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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 98, December, 1865
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 98, December, 1865" ***

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University Digital Collections.)



THE

ATLANTIC MONTHLY.

_A Magazine of Literature, Science, Art, and Politics._

VOL. XVI.--DECEMBER, 1865.--NO. XCVIII.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1865, by TICKNOR AND
FIELDS, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of
Massachusetts.



GRIFFITH GAUNT; OR, JEALOUSY.


CHAPTER I

"Then I say, once for all, that priest shall never darken my doors
again."

"Then I say they are my doors, and not yours, and that holy man shall
brighten them whenever he will."

The gentleman and lady, who faced each other pale and furious, and
interchanged this bitter defiance, were man and wife, and had loved each
other well.

Miss Catharine Peyton was a young lady of ancient family in Cumberland,
and the most striking, but least popular, beauty in the county. She was
very tall and straight, and carried herself a little too imperiously;
yet she would sometimes relax and all but dissolve that haughty figure,
and hang sweetly drooping over her favorites; then the contrast was
delicious, and the woman fascinating.

Her hair was golden and glossy, her eyes a lovely gray; and she had a
way of turning them on slowly and full, so that their victim could not
fail to observe two things: first, that they were grand and beautiful
orbs; secondly, that they were thoughtfully overlooking him, instead of
looking at him.

So contemplated by glorious eyes, a man feels small and bitter.

Catharine was apt to receive the blunt compliments of the Cumberland
squires with this sweet, celestial, superior gaze, and for this and
other imperial charms was more admired than liked.

The family estate was entailed on her brother; her father spent every
farthing he could; so she had no money, and no expectations, except from
a distant cousin,--Mr. Charlton, of Hernshaw Castle and Bolton Hall.

Even these soon dwindled. Mr. Charlton took a fancy to his late wife's
relation, Griffith Gaunt, and had him into his house, and treated him as
his heir. This disheartened two admirers who had hitherto sustained
Catharine Peyton's gaze, and they retired. Comely girls, girls
long-nosed, but rich, girls snub-nosed, but winning, married on all
sides of her; but the imperial beauty remained Miss Peyton at
two-and-twenty.

She was rather kind to the poor; would give them money out of her
slender purse, and would even make clothes for the women, and sometimes
read to them: very few of them could read to themselves in that day. All
she required in return was, that they should be Roman Catholics, like
herself, or at least pretend they might be brought to that faith by
little and little.

She was a high-minded girl, and could be a womanly one,--whenever she
chose.

She hunted about twice a week in the season, and was at home in the
saddle, for she had ridden from a child; but so ingrained was her
character, that this sport, which more or less unsexes most women, had
no perceptible effect on her mind, nor even on her manners. The scarlet
riding-habit and little purple cap, and the great, white, bony horse she
rode, were often seen in a good place at the end of a long run; but, for
all that, the lady was a most ungenial fox-huntress. She never spoke a
word but to her acquaintances, and wore a settled air of dreamy
indifference, except when the hounds happened to be in full cry, and she
galloping at their heels. Worse than that, when the dogs were running
into the fox, and his fate certain, she had been known to rein in her
struggling horse, and pace thoughtfully home, instead of coming in at
the death, and claiming the brush.

One day, being complimented at the end of a hard run by the gentleman
who kept the hounds, she turned her celestial orbs on him, and said,--

"Nay, Sir Ralph, I love to gallop; and this sorry business gives me an
excuse."

It was full a hundred years ago. The country teemed with foxes; but it
abounded in stiff coverts, and a knowing fox was sure to run from one to
another; and then came wearisome efforts to dislodge him; and then Miss
Peyton's gray eyes used to explore vacancy, and ignore her companions,
biped and quadruped.

But one day they drew Yewtree Brow, and found a stray fox. At Gaylad's
first note he broke cover, and went away for home across the open
country. A hedger saw him steal out, and gave a view halloo; the riders
came round helter-skelter; the dogs in cover one by one threw up their
noses and voices; the horns blew, the canine music swelled to a strong
chorus, and away they swept across country,--dogs, horses, men; and the
Deuse take the hindmost!

It was a gallant chase, and our dreamy virgin's blood got up. Erect, but
lithe and vigorous, and one with her great white gelding, she came
flying behind the foremost riders, and took leap for leap with them. One
glossy, golden curl streamed back in the rushing air; her gray eyes
glowed with earthly fire; and two red spots on the upper part of her
cheeks showed she was much excited, without a grain of fear. Yet in the
first ten minutes one gentleman was unhorsed before her eyes, and one
came to grief along with his animal, and a thorough-bred chestnut was
galloping and snorting beside her with empty saddle. Presently young
Featherstone, who led her by about fifteen yards, crashed through a high
hedge, and was seen no more, but heard wallowing in the deep,
unsuspected ditch beyond. There was no time to draw bridle. "Lie still,
Sir, if you please," said Catharine, with cool civility; then up rein,
in spur, and she cleared the ditch and its muddy contents, alive and
dead, and away without looking behind her.

On, on, on, till all the pinks and buckskins, erst so smart, were
splashed with clay and dirt of every hue, and all the horses' late
glossy coats were bathed with sweat and lathered with foam, and their
gaping nostrils blowing and glowing red; and then it was that Harrowden
Brook, swollen wide and deep by the late rains, came right between the
fox and Dogmore Underwood, for which he was making.

The hunt sweeping down a hillside caught sight of Reynard running for
the brook. They made sure of him now. But he lapped a drop, and then
slipped in, and soon crawled out on the other side, and made feebly for
the covert, weighted with wet fur.

At sight of him, the hunt hallooed and trumpeted, and came tearing on
with fresh vigor.

But when they came near the brook, lo, it was twenty feet wide, and
running fast and brown. Some riders skirted it, looking for a narrow
part. Two horses, being spurred at it, came to the bank, and then went
rearing round on their heels, depositing one hat and another rider in
the current. One gallant steed planted his feet like a tower, and
snorted down at the water. One flopped gravely in, and had to swim, and
be dragged out. Another leaped, and landed with his feet on the other
bank, his haunches in the water, and his rider curled round his neck,
and glaring out between his retroverted ears.

But Miss Peyton encouraged her horse with spur and voice, set her teeth,
turned rather pale this time, and went at the brook with a rush, and
cleared it like a deer. She and the huntsman were almost alone together
on the other side, and were as close to the dogs as the dogs were to
poor Pug, when he slipped through a run in a quickset hedge, and,
reducing the dogs to single file, glided into Dogmore Underwood, a stiff
hazel coppice of five years' growth.

The other riders soon straggled up, and then the thing was to get him
out again. There were a few narrow roads cut in the underwood; and up
and down these the huntsman and whipper-in went trotting, and encouraged
the stanch hounds, and whipped the skulkers back into covert. Others
galloped uselessly about, pounding the earth, for daisy-cutters were few
in those days; and Miss Peyton relapsed into the transcendental. She sat
in one place, with her elbow on her knee, and her fair chin supported by
two fingers, as undisturbed by the fracas of horns and voices as an
equestrian statue of Diana.

She sat so still and so long at a corner of the underwood that at last
the harassed fox stole out close to her with lolling tongue and eye
askant, and took the open field again. She thrilled at first sight of
him, and her cheeks burned; but her quick eye took in all the signs of
his distress, and she sat quiet, and watched him coolly. Not so her
horse. He plunged, and then trembled all over, and planted his fore-feet
together at this angle \, and parted his hind-legs a little, and so
stood quivering, with cocked ears, and peeped over a low paling at the
retiring quadruped, and fretted and sweated in anticipation of the
gallop his long head told him was to follow. He looked a deal more
statuesque than any three statues in England, and all about a creature
not up to his knee.--And by the bye: the gentlemen who carve horses in
our native isle, did they ever see one,--out of an omnibus?--The
whipper-in came by, and found him in this gallant attitude, and
suspected the truth, but, observing the rider's tranquil position,
thought the fox had only popped out and then in again. However, he fell
in with the huntsman, and told him Miss Peyton's gray had seen
something. The hounds appeared puzzled; and so the huntsman rode round
to Miss Peyton, and, touching his cap, asked her if she had seen nothing
of the fox.

She looked him dreamily in the face.

"The fox?" said she; "he broke cover ten minutes ago."

The man blew his horn lustily, and then asked her reproachfully why she
had not tally-hoed him, or winded her horn: with that he blew his own
again impatiently.

Miss Peyton replied, very slowly and pensively, that the fox had come
out soiled and fatigued, and trailing his brush. "I looked at him," said
she, "and I pitied him. He was one, and we are many; he was so little,
and we are so big; _he had given us a good gallop_; and so I made up my
mind he should live to run another day."

The huntsman stared stupidly at her for a moment, then burst into a
torrent of oaths, then blew his horn till it was hoarse, then cursed and
swore till he was hoarse himself, then to his horn again, and dogs and
men came rushing to the sound.

"Couple up, and go home to supper," said Miss Peyton, quietly. "The fox
is half-way to Gallowstree Gorse; and you won't get him out of that this
afternoon, I promise you."

As she said this, she just touched her horse with the spur, leaped the
low hedge in front of her, and cantered slowly home across country. She
was one that seldom troubled the hard road, go where she would.

She had ridden about a mile, when she heard a horse's feet behind her.
She smiled, and her color rose a little; but she cantered on.

"Halt, in the king's name!" shouted a mellow voice; and a gentleman
galloped up to her side, and reined in his mare.

"What! have they killed?" inquired Catharine, demurely.

"Not they; he is in the middle of Gallowstree Gorse by now."

"And is this the way to Gallowstree Gorse?"

"Nay, Mistress," said the young man; "but when the fox heads one way and
the deer another, what is a poor hunter to do?"

"Follow the slower, it seems."

"Say the lovelier and the dearer, sweet Kate."

"Now, Griffith, you know I hate flattery," said Kate; and the next
moment came a soft smile, and belied this unsocial sentiment.

"Flattery?" said the lover. "I have no tongue to speak half your
praises. I think the people in this country are as blind as bats, or
they'd"----

"All except Mr. Griffith Gaunt; _he_ has found a paragon, where wiser
people see a wayward, capricious girl."

"Then _he_ is the man for you. Don't you see that, Mistress?"

"No, I don't quite see that," said the lady, dryly.

This cavalier reply caused a dismay the speaker never intended. The fact
is, Mr. George Neville, young, handsome, and rich, had lately settled in
the neighborhood, and had been greatly smitten with Kate. The county was
talking about it, and Griffith had been secretly on thorns for some days
past. And now he could hide his uneasiness no longer; he cried out, in a
sharp, trembling voice,--

"Why, Kate, my dear Kate! what! could you love any man but me? Could you
be so cruel? could you? There, let me get off my horse, and lie down on
this stubble, and you ride over me, and trample me to death. I would
rather have you trample on my ribs than on my heart, with loving any one
but me."

"Why, what now?" said Catharine, drawing herself up; "I must scold you
handsomely"; and she drew rein and turned full upon him; but by this
means she saw his face was full of real distress; so, instead of
reprimanding him, she said, gently, "Why, Griffith, what is to do? Are
you not my servant? Do not I send you word, whenever I dine from home?"

"Yes, dearest; and then I call at that house, and stick there till they
guess what I would be at, and ask me, too."

Catharine smiled, and proceeded to remind him that thrice a week she
permitted him to ride over from Bolton, (a distance of fifteen miles,)
to see her.

"Yes," replied Griffith, "and I must say you always come, wet or dry, to
the shrubbery-gate, and put your hand in mine a minute. And, Kate," said
he, piteously, "at the bare thought of your putting that same dear hand
in another man's, my heart turns sick within me, and my skin burns and
trembles on me."

"But you have no cause," said Catharine, soothingly. "Nobody, except
yourself, doubts my affection for you. You are often thrown in my teeth,
Griffith,--and" (clenching her own) "I like you all the better, of
course."

Griffith replied with a burst of gratitude; and then, as men will,
proceeded to encroach.

"Ah," said he, "if you would but pluck up courage, and take the
matrimonial fence with me at once."

Miss Peyton sighed at that, and drooped a little upon her saddle. After
a pause, she enumerated the "just impediments." She reminded him that
neither of them had means to marry on.

He made light of that; he should soon have plenty; Mr. Charlton has as
good as told him he was to have Bolton Hall and Grange: "Six hundred
acres, Kate, besides the park and paddocks."

In his warmth he forgot that Catharine was to have been Mr. Charlton's
heir. Catharine was too high-minded to bear Griffith any grudge; but she
colored a little, and said she was averse to come to him a penniless
bride.

"Why, what matters it which of us has the dross, so that there is enough
for both?" said Griffith, with an air of astonishment.

Catharine smiled approbation, and tacitly yielded that point. But then
she objected the difference in their faith.

"Oh, honest folk get to heaven by different roads," said Griffith,
carelessly.

"I have been taught otherwise," replied Catharine, gravely.

"Then give me your hand and I'll give you my soul," said Griffith Gaunt,
impetuously. "I'll go to heaven your way, if you can't go mine. Anything
sooner than be parted in this world or the next."

She looked at him in silence; and it was in a faint, half apologetic
tone she objected, that all her kinsfolk were set against it.

"It is not their business; it is ours," was the prompt reply.

"Well, then," said Catharine, sadly, "I suppose I must tell you the true
reason: I feel I should not make you happy; I do not love you quite as
you want to be loved, as you deserve to be loved. You need not look so;
nothing in flesh and blood is your rival. But my heart bleeds for the
Church; I think of her ancient glory in this kingdom, and, when I see
her present condition, I long to devote myself to her service. I am very
fit to be an abbess or a nun,--most unfit to be a wife. No, no,--I must
not, ought not, dare not, marry a Protestant. Take the advice of one who
esteems you dearly; leave me,--fly from me,--forget me,--do everything
but hate me. Nay, do not hate me; you little know the struggle in my
mind. Farewell; the saints, whom you scorn, watch over and protect you!
Farewell!"

And with this she sighed, and struck her spur into the gray, and he
darted off at a gallop.

Griffith, little able to cope with such a character as this, sat
petrified, and would have been rooted to the spot, if he had happened to
be on foot. But his mare set off after her companion, and a chase of a
novel kind commenced. Catharine's horse was fresher than Griffith's
mare, and the latter, not being urged by her petrified master, lost
ground.

But when she drew near to her father's gate, Catharine relaxed her
speed, and Griffith rejoined her.

She had already half relented, and only wanted a warm and resolute wooer
to bring her round. But Griffith was too sore, and too little versed in
woman. Full of suspicion and bitterness, he paced gloomy and silent by
her side, till they reached the great avenue that led to her father's
house.

And while he rides alongside the capricious creature in sulky silence, I
may as well reveal a certain foible in his own character.

This Griffith Gaunt was by no means deficient in physical courage; but
he was instinctively disposed to run away from mental pain the moment he
lost hope of driving it away from him. For instance, if Catharine had
been ill and her life in danger, he would have ridden day and night to
save her,--would have beggared himself to save her; but if she had died,
he would either have killed himself, or else fled the country, and so
escaped the sight of every object that was associated with her and could
agonize him. I do not think he could have attended the funeral of one he
loved.

The mind, as well as the body, has its self-protecting instincts. This
of Griffith's was, after all, an instinct of that class, and, under
certain circumstances, is true wisdom. But Griffith, I think, carried
the instinct to excess; and that is why I call it his foible.

"Catharine," said he, resolutely, "let me ride by your side to the house
for once; for I read your advice my own way, and I mean to follow it:
after to-day you will be troubled with me no more. I have loved you
these three years, I have courted you these two years, and I am none the
nearer; I see I am not the man you mean to marry: so I shall do as my
father did, ride down to the coast, and sell my horse, and ship for
foreign parts."

"Oh, as you will," said Catharine, haughtily: she quite forgot she had
just recommended him to do something of this very kind.

Presently she stole a look. His fine ruddy cheek was pale; his manly
brown eyes were moist; yet a gloomy and resolute expression on his
tight-drawn lips. She looked at him sidelong, and thought how often he
had ridden thirty miles on that very mare to get a word with her at the
shrubbery-gate. And now the mare to be sold! The man to go
broken-hearted to sea,--perhaps to his death! Her good heart began to
yearn.

"Griffith," said she, softly, "it is not as if I were going to wed
anybody else. Is it nothing to be preferred by her you say you love? If
I were you, I would do nothing rash. Why not give me a little time? In
truth, I hardly know my own mind about it two days together."

"Kate," said the young man, firmly, "I am courting you this two years.
If I wait two years more, it will be but to see the right man come and
carry you in a month; for so girls are won, when they are won at all.
Your sister that is married and dead, she held Josh Pitt in hand for
years; and what is the upshot? Why, he wears the willow for her to this
day; and her husband married again, before her grave was green. Nay, I
have done all an honest man can to woo you; so take me now, or let me
go."

At this, Kate began to waver secretly, and ask herself whether it would
not be better to yield, since he was so abominably resolute.

But the unlucky fellow did not leave well alone. He went on to say,--

"Once out of sight of this place, I may cure myself of my fancy. Here I
never could."

"Oh," said Catharine, directly, "if you are so bent on being cured, it
would not become me to say nay."

Griffith Gaunt bit his lip and hung his head, and made no reply.

The patience with which he received her hard speech was more apparent
than real; but it told. Catharine, receiving no fresh positive
provocation, relented again of her own accord, and, after a considerable
silence, whispered, softly,--

"Think how we should all miss you."

Here was an overture to reconciliation. But, unfortunately, it brought
out what had long been rankling in Griffith's mind, and was in fact the
real cause of the misunderstanding.

"Oh," said he, "those I care for will soon find another to take my
place! Soon? quotha. They have not waited till I was gone for that."

"Ah, indeed!" said Catharine, with some surprise; then, like the
quick-witted girl she was, "so this is what all the coil is about."

She then, with a charming smile, begged him to inform her who was his
destined successor in her esteem. Griffith colored purple at her cool
hypocrisy, (for such he considered it,) and replied, almost fiercely,--

"Who but that young black-a-viséd George Neville, that you have been
coquetting with this month past,--and danced all night with him at Lady
Munster's ball, you did."

Catharine blushed, and said, deprecatingly,--

"_You_ were not there, Griffith, or to be sure I had not danced with
_him_."

"And he toasts you by name, wherever he goes."

"Can I help that? Wait till I toast him, before you make yourself
ridiculous, and me very angry--about nothing."

Griffith, sticking to his one idea, replied, doggedly,--

"Mistress Alice Peyton shilly-shallied with her true lover for years,
till Richard Hilton came, that was not fit to tie his shoes; and
then"----

Catharine cut him short,--

"Affront me, if nothing less will serve; but spare my sister in her
grave."

She began the sentence angrily, but concluded it in a broken voice.
Griffith was half disarmed; but only half. He answered, sullenly,--

"She did not die till she had jilted an honest gentleman and broken his
heart, and married a sot, to her cost. And you are of her breed, when
all is done; and now that young coxcomb has come, like Dick Hilton,
between you and me."

"But I do not encourage him."

"You do not _dis_courage him," retorted Griffith, "or he would not be so
hot after you. Were you ever the woman to say, 'I have a servant already
that loves me dear'? That one frank word had sent him packing."

Miss Peyton colored, and the water came into her eyes.

"I may have been imprudent," she murmured. "The young gentleman made me
smile with his extravagance. I never thought to be misunderstood by him,
far less by you." Then, suddenly, as bold as brass,--"It's all your
fault; if he had the power to make you uneasy, why did you not check me
before?"

"Ay, forsooth, and have it cast in my teeth I was a jealous monster, and
played the tyrant before my time. A poor fellow scarce knows what to be
at that loves a coquette."

"Coquette I am none," replied the lady, bridling magnificently.

Griffith took no notice of this interruption. He proceeded to say that
he had hitherto endured this intrusion of a rival in silence, though
with a sore heart, hoping his patience might touch her, or the fire go
out of itself. But at last, unable to bear it any longer in silence, he
had shown his wound to one he knew could feel for him, his poor friend
Pitt. Pitt had then let him know that his own mistake had been
over-confidence in Alice Peyton's constancy.

"He said to me, 'Watch your Kate close, and, at the first blush of a
rival, say you to her, Part with him, or part with me.'"

Catharine pinned him directly.

"And this is how you take Joshua Pitt's advice,--by offering to run away
from this sorry rival."

The shrewd reply, and a curl of the lip, half arch, half contemptuous,
that accompanied the thrust, staggered the less ready Griffith. He got
puzzled, and showed it.

"Well, but," stammered he at last, "your spirit is high; I was mostly
afeard to put it so plump to you. So I thought I would go about a bit.
However, it comes to the same thing; for this I do know,--that, if you
refuse me your hand this day, it is to give it to a new acquaintance, as
your Alice did before you. And if it is to be so, 'tis best for me to be
gone: best for _him_, and best for you. You don't know me, Kate; for, as
clever as you are, at the thought of your playing me false, after all
these years, and marrying that George Neville, my heart turns to ice,
and then to fire, and my head seems ready to burst, and my hands to do
mad and bloody acts. Ay, I feel I should kill him, or you, or both, at
the church-porch. Ah!"

He suddenly griped her arm, and at the same time involuntarily checked
his mare.

Both horses stopped.

She raised her head with an inquiring look, and saw her lover's face
discolored with passion, and so strangely convulsed that she feared at
first he was in a fit, or stricken with death or palsy.

She uttered a cry of alarm, and stretched forth her hand towards him.

But the next moment she drew it back from him; for, following his eye,
she discerned the cause of this ghastly look. Her father's house stood
at the end of the avenue they had just entered; but there was another
approach to it, namely, by a bridle-road at right angles to the avenue
or main entrance; and up that bridle-road a gentleman was walking his
horse, and bid fair to meet them at the hall-door.

It was young Neville. There was no mistaking his piebald charger for any
other animal in that county.

       *       *       *       *       *

Kate Peyton glanced from lover to lover, and shuddered at Griffith. She
was familiar with petty jealousy; she had even detected it pinching or
coloring many a pretty face that tried very hard to hide it all the
time. But that was nothing to what she saw now: hitherto she had but
beheld the feeling of jealousy; but now she witnessed the livid passion
of jealousy writhing in every lineament of a human face. That terrible
passion had transfigured its victim in a moment: the ruddy, genial,
kindly Griffith, with his soft brown eye, was gone; and in his place
lowered a face older, and discolored, and convulsed, and almost
demoniacal.

Women (wiser, perhaps, in this than men) take their strongest
impressions by the eye, not ear. Catharine, I say, looked at him she had
hitherto thought she knew,--looked and feared him. And even while she
looked and shuddered, Griffith spurred his mare sharply, and then drew
her head across the gray gelding's path. It was an instinctive impulse
to bar the lady he loved from taking another step towards the place
where his rival awaited her.

"I cannot bear it," he gasped. "Choose you now, once for all, between
that puppy there and me": and he pointed with his riding-whip at his
rival, and waited with his teeth clenched for her decision.

The movement was rapid, the gesture large and commanding, and the words
manly: for what says the fighting poet?--

    "He either fears his fate too much,
      Or his deserts are small,
    Who fears to put it to the touch,
      To win or lose it all."


CHAPTER II.

Miss Peyton drew herself up and back by one motion, like a queen at bay;
but still she eyed him with a certain respect, and was careful now not
to provoke nor pain him needlessly.

"I prefer _you_,--though you speak harshly to me, Sir," said she, with
gentle dignity.

"Then give me your hand, with _that man_ in sight, and end my torments;
promise to marry me this very week. Ah, Kate, have pity on your poor,
faithful servant, who has loved you so long!"

"I do, Griffith, I do," said she, sweetly; "but I shall never marry now.
Only set your mind at rest about Mr. Neville there. He has never asked
me, for one thing."

"He soon will, then."

"No, no; I declare I will be very cool to him, after what you have said
to me. But I cannot marry you, neither. I dare not. Listen to me, and
do, pray, govern your temper, as I am doing mine. I have often read of
men with a passion for jealousy,--I mean, men whose jealousy feeds upon
air, and defies reason. I know you now for such a man. Marriage would
not cure this madness; for wives do not escape admiration any more than
maids. Something tells me you would be jealous of every fool that paid
me some stale compliment, jealous of my female friends, and jealous of
my relations, and perhaps jealous of your own children, and of that
holy, persecuted Church which must still have a large share of _my_
heart. No, no; your face and your words have shown me a precipice. I
tremble and draw back, and now I never _will_ marry at all: from this
day I give myself to the Church."

Griffith did not believe one word of all this.

"That is your answer to me," said he, bitterly. "When the right man puts
the question (and he is not far off) you will tell another tale. You
take me for a fool, and you mock me; you are not the lass to die an old
maid: and men are not the fools to let you. With faces like yours, the
new servant comes before the old one is gone. Well, I have got my
answer. County Cumberland, you are no place for me! The ways and the
fields we two have ridden together,--oh, how could I bear their sight
without my dear? Why, what a poor-spirited fool I am to stay and whine!
Come, Mistress, your lover waits you there, and your discarded servant
knows good-breeding: he leaves the country not to spoil your sport."

Catharine panted heavily.

"Well, Sir," said she, "then it is your doing, not mine. Will you not
even shake hands with me, Griffith?"

"I were a brute else," sighed the jealous one, with a sudden revulsion
of feeling. "I have spent the happiest hours of my life beside you. If I
loved thee less, I had never left thee."

He clung a little while to her hands, more like a drowning man than
anything else, then let them go, and suddenly shook his clenched fist in
the direction of George Neville, and cried out with a savage yell,--

"My curse on him that parts us twain! And you, Kate, may God bless you
single, and curse you married! and that is my last word in Cumberland."

"Amen!" said Catharine, resignedly.

And even with this they wheeled their horses apart, and rode away from
each other: she very pale, but erect with wounded pride; he reeling in
his saddle like a drunken man.

And so Griffith Gaunt, stung mad by jealousy, affronted his sweetheart,
the proudest girl in Cumberland, and, yielding to his foible, fled from
his pain.

Our foibles are our manias.


CHAPTER III.

Miss Peyton was shocked and grieved; but she was also affronted and
wounded. Now anger seems to have some fine buoyant quality, which makes
it rise and come uppermost in an agitated mind. She rode proudly into
the court-yard of her father's house, and would not look once behind to
see the last of her perverse lover.

The old groom, Joe, who had taught her to ride when she was six years
old, saw her coming, and hobbled out to hold her horse, while she
alighted.

"Mistress Kate," said he, "have you seen Master Griffith Gaunt
anywheres?"

The young lady colored at this question.

"Why?" said she.

"Why?" repeated old Joe, a little contemptuously. "Why, where have _you_
been not to know the country is out after un? First comed Jock Dennet,
with his horse all in a lather, to say old Mr. Charlton was took ill,
and had asked for Master Griffith. I told him to go to Dogmore Copse:
'Our Kate is a-hunting to-day,' says I; 'and your Griffith, he is sure
not to be far from her gelding's tail'; a sticks in his spurs and away a
goes. What, ha'n't you seen Jock, neither?"

"No, no," replied Miss Peyton, impatiently. "What, is there anything the
matter?"

"The matter, quo' she! Why, Jock hadn't been gone an hour when in rides
the new footman all in a lather, and brings a letter for Master Griffith
from the old gentleman's housekeeper. 'You leave the letter with me, in
case,' says I, and I sends him a-field after t' other. Here be the
letter."

He took off his cap and produced the letter.

Catharine started at the sight of it.

"Alack!" said she, "this is a heavy day. Look, Joe; sealed with black.
Poor Cousin Charlton! I doubt he is no more."

Joe shook his head expressively, and told her the butcher had come from
that part not ten minutes ago, with word that the blinds were all down
at Bolton Hall.

Poor human nature! A gleam of joy shot through Catharine's heart; this
sad news would compel Griffith to stay at home and bury his benefactor;
and that delay would give him time to reflect; and, somehow or other,
she felt sure it would end in his not going at all.

But these thoughts had no sooner passed through her than she was ashamed
of them and of herself. What! welcome that poor old man's death because
it would keep her cross-grained lover at home? Her cheeks burned with
shame; and, with a superfluous exercise of self-defence, she retired
from Old Joe, lest he should divine what was passing in her mind.

But she was so wrapt in thought that she carried the letter away with
her unconsciously.

As she passed through the hall, she heard George Neville and her father
in animated conversation. She mounted the stairs softly, and went into a
little boudoir of her own on the first floor, and sat down. The house
stood high, and there was a very expansive and beautiful view of the
country from this window. She sat down by it and drooped, and looked
wistfully through the window, and thought of the past, and fell into a
sad reverie. Pity began to soften her pride and anger, and presently two
gentle tears dimmed her glorious eyes a moment, then stole down her
delicate cheeks.

While she sat thus lost in the past, jovial voices and creaking boots
broke suddenly upon her ear, and came up the stairs; they jarred upon
her; so she cast one last glance out of the window, and rose to get out
of their way, if possible. But it was too late; a heavy step came to the
door, and a ruddy, Port-drinking face peeped in. It was her father.

"See-ho!" roared the jovial Squire. "I've found the hare on her form;
bide thou outside a moment."

And he entered the room; but he had no sooner closed the door than his
whole manner changed from loud and jovial to agitated and subdued.

"Kate, my girl," said he, piteously, "I have been a bad father to thee.
I have spent all the money that should have been thine; thy poor father
can scarce look thee in the face. So now I bring thee a good husband; be
a good child now, and a dutiful. Neville's Court is his, and Neville's
Cross will be, by the entail; and so will the baronetcy. I shall see my
girl Lady Neville."

"Never, papa, never!" cried Kate.

"Hush! hush!" said the Squire, and put up his hand to her in great
agitation and alarm; "hush, or he will hear ye. Kate," he whispered,
"are you mad? Little I thought, when he asked to see me, it was to offer
marriage. Be a good girl now; don't you quarrel with good luck. You are
not fit to be poor; and you have made enemies: do but think how they
will flout you when I die, and Bill's jade of a wife puts you to the
door, as she will. And now you can triumph over them all, my Lady
Neville,--and make your poor father happy, my Lady Neville. Enough said,
for I promised you; so don't go and make a fool of me, and yourself into
the bargain. And--and--a word in your ear: he hath lent me a hundred
pounds."

At this climax, the father hung his head; the daughter winced and moaned
out,--

"Papa, how _could_ you?"

Mr. Peyton had gradually descended to that intermediate stage of
degradation, when the substance of dignity is all gone, but its shadow,
shame, remains. He stamped impatiently on the ground, and cut his
humiliation short by rushing out of the room.

"Here, try your own luck, youngster," he cried at the door. "She knows
my mind."

He trampled down the stairs, and young George Neville knocked
respectfully at the door, though it was half open, and came in with
youth's light foot, and a handsome face flushed into beauty by love and
hope.

Miss Peyton's eye just swept him as he entered, and with the same
movement she turned away her fair head and blushing cheek towards the
window; yet--must I own it?--she quietly moulded the letter that lay in
her lap, so that the address was no longer visible to the new-comer.

(Small secrecy, verging on deceit, you are bred in woman's bones!)

This blushing and averted cheek is one of those equivocal receptions
that have puzzled many a sensible man. It is a sign of coy love; it is a
sign of gentle aversion; _our_ mode of interpreting it is simple and
judicious: whichever it happens to be, we go and take it for the other.

The brisk, bold wooer that now engaged Kate Peyton was not the man to be
dashed by a woman's coyness. Handsome, daring, good-humored, and vain,
he had everything in his favor but his novelty.

       *       *       *       *       *

Look at Kate! her eye lingers wistfully on that disconsolate horseman
whose every step takes him farther from her; but George has her ear, and
draws closer and closer to it, and pours love's mellow murmurs into it.

He told her he had made the grand tour, and seen the beauties of every
land, but none like her; other ladies had certainly pleased his eye for
a moment, but she alone had conquered his heart. He said many charming
things to her, such as Griffith Gaunt had never said. Amongst the rest,
he assured her the beauty of her person would not alone have fascinated
him so deeply; but he had seen the beauty of her mind in those eyes of
hers, that seemed not eyes, but souls; and begging her pardon for his
presumption, he aspired to wed her mind.

Such ideas had often risen in Kate's own mind; but to hear them from a
man was new. She looked askant through the window at the lessening
Griffith, and thought "how the grand tour improves a man!" and said, as
coldly as she could,--

"I esteem you, Sir, and cannot but be flattered by sentiments so
superior to those I am used to hear; but let this go no farther. I shall
never marry now."

Instead of being angry at this, or telling her she wanted to marry
somebody else, as the injudicious Griffith had done, young Neville had
the address to treat it as an excellent jest, and drew such comical
pictures of all the old maids in the neighborhood that she could not
help smiling.

But the moment she smiled, the inflammable George made hot love to her
again. Then she besought him to leave her, piteously. Then he said,
cheerfully, he would leave her as soon as ever she had promised to be
his. At that she turned sullen and haughty, and looked through the
window and took no notice of him whatever. Then, instead of being
discouraged or mortified, he showed imperturbable confidence and
good-humor, and begged archly to know what interesting object was in
sight from that window. On this she blushed and withdrew her eyes from
the window, and so they met his. On that he threw himself on his knees,
(custom of the day,) and wooed her with such a burst of passionate and
tearful eloquence that she began to pity him, and said, lifting her
lovely eyes,--

"Alas! I was born to make all those I esteem unhappy!" and she sighed
deeply.

"Not a bit of it," said he; "you were born, like the sun, to bless all
you shine upon. Sweet Mistress Kate, I love you as these country boors
can never be taught to love. I lay my heart, my name, my substance, at
your feet; you shall not be loved,--you shall be worshipped. Ah! turn
those eyes, brimful of soul, on me again, and let me try and read in
them that one day, no matter how distant, the delight of my eyes, the
joy of all my senses, the pride of Cumberland, the pearl of England, the
flower of womankind, the rival of the angels, the darling of George
Neville's heart, will be George Neville's wife."

Fire and water were in his eyes, passion in every tone; his manly hand
grasped hers and trembled, and drew her gently towards him.

Her bosom heaved; his passionate male voice and touch electrified her,
and made her flutter.

"Spare me this pain," she faltered; and she looked through the window
and thought, "Poor Griffith was right, after all, and I was wrong. He
had cause for jealousy, and CAUSE FOR FEAR."

And then she pitied him who panted at her side, and then she was sorry
for him who rode away disconsolate, still lessening to her eye; and what
with this conflict and the emotion her quarrel with Griffith had
already caused her, she leaned her head back against the shutter, and
began to sob low, but almost hysterically.

Now Mr. George Neville was neither a fool nor a novice, if he had never
been downright in love before, (which I crave permission to doubt,) he
had gone far enough on that road to make one Italian lady, two French,
one Austrian, and one Creole, in love with him; and each of these
love-affairs had given him fresh insight into the ways of woman.
Enlightened by so many bitter-sweet experiences, he saw at once that
there was something more going on inside Kate's heaving bosom than he
could have caused by offering her his hand. He rose from his knees and
leaned against the opposite shutter, and fixed his eyes a little sadly,
but very observantly, on her, as she leaned back against the shutter,
sobbing low, but hysterically, and quivering all over.

"There's some other man at the bottom of this," thought George Neville.

"Mistress Kate," said he, gently, "I do not come here to make you weep.
I love you like a gentleman. If you love another, take courage, tell me
so, and don't let your father constrain your inclinations. Dearly as I
love you, I would not wed your person, and your heart another's: that
would be too cruel to you, and" (drawing himself up with sudden majesty)
"too unjust to myself."

Kate looked up at him through her tears, and admired this man, who could
love ardently, yet be proud and just. And if this appeal to her candor
had been made yesterday, she would have said, frankly, "There is one
I--esteem." But, since the quarrel, she would not own to herself, far
less to another, that she loved a man who had turned his back upon her.
So she _parried_.

"There is no one I love enough to wed," said she. "I am a cold-hearted
girl, born to give pain to my betters. But I shall do something
desperate to end all this."

"All what?" said he, keenly.

"The whole thing: my unprofitable life."

"Mistress Kate," said Neville, "I asked you, was there another man. If
you had answered me, 'In truth there is, but he is poor and my father is
averse or the like,' then I would have secretly sought that man, and, as
I am very rich, you should have been happy."

"Oh, Mr. Neville, that is very generous, but how meanly you must think
of me!"

"And what a bungler you must think me! I tell you, you should never have
known. But let that pass; you have answered my question; and you say
there is no man you love. Then I say you shall be Dame Neville."

"What, whether I will or no?"

"Yes; whether you _think_ you will or no."

Catharine turned her dreamy eyes on him.

"You have had a good master. Why did you not come to me sooner?"

She was thinking more of him than of herself, and, in fact, paying too
little heed to her words. But she had no sooner uttered this inadvertent
speech than she felt she had said too much. She blushed rosy red, and
hid her face in her hands in the most charming confusion.

"Sweetest, it is not an hour too late, as you do not love another," was
stout George Neville's reply.

But nevertheless the cunning rogue thought it safest to temporize, and
put his coy mistress off her guard. So he ceased to alarm her by
pressing the question of marriage, but seduced her into a charming talk,
where the topics were not so personal, and only the tones of his voice
and the glances of his expressive eyes were caressing. He was on his
mettle to please her by hook or by crook, and was delightful,
irresistible. He set her at ease, and she began to listen more, and even
to smile faintly, and to look through the window a little less
perseveringly.

Suddenly the spell was broken for a while.

And by whom?

By the other.

Ay, you may well stare. It sounds strange, but it is true, that the poor
forlorn horseman, hanging like a broken man, as he was, over his tired
horse, and wending his solitary way from her he loved, and resigning the
field, like a goose, to the very rival he feared, did yet (like the
retiring Parthian) shoot an arrow right into that pretty boudoir and hit
both his sweetheart and his rival,--hit them hard enough to spoil their
sport, and make a little mischief between them--for that afternoon, at
all events.

The arrow came into the room after this fashion.

Kate was sitting in a very feminine attitude. When a man wants to look
in any direction, he turns his body and his eye the same way, and does
it; but women love to cast oblique regards; and this their instinct is a
fruitful source of their graceful and characteristic postures.

Kate Peyton was at this moment a statue of her sex. Her fair head leaned
gently back against the corner of the window-shutter; her pretty feet
and fair person in general were opposite George Neville, who sat facing
the window, but in the middle of the room; her arms, half pendent, half
extended, went listlessly aslant her, and somewhat to the right of her
knees, yet, by an exquisite turn of the neck, her gray eyes contrived to
be looking dreamily out of the window to her left. Still in this figure,
that pointed one way and looked another, there was no distortion; all
was easy, and full of that subtile grace we artists call repose.

But suddenly she dissolved this feminine attitude, rose to her feet, and
interrupted her wooer civilly.

"Excuse me," said she, "but can you tell me which way that road on the
hill leads to?"

Her companion stared a little at so sudden a turn in the conversation,
but replied by asking her, with perfect good-humor, what road she meant.

"The one _that gentleman on horseback has just taken_. Surely," she
continued, "that road does not take to Bolton Hall."

"Certainly not," said George, following the direction of her finger.
"Bolton lies to the right. That road takes to the sea-coast by Otterbury
and Stanhope."

"I thought so," said Kate. "How unfortunate! He cannot know; but,
indeed, how should he?"

"Who cannot know? and what? You speak in riddles, Mistress. And how pale
you are! Are you ill?"

"No, not ill, Sir," faltered Kate; "but you see me much discomposed. My
cousin Charlton died this day; and the news met me at the very door."
She could say no more.

Mr. Neville, on hearing this news, began to make many excuses for having
inadvertently intruded himself upon her on such a day; but, in the midst
of his apologies, she suddenly looked him full in the face, and said,
with nervous abruptness,--

"You _talk_ like a _preux chevalier_. I wonder whether you would ride
five or six miles to do me a service."

"Ay, a thousand!" said the young man, glowing with pleasure. "What is to
do?"

Kate pointed through the window.

"You see that gentleman on horseback. Well, I happen to know that he is
leaving the country; he thinks that he--that I--that Mr. Charlton has
many years to live. He must be told Mr. Charlton is dead, and his
presence is required at Bolton Hall. I _should_ like somebody to gallop
after him, and give him this letter; but my own horse is tired, and I am
tired; and, to be frank, there is a little coolness between the
gentleman himself and me. Oh, I wish him no ill, but really I am not
upon terms--I do not feel complaisant enough to carry a letter after
him; yet I do feel that he _must_ have it. Do not _you_ think it would
be malicious and unworthy in me to keep the news from him, when I know
it is so?"

Young Neville smiled.

"Nay, Mistress, why so many words? Give me your letter, and I will soon
overtake the gentleman: he seems in no great hurry."

Kate thanked him, and made a polite apology for giving him so much
trouble, and handed him the letter. When it came to that, she held it
out to him rather irresolutely; but he took it promptly, and bowed low,
after the fashion of the day. She curtsied; he marched off with
alacrity. She sat down again, and put her head in her hand to think it
all over, and a chill thought ran through her. Was her conduct wise?
What would Griffith think at her employing his rival? Would he not infer
Neville had entered her service in more senses than one? Perhaps he
would throw the letter in the dirt in a rage, and never read it.

Steps came rapidly, the door opened, and there was George Neville again,
but not the same George Neville that went out but thirty seconds before.
He stood in the door looking very black, and with a sardonic smile on
his lips.

"An excellent jest, Mistress!" said he, ironically.

"Why, what is the matter?" said the lady, stoutly; but her red cheeks
belied her assumption of innocence.

"Oh, not much," said George, with a bitter sneer. "It is an old story;
only I thought you were nobler than the rest of your sex. This letter is
to Mr. Griffith Gaunt."

"Well, Sir!" said Kate, with a face of serene and candid innocence.

"And Mr. Griffith Gaunt is a suitor of yours."

"Say, _was_. He is so no longer. He and I are out. But for that, think
you I had even listened to--what you have been saying to me this ever so
long?"

"Oh, that alters the case," said George. "But stay!" and he knitted his
brows, and reflected.

Up to a moment ago, the loftiness of Catharine Peyton's demeanor, and
the celestial something in her soul-like, dreamy eyes, had convinced him
she was a creature free from the small dishonesty and lubricity he had
noted in so many women otherwise amiable and good. But this business of
the letter had shaken the illusion.

"Stay!" said he, stiffly, "You say Mr. Gaunt and you are out?"

Catharine assented by a movement of her fair head.

"And he is leaving the country. Perhaps this letter is to keep him from
leaving the country."

"Only until he has buried his benefactor," murmured Kate, in deprecating
accents.

George wore a bitter sneer at this.

"Mistress Kate," said he, after a significant pause, "do you read
Molière?"

She bridled a little, and would not reply. She knew Molière quite well
enough not to want his wit levelled at her head.

"Do you admire the character of Célimène?"

No reply.

"You do not. How can you? She was too much your inferior. She never sent
one of her lovers with a letter to the other to stop his flight. Well,
you may eclipse Célimène; but permit me to remind you that I am George
Neville, and not Georges Dandin."

Miss Peyton rose from her seat with eyes that literally flashed fire;
and--the horrible truth must be told--her first wild impulse was to
reply to all this Molière with one cut of her little riding-whip. But
she had a swift mind, and two reflections entered it together: first,
that this would be unlike a gentlewoman; secondly, that, if she whipped
Mr. Neville, however inefficaciously, he would not lend her his piebald
horse. So she took stronger measures; she just sank down again, and
faltered,--

"I do not understand these bitter words. I have no lover at all; I never
will have one again. But it is hard to think I cannot make a friend nor
keep a friend,"--and so lifted up her hands, and began to cry piteously.

Then the stout George was taken aback, and made to think himself a
ruffian.

"Nay, do not weep so, Mistress Kate," said he, hurriedly. "Come, take
courage. I am not jealous of Mr. Gaunt,--a man that hath been two years
dangling after you, and could not win you. I look but to my own
self-respect in the matter. I know your sex better than you know
yourselves. Were I to carry that letter, you would thank me now, but
by-and-by despise me. Now, as I mean you to be my wife, I will not risk
your contempt. Why not take my horse, put whom you like on him, and so
convey the letter to Mr. Gaunt?"

Now this was all the fair mourner wanted; so she said,--

"No, no, she would not be beholden to him for anything; he had spoken
harshly to her, and misjudged her cruelly, cruelly,--oh! oh! oh!"

Then he implored her to grant him this small favor; then she cleared up,
and said, Well, sooner than bear malice, she would. He thanked her for
granting him that favor. She went off with the letter, saying,--

"I will be back anon."

But once she got clear, she opened the door again, and peeped in at him
gayly, and said she,--

"Why not ask me who _wrote_ the letter, before you compared me to that
French coquette?"--and, with this, made him an arch curtsy, and tripped
away.

Mr. George Neville opened his eyes with astonishment. This arch
question, and Kate's manner of putting it, convinced him the obnoxious
missive was not a love-letter at all. He was sorry now, and vexed with
himself, for having called her a coquette, and made her cry. After all,
what was the mighty favor she had asked of him? To carry a sealed letter
from somebody or other to a person who, to be sure, had been her lover,
but was so no longer,--a simple act of charity and civility; and he had
refused it in injurious terms.

He was glad he had lent his horse, and almost sorry he had not taken the
letter himself.

To these chivalrous self-reproaches succeeded an uneasy feeling that
perhaps the lady might retaliate somehow. It struck him, on reflection,
that the arch query she had let fly at him was accompanied with a
certain sparkle of the laughing eye, such as ere now had, in his
experience, preceded a stroke of the feminine claw.

As he walked up and down, uneasy, awaiting the fair one's return, her
father came up, and asked him to dine and sleep. What made the
invitation more welcome was, that it in reality came from Kate.

"She tells me she has borrowed your horse," said the Squire; "so, says
she, I am bound to take care of you till day-light; and, indeed, our
ways are perilous at night."

"She is an angel!" cried the lover, all his ardor revived by this
unexpected trait. "My horse, my house, my hand, and my heart are all at
her service, by night and day."

Mr. Peyton, to wile away the time before dinner, invited him to walk out
and see--a hog, deadly fat, as times went. But Neville denied himself
that satisfaction, on the plea that he had his orders to await Miss
Peyton's return where he was. The Squire was amused at his excessive
docility, and winked, as much as to say, "I have been once upon a time
in your plight," and so went and gloried in his hog alone.

The lover fell into a delicious reverie. He enjoyed, by anticipation,
the novel pleasure of an evening passed all alone with this charming
girl. The father, being friendly to his suit, would go to sleep after
dinner; and then, by the subdued light of a wood-fire, he would murmur
his love into that sweet ear for hours, until the averted head should
come round by degrees, and the delicious lips yield a coy assent. He
resolved the night should not close till he had surprised, overpowered,
and secured his lovely bride.

These soft meditations reconciled him for a while to the prolonged
absence of their object.

In the midst of them, he happened to glance through the window; and he
saw a sight that took his very breath away, and rooted him in amazement
to the spot. About a mile from the house, a lady in a scarlet habit was
galloping across country as the crow flies. Hedge, ditch, or brook,
nothing stopped her an instant; and as for the pace,--

    "She seemed in running to devour the way."

It was Kate Peyton on his piebald horse.


CHAPTER IV.

Griffith Gaunt, unknown to himself, had lost temper as well as heart
before he took the desperate step of leaving the country. Now his temper
was naturally good; and ere he had ridden two miles, he recovered it. To
his cost; for the sustaining force of anger being gone, he was alone
with his grief. He drew the rein half mechanically, and from a spirited
canter declined to a walk.

And the slower he went, the chillier grew his heart, till it lay half
ice, half lead, in his bosom.

Parted! oh, word pregnant with misery!

Never to see those heavenly eyes again, nor hear that silver voice!
Never again to watch that peerless form walk the minuet; nor see it lift
the gray horse over a fence with the grace and spirit that seemed
inseparable from it!

Desolation streamed over him at the thought. And next his forlorn mind
began to cling even to the inanimate objects that were dotted about the
place which held her. He passed a little farm-house into which Kate and
he had once been driven by a storm, and had sat together by the kitchen
fire; and the farmer's wife had smiled on them for sweethearts, and made
them drink rum and milk and stay till the sun was fairly out.

"Ah! good-bye, little farm!" he sighed; "when shall I ever see you
again?"

He passed a brook where they had often stopped together and given their
panting horses just a mouthful after a run with the harriers.

"Good-bye, little brook!" said he; "you will ripple on as before, and
warble as you go; but I shall never drink at your water more, nor hear
your pleasant murmur with her I love."

