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Title: The Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 2, August, 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy
Author: Various
Language: English
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THE

CONTINENTAL MONTHLY:

DEVOTED TO

LITERATURE AND NATIONAL POLICY.


VOL. IV.--AUGUST, 1863.--No. II.



OUR FUTURE.


In these exciting times, when our country is enduring the throes of
political convulsion, and every time-honored institution, every
well-regulated law of society seems tottering from the broad foundation
of the past, how few are there who ask themselves the question, What is
to be our future? For the past two years we have lived in a state of
extraordinary and unnatural excitement, beside which the jog-trot
existence of the former days, with all its periodical excitements, its
hebdomadal heavings of the waves of society, pales into insignificance.
Like the grave, with its eternal 'Give! give!' our appetites, stimulated
to a morbid degree by their daily food of marvels, cry constantly for
more; and a lull of but a few brief months in the storm whose angry
pinions are constantly bringing new wonders to our view, begets an
almost insupportable _ennui_ in the public mind, and a restlessness
among the masses, such as our history has never before shown. Nor will
the craving be satiated so long as the war shall last; for the stirring
events, following so closely upon each other, and filling every hour of
our national life, will keep up the unnatural excitement, even as the
stimulating effect of alcoholic drinks is prolonged by repeated
draughts. Only when the source is entirely cut off will the stimulus
pass away; and then, when peace is established, and we drop again into
the ruts and grooves of the olden days, the reaction will set in, and
happy shall we be if it is not followed by a political _delirium
tremens_.

To-day we are living in and for the present alone. Men's minds are so
completely absorbed in the wonderful events that are constantly passing
around them, in the startling _denouements_ that each day brings forth,
that their attention is entirely distracted from that future to which we
are inevitably tending. And this not because that future is of little
importance, but because nearer and more vital interests are staring us
in the face, in which it is involved, and upon which it depends--a
nearer and more portentous future, which we must ourselves control and
shape, else the farther state will be utterly beyond our influence,
fixed in the channel of a malignant and ever-grovelling fate. The great
question now is, how soonest to end the war prosperously to ourselves;
and until this problem, involving our very existence, is solved, the
future, with all its prospects, good or bad, is left to take care of
itself, and rightly, too; for in the event of our present success, our
future will be in our own hands, while, if we fail, it will be fixed and
irrevocable, without the slightest reference to our interests or our
exertions. And yet, natural as this fact may seem, it is a little
singular that, while thousands of minds are eagerly searching for light
upon the question of the future of the American negro, few are found to
inquire what is to be our own. Strange that one exciting topic should so
fill men's minds and monopolize their sympathies as to entirely exclude
other questions of greater importance, and bearing more directly upon
our present and vital interests. Yet so it is, and so it has been in all
ages of the world, though, happily, the hallucination does not last for
any very extended period; for there is a compensation in human as well
as in inanimate nature, which, in its own good time, brings mind to its
proper balance by the harsh remedy of severe and present necessity, and
so retrieves the errors of a blind past.

Yet, absorbed as is the popular mind in the stirring events of the war,
and dull as all other themes may seem in comparison, it may not be
without interest to examine, in connection with our future, some of
those facts which are now floating about at random on the surface of
society, waiting for some hand to gather and arrange them in the
treasure house of prophecy. And in so doing, let it be premised that we
proceed entirely upon the hypothesis--which to every truly loyal mind is
already an established truth--of the ultimate success and complete
triumph of the North in the present contest. For in any other event all
these facts are dumb, and the inferences to be drawn from them vague and
unsatisfactory, absolutely no better than mere random conjecture. And as
the war has now become the great fact in our history, and its effects
must modify our whole social life for many years to come, its results
must not be neglected in an investigation of this kind, but, on the
contrary, claim our first attention.

First and foremost, then, among the lasting results of the war, will be
the _arousing of our nationality_. To the majority of readers it will
seem the climax of heresy to assert that hitherto we have not known a
pure and lofty nationality. What! you will ask, did not our ancestors,
by their sufferings and strivings in that war which first made our land
famous throughout the civilized world, bestow upon us a separate, true,
and noble national existence? Have we not twice humbled the pride of the
most powerful nation upon earth? Have we not covered the seas with our
commerce, and brought all nations to pay tribute to our great staples?
Have we not taken the lead in all adventurous and eminently practical
enterprises, and is not our land the home of invention and the foster
mother of the useful arts? Has not the whole world gazed with admiring
wonder at our miraculous advancement in the scale of national existence?
In a word, have we not long since become a great, established fact, as
well in physical history as in the sublime record of that intellectual
progress whereby humanity draws constantly nearer to the divine? And as
for patriotic feeling, do we not yearly burn tons of powder on the
all-glorious Fourth of July, and crack our throats with huzzas for the
'star-spangled banner' and the American eagle? And a caviller might
perhaps go farther, and ask the significant question, Are we not known
all over the world as a race of arrant braggarts?

Grant all these things, and we are yet as far from that true, firm,
self-relying, high-toned nationality which alone is worthy of the name,
as when the Pilgrims landed upon Plymouth rock. Our patriotism has
hitherto been too utterly heartless--too much a thing of sounding words
and meaningless phrases--too much of the 'sounding brass and tinkling
cymbal.' We have built too much upon the exploits of our ancestors,
reposed too long upon their laurels, forgetting that their efforts were
but the initiatory step in the great contest that was to be carried on
by succeeding generations; forgetting that we have still a destiny to
work out for ourselves, a niche to secure in the great temple of
humanity, obstacles to surmount, difficulties to overcome, bitter and
deadly foes to vanquish. And how totally devoid of heart have been even
our celebrations of our great national birthday and holiday! While we
have amused ourselves with the explosion of crackers and blowing off of
our neighbors' arms by premature discharges of rusty cannon, while we
have rent the air with squibs, shouts, and exclamations, and listened to
the periodical and hackneyed outbursts of oratorical gas, how few of us
have remembered the deep significance of the day, and felt our hearts
swell with genuine patriotic emotion! How few of us have realized that
we were celebrating not merely the establishing of a form of government,
the severing of galling bonds which bound us to the servitude of the old
world, not merely the birthday of independence and of a nation, but the
birthday of an immortal principle, whose beneficent effects were not
more for us than for the generations of all succeeding time! The masses
saw in that day but an universal _fête_, a day of national relaxation
and enjoyment, and neither thought or cared much about its deep meaning;
while to the few, the thinking men alone, appeared the principle which
underlay all this festivity and vociferation. Henceforth this will not
be so. We have lived so long and so undisturbed in the enjoyment of our
political blessings, that we have not appreciated our favored lot; but
now, when for the first time in our history treason has boldly lifted
its head, and traitors have endeavored to deprive us of all our most
cherished blessings--to strike at the very root of all that is good and
pure in our political system--now for the first time do we see those
blessings in their true light, and realize their inestimable value. Now
that the prestige of our greatness threatens to depart from us, do we
first see the glorious destiny which the great God of nature has marked
out for us. Now for the first time do we realize that we have a purpose
in life--that we are the exponents of one of the great truths of the
universe itself, and appreciate the awful responsibility that rests upon
us in the development of our great principle, as well as in protecting
it from the inroads of error and corruption. And herein lies the great
secret of all true national life. For no nation was ever yet truly great
that had not constantly before it some lofty and ennobling object to
direct all its strivings, some great central truths at its very core,
continually working outward through all the great arterial ramifications
of society, keeping up a brisk and healthy circulation by the force of
its own eternal energy. Lack of a noble purpose, in nations as well as
individuals, begets a vacillating policy, which is inevitably followed
by degeneration and corruption. The soldier, who has passed many a weary
month in the monotony of the camp, enduring all the hardships of
rigorous winters and scorching summers, of fatigue and privation, and
who has shed his blood upon many a hard-fought field, will learn to
appreciate as he never has before the true value of that Government for
which he has suffered so much, and, with the return of our armies to
their homes, this sentiment will be diffused among the masses, and the
lessons they have learned will be taught to their fellows: and this,
together with the recognition of our true end and aim in existence--of
the part which our country is destined to play in the great drama of
life, will beget a noble, self-relying national pride, the very opposite
pole to that senseless, loud-mouthed self-laudation which has too much
characterized us in the days gone by. The boaster betrays the
consciousness of the very weakness he wishes to conceal; while 'still
waters run deep,' and the man of true courage and strength is the man of
few words and great deeds. So that arrant bragging which has hitherto
been our besetting sin, and which, so long as our real importance in the
affairs of the world was unacknowledged, was somewhat excusable, and
perhaps even necessary to sustain a yet unestablished cause, will be
necessary no longer when we have proved ourselves worthy of the position
we claim, and will, with the newborn consciousness of our power and
strength, pass away forever, and we shall work steadily on in our
appointed course, leaving it to others to recognize and proclaim our
worth, to sound the trumpet which we have so long been industriously
blowing for ourselves, content to let our reputation bide its time and
rest upon sterling deeds rather than upon pompous declamations and empty
oratorical phrases. The deeds of our ancestors were great indeed, and
their patriotism and self-sacrificing devotion to a noble cause beyond a
parallel: but even those will pale beside the present struggle of a
full-grown nation at the very crisis of its fate; and the results which
followed their efforts will be as nothing to those which shall flow from
our battle of to-day. For while it was theirs to initiate, it is ours to
develop and firmly establish; theirs to deliver the nation from the womb
of centuries, ours to educate, to guard from danger through childhood
and youth, to nurse through disease, to tone down the crudities of
national hobble-de-hoy-dom, to fix and strengthen by judicious training
the iron constitution, both mental and physical, which shall resist the
ravages of disease and error for all time to come. How much more
important, then, appears our mission than theirs! how much greater the
responsibility which rests upon us to faithfully fulfil that mission!
And this will be the feeling of every true American. This will be the
knowledge, gained by the bitterest experience, which will give us that
nationality we have so long lacked.

And not a little conducive to the development of that new-found
nationality will be the respect and admiration, not to say applause,
which the display of our latent power and resources, the prosperous
conduct and successful close of this the most gigantic struggle of
history, will win for us from the nations of the Old World. And this
brings me to the second beneficial effect of this war upon our future,
namely, the establishment of our position among the great powers of the
earth, and our relief from all future aggressions, encroachments, and
annoyances of the mother country. From the day when our independence was
declared, America has been an eyesore to all the leading Governments of
Europe--the object of detraction and bitter hostility, of envy, hatred,
and malice, and all uncharitableness. And though these feelings have
been partially concealed under the cloak of studied politeness and
false, hollow-hearted friendship, occasions enough have been given for
them to break forth in sufficient intensity to establish beyond a
question the fact of their existence. The apostles of despotic power
have suffered no opportunity to escape of dealing a blow at our national
existence: even the low and disreputable weapon of slander has been
brought to bear against us, and we have been held up to mankind as a
race of visionaries, of fanatical reformers, whose efforts have ever
been to destroy all the honored landmarks of the past, and lead humanity
back over the track of ages to the socialism of primitive existence. And
it was but natural for us to expect little sympathy from their hands,
for in our success lay the triumph of a principle which was deadly to
all their cherished institutions--a principle which, once firmly
established, must in time inevitably spread beyond the waters, to the
utter and eternal downfall of aristocracies and dynasties, since it is
founded in one of the very first truths of universal human nature--in
the recognition of the rights of the individual, and of the total
dependence of the governing upon the governed. And yet they could not
withhold their admiration of the indomitable energy and perseverance of
the American race, and their wonder at our miraculous growth in
enlightenment and power. Taught wisdom by the past, they dared not
combine to crush us by brute force, and so they have waited and hoped
for the downfall which they sincerely believed would, sooner or later,
overtake us. England and France have ever hung about us like hungry
wolves around the dying buffalo, waiting patiently for the hour when
they might safely step in and claim the lion's share of the spoil. The
crisis of our fate which they have so long awaited, they now fondly
believe to be upon us; and old England, false, treacherous, cowardly,
piratical England, fearful lest our native resources may enable us to
weather the storm, has at last dropped the mask of a century, and openly
encourages and abets the rebels and traitors who are desperately
striving for our dismemberment, even furnishing them with the very bone
and sinews of war, that they may compass their unholy ends, and effect
the ruin which will give to her another fat colonial province. While the
more wily French emperor, looking to our possible success, and anxious
for a subterfuge beneath which he may skulk in that event, and so escape
the retribution which will assuredly fall upon his head, has really
outwitted his island rival, in his Mexican expedition, whereby he hoped
to 'kill two birds with one stone,' securing, in either event, the
richest portion of the American continent, and thereby establishing a
foothold, that, in case of our ruin, he may be first 'in at the death,'
and carry off the larger share of the booty. And what will be the
result? Checked, defeated, disgraced on the very threshold of his
undertaking, his chosen and hitherto invincible legions, furnished with
all the appliances of warlike invention, and perfected in the boasted
French skill and discipline, baffled and routed by the half-civilized
Mexicans, to whose very capital our own raw volunteers marched in a
single season, he will be by no means anxious to measure his strength
with ours when we shall have emerged from a war in which the lessons of
military science, learned by hard experience, have been widely diffused
among our hitherto peaceful people, and when we shall have nearly a
million of trained troops ready to spring to arms at an hour's call;
troops who will fight a foreign foe with double the courage and
desperation which has characterized the present war. If he cannot subdue
the rude Mexicans, can he conquer us?

The development of those latent resources of which even ourselves were
ignorant, the display of wealth and power at which we are astonished no
less than foreign nations, the energetic prosecution of more than two
years of war on such a magnificently extended and expensive scale,
without even feeling the drain upon either our population or treasure,
have taught Great Britain a lesson which she will not soon forget, and
of which she will not fail to avail herself. What nation ever before,
without even the nucleus of a standing army, raised, equipped, and put
into the field, within a brief six months, an army of half a million of
men, and supported it for such a length of time, at the cost of a
million dollars per day, while scarcely increasing the burden of
taxation upon the people? And yet this was done by a portion only of our
country--the Northern States; and that, too, by a people totally of and
hitherto unaccustomed to warlike pursuits. If such are our strength and
resources when divided, what will they be united and against a foreign
foe? England cannot fail to see the question in this light, and in the
future she will find her interest in courting our friendship and
alliance, rather than in continual encroachment and exasperation. We
shall hear no more of Bay Islands or northwestern boundaries, of San
Juan or rights of search; and the Monroe doctrine will perforce receive
from her a recognition which she has never yet accorded to it. She will
recognize as the fiat of destiny our supremacy on the western
hemisphere. Foreign nations have respected us in the past; they must
fear us in the future. And while they will have no cause to dread our
interference with the affairs of the Old World, they will be cautious of
tampering with a power which has proved itself one of the first, if not
the very first, on the face of the earth.

For--and this is another effect of the war which may be noticed in this
connection--for many years to come we shall be a military nation. The
necessity of guarding against a similar outbreak in the future will
prompt the increase of our standing army; while the same cause, as well
as the taste for military pursuits which our people will have acquired
during this war, will keep the great mass of the people prepared to
respond to the first call in the hour of danger. The militia laws will
be revived, revised, and established on a firmer basis than ever before,
and the antiquated militia musters and 'June trainings' will again
become our most cherished holidays. Independent military organizations
will spring up and flourish all over the land, and he who aforetime wore
his gorgeous uniform at the heavy cost of running the gauntlet of his
neighbors' sneers and gibes as a holiday soldier, will now be honored in
enrolling his name among the 'Independent Rifles' of his native village.
The youth will labor to acquire the elements of military knowledge and
reduce them to practice, not with a view to holiday parades, but with an
eye to the possible exigencies of the future, knowing that when the hour
of trial shall come, the post of honor and of fame will be open to all,
and that he who has most cultivated the military art in time of peace
will bid fair to win in the race for preferment. Military schools will
derive a new importance in our country; they will be patronized by high
and low, and most of our institutions of learning will, ere many years,
have a military as well as a scientific and classical department. And
thus will the knowledge of the art of war become so universally diffused
among the people, that in the event of another great struggle, we shall
not be left, as heretofore, to depend upon raw and undisciplined
volunteers, but an army of well-trained troops will spring like magic to
the field, ready to march at once to victory, without the necessity of
'camps of instruction' and twelve months' delays. And when that day does
come, woe to that potentate who shall have the temerity to provoke a war
with our race of soldiers: his legions will be swept away like chaff
before the whirlwind, and only defeat and disgrace will settle upon his
banners.

Again, the stimulus which this contest has applied to warlike invention
has already placed us in that respect far ahead of the most warlike
nation on earth. France has hitherto been known as the great originator
in all military science: probably she will yet, for many years, retain
the palm in the province of tactics and executive skill. But as an
originator and perfecter of the engines and defences of war, America has
already robbed her of her crown, and stands to-day unsurpassed. No
greater proof is needed of our superiority in this respect than the fact
that in two short years of civil strife we have revolutionized the whole
art of war as it has existed for ages, rendering absurd the maxims and
useless the experience of the olden days, while filling their places
with systems and theories whose practical results are so clear as to
overwhelmingly sustain the new order of things, and compel not only the
admiration but the support and adoption of the onlooking world. The
antiquated weapons of warfare are harmless to-day, and their places are
supplied by new and more destructive engines, which Europe must perforce
adopt in self-defence, and thus bow to the genius of American invention,
whereby the old is so entirely and radically supplanted by the new, that
the Napoleons and Wellingtons of a past age would be but tyros in our
battles of to-day. The lesson of the Monitors is not the only one Europe
has learned from us within the last two years. And we have more to teach
her yet, more marvels yet to be evolved from that inexhaustible mine of
invention--the Yankee brain. For as long as the war shall last,
furnishing not only a promise of a golden harvest in the future, but a
present and substantial support to inventive genius, at the same time
that a new stimulus is being constantly supplied by the events and
experience of each succeeding day, the work will go on, and weapon after
weapon, engine after engine, will be thrown into the world's great
market, constantly approaching nearer to the perfection of destructive
power. And as there is no poison without its antidote, so the
originating faculties of the American mind will be as fully exerted in
the creation of defences against those very engines of destruction.
Armed thus at all points, and containing within ourselves not only a
source of future supply, but even the very fount of originating faculty
in this speciality, we shall be a power with which it is dangerous to
trifle--a power with which others will not care to come in collision in
any other form than that of an overwhelming combination, which, thank
God! has become in these days one of the impossibilities of political
manoeuvring. Nor will they be anxious, on any slight provocation, to
again arouse that inventive faculty which furnishes us with material of
war far in advance of the rest of the world. We have within ourselves
every element of strength, every quality necessary to inspire and compel
respect from all nations. In our own God-given faculties lie both the
'_Procul, procul, este profani!_' and the 'Tread not on me, or I bite,'
which in all ages have constituted so-called national honor and pride,
and which will be to us the broad ægis of protection when the
storm-cloud of war darkens the horizon of the world. If this fail, the
fault will be our own; we shall be unworthy custodians of the treasure;
our downfall will be merited as it is sudden and sure, and few will be
found to mourn over us.

As the effervescence of new wine brings all impurities to the surface,
casting off those noxious superfluities whose presence is pollution to
the liquid and disease and death to the partaker, so the present war is
but the effervescence of our as yet new and unpurified political system,
whereby all errors and impurities are thrown to the surface of society,
ready to be skimmed off by the hand of the people, who are themselves
the vintners and the rectifiers. No system of government is without
radical defects, and it was not to be expected that our own would be
free from error, founded as it is upon a principle new to the world, or
only known as having totally failed in the past through the clumsiness
of its originators and subsequent custodians--a system which had little
aid from the experiences of the past, and must necessarily grope in the
darkness which surrounds all new experiments of this kind, lighted only
by the few, meagre, _à priori_ truths of deductive reasoning. Our
ancestors, hampered as they were by the lack of this great experience of
social life, legislated for the men and circumstances of their time; and
though they had ever an eye to the future, yet, conscious of the
fallibility of human wisdom and foresight, they themselves did not
expect their work to stand unchanged for all time. New circumstances
would arise--the people themselves would change with time, and with them
must necessarily change the laws that govern their actions. Law and
government must keep pace with the progress of humanity, else the nation
itself becomes effete, superannuated, deteriorated. Many errors there
doubtless are in our system, taking their rise as well in the very
commencement of our existence as from the fluctuations of society. Of
these, some have hitherto lain inert and concealed, from the very lack
of circumstances to induce their development, and from the lack of a
field of action. Others have worked so slowly and insidiously as to have
remained totally concealed from our view, as well from the fact of their
never having as yet been productive of any decided and palpable evil
effect, as from our becoming gradually accustomed to them and their
workings, and from the preoccupation of the public mind with more
exciting questions. But in all times of popular excitement and tumult,
of revolutionary ideas and attempted violent reform, errors spring forth
in dazzling brightness from the darkness of the past, like Minerva from
the brain of Jove, armed with the full panoply of destructive war,
clothed in the garb of maturity, and endowed with gigantic strength.
Such has been the case in our day. As the early spring sun, warming the
long-frozen soil and heating the foul moistures of the earth, brings to
life and to the surface of the ground swarming myriads of noxious
insects and reptiles, who, during the long winter months, have slept
silent and torpid far down within the oozy depths, and hatches the
thrice-told myriads of eggs deposited in seasons passed away, and which
have long waited for his life-giving influence to pour forth their
swarming millions to the upper air; even so this war has hatched the
eggs of error, and brought forth the torpid defects of long gone-by
decades, affording them a broad field of operation in their work of
destruction; while it has at the same time torn away the veil which has
hitherto blinded our eyes, and shown us, in the disasters of to-day, the
culmination of the evil effects of causes which have for long years been
working secretly at the very core of the body politic. But not alone has
it brought forth error and corruption; for the same harsh influence has
also revivified the seeds of virtue and awakened the sleeping lion of
justice, uprightness, and national honor, which shall act as healthful
counterbalances to all the evil, and supplant the monsters of
destructive error.

For in the [Greek: gnôthi seauton] of the Greek philosopher lies the
secret of all reform. To know one's faults is already one half the
battle to correct them. He who becomes conscious that health of body and
mind are steadily yielding to the inroads of an insidious foe, is worse
than a fool if he do not at once apply the knife to the seat of disease,
however painful may be the operation. And though to-day we hear but
little of reform, and all parties seem striving which shall display the
most devotion to the cause of the past, the most affection for the
unchanged and unchangeable _status quo ante bellum_ in all things, yet
is the popular mind not the less earnestly though silently working.
To-day we have a task which occupies all our attention, absorbs all our
powers and resources, and there is no time for reform: the all-absorbing
and vital question being the establishing of things upon the old
footing. But, peace restored, and the deathblow given to treason, the
work of reform will commence. Then will become manifest the workings of
the great mind of the nation during all this trying and bloody war. To
acknowledge our defects and miscomings now, is but to give a handle to
the enemies of our cause: but, this danger removed, the axe will at once
be laid at the root of those evils which have come nigh to working our
destruction; all the unsightly excrescences which have for years been
accumulating upon the trunk of our goodly tree will be carefully pruned
away, and the result will be a healthier and more abundant fruit in the
days to come. And these reforms will be brought about quietly, yet with
a firm and vigorous hand, and in a manner that will show to the world
our determination henceforth to leave no loophole for the entrance of
the destroyer.

No race of _thinkers_ can ever be enslaved. Hitherto we have been too
unreflecting, too much governed by momentary impulses, too much carried
away by party cries and unhealthy enthusiasm, and hence completely
beneath the sway of designing demagogues. We have left the politicians
to do our thinking for us, and accepted too unhesitatingly their
interested dicta as our rules of political action. The press has
hitherto led the people, and so mighty an engine of political power has
been eagerly seized and controlled by party leaders as a means of
accomplishing their ends. All this will be done away with. We shall do
our thinking for ourselves, and those who shall hereafter be put forward
as the prominent actors upon the great stage of politics will become,
what they have never before been save in name, the servants of the
people. The press of America, like that of England, must hereafter
follow, not lead, the sentiments of the nation. And while true 'freedom
of the press' will be religiously conserved, that unrestrained license
which has always too much characterized it will be restrained and
brought within its true limits, not by statutes or brute force, but by
the much more powerful agency of public opinion--by the danger of
tampering with the cherished and elevated sentiments of the reading
masses.

And as a result of this newborn faculty of thought, we shall see the
disappearance of extreme views and the birth of charity in our midst.
Men will give due weight to the opinions and respect more the natural
prejudices of their fellows. While ultra conservatism is the rust which
eats away the nation's life, radicalism is the oxygen in which it
consumes itself too rapidly away. Or perhaps, a better simile would be
found in the components of atmospheric air--nitrogen and oxygen; the one
a non-supporter of combustion, the other giving it a too dazzling
brilliancy at the expense of the material upon which it feeds; yet both,
properly combined, so as in a measure to neutralize each other,
supporting the steady and enduring flame which gives forth a mild and
cheering light and heat, neither dazzling nor scorching. So conservatism
and radicalism, properly intermingled and exercising a restraining
influence upon each other, are the very life of a great and free people.
And never, in the history of the world, have these principles been more
thoroughly demonstrated, more clearly manifested to the eyes of even the
unlearned and humble, than in the present war, in which one or the other
of these two great mental phases has been the originator of every great
movement, to make no mention of the palpable effect, now appearing upon
the face of society, of their action in the past. And hence, in the
future, we shall see in a noble, far-reaching, broadly spreading,
heaven-aspiring _conservative radicalism_ the prevailing characteristic
of American life and progress.

Hitherto the very prime principle of self-government, an intelligent
cognizance of public affairs and a reflective insight into the
fundamental principles of liberty, has been totally neglected in our
land. And if the events of these years shall really teach our people to
think--I care not how erroneously at first, for the very exercise of the
God-given faculty will soon teach us to discriminate between true and
false deductions, and restore Thought to her native empire,--then the
blood and treasure we have so lavishly poured out, the trembling and the
mourning, the trials, the toils, and the privations we have suffered,
even the mighty shock which the society of the whole civilized world has
received, will be but a small price to pay for the blessing we shall
have gained, and our future prosperity will have been easily purchased
even at so tremendous a cost. God grant it may be so.

There is no land on earth where treason may work with such impunity as
in our own. And this is owing as well to the greater latitude conceded
to political speculations by the very nature of our system, as to the
fact that our ancestors, having, as they thought, effectually destroyed
all those incentives to treason which exist in more despotic lands, and
little anticipating the new motives which might with changing men and
times spring up in our midst, neglected to ordain the preventives and
remedies for a disease which they imagined could never flourish in our
healthy atmosphere. And while they imposed an inadequate penalty, they
at the same time made so difficult the proof of this the greatest of
crimes, that when at last the monster reared its head and stalked boldly
through the land, there was no power to check or destroy it. It will be
ours to see, in the future, that this impunity is taken away from this
worse than parricide, and that, while a more awful penalty is affixed to
the crime, the plotter shall be as amenable to the law and as easy to be
convicted as he who takes the murderous weapon in his hands.

And for the accomplishment of this and similar ends, doubtless greater
power will be conceded by the States to the Federal Government. The day
has gone by when the people were frightened at the bare idea of giving
to the central Government the necessary power to maintain its own
integrity. The pernicious doctrine of State sovereignty as paramount to
the national, has in this war received its deathblow at the hands of
those who have always been its most zealous supporters. The South,
starting out upon the very basis of this greatest political heresy of
our age, had no sooner taken the initiatory step in severing completely
all the ties and bonds which held them to the Union, than they discarded
the very doctrine which had been their strongest weapon in forcing their
people to revolt: well knowing that no government founded upon such a
basis could stand for a single year; that the upholding of such a
principle was neither more nor less than political suicide. And though
at the commencement of our struggle there were many at the North in
whose minds the dogma had taken deep root, few are found to-day to
uphold the pernicious doctrine, and those few men of more than
questionable loyalty. And not this principle only, but every other which
is inconsistent with republican ideas, antagonistic to the growth of the
giant plant of human freedom, has come to its death at the hands of the
god of war. Great commotions are the test of great ideas, and that
principle either of government or of human action which can withstand
the shock of such an upheaving as the present, and come unharmed through
the war of such conflicting elements, may well claim our support as
founded in eternal truth. The penetrating glance of human intellect,
sharpened by the perilous exigencies of the times, and by the quick
succession of startling events, even as the inventive faculties are said
to be rendered more acute by the presence of danger, at such times sees
clearly the fallacies which perhaps have blinded mankind for years, and
recognizes, with unerring certainty, the misfortunes and disasters of
to-day as the evil effects of theories which aforetime were only
considered capable of good.

And with these theories must inevitably fall their supporters and
promulgators. The men who have persistently misled the public mind and
falsified the experience of the past as well as the deductions of
abstract reasoning, and who, consequently, if not the originators, are
at least the aggravators, of all our misfortunes, need expect no mercy
at the hands of the people. They must share the fate of their doctrines,
and consent to be quietly shelved, buried beyond the hope of a
resurrection: and it is to be hoped that their places will be filled by
good, earnest, and true men, who have proved themselves devoted to the
cause of our country's advancement rather than to that of personal
preferment. In this war, the men of the future must make their record,
and whenever they shall come before the people for the posts of honor
and distinction, they will be judged according as they have to-day
sacrificed personal prejudices and partisan feeling upon the altar of
unity and freedom. For years to come the first question concerning a
candidate will be, Was he loyal in the troublous times? was he earnest
and true? There will be no distinction between the truly loyal Democrat
and the earnest Republican. Those who have to-day stood shoulder to
shoulder in the common cause will, whatever may be their difference in
shades of opinion, be sworn friends in the future; while he who has in
these times been only noted for a carping, cavilling spirit, for
activity in endeavors to hamper and thwart the constituted authorities
in their efforts to restore and maintain the integrity of the
Government, will to their dying day wear the damning mark of Cain upon
their brows: their record will bear a stain which no subsequent effort
can wipe away. And though in the days to come other exciting questions
will arise to divide the people into strongly opposing parties, which,
indeed, are necessary to all true national life, preserving the balance
of political power, acting as a check upon injudicious and interested
legislation, and, above all, evolving truths by the very attrition of
conflicting ideas, yet the intimate association of the past, bringing
about a thorough acquaintance with the virtues and patriotism of the
great mass of those who profess radically different ideas and opinions,
as well as the wearing off of the sharp corners of those ideas
themselves by a closer and more impartial observation, will tend to
smooth away the asperities of partisan conflict, and beget greater
charity and more respect for the opposing opinions of others, based upon
a knowledge of the purity of intention and loftiness of purpose of
political opponents. The evils of sectional feeling and sectional
legislation, so clearly manifested in present events, will be avoided in
the future, as the Maelstrom current which sucks in the stoutest bark to
inevitable destruction: and while we shall still retain that natural
love of home which binds us most closely to the place of our abode, the
principle will be recognized that the well-being of the whole can only
lie in the soundness and prosperity of each particular part, and we
shall know no dividing lines in our love of country, but all become
members of one great brotherhood, citizens of one common and united
country. The experience of the past will teach us to religiously avoid
the snares and pitfalls that beset our path, the hidden rocks and shoals
upon which our bark had wellnigh stranded; and the science of politics
will henceforward have a broader sweep, a loftier appreciation of
national responsibility, a purer benevolence, a sublimer philanthropy.

Among the influences which will greatly modify the future of American
politics, not the least is the lately enacted banking law. Hitherto we
have been divided in our finances as no nation ever was before. Every
individual State has had not only its own system of banking, but its own
separate and distinct currency; a currency oftentimes based upon an
insufficient security, and possessing only a local par value. The
traveller who would journey from one portion of the country to another
was driven to the alternative of converting his funds into bills of
exchange, or of shopping from broker to broker to procure the currency
of the particular localities which he proposed to visit. Not to mention
the inconvenience of such a state of things, it is productive of many
dire evils, which it is not my purpose to enumerate, since they are
already familiar to the majority of my readers. Suffice it to say that
such a diversity in a point so vital to all enlightened nations, is
antagonistic to the very spirit of our institutions, under a government
whose existence depends upon the principle of unity, in a land whose
prosperity depends upon the consolidation of all its constituent parts
into one homogeneous whole. Not only is this diversity in the money
market forever destroyed by the establishment of a uniform currency, but
from the peculiar nature of the law, the stability of the Government is
made a matter of direct self-interest to every individual citizen, than
which no surer or more enduring bond of union can be devised. For
self-interest, the Archimedean lever that moves the world, loses no jot
of its influence when even honor and patriotism have withered away.
Every dollar of the security upon which the currency is based must be
deposited in the treasury vaults: in other words, the wealth of every
individual citizen is under Government lock and key. Should, then, in
the future, any misguided portion of our people see fit to withdraw from
our communion, irretrievable ruin not only stares them in the face, but
is actually upon them from the moment the bond is severed. On the one
side is devotion to the country, and a firm, secure currency, which at
any moment will bring its full value in gold; on the other, secession,
with the inevitable attendant of a circulation, not depreciated, but
utterly worthless, and that, too, with no other to fill its place, since
the operation of the law must soon drive out of existence every dollar
of the present local bank circulation: patriotism and prosperity arrayed
against rebellion and ruin. The business men all see this, and in the
event of any threatened disruption, they, the most influential part of
community, because controlling that which is the representative of all
value, will be found firm and unwavering on the side of the duly
constituted authority. Thus we shall have all the benefits of a funded
national debt, with none of its attendant evils. And what a bond of
union is this!--a bond which involves our very meat and drink, a bond
which there can be no possible motive to sever so powerful as the
incentive to union and mutual coöperation.

Again, the financial crises with which our country has been afflicted at
regular periods of her existence, lowering thousands at one moment from
a condition of ease and comfort to one of the most pinching want,
changing merchant princes to beggars, and spreading ruin far and wide,
have owed their origin, not to a wild spirit of speculation, but to the
over inflation of bank issues, which is itself the cause of that
reckless speculation. This evil, too, will be done away with in the
future, for the issue must and will be regulated by the demands of the
community. The Government, in whose hands are the securities, and who
furnish the circulation based thereon, will control this matter and
restrain the issue to its proper bounds. And even if it should run
beyond that point, there will be less danger, since there can be no
spurious basis, every dollar being secured by a tangible deposit in the
Government vaults. The only escape from this view is in open and
barefaced fraud, which will be easy of conviction, and no more to be
feared than the ordinary operations of counterfeiters, and which will be
effectually provided against. So carefully drawn are the provisions of
the bill that no loophole is left for speculation; and he who shall
hereafter succeed in flooding the country with a 'wildcat' currency,
will be a shrewder financier and a more accomplished villain than the
world has yet seen. The people, too, will repose such a confidence in
the banks as they have never done before. We shall hear little hereafter
of 'runs upon the banks;' for the currency holders, well knowing that
the Government holds in its hands the wherewithal to redeem the greater
portion of the circulation of every bank in the land in the event of the
closing of its doors, the only 'runs' will be upon the deposits, and
this only in cases of the grossest and most patent fraud and
mismanagement on the part of the banks themselves. Hence, in times of
financial peril we shall see the people combining to sustain the banks
of their own locality, rather than, as is the case to-day, hastening to
accelerate the ruin of perfectly solvent institutions which, but for
their ill-timed fright, might weather the storm. Again I say, there
could be no greater element of union and strength than this, which has
grown out of our necessities and tribulations. In spite of all the
confusion and ruin and bloodshed, in spite of all the mourning, and
suffering, and sundering of ties, and upheaving of the very foundations
and apparent total disruption of American society, no greater blessing
could have befallen us than this same war, which has roused us to a new
life, to the consciousness of defects and determination of reform,
thereby planting us firmly on the true road to prosperity and happiness
and power.

The wonderful display of our power and resources has given a
reputation--call it notoriety, if you will--among the middle and lower
classes of the old world, which in long years of peace we could not have
attained. And our success in withstanding the terrible tempest which has
assailed us, in maintaining the integrity of our political system, will
spread that reputation far and wide, and give us a prestige whose effect
will be seen in the increased tide of immigration that will flow in upon
us upon the reëstablishment of peace. The teeming soil and salubrious
climate of the far West, together with the prospect it affords, not only
of wealth, but of social advancement, both of which are forever denied
them in their own country, and extremely difficult of attainment even in
our own Eastern States, where the population is dense and every branch
of industry crowded to repletion, will allure the hardy laborers of
Europe by thousands and tens of thousands to the prairie land. In the
immense unsettled tracts west of the Mississippi there is room for the
action of men inured to toil, and promise of quick and abundant returns
for their labor. There they will be free from the disastrous competition
of their superiors in education and enlightenment, and have
opportunities such as no other portion of the earth presents, for the
founding of communities of their own, and the practical realization of
their own ideas of social progress. Comparatively few years will pass
after the restoration of peace before the West will be peopled by the
very bone and sinew of all civilized nations. And these men will come to
our shores imbued with the bitterest hatred of monarchical institutions,
and an unbounded admiration and love of our own. Hence the new country
will be intensely republican in its tendencies, and this will be another
strong bond of union--another mighty element of strength and perpetuity
to republicanism. For, as the movement goes steadily on, in time the
balance of political power will rest with them. And it will be ours to
see that the strong bias in favor of antiquated customs, laws, and
usages, the result of centuries of unopposed tyranny, is eradicated from
the minds of these men. They must be properly instructed in the
principles of true liberty and self-government. They must be
familiarized with the workings of free institutions and put to school in
the experience of our century of experiment. Our very safety requires
it; for so great is the field and so quickly will it be filled, that if
we are not alive to the work, a mighty nation will soon have sprung up
on our borders, and almost in our midst, which will be entirely beyond
our control, and threaten the very existence of our race, and of the
principles we most cherish. For the danger is that, suddenly released
from all the restrictions of their own feudal climes, they will fly to
the other extreme, and become lawless, reckless, and turbulent. For many
years to come all legislation must have an eye to the possible and
probable capacities and immense importance of the yet unsettled West,
and to the exigencies arising from causes which at present we know not
of save by conjecture. We have a future before us such as the past has
never known, and an incentive, nay, rather a necessity, for more
vigorous action than we have yet been called upon to display, and for a
deeper and more far-sighted wisdom than has ever yet pervaded our
councils.

The religious future of this portion of our country is veiled in the
deepest obscurity. Here we shall have the free-thinking German, the
bigoted Roman Catholic, the atheistic Frenchman, and the latitudinarian
Yankee, in one grand heterogeneous conglomeration of nations and ideas
such as the world has never seen. Whether these diverse peculiarities
will by close contact and mutual attrition, by the advancing light of
education and refinement as well as by the progress of intellect, be in
time softened down, assimilated, and fused into a pure, elevating
religion, or aggravated till they result in a godless, materialistic
race, God only knows. For no man was ever yet able to prognosticate of
religion, or prophecy with the remotest degree of its future action. For
it is a thing of God, under his exclusive care, and subject to none of
the influences of human action. In His hands we must leave it, in the
earnest hope and belief that He will not suffer His divine purposes to
be thwarted, and this people, to whom He has intrusted the task of the
world's regeneration, to forget and deny their God, who has led them on
to power and prosperity and happiness, to go back upon the scale of the
soul's eternal progress, and become a race of wicked, corrupt, and
God-defying sensualists.

Yet there is no maxim more true than that 'the gods help those who help
themselves,' and in this great work of religious advancement we have
nevertheless a part to act, a duty to perform. And the day is not far
distant when the work of the missionary in our own land will overshadow
that of the teacher in African climes. Here will be an ample field for
all our exertions, all our contributions; and if we do our duty by our
own people, we shall be forced, for a time at least, to leave the task
of instructing the heathen of foreign lands to the Christian nations of
the Old World. Our greatest responsibility is here, and it behooves us
to look well to the religious culture of our own rapidly increasing
population, that in after times they may be fitted for the task of
Christianizing the world.

Every nation has its crisis, when its existence trembles in the balance,
and through which it must safely pass before it can be firmly
established as a great fact in history, a tangible landmark of progress,
a controlling influence in the affairs of humanity. Nor is this crisis
ever a mere fortuitous circumstance, but the necessary consequence of
conflicting ideas and of untried systems. It is that point in the great
process of assimilation when different and hitherto almost discordant
elements tremble on the verge either of a harmonious blending for all
time, or of flying off into eternal divergence and hostility. Hence it
was not to be imagined that we could escape the common lot: our crisis
was to be expected, and now that it has come upon us it is to be
manfully met, and so controlled by an iron will, a loftiness of
determination, and a purity of aim, that it leave us not stranded among
the breakers of disunion and political death. And if we shall succeed in
so controlling the mighty current of affairs, we may rest assured that
we shall be purified by the trial, and shall have established a position
on earth that no subsequent events can shake, until God, in His own good
time, shall bid us give way to some higher development of mankind, if
such shall be His will. With a noble and worthy nationality; with an
incontestable position of strength and political influence, a widely
diffused skill and experience in military affairs, a fund of warlike
invention, and unbounded physical resources, which shall free us from
all annoyances and intermeddlings at the hands of foreign nations; with
a purification from the errors of the past, and a deeper insight into
the capabilities as well as the exigencies of the present and the
future; with a regenerated and higher-toned press; with an _anathema
maranatha_ for treason, in whatever shape it may assume; with a purer
charity for the opinions of others, and a more graceful yielding of the
obnoxious characteristics of our own; with a firmly established and
health-giving system of finance; with a rapidly increasing population,
bringing with it an increase of responsibility, and furnishing a broader
field for the development of our energies and resources; with a glorious
past behind and a golden future before us, we shall sweep majestically
on upon the waves of time, an object of admiration to the world and of
justifiable pride to ourselves--a great, and glorious, and, above all, a
free, happy, united, and prosperous people. God grant it may be so! God
grant that we may be true to the trust reposed in us, and that the
glorious cause of human liberty--the cause in which are bound up the
hopes of the whole world--may not again fall to the earth through the
blindness and weakness and incompetence of us, who are to-day its only
exponents. May we of this day and generation live to see the crowning of
all these hopes; and when our sun goes down in the shadows of eternity,
may we be able to look back and thank God for the trials and sufferings
and losses and mournings of to-day, as the refining fire through which
we have come strong and bright, the sharp knife whereby the gnawing
worms of error, and corruption and inevitable death have been cut from
the heart of our goodly tree.



GOD'S HARP.

FROM AN UNWRITTEN POEM.


    God struck the heavens' holy Harp,
      While sang the grand celestial choir.
    Earth heard the awful sound, and saw
      The trembling of the golden wire.
    'Twas thunder to the stranger ear,
      And to the eye the lightning's fire.



AUTUMN LEAVES.

                       'O Heaven! were man
    But constant, he were perfect; that one error
    Fills him with faults, makes him run through all sins.'

                            _Two Gentlemen of Verona_


    Are they truly dying,
      All the summer leaves?
    Will the blasts of autumn
      Strip the happy trees?
    Bright the glowing foliage
      Paints the misty air--
    Crimson, purple, golden--
      Must they die--so fair?

    Where has flown the sunshine
      Wooed them to their birth,
    Tempting them to flutter
      Far above the earth?
    Ruthless did it leave them
      In their hour of bloom,
    Let the chill blasts whisper
      Tales of death and doom?

    Rapidly they robed them
      In each varied hue,
    Hoping thus the sunshine
      To attract anew;
    But the fickle glitter
      Looked in anger down,
    Freezing up the life-pulse
      With an icy frown.

    Then the happy radiance
      Sinks to rise no more;
    Leaves of gold and crimson
      Strew earth's gloomy floor.
    Gone their summer glory,
      Lifeless, lost, they lie;
    Wilted, withered, drifting
      As winds will, they fly.

    Thus in woman's bosom
      Love wakes bud and bloom,
    'Neath his glowing sunshine
      Thinking not of doom;
    Covering soft life's desert
      Spread the branches green,
    Hope's bright birds sing through them--
      Close the leafy screen.

    Through the quivering foliage
      Falls a sudden fear!
    Leaves are rustling, trembling--
      Feel _change_ drawing near!
    Brighter then they robe them,
      Call on every hue,
    Color every fibre--
      Love to win anew.

    Summon gold and crimson,
      Bright as dyed in blood;
    Hectic fever flushes
      Pour in anguished flood!
    Gone the healthful quiet
      Of the summer green;
    Hope-birds turn to ravens,
      Sighs the leafy screen.

    Love looks down in anger
      On the wildering show;
    Freezing follows change-frost--
      Love heaps ice and snow!
    Then the fevered radiance
      Fades from life's doomed tree;
    Wilted, withered, drifting,
      Bud, bloom, leaves we see.

    Love looks down upon them,
      Wonders how it came--
    Thinks through all his changing
      They should bloom the same:
    Did not know his change-frost
      Had the power to kill;
    Did not deem his frowning
      Life's quick pulse could still!

    Gone the fickle sunshine!
      Gone the rosy hours!
    Gone love's early wooing!
      Gone the healthful powers!
    Come and cool the hectic,
      Chill the fevered glow,
    Pale the crimson flushing,
      Death, beneath thy snow!



ACROSS MAINE IN MID-WINTER.


A journey by stage coach in these days, when railroads are fast
penetrating to the remotest corners of our country, has already become a
somewhat novel experience. In the course of comparatively few years,
even the 'air line' will have given place to an international railway,
connecting us immediately with New Brunswick, and the stage coaches of
this region will be among the reminiscences of the past.

The circumstances under which this journey of mine was performed were
most painful. Still, through that remarkable power of the human mind,
which seems to act independently of volition, that mysterious duality of
being which observes, discriminates, and remembers, while at the same
time preoccupied by an overwhelming grief, I was enabled to note each
little incident with more than usual intensity.

Was it that they stood out in bolder, more sharply cut relief, because
of the dark background of emotion behind?

There had been little, if any, snow on the island all the winter, and
the morning of the 26th of January was bright and mild as April. Indeed,
it was difficult to imagine it winter.

'Come, Fred,' said I to my second little boy, 'We must take a walk to
the batteries this fine morning.'

As I stood upon the height, while the little fellow frisked about among
the rocks, I stretched my eyes westward toward the hills and forests of
the mainland, and thought of my father and mother, and of the letter
which I almost knew was on its way to me then. Ah! little did I dream
that at that very moment the gaunt sentinels of the telegraph were
tossing from one to another, with lightning speed, a message of woe for
me. Its long journey of four hundred miles was accomplished in less time
than my short walk. I had just returned when it arrived.

