'n't more 'n a corporal's-guard o' white men in the hull
place, so the nigs they hes the'r own way, and ye'd better b'lieve they
raise the Devil, and break things, ginerally."

"I've seen no other able-bodied soldier about town; how is it that you
are here?"

"I ha'n't able-bodied," he replied, holding up the stump of his left
arm, from which the sleeve was dangling. "I lost thet more 'n a y'ar
ago. I b'long ter the calvary,--Fust Alabama,--and bein' as I carn't
manage a nag now, they 's detailed me fur provost-duty."

"First Alabama? I know Captains Webb and Finnan of that regiment."

"Ye does? What! old man Webb, as lives down on Coosa?"

"Yes, at Gadsden, in Cherokee County. Streight burnt his house, and both
of his mills', on his big raid, and the old man has lost both of his
sons in the war. It has wellnigh done him up."

"I reckon. Stands ter natur' it sh'u'd. The Yankees is all-fired fiends.
The old man use' ter hate 'em loike----. I reckon he hates 'em wuss 'n
ever now."

"No, he don't. His troubles seem to have softened him. When he told me
of them, he cried like a child. He reckoned the Lord had brought them on
him because he'd fought against the Union."

"Wal, I doan't know. This war's a bad business, anyhow. When d'ye see
old Webb last?"

"About a year ago,--down in Tennessee, nigh to Tullahoma."

"Was he 'long o' the rigiment?"

That was a home question, for I had met Captain Webb while he was a
prisoner, in the Court-House at Murfreesboro'. However, I promptly
replied,--

"No,--he'd just left it."

"Wal, I doan't blame him. Pears loike, ef sech things sh'u'd come onter
me, I'd let the war and the kentry go ter the Devil tergether."

My acquaintance with Captain Webb naturally won me the confidence of the
soldier; and for nearly an hour, almost unquestioned, he poured into my
ear information that would have been of incalculable value to our
generals. Two days later I would have given my right hand for liberty to
whisper to General Grant some things that he said; but honor and honesty
forbade it.

A neighboring clock struck four when I rose to go. As I did so, I said
to the sentinel,--

"I saw no other sentry in the streets; why are you guarding this hotel?"

"Wal, ye knows old Brown's a-raisin' Cain down thar' in Georgy. Two o'
his men bes come up yere ter see Jeff, and things ha'n't quite
satisfactory, so we's orders ter keep 'em tighter 'n a bull's-eye in
fly-time."

So, not content with placing a guard in our very bedchamber, the
oily-tongued despot over the way had fastened a padlock over the
key-hole of our outside-door! What _would_ happen, if he should hear
that I had picked the padlock, and prowled about Richmond for an hour
after midnight! The very thought gave my throat a preliminary choke, and
my neck an uneasy sensation. It was high time I sought the embrace of
that hard mattress in the fourth story. But my fears were groundless.
When I crept noiselessly to bed, Javins was sleeping as soundly and
snoring as sweetly as if his sins were all forgiven.

When I awoke in the morning, breakfast was already laid on the
centre-table, and an army of newsboys were shouting under our windows,
"'Ere's the 'En'quirer' and _the_ 'Dis'patch.' Great news from the
front. Gin'ral Grant mortally killed,--shot with a cannon." Rising, and
beginning my toilet, I said to Javins, in a tone of deep concern,--

"When did that happen?"

"Why, o' Saturday. I hearn of it afore we left the lines. 'Twas all over
town yesterday," he replied, with infinite composure.

"And you didn't tell us! That was unkind of you, Javins,--very unkind.
How _could_ you do it?"

"It's ag'in' orders to talk news with you;--besides, I thought you
knowed it."

"How should we know it?"

"Why, your boat was only just ahead of his'n, comin' up the river. He
got shot runnin' that battery. Hit in the arm, and died when they
amputated him."

"Amputated him! Did they cut off his head to save his arm?"

Whether he saw a quiet twinkle in my eye, or knew that the news was
false, I know not. Whichever it was, he replied,--

"I reckon. Then you don't b'lieve it?"

"Why should I doubt it? Don't your papers always tell the truth?"

"No, they never do; lyin' 's their trade."

"Then you suppose they're whistling now to keep up their courage? But
let us see what they say. Oblige me with some of your currency."

He kindly gave me three dollars for one, and ringing the bell, I soon
had the five dingy half-sheets which every morning, "Sundays excepted,"
hold up this busy world, "its fluctuations and its vast concerns," to
the wondering view of beleaguered Richmond.

"Dey's fifty cents apiece, Massa," said the darky, handing me the
papers, and looking wistfully on the poor specimen of lithography which
remained after the purchase; "what shill I do wid dis?"

"Oh! keep it. I'd give you more, but that's all the lawful money I have
about me."

He hesitated, as if unwilling to take my last half-dollar; but self soon
got the better of him. He pocketed the shin-plaster, and said nothing;
but "Poor gentleman! I's sorry for _you_! Libin' at do Spotswood, and no
money about you!" was legible all over his face.

We opened the papers, and, sure enough, General Grant _was_ dead, and
laid out in dingy sheets, with a big gun firing great volleys over him!
The cannon which that morning thundered Glory! Hallelujah! through the
columns of the "Whig" and the "Examiner" no doubt brought him to life
again. No such jubilation, I believe, disgraced our Northern journals
when Stonewall Jackson fell.

Breakfast over, the Colonel and I packed our portmanteaus, and sat down
to the intellectual repast. It was a feast, and we enjoyed it. I always
have enjoyed the Richmond editorials. If I were a poet, I should study
them for epithets. Exhausting the dictionary, their authors ransack
heaven, earth, and the other place, and into one expression throw such a
concentration of scorn, hate, fury, or exultation as is absolutely
stunning to a man of ordinary nerves. Talk of their being bridled! They
never had a bit in their mouths. Before the war they ran wild, and now
they ride rough-shod over decorum, decency, and Davis himself. But the
dictator endures it like a philosopher. "He lets it pass," said Judge
Ould to me, "like the idle wind, which it is."

At last, ten o'clock--the hour when we were to set out from
Dixie--struck from a neighboring steeple, and I laid down the paper, and
listened for the tread of the Judge on the stairs. I had heard it often,
and it had always been welcome, for he is a most agreeable companion,
but I had not _listened_ for it till then. Then I waited for it as "they
that watch for the morning," for he was to deliver us from the "den of
lions,"--from "the hold of every foul and unclean thing." Ten, twenty,
thirty minutes I waited, but he did not come! Why was he late, that
prompt man, who was always "on time,"--who put us through the streets of
Richmond the night before on a trot, lest we should be a second late at
our appointment? Did he mean to bake us brown with the mid-day sun? or
had the mules overslept themselves, or moved their quarters still
farther out of town? Well, I didn't know, and it was useless to
speculate, so I took up the paper, and went to reading again. But the
stinging editorials had lost their sting, and the pointed paragraphs,
though sharper than a meat-axe, fell on me as harmless as if I had been
encased in a suit of mail.

At length eleven o'clock sounded, and I took out my watch to
count the minutes. One, two, three,--how slow they went! Four,
five,--ten,--fifteen,--twenty! What was the matter with the watch? Even
at this day I could affirm on oath that it took five hours for that
hour-hand to get round to twelve. But at last it got there, and
then--each second seeming a minute, each minute an hour--it crept slowly
on to one; but still no Judge appeared! Why did he not come? The reason
was obvious. The mules were "quartered six miles out of town," because
he had to see Mr. Davis before letting us go. And Davis had heard of my
nocturnal rambling, and concluded we had come as spies. Or he had, from
my cross-questioning the night before, detected _my_ main object in
coming to Dixie. Either way _my_ doom was sealed. If we were taken as
spies, it was hanging. If held on other grounds, it was imprisonment;
and ten days of Castle Thunder, in my then state of health, would have
ended my mortal career.

I had looked at this alternative before setting out. But then I saw it
afar off; now I stood face to face with it, and--I thought of home,--of
the brave boy who had said to me, "Father, I think you ought to go. If I
was only a man, _I_'d go. If you never come back, _I_'ll take care of
the children."

These thoughts passing in my mind, I rose and paced the room for a few
moments,--then, turning to Javins, said,--

"Will you oblige me by stepping into the hall? My friend and I would
have a few words together."

As he passed out, I said to the Colonel,--

"Ould is more than three hours late! What does it mean?"

All this while he had sat, his spectacles on his nose, and his chair
canted against the window-sill, absorbed in the newspapers. Occasionally
he would look up to comment on something he was reading; but not a
movement of his face, nor a glance of his eye, had betrayed that he was
conscious of Ould's delay, or of my extreme restlessness. When I said
this, he took off his spectacles, and, quietly rubbing the glasses with
his handkerchief, replied,--

"It looks badly, but--_I_ ask no odds of them. We may have to show we
are men. We have tried to serve the country. That is enough. Let them
hang us, if they like."

"Colonel," I exclaimed, with a strong inclination to hug him, "you are a
trump! the bravest man I ever knew!"

"I trust in God,--that is all," was his reply.

This was all he said,--but his words convey no idea of the sublime
courage which shone in his eye and lighted up his every feature. I felt
rebuked, and turned away to hide my emotion. As I did so, my attention
was arrested by a singular spectacle in a neighboring street. Coming
down the hill, hand in hand with a colored woman, were two little boys
of about eight or nine years, one white, the other black. As they neared
the opposite corner, the white lad drew back and struck the black boy a
heavy blow with his foot. The ebony juvenile doubled up his fist, and,
planting it behind the other's ear, felled him to the sidewalk. But the
white lad was on his feet again in an instant, and showering on the
black a perfect storm of kicks and blows. The latter parried the assault
coolly, and, watching his opportunity, planted another blow behind the
white boy's ear, which sent him reeling to the ground again. Meanwhile
the colored nurse stood by, enjoying the scene, and a score or more of
negroes of all ages and sizes gathered around, urging the young ebony on
with cheers and other expressions of encouragement. I watched the combat
till the white lad had gone down a third time, when a rap came at the
door, and Judge Ould entered.

"Good evening," he said.

"Good evening," we replied.

"Well, Gentlemen, if you are ready, we'll walk round to the Libby," he
added, with a hardness of tone I had not observed in his voice before.

My worst fears were realized! We were prisoners! A cold tremor passed
over me, and my tongue refused its office. A drooping plant turns to the
sun; so, being just then a drooping plant, I turned to the Colonel. He
stood, drawn up to his full height, looking at Ould. Not a feature of
his fine face moved, but his large gray eye was beaming with a sort of
triumph. I have met brave men,--men who have faced death a hundred times
without quailing; but I never met a man who had the moral grandeur of
that man. His look inspired me, for I turned to Ould, and, with a
coolness that amazed myself, said,--

"Very well. We are ready. But here is an instructive spectacle"; and I
pointed to the conflict going on in the street. "That is what you are
coming to. Fight us another year, and that scene will be enacted, by
larger children, all over the South."

"To prevent that is why we are fighting you at all," he replied, dryly.

We shook Javins by the hand, and took up our portmanteaus to go. Then
our hotel-bill occurred to me, and I said to Ould,--

"You cautioned us against offering greenbacks. We have nothing else.
Will you give us some Confederate money in exchange?"

"Certainly. But what do you want of money?" he asked, resuming the free
and easy manner he had shown in our previous intercourse.

"To pay our hotel-bill."

"You have no bill here. It will be settled by the Confederacy."

"We can't allow that. We are not here as the guests of your Government."

"Yes, you are, and you can't help yourselves," he rejoined, laughing
pleasantly. "If you offer the landlord greenbacks, he'll have you
jugged, certain,--for it's against the law."

"That's nothing to us. We are jugged already."

"So you are!" and he laughed again, rather boisterously.

His manner half convinced me that he had been playing on our
sensibilities; but I said nothing, and we followed him down the stairs.

At the outer door stood Jack and the ambulance! Their presence assured
us a safe exit from Dixie, and my feelings found expression somewhat as
follows:--

"How are you, Jack? You're the best-looking darky I ever saw."

"I's bery well, Massa, bery well. Hope you's well," replied Jack,
grinning until he made himself uglier than Nature intended. "I's glad
you tinks I's good-lookin'."

"Good-looking! You're better-looking than any man, black or white, I
ever met."

"You've odd notions of beauty," said the Judge, smiling. "That accounts
for your being an Abolitionist."

"No, it don't." And I added, in a tone too low for Jack to hear, "It
only implies, that, until I saw that darky, I doubted our getting out of
Dixie."

The Judge gave a low whistle.

"So you smelt a rat?"

"Yes, a very big one. Tell us, why were you so long behind time?"

"I'll tell you when the war is over. Now I'll take you to Libby and the
hospitals, if you'd like to go."

We said we would, and, ordering Jack to follow with the ambulance, the
Judge led us down the principal thoroughfare. A few shops were open, a
few negro women were passing in and out among them, and a few wounded
soldiers were limping along the sidewalks; but scarcely an able-bodied
man was to be seen anywhere. A poor soldier, who had lost both legs and
a hand, was seated at a street-corner, asking alms of the colored women
as they passed. Pointing to him, the Judge said,--

"There is one of our arguments against reunion. If you will walk two
squares, I'll show you a thousand."

"All asking alms of black women? That is another indication of what you
are coming to."

He made no reply. After a while, scanning our faces as if he would
detect our hidden thoughts, he said, in an abrupt, pointed way,--

"Grant was to have attacked us yesterday. Why didn't he do it?"

"How should we know?"

"You came from Foster's only the day before. That's where the attack was
to have been made."

"Why wasn't it made?"

"_I_ don't know. Some think it was because you came in, and were
_expected out_ that way."

"Oh! That accounts for your being so late! You think we are spies, sent
in to survey, and report on the route?"

"No, I do not. I think you are honest men, and I've _said so_."

And I have no doubt it was because he "said so" that we got out of
Richmond.

By this time we had reached a dingy brick building, from one corner of
which protruded a small sign, bearing, in black letters on a white
ground, the words,--

    LIBBY AND SON,

    _SHIP-CHANDLERS AND GROCERS._

It was three stories high, and, I was told, eighty feet in width and a
hundred and ten in depth. In front, the first story was on a level with
the street, allowing space for a tier of dungeons under the sidewalk;
but in the rear the land sloped away till the basement-floor rose
above-ground. Its unpainted walls were scorched to a rusty brown, and
its sunken doors and low windows, filled here and there with a dusky
pane, were cobwebbed and weather-stained, giving the whole building a
most uninviting and desolate appearance. A flaxen-haired boy, in ragged
"butternuts" and a Union cap, and an old man, in gray regimentals, with
a bent body and a limping gait, were pacing to and fro before it, with
muskets on their shoulders; but no other soldiers were in sight.

"If Ben Butler knew that Richmond was defended by only such men, how
long would it be before he took it?" I said, turning to the Judge.

"Several years. When these men give out, our women will fall in. Let
Butler try it!"

Opening a door at the right, he led us into a large, high-studded
apartment, with a bare floor, and greasy brown walls hung round with
battle-scenes and cheap lithographs of the Rebel leaders. Several
officers in "Secession gray" were lounging about this room, and one of
them, a short, slightly-built, youthful-looking man, rose as we entered,
and, in a half-pompous, half-obsequious way, said to Judge Ould,--

"Ah! Colonel Ould, I am very glad to see you."

The Judge returned the greeting with a stateliness that was in striking
contrast with his usual frank and cordial manner, and then introduced
the officer to us as "Major Turner, Keeper of the Libby." I had heard of
him, and it was with some reluctance that I took his proffered hand.
However, I did take it, and at the same time inquired,--

"Are you related to Dr. Turner, of Fayetteville?"

"No, Sir. I am of the old Virginia family." (I never met a negro-whipper
nor a negro-trader who did not belong to that family.) "Are you a
North-Carolinian?"

"No, Sir"--

Before I could add another word, the Judge said,--

"No, Major; these gentlemen hail from Georgia. They are strangers here,
and I'd thank you to show them over the prison."

"Certainly, Colonel, most certainly. I'll do it with great pleasure."

And the little man bustled about, put on his cap, gave a few orders to
his subordinates, and then led us, through another outside-door, into
the prison. He was a few rods in advance with Colonel Jaquess, when
Judge Ould said to me,--

"Your prisoners have belied Turner. You see he's not the hyena they've
represented."

"I'm not so sure of that," I replied. "These cringing, mild-mannered men
are the worst sort of tyrants, when they have the power."

"But you don't think _him_ a tyrant?"

"I do. He's a coward and a bully, or I can't read English. It is written
all over his face."

The Judge laughed boisterously, and called out to Turner,--

"I say, Major, our friend here is painting your portrait."

"I hope he is making a handsome man of me," said Turner, in a
sycophantic way.

"No, he isn't. He's drawing you to the life,--as if he'd known you for
half a century."

We had entered a room about forty feet wide and a hundred feet deep,
with bare brick walls, a rough plank floor, and narrow, dingy windows,
to whose sash only a few broken panes were clinging. A row of tin
wash-basins, and a wooden trough which served as a bathing-tub, were at
one end of it, and half a dozen cheap stools and hard-bottomed chairs
were littered about the floor, but it had no other furniture. And this
room, with five others of similar size and appointments, and two
basements floored with earth and filled with _débris_, compose the
famous Libby Prison, in which, for months together, thousands of the
best and bravest men that ever went to battle have been allowed to rot
and to starve.

At the date of our visit, not more than a hundred prisoners were in the
Libby, its contents having recently been emptied into a worse sink in
Georgia; but almost constantly since the war began, twelve and sometimes
thirteen hundred of our officers have been hived within those half-dozen
desolate rooms and filthy cellars, with a space of only ten feet by two
allotted to each for all the purposes of living!

Overrun with vermin, perishing with cold, breathing a stifled, tainted
atmosphere, no space allowed them for rest by day, and lying down at
night "wormed and dovetailed together like fish in a basket,"--their
daily rations only two ounces of stale beef and a small lump of hard
corn-bread, and their lives the forfeit, if they caught but one streak
of God's blue sky through those filthy windows,--they have endured there
all the horrors of the middle-passage. My soul sickened as I looked on
the scene of their wretchedness. If the liberty we are fighting for were
not worth even so terrible a price,--if it were not cheaply purchased
even with the blood and agony of the many brave and true souls who have
gone into that foul den only to die, or to come out the shadows of
men,--living ghosts, condemned to walk the night and to fade away before
the breaking of the great day that is coming,--who would not cry out
for peace, for peace on any terms?

And while these thoughts were in my mind, the cringing, foul-mouthed,
brutal, contemptible ruffian who had caused all this misery stood within
two paces of me! I could have reached out my hand, and, with half an
effort, have crushed him, and--I did not do it! Some invisible Power
held my arm, for murder was in my heart.

"This is where that Yankee devil Streight, that raised hell so among you
down in Georgia, got out," said Turner, pausing before a jut in the wall
of the room. "A flue was here, you see, but we've bricked it up. They
took up the hearth, let themselves down into the basement, and then dug
through the wall, and eighty feet underground into the yard of a
deserted building over the way. If you'd like to see the place, step
down with me."

"We would, Major. We'd be right glad ter," I replied, adopting, at a
hint from the Judge, the Georgia dialect.

We descended a rough plank stairway, and entered the basement. It was a
damp, mouldy, dismal place, and even then--in hot July weather--as cold
as an ice-house. What must it have been in midwinter!

The keeper led us along the wall to where Streight and his party had
broken out, and then said,--

"It's three feet thick, but they went through it, and all the way under
the street, with only a few case-knives and a dust-pan."

"Wal, they _war_ smart. But, keeper, whar' wus yer eyes all o' thet
time? Down our way, ef a man couldn't see twenty Yankees a-wuckin' so
fur six weeks, by daylight, in a clar place like this yere, we'd reckon
he warn't fit ter 'tend a pen o' niggers."

The Judge whispered, "You're overdoing it. Hold in." Turner winced like
a struck hound, but, smothering his wrath, smilingly replied,--

"The place wasn't clear then. It was filled with straw and rubbish. The
Yankees covered the opening with it, and hid away among it when any one
was coming. I caught two of them down here one day, but they pulled the
wool over my eyes, and I let them off with a few days in a dungeon. But
that fellow Streight would outwit the Devil. He was the most unruly
customer I've had in the twenty months I've been here. I put him in
keep, time and again, but I never could cool him down."

"Whar' is the keeps?" I asked. "Ye's got lots o' them, ha'n't ye?"

"No,--only six. Step this way, and I'll show you."

"Talk better English," said the Judge, as we fell a few paces behind
Turner on our way to the front of the building. "There are some
schoolmasters in Georgia."

"Wal, thar' ha'n't,--not in the part I come from."

The dungeons were low, close, dismal apartments, about twelve feet
square, boarded off from the remainder of the cellar, and lighted only
by a narrow grating under the sidewalk. Their floors were incrusted with
filth, and their walls stained and damp with the rain, which, in wet
weather, had dripped down from the street.

"And how many does ye commonly lodge yere, when yer hotel's full?" I
asked.

"I have had twenty in each, but fifteen is about as many as they
comfortably hold."

"I reckon! And then the comfut moughtn't be much ter brag on."

The keeper soon invited us to walk into the adjoining basement. I was a
few steps in advance of him, taking a straight course to the entrance,
when a sentinel, pacing to and fro in the middle of the apartment,
levelled his musket so as to bar my way, saying, as he did so,--

"Ye carn't pass yere, Sir. Ye must gwo round by the wall."

This drew my attention to the spot, and I noticed that a space, about
fifteen feet square, in the centre of the room, and directly in front
of the sentinel, had been recently dug up with a spade. While in all
other places the ground was trodden to the hardness and color of
granite, this spot seemed to be soft, and had the reddish-yellow hue of
the "sacred soil." Another sentry was pacing to and fro on its other
side, so that the place was completely surrounded! Why were they
guarding it so closely? The reason flashed upon me, and I said to
Turner;--

"I say, how many barr'ls hes ye in thar'?"

"Enough to blow this shanty to ----," he answered, curtly.

"I reckon! Put 'em thar' when thet feller Dahlgreen wus a-gwine ter
rescue 'em,--the Yankees?"

"I reckon."

He said no more, but that was enough to reveal the black, seething hell
the Rebellion has brewed. Can there be any peace with miscreants who
thus deliberately plan the murder, at one swoop, of hundreds of unarmed
and innocent men?

In this room, seated on the ground, or leaning idly against the walls,
were about a dozen poor fellows who the Judge told me were hostages,
held for a similar number under sentence of death by our Government.
Their dejected, homesick look, and weary, listless manner disclosed some
of the horrors of imprisonment.

"Let us go," I said to the Colonel; "I have had enough of this."

"No,--you must see the up-stairs," said Turner. "It a'n't so gloomy up
there."

It was not so gloomy, for some little sunlight did come in through the
dingy windows; but the few prisoners in the upper rooms wore the same
sad, disconsolate look as those in the lower story.

"It is not hard fare, or close quarters, that kills men," said Judge
Ould to me; "it is homesickness; and the strongest and the bravest
succumb to it first."

In the sill of an attic-window I found a Minié-ball. Prying it out with
my knife, and holding it up to Turner, I said,--

"So ye keeps this room fur a shootin'-gallery, does ye?"

"Yes," he replied, laughing. "The boys practise once in a while on the
Yankees. You see, the rules forbid their coming within three feet of the
windows. Sometimes they do, and then the boys take a pop at them."

"And sometimes hit 'em? Hit many on 'em?"

"Yes, a heap."

We passed a long hour in the Libby, and then visited Castle Thunder and
the hospitals for our wounded. I should be glad to describe what I saw
in those "institutions," but the limits of my paper forbid it.

It was five o'clock when we bade the Judge a friendly good-bye, and took
our seats in the ambulance. As we did so, he said to us,--

"I have not taken your parole, Gentlemen. I shall trust to your honor
not to disclose anything you have seen or heard that might operate
against us in a military way."

"You may rely upon us, Judge; and, some day, give us a chance to return
the courtesy and kindness you have shown to us. We shall not forget it."

We arrived near the Union lines just as the sun was going down. Captain
Hatch, who had accompanied us, waved his flag as we halted near a grove
of trees, and a young officer rode over to us from the nearest
picket-station. We despatched him to General Foster for a pair of
horses, and in half an hour entered the General's tent. He pressed us to
remain to dinner, proposing to kill the fatted calf,--"for these my sons
were dead and are alive again, were lost and are found."

We let him kill it, (it tasted wonderfully like salt pork,) and in half
an hour were on our way to General Butler's head-quarters.

       *       *       *       *       *

Here ended our last day in Dixie, and here, perhaps, should end this
article; but the time has come when I can disclose my real purpose in
seeking an audience of the Rebel leader; and as such a disclosure may
relieve me, in the minds of candid men, from some of the aspersions cast
upon my motives by Rebel sympathizers, I willingly make it. In making
it, however, I wish to be understood as speaking only for myself. My
companion, Colonel Jaquess, while he fully shared in my motives, and
rightly estimated the objects I sought to accomplish, had other, and, it
may be, higher aims. And I wish also to say, that to him attaches
whatever credit is due to any one for the conception and execution of
this "mission." While I love my country as well as any man, and in this
enterprise cheerfully perilled my life to serve it, I was only his
co-worker: I should not have undertaken it alone.

No reader of this magazine is so young as not to remember, that, between
the first of June and the first of August last, a Peace simoom swept
over the country, throwing dust into the people's eyes, and threatening
to bury the nation in disunion. All at once the North grew tired of the
war. It began to count the money and the blood it had cost, and to
overlook the great principles for which it was waged. Men of all shades
of political opinion--radical Republicans, as well as honest
Democrats--cried out for concession, compromise, armistice,--for
anything to end the war,--anything but disunion. To that the North would
not consent, and peace I knew could not be had without it, I knew that,
because on the sixteenth of June, Jeff. Davis had said to a prominent
Southerner that he would negotiate only on the basis of Southern
Independence, and that declaration had come to me only five days after
it was made.

The people, therefore, were under a delusion. They were crying out for
peace when there was no peace,--when there _could_ be no peace
consistent with the interest and security of the country. The result of
this delusion, were it not dispelled, would be that the Chicago
Convention, or some other convention, would nominate a man pledged to
peace, but willing to concede Southern independence, and on that tide of
popular frenzy he would sail into the Presidency. Then the deluded
people would learn, too late, that peace meant only disunion. They would
learn it too late, because power would then be in the hands of a Peace
Congress and a Peace President, and it required no spirit of prophecy to
predict what such an Administration would do. It would make peace on the
best terms it could get; and the best terms it could get were Disunion
and Southern Independence.

The Peace epidemic could be stayed, and the consequent danger to the
country averted, it seemed to me, only by securing in a tangible form,
and before a trustworthy witness, the ultimatum of the Rebel President.
That ultimatum, spread far and wide, would convince every honest
Northern man that war was the only road to lasting peace.

To get that ultimatum, and to give it to the four winds of heaven, were
my real objects in going to Richmond.

I did not shut my eyes to the possibility of our paving the way for
negotiations that might end in peace, nor my ears to the blessings a
grateful nation would shower on us, if our visit had such a result; but
I did not _expect_ these things. I expected to be smeared from head to
foot with Copperhead slime, to be called a knight-errant, a seeker after
notoriety, an abortive negotiator, and a meddlesome volunteer
diplomatist; but I expected also, if a good Providence spared our lives,
and my pen did not forget the English language, to be able to tell the
North the truth; and I knew that the _Truth_ would stay the Peace
epidemic, and kill the Peace party. And by the blessing of God, and the
help of the Devil, it did do that. The Devil helped, for he inspired Mr.
Benjamin's circular, and that forced home the bolt we had driven, and
shivered the Peace party into a million of fragments, every fragment now
a good War man until the old flag shall float again all over the
country.