He sighed and crept away, still making for the sea.

In the icy depression of his heart his body and his senses were half
paralyzed, and none would have known the accomplished huntsman in this
broken man, who hung anyhow over his mare's neck and went to and fro in
the saddle.

When he had gone about five miles, he came to the crest of a hill; he
remembered, that, once past that brow, he could see Peyton Hall no more.
He turned slowly and cast a sorrowful look at it.

It was winter, but the afternoon sun had come out bright. The horizontal
beams struck full upon the house, and all the western panes shone like
burnished gold. Her very abode, how glorious it looked! And he was to
see it no more.

He gazed and gazed at the bright house till love and sorrow dimmed his
eyes, and he could see the beloved place no more. Then his dogged will
prevailed and carried him away towards the sea, but crying like a woman
now, and hanging all dislocated over his horse's mane.

Now about half a mile farther on, as he crept along on a vile and narrow
road, all woebegone and broken, he heard a mighty scurry of horse's feet
in the field to his left; he looked languidly up; and the first thing he
saw was a great piebald horse's head and neck in the act of rising in
the air, and doubling his fore-legs under him, to leap the low hedge a
yard or two in front of him.

He did leap, and landed just in front of Griffith; his rider curbed him
so keenly that he went back almost on his haunches, and then stood
motionless all across the road, with quivering tail. A lady in a scarlet
riding-habit and purple cap sat him as if he had been a throne instead
of a horse, and, without moving her body, turned her head swift as a
snake, and fixed her great gray eyes full and searching upon Griffith
Gaunt.



THE PARTING OF HECTOR AND ANDROMACHE.

FROM THE SIXTH BOOK OF THE ILIAD.


    So spake the matron. Hector left in haste
    The mansion, and retraced his way between
    The rows of stately dwellings, traversing
    The mighty city. When, at length, he reached
    The Scæan gates, that issue on the field,
    His spouse, the nobly dowered Andromache,
    Came forth to meet him, daughter of the Prince
    Eëtion, who among the woody slopes
    Of Placos, in the Hypoplacian town
    Of Thebé, ruled Cilicia's sons, and gave
    His child to Hector of the beamy helm.
    She came, attended by a maid who bore
    A tender child, a babe too young to speak,
    Beautiful as a star, whom Hector called
    Scamandrius,--but all else Astyanax,
    The City's Lord, since Hector stood the sole
    Defence of Troy. The father on his child
    Looked with a silent smile. Andromache
    Pressed to his side, meanwhile, and all in tears
    Clung to his hand, and, thus beginning, said:--
      "Too brave! thy valor yet will cause thy death.
    Thou hast no pity on thy tender child,
    Nor me, unhappy one, who soon must be
    Thy widow: all the Greeks will rush on thee,
    To take thy life. A happier lot were mine,
    If I must lose thee, to go down to earth;
    For I shall have no hope, when thou art gone,--
    Nothing but sorrow. Father have I none,
    And no dear mother. Great Achilles slew
    My father, when he sacked the populous town
    Of the Cilicians, Thebé with high gates.
    'T was there he smote Eëtion, yet forbore
    To make his arms a spoil: he dared not that,
    But burned the dead with his bright armor on,
    And raised a mound above him. Mountain nymphs,
    Daughters of ægis-bearing Jupiter,
    Came to the spot and planted it with elms.
    Seven brothers had I in my father's house,
    And all went down to Hades in one day:
    Achilles the swift-footed slew them all,
    Among their slow-paced beeves and snow-white flocks.
    My mother, princess on the woody slopes
    Of Placos, with his spoils he bore away,
    And only for large ransom gave her back.
    But her Diana, archer-queen, struck down
    Within her father's palace. Hector, thou
    Art father and dear mother now to me,
    And brother, and my youthful spouse besides.
    In pity keep within the fortress here,
    Nor make thy child an orphan, nor thy wife
    A widow. Post thine army near the place
    Of the wild fig-tree, where the city-walls
    Are low, and may be scaled. Thrice, in the war,
    The boldest of the foe have tried the spot:
    The brothers Ajax, famed Idomeneus,
    The two chiefs born to Atreus, and the brave
    Tydides: whether counselled to the attempt
    By some wise seer, or prompted from within."
      Then answered Hector great in war:--"All this,
    Dear wife, I bear in mind; but I should stand
    Ashamed before the men and long-robed dames
    Of Troy, were I to keep aloof, and shun
    The battle, coward-like. Not thus my heart
    Prompts me; for greatly have I learned to dare
    And strike among the foremost sons of Troy,
    Upholding my great father's fame and mine.
    But well in my undoubting mind I know
    The day shall come in which our sacred Troy,
    And Priam, and the people over whom
    Spear-bearing Priam rules, shall perish all.
    But not the sorrows of the Trojan race,
    Nor those of Hecuba herself, nor those
    Of royal Priam, nor the woes that wait
    My brothers many and brave, who yet, at last,
    Slain by the leaguering foe, shall lie in dust,
    Grieve me so much as thine, when some mailed Greek
    Shall lead thee weeping hence, and take from thee
    Thy day of freedom. Thou, in Argos, then,
    Shalt, at another's bidding, ply the loom,
    Or from the fountain of Messeïs draw
    Water, or from the Hypereian spring,
    Constrained, unwilling, by thy cruel lot.
    And then shall some one say, who sees thee weep,
    'This was the wife of Hector, most renowned
    Of the horse-taming Trojans, when they fought
    Around their city.' So shall some one say;
    And thou shalt grieve the more, lamenting him
    Who haply might have kept afar the day
    Of thy captivity. Oh, let the earth
    Be heaped above my head in death, before
    I hear thy cries, as thou art borne away!"
      So saying, mighty Hector stretched his arms
    To take the boy. The boy shrank crying back
    To his fair nurse's bosom, scared to see
    His father helmeted in glittering brass,
    And eying with affright the horse-hair plume
    That grimly nodded from the crest on high.
    The tender father and fond mother smiled;
    And hastily the mighty Hector took
    The helmet from his brow, and laid it down
    Gleaming upon the ground, and, having kissed
    His darling son, and tossed him up in play,
    Prayed thus to Jove and all the gods of heaven:--
      "O Jupiter, and all ye deities!
    Vouchsafe that this my son may yet become
    Among the Trojans eminent like me,
    And, with a might and courage like my own,
    Rule nobly over Ilium. May they say,
    'This man is greater than his father was,'
    When they behold him from the battle-field
    Bring back the bloody spoils of the slain foe,
    That so his mother may be glad at heart."
      So speaking, to the arms of his dear spouse
    He gave the boy. She on her fragrant breast
    Received him, weeping as she smiled. The chief
    Beheld, and, moved with tender pity, smoothed
    Her forehead gently with his hand, and said:--
      "Sorrow not thus, belovèd one, for me.
    No living man can send me to the shades
    Before my time; no man of woman born,
    Coward or brave, can shun his destiny.
    But go thou home, and tend thy labors there,
    The web, the distaff, and command thy maids
    To speed the work; the cares of war pertain
    To all men born in Troy, and most to me."
      Thus spake the mighty Hector, and took up
    His helmet shadowed with the horse-hair plume,
    While homeward his belovèd consort went,
    Oft looking back and shedding many tears.
    Soon was she in the spacious palace-halls
    Of the man-queller Hector. There she found
    A troop of damsels; with them all she shared
    Her grief, and all in his own house bewailed
    The living Hector, whom they thought no more
    To see returning from the battle-field,
    Escaped the rage and weapons of the Greeks.



WILLIAM BLACKWOOD.


This active, energetic, and in every way remarkable man, who was not
only the originator, proprietor, and purveyor, but the editor,--the
actual and only editor,--of "Blackwood's Magazine," up to the day of his
death, in 1834, has never been properly understood nor appreciated,
either abroad or at home, owing to circumstances the public are
unacquainted with.

While exercising despotic power, in all that concerned the management of
that bold and saucy and at times unprincipled work, in all that
concerned the management or the contributors, and never yielding even to
"Old Christopher" himself, who passed for the editor, where any serious
question sprang up, he was so careful to keep out of sight himself, and
to thrust that old gentleman forward, upon all occasions,--a sort of
myth, at the best,--a shadowy, mysterious personage, who deceived
nobody, and whom all were glad enough to take on trust, well knowing
that Professor Wilson was behind the mask,--that, up to this day,
William Blackwood, the little, tough, wiry Scotch bookseller, with a big
heart, and a pericardium of net-work,--interwoven steel springs,--has
been regarded as the publisher and proprietor only, and Professor Wilson
as the editor, and one who would suffer no interference with his
prerogative, and "bear no brother near the throne."

To bring about this belief, Blackwood spared no expense of indirect
assertion, and no outlay of incidental evidence. Never faltering in his
first plan, and never foregoing an opportunity of strengthening the
public delusion, what cared he for the reputation of editorship, so long
as the great mystery paid? Walter Scott had already shown how profitably
and safely such a game might be played, year after year, in the midst of
the enemies' camp; and Blackwood was just the man to profit by such
experience.

In the Life of Professor Wilson, by his daughter, Mrs. Gordon, edited
here by Professor Mackenzie, there might be found enough to disabuse the
public upon this point, if it were not read by the lamplight--or
twilight--of long-cherished opinions.

But as Blackwood, the shrewd, sharp, wary Scotchman, always talked about
"our worthy friend Christopher" as a real, and not a mythological
personage,--as if, in short, he were himself and nobody else,--and never
of Wilson but as one of the contributors, or as the author of "Margaret
Lyndsay" or "The Isle of Palms," and then with a look or a smile which
he never explained, and which nobody out of the charmed circle ever
understood, no wonder the delusion was kept up to the last.

"All I can say," he once wrote me, while negotiating for more
grist,--"all I can say is, that whatever is good in itself we are always
happy to receive; the only difficulty is, that our worthy friend
Christopher is a very absolute person, and therefore always judges for
himself with regard to everything that is offered." Now
this--considering that he himself, William Blackwood, was Christopher
North, in spirit, if not in substance, and that he himself, and not
Wilson, was the autocrat from whose judgment there was no appeal--might
pass anywhere, I think, for one of the happiest examples of persevering,
impudent mystification ever hazarded by a respectable man, while writing
confidentially to another, and quite of a piece with the celebrated
Chaldee manuscript.

And now for my acquaintance with the man himself. I was living in
Baltimore. I had given up my editorships. I had forsworn poetry and
story-telling, (on paper,) and had not only entered upon the profession
of the law with encouraging success, but had begun to settle upon my
lees.

One day, while dining with my friend Henry Robinson, who introduced gas
into Boston, after a series of disastrous experiments in Baltimore, and
the conversation happening to turn upon that subject, we wandered off
into the state of English opinions generally. He was an Englishman by
birth and early education, though his heart was American to the core.
Something was said about the literature of the day, and the question was
asked,--"Who reads an American book?" I blazed out, of course, and,
after denouncing the "Edinburgh Review," where the impudent question was
first broached, accompanied by the suggestion, that, so long as we could
"import our literature in bales and hogsheads," we had better not try to
manufacture for ourselves, I made up my mind on the spot, and within the
next following half-hour at furthest, to carry the war into Africa.

Mr. Walsh,--"Robert Walsh, Junior, Esquire,"--the "American Gentleman,"
as he called himself in the title-page of his Dictionary,--had
acknowledged, while undertaking our vindication, that our American
Parnassus was barren, or fruitful only in weeds; and by common consent
my countrymen had taken for the highest praise throughout the land what
I regarded as at best a humiliating admission from our friends over sea.
They had acknowledged, and we were base enough to feel flattered by the
acknowledgment, that, although we could not even hope to write English,
and were wellnigh destitute of invention, having no materials to work
with, and little or no aptitude for anything but the manufacture of
wooden nutmegs, horn gun-flints, and cuckoo-clocks, and being always too
busy for anything better than dicker and truck in a small way,--the
haberdashery of nations,--yet, after all, it might be said of us that we
were capital imitators, or thieves and counterfeiters, so that our
Brockden Brown was at least the American Godwin,--our Cooper, the
American Scott,--our Irving, just flowering in the "Sketch-Book," the
American Goldsmith or Addison,--and our Sigourney, the American Hemans.

That my blood boiled in my veins, whenever I thought of this, I must
acknowledge; and within three weeks, I believe, I was on my way to
London, with a novel in the rough, which, after undergoing many
transformations, appeared in that city as "Brother Jonathan,"--the
manuscript of "Otho, a Tragedy," wholly recast and rewritten, with
"_exit omnes_," and other monstrous Latin blunders corrected, and, on
the whole, very much as it afterwards appeared in "The Yankee,"--and
heaps of letters, which I could not well afford to deliver, and
therefore threw into the fire: leaving my law business to take care of
itself, somewhat after the fashion of that Revolutionary volunteer, "Old
Put," who, when he heard the sound of a trumpet and knew the lists were
opened, left his plough in the furrow, and the cattle standing in the
field. My law-library, and the building I occupied, I passed over to the
care of a young man of great promise, just entering the profession, who
not only burned up my supply of wood for the year, but failed to pay the
rent, and then took the liberty of dying suddenly, poor fellow! without
a word of notice to my landlord: so that I was fairly adrift.

On arriving in London, I took lodgings in Warwick Street, Pall Mall,
introduced to the landlady by Leslie the painter, and occupying the very
chambers where Washington Irving was delivered of the "Sketch-Book": my
windows on the first floor looking out on the back entrance of Carlton
House, by which the Princess Charlotte had escaped not long before, when
she ran away from her father, as my landlady took care to inform me;
adding, that, from the very window where we stood, she had seen the
little madcap get into the carriage--a common hack, by the way--and go
off at full speed.

I lost no time in looking about me, and preparing for a literary
campaign, where I might forage upon the enemy, beat up his quarters when
I chose, and, if possible, get possession of a battery or so, and turn
the guns upon his camp.

Being pretty well acquainted with the characteristics of all the
monthlies and quarterlies, I was not long in determining that
"Blackwood" was my _point d'appui_. The "Old Monthly" was dead asleep,
and smouldering in white ashes; the "New Monthly," with Campbell for
editor, was unfitted for the job I had in view; the "London," though
clever and saucy and stinging, wanted manliness and nerve, and would be
sure to fail me at a pinch, now that John Scott was disposed of. And as
for the quarterlies, even supposing I could secure a place and keep it,
they were all slow coaches, and much too dignified and stately, as they
lumbered along the smooth, level turnpikes they were built for, to allow
of any dashing or skirmishing from the windows. Even the "Westminster"
was untrustworthy, as I afterwards found to my cost.

And so I settled down upon "Blackwood," the cleverest and spitefullest
of the whole, with Lockhart, "the Scorpion," and Wilson, "the Leopard,"
for mischief-makers, and "Ebony" for the whipper-in, and "Christopher
North" "in golden panoply complete" for _collaborateur_, a puzzle and a
problem to the last. Before I slept, I believe, certainly within a few
hours, I wrote a sketch of our five American Presidents, and of the five
presidential candidates then actually in the field, and sent it off to
Edinburgh with a letter, not for the publisher, not for Blackwood, but
for the _Editor_, saying that I had adopted the name of "Carter Holmes,"
and writing as a traveller, pretty well acquainted with the United
States and with the people thereof. This mask I wore, not with a view to
escape responsibility, for I was ready to answer for all I said, but to
baffle the curious and the inquisitive. Had I come out boldly as a
native American, I knew there was no chance for me in that, or in any
other leading British journal.

After a few days, I received the following in reply from Blackwood
himself, the _Editor_, which I give at length.

                                              "April 20, 1824.

     "On my return from London a few days ago," says he, "I had
     the pleasure of receiving yours of the 7th March,--April, I
     suppose, as it only arrived here on the 10th current.

     "I am very sorry that there was not room for your spirited
     and amusing sketches in this number; but they will appear in
     our next.

     "You are exactly the correspondent that we want, and I hope
     you will continue to favor us with your communications, and
     you may depend upon being liberally treated. I do not wish
     to say much about terms, as I have a perfect horror at the
     manufacturing system of gentlemen who _do_ articles for
     periodicals at so much per sheet. I feel confident that you
     are none of these, but one who, like the friends who have
     supported my Magazine, writes upon subjects which he takes
     an interest in, and therefore handles them _con amore_. It
     is this system of _piece-work_ which has made most
     periodicals such commonplace affairs; and it is by keeping
     free of it that 'Maga' will preserve her name and fame.

     "Meantime, I am perfectly sensible that the laborer is
     worthy of his hire, and that no gentleman need refuse the
     remuneration he is entitled to. It gives me great pleasure,
     therefore, to send an _honorarium_ to all my contributors. I
     may also mention to you that this varies from seven to ten
     guineas, or perhaps more, per sheet, according to the nature
     of the articles.

     "By way of _arles_, (_Anglicé_, earnest,) I annex a draft on
     Mr. Cadell for five guineas to account.

     "With regard to your name, you will do just as you feel most
     convenient and agreeable. All I shall say is, that whatever
     is confided to me I keep sacredly to myself.

                               "I am, Sir,

                                 "Your most obedient servant,

                                   "W. BLACKWOOD."

"Five guineas!" said I to myself,--twenty-five dollars cash, for a paper
I had flung off at a single sitting, and which at home would have been
thought well paid for with a "Much obliged," or, at most, with a
five-dollar bill,--even the great "North American Review" then paying,
where it paid at all, only a dollar a page in "that day of small
things"; and to work I went forthwith, preparing another article upon
another American subject, determined to be in season, and not allow the
blaze I had lighted up to go out for want of kindling-stuff. The
article, I may say here, created quite a sensation, and was copied into
the Continental journals and papers, and even reappeared in the great
"European Review," then just established at London, Paris, and Vienna,
under the editorship of Alexander Walker, a Scotchman, who began his
literary career by undertaking to supply the deficiencies of D'Alembert,
while he wrote me about _a jeux d'esprit_, with all seriousness.

One curious little incident occurs to me here in connection with the
signature I had adopted. Perhaps the Spiritualists may be able to
account for it. Having finished my second article, and folded it up, and
directed it, as before, to the "Editor," and being about to affix the
seal,--for wafers were not used by decent people in England, and
self-sealing envelopes were unheard of in that day,--I went below, where
I heard voices in conversation that I knew, to borrow a seal, not
wishing to use mine, which not only bore an eagle's head for a crest,
but my initials and the striped shield of my country.

There were present Humphreys, the engraver,--Lady Lilicraft, one of
Washington Irving's lay figures, and the cast-off _chère amie_ of
an English lordling,--Peter Powell, of whom a word or two
hereafter,--Chester Harding,--and the celebrated John Dunn Hunter, whose
portrait Harding had just under way.

When I had stated my request, two or three hands, with two or three
seals, were instantly reached forth. I took the nearest, and was not a
little surprised, on looking at the impression, to find the very
initials I needed, in old English. The seal belonged to Chester Harding;
and as my _nom de plume_ was "Carter Holmes," the "C. H." seemed quite
providential. From that time forward, I continued to use the same seal
whenever I found Harding within reach, until, one day, a still stranger
"happening" occurred. I was in a hurry, and could not wait. Any seal
would do, of course; and the mistress, pitying my perplexity, said there
was a seal up-stairs somewhere which might serve my turn, if she could
find it. After a short absence, she returned, and, handing me an
old-fashioned affair, which I did not stop to look at, I made the
impression, and was just about sending off the parcel, when my attention
was attracted by the very same initials of "C. H.," as you live! Her
husband's name was Charles Halloway, Harding was Chester Harding, and I
was "Carter Holmes"!

One word now about another of Irving's associates and playmates,--Peter
Powell, whom I often met with at Mrs. Halloway's. You will find him
frequently mentioned by name in the "Life and Letters of Washington
Irving," as a "fellow of infinite jest and most excellent fancy," and
full of the strangest contrivances for "setting the table in a roar";
and more than once, though I do not now remember where, I have met with
a grotesque shadow, under a fictitious name,--a sort of Santa Claus or
Æsop at large,--either in the "Sketch-Book" or in the "Tales of a
Traveller," which I saw at a glance, when I came to know the original,
could be no other than Peter Powell himself.

But as Irving did not particularize, I must. Peter would personate a
dancing bear; and with the help of a shaggy overcoat pulled up about his
ears, and a pair of black kid gloves, he being a small man, hardly
taller than a good-sized bear, when standing up with his knees bent, the
representation was not only surprisingly faithful, but sometimes
absolutely startling.

He would serve you out with passages from a new opera, taking all the
parts himself, either separately or together, and with feet, hands, and
voice, a table, a chair, and a paper trumpet extemporized for the
occasion from a sheet of music-paper, would almost persuade you that a
rehearsal was going on at your elbow.

He would tie a couple of knots in his pocket-handkerchief, throw the
rest of it over his hand so as to conceal the action, thrust his left
forefinger into the lowest knot for a head, while the uppermost would go
for a turban, spread out the middle finger and thumb, covered with the
drapery, and make the figure bow and salaam, as if it were alive, to the
unspeakable amazement of the little ones. Many years after this, I tried
the same trick with the Aztec children, and drove the little monsters
half crazy with delight.

He would imitate rooks in their noisiest flights, by putting on a pair
of black gloves, and spreading the fingers, and cawing; and butterflies
alighting on a flower, by pressing his two hands together where they
join the wrist, closing the fingers with a fluttering motion, and moving
them this way and that, until it was quite impossible to misunderstand
the representation; and he would give you a sailor's hornpipe at the
dinner-table, by striping two of his fingers with a pen, drawing a face
on the back of his hand, with vest and waistband to explain the
trousers, and set you screaming as he went through the steps and
flourishes on a plate, with the greatest possible seriousness and
propriety.

But enough. Let us now return to Blackwood. For my next paper he paid me
ten guineas,--fifty dollars,--and, in reply to certain suggestions of
mine, wrote as follows. I give this letter to show how much of a
business man he was, and how well fitted for the duties of editorship.

                                "EDINBURGH, 17 May, 1834.

     "DEAR SIR,--Yours of the 13th makes me feel very much
     ashamed at having so long delayed answering your two former
     favors. The truth is, that you have given me such a bill of
     fare of what you could furnish for our monthly
     entertainment, I felt it would be necessary to write you
     more at length than I had leisure for at the time I received
     your letter; and, like everything that is delayed at the
     proper moment, every day has presented excuses for
     procrastination.

     "If I had the pleasure of knowing you, I might have been
     able, as you say, to have given you some hints as to
     subjects; but in present circumstances, all I have to say
     is, that _whatever is good in itself we are always happy to
     receive_, [&c., &c., as hereinbefore quoted in relation to
     "Christopher North."] I shall only add, that anything of
     yours he will be disposed to view with a favorable eye. As
     to the theatre, exhibitions, &c., the daily papers are so
     stuffed with notices of them, that even what is good has but
     a poor chance. However, I do not mean to say that these
     subjects should be excluded from your communications; all I
     mean is, that you should just write upon what you yourself
     feel a strong interest in.

     "I _would_ be happy to see your novel, ["Brother Jonathan,"]
     but it is now too late of thinking to publish at this
     season. If you will send it, addressed to me, to Mr.
     Cadell's, with a note, desiring it to be forwarded by first
     mail-coach, I _will_ receive it quite safely; and I will, in
     the course of ten days after its reception, write you my
     sentiments with regard to it. No one shall see it; for in
     these matters I judge for myself. If you should go to the
     Continent, perhaps you could leave the manuscript in such a
     state that it could be printed in your absence.

                              "I am, dear Sir, yours truly,

                                  "W. BLACKWOOD."

Here was encouragement, certainly; and it was clear enough that he had a
willingness to be pleased, if nothing more.

I lost no time, therefore, in recasting and rewriting the whole of
"Brother Jonathan," which, as I have mentioned before, was blocked out
before I left America. But, having my board to pay, and not willing to
stake much on a single cast, though ready enough "to stand the hazard of
the die" after my washerwoman was satisfied, I kept on writing for the
magazines and quarterlies, and always about America, and by special
desire too, until my papers were to be found, not only in Blackwood
every month, but in the "New Monthly," the "Old Monthly," the "London,"
the "European," the "Oriental Herald," the "Westminster," and others.

On the 8th of the following November, Mr. Blackwood, having worried
through the manuscript of "Brother Jonathan," wrote me a letter of six
enormous pages, from which I give the following extracts, to show the
temper of the man, his downright honesty and heartiness, and great good
sense.

"My dear Sir," he says, "you will be blaming me for not writing you
sooner; and when I tell you that the delay was caused by my
unwillingness to write you"--(here I began to foresee what was
coming)--"so very differently from what I had so fondly and anxiously
expected, I fear you will blame me, not for the delay, but for my want
of taste and judgment in not properly appreciating the merits of
'Brother Jonathan.'"

Here he wronged me; for I was quite prepared to agree with him, having
spoiled the original draft by working it up too much, and overdoing and
exaggerating all that I was best pleased with.

"Never," he continues,--"never did I take up any manuscript with more
sincere wishes for its being everything that could be desired.
Unfortunately, my expectations have been disappointed." (Comfortable,
hey?) "While I admire the originality and talent and power which the
work displays,"--(I began to breathe more freely,)--"I must frankly tell
you, that, in my humble opinion, there are defects in your plan, and
there are incidents, as well as reflections, which, in this country,
would certainly injure any work, however great its talent.

"I wish I had the pleasure of seeing you for half an hour, as I could
explain by word of mouth so much better than I can by scribbling what my
ideas are, and such as they are. Distrusting my own judgment, after I
had carefully perused the manuscript, I gave it, in the strictest
confidence, to a friend whose opinion I value much, and begged of him,
without saying one word of my opinion, to give me his frankly and
without reserve. My mind was so far satisfied, when I received his
remarks, as I found, that, in general, he had taken the same view of the
work as I had done. I inclose his remarks, as they will save me from
going over the same ground."

The remarks referred to were by Professor Wilson, I have good reason to
believe. They filled half a dozen pages, and were eminently judicious
and proper, and, I may add, far from being unpalatable.

"I shall now, in a rambling way," continues Mr. Blackwood, "state
anything that has occurred to me, and I shall make no apology for
offering you my crude remarks; only you will suppose me to be speaking
to you, and telling you such and such things strike me so and so, that I
may be quite wrong," &c., &c.

And then he proceeds to say,--

"The character of the Yankees (Chapter I.) is too didactic, though
excellent anywhere else than in the commencement of a novel."

Here, too, he was right. I threw the whole chapter aside in rewriting
the book as it now stands, and sent the substance to Campbell's "New
Monthly," where it appeared forthwith.

After frankly stating a number of well-founded objections, and
suggesting two or three important changes in the plot, he finishes after
the following fashion: allow me to commend it to all who find themselves
obliged to "give the mitten," or to snub a respectable aspirant. By so
doing, they may keep life in him, if nothing more:--

"I have said a good deal more than I intended to, as to what things have
struck me as defects in your work. Its excellences I need not take up
your time with dwelling upon. With all the power, interest, and
originality, I regret most exceedingly, that, in its present state, I
would most earnestly advise you not to publish. It would be doing
yourself the greatest injustice. I feel perfectly confident, however,
that, with such materials as these, you could make a glorious book, if
you would set about it again in the proper way. I do not think it would
cost you much trouble, provided that the thing were to strike you."

By way of postscript, he adds,--

"I received your parcel, with No. 3 of the American Writers, and the
critique on Cadell's American work. Are you not giving us too much of
the _Vitæ Virûm Obscurorum_? There is a danger of palling the public
with too much even of a very good thing. This, too, terrifies me at the
length of your critique, as we have had so many American articles
lately. It is, in fact, as you say, a work, not an article. However, we
shall see what can be done."

The critique here referred to was a review of a book entitled "Summary
View of America," and published by Cadell, who was also the London
publisher for Blackwood. It was full of dangerous, though somewhat
plausible errors, and mischievous, though perhaps unintentional,
misrepresentations of our whole political and social system. I did not
spare the book, nor the author, nor the publisher; and notwithstanding
the great length of the paper, which grew up of itself, as I read the
work with pen in hand, into most unreasonable proportions, though
divided into brief paragraphs, it appeared, nevertheless, in the next
following month, as a leader, with a note from "C. N.," which has
already been given in the sketch of Bentham.

Meanwhile this indefatigable purveyor, who knew I was engaged upon
"Brother Jonathan," recasting and rewriting the whole,--not for the
second time, but for the twentieth time, I verily believe,--and that I
was beginning to write for other journals upon American affairs, wanted
me to furnish an occasional paper for the "Noctes Ambrosianæ," to be
incorporated, warp and woof, into the dialogues which appeared month
after month and year after year; up to the death of poor Wilson in 1853,
and were afterward embodied in a book by Dr. R. Shelton Mackenzie, and
republished here.

This I could not bring myself to undertake, without first seeing the
interlocutors face to face, and looking into their eyes, and hearing
them laugh together "like a rhinoceros," or like the chorus in "Der
Freischütz." Though I knew Wilson, and Lockhart, and Hogg, and "Old
Christopher," and "O'Doherty," and "Timothy Tickler," and "Ebony," by
reputation, it was only as a company of shadows, and not as creatures of
substantial flesh and blood. The lightning had struck; my guns were in
position; I had got the range of the enemies' camp, and meant to be in
no hurry, but "to fight it out on the line" I had chosen, if it took me
till doomsday. I refused, therefore. I was willing to wait. I knew, to
be sure, the Chinese could grow oranges from the seed in half an hour;
but then the oranges were peas, and I wanted to grow "some pumpkins." In
short, I would not

                                    "wear
    My strength away in wrestling with the air."

Next he wanted me to write a review of "Margaret Lyndsay," a charming
story by Wilson himself, of which I had incidentally expressed the
highest opinion, in our correspondence. Mr. Blackwood sprang at the
idea, like a half-famished pickerel at a frog. But no. Although such a
paper would be quite in my way, for I have always delighted in showing
off, and teaching grandmothers to suck eggs, I could not be persuaded,
for reasons which may be guessed at by the proud and sensitive and
foolish, so long as the question about "Brother Jonathan" was undecided.

On the 24th of November, having received my answer to his of the 8th,
he wrote again as follows:--

     "MY DEAR SIR,--I felt very anxious, indeed, till I had the
     pleasure of receiving your letter of the 11th, fearing that
     you might not, perhaps, take the remarks I sent you in the
     spirit of kindness in which they were honestly and sincerely
     made. Your letter has satisfied me that you will yet make a
     glorious book of 'Brother Jonathan.'

     "Let the better feelings and passions of our nature have
     freer scope and happier development and results. This is
     what your work wants; for mankind like better to see the
     bright side of the picture than the dark one. I do not think
     it necessary to say one word more to you on the subject.
     Your own taste and feelings must direct you as to what is
     necessary to be done. All that I hope and pray for is, that
     you may have set seriously to work with the revision and
     correction."

Are not these two extracts enough to show of themselves the leading
characteristics of "Ebony," or "Old Christopher"? How business-like, and
yet how friendly and judicious are the suggestions!

Meanwhile, I had furnished a paper for him, entitled "Men and Women; or,
A Brief Hypothesis concerning the Differences in their Genius." My
object was to show, that, although unlike, they were not unequal; that
each had a standard for itself. I did not urge that Arabs, who are
reckoned pretty good judges of horse-flesh, always give the preference
to mares for endurance and swiftness,--that the female bird of prey is
larger and fiercer than the male,--that the female body-guard of the
King of Dahomey are terrible Amazons,--nor that, where women reign, men
rule, and _vice versâ_; but that, by endowing woman with a more
sensitive organization, our Father had given her what was better than a
mane for the lioness, a beard for the goat, or a voice and plumage to
the female singing-bird, etc., etc. This also appeared, and was
handsomely paid for.

"In this number," he says, "you will see, that, though we have given an
additional half-sheet, we have only had room for your 'American
Writers.'... I hope you are going on with the series; and that you do
not dwell more than is necessary upon the _Poetæ Minores_, whom no one
cares about. This is what has sometimes been objected to your articles;
and among other remonstrances I have received, I extract the following
from the letter of a gentleman for whom I have a great respect. He says
your article contains 'misstatements, and some of them of a mischievous
tendency; but what mostly concerns you to know is the odium which is
likely to be thrown on your Magazine, in America at least, by the manner
in which (from malice or blundering) some meritorious individuals are
dealt with, _who have every claim to the shelter of private life_.'"

As the meddling gentleman from whose letter the passage was taken did
not particularize, all I could do in reply, and that I lost no time in
doing, was to give him the lie direct, and offer my name to the
publisher. I called for specifications and proof, which never came; and
have an idea that the writer was an artist--a great coxcomb--of whom I
had spoken too well, on paper, though not well enough to satisfy his
inordinate vanity.

"I make no apology to you," continues "Old Christopher," "for giving you
this extract from my friend's letter. He is, I trust, writing under some
strong feeling of something or other, which has concerned some one whom
he knows; but I am sure he is perfectly sincere in what he says. I hope,
therefore, you will be particularly on your guard against saying
anything which any one would be entitled on good grounds to say was
unfair or ungentlemanly. I regret that, in the hurry of the sheet going
to press, what is said of Hall (John E. Hall of Philadelphia) was not
modified. '_Blackguard_' is a shocking appellation; and had my friend
seen this number, I should not have wondered at his remarks. You will,
I am sure, excuse me," etc., etc.

"All very just and proper," said I to myself; but coming from a man who
not long before had said in "Maga," or allowed somebody to say for him,
with a chuckle of triumph never to be forgotten, that Canning had given
the lie to Brougham on the floor of Parliament, I must acknowledge that
I felt rather astonished at his sensitiveness.

On the 19th of February, 1825,--by which time I had completed the series
of "American Writers," pursuing my first plan without deviating from it
a hair's breadth, and introducing an American department into three or
four monthlies,--never, in fact, writing a word upon any other subject
than our literature, authors, manners, politics, and painters, except in
two instances, that I now remember,--he wrote as follows.

"MY DEAR SIR,--You have finished your series in capital style. The whole
is spirited and most original. Many may differ from you on some points,
but, beauties or blemishes, no one will pretend to say that they are not
your own. And may I add, that I hardly know any work except 'Maga' where
you could have felt yourself so much at your ease in most fearlessly
saying what you thought right of men and things." All very true; and it
was for that reason that I launched forth in "Blackwood," hit or miss,
neck or nothing, determined to make a spoon or spoil a horn. And then he
adds,--"Washington Irving once told me that he considered my 'Maga' as a
daringly original work. It was too much for his delicate nerves."

Undoubtedly; and it was for that reason that the papers I wrote in a
different style for the "European Magazine," New Series,--out of which
grew the famous controversy with Mathews for his admirable
misrepresentations of Yankee character,--were attributed for a long
while to Washington Irving himself; but he could not have written them,
any more than I could have written the "Sketch-Book" or "Bracebridge
Hall."

"I hope," continues our friend "Ebony,"--"I hope you are thinking of
something else for me, as you must have much to communicate with regard
to America, men and matters, which we know nothing of in this country,
both as to what has been done and what is now doing. Perhaps it might be
well to give anything of this kind just in separate articles, as one is
sometimes rather fettered in a regular series. However, all this depends
upon the subject-matter and the way in which it happens to strike
yourself.... I enclose you an order on Mr. Cadell for fifteen guineas."

Thus much to show, that, however absolute and arbitrary "our worthy
friend Christopher" was on ordinary occasions, he was a man of the
kindest feelings, delicate, magnanimous, and liberal.

In the course of the next following three months "Brother Jonathan" was
finished, read, accepted, and paid for at my own price,--two hundred
guineas,--the same that Murray paid Irving for his "Sketch-Book," with a
contingent proviso for another hundred guineas, which never amounted to
anything.

Meanwhile, however, we were in constant communication by letter, and I
give now the following extracts to show his exceeding carefulness, and
the consequences--the disastrous consequences, I might say--to both of
us. I have already mentioned, that, in the progress of revision, I had
probably written the book, not twice, but twenty times over; and this I
believe to be true. I had grown too fastidious, over-anxious, nervous,
and fidgety. I could not endure the coming together of the same or
similar sounds,--_d_s and _t_s, for example, or _v_s and _f_s,--and
wrote some pages or paragraphs at least forty or fifty times over to
prevent this, and thereby sacrificed all freedom and naturalness. When
Mr. Blackwood wrote me, therefore, as follows, it only served to confirm
me in my evil habit,--a disease, in fact,--and the result was further
alterations and corrections, so numerous and so troublesome, though
trivial in themselves, that, in going through the press, the printer
himself, Mr. Spottiswood, got alarmed, and charged accordingly.

On the 14th of April he writes me at length about the book. "I wished
also, before writing you, to be able to give you the opinion of my
friend whose remarks I formerly sent you. In some things I agree with
him, in others I do not; but I think it best you should judge yourself
as to all that he says. I also enclose you a note from another friend,
whose judgment I value more than that of any one I know, almost." Here
follows a string of suggestions, most of which I took advantage of, in
carrying this, my third complete copy of the work, through the press. No
wonder it grew more and more artificial, as it grew more and more
strange and euphonious.

He continues,--"I have read the manuscript again very carefully," (the
third time,--a manuscript of three volumes!) "and I do think you have
improved the work very much. I cannot again venture to suggest anything
to you, even if I could, (which I am very doubtful of,) because you give
yourself so much labor, and any crude ideas of mine may perhaps be more
injurious than useful. You must yourself feel best what is necessary,
and to your own judgment everything must be left. I have therefore put
up the manuscript with this, as it must be printed under your own eye in
London. All that I would advise you to do is, _to go over the manuscript
before sending it to the printer, and correct it as you would do a
proof_; for, should any material alterations occur to you, you can
easily make them on the blank pages....

"I suppose you would wish the work to be printed in post 8vo, like
'Reginald Dalton' and others that I have published. This is certainly
the most elegant form, but it is expensive, and it is perhaps worthy of
consideration whether or not it might be advisable to take the less
expensive form of 12mo, similar to my second edition of 'Adam Blair' (by
Lockhart, the 'Scorpion'). I am, I confess, in considerable doubt both
ways. If, however, you prefer the post 8vo, my doubts will be at an end.
I have written a few lines to my friends the Messrs. Spottiswood, (the
King's printers,) in order that you may at once put the manuscript into
their hands, as soon as you are ready. If you prefer the post 8vo, you
will get from Mr. Cadell a volume of 'Reginald Dalton' or of 'Percy
Mallory'; but if you like the 12mo, you will get a copy of the second
edition of 'Adam Blair,' and give your directions to Messrs. Spottiswood
accordingly....

"I do not think that the volumes should be less than three hundred and
sixty pages, for thin volumes look so catchpenny-like. At the same time,
it is better to have thin volumes than to keep in or add anything that
interrupts or interferes with the story....

"I have been quite overloaded with articles this month, and some of them
very long, which cannot for various reasons be delayed. I shall
therefore be obliged to keep both of your articles till next month. I am
vexed at not being able to get in your tale," (the original sketch of
"Rachel Dyer," and the first of a series which I had in contemplation,)
"which is very striking and powerful; but it was too long for this
number, having so many other long articles, and it would have destroyed
it to have divided it. The 'American Books,' too, is very interesting,
though you perhaps hit poor Cooper rather hard, and some of the Cockneys
will be apt to quote it when 'Brother Jonathan' comes into their
paws.... I enclose you ten guineas on account."

April 26th he writes,--"I am very much pleased with the appearance of
the sheet, and above all with what you have done to it. The work now
starts fair and straightforward, and you will feel your own way much
better and take a much firmer hold of your reader by allowing the
narrative to take its natural course."

In due time I had my pockets picked of my last shilling, and "Brother
Jonathan" appeared just in the nick of time and in the best possible
shape to keep me out of a sponging-house. For a while it created quite a
sensation, and led to many new engagements with different periodicals.
It was well received on the Continent, and reviewed in the leading
journals of France. It would have been republished in this country, had
not the sheets been suppressed, which I sent in advance to Wiley, the
publisher of Cooper's works, till it was too late. Other copies were
lost, I know not how, and I gave up the idea of astonishing the natives
here.

Meanwhile Mr. Blackwood and I had never met. Hindrances had happened,
month after month, when it seemed that we should certainly have a chance
for a grapple; and he had behaved so handsomely to me through all our
negotiations and correspondence, that I wanted to look into his eyes.

At last he came down upon me when least expected. Mrs. Halloway tapped
at my door to say that a strange gentleman was below, inquiring for Mr.
Carter Holmes; and then she handed me Mr. Blackwood's card. "Show him
up," said I, as a knowing smile drifted athwart her fine old-fashioned
English face,--for she had the secret under lock-and-key, and used to
collect my drafts and take charge of the letters to and from "Carter
Holmes." The girl who went to the door knew nothing of such a gentleman,
and so the landlady took the business into her own hands.

We met after a most agreeable fashion, and I was greatly pleased with my
visitor, though disappointed in his personal appearance. I found him a
short, "stubbed" man, of about five feet six, I should say, with a
plain, straightforward business air,--like that of a substantial
tradesman,--and a look of uncommon though quiet shrewdness. You could
see at a glance that he was a man to be trusted,--frank and fearless,
without being either boastful or aggressive. After talking over matters
generally, and getting my pay in cash,--guineas for pounds,--without
taking a bill or engaging my name for a discount in the usual course of
trade, he invited me to dine with him at an eating-house in the Strand,
saying that he had asked "Ensign O'Doherty" (Dr. Maginn) to meet me; the
man who wrote Hebrew and Greek and Latin poetry, and had begun for
"Blackwood" not long before with rendering the ballad of "Chevy Chase"
into Latin verse. I could see, that, although Mr. Blackwood had the
highest opinion of the Doctor's genius and scholarship, he was a little
shy of him, and I dare say saw through and through him, as I think I
did.

The dinner was a plain, substantial affair, without wine or
delicacies,--or even whiskey,--which may have been out of deference to
me; for when asked what I would "take?" I answered, "Nothing beyond a
glass of ale or porter." It may be that our friend the Doctor was a
little disappointed, or that "Ebony," knowing his weakness upon that
point, was unwilling to show him up altogether, on whiskey-punch, or old
Port, before a stranger; for, instead of talking freely and pleasantly,
and keeping up appearances, the Doctor grew shy and reserved, and
answered the simplest questions with an air of embarrassment, as if he
were afraid of being entrapped. In short, he disappointed me. There was
nothing in his language, look, or manner to justify his reputation as
"Ensign O'Doherty"; nor was there anything in the little that he said or
did to indicate the lamentable tendency of his gifted nature, which
ended within a few months, or a year or two at most, in his utter
degradation and ruin. He had the air and manners of a gentleman, though
not of one who had seen much of the world; with a mild, pleasant
expression of countenance, and a dash of seriousness. He seemed to be
about five-and-twenty, according to my present recollection, of middling
stature, and of a decidedly intellectual type; but he said nothing to be
remembered while we were together; and I have since had an intimation
that he was never himself when sober, and that Mr. Blackwood had just
taken him out of a sponging-house to meet me. Otherwise, our dinner
passed off in a very agreeable, unpretending fashion, and we separated,
never to meet again,--with a settled conviction on my part, however,
that I understood the characters of both as well as if we had been
dining together for a twelvemonth.

Soon after this, Mr. Millar, the first publisher of the "Sketch-Book,"
engaged me to write for the "European Magazine," New Series, without
allowing me to know that the "John Bull" newspaper and Theodore Hook
were at the bottom of the affair. I wrote for it month after month, upon
American matters, until I discovered the truth, and had just got through
a sharp controversy with Mathews, when I found it necessary to knock
off: the "John Bull" constantly abusing America, and Theodore Hook
losing no opportunity of saying the most offensive and brutal things of
us,--as, for example, that Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Adams both died drunk
on the 4th of July.

I had also contributed a series of papers to the "London Magazine,"
under the title of "Yankee Notions," and was showing up John Dunn Hunter
as he deserved, in which I was followed soon after by Mr. Sparks in the
"North American Review," about the time that the "Edinburgh Review"
adopted in the lump my theory of "Men and Women," already referred to,
saying in September, 1826, substantially what I had said in October,
1824. "We think it probable," says Mr. Jeffrey, "that some men have
originally a greater excitability or general vivacity of mind than
others, and that is the chief difference. But considering how variously
they may be developed or directed in after-life, it seems to us of no
sort of importance whether we call it a _temperament_, and say that it
is shown by the color of the hair and the eyes, or maintain that it is a
balance of active powers and propensities, the organs of which are in
the skull."

I had also written for the "Westminster," and, in short, was furnishing
about all of the monthlies and two of the quarterlies with American
_pabulum_; and yet the public were not satisfied. It seemed as if
"increase of appetite did grow with what it fed on." This, of course,
must have been very gratifying to "Old Christopher," though he did not
like the idea of anybody's knowing who wrote for the "Maga," and letting
the "delicious secret out." He wanted all his contributors to himself,
either in fact or in appearance; and when he found, from something I
said in the "London," or somewhere else, that I was known as the writer
of the "Blackwood Papers," he took me to task in a way that displeased
me. So we quarrelled,--or rather I quarrelled,--for he did not. He kept
his temper, and I lost mine,--for which, by the way, I ought to be
thankful; and the affair ended by my withdrawing the first of a series
of "North American Stories," which I was preparing for him, and
returning the fifteen guineas he had paid me for it. It was already in
type, and was the framework or skeleton of "Rachel Dyer."

On the whole, I must acknowledge that I was chiefly to blame, though not
altogether. I never wrote another line for him, and we had no further
correspondence.

About the same time, another misunderstanding arose between him and
"O'Doherty," who entered upon a rival enterprise, and became editor of a
new monthly, the title of which I do not now remember. It was of the
"Blackwood" type, though somewhat exaggerated, being ferocious where
"Blackwood" was only sarcastic, and utterly regardless of truth, where
"Blackwood" was rather cautious and circumspect in all that required
proof. In the very first number there appeared what was claimed to be an
extract from that "Life of Byron" which he had given to Moore, and which
had been suppressed, if not bought up. It was entitled "My Wedding
Night," and went into particulars so much in the style of Byron, that I,
for one, have always believed it faithful, and neither an imitation nor
a counterfeit. I have since been assured that Lady Caroline Lamb, and
two or three more at least "of that ilk," had the reading of these
memoirs, and of course portions of the whole might have been copied. But
however that may be, the publication by Dr. Maginn of the chapter
mentioned was either such a piece of heartless treachery or such an
impudent fabrication as no decent person would venture to encourage.
Though other chapters were promised, not another line appeared; the
magazine blew up, the Doctor was _tabooed_, and soon after died a
miserable death.

But enough. That William Blackwood was an extraordinary man is evident
enough from the astonishing success of his Magazine. Whatever may have
been its history, its faults, or its follies, it has maintained itself
now in the public favor of the world itself for nearly fifty years, and
most of the time at a prodigious elevation, in unapproachable solitude.
Burning and acrimonious, unrelenting, and at times deadly in its hatred,
full of desperate partisanship, and of judicial blindness toward all who
belonged to the other side in politics, it was always full of
earnestness and originality and tumultuous life, and often-times not
only generous, but magnanimous and forgiving.



THE CHIMNEY-CORNER.


XI.

THE WOMAN QUESTION: OR, WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH HER?

"What do you think of this Woman's Rights question?" said Bob Stephens.
"From some of your remarks, I apprehend that you think there is
something in it. I may be wrong, but I must confess that I have looked
with disgust on the whole movement. No man reverences women as I do; but
I reverence them _as_ women. I reverence them for those very things in
which their sex differs from ours; but when they come upon our ground,
and begin to work and fight after our manner and with our weapons, I
regard them as fearful anomalies, neither men nor women. These Women's
Rights Conventions appear to me to have ventilated crudities,
absurdities, and blasphemies. To hear them talk about men, one would
suppose that the two sexes were natural born enemies, and wonders
whether they ever had fathers and brothers. One would think, upon their
showing, that all men were a set of ruffians, in league against
women,--they seeming, at the same time, to forget how on their very
platforms the most constant and gallant defenders of their rights are
men. Wendell Phillips and Wentworth Higginson have put at the service of
the cause masculine training and manly vehemence, and complacently
accepted the wholesale abuse of their own sex at the hands of their
warrior sisters. One would think, were all they say of female powers
true, that our Joan-of-Arcs ought to have disdained to fight under male
captains."