I saw by my husband's countenance as he read it, and by his extreme
tenderness of manner toward me, that a great misfortune had befallen me.
I sank down on the floor beside him, trembling with apprehension, yet
longing to know the worst. 'Is it mother?' I gasped. He handed me the
telegram, which was directed to him:

'Your father-in-law died this morning. Can Elsie come to the funeral? If
so, what day? Telegraph immediately.'

And this was all. My father was _dead_! How long he had been ill, or
what was his disease, I knew not. 'Why did they not send for me sooner,
that I might have seen him alive once more?' I asked, in the first
unreasoning agony of grief. But he was _dead_. All I could do for him
now was to yield him my last tribute of reverence and affection.

'Can Elsie come to the funeral?' Yes, I could go. It was all I could do
for my father now; I knew that. My family would be well cared for in my
absence. My husband did not oppose me, though he could not approve. But
he exerted himself in every way to further my plans.

There were difficulties at the outset. The regular morning stage had
already left. The 'air line,' as it is called, was the only route
remaining to me. Now this 'air line' started from a point thirty miles
north of us, and lay through ninety miles of wilderness. I had heard of
it before I ever came to the island, and had been told a wild story
about a stage coach having been chased by a pack of wolves for several
miles on this route a few years before. The innkeeper, too, spoke very
dubiously about it to my husband. But what were the hundred and twenty
miles between me and the cars--the four hundred between me and my
father, then! Should these few miles of earth detain me? No! It was
possible for me to go, and go I must.

My preparations were soon made; but I found, to my dismay, on applying
for a passage in the stage to C----(where the journey proper would
begin) that all the seats were taken. The innkeeper sent me word,
however, that he would furnish me a private conveyance, if I _must_ go.
So at two o'clock, P.M., an open, low-backed buggy appeared at my gate.
I kissed my little ones, who gathered wonderingly around to 'see mamma
go away,' and wrapping my old plaided cloak about me (the cloak I wore
when a child), I seated myself beside the buffalo-bundled driver, and
was soon whirling out of town.

The air was soft and mild, and no snow was to be seen except a little
here and there by the roadside as we advanced northward. The sky had
become overcast, and showed signs of an approaching storm. The scenery
was generally bare and uninteresting. We followed the St. Croix river in
its course. Opposite St. Andrews it widens into a broad bay. It was then
near sunset, and the clouds broke away a little and gave a cheery, rosy
flush to the calm water.

Night soon settled down upon us. It was dark when we arrived at the ----
Hotel, after a drive of five hours. I had never been in C----, and this
was my first experience in hotel life alone.

I was ushered into a large, lonesome room, in total darkness except for
the light from the hall burner, which streamed dismally into its depths.
A tall, black shadow soon announced himself as the landlord, to whom I
made known my wants. His wife, a kind-hearted, energetic woman, took
compassion on me, and showed me into her own private parlor to get
warmed, for I was very chilly. Here the good lady's curiosity was piqued
somewhat to find that the young man who accompanied me was _not_ my
husband, and that I proposed to go on the next morning to Bangor alone.
I shuddered when she told me the journey was usually made in an open
conveyance. Think of riding all day and all night on a board slung
across an open wagon! And what if it should _rain_!

I bethought myself of two friends of mine who were visiting in C----,
and to them I despatched my cards. After tea, when I was seated quietly
in my room, Aunt Carter came. She is one of those good, kind souls who
are always aunts to everybody. She came to me with hearty sympathy. The
evening passed pleasantly away, for her simple words of faith and hope
cheered and consoled me.

I slept but little that night. I lay thinking of my father, and of the
morrow's journey, and listening to every sound. I fancied I heard it
raining. At last I was almost sure of it. When I peeped out of the
window in the gray of the dawn, the ground was white, and it was snowing
fast.

Soon after breakfast my kind friends appeared, and the good clergyman
also, who went down to make some inquiries about the stage coach for me,
and, returning soon, announced with a very grave countenance that it had
not connected with the cars at Bangor for nearly a week. In fact, that
it was unusual for it to do so at this season.

'It seems to have set in for a storm,' said he. 'All our storms this
winter have terminated in rain. There is a uniformity in storms,' he
added, lugubriously, 'and if this should turn to rain, you cannot
possibly get through.'

For a few moments my purpose was shaken. If I did not succeed in
reaching the cars the next morning, I would be too late for my father's
funeral, and my journey would be all but in vain. There was my mother,
to be sure, but my whole heart turned to my father now. Could I, ought I
to run this risk?

But, on the other hand, how could I relinquish my object when thus far
on the way to it?

Blessings on Aunt Carter! She came to the rescue.

'Now,' said she, 'I have found that a good Providence always took care
of me, and _I_ believe He will take care of you. You've begun your
journey and got thus far safely, and _I_ believe you'll get through to
Bangor in time. At any rate, if you don't, you will have the
satisfaction of comforting your mother. I've been about the world
considerable,' she continued, 'and I've always found a _man_ to take
care of me. Now you shall have _my man_ to take care of you.'

Reassured by her hopeful words, I exclaimed:

'Enough, I will go! If there be any power in will, or any speed in
horses, I will get there!'

The minister sighed, but I commenced putting on my cloak. Just then, the
young man who had driven me up from the island the day before, came to
take my parting commands.

'Tell Mr. K.,' said I, 'that I start under favorable auspices. Is any
one going through?'

'Two passengers, but no ladies,' he replied.

'Who are they?' I inquired.

'They are both strangers, from the 'other side''--(the Maine cognomen
for the neighboring British provinces).

'What do they look like?'

'Well, they _look_ like gentlemen, and we _hope_ they are so,' he
replied, with dubious emphasis.

And these were my favorable auspices! A doubtful snowstorm and two
doubtful gentlemen! Nevertheless I spoke the truth.

At length I was all ready, and the landlady, who was quite interested in
me by that time, took me once more into her parlor with my friends,
while waiting for the stage. Again the thought of my travelling
companions occurred to me. I inquired if the landlady knew aught of
them.

'Nothing but their names,' said she. 'Neither of them was ever here
before. They look a little rough, but you cannot always tell about these
province people, they dress so differently from our folks. I dare say
they are real gentlemen.'

It was decided, with the concurrence of my friends, to request an
introduction to one of them through the landlord, as I was travelling
alone, and might need some aid. If they were as it was 'hoped,' this
would be an advantage; and if they were not, the formality might be some
protection.

I confess I was not strongly prepossessed in their favor when I
confronted them at the door of the hotel; the one a short, fat figure in
a coarse blue coat, with a hood of the same, lined with scarlet; a flat
cloth cap, and long heavy boots, reaching above the knee. An ugly
red-and-green woollen scarf tied around the waist enhanced the oddity of
his appearance. The other was taller and more slenderly built. His
complexion was decidedly 'sandy,' with short, curling hair and a
prodigious mustache. His countenance, like his dress, was grave, the
latter being an iron-gray travelling suit.

With a low bow the landlord presented me to the former. It was a kindly
voice that said, 'Excuse my mitten,' as, instinctively drawing off my
own, my hand rested a moment in his big, shaggy palm. There was
good-nature in the face too, from the roguish dark eyes to the genial,
laughter-loving mouth.

I trembled, though, as, bidding farewell to my friends, I stepped into
the coach.

'Take good care of this lady, driver,' said Aunt Carter, 'for she's a
precious charge.'

My good friend the clergyman was the last one to bid me good-by. He
reached into the coach and shook hands with me, wishing me a prosperous
journey.

At last we were off. The snow fell thick and fast and moist. What if it
should turn to rain? But it was not cold, and I at least was
uncomfortably warm, for my kind friends had provided me with a
well-heated plank for my feet, and a brick for my hands. It was heavy
sleighing, and we dragged along at the rate of four miles an hour for
the first twelve or fifteen miles. Occasionally the object of my journey
and the novelty of my situation would come over me like a dream; but I
resolutely buried my grief away down in my heart, and lived on the
surface.

I entered into conversation with my travelling companions, whom I
scrutinized narrowly.

We had not gone very far before the Englishman unbuttoned his overcoat
and produced what is technically called a 'pocket pistol.' It was a flat
flask of generous proportions, encased in leather, fitting into a silver
drinking cup below, and with a stopper of the same screwing on the top.
At any rate, however questionable its contents might be, its appearance
outwardly was highly respectable.

'By your permission, madam,' said he, pouring a portion into the cup.

'Certainly,' said I, significantly, 'within reasonable limits.'

'Of course,' said he, pleasantly, as he offered it to the other
gentleman, since I declined it. I learned to bless them both, and the
brandy flask into the bargain, before I got to the end of my journey.
But I will not anticipate.

They were intelligent and well-educated. Occasionally the conversation
took a solemn and earnest tone. We touched on many topics. We discussed
the Queen and royal family; the Prince of Wales; his visit to this
country; his intended marriage, &c.; the prospect of Prince Alfred
becoming King of Greece; the condition of these United States; the
rebellion, &c., &c.

I was sorry to find that the young Englishman was strongly tinctured
with the prejudices now so prevalent in the provinces against
emancipation. He frankly acknowledged that at the time of the 'Trent
affair' his sympathies turned toward the South, but that since he had
read more and thought more on the subject, he had become decidedly in
favor of the North.

The other gentleman was a Scotchman, born and brought up near Gretna
Green. His recollections of the renowned blacksmith and the runaway
couples he had often seen riding posthaste to the smithy, with pursuers
close behind perhaps, were very interesting. He was recently from New
Orleans, where he had resided for several years. He was there through
the blockade, and served in the city troops several months, though,
being a foreigner, he could not be impressed into the regular army on
either side. He was reserved, of course, concerning his opinions, but it
was easy to see that he regarded General Butler, whom I lauded highly,
with no friendly eye.

At one o'clock we stopped at a dingy little cottage to dine. Here the
Englishman took me under his special charge, assisting me into the
house, while the Scotchman followed after with my plank and brick, which
were duly set up before the blazing open fire to warm for the next
stage. Here I first saw the Frenchman, who had ridden outside in order
to enjoy his pipe. He was sitting by the fire wringing the moisture from
his long black hair, and wondering if he could get any 'rum.' On seeing
the lady he courteously made way, and, after, laying aside my wrappings,
I seated myself before the fire, while waiting for dinner. It was a dim
little room, uncarpeted, and poorly furnished with a looking glass, a
map, and a few wooden chairs, and ornamented by a 'mourning piece,'
which hung over the mantel, representing a bareheaded lady with a
handkerchief at her eyes, standing beside a monument under a weeping
willow.

But the open fire was a sight worth seeing in those days. How it roared
and blazed and crackled and hissed and diffused its hospitable warmth
and ruddy glow all over the little brown room! How cheerfully it
contrasted with the storm without!

Dinner was soon announced, and as Mr. K.'s last injunction had been to
'be sure to eat, whether I wished to or not,' I prepared to pass through
the first ordeal of eating against my inclination. There was little to
excite appetite. The room was browner and dimmer than the one we had
just left; the table was spread with a coarse brown cloth; the bread was
brown, not honest 'rye and Indian,' but tawny-colored wheat, and sour at
that; the thick uncomely slices of corned beef were brown too, and the
dishes and plates were all brown. The Englishman looked despondingly on
the repast, and ventured to inquire if the landlady, a quiet body in a
brown dress, had any eggs.

'Yes,' she replied, with a strong nasal twang, 'but they ain't very
fresh. I shud be 'fraid to resk b'ilin' 'em. I could fry some, ef yer
liked.'

'It's of no consequence, madam,' said the Englishman; but the good
woman, bent on being accommodating, and observing, ''Twouldn't take but
a minute to do 'em,' disappeared into the kitchen, and returned in an
incredibly short space of time with a plate of eggs swimming in grease.
I did the best I could to obey my husband's orders, but with poor
success.

We were soon on our way again. At every solitary house along the road we
stopped to leave a mailbag. Whom could the letters be for? we wondered.

At one place a pretty girl ran out bareheaded through the snow to take
the mail. She was neatly dressed, and wore a pretty, bright-colored
'Sontag' over her shoulders, but she spoiled her good looks by chewing
vigorously a mouthful of spruce gum, a custom which prevails in this
region, probably borrowed from the Indians.

Here we met the 'return stage' from Bangor--a rough, uncovered sleigh.
There were two or three province men in it, whom the Englishman
recognized.

'I say,' cried he, 'if you see any of my people, tell them you saw me
about three days out from Bangor.'

We passed on, and met nothing more the rest of the journey. The snow
shut off the distant views from us, but, clinging to every twig and rock
and stump, gave a fairy-like beauty to the otherwise dreary scene. The
alder bushes were particularly beautiful, filled as they were with balls
of snow, resembling large bunches of white flowers.

The forest was mostly small second growth. Much of the country was
partially cleared, and long logs lay by the roadside, some of which we
were several minutes in passing. The stumps had been left three or four
feet high. These, blackened by fire or storms, and crowned with snow,
inclined their square heads forward, as if seeking to catch a glimpse of
us as we passed.

The way grew more lonesome and dreary every mile, and the snow more fine
and moist. Would it turn to rain? There were no bells on the horses, and
the driver, a surly, silent fellow, had not even an encouraging
'chirrup' for them, while the muffled crunching of the soft snow by the
runners seemed to have a somnolent influence upon them, judging from our
progress. Occasionally the gentlemen would get out and run up the hills,
and once the Englishman fell full length, and jumped in again, his blue
coat and peaked hood well frosted with snow, looking, were it not for
his youthful face, the very impersonation of Santa Claus. He had a
powerful physique, and was full of vitality. These runs in the snow
seemed to refresh him greatly, while they exhausted the more delicate
Scotchman.

In vain we looked for the wolves. We half wished they might appear, that
the horses might quicken their paces. Not a sign of life was anywhere to
be seen, except one flock of snow-birds on the top of a hill.

Conversation still went on, but the intervals of silence were longer and
more frequent, and the burden of my sudden grief would press upon me
heavily at times. My anxiety and excitement, too, lest I should not make
the connection with the cars, increased as the day advanced. At last the
monotonous motion of the stage coach, added to the agitated state of my
nerves, began to affect me like the rolling of the sea. The trees of the
forest seemed to waltz around me in mazy circles. Faster and faster they
whirled, till my sight grew dim and I could scarcely distinguish them at
all. My senses were winding up. I felt them slipping from me in spite of
the strongest effort of my will to hold them. A confused sound filled my
ears; my strength failed me; I drooped heavily; but Aunt Carter's 'man'
was by me, sure enough. His protecting arm supported me, and his calm
and steady voice penetrated even my deadened hearing, as he asked my
permission to apply some snow to my forehead. I uttered an almost
inarticulate assent. There was one blank moment, and then the refreshing
coolness on my brow and on my hands revived me. I apologized for the
trouble I had given. 'We all have mothers and sisters,' he replied,
quietly, as he poured a draught from his travelling flask for me. My
distrust of him and his 'pocket pistol,' too, had vanished.

The Scotchman also was unwearied in his attention to my comfort. Did the
snow blow in upon me? He would lower the curtain. Did I wish more air?
he would raise it again. Were my feet becoming chilled? He would tuck in
the buffalo. Between the two I fared certainly as comfortably as
circumstances would permit.

The weather was still mild, though colder than before. As the day wore
on, the wind began to rise, and I observed frequent eddies and
whirlwinds of snow and ominous grooves around every wayside stone. Would
the storm increase and drift? In that case my chance of getting to
Bangor in time was doubtful enough.

We reached our next stopping place at half past four, P.M. It was a
weather-stained house, which we must have entered by the back door, for
we passed into the kitchen at once, where were a stout, pleasant-faced
woman, with two stout, pleasant-faced daughters, and a big fat yellow
dog, who sat up in a chair beside them at the window, as though he were
indeed a part of the family. We were ushered into a small room beyond,
which rejoiced in another glorious wood fire, before which the
Englishman duly planted me, and the Scotchman my plank and brick. Over
the mantel was another version of the sepulchral monument with the
weeping woman and willow, in whimsical contrast with the jolly,
rollicking fire beneath, which gave us such a hearty welcome.

As we sat luxuriating in the warmth, the two fat girls in the kitchen
began to vocalize with low sweet voices that harmonized pleasantly, 'Do,
re, mi, si, la, si, do.' Evidently there had been a singing school in
the neighborhood. Presently they struck into 'Marching Along,' which
they sang with considerable spirit.

In the mean time, an overgrown youth, apparently belonging to the house,
who sat in one corner, tilting his chair, said, addressing all of us at
once, 'Wal, you've got the wust half the road before yer now. Thur's a
hill a mile an' a half long, jest out here a little ways. You'll have to
break yer own roads, I reckon; there's nothin' else goin' along to-day.
Storm's gittin' wuss.'

We looked dubiously at each other, and he, probably observing my anxious
countenance, endeavored to reassure us by saying, in an uncertain tone,
'But I _rayther_ guess you'll git through.'

We were soon off again on the next stage, which was to be twenty-four
miles, without any stopping-place or village between. We ascended many
hills, in fact there seemed to be no going down to any of them; but when
the horses came to a dead halt, and the coach began to slip backward,
and the driver called out, 'I guess, gentlemen, you'll hev to git out
here for a spell,' we knew we had come to the hill 'a mile an' a half
long.' I kept my place, for my weight was too inconsiderable to make
much difference. The Englishman, taking hold of the coach, helped the
horses to start again with a vigorous push, and then the three
passengers went plunging through the snow till the driver stopped and
took them in again, quite out of breath.

We were now in the depths of the forest, many miles from any house.
Occasionally we passed a deserted lumberman's hut by the wayside, and
discussed the liability of a breakdown or an overturn in that wild
region.

The white-headed, square-faced stumps which abounded in the partially
cleared tracts, peered in upon us for mile after mile with haunting
repetition.

The trees were heavily laden with snow, which they shook down upon us as
we brushed along beneath their low-bending branches. In the dim twilight
they assumed every variety of fanciful form. There were gaunt old trees,
with gnarled and twisted branches, outstretched like arms in deadly
Laocoon-like struggle with the writhing winds and storms; there were
delicate birches, each slender twig bearing its feathery burden; and
there were spruces and hemlocks, regal in snowy splendor. It lay upon
them in heavy masses, and gave their bending boughs a still more
graceful dip. There was something which harmonized with my grief in the
silent snow and the drooping trees. They sank beneath the snow as the
human heart sinks beneath its burden of sorrow. Yet it fell gently and
beautifully upon them, as affliction falls from the hand of our Father,
'who chasteneth whom he loveth.' One tree, which bent completely over in
a perfect abandonment of grief, particularly impressed me. There was
something in the sweep of the branches which suggested the utter
prostration of the heart beneath the first shock of a great affliction.

How still it was! It was not dark, for the moon had risen, and the
clouds were thin. The snow, too, made it lighter.

It was at this solemn, awe-inspiring hour that my companions first
learned the object of my journey. The sympathy with which they met me
did honor to human nature.

'I thought,' said the Englishman, 'that the urgency of my own journey
was great, but it is nothing compared to yours.'

He apologized for any light or careless conversation in which they had
indulged, not knowing the circumstances of my journey, and entered fully
into the sentiment which had prompted me to undertake it. He assured me
that he would see that I got through in time for the cars the next
morning, and begged me to feel no further uneasiness about it.

From that moment, both my companions were more assiduously devoted to my
comfort than ever. Their interest was increased on finding that my
father was the son of a well-known inventor.

His history was soon told. He had inherited his father's business (now
passed out of the family) with something of his mechanical talent. Of a
confiding disposition, he had been wronged by those whom he had
intrusted most extensively, and, property gone and strength failing, his
misfortunes, which he had at all times borne with exemplary patience and
fortitude, had culminated in the loss of his old home, the home of his
father before him, by the hand of the incendiary. He had left me a
precious legacy in his memory, to which my present journey was an
inadequate tribute.

The hours wore on. It did not grow much darker, but oh, it was so still!
You could hear the stillness when the coach stopped, as occasionally it
did.

It was there, in the depths of this remote wilderness, that our subdued
voices mingled in those grand old chorals which belong to the church
universal, and in which, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Unitarian as we
were, we could all heartily join: 'Old Hundred,' so full of worship;
'Dundee,' with its plaintive melody; and 'America,' breathing the soul
of loyalty, whether sung to 'God save the Queen,' or 'Our country, 'tis
of thee.'

My voice was feeble, and soon gave out. I had come near fainting
repeatedly, and had only been resuscitated by the snow and the
Englishman's brandy. I was now nearly exhausted.

'You had better make use of my shoulder as a pillow,' he said,
perceiving my condition.

'You had better, by all means,' chimed in the Scotchman.

I hesitated a moment. What would Mrs. Grundy say--and my husband? I was
too tired to care for the former, and the latter, I knew, would be only
grateful to my compassionate friends.

'Circumstances must dispense with ceremony,' I observed, suiting the
action to the word.

'Madam,' rejoined the Englishman, with warmth, 'I hope you will find,
before you get to the end of your journey, that you are in honorable
company.'

'I have found it out already,' I murmured, and then, committing myself
to the care and keeping of the Good Father, my last shadow of distrust
vanished.

I was too weary to hold my eyelids open, and too much excited to sleep.
At length I was aroused by a sudden stop. The 'whippletree' had broken.
In a few minutes we proceeded, the 'leader' being still driven loosely,
as before.

Again we came to a pause--this time to water the horses at a wayside
spring. While the others were refreshing themselves, the 'leader'
quietly walked off, to the great indignation of the driver, who began to
swear as he chased him through the snow. He was captured at last, and we
continued on our way.

The poor Frenchman had by this time become so chilled that he was glad
to come inside, though by so doing he felt obliged to give up the luxury
of his pipe.

All at once the striking difference in our nationalities occurred to me,
and I exclaimed, on the impulse of the moment:

'See, do we not represent the four leading nations of the
earth--England, France, Scotland, and America?'

'Yes,' replied the Englishman, with some hesitation in his manner;
'England is surely one of the leading nations; so is France;'--(here the
Frenchman broke in with some inarticulate jargon to the glory of
France)--'but Scotland--I don't know about that being a 'leading
nation.''

This roused the Scotchman. 'Scotland _has_ been a glorious nation! She
has proud memories for her sons!' he cried, with a fire of enthusiasm,
not without pathos, in its unavoidable admission that the glory of his
country as an individual power in the world was past.

'That is right,' said I, admiring his sudden warmth; 'cling to your own
country before all others, come what may.'

The Englishman then reverted to the present lamentable condition of
these United States, and with characteristic complacency pointed to the
stability and grandeur of his own Government.

It was in vain that I spoke of the future of our country, and
represented our present troubles to be, as I firmly believe, the means
of our regeneration into a nobler and truer national existence. His
English prejudices were not to be shaken. England was, and would remain
_the leading_ nation of the earth.

How much longer the discussion would have continued I know not, had we
not caught sight of lights, and driven up to a more pretentious mansion
than we had yet seen on our way.

Scarcely able to stand, I alighted, and the landlord, seeing the lady,
ushered us into the parlor, which showed signs of approaching
civilization in the large-figured Kiddermister carpet and the
'air-tight' stove.

A fine-looking young man, whom they called 'Doctor,' in a gray suit with
deep fur cuffs, sat at a table, looking over a volume of house plans
with a pretty young lady. Apparently the occupation had been of
absorbing interest, for the fire was nearly out, and the room was quite
cold, and the look with which they greeted our entrance betokened
surprise rather than pleasure.

The Englishman made himself at home, and, not waiting to call a servant,
procured three or four sticks of wood from some unknown quarter, and
began piling them into the stove. They burned feebly, for the fire was
very low indeed, and I still shivered; so, catching up the rocking
chair, he ran off with it into the other room.

'There's a good open fire out here,' said he; 'it doesn't look quite as
tidy, perhaps, but I guess you'll get warm.'

That was the main thing, to be sure; so I followed on. Here the fire was
not so good as it might have been, but by dint of a little bluster, a
quantity of 'light-stuff' and more solid fuel was soon forthcoming, and
we shortly had a blaze almost strong enough to set the chimney and my
inevitable plank on fire. Here we wound our watches. After a little
delay supper was announced--fried beefsteaks, potatoes, and doughnuts.

This was the place where we were to exchange drivers, and where a delay
of several hours frequently occurred.

When we were about half through supper, which my travelling companions
discussed with enviable zeal, a short, stoutly built, sharp-visaged man
appeared in the doorway, and cried out, 'All ready!'

'Well, I'm not,' said the Englishman, looking up good-humoredly. With a
muttered threat about going on and leaving us, the new driver turned
away, and we thought the prospect of getting to Bangor in time had
decidedly improved. Still, there were more than forty miles between.

'I will take one of your doughnuts, madam,' said I, putting it into my
pocket, for I had been able to eat but little.

'Certainly,' said the landlady; 'take as many as you wish.'

There was something in her kindly tone that did me good. It cheered and
helped me more than she could know.

We were to pay our passage here to the returning driver. I had secured a
'through ticket' at C----, but my companions, having only English gold
with them, had not done so, having been assured by this same man that
they could just as well pay at Bangor, where they would obtain a higher
premium on their money. Now, however, he demanded his pay, and at first
was not disposed to allow any premium for the gold. This, of course,
excited their indignation, and some high words passed. However, the
matter was compromised by the driver giving them twenty per cent., when
gold was at that moment worth fifty at Bangor.

I had stolen from the room, and was hastily putting on my numerous
wrappings, when the Englishman came to me with what he called a 'dose,
which he thought would do me good.'

I took part of it, and then hesitated, for it contained strong
reminiscences of the 'pocket pistol.'

'Would you really advise me to take the rest?' said I gravely.

'I certainly would,' he replied, with conclusive solemnity. So I took
it, and I think it did 'do me good.'

'This is a hard journey for you,' said the landlady, compassionately
regarding my diminutive stature and frail aspect.

The driver was very impatient. She half apologized for him, saying, 'He
is very anxious to get through to-night. He doesn't like to go through
in the night always, for there are many dangerous places along the road;
but it is sleighing to-night, and not very dark, so he thinks he can do
very well.'

The urgency of my case, which the Englishman had represented to him,
with what other inducements I can only imagine, occasioned his unwonted
haste.

When we entered the coach once more for the long night ride, one of the
buffaloes was missing.

'It's over to the other stable,' said the driver, carelessly; 'twas left
over there by mistake. You shall have it when we get there.'

You would have thought, from his manner of speaking, that the 'other
stable' was just across the road, instead of being twenty miles away. As
we drove away, I observed, 'I have a doughnut in my pocket; the first
one hungry shall have it.'

The curtains were now buttoned closely down for the first time, and we
were in total darkness. We rode in silence for some time, each
resolutely trying to go to sleep. The Frenchman succeeded best. He had
served as a soldier on the Continent, and was evidently accustomed to
hardship. He slept as soundly as though he were on a down bed, instead
of riding backward in a stage coach.

Again insensibility threatened me. I could not speak, but my labored
breathing aroused my companions just in time to save me from entire
unconsciousness. The faithful Scotchman had raised the curtain, and the
air rushed in freshly upon me. It was very chilly, and much colder than
it had been. It had ceased snowing, and the moon was shining feebly
through the breaking clouds. We were going at a goodly rate of speed. By
and by I thought of my doughnut, and inquired who was hungry. The
Scotchman was not; the Englishman was not; the Frenchman still slept.

'Give it to me, if you please,' said the Englishman, a sudden idea
seeming to strike him.

'Here,' said he, making a thrust at the Frenchman; 'wake up! here's a
doughnut for you.' The old soldier muttered something drowsily. He was
not hungry. 'Won't you take it for the lady?' said the former, with a
dash of sentiment.

'I only eat for the satisfacti-on of mine appétit!' he exclaimed,
sulkily, settling himself back again to sleep.

The night wore on, interrupted only by frequent stoppages, when the
driver dismounted to apply the 'drags' in going down the hills. Before
this, we had seemed to be going up all the hills; now there seemed to be
a continual descent.

I was too weary to sleep. Let me change my position as I might, I could
not be comfortable. My mind was constantly busy, and, since outward
objects could no longer engage my attention, I could no longer escape my
thoughts. At one time I would think of my husband and my five little
ones at home, all sleeping quietly in their beds. I wondered if they had
all said their prayers to their father, and if he had tucked them all up
warmly. Then I would think of my mother. Was she expecting me? I
wondered. My poor mother! what a sad meeting that would be! And then my
dead father would come to mind. How sad, how strange it would seem, to
receive no warm greeting from him!

It was about two o'clock in the morning, when we stopped for our last
change of horses. The house stood black and sombre as a tomb in the dim
moonlight. The family had evidently retired to rest. At length we were
admitted into a dimly lighted room, where a table was spread with
substantial food. The old gentleman, whose slumbers we had so ruthlessly
disturbed, fumbled among a pile of letters and papers, which he
distributed in three monstrous mailbags, that flapped about on the floor
like so many whales out of water. His toilet had evidently been hastily
made, and he shuffled the letters and papers about with the manner of a
person half asleep. His hair, which was white and very abundant, stood
erect all over his head, and contrasted queerly with his nut-brown face,
which was strongly marked and deeply wrinkled.

We were all sleepy and stupid enough by this time, and, had the
Scotchman been a less chivalrous knight than he had proved himself, I
doubt not he would have experienced some satisfaction in placing my
plank and brick before the fire to heat for the last time.

We were none of us hungry but the sharp-visaged driver, who devoured his
supper, or breakfast, whichever it might be called, with the air of a
man who was determined to get through to Bangor before morning.

The Frenchman, who had been completely cowed down by the old gentleman's
indignant 'No, _sir!_ we don't keep no sich stuff abaout these
premises!' in reply to his demand for 'rum,' meekly took refuge in a cup
of coffee.

In the mean time a baby in the adjoining room, awakened by our
movements, began to cry. It was quite a young cry. It could not be more
than three or four months old, I thought, as I compared it mentally with
the efforts of my own youngest in that direction. But the baby shoe
which hung by the fireplace betokened an older child. It must have been
the old gentleman's grandchild. I pitied its mother, for it might lie
awake until morning.

Once more our resolute driver, with an authoritative 'All ready!'
summoned us to depart.

'Amaziah, bring the light around here!' cried the Englishman, who seemed
to know the names of every one at these stopping places by a sort of
intuition.

'Amaziah' promptly obeyed, and by the aid of his lantern I settled
myself for the last stage of my journey. To the Scotchman's comfort, the
missing buffalo was produced here, according to the driver's promise.

The Frenchman, who had been over the 'line' before, had hinted that four
gray horses were to take us into Bangor; but it seemed to be the fate of
three only.

It was then not far from three o'clock, and we had more than twenty
miles before us. As the distance lessened, my excitement increased. I
became so feverish that I could no longer bear my mittens on my hands.
Anxiety and fatigue produced a nervous exhaustion, and the harsh grating
of the 'drags' as we descended the oft-recurring hills, threw me into an
uncontrollable tremor. I was too tired to sleep--too tired, almost, to
think. Strength, sense, hope seemed to lose themselves in my utter
weariness. It seemed at times to become a question whether I should even
live to reach my destination.

My companions cheered and comforted me as best they could, with
never-to-be-forgotten kindness. We stopped once to throw out a mailbag,
and I thought, from the appearance of the place as well as I could see
it, that we were already on the outskirts of Bangor.

'What place is this?' the Englishman inquired.

'Eddington Bend,' replied the driver.

'How far from Bangor?'

'Sixteen miles.'

Toward dawn we all lost ourselves for a few minutes. I first aroused,
and, through the interstices beside the curtains, perceived the gray
light of morning. It was six o'clock, and we were but four miles from
Bangor, the driver informed us.

Only four miles! but how long they seemed! The cars left at half past
seven o'clock, and the daylight was fast advancing.

'Shall we after all get there in time?' said I.

'Not in time for breakfast, I imagine,' replied the Englishman,
resignedly.

At last came the welcome announcement, 'Bangor! There is Bangor!'

'Where is it? I do not see it,' said I, looking eagerly out into the
gray morning mist.

'Why, there, to be sure! Don't you see that steeple? There's another!
and there's another!'

Yes, surely there was Bangor at last, welcome to me as ever the Holy
City to the penance-worn pilgrim.

In my gratitude, I overflowed with benignity to all the world, and even
granted the poor Frenchman permission to enjoy his pipe, a privilege of
which he made haste to avail himself. It was an ill-timed charity, to be
sure, but I could well afford to submit to the temporary discomfort in
the fulness of my satisfaction.

The driver hastened the horses. With ever-increasing speed we passed the
lowly cottages in the suburbs, where people were getting up and
preparing breakfast by candle light, and at last the 'three grays'
cantered triumphantly to the ---- Hotel--in time for breakfast, too!

There was not a moment to spare, however, and so, without waiting even
to make my toilet, we hurried to the train.

The relief I experienced when fairly seated in the car, the excitement
of finding myself in the world once more, among bustling, wide-awake
people, stimulated me, and for some time I was unconscious of my
fatigue.

The Englishman was to leave me at a station a few miles beyond Bangor,
as his journey lay in a different direction. We exchanged cards, and I
could not help saying, as we parted:

'I met you a stranger, but I have found in you a friend and a
brother.'[A]

The Scotchman continued on to Boston with me.

His chivalrous and thoughtful consideration remained undiminished.

At last, after many intervals of lassitude and reanimation, I broke down
altogether. My strength left me. Over-powered with grief and fatigue, I
was glad to rest my weary head on my old plaid cloak, which the
Scotchman rolled into a pillow for me in the saloon of the car, where I
lay for the last six hours until we reached Boston.

Kind friends were there to meet me, and the Scotchman gave me into their
charge, a poor, exhausted creature.

But I was in _time_--and that was enough.

FOOTNOTES:

[A] The accomplished author of 'Intuitive Morals,' in an article in
_Fraser's Magazine_, entitled 'A Day at the Dead Sea,' takes occasion to
render a high tribute to the courtesy of our countrymen. She writes:

     'If at any time I needed to find a gentleman who should aid me
     in any little difficulties of travel, or show me a kindness,
     with that consideration for a woman, _as a woman_, which is the
     true tone of manly courtesy, then I should desire to find a
     North American gentleman.... They are simply the most kind and
     courteous of any people.'

It is with heartfelt pleasure that I return this compliment, in this
account of my winter journey, which, but for the constant and delicate
kindness of her countrymen, would have proved wellnigh insupportable.



DIARY OF FRANCES KRASINSKA;

OR, LIFE IN POLAND DURING THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.


_January 3d._

Yesterday, amid the drinking of toasts, the peals of joyous music, and
the volleys of musketry from our dragoons in honor of the investiture of
the Duke of Courland, the chamberlain despatched to Warsaw returned,
with letters announcing that the ceremony had been delayed, on account
of the king's illness: it has been postponed until the eighth of
January. Our little Matthias says it is a bad omen, and that as the
ducal crown eludes his grasp, so will a royal one. I felt quite
uneasy,... but then there came several visitors, and they distracted my
thoughts. After dinner came Madame Dembinska, wife of the king's
cupbearer, with her sons and daughters; the pantler Jordan, with his
wife and son, and M. Swidinski, Palatine of Braclaw, with his nephew,
the Abbé Vincent. The latter gentleman has been several times at
Maleszow; he is a very pious man; my parents love and esteem him very
much. Although he is quite young, we kiss his hands as a minister of
God. Barbara has completely won his good opinion; he has given her a
rosary, and the 'Christian's Daily Manual.' He was seated next to her at
supper, and even addressed his conversation to her twice. This is not at
all astonishing, for Barbara is so good; besides, she is the eldest, and
hence entitled to more politeness than the rest of us.


_Friday, January 5th._

The palatine and his nephew are still with us, and we are daily
expecting other guests. The eldest of the palatine's sons is Starost of
Radom, and the younger is a colonel in the king's army. The palatine,
who has been a widower several years, has also two daughters, one
married to Granowski, Palatine of Rawa, and the other recently wedded to
Lauckorouski, Castellan of Polaniec. I am very curious to see the
palatine's sons; they were educated at Luneville, in France; they must
have an air and manner different from those of our young Poles.

The good King Stanislaus, though he dwells in a foreign land, is always
seeking to be useful to his compatriots; several young Polish gentlemen
are maintained and educated by him at Luneville. They receive the best
instruction, and the sons of our first families strive for the honor,
using the pretext of relationship, however distant, to obtain their
desires. Indeed, they are quite right, for when one can say of a young
man, He has studied at Luneville, and has been to Paris, he has
certainly an excellent foundation for the beginning of his career. Every
one feels quite sure that his manners will be irreproachable, that he
can speak French, and dance the minuet and quadrilles. All the gentlemen
who have been in France are very successful in society, and very
pleasing to ladies.... Really, I am exceedingly curious to see the
palatine's two sons!


Saturday, _January 6th._

They finally arrived yesterday afternoon, and do not in the least
correspond to the idea I had formed of them, the starost less than his
brother. I thought I should see a young, lively, and agreeable man, in
short, a young man like Prince Cherry, in Madame de Beaumont's tales,
who would speak French all the time; but I was quite mistaken. The
starost is no longer young; he is thirty years old, and quite stout; he
is not fond of dancing, and never speaks a single word of French. Every
now and then he puts in a word or two of Latin, like my father. I am
much better pleased with the colonel; he wears a uniform, is young, and
says at least a few words in French.

To-day is Twelfth day, and Michael Chronowski will be emancipated before
nightfall. They are baking a great cake in the kitchen, with a bean in
it. Who will be king? Heavens, if I were to be queen! I should wear a
crown on my head during the whole evening, and should bear absolute sway
in the castle.... There would be plenty of dancing then, I'll answer for
it!... But whether I command it or not, there must be dancing, I am
sure, for a crowd of visitors has been pouring in ever since morning;
the servants are grumbling, and the keeper of the table service is quite
provoked. When he sees all the carriages standing on the square facing
the church of Piotrkowicé, he says there is no end to work for him. As
for me, I jump with joy; and so it is in this world, where some are
happy from the very cause which makes the torment of others.


Sunday, _January 7th_.

How many people! The castle is so gay and lively! We amused ourselves
finely. I was not queen, for Barbara got the bean, and when she saw it
in her portion of the cake, she blushed to her very eyes. Madame, who
was seated near her, announced the fact, and all the guests and
attendants testified their satisfaction by loud shouts. Our little
Matthias laughed and said: She who has the bean will marry Mr. Michael
(kto dostal migdala dostanie Michala) a Polish proverb always repeated
upon such occasions. It is also a common saying that when a young girl
has it, she will be married before the end of the carnival. God grant
that this prophecy may be verified, for then we shall have a wedding,
and abundance of dancing!

I cannot become accustomed to the starost; his gravity does not please
me; he would dance nothing yesterday but Polish dances. He never
mentions Paris or Luneville, and takes no notice of young people; he
never addresses to us any of those little gallantries which are the
small change of good society; he talks only to our parents, plays cards,
and reads the newspapers. I still continue to think that his brother is
worth more than he; at least he is more sociable, he talks about Paris
and Luneville, and is not so old.

But I am forgetting to relate the ceremonies accompanying Michael
Chronowski's emancipation; I was quite diverted with them. When all the
company had assembled in the great hall, my father took his place upon
the highest seat; the folding doors were thrown open, and the steward,
accompanied by several young courtiers, introduced the candidate for
emancipation, very richly dressed in a full suit of new clothes. He
knelt before my father, who touched his cheek lightly in sign of good
will; he then fastened a sword at the young man's side, drank off a cup
of wine, and presented him with a fine horse, accompanied by a groom,
also well mounted and equipped. The two horses were in the castle court.

My father asked Chronowski if he preferred trying his fortune in the
world or remaining in his service. Michael replied, timidly, that he was
very happy in the castle, but would like to see more of his country, and
ventured to ask a recommendation to Prince Lubomirski, Palatine of
Lublin, my father's brother-in-law. His request was granted, my father
slipped a roll of twenty gold ducats into his hand, and invited him to
remain with us during the carnival. Chronowski seemed delighted with
this proposition, and after paying his homage to my father and mother,
he kissed the hands of all the ladies present; from that moment he was
admitted into our society, and danced his best in Mazurkas and
Cracroviennes with Barbara. He certainly dances very well, and my sister
is equally graceful; it was charming to see them!


Monday, _January 8th._

The prophecy has been really fulfilled! Barbara is to be married at the
termination of the carnival, and she is to marry Mr. Michael, for such
is the name of the Starost Swidzinski. He asked Barbara's hand of my
mother yesterday, and to-morrow they will be betrothed! Poor Barbara was
all in tears when she came to tell us the great news; she shrinks from
the idea of marriage, and it will be very painful to her to leave her
parents and her home. But it would have been very unadvisable to have
refused the match, when my father and mother assure her that she will be
very happy. The starost seems to me a very pious, gentle, and upright
man; his family is noble, ancient, and wealthy. What more is necessary?

The three brothers Swidzinski, Alexander, Michael, and Anthony, died as
brave men should, near Chocim, under the command of the celebrated
Chodkiewicz. This renown is a glory for those who still live. The
starost's parents have already conferred upon him the entire ownership
of the castle of Sulgostow. He holds, besides, a considerable starosty
under the king's appointment, and expects soon to be a castellan. The
Palatine Swidzinski and the Abbé Vincent have come to speed on the
marriage; they desire it exceedingly. The palatine is charmed with
Barbara, and I am sure he will love her dearly when he knows her better.
The wedding will take place at the castle of Maleszow on the 25th of
February. What fine balls and concerts we shall have! We will dance
until we can scarcely stand. Barbara will be: Your ladyship the
starostine. I shall be very sorry when I can no longer call her Barbara,
dear Barbara.

I really feel quite remorseful at having described the starost so ill in
my journal; however, I do not think I have said anything very offensive.
I hope Barbara may be happy, and I think she will be, for she has always
told me she did not like very young people; the starost is reasonable,
and in my mother's opinion such men make the best husbands. If my mother
says so, it must be true; but for my part, I much prefer gay and
agreeable young men. One is certainly entitled to one's own individual
taste.

I have not forgotten that this is the day selected for the investiture
of the prince royal with the dukedom of Courland. The king's health is
reëstablished. Colonel Swidzinski speaks in the highest terms of Prince
Charles, whom he knows very well; but the palatine and his eldest son do
not wish him to succeed his father; they say that the crown should be
placed upon the head of a compatriot.


Wednesday, _January 10th._

The betrothal took place yesterday. Dinner was served at the usual hour.
When Barbara entered the saloon my mother gave her a ball of silk to
untwist; she was red as fire, and her eyes were fixed on the ground. The
starost did not leave her a moment. Our little Matthias laughed with his
malicious air, and gave vent to a thousand pleasantries, which diverted
every one exceedingly; all laughed aloud, and although I did not
understand the meaning of his jests, I laughed more than any one else.
After dinner, Barbara seated herself in the recess by the window; the
starost approached her, and said, aloud:

'Is it indeed true, mademoiselle, that you will oppose no obstacles to
my happiness?'

Barbara replied, in a low and trembling voice:

'My parents' will has always been for me a sacred duty.'

Here the conversation ended.

When the chamberlains, attendants, and servants had retired, the
palatine, followed by the Abbé Vincent, conducted the starost to my
parents, who were seated on a sofa. The palatine addressed my father in
the following words:

     'My heart is penetrated with the sincerest affection and most
     profound esteem for the illustrious house of the Corvini
     Krasinski; I have always ardently desired that the modest arms
     of Polkozie might be united with the glorious and illustrious
     arms of Slepowron. My happiness is at its height on beholding
     that your highnesses will deign to grant me this great honor.
     Your daughter Barbara is a model of virtue and grace; my son
     Michael is the glory and consolation of my life; deign, then,
     to consent to the union of this young couple; deign to confirm
     your promise on this very day. Behold the ring which I received
     from my parents: I placed it upon the hand of my betrothed, who
     is, alas! now no more, but who will live eternally in my heart.
     Permit, then, that during a similar ceremony my son may offer
     it to your daughter, as a token of his affection and
     unalterable attachment.'

As he said these words, he placed the ring upon a silver dish held by
the Abbé Vincent. The abbé also made a discourse, but he put so much
Latin into it that I could not understand it.

My father replied to the two speeches in the following terms:

     'I am most happy to confirm the promise I have made to you; I
     consent to the marriage of my daughter with the starost; I give
     her my blessing, and surrender to your honorable son all the
     rights I possess over her.'

     'I unite in the desires and intentions of my husband,' added my
     mother. 'I give this ring to my daughter; it is the most
     precious jewel of our house. My father, Stephen Humiecki,
     received it from the hand of Augustus II, when he had
     fortunately succeeded in concluding the peace of Carlowitz, by
     which the Turks restored the fortress of Kamieniec-Podolski to
     the Poles. With this ring, which recalls so many dear
     remembrances, was I myself betrothed; I give it to my eldest
     daughter, with my blessing, and the hope that she may be as
     happy as I have been since my marriage.'

Thus saying, she placed on the dish a ring set with superb diamonds,
enclosing a miniature of Augustus II.

'Barbara, come to me,' said my father; but the poor child was so
confused, so agitated and trembling, that she could scarcely walk; I
cannot understand how she moved even those few paces. At last, however,
she placed herself at my father's side, and the Abbé Vincent gave them
his benediction in Latin. One of the rings was given to the starost, and
the other to my sister; her betrothed placed it upon the little finger
of her left hand, called the heart finger (serdeczny). He then kissed
Barbara's hand, and she in her turn presented her ring; but she was so
much overcome that she found great difficulty in encircling the end of
his finger with the glittering hoop. The starost again kissed her hand,
after which he threw himself at my parents' feet, and swore to watch
over the happiness of their beloved daughter.

The palatine kissed Barbara on the forehead, while the colonel and the
abbé made her a thousand compliments, each more beautiful than the last.
My father filled a great goblet with old Hungarian wine; he toasted the
new couple, and all who were present drank by turns out of the same cup.

All this passed so solemnly and tenderly that I wept unrestrainedly.

'Do not weep, little Frances,' said Matthias, who was present at this
scene; 'a year hence it will be your turn.'

A year would be too soon; but if it were in two years, I would not be
sorry.

The whole Swidzinski family are so kind and attentive to Barbara! and my
parents for the first time kissed her face when she bade them good
night. Since yesterday, every one in the castle treats her with the
greatest respect; all congratulate her, and she is overwhelmed with
homage and compliments. Each one would like to be employed in her
establishment; my father has given 1,000 Holland ducats to my mother,
recommending her to do all for her daughter that she may think
necessary. They consulted a long time over the trousseau that should be
given to her. To-morrow Miss Zawistowska will go to Warsaw with the
commissary, to make purchases. This Miss Zawistowska is a very
respectable person; she is about thirty, and has lived in the castle
ever since she was a child. There are in the storeroom four large chests
filled with silver, destined for our use. My father had Barbara's
brought to him and examined it carefully; this chest will be sent to
Warsaw, that the silver may be cleaned.