If we accomplished this, "the scoffer need not laugh, nor the judicious
grieve," for our mountain did not bring forth a mouse,--our "mission to
Richmond" was not a failure.

It was a difficult enterprise. At the outset it seemed wellnigh
impossible to gain access to Mr. Davis; but we finally did gain it, and
we gained it without official aid. Mr. Lincoln did not assist us. He
gave us a pass through the army-lines, stated on what terms he would
grant amnesty to the Rebels, and said, "Good-bye, good luck to you,"
when we went away; and that is all he did.

It was also a hazardous enterprise,--no holiday adventure, no pastime
for boys. It was sober, serious, dangerous _work_,--and work for _men_,
for cool, earnest, fearless, determined men, who relied on God, who
thought more of their object than of their lives, and who, for truth and
their country, were ready to meet the prison or the scaffold.

If any one doubts this, let him call to mind what we had to accomplish.
We had to penetrate an enemy's lines, to enter a besieged city, to tell
home truths to the desperate, unscrupulous leaders of the foulest
rebellion the world has ever known, and to draw from those leaders,
deep, adroit, and wary as they are, their real plans and purposes. And
all this we had to do without any official safeguard, while entirely in
their power, and while known to be their earnest and active enemies. One
false step, one unguarded word, one untoward event would have consigned
us to Castle Thunder, or the gallows.

Can any one believe that men who undertake such work are mere lovers of
adventure, or seekers of notoriety? If any one does believe it, let him
pardon me, if I say that he knows little of human nature, and nothing of
human history.

I am goaded to these remarks by the strictures of the Copperhead press,
but I make them in no spirit of boasting. God forbid that I should boast
of anything we did! For _we_ did nothing. Unseen influences prompted us,
unseen friends strengthened us, unseen powers were all about our way. We
felt their presence as if they had been living men; and had we been
atheists, our experience would have convinced us that there is a GOD,
and that He means that all men, everywhere, shall be free.



THE VANISHERS.


    Sweetest of all childlike dreams
      In the simple Indian lore
    Still to me the legend seems
      Of the Elves who flit before.

    Flitting, passing, seen and gone,
      Never reached nor found at rest,
    Baffling search, but beckoning on
      To the Sunset of the Blest.

    From the clefts of mountain rocks,
      Through the dark of lowland firs,
    Flash the eyes and flow the locks
      Of the mystic Vanishers!

    And the fisher in his skiff,
      And the hunter on the moss,
    Hear their call from cape and cliff,
      See their hands the birch-leaves toss.

    Wistful, longing, through the green
      Twilight of the clustered pines,
    In their faces rarely seen
      Beauty more than mortal shines.

    Fringed with gold their mantles flow
      On the slopes of westering knolls;
    In the wind they whisper low
      Of the Sunset Land of Souls.

    Doubt who may, O friend of mine!
      Thou and I have seen them too;
    On before with beck and sign
      Still they glide, and we pursue.

    More than clouds of purple trail
      In the gold of setting day;
    More than gleams of wing or sail
      Beckon from the sea-mist gray.

    Glimpses of immortal youth,
      Gleams and glories seen and lost,
    Far-heard voices sweet with truth
      As the tongues of Pentecost,--

    Beauty that eludes our grasp,
      Sweetness that transcends our taste,
    Loving hands we may not clasp,
      Shining feet that mock our haste,--

    Gentle eyes we closed below,
      Tender voices heard once more,
    Smile and call us, as they go
      On and onward, still before.

    Guided thus, O friend of mine!
      Let us walk our little way,
    Knowing by each beckoning sign
      That we are not quite astray.

    Chase we still with baffled feet
      Smiling eye and waving hand,
    Sought and seeker soon shall meet,
      Lost and found, in Sunset Land!



ICE AND ESQUIMAUX.


CHAPTER I.

OFF.

Good bye, Boston! Good bye to State-House and Common, to the "Atlantic
Monthly" and Governor Andrew, memorable institutions all,--to you also,
true Heart of the Commonwealth, and to republican and Saxon America, the
land where a man's a man even in the most inconvenient paucity of pounds
sterling. Still yours, I am weary of work and of war, weary of spinning
out ten yards of strength-fibre to twenty yards' length. And so when an
angel in moustache comes to me out of unknown space, with a card from
the "Atlantic Monthly," on a corner of which is written a mysterious
"Go, if you can," and says, "Come with me to Labrador," what can I do
but accept the omen? Therefore, after due delay, and due warning from
dear friends, and due consultations of the connubial Delphi, not
forgetting to advise with Dr. Oramel, the discreet lip obeys the instant
indiscreet wish, and says, "I go."


_June 5, 1864._ Provincetown. Came in here to get cheated in buying a
boat, and succeeded admirably! It was taken on board, not quite breaking
beneath its own weight; the anchor soon followed; we were away. Past the
long spit of sand on the north and west; past the new batteries, over
which floated the flag that for months would not again gladden our eyes,
save at the mast-head of some wandering ship; then, with change of
course, past the long curving neck of the desert cape; and so out upon
the open ocean we sped, with a free wind, a crested wave, and a white
wake. The land grew a low, blue cloud in the west, then melted into the
horizon. But before it faded, the heart of one man clung to it,
regretful, penitent, saying, "It was not well to go; it were better to
have stayed and suffered, as you, O Land, must suffer."

But when it was gone; then the Before built to itself also a cloudland
and drew me on. The mystic North reached forth the wand by which it had
fascinated me so often, and renewed its spell. Who has not felt it?
Thoreau wrote of "The Wild" as he alone could write; but only in the
North do you find it,--unless you make it, as he did, by your
imagination. And even he could in this but partially succeed. Talk of
finding it in a ten-acre swamp! Why, man, you are just from a cornfield,
the echoes of your sister's piano are still in your ears, and you called
at the post-office for a letter as you came! Verdure and a mild heaven
are above; _clunking_ frogs and plants that keep company with man are
beneath. But in the North Nature herself is wild. Of man she has never
so much as heard. She has seen, perchance, a biped atomy creeping
through her snows; but he is not Man, lording it in power of thought and
performance; he is a muffled imbecility, that can do nothing but hug and
hide its existence, lest some careless breath of hers should blow it
out; his pin-head taper must be kept under a bushel, or cease to be even
the covert pettiness it is. The wildness of the North is not scenic and
pictorial merely, but goes to the very heart of things, immeasurable,
immitigable, infinite; deaf and blind to all but itself and its own, it
prevails, it is, and it is all.

The desert and the sea are indeed untamable, but the North is more. They
hold their own, and Civilization is but a Mrs. Partington, trying to
sweep _in_ at their doors. But Commerce, though it cannot subdue,
stretches its arms across them; while Culture and Travel go and come,
still wearing their plumes, still redolent with odors of civilized
lands. The North reigns more absolutely. Commerce is but a surf on its
shores. Travel creeps guardedly, fearfully in, only to turn and creep
still more fearfully out.

We, indeed, are feeble even in our purposes of travel. Not Kanes,
Parrys, Franklins, not intrepid to brave the presence of the Arctic
Czar, and look on his very face, with its half-year lights and
shades,--we go only to see the skirts of his robe, blown southward by
summer-seeking winds. But even the hope of this fills the Before with
enchantment, and lures us like a charm.

Lures the ship, too, one would think: for how she flies! Fair wind and
fog we had, where clear skies were looked for,--fair wind and clear
skies, where we had expected to plough fog; Cape Sable forbears for once
to hide itself; the shores of Nova Scotia are seen through an atmosphere
of crystal and under an azure without stain, and on the third day the
Gut of Canso is reached, and anchor cast in the little harbor of a
little, dirty, bluenose villagette, ycleped "Port Mulgrave."

Port Mulgrave? Port Filth, Port Rum, Port Dirk-Knife, Port Prostitution,
Port Fish-Gurry, Port everything unsavory and unconscionable!

"What news from the war?" asks Bradford of the first man, on landing.

Answer prompt. "Good news! Grant has been beaten, lost seventeen
thousand men, and is making for Washington as fast as he can run!"

Respondent's visage questionable, however,--too dirty, and too happy.
Hence further researches; and at last a man is found who (under
prospects of trade) can contrive to tell the truth; and he acknowledges
that even the Canadian telegraph has told no such story.

In the evening, as some of us go on shore, there is a drunken fight.
Knives are drawn, great gashes given, blood runs like rain; the
combatants tumble together into a shallow dock, stab in the mud and
water, creep out and clench and roll over and over in the ooze, stabbing
still, with beast-like, unintelligible yells, and half-intelligible
curses. A great, nasty mob huddles round,--doing what, think you?
Roaring with laughter, and hooting their fish-gurry happiness up to the
welkin! Suddenly there is a surging among them; then Smith, our young
parson, ploughs through, springs upon the fighters, who owe to nothing
but extreme drunkenness their escape from the crime of murder. He
clutches them,--jerks one this way, the other that, heedless of the
still plunging knives,--fastens upon the worst hurt of the two, and
drags him off. Are the lookers-on abashed? Never think it! They
remonstrate! Smith jets at them fine sentences of fiery, rebuking
eloquence. "Bah!" they say, "this is nothing; we are used to it!" It was
their customary theatricals, their Spanish bull-fight; and they were
little inclined to be robbed of their show.

"Smith, you ran great risk of your life," said one, as the intrepid man
stepped on board, with a great gout of blood on his sleeve; "and your
life is surely worth more by many times than that of the creatures you
rescued."

"I know nothing about that; I only know that they have immortal souls,
and are not fit to die."

"Nor to live either, unhappily," said another.

There was cod- and cunner-fishing while here. Trout, also, were caught
in a pond a little inland,--good trout, too, though nothing, of course,
to what we shall find in Labrador! Enjoy, while ye may, short pleasures,
O trouters! for long tramps--and faces--are to succeed!


_June 11._ After prolonged northeast rain a bright day, and with it the
setting of sail, a many-handed seesaw at the windlass, and departure.

"Well rid of that vile hole!" says one and another.

"Oh, but you'll be glad enough to see it three months hence," answers
the experienced Bradford.

And we were!

The wind blew briskly down the Gut; the tide also, which, especially on
the ebb, runs with force, helping to carry off the waters of the St.
Lawrence, was against us; and the deer-footed schooner made haste slowly
toward the west. Slower vessels failed, and were swept down by the tide;
we crept on, crept past the noble Porcupine Head, which rises abruptly
six hundred and forty feet from the sea, and at last, ceasing to tack,
made a straight line out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, beautiful, most
beautiful, this day, if never before. It was a sweet sail we had across
that gulf, well-named and ill-reputed. The sun shone like southern
summer; the summer breeze blew mild; the rising shores and rich red soil
of Cape-Breton Isle, patched here and there with dark evergreen-forests,
and elsewhere by the lighter green of deciduous woods, lay on the
starboard side, warm-looking and welcome to the eyes. This shore, as
then seen, reminded me more than any other ever did of the Spanish coast
on the approach to Gibraltar,--the spruce woods answering in hue to
olive-groves, the other to the green of vines. Meanwhile, the
palpitating sheen on the land, the star-sprinkled blueness of the sea,
together with the softness of the delicious day, brought vividly to mind
those days in the Aegean when not even the disabilities of an invalid
could prevent his leaping over and swimming along by the ship's side.

It was a great surprise, this climate and scene. I had expected chill
skies and bleak shores: I found the perfect pleasantness of summer in
the air, and a coast-scenery with which that of New England in general
cannot vie.

Cape-Breton Isle is worthy of respect. With a population, if I remember
rightly, of some thirty thousand, and an area of more than three
thousand square miles, embracing an inland sea, or salt lake, deep
enough for ships-of-the-line, it has, in addition to its great mineral
wealth, a soil capable of large crops. Wheat and corn do not thrive, but
barley, oats, potatoes, and many root-crops grow abundantly. And I may
add, in passing, that Nova Scotia, over which I travelled on my return,
is worthy of a better repute. On the ocean side there is, indeed, a
strip from twenty to forty miles wide which is barren as the "Secesh"
heart of Halifax. The rock here is metamorphic, the soil worthless, the
scenery rugged, yet mean. Gold is found,--in such quantities that the
labor of each man yields a _gross_ result of two hundred and fifty-six
dollars a year! Deduct the cost of crushing the quartz, (for it is found
only in quartz,) and there is left--how much? But the Gulf-coast, and
the side of the province next the Bay of Fundy, have a carboniferous and
red-sandstone formation, with a soil often deep and rich, faultless
meads and river-intervals, and a tender shore-scenery, relieved by ruddy
cliffs, and high, broken, burnt-umber islands.

But we are sailing up the Gulf. And while the day shines and wanes, and
the shades of evening, suffused with tender color, fall gently, and the
Gulf to the west is deeply touched with veiled, but glowing crimson,
when the sun is down, and on the other hand Cape-Breton Isle puts forth,
close to our course, two small representative islands, red sandstone,
charmingly ruddy under the sunset light,--while a mild wind, sinking,
but not ceasing, bears us on through daylight, twilight, starlight, each
perfect of its kind,--let me introduce our voyagers severally to the
reader.

First, the ship, surely a voyager as much as any of us!

"Benjamin S. Wright," fore-and-aft schooner, one hundred and thirty-six
tons, built by McKay, and worthy of him,--deep, sharp, broad of beam, a
fine seaboat, swift as the wind, a little long-masted for regular
sea-voyaging, but, with this partial exception, faultless.

Next will naturally come the responsible originator and operator of the
expedition.

William Bradford, artist,--slight in stature, delicate, though marked,
in feature,--sensitive, pious, ardent, absorbed,--not of distinguished
mental power, though of active mind, aside from his profusion, but
within it a proper man of genius, with no superior, so far as I know,
but Turner, and no equal but Stanfield, in his power to render the sea
in action.

The passengers were twelve in number; but with them I include two
others, who have a claim to that company. Here they are.

A----, "the Colonel,"--a lieutenant in the regular army, retired on
account of illness,--brave, intelligent, cultivated, a Churchman
undeveloped in spiritual sense, rough in his sports, proud as a Roman,
his whole being, indeed, built up on manly, Roman pride,--a Greenland
voyager, and better read than any man I have met in the literature of
Northern travel.

H----, "the Judge,"--cool-headed, warm-hearted, compassionate,
irascible, liberal, witty, easy speaker and fine conversationist, with
an inexhaustible fund of sense, anecdote, candor, and good heart.

L----, navy-surgeon,--also retired on account of extreme illness,--a
sensible, quiet, good man and gentleman.

A. S. Packard, Jr., _Magister Artium_, scientist,--devoting his
attention chiefly to Insecta, Mollusca, and Radiata, but giving
penetrating glances at geology and physical geography,--attracted to the
North, where he had been before,--imperturbable, equal in humor and
good-humor, companionable, a boon to the party, and richly meriting the
thanks I here offer him.

M----, ornithologist,--young, unripe, inattentive to his person, but
very intelligent, and bound to be a man of mark.

S----, "the Parson,"--Episcopal, twenty-five years old, active in mind,
naturally eloquent, pious, social, genial, generous, and frank as the
day.

P----, graduate of college and law-school,--handsome, companionable,
fluent in writing or talk, and excellent at trolling a stave.

L----, quietest mouse in the world, but seen at once to be a gentleman,
and found afterwards to be a man of thought and culture.

C----, with the gravest, maturest, most thoughtful and balanced mind,
and one of the happiest appetites I ever found in a boy of fourteen,
singularly ingenuous and high-minded, a rare spirit.

P----, photographer, skilful, and a good fellow.

W----, whose wife is enviable among women.

Captain H----, employed by Bradford, not as master, but as general
ally,--old whaler, one of Nature's noblemen, to whom experience has been
a university and the world a book, strong as the strongest of men,
tender as the tenderest of women.

Ph----, fine Greek and Latin scholar, rich as Croesus and simple in
his habits as Ochiltree,--passionately fond of travel,--as well read, I
will undertake to say, in the literature of travel in Egypt, Arabia,
Syria, and Turkey, as any other man twenty-five years old in Europe or
America,--full of facts, strong in mind, deep In heart, religious,
candid, sincere, courageous, at once frank and reticent,--a thoroughly
large and profound nature, whom it was worth going to Labrador to meet.

Finally, your humble servant, "the Elder," who trusts that the reader
remembers meeting him before, and has somewhat, at least, of his own
pleasure in renewing the acquaintance.

       *       *       *       *       *

The morning of June twelfth, our second Sunday on board, was one to
remain memorable among mornings for beauty,--for these were halcyon
days, and Nature could not change for a moment from her mood. It was
nowise odd or strange, no Nubian of Thibetan beauty, no three-faced
Hindoo divinity, but a regular Grecian-featured Apollo, amber in
forehead, fitly arrayed, coming to a world worthy of him. Cape-Breton
Isle was a strip of denser sky on the southeast horizon; on the west,
far away, rose Entry Island, one of the Magdalen group, deliciously
ruddy and Mediterranean-looking, seen through the lovely, ethereal,
purple haze; while others of the group appeared farther away, one of
them, long and low, an island of absolute gold, polished gold, splendid
as gold under sunshine can be. The light wind bore us on so serenely as
to give the sense of calm more than calm itself; while the music of our
motion through the water, that incomparable barytone, rendered this calm
into sound.

It was the very Sabbath and Sunday of Nature,--her Sabbath of rest, and
her Sunday of joy. I was surprised to find myself not surprised by this
wonderful morning. It seemed not new nor foreign, but suggested some
divine old-time familiarity and fellowship. It looked me in the eyes out
of its immortal hilarity and peace, took me by the hand, and said,
"Forever!" And in that "Forever" spoke to me an infinite remembrance and
an infinite hope.

At eleven A. M. we drew near to Gannet Rocks. These are three in number,
all high, one quite small and conical, a second somewhat larger, the
third, which is the home of gannets, several acres in extent. They were
all ruddy, being of red sandstone; and the smallest, in that warm light,
was actual carmine. The largest rises with precipitous sides, which in
parts beetle far over the sea, to a height of four hundred feet, having
above a surface nearly level, but sloping gently to the south. By zigzag
scrambling one may at a particular point climb to this surface; but it
is a hard climb, and a landing can be effected only in extreme calm.

At the distance of two miles or more, on our approach, the surface was
visible, owing to its slight southward slope. It had precisely the
appearance of being deeply covered with snow, save in one part, about a
fourth of its area, where it was bright green. We knew that this snow
was no other than the female gannets, crowded together in the act of
sitting on their eggs; but by no inspection with powerful glasses could
we discern a single point where the rock appeared between them. They
were literally _packed_ together, every inch of room being used. Six or
eight acres of them!

But where are the males? There is no apparent room for them on the rock.
Just as this question occurred to me, some one cried out, "Look in the
air! look in the air above the rock!" I lifted my glass, and there they
were, a veritable _cloud_. They reminded me, saving the color, of a
cloud of midges which astonished me one summer evening when I was a
boy,--so thick that you could not see through them. Whether these ever
alight I cannot say. One thing is certain: they cannot all, nor any
considerable portion of them, alight on this rock together,--unless,
indeed, one should roost on another's back.

But the gannet is not particular about alighting. It is just as cheap
flying, he thinks. His true home, like that of the frigate-bird and one
or two others, is the air. This is indicated in his structure. The skin
is not, as in most animals, strictly connected with the flesh, but is
attached by separate elastic fibres; and, like the frigate-bird, it can
force in under the skin, and into various cellular passages in the body,
air which is rarefied by its animal heat, and contributes greatly to its
buoyancy.

The gannet is a handsome bird, larger by measurement, though not
heavier, than the largest gulls,--snow-white, save the outer third of
the wing, which is jet-black,--his wings long and sharp,--his motion in
the air not rapid, but singularly home-like and easy. He is unable to
rise from level ground, but must launch himself from a height, probably
owing to his shortness and inelasticity of leg and length of wing; nor,
indeed, can he rise from the water, unless somewhat assisted by its
motion. And this suggests a beautiful provision of Nature: the wings of
all true swimmers and divers are short and-round, to facilitate their
ascent from the water.

If surprised on land, the gannet neither attempts to fly nor offers
resistance, conscious of helplessness; but when attacked in the water,
where he is more at home, he will fight fiercely. Nuttall, with grange
contradiction, says, that, though web-footed, they do not swim,--yet
elsewhere speaks of looking down from a cliff and seeing them "swimming
and chasing their prey." I cannot testify.

After lingering an hour or two, "breaking the Sabbath," the schooner
proceeded,--the wind freshening during the afternoon, and the Gulf
growing choppy, as if it could not quite suffer us to pass without
exhibiting somewhat of that peevish quality for which it has an evil
renown. It was but a passing wrinkle of ill-humor, however,--a feeble
hint of what it could do, if it chose.

And when we recrossed it, two and a half months later, it chose!

       *       *       *       *       *

_June 14._ "Land ho! Labrador!"

"Where? Where is it?" cry a chorus of voices.

"There, a little on the larboard bow."

A long, silent, rather disconcerted gaze.

"I don't see it," says one.

"Nor I."

"There,--there,"--pointing,--"close down to the sea."

"You don't mean that cloud?"

"I mean that land."

"Humph!"

There is something occult about this art of seeing land. The landsman's
eyesight is good; he prides himself a little upon it. He looks; and for
him the land isn't there. The seaman's eyesight is no better; he looks,
and for him the land is so plainly in view that he cannot understand
your failure to see it. He is secretly pleased, though,--and may pretend
impatience in order to conceal his pleasure. I have sailed in all,
perhaps, a distance equal to that around the earth, a good proportion of
it along-shore; and I see as far as most men. But once on this very
voyage, during a storm, I had occasion to be convinced that nautical
optics will assert their advantage. Land was pointed out; it had been
some time seen, and we were avoiding it, the weather being thick and our
position uncertain. I did my best to descry it, ready to quarrel with my
eyes for not doing so, and a little annoyed to find myself but a
landsman after all. But see it I couldn't. I did indeed, after a while,
make out to fancy that I perceived an infinitesimal densening of the
mist there; but the illusion was one difficult to sustain.

At four o'clock in the afternoon we cast anchor in Sleupe Harbor, named
for one Admiral Sleupe, of whom I know just this, that a harbor in
Labrador, Lat. 51°, is named for him. This region, however, is named
generally from Little Mecatina Island, which lies about six miles to the
southwest, considerable in size, and a most wild-looking land, tossed,
tumbled, twisted, and contorted in every conceivable and inconceivable
way. The harbor, too, a snug little hole between islands, was worthy of
Labrador. Its shores were all of gray, unbroken rock, not rising in
cliffs, but sloping to the sea, and dipping under it in regular decline,
like a shore of sand; while not a tree, not a shrub, not a grass-blade,
was to be seen. I never beheld a scene so bleak, bare, and hard. Nor did
I ever see a shore that seemed so completely "master of the situation."
The mightiest cliff confesses the power which it resists. Grand,
enduring, awful, it may be; but many a scar on its face and many a
fragment at its feet tells of what it endures. But this scarless gray
rock, thrusting its hand in a matter-of-course way under the sea, and
seeming to hold it as in a cup, suggested a quality so comfortably
immitigable that one's eyes grew cold in looking at it.

Suddenly, "I see an inhabitant!" cries one.

Yes, there he was, moving over the rock. Can you imagine how far away
and foreign he looked? The gray granite beneath him, the gray cloud
above him, seemed nearer akin. Instinctively, one thought of hastening
to a book of natural history for some description of the creature. Then
came the counter-thought, "This is a man!" And the attempt to realize
that fact put him yet farther, put him infinitely away. It was like
rebounding from a wall. No form is so foreign as the human, if a bar be
placed to the sympathy of him who regards it; and for the time this waif
of humanity walked in the circle of an unconquerable strangeness.

He came on board,--another with him; for their hut was near by.
Canadian French they proved to be; could tatter English a little; and
with the passage of speech the flow of sympathy began, and we felt them
to be human. Through the Word the worlds were made!

A wilderness of desert islands lies at this point along the coast,
extending out, I judged, not less than fifteen miles. Excepting Little
Mecatina, which is a number of miles in length, and must be some fifteen
hundred feet high, they are not very considerable either in area or
elevation,--from five to five hundred acres in extent, and from thirty
to two hundred feet in height. They are swardless and treeless, though
in two places I found a few blades of coarse, tawny-green grass; and
patches of sombre shrubbery, two and a half feet high, were not wanting.
Little lichen grows on the rock, though in the depressions and on many
of the slopes grows, or at least exists, a boggy greenish-gray moss,
over which it breaks your knees--if, indeed, your spine do not choose to
monopolize that enjoyment--to travel long. The rock is pale granite,
disposed in layers, which vary from two to ten or twelve feet in
thickness. These incline at an angle of from ten to twenty degrees,
giving to the islands, as a predominant characteristic, a regular slope
on one side and a cliff-like aspect on the other; though not a few are
bent up in the middle, perhaps exhibiting there some sharp ridge or
vertical wall, while from this they decline to either side.

As beheld on the day of our arrival, this scenery was of an incomparable
desolation. Above was the coldest gray sky I remember to have seen; the
sea lay all in pallid, deathly gray beneath; islands in all shades of
grimmer and grimmest gray checkered it; vast drifts of gray old snow
filled the deeper hollows; and a heartless atmosphere pushed in the
sense of this grayness to the very marrow. It was as if all the ruddy
and verdurous juices had died in the veins of the world, and from core
to surface only gray remained. To credit fully the impression of the
scene, one would say that Existence was dead, and that we stood looking
on its corpse, which even in death could never decay. Eternal
Desolation,--Labrador!

But extremes meet.



THE PROCESS OF SCULPTURE.


I have heard so much, lately, about artists who do not do their own
work, that I feel disposed to raise the veil upon the mysteries of the
studio, and enable those who are interested in the subject to form a
just conception of the amount of assistance to which a sculptor is
fairly entitled, as well as to correct the false, but very general
impression, that the artist, beginning with the crude block, and guided
by his imagination only, hews out his statue with his own hands.

So far from this being the case, the first labor of the sculptor is upon
a small clay model; in which he carefully studies the composition of his
statue, the proportions, and the general arrangement of the drapery,
without regard to very careful finish of parts. This being accomplished,
and the small model cast in plaster, he employs some one to enlarge his
work to any size which he may require; and this is done by scale, and
with almost as much precision as the full-size and perfectly finished
model is afterwards copied in marble.

The first step in this process is to form a skeleton of iron, the size
and strength of the iron rods corresponding to the size of the figure to
be modelled; and here, not only strong hands and arms are requisite,
but the blacksmith with his forge, many of the irons requiring to be
heated and bent upon the anvil to the desired angle. This solid
framework being prepared, and the various irons of which it is composed
firmly wired and welded together, the next thing is to hang thereon a
series of crosses, often several hundred in number, formed by two bits
of wood, two or three inches in length, fastened together by wire, one
end of which is attached to the framework. All this is necessary for the
support of the clay, which would otherwise fall by its own weight. (I
speak here of Roman clay,--the clay obtained in many parts of England
and America being more properly potter's clay, and consequently more
tenacious.) The clay is then pressed firmly around and upon the irons
and crosses with strong hands and a wooden mallet, until, from a clumsy
and shapeless mass, it acquires some resemblance to the human form. When
the clay is properly prepared, and the work advanced as far as the
artist desires, his own work is resumed, and he then laboriously studies
every part, corrects his ideal by comparison with living models, copies
his drapery from actual drapery arranged upon the lay-figure, and gives
to his statue the last refinement of beauty.