"I think," said my wife, "that, in all this talk about the rights of
men, and the rights of women, and the rights of children, the world
seems to be forgetting what is quite as important, the _duties_ of men
and women and children. We all hear of our _rights_ till we forget our
_duties_; and even theology is beginning to concern itself more with
what man has a right to expect of his Creator than what the Creator has
a right to expect of man."

"You say the truth," said I; "there is danger of just this overaction:
and yet rights must be discussed; because, in order to understand the
duties, we owe to any class, we must understand their rights. To know
our duties to men, women, and children, we must know what the rights of
men, women, and children justly are. As to the 'Woman's Rights
movement,' it is not peculiar to America, it is part of a great wave in
the incoming tide of modern civilization; the swell is felt no less in
Europe, but it combs over and breaks on our American shore, because our
great wide beach affords the best play for its waters: and as the ocean
waves bring with them kelp, sea-weed, mud, sand, gravel, and even
putrefying debris, which lie unsightly on the shore, and yet, on the
whole, are healthful and refreshing,--so the Woman's Rights movement,
with its conventions, its speech-makings, its crudities and
eccentricities, is nevertheless a part of a healthful and necessary
movement of the human race towards progress. This question of Woman and
her Sphere is now, perhaps, the greatest of the age. We have put Slavery
under foot, and with the downfall of Slavery the only obstacle to the
success of our great democratic experiment is overthrown, and there
seems no limit to the splendid possibilities which it may open before
the human race.

"In the reconstruction that is now coming there lies more than the
reconstruction of States and the arrangement of the machinery of
Government. We need to know and feel, all of us, that, from the moment
of the death of Slavery, we parted finally from the _régime_ and control
of all the old ideas formed under old oppressive systems of society, and
came upon a new plane of life.

"In this new life we must never forget that we are a peculiar people,
that we have to walk in paths unknown to the Old World, paths where its
wisdom cannot guide us, where its precedents can be of little use to us,
and its criticisms, in most cases, must be wholly irrelevant. The
history of our war has shown us of how little service to us in any
important crisis the opinions and advice of the Old World can be. We
have been hurt at what seemed to us the want of sympathy, the direct
antagonism, of England. We might have been less hurt, if we had properly
understood that Providence had placed us in a position so far ahead of
her ideas or power of comprehension that just judgment or sympathy was
not to be expected from her.

"As we went through our great war with no help but that of God, obliged
to disregard the misconceptions and impertinences which the foreign
press rained down upon us, so, if we are wise, we shall continue to do.
Our object must now be to make the principles on which our government is
founded permeate consistently the mass of society, and to purge out the
leaven of aristocratic and Old World ideas. So long as there is an
illogical working in our actual life, so long as there is any class
denied equal rights with other classes, so long will there be agitation
and trouble."

"Then," said my wife, "you believe that women ought to vote?"

"If the principle on which we founded our government is true, that
taxation must not exist without representation, and if women hold
property and are taxed, it follows that women should be represented in
the State by their votes, or there is an illogical working of our
government."

"But, my dear, don't you think that this will have a bad effect on the
female character?"

"Yes," said Bob, "it will make women caucus-holders, political
candidates."

"It may make this of some women, just as of some men," said I. "But all
men do not take any great interest in politics; it is very difficult to
get some of the best of them to do their duty in voting; and the same
will be found true among women."

"But, after all," said Bob, "what do you gain? What will a woman's vote
be but a duplicate of that of her husband or father, or whatever man
happens to be her adviser?"

"That may be true on a variety of questions; but there are subjects on
which the vote of women would, I think, be essentially different from
that of men. On the subjects of temperance, public morals, and
education, I have no doubt that the introduction of the female vote into
legislation, in States, counties, and cities, would produce results very
different from that of men alone. There are thousands of women who would
close grogshops, and stop the traffic in spirits, if they had the
legislative power; and it would be well for society, if they had. In
fact, I think that a State can no more afford to dispense with the vote
of women in its affairs than a family. Imagine a family where the female
has no voice in the housekeeping! A State is but a larger family, and
there are many of its concerns which equally with those of a private
household would be bettered by female supervision."

"But fancy women going to those horrible voting-places! It is more than
I can do myself," said Bob.

"But you forget," said I, "that they are horrible and disgusting
principally because women never go to them. All places where women are
excluded tend downward to barbarism; but the moment she is introduced,
there come in with her courtesy, cleanliness, sobriety, and order. When
a man can walk up to the ballot-box with his wife or his sister on his
arm, voting-places will be far more agreeable than now; and the polls
will not be such bear-gardens that refined men will be constantly
tempted to omit their political duties there.

"If for nothing else, I would have women vote, that the business of
voting may not be so disagreeable and intolerable to men of refinement
as it now is; and I sincerely believe that the cause of good morals,
good order, cleanliness, and public health would be a gainer, not merely
by the added feminine vote, but by the added vote of a great many
excellent, but too fastidious men, who are now kept from the polls by
the disagreeables they meet there.

"Do you suppose, that, if women had equal representation with men in the
municipal laws of New York, its reputation for filth during the last
year would have gone so far beyond that of Cologne, or any other city
renowned for bad smells? I trow not. I believe a _lady-mayoress_ would
have brought in a dispensation of brooms and whitewash, and made a
terrible searching into dark holes and vile corners, before now.
_Female_ New York, I have faith to believe, has yet left in her enough
of the primary instincts of womanhood to give us a clean, healthy city,
if female votes had any power to do it."

"But," said Bob, "you forget that voting would bring together all the
women of the lower classes."

"Yes; but, thanks to the instincts of their sex, they would come in
their Sunday clothes: for where is the woman that hasn't her finery, and
will not embrace every chance to show it? Biddy's parasol, and hat with
pink ribbons, would necessitate a clean shirt in Pat as much as on
Sunday. Voting would become a _fête_, and we should have a population at
the polls as well dressed as at church. Such is my belief."

"I do not see," said Bob, "but you go to the full extent with our modern
female reformers."

"There are certain neglected truths, which have been held up by these
reformers, that are gradually being accepted and infused into the life
of modern society; and their recognition will help to solidify and
purify democratic institutions. They are,--

"1. The right of every woman to hold independent property.

"2. The right of every woman to receive equal pay with man for work
which she does equally well.

"3. The right of any woman to do any work for which, by her natural
organization and talent, she is peculiarly adapted.

"Under the first head, our energetic sisters have already, by the help
of their gallant male adjutants, reformed the laws of several of our
States, so that a married woman is no longer left the unprotected legal
slave of any unprincipled, drunken spendthrift who may be her
husband,--but, in case of the imbecility or improvidence of the natural
head of the family, the wife, if she have the ability, can conduct
business, make contracts, earn and retain money for the good of the
household; and I am sure no one can say that immense injustice and
cruelty are not thereby prevented.

"It is quite easy for women who have the good fortune to have just and
magnanimous husbands to say that they feel no interest in such reforms,
and that they would willingly trust their property to the man to whom
they give themselves; but they should remember that laws are not made
for the restraint of the generous and just, but of the dishonest and
base. The law which enables a married woman to hold her own property
does not forbid her to give it to the man of her heart, if she so
pleases; and it does protect many women who otherwise would be reduced
to the extremest misery. I once knew an energetic milliner who had her
shop attached four times, and a flourishing business broken up in four
different cities, because she was tracked from city to city by a
worthless spendthrift, who only waited till she had amassed a little
property in a new place to swoop down upon and carry it off. It is to be
hoped that the time is not distant when every State will give to woman a
fair chance to the ownership and use of her own earnings and her own
property."

"Well," said Bob, "the most interesting question still remains: what are
to be the employments of woman? What ways are there for her to use her
talents, to earn her livelihood and support those who are dear to her,
when Providence throws that necessity upon her? This is becoming more
than ever one of the pressing questions of our age. The war has deprived
so many thousands of women of their natural protectors, that everything
must be thought of that may possibly open a way for their self-support."

"Well, let us look over the field," said my wife. "What is there for
woman?"

"In the first place," said I, "come the professions requiring natural
genius,--authorship, painting, sculpture, with the subordinate arts of
photographing, coloring, and finishing; but when all is told, these
furnish employment to a very limited number,--almost as nothing to the
whole. Then there is teaching, which is profitable in its higher
branches, and perhaps the very pleasantest of all the callings open to
woman; but teaching is at present an overcrowded profession, the
applicants everywhere outnumbering the places. Architecture and
landscape-gardening are arts every way suited to the genius of woman,
and there are enough who have the requisite mechanical skill and
mathematical education; and though never yet thought of for the sex,
that I know of, I do not despair of seeing those who shall find in this
field a profession at once useful and elegant. When women plan
dwelling-houses, the vast body of tenements to be let in our cities will
wear a more domestic and comfortable air, and will be built more with
reference to the real wants of their inmates."

"I have thought," said Bob, "that _agencies_ of various sorts, as
canvassing the country for the sale of books, maps, and engravings,
might properly employ a great many women. There is a large class whose
health suffers from confinement and sedentary occupations, who might, I
think, be both usefully and agreeably employed in business of this sort,
and be recruiting their health at the same time."

"Then," said my wife, "there is the medical profession."

"Yes," said I. "The world is greatly obliged to Miss Blackwell and other
noble pioneers who faced and overcame the obstacles to the attainment of
a thorough medical education by females. Thanks to them, a new and
lucrative profession is now open to educated women in relieving the
distresses of their own sex; and we may hope that in time, through their
intervention, the care of the sick may also become the vocation of
cultivated, refined, intelligent women instead of being left, as
heretofore, to the ignorant and vulgar? The experience of our late war
has shown us what women of a high class morally and intellectually can
do in this capacity. Why should not this experience inaugurate a new and
sacred calling for refined and educated women? Why should not NURSING
become a vocation equal in dignity and in general esteem to the medical
profession, of which it is the right hand? Why should our dearest hopes,
in the hour of their greatest peril, be committed into the hands of
Sairey Gamps, when the world has seen Florence Nightingales?"

"Yes, indeed," said my wife; "I can testify, from my own experience,
that the sufferings and dangers of the sickbed, for the want of
intelligent, educated nursing, have been dreadful. A prejudiced,
pig-headed, snuff-taking old woman, narrow-minded and vulgar, and more
confident in her own way than seven men that can render a reason, enters
your house at just the hour and moment when all your dearest earthly
hopes are brought to a crisis. She becomes absolute dictator over your
delicate, helpless wife and your frail babe,--the absolute dictator of
all in the house. If it be her sovereign will and pleasure to enact all
sorts of physiological absurdities in the premises, who shall say her
nay? "She knows her business, she hopes!" And if it be her edict, as it
was of one of her class whom I knew, that each of her babies shall eat
four baked beans the day it is four days old, eat them it must; and if
the baby die in convulsions four days after, it is set down as the
mysterious will of an overruling Providence.

"I know and have seen women lying upon laced pillows under silken
curtains, who have been bullied and dominated over in the hour of their
greatest helplessness by ignorant and vulgar tyrants, in a way that
would scarce be thought possible in civilized society, and children that
have been injured or done to death by the same means. A celebrated
physician told me of a babe whose eyesight was nearly ruined by its
nurse taking a fancy to wash its eyes with camphor, "to keep it from
catching cold," she said. I knew another infant that was poisoned by the
nurse giving it laudanum in some of those patent nostrums which these
ignorant creatures carry secretly in their pockets, to secure quiet in
their little charges. I knew one delicate woman who never recovered from
the effects of being left at her first confinement in the hands of an
ill-tempered, drinking nurse, and whose feeble infant was neglected and
abused by this woman in a way to cause lasting injury. In the first four
weeks of infancy, the constitution is peculiarly impressible; and
infants of a delicate organization may, if frightened and ill treated,
be the subjects of just such a shock to the nervous system as in mature
age comes from the sudden stroke of a great affliction or terror. A bad
nurse may affect nerves predisposed to weakness in a manner they never
will recover from. I solemnly believe that the constitutions of more
women are broken up by bad nursing in their first confinement than by
any other cause whatever. And yet there are at the same time hundreds
and thousands of women wanting the means of support, whose presence in a
sick-room would be a benediction. I do trust that Miss Blackwell's band
of educated nurses will not be long in coming, and that the number of
such may increase till they effect a complete revolution in this
vocation. A class of cultivated, well-trained, intelligent nurses would
soon elevate the employment of attending on the sick into the noble
calling it ought to be, and secure for it its appropriate rewards."

"There is another opening for woman," said I,--"in the world of
business. The system of commercial colleges now spreading over our land
is a new and a most important development of our times. There that large
class of young men who have either no time or no inclination for an
extended classical education can learn what will fit them for that
active material life which in our broad country needs so many workers.
But the most pleasing feature of these institutions is, that the
complete course is open to women no less than to men, and women there
may acquire that knowledge of book-keeping and accounts, and of the
forms and principles of business transactions, which will qualify them
for some of the lucrative situations hitherto monopolized by the other
sex. And the expenses of the course of instruction are so arranged as to
come within the scope of very moderate means. A fee of fifty dollars
entitles a woman to the benefit of the whole course, and she has the
privilege of attending at any hours that may suit her own engagements
and convenience."

"Then, again," said my wife, "there are the departments of millinery and
dress-making and the various branches of needle-work, which afford
employment to thousands of women; there is type-setting, by which many
are beginning to get a living; there are the manufactures of cotton,
woollen, silk, and the numberless useful articles which employ female
hands in their fabrication,--all of them opening avenues by which, with
more or less success, a subsistence can be gained."

"Well, really," said Bob, "it would appear, after all, that there are
abundance of openings for women. What is the cause of the outcry and
distress? How is it that we hear of women starving, driven to vice and
crime by want, when so many doors of useful and profitable employment
stand open to them?"

"The question would easily be solved," said my wife, "if you could once
see the kind and class of women who thus suffer and starve. There may be
exceptions, but too large a portion of them are girls and women who _can
or will do no earthly thing well_,--and what is worse, are not willing
to take the pains to be taught to do anything well. I will describe to
you one girl, and you will find in every intelligence-office a hundred
of her kind to five thoroughly trained ones.

"Imprimis: she is rather delicate and genteel-looking, and you may know
from the arrangement of her hair just what the last mode is of disposing
of rats or waterfalls. She has a lace bonnet with roses, a silk
mantilla, a silk dress trimmed with velvet, a white skirt with sixteen
tucks and an embroidered edge, a pair of cloth gaiters, underneath which
are a pair of stockings without feet, the only pair in her possession.
She has no under-linen, and sleeps at night in the working-clothes she
wears in the day. She never seems to have in her outfit either comb,
brush, or tooth-brush of her own,--neither needles, thread, scissors,
nor pins: her money, when she has any, being spent on more important
articles, such as the lace bonnet or silk mantilla, or the rats and
waterfalls that glorify her head. When she wishes to sew, she borrows
what is needful of a convenient next neighbor; and if she gets a place
in a family as second girl, she expects to subsist in these respects by
borrowing of the better-appointed servants, or helping herself from the
family stores.

"She expects, of course, the very highest wages, if she condescends to
live out, and by help of a trim outside appearance and the many
vacancies that are continually occurring in households she gets places,
where her object is to do just as little of any duty assigned to her as
possible, to hurry through her performances, put on her fine clothes,
and go a-gadding. She is on free and easy terms with all the men she
meets, and ready at jests and repartee, sometimes far from seemly. Her
time of service in any one place lasts indifferently from a fortnight to
two or three months, when she takes her wages, buys her a new parasol in
the latest style, and goes back to the intelligence-office. In the
different families where she has lived she has been told a hundred times
the proprieties of household life, how to make beds, arrange rooms, wash
china, glass, and silver, and set tables; but her habitual rule is to
try in each place how small and how poor services will be accepted. When
she finds less will not do, she gives more. When the mistress follows
her constantly and shows an energetic determination to be well served,
she shows that she _can_ serve well; but such attention relaxes, she
slides back again. She is as destructive to a house as a fire; the very
spirit of wastefulnes is in her; she cracks the china, dents the silver,
stops the water-pipes with rubbish; and after she is gone, there is
generally a sum equal to half her wages to be expended in repairing the
effects of her carelessness. And yet there is one thing to be said for
her: she is quite as careful of her employer's things as of her own. The
full amount of her mischief often does not appear at once, as she is
glib of tongue, adroit in apologies, and lies with as much alertness and
as little thought of conscience as a blackbird chatters. It is difficult
for people who have been trained from childhood in the school of
verities,--who have been lectured for even the shadow of a
prevarication, and shut up in disgrace for a lie, till truth becomes a
habit of their souls,--it is very difficult for people so educated to
understand how to get on with those who never speak the truth except by
mere accident, who assert any and every thing that comes into the heads
with all the assurance and all the energy of perfect verity.

"What becomes of this girl? She finds means, by begging, borrowing,
living out, to keep herself extremely trim and airy for a certain length
of time, till the rats and waterfalls, the lace hat and parasol, and the
glib tongue, have done their work in making a fool of some honest young
mechanic who earns three dollars a day. She marries him with no higher
object than to have somebody to earn money for her to spend. And what
comes of such marriages?

"That is _one_ ending of her career; the other is on the street, in
haunts of vice, in prison, in drunkenness, and death.

"Whence come these girls? They are as numerous as yellow butterflies in
autumn; they flutter up to cities from the country; they grow up from
mothers who ran the same sort of career before them; and the reason why
in the end they fall out of all reputable the moment employment and
starve on poor wages is, that they become physically, mentally, and
morally incapable of rendering any service which society will think
worth paying for."

"I remember," said I, "that the head of the most celebrated dress-making
establishment in New York, in reply to the appeals of the needle-women
of the city for sympathy and wages, came out with published statements
to this effect: that the difficulty lay not in unwillingness of
employers to pay what work was worth, but in finding any work worth
paying for; that she had many applicants, but among them few who could
be of real use to her; that she, in common with everybody in this
country who has any kind of serious responsibilities to carry, was
continually embarrassed for want of skilled work-people, who could take
and go on with the labor of her various departments without her constant
supervision; that out of a hundred girls, there would not be more than
five to whom she could give a dress to be made and dismiss it from her
mind as something certain to be properly done.

"Let people individually look around their own little sphere and ask
themselves if they know any woman really excelling in any _valuable_
calling or accomplishment who is suffering for want of work. All of us
know seamstresses, dress-makers, nurses, and laundresses, who have made
themselves such a reputation, and are so beset and overcrowded with
work, that the whole neighborhood is constantly on its knees to them
with uplifted hands. The fine seamstress, who can cut and make
trousseaus and layettes in elegant perfection, is always engaged six
months in advance; the pet dress-maker of a neighborhood must be engaged
in May for September, and in September for May; a laundress who sends
your clothes home in nice order always has all the work that she can do.
Good work in any department is the rarest possible thing in our American
life; and it is a fact that the great majority of workers, both in the
family and out, do only tolerably well,--not so badly that it actually
cannot be borne, yet not so well as to be a source of real, thorough
satisfaction. The exceptional worker in every neighborhood, who does
things really _well_, can always set her own price, and is always having
more offering than she can possibly do.

"The trouble, then, in finding employment for women lies deeper than the
purses or consciences of the employers; it lies in the want of education
in women: the want of _education_, I say,--meaning by education that
which fits a woman for practical and profitable employment in life, and
not mere common school learning."

"Yes," said my wife; "for it is a fact that the most troublesome and
hopeless persons to provide for are often those who have a good medium
education, but no feminine habits, no industry, no practical
calculation, no muscular strength, and no knowledge of any one of
woman's peculiar duties. In the earlier days of New England, women, as a
class, had far fewer opportunities for acquiring learning, yet were far
better educated, physically and morally, than now. The high school did
not exist; at the common school they learned reading, writing, and
arithmetic, and practised spelling; while at home they did the work of
the household. They were cheerful, bright, active, ever on the alert,
able to do anything, from the harnessing and driving of a horse to the
finest embroidery. The daughters of New England in those days looked the
world in the face without a fear. They shunned no labor; they were
afraid of none; and they could always find their way to a living."

"But although less instructed in school learning," said I, "they showed
no deficiency in intellectual acumen. I see no such women, nowadays, as
some I remember of that olden time,--women whose strong minds and ever
active industry carried on reading and study side by side with household
toils.

"I remember a young lady friend of mine, attending a celebrated
boarding-school, boarded in the family of a woman who had never been to
school longer than was necessary to learn to read and write, yet who was
a perfect cyclopedia of general information. The young scholar used to
take her Chemistry and Natural Philosophy into the kitchen, where her
friend was busy with her household work, and read her lessons to her,
that she might have the benefit of her explanations; and so, while the
good lady scoured her andirons or kneaded her bread, she lectured to her
_protégée_ on mysteries of science far beyond the limits of the
text-book. Many of the graduates of our modern high schools would find
it hard to shine in conversation on the subjects they had studied, in
the searching presence of some of these vigorous matrons of the olden
time, whose only school had been the leisure hours gained by energy and
method from their family cares."

"And in those days," said my wife, "there lived in our families a class
of American domestics, women of good sense, and good powers of
reflection, who applied this sense and power of reflection to household
matters. In the early part of my married life, I myself had American
'help'; and they were not only excellent servants, but trusty and
invaluable friends. But now, all this class of applicants for domestic
service have disappeared, I scarce know why or how. All I know is, there
is no more a Betsey or a Lois, such as used to take domestic cares off
my shoulders so completely."

"Good heavens! where are they?" cried Bob. "Where do they hide? I would
search through the world after such a prodigy!"

"The fact is," said I, "there has been a slow and gradual reaction
against household labor in America. Mothers began to feel that it was a
sort of _curse_, to be spared, if possible, to their daughters; women
began to feel that they were fortunate in proportion as they were able
to be entirely clear of family responsibilities. Then Irish labor began
to come in, simultaneously with a great advance in female education.

"For a long while nothing was talked of, written of, thought of, in
teachers' meetings, conventions, and assemblies, but the neglected state
of female education; and the whole circle of the arts and sciences was
suddenly introduced into our free-school system, from which needle-work
as gradually and quietly was suffered to drop out. The girl who attended
the primary and high school had so much study imposed on her that she
had no time for sewing or housework; and the delighted mother was only
too happy to darn her stockings and do the housework alone, that her
daughter might rise to a higher plane than she herself had attained to.
The daughter, thus educated, had, on coming to womanhood, no solidity of
muscle, no manual dexterity, no practice or experience in domestic life;
and if she were to seek a livelihood, there remained only teaching, or
some feminine trade, or the factory."

"These factories," said my wife, "have been the ruin of hundreds and
hundreds of our once healthy farmers' daughters and others from the
country. They go there young and unprotected; they live there in great
boarding-houses, and associate with a promiscuous crowd, without even
such restraints of maternal supervision as they would have in great
boarding-schools; their bodies are enfeebled by labor often necessarily
carried on in a foul and heated atmosphere; and at the hours when off
duty, they are exposed to all the dangers of unwatched intimacy with the
other sex.

"Moreover, the factory-girl learns and practises but one thing,--some
one mechanical movement, which gives no scope for invention, ingenuity,
or any other of the powers called into play by domestic labor; so that
she is in reality unfitted in every way for family duties.

"Many times it has been my lot to try, in my family service, girls who
have left factories; and I have found them wholly useless for any of the
things which a woman ought to be good for. They knew nothing of a house,
or what ought to be done in it; they had imbibed a thorough contempt of
household labor, and looked upon it but as a _dernier resort_; and it
was only the very lightest of its tasks that they could even begin to
think of. I remember I tried to persuade one of these girls, the pretty
daughter of a fisherman, to take some lessons in washing and ironing.
She was at that time engaged to be married to a young mechanic, who
earned something like two or three dollars a day.

"'My child,' said I, 'you will need to understand all kinds of
housework, if you are going to be married.'

"She tossed her little head,--

"'Indeed, she wasn't going to trouble herself about that.'

"'But who will get up your husband's shirts?'

"'Oh, he must put them out. I'm not going to be married to make a slave
of myself!'

"Another young factory-girl, who came for table and parlor work, was so
full of airs and fine notions, that it seemed as difficult to treat with
her as with a princess. She could not sweep, because it blistered her
hands, which, in fact, were long and delicate; she could not think of
putting them into hot dish-water, and for that reason preferred washing
the dishes in cold water; she required a full hour in the morning to
make her toilet; she was laced so tightly that she could not stoop
without vertigo, and her hoops were of dimensions which seemed to render
it impossible for her to wait upon table; she was quite exhausted with
the effort of ironing the table-napkins and chamber-towels;--yet she
could not think of 'living out' under two dollars a week.

"Both these girls had had a good free-school education, and could read
any amount of novels, write a tolerable letter, but had not learned
anything with sufficient accuracy to fit them for teachers. They were
pretty, and their destiny was to marry and lie a dead weight on the
hands of some honest man, and to increase, in their children, the number
of incapables."

"Well," said Bob, "what would you have? What is to be done?"

"In the first place," said I, "I would have it felt by those who are
seeking to elevate woman, that the work is to be done, not so much by
creating for her new spheres of action as by elevating her conceptions
of that domestic vocation to which God and Nature have assigned her. It
is all very well to open to her avenues of profit and advancement in the
great outer world; but, after all, _to make and keep a home_ is, and
ever must be, a woman's first glory, her highest aim. No work of art can
compare with a perfect home; the training and guiding of a family must
be recognized as the highest work a woman can perform; and female
education ought to be conducted with special reference to this.

"Men are _trained_ to be lawyers, to be physicians, to be mechanics, by
long and self-denying study and practice. A man cannot even make shoes
merely by going to the high school and learning reading, writing, and
mathematics; he cannot be a book-keeper, or a printer, simply from
general education.

"Now women have a sphere and profession of their own,--a profession for
which they are fitted by physical organization, by their own instincts,
and to which they are directed by the pointing and manifest finger of
God,--and that sphere is _family life_.

"Duties to the State and to public life they may have; but the public
duties of women must bear to their family ones the same relation that
the family duties of men bear to their public ones.

"The defect in the late efforts to push on female education is, that it
has been for her merely general, and that it has left out and excluded
all that is professional; and she undertakes the essential duties of
womanhood, when they do devolve on her, without any adequate
preparation."

"But is it possible for a girl to learn at school the things which fit
her for family life?" said Bob.

"Why not?" I replied. "Once it was thought impossible in schools to
teach girls geometry, or algebra, or the higher mathematics; it was
thought impossible to put them through collegiate courses: but it has
been done, and we see it. Women study treatises on political economy in
schools; and why should not the study of domestic economy form a part of
every school course? A young girl will stand up at the blackboard, and
draw and explain the compound blowpipe, and describe all the process of
making oxygen and hydrogen. Why should she not draw and explain a
refrigerator as well as an air-pump? Both are to be explained on
philosophical principles. When a school-girl, in her Chemistry, studies
the reciprocal action of acids and alkalies, what is there to hinder the
teaching her its application to the various processes of cooking where
acids and alkalies are employed? Why should she not be led to see how
effervescence and fermentation can be made to perform their office in
the preparation of light and digestible bread? Why should she not be
taught the chemical substances by which food is often adulterated, and
the tests by which such adulterations are detected? Why should she not
understand the processes of confectionery, and know how to guard against
the deleterious or poisonous elements that are introduced into
children's sugar-plums and candies? Why, when she learns the doctrine of
_mordants_, the substances by which different colors are set, should she
not learn it with some practical view to future life, so that she may
know how to set the color of a fading calico or restore the color of a
spotted one? Why, in short, when a girl has labored through a profound
chemical work, and listened to courses of chemical lectures, should she
come to domestic life, which presents a constant series of chemical
experiments and changes, and go blindly along as without chart or
compass, unable to tell what will take out a stain or what will brighten
a metal, what are common poisons and what their antidotes, and not
knowing enough of the laws of caloric to understand how to warm a house,
or of the laws of atmosphere to know how to ventilate one? Why should
the preparation of food, that subtile art on which life, health,
cheerfulness, good temper, and good looks so largely depend, forever be
left in the hands of the illiterate and vulgar?

"A benevolent gentleman has lately left a large fortune for the founding
of a university for women, and the object is stated to be to give women
who have already acquired a general education the means of acquiring a
professional one, to fit themselves for some employment by which they
may gain a livelihood.

"In this institution the women are to be instructed in book-keeping,
stenography, telegraphing, photographing, drawing, modelling, and
various other arts; but so far as I remember, there is no proposal to
teach domestic economy as at least _one_ of woman's professions.

"Why should there not be a professor of domestic economy in every large
female school? Why should not this professor give lectures, first on
house-planning and building, illustrated by appropriate apparatus? Why
should not the pupils have presented to their inspection models of
houses planned with reference to economy, to ease of domestic service,
to warmth, to ventilation, and to architectural appearance? Why should
not the professor go on to lecture further on house-fixtures, with
models of the best mangles, washing-machines, clothes-wringers, ranges,
furnaces, and cooking-stoves, together with drawings and apparatus
illustrative of domestic hydraulics, showing the best contrivances for
bathing-rooms and the obvious principles of plumbing, so that the pupils
may have some idea how to work the machinery of a convenient house when
they have it, and to have such conveniences introduced when wanting? If
it is thought worth while to provide at great expense apparatus for
teaching the revolutions of Saturn's moons and the precession of the
equinoxes, why should there not be some also to teach what it may
greatly concern a woman's earthly happiness to know?

"Why should not the professor lecture on home-chemistry, devoting his
first lecture to bread-making? and why might not a batch of bread be
made and baked and exhibited to the class, together with specimens of
morbid anatomy in the bread line,--the sour cotton bread of the
baker,--the rough, big-holed bread,--the heavy, fossil bread,--the
bitter bread of too much yeast,--and the causes of their defects pointed
out? And so with regard to the various articles of food,--why might not
chemical lectures be given on all of them, one after another?--In short,
it would be easy to trace out a course of lectures on common things to
occupy a whole year, and for which the pupils, whenever they come to
have homes of their own, will thank the lecturer to the last day of
their life.

"Then there is no impossibility in teaching needle-work, the cutting and
fitting of dresses, in female schools. The thing is done very perfectly
in English schools for the working classes. A girl trained at one of
these schools came into a family I once knew. She brought with her a
sewing-book, in which the process of making various articles was
exhibited in miniature. The several parts of a shirt were first shown,
each perfectly made, and fastened to a leaf of the book by itself, and
then the successive steps of uniting the parts, till finally appeared a
miniature model of the whole. The sewing was done with red thread, so
that every stitch might show and any imperfection be at once remedied.
The same process was pursued with regard to other garments, and a good
general idea of cutting and fitting them was thus given to an entire
class of girls.

"In the same manner the care and nursing of young children and the
tending of the sick might be made the subject of lectures. Every woman
ought to have some general principles to guide her with regard to what
is to be done in case of the various accidents that may befall either
children or grown people, and of their lesser illnesses, and ought to
know how to prepare comforts and nourishment for the sick. Hawthorne's
satirical remarks upon the contrast between the elegant Zenobia's
conversation and the smoky porridge she made for him when he was an
invalid might apply to the volunteer cookery of many charming women."

"I think," said Bob, "that your Professor of Domestic Economy would find
enough to occupy his pupils."

"In fact," said I, "were domestic economy properly honored and properly
taught, in the manner described, it would open a sphere of employment to
so many women in the home life, that we should not be obliged to send
our women out to California or the Pacific, to put an end to an anxious
and aimless life.

"When domestic work is sufficiently honored to be taught as an art and
science in our boarding-schools and high schools, then possibly it may
acquire also dignity in the eyes of our working classes, and young girls
who have to earn their own living may no longer feel degraded in
engaging in domestic service. The place of a domestic in a family may
become as respectable in their eyes as a place in a factory, in a
printing-office, in a dress-making or millinery establishment, or behind
the counter of a shop.

"In America there is no class which will confess itself the lower class,
and a thing recommended solely for the benefit of any such class finds
no one to receive it.

"If the intelligent and cultivated look down on household-work with
disdain, if they consider it as degrading, a thing to be shunned by
every possible device, they may depend upon it that the influence of
such contempt of woman's noble duties will flow downward, producing a
like contempt in every class in life.

"Our sovereign princesses learn the doctrine of equality very quickly,
and are not going to sacrifice themselves to what is not considered _de
bon ton_ by the upper classes; and the girl with the laced hat and
parasol, without underclothes, who does her best to "shirk" her duties
as housemaid, and is looking for marriage as an escape from work, is a
fair copy of her mistress, who married for much the same reason, who
hates housekeeping, and would rather board or do anything else than have
the care of a family;--the one is about as respectable as the other.

"When housekeeping becomes an enthusiasm, and its study and practice a
fashion, then we shall have in America that class of persons to rely on
for help in household labors who are now going to factories, to
printing-offices, to every kind of toil, forgetful of the best life and
sphere of woman."



THE FORGE.


CHAPTER IX.

It was not long before I was established in my new situation. Mr. Bray
said, roughly,--

"I s'pose new friends is better than them your father picked out for
you; leastways you must try 'em and see. I don't say as I wouldn't on no
account take you back, if I found you couldn't git along without me. You
mustn't have that look of bein' twenty mile away, when a hoss's leg is
in your hand, and you're ready to shoe him; for I sha'n't be by to bring
you back again."

Mrs. Bray said,--

"Well, it is rather a long ride for the grand folks 'way down to Lower
Warren, and Amos bein' a family man, of course they wouldn't expect him
to be a-movin' to suit them; and as he's had the trainin' of you, they
think it'll be all right. I hope it will, I'm sure."

Little Annie looked sadder than usual, but said nothing, until the
morning when I was to commence work at the new forge; then she followed
me to the door with her little straw basket, in which she had packed a
nice lunch, covered with lilac-leaves from the bush by the front door.

"You said you shouldn't have time to come home to dinner, as you go to
Hillside this afternoon, Sandy," she said, apologetically, as she
slipped it into my hand. "I hope it will be long before you go away
altogether, it would be so lonely without you"; and the tears filled her
blue eyes.

Why was that gentle, appealing beauty always luring me back to the
village life, whose rustic, homely ways I was learning to despise? I
could not tell; but she, part and parcel of it though she was, bound to
it by parentage and pursuits, had never failed to touch my heart. I
stooped and kissed her, as I so often had done before, and answered,
laughing,--

"Go away? Never, Annie, until I take you with me."

She blushed; the old happiness stole back into her eyes at the first
kind word from me, and she returned to her simple, daily tasks; while I,
filled with ambition and pride in my new life, soon dismissed her from
my mind.

I had meant to ask Annie to help me in arranging my new forge, as she
had helped me with my first picture; and when the necessary purchases
were made and in their places, when the woman living in the other part
of the building I occupied had swept my floor and washed my solitary
window, which was at one end and looked toward the hill, I resolutely
determined to delay the unpacking of a box of pictures and books, of
which the latter were to fill a small shelf above, and the former to
hang around the window, until I could bring Annie up the next day to
assist me. Deciding to read, therefore, until some custom should fall to
me, I knocked a narrow board off the top of the box and slipped out a
single book, when I heard the tramp of horses' feet, and, going to the
door, saw the party from Hillside returning from a horseback ride. Mr.
Lang, mounted on his magnificent horse, hurried forward and rode fairly
within the smithy.

"Why, Sandy, actually established? I thought it was but right that
Warrior should be your first visitor. See how he paws! He knows you, and
will be getting a shoe off for your benefit."

I patted my old friend, who arched his neck still more proudly, as
though hardly brooking the familiarity, when Miss Merton, Miss Darry,
and Mr. Leopold rode up.

"Are you entirely ready for work, Sandy?" asked Miss Darry, after the
first greeting.

"Ready for work, but not quite in order here," I replied.

"But if anything is lacking, why have a book there? Why not arrange
matters at once?" she continued, with her customary energy.

"What is that shelf for? and that old box? You may as well confess to
any little adornments at once."

"I _have_ a few books, and just one or two old pictures there," I
replied, reluctantly; "but I have made up my mind not to arrange them
until to-morrow: little Annie Bray can help me then, and the poor child
has seldom anything to amuse her."

"Nonsense, Sandy! Little Annie Bray cannot put the books on that high
shelf without your assistance, and very probably you will have other
employment to-morrow. Then you will make yourself late for Mr. Leopold,
and will begin wrong, which is about equal to going wrong all the way
through. I have half a mind to dismount and help you myself. It will be
a charming combination of forge and studio, won't it, Mr. Leopold?"

Mr. Leopold smiled, but assented, as though his interest in the matter
was by no means proportioned to hers; and I could but notice that both
Miss Merton and Mr. Lang looked as if quite enough of this sunny spring
morning had been spent in examination of the new forge. So I replied,
hastily,--

"Oh, well, Miss Darry, if it will give you any satisfaction, I'll finish
my work here at once."

"Thank you, Sandy. And now I think of it, Alice, a Madeira vine can be
trained from the shelf up over the window to make a delightful green
curtain. A man, you know, never understands exactly how to plan these
things."

"Ah, but I have planned, Miss Darry. This box will occupy the window;
but it is to be filled with water, aquatic plants, insects, and tiny
fish, for Annie's pleasure, when she makes me a visit."

"You mean to establish a kind of nursery, I see. I hope you won't waste
your time, Sandy," retorted Miss Darry.

I could not fail to see that her disapproval of my interest in Annie
Bray had not abated; for no plans formed with reference to her seemed to
meet with approbation. And so I was the more pleased when Miss Merton
turned to me, as they were about to ride away, saying,--

"I forgot to ask you the other evening to bring that sweet little girl
to Hillside some day, or let her come alone. I will find plenty of
amusement for her that shall not interfere with the work which Miss
Darry is so desirous should go on."

They all laughed merrily, as they rode away; but I felt in no gay mood.
I was provoked that I had yielded so readily to Miss Darry's wishes, and
irritated by her evident dislike to the only person in the world whose
affection I possessed.

"_Why not_ dismount and help me herself?" I muttered, impatiently, as I
broke open the cover of my box. "Far above me as she is, she has no
right to interfere with my friendship with Annie, if she does not give
me her own in its place."

However, as the morning wore on, I became interested in my new
arrangements; the decorations of my low attic bedroom were displayed to
greater advantage in the forge, where I should now pass so much more of
my time; and as for Annie, after all, she would enjoy seeing it far
better when completed. Before noon, too, I had opened an account with
one of the most prosperous farmers in the neighborhood, and in hard
manual labor my excitement passed away; and I presented myself at
Hillside at the appointed hour, as grateful to us inmates as ever.


CHAPTER X.

Perhaps no art differs more widely with individual mind and temperament
than that of teaching. I soon appreciated this under Mr. Leopold's
training. For the first few lessons, I was put to no copying, given no
verbal instruction; he showed me how to mix oil-colors, expecting his to
be prepared for him, when, in his eagerness to produce an effect, he
did not care to stop for the purpose himself; and for the rest, advised
me to watch him, which I did narrowly, while he worked sometimes by the
hour without speaking. When I commenced painting, therefore, I felt as
though I was making constant discoveries, and began to think, in the
conceit of my youth and developing power, that I was working without
other guide than my own intuition, until I found a number of serious
errors indicated. Miss Darry's teaching made me feel that I could not do
without her; Mr. Leopold's, that just so far as he carried me, I in turn
could take some one else.

The summer days wore on. My hands grew rougher and coarser with hard
work, yet just as surely increased their dexterity in holding the brush
with a firm grasp and giving flexible and delicate strokes to finer
work. My lessons and new forge left but little time for the cottage and
Annie Bray now. Moreover, she, too, changed as the months wore on. When
did I ever imagine, with all my growing plans and manhood, that she also
was to have her work and purpose in the world? Yet she had made her
visit to Hillside, had been not only amused and delighted, but
instructed, by all she saw there. I was too deeply engrossed in
self-development to continue my attention to her studies; but Miss
Merton, inspired by Miss Darry's example, or attracted by the modest
sweetness so congenial to her own womanly character, undertook the
unwonted occupation of teaching; and Mr. Lang, greatly to my surprise,
encouraged her in it. Three afternoons in the week Annie went to
Hillside to receive a course of instruction, barren of system and
conducted with supreme disregard of plainer and more useful branches,
yet bringing out in a graceful way all her peculiarly refined tastes.
Annie's hours rarely admitted of my walking home with her; and though
occasionally she stopped at the forge, on her way through the village,
it was only for a moment, and that often a busy one with me. She had
grown taller and paler, sadder in expression, too, I fancied,
notwithstanding the new interest at Hillside. But then she was leaving
childhood behind her; her father had been more rough than ever since I
left him; and with a momentary pity and wonder that she was more shy of
my fond and brotherly ways than formerly, I ascribed it to these
ordinary causes, and kept steadily at my work. It was not for me, the
_protégé_ of so brilliant a woman as Frank Darry, and a rising genius,
to pause in my career for the pale cheeks of the village blacksmith's
daughter.

My intercourse with Mr. Leopold did not become more familiar with time.
The idea of his not looking like a genuine artist, the disappointment
and failure to comprehend his pictures, changed into awe of the inner
force of the man, as I beheld his patient, earnest labor. To my shallow
comprehension of the worth of genius, his persistent effort, after the
attainment of all I hoped to realize, was marvellous. He was rich,
famed, cultivated, yet the ideal excellence hovered ever above him,
waiting like a resurrection body to clothe the escaped soul of
inspiration; and for this he toiled more unremittingly than I in my
struggle for existence even in the world of Art. The secret of this
man's soul was not, however, revealed to my questioning. Ever
considerate and kind, he was no friend in any sense implying mutual
interchange of thought or confidence. With Miss Darry, on the contrary,
he was his free and natural self. Whenever I saw them together, I was
conscious that his great nature went out irresistibly to meet hers, a
fact of which it seemed to me she was far less aware than I. She walked
and drove with him, but merely because Miss Merton and Mr. Lang were
engrossed with each other, and as a side-play from the main object of
her life.

I had been employed for several weeks upon a picture of greater
importance than any before attempted. Miss Darry confidently declared it
would be accepted at the autumn exhibition of paintings in the city;
and Mr. Leopold briefly advised me to make the attempt, backed by his
favor to get it in. It was the working up of the odd fancy in which
Annie and I had indulged so long ago,--that the forest haunts were not
deserted, even though man did not invade them. In a clearing in the
midst of the woods I had assembled the familiar squirrels, birds, and
flowers, to play their part in the revels Nature takes on summer
afternoons; and from the gnarled trunks and twisted vines whose
grotesque involutions hinted the serpent-life within to the elves which
peered from beneath the broad dank leaves, I had reasserted the old
childish faith.

As I have said, Miss Darry approved my picture, though only as a
preliminary to better things, saying,--

"You must paint Chimborazo, or some of the mammoth California scenery,
Sandy. The microscope, not the canvas, is the proper instrument by which
to scrutinize the minute. Genius certainly need not forever be peeping
at Nature through her key-holes, but can enter her open door and dwell
amid the grandest scenes of the universe."


CHAPTER XI.

I hurried away from the forge earlier than usual one July day, and,
finding the studio vacant, worked a full hour before Mr. Leopold
presented himself. He came in hurriedly, glanced at my picture, pointing
out a fault or two, then seated himself at his easel for an hour longer
of silent work. At the expiration of this time he rose, put away his
materials, and said, as he turned toward the door,--

"Miss Merton and Mr. Lang are to be married this afternoon, Sandy. They
wished me to ask you down to the ceremony, which is to be private. An
unexpected affair, hurried on account of business which calls Mr. Lang
to town for a great part of the winter, and so would separate them much,
if she could not go with him."

I was extremely surprised. However, Mr. Leopold was so collected that I
felt called upon to refrain all expression of astonishment.

"You need not go home to make any alteration in your dress, Sandy," he
added. "Come up to my room and help yourself to all the minor articles
you need."

It was not long before I entered the drawing-room, where I found Miss
Darry, evidently expecting me.

"Well, Sandy, this is a hurried affair. Your presence was particularly
desired; and, by the way, Alice insisted upon dispatching a messenger to
Annie Bray with an invitation to the ceremony, but her mother sends word
that she is away on some excursion. Alice will be sorry, she has taken
such a fancy to her: you must explain that she was really wanted."

"Oh, no,--Annie will be so disappointed! I can hunt her up and be back
here before Miss Merton is prepared for the occasion"; and I started for
the door, but the will stronger than my own recalled me.

"Sandy, pray reflect a moment, and you will attempt nothing of the kind.
They leave in the eight o'clock train, and will be married some time
about sunset. In the interval you could never go and return from Warren
on any other horse than Mr. Lang's, and I suppose you would not expect
your little friend to ride before you. Besides, we have been busy to-day
planning other matters, and the final decorations have not been thought
of. You are the very one to make the proper disposition of light and
shade, flowers, etc."

"Miss Darry, do call in Mr. Leopold to gather flowers and pull the
shades up or down, and let me try at least to find Annie," I answered,
impatiently.

But she only replied,--

"Mr. Leopold! why, you innocent youth, he hasn't half your artistic
capacity. I can see how you reverence him; but trust me, it is only from
the innate modesty of your nature."

"He exhausted the fanciful region in which I dwell years ago, Miss
Darry, and has gone up higher. You surely must see you undervalue his
great nature."

"I see nothing just at present, Sandy, but the need of your assistance,"
she replied.

And by various devices she busied me until the arrival of the minister
and the few intimate friends banished all further thought of Annie's
regret at not being present. Miss Merton's loveliness and Mr. Lang's
manly beauty made a picture I would gladly have studied longer than the
time required to make them man and wife. I had long ago seen the
ceremony performed by Mr. Purdo for a rustic couple; but this was a new
and more fascinating phase of it. Impressed as I was apt to be by
anything appealing to my emotions or sense of beauty, I did not care to
join at once Miss Darry and Mr. Leopold, who engaged in their customary
repartee directly after the bride retired to prepare for her journey;
but Miss Darry, slipping away from Mr. Leopold, soon joined me on the
lawn, to which I had stepped from the French window.

"What a serious expression, Sandy! One might imagine you had been making
all these solemn promises yourself. You must learn not to be so easily
affected by forms and symbols. It is a weakness of your poetic
temperament. Their love has existed just as truly all these months as
now; yet I never saw you grow serious over the contemplation of it,
until a minister consecrated it by prayer and address."

I started.

"You do not give much of a niche to Cupid in your gallery of life, Miss
Darry."

"Now that is poorer reasoning than I should have looked for even from
you, Sandy. Because I laugh at your reverence for outward expression, do
I necessarily depreciate the sentiment?"

"No," I answered, bluntly; "I was thinking how you bade me set aside
Annie Bray,--how you always slight her claims upon me."

"Ah, it has a personal application, then," she replied, thoughtfully,
but frankly as before. "It is only because I want you to make the most
of your fine powers, that I would have you choose friends who can
appreciate you."

"I know that you have been disinterested, noble," I returned,
remorsefully. "But outward success would never atone to me for the lack
of love. Perhaps it is through my very weakness that I cling so to the
only human being who really loves me."

Miss Dairy's face changed color. For the first time in her intercourse
with me, she was strongly and visibly moved.

"Sandy," she said, after a pause, in a low, broken voice, strangely at
variance with its usual ringing tone, "without this love I, as a woman,
have lived all my life, until a week ago; and then, because it was not
the love I demanded, even though I could have taken it with
inexpressible comfort into my lonely life, I rejected it. I tell you
this merely as an encouragement. If Annie Bray is all you crave, forsake
everything else for her; if not, deny yourself the gratification of
being worshipped, and wait until you also can bestow your whole heart."

She stood there, in the waning light, plucking nervously the petals from
the rose-bush, and scattering them on the grass,--her dark eye filled
with a melancholy which I had never supposed could subdue its flashing
light, or relax the outlines of the thinly cut lips,--unsatisfied,--her
womanly nature rebelling against an unusually lonely lot. It needed just
this humble acknowledgment of human need and human love to make Frank
Darry irresistible, and my impressible fancy responded to the spell.
Impelled by a passion which from its very force forbade analysis, I bent
over her. Even then, as my hand fell upon her shoulder, and her eyes,
still lulled in their dangerous trance of sadness, met mine inquiringly,
my purpose was arrested by the voices of Nature around me, as if Annie
Bray, herself allied to them, were reminding me of claims which had once
held such power over me. I recall now the oriole whose nest swung like
a pendulum from the branch above, marking the passing of the summer day,
and whose clear note struck more sweetly than the cuckoo clock the
evening hour. I noticed a humming-bird nestled in its silver-lined
apartment, its long bill looking as though even the honeyed sweetness of
the flowers must be rendered more delicate before it could help to
nourish the exuberant and palpitating life of its little body. Then I
looked at the begonias and fuchsias in Miss Darry's hair, spilling their
precious juices on the stem, as they hurried to reveal the glowing
secret of their blossom; and while I yielded to the fascination of the
scene, the woman beside me was absorbed into its wonderful witchery,
Annie Bray and Frank Darry--timid, loving child and brilliantly
developed woman--both united to win from me the passion of my life. Had
I waited, the affinity of moods which drew us together would probably
never have been reproduced; but I exclaimed,--

"Miss Darry, I can never entirely love any other woman than yourself!"