The palatine and the starost leave us to-morrow. They go to Sulgostow,
where they will make all the preparations necessary for Barbara's
reception.

My father has had the customary letters written to announce the
marriage, and will send them by the chamberlains to the various parts of
Poland. The most distinguished among our chamberlains, and an equerry
richly equipped, will depart in two days to carry letters to the king,
the princes his sons, the primate, and the principal senators. My father
announces the marriage, and begs them to give it their benediction; if
he does not exactly invite them, he gives them to understand that he
would feel highly honored by their presence. Ah! if one of the princes
were to come--the Duke of Courland, for example--what a lustre it would
throw upon the wedding! But they will merely send their representatives,
as is usual upon such occasions.

The castle is in a state of constant activity; great preparations are
making for the approaching festivities. The starost has displayed an
unexampled generosity; he has made us all the most beautiful presents.
He has given me a turquoise pin; Sophia has received a ruby cross; Mary,
a Venetian chain, and even my parents have condescended to accept gifts
from him. My father has a silver-gilt goblet, admirably chased; and my
mother, a beautiful box made of mother-of-pearl mounted in gold. Even
madame has not been forgotten, for she found a blonde mantle on her bed
this morning; she praises the generosity of the Polish lords to the
skies. But this is the only virtue she concedes to our nation, so that I
cannot love madame; her injustice toward my countrymen repels me. We had
yesterday a grand state supper; the orchestra played unceasingly, toasts
were drunk in honor of the happy couple, and the dragoons fired
numberless volleys of musketry; their captain gave them as their
watchword for the day, 'Michael and Barbara.'

Barbara begins to take courage; she only blushes now when she looks at
her ring; she hides it as much as she can; but it is of no use, for
every one sees it, and the brilliants sparkle like stars.

This morning all the court went hunting, in accordance with the old
custom, which renders this action of good omen to the wedded pair.
Formerly before they set out, the betrothed was obliged to display her
ankle to the hunters. God be praised that this custom no longer exists,
for I am sure Barbara would have died of shame. But our little Matthias
insisted upon the performance of this ceremony, saying that if it were
omitted the chase would certainly be unfortunate. For once his prophecy
failed; they killed a wild boar, two bucks, an elk, and many hares. The
starost killed the wild boar with his own hand, and laid it at Barbara's
feet.

My father had all the horses brought out of his stables for the hunters
to ride upon. Among them was one of exceeding beauty, but so
unmanageable that the best groom had never yet been able to mount him.
The starost was confident he could control him, and, notwithstanding
the terror of the spectators, he leaped on his back and guided him three
times round the castle of Maleszow. It was truly a noble sight. Barbara
was very pale; she trembled for her betrothed; but when she saw him so
firmly seated on the fiery animal, the bright color returned to her
cheek. From that moment I felt reconciled to the starost. In truth, he
is not so bad; he looks well on horseback, and possesses that dauntless
courage so dear to the heart of a woman. I must then forgive his
ignorance of the minuet and quadrilles. My father gave the starost the
horse he had so well merited, completely caparisoned, and with a groom
to take care of him.


Sunday, _January 20th._

I have neglected my journal during the past week; we have been so busy
with the preparations for the marriage; there are such crowds of people
at the castle; every one is occupied doing the honors; both mornings and
afternoons are passed in company. Our studies are laid aside--the
chronology, the French grammar, and even Madame de Beaumont lie quiet
and undisturbed in their places. We are busily engaged with our needles,
because each one of us desires to make a present to Barbara. I am
embroidering a morning dress, which will be charming; I even steal some
hours from my sleep that I may the sooner finish it. Mary is
embroidering a straw-colored muslin, with shaded silks mingled with gold
thread, and Sophia is making a lovely toilet cover.

My mother is entirely occupied with the trousseau; she opens her
wardrobes and chests, bringing out linen, cloth, furs, curtains, and
tapestry. I help her as well as I can; she is sometimes good enough to
ask my opinion; she is so scrupulous, so much afraid of not dividing our
shares equally. She is so particular, that she even sends for the
chaplain to judge of the exactness of the division. The tailors and
lace-makers who have come from Warsaw to make up the trousseau will
hardly be able to finish their work during the next month. The linen is
all ready. The young ladies belonging to our suite have aided
materially. They have been sewing at linen during the past two years,
and now they are marking it with blue cotton. These poor girls will soon
be very expert in making the letters B and K. The trousseau will be
magnificent.

Barbara cannot conceive what she will ever be able to do with so many
dresses! Until now none of us have ever had more than four at a time:
two brown woollen ones, with black aprons, for every-day wear, a white
one for Sundays, and a more elegant one for grand occasions,
ceremonials, etc. We always found them quite enough, but my mother says
that her ladyship the starostine will need an entirely different
toilette from that required by Miss Barbara; that what was proper for a
young girl will not be sufficient for a married woman.

I spoke of a ball of silk given to Barbara by my mother on the day of
the betrothal; well, that was to make a purse for the starost. Barbara
works at her purse from morning till night: the tangled silk was given
her as a trial of her care and patience; for she must first wind the
skeins without breaking them or dimming their lustre. She has succeeded
admirably. Barbara may marry without doubt or fear; our little Matthias
answers for her vocation.

The chamberlains and the equerry have departed with their letters of
announcement. Barbara is terrified at the thought that the princes and
lords of the court may perhaps come from Warsaw. What a child she is! As
for me, I should be delighted! But I just remember--the investiture of
the prince royal took place on the eighth of this month. The evening
before the ceremony, our cousin, Prince Lubomirska, Palatine of Lublin
and the prince royal's marshal, gave a magnificent ball. The dinners,
balls, and concerts are said to have lasted more than a week. The new
Duke of Courland made a speech in Polish, which produced an excellent
effect. He is now regarded as an independent prince, and has shown both
dignity and greatness of mind throughout this whole affair.

The _Polish Courier_ gave all the details of the ceremony. If I had had
time I should have copied them, they interested me so deeply! But all
these details are nothing to what I should have seen with my own eyes
had I been there. What is description compared with one's own
observation? I am really very glad of the final investiture of the
prince; it is the only public matter which pleases and consoles me; all
else seems to be in a most lamentable condition. While I am so
diligently working at Barbara's morning dress I am forced to hear things
which sadden me deeply. The chaplain reads the papers aloud to us, and I
see that the republic loses daily in power and dignity; the neighboring
powers invade it under divers pretexts; their troops pillage and
devastate the country, while the Government refuses to interfere.... I
dare not think of the future, but my father says we must enjoy the
present. All speak in subdued tones of the woes which threaten Poland,
and then dance and drink; the joyous festivals and banquets would
deceive one into thinking the times must be prosperous. The Poles,
perhaps, act like our little Matthias; when he is vexed he never lets
the glass leave his hands, repeating always: He who pines, needs good
wines (dobry trunek na frasunek); the sadder he is, the more he drinks.


Friday, _January 25th, 1759._

The starost arrived yesterday, and Barbara found on her table this
morning two beautiful silver baskets filled with oranges and bonbons;
she distributed them among us (her sisters) and the young ladies of the
court; even the waiting women received their share. Our work is
progressing; my morning dress is nearly finished.

My mother gives Barbara a bedstead with all its furniture. We have long
had our flocks of geese and swans. There is a poor creature in the
castle who can do nothing but pick down; poor Marina is so stupid that
she is incapable of comprehending anything more difficult, and passes
her whole life in this occupation. Each of us has her share of the down;
Barbara will have two large feather beds, eight large pillows of goose
down, and two small ones of swans' down. The pillows are made of stuff
spun in the castle, and are to be covered with crimson damask, besides
which they will have an upper case of Holland cambric, trimmed with
lace. The young ladies of our suite have put a great deal of work upon
them.


Saturday, _February 2d._

The starost remained a week at the castle, and left us yesterday. When
he again returns, it will be to carry Barbara away with him. I cannot
imagine her going off alone with a stranger, it is truly inconceivable;
I must see it with my own eyes before I can believe it.

Barbara seems to feel daily more and more esteem and friendship toward
the starost. He, however, rarely addresses her; all his conversation is
directed to our parents--his cares and attentions are exclusively for
them. I am told that this is the proper way for a well-bred man to make
his court, and that he should win the heart of his betrothed by pleasing
her family.

In three weeks the wedding will take place. My sisters and I have each a
new dress, presented to us by Barbara; she has given a dress to all the
young girls in the castle.

Nearly all the persons invited to the wedding have accepted; but the
king and the princes, to my great regret, will merely send their
representatives.

I doubt whether the palatiness, Princess Lubomirska, can come; she will
find difficulty in leaving Warsaw at the present time. She approves
highly of Barbara's marriage, and has written her a charming letter of
congratulation; my father is delighted.

My morning dress will be finished in time; but then I have worked
unceasingly, that is, as much as I could; for my mother is constantly
calling upon me; she is so kind to me, and condescends to make use of my
services in all her preparations. Until now, Barbara alone was consulted
and had confidence placed in her, as being the eldest; this happiness
was her right, but my good parents desire that I should now take her
place. I have already been twice intrusted with the key of the little
room where the cordials and sweet-meats are kept; that gives me
importance. I have consequently assumed a graver air; every one must see
that I have grown a year older. I will try to imitate Barbara, so that
when the starost takes her away my parents may not feel her loss too
deeply. I have plenty of good will, but shall I be able to satisfy them?


Tuesday, _February 12th._

It seems that the splendor and magnificence displayed at the investiture
had never before been equalled. The Warsaw gazettes are never weary of
dilating upon this subject.

The guests begin to arrive; people are pouring in from the most distant
quarters. Notwithstanding the number and size of the apartments, it will
be impossible to lodge all in the castle; preparations have been made in
the village, in the priest's house, and even in the better class of huts
belonging to the peasants, to receive some of our guests.

The cooks and confectioners are all busy; the laundry is in a state of
unceasing activity; the trousseau is nearly finished; and the bedsteads,
two cases filled with mattresses, pillows, and carpets, a box of silver,
and a thousand other things, were sent off to Sulgostow this morning.
The bedsteads are of iron and beautifully wrought; the curtains are of
blue damask, and fastened to the four corners by bunches of ostrich
plumes.

Barbara ought to kiss both the feet and the hands of our parents, who
have given her so many precious things. My father has inscribed an exact
list of the trousseau in a large book, preceded by the words which I
here copy, lest I should forget them:

     'List of the trousseau which I, Stanislaus, of the Corvini
     Krasinski, etc., etc., and my wife Angelica Humiecka, give to
     our dear and well beloved daughter Barbara, on the occasion of
     her marriage with His Excellency, Michael Swidinski, Starost of
     Radom. We implore the blessing of Heaven upon our dear child,
     and we bless her with parental affection in the name of the
     Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.'

I do not copy the list of the trousseau, for I have no time; I shall,
besides, be one day obliged to do it upon my own account.


Wednesday, _February 20th._

Well! time flies, and the wedding will take place in five days. The
starost arrived yesterday evening. Barbara trembled like a leaf in an
autumn wind when he was announced by the chamberlain. We expect to-day
the palatine, the colonel, the Abbé Vincent, and the Palatine Granowski,
with the palatiness, the starost's sister. Madame Lanckoronska, the
starost's second sister, cannot come to Maleszow; she is in Podolia with
her husband. Barbara is really sorry, for she is very anxious to know
her, every one speaks so highly of her. My sister is about entering into
a good family; all the persons composing it are pious and honorable;
they show her the most unbounded attention, and pay her homage as if she
were a queen.

The trousseau is entirely finished; all that could not be sent to
Sulgostow has been deposited in chests, of which Miss Zawistowska keeps
the keys. Barbara is very well pleased that she is to take Miss
Zawistowska with her; she has been accustomed to see her ever since she
was a child, and, when far away from her mother, will be very happy to
have near her a careful person whom she can trust, and with whom such
dear remembrances are linked.

She will also be accompanied by several of our suite. She will have two
chamberlains, two young girls (her god-daughters) who embroider
beautifully, a waiting woman, and a young lady companion. The latter is
of an excellent family, and is endowed with infinite wit and good sense;
her name is Louisa Linowska: she has lived in the castle several years,
and Barbara is passionately fond of her. There are several other young
girls desirous of entering the service of the future lady starostine; if
my parents would consent, she would soon have a dozen at least. When I
marry, I will take a still larger number into my service; I have already
promised three of our young girls that I will take them with me. One is
the daughter of Hyacinth, keeper of the table furniture. The poor man
made me a profound bow, and his brows unbent for the first time in his
life.


Sunday, _February 24th._

To-morrow will be Barbara's wedding day. What a crowd there will be! The
minister Borch, the king's representative, has arrived, as also
Kochanowski, son of the Duke of Courland's castellan, and the duke's
favorite. Kochanowski is a very accomplished young man; one may truly
say: As the master, so the man (iaki pan taki kram).

The invitations were issued for yesterday evening, and every one has
been exact in coming. The arrival of the guests was magnificent;
everything had been prepared for their reception; expresses announced
their coming, and our dragoons, all ranged in battle array, presented
arms to each lord as he appeared. The cannon were discharged, and the
musketry kept up a rolling fire, while at intervals were heard joyous
peals of music. I never witnessed any scene so beautiful, so animated,
and imposing as that of the reception. One may well believe that the
most especial honors had been reserved for the king's representative. My
father awaited him with uncovered head upon the drawbridge, and before
he reached the castle he was obliged to pass through a double file of
courtiers, guests, and attendants. He received profound salutations from
right and from left, and the hurrahs seemed never ending.

The contract of marriage was signed to-day amid a large concourse of
persons, and in presence of the appointed witnesses. I do not understand
the forms of the document, but I do know that the young bride's presents
are superb and in the best taste. The starost has given her three
strings of Oriental pearls and a pair of diamond earrings with drops.
The palatine's gifts are a diamond cross, an aigrette, and a diadem; the
colonel, always amiable and gallant, has presented her with a charming
watch and chain from Paris. The Abbé Vincent's gifts are worthy of
himself, consisting of certain precious relics. She is indeed
overwhelmed with kindness.

Barbara has never worn any jewelry; until now, her only ornament has
been a little ring bearing an image of the Blessed Virgin; she will
certainly not lay that aside, notwithstanding all her pretty new things.

But I must stop writing, for here comes my morning dress, all nicely
bleached and ironed. The embroidery makes an excellent effect; I must
put the last stitches into the dress and then carry it to Miss
Zawistowska, that she may offer it to Barbara to-morrow when she
dresses; how lovely she will look in the pretty white morning dress!



THE SLEEPING PERI.

LINES SUGGESTED BY PALMER'S STATUE.


    Lo! upon the stone reposing,
    Dewy sleep her eyelids closing,
        Rests the Fay;
    Wearily hath the exile wandered,
    Sadly o'er her sorrow pondered,
        All the day.

    Flinty pathways, lone and dreary,
    Quite unmeet for foot of Peri,
        Soft and fair;--
    Heavy air with vapors laden,
    Shrinking, fragile wings from Aidenn
        May not dare;--

    Such the gifts our planet proffers,
    Such the thorny home she offers
        Spirits fine:
    Artists, poets, earthward sent us,
    Heavenly natures, briefly lent us,
        Droop like thine!

    Happy if, amid their dreaming,
    They can feel the glories streaming
        From above;--
    See the light, and hear the flowing,
    Gushing anthems--melting, glowing
        Strains of love!

    Happy Peri! faintly smiling;
    Quivering lip, the sense beguiling,
        Dimpled cheek,
    Form ethereal, heavenly moulded,
    Shadowing eyelids, soft wings folded
        Rest to seek,--

    All betray thee, young immortal,
    Eden's child, without its portal
        Doomed to roam!
    Yet thy spirit sees the glory,
    Hears entranced the rapturous story
        Of thy home.

    Who, O Fay, would dare to wake thee,
    From ecstatic visions take thee
        But to weep?
    Softly dreaming, waking never
    Till thy dreams are truths forever,
        Sweetly sleep!



MY LOST DARLING.


The boom of cannon in the distance, flags floating gaily in the bright
morning air, strains of martial music filling it, a waving of caps and
handkerchiefs, shouts in the streets below, and the tramp of many feet.
A regiment is passing! To a stern fate, that beckons darkly in the
distance, these patriots are moving, with firm, determined tread--to
long, exhausting marches, and fireless bivouac; to hunger and cold; to
sufferings in varied forms; to wounds and imprisonment; _to death_! God
knows when and how they are going;--and, amid the doomed throng slowly
passing, the bright face of my darling smilingly upturned to mine. I
wave my hand and kiss it; my handkerchief is wet through and through.

He came to me but an hour since, decked in his uniform (a lamb decked
for the slaughter). 'I'm a lieutenant now,' he said, tapping his
shoulder gaily; 'I shall rival Sam Patch at a leap, and jump to the head
at once. Three months is enough to make a colonel of me.' And so, with
his young heart beating high and warm, upborne by wild hopes like these,
he held me to his heart at parting, and went away quite joyously, my
poor darling! shedding only a few tears in sympathy with mine. I watch
his form until I lose it in the mass before me; then I watch the mass
moving slowly, slowly on, bearing him away from me; till the heavy tramp
dies out upon the air, and the dark mass, growing less and less, becomes
a dim speck in the distance; and the music wanes, and wanes, and dies
out also, and in the still air about me only the voice of the wind is
heard: coming and going at long, lazy intervals, it speaks to my inner
sense with a warning note, a low requiem sound. Why is it that it takes
that weird tone always when sorrow is darkly waiting for me in the
future? What prophet's voice speaks to me in it? What invisible thing
without addresses its wild warning to the invisible within? As I
listened, my soul grew chill and dark with the shadow of a coming gloom;
my heart grew cold. God help me! How wildly, how almost despairingly I
prayed for my darling's life!

Alone in the world, we were all in all to each other. Mine was a wild,
exclusive love. Heart and soul were bound up in him. Other girls had
their lovers; my fond heart beat for him alone. What tie nearer and
dearer than the tie of blood united us? What bond, sacred and invisible,
bound our souls together? I know not; I only know that my heart and mind
echoed always the thoughts and moods of his; that, no matter what dreary
distance lay between us, our souls held communication still; that I
rejoiced when he was glad; and wept when I said, 'He is sorrowful
to-day.' He had gone away gay and hopeful, and had left me
weeping--oppressed by vague fears and chill forebodings, my heart could
not echo _now_ the happy mood of his. Wild and weird, all that dreary
day, the wind moaned its warning; and the sad echo sounded through other
dreary days that followed this; and dreary nights came also, when I
prayed and wept, and covered the pictured face with tears and
kisses--when I cried, 'God keep my precious one, and bring my darling
back to me;' and that was all my prayer;--when I sank to fitful
slumbers, and wildly dreamed of shell and cannon ball, and bullets thick
as hail, of foes met in deadly fray, of shielding my darling's form with
mine--there, where all was smoke and darkness and blood and horror--and
dying gladly in his stead. Or the scene changed from horror to
desolation, and, with a dreadful sense of isolation on me, alone in the
darkness I wandered up and down, blindly searching for him I never
found; or finding him, perhaps, covered with ghastly wounds, and dead,
quite dead; and then starting broad awake with horror at the sight.

God help us! us women, with our wild, inordinate affections, when Death
waits in ambush for our darlings, whom we are powerless to save from the
smallest of life's ills and perils! A letter came at last, eight dear
pages, with all the margins filled. Long, confidential, loving, with
just a thought of sadness in it; a slight, almost imperceptible shadow
resting on the glowing hopes with which he left; yet bright withal,
bright like himself. The charm of novelty was potent yet. How I read it
o'er and o'er, this first dear message from him; how I kissed the
senseless thing; how my tears fell upon it; how day and night I wore it
on my heart, until another took its place!

They came at stated intervals _now_, and as the time wore on, and their
tone changed, little by little, I knew that the hard life he led began
to tell upon him--that, petted, fondled, cherished as he had been,
unfitted for hardship of any kind, they grew at times almost too great
for calm endurance. He never complained, my grand, brave boy; he spoke
of them lightly always, sometimes jestingly, but he could not deceive
that fine interior sense. I knew there were times when he turned
heartsick from the wild life that claimed him; I could see how his noble
nature shrank from all that was coarse and revolting in it; how he
longed for fireside joys and sweet domestic peace, and pined with dreary
homesickness; how his heart cried out for me in the melancholy night.
And then even this comfort, that had softened the dull, longing pain
within, was denied me--no letters came. Mail after mail went and came,
and I grew feverish with suspense. I imagined him beset by ghastly
perils, and, with torturing uncertainty wearing my very life away, I
watched and waited as women are wont to do. Then dark rumors were afloat
of foes making a desperate advance, and of bloody battle pending. One
night a horror fell upon my troubled sleep--an appalling gloom, a
shuddering, suffocating sense of some impending doom. Battling fiercely
and blindly with this dread, invisible something, I awoke in deadly
fright, to find the terror no less clear to my perceptions, no less
palpable and real, and to wrestle with it still. Some blind instinct in
me called aloud for air; with difficulty mastering an almost
overpowering impulse to rush out into the night, I flew to the window,
raised it, and looked out. A fierce storm was raging--a storm of whose
very existence I had until that moment been unconscious. The thunder
rolled, and muttered, and broke in wild, fearful crashes. Sheets of
lightning every instant lighted up the blackness, and made the sky
terrific. Gushes of wind and rain wet and chilled me through and
through. Unmindful of it, with that fine interior sense aroused, I
listened with all my soul--not to the thunder's fearful voice, to the
wild beating of the storm, or to the wind's melancholy moaning, but to
_something_ on the tempestuous air, and yet a stranger to it.

There came a lull in the storm at last, and then, O God! O God! through
the sullen gloom, his voice was calling to me. Now faint and low, as if
his life was ebbing; then raised in agony, wild with supplication and
sharp with pain. I saw him covered with gaping wounds, on a hideous
field, piled with slain and soaked with blood. I went mad, I think: I
have a vague remembrance of rushing out into that fearful storm,
undressed as I was, with wild resolve to follow the sound of the voice,
to reach him somehow, or die in the mad attempt; of being brought back,
shut up in my room, and a sort of guard placed over me; of making wild
attempts to rush out again, and struggling ineffectually with those that
held me back--of raving wildly; then of long and dreamless slumbers,
when I had become exhausted, and the sharp agony was past; of rousing
myself to go about in a listless, apathetic way, waiting with dulled
sense for lists of killed and wounded; of the doctor bringing the paper
to me and saying, with his face all light: 'He is not dead; you will
find his name among the wounded;' of finding where he was, eluding their
vigilance, and travelling night and day until I reached the place. All
this seems vague and unreal, as a half-forgotten dream--too dim and
lifeless for memory. Entire change of scene, new sights and faces, and,
more than all, the conviction that the time had come for action _now_,
and that _he_ would need me, roused me from this misty state a little.
When I landed at the place, I think I recovered the clear consciousness
of my surroundings, while standing in the provost-marshal's office (the
city was under military rule) waiting my turn to speak.

Then I thought for the first time what a mad thing it was in me to have
come at all--at least, to have come in the way I had come; I, so
unpractical, so wofully lacking in that sterling common sense, that
potent weapon with which women battled successfully with the stern
realities of life; and thinking, too, with a dull pain at my heart, that
doubtless my darling would suffer by reason of my ignorance and
inability. I studied the mass of strange faces about me, thinking to
which I would turn for help, if help were needed. After reading them,
one after another, and rejecting them, I turned at last to a group in
front of me, and singled out one that was addressing the others, a man
of consequence among them--at least a certain superiority of air and
manner led to that conjecture. He had a fine open face, whose expression
changed continually; and the more I studied the face, the more I placed
a blind trust and reliance in it. Attracted by the magnetism of a fixed
gaze, probably, his eyes wandered from the group about him, after a
little while, wandered aimlessly about the room, and then met mine.
Seeing that I was watching him, or observing, perhaps, that I was
suffering, though, Heaven knows, the sight of misery of all kinds
_there_ was common enough, he crossed the room and came to me. 'You may
be obliged to wait some time longer yet,' he said, in a tone of hearty
kindness; 'you look ill, madam. You had better sit down.' He found a
chair and brought it to me. He was on the point of leaving, but I
grasped his arm as he turned to go. 'If you have any influence here,' I
said, in a half-distracted way, 'tell the clerk, tell somebody to let my
turn come next. My brother is here and wounded; I have travelled night
and day to get to him; it's dreadful to be so near, and yet to wait and
wait.' He turned in grave surprise, and looked at me narrowly, fancying,
from my incoherency, I was taking leave of my senses possibly. 'Your
name, young lady?' he said, at last. I gave it, 'Margaret Dunn.' He
started at the name, and a heavy shadow came over his face: 'And your
brother,' he said, hurriedly, 'is Lieutenant Dunn, of the Fifty-fifth
Illinois Volunteers, Company A? I am surgeon of the Fifty-fifth; I know
him well. He was a brave fellow, and as fine, manly, and handsome a
fellow as one need wish to see.' He ended with a sigh, and mingling with
the shadow there came a look of pity in his face. The past tense, which
I am sure he used unconsciously; the look of pity; the sigh but half
suppressed, overpowered me with dread. 'He has not died of his wounds?'
I gasped, grasping his arm convulsively, 'O God! he is not dead?' 'He is
alive,' said the doctor, gravely. 'Father, I thank Thee, Thou hast heard
my prayer!'

The sudden transition from that mortal dread of death to the blessed
certainty of life was too much; my joy was too great; forgetful of my
surroundings, unmindful of his presence, I wept and sobbed aloud. When I
had controlled my emotion in a measure, or at least their stormy outward
manifestation, I found the doctor regarding me with the same grave face.
'You should not have come here in your present weak, excited state,' he
said, at last, 'or, rather, you should not have come at all. From sights
and sounds of a hospital, even strong men turn with a shudder. It's no
place for a delicate woman.' 'He is there,' I murmured, tremulously; 'I
can suffer anything for those I love.' Regarding me in silence for a
moment, he looked as if taking my measure. 'These women that _can_
bear,' he said, with a sigh, 'sometimes overrate their powers of
endurance.' 'Do you think I shall have to wait much longer? do you think
I can go soon now?' I questioned, appealingly, breaking the silence that
had fallen between us. 'No, you must wait your turn,' said the doctor,
decidedly; 'besides, you are not calm enough yet; the surgeons are at
work in the ward where we are going. They are taking off a man's
limb--two or three of them, for that matter. I shan't take you there
until the operations are finished.' Then first came the horrid thought
that _he_ might be mutilated in the same way. Vague, indistinct,
dreadful visions uprose before me, of all sorts and kinds of horrid
disfigurement, and I grew sick and faint. 'Not _his_ limb!' I gasped,
struggling with a deathly faintness. 'No, not his,' said the doctor,
sorrowfully. The same cloud was still there that had settled on his face
when he first spoke of him; the same pity for me shining through it.
'There is a room here where the ladies go when they have long to wait.
You had better go in there and rest yourself. I will bring you some tea
and something light and palatable in the shape of food, and you must eat
and drink. Confiscated property, you see,' he said, as he entered; 'a
rebel family walked out, and we walked in; comfortable quarters.' I
noticed then there was a carpet on the floor, sofa, mirrors, and other
comforts. 'Sit down,' said the doctor. He had taken the tone of command
with me--a tone I would have resented at any other time; now, nerveless
and weak, relying on him solely, I obeyed him like a sick child. He
brought the tea, watched me while I drank it, looked on while I choked
down tears and food together. He ordered me to go to sleep, and left me.
Doubtless even this command had its effect. Things grew dreamy and
indistinct after a while; perhaps I slept a little; but the time seemed
very, very long. At last his tap at the door roused me from this
half-conscious state. 'Ready?' he briefly questioned, as he looked in, a
moment after. I said yes, tremulously: now that the time had come, I
trembled so I could scarcely keep my feet. He gave me his arm as we went
out together. 'It's not far,' he said, encouragingly, 'just across
here.' The fresh air did me good. Quite likely, the conversation he
perseveringly maintained on indifferent subjects, in spite of my random
replies, was also of service to me. I grew calmer as we went along. The
distance was but short, and we soon reached the place of our
destination--a large hotel, which had been hurriedly converted into a
hospital.

'Come,' said the doctor, pausing with his hand upon the door, and
turning to me, 'cheer up! There is no misery, after all, but what is in
the comparative degree. Things are never so bad but that they may have
been worse. I dare say, on occasion you can be a brave little woman.'

'I can,' I returned, eagerly, too grateful for his penetration, or at
least his good opinion, and too sad and abstracted altogether, to notice
that he was paying me a compliment. 'I can, indeed; indeed, you haven't
seen the best part of me.'

He smiled just the ghost of a smile in answer, as we went in. He led me
through several rooms into what had been a large dining hall--a chill,
bare, desolate place. Cots were ranged up and down the room, cots across
it, cots filled up the centre, and all, _all_ filled with sick and
wounded men. I thought if I was once in the room with my brother, some
instinct would lead me to him; but I felt no drawing toward any one of
those miserable bedsides, and a chill of disappointment fell upon me.
'Take me to the ward where my brother is lying,' I said to the doctor,
pleadingly, 'ah, pray do!' 'This _is_ the ward,' he replied, but he did
not take me to him. He stopped at every cot we passed. Of my burning
impatience, which he could not choose but see, of the urgent and almost
passionate appeals I made to hasten his progress, he took no notice
whatever. He stopped almost every moment; he felt the pulse of one
patient, questioned another, dealt out medicine here and there--took his
own time for everything. We stopped at last where, on the outside of the
coverlet, lay a wounded soldier, half dressed; a poor, mutilated
creature; a leg and an arm were gone. The face was turned toward the
wall, away from us; not a muscle moved; he was sleeping, probably. 'Take
me to my brother,' I piteously moaned, shuddering with horror as I
turned from the unaccustomed sight. 'I have waited so long; do take me
to my brother.' 'This is somebody's brother!' said the doctor, sharply.
Something in the tone, not the sharpness of it--something half familiar
in the broken outline of the form, caused a half-suffocating sense of a
vague, unutterable horror. A deathly faintness seized me; I sank into a
chair beside the bed. The doctor gave me water to drink--hastily and
silently sprinkled some water upon my head and face. There was a
movement of the poor maimed form upon the bed--he gave me a warning
look--the face turned toward us. It was my darling's! 'My life!'
Shivering and shuddering I threw myself upon the narrow bed beside him,
clasped my poor darling in my arms, and held his stricken heart to mine.
The hard, defiant look upon his features melted into one of
tenderness--down the worn face the tears fell slowly. 'I didn't know as
you would love me just the same,' he said. It was his right arm that was
gone. Calling him by every endearing name with wild expressions of
affection, I wiped the tears tenderly away, covering the dear face with
kisses, while my own fell fast. The doctor left us together for a
little--albeit used to scenes like this, wiping _his_ eyes as he went
away.

A gust of bitter passion swept over my darling. He started up. 'Rascally
rebels!' he cried; 'cursed bullets! Why couldn't they have been aimed at
my heart, and _killed_ me! I was willing to give my life--but to make a
wreck, a broken hull of me! Look at me, Maggie, a poor, maimed wretch.
What am I fit for? Who will care for me _now?_ To be an object of
loathing!' he continued, between his set teeth; 'to be a sight of
horror; to win, perhaps, after she gets used to the deformity, a little
meagre love for charity's sake; to be scorned, and loathed, and pitied;
if I could get only off from the face of the earth--out of the sight of
men; if God would let me die!' Wounded sorely as he was, his boyish
vanity in his really handsome person, his manly pride in its strength,
was more sorely wounded still. Yes, strangers _would_ think him a sight
to behold: had not even I turned shuddering from that disfigured form,
before I knew it was my darling's? He _was_ ruined for life, and he was
young too--only nineteen. He was very weak, and this passionate outbreak
of feeling had exhausted him. It was but a flash of his old fire at
best. His head sank back upon my arm again; he lay with his eyes closed,
resting for a little; when he spoke again, his voice was low and
wavering, tremulous with tears.

'I wouldn't care so much, only----' He paused, hesitated, drew with
difficulty a little locket from his bosom, and gazed upon it tearfully.
A jealous pain shot through my heart. I had thought until that moment
that I was all in all to him, first in his affections, as he was in
mine; that no rival shared his heart. _This_ was the bitterest pang of
all. I looked down at the beautiful face set in the locket, perfect as
to form and color, with such a fierce hatred of its original as I hope
in God's name I shall never feel again for any mortal breathing.

'It's all over between us,' he sighed; 'even if I were ungenerous enough
to ask it, she wouldn't receive me now.' My face spoke my scorn. 'Don't
blame her,' he said, pathetically; 'it isn't natural she should, poor
little thing! This for what she might have been to me.' Then, he kissed
the pictured face, and sorrowfully laid it back again upon his heart. 'I
thought to go back to her a colonel at least--a general, perhaps,' he
went on, with a piteous smile; 'to be crowned with laurels, loaded with
honors and proudly claim her as my bride: I little thought that this
would be the end!' It was a man's grave comment on a boy's wild dream.
He had buried his youth in those two weeks of anguish. It was a man's
face that looked upon me, and I read in it a man's strong endurance and
stern resolve. That, and the smile with which he said it, moved me more
than any emotion, however hopeless or despairing, could have done. My
grief burst forth anew.

Dearer, a thousand times dearer, now that love had left him, and
youthful friends turned coldly away. Ah! thank God! bless God! There are
none so dear to each other, so inexpressibly dear, as those whom sorrow
joins; no tie that binds so closely as the sacred bond of suffering. I
said so brokenly, sobbing out my love and sorrow, as I held him to my
heart. His longing for home had been intense; now that he had seen me,
it became wellnigh insupportable. To go away from this his place of
suffering--from the myriad eyes bent upon him here, and creep back
broken-hearted to that sacred sheltering haven, and hide his great grief
there--this wish absorbed him quite. 'I want to go home, Maggie,' he
said, in a broken-hearted whisper, clinging to me the while; 'I want to
go home and die.' Die! I wouldn't hear the word; I stopped its
half-formed utterance with tears and kisses. The doctor shook his head
at the suggestion and counselled delay; but he was burning with
impatience, and I was resolute. We started the very next day. We
travelled by easy stages, but he grew weaker all the time: toward the
last, with his head upon my breast, he would sleep for hours, peacefully
as a little child. Reduced to almost infant weakness when we reached our
journey's end, they took him in their arms tenderly as they would have
taken an infant, and laid him on my bed. There, in that darkened room, I
nursed him night and day, striving to win him back to thoughts of life,
and love of it. 'It's too late, Maggie,' he would say, with placid
resignation; 'life has nothing for me, dear; I want to go to sleep--to
that long, dreamless sleep, where memory never wakes to haunt us!' But
I couldn't bear it--I wouldn't have it so. I bade him think of how _my_
heart would break if he, too, died and left me! In my earnest love, I
called Heaven to witness that I was ready not only to die for him, if
need be, but to do a better, nobler thing, God helping me--to live for
him; eschewing other ties, to devote my life and heart to this one
affection. We had wealth, thank God! (I never thanked God for that
before.) We would go to far-off lands as soon as he was able--away from
old sights and scenes, where no familiar object would recall the past,
and where, cut off from all association, we could be all and all to each
other; and, with ardent hope, I commenced immediate preparations for our
voyage. I read him books of travel; showed him the half-finished
garments intended for our journey; purchased all things needful, even to
the books we would read upon the way--richly paid for toilsome endeavor,
for days of patient waiting, if I but roused in him even a passing
interest in the subject, won from him but the shadow of a smile. Ah!
even those days had their gleams of sunshine. I was his only nurse, his
sole dependence, his all; there was exquisite happiness in that! I said
to myself, he is mine now, and always will be; and then I thought of the
fair face so lovingly resting against the weary heart, and grew
exultant, Heaven forgive me! and said, 'Nothing will take him from me
now.' One day he rallied very suddenly. A portion of his old vigor
seemed to animate his frame; something of the old look was in his face.
He took my hand and laid it tenderly against his cheek; he smiled twice
during the morning; I kissed him and said, 'We shall be able to start
soon now, my darling!' The doctor gravely watched us both, but I would
not let his gravity disturb me. He called me to him as he left the room.
As I went out, the dear brown eyes were watching me. I turned to nod and
smile to him, saying blithely, as I joined the doctor, 'Don't you think
we shall be able to start in three weeks, doctor?' 'Shut the door, my
dear,' he said; I had left it ajar. The tone startled me. There was
compassion in it; and I noticed now that he was walking up and down the
room in an agitated way. 'My dear,' he said again, 'you had better take
a seat farther from the door.' His voice was hoarse this time--his tone,
his air, his unwonted tenderness, were ominous. 'What is the matter?' I
said, in sudden fear; 'can't we go as soon as we have intended?'

He did not answer me at first; he walked to the window and looked out;
he turned to me again after a little:

'He is bound on a longer voyage,' he said, with a tremor in his voice;
'he is going to a more distant country.'

I did not start or cry; I did not comprehend the meaning of his words. I
sat silent, looking at him. He came to me, took both my hands in his:
'Hush!' he said; 'don't cry aloud--it would disturb him. But I must tell
you the truth: he won't live three days.' I understood it all now--took
in the _full_ meaning of his dreadful words. I did not cry or faint; I
did not even weep; I thought my heart was bleeding--that the blood was
actually oozing from it drop by drop. I clung to the doctor as I would
to the strong arm of an earthly saviour with wild entreaty, with
passionate appeal. I prayed him to save my darling, as if he held within
his grasp the keys of life and death. I offered all my wealth; I made
unheard-of vows--promised impossible things. In the anguish of my
supplication, I fell at his very feet. 'My dear,' he said, as he raised
me tenderly up again, 'even in this world there is a limit to wealth's
potent power; it is always powerless in a time like this.' I had sunk
into a chair, exhausted by emotion, and chill with dread, my face buried
in my hands despairingly. He laid his hand upon my head in fatherly
compassion: 'It's what we've all got to come to, sooner or later,' he
went on, tremulously. 'As life goes on, our hopes die out one by one;
and, one after another, death claims our treasures. Bow to what is
inevitable; pray for resignation.'

I couldn't--I wouldn't. I prayed for _his_ life, yet in a hopeless,
despairing way. To the All-powerful my soul went out continually in one
wild, desperate cry. I battled fiercely with that stern impending fate,
yet I felt from the first how vainly. Around my poor, wounded, dying
boy, night and day I hovered constantly--I would not leave him for an
instant. Every hour was bearing him away from me--drifting him farther
and farther out into an unknown sea. I crept to his side when I could do
nothing more for him, and laid my head beside his on the pillow.
Sometimes I slept there for very sorrow, grasping him instinctively the
while, seeking even in sleep, with fierce, rebellious will, to stem the
invisible tide of that dark river, and bear him back to life. 'He would
not live three days,' the doctor had said: he _did_ live just _three
days._ It was on the evening of the third, just as the day was fading,
that he called me softly to him. I had opened the window and put back
the curtain, to admit the air and the waning light.

The wind rose as the twilight deepened, waking at intervals in the
gloomy stillness, as if from sleep. It filled the room every now and
then with a sad, sighing sound, then died out slowly, again to swell,
again to fall, sad as the tolling of a funeral knell. He lay listening
to it when I went to him, with parted lips and strange solemnity of
face. Too heart-broken for speech, I knelt beside him with a stifled
moan. 'Magsie,' (that was his pet name for me,) 'I thought it was your
notion, dear, but there is a voice in the wind to-night, and it is
calling me.' I made an effort to answer him, to speak; to tell him at
the last how precious he had always been to me--how inexpressibly dear;
to win from him some parting word of fond endearment that I might
remember always; but the words died out in hoarse, inarticulate murmurs.
'Yes, a voice _is_ calling to me, and it falls through miles and miles
of air; then the wind takes it up and brings it to me. They want me up
there, and I am going, Magsie; kiss me, dear.' The one arm stole around
my neck; the chilled lips met mine in a lingering farewell pressure. He
went on, feebly: 'I have been wild and wayward, Magsie, in the times
gone by; I have grieved your great love sometimes, by giving you a cross
word or look, not meaning it, dear, never meaning it, but because a
perverse mood seized me. Forgive me, dear; don't remember it against me,
sister!' Words came at last; they burst forth in a low moan of anguish:
'My darling! my darling! you break my heart!' Then my poor boy crept
closer to me, in a last fond effort at endearment, and laid his cold
cheek close against my own. The gloom deepened. The form within my clasp
grew cold, became a lifeless weight. I knew it, but I could not lay it
down. I still chafed the pulseless hand, and kissed it, and still I
pressed the poor, maimed, lifeless form closer and closer to my heart,
till reason fled, and I remember nothing. They unwound the chilled arm
from about my neck; they thought I, too, was dead.... With muffled
drumbeat and martial music, with horrid pomp of war, they buried my
darling as soldiers are buried that die at home; but on the grave over
which was fired the parting volley there fell no kindred's tear: I, the
only mourner, lay _raving_ in my room.

Wintry winds have piled the dreary snow above that grave; spring has
kissed it into bloom and verdure; summer skies have smiled above it; and
the maimed form they laid there has melted into nothing _now!_ Time has
softened the despair of my grief--the worst bitterness is past.

Through the gloomy portals of that dark gate of suffering, an unseen
Hand has led me out into a broader and a higher life; and the heart
that held darling _only_, purged from its selfishness by the fierce fire
of affliction, beats now for all humanity. Hearts whose love and
gratitude God has given me the power to win, say, out of the fulness of
their love for me, that a ministering angel is among them in woman's
guise; that no hand is half so lavish in its gifts, no heart so full of
sympathy, no watcher's form so constant beside the couch of pain. The
sick follow me with murmured prayer and blessing; and wounded soldiers
turn to kiss my shadow as I pass. Yet ever as the twilight falls I steal
away to listen to the night wind's moaning, and ever in the gloom I feel
an unseen presence--an arm about my neck--a cheek laid close to mine.
Journeying on the lonely, rugged path of duty, 'following meekly where
His footsteps lead,' I work and wait, and patiently abide my
time--content if, when the welcome summons come, when life's day is
fading, I may feel my darling's face pressed close to my own. He may not
come to me, but I shall go to him, where he may wear his glorified body
forever!



REASON, RHYME, AND RHYTHM.


CHAPTER IV.--UNITY.

The Divine Attributes, the base of all true Art.

Having already shown that the aspirations of man, made in the image of
his God, are always directed toward that wondrous background from which
all life projects--the Infinite, we now propose to make a few remarks
upon the manifestation of some of the remaining attributes revealed to
him, and which he is forever striving to incarnate in the works of art.

Beauty, in its proper expression, must be allied to or suggest the
Infinite, for in it alone can ceaseless _variety_ be united with
absolute _unity_. Unity is an essential characteristic of life itself;
variety resolving itself into unity, and unity expanding itself into
variety, mark all that God has made. As a necessary consequence of the
position we have assumed, viz.: 'That art is not a servile copy, but
rather a creation of man in the Spirit of Nature,' _Variety and Unity_
must characterize every great work of art, as they mark every work of
the Creator. Let us take any of the humblest things which He has made, a
flower, for example: Unity, Order, Proportion, and Symmetry are in all
its fragile leaves--the Great Over-Soul seems to have lingered lovingly
over the elaboration of its idea, and stamped upon its fragrant leaves,
perishing and trivial as they may seem, the secrets of Infinity! With
what variety it is marked! How many shades in the gradations of the
color! What infinitesimal changes in the direction of the gentle
curvature of the rounded lines! what richness in the details! what
subtle and penetrating tenderness in the perfume! _Love_, _Infinity_,
_Unity_, _Order_, _Proportion_, _Symmetry_, mark all the Divine Works:
_Unity_, _Order_, _Proportion_, _Symmetry_, _Love_, as manifested in the
careful rendering of the subject in hand, with the suggestion of that
mystic Infinite in which all being is cradled, and from which all art is
nurtured, should, on their lower level in their finite degree, mark
every work of art. But to our subject: the divine attribute of unity,
and its manifestation in and through the finite.

All things, except God, receive externally some perfection from other
things. We will not now consider the unity of His mystical Trinity, but
rather dwell upon the necessity of His inherence in all things, without
which no creature could retain existence for a moment. We speak of His
comprehensive unity because it is an object of hope to men; it is that
of which Christ thought when he said: 'Neither pray I for these alone,
but for them also which shall believe on me through their word: that
they may be all One, as Thou, Father, art in me, and I in Thee.' There
is no matter, no spirit, that is not capable of unity of some kind with
other creatures, in which unity is found their several perfections, and
which is a source of joy for all who see it. The Unity of Spirits is
partly in their sympathy, partly in their giving and taking, and ever in
their love, their inseparable dependency on each other and _always_ on
their Maker--not like the cold peace of undisturbed stones and solitary
mountains, but the living peace of trust, the living power of
confidence, _of hands that hold each other and are still_! Who has not
felt the strength of united love? In the sudden emotion common to
humanity which we all experience at the sight of suffering, and which
brought tears from the Holy One on the death of Lazarus, in the strange
shivering which we feel pervade our souls at the shrill cry of anguish,
do we not recognize more than a simple resemblance of nature--do we not
feel that the _race_ is really _One_, that a common grief again unites
it, that in this _oneness_ we are all justly partakers in the sin of
Adam, that in this _oneness_ we may partake of the glory of the Brother
who died to _unite_ the finite with the Infinite?

It is to this essential _unity_ of the race that the dramatist owes much
of his power; for let him but strike the common strings of grief and
love, and the crowd at once show by their words, their gestures, their
looks, and often by their tears, their earnest sympathy. Even at the
spectacle of an imaginary grief their hearts are moved, the sorrow
thrills through every soul; if the poet has been true to nature, they
feel that his imaginary characters are but part and parcel of themselves
in their woe. Thus the emotion excited by dramatic representations has
its source in the very root of our being, the _unity_ of our common
nature, in our common brotherhood; consequently, neither in the
instincts of the body nor the caprices of the poetic fancy. If the poet
would not break the bond, let him respect the _unities_ of nature,
whatever view he may take of those of convention. It is to this
wonderful unity with our common nature that the greatest of all
uninspired writers, Shakspeare, owes his universal acknowledgment, his
unequalled power.