It will thus be seen that there is an intermediate stage, even in the
clay, when the work passes completely out of the sculptor's hands and is
carried forward by his assistant,--the work on which the latter is
employed, however, obviously requiring not the least exercise of
creative power, which is essentially the attribute of the artist. To
perform the part assigned him, it is not necessary that the assistant,
should be a man of imagination or refined taste,--it is sufficient that
he have simply the skill, with the aid of accurate measurements, to
construct the framework of iron and to copy the small model before him.
But in _originating_ that small model, when the artist had nothing to
work from but the image existing in his own brain, imagination, refined
feeling, and a sense of grace were essential, and were called into
constant exercise. So, again, when the clay model returns into the
sculptor's hands, and the work approaches completion, often after the
labor of many months, it is he alone who infuses into the clay that
refinement and individuality of beauty which constitute his "style," and
which are the test of the greater or less degree of refinement of his
mind, as the force and originality of the conception are the test of his
intellectual power.

The clay model having at last been rendered as perfect as possible, the
sculptor's work upon the statue is virtually ended; for it is then cast
in plaster and given into the hands of the marble-workers, by whom,
almost entirely, it is completed, the sculptor merely directing and
correcting the work as it proceeds. This disclosure, I am aware, will
shock the many, who often ingeniously discover traces of the sculptor's
hand where they do not exist. It is true, that, in some cases, the
finishing touches are introduced by the artist himself; but I suspect
that few who have accomplished and competent workmen give much of their
time to the mallet or the chisel, preferring to occupy themselves with
some new creation, or considering that these implements may be more
advantageously wielded by those who devote themselves exclusively to
their use. It is also true, that, although the process of transferring
the statue from plaster to marble is reduced to a science so perfect
that to err is almost impossible, yet much depends upon the workmen to
whom this operation is intrusted. Still, their position in the studio is
a subordinate one. They translate the original thought of the sculptor,
written in clay, into the language of marble. The translator may do his
work well or ill,--he may appreciate and preserve the delicacy of
sentiment and grace which were stamped upon the clay, or he may render
the artist's meaning coarsely and unintelligibly. Then it is that the
sculptor himself must reproduce his ideal in the marble, and breathe
into it that vitality which, many contend, only the artist can inspire.
But, whether skilful or not, the relation of these workmen to the artist
is precisely the same as that of the mere linguist to the author who, in
another tongue, has given to the world some striking fancy or original
thought.

But the question when the clay _is_ "properly prepared" forms the
debatable ground, and has already furnished a convenient basis for the
charge that it is never "properly prepared" for women-artists until it
is ready for the caster. I affirm, from personal knowledge, that this
charge is utterly without foundation,--and as it would be affectation in
me to ignore what has been so freely circulating upon this subject in
print, I take this opportunity of stating that I have never yet allowed
a statue to leave my studio, upon the clay model of which I had not
worked during a period of from four to eight months,--and further, that
I should choose to refer all those desirous of ascertaining the truth to
Mr. Nucci, who "prepares" my clay for me, rather than to my
brother-sculptor, in the _Via Margutta_, who originated the report that
I was an impostor. So far, however, as my designs are concerned, I
believe even he has not, as yet, found occasion to accuse me of drawing
upon other brains than my own.

We women-artists have no objection to its being known that we employ
assistants; we merely object to its being supposed that it is a system
peculiar to _ourselves_. When Thorwaldsen was called upon to execute his
twelve statues of the Apostles, he designed and furnished the small
models, and gave them into the hands of his pupils and assistants, by
whom, almost exclusively, they were copied in their present colossal
dimensions. The great master rarely put his own hand to the clay; yet we
never hear them spoken of except as "Thorwaldsen's statues." When
Vogelberg accepted the commission to model his colossal equestrian
statue of Gustavus Adolphus, physical infirmity prevented the artist
from even mounting the scaffolding; but he made the small model, and
directed the several workmen employed upon the full-size statue in clay,
and we never heard it intimated that Vogelberg was not the sculptor of
that great work. Even Crawford, than whom none ever possessed a more
rapid or facile hand, could never have accomplished half the immense
amount of work which pressed upon him in his later years, had he not had
more than one pair of hands to aid him in giving outward form to the
images in his fertile brain. Nay, not to refer solely to artists who are
no longer among us, I could name many studios, both in Rome and England,
belonging to our brothers in Art, in which the assistant-modeller forms
as necessary a part of studio-"property" as the living model or the
marble-workers,--and many more, on a smaller scale, in which he lends a
helping hand whenever required. If there are a few instances in which
the sculptor himself conducts his clay model through every stage, it is
usually because pecuniary considerations prevent his employing a
professional modeller.

I do not wish it to be supposed that Thorwaldsen's general practice was
such as I have described in the particular case referred to: probably no
artist ever studied or worked more carefully upon the clay model than
he. What I have stated was only with the view of showing to what extent
he felt himself justified in employing assistance. I am quite persuaded,
however, that, had Thorwaldsen and Vogelberg been women, and employed
one-half the amount of assistance they did in the cases mentioned, we
should long since have heard the great merit of their works attributed
to the skill of their workmen.

Nor should we forget--to draw for examples upon a kindred art--how
largely the painters of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries relied
upon the mechanical skill of their pupils to assist them in producing
the great works which bear their names. All the painters of note of that
time, like many of the present day, had their pupils, to whom was
intrusted much of the laborious portion of their work, the master
furnishing the design and superintending its execution. Raphael, for
instance, could never have left one half the treasures of Art which
adorn the Vatican and enrich other galleries, had he depended solely
upon the rapidity of his own hand; and of the many frescos which exist
in the Farnese Palace, and are called "Raphael's frescos," there are but
two in which are to be traced the master's hand,--the Galatea, and one
of the compartments in the series representing the story of Cupid and
Psyche.

It will thus be seen how large a portion of the manual labor which is
supposed to devolve entirely upon the artist is, and has always been,
really performed by other hands than his own. I do not state this fact
in a whisper, as if it were a great disclosure which involved the honor
of the artist; it is no secret, and there is no reason why it should be
so. The disclosure, it is true, will be received by all who regard
sculpture as simply a mechanical art with a feeling of disappointment.
They will brand the artist who cannot lay claim to the entire
manipulation of his statue, whether in clay or marble, as an
impostor,--nor will they resign the idea that the truly conscientious
sculptor will carve every ornament upon his sandals and polish every
button upon his drapery. But those who look upon sculpture as an
intellectual art, requiring the exercise of taste, imagination, and
delicate feeling, will never identify the artist who conceives,
composes, and completes the design with the workman who simply relieves
him from great physical labor, however delicate some portion of that
labor may be. It should be a recognized fact, that the sculptor is as
fairly entitled to avail himself of mechanical aid in the execution of
his work as the architect to call into requisition the services of the
stone-mason in the erection of his edifice, or the poet to employ the
printer to give his thoughts to the world. Probably the sturdy mason
never thinks much about proportion, nor the type-setter much about
harmony; but the master-minds which inspire the strong arm and cunning
finger with motion think about and study both. It is high time that some
distinction should be made between the labor of the hand and the labor
of the brain. It is high time, in short, that the public should
understand in what the sculptor's work properly consists, and thus
render less pernicious the representations of those who, either from
thoughtlessness or malice, dwelling upon the fact that assistance has
been employed in certain cases, without defining the limits of that
assistance, imply the guilt of imposture in the artists, and deprive
them, and more particularly women-artists, of the credit to which, by
talent or conscientious labor, they are justly entitled.

    HARRIET HOSMER.



BRYANT'S SEVENTIETH BIRTHDAY.


    O even-handed Nature! we confess
    This life that men so honor, love, and bless
    Has filled thine olden measure. Not the less

    We count the precious seasons that remain;
    Strike not the level of the golden grain,
    But heap it high with years, that earth may gain

    What heaven can lose,--for heaven is rich in song:
    Do not all poets, dying, still prolong
    Their broken chants amid the seraph throng,

    Where, blind no more, Ionia's bard is seen,
    And England's heavenly minstrel sits between
    The Mantuan and the wan-cheeked Florentine?

    This was the first sweet singer in the cage
    Of our close-woven life. A new-born age
    Claims in his vesper song its heritage:

    Spare us, oh, spare us long our heart's desire!
    Moloch, who calls our children through the fire,
    Leaves us the gentle master of the lyre.

    We count not on the dial of the sun
    The hours, the minutes, that his sands have run;
    Rather, as on those flowers that one by one

    From earliest dawn their ordered bloom display
    Till evening's planet with her guiding ray
    Leads in the blind old mother of the day,

    We reckon by his songs, each song a flower,
    The long, long daylight, numbering hour by hour,
    Each breathing sweetness like a bridal bower.

    His morning glory shall we e'er forget?
    His noontide's full-blown lily coronet?
    His evening primrose has not opened yet;

    Nay, even if creeping Time should hide the skies
    In midnight from his century-laden eyes,
    Darkened like his who sang of Paradise,

    Would not some hidden song-bud open bright
    As the resplendent cactus of the night
    That floods the gloom with fragrance and with light?

    How can we praise the verse whose music flows
    With solemn cadence and majestic close,
    Pure as the dew that filters through the rose?

    How shall we thank him that in evil days
    He faltered never,--nor for blame, nor praise,
    Nor hire, nor party, shamed his earlier lays?

    But as his boyhood was of manliest hue,
    So to his youth his manly years were true,
    All dyed in royal purple through and through!

    He for whose touch the lyre of Heaven is strung
    Needs not the flattering toil of mortal tongue:
    Let not the singer grieve to die unsung!

    Marbles forget their message to mankind:
    In his own verse the poet still we find,
    In his own page his memory lives enshrined,

    As in their amber sweets the smothered bees,--
    As the fair cedar, fallen before the breeze,
    Lies self-embalmed amidst the mouldering trees.

    Poets, like youngest children, never grow
    Out of their mother's fondness. Nature so
    Holds their soft hands, and will not let them go,

    Till at the last they track with even feet
    Her rhythmic footsteps, and their pulses beat
    Twinned with her pulses, and their lips repeat

    The secrets she has told them, as their own:
    Thus is the inmost soul of Nature known,
    And the rapt minstrel shares her awful throne!

    O lover of her mountains and her woods,
    Her bridal chamber's leafy solitudes,
    Where Love himself with tremulous step intrudes,

    Her snows fall harmless on thy sacred fire:
    Far be the day that claims thy sounding lyre
    To join the music of the angel choir!

    Yet, since life's amplest measure must be filled,
    Since throbbing hearts must be forever stilled,
    And all must fade that evening sunsets gild,

    Grant, Father, ere he close the mortal eyes
    That see a Nation's reeking sacrifice,
    Its smoke may vanish from these blackened skies!

    Then, when his summons comes, since come it must,
    And, looking heavenward with unfaltering trust,
    He wraps his drapery round him for the dust,

    His last fond glance will show him o'er his head
    The Northern fires beyond the zenith spread
    In lambent glory, blue and white and red,--

    The Southern cross without its bleeding load,
    The milky way of peace all freshly strowed,
    And every white-throned star fixed in its lost abode!

NOVEMBER 3, 1864.



LEAVES FROM AN OFFICER'S JOURNAL.


II.

    CAMP SAXTON, near Beaufort, S.C.
    _December 11, 1862._

Haroun Alrashid, wandering in disguise through his imperial streets,
scarcely happened upon a greater variety of groups than I, in my evening
strolls among our own camp-fires.

Beside some of these fires, the men are cleaning their guns or
rehearsing their drill,--beside others, smoking in silence their very
scanty supply of the beloved tobacco,--beside others, telling stories
and shouting with laughter over the broadest mimicry, in which they
excel, and in which the officers come in for a full share. The
everlasting "shout" is always within hearing, with its mixture of piety
and polka, and its castanet-like clapping of the hands. Then there are
quieter prayer-meetings, with pious invocations, and slow psalms,
"deaconed out" from memory by the leader, two lines at a time, in a sort
of wailing chant. Elsewhere, there are _conversazioni_ around fires,
with a woman for queen of the circle,--her Nubian face, gay head-dress,
gilt necklace, and white teeth, all resplendent in the glowing light.
Sometimes the woman is spelling slow monosyllables out of a primer, a
feat which always commands all ears,--they rightly recognizing a mighty
spell, equal to the overthrowing of monarchs, in the magic assonance of
_cat_, _hat_, _pat_, _bat_, and the rest of it. Elsewhere, it is some
solitary old cook, some aged Uncle Tiff, with enormous spectacles, who
is perusing a hymn-book by the light of a pine splinter, in his deserted
cooking-booth of palmetto-leaves. By another fire there is an
actual dance, red-legged soldiers doing right-and-left, and
"now-lead-de-lady-ober," to the music of a violin which is rather
artistically played, and which may have guided the steps, in other days,
of Barnwells and Hugers. And yonder is a stump-orator perched on his
barrel, pouring out his exhortations to fidelity in war and in religion.
To-night for the first time I have heard an harangue in a different
strain, quite saucy, skeptical, and defiant, appealing to them in a sort
of French materialistic style, and claiming some personal experience of
warfare. "You don't know notin' about it, boys. You tink you's brave
enough; how you tink, if you stan' clar in de open field,--here you, an'
dar de Secesh? You's got to hab de right ting inside o' you. You must
hab it 'served [preserved] in you, like dese yer sour plums dey 'serve
in de barr'l; you's got to harden it down inside o' you, or it's
notin'." Then he hit hard at the religionists:--"When a man's got de
sperit ob de Lord in him, it weakens him all out, can't hoe de corn." He
had a great deal of broad sense in his speech; but presently some others
began praying vociferously close by, as if to drown this free-thinker,
when at last he exclaimed, "I mean to fight de war through, an' die a
good sojer wid de last kick,--dat's _my_ prayer!" and suddenly jumped
off the barrel. I was quite interested at discovering this reverse side
of the temperament, the devotional side preponderates so enormously, and
the greatest scamps kneel and groan in their prayer-meetings with such
entire zest. It shows that there is some individuality developed among
them, and that they will not become too exclusively pietistic.

Their love of the spelling-book is perfectly inexhaustible,--they
stumbling on by themselves, or the blind leading the blind, with the
same pathetic patience which they carry into everything. The chaplain is
getting up a school-house, where he will soon teach them as regularly as
he can. But the alphabet must always be a very incidental business in a
camp.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _December 14._

Passages from prayers in the camp:--

"Let me so lib dat when I die I shall _hab manners_, dat I shall know
what to say when I see my Heabenly Lord."

"Let me lib wid de musket in one hand, an' de Bible in de oder,--dat if
I die at de muzzle ob de musket, die in de water, die on de land, I may
know I hab de bressed Jesus in my hand, an' hab no fear."

"I hab lef' my wife in de land o' bondage; my little ones dey say eb'ry
night, Whar is my fader? But when I die, when de bressed mornin' rises,
when I shall stan' in de glory, wid one foot on de water an' one foot on
de land, den, O Lord, I shall see my wife an' my little chil'en once
more."

These sentences I noted down, as best I could, beside the glimmering
camp-fire last night. The same person was the hero of a singular little
_contre-temps_ at a funeral in the afternoon. It was our first funeral.
The man had died in hospital, and we had chosen a picturesque
burial-place above the river, near the old church, and beside a little
nameless cemetery, used by generations of slaves. It was a regular
military funeral, the coffin being draped with the American flag, the
escort marching behind, and three volleys fired over the grave. During
the services there was singing, the chaplain deaconing out the hymn in
their favorite way. This ended, he announced his text,--"This poor man
cried, and the Lord heard him, and delivered him out of all his
trouble." Instantly, to my great amazement, the cracked voice of the
chorister was uplifted, intoning the text, as if it were the first verse
of another hymn. So calmly was it done, so imperturbable were all the
black countenances, that I half began to conjecture that the chaplain
himself intended it for a hymn, though I could imagine no prospective
rhyme for _trouble_, unless it were approximated by _debbil_,--which is,
indeed, a favorite reference, both with the men and with his Reverence.
But the chaplain, peacefully awaiting, gently repeated his text after
the chant, and to my great relief the old chorister waived all further
recitative and let the funeral discourse proceed.

Their memories are a vast bewildered chaos of Jewish history and
biography; and most of the great events of the past, down to the period
of the American Revolution, they instinctively attribute to Moses. There
is a fine bold confidence in all their citations, however, and the
record never loses piquancy in their hands, though strict accuracy may
suffer. Thus, one of my captains, last Sunday, heard a colored exhorter
at Beaufort proclaim, "Paul may plant, _and may polish wid water_, but
it won't do," in which the sainted Apollos would hardly have recognized
himself.

Just now one of the soldiers came to me to say that he was about to be
married to a girl in Beaufort, and would I lend him a dollar and
seventy-five cents to buy the wedding outfit? It seemed as if matrimony
on such moderate terms ought to be encouraged, in these days; and so I
responded to the appeal.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _December 16._

To-day a young recruit appeared here, who had been the slave of Colonel
Sammis, one of the leading Florida refugees. Two white companions came
with him, who also appeared to be retainers of the Colonel, and I asked
them to dine. Being likewise refugees, they had stories to tell, and
were quite agreeable: one was English-born, the other Floridian, a dark,
sallow Southerner, very well-bred. After they had gone, the Colonel
himself appeared. I told him that I had been entertaining his white
friends, and after a while he quietly let out the remark,--

"Yes, one of those white friends of whom you speak is a boy raised on
one of my plantations; he has travelled with me to the North and passed
for white, and he always keeps away from the negroes."

Certainly no such suspicion had ever crossed my mind.

I have noticed one man in the regiment who would easily pass for
white,--a little sickly drummer, aged fifty at least, with brown eyes
and reddish hair, who is said to be the son of one of our commodores. I
have seen perhaps a dozen persons as fair or fairer, among fugitive
slaves, but they were usually young children. It touched me far more to
see this man, who had spent more than half a lifetime in this low
estate, and for whom it now seemed too late to be anything but a
"nigger." This offensive word, by the way, is almost as common with them
as at the North, and far more common than with well-bred slave-holders.
They have meekly accepted it. "Want to go out to de nigger-houses, Sah,"
is the universal impulse of sociability, when they wish to cross the
lines. "He hab twenty house-servants, an' two hundred head o' nigger,"
is a still more degrading form of phrase, in which the epithet is
limited to the field-hands, and they estimated like so many cattle. This
want of self-respect of course interferes with the authority of the
non-commissioned officers, which is always difficult to sustain, even in
white regiments. "He needn't try to play de white man ober me," was the
protest of a soldier against his corporal the other day. To counteract
this, I have often to remind them that they do not obey their officers
because they are white, but because they are their officers; and
guard-duty is an admirable school for this, because they readily
understand that the sergeant or corporal of the guard has for the time
more authority than any commissioned officer who is not on duty. It is
necessary also for their superiors to treat the non-commissioned
officers with careful courtesy, and I often caution the line-officers
never to call them "Sam" or "Will," nor omit the proper handle to their
names. The value of the habitual courtesies of the regular army is
exceedingly apparent with these men: an officer of polished manners can
wind them round his finger, while white soldiers seem rather to prefer a
certain roughness. The demeanor of my men to each other is very
courteous, and yet I see none of that sort of upstart conceit which is
sometimes offensive among free negroes at the North, the dandy-barber
strut. This is an agreeable surprise, for I feared that freedom and
regimentals would produce precisely that.

They seem the world's perpetual children, docile, gay, and lovable, in
the midst of this war for freedom on which they have intelligently
entered. Last night, before "taps," there was the greatest noise in camp
that I had ever heard, and I feared some riot. On going out, I found the
most tumultuous sham-fight proceeding in total darkness, two
companies playing like boys, beating tin cups for drums. When some
of them saw me they seemed a little dismayed, and came and said,
beseechingly,--"Cunnel, Sah, you hab no objection to we playin',
Sah?"--which objection I disclaimed; but soon they all subsided, rather
to my regret, and scattered merrily. Afterward I found that some other
officer had told them that I considered the affair too noisy, so that I
felt a mild self-reproach when one said, "Cunnel, wish you had let we
play a little longer, Sah." Still I was not sorry, on the whole; for
these sham-fights between companies would in some regiments lead to real
ones, and there is a latent jealousy here between the Florida and
South-Carolina men, which sometimes makes me anxious.

The officers are more kind and patient with the men than I should
expect, since the former are mostly young, and drilling tries the
temper; but they are aided by hearty satisfaction in the results already
attained. I have never yet heard a doubt expressed among the officers as
to the _superiority_ of these men to white troops in aptitude for drill
and discipline, because of their imitativeness and docility, and the
pride they take in the service. One captain said to me to-day, "I have
this afternoon taught my men to load-in-nine-times, and they do it
better than we did it in my former company in three months." I can
personally testify that one of our best lieutenants, an Englishman,
taught a part of his company the essential movements of the "school for
skirmishers" in a single lesson of two hours, so that they did them very
passably, though I feel bound to discourage such haste. However, I
"formed square" on the third battalion-drill. Three-fourths of drill
consist of attention, imitation, and a good ear for time; in the other
fourth, which consists of the application of principles, as, for
instance, performing by the left flank some movement before learned by
the right, they are perhaps slower than better-educated men. Having
belonged to five different drill-clubs before entering the army, I
certainly ought to know something of the resources of human awkwardness,
and I can honestly say that they astonish me by the facility with which
they do things. I expected much harder work in this respect.

The habit of carrying burdens on the head gives them erectness of
figure, even where physically disabled. I have seen a woman, with a
brimming water-pail balanced on her head,--or perhaps a cup, saucer, and
spoon,--stop suddenly, turn round, stoop to pick up a missile, rise
again, fling it, light a pipe, and go through many evolutions with
either hand or both, without spilling a drop. The pipe, by the way,
gives an odd look to a well-dressed young girl on Sunday, but one often
sees that spectacle. The passion for tobacco among our men continues
quite absorbing, and I have piteous appeals for some arrangement by
which they can buy it on credit, as we have yet no sutler. Their
imploring, "Cunnel, we can't _lib_ widout it, Sah," goes to my heart;
and as they cannot read, I cannot even have the melancholy satisfaction
of supplying them with the excellent anti-tobacco tracts of Mr. Trask.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _December 19._

Last night the water froze in the adjutant's tent, but not in mine.
To-day has been mild and beautiful. The blacks say they do not feel the
cold so much as the white officers do, and perhaps it is so, though
their health evidently suffers more from dampness. On the other hand,
while drilling on very warm days, they have seemed to suffer more from
heat than their officers. But they dearly love fire, and at night will
always have it, if possible, even on the minutest scale,--a mere handful
of splinters, that seems hardly more efficacious than a friction-match.
Probably this is a natural habit for the short-lived coolness of an
out-door country; and then there is something delightful in this rich
pine, which burns like a tar-barrel. It was perhaps encouraged by the
masters, as the only cheap luxury the slaves had at hand.

As one grows more acquainted with the men, their individualities emerge;
and I find first their faces, then their characters, to be as distinct
as those of whites. It is very interesting the desire they show to do
their duty and to improve as soldiers; they evidently think about it,
and see the importance of the thing; they say to me that we white men
cannot stay and be their leaders always, and that they must learn to
depend on themselves, or else relapse into their former condition.

Beside the superb branch of uneatable bitter oranges which decks my
tent-pole, I have to-day hung up a long bough of finger-sponge, which
floated to the riverbank. As winter advances, butterflies gradually
disappear: one species (a _Vanessa_) lingers; three others have vanished
since I came. Mocking-birds are abundant, but rarely sing; once or twice
they have reminded me of the red thrush, but are inferior, as I have
always thought. The colored people all say that it will be much cooler;
but my officers do not think so, perhaps because last winter was so
unusually mild,--with only one frost, they say.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _December 20._

Philoprogenitiveness is an important organ for an officer of colored
troops; and I happen to be well provided with it. It seems to be the
theory of all military usages, in fact, that soldiers are to be treated
like children; and these singular persons, who never know their own age
till they are past middle life, and then choose a birthday with such
precision,--"Fifty year old, Sah, de fus' last April,"--prolong the
privilege of childhood.

I am perplexed nightly for counter-signs,--their range of proper names
is so distressingly limited, and they make such amazing work of every
new one. At first, to be sure, they did not quite recognize the need of
any variation: one night some officer asked a sentinel whether he had
the countersign yet, and was indignantly answered,--"Should tink I hab
'em, hab 'em for a fortnight"; which seems a long epoch for that magic
word to hold out. To-night I thought I would have "Fredericksburg," in
honor of Burnside's reported victory, using the rumor quickly, for fear
of a contradiction. Later, in comes a captain, gets the countersign for
his own use, but presently returns, the sentinel having pronounced it
incorrect. On inquiry, it appears that the sergeant of the guard, being
weak in geography, thought best to substitute the more familiar word,
"Crockery-ware"; which was, with perfect gravity, confided to all the
sentinels, and accepted without question. O life! what is the fun of
fiction beside thee?

I should think they would suffer and complain, these cold nights; but
they say nothing, though there is a good deal of coughing. I should
fancy that the scarlet trousers must do something to keep them warm, and
wonder that they dislike them so much, when they are so much like their
beloved fires. They certainly multiply fire-light, in any case. I often
notice that an infinitesimal flame, with one soldier standing by it,
looks like quite a respectable conflagration, and it seems as if a group
of them must dispel dampness.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _December 21._

To a regimental commander no book can be so fascinating as the
consolidated Morning Report, which is ready about nine, and tells how
many in each company are sick, absent, on duty, and so on. It is one's
newspaper and daily mail; I never grow tired of it. If a single recruit
has come in, I am always eager to see how he looks on paper.

To-night the officers are rather depressed by rumors of Burnside's being
defeated, after all. I am fortunately equable and undepressible; and it
is very convenient that the men know too little of the events of the war
to feel excitement or fear. They know General Saxton and me,--"de
General" and "de Cunnel,"--and seem to ask no further questions. We are
the war. It saves a great deal of trouble, while it lasts, this
childlike confidence; nevertheless, it is our business to educate them
to manhood, and I see as yet no obstacle. As for the rumor, the world
will no doubt roll round, whether Burnside is defeated or succeeds.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Christmas Day._

      "We'll fight for liberty
    Till de Lord shall call us home;
      We'll soon be free
    Till de Lord shall call us home."

This is the hymn which the slaves at Georgetown, South Carolina, were
whipped for singing when President Lincoln was elected. So said a little
drummer-boy, as he sat at my tent's edge last night and told me his
story; and he showed all his white teeth as he added,--"Dey tink '_de
Lord_' meant for say de Yankees."