She started almost convulsively from the contact of my hand, and met my
burning glance with one of such alarm and astonishment that I was stung
almost to madness. Undoubtedly, my anger was partly a reaction from the
period of dependence and tutelage, so galling to a proud and sensitive
nature.

"You have no right," I cried, passionately, "to despise the love you
have created. Listen; I do not expect any return. I know how theories
are practically applied,--how one may work for the poor and ignorant on
the broad table-land of perfect equality before God, and yet shrink from
contact with the befriended brothers and sisters at the same social meal
or in the same church. Shakspeare might have blackened Othello's skin by
toil, instead of nature, and the obstacles to a happy love would have
been in no degree lessened."

I paused; yet not a word did Miss Darry utter. Her face was so pale and
rigid that all my suspicion was confirmed; and I exclaimed, more
vehemently than before,--

"Remember, you cannot avoid the fact that I, a mere blacksmith, am your
lover; if rejected and despised, your lover still. I shall think of you
daily. You will not come to me alone the companion of my studio, one of
those delicate visions which flit through an artist's brain. You shall
stand beside my anvil. I will whisper your name when rough men are about
me. You shall be the one gold thread embroidered into the coarse garment
of my life,--my constant companion; yes, though you marry the first man
in the land."

Still she stood immovable, as if carved in her favorite marble.

"Miss Darry," I implored, "I know how unworthy my character is of your
love. Speak! If it is that you reject, I say no more; but what if your
prophecies are fulfilled,--if I become what you desire?"

Then my statue glowed with life,--a deep color on the cheek, a frank,
loving smile on the lips, banishing the doubtful, troubled expression I
had watched so narrowly.

"You do not understand the woman you profess to love, Sandy," she
replied, "if you suppose her capable of staking her favor on your future
distinction. Not as blacksmith or artist, but as the man I love, I think
of you to-night," she added, in a lower tone, returning to my side.

My happiness for the next few moments was complete. I held her closer in
that fading light, and studied with delight the sweet, half-yielding,
half-reproving expression with which she met my protestations of
gratitude and devotion, and which I fondly fancied my love had stamped
upon her face forever. Then I heard a quick step in the shrubbery, as of
some one sent to summon us, and reluctantly released from my hold the
embodiment at that instant of all I esteemed noblest and loveliest in
woman. With characteristic composure, Miss Darry answered the message by
gathering some of the roses beside us, and turning to reënter the
house. Afraid of my own lack of self-control, I would gladly have gone
home like a blushing girl; but my new pride of protecting Miss Darry
under all circumstances of difficulty compelled me to follow her. She
was, however, on returning to the house, the same bright, helpful person
as before. The scene on the lawn became, in half an hour, as the
baseless fabric of a dream; and thinking that Miss Darry's sentiment,
like that of the Colosseum, was best revealed by moonlight, I trusted in
the few parting words which I should seek occasion to speak to her on
the steps, as likely to restore her most captivating mood. When we
parted, however, she only said, with heightened color, to be sure,--

"Sandy, I am well aware, that, were you the 'mere blacksmith' you called
yourself in momentary passion to-night, bounded by narrow aims and
desires, I could never love you. We must not, therefore, allow our
affection to delay the destiny which, if you are faithful, most surely
awaits you."

The fervent nonsense which might naturally have disgusted or at least
wearied her she endured at first, as a necessary drawback; but it was
soon toned down by the consciousness that she was guiding me, as usual,
in paths best, if not always most agreeable to myself. She made no
stipulations of secrecy with regard to our engagement. Her frank nature
apparently admitted of no dim recesses to which only one must have the
key.

After a few days, therefore, I resolved to disclose my new relations to
the Brays, though I felt a most unaccountable reluctance to so doing.
Mr. Bray received the information with indifference; Mrs. Bray looked
surprised, and said she always knew Amos was respected, still she
shouldn't have felt certain that the "school-ma'am" (in which capacity
Miss Darry was spoken of in the village) would like to marry his
apprentice; and Annie stole from her seat at the breakfast-table, and,
laying her little hand on my shoulder, with a troubled look in her large
blue eyes, asked,--

"Do you really mean it, Sandy,--that you have promised to marry the
proud, handsome woman at Hillside?"

"Certainly, my little Annie," I replied; "I have promised to love and
care for her, and I suppose we shall be married by-and-by. Miss Darry is
not proud; it is only because you are too young to understand her that
you think so."

"But I understand Mrs. Lang, and I thought I understood you, Sandy. Are
you sure she will help you to grow happier and better?"

The tears were in her eyes. What induced these two--my betrothed wife
and little sister--to have such doubts of each other?

"Of course I am sure of her, Annie. She has helped me to grow more of a
man ever since I have known her; and as to being happier, two persons
loving each other must, of course, be happy together. Besides," I added,
smothering a sudden doubt, and assuming the philosopher, "we were not
placed in this world to be happy, Annie,--only to make of ourselves all
we can in every way."

"And to make others happy, Sandy," she added, in a wistful, tremulous
way, as though her heart were full.

"Yes, certainly; and when I have a wife and home, I will make my little
Annie so. She shall live with me, and confess that my wife is not proud,
but noble and kind."

"No, Sandy, I shall not leave my mother, father, and brother Tom, to
live with any one. I shall work with them and for them," she returned,
with a womanly dignity I had never before noticed in her.

"You do not love me, then, Annie?" I asked, selfishly grasping at the
affection I had so lightly prized.

"Yes, Sandy, as you love me; but not as we either of us care for our
own,--you for Miss Darry, I for my mother, father, and Tom."

This final, clear settlement of my claims was all that was granted,
though I lingered while she busied herself with her morning work, in
the hope of more hearty sympathy. I carried about with me all day a
restless, unsatisfied state of mind, quite strange in a newly accepted
lover, and scarcely to be exorcised by Miss Darry's bright cordiality in
the evening.


CHAPTER XII.

Mrs. Lang returned from her wedding-journey happy and beautiful, charmed
by all she had seen, and Mr. Lang was unusually demonstrative to every
one in the excess of his joy; but I had reason to suppose that the
announcement of our engagement reduced his exuberance considerably. Miss
Darry did not, however, admit the least disappointment in their manner
of receiving it; her own judgment was an estimate, from which, for
herself, there was no appeal. She was the most entirely self-sustained
woman I have ever met. Having decided that I was a genius, and that she
loved me, the opinion of others was of no moment in her eyes. Mr. Lang
merely offered his congratulations to me by saying,--

"Well, Sandy, my dear fellow, you are to obtain, it seems, what many a
man of wealth and position will envy you. You must pardon me for saying
that Miss Darry's choice is quite astonishing to her friends. If you
possess the genius of Raphael, I shall still regard you as two very
peculiar persons to come together; but I am in no mood to cavil at
love."

Mrs. Lang said, kindly,--

"We must see more of you than ever, Mr. Allen, if you are finally to
deprive us of Miss Darry. She has lived with me ever since the death of
her parents, who were old friends of my mother, and we shall miss her
very much. She is a splendid woman. You are sure you understand her?"
she added, naively; "I freely confess I don't."

My pride swelled at all this. Frank Darry's love was the most blissful
proof yet afforded of the personal power of the man who had captivated
her, and more vehemently than was perhaps natural under the
circumstances, I professed to comprehend, love, nay, worship Miss Darry.

The efforts for my culture were now redoubled. In order to demonstrate
the wisdom of Miss Darry's choice, I must give palpable proof of
superiority. I had earned enough for present support, and my forge must
be given up. I must cut off all my old connections, go to the city,
visit studios, draw from casts, attend galleries of paintings, have
access to public libraries, make literary and artistic acquaintances,
pursue my classical studies, and display the powers which Miss Darry, by
her own force of will, projected into me. Such were the business-like
plans which usurped the place of those mutual adulatory confidences
presumed to occupy the first elysian hours of an engagement. Miss
Darry's love was not of that caressing, tendril description, so common
with her sex, which plays in tender demonstrativeness around the one
beloved; it helped constantly to keep the highest standard before him,
and to sustain rather than depend.

About a week after Mr. and Mrs. Lang's return, Mr. Leopold, who had
accompanied them, came back; and Miss Darry intimated that it would be
well for me to inform him of our engagement. I said to him, therefore,
rather abruptly one afternoon, as I was about leaving to seek Miss
Darry, (who was never quite ready to see me, if my painting-hours were
abridged,)--

"Mr. Leopold, I have sold my forge to-day. I wanted to ask your advice
about the course to be pursued in town; but I am under orders now of the
most binding kind, I am engaged to Miss Darry."

Mr. Leopold was busy at his easel, his profile toward me. I was
certainly not mistaken; the blood rushed over his face, subsided,
leaving it very pale, and he made a quick, nervous movement which
overthrew his palette. He rose quietly and replaced it, however, saying,
in his usual tone,--

"Very well, Sandy. I am ready to help you in any way I can."

"But you do not--no one congratulates me," I said, deceived by his
calmness, and supposing the momentary suspicion that his was the love
rejected by Miss Darry must have been a mistaken one.

"If they do not, it is not because of any lack appreciation for either
of you," he answered slowly, "but that they fail to see the point of
union. I admire the pine; it is straight, strong, self-reliant, and yet
wind-haunted by many tender and melancholy sentiments; I like the
peach-tree, too, with its pink tufts of fanciful blooming in the
spring-time: but if these two should grow side by side, I am not sure
but I should wonder a little."

His smile, as he looked me full in the eye, had genuine good-will
mingled with its humor; and it softened the indignation I felt at the
implied comparison.

"You make me out the weaker vessel of the two, then?" I asked,
resentfully.

"No, Sandy, I don't say that; possibly, as whatever power we have runs
parallel with Providential forces or against them, it makes mortal
strength or weakness. But may you become a truly noble man, if you are
to be Miss Darry's husband!" he answered, rising and extending his hand.

I believe he was one to scorn a lack of self-control in himself; but I
do not think he cared either to reveal or to hide the love which I read
at that moment. I grasped his hand as cordially as it was given, and
hurried down stairs, out of the door, and over the hill, with a strong
conviction that Miss Darry was a mistaken and foolish woman, and a
prompting to disinterestedness not quite compatible with my relations to
her. I was in no mood for her society, so I resolved to delay seeing her
until evening, and conclude my arrangements at the forge, as I was to go
to the city the next week.

Approaching the village, I overtook Miss Dinsmore; and though my new
pretensions had not increased my popularity among the villagers, I had
reason to consider her my firm friend and advocate; so I was quite
willing to escape my unpleasant train of thought in listening to her.

"Well, Sandy, nobody gets a sight of you nowadays down this way. I never
was so set up as when I heard tell you was goin' to marry the
schoolmarm. Why, I was always certain sure you'd take to Annie Bray.
Such a sweet little lamb as she is; not a bit high-strung 'cause she's
made much of at the great house on the hill, though she does sing like a
bird in an apple-tree every Sunday, when Louisy Purdo doesn't drown her
voice with screechin'; but she's grown more sober an' quiet-like than
ever. Miss Bray says she helps a powerful deal about house, and Amos
don't swear so much now he sees it hurts her."

"She's a dear little thing," I interrupted, impatiently; "but, Miss
Dinsmore, do you know Mr. Bray may have all the blacksmith-work to
himself now? for I'm going to town for the rest of the summer and
autumn."

"You don't say so, Sandy! Well, old Dr. Allen wasn't one of us, as I
tell 'em, and there's no sort of reason why you should be; and your
mother was a real born lady, though she was so gentle-spoken 't wasn't
half the women could tell the difference between her and them."

"But, Miss Dinsmore," I said, "I don't expect to forget my old friends,
because I hope to do better somewhere else than here. I shall often come
down to Warren."

"Oh, yes, you'll come down, I don't mistrust that," she replied, slowly
nodding her green calash, "as long as the schoolmarm is at the Hill; but
Annie will look paler than ever. She thinks a sight of you, poor thing,
and it will never be the same to her. She loves you like--a sister,"
added Miss Dinsmore, the tears in her faded blue eyes, and her sense of
womanly modesty supplying the familiar title.

We were very near the Variety Store. If I could for a moment drift away
from this annoying theme!

"How did you like Mr. Leopold, that afternoon I introduced him to you,
Miss Dinsmore?" I asked, in desperation.

"Oh! ah! Well, Sandy, to speak plain, I've seen him a matter of three or
four times, may-be, since. He set down, quite friendly-like, to a bit of
supper, last time he come. I suppose he feels lonely; he seems
pleasant-spoken, and is liked by everybody round here; poor man, he
oughtn't to be without a mate. He's taken a great likin' to Annie Bray;
but then, of course, he's got some sense of what's becomin'; she's years
too young for him."

"Too young! I should think so," indignantly; "he's old enough to be her
grandfather."

"No, Sandy,--no, I think not," said Miss Dinsmore, pausing thoughtfully
at her door-step. "Old Mr. Bray would have been nigh upon eighty come
next harvest; but then Annie has nobody to look out for her now you
know, exceptin' Amos, who a'n't over wide-awake, between you and me,
though an honester man never lived."

I was very willing to part with Miss Dinsmore.

"Another afternoon experience like this will make a hermit of me," I
muttered, impatiently, as I strode away in the same direction from which
I had come.

Miss Darry, Mr. Leopold, anybody, was better than Annie Bray, with her
sweet, pale face, in my present mood.

"Annie has nobody to look out for her now, you know": many a day I
remembered with a pang that this was too true.


CHAPTER. XIII.

I sold my forge and went to the city. My name appeared in the catalogue
of the fall exhibition:--"Forest Scene, by Alexander Allen." I have no
reason to suppose that the genuine merit of my picture secured for it a
place in the gallery, though doubtless some as poor by established
artists found their way there; but these having proved they could do
better could afford to be found occasionally below concert pitch.
However, Mr. Leopold commended it as highly as his conscience would
permit, and I reaped the reward; while Miss Darry gloried over its
admission as an unalloyed tribute to ability, and treasured the
catalogue more carefully than my photograph. The same course of study
and labor which I had pursued in Warren was continued in the city, with
this difference: I had not the pure air, simple food, regular life,
manual exertion, or social evenings at Hillside. Miss Darry wrote to me
regularly, but I felt wearied after her letters. There were no tender
assurances of undying affection, so soothing, doubtless, to tired brain
and heavy heart; but they read somewhat in this style:--

     "MY DEAR SANDY,--Won't you begin at once a course of German
     reading? 'Das Leben Jesu' of Strauss will help you
     wonderfully. The old Platonic philosophers have done you
     some good; but you have a faith too childlike, a complete
     reliance upon Providence quite too unreasoning, for a man of
     your ability. Through your own developed self you must learn
     to find the Supreme Intelligence,--not to spell him out
     letter by letter in every flower that grows, every trifling
     event of your life. You began with belief in the old
     theological riddle of the Trinity; then with perception of
     the Creator in his visible world; but to your Naturalism you
     must add at least a knowledge of Mysticism,
     Transcendentalism,--mists which, veiling indeed the outward
     creation, are interpenetrated by the sun for personal
     illumination, more alluring by their veiled light, like
     those sunned fogs Mr. Leopold deals with occasionally, than
     the clear every-day atmosphere of beliefs sharply outlined
     by a creed. When you have sounded the entire scale of
     prevailing and past theories, even to the depths of
     unbelief, then alone are you able, as a reasoning being, to
     translate God's dealings with you into consistent religious
     faith."

And ended often with,--

     "I hope you work hard, intensely, in your art. Do not think,
     when you lay aside your brush, you lay aside the artist
     also. Genius is unresting. A picture may shape itself in
     your brain at any hour, by day or night; and don't be too
     indolent, my dear boy, to give it outward embodiment, if it
     does."

"I was sadly disappointed at the result of the last," she wrote once.
"Mr. Lang showed it to Mr. Peterson, the sculptor, who pronounced it
slightly below the average first attempts. Of course, from your devotion
to coloring, you did not feel sufficiently interested to put forth all
your powers; still I accept the trial as a proof of your affection.
Having greater genius for painting, you could certainly succeed in
sculpture, nevertheless, if you heartily labored at it. I could never
accept the definition of genius given by the author of 'Rab and his
Friends,' which limits it, if I remember rightly, to an especial
aptitude for some one pursuit. Genius is a tremendous force, not
necessarily to succeed only in one channel, although turned to one by
natural bent."

       *       *       *       *       *

Little Annie, at my earnest request, wrote to me occasionally. It was a
brief parting with her: she feared her own self-control, possibly. I
know I feared mine; for, had she showed actual grief, I might have
pacified it at the cost of my profession or my life. She wrote in this
wise:--

     "DEAR SANDY,--I know of course you are very busy, for Miss
     Darry told me at Hillside that your painting was in the
     Exhibition, and that you were rapidly becoming a great
     artist; and this makes me think I ought to confess to you,
     Sandy, that I was wrong that morning when I called Miss
     Darry proud. She has been very kind to me lately. She said
     it was not right that I should be taught music, and all
     sorts of lovely, pleasant studies, and not know how to write
     and cipher. So she teaches me with Mrs. Lang's sisters. She
     says I already express myself better than I did, and I can
     cast up father's account-book every Saturday night; but
     please forgive me, dear brother Sandy, I long for that stiff
     old work-hour to be over, that I may run up to Mrs. Lang's
     sun-shiny room, with its flowers, pictures, piano, and
     herself. Miss Darry, because of her very great talents,
     Sandy, is far above me. Do you know, though you are to be a
     great painter, she seems to me more talented than you, with
     your old home-like ways? But then we sha'n't have those
     home-like ways any more. Oh, Sandy, we miss you! but I do
     hope you will be good and great and happy. Miss Darry says
     you work night and day. But you must sleep some, or you'll
     be sick. I always fancied great men were born great; it must
     be hard to have to be made so. I guess you will be glad to
     hear that father don't swear and scold now; he says he is
     doing well, and he bought me a new dress the other day at
     Miss Dinsmore's. She has got back from the city with the
     gayest flowers and ribbons. My dress is orange-colored. I
     don't fancy one quite so bright, and wear the old violet one
     you gave me oftener; but I can't exactly see why I don't
     like it, after all; for the very same color, on the breast
     of the Golden Oriole that builds a nest in our garden, I
     think is perfectly splendid. I hope you won't forget your
     loving little sister,

                                       "ANNIE BRAY."

Sometimes she wrote less brightly and hopefully; but, oh, what a
blessing it was to have her write at all! I found myself watching for
those natural, loving words, for the acknowledgment of missing me, as,
wearied after viewing Alpine peaks, one might stoop cheered and
satisfied to pluck a tiny flower. Miss Darry never missed me. She
discouraged the idea of a long autumn vacation, and offered to come to
the city and board, that my work might still go on. I began to entertain
serious doubts, if, when we were married, I should be suffered to live
with her,--or whether she would not send me to boarding-school, or to
pursue my studies abroad.

When October came, with the rich sadness of its days, at once a prophecy
of grief and an assurance of its soothing, I broke down utterly. My
æsthetic and literary friends did not feel that sympathy for my worn-out
body and soul which both demanded. I applied to the only legitimate
source for aid in my weakness and the permission to yield to it; but
before either arrived, Nature proved more than a match for Miss Darry,
and sent me exhausted to bed. Miss Darry appeared the next morning, and
if the whole breezy atmosphere of Hillside had clung to her garments,
she could not have had a more bracing effect. How bright, loving, and
gentle she was, when she found me really ill! To be sure, she prescribed
vigorous tonics, as was in accordance with her style; in fact, she was
one herself; but she relieved my weak and languid dejection by brilliant
talk, when I could bear it,--by tender words of hope, when I could not.
My late internal censures upon her, as a hard task-mistress, were now
the ghosts of self-reproach, which a morbid condition conjured about my
pillow; and the vision of her healthy, self-restrained nature presided
over every dream, recalling most derisively Mr. Leopold's simile of the
pine- and peach-trees.

I left my bed, from very shame at prostration, long before I was able,
and returned with her to Hillside, whither Mrs. and Mr. Lang invited me
for the rest which she now considered necessary. Mr. Leopold had left
Warren, and retaken a studio in town for the fall and winter; but many a
memory of his kind deeds and pleasant manners lingered in the place.
Every village must have its hero, its great man of past or present,
looking down, like Hawthorne's great stone face, in supreme benignity
upon it. Mr. Leopold had been the first occupant of this royal chair in
Warren; for the enthusiasm which seeks a better than itself had just
been called forth by the teaching and influence of Hillside.

One morning, when Miss Darry was occupied with her scholars, I wandered
through the village and to the Brays' cottage to make my first call.
Mrs. Bray was busy making cake. Annie, so tall and slender, that, as she
stood with her face turned from me, I wondered what graceful young lady
they had there, was prepared for her walk to Hillside, her books in a
little satchel on her arm. Her eyes filled with tears at the sight of my
thin, pale face, though her own was fragile as a snow-drop; but she at
once apologized for and explained her sorrow by calling me her "dear old
brother Sandy." I proposed one of our old-time strolls together up the
hill, and we soon started in company. Half way up, at the meadow, where
we had arranged and painted our first picture, I yielded to the impulse,
which heretofore I had resisted, to sit again on the old stump and
recall the scene. I was really weary, for this was my first long walk,
and Annie looked as though rest would not come amiss; so I helped her
over the stile, and we sat down. The rich, fervid hues I used so
homoeopathically by the stroke of my brush were spread over miles of
forest; a vaporous veil of mist hung over every winding stream and
mountain lake, and, reflecting the brilliant-colored shrubbery which
bordered them, they glared like stained glass; the sunshine filtered
down through haze and vapor like gold-dust on the meadow-land; gold and
purple key-notes of autumn coloring in many varying shades of tree,
water, and cloud blended to the perfect chord, uttering themselves
lastly most quietly in the golden-rods and asters at our feet. That
hazy, dreamy atmosphere uniting with my vague, aimless state of mind, I
would fain make it accountable for the talk which followed.

First we went over the old times, I recalling, Annie assenting in a
quiet, half-sad way, or brightening as though by an effort, and throwing
in a reminiscence herself. We talked of those we had mutually known, and
I was just recalling the rude admiration of Tracy Waters to her mind,
when she suggested that she should be late for her lesson,--it was time
to leave.

"No, indeed, Annie!" I exclaimed, seizing her hand as she sat beside
me,--"this is the first hour's actual rest I have had for months; it is
like the returning sleep of health after delirium. You shall not go.
When have I ever had you to myself before? The time is beautiful; we are
happy; do not let us go up to Hillside to-day--or any more."

I spoke not so much wildly as naturally and weariedly; but Annie's cheek
flushed scarlet, as she started, with a touch of Miss Darry's energy,
from the stump beside me.

"Yes, Sandy, we will go to Hillside at once; you shall tell Miss Darry,
that, in talking over by-gone days with your little sister, you forgot
yourself and overstayed your time; and I, too, must make my excuses."

She walked quickly away, and before I had risen, in a half-stupefied
way, she was at the stile.

It was rather difficult to rejoin her. I had the novel and not
altogether pleasing sensation of having been refused before I had asked;
and my child-friend, taught of Nature's simple dignity and sense of
right, was more at ease for the remainder of the walk than I.


CHAPTER XIV.

I meant to have frankly confessed my talk with Annie to Miss Darry. No
orthodox saint could have been more penitentially conscious of having
fallen from grace. But she gave me no time. She was either so animated,
so thoroughly agreeable and entertaining, that I felt only pride at the
part I held in her, or else she gave premonitory symptoms of a return to
the drill, which always suggested to me the absolute need of physical
exercise, and ended in a walk or horseback ride,--in her company, of
course. At last I really was so far restored, that my plea of being so
much stronger, more at rest, near her, (which was true, for her oral
teaching was not unmingled with subtile fascination,) failed to call
forth the genial, loving smile. She began to pine for more honors,
greater development, more earnest life. Strange! I, the former
blacksmith, was a very flower, lulled in the _dolce far niente_ of
summer air and sunshine, beside her more vigorous intellectual nature.
Sensation and emotion were scarcely expressed by me before they were
taken up into the arctic regions of her brain, and looked coldly on
their former selves.

I resolved one day, by a grand effort, to leave the next. As I had not
seen Annie since the walk with her to Hillside, and had declined Mrs.
Lang's offer to invite her to the house that I might see more of her, on
the ground of fatigue and occupation in the evening with Miss Darry, it
became incumbent upon me to go to the cottage for a farewell.

It looked very quiet, as I approached. The blinds were closed, as in
summer, and there was no one in the kitchen.

Hearing footsteps in the sitting-room, however, I entered, and met Miss
Dinsmore with her finger on her lips and an agitated expression on her
face.

"For mercy's sake, don't come here now, Sandy Allen! You might have done
some good by coming before; but now, poor, sweet lamb, she's very sick,
and Miss Bray's most distracted. You're the very last person she'd care
to see. You'd better go out just the very same quiet way you come in."

"Annie sick? How? where? when?" I asked, breathlessly.

Miss Dinsmore seized me by the shoulder, and pushing me, not too gently,
into the kitchen, closed the door, and stood beside me.

"She's got brain-fever. I guess she caught cold the other day, when she
went up to Hillside. She a'n't been out since, and she's been
wanderin',--somethin' about not wantin' to go into a meader."

"I shall go up and see her," I answered, turning again to the door.

"Indeed you won't, Sandy Allen! You'll set her wilder than ever again."

"I shall go up and see her," I repeated, firmly; and, pushing by Miss
Dinsmore, I went up the front stairs to Annie's little room.

There she lay,--her bright, golden hair on the pillow, her eyes
closed,--a pale, panting phantom of herself, apparently in a troubled
sleep,--her mother, the bustling, gaudily attired woman, as quiet as a
little child beside her. She turned her head when she heard me, changed
color, and the tears filled her eyes; but it was probably owing to the
self-control of this woman, whom I had so looked down upon, that I did
not snap the thread of Annie Bray's life that day. With her child on the
brink of a precipice, she would make no moan to startle her off. The
doctor said her sleep must be unbroken. He, too, sat there; and, obeying
Mrs. Bray's quiet motion, I seated myself behind the others. The hours
wore on; the October sun went down. None of us moved, but gazed in mute
apprehension at the figure of her who, it seemed, could awake only in
heaven. This earthly love, so strong, so fierce, in the effort to retain
her,--would it prevail? This was the question which chained us there;
and when, at eight o'clock, she awoke, I waited until the doctor
pronounced his favorable opinion, then, without Annie's having seen me,
stole out by the other door and away.

At Hillside, when I entered, pale with suppressed excitement, and told
where I had been, Mrs. Lang rose at once.

"I wondered why she missed her lessons, until her brother brought word
she was not well. I will send some flowers and white grapes to her at
once"; and she would have rung the bell, but Miss Darry prevented her.

"Dear Alice," she said, "white grapes are only water sweetened by a
little sunshine, and flowers she is too ill to enjoy. Let me make up a
basket. Come down with me, Sandy, to the pantry."

Mechanically I followed her down, watched her moving busily about, and
heard her talk, yet could not find a word to utter in reply.

"White grapes are excellent for people who sit down to a luxurious
dinner every day, but pale, feeble bodies like little Annie Bray's must
recuperate on richer fare,--a bottle of wine, some rich, juicy beef; and
the sight of this old working world from the window is worth all the
flowers in creation."

She filled her basket, called a servant, and sent him off. Still pale
and silent, I neither moved nor spoke.

"What is the matter with you, Sandy?" Miss Darry asked, a half-smothered
fear in her voice. "You are not strong enough for such excitement. Come
to the drawing-room, and I will play you to sleep with some of those
grand old German airs. You shall have Mendelssohn or Von Weber, if you
are not in the mood for Beethoven or Chopin," she added, compromising to
my nervous weakness.

She led the way, I followed, to the parlor,--only, however, once there,
and finding it unoccupied, I led, and she listened.

"No music this evening, Frank, for heaven's sake!" I cried, my voice
thick with emotion, as she seated herself at the piano. "I must be
truthful with you. I have been a weak fool; and to you, whom I respect
and admire so thoroughly, I will confess it. Bear with me awhile longer,
then you shall speak," I added, as she rose and came toward me.

"In the first place, since I am a genius," I continued, bitterly, "I
ought to have had a clearer vision. I ought to have seen, that, because
you were the most fascinating, brilliant woman I had ever dreamed of,
the most highly cultured, and planned on the noblest scale,--because you
disinterestedly devoted yourself to my improvement, kindled a spark of
what you were pleased to call genius, and then gave your own life to fan
it into a flame,--I ought to have seen that all this did not necessarily
imply that subtile bond and affinity between us which alone should end
in marriage. But I did not see. I was touched to the heart by your
kindness. I thrilled with pride, when you turned from men of refinement
and intellect, to smile cordially, tenderly, upon me. I longed to be a
suitable companion for one so superior; and I have worked--honestly,
faithfully, have I worked--to become so. But what you grew upon made me
languid. I was satiated with study, weary even of my brush. Metaphysics
and mystical speculation bewilder a mind too weak to trust itself in
their mazes, without the old established guides, the helps to a
childlike faith. I was worn out and sick. Then your presence revived me;
all the doubts which have since become certainties were thrust aside. I
came here; I met Annie Bray; I said some foolish words one day, when we
were walking up here, about being worn out and staying where we were
forever. They were dishonorable words, for they were due first of all to
you; and they have haunted me since like a nightmare. It was Annie
herself who reproved and repelled them. To-day I went there with the
thought of saying good-bye. I was sure that my feeling for you was firm
as a rock; it is only periodically and indefinably, Frank, that it has
seemed otherwise; and now I would lay down my life to restrain these
words, to be worthy of the love I renounce. Some other and better man
must win what I have been too weak to keep. This afternoon has proved to
me that I do not belong exclusively to you."

Was I base and unfeeling, or only weak, as I had said? Frank Darry
turned away, and walked to the long French window, looking out in the
moonlight upon the very spot, perhaps, where I had so passionately
declared my love. I could see her tremble with emotion. Yet I dared not
speak or go to her. Perhaps five minutes passed,--it might have been an
hour,--when, pale, but composed, she came to the sofa, upon which I had
thrown myself.

"You love Annie Bray, then, Sandy?" she asked, calmly.

"No," I answered, "I do not love her; but I feel that I have done
violence to what might have grown into love between us. I do not intend
to see her. I do not wish to ask for what would assuredly not be
granted. I desire only to go away, to be alone and quiet."

"You are, indeed, forever rushing to extremes, Sandy," she said, slowly.
"We have both done wrong: I, in tempting you, without, of course, a
thought of self," she added, proudly, "to set aside this first and
strongest interest; and you, in your acceptance of fascination as love.
We have done wrong; but you are now right, for you are true. Let me be
so also. I consider it no disgrace to my womanhood to admit the pain
your avowal gives me, yet I thank you for making it. Remember, Sandy, if
a true affection spring up within you, do not crush it from a morbid
remembrance of this: it would be a poor revenge for me to desire."

She spoke sadly. I could not reply to her. Such generosity was, indeed,
like coals of fire on my head. Say as I might to myself that her strong
will had held me spellbound,--reason as I might that it was only because
she had developed, made me, as it were, that this motherly, yearning,
protecting love had been lavished upon me,--there was still the fact,
that this rich, strong nature had given of its best treasure in answer
to my passionate pleading, had wasted it on me.

"Frank Darry," I said, "why I do not entirely love what I completely
reverence and admire I cannot tell. To live without you seems like
drifting through life without aim or guide. I would gladly think that
one who suffered through my joy, one far better than I, should yet win
what he longed for."

Then only did her paleness vary.

"Sandy, spare me, at least just now, such complete renunciation.
Remember, I have not confessed what you have."

She took my hand: it was, I know, burning, while hers was cold as
marble. She stooped and kissed my forehead.

"Good night, and good bye, Sandy. The time may come, when, as teacher
and pupil, we shall think of each other tenderly."

Where was the passionate avowal I would once have made? Had I learned a
lesson? Yes, the most bitter of my life. When I heard her firm foot-step
die away in the hall, I crossed to the library, and in a few brief words
explained to Mr. and Mrs. Lang that I must leave their house at once,
and that our engagement was broken because I alone had proved unworthy.
The color mounted to Mr. Lang's brow.

"You are weak, Sandy," he ejaculated, bitterly; "it is what I always
feared."

Mrs. Lang, in her gentle, kindly way, tried to soften his anger; but it
must have been a hard task with one who, while he pitied sin, scorned
weakness; and I did not await the result, but, hurrying to my room,
packed my portmanteau and left for the station.

A fortnight later I received from Miss Dinsmore, in reply to my
inquiries, a letter giving a most favorable account of Annie Bray's
health. This was all I desired. I wrote a few lines of friendly
farewell, and, hinting at no period of return, merely explained that I
was about to leave for Europe. I restrained my desire to give her some
advice as to her pursuits in my absence. Such mentorship, at present,
seemed like creating another barrier between us. I assumed no
superiority myself, I had no disposition to seek it in others.


CHAPTER XV.

Worn out and jaded, I began my travels. I strove to make these travels
as inexpensive as possible. I walked much, and at times lived both
cheaply and luxuriously, as one learns to do after a little experience
abroad. At first I resolved to make this tour one long summer day of
pleasure through the outward senses. I took no books with me. I painted
no picture. I rarely even sketched. Brain and heart rested, while there
flowed into them, through the outward avenues of eye and ear, new
pictures and harmonies,--I fancied, for present enjoyment merely, but in
reality for future use.

When I reached Rome, my funds, which had even previously been eked out
by the sale of the few sketches I had made, were quite exhausted.
Anticipating this, I had, after great hesitation, written to Mr.
Leopold, desiring letters of introduction to some artists, in the hope
of obtaining work from them. I found his reply to this letter awaiting
my arrival in Rome; and though I had not hinted at my destitution, he
must have guessed it, for he inclosed a check and all the information I
desired. I provided myself with a humble studio and recommenced work.
How fresh and charming was this return to my old mode of life! I even
bought a few choice books at the old stalls, and revelled in poetry.
Dante opened his Purgatory to me just as I escaped from my own, and I
basked in the returning sun-light of a free and happy life.

Copying in a painting-gallery one day, I beheld with pain, albeit he was
my benefactor, a ghost of my former life arising to haunt me. Mr.
Leopold, having arrived the night before, was enjoying the pictures
preparatory to hunting me up. His greeting was cordial; he cheered me by
most favorable opinions as to my progress in my art, and was dumb about
the past. He desired that I should again work in connection with
himself; and the profound respect I had always felt for his abilities
was confirmed and heightened by the affection he inspired in me. His
really harmonious character guided mine without the absolute surrender
of my individuality. One by one I resumed the old interests, and began
to feel the old heart which has throbbed through the centuries, from
Adam downward, beating within me. How very much I was like other men,
after all!

"Sandy," Mr. Leopold said to me one day, as we sat sketching some old
ruin on the Campagna, "is it your wish to be silent as to the past? Are
you restrained by fear of yourself or me?"

For only answer I exclaimed,--

"How and where is Miss Darry?"

"She is well, and at Munich," he answered, smiling
pleasantly,--"developing in herself the powers with which she invested
you. As a sculptress she gives great promise; her figures show wonderful
anatomical knowledge."

"And you, Mr. Leopold," I asked breathlessly, "how could you forgive and
befriend one who had so weakly treated the woman you alone were worthy
to love?"

"You are indeed breaking silence, Sandy," he replied; "it is with you
the Chinese wall or illimitable space. Perhaps you have not really
wronged either her or me. She worked off some extravagant theories on
you. You exhausted your weakness, I trust, on her; and as for me, I have
learned to conquer through both."

I have lived several years since that morning in Rome, where, at the
headquarters of the confessional, I opened my heart to Mr. Leopold.
Standing, as he does, at the head of his art, I follow him. Those who
prefer fancy to vigorous thought and imagination, the lovely and
familiar in Nature to the sublime, sometimes rank me above him. Time has
not evolved the genius which Miss Darry prophesied, yet I am as fully
convinced that I occupy my true position and do my appropriate work in
the world as though it had. Mrs. Leopold professes occasionally to me,
with a smile, that her opinion is unaltered, that my weakness was only
an additional proof of genius, but that her husband is a hero worth all
the geniuses in the world. She holds this subtile essence more lightly
in estimation now than formerly. Some think she possesses it; and her
groups of statuary fairly entitle her to more laurels than in her happy
domestic life she is likely to win. She laughs at my wife, and calls her
sentimental, because her Art instincts, like vines over a humble
dwelling, embroider only the common domestic life. Her many fanciful
ways of adorning our home, and her own sweet, sunny self, its perpetual
light and comfort, are to me just so many 'traps to catch the sunbeams'
of life, especially as I see beneath all this the earnest, developed
womanhood of the blacksmith's daughter. Do you ask me how I won her? I
can describe my passionate admiration, even the weakness and limitations
of my nature; but I will not unveil my love. Is it not enough that I am
a thorough democrat, have little faith in the hereditary transmission of
good or evil, and welcome Mr. and Mrs. Bray to my home and hearth? I am
not hurried now.

"You have only this lifetime to make a _man_ in, Sandy," Annie pleads
occasionally, when a call for service outside my profession presents
itself; "but any special power of mind, it seems to me, will have the
mending ages in which to unfold."

To love men, to labor for them and for the ideas which free and redeem
them, seems the special mission of our times; and my little wife has
caught its spirit, and so helps me to recognize the virtue which
eighteen hundred years ago was crucified to rise again, which has been
assailed in our country, and is rising again to be the life and
inspiration of Christendom, the death-blow to slavery and oppression,
the light of many a humble home and simple heart. Unselfishness!
keystone to the arch through which each pure soul looks heavenward!



KING JAMES THE FIRST.


A merry monarch two years and four months old.

If we could have stood by when the world was a-making,--could have
sniffed the escaping gases, as they volatilized through the air,--could
have seen and heard the swash of the waves, when the whole world was, so
to speak, in hot water,--could have watched the fiery tumult gradually
soothing itself into shapely, stately palms and ferns, cold-blooded
Pterodactyles, and gigantic, but gentle Megatheriums, till it was
refined, at length, into sunshine and lilies and Robin Redbreasts,--we
fancy we should have been intensely interested. But a human soul is a
more mysterious thing than this round world. Its principles firmer than
the hills, its passions more tumultuous than the sea, its purity
resplendent as the light, its power too swift and subtile for human
analysis,--what wonder in heaven above or earth beneath can rival this
mystic, mighty mechanism? Yet it is formed almost under our eyes. The
voice of God, "Let there be light," we do not hear; the stir of matter
thrilled into mind we do not see; but the after-march goes on before our
gaze. We have only to look, and, lo! the mountains are slowly rising,
the valleys scoop their levels, the sea heaves against its barriers, and
the chaotic soul evolves itself from its nebulous, quivering light, from
its plastic softness, into a world of repose, of use, of symmetry, and
stability. This mysterious soul, when it first passed within our vision,
was only not hidden within its mass of fleshly life, a seed of
spirituality deep-sunk in a pulp of earthliness. Passing away from us in
ripened perfection, we behold a being but little lower than the angels,
heir of God and joint heir with Christ, crowned with glory and honor and
immortality.

Come up, then, Jamie, my King, into the presence of the great
congregation! There are poets here, and philosophers, wise men of the
East who can speak of trees, from the cedar-tree that is in Lebanon,
even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: also of beasts, and
of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes. But fear them not,
little Jamie! you are of more value, even to science, than many fishes.
Wise as these Magi are, yesterday they were such as you, and such they
must become again or ever they shall enter the kingdom of heaven. Come
up, little Jamie, into the hall of audience! Blue eyes and broad brow,
sunny curls, red lips, and dainty, sharp teeth, stout little arm, strong
little hand, sturdy little figure, and most still and steadfast gaze:
truly it is the face and form of a king,--sweetness in power,
unconsciousness in royalty.

"Jamie, you are a little beauty! You are too handsome to live!"

"No!" says Jamie, vehemently, for the fiftieth time, stamping the royal
foot and scowling the royal brows. "Gamma say _not_ too ha'some!"

"But you are a young Apollo."

"_No_ my 'Pollo!"

"What are you, then?"

"I goo e baw," which is Jametic for good little boy.

This microcosm, like the macrocosm, may be divided into many
departments. As the world is viewed geographically, geologically,
historically, astronomically, so in this one little Jamie we have many
Jamies. There is the Jamie philological, Jamie theological, Jamie
psychological, Jamie emotional, Jamie social; in fact, I can hardly
think of any natural, moral, or mathematical science, on which a careful
study of Jamie will not throw some light. Would you frame a theory of
metaphysics? Consult Reid, and Locke, and Hamilton warily, for they are
men, subject to like mistakes as we are; but observe Jamie with utmost
confidence and the closest care, for he is the book of God, and will
teach only truth, if your eye is single to perceive truth.
Theologically, Jamie has points superior to both Andover and Princeton;
he is never in danger of teaching for doctrine the commandments of men;
nor have passion and prejudice in him any power to conceal, but, on the
contrary, they illuminate truth. For the laws of language, mark how the
noble tree of human speech springs in his soul from mustard-seed into
fair and fruitful symmetry. In good sooth, one marvels that there should
be so much error in the world with children born and growing up all over
it. If Jamie were, like Jean Paul, the Only, I should expect
philosophers to journey from remotest regions to sit at his feet and
learn the ways of God to man. Every one who presumed to teach his
fellows should be called upon to produce his diploma as a graduate of
Jamie, or forfeit all confidence in his sagacity. But, with a baby in
every other house, how is it that we continually fall out by the way? It
must be that children are not advantageously used. We pet them, and drug
them, and spoil them; we trick them out in silks and fine array; we
cross and thwart and irritate them; we lay unholy hands upon them, but
are seldom content to stand aside and see the salvation of the Lord.

Tug, tug, tug, one little foot wearisomely ranging itself beside the
other, and two hands helping both: that is Jamie coming up stairs.
Patter, patter, patter: that is Jamie trotting through the entry. He
never walks. Rattle, clatter, shake: Jamie is opening the door. Now he
marches in. Flushed with exertion, and exultant over his brilliant
escapade from the odious surveillance below, he presents himself peering
on tiptoe just over the arm of the big chair, and announces his
errand,--

"Come t' see Baddy."

"Baddy doesn't want you."

"Baddy _do_."

Then, in no wise daunted by his cool welcome, he works his way up into
the big chair with much and indiscriminate pulling: if it is a sleeve,
if it is a curtain, if it is a table-cloth whereon repose many pens,
much ink and paper, and knick-knacks without number, nothing heeds he,
but clutches desperately at anything which will help him mount, and so
he comes grunting in, all tumbled and twisted, crowds down beside me,
and screws himself round to face the table, poking his knees and feet
into me with serene unconcern. Then, with a pleased smile lighting up
his whole face, he devotes himself to literature. A small, brass-lined
cavity in the frame of the writing-desk serves him for an inkstand. Into
that he dips an old, worn-out pen with consequential air, and
assiduously traces nothing on bits of paper. Of course I am reduced to a
masterly inactivity, with him wriggling against my right arm, let alone
the danger hanging over all my goods and chattels from this lawless
little Vandal prowling among them. Shall I send him away? Yes, if I am
an insensate clod, clean given over to stupidity and selfishness; if I
count substance nothing, and shadow all things; if I am content to dwell
with frivolities forever, and have for eternal mysteries nothing but
neglect. For suppose I break in upon his short-lived delight, thrust him
out grieved and disappointed, with his brave brow clouded, a mist in his
blue eyes, and--that heart-rending sight--his dear little under-lip and
chin all quivering and puckering. Well, I go back and write an epic
poem. The printers mangle it; the critics fall foul of it; it is lost in
going through the post-office; it brings me ten letters, asking an
autograph, on six of which I have to pay postage. There is vanity and
vexation of spirit, besides eighteen cents out of pocket, and the
children crying for bread. I let him stay. A little, innocent life,
fearfully dependent on others for light, shines out with joyful
radiance, wherein I rejoice. To-morrow he will have the measles, and the
mumps, and the croup, and the whooping-cough, and scarlatina; and then
come the alphabet, and Latin grammar, and politics, and his own boys
getting into trouble: but to-day, when his happiness is in my hands, I
may secure it, and never can any one wrest from him the sunshine I may
pour into his happy little heart. Oh! the time comes so soon, and comes
so often, that Love can only look with bitter sorrow upon the sorrow
which it has no power to mitigate!

Language is unceremoniously resolved into its original elements by
Jamie. He is constitutionally opposed to inflection, which, as he must
be devoid of prejudice, may be considered indisputable proof of the
native superiority of the English to other languages. He is careful to
include in his sentences all the important words, but he has small
respect for particles, and the disposition of his words waits entirely
upon his moods. _My_ usually does duty for _I_. "Want the Uncle Frank
gave me hossey," with a finger pointing to the mantel-piece is just as
flexible to his use as "Want the hossey that Uncle Frank gave me."
"Where Baddy _can_ be?" he murmurs softly to himself, while peering
behind doors and sofas in playing hide-and-seek. Hens are cud-dah, a
flagrant example of Onomatopoeia. The cradle is a cay-go; corn-balls
are ball-corn; and snow-bird, bird-snow; and all his rosy nails are
toe-nails. He has been drilled into meet response to "how d' ye do?" but
demonstrates the mechanical character of his reply by responding to any
question that has the _you_ and _how_ sounds in it, as "What do you
think of that?" "How did you do it?" "How came you by this?" "Pit-_tee_
well."

But his performances are not all mechanical. He has a stock of poetry
and orations, of which he delivers himself at bedtime with a degree of
resignation,--that being the only hour in which he can be reduced to
sufficient quietude for recitation; nor is that because he loves quiet
more, but bed less. It is a very grievous misfortune, an unreasonable
and arbitrary requisition, that breaks in upon his busy life, interrupts
him in the midst of driving to mill on an inverted chair, hauling wood
in a ditto footstool, and other important matters, and sweeps him off to
darkness and silence. So, with night-gown on, and the odious bed
imminent, he puts off the evil day by compounding with the authorities
and giving a public entertainment, in consideration of a quarter of an
hour's delay. He takes large liberties with the text of his poems, but
his rhetorical variations are of a nature that shows it is no vain
repetition, but that he enters into the spirit of the poem. In one of
his songs a person

    "Asked a sweet robin, one morning in May,
    That sung in the apple-tree over the way,"

what it was he was singing.

    "Don't you know? he replied, you cannot guess wrong;
    Don't you know I am singing my cold-water song?"

This Jamie intensifies thus:--

    "Do' know my sing my co'-wotta song, hm?"

When he reaches the place where

    "Jack fell down
    Boke cown,"

he invariably leaves Gill to take care of herself, and closes with the
pathetic moral reflection, "'At _too_ bad!" Little Jack Horner, having
put in his thumb and picked out a plum, is made to declare definitely
and redundantly,--

    "My _ga-ate_ big boy, jus' so big!"

He persists in praying,--

    "'F I should die 'fore I wake up."

Borne off to bed a last, in spite of every pretext for delay, tired
Nature droops in his curling lashes, and gapes protractedly through his
wide-dividing lips.

"I seepy," he cries, fighting of sleep with the bravery of a
Major-General,--observing phenomena, _in articulo somni_, with the
accuracy and enthusiasm of a naturalist, and reasoning from them with
the skill of a born logician.

A second prolonged and hearty gape, and

"I two seepies," he cries, adding mathematics to his other
accomplishments.

And that is the last of Jamie, till the early morning brings him
trudging up stairs, all curled and shining, to "hear Baddy say 'Boo!'"