If, as we have labored to teach, matter always symbolizes mind, we
should expect to find it also pervaded with the unity pertaining to its
lower rank, and so indeed we find it. In its noblest form the unity of
matter is that organization of it which builds it into living temples
for the indwelling spirits, those houses not made with hands--the bodies
of noble men, of fair and loving women.

In a lower form, it gives that sweet and strange affinity which adds the
glory of orderly arrangement to its elements, gifting them with the fair
variety of change and assimilation that turns the dust into crystal, and
separates the waters above the firmament from those below. It is the
walking and clinging _together_ that gives power to the winds, weight to
the waves, heat to the sunbeams, and stability to the mountains. It is
the 'clinging together' which throws our syllables into words, gives
metre to poetry, and melody and harmony to sound. Indeed, the clinging
together of sounds, as seized by the ear in _time_, with the ever
forming and living ebb and flow of widely different rhythms, exerting
the most mysterious influences upon the soul, is not less remarkable
than its more familiar history in space.

Manifold, indeed, would be the generalizations of the different species
of unity, for it is the secret link of all being.

We have the unity of separate things subjected to one and the same
influence, as the unity of clouds as they are driven by parallel winds,
or ordered by electric currents: there is the unity of myriads of sea
waves, of the bending and undulating of forest masses.

In creatures capable of will, there would be the unity of acts
controlled, in all their apparent variety, by its directing power; and
the unity of emotions in the masses, when swayed by some common impulse.

There is also the unity of the origin of things arising from one source,
always suggesting their common brotherhood: in matter this is manifested
in the unity of the branches of the trees, of the petals and starry rays
of flowers, of the beams of light, of heat, &c., &c.; in spiritual
creatures it is their filial relation to Him from whom they have their
being.

There is the unity of sequence, which is that of things which form links
in chains, steps in ascent, and stages in journeys; this, in matter, is
the unity of communicable forces in their continuance and propagation
from one thing to another; it is the passing upward and downward of
beneficent effects among all things; it is the melody of sounds; the
beauty of continuous lines; and orderly successions of motions and
times. In spiritual creatures, it is their own constant building up by
true knowledge and consecutive efforts to higher perfection, and the
singleness and straightforwardness of their tendencies to more complete
union with God.

There is the unity of membership, which is the union of things
separately imperfect into a perfect whole; this is the great unity of
which all other unities are but parts and means. In matter it is the
consistency of bodies, the harmony of sounds;--with spiritual beings, it
is their love, happiness, and life in God. But this unity cannot subsist
between things _similar_ to each other. Two or more equal or like things
cannot be members the one of the other, nor can they form one or a whole
thing. _Two_ they must remain both in nature and in our conception
unless they are united by a _third_. Thus the arms, which are like each
other, remain always two arms in our conception, and could not be united
by a third arm, but must be linked by something which is not an arm, and
which, imperfect without them as they without it, will, with them, form
one perfect body. Nor is unity even thus accomplished without a
difference and opposition of direction in the setting on of members.
Therefore, among things which are to have membership with each other,
there must be difference or variety; and though it is possible that many
like things may be made members of one body, yet it is very remarkable
that this stricture appears rather characteristic of the lower creatures
than the higher, as the many legs of the caterpillar, and the arms and
suckers of Radiata seem to prove. As we rise in the order of being the
number of similar members becomes less; their structure appearing based
on the principle of two things united by a third;--a constant type even
in matter of the Triune Existence.

Out of the necessity of _unity_ arises that of _variety_, a necessity
vividly felt, because it lies at the surface of things, and is assisted
by our love of change and the power of contrast. It were a mistake to
suppose that mere variety, without a linking principle of unity, is,
necessarily, either agreeable or beautiful.

        'All are needed by each one,
        Nothing is fair or good alone.
    I thought the sparrow's note from heaven,
      Singing at dawn on the alder bough;
    I brought him home in his nest at even;
      He sings the song, but it pleases not now,
    For I could not bring home the river and sky;--
    He sang to my ear,--they sang to my eye.
      The delicate shells lay on the shore;
        The bubbles of the latest wave
        Fresh pearls to their enamel gave;
        And the bellowing of the savage sea
        Greeted their safe escape to me.
        I wiped away the weeds and foam,
        I fetched my seaborn treasures home;
      But the poor, unsightly, noisome things
      Had left their beauty on the shore
    With the sun, and the sand, and the wild uproar.'

It is not mere unrelated variety which charms us, for a forest of all
manner of trees is poor in its effect, while a mass of one species of
trees is sublime;--the swan, with its purity of unbroken whiteness, is
one of the most beautiful of creatures. It is, indeed, only harmonious
and chordal variety, that variety which is necessary to secure and
extend unity (for the greater the number of objects which by their
differences become members of one another, the more extended and sublime
is their unity), which is essentially beautiful. _Variety_ is never so
conspicuous as when united with some intimation of _unity_. For example,
the perpetual change of clouds is monotonous in its very dissimilarity,
nor is difference ever striking where no connection is implied; but if
through a range of barred clouds crossing half the heavens, all governed
by the same forces, and falling into one general form, there be yet a
marked and evident dissimilarity between each member of the great
mass--one more finely drawn, the next more delicately moulded, the next
more gracefully bent--each broken into differently modelled and
variously numbered groups,--the _variety_ is doubly striking because
contrasted with the perfect _unity_ and _symmetry_ of which it forms a
part.

Now, of that which is thus necessary to the perfection of things, all
types and suggestions must be beautiful in whatever way they may suggest
or manifest it. To the perfection of beauty in lines, colors, forms,
masses, or multitudes, the appearance of unity is absolutely essential.
Let the artist look to it, that our pictures may gain expression; our
music cease to weary us through the unceasing dissimilarity of its
parts, highly adorned arabesques running into each other, graceful, but
without significance, without any perceptible principle of unity in the
jarring '_motifs_;' and our poems have some certain theme, that their
highly wrought details may not confuse and bewilder the spirit always in
search of some central unity. Like the burning sands which, clinging not
together in any sweet union of fellowship, blind and confuse us with
their drifting masses, are all such essays in art; for an idea capable
of quickening an artistic creation must be vitally One, and every great
work, notwithstanding its variety and the manifold complexity of its
parts, must form a Whole.

The _association of ideas_, upon which is based the _unity_ of the
continuous life of the individual, with the pervading sense of personal
identity, has been aptly called the '_cohesion of the moral world_.' It
is not less powerful, less irresistible, than that of the physical
world. The association of ideas is a constituent and necessary phase of
the _unity_ of our mental and moral being, the indispensable condition
of all development, whether of mind or soul. Without the power of
association, the intellect would strive in vain to construct consecutive
trains of thought; it would indeed be condemned to eternal infancy,
because, as it ascertained new relations, those already acquired would
escape, and a labor constantly renewed would be requisite to regain
them. Without association of ideas, no voluntary virtue would be
possible; and at the end of long years of effort and self-restraint, we
would have gained no additional control over the course of our impetuous
passions.

The fact that much of the difference in intellectual capacity so
strongly characterizing different individuals arises from their various
powers over the flow and logical association of ideas, has scarcely
elicited the attention it so well deserves. It is of immense importance
in the history of mental development. If an individual connects his
ideas with difficulty, or can continue to chain them in rational
sequence only with the most laborious efforts, he will have either a
dull and heavy, or flighty and illogical, mind.

If another has great trouble in modifying or arranging the association
of ideas which arise spontaneously in the soul, he will suffer himself
to be ruled by them, in place of exercising rational domination over
them; he will pursue every chimera; he will trust every impulse; he will
but dream, even when he tries to think; and will be of a weak and
fickle, but obstinate and self-opinionated, intellect. His whole
exhaustive logic will consist in clothing in exact and reiterated
assertions the heterogeneous order in which ideas are arbitrarily,
accidentally, and spontaneously associated in his own imagination.

Another will associate his ideas in logical sequence, yet with startling
rapidity; in a manner and through subtle relations quite unknown to
common men, incapable of such vivid, rational, and consequential
combinations; and will, in consequence, be a man of clear and vivid
intellect.

The wonderful faculty of improvisation so often seen in Italy, is an
example of the power of appropriate and rapid association. There is no
doubt that this power is susceptible of development and cultivation, and
that much that is brilliant in intuition is lost through the want of it.
In spite of this, no system has as yet been devised for its culture. Let
him who would labor for the real improvement of humanity think of it,
write for it, and aid us in its development: as the law of _internal
unity_ with regard to the immense range of possible associations is so
vital to our moral well being, so essential to our intellectual sanity,
let our deepest thinkers devote themselves to its culture in the race!

We may distinctly trace the intuitive strivings of the human spirit for
_unity_ even in the theology of nations without revelation. In one of
the ancient fragments of Greek poetry known as Orphic Hymns, we find
them thus articulated:

     'Jupiter is the First and Last; Jupiter is man and immortal
     Virgin; Jupiter is the base of Earth and Heaven; Jupiter is the
     living breath of all beings; Jupiter is the source of Fire; the
     root of the Sea; Jupiter is the Sun and Moon; Jupiter is King
     of the universe; He created all things; He is a Living Force; a
     God; the Heart of all that is;--a supernal Body which embraces
     all bodies, fire, water, earth, air, night, day, with Metis the
     first Generatrix, and Love, full of magic. All that is, is
     contained in the immense Body of Jupiter.'

The reader will not fail to observe how much this Greek hymn resembles
in its spirit the extract we have already given him from the Vedas; how
closely it coincides with the transcendental philosophy of the Hindoos.

But the idea of God, vague and indeterminate apart from revelation, soon
lost its _pantheistic_ unity in the wildest _polytheistic_ variety. The
primitive idea of unity, passing through the distorting prism of the
fallen and corrupt human imagination, was divided, decomposed, clothed
in a thousand colors and forms to allure and satisfy the senses. Thus
there was no part of nature without its appropriate god, invested with
supreme power over the class of being subjected to its care. No one had
ever seen any one of these gods, but the people had no doubt of their
existence. Names in close accordance with their separate functions were
given them; these names became symbols destined to represent the
different active principles of the physical world.

Thus in their literary and sacred language they substituted the names of
Jupiter, Hyades, Hamadryads, Apollo, for those of Air, Fountains,
Forests, and Sun. Nature almost disappeared under this traditionary
language, which, giving play to the lighter fancy, chilled the
imagination, and singularly limited the view. Indeed, it so amused and
allured the fancy by its diversity that the mind scarcely cared to rise
from this fantastic and grotesque world to seek the sublime principles
of Infinity, of Unity. If the ancients had regarded nature as a vast
system of signs designed to manifest the ideas of the Great Artist; if
they had at all understood the marvellous Unity of the Divine Works, it
would have been worse than idle in them to have invented a language
which thus lowered nature, robbing it of its solemn majesty, its august
dignity. As all these divinities had the human figure, God was banished
from His own universe, man everywhere substituting his own personality.
Speaking of the great dearth of vivid descriptions of natural scenery
among the ancients, Chateaubriand says: 'It must not be supposed that
men as full of sensibility as the ancients wanted eyes to see nature, or
talent to depict it, if some powerful cause had not blinded and misled
them; this cause was their mythology, which, peopling the universe with
graceful phantoms, robbed creation of its solemnity, of its sublime
repose. Christianity came--and fauns, satyrs, and wanton nymphs
disappeared; the grottos regained their holy silence; the dim woods
their mystic reveries; the vast forests their vague and sublime
melancholy; the streams overturned their petty urns to drink only from
the mountain tops, to pour forth only the waters of the abyss. The true
and One God, in reappearing in His own mystical works, again breathed
through the voice of nature the secret thrill of His perfect Unity, His
incomprehensible Infinity.'

    'Earth outgrows the mythic fancies
       Sung beside her in her youth;
     And those debonaire romances
       Sound but dull beside the truth.
    Phoebus' chariot race is run!
    Look up, poets, to the Sun!
                     Pan, Pan is dead.

    'Christ hath sent us down the angels;
       And the whole earth and the skies
     Are illumed by altar candles
       Lit for blessed mysteries;
     And a Priest's hand through creation
     Waveth calm and consecration--
                     And Pan is dead.

    'O brave Poets, keep back nothing;
       Mix not falsehood with the whole!
     Look up Godward! speak the truth in
       Worthy song from earnest soul!
     Hold, in high poetic duty,
     Truest truth, the fairest Beauty!
                     Pan, Pan is dead.'

As we have already intimated, Pantheism is the negation of the Divine
Personality in order to arrive at Unity; Polytheism is the negation of
the Divine Unity, which is fractioned and divided that its multitudinous
action may be conceived. The light fancy was delighted with such
divisions, resulting in varied gods and goddesses; but the soul could
find no satisfaction for its deeper needs in such conceptions; urged on
by its secret instincts, it sought to recompose the broken unity of the
divine nature.

All government requires a Head; and when an attempt was made to apply
the heterogeneous qualities and contradictory powers of the gods to the
regulation of society--when it was necessary to find in an Olympus
filled with quarrels and scandals, a steady Power capable of directing
the destinies of a great people toward a single aim--men were again
forced to recompose the fractioned Unity, to form an idea of one God
superior to those with whom they had peopled earth and heaven. They
were thus forced upon the conception of a Being superior to Jupiter, who
subjected all the gods to his inflexible laws; and giving wings to those
instincts of dread always present in the soul of a fallen race, they
invented an invisible Divinity who never manifested himself to men; who
dwelt in inaccessible and dreadful regions, in which an inscrutable
Horror forever reigned; and through this new Terror, Unity was again
brought into the design of creation, for all beings were, in despite of
themselves, forced to fulfil the decrees of its pitiless will. All
struggle was vain, all effort useless, prayer was without avail, and
human anguish utterly unheeded by this terrific phantom of irresistible
and crushing Power without a heart!

It is this dread idea which, pervading the pages of Eschylus, gives them
that peculiar character of simplicity and grandeur, with which no other
tragedies are marked in a like degree. Such was the source of the
inspiration of classic tragedy, the spring of that stern and severe
poetry which throws the lurid hues of a melancholy so profound upon the
pallid and affrighted face of humanity. Man, struggling with all the
gloomy energy of despair against this vague but formidable Horror, which
no virtue or agony could conciliate--this dark Fate, the creation of his
own misled and perverted intuitions--and vainly seeking to escape from
the inflexible circle which he had traced around himself, is an object
which cannot fail to awaken the deepest pity. He asks from his fellow
men, from nature, from the gods, the meaning of the dire enigma of life.
Alas! they leave him to struggle in the stony hands of an unbending
Fate! no reply is ever given to his wild demand, and the 'veil of Isis
is never raised!' The world quivered under some strange anathema; a
mystic malediction wreathed its thorns round the anguished heads of men;
even in the midst of their festivals, when seeming to drink deep of joy
from the brimming cup of life, the invisible hand of a Gorgon Fate was
forever felt tracing upon their walls the decrees of a dark,
inscrutable, inflexible, and terrible destiny!

Yet there are poets among us, who would willingly return to the days of
Paganism, and resuscitate the gods of Greece!

    'Get to dust as common mortals,
      By a common doom and track!
    Let no Schiller from the portals
      Of that Hades call you back,
    Or instruct us all to weep:
    Everlasting be your sleep!
                    Pan, Pan is dead!'

    ''Twas the hour when one in Zion
      Hung for Love's sake on a cross--
    When His brow was chill with dying,
      And His soul was faint with loss;
    When His priestly blood dropped downward;
    And His kingly eyes looked homeward--
                    Then Pan was dead!'

The Prometheus of the rock, the Tantalus of the fable, man, plunged in
this world of woe with his lips thirsty for happiness, stretches out his
hand to pluck the bitter Dead-Sea fruits of this earth. With his
profound instincts of the Infinite, his craving for the Absolute, he
seizes madly upon every object which suggests their image to him; the
foul fiend, adapting his temptations to the nature of the tempted, still
whispers, as into the ear of the mother of mankind: 'Ye shall be as
gods;'--but the phenomenal flies before him, and he everywhere falls
upon the thorns closely hedging in the narrow circle of the actual.
Without Faith, the artist is among the most miserable of men, for
through the illimitable horizons of the Infinite, genius catches secrets
which it can never fully utter; symbolic signs, whose sense it cannot
articulate; while the voice of the invisible Love loads every breeze.
What profound and mournful aspirations for that _Unknown_ which the
mortal may not see, surge through the soul of the imaginative!

    'E'en the flowing azure air
    Thou hast charmed for his despair.'

While the artist strives to incorporate with the works which their
presence shall render immortal, suggestions of Infinity, of Unity, let
him hopefully turn to the Author of all Beauty for true inspiration and
peace.

As satisfaction and response to the longings of the spirit, the Gospel
has brought Life and Immortality to light. The assurance that 'God is
Love' responds to the inmost wish of the soul. The problem of antiquity,
the possible Union of the finite with the Infinite, has been solved in
the most marvellous manner. No longer are we oppressed with the loss of
all personal identity, all moral responsibility, as in pantheism; nor
confused by the debasing fractioning of the Divine Unity, as in
polytheism; nor bound hand and foot under the crushing despotism of a
pitiless Fate;--but in the Glorified Humanity of Christ these perplexing
problems of the soul are answered, and the incomprehensible union of the
Infinite and finite at last accomplished, He took our nature upon Him
that Infinite Love might pass through all degrees of suffering, even to
the last dying gasp of agony, to release us from the horrors of the
'second death.' Every human feeling is known to Him, but in infinite
purity; the Real and Ideal are in equal perfection. Far higher, indeed,
than the most sublime conception that uninspired thought could ever have
engendered; human, yet far above humanity; ruling all ages; winning all
adoration; sublime in tender simplicity--behold the meek Lamb of God,
the Holy Son of the Blessed Virgin!

Oh, eternal, immaculate Beauty! if in this world Thou but sufferest us
to divine Thy Perfections; if Thou hast given us ephemeral delights
which always escape our eager grasp at the very moment we dream of their
full enjoyment; if the flower fades so fast--the days of spring are so
fleeting; if nature, like a thick veil thrown between this world and the
next, suffers but a few rays of Thy glory to pierce its folds, while it
keeps us from Thee even in kindling the flame of desires which it never
satisfies--it is because Thou knowest that in the inexhaustible richness
of Thy Being there are everlasting fountains to quench the insatiate
thirst of the human soul, when in the bosom of infinite splendor we may
contemplate and adore Thee forever and ever!

'That they _all_ may be _One_, as Thou, Father, in me, and I in Thee:
that they also may be _one_ in us.'

Oh, inconceivable and glorious Unity! What wonder that thy types on
earth are so full of meaning--so rich in delight!



THE BUCCANEERS OF AMERICA.


II.

A still more terrible name to the Spaniards, as a leader of the
buccaneers, was Francis Lolonois, a Frenchman, who in his youth was
transported as a slave to the Caribbean Islands. Passing thence to
Tortuga, he became a common mariner, and conducted himself so well in
several voyages as to win the confidence of the governor, M. de la
Place, who gave him a ship in which to seek his fortune. The beginning
of his career on his own account was favorable; but his cruelties toward
the Spaniards were such as to make his name terrible throughout the
Indies; and the Spanish mariner preferred death in any form to falling
into his hands. Fortune, however, being ever inconstant, Lolonois did
not escape reverses. Encountering a tempest on the coast of Campeachy,
his ship was wrecked, and himself and crew cast on shore. Scarcely had
he dried his dripping clothes when he was met by an armed force, and
defeated in a severe battle. Being wounded, and concealing himself among
the dead bodies of his companions, he escaped, and arrived at Campeachy
in disguise, in time to take part in the thanksgiving and religious
rejoicings of the Spaniards on account of his supposed death. Here he
succeeded in enticing some slaves from their masters, with whom he again
put to sea, with the design of ravaging the small town of De los Cayes,
on the south side of Cuba. Divining his project, however, some fishermen
conveyed information to the governor at Havana, who immediately
despatched a vessel of war of ten guns in pursuit, with orders not to
return until the pirates were captured, and every man executed except
Lolonois himself, who was to be brought to Havana. This vessel entered
the port of De los Cayes while the pirates were yet at sea; but they
were advised of every particular of the pursuit, and concerted their
measures accordingly.

It was on a clear, starlight night, when the Spaniard lay quietly at
anchor in the glassy waters of the bay,

    'Secure that nought of evil could delight
    To walk in such a scene on such a night,'

that the pirates entered the harbor in two canoes. Stealing upon their
intended prey so silently as to escape observation, they boarded her on
both sides at once, and, after a sharp conflict, succeeded in her
capture. Lolonois then informed the prisoners that he knew their orders,
and it was his purpose to execute them upon those who were to have
enforced them upon him. Supplications and entreaties were in vain. He
successively struck off the heads of every one with his own
hand--sucking, at each stroke, the drops of blood that trickled from his
sabre. Only one person was saved, whom he sent back to the governor with
a letter stating what he had done, and declaring his determination
thenceforward to show no quarter to a Spaniard, adding: 'I have great
hopes I shall execute on your own person the punishment I have upon
those you sent against me. Thus have I retaliated the kindness you
designed to me and my companions.' The governor was much troubled at the
message, and declared that no quarter should ever again be granted to a
pirate; but knowing who would have the advantage in such a war of
retaliation, the inhabitants induced him to change his determination.

Encouraged by his success, Lolonois forthwith set about organizing a
force to make a descent upon the main, with a view of taking Maracaibo
itself. While engaged in these preparations, he formed a connection with
Michael de Basco, who, having retired from the sea, was living upon his
gains. De Basco had served in the wars of Europe as an officer with
distinguished gallantry; and he now engaged with Lolonois as the land
commander. When the expedition sailed, it consisted of eight vessels and
six hundred men. On their passage they fell in with a Spanish armed ship
from Porto Rico for New Spain. Lolonois parted from the fleet and
insisted on engaging the Spaniard alone. He did so, and carried the ship
after an engagement of three hours. She mounted sixteen guns, carried a
crew of sixty men, and was, moreover, richly laden with specie, jewels,
and merchandise. Shortly after another vessel was taken, when on her
voyage to Hispaniola to pay the troops. This was a valuable capture, the
prize being laden with arms and ammunition as well as specie. The prize
vessels were sent into Tortuga, where they were unladen; and one of them
was immediately armed and sent back to join the main squadron as the
flagship. Their marine thus augmented, they sailed first into the Bay of
Venerada, the fort guarding the entrance to which was taken, the guns
spiked, and the garrison, numbering two hundred and fifty men, put to
the sword. The pirates next sailed into the Lake of Maracaibo, landed
their forces, and proceeded at once to attack the castle that guarded
the entrance to the harbor. The governor had made judicious dispositions
for its defence, having formed an ambuscade for the purpose of bringing
the pirates between two fires. His design, however, in this respect, was
frustrated, for those forming the ambuscade, being discovered and
routed, fled to the town, the inhabitants of which, remembering the
former visitation of the pirates, deserted in wild consternation, and
fell back upon Gibraltar, thirty leagues distant. Meantime the pirates,
though armed with swords and pistols only, attacked the castle with such
impetuosity as to compel its capitulation. The slaughter was great.
After the surrender the guns were spiked, and the castle demolished. The
next day the invaders advanced upon the town, which they found desolate.
It was well stored with provisions, but all the valuables had been
removed or buried. Lolonois demanded information of the prisoners where
the plate, jewels, and money were concealed, and attempts were made to
extort confessions by the rack, but to little purpose. He then hacked
one of the prisoners to pieces with his sword, declaring that such
should be the fate of all, unless the hidden treasures of the town
should be forthcoming. But the poor wretches were unable to give the
information, as the owners had fled as best they could, changing their
own hiding places, and taking away their valuables. Having remained
fifteen days in Maracaibo, and supposing that the people had carried
their treasures with them to Gibraltar, Lolonois determined to sail to
that town. The deputy governor, however, without the knowledge of the
pirates, had made vigorous preparations for its defence; and
accordingly, on their arrival in sight of the town, they unexpectedly
discovered the royal standard floating from two strong batteries
guarding a very narrow channel through which the pirate squadron must
pass. A council of war was called, at which, after a spirited speech
from Lolonois, it was agreed to land and carry the works by storm--the
leader declaring that he would pistol any man who should flinch, with
his own hand. The Spanish forces numbered eight hundred men, well
appointed; but nothing could daunt the resolution of the pirates. The
Spaniards conducted themselves bravely; and not until five hundred of
their number had fallen did they yield. The buccaneers had eighty killed
and wounded, not one of the latter recovering--an evidence of the
desperation with which they fought. The town of Gibraltar, of course,
fell into their hands; but it was a bootless conquest, inasmuch as
during the time the pirates had wasted at Maracaibo, the people had
secured their treasure by carrying it away. To save the town from the
torch, however, the inhabitants paid a ransom of ten thousand pieces of
eight, yet not until a portion of it had been burned. After spending two
months on shore, the buccaneers reëmbarked, carrying away all the
crosses, pictures, and bells of the churches, for the purpose, as they
alleged, of erecting a chapel in the island of Tortuga, to which pious
object a portion of the spoils was to be consecrated! The amount of
their booty, during their expedition, was two hundred and sixty thousand
pieces of eight, together with vast quantities of plate, jewels, and
merchandise--most of which was soon dissipated, after their return, in
debauchery, and other rude pleasures of such a ruffian race.

The next exploit of Lolonois was the capture, in the mouth of the
Guatemala river, of a Spanish ship, carrying forty-two guns, and manned
by one hundred and thirty fighting men; the pirate carrying only
twenty-two guns, and being attended by a single small vessel. The
Spaniard made a good defence, and the pirate chief was at first
repulsed. Yet afterward, under cover of a thick mist, rendered more
dense by the smoke of the powder, the pirates boarded the Spaniard from
their small craft, and bravely accomplished their purpose.

The career of this desperado was soon to come to an end. Shortly after
this last exploit, while cruising in the Bay of Honduras, his own ship
was wrecked, and he, together with his crew, were thrown upon an island.
Their next business was to build a boat from the remains of the broken
ship--a work which occupied them six months, and when finished she would
carry but half their number--the other half remaining behind by lot.
Lolonois then directed his course for Carthagena; but venturing ashore
at Darien, he was made prisoner by a wild tribe of Indians, who became
the instruments of divine justice in avenging his many cruelties. They
were not ignorant of his character, and, believing that no trace or
memorial of such a wretch ought to remain upon earth, they tore him in
pieces alive, throwing his body limb by limb into the fire, and
afterward scattering his ashes to the winds. Fitting death for such a
horrible monster!

But the career of the most formidable chief in this bloody catalogue
remains yet to be described. It was that of Henry Morgan, whose very
name, as it has been justly remarked, 'spread such terror abroad, that
with it the old women frightened their children asleep, and then lay
awake themselves through fear.' Morgan was the son of a wealthy farmer
in Wales, but not satisfied with his secluded condition, he sought a
seaport, and sailed for Barbadoes, where he was sold for a term of years
for his passage. The term of his service having expired, he repaired to
Jamaica, where the temptations spread before him by the buccaneers of
rapidly arriving at wealth and fame, induced him to join their
community. In the course of several voyages, which were attended with
great success, he evinced so much intrepidity, skill, prudence, and
judgment, as to win the confidence of his companions, several of whom
proposed the purchase of a ship on joint account, the command of which
was conferred on him. About this time, also, Morgan became acquainted
with Mausvelt, an old pirate, and who had now on foot an expedition
destined for a descent upon the Spanish main. Mausvelt induced Morgan to
join him as his vice-admiral, and they were shortly at sea with a fleet
of fifteen sail, great and small, and five hundred men, chiefly French
and Maroons. Their course was first directed against the two small
islands, nearly contiguous, of St. Catharine's, on the coast of Costa
Rica. These, though strongly fortified, were easily taken, by reason of
the inefficiency both of the commander and his troops, superinduced by
the terror inspired by the very name of the pirates. The design of
Mausvelt in the acquisition of these islands, was to fortify and hold
them as a place of rendezvous. Leaving, therefore, a garrison of one
hundred men in the forts, Mausvelt and Morgan continued their course to
the main; but as a knowledge of their intentions had preceded them, such
preparations had been made by the Spaniards on the coast for their
reception, as induced them to return to St. Catharine's. Thence they
sailed back to Jamaica for recruits; but not being favored by the
governor, Mausvelt repaired to Tortuga, where he died. The command now
devolved upon Morgan, who endeavored to prosecute the designs of his
predecessor; but the Spaniards having regained possession of St.
Catharine's, his projects were for a time defeated. Not only had the
Spaniards recovered the island, but a large English ship, despatched
thither from Jamaica for the aid of the buccaneers, and well supplied
with arms, men, provisions, and women, also fell into their hands. This
was a severe disappointment to Morgan, who had made extensive
arrangements for preserving St. Catharine's as a storehouse and place of
refuge, and had opened a correspondence with Virginia and New England
upon the subject. These events took place in 1665.

But, far from relinquishing the profession he had chosen, Morgan had
only just entered upon it. He soon succeeded in organizing another fleet
of nine sail of different-sized vessels, manned by four hundred and
fifty men. With these he made sail for Porto Bello, the third strongest
post at that time in the American dominions of Spain. In order to secure
secrecy, Morgan had communicated his purpose to no living soul, until he
came almost in view of the town. Some of his bold spirits then faltered
for a moment; but he had the power to dissipate their doubts of success,
even against odds so great. Landing his forces in the night, Morgan
arrived at the very citadel before he was discovered, having taken
captive the sentinel so suddenly as to prevent the least alarm. The
castle was summoned to surrender on pain of putting every man found
therein to death. The summons being disregarded, the assault was begun,
and bravely repelled for a time; but the fortress was at length
compelled to yield to the impetuous assaults of the pirates. But there
were yet other castles, and one of the strongest, to be subdued. With
this latter Morgan was hotly engaged from daylight until noon--losing
many of his men, and at times almost despairing himself of success. At
length another of the lesser castles gave way, and Morgan was encouraged
and strengthened by the return of the detachment that had been engaged
against it. As a device, moreover, to compel the Spanish governor to
yield the principal castle, the pirate chief caused its walls to be
planted round with scaling ladders, upon which, in front of his own men,
the religious prisoners in his hands, priests and nuns, were forced to
ascend. But although these people called to the governor in the name of
all their saints to yield and save their lives, his determination was
inflexible. He declared he would yield only with his life, and that the
castle should be defended to the last. Night approached, and the contest
yet raged; but finally, after performing prodigies of valor, the
assailants succeeded in scaling the walls, and the castle was entered
sword in hand. The garrison thereupon submitted, all but the governor,
who, deaf to the entreaties of his wife and daughter, fought on, killing
several of the pirates with his own hand, and also some of his own
soldiers for surrendering, until he was himself killed. The entire town
was now in possession of the rapacious invaders; and all the treasures
of the churches, having been placed in the castles for safety, of course
fell into the hands of the victors, as also did a vast amount of money
and plate.

Amazed that a town so strongly fortified as Porto Bello, and so well
garrisoned, should have been captured by so small a force, the president
of Panama sent a message to Morgan, desiring a pattern of the arms by
which he had performed so desperate an exploit. Morgan treated the
messenger with courtesy, and returned to the president a pistol and
several bullets, as a slender pattern of the arms he had used,
requesting his Excellency to preserve them carefully for a twelvemonth,
when he promised to come to Panama and bring them away. The president,
however, sent the articles back again, to save the pirate chief the
trouble of coming after them. He also sent him as a gift a gold ring,
with a civil request that he would not trouble himself to come to Panama
at the time mentioned, since he would not be likely to fare so well as
he had at Porto Bello. Morgan, after having destroyed the military walls
at Porto Bello, reëmbarked with his numbers greatly diminished by
battle, debauchery, and disease, and returned to Jamaica.

The fame of exploits like these caused the name of Morgan to resound
throughout Europe; and large numbers of the English chivalry, men of
family and rank, hastened to the New World, either to mend dilapidated
fortunes, or to acquire new ones, and to participate in the unlawful
glory which even the darkness of the deeds by which it was won could not
eclipse. These recruits attached themselves to Morgan, and eagerly
accepted commands under him. The bold rover gave them commissions in the
name of the king of England, authorizing them to commit hostilities
against the Spaniards, whom he declared to be the enemies of the British
crown. To such an amazing extent did the buccaneering system increase,
that more than four thousand men were now engaged in it, two thousand of
whom were under Morgan, with a fleet of thirty-seven vessels, divided
into squadrons, and appointed with all the formality of an independent
sovereignty. Their place of rendezvous was between Tortuga and St.
Domingo, the coast of the latter being plundered for provisions. A
squadron of four sail was also sent to the region of the Rio de la Hacha
upon the same errand, where a large ship was captured, the coast
successfully ravaged, and many prisoners put to death, as in former
instances, by the most exquisite tortures.

All things being in readiness, the expedition sailed in December, 1670,
the ultimate destination of which was to pay the promised visit to the
governor of Panama--the richest city of Spanish America. Preliminary,
however, to their landing upon the isthmus, a detachment of the fleet
was sent against a fortress at the mouth of the Chagu--which river it
was necessary to ascend before disembarking for Panama. This fortress
was built upon a steep rock, against which the waves of the sea were
continually breaking, and was defended by an officer of distinguished
ability and courage, and by a garrison in all respects worthy of such a
commander. For a time the contest was doubtful, but the fates favored
the freebooters. The Spanish commander was slain, and, the fort taking
fire, the position fell into the hands of the besiegers. The manner in
which the fire was communicated to the fortress was very remarkable.
During the fight, an arrow from the bow of one of the garrison was
lodged in the eye of one of the pirates, standing near his chief.
Extracting the barbed shaft from his head with his own hand, and binding
some cotton around the missile, he set it on fire, and shot it back into
the fortress from the barrel of his gun. The burning arrow fell upon the
roof of a house thatched with palm leaves, which were dry, and a
conflagration ensued, which the garrison strove in vain to resist. But
for this untoward occurrence, it was believed that Brodley, the pirate
vice-admiral, would have been repulsed.

Brodley was now joined by the main fleet under Morgan himself; and the
vessels, having been brought to anchor, were left with a sufficient
guard, while the commander, with twelve hundred men, embarked in boats
and canoes, and commenced the ascent of the river toward the capital,
the sacking of which was to be the crowning act of his career of outrage
and blood. They were compelled soon to leave their boats; and their
march for nine days was one of the severest operations ever successfully
encountered by man. The country was desolate, villages and plantations
being alike deserted, and in the flight of the people nothing had been
left behind that could possibly be converted into food, or in any wise
minister to the cupidity of the invaders. The hardships they underwent
in climbing mountains almost inaccessible, and traversing morasses
nearly impassable, while in a state bordering upon starvation, exceed
the power of language to describe. The carcass of an ass found by the
way afforded an uncooked tempting meal; and such cats and dogs as did
not flee with their owners, were considered delicious morsels.

On the eighth day a narrow defile was feebly defended by a company of
Indians, by whom ten of the pirates were killed, and fourteen others
wounded. On the ninth, having gained the summit of a lofty mountain, to
their infinite delight they came in view of the great Southern ocean,
and saw beneath them the glittering spires of Panama, and the shipping
in the harbor. The despondency which had been brooding over them for
several days, was now lighted up by the most extravagant demonstrations
of joy. They leaped, and sang, and threw up their hats, and blew their
trumpets, and beat their arms, as though the prize were already their
own without a struggle. Seemingly refreshed in strength by the sight of
the object of their desires, the pirates rushed eagerly forward, and
before nightfall encamped upon the great plain on which stood the city,
dispersing with ease several strong reconnoitring parties who had thrown
themselves in their way. The Spaniards had evidently been preparing for
their reception, and they played their artillery upon the invaders all
night, but with little effect; the pirates sleeping on the grass with
great composure, anxious for the arrival of the day which was to reward
their sufferings with untold riches.

The invaders were early on foot on the morning of the tenth day, and in
full march for the city. Arriving upon the summit of a little hill, they
were brought to a pause by a force which they saw advancing to meet
them. Their own numbers had been reduced on the march to less than a
thousand effective men; and they now beheld an army consisting of two
squadrons of horse, and four regiments of foot, led by the governor in
person, and preceded by a large herd of wild bulls, the design of which
singular description of light troops was to throw the buccaneers into
confusion. Beyond these, in immediate proximity to the city, they
discovered the people of Panama in arms, in yet greater numbers. The
action with the advanced army, under the governor, soon commenced, the
wild cattle being of no avail against the pirates, who shot them all
down in a very brief space of time. But the Spaniards, especially the
cavalry, fought bravely for more than two hours. The horse having at
length been compelled to yield, the infantry fled, after a brief
resistance. Six hundred Spaniards lay dead upon the field, and the
buccaneers suffered so severely that they were forced to desist from an
immediate pursuit, and obtain some rest. From a prisoner they
ascertained that the city was defended by two thousand five hundred men,
with a large number of heavy guns, planted at different points. But the
buccaneers, though sadly diminished in numbers, were determined to
finish the work they had begun on the same day; and taking an oath that
they would stand by each other to the last, they again advanced, and a
second fierce and bloody encounter took place at the very gates of the
city, which, after a resistance of three hours, fell into the hands of
the buccaneers. Neither party gave or received quarter, and after the
conquest the pirates killed nearly all who fell into their hands,
sparing neither ecclesiastics nor women.

The city was at that time one of remarkable splendor, containing two
thousand houses of great magnificence. The private dwellings were
chiefly built of cedar, and embellished with hangings, paintings, and
everything that luxury and taste could supply. It was the see of a
bishop, with two large churches, and seven monasteries, all richly
adorned with altar pieces, paintings, gold, silver, and precious stones.
But the gorgeous palaces and solemn temples were doomed to the flames by
the order of Morgan himself, although he afterward endeavored to fix the
act of vandalism upon others. They were probably burned in revenge
because found empty, for many of the inhabitants had sought refuge in
flight, carrying away such of their valuables as they could. Still, by
the horrible processes of torture, immense discoveries were made of
treasures concealed in the wells and caves, and in the woods. Some
valuable freights were taken from boats in the harbor, which had been
left aground at low water; and rich deposits were frequently discovered
in the earth, under the excruciating tortures of the rack.

Morgan lingered at Panama for a considerable period, until, indeed, his
men began to murmur at their protracted inactivity. The cause of this
inaction will hardly be divined from the character thus far developed of
this stupendous freebooter; but it was the tender passion! He had among
his prisoners a beautiful Spanish lady, who attracted his particular
attention. She was a native of Spain, and the wife of an opulent
merchant, whose business had some time before called him to Peru.
According to the historians of that day, she was still in the bloom of
youth; 'Her cheeks, naturally ruddy, were heightened by a tropical sun
into a warmer glow; and her fine black eyes, dazzling with uncommon
lustre, gave animation to the noblest countenance that ever the hand of
nature delineated, or poet's fancy conceived. The interest which her
unhappy situation excited was heightened into admiration by her elevated
mien; and her whole deportment indicated a soul incapable of being
degraded from its native rank, by any reverse of condition, or any depth
of misery.' Morgan, rude as he was, and unused to the melting mood, was
nevertheless charmed with her conversation, and the admiration which he
felt for her bearing was ere long changed into yet more tender emotions.
He provided a house for her, and assigned to her service a retinue of
domestics. Shortly afterward he attempted to open such a correspondence
with her as might favor his desires, but failing in this, he proceeded
to usurp some freedoms, at which her delicacy revolted. Her rebuke, firm
and noble, drove him back abashed; but his impetuous temper could not
well brook disappointment, and in the ardor of his passion he
subsequently attempted to force her into compliance with his brutal
desires. But with a virtue as exalted as that of the Roman matron, who
resisted, but in vain, the advances of the son of Tarquin, and with a
yet higher courage, she sprang from his attempted embrace, exclaiming,
'Stop! Thinkest thou, then, that thou canst ravish mine honor from me,
as thou hast wrested from me my fortune and my liberty? Be assured that
I can die and be avenged!' Having said this, she drew from her bosom a
poniard, which she would have plunged into his breast, had he not
avoided the blow. From that moment she became an object not only of his
hate, but of his cruelty, until at length she was ransomed by some of
her friends. History has not preserved the name of this lofty specimen
of female purity and honor; but, like that of Lucretia, it deserves the
topmost niche in the temple of virtue.

At length, in the month of February, Morgan took his departure from
Panama, having one hundred and seventy-five beasts of burden laden with
silver and gold, jewelry, and other precious things. He also took with
him six hundred prisoners, men, women, and children, for the purpose of
extorting enormous ransoms for them by the way; the cries of the women
and children were pitiful to hear; but the freebooter's heart was
steeled against every humane emotion. Returning down the river Chagre,
he destroyed the castle at its entrance, and prepared to reëmbark for
Jamaica. Before going on board, however, a division of the plunder was
made, which gave great dissatisfaction. It seemed unaccountable to his
men that so large an apparent amount of booty should yield only about
two hundred pieces of eight _per capita_, and rumors of foul play were
rife. Meantime he had richly laden his own ship with merchandise; and in
the course of the following night, while his companions were in a deep
sleep, he put to sea and escaped to Jamaica, and thence to England. Such
an instance of treachery had never been before known among the
buccaneers, and the rage and resentment that ensued cannot be described.
His departure was the signal for the dispersion of the fleet. The French
returned to Tortuga. Some of the English attempted to overtake the
mighty robber and make him disgorge, but were unsuccessful. Others of
the crews dispersed with their vessels to seek their fortunes as best
they might. Morgan ultimately returned to England laden with wealth, and
was well received. He afterward became a commander in the naval service
of his country, and obtained the honor of knighthood from William III.

The capture of Panama, however, was the last great land expedition
successfully undertaken by the buccaneers. A few other land expeditions,
it is true, were begun by chiefs of lesser note; but the indifferent
success which attended these, induced the freebooters insensibly to
confine their operations more exclusively to the water, and there was no
sea left untraversed by them, from the Atlantic to the Indian ocean. The
commerce of almost all nations was annoyed by them, although their
depredations continued more particularly to be directed against the
first objects of their hate, the Spaniards. It is a curious fact,
illustrating the corruption of the Roman Catholic Church at that time,
that in one of the Spanish ships captured while on her way to South
America, by an Englishman named White, there were found no less than two
millions of Papal bulls, granting indulgences to the Spaniards of the
New World! These were a royal trade, and had been purchased by the king
of Spain for three hundred thousand florins, _prime cost_, and by him
were designed to be retailed for five millions. Thus, by their capture,
his Catholic Majesty lost the benefit of a fine speculation. Had these
indulgences been captured by Yankees, they would have contrived to
barter them away at a profit; or had the captors been good Catholics,
they might have ravaged the whole continent with very quiet consciences,
having the Pope's pardon already in their pockets.[B]

It is a curious fact, not, I believe, very extensively understood, that
the great English circumnavigator Dampier was for a considerable period
connected with the buccaneers after the flight of Morgan. Dampier found
himself among them at first by accident, having gone ashore on the
Spanish main in great distress to procure provisions. Falling in with a
party of the marauders, he was induced to join them. He was at the
taking of Porto Bello; and afterward crossed the Isthmus of Darien with
Sawkins, Sharp, and others. Sawkins, the commander, was killed in an
attack on Puebla Nova in 1679. Dampier, in his 'Voyages,' gives an
interesting account of their subsequent course along the coasts, and
among the islands of the Pacific, which was rather disastrous. A mutiny,
however, occurring among those of the buccaneers engaged in the
expedition, Dampier returned across the Isthmus and came to Virginia in
July, 1682, where, after he and his companions had dissipated all their
wealth, they fitted out another piratical expedition for the South seas,
doubling Cape Horn in the spring of 1684. Proceeding northward to
Panama, Dampier's party were joined by large numbers of buccaneers who
had just crossed the Isthmus; and obtaining a number of additional
vessels, they prepared to intercept the Plate fleet on its departure
from Lima for Spain. After a few successes, and several disasters,
Dampier and his companions sailed to the Philippine Islands in 1686; and
subsequently visited most of the islands in the Pacific, sometimes
rioting in luxury, and at others brought to the verge of starvation.
Dampier quitted the buccaneers at the island of Nicoba, in the spring of
1688. Subsequently, however, he again joined them, as the commander of a
fine vessel; but the treachery of his officers and crew defeated the
objects of the cruise. Returning from this bootless voyage, he was
presented to Queen Anne, and well received. He subsequently made a
fourth voyage to the Pacific, during which he discovered and took from
the island of Juan Fernandez the celebrated Alexander Selkirk, the hero
of De Foe's Robinson Crusoe--a story ever delightful and ever new to
readers old and young. The actual experience of Selkirk, as related by
Dampier, corresponds more closely with the narrative, probably, than has
generally been supposed.

The last great enterprise of this remarkable race of men was directed
against Carthagena in 1697. It was planned in France, from one of the
ports of which a squadron of twelve vessels sailed, under the command of
Pointis. It was joined by twelve hundred buccaneers in the West Indies;
and although Carthagena was then the strongest city in the New World,
its forts and castles were carried by storm in rapid succession. The
booty thus acquired by Pointis amounted to one million seven hundred and
fifty thousand pounds sterling, with which he embarked and made sail.
But they had not been long at sea before the buccaneers discovered that
their rapacious commander was meditating how he should deprive them of
their share of the plunder. Exasperated at this treatment, they at first
determined to put him to death. This purpose, however, was diverted by a
suggestion to return to Carthagena and demand a heavy ransom to save the
city from destruction, that they might fill their pockets in that way.
This project was carried into execution. Entering the city without
resistance, the men were confined in the great church, and a ransom
demanded of more than two hundred and eighteen thousand pounds sterling.
A venerable priest ascended the pulpit, and by his eloquent address
persuaded the people to comply with the demand, by surrendering all
their remaining money and jewels. But the amount fell short of the
demand, and the city was sacked a second time. Having amassed all the
wealth they could find, the adventurers once more put to sea. But they
did not long enjoy their ill-gotten riches. Meeting with a fleet of
ships belonging to England and Holland, both of which nations were then
in alliance with Spain, an engagement ensued, in which several of the
pirates were taken and sunk, and among them were lost the treasure
ships, so that the booty went to the bottom of the sea. This was the
last memorable event in the history of the buccaneers of America,
although a lower order of piracy prevailed, both in the Atlantic and
Pacific oceans, for many years afterward.