Last night, at dress-parade, the adjutant read General Saxton's
Proclamation for the New-Year's Celebration. I think they understood it,
for there was cheering in all the company-streets afterwards. Christmas
is the great festival of the year for this people; but, with New-Year's
coming after, we could have no adequate programme for to-day, and so
celebrated Christmas Eve with pattern simplicity. We omitted, namely,
the mystic curfew which we call "taps," and let them sit up and burn
their fires and have their little prayer-meetings as late as they
desired; and all night, as I waked at intervals, I could hear them
praying and "shouting" and clattering with hands and heels. It seemed to
make them very happy, and appeared to be at least an innocent Christmas
dissipation, as compared with some of the convivialities of the
"superior race" hereabouts.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _December 26._

The day passed with no greater excitement for the men than
target-shooting, which they enjoyed. I had the private delight of the
arrival of our much-desired surgeon and his nephew, the captain, with
letters and news from home. They also bring the good tidings that
General Saxton is not to be removed, as had been reported.

Two different stands of colors have arrived for us, and will be
presented at New-Year's,--one from friends in New York, and the other
from a lady in Connecticut. I see that "Frank Leslie's Illustrated
Weekly" of December twentieth has a highly imaginative picture of the
muster-in of our first company, and also of a skirmish on the late
expedition.

I must not forget the prayer overheard last night by one of the
captains:--"O Lord! when I tink ob dis Kismas and las' year de Kismas.
Las' Kismas he in de Secesh, and notin' to eat but grits, and no salt in
'em. Dis year in de camp, and too much victual!" This "too much" is a
favorite phrase out of their grateful hearts, and did not in this case
denote an excess of dinner,--as might be supposed,--but of thanksgiving.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _December 29._

Our new surgeon has begun his work most efficiently: he and the chaplain
have converted an old gin-house into a comfortable hospital, with ten
nice beds and straw pallets. He is now, with a hearty professional
faith, looking round for somebody to put into it. I am afraid the
regiment will accommodate him; for, although he declares that these men
do not sham sickness, as he expected, their catarrh is an unpleasant
reality. They feel the dampness very much, and make such a coughing at
dress-parade that I have urged him to administer a dose of
cough-mixture, all round, just before that pageant. Are the colored race
_tough_? is my present anxiety; and it is odd that physical
insufficiency, the only discouragement not thrown in our way by the
newspapers, is the only discouragement which finds any place in our
minds. They are used to sleeping in-doors in winter, herded before
fires, and so they feel the change. Still, the regiment is as healthy as
the average, and experience will teach us something.[B]

       *       *       *       *       *

    _December 30._

On the first of January we are to have a slight collation, ten oxen or
so, barbecued,--or not properly barbecued, but roasted whole. Touching
the length of time required to "do" an ox, no two housekeepers appear to
agree. Accounts vary from two hours to twenty-four. We shall happily
have enough to try all gradations of roasting, and suit all tastes, from
Miss A.'s to mine. But fancy me proffering a spare-rib, well done, to
some fair lady! What ever are we to do for spoons and forks and plates?
Each soldier has his own, and is sternly held responsible for it by
"Army Regulations." But how provide for the multitude? Is it customary,
I ask you, to help to tenderloin with one's fingers? Fortunately, the
Major is to see to that department. Great are the advantages of military
discipline: for anything perplexing, detail a subordinate.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _New-Year's Eve._

My housekeeping at home is not, perhaps, on any very extravagant scale.
Buying beefsteak, I usually go to the extent of two or three pounds. Yet
when, this morning at daybreak, the quartermaster called to inquire how
many cattle I would have killed for roasting, I turned over in bed, and
answered composedly, "Ten,--and keep three to be fatted."

Fatted, quotha! Not one of the beasts at present appears to possess an
ounce of superfluous flesh. Never were seen such lean kine. As they
swing on vast spits, composed of young trees, the fire-light glimmers
through their ribs, as if they were great lanterns. But no matter, they
are cooking,--nay, they are cooked.

One at least is taken off to cool, and will be replaced to-morrow to
warm up. It was roasted three hours, and well done, for I tasted it. It
is so long since I tasted fresh beef that forgetfulness is possible; but
I fancied this to be successful. I tried to imagine that I liked the
Homeric repast, and certainly the whole thing has been far more
agreeable than was to be expected. The doubt now is, whether I have made
a sufficient provision for my household. I should have roughly guessed
that ten beeves would feed as many million people, it has such a
stupendous sound; but General Saxton predicts a small social party of
five thousand, and we fear that meat will run short, unless they prefer
bone. One of the cattle is so small, we are hoping it may turn out veal.

For drink, we aim at the simple luxury of molasses-and-water, a barrel
per company, ten in all. Liberal housekeepers may like to know that for
a barrel of water we allow three gallons of molasses, half a pound of
ginger, and a quart of vinegar,--this last being a new ingredient for my
untutored palate, though all the rest are amazed at my ignorance. Hard
bread, with more molasses, and a dessert of tobacco, complete the
festive repast, destined to cheer, but not inebriate.

On this last point, of inebriation, this is certainly a wonderful camp.
For us, it is absolutely omitted from the list of vices. I have never
heard of a glass of liquor in the camp, nor of any effort either to
bring it in or to keep it out. A total absence of the circulating-medium
might explain the abstinence,--not that it seems to have that effect
with white soldiers,--but it would not explain the silence. The craving
for tobacco is constant and not to be allayed, like that of a mother for
her children; but I have never heard whiskey even wished for, save on
Christmas Day, and then only by one man, and he spoke with a hopeless
ideal sighing, as one alludes to the Golden Age. I am amazed at this
total omission of the most inconvenient of all camp-appetites. It
certainly is not the result of exhortation, for there has been no
occasion for any, and even the pledge would scarcely seem efficacious
where hardly anybody can write.

I do not think there is a great visible eagerness for to-morrow's
festival: it is not their way to be very jubilant over anything this
side of the New Jerusalem. They know also that those in this Department
are nominally free already, and that the practical freedom has to be
maintained, in any event, by military success. But they will enjoy it
greatly, and we shall have a multitude of people.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _January 1, 1863_ (evening).

A happy New-Year to civilized, people,--mere white folks. Our festival
has come and gone, with perfect success, and our good General has been
altogether satisfied. Last night the great fires were kept smouldering
in the pits, and the beeves were cooked more or less, chiefly
more,--during which time they had to be carefully watched, and the great
spits turned by main force. Happy were the merry fellows who were
permitted to sit up all night, and watch the glimmering flames that
threw a thousand fantastic shadows among the great gnarled oaks. And
such a chattering as I was sure to hear, whenever I awoke, that night!

My first greeting to-day was from one of the most stylish sergeants, who
approached me with the following little speech, evidently the result of
some elaboration:--

"I tink myself happy, dis New-Year's Day, for salute my own Cunnel. Dis
day las' year I was servant to a Cunnel ob Secesh; but now I hab de
privilege for salute my own Cunnel."

That officer, with the utmost sincerity, reciprocated the sentiment.

About ten o'clock the people began to collect by land, and also by
water,--in steamers sent by General Saxton for the purpose; and from
that time all the avenues of approach were thronged. The multitude were
chiefly colored women, with gay handkerchiefs on their heads, and a
sprinkling of men, with that peculiarly respectable look which these
people always have on Sundays and holidays. There were many white
visitors also,--ladies on horseback and in carriages, superintendents
and teachers, officers and cavalry-men. Our companies were marched to
the neighborhood of the platform, and allowed to sit or stand, as at the
Sunday services; the platform was occupied by ladies and dignitaries,
and by the band of the Eighth Maine, which kindly volunteered for the
occasion; the colored people filled up all the vacant openings in the
beautiful grove around, and there was a cordon of mounted visitors
beyond. Above, the great live-oak branches and their trailing moss;
beyond the people, a glimpse of the blue river.

The services began at half-past eleven o'clock, with prayer by our
chaplain, Mr. Fowler, who is always, on such occasions, simple,
reverential, and impressive. Then the President's Proclamation was read
by Dr. W. H. Brisbane, a thing infinitely appropriate, a
South-Carolinian addressing South-Carolinians; for he was reared among
these very islands, and here long since emancipated his own slaves. Then
the colors were presented to us by the Rev. Mr. French, a chaplain who
brought them from the donors in New York. All this was according to the
programme. Then followed an incident so simple, so touching, so utterly
unexpected and startling, that I can scarcely believe it on recalling,
though it gave the key-note to the whole day. The very moment the
speaker had ceased, and just as I took and waved the flag, which now for
the first time meant anything to these poor people, there suddenly
arose, close beside the platform, a strong male voice, (but rather
cracked and elderly,) into which two women's voices instantly blended,
singing, as if by an impulse that could no more be repressed than the
morning note of the song-sparrow,--

    "My Country, 'tis of thee,
    Sweet land of liberty,
      Of thee I sing!"

People looked at each other, and then at us on the platform, to see
whence came, this interruption, not set down in the bills. Firmly and
irrepressibly the quavering voices sang on, verse after verse; others of
the colored people joined in; some whites on the platform began, but I
motioned them to silence. I never saw anything so electric; it made all
other words cheap; it seemed the choked voice of a race at last
unloosed. Nothing could be more wonderfully unconscious; art could not
have dreamed of a tribute to the day of jubilee that should be so
affecting; history will not believe it; and when I came to speak of it,
after it was ended, tears were everywhere. If you could have heard how
quaint and innocent it was! Old Tiff and his children might have sung
it; and close before me was a little slave-boy, almost white, who seemed
to belong to the party, and even he must join in. Just think of it!--the
first day they had ever had a country, the first flag they had ever seen
which promised anything to their people, and here, while mere spectators
stood in silence, waiting for my stupid words, these simple souls burst
out in their lay, as if they were by their own hearths at home! When
they stopped, there was nothing to do for it but to speak, and I went
on; but the life of the whole day was in those unknown people's song.

Receiving the flags, I gave them into the hands of two fine-looking men,
jet-black, as color-guard, and they also spoke, and very
effectively,--Sergeant Prince Rivers and Corporal Robert Sutton. The
regiment sang "Marching Along," and then General Saxton spoke, in his
own simple, manly way, and Mrs. Frances D. Gage spoke very sensibly to
the women, and Judge Stickney, from Florida, added something; then some
gentlemen sang an ode, and the regiment the John Brown song, and then
they went to their beef and molasses. Everything was very orderly, and
they seemed to have a very gay time. Most of the visitors had far to go,
and so dispersed before dress-parade, though the band stayed to enliven
it. In the evening we had letters from home, and General Saxton had a
reception at his house, from which I excused myself; and so ended one of
the most enthusiastic and happy gatherings I ever knew. The day was
perfect, and there was nothing but success.

I forgot to say, that, in the midst, of the services, it was announced
that General Fremont was appointed Commander-in-Chief,--an announcement
which was received with immense cheering, as would have been almost
anything else, I verily believe, at that moment of high-tide. It was
shouted across by the pickets above,--a way in which we often receive
news, but not always trustworthy.

FOOTNOTES:

[B] A second winter's experience removed all this solicitude, for they
learned to take care of themselves. During the first February the
sick-list averaged about ninety, during the second about thirty,--this
being the worst month in the year, for blacks. Charity ought, perhaps,
to withhold the information that during the first winter we had three
surgeons, and during the second only one.



ENGLAND AND AMERICA.


I came to America to see and hear, not to lecture. But when I was
invited by the Boston "Fraternity" to lecture in their course, and
permitted to take the relations between England and America as my
subject, I did not feel at liberty to decline the invitation. England is
my country. To America, though an alien by birth, I am, as an English
Liberal, no alien in heart. I deeply share the desire of all my
political friends in England and of the leaders of my party to banish
ill-feeling and promote good-will between the two kindred nations. My
heart would be cold, if that desire were not increased by the welcome
which I have met with here. More than once, when called upon to speak,
(a task little suited to my habits and powers,) I have tried to make it
understood that the feelings of England as a nation towards you in your
great struggle had not been truly represented by a portion of our press.
Some of my present hearers may, perhaps, have seen very imperfect
reports of those speeches. I hope to say what I have to say with a
little more clearness now.

There was between England and America the memory of ancient quarrels,
which your national pride did not suffer to sleep, and which sometimes
galled a haughty nation little patient of defeat. In more recent times
there had been a number of disputes, the more angry because they were
between brethren. There had been disputes about boundaries, in which
England believed herself to have been overreached by your negotiators,
or, what was still more irritating, to have been overborne because her
main power was not here. There had been disputes about the Right of
Search, in which we had to taste the bitterness, now not unknown to you,
of those whose sincerity in a good cause is doubted, when, in fact, they
are perfectly sincere. You had alarmed and exasperated us by your Ostend
manifesto and your scheme for the annexation of Cuba. In these
discussions some of your statesmen had shown towards us the spirit which
Slavery does not fail to engender in the domestic tyrant; while,
perhaps, some of our statesmen had been too ready to presume bad
intentions and anticipate wrong. In our war with Russia your sympathies
had been, as we supposed, strongly on the Russian side; and we--even
those among us who least approved the war--had been scandalized at
seeing the American Republic in the arms of a despotism which had just
crushed Hungary, and which stood avowed as the arch-enemy of liberty in
Europe. In the course of that war an English envoy committed a fault by
being privy to recruiting in your territories. The fault was
acknowledged; but the matter was pressed by your Government in a temper
which we thought showed a desire to humiliate, and a want of that
readiness to accept satisfaction, when frankly tendered, which renders
the reparation of an unintentional offence easy and painless between men
of honor. These wounds had been inflamed by the unfriendly criticism of
English writers, who visited a new country without the spirit of
philosophic inquiry, and who in collecting materials for the amusement
of their countrymen sometimes showed themselves a little wanting in
regard for the laws of hospitality, as well as in penetration and in
largeness of view.

Yet beneath this outward estrangement there lay in the heart of England
at least a deeper feeling, an appeal to which was never unwelcome, even
in quarters where the love of American institutions least prevailed. I
will venture to repeat some words from a lecture addressed a short time
before this war to the University of Oxford, which at that time had
among its students an English Prince. "The loss of the American
Colonies," said the lecturer, speaking of your first Revolution, "was
perhaps in itself a gain to both countries. It was a gain, as it
emancipated commerce and gave free course to those reciprocal streams of
wealth which a restrictive policy had forbidden to flow. It was a gain,
as it put an end to an obsolete tutelage, which tended to prevent
America from learning betimes to walk alone, while it gave England the
puerile and somewhat dangerous pleasure of reigning over those whom she
did not and could not govern, but whom she was tempted to harass and
insult. A source of military strength colonies can scarcely be. You
prevent them from forming proper military establishments of their own,
and you drag them, into your quarrels at the price of undertaking their
defence. The inauguration of free trade was in fact the renunciation of
the only solid object for which our ancestors clung to an invidious and
perilous supremacy, and exposed the heart of England by scattering her
fleet and armies over the globe. It was not the loss of the Colonies,
but the quarrel, that was one of the greatest, perhaps the greatest
disaster that ever befell the English race. Who would not give up
Blenheim and Waterloo, if only the two Englands could have parted from
each other in kindness and in peace,--if our statesmen could have had
the wisdom, to say to the Americans generously and at the right season,
'You are Englishmen, like ourselves; be, for your own happiness and for
our honor, like ourselves, a nation'? But English statesmen, with all
their greatness, have seldom known how to anticipate necessity; too
often the sentence of history on their policy has been, that it was
wise, just, and generous, but too late. Too often have they waited for
the teaching of disaster. Time will heal this, like other wounds. In
signing away his own empire, George III. did not sign away the empire of
English liberty, of English law, of English literature, of English
religion, of English blood, or of the English tongue. But though the
wound will heal,--and that it may heal ought to be the earnest desire of
the whole English name,--history can never cancel the fatal page which
robs England of half the glory and half the happiness of being the
mother of a great nation." Such, I say, was the language addressed to
Oxford in the full confidence that it would be well received.

And now all these clouds seemed to have fairly passed away. Your
reception of the Prince of Wales, the heir and representative of George
III., was a perfect pledge of reconciliation. It showed that beneath a
surface of estrangement there still remained the strong tie of blood.
Englishmen who loved the New England as well as the Old were for the
moment happy in the belief that the two were one again. And, believe me,
joy at this complete renewal of our amity was very deeply and widely
felt in England. It spread far even among the classes which have shown
the greatest want of sympathy for you in the present war.

England has diplomatic connections--she has sometimes diplomatic
intrigues--with the Great Powers of Europe. For a real alliance she must
look here. Strong as is the element of aristocracy in her Government,
there is that in her, nevertheless, which makes her cordial
understandings with military despotisms little better than smothered
hate. With you she may have a league of the heart. We are united by
blood. We are united by a common allegiance to the cause of freedom. You
may think that English freedom falls far short of yours. You will allow
that it goes beyond any yet attained by the great European nations, and
that to those nations it has been and still is a light of hope. I see it
treated with contempt here. It is not treated with contempt by
Garibaldi. It is not treated with contempt by the exiles from French
despotism, who are proud to learn the English tongue, and who find in
our land, as they think, the great asylum of the free. Let England and
America quarrel. Let your weight be cast into the scale against us, when
we struggle with the great conspiracy of absolutist powers around us,
and the hope of freedom in Europe would be almost quenched. Hampden and
Washington in arms against each other! What could the Powers of Evil
desire more? When Americans talk lightly of a war with England, one
desires to ask them what they believe the effects of such a war would be
on their own country. How many more American wives do they wish to make
widows? How many more American children do they wish to make orphans? Do
they deem it wise to put a still greater strain on the already groaning
timbers of the Constitution? Do they think that the suspension of trade
and emigration, with the price of labor rising and the harvests of
Illinois excluded from their market, would help you to cope with the
financial difficulties which fill with anxiety every reflecting mind? Do
they think that four more years of war-government would render easy the
tremendous work of reconstruction? But the interests of the great
community of nations are above the private interests of America or of
England. If war were to break out between us, what would become of
Italy, abandoned without help to her Austrian enemy and her sinister
protector? What would become of the last hopes of liberty in France?
What would become of the world?

English liberties, imperfect as they may be,--and as an English Liberal
of course thinks they are,--are the source from which your liberties
have flowed, though the river may be more abundant than the spring.
Being in America, I am in England,--not only because American
hospitality makes me feel that I am still in my own country, but because
our institutions are fundamentally the same. The great foundations of
constitutional government, legislative assemblies, parliamentary
representation, personal liberty, self-taxation, the freedom of the
press, allegiance to the law as a power above individual will,--all
these were established, not without memorable efforts and memorable
sufferings, in the land from which the fathers of your republic came.
You are living under the Great Charter, the Petition of Eight, the
Habeas Corpus Act, the Libel Act. Perhaps you have not even yet taken
from us all that, if a kindly feeling continues between us, you may find
it desirable to take. England by her eight centuries of constitutional
progress has done a great work for you, and the two nations may yet have
a great work to do together for themselves and for the world. A student
of history, knowing how the race has struggled and stumbled onwards
through the ages until now, cannot believe in the finality and
perfection of any set of institutions, not even of yours. This vast
electioneering apparatus, with its strange machinery and discordant
sounds, in the midst of which I find myself,--it may be, and I firmly
believe it is, better for its purpose than anything that has gone before
it; but is it the crowning effort of mankind? If our creed--the Liberal
creed--be true, American institutions are a great step in advance of the
Old World; but they are not a miraculous leap into a political
millennium. They are a momentous portion of that continual onward effort
of humanity which it is the highest duty of history to trace; but they
are not its final consummation. Model Republic! How many of these models
has the course of ages seen broken and flung disdainfully aside! You
have been able to do great things for the world because your forefathers
did great things for you. The generation will come which in its turn
will inherit the fruits of your efforts, add to them a little of its
own, and in the plenitude of its self-esteem repay you with ingratitude.
The time will come when the memory of the Model Republicans of the
United States, as well as that of the narrow Parliamentary Reformers of
England, will appeal to history, not in vain, to rescue it from the
injustice of posterity, and extend to it the charities of the past.

New-comers among the nations, you desire, like the rest, to have a
history. You seek it in Indian annals, you seek it in Northern sagas.
You fondly surround an old windmill with the pomp of Scandinavian
antiquity, in your anxiety to fill up the void of your unpeopled past.
But you have a real and glorious history, if you will not reject
it,--monuments genuine and majestic, if you will acknowledge them as
your own. Yours are the palaces of the Plantagenets,--the cathedrals
which enshrined our old religion,--the illustrious hall in which the
long line of our great judges reared, by their decisions, the fabric of
our law,--the gray colleges in which our intellect and science found
their earliest home,--the graves where our heroes and sages and poets
sleep. It would as ill become you to cultivate narrow national memories
in regard to the past as it would to cultivate narrow national
prejudices at present. You have come out, as from other relics of
barbarism which still oppress Europe, so from the barbarism of jealous
nationality. You are heirs to all the wealth of the Old World, and must
owe gratitude for a part of your heritage to Germany, France, and Spain,
as well as to England. Still, it is from England that you are sprung;
from her you brought the power of self-government which was the talisman
of colonization and the pledge of your empire here. She it was, that,
having advanced by centuries of effort to the front of the Old World,
became worthy to give birth to the New. From England you are sprung; and
if the choice were given you among all the nations of the world, which
would you rather choose for a mother?

England bore you, and bore you not without a mother's pangs. For the
real hour of your birth wag the English Revolution of the seventeenth
century, at once the saddest and the noblest period of English
history,--the noblest, whether we look to the greatness of the
principles at stake, or to the grandeur of the actors who fill the
scene. This is not the official version of your origin. The official
version makes you the children of the revolutionary spirit which was
abroad in the eighteenth century and culminated in the French
Revolution. But this robs you of a century and a half of antiquity, and
of more than a century and a half of greatness. Since 1783 you have had
a marvellous growth of population and of wealth,--things not to be
spoken of, as cynics have spoken of them, without thankfulness, since
the added myriads have been happy, and the wealth has flowed not to a
few, but to all. But before 1783 you had founded, under the name of an
English Colony, a community emancipated from feudalism; you had
abolished here and doomed to general abolition hereditary aristocracy,
and that which is the essential basis of hereditary aristocracy,
primogeniture in the inheritance of land. You had established, though
under the semblance of dependence on the English crown, a virtual
sovereignty of the people. You had created the system of common schools,
in which the sovereignty of the people has its only safe foundation. You
had proclaimed, after some misgivings and backslidings, the doctrine of
liberty of conscience, and released the Church from her long bondage to
the State. All this you had achieved while you still were, and gloried
in being, a colony of England. You have done great things, since your
quarrel with George III., for the world as well as for yourselves. But
for the world, perhaps, you had done greater things before.

In England the Revolution of the seventeenth century failed. It failed,
at least, as an attempt to establish social equality and liberty of
conscience. The feudal past, with a feudal Europe to support it, sat too
heavy on us to be cast off. By a convulsive effort we broke loose, for a
moment, from the hereditary aristocracy and the hierarchy. For a moment
we placed a popular chief in power, though Cromwell was obliged by
circumstances, as well as impelled by his own ambition, to make himself
a king. But when Cromwell died before his hour, all was over for many a
day with the party of religious freedom and of the people. The nation
had gone a little way out of the feudal and hierarchical Egypt; but the
horrors of the unknown Wilderness, and the memory of the flesh-pots,
overpowered the hope of the Promised Land; and the people returned to
the rule of Pharaoh and his priests amidst the bonfires of the
Restoration. Something had been gained. Kings became more careful how
they cut the subject's purse; bishops, how they clipped the subject's
ears. Instead of being carried by Laud to Rome, we remained Protestants
after a sort, though without liberty of conscience. Our Parliament, such
as it was, with a narrow franchise and rotten boroughs, retained its
rights; and in time we secured the independence of the judges and the
integrity of an aristocratic law. But the great attempt had miscarried.
English society had made a supreme effort to escape from feudalism and
the hierarchy into social justice and religious freedom, and that effort
had failed.

Failed in England, but succeeded here. The yoke which in the
mother-country we had not strength to throw off, in the colony we
escaped; and here, beyond the reach of the Restoration, Milton's vision
proved true, and a free community was founded, though in a humble and
unsuspected form, which depended on the life of no single chief, and
lived on when Cromwell died. Milton, when the night of the Restoration
closed on the brief and stormy day of his party, bated no jot of hope.
He was strong in that strength of conviction which assures spirits like
his of the future, however dark the present may appear. But, could he
have beheld it, the morning, moving westward in the track of the Puritan
emigrants, had passed from his hemisphere only to shine again in this
with no fitful ray, but with a steady brightness which will one day
reillumine the feudal darkness of the Old World.

The Revolution failed in England. Yet in England the party of Cromwell
and Milton still lives. It still lives; and in this great crisis of your
fortunes, its heart turns to you. On your success ours depends. Now, as
in the seventeenth century, the thread of our fate is twined with the
thread of yours. An English Liberal comes here, not only to watch the
unfolding of your destiny, but to read his own.

Even in the Revolution of 1776 Liberal England was on your side. Chatham
was your spokesman, as well as Patrick Henry. We, too, reckon Washington
among our heroes. Perhaps there may have been an excuse even for the
King. The relation of dependence which you as well as he professed to
hold sacred, and which he was bound to maintain, had long become
obsolete. It was time to break the cord which held the child to its
mother; and probably there were some on your side, from the first, or
nearly from the first, resolved to break it,--men instinct with the
revolutionary spirit, and bent on a Republic. All parties were in a
false position; and they could find no way out of it better than civil
war. Good-will, not hatred, is the law of the world; and seldom can
history--even the history of the conqueror--look back on the results of
war without regret. England, scarcely guilty of the offence of her
monarch, drank the cup of shame and disaster to the dregs. That war
ruined the French finances, which till then might have been retrieved,
past the hope of redemption, and precipitated the Revolution which
hurled France through anarchy into despotism, and sent Lafayette to a
foreign dungeon, and his master to the block. You came out victorious;
but, from the violence of the rupture, you took a political bias not
perhaps entirely for good; and the necessity of the war blended you,
under equivocal conditions, with other colonies of a wholly different
origin and character, which then "held persons to service," and are now
your half-dethroned tyrant, the Slave Power. This Revolution will lead
to a revision of many things,--perhaps to a partial revision of your
history. Meantime, let me repeat, England counts Washington among her
heroes.

And now as to the conduct of England towards you in this civil war. It
is of want of sympathy, if of anything, on our part, not of want of
interest, that you have a right to complain. Never, within my memory,
have the hearts of Englishmen been so deeply moved by any foreign
struggle as by this civil war,--not even, if I recollect aright, by the
great European earthquake of 1848. I doubt whether they were more moved
by the Indian mutiny or by our war with Russia. It seemed that history
had brought round again the great crisis of the Thirty Years' War, when
all England throbbed with the mortal struggle waged between the powers
of Liberty and Slavery on their German battle-field; for expectation can
scarcely have been more intense when Gustavus and Tilly were approaching
each other at Leipsic than it was when Meade and Lee were approaching
each other at Gettysburg. Severed from us by the Atlantic, while other
nations are at our door, you are still nearer to us than all the world
beside.

It is of want of sympathy, not of want of interest, that you have to
complain. And the sympathy which has been withheld is not that of the
whole nation, but that of certain classes, chiefly of the class against
whose political interest you are fighting, and to whom your victory
brings eventual defeat. The real origin of your nation is the key to the
present relations between you and the different parties in England. This
is the old battle waged again on a new field. We will not talk too much
of Puritans and Cavaliers. The soldiers of the Union are not Puritans,
neither are the planters Cavaliers, But the present civil war is a vast
episode in the same irrepressible conflict between Aristocracy and
Democracy; and the heirs of the Cavalier in England sympathize with your
enemies, the heirs of the Puritan with you.