Total depravity, in Jamie's presence, is a doctrine hard to be
understood. Honestly speaking, he does not appear to have any more
depravity than is good for him,--just enough to make him piquant, to
give him a relish. He is healthy and hearty all day long. He eats no
luncheon and takes no nap, is desperately hungry thrice a day and sleeps
all night, going to bed at dark after a solitary stale supper of bread
and butter, more especially bread; and he is good and happy. Laying
aside the revelations of the Bible and of Doctors of Divinity, I should
say that his nature is honest, simple, healthful, pure, and good. He
shows no love for wrong, no inclination towards evil rather than good.
He is affectionate, just, generous, and truthful. He just lives on his
sincere, loving, fun-loving, playful, yet earnest life, from day to day,
a pure and perfect example, to my eye, of what God meant children to be.
I cannot see how he should be very different from what he is, even if he
were in heaven, or if Adam had never sinned. There is so fearful an
amount of, and so decided a bent towards, wickedness in the world, that
it seems as if nothing less than an inborn aptitude for wickedness can
account for it; yet, in spite of all theories and probabilities, here is
Jamie, right under my own eye, developing a far stronger tendency to
love, kindness, sympathy, and all the innocent and benevolent qualities,
than to their opposites. The wrong that he does do seems to be more from
fun and frolic, from sheer exuberance of animal spirits and intensity of
devotion to mirth, than anything else. He seems to be utterly devoid of
malice, cruelty, revenge, or any evil motive. Even selfishness, which I
take to be the fruitful mother of evil, is held in abeyance, is
subordinate to other and nobler qualities. Candy is dearer to him than
he knows how to express; yet he scrupulously lays a piece on the mantel
for an absent friend; and though he has it in full view, and climbs up
to it, and in the extremity of his longing has been known, I think, to
chip off the least little bit with his sharp mouse-teeth, yet he endures
to the end and delivers up the candy with an eagerness hardly surpassed
by that with which he originally received it. Can self-denial go
farther?

It seems to me that the reason of Jamie's gentleness and cheerfulness
and goodness is, that he is comfortable and happy. The animal is in fine
condition, and the spirit is therefore well served; consequently, both
go on together with little friction. And I cannot but suspect that a
great deal of human depravity comes from human misery. The destruction
of the poor is his poverty. Little sickly, fretful, crying babies, heirs
of worn nerves, fierce tempers, sad hearts, sordid tastes, half-tended
or over-tended, fed on poison by the hand of love, nay, sucking poison
from the breasts of love, trained to insubordination, abused by
kindness, abused by cruelty,--that is the human nature from which
largely we generalize, and no wonder the inference is total depravity.
But human nature, distorted, defiled, degraded by centuries of
misdealing, is scarcely human _nature_. Let us discover it before we
define it. Let us remove accretions of long-standing moral and physical
disease, before we pronounce sentence against the human _nature_. If it
ever becomes an established and universally recognized principle, as
fixed and unquestionable as the right and wrong of theft and murder,
that it is a sin against God, a crime against the State, an outrage upon
the helpless victim of their ignorance or wickedness, for an unhealthy
man or woman to become the parent of a child, I think our creeds would
presently undergo modification. Disease seems to me a more fertile
source of evil than depravity; at least it is a more tangible source. We
must have a race of healthy children, before we know what are the true
characteristics of the human race. A child suffering from scrofula gives
but a feeble, even a false representation of the grace, beauty, and
sweetness of childhood. Pain, sickness, lassitude, deformity, a
suffering life, a lingering death, are among the woful fruits of this
dire disease, and it is acknowledged to be hereditary. Is not, then,
every person afflicted with any hereditary disease debarred as by a fiat
of the Almighty from becoming a parent? Every principle of honor forbids
it. The popular stolidity and blindness on these subjects are
astonishing. A young woman whose sisters have all died of consumption,
and who herself exhibits unmistakable consumptive tendencies, is
married, lives to bear three children in quick succession, and dies of
consumption. Her friends mourn her and the sad separation from her
bereaved little ones, but console themselves with the reflection that
these little ones have prolonged her life. But for her marriage, she
would have died years before. Of the three children born of this
remedial marriage, two die in early girlhood of consumption. One left, a
puny infant, languishes into a puny maturity. Even as a remedy, what is
this worth? To die in her youth, to leave her suffering body in the dust
and go quickly to God, with no responsibility beyond herself, or to pine
through six years, enduring thrice, besides all her inherited debility,
the pain and peril, the weariness and terror of child-bearing, to be at
last torn violently and prematurely away from these beloved little
ones,--which is the disease, and which the remedy? And when we look
farther on at the helpless little innocents, doomed to be the recipients
of disease, early deprived of a mother's care, for which there is no
substitute, dragging a load of weakness and pain, and forced down into
the Valley of the Shadow of Death before years shall have blunted the
point of its terrors, or religion robbed them of their sting,--it is
only not atrocious because so unwittingly wrought.

And bodily health is only one of the possessions which every child has a
right to claim from its parents. Not merely health, but dispositions,
traits, lie within human control far beyond the extent of common
recognition. We say that character is formed at fourteen or sixteen, and
that training should begin in infancy; but sometimes it seems to me,
that, when the child is born, the work is done. All the rest is
supplementary and subordinate. Subsequent effort has, indeed, much
effect, but it cannot change quality. It may modify, but it cannot make
anew. After neglect or ignorance may blight fair promise, but no after
wisdom can bring bloom for blight. There are many by-laws whose workings
we do not understand; but the great, general law is so plain, that
wayfaring folk, though fools, need not err therein. Every one sees the
unbridled passions of the father or mother raging in the child.
Gentleness is born of gentleness, insanity of insanity, truth of truth.
Careful and prayerful training may mitigate the innate evil; but how
much better that the young life should have sprung to light from seas of
love and purity and peace! Through God's mercy, the harsh temper, the
miserly craving, the fretful discontent may be repressed and soothed;
but it is always up-hill work, and never in this world wholly
successful. Why be utterly careless in forming, to make conscious life a
toilsome and thankless task of reforming? Since there is a time, and
there comes no second, when the human being is under human
control,--since the tiny infant, once born, is a separate individual, is
for all its remaining existence an independent human being, why not
bring power to bear where form is amenable to power? Only let all the
influences of that sovereign time be heavenly,--and whatever may be true
of total depravity, Christ has made such a thing possible,--and there
remains no longer the bitter toil of thwarting, but only the pleasant
work of cultivating Nature.

It is idle, and worse than idle, to call in question the Providence of
God for disaster caused solely by the improvidence of man. The origin of
evil may be hidden in the unfathomable obscurity of a distant,
undreamed-of past, beyond the scope of mortal vision; but by far the
greater part of the evil that we see--which is the only evil for which
we are responsible--is the result of palpable violation of Divine laws.
Humanity here is as powerful as Divinity. The age of miracles is past.
God does not interfere to contravene His own laws. His part in man's
creation He long ago defined, and delegated all the rest to the souls
that He had made. Man is as able as God to check the destructive tide.
And it is mere shuffling and shirking and beating the wind, for a people
to pray God to mitigate the ill which they continually and
unhesitatingly perpetuate and multiply.

The great mistake made by the believers in total depravity is in
counting the blood of the covenant of little worth. We admit that in
Adam all die; but we are slow to believe that in Christ all can be made
alive. We abuse the doctrine. We make it a sort of scapegoat for
short-coming. But Christ has made Adamic depravity of no account. He
came not alone to pardon sin, but to save people from sinning.
Father-love, mother-love, and Christ-love are so mighty that together
they can defy Satan, and, in his despite, the soul shall be born into
the kingdom of heaven without first passing through the kingdom of hell.
And in this way only, I think, will the kingdom of this world become the
kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Now, Jamie, having set the world right,--you and I, for which the world
will be deeply grateful,--let us see what you are about, for you have
been suspiciously still lately. What doing, Jamie?"

"Hay-puh!" says Jamie, very red, eager, and absorbed, with no
intermission of labor.

"Making hasty pudding! Oh, yes! I know what that means. Only taking all
the chips and shavings out of the wood-box in the closet and carrying
them half across the room by the eminently safe conveyance of his two
fat hands, and emptying them into my box of paper, and stirring all
together with a curling-stick. That's nothing. Keep on, Jamie, and amuse
yourself; but let us hear your geography lesson.

"Where are you going one of these days?"

"Min-nee-so-toh."

"Where is Minnesota?"

Jamie gives a jerk with his arm to the west. He evidently thinks
Minnesota is just beyond the hill.

"Where is papa going to buy his horses?"

"Ill-noy."

"And where does Aunt Sarah live?"

"Cog-go."

"What river are you going to sail up to get to Minnesota?"

"Miss-iss-ipp-ee."

"That's a _good_ little boy! He knows ever so much; and here is a
peppermint. Open his mouth and shut his eyes, and pop! it goes."

There is, however, a pretty picture on the other side, that Jamie
thrusts his iconoclastic fists through quite as unconcernedly; and that
is the dignity of human nature. The human being can be trained into a
dignified person: that no one denies. Looking at some honored and
honorable man bearing himself loftily through every crisis, and wearing
his grandeur with an imperial grace, one may be pardoned for the
mistake, but it is none the less a mistake, of reckoning the acquirement
of an individual as the endowment of the race. Behold human nature
unclothed upon with the arts and graces of the schools, if you would
discover, not its possibilities, but its attributes. The helplessness of
infancy appeals to all that is chivalric and Christian in our hearts;
but to dignity it is pre-eminently a stranger. A charming and popular
writer--on the whole, I am not sure that it was not my own self--once
affirmed that a baby is a beast, and gave great offence thereby; yet it
seems to me that no unprejudiced person can observe an infant of tender
weeks sprawling and squirming in the bath-tub, and not confess that it
looks more like a little pink frog than anything else. And here is
Jamie, not only weeks, but months and years old, setting his young
affections on candy and dinner, and eating in general, with an appalling
intensity. It is humiliating to see how easily he is moved by an appeal
to his appetite. I blush for my race, remembering the sparkle of his
eyes over a dainty dish, and the abandonment of his devotion to it,--the
enthusiasm with which his feet spring, and his voice rings through the
house, to announce the fact, "Dinnah mo' weh-wy! dinnah mo' weh-wy!" To
the naked eye, he appears to think as much of eating as a cat or a
chicken or a dog. Reasons and rights he is slow to comprehend; but his
conscience is always open to conviction, and his will pliable to a
higher law, when a stick of candy is in the case. His bread-and-butter
is to him what science was to Newton; and he has been known to reply
abstractedly to a question put to him in the height of his enjoyment,
"Don' talk t' me now!" This is not dignity, surely. Is it total
depravity? What is it that makes his feet so swift to do mischief? He
sweeps the floor with the table-brush, comes stumbling over the carpet
almost chin-deep in a pair of muddy rubber boots, catches up the bird's
seed-cup and darts away, spilling it at every step; and the louder I
call, the faster he runs, half frightened, half roguish, till an
unmistakable sharpness pierces him, makes him throw down cup and seed
together, and fling himself full length on the floor, his little heart
all broken. Indeed, he can bear anything but displeasure. He tumbles
down twenty times a day, over the crickets, off the chairs, under the
table, head first, head last, bump, bump, bump, and never a tear sheds
he, though his stern self-control is sometimes quite pitiful to see. But
a little slap on his cheek, which is his standing punishment,--not a
blow, but a tiny tap that must derive all its efficacy from its moral
force,--oh, it stabs him to the heart! He has no power to bear up
against it, and goes away by himself, and cries bitterly, sonorously,
and towards the last, I suspect, rather ostentatiously. Then he spoils
it all by coming out radiant, and boasting that he has "make tear," as
if that were an unparalleled feat. If you attempt to chide him, he puts
up his plump hand with a repelling gesture, turns away his head in
disgust, and ejaculates vehemently, "Don' talk t' me!" After all,
however, I do not perceive that he is any more sensitive to reproof than
an intelligent and petted dog.

His logical faculty develops itself somewhat capriciously, but is very
prompt. He seldom fails to give you a reason, though it is often of the
Wordsworthian type,--

    "At Kilve there was no weathercock,
      And that's the reason why."

"Don' talk t' me! I little Min-nee-so-toh boy!"--as if that were an
amnesty proclamation. You invite him to stay with you, and let Papa go
to Minnesota without him. He shakes his head dubiously, and protests,
with solemn earnestness, "Mus' go Min-nee-so-toh ca'y my fork," which,
to the world-incrusted mind, seems but an inadequate pretext. I want him
to write me a letter when he is gone away; but, after a thoughtful
pause, he decides that he cannot, "'cause I got no pen." If he is not in
a mood to repeat the verse you ask for, he finds full excuse in the
unblushing declaration, "I bashful." He casts shadows on the wall with
his wreathing, awkward little fingers, and is perfectly satisfied that
they are rabbits, though the mature eye discerns no resemblance to any
member of the vertebrate family. He gazes curiously to see me laugh at
something I am reading,--"What 'at? my want to see,"--and climbs up to
survey the page with wistful eyes; but it is "a' a muddle" to him. He
greets me exultantly after absence, because I have "come home pay coot
with Jamie"; and there is another secret out: that it is of no use to be
sentimental with a child. He loves you in proportion as you are
available. His papa and mamma fondly imagine they are dearer to him than
any one else, and it would be cruel to disturb that belief; but it would
be the height of folly to count yourself amiable because Jamie plants
himself firmly against the door, and pleads piteously, "Don' go in e
parly wite!" He wants you to "pay coot" with him,--that is all. If your
breakfast shawl is lying on a chair, it would not be sagacious to
attribute an affectionate unselfishness to him in begging leave to "go
give Baddy shawl t' keep Baddy back warm." It is only his greediness to
enter forbidden ground. Sentiment and sensibility have small lodgement
in his soul.

But when Jamie is duly forewarned, he is forearmed. Legally admitted
into the parlor to see visitors, he sits on the sofa by his mother's
side, silent, upright, prim, his little legs stuck straight out before
him in two stiff lines, presenting a full front view of his soles. By
the way, I wonder how long grown persons would sit still, if they were
obliged to assume this position. But Jamie maintains himself heroically,
his active soul subdued to silence, till Nature avenges herself, not
merely with a palpable, but a portentous yawn. "You may force me to this
unnatural quiet," she seems to say; "but if you expect to prevent me
from testifying that I think it intolerably stupid, you have reckoned
without your host."

And here Jamie comes out strongly in favor of democracy, universal
suffrage, political equality, the Union and the Constitution, the
Declaration of Independence, and the rights of man. Uncontaminated by
conventional rules, he recognizes the human being apart from his worldly
state. He is as silent and abashed in the presence of the day-laborer,
coarsely clad and rough of speech and manners, as in that of the
accomplished man of the world, or the daintiest silken-robed lady. With
simple gravity, and never a thought of wrong, he begs the poet, "Pease,
Missa Poet, tie up my shoe." He stands in awe before the dignity of the
human soul; but dress and rank and reputation receive no homage from
him. He is reverent, but to no false gods. The world finds room for
kingdoms and empires and oligarchies; but undoubtedly man is born a
democrat.

Is there only one Jamie here? Can one little urchin about as high as the
table so fill a house with mirth and mischief, so daguerrotype himself
in every corner, possess, while claiming nothing, so large a share of
the household interest? For he somehow bubbles up everywhere. Not a
mischance or a misplacement but can pretty surely be brought home to
him. Is a glass broken? Jamie broke it. Is a door open that ought to be
shut? Jamie opened it. Or shut that ought to be open? Jamie shut it. Is
there a mighty crash in the entry? It is Jamie dropping the crowbar
through the side-lights. The "Atlantic" has been missing all the
morning.

"Jamie,"--a last, random resort, after fruitless search,--"where is the
'Atlantic Monthly'?"

"In daw."

"In the drawer? No, it is not in the drawer. You don't know anything
about it."

Not quite so fast. Jamie knows the "Atlantic Monthly" as well as you;
and if you will open the drawer for him, he will rapidly scatter its
contents till he comes to the missing "Monthly," safe under the shawls
where he deposited it.

If you are hanging your room with ground-pine, he lays hold of every
stray twig, and tucks it into every crack he can reach. Will you have
some corn out of the barrel? It is Jamie for balancing himself on the
edge, and reaching down into the depths after it, till little more than
his heels are visible. If, in a sudden exuberance, you make a
"cheese,"--not culinary, but _whirligig_--round go his little bobtail
petticoats in fatuous imitation. You walk the floor awhile, lost in day
dreaming, to find this little monkey trotting behind you with droll
gravity, his hands clasped behind his head, like yours; and he breaks in
upon your most serious meditations with, "Baddy get down on floor, want
wide on Baddy back," as nonchalantly as if he were asking you to pass
the salt. All that he says, all that he does, has its peculiar charm.
Not that he is in the least a remarkable child.

    "I trust we have within our realme
      Five [thousand] as good as hee."

Otherwise what will befall this sketch?

I do not expect anything will ever come of him. In a few years he will
be just like everybody else; but now he is the _peculiar_ gift of
Heaven. Men and women walk and talk all day long, and nobody minds them;
while this little ignoramus seldom opens his lips but you think nothing
was ever so winsomely spoken. I suspect it is only his complete
simplicity and sincerity. What he says and what he does are the direct,
unmistakable effusions of his nature. All comes straight from the secret
place where his soul abideth. Even his subterfuges are open as the day.
You know that you are looking upon virgin Nature. Just as it flashed
from its source, you see the unadulterated spirit. If grown-up persons
would or could be as frank as he,--if they had no more misgivings,
concealments, self-distrust, self-thought than he,--they would doubtless
be as interesting. Every separate human being is a separate phenomenon
and mystery; and if he could only be unthinkingly himself, as Jamie is,
that self would be as much more captivating as it is become great and
subtle by growth and experience. But we--fashion, habit, society,
training, all the culture of life, mix a sort of paste, and we gradually
become coated with it, and it hardens upon us; so it comes to pass
by-and-by that we see our associates no longer, but only the casing in
which they walk about; and as one is a good deal like another, we are
not deeply fascinated. Sometimes a Thor's hammer breaks this flinty rock
in pieces. Sometimes a fervid sun melts it, and you are let in to where
the vigilant soul keeps watch and ward. Sometimes, alas! the hardening
process seems to have struck in, and you find nothing but petrifaction
all the way through.

Perhaps, after all, it is just as well; for, if our neighbors won upon
us unawares as Jamie does, when should we ever find time to do anything?
On the whole, it is a great deal better as it is, until the world has
learned to love its neighbor as itself. For the present, it would not be
safe to go abroad with the soul exposed. You fetch me a blow with your
bludgeon, and I mind it not at all through my coat-of-mail; but if it
had fallen on my heart, it would have wounded me to death. Nay, if you
did but know where the sutures are, how you would stab and stab, dear
fellow-man and brother, not to say Christian! No, we are not to be
trusted with each other yet,--I with you, nor you with me; so we will
keep our armor on awhile, please Heaven.

And as I think of Jamie frisking through the happy, merry days, I see
how sad, unnatural, and wicked a thing it is, that mothers must so often
miss the sunshine that ought to come to them through their little ones.
We speak of losing children, when they die; but many a mother loses her
children, though they play upon her threshold every day. She loses them,
because she has no leisure to bask, and loiter, and live in them. She is
so occupied in providing for their wants, that she has no time to sun
herself in their grace. She snatches from them sweetness enough to keep
herself alive, but she does not expand and mellow and ripen in their
warmth for all the world. And the hours go by, and the days go by,
evening and morning, seed-time and harvest, and the little frocks are
outgrown, and the little socks outworn, and the little baby--oh! there
is no little baby any more, but a boy with the crust formed already on
his soul.

I marvel what becomes of these small people in heaven. They cannot stay
as they are, for then heaven would be a poorer place than earth, where
all but idiots increase in wisdom and stature. And if they keep
growing,--why, it seems but a sorry exchange, to give up your tender,
tiny, clinging infant, that is still almost a part of your own life, and
receive in return a full-grown angel a great deal wiser and stronger
than you. Perhaps it is only a just punishment for our guilty ignorance
and selfishness in treating the little things so harshly, that they die
away from us in sheer self-defence. And how good is the All-Father thus
to declare for His little ones, when the strife waxes too hot, and the
odds too heavy against them! We can maltreat them, but only to a
certain limit. Beyond that, the lovely, stern angel of Death steps in,
and bears them softly away to perpetual peace. I read our vital
statistics,--so many thousands under five years of age dying each year;
and I rejoice in every one. If their chances were fair for purity and
happiness, the earth is too beautiful to slip so quickly from their
hold; but, with sin and suffering, twin beasts of prey, lying in wait to
devour, oh! thrice and four times happy are they who escape swiftly from
the struggle in which they are all too sure to fail. So many, at least,
are safe within the fold.

And thus, too, it seems providential, that the sin of pagan nations
should take the form of infanticide. It is Satanic work, but God
overrules it for good. Evil defeats itself, and hatred crowds the lists
of love. From misery and wickedness, from stifled cities, over-full,
from pagan lands, steeped centuries long in vice and crime, from East
and West and North and South, over all the world, the innocent souls go
up,--little lily-buds, swelling white and pure from earthly slime to
bloom in heavenly splendor.

Jamie, Jamie, do you see birdie has put his head under his wing and gone
to sleep? What does that mean? It means "Good night, Jamie." Now come,
let us have "Cr-e-e-p, cr-e-e-p, cr-e-e-p!" And two fingers go slowly,
measuring Jamie from toe to neck, and Jamie cringes and squirms and
finally screams outright, and almost flings himself upon the floor; but,
as soon as his spasm is over, begs again, "Say, 'K-e-e-p, k-e-e-p,
k-e-e-p!'" and would keep it going longer than I have time to wait.

In this very passion for reiteration may be found a sufficient answer to
those uneasy persons who are perpetually attempting to bring new
singing-books into our churches, on pretext that people are tired of the
old tunes. You never hear from Jamie's pure taste any clamor for new
songs or stories. Whenever he climbs up into your lap to be amused, he
is sure to ask for the story of "Kitty in Ga'et Window," though he knows
it as Boston people know oratorio music, and detects and condemns the
slightest departure from the text. And when you have gone through the
drama, with all its motions and mewings, he wants nothing so much as
"Kitty in Ga'et Window 'gen." Let us keep the old tunes. It is but a
factitious need that would change them.

Gentle and friendly reader, I pray your pardon for this childish record.
Some things I say of set purpose for your good, and the more you do not
like them, the more I know they are the very things you need; and I
shall continue to deal them out to you from time to time, as you are
able to bear them. But this broken, rambling child-talk--with "a few
practical reflections, arising naturally from my subject," as the
preachers say--was penned only for your pleasure--and mine; and if you
do not like it, I shall be very sorry, and wish I had never written it.
For we might have gone away by ourselves and enjoyed it all
alone;--could we not, Jamie, you and I together? Oh, no, no! Never
again! Never, never again! for the mountains that rise and the prairies
that roll between us. Ah! well, Jamie, I shall not cry about it. If you
had stayed here, it would have been but a little while before you would
have grown up into a big boy, and then a young fellow, and then a man,
and been of no account. So what does it signify? Good night, little
Jamie! good night, darling! Do I hear a sleepy echo, as of old, wavering
out of the West, "_Goo-i-dah-ing_"?



THE SLEEPER.


              I.

    The glen was fair as some Arcadian dell,
      All shadow, coolness, and the rush of streams,
    Save where the dazzling fire of noonday fell
      Like stars within its under-sky of dreams.
    Rich leaf and blossomed grape and fern-tuft made
    Odors of Life and Slumber through the shade.


              II.

    "O peaceful heart of Nature!" was my sigh,
      "How dost thou shame, in thine unconscious bliss,
    Thy calm accordance with the changing sky,
      O quiet heart, the restless life of this!
    Take thou the place false friends have vacant left,
    And bring thy bounty to repair the theft!"


              III.

    So sighing, weary with the unsoothed pain
      From insect-stings of women and of men,
    Uneasy heart and ever-baffled brain,
      I breathed the silent beauty of the glen,
    And from the fragrant shadows where she stood
    Evoked the shyest Dryad of the wood.


              IV.

    Lo! on a slanting rock, outstretched at length,
      A woodman lay in slumber, fair as death,--
    His limbs relaxed in all their supple strength,
      His lips half-parted with his easy breath,
    And by one gleam of hovering light caressed
    His bare brown arm and white uncovered breast.


              V.

    "Why comes he here?" I whispered, treading soft
      The hushing moss beside his flinty bed:
    "Sweet are the haycocks in yon clover-croft,--
      The meadow turf were light beneath his head:
    Could he not slumber by the orchard-tree,
    And leave this quiet unprofaned for me?"


              VI.

    But something held my step. I bent, and scanned
      (As one might view a veiny agate-stone)
    The hard, half-open fingers of his hand,
      Strong cords of wrist, knit round the jointed bone,
    And sunburnt muscles, firm and full of power,
    But harmless now as petals of a flower.


              VII.

    The rock itself was not more still: yet one
      Light spray of grass shook ever at his wrist,
    Counting the muffled pulses. Where the sun
      The open fairness of his bosom kissed,
    I marked the curious beauty of the skirt,
    And dim blue branches of the blood within.


              VIII.

    There lay the unconscious Life, but, ah! more fair
      Than ever blindly stirred in leaf and bark,--
    Warmth, beauty, passion, mystery everywhere,
      Beyond the Dryad's feebly burning spark
    Of cold poetic being: who could say
    If here the angel or the wild beast lay?


              IX.

    Then I looked up and read his helpless face:
      Peace touched the temples and the eyelids, slept
    On drooping lashes, made itself a place
      In smiles that gently to the corners crept
    Of parting lips, and came and went, to show
    The happy freedom of the heart below.


              X.

    A holy rest! wherein the man became
      Man's interceding representative:
    In Sleep's white realm fell off his mask of blame,
      And he was sacred, for that he did live.
    His presence marred no more the quiet deep,
    But all the glen became a shrine of sleep!


              XI.

    And then I mused:--How lovely this repose!
      How the shut sense its dwelling consecrates!
    Sleep guards itself against the hands of foes:
      Its breath disarms the Envies and the Hates
    Which haunt our lives: were this mine enemy,
    My stealthy watch could not less reverent be!


              XII.

    Here lie our human passions, sung to rest
      By tender Nature, anxious to restore
    Some hours of innocence to every breast,
      To part the husks around the untainted core
    Of life, and show, in equal helplessness,
    The hearts that wound us and the hearts that bless!


              XIII.

    How swiftly in this frame the primal seeds
      Of purity and peace revive anew!
    One wave of sleep the stain of evil deeds
      Effaces, as with Heaven's baptismal dew.
    The pure white flame through all its ashes burns:
    The effluent being to its source returns.


              XIV.

    So hang their hands that would have done me wrong;
      So sweet their breathing whose unkindly spite
    Provoked the bitter measures of my song;
      So they might slumber, sacred in my sight,
    As I in theirs:--why waste contentious breath?
    Forget, like Sleep, and then forgive, like Death!


              XV.

    I bowed my head: the sleeper gently smiled,--
      How far he lay from every sting and smart!
    Some sinless dream his wandering thought beguiled,
      And left its sweetness in his open heart.
    The God that watched him in the lonely glen
    Sent me, consoled and patient, back to men.



DOCTOR JOHNS.


XL.

It would lead us far too widely from the simple order of our narrative
to detail the early history of Madame Arles; and although the knowledge
of it might serve in some degree to explain the peculiar interest which
that poor woman has shown in the motherless Adèle, we choose rather to
leave the matter unexplained, and to regard the invalid enthusiast as
one whose sympathies have fastened in a strange way upon the exiled
French girl, and grow all the stronger by the difficulties in the way of
their full expression.

Madame Arles did not forego either her solicitude or the persistence of
her inquiry under the harsh rebuff of the Doctor. Again and again, after
nightfall, he saw her figure flitting back and forth upon the street,
over against Adèle's window; and the good man perplexed himself vainly
with a hundred queries as to what such strange conduct could mean. The
village physician, too, had been addressed by this anxious lady with a
tumult of questionings; and the old gentleman--upon whose sympathies the
eager inquirer had won an easier approach than upon those of the severe
parson--had taken hearty satisfaction in assuring her, within a few days
after the night interview we have detailed, that the poor girl was
mending, was out of danger, in fact, and would be presently in a
condition to report for herself.

After this, and through the long convalescence, Madame Arles was seen
more rarely upon the village street. Yet the town gossips were busy with
the character and habits of the "foreign lady." Her devotion to the
little child of the outcast Boody woman was most searchingly discussed
at all the tea-tables of the place; and it was special object of
scandal, that the foreign lady, neglectful of the Sabbath ministrations
of the parson, was frequently to be seen wandering about the fields in
"meeting-time," attended very likely by that poor wee thing of a child,
upon whose head the good people all visited, with terrible frowns, the
sins of the parents. No woman, of whatever condition, could maintain a
good reputation in Ashfield under such circumstances. Dame Tourtelot
enjoyed a good sharp fling at the "trollop."

"I allers said she was a bad woman," submitted the stout Dame; and her
audience (consisting of the Deacon and Miss Almiry) would have had no
more thought of questioning the implied decision than of cutting down
the meeting-house steeple.

"And I'm afeard," continued the Dame, "that Adeel isn't much better; she
keeps a crucifix in her chamber!--needn't to look at me,
Tourtelot!--Miss Johns told me all about it, and I don't think the
parson should allow it. I think you oughter speak to the parson,
Tourtelot."

The good Deacon scratched his head, over the left ear, in a deprecating
manner.

"And I've heerd this Miss Arles has been a-writin' to Mr. Maverick,
Adeel's father,--needn't to look at me, Tourtelot!--the postmaster told
me; and she's been receivin' furren letters,--filled with Popery, I
ha'n't a doubt."

In short, the poor woman bore a most execrable reputation; and Doctor
Johns, good as he was, took rather a secret pride in such startling
confirmation of his theories in respect to French character. He wrote to
his friend Maverick, informing him that his suspicions in regard to
Madame Arles were, he feared, "only too well-founded. Her neglect of
Sabbath ordinances, her unhallowed associations, her extreme violence of
language, (which was on a signal occasion uttered in my hearing,) have
satisfied me that your distrust was only too reasonable. I shall guard
Adaly from all further intercourse with extreme care."

Indeed, Miss Eliza and the Doctor (the latter from the best of motives)
had scrupulously kept from Adèle all knowledge of Madame Arles's
impatient and angry solicitude during her illness. And when Adèle, on
those first sunny days of her convalescence, learned incidentally that
her countrywoman was still a resident of the village, it pained her
grievously to think that she had heard no tender message from her during
all that weary interval of sickness, and she was more than half inclined
(though she did not say this) to adopt the harshest judgments of the
spinster. There was not a visitor at the parsonage, indeed, but, if the
name were mentioned, sneered at the dark-faced, lonely woman, who was
living such a godless life, and associating, as if from sheer bravado,
with those who were under the ban of all the reputable people of
Ashfield.

When, therefore, Adèle, on one of her early walks with Reuben, after her
recovery was fully established, encountered, in a remote part of the
village, Madame Arles, trailing after her the little child of
shame,--and yet darting toward the French girl, at first sight, with her
old effusion,--Adèle met her coolly, so coolly, indeed, that the poor
woman was overcome, and, hurrying the little child after her,
disappeared with a look of wretchedness upon her face that haunted Adèle
for weeks and months. Thereafter very little was seen of Madame Arles
upon the principal street of the village; and her avoidance of the
family of the parsonage was as studied and resolute as either the Doctor
or Miss Eliza could have desired. A moment of chilling indifference on
the part of Adèle had worked stronger repulse than all the harsh
rebuffs of the elder people; but of this the kind-hearted French girl
was no way conscious: yet she _was_ painfully conscious of a shadowy
figure that still, from time to time, stole after her in her twilight
walks, and that, if she turned upon it, shrank stealthily from
observation. There was a mystery about the whole matter which oppressed
the poor girl with a sense of terror. She could not doubt that the
interest of her old teacher in herself had been a kindly one; but
whatever it might have been, that interest was now so furtive, and
affected such concealment, that she was half led to entertain the
cruellest suspicions of Miss Eliza, who did not fail to enlarge upon the
godlessness of the stranger's life, and to set before Adèle the thousand
alluring deceits by which Satan sought to win souls to himself.

Rumor, one day, brought the story, that the foreign woman, who had been
the subject of so much village scandal, lay ill, and was fast failing;
and on hearing this, Adèle would have broken away from all the parsonage
restraints, to offer what consolations she could: nor would the good
Doctor have repelled her; but the rumor, if not false, was, in his view,
grossly exaggerated; since, on the Sunday previous only, some officious
member of his parish had reported the Frenchwoman as strolling over the
hills, decoying with her that little child of her fellow-lodger, which
she had tricked out in the remnants of her French finery, and was thus
wantoning throughout the holy hours of service.

A few days later, however, the Doctor came in with a serious and
perplexed air; he laid his cane and hat upon the little table within the
door, and summoned Adèle to the study.

"Adaly, my child," said he, "this unfortunate countrywoman of yours is
really failing fast. I learn as much from the physician. She has sent a
request to see you. She says that she has an important message, a dying
message, to give you."

A strange tremor ran over the frame of Adèle.

"I fear, my child, that she is still bound to her idolatries; she has
asked that you bring to her the little bauble of a rosary, which, I
trust, Adaly, you have learned to regard as a vanity."

"Yet I have it still, New Papa; she shall have it"; and she turned to
go.

"My child, I cannot bear that you should go as the messenger of a false
faith, and to carry to her, as it were, the seal of her idolatries. You
shall follow her wishes, Adaly; but I must attend you, my child, were it
only to protest against such vanities, and to declare to her, if it be
not too late, the truth as it is in the Gospel."

Adèle was only too willing; for she was impressed with a vague terror at
thought of this interview, and of its possible revelations; and they set
off presently in company. It was a chilly day of later autumn. Only a
few scattered, tawny remnants of the summer verdure were hanging upon
the village trees, and great rows of the dead and fallen leaves were
heaped here and there athwart the path, where some high wall kept them
clear of the winds; and as the walkers tramped through them, they made a
ghostly rustle, and whole platoons of them were set astir to drift again
until some new eddy caught and stranded them in other heaps. Adèle, more
and more disturbed in mind, said,--

"It's such a dreary day, New Papa!"

"Is it the thought that one you know may lie dying now makes it dreary,
my child?"

"Partly that, I dare say," returned Adèle; "and then the wind so tosses
about these dead leaves. I wish it were always spring."

"There is a country," said the parson, "where spring reigns eternal. I
hope you may find it, Adaly; I hope your poor countrywoman may find it;
but I fear, I fear."

"Is it, then, so dreadful to be a Romanist?"

"It is dreadful, Adaly, to doubt the free grace of God,--dreadful to
trust in any offices of men, or in tithes of mint and anise and
cumin,--dreadful to look anywhere for absolution from sin but in the
blood of the Lamb. I have a conviction, my child," continued he, in a
tone even more serious, "that the poor woman has not lived a pure life
before God, or even before the world. Even at this supreme moment of her
life, if it be such, I should be unwilling to trust you alone with her,
Adaly."

Adèle, trembling,--partly with the chilling wind, and partly with an
ill-defined terror of--she knew not what,--nestled more closely to the
side of the old gentleman; and he, taking her little hand in his, as
tenderly as a lover might have done, said,--

"Adaly, at least _your_ trust in God is firm, is it not?"

"It is! it is!" said she.

The house, as we have said, lay far out upon the river-road, within a
strip of ill-tended garden-ground, surrounded by a rocky pasture. A
solitary white-oak stood in the line of straggling wall that separated
garden from pasture, and showed still a great crown of leaves blanched
by the frosts, and shivering in the wind. An artemisia, with blackened
stalks, nodded its draggled yellow blossoms at one angle of the house,
while a little company of barn-door fowls stood closely grouped under
the southern lea, with heads close drawn upon their breasts, idling and
winking in the sunshine.

The young mother of the vagrant little one who had attracted latterly so
much of the solitary woman's regard received them with an awkward
welcome.

"Miss Arles is poorly, to-day," she said, "and she's flighty. She keeps
Arthur" (the child) "with her. You hear how she's a-chatterin' now."
(The door of her chamber stood half open.) "Arty seems to understand
her. I'm sure I don't."

Nor, indeed, did the Doctor, to whose ear a torrent of rapid French
speech was like the gibberish of demons. He never doubted 't was full of
wickedness. Not so Adèle. There were sweet sounds to her ear in that
swift flow of Provençal speech,--tender, endearing epithets, that seemed
like the echo of music heard long ago,--pleasant banter of words that
had the rhythm of the old godmother's talk.

"Ah, you're a gay one! Now--put on your velvet cap--so. We'll find a
bride for you some day--some day, when you're a tall, proud man. Who's
your father, Arty? Pah! it's nothing. You'll make somebody's heart ache
all the same,--eh, Arty, boy?"

"Do you understand her, Miss Maverick?" says the mother.

"Not wholly," said Adèle; and the two visitors stepped in noiselessly.

The child, bedizened with finery, was standing upon the bed where the
sick woman lay, with a long feather from the cock's tail waving from his
cap. Madame Arles, with the hot flush of the fever upon her,
looked--saving the thinness--as she might have looked twenty years
before. And as her flashing eye caught the newcomers, her voice broke
out wildly again,--

"Here's the bride, and here's the priest! Where's the groom? Where's the
groom? Where's the groom, I say?"

The violence of her manner made poor Adèle shiver.

The boy laughed as he saw it, and said,--

"She's afraid! _I'm_ not afraid."

"Oh, no!" said the crazed woman, turning on him. "You're a man, Arty:
men are not afraid,--you wanton, you wild one! Where's the groom?" said
she again, addressing the Doctor, fiercely.

"My good woman," says the old gentleman, "we have come to offer you the
consolations that are only to be found in the Gospel of Christ."

"Pah! you're a false priest!"--defiantly. "Where's the groom?"

And Adèle, hoping to pacify the poor woman, draws from her reticule the
little rosary, and, holding it before the eyes of the sufferer, says,
timidly,--

"My dear Madam, it is I,--Adèle; I have brought what you asked of me; I
have come to comfort you."

And the woman, over whose face there ran instantly a marvellous change,
snatched the rosary, and pressed it convulsively to her lips; then,
looking for a moment yearningly, with that strange double gaze of hers,
upon the face of Adèle, she sprang toward her, and, wreathing her arms
about her, drew her fast upon her bosom,--

"_Ma fille! ma pauvre fille!_"

The boy slipped down from the bed,--his little importance being
over,--and was gone. The Doctor's lips moved in silent prayer for five
minutes or more, wholly undisturbed, while the twain were locked in that
embrace. Then the old gentleman, stooping, says,--

"Adaly, will she listen to me now?"

And Adèle, turning a frightened face to him, whispers,--

"She's sleeping; unclasp her hands; she holds me tightly."

And the Doctor, with tremulous fingers, does her bidding.

Adèle, still whispering, says,--

"She's calm now; she'll talk with us when she wakes, New Papa."

"My poor child," said the Doctor, solemnly, and with a full voice,
"she'll never wake again."

And Adèle, turning,--in a maze of terror, as she thought of that
death-clasp,--saw that her eyes had fallen open,--open, and fixed, and
lustreless. So quietly Death had come upon his errand, and accomplished
it, and gone; while without, the fowls, undisturbed, were still blinking
idly in the sunshine under the lea of the wall, and the yellow
chrysanthemums were fluttering in the wind.


XLI.

In the winter of 1838-9, Adèle, much to the delight of Dr. Johns, avowed
at last her wish to join herself to the little church-flock over which
the good parson still held serenely his office of shepherd. And as she
told him quietly of her desire, sitting before him there in the study of
the parsonage, without urgence upon his part, it was as if a bright
gleam of sunshine had darted suddenly through the wintry clouds, and
bathed both of them in its warm effulgence. The good man, rising from
his chair and crossing over to her place, touched her forehead with as
tender and loving a kiss as ever he had bestowed upon the lost Rachel.

He had seen too closely the development of her Christian faith to
disturb her with various questionings. She rejoiced in this; for even
then, with all the calm serenity of her trust, it was doubtful if her
answers could have fully satisfied the austerities of his theological
traditions. Nay, she doubted, even, if the exuberance of her spirits
would not sometimes, in days to come, bound over the formalities of his
Sunday observance, and startle a corrective glance; but withal she knew
her trust was firm, and on this had full repose. Even the little rosary,
so obnoxious to the household of the parsonage, was, by its terrible
association with the death-scene of Madame Arles, endeared to her
tenfold; and she could not forbear the hope that the poor woman, at the
very last, by that clinging kiss upon the image of Christ, told a prayer
that might give access to His abounding mercy.

Nor did Adèle seek to comprehend in their entireness all those wearisome
dogmatic utterances which were familiar to her tongue, and which she
could understand might form the steps to fulness of belief for the
rigorous mind of the Doctor: for herself there was other ladder of
approach, in finding which the emotional experiences of Reuben had been
of such signal service.

To Reuben himself those experiences, brought a temporary exhilaration,
but as yet no peace. He has a vague notion creeping over him, with
fearfully chilling effect, that his sensibilities have been wrought upon
rather than his reason; a confused sense of having yielded to
enthusiasms, which, if they once grow cool, will leave him to slump back
into a mire worse than the old. Therefore he must, by all possible
means, keep them at fever-heat. A dim consciousness, however, possessed
him, that, for the feeding of the necessary fires, there would be
needed an immense consumption of fuel,--such stock as an ordinary
experience could hardly hope to supply. By degrees, this consciousness
took the force of conviction, and he became painfully sensible of his
own limitations. There was a weary, matter-of-fact world to struggle
with, in whose homely cares and interests he must needs be a partner. He
could not wear the gyves of a Gabriel on the muddy streets of life, or
carry the ecstatic language of praise into the world's talk: if he
could, he would be reckoned insane, and not unjustly, since sanity is,
after all, but a term to express the average normal condition of mind.
He looked with something like envy upon the serene contentment of Adèle.
He lived like an ascetic; he sought, by reading of all manner of
exultant religious experience, to keep alive the ferment of the autumn.
"If only death were near," he said to himself, "with what a blaze of
hope one might go out!" But death was not near,--or, at least, life and
its perplexing duties were nearer. The intensity of his convictions
somehow faded, and they lost their gorgeous hue, under the calm
doctrinal sermons of the parson. If the glory of the promises and the
tenderness of Divine entreaty were to be always dropping mellifluously
on his ear, as upon that solemn Sunday of the summer, it might be well.
But it is not thus; and even were the severe quiet of the Ashfield
Sundays lighted up by the swift and burning words of such fiery
evangelism, yet six solid working-days roll over upon the heel of every
Sunday,--in which he sees good Deacon Tourtelot in shirt-sleeves driving
some sharp bargain for his two-year-old steers, or the stout Dame
hectoring some stray peddler by the hour for the fall of a penny upon
his wares, and wonders where their Christian largeness of soul is gone.
Is the matter real to him? And if real, where is the peace? Shall he
consult the good Doctor? He is met straightway with an array of the old
catechismal formulas, clearly stated, well argued, but brushing athwart
his mind like a dusty wind. The traditional dislikes of his boyhood have
armed him against all such, _cap-à-pie_. In this strait, he wanders over
the hills in search of loneliness, and a volume of Tillotson he carries
with him is all unread. Nature speaks more winningly, but scarce more
helpfully.

Adèle, with a quick eye, sees the growing unrest, and, with a great
weight of gratitude upon her heart, says, timidly,--

"Can I help you, Reuben?"

"No, thank you, Adèle. I understand you; I'm in a boggle,--that's all."

The father, too, at a hint from Adèle, (whose perceptions are so much
quicker,) sees at last how the matter stands.

"Reuben," he says, "these struggles of yours are struggles with the
Great Adversary of Souls. I trust, my son, you will not allow him to
have the mastery."

It was kindly said and earnestly said, but touched the core of the son's
moral disquietude no more than if it were the hooting of an owl. Yet,
for all this, Reuben makes a brave struggle to wear with an outward calm
the burden of the professions he has made,--a terrible burden, when he
finds what awful chasms in his faith have been overleaped by his
vaulting Quixotic fervor. Wearily he labors to bridge them across, with
over-much reading, there in the quiet study of the parsonage, of Newton
and Tillotson and Butler; and he takes a grim pleasure (that does not
help him) in following the amiable argumentation of Paley. It pains him
grievously to think what humiliation would possess the old Doctor, if he
but knew into what crazy currents his boy's thoughts were drifting over
the pages of his beloved teachers. But a man cannot live a deceit, even
for charity's sake, without its making outburst some day, and wrecking
all the fine preventive barriers which kept it in.

The outburst came at last in the quiet of the Ashfield study, Reuben had
been poring for hours--how wearily! how vainly!--over the turgid dogmas
of one of the elder divines, when he suddenly dashed the book upon the
floor.

"Confound the theologies! I'll have no more of them!"

The Doctor dropped his pen, and stared as if a serpent had stung him.

"My son! Reuben! Reuben!"

It was not so much the expression that had shocked him, as it was the
action and the defiance in his eye.

"I can't help it, father. It's the Evil One, perhaps. If it be, I'll
cheat him, by making a clean breast of it. I can't abide the stuff; I
can't see my way through it."

"My son, it is your sin that blinds you."

"Very likely," says Reuben.

"It was not thus with you three months ago, Reuben," continues the
Doctor, in a softened tone.

"No, father, there was a strange light around me in those days. It
seemed to me that the path lay clear and shining through all the maze.
If Death had caught me then, I think I could have sung hosannas with the
saints. It was a beautiful dream. It's faded dismally, father,--as if
the Devil had painted it."

The old man shuddered, and lifted his hands, as he was wont to do in his
most earnest pleas at the Throne of Grace.

"The muddle of the world and the theologies has come in since,"
continued Reuben, "and the base professions I see around me, and the
hypocrisies and the cant, have taken away the glow. It's all a weariness
and a confusion, and that's the solemn truth."

The Doctor said, measuredly, (as if the Book were before him,)--

"'_Some seeds fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth; and
forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth. And
when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root,
they withered away._' Reuben! Reuben! we must agonize to enter into the
strait gate!"

"It's a long agony," said Reuben; and he rose and paced back and forth
for a time; then suddenly stopping before the Doctor, he laid his hand
upon his shoulder, (the boy was of manly height now, and overtopped the
old gentleman by an inch,)--"Father, it grieves me to pain you,--indeed
it does; but truth is truth. I have told you my story; but if you wish
it, I will live outwardly as if no such talk had passed. I will respect
as much as ever all your religious observances, and no person shall be
the wiser."

"I would not have you practise hypocrisy, my son; but I would not have
you withdraw yourself from any of the appointed means of grace."

And at this Reuben went out,--out far upon the hills, from which he saw
the village roofs, and the spire, and the naked tree-tops, the fields
all bare and brown, the smoke of a near house curling lazily into the
sky; and the only sound that broke the solemn stillness was the drumming
of a partridge in the woods or the harsh scream of a belated jay.

Never had Reuben been more kind or attentive to the personal wants of
the old gentleman than on the days which followed upon this interview.
There was something almost like a daughter's solicitude in his
watchfulness. On the next Sunday the Doctor preached with an emotion
that was but poorly controlled, and which greatly mystified his people.
Twice in the afternoon his voice came near to failing. Reuben knew where
the grief lay, but wore a composed face; and as he supported the old
gentleman home after service, he said, (but not so loudly that Adèle
could hear, who was tripping closely behind,)--

"Father, I grieve for you,--upon my soul I do; but it's fate."

"Fate, Reuben?" said the Doctor, but with a less guarded voice,--"fate?
God only is fate!"

The Doctor was too much mortified by this revelation of Reuben's present
state of feeling to make it the subject of conversation, even with Miss
Eliza, and much less with the elders of his flock. To Squire Elderkin,
indeed, whose shrewd common-sense he had learned to value even in its
bearings upon the "weightier matters of the law," he had dropped some
desponding reflections in regard to the wilful impetuosity of his poor
son Reuben, from which the shrewd Squire at once suspected the
difficulty.

"It's the blood of the old Major," he said. "Let it work, Doctor, let it
work!"

From which observation, it must be confessed, the good man derived very
little comfort.