There had been for the most part a separation between the English and
French buccaneers on the revolution of 1688, which brought William and
Mary to the throne of England, and terminated the friendly relations
between that nation and the Gauls. By the peace of Ryswick, moreover, in
1697, peace was restored between France and Spain, and it then became
the interest as well as the policy of Europe to put an end to the
associated existence of the most extraordinary combination of men who
ever trod the earth. History affords no parallel to the buccaneers.
'Without any regular system, without laws, without any degree of
subordination, and even without any fixed revenue, they became the
astonishment of the age in which they lived, as they will be of
posterity.' In their actions is to be found a mixture of the most
opposite feelings and principles. They were at once undauntedly brave,
and cowardly brutal; full of justice and honor to each other, and yet a
lawless banditti. As an evidence of their feelings of honor,
it is related that on a certain occasion a company of their
fraternity--'Brothers of the Coast,' as they styled themselves--had
stipulated, for a certain sum, to escort a Spanish ship richly laden.
One of them ventured to propose to his companions to enrich themselves
at once by taking the ship. Montauban, the commander of the troop, had
no sooner heard the proposal, than he desired to resign his command and
be set on shore. 'What!' replied the freebooters, 'would you then leave
us? Is there one among us who approves of the treachery you abhor?' A
council was thereupon called, and it was agreed that the person who had
made the proposition should be thrown upon the first coast they should
reach. 'The history of past times,' says a quaint writer, 'doth not
offer, nor will that of future times produce, an example of such an
association, almost as marvellous as the discovery of the New World.
Their swords and their daring spirit, which they exercised with such
terrible effect, were the only fortune they possessed in Europe. In
America, being enemies of all mankind, and dreaded by all, perpetually
exposed to the most extreme dangers, and considering every day as their
last, their wealth was dissipated in the same manner in which it was
acquired. They gave themselves up to all excesses of debauchery and
profusion, and on returning from their expeditions, the intoxication of
their victories accompanied them in their feasts: they would embrace
their mistresses in their bloody arms and fall asleep for a while,
lulled by voluptuous pleasures, from which they were aroused to proceed
to fresh massacres. It was a matter of indifference to them whether they
left their bodies upon the earth or beneath the waters, and they
consequently looked upon life and death with the same composure.
Ferocious in mind, misguided in conscience, destitute of connections, of
relatives, of friends, of fellow citizens, of country, of an asylum;
without any of those motives which moderate the ardor of bravery by the
value which they attach to existence, they were ever ready to rush, as
without sight, upon the most desperate attempts. Equally incapable of
submitting to indigence or quiet; too proud to employ themselves in
common labor; they would have been the scourge of the Old World, had
they not been that of the New.'

       *       *       *       *       *

In closing this paper, it remains to glance for a moment at the real
history of William Kidd, the buccaneer of the American colonies, whose
name, as remarked in the former part of this article,[C] has for a
hundred and fifty years stood at the head of the pirate legends of the
North, but who, in reality, must have been one of the smallest members
of the fraternity. I have not been able to ascertain the place of Kidd's
nativity. He was, however, the captain of a merchant vessel, trading
between New York and London, and was celebrated for his nautical skill
and enterprise. The first mention of him, in our authentic criminal
history, occurs in 1691, in which year, as we learn from the journals of
the New York Assembly, much was allowed to be due him 'for the many good
services done for the province in attending with his vessels.' But in
what capacity, or for what object, he 'attended with his vessels,' does
not appear. It was also declared that he ought to be suitably rewarded.
Accordingly, in the same year, it was ordered by the Assembly 'that the
sum of one hundred and fifty pounds be paid to Captain Kidd, as a
suitable acknowledgement for the important benefits which the colony had
derived from his services.' The presumption is, that those services were
in some way connected with the protection of the colonial merchant ships
from the attacks of the pirates, who were even yet hovering along the
coasts of the Northern colonies. Indeed, the harbor of New York itself
was no stranger to the pirate vessels, and the commerce between them and
the 'people of figure' in the city was not inconsiderable. It was no
secret that the pirates were freely supplied with provisions by the
inhabitants of Long Island. Further yet, it was well known in the year
1695, that the English pirates had fitted out the vessels in the harbor
of New York. On the arrival of the pirate vessels from their cruises,
their goods were openly sold in the city, and the conduct of the
Colonial Government was such, that collusion, if not actual partnerships
between them and the public authorities, was not doubted. Colonel
Fletcher, a poor and profligate man, was governor at that time. He was
beyond doubt concerned with the freebooters, as also was William Nicoll,
a member of the privy council. Complaints upon this subject having
reached England, Fletcher was succeeded, in 1695, by the Earl of
Bellamont, the appointment being made in the belief that, from his rank
and the wealth of his character, he would be able to retrieve the
character of the Colonial Government.

Justice, however, to the memory of Kidd requires it to be said that he
was not at that period, so far as it is known, a pirate himself. Before
Lord Bellamont sailed from England for his government, he met with
Robert Livingston of New York--the ancestor of the Livingstons of
Livingston's Manor--with whom he held a conversation respecting the
pirates, and the best means that could be adopted to put them down. The
project of employing a swift-sailing armed ship of thirty guns, and one
hundred and fifty men, to cruise against them, was spoken of; and
Livingston recommended his lordship to Kidd, as a man of integrity and
courage, acquainted with the pirates and their places of rendezvous, and
as one in all respects fit to be intrusted with the command of a vessel
engaged in such a difficult service. He had, indeed, commanded a
privateer, in regular commission, against the pirates in the West
Indies, in which service he had acquitted himself as a brave and
adventurous man. The project not being entertained by the Board of
Admiralty, a private adventure against the pirates was suggested by Mr.
Livingston, one fifth part of the stock of which he would take himself,
besides becoming security for the good conduct of Kidd. The proposition
was approved by the king, who became interested to the amount of one
tenth; and the residue of the expense was supplied by Lord Chancellor
Somers, the Duke of Shrewsbury, the Earls of Romney and Oxford, and Sir
Edmund Harrison and others. The ship having been procured and equipped,
Kidd sailed for New York under a regular commission, in April, 1696--the
direction of the enterprise being committed to the Earl of Bellamont and
himself. For a time he served faithfully and with advantage to the
commerce of the colonies and mother country; for which services he
received much public applause, and another grant from the colony of two
hundred and fifty pounds. Tradition, moreover, says that, on visiting
the government house, he was received with public honors, and invited to
a seat with the speaker of the House of Assembly.

On his next voyage, however, he stretched away to the Indian ocean, and
turned pirate himself. Selecting the island of Madagascar as his
principal place of rendezvous, and burning his own ship after having
captured one that suited him better, his depredations upon the commerce
of all nations were represented to have been great. It is said that he
'ranged over the Indian coast from the Red sea to Malabar, and that his
depredations extended from the Eastern ocean back along the Atlantic
coast of South America, through the Bahamas, the whole of the West
Indies, and the shores of Long Island.' But it will presently be seen
that this statement must have been an exaggeration, as time was not
afforded for operations so extensive before his arrest.

It is beyond doubt true that Long Island contained several of his hiding
places. 'Kidd's Rock' is well known at Manhasset, upon Long Island, to
this day. Here he was supposed to have buried some of his treasures, and
many have been the attempts of the credulous to find the hidden gold,
but it could not be found. There is also no doubt that he was wont to
hide himself and his vessel among those curious rocks in Sachem's Head
Harbor, called the Thimble islands. There is also upon one of those
rocks, sheltered from the view of the Sound, a beautiful artificial
excavation of an oval form, holding perhaps the measure of a barrel,
called 'Kidd's Punch Bowl.' It was here, according to the legend of the
neighborhood, that he used to carouse with his crew. It is a fact,
however, beyond controversy, that he was accustomed to anchor his vessel
in Gardner's bay. On one occasion, in the night, he landed upon
Gardner's island, and requested Mrs. Gardner to provide a supper for
himself and his attendants. Knowing his desperate character, she dared
not refuse, and fearing his displeasure, she took great pains,
especially in roasting a pig. The pirate chief was so pleased with her
culinary success, that, on going away, he presented her with a cradle
blanket of gold cloth. On another occasion, also, when he landed at the
island, he buried a small casket of gold, silver, and precious stones in
presence of Mr. Gardner, but under the most solemn injunctions of
secrecy.

Repairing soon afterward to Boston, where Lord Bellamont happened to be
at the time, he was summoned before his lordship, and directed to give a
report of his proceedings in the service of his company. Refusing to
comply with this demand, he was arrested on the third of July, 1699, on
the charge of piracy. He appears to have disclosed the fact of having
buried the treasure at Gardner's island, for the same was demanded by
his lordship, and surrendered by Mr. Gardner. I have conversed with a
gentleman who has seen the original receipt for the amount, with the
different items of the deposit. The amount was by no means large, and
affords evidence of no such mighty sweepings of the seas as have been
told of in story and in song. Of gold, in coins, gold dust, and bars,
there were seven hundred and fifty ounces. Of silver, five hundred and
six ounces, and of precious stones about sixteen ounces.

Lord Bellamont wrote home for a ship of war, to carry Kidd to England
for trial. The 'Rochester' was despatched upon that service, but being
obliged to put back, a general suspicion prevailed in England that there
was collusion between the pirates and the ministers, and, in fact, that
they dared not bring the sea robber home for trial, lest it should be
discovered that the Lord Chancellor and his noble associates in the
enterprise were confederates in the piracies also. Party spirit ran
high, and the opponents of the ministers brought a resolution into the
House of Commons for excluding from place all the partners of Kidd in
the original enterprise. And although this resolution was voted down,
yet the Tories contrived afterward to impeach the Whig lords upon the
charge of having been concerned with Kidd. But the articles were not
sustained. Meanwhile Kidd had been taken to England, tried on an
indictment for piracy and murder, and hung in chains, with six of his
crew. In addition to the indictment for piracy, he was indicted for the
murder of one of his own subordinate officers, named Moore, whom he
killed in a quarrel, by striking him over the head with a bucket. He was
convicted upon both charges, but protested to the last that he was the
victim of conspiracy and perjury.

But, after all, suspicions were entertained by the public that the
execution was a sham--that the Government dared not put him to death;
and that, to avoid disclosures, a man of straw was hung in his place. In
proof of this assertion, it was gravely and strongly alleged that Kidd
had been seen alive and well, many years afterward, by those who could
not be mistaken as to his identity. I think there is no doubt, however,
of his having been honestly hung at 'Execution Dock,' in London, on the
12th of May, 1701. Yet, when compared with the nobler villains, Lolonois
and Morgan, Kidd must have been a pirate upon an insignificant scale--a
mere bottle imp by the side of Satan, as portrayed in stupendous
grandeur by Milton!

FOOTNOTES:

[B] An indulgence was never granted in advance of any crime yet to be
committed. It was simply a remission or commutation of a part of the
temporal penalty attached to crime, after the sin itself had been
repented, confessed, renounced, and forgiven. Two millions of Papal
bulls!!!--_Ed._

[C] See CONTINENTAL for June, 1863.



UNDER THE PALMETTO.


On Saturday, the 31st of January, 1863, the steamer 'S.R. Spaulding,'
flagship of General Foster's fleet, left the harbor of Morehead City, N.
C., on a supposed expedition to some point on the Southern coast. For
two days we had watched from her deck the long procession of vessels
moving slowly round Fort Macon, and then, with all sails set, or under
full head of steam, passing proudly on in their southward course. Only
those who have witnessed such scenes can realize the eager interest and
intense excitement which attend the preparation for a naval expedition.
Then, too, there were glories of the past to kindle hope and stimulate
ambition. The successes of Burnside, Du Pont, and Farragut were fresh in
memory, and why should not we win new laurels for the old flag, and
place our commander's name high on the list of fame? And so, with
feelings of pride and expectation, we gladly saw the shores of North
Carolina with their forests of pines recede from sight, as, under a
cloudless sky and over a waveless sea, we glided on toward the hated
mother State of the rebellion.

The sequel of the 'Foster Expedition' is well known. We anchored, on the
2d of February, in the capacious harbor of Port Royal, and were flagship
no longer. Fortunately, the long interval between our arrival and the
final departure for Charleston under another commander, gave abundant
opportunities for studying new phases of life and character, and for
learning something of the 15,000 freedmen who compose the loyal
population of the Sea islands.


ON THE PLANTATIONS.

A geographical description of these outlying islands of South Carolina
is hardly necessary at a time when we are studying the map of the
republic under the guidance of bayonets and rifled cannon; and the guns
of Admiral Du Pont revealed more of Port Royal and its surroundings than
we should ever have learned from our geographies. Previous to the
rebellion these islands seem to have been rarely visited--so rarely,
indeed, that the presence of one of our naval vessels in the Beaufort
river, a few years ago, was the signal for a week's festivities and a
general gathering of all the inhabitants to see the strangers--while
the 'cotton lords' vied with each other in entertaining the
distinguished guests. For the most part the islands are low, abounding
in salt-water creeks and marshes, and covered, here and there, with
forests of pine and live oak. The climate in winter is delightful, and
the rapid advance of vegetation in March and April--the sudden bursting
into bloom of a great variety of flowers and flowering shrubs--lends
additional charms to the early spring. Sitting, on one of those
delicious April days, in the upper piazza of an old plantation
house--the eye resting on the long stretch of the cotton fields, now
green with the growing plant--or tracing the windings of the creek
through the numerous small islands, till it is lost in the haze which
covers all the distance--or, again, watching the shadows as they pass
over the groves of oak and pine--while over the whole scene there broods
the stillness of a midsummer's noon--I could but wonder at the madness
which had driven the former dwellers in such a fair land into the
desperate hazards and unaccustomed privations of civil war.

Those who visit these islands to-day, must not expect to realize, in the
altered condition of affairs, their ideal of plantation life, however
that ideal may have been formed. The change which has been wrought in
little more than a year, is truly wonderful. The traces of slavery may
indeed be found in an exhausted soil and an exhausted race, but all
outward signs of the institution have been removed. 'The whip is lost,
the handcuff broken,' the whipping post destroyed, and the cotton gins
broken down. At the 'great house' you find, instead of the master and
overseer, the superintendent and school teacher. In the field, the
cotton tasks are comparatively small, but the garden patch in the rear
of the cabin is large, well fenced in and well cultivated. If you see
few indications of positive happiness, you find no appearances of
overburdened misery. There is about the whole place something of the air
of a New England farmstead, where labor, being honored, crowns even the
humblest with dignity and peace. You take unspeakable comfort in the
fact, that, open what door you may into the life of these people, there
is no _skeleton_ of oppression to startle and haunt you. Go with me,
then, on this calm, bright day of early March, to visit one of the
plantations on Port Royal Island, a few miles out of Beaufort. The
quartermaster kindly furnishes us with a carriage, somewhat shabby and
rickety to be sure, but one of the best that 'Secesh' has left for our
use. Our steeds, too, are only slow-moving Government mules, but there
is one aristocratic feature of our establishment to remind us of the
life that was, viz.: a negro coachman 'educated to drive,' under whose
skilful guidance many a happy family party have been conveyed from
plantation to plantation on social visits like ours to-day. Uncle Ned
speaks kindly of his 'ole massa,' and says he 'would hab stayed wid 'um,
ef massa hadn't run away from heself.'

'But why didn't you _go_ with him, uncle?'

'Oh, sah, I could nebber go to de Secesh.'

Doubtless many more of the house slaves and body servants of the
planters would have followed their masters, had they not been deterred
by fear of the rebel soldiers and hard work in the trenches.

'Use your whip, uncle,' and away we go at a respectable trot over the
principal road on the island, which, from the fact of its having been
made of oyster shells, is called the 'Shell road,' and extends ten miles
to Port Royal Ferry, at the extreme western point of the island. Timely
showers have laid the dust, and all the trees and bushes wear clean
faces. In the yards there are peach trees in bloom, beautiful crimson
japonicas, the jonquil and snowdrop; while everywhere by the roadside
we see the ungainly form and coarse flower of the prickly pear. Passing
the rifle pits and picket station, we soon turn off from the Shell road,
and pass through what was formerly a handsome forest of pines, but which
now has been cleared by the soldier's axe, and rejoices in the title of
'pickpocket tract.' Few of the plantations lie on the main road, and
many of them, like the one we are now seeking, are approached only by
going over several cross roads and by lanes. Our last turn takes us into
a handsome avenue of live oaks, whose overarching branches are adorned
with long ringlets of the graceful Spanish moss. In the woods on either
side of the drive way are dogwood and Pride-of-Asia trees in full
blossom, wild honeysuckle, and the sweet yellow jasmine which fills the
air with its delicious fragrance. As we drive into the yard, the
plantation house suddenly appears to view, half hidden by the dense
foliage of magnolia and orange trees. Although called one of the finest
residences on the island, the house is inferior to many of our larger
farmhouses in New England, and is a simple two-story structure of wood,
resting on brick piles, with a veranda in front. Just beyond the path
that leads by the house, is a handsome flower garden, while both in the
rear of the 'great house' and beyond the flower garden are rows of negro
huts. We are soon greeted by our hosts--one, a brave Vermonter, who
served faithfully in the army till disabled, the other, a Quaker of
Philadelphia, who has left family and friends to labor for the
freedman--and ushered into the principal room of the house, where we are
presented to a party of the neighboring superintendents and school
teachers. Dinner is all ready, and we sit down to a right royal
entertainment, the chief dishes of which are portions of an immense
_drumfish_ cooked in various fashion. Few entertainers can prove more
agreeable than Northern men with Southern hospitality, and we eat and
make merry without even a thought of Colonel Barnwell, whose home we
have thus 'invaded,' and who, perchance, is shivering in the cold, and
suffering the privations of a rebel camp in Eastern Virginia. We must
not omit the praise due to our cook, a woman taken from the 'field
hands,' and whose only instructors have been our hosts, neither of whom
can boast of much knowledge of the art of cooking. It would, however, be
hardly safe to trust to an untutored field hand, as I once learned to my
cost, when my contraband of the kitchen department called me to dinner
by announcing that the eggs had been boiling for an hour, and the
oysters stewing for twice that time!


HOME LIFE OF THE FREEDMEN.

After dinner we visit the negroes in their cabins. The _home life_ of
the freedmen is at once the most noticeable and most interesting feature
of their new condition. Even in former days, however often the sanctity
of their homes may have been violated, with however weary limbs and
suffering souls they may have gone to them, yet here they must have
found their chiefest joy. Now, the humble cabins have become
transfigured, and we find therein not only joy, but peace and comfort,
and, indeed, in greater or less degree, every element of that domestic
order which makes the home the corner stone of our free institutions. I
have frequently, when conversing with the freedmen about the flight of
their former masters, asked them why they did not accompany them, and
have invariably received the reply, 'Oh, sah, we couldn't do dat. We
belongs yere. _Dese are our homes._' This strong attachment to the soil,
which has been made still stronger by the removal of everything which
could in any way remind them of their former condition, has proved to be
the great _lever_ to raise them into the dignity of free laborers. It is
true their cabins are not yet free-holds; but the assurance that,
unless the Government itself fails, no fault or misfortune of another
can ever deprive them of their homes, puts them at once on their good
behavior, that they may retain in their possession what they prize so
dearly. The good results of this transformation of the home are seen in
every direction. The marriage relation is observed with a constantly
increasing strictness. Family ties are knitted more closely together.
Parents take a deep interest in the education of their children, and the
children become in turn teachers to the parents of much that is
improving and civilizing. In the field there are generous rivalries
between families to see which will cultivate the largest patches of corn
and cotton. Greater neatness and order are observable about the
dwellings, and wherever new cabins have been erected--always by negro
carpenters--there has been marked improvement in the style and comfort
of the buildings. Freedom has also created new wants, and the freedman
purchases from time to time, as he has ability, articles of luxury and
of ornament for his home.

I must, however, acknowledge a feeling of disappointment at not finding
the negroes more joyous in this new condition of freedom and progress.
Those who know them best--the superintendents and teachers--testify to
the happiness of their daily lives and their light-hearted enjoyment of
all their blessings; but to the casual observer there seems to be a
general absence among the freedmen of that cheerfulness and mirth which
he naturally expects to find in their homes. A simple explanation of
this fact may be found in the _sense of insecurity_ which the uncertain
issue of the civil war that rages about them creates in their minds.
They have seen one after another of those islands which have been in our
possession given up to the reoccupation of the rebels; the disastrous
battles of James's Island and Pocotaligo and the fruitless campaigns in
Florida are fresh in their minds; while that wearisome waiting for
something to be accomplished which spreads such a spirit of restlessness
and discontent among our soldiers, is felt even more keenly by the
freedmen. There is very much in the uncertainties of their present
condition to justify the favorite allusion of their preachers, who often
compare the freedmen to the children of Israel before they had fairly
gained the promised land. Until a permanent peace shall give to these
people that feeling of security, without which, though there may be
contentment, there can be little joyousness, it is absurd for us to
'require of them mirth,' or ask them to sing songs of gladness.


FREE LABOR.

Cochin, in his admirable work on the 'Results of Emancipation,' asserts
of the negroes: 'This race of men, like all the human species, is
divided into two classes, the diligent and the idle; freedom has nothing
to do with the second, while it draws from the labor of the first a
better yield than servitude.' Has this statement proved true on the Sea
Islands? The prejudiced are ready with their negative answer, and point
to the comparatively small amount of cotton raised during the past year.
By such persons no allowance is made for the peculiarly unfavorable
circumstances under which the experiment of free labor thus far has been
tried, and they are only too happy to charge upon emancipation all the
evils which labor has suffered from the presence of our soldiers and the
continuance of the war. The causes of the smallness of the cotton crop
produced last year, are obvious to the most careless observer. Owing to
the late arrival of the first company of superintendents who were sent
from the North, no preparations were made for planting till more than
two months after the usual time. On many of the plantations the seed
used was of a poor quality, while it was almost impossible to find any
implements of culture or to obtain the necessary mules or horses. As a
consequence of the late planting, the cotton was not sufficiently
advanced to resist the attacks of the caterpillars in September, and for
a month these insects held grand carnival on the yet immature plants,
causing widespread damage to the crop. The low wages offered to the
freedmen by Government were no offset to the attractions of trading with
the army and navy, and all the negroes were ambitious to have some
connection with camp life. As a natural result of this condition of
things, both the industry and interest of the freedmen were drawn away
from the cotton fields. Early in the season, also, when the young crops
required constant attention, all the able-bodied men were drafted into
General Hunter's regiments, and kept in camp till the fall. The
influence of the draft upon those who remained at home, added to the
delay and smallness of the Government payments, made the laborers
discouraged at their prospects, disaffected toward the superintendents,
and careless at their work.

The obstacles in the way of successful agricultural operations, produced
by the military occupation of the islands, are still further evident
from the fact that both provision and cotton crops improved in
proportion to the distance from the camps. Thus, on Port Royal and
Hilton Head Islands, where most of the troops were encamped, very little
cotton was raised, and so small a crop of provisions, that it became
necessary for Government to ration many of the freedmen during a brief
period. On Ladies' and St. Helena Islands, away from the immediate
vicinity of the camps, very fair crops of cotton were raised, and nearly
enough provision for the support of all the laborers. The rations
furnished by Government, and which have given rise to so much unfriendly
comment, were called for, either by the refugees from the mainland and
adjacent islands, many of whom had at first no means of subsistence, or
by the freedmen on those plantations so exposed to the camps and so
harassed by the soldiers, that the crops which they were able to gather
failed to last them through the year. In one district on St. Helena
Island, including three plantations, which was under the care of a
capable and judicious superintendent, of sufficient means to advance his
private funds to the payment of the laborers, the total receipts from
the sale of the cotton and the surplus provisions raised were more than
double all the expenses incurred in wages, clothing, and
superintendence.

Such were the results of the first year's experiment. Early in the
present year several of the plantations passed into the possession of
private individuals, and thus an important change has been effected in
the aspect of the free-labor problem. On the Government plantations,
which are under the care of salaried superintendents as last year, a
uniform system of labor has been adopted, embodying the results of
previous experience. Under this system, the laborers agree as to the
amount of cotton land which they will cultivate, and are then paid
twenty-five cents a day for their work. At the end of the year they are
to receive a bonus of two cents per pound of unginned cotton for
picking. This additional reward at once stimulates them to exertion, and
teaches them that steady and continued labor brings the best return. In
addition to raising the amount of cotton agreed upon, each freedman is
responsible for cultivating corn and potatoes enough for his own
subsistence, and land is allotted for this purpose. The laborers are
also required to produce corn enough for the subsistence of the
plantation mules and horses, for the use of the superintendents, and for
the subsistence of all the old and disabled persons for whom provision
is not otherwise made. As regards payments, the Government theory is
most excellent, inasmuch as it provides for partial payments while the
work is going on, so as to furnish the freedman enough money for his
immediate wants, and then, by the bonus which is paid at the end of the
year, supplies him with an amount greater than his wages, to be laid up
or put out at interest. Unfortunately the practice of the Government has
been most injurious. The delay in the monthly payments during the past
year, sometimes for as long a period as six months, caused the laborers
to become discouraged, discontented, and suspicious. Unlike the soldier,
the freedman is not clothed or fed by Government (except in the case of
those who are utterly destitute), nor can he, like other laborers,
obtain credit to the extent of the wages due him. Under these
circumstances, the delay on the part of the Government in paying the
freedman has been not only unjust to the laborers but disastrous to the
workings of the free-labor system.

On the purchased plantations we find a wholly different state of things,
and, as might be expected, a great variety of systems of labor. Some of
the best managers keep up the Government scale of prices, but pay the
laborers more promptly, and increase their wages by many indirect means,
such as giving them bacon and molasses in proportion to the amount of
cotton land which they cultivate, providing a store for the plantation,
where the freedmen can purchase articles at a much lower rate than
elsewhere, keeping the cabins in good repair, building new ones, and
having always on hand the necessary plantation implements for
facilitating the culture of the cotton. Others pay higher wages, and
also increase the bonus which is paid for picking the cotton. Some
promise the freedmen so much per pound for the cotton which they shall
raise, and see that all their wants are supplied till the crop is
gathered; while still others, from lack of judgment or capital, offer
the negroes a certain portion of the crop--in some cases as high as two
thirds--in return for their labor. On all these plantations the freedmen
are doing better than on those which are still retained by Government.
The average amount of cotton land which has been planted this spring is
from an acre and a half to two acres for each 'full hand.' Under slavery
a full hand took care on an average of three acres, but it must be
remembered that all the able-bodied negroes, excepting only a foreman to
each plantation, have been drafted into the army, or are working in the
Quartermaster's Department.

At the present time all indications point to a successful season. Riding
over many of the plantations, I have seen the negroes at work breaking
up the ground or planting the seed, and everywhere found them laboring
diligently, and even showing a manly emulation in their tasks. Yet it
would be unreasonable to expect too much where so many obstacles beset
the way. As one of the new planters writes: 'For success in an
experiment of free hired labor among ignorant blacks just emancipated,
conditions of peace and quiet are absolutely necessary. However, the
difficulties in our way are purely natural workings, and merely show
that black is more nearly white than is usually allowed.' Perhaps the
greatest of these obstacles is the vicinity of the camps at Beaufort and
Hilton Head, which tempts the freedmen to leave their regular
employments and obtain an easy livelihood by the sale of eggs, chickens,
fish, oysters, &c. Such markets affect the blacks on the plantations
just as the California fever affected the laboring men of the North a
few years ago; and it is a matter of surprise and congratulation that
the presence of the soldiers has not produced a greater demoralization
among the negroes than we find to be the case.

Five of the plantations were bought by the freedmen themselves, who are
now carrying them on as independent cultivators. Everywhere the
freedmen, on hearing that the lands were to be sold, were eager to buy,
and it was found in many cases that they had saved considerable sums of
money from their earnings of the previous year. This almost universal
desire of the negroes to become landowners, is a complete refutation of
the charge that sudden emancipation from forced labor opens the door for
the return of the blacks to barbarism.

The conditions under which the trial of free labor is now carried on in
South Carolina, are unparalleled in history. Those who are familiar with
the results of emancipation in the French and English colonies, will
find few points of comparison between those results and the present
workings of freedom on the Sea Islands. Consider that at no previous
time, and in no other country, has there ever been an immediate and
unconditional abolition of slavery. France, in the frenzy of the
Revolution, declared that slavery was abolished, but was forced to
reëstablish it under the Consulate; and, during the half century which
followed before the complete and final emancipation of the slaves in
1848, we find continually acts and measures adopted which gradually
paved the way to this ultimate success. England, too, after the
abolition of the slave trade, made repeated efforts to ameliorate the
condition of the slave population of her colonies, and when, in 1833,
the Act of Emancipation was passed, it was found that, while declaring
all slaves on English soil to be instantly free, it made provisions for
transforming them into apprenticed laborers. In South Carolina,
emancipation, proclaimed by the guns of Admiral Du Pont, was instant,
unlooked for, and without conditions. However ardently it may have been
desired by the slaves themselves, they surely could not have expected
it, at a time when the belief universally prevailed among the planters
that the forts which defended their islands were impregnable.

In the colonies of France and England, there was no civil war, bringing
into the midst of the plantations the demoralizing influences of the
camp, harassing the simple-minded freedmen with constant fear of
reverses, which would consign them to a worse bondage than they had ever
known, and tending, in the absence of all civil law and the restraints
of a well-ordered society, to draw away the laborer from the cultivation
of the soil. In South Carolina, moreover, no masters or overseers were
left, as in the French and English colonies, to direct the negroes in
their labor; and, in consequence, their guidance has been intrusted to a
body of superintendents from the North, most of them young men, and all
without experience, either in the management of the blacks or the
culture of the cotton. This complete separation of the freedmen from
their former masters, by reason of the flight and escape of all the
planters, has been, in many respects, most favorable to their progress
in liberty. Consider for a moment what would have been the result if, at
any time during the past thirty years, it had been possible to effect
the abolishment of slavery in these islands by an act of the General
Government. Who can doubt that such an act, passed against the wills of
the slaveholders, would have produced the most disastrous consequences,
and that such an experiment of free labor as is now going on would have
been utterly impossible? Those, at least, who have had opportunities for
observing the bitter hate engendered toward the negroes, among those
masters whom the proclamation of the 1st of January deprived of their
former 'chattels,' cannot but regard with satisfaction such peaceful
solutions of this fearful problem as that effected at Port Royal, where
the shot and shell of our gunboats, in breaking the chains of the slave,
at the same moment compelled the master to flight.


RELIGION OF THE FREEDMEN.

The religious condition of the South Carolina freedmen presents many
peculiar and interesting features. Whether, like the negroes in the 'old
North State,' they celebrated their new birth into freedom by services
of praise and thanksgiving at the altar, I have been unable to learn;
but certain it is, that the wonderful tranquillity of their sudden
transition from bondage, and the good use which they have made of their
liberty, are owing in great measure to their deep religious earnestness.
This earnestness, it is evident, is not the result of conviction or
enlightenment, so much as of the strong emotional nature of the blacks,
intensified by sympathy, and kept alive to religious feeling by their
frequent meetings for prayer and praise. Yet, to the careful observer,
the blind and often superstitious worship of these people, which, as is
now so plainly seen, was fostered by slavery, is one of the saddest
results of the system. Those who are now permitted to watch over the
religious progress of the freedmen, can bring new and abundant proof to
the assertion of De Tocqueville, that 'Christianity is a religion of
_freemen_.' The present opportunities for religious worship which the
freedmen enjoy consist of their 'praise meetings'--similar in most
respects to our prayer meetings--which are held two or three times a
week on the plantations, and the Sunday services at the various churches
scattered about the islands. These services are usually conducted by
white preachers, and are attended not only by the negroes, but also by
the superintendents, teachers, and many casual visitors from the camps.
At Beaufort and Hilton Head large and flourishing Sunday schools are in
operation. Most of the freedmen belong either to the Baptist or
Methodist denomination, and the fervor and zeal of the preachers of the
latter persuasion always find a response in the excitable and impulsive
nature of the blacks. It is not a little singular that, while Cochin can
write concerning the freedmen in the French colonies that 'the
_Catholic_ worship has incomparable attractions for the blacks,' we find
the negro in our own country everywhere attracted toward that sect of
Protestants which has always been the most powerful antagonist to
Romanism.

On Sunday, the 15th of March, in company with a party of superintendents
and teachers, I attended a service held for the freedmen on St. Helena's
Island. Our ride from the plantation took us through field and wood,
till we reached the main road on which the church is situated. It is a
simple, unpretending structure of brick, shaded on all sides by handsome
live oaks. Near by is the small cemetery, and the drooping moss from the
oaks hangs in sombre beauty over the graves. Under the trees is a group
of superintendents discussing the news and the last order of General
Hunter. As we ride up, a party of officers comes galloping in from camp,
while from the other direction is seen approaching a venerable carryall,
conveying a party of lady teachers from a distant plantation. The
service has already begun, and the church is crowded with the dusky
auditors, while here and there may be seen a pew filled with 'white
folks.' The day is warm, so we can stand by the open window and take in
the whole scene at a single glance. No danger to-day of any
manifestations of overwrought feelings; no groans nor excited shoutings
of 'Amen.' The preacher has taken his text from the first chapter of
Genesis, and he is describing the wonders of the creation. His sermon
might properly be entitled a 'Disquisition upon the Universe.' It is
evident that his colored hearers fail to see the 'beauty and mysterious
order of the stellar world' which he is portraying, for most of them are
already dozing, and the rest are nodding their heads as if in sleepy
assent to the undoubted truth of the good man's words. He has
overreached his mark, and hits neither the heads nor the hearts of his
congregation. At length the discourse is ended, and all rise to join in
the closing hymn, which is 'deaconed off' by the minister, and responded
to by the negroes in a monotonous '_yah, yah_.' They have not recovered
from the soporific effect of the sermon, and, besides, can hardly be
blamed for not catching the feebly uttered words. But their time is
coming. No sooner is the benediction pronounced, than one of the negro
elders strikes up a well known hymn, and, suddenly rousing from their
stupor, the whole congregation join in singing in clear and ringing
tones verse after verse of the jubilant song. Then follow other hymns
and chants peculiar to the negro worship, the crude expressions of their
deep emotional feeling. As we leave the church, we are convinced that
the religious teachers of the newly freed blacks are sadly at fault in
repeating so much the kind of preaching to which the negroes were
accustomed under the old system, and in neglecting to pour into their
perceptive souls both the light and warmth of the Gospel. As an officer
remarked who had stood at our side listening to the service: 'These
people had enough of the Old Testament thrown at their heads under
slavery. Now give them the glorious utterances and practical teachings
of the Great Master.'

At some of the meetings of the freedmen, they are addressed by negro
preachers, who never fail to speak with great effect. In Alexandria,
Va., I was told by the superintendent of the freedmen of an old negro
teacher and exhorter, the self-elected pastor of all the blacks there,
going about from house to house to minister to the wants of the sick and
afflicted, teaching the young, and speaking in all the meetings. 'This
old negro,' said the superintendent, 'has more influence over the
blacks, and does more good among them, than all the missionaries and
chaplains who have been sent here.' To the same effect is the testimony
of all who have listened to the colored preacher at Port Royal, and who
know the great power which the chief elders of their churches possess
over the rest of the negroes. A verbatim report of an exhortation given,
just before the expedition to Jacksonville, Fla., to the soldiers of
Colonel Higginson's 1st South Carolina Volunteers, by one of these negro
preachers, would be worthy a place in 'American Oratory.' I remember
only one striking passage, where, in his appeal to the troops to fight
bravely, he urged them to seek always the post of danger, since heaven
would be the immediate reward of all who should be killed in battle;
for, said he, as if moved by an oracle: 'What hab been, dat will be. He
who is de fust man to get into de boat, and de fust to jump on shore,
him, if he fall, will be de fust to get to heaben.' Then, as if standing
already in the midst of the fight, and with all the feelings of his
nature roused against his enemies, he added: 'An' when de battle
comes--when you see de Kunn'l put his shoulder to de wheel, and hear de
shot and shell flying all round like de rain drops, den remember dat
ebery one ob dose shot is a bolt ob de Almighty God to send dem rebels
to deir eberlasting damnation.' Such fervent utterances are not uncommon
among the negro preachers, and are well calculated to produce a powerful
effect upon the susceptible natures of their hearers, 'deep answering
unto deep.'


NEGRO 'SHOUTS' AND SHOUT SONGS.

At the 'praise meetings' on the plantations, one of the elders usually
presides, and conducts the exercises with great solemnity. Passages of
Scripture are quoted from memory, and the hymns, which constitute the
principal feature of the meeting, are deaconed off as at church.
Sometimes the superintendent or one of the teachers attends these
meetings, and is then expected to conduct the exercises and make an
address. After the praise meeting is over, there usually follows the
very singular and impressive performance of the '_Shout_,' or religious
dance of the negroes. Three or four, standing still, clapping their
hands and beating time with their feet, commence singing in unison one
of the peculiar shout melodies, while the others walk round in a ring,
in single file, joining also in the song. Soon those in the ring leave
off their singing, the others keeping it up the while with increased
vigor, and strike into the shout step, observing most accurate time with
the music. This step is something halfway between a shuffle and a dance,
as difficult for an uninitiated person to describe as to imitate. At the
end of each stanza of the song the dancers stop short with a slight
stamp on the last note, and then, putting the other foot forward,
proceed through the next verse. They will often dance to the same song
for twenty or thirty minutes, once or twice, perhaps, varying the
monotony of their movement by walking for a little while and joining in
the singing. The physical exertion, which is really very great, as the
dance calls into play nearly every muscle of the body, seems never to
weary them in the least, and they frequently keep up a shout for hours,
resting only for brief intervals between the different songs. Yet, in
trying to imitate them, I was completely tired out in a very short time.
The children are the best dancers, and are allowed by their parents to
have a shout at any time, though, with the adults, the shout always
follows a religious meeting, and none but church members are expected to
join. It is to one of these shouts of the negro children that Mr.
Russell alludes in his Diary when describing a visit which he paid to a
plantation near Charleston in April, 1861. He speaks of the children as
a set of 'ragged, dirty, and shoeless urchins, who came in shyly,
oftentimes running away till they were chased and captured, dressed into
line with much difficulty, and, then, shuffling their flat feet,
clapping their hands, and drawling out in a monotonous sort of chant
something about the 'River Jawdam.'' Such a sketch conveys no idea of
the shout as it may be witnessed to-day on any of the plantations among
the Sea Islands. You will find the children clean, and, in general,
neatly dressed, coming into the room when asked by the superintendent,
rendering their impressive and oftentimes pleasing melodies in a manner
seldom surpassed in our schools at the North, while their 'shouting'
reveals a suppleness of limb and peculiar grace of motion beyond the
power of our dancing masters to impart.

There are many features of the negro shout which amuse us from their
strangeness; some, also, that strike the observer as wholly absurd. Yet,
viewed as a religious exercise--and in this light it is always
considered by the older negroes--I cannot help regarding it, in spite of
many of its characteristics, as both a natural and a rational expression
of devotional feeling. The negroes never indulge in it when, for any
reason, they feel downhearted or sad at their meetings. The shout is a
simple outburst and manifestation of religious fervor--a 'rejoicing in
the Lord'--making a 'joyful noise unto the God of their salvation.'

The words of the shout songs are a singular medley of things sacred and
profane, and are the natural outgrowth of the imperfect and fragmentary
knowledge of the Scriptures which the negroes have picked up. The
substitution for these crude productions of appropriate hymns, would
remove from the shout that which is now the chief objection to it in
intelligent minds, and would make of the dance, to which the negroes are
so much attached, a useful auxiliary in their religious culture. The
tunes to which these songs are sung, are some of them weird and
wild--'barbaric madrigals'--while others are sweet and impressive
melodies. The most striking of their barbaric airs it would be
impossible to write out, but many of their more common melodies are
easily caught upon being heard a few times. This music of the negro
shout opens a new and rich field of melody--a mine in which there is
much rough quartz, but also many veins of sparkling ore.

What, for example, could be more animated, and at the same time more
expressive of the thought conveyed in the verse than the following
chorus?--the introduction to which is a sort of recitative or chant:

    [music notation]

    I'd a like to die as a Jesus die, An' he die wid a freely good will, He

    [music notation]

    lay in de grabe, An' he stretchy out he arms, O, Lord, remember me.

    CHORUS. _Lively._

    [music notation]

    O, Lord, remember me,  Do, Lord, remember me;  Re-

    [music notation]

    member me when de year rolls round, O,  Lord, remember me.

The words of the chant are evidently a very childlike expression of the
wish to die with the same good will and spirit of forgiveness which were
manifested in the Saviour's death.

Of a very different character is the following verse, sung to the same
recitative:

    'O, Death he is a little man,
    He goes from do' to do',
    He kill some soul, an he wounded some,
    An' he lef' some soul for to pray.'

A most striking contrast between the recitative and chorus, is presented
in the following:

    RECITATIVE (_Sung to one note like a chant, with a cadence at the
    end_):--

    'I wonder why Satan do follow me so?
    Satan hab noting 't all for to do, long 'wid me.'

    CHORUS. _Slow and forcibly._

    [music notation]

    Hold your light, Hold your light, Hold your light on Canaan's shore.

The next song presents a greater variety in melody, as well as in the
different verses, which seem to have no connection whatever with each
other. The 'Parson Fuller' referred to is the Rev. Dr. Fuller, of
Baltimore, who owns a plantation on one of the islands:

    [music notation]

    Dar's a meetin' here to-night, Dar's a meetin' here to-night, Dar's a

    [music notation]
                                                    ( 1. Parson Fuller sittin'
    on de
    meetin' here to-night,  I hope to meet you dar. ( 2. Little children learn
    to
                                                    ( 3. Let no angry word or

    [music notation]

    Tree of Life, An' he heary when Jordan roll.)
    fear de Lord, An'  let your days be long.   )  Roll, Jordan,  roll Jordan,
    spiteful boast Be  heard up-on your tongue. )

    [music notation]

     Roll, Jor-dan, roll,  Roll, Jordan, roll, O roll, Jordan,  roll, O my

    [music notation]

    soul will rise to heab'n above, An' heary when Jordan roll.

The following has evidently been composed since the negroes became free,
and expresses very forcibly their feelings toward 'driber, massa, and
missus':

    [music notation]

    Done wid driber's  dribin',   Done wid driber's dribin',

    [music notation]

    Done wid driber's  drib-in', Roll,  Jordan,  roll.

    2. Done wid massa's hollerin',
       Done wid massa's hollerin',
       Done wid massa's hollerin',
                  Roll, Jordan roll.

    3. Done wid missus' scoldin',
       Done wid missus' scoldin',
       Done wid missus' scoldin',
                  Roll, Jordan, roll.

    4. Sins so heaby dat I cannot get along,
       Sins so heaby dat I cannot get along,
       Sins so heaby dat I cannot get along,
                  Roll, Jordan, roll.

    5. Cast my sins to de bottom ob de sea,
       Cast my sins to de bottom ob de sea,
       Cast my sins to de bottom ob de sea,
                  Roll, Jordan, roll.

Perhaps the best illustration of the Scriptural patchwork which
characterizes many of the shout songs, is seen in the 'Lonesome Valley,'
the music of which is very quaint and plaintive:

    [music notation]

    O brudder William, you want to get religion, Ri' down in de lonesome valley,

    [music notation]

    1. Down in de lonesome valley,  Go down in de lonesome valley, my Lord, Ri'
    2. You feed on milk and honey,  You feed on milk and honey, my Lord, You

    [music notation]

    down in de lonesome valley,   You meet my Jesus  dere.
    feed on milk and honey,       And meet my Jesus dere.

The third and fourth stanzas are:

    3. When Johnny brought a letter,
       When Johnny brought a letter, my Lord,
       When Johnny brought a letter,
                   He meet my Jesus dere.

    4. An' Mary and Marta read 'em,
       An' Mary and Marta read 'em, my Lord,
       An' Mary and Marta read 'em,
                   Dey meet my Jesus dere.

The example above given will convey a good idea of the general character
of the shout songs. Apart from these religious songs, there is no music
among the South Carolina freedmen, except the simple airs which are sung
by the boatmen, as they row on the rivers and creeks. A tinge of sadness
pervades all their melodies, which bear as little resemblance to the
popular Ethiopian melodies of the day as twilight to noonday. The
joyous, merry strains which have been associated in the minds of many
with the Southern negro, are never heard on the Sea Islands. Indeed, by
most of the negroes, such songs as 'Uncle Ned' and 'O Susanna' are
considered as highly improper. In the schools, many of the best songs
which are sung in our Sunday and public schools have been introduced,
and are opening new sources of pleasure to a race so musical by their
very nature as are the negroes of the South.

While in Beaufort, I attended a concert given by a band of genuine
'negro minstrels.' The company had taken the name of the 'Charleston
Minstrels,' and was composed mainly of refugees from Charleston, who
were then servants to various officers in General Saxton's Department.
The concert was held in the Episcopal Church, and the proceeds devoted
to the benefit of the sick and wounded of the First South Carolina
Volunteers. The first view of the performers, as they sat round the
stage, a dozen finely formed and good-looking negroes, caused the
spectator to fancy himself in the presence of the famous band of
Christy, or some other company of white Ethiopian serenaders. Soon, the
opera glass revealed the amusing fact, that, although every minstrel was
by nature as black as black could be, yet all the performers had given
their faces a coating of burnt cork, in order that their resemblance to
Yankee minstrels might be in every respect complete. There were
excellent voices among the singers, and some of the players handled
their instruments with surprising skill; but the presence of an audience
composed entirely of white people, and including many of the highest
officers in the Department, evidently caused great embarrassment to
performers so unaccustomed to the stage. Not a single song which could
be called comic was included in the programme; and, with the exception
of a few patriotic airs, the songs were of the 'Lily Dale,'
half-mournful sort. Between the pieces there was the customary telling
of anecdotes and cracking of jokes, some of which were quite amusing,
while others excited laughter from the manner in which they were told.
As an imitation of our Northern minstrelsy given by a band of uneducated
negro musicians, the performance was a wonderful success. Yet the
general impression left upon the mind of the hearer was far from
pleasing. One could not help feeling that a people, whose very natures
are attuned to harmony, are capable of something better than even the
most perfect imitation of those who have so grossly caricatured their
race.


SCHOOLS AND EDUCATION AMONG THE FREEDMEN.