The feeling of our aristocracy, as of all aristocracies, is against you.
It does not follow, nor do I believe, that as a body they would desire
or urge their Government to do you a wrong, whatever spirit may be shown
by a few of the less honorable or more violent members of their order.
With all their class sentiments, they are Englishmen, trained to walk in
the paths of English policy and justice. But that their feelings should
be against you is not strange. You are fighting, not for the restoration
of the Union, not for the emancipation of the negro, but for Democracy
against Aristocracy; and this fact is thoroughly understood by both
parties throughout the Old World. As the champions of Democracy, you may
claim, and you receive, the sympathy of the Democratic party in England
and in Europe; that of the Aristocratic party you cannot claim. You must
bear it calmly, if the aristocracies mourn over your victories and
triumph over your defeats. Do the friends of Democracy conceal their joy
when a despotism or an oligarchy bites the dust?

The members of our aristocracy bear you no personal hatred. An American
going among them even now meets with nothing but personal courtesy and
kindness. Under ordinary circumstances they are not indifferent to your
good-will, nor unconscious of the tie of blood. But to ask them entirely
to forget their order would be too much. In the success of a
commonwealth founded on social and political equality all aristocracies
must read their doom. Not by arms, but by example, you are a standing
menace to the existence of political privilege. And the thread of that
existence is frail. Feudal antiquity holds life by a precarious tenure
amidst the revolutionary tendencies of this modern world. It has gone
hard with the aristocracies throughout Europe of late years, though the
French Emperor, as the head of the Reaction, may create a mock nobility
round his upstart throne. The Roman aristocracy was an aristocracy of
arms and law. The feudal aristocracy of the Middle Ages was an
aristocracy of arms and in some measure of law; it served the cause of
political progress in its hour and after its kind; it confronted
tyrannical kings when the people were as yet too weak to confront them;
it conquered at Runnymede, as well as at Hastings. But the aristocracies
of modern Europe are aristocracies neither of arms nor of law. They are
aristocracies of social and political privilege alone. They owe, and are
half conscious that they owe, their present existence only to factitious
weaknesses of human nature, and to the antiquated terrors of communities
long kept in leading-strings and afraid to walk alone. If there were
nothing but reason to dispel them, these fears might long retain their
sway over European society. But the example of a great commonwealth
flourishing here without a privileged class, and of a popular
sovereignty combining order with progress, tends, however remotely, to
break the spell. Therefore, as a class, the English nobility cannot
desire the success of your Republic. Some of the order there are who
have hearts above their coronets, as there are some kings who have
hearts above their crowns, and who in this great crisis of humanity
forget that they are noblemen, and remember that they are men. But the
order, as a whole, has been against you, and has swayed in the same
direction all who were closely connected with it or dependent on it. It
could not fail to be against you, if it was for itself. Be charitable to
the instinct of self-preservation. It is strong, sometimes violent, in
us all.

In truth, it is rather against the Liberals of England than against you
that the feeling of our aristocracy is directed. Liberal leaders have
made your name odious by pointing to your institutions as the
condemnation of our own. They did this too indiscriminately perhaps,
while in one respect your institutions were far below our own, inasmuch
as you were a slaveholding nation. "Look," they were always saying, "at
the Model Republic,--behold its unbroken prosperity, the harmony of its
people under the system of universal suffrage, the lightness of its
taxation,--behold, above all, its immunity from war!" All this is now
turned upon us as a taunt; but the taunt implies rather a sense of
escape on the part of those who utter it than malignity, and the answer
to it is victory.

What has been said of our territorial aristocracy may be said of our
commercial aristocracy, which is fast blending with the territorial into
a government of wealth. This again is nothing new. History can point to
more cases than one in which the sympathies of rich men have been
regulated by their riches. The Money Power has been cold to your cause
throughout Europe,--perhaps even here. In all countries great
capitalists are apt to desire that the laborer should be docile and
contented, that popular education should not be carried dangerously
high, that the right relations between capital and labor should be
maintained. The bold doctrines of the slave-owner as to "free labor and
free schools" may not be accepted in their full strength; yet they touch
a secret chord. But we have friends of the better cause among our
English capitalists as well as among our English peers. The names of Mr.
Baring and Mr. Thomas Bayley Potter are not unknown here. The course
taken by such men at this crisis is an earnest of the essential unity of
interest which underlies all class-divisions,--which, in our onward
progress toward the attainment of a real community, will survive all
class-distinctions, and terminate the conflict between capital and
labor, not by making the laborer the slave of the capitalist, nor the
capitalist the slave of the laborer, but by establishing between them
mutual good-will, founded on intelligence and justice.

And let the upper classes of England have their due. The Lancashire
operatives have been upon the other side; yet not the less have they
received ready and generous help in their distress from all ranks and
orders in the land.

It would be most unworthy of a student of history to preach vulgar
hatred of an historic aristocracy. The aristocracy of England has been
great in its hour, probably beneficent, perhaps indispensable to the
progress of our nation, and so to the foundation of yours. Do you wish
for your revenge upon it? The road to that revenge is sure. Succeed in
your great experiment. Show by your example, by your moderation and
self-control through this war and after its close, that it is possible
for communities, duly educated, to govern themselves without the control
of an hereditary order. The progress of opinion in England will in time
do the rest. War, forced by you upon the English nation, would only
strengthen the worst part of the English aristocracy in the worst way,
by bringing our people into collision with a Democracy, and by giving
the ascendancy, as all wars not carried on for a distinct moral object
do, to military passions over political aspirations. Our war with the
French Republic threw back our internal reforms, which till then had
been advancing, for a whole generation. Even the pockets of our
land-owners would not suffer, but gain, by the war; for their rents
would be raised by the exclusion of your corn, and the price of labor
would be lowered by the stoppage of emigration. The suffering would
fall, as usual, on the people.

The gradual effect of your example may enable European society finally
to emerge from feudalism, in a peaceful way, without violent
revolutions. Every one who has studied history must regard violent
revolutions with abhorrence. A European Liberal ought to be less
inclined to them than ever, when he has seen America, and received from
the sight, as I think he may, a complete assurance of the future.

I have spoken of our commercial aristocracy generally. Liverpool demands
word by itself. It is the stronghold of the Southern party in England:
from it hostile acts have proceeded, while from other quarters there
have proceeded only hostile words. There are in Liverpool men who do
honor to the name of British merchant; but the city as a whole is not
the one among all our commercial cities in which moral chivalry is most
likely to be found. In Manchester, cotton-spinning though it be, there
is much that is great,--a love of Art, displayed in public
exhibitions,--a keen interest in great political and social
questions,--literature,--even religious thought,--something of that high
aspiring spirit which made commerce noble in the old English merchant,
in the Venetian and the Florentine. In Liverpool trade reigns supreme,
and its behests, whatever they may be, are pretty sure to be eagerly
obeyed. And the source of this is to be found, perhaps, partly in the
fact that Liverpool is an old centre of the Slavery interest in England,
one of the cities which have been built with the blood of the slave. As
the great cotton port, it is closely connected with the planters by
trade,--perhaps also by many personal ties and associations. It is not
so much an English city as an offset and outpost of the South, and a
counterpart to the offsets and outposts of the South in some of your
great commercial cities here. No doubt, the shame of Liverpool Alabamas
falls on England. England must own that she has produced merchants who
disgrace their calling, contaminated by intercourse with the
slave-owner, regardless of the honor and interest of their country,
ready to plunge two kindred nations into a desolating war, if they can
only secure the profits of their own trade. England must own that she
has produced such men; but does this disgrace attach to her alone?

The clergy of the State Church, like the aristocracy, have probably been
as a body against you in this struggle. In their case too, not hatred of
America, but the love of their own institution, is the cause. If you are
a standing menace to aristocracies, you are equally a standing menace to
State Churches. A State Church rests upon the assumption that religion
would fall, if it were not supported by the State. On this ground it is
that the European nations endure the startling anomalies of their State
Churches,--the interference of irreligious politicians in religion, the
worldliness of ambitious ecclesiastics, the denial of liberty of
conscience, the denial of truth. Therefore it is that they will see the
canker of doubt slowly eating into faith beneath the outward uniformity
of a political Church, rather than risk a change, which, as they are
taught to believe, would bring faith to a sudden end. But the success of
the voluntary system here is overthrowing this assumption. Shall I
believe that Christianity deprived of State support must fall, when I
see it without State support not only standing, but advancing with the
settler into the remotest West? Will the laity of Europe long remain
under their illusion in face of this great fact? Already the State
Churches of Europe are placed in imminent peril by the controversies
which, since religious life has reawakened among us, rend them from
within, and by their manifest inability to satisfy the craving of
society for new assurance of its faith. I cannot much blame the
High-Church bishop who goes to Lord Palmerston to ask for intervention
in company with Lord Clanricarde and Mr. Spence. You express surprise
that the son of Wilberforce is not with you; but Wilberforce was not,
like his son, a bishop of the State Church. Never in the whole course of
history has the old order of things yielded without a murmur to the new.
You share the fate of all innovators: your innovations are not received
with favor by the powers which they threaten ultimately to sweep away.

To come from our aristocracy and landed gentry to our middle class. We
subdivide the middle class into upper and lower. The upper middle class,
comprising the wealthier tradesmen, forms a sort of minor aristocracy in
itself, with a good deal of aristocratic feeling towards those beneath
it. It is not well educated, for it will not go to the common schools,
and it has few good private schools of its own; consequently, it does
not think deeply on great political questions. It is at present very
wealthy; and wealth, as you know, does not always produce high moral
sentiment. It is not above a desire to be on the genteel side. It is not
free from the worship of Aristocracy. That worship is rooted in the
lower part of our common nature. Is fibres extend beyond the soil of
England, beyond the soil of Europe. America has been much belied, if she
is entirely free from this evil, if there are not here also men careful
of class-distinctions, of a place in fashionable society, of factitious
rank which parodies the aristocracy of the Old World. There is in the
Anglo-Saxon character a strange mixture of independence and servility.
In that long course of concessions by which your politicians
strove--happily for the world and for yourselves they strove in vain--to
conciliate the slave owning aristocracy of the South, did not something
of social servility mingle with political fear?

In the lower middle class religious Non-Conformity prevails; and the
Free Churches of our Non-Conformists are united by a strong bond of
sympathy with the Churches under the voluntary system here. They are
perfectly stanch on the subject of Slavery, and so far as this war has
been a struggle against that institution, it may, I think, be
confidently said that the hearts of this great section of our people
have been upon your side. Our Non-Conformist ministers came forward, as
you are aware, in large numbers, to join with the ministers of
Protestant Churches on the Continent in an Anti-Slavery address to your
Government and people.

And as to the middle classes generally, upper or lower, I see no reason
to think that they are wanting in good-will to this country, much less
that they desire that any calamity should befall it. The journals which
I take to be the chief organs of the upper middle class, if they have
not been friendly, have been hostile not so much to the American people
as to the war. And in justice to all classes of Englishmen, it must be
remembered that hatred of the war is not hatred of the American people.
No one hated the war at its commencement more heartily than I did. I
hated it more heartily than ever after Bull Run, when, by the accounts
which reached England, the character of this nation seemed to have
completely broken down. I believed as fully as any one, that the task
which you had undertaken was hopeless, and that you were rushing on your
ruin. I dreaded the effect on your Constitution, fearing, as others did,
that civil war would bring you to anarchy, and anarchy to military
despotism. All historical precedents conspired to lead me to this
belief. I did not know--for there was no example to teach me--the power
of a really united people, the adamantine strength of institutions which
were truly free. Watching the course of events with an open mind, and a
deep interest, such as men at a distance can seldom be brought to feel,
in the fortunes of this country, I soon revised my opinion. Yet, many
times I desponded, and wished with all my heart that you would save the
Border States, if you could, and let the rest go. Numbers of
Englishmen,--Englishmen of all classes and parties,--who thought as I
did at the outset, remain rooted in this opinion. They still sincerely
believe that this is a hopeless war, which can lead to nothing but waste
of blood, subversion of your laws and liberties, and the destruction of
your own prosperity and that of the nations whose interests are bound up
with yours. This belief they maintain with as little of ill-feeling
towards you as men can have towards those who obstinately disregard
their advice. And, after all, though you may have found the wisest as
well as the bravest counsellors in your own hearts, he need not be your
enemy who somewhat timidly counsels you against civil war. Civil war is
a terrible thing,--terrible in the passions which it kindles, as well as
in the blood which it sheds,--terrible in its present effects, and
terrible in those which it leaves behind. It can be justified only by
the complete victory of the good cause. And Englishmen, at the
commencement of this civil war, if they were wrong in thinking the
victory of the good cause hopeless, were not wrong in thinking it
remote. They were not wrong in thinking it far more remote than you did.
Years of struggle, of fear, of agony, of desolated homes, have passed
since your statesmen declared that a few months would bring the
Rebellion to an end. In justice to our people, put the question to
yourselves,--if at the outset the veil which hid the future could have
been withdrawn, and the conflict which really awaited you, with all its
vicissitudes, its disasters, its dangers, its sacrifices, could have
been revealed to your view, would you have gone into the war? To us,
looking with anxious, but less impassioned eyes, the veil was half
withdrawn, and we shrank back from the prospect which was revealed. It
was well for the world, perhaps, that you were blind; but it was
pardonable in us to see.

We now come to the working-men of England, the main body of our people,
whose sympathy you would not the less prize, and whom you would not the
less shrink from assailing without a cause, because at present the
greater part of them are without political power,--at least of a direct
kind. I will not speak of the opinions of our peasantry, for they have
none. Their thoughts are never turned to a political question. They
never read a newspaper. They are absorbed in the struggle for daily
bread, of which they have barely enough for themselves and their
children. Their condition, in spite of all the benevolent effort that is
abroad among us, is the great blot of our social system. Perhaps, if the
relation between the two countries remains kindly, the door of hope may
be opened to them here; and hands now folded helplessly in English
poor-houses may joyfully reap the harvests of Iowa and Wisconsin.
Assuredly, they bear you no ill-will. If they could comprehend the
meaning of this struggle, their hearts as well as their interests would
be upon your side. But it is not in them, it is in the working-men of
our cities, that the intelligence of the class resides. And the sympathy
of the working-men of our cities, from the moment when the great issue
between Free Labor and Slavery was fairly set before them, has been
shown in no doubtful form. They have followed your wavering fortunes
with eyes almost as keen and hearts almost as anxious as your own. They
have thronged the meetings held by the Union and Emancipation Societies
of London and Manchester to protest before the nation in favor of your
cause. Early in the contest they filled to overflowing Exeter Hall, the
largest place of meeting in London. I was present at another immense
meeting of them, held by their Trades Unions in London, where they were
addressed by Mr. Bright; and had you witnessed the intelligence and
enthusiasm with which they followed the exposition of your case by their
great orator, you would have known that you were not without sympathy in
England,--not without sympathy such as those who look rather to the
worth of a friend than to his rank may most dearly prize. Again I was
present at a great meeting called in the Free-Trade Hall at Manchester
to protest against the attacks upon your commerce, and saw the same
enthusiasm displayed by the working-men of the North. But Mr. Ward
Beecher must have brought back with him abundant assurance of the
feelings of our working-men. Our opponents have tried to rival us in
these demonstrations. They have tried with great resources of personal
influence and wealth. But, in spite of their personal influence and the
distress caused by the cotton famine, they have on the whole signally
failed. Their consolation has been to call the friends of the Federal
cause obscurities and nobodies. And true it is that the friends of the
Federal cause are obscurities and nobodies. They are the untitled and
undistinguished mass of the English people.

The leaders of our working-men, the popular chiefs of the day, the men
who represent the feelings and interests of the masses, and whose names
are received with ringing cheers wherever the masses are assembled, are
Cobden and Bright. And Cobden and Bright have not left you in doubt of
the fact that they and all they represent are on your side.

I need not say,--for you have shown that you know it well,--that, as
regards the working-men of our cotton-factories, this sympathy was an
offering to your cause as costly as it was sincere. Your civil war
paralyzed their industry, brought ruin into their houses, deprived them
and their families not only of bread, but, so far as their vision
extended, of the hope of bread. Yet they have not wavered in their
allegiance to the Right. Your slave-owning aristocracy had made up their
minds that chivalry was confined to aristocracies, and that over the
vulgar souls of the common people Cotton must be King. The working-man
of Manchester, though he lives not like a Southern gentleman by the
sweat of another's brow, but like a plebeian by the sweat of his own,
has shown that chivalry is not confined to aristocracies, and that even
over vulgar souls Cotton is not always King. I heard one of your
statesmen the other day, after speaking indignantly of those who had
fitted out the Alabama, pray God to bless the working-men of England.
Our nation, like yours, is not a single body animated by the same
political sentiments, but a mixed mass of contending interests and
parties. Beware how you fire into that mass, or your shot may strike a
friend.

When England in the mass is spoken of as your enemy on this occasion,
the London "Times" is taken for the voice of the country. The "Times"
was in former days a great popular organ. It led vehemently and even
violently the struggle for Parliamentary Reform. In that way it made its
fortune; and having made its fortune, it takes part with the rich. Its
proprietor in those days was a man with many faults, but he was a man of
the people. Aristocratic society disliked and excluded him; he lived at
war with it to the end. Affronted by the Whigs, he became in a certain
sense a Tory; but he united his Toryism with Chartism, and was sent to
Parliament for Nottingham by Tories and Chartists combined. The
opposition of his journal to our New Poor-Law evinced, though in a
perverse way, his feeling for the people. But his heir, the present
proprietor, was born in the purple. He is a wealthy landed gentleman. He
sits in Parliament for a constituency of landlords. He is thought to
have been marked out for a peerage. It is accusing him of no crime to
suppose, that, so far as he controls the "Times," it takes the bias of
his class, and that its voice, if it speaks his sentiments, is not that
of the English people, but of a rich conservative squire.

The editor is distinct from the proprietor, but his connections are
perhaps still more aristocratic. A good deal has been said among us of
late about his position. Before his time our journalism was not only
anonymous, but impersonal. The journalist wore the mask not only to
those whom he criticized, but to all the world. The present editor of
the "Times" wears the mask to the objects of his criticism, but drops
it, as has been remarked in Parliament, in "the gilded saloons" of rank
and power. Not content to remain in the privacy which protected the
independence of his predecessors, he has come forth in his own person to
receive the homage of the great world. That homage has been paid in no
stinted measure, and, as the British public has been apprised in rather
a startling manner, with a somewhat intoxicating effect. The lords of
the Money Power, the thrones and dominions of Usury, have shown
themselves as assiduous as ministers and peers; and these potentates
happen, like the aristocracy, to be unfriendly to your cause. Caressed
by peers and millionnaires, the editor of the "Times" could hardly fail
to express the feelings of peers and millionnaires towards a Republic in
distress. We may be permitted to think that he has rather overacted his
part. English peers, after all, are English gentlemen; and no English
gentleman would deliberately sanction the torrent of calumny and insult
which the "Times" has poured upon this nation. There are penalties for
common offenders: there are none for those who scatter firebrands among
nations. But the "Times" will not come off unscathed. It must veer with
victory. And its readers will be not only prejudiced, but idiotic, if it
does not in the process leave the last remnant of its authority behind.

Two things will suffice to mark the real political position of the
"Times." You saw that a personal controversy was going on the other day
between its editor and Mr. Cobden. That controversy arose out of a
speech made by Mr. Bright, obliquely impugning the aristocratic law of
inheritance, which is fast accumulating the land of England in a few
hands, and disinheriting the English people of the English soil. For
this offence Mr. Bright was assailed by the "Times" with calumnies so
outrageous that Mr. Cobden could not help springing forward to vindicate
his friend. The institution which the "Times" so fiercely defended on
this occasion against a look which threatened it with alteration is
vital and sacred in the eyes of the aristocracy, but is not vital or
sacred in the eyes of the whole English nation. Again, the "Times" hates
Garibaldi; and its hatred, generally half smothered, broke out in a loud
cry of exultation when the hero fell, as it hoped forever, at
Aspromonte. But the English people idolize Garibaldi, and receive him
with a burst of enthusiasm unexampled in fervor. The English people love
Garibaldi, and Garibaldi's name is equally dear to all American hearts.
Is not this--let me ask in passing--a proof that there is a bond of
sympathy, after all, between the English people and you, and that, if as
a nation we are divided from you, it is not by a radical estrangement,
but by some cloud of error which will in time pass away?

The wealth of the "Times," the high position which it has held since
the period when it was the great Liberal journal, the clever writing and
the early intelligence which its money and its secret connections with
public men enable it to command, give it a circulation and an influence
beyond the class whose interests it represents. But it has been thrust
from a large part of its dominion by the cheap London and local press.
It is exceeded in circulation more than twofold by the London
"Telegraph," a journal which, though it has been against the war, has, I
think, by no means shown in its leading articles the same spirit of
hostility to the American people. The London "Star," which is strongly
Federal, is also a journal of wide circulation. The "Daily News" is a
high-priced paper, circulating among the same class as the "Times"; its
circulation is comparatively small, but it is on the increase, and the
journal, I have reason to believe, is prosperous. The Manchester
"Examiner and Times," again,--a great local paper of the North of
England,--nearly equals the London "Times" in circulation, and is
favorable to your cause. I live under the dominion of the London
"Times," and I will not deny that it is a great power of evil. It will
be a great power of evil indeed, if it succeeds in producing a fatal
estrangement between two kindred nations. But no one who knows England,
especially the northern part of England, in which Liberalism prevails,
would imagine the voice of the "Times" to be that of the English people.

Of the part taken by the writers of England it would be rash to speak in
general terms, Stuart Mill and Cairns have supported your cause as
heartily as Cobden and Bright. I am not aware that any political or
economical writer of equal eminence has taken the other side. The
leading reviews and periodicals have exhibited, as might have been
expected, very various shades of opinion; but, with the exception of the
known organs of violent Toryism, they have certainly not breathed hatred
of this nation. In those which specially represent our rising intellect,
the intellect which will probably govern us ten years hence, I should
say the preponderance of the writing had been on the Federal side. In
the University of Oxford the sympathies of the High-Church clergy and of
the young Tory gentry are with the South; but there is a good deal of
Northern sentiment among the young fellows of our more liberal colleges,
and generally in the more active minds. At the University Debating Club,
when the question between the North and the South was debated, the vote,
though I believe in a thin house, was in favor of the North. Four
Professors are members of the Union and Emancipation Society. And if
intellect generally has been somewhat coldly critical, I am not sure
that it has departed from its true function. I am conscious myself that
I may be somewhat under the dominion of my feelings, that I may be even
something of a fanatic in this matter. There may be evil as well as good
in the cause which, as the good preponderates, claims and receives the
allegiance of my heart. In that case, intellect, in pointing out the
evil, only does its duty.

One English writer has certainly raised his voice against you with
characteristic vehemence and rudeness. As an historical painter and a
humorist Carlyle has scarcely an equal: a new intellectual region seemed
to open to me when I read his "French Revolution." But his philosophy,
in its essential principle, is false. He teaches that the mass of
mankind are fools,--that the hero alone is wise,--that the hero,
therefore, is the destined master of his fellow-men, and that their only
salvation lies in blind submission to his rule,--and this without
distinction of time or circumstance, in the most advanced as well as in
the most primitive ages of the world. The hero-despot can do no wrong.
He is a king, with scarcely even a God above him; and if the moral law
happens to come into collision with his actions, so much the worse for
the moral law. On this theory, a Commonwealth such as yours ought not
to exist; and you must not be surprised, if, in a fit of spleen, the
great cynic grasps his club and knocks your cause on the head, as he
thinks, with a single blow. Here is the end of an unsound, though
brilliant theory,--a theory which had always latent in it the worship of
force and fraud, and which has now displayed its tendency at once in the
portentous defence of the robber-policy of Frederic the Great and in the
portentous defence of the Slave Power. An opposite theory of human
society is, in fact, finding its confirmation in these events,--that
which tells us that we all have need of each other, and that the goal
towards which society actually moves is not an heroic despotism, but a
real community, in which each member shall contribute his gifts and
faculties to the common store, and the common government shall become
the work of all. For, if the victory in this struggle has been won, it
has been won, not by a man, but by the nation; and that it has been won
not by a man, but by the nation, is your glory and the pledge of your
salvation. We have called for a Cromwell, and he has not come; he has
not come, partly because Cromwells are scarce, partly, perhaps, because
the personal Cromwell belonged to a different age, and the Cromwell of
this age is an intelligent, resolute, and united people.

I might mention other eccentricities of opinion quite distinct from the
general temper of the English nation, such as that of the
ultra-scientific school, which thinks it unscientific philanthropy to
ascribe the attributes of humanity to the negro,--a school some of the
more rampant absurdities of which had, just before I left England,
called down the rebuke of real science in the person of Mr. Huxley. And
I might note, if the time would allow, many fluctuations and
oscillations which have taken place among our organs of opinion as the
struggle went on. But I must say on the whole, both with reference to
our different classes and with reference to our literature, that,
considering the complexity of the case, the distance from which our
people viewed it, and the changes which it has undergone since the war
broke out, I do not think there is much room for disappointment as to
the sympathies of our people. Parties have been divided on this question
much as they are on great questions among ourselves, and much as they
were in the time of Charles I., when this long strife began. The England
of Charles and Laud has been against you: the England of Hampden,
Milton, and Cromwell has in the main been on your side.

I say there has not been much ground for disappointment: I do not say
there has been none. England at present is not in her noblest mood. She
is laboring under a reaction which extends over France and great part of
Europe, and which furnishes the key at this moment to the state of
European affairs. This movement, like all great movements, reactionary
or progressive, is complex in its nature. In the political sphere it
presents itself as the lassitude and despondency which, as usual, have
ensued after great political efforts, such as were made by the
Continental nations in the abortive revolutions of 1848, and by England
in a less degree in the struggle for Parliamentary Reform. In the
religious sphere it presents itself in an analogous shape: there,
lassitude and despondency have succeeded to the efforts of the religious
intellect to escape from the decaying creeds of the old State Churches
and push forward to a more enduring faith; and the priest as well as the
despot has for a moment resumed his sway--though not his uncontested
sway--over our weariness and our fears. The moral sentiment, after high
tension, has undergone a corresponding relaxation. All liberal measures
are for the time at a discount. The Bill for the Abolition of
Church-Rates, once carried in the House of Commons by large majorities,
is now lost. The nominal leaders of the Liberal party themselves have
let their principles fall into abeyance, and almost coalesced with their
Tory opponents. The Whig nobles who carried the Reform Bill have owned
once more the bias of their order, and become determined, though covert,
enemies of Reform. The ancient altars are sought again for the sake of
peace by fainting spirits and perplexed minds; and again, as after our
Reformation, as after our great Revolution, we see a number of
conversions to the Church of Rome. On the other hand, strange physical
superstitions, such as mesmerism and spirit-rapping, have crept, like
astrology under the Roman Empire, into the void left by religious faith.
Wealth has been pouring into England, and luxury with wealth. Our public
journals proclaim, as you may perhaps have seen, that the society of our
capital is unusually corrupt. The comic as well as the serious signs of
the reaction appear everywhere. A tone of affected cynicism pervades a
portion of our high intellect; and a pretended passion for
prize-fighting shows that men of culture are weary of civilization, and
wish to go back to barbarism for a while. The present head of the
Government in England is not only the confederate, but the counterpart,
of the head of the French Empire; and the rule of each denotes the
temporary ascendancy of the same class of motives in their respective
nations. An English Liberal is tempted to despond, when he compares the
public life of England in the time of Pym and Hampden with our public
life now. But there is greatness still in the heart of the English
nation.