Miss Eliza, though she is not made a confidant in these latter secrets
of the study, cannot, however, fail to see that Reuben's constancy to
the Doctor's big folios is on the wane, and that symptoms of his old
boyish recklessness occasionally show themselves under the reserve which
had grown out of his later experiences. She has hopes from this--true to
her keen worldly wisdom--that the abandoned career of the city may yet
win his final decision. But her moral perceptions are not delicate
enough to discover the great and tormenting wrangle of his thought. She
ventures from time to time, as on his return, and from sharp sense of
duty, some wiry, stereotyped religious reflections, which set his whole
moral nature on edge. Nor is this the limit of her blindness:
perceiving, as she imagines she does, the ripening of all her plans with
respect to himself and Adèle, she thinks to further the matter by
dropping hints of the rare graces of Adèle and of her brilliant
prospects,--assuring him how much that young lady's regard for him has
been increased since his conversion, (which word has to Reuben just now
a dreary and most detestable sound,) and in a way which she counts
playful, but which to him is _agaçant_ to the last degree, she forecasts
the time when Reuben will have his pretty French wife, and a rich one.

Left to himself, the youth would very likely have found enough to admire
in the face and figure and pleasantly subdued enthusiasm of Adèle; but
the counter irritant of the spinster's speech drove him away on many an
evening to the charming fireside of the Elderkins, where he spent not a
few beguiling hours in listening to the talk of the motherly mistress of
the household, and in watching the soft hazel eyes of Rose, as they
lifted in eager wonderment at some of his stories of the town, or fell
(the long lashes hiding them with other beauty) upon the work where her
delicate fingers plied with a white swiftness that teased him into
trains of thought which were not wholly French.

Adèle has taken a melancholy interest in decking the grave of the exiled
lady, which she has insisted upon doing out of her own resources, and
thus has doubled the little legacy which Madame Aries had left to the
outcast woman and child with whom she had joined her fate, and who, with
good reason, wept her death bitterly. Hour upon hour Adèle pondered over
that tragic episode, tasking herself to imagine what message the dying
woman could have had to communicate, and wondering if the future would
ever clear up the mystery. To the good Doctor it seemed only a strange
Providence, by which the religious convictions of Adèle should be
deepened and made sure. And in no way were the results of those
convictions more beautifully apparent than in the efforts of Adèle to
overcome her antipathies to the spinster. It is doubtful, indeed, if a
bolder challenge can be made to the Christian graces of any character
whatever than that which demands the conquest of social prejudices which
have grown into settled aversion. With all the stimulus of her new
Christian endeavor, Adèle sought to think charitably of Miss Eliza. Yet
it was hard; always, that occasional cold kiss of the spinster had for
Adèle an iron imprint, which drove her warm blood away, instead of
summoning it to response.

For her, Miss Eliza's staple praises of Reuben, and her adroit stories
of the admiration and attachment of Mrs. Brindlock for her nephew, were
distasteful to the last degree. Coarse natures never can learn upon
what fine threads the souls of the sensitive are strung.

Adèle felt a tender gratitude toward Reuben, which it seemed to her the
boisterous affection of the spinster could never approach. She
apprehended his spiritual perplexities more keenly than the austere
aunt, and saw with what strange ferment his whole nature was vexed. Had
he been a brother by blood, she could not have felt for him more warmly.
And if she ever allowed herself to guess at a nearer tie, it was not to
Miss Eliza that she would have named the guess,--not even, thus far, to
herself. As yet there was a soft fulness in her heart that felt no
wound,--at least no wound in which her hope rankled. Whether Reuben were
present or away, her songs rose, with a sweeter, a serener, and a
loftier cheer than of old under the roof of the parsonage; and, as of
old, the Doctor laid down his book and listened, as if an angel sang.


XLII.

In the summer of 1840 the Doctor received a letter from Maverick which
overwhelmed him with consternation; and its revelations, we doubt not,
will, prove as great a surprise to our readers.

"My good friend Johns," he wrote, "I owe you a debt of gratitude which I
can never repay; you have shown such fatherly interest in my dear
child,--you have so guided and guarded her,--you have so abundantly
filled the place which, though it was my duty, I had never the
worthiness to fill, that I have no words to thank you. And now you have
crowned all by giving her that serene trust"----

"Not I! not I!" says the Doctor to himself,--"only God's mercy,--God's
infinite mercy!"--and he continues, "that serene trust in Heaven which
will support her under all trials. Poor child, she will need it all!"

"And that this man," pursues the Doctor meditatively, "who thinks so
wisely, should be given over still to the things of this world!"

"I hear still further,--from what sources it will be unnecessary for me
now to explain,--that a close intimacy has grown up latterly between
your son Reuben and my dear Adèle, and that this intimacy has provoked
village rumors of the possibility of some nearer tie. These rumors may
be, perhaps, wholly untrue; I hope to Heaven they are, and my informant
may have exaggerated only chance reports. But the knowledge of them,
vague as they are, has stimulated me to a task which I ought far sooner
to have accomplished, and which, as a man of honor, I can no longer
defer. I know that you think lightly of any promptings to duty which
spring only from a sense of honor; and before you shall have finished my
letter I fear that you will be tempted to deny me any claim to the
title. Indeed, it has been the fear of forfeiting altogether your regard
that has kept me thus far silent, and has caused me to delay, from year
to year, that full explanation which I can no longer with any propriety
or justice withhold.

"I go back to the time when I first paid you a visit at your parsonage.
I never shall forget the cheery joyousness of that little family scene
at your fireside, the winning modesty and womanliness of your lost
Rachel, and the serenity and peace that lay about your household. It was
to me, fresh from the vices of Europe, like some charming Christian
idyl, in whose atmosphere I felt myself not only an alien, but a profane
intruder; for, at that very time, I was bound by one of those criminal
_liaisons_ to which so many strangers on the Continent are victims. Your
household and your conversation prompted a hope and a struggle for
better things. But, my dear Johns, the struggle was against a whole
atmosphere of vice. And it was only when I had broken free of
entanglement, that I learned, with a dreary pang, that I was the father
of a child,--my poor, dear Adèle!"

The Doctor crumpled the letter in his hand, and smote upon his
forehead. Never, in his whole life, had he known such strange revulsion
of feeling. With returning calmness he smooths the letter upon his desk,
and continues:--

"I expect your condemnation, of course; yet listen to my story
throughout. That child I might have left to the tender mercies of the
world, might have ignored it, and possibly forgotten its existence. Many
a man, with fewer stains on his conscience than I have, would have done
this, and met the world and old friends cheerily. But then the memory of
you and of your teachings somehow kindled in me what I counted a
worthier purpose. I vowed that the child should, if possible, lead a
guileless life, and should no way suffer, so far as human efforts could
prevent, for the sins of the parents. The mother assented, with what I
counted a guilty willingness, to my design, and I placed her secretly
under the charge of the old godmother of whom Adèle must often have
spoken.

"But I was no way content that she should grow up under French
influences, and to the future knowledge (inevitable in these scenes) of
the ignominy of her birth. And if that knowledge were ever to come, I
could think of no associations more fitted to make her character stanch
to bear it than those that belong to the rigid and self-denying virtues
which are taught in a New England parish. Is it strange that I recurred
at once to your kindness, Johns? Is it strange that I threw the poor
child upon your charity?

"It is true, I used deceit,--true that I did not frankly reveal the
truth; but See how much was stake! I knew in what odium such trespasses
were held in the serenity of your little towns; I knew, that, if you,
with Spartan courage, should propose acceptance of the office, your
family would reject it. I knew that your love of truth would be
incapable of the concealments or subterfuges which might be needed to
protect the poor child from the tongue of scandal. In short, I was not
willing to take the risk of a repulse. 'Such deceit as there may be,' I
said, 'is my own. My friend Johns can never impute it as a sin to
Adèle.' I am sure you will not now. Again, I felt that I was using
deceit (if you will allow me to say it) in a good cause, and that you
yourself, when once the shock of discovery should be past, could never
reprimand yourself for your faithful teachings to an erring child, but
must count her, in your secret heart, only another of the wandering
lambs which it was your duty and pleasure to lead into the true fold.
Had she come to you avowedly as the child of sin, with all the father's
and mother's guilt reeking upon her innocent head, could you have
secured to her, my dear Johns, that care and consideration and devotion
which have at last ripened her Christian character, and made her proof
against slander?"

Here the Doctor threw down the letter again, and paced up and down the
room.

"The child of sin! the child of sin! Who could have thought it? Yet does
not Maverick reason true? Does not Beelzebub at time reason true? Adaly!
my poor, poor Adaly!"

"It seemed to me," the letter continued, "that there might possibly be
no need that either you or my poor child should ever know the whole
truth in this matter; and I pray (with your leave) that it maybe kept
from her even now. You will understand, perhaps, from what I have said,
why my visits have been more rare than a fatherly feeling would seem to
demand: to tell truth, I have feared the familiar questionings of her
prattling girlhood. Mature years shrink from perilous inquiry, I think,
with an instinct which does not belong to the freshness of youth.

"But from your ears, in view of the rumors that have come to my hearing,
I could not keep the knowledge longer. I cannot, dear Johns, read your
heart, and say whether or not you will revolt at the idea of any
possible family tie between your son and my poor Adèle. But whatever
aspect such possibility may present to your mind, I can regard it only
with horror. If I have deceived you, the deceit shall reach no such
harm as this. Whatever your Christian forgiveness or your love for Adèle
(and I know she is capable of winning your love) may suggest, I can
never consent that any stain should be carried upon your family record
by any instrumentality of mine. I must beg, therefore, that, if the
rumor be true, you use all practicable means, even to the use of your
parental authority, in discountenancing and forbidding such intimacy. If
necessary to this end, and Reuben be still resident at the parsonage, I
pray you to place Adèle with Mrs. Brindlock, or other proper person,
until such time as I am able to come and take her once more under my own
protection.

"If you were a more worldly man, my dear Johns, I should hope to win
your heartier cooperation in my views by telling you that recent
business misfortunes have placed my whole estate in peril, so that it is
extremely doubtful if Adèle will have any ultimate moneyed dependence
beyond the pittance which I have placed in trust for her in your hands.
Should it be necessary, in furtherance of the objects I have named, to
make communication of the disclosures in this letter to your son or to
Miss Johns, you have my full liberty to do so. Farther than this, I
trust you may not find it necessary to make known the facts so harmful
to the prospects and peace of my innocent child.

"I have thus made a clean breast to you, my dear Johns, and await your
scorching condemnation. But let not any portion of it, I pray, be
visited upon poor Adèle. I know with what wrathful eyes you, from your
New England standpoint, are accustomed to look upon such wickedness; and
I know, too, that you are sometimes disposed to 'visit the sins of the
fathers upon the children'; but I beg that your anathemas may all rest
where they belong, upon my head, and that you will spare the motherless
girl you have taught to love you."

Up and down the study the Doctor paced, with a feverish, restless step,
which in all the history of the parsonage had never been heard in it
before.

"Such untruth!" is his exclamation. "Yet no, there has been no positive
untruth; the deception he admits."

But the great fact comes back upon his thought, that the child of sin
and shame is with him. All his old distrust and hatred of the French are
revived on the instant; the stain of their iniquities is thrust upon his
serene and quiet household. And yet what a sweet face, what a confiding
nature God has given to this creature conceived in sin! In his
simplicity, the good Doctor would have fancied that some mark of Cain
should be fixed on the poor child.

Again, the Doctor had somewhere in his heart a little of the old family
pride. The spinster had ministered to it, coyly indeed by word, but
always by manner and conduct. How it would have shocked the stout Major,
or his good mother, even, to know that he had thus fondled and fostered
the vagrant offspring of iniquity upon his hearth! A still larger and
worthier pride the Doctor cherished in his own dignity,--so long the
honored pastor of Ashfield,--so long the esteemed guide of this people
in paths of piety.

What if it should appear, that, during almost the entire period of his
holy ministrations, he had, as would seem, colluded with an old
acquaintance of his youth--a brazen reprobate--to shield him from the
shame of his own misdeeds, and to cover with the mantle of
respectability and with all the pastoral dignities this French-speaking
child, who, under God, was the seal of the father's iniquities?

As he paced back and forth, there was a timid knock at the door; and in
a moment more, Adèle, blooming with health, and radiant with hope, stood
before him. Her face had never beamed with a more wondrous frankness and
sweetness.



BOOKS FOR OUR CHILDREN


The war is over, yet our fight is not through; and we always, in this
life of ours, and especially in this new country and eventful age, have
trouble enough to keep our eyes open when they ought to sleep, and our
hands busy when they have earned the right to rest. Several knotty
questions already begin to try us sorely, although we are confident that
the knots can be untied by skillful fingers without calling upon the
sword to cut them. We shall settle the Reconstruction problem, the
Negro, the Debt, John Bull and Louis Napoleon, all in due time, and
without war. But there is a question to be settled which comes nearer
home to each family, and which distances all others in magnitude and
interest:--What shall we do with our children? how train and teach them
in body and mind, by schools and books, by play and work, for that
marvellous American life that is now opening to us its new and eventful
chapter in the history of man? The Slaveholders' Rebellion is put down;
but how shall we deal with the never-ceasing revolt of the new
generation against the old? and how keep our Young America under the
thumb of his father and mother without breaking his spirit or blighting
his destiny? Our brave old flag has swept the waters of all Secession
craft, and our iron-clad Monitors do not flinch in fear of the model
fleets of France and England mustered at Cherbourg. But what standard
rules over our children and youth? and what Monitors are keeping watch
over our countless schools and playgrounds? Our people have risen to a
new and mighty sense of our national life, and the thousands of
Americans who are now returning from Europe say that the tide there has
wholly turned in our favor, and Americans are too proud to boast of
their country, and are quite safe in leaving her to speak for herself.
But how are we recruiting the ranks of the nation from the fresh blood
and spirits, the new impulses and passions of childhood? And how does
our legion of juvenile infantry compare with the young legions of
England, France, Germany, Russia, or Italy? These are grave questions,
not to be approached without misgiving, yet not by any means with
mistrust, much less with despair. We of course do not propose to try to
answer all or any of them now, but must be content with throwing out a
few plain thoughts upon the kind of intellectual food we are giving our
children, and especially upon the kind of juvenile literature that we
ought to encourage. We do not claim for the American child any exemption
from the common lot, nor make him out to be above or below the human
nature to which he belongs, in common with the children of the Old
World. He is a chip of the old block; and that old block is from the old
trunk that has been growing for ages, is a great deal older than the
father or mother, as old as mankind; and each new comer into the field
bears with him some traces or remains of all the traits and dispositions
and liabilities that have appeared in the ancestors and become the
heritage of the race. Not only the is the American child of the same
nature as his European contemporary, but he is born into very much of
the same life, the same general circumstances of climate, scenery,
morals, and religion, and surely into much of the same nursery talk and
juvenile amusement, not excepting books. "Mother Goose" has a nursery
catholicity wherever the English language is spoken, that is denied to
any other book; and fruitful as America has been and is in children's
books, we have not yet apparently added a single one to the first rank
of juvenile classics, and have distanced Æsop, Bunyan, De Foe,
Edgeworth, and the old fairy story-tellers, as little as we have
distanced Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth, and Goethe in
the higher imagination.

It may be that the children's books that have been most characteristic
of our native authors have been in important respects a mistake, and the
"Quarterly Review," not without reason, assailed them some years ago in
two articles of considerable sagacity and much patient study. But we
have outgrown them now, and see the error that afflicted them. We have
ceased to think it the part of wisdom to cross the first instincts of
children, and to insist upon making of them little moralists,
metaphysicians, and philosophers, when great Nature determines that
their first education shall be in the senses and muscles, the affections
and fancy, rather than in the critical judgment, logical understanding,
or analytic reason. Peter Parley--Heaven rest his soul!--has gone to his
repose, and much of his philosophizing and moralizing is buried deeper
than his dust; yet Peter himself lives, and will live, in the graphic
histories, anecdotes, sketches of life and Nature, and the rich
treasures of pictorial illustration, that have blessed the eyes and
ears, the hearts and imaginations of our children. He was wisest when he
least thought of being wise, and weakest when he tried to be strong. We
are not likely to repeat his mistakes, and our best new juvenile
literature is too loyal to the old standards and to common-sense to
undertake to make a precocious reasoning monster of the dear little
child whom God is asking us to help onward in the unfolding of his
senses and the observation of the world and its scenes and people.

We must be willing to own that our America is a child of the ages, and
to give our children a full share of their birthright as heirs of the
juvenile treasures of all nations. Judæa must still give her sacred
stories, that charm youth as much, as they edify maturity; Arabia loses
nothing of the enchantment of her marvellous tales in the clear light of
this nineteenth century, but makes her dreams dearer, as science and
business insist that we shall not dream at all; the old classic times
shall still teach us in the fables of Æsop, and the romantic ages shall
be with us in the legends of fairies and elves, dwarfs and giants,
saints and angels, that are constantly coming up with faces new or old;
the Protestant Reformation shall speak to our little folks in the lives
of the martyrs and in "Pilgrim's Progress"; the age of modern adventure
shall never tire in "Robinson Crusoe"; the new secular era of ethical
schooling shall not lose its power so long as Maria Edgeworth finds a
printer; nor will the didactic school of writers of juvenile religious
books die out so long as Hannah More stands by our Sunday schools and
Tract Societies, and keeps their piety and ethics from swamping
themselves wholly in dogmatism and dulness.

Yet whilst we are thus to acknowledge and use the old treasures, we are
none the less bound to have a juvenile literature of our own; and
because we are possessed by the truly catholic spirit that appreciates
all good things, we are more likely to have a full and fair growth from
the good seed that takes root in our own nurseries. What that new growth
shall be we do not presume to predict, for it cannot be fully known
until it comes up and speaks for itself; yet it is not presumption to
undertake to say what are the essential conditions of its rise and the
probable traits of its character. It must grow out of our civilized
Christian mind under the peculiar circumstances and dispositions of our
children, according to the great laws of God, as they bear upon our
sensibilities, tastes, faculties, and associations. It is already
showing unmistakable signs of its quality, and none the less so,
although we must allow that its best specimens are fugitive stories,
stray poems, and magazine pieces, rather than any conspicuous
master-works of literature that rival the old standards.

The American child is undoubtedly in some respects peculiar alike in
temperament, disposition, and surroundings. He is somewhat delicate and
sensitive in organization, and not as tough and thick-skinned, surely,
as his English cousins. He grows up in the midst of excitement, with an
average amount of privilege and prosperity unknown heretofore to the
mass of children in any community. Our children are generally supplied
with pocket-money to an extent unknown in the good old times; and the
books that circulate among them at holiday seasons, and are sometimes
found in school and Sunday libraries, often have a richness and beauty
that were never seen fifty years ago on the parlor tables or shelves of
parents. Reading begins very early among us; and the universal hurry of
the American mind crowds children forward, and tempts them in pleasure,
as in study and work, to rebel at the usual limitations of years, and
push infancy prematurely into childhood, childhood into youth, and youth
into maturity. The spirit of competition shows its head unseasonably,
and there is a precocious fever of ambition among those who are taught
almost in the cradle to feel that here the race for the highest prizes
is open to all, and the emulation of the school is the forerunner of the
rivalry of business, society, and politics. Our heads are apt to be much
older than our shoulders, and English critics of our juvenile literature
say that much of it seems written for the market and counting-room
rather than for the nursery and play-ground. Yet we are not disposed to
quarrel with the American child, or put him down at the feet of the pet
children of Europe. He is a precious little creature, with rare
susceptibilities and powers, whose very perils indicate high aptitudes,
and whose great exposures should move us to temper not a little our pity
for his failings with admiration for his excellence. Our boys and girls
have done nobly, and the nation which they have now become may well
prove its greatness by new wisdom and care for the boys and girls who
are yet to grow up men and women and become the nation that is to be.

There are vital questions that meet us at the very outset of the
discussion:--What are children? and what is the difference between them
and grown people? and what should be the difference in the reading
provided for the two? Some persons seem to think and speak of children
as a distinct order of beings, and not as a part of mankind. The simple
truth is, that they are men and women in _nature_, but not in
_development_. All that is _actual_ in the mature mind is _potential_ in
them, and there is no theory more absurd than that which affirms that
the adult powers and dispositions are wholly factitious, and education
makes us what we are, instead of simply bringing out what is born in us.
The great human mind is in the little child as well as in the
gray-headed sage; but it has not come forth into activity and
consciousness. The most complete culture, instead of obliterating
diversities of natural talent and tendency, does but develop them more
effectually; and our great masters and schools are more memorable for
the strongly pronounced minds and wills that go forth from them than for
any monotony of mediocre scholars or uniformity of paragons of genius.
True culture brings out the common human mind in all, and the rare gifts
that are in the few, and vindicates the force of Nature by the
perfection of its art. Our juvenile literature should proceed upon this
idea, and treat its little readers as representatives of the great human
mind on its way to its full rights and powers and quite true to its high
birthright, as far as it puts forth its prerogative.

What error, then, can be greater than to take it for granted that
children have no mind, because they have not had time and means to bring
out their whole mind? As far as it goes, is not their mind the great
human intelligence? and even in its lispings and stumblings, does it not
give hints and promises of the majestic powers that are on the way to
development? Children are, indeed, treated and written about, sometimes,
as if they were _little fools_, and any baby-talk or twaddle were good
enough for them; but we are inclined to believe that they are in the
main _great fools_ who make this mistake, and so sadly libel God's
handiwork. In fact, it is probably safe to say, that, so far as their
mind works, it works with more intensity and quickness than the adult
mind; for they are fresh and unworn, and they put their whole life into
the first play of their faculties. They do not know many things, indeed,
and require constant instruction; but their _intelligence_ is by no
means as defective as their _knowledge_, but is as sharp and unwearied
as their insatiate appetite for food. Talk nonsense to children,
forsooth! Rather talk it to anybody else,--far rather to the pedants and
worldlings who have fooled away their common-sense by burying thought
under book-dust, or by hiding nature under shams and artifices. Children
not only want the true thing said to them, but want to have it said in a
true and fitting way; and no language pleases them so much as the pure,
simple speech which the good old Bible uses, and which all our great
masters of style follow. Any one who has seen the quizzical expression
of a score or two of bright little children in listening to some old or
young proser, who is undertaking to palm off upon them his platitudes
for wisdom and his baby-talk for simplicity, cannot remain long in doubt
as to which party leans most towards the fool.

There is, indeed, great difference between tween the mind of children
and of adults, and literature should respect and provide for this
difference,--although it is true that the best books please and edify
both, and the nursery and parlour can meet in pretty full fellowship
over "Æsop's Fables," "Robinson Crusoe," and "Pilgrim's Progress," if
not over the "Vicar of Wakefield" and Edgeworth's "Popular Tales." The
great distinction between juvenile and adult literature is a very
obvious and natural one. Not to discuss now the absence of business
cares and ambition, children, in their normal, healthful state, know
nothing of love as a passion, whilst it is the conspicuous feature of
adult society, and the motive of all romances for readers of advanced
years, and especially for all who have just passed into the charmed
borders of adult life. I do not say, indeed, that children are to know
nothing of love, or that it should be shut out of their habitual
reading; for love is a part of human life, and is organized into manners
and institutions, and sanctioned and exalted by religion. As a fact, and
as sustaining great practical relations, love is to be treated freely in
juvenile literature, but not as a passion. Every boy and girl who reads
the Prayer-Book, and hears every-day talk, and sees what is going on in
the world, knows that men and women marry, and young people fall in love
and are engaged. This is all well, and children's stories may tell
freely whatever illustrates the home usages and social customs of the
people; but the more the love senses and passions are left to sleep in
their sacred and innocent reserve within their mystic cells, so much the
better for the child whilst a child, and so much the better for the
youth when no more a child, and Nature betrays her great secret, and the
charming hallucinations of romance open their fascinations and call for
the sober counsels of wisdom and kindness.

But if love, as a passion, does not belong to our juvenile literature,
its place is fully supplied by a power quite as active and
marvellous,--the mighty genius of play. Try to read a three-volume novel
of love and flirtation to a set of well-trained, healthfully organized
children, or try them with a single chapter that describes the raptures
or the jealousies, and gives the letters and dialogues, of the enamored
couple, who are destined, through much tribulation, to end their griefs
at the altar, not of sacrifice, but of union, and you will find your
auditors ready to go to sleep or to run away. The girls may, indeed,
brighten up, if a famous dress or set of jewels, a great party or grand
wedding, is described; and the boys may open their eyes, if the story
turns upon a smart horse-race or a plucky fight. Children, in their
normal state, do not enter into the romance of the passion, nor should
they be trained to it. They may be bred in all courtesy and refinement
without it; and the girls and boys may be true to their sex, and have
all the gentle manners that should come from proper companionship. The
boys will not want a certain chivalry in the schoolroom, play-ground,
and parlor, and the girls will learn from instinct as well as discipline
the delicacy that is their charm and shield. Nothing can be worse than
to ply them with love-stories, or throw them into the false society that
fosters morbid sentiments and impulses, and gives them the passions
without the judgment and control of men and women. Kind Providence, in
the gift of play, has mercifully averted this danger, and brought our
children into a companionship that needs no precocious passion to give
it charm.

How wonderful it is, this instinct for play, and how worthy of our
careful and serious study! It is the key to the whole philosophy of
juvenile literature: for we take it for granted that books for children
belong to the easy play, rather than to the hard work of life; and that
they are an utter failure, if they do not win their way by their own
charms. Here, in fact, we distinguish between juvenile literature and
school-books. School-books are for children, indeed, but not for them
alone, but for the teacher also, and they are to be as interesting as
possible; yet they are not for play, but for work, and it is best to be
quite honest at the outset, and let the little people know that study is
work and not play, and that their usual gift-books are not for study
mainly, but for entertainment. In this way, study is the more patient
and comforting, and reading more free and refreshing. Children make the
distinction very shrewdly, and are quite willing to pore carefully over
their school-lessons, but are very impatient of lessons that are sugared
over with pleasantry, and detect the pedagogue under the mask of the
playmate. They are willing to have their pills sugared over, but do not
like to have them called sugar-plums.

Playfulness does not require the sacrifice of good sense or sound
principle or serious purpose, but subjects them to certain conditions;
and there is no form in which exalted characters or sacred truths are
brought home more effectually to the hearts both of young and old than
in the stones and dramas that make life speak for itself, and play
themselves into the affections and fancy. It does require that the laws
of attention and emotion, the unities and the varieties of æsthetic art,
shall be observed; and as soon as the book is dull, and offers no
sparkling waters nor fair flowers nor tempting fruits to lure the
flagging reader over its intervals of dusty road or sandy waste, it is a
failure, and not what it pretends to be. With children, play demands
more the _varieties_ than the _unities_ of Art; and their first
education deals with those spontaneous sensibilities and impulses that
insist upon being played upon freely, with little regard to exact
method. Those sports are most pleasing to young children, especially,
that touch the greatest number of the keys of sensation and will, and
make them answer to the pulse of Nature and companionship. One may learn
a deal of philosophy from the most popular nursery rhymes; and Mother
Goose, good old soul, who has sung many of those strange old verses to
children for a thousand years, if the antiquaries are not mistaken,
proves to us that the way to please little ears and eyes is by
presenting a variety of images in the easiest succession, without any
attempt at intellectual method or logical unity. Her style is that of
the kaleidoscope, and she turns words and pictures over as rapidly, and
with as little method, as that instrument shows in its handling of
colors. As the child's development advances, the varieties need more of
the unities, and the favorite sports rise into more method and sequence,
nearer the rule of actual life: marbles give way to cricket, and
blindman's bluff yields to chess. For a long time, however, anything
like severe intellectual unity of plan is irksome, and even the toys
that require careful thought and embody extraordinary workmanship are
less agreeable than the rude playthings that can be knocked about at
will, and made to take any shape or use that the changing mood or fancy
may decree. The rag baby is more popular with the little girl than the
mechanical doll; and a tin pot, with a stick to drum upon it, pleases
little master more than the elegant music-box. As long as the child's
mind is in a chaos of unsorted sensations and impulses, he does not like
plays that are so utterly in advance of his position as to present a
perfect order that calls up Kosmos within him before its time. There is
a good Providence in this necessity, and Nature is servant of God in her
attempt to touch and voice the separate keys of the great organ, before
she tunes them together to the great harmonies and symphonies that are
to be performed. She is busy with each key first by itself; and there is
something winning, as well as healthful, in that intensity which
attaches to the sensations and impulses of children in this their first
education. They are finding themselves and the universe at once; and the
marvellous zest with which they see and feel and hear and handle
whatever comes within their reach is a kind of rapturous wedding of the
senses to the world of Nature and life, and a prelude to that more
interior and spiritual union that is to be.

Our best books for children must not forget this great fact, and they
must present great variety of impression and images in such sequence and
unity as the young reader's mind can easily appreciate and enjoy. The
great juvenile classics are rich illustrations of this law, and they
have a "variety" as "infinite" as Cleopatra's, whilst they aim at a
purpose far more true and persistent than hers, and do not end with a
broken life and a serpent's sting. They are invariably _sensuous_ in
their imagery, but not _sensual_; and the great masters of the nursery
well know that the senses are not made to be earth-born drudges of the
flesh, but godly ministers of the spirit, and their true office is to
open the gates of the whole world of truth and goodness and beauty. All
who know the ways of true children will understand the distinction
between _sensual_ and _sensuous_ impression. Hold up before a true child
a ripe, red apple, or a bunch of purple grapes, and how the eye sparkles
and the hand reaches forth! But the desire expressed is half aspiration
and half appetite, and the dainty rises into ideal beauty under this
dear little aspirant's gaze, and is seen in a light quite other than
that which falls on a gourmand's table, after he is gorged with viands
and wine, and ends his gross banquet with a dessert of fruit which his
stupid and uncertain eye can hardly distinguish. The child is
_sensuous_, the gourmand is _sensual_. We should give the benefit of
this distinction to all of our authors who abound in graphic description
and encourage pictorial illustration. The senses should be skilfully
appealed to, and the higher spheres of the reason, conscience, and
affections may thus be effectually reached. Pictures, whether in words
or lines or colors, are symbols; and the child's mind is a rare master
of all the true symbolism of Nature and Art. There is no end to the
range of susceptibility in children to impressions from this source; and
all the chords of feeling and impulse, pathos and humor, seem waiting
and eager to be played upon. Instead of needing to be laboriously
schooled to pass from one emotion or mental state to another, they go by
alternations as easy as the changing feet that pass from a walk to a run
and back again, as if change were the necessity of Nature, not the work
of the striving will.

Our books for children should study this great law, and be free to go
"from grave to gay, from gentle to severe," as is the habit of all high
literature. They should not be afraid to let the child have a good
hearty laugh before or after telling him that he should study or should
pray. It is odd to see the rapid transitions through which very
well-behaved children will go in an instant; and I have known a child
who has been romping in a complete gale of innocent roguery to burst
into tears, if not duly called to the table in time to hear grace said,
and, after clucking with the hens, crying as if heart-broken over a dead
bird. I went last spring with a friend to witness a great religious
festival at a distinguished ecclesiastical community,--the festival of
Corpus Christi, with its gorgeous procession. We were admitted through
the private entrance, and saw the altar-boys in the entry waiting in
caps and robes to lead off the pageant. They were in high spirits, and
pulling and nudging each other like boys of the usual mould. Soon they
appeared in church with folded hands, chanting the "Lauda Sion" before
the uplifted Host as demurely as if they had walked down from the
pictures of seraphs on the walls. "What little hypocrites!" the
Philistines at once cry; "what a trick, thus to affect to be pious,
after those pranks of mischief!" I say, No such thing; and although not
personally given to Corpus-Christi ceremonials as a devotee, I interpret
such transitions as I would interpret the conduct of my own children who
came from a frolic on the lawn or a game of croquet to a Scripture
lesson or the household worship. Let us be true to human nature, and
give every genuine faculty and impulse fair play. Our American
literature can afford to be more generous to children than it has been,
and let them gambol on the play-ground none the less from keeping the
library open for grave reading, and the chapel not closed in ghostly
gloom.

Our books for children must be truthful as well as interesting; and we
are quite strong in the belief that they should be true to all our just
American ideas. It cannot be expected, indeed, that our story-tellers,
poets, and biographers for the young will desert their pleasant arts,
and inflict upon their readers prosy essays upon American law, society,
reform, and progress. What we should expect and demand is, that our
children should be brought up to regard American principles as matters
of course; and their books should take these principles for granted, and
illustrate them with all possible interest and power. They should be
trained in the belief that here the opportunities for education, labor,
enterprise, freedom, influence, and prosperity are to be thrown open to
all; and the highest encouragement should be given to every one to seek
the chief good. We are not afraid to say that our children's books
should be thoroughly republican, or, in the best sense of the word,
democratic, and should aim to give respect to the genuine man more than
to his accidents, and to rank character above circumstance. They should
rebuke the ready American failings, the haste to be rich, the passion of
ostentation, the rage for extravagance, the habit of exaggeration, the
impatience under moderate means, the fever for excitement, and the great
disposition to subordinate the true quality of life to the quantity of
appliances of living. They should especially assail the failing to which
our children are tempted,--the morbid excitement, precocious
sensibility, and airs and ambition to which they are prone. Some of our
best juvenile books, especially some of our best magazine writers, do
great service in this way; and it has seemed to use that we may well
learn wisdom from the juvenile literature of France in this matter, and
translate with profit many of those excellent books for children which
do not for a moment countenance the idea that they are to have any
hot-bed forcing, or have their senses and fancy turn upon the passions
and cares that belong to mature years. Christendom has no cause for
gratitude to France for its adult romantic literature; and it is an
offence to American as to English homes for its free notions of married
life. But the French literature for the young is quite another matter,
and may teach purity and wisdom to the parents who allow their sons and
daughters to ape the ways and often the follies of men and women, and
spoil the flower and fruit of maturity by forcing open the tender bud of
childhood and youth.

We may take quite as serious lessons against the wrong of schooling the
young in precocious care and calculation, and setting a bounty upon the
too ready covetousness of our people. We spend freely, indeed, as well
as accumulate eagerly; but there is a fearful over-estimate of wealth
amongst us, in the absence of other obvious grounds of distinction; and
the evil is nurtured sometimes from childhood. Such books as "The Rich
Poor Man and the Poor Rich Man" do vast good; and it is very important
that our sons and daughters should have a loving, helpful, cheerful,
devout childhood, a true age of gold, to look back upon and ever to
remember, without the taint of Mammon-worship that multiplies care,
blasts prosperity with inordinate desires, and curses adversity by
making it out to be the loss of the supreme good, and little short of
hell. It is well to take very high ground with them, and train them to
know and enjoy the supreme treasures that are open to them all, to make
them observers and lovers of Nature and Art, and to take it for granted
that the best gifts of God and humanity are freely offered to every true
life. Our magnificent country should be held before them as their
rightful heritage, and its flowers, plants, trees, minerals, animals,
lakes, rivers, seas, mountains, should be made a part of every child's
property. What observers of Nature, in its uses and beauty, bright
children are, and how much may be made of their aptness by good books
and magazines! I confess, for my own part, that I never saw and enjoyed
Nature truly until I learned to see it through a bright child's eyes.
Good Providence gave us our little farm and our little May at about the
same time; and the child has been the priestess of our domain, and has
made spring of our autumn, May of our September. She noticed first only
bright colors and moving objects and striking sounds; but with what zest
she noticed them, and jogged our dull eyes and ears! Then she observed
the finer traits of the place, and learned to call each flower and tree,
and even each weed, by name, and to join the birds and chickens in their
glee. She gathered bright weeds as freely as garden-flowers, and, with
larger wisdom than she knew, came shouting and laughing with a lapful of
treasures, in which the golden-rod or wild aster, the violet or
buttercup, the dandelion or honeysuckle, were as much prized as the pink
or larkspur, the rose or lily. Darling seer, how much wiser and better
might we be, if we had as open eye for loveliness and worth within and
without the inclosures of our pride and our pets! I called the first
rustic arbor that I built by her name; and May's Bower, on its base of
rock, with solid steps cut in the granite by a faithful hand, and with a
sight of the distant sea through its clustering vines, is to us a good
symbol of childhood, as observer, interpreter, and lover of Nature. When
I see in a handsome book or magazine for children any adequate sketch of
natural scenes and objects, I am grateful for it as a benefaction to
children, and a help to them in their playful yearning to read that
elder alphabet of God.

How much power there is in the elements of the beautiful that so abound
in the universe, and what capacity in children for enjoying them,
especially in our American children, may we not say! The constitution of
Americans is in some respects delicate, and shows great susceptibility
in early life, and capability of æsthetic culture. Our children are
vastly wiser and happier by being taught to distinguish beauty from
tinsel pretence, and to see the difference between the fine and
superfine. The whole land groans in ignorance of this distinction; and
the most extravagant outlay for children and adults is made for dress
and furniture, toys and ornaments, that are an abomination to true
taste. We may begin the reform at the beginning, and apply the ideas of
the truly beautiful in the books and magazines that we put before our
children. We can make Preraphaelites of them of the right kind, by
training their eye, not to love bald scenes and ghostly figures, but to
appreciate natural form, feature, and color, and composition, and so
possess their senses and fancy with the materials and impressions of
loveliness, that, when the constructive reason or the ideal imagination
begins to work, it will work wisely and well, and not only dream fair
visions and speak and write fair words, but carve true shapes, and plan
noble grounds, and rear goodly edifices for dwelling, or for study, art,
humanity, or religion. The child that learns to see the beautiful has
the key of a blessed gate to God's great temple, and can find everywhere
an entrance to the shrine. What a new and higher Puritanism will come,
when we learn to apply pure taste to common affairs, and carry out all
the laws of truth and beauty, as the old saints carried out the letter
of the Bible! The day is coming, and is partly come. Do not many
New-Yorkers look upon the Central Park as being, with its waters and
flowers and music for all, as good a commentary on the Sermon on the
Mount as any in the Astor Library? and does not solid Boston regard its
great organ as a part of that great interpretation of the Divine Mind
which Cotton and Winthrop sought only in the sacred book? Give us a
thirty years' fair training of our children in schools and reading,
galleries and music-halls, gardens and fields, and our America, the
youngest among the great nations, will yield to none the palm of
strength or of beauty; and as she sits the queen, not the captive, in
her noble domain, her children, who have learned grace under her
teaching, shall rise up and call her blessed.

In claiming thus for our children's books this embodiment of wholesome
truth in beautiful forms, we are not favoring any feeble
_dilettanteism_, or sacrificing practical strength to pleasant fancy.
Nay, quite the contrary; for it is certain that truth has power,
especially with the young, only when it is so embodied as to show itself
in the life, and to speak and act for itself. We believe in dynamic
reading for children; and we now make a distinct and decided point of
this, quite positive, as we are, that books are a curse, if they merely
excite the sensibilities and stimulate the nerves and brain, and bring
on sedentary languor, and do not stir the muscles, and quicken the will,
and set the hand and foot to work and play under the promptings of a
cheerful heart. Undoubtedly many children read too much, and spindle
legs and narrow chests and dropsical heads are the sad retribution upon
the excess. But the best books are good tonics, and as refreshing and
strengthening as the sunshine and the sea-water, the singing-circle, and
the play-ground. Let us encourage this tonic quality in our juvenile
literature, and favor as much of sound muscular morality and religion as
stories of adventure, sketches of sports, hints of exercise and health,
with all manner of winning illustrations, can give. It is well that Dio
Lewis is now on a mission to our Young Folks, and after exhorting
adults, and especially the clergy, to repent of their manifold sins
against the body, he is now carrying the gospel of health to children;
and I have been quite amused at having him quoted against my own
physical transgressions, by his most attentive reader, the youngest
member of the family. The cure should not stop there; but the tonic
force should knock at every door of the mental and moral faculties, and
touch every chord of latent power. A fresh, free, dauntless will should
breathe through every page, and be the invigorating air of our juvenile
literature, and be as essential to its strength as truth is to its light
and beauty to its color. The great social, civil, and religious forces
that move the nation should be brought to bear upon the young, not by
learned essays or by ambitious philosophizing, but by living
portraitures and taking life-sketches, stirring songs and ballads. A
good home story can express as much of the law and economy of the
household as a chapter of Paley or Wayland. Our girls and boys will feel
the great pulse-beat of patriotism and loyalty more free, by following
the brave old flag through perils to final peace, in graphic sketches of
our history, from Washington's times to Lincoln's, from the days of
Greene and Putnam to those of Sherman and Grant, than from any learned
lectures on the Constitution, or abridgments of Kent and Story. Those
more universal and spiritual forces that bind us to our race and to God
are surely not to be ignored in books for children, difficult as it is
to present them adequately; and the absence of a national church makes
religion so various in its ideas and forms as not to offer that ready
and common symbolism that makes the cross as expressive as the flag to
some nations, and binds the home and country to the altar. But our best
writers are finding the way to touch the chords of supreme religion in
the young, and the nation is fast developing a faith and worship that
meet the wants of youthful feeling and fancy better than catechisms and
lectures. Our children have a much more genial church nurture now than
their parents had, and the worship in their chapels is sometimes more
impressive than that in the churches. I confess to great regret that we,
who are now in our prime, had so little joy and action in connection
with our early religious impressions, and wish better things for our
children, and delight to see the signs of amendment. Our best books are
helping it on, and bringing poetry and art, as well as good sense and
devout faith, to the rescue of our boys and girls from the prosy
pedantry that forgets that the religion of the Bible itself did not
begin in the dry letter, but was a rich and various life with Nature and
among men, before it was made into a book.

All moving forces, whether domestic, social, civil, or religious, reach
children most effectually through personal influence; and not only do
they imitate the examples, but they seem to imbibe or breathe in the
spirit of their associates and teachers. Hence the importance of having
our best people write for children, and give them the precious ministry
of all their high qualities of mind and heart. The little readers may
not take in the whole of the influence consciously at once, but they are
more receptive than they know, and take in the grace of refined manner
and pure culture, even as they take diseases, without being aware of the
fact at the time. Is it not well to treat them in their relation to
human life as God treats them in their relation to the universe? He puts
before them the broad earth and the glorious heavens from the first, and
He does not strike off a toy edition of Nature to come down to little
eyes and ears. Children look upon the whole universe at once, and their
first impressions store up truths that years may interpret, but cannot
exhaust. Why not throw open the best minds, and their earth and heaven
of earthly sense and starry wisdom, with equal generosity to the young,
and put them into communication with the best writers and thinkers of
the land? They will not take the whole sense and spirit of the talk or
story in at once, but they will have a certain impression or germinal
seed of it within; and even before they can interpret or explain what
they have learned, they will feel and enjoy and apply most of its
meaning and power. Especially do they take in more than they know of the
higher manifestations of moral and spiritual life; and a good story of a
true soul, or an earnest sermon or devout prayer, goes deeper into their
minds and hearts than they can understand, and they may have a great
deal of religion before they know a word of theology.

In view of this assimilating force of example and personal character, it
is cheering to note the number of our first-class writers who are giving
their pens and studies to our children. The authors who figure on the
list of contributors to our leading juvenile magazine need not hide
their heads before any staff of contributors to any periodical in the
country; and they do not seem to lose their wisdom or their wit in
getting down from their stately heights to chat and romp with the boys
and girls who come thronging to meet them. It is a good sign for our
American letters; and I am not ashamed to say, that, after reading some
of the numbers of that monthly, and talking over the remainder with a
bright child of six, and as bright a girl of eighteen, I felt somewhat
envious of the position of those writers, and wondered whether I could
write anything that the rising millions of American children would be
eager to read. Who might not be envious of the distinction, and which of
our poets may not be proud to walk in the steps of Whittier, and sing
loving words for the nursery and play-ground, after ringing the
liberty-bell and sounding the bugle-call of liberty through the nation?

We close these cursory thoughts by presenting one idea that seems to us
of the highest importance, although it may strike others as far-fetched
or fanciful. It refers to the start that our children are to take in
life, or, rather, to the ground from which they are to start. Their
destiny depends, of course, upon what they make of themselves in their
career; but does it not also depend upon their starting-ground, and is
there not something dreary in the frequent remark that we can make
anything of ourselves, and the implication that we are nothing at all at
the outset? The old civilization reversed this and the great question
was not, What shall a man make of himself? but, What is his _status_?
and his family or national birthright was more urged than his individual
enterprise. Now I am not fighting against our American individualism, or
expecting to establish a new national caste; yet may I not hint that it
would be well, if our children were brought up in such sense of their
native privilege, worth, and respectability as to start upon a solid
ground of loyalty and reliance, and to go forth into the world with the
feeling, that, whilst they have much to win, they have also much to
hold? I would not have them bred in Jewish exclusiveness or pride; yet
even that is better than no sense of birthright at all. How striking and
suggestive is that trait in the life of one of the most benevolent and
liberal-minded of our American Israelites, who, when his leg was broken,
and his physician advised amputation, stoutly refused to submit to the
knife, and said that he would rather die first, since he was of the
tribe of Levi, and none of that tribe were allowed to enter the
sanctuary with mutilated limbs! A plucky son of Abraham indeed; and his
pluck would be worthy of our imitation, if we insisted on such a
_status_ of manly integrity as to refuse to do any wrong to our manhood,
on the ground of its destroying our position and selling our birthright.
We do need certainly some deeper sense of our personal and national
worth at the outset: and our children should be trained to look upon
themselves as heirs of the ages, children of Providence, and bound to
keep the priceless trust confided to them. A cheerful home should love
them before they can return the love, a great nation guard over
themselves, and a broad and exalted and genial and helpful church should
be mother to them before they know how to interpret her care; and the
golden light of the first home should shine upon them as but the faint,
earthly gleam of that uncreated light that kindles every rational
intelligence, and sends it into the world, as if, "trailing clouds of
glory," we came "from God who is our home." We ask our writers for
children to throw this cheerful radiance upon the outset of their
pilgrimage, and relieve the sore pressure of care, and the anxious
burden of never ceasing responsibility, and the force of incessant
temptation, by the great and blessed conviction that we start from the
supreme good, and, if we go away from it, we not only come short of a
precious prize, but we forfeit a sacred birthright. All the ages,
nations, leaders, sages, heroes, apostles, have endowed us and our
children with a priceless heritage; and we are not to start in life as
if we were a set of beggars, aliens, slaves, or heathen. Rome has
thought to bless and enrich our America by putting the land under the
watch of the immaculate and supernatural Mother. I will not stop now to
fight against Rome, but will be content to say that our children have
from God a peculiar guardianship from the natural mother who bore them,
and from that natural humanity which is the daughter of God and the
recipient of all natural and supernatural graces. Mystical as this
thought may seem, when stated in general terms, every genuine American
poem and story is full of its meaning; and our best juvenile literature
is making it our household faith and love. We shall see good days, when
our children start from the true home feeling, and a sacred memory joins
hands with a brave and cheerful hope. Our good old mothers thought so;
and our books are good as they repeat their wisdom and renew their love.
We might weary our readers, if we tried to say what is in our minds of
the American mother in history, and the ideal mother that should charm
our books and pictures; but no more now.



DIOS TE DE.[1]


    In the green and shadowy woodpath,
      Where the Fly-bird's[2] golden hue,
    Like a shower of broken fire,
      Lights the forests of Peru,
    'Mid primeval sward and tree,
      Lives the bird, DIOS TE DE.

    There the Indian hunter roaming
      Softly through the massive shade,
    By the Laurel and Cinchona
      And the thick-leaved Balsam made,
    Halts beneath the canopy
      At the sounds, DIOS TE DE.

    And the bow unbent reposes,
      And the poisoned arrows rest,
    And a gush of solemn feeling
      Thrills with awe the savage breast,
    While the bird unharmed and free
      Rocks and sings, DIOS TE DE.

    If the name of God thus dropping
      From the preacher of the wild,
    In the solitude of Nature,
      Wraps with awe the forest child,--
    What a meaning deep have we
      In the bird, DIOS TE DE!

FOOTNOTES:

[1] "May God give thee."

[2] _Trochilas Chrysurus._



MODE OF CATCHING JELLY-FISHES.