The education of the children of the freedmen was begun simultaneously
with the work of employing the negroes as free laborers. Teachers, both
men and women, from Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, accompanied the
superintendents who were sent to Port Royal in March, 1862. The results
of their labors during the past year have been most encouraging, in
spite of the changes and confusion caused by the war and the numerous
obstacles in the way of a steady and continued application on the part
of the children. The teachers in their reports all unite to attest the
'universal eagerness to learn,' which they have not found equalled in
white persons, arising both from the desire for knowledge common to all,
and the desire to raise their condition now so very strong among these
people. The details of these reports present few points of special
interest to the common reader. A common mistake, both of those who visit
these schools for the first time, and of others who have merely heard of
their existence, arises from comparing the negro schools, where children
of all ages are to be seen, with our district schools in New England,
where difference of age implies a corresponding difference in
attainments. 'What are your most advanced classes studying?' is very
often asked of the teachers, when a moment's reflection would convince
the inquirer, that the Primer and First Reader are the only books which
we expect to see in the hands of children who have but just learned
their letters. Viewing the rapid progress which these colored children
have made in learning to read during the past year--many of them being
obliged to leave school and work in the field during a considerable
portion of the time--the retentive memories which they have shown in
their studies, and their great eagerness to learn, which requires no
urging from parents or teachers, and which manifests itself in the
punctual attendance even of those who are obliged to walk from long
distances to the school house--we may well be satisfied with what has
already been accomplished, and with the prospects for the future.

As a general rule, the _adults_ are as eager to learn as the children,
and the reading or spelling book is the almost invariable companion of
the freedmen when off duty. On the wharves, in the intervals between
labor--in the camp, whenever a leisure moment is found--on the
plantations, when work is done--everywhere, you will see the negroes
with book in hand, patiently poring over their lesson, picking the way
along as best they can, or eagerly following the guidance of some kind
friend who stops to teach them. Probably few of these adult students
will ever advance beyond a simple knowledge of reading, and many,
doubtless, will stop short of this, lacking the perseverance necessary
to attain success. Most of the freedmen, however, are so earnest and
determined in their pursuit of knowledge, so patient and untiring in
their efforts to learn, and, withal, enjoy such keen pleasure in this
awakening to consciousness of their mental powers, that they cannot fail
to elevate themselves thereby, and also to feel an increased interest in
the education of their children.


IN CAMP.

Negro soldiers on the Sea islands have long since ceased to be objects
of wonder or curiosity, and may be seen to-day in camp, on picket, or on
detached service, everywhere doing their work in a quiet, soldierly
manner, and attracting no more attention than the white troops about
them. Through many difficulties, and against great opposition, they have
conquered their present honorable position in the Department of the
South. The untimely draft of the freedmen made by General Hunter in May,
1862, the violence and deception with which the order was enforced, as
well as the refusal of the Government to receive these regiments into
the service, causing the dispersion of the troops without pay and
without honor, was enough to discourage all further enlistment. But
when, last winter, General Saxton called for volunteers, an entire
regiment was soon raised, and early in the present year, the 1st South
Carolina Volunteers were ready to take the field. Fortunately for the
regiment and for the country, the services of Thomas Wentworth
Higginson, of Worcester, Mass., were secured as commander of this first
regiment of Union soldiers raised in South Carolina. 'The right man in
the right place' has not become so common a sight in our army, as to
prevent our being thankful that so fit an appointment was made and
accepted. Surely we are but just beginning to learn what heroes we have,
when we see a man of high literary attainments, whose eloquent words,
both spoken and written, have contributed so largely to the physical,
mental, and moral culture of his countrymen, laying down the pen for the
sword at the call of duty, and winning at once by his wisdom and skill
the two highest objects of an officer's ambition, the devotion of his
men, and the commendation of his superiors.

Soon after arriving at Port Royal, I paid a visit to Colonel Higginson's
regiment, then encamped about four miles from Beaufort. Setting out on
horseback in company with one of the superintendents, our ride took us
along the banks of the Beaufort river, past cotton plantations, and
through pleasant woods bright with the golden blossoms of the pines.
Although it was early in February, we saw the negroes at work in the
fields, 'listing' the ground--a process of breaking up the soil with
hoes--while here and there a solitary palmetto stood, like a scarecrow,
as if to warn away all invaders. We soon reached 'Camp Saxton,' which we
found pleasantly situated near a large and magnificent grove of live
oaks, just at the bend of the river, where a fine view is given of the
winding stream, the harbor of Port Royal, and the low-lying islands in
the distance. The grove, which is the handsomest on the islands, was
formerly part of a plantation belonging to a master well known by his
cruelty toward his slaves, and the tree which served as the whipping
post is still pointed out. A short distance from the camp, by the river
side, may be seen the remains of an old Spanish fort, built of oyster
shells, and said to have been erected in the year 1637.

To one accustomed to notice the sanitary appearance of camps, the
neatness observable both in the streets and tents of 'Camp Saxton' was
an agreeable surprise. Few camps in any department of the army are
better policed, or present to the visitor such a general air of order
and cleanliness as this first encampment of Colonel Higginson's
regiment. As we enter one of the streets a company inspection of arms is
going on, which displays to good advantage the proficiency of the
colored soldier in the minutiæ of his work. Soon after, we are summoned
to witness a battalion drill, and my companion, who has been both an
army officer and a 'Democrat,' is extravagant in his praise of the
movements and evolutions of the troops. Before leaving the camp we visit
the snug and comfortable hospital into which Yankee ingenuity has
metamorphosed the upper story of an old ginhouse. The surgeon informs us
that the most common disease in the regiment is _pneumonia_, and that,
in order to guard as far as possible against this, he has the middle
board of the tent floor taken up just at night, and a fire built on the
ground, to remove the dampness.

We are careful to make our exit at the proper place, as negro soldiers
on guard observe unwonted strictness, and we hear of their having
threatened to shoot the commanding general himself for attempting to
pass out at some other than the regular passage way.

I have seen the soldiers of Colonel Higginson's regiment on several
other occasions than the one above described, and have always found them
displaying the same soldierly qualities. Their picketing of Port Royal
island has not been surpassed by any white regiment for the rigor and
watchfulness with which it was enforced. 'Will they fight?' is a
question which the events of the war are fast answering in the
affirmative. The South Carolina volunteers have not as yet met the
rebels in close conflict; but, in holding captured places against large
numbers of the enemy, in passing rebel batteries on the Florida rivers,
and in hazardous excursions into the heart of the enemy's country, where
they have been constantly exposed to the fire of sharp-shooters and
guerillas, they have behaved as bravely as any other regiments in the
service; while they have united to their ready obedience and prompt
execution of orders, a dash and fierceness such as might have been
expected from their excitable nature when under the stimulus of actual
warfare. In view, therefore, of the admirable manner in which these
freedmen have performed all the duties of a soldier's life which have
thus far been required of them, it is fair to presume that in the fierce
shock of open battle, they will acquit themselves like men. A striking
illustration of the wide difference between the theories of those who
oppose the use of the negro as a soldier, and the facts which the war is
constantly revealing, was furnished on our passage from North Carolina
to Port Royal. 'Will the negro troops be clean?' was asked of an officer
of the regular army, and his reply was a highly wrought and imaginary
description of the horrible condition of the garrisons, and the fearful
epidemics, which would be occasioned by placing black soldiers in the
forts on our Southern coast. The facts of the case in reference to the
comparative cleanliness of white and black troops showed that, while the
companies of regulars under this officer's care habitually neglected on
ship-board the simplest sanitary regulations, such as sweeping and
washing the decks, the negro soldiers who had been taken on our
Government transports to various points on the Florida coast, daily
observed these important rules, gaining thereby the commendation of the
ship's officers, and promoting at the same time their own health and
comfort. The explanation of this fact is found in the prompt and
unquestioning obedience of the black soldier, the peculiar
characteristic of those who have been accustomed in a state of servitude
to execute the commands of those who were over them.

The tide of public opinion is setting so strongly in favor of the use of
negroes as soldiers, that the present danger seems to lie in the
direction of our indulging in too extravagant expectations of their
efficiency. We must not overlook the fact that, in the case of the
former slaves, as much depends upon the character of their officers as
upon the valor of the men. Nor should it be forgotten that among the
freedmen who come within our lines, there is only a small proportion of
able-bodied men capable of enduring the hardships of the service. In too
many instances slavery has sapped the vigor of their lives, and the
examinations of our surgeons have revealed an extent of physical
weakness which is truly surprising. There can, however, no longer be any
doubt in the minds of candid and loyal men, that the freedmen who are
able to bear arms will prove themselves valiant soldiers, jealous
defenders of their own and their country's liberties, and a terror to
their enemies, who have so madly attempted to destroy both 'Liberty and
Union.'



A SPIRIT'S REPROACH.


    I stood beside the altar with a friend,
    To hear him plight his faith to a young bride,
    A rosy child of simple heart and mind.
    Yet two short years before, on that same spot,
    I heard the funeral chant above the bier
    Of a first wife--a woman bright as fair,
    Or blessed or cursed with genius, full of fire--
    Who loved him with a passion high and rare;
    Whom he had won from paths of fame and art
    To walk unknown life's quiet ways with him.
    My mind was with the past, when the loud swell
    Of music rose to greet the childlike bride,
    The organ quivering as with solemn joy:
    Alas! another voice breathed through it all,
    Reproachful, haughty, wild, but very sad;
    Near, though its tones fell from that farthest shore,
    Where the eternal surge beats time no more!
    Sadly I gazed upon my friend, to mark
    If his new joys were quelled by the weird strains:
    He heard it not--he only saw the face,
    Blushing and girlish, 'neath its bridal veil;
    Saw not the stronger spirit standing by,
    With immortelles upon its massive front,
    And drooping wings adown its snowy shroud,
    And sense of wrong dewing its starry eye;
    Nor heard the chant of agony, reproach,
    Chilling the naïve joy of the marriage song.

       *   *   *   *

    'Say, canst thou woo another for thy bride,
    Whilst I am living--ever near thee still!
    Renounce the faith so often pledged to me,
    Forget me, while I dream of thee in heaven!
    When the word _love_ first fell upon my ear,
    I was a dreamer wrapped in pleasant thoughts,
    Dwelling in themes apart from common life,
    Nor needed aught for bliss save my still hours,
    My studies, and the poet's golden lyre.
    The stars revealed to me their trackless paths,
    The flowers whispered me their secrets sweet,
    And science oped her ways of calm and light.
    Yet love, like ancient scroll, was closely rolled;
    I had no wish to read its mystic page;
    Its wooing wakened in me wondering scorn,
    Its homage insult to my virgin pride;
    If lovers knelt, 'twas but to be denied.

    And yet it pleased to know myself so fair,
    Because I loved the Beautiful. We met!
    Dark, fierce, and full of power thy features were,
    Yet finely cut, chiselled and sculptured well,
    Reminding me of antique demigod.
    The dream of the wild Greek, maddened with light
    From Beauty's sun, before me living stood.
    Ah! not of marble were thy features pale!
    Like summer's lightning, lights and shadows danced
    As feelings surged within thy stormful soul.
    Full of high thoughts and poetry wert thou:
    I left the paths of thought to hear thee speak
    Of love and its devotion, endless truth.
    All nature glowed with sudden, roseate light;
    The waves of ocean, mountains, forests dim,
    The waterfall, the flower, the clinging moss,
    Were woven in types of purity and peace,
    To etherealize and beautify thy love.
    Marriage of souls, eternal constancy,
    Gave wildering love new worth and dignity.
    My maiden pride was soothed, and if I felt
    Repelled by human passion, still I joyed
    In sacrifice that made me wholly thine.
    We wedded--and I rested on thy heart,
    Counted its throbs, and when I sadly thought
    They measured out the fleeting sands of life,
    I smiled at Time--_Love lives eternally!_
    I was not blind to my advantages,
    Yet I became a humble household dove,
    Smoothing to thy caress the eager wings
    Which might have borne me through the universe.
    All wealth seemed naught; had stars been in my gift,
    I would have thrown them reckless all to thee!
    Two happy years--how swift they fleeted by!--
    And then I felt a fluttering, restless life
    Throbbing beneath my heart; and with it knew
    (I ne'er could tell you how such knowledge came)
    That I must die! A moment's dread and pang
    O'ercame me--then the bitter thought grew sweet:
    My passing agony would win the boon
    Of life immortal for _our_ infant's soul;
    The innocent being, through whose veins would flow
    Our mingling hearts for ever--ever--one!
    We spoke of death, and of eternal life;
    Many and fond the vows then pledged to me:
    'If cruel death must sever us on earth,
    Rest calmly on my never-changing love;
    Now and forever it is solely thine!
    _Thou art my soul's elect--my Bride in Heaven!_'

    So deeply did I trust thy plighted faith,
    I nerved my ardent soul to bear it all,
    And calmly saw the fated hour approach,
    Nor quailed before the pangs of death to give
    Our living love to a fond father's kiss:
    Smiling I placed him in thy arms--then died.
    The songs of angels wooed me high above,
    But my firm soul refused to leave its loves!
    I won the boon from heaven to hover near,
    To count the palpitations of thy heart,
    And speak, unseen, to thee in varied ways.
    I breathed to thee in music's plaintive tones,
    I floated round thee in the breath of flowers,
    I wooed thee in the poet's tender page,
    And through the blue eyes of our orphaned child
    I gazed upon thee with the buried love
    So fraught with faith and haunting memories.
    With spirit power I ranged the world of thought
    To twine thee with the blue 'Forget me not!'

       *   *   *   *

    Oh, God! thine eye seeks now a fresher face,
    Thy voice has won another's earnest love,
    Her head rests on the heart once pledged to me,
    And I have poured my worship on the dust!
    He loves again, and yet I gave him all--
    Been proud--is this 'the worm that never dies?'
    Ah, what am I?--a ruined wreck adrift
    Upon a surging sea of endless pain!
    Are human hearts all fickle, faithless, base?
    Does levity brand all of mortal race?
    When we shall meet within the Spirit's land,
    How wilt thou bear my sorrow, my despair?
    Wilt strive to teach me there thy new-found lore--
    Forgetfulness? I could not learn the task!
    Wilt seek to link again our broken ties?
    Away! I would not stoop my haughty brow
    To thing so false as thou! I love--yet scorn!
    We give ourselves with purity but once;
    The love of soul yields not to change of state;
    Heaven's life news the broken ties of earth;
    There is no death! all that has _truly_ lived,
    Lives ever; feeling cannot die; it blooms
    Immortal as the soul from which it springs!
    Why do I shrink to own the bitter truth?
    _I never have been loved--'twas mockery all!_'

       *   *   *   *

    Thus sang the tortured spirit, while the chant
    Of the new bridal filled the quivering air.
    The ring of gold upon the finger placed,
    The girlish blushes, the groom's joyous smile,
    Told all was over, and the crowd dispersed:
    But the high face of the wrung spirit pressed
    Upon my heart, haunting me with its woe.
    What was her doom? Was she midst penal fires,
    Whose flames must burn away the sins of life,
    The hay and stubble of idolatrous love?
    Ah, even in its root crime germs with doom!
    Must suffering consume our earthly dross?
    Is't pain alone can bind us to the Cross?
    She worshipped _man_; true to his nature, he
    Remained as ever fickle, sensuous, weak.
    'Love is eternal!' True, but God alone
    Can fill the longings of an immortal soul:
    _The finite thirst is for the Infinite!_



JEFFERSON DAVIS AND REPUDIATION.

LETTER OF HON. ROBERT J. WALKER.


    LONDON, 10, Half Moon Street, Piccadilly,

                                    _June 30th, 1863._

Soon after my arrival in London from New York, my attention was called,
by some English, as well as American friends, to an article which had
appeared more than a month previously in the London _Times_ of the 23d
of March last. In the money article of that date is the following letter
from the Hon. John Slidell, the Minister of Jefferson Davis at Paris.

     'MY DEAR SIR:

     I have yours of yesterday. I am inclined to think the people of
     London confound Mr. Reuben Davis, whom I have always understood
     to have taken the lead on the question of repudiation, with
     President Jefferson Davis. I am not aware that the latter was
     in any way identified with that question. I am very confident
     that it was not agitated during his canvass for Governor, or
     during his administration. The Union Bank bonds were issued in
     direct violation of an express constitutional provision. There
     is a wide difference between these bonds, and those of the
     Planters' Bank, for the repudiation of which, neither excuse
     nor palliation can be offered. I feel confident that Jefferson
     Davis never approved or justified that repudiation. What may
     have been his private opinions of the refusal to consider the
     State of Mississippi bound to provide for the payment of the
     Union Bank bonds, I do not know.

                                        Yours truly,

                                          'JOHN SLIDELL.'

It is due to the editor of the _Times_ here to state, that, in his money
article of the 23d March last, he refers to the controversy of that
press with Jefferson Davis on that question in 1849, and, as regards the
suggestion of Mr. Slidell, that it might have been Reuben Davis who was
the repudiator in 1849, instead of Jefferson Davis, the editor remarked,
'it is to be feared that the proof in the other direction is too
strong.' Indeed, the editor might well be astonished at the supposition
that Jefferson Davis, who subscribed the repudiation letter in question
of the 25th May, 1849, as well as a still stronger communication of the
29th August, 1849, should have been confounded, during a period of near
fourteen years, by the press of Europe and America, with Reuben Davis,
and that the supposed mistake should just now be discovered, especially
as Reuben Davis never was a Senator of the United States from
Mississippi, or from any other State.

I was asked if it really was Reuben or Jefferson Davis who was the
author of the letter in question advocating the repudiation of the Union
Bank bonds of Mississippi, their recollection being, that it was the
latter. I said that the repudiation letter in question of the 25th May,
1849, was subscribed and published at its date in the Washington
_Union_, by Jefferson Davis, as a Senator of the United States from
Mississippi, which position he then held, that he was personally well
known to me for nearly a fourth of a century, as was also Reuben Davis,
and that the latter never had been a Senator of the United States from
Mississippi, or any other State, as was well known to me, and would be
shown by reference to the Journals of the United States Senate. I
stated, that I had represented the State of Mississippi in the Senate of
the United States from January, 1836, until March, 1845, when, having
resigned that office, I was called to the Cabinet of President Polk, as
Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, and remained in that
position until the close of that administration in March, 1849. I added,
that I was in Washington City, the capital of the Union, and residing
there as a counsellor at law in the Supreme Court of the United States,
when the first repudiation letter of Jefferson Davis, communicated by
him to the editor of the _Union_ (a newspaper of that city), was
published, on the 25th May, 1849, in that print, and very generally
throughout the United States. It was remarked by me, that it was well
known to myself personally, and I believed to every prominent public man
of that date, especially those then in Washington, that Mr. Jefferson
Davis was the author of that letter then published over his signature,
and that he defended its doctrines, with all that earnestness and
ability for which he was so distinguished. I was also residing in
Washington, when Mr. Jefferson Davis published, over his signature, as a
Senator of the United States from Mississippi, his well-known second
repudiation letter, dated at his _residence_, 'Brierfield, Miss.,'
August 29, 1849. This letter was addressed to the editors of the
_Mississippian_, a newspaper published at Jackson, Mississippi, and was
received by me in due course of mail. This letter extended over several
columns, and was an elaborate defence of the repudiation of Mississippi.
This letter also was generally republished throughout the United States.
These views of Mr. Jefferson Davis attracted my most earnest attention,
because, after a brief interval, he was one of my successors in the
Senate of the United States, from Mississippi. I had always earnestly
opposed the doctrine of repudiation in Mississippi, and the Legislature
of 1840-'41, by which I was re-elected, passed resolutions by
overwhelming majorities (hereafter quoted), denouncing the repudiation
either of the Union Bank, or Planters' Bank bonds.

At the period of the conversations before referred to, late in April or
early in May last, I was, on this recital of the facts, strongly urged
to make them known in Europe, to which my consent was given.

After some investigation, however, the necessary documents fully to
elucidate the whole subject could not be obtained here. It was
necessary, therefore, to write home and procure them. This has been
done, and I now proceed to a narrative of these transactions from the
authentic historical public documents.

The first letter of Mr. Jefferson Davis before referred to, of the 25th
of May, 1849, was published by him as a Senator of the United States
from Mississippi, over his signature, in the _Union_, a newspaper
published at Washington City. That letter is in these words:

     'DAILY UNION, WASHINGTON CITY, _May 25th, 1849_.

    '_Statement furnished by Jefferson Davis,
      Esq., Senator of the United States._

     'The State of Mississippi has no other question with
     bondholders than that of debt or no debt. When the United
     States Bank of Pennsylvania purchased what are known as the
     Union Bank bonds, it was within the power of any stock dealer
     to learn that they had been issued in disregard of the
     Constitution of the State whose faith they assumed to pledge.
     By the Constitution and laws of Mississippi, any creditor of
     the State may bring suit against the State, and test his claim,
     as against an individual. To this the bondholders have been
     invited; but conscious that they have no valid claim, have not
     sought their remedy. Relying upon empty (because false)
     denunciation, they have made it a point of honor to show what
     can be shown by judicial investigation; i. e., that there being
     no debt, there has been no default. The crocodile tears which
     have been shed over ruined creditors, are on a par with the
     baseless denunciations which have been heaped upon the State.
     Those bonds were purchased by a bank then tottering to its
     fall--purchased in violation of the charter of the bank, or
     fraudulently, by concealing the transaction under the name of
     an individual, as may best suit those concerned--purchased in
     violation of the terms of the law under which the bonds were
     issued, and in disregard of the Constitution of Mississippi, of
     which the law was an infraction. To sustain the credit of that
     rickety bank, the bonds were hypothecated abroad for interest
     on loans which could not be met as they became due.

     'A smaller amount is due for what are termed Planters' Bank
     bonds of Mississippi. These evidences of debt, as well as the
     coupons issued to cover accruing interest, are receivable for
     State lands; and no one has a right to assume they will not be
     provided for otherwise, by or before the date at which the
     whole debt becomes due.

                                      'JEFFERSON DAVIS.'

To this letter the London _Times_, in its money article, of the 13th
July, 1849, replied as follows:

     'The case of Mississippi stands thus: In 1838 the State issued
     bonds for five millions of dollars, to establish the Union
     Bank. These bonds were dated June, 1838, bearing five per cent.
     interest from date, and it was stipulated with the bank that
     they should not be sold under their par value. On the 18th
     August following, the bank sold all these bonds to the United
     States Bank for five millions of dollars, payable in five equal
     instalments in November, January, March, May, and July, but
     without interest. The money was punctually paid to the
     Mississippi Bank, and the Legislature of Mississippi, on the
     terms of the sale being communicated to them, resolved, _'That
     the sale of the bonds was highly advantageous to the State, and
     in accordance with the injunctions of the charter, reflecting
     the highest credit on the Commissioners, and bringing timely
     aid to an embarrassed community.'_ In little more than two
     years, however, the Mississippi Bank became totally insolvent,
     having lost the entire five millions invested in it by the
     State. Immediately on this having transpired, the Governor of
     the State sent a message to the Legislature recommending them
     to _repudiate_ (this was the first time the word was used)
     their obligations, being founded on the plea, that as the bonds
     were issued with interest payable from the date, and they had
     been sold to the United States Bank for their nominal amount
     only, the stipulation that they should not be disposed of below
     their par value had been departed from. He further urged that
     although the bonds had been sold ostensibly to Mr. Biddle, the
     president of the United States Bank, the sale was actually to
     the bank itself, which, by its charter, could not legally
     purchase them. Hence, although Mississippi had received the
     money for the bonds, it was thus proposed to refuse to repay
     it, on the ground that the purchaser had no right to buy them.
     The Legislature, however, was not quite prepared for this, and
     accordingly, in responding to the Governor's message, they
     resolved: '1st. That the State of Mississippi is bound to the
     holders of the bonds of the State sold on account of the bank
     for the amount of principal and interest. 2d. That the State of
     Mississippi will pay her bonds, and preserve her faith
     inviolate. 3d. That the insinuation that the State of
     Mississippi would repudiate her bonds and violate her plighted
     faith, is a calumny upon the justice, honor, and dignity of the
     State.' But after this, the pecuniary condition of the State
     became rapidly worse, and the disposition to pay diminished in
     proportion. Accordingly a joint committee of the Legislature
     appointed in 1842, reported that the State was not bound to pay
     the bonds, advancing the reasons before mentioned, and also
     another, namely, that the bonds had not been sanctioned in the
     manner required by the Constitution, since, although the
     provision that no loan should be raised, unless sanctioned by a
     law passed through two successive Legislatures, had been
     complied with, and the bonds had been legally authorized, the
     act also prescribed certain conditions regarding the Bank of
     Mississippi, which conditions had been altered by a subsequent
     act, that had only passed through one Legislature.

     'In addition to the five millions thus repudiated, Mississippi
     owes two millions which she recognizes. It has always, however,
     been a difference without distinction, since she pays no
     dividends on either. From the period of repudiation up to the
     present moment, all representations of the bondholders have
     been treated with disregard. About a year and a half back,
     however, one of the citizens of Mississippi, a Mr. Robbins,
     admitted the moral liability of the State, and proposed that
     the people should discharge it by voluntary contributions.

     'The next step is the appearance of the letter from Mr.
     Jefferson Davis, with whom we are now called upon to deal. This
     statement, which was transmitted by him to the Washington
     _Union_, in reply to our remarks of the 23d February last, runs
     as follows.'

Here the _Times_ inserts Mr. Jefferson Davis's repudiation letter before
quoted.

     'The assurance in this statement that the Planters' Bank, or
     non-repudiated bonds, are receivable for State lands, requires
     this addition, which Mr. Jefferson Davis has omitted, that they
     are only so receivable upon lands being taken at three times
     its current value. The affirmation afterward, that no one has a
     right to assume that these bonds will not be fully provided for
     before the date at which the principal falls due, is simply to
     be met by the fact that portions of them fell due in 1841 and
     1846, and that on these, as well as on all the rest, both
     principal and interest remain wholly unpaid.

     'Regarding the first part of the statement no comment could be
     made which would not weaken its effect. Taking its principle
     and its tone together, it is a doctrine which has never been
     paralleled. Let it circulate throughout Europe, that a member
     of the United States Senate in 1849, has openly proclaimed that
     at a recent period the Governor and Legislative Assemblies of
     his own State deliberately issued fraudulent bonds for five
     millions of dollars to 'sustain the credit of a rickety bank;'
     that the bonds in question, having been hypothecated abroad to
     innocent holders, such holders had not only no claim against
     the community by whose executive and representatives this act
     was omitted, but that they are to be taunted for appealing to
     the verdict of the civilized world, rather than to the judgment
     of the legal officers of the State by whose functionaries they
     have been already robbed; and that the ruin of toilworn men, of
     women, of widows, and of children, and the 'crocodile tears'
     which that ruin has occasioned, is a subject of jest on the
     part of those by whom it has been accomplished; and then let it
     be asked if any foreigner ever penned a libel on the American
     character equal to that against the people of Mississippi by
     their own Senator.'

To this reply of the London _Times_, which (except in portions of
Mississippi) was generally approved throughout the Union, Mr. Jefferson
Davis responded in a very long letter, dated from his residence,
Brierfield, Mississippi, August 29, 1849, addressed to the editors of
the _Mississippian_. He begins as follows:

     'The London _Times_ of July 13, 1849, contains an article which
     most unjustly and unfairly attacks the State of Mississippi and
     myself, because of a statement I made in refutation of a
     former calumny against her, which was published in the same
     paper.'

This article of the London _Times_ Mr. Davis denounces as 'a
_foreigner's slander_ against the government, the judiciary, and people
of Mississippi;' 'very well for the high Tory paper as an attack upon
our republican government;' as 'untrue;' 'the hypocritical cant of
stockjobbers and _pensioned presses_' 'reckless of reputation;' 'hired
advocates of the _innocent_ stock dealers of London 'Change;' 'a
calumnious imputation.' These are pleasant epithets which Mr. Jefferson
Davis applied to the London _Times_ and the London 'Change. But Mr.
Jefferson Davis was very indignant, not only with London, but with all
England; for he says,

     'With far more propriety might _repudiation_ be charged on the
     _English Government_, for the reduction of interest on her
     loans when she consolidated her debts; for the income tax,
     which compels fundholders to return part of the interest they
     receive on their evidences of public debt, for the support of
     the Government which is their debtor.'

According, then, to Mr. Jefferson Davis, the London _Times_ and the
London 'Change are great reprobates, and it is not Mississippi, but 'THE
ENGLISH GOVERNMENT' which has repudiated their own public debt.

From such angry epithets and fierce denunciation, the reader will be
prepared to find very little argument in Mr. Jefferson Davis' second
letter. He denies that Mississippi received the money. But a bank, of
which she was the sole stockholder, and whose directory was all
appointed by her, received it. They received it also for her exclusive
benefit, for she, _as a State_, was to derive large profits on the stock
of the bank, which was hers exclusively, and was paid for entirely by
the proceeds of these bonds. Mississippi then, as a State, through her
agents appointed by her, received this money. All governments must act
through human agency, and the agency in this case, which received the
money, was appointed entirely by the State. But this is not all. The
Bank, which was exclusively a State bank, and based entirely on the
proceeds of these State bonds, with no other stockholders, was directed
by the charter to loan this money, the proceeds of these bonds, only to
'the citizens of the State,' sec. 46, and so the loans were made. The
State, then, through an agency appointed exclusively by itself, received
this money, the proceeds of the State bonds, and the State, through this
same agency, loaned this money to 'the citizens of the State,' who never
repaid the loans. The State then received the money and loaned it out to
its own citizens, who still hold it; and yet this money, obtained on the
solemn pledge of the faith of the State, her citizens still hold, and
the State repudiates her bonds on which the money was received, and Mr.
Jefferson Davis sustains, indorses, and eulogizes this proceeding. Never
was there a stronger case.

Mr. Jefferson Davis reiterates in this letter his arguments contained in
his previous communication of the 25th May, 1849, so fully answered by
the editors of the London _Times_ in their money article before quoted
of the 13th July, 1849. He elaborates, particularly, the legal position,
that the bonds were invalid, because he says not sanctioned by two
successive Legislatures as required by the Constitution of Mississippi.
This statement is erroneous, because the loan, in the precise form in
which the bonds were issued, was sanctioned by two successive
Legislatures in perfect conformity with the Constitution. This is shown,
as will be proved hereafter, by reference to the laws passed by the
State, and such was the decision on this very point by the highest
judicial tribunal of Mississippi, in 1842 and 1853. But let us suppose
that there was some technical legal informality as to the law, would
that justify the repudiation of these bonds? The Legislature had passed
laws in 1837 and 1838 authorizing the issue and sale of these bonds,
those acts had been all signed and approved by the Governor of the
State, the bonds had been signed by the Governor and Treasurer of the
State, the broad seal of the State had been affixed to them by the
Governor, they were placed in the hands of the authorities of the State
for sale, they were sold by them, and the full amount paid over to the
agency appointed by the State, and by that agency the money was loaned
to the 'citizens of the State' and still retained by them. When the sale
of these State bonds in August, 1838, together with all the facts and
documents, were placed by the Governor before the Legislature in 1839,
they ratified and highly approved the sale, as before quoted by the
_Times_, and again still more decidedly in 1841. And yet the State, on
the technical grounds stated by Mr. Davis, repudiated their bonds. It
was unconstitutional to return the money which they had borrowed and
used! Could anything be more absurd or dishonorable than this? The law
says, if a man borrows money without certain legal authentications, he
shall not be forced to repay; but if he receives and uses the money, and
then interposes such technical pleas, he is justly deemed infamous. He
has violated his honor. And is the honor of an individual more sacred
than that of a state or nation? State and national debts rest upon
faith, they repose upon honor, the obligation is sacred, and must be
fulfilled. It can never he illegal or unconstitutional to _pay a debt_,
where the money has been received by a state or a nation. And, where a
State, acting through its supreme Executive and Legislature, has issued
its bonds and affixed its seal, and they have passed into the hands of
_bona fide_ holders, the obligation must be fulfilled. For a state or
nation, having issued its bonds under its highest legislative and
executive sanction, to say, that their own functionaries mistook some of
the formalities of the law, and refuse payments, is a fraud upon the
_bona fide_ holders, and can never be sustained before the tribunal of
the world. But when, besides the Legislature and Executive of the State,
its highest judicial tribunals have declared the bonds perfectly
constitutional and valid, and to have been sold in accordance with the
terms of the law, for such repudiation of such bonds it is difficult to
find any language sufficiently strong to mark the infamy of such a
transaction.

If indeed the formalities of the Constitution had not been complied
with, and this were not a mere pretext, how easy would it have been to
have passed a new act in conformity with the constitutional formalities,
assuming the debt, or providing for the issue of new bonds to be
delivered to the holders on the return of those alleged to be informal.
But the truth is, this alleged unconstitutionality was a mere pretext
for repudiating a just debt: it never occurred to the Legislatures which
passed these laws in 1837 and 1838, or to the Governor, who signed them,
and was rejected by the Legislature in 1839, and again, in the most
solemn form, in 1841.

And now let me trace the history of this transaction chronologically.
The original act chartering the bank, with the 5th section authorizing
the loan, was passed by the Legislature January 21st, 1837, and again,
in strict compliance with the provisions of the Constitution, reënacted
in the same words on the 5th of February, 1838. Now the bonds issued are
in strict conformity with this law, and an exact copy of the form of the
bonds prescribed by the law. If then, the supplemental act of the 15th
February, 1838, was unconstitutional, null, and void, as contended by
the repudiators, then the whole original act remained in full force, and
the bonds were valid under that law, and such was the unanimous decision
of the High Court of Errors and Appeals of Mississippi, as will be shown
hereafter. It was contended before the court (and by Mr. Davis in his
last letter) that, under the original law, certain acts were to be
performed before the bonds could issue. But here again, it is plain on
the face of the law, and so the High Court of Errors and Appeals of
Mississippi unanimously decided, that these acts were not required to be
performed as _conditions precedent_ to the issue of the bonds, and that
the issue and sale of the bonds were perfectly valid before these acts
had been performed. The bonds then are in exact conformity with a law,
which was passed by two successive Legislatures, precisely as provided
by the Constitution.

In 1836 there was a great pecuniary embarrassment in Mississippi,
attributed by many to what was called the _specie circular_, and soon
followed a suspension of the banks. Under these circumstances there was
an almost universal demand in Mississippi for relief measures. As a
consequence, the attention of the Legislature was absorbed almost
exclusively in the consideration of remedies for the existing
embarrassments. The result was the enactment, on the 21st January, 1837,
of the law, creating the Union Bank of Mississippi. This bank was based
upon loans to be obtained upon bonds of the State, the proceeds of
which, when sold, were to constitute the capital of the bank, which
money, by the terms of the charter, was to be loaned to the '_citizens
of the State_,' to relieve the existing embarrassments.

The fifth section of the act was the only one in which any authority was
given for a loan by the State, and any power to pledge its faith. That
section, entire, was as follows:

     'That, in order to facilitate the said Union Bank for the said
     loan of fifteen millions five hundred thousand dollars, the
     faith of this State be, and is hereby pledged, both for the
     security of the capital and interest, and that 7,500 bonds of
     $1,000 each, to wit: 1,875 payable in twelve years; 1,875 in
     fifteen years; 1,875 in eighteen years; and 1,875 in twenty
     years, and bearing interest at the rate of five per cent. per
     annum, shall be signed by the Governor of the State to the
     order of the Mississippi Bank, countersigned by the State
     Treasurer, and under the seal of the State; said bonds to be in
     the following words, viz.:

     '$2,000. Know all men by these presents, that the State of
     Mississippi _acknowledges to be indebted_ to the Mississippi
     Union Bank in the sum of two thousand dollars, which sum the
     said State of Mississippi _promises to pay_ in current money of
     the United States to the order of the President, Directors, and
     Company in the ---- year ----with interest at the rate of five
     per cent. per annum, payable half yearly, at the place named in
     the indorsement hereto, viz.: ---- on the ---- of every year
     until the payment of the said principal sum: in testimony
     whereof the Governor of the State of Mississippi has signed,
     and the Treasurer of the State has countersigned these
     presents, and caused the seal of the State to be affixed
     thereto, at Jackson, this ---- in the ---- year of our Lord.

                                             '_Governor._

                                             '_Treasurer._'

The whole act, of which this section was a part, was passed by the
Legislature and approved by the Governor in 1837, and the entire section
as to the loan as required by the provision of the Constitution of the
State, was referred to the action of the next succeeding Legislature.
That succeeding Legislature was chosen in November, 1837, and assembled,
at its regular session, in January, 1838. After full discussion in both
houses, this act of 1837 was passed by large majorities in both branches
of the Legislature, and approved by the new Governor, A. G. McNutt, on
the 5th of February, 1838. The act of 1837, including the 5th section,
before quoted, was thus reënacted by the succeeding Legislature, without
any change whatever. There was then a full, complete, and undisputed
compliance with the requirements of the Constitution, and, under this
act, thus sanctioned by two successive Legislatures, it is conceded that
the faith of the State was pledged, and that the bonds might be issued
and sold. But it is contended by Mr. Jefferson Davis in his first, as
well as his second letter, before quoted, that the bonds are invalid,
because of the supplemental act of the 15th of February, 1838. Now, it
will be observed, that no change whatever was made by this supplemental
act, in this 5th section of the original act, before quoted, by which
alone the faith of the State was pledged for the payment of these bonds,
and which section alone, as required by the Constitution, had been
referred to the action of the succeeding Legislature. No change whatever
was made by the supplemental act in that section of the original act,
the bonds were issued and sold in precise conformity with its
provisions, and, indeed, these bonds, thus actually issued and sold, are
a precise and literal copy of the form of the bonds as given in the
original act, as before quoted. The supplemental act changed only some
of the '_details_' of the charter of the Bank, but made no alteration
whatever in the 5th section. This supplemental act, which is now
denounced by Jefferson Davis as unconstitutional, was passed, after the
fullest investigation of this question, as to the power of the
Legislature, with favorable reports as to the constitutional power by
the joint Committee of both Houses. The Committee reported to the
Senate, that, by a 'supplemental bill' 'it is competent for this
Legislature to alter and amend the details of the bill, incorporating
the subscribers to the Mississippi Union Bank, passed at the last
session of the Legislature of this State.' (Senate Journal, 103.)

The report of the Committee to the House was as follows: 'The said
Committee are of the opinion, that it is within the province of the
Legislature to amend or change the details of the said Mississippi Union
Bank Charter,' &c. (House Journal, p. 117.) Such was the opinion of the
joint Committee of both Houses of the Legislature, which reported this
supplemental act, which act was passed by the vote of 22 to 3 in the
Senate (Journal, 320), and 55 to 22 in the House. (Journal, 329-30.) It
would appear, then, that in the opinion of an overwhelming majority of
both branches of the Legislature of Mississippi, the supplemental act
was constitutional; and the act was approved by A. G. McNutt, the
Governor of the State, and thus became a law on the 15th of February,
1838. Indeed, the idea that a subsequent Legislature could change none
of the details of a bank charter, because there was embodied in the act
a separate and distinct section authorizing a loan of money by the
State, seemed to me never to rise to the dignity of a question. Such, we
have seen, was the view of the Legislatures of 1838, 1839, and 1841, and
such was the unanimous decision, hereafter quoted, of the Chancellor and
Circuit Judge of Mississippi, and of the supreme judicial tribunal, the
High Court of Errors and Appeals of the State, in two decisions, on this
very point, and in favor of the constitutionality of this law. One of
these decisions was made in January, 1842, and the other in April, 1853.
These decisions were conclusive against the State, and binding upon the
Legislature, the Governor, and the people, for the following reasons.
The Constitution of the State of Mississippi contains the following
clause:

     'ARTICLE II. _Distribution of Powers._

     'Sec. 1. The powers of the Government of the State of
     Mississippi shall be divided into three distinct departments,
     and each of them confided to a separate body of magistracy; to
     wit, those which are legislative to one, those which are
     judicial to another, and those which are executive to another.

     'Sec. 2. No person or collection of persons, being of one of
     these departments, shall exercise any power properly belonging
     to either of the others, except in the instances hereinafter
     expressly directed or permitted.'

It is not pretended that any exception was made for this case. The
contrary has always been held by the courts of Mississippi. Indeed, as
late as October term, 1858, this very question was decided by the High
Court of Errors and Appeals of Mississippi, when it was ruled by the
court that 'the Legislature may not, therefore, exercise powers which in
their nature are judicial.' (Isom. _v._ Missis. R. R. Co., 7 George
314.)

In the 9th section of the 7th article of the Constitution of Mississippi
is found the provision on which Mr. Jefferson Davis relies requiring the
assent of two successive Legislatures to pledge the faith of the State.
Immediately succeeding this provision is the following: 'The Legislature
_shall direct_ by law in what courts suits may be brought against the
State.'

These two consecutive sections of the _same article_ of the
Constitution, being in _pari materia_, are to be construed together.
Indeed, it is a well known historical fact, that this 9th section, as
regards the pledge of the faith of the State, which is now perverted to
a wholly different purpose, was intended to give greater solemnity and a
higher credit to the bonds of the State, as was likewise the provision
in the same Constitution of 1832, sanctioning by name the Planters' Bank
bonds of the State (now unpaid), in consequence of which, they were sold
at a premium of thirteen and a half per cent. In pursuance of the
provision of the Constitution before quoted, the Legislature of
Mississippi, in 1833, passed an act, designating the Court of Chancery
as the one in which suits might be brought against the State, with the
right of appeal by either party to the High Court of Errors and Appeals.
That act was passed in 1833, in pursuance of this _mandatory_ provision
of the Constitution before quoted. That act provided, that, if the
decree of the court should be against the State, the Governor _shall
issue_ his mandate to the Auditor to draw on the Treasurer to pay the
decree, but 'no execution whatever shall ever issue on any decree in
chancery against the State of Mississippi, whereby the State may be
dispossessed of lands, tenements, goods and chattels.' (Howard's Dig.
523, 524.)

Here, then, are the two consecutive provisions of the Constitution in
_pari materia_, the one designating the mode by which the bonds of the
State might be issued, and the other the judicial tribunals in which all
disputes as to such bonds might be _definitively_ settled, and payment
made, if the decree were against the State. That Constitution vested the
_whole judicial power of the State_ in the courts, it vested nothing but
'legislative power' in the Legislature, and it prohibited the
Legislature and Executive from exercising judicial power; it adopted the
great fundamental principle of constitutional government, separating the
executive, legislative, and judicial power. Indeed, it is the great
doctrine of American law, that the concentration of any of these two
powers, in any one body or functionary, is dangerous to liberty, and
that the _consolidation_ of all of these powers creates a despotism. The
interpretation of a law, and particularly of a constitution, which is
made the 'supreme law,' the _lex legum_, has uniformly been regarded as
exclusively a judicial, and not an executive or legislative function. In
this case, however, it has been made clear by an express provision of
the Constitution separating these functions, and designating, under its
mandate, the _courts_ in which _suits_ shall be brought against the
State, and the form of the decree to be rendered, and requiring payment
to be at once made. A suit is a judicial act, and so is the decree of a
court. Well, then, the highest judicial tribunals of Mississippi have
twice decided this question; they have declared this supplemental act
constitutional, these bonds valid, and the sale of them to be in
conformity with the law; and, in a suit on one of these very bonds,
after the fullest argument, the court entered a decree of payment,
overruling every point made by Jefferson Davis; and yet the State still
repudiates, as well after the first decision in 1842, as the second in
1853. It is difficult to imagine a more palpable infraction of the
Constitution, or a clearer violation of every principle of justice than
this.

The State prescribes certain forms under which her bonds may issue; she
adds to this, in the very _next section_, a provision _commanding_ the
Legislature to designate the judicial tribunals in which suit may be
brought on such bonds against the State; those tribunals are designated
by the Legislature, namely, the Court of Chancery, with appeal to the
High Court of Errors and Appeals of the State; both those tribunals
(including the Chancellor) have unanimously decided against the State,
and a decree is entered for payment of the bonds. And yet the State
persists in repudiation, and Jefferson Davis defends her course. When
the High Court of Errors and Appeals of Mississippi first decided this
question, it was composed of Chief Justice Sharkey, and Justices Turner
and Trotter (one of the framers of the Constitution). When, again, in
1851, suit was brought against the State on one of these repudiated
Union Bank bonds, and a decree for its payment rendered by the
Chancellor, that decree, on full argument on appeal, was unanimously
confirmed by the highest judicial tribunal of the State, composed
entirely of different judges, namely, Chief Justice Smith, and Justices
Yerger and Fisher. Here, then, are eight judges, all chosen by the
people of Mississippi, concurring in 1842, as well as in 1853, as to the
validity of these bonds; and yet Jefferson Davis justifies their
repudiation. The judges of Mississippi all take an oath to support the
Constitution, and it is made their duty to interpret it, and especially
this very clause: the Legislature is confined to law making, and
forbidden to exercise any judicial power; the expounding this
supplemental law, and the provisions under which it was enacted, is
exclusively a judicial power, and yet the Legislature _usurps_ this
power, repudiates the bonds of the State, and the acts of three
preceding Legislatures, and the decision of the highest tribunals of the
State: Jefferson Davis sustains this repudiation, and the British public
are asked to take new Confederate bonds, issued by the same Jefferson
Davis, and thus to sanction, and encourage, and offer a premium for
repudiation. These so-called Confederate bonds are issued in open
violation of the Constitution of the United States; they are absolute
nullities, they are tainted with treason, they never can or will be
paid, and yet they are to be thrust on the British public under the
sanction of the same great repudiator, Jefferson Davis, who applauds the
non-payment of the Mississippi bonds, and thus condemns hundreds of
innocent holders, including widows and orphans, to want and misery. Talk
about _faith_, about _honor_, about _justice_, and the _sanctity of
contracts_. Why, if such flagrant outrages, such atrocious crimes, can
be sustained by the great public of any nation, small indeed must be the
value of their bonds, which rests exclusively on good faith.

Suppose some astute lawyer could find some informality in the law
authorizing the issue and sale of the bonds representing the British
consols; would any member of either House propose in Parliament to
repudiate such bonds, and would not such a motion cause his immediate
expulsion? Yet, this is what the Legislature of Mississippi has done,
what Jefferson Davis approves and applauds, and what, _he says_, the
'English Government' _has done_.