And you, too, have you not known in the course of your history a
slack-tide of faith, a less aspiring hour? Have not you, too, known a
temporary ascendancy of material over spiritual interests, a lowering of
the moral tone, a readiness, for the sake of ease and peace and secure
enjoyment, to compromise with evil? Have not you, too, felt the tyranny
of wealth, putting the higher motives for a moment under its feet? What
else has brought these calamities upon you? What else bowed your necks
to the yoke which you are now breaking at so great a cost? Often and
long in the life of every nation, though the tide is still advancing,
the wave recedes. Often and long the fears of man overcome his hopes;
but in the end the hopes of man overcome his fears. Your regeneration,
when it is achieved, will set forward the regeneration of the European
nations. It is the function which all nations, which all men, in their
wavering progress towards perfection, perform in turn for each other.

This temporary lowering of the moral tone in English society has
extended to the question of Slavery. It has deadened our feelings on
that subject, though I hope without shaking our principles. You ask
whether England can have been sincere in her enmity to Slavery, when she
refuses sympathy to you in your struggle with the Slave Power.
Talleyrand, cynic as he was, knew that she was sincere, though he said
that not a man in France thought so but himself. She redeemed her own
slaves with a great price. She sacrificed her West-Indian interest. She
counts that achievement higher than her victories. She spends annually
much money and many lives and risks much enmity in her crusade against
the slave-trade. When your Southern statesmen have tried to tamper with
her, they have found her true. If they had bid us choose between a
concession to their designs and war, all aristocratic as we are, we
should have chosen war. Every Englishman who takes the Southern side is
compelled by public opinion to preface his advocacy with a disclaimer of
all sympathy with Slavery. The agent of the slave-owners in England, Mr.
Spence, pleads their cause to the English people on the ground of
gradual emancipation. Once the "Times" ventured to speak in defence of
Slavery, and the attempt was never made again. The principle, I say,
holds firm among the mass of the people; but on this, as on other moral
questions, we are not in our noblest mood.

In justice to my country, however, let me remind you that you did
not--perhaps you could not--set the issue between Freedom and Slavery
plainly before us at the outset; you did not--perhaps you could
not--set it plainly before yourselves. With the progress of the struggle
your convictions have been strengthened, and the fetters of legal
restriction have been smitten off by the hammer of war. But your rulers
began with disclaimers of Anti-Slavery designs. You cannot be surprised,
if our people took your rulers at their word, or if, notwithstanding
your change,--a change which they imagined to be wrought merely by
expediency,--they retained their first impression as to the object of
the war, an impression which the advocates of the South used every art
to perpetuate in their minds. That the opponents of Slavery in England
should desire the restoration of the Union with Slavery, and with
Slavery strengthened, as they expected it would be, by new concessions,
was what you could not reasonably expect. And remember--I say it not
with any desire to trench on American politics or to pass judgment on
American parties--that the restoration of the Union with Slavery is what
a large section of your people, and one of the candidates for your
Presidency, are in fact ready to embrace now.

Had you been able to say plainly at the outset that you were fighting
against Slavery, the English people would scarcely have given ear to the
cunning fiction of Mr. Spence. It would scarcely have been brought to
believe that this great contest was only about a Tariff. It would have
seen that the Southern planter, if he was a Free-Trader, was a
Free-Trader not from enlightenment, but because from the degradation of
labor in his dominions he had no manufactures to support; and that he
was in fact a protectionist of his only home production which feared
competition,--the home-bred slave. I have heard Mr. Spence's book called
the most successful lie in history. Very successful it certainly was,
and its influence in misleading England ought not to be overlooked. It
was written with great skill, and it came out just at the right time,
before people had formed their opinions, and when they were glad to have
a theory presented to their minds. But its success would have been
short-lived, had it not received what seemed authoritative confirmation
from the language of statesmen here.

I might mention many other things which have influenced opinion in the
wrong way: the admiration felt by our people, and, to your honor,
equally felt by you, for the valor and self-devotion which have been
shown by the Southerners, and which, when they have submitted to the
law, will entitle them to be the fellow-citizens of freemen; a careless,
but not ungenerous, sympathy for that which, by men ignorant of the
tremendous strength of a Slave Power, was taken to be the weaker side;
the doubt really, and, considering the conflict of opinion here, not
unpardonably, entertained as to the question of State Sovereignty and
the right of Secession. All these motives, though they operate against
your cause, are different from hatred of you. But there are two points
to which in justice to my country I must especially call attention.

The first is this,--that you have not yourselves been of one mind in
this matter, nor has the voice of your own people been unanimous. No
English speaker or journal has denounced the war or reviled the conduct
of your Government more bitterly than a portion of American politicians
and a section of the American press. The worst things said in England of
your statesmen, of your generals, of your armies, of your contractors,
of your social state and character as a people, have been but the echo
of things which have been said here. If the New-York correspondents of
some English journals have been virulent and calumnious, their virulence
and their calumnies have been drawn, to a great extent, from the
American circles in which they have lived. No slanders poured by English
ignorance or malevolence on American society have been so foul as those
which came from a renegade American writing in one of our Tory journals
under the name of "Manhattan." No lamentations over the subversion of
the Constitution and the destruction of personal liberty have been
louder than those of your own Opposition. The chief enemies of your
honor have been those of your own household. The crime of a great mass
of our people against you has, in fact, consisted in believing
statements about America made by men whom they knew to be Americans, and
did not know to be disloyal to the cause of their country. I have seen
your soldiers described in an extract from one of your own journals as
jail-birds, vagabonds, and foreigners. I have seen your President
accused of wishing to provoke riots in New York that he might have a
pretence for exercising military power. I have seen him accused of
sending to the front, to be thinned, a regiment which was likely to vote
against him. I have seen him accused of decoying his political opponents
into forging soldiers' votes in order to discredit them. What could the
"Times" itself say more?

The second point is this. Some of your journals did their best to
prevent our people from desiring your success by declaring that your
success would be followed by aggression on us. The drum, like strong
wine, is apt to get into weak heads, especially when they are
unaccustomed to the sound. An Englishman coming among you is soon
assured that you do not wish to attack Canada. Apart from considerations
of morality and honor, he finds every man of sense here aware that
extent of territory is your danger, if you wish to be one nation,--and
further, that freedom of development, and not procrustean
centralization, is the best thing for the New as well as for the Old
World. But the mass of our people have not been among you; nor do they
know that the hot words sedulously repeated to them by our Southern
press are not authentic expressions of your designs. They are doubly
mistaken,--mistaken both in thinking that you wish to seize Canada, and
in thinking that a division of the Union into two hostile nations, which
would compel you to keep a standing army, would render you less
dangerous to your neighbors. But your own demagogues are the authors of
the error; and the Monroe doctrine and the Ostend manifesto are still
ringing in our ears. I am an adherent of the Monroe doctrine, if it
means, as it did on the lips of Canning, that the reactionary influence
of the old European Governments is not to be allowed to mar the hopes of
man in the New World; but if it means violence, every one must be
against it who respects the rights of nations. When you contrast the
feelings of England towards you with those of other nations, Italy for
example, you must remember that Italy has no Canada. I hope Canada will
soon cease to be a cause of mistrust between us. The political dominion
of England over it, since it has had a free constitution of its own, has
dwindled to a mere thread. It is as ripe to be a nation as these
Colonies were on the eve of the American Revolution. As a dependency, it
is of no solid value to England since she has ceased to engross the
Colonial trade. It distracts her forces, and prevents her from acting
with her full weight in the affairs of her own quarter of the world. It
belongs in every sense to America, not to Europe; and its peculiar
institutions--its extended suffrage, its freedom from the hereditary
principle, its voluntary system in religion, its common schools--are
opposed to those of England, and identical with those of the neighboring
States. All this the English nation is beginning to feel; and it has
tried in the case of the Ionian Islands the policy of moderation, and
found that it raises, instead of lowering, our solid reputation and our
real power. The confederation which is now in course of formation
between the North-American Colonies tends manifestly to a further
change; it tends to a further change all the more manifestly because
such a tendency is anxiously disclaimed. Yes, Canada will soon cease to
trouble and divide us. But while it is England's, it is England's; and
to threaten her with an attack on it is to threaten a proud nation with
outrage and an assault upon its honor.

Finally, if our people have misconstrued your acts, let me conjure you
to make due allowance for our ignorance,--an ignorance which, in many
cases, is as dark as night, but which the progress of events here begins
gloriously to dispel. We are not such a nation of travellers as you are,
and scarcely one Englishman has seen America for a hundred Americans
that have seen England. "Why does not Beauregard fly to the assistance
of Lee?" said a highly educated Englishman to an American in England.
"Because," was the reply, "the distance is as great as it is from Rome
to Paris." If these three thousand miles of ocean that lie between us
could be removed for a few days, and the two great branches of the
Anglo-Saxon race could look each other in the face, and speak their
minds to each other, there would be an end, I believe, of all these
fears. When an Englishman and an American meet, in this country or in
England, they are friends, notwithstanding all that has passed; why not
the two nations?

I have not presumed, and shall not presume, to touch on any question
that has arisen or may arise between the Executive Government of my
country and the Executive Government of yours. In England, Liberals have
not failed to plead for justice to you, and, as we thought, at the same
time, for the maintenance of English honor. But I will venture to make,
in conclusion, one or two brief remarks as to the general temper in
which these questions should be viewed.

In the first place, when great and terrible issues hang upon our acts,
perhaps upon our words, let us control our fancies and distinguish
realities from fictions. There hangs over every great struggle, and
especially over every civil war, a hot and hazy atmosphere of excited
feeling which is too apt to distort all objects to the view. In the
French Revolution, men were suspected of being objects of suspicion, and
sent to the guillotine for that offence. The same feverish and delirious
fancies prevailed as to the conduct of other nations. All the most
natural effects of a violent revolution--the depreciation of the
assignats, the disturbance of trade, the consequent scarcity of
food--were ascribed by frantic rhetoricians to the guineas of Pitt,
whose very limited amount of secret-service money was quite inadequate
to the performance of such wonders. When a foreign nation has given
offence, it is turned by popular imagination into a fiend, and its
fiendish influence is traced with appalling clearness in every natural
accident that occurs. I have heard England accused of having built the
Chicago Wigwam, with the building of which she had as much to do as with
the building of the Great Pyramid. I have heard it insinuated that her
policy was governed by her share in the Confederate Cotton-Loan. The
Confederate Cotton-Loan is, I believe, four millions and a half. There
is an English nobleman whose estates are reputed to be worth a larger
sum. "She is very great," says a French writer, "that odious England."
Odious she may be, but she is great,--too great to be bribed to baseness
by a paltry fee.

In the second place, let us distinguish hostile acts, of which an
account must of course be demanded, from mere words, which great
nations, secure of their greatness, may afford to let pass. Your
President knows the virtue of silence; but silence is so little the
system on either side of the water, that in the general flux of rhetoric
some rash things are sure to be said. One of our statesmen, while
starring it in the Provinces, carelessly throws out the expression that
Jeff Davis has made the South a nation; another says that you are
fighting for Empire, and the South for Independence. Our Prime-Minister
is sometimes offensive in his personal bearing towards you,--as, to our
bitter cost, he has often been towards other nations. On the other hand,
your statesmen have said hard things of England; and one of your
ambassadors to a great Continental state published, not in his private,
but in his official capacity, language which made the Northern party in
England for a moment hang their heads with shame. A virulence,
discreditable to England, has at times broken forth in our House of
Commons,--as a virulence, not creditable to this country, has at times
broken forth in your Congress. But what has the House of Commons done?
Threatening motions were announced in favor of Recognition,--in defence
of the Confederate rams. They were all set aside by the good sense of
the House and of the nation. It ended in a solemn farce,--in the
question being put very formally to the Government whether it intended
to recognize the Confederate States, to which the Government replied
that it did not.

And when the actions of our Government are in question, fair allowance
must be made for the bad state of International Law. The very term
itself is, in fact, as matters at present stand, a dangerous fiction.
There can be no law, in a real sense, where there is no law-giver, no
tribunal, no power of giving legal effect to a sentence,--but where the
party on whose side the law is held to be must after all be left to do
himself right with the strong hand. And one consequence is that
governments are induced to rest in narrow technicalities, and to be
ruled by formal precedents, when the question ought to be decided on the
broadest grounds of right. The decision of Lord Stowell, for example,
that it is lawful for the captor to burn an enemy's vessel at sea rather
than suffer her to escape, though really applying only to a case of
special necessity, has been supposed to cover a system of burning prizes
at sea, which is opposed to the policy and sentiment of all civilized
nations, and which Lord Stowell never could have had in view. And it
must be owned that this war, unexampled in all respects, has been
fruitful of novel questions respecting belligerent rights, on which a
Government meaning no evil might easily be led astray. Among its results
we may hope that this revolution will give birth to a better system of
International Law. Would there were reason to hope that it might lead to
the erection of some high tribunal of justice among nations to supersede
forever the dreadful and uncertain ordeal of war! Has the Government of
England, in any case where your right was clear, really done you a
wrong? If it has, I trust that the English nation, temperately and
respectfully approached, as a proud nation requires to be, will surely
constrain its Government to make the reparation which becomes its honor.

But let it not be forgotten, that, in the worst of times, at the moment
of your lowest depression, England has refused to recognize the
Confederate States, or in any way to interfere in their behalf; and that
the steadiness of this refusal has driven the Confederate envoy, Mr.
Mason, to seek what he deems a more hospitable shore. The inducement of
cotton for our idle looms and our famishing people has been a strong one
to our statesmen as well as to our people, and the Tempter has been at
their side. Despotism, like Slavery, is necessarily propagandist. It
cannot bear the contagion, it cannot bear the moral rebuke, of
neighboring freedom. The new French satrapy in Mexico needs some more
congenial and some weaker neighbor than the United Republic, and we have
had more than one intimation that this need is felt.

And this suggests one closing word as to our blockade-running. Nothing
done on our side, I should think, can have been more galling, as nothing
has been so injurious to your success. For myself, in common with all
who think as I do on these questions, I abhor the blockade-runners; I
heartily wish that the curse of ill-gotten gain may rest on every piece
of gold they make; and never did I feel less proud of my country than
when, on my way hither, I saw those vessels in Halifax sheltered under
English guns. But blockade-running is the law; it is the test, in fact,
of an effective blockade. And Englishmen are the blockade-runners, not
because England as a nation is your enemy, but because her merchants are
more adventurous and her seamen more daring than those of any nation but
your own. You, I suspect, would not be the least active of
blockade-runners, if we were carrying on a blockade. The nearness of our
fortresses at Halifax and Nassau to your shores, which makes them the
haunt of blockade-runners, is not the result of malice, but of
accident,--of most unhappy accident, as I believe. We have not planted
them there for this purpose. They have come down to us among the general
inheritance of an age of conquest, when aggression was thought to be
strength and glory,--when all kings and nations were alike
rapacious,--and when the prize remained with us, not because we were
below our neighbors in morality, but because we were more resolute in
council and mightier in arms. Our conquering hour was yours. You, too,
were then English citizens. You welcomed the arms of Cromwell to
Jamaica. Your hearts thrilled at the tidings of Blenheim and Ramillies,
and exulted in the thunders of Chatham. You shared the laurels and the
conquests of Wolfe. For you and with you we overthrew France and Spain
upon this continent, and made America the land of the Anglo-Saxon
race. Halifax will share the destinies of the North-American
confederation,--destinies, as I said before, not alien to yours. Nassau
is an appendage to our West-Indian possessions. Those possessions are
and have long been, and been known to every reasoning Englishman to be,
a mere burden to us. But we have been bound in honor and humanity to
protect our emancipated slaves from a danger which lay near. An ocean of
changed thought and feeling has rolled over the memory of this nation
within the last three years. You forget that but yesterday you were the
Great Slave Power.

You, till yesterday, were the great Slave Power. And England, with all
her faults and shortcomings, was the great enemy of slavery. Therefore
the slave-owners who had gained possession of your Government hated her,
insulted her, tried to embroil you with her. They represented her, and I
trust not without truth, as restlessly conspiring against the existence
of their great institution. They labored, not in vain, to excite your
jealousy of her maritime ambition, when, in enforcing the right of
search and striving to put down the slave-trade, she was really obeying
her conscience and the conscience of mankind. They bore themselves
towards her in these controversies as they bore themselves towards
you,--as their character compels them to bear themselves towards all
whom they have to deal. Living in their own homes above law, the
proclaimed doctrines of lawless aggression which alarmed and offended
not England alone, but every civilized nation. And this, as I trust and
believe, has been the main cause of the estrangement between us, so far
as it has been an estrangement between the nations, not merely between
certain sections and classes. It is a cause which will henceforth
operate no more. A Scandinavian hero, as the Norse legend tells, waged a
terrible combat through a whole night with the dead body of his
brother-in-arms, animated by a Demon; but with the morning the Demon
fled.

Other thoughts crowd upon my mind,--thoughts of what the two nations
have been to each other in the past, thoughts of what they may yet be to
each other in the future. But these thoughts will rise in other minds as
well as in mine, if they are not stifled by the passion of the hour. If
there is any question to be settled between us, let us settle it without
disparagement to the just claims or the honor of either party, yet, if
possible, as kindred nations. For if we do not, our posterity will curse
us. A century hence, the passions which caused the quarrel will be dead,
the black record of the quarrel will survive and be detested. Do what we
will now, we shall not cancel the tie of blood, nor prevent it from
hereafter asserting its undying power. The Englishmen of this day will
not prevent those who come after them from being proud of England's
grandest achievement, the sum of all her noblest victories,--the
foundation of this the great Commonwealth of the New World. And you will
not prevent the hearts of your children's children from turning to the
birth-place of their nation, the land of their history and of their
early greatness, the land which holds the august monuments of your
ancient race, the works of your illustrious fathers, and their graves.

    GOLDWIN SMITH.



WE ARE A NATION.


The great national triumph we have just achieved renders that foggy and
forlorn Second Tuesday of November the most memorable day of this most
memorable year of the war. Under the heavy curtain of mist that brooded
low over the scene, under the sombre clouds of uncertainty that hung
drizzling and oppressive above the whole land, was enacted a drama whose
grandeur has not been surpassed in history. The deep significance of
that event it is not easy for the mind to fathom. As the accumulating
majorities for the Union came rolling in, like billows succeeding
billows, heaping up the waters of victory, it was not alone the ship of
state that was lifted bodily over the bar, but all her costly freight of
human liberties and human hopes was upborne, and floated some leagues
onward towards the fair haven of the Future.

The first uprising of the nation, when its existence was assailed, was
truly a sublime spectacle. But the last uprising of the same, to confirm
with cool deliberation the judgment it pronounced in its heat, is a
spectacle of far higher moral sublimity. That sudden wildfire-blaze of
patriotism, if it was simply a blaze, had long since had time to expire.
The Red Sea we had passed through was surely sufficient to quench any
light flame kindled merely in the leaves and brushwood of our national
character. Instead of a brisk and easy conquest of a rash rebellion,
such as seemed at first to be pretty generally anticipated, we had
closed with a powerful antagonist in a struggle which was all the more
terrible because it was unforeseen. The country had soon digested its
hot cakes of enthusiasm, and come to the tougher article, the
ostrich-diet of iron determination. If we were a race of flunkies, ample
opportunities had been afforded to have our flunky-ism whipped out of
us. If Jonathan was but another blustering Sir Andrew Aguecheek, he
would long before have elicited laughter from the world's aristocratic
dress-circle, and split the ears of the groundlings, by turning from the
foe that would fight, and bellowing forth that worthy gentleman's
sentiments:--"An I thought he had been valiant, and so cunning in fence,
I'd have seen him damned ere I'd have challenged him!" But those who
looked hopefully for this conclusion have been disappointed. Even Mr.
Carlyle may now perceive that we have something more than a foul chimney
burning itself out over here:--strange that a seer should thus mistake
the glare of a mountain-torch! We have not made war from a mere
ebullition of spite, or as an experiment, or for any base and temporary
purpose; but this is a war for humanity, and for all time. That we are
in deadly earnest, that the heart of the nation is in it, and that this
is no effervescent and fickle heart, the momentous Tuesday stands before
the world as the final proof.

True, in that day's winnowing of the national grain, which had been
some four years threshing, plenty of chaff and grit were found. The
opposition to the Administration was made up of three classes. The
smallest, but by far the most active class, consisted of reckless
politicians,--those Northern men with Southern principles (if they have
anything that can properly be called principles) who sympathize with the
Rebels in arms,--who hold the interests of party to be supreme, and
shrink from no acts that bid fair to advance those interests. They are
the grit in the machine. The second class comprised the sheep which
those bad shepherds led,--sheep with a large proportion of swine
intermixed, and many a fanged and dangerous cur, as ignorant as they,
doing the will of his masters,--the brutish class, without enlightenment
or moral perception, goaded by prejudice, and deceived by lies so
shallow and foolish that the wonder was how anybody could be duped by
them. Side by side with these, and often mingling with them, was the
third class, the so-called "Conservatives," whose numbers and
respectability could alone have kept the warlike young Falstaff of the
expedition in countenance, and induced him to march through Coventry (or
rather into it, for he got no farther) with his motley crew of
followers.

This last-named class, when analyzed, is found to be composed of a great
variety of elements. The downright "Hunker" Conservative, who is very
likely to pass over to and identify himself with the first class, hates
with a natural, ineradicable hate all political and spiritual
advancement. He takes material and selfish, and consequently low and
narrow views of things,--and having secured for himself and his wife,
for his son John and his wife, privilege to eat and sleep and cohabit,
he cannot see the necessity of any further progress. If he is
enterprising, it is to increase his blessings in this world; if devout,
it is to perpetuate them in the next: for sincere religion he has
none,--since religion is but another name for Love, inspiring hope,
charity, and a zeal for the welfare of all mankind.--Others are
conservative from timidity, or because they are wedded to tranquility.
"Oh yes," they say, "no doubt the cause you are fighting for is just;
but then fighting is so dreadful! Let us have peace,--peace at any
cost!" Good-hearted people as far as they go, but lacking in
constitution. To them the fiery torrents of generosity and heroism are
unknown. Numbers of these, it is true, were swept away by the flood of
enthusiasm which prevailed during the first days of the Rebellion; but
when it appeared that the insurgents were not to be overawed and put
down by noise,--that making speeches and hanging out flags would not do
the business,--they became alarmed: the thought of actual bloodshed, and
taxes, and a disturbance of trade developed the Aguecheek. "Good
heavens!" said they, picking up the hats they has tossed with cheers
into the sky, and carefully brushing down the ruffled nap to its former
respectable smoothness, "this will never do! we can't frighten 'em!" So
they concluded to be frightened themselves, and ran back to their
comfortable apron-strings of opinion held by their grandmothers. Strange
as it seems, many of these are persons of piety, taste, and culture. Yet
their culture is retrospective, their taste mere dillettanteism, and
their piety conventional: to whatever is new in theology, or vital in
literature, (at least until the cobwebs of age begin to gather upon it,)
and especially to whatever tends to overthrow or greatly modify the
ancient order of things, they are unalterably opposed. If occasionally
one of them becomes desirous of keeping up with the times, or is forced
along momentarily by the stream of events, some defect of mental or
moral constitution prevents his progress; and you are sure to find him
soon or late returning to the point from which he started, like those
bits of drift-wood which are always bobbing up and down close under the
fall or circling round and round in the eddies. The trouble is, such
sticks float too lightly on the surface of things; if they carried more
heart-ballast, and would sink deeper, the current would bear them
on.--Another variety of the Conservative is the man who is really
progressive and right-minded, but extremely slow. Give him time, and he
is certain to form a just judgment, and range himself on the right side
at last. He goes with the rest only so far as they travel his road, and
his lagging is pretty sure to be atoned for by earnest endeavor in the
end. With these are to be classed numerous other varieties: those who
are "Hunkerish" on account of some strange spiritual obtuseness, or from
misanthropy, or perverseness, or self-conceit, or a cold and sluggish
temperament, or from weak, human sympathies governed by strong political
prejudice,--together with those countless larvæ and tadpoles, the
small-fry of sons and nephews, of individuality yet undeveloped, who are
conservative because their fathers and uncles are conservative.

Such was the Opposition, to which we have devoted so many words,
because, though signally defeated, much of its power and influence
survives. The fact that it proved to be as large as it was is by no
means discouraging: that there should have been so much flabby and
diseased flesh on the body-politic was to have been expected; and that
it would show itself chiefly in the large cities, where foul humors and
leprosy are sure to break out, if anywhere, upon slight irritation,
(contrast the corrupt vote of New York City with Missouri and Maryland
giving their voices for freedom!) was likewise foreseen. That the malady
continues, and by what curative process it is to be subdued and rendered
harmless,--this is what concerns us now.

We have at last demonstrated, to the satisfaction of our arrogant
Southern friends, let us trust, that the despised Yankee, the
dollar-worshipper, is as prompt to fight for a principle as they for
power and a mistaken right of property,--ready to give blood and
treasure without stint, all for an idea; and that, having reluctantly
set his foot in gore, to draw back is not possible to him, for his heart
is indomitable, and his soul relentless,--in his soul sits Nemesis
herself. We have taught the slaveholding insolence the final lesson,
that there is absolutely nothing to hope from the pusillanimity it
counted upon. To the world abroad, also, that Tuesday's portentous
snow-storm of ballots, covering every vestige of treason here, to the
trail of the Copperhead, and whitening the face of the whole land with a
purer faith, will be more convincing than our victories in the field.
The bubble of Republicanism, which was to display such alacrity at
bursting, is not the childish thing it was deemed, but granitic, with a
fiery, throbbing core; its outward form no mere flashy film, blown out
of chimeras and dreams, but a creation from the solid strata of human
experience, upheaved here by the birth-throes of a new era:--

    "With inward fires and pain,
    It rose a bubble from the plain,"

secure and enduring as Monadnock or Mount Washington.

We have proved that we are a nation equal to the task of self-discipline
and self-control,--a new thing on this planet. Hitherto, on the stage of
history, kings and princes have been the star-actors: in them all the
interest of the scene has centred: they and a few grand favorites were
everything, and all the rest supernumeraries, "a level immensity of
foolish small people," of no utility except to support them in their
pompous parts. But we have found that "Hamlet" does very well with
Hamlet left out. In place of the prince we will have a principle.
Persons are of no account: the President is of no account simply as a
man. Here, at last, Humanity has flowered; here has blossomed a new race
of men, capable of postponing persons to uses, and private preferences
to the public good, of subjecting its wildest passions to a sense of
justice,--qualities so rare, that, when they are most strikingly
manifested in us, foreign observers stand astonished and incredulous.
Accustomed to seeing other races carried away by their own frenzy the
moment they break free from despotic restraint and attempt to act for
themselves, they cannot believe that Americans actually have that
uncommon virtue, self-control. The predictions of the London "Times"
with regard to us have always proved such ludicrous failures, because
they have been based upon this false estimate of our temper. Taking for
granted that we are a mob, and that a mob is an idiot, whose speech and
actions are void of reason, "full of sound and fury, signifying
nothing," the Thunderer continues to prophesy evil of us; and when,
where madness was most confidently looked for, we exhibit the coolest
sense, it can think of nothing better to do than to denounce us for our
inconsistencies! Yet the self-control we claim for ourselves comes from
no lack of caloric: caloric we possess in abundance, though of a stiller
sort than that with which the world has been hitherto acquainted. Our
friend from the backwoods thought there was no fire in the coal-furnace,
because he could not hear it roar and crackle, and was afterwards amazed
at its steady intensity of heat. Our misguided Southern brethren had the
same opinion of Northern character, and burned their hands most
deplorably when they laid hold of it.