Not the least attractive feature in the study of these animals is the
mode of catching them. We will suppose it to be a warm, still morning at
Nahant, in the last week of August, with a breath of autumn in the haze,
that softens the outlines of the opposite shore, and makes the horizon
line a little dim. It is about eleven o'clock, for few of the
Jelly-Fishes are early risers; they like the warm sun, and at an earlier
hour they are not to be found very near the surface. The sea is white
and glassy, with a slight swell, but no ripple, and seems almost
motionless as we put off in a dory from the beach near Saunders's Ledge.
We are provided with two buckets: one for the larger Jelly-Fishes, the
Zygodactyla, Aurelia, etc.; the other for the smaller fry, such as the
various kinds of Ctenophoræ, the Tima, Melicertum, etc. Besides these,
we have two nets and glass bowls, in which to take up the more fragile
creatures that cannot bear rough handling. A bump or two on the stones
before we are fairly launched, a shove of the oar to keep the boat well
out from the rocks along which we skirt for a moment, and now we are
off. We pull around the point to our left and turn toward the ledge,
filling our buckets as we go. Now we are crossing the shallows that make
the channel between the inner and outer rocks of Saunders's Ledge. Look
down: how clear the water is, and how lovely the sea-weeds above which
we are floating! dark brown and purple fronds of the Ulvæ, and the long
blades of the Laminaria with mossy green tufts between. As we issue from
this narrow passage we must be on the watch, for the tide is rising, and
may come laden with treasures, as it sweeps through it. A sudden cry
from the oarsman at the bow, not of rocks or breakers ahead, but of "A
new Jelly-Fish astern!" The quick eye of the naturalist of the party
pronounces it unknown to zoölogists, undescribed by any scientific pen.
Now what excitement! "Out with the net!--we have passed him! he has gone
down! no, there he is again! back us a bit." Here he is floating close
by us; now he is within the circle of the net, but he is too delicate to
be caught safely in that way; while one of us moves the net gently
about, to keep him within the space inclosed by it, another slips the
glass bowl under him, lifts it quickly, and there is a general
exclamation of triumph and delight;--we have him! And now we look more
closely. Yes, decidedly he is a novelty as well as a beauty (_Ptychogena
lactea_, A. Ag.). Those white mossy tufts for ovaries are unlike
anything we have found before, and not represented in any published
figures of Jelly-Fishes. We float about here for a while, hoping to find
more of the same kind, but no others make their appearance, and we keep
on our way to East Point, where there is a capital fishing-ground for
Medusæ of all sorts. Here two currents meet, and the Jelly-Fishes are
stranded, as it were, along the line of juncture, able to move neither
one way nor the other. At this spot the sea actually swarms with life:
one cannot dip the net into the water without bringing up Pleurobrachia,
Bolina, Idyia, Melicertum, etc., while the larger Zygodactyla and
Aurelia float about the boat in numbers. These large Jelly-Fishes
produce a singular effect as one sees them at some depth beneath the
water; the Aureliæ, especially, with their large disks, look like pale
phantoms wandering about far below the surface; but they constantly
float upward, and if not too far out of reach, one may bring them up by
stirring the water under them with the end of the oar.

When we passed an hour or so floating about just beyond East Point, and
have nearly filled our buckets with Jelly-Fishes of all sizes and
descriptions, we turn and row homeward. The buckets look very pretty as
they stand in the bottom of the boat with the sunshine lighting up their
living contents. The Idyia glitters and sparkles with ever-changing
hues; the Pleurobrachiæ dart about, trailing their long, graceful
tentacles after them; the golden Melicerta are kept in constant motion
by their quick, sudden contractions; and the delicate, transparent Tima
floats among them all, not the less beautiful because so colorless.
There is an unfortunate Idyia, who, by some mistake, has got into the
wrong bucket, with the larger Jelly-Fish, where a Zygodactyla has
entangled it among his tentacles and is quietly breakfasting upon it.

[Illustration: Ptychogena lactea.]

During our row the tide has been rising, and as we near the channel of
Saunders's Ledge, it is running through more strongly than before, and
at the entrance of the shallows a pleasant surprise is prepared for us:
no less than half a dozen of our new friends, (the Ptychogena, as he has
been baptized,) come to look for their lost companion perhaps, await us
there, and are presently added to our spoils. We reach the shore heavily
laden with the fruits of our morning's excursion.

The most interesting part of the work for the naturalist is still to
come. On our return to the Laboratory, the contents of the buckets are
poured into separate glass bowls and jars; holding them up against the
light, we can see which are our best and rarest specimens; these we dip
out in glass cups and place by themselves. If any small specimens are
swimming about at the bottom of the jar, and refuse to come within our
reach, there is a very simple mode of catching them. Dip a glass tube
into the water, keeping the upper end closed with your finger, and sink
it till the lower end is just above the animal you want to entrap; then
lift your finger, and as the air rushes out the water rushes in,
bringing with it the little creature you are trying to catch. When the
specimens are well assorted, the microscope is taken out, and the rest
of the day is spent in studying the new Jelly-Fishes, recording the
results, making notes, drawings, etc.

Still more attractive than the rows by day are the night expeditions in
search of Jelly-Fishes. For this object we must choose a quiet night;
for they will not come to the surface if the water is troubled. Nature
has her culminating hours, and she brings us now and then a day or night
on which she seems to have lavished all her treasures. It was on such a
rare evening, at the close of the summer of 1862, that we rowed over
the same course by Saunders's Ledge and East Point described above. The
August moon was at her full, the sky was without a cloud, and we floated
on a silver sea; pale streamers of the aurora quivered in the north, and
notwithstanding the brilliancy of the moon, they, too, cast their faint
reflection in the ocean. We rowed quietly along past the Ledge, past
Castle Rock, the still surface of the water unbroken, except by the dip
of the oars and the ripple of the boat, till we reached the line off
East Point, where the Jelly-Fishes are always most abundant, if they are
to be found at all. Now dip the net into the water. What genie under the
sea has wrought this wonderful change? Our dirty, torn old net is
suddenly turned to a web of gold, and as we lift it from the water,
heavy rills of molten metal seem to flow down its sides and collect in a
glowing mass at the bottom. The truth is, the Jelly-Fishes, so sparkling
and brilliant in the sunshine, have a still lovelier light of their own
at night; they give out a greenish golden light, as brilliant as that of
the brightest glow-worm, and on a calm summer night, at the spawning
season, when they come to the surface in swarms, if you do but dip your
hand into the water, it breaks into sparkling drops beneath your touch.
There are no more beautiful phosphorescent animals in the sea than the
Medusæ. It would seem that the expression, "rills of molten metal,"
could hardly apply to anything so impalpable as a Jelly-Fish, but,
although so delicate in structure, their gelatinous disks give them a
weight and substance; and at night, when their transparency is not
perceived, and their whole mass is aglow with phosphorescent light, they
truly have an appearance of solidity which is most striking, when they
are lifted out of the water and flow down the sides of the net.

The various kinds present very different aspects. Wherever the larger
Aureliæ and Zygodactylæ float to the surface, they bring with them a dim
spreading halo of light, the smaller Ctenophoræ become little shining
spheres, while a thousand lesser creatures add their tiny lamps to the
illumination of the ocean: for this so-called phosphorescence of the sea
is by no means due to the Jelly-Fishes alone, but is also produced by
many other animals, differing in the color as well as the intensity of
their light; and it is a curious fact that they seem to take possession
of the field by turns. You may row over the same course which a few
nights since glowed with a greenish golden light wherever the surface of
the water was disturbed, and though equally brilliant, the
phosphorescence has now a pure white light. On such an evening, be quite
sure, that, when you empty your buckets on your return and examine their
contents, you will find that the larger part of your treasures are small
Crustacea (little shrimps). Of course there will be other phosphorescent
creatures, Jelly-Fishes, etc., among them, but the predominant color is
given by these little Crustacea. On another evening the light will have
a bluish tint, and then the phosphorescence is principally due to the
Dysmorphosa.

Notwithstanding the beauty of a moonlight row, if you would see the
phosphorescence to greatest advantage, you must choose a dark night,
when the motion of your boat sets the sea on fire around you, and a long
undulating wave of light rolls off from your oar as you lift it from the
water. On a brilliant evening this effect is lost in a great degree, and
it is not until you dip your net fairly under the moonlit surface of the
sea that you are aware how full of life it is. Occasionally one is
tempted out by the brilliancy of the phosphorescence, when the clouds
are so thick, that water, sky, and land become one indiscriminate mass
of black, and the line of rocks can be discerned only by the vivid flash
of greenish golden light, when the breakers dash against them. At such
times there is something wild and weird in the whole scene, which at
once fascinates and appalls the imagination; one seems to be rocking
above a volcano, for the surface around is intensely black, except
where fitful flashes or broad waves of light break from the water under
the motion of the boat or the stroke of the oars. It was on a night like
this, when the phosphorescence was unusually brilliant, and the sea as
black as ink, the surf breaking heavily and girdling the rocky shore
with a wall of fire, that our collector was so fortunate as to find in
the rich harvest he brought home the entirely new and exceedingly pretty
little floating Hydroid, described under the name of Nanomia. It was in
its very infancy, a mere bubble, not yet possessed of the various
appendages which eventually make up its complex structure; but it was
nevertheless very important to have seen it in this early stage of its
existence, since, when a few full-grown specimens were found in the
autumn, which lived for some days in confinement and quietly allowed
their portraits to be taken, it was easy to connect the adult animal
with its younger phase of life, and thus make a complete history.

Marine phosphorescence is no new topic, and we have dwelt too long,
perhaps, upon a phenomenon that every voyager has seen, and many have
described; but its effect is very different, when seen from the deck of
a vessel, from its appearance as one floats through its midst,
distinguishing the very creatures that produce it; and any account of
the Medusæ which did not include this most characteristic feature would
be incomplete.



ADELAIDE ANNE PROCTER.


In the spring of the year 1853, I observed, as conductor of the weekly
journal, "Household Words," a short poem among the proffered
contributions, very different, as I thought, from the shoal of verses
perpetually setting through the office of such a periodical, and
possessing much more merit. Its authoress was quite unknown to me. She
was one Miss Mary Berwick, whom I had never heard of; and she was to be
addressed by letter, if addressed at all, at a circulating-library in
the western district of London. Through this channel, Miss Berwick was
informed that her poem was accepted, and was invited to send another.
She complied, and became a regular and frequent contributor. Many
letters passed between the journal and Miss Berwick, but Miss Berwick
herself was never seen.

How we came gradually to establish at the office of "Household Words"
that we knew all about Miss Berwick, I have never discovered. But we
settled somehow, to our complete satisfaction, that she was governess in
a family; that she went to Italy in that capacity, and returned; and
that she had long been in the same family. We really knew nothing
whatever of her, except that she was remarkably business-like, punctual,
self-reliant, and reliable; so I suppose we insensibly invented the
rest. For myself, my mother was not a more real personage to me than
Miss Berwick the governess became.

This went on until December, 1854, when the Christmas number, entitled
"The Seven Poor Travellers," was sent to press. Happening to be going to
dine that day with an old and dear friend, distinguished in literature
as "Barry Cornwall," I took with me an early proof of that number, and
remarked, as I laid it on the drawing-room table, that it contained a
very pretty poem, written by a certain Miss Berwick. Next day brought me
the disclosure that I had so spoken of the poem to the mother of its
writer, in its writer's presence; that I had no such correspondent in
existence as Miss Berwick; and that the name had been assumed by Barry
Cornwall's eldest daughter, Miss Adelaide Anne Procter.

The anecdote I have here noted down, besides serving to explain why the
parents of the late Miss Procter have looked to me for these poor words
of remembrance of their lamented child, strikingly illustrates the
honesty, independence, and quiet dignity of the lady's character. I had
known her when she was very young; I had been honored with her father's
friendship when I was myself a young aspirant; and she had said at home,
"If I send him, in my own name, verses that he does not honestly like,
either it will be very painful to him to return them, or he will print
them for papa's sake, and not for their own. So I have made up my mind
to take my chance fairly with the unknown volunteers."

Perhaps it requires an editor's experience of the profoundly
unreasonable grounds on which he is often urged to accept unsuitable
articles--such as having been to school with the writer's husband's
brother-in-law, or having lent an alpenstock in Switzerland to the
writer's wife's nephew, when that interesting stranger had broken his
own--fully to appreciate the delicacy and the self-respect of this
resolution.

Some verses by Miss Procter had been published in the "Book of Beauty,"
ten years before she became Miss Berwick. With the exception of two
poems in the "Cornhill Magazine," two in "Good Words," and others in a
little book called "A Chaplet of Verses," (issued in 1862 for the
benefit of a Night Refuge,) her published writings first appeared in
"Household Words" or "All the Year Round."

Miss Procter was born in Bedford Square, London, on the 30th of October,
1825. Her love of poetry was conspicuous at so early an age, that I have
before me a tiny album, made of small note-paper, into which her
favorite passages were copied for her by her mother's hand before she
herself could write. It looks as if she had carried it about, as another
little girl might have carried a doll. She soon displayed a remarkable
memory and great quickness of apprehension. When she was quite a young
child, she learned with facility several of the problems of Euclid. As
she grew older, she acquired the French, Italian, and German languages,
became a clever piano-forte player, and showed a true taste and
sentiment in drawing. But as soon as she had completely vanquished the
difficulties of any one branch of study, it was her way to lose interest
in it and pass to another. While her mental resources were being
trained, it was not at all suspected in her family that she had any gift
of authorship, or any ambition to become a writer. Her father had no
idea of her having ever attempted to turn a rhyme, until her first
little poem saw the light in print.

When she attained to womanhood, she had read an extraordinary number of
books, and throughout her life she was always largely adding to the
number. In 1853 she went to Turin and its neighborhood, on a visit to
her aunt, a Roman Catholic lady. As Miss Procter had herself professed
the Roman Catholic faith two years before, she entered with the greater
ardor on the study of the Piedmontese dialect, and the observation of
the habits and manners of the peasantry. In the former she soon became a
proficient; and on the latter head, I extract from her familiar letters,
written home to England at the time, two pleasant pieces of description.


A BETROTHAL.

"We have been to a ball, of which I must give you a description. Last
Tuesday we had just done dinner at about seven, and stepped out into the
balcony to look at the remains of the sunset behind the mountains, when
we heard very distinctly a band of music, which rather excited my
astonishment, as a solitary organ is the utmost that toils up here. I
went out of the room for a few minutes, and on my returning, Emily
said,--

"'Oh! that band is playing at the farmer's near here. The daughter is
_fiancée_ to-day, and they have a ball.'

"I said,--

"'I wish I was going!'

"'Well,' replied she, 'the farmer's wife did call to invite us.'

"'Then I shall certainly go,' I exclaimed.

"I applied to Madame B., who said she would like it very much, and we
had better go, children and all. Some of the servants were already gone.
We rushed away to put on some shawls, and put off any shred of black we
might have about us, (as the people would have been quite annoyed, if we
had appeared on such an occasion with any black,) and we started. When
we reached the farmer's, which is a stone's throw above our house, we
were received with great enthusiasm; the only drawback being, that no
one spoke French, and we did not yet speak Piedmontese. We were placed
on a bench against the wall, and the people went on dancing. The room
was a large whitewashed kitchen, (I suppose,) with several large
pictures in black frames, and very smoky. I distinguished the 'Martyrdom
of Saint Sebastian,' and the others appeared equally lively and
appropriate subjects. Whether they were Old Masters or not, and if so,
by whom, I could not ascertain. The band were seated opposite us. Five
men, with wind instruments, part of the band of the National Guard, to
which the farmer's sons belong. They played really admirably, and I
began to be afraid that some idea of our dignity would prevent my
getting a partner; so, by Madame B.'s advice, I went up to the bride,
and offered to dance with her. Such a handsome young woman! Like one of
Uwins's pictures. Very dark, with a quantity of black hair, and on an
immense scale. The children were already dancing, as well as the maids.
After we came to an end of our dance, which was what they call a
Polka-Mazourka, I saw the bride trying to screw up the courage of
_fiancé_ to ask me to dance, which, after a little hesitation, he did.
And admirably he danced, as indeed they all did,--in excellent time, and
with a little more spirit than one sees in a ball-room. In fact, they
were very like one's ordinary partners, except that they wore ear-rings
and were in their shirt-sleeves, and truth compels me to state that they
decidedly smelt of garlic. Some of them had been smoking, but threw away
their cigars when we came in. The only thing that did not look cheerful
was, that the room was only lighted by two or three oil-lamps, and that
there seemed to be no preparation for refreshments. Madame B., seeing
this, whispered to her maid, who disengaged herself from her partner,
and ran off to the house; she and the kitchen-maid presently returning
with a large tray covered with all kinds of cakes, (of which we are
great consumers and always have a stock,) and a large hamper full of
bottles of wine, with coffee and sugar. This seemed all very acceptable.
The _fiancée_ was requested to distribute the eatables, and a bucket of
water being produced to wash the glasses in, the wine disappeared very
quickly,--as fast as they could open the bottles. But elated, I suppose,
by this, the floor was sprinkled with water, and the musicians played a
Monferrino, which is a Piedmontese dance. Madame B. danced with the
farmer's son, and Emily with another distinguished member of the
company. It was very fatiguing,--something like a Scotch reel. My
partner was a little man, like Pierrot, and very proud of his dancing.
He cut in the air and twisted about, until I was out of breath, though
my attempts to imitate him were feeble in the extreme. At last, after
seven or eight dances, I was obliged to sit down. We stayed till nine,
and I was so dead beat with the heat that I could hardly crawl about the
house, and in an agony with the cramp, it is so long since I have
danced."


A MARRIAGE.

"The wedding of the farmer's daughter has taken place. We had hoped it
would have been in the little chapel of our house; but it seems some
special permission was necessary, and they applied for it too late.
They all said, 'This is the Constitution. There would have been no
difficulty before!'--the lower classes making the poor Constitution the
scapegoat for everything they don't like. So, as it was impossible for
us to climb up to the church where the wedding was to be, we contented
ourselves with seeing the procession pass. It was not a very large one;
for, it requiring some activity to go up, all the old people remained at
home. It is not the etiquette for the bride's mother to go, and no
unmarried woman can go to a wedding,--I suppose for fear of its making
her discontented with her own position. The procession stopped at our
door, for the bride to receive our congratulations. She was dressed in a
shot silk, with a yellow handkerchief, and rows of a large gold chain.
In the afternoon they sent to request us to go there. On our arrival, we
found them dancing out-of-doors, and a most melancholy affair it was.
All the bride's sisters were not to be recognized, they had cried so.
The mother sat in the house, and could not appear; and the bride was
sobbing so, she could hardly stand. The most melancholy spectacle of
all, to my mind, was, that the bridegroom was decidedly tipsy. He seemed
rather affronted at all the distress. We danced a Monferrino,--I with
the bridegroom, and the bride crying the whole time. The company did
their utmost to enliven her, by firing pistols, but without success; and
at last they began a series of yells, which reminded me of a set of
savages. But even this delicate method of consolation failed, and the
wishing good-bye began. It was altogether so melancholy an affair, that
Madame B. dropped a few tears, and I was very near it,--particularly
when the poor mother came out to see the last of her daughter, who was
finally dragged off between her brother and uncle, with the last
explosion of pistols. As she lives quite near, makes an excellent match,
and is one of nine children, it really was a most desirable marriage, in
spite of all the show of distress. Albert was so discomfited by it that
he forgot to kiss the bride, as he had intended to, and therefore went
to call upon her yesterday, and found her very smiling in her new house,
and supplied the omission. The cook came home from the wedding declaring
she was cured of any wish to marry; but I would not recommend any man to
act upon that threat, and make her an offer. In a couple of days we had
some rolls of the bride's first baking, which they call Madonna's. The
musicians, it seems, were in the same state as the bridegroom; for, in
escorting her home, they all fell down in the mud. My wrath against the
bridegroom is somewhat calmed by finding that it is considered bad luck,
if he does not get tipsy at his wedding."

       *       *       *       *       *

Those readers of Miss Procter's poems who should suppose from their tone
that her mind was of a gloomy or despondent cast would be curiously
mistaken. She was exceedingly humorous, and had a great delight in
humor. Cheerfulness was habitual with her; she was very ready at a sally
or a reply; and in her laugh (as I remember well) there was an unusual
vivacity, enjoyment, and sense of drollery. She was perfectly
unconstrained and unaffected; as modestly silent about her productions
as she was generous with their pecuniary results. She was a friend who
inspired the strongest attachments; she was a finely sympathetic woman,
with a great accordant heart and a sterling noble nature. No claim can
be set up for her, thank God, to the possession of any of the
conventional poetical qualities. She never, by any means, held the
opinion that she was among the greatest of human beings; she never
suspected the existence of a conspiracy on the part of mankind against
her; she never recognized in her best friends her worst enemies; she
never cultivated the luxury of being misunderstood and unappreciated;
she would far rather have died without seeing a line of her composition
in print than that I should have maundered about her here as "the Poet"
or "the Poetess."

With the recollection of Miss Procter, as a mere child and as a woman,
fresh upon me, it is natural that I should linger on my way to the close
of this brief record, avoiding its end. But even as the close came upon
her, so must it come here, and cannot be staved off.

Always impelled by an intense conviction that her life must not be
dreamed away, and that her indulgence in her favorite pursuits must be
balanced by action in the real world around her, she was indefatigable
in her endeavors to do some good. Naturally enthusiastic, and
conscientiously impressed with a deep sense of her Christian duty to her
neighbor, she devoted herself to a variety of benevolent objects. Now it
was the visitation of the sick that had possession of her; now it was
the sheltering of the houseless; now it was the elementary teaching of
the densely ignorant; now it was the raising up of those who had
wandered and got trodden under foot; now it was the wider employment of
her own sex in the general business of life; now it was all these things
at once. Perfectly unselfish, swift to sympathize, and eager to relieve,
she wrought at such designs with a flushed earnestness that disregarded
season, weather, time of day or night, food, rest. Under such a hurry of
the spirits, and such incessant occupation, the strongest constitution
will commonly go down; hers, neither of the strongest nor the weakest,
yielded to the burden, and began to sink.

To have saved her life then, by taking action on the warning that shone
in her eyes and sounded in her voice, would have been impossible,
without changing her nature. As long as the power of moving about in the
old way was left to her, she must exercise it, or be killed by the
restraint. And so the time came when she could move about no longer, and
took to her bed.

All the restlessness gone then, and all the sweet patience of her
natural disposition purified by the resignation of her soul, she lay
upon her bed through the whole round of changes of the seasons. She lay
upon her bed through fifteen months. In all that time her old
cheerfulness never quitted her. In all that time not an impatient or a
querulous minute can be remembered.

At length, at midnight on the 2d of February, 1864, she turned down a
leaf of a little book she was reading, and shut it up.

The ministering hand that had copied the verses into the tiny album was
soon around her neck; and she quietly asked, as the clock was on the
stroke of one,--

"Do you think I am dying, mama?"

"I think you are very, very ill to-night, my dear."

"Send for my sister. My feet are so cold! Lift me up."

Her sister entering as they raised her, she said, "It has come at last!"
and, with a bright and happy smile, looked upward, and departed.

Well had she written,--

    "Why shouldst thou fear the beautiful angel, Death,
      Who waits thee at the portals of the skies,
    Ready to kiss away thy struggling breath,
      Ready with gentle hand to close thine eyes?

    Oh, what were life, if life were all? Thine eyes
      Are blinded by their tears, or thou wouldst see
    Thy treasures wait thee in the far-off skies,
      And Death, thy friend, will give them all to thee."



BEYOND.


        From her own fair dominions,
        Long since, with shorn pinions,
            My spirit was banished:
    But above her still hover, in vigils and dreams,
    Ethereal visitants, voices, and gleams,
        That forever remind her
        Of something behind her
              Long vanished.

        Through the listening night,
        With mysterious flight,
            Pass those winged intimations:
    Like stars shot from heaven, their still voices fall to me;
    Far and departing, they signal and call to me,
        Strangely beseeching me,
        Chiding, yet teaching me
              Patience.

        Then at times, oh! at times,
        To their luminous climes
            I pursue as a swallow!
    To the river of Peace, and its solacing shades,
    To the haunts of my lost ones, in heavenly glades,
        With strong aspirations
        Their pinions' vibrations
              I follow.

        O heart, be thou patient!
        Though here I am stationed
           A season in durance,
    The chain of the world I will cheerfully wear;
    For, spanning my soul like a rainbow, I bear,
        With the yoke of my lowly
        Condition, a holy
            Assurance,--

        That never in vain
        Does the spirit maintain
            Her eternal allegiance:
    Through suffering and yearning, like Infancy learning
    Its lesson, we linger; then skyward returning,
        On plumes fully grown
        We depart to our own
            Native regions!



CLEMENCY AND COMMON SENSE.

A CURIOSITY OF LITERATURE; WITH A MORAL.


    _Instabile est regnum quod non elementia firmat.
    Incidis in Scyllam, cupiens vitare Charybdim._

Here are two famous verses, both often quoted, and one a commonplace of
literature. That they have passed into proverbs attests their merit both
in substance and in form. Something more than truth is needed for a
proverb. And so also something more than form is needed. Both must
concur. The truth must be expressed in such a form as to satisfy the
requirements of art.

Most persons whose attention has not been turned especially to such
things, if asked where these verses are to be found, would say at once
that it was in one of the familiar poets of school-boy days. Both have a
sound as of something that has been heard in childhood. The latter is
very Virgilian in its tone and movement. More than once I have heard it
insisted that it was by Virgil. But nobody has been able to find it
there, although the opposite dangers are well represented in the voyage
of Æneas:[3]--

    "Dextrum Scylla latus, lævum implacata Charybdis Obsidet."

Thinking of the historical proverb, I am reminded of the eminent
character who first showed it to me in the heroic poem where it appears.
I refer to the late Dr. Maltby, Bishop of Durham, who had been a
favorite pupil of Dr. Parr, and was unquestionably one of the best
scholars in England. His amenity was equal to his scholarship. I was his
guest at Auckland Castle early in the autumn of 1838. Conversation
turned much upon books and the curiosities of study. One morning after
breakfast the learned Bishop came to me with a small volume in his hand,
printed in the Italian character, and remarking, "You seem to be
interested in such things," he pointed to this much-quoted verse. It was
in a Latin poem called "Alexandreïs, sive Gesta Alexandri Magni," by
Philippus Gualterus, a mediæval poet of France.

Of course the fable of Scylla and Charybdis is ancient; but this verse
cannot be traced to antiquity. For the fable Homer is our highest
authority, and he represents the Sirens as playing their part to tempt
the victim.

These opposite terrors belong to mythology and to geography.
Mythologically, they were two voracious monsters, dwelling opposite to
each other,--Charybdis on the coast of Sicily, and Scylla on the coast
of Italy. Geographically, they were dangers to the navigator in the
narrow strait between Sicily and Italy. Charybdis was a whirlpool, in
which ships were often sucked to destruction; Scylla was a rock, on
which ships were often dashed to pieces.

Ulysses in his wanderings encountered these terrors, but by prudence and
the counsels of Circe he was enabled to steer clear between them,
although the Sirens strove to lure him on to the rock. The story is too
long; but there are passages which are like pictures, and they have been
illustrated by the genius of Flaxman. The first danger on the Sicilian
side is thus described in the Odyssey:[4]--

    "Beneath, Charybdis holds her boisterous reign
    Midst roaring whirlpools, and absorbs the main;
    Thrice in her gulfs the boiling seas subside,
    Thrice in dire thunders she refunds the tide.
    Ah, shun the horrid gulf! by Scylla fly!
    'T is better six to lose than all to die."

But endeavoring to shun this peril, the navigator encounters the
other:--

    "Here Scylla bellows from her dire abodes,
    Tremendous pest, abhorred by men and gods!
    Six horrid necks she rears, and six terrific heads;
    Her jaws grin dreadful with three rows of teeth;
    Jaggy they stand, the gaping den of death;
    Her parts obscene the raging billows hide;
    Her bosom terribly o'erlooks the tide."


Near by were the Sirens, who strove by their music to draw the navigator
to certain doom:--

    "Their song is death, and makes destruction please.
    Unblest the man whom music wins to stay
    Nigh the cursed shore and listen to the lay:
    No more the wretch shall view the joys of life,
    His blooming offspring, or his beauteous wife!"

Forewarned is forearmed. Ulysses took all precautions against the
opposite perils. Avoiding the Sicilian whirlpool, he did not run upon
the Italian rock or yield to the voice of the charmer. And yet he could
not renounce the opportunity of hearing the melody. Stuffing the ears of
his companions with wax, so that they could not be entranced by the
Sirens, or comprehend any countermanding order which his weakness might
induce him to utter, he caused himself to be tied to the mast,--like
another Farragut,--and directed that the ship should be steered straight
on. It was steered straight on, although he cried out to stop. His
deafened companions heard nothing of the song or the countermand,--

    "Till, dying off, the distant sounds decay."

The dangers of both coasts were at length passed, not without the loss
of six men, "chiefs of renown," who became the prey of Scylla. But the
Sirens, humbled by defeat, dashed themselves upon the rocks and
disappeared forever.

There are few stories which have been more popular. It was natural that
it should enter into poetry and become a proverb. Milton more than once
alludes to it. Thus, in the exquisite "Comus," He shows these opposite
terrors subdued by another power:--

                           "Scylla wept
    And chid her barking waves into attention
    And fell Charybdis murmured soft applause."

In the "Paradise Lost," while portraying Sin, the terrible portress at
the gates of Hell, the poet repairs to this story for illustration:[5]--

             "Far less abhorred than these,
    Vexed Scylla, bathing in the sea that parts
    Calabria from the hoarse Trinacrian shore."

And then again, when picturing Satan escaping from pursuit, he shows
him[6]

                       "harder beset
    And more endangered than when Argo passed
    Through Bosphorus betwixt the justling rocks,
    Or when Ulysses on the larboard shunned
    Charybdis and by the other whirlpool steered."

Though thus frequently employing the story, Milton did not use the
proverb.

Not only the story but the proverb, was known to Shakspeare, who makes
Launcelot use it in his plain talk with Jessica:[7]--"Truly, then, I
fear you are damned both by father and mother; thus, when I shun Scylla,
your father, I fall into Charybdis, your mother: well, you are gone both
ways." Malone, in his note to this passage, written in the last century,
says,--"Alluding to the well-known line of modern Latin poet, Philippe
Gaultier, in his poem entitled 'Alexandreïs.'" To this note of Malone's,
another editor, George Steevens, whose early bibliographical tastes
inspired the praise of Dibdin, adds as follows:--"Shakspeare might have
met with a translation of this line in many places; among others in the
Dialogue between _Custom and Veretie_, concerning the use and abuse of
Dancing and Minstrelsie:--

    "'While Silla they do seem to shun,
        In Charibd they do fall.'"

But this proverb had already passed into tradition and speech. That
Shakspeare should absorb and use it was natural. He was the universal
absorbent.

The history of this verse seemed for a while forgotten. Like the
Wandering Jew, it was a vagrant, unknown in origin, but having perpetual
life. Erasmus, whose learning was so vast, quotes the verse in his great
work on Proverbs, and owns that he does not know the author of it. Here
is this confession:--"_Celebratur apud Latinos_ hic versiculus,
quocunque natus auctore, _nam in presentia non occurrit_."[8] It seems
from these words that this profound scholar regarded the verse as
belonging to antiquity: at least I so interpret the remark, that it was
"celebrated among the Latins." But though ignorant of its origin, it is
clear that the idea which it embodies found much favor with this
representative of moderation. He dwells on it with particular sympathy,
and reproduces it in various forms. Here is the equivalent on which he
hangs his commentary: _Evitata Charybdi, in Scyllam incidi_. It is easy
to see how inferior in form this is to the much-quoted verse. It seems
to be a literal translation of some Greek iambics, also of uncertain
origin, although attributed to Apostolius, one of the learned Greeks
scattered over Europe by the fall of Constantinople. There is also
something like it in the Greek of Lucian.[9] Erasmus quotes words of
kindred sentiment from the "Phormio" of Terence: _Ita fugias ne præter
casam_, which he tells us means that we should not so fly from any vice
as to be carried into a greater.[10] He quotes also another proverb with
the same signification: _Fumum fugiens, in ignem incidi_, which warns
against running into the fire to avoid the smoke. In his letters the
ancient fable recurs more than once. On one occasion he warns against
the dangers of youth, and says that the ears must be stopped, not, as in
the Homeric story, by wax, but "by the precepts of philosophy."[11] In
another letter he avows a fear lest in shunning Scylla he may fall on
Charybdis:--"_Nunc vereor ne sic vitemus hanc Scyllam, ut incidamus in
Charybdim multo perniciosiorem_."[12] Thus did his instinctive prudence
find expression in this familiar illustration.

If Erasmus had been less illustrious for learning,--perhaps if his
countenance were less interesting, as we now look upon it in the
immortal portraits by two great artists, Hans Holbein and Albert
Dürer,--I should not be tempted to dwell on this confession of
ignorance. And yet it belongs to the history of this verse, which has
had strange ups and downs in the world. The poem from which it is taken,
after enjoying an early renown, was forgotten,--and then again, after a
revival, was forgotten, again to enjoy another revival. The last time it
was revived through this solitary verse, without which, I cannot doubt,
it would have been extinguished in night.

    "How far that little candle throws his beams!"

Even before the days of Erasmus, who died in 1536, this verse had been
lost and found. It was circulated as a proverb of unknown origin, when
Galeotto Marzio, an Italian, of infinite wit and learning[13] who
flourished in the latter half of the fifteenth century, and was for some
time the instructor of the children of Matthias Corvinus, King of
Hungary, pointed out its author. In a work of _Ana_, amusing and
instructive, entitled "De Doctrina Promiscua," which first saw the light
in Latin, and was afterwards translated into Italian, the learned author
says,--"Hoc carmen est Gualteri Galli de Gestis Alexandri, et non vagum
proverbium, ut quidam non omnino indocti meminerint." It was not a vague
proverb, as some persons not entirely unlearned have supposed, but a
verse of the "Alexandreïs." And yet shortly afterwards the great master
of proverbs, whose learning seemed to know no bounds, could not fix its
origin. At a later day, Pasquier, in his "Recherches de la France,"[14]
I made substantially the same remark as Marzio. After alluding to the
early fame of its author, he says,--"C'est lui dans les oeuvres duquel
nous trouvons un vers, souvent par nous allegué sans que plusieurs
sachent qui en fut l'auteur." In quoting this verse the French author
uses _Decidis_ instead of _Incidis_. The discovery by Marzio, and the
repetition of this discovery by Pasquier, are chronicled at a later day
in the Conversations of Ménage, who found a French Boswell before the
Bosweil of Dr. Johnson was born.[15] Jortin, in the elaborate notes to
his Life of Erasmus, borrows from Ménage, and gives the same
history.[16]

When Galeotto Marzio made his discovery, this poem was still in
manuscript; but there were several editions before the "Adagia" of
Erasmus. An eminent authority--the "Histoire Littéraire de la
France,"[17] that great work commenced by the Benedictines, and
continued by the French Academy--says that it was printed for the first
time at Strasburg, in 1513. This is a mistake, which has been repeated
by Warton.[18] Brunet, in his "Manuel de Libraire," mentions an edition,
without place or date, with the cipher of Guillaume Le Talleur, who was
a printer at Rouen, in 1487. Panzer, in his "Annales Typographici,"[19]
describes another edition, with the monogram of Richard Pynson, the
London printer, at the close of the fifteenth century. Beloe, in his
"Anecdotes of Literature,"[20] also speaks of an edition with the
imprint of R. Pynson. There appears to have been also an edition under
date of 1496. Then came the Strasburg edition of 1513, by J. Adelphus.
All these are in black letter. Then came the Ingolstadt edition, in
1541, in Italic, or, as it is called by the French, "cursive
characters," with a brief life of the poet, by Sebastian Link. This was
followed, in 1558, by an edition at Lyons, also in Italic, announced as
now for the first time appearing in France, _nunc primum in Gallia_, was
a mistake. This edition seems to have enjoyed peculiar favor. It has
been strangely confounded with imaginary editions which have never
existed; thus, the Italian Quadrio assures us that the best was at
London, in 1558;[21] and the French Millin assures us that the best was
at Leyden, in 1558.[22] No such editions appeared; and the only edition
of that year was at Lyons. After a lapse of a century, in 1659, there
was another edition, by Athanasius Gugger, a monk of the Monastery of
St. Gall, in France, published at the Monastery itself, according to
manuscripts there, and from its own types, _formis ejusdem_. The editor
was ignorant of the previous editions, and in his preface announces the
poem as _a new work_, although ancient; according to his knowledge,
never before printed; impatiently regarded and desired by many; and not
less venerable for antiquity than for erudition:--"En tibi, candide
lector, opus novum, ut sic antiquum, nusquam quod sciam editum, a multis
cupide inspectum et desideratum, non minus antiquitate quam eruditione
venerabile."

This edition seems to have been repeated at St. Gall in 1693; and these
two, which were the last, appear to have been the best. From that time
this poem rested undisturbed until our own day, when an edition was
published at Hanover, in Germany, by W. Müldener, after the Paris
manuscripts, with the following title:--"Die zehn Gedichte des Walther
von Lille, genannt von Châtillon. Nach der pariser Handschrift
berichtigt, und zum ersten Male vollständig herausgegeben von W.
Müldener." Hanover, 1859, 8vo. Such an edition ought to be useful in
determining the text, for there must be numerous manuscripts in the
Paris libraries. As long ago as 1795 there were no less than nineteen in
the National Library, and also a manuscript at Tours, which had drawn
forth a curious commentary by M. de Forcemagne.[23]

I ought not to forget here that in 1537 a passage from this poem was
rendered into English blank verse, and is an early monument of our
language. This was by Grimoald Nicholas, a native of Huntingdonshire,
whose translation is entitled "The Death of Zoroas, an Egyptian
Astronomer, in the First Fight that Alexander had with Persians."[24]
This is not the only token of the attention it had awakened in England.
Alexander Ross, the Scotch divine and author, made preparations for an
edition. His dedicatory letter was written, bearing date 1644; also two
different sets of dedicatory verses, and verses from his friend David
Eclin, the scholarly physician to the king,[25] who had given him this
"great treasure." But the work failed to appear. The identical copy
presented by Eclin, with many marginal notes from Quintus Curtius and
others, is mentioned as belonging to the Bishop of Ely at the beginning
of the present century.[26] But the homage of the Scotchman still exists
in his dedicatory letter:--"Si materiam consideres, elegantissimam
utilissimamque historiam gestorum Alexandri magni continet; certe sive
stylum, sive subjectum inspicias, dignam invenies quæ omnium teratur
manibus, quamque adolescentes nocturna versentque manu, versentque
diurna."[27] It will be observed that he does not hesitate to dwell on
this poem as "most elegant and most useful," and by its style and
subject worthy of the daily and nightly study of youth. In his verses
Ross announces that Alexander was not less fortunate in his poet than
the Greek chieftain in Homer:--

    "Si felix præcone fuit dux Græcus Homero,
    Felix nonne tuo est carmine dux Macedo?"

There was also another edition planned in France, during the latter part
of the last century, by M. Daire, the librarian of the Celestines in
Paris, founded on the Latin text, according to the various manuscripts,
with a French translation; but this never appeared.[28]

Until the late appearance of an edition in Germany, it was only in
editions shortly after the invention of printing that this poem could be
found. Of course these are rare. The British Museum, in its immense
treasure-house, has the most important, one of which belonged to the
invaluable legacy of the late Mr. Grenville. The copy in the library of
Lord Spencer is the Lyons edition of 1558. By a singular fortune, this
volume was missing some time ago from its place on the shelves; but it
has since been found; and I have now before me a tracing from its
title-page. My own copy--and perhaps the only one this side of the
Atlantic--is the Ingolstadt edition. It once belonged to John Mitford,
and has on the fly-leaves some notes in the autograph of this honored
lover of books.

Bibliography dwells with delight upon this poem, although latterly the
interest centres in a single line. Brunet does full justice to it. So
does his jealous rival, Graesse, except where he blunders. Watt, in his
"Bibliotheca Britannica," mentions only the Lyons edition of 1558, on
which he remarks, that "the typography is very singular." Clarke, in his
"Repertorium Bibliographicum," bearing date 1819, where he gives an
account of the most celebrated British libraries, mentions a copy of the
first edition in the library of Mr. Steevens, who showed his knowledge
of the poem in his notes to Shakspeare;[29] also a copy of the Lyons
edition of 1558 in the library of the Marquis of Blandford, afterwards
Duke of Marlborough. This learned bibliographer has a note calling
attention to the fact that "there are variations in the famous disputed
line in different editions of this poem": that in the first edition the
line begins _Corruis in Scyllam_, but in the Lyons edition, _Incidis in
Scyllam_; while, as we have already seen, Pasquier says, _Decidis in
Scyllam_. Bohn, in his "Bibliographer's Manual," after referring in
general terms to the editions, says of the poem, "In it will be found
that trite verse so often repeated, _Incidis_, &c.,"--words which he
seems to have borrowed from Beloe.[30] "Trite" seems to be hardly
respectful.[31]

Very little is known of the author. He is called in Latin Philippus
Gualterus or Galterus; in French it is sometimes Gaultier and sometimes
Gautier. The French biographical dictionaries, whether of Michaud or of
Didot, attest the number of persons who bore this name, of all degrees
and professions. There was the Norman knight _sans Avoir_, who was one
of the chiefs of the first Crusade. There also was another Gautier,
known as the Sire d'Yvetot, stabbed to death by his sovereign, Clotaire,
who afterwards in penitence erected the lordship of Yvetot into that
kingdom which Béranger has immortalized. And there have been others of
this name in every walk of life. Fabricius, in his "Bibliotheca Latina
Mediæ et Infimæ Ætatis,"[32] mentions no less than seventy-six Latin
authors of this name. A single verse has saved one of these from the
oblivion which has overtaken the multitude.

He was born at Lille, but at what precise date is uncertain. Speaking
generally, it may be said that he lived and wrote during the last half
of the twelfth century, while Philip Augustus was King of France, and
Henry II. and Richard Coeur-de-Lion ruled England, one century after
Abélard, and one century before Dante. After studying at Paris, he went
to establish himself at Châtillon; but it is not known at which of the
three or four towns of this name in France. Here he was charged with the
direction of schools, and became known by the name of this town, as
appears in the epitaph, somewhat ambitiously Virgilian, which he wrote
for himself:--

    "Insula me genuit, rapuit Castellio nomen;
       Perstrepuit modulis Gallia tota meis."

But he is known sometimes by his birthplace, and sometimes by his early
residence. The highest French authority calls him Gaultier of Lille or
of Châtillon.[33] He has been sometimes confounded with Gaultier of
Coutances, Archbishop of Rouen, who was born in the island of
Jersey;[34] and sometimes with the Bishop of Maguelonne of the same
name, who was the author of an Exposition of the Psalter, and whose see
was on an island in the Mediterranean, opposite the coast of France.[35]

Not content with his residence at Châtillon, he repaired to Bologna in
Italy, where he studied the civil and canon law. On his return to France
he became the secretary of two successive Archbishops of Rheims, the
latter of whom, by the name of William,--a descendant by his grandmother
from William the Conqueror,--occupied this place of power from 1176 to
1201. The secretary enjoyed the favor of the Archbishop, who seems to
have been fond of letters. It was during this period that he composed,
or at least finished, his poem. Its date is sometimes placed at 1180;
and there is an allusion in its text which makes it near this time.
Thomas à Becket was assassinated before the altar of Canterbury in 1170;
and this event, so important in the history of the age, is mentioned as
recent: "_Nuper--cæsum dolet Anglia Thomam_." The poem was dedicated to
the Archbishop, who was to live immortal in companionship with his
secretary:[36]--

    "Vivemus pariter, vivet cum vate superstes
    Gloria Guillermi nullum moriture per ævum."

The Archbishop was not ungrateful, and he bestowed upon the poet a stall
in the cathedral of Amiens, where he died of the plague at the
commencement of the thirteenth century.[37]

This does not appear to have been his only work. Others are attributed
to him. There are dialogues _adversus Judæos_, which Oudin publishes in
his collection entitled "Veterum aliquot Galliæ et Belgii Scriptorum
Opuscula Sacra nunquam edita." This same Oudin, in another publication,
speaks of a collection, entitled "Opuscula Varia," preserved among the
manuscripts in the Imperial Library of France, as by Gaultier, although
the larger part of these Opuscula have been attributed to a very
different person, Gaultier Mapes, chaplain to Henry II., King of
England, and Archdeacon of Oxford.[38] But more recent researches seem
to restore them to Philip Gaultier. Among these are satirical songs in
Latin on the world, and also on prelates, which, it is said, were sung
in England as well as throughout France. Indeed, the second verse of the
epitaph already quoted seems to point to these satires:--

    "Perstrepuit _modulis_ Gallia tota _meis_."

In these pieces, as in the "Alexandreïs," we encounter the indignant
sentiments inspired by the assassination of Becket. The victim is called
"the flower of priests," and the king, _Neronior est ipso Nerone_.[39]
But these poems, whether by Walter Mapes or by Philip Gaultier, are now
forgotten. The "Alexandreïs" has had a different fortune.

The poem became at once famous. It had the success of Victor Hugo or
Byron. Its author took rank, not only at the head of his contemporaries,
but even among the classics of antiquity, Leyser chronicles no less than
one hundred Latin poets in the twelfth century,[40] but we are assured
that not one of them is comparable to Gaultier.[41] M. Édélestand du
Méril, who has given especial attention to this period, speaks of the
"Alexandreïs" as "a great poem," and remarks that its "Latinity is very
elegant for the time."[42] Another authority calls him "the first of the
modern Latin poets who appears to have had a spark of true poetic
genius."[43] And still another says, that, "notwithstanding all its
defects, we must regard this poem, and the 'Philippis' of William of
Brittany, which appeared about sixty years later, as two brilliant
phenomena in the midst of the thick darkness which covered Europe from
the decline of the Roman Empire to the revival of letters in Italy."[44]
Pasquier, to whom I have already referred, goes so far, in his chapter
on the University of Paris, as to illustrate its founder, Peter Lombard,
by saying that he had for a contemporary "one Galterus, an eminent poet,
who wrote in Latin verses, under the title of the 'Alexandreïs,' a great
imitator of Lucan"; and the learned writer then adds, that it is in his
work that we find a verse often quoted without knowing the author,[45]
These testimonies show his position among his contemporaries; but there
is something more.

An anonymous Latin poet of the next century, who has left a poem on the
life and miracles of Saint Oswald, calls Homer, Gaultier, and Lucan the
three capital heroic poets. Homer, he says, has celebrated Hercules,
Gaultier the son of Philip, and Lucan has sung the praises of Cæsar; but
these heroes deserve to be immortalized in verse much less than the holy
confessor Oswald.[46] In England, the Abbot of Peterborough transcribed
Seneca, Terence, Martial, Claudian, and the "Gesta Alexandri."[47] In
Denmark, Arnas Magnseus made a version in Icelandic of the "Alexandreïs
Gualteriana," which has been called "_Incomparabile antiguitatis
septentrionalis monumentum_."[48] It appears that the new poem was
studied, even to the exclusion of ancient masters and of Virgil himself.
Henry of Ghent, who wrote about 1280, says that it "was of such dignity
in the schools, that for it the reading of the ancient poets was
neglected."[49] This testimony is curiously confirmed by the condition
of the manuscripts which have come down to us, most of which are loaded
with glosses and interlinear explanations, doubtless for public use in
the schools.[50] It is sometimes supposed that Dante repaired to Paris.
It is certain that his excellent master, Brunette Latini, passed much
time there. This must have been at the very period when the new poem was
taught in the schools. Perhaps it may be traced in the "Divina
Commedia."

Next after the tale of Troy, the career of Alexander was at this period
the most popular subject for poetry, romance, or chronicle. The Grecian
conqueror filled a vast space in the imagination. He was the centre of
marvel and of history. Every modern literature, according to its
development, testifies to this predominance. Even dialects testify. In
France, the professors of grammar at Toulouse were directed by statutes
of the University, dated 1328, to read to their pupils "De Historiis
Alexandri."[51] In England, during the reign of Henry I., the sheriff
was ordered to procure the Queen's chamber at Nottingham to be painted
with the History of Alexander,--"_Depingi facias Historiam Alexandri
undiquaque_."[52] Chaucer, in his "House of Fame," places Alexander with
Hercules, and then again shows the universality of his renown:--

    "Alisaundres storie is so commune,
    That everie wight that hath discrecioune
    Hath herde somewhat or al of his fortune."