The London _Times_ has heretofore quoted the proceedings of the
Legislature of Mississippi in 1839, approving the sale of these bonds
and eulogizing the transaction. It has also referred to the Message of
Governor McNutt, of 1841, nearly three years after the sale of the
bonds, first recommending their repudiation, and to the resolutions of
the Legislature of Mississippi of that date, affirming the legality of
these bonds and the duty of the State to pay them. As these resolutions
are of great importance, and ought to have closed the whole controversy,
I will state, what is shown by the Journals of the Senate and the House,
that they passed both Houses, in great part _unanimously_, and for the
remainder, by large majorities. (Sen. Jour. p. 312; House Jour. pp.
416-417, 249, 324-329.)

The objections made by Governor McNutt in 1841, were as follows:

     '1st. The Bank of the United States is prohibited by its
     charter from purchasing such stock, either directly or
     indirectly.

     '2d. It was fraudulent on the part of the bank, inasmuch as the
     contract was made in the name of an individual, when, in fact,
     it was for the benefit of the bank, and payment was made with
     its funds.

     '3d. The sale was illegal, inasmuch as the bonds were sold on a
     credit.

     '4th. Interest to the amount of about $170,000 having accrued
     on those bonds before the purchase money was stipulated to be
     all paid, the bonds were, in fact, sold at less than their par
     value, in direct violation of the charter of the bank.' (House
     Journal, p. 25).

It will here be remarked, that the great objection now urged by
Jefferson Davis against these bonds, namely, that the act under which
they were alleged to have been issued was unconstitutional, is _not
enumerated_ by Governor McNutt. Surely if such an objection existed to
the payment of the bonds, it must have found a place in this celebrated
message. Is not this conclusive proof that this constitutional objection
was a mere afterthought and pretext of Jefferson Davis and his associate
repudiators?

Let us examine the Governor's objections. As to the 1st and 2d--the bank
did not make the purchase; the contract was made by an individual,
although the performance was guaranteed by the bank. As this is a mere
technical objection, surely the Bank guarantee, even if void, could not
affect the contract itself. 2d. The purchase, even if made by the bank,
was not of _stock_, but a _loan_ made upon _bonds_. 3d. The right of the
bank to make the purchase is immaterial, if the money was paid, as in
this case, the bonds received, payable to bearer, and passed for value,
into the hands of _bona fide_ holders. What an objection to the
refunding the money--that, although it was received, the purchaser of
the bonds had no right to buy them, and therefore the _bona fide_
holders should lose the money. It might have been in violation of its
charter for the bank to purchase the bonds, but it was '_fraudulent_,'
when the money was received by the State, to retain it, on the
allegation, that the bank could not legally make the purchase,
especially when the bonds, in the mean time, had passed into the hands
of _bona fide_ holders. As to the 3d objection--as the money was paid
before the objection was made, and the Union Bank authorized to draw _at
once_ for the amount, at a point beyond the limits of the State, which
it did do, and realized a large premium on the exchange, and profit on
the transaction, the objection is as unfounded in law as it is in morals
or good faith; especially as the bonds were payable to bearer, upon
their face, in exact conformity to the law, and had passed, for value,
into the hands of _bona fide_ holders. Besides, there was no such
restriction in the charter. The only restriction in the supplement was,
that they should not be sold _below par_. Suppose the bonds for five
millions of dollars had been sold for five millions and a half, payable
in sixty days, and the money paid at the time, it is equally absurd and
fraudulent to contend, that for such a reason, the whole money could be
retained, and bonds repudiated. As to the 4th objection, the original
5th section which passed two successive Legislatures, did not require
that the bonds should not be sold for 'less than their par value.' If,
then, as contended by Jefferson Davis, the supplemental act containing
this provision, was unconstitutional, null and void, then no such
restriction existed, and the sale was valid under the original act. But
the truth is, the bonds were not sold _below par_, but _above par_, as
shown by the High Court of Errors and Appeals of Mississippi, in the
decision hereafter quoted by me. Indeed, all these four objections of
the Governor, as well as those of Jefferson Davis, are shown in that
decision to be as unfounded in fact, as they were in law or morals.

But suppose the bonds were sold below par, that is, that the State had
lost $170,000, or less than four per cent., on bonds for five millions
of dollars. Was that a just or valid ground for repudiating the whole,
principal and interest? The plea of _usury_ is always disgraceful, even
if true, especially where the security was negotiable to bearer and had
passed, for full value, into the hands of _bona fide_ holders. But if
such a plea is disgraceful to individuals, what shall be said when it is
made on behalf of a State? And what shall be thought of those who make
such an objection? What of a Governor, or of a United States Senator,
who urges such objections on behalf of a State? Do we not feel as if the
State were some miserable culprit on trial, and some pettifogging lawyer
was endeavoring to screen him from punishment, by picking a flaw in the
indictment. Yet such are the pleas on behalf of a State, urged by
Governor McNutt and Senator Jefferson Davis. On reference to the letter
before referred to, of Jefferson Davis, it will be found that he does
not confine himself to the constitutional objections. In his first
letter, before quoted, of 25th May, 1849, Mr. Jefferson Davis says,
'Those bonds were purchased by a bank then tottering to its
fall--purchased in violation of the charter of the bank, or
fraudulently, by concealing the transaction under the name of an
individual, as may best suit those concerned, purchased in violation of
the terms of the law under which the bonds were issued, and in disregard
of the Constitution of Mississippi, of which the law was an infraction.'
These positions are deliberately repeated by Jefferson Davis, in his
second letter, before referred to, of the 29th August, 1849. That is,
the State should pay _none_ of the money received, because the
purchaser, as alleged, had no right to buy the bonds--and because the
sale was, as erroneously stated, an infraction of the law, that is
_usurious_, or a sale below par. He insists the money was not received
by the State, because, he says, 'Mississippi had no bank, and could not
have a bank of issue, because forbidden by the tenth section of the
first article of the United States Constitution--'no State shall emit
bills of credit.'' Surely Mr. Davis must have known, that in the case of
the Bank of Kentucky, a State bank of issue owned exclusively by the
State, it was decided by the Supreme Court of the United States, that
such a bank was constitutional, and no politician of the secession
school can object to that decision. (2 Peters 257.) But however this
might be, what kind of a plea is this? Why, if, as alleged by Mr. Davis,
Mississippi had violated the Federal Constitution, by establishing a
bank of circulation, that therefore the _bonds_ of the State should be
repudiated. Is it not incredible that a Senator should assume such a
position on behalf of his State? But, if this be sound, it clearly
follows, that, inasmuch as the Confederate bonds are issued in plain
violation of the Constitution of the United States, those bonds should
be repudiated; so also if they were sold below par, or if there be any
other technical objection. Nor will it avail that the bonds may have
passed into the hands of _bona fide_ holders, for, Mr. Jefferson Davis
says, in his letter of the 29th August, 1849, 'If the bonds have passed
into the hands of innocent holders, the fact does not vary the legal
question, as the purchaser could not acquire more than the seller had to
dispose of.' And again, he says, referring to the alleged inability of
the first purchaser to buy the bonds, 'The claim of foreign holders is
as good, but no better, than that of the first purchaser.' It is
difficult to say which is most astounding, the law or the morals of this
position. At all events, 'the foreign holders' of Confederate bonds are
informed by Jefferson Davis, that this is the law. Indeed it is a
singular coincidence, that one of the objections made to the payment of
the Union Bank bonds by the Governor, was, as he alleged, 'the monstrous
assumption of power on the part of the bank, in seeking to monopolize
the _cotton crop_ of the State, and becoming a _factor_ and _shipper_ of
our great staple.' (Senate Journals, 29.) Why, this is what is being
attempted by these Confederate cotton bonds, although the State-rights
strict constructionists of slavedom would in vain look for any clause in
their so-called constitution, authorizing any such transactions in
cotton. And here, let me say, that the objection of a Senator from
Mississippi to the payment of her bonds, that, in issuing them, her
Governor and Legislature had violated _their own Constitution_, proposes
to cure one fraud, by committing another far more stupendous. The bonds
were issued by the highest legislative and executive functionaries of
the State, the broad seal of the State attached, the bonds sold, and the
money received. In such a case, there is a legal, as well as a moral
estoppel, forbidding such a plea, for, by the English, as well as by the
American doctrine, an estoppel excludes the truth, whenever such proof
would enable the party, who obtained money on false pretences, to commit
a fraud on third persons, by disproving his own averment. This is not a
mere technical rule, but one which is based upon experience, and
sustained by the most exalted morality.

I have given the several objections made by Governor McNutt and Senator
Davis to the payment of these bonds, with one exception. This will be
found in the following extract from the executive message of Governor
McNutt, (p. 502): 'The bank, I have been informed, has hypothecated
these bonds, and borrowed money upon them of the Baron Rothschild; the
blood of Judas and Shylock flows in his veins, and he unites the
qualities of both his countrymen. He has mortgages on the silver mines
of Mexico and the quicksilver mines of Spain. He has advanced money to
the Sublime Porte, and taken as security a mortgage upon the holy city
of Jerusalem, and the sepulchre of our Saviour. It is for the people to
say, whether he shall have a mortgage upon our cotton fields and make
serfs of our children.' I trust the baron will have the good sense to
smile at such folly, and realize how universally, at least throughout
the North, the malice and dishonesty of these suggestions was condemned
and repudiated. We have no such prejudices, worthy only of the dark
ages, against 'God's chosen people,' 'the descendants of the patriarchs
and prophets,' and the 'countrywomen of the mother of our Lord.'

But this whole question has been twice unanimously decided by the
highest judicial tribunal of Mississippi against the State, and every
point made by Governor McNutt and Jefferson Davis overruled by the
court. One of these decisions was in January term, 1842, more than seven
years before the date of Jefferson Davis's letters, and the other was at
April term, 1853, nearly four years subsequently.

The first decision, at January term, 1842, is in the case of Campbell et
al. _v._ Mississippi Union Bank (6 Howard 625 to 683). In this case it
was pleaded 'that the charter of the Mississippi Union Bank was not
enacted and passed by the Legislature in compliance with the provisions
of the Constitution of the State, in this, that the supplemental act of
15th February, 1838, the same being a law to raise a loan of money on
the credit of the State, was not published and submitted to the
succeeding Legislature, according to the provisions of the Constitution
in 9th section, 7th article.' Here the direct constitutional question
was presented, requiring the decision of the Court. The case was most
elaborately argued on both sides. The able and upright circuit judge,
Hon. B. Harris, had decided that the supplemental act was
constitutional, and the bonds valid, and the High Court of Errors and
Appeals of Mississippi, after full argument on both sides, unanimously
affirmed that decision. In delivering the opinion of this highest
judicial tribunal of the State, and the one designated by the
Legislature in 1833, under the _mandatory_ clause of the Constitution,
Chief Justice Sharkey said:

     'The second plea is, in substance, that the act supplemental to
     the charter of the Union Bank, was not agreed to by a majority
     of each House of the Legislature, and entered on the journals
     with the yeas and nays, and referred to the next succeeding
     Legislature, after publication in the newspapers, according to
     the provisions of the 9th section of the 7th article of the
     Constitution; but the said supplemental act made material
     alterations in the original act, and was only passed by one
     Legislature, and that no loan of money can be made on the faith
     of the State without the assent of two Legislatures, given in
     the manner prescribed by the Constitution.'--'I shall then
     proceed to notice the constitutional provision, and to inquire,
     by an application of it to the bank charter, whether the
     position can be sustained. The 9th section of the 7th article
     (of the Constitution) is in these words: 'No law shall ever be
     passed to raise a loan of money on the credit of the State, for
     the payment or redemption of any loan or debt, unless such law
     be proposed in the Senate or House of Representatives, and be
     agreed to by a majority of the members of each House, and
     entered on their journals, with the yeas and nays taken
     thereon, and be referred to the next succeeding Legislature,
     and published for three months previous to the next regular
     election, in three newspapers of the State, and unless a
     majority of each branch of the Legislature, so elected after
     such publication, shall agree to pass such law, and in such
     case, the yeas and nays shall be taken, and entered on the
     journals of each House.'

     'The 5th section of the original act provides--'That in order
     to facilitate the said Union Bank for the said loan of fifteen
     million five hundred thousand dollars, the faith of this State
     be and is hereby pledged, both for the security of the capital
     and interest,' &c. It appears that the original charter in
     which this provision is contained, was passed in accordance
     with the provision in the Constitution. The supplemental act
     makes no alteration whatever in regard to this section. It
     changes in some respects the mere details of the original
     charter, in the mode of carrying the corporation into
     successful operation, and authorizes the Governor to subscribe
     for the stock on the part of the State. The object of the
     pledge is not changed; on the contrary, the supplemental act
     was passed in aid of the original design. In applying the
     constitutional test to the 5th section, I am not able to
     perceive any reason which to me seems sufficient to justify the
     conclusion that it is unconstitutional.'

     'The plea presents no bar to the action.'

Justices Turner and Trotter concurred.

Mr. Howard, the distinguished State reporter, gives, in the heading of
the case, the following as the decision of the court. 'The act
supplemental to the charter of the Union Bank, being in aid of the
charter, and changing the same only in some of the mere details, is a
constitutional act.'

Surely this decision should have settled the question. But it did not.
The Governor, A. G. McNutt, who had signed the laws authorizing these
bonds, and the bonds themselves, anticipating the decision of the court
(as he indicates in his message) in favor of 'the holders of certain
bonds heretofore issued to the Planters' and Union Bank,' recommends the
Legislature, in his message of January, 1842, to create a 'revenue
court,' the judge of which shall be appointed 'by the Executive or
Legislature,' to which such cases should be transferred. (Sen. Jour. p.
22.) Thus the case, on the bonds, was to be taken from the high tribunal
(where it was then pending) created by the Constitution, and chosen by
the people, and transferred to a revenue judge to be appointed by the
repudiating Governor and Legislature of 1842, of course a mere executive
parasite, or legislative minion, placed on the bench to repudiate the
bonds. Fortunately, such an appointment was forbidden expressly by the
Constitution, and would have been disregarded by the court; so this
attempted usurpation failed.

The Governor says in that message:

     'It never was intended by the framers of the Constitution, that
     every public creditor should be permitted to harass the State
     at pleasure by vexatious suits. Neither the judgment of a court
     nor the decree of the Chancellor _can be obligatory on the
     Legislature_,' &c. (P. 17.)

In conformity with this recommendation of the Governor, the Legislature
passed a series of resolutions declaring that 'the Legislature is the
exclusive judge of the objects for which money shall be raised and
appropriated by its authority,' &c.; that the Legislature has no right
to 'levy or appropriate money for the purpose of executing the object of
a law, by them deemed repugnant to, or unauthorized by the
Constitution;' that the 'Supplemental (Union Bank) Bill is
unconstitutional;' that 'the bonds delivered by said bank, and by it
sold to Nicholas Biddle on the 18th August, 1838, are not binding upon
the State,' &c. (Acts of 1842, ch. 127.) But, unfortunately for these
positions, the Constitution of the State had deprived the Legislature of
all 'judicial power;' it had vested this power exclusively in 'the
courts;' it had, in the very case of all bonds of the State, required
and commanded the Legislature to designate the _courts_ in which such
cases should be decided; it had, by the act of 1833, passed in obedience
to the imperative mandate of the Constitution, referred all such cases
to the decision of the Court of Chancery, with appeal to the High Court
of Errors and Appeals; it had made their decision conclusive; it had
already appropriated the money, to pay _all such decrees_, and made it
the _duty_ of the Governor to command the Auditor to draw his warrant on
the Treasurer for payment: this was the constitution of the law when
these bonds were issued and sold in 1838--such was the _contract_ of the
State, in regard to which the Federal Constitution declares, 'no State
shall pass any law impairing the obligation of contracts'--which clause
has been uniformly held by all the Federal as well as State Courts, to
apply to contracts of a State--and yet, in flagrant defiance of the
highest duties and the most sacred obligations, the Legislature passed
these resolutions, to nullify the anticipated decisions of the court. We
have seen, however, that this executive and legislative usurpation
was ineffectual. The court stood firm, not a single judge
wavered, and, by a unanimous decree, reversed the legislative and
executive repudiation--vindicated the majesty of the law and the
Constitution--upheld the sacred cause of truth and justice--resisted the
popular frenzy, and defied the unprincipled demagogues by whom the
people of the State had been deceived and deluded. It was a noble
spectacle, when those three upright and fearless Judges, Sharkey,
Turner, and Trotter, entered the temple of justice, and declared to the
people, by whose ballots they were chosen, that the State was bound to
pay these bonds, and decreed accordingly. The same sublime scene was
reënacted by a similar decree, in a suit against the State, on one of
these bonds, by the same court, in 1853, then composed of different
judges--Smith, Yerger, and Fisher. And not one judge or chancellor of
the State ever wavered. Amid all this heaven-daring iniquity, thank
God! the judicial ermine was unstained. Whilst constrained to denounce
the repudiating Legislature, Governor, and _Senator_ of Mississippi, let
me point to another green spot amid the moral waste and desolation of
that dreadful period.

With scarcely an exception, the _Bar of Mississippi_ was true to the
cause of honor, law, and justice. They knew the objections of McNutt and
Davis were wretched pretexts, and they vindicated the reputation of that
noble profession, which, in all ages, has been the champion of
constitutional liberty. They were men of the same stamp as their
illustrious English ancestry, Hampden, Sidney, and Russell, whose names
cover the map of my country, and whose deeds have exalted the character
of man; and although the blood of our anti-repudiating heroes did not
flow like that of the British martyrs, as a sacrificial offering on the
altar of freedom, they sacrificed ease, and affluence, and ambition, and
political preferment, and endured obloquy and reproach. I rejoice in the
recollection, that, during this contest they should have selected a
sentence from my address against repudiation, and placed it on their
banners, and at the head of their presses, in these words: 'The honor of
the nation and of every State is the birthright of every American--it is
the stainless and priceless jewel of popular sovereignty--it has been
preserved unsullied, in all times that are past, through every sacrifice
of blood and treasure, and it must be maintained.' Ay! and it will yet
be maintained. The time will come, when repudiation will be repudiated
by Mississippi--when her wretched secession leaders, the true authors of
her disgrace and ruin, will be discarded--when her insolent slaveholding
oligarchy will be overthrown, when the people will break the chains of
their imperious masters, and labor, without regard to color, will be
emancipated. _Secession_, _repudiation_, and _slavery_ are the same in
principle and had the same leaders. Jefferson Davis carried the
repudiation banner in 1849, as he now does that of secession and
slavery. Secession is a repudiation of law, of constitution, of country,
of the flag of our forefathers, and of the Union purchased by their
blood. Driven at home within a circle of fire, which narrows every day,
it is crouching before foreign rulers, and imploring their aid to
accomplish the ruin of our country. It appeals to their ambition, their
avarice, their fears, their hatred of free institutions and of
constitutional government. It summons them to these English shores, it
unsheathes the imperial sceptre in the House of Commons, denounces the
Ministry of England, and dictates the vote of Parliament on the most
momentous question in the history of the world. Why, when these
sentiments were uttered, I almost expected to see the shades of Burke
and Fox, and Pitt and Chatham, and Peel and Wellington, rise in the
midst and denounce the degenerate bearer of such a message. What! the
British Commons become the supple tools, the obsequious minions, the
obedient parasites, to do the bidding of a foreign master, and tremble
when his envoy should stamp his foot and wave the imperial banner in the
halls of Parliament. From whom was this message, and to whom? Was it to
the England of Trafalgar and the Nile? Was it to the descendants of the
men who conquered at Agincourt and Cressy, and changed for ages at
Waterloo the destiny of the world? Why, Nelson would speak from his
monument, and the Iron Duke from his equestrian statue, and forbid the
degradation of their country. But there stood the Confederate messenger,
delivering the mandate of a foreign power to the House of Commons,
describing England as a crawling reptile, exalting the Government he
professed to represent, as controlling the Continent, and fearing lest
the Imperial Eagle alone should swoop down upon his prey. And such
language, such sentiments! Was I in Billingsgate, that ancient and
illustrious institution, so near the House of Parliament? Why, the whole
code of morals and of international law was repudiated in a sentence,
and our demagogues distanced in the race. Did the envoy echo the voice
of his master, when he announced that the American Union must be
dissolved by foreign intervention, because, if reunited, it would be too
strong, and bully the world--therefore France and England combined must
strike us when we were supposed to be weak and divided. It is not the
author of such atrocious and dastard sentiments that would lead the
banner of France or of England anywhere except to humiliation and
disgrace. 'Non talis auxilii, nec defensoribus ipsis.' No, when England
seeks leaders, it will not be the sycophants of power, those who worship
alternately democracy and autocracy, who slaver over despotism one day
with their venom, and the next with their still more loathsome
adulation.

But there was a change. The Ministry, and one of an order supposed to be
our most deadly foes, spoke. There were some opinions as to the results
in which no American could concur--there was deep devotion to
England--but there was also the voice of reason, of justice, of
international law: it was not so cosmopolitan as I expected, but the
argument of felon force and robber violence was discarded. The scholar,
the statesman, the gentleman, the philanthropist addressed the English
Commons. Yes, and the nobility of nature also spoke, one who could rise
above the reputed prejudices of his order, and do justice to a kindred
race of simple republicans, though they may know neither diadems nor
coronets. Such examples exalt and dignify the character of man. They
teach us republicans a useful lesson--that those who differ from us as
to some of the forms of government, may most sincerely support that
system which in their judgment will best promote the welfare and
happiness of the people. That indeed is the only question. Let England
and America work out the problem in peaceful and friendly rivalry. Time
and experience will decide the question. If, when slavery is
extinguished in our Union, and the only aggressive element of our system
is extirpated, we should run a grand and peaceful career of honor and
glory and prosperity, we will want no other argument than the results.
The blasphemous doctrine of the divine rights of kings was discarded by
England in the revolution of 1688. The British throne reposes now on the
alleged basis of the welfare and happiness of the people. What form of
government will best promote that end--this is the only question. I
believe it is ours--but only with slavery extinguished, and universal
education--schools--_schools_--SCHOOLS--common schools--_high schools_
for all. Education the criterion of the right of suffrage, not property.
I do not believe in a government of ignorance, whether by the many or
the few. With the constant and terrible opposing element of slavery, we
have certainly achieved stupendous results in three fourths of a
century, and to say that our system has failed, because slavery now
makes war upon it, is amazing folly. Why predict, that, when reunited,
and with slavery extinguished, we would _bully the world_. Who were our
bullies? Who struck down Charles Sumner, the Senator of Massachusetts,
the eminent scholar and orator, on the floor of the Senate, for
denouncing the horrors of slavery? A South Carolinian, whilst all
slavedom approved the deed. Who endeavored to force slavery on Kansas by
murder and rapine, and the forgery of a constitution? Who repealed the
Missouri Compromise, in order to force slavery upon all the Territories
of the United States? Who are endeavoring now to dissolve the Union, and
spread slavery over all this wide domain? There is a plain answer to
all these questions. It is the lords of the whip and the chain and the
branding iron, who are our bullies--who insist upon forced labor, and
repudiate all compensation to the toiling millions of slaves--who
repudiate, among slaves, the marital and parental relation, and class
them by law as chattels--who forbid emancipation--who make it a crime to
teach slaves to read or write--ay, even the Bible--who keep open the
interstate slave-trade (more horrible than the African, making Virginia
a human stock farm), tearing husband from wife, and parents from
children--founding a government boldly announcing the doctrine of
_property_ in man, based avowedly on the divinity, extension, and
perpetuity of slavery--these are our bullies; and when they are
overthrown, we shall commence a new career of peaceful progress and
advanced civilization. And why sow the seeds of international hatred
between England and America? Is war really desired between the two
countries, or is it supposed that we will yield to foreign intervention
without a struggle? No, the North will rise up as one man, and thousands
even from the South will join them. The country will become a camp, and
the ocean will swarm with our privateers. Rather than submit to
dismemberment or secession, which is anarchy and ruin, we will, we must
fight, until the last man has fallen. The Almighty can never prosper
such a war upon us. If the views of a foreign power have been truly
represented in Parliament, and such an aggression upon us is
contemplated, let him beware, for in such a contest, the political
pyramid resting upon its apex, the power of one man, is much more likely
to fall, than that which reposes on the broad basis of the will of the
people.

Returning from this episode, I resume the narrative.

We have seen the repudiating Executive message and repudiating
legislative resolutions of January, 1842, and their failure to influence
the decision of the court. And now, we approach another act in the
drama. The court having affirmed the constitutionality of the Union Bank
bonds, and as the act of 1833 directed their payment, the Legislature of
1844 enacted a new law, in these words: 'That hereafter, no judgment or
decree of any court of law or equity having jurisdiction of suits
against the State, shall be paid by warrants on the Treasurer, or
otherwise, without an appropriation by law, any former law or usage to
the contrary notwithstanding.' The 'law and usage' were plain, to pay
such decrees, as required by the law and Constitution; but both were
disregarded, and the act of 1833, for all practical purposes, repealed.
It remained in part, on the statute book, only to invite to the
gambler's game of 'odd I win, even you lose'--that is, if, under the act
of 1833, there should be a decision in any case in favor of the State,
it should be conclusive, but if against the State, the money should not
be paid, where (as in the case of these bonds) the Legislature differed
from the court, and had already repudiated its decision. Such was the
action of the Legislature in 1842 and 1844. In 1842, it repudiated, in
advance, the decision of the court on these bonds, and, after that
decision, repealed so much of the law as required the payment of the
decrees of the court. Now, with a full knowledge of these facts, is it
not amazing, incredible, that, several years subsequently, Mr. Jefferson
Davis should have declared, in his first letter of 1849, 'By the
Constitution and laws of Mississippi, any creditor of the State may
bring suit against the State, and test his claim as against an
individual; but, conscious that they have no valid claim, they have not
sought the remedy;' and he repeats this averment, substantially, in his
second letter. Now, who would have supposed, that more than five years
before the date of Mr. Davis's letters, the highest judicial tribunal
of the State, the one designated by the law and the Constitution, had
already unanimously decided that these bonds were valid, and that the
State Legislature, instead of paying the money, had _repealed the
appropriation_. But there came a new court, all chosen by the people,
under the wretched system, in many of the States, of an elective
judiciary, but unknown to the independent Federal judicial system. A
suit was brought in 1851, under the act of 1833, on one of the Union
Bank State bonds and coupons before the Chancellor. After elaborate
argument, the Chancellor decided against the State, and entered a decree
for the payment of the money. The State, as authorized by the law,
appealed from this decision to its own High Court of Errors and Appeals,
elected by the people.

Surely, it was supposed, that this new court, so recently chosen by the
people, after the legislative repudiation, would be governed by '_a
proper regard for the public interest and public opinion_.' Before the
Chancellor, as well as the High Court, all the objections made by
Governor McNutt and Senator Davis were earnestly pressed by the
Attorney-General of the State and associate counsel, but in vain; the
decision of the Chancellor was against the State, and it was unanimously
affirmed by the High Court. This case will be found reported by the
State reporter, Johnson _v._ The State, April term, 1853. (3 Cushman,
625 to 882,--257 pages.)

In this case, the bond sued on is given in the record, and will be found
an exact copy of that (heretofore quoted) under the original act, which
had passed two successive Legislatures, the principal as well as coupons
being payable in Federal currency.

On the reverse side of the bond is the following:

     '£450 sterling. The President, Directors, and Co. of the
     Mississippi Union Bank, do hereby designate the agency of the
     Bank of the United States in London, as the place of payment of
     the within bond and interest, and hereby assign and transfer
     the same for value received to the bearer, principal equal to
     £450 sterling, and guarantee the payment of the same at the
     place designated.

                                 'S. GWIN, _Cashier_.

                                 'H. G. RUNNELLS, _President_.

     'Mississippi State Bond, No. 91. 'Redeemable February 25th,
     1850.'

As to the place where the bond was made payable, there could be no
objection, for the original, as well as the supplemental act, gave full
authority to make the bonds payable abroad. But as to the objection that
they were said to be payable in sterling, at the rate of four shillings
and sixpence to the pound, the answer was, as shown: 1st. That this was
the true rate of exchange. 2d. That the bond was payable in Federal
currency, and this was all the bondholder ever asked from the State. As
to the allegation that the bonds were sold below par, the court showed
most conclusively from the facts and agreed case, that they were sold
above par, and their constitutionality was fully affirmed.

The argument of the Attorney-General (Glenn) for the State, embraced 32
printed pages; in addition to which was an elaborate argument by his
associate, Mr. Stearns. The opinion of Chief Justice Smith embraced 45
pages, the concurring opinion of Justice Yerger, 27 pages, and Justice
Fisher concurred. The State was not satisfied, but moved for a
reargument, that of Wharton for the State, embracing 54 pages, and that
of Mays, on the same side, 32 pages; but the court adhered to their
decision, and unanimously affirmed the decree of the Chancellor against
the State. The decision of the court, in the heading of the case, is
thus given by the reporter.

     'The bonds might have been legally issued to the bank, by the
     Governor, on the 5th June, 1838, pursuant to the provision of
     the original charter of the bank, and the faith of the State
     pledged for the purpose of raising the capital.' 'The
     supplement was not void in consequence of not having been
     passed in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution
     contained in the 7th article, 9th section of that instrument.'
     'The object of the original pledge of the faith of the State,
     was not changed by the supplemental charter, but it was passed
     in aid of the original charter.' 'Campbell _v._ Union Bank (6
     Howard 625) _cited and confirmed_.' 'The liability of the
     State, under the operation of the charter of the bank, attached
     so soon or whenever the bonds were legally executed to the
     bank, and the execution of the mortgages was neither a
     condition precedent to the pledge of the faith of the State,
     nor the condition on which the State bonds were to be executed
     and delivered.' 'It does not appear from the facts that the
     bonds were sold for less than their par value. Held that the
     sale was neither illegal nor void.' 'If the commissioners in
     the sale of the bonds received 'sterling money of Great
     Britain' at the rate of four shillings and sixpence to the
     pound, that is not such an act on their part as would avoid the
     bonds.'

Here, then, the whole case was again fully decided in 1853, by the very
tribunal to which Jefferson Davis, in 1849, invited the bondholders. And
did he or the State then yield or pay the obligations. Not at all, but
they adhered to the repudiation of these bonds, disregarded and defied
the decision of the court, and have never paid one dollar of principal
or interest, and never will, so long as slavery exists in Mississippi.

And now, after the almost unanimous passage of the supplemental act in
1838, the sanction of the Legislature in 1839 and 1841, the decision of
the Circuit Court and Chancellor, and of the High Court of Errors and
Appeals, how strange is the assertion of Mr. Slidell, that 'The Union
Bank bonds were issued in direct violation of an express constitutional
provision.' It is a well settled principle of American law, so
adjudicated by the State Courts, as well as by the Supreme Court of the
United States, that, 1st, To authorize the court to decide that a law is
unconstitutional, the repugnance to the Constitution must be '_plain and
palpable_.' 2d., That the interpretation given by the _highest court of
a State_, to a State law, or constitution, '_is conclusive_.' But the
truth is, as is proved by Mr. Slidell's own letter (having never resided
in the State), he knew nothing of the subject, or he never would have
spoken of Jefferson Davis as 'Governor,' or alluded to 'his
administration,' when he never held that office. But it is of some
moment, at least to the unfortunate bondholders, that the minister of
Jefferson Davis at Paris, _avers now_ that these bonds are
_unconstitutional_.

But, Mr. Slidell says, 'There is a wide difference between these bonds
and those of the Planters' Bank, for the repudiation of which, neither
excuse nor palliation can be offered.'

Now, in a subsequent letter, I will prove conclusively, from authentic
documents, that the State of Mississippi has, _most effectually_,
repudiated those bonds also, and that Jefferson Davis has sustained that
repudiation.

In the case, also, of another slaveholding State, I will prove, from the
public documents, that Jefferson Davis volunteered to sustain her in the
repudiation of her State bonds, in a case more atrocious, if possible,
than that of Mississippi. As Jefferson Davis is now at the head of a
slaveholding conspiracy, endeavoring to destroy the Government of my
country, and is now also engaged in selling worthless Confederate bonds
in this market, I have deemed it my duty to make this publication.

                                                    R. J. WALKER.

NOTE.--Since this was written, the supposed menacing message from the
Continent has been officially contradicted. Surely, however, I had a
right to conclude, after such solemn assurances from a member to the
House, that, although acting in the character of a Confederate
messenger, and avowing such atrocious sentiments, he at least spoke the
truth on that point.

                                                    R. J. W.



EVERGREEN BEAUTY.


Perhaps if my early home had stood upon an island of evergreens, or if I
had dreamed my first bright dreams among pine hills and cliffs of
laurel, I should have loved their changeless beauty less. But through
all my early years I saw but little of our native evergreens, and none
of cultured, save a stunted cedar, that grew, or, rather, refused to
grow, in our front yard at home; and thus they have ever attracted me
exceedingly--the charm of rarity and novelty being added for me to their
exceeding beauty.

And yet, if brought up among them, I might but have loved them more. For
all I know of philosophy, if I had been earlier familiar with shrubs,
hedges, groups, cedared cliffs, and tall forests of evergreens, they
might have brought me still nobler conceptions, a more exquisite sense
of beauty, than they now do.

Be that as it may, two years 'among the pines' of Virginia and her piny
mountains, have enriched my mind with rare pictures of scenic beauty
that shall keep fresh and green in memory while memory endures! I am no
botanist, I have made no studies of the evergreens, nor shall I attempt
to write of them as scholar or critic, but only as a fascinated
observer. I neither care to know or tell whether the shrubs and trees in
my evergreen pictures are angiosperms or gymnosperms; we have no
'transportation' for text books for students! During these two years,
however, I have been charmed with a thousand views of landscape scenery,
embracing every form, hue, and combination of our lovely native
evergreens, whether on mountain, hill, or plain. I have seen them along
winding streams, with backgrounds of bold, rocky bluffs; sweeping across
undulating plains; rising with the uplifting mountains; peering into and
over romantic mountain gorges; and growing up through the interstices of
bowldered cascades. Or, standing on the mountain peaks, I have seen them
sweep away into the vastness and grandeur of mighty, varied, and almost
boundless expanse. These are but parts of my evergreen pictures. I have
looked upon a simple holly bush when the wind of winter was upon it,
scattering in lovely fragments its pure white robe of snow, revealing
the gleaming of the rich green leaves, and the half-hidden clusters of
the carmine berries. Three distinct colors thrown carelessly together,
but no want of harmony--only pure and exquisite beauty!

In the summer months our evergreens are greatly less noticeable. They
are overshadowed and eclipsed by the rich and exuberant foliage of our
common but noble forest trees; but their beauty is not, even then, lost.
They give variety of hues to the forests which they fringe or help to
form; variety of shapes, and always exquisite, spicy, and healthful
odors. But when the autumn comes, with its infinitely varied tintings of
orange and vermilion; when the frost works its wonders, and the wooded
hills are clothed with splendor--then the rich groups of our native
evergreens rise in their immortality of freshness. How exquisitely their
bright unfading green sets off and contrasts with the rich golds,
glowing scarlets, russet browns, purples, and crimsons, in all their
delicate shades and evanescent hues! The forest leaves grow sere and
fall from their stems, sailing down singly or in groups, like bevies of
frightened birds, until the hickory, oak, maple, and elm stand
uncrowned, disrobed, lifting their bare arms to the winter skies; then
higher and ever higher rises, as the gloom of winter deepens, the glory
of evergreen shrub and tree.

The fields are dull russet, the forests are black, each tree seems a
skeleton; all nature, save the evergreen, looks dead. But our mountains
of firs, our hills of pine, our groves of cedar, our thickets of holly,
our cliffs crowned with laurel, full of life, and covered with
unchangeable verdure, keep eternally fresh and beautiful. Then come the
great white silent snowflakes, sailing round and falling gently down,
alighting on trunk, branch, and leaf, and covering and draping the
hills, until they are pure and fair as the hills of Beulah. There is a
dreamlike beauty in an evergreen forest mantled with snow. What words
could tell the purity of coloring, the gracefulness of form of the pine
boughs bending under their white burden of feathery crystals? Especially
is this true of the young and pliant trees in hedgerows and thickets,
and such as are everywhere springing up over the waste and wornout lands
of Virginia.

The old monarch pine stands out like a sculptured column of ebony
against the blue sky. Its umbel top, crowned with white, makes a fitting
capital for a shaft so noble. It is a picture, in and of itself. The
shrubs and young trees, so rich in leaves and verdure, so pliant to the
lines and curves of grace, when happily and picturesquely grouped, are
almost bewilderingly beautiful. Yet perhaps that which contains in
itself the greatest number of the elements of beauty, is the
medium-sized pyramidal tree, be it of spruce, Norway pine, or balsam
fir. It unites at once, in its pyramidal shape, the strength and majesty
of the old, and in its gracefully curved limbs and abundant leaves, the
beauty and freshness of the young tree. When loaded down with a spotless
burden of snow until its limbs are almost ready to break, no pyramid of
art, no monument chiselled by human hands, can hope to approach its pure
and model beauty.

The evergreen itself, however, seems to know no season but spring. In
none other does it appear to change, and even then it casts not off the
old--it only puts on the new in tenderer and fresher beauty! The new
growth of the spruce and fir, the pale yellowish-green tips set in the
dark old background, are exquisitely lovely; nor are the light green
shoots of the white, yellow, and pitch pine much, less beautiful.

Later comes the glory of the laurel bloom, the most beautiful woodflower
in our climate. As the other trees put on their leaves successively, the
tinting of light, dark, and yellowish green are infinitely varied and
pleasing.

Nor must I pass over, in my picture of evergreen, the mosses and ferns
of the mountains of Virginia. More fragile than the trees and shrubs,
they cannot be considered less beautiful. Indeed, the mosses of Cheat
Mountain are the most luxuriant, exquisite, delicate, and richly
beautiful things in nature. No dream of fairyland could, to my
imagination, be lovelier than are the evergreen heights of these
mountains, covered, matted, fringed, heaped, piled as they are with the
greatest variety of mosses of the most delicate texture, feathery forms,
and wondrously beautiful combinations. No one who has not seen them can
have any just conception of mountain mosses, nor of the marvellous
luxuriance of beauty with which they clothe rock, and tree, and earth,
and everything upon these lone wild slopes and summits. Over the rocks,
amid the mosses, hang the long pendent ferns, in richer, darker green.
And with the grand old pine and fir trees lifting their heads to the
heavens, and the thick tanglewood of shrub and underbrush, there is
grandeur, grace, and beauty in bewildering, changeful, and ravishing
confusion.

How I have loved, in leisure hours, to turn aside from the stern duties
of the field, or the dull monotony of the camp, to gallop under the
great pines, or wind through pathless thickets and native parks of
evergreen, feasting my very soul on their eternal freshness and glory!
How I have loved to see 'Black Hawk' crush with his feet, and sink up to
his fetlocks, in the tender and fairy-like mosses that drape the
mountains! How I have delighted to weave the trailing evergreens into
wreaths, trellises, and bowers in front of my white tent! And, alas!
with hushed and solemn pride, I have planted the holly and the pine on
the graves of my dead comrades, hoping they might live in all their
wondrous beauty over the quiet mound, and keep green the memory of the
brave forever!



DYING IN THE HOSPITAL.


    I am dying, mother, dying, in the hospital alone;
    With a hundred faces round me, not a single one is known;
    And the human heart within me, like a fluttering, wounded dove,
    Hungers with a ceaseless yearning for one answering word of love.

    Oh, 'tis hard, 'tis hard, my mother, thus to linger day by day,
    Dying here, without the music of the battle's fierce array;--
    Dying, far from home and kindred, robbed of all life's dearest ties,
    With the eager eyes out-gazing but to meet with stranger eyes.

    It were sweet to fall, my mother, with the battle raging round,
    And to leap from earth to heaven at a single patriot-bound;
    It were sweet to feel that glory would check the tears of woe--
    That o'er hearts whose griefs were deepest a gush of pride would flow.

    But to lie at night, dear mother, and to list the warder's tread,
    As it falls upon my heart, I seem a prisoner with the dead;
    And I long to lose my sense of pain, to find a calm release,
    And to sink each vain, vain longing, in a silent sea of peace.

    Oh, could I see, dear mother, the dog that guards our door,
    It would make each life throb at my heart beat quicker than before;
    And the nursing of your own dear hands, the breath of our old hills,
    Would send a flood of fresh life back through all these draining rills.

    But it may not be, loved mother: I must die here, all alone;
    Where, a hundred faces round me, not a single one is known;
    With the human heart within me hungering, like a wounded dove,
    For the soft glance of my mother, and her dear home-words of love.

    Oh, the heart of man, loved mother, is as dauntless as a rock
    In a time of mortal danger--in the battle's deadly shock;
    But alone--alone and dying, how he craves affection's ties--
    Craves a woman's strength in weakness, and the lovelight in her eyes!

    Oh, the dreams, the dreams, my mother, that have vanished from my sky,
    Like the misty mountain vapors that before the sunlight fly--
    All the golden dreams of glory, with their rainbow tints of fame,
    That would link with deeds of valor my bright, my deathless name!

    Where are they now, dear mother? Like a mirage of the plain,
    Like a bubble on the ocean, like a jewel on the main,
    Like the sweetest flowers of autumn, when they feel the biting frost,
    All those glorious aspirations--they are lost, forever lost!

    Yet if I could live, my mother, I know I still should go
    And help to rid our country of her fratricidal foe;
    For you have taught me, long ago, that he was no true man
    Who would not, in a time like this, step forward with the van.

    And though I leave, my mother, no laurel crown of fame,
    There is not linked with my past life a single breath of shame;
    And though I ne'er shall see your face, I will no more complain,
    For I know that not a sparrow falleth to the ground in vain.

    But another dawn, sweet mother, is breaking o'er me now;
    When to-morrow's sunlight beameth, it will find a calm, cold brow;
    And another rough, rude coffin will be taken from the door:
    God bless you, dearest mother, and good-by forevermore!



LITERARY NOTICES.


     WEAK LUNGS, AND HOW TO MAKE THEM STRONG; or, Diseases of the
     Organs of the Chest, with their Home Treatment by the Movement
     Cure. By DIO LEWIS, M. D. Profusely illustrated. Ticknor &
     Fields, Boston, 1863.

Diet, air, sunshine, dress, exercise, and water, are all indispensable
hygienic agents, but considerable knowledge and experience are necessary
for their proper adaptation to particular cases. Dr. Lewis's work is
designed (to a certain degree) to impart such knowledge, and, while the
general rules he gives cannot fail to be useful to all, we doubt not
there are many instances of the especial malady under consideration in
which the proposed mode of treatment would prove entirely efficacious.
The numerous and carefully elaborated illustrations contained in the
book render the application of the text simple and easy. The feature
which especially pleases us is, that arrangements are made for home
treatment, for, if there is anything depressing to the human spirit, it
is an association of invalids. We do not mean a regular hospital, where
people are suffering from acute forms of disease, and are learning and
teaching the grand lessons of patience, endurance, and fortitude so
necessary to humanity, but a community of individuals, able to walk
about, talk to one another, and be generally engrossed with one idea,
the pursuit of health. We once spent thirty days in a water-cure
establishment, and can truly say that it was one of the most miserable
months we ever passed. The totally physical atmosphere, the selfish,
material countenances surrounding us, weighed upon our spirit until our
nerves gave way, and we wondered which were on the broad road to
insanity, our companions or ourselves. We examined narrowly, and found
(in the generality of cases) that the angels within the bodies of those
men and women had had their wings cut away until nothing remained but
the senses and the limited knowledge they are capable of conveying.

Our experience may have been peculiarly unfortunate, but it has rendered
us always happy to welcome a rational treatment of disease that may be
pursued at home. Self-denial and activity are the two principal lessons
inculcated in the work; and if we be careful to lift them from the body
to the soul, we need not fear the slight tinge of materialism that seems
almost inseparable from essays on bodily health. We repeat that Dr.
Lewis's book abounds in excellent suggestions, essential to all, and its
wide circulation will doubtless tend to the improvement of the general
health of our people. Those even who, in some points, fail to agree with
the author, must acknowledge the usefulness and practicability of the
general ideas advanced, together with the simplicity of their
application.


     LIFE OF CHOPIN, by F. LISZT. Translated from the French by
     MARTHA WALKER COOK. 12mo, pp. 202. Philadelphia: F. Leypoldt.
     New York: F. W. Christern and James Miller. 2d Edition.

We are glad to see that this little work has already gone into its
second edition. It gives evidence that, in spite of our domestic
afflictions, more interest is felt in this country for art, than is
generally believed to be the case, even by the most astute publishers
among us. In calling the attention of our readers to this second edition
of Liszt's 'Chopin,' we do not think we can do better than place before
them the following extracts from a critique which appeared in the New
York _Daily Tribune_ of June 11th, 1863.

'The lovers of musical art may justly be congratulated on the appearance
of this extraordinary biographical study in an appropriate English
dress. It is the enthusiastic tribute of a man of noble genius to a
kindred spirit, whose mastership he acknowledged, and with whom he
cherished a deep and tender friendship, beyond the vitiating touch of
personal or artistic rivalry. The volume, indeed, affords a no less
admirable illustration of the impulsive, generous, unworldly character
of the author, than of the rare and wonderful gifts of its unique
subject. It is the product of the heart rather than the head, and its
frequent passages of childlike _naïveté_, its transparent revelations of
the inmost soul of the writer, and the radiant atmosphere of spiritual
beauty in which thoughts and images are melted together with a magic
spell, transport it from the sphere of prose composition to that of high
poetry. In spite of the trammels of words, it gives expression to the
same subtle and ethereal conceptions which inspired the genius of Liszt
as a musical artist. As a sketch of the life of the great composer, it
possesses an interest with which few biographical works can compare; but
no details of incident could imprison the soul of the author; and a fine
æsthetic aroma breathes from every page, fragrant with the blossoming
out of a rich, original nature, as well as with an exquisite sense of
art.

'Chopin was born in Poland, near Warsaw, in the year 1810. His boyhood
was marked by no events that gave promise of the greatness of his future
career. He early became the victim of ill health, which was almost the
perpetual torment of his after life. He grew up in simple and quiet
habits, surrounded by the purest influences, conversant with bright
examples of piety, modesty, and integrity, which gave to his imagination
'the velvety tenderness that characterizes the plants which have never
been exposed to the dust of the beaten highways.' Commencing the study
of music when he was but nine years old, he was soon after confided to a
passionate disciple of Sebastian Bach, who for many years directed his
studies in accordance with the prevailing classic models. Through the
liberality of a distinguished patron of art, Prince Radziwill, he was
placed in one of the first colleges in Warsaw, where he received a
finished education in every branch of learning. The following picture,
although partaking of the nature of a fancy piece, is introduced by
Liszt, from the pen of one of the greatest living writers of fiction, as
a just representation of the youthful artist at this period of his life.