They have discovered their mistake. Our Transatlantic neighbors have
also, by this time, discovered theirs. Moreover, we (and this is the
main thing) have caught a glimpse of ourselves in the glass of the last
election. Henceforth let us have faith in our destiny. Let us once more
open our maps, and, by the light of that day's revelation, look at the
grand outlines and limitless possibilities of our country. Look at the
old States and the new, and at the future States! Behold the vast plains
of Texas and the Indian Territory,--the rivers of Arizona, Dakotah, and
Utah,--Montana, Idaho, Colorado, and New Mexico, with their magnificent
mountain-chains,--Nevada, and the Pacific States,--Washington, Oregon,
and California, each alone capable of becoming another New England! What
a home is this for the nation that is to be! Let us consider well our
advantages, be true to the inspiration that is in us, put aside at once
and forever the thought of failure, and advance with firm and confident
steps to the accomplishment of the grandest mission ever yet intrusted
to any people.

True, great humiliations may be still in store for us; for what do we
not deserve? When we consider the inhumanity, the cowardice, the stolid
selfishness, of which this people has been guilty, especially on the
subject of negro slavery, we can find no refuge from despair but in the
comforting assurance that God is a God of mercy, as well as of justice.

Let us hasten to atone for our sins, and forward the work of national
purification, by doing our duty--our whole duty--now. One thing is
certain: we cannot look for help to other nations, nor to the amiable
disposition of a foe whose pith and pluck are consanguineous with our
own, nor to the agency of individuals. It was written in the beginning
that the people which aspired to make its own laws should also work out
its own salvation. For this reason great leaders have not been given us,
and we shall not need them. It is for a nation unstable in its purposes,
and incapable of self-moderation, that the steady hand of a strong ruler
is necessary. The first Napoleon was no more a natural product of the
first French Revolution than the present Emperor is of the last. They
might each have sat for the picture of the tyrant springing to the neck
of an unbridled Democracy, drawn by Plato in the eighth book of the
"Republic": just as his description of the excesses which necessitate
despotic rule might pass for a description of the frenzy of
'Ninety-Three:--"When a State thirsts after liberty, _and happens to
have bad cup-bearers appointed it, and gets immoderately drunk with an
unmixed draught, thereof_, it punishes even the governors." No such
inebriety has resulted from the moderate draughts of that nectar in
which this new Western race has indulged; and only the southern and
more passionate portion of it is in any danger of converting its acute
"State-Rights" distemper into chronic despotism. The nation in its
childhood needed a paternal Washington; but now it has arrived at
manhood, and it requires, not a great leader, but a magistrate willing
himself to be led. Such a man is Mr. Lincoln: an able, faithful,
hard-working citizen, overseeing the affairs of all the citizens,
accepting the guidance of Providence, and conscientiously yielding
himself to be the medium of a people's will, the agent of its destinies.
That is all we have any right to expect of him; and if we expect more,
we shall be disappointed. He cannot stretch forth his hand and save us,
although we have now twice elected him to his high place. Upon
ourselves, and upon ourselves alone, under God, success and victory
still depend.

What outward duties are to be fulfilled it is needless to recapitulate
here,--for have they not been taught in every loyal pulpit and in every
loyal print, in sermon, story, and song, until there is not a school-boy
but knows the lesson? Treason must be defeated in the field, its armies
annihilated, its power destroyed forever. In order to accomplish this,
our own armies must be kept constantly recruited with numbers and with
confidence. As for American slavery, it perishes from the face of the
earth utterly. We have had enough of the serpent which the young
Republic warmed in its too kind bosom. Now it dies; there is no help for
it: if you object to the heel upon its head, and place your own head
there to sheild it, God pity you, my friend, for you will have need of
more than human pity! This war is to be brought to a triumphant close,
and the cause of the war extirpated, whether you like it or not. You can
accept destruction and ignominy with it, or you may live to rejoice over
the most glorious victory and reform of the age: take your choice: but
understand, once for all, that complaint is puerile, and expostulation
but an idle wind in the face of inexorable Fate. Shall we remember our
martyred heroes, our noble, our beloved, who have gone down in this
conflict, and sit gloomily content while the devouring monster survives?
Is it nothing that they have fallen, and yet such a wrong that the
fetters of the bondman should fall? Is the claim of property in man so
sacred, and the blood of our brothers so cheap? Have done with this
heartless cant,--this prating about the constitutional rights of
traitors! When the Moslem chief was marching to the chastisement of a
revolted tribe, the insurgents, seeing disaster inevitable in a fair
field, resorted to the device of elevating the Koran upon the shafts of
their spears, and bearing it before them into battle. The stratagem
succeeded. The fanatical Arabs were filled with horror on finding that
they had lifted their swords against the Book of the Holy Prophet, and
fled in confusion,--defeated, not by the foe, but by their own blind
reverence for the letter and outward symbol of the Law. Thus the first
attempt at secession from the Moslem Empire became successful; and the
decadence of that empire was the fatal fruit of that day's folly. In
like manner we have had the letter of the Constitution thrust between us
and victory. The leaders of the Opposition carried it before them, with
ostentation and loud pharisaical rant, in the late political battle.
But, much as it has embarrassed and retarded our cause, terrifying and
bewildering weak minds, the device has not availed in the past, and it
shall avail still less in the future. The spirit of the Constitution we
shall remember and obey; but the sword of justice, edged with common
sense, must cut its way through everything else, to the very heart of
the Rebellion.

Only from ourselves have we anything to fear. Self-distrust is more to
be dreaded than foreign interference or Rebel despotism. The deportment
of Great Britain has become more and more respectful towards us as we
have shown ourselves worthy of respect; and even France has of late
grown discreetly reticent on the subject of intervention. But it is said
the Rebels will arm their slaves. Very well; if they think to save their
boat by taking the bottom out, in order to make paddles of it, they are
welcome to try the experiment. Are three or four hundred thousand negro
soldiers going to accept from their masters the boon of freedom for
themselves only, and not demand it for their race? Or think you their
gratitude towards those masters is so extraordinary, that they will take
arms against their brothers already in the field, and not be liable to
commit the slight error of passing over and fighting by their side? In
either case, Mr. Davis's proposition, if carried out, is practical
abolitionism; and we have yet to learn how a tottering edifice can be
rendered any more stable by the removal of its acknowledged
"cornerstone." The plan is violently opposed by the slave-owning
classes: for, whatever may be proclaimed to the contrary, they have
risked this war, and devoted themselves to it, believing it to be a war
for the aggrandizement of their peculiar institution; and if that
succumbs, where is the gain? Already their new Government has become to
them an object of dread and detestation, and they are beginning to look
back with regretful hearts to the beneficent Union which they were in
such rash haste to destroy. Only the leaders of the Rebellion can hope
to gain anything by so perilous an expedient; for Slavery has become
with them a secondary consideration,--no doubt Mr. Davis is sincere in
asserting this,--and they are now ready to sacrifice it to their private
ambition. They are in the position of men who, driven to extremity, will
give up everything else in order to preserve their power, and their
necks with it. But let us indulge in no useless apprehensions on this
point. Such a proposition, seriously entertained by the Richmond
Government, is of itself the strongest evidence we could have of the
exhaustion of their resources. Every other means has failed, and this is
their last resort. We are reminded of that vivid description, in one of
Cooper's novels, of an Indian in his canoe drawn into the rapids of
Niagara and swept over the falls,--who, in his wild efforts to save
himself, continued _paddling in the air_ even after he had passed the
verge of the cataract. So the Confederate craft has reached the brink of
destruction, and we may now look to see some frantic paddling in their
air. Or shall we liken it to Milton's bad angel, flying to his new
empire, but dropping into an unexpected "vast vacuity"?

    "Fluttering his pennons vain, plumb down he drops
    Ten thousand fathom deep, and to this hour
    Down had been falling, had not by ill chance
    This strong rebuff of some tumultuous cloud
    Instinct with fire and nitre hurried him
    As many miles aloft."

That "ill chance" has been averted by the last election; and no such
"tumultuous cloud" will gather again, to bear up the lost Anarch, if we
courageously act our part. The danger now is from our own weakness, not
from the enemy's strength.

A great and most important work still remains for us. It is not enough
to perform simply the external and obvious duties of the hour. What we
would insist on here is the internal and moral work to be done. Men have
never yet given full credit to the power of an idea. With faith, ye
shall remove mountains. A pebble of truth, in the hand of the
shepherd-boy of Israel, is mightier to prevail than the spear like a
weaver's beam. How long were the little band of Abolitionists despised!
But they were the cutwater of the national ship. With their
revolutionary idea, so opposed to the universal prejudice, they
succeeded at last in moving the entire country, just as one cog-wheel
set against another overcomes its resistance and puts the whole
machinery in motion. The rills of thought, shooting from the heights of
a few pure and lofty minds, have spread out into this sea of practical
Abolitionism which now covers the whole land,--although the sea may be
inclined to deny its source. May we, then, charge the pioneers of the
Anti-Slavery sentiment with having caused this war? In the same manner
we may regard the coming of Christ as being the cause of all the wars
and persecutions of Christianity.

If such is the force of earnest conviction, consider what we too may do.
We have gone to the polls and voted for the accomplishment of a certain
object: far more intelligently than at the beginning of the war, (for
few knew then what we were fighting for,) we have met the enemies of our
country, and defeated them at the ballot-box. But there is another and
no less important vote to be cast. The Twentieth Presidential Election
is not the last, even for this year. We are to continue casting our
ballots, every day, and day after day,--nay, year after year, if
necessary,--to the end. We have had political suffrage; but moral
suffrage is now called for. Here woman realizes her rights, so long
talked about, and so little understood; here, too, even the intelligent,
patriotic boy and girl can exert an influence. We know something of what
words can do; but how little we appreciate the power which is behind
words! By the wishes of your heart, by the aspirations of your soul, by
the energies of your mind and will, you form about you an atmosphere as
real as the air you breathe, although, like that, invisible. Not a
prayer is lost; not a throb of patriotish goes for nothing; never a wave
of impulse dies upon the ethereal deep in which we live and move and
have our being. Be filled with the truth as with life itself; let the
divine aura exhale from you wherever you move; and thus you may do more
to overcome the opposition to our cause than when you deposited your
ticket in the box. You may, perhaps, breathe the breath of life into the
nostrils of the coldest clay of conservatism you know: for true it is
that men not only catch manners, as they do diseases, one from another,
but that they catch unconscious inspiration also. Boswell, when absent
from London and his hero, acknowledged himself to be empty, vapid; and
he became somewhat only when "impregnated with the Johnsonian ether." So
the ether of your own earnest, fervent, patriotic character may
impregnate the spiritless and help to sustain the brave. Consider,
moreover, what an element may be thus generated by the combined hopes
and prayers of a whole loyal people! This is the atmosphere which is to
sustain the President and his advisers in their work: this, although we
may not know it, and although they may be unaware, is the vital breath
they need to give them wisdom and power equal to the great crisis; while
even the soldiers, in the far-off fields of conflict, shall feel the
agitations of this subtile fluid, this life-supporting oxygen, buoying
up their hopes, and wafting their banners on to victory.



REVIEWS AND LITERARY NOTICES.


     _Dissertations and Discussions: Political, Philosophical, and
     Historical._ By JOHN STUART MILL. In Three Volumes. 12mo.
     Boston: W. V. Spencer.

At a time of deep national emotion, like the present, it is impossible
that we Americans should not feel some bias of personal affection in
reading the works of those great living Englishmen who have been true to
us in the darkest hour. Were it only for his faithful friendship to
freedom and to us, Mr. Mill has a right to claim an attentive audience
for every word he has ever written; and this collection of his
miscellaneous writings, covering a period of thirty years, has a special
interest as showing the successive steps by which he has risen to this
high attitude of nobleness.

But apart from these special ties, Mr. Mill claims attention as the most
advanced of English minds, and the ablest, all things considered, of
contemporary English writers. His detached works have long since found a
very large American audience,--larger, perhaps, than even their
home-circle of readers; and the sort of biographical interest which
attaches to a collection of shorter essays--giving, as it does, a
glimpse at the training of the writer--will more than compensate for the
want of continuity in these volumes, and for the merely local interest
which belongs to many of the subjects treated. Church-rates and the
English currency have not to us even the interest of heraldry, for that
at least can offer pictures of mermaids, and great ingenuity in Latin
puns; but, on the other hand, every discussion of the British
university-system has a positive value, in the exceedingly crude and
undeveloped condition of American collegiate methods. There is the same
disparity of interest in the different critical essays. Bentham has
hardly exerted an appreciable influence on American thought, and the
transitory authority of Coleridge is now merged in more potent agencies;
yet when the essays bearing those great names were first printed in the
periodical then edited by Mill, they made an era in contemporary English
literature, and therefore indirectly modified our own.

Thus, in one way or another, almost all these essays have a value. The
style is always clear, always strong, sometimes pointed, seldom
brilliant, never graceful; it is the best current sample, indeed, of
that good, manly, rather colorless English which belongs naturally to
Parliamentary Speeches and Quarterly Reviews. Not being an American, the
author may use novel words without the fear of being called provincial;
so that _understandable_, _evidentiary_, _desiderate_, _leisured_, and
_inamoveability_ stalk at large within his pages. As a controversialist,
he is a trifle sharp, but never actually discourteous; and it is
pleasant to see that his chivalry makes him gentlest in dealing with the
humblest, while his lance rings against the formidable shield of a
Cambridge Professor or a Master of Trinity as did that of the disguised
Ivanhoe upon the shield of Bois-Guilbert.

The historical essays in this collection are exceedingly admirable,
especially the defence of Pericles and the Athenians, in the second
paper on Crete's History. In reading the articles upon ethical and
philosophical questions, one finds more drawbacks. The profoundest
truths can hardly be reached, perhaps, by one who, at the end of his
life, as at the beginning, is a sensationalist in metaphysics and a
utilitarian in ethics. It is only when dealing with these themes that he
seems to show any want of thoroughness: unfairness he never shows. In
the closing tract on "Utilitarianism," which the American publishers
have added to the English collection, one feels especially this
drawback. As the theory of universal selfishness falls so soon as one
considers that a man is capable of resigning everything that looks like
happiness, and of plunging into apparent misery, because he thinks it
right,--so the theory of utilitarianism falls, when one considers that a
man is capable of abstaining from an action that would apparently be
useful to all around him, from a secret conviction that it is wrong in
itself. There are many things which are intrinsically wrong, although,
so far as one can see, they would do good to all around. To assassinate
a bad neighbor,--to rob a miser and distribute his goods,--to marry
Rochester, while his insane wife is living, (for Jane Eyre,)--to put to
death an imbecile and uncomfortable grandmother, (for a
Feegeean,)--these are actions which are indefensible, though the balance
of public advantages might seem greatly in their favor. It is probable
that at this moment a great good would be done to this nation and to the
world by the death of Jefferson Davis; yet the bare suggestion of his
assassination, in the case of Colonel Dahlgren, was received with a
universal shudder, and disavowed as an atrocious slander. But Mr. Mill
can meet such ethical problems only by reverting to that general
principle of Kant, which he elsewhere repudiates: "So act that the rule
on which thou actest would admit of being adopted as a law for all
rational beings." Mr. Mill says of such instances, "The action is of a
class which, if practised generally, would be generally injurious, and
this is the ground of the obligation to abstain from it." But under the
rule of utilitarianism, it is the injuriousness itself which should be
the principle of classification, and to prove an action innoxious is at
once to separate it from that class; so that the objection falls. By his
own principles, a murder which would benefit the community is by that
very attribute differenced from ordinary and injurious murders, nor can
any good argument be found against its commission. The possible bad
precedent is at best a possible misapprehension, to be sufficiently
averted by concealment, where concealment is practicable.

In dealing with contemporary and practical questions, Mr. Mill shows
always pre-eminent ability, with less of the Insular traits than any
living Englishman. While there is perhaps no single passage in these
volumes so thoroughly grand as his argument for religions freedom in his
essay on Liberty,--an argument which the most heretical theologians of
either Continent could hardly have put so boldly or so well,--yet
through the whole series of essays there runs the same fine strain. He
repeatedly renews his clear and irresistible appeal for the equal
political rights of the sexes: a point on which there is coming to be
but one opinion among the most advanced minds of Europe and America,--a
unanimity which, after the more immediate problem of Slavery is disposed
of, must erelong bring about some practical application of the
principle, in our republican commonwealths. It is interesting to notice
in this connection, that Mr. Mill has included with his own essays the
celebrated article by his wife, on "The Enfranchisement of Women," and
has prefixed to it one of the noblest eulogies ever devoted to any wife
by any husband.

He deals with strictly American subjects in the best criticism ever
written upon De Tocqueville, where he shows conclusively the error of
that great writer, in attributing to democracy, as such, many social
phenomena which are equally observable under the English monarchy. These
volumes also include--what the English edition of 1859 of course did not
contain--the later essays on "The Contest in America," "The Slave
Power," and "Non-Intervention." In treating of Slavery and of the War,
the author rarely commits an error; in dealing with other American
questions, he is sometimes misled by defective information, and cites
gravely, with the prelude, "It is admitted," or "It is understood,"
statements which have their sole origin in the haste of travellers or in
the croaking of disappointed egotists. The government of the majority
does not end in tyranny: cultivated Americans are not cowards: the best
heads are not excluded from public life: free schools do not tend to
stifle free thought, but infinitely to multiply it: individuality of
character is not checked, but healthily trained, by political equality.
Six months in this country would do more to disabuse Mr. Mill, in these
matters, than years of mere reading; and it is a positive injury to his
large ideas that he should not take the opportunity of testing them on
the only soil where they are being put in practice. Whenever he shall
come, his welcome is secure. In the mean time, all that we Americans can
do to testify to his deserts is to reprint his writings beautifully, as
these are printed,--and to read them universally, as these will be read.


     _Narrative of Privations and Sufferings of United States
     Officers and Soldiers while Prisoners of War in the Hands of
     the Rebel Authorities._ Being the Report of a Commission of
     Inquiry, appointed by the United States Sanitary Commission.
     With an Appendix, containing the Testimony. Printed by the U.S.
     Sanitary Commission. Philadelphia.

That uniform thoroughness and accuracy which have marked all that has
been done by the Sanitary Commission, not in the field alone, but in the
committee-room and the printing-office, were never better shown than in
this Report. It attempts something which, unless done thoroughly, was
not worth doing; since, on a subject which appeals so strongly to the
feelings, mere generalities and gossip do more harm than good. It is the
work of a special Commission of Inquiry, composed of three physicians,
(Drs. Mott, Delafield, and Wallace,) two lawyers, (Messrs. Wilkins and
Hare,)and one clergyman (Mr. Walden). This commission has performed a
great amount of labor, and has digested its result into a form so
systematic as to be logically irresistible. The facts on which the
statement rests are a large body of evidence, taken under oath, from
prisoners of both armies, and confirmed by the admissions, carefully
collated, of the Rebel press. The conclusion is, that, in the Southern
prisons, "tens of thousands of helpless men have been, and are now
being, disabled and destroyed by a process as certain as poison, and as
cruel as the torture or burning at the stake, because nearly as
agonizing and more prolonged."

The next step is to fix the responsibility for all these horrors. All
theories of apology--as that the sufferings were accidental or
exceptional, or that, badly as our soldiers may have fared, the Rebel
soldiers fared little better--are taken up and conclusively refuted, the
last-named with especial thoroughness. The inevitable inference drawn by
the Commission is, that these inhumanities were "designedly inflicted on
the part of the Rebel Government," and were _not_ "due to causes which
such authorities could not control."

The immediate preparation of this able report is understood to be due to
the Rev. Treadwell Walden, an Episcopal clergyman of Philadelphia, not
unknown to the readers of the "Atlantic." His present work will be the
permanent authority for the facts which it records, and will justify to
future generations the suggestion with which it ends, that these
cruelties are the legitimate working of a form of government which takes
human slavery for its basis. The record of such a government is fitly
written in these pages: it is as appropriate as is, for a king of
Dahomey, his funeral pyramid of skulls.


     _Freedom of Mind in Willing_; or, Every Being that Wills a
     Creative First Cause. By ROWLAND G. HAZARD. New York: D.
     Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp. 455.

The State of Rhode Island is the most metaphysically inclined of all the
sisterhood, not excepting South Carolina. A superficial observer or a
passing traveller might take just the opposite view of her tendencies.
The stranger who should complete a cycle of sumptuous suppers in
Providence, or spend but a day or two in Newport at the height of the
season, might conclude that Matter with its most substantial appliances,
or Fashion with her most fascinating excitements, had combined to
exclude all thoughts of the spiritual from the few square miles over
which this least of the States holds dominion. Should he leave the two
capitals of luxurious wealth and giddy fashion and seek for the haunts
of Philosophy among the quiet nooks which her few valleys and her
splendid sea-coast afford, he might judge that meditation had been
effectually frightened from them all, for nowhere can he escape the whir
of countless spindles and the clash of thousands of looms.

But inferences like these may not be trusted, as history demonstrates.
The most admirable of modern treatises in the subtile science, that
masterpiece of speculation in matter and style, "The Minute Philosopher"
of Bishop Berkeley, was composed in Rhode Island, and the place is still
indicated where the musing metaphysician is said to have written the
greater portion of the work. That Berkeley's genius did not abandon the
region, when he left it, is manifest from the direction taken by the
late Judge Durfee, whose "Pan-Idea," if it cannot be accepted as in all
respects a satisfactory theory of the relations of the spiritual
universe, may be safely taken as an indication of the lofty and daring
Platonism of the ingenious author. The anonymous author of "Language by
a Heteroscian" is another thinker of somewhat similar tastes. If common
report do not greatly err, it is the same thinker who in the volume
before us solicits the attention of the philosophic world to his views
of the Will. It adds greatly to the interest of the volume itself, in
our view, and we trust will do so in the view of our readers, to know
that he is no studious recluse nor professional philosopher, but active,
shrewd, and keen-sighted, both in his mills, when at home in a fitly
named valley, and upon Change, when in Boston or New York.

Surely Roger Williams, that boldest of idealists, did not live in vain,
in that he not only set apart the State which he founded as a place of
refuge for all persons given to free and daring speculation, but made it
a kind of Prospero's Isle, that should never cease to be haunted by some
metaphysical spell.

The appearance of such a work from such a source is of itself most
refreshing, as an indication that a life of earnest devotion to material
pursuits is not inconsistent with an ardent appreciation of the
surpassing importance of speculative inquiries. One such example as this
is enough to refute the oft-repeated assertion that in America all
philosophy must of course give way before the absorbing interest in the
pursuit of wealth. A few years since we chanced to send a copy of an
American edition of Plato's "Phaedo" to a German Professor. "_Eine
wirkliche Erscheinung_," was his reply in acknowledgment, "to see an
edition of a work of Plato from America." What would be his amazement at
receiving a copy of a disquisition on the Will written by an American
mill-owner!

It is still more refreshing to find the author so sincere and so earnest
an advocate of the elevating tendency of philosophical studies. There is
a charming simplicity in the words with which his Preface is
concluded:--"Whatever opinion may be formed of the success or failure of
any effort to elucidate this subject, I trust it will be admitted that
the arguments I have presented at least _tend_ to show that the
investigation may open more elevated and more elevating views of our
position and our powers, and may reveal new modes of influencing our own
intellectual and moral character, and thus have a more immediate,
direct, and practical bearing on the progress of our race in virtue and
happiness than any inquiry in physical science." Such testimony, coupled
with the impression made by his argument, is most gratifying, not only
in consideration of the source from which it comes, but also as
contrasted with the course of so much of the speculative philosophy of
the day, towards Materialism in Psychology, Necessarianism in Morals,
Naturalism in Philosophy, and Pantheism in Theology.

The doctrine of the writer, or rather his position with respect to
theories of the Will, is distinctly indicated by the title of his
volume. It is obvious that he must be a decided asserter of Liberty as
opposed to Necessity who dares to throw down the gauntlet in support of
the thesis that "every being who wills is a creative first cause." All
his views of the soul and of its doings are entirely consistent with the
direction which is required by this audacious assertion. That the soul
is an originator in most of its activities is his perpetually asserted
theme. To maintain this he is ready almost to question the reality, as
he more than questions the necessity, of the existence of matter,
verging occasionally, on this point, upon Berkeley's views and style of
thinking. The constructive capacities of the intellect are inferred from
the variety of mathematical creations which it originates, as well as
from the more diverse and interesting structures which the never wearied
and ever aspiring fantasy is always building. Should any one question
the right of these creations to be, or seek to detract from their
importance, our author is ready to defend them to the utmost in contrast
with matter and its claims. Indeed, the author's exposition of his
doctrine of the Will is by itself an inconsiderable source of interest,
when separated from the views of all the functions of the spirit, which
are interwoven with it. In discussing the Will he is necessarily led to
treat of its relations to the other powers and functions of the spirit,
and hence by necessity to give his philosophy of the Soul. This
philosophy, briefly described, is one which regards the soul in its
nature and its acts, in its innermost structure and its outmost
energies, as capable of and destined to action. This in also its dignity
and its glory. The soul or spirit, so far from being the subject of
material forces, or the outgrowth of successive series of material
agencies, or the subtile product or potence of material laws, is herself
the conscious mistress and sovereign of them all, giving to matter and
development and law all their importance, as she condescends to use
these either as the mirror in which her own creations are reflected or
the vehicle by which her acts can be expressed.

How the author maintains and defends this position the limits of this
brief notice will not allow us to specify. The views expressed which
have the closest pertinency to the will are those which lay especial
stress upon the soul as capable of _wants_, and as thus impelled to
action. Emotion and sensibility neither of them qualifies for action.
_Want_ must supervene, to point to the unattained future, to excite to
change; and to this want knowledge also must be added, in order to
direct the activity. Under the stimulus thus furnished, the future must
be created, as it were, by the will of the soul itself, before it is
made real in fact.

We are not quite sure that we understand the author's doctrine of Want,
and its relations to the activities of the will, nor that, so far as we
do understand it, we should accept it. But we agree with him entirely,
that it is precisely by means of and in connection with a correct
analysis of these impelling forces that the real nature and import of
the will can be satisfactorily evolved. Mr. Hazard seems to us to make
too little difference between the power of the soul to act and its power
to will or choose. He conceives the will as the capacity which qualifies
for effort of every kind, as the conative power in general, instead of
emphasizing it as the capacity for a special kind of effort, namely,
that of moral selection.