We have the excellent authority of the poet Gray for saying that the
Alexandrine verse, which "like a wounded snake drags its slow length
along," took its name from an early poem in this measure, called "La
View d'Alexandre." There was also the "Roman d'Alexandre," contemporary
with the "Alexandreïs," which Gray thinks was borrowed from the latter
poem, apparently because the authors say that they took it from the
Latin.[53] There was also "The Life and Actions of Alexander the
Macedonian," originally written in Greek, by Simeon Seth, magister and
protovestiary or wardrobe-keeper of the palace at Constantinople in
1070, and translated from Greek into Latin, and then into French,
Italian, and German.[54] Arabia also contributed her stories, and the
Grecian conqueror became a hero of romance. Like Charlemagne, he had his
twelve peers; and he also had a horn, through which he gave the word of
command, which took sixty men to blow it, and was heard sixty
miles,--being the same horn which afterwards Orlando sounded at
Roncesvalles. That great career which was one of the epochs of
mankind,--which carried in its victorious march the Greek language and
Greek civilization,--which at the time enlarged the geography of the
world, and opened the way to India,--was overlaid by an incongruous mass
of fable and anachronism, so that the real story was lost. Times,
titles, and places were confounded. Monks and convents, churches and
confessors, were mixed with the achievements of the hero; and in an
early Spanish History of Alexander, by John Lorenzo, we meet such
characters as Don Phoebus, the Emperor Jupiter, and the Count Don
Demosthenes; and we are assured that the mother of Alexander fled to a
convent of Benedictine nuns.

Philip Gaultier, With all his genius, has his incongruities and
anachronisms; but his poem is founded substantially upon the History of
Quintus Curtius, which he has done into Latin hexameters, with the
addition of long speeches and some few inventions. Aristotle is
represented with a hideous exterior, face and body lean, hair neglected,
and the air of a pedant exhausted by study. The soldiers of Alexander
are called _Quirites_, as if they were Romans. The month of June in
Greece is described as if it were in Rome:--

    "Mensis erat, cujus juvenum de nimine nomen."

Events connected with the passion of Jesus Christ are treated as having
already passed in the time of Alexander.

The poem is divided into ten books,[55] and the ten initial letters of
these books, when put together like an acrostic, spell the name of the
Archbishop, _Guillermus_, the equivalent for William at that time, who
was the patron of the poet. Besides this conceit, there is a dedication
both at the beginning and at the end. Quantity, especially in Greek or
Asiatic words, is disregarded; and there are affectations in style, of
which the very beginning is an instance:--

    "_Gesta_ ducis Macedûm totum _digesta_ per orbem
    Musa, refer."

In the same vein is the verse,--

    "Inclitus ille Clitus," etc.;

and another verse, describing the violence of the soldiers after
victory:--

    "Extorquent torques, et inaures perdidit auris."

A rapid analysis of the poem will at least exhibit the order of the
events it narrates, and its topics, with something of its character.

Alexander appears, in the first book, a youth panting for combat with
the Persians, enemies of his country and of his father. There also is
his teacher, Aristotle. Philip dies, and the son repairs to Corinth to
be crowned. Under the counsels of Demosthenes, the Athenians declare
against him. The young King arrives under the walls of Athens.
Demosthenes speaks for war; Æschines for peace. The party of peace
prevails; and the Macedonian turns to Thebes, which he besieges and
captures by assault. The poet Cloades, approaching the conqueror, chants
in lyric verses an appeal for pardon, and reminds him that without
clemency a kingdom is unstable:--

    "_Instabile est regnum quod non clementia firmat._"

And the words of this chant are still resounding. But Alexander, angry
and inexorable, refuses to relent. He levels the towers which had first
risen to the music of Amphion, and delivers the city to the flames: thus
adding a new act to that tragic history which made Dante select Thebes
as the synonyme of misfortune.[56] Turning from these smoking ruins, he
gathers men and ships for his expedition against Persia. Traversing the
sea, he lands in Asia; and here the poet describes geographically the
different states of this continent,--Assyria, Media, Persia, Arabia,
with its Sabæan frankincense and its single Phoenix, ending with
Palestine and Jerusalem, where a God was born of a Virgin, at whose
death the world shook with fear. Commencing his march through Cilicia
and Phrygia, the ambitious youth stops at Troy, and visits the tomb of
Achilles, where he makes a long speech.

The second book opens with the impression produced on the mind of
Darius, menaced by his Macedonian enemy. He writes an insolent letter,
which Alexander answers simply by advancing. At Sardes he cuts the
Gordian knot, and then advances rapidly. Darius quits the Euphrates with
his vast army, which is described. Alexander bathes in the cold waters
of the Cydnus, is seized with illness, and shows his generous trust in
the physician that attended him,--drinking the cup handed him, although
it was said to be poisoned. Restored to health, he shows himself to his
troops, who are transported with joy. Meanwhile the Persians advance.
Darius harangues his soldiers. Alexander harangues his. The two armies
prepare for battle.

The third book is of battle and victory at Issus, described with
minuteness and warmth. Here is the death of Zoroas, the Egyptian
astronomer, than whom nobody was more skilled in the stars, the origin
of winter's cold or summer's heat, or in the mystery of squaring the
circle,--_circulus an possit quadrari_.[57] The Persians are overcome.
Darius seeks shelter in Babylon. His treasures are the prey of the
conqueror. Horses are laden with spoils, and the sacks are so full that
they cannot be tied. Rich ornaments are torn from the women, who are
surrendered to the brutality of the soldiers. The royal family alone is
spared. Conducted to the presence of Alexander, they are received with
the regard due to their sex and misfortune. The siege and destruction of
Tyre follow; then the expedition to Egypt and the temple of Jupiter
Ammon. Here is a description of the desert, which is said, like the sea,
to have its perils, with its Scylla and its Charybdis of sand:--

                             "Hic altera sicco
    Scylla mari latrat; hic pulverulenta Charybdis."[58]

Meanwhile Darius assembles new forces. Alexander leaves Egypt and rushes
to meet him. There is an eclipse of the moon, which causes a sedition
among his soldiers, who dare to accuse their king. The phenomenon is
explained by the soothsayers, and the sedition is appeased.

The fourth book opens with a funeral. It is of the queen of the Persian
monarch. Alexander laments her with tears. Darius learns at the same
time her death and the generosity of his enemy. He addresses prayers to
the gods for the latter, and offers propositions of peace. Alexander
refuses these, and proceeds to render funeral honors to the queen of the
king he was about to meet in battle. Then comes an invention of the
poet, which may have suggested afterwards to Dante that most beautiful
passage of the "Purgatorio," where great scenes are sculptured on the
walls. At the summit of a mountain a tomb is constructed by the skilful
Hebrew Apelles, to receive the remains of the Persian queen; and on this
tomb are carved, not only kings and names of Greek renown, but histories
from the beginning of the world:--

    "Nec solum reges et nomina gentis Achææ,
    Sed generis notat hisorias, ab origine mundi
    Incipiens."

Here in breathing gold is the creation in six days; the fall of man,
seduced by the serpent; Cain a wanderer; the increase of the human race;
vice prevailing over virtue; the deluge; the intoxication of Noah; the
story of Esau, of Jacob, of Joseph; the plagues of Egypt,--

    "Hic dolet Ægyptus denis percussa flagellis";

the flight of the Israelites,--

    "et puro livescit pontus in auro";

the manna in the wilderness; the giving of the law; the gushing of water
from the rock; and then the succession of Hebrew history, stretching
through a hundred verses, to the reign of Esdras,--

    "Totaque picturæ series finitur in Esdra."

After these great obsequies Alexander marches at once against Darius.
And here the poet dwells on the scene presented by the Persian army
watching by its camp-fires. Helmets rival the stars; the firmament is
surprised to see fires like its own reflected from bucklers, and fears
lest the earth be changed into sky and the night become day. Instead of
the sun, there is the helmet of Darius, which shines like Phoebus
himself, and at its top a stone of flame, obscuring the stars and
yielding only to the rays of the sun: for, as much as it yields to the
latter, so much does it prevail over the former. The youthful chieftain,
under the protection of a benignant divinity, passes the night in
profound repose. His army is all marshalled for the day, and he still
sleeps. He is waked, gives the order for battle, and harangues his men.
The victory of Arbela is at hand.

The fifth book is occupied by a description of this battle. Here are
episodes in imitation of the ancients, with repetitions or parodies of
Virgil. The poet apostrophizes the unhappy, defeated Darius, as he is
about to flee, saying,--"Whither do you go, O King, about to perish in
useless flight? You do not know, alas! lost one, you do not know from
whom you flee. While you flee from one enemy, you run upon other
enemies. Desiring to escape Charybdis, you run upon Scylla."

                            "Quo tendis inerti,
    Rex, periture, fuga? Nescis, heu! perdite, nescis
    Quern fugias; hostesque incurris, dum fugis hostem;
    _Incidis in Scyllam, cupiens vitare Charybdim_."[59]

The Persian monarch finds safety at last in Media, and Alexander enters
Babylon in triumph, surpassing all other triumphs, even those of ancient
Rome: and this is merited,--so sings the poet,--for his exploits are
above those of the most celebrated warriors, whether sung by Lucan in
his magnificent style, or by Claudian in his pompous verses. The poet
closes this book by referring to the condition of Christianity in his
own age, and exclaiming, that, if God, touched by the groans and the
longings of his people, would accord to the French such a king, the true
faith would soon shine throughout the universe.

The sixth book exhibits the luxury of Alexander at Babylon, the capture
of Susa, the pillage of Persepolis. Here the poet forgets the recorded
excesses of his hero with Thais by his side, and the final orgy when the
celebrated city was given to the flames at the bidding of a courtesan;
but he dwells on an incident of his own invention, which is calculated
to excite emotions of honor rather than of condemnation. Alexander meets
three thousand Greek prisoners, wretchedly humiliated by the Persians,
and delivers them. He leaves to them the choice of returning to Greece,
or of fixing themselves in the country there on lands which he promises
to distribute. Some propose to return. Others insist, that, in their
hideous condition, they cannot return to the eyes of their families and
friends, when an orator declares that it is always pleasant to see again
one's country, that there is nothing shameful in the condition caused by
a barbarous enemy, and that it is unjust to those who love them to think
that they will not be glad to see them. A few follow the orator; but the
larger part remain behind, and receive from their liberator the land
which he had promised, also money, flocks, and all that was necessary
for a farmer.

The seventh book exhibits the treason of Bessus substantially as in
Quintus Curtius. Darius, with chains of gold on his feet, is carried in
a covered carriage to be delivered up. Alexander, who was still in
pursuit of his enemy, is horror-struck by the crime. He moves with more
rapidity to deliver or to avenge the Persian monarch than he had ever
moved to his defeat. He is aroused against the criminals, like Jupiter
pursuing the giants with his thunder. Darius is found in his carriage
covered with wounds and bathed in his blood. With the little breath that
remains, and while yet struggling on the last confines of life, he makes
a long speech, which the poet follows with bitter ejaculations of his
own against his own age, beginning with venal Simon and his followers,
and ending with the assassins of Thomas à Becket:--

    "Non adeo ambiret cathedraæ venalis honorem
    Jam vetus ille Simon, non incentiva malorum
    Pollueret sacras funesta pecunia sedes."

Thus here again the poet precedes Dante, whose terrible condemnation of
Simon has a kindred bitterness:--

    "O Simon mago, o miseri seguaci,
      Che le cose di Dio, che di bontate
      Denno essere spose, voi rapaci
    Per oro e per argento adulterate."

These ejaculations are closed by an address to the manes of Darius, and
a promise to immortalize him in the verse of the poet. The grief of
Alexander for the Persian queen is now renewed for the sovereign. The
Hebrew Apelles is charged to erect in his honor a lofty pyramid in white
marble, with sculptures in gold. Four columns of silver, with base and
capitals of gold, support with admirable art a concave vault where are
represented the three continents of the terrestrial globe, with their
rivers, forests, mountains, cities, and people. In the characteristic
description of each nation, France has soldiers and Italy wine:--

    "_Francia militibus_, celebri Campania Bacco."

From funeral the poet passes to festival, and portrays the banquets and
indulgence to which Alexander now invites his army. A sedition ensues.
The soldiers ask to return to their country. Alexander makes an
harangue, and awakens in them the love of glory. They swear to affront
all dangers, and to follow him to the end of the world.

The eighth book chronicles the march into Hyrcania; the visit of
Talestris, queen of the Amazons, and her Amazonian life, with one breast
burnt so as to accommodate the bent bow; then the voluntary sacrifice of
all the immense booty of the conqueror, as an example for the troops;
then the conspiracy against Alexander in his own camp; then the
examination and torture of the Son of Parmenio, suspected of complicity;
and then the doom of Bessus, the murderer of Darius, who is delivered by
Alexander to the brother of his victim. Then comes the expedition to
Scythia. The Macedonian, on the banks of the Tanaïs, receives an
embassy. The ambassador fails to delay him: he crosses the river, and
reduces the deserts and the mountains of Scythia to his dominion. And
here the poet likens this people, which, after resisting so many
powerful nations, now falls under the yoke, to a lofty, star-seeking
Alpine fir, _astra petens abies_, which, after resisting for ages all
the winds of the east, of the west, and of the south, falls under the
blows of Boreas. The name of the conqueror becomes a terror, and other
nations in this distant region submit voluntarily, without a blow.

The ninth book commences with a mild allusion to the murder of Clitus,
and other incidents, teaching that the friendships of kings are not
perennial:--

                      "Eternim testatur eorum
    Finis amicitias regum non esse perennes."

Here comes the march upon India. Kings successively submit. Porus alone
dares to resist. With a numerous army he awaits the Macedonian on the
Hydaspes. The two armies stand face to face on opposite banks. Then
occurs the episode of two youthful Greeks, Nicanor and Symmachus, born
the same day, and intimate, like Nisus and Euryalus. Their perilous
expedition fails, under the pressure of numbers, and the two friends,
cut off and wounded, after prodigies of valor, at last embrace, and die
in each other's arms. Then comes the great battle. Porus, vanquished,
wounded, and a prisoner, is brought before Alexander. His noble spirit
touches the generous heart of the conqueror, who returns to him his
dominions, increases them, and places him in the number of friends,--

    "Odium clementia vicit."

The gates of the East are now open. His movement has the terror of
thunder breaking in the middle of the night,--

    "Quean sequitur fragor et fractæ collisio nubis."

A single city arrests the triumphant march. Alexander besieges it, and
himself mounts the first to the assault. His men are driven back. Then
from the top of the ladder, instead of leaping back, he throws himself
into the city, and alone confronts the enemy. Surrounded, belabored,
wounded, he is about to perish, when his men, learning his peril,
redouble their efforts, burst open the gates, inundate the place, and
massacre the inhabitants. After a painful operation, Alexander is
restored to his army and to his great plans of conquest. The joy of the
soldiers, succeeding their sorrow, is likened to that of sailors, who,
after seeing the pilot overboard, and ready to be ingulfed by the raging
floods, as Boreas dances, _Borea bacchante_, at last behold him rescued
from the abyss and again at the helm. But the army is disturbed by the
preparation for distant maritime expeditions. Alexander avows that the
world is too small for him; that, when it is all conquered, he will push
on to subjugate another universe; that he will lead them to the
Antipodes and to another Nature; and that, if they refuse to accompany
him, he will go forth alone and offer himself as chief to other people.
The army is on fire with this answer, and vow again never to abandon
their king.

The tenth book is the last. Nature, indignant that a mortal should
venture to penetrate her hidden places, suspends her unfinished works,
and descends to the world below for succor against the conqueror.
Before the gates of Erebus, under the walls of the Stygian city,--

    "Ante fores Erebi, Stygiæ sub moenibus urbis,"--

are sisters, monsters of the earth, representing every vice,--thirst of
gold, drunkenness, gluttony, treachery, detraction, envy, hypocrisy,
adulation. In a distant recess is a perpetual furnace, where crimes are
punished, but not with equal flames, as some are tormented more lightly
and others more severely. Leviathan was in the midst of his furnace, but
he drops his serpent form and assumes that divine aspect which he had
worn when he wished to share the high Olympus,--

                            "Cum sidere solus
    Clarior intumuit, tantamque superbia mentem
    Extulit, ut summum partiri vellet Olympum."

To him the stranger appeals against the projects of Alexander, which
extend on one side to the unknown sources of the Nile and the Garden of
Paradise, and on the other to the Antipodes and ancient Chaos. The
infernal monarch convenes his assembly. He calls the victims from their
undying torments,--

                        "quibus mors
    Est non posse mori,"--

where ice and snow are punishments, as well as fire. The satraps of Styx
are collected, and the ancient serpent addresses sibilations from his
hoarse throat:--

    "Hie ubi collecti satrapæ Stygis et tenebrarum,
    Consedere duces, et gutture sibila rauco
    Edidit antiquus serpens."

He commands the death of the Macedonian king before his plans can be
executed. Treason rises and proposes poison. All Hell applauds; and
Treason, in disguise, fares forth to instruct the agent. The whole scene
suggests sometimes Dante and sometimes Milton. Each was doubtless
familiar with it. Meanwhile Alexander returns to Babylon. The universe
is in suspense, not knowing to which side he will direct his arms.
Ambassadors from all quarters come to his feet. In the pride of power he
seems to be universal lord. At a feast, surrounded by friends, he drinks
the fatal cup. His end approaches, and he shows to the last his grandeur
and his courage. The poet closes, as he began, with a salutation to his
patron.

       *       *       *       *       *

Such is the sketch of a curiosity of literature. It is interesting to
look upon this little book, which for a time played so considerable a
part; to imagine the youthful students who were once nurtured by it; to
recognize its relations to an age when darkness was slowly yielding to
light; to note its possible suggestions to great poets who followed,
especially to Dante; and to behold it lost to human knowledge, and
absolutely forgotten, until saved by a single verse, which, from its
completeness of form and its proverbial character, must live as long as
the Latin language endures. The verse does not occupy much room; but it
is a sure fee simple for the poet. And are we not told by an ancient,
that it is something, in whatever place or recess you may be, to have
made yourself master of a single lizard?

    "Est aliquid, quocumque loco, quocumque recessu,
    Unius sese dominum fecisse lacertæ."

A poem of ten books shrinks to a very petty space. There is a balm of a
thousand flowers, and here is a single hexameter which is the express
essence of many times a thousand verses. It was the jest of the
grave-digger, in "Hamlet," that the noble Alexander, returning to dust
and loam, had stopped a bung-hole. But the memorable poem celebrating
him is reduced as much, although it may be put to higher uses.


MORAL.

At the conclusion of a fable there is a moral, or, as it is sometimes
called, the application. There is also a moral now, or, if you please,
the application. And, believe me, in these serious days, I should have
little heart for any literary diversion, if I did not hope to make it
contribute to those just principles which are essential to the
well-being, if not the safety of the Republic. To this end I have now
written. This article is only a long whip with a snapper to it.

Two verses saved from the wreck of a once popular poem have become
proverbs, and one of these is very famous. They inculcate clemency, and
that common sense which is found in not running into one danger to avoid
another. Never was their lesson more needed than now, when, in the name
of clemency to belligerent traitors, the National Government is
preparing to abandon the freedmen, to whom it is bound by the most
sacred ties; is preparing to abandon the national creditor also, with
whose security the national welfare is indissolubly associated; and is
even preparing, without any probation or trial, to invest belligerent
traitors, who for four bloody years have murdered our fellow-citizens,
with those Equal Rights in the Republic which are denied to friends and
allies, so that the former shall rule over the latter. Verily, here is a
case for common sense.

The lesson of clemency is of perpetual obligation. Thanks to the
mediæval poet for teaching it. Harshness is bad. Cruelty is detestable.
Even justice may relent at the prompting of mercy. Do not fail, then, to
cultivate the grace of clemency. Perhaps no scene in history is more
charming than that of Cæsar, who, after vows against an enemy, listened
calmly to the appeal for pardon, and, as he listened, let the guilty
papers fall from his hand. Early in life he had pleaded in the Senate
for the lives of conspirators; and afterwards, when supreme ruler of the
Roman world, he practised the clemency he had once defended, unless
where enemies were incorrigible, and then he knew how to be stern and
positive. It is by example that we are instructed; and we may well learn
from the great master of clemency that the general welfare must not be
sacrificed to this indulgence. And we may learn also from the Divine
Teacher, that, even while forgiving enemies, there are Scribes and
Pharisees who must be exposed, and money-changers who must be scourged
from the temple. But with us there are Scribes and Pharisees, and there
are also criminals, worse than any money-changers, who are now trying to
establish themselves in the very temple of our government.

Cultivate clemency. But consider well what is embraced in this charity.
It is not required that you should surrender the Republic into the hands
of pardoned criminals. It is not required that you should surrender
friends and allies to the tender mercies of these same pardoned
criminals. Clearly not. Clemency has its limitations; and when it
transcends these, it ceases to be a virtue, and is only a mischievous
indulgence. Of course, one of these limitations, never to be
disregarded, is the _general security_, which is the first duty of
government. No pardon can be allowed to imperil the nation; nor can any
pardon be allowed to imperil those who have a right to look to us for
protection. There must be no vengeance upon enemies; but there must be
no sacrifice of friends. And here is the distinction which cannot be
forgotten. _Nothing for vengeance; everything for justice._ Follow this
rule, and the Republic will be safe and glorious. Thus wrote Marcus
Aurelius to his colleague and successor in empire, Lucius Verus. These
words are worthy to be repeated now by the chief of the Republic:--

                   "Ever since the Fates
    Placed me upon the throne, two aims have I
    Kept fixed before my eyes; and they are these,--
    Not to revenge me on my enemies,
    _And not to be ungrateful to my friends_."

It is easy for the individual to forgive. It is easy also for the
Republic to be generous. But forgiveness of offences must not be a
letter of license to crime; it must not be a recognition of an ancient
tyranny, and it must not be a stupendous ingratitude. There is a
familiar saying, with the salt of ages, which is addressed to us
now:--"Be just before you are generous." Be just to all before you are
generous to the few. Be just to the millions _only half rescued_ from
oppression, before you are generous to their cruel taskmasters. Do not
imitate that precious character in the gallery of old Tallemant de
Réaux, of whom it was said, that he built churches without paying his
debts.[60] Our foremost duties now are to pay our debts, and these are
twofold:--first, to the national freedman; and, secondly, to the
national creditor.

Apply these obvious principles practically. A child can do it. No duty
of clemency can justify injustice. Therefore, in exercising the
beautiful power of pardon at this moment in our country, several
conditions must be observed.

(1.) As a general rule, belligerent traitors, who have battled against
the country, must not be permitted _at once_, without probation or
trial, to resume their old places of trust and power. Such a concession
would be clearly against every suggestion of common sense, and President
Johnson clearly saw it so, when, addressing his fellow-citizens of
Tennessee, 10th June, 1864, he said,--"I say that traitors should take a
back seat in the work of restoration. If there be but five thousand men
in Tennessee, loyal to the Constitution, loyal to freedom, loyal to
justice, these true and faithful men should control the work of
reorganization and reformation absolutely."

(2.) Especially are we bound, by every obligation of justice and by
every sentiment of honor, to see to it that belligerent traitors, who
have battled against their country, are not allowed to rule the constant
loyalists, whether white or black, embracing the recent freedmen, who
have been our friends and allies.

(3.) Let belligerent traitors be received slowly and cautiously back
into the sovereignty of citizenship. It is better that they should wait
than that the general security be imperilled, or our solemn obligations,
whether to the national freedman or the national creditor, be impaired.

(4.) Let pardons issue only on satisfactory assurance that the
applicant, who has been engaged for four years in murdering our
fellow-citizens, shall sustain the Equal Rights, civil and political, of
all men, according to the principles of the Declaration of Independence;
that he shall pledge himself to the support of the national debt; and,
if he be among the large holders of land, that he shall set apart
homesteads for all his freedmen.

Following these simple rules, clemency will be a Christian virtue, and
not a perilous folly.

The other proverb has its voice also, saying plainly, Follow common
sense, and do not, while escaping one danger, rush upon another. You are
now escaping from the whirlpool of war, which has threatened to absorb
and ingulf the Republic. Do not rush upon the opposite terror, where
another shipwreck of a different kind awaits you, while Sirens tempt
with their "song of death." Take warning: _Seeking to escape from
Charybdis, do not rush upon Scylla_.

Alas! the Scylla on which our Republic is now driving is that old rock
of _concession and compromise_ which from the beginning of our history
has been a constant peril. It appeared in the convention which framed
the National Constitution, and ever afterwards, from year to year,
showed itself in Congress, until at last the Oligarchy, nursed by our
indulgence, rebelled. And now that the war is over, it is proposed to
invest this same Rebel Oligarchy with a new lease of immense power,
involving the control over loyal citizens, whose fidelity to the
Republic has been beyond question. Here, too, are Sirens, in the shape
of belligerent traitors, suing softly that the Republic may be lured to
the old concession and compromise. _Alas! that, escaping from Charybdis,
we should rush upon Scylla!_

The old Oligarchy conducted all its operations in the name of State
Rights, and in this name it rebelled. And when the Republic sought to
suppress the Rebellion, it was replied, that a State could not be
coerced. Now that the Rebellion is overthrown, and a just effort is made
to obtain that "security for the future" without which the war will have
been in vain, the same cry of State Rights is raised, and we are told
again that a State cannot be coerced,--as if the same mighty power
which directed armies upon the Rebellion could be impotent to exact all
needful safeguards. It was to overcome these pretensions, and stamp _E
Pluribus Unum_ upon the Republic, that we battled in war; and now we
surrender to these tyrannical pretensions again. Escaping from war, we
rush upon the opposite peril,--_as from Charybdis to Scylla_.

Again, we are told gravely, that the national power which decreed
emancipation cannot maintain it by assuring universal enfranchisement,
because an imperial government must be discountenanced,--as if the whole
suggestion of "imperialism" or "centralism" were not out of place, until
the national security is established, and our debts, whether to the
national freedman or the national creditor, are placed where they cannot
be repudiated. A phantom is created, and, to avoid this phantom, we rush
towards concession and compromise,--_as from Charybdis to Scylla_.

Again, we are reminded that military power must yield to the civil power
and to the rights of self-government. Therefore the Rebel States must be
left to themselves, each with full control over all, whether white or
black, within its borders, and empowered to keep alive a Black Code
abhorrent to civilization and dangerous to liberty. Here, again, we rush
from one peril upon another. Every exercise of military power is to be
regretted, and yet there are occasions when it cannot be avoided. War
itself is the transcendent example of this power. But the transition
from war to peace must be assured by all possible safeguards. "Civil
power and self-government cannot be conceded to belligerent enemies
until after the establishment of security for the future." Such security
is an indispensable safeguard, without which there will be new disaster
to the country. Therefore, in escaping from military power, care must be
taken that we do not run upon the opposite danger,--_as from Charybdis
to Scylla_.

Again, it is said solemnly, that "we must trust each other"; which,
being interpreted, means, that the Republic must proceed at once to
trust the belligerent enemies who have for four years murdered our
fellow-citizens. Of course, this is only another form of concession. In
trusting them, we give them political power, including the license to
oppress loyal persons, whether white or black, and especially the
freedman. For four years we have met them in battle; and now we rush to
trust them, and to commit into their keeping the happiness and
well-being of others. There is peril in trusting such an enemy, more
even than in meeting him on the field. God forbid that we rush now upon
this peril,--_as from Charybdis to Scylla_!

The true way is easy. Follow common sense. Seeking to avoid one peril,
do not rush upon another. Consider how everything of worth or honor is
bound up with the national security and the national faith; and that
until these are fixed beyond change, agriculture, commerce, and industry
of all kinds must suffer. Capital cannot stay where justice is denied.
Emigration must avoid a land blasted by the spirit of caste. Cotton
itself will refuse to grow until labor is assured its just reward. By
natural consequence, that same Barbarism which has drenched the land in
blood will continue to prevail, with wrong, outrage, and the
insurrections of an oppressed race; the national name will be
dishonored, and the national power will be weakened. But the way is
plain to avoid these calamities. _Follow common sense; and obtain
guaranties commensurate with the danger._ Do this without delay, so that
security and reconciliation may not be postponed. Every day's delay is a
loss to the national wealth and an injury to the national treasury. But
if adequate guaranties cannot be obtained at once, then at least
_postpone all present surrender to the Oligarchy_, trusting meanwhile to
Providence for protection, and to time for that awakened sense of
justice and humanity which must in the end prevail. And finally, _take
care not to rush from Charybdis to Scylla_.

FOOTNOTES:

[3] _Æneis_, Lib. III. v. 420.

[4] Book XII.

[5] Book II. v. 660.

[6] Ibid. v. 1016.

[7] _Merchant of Venice_, Act III. Sc. 5.

[8] Erasmi _Opera_, Tom. II. p. 183; _Adagiorum_ Chil. I. cent. v. prov.
4.

[9] Erasmi _Adagia_, ubi supra.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Jortin's _Erasmus_, Vol. II. p. 163, note.

[12] _Opera_, Tom. II. p. 645; _Epist._ 574.

[13] For a glimpse of this interesting character, see Tiraboschi,
_Storia della Letteratura Italiana_, Tom. VI. pp 289-294; Michaud,
_Biographie Universelle, nomen_ Galeotto Marzio.

[14] Tom. I. p. 276, Liv. III. cap. 29.

[15] _Ménagiana_, Tom. I. p. 177.

[16] Vol. II. 285.

[17] Tom. XV. p. 117.

[18] _History of English Poetry_, Vol. I. p. clxviii.

[19] Vol. I. p. 510.

[20] Vol. V. p. 256.

[21] _Della Storia e della Ragione d' ogni Poesia_, Tom. VI. p. 480.

[22] _Magasin Encyclopédique_, Tom II. p. 52.

[23] Millin, _Magasin Encyclopédique_, Tom. III. p. 181; _Journal des
Savans_, Avril, 1760.

[24] Ritson's _Bibliographia Poetica_, p. 228.

[25] For a list of His works see Watt's _Bibliotheca Britannia_, _nomen_
Echlin.

[26] Beloe's _Anecdotes of Literature_, Vol. V. pp. 255-260.

[27] Ibid. p. 256.

[28] Millin, _Magasin Encyclop._ Tom. III. p. 181.

[29] From a priced catalogue of Mr. Steevens's sale it appears that his
copy, which was the edition of Lyons, brought £2 2_s._ in 1800. _Cat._
No. 514.

[30] _Anecdotes of Literature_, Vol. V. p. 258.

[31] See also Graesse, _Trésor de Livres rares et précieux, ou Nouveau
Dictionnaire Bibliographique_, _nomen_ Galterus; Millin, _Mag. Encyc._
Tom. III. p. 181; Senebier, _MSS. Franc. de la Bibliothèque de Genève_,
p. 235; _Allg. Lit. Anz._ 1799. pp. 84. 263, 1233, 1858; _Sitzungsber.
der Wien. Acad._ T. XIII. p. 314; Giesebrecht, _Allg. Zeits. für Wiss.
und Lit._ 1853, p. 344.

[32] Tom. VI. p. 328.

[33] _Histoire Littéraire_, Tom. XV. p. 100.

[34] Ibid, Tom. XVI. p. 537.

[35] The latter mistake is gravely made by Quadrio, in his great jumble
of literary history, Tom. VI. p. 480; also by Peerlkamp, _De Poetis
Latinis Nederlandorum_, p. 15. See also Édélestand du Méril, _Poésies
Populaires Latines_, p. 149.

[36] _Alexandreïs_, Lib. X. _ad finem._

[37] Graesse, in his _Trésor de Livres Rares_, which ought to be
accurate, makes a strange mistake in calling Gualterus _Episcopus
Insulanus_. He was never more than a canon, and held no post at Lille.
Fabricius entitles him simply _Magister_ Philippus Gualterus de
Castellione, Insulanus. _Bibliotheca Lat. Med. et Inf. Ætotis_, Tom. VI.
p. 328. See also Wright's _Latin Poems_, Preface, xviii.

[38] _Histoire Littéraire_, Tom. XV. p. 101

[39] Édélestand du Méril, _Poésies Populaires Latines_, pp. 144-163;
Wright, _Latin Poems commonly attributed to Walter Mapes_.

[40] _Historia Poematum Medii Ævi._

[41] _Histoire Littéraire_, Tom. XVI. p. 183.

[42] _Poésies Latines Populaires_, p. 149.

[43] Millin, _Magasin Encyclop._ Tom. II, p. 52.

[44] Michaud, _Biographie Universelle_, _nomen_ Gaultier.

[45] _Recherches de la France_, Cap. 29, Tom. I. p. 276.

[46] Warton, _English Poetry_, Vol. I. p. clxix.; Dissertation II.

[47] Ibid.

[48] Fabricius, _Bibliotheca_, Tom. IV. c. 2.

[49] Ibid. Tom. VI. p. 328. See also Leyser, _Historia Poematum Medii
Ævi_, _nomen_ Galterus.

[50] _Histoire Littéraire_, Tom. XV. p. 118.

[51] Warton, _History of English Poetry_, Vol. I. p. clxix.; also p.
132.

[52] Madox, _Hist. Exchequer_, pp. 249-259.

[53] Gray, _Observations on English Metre_.

[54] Warton, _History of English Poetry_, Vol. I. p 133.

[55] Vossius, _De Poetis Latinis_, p. 74. is mistaken in saying that it
had nine books instead of ten. See also _Ménagiana_, Tom. I. P. 177.

[56] _Inferno_, Canto XXXIII.

[57] This is the passage translated into blank verse by the early
English poet, Grimoald Nicholas.

[58] There is a contemporary poem in leonine verses on the death of
Thomas à Becket, with the same allusion to opposite dangers:--

    "Ut post Syrtes mittitur in Charybdim navis,
    Flatibus et fluctibus transitis tranquille,
    Tutum portus impulit in latratus Scyllæ."

    Du Méril, _Poésies Populaires Latines_, p. 82.

[59] Some of the expressions of this passage may be compared with other
writers. See Burmanni _Anthologia Latina_, Vol. I. pp. 152, 163; Ovidii
_Metam._ Lib. I. 514.

[60] "C'était un homme qui battait des églises sans payer ses dettes."



REVIEWS AND LITERARY NOTICES.


     _The Works of Epictetus, consisting of his Discourses in
     Four Books, the Enchiridion and Fragments._ A Translation
     from the Greek, based on that of Elizabeth Carter. By THOMAS
     WENTWORTH HIGGINSON. Boston: Little, Brown, & Co.

Happy the youth who has this Stoic repast fresh and untasted before him!
Heaven give him appetite and digestion; for here is food indeed!

Epictetus and Marcus Antoninus, at the two extremes of the social
system,--the one that most helpless of human beings, a Roman slave, the
other that terrestrial god, a Roman Emperor,--are yet so associated in
fame that he who names either thinks of the other also. Neither of them
men of astonishing intellect, though certainly of a high intelligence,
they have yet uttered thoughts that cannot die,--thoughts so simple,
vital, and central, so rich in the purest blood of man's moral being,
that their audience and welcome are perpetual. Without literary
ambition, one of them wrote only for his own eye, merely emphasizing the
faith he lived by, while the other wrote not at all, but, like another
and yet greater, simply spoke with men as he met them, his words being
only the natural respirations of belief. Yet that tide of time which
over so many promising ambitions and brilliant fames has rolled
remorseless, a tide of oblivion, bears the private notes or casual
conversation of these men in meek and grateful service.

A vital word,--how sure is it to be cherished and preserved! All else
may be neglected, all else may perish; but a word true forever to the
heart of humanity will be held too near to its heart to suffer from the
chances of time.

Of these two authors, Epictetus has the more nerve, spirit, and wit,
together with that exquisite homeliness which Thoreau rightly named "a
high art"; while Antoninus is characterized by more of tenderness,
culture, and breadth. The monarch, again, has a grave, almost pensive
tone; the slave is full of breezy health and cheer. One commonly prefers
him whom he has read last or read most. The distinction of both is, that
they hold hard to the central question, How shall man be indeed man? how
shall he be true to the inmost law and possibility of his being? Their
thoughts are, as we have said, respirations, vital processes, pieces of
spiritual function, the soul in every syllable. And hence through their
pages blows a breath of life which one may well name a wind of Heaven.

Our favorite was Antoninus until Mr. Higginson beguiled us with this
admirable version. For it is, indeed, admirable. It would be hard to
name a translation from Greek prose which, while faithful in substance
and tone to the original, is more entirely and charmingly readable.

Of mere correctness we do not speak. Correctness is cheap. It may be had
for money any day. A passage or two we notice, concerning which some
slight question might, perhaps, be opened; but it would be a question of
no importance; and the criticism we should be inclined to make might not
be sustained. Unquestionably the version is true, even nicely true, to
the ideas of the author.

But it is more and better. It is ingenious, felicitous, witty. Mr.
Higginson has the great advantage over too many translators (into
English, at least) of being not only a man of bright and vivid
intelligence, but also a proper proficient in the use of his mother
tongue, melodious in movement, elegant in manner, fortunate in phrase.
Now that Hawthorne is dead, America has not perhaps a writer who is
master of a more graceful prose. His style has that tempered and chaste
vivacity, that firm lightness of step, that quickness at a turn, not
interfering with continuity and momentum, which charms all whom style
can charm. Lowell's best prose--in "Fireside Travels," for example--has
similar qualities, and adds to them a surprising delicacy of wit and
subtilty of phrase, while it has less movement and less of rhythmical
emphasis. Between the two, in the respects mentioned, we are hardly able
to choose.

Mr. Higginson is, indeed, a little fastidious, a little inclined to
purism, a little rigid upon the mint, anise, and cumin of literary law.
But this rendered him only the more fit for his present task. A
translator must bear somewhat hard upon minor obligations to his
vernacular, in order to overcome the resistance of a foreign idiom.

He has succeeded. He has given us Greek thought in English speech, not
merely in English words. It is, indeed, astonishing how modern Epictetus
seems in this version. This is due in part to the translator's tact in
finding modern _equivalents_ for Greek idioms, or for antiquated
allusions and illustrations. Once in a while one is a littled startled
by these; but more often they are so happy that one fancies he must have
thrown dice for them, or obtained them by some other turn of luck.

But he was favored, not only by literary ability, but by a native
affinity with his author and an old love for him. His taste is very
marked for this peculiar form of sanctity and heroism, the simple Stoic
morality, especially in that mature and mellow form which it assumes
with the later Stoic believers. In these first centuries of our era a
suffusion of divine tenderness seems to have crept through the veins of
the world, partly derived from Christianity, and partly contemporaneous
with it. In the case of Epictetus it must have been original. And the
peculiar simplicity with which he represents this tender spirit of love
and duty, while combining it with the utmost iron nerve of the old Stoic
morality,--its comparative disassociation in his pages with the
speculative imaginations which glorify or obscure it elsewhere,--is
deeply grateful, one sees, to the present translator.

He must have enjoyed his task heartily, while its happy completion has
prepared for many others, not only an enjoyment, but more and better
than that. May it, indeed, be for many! What were more wholesome for
this too luxuriant modern life than a little Stoic pruning?

Having mentioned that the book comes forth under the auspices of Little,
Brown, & Co., we have no need to say that it is an elegant volume.


     _An Examination of Sir William Hamilton's Philosophy, and of
     the Principal Philosophical Questions discussed in his
     Writings._ By JOHN STUART MILL. In Two Volumes. Boston:
     William V. Spencer.

Mr. Mill in this book defends England from the reproach of indifference
to the higher philosophy. Americans are at least not indifferent to John
Stuart Mill; and for his sake the volumes will no doubt be attempted by
many a respectable citizen who would be seriously puzzled whether to
class the author as a Cosmothetic Idealist or as a Hypothetical Dualist.
And assuming, as such a reader very possibly will, that this last name
designates those who are disposed to fight for their hypotheses, he will
hardly think it in this case a misnomer. Yet Mr. Mill seems very
generous and noble in this attitude. He has consented to put on the
gloves since he fought Professors Whewell and Sedgwick without them; and
there is perhaps no finer passage in the history of controversy than his
simple expression of regret, in his preface, on attacking an antagonist
who can no longer defend himself.

Yet his handling of Sir William is tolerably unflinching, when he
settles to the work; and he will carry the sympathy of most readers in
his criticisms, whatever they may think of his own peculiar views. The
students of his Logic were rather daunted, years ago, on discovering
that a mind so able was content to found upon mere experience its
conviction that two and two make four, and to assume, by implication at
least, that on some other planet two and two may make five. He still
holds to this attitude. But so perfect are his candor and clearness,
that no dissent from his views can seriously impair the value of his
writings; and though no amount of clearness can make such a book
otherwise than abstruse to the general reader, yet there are some
chapters which can be read with pleasure and profit by any intelligent
person,--as, for instance, the closing essay on mathematical study. This
must not, however, be taken for an indorsement of all which that chapter
contains; for it must be pronounced a little inconsistent in Mr. Mill to
criticize Hamilton for underrating mathematics without having studied
them, when this seems to be precisely his critic's attitude towards the
later German metaphysics. He speaks with some slight respect of Kant, to
be sure, but complains of the speculations of his successors as "a
deplorable waste of time and power," though he gives no hint or citation
to indicate that he has read one original sentence of Fichte, Schelling,
or Hegel. Indeed, he heaps contempt in Latin superlatives upon the
last-named thinker, and then completes the insult by quoting him at
second-hand through Mansel, (I. 61,)--that Mansel some of whose
doctrines he elsewhere proclaims to be "the most morally pernicious now
current." (I. 115.) He afterwards makes it a sort of complaint against
Hamilton, that he had read "every fifth-rate German transcendentalist";
but if this was so, surely a competent critic of Hamilton should have
followed him at least through the first-rates. This unfairness,--if,
indeed, these surmises be correct,--although it seems very much like the
Englishman whom our current prejudices represent, seems very unlike John
Stuart Mill.

As the ablest work that modern British philosophy has produced, this
book will doubtless have many American readers, and well deserves them.


     _Speeches of Andrew Johnson, President of the United
     States._ With a Biographical Introduction, by FRANK MOORE.
     Boston: Little, Brown, & Co.

The publishers have done well in placing this volume before the public.
One among the most important results of the war is that of vastly
increasing the practical, however it may be with the theoretical, power
of the executive. It has done this, in the first place, by direct
addition. The "war powers of the President," though beyond question
legitimate, made him for the time being wellnigh absolute; and now that
overt war is ended, it is found impracticable to return immediately to
the ancient limits of executive authority. Exercises of sovereignty,
accordingly, which would once have been called most dangerous
encroachments upon coördinate branches of government, pass without
protest, it be with general approbation. An instance of such is seen in
the appointment of Southern governors who by an explicit law of Congress
are ineligible. But, in the second place, this power is increased,
perhaps, even more by the marked disposition of the people to accept the
initiative of the President. The prodigious bids made by the Democratic
party for his countenance, and the extreme reluctance of the Republicans
to open an issue with him, illustrate this disposition, and are of great
significance.

We are stating facts, not complaining of them. A great change has
undoubtedly taken place in the practical economy of the Government,--a
significant change in the relative importance of its coördinate
branches. It may not be permanent, but it can scarcely be brief.

A the same time the importance of the Government as a whole has been
greatly enhanced. We have reached a point where the nation, for,
perhaps, the first time, is to be saved by statesmanship, and where it
is apparent that only statesmanship of a high order will be equal to the
task. Formerly the Government could be contemptible without being fatal.
When its imbecility led to civil war, the courage, patriotism, and
persistency of the people sufficed to purchase victory; and though the
Government was tasked heavily, its tasks were of a simple kind. But now
a point is reached where must begin a long stretch of wise, far-seeing,
faithful statesman's work, or where, in the want of this, prospects open
which on patriot can contemplate with satisfaction.

A series of able, temperate, true-hearted Presidents has now become
indispensable; but the highest qualities will be needed in no subsequent
administration so much as in the present; and very serious mistakes in
the present would go far to render the highest ability in the future
unavailing. Under these circumstances, there must be a common and
anxious desire to know what may reasonably be expected of President
Johnson.

Hence the timeliness and importance of the volume under notice. An
attentive perusal of these pages will afford ground for some critical
estimate of the man in whose hands so much power is lodged, and whose
use of power so great issues depend. The biographical sketch, though
somewhat vague, and marked by occasional inaccuracies, affords some
tolerable notion of the experience he has passed through; and the
speeches, though covering but few years, exhibit that portion of his
opinions which is most related to existing problems.

We find here the image of a very honest, patriotic man, vigorous in
mind, resolute in will, definite in character, and bearing deeply the
impress of a special and marked experience. Of his honesty, to begin
with, there can be no doubt. His administration may be mistaken, but it
will not be corrupt. And to feel assured of so much is very healthful.
But an honest man, in his position, _must_ be patriotic,--must be
looking to the welfare of the country, rather than casting about to make
bargains for his private advantage; and we gather from this book, that,
if any meditate buying or bribing the President, they will learn a
lesson in due time. He may come to coincide with them, but it will be by
their acquiescence in his judgment, not by his acceptance of their
proffers.

It is when we come to inspect his intellectual position, to consider the
quality of his honest convictions, as determined chiefly by his
peculiar experience, that the real question opens.

Mr. Johnson was a Southern "poor white." He became the ornament, then
the champion of his class; rescued it from political subjection in
Tennessee, and, in his own election to the Governor's chair, and then to
the United States Senate, gave it a first feast of supremacy. In this
long struggle, the peculiar opinion and sentiment of his class--that is,
of its best portion--became with him, though in an enlarged form,
impassioned convictions, deeply incorporated with his character, and
held with somewhat of religious fervor.

In the first speech contained in the present collection, dating so
lately as 1858, he is found still resting upon this experience. His
sympathy is wholly with the simpler forms of country life, with
mechanics and small landholders, "the middle class," as he calls them.
He hates cities; he cannot help showing some mild jealousy of the
commercial and manufacturing interest; literature and science he does
not wish to undervalue, but his whole heart is with the class who live a
well-to-do, honest life, by manual labor in their own shops or on their
own acres. Like his class, he dislikes the cotton lords, but likes
Slavery, and has no faith in the negro; it has not occurred to him to
think of the negro as a man, and he wished that every white man in the
country had a slave to do his "menial" labor.

In the next speech, made two years later, he is confronting the
immediate probability of Secession. He grapples with it sturdily, but
still regards it from a strictly Southern point of view,--that of his
class. The South, he thinks, has real grievances; it has, indeed, been
wronged by the election of a "sectional President and Vice-President";
it is entitled to redress; only it should seek redress in the Union, not
out of it.

Even when what he feared and fought against was become overt and bloody
war, when his own life was vengefully sought, when his own friends were
hunted down, and either murdered without mercy or dragged mercilessly
away to fight an alien battle with a sword behind and cannon in front,
even then he finds great difficulty in changing his point of view. He
speaks no more of wrongs which the South has suffered; but it is because
his feeling of that is overwhelmed by his sense of the horrible wrong it
is committing. He declares, at length, that, if Slavery or the Union
must go down, he will stand by the Union; but he evidently accepts the
alternative with reluctance, though with resolution. When it becomes
apparent that this possible alternative is indeed actual, he is true to
his pledge; but it is a new charge in his mind against the
Secessionists, that they have forced him to such election. They will
have it so, he says, and since they will have it so, be it so; the
necessity is not of his making; the retribution is real, but it is
deserved. His final proclamation of freedom in Tennessee, in advance of
executive warrant, was an intrepid and memorable act, worthy of his
resolute spirit,--but was an act rather directed against the Rebels than
prompted by sympathy with the slaves. His career in Tennessee was
already far advanced before he fairly held forth his hand to the negroes
as men, with the rights and interests of human beings; and it needed all
the roused passion of his soul, all the touching trust of this people in
him as their "Moses," all his intensity of recoil from treason, and all
his sense of personal outrage, to nerve him for that triumph over his
traditional prejudices.

The impression of Andrew Johnson which this book gives us is that of a
deep, powerful, impassioned nature, inflexible, but inflexible rather by
definite determination of character and fixity of conviction than by
obstinacy of will. A man of large ability, he is, so to speak, deeply
immersed in his own past,--limited by the bonds of his earnest, but,
until lately, narrow experience. His power to change his point of view
upon theoretical considerations is small, for he does little but expand
his experience into theory. Facts alone can instruct him; and if these
run counter to his intellectual predilection, they must be impressive to
be effectual. He follows the law of his mind in proceeding to make an
"experiment" in dealing with the South, and in making it as nearly as
possible in accordance with the ancient customs of his thought. There is
danger, we think, that he will look at facts too much with a traditional
eye; but there is no danger that he will not act upon them with vigor,
courage, and honest patriotism so far as he shall see them in their true
light.

It should be said, that, to learn the latest modifications of his
opinions, the reader must consult the Introduction.





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