     'Gentle, sensitive, and very lovely, at fifteen years of age he
     united the charms of adolescence with the gravity of a more
     mature age. He was delicate both in body and in mind. Through
     the want of muscular development he retained a peculiar beauty,
     an exceptional physiognomy, which had, if we may venture so to
     speak, neither age nor sex. It was not the bold and masculine
     air of a descendant of a race of magnates, who know nothing but
     drinking, hunting, and making war; neither was it the
     effeminate loveliness of a cherub _couleur de rose_. It was
     more like the ideal creations with which the poetry of the
     Middle Ages adorned the Christian temples: a beautiful angel,
     with a form pure and slight as a young god of Olympus, with a
     face like that of a majestic woman filled with a divine sorrow,
     and as the crown of all, an expression at the same time tender
     and severe, chaste and impassioned.

     'This expression revealed the depths of his being. Nothing
     could be purer, more exalted than his thoughts; nothing more
     tenacious, more exclusive, more intensely devoted, than his
     affections.... But he could only understand that which closely
     resembled himself.... Everything else only existed for him as a
     kind of annoying dream which he tried to shake off while living
     with the rest of the world. Always plunged in reveries,
     realities displeased him. As a child, he could never touch a
     sharp instrument without injuring himself with it; as a man, he
     never found himself face to face with a being different from
     himself without being wounded by the living contradiction....

     'He was preserved from a constant antagonism by a voluntary and
     almost inveterate habit of never seeing or hearing anything
     which was disagreeable to him, unless it touched upon his
     personal affections. The beings who did not think as he did,
     were only phantoms in his eyes. As his manners were polished
     and graceful, it was easy to mistake his cold disdain or
     insurmountable aversion for benevolent courtesy....

     'He never spent an hour in open-hearted expansiveness, without
     compensating for it by a season of reserve. The moral causes
     which induced such reserve were too slight, too subtle, to be
     discovered by the naked eye. It was necessary to use the
     microscope to read his soul, into which so little of the light
     of the living ever penetrated....

     'With such a character, it seems strange he should have had
     friends: yet he had them, not only the friends of his mother,
     who esteemed him as the noble son of a noble mother, but
     friends of his own age, who loved him ardently, and who were
     loved by him in return.... He had formed a high ideal of
     friendship; in the age of early illusions he loved to think
     that his friends and himself, brought up nearly in the same
     manner, with the same principles, would never change their
     opinions, and that no formal disagreement could ever occur
     between them....

     'He was externally so affectionate, his education had been so
     finished, and he possessed so much natural grace, that he had
     the gift of pleasing even where he was not personally known.
     His exceeding loveliness was immediately prepossessing, the
     delicacy of his constitution rendered him interesting in the
     eyes of women, the full yet graceful cultivation of his mind,
     the sweet and captivating originality of his conversation,
     gained for him the attention of the most enlightened men. Men
     less highly cultivated, liked him for his exquisite courtesy of
     manner. They were so much the more pleased with this, because,
     in their simplicity, they never imagined it was the graceful
     fulfilment of a duty into which no real sympathy entered.

     'Could such people have divined the secrets of his mystic
     character, they would have said he was more amiable than
     loving--and with respect to them, this would have been true.
     But how could they have known that his real, though rare
     attachments, were so vivid, so profound, so undying?...

     'Association with him in the details of life was delightful. He
     filled all the forms of friendship with an unaccustomed charm,
     and when he expressed his gratitude, it was with that deep
     emotion which recompenses kindness with usury. He willingly
     imagined that he felt himself every day dying; he accepted the
     cares of a friend, hiding from him, lest it should render him
     unhappy, the little time he expected to profit by them. He
     possessed great physical courage, and if he did not accept with
     the heroic recklessness of youth the idea of approaching death,
     at least he cherished the expectation of it with a kind of
     bitter pleasure.'...

'After completing his studies in harmony with a celebrated master, he
complied with the wishes of his parents, who desired that he should
travel, in order that he should become familiar with the best musical
productions under the advantage of their perfect execution. For this
purpose he visited many of the German cities, and was absent from Warsaw
on one of his excursions when the revolution broke out in the autumn of
1830. He was thus forced to remain in Vienna, and was heard there in
some concerts, but failed to receive the appreciation from the artistic
public of that city which he had a right to anticipate. Leaving Vienna,
he repaired to Paris, which was henceforth to be the scene of his
brilliant triumphs. His constitution, being frail and delicate, could
not long sustain the rude shocks of life unscathed, and we accordingly
find Chopin at the age of thirty with rapidly declining health; and for
the next decade, his existence was only a continued succession of the
alternations of disease. At last, he began to fail so rapidly that the
fears of his friends assumed the shape of despair. He scarcely ever left
his bed, and spoke but rarely.

     'His sister, upon receiving this intelligence, came from Warsaw
     to take her place at his pillow, which she left no more. He
     witnessed the anguish, the presentiments, the redoubled sadness
     around him, without showing what impression they made upon him.
     He thought of death with Christian calm and resignation, yet he
     did not cease to prepare for the morrow. From week to week and
     soon from day to day, the cold shadow of death gained upon him.
     His end was rapidly approaching; his sufferings became more and
     more intense; his crises grew more frequent, and at each
     accelerated occurrence resembled more and more a mortal agony.
     He retained his presence of mind, his vivid will upon their
     intermission, until the last; neither losing the precision of
     his ideas, nor the clear perception of his intentions. The
     wishes which he expressed in his short moments of respite,
     evinced the calm solemnity with which he contemplated the
     approach of death.'

'The inevitable hour came finally not without a certain strange,
romantic beauty in its solemn aspects.

     'The parlor adjoining the chamber of Chopin was constantly
     occupied by some of his friends, who, one by one, in turn,
     approached him to receive a sign of recognition, a look of
     affection, when he was no longer able to address them in words.
     On Sunday, the 15th of October, his attacks were more violent
     and more frequent--lasting for several hours in succession. He
     endured them with patience and great strength of mind. The
     Countess Delphine Potocka, who was present, was much
     distressed; her tears were flowing fast when he observed her
     standing at the foot of his bed; tall, slight, draped in white,
     resembling the beautiful angels created by the imagination of
     the most devout among the painters. Without doubt, he supposed
     her to be a celestial apparition; and when the crisis left him
     a moment in repose, he requested her to sing; they deemed him
     at first seized with delirium, but he eagerly repeated his
     request. Who could have ventured to oppose his wish? The piano
     was rolled from his parlor to the door of his chamber, while,
     with sobs in her voice, and tears streaming down her cheeks,
     his gifted countrywoman sang. Certainly, this delightful voice
     had never before attained an expression so full of profound
     pathos. He seemed to suffer less as he listened. She sang that
     famous Canticle to the Virgin, which, it is said, once saved
     the life of Siradella. 'How beautiful it is!' he exclaimed. 'My
     God, how very beautiful! Again--again!' Though overwhelmed with
     emotion, the Countess had the noble courage to comply with the
     last wish of a friend, a compatriot; she again took a seat at
     the piano, and sang a hymn from Marcello. Chopin again feeling
     worse, everybody was seized with fright--by a spontaneous
     impulse all who were present threw themselves upon their
     knees--no one ventured to speak; the sacred silence was only
     broken by the voice of the Countess, floating, like a melody
     from heaven, above the sighs and sobs which formed its heavy
     and mournful earth accompaniment. It was the haunted hour of
     twilight; a dying light lent its mysterious shadows to this sad
     scene--the sister of Chopin, prostrated near his bed, wept and
     prayed--and never quitted this attitude of supplication while
     the life of the brother she had so cherished lasted.

     'His condition altered for the worse during the night, but he
     felt more tranquil upon Monday morning, and as if he had known
     in advance the appointed and propitious moment, he asked to
     receive immediately the last sacraments. In the absence of the
     Abbé ----, with whom he had been very intimate since their
     common expatriation, he requested that the Abbé Jelowicki, one
     of the most distinguished men of the Polish emigration, should
     be sent for. When the holy Viaticum was administered to him, he
     received it, surrounded by those who loved him, with great
     devotion. He called his friends a short time afterward, one by
     one, to his bedside, to give each of them his last earnest
     blessing; calling down the grace of God fervently upon
     themselves, their affections, and their hopes--every knee
     bent--every head bowed--all eyes were heavy with tears--every
     heart was sad and oppressed--every soul elevated.

     'Attacks, more and more painful, returned and continued during
     the day; from Monday night until Tuesday, he did not utter a
     single word. He did not seem able to distinguish the persons
     who were around him. About eleven o'clock on Tuesday evening he
     appeared to revive a little. The Abbé Jelowicki had never left
     him. Hardly had he recovered the power of speech, than he
     requested him to recite with him the prayers and litanies for
     the dying. He was able to accompany the Abbé in an audible and
     intelligible voice. From this moment until his death, he held
     his head constantly supported upon the shoulder of M. Gutman,
     who, during the whole course of this sickness, had devoted his
     days and nights to him.

     'A convulsive sleep lasted until the 17th of October, 1849. The
     final agony commenced about two o'clock; a cold sweat ran
     profusely from his brow; after a short drowsiness, he assessed
     in a voice scarcely audible: 'Who is near me?' Being answered;
     he bent his head to kiss the hand of M. Gutman, who still
     supported it--while giving this last tender proof of love and
     gratitude, the soul of the artist left its fragile clay. He
     died as he had lived--in loving.

     'His love for flowers being well known, they were brought in
     such quantities the next day, that the bed in which they had
     placed them, and indeed the whole room, almost disappeared,
     hidden by their varied and brilliant hues. He seemed to repose
     in a garden of roses. His face regained its early beauty, its
     purity of expression, its long unwonted serenity. Calmly--with
     his youthful loveliness, so long dimmed by bitter suffering,
     restored by death--he slept among the flowers he loved, the
     last long and dreamless sleep!'

'We must not forget to thank the intelligent translator of this volume
for the fidelity with which she has executed her by no means easy task.
The elevated, almost aerial conceptions of Liszt, often seeming as if
they disdained the bonds of language, are presented in lucid, idiomatic
English, which derives a certain vital force more from warmth of
sympathy with the original than from the use of any of the arts of
vigorous expression.'


     ROCKFORD; or, Sunshine and Storm. By Mrs. LILLIE DEVEREUX
     UMSTED. Author of Southwold. Carleton, publisher, 413 Broadway,
     New York.

A novel of considerable ability. The characters are well drawn, and the
moral unexceptionable. The scenes occur in fashionable life; the
descriptions are vivid, the conversations (in which it abounds) are easy
and sparkling, and the pictures of social life varied and interesting.


     GOOD THOUGHTS IN BAD TIMES, AND OTHER PAPERS. By THOMAS FULLER,
     D. D. Price, $1.50. Ticknor & Fields, Boston.

Coleridge says of Fuller: 'Next to Shakespeare, I am not certain whether
he, beyond all other writers, does not excite in me the sense and
emotion of the marvellous.'

Thomas Fuller was born in 1608, was a chaplain in the army during the
great civil war in England, and died in 1661, so that much of his
fifty-four years of life was spent among no very peaceful scenes. He
followed the army with a loyal heart and courageous spirit, and wrought
earnestly to mitigate the violence of hostile parties. One of the wisest
and wittiest divines who have ever ascended the pulpit, he has left
behind him a fame second to none who have labored to elevate and make
their fellow creatures better. 'Untiring humor seemed the ruling passion
of his soul. With a heart open to all innocent pleasures, purged from
the leaven of malice and uncharitableness, it was as natural that he
should be full of mirth as it is for the grasshopper to chirp or bee to
hum, or the birds to warble in the spring breeze and bright sunshine.'

His good thoughts are clothed in pure and beautiful language, are wise,
quaint, genial, and witty. Being collected and matured during his
marches and countermarches through the country at the time of the great
civil war, we look upon their present publication as very timely and
judicious, considering the disturbed state of our own suffering country.


     THE GENTLEMAN. By GEORGE H. CALVERT. Ticknor & Fields. Boston.
     Price, 75 cts.

A book which we hope will have a wide circulation, and exercise a
beneficial influence in this country. It is no superficial essay on
external matters of etiquette, or even of mere æsthetic culture: it goes
to the very heart of the meaning of the abused word, Gentleman, and
proves its root to be _unselfishness_. The author says: 'It is the
_moral_ element which, in my conception of the gentleman, is pivotal.
Dealing with the highest type, I conceive that in that type not only are
morals primary, but that manners result from them; so that where there
is not a solid substratum of pure, elevated feeling there cannot be a
clean, high, and unaffected demeanor.' 'The true gentleman is a
Christian product.

              'The best of men
    That e'er wore earth about him was a sufferer,
    A soft, meek, patient, humble, tranquil spirit,
    The first true gentleman that ever breathed.''

These views are illustrated with genius and scholarship. Their
dissemination among ourselves is especially important, because our ideas
of what is requisite to form a gentleman are essentially vague, crude,
unformed, and often false.

It is no dull book of commonplace thoughts, but a high and noble essay
on an important subject, and we commend it to the attention of our
readers. Let him who would look upon the reverse of the gentleman, turn
to the Editor's Table of the July issue of THE CONTINENTAL, and regard
the repulsive sketch of the 'Southern Colonel,' whose ideal seems to be
'Brandy Smash and Cocktails.' Alas! that such ideals too frequently
occur among ourselves. Bayard and Sir Philip Sydney are valuable studies
for our own young and gallant soldiers.


     POINT OF HONOR. By the Author of the 'Morals of May Fair,'
     'Creeds,' &c., &c. Harper & Brothers, publishers, Franklin
     Square, New York.

This is no sensational tale. Its interest is not derived from intricacy
of plot or mysterious developments; it presents us with admirable
studies of male and female character, the traits of which are manifested
in the progress of the plot. The portraits are detailed, natural, and
living; the heroine feminine and lovely. The moral is good, and the
'Point of Honor' ably displayed.


     SCIENCE FOR THE SCHOOL AND FAMILY. Part I. Natural Philosophy.
     By WORTHINGTON HOOKER, M. D., Professor of the Theory and
     Practice of Medicine in Yale College, Author of 'Human
     Physiology,' 'Child's Book of Nature,' 'Natural History,' &c.,
     Illustrated by nearly 300 engravings. Harper & Brothers,
     publishers, Franklin Square, New York.

A valuable offering to teachers and pupils.

Professor Hooker has published a graduated series of books, carefully
adapted to the different periods of the course of study; exceedingly
simple for the beginner, stepping carefully from the known to the
unknown, and widening their range with the increasing knowledge and
mental growth of the student. The first in the graduated series is the
'Child's Book of Common Things.' Next, the 'Child's Book of Nature,' in
three Parts, viz.: 'Plants,' 'Animals,' 'Air, Water, Light, Heat,'--then
follow the 'First Book in Chemistry' and 'First Book in Physiology.' The
next step in the gradation brings us to three books under one title:
'Science for the School and the Family;' Part I, Natural Philosophy;
Part II, Chemistry; Part III, Mineralogy and Geology.

Our author says: 'One grand essential for giving interest to any study
is the presentation of the various points in the _natural order_ in
which they should enter the mind. _They should be so presented that each
portion of a book shall make the following portions more interesting and
more easily understood._ This principle I have endeavored to observe
strictly in the preparation of my volumes.' We believe Professor Hooker
has succeeded in the observation of this principle, and that its
observation must insure success.


     THE STORY OF THE GUARD: A Chronicle of the War. By JESSIE
     BENTON FREMONT. Knapsack Edition. Price, 50 cts. Ticknor &
     Fields, Boston.

We are glad to see this little work of affection and patriotism from the
hand of a gifted lady (who says: 'For any personal object I should never
use my name, which has been to me a _double_ charge to keep; but I think
my father would more than approve, when it is to do justice, and to aid
the widow and the orphan') already passed into the _sixth_ edition.

'To do justice to brave men and to aid the widow and orphan!' What
nobler motive could there be for publishing a book, than the prevailing
one so simply given by Mrs. Fremont in the lines just quoted! Truly the
most determined hater of the so much read and so much abused 'women's
books,' must cease to sneer in acknowledging that here indeed was
inducement sufficient to make the most timid and shrinking of the sex
face the frowns of the critic, the scoff of the antagonistic politician,
and the astonishment of the fashionable world that one who had long been
one of its most brilliant ornaments should condescend to become known as
an authoress! We heartily congratulate her on the success of her book,
which, as achieving its object, must be dear to her heart. Very
charming, too, are the extracts given from General Fremont's letters.
Domestic love and peace are surely holy!

'To do justice to brave men!' 'Major Zagonyi, with one hundred and fifty
of the body guard, attacked and drove from Springfield over two thousand
rebels, with a loss of only fifteen men.' All honor to the brave
Zagonyi! His Hungarian English is strong, graphic, simple, and, like
himself, true. With a thorough military education, dauntless courage,
untiring energy, and a natural, perhaps national, love for horses and
horsemanship, we doubt not he is one of the best cavalry officers in our
service. He has long chafed under a forced inaction, and, full of
unselfish devotion, burns to do and dare in what he believes to be the
cause of freedom and humanity. May he soon add fresh laurels to his
glorious Springfield wreath--and may the same gentle chronicler again
twine them for his brave brow!


     SUBSTANCE AND SHADOW; or, Morality and Religion in their
     Relation to Life: An Essay upon the Physics of Creation. By
     HENRY JAMES. Ticknor & Fields, Boston.

We advise such of our readers as take interest in metaphysical theology,
in the vexed questions of the origin of evil, of free will, of God's
communication with the spirit of man, of the growth of faith in the
soul, to read this book for themselves. We are not Swedenborgians,
though we believe Swedenborg to have been a great and good man; we do
not deem ourselves able to pronounce upon the truths or errors
elaborated in the pages of Mr. James's book, but we feel convinced that
its author is as sincere as able, and that he really aims at reaching
the heart and marrow of his important subjects. His argument with the
German and Scotch philosophies is profound and skilful. He is a believer
in revelation, in its unfolding a true philosophy of the Infinite;
showing how the infinite is contained in the finite, the absolute in the
relative, not spatially or by continuation, but by exact correspondency,
as the soul is contained in the body. He always steers clear of the
shoals of atheism, and of the dim and chaotic abysses of pantheism. He
is often obscure, but has the power to be concise and luminous. His
style is vigorous, though we object to the meaning he attaches to two
words very dear to the human heart: for _religion_ is not _ritualism_,
nor is _morality_ made of the starched buckram of _selfhood_. Religion
is love to God--morality, love to our neighbor. We differ from him in
many of his positions, his standpoint is not ours, but he struggles
bravely to rescue philosophy from a degrading bondage to sense, and to
restore her to the service of revelation. No analysis within our present
limits would avail to combat the errors, to make manifest the truths
contained in the book, nor do we feel ourselves competent to undertake
the task.

If the lucid and vigorous writer, author of the article entitled 'Mill
on Liberty' in our June issue, as well as of some able remarks headed
'Matter and Spirit' published in the Editor's Table of the July number
of THE CONTINENTAL, would review this book of Mr. James, he might be
able to pour a flood of light on many mooted questions, many
metaphysical queries; for a clear mind is a marvellous solvent.



BOOKS RECEIVED.


THE WESTERN LAW MONTHLY. June, 1863. Hon. JOHN CROWELL, WILLIAM
LAWRENCE, Editors. Cleveland, Ohio: Fairbanks, Benedict & Co. New York:
John S. Voorhies, law bookseller and publisher, No. 20 Nassau street.

THE MASSACHUSETTS TEACHER: A Journal of School and Home Education. June,
1863. Boston: Published by the Massachusetts Teachers' Association, No.
119 Washington street.

VERMONT SCHOOL JOURNAL: Devoted to the Educational Interests of the
State. HIRAM ORCUTT, Editor and Proprietor, West Brattleboro.

THE ILLINOIS TEACHER: Devoted to Education, Science, and Free Schools.
Editors: ALEXANDER M. GOW, Rock Island; SAMUEL A. BRIGGS, Chicago.
Published monthly, Peoria, Illinois, by N. I. Nason.

THE HOME MONTHLY: Devoted to Home Education, Literature, and Religion.
Edited by Rev. WM. M. THAYER. Boston: Published by D. W. Childs, No. 456
Washington street, corner of Essex.

THE BRITISH AMERICAN. A Monthly Magazine, devoted to Science,
Literature, and Art. Toronto. Rollo & Adams, publishers. No. 1, May,
1863. THE BRITISH AMERICAN contains: North West British America; My
Cousin Tom; Early Notices of Toronto; The Bank of Credit Foncier;
Holiday Musings of a Worker; The Emigrants; Flowers and their Moral
Teaching; Sketches of Indian Life; Given and Taken; The Post Office and
the Railway; Insect Life in Canada; Reviews, &c.

THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER. July, 1863. Boston: By the proprietors, at
Walker, Wise, & Co.'s, 245 Washington street. Contents: Conditions of
Belief; Mrs. Browning's Essays on the Poets; Rome, Republican and
Imperial; The Pulpit in the Past; Kinglake and his Critics; The Colenso
Controversy; Art and Artists of America; Reviews, &c.

THE NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW. July, 1863. Contents: Traits of Jean Paul and
his Titan; Peerages and Genealogies; The Chronology, Topography, and
Archæology of the Life of Christ; Story's Roba di Roma; Liberia College;
Samuel Kirkland; Leigh Hunt; Acarnania; The American Tract Society;
May's Constitutional History of England; Critical Notices, &c.



EDITOR'S TABLE.


THE SUSPENSE.--Seldom, in the eventful course of human affairs, have
great nations, with their rich and populous cities, been placed in the
attitude of danger and of solemn suspense in which the American people
find themselves at this momentous crisis. Even while we write this
sentence, a great battle is raging in one of the fairest valleys of
Pennsylvania, and although the actual struggle is destined to be
decisive in its bearing, there is no possibility of knowing how the
strife goes from hour to hour. Issues of immense and incalculable
importance are involved in the immediate result: the cities of
Washington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, to say nothing of the existence
of the nation itself, so gravely imperilled, on the one hand; and
Richmond, with all the desperate hopes and daring purposes of the
rebellion, on the other, are the mighty stakes played for in the bloody
game now going on upon the chessboard in the vicinity of Gettysburg.

With the overthrow of Lee's army, and its effectual cut off from escape,
not only will come the speedy fall of Richmond, but the rebellion itself
will be virtually at an end; for it will never be able to recover from
the blow. On the other hand, with the complete discomfiture of our own
army, we should be temporarily at the mercy of the enemy, as we do not
seem to have contemplated the contingency of defeat, and have made
little preparation for it. The victorious Lee would drive our shattered
forces into Washington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, and would follow
close upon their heels with his irresistible columns. Dark would be the
day for our country and for human liberty, and terrible would be the
struggle made necessary afterward to enable us to recover from so great
a disaster. Assuredly we would be able to recover; and in this fact lies
our great superiority over the adversary, who stakes his all upon the
issue of this desperate and reckless invasion into the heart of the
loyal States. But, with all our confidence in the justice and ultimate
triumph of our cause, how great is the patriotic anxiety with which our
hearts are burdened, and how intensely earnest are the prayers we offer
to the Most High for the success of our noble army in the pending
battle! In our excited imaginations, we see only the impenetrable cloud
of smoke which envelops the bloody field; we hear the loud thunders of
the murderous artillery, the rattle of musketry, the groans of the
wounded and dying, and the shouts of infuriated columns as they rush
into the jaws of death, and are rolled away on the fiery billows of the
mighty conflict. We feel all the frenzy of the deadly strife as if we
were in the midst of it; and yet, though we strain our inward vision to
the utmost, no ray of light comes from the terrible scene to inform us
how the scale of victory inclines. We only know that thousands of our
brothers lie on the battle field dead or dying, wounded and suffering,
and we anticipate the melancholy wail which their wives and children,
their brothers and friends will utter on the morrow. Shall it be mingled
with shouts of victory, and softened by the sweet consolation that the
death and suffering of so many noble victims have been repaid by the
safety of our country, and the reëstablishment of liberty under the
glorious Constitution of our fathers?

       *       *       *       *       *

THE RELIEF.--Time rolls on. In spite of anxieties and torturing
uncertainties; over broken hearts and ruined hopes; over fields of
slaughter, where the harvest of death has been garnered in abundance so
great as to sicken the soul of man; over pillaged cities and countries
laid waste; over all the works of man, good and bad, time rolls on,
careless alike of the joys and sorrows, the victories and defeats of
men and nations. And, with the steady and remorseless march of time,
events, however bound up with the mightiest interests of mankind,
necessarily hasten to their consummation. The web of fate is
unravelled--the tide of battle flows in its irrevocable course, and
having stranded the hopes of the defeated power, there is no ebb, no
reflux, by which the disaster may be undone, and the ruined cause
restored again to prosperity and hope.

Gradually the cloud breaks away from the battle field, and the various
incidents and accomplished results of the contest become known. The
silent, faithful wires, stretching away to the intervening cities and
villages, are burdened with their mysterious messages, to be delivered
from time to time to the expectant crowds who await them with eager
impatience. With the dawn of Independence Day, some gleams of light come
up from the scene of conflict, and some encouraging words are heard from
high quarters. In their patriotic assemblages, the people are full of
hope and confidence, though still not without intense anxiety with
regard to the final result, yet imperfectly made known. Every additional
message, with which the wires tremble, makes the hopeful impression
stronger and stronger; and, upon the whole, the 4th of July, 1863, is a
day of rejoicing to all those who love their country and desire to see
it restored to its pristine vigor and glory. Scarcely a doubt remains
that the daring traitors have been defeated and the country saved;
though it is yet uncertain whether the victory will be complete and the
army of the enemy scattered and destroyed or captured.

If by possibility Lee should again escape and make his way back to the
exhausted fields of Eastern Virginia, there may still be some hard work
for our armies in order to put a final end to the great rebellion. But
the failure of this last desperate enterprise gives the deathblow to the
wicked and ambitious power of the usurpers at the head of the pretended
confederacy. They may obstruct our march and harass our armies, but they
can no longer hope to place any permanent obstacle in the way of our
progress toward the restoration of the Union. The tide has turned at
last. We have seen the darkest day of our mortal struggle, and the hour
of deliverance is at hand.


AGRICULTURE AND WAR.

Agriculture is the foundation of all other industries. It is quite as
indispensable for the support of armies in the field as it is for that
of commerce and manufactures in the halcyon days of national repose. If
those who have gone forth with arms in their hands to do battle for the
preservation of our free government are performing services of the
highest importance to the nation, those also who remain at home to till
the earth are doing work indispensable to the success of our sacred
cause. If they do not strike the enemy with their hoes and scythes, they
at least sustain and invigorate those who carry the bayonet and meet the
shock of actual war.

Under all circumstances the great operations of agriculture must still
go on. The seasons do not cease their appointed rounds; the sun does not
fail to dispense his genial stores of light and heat; nor do the
fertilizing showers of heaven refuse to descend upon the soil, because
the fierce passions of man have aroused him to discord and battle.
Nature still maintains her serenity in the midst of all the fearful
agitations of mankind; and she still scatters her blessings with a
lavish hand, though they may be trampled under foot by the gathering
hosts of infuriated men. Even, therefore, while the human tempest rages
around us, we may well pause to contemplate the peaceful beneficence of
nature, and to rejoice in the thought that all the wickedness and
violence of man cannot provoke or derange into confusion and disorder
the great natural elements which minister to his comfort and
happiness--which cause the seed to germinate, the flower to bloom, and
the fruit to ripen, regardless of all his passions, and in spite of his
ingratitude. The unambitious pursuits of the husbandman may have in them
nothing of the pomp and circumstance of glorious war; but they are at
least in harmony with the beneficence of God and the permanent interests
of man; while they are also of the highest importance to the country,
even in the extremity of her peril.

The harvest, now approaching, everywhere gives promise of a bounteous
supply of the productions which annually bless our favored land. The
vast invading army of the enemy, soon to be driven with disaster out of
the loyal States, will have made no serious impression upon the
abundance of our overflowing stores. There may be some scarcity of
labor to secure the maturing crops, but we shall still supply all our
own wants abundantly, leaving a large surplus for shipment abroad, and
even for meeting the necessities of our suffering brethren in the South,
when they shall have utterly failed in their wicked purpose of
destroying the Government, and when their sharp cry of hunger and
suffering shall appeal to our relenting hearts for succor.


THE EARTH AND THE AIR.

The great bulk of all vegetation is derived from the atmosphere. The air
is always loaded with watery vapor, and it contains a vast quantity of
carbonic acid gas, which furnishes the chief material for the woody
fibre of all plants, for the starch, sugar, gums, oils, and other
valuable compounds produced by them. Nitrogen, also, is one of the large
constituents of the air, and is found in it likewise in the form of
ammonia. It is wonderful to reflect that of all the vegetable
productions of the earth--its vast forests, the flowery clothing of its
boundless prairies, the immeasurable productions raised by the industry
of the whole human race in its countless fields of labor--that of all
this mighty growth which covers and adorns the face of the whole solid
globe, more than ninety-five hundredths are derived exclusively from the
atmosphere. This vast ocean which surrounds the earth, in which we are
immersed, and which is actually the breath of life to us, indispensable
to our existence during every moment of our lives, is also the great
reservoir from which the mighty vegetable world draws almost the whole
of its substance. While we are inspiring the invisible fluid, and with
every breath renewing the ruddy currents of the heart and sending them
glowing with warmth and vitality to all the extremities of the frame,
every leaf in the mighty forest, and every herb, and flower, and blade
of grass on the surface of the whole earth, is maintaining a similar
commerce with the air, drawing from its boundless stores of carbon,
piling up cell upon cell and adding fibre to fibre, until trunk, and
branch, and stem, and leaf, with all the gorgeous productions of
vegetable life, stand forth in their maturity, filling the bosom of the
conscious atmosphere with wonderful creations of beauty and fruits of
joy.

But in fact the atmosphere is only an appendage to the solid earth,
existing in that plastic form which is necessary to the creation both of
animal and vegetable life. It is her breath, by which, as the minister
of God, she breathes life into the nostrils of men and animals, and
imparts vitality and growth to all plants. But in this life-giving
process, she furnishes also a part, minute though it be, of her own
proper substance. Consume with fire the trees of the forest, or the
grass of the prairie, and though the greater part of the burning mass
will disappear and mingle with the air from which it came, there will
yet remain the ashes, which cannot be dissipated, but must return again
to the earth which gave them. These solid constituents of plants are the
contributions of the soil; and though they seem to be comparatively
inconsiderable, yet when taken in connection with the large operations
of agriculture continued through a series of years, they become so great
as to be of the utmost importance. They perform an interesting part in
the economy of vegetable life, for they are to the plant what the bones
are to the animal. In the stalks of wheat and Indian corn, as indeed of
all the grasses, the flinty surface is constituted largely of silex; as
the shells of crustacea and the bones of animals are composed mostly of
lime. Without these earthy substances, nothing that grows from the soil
can come to perfection. They are equally important to animals and to man
himself, who receives them from the vegetable world and assimilates them
in his own marvellous organization--building up his bony frame with the
lime of the earth; filling his veins with its iron; constructing the
very seat and citadel of the soul, and flashing its spiritual mandates
through the nerves, by the help of the phosphorus which he derives from
the soil through the elaboration of plants and inferior animals.


WE'RE NOT TIRED OF FIGHTING YET!

    Oh, we're not tired of fighting yet!
    We're not the boys to frighten yet!
      While drums are drumming we'll be coming,
      With the ball and bayonet!
    For we can hit while they can pound,
    And so let's have another round!
    Secesh is bound to lick the ground,
      And we'll be in their pantry yet!

    Oh, we're not tired of tramping yet--
    Of soldier life or camping yet;
      And rough or level, man or devil,
      We are game for stamping yet.
    We've lived through weather wet and dry,
    Through hail and fire, without a cry;
    We wouldn't freeze, and couldn't fry,
      And haven't got through our ramping yet!

    We haven't broke up the party yet;
    We're rough, and tough, and hearty yet;
      Who talks of going pays what's owing,
      And there's a bill will smart ye yet!
    So bang the doors, and lock 'em tight!
    Secesh, you've got to make it right!
    We'll have a little dance to-night;
      You can't begin to travel yet!

    Oh, we're not tired of fighting yet,
    Nor ripe for disuniting yet!
      Before they do it, or get through it,
      There'll be some savage biting yet!
    Then hip, hurrah for Uncle Sam!
    And down with all secesh and sham!
    From Davis to Vallandigham,
      They all shall rue their treason yet!

       *       *       *       *       *

We cannot close the present number of THE CONTINENTAL without a few
words of fervid congratulation to our readers and countrymen. We may
greet each other now with glad hearts and uplifted brows. What a
glorious "Fourth" was ours, with our Eagle scattering the heavy
war-clouds which hung around us, soaring to gaze once more undazzled at
the sun of liberty; our stars again shining down clear upon us from
their heaven of light! Joy sparkles in every eye, and high, strong words
flash from every tongue. Grant victorious--Vicksburg ours--the army of
the Potomac covered with glory--Meade everywhere triumphant, and in full
pursuit of our flying and disheartened foe! Heroes and soldiers, your
country blesses and thanks you!

Let us now resolve that with every day our Union shall grow closer. Let
faction die; political intrigue cease to rear its serpent head; let
doubt become trust; suspicion, faith! Countrymen, let us also learn to
pity the unhappy race whom this war must free. You cannot now prevent
it; its first tocsin of liberty pealed with the first gun fired at Fort
Sumter. After long ages of barbaric night, of slavery, of misery, these
beings cut in ebony begin to robe themselves as men; on the battle field
they have at last put on the virile toga dyed in blood, not now drawn by
the lash from the back of the wretched chattel, but from the heart of
the man face to face with his oppressor on the field of righteous
battle. Rude and uncultured, they hold up to you hands hard with labor,
still bleeding from the scarcely fallen manacles, and implore aid and
manly mercy. Let it be granted without stint, and let not the freedom
God has given, become a curse to them! You cannot roll back the stately
steppings of destiny--and let this great and magnanimous people show its
magnanimity now!

And, oh, ye glorious dead, now resting in eternal peace, whom the drum
and fife will rouse no more to superhuman effort in our behalf, sweet be
your sleep in the heart of the country you died to save, and ever green
the laurel above your grassy graves! We will not forget you, wrapped in
your gory shrouds for the land ye loved! Never shall our national hymns
again greet our ears without awakening tender thoughts of you! Hot, sad
tears will mourn your loss in the homes your smiles shall light no
more--but your names shall be an heirloom of glory to your mothers,
wives, and children, and your country will weep with them! We greet you,
holy graves! As the onward path of humanity passes over your new-made
mounds, her children will veil their heads and honor the martyrs who lie
below. And when the coming centuries shall have covered you with moss
and flowers, they will never forget to throw the laurel as they pass,
acknowledging that these tombs have made progress and happiness
possible! Brothers, the Union shall be sacred which you died to save! In
the more intense and glowing patriotism engendered by your sacrifice, we
swear it on your blessed sepulchres, and this shall be your deathless
epitaph!

    M. W. C.



THE

_Continental Monthly._


The readers of the CONTINENTAL are aware of the important position it
has assumed, of the influence which it exerts, and of the brilliant
array of political and literary talent of the highest order which
supports it. No publication of the kind has, in this country, so
successfully combined the energy and freedom of the daily newspaper with
the higher literary tone of the first-class monthly; and it is very
certain that no magazine has given wider range to its contributors, or
preserved itself so completely from the narrow influences of party or of
faction. In times like the present, such a journal is either a power in
the land or it is nothing. That the CONTINENTAL is not the latter is
abundantly evidenced _by what it has done_--by the reflection of its
counsels in many important public events, and in the character and power
of those who are its staunchest supporters.

Though but little more than a year has elapsed since the CONTINENTAL was
first established, it has during that time acquired a strength and a
political significance elevating it to a position far above that
previously occupied by any publication of the kind in America. In proof
of which assertion we call attention to the following facts:

1. Of its POLITICAL articles republished in pamphlet form, a single one
has had, thus far, a circulation of _one hundred and six thousand_
copies.

2. From its LITERARY department, a single serial novel, "Among the
Pines," has, within a very few months, sold nearly _thirty-five
thousand_ copies. Two other series of its literary articles have also
been republished in book form, while the first portion of a third is
already in press.

No more conclusive facts need be alleged to prove the excellence of the
contributions to the CONTINENTAL, or their _extraordinary popularity_;
and its conductors are determined that it shall not fall behind.
Preserving all "the boldness, vigor, and ability" which a thousand
journals have attributed to it, it will greatly enlarge its circle of
action, and discuss, fearlessly and frankly, every principle involved in
the great questions of the day. The first minds of the country,
embracing the men most familiar with its diplomacy and most
distinguished for ability, are among its contributors; and it is no mere
"flattering promise of a prospectus" to say that this "magazine for the
times" will employ the first intellect in America, under auspices which
no publication ever enjoyed before in this country.

While the CONTINENTAL will express decided opinions on the great
questions of the day, it will not be a mere political journal: much the
larger portion of its columns will be enlivened, as heretofore, by
tales, poetry, and humor. In a word, the CONTINENTAL will be found,
under its new staff of Editors, occupying a position and presenting
attractions never before found in a magazine.

       *       *       *       *       *

                           TERMS TO CLUBS.

    Two copies for one year,                 Five dollars.
    Three copies for one year,               Six dollars.
    Six copies for one year,                 Eleven dollars.
    Eleven copies for one year,              Twenty dollars.
    Twenty copies for one year,              Thirty-six dollars.

PAID IN ADVANCE.

_Postage, Thirty six cents a year_, TO BE PAID BY THE SUBSCRIBER.

SINGLE COPIES.

Three dollars a year, IN ADVANCE. _Postage paid by the Publisher._

    JOHN F. TROW, 50 Greene St., N. Y.,
    PUBLISHER FOR THE PROPRIETORS.

--> As an inducement to new subscribers, the Publisher offers
the following liberal premiums:

--> Any person remitting $3, in advance, will receive the
magazine from July, 1862, to January, 1864, thus securing the whole of
Mr. KIMBALL'S and Mr. KIRKE'S new serials, which are alone worth the
price of subscription. Or, if preferred, a subscriber can take the
magazine for 1863 and a copy of "Among the Pines," or of "Undercurrents
of Wall Street," by R. B. KIMBALL, bound in cloth, or of "Sunshine in
Thought," by CHARLES GODFREY LELAND (retail price, $1 25.) The book to
be sent postage paid.

--> Any person remitting $4 50, will receive the magazine from
its commencement, January, 1862, to January, 1864, thus securing Mr.
KIMBALL'S "Was He Successful?" and Mr. KIRKE'S "Among the Pines," and
"Merchant's Story," and nearly 3,000 octavo pages of the best literature
in the world. Premium subscribers to pay their own postage.

[Illustration: THE FINEST FARMING LANDS WHEAT CORN COTTON FRUITS &
VEGETABLES]

EQUAL TO ANY IN THE WORLD!!!

MAY BE PROCURED

At FROM $8 to $12 PER ACRE,

Near Markets, Schools, Railroads, Churches, and all the blessings of
Civilization.

1,200,000 Acres, in Farms of 40, 80, 120, 160 Acres and upwards, in
ILLINOIS, the Garden State of America.

The Illinois Central Railroad Company offer, ON LONG CREDIT, the
beautiful and fertile PRAIRIE LANDS lying along the whole line of their
Railroad, 700 MILES IN LENGTH, upon the most Favorable Terms for
enabling Farmers, Manufacturers, Mechanics and Workingmen to make for
themselves and their families a competency, and a HOME they can call
THEIR OWN, as will appear from the following statements:


ILLINOIS.

Is about equal in extent to England, with a population of 1,722,666, and
a soil capable of supporting 20,000,000. No State in the Valley of the
Mississippi offers so great an inducement to the settler as the State of
Illinois. There is no part of the world where all the conditions of
climate and soil so admirably combine to produce those two great
staples, CORN and WHEAT.


CLIMATE.

Nowhere can the industrious farmer secure such immediate results from
his labor as on these deep, rich, loamy soils, cultivated with so much
ease. The climate from the extreme southern part of the State to the
Terre Haute, Alton and St. Louis Railroad, a distance of nearly 200
miles, is well adapted to Winter.

WHEAT, CORN, COTTON, TOBACCO.

Peaches, Pears, Tomatoes, and every variety of fruit and vegetables is
grown in great abundance, from which Chicago and other Northern markets
are furnished from four to six weeks earlier than their immediate
vicinity. Between the Terre Haute, Alton & St. Louis Railway and the
Kankakee and Illinois Rivers, (a distance of 115 miles on the Branch,
and 136 miles on the Main Trunk,) lies the great Corn and Stock raising
portion of the State.

THE ORDINARY YIELD

of Corn is from 50 to 80 bushels per acre. Cattle, Horses, Mules, Sheep
and Hogs are raised here at a small cost, and yield large profits. It is
believed that no section of country presents greater inducements for
Dairy Farming than the Prairies of Illinois, a branch of farming to
which but little attention has been paid, and which must yield sure
profitable results. Between the Kankakee and Illinois Rivers, and
Chicago and Dunleith, (a distance of 56 miles on the Branch and 147
miles by the Main Trunk,) Timothy Hay, Spring Wheat, Corn, &c., are
produced in great abundance.

AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS.

The Agricultural products of Illinois are greater than those of any
other State. The Wheat crop of 1861 was estimated at 85,000,000 bushels,
while the Corn crop yields not less than 140,000,000 bushels besides the
crop of Oats, Barley, Rye, Buckwheat, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes,
Pumpkins, Squashes, Flax, Hemp, Peas, Clover, Cabbage, Beets, Tobacco,
Sorgheim, Grapes, Peaches, Apples, &c., which go to swell the vast
aggregate of production in this fertile region. Over Four Million tons
of produce were sent out the State of Illinois during the past year.

STOCK RAISING.

In Central and Southern Illinois uncommon advantages are presented for
the extension of Stock raising. All kinds of Cattle, Horses, Mules,
Sheep, Hogs, &c., of the best breeds, yield handsome profits; large
fortunes have already been made, and the field is open for others to
enter with the fairest prospects of like results. DAIRY FARMING also
presents its inducements to many.

CULTIVATION OF COTTON.

_The experiments in Cotton culture are of very great promise. Commencing
in latitude 39 deg. 30 min. (see Mattoon on the Branch, and Assumption
on the Main Line), the Company owns thousands of acres well adapted to
the perfection of this fibre. A settler having a family of young
children, can turn their youthful labor to a most profitable account in
the growth and perfection of this plant._

THE ILLINOIS CENTRAL RAILROAD

Traverses the whole length of the State, from the banks of the
Mississippi and Lake Michigan to the Ohio. As its name imports, the
Railroad runs through the centre of the State, and on either side of the
road along its whole length lie the lands offered for sale.

CITIES, TOWNS, MARKETS, DEPOTS.

There are Ninety-eight Depots on the Company's Railway, giving about one
every seven miles. Cities, Towns and Villages are situated at convenient
distances throughout the whole route, where every desirable commodity
may be found as readily as in the oldest cities of the Union, and where
buyers are to be met for all kinds of farm produce.

EDUCATION.

Mechanics and working-men will find the free school system encouraged by
the State, and endowed with a large revenue for the support of the
schools. Children can live in sight of the school, the college, the
church, and grow up with the prosperity of the leading State in the
Great Western Empire.

    PRICES AND TERMS OF PAYMENT--ON LONG CREDIT.

    80 acres at $10 per acre, with interest at 6 per ct. annually on
    the following terms:

        Cash payment                 $48 00
        Payment in one year           48 00
           "  in two years            48 00
           "  in three years          48 00
           "  in four years          236 00
           "  in five years          224 00
           "  in six years           212 00
           "  in seven years         200 00

    40 acres, at $10 00 per acre;
      Cash payment                   $24 00
      Payment in one year             24 00
         "  in two years              24 00
         "  in three years            24 00
         "  in four years            118 00
         "  in five years            112 00
         "  in six years             106 00
         "  in seven years           100 00



    Number 21.                                          25 Cents.

THE

CONTINENTAL

MONTHLY.

DEVOTED TO

_Literature and National Policy_.

SEPTEMBER, 1863.

NEW YORK:

JOHN F. TROW 50 GREENE STREET

(FOR THE PROPRIETORS).

HENRY DEXTER AND SINCLAIR TOUSEY.

WASHINGTON, D. C.: FRANCK TAYLOR.



CONTENTS.--No. XXI.


Southern Hate of New England. By Miss Virginia Sherwood,               241

Waiting for News. By Mrs. Mary E. Nealy,                               255

Early History of Printing and the Newspaper Press in
Boston and New York. By W. L. Stone,                                   256

Reconnoissance near Fort Morgan, and Expedition in
Lake Portchartrain and Pearl River, by the Mortar
Flotilla of Captain D. D. Porter, U. S. N. By F. H.
Gerdes, Asst. U. S. Coast Survey,                                      269

Diary of Frances Krasinska,                                            274

The Isle of Springs. By Rev. Mr. Starbuck,                             284

The Grave,                                                             292

Reason, Rhyme, and Rhythm. By Mrs. Martha W. Cook,                     293

Remembrance. By G. F. G.                                               296

The Great Riot. By Edward B. Freeland,                                 302

The Deserted House,                                                    312

Spring Mountain,                                                       314

Japanese Foreign Relations,                                            333

Was He Successful. By Richard B. Kimball,                              346

Jefferson Davis and Repudiation,                                       352

Editor's Table,                                                        355

       *       *       *       *       *

CHARLES GODFREY LELAND and EDMUND KIRKE have withdrawn from the
editorial management of this Magazine.

All communications, whether concerning MSS. or on business, should be
addressed to

    JOHN F. TROW, Publisher,

    50 GREENE STREET, NEW YORK.

       *       *       *       *       *

ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1863, by JOHN F.
TROW, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States
for the Southern District of New York.

JOHN F. TROW, PRINTER.





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