The second part of the volume is devoted to a criticism of Edwards, the
author on whose "steel cap," as on that of Hobbes of old, every advocate
of liberty is impelled to try the strength and temper of his weapons.
For a critical antagonist, Edwards is admirable, his use of language
being far from precise and consistent, and his definitions and
statements, through his extreme wariness, being vague and vacillating
enough to allow abundant material for comment. Of these advantages Mr.
Hazard knows how to avail himself, and shows not a little acuteness in
exposing the untenable positions and the inconsequent reasoning of the
New-England dialectician. The most ingenious of the chapters upon
Edwards is that in which he refutes the conclusions drawn from the
foreknowledge of God. His position is the following:--If we concede that
the foreknowledge of God were inconsistent with liberty, and involved
the necessity of human volitions, we may suppose the Supreme Being to
forego the exercise of foreknowledge in respect to such events. But it
would not therefore follow that God would be thereby taken by surprise
by any such volitions, or would be incompetent to regulate His own
actions or to control the issues of them in governing the universe. This
he seeks to show, very ingeniously, by asserting that the Supreme Being
must be competent to foresee not the actual volition that will be made,
but every variety that is possible; and as a consummate chess-player
provides by comprehensive forecast against every possible move which his
antagonist can make, and has ready a counter-move, so may we, on the
supposition suggested, conceive the Supreme Being as fully competent,
without the foreknowledge of the actual, by means of His foreknowledge
of the possible, to control and govern the course of the future. This
solution is certainly ingenious, and doubtless original with the author.
It has in all probability occurred to other minds; but, inasmuch as the
advocate for freedom does not usually allow that he is shut up to the
alternative of either denying the divine purpose or abandoning human
freedom, the suggestion of the author has not often, if ever, been
seriously urged before. But we have no space for critical comments.

The style of the author is good. With some diffuseness, he is usually
clear and animated. The circumstances that he has approached the subject
in his own way, independently of the method of books and the technics of
the schools, has lent great freshness to his thoughts and illustrations.
The occasional observations which he throws in are always ingenious and
sometimes profound. He shows himself at every turn to be an acute
observer, a comprehensive thinker, and deeply imbued with the meditative
spirit. The defects incidental to his peculiar training are more than
compensated by the freshness of his manner and the directness of his
language. More interesting still is the imaginative tendency which gives
to many of his passages the charm of poetic feeling, and elevates them
to the truly Platonic rhythm. There are single sentences, and now and
then entire paragraphs, which are gems in their way, that sparkle none
the less for the plain setting of common sense and unpretending diction
by which they are relieved.

We ought to add that the attitude of the author in respect to moral and
religious truth is truly, but not obtrusively, reverent. Though he
asserts for man the dignity that pertains to a creator, yet he never
forgets the limits under which and the materials out of which his
creations are wrought. His Theism is outspoken and sincere.

Whatever judgment may be passed upon this volume in the schools of
philosophy or theology, all truth-loving men will agree that it brings
honor to the literature and thought of the country. No man can read a
few of the many passages of refined thought and sagacious observation
with which the volume abounds, without acknowledging the presence of
philosophic genius. No one can read the passages with which each
principal division of the work concludes, without admiring the fine
strains which indicate the presence of genius inspired by poetic feeling
and elevated by adoring reverence. We are sure that the fit, though
scanty, audience from whom the author craves a kindly judgment will
cheerfully render to him far more than this, even their unfeigned
admiration.


     _Military Bridges:_ With Suggestions of New Expedients and
     Constructions for crossing Streams and Chasms; including, also,
     Designs for Trestle and Truss Bridges for Military Railroads.
     Adapted especially to the Wants of the Service in the United
     States. By HERMANN HAUPT, late Chief of Bureau in Charge of the
     Construction and Operation of United States Military Railways,
     etc. New York: D. Van Nostrand. 8vo. pp. 310.

There is in the War Department at Washington a series of splendid
photographs, illustrative of scenes along the line of march of our
armies in Virginia, and depicting minutely the great pioneer labor of
transporting troops and ammunition, giving evidence of the greatest
engineering genius, and the illimitable resource that has been evoked by
this dreadful War of Rebellion.

The book before us is the result of these operations reduced to form.
The author's name has for the last twenty-five years been associated
with most of the great works of internal improvement in this country,
and is familiar to every Massachusetts man as connected with the great
railroad-enterprise of the State,--the Hoosac Tunnel.

The professional reputation of the author of "The General Theory of
Bridge-Construction" would of itself be a sufficient guaranty that a new
work from the same source would be entitled to consideration. General
Haupt does not often appear before the public as an author: his works
are few, but of rare merit. The first which appeared, "The General
Theory of Bridge-Construction," was the fruit of many years of
experiment, observation, and calculation, and at once established his
reputation in Europe and America, as unequalled in the specialty of
Bridges. This work was not only the first, but up to the present time is
the only publication in which the action of the parts in a complicated
system is explained, and the direction and intensity of each and every
strain brought within the reach of mathematical formulas, and rendered
accurately determinable. Before the appearance of this book it is
probable that not another engineer in the world could be found able to
calculate the strain upon every sort of bridge-truss, but only on
certain simple forms and combinations. Now, such calculations can be
made by any student in any institution where civil engineering is taught
thoroughly, and where "Haupt on Bridges" is used as a text-book.
Professor Gillespie, writing from Europe, remarked that the greatest
engineer of the age, Robert Stephenson, and his distinguished
associates, had spoken of this book in terms of the highest
commendation.

After the publication of the controversial papers between Messrs.
Stephenson and Fairbairn in regard to the Britannia Bridge, it became
apparent that neither of these gentlemen, with all their calculations
and expenditures in experiments, had determined the proper distribution
of the strains, and the size and strength required for the side-plates
of tubular bridges, but only for those at the top and bottom. General
Haupt solved the problem mathematically, and sent a communication on the
subject to the American Association for the Advancement of Science,
which has been extensively copied into the scientific journals of
Europe, and has added largely to the reputation of its author. In the
Victoria Bridge at Montreal, the distribution of material in the
vertical plates conforms to the proportions given by General Haupt.

About the year 1853, General Haupt, then Chief Engineer of the
Pennsylvania Railroad, reviewed the work of Charles Ellett on the Ohio
and Mississippi Rivers, with other plans of improvement that had been
suggested, and, in a pamphlet of about a hundred pages, proposed a
novel, bold, and simple method for the improvement of these rivers,
costing scarcely a tenth as much as the estimated expense of some of the
other methods, and promising greater durability and efficacy. The
Pittsburg Board of Trade recently appointed a scientific commission to
investigate the whole subject; and their report, which is thorough and
exhaustive, gives unanimously the preference to the plan of General
Haupt, as the only practicable mode of improving the Ohio River, so as
to insure a permanent depth of water of not less than six feet. In
passing, we would remark that one of the greatest difficulties the War
Department has had to contend with has been the lack of suitable
navigation on the Ohio River, and it is to be regretted that Government
did not at once seize upon the plans of General Haupt and carry them
into execution.

In the spring of 1862, General Haupt was solicited to take charge of the
reconstruction of the railroad from Acquia Creek to Fredericksburg.
Without material other than that furnished by forests two miles distant,
and without skilled mechanics, but simply by the aid of common soldiers
who had no previous instruction, he erected, in nine days, a structure
eighty feet high and four hundred feet long, which for more than a year
carried the immense railroad-trains supplying the Army of the Potomac.
It was visited and critically examined by officers in the foreign
service, as a remarkable specimen of bold and successful military
engineering.

Major-General McDowell, in his defence before the Court of Inquiry, made
the following statement in regard to the Potomac-Creek Bridge, on the
line of the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad.

     "The large railroad-bridge over the Rappahannock, some six
     hundred feet long by sixty-five feet high, and the larger part
     of the one over Potomac Creek, some four hundred feet long by
     eighty feet high, were built from the trees cut down by the
     troops in the vicinity, and this without those troops losing
     their discipline or their instruction as soldiers. The work
     they did excited, to a high degree, the wonder and admiration
     of several distinguished foreign officers, who had never
     imagined such constructions possible by such means, and in such
     a way, in the time in which they were done.

     "The Potomac-Run Bridge is a most remarkable structure. When it
     is considered, that, in the campaigns of Napoleon,
     trestle-bridges of more than one story, even of moderate
     height, were regarded as impracticable, and that, too, for
     common military roads, it is not difficult to understand why
     distinguished Europeans should express surprise at so bold a
     specimen of American military engineering. It is a structure
     which ignores all the rules and precedents of military science
     as laid down in books. It is constructed chiefly of round
     sticks cut from the woods, and not even divested of bark; the
     legs of the trestles are braced with round poles. It is in four
     stories, three of trestles and one of crib-work. The total
     height from the deepest part of the stream to the rail is
     nearly eighty feet. It carries daily from ten to twenty heavy
     railway-trains in both directions, and has withstood several
     severe freshets and storms without injury.

     "This bridge was built in May, 1862, in nine working-days,
     during which time the greater part of the material was cut and
     hauled. It contains more than two million feet of lumber. The
     original structure, which it replaced, required as many months
     as this did days. It was constructed by the common soldiers of
     the Army of the Rappahannock, (command of Major-General
     McDowell,) under the supervision of his aide-de-camp, Colonel,
     now Brigadier-General, Hermann Haupt, Chief of Railroad
     Construction and Transportation."

A fine lithographic drawing of this bridge, taken from a photograph,
forms the frontispiece to the volume before us.

Previous to the Battle of Chancellorsville, General Haupt received
instructions to prepare for a rapid advance of the Army of the Potomac
towards Richmond. He provided a sufficient amount of material to rebuild
all the bridges between Fredericksburg and Richmond, and adopted the
bold and novel expedient of portable railroad-bridge trusses. These
trusses were built in advance, in spans of sixty feet; they were to be
carried whole on cars to the end of the track, then dragged like logs,
with the aid of timber-wheels and oxen, to the sites of the bridges,
where they were to be raised bodily on wooden piers, and the rails laid
over them. The reverse at Chancellorsville prevented this plan from
being carried into effect; but four of these spans were used to replace
the trestle-bridge across the Acquia Creek, where they were tested in
actual use, and answered perfectly.

When informed of the contemplated advance on Richmond, General Haupt
concluded to replace the trestle-bridge across Potomac Creek by the
military truss-bridge, which was of a more permanent character. The
trestle-bridge had performed good service for more than a year, but, as
it obstructed the water-way of the stream too much, and as the
preservation of the communications would become of even greater
importance after the advance than it had previously been, it was thought
best to take it down. General Hooker, having heard of this
determination, sent for General Haupt in much alarm, and inquired if the
report as to the proposed rebuilding of the bridge was true, and
protested against having it disturbed, saying that he needed all the
supplies that could be run forward, and could not allow a suspension of
transportation even for a day. General Haupt replied, that he was
willing to be held responsible for results, but must be permitted to
control his own means; he did not ask for a suspension of
transportation; he would take down the high bridge and build a permanent
bridge on the piers, and would not detain a single train even for an
hour. General Hooker and staff declared that they did not believe such a
feat possible; yet it was actually accomplished without any detention to
the trains whatever, and in a period of time so brief as to be almost
incredible. _In less than two days_ the trusses of the three spans were
placed in position.

If there is any one faculty which General Haupt appears to possess in a
preëminent degree, it is _resource_. He never finds an engineering
problem so difficult that some satisfactory mode of solution does not
present itself to his mind. He seems to comprehend intuitively the
difficulties of a position, and the means of surmounting them. He never
waits; if he cannot readily obtain the material he desires, he takes
that at hand. His new work on "Military Bridges" exhibits this
power of resource in a remarkable degree; it is full of expedients,
novel, practical, and useful, among which may be mentioned
expedients for crossing streams in front of the enemy by means of
blanket-boats,--ingenious substitutes for pontoon-bridges, floats, and
floating-bridges,--plans for the _complete_ destruction of railroad
bridges and track, and for reconstructing track,--modes of defence for
lines of road, etc.: for the book, be it observed, is not limited in its
contents to the single subject indicated by its title.

The design of the author, as stated in the Introduction, appears to have
been to give to the army a practically useful book. He has not failed to
draw from other sources where suitable material was furnished, an
indebtedness which he has gracefully acknowledged; but a great part of
the book contains new and original plans and expedients, the fruits of
the experience and observation of the author while in charge of the
construction and transportation for the armies of the Rappahannock, of
Virginia, and of the Potomac, under Generals McDowell, Pope, McClellan,
Burnside, Hooker, and Meade. It is a book no officer can afford to be
without; and to the general reader who wishes to be thoroughly versed in
the operations of the war, it will commend itself as replete with
information on this subject.


     _Meditations on the Essence of Christianity, and on the
     Religious Questions of the Day._ By M. GUIZOT. Translated from
     the French under the Superintendence of the Author. London:
     JOHN MURRAY.

Whoever is familiar with religious controversies, past and present, has
not failed to notice of late an improvement in their tone, for which we
cannot be too deeply thankful. This does not arise solely from the
neglect which now prevails of the ancient and highly recommended plan of
imprisoning, torturing, and roasting such obstinate heretics as are too
obtuse or too sharp-sighted to yield to milder methods of treatment.
Such incidents in history as the exposure of Christians to hungry beasts
in the Colosseum, a Smithfield burnt-offering of persistent saints, or a
Spanish auto-da-fe, with attending civic, ecclesiastical, and sometimes
even royal functionaries, and wide-encircling half-rejoicing and
half-compassionate multitudes, were not without their charms and
compensations for victims blessed with a fervid fancy or a deathless
purpose. These cruel scenes associated such with the illustrious dead
who have held life cheaper than truth, and gave them an opportunity of
saying to countless multitudes such as no pulpit-orator could attract
and sway,--"See how Christians die!" The liability to such trials turned
away the fickle from the assembly of the faithful and attracted the
magnanimous. When grim Puritans, in our early history, broke the
stubborn necks of peace-preaching Quakers, the latter often thought it a
special favor from Providence that they were permitted to bear so
striking a testimony against religious fanaticism. They felt, like John
Brown in his Virginian prison, that the best service they could render
to the cause they had loved so well was to love it even unto death.
Indeed, martyrs in mounting the scaffold have ever felt the sentiment,--

    "Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown
    Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own."

Such heroic treatment always relieves any cause from contemptuous
neglect, the one thing which is always harder to bear than the fires of
martyrdom. Every reader of Bunyan knows that he complains far less of
his twelve years' imprisonment than he exults over the success of his
prison born, world-ranging Pilgrim. He would doubtless have preferred
lying in that "den," Bedford jail, other twelve years to being unable to
say,--

    "My Pilgrim's book has travelled sea and land,
    Yet could I never come to understand
    That it was slighted or turned out of door
    By any kingdom, were they rich or poor."

The dreariest period in religious discussion commonly occurs when men
have just ceased to inflict legal penalties upon the heterodox, but have
not yet learned those amenities which lend so sweet and gentle a dignity
to debate. In looking over the dusty pamphlets which entomb so many
clerical controversies of our Colonial times, it has often seemed as
though we had lighted on some bar-room wrangle, translated out of its
original billingsgate into scholarly classical quotations and wofully
wrested tests of Holy Writ. This illusion seems all the more probable
when we remember that the potations which inspired the loose jester and
the ministerial pamphleteer of that period but too often flowed from the
same generous tap. This phase of theological dispute is best typified in
that eminent English divine who wrote,--"I say, without the least heat
whatever, that Mr. Wesley lies." The manner in which such reverend
disputants sought to force their conclusions on the reluctant has not
infrequently reminded us of sturdy old Grimshawe, the predecessor of
Bronté at Haworth, of whom Mrs. Gaskell reports, that, finding so many
of his parishioners inclined to loiter away their Sundays at the
ale-house as greatly to thin the attendance upon his ministry, he was
wont to rush in upon them armed with a heavy whip, and scourge them with
many a painful stroke to church, where, doubtless, he scourged them
again with still more painful sermons.

But, bad as were the controversial habits of the clergy, those of their
skeptical opponents were still worse. That was surely a strange state of
things where such freethinking as the "Age of Reason" could win a wide
circulation and considerable credit. But it was not merely the vulgar
among freethinkers who then substituted sophistry and declamation for
honesty and sense. The philosophers of the Institute caught the manners
of the rabble. What a revolting scene does M. Martin sketch in his
"Essay on the Life and Works of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre"! "The
Institute had proposed this as a prize-question:--'What institutions are
best adapted to establish the morals of a nation?' Bernardin was to
offer the report. The competitors had treated the theme in the spirit of
their judges. Terrified at the perversity of their opinions, the author
of "Studies of Nature" wished to oppose to them more wholesome and
consoling ideas, and he closed his report with one of those morsels of
inspiration into which his soul poured the gentle light of the Gospel.
On the appointed day, in the assembled Institute, Bernardin read his
report. The analysis of the memoirs was heard at first with calmness;
but, at the first words of the exposition of the principles of a
theistical philosopher, a furious outcry arose from every part of the
hall. Some mocked him, asking where he had seen God, and what form He
bore. Others styled him weak, credulous, superstitious; they threatened
to expel him from the assembly of which he had proved himself unworthy;
they even pushed madness so far as to challenge him to single combat, in
order to prove, sword in hand, that there is no God. Cabanis, celebrated
by Carlyle for his dogma, 'Thought is secreted, like bile, somewhere in
the region of the small intestines,' cried out, 'I swear that there is
no God, and I demand that His name shall never be spoken in this place.'
The reporter left the members in grave dispute, not whether there is a
God, but whether the mention of His name should be permitted."

We have fallen upon better days. The high debate which is now engaging
the attention of Christendom is conducted, for the most part, on both
sides, with distinguished courtesy. Not that the question at issue is,
or is felt to be, any less vital than former ones. The aim of modern
free-inquiry is to remove religious life from the dogmatic basis, upon
which, in Christian lands, it has hitherto stood. Denying the existence,
and sometimes the possibility, of a supernatural revelation, now
admitting, now doubting, and now rejecting the personal immortality of
the soul, our freethinkers profess a high regard for the religious
culture of the race. They would found a new scientific faith, and make
spiritual life an outgrowth of the soul's devout sensibilities. The soul
is to draw its nutriment from Nature, science, and all inspired books;
so that, if preaching is as fashionable in the new dispensation as under
the old, the future saints will be in as bad a plight as, according to
eminent theological authority, were those of a late celebrated divine:--

    "His hearers can't tell you on Sunday beforehand,
    If in that day's discourse they'll be Bibled or Koraned."

But is such a religion possible? M. Guizot thinks not, and comes forward
in full philosophical dignity to repel recent assaults upon supernatural
religion. The chief gravity of these attacks has doubtless consisted in
exegetical and historic criticism. M. Guizot deems these matters of
minor consequence, and believes that the most important thing is to
settle certain fundamental metaphysical questions, and correct prevalent
erroneous ideas respecting the purpose of revelation. His book consists
of eight Meditations: Upon Natural Problems,--Christian Dogmas,--The
Supernatural,--The Limits of Science,--Revelation,--Inspiration of the
Scriptures,--God according to the Bible,--Jesus according to the Gospel.
These themes are presented so skilfully as to attract the interest of
the careless, while challenging the fixed attention of the trained
thinker. The reader will find himself lured on, by the freshness of the
author's method of handling, into the very heart of these profound and
difficult questions. He will be charmed to find them treated with calm
penetration and outspoken frankness. No late writer has displayed a
better comprehension of all phases of and parties to the controversy.
There is a singular absence of controversial tone, a marvellous lucidity
of statement, and a visible honesty of intention, as refreshing as they
are rare,--while a spirit of warm and tender devotion steals in through
the argumentation, like the odor of unseen flowers through a giant and
tangled wood. Yet there is no want of fidelity to personal convictions,
no effort by cunning shifts to bring about an apparent reconciliation of
opponents which the writer knows will not endure. With a firm hand he
touches the errors of contending schools of interpreters, and demands
their abandonment. To Rationalist and Hyper-Inspirationist in their
strife he says, like another Moses, "Why smitest thou thy fellow?"

Those who have watched carefully the tendencies of these parties for
many years must sometimes have grown despondent. The progressive school
has claimed with unscientific haste the adoption, as a fundamental
principle of Biblical interpretation, of the negation of the
supernatural. Their argument is simply, that human experience disproves
the supernatural. Man, a recent comer upon the globe, who has never kept
a very accurate record of his experience, who comes forth from mystery
for a few days of troubled life, and then vanishes in darkness,--he in
his short stay upon earth has watched the play of its laws, which were
before him and will remain after him, and has learned without any
revelation that God never has changed, never will, never can change or
suspend them! Who shall assure us that our experience of these laws does
not differ from that of Peter and John, the Apostles? How much better to
say of them with Hume, Whatever the fact, we cannot believe it, or to
query with Montaigne, _Que sais-je_? Far better might we say that human
experience can never overthrow faith in the supernatural, for none can
ever say what has been the experience of the countless dead over whom
oblivion broods. Shall a few _savans_ say, Our experience outweighs the
experience of the Hebrews _plus_ one hundred generations of dead
Gentiles _plus_ one universal instinct of humanity? _Credat M. Littré,
non [Greek: hoi polloi], M. Guizot, vel Agassiz._ But the laws of Nature
are uncha----Ah! that is the very point in dispute. Why can they not
alter? Because they are invari----Tut! Well, then, b-e-c-a-u-s-e----When
you find a good argument, put it into that blank. Till then, adieu.

    "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Those who claim a plenary verbal inspiration as essential to a real
revelation are, according to M. Guizot, equally remote from a truly
scientific spirit. Errors in rhetoric and grammar, passages where the
writers speak of astronomical and geological matters in consonance with
the prevailing, but, in many cases, mistaken theories of their times,
being pointed out in the Bible, these cry out, "There can be no real
errors in an inspired book,"--and we are at once amazed and disgusted to
hear men deny the reality of things which they can but perceive, quite
as sturdily as the Port-Royalists refused to allow the presence of
sundry propositions in their books, which, notwithstanding the Pope's
infallible assertion, they had no recollection of thinking or writing,
which they supposed they had always hated and disavowed, and which they
could by no ingenuity of search discover. Sir Thomas Browne might enjoy,
could he revisit the world, the privilege of seeing many who are reduced
to defend their faith with Tertullian's desperate resolution,--"It is
certain, because it is impossible." If ever we escape from such
ineptitude, it will come about by the diffusion of a more philosophic
temper, and the use of a logic that shall refuse to exclude the facts of
human nature from fair treatment, that shall embrace and account for all
the questions involved, and that shall decline to receive as truth
errors of finite science because found in an inspired book. We welcome
this volume as an example of the right spirit and tendency in these
grave discussions, and shall look eagerly for the promised three
succeeding ones.

This translation, though "executed under the superintendence of the
author," evidently does no justice to the original. We have not seen the
book in French, but we venture to say that M. Guizot never wrote French
which could answer to this version, awkward, careless, and sometimes
obscure. A certain picture of dull and ancient aspect, which had long
passed for an original from the hand of Leonardo da Vinci, and, despite
the raptures of sentimental people who sought to tickle their own vanity
by pretending to perceive in it the marks of its high origin, had
commonly awakened only a sigh of regret over the transitoriness of
pictorial glory, fell at length into the hands of a skilful artist. By
careful examination, this worthy person became satisfied that the
painting was indeed all that had been claimed, but that its primal
splendors had been obscured by the defacing brush of some incompetent
restorer. With loving care he removed the dimming colors, and to an
admiring world was revealed anew the Christ of the Supper. Will not
some American publisher perform a like kindly function for Guizot?


     _History of the Anti-Slavery Measures of the Thirty-Seventh and
     Thirty-Eighth United States Congress_, 1861-64. By HENRY
     WILSON. Boston: Walker, Wise, & Co. 12mo. pp. 384.

Senator Wilson is admirably qualified to record the anti-slavery
legislation in which he has borne so prominent and honorable a part. Few
but those engaged in debates can thoroughly understand their salient
points, and fix upon the precise sentences in which the position,
arguments, and animating spirit of opposite parties are stated and
condensed. The present volume is a labor-saving machine of great power
to all who desire or need a clear view of the course of Congressional
legislation on measures of emancipation, but who prefer to rest in
ignorance rather than wade through the debates as reported in the
"Congressional Globe," striving to catch, amid the waste of words, the
leading ideas or passions on which questions turn.

The first thing which strikes the reader in Mr. Wilson's well-executed
epitome is the gradual character of this anti-slavery legislation, and
the general subordination of philanthropic to military considerations in
its conduct. The questions were not taken up in the order of their
abstract importance, but as they pressed on the practical judgment for
settlement in exigencies of the Government. When Slavery became an
obstruction to the progress of the national arms, opposition to it was
the dictate of prudence as well as of conscience, and its defenders at
once placed themselves in the position of being more interested in the
preservation of slavery than in the preservation of the nation. The
Republicans, charged heretofore with sacrificing the expedient to the
right, could now retort that their opponents were sacrificing the
expedient to the wrong.

Senator Wilson's volume gives the history of twenty-three anti-slavery
measures, in the order of their inception and discussion. Among these
are the emancipation of slaves used for insurrectionary purposes,--the
forbidding of persons in the army to return fugitive slaves,--the
abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia,--the President's
proposition to aid States in the abolition of slavery,--the prohibition
of slavery in the Territories,--the confiscation and emancipation bill
of Senator Clark,--the appointment of diplomatic representatives to
Hayti and Liberia,--the bill for the suppression of the African
slave-trade,--the enrolment and pay of colored soldiers,--the
anti-slavery Amendment to the Constitution,--the bill to aid the States
to emancipate their slaves,--and the reconstruction of Rebel States. The
account of the introduction of these and other measures, and the debates
on them, are given by Mr. Wilson with brevity, fairness, and skill. A
great deal of the animation of the discussion, and of the clash and
conflict of individual opinions and passions, is preserved in the
epitome, so that the book has the interest which clings to all accounts
of verbal battles on whose issue great principles are staked. As the
words as well as the arguments of the debates are given, and as the
sentences chosen are those in which the characters of the speakers find
expression, the effect is often dramatic. It cannot fail to be observed,
in reading these reports, that there is a prevailing vulgarity of tone
in the declarations of the champions of Slavery. They boldly avow the
lowest and most selfish views in the coarsest languages and scout and
deride all elevation of feeling and thought in matters affecting the
rights of the poor and oppressed. Their opinions outrage civility as
well as Christianity; and while they make a boast of being gentlemen,
they hardly rise above the prejudices of boors. Principles which have
become truisms, and which it is a disgrace for an educated man not to
admit, they boldly denounce as pestilent paradoxes; and in reading Mr.
Wilson's book an occasional shock of shame must be felt by the most
imperturbable politician, at the spectacle of the legislature of "a
model republic" experiencing a fierce resistance in the attempt to
establish indisputable truths.

Most of the questions here vehemently discussed should, it might be
supposed, be settled without discussion by the plain average sense and
conscience of any body of men deserving to live in the nineteenth
century; but so completely have the defenders of Slavery substituted
will and passion for reason and morality, and so long have they been
accustomed to have their insolent absurdities rule the politics of the
nation, that the passage of the bills whose varying fortunes Mr. Wilson
records must be considered the greatest triumph of liberty and justice
which our legislative annals afford. And in that triumph the historian
of the Anti-Slavery Measures may justly claim to have had a
distinguished part. Honest, able, industrious, intelligent,
indefatigable, zealous for his cause, yet flexible to events, gifted at
once with practical sagacity and strong convictions, and with his whole
heart and mind absorbed in the business of politics and legislation, he
has proved himself an excellent workman in that difficult task by which
facts are made to take the impress of ideas, and the principles of
equity are embodied in the laws of the land.



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